Association Letter to Bicknell Young Students in London (1917)

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Bicknell Young

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It is not very difficult to see that beliefs vary in quality of war, just as they do in everything else, and that some beliefs of war as warring, are better than others. As moral human beings, instructed and actuated by Christian Science, we cannot do other than stand for the better beliefs. To say that we abhor war is a mild statement of our attitude, but with a world involved in war we cannot by any possible means find ourselves justified in taking or trying to take a neutral attitude. We love all mankind, and we especially find ourselves opposed to it when not only all of the chivalry, but all of the humanity, is omitted.

Formerly, war was supposed to be fought but materially. Today everybody recognizes that there is a mental element involved. Without doubt this fact has come tardily to the allies, but for many years it has formed a part of the theory of military necessity and preparation in Germany. In this connection, I was struck by a reprint of a cartoon from a French paper which I lately saw,—a man and a woman conversing with a German officer are represented as asking, “Is it true that the French are exhausted?” and the other as answering, “It is true that we are trying to make them think that they are exhausted.” No doubt many Christian Scientists have been awake to this phase of the situation, but many more have not, and yet no true metaphysician could ignore it. It is generally admitted that this is a war against autocracy.

Properly it should be classified, in common with all other materialistic and hypnotic efforts (as it is in the Bible) when it says, “The flesh warreth against the Spirit.” In other words, the human-will wars against the divine Principle. When you see the whole of the present struggle exactly in that way, you know exactly what is going to happen to it. “Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.” (Rev. 12:7) Observe that the “word” signifies here, as it often does in the Bible, high thought. It is this that claims to be high thought, exalting itself and suggesting its own claim of power and befogging every issue before the event that needs to be considered. I am not mentioning this with the idea that the allies are altogether angelic, and it is not merely because our affections and interests are on their side that we are irrevocably with them, but also because we must consider relative values in international struggles and throw our weight with the side that is more human.

If a great city were face to face with an epidemic, the Christian Scientists therein would do more than all the doctors could ever do, for they would know the unreality of disease, including all epidemics, and in the measure of that exact knowing, they would achieve results beneficial not only to themselves, but to the community. While this was going on and they were endeavoring to realize the allness of Good and the consequent unreality of this particular evil, they might be compelled to take cognizance of some of the details of the evil and to reject them hour by hour as they came up. Now no one can deny the fact that it would be far better if Christian Scientists could so fully realize the Truth as to utterly annul and demolish all of the error instantaneously, but failing to have the full realization that would do this, they can by the pure process of divine metaphysics reject and destroy the error little by little, and although this involves time and is much slower than the ideal which we ever have in view, yet anyone would acknowledge the tremendous value of all ability to overcome evil in this way, when unable to overcome it as a whole and instantaneously. In this manner we are performing our duty as Christian Scientists, deeply conscious that Christian Science alone will save the situation.

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If our realization of the Truth had been clear enough it is possible that every thing might have been different, but as we look back in the light of more understanding and further experience, upon the years preceding the outbreak of hostilities, we see that it was not altogether our inability to demonstrate the protective power of Christian Science that caused our failure, but was quite as much the unreadiness of people to accept their deliverance. The tenacious tendency to hold to materiality made war inevitable. The greater part of the “new world” had been carefully put to sleep by mental suggestion, without doubt that “organization” which as a pretense of religion, claims to have power and influence everywhere, was largely responsible for all this. The world at large needed to be awakened to this sinister claim of influence, but is even now, after so much evidence of it, only slowly awakening. No one can be fully alive to a situation of this kind unless he be familiar with Christian Science teaching.

To the outsider unaccustomed to our views and unfamiliar with our work, it seems strange that when in the face of what to the sense seems overwhelming evidence, we declare the unreality of evil, including war and everything that could induce or continue it. The situation for him is still further confused in that while we do this we are enthusiastically engaged in a great charitable work, carried on by The Mother Church, in behalf of sufferers from the war, and we are doing everything that we can to comfort those who mourn and suffer and also for thousands of them who are demonstrating the healing power of Christian Science. It is not easy to explain this briefly, but very slight observation cannot fail to show that we are better understood than we used to be, and that the world begins to perceive that we are logically correct in maintaining the unreality of war, seeing that it is an incontrovertible fact that war could never be part of God’s plan or purpose. It is beginning to be recognized that we are thinking and acting from the logical standpoint of a divine Principle. Any thinker must ultimately come face to face with the fact that unless war is unreal, it will go on forever. If this incontrovertible fact were considered universally, it would tend to bring humanity over onto our side, and would hasten the time of peace. Therefore, our distribution work becomes increasingly important. The reality of good and the unreality of evil is what we are endeavoring to demonstrate, and those who desire the welfare of humanity cannot afford to take any other attitude than ours in regard to war or any other human affliction.

We need, however, to consider the fact that the demonstration of even a divine Science must necessarily have human aspects, in order that it may appeal to humanity. For this reason the right kind of prayer will bring victory to the side that stands for human rights, while victory in war involves fighting, a thing utterly unknown to God. We do know that it does not involve loss to the right side, notwithstanding human belief to the contrary. In the face of so much evil and confusion, Science alone gives us hope and confidence; and what is Science except divine Principle and law; and what is Principle and law if it be not the divine fact that all good is and is already accomplished? This fact that all good is already accomplished, if it be recognized and maintained as both the divine Will and the divine law will be outwardly manifested in the necessary military and naval victories.

