Chapter 14 — Recapitulation
From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy
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Chapter 14 — Recapitulation
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little. — ISAIAH.
THIS chapter is from the first edition of the author’s class-book, copyrighted in 1870. After much labor and increased spiritual understanding, she revised that treatise for this volume in 1875. Absolute Christian Science pervades its statements, to elucidate scientific metaphysics.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Question. — What is God? Answer. — God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love.
Question. — Are these terms synonymous? Answer. — They are. They refer to one absolute God. They are also intended to express the nature, essence, and wholeness of Deity. The attributes of God are justice, mercy, wisdom, goodness, and so on.
Question. — Is there more than one God or Principle? Answer. — There is not. Principle and its idea is one, and this one is God, omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-
present Being, and His reflection is man and the universe. Omni is adopted from the Latin adjective signifying all. Hence God combines all-power or potency, all-science or true knowledge, all-presence. The varied manifestations of Christian Science indicate Mind, never matter, and have one Principle.
Real versus unreal
Question. — What are spirits and souls? Answer. — To human belief, they are personalities constituted of mind and matter, life and death, truth and error, good and evil; but these contrasting pairs of terms represent contraries, as Christian Science reveals, which neither dwell together nor assimilate. Truth is immortal; error is mortal. Truth is limitless; error is limited. Truth is intelligent; error is non-intelligent. Moreover, Truth is real, and error is unreal. This last statement contains the point you will most reluctantly admit, although first and last it is the most important to understand.
The term souls or spirits is as improper as the term gods. Soul or Spirit signifies Deity and nothing else. There is no finite soul nor spirit. Soul or Spirit means only one Mind, and cannot be rendered in the plural. Heathen mythology and Jewish theology have perpetuated the fallacy that intelligence, soul, and life can be in matter; and idolatry and ritualism are the outcome of all man-made beliefs. The Science of Christianity comes with fan in hand to separate the chaff from the wheat. Science will declare God aright, and Christianity will demonstrate this declaration and its divine Principle, making mankind better physically, morally, and spiritually.
Two chief commands
Question. — What are the demands of the Science of Soul? Answer. — The first demand of this Science is, ” Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” This me is Spirit. Therefore the command means this: Thou shalt have no intelligence, no life, no substance, no truth, no love, but that which is spiritual. The second is like unto it, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established. Having no other gods, turning to no other but the one perfect Mind to guide him, man is the likeness of God, pure and eternal, having that Mind which was also in Christ.
Soul not confined in body
Science reveals Spirit, Soul, as not in the body, and God as not in man but as reflected by man. The greater cannot be in the lesser. The belief that the greater can be in the lesser is an error that works ill. This is a leading point in the Science of Soul, that Principle is not in its idea. Spirit, Soul, is not confined in man, and is never in matter. We reason imperfectly from effect to cause, when we conclude that matter is the effect of Spirit; but a priori reasoning shows material existence to be enigmatical. Spirit gives the true mental idea. We cannot interpret Spirit, Mind, through matter. Matter neither sees, hears, nor feels.
Sinlessness of Mind, Soul
Reasoning from cause to effect in the Science of Mind, we begin with Mind, which must be understood through the idea which expresses it and cannot be learned from its opposite, matter. Thus we
arrive at Truth, or intelligence, which evolves its own unerring idea and never can be coordinate with human illusions. If Soul sinned, it would be mortal, for sin is mortality’s self, because it kills itself. If Truth is immortal, error must be mortal, because error is unlike Truth. Because Soul is immortal, Soul cannot sin, for sin is not the eternal verity of being.
Question. — What is the scientific statement of being? Answer. — There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.
Question. — What is substance? Answer. — Substance is that which is eternal and incapable of discord and decay. Truth, Life, and Love are substance, as the Scriptures use this word in Hebrews: “The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Spirit, the synonym of Mind, Soul, or God, is the only real substance. The spiritual universe, including individual man, is a compound idea, reflecting the divine substance of Spirit.
Eternity of Life
Question. — What is Life? Answer. — Life is divine Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit. Life is without beginning and without end. Eternity, not time, expresses the thought of Life, and time is no part of eternity. One ceases in proportion as the other is recognized. Time is finite;
eternity is forever infinite. Life is neither in nor of matter. What is termed matter is unknown to Spirit, which includes in itself all substance and is Life eternal. Matter is a human concept. Life is divine Mind. Life is not limited. Death and finiteness are unknown to Life. If Life ever had a beginning, it would also have an ending.
Question. — What is intelligence? Answer. — Intelligence is omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. It is the primal and eternal quality of infinite Mind, of the triune Principle, — Life, Truth, and Love, — named God.
True sense of infinitude
Question. — What is Mind? Answer. — Mind is God. The exterminator of error is the great truth that God, good, is the only Mind, and that the supposititious opposite of infinite Mind – called devil or evil — is not Mind, is not Truth, but error, without intelligence or reality. There can be but one Mind, because there is but one God; and if mortals claimed no other Mind and accepted no other, sin would be unknown. We can have but one Mind, if that one is infinite. We bury the sense of infinitude, when we admit that, although God is infinite, evil has a place in this infinity, for evil can have no place, where all space is filled with God.
