The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany/Chapter 2.10
ADMONITION AND COUNSEL
What Our Leader Says
BELOVED Christian Scientists, keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them. It is plain that nothing can be added to the mind already full. There is no door through which evil can enter, and no space for evil to fill in a mind filled with goodness. Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited.
The self-seeking pride of the evil thinker injures him when he would harm others. Goodness involuntarily resists evil. The evil thinker is the proud talker and doer. The right thinker abides under the shadow of the Almighty. His thoughts can only reflect peace, good will towards men, health, and holiness.
Ways that are Vain
Certain individuals entertain the notion that Christian Science Mind-healing should be two-sided, and only denounce error in general, — saying nothing, in particular, of error that is damning men. They are sticklers for a false, convenient peace, straining at gnats and swallowing camels. The unseen wrong to individuals and society they are too cowardly, too ignorant, or too wicked to uncover, and excuse themselves by denying that this evil exists. This mistaken way, of hiding sin in order to maintain harmony, has licensed evil, allowing it first to smoulder, and then break out in devouring flames. All that error asks is to be let alone; even as in Jesus' time the unclean spirits cried out, “Let us alone; what have we to do with thee?”
Animal magnetism, in its ascending steps of evil, entices its victim by unseen, silent arguments. Reversing the modes of good, in their silent allurements to health and holiness, it impels mortal mind into error of thought, and tempts into the committal of acts foreign to the natural inclinations. The victims lose their individuality, and lend themselves as willing tools to carry out the designs of their worst enemies, even those who would induce their self-destruction. Animal magnetism fosters suspicious distrust where honor is due, fear where courage should be strongest, reliance where there should be avoidance, a belief in safety where there is most danger; and these miserable lies, poured constantly into his mind, fret and confuse it, spoiling that individual's disposition, undermining his health, and sealing his doom, unless the cause of the mischief is found out and destroyed.
Other minds are made dormant by it, and the victim is in a state of semi-individuality, with a mental haziness which admits of no intellectual culture or spiritual growth. The state induced by this secret evil influence is a species of intoxication, in which the victim is led to believe and do what he would never, otherwise, think or do voluntarily.
This intricate method of animal magnetism is the essence, or spirit, of evil, which makes mankind drunken. In this era it is taking the place of older and more open sins, and other forms of intoxication. A harder fight will be necessary to expose the cause and effects of this evil influence, than has been required to put down the evil effects of alcohol. The alcoholic habit is the use of higher forms of matter, wherewith to do evil; whereas animal magnetism is the highest form of mental evil, wherewith to complete the sum total of sin.
The question is often asked, Why is there so much dissension among mental practitioners? We answer, Because they do not practise in strict accordance with the teaching of Christian Science Mind-healing. If they did, there would be unity of action. Being like the disciples of old, “with one accord in one place,” they would receive a spiritual influx impossible under other conditions, and so would recognize and resist the animal magnetism by which they are being deceived and misled.
The mental malpractitioner, interfering with the rights of Mind, destroys the true sense of Science, and loses his own power to heal. He tries to compensate himself for his own loss by hindering in every way conceivable the success of others. You will find this practitioner saying that animal magnetism never troubles him, but that Mrs. Eddy teaches animal magnetism; and he says this to cover his crime of mental malpractice, in furtherance of unscrupulous designs.
The natural fruits of Christian Science Mind-healing are harmony, brotherly love, spiritual growth and activity. The malicious aim of perverted mind-power, or animal magnetism, is to paralyze good and give activity to evil. It starts factions and engenders envy and hatred, but as activity is by no means a right of evil and its emissaries, they ought not to be encouraged in it. Because this age is cursed with one rancorous and lurking foe to human weal, those who are the truest friends of mankind, and conscientious in their desire to do right and to live pure and Christian lives, should be more zealous to do good, more watchful and vigilant. Then they will be proportionately successful and bring out glorious results.
