Chapter 8 — Footsteps of Truth
From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy
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- Pages 201 to 216
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Remember, Lord, the reproach of Thy servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people; wherewith Thine enemies have reproached, O Lord; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of Thine anointed. — PSALMS.
THE best sermon ever preached is Truth practised and demonstrated by the destruction of sin, sickness, and death. Knowing this and knowing too that one affection would be supreme in us and take the lead in our lives, Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters.”
We cannot build safely on false foundations. Truth makes a new creature, in whom old things pass away and “all things are become new.” Passions, selfishness, false appetites, hatred, fear, all sensuality, yield to spirituality, and the superabundance of being is on the side of God, good.
The uses of truth
We cannot fill vessels already full. They must first be emptied. Let us disrobe error. Then, when the winds of God blow, we shall not hug our tatters close about us.
The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through flood-tides of Love. Christian perfection is won on no other basis.
Grafting holiness upon unholiness, supposing that sin
can be forgiven when it is not forsaken, is as foolish as straining out gnats and swallowing camels. The scientific unity which exists between God and man must be wrought out in life-practice, and God’s will must be universally done.
If men would bring to bear upon the study of the Science of Mind half the faith they bestow upon the so-called pains and pleasures of material sense, they would not go on from bad to worse, until disciplined by the prison and the scaffold; but the whole human family would be redeemed through the merits of Christ, — through the perception and acceptance of Truth. For this glorious result Christian Science lights the torch of spiritual understanding.
Outside of this Science all is mutable; but immortal man, in accord with the divine Principle of His being, God, neither sins, suffers, nor dies. The days of our pilgrimage will multiply instead of diminish, when God’s kingdom comes on earth; for the true way leads to life instead of to death, and earthly experience discloses the finity of error and the infinite capacities of Truth, in which God gives man dominion over all the earth.
Belief and practice
Our beliefs about a Supreme Being contradict the practice growing out of them. Error abounds where Truth should “much more abound.” We
admit that God has almighty power, is “a very present help in trouble;” and yet we rely on a drug or hypnotism to heal disease, as if senseless matter or erring mortal mind had more power than omnipotent Spirit.
Sure reward of righteousness
Common opinion admits that a man may take cold in the act of doing good, and that this cold may produce
fatal pulmonary disease; as though evil could overbear the law of Love, and check the reward for doing good. In the Science of Christianity, Mind – omnipotence — has all-power, assigns sure rewards to righteousness, and shows that matter can neither heal nor make sick, create nor destroy.
Our belief and understanding
If God were understood instead of being merely believed, this understanding would establish health. The accusation of the rabbis, “He made himself the Son of God,” was really the justification of Jesus, for to the Christian the only true spirit is Godlike. This thought incites to a more exalted worship and self-abnegation. Spiritual perception brings out the possibilities of being, destroys reliance on aught but God, and so makes man the image of his Maker in deed and in truth.
Suicide and sin
We are prone to believe either in more than one Supreme Ruler or in some power less than God. We imagine that Mind can be imprisoned in a sensuous body. When the material body has gone to ruin, when evil has overtaxed the belief of life in matter and destroyed it, then mortals believe that the deathless Principle, or Soul, escapes from matter and lives on; but this is not true. Death is not a stepping-stone to life, immortality, and bliss. The so-called sinner is a suicide. Sin kills the sinner and will continue to kill him so long as he sins. The foam and fury of illegitimate living and of fearful and doleful dying should disappear on the shore of time; then the waves of sin, sorrow, and death beat in vain.
God, divine good, does not kill a man in order to give him eternal Life, for God alone is man’s life. God is at
once the centre and circumference of being. It is evil that dies; good dies not.
Spirit the only intelligence and substance
All forms of error support the false conclusions that there is more than one Life; that material history is as real and living as spiritual history; that mortal error is as conclusively mental as immortal Truth; and that there are two separate, antagonistic entities and beings, two powers, — namely, Spirit and matter, — resulting in a third person (mortal man) who carries out the delusions of sin, sickness, and death.
The first power is admitted to be good, an intelligence or Mind called God. The so-called second power, evil, is the unlikeness of good. It cannot therefore be mind, though so called. The third power, mortal man, is a supposed mixture of the first and second antagonistic powers, intelligence and non-intelligence, of Spirit and matter.
Such theories are evidently erroneous. They can never stand the test of Science. Judging them by their fruits, they are corrupt. When will the ages understand the Ego, and realize only one God, one Mind or intelligence?
False and self-assertive theories have given sinners the notion that they can create what God cannot, — namely, sinful mortals in God’s image, thus usurping the name without the nature of the image or reflection of divine Mind; but in Science it can never be said that man has a mind of his own, distinct from God, the all Mind.
The belief that God lives in matter is pantheistic. The error, which says that Soul is in body, Mind is in matter, and good is in evil, must unsay it and cease from such
utterances; else God will continue to be hidden from humanity, and mortals will sin without knowing that they are sinning, will lean on matter instead of Spirit, stumble with lameness, drop with drunkenness, consume with disease, — all because of their blindness, their false sense concerning God and man.
When will the error of believing that there is life in matter, and that sin, sickness, and death are creations of God, be unmasked? When will it be understood that matter has neither intelligence, life, nor sensation, and that the opposite belief is the prolific source of all suffering? God created all through Mind, and made all perfect and eternal. Where then is the necessity for recreation or procreation?
Perceiving the divine image
Befogged in error (the error of believing that matter can be intelligent for good or evil), we can catch clear glimpses of God only as the mists disperse, or as they melt into such thinness that we perceive the divine image in some word or deed which indicates the true idea, — the supremacy and reality of good, the nothingness and unreality of evil.
Redemption from selfishness
When we realize that there is one Mind, the divine law of loving our neighbor as ourselves is unfolded; whereas a belief in many ruling minds hinders man’s normal drift towards the one Mind, one God, and leads human thought into opposite channels where selfishness reigns.
Selfishness tips the beam of human existence towards the side of error, not towards Truth. Denial of the oneness of Mind throws our weight into the scale, not of Spirit, God, good, but of matter.
When we fully understand our relation to the Divine,
we can have no other Mind but His, — no other Love, wisdom, or Truth, no other sense of Life, and no consciousness of the existence of matter or error.
The power of the human will should be exercised only in subordination to Truth; else it will misguide the judgment and free the lower propensities. It is the province of spiritual sense to govern man. Material, erring, human thought acts injuriously both upon the body and through it.
Will-power is capable of all evil. It can never heal the sick, for it is the prayer of the unrighteous; while the exercise of the sentiments — hope, faith, love — is the prayer of the righteous. This prayer, governed by Science instead of the senses, heals the sick.
In the scientific relation of God to man, we find that whatever blesses one blesses all, as Jesus showed with the loaves and the fishes, — Spirit, not matter, being the source of supply.
Birth and death unreal
Does God send sickness, giving the mother her child for the brief space of a few years and then taking it away by death? Is God creating anew what He has already created? The Scriptures are definite on this point, declaring that His work was finished, nothing is new to God, and that it was good.
Can there be any birth or death for man, the spiritual image and likeness of God? Instead of God sending sickness and death, He destroys them, and brings to light immortality. Omnipotent and infinite Mind made all and includes all. This Mind does not make mistakes and subsequently correct them. God does not cause man to sin, to be sick, or to die.
No evil in Spirit
There are evil beliefs, often called evil spirits; but
these evils are not Spirit, for there is no evil in Spirit. Because God is Spirit, evil becomes more apparent and obnoxious proportionately as we advance spiritually, until it disappears from our lives. This fact proves our position, for every scientific statement in Christianity has its proof. Error of statement leads to error in action.
Subordination of evil
God is not the creator of an evil mind. Indeed, evil is not Mind. We must learn that evil is the awful deception and unreality of existence. Evil is not supreme; good is not helpless; nor are the so-called laws of matter primary, and the law of Spirit secondary. Without this lesson, we lose sight of the perfect Father, or the divine Principle of man.
Body is not first and Soul last, nor is evil mightier than good. The Science of being repudiates selfevident impossibilities, such as the amalgamation of Truth and error in cause or effect. Science separates the tares and wheat in time of harvest.
One primal cause
There is but one primal cause. Therefore there can be no effect from any other cause, and there can be no reality in aught which does not proceed from this great and only cause. Sin, sickness, disease, and death belong not to the Science of being. They are the errors, which presuppose the absence of Truth, Life, or Love.
