No and Yes Part 2/
No and Yes Part 2
According to false philosophy and scholastic theology, G.o.d is three persons in one person. By the same token, evil is not only as real as good, but much more real, since evil subordinates good in personality.
The claims of evil become both less and more in Christian Science, than in human philosophies or creeds: _more_, because the evil that is hidden by dogma and human reason is uncovered by Science; and _less_, because evil, being thus uncovered, is found out, and exposure is nine points of destruction. Then appears the grand verity of Christian Science: namely, that evil has no claims and was never a claimant; for behold evil (or devil) is, as Jesus said, "a murderer from the beginning, and the truth abode not in him."
There was never a moment in which evil was real. This great fact concerning all error brings with it another and more glorious truth, that good is supreme. As there is none beside Him, and He is all good, there can be no evil. Simply uttering this great thought is not enough! We must live it, until G.o.d becomes the All and Only of our being. Having won through great tribulation this cardinal point of divine Science, St. Paul said, "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter."
IS MAN A PERSON?
Man is more than physical personality, or what we cognize 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 G.o.d, 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 ident.i.ty.
Spiritual and immortal man alone is G.o.d'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_ G.o.ds. 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 G.o.d, 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. G.o.d 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 G.o.d so clothe the gra.s.s 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 G.o.d, and evil finds no place in good. When we get near enough to G.o.d 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 pa.s.s, 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 G.o.d 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 G.o.d or man is? Who living hath seen G.o.d 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.
HAS MAN A SOUL?
The Scriptures inform us that "the soul that sinneth, it shall die." Here _soul_ means sense and organic life; and this pa.s.sage refers to the Jewish law, that a mortal should be put to death for his own sin, but not for another's. Not Soul, but mortal sense, sins and dies. Immortal man has immortal Soul and a deathless sense of being. Mortal man has but a false sense of Soul and body. He believes that Spirit, or Soul, exists in matter.
This is pantheism, and is not the Science of Soul. The mind-quacks have so slight a knowledge of Soul that they believe material and sinning sense to be soul; and then they doctor this soul as if it were not even a material sense.
In Dr. Gordon's sermon on The Ministry of Healing, he said, "The forgiven soul in a sick body is not half a man." Is this pantheistic statement sound theology,--that Soul is in matter, and the immortal part of man a sinner?
Is not this a disparagement of the person of man and a denial of G.o.d's power? Better far that we impute such doctrines to mortal opinion than to the divine Word.
To my sense, such a statement is a shocking reflection on the divine power.
A mortal pardoned by G.o.d is not sick, he is made whole. He in whom sin, disease, and death are destroyed, is more than a fraction of himself. Such sermons, though clad in soft raiment, are spiritless waifs, literary driftwood on the ocean of thought; while Truth walks triumphantly over the waves of sin, sickness, and death.
The law of Life and Truth is the law of Christ, destroying all sense of sin and death. It does more than forgive the false sense named sin, for it pursues and punishes it, and will not let sin go until it is destroyed,--until nothing is left to be forgiven, to suffer, or to be punished. Forgiven thus, sickness and sin have no relapse. G.o.d's law reaches and destroys evil by virtue of the allness of G.o.d.
He need not know the evil He destroys, any more than the legislator need know the criminal who is punished by the law enacted. G.o.d's law is in three words, "I am All;" and this perfect law is ever present to rebuke any claim of another law. G.o.d pities our woes with the love of a Father for His child,--not by becoming human, and knowing sin, or naught, but by removing our knowledge of what is not. He could not destroy our woes totally if He possessed any knowledge of them. His sympathy is divine, not human. It is Truth's knowledge of its own infinitude which forbids the genuine existence of even a claim to error. This knowledge is light wherein there is no darkness,--not light holding darkness within itself. The consciousness of light is like the eternal law of G.o.d, revealing Him and nothing else.
Sympathy with sin, sorrow, and sickness would dethrone G.o.d as Truth, for Truth has no sympathy for error. In Science, the cure of the sick demonstrates this grand verity of Christian Science, that you cannot eradicate disease if you admit that G.o.d sends it or sees it. Material and mortal mind-healing (so-called) has for ages been a pretender, but has not healed mortals; and they are yet sick and sinful.
Disease and sin appear to-day in subtler forms than they did yesterday.
They progress and will multiply into worse forms, until it is understood that disease and sin are unreal, _unknown_ to Truth, and never actual persons or real facts.
Our phraseology varies. To me _divine pardon_ is that divine presence which is the sure destruction of sin; and I insist on the destruction of sin as the only full proof of its pardon. "For this purpose the Son of G.o.d was manifested, that he might _destroy_ the works of the devil" (1 John iii.
Jesus cast out evils, mediating between what is and is not, until a perfect consciousness is attained. He healed disease as he healed sin; but he treated them both, not as in or of matter, but as mortal beliefs to be exterminated. Physical and mental healing were one and the same with this master Metaphysician. If the evils called sin, sickness, and death had been forgiven in the generally accepted sense, they would have returned, to be again forgiven; but Jesus said to disease: "Come out of him, and enter no more into him." He said also: "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death;" and "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven." The misinterpretation of such pa.s.sages has r.e.t.a.r.ded the progress of Christianity and the spiritualization of the race.
A magistrate's pardon may encourage a criminal to repeat the offense; because _forgiveness_, in the popular sense of the word, can neither extinguish a crime nor the motives leading to it. The belief in sin--its pleasure, pain, or power--must suffer, until it is self-destroyed.
"Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
IS THERE ANY SUCH THING AS SIN?
