How would you define Christian Science?
AS the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony.
What is the Principle of Christian Science?
It is God, the Supreme Being, infinite and immortal Mind, the Soul of man and the universe. It is our Father which is in heaven. It is substance, Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love, — these are the deific Principle.
Do you mean by this that God is a person?
The word person affords a large margin for misapprehension, as well as definition. In French the equivalent word is personne. In Spanish, Italian, and Latin, it is persona. The Latin verb personare is compounded of the prefix per (through) and sonare (to sound).
In law, Blackstone applies the word personal to bodily presence, in distinction from one's appearance (in court, for example) by deputy or proxy.
Other definitions of person, as given by Webster, are “a living soul; a self-conscious being; a moral agent; especially, a living human being, a corporeal man, woman, or child; an individual of the human race.” He adds, that among Trinitarian Christians the word stands for one of the three subjects, or agents, constituting the Godhead.
In Christian Science we learn that God is definitely individual, and not a person, as that word is used by the best authorities, if our lexicographers are right in defining person as especially a finite human being; but God is personal, if by person is meant infinite Spirit.
We do not conceive rightly of God, if we think of Him as less than infinite. The human person is finite; and therefore I prefer to retain the proper sense of Deity by using the phrase an individual God, rather than a personal God; for there is and can be but one infinite individual Spirit, whom mortals have named God.
Science defines the individuality of God as supreme good, Life, Truth, Love. This term enlarges our sense of Deity, takes away the trammels assigned to God by finite thought, and introduces us to higher definitions.
Is healing the sick the whole of Science?
Healing physical sickness is the smallest part of Christian Science. It is only the bugle-call to thought and action, in the higher range of infinite goodness. The emphatic purpose of Christian Science is the healing of sin; and this task, sometimes, may be harder than the cure of disease; because, while mortals love to sin, they do not love to be sick. Hence their comparative acquiescence in your endeavors to heal them of bodily ills, and their obstinate resistance to all efforts to save them from sin through Christ, spiritual Truth and Love, which redeem them, and become their Saviour, through the flesh, from the flesh,—the material world and evil.
This Life, Truth, and Love—this trinity of good—was individualized, to the perception of mortal sense, in the man Jesus. His history is emphatic in our hearts, and it lives more because of his spiritual than his physical healing. His example is, to Christian Scientists, what the models of the masters in music and painting are to artists.
Genuine Christian Scientists will no more deviate morally from that divine digest of Science called the Sermon on the Mount, than they will manipulate invalids, prescribe drugs, or deny God. Jesus' healing was spiritual in its nature, method, and design. He wrought the cure of disease through the divine Mind, which gives all true volition, impulse, and action; and destroys the mental error made manifest physically, and establishes the opposite manifestation of Truth upon the body in harmony and health.
By the individuality of God, do you mean that God has a finite form?
No. I mean the infinite and divine Principle of all being, the ever-present I am, filling all space, including in itself all Mind, the one Father-Mother God. Life, Truth, and Love are this trinity in unity, and their universe is spiritual, peopled with perfect beings, harmonious and eternal, of which our material universe and men are the counterfeits.
Is God the Principle of all science, or only of Divine or Christian Science?
Science is Mind manifested. It is not material; neither is it of human origin.
All true Science represents a moral and spiritual force, which holds the earth in its orbit. This force is Spirit, that can “bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades,” and “loose the bands of Orion.”
There is no material science, if by that term you mean material intelligence. God is infinite Mind, hence there is no other Mind. Good is Mind, but evil is not Mind. Good is not in evil, but in God only. Spirit is not in matter, but in Spirit only. Law is not in matter, but in Mind only.
Is there no matter?
All is Mind. According to the Scriptures and Christian Science, all is God, and there is naught beside Him. “God is Spirit;” and we can only learn and love Him through His spirit, which brings out the fruits of Spirit and extinguishes forever the works of darkness by His marvellous light.
The five material senses testify to the existence of matter. The spiritual senses afford no such evidence, but deny the testimony of the material senses. Which testimony is correct? The Bible says: “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” If, as the Scriptures imply, God is All-in-all, then all must be Mind, since God is Mind. Therefore in divine Science there is no material mortal man, for man is spiritual and eternal, he being made in the image of Spirit, or God.
There is no material sense. Matter is inert, inanimate, and sensationless,—considered apart from Mind. Lives there a man who has ever found Soul in the body or in matter, who has ever seen spiritual substance with the eye, who has found sight in matter, hearing in the material ear, or intelligence in non-intelligence? If there is any such thing as matter, it must be either mind which is called matter, or matter without Mind.
Matter without Mind is a moral impossibility. Mind in matter is pantheism. Soul is the only real consciousness which cognizes being. The body does not see, hear, smell, or taste. Human belief says that it does; but destroy this belief of seeing with the eye, and we could not see materially; and so it is with each of the physical senses.