The spiritual reality is the scientific fact in all things. The spiritual fact, repeated in the action of man and the whole universe, is harmonious and is the ideal of Truth. Spiritual facts are not inverted; the opposite discord, which bears no resemblance to spirituality, is not real. The only evidence of this inversion is obtained from
suppositional error, which affords no proof of God, Spirit, or of the spiritual creation. Material sense defines all things materially, and has a finite sense of the infinite.
Seemingly independent authority
The Scriptures say, “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” What then is this seeming power, independent of God, which causes disease and cures it? What is it but an error of belief, a law of mortal mind, wrong in every sense, embracing sin, sickness, and death? It is the very antipode of immortal Mind, of Truth, and of spiritual law. It is not in accordance with the goodness of God’s character that He should make man sick, then leave man to heal himself; it is absurd to suppose that matter can both cause and cure disease, or that Spirit, God, produces disease and leaves the remedy to matter.
John Young of Edinburgh writes: “God is the father of mind, and of nothing else.” Such an utterance is “the voice of one crying in the wilderness” of human beliefs and preparing the way of Science. Let us learn of the real and eternal, and prepare for the reign of Spirit, the kingdom of heaven, — the reign and rule of universal harmony, which cannot be lost nor remain forever unseen.
Sickness as only thought
Mind, not matter, is causation. A material body only expresses a material and mortal mind. A mortal man possesses this body, and he makes it harmonious or discordant according to the images of thought impressed upon it. You embrace your body in your thought, and you should delineate upon it thoughts of health, not of sickness. You should banish all thoughts of disease and sin and of other beliefs
included in matter. Man, being immortal, has a perfect indestructible life. It is the mortal belief which makes the body discordant and diseased in proportion as ignorance, fear, or human will governs mortals.
Allness of Truth
Mind, supreme over all its formations and governing them all, is the central sun of its own systems of ideas, the life and light of all its own vast creation; and man is tributary to divine Mind. The material and mortal body or mind is not the man.
The world would collapse without Mind, without the intelligence which holds the winds in its grasp. Neither philosophy nor skepticism can hinder the march of the Science which reveals the supremacy of Mind. The immanent sense of Mind-power enhances the glory of Mind. Nearness, not distance, lends enchantment to this view.
The compounded minerals or aggregated substances composing the earth, the relations which constituent masses hold to each other, the magnitudes, distances, and revolutions of the celestial bodies, are of no real importance, when we remember that they all must give place to the spiritual fact by the translation of man and the universe back into Spirit. In proportion as this is done, man and the universe will be found harmonious and eternal.
Material substances or mundane formations, astronomical calculations, and all the paraphernalia of speculative theories, based on the hypothesis of material law or life and intelligence resident in matter, will ultimately vanish, swallowed up in the infinite calculus of Spirit.
Spiritual sense is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God. It shows the superiority of faith by works
over faith in words. Its ideas are expressed only in “new tongues;” and these are interpreted by the translation of the spiritual original into the language which human thought can comprehend.
Jesus’ disregard of matter
The Principle and proof of Christianity are discerned by spiritual sense. They are set forth in Jesus’ demonstrations, which show — by his healing the sick, casting out evils, and destroying death, “the last enemy that shall be destroyed,” — his disregard of matter and its so-called laws.
Knowing that Soul and its attributes were forever manifested through man, the Master healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, feet to the lame, thus bringing to light the scientific action of the divine Mind on human minds and bodies and giving a better understanding of Soul and salvation. Jesus healed sickness and sin by one and the same metaphysical process.
Mind not mortal
The expression mortal mind is really a solecism, for Mind is immortal, and Truth pierces the error of mortality as a sunbeam penetrates the cloud. Because, in obedience to the immutable law of Spirit, this so-called mind is self-destructive, I name it mortal. Error soweth the wind and reapeth the whirlwind.
What is termed matter, being unintelligent, cannot say, “I suffer, I die, I am sick, or I am well.” It is the socalled mortal mind which voices this and appears to itself to make good its claim. To mortal sense, sin and suffering are real, but immortal sense includes no evil nor pestilence. Because immortal sense has no error of sense, it has no sense of error; there fore it is without a destructive element.
If brain, nerves, stomach, are intelligent, — if they talk to us, tell us their condition, and report how they feel, then Spirit and matter, Truth and error, commingle and produce sickness and health, good and evil, life and death; and who shall say whether Truth or error is the greater?
The sensations of the body must either be the sensations of a so-called mortal mind or of matter. Nerves are not mind. Is it not provable that Mind is not mortal and that matter has no sensation? Is it not equally true that matter does not appear in the spiritual understanding of being?
The sensation of sickness and the impulse to sin seem to obtain in mortal mind. When a tear starts, does not this so-called mind produce the effect seen in the lachrymal gland? Without mortal mind, the tear could not appear; and this action shows the nature of all so-called material cause and effect.
It should no longer be said in Israel that “the fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” Sympathy with error should disappear. The transfer of the thoughts of one erring mind to another, Science renders impossible.
If it is true that nerves have sensation, that matter has intelligence, that the material organism causes the eyes to see and the ears to hear, then, when the body is dematerialized, these faculties must be lost, for their immortality is not in Spirit; whereas the fact is that only through dematerialization and spiritualization of thought can these faculties be conceived of as immortal.
Nerves are not the source of pain or pleasure. We
suffer or enjoy in our dreams, but this pain or pleasure is not communicated through a nerve. A tooth which has been extracted sometimes aches again in belief, and the pain seems to be in its old place. A limb which has been amputated has continued in belief to pain the owner. If the sensation of pain in the limb can return, can be prolonged, why cannot the limb reappear?
Why need pain, rather than pleasure, come to this mortal sense? Because the memory of pain is more vivid than the memory of pleasure. I have seen an unwitting attempt to scratch the end of a finger which had been cut off for months. When the nerve is gone, which we say was the occasion of pain, and the pain still remains, it proves sensation to be in the mortal mind, not in matter. Reverse the process; take away this so-called mind instead of a piece of the flesh, and the nerves have no sensation.
Mortals have a modus of their own, undirected and unsustained by God. They produce a rose through seed and soil, and bring the rose into contact with the olfactory nerves that they may smell it. In legerdemain and credulous frenzy, mortals believe that unseen spirits produce the flowers. God alone makes and clothes the lilies of the field, and this He does by means of Mind, not matter.
No miracles in Mind-methods
Because all the methods of Mind are not understood, we say the lips or hands must move in order to convey thought, that the undulations of the air convey sound, and possibly that other methods involve so-called miracles. The realities of being, its normal action, and the origin of all things are unseen to mortal sense; whereas the unreal and imitative movements of mortal belief, which would reverse the immortal
modus and action, are styled the real. Whoever contradicts this mortal mind supposition of reality is called a deceiver, or is said to be deceived. Of a man it has been said, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he;” hence as a man spiritually understandeth, so is he in truth.
Mortal mind conceives of something as either liquid or solid, and then classifies it materially. Immortal and spiritual facts exist apart from this mortal and material conception. God, good, is self-existent and self-expressed, though indefinable as a whole. Every step towards goodness is a departure from materiality, and is a tendency towards God, Spirit. Material theories partially paralyze this attraction towards infinite and eternal good by an opposite attraction towards the finite, temporary, and discordant.
Sound is a mental impression made on mortal belief. The ear does not really hear. Divine Science reveals sound as communicated through the senses of Soul — through spiritual understanding.
Music, rhythm of head and heart
Mozart experienced more than he expressed. The rapture of his grandest symphonies was never heard. He was a musician beyond what the world knew. This was even more strikingly true of Beethoven, who was so long hopelessly deaf. Mental melodies and strains of sweetest music supersede conscious sound. Music is the rhythm of head and heart. Mortal mind is the harp of many strings, discoursing either discord or harmony according as the hand, which sweeps over it, is human or divine. Before human knowledge dipped to its depths into a false sense of things, — into belief in material origins which discard the one Mind and true source of being, –
it is possible that the impressions from Truth were as distinct as sound, and that they came as sound to the primitive prophets. If the medium of hearing is wholly spiritual, it is normal and indestructible.
If Enoch’s perception had been confined to the evidence before his material senses, he could never have “walked with God,” nor been guided into the demonstration of life eternal.
Adam and the senses
Adam, represented in the Scriptures as formed from dust, is an object-lesson for the human mind. The material senses, like Adam, originate in matter and return to dust, — are proved non-intelligent. They go out as they came in, for they are still the error, not the truth of being. When it is learned that the spiritual sense, and not the material, conveys the impressions of Mind to man, then being will be understood and found to be harmonious.