The sole governor
We lose the high signification of omnipotence, when after admitting that God, or good, is omnipresent and has all-power, we still believe there is another power, named evil. This belief that there is more than one mind is as pernicious to divine theology as are ancient mythology and pagan idolatry. With
one Father, even God, the whole family of man would be brethren; and with one Mind and that God, or good, the brotherhood of man would consist of Love and Truth, and have unity of Principle and spiritual power which constitute divine Science. The supposed existence of more than one mind was the basic error of idolatry. This error assumed the loss of spiritual power, the loss of the spiritual presence of Life as infinite Truth without an unlikeness, and the loss of Love as ever present and universal.
The divine standard of perfection
Divine Science explains the abstract statement that there is one Mind by the following self-evident proposition: If God, or good, is real, then evil, the unlikeness of God, is unreal. And evil can only seem to be real by giving reality to the unreal. The children of God have but one Mind. How can good lapse into evil, when God, the Mind of man, never sins? The standard of perfection was originally God and man. Has God taken down His own standard, and has man fallen?
God is the creator of man, and, the divine Principle of man remaining perfect, the divine idea or reflection, man, remains perfect. Man is the expression of God’s being. If there ever was a moment when man did not express the divine perfection, then there was a moment when man did not express God, and consequently a time when Deity was unexpressed — that is, without entity. If man has lost perfection, then he has lost his perfect Principle, the divine Mind. If man ever existed without this perfect Principle or Mind, then man’s existence was a myth.
The relations of God and man, divine Principle and
idea, are indestructible in Science; and Science knows no lapse from nor return to harmony, but holds the divine order or spiritual law, in which God and all that He creates are perfect and eternal, to have remained unchanged in its eternal history.
The unlikeness of Truth, — named error, — the opposite of Science, and the evidence before the five corporeal senses, afford no indication of the grand facts of being; even as these so-called senses receive no intimation of the earth’s motions or of the science of astronomy, but yield assent to astronomical propositions on the authority of natural science.
The facts of divine Science should be admitted, — although the evidence as to these facts is not supported by evil, by matter, or by material sense, — because the evidence that God and man coexist is fully sustained by spiritual sense. Man is, and forever has been, God’s reflection. God is infinite, therefore ever present, and there is no other power nor presence. Hence the spirituality of the universe is the only fact of creation. “Let God be true, but every [material] man a liar.”
The test of experience
Question. — Are doctrines and creeds a benefit to man? Answer. — The author subscribed to an orthodox creed in early youth, and tried to adhere to it until she caught the first gleam of that which interprets God as above mortal sense. This view rebuked human beliefs, and gave the spiritual import, expressed through Science, of all that proceeds from the divine Mind. Since then her highest creed has been divine Science, which, reduced to human apprehension, she has named Christian Science. This Science
teaches man that God is the only Life, and that this Life is Truth and Love; that God is to be understood, adored, and demonstrated; that divine Truth casts out suppositional error and heals the sick.
God’s law destroys evil
The way which leads to Christian Science is straight and narrow. God has set His signet upon Science, making it coordinate with all that is real and only with that which is harmonious and eternal. Sickness, sin, and death, being inharmonious, do not originate in God nor belong to His government. His law, rightly understood, destroys them. Jesus furnished proofs of these statements.
Question. — What is error? Answer. — Error is a supposition that pleasure and pain, that intelligence, substance, life, are existent in matter. Error is neither Mind nor one of Mind’s faculties. Error is the contradiction of Truth. Error is a belief without understanding. Error is unreal because untrue. It is that which seemeth to be and is not. If error were true, its truth would be error, and we should have a self-evident absurdity — namely, erroneous truth. Thus we should continue to lose the standard of Truth.
Unrealities that seem real
Question. — Is there no sin? Answer. — All reality is in God and His creation, harmonious and eternal. That which He creates is good, and He makes all that is made. Therefore the only reality of sin, sickness, or death is the awful fact that unrealities seem real to human, erring belief, until God strips off their disguise. They are not true, because they are not of God. We learn in Christian
Science that all inharmony of mortal mind or body is illusion, possessing neither reality nor identity though seeming to be real and identical.
Christ the ideal Truth
The Science of Mind disposes of all evil. Truth, God, is not the father of error. Sin, sickness, and death are to be classified as effects of error. Christ came to destroy the belief of sin. The Godprinciple is omnipresent and omnipotent. God is everywhere, and nothing apart from Him is present or has power. Christ is the ideal Truth, that comes to heal sickness and sin through Christian Science, and attributes all power to God. Jesus is the name of the man who, more than all other men, has presented Christ, the true idea of God, healing the sick and the sinning and destroying the power of death. Jesus is the human man, and Christ is the divine idea; hence the duality of Jesus the Christ.
