No and Yes Part 1/
No and Yes Part 1
No and Yes.
by Mary Baker Eddy.
It was the purpose of each edition of this pamphlet to benefit no favored cla.s.s, but, according to the apostle's admonition, to "reprove, rebuke, exhort," and with the power and self-sacrificing spirit of Love to correct involuntary as well as voluntary error.
By a modification of the language, the import of this edition is, we trust, transparent to the hearts of all conscientious laborers in the realm of Mind-healing. To those who are athirst for the life-giving waters of a true divinity, it saith tenderly, "Come and drink;" and if you are babes in Christ, leave the meat and take the unadulterated milk of the Word, until you grow to apprehend the pure spirituality of Truth.
MARY BAKER EDDY
To kindle in all minds a common sentiment of regard for the spiritual idea emanating from the infinite, is a most needful work; but this must be done gradually, for Truth is as "the still, small voice," which comes to our recognition only as our natures are changed by its silent influence.
Small streams are noisy and rush precipitately; and babbling brooks fill the rivers till they rise in floods, demolishing bridges and overwhelming cities. So men, when thrilled by a new idea, are sometimes impatient; and, when public sentiment is aroused, are liable to be borne on by the current of feeling. They should then turn temporarily from the tumult, for the silent cultivation of the true idea and the quiet practice of its virtues.
When the noise and stir of contending sentiments cease, and the flames die away on the mount of revelation, we can read more clearly the tablets of Truth.
The theology and medicine of Jesus were one,--in the divine oneness of the trinity, Life, Truth, and Love, which healed the sick and cleansed the sinful. This trinity in unity, correcting the individual thought, is the only Mind-healing I vindicate; and on its standard have emblazoned that crystallized expression, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE.
A spurious and hydra-headed mind-healing is naturally glared at by the pulpit, ostracized by the medical faculty, and scorned by people of common sense. To aver that disease is normal, a G.o.d-bestowed and stubborn reality, but that you can heal it, leaves you to work against that which is natural and a law of being. It is scientific to rob disease of all reality; and to accomplish this, you cannot begin by admitting its reality. Our Master taught his students to deny self, sense, and take up the cross. Mental healers who admit that disease is real should be made to test the feasibility of what they say by healing one case audibly, through such an admission,--if this is possible. I have healed more disease by the spoken than the unspoken word.
The honest student of Christian Science is modest in his claims and conscientious in duty, waiting and working to mature what he has been taught. Inst.i.tutes furnished with such teachers are becoming beacon-lights along the sh.o.r.es of erudition; and many who are not teachers have large practices and some marked success in healing the most defiant forms of disease.
Dishonesty destroys one's ability to heal mentally. Conceit cannot avert the effects of deceit. Taking advantage of the present ignorance in relation to Christian Science Mind-healing, many are flooding our land with conflicting theories and practice. We should not spread abroad patchwork ideas that in some vital points lack Science. How sad it is that envy will bend its bow and shoot its arrow at the idea which claims only its inheritance, is naturally modest, generous, and sincere! while the trespa.s.sing error murders either friend or foe who stands in its way. Truly it is better to fall into the hands of G.o.d, than of man.
When I revised "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," in 1878, some irresponsible people insisted that my manual of the practice of Christian Science Mind-healing should not be made public; but I obeyed a diviner rule. People dependent on the rules of this practice for their healing, not having lost the Spirit which sustains the genuine practice, will put that book in the hands of their patients, whom it will heal, and recommend it to their students, whom it would enlighten. Every teacher must pore over it in secret, to keep himself well informed. The Nemesis of the history of Mind-healing notes this hour.
Dishonesty necessarily stultifies the spiritual sense which Mind-healers specially need; and which they must possess, in order to be safe members of the community. How good and pleasant a thing it is to seek not so much thine own as another's good, to sow by the wayside for the way-weary, and trust Love's recompense of love.
Plagiarism from my writings is so common it is becoming odious to honest people; and such compilations, instead of possessing the essentials of Christian Science, are tempting and misleading.
Reading Science and Health has restored the sick to health; but the task of learning thoroughly the Science of Mind-healing and demonstrating it understandingly had better be undertaken in health than sickness.
Disease is more than _imagination_; it is a human error, a const.i.tuent part of what comprise the whole of mortal existence,--namely, material sensation and mental delusion. But an erring sense of existence, or the error of belief, named disease, never made sickness a stubborn reality. On the ground that harmony is the truth of being, the Science of Mind-healing destroys the feasibility of disease; hence error of thought becomes fable instead of fact. Science demonstrates the reality of Truth and the unreality of the error. A self-evident proposition, in the Science of Mind-healing, is that disease is unreal; and the efficacy of my system, beyond other systems of medicine, vouches for the validity of that statement. Sin and disease are not scientific, because they embody not the idea of divine Principle, and are not the phenomena of the immutable laws of G.o.d; and they do not arise from the divine consciousness and true const.i.tuency of being.
