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Title: No and Yes
Author: Mary Baker Eddy
Release Date: August 30, 2005 [eBook #16624]
Updated: June 25, 2017
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK NO AND YES***
Published by The
Trustees under the Will of Mary Baker G. Eddy
Authorized Literature of
The First Church of Christ, Scientist
in Boston, Massachusetts
It was the purpose of each edition of this pamphlet to benefit no favored class, but, according to the apostle's admonition, to "reprove, rebuke, exhort," and with the power and self-sacrificing spirit of Love to correct involuntary as well as voluntary error.
By a modification of the language, the import of this edition is, we trust, transparent to the hearts of all conscientious laborers in the realm of Mind-healing. To those who are athirst for the life-giving waters of a true divinity, it saith tenderly, "Come and drink;" and if you are babes in Christ, leave the meat and take the unadulterated milk of the Word, until you grow to apprehend the pure spirituality of Truth.
MARY BAKER EDDY
Science of Mind-healing
Is Christian Science of the Same Lineage as Spiritualism or Theosophy?
Is Christian Science from Beneath, and not from Above?
Is Christian Science Pantheistic?
Is Christian Science Blasphemous?
Is There a Personal Deity?
Is There a Personal Devil?
Is Man a Person?
Has Man a Soul?
Is Sin Forgiven?
Is There any such Thing as Sin?
Is There no Sacrificial Atonement?
Is There no Intercessory Prayer?
Should Christians Beware of Christian Science?
To kindle in all minds a common sentiment of regard for the spiritual idea emanating from the infinite, is a most needful work; but this must be done gradually, for Truth is as "the still, small voice," which comes to our recognition only as our natures are changed by its silent influence.
Small streams are noisy and rush precipitately; and babbling brooks fill the rivers till they rise in floods, demolishing bridges and overwhelming cities. So men, when thrilled by a new idea, are sometimes impatient; and, when public sentiment is aroused, are liable to be borne on by the current of feeling. They should then turn temporarily from the tumult, for the silent cultivation of the true idea and the quiet practice of its virtues. When the noise and stir of contending sentiments cease, and the flames die away on the mount of revelation, we can read more clearly the tablets of Truth.
The theology and medicine of Jesus were one,—in the divine oneness of the trinity, Life, Truth, and Love, which healed the sick and cleansed the sinful. This trinity in unity, correcting the individual thought, is the only Mind-healing I vindicate; and on its standard have emblazoned that crystallized expression, Christian Science.
A spurious and hydra-headed mind-healing is naturally glared at by the pulpit, ostracized by the medical faculty, and scorned by people of common sense. To aver that disease is normal, a God-bestowed and stubborn reality, but that you can heal it, leaves you to work against that which is natural and a law of being. It is scientific to rob disease of all reality; and to accomplish this, you cannot begin by admitting its reality. Our Master taught his students to deny self, sense, and take up the cross. Mental healers who admit that disease is real should be made to test the feasibility of what they say by healing one case audibly, through such an admission,—if this is possible. I have healed more disease by the spoken than the unspoken word.
The honest student of Christian Science is modest in his claims and conscientious in duty, waiting and working to mature what he has been taught. Institutes furnished with such teachers are becoming beacon-lights along the shores of erudition; and many who are not teachers have large practices and some marked success in healing the most defiant forms of disease.
Dishonesty destroys one's ability to heal mentally. Conceit cannot avert the effects of deceit. Taking advantage of the present ignorance in relation to Christian Science Mind-healing, many are flooding our land with conflicting theories and practice. We should not spread abroad patchwork ideas that in some vital points lack Science. How sad it is that envy will bend its bow and shoot its arrow at the idea which claims only its inheritance, is naturally modest, generous, and sincere! while the trespassing error murders either friend or foe who stands in its way. Truly it is better to fall into the hands of God, than of man.
When I revised "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," in 1878, some irresponsible people insisted that my manual of the practice of Christian Science Mind-healing should not be made public; but I obeyed a diviner rule. People dependent on the rules of this practice for their healing, not having lost the Spirit which sustains the genuine practice, will put that book in the hands of their patients, whom it will heal, and recommend it to their students, whom it would enlighten. Every teacher must pore over it in secret, to keep himself well informed. The Nemesis of the history of Mind-healing notes this hour.
Dishonesty necessarily stultifies the spiritual sense which Mind-healers specially need; and which they must possess, in order to be safe members of the community. How good and pleasant a thing it is to seek not so much thine own as another's good, to sow by the wayside for the way-weary, and trust Love's recompense of love.
Plagiarism from my writings is so common it is becoming odious to honest people; and such compilations, instead of possessing the essentials of Christian Science, are tempting and misleading.
Reading Science and Health has restored the sick to health; but the task of learning thoroughly the Science of Mind-healing and demonstrating it understandingly had better be undertaken in health than sickness.
Disease is more than imagination; it is a human error, a constituent part of what comprise the whole of mortal existence,—namely, material sensation and mental delusion. But an erring sense of existence, or the error of belief, named disease, never made sickness a stubborn reality. On the ground that harmony is the truth of being, the Science of Mind-healing destroys the feasibility of disease; hence error of thought becomes fable instead of fact. Science demonstrates the reality of Truth and the unreality of the error. A self-evident proposition, in the Science of Mind-healing, is that disease is unreal; and the efficacy of my system, beyond other systems of medicine, vouches for the validity of that statement. Sin and disease are not scientific, because they embody not the idea of divine Principle, and are not the phenomena of the immutable laws of God; and they do not arise from the divine consciousness and true constituency of being.
The unreality of sin, disease, and death, rests on the exclusive truth that being, to be eternal, must be harmonious. All disease must be—and can only be—healed on this basis. All true Christian Scientists are vindicating, fearlessly and honestly, the Principle of this grand verity of Mind-healing.
In erring mortal thought the reality of Truth has an antipode,—the reality of error; and disease is one of the severe realities of this error. God has no opposite in Science. To Truth there is no error. As Truth alone is real, then it follows that to declare error real would be to make it Truth. Disease arises from a false and material sense, from the belief that matter has sensation. Therefore this material sense, which is untrue, is of necessity unreal. Moreover, this unreal sense substitutes for Truth an unreal belief,—namely, that life and health are independent of God, and dependent on material conditions. Material sense also avers that Spirit, or Truth, cannot restore health and perpetuate life, but that material conditions can and do destroy both human health and life.