Jesus not God
In an age of ecclesiastical despotism, Jesus introduced the teaching and practice of Christianity, affording the proof of Christianity’s truth and love; but to reach his example and to test its unerring Science according to his rule, healing sickness, sin, and death, a better understanding of God as divine Principle, Love, rather than personality or the man Jesus, is required.
Jesus not understood
Jesus established what he said by demonstration, thus making his acts of higher importance than his words. He proved what he taught. This is the Science of Christianity. Jesus proved the Principle, which heals the sick and casts out error, to be divine. Few, however, except his students understood in the least his teachings and their glorious
proofs, — namely, that Life, Truth, and Love (the Principle of this unacknowledged Science) destroy all error, evil, disease, and death.
The reception accorded to Truth in the early Christian era is repeated to-day. Whoever introduces the Science of Christianity will be scoffed at and scourged with worse cords than those which cut the flesh. To the ignorant age in which it first appears, Science seems to be a mistake, — hence the misinterpretation and consequent maltreatment which it receives. Christian marvels (and marvel is the simple meaning of the Greek word rendered miracle in the New Testament) will be misunderstood and misused by many, until the glorious Principle of these marvels is gained.
If sin, sickness, and death are as real as Life, Truth, and Love, then they must all be from the same source; God must be their author. Now Jesus came to destroy sin, sickness, and death yet the Scriptures aver, “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Is it possible, then, to believe that the evils which Jesus lived to destroy are real or the offspring of the divine will?
Truth destroys falsity
Despite the hallowing influence of Truth in the destruction of error, must error still be immortal? Truth spares all that is true. If evil is real, Truth must make it so; but error, not Truth, is the author of the unreal, and the unreal vanishes, while all that is real is eternal. The apostle says that the mission of Christ is to “destroy the works of the devil.” Truth destroys falsity and error, for light and darkness cannot dwell together. Light extinguishes the
darkness, and the Scripture declares that there is “no night there.” To Truth there is no error, — all is Truth. To infinite Spirit there is no matter, — all is Spirit, divine Principle and its idea.
Fleshly factors unreal
Question. — What is man? Answer. — Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements. The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit. Man is spiritual and perfect; and because he is spiritual and perfect, he must be so understood in Christian Science. Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique. He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; the generic term for all that reflects God’s image and likeness; the conscious identity of being as found in Science, in which man is the reflection of God, or Mind, and therefore is eternal; that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker.
And God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death. The real man cannot depart from holiness, nor can God, by whom man is evolved, engender the capacity or freedom to sin. A mortal sinner is not
God’s man. Mortals are the counterfeits of immortals. They are the children of the wicked one, or the one evil, which declares that man begins in dust or as a material embryo. In divine Science, God and the real man are inseparable as divine Principle and idea.
Mortals are not immortals
Error, urged to its final limits, is self-destroyed. Error will cease to claim that soul is in body, that life and intelligence are in matter, and that this matter is man. God is the Principle of man, and man is the idea of God. Hence man is not mortal nor material. Mortals will disappear, and immortals, or the children of God, will appear as the only and eternal verities of man. Mortals are not fallen children of God. They never had a perfect state of being, which may subsequently be regained. They were, from the beginning of mortal history, “conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity.” Mortality is finally swallowed up in immortality. Sin, sickness, and death must disappear to give place to the facts which belong to immortal man.
Learn this, O mortal, and earnestly seek the spiritual status of man, which is outside of all material selfhood. Remember that the Scriptures say of mortal man: “As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.”
The kingdom within
When speaking of God’s children, not the children of men, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you;” that is, Truth and Love reign in the real man, showing that man in God’s image is unfallen and eternal. Jesus beheld in Science the per-
fect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy. Man is not a material habitation for Soul; he is himself spiritual. Soul, being Spirit, is seen in nothing imperfect nor material.
Material body never God’s idea
Whatever is material is mortal. To the five corporeal senses, man appears to be matter and mind united; but Christian Science reveals man as the idea of God, and declares the corporeal senses to be mortal and erring illusions. Divine Science shows it to be impossible that a material body, though interwoven with matter’s highest stratum, misnamed mind, should be man, — the genuine and perfect man, the immortal idea of being, indestructible and eternal. Were it otherwise, man would be annihilated.
Reflection of Spirit
Question. — What are body and Soul? Answer. — Identity is the reflection of Spirit, the reflection in multifarious forms of the living Principle, Love. Soul is the substance, Life, and intelligence of man, which is individualized, but not in matter. Soul can never reflect anything inferior to Spirit.
Man inseparable from Spirit
Man is the expression of Soul. The Indians caught some glimpses of the underlying reality, when they called a certain beautiful lake “the smile of the Great Spirit.” Separated from man, who expresses Soul, Spirit would be a nonentity; man, divorced from Spirit, would lose his entity. But there is,
there can be, no such division, for man is coexistent with God.
