Chapter 10 — Science of Being
From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy
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That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life, … That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. — JOHN, First Epistle.
Here I stand. I can do no otherwise; so help me God! Amen! — MARTIN LUTHER.
In the material world, thought has brought to light with great rapidity many useful wonders. With like activity have thought’s swift pinions been rising towards the realm of the real, to the spiritual cause of those lower things which give impulse to inquiry. Belief in a material basis, from which may be deduced all rationality, is slowly yielding to the idea of a metaphysical basis, looking away from matter to Mind as the cause of every effect. Materialistic hypotheses challenge metaphysics to meet in final combat. In this revolutionary period, like the shepherd-boy with his sling, woman goes forth to battle with Goliath.
In this final struggle for supremacy, semi-metaphysical systems afford no substantial aid to scientific metaphysics, for their arguments are based on the false testimony of the material senses as well as on the facts of Mind. These semi-metaphysical
systems are one and all pantheistic, and savor of Pandemonium, a house divided against itself.
From first to last the supposed coexistence of Mind and matter and the mingling of good and evil have resulted from the philosophy of the serpent. Jesus’ demonstrations sift the chaff from the wheat, and unfold the unity and the reality of good, the unreality, the nothingness, of evil.
Human philosophy has made God manlike. Christian Science makes man Godlike. The first is error; the latter is truth. Metaphysics is above physics, and matter does not enter into metaphysical premises or conclusions. The categories of metaphysics rest on one basis, the divine Mind. Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul.
These ideas are perfectly real and tangible to spiritual consciousness, and they have this, advantage over the objects and thoughts of material sense, — they are good and eternal.
The testimony of the material senses is neither absolute nor divine. I therefore plant myself unreservedly on the teachings of Jesus, of his apostles, of the prophets, and on the testimony of the Science of Mind. Other foundations there are none. All other systems — systems based wholly or partly on knowledge gained through the material senses — are reeds shaken by the wind, not houses built on the rock.
The theories I combat are these: (1) that all is matter; (2) that matter originates in Mind, and is as real as Mind, possessing intelligence and life. The first theory, that matter is everything, is quite as
reasonable as the second, that Mind and matter coexist and cooperate. One only of the following statements can be true: (1) that everything is matter; (2) that everything is Mind. Which one is it?
Matter and Mind are opposites. One is contrary to the other in its very nature and essence; hence both cannot be real. If one is real, the other must be unreal. Only by understanding that there is but one power, — not two powers, matter and Mind, — are scientific and logical conclusions reached. Few deny the hypothesis that intelligence, apart from man and matter, governs the universe; and it is generally admitted that this intelligence is the eternal Mind or divine principle, Love.
The prophets of old looked for something higher than the systems of their times; hence their foresight of the new dispensation of Truth. But they knew not what would be the precise nature of the teaching and demonstration of God, divine Mind, in His more infinite meanings, — the demonstration which was to destroy sin, sickness, and death, establish the definition of omnipotence, and maintain the Science of Spirit.
The pride of priesthood is the prince of this world. It has nothing in Christ. Meekness and charity have divine authority. Mortals think wickedly; consequently they are wicked. They think sickly thoughts, and so become sick. If sin makes sinners, Truth and Love alone can unmake them. If a sense of disease produces suffering and a sense of ease antidotes suffering, disease is mental, not material. Hence the fact that the human mind alone suffers, is sick, and that the divine Mind alone heals.
The life of Christ Jesus was not miraculous, but it was indigenous to his spirituality, — the good soil wherein the
seed of Truth springs up and bears much fruit. Christ’s Christianity is the chain of scientific being reappearing in all ages, maintaining its obvious correspondence with the Scriptures and uniting all periods in the design of God. Neither emasculation, illusion, nor insubordination exists in divine Science.
Jesus instructed his disciples whereby to heal the sick through Mind instead of matter. He knew that the philosophy, Science, and proof of Christianity were in Truth, casting out all inharmony.
In Latin the word rendered disciple signifies student; and the word indicates that the power of healing was not a supernatural gift to those learners, but the result of their cultivated spiritual understanding of the divine Science, which their Master demonstrated by healing the sick and sinning. Hence the universal application of his saying: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me [understand me] through their word.”
New Testament basis
Our Master said, “But the Comforter … shall teach you all things.” When the Science of Christianity appears, it will lead you into all truth. The Sermon on the Mount is the essence of this Science, and the eternal life, not the death of Jesus, is its outcome.
Those, who are willing to leave their nets or to cast them on the right side for Truth, have the opportunity now, as aforetime, to learn and to practise Christian healing. The Scriptures contain it. The spiritual import of the Word imparts this power. But, as Paul says, “How shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be
sent?” If sent, how shall they preach, convert, and heal multitudes, except the people hear?
Spirituality of Scripture
The spiritual sense of truth must be gained before Truth can be understood. This sense is assimilated only as we are honest, unselfish, loving, and meek. In the soil of an “honest and good heart” the seed must be sown; else it beareth not much fruit, for the swinish element in human nature uproots it. Jesus said: “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures.” The spiritual sense of the Scriptures brings out the scientific sense, and is the new tongue referred to in the last chapter of Mark’s Gospel.
Jesus’ parable of “the sower” shows the care our Master took not to impart to dull ears and gross hearts the spiritual teachings which dulness and grossness could not accept. Reading the thoughts of the people, he said: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine.”
It is the spiritualization of thought and Christianization of daily life, in contrast with the results of the ghastly farce of material existence; it is chastity and purity, in contrast with the downward tendencies and earthward gravitation of sensualism and impurity, which really attest the divine origin and operation of Christian Science. The triumphs of Christian Science are recorded in the destruction of error and evil, from which are propagated the dismal beliefs of sin, sickness, and death.
God the Principle of all
The divine Principle of the universe must interpret the universe. God is the divine Principle of all that represents Him and of all that really exists. Christian Science, as demonstrated by Jesus, alone reveals the natural, divine Principle of Science.
Matter and its claims of sin, sickness, and death are contrary to God, and cannot emanate from Him. There is no material truth. The physical senses can take no cognizance of God and spiritual Truth. Human belief has sought out many inventions, but not one of them can solve the problem of being without the divine Principle of divine Science. Deductions from material hypotheses are not scientific. They differ from real Science because they are not based on the divine law.
Science versus sense
Divine Science reverses the false testimony of the material senses, and thus tears away the foundations of error. Hence the enmity between Science and the senses, and the impossibility of attaining perfect understanding till the errors of sense are eliminated.
The so-called laws of matter and of medical science have never made mortals whole, harmonious, and immortal. Man is harmonious when governed by Soul. Hence the importance of understanding the truth of being, which reveals the laws of spiritual existence.
Spiritual law the only law
God never ordained a material law to annul the spiritual law. If there were such a material law, it would oppose the supremacy of Spirit, God, and impugn the wisdom of the creator. Jesus walked on the waves, fed the multitude, healed the sick, and raised the dead in direct opposition to material laws. His acts were the demonstration of Science, overcoming the false claims of material sense or law.
Material knowledge illusive
Science shows that material, conflicting mortal opinions and beliefs emit the effects of error at all times, but this atmosphere of mortal mind cannot be destructive to morals and health when it is opposed promptly and per-
sistently by Christian Science. Truth and Love antidote this mental miasma, and thus invigorate and sustain existence. Unnecessary knowledge gained from the five senses is only temporal, — the conception of mortal mind, the offspring of sense, not of Soul, Spirit, — and symbolizes all that is evil and perishable. Natural science, as it is commonly called, is not really natural nor scientific, because it is deduced from the evidence of the material senses. Ideas, on the contrary, are born of Spirit, and are not mere inferences drawn from material premises.
Five senses deceptive
The senses of Spirit abide in Love, and they demonstrate Truth and Life. Hence Christianity and the Science which expounds it are based on spiritual understanding, and they supersede the so-called laws of matter. Jesus demonstrated this great verity. When what we erroneously term the five physical senses are misdirected, they are simply the manifested beliefs of mortal mind, which affirm that life, substance, and intelligence are material, instead of spiritual. These false beliefs and their products constitute the flesh, and the flesh wars against Spirit.
Divine Science is absolute, and permits no half-way position in learning its Principle and rule — establishing it by demonstration. The conventional firm, called matter and mind, God never formed. Science and understanding, governed by the unerring and eternal Mind, destroy the imaginary copartnership, matter and mind, formed only to be destroyed in a manner and at a period as yet unknown. This suppositional partnership is already obsolete, for matter, examined in the light of divine metaphysics, disappears.
Spirit the starting-point
Matter has no life to lose, and Spirit never dies. A partnership of mind with matter would ignore omnipresent and omnipotent Mind. This shows that matter did not originate in God, Spirit, and is not eternal. Therefore matter is neither substantial, living, nor intelligent. The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind, — that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle.
To grasp the reality and order of being in its Science, you must begin by reckoning God as the divine Principle of all that really is. Spirit, Life, Truth, Love, combine as one, — and are the Scriptural names for God. All substance, intelligence, wisdom, being, immortality, cause, and effect belong to God. These are His attributes, the eternal manifestations of the infinite divine Principle, Love. No wisdom is wise but His wisdom; no truth is true, no love is lovely, no life is Life but the divine; no good is, but the good God bestows.
The divine completeness
Divine metaphysics, as revealed to spiritual understanding, shows clearly that all is Mind, and that Mind is God, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, — that is, all power, all presence, all Science. Hence all is in reality the manifestation of Mind.
Our material human theories are destitute of Science. The true understanding of God is spiritual. It robs the grave of victory. It destroys the false evidence that misleads thought and points to other gods, or other so-called powers, such as matter, disease, sin, and death, superior or contrary to the one Spirit.
Truth, spiritually discerned, is scientifically understood. It casts out error and heals the sick.
Having one God, one Mind, unfolds the power that heals the sick, and fulfils these sayings of Scripture, “I am the Lord that healeth thee,” and “I have found a ransom.” When the divine precepts are understood, they unfold the foundation of fellowship, in which one mind is not at war with another, but all have one Spirit, God, one intelligent source, in accordance with the Scriptural command: “Let this Mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Man and his Maker are correlated in divine Science, and real consciousness is cognizant only of the things of God.
The realization that all inharmony is unreal brings objects and thoughts into human view in their true light, and presents them as beautiful and immortal. Harmony in man is as real and immortal as in music. Discord is unreal and mortal.
If God is admitted to be the only Mind and Life, there ceases to be any opportunity for sin and death. When we learn in Science how to be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect, thought is turned into new and healthy channels, — towards the contemplation of things immortal and away from materiality to the Principle of the universe, including harmonious man.
Material beliefs and spiritual understanding never mingle. The latter destroys the former. Discord is the nothingness named error. Harmony is the somethingness named Truth.
Like evolving like
Nature and revelation inform us that like produces like. Divine Science does not gather grapes from thorns nor figs from thistles. Intelligence never produces non-intelligence; but matter is
ever non-intelligent and therefore cannot spring from intelligence. To all that is unlike unerring and eternal Mind, this Mind saith, “Thou shalt surely die;” and elsewhere the Scripture says that dust returns to dust. The non-intelligent relapses into its own unreality. Matter never produces mind. The immortal never produces the mortal. Good cannot result in evil. As God Himself is good and is Spirit, goodness and spirituality must be immortal. Their opposites, evil and matter, are mortal error, and error has no creator. If goodness and spirituality are real, evil and materiality are unreal and cannot be the outcome of an infinite God, good.