If disease is as real as health, and is itself a state of being, and yet is arrayed against being, then Mind, or God, does not meddle with it. Disease becomes indeed a stubborn reality, and man is mortal. A "kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation;" therefore the mind that attacks a normal and real condition of man, is profanely tampering with the realities of God and His laws. Metaphysical healing is a lost jewel in this misconception of reality. Any contradictory fusion of Truth with error, in both theory and practice, prevents one from healing scientifically, and makes the last state of one's patients worse than the first. If disease is real it is not illusive, and it certainly would contradict the Science of Mind-healing to attempt to destroy the realities of Mind in order to heal the sick.
On the theory that God's formations are spiritual, harmonious, and eternal, and that God is the only creator, Christian Science refutes the validity of the testimony of the senses, which take cognizance of their own phenomena,—sickness, disease, and death. This refutation is indispensable to the destruction of false evidence, and the consequent cure of the sick,—as all understand who practise the true Science of Mind-healing. If, as the error indicates, the evidence of disease is not false, then disease cannot be healed by denying its validity; and this is why the mistaken healer is not successful, trying to heal on a material basis.
The evidence that the earth is motionless and the sun revolves around our planet, is as sensible and real as the evidence for disease; but Science determines the evidence in both cases to be unreal. To material sense it is plain also that the error of the revolution of the sun around the earth is more apparent than the adverse but true Science of the stellar universe. Copernicus has shown that what appears real, to material sense and feeling, is absolutely unreal. Astronomy, optics, acoustics, and hydraulics are all at war with the testimony of the physical senses. This fact intimates that the laws of Science are mental, not material; and Christian Science demonstrates this.
The rule of divinity is golden; to be wise and true rejoices every heart. But evil influences waver the scales of justice and mercy. No personal considerations should allow any root of bitterness to spring up between Christian Scientists, nor cause any misapprehension as to the motives of others. We must love our enemies, and continue to do so unto the end. By the love of God we can cancel error in our own hearts, and blot it out of others.
Sooner or later the eyes of sinful mortals must be opened to see every error they possess, and the way out of it; and they will "flee as a bird to your mountain," away from the enemy of sinning sense, stubborn will, and every imperfection in the land of Sodom, and find rescue and refuge in Truth and Love.
Every loving sacrifice for the good of others is known to God, and the wrath of man cannot hide it from Him. God has appointed for Christian Scientists high tasks, and will not release them from the strict performance of each one of them. The students must now fight their own battles. I recommend that Scientists draw no lines whatever between one person and another, but think, speak, teach, and write the truth of Christian Science without reference to right or wrong personality in this field of labor. Leave the distinctions of individual character and the discriminations and guidance thereof to the Father, whose wisdom is unerring and whose love is universal.
We should endeavor to be long-suffering, faithful, and charitable with all. To this small effort let us add one more privilege—namely, silence whenever it can substitute censure. Avoid voicing error; but utter the truth of God and the beauty of holiness, the joy of Love and "the peace of God, that passeth all understanding," recommending to all men fellowship in the bonds of Christ. Advise students to rebuke each other always in love, as I have rebuked them. Having discharged this duty, counsel each other to work out his own salvation, without fear or doubt, knowing that God will make the wrath of man to praise Him, and that the remainder thereof He will restrain. We can rejoice that every germ of goodness will at last struggle into freedom and greatness, and every sin will so punish itself that it will bow down to the commandments of Christ,—Truth and Love.
I enjoin it upon my students to hold no controversy or enmity over doctrines and traditions, or over the misconceptions of Christian Science, but to work, watch, and pray for the amelioration of sin, sickness, and death. If one be found who is too blind for instruction, no longer cast your pearls before this state of mortal mind, lest it turn and rend you; but quietly, with benediction and hope, let the unwise pass by, while you walk on in equanimity, and with increased power, patience, and understanding, gained from your forbearance. This counsel is not new, as my Christian students can testify; and if it had been heeded in times past it would have prevented, to a great extent, the factions which have sprung up among Scientists to the hindrance of the Cause of Truth. It is true that the mistakes, prejudices, and errors of one class of thinkers must not be introduced or established among another class who are clearer and more conscientious in their convictions; but this one thing can be done, and should be: let your opponents alone, and use no influence to prevent their legitimate action from their own standpoint of experience, knowing, as you should, that God will well regenerate and separate wisely and finally; whereas you may err in effort, and lose your fruition.
Hoping to pacify repeated complaints and murmurings against too great leniency, on my part, towards some of my students who fall into error, I have opposed occasionally and strongly—especially in the first edition of this little work—existing wrongs of the nature referred to. But I now point steadfastly to the power of grace to overcome evil with good. God will "furnish a table in the wilderness" and show the power of Love.
Science is not the shibboleth of a sect or the cabalistic insignia of philosophy; it excludes all error and includes all Truth. More mistakes are made in its name than this period comprehends. Divinely defined, Science is the atmosphere of God; humanly construed, and according to Webster, it is "knowledge, duly arranged and referred to general truths and principles on which it is founded, and from which it is derived." I employ this awe-filled word in both a divine and human sense; but I insist that Christian Science is demonstrably as true, relative to the unseen verities of being, as any proof that can be given of the completeness of Science.
The two largest words in the vocabulary of thought are "Christian" and "Science." The former is the highest style of man; the latter reveals and interprets God and man; it aggregates, amplifies, unfolds, and expresses the All-God. The life of Christ is the predicate and postulate of all that I teach, and there is but one standard statement, one rule, and one Principle for all scientific truth.
My hygienic system rests on Mind, the eternal Truth. What is termed matter, or relates to its so-called attributes, is a self-destroying error. When a so-called material sense is lost, and Truth restores that lost sense,—on the basis that all consciousness is Mind and eternal,—the former position, that sense is organic and material, is proven erroneous.
The feasibility and immobility of Christian Science unveil the true idea,—namely, that earth's discords have not the reality of Mind in the Science of being; and this idea—dematerializing and spiritualizing mortals—turns like the needle to the pole all hope and faith to God, based as it is on His omnipotence and omnipresence.
Eternal harmony, perpetuity, and perfection, constitute the phenomena of being, governed by the immutable and eternal laws of God; whereas matter and human will, intellect, desire, and fear, are not the creators, controllers, nor destroyers of life or its harmonies. Man has an immortal Soul, a divine Principle, and an eternal being. Man has perpetual individuality; and God's laws, and their intelligent and harmonious action, constitute his individuality in the Science of Soul.
In its literary expression, my system of Christian metaphysics is hampered by material terms, which must be used to indicate thoughts that are to be understood metaphysically. As a Science, this system is held back by the common ignorance of what it is and what it does, and (worse still) by those who come falsely in its name. To be appreciated, Science must be understood and conscientiously introduced. If the Bible and Science and Health had the place in schools of learning that physiology occupies, they would revolutionize and reform the world, through the power of Christ. It is true that it requires more study to understand and demonstrate what these works teach, than to learn theology, physiology, or physics; because they teach divine Science, with fixed Principle, given rule, and unmistakable proof.
