Christian Science teaches that in order to comprehend God aright, and to understand our divine sonship, our eternal unity with God, thought must be freed from false trusts and the erroneous conclusions resulting therefrom. One of the most subtle of these malconclusions is the belief of a material past, the belief that we have been mortal, and have had in the past material experiences which were realities. While this error remains undestroyed or unrebuked in our thought, it binds us with mental shackles to the conclusion that we have a debt to pay for past offenses, physical or moral; thus we labor under the blighting influence of fear and self-condemnation,—the procuring causes of sickness and death.
A number of years ago, a Christian Science practitioner had as a patient a civil war veteran, who was suffering from a wound received in the war. The case not yielding to treatment, Mrs. Eddy was asked what she thought the error could be that prevented the healing; she replied in effect, that the practitioner as well as the patient believed there had once been a war, and regarded it as a link in the man's history. How many of us have freed our thought entirely from the belief that error, evil, has had a history? We are told that Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, and in order to demonstrate the truth for ourselves and others, it is absolutely necessary that thought be relieved from this incubus, this belief in a material past, for so long as it remains we are yielding assent to error's claim that we possess a life separate from God.
If Life is God, as the Bible and Christian Science teaches, then belief in existence apart from God is an illusion, is not real and never has been real; it is the Adam-dream to be overcome, proved unreal, in the way that Jesus showed us, and this can never be done surely, so long as we admit its reality, either past or present. The belief in material conception, birth, growth, maturity, never was in Mind, never was man or man's belief; it is and always has been nothing but a self-constituted falsity, as Jesus defined it when he said: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." Our Leader says: "Because man is the reflection of his Maker, he is not subject to birth, growth, maturity, decay. These mortal dreams are of human origin, not divine" (Science and Health, p. 305).
Of what a load we can be relieved when we understand that, in truth, there is no evil past to torment and nag us by its memory. Thus the belief of heredity is blotted out, the belief in prenatal influence, and the belief that man, God's idea, has ever been the slave or servant of sin. We can also find escape from the conscious or unconscious belief that we are under any "parental verdict," "doctor's verdict," or human sentence of any kind; that we have ever been injured by malpractise, either physical or mental; that we have broken a physical law in the past, and must suffer the consequences thereof. In the light of Truth, all of these claims are seen to be false, no part of true existence, for "if any man be in Christ [the spiritual idea of being], he is a new creature: old things are passed away;" because these things never were. Many Bible texts can be cited in illustration: "I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins." "And their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." "Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea."
From the scientific standpoint that "now are we the sons of God," and consequently ever have been, we can understandingly combat and overcome all the assertions of the false belief called evil. In criminal law, if a man charged with an offense can prove an alibi, he is at once acquitted; for it is self-evident that no one can be in two different places at the same time. So let us through spiritual understanding establish our alibi: let us know that we were not there when the alleged offense was committed; we were in God, and ever have been, for "in him we live, and move, and have our being." To be free from mortal beliefs we should make no false mental admissions; we must concede to error no more reality in the so-called past than in the present, for as a man "thinketh in his heart, so is he."
We must know that a false belief, or false claim, never was our belief or our claim, but was simply one of evil's lies about man; and this lie has never affected man in the least, or changed the fact about man, any more than a lie about the multiplication table has affected its immutable truth. Both man and Science are coexistent and coeternal with God. All of God's ideas are perfect and indestructible. The Adam-dream of material existence has no God, no creator, no divine Principle; it is no ego; therefore let us cease to identify ourselves with it, in the past as well as in the present; but let us identify ourselves with the real man, God's man, and from this Christ view-point all the claims of evil will be seen to be falsities. The Saviour, who knew man's possibilities, said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Not by doctoring the so-called mortal man can we be saved, but by overcoming the belief that we are or ever have been mortal. The promise is: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."
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