Natural history presents vegetables and animals as preserving their original species, — like reproducing like. A mineral is not produced by a vegetable nor the man by the brute. In reproduction, the order of genus and species is preserved throughout the entire round of nature. This points to the spiritual truth and Science of being. Error relies upon a reversal of this order, asserts that Spirit produces matter and matter produces all the ills of flesh, and therefore that good is the origin of evil. These suppositions contradict even the order of material so-called science.
The realm of the real is Spirit. The unlikeness of Spirit is matter, and the opposite of the real is not divine, — it is a human concept. Matter is an error of statement. This error in the premise leads to errors in the conclusion in every statement into which it enters. Nothing we can say or believe regarding matter is immortal, for matter is temporal and is therefore a mortal phenomenon, a human concept, sometimes beautiful, always erroneous.
Substance versus supposition
Is Spirit the source or creator of matter? Science reveals nothing in Spirit out of which to create matter. Divine metaphysics explains away matter. Spirit is the only substance and consciousness recognized by divine Science. The material senses oppose this, but there are no material senses, for matter has no mind. In Spirit there is no matter, even as in Truth there is no error, and in good no evil. It is a false supposition, the notion that there is real substancematter, the opposite of Spirit. Spirit, God, is infinite, all. Spirit can have no opposite.
One cause supreme
That matter is substantial or has life and sensation, is one of the false beliefs of mortals, and exists only in a supposititious mortal consciousness. Hence, as we approach Spirit and Truth, we lose the consciousness of matter. The admission that there can be material substance requires another admission, namely, that Spirit is not infinite and that matter is self-creative, self-existent, and eternal. From this it would follow that there are two eternal causes, warring forever with each other; and yet we say that Spirit is supreme and all-presence.
The belief of the eternity of matter contradicts the demonstration of life as Spirit, and leads to the conclusion that if man is material, he originated in matter and must return to dust, — logic which would prove his annihilation.
Substance is Spirit
All that we term sin, sickness, and death is a mortal belief. We define matter as error, because it is the opposite of life, substance, and intelligence. Matter, with its mortality, cannot be substantial if Spirit is substantial and eternal. Which ought to
be substance to us, — the erring, changing, and dying, the mutable and mortal, or the unerring, immutable, and immortal? A New Testament writer plainly describes faith, a quality of mind, as “the substance of things hoped for.”
The doom of matter establishes the conclusion that matter, slime, or protoplasm never originated in the immortal Mind, and is therefore not eternal. Matter is neither created by Mind nor for the manifestation and support of Mind.
Ideas are tangible and real to immortal consciousness, and they have the advantage of being eternal. Spirit and matter can neither coexist nor cooperate, and one can no more create the other than Truth can create error, or vice versa.
In proportion as the belief disappears that life and intelligence are in or of matter, the immortal facts of being are seen, and their only idea or intelligence is in God. Spirit is reached only through the understanding and demonstration of eternal Life and Truth and Love.
Every system of human philosophy, doctrine, and medicine is more or less infected with the pantheistic belief that there is mind in matter; but this belief contradicts alike revelation and right reasoning. A logical and scientific conclusion is reached only through the knowledge that there are not two bases of being, matter and mind, but one alone, — Mind.
Pantheism, starting from a material sense of God, seeks cause in effect, Principle in its idea, and life and intelligence in matter.
The things of God are beautiful
In the infinitude of Mind, matter must be unknown. Symbols and elements of discord and decay are not products of the infinite, perfect, and eternal All. From Love and from the light and harmony which are the abode of Spirit, only reflections of good can come. All things beautiful and harmless are ideas of Mind. Mind creates and multiplies them, and the product must be mental.
Finite belief can never do justice to Truth in any direction. Finite belief limits all things, and would compress Mind, which is infinite, beneath a skull bone. Such belief can neither apprehend nor worship the infinite; and to accommodate its finite sense of the divisibility of Soul and substance, it seeks to divide the one Spirit into persons and souls.
Belief in many gods
Through this error, human belief comes to have “gods many and lords many.” Moses declared as Jehovah’s first command of the Ten: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me!” But behold the zeal of belief to establish the opposite error of many minds. The argument of the serpent in the allegory, “Ye shall be as gods,” urges through every avenue the belief that Soul is in body, and that infinite Spirit, and Life, is in finite forms.
Rightly understood, instead of possessing a sentient material form, man has a sensationless body; and God, the Soul of man and of all existence, being perpetual in His own individuality, harmony, and immortality, imparts and perpetuates these qualities in man, — through Mind, not matter. The only excuse for entertaining human opinions and rejecting the Science of being is our mortal ignorance of Spirit, — ignorance
which yields only to the understanding of divine Science, the understanding by which we enter into the kingdom of Truth on earth and learn that Spirit is infinite and supreme. Spirit and matter no more commingle than light and darkness. When one appears, the other disappears.
God and His image
Error presupposes man to be both mind and matter. Divine Science contradicts the corporeal senses, rebukes mortal belief, and asks: What is the Ego, whence its origin and what its destiny? The Ego-man is the reflection of the Ego-God; the Ego-man is the image and likeness of perfect Mind, Spirit, divine Principle.
The one Ego, the one Mind or Spirit called God, is infinite individuality, which supplies all form and comeliness and which reflects reality and divinity in individual spiritual man and things.
The mind supposed to exist in matter or beneath a skull bone is a myth, a misconceived sense and false conception as to man and Mind. When we put off the false sense for the true, and see that sin and mortality have neither Principle nor permanency, we shall learn that sin and mortality are without actual origin or rightful existence. They are native nothingness, out of which error would simulate creation through a man formed from dust.
The true new idea
Divine Science does not put new wine into old bottles, Soul into matter, nor the infinite into the finite. Our false views of matter perish as we grasp the facts of Spirit. The old belief must be cast out or the new idea will be spilled, and the inspiration, which is to change our standpoint, will be
lost. Now, as of old, Truth casts out evils and heals the sick.
Figures of being
The real Life, or Mind, and its opposite, the so-called material life and mind, are figured by two geometrical symbols, a circle or sphere and a straight line. The circle represents the infinite without beginning or end; the straight line represents the finite, which has both beginning and end. The sphere represents good, the self-existent and eternal individuality or Mind; the straight line represents evil, a belief in a self-made and temporary material existence. Eternal Mind and temporary material existence never unite in figure or in fact.
A straight line finds no abiding-place in a curve, and a curve finds no adjustment to a straight line. Similarly, matter has no place in Spirit, and Spirit has no place in matter. Truth has no home in error, and error has no foothold in Truth. Mind cannot pass into non-intelligence and matter, nor can non-intelligence become Soul. At no point can these opposites mingle or unite. Even though they seem to touch, one is still a curve and the other a straight line.
There is no inherent power in matter; for all that is material is a material, human, mortal thought, always governing itself erroneously.
Truth is the intelligence of immortal Mind. Error is the so-called intelligence of mortal mind.
Truth is not inverted
Whatever indicates the fall of man or the opposite of God or God’s absence, is the Adam-dream, which is neither Mind nor man, for it is not begotten of the Father. The rule of inversion infers from error its opposite, Truth; but Truth is the light which
dispels error. As mortals begin to understand Spirit, they give up the belief that there is any true existence apart from God.
Source of all life and action
Mind is the source of all movement, and there is no inertia to retard or check its perpetual and harmonious action. Mind is the same Life, Love, and wisdom “yesterday, and to-day, and forever.” Matter and its effects — sin, sickness, and death — are states of mortal mind which act, react, and then come to a stop. They are not facts of Mind. They are not ideas, but illusions. Principle is absolute. It admits of no error, but rests upon understanding.
But what say prevalent theories? They insist that Life, or God, is one and the same with material life socalled. They speak of both Truth and error as mind, and of good and evil as spirit. They claim that to be life which is but the objective state of material sense, such as the structural life of the tree and of material man, — and deem this the manifestation of the one Life, God.
This false belief as to what really constitutes life so detracts from God’s character and nature, that the true sense of His power is lost to all who cling to this falsity. The divine Principle, or Life, cannot be practically demonstrated in length of days, as it was by the patriarchs, unless its Science be accurately stated. We must receive the divine Principle in the understanding, and live it in daily life; and unless we so do, we can no more demonstrate Science, than we can teach and illustrate geometry by calling a curve a straight line or a straight line a sphere.
Are mentality, immortality, consciousness, resident in
matter? It is not rational to say that Mind is infinite, but dwells in finiteness, — in matter, — or that matter is infinite and the medium of Mind.
Mind never limited
If God were limited to man or matter, or if the infinite could be circumscribed within the finite, God would be corporeal, and unlimited Mind would seem to spring from a limited body; but this is an impossibility. Infinite Mind can have no starting-point, and can return to no limit. It can never be in bonds, nor be fully manifested through corporeality.
Material recognition impossible
Is God’s image or likeness matter, or a mortal, sin, sickness, and death? Can matter recognize Mind? Can infinite Mind recognize matter? Can the infinite dwell in the finite or know aught unlike the infinite? Can Deity be known through the material senses? Can the material senses, which receive no direct evidence of Spirit, give correct testimony as to spiritual life, truth, and love?
The answer to all these questions must forever be in the negative.
Our physical insensibility to Spirit
The physical senses can obtain no proof of God. They can neither see Spirit through the eye nor hear it through the ear, nor can they feel, taste, or smell Spirit. Even the more subtile and misnamed material elements are beyond the cognizance of these senses, and are known only by the effects commonly attributed to them.
According to Christian Science, the only real senses of man are spiritual, emanating from divine Mind. Thought passes from God to man, but neither sensation nor report goes from material body to Mind. The intercommunication is always from God to His idea, man.
Matter is not sentient and cannot be cognizant of good or of evil, of pleasure or of pain. Man’s individuality is not material. This Science of being obtains not alone hereafter in what men call Paradise, but here and now; it is the great fact of being for time and eternity.
The human counterfeit
What, then, is the material personality which suffers, sins, and dies? It is not man, the image and likeness of God, but man’s counterfeit, the inverted likeness, the unlikeness called sin, sickness, and death. The unreality of the claim that a mortal is the true image of God is illustrated by the opposite natures of Spirit and matter, Mind and body, for one is intelligence while the other is non-intelligence.
Is God a physical personality? Spirit is not physical. The belief that a material body is man is a false conception of man. The time has come for a finite conception of the infinite and of a material body as the seat of Mind to give place to a diviner sense of intelligence and its manifestations, to the better understanding that Science gives of the Supreme Being, or divine Principle, and idea.
Salvation is through reform
By interpreting God as a corporeal Saviour but not as the saving Principle, or divine Love, we shall continue to seek salvation through pardon and not through reform, and resort to matter instead of Spirit for the cure of the sick. As mortals reach, through knowledge of Christian Science, a higher sense, they will seek to learn, not from matter, but from the divine Principle, God, how to demonstrate the Christ, Truth, as the healing and saving power.
It is essential to understand, instead of believe, what
relates most nearly to the happiness of being. To seek Truth through belief in a human doctrine is not to understand the infinite. We must not seek the immutable and immortal through the finite, mutable, and mortal, and so depend upon belief instead of demonstration, for this is fatal to a knowledge of Science. The understanding of Truth gives full faith in Truth, and spiritual understanding is better than all burnt offerings.
The Master said, “No man cometh unto the Father [the divine Principle of being] but by me,” Christ, Life, Truth, Love; for Christ says, “I am the way.” Physical causation was put aside from first to last by this original man, Jesus. He knew that the divine Principle, Love, creates and governs all that is real.
Goodness a portion of God
In the Saxon and twenty other tongues good is the term for God. The Scriptures declare all that He made to be good, like Himself, — good in Principle and in idea. Therefore the spiritual universe is good, and reflects God as He is.