We bow down to matter, and entertain finite thoughts of God like the pagan idolater. Mortals are inclined to fear and to obey what they consider a material body more than they do a spiritual God. All material knowledge, like the original “tree of knowledge,” multiplies their pains, for mortal illusions would rob God, slay man, and meanwhile would spread their table with cannibal tidbits and give thanks.
The senses of Soul
How transient a sense is mortal sight, when a wound on the retina may end the power of light and lens! But the real sight or sense is not lost. Neither age nor accident can interfere with the senses of Soul, and there are no other real senses. It is evident that the body as matter has no sensation of its own, and there is no oblivion for Soul and its faculties. Spirit’s senses are with-
out pain, and they are forever at peace. Nothing can hide from them the harmony of all things and the might and permanence of Truth.
Real being never lost
If Spirit, Soul, could sin or be lost, then being and immortality would be lost, together with all the faculties of Mind; but being cannot be lost while God exists. Soul and matter are at variance from the very necessity of their opposite natures. Mortals are unacquainted with the reality of existence, because matter and mortality do not reflect the facts of Spirit.
Spiritual vision is not subordinate to geometric altitudes. Whatever is governed by God, is never for an instant deprived of the light and might of intelligence and Life.
Light and darkness
We are sometimes led to believe that darkness is as real as light; but Science affirms darkness to be only a mortal sense of the absence of light, at the coming of which darkness loses the appearance of reality. So sin and sorrow, disease and death, are the suppositional absence of Life, God, and flee as phantoms of error before truth and love.
With its divine proof, Science reverses the evidence of material sense. Every quality and condition of mortality is lost, swallowed up in immortality. Mortal man is the antipode of immortal man in origin, in existence, and in his relation to God.
Faith of Socrates
Because he understood the superiority and immortality of good, Socrates feared not the hemlock poison. Even the faith of his philosophy spurned physical timidity. Having sought man’s spiritual state, he recognized the immortality of man. The ignorance and malice of the age would have killed the vener-
able philosopher because of his faith in Soul and his indifference to the body.
The serpent of error
Who shall say that man is alive to-day, but may be dead to-morrow? What has touched Life, God, to such strange issues? Here theories cease, and Science unveils the mystery and solves the problem of man. Error bites the heel of truth, but cannot kill truth. Truth bruises the head of error — destroys error. Spirituality lays open siege to materialism. On which side are we fighting?
Servants and masters
The understanding that the Ego is Mind, and that there is but one Mind or intelligence, begins at once to destroy the errors of mortal sense and to supply the truth of immortal sense. This understanding makes the body harmonious; it makes the nerves, bones, brain, etc., servants, instead of masters. If man is governed by the law of divine Mind, his body is in submission to everlasting Life and Truth and Love. The great mistake of mortals is to suppose that man, God’s image and likeness, is both matter and Spirit, both good and evil.
If the decision were left to the corporeal senses, evil would appear to be the master of good, and sickness to be the rule of existence, while health would seem the exception, death the inevitable, and life a paradox. Paul asked: “What concord hath Christ with Belial?” (2 Corinthians vi. 15.)
When you say, “Man’s body is material,” I say with Paul: Be “willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” Give up your material belief of mind in matter, and have but one Mind, even God; for this Mind forms its
own likeness. The loss of man’s identity through the understanding which Science confers is impossible; and the notion of such a possibility is more absurd than to conclude that individual musical tones are lost in the origin of harmony.
Medical schools may inform us that the healing work of Christian Science and Paul’s peculiar Christian conversion and experience, — which prove Mind to be scientifically distinct from matter, — are indications of unnatural mental and bodily conditions, even of catalepsy and hysteria; yet if we turn to the Scriptures, what do we read? Why, this: “If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death!” and “Henceforth know we no man after the flesh!”
Fatigue is mental
That scientific methods are superior to others, is seen by their effects. When you have once conquered a diseased condition of the body through Mind, that condition never recurs, and you have won a point in Science. When mentality gives rest to the body, the next toil will fatigue you less, for you are working out the problem of being in divine metaphysics; and in proportion as you understand the control which Mind has over so-called matter, you will be able to demonstrate this control. The scientific and permanent remedy for fatigue is to learn the power of Mind over the body or any illusion of physical weariness, and so destroy this illusion, for matter cannot be weary and heavy-laden.
You say, “Toil fatigues me.” But what is this me! Is it muscle or mind? Which is tired and so speaks? Without mind, could the muscles be tired? Do the muscles talk, or do you talk for them? Matter is non-
intelligent. Mortal mind does the false talking, and that which affirms weariness, made that weariness.
Mind never weary
You do not say a wheel is fatigued; and yet the body is as material as the wheel. If it were not for what the human mind says of the body, the body, like the inanimate wheel, would never be weary. The consciousness of Truth rests us more than hours of repose in unconsciousness.
Coalition of sin and sickness
The body is supposed to say, “I am ill.” The reports of sickness may form a coalition with the reports of sin, and say, “I am malice, lust, appetite, envy, hate.” What renders both sin and sickness difficult of cure is, that the human mind is the sinner, disinclined to self-correction, and believing that the body can be sick independently of mortal mind and that the divine Mind has no jurisdiction over the body.
Sickness akin to sin
Why pray for the recovery of the sick, if you are without faith in God’s willingness and ability to heal them? If you do believe in God, why do you substitute drugs for the Almighty’s power, and employ means which lead only into material ways of obtaining help, instead of turning in time of need to God, divine Love, who is an ever-present help?
Treat a belief in sickness as you would sin, with sudden dismissal. Resist the temptation to believe in matter as intelligent, as having sensation or power.
The Scriptures say, “They that wait upon the Lord . . . shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” The meaning of that passage is not perverted by applying it literally to moments of fatigue, for the moral and physical are as one in their results. When we wake to the truth of being, all disease,
pain, weakness, weariness, sorrow, sin, death, will be unknown, and the mortal dream will forever cease. My method of treating fatigue applies to all bodily ailments, since Mind should be, and is, supreme, absolute, and final.
Affirmation and result
In mathematics, we do not multiply when we should subtract, and then say the product is correct. No more can we say in Science that muscles give strength, that nerves give pain or pleasure, or that matter governs, and then expect that the result will be harmony. Not muscles, nerves, nor bones, but mortal mind makes the whole body “sick, and the whole heart faint;” whereas divine Mind heals.
When this is understood, we shall never affirm concerning the body what we do not wish to have manifested. We shall not call the body weak, if we would have it strong; for the belief in feebleness must obtain in the human mind before it can be made manifest on the body, and the destruction of the belief will be the removal of its effects. Science includes no rule of discord, but governs harmoniously. “The wish,” says the poet, “is ever father to the thought.”
We may hear a sweet melody, and yet misunderstand the science that governs it. Those who are healed through metaphysical Science, not comprehending the Principle of the cure, may misunderstand it, and impute their recovery to change of air or diet, not rendering to God the honor due to Him alone. Entire immunity from the belief in sin, suffering, and death may not be reached at this period, but we may look for an abatement of these evils; and this scientific beginning is in the right direction.
We hear it said: ” I exercise daily in the open air. I take cold baths, in order to overcome a predisposition to take cold; and yet I have continual colds, catarrh, and cough.” Such admissions ought to open people’s eyes to the inefficacy of material hygiene, and induce sufferers to look in other directions for cause and cure.
Instinct is better than misguided reason, as even nature declares. The violet lifts her blue eye to greet the early spring. The leaves clap their hands as nature’s untired worshippers. The snowbird sings and soars amid the blasts; he has no catarrh from wet feet, and procures a summer residence with more ease than a nabob. The atmosphere of the earth, kinder than the atmosphere of mortal mind, leaves catarrh to the latter. Colds, coughs, and contagion are engendered solely by human theories.
The reflex phenomena
Mortal mind produces its own phenomena, and then charges them to something else, — like a kitten glancing into the mirror at itself and thinking it sees another kitten.
A clergyman once adopted a diet of bread and water to increase his spirituality. Finding his health failing, he gave up his abstinence, and advised others never to try dietetics for growth in grace.
The belief that either fasting or feasting makes men better morally or physically is one of the fruits of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” concerning which God said, “Thou shalt not eat of it.” Mortal mind forms all conditions of the mortal body, and controls the stomach, bones, lungs, heart, blood, etc., as directly as the volition or will moves the hand.