Accepting the verdict of these material senses, we should believe man and the universe to be the football of chance and sinking into oblivion. Destroy the five senses as organized matter, and you must either become non-existent, or exist in Mind only; and this latter conclusion is the simple solution of the problem of being, and leads to the equal inference that there is no matter.
The sweet sounds and glories of earth and sky, assuming manifold forms and colors,—are they not tangible and material?
As Mind they are real, but not as matter. All beauty and goodness are in and of Mind, emanating from God; but when we change the nature of beauty and goodness from Mind to matter, the beauty is marred, through a false conception, and, to the material senses, evil takes the place of good.
Has not the truth in Christian Science met a response from Prof. S. P. Langley, the young American astronomer? He says that “color is in us,” not “in the rose;” and he adds that this is not “any metaphysical subtlety,” but a fact “almost universally accepted, within the last few years, by physicists.”
Is not the basis of Mind-healing a destruction of the evidence of the material senses, and restoration of the true evidence of spiritual sense?
It is, so far as you perceive and understand this predicate and postulate of Mind-healing; but the Science of Mind-healing is best understood in practical demonstration. The proof of what you apprehend, in the simplest definite and absolute form of healing, can alone answer this question of how much you understand of Christian Science Mind-healing. Not that all healing is Science, by any means; but that the simplest case, healed in Science, is as demonstrably scientific, in a small degree, as the most difficult case so treated.
The infinite and subtler conceptions and consistencies of Christian Science are set forth in my work Science and Health.
Is man material or spiritual?
In Science, man is the manifest reflection of God, perfect and immortal Mind. He is the likeness of God; and His likeness would be lost if inverted or perverted.
According to the evidence of the so-called physical senses, man is material, fallen, sick, depraved, mortal. Science and spiritual sense contradict this, and they afford the only true evidence of the being of God, and man, the material evidence being wholly false.
Jesus said of personal evil, that “the truth abode not in him,” because there is no material sense. Matter, as matter, has neither sensation nor personal intelligence. As a pretension to be Mind, matter is a lie, and “the father of lies;” Mind is not in matter, and Spirit cannot originate its opposite, named matter.
According to divine Science, Spirit no more changes its species, by evolving matter from Spirit, than natural science, so-called, or material laws, bring about alteration of species by transforming minerals into vegetables or plants into animals,—thus confusing and confounding the three great kingdoms. No rock brings forth an apple; no pine-tree produces a mammal or provides breast-milk for babes.
To sense, the lion of to-day is the lion of six thousand years ago; but in Science, Spirit sends forth its own harmless likeness.
How should I undertake to demonstrate Christian Science in healing the sick?
As I have given you only an epitome of the Principle, so I can give you here nothing but an outline of the practice. Be honest, be true to thyself, and true to others; then it follows thou wilt be strong in God, the eternal good. Heal through Truth and Love; there is no other healer.
In all moral revolutions, from a lower to a higher condition of thought and action, Truth is in the minority and error has the majority. It is not otherwise in the field of Mind-healing. The man who calls himself a Christian Scientist, yet is false to God and man, is also uttering falsehood about good. This falsity shuts against him the Truth and the Principle of Science, but opens a way whereby, through will-power, sense may say the unchristian practitioner can heal; but Science shows that he makes morally worse the invalid whom he is supposed to cure.
By this I mean that mortal mind should not be falsely impregnated. If by such lower means the health is seemingly restored, the restoration is not lasting, and the patient is liable to a relapse,—“The last state of that man is worse than the first.”
The teacher of Mind-healing who is not a Christian, in the highest sense, is constantly sowing the seeds of discord and disease. Even the truth he speaks is more or less blended with error; and this error will spring up in the mind of his pupil. The pupil's imperfect knowledge will lead to weakness in practice, and he will be a poor practitioner, if not a malpractitioner.
The basis of malpractice is in erring human will, and this will is an outcome of what I call mortal mind,—a false and temporal sense of Truth, Life, and Love. To heal, in Christian Science, is to base your practice on immortal Mind, the divine Principle of man's being; and this requires a preparation of the heart and an answer of the lips from the Lord.
The Science of healing is the Truth of healing. If one is untruthful, his mental state weighs against his healing power; and similar effects come from pride, envy, lust, and all fleshly vices.
The spiritual power of a scientific, right thought, without a direct effort, an audible or even a mental argument, has oftentimes healed inveterate diseases.
The thoughts of the practitioner should be imbued with a clear conviction of the omnipotence and omnipresence of God; that He is All, and that there can be none beside Him; that God is good, and the producer only of good; and hence, that whatever militates against health, harmony, or holiness, is an unjust usurper of the throne of the controller of all mankind. Note this, that if you have power in error, you forfeit the power that Truth bestows, and its salutary influence on yourself and others.
