From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
Replenishing One’s Spiritual Store
Although Jesus was the Son of God, he called himself the Son of man. This dual nature represents a relationship with God whereby he received from God the treasures of Mind, and a relationship with man whereby he might take this spiritual inheritance and extend it to help others. In order for anyone to merit the title, Son of man, one must recognize the falsity of the mortal sense of man and be able, through spiritual understanding, to supply the world with the divine antidote, so that man may escape from a false sense of man to the true.
This dual functioning must be attained by man before he can begin to come into the fullness of his divine destiny. He must hold himself as a Son of God, because only through that metaphysical process and relationship does man receive the things of God. Then he must realize that he is the Son of man, and through that relationship he can recognize the human need and supply it, “seeking his own in another’s good.” Science and Health, page 518.
Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual attainment was outstanding in comparison with that of anyone else in this age, because she combined in such perfect balance the ability to be both a Christian and a Scientist. She never lost sight of this duality nor the need that her students emphasize both of these spiritual qualities. She was scientific, and yet maintained a simple direct faith in God. She was both a Son of God and a Son of man.
Of what permanent value would be the demonstration of a student who was a natural giver, and yet had little by way of spiritual treasure to give? Similarly, what would be thought of the Christian Science practitioner who, through the amount of his giving, became so mentally bound up in the problem of what to give and to whom to give it, that he failed to make the proper demonstration to receive? The practitioner who gives largely of his time to healing the sick, finds that his spiritual store must be regularly replenished. Otherwise, a desire to be a Son of man might overshadow the necessity of being a Son of God; the duties of one crowding out the duties of the other. Actually, one must complement the other, since, no matter how much one might desire to give, he has nothing to give unless he receives from God.
One can only go so far in an automobile before it becomes necessary to replenish the tank with gasoline. Otherwise, getting out and pushing becomes the only other alternative. Oh! that every student of Christian Science might resist this temptation to push! If, when a Christian Scientist temporarily loses his reserve of spiritual good, he was left with nothing human to fall back on, this temptation would not present itself. But, the moment spirituality departs, the point at which Jesus always withdrew from the multitude and went up on the mount to commune with the divine Mind, the educated human intellect rises up to offer itself as a substitute, to deceive the very elect.
When the Master said, “I can of mine own self do nothing,” he implied that he had no substitute human acumen or sagacity. All that he knew, all the mental powers he had, came through inspiration and reflection. Therefore, the moment he lost his inspiration, he lost his knowledge. Hence, we might modernize his above statement thus, “The only thing I can give out, is what I get from God. When I have not that, I have nothing to give.”
The student of Christian Science must realize that all he has to give at any time, that is good, is what he gets from God, whether he is healing the sick, reading in church, serving on a board of trustees, or writing lectures or articles for our periodicals. Also, he must learn that he can attain and retain such good, through scientific knowledge and demonstration alone. Sometimes, students become discouraged when they fail to attain the good they desire. They believe that their Christianity alone entitles them to oneness with God and the manifold blessings which follow, when what is needed is Science. Science enables us to reach God; Christianity enables us to give out this good to humanity.
Without it, Christianity is doomed to failure. Christianity is our foundation; but Science is our superstructure that takes us up to God. Of what avail is one without the other?