Starvation and dyspepsia
I knew a person who when quite a child adopted the Graham system to cure dyspepsia. For many years, he ate only bread and vegetables, and drank nothing but water. His dyspepsia increasing, he decided that his diet should be more rigid, and thereafter he partook of but one meal in twenty-four hours, this meal consisting of only a thin slice of bread without water. His physician also recommended that he should not wet his parched throat until three hours after eating. He passed many weary years in hunger and weakness, almost in starvation, and finally made up his mind to die, having exhausted the skill of the doctors, who kindly informed him that death was indeed his only alternative. At this point Christian Science saved him, and he is now in perfect health without a vestige of the old complaint.
He learned that suffering and disease were the selfimposed beliefs of mortals, and not the facts of being; that God never decreed disease, — never ordained a law that fasting should be a means of health. Hence semistarvation is not acceptable to wisdom, and it is equally far from Science, in which being is sustained by God, Mind. These truths, opening his eyes, relieved his stomach, and he ate without suffering, “giving God thanks;” but he never enjoyed his food as he had imagined he would when, still the slave of matter, he thought of the fleshpots of Egypt, feeling childhood’s hunger and undisciplined by self-denial and divine Science.
Mind and stomach
This new-born understanding, that neither food nor the stomach, without the consent of mortal mind, can make one suffer, brings with it another lesson, — that gluttony is a sensual illusion, and
that this phantasm of mortal mind disappears as we better apprehend our spiritual existence and ascend the ladder of life.
This person learned that food affects the body only as mortal mind has its material methods of working, one of which is to believe that proper food supplies nutriment and strength to the human system. He learned also that mortal mind makes a mortal body, whereas Truth regenerates this fleshly mind and feeds thought with the bread of Life.
Food had less power to help or to hurt him after he had availed himself of the fact that Mind governs man, and he also had less faith in the so-called pleasures and pains of matter. Taking less thought about what he should eat or drink, consulting the stomach less about the economy of living and God more, he recovered strength and flesh rapidly. For many years he had been kept alive, as was believed, only by the strictest adherence to hygiene and drugs, and yet he continued ill all the while. Now he dropped drugs and material hygiene, and was well.
He learned that a dyspeptic was very far from being the image and likeness of God, — far from having “dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle,” if eating a bit of animal flesh could overpower him. He finally concluded that God never made a dyspeptic, while fear, hygiene, physiology, and physics had made him one, contrary to His commands.
Life only in Spirit
In seeking a cure for dyspepsia consult matter not at all, and eat what is set before you, “asking no question for conscience sake.” We must destroy the false belief that life and intelligence are in
matter, and plant ourselves upon what is pure and perfect. Paul said, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Sooner or later we shall learn that the fetters of man’s finite capacity are forged by the illusion that he lives in body instead of in Soul, in matter instead of in Spirit.
Soul greater than body
Matter does not express Spirit. God is infinite omnipresent Spirit. If Spirit is all and is everywhere, what and where is matter? Remember that truth is greater than error, and we cannot put the greater into the less. Soul is Spirit, and Spirit is greater than body. If Spirit were once within the body, Spirit would be finite, and therefore could not be Spirit.
The question of the ages
The question, “What is Truth,” convulses the world. Many are ready to meet this inquiry with the assurance which comes of understanding; but more are blinded by their old illusions, and try to “give it pause.” “If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”
The efforts of error to answer this question by some ology are vain. Spiritual rationality and free thought accompany approaching Science, and cannot be put down. They will emancipate humanity, and supplant unscientific means and so-called laws.
Heralds of Science
Peals that should startle the slumbering thought from its erroneous dream are partially unheeded; but the last trump has not sounded, or this would not be so. Marvels, calamities, and sin will much more abound as truth urges upon mortals its resisted claims; but the awful daring of sin destroys sin, and foreshadows the triumph of truth. God will overturn, until “He come whose right it is.” Longevity
is increasing and the power of sin diminishing, for the world feels the alterative effect of truth through every pore.
As the crude footprints of the past disappear from the dissolving paths of the present, we shall better understand the Science which governs these changes, and shall plant our feet on firmer ground. Every sensuous pleasure or pain is self-destroyed through suffering. There should be painless progress, attended by life and peace instead of discord and death.
Sectarianism and opposition
In the record of nineteen centuries, there are sects many but not enough Christianity. Centuries ago religionists were ready to hail an anthropomorphic God, and array His vicegerent with pomp and splendor; but this was not the manner of truth’s appearing. Of old the cross was truth’s central sign, and it is to-day. The modern lash is less material than the Roman scourge, but it is equally as cutting. Cold disdain, stubborn resistance, opposition from church, state laws, and the press, are still the harbingers of truth’s full-orbed appearing.
A higher and more practical Christianity, demonstrating justice and meeting the needs of mortals in sickness and in health, stands at the door of this age, knocking for admission. Will you open or close the door upon this angel visitant, who cometh in the quiet of meekness, as he came of old to the patriarch at noonday?
Truth brings the elements of liberty. On its banner is the Soul-inspired motto, “Slavery is abolished.” The power of God brings deliverance to the captive. No power can withstand divine Love. What is this supposed power, which opposes itself to God?
Whence cometh it? What is it that binds man with iron shackles to sin, sickness, and death? Whatever enslaves man is opposed to the divine government. Truth makes man free.
You may know when first Truth leads by the fewness and faithfulness of its followers. Thus it is that the march of time bears onward freedom’s banner. The powers of this world will fight, and will command their sentinels not to let truth pass the guard until it subscribes to their systems; but Science, heeding not the pointed bayonet, marches on. There is always some tumult, but there is a rallying to truth’s standard.
The history of our country, like all history, illustrates the might of Mind, and shows human power to be proportionate to its embodiment of right thinking. A few immortal sentences, breathing the omnipotence of divine justice, have been potent to break despotic fetters and abolish the whipping-post and slave market; but oppression neither went down in blood, nor did the breath of freedom come from the cannon’s mouth. Love is the liberator.
Legally to abolish unpaid servitude in the United States was hard; but the abolition of mental slavery is a more difficult task. The despotic tendencies, inherent in mortal mind and always germinating in new forms of tyranny, must be rooted out through the action of the divine Mind.
Men and women of all climes and races are still in bondage to material sense, ignorant how to obtain their freedom. The rights of man were vindicated in a single section and on the lowest plane of human life, when Afri-
can slavery was abolished in our land. That was only prophetic of further steps towards the banishment of a world-wide slavery, found on higher planes of existence and under more subtle and depraving forms.
The voice of God in behalf of the African slave was still echoing in our land, when the voice of the herald of this new crusade sounded the keynote of universal freedom, asking a fuller acknowledgment of the rights of man as a Son of God, demanding that the fetters of sin, sickness, and death be stricken from the human mind and that its freedom be won, not through human warfare, not with bayonet and blood, but through Christ’s divine Science.
God has built a higher platform of human rights, and He has built it on diviner claims. These claims are not made through code or creed, but in demonstration of “on earth peace, good-will toward men.” Human codes, scholastic theology, material medicine and hygiene, fetter faith and spiritual understanding. Divine Science rends asunder these fetters, and man’s birthright of sole allegiance to his Maker asserts itself.
I saw before me the sick, wearing out years of servitude to an unreal master in the belief that the body governed them, rather than Mind.
House of bondage
The lame, the deaf, the dumb, the blind, the sick, the sensual, the sinner, I wished to save from the slavery of their own beliefs and from the educational systems of the Pharaohs, who to-day, as of yore, hold the children of Israel in bondage. I saw before me the awful conflict, the Red Sea and the wilderness; but I pressed on through faith in God, trusting Truth, the strong deliverer, to guide me into the land
of Christian Science, where fetters fall and the rights of man are fully known and acknowledged.
Higher law ends bondage
I saw that the law of mortal belief included all error, and that, even as oppressive laws are disputed and mortals are taught their right to freedom, so the claims of the enslaving senses must be denied and superseded. The law of the divine Mind must end human bondage, or mortals will continue unaware of man’s inalienable rights and in subjection to hopeless slavery, because some public teachers permit an ignorance of divine power, — an ignorance that is the foundation of continued bondage and of human suffering.
Discerning the rights of man, we cannot fail to foresee the doom of all oppression. Slavery is not the legitimate state of man. God made man free. Paul said, “I was free born.” All men should be free. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Love and Truth make free, but evil and error lead into captivity.
