Christianity: Its Science and Art

The linking together of the words "science" and "art," which so commonly occurs in secular literature, has its analogy in the study and practice of Christian Science. If science be accepted as knowledge of a given subject arranged in an orderly manner, then its art may justifiably be regarded as the practical application of this knowledge to the solution of problems which come within its scope. To be definite: a lexicographer defines "science" as "an exact and systematic statement of knowledge concerning some subject;" and "art" is defined as the "systematic application of knowledge ... in effecting a desired result."

These definitions are precisely applicable to Christian Science. As revealed by Mrs. Eddy, Christian Science may be defined as exact knowledge of God, of man, and of the universe, arranged in so systematic and orderly a manner as to make it available to all who desire to master it; its art is the application of this exact knowledge to the solution of the problems of human experience. In writing on page 372 of "Miscellaneous Writings" of the illustrations in "Christ and Christmas," our Leader states that never having seen the great masterpieces of Europe she could not have copied their art or device; and she adds a statement which hints at the true significance of art: "But the art of Christian Science, with true hue and character of the living God, is akin to its Science." Here the Science of Christianity is linked with its art, the application of the knowledge of God and man, which the systematized statement of Science sets forth. Furthermore, the art of Christian Science cannot be separated from its Science. And knowledge of spiritual truth without demonstrated proof of its truthfulness would never fulfill the mission of Christian Science. But knowledge and demonstration combined, its Science and its art, are transforming the world. The case it perfectly stated in a single sentence on page 375 of the same volume: "The truest art of Christian Science is to be a Christian Scientist." Its exemplification in daily life is its true art.

The substance of Jesus' mission to mankind was his oft-repeated declaration of the fatherhood of God and the consequent brotherhood of man; of the presence and availability of divine power to destroy the beliefs of evil, and to nullify every so-called material law. His demonstration of spiritual power was perfect. But humanity was not mentally prepared to receive more than he gave. As it was, his teachings for the most part fell upon dull ears, unready to catch the message he had for them, the most precious message that had ever been delivered to suffering humanity. And yet the revelation of spiritual power was not complete. The Science and art of Christianity had not been established. But in the fullness of time, when, after centuries of leavening, human consciousness had lost something of its grossness, there came another who gave to waiting humanity that which was most needed to complete the revelation of God's omnipotence and omnipresence as eternal Life, Truth, and Love. With the words and example of Christ Jesus before her, our Leader supplied the rule and method, the Science and art of Christianity, which took its name from the holy man of Nazareth. Thus the work begun by Christ Jesus was completed by Mary Baker Eddy.

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Purity of Motive
October 5, 1929

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