Ancient and modern human philosophy are inadequate to grasp the Principle of Christian Science, or to demonstrate it. Revelation shows this Principle, and will rescue reason from the thrall of error. Revelation must subdue the sophistry of intellect, and spiritualize consciousness with the dictum and the demonstration of Truth and Love. Christian Science Mind-healing can only be gained by working from a purely Christian standpoint. Then it heals the sick and exalts the race. The essence of this Science is right thinking and right acting—leading us to see spirituality and to be spiritual, to understand and to demonstrate God.
The Massachusetts Metaphysical College and Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, were the outgrowth of the author's religious experience. After a lifetime of orthodoxy on the platform of doctrines, rites, and ceremonies, it became a sacred duty for her to impart to others this new-old knowledge of God.
The same affection, desire, and motives which have stimulated true Christianity in all ages, and given impulse to goodness, in or out of the Church, have nerved her purpose to build on the new-born conception of the Christ, as Jesus declared himself,—namely, "the way, the truth, and the life." Living a true life, casting out evil, healing the sick, and preaching the gospel of Truth,—these are the ends of Christianity. This divine way impels a spiritualization of thought and method, beyond doctrine and ritual; and in nothing else has she departed from the old landmarks.
The unveiled spiritual signification of the Word so enlarges our sense of God that it makes both sense and Soul, man and Life, immaterial, though still individual. It removes all limits from divine power. God must be found all instead of a part of being, and man the reflection of His power and goodness. This Science rebukes sin with its own nothingness, and thus destroys sin quickly and utterly. It makes disease unreal, and this heals it.
The demonstration of moral and physical growth, and a scientific deduction from the Principle of all harmony, declare both the Principle and idea to be divine. If this be true, then death must be swallowed up in Life, and the prophecy of Jesus fulfilled, "Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." Though centuries passed after those words were originally uttered, before this reappearing of Truth, and though the hiatus be longer still before that saying is demonstrated in Life that knows no death, the declaration is nevertheless true, and remains a clear and profound deduction from Christian Science.
Science is not susceptible of being held as a mere theory. It is hoary with time. It takes hold of eternity, voices the infinite, and governs the universe. No greater opposites can be conceived of, physically, morally, and spiritually, than Christian Science, spiritualism, and theosophy.
Science and Health has effected a revolution in the minds of thinkers on the subject of mediumship, and given impulse to reason and revelation, goodness and virtue. A theory may be sound in spots, and sparkle like a diamond, while other parts of it have no lustre. Christian Science is sound in every part. It is neither warped nor misconceived, when properly demonstrated. If a spiritualist medium understood the Science of Mind-healing, he would know that between those who have and those who have not passed the transition called death, there can be no interchange of consciousness, and that all sensible phenomena are merely subjective states of mortal mind.
Theosophy is a corruption of Judaism. This corruption had a renewal in the Neoplatonic philosophy; but it sprang from the Oriental philosophy of Brahmanism, and blends with its magic and enchantments. Theosophy is no more allied to Christian Science than the odor of the upas-tree is to the sweet breath of springtide, or the brilliant coruscations of the northern sky are to solar heat and light.
Hear the words of our Master: "Go ye into all the world"! "Heal the sick, cast out devils"! Christian Scientists, perhaps more than any other religious sect, are obeying these commands; and the injunctions are not confined to Jesus' students in that age, but they extend to this age,—to as many as shall believe on him. The demand and example of Jesus were not from beneath. Are frozen dogmas, persistent persecution, and the doctrine of eternal damnation, from above? Are the dews of divine Truth, falling on the sick and sinner, to heal them, from beneath? "By their fruits ye shall know them."
Reading my books, without prejudice, would convince all that their purpose is right. The comprehension of my teachings would enable any one to prove these books to be filled with blessings for the whole human family. Fatiguing Bible translations and voluminous commentaries are employed to explain and prop old creeds, and they have the civil and religious arms in their defense; then why should not these be equally extended to support the Christianity that heals the sick? The notions of personality to be found in creeds are far more mystic than Mind-healing. It is no easy matter to believe there are three persons in one person, and that one person is cast out of another person. These conceptions of Deity and devil presuppose an impotent God and an incredible Satan.
Christian Science refutes pantheism, finds Spirit neither in matter nor in the modes of mortal mind. It shows that matter and mortal mind have neither origin nor existence in the eternal Mind. Thinking otherwise is what estranges mortals from divine Life and Love. God is All-in-all. He is Spirit; and in nothing is He unlike Himself. Nothing that "worketh or maketh a lie" is to be found in the divine consciousness. For God to know, is to be; that is, what He knows must truly and eternally exist. If He knows matter, and matter can exist in Mind, then mortality and discord must be eternal. He is Mind; and whatever He knows is made manifest, and must be Truth.
If God knows evil even as a false claim, this knowledge would manifest evil in Him and proceeding from Him. Christian Science shows that matter, evil, sin, sickness, and death are but negations of Spirit, Truth, and Life, which are positives that cannot be gainsaid. The subjective states of evil, called mortal mind or matter, are negatives destitute of time and space; for there is none beside God or Spirit and the idea of Spirit.
This infinite logic is the infinite light,—uncomprehended, yet forever giving forth more light, because it has no darkness to emit. Mortals do not understand the All; hence their inference of some other existence beside God and His true likeness,—of something unlike Him. He who is All, understands all. He can have no knowledge or inference but His own consciousness, and can take in no more than all.
The mists of matter—sin, sickness, and death—disappear in proportion as mortals approach Spirit, which is the reality of being. It is not enough to say that matter is the substratum of evil, and that its highest attenuation is mortal mind; for there is, strictly speaking, no mortal mind. Mind is immortal. Death is the consequent of an antecedent false assumption of the realness of something unreal, material, and mortal. If God knows the antecedent, He must produce its consequences. From this logic there is no escape. Matter, or evil, is the absence of Spirit or good. Their nothingness is thus proven; for God is good, ever-present, and All.
"In Him we live, and move, and have our being;" consequently it is impossible for the true man—who is a spiritual and individual being, created in the eternal Science of being—to be conscious of aught but good. God's image and likeness can never be less than a good man; and for man to be more than God's likeness is impossible. Man is the climax of creation; and God is not without an ever-present witness, testifying of Himself. Matter, or any mode of mortal mind, is neither part nor parcel of divine consciousness and God's verity.