Standard of liberty
Christian Science raises the standard of liberty and cries: “Follow me! Escape from the bondage of sickness, sin, and death!” Jesus marked out the way. Citizens of the world, accept the “glorious liberty of the children of God,” and be free! This is your divine right. The illusion of material sense, not divine law, has bound you, entangled your free limbs, crippled your capacities, enfeebled your body, and defaced the tablet of your being.
If God had instituted material laws to govern man, disobedience to which would have made man ill, Jesus would not have disregarded those laws by healing in
direct opposition to them and in defiance of all material conditions.
No fleshly heredity
The transmission of disease or of certain idiosyncrasies of mortal mind would be impossible if this great fact of being were learned, — namely, that nothing inharmonious can enter being, for Life is God. Heredity is a prolific subject for mortal belief to pin theories upon; but if we learn that nothing is real but the right, we shall have no dangerous inheritances, and fleshly ills will disappear.
The enslavement of man is not legitimate. It will cease when man enters into his heritage of freedom, his God-given dominion over the material senses. Mortals will some day assert their freedom in the name of Almighty God. Then they will control their own bodies through the understanding of divine Science. Dropping their present beliefs, they will recognize harmony as the spiritual reality and discord as the material unreality.
If we follow the command of our Master, “Take no thought for your life,” we shall never depend on bodily conditions, structure, or economy, but we shall be masters of the body, dictate its terms, and form and control it with Truth.
Priestly pride humbled
There is no power apart from God. Omnipotence has all-power, and to acknowledge any other power is to dishonor God. The humble Nazarene overthrew the supposition that sin, sickness, and death have power. He proved them powerless. It should have humbled the pride of the priests, when they saw the demonstration of Christianity excel the influence of their dead faith and ceremonies.
If Mind is not the master of sin, sickness, and death, they are immortal, for it is already proved that matter has not destroyed them, but is their basis and support.
No union of opposites
We should hesitate to say that Jehovah sins or suffers; but if sin and suffering are realities of being, whence did they emanate? God made all that was made, and Mind signifies God, — infinity, not finity. Not far removed from infidelity is the belief which unites such opposites as sickness and health, holiness and unholiness, calls both the offspring of spirit, and at the same time admits that Spirit is God, — virtually declaring Him good in one instance and evil in another.
By universal consent, mortal belief has constituted itself a law to bind mortals to sickness, sin, and death. This customary belief is misnamed material law, and the individual who upholds it is mistaken in theory and in practice. The so-called law of mortal mind, conjectural and speculative, is made void by the law of immortal Mind, and false law should be trampled under foot.
Sickness from mortal mind
If God causes man to be sick, sickness must be good, and its opposite, health, must be evil, for all that He makes is good and will stand forever. If the transgression of God’s law produces sickness, it is right to be sick; and we cannot if we would, and should not if we could, annul the decrees of wisdom. It is the transgression of a belief of mortal mind, not of a law of matter nor of divine Mind, which causes the belief of sickness. The remedy is Truth, not matter, — the truth that disease is unreal.
If sickness is real, it belongs to immortality; if true, it is a part of Truth. Would you attempt with drugs, or without, to destroy a quality or condition of Truth? But if sickness and sin are illusions, the awakening from this mortal dream, or illusion, will bring us into health, holiness, and immortality. This awakening is the forever coming of Christ, the advanced appearing of Truth, which casts out error and heals the sick. This is the salvation which comes through God, the divine Principle, Love, as demonstrated by Jesus.
God never inconsistent
It would be contrary to our highest ideas of God to suppose Him capable of first arranging law and causation so as to bring about certain evil results, and then punishing the helpless victims of His volition for doing what they could not avoid doing. Good is not, cannot be, the author of experimental sins. God, good, can no more produce sickness than goodness can cause evil and health occasion disease.
Does wisdom make blunders which must afterwards be rectified by man? Does a law of God produce sickness, and can man put that law under his feet by healing sickness? According to Holy Writ, the sick are never really healed by drugs, hygiene, or any material method. These merely evade the question. They are soothing syrups to put children to sleep, satisfy mortal belief, and quiet fear.
The true healing
We think that we are healed when a disease disappears, though it is liable to reappear; but we are never thoroughly healed until the liability to be ill is removed. So-called mortal mind or the mind of mortals being the remote, predisposing, and the exciting cause of all suffering, the cause of disease
must be obliterated through Christ in divine Science, or the so-called physical senses will get the victory.
Destruction of all evil
Unless an ill is rightly met and fairly overcome by Truth, the ill is never conquered. If God destroys not sin, sickness, and death, they are not destroyed in the mind of mortals, but seem to this so-called mind to be immortal. What God cannot do, man need not attempt. If God heals not the sick, they are not healed, for no lesser power equals the infinite All-power; but God, Truth, Life, Love, does heal the sick through the prayer of the righteous.
If God makes sin, if good produces evil, if truth results in error, then Science and Christianity are helpless; but there are no antagonistic powers nor laws, spiritual or material, creating and governing man through perpetual warfare. God is not the author of mortal discords. Therefore we accept the conclusion that discords have only a fabulous existence, are mortal beliefs which divine Truth and Love destroy.
Superiority to sickness and sin
To hold yourself superior to sin, because God made you superior to it and governs man, is true wisdom. To fear sin is to misunderstand the power of Love and the divine Science of being in man’s relation to God, — to doubt His government and distrust His omnipotent care. To hold yourself superior to sickness and death is equally wise, and is in accordance with divine Science. To fear them is impossible, when you fully apprehend God and know that they are no part of His creation.
Man, governed by his Maker, having no other Mind, — planted on the Evangelist’s statement that “all things were made by Him [the Word of God]; and without
Him was not anything made that was made,” — can triumph over sin, sickness, and death.
Denials of divine power
Many theories relative to God and man neither make man harmonious nor God lovable. The beliefs we commonly entertain about happiness and life afford no scatheless and permanent evidence of either. Security for the claims of harmonious and eternal being is found only in divine Science.
Scripture informs us that “with God all things are possible,” — all good is possible to Spirit; but our prevalent theories practically deny this, and make healing possible only through matter. These theories must be untrue, for the Scripture is true. Christianity is not false, but religions which contradict its Principle are false.
In our age Christianity is again demonstrating the power of divine Principle, as it did over nineteen hundred years ago, by healing the sick and triumphing over death. Jesus never taught that drugs, food, air, and exercise could make a man healthy, or that they could destroy human life; nor did he illustrate these errors by his practice. He referred man’s harmony to Mind, not to matter, and never tried to make of none effect the sentence of God, which sealed God’s condemnation of sin, sickness, and death.
In the sacred sanctuary of Truth are voices of solemn import, but we heed them not. It is only when the so-called pleasures and pains of sense pass away in our lives, that we find unquestionable signs of the burial of error and the resurrection to spiritual life.
Profession and proof
There is neither place nor opportunity in Science for error
of any sort. Every day makes its demands upon us for higher proofs rather than professions of Christian power. These proofs consist solely in the destruction of sin, sickness, and death by the power of Spirit, as Jesus destroyed them. This is an element of progress, and progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfil.
Perfection gained slowly
In the midst of imperfection, perfection is seen and acknowledged only by degrees. The ages must slowly work up to perfection. How long it must be before we arrive at the demonstration of scientific being, no man knoweth, — not even “the Son but the Father;” but the false claim of error continues its delusions until the goal of goodness is assiduously earned and won.
Already the shadow of His right hand rests upon the hour. Ye who can discern the face of the sky, — the sign material, — how much more should ye discern the sign mental, and compass the destruction of sin and sickness by overcoming the thoughts which produce them, and by understanding the spiritual idea which corrects and destroys them. To reveal this truth was our Master’s mission to all mankind, including the hearts which rejected him.
Efficacy of truth
When numbers have been divided according to a fixed rule, the quotient is not more unquestionable than the scientific tests I have made of the effects of truth upon the sick. The counter fact relative to any disease is required to cure it. The utterance of truth is designed to rebuke and destroy error. Why should truth not be efficient in sickness, which is solely the result of inharmony?
Spiritual draughts heal, while material lotions interfere with truth, even as ritualism and creed hamper spirituality. If we trust matter, we distrust Spirit.
Crumbs of comfort
Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love — be it song, sermon, or Science — blesses the human family with crumbs of comfort from Christ’s table feeding the hungry and giving living waters to the thirsty.
Hospitality to health and good
We should become more familiar with good than with evil, and guard against false beliefs as watchfully as we bar our doors against the approach of thieves and murderers. We should love our enemies and help them on the basis of the Golden Rule; but avoid casting pearls before those who trample them under foot, thereby robbing both themselves and others.
