Mary Baker Eddy's own answers to frequently asked questions about Christian Science
From Chapter 14 — Recapitulation in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (pages 465 to 497) and Chapter 3 — Questions And Answers in Miscellaneous Writings (pages 31 to 94) by Mary Baker Eddy
Question. — What is God?
Answer. — God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love.
Question. — Are these terms synonymous?
Answer. — They are. They refer to one absolute God. They are also intended to express the nature, essence, and wholeness of Deity. The attributes of God are justice, mercy, wisdom, goodness, and so on.
Question. — Is there more than one God or Principle?
Answer. — There is not. Principle and its idea is one, and this one is God, omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-present Being, and His reflection is man and the universe. Omni is adopted from the Latin adjective signifying all. Hence God combines all-power or potency, all-science or true knowledge, all-presence. The varied manifestations of Christian Science indicate Mind, never matter, and have one Principle.
Question. — What are spirits and souls?
Answer. — To human belief, they are personalities constituted of mind and matter, life and death, truth and error, good and evil; but these contrasting pairs of terms represent contraries, as Christian Science reveals, which neither dwell together nor assimilate. Truth is immortal; error is mortal. Truth is limitless; error is limited. Truth is intelligent; error is non-intelligent. Moreover, Truth is real, and error is unreal. This last statement contains the point you will most reluctantly admit, although first and last it is the most important to understand.
The term souls or spirits is as improper as the term gods. Soul or Spirit signifies Deity and nothing else. There is no finite soul nor spirit. Soul or Spirit means only one Mind, and cannot be rendered in the plural. Heathen mythology and Jewish theology have perpetuated the fallacy that intelligence, soul, and life can be in matter; and idolatry and ritualism are the outcome of all man-made beliefs. The Science of Christianity comes with fan in hand to separate the chaff from the wheat. Science will declare God aright, and Christianity will demonstrate this declaration and its divine Principle, making mankind better physically, morally, and spiritually.
Question. — What are the demands of the Science of Soul?
Answer. — The first demand of this Science is, " Thou shalt have no other gods before me." This me is Spirit. Therefore the command means this: Thou shalt have no intelligence, no life, no substance, no truth, no love, but that which is spiritual. The second is like unto it, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established. Having no other gods, turning to no other but the one perfect Mind to guide him, man is the likeness of God, pure and eternal, having that Mind which was also in Christ.
Science reveals Spirit, Soul, as not in the body, and God as not in man but as reflected by man. The greater cannot be in the lesser. The belief that the greater can be in the lesser is an error that works ill. This is a leading point in the Science of Soul, that Principle is not in its idea. Spirit, Soul, is not confined in man, and is never in matter. We reason imperfectly from effect to cause, when we conclude that matter is the effect of Spirit; but a priori reasoning shows material existence to be enigmatical. Spirit gives the true mental idea. We cannot interpret Spirit, Mind, through matter. Matter neither sees, hears, nor feels.
Reasoning from cause to effect in the Science of Mind, we begin with Mind, which must be understood through the idea which expresses it and cannot be learned from its opposite, matter. Thus we arrive at Truth, or intelligence, which evolves its own unerring idea and never can be coordinate with human illusions. If Soul sinned, it would be mortal, for sin is mortality's self, because it kills itself. If Truth is immortal, error must be mortal, because error is unlike Truth. Because Soul is immortal, Soul cannot sin, for sin is not the eternal verity of being.
Question. — What is the scientific statement of being?
Answer. — There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.
Question. — What is substance?
Answer. — Substance is that which is eternal and incapable of discord and decay. Truth, Life, and Love are substance, as the Scriptures use this word in Hebrews: "The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Spirit, the synonym of Mind, Soul, or God, is the only real substance. The spiritual universe, including individual man, is a compound idea, reflecting the divine substance of Spirit.
Question. — What is Life?
Answer. — Life is divine Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit. Life is without beginning and without end. Eternity, not time, expresses the thought of Life, and time is no part of eternity. One ceases in proportion as the other is recognized. Time is finite; eternity is forever infinite. Life is neither in nor of matter. What is termed matter is unknown to Spirit, which includes in itself all substance and is Life eternal. Matter is a human concept. Life is divine Mind. Life is not limited. Death and finiteness are unknown to Life. If Life ever had a beginning, it would also have an ending.
Question. — What is intelligence?
Answer. — Intelligence is omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. It is the primal and eternal quality of infinite Mind, of the triune Principle, — Life, Truth, and Love, — named God.
Question. — What is Mind?
Answer. — Mind is God. The exterminator of error is the great truth that God, good, is the only Mind, and that the supposititious opposite of infinite Mind — called devil or evil — is not Mind, is not Truth, but error, without intelligence or reality. There can be but one Mind, because there is but one God; and if mortals claimed no other Mind and accepted no other, sin would be unknown. We can have but one Mind, if that one is infinite. We bury the sense of infinitude, when we admit that, although God is infinite, evil has a place in this infinity, for evil can have no place, where all space is filled with God.
We lose the high signification of omnipotence, when after admitting that God, or good, is omnipresent and has all-power, we still believe there is another power, named evil. This belief that there is more than one mind is as pernicious to divine theology as are ancient mythology and pagan idolatry. With one Father, even God, the whole family of man would be brethren; and with one Mind and that God, or good, the brotherhood of man would consist of Love and Truth, and have unity of Principle and spiritual power which constitute divine Science. The supposed existence of more than one mind was the basic error of idolatry. This error assumed the loss of spiritual power, the loss of the spiritual presence of Life as infinite Truth without an unlikeness, and the loss of Love as ever present and universal.
Divine Science explains the abstract statement that there is one Mind by the following self-evident proposition: If God, or good, is real, then evil, the unlikeness of God, is unreal. And evil can only seem to be real by giving reality to the unreal. The children of God have but one Mind. How can good lapse into evil, when God, the Mind of man, never sins? The standard of perfection was originally God and man. Has God taken down His own standard, and has man fallen?
God is the creator of man, and, the divine Principle of man remaining perfect, the divine idea or reflection, man, remains perfect. Man is the expression of God's being. If there ever was a moment when man did not express the divine perfection, then there was a moment when man did not express God, and consequently a time when Deity was unexpressed — that is, without entity. If man has lost perfection, then he has lost his perfect Principle, the divine Mind. If man ever existed without this perfect Principle or Mind, then man's existence was a myth.
The relations of God and man, divine Principle and idea, are indestructible in Science; and Science knows no lapse from nor return to harmony, but holds the divine order or spiritual law, in which God and all that He creates are perfect and eternal, to have remained unchanged in its eternal history.
The unlikeness of Truth, — named error, — the opposite of Science, and the evidence before the five corporeal senses, afford no indication of the grand facts of being; even as these so-called senses receive no intimation of the earth's motions or of the science of astronomy, but yield assent to astronomical propositions on the authority of natural science.
The facts of divine Science should be admitted, — although the evidence as to these facts is not supported by evil, by matter, or by material sense, — because the evidence that God and man coexist is fully sustained by spiritual sense. Man is, and forever has been, God's reflection. God is infinite, therefore ever present, and there is no other power nor presence. Hence the spirituality of the universe is the only fact of creation. "Let God be true, but every [material] man a liar."
Question. — Are doctrines and creeds a benefit to man?
Answer. — The author subscribed to an orthodox creed in early youth, and tried to adhere to it until she caught the first gleam of that which interprets God as above mortal sense. This view rebuked human beliefs, and gave the spiritual import, expressed through Science, of all that proceeds from the divine Mind. Since then her highest creed has been divine Science, which, reduced to human apprehension, she has named Christian Science. This Science teaches man that God is the only Life, and that this Life is Truth and Love; that God is to be understood, adored, and demonstrated; that divine Truth casts out suppositional error and heals the sick.
The way which leads to Christian Science is straight and narrow. God has set His signet upon Science, making it coordinate with all that is real and only with that which is harmonious and eternal. Sickness, sin, and death, being inharmonious, do not originate in God nor belong to His government. His law, rightly understood, destroys them. Jesus furnished proofs of these statements.
Question. — What is error?
Answer. — Error is a supposition that pleasure and pain, that intelligence, substance, life, are existent in matter. Error is neither Mind nor one of Mind's faculties. Error is the contradiction of Truth. Error is a belief without understanding. Error is unreal because untrue. It is that which seemeth to be and is not. If error were true, its truth would be error, and we should have a self-evident absurdity — namely, erroneous truth. Thus we should continue to lose the standard of Truth.
Question. — Is there no sin?
Answer. — All reality is in God and His creation, harmonious and eternal. That which He creates is good, and He makes all that is made. Therefore the only reality of sin, sickness, or death is the awful fact that unrealities seem real to human, erring belief, until God strips off their disguise. They are not true, because they are not of God. We learn in Christian Science that all inharmony of mortal mind or body is illusion, possessing neither reality nor identity though seeming to be real and identical.
The Science of Mind disposes of all evil. Truth, God, is not the father of error. Sin, sickness, and death are to be classified as effects of error. Christ came to destroy the belief of sin. The God-principle is omnipresent and omnipotent. God is everywhere, and nothing apart from Him is present or has power. Christ is the ideal Truth, that comes to heal sickness and sin through Christian Science, and attributes all power to God. Jesus is the name of the man who, more than all other men, has presented Christ, the true idea of God, healing the sick and the sinning and destroying the power of death. Jesus is the human man, and Christ is the divine idea; hence the duality of Jesus the Christ.
In an age of ecclesiastical despotism, Jesus introduced the teaching and practice of Christianity, affording the proof of Christianity's truth and love; but to reach his example and to test its unerring Science according to his rule, healing sickness, sin, and death, a better understanding of God as divine Principle, Love, rather than personality or the man Jesus, is required.
Jesus established what he said by demonstration, thus making his acts of higher importance than his words. He proved what he taught. This is the Science of Christianity. Jesus proved the Principle, which heals the sick and casts out error, to be divine. Few, however, except his students understood in the least his teachings and their glorious proofs, — namely, that Life, Truth, and Love (the Principle of this unacknowledged Science) destroy all error, evil, disease, and death.
The reception accorded to Truth in the early Christian era is repeated to-day. Whoever introduces the Science of Christianity will be scoffed at and scourged with worse cords than those which cut the flesh. To the ignorant age in which it first appears, Science seems to be a mistake, — hence the misinterpretation and consequent maltreatment which it receives. Christian marvels (and marvel is the simple meaning of the Greek word rendered miracle in the New Testament) will be misunderstood and misused by many, until the glorious Principle of these marvels is gained.
If sin, sickness, and death are as real as Life, Truth, and Love, then they must all be from the same source; God must be their author. Now Jesus came to destroy sin, sickness, and death yet the Scriptures aver, "I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." Is it possible, then, to believe that the evils which Jesus lived to destroy are real or the offspring of the divine will?
Despite the hallowing influence of Truth in the destruction of error, must error still be immortal? Truth spares all that is true. If evil is real, Truth must make it so; but error, not Truth, is the author of the unreal, and the unreal vanishes, while all that is real is eternal. The apostle says that the mission of Christ is to "destroy the works of the devil." Truth destroys falsity and error, for light and darkness cannot dwell together. Light extinguishes the darkness, and the Scripture declares that there is "no night there." To Truth there is no error, — all is Truth. To infinite Spirit there is no matter, — all is Spirit, divine Principle and its idea.
Question. — What is man?
Answer. — Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements. The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit. Man is spiritual and perfect; and because he is spiritual and perfect, he must be so understood in Christian Science. Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique. He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; the generic term for all that reflects God's image and likeness; the conscious identity of being as found in Science, in which man is the reflection of God, or Mind, and therefore is eternal; that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker.
And God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
Man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death. The real man cannot depart from holiness, nor can God, by whom man is evolved, engender the capacity or freedom to sin. A mortal sinner is not God's man. Mortals are the counterfeits of immortals. They are the children of the wicked one, or the one evil, which declares that man begins in dust or as a material embryo. In divine Science, God and the real man are inseparable as divine Principle and idea.
Error, urged to its final limits, is self-destroyed. Error will cease to claim that soul is in body, that life and intelligence are in matter, and that this matter is man. God is the Principle of man, and man is the idea of God. Hence man is not mortal nor material. Mortals will disappear, and immortals, or the children of God, will appear as the only and eternal verities of man. Mortals are not fallen children of God. They never had a perfect state of being, which may subsequently be regained. They were, from the beginning of mortal history, "conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity." Mortality is finally swallowed up in immortality. Sin, sickness, and death must disappear to give place to the facts which belong to immortal man.
Learn this, O mortal, and earnestly seek the spiritual status of man, which is outside of all material selfhood. Remember that the Scriptures say of mortal man: "As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more."
When speaking of God's children, not the children of men, Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you;" that is, Truth and Love reign in the real man, showing that man in God's image is unfallen and eternal. Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy. Man is not a material habitation for Soul; he is himself spiritual. Soul, being Spirit, is seen in nothing imperfect nor material.
Whatever is material is mortal. To the five corporeal senses, man appears to be matter and mind united; but Christian Science reveals man as the idea of God, and declares the corporeal senses to be mortal and erring illusions. Divine Science shows it to be impossible that a material body, though interwoven with matter's highest stratum, misnamed mind, should be man, — the genuine and perfect man, the immortal idea of being, indestructible and eternal. Were it otherwise, man would be annihilated.
Question. — What are body and Soul?
Answer. — Identity is the reflection of Spirit, the reflection in multifarious forms of the living Principle, Love. Soul is the substance, Life, and intelligence of man, which is individualized, but not in matter. Soul can never reflect anything inferior to Spirit.
Man is the expression of Soul. The Indians caught some glimpses of the underlying reality, when they called a certain beautiful lake "the smile of the Great Spirit." Separated from man, who expresses Soul, Spirit would be a nonentity; man, divorced from Spirit, would lose his entity. But there is, there can be, no such division, for man is coexistent with God.
