A LECTURE DELIVERED BY VIRGIL O. STRICKLER, C.S.B.
As it becomes more generally understood that through the ministry of Christian Science people are being healed of sickness, sin, unhappiness, worry, fear, and other discordant conditions, there is an ever increasing desire upon the part of the general public to learn how these results are accomplished. It is the purpose of this lecture to explain how Christian Science does these things. There is no mystery about Christian Science healing, nor is it difficult to understand. It can be stated without any reservation whatever that every person who is willing to do so may learn through Christian Science how to heal sickness and to destroy, for himself and others, the desire to sin.
MANY DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS BELIEFS
It is said that there are more than two hundred different kinds of the Christian religion alone, not to mention the hundreds of other forms of religions that are not Christian. It is a fact that people do entertain widely differing religious beliefs. In many instances the differences are irreconcil-able, and yet every one believes with all of the sincerity of which he is capable that his own particular beliefs are true. It must be conceded that, in the main, all people are equally honest and equally sincere in their religious beliefs. The only reason why they are grouped together in different forms of religions is because they honestly believe that through their own particular form of religion they will find the good which they so earnestly desire.
As one considers the subject of religion from this broad viewpoint it becomes entirely plain that most of the people in the world are believing as their religion many things that are not true.
There is only one truth about any subject, although there may be many erroneous beliefs about it. This is as true of religious subjects as of others. If one believes erroneously as to what is the law, he will not be a safe lawyer, nor will he be an efficient engineer if his beliefs concerning the rules of mathematics are faulty. In each case erroneous beliefs must be displaced by positive knowledge before correct results can be attained.
Every one will recognize not only the desirability, but the necessity, of exchanging false and erroneous beliefs about religious matters for positive truth. In no other way can he grow spiritually. Spiritual truth is the truth about spiritual things, but as long as one believes erroneously about spiritual things he is on a false track, and his erroneous beliefs will deprive him of the benefits that would otherwise come to him through a correct understanding of the truth. He should remember that Jesus proved that there is enough spiritual truth in existence that can be taught to and understood by human beings to enable them to heal the sick and raise the dead, and no one should be satisfied until he has attained to this understanding and demonstration.
True religion consists of spiritual truth, and not of erroneous beliefs; hence it follows that one's religion is limited to the amount of spiritual truth he knows, and that erroneous religious beliefs are only so many delusions that serve no other purpose than to obstruct spiritual growth.
The trouble with most of us has been that we have believed erroneously without knowing it. In my own case it was not until Christian Science came to me and taught me the difference between spiritual truth and erroneous human belief that I learned how to dissect my own beliefs. No one could be more certain of the correctness of his religious beliefs than I was of mine at that time. I had been believing sincerely many things that I found could not possibly be true. Many scales began to fall from my eyes, and I commenced to learn and experience for the first time the real significance of the words used by Jesus in the eighth chapter of John, when he said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Christian Science aims to destroy erroneous religious beliefs by substituting a knowledge of truth in place thereof, and to destroy out of the human mind all evil qualities by planting good qualities in their stead. It wages relentless warfare against all wrong mental qualities. It seeks to substitute love in place of hate, unselfishness in place of selfishness, honesty in place of dishonesty, and truth in place of error. It lays tremendous emphasis upon the necessity for "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ," as the Bible commands. It shows that the cause of all disease and sin is mental, and not physical, and that both sickness and sin are destroyed by the evangelization of the human mentality with truth and love. It teaches without any reservation whatever that the truth taught and practiced by Jesus, when understood and applied, is sufficient without drugs or any material means to heal the sick and regenerate the sinner, and Christian Scientists everywhere are engaged daily in demonstrating and proving this to be true
Every student of religion should begin to give heed to what the Bible teaches concerning the importance of looking to the mental rather than to the physical for deliverance from human discord. We read in Romans, "To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Again, in Philippians it's said, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; " and in Romans, "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind."
These significant statements from the Scriptures leave no room for doubt as to the cause of sin, disease, and death, or their cure. The carnal mind is nothing more nor less than the unregenerated human mind. It is the human mind in its natural state, when filled with hatred, selfishness, deceit, dishonesty, and other evil qualities, and with superstition and false beliefs. These evil and erroneous mental qualities result in sin, disease, and death, and in all human discord.