You must feel and know that God alone governs man; that His government is harmonious; that He is too pure to behold iniquity, and divides His power with nothing evil or material; that material laws are only human beliefs, which govern mortals wrongfully. These beliefs arise from the subjective states of thought, producing the beliefs of a mortal material universe,—so-called, and of material disease and mortality. Mortal ills are but errors of thought,—diseases of mortal mind, and not of matter; for matter cannot feel, see, or report pain or disease.
Disease is a thing of thought manifested on the body; and fear is the procurator of the thought which causes sickness and suffering. Remove this fear by the true sense that God is Love,—and that Love punishes nothing but sin,—and the patient can then look up to the loving God, and know that He afflicteth not willingly the children of men, who are punished because of disobedience to His spiritual law. His law of Truth, when obeyed, removes every erroneous physical and mental state. The belief that matter can master Mind, and make you ill, is an error which Truth will destroy.
You must learn to acknowledge God in all His ways. It is only a lack of understanding of the allness of God, which leads you to believe in the existence of matter, or that matter can frame its own conditions, contrary to the law of Spirit.
Sickness is the schoolmaster, leading you to Christ; first to faith in Christ; next to belief in God as omnipotent; and finally to the understanding of God and man in Christian Science, whereby you learn that God is good, and in Science man is His likeness, the forever reflection of goodness. Therefore good is one and All.
This brings forward the next proposition in Christian Science,—namely, that there are no sickness, sin, and death in the divine Mind. What seem to be disease, vice, and mortality are illusions of the physical senses. These illusions are not real, but unreal. Health is the consciousness of the unreality of pain and disease; or, rather, the absolute consciousness of harmony and of nothing else. In a moment you may awake from a night-dream; just so you can awake from the dream of sickness; but the demonstration of the Science of Mind-healing by no means rests on the strength of human belief. This demonstration is based on a true understanding of God and divine Science, which takes away every human belief, and, through the illumination of spiritual understanding, reveals the all-power and ever-presence of good, whence emanate health, harmony, and Life eternal.
The lecturer, teacher, or healer who is indeed a Christian Scientist, never introduces the subject of human anatomy; never depicts the muscular, vascular, or nervous operations of the human frame. He never talks about the structure of the material body. He never lays his hands on the patient, nor manipulates the parts of the body supposed to be ailing. Above all, he keeps unbroken the Ten Commandments, and practises Christ's Sermon on the Mount.
Wrong thoughts and methods strengthen the sense of disease, instead of cure it; or else quiet the fear of the sick on false grounds, encouraging them in the belief of error until they hold stronger than before the belief that they are first made sick by matter, and then restored through its agency. This fosters infidelity, and is mental quackery, that denies the Principle of Mind-healing. If the sick are aided in this mistaken fashion, their ailments will return, and be more stubborn because the relief is unchristian and unscientific.
Christian Science erases from the minds of invalids their mistaken belief that they live in or because of matter, or that a so-called material organism controls the health or existence of mankind, and induces rest in God, divine Love, as caring for all the conditions requisite for the well-being of man. As power divine is the healer, why should mortals concern themselves with the chemistry of food? Jesus said: “Take no thought what ye shall eat.”
The practitioner should also endeavor to free the minds of the healthy from any sense of subordination to their bodies, and teach them that the divine Mind, not material law, maintains human health and life.
A Christian Scientist knows that, in Science, disease is unreal; that Mind is not in matter; that Life is God, good; hence Life is not functional, and is neither matter nor mortal mind; knows that pantheism and theosophy are not Science. Whatever saps, with human belief, this basis of Christian Science, renders it impossible to demonstrate the Principle of this Science, even in the smallest degree.
A mortal and material body is not the actual individuality of man made in the divine and spiritual image of God. The material body is not the likeness of Spirit; hence it is not the truth of being, but the likeness of error—the human belief which saith there is more than one God,—there is more than one Life and one Mind.
In Deuteronomy (iv. 35) we read: “The Lord, He is God; there is none else beside Him.” In John (iv. 24) we may read: “God is Spirit.” These propositions, understood in their Science, elucidate my meaning.
When treating a patient, it is not Science to treat every organ in the body. To aver that harmony is the real and discord is the unreal, and then give special attention to what according to their own belief is diseased, is scientific; and if the healer realizes the truth, it will free his patient.
What are the means and methods of trustworthy Christian Scientists?
These people should not be expected, more than others, to give all their time to Christian Science work, receiving no wages in return, but left to be fed, clothed, and sheltered by charity. Neither can they serve two masters, giving only a portion of their time to God, and still be Christian Scientists. They must give Him all their services, and “owe no man.” To do this, they must at present ask a suitable price for their services, and then conscientiously earn their wages, strictly practising Divine Science, and healing the sick.