“Divine man is a state of natural integrity or self-government, Principle, manifested.”

Bicknell Young

Anyone who supposed that a legitimate peace can come out of the present turmoil any other way than this and assumes that Christian Science justifies him in such a supposition, is being misled and needs to wake up. The insolence and arrogance of mortal mind will be met and mastered by victory in battle. The great strength of the allies is found in their superior moral fiber. It is a peculiar characteristic of the Anglo-Saxon race. It justifies Mrs. Eddy’s expression, “Anglo-Israel” for the moral fiber is allied to Principle and partakes of the nature of omnipotence. (My. 337:20)

Anyone who supposed that a legitimate peace can come out of the present turmoil any other way than this and assumes that Christian Science justifies him in such a supposition, is being misled and needs to wake up. The insolence and arrogance of mortal mind will be met and mastered by victory in battle. The great strength of the allies is found in their superior moral fiber. It is a peculiar characteristic of the Anglo-Saxon race. It justifies Mrs. Eddy’s expression, “Anglo-Israel” for the moral fiber is allied to Principle and partakes of the nature of omnipotence. (My. 337:20)

“Anything that one needs humanly, he or she, without doubt, possesses divinely. When this fact is understood and not outlined, when it is KNOWN rather than merely believed then that which one needs, he or she, will have in a normal human way.”

In the textbook Mrs. Eddy says, “… nor did the breath of freedom come from the cannon’s mouth. Love is the liberator.” (S&H 225:20) We who understand something of Christian Science know that Love is not sentiment merely, nor sentimentality at all, it is divine Principle. If in the relative demonstration of Truth in human affairs we find ourselves arrayed on the side of right rather than wrong, and find ourselves unavoidably obliged because of the capacity of mortal mind to fight for human right rather than endure the domination of human wrong, then we have the right to see — can see and most certainly shall see — how “Love is the liberator.” It protects its own, and we must know this. It saves even our enemies, but it does not save enmity in order to be saved. The only thing that will destroy wrong government is the fact that it is an exhibition of human-will, and the more fundamental fact that nothing is so self-destructive to mortal mind’s pretentions as is the human-will. When under the pressure of Principle, it begins to disintegrate.

All men are to be saved, and they are all to be saved by Christian Science, but mortal mind — because of its own beliefs — treads its own mazes, achieving nothing but weariness and woe, until ready to yield its false claim. If the mental suggestion constituting such a large measure of the stock in trade of the enemy be daily taken before the throne of judgment, it will be found utterly wanting in Truth, intelligence, influence, power, law, action, extention, or result. It will be seen that it does not come from any source, but is mindless and therefore substance-less. For the same reason it cannot reach human minds, individually or collectively, nor assert itself in the thought or actions of men or nations, by means of silent or audible treatment or by printed words or any other means whatsoever!

Our love of home, country, friends and a certain respect we feel for constituted authority, all tend to sway us just as they must necessarily sway the people of Germany and Austria. Patriotism, which is a very high quality of mortal mind, needs to be thoroughly regenerated in order that it may correspond to the divine Mind, and be found in that Mind as a universal idea reflecting and expressing the universal tendencies of divine Love. In the meantime, in spite of the traditional limitations of mortal mind, patriotism is being pressed beyond the bounds of any one country. Today we find ourselves in full sympathy with the patriotism of France, and we begin to recognize that the ideal which actuates the people of that country is the same basically that we in England and America have always thought to be the essential foundation of good government.

Our powers of observation, analysis and judgment have been greatly enhanced. Discerning unmistakably that the Science of Life or being, rests upon divine Principle, we are constantly reminded of the fact set forth in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and reiterated in the works of our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, that the only remedy for human want and woe, the only thing that will ever still strife, heal disease, happify man, reconcile nations, federate the world, and thus establish universal brotherhood, is Christian Science.

As we are healing disease through an apprehension and at least a measurable understanding of the fact that there is no disease, so eventually we shall cause war to cease in exactly the same way. To mortal mind or that sense of things which is material and that which is always demanding relief but never ready to receive it, the process seems slow. But let us regard for a moment the history of humanity prior to the advent of Christian Science. How little was done in the way of absolute regeneration. Throughout the centuries that followed the resurrection and ascension, nothing was accomplished for the absolute destruction of sin and disease after the third century. On the other hand, consider the aspect of the world since the discovery of Christian Science by Mrs. Eddy in 1866. Observe the immense change in human consciousness, a change accomplished in fifty years and is comparably greater in general aspects and in minute details than had been brought about in the previous six thousand years!

In these times we need encouragement and we have only to look over the world in just the way that I have indicated to find not only encouragement but exhilarating and buoyant assurance, even though at this time (1917), abhorring war as we must necessarily do, we find ourselves obliged to take sides in a war. We need not fear that we shall go wrong in acting humanly on the right side. We shall not lose our hold on divine Principle for a moment. We know that Principle, Love, reigns and rules in the universe, and we can know and prove that as we daily maintain that fact. The attempts of mortal mind claiming to act as a combination of mental suggestion and physical force, are offset and frustrated everywhere and in every instance.

We should be glad if our realization were sufficient to obliterate the whole false claim of human hate and contention, but as such is not the case, we are glad to find that just as in the healing of a case of disease, we sometimes accomplish the work only by persistent Christian Science work or prayer, and as in such cases we sometimes find it necessary for days and weeks at a time to overcome the belief step by step, so with this which appears to be a more universal belief — disease or epidemic — involving our own nation and many others. We are doing well if in the same way we see that right is gaining the ascendency, while greed, rapine and murder are being reduced to their native nothingness — finding their utter futility, even as methods of warfare.