The command is to get rid of erroneous mental qualities, and to have in us the mind "which was also in Christ Jesus," for in this Mind there was not a single sinful quality, nor any superstition or false religious belief. Thus the human mind is renewed by the destruction of erroneous and sinful mental qualities, and the substitution in their place of qualities that inhere in the Mind of the Master.
As this renewing process goes on, sickness, suffering, and discordant conditions begin to disappear, and when it is finished, and every mortal thought has been brought into subjection to Christ, then man will be transformed from a sinning, suffering mortal into a state of peace and harmony. The carnal mind with its sin and superstition produces the conditions that lead to death, while to be spiritually minded, that is to have the Mind that was in Christ Jesus, "is life and peace." Christian Science teaches that this is the precise process by which human beings are saved from sickness and sin.
It will thus be seen that Christian Science healing in every case is spiritual, and results from the operation of Truth, 6r divine Principle, in human consciousness, and not from the action of one human mind upon another, nor from human will, nor from hypnotism, nor from mental suggestion.
To summarize the matter in a single sentence, it can be said that Christian Science healing is accomplished through the activity of right thinking and right living, and in no other way can one demonstrate the Principle that heals.
Although the healing of physical and mental diseases by spiritual means was widely practiced, both in Old Testament and New Testament times, and was expressly commanded by Jesus, and although Christian Science during the last fifty years has actually healed in this way large numbers of people from all kinds of physical and mental diseases, there are still a great many people who honestly find it difficult to understand how it is possible for the sick to be healed without drugs, and entirely by spiritual means. Even among those who profess to believe in the Bible and in the omnipotence of God, there are many who have honest doubts that the power of God is sufficient or available to deliver from sickness, and these doubts often prevent the effort to gain an understanding of the way by which spiritual healing is accomplished.
To all such it can be said that Jesus healed the sick without drugs, and, what is more important to us, he taught other people how to do so, thus proving that his method of healing physical disease by spiritual means could be taught to others, and understood and practiced by them.
As the disciples walked up and down the country with Jesus, listening to his explanations of spiritual truth, and watching him apply this truth to human needs as he healed the leper, the lame, the deaf, the blind, whom he met by the wayside, they began to understand for the first time that divine Love is adequate to meet every human need, and that Jesus has come to teach the way whereby every one might learn how to prove it.
Some of the disciples seemed to grasp this truth and the manner of its demonstration very slowly, but to them all there finally came a time when Jesus considered that they had made sufficient progress to prove it for themselves. He then sent them forth with the command that they heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, and raise the dead, and the Bible records that they were able to do so.
Later these same disciples taught the Principle of spiritual healing which they had learned from Jesus to their own disciples, and history shows that on down through a period of about ten generations the healing of the sick by spiritual means continued to be a part of the regular ministry of the Christian church, and that the dead were raised during the first and second centuries. Moses and the prophets also healed the sick and raised the dead and did many other wonderful works in demonstration of the power of Spirit to meet human needs, and the Old Testament is filled with such instances.
It will thus be seen that the knowledge of spiritual truth and the method of its application to deliver people from sickness, sin, and every kind of evil human condition has reappeared upon the earth at many times, and it is claimed for Christian Science that it is the reappearance in our own generation of the understanding of the same spiritual law that was known and understood in part by Moses and the prophets, and which was perfectly understood and demonstrated by Jesus, and by him taught to his disciples. There is no mystery about it, and the results produced by Christian Science are the results which have always followed, and must necessarily follow, from the apprehension and demonstration of spiritual truth. Christian Science is nothing more nor less than a return to primitive Christianity, and every one who turns to it fairly and honestly will find in it that which will satisfy his spiritual aspirations and meet his human needs.
MRS. EDDY'S DISCOVERY
Mrs. Eddy is acknowledged to be the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, and many people ask what it is that she has discovered. In reply it can be said that she has discovered the law of Spirit which is spiritual truth.
In the material realm many material laws have been discovered. Sir Isaac Newton, for instance, observed the movements of material bodies, and conceived the idea that such movements were governed by a law which he afterwards discovered and named the law of gravitation. This law cannot be seen with the physical eyes, but its existence can be proved in other ways. Likewise, Marconi gained the idea that another law existed, and he said that if he could discover it he would be able to transmit messages by its agency from one part of the earth to another without any material wires. That law has always existed and has always operated, but it was not until it was discovered that it became available for human use. It cannot be seen by the human eye, but anyone may now learn how to utilize it.