What evidence of Soul or of immortality have you within mortality? Even according to the teachings of natural science, man has never beheld Spirit or Soul leaving a body or entering it. What basis is there for the theory of indwelling spirit, except the claim of mortal belief? What would be thought of the declaration that a house was inhabited, and by a certain class of persons, when no such persons were ever seen to go into the house or to come out of it, nor were they even visible through the windows? Who can see a soul in the body?
Question. — Does brain think, and do nerves feel, and is there intelligence in matter?
Answer. — No, not if God is true and mortal man a liar. The assertion that there can be pain or pleasure in matter is erroneous. That body is most harmonious in which the discharge of the natural functions is least noticeable. How can intelligence dwell in matter when matter is non-intelligent and brain-lobes cannot think? Matter cannot perform the functions of Mind. Error says, "I am man;" but this belief is mortal and far from actual. From beginning to end, whatever is mortal is composed of material human beliefs and of nothing else. That only is real which reflects God. St. Paul said, "But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by His grace, . . . I conferred not with flesh and blood."
Question. — Mortal man is really a self-contradictory phrase, for man is not mortal, "neither indeed can be;" man is immortal. If a child is the offspring of physical sense and not of Soul, the child must have a material, not a spiritual origin. With what truth, then, could the Scriptural rejoicing be uttered by any mother, "I have gotten a man from the Lord"? On the contrary, if aught comes from God, it cannot be mortal and material; it must be immortal and spiritual.
Answer. — Matter is neither self-existent nor a product of Spirit. An image of mortal thought, reflected on the retina, is all that the eye beholds. Matter cannot see, feel, hear, taste, nor smell. It is not selfcognizant, — cannot feel itself, see itself, nor understand itself. Take away so-called mortal mind, which constitutes matter's supposed selfhood, and matter can take no cognizance of matter. Does that which we call dead ever see, hear, feel, or use any of the physical senses?
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep." (Genesis i. 1, 2.) In the vast forever, in the Science and truth of being, the only facts are Spirit and its innumerable creations. Darkness and chaos are the imaginary opposites of light, understanding, and eternal harmony, and they are the elements of nothingness.
We admit that black is not a color, because it reflects no light. So evil should be denied identity or power, because it has none of the divine hues. Paul says: "For the invisible things of Him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made." (Romans i. 20.)
When the substance of Spirit appears in Christian Science, the nothingness of matter is recognized. Where the spirit of God is, and there is no place where God is not, evil becomes nothing, — the opposite of the something of Spirit. If there is no spiritual reflection, then there remains only the darkness of vacuity and not a trace of heavenly tints.
Nerves are an element of the belief that there is sensation in matter, whereas matter is devoid of sensation. Consciousness, as well as action, is governed by Mind, — is in God, the origin and governor of all that Science reveals. Material sense has its realm apart from Science in the unreal. Harmonious action proceeds from Spirit, God. inharmony has no Principle; its action is erroneous and presupposes man to be in matter. Inharmony would make matter the cause as well as the effect of intelligence, or Soul, thus attempting to separate Mind from God.
Man is not God, and God is not man. Again, God, or good, never made man capable of sin. It is the opposite of good — that is, evil — which seems to make men capable of wrong-doing. Hence, evil is but an illusion, and it has no real basis. Evil is a false belief. God is not its author. The supposititious parent of evil is a lie.
The Bible declares: "All things were made by Him [the divine Word]; and without Him was not anything, made that was made." This is the eternal verity of divine Science. If sin, sickness, death were understood as nothingness, they would disappear. As vapor melts before the sun, so evil would vanish before the reality of good. One must hide the other. How important, then, to choose good as the reality! Man is tributary to God, Spirit, and to nothing else. God's being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." Like the archpriests of yore, man is free "to enter into the holiest," — the realm of God.
Material sense never helps mortals to understand Spirit, God. Through spiritual sense only, man comprehends and loves Deity. The various contradictions of the Science of Mind by the material senses do not change the unseen Truth, which remains forever intact. The forbidden fruit of knowledge, against which wisdom warns man, is the testimony of error, declaring existence to be at the mercy of death, and good and evil to be capable of commingling. This is the significance of the Scripture concerning this "tree of the knowledge of good and evil," — this growth of material belief, of which it is said: "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Human hypotheses first assume the reality of sickness, sin, and death, and then assume the necessity of these evils because of their admitted actuality. These human verdicts are the procurers of all discord.
If Soul sins, it must be mortal. Sin has the elements of self-destruction. It cannot sustain itself. If sin is supported, God must uphold it, and this is impossible, since Truth cannot support error. Soul is the divine Principle of man and never sins, — hence the immortality of Soul. In Science we learn that it is material sense, not Soul, which sins; and it will be found that it is the sense of sin which is lost, and not a sinful soul. When reading the Scriptures, the substitution of the word sense for soul gives the exact meaning in a majority of cases.
Human thought has adulterated the meaning of the word soul through the hypothesis that soul is both an evil and a good intelligence, resident in matter. The proper use of the word soul can always be gained by substituting the word God, where the deific meaning is required. In other cases, use the word sense, and you will have the scientific signification. As used in Christian Science, Soul is properly the synonym of Spirit, or God; but out of Science, soul is identical with sense, with material sensation.
Question. — Is it important to understand these explanations in order to heal the sick?
Answer. — It is, since Christ is "the way" and the truth casting out all error. Jesus called himself " the Son of man," but not the son of Joseph. As woman is but a species of the genera, he was literally the Son of Man. Jesus was the highest human concept of the perfect man. He was inseparable from Christ, the Messiah, — the divine idea of God outside the flesh. This enabled Jesus to demonstrate his control over matter. Angels announced to the Wisemen of old this dual appearing, and angels whisper it, through faith, to the hungering heart in every age.
Sickness is part of the error which Truth casts out. Error will not expel error. Christian Science is the law of Truth, which heals the sick, on the basis of the one Mind or God. It can heal in no other way, since the human, mortal mind so-called is not a healer, but causes the belief in disease.
Then comes the question, how do drugs, hygiene, and animal magnetism heal? It may be affirmed that they do not heal, but only relieve suffering temporarily, exchanging one disease for another. We classify disease as error, which nothing but Truth or Mind can heal, and this Mind must be divine, not human. Mind transcends all other power, and will ultimately supersede all other means in healing. In order to heal by Science, you must not be ignorant of the moral and spiritual demands of Science nor disobey them. Moral ignorance or sin affects your demonstration, and hinders its approach to the standard in Christian Science.
After the author's sacred discovery, she affixed the name "Science" to Christianity, the name "error" to corporeal sense, and the name "substance" to Mind. Science has called the world to battle over this issue and its demonstration, which heals the sick, destroys error, and reveals the universal harmony. To those natural Christian Scientists, the ancient worthies, and to Christ Jesus, God certainly revealed the spirit of Christian Science, if not the absolute letter.
Because the Science of Mind seems to bring into dishonor the ordinary scientific schools, which wrestle with material observations alone, this Science has met with opposition; but if any system honors God, it ought to receive aid, not opposition, from all thinking persons. And Christian Science does honor God as no other theory honors Him, and it does this in the way of His appointing, by doing many wonderful works through the divine name and nature. One must fulfil one's mission without timidity or dissimulation, for to be well done, the work must be done unselfishly. Christianity will never be based on a divine Principle and so found to be unerring, until its absolute Science is reached. When this is accomplished, neither pride, prejudice, bigotry, nor envy can wash away its foundation, for it is built upon the rock, Christ.
Question. — Does Christian Science, or metaphysical healing, include medication, material hygiene, mesmerism, hypnotism, theosophy, or spiritualism?
Answer. — Not one of them is included in it. In divine Science, the supposed laws of matter yield to the law of Mind. What are termed natural science and material laws are the objective states of mortal mind. The physical universe expresses the conscious and unconscious thoughts of mortals. Physical force and mortal mind are one. Drugs and hygiene oppose the supremacy of the divine Mind. Drugs and inert matter are unconscious, mindless. Certain results, supposed to proceed from drugs, are really caused by the faith in them which the false human consciousness is educated to feel.
Mesmerism is mortal, material illusion. Animal magnetism is the voluntary or involuntary action of error in all its forms; it is the human antipode of divine Science. Science must triumph over material sense, and Truth over error, thus putting an end to the hypotheses involved in all false theories and practices.
Question. — Is materiality the concomitant of spirituality, and is material sense a necessary preliminary to the understanding and expression of Spirit?
Answer. — If error is necessary to define or to reveal Truth, the answer is yes; but not otherwise. Material sense is an absurd phrase, for matter has no sensation. Science declares that Mind, not matter, sees, hears, feels, speaks. Whatever contradicts this statement is the false sense, which ever betrays mortals into sickness, sin, and death. If the unimportant and evil appear, only soon to disappear because of their uselessness or their iniquity, then these ephemeral views of error ought to be obliterated by Truth. Why malign Christian Science for instructing mortals how to make sin, disease, and death appear more and more unreal?
Emerge gently from matter into Spirit. Think not to thwart the spiritual ultimate of all things, but come naturally into Spirit through better health and morals and as the result of spiritual growth. Not death, but the understanding of Life, makes man immortal. The belief that life can be in matter or soul in body, and that man springs from dust or from an egg, is the result of the mortal error which Christ, or Truth, destroys by fulfilling the spiritual law of being, in which man is perfect, even as the "Father which is in heaven is perfect." If thought yields its dominion to other ' powers, it cannot outline on the body its own beautiful images, but it effaces them and delineates foreign agents, called disease and sin.
The heathen gods of mythology controlled war and agriculture as much as nerves control sensation or muscles measure strength. To say that strength is in matter, is like saying that the power is in the lever. The notion of any life or intelligence in matter is without foundation in fact, and you can have no faith in falsehood when you have learned falsehood's true nature.
Suppose one accident happens to the eye, another to the ear, and so on, until every corporeal sense is quenched. What is man's remedy? To die, that he may regain these senses? Even then he must gain spiritual understanding and spiritual sense in order to possess immortal consciousness. Earth's preparatory school must be improved to the utmost. In reality man never dies. The belief that he dies will not establish his scientific harmony. Death is not the result of Truth but of error, and one error will not correct another.
Jesus proved by the prints of the nails, that his body was the same immediately after death as before. If death restores sight, sound, and strength to man, then death is not an enemy but a better friend than Life. Alas for the blindness of belief, which makes harmony conditional upon death and matter, and yet supposes Mind unable to produce harmony! So long as this error of belief remains, mortals will continue mortal in belief and subject to chance and change.
Sight, hearing, all the spiritual senses of man, are eternal. They cannot be lost. Their reality and immortality are in Spirit and understanding, not in matter, — hence their permanence. If this were not so, man would be speedily annihilated. If the five corporeal senses were the medium through which to understand God, then palsy, blindness, and deafness would place man in a terrible situation, where he would be like those "having no hope, and without God in the world;" but as a matter of fact, these calamities often drive mortals to seek and to find a higher sense of happiness and existence.
Life is deathless. Life is the origin and ultimate of man, never attainable through death, but gained by walking in the pathway of Truth both before and after that which is called death. There is more Christianity in seeing and hearing spiritually than materially. There is more Science in the perpetual exercise of the Mind-faculties than in their loss. Lost they cannot be, while Mind remains. The apprehension of this gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf centuries ago, and it will repeat the wonder.
Question. — You speak of belief. Who or what is it that believes?
Answer. — Spirit is all-knowing; this precludes the need of believing. Matter cannot believe, and Mind understands. The body cannot believe. The believer and belief are one and are mortal. Christian evidence is founded on Science or demonstrable Truth, flowing from immortal Mind, and there is in reality no such thing as mortal mind. Mere belief is blindness without Principle from which to explain the reason of its hope. The belief that life is sentient and intelligent matter is erroneous.
The Apostle James said, "Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works." The understanding that Life is God, Spirit, lengthens our days by strengthening our trust in the deathless reality of Life, its almightiness and immortality.
This faith relies upon an understood Principle. This Principle makes whole the diseased, and brings out the enduring and harmonious phases of things. The result of our teachings is their sufficient confirmation. When, on the strength of these instructions, you are able to banish a severe malady, the cure shows that you understand this teaching, and therefore you receive the blessing of Truth.
The Hebrew and Greek words often translated belief differ somewhat in meaning from that conveyed by the English verb believe; they have more the significance of faith, understanding, trust, constancy, firmness. Hence the Scriptures often appear in our common version to approve and endorse belief, when they mean to enforce the necessity of understanding.
Question. — Do the five corporeal senses constitute man?
Answer. — Christian Science sustains with immortal proof the impossibility of any material sense, and defines these so-called senses as mortal beliefs, the testimony of which cannot be true either of man or of his Maker. The corporeal senses can take no cognizance of spiritual reality and immortality. Nerves have no more sensation, apart from what belief bestows upon them, than the fibres of a plant. Mind alone possesses all faculties, perception, and comprehension. Therefore mental endowments are not at the mercy of organization and decomposition, — otherwise the very worms could unfashion man. If it were possible for the real senses of man to be injured, Soul could reproduce them in all their perfection; but they cannot be disturbed nor destroyed, since they exist in immortal Mind, not in matter.
The less mind there is manifested in matter the better. When the unthinking lobster loses its claw, the claw grows again. If the Science of Life were understood, it would be found that the senses of Mind are never lost and that matter has no sensation. Then the human limb would be replaced as readily as the lobster's claw, — not with an artificial limb, but with the genuine one. Any hypothesis which supposes life to be in matter is an educated belief. In infancy this belief is not equal to guiding the hand to the mouth; and as consciousness develops, this belief goes out, — yields to the reality of everlasting Life.
Corporeal sense defrauds and lies; it breaks all the commands of the Mosaic Decalogue to meet its own demands. How then can this sense be the Godgiven channel to man of divine blessings or understanding? How can man, reflecting God, be dependent on material means for knowing, hearing, seeing? Who dares to say that the senses of man can be at one time the medium for sinning against God, at another the medium for obeying God? An affirmative reply would contradict the Scripture, for the same fountain sendeth not forth sweet waters and bitter.