Unless one's eyes are opened to the modes of mental malpractice, working so subtly that we mistake its suggestions for the impulses of our own thought, the victim will allow himself to drift in the wrong direction without knowing it. Be ever on guard against this enemy. Watch your thoughts, and see whether they lead you to God and into harmony with His true followers. Guard and strengthen your own citadel more strongly. Thus you will grow wiser and better through every attack of your foe, and the Golden Rule will not rust for lack of use or be misinterpreted by the adverse influence of animal magnetism.
Only One Quotation
The following three quotations from “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” are submitted to the dear Churches of Christ, Scientist. From these they may select one only to place on the walls of their church. Otherwise, as our churches multiply, promiscuous selections would write your textbook on the walls of your churches.
Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.
Mary Baker Eddy.
Christianity is again demonstrating the Life that is Truth, and the Truth that is Life.
Mary Baker Eddy.
Jesus' three days' work in the sepulchre set the seal of eternity on time. He proved Life to be deathless and Love to be the master of hate.
Mary Baker Eddy.
The Laborer and his Hire
In reply to letters questioning the consistency of Christian Scientists taking pay for their labors, and with the hope of relieving the questioners' perplexity, I will say: Four years after my discovery of Christian Science, while taking no remuneration for my labors, and for healing all manner of diseases, I was confronted with the fact that I had no monetary means left wherewith to hire a hall in which to speak, or to establish a Christian Science home for indigent students, which I yearned to do, or even to meet my own current expenses. I therefore halted from necessity.
I had cast my all into the treasury of Truth, but where were the means with which to carry on a Cause? To desert the Cause never occurred to me, but nobody then wanted Christian Science, or gave it a halfpenny. Though sorely oppressed, I was above begging and knew well the priceless worth of what had been bestowed without money or price. Just then God stretched forth His hand. He it was that bade me do what I did, and it prospered at every step. I wrote “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” taught students for a tuition of three hundred dollars each, though I seldom taught without having charity scholars, sometimes a dozen or upward in one class. Afterwards, with touching tenderness, those very students sent me the full tuition money. However, I returned this money with love; but it was again mailed to me in letters begging me to accept it, saying, “Your teachings are worth much more to me than money can be.”
It was thus that I earned the means with which to start a Christian Science home for the poor worthy student, to establish a Metaphysical College, to plant our first magazine, to purchase the site for a church edifice, to give my church The Christian Science Journal, and to keep “the wolves in sheep's clothing,” preying upon my pearls, from clogging the wheels of Christian Science.
When the great Master first sent forth his students, he bade them take no scrip for their journey, saying, “The laborer is worthy of his hire.” Next, on the contrary, he bade them take scrip. Can we find a better example for our lives than that of our Master? Why did he send forth his students first without, and then with, provision for their expenses? Doubtless to test the effect of both methods on mankind. That he preferred the latter is evident, since we have no hint of his changing this direction; and that his divine wisdom should temper human affairs, is plainly set forth in the Scriptures. Till Christian Scientists give all their time to spiritual things, live without eating, and obtain their money from a fish's mouth, they must earn it in order to help mankind with it. All systems of religion stand on this basis.
The law and the gospel, — Christian, civil, and educational means, — manufacture, agriculture, tariff, and revenue subsist on demand and supply, regulated by a government currency, by which each is provided for and maintained. What, then, can a man do with truth and without a cent to sustain it? Either his life must be a miracle that frightens people, or his truth not worth a cent.
The Children Contributors
My Beloved Children: — Tenderly thanking you for your sweet industry and love on behalf of the room of the Pastor Emeritus in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, I say: The purpose of God to youward indicates another field of work which I present to your thought, work by which you can do much good and which is adapted to your present unfolding capacity. I request that from this date you disband as a society, drop the insignia of “Busy Bees,” work in your own several localities, and no longer contribute to The Mother Church flower fund.
As you grow older, advance in the knowledge of self-support, and see the need of self-culture, it is to be expected you will feel more than at present that charity begins at home, and that you will want money for your own uses. Contemplating these important wants, I see that you should begin now to earn for a purpose even higher, the money that you expend for flowers. You will want it for academics, for your own school education, or, if need be, to help your parents, brothers, or sisters.