The unreality of sin, disease, and death, rests on the exclusive truth that being, to be eternal, must be harmonious. All disease must be--and can only be--healed on this basis. All true Christian Scientists are vindicating, fearlessly and honestly, the Principle of this grand verity of Mind-healing.
In erring mortal thought the reality of Truth has an antipode,--the reality of error; and disease is one of the severe realities of this error. G.o.d has no opposite in Science. To Truth there is no error. As Truth alone is real, then it follows that to declare error real would be to make it Truth.
Disease arises from a false and material sense, from the belief that matter has sensation. Therefore this material sense, which is untrue, is of necessity unreal. Moreover, this unreal sense subst.i.tutes for Truth an unreal belief,--namely, that life and health are independent of G.o.d, and dependent on material conditions. Material sense also avers that Spirit, or Truth, cannot restore health and perpetuate life, but that material conditions can and do destroy both human health and life.
If disease is as real as health, and is itself a state of being, and yet is arrayed against being, then Mind, or G.o.d, does not meddle with it. Disease becomes indeed a stubborn reality, and man is mortal. A "kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation;" therefore the mind that attacks a normal and real condition of man, is profanely tampering with the realities of G.o.d and His laws. Metaphysical healing is a lost jewel in this misconception of reality. Any contradictory fusion of Truth with error, in both theory and practice, prevents one from healing scientifically, and makes the last state of one's patients worse than the first. If disease is real it is not illusive, and it certainly would contradict the Science of Mind-healing to attempt to destroy the realities of Mind in order to heal the sick.
On the theory that G.o.d's formations are spiritual, harmonious, and eternal, and that G.o.d is the only creator, Christian Science refutes the validity of the testimony of the senses, which take cognizance of their own phenomena,--sickness, disease, and death. This refutation is indispensable to the destruction of false evidence, and the consequent cure of the sick,--as all understand who practise the true Science of Mind-healing. If, as the error indicates, the evidence of disease is not false, then disease cannot be healed by denying its validity; and this is why the mistaken healer is not successful, trying to heal on a material basis.
The evidence that the earth is motionless and the sun revolves around our planet, is as sensible and real as the evidence for disease; but Science determines the evidence in both cases to be unreal. To material sense it is plain also that the error of the revolution of the sun around the earth is more apparent than the adverse but true Science of the stellar universe.
Copernicus has shown that what appears real, to material sense and feeling, is absolutely unreal. Astronomy, optics, acoustics, and hydraulics are all at war with the testimony of the physical senses. This fact intimates that the laws of Science are mental, not material; and Christian Science demonstrates this.
SCIENCE OF MIND-HEALING
The rule of divinity is golden; to be wise and true rejoices every heart.
But evil influences waver the scales of justice and mercy. No personal considerations should allow any root of bitterness to spring up between Christian Scientists, nor cause any misapprehension as to the motives of others. We must love our enemies, and continue to do so unto the end. By the love of G.o.d we can cancel error in our own hearts, and blot it out of others.
Sooner or later the eyes of sinful mortals must be opened to see every error they possess, and the way out of it; and they will "flee as a bird to your mountain," away from the enemy of sinning sense, stubborn will, and every imperfection in the land of Sodom, and find rescue and refuge in Truth and Love.
Every loving sacrifice for the good of others is known to G.o.d, and the wrath of man cannot hide it from Him. G.o.d has appointed for Christian Scientists high tasks, and will not release them from the strict performance of each one of them. The students must now fight their own battles. I recommend that Scientists draw no lines whatever between one person and another, but think, speak, teach, and write the truth of Christian Science without reference to right or wrong personality in this field of labor. Leave the distinctions of individual character and the discriminations and guidance thereof to the Father, whose wisdom is unerring and whose love is universal.
We should endeavor to be long-suffering, faithful, and charitable with all.
To this small effort let us add one more privilege--namely, silence whenever it can subst.i.tute censure. Avoid voicing error; but utter the truth of G.o.d and the beauty of holiness, the joy of Love and "the peace of G.o.d, that pa.s.seth all understanding," recommending to all men fellowship in the bonds of Christ. Advise students to rebuke each other always in love, as I have rebuked them. Having discharged this duty, counsel each other to work out his own salvation, without fear or doubt, knowing that G.o.d will make the wrath of man to praise Him, and that the remainder thereof He will restrain. We can rejoice that every germ of goodness will at last struggle into freedom and greatness, and every sin will so punish itself that it will bow down to the commandments of Christ,--Truth and Love.