Frequently when I touch this subject my meaning is ignorantly or maliciously misconstrued. Christian Science Mind-healing lifts with a steady arm, and cleaves sin with a broad battle-axe. It gives the lie to sin, in the spirit of Truth; but other theories make sin true. Jesus declared that the devil was "a liar, and the father of it." A lie is negation,--_alias_ nothing, or the opposite of something. Good is great and real. Hence its opposite, named _evil_, must be small and unreal. When this sense is attained, we shall no longer be the servants of sin, and shall cease to love it.
The domination of good destroys the sense of evil. To ill.u.s.trate: It seems a great evil to belie and belittle Christian Science, and persecute a Cause which is healing its thousands and rapidly diminishing the percentage of sin. But reduce this evil to its lowest terms, _nothing_, and slander loses its power to harm; for even the wrath of man shall praise Him. The reduction of evil, in Science, gives the dominance to G.o.d, and must lead us to bless those who curse, that thus we may overcome evil with good.
If the Bible and my work Science and Health had their rightful place in schools of learning, they would revolutionize the world by advancing the kingdom of Christ. It requires sacrifice, struggle, prayer, and watchfulness to understand and demonstrate what these volumes teach, because they involve divine Science, with fixed Principle, a given rule, and unmistakable proof.
IS THERE NO SACRIFICIAL ATONEMENT?
Self-sacrifice is the highway to heaven. The sacrifice of our blessed Lord is undeniable, and it was a million times greater than the brief agony of the cross; for that would have been insufficient to insure the glory his sacrifice brought and the good it wrought. The spilling of human blood was inadequate to represent the blood of Christ, the outpouring love that sustains man's at-one-ment with G.o.d; though shedding human blood brought to light the efficacy of divine Life and Love and its power over death. Jesus'
sacrifice stands preeminently amidst physical suffering and human woe. The glory of human life is in overcoming sickness, sin, and death. Jesus suffered for all mortals to bring in this glory; and his purpose was to show them that the way out of the flesh, out of the delusion of all human error, must be through the baptism of suffering, leading up to health, harmony, and heaven.
We shall leave the ceremonial law when we gain the truer sense of following Christ in spirit, and we shall no longer venture to materialize the spiritual and infinite meaning and efficacy of Truth and Love, and the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, by commemorating his death with a material rite. Jesus said: "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth." They drink the cup of Christ and are baptized in the purification of persecution who discern his true merit,--the unseen glory of suffering for others. Physical torture affords but a slight ill.u.s.tration of the pangs which come to one upon whom the world of sense falls with its leaden weight in the endeavor to crush out of a career its divine destiny.
The blood of Christ speaketh better things than that of Abel. The real atonement--so infinitely beyond the heathen conception that G.o.d requires human blood to propitiate His justice and bring His mercy--needs to be understood. The real blood or Life of Spirit is not yet discerned. Love bruised and bleeding, yet mounting to the throne of glory in purity and peace, over the steps of uplifted humanity,--this is the deep significance of the blood of Christ. Nameless woe, everlasting victories, are the blood, the vital currents of Christ Jesus' life, purchasing the freedom of mortals from sin and death.
This blood of Jesus is everything to human hope and faith. Without it, how poor the precedents of Christianity! What manner of Science were Christian Science without the power to demonstrate the Principle of such Life; and what hope have mortals but through deep humility and adoration to reach the understanding of this Principle! When human struggles cease, and mortals yield lovingly to the purpose of divine Love, there will be no more sickness, sorrow, sin, and death. He who pointed the way of Life conquered also the drear subtlety of death.
It was not to appease the wrath of G.o.d, but to show the allness of Love and the nothingness of hate, sin, and death, that Jesus suffered. He lived that we also might live. He suffered, to show mortals the awful price paid by sin, and how to avoid paying it. He atoned for the terrible unreality of a supposed existence apart from G.o.d. He suffered because of the shocking human idolatry that presupposes Life, substance, Soul, and intelligence in matter,--which is the antipode of G.o.d, and yet governs mankind. The glorious truth of being--namely, that G.o.d is the only Mind, Life, substance, Soul--needs no reconciliation with G.o.d, for it is one with Him now and forever.
Jesus came announcing Truth, and saying not only "the kingdom of G.o.d is at hand," but "the kingdom of G.o.d is within you." Hence there is no sin, for G.o.d's kingdom is everywhere and supreme, and it follows that the human kingdom is nowhere, and must be _unreal_. Jesus taught and demonstrated the infinite as one, and not as two. He did not teach that there are two deities,--one infinite and the other finite; for that would be impossible.
He knew G.o.d as infinite, and therefore as the All-in-all; and we shall know this truth when we awake in the divine likeness. Jesus' true and conscious being never left heaven for earth. It abode forever above, even while mortals believed it was here. He once spoke of himself (John iii. 13) as "the Son of man which is in heaven,"--remarkable words, as wholly opposed to the popular view of Jesus' nature.
The real Christ was unconscious of matter, of sin, disease, and death, and was conscious only of G.o.d, of good, of eternal Life, and harmony. Hence the human Jesus had a resort to his higher self and relation to the Father, and there could find rest from unreal trials in the conscious reality and royalty of his being,--holding the mortal as unreal, and the divine as real. It was this retreat from material to spiritual selfhood which recuperated him for triumph over sin, sickness, and death. Had he been as conscious of these evils as he was of G.o.d, wherein there is no consciousness of human error, Jesus could not have resisted them; nor could he have conquered the malice of his foes, rolled away the stone from the sepulchre, and risen from human sense to a higher concept than that in which he appeared at his birth.