Further to encourage your early, generous incentive for action, and to reward your hitherto unselfish toil, I have deeded in trust to The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, the sum of four thousand dollars to be invested in safe municipal bonds for my dear children contributors to the room of the Pastor Emeritus. This sum is to remain on interest till it is disbursed in equal shares to each contributor. This disbursal will take place when the contributors shall have arrived at legal age, and each contributor will receive his dividend with interest thereon up to date, provided he has complied with my request as above named.
In the last Sentinel [Oct. 12, 1899] was the following question: “If all matter is unreal, why do we deny the existence of disease in the material body and not the body itself?”
We deny first the existence of disease, because we can meet this negation more readily than we can negative all that the material senses affirm. It is written in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “An improved belief is one step out of error, and aids in taking the next step and in understanding the situation in Christian Science” (p. 296).
Thus it is that our great Exemplar, Jesus of Nazareth, first takes up the subject. He does not require the last step to be taken first. He came to the world not to destroy the law of being, but to fulfil it in righteousness. He restored the diseased body to its normal action, functions, and organization, and in explanation of his deeds he said, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” Job said, “In my flesh shall I see God.” Neither the Old nor the New Testament furnishes reasons or examples for the destruction of the human body, but for its restoration to life and health as the scientific proof of “God with us.” The power and prerogative of Truth are to destroy all disease and to raise the dead — even the self-same Lazarus. The spiritual body, the incorporeal idea, came with the ascension.
Jesus demonstrated the divine Principle of Christian Science when he presented his material body absolved from death and the grave. The introduction of pure abstractions into Christian Science, without their correlatives, leaves the divine Principle of Christian Science unexplained, tends to confuse the mind of the reader, and ultimates in what Jesus denounced, namely, straining at gnats and swallowing camels.
A fad of belief is the fool of mesmerism. The belief that an individual can either teach or heal by proxy is a false faith that will end bitterly. My published works are teachers and healers. My private life is given to a servitude the fruit of which all mankind may share. Such labor is impartial, meted out to one no more than to another. Therefore an individual should not enter the Massachusetts Metaphysical College with the expectation of receiving instruction from me, other than that which my books afford, unless I am personally present. Nor should patients anticipate being helped by me through some favored student. Such practice would be erroneous, and such an anticipation on the part of the sick a hindrance rather than help.
My good students have all the honor of their success in teaching or in healing. I by no means would pluck their plumes. Human power is most properly used in preventing the occasion for its use; otherwise its use is abuse.
Christian Science Healing
To say that it is sin to ride to church on an electric car, would not be more preposterous than to believe that man's Maker is not equal to the destruction of disease germs. Christ, Truth, the ever-present spiritual idea, who raises the dead, is equal to the giving of life and health to man and to the healing, as aforetime, of all manner of diseases. I would not charge Christians with doubting the Bible record of our great Master's life of healing, since Christianity must be predicated of what Christ Jesus taught and did; but I do say that Christian Science cannot annul nor make void the laws of the land, since Christ, the great demonstrator of Christian Science, said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”
I have expressed my opinion publicly as to the precautions against the spread of so-called infectious and contagious diseases in the following words: —
“Rather than quarrel over vaccination, I recommend, if the law demand, that an individual submit to this process, that he obey the law, and then appeal to the gospel to save him from bad physical results. Whatever changes come to this century or to any epoch, we may safely submit to the providence of God, to common justice, to the maintenance of individual rights, and to governmental usages. This statement should be so interpreted as to apply, on the basis of Christian Science, to the reporting of a contagious case to the proper authorities when the law so requires. When Jesus was questioned concerning obedience to human law, he replied: ‘Render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's,’ even while you render ‘to God the things that are God's.’ ”
I believe in obeying the laws of the land. I practise and teach this obedience, since justice is the moral signification of law. Injustice denotes the absence of law. Each day I pray for the pacification of all national difficulties, for the brotherhood of man, for the end of idolatry and infidelity, and for the growth and establishment of Christian religion — Christ's Christianity. I also have faith that my prayer availeth, and that He who is overturning will overturn until He whose right it is shall reign. Each day I pray: “God bless my enemies; make them Thy friends; give them to know the joy and the peace of love.”