The corporeal senses are the only source of evil or error. Christian Science shows them to be false, because matter has no sensation, and no organic construction can give it hearing and sight nor make it the medium of Mind. Outside the material sense of things, all is harmony. A wrong sense of God, man, and creation is non-sense, want of sense. Mortal belief would have the material senses sometimes good and sometimes bad. It assures mortals that there is real pleasure in sin; but the grand truths of Christian Science dispute this error.
Will-power is but a product of belief, and this belief commits depredations on harmony. Human will is an animal propensity, not a faculty of Soul. Hence it cannot govern man aright. Christian Science reveals Truth and Love as the motive-powers of man. Will — blind, stubborn, and headlong — cooperates with appetite and passion. From this cooperation arises its evil. From this also comes its powerlessness, since all power belongs to God, good.
The Science of Mind needs to be understood. Until it is understood, mortals are more or less deprived of Truth. Human theories are helpless to make man harmonious or immortal, since he is so already, according to Christian Science. Our only need is to know this and reduce to practice the real man's divine Principle, Love
"Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings." Human belief — or knowledge gained from the so-called material senses — would, by fair logic, annihilate man along with the dissolving elements of clay. The scientifically Christian explanations of the nature and origin of man destroy all material sense with immortal testimony. This immortal testimony ushers in the spiritual sense of being, which can be obtained in no other way.
Sleep and mesmerism explain the mythical nature of material sense. Sleep shows material sense as either oblivion, nothingness, or an illusion or dream. Under the mesmeric illusion of belief, a man will think that he is freezing when he is warm, and that he is swimming when he is on dry land. Needle-thrusts will not hurt him. A delicious perfume will seem intolerable. Animal magnetism thus uncovers material sense, and shows it to be a belief without actual foundation or validity. Change the belief, and the sensation changes. Destroy the belief, and the sensation disappears.
Material man is made up of involuntary and voluntary error, of a negative right and a positive wrong, the latter calling itself right. Man's spiritual individuality is never wrong. It is the likeness of man's Maker. Matter cannot connect mortals with the true origin and facts of being, in which all must end. It is only by acknowledging the supremacy of Spirit, which annuls the claims of matter, that mortals can lay off mortality and find the indissoluble spiritual link which establishes man forever in the divine likeness, inseparable from his creator.
The belief that matter and mind are one, — that matter is awake at one time and asleep at another, sometimes presenting no appearance of mind, — this belief culminates in another belief, that man dies. Science reveals material man as never the real being. The dream or belief goes on, whether our eyes are closed or open. In sleep, memory and consciousness are lost from the body, and they wander whither they will apparently with their own separate embodiment. Personality is not the individuality of man. A wicked man may have an attractive personality.
When we are awake, we dream of the pains and pleasures of matter. Who will say, even though he does not understand Christian Science, that this dream — rather than the dreamer — may not be mortal man? Who can rationally say otherwise, when the dream leaves mortal man intact in body and thought, although the so-called dreamer is unconscious? For right reasoning there should be but one fact before the thought, namely, spiritual existence. In reality there is no other existence, since Life cannot be united to its unlikeness, mortality.
Being is holiness, harmony, immortality. It is already proved that a knowledge of this, even in small degree, will uplift the physical and moral standard of mortals, will increase longevity, will purify and elevate character. Thus progress will finally destroy all error, and bring immortality to light. We know that a statement proved to be good must be correct. New thoughts are constantly obtaining the floor. These two contradictory theories — that matter is something, or that all is Mind — will dispute the ground, until one is acknowledged to be the victor. Discussing his campaign, General Grant said: "I propose to fight it out on this line, if it takes all summer." Science says: All is Mind and Mind's idea. You must fight it out on this line. Matter can afford you no aid.
The notion that mind and matter commingle in the human illusion as to sin, sickness, and death must eventually submit to the Science of Mind, which denies this notion. God is Mind, and God is infinite; hence all is Mind. On this statement rests the Science of being, and the Principle of this Science is divine, demonstrating harmony and immortality.
The conservative theory, long believed, is that there are two factors, matter and mind, uniting on some impossible basis. This theory would keep truth and error always at war. Victory would perch on neither banner.
On the other hand, Christian Science speedily shows Truth to be triumphant. To corporeal sense, the sun appears to rise and set, and the earth to stand still; but astronomical science contradicts this, and explains the solar system as working on a different plan. All the evidence of physical sense and all the knowledge obtained from physical sense must yield to Science, to the immortal truth of all things.
Question. — Will you explain sickness and show how it is to be healed?
Answer. — The method of Christian Science Mind-healing is touched upon in a previous chapter entitled Christian Science Practice. A full answer to the above question involves teaching, which enables the healer to demonstrate and prove for himself the Principle and rule of Christian Science or metaphysical healing.
Mind must be found superior to all the beliefs of the five corporeal senses, and able to destroy all ills. Sickness is a belief, which must be annihilated by the divine Mind. Disease is an experience of so-called mortal mind. It is fear made manifest on the body. Christian Science takes away this physical sense of discord, just as it removes any other sense of moral or mental inharmony. That man is material, and that matter suffers, — these propositions can only seem real and natural in illusion. Any sense of soul in matter is not the reality of being.
If Jesus awakened Lazarus from the dream, illusion, of death, this proved that the Christ could improve on a false sense. Who dares to doubt this consummate test of the power and willingness of divine Mind to hold man forever intact in his perfect state, and to govern man's entire action? Jesus said: "Destroy this temple [body], and in three days I [Mind] will raise it up;" and he did this for tired humanity's reassurance.
Is it not a species of infidelity to believe that so great a work as the Messiah's was done for himself or for God, who needed no help from Jesus' example to preserve the eternal harmony? But mortals did need this help, and Jesus pointed the way for them. Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need. It is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good.
The miracle of grace is no miracle to Love. Jesus demonstrated the inability of corporeality, as well as the infinite ability of Spirit, thus helping erring human sense to flee from its own convictions and seek safety in divine Science. Reason, rightly directed, serves to correct the errors of corporeal sense; but sin, sickness, and death will seem real (even as the experiences of the sleeping dream seem real) until the Science of man's eternal harmony breaks their illusion with the unbroken reality of scientific being.
Which of these two theories concerning man are you ready to accept? One is the mortal testimony, changing, dying, unreal. The other is the eternal and real evidence, bearing Truth's signet, its lap piled high with immortal fruits.
Our Master cast out devils (evils) and healed the sick. It should be said of his followers also, that they cast fear and all evil out of themselves and others and heal the sick.
God will heal the sick through man, whenever man is governed by God. Truth casts out error now as surely as it did nineteen centuries ago. All of Truth is not understood; hence its healing power is not fully demonstrated.
If sickness is true or the idea of Truth, you cannot destroy sickness, and it would be absurd to try. Then classify sickness and error as our Master did, when he spoke of the sick, "whom Satan hath bound," and find a sovereign antidote for error in the life-giving power of Truth acting on human belief, a power which opens the prison doors to such as are bound, and sets the captive free physically and morally.
When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious — as Life eternally is — can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not. Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being, and this understanding will supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony.
Question. — How can I progress most rapidly in the understanding of Christian Science?
Answer. — Study thoroughly the letter and imbibe the spirit. Adhere to the divine Principle of Christian Science and follow the behests of God, abiding steadfastly in wisdom, Truth, and Love. In the Science of Mind, you will soon ascertain that error cannot destroy error. You will also learn that in Science there is no transfer of evil suggestions from one mortal to another, for there is but one Mind, and this ever-present omnipotent Mind is reflected by man and governs the entire universe. You will learn that in Christian Science the first duty is to obey God, to have one Mind, and to love another as yourself.
We all must learn that Life is God. Ask yourself: Am I living the life that approaches the supreme good? Am I demonstrating the healing power of Truth and Love? If so, then the way will grow brighter "unto the perfect day." Your fruits will prove what the understanding of God brings to man. Hold perpetually this thought, — that it is the spiritual idea, the Holy Ghost and Christ, which enables you to demonstrate, with scientific certainty, the rule of healing, based upon its divine Principle, Love, underlying, overlying, and encompassing all true being.
"The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law," — the law of mortal belief, at war with the facts of immortal Life, even with the spiritual law which says to the grave, "Where is thy victory?" But "when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."
Question. — Have Christian Scientists any religious creed?
Answer. — They have not, if by that term is meant doctrinal beliefs. The following is a brief exposition of the important points, or religious tenets, of Christian Science: —
1. As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.
2. We acknowledge and adore one supreme and infinite God. We acknowledge His Son, one Christ; the Holy Ghost or divine Comforter; and man in God's image and likeness.
3. We acknowledge God's forgiveness of sin in the destruction of sin and the spiritual understanding that casts out evil as unreal. But the belief in sin is punished so long as the belief lasts.
4. We acknowledge Jesus' atonement as the evidence of divine, efficacious Love, unfolding man's unity with God through Christ Jesus the Way-shower; and we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ, through Truth, Life, and Love as demonstrated by the Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming sin and death.
5. We acknowledge that the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection served to uplift faith to understand eternal Life, even the allness of Soul, Spirit, and the nothingness of matter.
6. And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.
Question. — What do you consider to be mental malpractice?
Answer. — Mental malpractice is a bland denial of Truth, and is the antipode of Christian Science. To mentally argue in a manner that can disastrously affect the happiness of a fellow-being — harm him morally, physically, or spiritually — breaks the Golden Rule and subverts the scientific laws of being. This, therefore, is not the use but the abuse of mental treatment, and is mental malpractice. It is needless to say that such a subversion of right is not scientific. Its claim to power is in proportion to the faith in evil, and consequently to the lack of faith in good. Such false faith finds no place in, and receives no aid from, the Principle or the rules of Christian Science; for it denies the grand verity of this Science, namely, that God, good, has all power.
This leaves the individual no alternative but to relinquish his faith in evil, or to argue against his own convictions of good and so destroy his power to be or to do good, because he has no faith in the omnipotence of God, good. He parts with his understanding of good, in order to retain his faith in evil and so succeed with his wrong argument, — if indeed he desires success in this broad road to destruction.
Question. — How shall we demean ourselves towards the students of disloyal students? And what about that clergyman’s remarks on “Christ and Christmas”?
Answer. — From this question, I infer that some of my students seem not to know in what manner they should act towards the students of false teachers, or such as have strayed from the rules and divine Principle of Christian Science. The query is abnormal, when “precept upon precept; line upon line” are to be found in the Scriptures, and in my books, on this very subject.
In Mark, ninth chapter, commencing at the thirtythird verse, you will find my views on this subject; love alone is admissible towards friend and foe. My sympathies extend to the above-named class of students more than to many others. If I had the time to talk with all students of Christian Science, and correspond with them, I would gladly do my best towards helping those unfortunate seekers after Truth whose teacher is straying from the straight and narrow path. But I have not moments enough in which to give to my own flock all the time and attention that they need, — and charity must begin at home.
Distinct denominational and social organizations and societies are at present necessary for the individual, and for our Cause. But all people can and should be just, merciful; they should never envy, elbow, slander, hate, or try to injure, but always should try to bless their fellow-mortals.
To the query in regard to some clergyman’s com33ents on my illustrated poem, I will say: It is the righteous prayer that avails with God. Whatever is wrong will receive its own reward. The high priests of old caused the crucifixion of even the great Master; and thereby they lost, and he won, heaven. I love all ministers and ministries of Christ, Truth.
All clergymen may not understand the illustrations in “Christ and Christmas;” or that these refer not to personality, but present the type and shadow of Truth’s appearing in the womanhood as well as in the manhood of God, our divine Father and Mother.
Question. — Must I have faith in Christian Science in order to be healed by it?
Answer. — This is a question that is being asked every day. It has not proved impossible to heal those who, when they began treatment, had no faith whatever in the Science, — other than to place themselves under my care, and follow the directions given. Patients naturally gain confidence in Christian Science as they recognize the help they derive therefrom.
Question. — What are the advantages of your system of healing, over the ordinary methods of healing disease?
Answer. — Healing by Christian Science has the following advantages: —
First: It does away with all material medicines, and recognizes the fact that, as mortal mind is the cause of all “the ills that flesh is heir to,” the antidote for sickness, as well as for sin, may and must be found in mortal mind’s opposite, — the divine Mind.
Second: It is more effectual than drugs; curing where these fail, and leaving none of the harmful “after effects” of these in the system; thus proving that metaphysics is above physics.
Third: One who has been healed by Christian Science is not only healed of the disease, but is improved morally. The body is governed by mind; and mortal mind must be improved, before the body is renewed and harmonious, — since the physique is simply thought made manifest.
Question. — Is spiritualism or mesmerism included in Christian Science?
Answer. — They are wholly apart from it. Christian Science is based on divine Principle; whereas spiritualism, so far as I understand it, is a mere speculative opinion and human belief. If the departed were to communicate with us, we should see them as they were before death, and have them with us; after death, they can no more come to those they have left, than we, in our present state of existence, can go to the departed or the adult can return to his boyhood. We may pass on to their state of existence, but they cannot return to ours. Man is im-mortal, and there is not a moment when he ceases to exist. All that are called “communications from spirits,” lie within the realm of mortal thought on this present plane of existence, and are the antipodes of Christian Science; the immortal and mortal are as direct opposites as light and darkness.
Question. — Who is the Founder of mental healing?
Answer. — The author of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” who discovered the Science of healing em bodied in her works. Years of practical proof, through homœopathy, revealed to her the fact that Mind, instead of matter, is the Principle of pathology; and subsequently her recovery, through the supremacy of Mind over matter, from a severe casualty pronounced by the physicians incurable, sealed that proof with the signet of Christian Science. In 1883, a million of people acknowledge and attest the blessings of this mental system of treating disease. Perhaps the following words of her husband, the late Dr. Asa G. Eddy, afford the most concise, yet complete, summary of the matter: — “Mrs, Eddy’s works are the outgrowths of her life. I never knew so unselfish an individual.”
Question. — Will the book Science and Health, that you offer for sale at three dollars, teach its readers to heal the sick, — or is one obliged to become a student under your personal instruction? And if one is obliged to study under you, of what benefit is your book?