Cleansing the mind
If mortals would keep proper ward over mortal mind, the brood of evils which infest it would be cleared out. We must begin with this so-called mind and empty it of sin and sickness, or sin and sickness will never cease. The present codes of human systems disappoint the weary searcher after a divine theology, adequate to the right education of human thought.
Sin and disease must be thought before they can be manifested. You must control evil thoughts in the first instance, or they will control you in the second. Jesus declared that to look with desire on forbidden objects was to break a moral precept. He laid great stress on the action of the human mind, unseen to the senses.
Evil thoughts and aims reach no farther and do no more harm than one’s belief permits. Evil thoughts, lusts, and
malicious purposes cannot go forth, like wandering pollen, from one human mind to another, finding unsuspected lodgment, if virtue and truth build a strong defence. Better suffer a doctor infected with smallpox to attend you than to be treated mentally by one who does not obey the requirements of divine Science.
The teachers of schools and the readers in churches should be selected with as direct reference to their morals as to their learning or their correct reading. Nurseries of character should be strongly garrisoned with virtue. School-examinations are one-sided; it is not so much academic education, as a moral and spiritual culture, which lifts one higher. The pure and uplifting thoughts of the teacher, constantly imparted to pupils, will reach higher than the heavens of astronomy; while the debased and unscrupulous mind, though adorned with gems of scholarly attainment, will degrade the characters it should inform and elevate.
Physicians, whom the sick employ in their helplessness, should be models of virtue. They should be wise spiritual guides to health and hope. To the tremblers on the brink of death, who understand not the divine Truth which is Life and perpetuates being, physicians should be able to teach it. Then when the soul is willing and the flesh weak, the patient’s feet may be planted on the rock Christ Jesus, the true idea of spiritual power.
Clergymen, occupying the watchtowers of the world, should uplift the standard of Truth. They should so raise their hearers spiritually, that their listeners will love to grapple with a new, right idea and broaden their concepts. Love of Christianity, rather
than love of popularity, should stimulate clerical labor and progress. Truth should emanate from the pulpit, but never be strangled there. A special privilege is vested in the ministry. How shall it be used? Sacredly, in the interests of humanity, not of sect.
Is it not professional reputation and emolument rather than the dignity of God’s laws, which many leaders seek? Do not inferior motives induce the infuriated attacks on individuals, who reiterate Christ’s teachings in support of his proof by example that the divine Mind heals sickness as well as sin?
A mother’s responsibility
A mother is the strongest educator, either for or against crime. Her thoughts form the embryo of another mortal mind, and unconsciously mould it, either after a model odious to herself or through divine influence, “according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.” Hence the importance of Christian Science, from which we learn of the one Mind and of the availability of good as the remedy for every woe.
Children should obey their parents; insubordination is an evil, blighting the buddings of self-government. Parents should teach their children at the earliest possible period the truths of health and holiness. Children are more tractable than adults, and learn more readily to love the simple verities that will make them happy and good.
Jesus loved little children because of their freedom from wrong and their receptiveness of right. While age is halting between two opinions or battling with false beliefs, youth makes easy and rapid strides towards Truth.
A little girl, who had occasionally listened to my explanations, badly wounded her finger. She seemed not to notice it. On being questioned about it she answered ingenuously, “There is no sensation in matter.” Bounding off with laughing eyes, she presently added, “Mamma, my finger is not a bit sore.”
Soil and seed
It might have been months or years before her parents would have laid aside their drugs, or reached the mental height their little daughter so naturally attained. The more stubborn beliefs and theories of parents often choke the good seed in the minds of themselves and their offspring. Superstition, like “the fowls of the air,” snatches away the good seed before it has sprouted.
Children should be taught the Truth-cure, Christian Science, among their first lessons, and kept from discussing or entertaining theories or thoughts about sickness. To prevent the experience of error and its sufferings, keep out of the minds of your children either sinful or diseased thoughts. The latter should be excluded on the same principle as the former. This makes Christian Science early available.
Some invalids are unwilling to know the facts or to hear about the fallacy of matter and its supposed laws. They devote themselves a little longer to their material gods, cling to a belief in the life and intelligence of matter, and expect this error to do more for them than they are willing to admit the only living and true God can do. Impatient at your explanation, unwilling to investigate the Science of Mind which would rid them of their complaints, they hug false beliefs and suffer the delusive consequences.
Motives and acts are not rightly valued before they are understood. It is well to wait till those whom you would benefit are ready for the blessing, for Science is working changes in personal character as well as in the material universe. To obey the Scriptural command, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate,” is to incur society’s frown; but this frown, more than flatteries, enables one to be Christian. Losing her crucifix, the Roman Catholic girl said, “I have nothing left but Christ.” “If God be for us, who can be against us?”
To fall away from Truth in times of persecution, shows that we never understood Truth. From out the bridal chamber of wisdom there will come the warning, “I know you not.” Unimproved opportunities will rebuke us when we attempt to claim the benefits of an experience we have not made our own, try to reap the harvest we have not sown, and wish to enter unlawfully into the labors of others. Truth often remains unsought, until we seek this remedy for human woe because we suffer severely from error.
Attempts to conciliate society and so gain dominion over mankind, arise from worldly weakness. He who leaves all for Christ forsakes popularity and gains Christianity.
Society and intolerance
Society is a foolish juror, listening only to one side of the case. Justice often comes too late to secure a verdict. People with mental work before them have no time for gossip about false law or testimony. To reconstruct timid justice and place the fact above the falsehood, is the work of time.
The cross is the central emblem of history. It is the lodestar in the demonstration of Christian healing, — the
demonstration by which sin and sickness are destroyed. The sects, which endured the lash of their predecessors, in their turn lay it upon those who are in advance of creeds.
Right views of humanity
Take away wealth, fame, and social organizations, which weigh not one jot in the balance of God, and we get clearer views of Principle. Break up cliques, level wealth with honesty, let worth be judged according to wisdom, and we get better views of humanity.
The wicked man is not the ruler of his upright neighbor. Let it be understood that success in error is defeat in Truth. The watchword of Christian Science is Scriptural: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.”
To ascertain our progress, we must learn where our affections are placed and whom we acknowledge and obey as God. If divine Love is becoming nearer, dearer, and more real to us, matter is then submitting to Spirit. The objects we pursue and the spirit we manifest reveal our standpoint, and show what we are winning.
Mortal mind is the acknowledged seat of human motives. It forms material concepts and produces every discordant action of the body. If action proceeds from the divine Mind, action is harmonious. If it comes from erring mortal mind, it is discordant and ends in sin, sickness, death. Those two opposite sources never mingle in fount or stream. The perfect Mind sends forth perfection, for God is Mind. Imperfect mortal mind sends forth its own resemblances, of which the wise man said, “All is vanity.”
Some lessons from nature
Nature voices natural, spiritual law and divine Love, but human belief misinterprets nature. Arctic regions, sunny tropics, giant hills, winged winds, mighty billows, verdant vales, festive flowers, and glorious heavens, — all point to Mind, the spiritual intelligence they reflect. The floral apostles are hieroglyphs of Deity. Suns and planets teach grand lessons. The stars make night beautiful, and the leaflet turns naturally towards the light.
In the order of Science, in which the Principle is above what it reflects, all is one grand concord. Change this statement, suppose Mind to be governed by matter or Soul in body, and you lose the keynote of being, and there is continual discord. Mind is perpetual motion. Its symbol is the sphere. The rotations and revolutions of the universe of Mind go on eternally.
Mortals move onward towards good or evil as time glides on. If mortals are not progressive, past failures will be repeated until all wrong work is effaced or rectified. If at present satisfied with wrong-doing, we must learn to loathe it. If at present content with idleness, we must become dissatisfied with it. Remember that mankind must sooner or later, either by suffering or by Science, be convinced of the error that is to be overcome.
In trying to undo the errors of sense one must pay fully and fairly the utmost farthing, until all error is finally brought into subjection to Truth. The divine method of paying sin’s wages involves unwinding one’s snarls and learning from experience how to divide between sense and Soul.
“Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.” He, who knows God’s will or the demands of divine Science and obeys them, incurs the hostility of envy; and he who refuses obedience to God, is chastened by Love.
The doom of sin
Sensual treasures are laid up “where moth and rust doth corrupt.” Mortality is their doom. Sin breaks in upon them, and carries off their fleeting joys. The sensualist’s affections are as imaginary, whimsical, and unreal as his pleasures. Falsehood, envy, hypocrisy, malice, hate, revenge, and so forth, steal away the treasures of Truth. Stripped of its coverings, what a mocking spectacle is sin!