Past, present, or future philosophy or religion, which departs from the instructions and example of the great Galilean Prophet, cannot be Christlike. Jesus obeyed human laws and fell a victim to those laws. But nineteen centuries have greatly improved human nature and human statutes. That the innocent should suffer for the guilty, seems less divine, and that humanity should share alike liberty of conscience, seems more divine to-day than it did yesterday.
The earthly price of spirituality in religion and medicine in a material age is persecution, and the moral distance between Christianity and materialism precludes Jesus' doctrine, now as then, from finding favor with certain purely human views. The prophets of old looked for something higher than the systems and practices of their times. They foresaw the new dispensation of Truth and the demonstration of God in His more infinite meanings, — the demonstration which was to destroy sin, disease, and death, establish the definition of omnipotence, and illustrate the Science of Mind. Earth has not known another so great and good as Christ Jesus. Then can we find a better moral philosophy, a more complete, natural, and divine Science of medicine, or a better religion than his?
God is Spirit. Then modes of healing, other than the spiritual and divine, break the First Commandment of the Decalogue, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” There are no other heaven-appointed means than the spiritual with which to heal sin and disease. Our Master conformed to this law, and instructed his followers, saying, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.” This is enough.
All issues of morality, of Christianity, of pleasure, or of pain must come through a correct or incorrect state of thought, since matter is not conscious; then, like a watchman forsaking his post, shall we have no faith in God, in the divine Mind, thus throwing the door wide open to the intruding disease, forgetting that the divine Mind, Truth and Life, can guard the entrance?
We earnestly ask: Shall we not believe the Scripture, “The prayer of faith shall save the sick”? In the seventeenth chapter of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, we read that even the disciples of Jesus once failed mentally to cure by their faith and understanding a violent case of lunacy. And because of this Jesus rebuked them, saying: “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.” When his disciples asked him why they could not heal that case, Jesus, the master Metaphysician, answered, “Because of your unbelief” (lack of faith); and then continued: “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain. Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove.” Also he added: “This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (refraining from admitting the claims of the senses). Even in those dark days Jesus was not arrested and executed (for “insanity”) because of his faith and his great demands on the faith of his followers, but he was arrested because, as was said, “he stirreth up the people.” Be patient, O Christian Scientist! It is well that thou canst unloose the sandals of thy Master's feet.
The Constitution of the United States does not provide that materia medica shall make laws to regulate man's religion; rather does it imply that religion shall permeate our laws. Mankind will be God-governed in proportion as God's government becomes apparent, the Golden Rule utilized, and the rights of man and the liberty of conscience held sacred. Meanwhile, they who name the name of Christian Science will assist in the holding of crime in check, will aid the ejection of error, will maintain law and order, and will cheerfully await the end — justice and judgment.
Rules of Conduct
I hereby notify the public that no comers are received at Pleasant View without previous appointment by letter. Also that I neither listen to complaints, read letters, nor dictate replies to letters which pertain to church difficulties outside of The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, or to any class of individual discords. Letters from the sick are not read by me or by my secretaries. They should be sent to the Christian Science practitioners whose cards are in The Christian Science Journal.
Letters and despatches from individuals with whom I have no acquaintance and of whom I have no knowledge, containing questions about secular affairs, I do not answer. First, because I have not sufficient time to waste on them; second, because I do not consider myself capable of instructing persons in regard to that of which I know nothing. All such questions are superinduced by wrong motives or by “evil suggestions,” either of which I do not entertain.
All inquiries, coming directly or indirectly from a member of The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, which relate in any manner to the keeping or the breaking of one of the Church By-laws, should be addressed to the Christian Science Board of Directors and not to the Pastor Emeritus.
A Word to the Wise
The hour is imminent. Upon it lie burdens that time will remove. Just now divine Love and wisdom saith, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Do all Christian Scientists see or understand the importance of that demand at the moment, when human wisdom is inadequate to meet the exigencies of the hour and when they should wait on the logic of events?