God’s thoughts are perfect and eternal, are substance and Life. Material and temporal thoughts are human, involving error, and since God, Spirit, is the only cause, they lack a divine cause. The temporal and material are not then creations of Spirit. They are but counterfeits of the spiritual and eternal. Transitory thoughts are the antipodes of everlasting Truth, though (by the supposition of opposite qualities) error must also say, “I am true.” But by this saying error, the lie, destroys itself.
Sin, sickness, and death are comprised in human material belief, and belong not to the divine Mind. They
are without a real origin or existence. They have neither Principle nor permanence, but belong, with all that is material and temporal, to the nothingness of error, which simulates the creations of Truth. All creations of Spirit are eternal; but creations of matter must return to dust. Error supposes man to be both mental and material. Divine Science contradicts this postulate and maintains man’s spiritual identity.
We call the absence of Truth, error. Truth and error are unlike. In Science, Truth is divine, and the infinite God can have no unlikeness. Did God, Truth, create error? No! “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” God being everywhere and all-inclusive, how can He be absent or suggest the absence of omnipresence and omnipotence? How can there be more than all?
Neither understanding nor truth accompanies error, nor is error the offshoot of Mind. Evil calls itself something, when it is nothing. It saith, “I am man, but I am not the image and likeness of God;” whereas the Scriptures declare that man was made in God’s likeness.
Error is false, mortal belief; it is illusion, without spiritual identity or foundation, and it has no real existence. The supposition that life, substance, and intelligence are in matter, or of it, is an error. Matter is neither a thing nor a person, but merely the objective supposition of Spirit’s opposite. The five material senses testify to truth and error as united in a mind both good and evil. Their false evidence will finally yield to Truth, — to the recognition of Spirit and of the spiritual creation.
Truth cannot be contaminated by error. The state-
ment that Truth is real necessarily includes the correlated statement, that error, Truth’s unlikeness, is unreal.
The great conflict
The suppositional warfare between truth and error is only the mental conflict between the evidence of the spiritual senses and the testimony of the material senses, and this warfare between the Spirit and flesh will settle all questions through faith in and the understanding of divine Love. Superstition and understanding can never combine. When the final physical and moral effects of Christian Science are fully apprehended, the conflict between truth and error, understanding and belief, Science and material sense, foreshadowed by the prophets and inaugurated by Jesus, will cease, and spiritual harmony reign. The lightnings and thunderbolts of error may burst and flash till the cloud is cleared and the tumult dies away in the distance. Then the raindrops of divinity refresh the earth. As St. Paul says: “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God” (of Spirit).
The chief stones in the temple
The chief stones in the temple of Christian Science are to be found in the following postulates: that Life is God, good, and not evil; that Soul is sinless, not to be found in the body; that Spirit is not, and cannot be, materialized; that Life is not subject to death; that the spiritual real man has no birth, no material life, and no death.
Science reveals the glorious possibilities of immortal man, forever unlimited by the mortal senses. The Christ-element in the Messiah made him the Way-shower, Truth and Life.
The eternal Truth destroys what mortals seem to have learned from error, and man’s real existence as a child
of God comes to light. Truth demonstrated is eternal life. Mortal man can never rise from the temporal debris of error, belief in sin, sickness, and death, until he learns that God is the only Life. The belief that life and sensation are in the body should be overcome by the understanding of what constitutes man as the image of God. Then Spirit will have overcome the flesh.
Wickedness is not man
A wicked mortal is not the idea of God. He is little else than the expression of error. To suppose that sin, lust, hatred, envy, hypocrisy, revenge, have life abiding in them, is a terrible mistake. Life and life’s idea, Truth and Truth’s idea, never make men sick, sinful, or mortal.
Death but an illusion
The fact that the Christ, or Truth, overcame and still overcomes death proves the “king of terrors” to be but a mortal belief, or error, which Truth destroys with the spiritual evidences of Life; and this shows that what appears to the senses to be death is but a mortal illusion, for to the real man and the real universe there is no death-process.
The belief that matter has life results, by the universal law of mortal mind, in a belief in death. So man, tree, and flower are supposed to die; but the fact remains, that God’s universe is spiritual and immortal.
The spiritual fact and the material belief of things are contradictions; but the spiritual is true, and therefore the material must be untrue. Life is not in matter. Therefore it cannot be said to pass out of matter. Matter and death are mortal illusions. Spirit and all things spiritual are the real and eternal.
Man is not the offspring of flesh, but of Spirit, — of Life, not of matter. Because Life is God, Life must be
eternal, self-existent. Life is the everlasting I am, the Being who was and is and shall be, whom nothing can erase.
Death no advantage
If the Principle, rule, and demonstration of man’s being are not in the least understood before what is termed death overtakes mortals, they will rise no higher spiritually in the scale of existence on account of that single experience, but will remain as material as before the transition, still seeking happiness through a material, instead of through a spiritual sense of life, and from selfish and inferior motives. That Life or Mind is finite and physical or is manifested through brain and nerves, is false. Hence Truth comes to destroy this error and its effects, — sickness, sin, and death. To the spiritual class, relates the Scripture: “On such the second death hath no power.”
If the change called death destroyed the belief in sin, sickness, and death, happiness would be won at the moment of dissolution, and be forever permanent; but this is not so. Perfection is gained only by perfection. They who are unrighteous shall be unrighteous still, until in divine Science Christ, Truth, removes all ignorance and sin.
Sin is punished
The sin and error which possess us at the instant of death do not cease at that moment, but endure until the death of these errors. To be wholly spiritual, man must be sinless, and he becomes thus only when he reaches perfection. The murderer, though slain in the act, does not thereby forsake sin. He is no more spiritual for believing that his body died and learning that his cruel mind died not. His thoughts are no purer until evil is disarmed by good. His body is as material as his mind, and vice versa.
The suppositions that sin is pardoned while unforsaken, that happiness can be genuine in the midst of sin, that the so-called death of the body frees from sin, and that God’s pardon is aught but the destruction of sin, — these are grave mistakes. We know that all will be changed “in the twinkling of an eye,” when the last trump shall sound; but this last call of wisdom cannot come till mortals have already yielded to each lesser call in the growth of Christian character. Mortals need not fancy that belief in the experience of death will awaken them to glorified being.
Salvation and probation
Universal salvation rests on progression and probation, and is unattainable without them. Heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind in which all the manifestations of Mind are harmonious and immortal, because sin is not there and man is found having no righteousness of his own, but in possession of “the mind of the Lord,” as the Scripture says.
“In the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.” So we read in Ecclesiastes. This text has been transformed into the popular proverb, “As the tree falls, so it must lie.” As man falleth asleep, so shall he awake. As death findeth mortal man, so shall he be after death, until probation and growth shall effect the needed change. Mind never becomes dust. No resurrection from the grave awaits Mind or Life, for the grave has no power over either.
Day of judgment
No final judgment awaits mortals, for the judgment-day of wisdom comes hourly and continually, even the judgment by which mortal man is divested of all material error. As for spiritual error there is none.
When the last mortal fault is destroyed, then the final trump will sound which will end the battle of Truth with error and mortality; “but of that day and hour, knoweth no man.” Here prophecy pauses. Divine Science alone can compass the heights and depths of being and reveal the infinite.
Truth will be to us “the resurrection and the life” only as it destroys all error and the belief that Mind, the only immortality of man, can be fettered by the body, and Life be controlled by death. A sinful, sick, and dying mortal is not the likeness of God, the perfect and eternal.
Matter is the primitive belief of mortal mind, because this so-called mind has no cognizance of Spirit. To mortal mind, matter is substantial, and evil is real. The so-called senses of mortals are material. Hence the so-called life of mortals is dependent on matter.
Explaining the origin of material man and mortal mind, Jesus said: “Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father, the devil [evil], and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
This carnal material mentality, misnamed mind, is mortal. Therefore man would be annihilated, were it not for the spiritual real man’s indissoluble connection with his God, which Jesus brought to light. In his resurrection and ascension, Jesus showed that a mortal man is not the real essence of manhood, and
that this unreal material mortality disappears in presence of the reality.
Electricity is not a vital fluid, but the least material form of illusive consciousness, — the material mindlessness, which forms no link between matter and Mind, and which destroys itself. Matter and mortal mind are but different strata of human belief. The grosser substratum is named matter or body; the more ethereal is called mind. This so-called mind and body is the illusion called a mortal, a mind in matter. In reality and in Science, both strata, mortal mind and mortal body, are false representatives of man.
The material so-called gases and forces are counterfeits of the spiritual forces of divine Mind, whose potency is Truth, whose attraction is Love, whose adhesion and cohesion are Life, perpetuating the eternal facts of being. Electricity is the sharp surplus of materiality which counterfeits the true essence of spirituality or truth, — the great difference being that electricity is not intelligent, while spiritual truth is Mind.
The counterfeit forces
There is no vapid fury of mortal mind — expressed in earthquake, wind, wave, lightning, fire, bestial ferocity — and this so-called mind is self-destroyed. The manifestations of evil, which counterfeit divine justice, are called in the Scriptures, “The anger of the Lord.” In reality, they show the self-destruction of error or matter and point to matter’s opposite, the strength and permanency of Spirit. Christian Science brings to light Truth and its supremacy, universal harmony, the entireness of God, good, and the nothingness of evil.
Instruments of error
The five physical senses are the avenues and instru-
ments of human error, and they correspond with error. These senses indicate the common human belief, that life, substance, and intelligence are a unison of matter with Spirit. This is pantheism, and carries within itself the seeds of all error.
If man is both mind and matter, the loss of one finger would take away some quality and quantity of the man, for matter and man would be one.
The belief that matter thinks, sees, or feels is not more real than the belief that matter enjoys and suffers. This mortal belief, misnamed man, is error, saying: “Matter has intelligence and sensation. Nerves feel. Brain thinks and sins. The stomach can make a man cross. Injury can cripple and matter can kill man.” This verdict of the so-called material senses victimizes mortals, taught, as they are by physiology and pathology, to revere false testimony, even the errors that are destroyed by Truth through spiritual sense and Science.
The lines of demarcation between immortal man, representing Spirit, and mortal man, representing the error that life and intelligence are in matter, show the pleasures and pains of matter to be myths, and human belief in them to be the father of mythology, in which matter is represented as divided into intelligent gods. Man’s genuine selfhood is recognizable only in what is good and true. Man is neither self-made nor made by mortals. God created man.
The inebriate believes that there is pleasure in intoxication. The thief believes that he gains something by stealing, and the hypocrite that he is hiding himself. The Science of Mind corrects such mistakes, for Truth demonstrates the falsity of error.
The belief that a severed limb is aching in the old location, the sensation seeming to be in nerves which are no longer there, is an added proof of the unreliability of physical testimony.
Mortals unlike immortals
God creates and governs the universe, including man. The universe is filled with spiritual ideas, which He evolves, and they are obedient to the Mind that makes them. Mortal mind would transform the spiritual into the material, and then recover man’s original self in order to escape from the mortality of this error. Mortals are not like immortals, created in God’s own image; but infinite Spirit being all, mortal consciousness will at last yield to the scientific fact and disappear, and the real sense of being, perfect and forever intact, will appear.
The manifestation of God through mortals is as light passing through the window-pane. The light and the glass never mingle, but as matter, the glass is less opaque than the walls. The mortal mind through which Truth appears most vividly is that one which has lost much materiality — much error — in order to become a better transparency for Truth. Then, like a cloud melting into thin vapor, it no longer hides the sun.