This war will end in triumph for those nations which stand for the higher ideals of thought and government. It is in the very nature of being that step by step Principle and law shall be acknowledged and shall be found triumphant, but we need to gird our armour on, for though the nations that stand for higher ideals must and will win this war, — still those nations themselves prophetically recognize that neither the problem of government nor those of inherent human character will thereby be solved. Considerable perturbation of thought can be recognized among those who long for pure peace and universal happiness, and who see in the complication already looming up, the possibilities of new and unknown dangers after the war. We who are Christian Scientists are not surprised at this. We know that mortal mind is a lie, and that it contains no means or methods within itself for the solution of its own problems. A lie will never destroy a lie. It takes Truth to do that. We who can see, recognize that the very system which democratic governments are accepting as necessary in warfare, are in themselves as tyrannous and autocratic as anything that has ever been sensed in Germany or elsewhere.

There is this difference, however, between our acceptance of such expedients and the German point of view. We think of them as evils, though they may be temporarily necessary. The German view is that such things are legitimate parts and functions of government. Mortal mind appears more and more uncertain and frightful of itself. Human thought must turn to Christian Science, and however tardy and slow it may seem, it is unmistakably turning. While the great men and women of the world are prone to view our system as mere idealism, they are here and there reaching a point where they acknowledge, pessimistically perhaps, that if there be any solution, which they may say they doubt, it is Christian Science.

The tyranny of mortal mind, not the tyranny of some particular government or people, is the basic claim of tyranny. It can be met only by Christian Science and in order that it may be met, there must be a united band of Christian Scientists, unless unselfishness is demonstrated by them individually. Are we thus preparing ourselves to be what Mrs. Eddy says we must be, namely, the “light of the world”?

Materialism is the claim; without it mortal mind has no claim to substance and therefore no claim to entity. We go to war to destroy autocracy, and in the process we bind ourselves to more materialism, which is all there is to autocracy. For instance, in war, medicine and surgery are essential. Even we as Christian Scientists see that, and that the greatest possible skill in these beliefs must be evolved for everybody; but materia medica and surgery by this means gain greater ascendency in human thought and in human government, and they immediately assume autocratic power, and claim them as right under the law. How true it is as Mrs. Eddy points out in the textbook, “The mild forms of animal magnetism are disappearing, and its aggressive features are coming to the front. The looms of crime, hidden in the dark recesses of mortal thought, are every hour weaving webs more complicated and subtle.” (S&H 102:16-20)

A straw that shows which way the wind blows in all of this tyrannical tendency can be observed in the United States where during the recent campaign of increased enlistment, the young men who answered what they believed to be the call of duty and patriotism were, upon presentation for inspection and examination, immediately inoculated with serum by the doctors in attendance, notwithstanding the fact that the law gives the doctors no such right, and that even military regulations give the examining physician no right over the body of the candidate until he has passed the physical examination. The whole trouble is to be found in mortal mind’s incapacity to understand itself or free itself, and in its material efforts to do the latter, it binds itself with worse claims.

If we know enough to hear the voice of God, in this very instant, He will be saying to us, “I would have you awake and be what I Am.”

The modern philosophers and political economists are in an endless controversy over the question of individuality. On one side the ideal of individualism as generally accepted, is more in accord with the sentiments and traditions of the Anglo-Saxon race. On the other side socialism and autocracy find a common meeting ground in the theory that individual thoughts and rights should be pooled as it were, for the common good. Think what this would mean so far as Christian Scientists are concerned. It would put a stop to thinking eventually, and as that would not be possible, it would mean a constant suppression, resulting in chaos and extinction. In other words, it would mean “death” in the fullest sense of the word. Jesus declared that he came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. If he had said that he came that we might think and think better all the time, he would only have expressed himself in a modern way. His kind of thinking is all we need. Mrs. Eddy says, “He knew of but one Mind….” and that one infinite. (S&H 315:6)

If these philosophers would study Mrs. Eddy’s works, they would find that “individualism” has a new meaning. They assume that their view of individualism is a correct one, but it is utterly wanting in and therefore utterly wanting of Truth. Individualism set forth in this modern and material way, would be madness or mere vanity and ambition. Perceived in Christian Science it is a concrete manifestation of Life eternal. A partial achievement of it on the part of a human being in Christian Science means self-government through divine Principle. However utopian it may sound, — this is the only hope of the human race. This is Christian Science and it teaches us not to look primarily for outward assistance but for inward grace.

True self-abnegation is not the giving up of any true selfhood, but the finding of it. The individuality of man is an essential fact in the infinity of Good, therefore we are not as a race to be redeemed or even helped by government control, ownership and all the rest. In proportion as we find our true individuality, the rule given by Jesus, to love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves, becomes the spontaneous mentality. More and more it will constitute human character and true government, but we need not deceive ourselves by supposing that the entrenched conditions of mortal mind, tyrannical, limited, vain and even murderous, will yield without a struggle. Therefore, let us be prepared, Let us put on the armour of light.