In much the same way there was born in the consciousness of Mrs. Eddy the idea that there exists a law of Spirit. She had observed that sometimes great suffering and distress were produced by material laws, and that even whole communities were devastated and destroyed by their operation, hence she came to the conclusion that a God who possesses infinite wisdom and goodness could not operate through laws that produce both good and evil. She, therefore, came to the conclusion that God is governing His children and His universe through spiritual laws and not through material laws.
Mrs. Eddy also studied the miracles in the Old and New Testaments, and came to the inevitable conclusion that all of those events were correlated by means of an underlying spiritual law that had been known and understood by the men who wrought them, and she said that if she could discover the law it would be found to operate in the same manner now as in Bible times; that it would be a healing law, and would now heal people of sickness and sin and every evil human condition the same as then.
This idea grew and expanded in her consciousness until it became the impelling motive of her entire life. In the year 1866 she discovered the law of Spirit, and named it Christian Science. After waiting nine years, during which time she subjected the Principle that she had discovered to the broadest practical tests in healing sickness and other forms of human discord, she published a statement of Christian Science in a book which she entitled "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." This book is now everywhere recognized as the only textbook of Christian Science. A great religious movement has formed around its teachings, which in one generation has girdled the earth with its churches. The spread of Christian Science has been phenomenal, and its growth has resulted from healing. Every adherent of Christian Science has actually been healed of some sickness, disease, or sinful appetite, and most of them have been healed of many such conditions. These facts are easily verified, and are worthy of very serious consideration.
There can be no such thing as religion in any true sense unless it be founded upon a true conception of God. If one has an erroneous concept of God he worships his false concept and does not worship God. The heathen who bows down before his image is worshipping his concept of God. Every one worships his own concept, and if anyone has a false concept he is an idolater the same as the heathen. There is but one God, and whosoever worships any other but the one and only God is an idolater.
it is tremendously important that each one should have a true understanding of God. Since there is but one God there should be absolute uniformity among all religions as to the conception of Him, and yet there is no such uniformity. Upon this subject there is utter confusion. If one were to ask a dozen people to tell what God is he would get a dozen different answers. It will be profitable for each one to take an inventory of his own beliefs about God and then to measure his beliefs by what the Bible teaches. In case he finds himself believing things about God that are contrary to the Bible, he should change his beliefs.
Christian Science asks you to believe about God only what the Bible teaches to be true about Him, and also asks you to discontinue believing things about Him that are untrue. The most general false belief about God is that He is a person who sits on a throne up in the sky. Within a year a clergyman in one of the suburbs of Chicago said to a friend of mine that he expects some day to walk up and shake bands with God.
Another belief about God is that He has a local habitation in a place up in the sky called heaven and that people must die and go up to that place in order to come into the presence of God. There is also the belief that God has provided another place down below called hell, with its bubbling lakes of re and brimstone, and that if people are good they may go up above to heaven, or, if they are not good, that they are quite certain to go - down below.
It can be said that these are only so many specific false beliefs about God. The Bible declares that God is omnipresent, so that He fills all space and is in one place in exactly the same degree that He is in every other place. The Bible also says that "God is love, " and it is obvious that love is not a person with whom one can shake hands.
People will also need to revise their beliefs about the location of heaven and hell. Every one knows that the earth revolves upon its axis once each twenty-four hours, producing the phenomena of day and night, so that if heaven be up above now, in twelve hours it will be down below and the other place will be on high. If one believes, therefore, that when he dies he must go up above in order to get into heaven, it becomes perfectly plain that he should exercise great care and caution as to the time when he dies lest he ascend when the wrong place is up there.
This enables one to understand the reply of Jesus to the man who asked "when the kingdom of God should come," when he said, in substance, "The kingdom of God is not a place that you can see with observation! it is not a place you can say, lo, here it is, or lo, there it is, for behold, the kingdom of God is within you." Heaven is then a divine state of consciousness and not a locality, and people will be in the kingdom of heaven when they have within themselves the Mind of the Christ. Paul also summed up the whole matter when he said, "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds."