I respectfully call your attention to this demand, knowing a little, as I ought, the human need, the divine command, the blessing which follows obedience and the bane which follows disobedience. Hurried conclusions as to the public thought are not apt to be correctly drawn. The public sentiment is helpful or dangerous only in proportion to its right or its wrong concept, and the forward footsteps it impels or the prejudice it instils. This prejudice the future must disclose and dispel. Avoid for the immediate present public debating clubs. Also be sure that you are not caught in some author's net, or made blind to his loss of the Golden Rule, of which Christian Science is the predicate and postulate, when he borrows the thoughts, words, and classification of one author without quotation-marks, at the same time giving full credit to another more fashionable but less correct.
My books state Christian Science correctly. They may not be as taking to those ignorant of this Science as books less correct and therefore less profound. But it is not safe to accept the latter as standards. We would not deny their authors a hearing, since the Scripture declares, “He that is not against us is on our part.” And we should also speak in loving terms of their efforts, but we cannot afford to recommend any literature as wholly Christian Science which is not absolutely genuine.
Beloved students, just now let us adopt the classic saying, “They also serve who only stand and wait.” Our Cause is growing apace under the present persecution thereof. This is a crucial hour, in which the coward and the hypocrite come to the surface to pass off, while the loyal at heart and the worker in the spirit of Truth are rising to the zenith of success, — the “Well done, good and faithful,” spoken by our Master.
A correct use of capital letters in composition caps the climax of the old “new tongue.” Christian Science is not understood by the writer or the reader who does not comprehend where capital letters should be used in writing about Christian Science.
In divine Science all belongs to God, for God is All; hence the propriety of giving unto His holy name due deference, — the capitalization which distinguishes it from all other names, thus obeying the leading of our Lord's Prayer.
The coming of Christ's kingdom on earth begins in the minds of men by honoring God and sacredly holding His name apart from the names of that which He creates. Mankind almost universally gives to the divine Spirit the name God. Christian Science names God as divine Principle, Love, the infinite Person. In this, as in all that is right. Christian Scientists are expected to stick to their text, and by no illogical conclusion, either in speaking or in writing, to forget their prayer, “Hallowed be Thy name.”
In their textbook it is clearly stated that God is divine Principle and that His synonyms are Love, Truth, Life, Spirit, Mind, Soul, which combine as one. The divine Principle includes them all. The word Principle, when referring to God, should not be written or used as a common noun or in the plural number. To avoid using this word incorrectly, use it only where you can substitute the word God and make sense. This rule strictly observed will preserve an intelligent usage of the word and convey its meaning in Christian Science.
What are termed in common speech the principle of harmonious vibration, the principle of conservation of number in geometry, the principle of the inclined plane in mechanics, etc., are but an effect of one universal cause, — an emanation of the one divine intelligent Principle that holds the earth in its orbit by evolved spiritual power, that commands the waves and the winds, that marks the sparrow's fall, and that governs all from the infinitesimal to the infinite, — namely, God. Withdraw God, divine Principle, from man and the universe, and man and the universe would no longer exist. But annihilate matter, and man and the universe would remain the forever fact, the spiritual “substance of things hoped for;” and the evidence of the immortality of man and the cosmos is sustained by the intelligent divine Principle, Love.
Beloved students, in this you learn to hallow His name, even as you value His all-power, all-presence, all-Science, and depend on Him for your existence.
Our faithful laborers in the field of Science have been told by the alert editor-in-chief of the Christian Science Sentinel and Journal that “Mrs. Eddy advises, until the public thought becomes better acquainted with Christian Science, that Christian Scientists decline to doctor infectious or contagious diseases.”
The great Master said, “For which of those works do ye stone me?” He said this to satisfy himself regarding that which he spake as God's representative — as one who never weakened in his own personal sense of righteousness because of another's wickedness or because of the minifying of his own goodness by another. Charity is quite as rare as wisdom, but when charity does appear, it is known by its patience and endurance.