We have an immense advantage at the outset in all this, for we have already proved to thousands of people that we do not wish to persuade them to become Christian Scientists for the mere purpose of adding to the power or weight of our own organization. On the contrary, under the wise direction of our revered Leader, the whole propaganda of Christian Science has been established upon the basis of respect and consideration for human beings and their rights. We are not, therefore, striving so much to persuade them of Christian Science as to reveal to them their inherent capacity and boundless opportunity for happiness. In the Preface of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes of Immanuel or “God with us,” as a “divine influence ever present in human consciousness….” (xi:16) When human beings can perceive the natural unity of God and man they are encouraged and made hopeful, and when awakened to the fact which that unity involves, they become Christian Scientists and begin to prove that unity.

All ethical and religious systems of the world favor unselfishness, but there is no other way of achieving it than that of Christian Science demonstrating as it does the oneness of Mind and idea. In that oneness, selfishness becomes an absurdity and an impossibility. Unselfishness opens the portals of thought to the vast possibilities and possessions of infinite Mind. Anything gained by selfishness has always the taint of fear and disappointment. Everything accomplished by Science remains forever and is supremely satisfactory, for Science knows no personal feelings or desires, is ever loving because it is ever exact, and in all its manifestations partakes of its divine Principle, Good, in which it has its being and by virtue of which it exercises power and confers peace. Such unselfishness is only to be gained in Christian Science. One with Principle, unselfishness is guilty neither of self-congratulation nor self-condemnation. It is the natural state of scientific mentality called “the image of God.” It does not stop to consider that it is good, for Being is not relative, but progressive, and this divine man is a state of natural integrity or self-government, Principle, manifested. Like his divine Principle, he does not know anything different from himself.

The belief of life in matter is selfishness. The knowledge of life as God is unselfishness. The one depicts existence materially, and divides being into bodies, a state of contention and fear at the very outset. The other declares the oneness and perfection of Being as also embodiment, and proves this embodiment individually by entertaining and reflecting the ideas that constitute it.

In our textbook Mrs. Eddy defines “resurrection” and also writes of the ascension. This definition, together with other passages, shows what must happen to every person individually. (See S&H 593: 9; 34:18-28; 509:24) In this view he sees that there is nothing sad about self-immolation. On the contrary, everything about it should be gladsome, for self is never immolated by any other process than that of joy. If one is thinking of himself enough to condemn himself, there is no self-denial or self-immolation going on at all.

The daily task, accomplished cheerfully with power, naturalness and dispatch, if all this be with a high sense of progressive understanding, it is indeed resurrection. We do have to remember that no good quality can ever disappear; it could not exist apart from God and it must be eternal like Him. Even true incentive and real ambition are not to be destroyed. When all selfishness disappears from both they are glorified, but so long as they involve anything like desire, they constitute fetters rather than wings.

In every instance where one reaches a point of “realization” he finds happiness. Knowing the Truth is the real way. When you KNOW, you are free according to the promise. Anything that one needs humanly, he or she, without doubt, possesses divinely. When this fact is understood and not outlined, when it is KNOWN rather than merely believed then that which one needs, he or she, will have in a normal human way.

The experienced workers in our churches should be able by this time to work together harmoniously. This does not mean that there should be no discussion, but it means that discussion shall be intelligent, frank, unselfish, generous, and therefore, fruitful. We are governed less by wisdom than we should be, simply because there is still lingering with us all something of the old theological beliefs. We are more or less unconscious of them, but they appear to be inherent in mortal mind in spite of our affirmations to the contrary, we still believe that we lack wisdom, capacity, ability, Mind. Nothing will break this superstitious belief except the will of Good; the human-will cannot do this nor anything else indeed, because the human-will is sin, materiality, death; but we have a will, the will of Good, of God. It is law, because it is power, presence, Principle. When human desires and fears in regard to church work, church position, and all such things shall entirely pass away, it will be found that the will of Good is not only individual, but collective, and the extraordinary scientific manifestation of it, as described in the Book of Acts. Here we can read of the Pentecostal Day, what will happen with us repeatedly and frequently, until we become habitual in a normal, scientific way — healing disease and overcoming sin and death. Every phase of this work must be carried on by persons, and a person who habitually forgets his or her personality in the demonstration of Principle, is worthy of our highest respect. Therefore, we need not be afraid to say to each other, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

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No one, can, however, attain true selfhood by desiring distinction, all such desires involve temptation and many who have had such desires and have achieved them to any extent by the effort of the human-will, have not been able to stand. For this reason and others, Mrs. Eddy writes in our textbook, “… no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and deeds.” (S&H 1:11) We should remember in this connection that the one distinguished character in all history is he who healed the sick and raised the dead; therefore, the way of true distinction and real ambition is obvious. This greatest man of all, would have been glad to have everybody know all that he knew and would have been glad not only to share but to give immeasurably to everyone the divine Power which he possessed, to heal and to save. His humility was not assumed, it was his Mind, it was Love, but it gave him courage unequalled and supreme confidence in himself. He knew that the ideas which constituted his real individuality were as present when he seemed to be a material personality as they were, or ever would be, and that the Science of their presence was also their power, action, and law. This was, and still is, true self-confidence. I do recommend it to you, each and all. Some of you need it badly, some of you have it in a great measure, some of you hope to have it this instant and that you can never lose it. If we know enough to hear the voice of God, in this very instant, He will be saying to us, “I would have you awake and be what I Am.”