A vacant domicile
What evidence of Soul or of immortality have you within mortality? Even according to the teachings of natural science, man has never beheld Spirit or Soul leaving a body or entering it. What basis is there for the theory of indwelling spirit, except the claim of mortal belief? What would be thought of the declaration that a house was inhabited, and by a certain class of persons, when no such persons were ever seen to go into the house or to come out of it, nor were they even visible through the windows? Who can see a soul in the body?
Question. — Does brain think, and do nerves feel, and is there intelligence in matter? Answer. — No, not if God is true and mortal man a liar. The assertion that there can be pain or pleasure in matter is erroneous. That body is most harmonious in which the discharge of the natural functions is least noticeable. How can intelligence dwell in matter when matter is non-intelligent and brain-lobes cannot think? Matter cannot perform the functions of Mind. Error says, “I am man;” but this belief is mortal and far from actual. From beginning to end, whatever is mortal is composed of material human beliefs and of nothing else. That only is real which reflects God. St. Paul said, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, . . . I conferred not with flesh and blood.”
Mortal man is really a self-contradictory phrase, for man is not mortal, “neither indeed can be;” man is im-
mortal. If a child is the offspring of physical sense and not of Soul, the child must have a material, not a spiritual origin. With what truth, then, could the Scriptural rejoicing be uttered by any mother, “I have gotten a man from the Lord”? On the contrary, if aught comes from God, it cannot be mortal and material; it must be immortal and spiritual.
Matter’s supposed selfhood
Matter is neither self-existent nor a product of Spirit. An image of mortal thought, reflected on the retina, is all that the eye beholds. Matter cannot see, feel, hear, taste, nor smell. It is not selfcognizant, — cannot feel itself, see itself, nor understand itself. Take away so-called mortal mind, which constitutes matter’s supposed selfhood, and matter can take no cognizance of matter. Does that which we call dead ever see, hear, feel, or use any of the physical senses?
Chaos and darkness
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” (Genesis i. 1, 2.) In the vast forever, in the Science and truth of being, the only facts are Spirit and its innumerable creations. Darkness and chaos are the imaginary opposites of light, understanding, and eternal harmony, and they are the elements of nothingness.
We admit that black is not a color, because it reflects no light. So evil should be denied identity or power, because it has none of the divine hues. Paul says: “For the invisible things of Him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made.” (Romans i. 20.)
When the substance of Spirit appears in Christian Science, the nothingness of matter is recognized. Where the spirit of God is, and there is no place where God is not, evil becomes nothing, — the opposite of the something of Spirit. If there is no spiritual reflection, then there remains only the darkness of vacuity and not a trace of heavenly tints.
Harmony from Spirit
Nerves are an element of the belief that there is sensation in matter, whereas matter is devoid of sensation. Consciousness, as well as action, is governed by Mind, — is in God, the origin and governor of all that Science reveals. Material sense has its realm apart from Science in the unreal. Harmonious action proceeds from Spirit, God. inharmony has no Principle; its action is erroneous and presupposes man to be in matter. Inharmony would make matter the cause as well as the effect of intelligence, or Soul, thus attempting to separate Mind from God.
Man is not God, and God is not man. Again, God, or good, never made man capable of sin. It is the opposite of good — that is, evil — which seems to make men capable of wrong-doing. Hence, evil is but an illusion, and it has no real basis. Evil is a false belief. God is not its author. The supposititious parent of evil is a lie.
Vapor and nothingness
The Bible declares: “All things were made by Him [the divine Word]; and without Him was not anything, made that was made.” This is the eternal verity of divine Science. If sin, sickness, death were understood as nothingness, they would disappear. As vapor melts before the sun, so evil would vanish before the reality of good. One must hide the
other. How important, then, to choose good as the reality! Man is tributary to God, Spirit, and to nothing else. God’s being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Like the archpriests of yore, man is free “to enter into the holiest,” — the realm of God.
The fruit forbidden
Material sense never helps mortals to understand Spirit, God. Through spiritual sense only, man comprehends and loves Deity. The various contradictions of the Science of Mind by the material senses do not change the unseen Truth, which remains forever intact. The forbidden fruit of knowledge, against which wisdom warns man, is the testimony of error, declaring existence to be at the mercy of death, and good and evil to be capable of commingling. This is the significance of the Scripture concerning this “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” — this growth of material belief, of which it is said: “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Human hypotheses first assume the reality of sickness, sin, and death, and then assume the necessity of these evils because of their admitted actuality. These human verdicts are the procurers of all discord.
Sense and pure Soul
If Soul sins, it must be mortal. Sin has the elements of self-destruction. It cannot sustain itself. If sin is supported, God must uphold it, and this is impossible, since Truth cannot support error. Soul is the divine Principle of man and never sins, — hence the immortality of Soul. In Science we learn that it is material sense, not Soul, which sins; and it will be found that it is the sense of sin which is lost, and not a sinful soul. When reading the Scriptures, the substitu-
tion of the word sense for soul gives the exact meaning in a majority of cases.