Mrs. Eddy discovered the law of Spirit as truly as Sir Isaac Newton discovered the law of gravitation, and this fact should be thoroughly understood, just as Newton discovered that the movements of material bodies are regulated and governed by this material law, so Mrs. Eddy discovered the Principle that governs the entire universe, including every detail in the lives of men. That supreme, creative, governing, omnipresent Mind, or Principle, is God, the only cause, the only creator, the only ruler of man and the universe.
When we watch water flowing over the land we see that without hesitation or delay it always selects the low places. All fresh water is continually striving to reach the sea, where it will be at rest. In choosing its course it measures the topography of the ground more accurately and more quickly than the engineer could do with his instruments.
No embodied mind is present to tell it where to go, but there is an unerring, invisible law everywhere present directing its movement, and always guiding it in the true course.
If such perfect law exists to guide the water in its movement toward the sea, how much more certain it is that equally perfect spiritual law exists to guide the footsteps of tired and discouraged human beings out of the wilderness of sickness, failure, and sin into the kingdom of peace.
The Bible tells us that such a law exists and is operating for our benefit. In Psalms we read, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord." Again, in Romans, "All things work together for good to them that love God," and again, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."
What a sense of security comes to one when he realizes that there is really a law of good operating that will guide his footsteps as truly as the law of gravitation guides the water. And what a sense of peace comes from the assurance that there is an infinite, overruling Mind that governs everything in the universe from the least to the greatest, and causes all things to work together for good.
In each case, however, a condition is attached. One must desire to be a good man, and must love God, otherwise the law of good does not operate for him. To attain goodness, one must think and live as nearly as he can in accordance with spiritual truth; one's motives and aims must be honest, and his desires unselfish. In this way the connection is established between his consciousness and the law, and then the law operates through him and in his behalf. If he is an evil man, that is, if he thinks and lives erroneously, such wrong thinking and living separate his consciousness from the law of good, so that the law cannot then guide his footsteps or make everything work together for good for him.
SOURCE OF GOOD AND EVIL
Outside of Christian Science very few people have ever reasoned out the question to their own satisfaction as to where good and evil come from, and still fewer have even a satisfactory theory as to how good may be secured or evil avoided in actual human experience.
All through the centuries there has been a widespread belief that good and evil come as the result of luck or chance, but this belief is necessarily incorrect. Among all polytheists, or those who believe in many gods, there is the belief that some of the gods send good and that others send evil, and they seek to propitiate the latter by sacrifices and rites, believing that in this way alone they can escape from evil.
Among monotheists, or those who believe there is but one God, there is the belief that the one God creates and sends both good and evil. This belief, however, involves so many impossible contradictions that it has led actually to the belief in the existence of an evil being called "devil," who is supposed to create and send evil. Thus to escape the belief that God sends both good and evil, those who call themselves monotheists are really polytheists, for they actually believe in a God of good, and in an evil power, or devil. This in turn makes it necessary for them to determine in belief the sphere of activity and the relative power of each. Since the Bible declares, however, that God is omnipotent, that is, that He has all power, monotheists have come generally to believe that such power as the devil is supposed to possess has been conferred upon him by God, and that God permits the devil to send evil in the form of sickness, sin, and death, to afflict and destroy human beings.
Without going further into the matter than merely to state the case, it will thus be seen that there is much confusion of belief among Christians and other monotheists concerning the nature and origin of both good and evil and as to what causes their activity in human experience, and until this is corrected by positive knowledge it will be impossible to deal with the subject intelligently, or to think about it accurately.
Christian Science shows that all good comes to man from God through the operation of His laws, and that evil originates in the human carnal mind. which is "enmity against God." Evil is not an entity. It has no kingdom and no king. It has no mind, no presence, and no laws. The only power it can ever exercise is what it derives from human belief in it and human acceptance of it.
Since God is infinite good, He has knowledge of good and of nothing else. He could not possibly have knowledge of evil, for evil does not exist in the spiritual universe, and it is really the only universe. The seeming existence of evil is in the carnal mind. It has been well said that if every one would quit sinning there would be no more sin. As human consciousness is evangelized by truth and love, sin disappears.
There is no such thing as an angry God waiting to smite you for sin, for God has no knowledge of sin in any form. His law is against sin; yet the punishment for or of sin is by sin, and when the sin is destroyed and put away out of the human mind, the punishment stops, but as long as the sin remains it will whip and punish the sinner.
