SUBSTANCE

There is perhaps no aspect of the teaching of Christian Science which departs more from the commonly accepted opinions of the world to-day than its teaching with regard to the nature of "substance." To the ordinary man substance is synonymous with matter, and the more material possessions he can get together, the more substance does he imagine himself to possess. If, however, one is aiming merely at the acquisition of material possessions, he is building on sand, for his tenure of them rests on no spiritually scientific basis, and any day he may find himself deprived of them,—find himself reduced from a condition of affluence and luxury to one of abject want, which could never have happened if he had gained the true idea of substance. How then shall we define substance, and what is its nature? Surely it is unsatisfactory to call that substance which is here to-day and gone to-morrow, which at one time is and at another is not. "Substance," writes Mrs. Eddy on page 468 of Science and Health, "is that which is eternal and incapable of discord and decay." Here at once we get a definition which helps us to solve our difficulty. Such substance is real substance, for it must be ever-present; but what is it which is "eternal and incapable of discord and decay"?

Christian Science teaches that there is only the one selfexistence, the one intelligence or Mind, that which has created all things out of itself and like itself, that is "over all, and All" (Ibid., p. 17). This infinite intelligence or Mind is God, unchangeable, ever-present; and thus we see that the divine Mind, being infinite, is the only true substance. And what is the nature of this Mind? Let us turn to the inspired pages of the Bible. Here we find God, Spirit, described as "the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning;" not a capricious deity, not a mixture of opposites like the ordinary mortal, but Principle, always to be depended on, "a very present help in trouble." Elsewhere we find God described as "merciful and gracious," "just and right," "abundant in goodness and truth;" while John says comprehensively, "God is love."

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TARDY ACKNOWLEDGMENT
October 31, 1908
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