In your demonstration of church work and church relationship it is possible that good may still be evil-spoken of. Do not make too much of that cross, others have been called upon to bear it and they have found that it is no cross at all, just in proportion as they realized that everything which means a cross is unreal. If you know something more of Christian Science than your neighbor in the church knows, he quite likely will misunderstand you, and if he misunderstands he may manifest animal magnetism instead of Christian Science. What then? Have we not ourselves misunderstood and misjudged? Perhaps even we have sometimes unwittingly laid a cross upon another’s shoulders.  Happy are we and they, if that “other” knew enough to utterly reject the burden. I speak of these things because there is the necessity of making such a demonstration of these that they shall continue year after year in progressive evidence, notwithstanding the change and shifting of the persons who constitute church membership or boards.

The Church as an organization must continue until it is demonstrated harmoniously. It cannot cease nor be done away with until its discords are no more, for it is just as true of the church as it is of the human body — that as a claim of embodiment or body it will not cease to appear to be material or an organization until it is so governed by Spirit that materiality plays no part in it — and thus that happening which Paul spoke of in Galatians becomes an unshakable human experience. “… the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (2:20)

In this connection let me add that a church is not necessarily inharmonious because it faces difficulties and has to discuss them. The inharmonious features in our churches are due largely to mere gossip. Churches consisting of persons cannot be carried on without personal work, and such being the case, persons have to work together, if they work at all for the church. One of the very best workers that we ever had in the Chicago field used to say that the success of the work there was due to the fact that the Scientists worked together there and thereby “rubbed the corners off.” This would seem to indicate that true church workers should not be lacking in activity, and that the smoothness of a first-class church organization should not be confused with inertia, because when the organization is first-class and there is smoothness, the energy is greater in that none of it is lost in friction.

One thing we need to learn, although we have had already sufficient illustration of it, is that people coming from distant fields and assuming to be oracles may often be far less helpful. Generally speaking, neither their Science nor their experience is at all commensurate with their assumption of wisdom. The church members themselves have got to demonstrate the church, and by careful observance of the Mother Church Manual, and especially by that one wonderful rule entitled “A Rule for Motives and Acts,” together with a proper adherence to their own church By-Laws, they can meet and master any church question.

The legitimate practice of Christian Science is extending over the whole world; it is coming to have for us a universal aspect, that was formerly hardly thought of and it is well that this necessity is being forced upon us. I suggest you read again in Science and Health, page 96, line 4 to 32—2, and observe this passage, “During this final conflict, wicked minds will endeavor to find means by which to accomplish more evil; but those who discern Christian Science will hold crime in check.” Without doubt we are face to face with this situation now, and the question is, are we fulfilling the prophecy, are we holding crime in check? There is no futurity about anything. All good is eternal and is therefore now fully self-existent and now infinitely expressed. All evil, and all the possibilities of evil, are but mortal mind concepts, existing in belief just as much now as at any other time, past or future. For this reason, we need to meet not only visible evil, but the probability of new or unknown forms of evil. Mrs. Eddy once said that we should know that no new forms of sin, disease, or death can appear. Therefore, the time to meet the suggestion of evil is now, and the purpose of prophecy is that we shall meet the evil and nullify it before it has been formulated or found to have existence in definite thought or expression. This is the real way to “hold crime in check.” Again, are we doing it?

“Good is infinite and is ours, now”

All the materialistic methods of healing tend to perpetuate crime. Even the best-meaning man or woman, if he or she be wanting in a knowledge of Christian Science, is on the side of evil, because they believe in matter. They unwittingly make themselves accessories to sin and vice by admitting their reality. A part of our work is to “… aid in the rejection of error.” as Mrs. Eddy says we must do; (S&H 97:2) therefore, we can metaphysically every day and every hour take a stand against all this materiality, which because of war claims to hold the world more absolutely in its power than ever before.

If mortal mind which Jesus described as a murderer from the beginning and which expressing itself as wicked minds will endeavor, according to Mrs. Eddy’s discernment, to accomplish more evil, will also according to the same prediction be held in check by Christian Science — there is an immense call to a duty as yet scarcely recognized by Christian Scientists. The general feeling, I observe, is that we must wait until something dreadful happens before we begin; but if crime be the thought of mortal mind before it is the action of mortal mind, then beyond all question now is the time in which to hold it in check. We have this further prophetic utterance to comfort and reassure us in the textbook, “The more destructive matter becomes, the more its nothingness will appear, until matter reaches its mortal zenith in illusion and forever disappears.” (S&H 97:11)

I do not feel that I can too frequently call your attention to the fact that everything is now. We need not wait for any good and we certainly should not expectantly await the appearance of evil. Good is infinite and is ours, now. This fact demonstrated, or in the measure it is demonstrated, will entirely obliterate both the expectation and experience of evil.

The so-called laws of mortal mind are untrue, they are not worthy of our respect and they have no power beyond the beliefs of mortals. We do not have to believe them. We do not have to wait to recover from illness or to be saved from sin. We do not have to wait to overcome poverty or disappointment or fear or death. In a certain sense we are overcoming death every minute, for we are living and those of us who understand Christian Science are living because of that Science and by means of it. Consequently, if we are, every instant, in this way overcoming death, what may we not expect if we will only awake and permit the Science of Being not only to hold sway, but to exclusively declare its law and Principle, its substance and action, its power and presence, its wisdom and Love, as our only Life and consciousness.

The mission of Christian Science and Christian Scientists is practical. Jesus said, speaking of His disciples, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from evil.” (Jn. 17:15) Mrs. Eddy’s followers are not required to go off somewhere and live by themselves. No hermit ever got to heaven merely by being a hermit. Asceticism and other forms of mere material self-denial have never achieved salvation for anyone. There is one Consciousness, immaculate, supreme infinite. This is our “refuge and strength.”

