Science and the Senses

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Mary Baker Eddy

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The national Christian Scientist Association has brought us together to minister and to be ministered unto, to mutually aid one another in finding ways and means for helping the whole human family, to quicken and extend the interest already felt in a higher mode of medicine, to watch with eager joy the individual growth of Christian Scientists, and the progress of our common cause in Chicago,—this miracle of the Occident. We come to strengthen and perpetuate our organizations and institutions, and to find strength in union,—strength to build up, through God’s right hand, that pure and undefiled religion whose Science demonstrates God and the perfectibility of man. This “consummation devoutly to be wished” must begin with individual growth. The lives of all reformers must attest the authenticity of their mission, and call the world to acknowledge its divine Principle. Truly is it written:

Thou must be true thyself, if thou the Truth wouldst teach;

Thy heart must overflow, if thou another’s heart wouldst reach.

Science is absolute and final. It is revolutionary in its very nature, for it upsets all that is not upright. It annuls false evidence, and saith to the five material senses, “Having eyes ye see not, and ears ye hear not; neither can you understand.” To weave one thread of Science through the looms of time is an omen of miracles. The risk is stupendous. It cost Galileo what? This awful price, the temporary loss of his self-respect. His fear overcame his loyalty; the courage of his convictions fell before it. Fear is the weapon in the hands of tyrants.

Men and women of the nineteenth century, are you called to voice a higher order of Science? Then obey this call. Go, if you must, to the dungeon or the scaffold, but take not back the words of Truth. How many are there ready to suffer for a righteous cause, to stand a long siege, take the front rank, face the foe, and be in the battle every day?

“Love’s labors are not lost.”

Mary Baker Eddy

In no one thing seemed Jesus of Nazareth more divine than his faith in the immortality of his words. He said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away;” and they have not. The winds of time sweep clean the centuries, but they can never bear into oblivion his words. They still live, and speak louder than of yore. They are today as the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Make straight God’s paths; make way for health, holiness, universal harmony, and come up hither.” The grandeur of the word and the power of Jesus’ presence are again casting out evils and healing the sick; and it is whispered, “This is Science.”

In no one thing seemed Jesus of Nazareth more divine than his faith in the immortality of his words. He said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away;” and they have not. The winds of time sweep clean the centuries, but they can never bear into oblivion his words. They still live, and speak louder than of yore. They are today as the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Make straight God’s paths; make way for health, holiness, universal harmony, and come up hither.” The grandeur of the word and the power of Jesus’ presence are again casting out evils and healing the sick; and it is whispered, “This is Science.”

“Science speaks when the senses are silent, and then the evermore of Truth is triumphant.”

Jesus taught by the wayside, in humble homes. He spoke Truth and Love to artless listeners and dull disciples. His immortal words were articulated in a decaying language, and then left to the providence of God. Christian Science was to interpret them, and woman was to waken the dull senses, intoxicated with pleasure or pain, to the infinite meaning of those words.

Past, present, future, will show the word and Spirit of Truth—healing the sick and reclaiming the sinner—so long as there remains a claim of error for Truth to deny or destroy. Love’s labors are not lost. The senses that neither grasp the meaning nor magnitude of self-abnegation may lose sight thereof; but Science voices unselfish love, unfolds infinite good, leads on her forces, and will finally show the fruits of Love. Human reason is inaccurate; and the scope of the senses is inadequate to uttering the word of Truth, or teaching the eternal.

Science speaks when the senses are silent, and then the evermore of Truth is triumphant. This spiritual monitor, understood, is coincidence of the divine with the human, the acme of Christian Science. Pure humanity, friendship, home joys, the interchange of love, bring to earth a foretaste of Heaven. They unite terrestrial and celestial joys, and crown them with blessings infinite.

The Christian Scientist loves man more because he loves God most. He understands this principle,—Love. Who is sufficient for these things? Who remembers that patience, forgiveness, abiding faith, and affection are the symptoms by which our Father indicates the different stages of man’s recovery from sin and his entrance into Science? Who knows how the feeble lips are made eloquent, how hearts are inspired, how healing becomes spontaneous, and how the divine Mind is understood and demonstrated? He alone knows these wonders who is departing from the thralldom of the senses and accepting spiritual Truth,—Truth which even blesses this adoption by the refinement of joy and the dismissal of sorrow.

“The sense of Being which establishes harmony enters into no compromise with finiteness and feebleness.”

Science and the senses are at war. It is a revolutionary struggle. We have had two already in this nation, and they began and ended in a contest for the true idea, for human liberty and rights. Now cometh a struggle for the freedom of health, holiness, and Heaven.

The sense of Being which establishes harmony enters into no compromise with finiteness and feebleness. It undermines these foundations of physical law, breaks their chains, and sets the captive free, opening the doors for them that are bound.

He who turns to the body for evidence, bases his conclusions on imperfection; but Science saith to the body, “Be ye also perfect.”

The Science of Omnipotence demonstrates but one power, and this power is good, not evil, Mind,—not matter. This virtually destroys matter and evil, including sin and disease.

If God is all, and God is good, it follows that the all must be good; and no other power, law, or intelligence can exist. On this proof rest premise and conclusion, the facts that disprove the evidence of the senses.

God is individual Mind. This one Mind and His individuality comprise the elements of all forms and individualities, and prophesy the nature and stature of Christ.

A personal God, as often defined by lexicographers and scholastic theologians, is only a sort of infinite finite, and unlimited man,—a theory to me inconceivable. If the unlimited and immortal Mind could originate in a limited body, and eventually return to those limits, it would be forever limited.

In this limited and lower sense God is not personal. His being may be spiritually personal, but not materially personal. His being is individual, but not physical.