Thus the forgiveness of sin consists in the destruction of sin, and the sin exists nowhere but in the carnal human mind. The belief that God pardons sin merely because you ask Him to do so, without turning from the sin yourself and putting it away from you, is foolish self-deception.
People ask how God can destroy sin when He knows nothing of sin and does not even know that it exists. The answer is plain. He destroys it just as the sun destroys the darkness which it never sees. When the light appears the darkness disappears. Good and evil cannot mingle any more than light and darkness can mingle. One vanishes before the other.
Sooner or later every one must learn the truth about man. When one asks himself, Who is man? What is he? Where does he come from? Is he spiritual, or is he material? many channels for thought are opened. Upon the correct answer to these questions will depend the solution of every human problem.
Every one has read the two differing accounts of creation in the Bible. In the first chapter of Genesis we are told that God created man in His own image, after His own likeness, and that He made him good. In the second chapter of Genesis, however, we find the allegorical account of how God came to this earth and made man out of the dust of the ground. Then follows the story of Adam and Eve, and the garden of Eden. We also read that a deep sleep fell upon Adam, and then that sin appeared and brother murdered brother, and so, from that time until now, the man made of dust has been a sinner and has been at enmity against God.
In view of all this it becomes vitally important that we find out the truth about man. Was man made in the image and likeness of God, and hence created a spiritual being, or was he made out of the dust of the ground as a material being?
Christian Science accepts the first account of the creation as true, and insists that man is spiritual and not material. This makes it necessary for Christian Science to explain the matter, and to make plain how it is possible for man to be wholly spiritual when we seem to see him as flesh and blood with our actual physical eyes. Christian Science does this, and makes the matter perfectly clear by showing that the material man is nothing more or less than the carnal mind's false concept of man.
The carnal mind is entirely material; hence, it "is enmity against God," because God is Spirit and Spirit and matter are opposite. The carnal mind is composed of the aggregated beliefs founded upon the testimony of the five physical senses, which senses are wholly material; hence, the carnal mind being material cannot comprehend nor cognize the things of Spirit.
It is these material elements entering into the human mind that cause it to see everything as material and to think in terms of matter. By an inevitable reversal it reduces everything to the dead level of matter in order to comprehend it.
It is due to this materiality that the human mind does not think of God wholly as Spirit, and, therefore, in its material belief it reverses the nature and character of God, and converts Him into a material man. Likewise, because of this same material element, the human mind does not think of the kingdom of God as a spiritual state of consciousness, which Jesus declared "is within you," and transforms it in belief into a material place somewhere in the sky, with trappings of material splendor such as one would expect to find in the palaces of men.
Since the human mind is prevented by its own materiality from comprehending God as Spirit, and the kingdom of heaven as a spiritual state of consciousness, it is equally prevented from thinking of man as spiritual. By reason of the same inevitable reversal it thinks of man as material, and hence sees him as such.
But no matter how sincerely people may believe that God is a magnified man, seated upon a material throne, and having a material habitation in a material place called heaven, such belief does not make it true. God is Spirit, and His universe is wholly spiritual. There is not one material element in Him nor in anything that He created. He did not create matter in any form, nor did He create a material man. God created everything spiritually and not materially, and the only kind of man created by Him is the perfect spiritual man, made in His own image and likeness, precisely as described in the first chapter of Genesis.
The Adam-man is not the image of God, and in the second account of the creation in the second chapter of Genesis it is nowhere stated that the Adam-man was made in God's image and likeness, or that he was made perfect. Those statements are to be found in the first chapter, and are used in relation to the real man. But in spite of this, people have gone on believing that the Bible taught that Adam was made in God's image.
Christian Science is the only system of teaching that I know anything about that even makes an attempt to explain the difference between man and the Adam-man, and it does explain it and makes the fact perfectly plain by pointing out, as has already been said, that the Adam-man is merely the false, material mis-concept of man. It is as though one were to look through green eyeglasses. As long as he did so, everything would appear to be green. If he were to try to remove the green from an object, he could not do so, for the reason that the green was not in the object, though appearing to be there, but was in the lenses through which he looked at it. The only thing necessary for him to do in order to translate the entire green universe back into its normal aspect would be merely to take off the green lenses.
In precisely the same way the material universe and material man are translated back into the spiritual, where in fact they have always been, by merely taking off the material eyeglasses through which we have looked at them. If it were conceivable that one could now rid himself of every material element in his mentality, and of every sin and false belief, so that his consciousness except the spiritualized thought, he would not then see his fellow man as material, but would see him for what he really is, namely, the perfect, spiritual child of God.