In Science there is no fallen state of being; for therein is no inverted image of God, no escape from the focal radiation of the infinite. Hence the unreality of error, and the truth of the Scripture, that there is "none beside Him." If mortals could grasp these two words all and nothing, this mystery of a God who has no knowledge of sin would disappear, and the eternal, infinite harmony would be fathomed. If God could know a false claim, false knowledge would be a part of His consciousness. Then evil would be as real as good, sickness as real as health, death as real as Life; and sickness, sin, and death would be as eternal as God.
Blasphemy has never diminished sin and sickness, nor acknowledged God in all His ways. Blasphemy rebukes not the godless lie that denies Him as All-in-all, nor does it ascribe to Him all presence, power, and glory. Christian Science does this. If Science lacked the proof of its origin in God, it would be self-destructive, for it rests alone on the demonstration of God's supremacy and omnipotence. Right thinking and right acting, physical and moral harmony, come with Science, and the secret of its presence lies in the universal need of better health and morals.
Human theories, when weighed in the balance, are found unequal to the demonstration of divine Life and Love; and their highest endeavors are, to divine Science, what a child's love of pictures is to art. A child, in his ignorance, may imagine the face of Dante to be the rapt face of Jesus. Thus falsely may the human conceive of the Divine. If the schoolmaster is not Christ, the school gets things wrong, and knows it not; but the teacher is morally responsible.
Good health and a more spiritual religion are the common wants; and these wants have wrought this moral result,—that the so-called mortal mind asks for what Mind alone can supply. This demand militates against the so-called demands of matter, and regulates the present high premium on Mind-healing. If the uniform moral and spiritual, as well as physical, effects of Christian Science were lacking, the premium would go down. That it continues to rise, and the demand to increase, shows its real value to the race. Even doctors will agree that infidelity, ignorance, and quackery have never met the growing wants of humanity. Christian Science is no "Boston craze;" it is the sober second thought of advancing humanity.
God is infinite. He is neither a limited mind nor a limited body. God is Love; and Love is Principle, not person. What the person of the infinite is, we know not; but we are gratefully and lovingly conscious of the fatherliness of this Supreme Being. God is individual, and man is His individualized idea. While material man and the physical senses receive no spiritual idea, and feel no sensation of divine Love, spiritual man and his spiritual senses are drinking in the nature and essence of the individual infinite. A sinful sense is incompetent to understand the realities of being,—that Life is God, and that man is in His image and likeness. A sinner can take no cognizance of the noumenon or the phenomena of Spirit; but leaving sin, sense rises to the fulness of the stature of man in Christ.
Person is formed after the manner of mortal man, so far as he can conceive of personality. Limitless personality is inconceivable. His person and perfection are neither self-created, nor discerned through imperfection; and of God as a person, human reason, imagination, and revelation give us no knowledge. Error would fashion Deity in a manlike mould, while Truth is moulding a Godlike man.
When the term divine Principle is used to signify Deity it may seem distant or cold, until better apprehended. This Principle is Mind, substance, Life, Truth, Love. When understood, Principle is found to be the only term that fully conveys the ideas of God,—one Mind, a perfect man, and divine Science. As the divine Principle is comprehended, God's omnipotence and omnipresence will dawn on mortals, and the notion of an everywhere-present body—or of an infinite Mind starting from a finite body, and returning to it—will disappear.
Ever-present Love must seem ever absent to ever-present selfishness or material sense. Hence this asking amiss and receiving not, and the common idolatry of man-worship. In divine Science, God is recognized as the only power, presence, and glory.
Adam's mistiness and Satan's reasoning, ever since the flood,—when specimens of every kind emerged from the ark,—have run through the veins of all human philosophy. Human reason is a blind guide, a continued series of mortal hypotheses, antagonistic to Revelation and Science. It is continually straying into forbidden by-paths of sensualism, contrary to the life and teachings of Jesus and Paul, and the vision of the Apocalypse. Human philosophy has ninety-nine parts of error to the one-hundredth part of Truth,—an unsafe decoction for the race. The Science that Jesus demonstrated, whose views of Truth Confucius and Plato but dimly discerned, Science and Health interprets. It was not a search after wisdom; it was wisdom, and it grasped in spiritual law the universe,—all time, space, immortality, thought, extension. This Science demonstrated the Principle of all phenomena, identity, individuality, law; and showed man as reflecting God and the divine capacity. Human philosophy would dethrone perfection, and substitute matter and evil for divine means and ends.
Human philosophy has an undeveloped God, who unfolds Himself through material modes, wherein the human and divine mingle in the same realm and consciousness. This is rank infidelity; because by it we lose God's ways and perpetuate the supposed power and reality of evil ad infinitum. Christian Science rends this veil in the pantheon of many gods, and reproduces the teachings of Jesus, whose philosophy is incontestable, bears the strain of time, and brings in the glories of eternity; "for other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
Divine philosophy is demonstrably the true idea of the Christ, wherein Principle heals and saves. A philosophy which cannot heal the sick has little resemblance to Science, and is, to say the least, like a cloud without rain, "driven about by every wind of doctrine." Such philosophy has certainly not touched the hem of the Christ garment.
Leibnitz, Descartes, Fichte, Hegel, Spinoza, Bishop Berkeley, were once clothed with a "brief authority;" but Berkeley ended his metaphysical theory with a treatise on the healing properties of tar-water, and Hegel was an inveterate snuff-taker. The circumlocution and cold categories of Kant fail to improve the conditions of mortals, morally, spiritually, or physically. Such miscalled metaphysical systems are reeds shaken by the wind. Compared with the inspired wisdom and infinite meaning of the Word of Truth, they are as moonbeams to the sun, or as Stygian night to the kindling dawn.
No man hath seen the person of good or of evil. Each is greater than the corporeality we behold.
"He cast out devils." This record shows that the term devil is generic, being used in the plural number. From this it follows that there is more than one devil. That Jesus cast several persons out of another person, is not stated, and is impossible. Hence the passage must refer to the evils which were cast out.
Jesus defined devil as a mortal who is full of evil. "Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?" His definition of evil indicated his ability to cast it out. An incorrect concept of the nature of evil hinders the destruction of evil. To conceive of God as resembling—in personality, or form—the personality that Jesus condemned as devilish, is fraught with spiritual danger. Evil can neither grasp the prerogative of God nor make evil omnipotent and omnipresent.
Jesus said to Peter, "Get thee behind me, Satan;" but he to whom our Lord gave the keys of the kingdom could not have been wholly evil, and therefore was not a devil, after the accepted definition. Out of the Magdalen, Jesus cast seven devils; but not one person was named among them. According to Crabtre, these devils were the diseases Jesus cast out.