Human thought has adulterated the meaning of the word soul through the hypothesis that soul is both an evil and a good intelligence, resident in matter. The proper use of the word soul can always be gained by substituting the word God, where the deific meaning is required. In other cases, use the word sense, and you will have the scientific signification. As used in Christian Science, Soul is properly the synonym of Spirit, or God; but out of Science, soul is identical with sense, with material sensation.
Sonship of Jesus
Question. — Is it important to understand these explanations in order to heal the sick? Answer. — It is, since Christ is “the way” and the truth casting out all error. Jesus called himself ” the Son of man,” but not the son of Joseph. As woman is but a species of the genera, he was literally the Son of Man. Jesus was the highest human concept of the perfect man. He was inseparable from Christ, the Messiah, — the divine idea of God outside the flesh. This enabled Jesus to demonstrate his control over matter. Angels announced to the Wisemen of old this dual appearing, and angels whisper it, through faith, to the hungering heart in every age.
Sickness is part of the error which Truth casts out. Error will not expel error. Christian Science is the law of Truth, which heals the sick, on the basis of the one Mind or God. It can heal in no other way, since the human, mortal mind so-called is not a healer, but causes the belief in disease.
True healing transcendent
Then comes the question, how do drugs, hygiene, and animal magnetism heal? It may be affirmed that they do not heal, but only relieve suffering temporarily, exchanging one disease for another. We classify disease as error, which nothing but Truth or Mind can heal, and this Mind must be divine, not human. Mind transcends all other power, and will ultimately supersede all other means in healing. In order to heal by Science, you must not be ignorant of the moral and spiritual demands of Science nor disobey them. Moral ignorance or sin affects your demonstration, and hinders its approach to the standard in Christian Science.
Terms adopted by the author
After the author’s sacred discovery, she affixed the name “Science” to Christianity, the name “error” to corporeal sense, and the name “substance” to Mind. Science has called the world to battle over this issue and its demonstration, which heals the sick, destroys error, and reveals the universal harmony. To those natural Christian Scientists, the ancient worthies, and to Christ Jesus, God certainly revealed the spirit of Christian Science, if not the absolute letter.
Science the way
Because the Science of Mind seems to bring into dishonor the ordinary scientific schools, which wrestle with material observations alone, this Science has met with opposition; but if any system honors God, it ought to receive aid, not opposition, from all thinking persons. And Christian Science does honor God as no other theory honors Him, and it does this in the way of His appointing, by doing many wonderful works through the divine name and nature. One must fulfil one’s mission without timidity or dissimulation, for to be well done, the work must be done unselfishly. Christianity
will never be based on a divine Principle and so found to be unerring, until its absolute Science is reached. When this is accomplished, neither pride, prejudice, bigotry, nor envy can wash away its foundation, for it is built upon the rock, Christ.
Question. — Does Christian Science, or metaphysical healing, include medication, material hygiene, mesmerism, hypnotism, theosophy, or spiritualism? Answer. — Not one of them is included in it. In divine Science, the supposed laws of matter yield to the law of Mind. What are termed natural science and material laws are the objective states of mortal mind. The physical universe expresses the conscious and unconscious thoughts of mortals. Physical force and mortal mind are one. Drugs and hygiene oppose the supremacy of the divine Mind. Drugs and inert matter are unconscious, mindless. Certain results, supposed to proceed from drugs, are really caused by the faith in them which the false human consciousness is educated to feel.
Animal magnetism error
Mesmerism is mortal, material illusion. Animal magnetism is the voluntary or involuntary action of error in all its forms; it is the human antipode of divine Science. Science must triumph over material sense, and Truth over error, thus putting an end to the hypotheses involved in all false theories and practices.
Error only ephemeral
Question. — Is materiality the concomitant of spirituality, and is material sense a necessary preliminary to the understanding and expression of Spirit?
Answer. — If error is necessary to define or to reveal Truth, the answer is yes; but not otherwise. Material sense is an absurd phrase, for matter has no sensation. Science declares that Mind, not matter, sees, hears, feels, speaks. Whatever contradicts this statement is the false sense, which ever betrays mortals into sickness, sin, and death. If the unimportant and evil appear, only soon to disappear because of their uselessness or their iniquity, then these ephemeral views of error ought to be obliterated by Truth. Why malign Christian Science for instructing mortals how to make sin, disease, and death appear more and more unreal?
Emerge gently from matter into Spirit. Think not to thwart the spiritual ultimate of all things, but come naturally into Spirit through better health and morals and as the result of spiritual growth. Not death, but the understanding of Life, makes man immortal. The belief that life can be in matter or soul in body, and that man springs from dust or from an egg, is the result of the mortal error which Christ, or Truth, destroys by fulfilling the spiritual law of being, in which man is perfect, even as the “Father which is in heaven is perfect.” If thought yields its dominion to other ‘ powers, it cannot outline on the body its own beautiful images, but it effaces them and delineates foreign agents, called disease and sin.