Answer. — Why do we read the Bible, and then go to church to hear it expounded? Only because both are important. Why do we read moral science, and then study it at college?
You are benefited by reading Science and Health, but it is greatly to your advantage to be taught its Science by the author of that work, who explains it in detail.
Question. — What is immortal Mind?
Answer. — In reply, we refer you to “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” (See editions prior to that of January, 1886.) Vol. I. page 14: “That which is erring, sinful, sick, and dying, termed material or mortal man, is neither God’s man nor Mind; but to be understood, we shall classify evil and error as mortal mind, in contradistinction to good and Truth, or the Mind which is immortal.”
Question. — Do animals and beasts have a mind?
Answer. — Beasts, as well as men, express Mind as their origin; but they manifest less of Mind. The first and only cause is the eternal Mind, which is God, and there is but one God. The ferocious mind seen in the beast is mortal mind, which is harmful and proceeds not from God; for His beast is the lion that lieth down with the lamb. Appetites, passions, anger, revenge, subtlety, are the animal qualities of sinning mortals; and the beasts that have these propensities express the lower qualities of the so-called animal man; in other words, the nature and quality of mortal mind, — not immortal Mind.
Question. — What is the distinction between mortal mind and immortal Mind?
Answer — Mortal mind includes all evil, disease, and death; also, all beliefs relative to the so-called material laws, and all material objects, and the law of sin and death.
The Scripture says, “The carnal mind [in other words, mortal mind] is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Mortal mind is an illusion; as much in our waking moments as in the dreams of sleep. The belief that intelligence, Truth, and Love, are in matter and separate from God, is an error; for there is no intelligent evil, and no power besides God, good. God would not be omnipotent if there were in reality another mind creating or governing man or the universe.
Immortal Mind is God; and this Mind is made manifest in all thoughts and desires that draw mankind toward purity, health, holiness, and the spiritual facts of being.
Jesus recognized this relation so clearly that he said, “I and my Father are one.” In proportion as we oppose the belief in material sense, in sickness, sin, and death, and recognize ourselves under the control of God, spiritual and immortal Mind, shall we go on to leave the animal for the spiritual, and learn the meaning of those words of Jesus, “Go ye into all the world … heal the sick.”
Question. — Can your Science cure intemperance?
Answer. — Christian Science lays the axe at the root of the tree. Its antidote for all ills is God, the perfect Mind, which corrects mortal thought, whence cometh all evil. God can and does destroy the thought that leads to moral or physical death. Intemperance, impurity, sin of every sort, is destroyed by Truth. The appetite for alcohol yields to Science as directly and surely as do sickness and sin.
Question. — Does Mrs. Eddy take patients?
Answer — She now does not. Her time is wholly devoted to instruction, leaving to her students the work of healing; which, at this hour, is in reality the least difficult of the labor that Christian Science demands.
Question. — Why do you charge for teaching Christian Science, when all the good we can do must be done freely?
Answer. — When teaching imparts the ability to gain and maintain health, to heal and elevate man in every line of life, — as this teaching certainly does, — is it unreasonable to expect in return something to support one’s self and a Cause? If so, our whole system of education, secular and religious, is at fault, and the instructors and philanthropists in our land should expect no compensation. “If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?”
Question. — How happened you to establish a college to instruct in metaphysics, when other institutions find little interest in such a dry and abstract subject?
Answer. — Metaphysics, as taught by me at the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, is far from dry and abstract. It is a Science that has the animus of Truth. Its practical application to benefit the race, heal the sick, enlighten and reform the sinner, makes divine metaphysics needful, indispensable. Teaching metaphysics at other colleges means, mainly, elaborating a man-made theory, or some speculative view too vapory and hypothetical for questions of practical import.
Question. — Is it necessary to study your Science in order to be healed by it and keep well?
Answer. — It is not necessary to make each patient a student in order to cure his present disease, if this is what you mean. Were it so, the Science would be of less practical value. Many who apply for help are not prepared to take a course of instruction in Christian Science.
To avoid being subject to disease, would require the understanding of how you are healed. In 1885, this knowledge can be obtained in its genuineness at the Massachusetts Metaphysical College. There are abroad at this early date some grossly incorrect and false teachers of what they term Christian Science; of such beware. They have risen up in a day to make this claim; whereas the Founder of genuine Christian Science has been all her years in giving it birth.
Question. — Can you take care of yourself?
Answer. — God giveth to every one this puissance; and I have faith in His promise, “Lo, I am with you alway” — all the way. Unlike the M. D.’s, Christian Scientists are not afraid to take their own medicine, for this medicine is divine Mind; and from this saving, exhaustless source they intend to fill the human mind with enough of the leaven of Truth to leaven the whole lump. There may be exceptional cases, where one Christian Scientist who has more to meet than others needs support at times; then, it is right to bear “one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
Question. — In what way is a Christian Scientist an instrument by which God reaches others to heal them, and what most obstructs the way?
Answer. — A Christian, or a Christian Scientist, assumes no more when claiming to work with God in healing the sick, than in converting the sinner. Divine help is as necessary in the one case as in the other. The scientific Principle of healing demands such cooperation; but this unison and its power would be arrested if one were to mix material methods with the spiritual, — were to mingle hygienic rules, drugs, and prayers in the same process, — and thus serve “other gods.” Truth is as effectual in destroying sickness as in the destruction of sin.
It is often asked, “If Christian Science is the same method of healing that Jesus and the apostles used, why do not its students perform as instantaneous cures as did those in the first century of the Christian era?”
In some instances the students of Christian Science equal the ancient prophets as healers. All true healing is governed by, and demonstrated on, the same Principle as theirs; namely, the action of the divine Spirit, through the power of Truth to destroy error, discord of whatever sort. The reason that the same results follow not in every case, is that the student does not in every case possess sufficiently the Christ-spirit and its power to cast out the disease. The Founder of Christian Science teaches her students that they must possess the spirit of Truth and Love, must gain the power over sin in themselves, or they cannot be instantaneous healers.
In this Christian warfare the student or practitioner has to master those elements of evil too common to other minds. If it is hate that is holding the purpose to kill his patient by mental means, it requires more divine understanding to conquer this sin than to nullify either the disease itself or the ignorance by which one unintentionally harms himself or another. An element of brute-force that only the cruel and evil can send forth, is given vent in the diabolical practice of one who, having learned the power of liberated thought to do good, perverts it, and uses it to accomplish an evil purpose. This mental malpractice would disgrace Mind-healing, were it not that God overrules it, and causes “the wrath of man” to praise Him. It deprives those who practise it of the power to heal, and destroys their own possibility of progressing.
The honest student of Christian Science is purged through Christ, Truth, and thus is ready for victory in the ennobling strife. The good fight must be fought by those who keep the faith and finish their course. Mental purgation must go on: it promotes spiritual growth, scales the mountain of human endeavor, and gains the summit in Science that otherwise could not be reached, — where the struggle with sin is forever done.
Question. — Can all classes of disease be healed by your method?
Answer. — We answer, Yes. Mind is the architect that builds its own idea, and produces all harmony that appears. There is no other healer in the case. If mortal mind, through the action of fear, manifests inflammation and a belief of chronic or acute disease, by removing the cause in that so-called mind the effect or disease will disappear and health will be restored; for health, alias harmony, is the normal manifestation of man in Science. The divine Principle which governs the universe, including man, if demonstrated, is sufficient for all emergencies. But the practitioner may not always prove equal to bringing out the result of the Principle that he knows to be true.
Question. — After the change called death takes place, do we meet those gone before? — or does life continue in thought only as in a dream?
Answer. — Man is not annihilated, nor does he lose his identity, by passing through the belief called death. After the momentary belief of dying passes from mortal mind, this mind is still in a conscious state of existence; and the individual has but passed through a moment of extreme mortal fear, to awaken with thoughts, and being, as material as before. Science and Health clearly states that spiritualization of thought is not attained by the death of the body, but by a conscious union with God. When we shall have passed the ordeal called death, or destroyed this last enemy, and shall have come upon the same plane of conscious existence with those gone before, then we shall be able to communicate with and to recognize them.
If, before the change whereby we meet the dear departed, our life-work proves to have been well done, we shall not have to repeat it; but our joys and means of advancing will be proportionately increased.
The difference between a belief of material existence and the spiritual fact of Life is, that the former is a dream and unreal, while the latter is real and eternal. Only as we understand God, and learn that good, not evil, lives and is immortal, that immortality exists only in spiritual perfection, shall we drop our false sense of Life in sin or sense material, and recognize a better state of existence.
Question. — Can I be treated without being present during treatment?
Answer. — Mind is not confined to limits; and nothing but our own false admissions prevent us from demonstrating this great fact. Christian Science, recognizing the capabilities of Mind to act of itself, and independent of matter, enables one to heal cases without even having seen the individual, — or simply after having been made acquainted with the mental condition of the patient.
Question. — Do all who at present claim to be teaching Christian Science, teach it correctly?
Answer. — By no means: Christian Science is not sufficiently understood for that. The student of this Science who understands it best, is the one least likely to pour into other minds a trifling sense of it as being adequate to make safe and successful practitioners. The simple sense one gains of this Science through careful, unbiased, contemplative reading of my books, is far more advantageous to the sick and to the learner than is or can be the spurious teaching of those who are spiritually unqualified. The sad fact at this early writing is, that the letter is gained sooner than the spirit of Christian Science: time is required thoroughly to qualify students for the great ordeal of this century.
If one student tries to undermine another, such sinister rivalry does a vast amount of injury to the Cause. To fill one’s pocket at the expense of his conscience, or to build on the downfall of others, incapacitates one to practise or teach Christian Science. The occasional temporary success of such an one is owing, in part, to the impossibility for those unacquainted with the mighty Truth of Christian Science to recognize, as such, the barefaced errors that are taught — and the damaging effects these leave on the practice of the learner, on the Cause, and on the health of the community.
Honest students speak the truth “according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount,” and live it: these are not working for emoluments, and may profitably teach people, who are ready to investigate this subject, the rudiments of Christian Science.
Question. — Can Christian Science cure acute cases where there is necessity for immediate relief, as in membranous croup?
Answer. — The remedial power of Christian Science is positive, and its application direct. It cannot fail to heal in every case of disease, when conducted by one who understands this Science sufficiently to demonstrate its highest possibilities.
Question. — If I have the toothache, and nothing stops it until I have the tooth extracted, and then the pain ceases, has the mind, or extracting, or both, caused the pain to cease?
Answer. — What you thought was pain in the bone or nerve, could only have been a belief of pain in matter; for matter has no sensation. It was a state of mortal thought made manifest in the flesh. You call this body matter, when awake, or when asleep in a dream. That matter can rereport pain, or that mind is in matter, reporting sensations, is but a dream at all times. You believed that if the tooth were extracted, the pain would cease: this demand of mortal thought once met, your belief assumed a new form, and said, There is no more pain. When your belief in pain ceases, the pain stops; for matter has no intelligence of its own. By applying this mental remedy or antidote directly to your belief, you scien45ifically prove the fact that Mind is supreme. This is not done by will-power, for that is not Science but mesmerism. The full understanding that God is Mind, and that matter is but a belief, enables you to control pain. Christian Science, by means of its Principle of metaphysical healing, is able to do more than to heal a toothache; although its power to allay fear, prevent inflammation, and destroy the necessity for ether — thereby avoiding the fatal results that frequently follow the use of that drug — render this Science invaluable in the practice of dentistry.
Question. — Can an atheist or a profane man be cured by metaphysics, or Christian Science?
Answer. — The moral status of the man demands the remedy of Truth more in this than in most cases; therefore, under the deific law that supply invariably meets demand, this Science is effectual in treating moral ailments. Sin is not the master of divine Science, but vice versa; and when Science in a single instance decides the conflict, the patient is better both morally and physically.
Question. — If God made all that was made, and it was good, where did evil originate?
Answer. — It never originated or existed as an entity. It is but a false belief; even the belief that God is not what the Scriptures imply Him to be, All-in-all, but that there is an opposite intelligence or mind termed evil. This error of belief is idolatry, having “other gods before me.” In John i. 3 we read, “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.”
The admission of the reality of evil perpetuates the belief or faith in evil. The Scriptures declare, “To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are.” The leading self-evident proposition of Christian Science is: good being real, evil, good’s opposite, is unreal. This truism needs only to be tested scientifically to be found true, and adapted to destroy the appearance of evil to an extent beyond the power of any doctrine previously entertained.
Question. — Do you teach that you are equal with God?
Answer — A reader of my writings would not present this question. There are no such indications in the premises or conclusions of Christian Science, and such a misconception of Truth is not scientific. Man is not equal with his Maker; that which is formed is not cause, but effect, and has no power underived from its creator. It is possible, and it is man’s duty, so to throw the weight of his thoughts and acts on the side of Truth, that he be ever found in the scale with his creator; not weighing equally with Him, but comprehending at every point, in divine Science, the full significance of what the apostle meant by the declaration, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” In Science, man represents his divine Principle, — the Life and Love that are God, — even as the idea of sound, in tones, represents harmony; but thought has not yet wholly attained unto the Science of being, wherein man is perfect even as the Father, his divine Principle, is perfect.
Question. — How can I believe that there is no such thing as matter, when I weigh over two hundred pounds and carry about this weight daily?
Answer. — By learning that matter is but manifest mortal mind. You entertain an adipose belief of yourself as substance; whereas, substance means more than matter: it is the glory and permanence of Spirit: it is that which is hoped for but unseen, that which the material senses cannot take in. Have you never been so preoccupied in thought when moving your body, that you did this without consciousness of its weight? If never in your waking hours, you have been in your night-dreams; and these tend to elucidate your day-dream, or the mythical nature of matter, and the possibilities of mind when let loose from its own beliefs. In sleep, a sense of the body accompanies thought with less impediment than when awake, which is the truer sense of being. In Science, body is the servant of Mind, not its master: Mind is supreme. Science reverses the evidence of material sense with the spiritual sense that God, Spirit, is the only substance; and that man, His image and likeness, is spiritual, not material. This great Truth does not destroy but substantiates man’s identity, — together with his immortality and preexistence, or his spiritual coexistence with his Maker. That which has a beginning must have an ending.