From the foregoing consideration of the subject of man, and of the difference between spiritual man and the so-called material man, it is obvious that there are certain questions concerning the nature and character of matter that may be examined with much profit.
Since the material man is only the carnal mind's mis-concept of man, it follows that matter has no entity, and is in every case nothing but material thought objectified. Christian Science shows that "there is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter" (Science and Health, p. 468), and that matter has no sensation" (p. 485). Everything in the objective world, which appears to human sense as matter, is merely the visible manifestation of material thought, formed in the material or carnal mind, and cognized by the physical senses as a material thing. If these statements concerning matter be true, it will be seen at a glance that they will explain many phenomena in human experience which hitherto have been unexplainable. That they are true is now settled absolutely and conclusively, as will be seen.
When Mrs. Eddy first made the discovery that matter in every form has no intelligence, life, sensation, or substance, but is merely the false, mental concept of the material or carnal mind, her statements were not accepted as true by physical scientists. They declared that matter was real substance. They asserted that every object, whether it be a star, a flower, a rock, or the human body, was composed of atoms brought together and held together under varying conditions, and that the atom was material. Hence, they said that since the starting point of matter was the material atom, matter must of necessity be substance.
Mrs. Eddy took no pains to defend her statements upon the subject. She had seen the truth about it and, knowing that it was the truth, she was quite content to let the statement of her discovery go into consciousness, well knowing that in the end the truth would prevail. It is most interesting, therefore, to observe what has taken place since then. Within recent years a physical scientist discovered that the atom is not the starting-point of matter, and that the atom is itself composed of electrons. When asked to state the nature and character of the electron, he said that it was energy, which is not material substance. Since then the physicists have come out frankly and fairly and now say that any inquiry concerning the nature and character of the electron should be referred to the metaphysician, and that the whole subject belongs to the domain of metaphysics and not physics.
The far-reaching effect of this is at once apparent, for it frankly admits that the starting-point of matter is not material, but mental.
CAUSE AND CURE OF DISEASE
The importance of this cannot be overestimated. All sin, disease, and death come from the belief of life, intelligence, sensation, and substance in matter. If it be true and it now seems to be settled. -that there is no life in matter, that it has no sensation or intelligence, and is not substance, then it follows that all material theories concerning disease, and the method of solving all human problems, will have to be changed from a material to a spiritual basis. If matter is itself merely a thing of thought objectified, it follows that disease, in whatever form, is also merely the objectification of diseased beliefs upon the human body, and that such beliefs originate in the carnal mind, and not in the body, but are manifested on the body only after they are formulated in the material or carnal mind. If this be true, and it is true beyond all possible question, it then follows that the correct way to treat disease is not through matter, nor by giving material remedies and drugs to the body, but by destroying the images of disease out of the human mind.
Every one must see at a glance that disease is not itself an entity. It has no mind, intelligence, volition, nor presence. Disease is neither self-created nor was it created by God. It originates in the first instance in the carnal human mind in the form of diseased thought, and is then objectified on the body by the material beliefs of that same carnal mind. The true way to cure it, therefore, is to give to the human mind something that will neutralize and destroy the disease-producing qualities and beliefs. The thing that does this is the Christ, Truth, which Christian Science brings to the human mind, and in this way Christian Science has healed very many people from all kinds of diseases.
NO SUBSTANCE IN MATTER
Jesus knew that there was no substance in matter, and he knew it so perfectly that he walked through solid doors and walls. He knew what was true about matter, namely, that it is only the manifested belief of the material, carnal mind, and since he did not have that material mind, matter did not appear to him as substance. His consciousness was spiritualized. He knew that the only substance is Spirit, but because of the material element in their consciousness the people were unable to see or comprehend Spirit as substance. They could only think of matter as substance, and, therefore, to them matter appeared as substance.