The most eminent divines, in Europe and America, concede that the Scriptures have both a literal and a moral meaning. Which of the two is the more important to gain,—the literal or the moral sense of the word devil,—in order to cast out this devil? Evil is a quality, not an individual.
As mortals, we need to discern the claims of evil, and to fight these claims, not as realities, but as illusions; but Deity can have no such warfare against Himself. Knowledge of a man's physical personality is not sufficient to inform us as to the amount of good or evil he possesses. Hence we cannot understand God or man, through the person of either. God is All-in-all; but He is definite and individual, the omnipresent and omniscient Mind; and man's individuality is God's own image and likeness,—even the immeasurable idea of divine Mind. In the Science of good, evil loses all place, person, and power.
According to Spinoza's philosophy God is amplification. He is in all things, and therefore He is in evil in human thought. He is extension, of whatever character. Also, according to Spinoza, man is an animal vegetable, developed through the lower orders of matter and mortal mind. All these vagaries are at variance with my system of metaphysics, which rests on God as One and All, and denies the actual existence of both matter and evil. According to false philosophy and scholastic theology, God is three persons in one person. By the same token, evil is not only as real as good, but much more real, since evil subordinates good in personality.
The claims of evil become both less and more in Christian Science, than in human philosophies or creeds: more, because the evil that is hidden by dogma and human reason is uncovered by Science; and less, because evil, being thus uncovered, is found out, and exposure is nine points of destruction. Then appears the grand verity of Christian Science: namely, that evil has no claims and was never a claimant; for behold evil (or devil) is, as Jesus said, "a murderer from the beginning, and the truth abode not in him."
There was never a moment in which evil was real. This great fact concerning all error brings with it another and more glorious truth, that good is supreme. As there is none beside Him, and He is all good, there can be no evil. Simply uttering this great thought is not enough! We must live it, until God becomes the All and Only of our being. Having won through great tribulation this cardinal point of divine Science, St. Paul said, "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter."
Man is more than physical personality, or what we cognize through the material senses. Mind is more than matter, even as the infinite idea of Truth is beyond a finite belief. Man outlives finite mortal definitions of himself, according to a law of "the survival of the fittest." Man is the eternal idea of his divine Principle, or Father. He is neither matter nor a mode of mortal mind, for he is spiritual and eternal, an immortal mode of the divine Mind. Man is the image and likeness of God, coexistent and coeternal with Him.
Man is not absorbed in Deity; for he is forever individual; but what this everlasting individuality is, remains to be learned. Mortals have not seen it. That which is born of the flesh is not man's eternal identity. Spiritual and immortal man alone is God's likeness, and that which is mortal is not man in a spiritually scientific sense. A material, sinful mortal is but the counterfeit of immortal man.
The mind-quacks believe that mortal man is identical with immortal man, and that the immortal is inside the mortal; that good and evil blend; that matter and Spirit are one; and that Soul, or Spirit, is subdivided into spirits, or souls,—alias gods. This infantile talk about Mind-healing is no more identical with Christian Science than the babe is identical with the adult, or the human belief resembles the divine idea. Hence it is impossible for those holding such material and mortal views to demonstrate my metaphysics. Theirs is the sensuous thought, which brings forth its own sensuous conception. Mine is the spiritual idea which transfigures thought.
All real being represents God, and is in Him. In this Science of being, man can no more relapse or collapse from perfection, than his divine Principle, or Father, can fall out of Himself into something below infinitude. Man's real ego, or selfhood, is goodness. If man's individuality were evil, he would be annihilated, for evil is self-destroying.
Man's individual being must reflect the supreme individual Being, to be His image and likeness; and this individuality never originated in molecule, corpuscle, materiality, or mortality. God holds man in the eternal bonds of Science,—in the immutable harmony of divine law. Man is a celestial; and in the spiritual universe he is forever individual and forever harmonious. "If God so clothe the grass of the field, ... shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?"
Sin must be obsolete,—dust returning to dust, nothingness to nothingness. Sin is not Mind; it is but the supposition that there is more than one Mind. It issues a false claim; and the claim, being worthless, is in reality no claim whatever. Matter is not Mind, to claim aught; but Mind is God, and evil finds no place in good. When we get near enough to God to see this, the springtide of Truth in Christian Science will burst upon us in the similitude of the Apocalyptic pictures. No night will be there, and there will be no more sea. There will be no need of the sun, for Spirit will be the light of the city, and matter will be proved a myth. Until centuries pass, and this vision of Truth is fully interpreted by divine Science, this prophecy will be scoffed at; but it is just as veritable now as it can be then. Science, divine Science, presents the grand and eternal verities of God and man as the divine Mind and that Mind's idea.
Mortal man is the antipode of immortal man, and the two should not be confounded. Bishop Foster said, in a lecture in Boston, "No man living hath yet seen man." This material sinful personality, which we misname man, is what St. Paul terms "the old man and his deeds," to be "put off."
Who can say what the absolute personality of God or man is? Who living hath seen God or a perfect man? In presence of such thoughts take off thy shoes and tread lightly, for this is holy ground. Surely the probation of mortals must go on after the change called death, that they may learn the definition of immortal being; or else their present mistakes would extinguish human existence. How long this false sense remains after the transition called death, no mortal knoweth; but this is sure, that the mists of error, sooner or later, will melt in the fervent heat of suffering, mortality will burst the barriers of sense, and man be found perfect and eternal. Of his intermediate conditions—the purifying processes and terrible revolutions necessary to effect this end—I am ignorant.
Inasmuch as these momentous facts in the Science of being must be learned some time, now is the most acceptable time for beginning the lesson. If Science is pointing the way, and is found to bring with it health, holiness, and immortality, then to-day is none too soon for entering this path. The proof that Christian Science is the way of salvation given by Christ, I consider well established. The present, as well as the future, reveals the fact that Truth is never understood too soon.
Has Truth, as demonstrated by Jesus, reappeared? Study Christian Science and practise it, and you will know that Truth has reappeared. What is demonstrably true cannot be gainsaid; but getting the letter and omitting the spirit of this Science is neither the comprehension of its Principle nor the practice of its Life.
The Scriptures inform us that "the soul that sinneth, it shall die." Here soul means sense and organic life; and this passage refers to the Jewish law, that a mortal should be put to death for his own sin, but not for another's. Not Soul, but mortal sense, sins and dies. Immortal man has immortal Soul and a deathless sense of being. Mortal man has but a false sense of Soul and body. He believes that Spirit, or Soul, exists in matter. This is pantheism, and is not the Science of Soul. The mind-quacks have so slight a knowledge of Soul that they believe material and sinning sense to be soul; and then they doctor this soul as if it were not even a material sense.