Question. — What should one conclude as to Professor Carpenter’s exhibitions of mesmerism?
Answer. — That largely depends upon what one accepts as either useful or true. I have no knowledge of mesmerism, practically or theoretically, save as I measure its demonstrations as a false belief, and avoid all that works ill. If mesmerism has the power attributed to it by the gentleman referred to, it should neither be taught nor practised, but should be conscientiously condemned. One thing is quite apparent; namely, that its so-called power is despotic, and Mr. Carpenter deserves praise for his public exposure of it. If such be its power, I am opposed to it, as to every form of error, — whether of ignorance or fanaticism, prompted by money-making or malice. It is enough for me to know that animal magnetism is neither of God nor Science.
It is alleged that at one of his recent lectures in Boston Mr. Carpenter made a man drunk on water, and then informed his audience that he could produce the effect of alcohol, or of any drug, on the human system, through the action of mind alone. This honest declaration as to the animus of animal magnetism and the possible purpose to which it can be devoted, has, we trust, been made in season to open the eyes of the people to the hidden nature of some tragic events and sudden deaths at this period.
Question. — Was ever a person made insane by studying metaphysics?
Answer. — Such an occurrence would be impossible, for the proper study of Mind-healing would cure the insane. That persons have gone away from the Massachusetts Metaphysical College “made insane by Mrs. Eddy’s teachings,” like a hundred other stories, is a baseless fabrication offered solely to injure her or her school. The enemy is trying to make capital out of the follow49ng case. A young lady entered the College class who, I quickly saw, had a tendency to monomania, and requested her to withdraw before its close. We are credibly informed that, before entering the College, this young lady had manifested some mental unsoundness, and have no doubt she could have been restored by Christian Science treatment. Her friends employed a homœopathist, who had the skill and honor to state, as his opinion given to her friends, that “Mrs. Eddy’s teachings had not produced insanity.” This is the only case that could be distorted into the claim of insanity ever having occurred in a class of Mrs. Eddy’s; while acknowledged and notable cases of insanity have been cured in her class.
Question. — If all that is mortal is a dream or error, is not our capacity for formulating a dream, real; is it not God-made; and if God-made, can it be wrong, sinful, or an error?
Answer. — The spirit of Truth leads into all truth, and enables man to discern between the real and the unreal. Entertaining the common belief in the opposite of goodness, and that evil is as real as good, opposes the leadings of the divine Spirit that are helping man Godward: it prevents a recognition of the nothingness of the dream, or belief, that Mind is in matter, intelligence in non-intelligence, sin, and death. This belief presupposes not only a power opposed to God, and that God is not Allin-all, as the Scriptures imply Him to be, but that the capacity to err proceeds from God.
That God is Truth, the Scriptures aver; that Truth never created error, or such a capacity, is self-evident; that God made all that was made, is again Scriptural; therefore your answer is, that error is an illusion of mortals; that God is not its author, and it cannot be real.
Question. — Does “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” explain the entire method of metaphysical healing, or is there a secret back of what is contained in that book, as some say?
Answer. — “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” is a complete textbook of Christian Science; and its metaphysical method of healing is as lucid in presentation as can be possible, under the necessity to express the metaphysical in physical terms. There is absolutely no additional secret outside of its teachings, or that gives one the power to heal; but it is essential that the student gain the spiritual understanding of the contents of this book, in order to heal.
Question. — Do you believe in change of heart?
Answer. — We do believe, and understand — which is more — that there must be a change from human affections, desires, and aims, to the divine standard, “Be ye therefore perfect;” also, that there must be a change from the belief that the heart is matter and sustains life, to the understanding that God is our Life, that we exist in Mind, live thereby, and have being. This change of heart would deliver man from heart-disease, and advance Christianity a hundredfold. The human affections need to be changed from self to benevolence and love for God and man; changed to having but one God and loving Him supremely, and helping our brother man.
This change of heart is essential to Christianity, and will have its effect physically as well as spiritually, healing disease. Burnt offerings and drugs, God does not require.
Question. — Is a belief of nervousness, accompanied by great mental depression, mesmerism?
Answer. — All mesmerism is of one of three kinds; namely, the ignorant, the fraudulent, or the malicious workings of error or mortal mind. We have not the particulars of the case to which you may refer, and for this reason cannot answer your question professionally.
Question. — How can I govern a child metaphysically? Doesn’t the use of the rod teach him life in matter?
Answer. — The use of the rod is virtually a declaration to the child’s mind that sensation belongs to matter. Motives govern acts, and Mind governs man. If you make clear to the child’s thought the right motives for action, and cause him to love them, they will lead him aright: if you educate him to love God, good, and obey the Golden Rule, he will love and obey you without your having to resort to corporeal punishment.
“When from the lips of Truth one mighty breath Shall, like a whirlwind, scatter in its breeze The whole dark pile of human mockeries; Then shall the reign of Mind commence on earth, And starting fresh, as from a second birth, Man in the sunshine of the world’s new spring, Shall walk transparent like some holy thing.”
Question. — Are both prayer and drugs necessary to heal?
Answer. — The apostle James said, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” This text may refer to such as seek the material to aid the spiritual, and take drugs to support God’s power to heal them. It is difficult to say how much one can do for himself, whose faith is divided between catnip and Christ; but not so difficult to know that if he were to serve one master, he could do vastly more. Whosoever understands the power of Spirit, has no doubt of God’s power, — even the might of Truth, — to heal, through divine Science, beyond all human means and methods.
Question. — What do you think of marriage?
Answer. — That it is often convenient, sometimes pleasant, and occasionally a love affair. Marriage is susceptible of many definitions. It sometimes presents the most wretched condition of human existence. To be normal, it must be a union of the affections that tends to lift mortals higher.
Question. — If this life is a dream not dispelled, but only changed, by death, — if one gets tired of it, why not commit suicide?
Answer — Man’s existence is a problem to be wrought in divine Science. What progress would a student of science make, if, when tired of mathematics or failing to demonstrate one rule readily, he should attempt to work out a rule farther on and more difficult — and this, because the first rule was not easily demonstrated? In that case he would be obliged to turn back and work out the previous example, before solving the advanced problem. Mortals have the sum of being to work out, and up, to its spiritual standpoint. They must work out of this dream or false claim of sensation and life in matter, and up to the spiritual realities of existence, before this false claim can be wholly dispelled. Committing suicide to dodge the question is not working it out. The error of supposed life and intelligence in matter, is dissolved only as we master error with Truth. Not through sin or suicide, but by overcoming temptation and sin, shall we escape the weariness and wickedness of mortal existence, and gain heaven, the harmony of being.
Question. — Do you sometimes find it advisable to use medicine to assist in producing a cure, when it is difficult to start the patient’s recovery?
Answer. — You only weaken your power to heal through Mind, by any compromise with matter; which is virtually acknowledging that under difficulties the former is not equal to the latter. He that resorts to physics, seeks what is below instead of above the standard of metaphysics; showing his ignorance of the meaning of the term and of Christian Science.
Question. — If Christian Science is the same as Jesus taught, why is it not more simple, so that all can readily understand it?
Answer. — The teachings of Jesus were simple; and yet he found it difficult to make the rulers understand, because of their great lack of spirituality. Christian Science is simple, and readily understood by the children; only the thought educated away from it finds it abstract or difficult to perceive. Its seeming abstraction is the mystery of godliness; and godliness is simple to the godly; but to the unspiritual, the ungodly, it is dark and difficult. The carnal mind cannot discern spiritual things.
Question. — Has Mrs. Eddy lost her power to heal?
Answer. — Has the sun forgotten to shine, and the planets to revolve around it? Who is it that discovered, demonstrated, and teaches Christian Science? That one, whoever it be, does understand something of what cannot be lost. Thousands in the field of metaphysical healing, whose lives are worthy testimonials, are her students, and they bear witness to this fact. Instead of losing her power to heal, she is demonstrating the power of Christian Science over all obstacles that envy and malice would fling in her path. The reading of her book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” is curing hundreds at this very time; and the sick, unasked, are testifying thereto.
Question. — Must I study your Science in order to keep well all my life? I was healed of a chronic trouble after one month’s treatment by one of your students.
Answer. — When once you are healed by Science, there is no reason why you should be liable to a return of the disease that you were healed of. But not to be subject again to any disease whatsoever, would require an understanding of the Science by which you were healed.
Question. — Because none of your students haw been able to perform as great miracles in healing as Jesus and his disciples did, does it not suggest the possibility that they do not heal on the same basis?
Answer. — You would not ask the pupil in simple equations to solve a problem involving logarithms; and then, because he failed to get the right answer, condemn the pupil and the science of numbers. The simplest problem in Christian Science is healing the sick, and the least understanding and demonstration thereof prove all its possibilities. The ability to demonstrate to the extent that Jesus did, will come when the student possesses as much of the divine Spirit as he shared, and utilizes its power to overcome sin.
Opposite to good, is the universal claim of evil that seeks the proportions of good. There may be those who, having learned the power of the unspoken thought, use it to harm rather than to heal, and who are using that power against Christian Scientists. This giant sin is the sin against the Holy Ghost spoken of in Matt. xii. 31, 32.
Question. — Is Christian Science based on the facts of both Spirit and matter?
Answer. — Christian Science is based on the facts of Spirit and its forms and representations, but these facts are the direct antipodes of the so-called facts of matter; and the eternal verities of Spirit assert themselves over their opposite, or matter, in the final destruction of all that is unlike Spirit.
Man knows that he can have one God only, when he regards God as the only Mind, Life, and substance. If God is Spirit, as the Scriptures declare, and All-inall, matter is mythology, and its laws are mortal beliefs.
If Mind is in matter and beneath a skull bone, it is in something unlike Him; hence it is either a godless and material Mind, or it is God in matter, — which are theo56ies of agnosticism and pantheism, the very antipodes of Christian Science
Question. — What is organic life?
Answer. — Life is inorganic, infinite Spirit; if Life, or Spirit, were organic, disorganization would destroy Spirit and annihilate man.
If Mind is not substance, form, and tangibility, God is substanceless; for the substance of Spirit is divine Mind. Life is God, the only creator, and Life is immortal Mind, not matter.
Every indication of matter’s constituting life is mortal, the direct opposite of immortal Life, and infringes the rights of Spirit. Then, to conclude that Spirit constitutes or ever has constituted laws to that effect, is a mortal error, a human conception opposed to the divine government. Mind and matter mingling in perpetual warfare is a kingdom divided against itself, that shall be brought to desolation. The final destruction of this false belief in matter will appear at the full revelation of Spirit, — one God, and the brotherhood of man. Organic life is an error of statement that Truth destroys. The Science of Life needs only to be understood; its demonstration proves the correctness of my statements, and brings blessings infinite.
Question. — Why did God command, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth,” if all minds (men) have existed from the beginning, and have had successive stages of existence to the present time?
Answer. — Your question implies that Spirit, which first spiritually created the universe, including man, created man over again materially; and, by the aid of mankind, all was later made which He had made. If the first record is true, what evidence have you — apart from the evidence of that which you admit cannot discern spiritual things — of any other creation? The creative “Us” made all, and Mind was the creator. Man originated not from dust, materially, but from Spirit, spiritually. This work had been done; the true creation was finished, and its spiritual Science is alluded to in the first chapter of Genesis.
Jesus said of error, “That thou doest, do quickly.” By the law of opposites, after the truth of man had been demonstrated, the postulate of error must appear. That this addendum was untrue, is seen when Truth, God, denounced it, and said: “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow.” “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” The opposite error said, “I am true,” and declared, “God doth know … that your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods,” creators. This was false; and the Lord God never said it. This history of a falsity must be told in the name of Truth, or it would have no seeming. The Science of creation is the universe with man created spiritually. The false sense and error of creation is the sense of man and the universe created materially.
Question. — Why does the record make man a creation of the sixth and last day, if he was coexistent with God?
Answer. — In its genesis, the Science of creation is stated in mathematical order, beginning with the lowest form and ascending the scale of being up to man. But all that really is, always was and forever is; for it existed in and of the Mind that is God, wherein man is foremost.
Question. — If one has died of consumption, and he has no remem- brance of that disease or dream, does that disease have any more power over him?
Answer. — Waking from a dream, one learns its unreality; then it has no power over one. Waking from the dream of death, proves to him who thought he died that it was a dream, and that he did not die; then he learns that consumption did not kill him. When the belief in the power of disease is destroyed, disease cannot return.
Question. — How does Mrs. Eddy know that she has read and studied correctly, if one must deny the evidences of the senses? She had to use her eyes to read.
Answer. — Jesus said, “Having eyes, see ye not?” I read the inspired page through a higher than mortal sense. As matter, the eye cannot see; and as mortal mind, it is a belief that sees. I may read the Scriptures through a belief of eyesight; but I must spiritually understand them to interpret their Science.
Question. — Does the theology of Christian Science aid its healing?
Answer — Without its theology there is no mental science, no order that proceeds from God. All Science is divine, not human, in origin and demonstration. If God does not govern the action of man, it is inharmonious: if He does govern it, the action is Science. Take away the theology of mental healing and you take away its science, leaving it a human “mind-cure,” nothing more nor less, — even one human mind governing another; by which, if you agree that God is Mind, you admit that there is more than one government and God. Having no true sense of the healing theology of Mind, you can neither understand nor demonstrate its Science, and will practise your belief of it in the name of Truth. This is the mortal “mind-cure” that produces the effect of mesmerism. It is using the power of human will, instead of the divine power understood, as in Christian Science; and without this Science there had better be no “mindcure,” — in which the last state of patients is worse than the first.
Question. — Is it wrong to pray for the recovery of the sick?
Answer. — Not if we pray Scripturally, with the understanding that God has given all things to those who love Him; but pleading with infinite Love to love us, or to restore health and harmony, and then to admit that it has been lost under His government, is the prayer of doubt and mortal belief that is unavailing in divine Science.