When, under the protection of State or United States laws, good citizens are arrested for manslaughter because one out of three of their patients, having the same disease and in the same family, dies while the others recover, we naturally turn to divine justice for support and wait on God. Christian Scientists should be influenced by their own judgment in taking a case of malignant disease. They should consider well their ability to cope with the claim, and they should not overlook the fact that there are those lying in wait to catch them in their sayings; neither should they forget that in their practice, whether successful or not, they are not specially protected by law. The above quotation by the editor-in-chief stands for this: Inherent justice, constitutional individual rights, self-preservation, and the gospel injunction, “Neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”
And it stands side by side with Christ's command, “Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” I abide by this rule and triumph by it. The sinner may sneer at this beatitude, for “the fool hath said in his heart. There is no God.” Statistics show that Christian Science cures a larger per cent of malignant diseases than does materia medica.
I call disease by its name and have cured it thus; so there is nothing new on this score. My book Science and Health names disease, and thousands are healed by learning that so-called disease is a sensation of mind, not of matter. Evil minds signally blunder in divine metaphysics; hence I am always saying the unexpected to them. The evil mind calls it “skulking,” when to me it is wisdom to “overcome evil with good.” I fail to know how one can be a Christian and yet depart from Christ's teachings.
Who shall be greatest? Referring to John the Baptist, of whom he said none greater had been born of women, our Master declared: “He that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” That is, he that hath the kingdom of heaven, the reign of holiness, in the least in his heart, shall be greatest.
Who shall inherit the earth? The meek, who sit at the feet of Truth, bathing the human understanding with tears of repentance and washing it clean from the taints of self-righteousness, hypocrisy, envy, — they shall inherit the earth, for “wisdom is justified of her children.”
“Who shall dwell in Thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.”
Who shall be called to Pleasant View? He who strives, and attains; who has the divine presumption to say: “For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (St. Paul). It goes without saying that such a one was never called to Pleasant View for penance or for reformation; and I call none but genuine Christian Scientists, unless I mistake their calling. No mesmerist nor disloyal Christian Scientist is fit to come hither. I have no use for such, and there cannot be found at Pleasant View one of this sort. “For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” (Deuteronomy 18: 12.)
It is true that loyal Christian Scientists, called to the home of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, can acquire in one year the Science that otherwise might cost them a half century. But this should not be the incentive for going thither. Better far that Christian Scientists go to help their helper, and thus lose all selfishness, as she has lost it, and thereby help themselves and the whole world, as she has done, according to this saying of Christ Jesus: “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”
Will those beloved students, whose growth is taking in the Ten Commandments and scaling the steep ascent of Christ's Sermon on the Mount, accept profound thanks for their swift messages of rejoicing over the twentieth century Church Manual? Heaps upon heaps of praise confront me, and for what? That which I said in my heart would never be needed, — namely, laws of limitation for a Christian Scientist. Thy ways are not as ours. Thou knowest best what we need most, — hence my disappointed hope and grateful joy. The redeemed should be happier than the elect. Truth is strong with destiny; it takes life profoundly; it measures the infinite against the finite. Notwithstanding the sacrilegious moth of time, eternity awaits our Church Manual, which will maintain its rank as in the past, amid ministries aggressive and active, and will stand when those have passed to rest.
Scientific pathology illustrates the digestion of spiritual nutriment as both sweet and bitter, — sweet in expectancy and bitter in experience or during the senses' assimilation thereof, and digested only when Soul silences the dyspepsia of sense. This church is impartial. Its rules apply not to one member only, but to one and all equally. Of this I am sure, that each Rule and By-law in this Manual will increase the spirituality of him who obeys it, invigorate his capacity to heal the sick, to comfort such as mourn, and to awaken the sinner.
