It is related that at one time Michelangelo called at the studio of Raphael, and finding his friend absent, examined the canvasses that were in the room. An unfinished picture on an easel attracted his attention, and feeling that the subject was being handled in too small a way, he wrote on a paper, with significant meaning, the one word, "Larger," placed it beside the picture and went away.
Christian Science is awaking millions to realize for the first time that they are painting on life's canvas with strokes too small, and have been studying a model too limited. Because each thought paints after its kind, self-loving, discordant, flesh entwined thoughts must portray their warped and painful likenesses upon the body and its affairs. With its divine demand of "Larger," Christian Science turns men to the study of the Christ-model, the man of Mind's knowing, and teaches them how, with bold strokes of moral courage, alertness, diligence, and selflessness, to reproduce this perfect model in all its purity and sublimity upon the canvas of experience.
That individual does not merely exist, but lives, who questions his thought models to see if they are good enough to endure throughout eternity, and if not, discards them as unfit for to-day. He walks on the same earth with the small and commonplace thinker, but he lives in a wholly different mental world and sees entirely different views, for the thoughts of the one are self-centered and bound, while the thoughts of the other are God-centered and free; one gazes at the dismal, cramped objects of material sense, while the other perceives the limitless beauty and joy of spiritual sense.
The larger thinker is often asked what is the secret of his joy. Is it happy surroundings? Pleasant circumstances? Money? Friends? No. The larger thinker lives outside the narrow limits of human circumstances and environment. Moment by moment during his busy day, he turns his thought from the fleeting to the permanent, from the mutable to the immutable, from the personal to the impersonal, from the unillumined to the inspirational. By such thought-steps he rises from earth to heaven,—to that spiritually mental height from which the imprisoned John beheld the new heaven and the new earth; and all the combinations of suppositional error can never prevent his ascent nor blind his vision of the real. The old epigram rebukes the one
"Who, born for the universe, narrow'd his mind,
And to party gave up what was meant for mankind."
We are all born for the universe, because created by limitless Mind; and everything that we have belongs to Mind. The moment one becomes self-mesmerized by the belief that his house, his time, his talents, or in fact anything that he has belongs to himself, he becomes circumscribed and small, soon to grow as useless and unlovely as a parched desert. What a change, however, when he awakes from the stupor of self-bound interests and realizes that it is his duty, his privilege, his joy, to use his time, his talents, his income, his every thought, for others. At this moment he becomes one with the law of expansion, one with the law of opportunity, and a clearer thinker, a more efficient doer; one whom God can use appears; the one-time barren consciousness, now irrigated by the streams of sacred purpose and selfless love, yields abundantly the fruits of health, usefulness, and joy.
May the one who is looking to Christian Science for healing learn the deep necessity for a broader view of God, man, life, all things; for health and true largeness walk hand in hand. Sickness is made of matter-bound thinkings, of impatience, disappointment, fear, self-will,—in short, the minutiae of unillumined mentality. Health can never be found in pulse-taking, matter-watching, or self-loving, for man is not a flesh-dweller, but a limitless, free idea, living in glad activity in the infinitude of Mind. Both his interests and his desires are broad because they originate in God.
If one loses the true idea of himself in the compressed beliefs of human selfhood, the mists of dis-ease blind his eyes, and he must make his way to health by the illumination of enlarged thinking and loving, especially by loving. He must desire to overcome error for the whole world's sake. As he thus lives for humanity and prays for humanity, he will feel the vigor and glow of divine health pouring through every avenue of his being, for he is now in true relation to the boundless source of good. Who is not ready to turn from the useless trifles that moth and rust corrupt, to learn to think with the dominion and grandeur of that Mind "which was also in Christ Jesus;" where he sees, as Mrs. Eddy says (Pulpit and Press, p. 87 ), that "more effectual than the forum are our states of mind, to bless mankind."
There is nothing so joyous, so health giving, so important, or imperative as to bless mankind, and to have for one's precious purpose to allow no thought to abide in his consciousness that will not bless and heal. The larger thinker rises to this holy task each morning, with newness of vigor and determined obedience. It is this sweet ideal treasured in his heart which enables him to lift his work and the thoughts of all who meet him into the bigness of good, away from the local to the universal. Patiently, constantly, the Leader of Christian Science endeavored to rouse in the hearts of all this largeness of living. Yearning for the members of The Mother Church to dwell in unceasing devotion to humanity, Mrs. Eddy included in the prayer which she declared it should be the duty of the members to pray daily, "May Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!" (Manual, Art. VIII, Sect. 4 ). Humanity was never for a moment forgotten by this faithful servant of all. She kept her loving arms around the whole world, as tenderly praying for it as a mother for her child. May we, her followers, cast away from us each nonessential, each self-bound aim, each thought that does not manifest the largeness of infinite being, and drink, as she did, from the cup of universal love.
Through the mountains and valleys of human consciousness sounds the call of Christian Science: "Larger." And it will continue to call until each ear deafened by the clamor of materiality is unstopped. It is awakening the sleeper, idly dreaming of pleasure in matter and the indulgence of self, to the joy of overcoming the world for humanity's sake. It is arousing each hearer to shake off the moth-eaten robes of petty purposes, the warped beliefs of human disposition and temperament, with all its erratic likes and dislikes, the finite illusions of human history, with its myths of flesh inheritance, all the cramped and compressed sorrows and dreads of self-living, to perceive the immensity and glory of life in God. Here in the largeness of awakened being one finds man, whose home is the household of God, whose family includes all God's children, whose country is the presence of living Love,—man, born of the infinite, whose life is limitless and indestructible, whose intelligence is boundless and inexhaustible, whose purpose and destiny are divine.