In Dr. Gordon's sermon on The Ministry of Healing, he said, "The forgiven soul in a sick body is not half a man." Is this pantheistic statement sound theology,—that Soul is in matter, and the immortal part of man a sinner? Is not this a disparagement of the person of man and a denial of God's power? Better far that we impute such doctrines to mortal opinion than to the divine Word.
To my sense, such a statement is a shocking reflection on the divine power. A mortal pardoned by God is not sick, he is made whole. He in whom sin, disease, and death are destroyed, is more than a fraction of himself. Such sermons, though clad in soft raiment, are spiritless waifs, literary driftwood on the ocean of thought; while Truth walks triumphantly over the waves of sin, sickness, and death.
The law of Life and Truth is the law of Christ, destroying all sense of sin and death. It does more than forgive the false sense named sin, for it pursues and punishes it, and will not let sin go until it is destroyed,—until nothing is left to be forgiven, to suffer, or to be punished. Forgiven thus, sickness and sin have no relapse. God's law reaches and destroys evil by virtue of the allness of God.
He need not know the evil He destroys, any more than the legislator need know the criminal who is punished by the law enacted. God's law is in three words, "I am All;" and this perfect law is ever present to rebuke any claim of another law. God pities our woes with the love of a Father for His child,—not by becoming human, and knowing sin, or naught, but by removing our knowledge of what is not. He could not destroy our woes totally if He possessed any knowledge of them. His sympathy is divine, not human. It is Truth's knowledge of its own infinitude which forbids the genuine existence of even a claim to error. This knowledge is light wherein there is no darkness,—not light holding darkness within itself. The consciousness of light is like the eternal law of God, revealing Him and nothing else.
Sympathy with sin, sorrow, and sickness would dethrone God as Truth, for Truth has no sympathy for error. In Science, the cure of the sick demonstrates this grand verity of Christian Science, that you cannot eradicate disease if you admit that God sends it or sees it. Material and mortal mind-healing (so-called) has for ages been a pretender, but has not healed mortals; and they are yet sick and sinful.
Disease and sin appear to-day in subtler forms than they did yesterday. They progress and will multiply into worse forms, until it is understood that disease and sin are unreal, unknown to Truth, and never actual persons or real facts.
Our phraseology varies. To me divine pardon is that divine presence which is the sure destruction of sin; and I insist on the destruction of sin as the only full proof of its pardon. "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John iii. 8).
Jesus cast out evils, mediating between what is and is not, until a perfect consciousness is attained. He healed disease as he healed sin; but he treated them both, not as in or of matter, but as mortal beliefs to be exterminated. Physical and mental healing were one and the same with this master Metaphysician. If the evils called sin, sickness, and death had been forgiven in the generally accepted sense, they would have returned, to be again forgiven; but Jesus said to disease: "Come out of him, and enter no more into him." He said also: "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death;" and "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven." The misinterpretation of such passages has retarded the progress of Christianity and the spiritualization of the race.
A magistrate's pardon may encourage a criminal to repeat the offense; because forgiveness, in the popular sense of the word, can neither extinguish a crime nor the motives leading to it. The belief in sin—its pleasure, pain, or power—must suffer, until it is self-destroyed. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
Frequently when I touch this subject my meaning is ignorantly or maliciously misconstrued. Christian Science Mind-healing lifts with a steady arm, and cleaves sin with a broad battle-axe. It gives the lie to sin, in the spirit of Truth; but other theories make sin true. Jesus declared that the devil was "a liar, and the father of it." A lie is negation,—alias nothing, or the opposite of something. Good is great and real. Hence its opposite, named evil, must be small and unreal. When this sense is attained, we shall no longer be the servants of sin, and shall cease to love it.
The domination of good destroys the sense of evil. To illustrate: It seems a great evil to belie and belittle Christian Science, and persecute a Cause which is healing its thousands and rapidly diminishing the percentage of sin. But reduce this evil to its lowest terms, nothing, and slander loses its power to harm; for even the wrath of man shall praise Him. The reduction of evil, in Science, gives the dominance to God, and must lead us to bless those who curse, that thus we may overcome evil with good.
If the Bible and my work Science and Health had their rightful place in schools of learning, they would revolutionize the world by advancing the kingdom of Christ. It requires sacrifice, struggle, prayer, and watchfulness to understand and demonstrate what these volumes teach, because they involve divine Science, with fixed Principle, a given rule, and unmistakable proof.
Self-sacrifice is the highway to heaven. The sacrifice of our blessed Lord is undeniable, and it was a million times greater than the brief agony of the cross; for that would have been insufficient to insure the glory his sacrifice brought and the good it wrought. The spilling of human blood was inadequate to represent the blood of Christ, the outpouring love that sustains man's at-one-ment with God; though shedding human blood brought to light the efficacy of divine Life and Love and its power over death. Jesus' sacrifice stands preeminently amidst physical suffering and human woe. The glory of human life is in overcoming sickness, sin, and death. Jesus suffered for all mortals to bring in this glory; and his purpose was to show them that the way out of the flesh, out of the delusion of all human error, must be through the baptism of suffering, leading up to health, harmony, and heaven.
We shall leave the ceremonial law when we gain the truer sense of following Christ in spirit, and we shall no longer venture to materialize the spiritual and infinite meaning and efficacy of Truth and Love, and the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, by commemorating his death with a material rite. Jesus said: "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth." They drink the cup of Christ and are baptized in the purification of persecution who discern his true merit,—the unseen glory of suffering for others. Physical torture affords but a slight illustration of the pangs which come to one upon whom the world of sense falls with its leaden weight in the endeavor to crush out of a career its divine destiny.
The blood of Christ speaketh better things than that of Abel. The real atonement—so infinitely beyond the heathen conception that God requires human blood to propitiate His justice and bring His mercy—needs to be understood. The real blood or Life of Spirit is not yet discerned. Love bruised and bleeding, yet mounting to the throne of glory in purity and peace, over the steps of uplifted humanity,—this is the deep significance of the blood of Christ. Nameless woe, everlasting victories, are the blood, the vital currents of Christ Jesus' life, purchasing the freedom of mortals from sin and death.
This blood of Jesus is everything to human hope and faith. Without it, how poor the precedents of Christianity! What manner of Science were Christian Science without the power to demonstrate the Principle of such Life; and what hope have mortals but through deep humility and adoration to reach the understanding of this Principle! When human struggles cease, and mortals yield lovingly to the purpose of divine Love, there will be no more sickness, sorrow, sin, and death. He who pointed the way of Life conquered also the drear subtlety of death.