Brainology a myth
All that is called mortal thought is made up of error. The theoretical mind is matter, named brain, or material consciousness, the exact opposite of real Mind, or Spirit. Brainology teaches that mortals are created to suffer and die. It further teaches that when man is dead, his immortal soul is resurrected from death and mortality. Thus error theorizes that spirit is born of matter and returns to mat-
ter, and that man has a resurrection from dust; whereas Science unfolds the eternal verity, that man is the spiritual, eternal reflection of God.
Progress is born of experience. It is the ripening of mortal man, through which the mortal is dropped for the immortal. Either here or hereafter, suffering or Science must destroy all illusions regarding life and mind, and regenerate material sense and self. The old man with his deeds must be put off. Nothing sensual or sinful is immortal. The death of a false material sense and of sin, not the death of organic matter, is what reveals man and Life, harmonious, real, and eternal.
The so-called pleasures and pains of matter perish, and they must go out under the blaze of Truth, spiritual sense, and the actuality of being. Mortal belief must lose all satisfaction in error and sin in order to part with them.
Whether mortals will learn this sooner or later, and how long they will suffer the pangs of destruction, depends upon the tenacity of error.
The knowledge obtained from the corporeal senses leads to sin and death. When the evidence of Spirit and matter, Truth and error, seems to commingle, it rests upon foundations which time is wearing away. Mortal mind judges by the testimony of the material senses, until Science obliterates this false testimony. An improved belief is one step out of error, and aids in taking the next step and in understanding the situation in Christian Science.
Belief an autocrat
Mortal belief is a liar from the beginning, not deserving power. It says to mortals, “You are wretched!” and they
think they are so; and nothing can change this state, until the belief changes. Mortal belief says, “You are happy!” and mortals are so; and no circumstance can alter the situation, until the belief on this subject changes. Human belief says to mortals, “You are sick!” and this testimony manifests itself on the body as sickness. It is as necessary for a health-illusion, as for an illusion of sickness, to be instructed out of itself into the understanding of what constitutes health; for a change in either a health-belief or a belief in sickness affects the physical condition.
Erroneous belief is destroyed by truth. Change the evidence, and that disappears which before seemed real to this false belief, and the human consciousness rises higher. Thus the reality of being is attained and man found to be immortal. The only fact concerning any material concept is, that it is neither scientific nor eternal, but subject to change and dissolution.
Faith higher than belief
Faith is higher and more spiritual than belief. It is a chrysalis state of human thought, in which spiritual evidence, contradicting the testimony of material sense, begins to appear, and Truth, the ever-present, is becoming understood. Human thoughts have their degrees of comparison. Some thoughts are better than others. A belief in Truth is better than a belief in error, but no mortal testimony is founded on the divine rock. Mortal testimony can be shaken. Until belief becomes faith, and faith becomes spiritual understanding, human thought has little relation to the actual or divine.
A mortal belief fulfils its own conditions. Sickness,
sin, and death are the vague realities of human conclusions. Life, Truth, and Love are the realities of divine Science. They dawn in faith and glow full-orbed in spiritual understanding. As a cloud hides the sun it cannot extinguish, so false belief silences for a while the voice of immutable harmony, but false belief cannot destroy Science armed with faith, hope, and fruition.
What is termed material sense can report only a mortal temporary sense of things, whereas spiritual sense can bear witness only to Truth. To material sense, the unreal is the real until this sense is corrected by Christian Science.
Spiritual sense, contradicting the material senses, involves intuition, hope, faith, understanding, fruition, reality. Material sense expresses the belief that mind is in matter. This human belief, alternating between a sense of pleasure and pain, hope and fear, life and death, never reaches beyond the boundary of the mortal or the unreal. When the real is attained, which is announced by Science, joy is no longer a trembler, nor is hope a cheat. Spiritual ideas, like numbers and notes, start from Principle, and admit no materialistic beliefs. Spiritual ideas lead up to their divine origin, God, and to the spiritual sense of being.
Angels are not etherealized human beings, evolving animal qualities in their wings; but they are celestial visitants, flying on spiritual, not material, pinions. Angels are pure thoughts from God, winged with Truth and Love, no matter what their individualism may be. Human conjecture confers upon angels its own forms of thought, marked with superstitious outlines, making them human creatures with suggestive
feathers; but this is only fancy. It has behind it no more reality than has the sculptor’s thought when he carves his “Statue of Liberty,” which embodies his conception of an unseen quality or condition, but which has no physical antecedent reality save in the artist’s own observation and “chambers of imagery.”
Our Angelic messengers
My angels are exalted thoughts, appearing at the door of some sepulchre, in which human belief has buried its fondest earthly hopes. With white fingers they point upward to a new and glorified trust, to higher ideals of life and its joys. Angels are God’s representatives. These upward-soaring beings never lead towards self, sin, or materiality, but guide to the divine Principle of all good, whither every real individuality, image, or likeness of God, gathers. By giving earnest heed to these spiritual guides they tarry with us, and we entertain “angels unawares.”
Knowledge and Truth
Knowledge gained from material sense is figuratively represented in Scripture as a tree, bearing the fruits of sin, sickness, and death. Ought we not then to judge the knowledge thus obtained to be untrue and dangerous, since “the tree is known by his fruit”?
Truth never destroys God’s idea. Truth is spiritual, eternal substance, which cannot destroy the right reflection. Corporeal sense, or error, may seem to hide Truth, health, harmony, and Science, as the mist obscures the sun or the mountain; but Science, the sunshine of Truth, will melt away the shadow and reveal the celestial peaks.
Old and new man
If man were solely a creature of the material senses, he would have no eternal Principle and would be mutable
and mortal. Human logic is awry when it attempts to draw correct spiritual conclusions regarding life from matter. Finite sense has no true appreciation of infinite Principle, God, or of His infinite image or reflection, man. The mirage, which makes trees and cities seem to be where they are not, illustrates the illusion of material man, who cannot be the image of God.
So far as the scientific statement as to man is understood, it can be proved and will bring to light the true reflection of God — the real man, or the new man (as St. Paul has it).
The tares and wheat
The temporal and unreal never touch the eternal and real. The mutable and imperfect never touch the immutable and perfect. The inharmonious and self-destructive never touch the harmonious and self-existent. These opposite qualities are the tares and wheat, which never really mingle, though (to mortal sight) they grow side by side until the harvest; then, Science separates the wheat from the tares, through the realization of God as ever present and of man as reflecting the divine likeness.
The divine reflection
Spirit is God, Soul; therefore Soul is not in matter. If Spirit were in matter, God would have no representative, and matter would be identical with God. The theory that soul, spirit, intelligence, inhabits matter is taught by the schools. This theory is unscientific. The universe reflects and expresses the divine substance or Mind; therefore God is seen only in the spiritual universe and spiritual man, as the sun is seen in the ray of light which goes out from it. God is revealed only in that which reflects Life, Truth, Love, —
yea, which manifests God’s attributes and power, even as the human likeness thrown upon the mirror, repeats the color, form, and action of the person in front of the mirror.
Few persons comprehend what Christian Science means by the word reflection. To himself, mortal and material man seems to be substance, but his sense of substance involves error and therefore is material, temporal.
On the other hand, the immortal, spiritual man is really substantial, and reflects the eternal substance, or Spirit, which mortals hope for. He reflects the divine, which constitutes the only real and eternal entity. This reflection seems to mortal sense transcendental, because the spiritual man’s substantiality transcends mortal vision and is revealed only through divine Science.
Inverted images and ideas
As God is substance and man is the divine image and likeness, man should wish for, and in reality has, only the substance of good, the substance of Spirit, not matter. The belief that man has any other substance, or mind, is not spiritual and breaks the First Commandment, Thou shalt have one God, one Mind. Mortal man seems to himself to be material substance, while man is “image” (idea). Delusion, sin, disease, and death arise from the false testimony of material sense, which, from a supposed standpoint outside the focal distance of infinite Spirit, presents an inverted image of Mind and substance with everything turned upside down.
This falsity presupposes soul to be an unsubstantial dweller in material forms, and man to be material instead of spiritual. Immortality is not bounded by mortality.
Soul is not compassed by finiteness. Principle is not to be found in fragmentary ideas.
Identity not lost
The material body and mind are temporal, but the real man is spiritual and eternal. The identity of the real man is not lost, but found through this explanation; for the conscious infinitude of existence and of all identity is thereby discerned and remains unchanged. It is impossible that man should lose aught that is real, when God is all and eternally his. The notion that mind is in matter, and that the so-called pleasures and pains, the birth, sin, sickness, and death of matter, are real, is a mortal belief; and this belief is all that will ever be lost.
Definition of man
Continuing our definition of man, let us remember that harmonious and immortal man has existed forever, and is always beyond and above the mortal illusion of any life, substance, and intelligence as existent in matter. This statement is based on fact, not fable. The Science of being reveals man as perfect, even as the Father is perfect, because the Soul, or Mind, of the spiritual man is God, the divine Principle of all being, and because this real man is governed by Soul instead of sense, by the law of Spirit, not by the so-called laws of matter.
God is Love. He is therefore the divine, infinite Principle, called Person or God. Man’s true consciousness is in the mental, not in any bodily or personal likeness to Spirit. Indeed, the body presents no proper likeness of divinity, though mortal sense would fain have us so believe.
Even in Christian Science, reproduction by Spirit’s individual ideas is but the reflection of the creative power
of the divine Principle of those ideas. The reflection, through mental manifestation, of the multitudinous forms of Mind which people the realm of the real is controlled by Mind, the Principle governing the reflection. Multiplication of God’s children comes from no power of propagation in matter, it is the reflection of Spirit.
The minutiae of lesser individualities reflect the one divine individuality and are comprehended in and formed by Spirit, not by material sensation. Whatever reflects Mind, Life, Truth, and Love, is spiritually conceived and brought forth; but the statement that man is conceived and evolved both spiritually and materially, or by both God and man, contradicts this eternal truth. All the vanity of the ages can never make both these contraries true. Divine Science lays the axe at the root of the illusion that life, or mind, is formed by or is in the material body, and Science will eventually destroy this illusion through the self-destruction of all error and the beatified understanding of the Science of Life.
The belief that pain and pleasure, life and death, holiness and unholiness, mingle in man, — that mortal, material man is the likeness of God and is himself a creator, — is a fatal error.
Man’s entity spiritual
God, without the image and likeness of Himself, would be a nonentity, or Mind unexpressed. He would be without a witness or proof of His own nature. Spiritual man is the image or idea of God, an idea which cannot be lost nor separated from its divine Principle. When the evidence before the material senses yielded to spiritual sense, the apostle declared that nothing could alienate him from
God, from the sweet sense and presence of Life and Truth.
Man inseparable from Love
It is ignorance and false belief, based on a material sense of things, which hide spiritual beauty and goodness. Understanding this, Paul said: “Neither death, nor life, … nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God.” This is the doctrine of Christian Science: that divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object; that joy cannot be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy; that good can never produce evil; that matter can never produce mind nor life result in death. The perfect man — governed by God, his perfect Principle — is sinless and eternal.
Harmony is produced by its Principle, is controlled by it and abides with it. Divine Principle is the Life of man. Man’s happiness is not, therefore, at the disposal of physical sense. Truth is not contaminated by error. Harmony in man is as beautiful as in music, and discord is unnatural, unreal.
