Principle as Understood in Christian Science

The Master of Christianity declared, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." The permanent, substantial, and harmonious state of existence for which all mankind is striving is vouchsafed by a correct understanding of divine cause and effect. Jesus declared that God is Spirit, and again, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing." To know God as Spirit and to know that Spirit quickeneth, giveth life, that Spirit alone is responsible for the existence of all reality, and that the flesh, or matter, does not contribute in the smallest degree to the existence of anything, is the implied teaching of the above text. Hence Mrs. Eddy's use of the word Principle in her definition of God.

Whatever objections theologians may have made regarding the application of this term to Deity is doubtless due to a preconceived belief regarding the individuality of God as a corporeal being and not to any Scriptural definition of the creator. The word principle is from the Latin principium, which signifies beginning, foundation, source or origin, fundamental substance. Mrs. Eddy has not attempted to give the fulness of her understanding of God in the use of any one term, but has employed a group of synonymous terms each of which seems to describe some particular characteristic of Deity which is not generally recognized in the use of the other terms, and thus she has given not only a definite but a broad and comprehensive definition.

The term Principle as used in Christian Science names God as the beginning, the foundation, the origin, the one and only cause. This accords with the Bible, which teaches that God is "Alpha and Omega," the beginning and the end of all real existence. Nothing has a beginning except that which God creates and nothing is added to that which God creates. God has not originated something to be afterward finished by some other power. He is the only author and His creation is finished in its beginning. The understanding of God as the only cause, coupled with a correct knowledge as to the nature and essence of this cause, points to an inevitable conclusion in regard to the nature of creation which is wholly apart from sense-testimony.

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Spiritual Baptism
October 28, 1916

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