It was not to appease the wrath of God, but to show the allness of Love and the nothingness of hate, sin, and death, that Jesus suffered. He lived that we also might live. He suffered, to show mortals the awful price paid by sin, and how to avoid paying it. He atoned for the terrible unreality of a supposed existence apart from God. He suffered because of the shocking human idolatry that presupposes Life, substance, Soul, and intelligence in matter,—which is the antipode of God, and yet governs mankind. The glorious truth of being—namely, that God is the only Mind, Life, substance, Soul—needs no reconciliation with God, for it is one with Him now and forever.
Jesus came announcing Truth, and saying not only "the kingdom of God is at hand," but "the kingdom of God is within you." Hence there is no sin, for God's kingdom is everywhere and supreme, and it follows that the human kingdom is nowhere, and must be unreal. Jesus taught and demonstrated the infinite as one, and not as two. He did not teach that there are two deities,—one infinite and the other finite; for that would be impossible. He knew God as infinite, and therefore as the All-in-all; and we shall know this truth when we awake in the divine likeness. Jesus' true and conscious being never left heaven for earth. It abode forever above, even while mortals believed it was here. He once spoke of himself (John iii. 13) as "the Son of man which is in heaven,"—remarkable words, as wholly opposed to the popular view of Jesus' nature.
The real Christ was unconscious of matter, of sin, disease, and death, and was conscious only of God, of good, of eternal Life, and harmony. Hence the human Jesus had a resort to his higher self and relation to the Father, and there could find rest from unreal trials in the conscious reality and royalty of his being,—holding the mortal as unreal, and the divine as real. It was this retreat from material to spiritual selfhood which recuperated him for triumph over sin, sickness, and death. Had he been as conscious of these evils as he was of God, wherein there is no consciousness of human error, Jesus could not have resisted them; nor could he have conquered the malice of his foes, rolled away the stone from the sepulchre, and risen from human sense to a higher concept than that in which he appeared at his birth.
Mankind's concept of Jesus was a babe born in a manger, even while the divine and ideal Christ was the Son of God, spiritual and eternal. In human conception God's offspring had to grow, develop; but in Science his divine nature and manhood were forever complete, and dwelt forever in the Father. Jesus said, "Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God." Mortal thought gives the eternal God and infinite consciousness the license of a short-lived sinner, to begin and end, to know both evil and good; when evil is temporal and God is eternal,—and when, as a sphere of Mind, He cannot know beginning or end.
The spiritual interpretation of the vicarious atonement of Jesus, in Christian Science, unfolds the full-orbed glory of that event; but to regard this wonder of glory, this most marvellous demonstration, as a personal and material bloodgiving—or as a proof that sin is known to the divine Mind, and that what is unlike God demands His continual presence, knowledge, and power, to meet and master it—would make the atonement to be less than the at-one-ment, whereby the work of Jesus would lose its efficacy and lack the "signs following."
From Genesis to Revelation the Scriptures teach an infinite God, and none beside Him; and on this basis Messiah and prophet saved the sinner and raised the dead,—uplifting the human understanding, buried in a false sense of being. Jesus rendered null and void whatever is unlike God; but he could not have done this if error and sin existed in the Mind of God. What God knows, He also predestinates; and it must be fulfilled. Jesus proved to perfection, so far as this could be done in that age, what Christian Science is to-day proving in a small degree,—the falsity of the evidence of the material senses that sin, sickness, and death are sensible claims, and that God substantiates their evidence by knowing their claim. He established the only true idealism on the basis that God is All, and He is good, and good is Spirit; hence there is no intelligent sin, evil mind or matter: and this is the only true philosophy and realism. This divine mystery of godliness was the rock of Truth, on which he built his Church of the new-born, against which the gates of hell cannot prevail.
This Truth is the rock which the builders rejected; but "the same is become the head of the corner." This is the chief corner-stone, the basis and support of creation, the interpreter of one God, the infinity and unity of good.
In proportion as mortals approximate the understanding of Christian Science, they take hold of harmony, and material incumbrance disappears. Having one God, one Mind, one consciousness,—which includes only His own nature,—and loving your neighbor as yourself, constitute Christian Science, which must demonstrate the nothingness of any other state or stage of being.
All prayer that is desire is intercessory; but kindling desire loses a part of its purest spirituality if the lips try to express it. It is a truism that we can think more lucidly and profoundly than we can write or speak. The silent intercession and unvoiced imploring is an honest and potent prayer to heal and save. The audible prayer may be offered to be heard of men, though ostensibly to catch God's ear,—after the fashion of Baal's prophets,—by speaking loud enough to be heard; but when the heart prays, and not the lips, no dishonesty or vanity influences the petition.
Prophet and apostle have glorified God in secret prayer, and He has rewarded them openly. Prayer can neither change God, nor bring His designs into mortal modes; but it can and does change our modes and our false sense of Life, Love, and Truth, uplifting us to Him. Such prayer humiliates, purifies, and quickens activity, in the direction that is unerring.
True prayer is not asking God for love; it is learning to love, and to include all mankind in one affection. Prayer is the utilization of the love wherewith He loves us. Prayer begets an awakened desire to be and do good. It makes new and scientific discoveries of God, of His goodness and power. It shows us more clearly than we saw before, what we already have and are; and most of all, it shows us what God is. Advancing in this light, we reflect it; and this light reveals the pure Mind-pictures, in silent prayer, even as photography grasps the solar light to portray the face of pleasant thought.
What but silent prayer can meet the demand, "Pray without ceasing"? The apostle James said: "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, to consume it on your lusts." Because of vanity and self-righteousness, mortals seek, and expect to receive, a material sense of approval; and they expect also what is impossible,—a material and mortal sense of spiritual and immortal Truth.
It is sometimes wise to hide from dull and base ears the pure pearls of awakened consciousness, lest your pearls be trampled upon. Words may belie desire, and pour forth a hypocrite's prayer; but thoughts are our honest conviction. I have no objection to audible prayer of the right kind; but the inaudible is more effectual.
I instruct my students to pursue their mental ministrations very sacredly, and never to touch the human thought save to issues of Truth; never to trespass mentally on individual rights; never to take away the rights, but only the wrongs of mankind. Otherwise they forfeit their ability to heal in Science. Only when sickness, sin, and fear obstruct the harmony of Mind and body, is it right for one mind to meddle with another mind, and control aright the thought struggling for freedom.
It is Truth and Love that cast out fear and heal the sick, and mankind are better because of this. If a change in the religious views of the patient comes with the change to health, our Father has done this; for the human mind and body are made better only by divine influence.