The science of music governs tones. If mortals caught harmony through material sense, they would lose harmony, if time or accident robbed them of material sense. To be master of chords and discords, the science of music must be understood. Left to the decisions of material sense, music is liable to be misapprehended and lost in confusion. Controlled by belief, instead of understanding, music is, must be, imperfectly expressed. So man, not understanding the Science of being, — thrusting aside his divine Principle as incomprehensible, — is abandoned to conjectures, left in
the hands of ignorance, placed at the disposal of illusions, subjected to material sense which is discord. A discontented, discordant mortal is no more a man than discord is music.
A picture in the camera or a face reflected in the mirror is not the original, though resembling it. Man, in the likeness of his Maker, reflects the central light of being, the invisible God. As there is no corporeality in the mirrored form, which is but a reflection, so man, like all things real, reflects God, his divine Principle, not in a mortal body.
Gender also is a quality, not of God, but a characteristic of mortal mind. The verity that God’s image is not a creator, though he reflects the creation of Mind, God, constitutes the underlying reality of reflection. “Then answered Jesus and said unto them: Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”
The inverted images presented by the senses, the deflections of matter as opposed to the Science of spiritual reflection, are all unlike Spirit, God. In the illusion of life that is here to-day and gone to-morrow, man would be wholly mortal, were it not that Love, the divine Principle that obtains in divine Science, destroys all error and brings immortality to light. Because man is the reflection of his Maker, he is not subject to birth, growth, maturity, decay. These mortal dreams are of human origin, not divine.
The Sadducees reasoned falsely about the resurrection, but not so blindly as the Pharisees, who believed
error to be as immortal as Truth. The Pharisees thought that they could raise the spiritual from the material. They would first make life result in death, and then resort to death to reproduce spiritual life. Jesus taught them how death was to be overcome by spiritual Life, and demonstrated this beyond cavil.
Divinity not childless
Life demonstrates Life. The immortality of Soul makes man immortal. If God, who is Life, were parted for a moment from His reflection, man, during that moment there would be no divinity reflected. The Ego would be unexpressed, and the Father would be childless, — no Father.
If Life or Soul and its representative, man, unite for a period and then are separated as by a law of divorce to be brought together again at some uncertain future time and in a manner unknown, — and this is the general religious opinion of mankind, — we are left without a rational proof of immortality. But man cannot be separated for an instant from God, if man reflects God. Thus Science proves man’s existence to be intact.
The myriad forms of mortal thought, made manifest as matter, are not more distinct nor real to the material senses than are the Soul-created forms to spiritual sense, which cognizes Life as permanent. Undisturbed amid the jarring testimony of the material senses, Science, still enthroned, is unfolding to mortals the immutable, harmonious, divine Principle, — is unfolding Life and the universe, ever present and eternal.
God’s man, spiritually created, is not material and mortal.
The serpent’s whisper
The parent of all human discord was the Adam-dream,
the deep sleep, in which originated the delusion that life and intelligence proceeded from and passed into matter. This pantheistic error, or so-called serpent, insists still upon the opposite of Truth, saying, “Ye shall be as gods;” that is, I will make error as real and eternal as Truth.
Evil still affirms itself to be mind, and declares that there is more than one intelligence or God. It says: “There shall be lords and gods many. I declare that God makes evil minds and evil spirits, and that I aid Him. Truth shall change sides and be unlike Spirit. I will put spirit into what I call matter, and matter shall seem to have life as much as God, Spirit, who is the only life.”
Bad results from error
This error has proved itself to be error. Its life is found to be not Life, but only a transient, false sense of an existence which ends in death. Error charges its lie to Truth and says: “The Lord knows it. He has made man immortal and material, out of matter instead of Spirit.” Thus error partakes of its own nature and utters its own falsities. If we regard matter as intelligent, and Mind as both good and evil, every sin or supposed material pain and pleasure seems normal, a part of God’s creation, and so weighs against our course Spiritward.
Truth has no beginning. The divine Mind is the Soul of man, and gives man dominion over all things. Man was not created from a material basis, nor bidden to obey material laws which Spirit never made; his province is in spiritual statutes, in the higher law of Mind.
The great question
Above error’s awful din, blackness, and chaos, the voice of Truth still calls: “Adam, where art thou? Conscious-
ness, where art thou? Art thou dwelling in the belief that mind is in matter, and that evil is mind, or art thou in the living faith that there is and can be but one God, and keeping His commandment?” Until the lesson is learned that God is the only Mind governing man, mortal belief will be afraid as it was in the beginning, and will hide from the demand, “Where art thou?” This awful demand, “Adam, where art thou?” is met by the admission from the head, heart, stomach, blood, nerves, etc.: “Lo, here I am, looking for happiness and life in the body, but finding only an illusion, a blending of false claims, false pleasure, pain, sin, sickness, and death.”
The Soul-inspired patriarchs heard the voice of Truth, and talked with God as consciously as man talks with man.
Wrestling of Jacob
Jacob was alone, wrestling with error, — struggling with a mortal sense of life, substance, and intelligence as existent in matter with its false pleasures and pains, — when an angel, a message from Truth and Love, appeared to him and smote the sinew, or strength, of his error, till he saw its unreality; and Truth, being thereby understood, gave him spiritual strength in this Peniel of divine Science. Then said the spiritual evangel: “Let me go, for the day breaketh;” that is, the light of Truth and Love dawns upon thee. But the patriarch, perceiving his error and his need of help, did not loosen his hold upon this glorious light until his nature was transformed. When Jacob was asked, “What is thy name?” he straightway answered; and then his name was changed to Israel, for “as a prince” had he prevailed and had “power with God and with men.” Then Jacob questioned his deliverer, “Tell me,
I pray thee, thy name;” but this appellation was withheld, for the messenger was not a corporeal being, but a nameless, incorporeal impartation of divine Love to man, which, to use the word of the Psalmist, restored his Soul, — gave him the spiritual sense of being and rebuked his material sense.
Israel the new name
The result of Jacob’s struggle thus appeared. He had conquered material error with the understanding of Spirit and of spiritual power. This changed the man. He was no longer called Jacob, but Israel, — a prince of God, or a soldier of God, who had fought a good fight. He was to become the father of those, who through earnest striving followed his demonstration of the power of Spirit over the material senses; and the children of earth who followed his example were to be called the children of Israel, until the Messiah should rename them. If these children should go astray, and forget that Life is God, good, and that good is not in elements which are not spiritual, — thus losing the divine power which heals the sick and sinning, — they were to be brought back through great tribulation, to be renamed in Christian Science and led to deny material sense, or mind in matter, even as the gospel teaches.
Life never structural
The Science of being shows it to be impossible for infinite Spirit or Soul to be in a finite body or for man to have an intelligence separate from his Maker. It is a self-evident error to suppose that there can be such a reality as organic animal or vegetable life, when such so-called life always ends in death. Life is never for a moment extinct. Therefore it is never structural nor organic, and is never absorbed nor limited by its own formations.
Thought seen as substance
The artist is not in his painting. The picture is the artist’s thought objectified. The human belief fancies that it delineates thought on matter, but what is matter? Did it exist prior to thought? Matter is made up of supposititious mortal mind-force; but all might is divine Mind. Thought will finally be understood and seen in all form, substance, and color, but without material accompaniments. The potter is not in the clay; else the clay would have power over the potter. God is His own infinite Mind, and expresses all.
The central intelligence
Day may decline and shadows fall, but darkness flees when the earth has again turned upon its axis. The sun is not affected by the revolution of the earth. So Science reveals Soul as God, untouched by sin and death, — as the central Life and intelligence around which circle harmoniously all things in the systems of Mind.
Soul changeth not. We are commonly taught that there is a human soul which sins and is spiritually lost, — that soul may be lost, and yet be immortal. If Soul could sin, Spirit, Soul, would be flesh instead of Spirit. It is the belief of the flesh and of material sense which sins. If Soul sinned, Soul would die. Sin is the element of self-destruction, and spiritual death is oblivion. If there was sin in Soul, the annihilation of Spirit would be inevitable. The only Life is Spirit, and if Spirit should lose Life as God, good, then Spirit, which has no other existence, would be annihilated.
Mind is God, and God is not seen by material sense, because Mind is Spirit, which material sense cannot discern. There is neither growth, maturity, nor decay in Soul. These changes are the mutations of material sense,
the varying clouds of mortal belief, which hide the truth of being.
What we term mortal mind or carnal mind, dependent on matter for manifestation, is not Mind. God is Mind: all that Mind, God, is, or hath made, is good, and He made all. Hence evil is not made and is not real.
Sin only of the flesh
Soul is immortal because it is Spirit, which has no element of self-destruction. Is man lost spiritually? No, he can only lose a sense material. All sin is of the flesh. It cannot be spiritual. Sin exists here or hereafter only so long as the illusion of mind in matter remains. It is a sense of sin, and not a sinful soul, which is lost. Evil is destroyed by the sense of good.
Through false estimates of soul as dwelling in sense and of mind as dwelling in matter, belief strays into a sense of temporary loss or absence of soul, spiritual truth. This state of error is the mortal dream of life and substance as existent in matter, and is directly opposite to the immortal reality of being. So long as we believe that soul can sin or that immortal Soul is in mortal body, we can never understand the Science of being. When humanity does understand this Science, it will become the law of Life to man, — even the higher law of Soul, which prevails over material sense through harmony and immortality.
The objects cognized by the physical senses have not the reality of substance. They are only what mortal belief calls them. Matter, sin, and mortality lose all supposed consciousness or claim to life or existence, as mortals lay off a false sense of life, substance, and intelligence. But the spiritual, eternal man is not touched by these phases of mortality.
How true it is that whatever is learned through material sense must be lost because such so-called knowledge is reversed by the spiritual facts of being in Science. That which material sense calls intangible, is found to be substance. What to material sense seems substance, becomes nothingness, as the sense-dream vanishes and reality appears.
The senses regard a corpse, not as man, but simply as matter. People say, “Man is dead;” but this death is the departure of a mortal’s mind, not of matter. The matter is still there. The belief of that mortal that he must die occasioned his departure; yet you say that matter has caused his death.
People go into ecstasies over the sense of a corporeal Jehovah, though with scarcely a spark of love in their hearts; yet God is love, and without Love, God, immortality cannot appear. Mortals try to believe without understanding Truth; yet God is Truth. Mortals claim that death is inevitable; but man’s eternal Principle is ever-present life. Mortals believe in a finite personal God; while God is infinite Love, which must be unlimited.
Our theories are based on finite premises, which cannot penetrate beyond matter. A personal sense of God and of man’s capabilities necessarily limits faith and hinders spiritual understanding. It divides faith and understanding between matter and Spirit, the finite and the infinite, and so turns away from the intelligent and divine healing Principle to the inanimate drug.
The one anointed
Jesus’ spiritual origin and his demonstration of divine Principle richly endowed him and entitled him to sonship
in Science. He was the son of a virgin. The term Christ Jesus, or Jesus the Christ (to give the full and proper translation of the Greek), may be rendered “Jesus the anointed,” Jesus the Godcrowned or the divinely royal man, as it is said of him in the first chapter of Hebrews: —
Therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee
With the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
With this agrees another passage in the same chapter, which refers to the Son as “the brightness of His [God’s] glory, and the express [expressed] image of His person [infinite Mind].” It is noteworthy that the phrase “express image” in the Common Version is, in the Greek Testament, character. Using this word in its higher meaning, we may assume that the author of this remarkable epistle regarded Christ as the Son of God, the royal reflection of the infinite; and the cause given for the exaltation of Jesus, Mary’s son, was that he “loved righteousness and hated iniquity.” The passage is made even clearer in the translation of the late George R. Noyes, D.D.: “Who, being a brightness from His glory, and an image of His being.”
