A Progressive Step
Our Leader was for many years deeply impressed with the thought that the Christian Science movement should have places where people suffering from ills of various sorts could retire for treatment, rest, and recuperation. The members of Mrs. Eddy's household who ministered to her needs have heard her many times express herself quite freely on this subject. She knew that patients under Christian Science treatment were at times placed in a position where they needed the care and attention of a skilfully trained person who was also a Christian Scientist. Her own experience had shown her the great need for a place of refuge to which sufferers could retire, and where they would receive proper care and attention as well as freedom from criticism while under Christian Science treatment. The purpose which the Directors of The Mother Church seek to accomplish in organizing the Christian Science Benevolent Association is one that is in direct obedience to our Leader's wishes and which had for a long time been uppermost in her thought.
The Christian Science movement has barely passed its infancy, and is only now branching out to fulfil some of the requirements that naturally fall upon it as a large and successful Christian organization and one from which so much is expected. First came the demonstration of the Principle of Christian Science in the overcoming of sickness and sin. Then came the formation of churches and the erection of church edifices, both of which have been done to an extent that has awakened the thought of the world to the importance of Christian Science as a religious movement. After this must come the establishing of what we might call hospitals or sanitariums, and the training of people to act as attendants in the sick room.
The question arises at this point and will doubtless be put to many, Does this mean that the Christian Science movement will establish schools, orphans' homes, insane asylums, and the like? This involves a conclusion which has not yet been reached, and which perhaps it would be unwise to discuss at this period, since we do not know what the future may bring forth. Mrs. Eddy waited a long time before she established The Christian Science Monitor. She also waited many years before venturing to call for the establishment of the institution which is now being launched by The Christian Science Board of Directors. She learned through experience to wait on God, and in her admonition to us she has at times expressed the thought that we as Christian Scientists should wait patiently until God moves upon the face of the waters of mortal mind before engaging in any important undertaking. In her article "Obedience" in "Miscellaneous Writings" Mrs. Eddy says: "The disobedient make their moves before God makes His, or make them too late to follow Him. Be sure that God directs your way; then, hasten to follow under every circumstance" (p. 117).
All we know is that today the Christian Science movement is preparing to take care of the sick while they are under treatment, and this being the natural and lawful thing to do, it should meet with commendation and encouragement from all right thinking persons. The time will come when the Christian Science denomination will do many things that have not yet been attempted, but which will be undertaken when sufficient spiritual understanding is attained to deal wisely with the needs of the hour. Our Leader says in the Manual of The Mother Church (Art. VIII, Sect. 15) that God "supplies within the wide channels of The Mother Church dutiful and sufficient occupation for all its members," but until the time comes for the undertaking of these activities it would seem best not to discuss them.
It is quite likely that newspaper men will express their views of this new activity of our cause, hence the advisability of Scientists refraining from making statements in advance of their present demonstration. The metaphysical fact is that all is Mind and Mind's ideas; that there is nothing in this universe but Mind and what Mind creates. The real newspaper then, the avenue or the channel through which authentic information is given out, can be nothing more or less than the voice of Truth,—of wisdom uttering itself and declaring itself to human consciousness.
On page 123 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy says, "Divine Science ... excludes matter, resolves things into thoughts, and replaces the objects of material sense with spiritual ideas." Thus we see that for every object of sense there is a spiritual idea, or right idea, which is the only thing that Christian Scientists should consider. A newspaper, then, while it is in belief a material object, is in reality a spiritual idea, and when we cling to that thought and maintain it, it will have its visible effect on the newspaper and on the newspaper man, and nothing can be printed which is not right or just. Mortal mind is not a creator; all that is real belongs to God, and the only newspaper man there is, is that condition of thought which expresses the truth. Mortal mind has no ways or means to misrepresent Christian Science, its aims or its objects. The divine Mind is the only possible means of expression, and it utters and declares only that which is right and true, and the only man that can read or think about it or know it is God's man,—the reflection and the expression of infinite Mind.
Jesus said, "If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." If in obedience to this we keep in thought one thing, viz., that "the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof,"—that everything in the universe belongs to God and is under His direct control,—then nothing can darken or hinder or misinterpret the utterance of Truth. Again he said: "But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness." If we believe in two powers, evil and good; if we allow fear to come into thought that mortal mind can misrepresent the word of Truth, then we shall utterly fail in the accomplishment of our purpose.
All is Mind. There are not two sides to this proposition. The metaphysical standpoint is the only one to be considered, and is the only safe rule for the guidance of a Christian Scientist. When we have reduced things to thoughts, we shall then see that there is no personal proprietorship, no man or set of men that can claim ownership of an idea. The so-called possessions of mortal mind, including all the paraphernalia of a newspaper office, are ideas; and these belong to God and to His man. When we have learned this, we can see how it is that God governs the universe and that these ideas, as our Leader says, "are obedient to the Mind that makes them" (Science and Health, p. 295). The responsibility of conducting something immediately drops from our shoulders, and we find that all we have to do is to think rightly and leave the guidance of everything to God. "The government shall be upon his shoulder," and when we realize this we become followers instead of leaders.
The development and the establishment of God's cause on earth go steadily on, and just to the degree that we see and understand this will we be found occupying our right place and bringing out the true sense of what Christian Science has come to establish.