Knowing that there was no substance in matter, he knew that man was not material. Mrs. Eddy pointed out many years ago in Science and Health (pp. 476, 477) that Jesus saw the real man where mortals saw the mortal man, and that his true view healed the sick. The more one ponders over this statement the more it becomes apparent that it is necessarily true. When there came to Jesus the man who had been born blind, and who had grown from infancy to mature years without the perfect organs of sight, Jesus healed him instantly. He looked through the material veil and saw the real man, who, in every case, is perfect. Jesus knew that God had never created one of his children without sight. God never made an imperfect man. Man being perfect has perfect spiritual senses, and by seeing the perfect man, Jesus pulled away the mask and allowed the perfect condition to appear. When the paralytic was brought to him, Jesus, by seeing the real man, pulled away the mask created by the material beliefs of the carnal mind, thus allowing the real condition of harmony and perfect being to appear, and the man was instantly healed. Since the real man is perfect in every case, when the imperfect material beliefs are destroyed by the operation of the truth, human beings cannot fail to manifest improved conditions.
Jesus also knew that since man was not material and does not live in matter, he could not die in matter. He knew this so clearly that he was able to call Lazarus forth after his body had been in the tomb four days. Jesus knew that the real man, being spiritual, can never die, for God is his Life. When he stood before the tomb of Lazarus he knew that the only thing that had taken place there was that certain human beings, who were governed by the carnal mind, had accepted a changed belief concerning Lazarus. They believed that he had lived in matter and was material, and hence that he had died in matter. Jesus looked through the mask and saw the real man who was alive all-of the time, and by seeing the real man, Jesus destroyed the false concept, and thus made it possible for the real condition of Life to appear. Having seen the real man who was alive every instant, all that Jesus needed to do was to say, "Lazarus, come forth," and he came forth, alive.
MAN IS NOW IMMORTAL
The belief that man is now material, but that his immortality will appear after the death of his physical body, is rapidly giving place to a better understanding. It is beginning to become tolerably clear to many people that death is not the doorway through which human beings pass from a material state of existence into the kingdom of heaven.
St. Paul taught and declared that death is an enemy that can and will be destroyed. Enoch got rid of his physical body without dying. Elijah did the same. Obviously they destroyed and got rid of every material and erroneous mental quality. This evangelization went on until there was nothing left in their consciousness but the spiritualized thought. They brought every material thought into obedience to Christ, and when the last mortal thought had thus been conquered and destroyed there was nothing of the carnal mind left in their consciousness to throw a material concept over them. People were then no longer able to see them as material men. They literally walked with God, as the Bible states, for material beliefs of the carnal mind no longer intervened to separate them from Him.
Jesus submitted to the crucifixion of his body on the cross in order that he might be the Wayshower. He had already raised from the dead, Lazarus, and the daughter of Jairus, and the son of the widow of Nain, but he wanted to go farther and prove for the benefit of mankind that death is not a divine necessity, and that it is possible for one to conquer it for himself through his own understanding of the law of Life. He wanted to prove that man is now immortal and that his immortality is brought to light not by the death of the physical body but by demonstrating the power of Spirit. He therefore resuscitated his own body after it had been in the tomb until the third day. He brought it back and exhibited it to hundreds of people, so that there might not be any question or dispute about it. Thereafter he got rid of his body precisely as Enoch and Elijah had done. He thus proved the omnipotence of Spirit and its availability to meet the last and final human need. He proved that God is Life, and that man is now immortal and can never die, and that even the belief in death, that exists nowhere except in the carnal mind, can be destroyed by the truth which he taught.
MAN IS NOW THE SON OF GOD
Do you think it is arrogating too much for us to claim that we are now the children of God? If so, then read what St. John says in I John, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall know him as he is."
In this statement it was as though John had said, Jesus has now taught me the truth about myself. I now know that we are spiritual and not material. I cannot tell you what my spiritual self looks like for I cannot see the spiritual man through material eyes, but I know that when he shall appear we shall be like him."
St. Paul has said substantially the same thing in Roman:-. where we read, "We are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God,. and joint-heirs with Christ."
Every one knows that when an estate is left to heirs, jointly, they take it share and share alike. If we are joint heirs with Christ, we have inherited the same spiritual being, the same Life, the same immortality. It is through the understanding and apprehension of our real being that we rise above the fears and material beliefs of the carnal mind. In this way Christian Science heals the sick, regenerates the sinner, destroys fear, and brings peace in place of discord.
Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," and Christian Science is teaching the human race that the true way to come unto him is to live the Life that he lived, to manifest the Love that he manifested, and to demonstrate the Truth that he taught. In this way it has helped many people to find rest, and peace, and health.