Teaching in the Sunday School
To the Superintendent and Teachers of The Mother Church Sunday School
Beloved Students: — I read with pleasure your approval of the amendments to Article XIX., Sections 5 and 6, in our Church Manual. Be assured that fitness and fidelity such as thine in the officials of my church give my solitude sweet surcease. It is a joy to know that they who are faithful over foundational trusts, such as the Christian education of the dear children, will reap the reward of rightness, rise in the scale of being, and realize at last their Master's promise, “And they shall be all taught of God.”
|Pleasant View, Concord, N. H.,|
|November 14, 1904.|
Charity and Invalids
Mrs. Eddy endeavors to bestow her charities for such purposes only as God indicates. Giving merely in compliance with solicitations or petitions from strangers, incurs the liability of working in wrong directions. As a rule, she has suffered most from those whom she has labored much to benefit — also from the undeserving poor to whom she has given large sums of money, worse than wasted. She has, therefore, finally resolved to spend no more time or money in such uncertain, unfortunate investments. She has qualified students for healing the sick, and has ceased practice herself in order to help God's work in other of its highest and infinite meanings, as God, not man, directs. Hence, letters from invalids demanding her help do not reach her. They are committed to the waste-basket by her secretaries.
“Charity suffereth long and is kind,” but wisdom must govern charity, else love's labor is lost and giving is unkind. As it is, Mrs. Eddy is constantly receiving more important demands on her time and attention than one woman is sufficient to supply. It would therefore be as unwise for her to undertake new tasks, as for a landlord who has not an empty apartment in his house, to receive more tenants.
Lessons in the Sunday School
To the Officers of the Sunday School of Second Church of Christ, Scientist, New York
Beloved Brethren: — You will accept my thanks for your interesting report regarding the By-law, “Subject for Lessons” (Article XX., Section 3 of Church Manual). It rejoices me that you are recognizing the proper course, unfurling your banner to the breeze of God, and sailing over rough seas with the helm in His hands. Steering thus, the waiting waves will weave for you their winning webs of life in looms of love that line the sacred shores. The right way wins the right of way, even the way of Truth and Love whereby all our debts are paid, mankind blessed, and God glorified.
Watching versus Watching Out
Comment on an Editorial which Appeared in the Christian Science Sentinel, September 23, 1905
Our Lord and Master left to us the following sayings as living lights in our darkness: “What I say unto you I say unto all. Watch” (Mark 13:37); and, “If the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.” (Luke 12: 39.)
Here we ask: Are Christ's teachings the true authority for Christian Science? They are. Does the textbook of Christian Science, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” read on page 252, “A knowledge of error and of its operations must precede that understanding of Truth which destroys error, until the entire mortal, material error finally disappears, and the eternal verity, man created by and of Spirit, is understood and recognized as the true likeness of his Maker”? It does. If so-called watching produces fear or exhaustion and no good results, does that watch accord with Jesus' saying? It does not. Can watching as Christ demands harm you? It cannot. Then should not “watching out” mean, watching against a negative watch, alias, no watch, and gaining the spirit of true watching, even the spirit of our Master's command? It must mean that.
Is there not something to watch in yourself, in your daily life, since “by their fruits ye shall know them,” which prevents an effective watch? Otherwise, wherefore the Lord's Prayer, “Deliver us from evil”? And if this something, when challenged by Truth, frightens you, should you not put that out instead of putting out your watch? I surely should. Then are you not made better by watching? I am. Which should we prefer, ease or dis-ease in sin? Is not discomfort from sin better adapted to deliver mortals from the effects of belief in sin than ease in sin? and can you demonstrate over the effects of other people's sins by indifference thereto? I cannot.
The Scriptures say, “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6 : 14), thus taking the name of God in vain. Ignorance of self is the most stubborn belief to overcome, for apathy, dishonesty, sin, follow in its train. One should watch to know what his errors are; and if this watching destroys his peace in error, should one watch against such a result? He should not. Our Master said, “He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me . . . and he that loseth his life [his false sense of life] for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10: 38, 39.)
Principle or Person?
Do Christian Scientists love God as much as they love mankind? Aye, that's the question. Let us examine it for ourselves. Thinking of person implies that one is not thinking of Principle, and fifty telegrams per holiday signalize the thinking of person. Are the holidays blest by absorbing one's time writing or reading congratulations? I cannot watch and pray while reading telegrams; they only cloud the clear sky, and they give the appearance of personal worship which Christian Science annuls. Did the dear students know how much I love them, and how I need every hour wherein to express this love in labor for them, they would gladly give me the holidays for this work and not task themselves with mistaken means. But God will reward their kind motives, and guide them every step of the way from human affection to spiritual understanding, from faith to achievement, from light to Love, from sense to Soul.
