Perfect Sonship

Perfect sonship is an important subject in Christian Science; and students of its teachings are fortunate in having direct instruction by Mrs. Eddy on the point. The reader may refer to page 241 of "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany," where, under the healing, "Instruction by Mrs. Eddy," a question is propounded by a student and concisely answered by our Leader, and more particularly to the passage (p. 242): "You can never demonstrate spiritually until you declare yourself to be immortal and understand that you are so. Christian Science is absolute." And farther on our Leader declares: "Unless you fully perceive that you are the child of God, hence perfect, you have no Principle to demonstrate and no rule for its demonstration. By this I do not mean that mortals are the children of God,—far from it." One may at first exclaim: What! I, perfect? No! No! I am far from perfect yet! Then one should ask himself: Am I imperfect, but eventually can I become perfect? Am I wrong in striving to become right? Am I a mortal, endeavoring to become an immortal? If the answer is Yes, then you are engaged in a penalizing struggle, since our Leader continues in the same article: "In practising Christian Science you must state its Principle correctly, or you forfeit your ability to demonstrate it."

Christ Jesus was summoned to answer this same question of perfect sonship. The account of his triumph over the suggestion that his real selfhood was imperfect, or could become so, occurs in the fourth chapter of Matthew. Three ways are depicted there in which temptation seems to assail us: commanding that "these stones be made bread;" testing the omnipotence in which we trust, "on a pinnacle of the temple;" and showing, on "an exceeding high mountain," "the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them." Twice the temptation is introduced with the comparatively concealed words, "If thou be the Son of God." "If"! Yea, Christian Science student, admit that doubt-implying "if," and you have admitted all that mortal mind may require to bind you to earth. Let that insinuating doubt seem to enter consciousness, and how can you hope to overcome the adversary as Jesus did? From the height of his spiritual perfection, answering both the covert and the open suggestion, he replied, "Man [not a mortal] shall not live by bread alone." And, finally, how clearly the account shows the Master's instant dismissal of the temptation when it approached the mental altitude. No doubt of his sonship, no delay! Peremptory dismissal,—""Yraye Earava." Vanish, delusion! "Get thee hence Satan"!

Thus we see that our present task is not to try to make a mortal immortal, wrong right, the so-called material spiritual, error true; but to work, watch, and pray for that consciousness of perfect man which will keep our purity spotless and our lives clean. The watchful strife, therefore, is to cast out and to keep out,—to cast out the false beliefs which seem to have entered our consciousness, and to keep out the false beliefs that would enter. "Now are we the sons of God," said John. This keeps us with God in the realm of reality. Humanly we may see "through a glass, darkly," as Paul said; but we are consistent in maintaining the fact that we are and must continue to be as God sees us, and not as we may seem to see ourselves. We have ceased to follow the contradictory course of acknowledging an infinitely perfect God, possessing an image and likeness which has yet to become perfect. John added, "And every man that hath this hope [Greek, "expectation, confidence"] in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." Only through the understanding of fundamental divine Principle, recognizing and apprehending that man is perfect now, can we follow the Master's demonstrations. He was called upon to overcome, and did overcome, every hidden or open suggestion of mythological mortal mind that man was or could be less than perfect. And he is our Ensample.

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"Taught of God"
July 25, 1925

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