Question. — Is not all argument mind over mind?
Answer. — The Scriptures refer to God as saying, “Come now, and let us reason together.” There is but one right Mind, and that one should and does govern man. Any copartnership with that Mind is impossible; and the only benefit in speaking often one to another, arises from the success that one individual has with another in leading his thoughts away from the human mind or body, and guiding them with Truth. That individual is the best healer who asserts himself the least, and thus becomes a transparency for the divine Mind, who is the only physician; the divine Mind is the scientific healer.
Question. — How can you believe there is no sin, and that God does not recognize any, when He sent His Son to save from sin, and the Bible is addressed to sinners? How can you believe there is no sickness, when Jesus came healing the sick?
Answer. — To regard sin, disease, and death with less deference, and only as the woeful unrealities of being, is the only way to destroy them; Christian Science is proving this by healing cases of disease and sin after all other means have failed. The Nazarene Prophet could make the unreality of both apparent in a moment.
Question. — Does it not limit the power of Mind to deny the possibility of communion with departed friends — dead only in belief?
Answer. — Does it limit the power of Mind to say that addition is not subtraction in mathematics? The Science of Mind reveals the impossibility of two individual sleepers, in different phases of thought, communicating, even if touching each other corporeally; or for one who sleeps to communicate with another who is awake. Mind’s possibilities are not lessened by being confined and conformed to the Science of being.
Question. — If mortal mind and body are myths, what is the connection between them and real identity, and why are there as many identities as mortal bodies?
Answer — Evil in the beginning claimed the power, wisdom, and utility of good; and every creation or idea of Spirit has its counterfeit in some matter belief. Every material belief hints the existence of spiritual reality; and if mortals are instructed in spiritual things, it will be seen that material belief, in all its manifestations, reversed, will be found the type and representative of verities priceless, eternal, and just at hand.
The education of the future will be instruction, in spiritual Science, against the material symbolic counterfeit sciences. All the knowledge and vain strivings of mortal mind, that lead to death, — even when aping the wisdom and magnitude of immortal Mind, — will be swallowed up by the reality and omnipotence of Truth over error, and of Life over death.
“Dear Mrs. Eddy: — In the October Journal I read the following: “But the real man, who was created in the image of God, does not commit sin.” What then does sin? What commits theft? Or who does murder? For instance, the man is held responsible for the crime; for I went once to a place where a man was said to be “hanged for murder” — and certainly I saw him, or his effigy, dangling at the end of a rope. This “man” was held responsible for the ‘sin.’ ”
Question. — What sins?
Answer — According to the Word, man is the image and likeness of God. Does God’s essential likeness sin, or dangle at the end of a rope? If not, what does? A culprit, a sinner, — anything but a man! Then, what is a sinner? A mortal; but man is immortal.
Again: mortals are the embodiments (or bodies, if you please) of error, not of Truth; of sickness, sin, and death. Naming these His embodiment, can neither make them so nor overthrow the logic that man is God’s likeness. Mortals seem very material; man in the likeness of Spirit is spiritual. Holding the right idea of man in my mind, I can improve my own, and other people’s individuality, health, and morals; whereas, the opposite image of man, a sinner, kept constantly in mind, can no more improve health or morals, than holding in thought the form of a boa-constrictor can aid an artist in painting a landscape.
Man is seen only in the true likeness of his Maker. Believing a lie veils the truth from our vision; even as in mathematics, in summing up positive and negative quantities, the negative quantity offsets an equal positive quantity, making the aggregate positive, or true quantity, by that much, less available.
Question. — Why do Christian Scientists hold that their theology is essential to heal the sick, when the mind-cure claims to heal without it?
Answer. — The theology of Christian Science is Truth; opposed to which is the error of sickness, sin, and death, that Truth destroys.
A “mind-cure” is a matter-cure. An adherent to this method honestly acknowledges this fact in her work entitled “Mind-cure on a Material Basis.” In that work the author grapples with Christian Science, attempts to solve its divine Principle by the rule of human mind, fails, and ends in a parody on this Science which is amusing to astute readers, — especially when she tells them that she is practising this Science.
The theology of Christian Science is based on the action of the divine Mind over the human mind and body; whereas, “mind-cure” rests on the notion that the human mind can cure its own disease, or that which it causes, and the sickness of matter, — which is infidel in the one case, and anomalous in the other. It was said of old by Truth-traducers, that Jesus healed through Beelzebub; but the claim that one erring mind cures another one was at first gotten up to hinder his benign influence and to hide his divine power.
Our Master understood that Life, Truth, Love are the triune Principle of all pure theology; also, that this divine trinity is one infinite remedy for the opposite triad, sickness, sin, and death.
Question. — If there is no sin, why did Jesus come to save sinners?
Answer. — If there is no reality in sickness, why does a Christian Scientist go to the bedside and address himself to the healing of disease, on the basis of its unreality? Jesus came to seek and to save such as believe in the reality of the unreal; to save them from this false belief; that they might lay hold of eternal Life, the great reality that concerns man, and understand the final fact, — that God is omnipotent and omnipresent; yea, “that the Lord He is God; there is none else beside Him,” as the Scriptures declare.
Question. — If Christ was God, why did Jesus cry out, “My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
Answer. — Even as the struggling heart, reaching toward a higher goal, appeals to its hope and faith, Why failest thou me? Jesus as the son of man was human: Christ as the Son of God was divine. This divinity was reaching humanity through the crucifixion of the human, — that momentous demonstration of God, in which Spirit proved its supremacy over matter. Jesus assumed for mortals the weakness of flesh, that Spirit might be found “All-in-all.” Hence, the human cry which voiced that struggle; thence, the way he made for mortals’ escape. Our Master bore the cross to show his power over death; then relinquished his earth-task of teaching and demonstrating the nothingness of sickness, sin, and death, and rose to his native estate, man’s indestructible eternal life in God.
Question. — What can prospective students of the College take for preliminary studies? Do you regard the study of litera- ture and languages as objectionable?
Answer. — Persons contemplating a course at the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, can prepare for it through no books except the Bible, and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” Man-made theories are narrow, else extravagant, and are always materialistic. The ethics which guide thought spiritually must benefit every one; for the only philosophy and religion that afford instruction are those which deal with facts and resist speculative opinions and fables.
Works on science are profitable; for science is not human. It is spiritual, and not material. Literature and languages, to a limited extent, are aids to a student of the Bible and of Christian Science.
Question. — Is it possible to know why we are put into this condition of mortality?
Answer. — It is quite as possible to know wherefore man is thus conditioned, as to be certain that he is in a state of mortality. The only evidence of the existence of a mortal man, or of a material state and universe, is gathered from the five personal senses. This delusive evidence, Science has dethroned by repeated proofs of its falsity.
We have no more proof of human discord, — sin, sickness, disease, or death, — than we have that the earth’s surface is flat, and her motions imaginary. If man’s ipse dixit as to the stellar system is correct, this is because Science is true, and the evidence of the senses is false. Then why not submit to the affirmations of Science concerning the greater subject of human weal and woe? Every question between Truth and error, Science must and will decide. Left to the decision of Science, your query concerns a negative which the positive Truth destroys; for God’s universe and man are immortal. We must not consider the false side of existence in order to gain the true solution of Life and its great realities.
Question. — Have you changed your instructions as to the right way of treating disease?
Answer. — I have not; and this important fact must be, and already is, apprehended by those who understand my instructions on this question. Christian Science demands both law and gospel, in order to demonstrate healing, and I have taught them both in its demonstration, and with signs following. They are a unit in restoring the equipoise of mind and body, and balancing man’s account with his Maker. The sequence proves that strict adherence to one is inadequate to compensate for the absence of the other, since both constitute the divine law of healing.
The Jewish religion demands that “whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.” But this law is not infallible in wisdom; and obedience thereto may be found faulty, since false testimony or mistaken evidence may cause the innocent to suffer for the guilty. Hence the gospel that fulfils the law in righteousness, the genius whereof is displayed in the surprising wisdom of these words of the New Testament: “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” No possible injustice lurks in this mandate, and no human misjudgment can pervert it; for the offender alone suffers, and always according to divine decree. This sacred, solid precept is verified in all directions in Mindhealing, and is supported in the Scripture by parallel proof.
The law and gospel of Truth and Love teach, through divine Science, that sin is identical with suffering, and that suffering is the lighter affliction. To reach the summit of Science, whence to discern God’s perfect ways and means, the material sense must be controlled by the higher spiritual sense, and Truth be enthroned, while “we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.”
Cynical critics misjudge my meaning as to the scientific treatment of the sick. Disease that is superinduced by sin is not healed like the more physical ailment. The beginner in sin-healing must know this, or he never can reach the Science of Mind-healing, and so “overcome evil with good.” Error in premise is met with error in practice; yea, it is “the blind leading the blind.” Ignorance of the cause of disease can neither remove that cause nor its effect.
I endeavor to accommodate my instructions to the present capability of the learner, and to support the liberated thought until its altitude reaches beyond the mere alphabet of Mind-healing. Above physical wants, lie the higher claims of the law and gospel of healing. First is the law, which saith: —
“Thou shalt not commit adultery;” in other words, thou shalt not adulterate Life, Truth, or Love, — mentally, morally, or physically. “Thou shalt not steal;” that is, thou shalt not rob man of money, which is but trash, compared with his rights of mind and character. “Thou shalt not kill;” that is, thou shalt not strike at the eternal sense of Life with a malicious aim, but shalt know that by doing thus thine own sense of Life shall be forfeited. “Thou shalt not bear false witness;” that is, thou shalt not utter a lie, either mentally or audibly, nor cause it to be thought. Obedience to these commandments is indispensable to health, happiness, and length of days.
The gospel of healing demonstrates the law of Love. Justice uncovers sin of every sort; and mercy demands that if you see the danger menacing others, you shall, Deo volente, inform them thereof. Only thus is the right practice of Mind-healing achieved, and the wrong practice discerned, disarmed, and destroyed.
Question. — Do you believe in translation?
Answer. — If your question refers to language, whereby one expresses the sense of words in one language by equivalent words in another, I do. If you refer to the removal of a person to heaven, without his subjection to death, I modify my affirmative answer. I believe in this removal being possible after all the footsteps requisite have been taken up to the very throne, up to the spiritual sense and fact of divine substance, intelligence, Life, and Love. This translation is not the work of moments; it requires both time and eternity. It means more than mere disappearance to the human sense; it must include also man’s changed appearance and diviner form visible to those beholding him here.
Question. — The Rev. —— said in a sermon: A true Christian would protest against metaphysical healing being called Christian Science. He also maintained that pain and disease are not illusions but realities; and that it is not Christian to believe they are illusions. Is this so?
Answer. — It is unchristian to believe that pain and sickness are anything but illusions. My proof of this is, that the penalty for believing in their reality is the very pain and disease. Jesus cast out a devil, and the dumb spake; hence it is right to know that the works of Satan are the illusion and error which Truth casts out.
Does the gentleman above mentioned know the meaning of divine metaphysics, or of metaphysical theology?
According to Webster, metaphysics is defined thus: “The science of the conceptions and relations which are necessary to thought and knowledge; science of the mind.” Worcester defines it as “the philosophy of mind, as distinguished from that of matter; a science of which the object is to explain the principles and causes of all things existing,” Brande calls metaphysics “the science which regards the ultimate grounds of being, as distinguished from its phenomenal modifications.” “A speculative science, which soars beyond the bounds of experience,” is a further definition.
Divine metaphysics is that which treats of the existence of God, His essence, relations, and attributes. A sneer at metaphysics is a scoff at Deity; at His goodness, mercy, and might.
Christian Science is the unfolding of true metaphysics; that is, of Mind, or God, and His attributes. Science rests on Principle and demonstration. The Principle of Christian Science is divine. Its rule is, that man shall utilize the divine power.
In Genesis i. 26, we read: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air.”
I was once called to visit a sick man to whom the regular physicians had given three doses of Croton oil, and then had left him to die. Upon my arrival I found him barely alive, and in terrible agony. In one hour he was well, and the next day he attended to his business. I removed the stoppage, healed him of enteritis, and neutralized the bad effects of the poisonous oil. His physicians had failed even to move his bowels, — though the wonder was, with the means used in their effort to accomplish this result, that they had not quite killed him. According to their diagnosis, the exciting cause of the inflammation and stoppage was — eating smoked herring. The man is living yet; and I will send his address to any one who may wish to apply to him for information about his case.
Now comes the question: Had that sick man dominion over the fish in his stomach?
His want of control over “the fish of the sea” must have been an illusion, or else the Scriptures misstate man’s power. That the Bible is true I believe, not only, but I demonstrated its truth when I exercised my power over the fish, cast out the sick man’s illusion, and healed him. Thus it was shown that the healing action of Mind upon the body has its only explanation in divine metaphysics. As a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he.” When the mortal thought, or belief, was removed, the man was well.
Question. — What did Jesus mean when he said to the dying thief, “To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise”?
Answer. — Paradisaical rest from physical agony would come to the criminal, if the dream of dying should startle him from the dream of suffering. The paradise of Spirit would come to Jesus, in a spiritual sense of Life and power. Christ Jesus lived and reappeared. He was too good to die; for goodness is immortal. The thief was not equal to the demands of the hour; but sin was destroying itself, and had already begun to die, — as the poor thief’s prayer for help indicated. The dying malefactor and our Lord were inevitably separated through Mind. The thief’s body, as matter, must dissolve into its native nothingness; whereas the body of the holy Spirit of Jesus was eternal. That day the thief would be with Jesus only in a finite and material sense of relief; while our Lord would soon be rising to the supremacy of Spirit, working out, even in the silent tomb, those wonderful demonstrations of divine power, in which none could equal his glory.
Question. — Is it right for me to treat others, when I am not entirely well myself?