God is like Himself, and like nothing else. He is universal and primitive. His character admits of no degrees of comparison. God is not part, but the whole. In His individuality I recognize a loving Father, but His fatherhood is divine not human. If this is what is meant by divine personality, I believe it, but in no other personality do I believe; and because the term is so often misused I hesitate about employing it in any sense.

God’s ways are not ours. His pity is expressed in modes above the human. His chastisements are the manifestations of Love. The sympathy of His eternal Mind is expressed in Divine Science, which blots out all our iniquities and heals all our diseases. Human pity often brings pain.

Science supports harmony, denies suffering, and destroys it with the sympathy of Truth. Whatever seems material seems thus only to the material senses, and is but the subjective state of mortal and material thought.

Science, and not myself, has inaugurated the irrepressible conflict between sense and Soul. I should war with this sense as one that beateth the air, but for the Science that outmasters it, and ends the warfare. This proves daily that “one with God is a majority.”

Science defines omnipresence as universality, that which precludes the presence of evil. Omniscience is all-science. This verity annuls the testimony of the senses, which say that substance is perishable. To sentient matter a rock is substance; but to intelligent Spirit, Soul only is substance, far more impregnable and solid than the rock, for one is temporal, while the other is eternal, even “the substance of things hoped for,” the ultimate and predicate of Being.

Mortality, materiality, and destructive forces, such as sin, disease, and death, morals virtually name substance; but these are the substance of things not hoped for. For lack of knowing what substance is, the senses say vaguely: “The substance of life is sorrow and mortality; for who knoweth the substance of good?” In Science, form and individuality are never lost, for outlines are thoughts, individualized ideas, which dwell forever in the divine Mind,—tangible, true Substance, because eternally conscious. Unlike mortal mind, which must be ever in bondage, the Eternal proceeds not from the temporal.

Neither does the temporal form the eternal. Mortal man, as mind or matter, is neither the pattern nor Maker of immortal man. Any inference of the divine derived from the human, either as mind or body, hides the actual power, presence, and individuality of God.

Jesus’ personality in the flesh, so far as material sense could discern it, was like that of other men; but Science exchanges this human concept of Jesus for the divine ideal, even his spiritual individuality, which made him Immanuel, or “God with us.” This God was not outlined. He was too mighty for that. He was eternal Life, infinite Truth and Love. This individuality of Jesus was forever with the Father. Hence his saying “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” Even while his personality was on earth and in anguish, his individual being was at rest in the eternal rhythm of harmony. His unseen individuality, so superior to that which was seen, was not subject to the temptations of the flesh, to laws material, to death, or the grave. Formed and governed by God, his individuality was safe in the Substance of Soul, the Substance of Spirit,—yea, the Substance of God, the one inclusive Good.

In Science all being is individual, for individuality is endless in the calculus of forms and numbers. Herein sin is miraculous and supernatural, for it is not in the nature of God. According to Christian Science perfection is normal, not miraculous. Clothed, and in its right mind, man’s individuality is sinless, deathless, harmonious, eternal. His materiality, clad in a false mentality, wages feeble fight with his individuality,—his physical senses with his spiritual senses. The latter move in God’s grooves of Science; the former revolve in their own orbits, and stand the friction of false selfhood until self-destroyed.

In obedience to the divine nature, man’s individuality reflects the divine law and order of Being. How shall we reach our true selves? Through Love. The Principle of Christian Science is Love, and its idea represents Love. This divine Principle and idea are demonstrated by the healer.

I want my original to be immortal. I must gain the ideal and discover my own individuality. I will love if another hates. I will gain a balance on the side of Good, my true Being. This alone gives me the forces of God wherewith to overcome all error. On this rests the implicit faith engendered by Christian Science, which appeals intelligently to the facts of man’s individual Being in Science, to disdain the fears and destroy the discords of his personality in sense.

“In Science all being is individual, for individuality is endless in the calculus of forms and numbers. ”

On our Master’s individual demonstrations over sin, sickness, and death rests the anathema of the senses; and this demonstration is the foundation of Christian Science. His physical sufferings, which came from the testimony of the senses, were over when he resumed his individual Being, after showing us the way to escape from this materiality.

Science has no conflict with Life or common-sense, if this sense is sensible. It is in harmony with Life, and its glorious phenomena. It upholds Life, and destroys the too common sense of its opposites—death, disease, and sin. Science is an everlasting victor, and the vanquished are unknown to Science, the omnipresent Truth. I must ever follow this line of light and battle.

Christian Science is my only ideal; and the individual and his ideal can never be severed. If either is misunderstood or maligned, it eclipses the other with the shadow cast by this error.

“Because God is Mind, and this Mind is Good, therefore all is Good and all is Mind. God is the sum-total of the universe.”

Mary Baker Eddy

Truth destroys error. Nothing appears to the physical senses but their own subjective state of thought. The senses join issue with error, and pity what has no right either to be pitied or to exist, and does not exist in Science. Destroy the thought of sin, sickness, death, and you destroy their existence. “As a man thinketh, so is he.”

Because God is Mind, and this Mind is Good, therefore all is Good and all is Mind. God is the sum-total of the universe. Then what and where are sin, sickness, and death?

Christian Science and Christian Scientists will, must, have a history; and if I could write the history in poor parody on Tennyson’s grand verse, it would read thus:

Traitors to right of them,

M.D.s to the left of them,

Priestcraft in front of them,

   Volleyed and thundered!

Into the jaws of hate,

Out through the door of Love,

On, to the blest above,

   Marched the one hundred.

(Originally published in the Christian Science Journal, August, 1888)

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