Protecting Our Thought

Christian Scientists are sometimes held to be narrow in their views, because they confine their study of the Science of being to the authorized literature of the movement, instead of reading promiscuously the works of authors of varying shades of belief. The point would indeed be well taken, provided it were possible to arrive at the truth by consulting data gathered from all sources and allowing one's conclusions to be determined by the aggregate of impressions received. But the argument in favor of this method loses its force when we realize that it is the point of view the individual brings to bear on the material at his command which coordinates the results of his observations, and colors, to a considerable extent at least, his findings; and though his preconceived point of view may change appreciably as he goes on, his judgments are at every stage amenable to its censorship. Just so long as mortals trust finite sense to point the way to the truth, there will seem to be many minds, each seeking enlightenment in its own way and reaching independent conclusions.

Over against this inconclusive, self-contradictory sense of things stands the declaration of Christ Jesus to the effect that there does exist a point of view which reveals God and His manifestation as the absolute, unchanging reality; and furthermore, the Master left a rule by which all men might find and verify this point of view in experience. This view-point was quite overlooked, however, until in the course of events it was discovered by Mrs. Eddy and again made the basis of scientific demonstration. In considering this subject we need to remember first of all that we are dealing with Science in the exact and absolute meaning of the term, and that as such its premises and conclusions are in perfect agreement, its Principle is unchangeable, and it can be demonstrated only by strict accordance with unvarying rules. The astronomer of today does not undertake to enlarge his understanding of celestial phenomena by consulting the treatises of ancient writers who held that the earth was flat and stationary. Notwithstanding the fact that many minor details of the Ptolemaic scheme are corroborated by modern scientific observation, the progressive student would hardly feel justified in giving serious consideration to theories developed from a demonstrably wrong standpoint.

The same is true in a far more vital sense when it comes to the Science of being. The learner is far more likely to find the indiscriminate perusal of works which in their fundamental bearings contradict the Principle of Christian Science, a hindrance rather than a help to his advancement, even though such works may afford occasional gleams of light. As the modern understanding of astronomy turns former theories of solar physics upside down, so Christian Science, with far broader sweep, upsets the basis on which mortal mind has outlined its rationale of existence. The student is obliged, therefore, to begin at once a practical readjustment of his way of facing all questions. Spirit takes the place of matter in his calculations and affections; what he has thought to be right proves in many instances to be wrong. Before he gets far, he realizes that it is no merely off-hand proposition which confronts him, and that it requires constant watchfulness to keep the old, habitual way of looking at things, and the prevalent thought around him, from influencing his attitude. The disciple's chief concern is to become imbued with that point of view which will enable him to demonstrate the truth for himself, to drink of the water that "shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

By Its Fruits
April 17, 1915

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.