Answer. — The late John B. Gough is said to have suffered from an appetite for alcoholic drink until his death; yet he saved many a drunkard from this fatal appetite. Paul had a thorn in the flesh: one writer thinks that he was troubled with rheumatism, and another that he had sore eyes; but this is certain, that he healed others who were sick. It is unquestionably right to do right; and healing the sick is a very right thing to do.
Question. — Does Christian Science set aside the law of transmission, prenatal desires, and good or bad influences on the unborn child?
Answer. — Science never averts law, but supports it. All actual causation must interpret omnipotence, the all-knowing Mind. Law brings out Truth, not error; unfolds divine Principle, — but neither human hypothesis nor matter. Errors are based on a mortal or material formation; they are suppositional modes, not the factors of divine presence and power.
Whatever is humanly conceived is a departure from divine law; hence its mythical origin and certain end. According to the Scriptures, — St. Paul declares astutely, “For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things,” — man is incapable of originating; nothing can be formed apart from God, good, the all-knowing Mind. What seems to be of human origin is the counterfeit of the divine, — even human concepts, mortal shadows flitting across the dial of time.
Whatever is real is right and eternal; hence the immutable and just law of Science, that God is good only, and can transmit to man and the universe nothing evil, or unlike Himself. For the innocent babe to be born a lifelong sufferer because of his parents’ mistakes or sins, were sore injustice. Science sets aside man as a creator, and unfolds the eternal harmonies of the only living and true origin, God.
According to the beliefs of the flesh, both good and bad traits of the parents are transmitted to their helpless offspring, and God is supposed to impart to man this fatal power. It is cause for rejoicing that this belief is as false as it is remorseless. The immutable Word saith, through the prophet Ezekiel, “What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.”
Question. — Are material things real when they are harmonious, and do they disappear only to the natural sense? Does this Scripture, “Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things” imply that Spirit takes note of matter?
Answer. — The Science of Mind, as well as the material universe, shows that nothing which is material is in perpetual harmony. Matter is manifest mortal mind, and it exists only to material sense. Real sensation is not material; it is, and must be, mental: and Mind is not mortal, it is immortal. Being is God, infinite Spirit; therefore it cannot cognize aught material, or outside of infinity.
The Scriptural passage quoted affords no evidence of the reality of matter, or that God is conscious of it. The so-called material body is said to suffer, but this supposition is proven erroneous when Mind casts out the suffering. The Scripture saith, “Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth;” and again, “He doth not afflict willingly.” Interpreted materially, these passages conflict; they mingle the testimony of immortal Science with mortal sense; but once discern their spiritual meaning, and it separates the false sense from the true, and establishes the reality of what is spiritual, and the unreality of materiality.
Law is never material: it is always mental and moral, and a commandment to the wise. The foolish disobey moral law, and are punished. Human wisdom therefore can get no farther than to say, He knoweth that we have need of experience. Belief fulfils the conditions of a belief, and these conditions destroy the belief. Hence the verdict of experience: We have need of these things; we have need to know that the so-called pleasures and pains of matter — yea, that all subjective states of false sensation — are unreal.
Question. — “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matt. xix. 28.) What is meant by regeneration?
Answer. — It is the appearing of divine law to human understanding; the spiritualization that comes from spiritual sense in contradistinction to the testimony of the socalled material senses. The phenomena of Spirit in Christian Science, and the divine correspondence of noumenon and phenomenon understood, are here signified. This new-born sense subdues not only the false sense of generation, but the human will, and the unnatural enmity of mortal man toward God. It quickly imparts a new apprehension of the true basis of being, and the spiritual foundation for the affections which enthrone the Son of man in the glory of his Father; and judges, through the stern mandate of Science, all human systems of etiology and teleology.
Question. — If God does not recognize matter, how did Jesus, who was “the way, the truth, and the life,” cognize it?
Answer. — Christ Jesus’ sense of matter was the opposite of that which mortals entertain: his nativity was a spiritual and immortal sense of the ideal world. His earthly mission was to translate substance into its original meaning, Mind. He walked upon the waves; he turned the water into wine; he healed the sick and the sinner; he raised the dead, and rolled away the stone from the door of his own tomb. His demonstration of Spirit virtually vanquished matter and its supposed laws. Walking the wave, he proved the fallacy of the theory that matter is substance; healing through Mind, he removed any supposition that matter is intelligent, or can recognize or express pain and pleasure. His triumph over the grave was an everlasting victory for Life; it demonstrated the lifelessness of matter, and the power and permanence of Spirit. He met and conquered the resistance of the world.
If you will admit, with me, that matter is neither substance, intelligence, nor Life, you may have all that is left of it; and you will have touched the hem of the garment of Jesus’ idea of matter, Christ was “the way;” since Life and Truth were the way that gave us, through a human person, a spiritual revelation of man’s possible earthly development.
Question. — Why do you insist that there is but one Soul, and that Soul is not in the body?
Answer. — First: I urge this fundamental fact and grand verity of Christian Science, because it includes a rule that must be understood, or it is impossible to demonstrate the Science. Soul is a synonym of Spirit, and God is Spirit. There is but one God, and the infinite is not within the finite; hence Soul is one, and is God; and God is not in matter or the mortal body.
Second: Because Soul is a term for Deity, and this term should seldom be employed except where the word God can be used and make complete sense. The word Soul may sometimes be used metaphorically; but if this term is warped to signify human quality, a substitution of sense for soul clears the meaning, and assists one to understand Christian Science. Mary’s exclamation, “My soul doth magnify the Lord,” is rendered in Science, “My spiritual sense doth magnify the Lord;” for the name of Deity used in that place does not bring out the meaning of the passage. It was evidently an illuminated sense through which she discovered the spiritual origin of man. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die,” means, that mortal man (alias material sense) that sinneth, shall die; and the commonly accepted view is that soul is deathless. Soul is the divine Mind, — for Soul cannot be formed or brought forth by human thought, — and must proceed from God; hence it must be sinless, and destitute of self-created or derived capacity to sin.
Third: Jesus said, “If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” This statement of our Master is true, and remains to be demonstrated; for it is the ultimatum of Christian Science; but this immortal saying can never be tested or proven true upon a false premise, such as the mortal belief that soul is in body, and life and intelligence are in matter. That doctrine is not theism, but pantheism. According to human belief the bodies of mortals are mortal, but they contain immortal souls! hence these bodies must die for these souls to escape and be immortal. The theory that death must occur, to set a human soul free from its environments, is rendered void by Jesus’ divine declaration, who spake as never man spake, — and no man can rationally reject his authority on this subject and accept it on other topics less important.
Answer — Now, exchange the term soul for sense whenever this word means the so-called soul in the body, and you will find the right meaning indicated. The misnamed human soul is material sense, which sinneth and shall die; for it is an error or false sense of mentality in matter, and matter has no sense. You will admit that Soul is the Life of man. Now if Soul sinned, it would die; for “the wages of sin is death.” The Scripture saith, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” The Science of Soul, Spirit, involves this appearing, and is essential to the fulfilment of this glorious prophecy of the master Metaphysician, who overcame the last enemy, death.
Question. — Did the salvation of the eunuch depend merely on his believing that Jesus Christ was the Son of God?
Answer. — It did; but this believing was more than faith in the fact that Jesus was the Messiah. Here the verb believe took its original meaning, namely, to be firm, — yea, to understand those great truths asserted of the Messiah: it meant to discern and consent to that infinite demand made upon the eunuch in those few words of the apostle. Philip’s requirement was, that he should not only acknowledge the incarnation, — God made manifest through man, — but even the eternal unity of man and God, as the divine Principle and spiritual idea; which is the indissoluble bond of union, the power and presence, in divine Science, of Life, Truth, and Love, to support their ideal man. This is the Father’s great Love that He hath bestowed upon us, and it holds man in endless Life and one eternal round of harmonious being. It guides him by Truth that knows no error, and with supersensual, impartial, and unquenchable Love. To believe is to be firm. In adopting all this vast idea of Christ Jesus, the eunuch was to know in whom he believed. To believe thus was to enter the spiritual sanctuary of Truth, and there learn, in divine Science, somewhat of the All-Father-Mother God. It was to understand God and man: it was sternly to rebuke the mortal belief that man has fallen away from his first estate; that man, made in God’s own likeness, and reflecting Truth, could fall into mortal error; or, that man is the father of man. It was to enter unshod the Holy of Holies, where the miracle of grace appears, and where the miracles of Jesus had their birth, — healing the sick, casting out evils, and resurrecting the human sense to the belief that Life, God, is not buried in matter. This is the spiritual dawn of the Messiah, and the overture of the angels. This is when God is made manifest in the flesh, and thus it destroys all sense of sin, sickness, and death, — when the brightness of His glory encompasseth all being.
Question. — Can Christian Science Mind-healing be taught to those who are absent?
Answer. — The Science of Mind-healing can no more be taught thus, than can science in any other direction. I know not how to teach either Euclid or the Science of Mind silently; and never dreamed that either of these partook of the nature of occultism, magic, alchemy, or necromancy. These “ways that are vain” are the inventions of animal magnetism, which would deceive, if possible, the very elect. We will charitably hope, however, that some people employ the et cetera of ignorance and selfconceit unconsciously, in their witless ventilation of false statements and claims. Misguiding the public mind and taking its money in exchange for this abuse, has become too common: we will hope it is the froth of error passing off; and that Christian Science will some time appear all the clearer for the purification of the public thought concerning it.
Question. — Has man fallen from a state of perfection?
Answer — If God is the Principle of man (and He is), man is the idea of God; and this idea cannot fail to express the exact nature of its Principle, — any more than goodness, to present the quality of good. Human hypotheses are always human vagaries, formulated views antagonistic to the divine order and the nature of Deity. All these mortal beliefs will be purged and dissolved in the crucible of Truth, and the places once knowing them will know them no more forever, having been swept clean by the winds of history. The grand verities of Science will sift the chaff from the wheat, until it is clear to human comprehension that man was, and is, God’s perfect likeness, that reflects all whereby we can know God. In Him we live, move, and have being. Man’s origin and existence being in Him, man is the ultimatum of perfection, and by no means the medium of imperfection. Immortal man is the eternal idea of Truth, that cannot lapse into a mortal belief or error concerning himself and his origin: he cannot get out of the focal distance of infinity. If God is upright and eternal, man as His likeness is erect in goodness and perpetual in Life, Truth, and Love. If the great cause is perfect, its effect is perfect also; and cause and effect in Science are immutable and immortal. A mortal who is sinning, sick, and dying, is not immortal man; and never was, and never can be, God’s image and likeness, the true ideal of immortal man’s divine Principle. The spiritual man is that perfect and unfallen likeness, coexistent and coeternal with God. “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
Question. — What course should Christian Scientists take in regard to aiding persons brought before the courts for violation of medical statutes?
Answer. — Beware of joining any medical league which in any way obligates you to assist — because they chance to be under arrest — vendors of patent pills, mesmerists, occultists, sellers of impure literature, and authors of spurious works on mental healing. By rendering error such a service, you lose much more than can be gained by mere unity on the single issue of opposition to unjust medical laws.
A league which obligates its members to give money and influence in support and defense of medical charlatans in general, and possibly to aid individual rights in a wrong direction — which Christian Science eschews — should be avoided. Anybody and everybody, who will fight the medical faculty, can join this league. It is better to be friendly with cultured and conscientious medical men, who leave Christian Science to rise or fall on its own merit or demerit, than to affiliate with a wrong class of people.
Unconstitutional and unjust coercive legislation and laws, infringing individual rights, must be “of few days, and full of trouble.” The vox populi, through the providence of God, promotes and impels all true reform; and, at the best time, will redress wrongs and rectify injustice. Tyranny can thrive but feebly under our Government. God reigns, and will “turn and overturn” until right is found supreme.
In a certain sense, we should commiserate the lot of regular doctors, who, in successive generations for centuries, have planted and sown and reaped in the fields of what they deem pathology, hygiene, and therapeutics, but are now elbowed by a new school of practitioners, outdoing the healing of the old. The old will not patronize the new school, at least not until it shall come to understand the medical system of the new.
Christian Science Mind-healing rests demonstrably on the broad and sure foundation of Science; and this is not the basis of materia medica, as some of the most skilful and scholarly physicians openly admit.
To prevent all unpleasant and unchristian action — as we drift, by right of God’s dear love, into more spiritual lines of life — let each society of practitioners, the matterphysicians and the metaphysicians, agree to disagree, and then patiently wait on God to decide, as surely He will, which is the true system of medicine.
Question. — Do we not see in the commonly accepted teachings of the day, the Christ-idea mingled with the teachings of John the Baptist? or, rather, Are not the last eighteen centuries but the footsteps of Truth being baptized of John, and coming up straightway out of the ceremonial (or ritualistic) waters to receive the benediction of an honored Father, and afterwards to go up into the wilderness, in order to overcome mortal sense, before it shall go forth into all the cities and towns of Judea, or see many of the people from beyond Jordan? Now, if all this be a fair or correct view of this question, why does not John hear this voice, or see the dove, — or has not Truth yet reached the shore?
Answer. — Every individual character, like the individual John the Baptist, at some date must cry in the desert of earthly joy; and his voice be heard divinely and humanly. In the desolation of human understanding, divine Love hears and answers the human call for help; and the voice of Truth utters the divine verities of being which deliver mortals out of the depths of ignorance and vice. This is the Father’s benediction. It gives lessons to human life, guides the understanding, peoples the mind with spiritual ideas, reconstructs the Judean religion, and reveals God and man as the Principle and idea of all good.
Understanding this fact in Christian Science, brings the peace symbolized by a dove; and this peace floweth as a river into a shoreless eternity. He who knew the foretelling Truth, beheld the forthcoming Truth, as it came up out of the baptism of Spirit, to enlighten and redeem mortals. Such Christians as John cognize the symbols of God, reach the sure foundations of time, stand upon the shore of eternity, and grasp and gather — in all glory — what eye hath not seen.
Question. — Is there infinite progression with man after the destruction of mortal mind?
Answer. — Man is the offspring and idea of the Supreme Being, whose law is perfect and infinite. In obedience to this law, man is forever unfolding the endless beatitudes of Being; for he is the image and likeness of infinite Life, Truth, and Love.