The heathen gods of mythology controlled war and agriculture as much as nerves control sensation or muscles measure strength. To say that strength is in matter, is like saying that the power is in the lever. The notion of any life or intelli-
gence in matter is without foundation in fact, and you can have no faith in falsehood when you have learned falsehood’s true nature.
Sense versus Soul
Suppose one accident happens to the eye, another to the ear, and so on, until every corporeal sense is quenched. What is man’s remedy? To die, that he may regain these senses? Even then he must gain spiritual understanding and spiritual sense in order to possess immortal consciousness. Earth’s preparatory school must be improved to the utmost. In reality man never dies. The belief that he dies will not establish his scientific harmony. Death is not the result of Truth but of error, and one error will not correct another.
Death an error
Jesus proved by the prints of the nails, that his body was the same immediately after death as before. If death restores sight, sound, and strength to man, then death is not an enemy but a better friend than Life. Alas for the blindness of belief, which makes harmony conditional upon death and matter, and yet supposes Mind unable to produce harmony! So long as this error of belief remains, mortals will continue mortal in belief and subject to chance and change.
Sight, hearing, all the spiritual senses of man, are eternal. They cannot be lost. Their reality and immortality are in Spirit and understanding, not in matter, — hence their permanence. If this were not so, man would be speedily annihilated. If the five corporeal senses were the medium through which to understand God, then palsy, blindness, and deafness would place man in a terrible situation, where he would be like those “having no hope, and without God in the world;” but as a matter of fact, these calamities often
drive mortals to seek and to find a higher sense of happiness and existence.
Exercise of Mind-faculties
Life is deathless. Life is the origin and ultimate of man, never attainable through death, but gained by walking in the pathway of Truth both before and after that which is called death. There is more Christianity in seeing and hearing spiritually than materially. There is more Science in the perpetual exercise of the Mind-faculties than in their loss. Lost they cannot be, while Mind remains. The apprehension of this gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf centuries ago, and it will repeat the wonder.
Understanding versus belief
Question. — You speak of belief. Who or what is it that believes? Answer. — Spirit is all-knowing; this precludes the need of believing. Matter cannot believe, and Mind understands. The body cannot believe. The believer and belief are one and are mortal. Christian evidence is founded on Science or demonstrable Truth, flowing from immortal Mind, and there is in reality no such thing as mortal mind. Mere belief is blindness without Principle from which to explain the reason of its hope. The belief that life is sentient and intelligent matter is erroneous.
The Apostle James said, “Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” The understanding that Life is God, Spirit, lengthens our days by strengthening our trust in the deathless reality of Life, its almightiness and immortality.
Confirmation by healing
This faith relies upon an understood Principle. This Principle makes whole the diseased, and brings out the
enduring and harmonious phases of things. The result of our teachings is their sufficient confirmation. When, on the strength of these instructions, you are able to banish a severe malady, the cure shows that you understand this teaching, and therefore you receive the blessing of Truth.
Belief and firm trust
The Hebrew and Greek words often translated belief differ somewhat in meaning from that conveyed by the English verb believe; they have more the significance of faith, understanding, trust, constancy, firmness. Hence the Scriptures often appear in our common version to approve and endorse belief, when they mean to enforce the necessity of understanding.
All faculties from Mind
Question. — Do the five corporeal senses constitute man? Answer. — Christian Science sustains with immortal proof the impossibility of any material sense, and defines these so-called senses as mortal beliefs, the testimony of which cannot be true either of man or of his Maker. The corporeal senses can take no cognizance of spiritual reality and immortality. Nerves have no more sensation, apart from what belief bestows upon them, than the fibres of a plant. Mind alone possesses all faculties, perception, and comprehension. Therefore mental endowments are not at the mercy of organization and decomposition, — otherwise the very worms could unfashion man. If it were possible for the real senses of man to be injured, Soul could reproduce them in all their perfection; but they cannot be disturbed nor destroyed, since they exist in immortal Mind, not in matter.
Possibilities of Life
The less mind there is manifested in matter the better. When the unthinking lobster loses its claw, the claw grows again. If the Science of Life were understood, it would be found that the senses of Mind are never lost and that matter has no sensation. Then the human limb would be replaced as readily as the lobster’s claw, — not with an artificial limb, but with the genuine one. Any hypothesis which supposes life to be in matter is an educated belief. In infancy this belief is not equal to guiding the hand to the mouth; and as consciousness develops, this belief goes out, — yields to the reality of everlasting Life.
Corporeal sense defrauds and lies; it breaks all the commands of the Mosaic Decalogue to meet its own demands. How then can this sense be the Godgiven channel to man of divine blessings or understanding? How can man, reflecting God, be dependent on material means for knowing, hearing, seeing? Who dares to say that the senses of man can be at one time the medium for sinning against God, at another the medium for obeying God? An affirmative reply would contradict the Scripture, for the same fountain sendeth not forth sweet waters and bitter.