Christian Science and China
Beloved Student: — The report of the success of Christian Science in benighted China, when regarded on one side only, is cheering, but to look at both sides of the great question of introducing Christian Science into a heathen nation gives the subject quite another aspect. I believe that all our great Master's sayings are practical and scientific. If the Dowager Empress could hold her nation, there would be no danger in teaching Christian Science in her country. But a war on religion in China would be more fatal than the Boxers' rebellion. Silent prayer in and for a heathen nation is just what is needed. But to teach and to demonstrate Christian Science before the minds of the people are prepared for it, and when the laws are against it, is fraught with danger.
To teach the truth of life without using the word death, the suppositional opposite of life, were as impossible as to define truth and not name its opposite, error. Straining at gnats, one may swallow camels.
The tender mother, guided by love, faithful to her instincts, and adhering to the imperative rules of Science, asks herself: Can I teach my child the correct numeration of numbers and never name a cipher? Knowing that she cannot do this in mathematics, she should know that it cannot be done in metaphysics, and so she should definitely name the error, uncover it, and teach truth scientifically.
Signs of the Times
Is God infinite? Yes. Did God make man? Yes. Did God make all that was made? He did. Is God Spirit? He is. Did infinite Spirit make that which is not spiritual? No. Who or what made matter? Matter as substance or intelligence never was made. Is mortal man a creator, is he matter or spirit? Neither one. Why? Because Spirit is God and infinite; hence there can be no other creator and no other creation. Man is but His image and likeness.
Are you a Christian Scientist? I am. Do you adopt as truth the above statements? I do. Then why this meaningless commemoration of birthdays, since there are none?
Had I known what was being done in time to have prevented it, that which commemorated in deed or in word what is not true, would never have entered into the history of our church buildings. Let us have no more of echoing dreams. Will the beloved students accept my full heart's love for them and their kind thoughts.
My Beloved Christian Scientists: — Because I suggested the name for one central Reading Room, and this name continues to be multiplied, you will permit me to make the amende honorable — notwithstanding “incompetence” — and to say, please adopt generally for your name, Christian Science Reading Room. An old axiom says: Too much of one thing spoils the whole. Too many centres may become equivalent to no centre.
Here I have the joy of knowing that Christian Scientists will exchange the present name for the one which I suggest, with the sweet alacrity and uniformity with which they accepted the first name.
Merely this appellative seals the question of unity, and opens wide on the amplitude of liberty and love a far-reaching motive and success, of which we can say, the more the better.
|Pleasant View, Concord, N. H.,|
|July 8, 1907.|
I request the Christian Scientists universally to read the paragraph beginning at line 30 of page 442 in the edition of Science and Health which will be issued February 29 . I consider the information there given to be of great importance at this stage of the workings of animal magnetism, and it will greatly aid the students in their individual experiences.
The contemplated reference in Science and Health to the “higher criticism” announced in the Sentinel a few weeks ago, I have since decided not to publish.
What I wrote on Christian Science some twenty-five years ago I do not consider a precedent for a present student of this Science. The best mathematician has not attained the full understanding of the principle thereof, in his earliest studies or discoveries. Hence, it were wise to accept only my teachings that I know to be correct and adapted to the present demand.
To Christian Scientists: — See Science and Health, page 442, line 30, and give daily attention thereto.
Christian Science practitioners should make their charges for treatment equal to those of reputable physicians in their respective localities.
- Brookline, Mass., December 24, 1909.
The article on the Church Manual by Blanche Hersey Hogue, in the Sentinel of September 10  is practical and scientific, and I recommend its careful study to all Christian Scientists.
- Copyright, 1909, by Mary Baker Eddy.
- Article XX., Sections 2 and 3 in 89th edition.