Infinite progression is concrete being, which finite mortals see and comprehend only as abstract glory. As mortal mind, or the material sense of life, is put off, the spiritual sense and Science of being is brought to light.
Mortal mind is a myth; the one Mind is immortal. A mythical or mortal sense of existence is consumed as a moth, in the treacherous glare of its own flame — the errors which devour it. Immortal Mind is God, immortal good; in whom the Scripture saith “we live, and move, and have our being.” This Mind, then, is not subject to growth, change, or diminution, but is the divine intelligence, or Principle, of all real being; holding man forever in the rhythmic round of unfolding bliss, as a living witness to and perpetual idea of inexhaustible good.
Question. — In your book, Science and Health, (Quoted from the sixteenth edition.) page 181, you say: “Every sin is the author of itself, and every invalid the cause of his own sufferings.” On page 182 you say: “Sickness is a growth of illusion, springing from a seed of thought, — either your own thought or another’s.” Will you please explain this seeming contradiction?
Answer. — No person can accept another’s belief, except it be with the consent of his own belief. If the error which knocks at the door of your own thought originated in another’s mind, you are a free moral agent to reject or to accept this error; hence, you are the arbiter of your own fate, and sin is the author of sin. In the words of our Master, you are “a liar, and the father of it [the lie].”
Question. — Why did Jesus call himself “the Son of man”?
Answer — In the life of our Lord, meekness was as conspicuous as might. In John xvii. he declared his sonship with God: “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee.” The hour had come for the avowal of this great truth, and for the proof of his eternal Life and sonship. Jesus’ wisdom ofttimes was shown by his forbearing to speak, as well as by speaking, the whole truth. Haply he waited for a preparation of the human heart to receive startling announcements. This wisdom, which characterized his sayings, did not prophesy his death, and thereby hasten or permit it.
The disciples and prophets thrust disputed points on minds unprepared for them. This cost them their lives, and the world’s temporary esteem; but the prophecies were fulfilled, and their motives were rewarded by growth and more spiritual understanding, which dawns by degrees on mortals. The spiritual Christ was infallible; Jesus, as material manhood, was not Christ. The “man of sorrows” knew that the man of joys, his spiritual self, or Christ, was the Son of God; and that the mortal mind, not the immortal Mind, suffered. The human manifestation of the Son of God was called the Son of man, or Mary’s son.
Question. — Please explain Paul’s meaning in the text, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Answer — The Science of Life, overshadowing Paul’s sense of life in matter, so far extinguished the latter as forever to quench his love for it. The discipline of the flesh is designed to turn one, like a weary traveller, to the home of Love. To lose error thus, is to live in Christ, Truth. A true sense of the falsity of material joys and sorrows, pleasures and pains, takes them away, and teaches Life’s lessons aright. The transition from our lower sense of Life to a new and higher sense thereof, even though it be through the door named death, yields a clearer and nearer sense of Life to those who have utilized the present, and are ripe for the harvest-home. To the battleworn and weary Christian hero, Life eternal brings blessings.
Question. — Is a Christian Scientist ever sick, and has he who is sick been regenerated?
Answer — The Christian Scientist learns spiritually all that he knows of Life, and demonstrates what he understands. God is recognized as the divine Principle of his being, and of every thought and act leading to good. His purpose must be right, though his power is temporarily limited. Perfection, the goal of existence, is not won in a moment; and regeneration leading thereto is gradual, for it culminates in the fulfilment of this divine rule in Science: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
The last degree of regeneration rises into the rest of perpetual, spiritual, individual existence. The first feeble fluttering of mortals Christward are infantile and more or less imperfect. The new-born Christian Scientist must mature, and work out his own salvation. Spirit and flesh antagonize. Temptation, that mist of mortal mind which seems to be matter and the environment of mortals, suggests pleasure and pain in matter; and, so long as this temptation lasts, the warfare is not ended and the mortal is not regenerated. The pleasures — more than the pains — of sense, retard regeneration; for pain compels human consciousness to escape from sense into the immortality and harmony of Soul. Disease in error, more than ease in it, tends to destroy error: the sick often are thereby led to Christ, Truth, and to learn their way out of both sickness and sin.
The material and physical are imperfect. The individual and spiritual are perfect; these have no fleshly nature. This final degree of regeneration is saving, and the Christian will, must, attain it; but it doth not yet appear. Until this be attained, the Christian Scientist must continue to strive with sickness, sin, and death — though in lessening degrees — and manifest growth at every experience.
Question. — Is it correct to say of material objects, that they are nothing and exist only in imagination?
Answer — Nothing and something are words which need correct definition. They either mean formations of indefinite and vague human opinions, or scientific classifications of the unreal and the real. My sense of the beauty of the universe is, that beauty typifies holiness, and is something to be desired. Earth is more spiritually beautiful to my gaze now than when it was more earthly to the eyes of Eve. The pleasant sensations of human belief, of form and color, must be spiritualized, until we gain the glorified sense of substance as in the new heaven and earth, the harmony of body and Mind.
Even the human conception of beauty, grandeur, and utility is something that defies a sneer. It is more than imagination. It is next to divine beauty and the grandeur of Spirit. It lives with our earth-life, and is the subjective state of high thoughts. The atmosphere of mortal mind constitutes our mortal environment. What mortals hear, see, feel, taste, smell, constitutes their present earth and heaven: but we must grow out of even this pleasing thraldom, and find wings to reach the glory of supersensible Life; then we shall soar above, as the bird in the clear ether of the blue temporal sky.
To take all earth’s beauty into one gulp of vacuity and label beauty nothing, is ignorantly to caricature God’s creation, which is unjust to human sense and to the divine realism. In our immature sense of spiritual things, let us say of the beauties of the sensuous universe: “I love your promise; and shall know, some time, the spiritual reality and substance of form, light, and color, of what I now through you discern dimly; and knowing this, I shall be satisfied. Matter is a frail conception of mortal mind; and mortal mind is a poorer representative of the beauty, grandeur, and glory of the immortal Mind.”
Question. — Please inform us through your Journal; if you sent Mrs. —— to ——. She said that you sent her there to look after the students; and also, that no one there was working in Science, — which is certainly a mistake.
Answer. — I never commission any one to teach students of mine. After class teaching, he does best in the investigation of Christian Science who is most reliant on himself and God. My students are taught the divine Principle and rules of the Science of Mind-healing. What they need thereafter is to study thoroughly the Scriptures and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” To watch and pray, to be honest, earnest, loving, and truthful, is indispensable to the demonstration of the truth they have been taught.
If they are haunted by obsequious helpers, who, uncalled for, imagine they can help anybody and steady God’s altar — this interference prolongs the struggle and tends to blight the fruits of my students. A faithful student may even sometimes feel the need of physical help, and occasionally receive it from others; but the less this is required, the better it is for that student.
Question. — Please give us, through your Journal, the name of the author of that genuine critique in the September number, “What Quibus Thinks.”
Answer. — I am pleased to inform this inquirer, that the author of the article in question is a Boston gentleman whose thought is appreciated by many liberals. Patience, observation, intellectual culture, reading, writing, extensive travel, and twenty years in the pulpit, have equipped him as a critic who knows whereof he speaks. His allusion to Christian Science in the following paragraph, glows in the shadow of darkling criticism like a midnight sun. Its manly honesty follows like a benediction after prayer, and closes the task of talking to deaf ears and dull debaters.
“We have always insisted that this Science is natural, spiritually natural; that Jesus was the highest type of real nature; that Christian healing is supernatural, or extra-natural, only to those who do not enter into its sublimity or understand its modes — as imported ice was miraculous to the equatorial African, who had never seen water freeze.”
Question. — Is it right for a Scientist to treat with a doctor?
Answer. — This depends upon what kind of a doctor it is. Mindhealing, and healing with drugs, are opposite modes of medicine. As a rule, drop one of these doctors when you employ the other. The Scripture saith, “No man can serve two masters;” and, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation.”
Question. — If Scientists are called upon to care for a member of the family, or a friend in sickness, who is employing a regular physician, would it be right to treat this patient at all; and ought the patient to follow the doctor’s directions?
Answer. — When patients are under material medical treatment, it is advisable in most cases that Scientists do not treat them, or interfere with materia medica. If the patient is in peril, and you save him or alleviate his sufferings, although the medical attendant and friends have no faith in your method, it is humane, and not unchristian, to do him all the good you can; but your good will generally “be evil spoken of.” The hazard of casting “pearls before swine” caused our Master to refuse help to some who sought his aid; and he left this precaution for others.
Question. — If mortal man is unreal, how can he be saved, and why does he need to be saved? I ask for information, not for controversy, for I am a seeker after Truth.
Answer. — You will find the proper answer to this question in my published works. Man is immortal. Mortal man is a false concept that is not spared or prolonged by being saved from itself, from whatever is false. This salvation means: saved from error, or error overcome. Immortal man, in God’s likeness, is safe in divine Science. Mortal man is saved on this divine Principle, if he will only avail himself of the efficacy of Truth, and recog nize his Saviour. He must know that God is omnipotent; hence, that sin is impotent. He must know that the power of sin is the pleasure in sin. Take away this pleasure, and you remove all reality from its power. Jesus demonstrated sin and death to be powerless. This practical Truth saves from sin, and will save all who understand it.
Question. — Is it wrong for a wife to have a husband treated for sin, when she knows he is sinning, or for drinking and smoking?
AnswerIt is always right to act rightly; but sometimes, under circumstances exceptional, it is inexpedient to attack evil. This rule is forever golden: “As ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” Do you desire to be freed from sin? Then help others to be free; but in your measures, obey the Scriptures, “Be ye wise as serpents.” Break the yoke of bondage in every wise way. First, be sure that your means for doing good are equal to your motives; then judge them by their fruits.
Question. — If not ordained, shall the pastor of the Church of Christ, Scientist, administer the communion, — and shall members of a church not organized receive the communion?
Answer. — Our great Master administered to his disciples the Passover, or last supper, without this prerogative being conferred by a visible organization and ordained priesthood. His spiritually prepared breakfast, after his resurrection, and after his disciples had left their nets to follow him, is the spiritual communion which Christian Scientists celebrate in commemoration of the Christ. This ordinance is significant as a type of the true worship, and it should be observed at present in our churches.
It is not indispensable to organize materially Christ’s church. It is not absolutely necessary to ordain pastors and to dedicate churches; but if this be done, let it be in concession to the period, and not as a perpetual or indispensable ceremonial of the church. If our church is organized, it is to meet the demand, “Suffer it to be so now.” The real Christian compact is love for one another. This bond is wholly spiritual and inviolate.
It is imperative, at all times and under every circumstance, to perpetuate no ceremonials except as types of these mental conditions, — remembrance and love; a real affection for Jesus’ character and example. Be it remembered, that all types employed in the service of Christian Science should represent the most spiritual forms of thought and worship that can be made visible.
Question. — Should not the teacher of Christian Science have our textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” in his schoolroom and teach from it?
Answer. — I never dreamed, until informed thereof, that a loyal student did not take his textbook with him into the classroom, ask questions from it, answer them according to it, and, as occasion required, read from the book as authority for what he taught. I supposed that students had followed my example, and that of other teachers, sufficiently to do this, and also to require their pupils to study the lessons before recitations.
To omit these important points is anomalous, considering the necessity for understanding Science, and the present liability of deviating from Christian Science. Centuries will intervene before the statement of the inexhaustible topics of that book become sufficiently understood to be absolutely demonstrated. The teacher of Christian Science needs continually to study this textbook. His work is to replenish thought, and to spiritualize human life, from this open fount of Truth and Love.
He who sees most clearly and enlightens other minds most readily, keeps his own lamp trimmed and burning. He will take the textbook of Christian Science into his class, repeat the questions in the chapter on Recapitulation, and his students will answer them from the same source. Throughout his entire explanations, the teacher should strictly adhere to the questions and answers contained in that chapter of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” It is important to point out the lesson to the class, and to require the students thoroughly to study it before the recitations; for this spiritualizes their thoughts. When closing his class, the teacher should require each member to own a copy of the above-named book and to continue the study of this textbook.
The opinions of men cannot be substituted for God’s revelation. It must not be forgotten that in times past, arrogant ignorance and pride, in attempting to steady the ark of Truth, have dimmed the power and glory of the Scriptures, to which this Christian Science textbook is the Key.
That teacher does most for his students who most divests himself of pride and self, spiritualizes his own thought, and by reason thereof is able to empty his students’ minds, that they may be filled with Truth.
Beloved students, so teach that posterity shall call you blessed, and the heart of history shall be made glad!
Question. — Can fear or sin bring back old beliefs of disease that have been healed by Christian Science?
Answer. — The Scriptures plainly declare the allness and oneness of God to be the premises of Truth, and that God is good: in Him dwelleth no evil. Christian Science authorizes the logical conclusion drawn from the Scriptures, that there is in reality none besides the eternal, infinite God, good. Evil is temporal: it is the illusion of time and mortality.
This being true, sin has no power; and fear, its coeval, is without divine authority. Science sanctions only what is supported by the unerring Principle of being. Sin can do nothing: all cause and effect are in God. Fear is a belief of sensation in matter: this belief is neither maintained by Science nor supported by facts, and exists only as fable. Your answer is, that neither fear nor sin can bring on disease or bring back disease, since there is in reality no disease.
Bear in mind, however, that human consciousness does not test sin and the fact of its nothingness, by believing that sin is pardoned without repentance and reformation. Sin punishes itself, because it cannot go unpunished either here or hereafter. Nothing is more fatal than to indulge a sinning sense or consciousness for even one moment. Knowing this, obey Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, even if you suffer for it in the first instance, — are misjudged and maligned; in the second, you will reign with him.
I never knew a person who knowingly indulged evil, to be grateful; to understand me, or himself. He must first see himself and the hallucination of sin; then he must repent, and love good in order to understand God. The sinner and the sin are the twain that are one flesh, — but which God hath not joined together.