History repeats itself. The Pharisees of old warned the people to beware of Jesus, and contemptuously called him "this fellow." Jesus said, "For which of these works do ye stone me?" as much as to ask, Is it the work most derided and envied that is most acceptable to God? Not that he would cease to do the will of his Father on account of persecution, but he would repeat his work to the best advantage for mankind and the glory of his Father.
There are sinners in all societies, and it is vain to look for perfection in churches or associations. The life of Christ is the perfect example; and to compare mortal lives with this model is to subject them to severe scrutiny. Without question, the subtlest forms of sin are trying to force the doors of Science and enter in; but this white sanctuary will never admit such as come to steal and to rob. Through long ages people have slumbered over Christ's commands, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel;" "Heal the sick, cast out devils;" and now the Church seems almost chagrined that by new discoveries of Truth sin is losing prestige and power.
The Rev. Dr. A.J. Gordon, a Boston Baptist clergyman, said in a sermon: "The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and it is doing it to-day; and as the faith of the Church increases, and Christians more and more learn their duty to believe all things written in the Scriptures, will such manifestations of God's power increase among us." Such sentiments are wholesome avowals of Christian Science. God is not unable or unwilling to heal, and mortals are not compelled to have other gods before Him, and employ material forms to meet a mental want. The divine Spirit supplies all human needs. Jesus said to the sick, "Thy sins are forgiven thee; rise up and walk!" God's pardon is the destruction of all "the ills that flesh is heir to."
All power belongs to God; and it is not in all the vain power of dogma and philosophy to dispossess the divine Mind of healing power, or to cast out error with error, even in the name and for the sake of Christ, and so heal the sick. While Science is engulfing error in bottomless oblivion, the material senses would enthrone error as omnipotent and omnipresent, with power to determine the fact and fate to being. It is said that the devil is the ape of God. The lie of evil holds its own by declaring itself both true and good. The path of Christian Science is beset with false claimants, aping its virtues, but cleaving to their own vices. Denial of the authorship of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" would make a lie the author of Truth, and so make Truth itself a lie.
A distinguished clergyman came to be healed. He said: "I am suffering from nervous prostration, and have to eat beefsteak and drink strong coffee to support me through a sermon." Here a skeptic might well ask if the atonement had lost its efficacy for him, and if Christ's power to heal was not equal to the power of daily meat and drink. The power of Truth is not contingent on matter. Our Master said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Truth rebukes error; and whether stall-fed or famishing, theology needs Truth to stimulate and sustain a good sermon.
A lady said: "Only He who knows all things can estimate the good your books are doing."
A distinguished Doctor of Divinity said: "Your book leavens my sermons."
The following extract from a letter is a specimen of those received daily: "Your book Science and Health is healing the sick, binding up the broken-hearted, preaching deliverance to the captive, convicting the infidel, alarming the hypocrite, and quickening the Christian."
Christian Science Mind-healing is dishonored by those who take it up from mercenary motives, for wealth and fame, or think to build a baseless fabric of their own on another's foundation. They cannot put the "new wine into old bottles;" they can never engraft Truth into error. Such students come to my College to learn a system which they go away to disgrace. Stealing or garbling my statements of Mind-science will never prevent or reconstruct the wrecks of "isms" and help humanity.
Science often suffers blame through the sheer ignorance of people, while envy and hatred bark and bite at its heels. A man's inability to heal, on the Principle of Christian Science, substantiates his ignorance of its Principle and practice, and incapacitates him for correct comment. This failure should make him modest.
Christian Science involves a new language, and a higher demonstration of medicine and religion. It is the "new tongue" of Truth, having its best interpretation in the power of Christianity to heal. My system of Mind-healing swerves not from the highest ethics and from the spiritual goal. To climb up by some other way than Truth is to fall. Error has no hobby, however boldly ridden or brilliantly caparisoned, that can leap into the sanctum of Christian Science.
In Queen Elizabeth's time Protestantism could sentence men to the dungeon or stake for their religion, and so abrogate the rights of conscience and choke the channels of God. Ecclesiastical tyranny muzzled the mouth lisping God's praise; and instead of healing, it palsied the weak hand outstretched to God. Progress, legitimate to the human race, pours the healing balm of Truth and Love into every wound. It reassures us that no Reign of Terror or rule of error will again unite Church and State, or re-enact, through the civil arm of government, the horrors of religious persecution.
The Rev. S.E. Herrick, a Congregational clergyman of Boston, says: "Heretics of yesterday are martyrs to-day." In every age and clime, "On earth peace, good will toward men" must be the watchword of Christianity.
Jesus said: "I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."
St. Paul said that without charity we are "as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal;" and he added: "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; ... doth not behave itself unseemly, ... thinketh no evil, ... but rejoiceth in the truth."
To hinder the unfolding truth, to ostracize whatever uplifts mankind, is of course out of the question. Such an attempt indicates weakness, fear, or malice; and such efforts arise from a spiritual lack, felt, though unacknowledged.
Let it not be heard in Boston that woman, "last at the cross and first at the sepulchre," has no rights which man is bound to respect. In natural law and in religion the right of woman to fill the highest measure of enlightened understanding and the highest places in government, is inalienable, and these rights are ably vindicated by the noblest of both sexes. This is woman's hour, with all its sweet amenities and its moral and religious reforms.
Drifting into intellectual wrestlings, we should agree to disagree; and this harmony would anchor the Church in more spiritual latitudes, and so fulfil her destiny.
Let the Word have free course and be glorified. The people clamor to leave cradle and swaddling-clothes. The spiritual status is urging its highest demands on mortals, and material history is drawing to a close. Truth cannot be stereotyped; it unfoldeth forever. "One on God's side is a majority;" and "Lo, I am with you alway," is the pledge of the Master.
The question now at issue is: Shall we have a practical, spiritual Christianity, with its healing power, or shall we have material medicine and superficial religion? The advancing hope of the race, craving health and holiness, halts for a reply; and the reappearing Christ, whose life-giving understanding Christian Science imparts, must answer the constant inquiry: "Art thou he that should come?" Woman should not be ordered to the rear, or laid on the rack, for joining the overture of angels. Theologians descant pleasantly upon free moral agency; but they should begin by admitting individual rights.
The author's ancestors were among the first settlers of New Hampshire. They reared there the Puritan standard of undefiled religion. As dutiful descendants of Puritans, let us lift their standard higher, rejoicing, as Paul did, that we are free born.
Man has a noble destiny; and the full-orbed significance of this destiny has dawned on the sick-bound and sin-enslaved. For the unfolding of this upward tendency to health, greatness, and goodness, I shall continue to labor and wait.
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