"THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH"
When Christ Jesus prophesied that the Father would send "another Comforter" to mankind, he described that Comforter as "the Spirit of truth" (see John 14). He said that the Comforter, or Holy Ghost, would bring to remembrance all that he had said. And then he gave this benediction: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." Our Master foresaw the spiritual peace which would accompany the understanding of the truth he taught and lived.
Christian Science fulfills the Master's prophecy, which implies that both the letter and the spirit of the Science of Life must be known. Students often grasp quickly the letter of this Science but find themselves wondering what they lack when healings do not follow their affirmations of Truth. Mary Baker Eddy makes clear what is needed when she writes in "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 130), "The spirit of Truth is the lever which elevates mankind."
The letter of Science aids one in attaining the spirit of Truth, because the correct letter acts as a discipline to keep thought in accord with the spiritual facts of God and His creation. Accuracy of letter is consequently essential to spiritual unfoldment; it reverses false education and provides right reasoning. But it is through the spirit of Christliness that one comes to define reality and to separate the eternal creation of God from the temporal dream of material sense. When the spirit of Truth is attained, spiritual peace enfolds one; and one should persist in prayer until that peace is felt. Then healing follows.
Christ Jesus once healed an epileptic boy after his disciples failed to do so, and he explained (Mark 9:29), "This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting." Perhaps this experience was an instance in which failure to heal was the result of a lack of the spirit of Truth. Mrs. Eddy interprets the Master's words regarding prayer and fasting to mean refraining from admitting the claims of the physical senses (see Miscellany, p. 222).
Christian Science does not ignore the claims of the material senses, but it insists that there is in reality no claim of evil. Because God is All, as the Bible and Science reveal, there can be nothing outside of that allness. One often finds it essential to take up the arguments of material sense and reverse them specifically. But this scientific process can lead only to one conclusion—the fact that there is no claim of error. God is All, and man is His perfect image, untouched by any phase of mortal belief. As one takes the stand that there is no claim of evil, he gains the spirituality which heals the sick and sinful; he attains the reflection of the spirit of Truth.
One may believe himself or another to have demonstrated great spirituality. One may assume that withdrawing from the human scene is spirituality, that refraining from controversy or maintaining peaceable sentiments is the measure of the spirit of Truth one should reflect. But Christian Science makes great demands on spirituality. It calls for the bold facing of the enemy—the belief of life and intelligence in matter. Mrs. Eddy expressed great spirituality when she faced and denounced false theological concepts and pointed to spiritual truths, which are slowly but surely replacing erroneous theories of God and man. The measure of her spirituality was the courage with which she drove her points home, sealing their authority by the healings she accomplished.
In humility our Leader could say in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 241), "The substance of all devotion is the reflection and demonstration of divine Love, healing sickness and destroying sin." Mrs. Eddy closely followed the Master in her insistence upon works, which alone give proof of spirituality.
The spirituality that manifests "the Spirit of truth" includes not only purity but strength and power. Such spirituality is always found in the front ranks of those who endeavor to make a full demonstration of Christianity as Christian Science unfolds it. We know when we are reflecting the spirit of Truth by our ability to prove that there is no claim of evil and that Spirit alone has power.
In the twelfth chapter of II Corinthians, Paul touches modestly upon the visions and revelations he received when "he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words." But Paul did not glory in his exaltation; instead, he took pleasure in his infirmities, because his infirmities led him to greater demonstrations of the power of Christ. He desired above all else to prove his spirituality. Mrs. Eddy says in "Miscellaneous Writings" (pp. 201, 202), "Go to the bedside of pain, and there you can demonstrate the triumph of good that has pleasure in infirmities; because it illustrates through the flesh the divine power of Spirit, and reaches the basis of all supposed miracles."
Christ Jesus demonstrated man's absolute spirituality so that all men could realize what proof of sonship with God entails. Through Christian Science one finds that he does not create spirituality, but unveils it. He does not adopt goodness, but realizes it as inherent in his real selfhood. He does not manifest personal power to heal, but demonstrates the ability of Christliness to express God's will.
"The Spirit of truth," which spirituality evidences, is what the world needs if its controversies and inharmonies are to be silenced. In the atmosphere of true spirituality discords disappear, differences of interest dissolve. Christian Science shows one how to gain and how to impart that atmosphere; how to prove that the Comforter has come in its fullness and that the reign of eternal peace is at hand.
Helen Wood Bauman