Jesus the Scientist
Jesus of Nazareth was the most scientific man that ever trod the globe. He plunged beneath the material surface of things, and found the spiritual cause. To accommodate himself to immature ideas of spiritual power, — for spirituality was pos sessed only in a limited degree even by his disciples, — Jesus called the body, which by spiritual power he raised from the grave, “flesh and bones.” To show that the substance of himself was Spirit and the body
no more perfect because of death and no less material until the ascension (his further spiritual exaltation), Jesus waited until the mortal or fleshly sense had relinquished the belief of substance-matter, and spiritual sense had quenched all earthly yearnings. Thus he found the eternal Ego, and proved that he and the Father were inseparable as God and His reflection or spiritual man. Our Master gained the solution of being, demonstrating the existence of but one Mind without a second or equal.
The bodily resurrection
The Jews, who sought to kill this man of God, showed plainly that their material views were the parents of their wicked deeds. When Jesus spoke of reproducing his body, — knowing, as he did, that Mind was the builder, — and said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up,” they thought that he meant their material temple instead of his body. To such materialists, the real man seemed a spectre, unseen and unfamiliar, and the body, which they laid in a sepulchre, seemed to be substance. This materialism lost sight of the true Jesus; but the faithful Mary saw him, and he presented to her, more than ever before, the true idea of Life and substance.
Opposition of materialists
Because of mortals’ material and sinful belief, the spiritual Jesus was imperceptible to them. The higher his demonstration of divine Science carried the problem of being, and the more distinctly he uttered the demands of its divine Principle, Truth and Love, the more odious he became to sinners and to those who, depending on doctrines and material laws to save them from sin and sickness, were submissive to death as being in supposed accord with the inevitable law of life. Jesus proved them wrong by
his resurrection, and said: “Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”
That saying of our Master, “I and my Father are one,” separated him from the scholastic theology of the rabbis. His better understanding of God was a rebuke to them. He knew of but one Mind and laid no claim to any other. He knew that the Ego was Mind instead of body and that matter, sin, and evil were not Mind; and his understanding of this divine Science brought upon him the anathemas of the age.
The true sonship
The opposite and false views of the people hid from their sense Christ’s sonship with God. They could not discern his spiritual existence. Their carnal minds were at enmity with it. Their thoughts were filled with mortal error, instead of with God’s spiritual idea as presented by Christ Jesus. The likeness of God we lose sight of through sin, which beclouds the spiritual sense of Truth; and we realize this likeness only when we subdue sin and prove man’s heritage, the liberty of the sons of God.
Jesus’ spiritual origin and understanding enabled him to demonstrate the facts of being, — to prove irrefutably how spiritual Truth destroys material error, heals sickness, and overcomes death. The divine conception of Jesus pointed to this truth and presented an illustration of creation. The history of Jesus shows him to have been more spiritual than all other earthly personalities.
Jesus as mediator
Wearing in part a human form (that is, as it seemed to mortal view), being conceived by a human mother, Jesus was the mediator between Spirit and the flesh, between Truth and error. Explaining and demonstrat-
ing the way of divine Science, he became the way of salvation to all who accepted his word. From him mortals may learn how to escape from evil. The real man being linked by Science to his Maker, mortals need only turn from sin and lose sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relation to God, and to recognize the divine sonship. Christ, Truth, was demonstrated through Jesus to prove the power of Spirit over the flesh, — to show that Truth is made manifest by its effects upon the human mind and body, healing sickness and destroying sin.
Jesus represented Christ, the true idea of God. Hence the warfare between this spiritual idea and perfunctory religion, between spiritual clear-sightedness and the blindness of popular belief, which led to the conclusion that the spiritual idea could be killed by crucifying the flesh. The Christ-idea, or the Christman, rose higher to human view because of the crucifixion, and thus proved that truth was the master of death. Christ presents the indestructible man, whom Spirit creates, constitutes, and governs. Christ illustrates that blending with God, his divine Principle, which gives man dominion over all the earth.
Deadness in sin
The spiritual idea of God, as presented by Jesus, was scourged in person, and its Principle was rejected. That man was accounted a criminal who could prove God’s divine power by healing the sick, casting out evils, spiritualizing materialistic beliefs, and raising the dead, — those dead in trespasses and sins, satisfied with the flesh, resting on the basis of matter, blind to the possibilities of Spirit and its correlative truth.
Jesus uttered things which had been “secret from the foundation of the world,” — since material knowledge usurped the throne of the creative divine Principle, insisted on the might of matter, the force of falsity, the insignificance of spirit, and proclaimed an anthropomorphic God.
The cup of Jesus
Whosoever lives most the life of Jesus in this age and declares best the power of Christian Science, will drink of his Master’s cup. Resistance to Truth will haunt his steps, and he will incur the hatred of sinners, till “wisdom is justified of her children.” These blessed benedictions rest upon Jesus’ followers: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you;” “Lo, I am with you alway,” — that is, not only in all time, but in all ways and conditions.
The individuality of man is no less tangible because it is spiritual and because his life is not at the mercy of matter. The understanding of his spiritual individuality makes man more real, more formidable in truth, and enables him to conquer sin, disease, and death. Our Lord and Master presented himself to his disciples after his resurrection from the grave, as the self-same Jesus whom they had loved before the tragedy on Calvary.
To the materialistic Thomas, looking for the ideal Saviour in matter instead of in Spirit and to the testimony of the material senses and the body, more than to Soul, for an earnest of immortality, — to him Jesus furnished the proof that he was unchanged by the crucifixion. To this dull and doubting disciple Jesus remained a fleshly reality, so long as the Master remained an inhabitant of the earth. Nothing but a display of matter could make existence real
to Thomas. For him to believe in matter was no task, but for him to conceive of the substantiality of Spirit to know that nothing can efface Mind and immortality, in which Spirit reigns — was more difficult.
What the senses originate
Corporeal senses define diseases as realities; but the Scriptures declare that God made all, even while the corporeal senses are saying that matter causes disease and the divine Mind cannot or will not heal it. The material senses originate and support all that is material, untrue, selfish, or debased. They would put soul into soil, life into limbo, and doom all things to decay. We must silence this lie of material sense with the truth of spiritual sense. We must cause the error to cease that brought the belief of sin and death and would efface the pure sense of omnipotence.
Sickness as discord
Is the sick man sinful above all others? No! but so far as he is discordant, he is not the image of God. Weary of their material beliefs, from which comes so much suffering, invalids grow more spiritual, as the error — or belief that life is in matter yields to the reality of spiritual Life.
The Science of Mind denies the error of sensation in matter, and heals with Truth. Medical science treats disease as though disease were real, therefore right, and attempts to heal it with matter. If disease is right it is wrong to heal it. Material methods are temporary, and are not adapted to elevate mankind.
The governor is not subjected to the governed. In Science man is governed by God, divine Principle, as numbers are controlled and proved by His laws. Intelligence does not originate in numbers, but is manifested through them. The body does not include soul, but man-
ifests mortality, a false sense of soul. The delusion that there is life in matter has no kinship with the Life supernal.
Science depicts disease as error, as matter versus Mind, and error reversed as subserving the facts of health. To calculate one’s life-prospects from a material basis, would infringe upon spiritual law and misguide human hope. Having faith in the divine Principle of Health and spiritually understanding God, sustains man under all circumstances; whereas the lower appeal to the general faith in material means (commonly called nature) must yield to the allmight of infinite Spirit.
Throughout the infinite cycles of eternal existence, Spirit and matter neither concur in man nor in the universe.
God the only Mind
The varied doctrines and theories which presuppose life and intelligence to exist in matter are so many ancient and modern mythologies. Mystery, miracle, sin, and death will disappear when it becomes fairly understood that the divine Mind controls man and man has no Mind but God.
The divine Science taught in the original language of the Bible came through inspiration, and needs inspiration to be understood. Hence the misapprehension of the spiritual meaning of the Bible, and the misinterpretation of the Word in some instances by uninspired writers, who only wrote down what an inspired teacher had said. A misplaced word changes the sense and misstates the Science of the Scriptures, as, for instance, to name Love as merely an attribute of God; but we can by special and proper capitalization speak of the love of Love, meaning by that what the beloved disciple meant in one of his epistles,
when he said, “God is love.” Likewise we can speak of the truth of Truth and of the life of Life, for Christ plainly declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
Metaphors abound in the Bible, and names are often expressive of spiritual ideas. The most distinguished theologians in Europe and America agree that the Scriptures have both a spiritual and literal meaning. In Smith’s Bible Dictionary it is said: “The spiritual interpretation of Scripture must rest upon both the literal and moral;” and in the learned article on Noah in the same work, the familiar text, Genesis vi. 3, “And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh,” is quoted as follows, from the original Hebrew: “And Jehovah said, My spirit shall not forever rule [or be humbled] in men, seeing that they are [or, in their error they are] but flesh.” Here the original text declares plainly the spiritual fact of being, even man’s eternal and harmonious existence as image, idea, instead of matter (however transcendental such a thought appears), and avers that this fact is not forever to be humbled by the belief that man is flesh and matter, for according to that error man is mortal.
Job, on the resurrection
The one important interpretation of Scripture is the spiritual. For example, the text, “In my flesh shall I see God,” gives a profound idea of the divine power to heal the ills of the flesh, and encourages mortals to hope in Him who healeth all our diseases; whereas this passage is continually quoted as if Job intended to declare that even if disease and worms destroyed his body, yet in the latter days he should stand in celestial perfection before Elohim, still clad
in material flesh, — an interpretation which is just the opposite of the true, as may be seen by studying the book of Job. As Paul says, in his first epistle to the Corinthians, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.”
Fear of the serpent overcome
The Hebrew Lawgiver, slow of speech, despaired of making the people understand what should be revealed to him. When, led by wisdom to cast down his rod, he saw it become a serpent, Moses fled before it; but wisdom bade him come back and handle the serpent, and then Moses’ fear departed. In this incident was seen the actuality of Science. Matter was shown to be a belief only. The serpent, evil, under wisdom’s bidding, was destroyed through understanding divine Science, and this proof was a staff upon which to lean. The illusion of Moses lost its power to alarm him, when he discovered that what he apparently saw was really but a phase of mortal belief.
It was scientifically demonstrated that leprosy was a creation of mortal mind and not a condition of matter, when Moses first put his hand into his bosom and drew it forth white as snow with the dread disease, and presently restored his hand to its natural condition by the same simple process. God had lessened Moses’ fear by this proof in divine Science, and the inward voice became to him the voice of God, which said: “It shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.” And so it was in the coming centuries, when the Science of being was demonstrated by Jesus, who showed his students the power of Mind by changing water into wine, and taught them how to handle
serpents unharmed, to heal the sick and cast out evils in proof of the supremacy of Mind.
When understanding changes the standpoints of life and intelligence from a material to a spiritual basis, we shall gain the reality of Life, the control of Soul over sense, and we shall perceive Christianity, or Truth, in its divine Principle. This must be the climax before harmonious and immortal man is obtained and his capabilities revealed. It is highly important — in view of the immense work to be accomplished before this recognition of divine Science can come — to turn our thoughts towards divine Principle, that finite belief may be prepared to relinquish its error.
Saving the inebriate
Man’s wisdom finds no satisfaction in sin, since God has sentenced sin to suffer. The necromancy of yesterday foreshadowed the mesmerism and hypnotism of to-day. The drunkard thinks he enjoys drunkenness, and you cannot make the inebriate leave his besottedness, until his physical sense of pleasure yields to a higher sense. Then he turns from his cups, as the startled dreamer who wakens from an incubus incurred through the pains of distorted sense. A man who likes to do wrong — finding pleasure in it and refraining from it only through fear of consequences — is neither a temperate man nor a reliable religionist.