The Bible teaches transformation of the body by the renewal of Spirit. Take away the spiritual signification of Scripture, and that compilation can do no more for mortals than can moonbeams to melt a river of ice. The error of the ages is preaching without practice.
The substance of all devotion is the reflection and demonstration of divine Love, healing sickness and destroying sin. Our Master said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
One’s aim, a point beyond faith, should be to find the footsteps of Truth, the way to health and holiness. We should strive to reach the Horeb height where God is revealed; and the corner-stone of all spiritual building is purity. The baptism of Spirit, washing the body of all the impurities of flesh, signifies that the pure in heart see God and are approaching spiritual Life and its demonstration.
It is “easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,” than for sinful beliefs to enter the kingdom of
heaven, eternal harmony. Through repentance, spiritual baptism, and regeneration, mortals put off their material beliefs and false individuality. It is only a question of time when “they shall all know Me [God], from the least of them unto the greatest.” Denial of the claims of matter is a great step towards the joys of Spirit, towards human freedom and the final triumph over the body.
The one only way
There is but one way to heaven, harmony, and Christ in divine Science shows us this way. It is to know no other reality — to have no other consciousness of life — than good, God and His reflection, and to rise superior to the so-called pain and pleasure of the senses.
Self-love is more opaque than a solid body. In patient obedience to a patient God, let us labor to dissolve with the universal solvent of Love the adamant of error, — self-will, self-justification, and self-love, — which wars against spirituality and is the law of sin and death.
The vesture of Life is Truth. According to the Bible, the facts of being are commonly misconstrued, for it is written: “They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots.” The divine Science of man is woven into one web of consistency without seam or rent. Mere speculation or superstition appropriates no part of the divine vesture, while inspiration restores every part of the Christly garment of righteousness.
The finger-posts of divine Science show the way our Master trod, and require of Christians the proof which he gave, instead of mere profession. We may hide
spiritual ignorance from the world, but we can never succeed in the Science and demonstration of spiritual good through ignorance or hypocrisy.
Ancient and modern miracles
The divine Love, which made harmless the poisonous viper, which delivered men from the boiling oil, from the fiery furnace, from the jaws of the lion, can heal the sick in every age and triumph over sin and death. It crowned the demonstrations of Jesus with unsurpassed power and love. But the same “Mind . . . which was also in Christ Jesus” must always accompany the letter of Science in order to confirm and repeat the ancient demonstrations of prophets and apostles. That those wonders are not more commonly repeated to-day, arises not so much from lack of desire as from lack of spiritual growth.
The clay cannot reply to the potter. The head, heart, lungs, and limbs do not inform us that they are dizzy, diseased, consumptive, or lame. If this information is conveyed, mortal mind conveys it. Neither immortal and unerring Mind nor matter, the inanimate substratum of mortal mind, can carry on such telegraphy; for God is “of purer eyes than to behold evil,” and matter has neither intelligence nor sensation.
Annihilation of error
Truth has no consciousness of error. Love has no sense of hatred. Life has no partnership with death. Truth, Life, and Love are a law of annihilation to everything unlike themselves, because they declare nothing except God.
Deformity and perfection
Sickness, sin, and death are not the fruits of Life. They are inharmonies which Truth destroys. Perfection does not animate imperfection. Inasmuch as God is
good and the fount of all being, He does not produce moral or physical deformity; therefore such deformity is not real, but is illusion, the mirage of error. Divine Science reveals these grand facts. On their basis Jesus demonstrated Life, never fearing nor obeying error in any form.
If we were to derive all our conceptions of man from what is seen between the cradle and the grave, happiness and goodness would have no abiding-place in man, and the worms would rob him of the flesh; but Paul writes: “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
Man never less than man
Man undergoing birth, maturity, and decay is like the beasts and vegetables, — subject to laws of decay. If man were dust in his earliest stage of existence, we might admit the hypothesis that he returns eventually to his primitive condition; but man was never more nor less than man.
If man flickers out in death or springs from matter into being, there must be an instant when God is without His entire manifestation, — when there is no full reflection of the infinite Mind.
Man not evolved
Man in Science is neither young nor old. He has neither birth nor death. He is not a beast, a vegetable, nor a migratory mind. He does not pass from matter to Mind, from the mortal to the immortal, from evil to good, or from good to evil. Such admissions cast us headlong into darkness and dogma. Even Shakespeare’s poetry pictures age as infancy, as helplessness and decadence, instead of assigning to man the everlasting grandeur and immortality of development, power, and prestige.
The error of thinking that we are growing old, and the benefits of destroying that illusion, are illustrated in a sketch from the history of an English woman, published in the London medical magazine called The Lancet.
Disappointed in love in her early years, she became insane and lost all account of time. Believing that she was still living in the same hour which parted her from her lover, taking no note of years, she stood daily before the window watching for her lover’s coming. In this mental state she remained young. Having no consciousness of time, she literally grew no older. Some American travellers saw her when she was seventy-four, and supposed her to be a young woman. She had no care-lined face, no wrinkles nor gray hair, but youth sat gently on cheek and brow. Asked to guess her age, those unacquainted with her history conjectured that she must be under twenty.
This instance of youth preserved furnishes a useful hint, upon which a Franklin might work with more certainty than when he coaxed the enamoured lightning from the clouds. Years had not made her old, because she had taken no cognizance of passing time nor thought of herself as growing old. The bodily results of her belief that she was young manifested the influence of such a belief. She could not age while believing herself young, for the mental state governed the physical.
Impossibilities never occur. One instance like the foregoing proves it possible to be young at seventy-four; and the primary of that illustration makes it plain that decrepitude is not according to law, nor is it a necessity of nature, but an illusion.
Man reflects God
The infinite never began nor will it ever end. Mind
and its formations can never be annihilated. Man is not a pendulum, swinging between evil and good, joy and sorrow, sickness and health, life and death. Life and its faculties are not measured by calendars. The perfect and immortal are the eternal likeness of their Maker. Man is by no means a material germ rising from the imperfect and endeavoring to reach Spirit above his origin. The stream rises no higher than its source.
The measurement of life by solar years robs youth and gives ugliness to age. The radiant sun of virtue and truth coexists with being. Manhood is its eternal noon, undimmed by a declining sun. As the physical and material, the transient sense of beauty fades, the radiance of Spirit should dawn upon the enraptured sense with bright and imperishable glories.
Never record ages. Chronological data are no part of the vast forever. Time-tables of birth and death are so many conspiracies against manhood and womanhood. Except for the error of measuring and limiting all that is good and beautiful, man would enjoy more than threescore years and ten and still maintain his vigor, freshness, and promise. Man, governed by immortal Mind, is always beautiful and grand. Each succeeding year unfolds wisdom, beauty, and holiness.
True life eternal
Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof. Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight.
Acute and chronic beliefs reproduce their own types.
The acute belief of physical life comes on at a remote period, and is not so disastrous as the chronic belief.
Eyes and teeth renewed
I have seen age regain two of the elements it had lost, sight and teeth. A woman of eighty-five, whom I knew, had a return of sight. Another woman at ninety had new teeth, incisors, cuspids, bicuspids, and one molar. One man at sixty had retained his full set of upper and lower teeth without a decaying cavity.
Beauty, as well as truth, is eternal; but the beauty of material things passes away, fading and fleeting as mortal belief. Custom, education, and fashion form the transient standards of mortals. Immortality, exempt from age or decay, has a glory of its own, — the radiance of Soul. Immortal men and women are models of spiritual sense, drawn by perfect Mind and reflecting those higher conceptions of loveliness which transcend all material sense.
The divine loveliness
Comeliness and grace are independent of matter. Being possesses its qualities before they are perceived humanly. Beauty is a thing of life, which dwells forever in the eternal Mind and reflects the charms of His goodness in expression, form, outline, and color. It is Love which paints the petal with myriad hues, glances in the warm sunbeam, arches the cloud with the bow of beauty, blazons the night with starry gems, and covers earth with loveliness.
The embellishments of the person are poor substitutes for the charms of being, shining resplendent and eternal over age and decay.
The recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul, to retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure
in the body into the unchanging calm and glorious freedom of spiritual harmony.
Love never loses sight of loveliness. Its halo rests upon its object. One marvels that a friend can ever seem less than beautiful. Men and women of riper years and larger lessons ought to ripen into health and immortality, instead of lapsing into darkness or gloom. Immortal Mind feeds the body with supernal freshness and fairness, supplying it with beautiful images of thought and destroying the woes of sense which each day brings to a nearer tomb.
