The Essence of Christian Science

In "No and Yes" (p. 12) Mrs. Eddy writes of Christian Science, "The essence of this Science is right thinking and right acting—leading us to see spirituality and to be spiritual, to understand and to demonstrate God." In these words the nature and purpose of Christian Science is summed up; and not only so, but their author points out what must always lie behind the endeavor to become more spiritual, namely, the understanding and demonstration of God.

Let us consider the question more closely. First of all one has to take cognizance of where mortals stand; that is, where they are in their thinking. And where are mortals in their thinking? They are all engrossed to a greater or less extent in material concerns, matter being very largely the basis of their thoughts. And since this is so, they are to be found in varying degree indulging in all manner of material beliefs, from the comparatively harmless to the grossly sensual. The result is that the lives of mortals are largely beset by suffering, which ultimates in what men call death.

Now the state of affairs just depicted is recognized by every thinker. Every prophet, every seer, every right-minded person, has sensed the inevitably downward tendency of materiality, and in so far as spiritual inspiration has been his, has tried to prevent it by pointing out the way of right thinking and right acting. The Old Testament contains the record of the self-sacrificing efforts of the Hebrew prophets along this line. The New Testament tells of the work of Christ Jesus and the apostles to change the thinking of mankind from matter to Spirit, and shows in the clearest possible manner the effect which spiritualization of thought produces, namely, healed bodies and regenerated lives.  The Master's constant endeavor was to impress upon men the fact that if they would enter into life eternal, material sense must give place to spiritualized consciousness. "It is the spirit that quickeneth," he declared; "the flesh profiteth nothing." And the faithful Paul, with the teaching of the Nazarene supporting him, could write "to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons": "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

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Man's Rights
February 11, 1928

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