Thoughts constitute a human being; without any thought he would not be even a human being. Clearly he is mortal because his thoughts are finite, limited, largely erroneous, tainted with fear, subject to limitation, and associated with death. Divine thoughts or ideas necessarily have their being in divine Mind, God. In the regenerative process of Christian Science the first step is to perceive that there are no such thoughts, the next is to perhaps gain some idea of their beauty and power, but inevitably one who would become a Christian Scientist must recognize that divine ideas or divine thoughts would have no value for man unless he could ultimately think them. The radical reliance upon Truth that Christian Science requires of us means that we must think divine thoughts. In the measure that we are doing this we put off mortality and put on immortality. We are mental anyhow, and we only appear to be mortal because we are in belief incorrectly mental. To seek to think divinely and to achieve a measure of that goal is to awake and be satisfied just in that proportion. To express divine ideas and nothing else is to be the image of God.

As we look back over past experience and see that there was a time when such instruction as this, when it came to us, either through our own study or by any other means whatever, was almost fearful to us, we can see how far we have come now out of materiality. Almost all of us can remember the time when the first admonition to deny matter sounded like an admonition to deny existence, and yet today, with practically all of us in this Association, the denial of matter is a constant and joyful habit, because it adds to the realization of true substance, or Spirit, which by its very nature is the self-existent, eternal God.

These thoughts not only reveal our being, but in their fulness, together with others of a like nature, they constitute our being, the understanding of God as man, the real man, which Mrs. Eddy says Jesus beheld, and this understanding, gained by a human being, constitutes also for him the saving Christ. Mrs. Eddy further states that Christ is the idea of God. This Christ, Truth, was the real nature of Jesus, and gave him that power which in the picturesque language of the Bible is defined as “sitting at the right hand of God.” This makes Jesus the mediator between God and man in just so far as mankind does the same kind of thinking from exactly the same standpoint of divine Principle, that he did.

There is one Consciousness, immaculate, supreme infinite. This is our “refuge and strength.”

All this is coming to us more spontaneously than it formerly did. We are growing accustomed to the naturalness of Good. It is well that this should be so. The Christ Truth which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error declares and illustrates the only God there is in the whole universe, the one infinite Power which begat all things as ideas and maintains them ever in perfection. The omnipresence that is all-presence, and consequently the only Presence, not only as Mind and ideas, (which to human sense seems illusive and intangible), but as substance, actual existence, tangible, indestructible Life, Being, is in full evidence as your identity forever. Now stand there. Whatever the human sense says one way or the other, it is this most high God which is Consciousness, and therefore our consciousness, it is this, which is indeed our refuge and our strength. In times of peril individual, collective, domestic, national, international, or whatever nature, it is this that saves us and ours. This knowing, this spiritual at-one-­ment, reveals the dark and hidden things of human belief and immediately reduces them to their native nothingness.

A wicked man is mortal mind’s concept, it is not man. It appears to be a material person, but it still is only a false mental concept, and his materiality is as false as any of the rest of it. In fact, even the materiality of a good man is false, and if it is false, it is not happening. Yet see how prone we are to be disturbed by a wicked person, when there is no wicked person and that appearance is only a false belief of mortal mind without entity or being, existence or manifestation of a mere ghost; why should we be angry with it, seeing that anger is its substance, and if we add to the anger we add to the substance, which tends to perpetuate the claim. Reduce wickedness to nothingness. Man is forever perfect.

Now all this is the right way, and yet if one comes face to face with a person whose mentality is wickedness, the only way to heal him is to awaken him. In this kind of work one not infrequently has to tell him that he is wicked, and one should never permit him to rest under that assumption that one thinks otherwise. Of course, I am speaking now entirely of Christian Science practice. You would not misunderstand me to mean that we should go out in the street and hunt up all the wicked people and tell them they are wicked. No! We have quite enough to do without that.

Nations have to resist wickedness in themselves, and aggressive wickedness on the part of other nations, by force of arms. Under such circumstances this is the best that nations know how to do, and perhaps it is the best that can possibly be done in a human way.

Mortal mind has a long way to come before it gets beyond the possibility of war and it cannot omit any of the steps, although it will quite naturally endeavor to do so. Paul says even we ourselves groan within ourselves. I take it that he means that we are all tempted with the desire to avoid the essential steps in salvation, and to wish that we might have complete happiness without taking so much trouble to get it.

Jesus was a thinker, a Christian Scientist above all the people that ever lived upon the earth. He was not merely logical, he was intuitive, spontaneous, and for these reasons was more scientific than the greatest mathematician or logician that ever exercised the human intellect.

The meaning of all this begins to dawn upon us as we study daily with greater attention and interest the wonderful works of our Leader. We see what Science is, more and more. We look back upon our primary steps, often regretting the slowness of them, but we see that they had to be taken. We look at the long periods in which we struggled with some sin or disease in ourselves or in some patient, and we see that when the victory came it came because the mere routine of what we called “treatment” became crystallized into the wonderful experience we call “realization.” What words can say just what that means? Who can describe what happens when Christ actually comes to the flesh, yet that experience is supremely scientific and exact.

To express divine ideas and nothing else is to be the image of God.