Uses of suffering
The sharp experiences of belief in the supposititious life of matter, as well as our disappointments and ceaseless woes, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love. Then we begin to learn Life in divine Science. Without this process of weaning, “Canst thou by searching find out God?” It is easier to desire Truth than to rid one’s self of error. Mortals
may seek the understanding of Christian Science, but they will not be able to glean from Christian Science the facts of being without striving for them. This strife consists in the endeavor to forsake error of every kind and to possess no other consciousness but good.
A bright outlook
Through the wholesome chastisements of Love, we are helped onward in the march towards righteousness, peace, and purity, which are the landmarks of Science. Beholding the infinite tasks of truth, we pause, — wait on God. Then we push onward, until boundless thought walks enraptured, and conception unconfined is winged to reach the divine glory.
Need and supply
In order to apprehend more, we must put into practice what we already know. We must recollect that Truth is demonstrable when understood, and that good is not understood until demonstrated. If “faithful over a few things,” we shall be made rulers over many; but the one unused talent decays and is lost. When the sick or the sinning awake to realize their need of what they have not, they will be receptive of divine Science, which gravitates towards Soul and away from material sense, removes thought from the body, and elevates even mortal mind to the contemplation of something better than disease or sin. The true idea of God gives the true understanding of Life and Love, robs the grave of victory, takes away all sin and the delusion that there are other minds, and destroys mortality.
The effects of Christian Science are not so much seen as felt. It is the “still, small voice” of Truth uttering itself. We are either turning away from this utterance, or we are listening to it and going up higher. Willingness to become as a little child and
to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear, — this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony. The purification of sense and self is a proof of progress. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
Unless the harmony and immortality of man are becoming more apparent, we are not gaining the true idea of God; and the body will reflect what governs it, whether it be Truth or error, understanding or belief, Spirit or matter. Therefore “acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace.” Be watchful, sober, and vigilant. The way is straight and narrow, which leads to the understanding that God is the only Life. It is a warfare with the flesh, in which we must conquer sin, sickness, and death, either here or hereafter, — certainly before we can reach the goal of Spirit, or life in God.
Paul was not at first a disciple of Jesus but a persecutor of Jesus’ followers. When the truth first appeared to him in Science, Paul was made blind, and his blindness was felt; but spiritual light soon enabled him to follow the example and teachings of Jesus, healing the sick and preaching Christianity throughout Asia Minor, Greece, and even in imperial Rome.
Paul writes, “If Christ [Truth] be not risen, then is our preaching vain.” That is, if the idea of the supremacy of Spirit, which is the true conception of being, come not to your thought, you cannot be benefited by what I say.
Abiding in Life
Jesus said substantially, “He that believeth in me
shall not see death.” That is, he who perceives the true idea of Life loses his belief in death. He who has the true idea of good loses all sense of evil, and by reason of this is being ushered into the undying realities of Spirit. Such a one abideth in Life, life obtained not of the body incapable of supporting life, but of Truth, unfolding its own immortal idea. Jesus gave the true idea of being, which results in infinite blessings to mortals.
In Colossians (iii. 4) Paul writes: “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear [be manifested], then shall ye also appear [be manifested] with him in glory.” When spiritual being is understood in all its perfection, continuity, and might, then shall man be found in God’s image. The absolute meaning of the apostolic words is this: Then shall man be found, in His likeness, perfect as the Father, indestructible in Life, “hid with Christ in God,” — with Truth in divine Love, where human sense hath not seen man.
Paul had a clear sense of the demands of Truth upon mortals physically and spiritually, when he said: “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” But he, who is begotten of the beliefs of the flesh and serves them, can never reach in this world the divine heights of our Lord. The time cometh when the spiritual origin of man, the divine Science which ushered Jesus into human presence, will be understood and demonstrated.
When first spoken in any age, Truth, like the light, “shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.” A false sense of life, substance, and mind
hides the divine possibilities, and conceals scientific demonstration.
Loving God supremely
If we wish to follow Christ, Truth, it must be in the way of God’s appointing. Jesus said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.” He, who would reach the source and find the divine remedy for every ill, must not try to climb the hill of Science by some other road. All nature teaches God’s love to man, but man cannot love God supremely and set his whole affections on spiritual things, while loving the material or trusting in it more than in the spiritual.
We must forsake the foundation of material systems, however time-honored, if we would gain the Christ as our only Saviour. Not partially, but fully, the great healer of mortal mind is the healer of the body.
The purpose and motive to live aright can be gained now. This point won, you have started as you should. You have begun at the numeration-table of Christian Science, and nothing but wrong intention can hinder your advancement. Working and praying with true motives, your Father will open the way. “Who did hinder you, that ye should not obey the truth?”
Conversion of Saul
Saul of Tarsus beheld the way — the Christ, or Truth — only when his uncertain sense of right yielded to a spiritual sense, which is always right. Then the man was changed. Thought assumed a nobler outlook, and his life became more spiritual. He learned the wrong that he had done in persecuting Christians, whose religion he had not understood, and in humility he took the new name of Paul. He beheld for the first time the true idea of Love, and learned a lesson in divine Science.
Reform comes by understanding that there is no abiding pleasure in evil, and also by gaining an affection for good according to Science, which reveals the immortal fact that neither pleasure nor pain, appetite nor passion, can exist in or of matter, while divine Mind can and does destroy the false beliefs of pleasure, pain, or fear and all the sinful appetites of the human mind.
Image of the beast
What a pitiful sight is malice, finding pleasure in revenge! Evil is sometimes a man’s highest conception of right, until his grasp on good grows stronger. Then he loses pleasure in wickedness, and it becomes his torment. The way to escape the misery of sin is to cease sinning. There is no other way. Sin is the image of the beast to be effaced by the sweat of agony. It is a moral madness which rushes forth to clamor with midnight and tempest.
To the physical senses, the strict demands of Christian Science seem peremptory; but mortals are hastening to learn that Life is God, good, and that evil has in reality neither place nor power in the human or the divine economy.
Fear of punishment never made man truly honest. Moral courage is requisite to meet the wrong and to proclaim the right. But how shall we reform the man who has more animal than moral courage, and who has not the true idea of good? Through human consciousness, convince the mortal of his mistake in seeking material means for gaining happiness. Reason is the most active human faculty. Let that inform the sentiments and awaken the man’s dormant sense of moral obligation, and by degrees he will learn the nothingness of the pleasures of human sense
and the grandeur and bliss of a spiritual sense, which silences the material or corporeal. Then he not only will be saved, but is saved.
Final destruction of error
Mortals suppose that they can live without goodness, when God is good and the only real Life. What is the result? Understanding little about the divine Principle which saves and heals, mortals get rid of sin, sickness, and death only in belief. These errors are not thus really destroyed, and must therefore cling to mortals until, here or hereafter, they gain the true understanding of God in the Science which destroys human delusions about Him and reveals the grand realities of His allness.
This understanding of man’s power, when he is equipped by God, has sadly disappeared from Christian history. For centuries it has been dormant, a lost element of Christianity. Our missionaries carry the Bible to India, but can it be said that they explain it practically, as Jesus did, when hundreds of persons die there annually from serpent-bites? Understanding spiritual law and knowing that there is no material law, Jesus said: “These signs shall follow them that believe, … they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” It were well had Christendom believed and obeyed this sacred saying.
Jesus’ promise is perpetual. Had it been given only to his immediate disciples, the Scriptural passage would read you, not they. The purpose of his great life-work extends through time and includes universal humanity. Its Principle is infinite, reaching beyond the pale of a
single period or of a limited following. As time moves on, the healing elements of pure Christianity will be fairly dealt with; they will be sought and taught, and will glow in all the grandeur of universal goodness.
Imitation of Jesus
A little leaven leavens the whole lump. A little understanding of Christian Science proves the truth of all that I say of it. Because you cannot walk on the water and raise the dead, you have no right to question the great might of divine Science in these directions. Be thankful that Jesus, who was the true demonstrator of Science, did these things, and left his example for us. In Science we can use only what we understand. We must prove our faith by demonstration.
One should not tarry in the storm if the body is freezing, nor should he remain in the devouring flames. Until one is able to prevent bad results, he should avoid their occasion. To be discouraged, is to resemble a pupil in addition, who attempts to solve a problem of Euclid, and denies the rule of the problem because he fails in his first effort.
Error destroyed, not pardoned
There is no hypocrisy in Science. Principle is imperative. You cannot mock it by human will. Science is a divine demand, not a human. Always right, its divine Principle never repents, but maintains the claim of Truth by quenching error. The pardon of divine mercy is the destruction of error. If men understood their real spiritual source to be all blessedness, they would struggle for recourse to the spiritual and be at peace; but the deeper the error into which mortal mind is plunged, the more intense the opposition to spirituality, till error yields to Truth.
The hopeful outlook
Human resistance to divine Science weakens in pro-
portion as mortals give up error for Truth and the understanding of being supersedes mere belief. Until the author of this book learned the vastness of Christian Science, the fixedness of mortal illusions, and the human hatred of Truth, she cherished sanguine hopes that Christian Science would meet with immiediate and universal acceptance.
When the following platform is understood and the letter and the spirit bear witness, the infallibility of divine metaphysics will be demonstrated.
The deific supremacy
I. God is infinite, the only Life, substance, Spirit, or Soul, the only intelligence of the universe, including man. Eye hath neither seen God nor His image and likeness. Neither God nor the perfect man can be discerned by the material senses. The individuality of Spirit, or the infinite, is unknown, and thus a knowledge of it is left either to human conjecture or to the revelation of divine Science.
The deific definitions
II. God is what the Scriptures declare Him to be, — Life, Truth, Love. Spirit is divine Principle, and divine Principle is Love, and Love is Mind, and Mind is not both good and bad, for God is Mind; therefore there is in reality one Mind only, because there is one God.
III. The notion that both evil and good are real is a delusion of material sense, which Science annihilates. Evil is nothing, no thing, mind, nor power. As manifested by mankind it stands for a lie, nothing claiming to be something, — for lust, dishonesty, selfishness, envy, hypocrisy, slander, hate, theft, adultery, murder, dementia, insanity, inanity, devil, hell, with all the etceteras that word includes.
Life the creator
IV. God is divine Life, and Life is no more confined to the forms which reflect it than substance is in its shadow. If life were in mortal man or material things, it would be subject to their limitations and would end in death. Life is Mind, the creator reflected in His creations. If He dwelt within what He creates, God would not be reflected but absorbed, and the Science of being would be forever lost through a mortal sense, which falsely testifies to a beginning and an end.
Allness of Spirit
V. The Scriptures imply that God is All-in-all. From this it follows that nothing possesses reality nor existence except the divine Mind and His ideas. The Scriptures also declare that God is Spirit. Therefore in Spirit all is harmony, and there can be no discord; all is Life, and there is no death. Everything in God’s universe expresses Him.
The universal cause
VI. God is individual, incorporeal. He is divine Principle, Love, the universal cause, the only creator, and there is no other self-existence. He is all-inclusive, and is reflected by all that is real and eternal and by nothing else. He fills all space, and it is impossible to conceive of such omnipresence and individuality except as infinite Spirit or Mind. Hence all is Spirit and spiritual.
VII. Life, Truth, and Love constitute the triune Person called God, — that is, the triply divine Principle, Love. They represent a trinity in unity, three in one, — the same in essence, though multiform in office: God the Father-Mother; Christ the spiritual idea of sonship; divine Science or the Holy Comforter. These three express in divine Science the threefold, essen-
tial nature of the infinite. They also indicate the divine Principle of scientific being, the intelligent relation of God to man and the universe.