Organic construction valueless
The corporeal senses are the only source of evil or error. Christian Science shows them to be false, because matter has no sensation, and no organic construction can give it hearing and sight nor make it the medium of Mind. Outside the material sense of things, all is harmony. A wrong sense of God, man, and creation is non-sense, want of sense. Mortal belief would have the material senses sometimes good and sometimes bad. It assures mortals that there
is real pleasure in sin; but the grand truths of Christian Science dispute this error.
Will-power an animal propensity
Will-power is but a product of belief, and this belief commits depredations on harmony. Human will is an animal propensity, not a faculty of Soul. Hence it cannot govern man aright. Christian Science reveals Truth and Love as the motive-powers of man. Will — blind, stubborn, and headlong — cooperates with appetite and passion. From this cooperation arises its evil. From this also comes its powerlessness, since all power belongs to God, good.
The Science of Mind needs to be understood. Until it is understood, mortals are more or less deprived of Truth. Human theories are helpless to make man harmonious or immortal, since he is so already, according to Christian Science. Our only need is to know this and reduce to practice the real man’s divine Principle, Love
True nature and origin
“Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings.” Human belief — or knowledge gained from the so-called material senses — would, by fair logic, annihilate man along with the dissolving elements of clay. The scientifically Christian explanations of the nature and origin of man destroy all material sense with immortal testimony. This immortal testimony ushers in the spiritual sense of being, which can be obtained in no other way.
Sleep an illusion
Sleep and mesmerism explain the mythical nature of material sense. Sleep shows material sense as either oblivion, nothingness, or an illusion or dream. Under the mesmeric illusion of belief, a man will think that he is freezing when he is warm, and that he
is swimming when he is on dry land. Needle-thrusts will not hurt him. A delicious perfume will seem intolerable. Animal magnetism thus uncovers material sense, and shows it to be a belief without actual foundation or validity. Change the belief, and the sensation changes. Destroy the belief, and the sensation disappears.
Man linked with Spirit
Material man is made up of involuntary and voluntary error, of a negative right and a positive wrong, the latter calling itself right. Man’s spiritual individuality is never wrong. It is the likeness of man’s Maker. Matter cannot connect mortals with the true origin and facts of being, in which all must end. It is only by acknowledging the supremacy of Spirit, which annuls the claims of matter, that mortals can lay off mortality and find the indissoluble spiritual link which establishes man forever in the divine likeness, inseparable from his creator.
Material man as a dream
The belief that matter and mind are one, — that matter is awake at one time and asleep at another, sometimes presenting no appearance of mind, — this belief culminates in another belief, that man dies. Science reveals material man as never the real being. The dream or belief goes on, whether our eyes are closed or open. In sleep, memory and consciousness are lost from the body, and they wander whither they will apparently with their own separate embodiment. Personality is not the individuality of man. A wicked man may have an attractive personality.
Spiritual existence the one fact
When we are awake, we dream of the pains and pleasures of matter. Who will say, even though he does not understand Christian Science, that this dream — rather than the dreamer — may not be mortal man? Who can rationally say otherwise,
when the dream leaves mortal man intact in body and thought, although the so-called dreamer is unconscious? For right reasoning there should be but one fact before the thought, namely, spiritual existence. In reality there is no other existence, since Life cannot be united to its unlikeness, mortality.
Mind one and all
Being is holiness, harmony, immortality. It is already proved that a knowledge of this, even in small degree, will uplift the physical and moral standard of mortals, will increase longevity, will purify and elevate character. Thus progress will finally destroy all error, and bring immortality to light. We know that a statement proved to be good must be correct. New thoughts are constantly obtaining the floor. These two contradictory theories — that matter is something, or that all is Mind — will dispute the ground, until one is acknowledged to be the victor. Discussing his campaign, General Grant said: “I propose to fight it out on this line, if it takes all summer.” Science says: All is Mind and Mind’s idea. You must fight it out on this line. Matter can afford you no aid.
The notion that mind and matter commingle in the human illusion as to sin, sickness, and death must eventually submit to the Science of Mind, which denies this notion. God is Mind, and God is infinite; hence all is Mind. On this statement rests the Science of being, and the Principle of this Science is divine, demonstrating harmony and immortality.
Victory for Truth
The conservative theory, long believed, is that there are two factors, matter and mind, uniting on some impossible basis. This theory would keep truth and error always at war. Victory would perch on neither banner.
On the other hand, Christian Science speedily shows Truth to be triumphant. To corporeal sense, the sun appears to rise and set, and the earth to stand still; but astronomical science contradicts this, and explains the solar system as working on a different plan. All the evidence of physical sense and all the knowledge obtained from physical sense must yield to Science, to the immortal truth of all things.
