Man is more than physical personality, or what we cog-nize through the material senses. Mind is more than matter, even as the infinite idea of Truth is beyond a finite belief. Man outlives finite mortal definitions of himself, according to a law of "the survival of the fittest." Man is the eternal idea of his divine Principle, or Father. He is neither matter nor a mode of mortal mind, for he is spiritual and eternal, an immortal mode of the divine Mind. Man is the image and likeness of God, coexistent and coeternal with Him.
Man is not absorbed in Deity; for he is forever individual; but what this everlasting individuality is, remains to be learned. Mortals have not seen it. That which is born of the flesh is not man's eternal identity. Spiritual and immortal man alone is God's likeness, and that which is mortal is not man in a spiritually scientific sense. A material, sinful mortal is but the counterfeit of immortal man.
The mind-quacks believe that mortal man is identical with immortal man, and that the immortal is inside the mortal; that good and evil blend; that matter and Spirit are one; and that Soul, or Spirit, is subdivided into spirits, or souls,--alias gods. This infantile talk about Mind-healing is no more identical with Christian Science than the babe is identical with the adult, or the human belief resembles the divine idea. Hence it is impossible for those holding such material and mortal views to demonstrate my metaphysics. Theirs is the sensuous thought, which brings forth its own sensuous conception. Mine is the spiritual idea which transfigures thought.
All real being represents God, and is in Him. In this Science of being, man can no more relapse or collapse from perfection, than his divine Principle, or Father, can fall out of Himself into something below infinitude. Man's real ego, or selfhood, is goodness. If man's individuality were evil, he would be annihilated, for evil is self-destroying.
Man's individual being must reflect the supreme individual Being, to be His image and likeness; and this individuality never originated in molecule, corpuscle, materiality, or mortality. God holds man in the eternal bonds of Science,--in the immutable harmony of divine law. Man is a celestial; and in the spiritual universe he is forever individual and forever harmonious. "If God so clothe the grass of the field, . . . shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?"
Sin must be obsolete,--dust returning to dust, nothingness to nothingness. Sin is not Mind; it is but the supposition that there is more than one Mind. It issues a false claim; and the claim, being worthless, is in reality no claim whatever. Matter is not Mind, to claim aught; but Mind is God, and evil finds no place in good. When we get near enough to God to see this, the springtide of Truth in Christian Science will burst upon us in the similitude of the Apocalyptic pictures. No night will be there, and there will be no more sea. There will be no need of the sun, for Spirit will be the light of the city, and matter will be proved a myth. Until centuries pass, and this vision of Truth is fully interpreted by divine Science, this prophecy will be scoffed at; but it is just as veritable now as it can be then. Science, divine Science, presents the grand and eternal verities of God and man as the divine Mind and that Mind's idea.
Mortal man is the antipode of immortal man, and the two should not be confounded. Bishop Foster said, in a lecture in Boston, "No man living hath yet seen man." This material sinful personality, which we misname man, is what St. Paul terms "the old man and his deeds," to be "put off."
Who can say what the absolute personality of God or man is? Who living hath seen God or a perfect man? In presence of such thoughts take off thy shoes and tread lightly, for this is holy ground. Surely the probation of mortals must go on after the change called death, that they may learn the definition of immortal being; or else their present mistakes would extinguish human existence. How long this false sense remains after the transition called death, no mortal knoweth; but this is sure, that the mists of error, sooner or later, will melt in the fervent heat of suffering, mortality will burst the barriers of sense, and man be found perfect and eternal. Of his intermediate conditions--the purifying processes and terrible revolutions necessary to effect this end--I am ignorant.
Inasmuch as these momentous facts in the Science of being must be learned some time, now is the most acceptable time for beginning the lesson. If Science is pointing the way, and is found to bring with it health, holiness, and immortality, then to-day is none too soon for entering this path. The proof that Christian Science is the way of salvation given by Christ, I consider well established. The present, as well as the future, reveals the fact that Truth is never understood too soon.
Has Truth, as demonstrated by Jesus, reappeared? Study Christian Science and practise it, and you will know that Truth has reappeared. What is demonstrably true cannot be gainsaid; but getting the letter and omitting the spirit of this Science is neither the comprehension of its Principle nor the practice of its Life. MBE