We should have been glad and would be glad now if we could have arrived, or could always arrive now, at that very point without such a struggle, and yet, either then or now, the chief thing is to arrive, and if the routine of method be essential, and it still is to some extent, with all of us, then let us be alert enough to constantly improve that plan. A student who is thorough and methodical may have to gain his true spontaneity more slowly than some others, but generally speaking he is a safer practitioner than those who have a certain inspirational tendency without the balance and the steadiness which denotes a strong character.

Character and wisdom are terms very nearly synonymous. In Christian Science practice one should continually demonstrate wisdom. I was told that our Leader once said that Christian Science meant at least two-thirds wisdom and one-third Love. It seems to me that it may be best to speak of some points in this connection.

When a person is ill, in belief, you very well know from the teaching of Christian Science that the mental atmosphere should be kept clear. Disturbing thoughts need to be guarded against and disturbing remarks should not be voiced or permitted in the presence of the patient. This is true even when the patient is a Christian Scientist. He is in no condition to consider or argue questions. Of course, there are times when it is essential to discuss the belief of illness with the patient himself, but in such instances no mistakes need to be made because obviously no such discussion could even be approached if the patient were in a state of extreme weakness.

Some practitioners make the mistake with the patients that some parents make with children — that is, they discuss the person when the person is present, a thing that is extremely annoying and always unwise. It makes the patient think of himself, just as the fond parent talking of the child in his presence produces self-consciousness in the child. In all this work of practice, it is the Truth that is going to heal the patient, and it is the Truth that he should be at least thinking about, and so far as possible he should even get beyond that, because as already said, it is thinking the Truth, not merely thinking about the Truth, that makes us free.

God cannot be absent from His own creation, since it is His own substance, Mind expressed. To arrive at a realization of this fact as quickly as possible is the object of every treatment. If you can succeed at once in setting aside all materiality, especially your own sense of materiality, you will be able to recognize the real man in the consequent revelation of Spirit, God. It is in this way that the practitioner in charge of a case represents God in that case, not through personality, but through understanding. As God never heard of a sick man, the practitioner’s work is to gain such communion with Good that the appearance of materiality and disease are as unreal to the practitioner as they are to God.

This rejection, of materiality and disease, is constructive, because it rests upon the affirmative knowledge of man’s indestructible identity in Good. If we really knew enough in every instance to manifest God, Spirit, just as Jesus did, the same Christ which Mrs. Eddy says he demonstrated, we could also demonstrate completely and then we would make no mistake. As Christian Science practitioners, however, we are obliged to admit some error as though it were the Truth. Now a wise practitioner must be ready to reject every error. The appearance of “no progress” or “slow healing” or “slow convalescence” are mere human beliefs which are mesmerically reflected by the patient and sometimes, unfortunately, by the practitioner. Mrs. Eddy wrote, “Speak the Truth to every error,” (S&H 418:28) That is the rule in Christian Science practice.

God cannot be absent from His own creation, since it is His own substance, Mind expressed. To arrive at a realization of this fact as quickly as possible is the object of every treatment.

Last year I mentioned the tendency that Christian Science practitioners have sometimes to accept momentary improvement as evidence of final healing. There should be a greater watchfulness in this regard, and especially when mortal mind says there is organic disease. In some instances mortal mind expressing itself as a belief of materia medica, says that this sudden energy is only a false stimulus which presages danger rather than safety: therefore, when any patient suffering with such beliefs, shows extraordinary improvement, it seems necessary for us to take cognizance of this false claim of mortal mind, that would reverse the evidence of a healing, and meet it as a false law of aggressive mental suggestion.

Not infrequently students ask, “Shall I handle animal magnetism and malpractice fully in every case?” Now a treatment in Christian Science has no set form, as you well know. For that reason we have no formula. Indeed,formulas are forbidden in Christian Science teaching, because Christian Science is progressive. A treatment today will not find itself absolutely duplicated in a treatment given by the same person tomorrow, provided that person be a real Christian Scientist. For that reason it would not be possible for me to say to any student definitely just how or when he should handle animal magnetism, and malpractice. In any given instance, if the practitioner reaches such a clear realization that the patient is permanently healed, then beyond all question that practitioner has handled the claim previously mentioned very effectively. Yet that one experience might not constitute a rule for every instance or case.

Christian Science is unique as such. The Principle never changes. The rule that good is real and omnipotent and the consequent conclusion that evil is unreal and therefore impotent, never changes. However, in the demonstration of this infinite Principle and infinite rule, a Christian Science practitioner finds, in the realm called “mental malpractice”, innumerable beliefs associated with peculiar secondary beliefs called “law”, and thousands of peculiarities individual and collective as beliefs, which necessitate on his or her part, abundant, and infinite resourcefulness — to say the least. In a way a Christian Science practitioner is like a great general, and one of his characteristics is that either because of judgment or because of greater quality and intuition, he or she is able to discern sometimes far in advance, the possible action of the enemy, and thus prevent it, or if failing in this, has judgment, strength, and wisdom with which to meet the attack when it occurs. It goes without saying that animal magnetism as a general false claim or malpractice should be handled by every Christian Scientist. Daily progress in Christian Science implies greater ability in this regard. At times one feels the necessity of very thorough work along this line. As I have already hinted in the early part of this communication, there are certain general, or what might be called national, governmental aspects of the present struggle which are so clearly in the nature of mental suggestion that no true Christian who is demonstrating his Christianity can afford to ignore. To do so would be to neglect that daily prayer which constitutes the Christian’s communion with God, giving him hope and strength and proof of salvation.