The author never sought charitable support, but gave fully seven-eighths of her time without remuneration, except the bliss of doing good. The only pay taken for her labors was from classes, and often those were put off for months, in order to do gratuitous work. She has never taught a Primary class without several, and sometimes seventeen, free students in it; and has endeavored to take the full price of tuition only from those who were able to pay. The student who pays must of necessity do better than he who does not pay, and yet will expect and require others to pay him. No discount on tuition was made on higher classes, because their first classes furnished students with the means of paying for their tuition in the higher instruction, and of doing charity work besides. If the Primary students are still impecunious, it is their own fault, and this ill-success of itself leaves them unprepared to enter higher classes.
People are being healed by means of my instructions, both in and out of class. Many students, who have passed through a regular course of instruction from me, have been invalids and were healed in the class; but experience has shown that this defrauds the scholar, though it heals the sick.
It is seldom that a student, if healed in a class, has left it understanding sufficiently the Science of healing to immediately enter upon its practice. Why? Because the glad surprise of suddenly regained health is a shock to the mind; and this holds and satisfies the thought with exuberant joy.
This renders the mind less inquisitive, plastic, and tractable; and deep systematic thinking is impracticable until this impulse subsides.
This was the principal reason for advising diseased people not to enter a class. Few were taken besides invalids for students, until there were enough practitioners to fill in the best possible manner the department of healing. Teaching and healing should have separate departments, and these should be fortified on all sides with suitable and thorough guardianship and grace.
Only a very limited number of students can advantageously enter a class, grapple with this subject, and well assimilate what has been taught them. It is impossible to teach thorough Christian Science to promiscuous and large assemblies, or to persons who cannot be addressed individually, so that the mind of the pupil may be dissected more critically than the body of a subject laid bare for anatomical examination. Public lectures cannot be such lessons in Christian Science as are required to empty and to fill anew the individual mind.
If publicity and material control are the motives for teaching, then public lectures can take the place of private lessons; but the former can never give a thorough knowledge of Christian Science, and a Christian Scientist will never undertake to fit students for practice by such means. Lectures in public are needed, but they must be subordinate to thorough class instruction in any branch of education.
None with an imperfect sense of the spiritual signification of the Bible, and its scientific relation to Mind-healing, should attempt overmuch in their translation of the Scriptures into the “new tongue;” but I see that some novices, in the truth of Science, and some impostors are committing this error.
Is there more than one school of scientific healing?
In reality there is, and can be, but one school of the Science of Mind-healing. Any departure from Science is an irreparable loss of Science. Whatever is said and written correctly on this Science originates from the Principle and practice laid down in Science and Health, a work which I published in 1875. This was the first book, recorded in history, which elucidates a pathological Science purely mental.
Minor shades of difference in Mind-healing have originated with certain opposing factions, springing up among unchristian students, who, fusing with a class of aspirants which snatch at whatever is progressive, call it their first-fruits, or else post mortem evidence.
A slight divergence is fatal in Science. Like certain Jews whom St. Paul had hoped to convert from mere motives of self-aggrandizement to the love of Christ, these so-called schools are clogging the wheels of progress by blinding the people to the true character of Christian Science, — its moral power, and its divine efficacy to heal.
The true understanding of Christian Science Mind-healing never originated in pride, rivalry, or the deification of self. The Discoverer of this Science could tell you of timidity, of self-distrust, of friendlessness, toil, agonies, and victories under which she needed miraculous vision to sustain her, when taking the first footsteps in this Science.
The ways of Christianity have not changed. Meekness, selflessness, and love are the paths of His testimony and the footsteps of His flock.
|The University Press, Cambridge, U. S. A.|
MARY BAKER EDDY
AUTHOR OF SCIENCE AND HEALTH WITH KEY TO
Published by Allison V. Stewart
FOR THE TRUSTEES UNDER THE WILL OF MARY BAKER G. EDDY
Falmouth and St. Paul Streets
Authorized Literature of
The First Church of Christ, Scientist
in Boston, Massachusetts
Copyright, 1891, 1908
By Mary Baker G. Eddy
All rights reserved
THIS LITTLE BOOK
TENDERLY AND RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED
LOYAL STUDENTS, WORKING AND WAITING
FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE
SCIENCE OF MIND-HEALING
MARY BAKER EDDY
|Definition of Christian Science||1|
|Principle of Christian Science||1|
|Personality of God||1|
|Healing Sickness and Sin||2|
|Individuality of God||3|
|Material and Spiritual Science||4|
|Non-existence of Matter||4|
|Basis of Mind-healing||6|
|Material and Spiritual Man||7|
|Demonstration in Healing||8|
|Means and Methods||13|
|Only One School||16|