The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany/Chapter 1.01
THE FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST
Message from Mary Baker Eddy on the Occasion of the Dedication of the Extension of The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, June 10, 1906
MY Beloved Brethren:—The divine might of Truth demands well-doing in order to demonstrate truth, and this not alone in accord with human desire but with spiritual power. St. John writes: “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” The sear leaves of faith without works, scattered abroad in Zion's waste places, appeal to reformers, “Show me thy faith by thy works.”
Christian Science is not a dweller apart in royal solitude; it is not a law of matter, nor a transcendentalism that heals only the sick. This Science is a law of divine Mind, a persuasive animus, an unerring impetus, an ever-present help. Its presence is felt, for it acts and acts wisely, always unfolding the highway of hope, faith, understanding. It is the higher criticism, the higher hope; and its effect on man is mainly this — that the good which has come into his life, examination compels him to think genuine, whoever did it. A Christian Scientist verifies his calling. Choose ye!
When, by losing his faith in matter and sin, one finds the spirit of Truth, then he practises the Golden Rule spontaneously; and obedience to this rule spiritualizes man, for the world's nolens volens cannot enthrall it. Lust, dishonesty, sin, disable the student; they preclude the practice or efficient teaching of Christian Science, the truth of man's being. The Scripture reads: “He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” On this basis, how many are following the Way-shower? We follow Truth only as we follow truly, meekly, patiently, spiritually, blessing saint and sinner with the leaven of divine Love which woman has put into Christendom and medicine.
A genuine Christian Scientist loves Protestant and Catholic, D.D. and M.D., — loves all who love God, good; and he loves his enemies. It will be found that, instead of opposing, such an individual subserves the interests of both medical faculty and Christianity, and they thrive together, learning that Mind-power is good will towards men. Thus unfolding the true metal in character, the iron in human nature rusts away; honesty and justice characterize the seeker and finder of Christian Science.
The pride of place or power is the prince of this world that hath nothing in Christ. Our great Master said: “Except ye . . . become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven,” — the reign of righteousness, the glory of good, healing the sick and saving the sinner. The height of my hope must remain. Glory be to Thee, Thou God most high and nigh.
Whatever is not divinely natural and demonstrably true, in ethics, philosophy, or religion, is not of God but originates in the minds of mortals. It is the Adam-dream according to the Scriptural allegory, in which man is supposed to start from dust and woman to be the outcome of man's rib, — marriage synonymous with legalized lust, and the offspring of sense the murderers of their brothers!
Wholly apart from this mortal dream, this illusion and delusion of sense. Christian Science comes to reveal man as God's image. His idea, coexistent with Him — God giving all and man having all that God gives. Whence, then, came the creation of matter, sin, and death, mortal pride and power, prestige or privilege? The First Commandment of the Hebrew Decalogue, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” and the Golden Rule are the all-in-all of Christian Science. They are the spiritual idealism and realism which, when realized, constitute a Christian Scientist, heal the sick, reform the sinner, and rob the grave of its victory. The spiritual understanding which demonstrates Christian Science, enables the devout Scientist to worship, not an unknown God, but Him whom, understanding even in part, he continues to love more and to serve better.
Beloved, I am not with you in propria persona at this memorable dedication and communion season, but I am with you “in spirit and in truth,” lovingly thanking your generosity and fidelity, and saying virtually what the prophet said: Continue to choose whom ye will serve.
Forgetting the Golden Rule and indulging sin, men cannot serve God; they cannot demonstrate the omnipotence of divine Mind that heals the sick and the sinner. Human will may mesmerize and mislead man; divine wisdom, never. Indulging deceit is like the defendant arguing for the plaintiff in favor of a decision which the defendant knows will be turned against himself.
We cannot serve two masters. Do we love God supremely? Are we honest, just, faithful? Are we true to ourselves? “God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” To abide in our unselfed better self is to be done forever with the sins of the flesh, the wrongs of human life, the tempter and temptation, the smile and deceit of damnation. When we have overcome sin in all its forms, men may revile us and despitefully use us, and we shall rejoice, “for great is [our] reward in heaven.”
You have dexterously and wisely provided for The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, a magnificent temple wherein to enter and pray. Greatly impressed and encouraged thereby, deeply do I thank you for this proof of your progress, unity, and love. The modest edifice of The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, began with the cross; its excelsior extension is the crown. The room of your Leader remains in the beginning of this edifice, evidencing the praise of babes and the word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Its crowning ultimate rises to a mental monument, a superstructure high above the work of men's hands, even the outcome of their hearts, giving to the material a spiritual significance — the speed, beauty, and achievements of goodness. Methinks this church is the one edifice on earth which most prefigures self-abnegation, hope, faith; love catching a glimpse of glory.