The sculptor turns from the marble to his model in order to perfect his conception. We are all sculptors, working at various forms, moulding and chiseling thought. What is the model before mortal mind? Is it imperfection, joy, sorrow, sin, suffering? Have you accepted the mortal model? Are you reproducing it? Then you are haunted in your work by vicious sculptors and hideous forms. Do you not hear from all mankind of the imperfect model? The world is holding it before your gaze continually. The result is that you are liable to follow those lower patterns, limit your lifework, and adopt into your experience the angular outline and deformity of matter models.
To remedy this, we must first turn our gaze in the right direction, and then walk that way. We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives. Let unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love — the kingdom of heaven — reign within us, and sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear.
Let us accept Science, relinquish all theories based on sense-testimony, give up imperfect models and illusive ideals; and so let us have one God, one Mind, and that one perfect, producing His own models of excellence.
Let the “male and female” of God’s creating appear. Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine “powers that be.” Such is the true Science of being. Any other theory of Life, or God, is delusive and mythological.
Mind is not the author of matter, and the creator of ideas is not the creator of illusions. Either there is no omnipotence, or omnipotence is the only power. God is the infinite, and infinity never began, will never end, and includes nothing unlike God. Whence then is soulless matter?
Life is, like Christ, “the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.” Organization and time have nothing to do with Life. You say, “I dreamed last night.” What a mistake is that! The I is Spirit. God never slumbers, and His likeness never dreams. Mortals are the Adam dreamers.
Sleep and apath are phases of the dream that life, substance, and intelligence are material. The mortal nightdream is sometimes nearer the fact of being than are the thoughts of mortals when awake. The night-dream has less matter as its accompaniment. It throws off some material fetters. It falls short of the skies, but makes its mundane flights quite ethereal.
Man is the reflection of Soul. He is the direct opposite of material sensation, and there is but one Ego. We
run into error when we divide Soul into souls, multiply Mind into minds and suppose error to be mind, then mind to be in matter and matter to be a lawgiver, unintelligence to act like intelligence, and mortality to be the matrix of immortality.
Spirit the one Ego
Mortal existence is a dream; mortal existence has no real entity, but saith “It is I.” Spirit is the Ego which never dreams, but understands all things; which never errs, and is ever conscious; which never believes, but knows; which is never born and never dies. Spiritual man is the likeness of this Ego. Man is not God, but like a ray of light which comes from the sun, man, the outcome of God, reflects God.
Mortal existence a dream
Mortal body and mind are one, and that one is called man; but a mortal is not man, for man is immortal. A mortal may be weary or pained, enjoy or suffer, according to the dream he entertains in sleep. When that dream vanishes, the mortal finds himself experiencing none of these dream-sensations. To the observer, the body lies listless, undisturbed, and sensationless, and the mind seems to be absent.
Now I ask, Is there any more reality in the waking dream of mortal existence than in the sleeping dream? There cannot be, since whatever appears to be a mortal man is a mortal dream. Take away the mortal mind, and matter has no more sense as a man than it has as a tree. But the spiritual, real man is immortal.
Upon this stage of existence goes on the dance of mortal mind. Mortal thoughts chase one another like snowflakes, and drift to the ground. Science reveals Life as not being at the mercy of death, nor will Science admit that happiness is ever the sport of circumstance.
Error is not real, hence it is not more imperative as it hastens towards self-destruction. The so-called belief of mortal mind apparent as an abscess should not grow more painful before it suppurates neither should a fever become more severe before it ends.
Illusion of death
Fright is so great at certain stages of mortal belief as to drive belief into new paths. In the illusion of death, mortals wake to the knowledge of two facts: (1) that they are not dead; (2) that they have but passed the portals of a new belief. Truth works out the nothingness of error in just these ways. Sickness, as well as sin, is an error that Christ, Truth, alone can destroy.
Mortal mind’s disappearance
We must learn how mankind govern the body, — whether through faith in hygiene, in drugs, or in willpower. We should learn whether they govern the body through a belief in the necessity of sickness and death, sin and pardon, or govern it from the higher understanding that the divine Mind makes perfect, acts upon the so-called human mind through truth, leads the human mind to relinquish all error, to find the divine Mind to be the only Mind, and the healer of sin, disease, death. This process of higher spiritual understanding improves mankind until error disappears, and nothing is left which deserves to perish or to be punished.
Ignorance, like intentional wrong, is not Science. Ignorance must be seen and corrected before we can attain harmony. Inharmonious beliefs, which rob Mind, calling it matter, and deify their own notions, imprison themselves in what they create.
They are at war with Science, and as our Master said, “If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.”
Human ignorance of Mind and of the recuperative energies of Truth occasions the only skepticism regarding the pathology and theology of Christian Science.
Eternal man recognized
When false human beliefs learn even a little of their own falsity, they begin to disappear. A knowledge of error and of its operations must precede that understanding of Truth which destroys error, until the entire mortal, material error finally disappears, and the eternal verity, man created by and of Spirit, is understood and recognized as the true likeness of his Maker.
The false evidence of material sense contrasts strikingly with the testimony of Spirit. Material sense lifts its voice with the arrogance of reality and says:
Testimony of sense
I am wholly dishonest, and no man knoweth it. I can cheat, lie, commit adultery, rob, murder, and I elude detection by smooth-tongued villainy. Animal in propensity, deceitful in sentiment, fraudulent in purpose, I mean to make my short span of life one gala day. What a nice thing is sin! How sin succeeds, where the good purpose waits! The world is my kingdom. I am enthroned in the gorgeousness of matter. But a touch, an accident, the law of God, may at any moment annihilate my peace, for all my fancied joys are fatal. Like bursting lava, I expand but to my own despair, and shine with the resplendency of consuming fire.
Testimony of Soul
Spirit, bearing opposite testimony, saith:
I am Spirit. Man, whose senses are spiritual, is my
likeness. He reflects the infinite understanding, for I am Infinity. The beauty of holiness, the perfection of being, imperishable glory, — all are Mine, for I am God. I give immortality to man, for I am Truth. I include and impart all bliss, for I am Love. I give life, without beginning and without end, for I am Life. I am supreme and give all, for I am Mind. I am the substance of all, because I am THAT I am.
I hope, dear reader, I am leading you into the understanding of your divine rights, your heaven-bestowed harmony, — that, as you read, you see there is no cause (outside of erring, mortal, material sense which is not power) able to make you sick or sinful; and I hope that you are conquering this false sense. Knowing the falsity of so-called material sense, you can assert your prerogative to overcome the belief in sin, disease, or death.
Right endeavor possible
If you believe in and practise wrong knowingly, you can at once change your course and do right. Matter can make no opposition to right endeavors against sin or sickness, for matter is inert, mindless. Also, if you believe yourself diseased, you can alter this wrong belief and action without hindrance from the body.
Do not believe in any supposed necessity for sin, disease, or death, knowing (as you ought to know) that God never requires obedience to a so-called material law, for no such law exists. The belief in sin and death is destroyed by the law of God, which is the law of Life instead of death, of harmony instead of discord, of Spirit instead of the flesh.
Patience and final perfection
The divine demand, “Be ye therefore perfect,” is sci-
entific, and the human footsteps leading to perfection are indispensable. Individuals are consistent who, watching and praying, can “run, and not be weary; . . . walk, and not faint,” who gain good rapidly and hold their position, or attain slowly and yield not to discouragement. God requires perfection, but not until the battle between Spirit and flesh is fought and the victory won. To stop eating, drinking, or being clothed materially before the spiritual facts of existence are gained step by step, is not legitimate. When we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously, He directs our path. Imperfect mortals grasp the ultimate of spiritual perfection slowly; but to begin aright and to continue the strife of demonstrating the great problem of being, is doing much.
During the sensual ages, absolute Christian Science may not be achieved prior to the change called death, for we have not the power to demonstrate what we do not understand. But the human self must be evangelized. This task God demands us to accept lovingly to-day, and to abandon so fast as practical the material, and to work out the spiritual which determines the outward and actual.
If you venture upon the quiet surface of error and are in sympathy with error, what is there to disturb the waters? What is there to strip off error’s disguise?
The cross and crown
If you launch your bark upon the ever-agitated but healthful waters of truth, you will encounter storms. Your good will be evil spoken of. This is the cross. Take it up and bear it, for through it you win and wear the crown. Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God.