Question, — Will you explain sickness and show how it is to be healed? Answer. — The method of Christian Science Mind-healing is touched upon in a previous chapter entitled Christian Science Practice. A full answer to the above question involves teaching, which enables the healer to demonstrate and prove for himself the Principle and rule of Christian Science or metaphysical healing.
Mind destroys all ills
Mind must be found superior to all the beliefs of the five corporeal senses, and able to destroy all ills. Sickness is a belief, which must be annihilated by the divine Mind. Disease is an experience of so-called mortal mind. It is fear made manifest on the body. Christian Science takes away this physical sense of discord, just as it removes any other sense of moral or mental inharmony. That man is material, and that matter suffers, — these propositions can only seem real and natural in illusion. Any sense of soul in matter is not the reality of being.
If Jesus awakened Lazarus from the dream, illusion, of death, this proved that the Christ could improve on a false sense. Who dares to doubt this consummate test of the power and willingness of divine Mind to hold man forever
intact in his perfect state, and to govern man’s entire action? Jesus said: “Destroy this temple [body], and in three days I [Mind] will raise it up;” and he did this for tired humanity’s reassurance.
Inexhaustible divine Love
Is it not a species of infidelity to believe that so great a work as the Messiah’s was done for himself or for God, who needed no help from Jesus’ example to preserve the eternal harmony? But mortals did need this help, and Jesus pointed the way for them. Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need. It is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good.
Reason and Science
The miracle of grace is no miracle to Love. Jesus demonstrated the inability of corporeality, as well as the infinite ability of Spirit, thus helping erring human sense to flee from its own convictions and seek safety in divine Science. Reason, rightly directed, serves to correct the errors of corporeal sense; but sin, sickness, and death will seem real (even as the experiences of the sleeping dream seem real) until the Science of man’s eternal harmony breaks their illusion with the unbroken reality of scientific being.
Which of these two theories concerning man are you ready to accept? One is the mortal testimony, changing, dying, unreal. The other is the eternal and real evidence, bearing Truth’s signet, its lap piled high with immortal fruits.
Followers of Jesus
Our Master cast out devils (evils) and healed the sick. It should be said of his followers also, that they cast fear and all evil out of themselves and others and heal the sick.
God will heal the sick through man, whenever man is governed by God. Truth casts out error now as surely as it did nineteen centuries ago. All of Truth is not understood; hence its healing power is not fully demonstrated.
Destruction of all evil
If sickness is true or the idea of Truth, you cannot destroy sickness, and it would be absurd to try. Then classify sickness and error as our Master did, when he spoke of the sick, “whom Satan hath bound,” and find a sovereign antidote for error in the lifegiving power of Truth acting on human belief, a power which opens the prison doors to such as are bound, and sets the captive free physically and morally.
Steadfast and calm trust
When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious — as Life eternally is — can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not. Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being, and this understanding will supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony.
Rudiments and growth
Question. — How can I progress most rapidly in the understanding of Christian Science? Answer. — Study thoroughly the letter and imbibe the spirit. Adhere to the divine Principle of Christian Science and follow the behests of God, abiding steadfastly in wisdom, Truth, and Love. In the Science of Mind, you will soon ascertain
that error cannot destroy error. You will also learn that in Science there is no transfer of evil suggestions from one mortal to another, for there is but one Mind, and this ever-present omnipotent Mind is reflected by man and governs the entire universe. You will learn that in Christian Science the first duty is to obey God, to have one Mind, and to love another as yourself.
Condition of progress
We all must learn that Life is God. Ask yourself: Am I living the life that approaches the supreme good? Am I demonstrating the healing power of Truth and Love? If so then the way will grow brighter “unto the perfect day.” Your fruits will prove what the understanding of God brings to man. Hold perpetually this thought, — that it is the spiritual idea, the Holy Ghost and Christ, which enables you to demonstrate, with scientific certainty, the rule of healing, based upon its divine Principle, Love, underlying, overlying, and encompassing all true being.
Triumph over death
“The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law,” — the law of mortal belief, at war with the facts of immortal Life, even with the spiritual law which says to the grave, “Where is thy victory?” But “when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”
Question. — Have Christian Scientists any religious creed? Answer. — They have not, if by that term is meant doctrinal beliefs. The following is a brief exposition of
the important points, or religious tenets, of Christian Science: –
1. As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.
2. We acknowledge and adore one supreme and infinite God. We acknowledge His Son, one Christ; the Holy Ghost or divine Comforter; and man in God’s image and likeness.
3. We acknowledge God’s forgiveness of sin in the destruction of sin and the spiritual understanding that casts out evil as unreal. But the belief in sin is punished so long as the belief lasts.
4. We acknowledge Jesus’ atonement as the evidence of divine, efficacious Love, unfolding man’s unity with God through Christ Jesus the Way-shower; and we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ, through Truth, Life, and Love as demonstrated by the Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming sin and death.
5. We acknowledge that the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection served to uplift faith to understand eternal Life, even the allness of Soul, Spirit, and the nothingness of matter.
6. And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.