VIII. Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation. As the apostle expressed it in words which he quoted with approbation from a classic poet: “For we are also His offspring.”
The Son of God
IX. Jesus was born of Mary. Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness. The Christ is incorporeal, spiritual, — yea, the divine image and likeness, dispelling the illusions of the senses; the Way, the Truth, and the Life, healing the sick and casting out evils, destroying sin, disease, and death. As Paul says: “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” The corporeal man Jesus was human.
Holy Ghost or Comforter
X. Jesus demonstrated Christ; he proved that Christ is the divine idea of God — the Holy Ghost, or Comforter, revealing the divine Principle, Love, and leading into all truth.
XI. Jesus was the son of a virgin. He was appointed to speak God’s word and to appear to mortals in such a form of humanity as they could understand as well as perceive. Mary’s conception of him was spiritual, for only purity could reflect Truth and Love, which were plainly incarnate in the good and pure Christ Jesus. He expressed the highest type of divinity, which a fleshly form could express in that age. Into the real and ideal man the fleshly element cannot enter. Thus it is that Christ illustrates the coincidence,
or spiritual agreement, between God and man in His image.
Messiah or Christ
XII. The word Christ is not properly a synonym for Jesus, though it is commonly so used. Jesus was a human name, which belonged to him in common with other Hebrew boys and men, for it is identical with the name Joshua, the renowned Hebrew leader. On the other hand, Christ is not a name so much as the divine title of Jesus. Christ expresses God’s spiritual, eternal nature. The name is synonymous with Messiah, and alludes to the spirituality which is taught, illustrated, and demonstrated in the life of which Christ Jesus was the embodiment. The proper name of our Master in the Greek was Jesus the Christ; but Christ Jesus better signifies the Godlike.
The divine Principle and idea
XIII. The advent of Jesus of Nazareth marked the first century of the Christian era, but the Christ is without beginning of years or end of days. Throughout all generations both before and after the Christian era, the Christ, as the spiritual idea, — the reflection of God, — has come with some measure of power and grace to all prepared to receive Christ, Truth. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets caught glorious glimpses of the Messiah, or Christ, which baptized these seers in the divine nature, the essence of Love. The divine image, idea, or Christ was, is, and ever will be inseparable from the divine Principle, God. Jesus referred to this unity of his spiritual identity thus: “Before Abraham was, I am;” “I and my Father are one;” “My Father is greater than I.” The one Spirit includes all identities.
XIV. By these sayings Jesus meant, not that the hu-
man Jesus was or is eternal, but that the divine idea or Christ was and is so and therefore antedated Abraham; not that the corporeal Jesus was one with the Father, but that the spiritual idea, Christ, dwells forever in the bosom of the Father, God, from which it illumines heaven and earth; not that the Father is greater than Spirit, which is God, but greater, infinitely greater, than the fleshly Jesus, whose earthly career was brief.
The Son’s duality
XV. The invisible Christ was imperceptible to the so-called personal senses, whereas Jesus appeared as a bodily existence. This dual personality of the unseen and the seen, the spiritual and material, the eternal Christ and the corporeal Jesus manifest in flesh, continued until the Master’s ascension, when the human, material concept, or Jesus, disappeared, while the spiritual self, or Christ, continues to exist in the eternal order of divine Science, taking away the sins of the world, as the Christ has always done, even before the human Jesus was incarnate to mortal eyes.
Eternity of the Christ
XVI. This was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” — slain, that is, according to the testimony of the corporeal senses, but undying in the deific Mind. The Revelator represents the Son of man as saying (Revelation i. 17, 18): “I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead [not understood]; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, [Science has explained me].” This is a mystical statement of the eternity of the Christ, and is also a reference to the human sense of Jesus crucified.
XVII. Spirit being God, there is but one Spirit, for there can be but one infinite and therefore one God.
There are neither spirits many nor gods many. There is no evil in Spirit, because God is Spirit. The theory, that Spirit is distinct from matter but must pass through it, or into it, to be individualized, would reduce God to dependency on matter, and establish a basis for pantheism.
The only substance
XVIII. Spirit, God, has created all in and of Himself. Spirit never created matter. There is nothing in Spirit out of which matter could be made, for, as the Bible declares, without the Logos, the Æon or Word of God, “was not anything made that was made.” Spirit is the only substance, the invisible and indivisible infinite God. Things spiritual and eternal are substantial. Things material and temporal are insubstantial.
Soul and Spirit one
XIX. Soul and Spirit being one, God and Soul are one, and this one never included in a limited mind or a limited body. Spirit is eternal, divine. Nothing but Spirit, Soul, can evolve Life, for Spirit is more than all else. Because Soul is immortal, it does not exist in mortality. Soul must be incorporeal to be Spirit, for Spirit is not finite. Only by losing the false sense of Soul can we gain the eternal unfolding of Life as immortality brought to light.
The one divine Mind
XX. Mind is the divine Principle, Love, and can produce nothing unlike the eternal Father-Mother, God. Reality is spiritual, harmonious, immutable, immortal, divine, eternal. Nothing unspiritual can be real, harmonious, or eternal. Sin, sickness, and mortality are the suppositional antipodes of Spirit, and must be contradictions of reality.
The divine Ego
XXI. The Ego is deathless and limitless, for limits
would imply and impose ignorance. Mind is the I am, or infinity. Mind never enters the finite. Intelligence never passes into non-intelligence, or matter. Good never enters into evil the unlimited into the limited, the eternal into the temporal, nor the immortal into mortality. The divine Ego, or individuality, is reflected in all spiritual individuality from the infinitesimal to the infinite.
The real manhood
XXII. Immortal man was and is God’s image or idea, even the infinite expression of infinite Mind, and immortal man is coexistent and coeternal with that Mind. He has been forever in the eternal Mind, God; but infinite Mind can never be in man, but is reflected by man. The spiritual man’s consciousness and individuality are reflections of God. They are the emanations of Him who is Life, Truth, and Love. Immortal man is not and never was material, but always spiritual and eternal.
Indivisibility of the infinite
XXIII. God is indivisible. A portion of God could not enter man; neither could God’s fulness be reflected by a single man, else God would be manifestly finite, lose the deific character, and become less than God. Allness is the measure of the infinite, and nothing less can express God.
God the parent Mind
XXIV. God, the divine Principle of man, and man in God’s likeness are inseparable, harmonious, and eternal. The Science of being furnishes the rule of perfection, and brings immortality to light. God and man are not the same, but in the order of divine Science, God and man coexist and are eternal. God is the parent Mind, and man is God’s spiritual offspring.
Man reflects the perfect God
XXV. God is individual and personal in a scientific
sense, but not in any anthropomorphic sense. Therefore man, reflecting God, cannot lose his individuality; but as material sensation, or a soul in the body, blind mortals do lose sight of spiritual individuality. Material personality is not realism; it is not the reflection or likeness of Spirit, the perfect God. Sensualism is not bliss, but bondage. For true happiness, man must harmonize with his Principle, divine Love; the Son must be in accord with the Father, in conformity with Christ. According to divine Science, man is in a degree as perfect as the Mind that forms him. The truth of being makes man harmonious and immortal, while error is mortal and discordant.
Purity the path to perfection
XXVI. Christian Science demonstrates that none but the pure in heart can see God, as the gospel teaches. In proportion to his purity is man perfect; and perfection is the order of celestial being which demonstrates Life in Christ, Life’s spiritual ideal.
True idea of man
XXVII. The true idea of man, as the reflection of the invisible God, is as incomprehensible to the limited senses as is man’s infinite Principle. The visible universe and material man are the poor counterfeits of the invisible universe and spiritual man. Eternal things (verities) are God’s thoughts as they exist in the spiritual realm of the real. Temporal things are the thoughts of mortals and are the unreal, being the opposite of the real or the spiritual and eternal.
XXVIII. Subject sickness, sin, and death to the rule of health and holiness in Christian Science, and you ascertain that this Science is demonstrably true, for it heals the sick and sinning as no
other system can. Christian Science, rightly understood, leads to eternal harmony. It brings to light the only living and true God and man as made in His likeness; whereas the opposite belief — that man originates in matter and has beginning and end, that he is both soul and body, both good and evil, both spiritual and material — terminates in discord and mortality, in the error which must be destroyed by Truth. The mortality of material man proves that error has been ingrafted into the premises and conclusions of material and mortal humanity.
Adam not ideal man
XXIX. The word Adam is from the Hebrew adamah, signifying the red color of the ground, dust, nothingness. Divide the name Adam into two syllables, and it reads, a dam, or obstruction. This suggests the thought of something fluid, of mortal mind in solution. It further suggests the thought of that ” darkness … upon the face of the deep,” when matter or dust was deemed the agent of Deity in creating man, — when matter, as that which is accursed, stood opposed to Spirit. Here a dam is not a mere play upon words; it stands for obstruction, error, even the supposed separation of man from God, and the obstacle which the serpent, sin, would impose between man and his creator. The dissection and definition of words, aside from their metaphysical derivation, is not scientific. Jehovah declared the ground was accursed; and from this ground, or matter, sprang Adam, notwithstanding God had blessed the earth “for man’s sake.” From this it follows that Adam was not the ideal man for whom the earth was blessed. The ideal man was revealed in due time, and was known as Christ Jesus.
XXX. The destruction of sin is the divine method of pardon. Divine Life destroys death, Truth destroys error, and Love destroys hate. Being destroyed, sin needs no other form of forgiveness. Does not God’s pardon, destroying any one sin, prophesy and involve the final destruction of all sin?
Evil not produced by God
XXXI. Since God is All, there is no room for His unlikeness. God, Spirit, alone created all, and called it good. Therefore evil, being contrary to good, is unreal, and cannot be the product of God. A sinner can receive no encouragement from the fact that Science demonstrates the unreality of evil, for the sinner would make a reality of sin, — would make that real which is unreal, and thus heap up “wrath against the day of wrath.” He is joining in a conspiracy against himself, — against his own awakening to the awful unreality by which he has been deceived. Only those, who repent of sin and forsake the unreal, can fully understand the unreality of evil.
Basis of health and immortality
XXXII. As the mythology of pagan Rome has yielded to a more spiritual idea of Deity, so will our material theories yield to spiritual ideas, until the finite gives place to the infinite, sickness to health, sin to holiness, and God’s kingdom comes “in earth, as it is in heaven.” The basis of all health, sinlessness, and immortality is the great fact that God is the only Mind; and this Mind must be not merely believed, but it must be understood. To get rid of sin through Science, is to divest sin of any supposed mind or reality, and never to admit that sin can have intelligence or power, pain or pleasure. You conquer error by denying its verity. Our various theories will never lose
their imaginary power for good or evil, until we lose our faith in them and make life its own proof of harmony and God.
This text in the book of Ecclesiastes conveys the Christian Science thought, especially when the word duty, which is not in the original, is omitted: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” In other words: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: love God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole of man in His image and likeness. Divine Love is infinite. Therefore all that really exists is in and of God, and manifests His love.
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus xx. 3.) The First Commandment is my favorite text. It demonstrates Christian Science. It inculcates the triunity of God, Spirit, Mind; it signifies that man shall have no other spirit or mind but God, eternal good, and that all men shall have one Mind. The divine Principle of the First Commandment bases the Science of being, by which man demonstrates health, holiness, and life eternal. One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, “Love thy neighbor as thyself;” annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.