Along this line of thought, let me call your attention to the fact, that we study our textbook so continuously and become so familiar with its expressions as to forget that these passages have infinite meanings. I recommend you to a study of Mrs. Eddy’s works each day as though they were entirely new to you. When you read them, as well as the Bible, start in each time with the freshness of interest, intention and attention, that comes only when one knows he is to encounter something new. We are studying infinity. Infinity never repeats itself, it is always new, always original. In the sixty-second chapter of Isaiah we read: “… and thou shalt be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord shall name.” (62:2) If one reads that chapter carefully one cannot fail to see that it is not a future event that is foretold, but a constant and progressive experience. In the sixty-fifth chapter of the same book are the words: “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth:…” (Isa. 65:17) I not infrequently feel disposed to substitute the word “awake” for “create” in this and other passages in the Bible. Beyond doubt the meaning is thereby greatly clarified. (See or read, Science and Health, page 209, lines 16 to 22.)

“Resolving things into thoughts” does not mean resolving things into shadows. Mrs. Eddy clearly shows that all objects in the universe will become permanent in proportion as it is recognized and demonstrated, that they are mental or spiritual, as substance and evidence. The senses of man are spiritual. We cannot lose any of our senses. I need to only call your attention to the fact that Mrs. Eddy repeatedly declares that the senses of man are spiritual and that every faculty is consequently indestructible and unimpaired. As you perceive and maintain this fact, you will have as you doubtless have had already, innumerable proofs that Omnipotence reigneth by means of understanding which constitutes Science and law. When a clear treatment is given and there appears to be little or no results, work less upon the original error which you have been handling and meet the belief of opposition and specifically handle the claim that there is little or no result from a Christian Science treatment, because that claim under such circumstances is apt to be more important than the belief of the disease itself.

A good deal has been said lately about the claim of sleep. Some of that which has been said has been taken altogether too seriously. Quite likely we shall have to sleep to some extent in order to get along with what is called “human existence” and in order to make a better demonstration of it, but one remarkable experience which hundreds of Christian Science practitioners have, shows that it would be possible to get along without so much time wasted in sleep. That experience is the very common one to be observed when a practitioner finds himself so occupied with one or several important cases so threatening that virtually for weeks at a time he or she sleeps almost not at all, and yet maintains a feeling of strength and freshness that would be utterly impossible in any other practice than that of Christian Science.

It seems to me that this experience, when we think of it, is rich in instruction. Really we do not become tired through legitimate thinking. Absolute Truth does not fatigue us. It is the relative every day routine in which we have to make so many concessions to mortal mind that brings about a sense of fatigue and produces sleepiness when one wants to be alert and active. How often we hear people complaining of sleepiness at lectures and Christian Science services. They would never so complain or even be assailed by that claim if they took a greater part in the demonstration of the lecture or the service. I mean by that, that every Christian Scientist should be so sure of what an occasion of that kind means, so sure that it is founded in Principle, so sure that it is the demonstration of the Science of Christianity, that it brings to light happiness, completeness, eternal life, all that heaven means! It gives us the unmistakable presence of God through the immaculate understanding which is His Christ. It abolishes the theories of time and space in regard to God and man, by declaring God as Mind and man as idea. It unfolds man as a compound idea, it reveals his identity and shows the necessity of it in the Science of divine creation.

One cannot too frequently remember that evil is self­-destructive. It has no entity, no existence. If belief in it were obliterated, all appearance of evil would cease. Good is self-existent. Mrs. Eddy wrote, “Truth is the intelligence of immortal Mind.” (S&H 282:26) It is necessary for us to remember that good is the divine nature and there is no other nature in the universe. A knowledge and demonstration of this fact in any degree, just in that degree disposes of evil forever. In Science everything Mrs. Eddy has to say, starts from Truth. Man, and all other ideas in the universe are to be found in Principle; therefore, Christian Science is an explanation of the universe, diametrically opposite to the very highest explanation that has ever been given — according to materialism. The theory of the development of species, including man, from embryonic beginnings, is the most reasonable that has ever been offered to the world in a material way, and yet it is utterly insensible in the light of pure logic and true Science, for Truth has no beginning and is not, therefore, subject to laws of development. All that it means is always and in all ways fully developed. Science requires that Truth shall be understood and demonstrated. This fact involves education, the very best education indeed that the race can ever know. Education means always some process or processes of thought, because facts are only perceived slightly at first in any system of education and they are gained more and more through study and through exercising the reasoning faculty.

So it is in Christian Science. One of the very greatest evidences that Mrs. Eddy could have given of true inspiration or divine wisdom is found in the fact that she gave a method, or revealed a modus operandi, by which, beginning with slight understanding of divine Principle, a human being may gradually regain high heaven.

Mind, however, requires no processes, and as we awake more and more to the spontaneity that constitutes the likeness of Mind, Science will gradually be understood and demonstrated free from mere reiteration of statement or anything else that smacks of routine. Full redemption means the abolition of processes of thought. “I and my Father are one.” Being must be one. Being is itself, its own infinite self, spiritual, conscious, natural, confident, and forever intact. This also is the identity which is the true body of being and is the real man. It is possible now to be so conscious of true being and so cognizant thereby of real body, that divine power and law would govern every function and action of what appears to be a material body. It is the conscious power of good by which to resist, overcome evil. Its practice is not a mental or other contention between conflicting forces, but it is the dominion of Good. The practitioner, therefore, enters upon his work each day in every case and in every treatment with a conscious sense of victory already achieved and finishes his treatment with joy.

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