I enjoin it upon my students to hold no controversy or enmity over doctrines and traditions, or over the misconceptions of Christian Science, but to work, watch, and pray for the amelioration of sin, sickness, and death. If one be found who is too blind for instruction, no longer cast your pearls before this state of mortal mind, lest it turn and rend you; but quietly, with benediction and hope, let the unwise pa.s.s by, while you walk on in equanimity, and with increased power, patience, and understanding, gained from your forbearance. This counsel is not new, as my Christian students can testify; and if it had been heeded in times past it would have prevented, to a great extent, the factions which have sprung up among Scientists to the hindrance of the Cause of Truth. It is true that the mistakes, prejudices, and errors of one cla.s.s of thinkers must not be introduced or established among another cla.s.s who are clearer and more conscientious in their convictions; but this one thing can be done, and should be: let your opponents alone, and use no influence to prevent their legitimate action from their own standpoint of experience, knowing, as you should, that G.o.d will well regenerate and separate wisely and finally; whereas you may err in effort, and lose your fruition.
Hoping to pacify repeated complaints and murmurings against too great leniency, on my part, towards some of my students who fall into error, I have opposed occasionally and strongly--especially in the first edition of this little work--existing wrongs of the nature referred to. But I now point steadfastly to the power of grace to overcome evil with good. G.o.d will "furnish a table in the wilderness" and show the power of Love.
Science is not the shibboleth of a sect or the cabalistic insignia of philosophy; it excludes all error and includes all Truth. More mistakes are made in its name than this period comprehends. Divinely defined, Science is the atmosphere of G.o.d; humanly construed, and according to Webster, it is "knowledge, duly arranged and referred to general truths and principles on which it is founded, and from which it is derived." I employ this awe-filled word in both a divine and human sense; but I insist that Christian Science is demonstrably as true, relative to the unseen verities of being, as any proof that can be given of the completeness of Science.
The two largest words in the vocabulary of thought are "Christian" and "Science." The former is the highest style of man; the latter reveals and interprets G.o.d and man; it aggregates, amplifies, unfolds, and expresses the ALL-G.o.d. The life of Christ is the predicate and postulate of all that I teach, and there is but one standard statement, one rule, and one Principle for all scientific truth.
My hygienic system rests on Mind, the eternal Truth. What is termed matter, or relates to its so-called attributes, is a self-destroying error. When a so-called material sense is lost, and Truth restores that lost sense,--on the basis that all consciousness is Mind and eternal,--the former position, that sense is organic and material, is proven erroneous.
The feasibility and immobility of Christian Science unveil the true idea,--namely, that earth's discords have not the reality of Mind in the Science of being; and this idea--dematerializing and spiritualizing mortals--turns like the needle to the pole all hope and faith to G.o.d, based as it is on His omnipotence and omnipresence.
Eternal harmony, perpetuity, and perfection, const.i.tute the phenomena of being, governed by the immutable and eternal laws of G.o.d; whereas matter and human will, intellect, desire, and fear, are not the creators, controllers, nor destroyers of life or its harmonies. Man has an immortal Soul, a divine Principle, and an eternal being. Man has perpetual individuality; and G.o.d's laws, and their intelligent and harmonious action, const.i.tute his individuality in the Science of Soul.
In its literary expression, my system of Christian metaphysics is hampered by material terms, which must be used to indicate thoughts that are to be understood metaphysically. As a Science, this system is held back by the common ignorance of what it is and what it does, and (worse still) by those who come falsely in its name. To be appreciated, Science must be understood and conscientiously introduced. If the Bible and Science and Health had the place in schools of learning that physiology occupies, they would revolutionize and reform the world, through the power of Christ. It is true that it requires more study to understand and demonstrate what these works teach, than to learn theology, physiology, or physics; because they teach divine Science, with fixed Principle, given rule, and unmistakable proof.
Ancient and modern human philosophy are inadequate to grasp the Principle of Christian Science, or to demonstrate it. Revelation shows this Principle, and will rescue reason from the thrall of error. Revelation must subdue the sophistry of intellect, and spiritualize consciousness with the dictum and the demonstration of Truth and Love. Christian Science Mind-healing can only be gained by working from a purely Christian standpoint. Then it heals the sick and exalts the race. The essence of this Science is right thinking and right acting--leading us to see spirituality and to be spiritual, to understand and to demonstrate G.o.d.
The Ma.s.sachusetts Metaphysical College and Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, were the outgrowth of the author's religious experience. After a lifetime of orthodoxy on the platform of doctrines, rites, and ceremonies, it became a sacred duty for her to impart to others this new-old knowledge of G.o.d.
The same affection, desire, and motives which have stimulated true Christianity in all ages, and given impulse to goodness, in or out of the Church, have nerved her purpose to build on the new-born conception of the Christ, as Jesus declared himself,--namely, "the way, the truth, and the life." Living a true life, casting out evil, healing the sick, and preaching the gospel of Truth,--these are the ends of Christianity. This divine way impels a spiritualization of thought and method, beyond doctrine and ritual; and in nothing else has she departed from the old landmarks.
The unveiled spiritual signification of the Word so enlarges our sense of G.o.d that it makes both sense and Soul, man and Life, immaterial, though still individual. It removes all limits from divine power. G.o.d must be found all instead of a part of being, and man the reflection of His power and goodness. This Science rebukes sin with its own nothingness, and thus destroys sin quickly and utterly. It makes disease unreal, and this heals it.