In the history of civilization one of the most elevating
aspects of human culture has been religion, which has also been perverted
into the most cruel, inhuman, disruptive, and deadly divisional force ever
encountered that on several occasions nearly destroyed civilization. That's
a paradox, isn't it? I am not aiming to resolve the paradox, which hasn't
been resolved for almost five millennia. Nevertheless it is worth to look
at the paradox since the world is once again at the brink of war with
religion standing in the background, being abused to fuel the fire.
One factor stands out when one looks at the paradox, and
that factor is love. Whenever love is allowed and becomes the center of
religion, civilization flourishes. And whenever it is trashed civilization
collapses. I am not talking about the small scale privatized love here, but
the wide and universal love that puts mankind laterally side by side with
one another onto a singular platform promoting the common good, usually in
the context of a universal God whose image society see itself to bear. For
a brief period Christianity stood on that platform, a platform that was
rich in healing and short on platitudes, but which as soon perverted.
Christ Jesus had created such a platform on which God and
man were deemed one in being, which he became the Exemplar of. He defined man
as Godlike in quality and proved his assertion with his healing
power. That frightened Rome. Whatever uplifts the humanity of mankind to a
high level of worth and even god-like quality has always frightened
empires in any age. The Roman Empire killed the historic Jesus to halt the
influence of this truth. When that failed they fed the Christians to the
lions in great spectacles of gore to discredit the Christ idea. And when
this failed, they embraced Christianity and turned it upside down. They
turned it into a vertical religion that puts man at the bottom and God
(Truth) on top and far out of reach, and in-between a mediator
or messenger that tells mankind what the truth is. This task of the
messenger was theologically assigned to the Christ, and since the Roman
had killed the Christ they appointed themselves to that role of telling
mankind what the truth it. The 'empires' still play this game.
But there was woman who stood up and temporarily halted
this game. She lived more than a hundred years ago, a woman from one of
the New England States. History suggests that she might have played a
vital role in shaping the course of history itself. She gave mankind a
scientific platform for discovering the truth for itself. The New England
woman, named Mary Baker Eddy, had developed a spiritual science that
put God and mankind back onto a lateral basis, a kind of new branch of
Christianity, that she had utilized extensively herself for scientific
metaphysical healing based on clearly defined principles, of which she
said the strongest is (universal or divine) Love. She had become a
renowned healer on this basis, and more than that, she had been able to
teach others to heal likewise, and many had done so all across the world.
It wasn't until decades after her death that somebody made a profound
discovery that seemed almost unrelated. It was discovered that the
historic timeframe of her work from 1866 till her death in 1910 coincided
with the one single narrow window of peace in historic time when the
endless seeming train of war, violence, and atrocities against mankind had
stopped, and had remained stopped until 1913.
History tells us that a discontinuity occurred in 1866.
The U.S. Civil war had ended. The republic had been saved. Slavery had
been abolished. The British Opium Wars against China had ended just prior
to that time. Even the long train of history of horrors of the Spanish
Inquisition that had blacked the face of humanity since the 1400s on had
just a few years prior to this time. For 45 years a new sense of humanity
had brought peace to the world (with a few minor exceptions) and that
peace was coupled with a profound sense of universal love. A few years
after her death the halted train of war, violence, and atrocities against
mankind started to roll again and hasn't stopped since. Of course history
itself provides no empirical evidence of any connection between the 45
years of peace and her profound religion of love that became manifest in
wide-spread healing in that period, and its own possible connection with
the preceding national fight of love against slavery and the defense of
the nation against its re-enslavement to colonial rule. History provides merely a coincidence
in timing. Nevertheless it is interesting, if not useful, to take a look
at what this woman of the religion of universal love had to say on the
subject of theology since theology is being grossly abused once again for
tearing our world apart.
The following text comprises the subsection THEOLOGY in
the chapter Science, Theology, Medicine, of the book, Science and
Heath with Key to the Scriptures, written more than a hundred years
ago by America's most amazing religious leader of the late 1800s, Mary Baker
The complete text of the book
Science and Health with Key to the
is available online for free
It is also available in printed form.
Must Christian Science come through the
Christian churches as some persons insist? This Science has come already,
after the manner of God's appointing, but the churches seem not ready to
receive it, according to the Scriptural saying, "He came unto his
own, and his own received him not." Jesus once said: "I thank
Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things
from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so,
Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight." As aforetime, the spirit
of the Christ, which taketh away the ceremonies and doctrines of men, is
not accepted until the hearts of men are made ready for it.
John the Baptist, and the Messiah
The mission of Jesus confirmed prophecy,
and explained the so-called miracles of olden time as natural
demonstrations of the divine power, demonstrations which were not
understood. Jesus' works established his claim to the Messiahship. In
reply to John's inquiry, "Art thou he that should come," Jesus
returned an affirmative reply, recounting his works instead of referring
to his doctrine, confident that this exhibition of the divine power to
heal would fully answer the question. Hence his reply: "Go and show
John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their
sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the
dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And
blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." In other
words, he gave his benediction to any one who should not deny that such
effects, coming from divine Mind, prove the unity of God, - the divine
Principle which brings out all harmony.
The Pharisees of old thrust the spiritual
idea and the man who lived it out of their synagogues, and retained their
materialistic beliefs about God. Jesus' system of healing received no aid
nor approval from other sanitary or religious systems, from doctrines of
physics or of divinity; and it has not yet been generally accepted.
To-day, as of yore, unconscious of the reappearing of the spiritual idea,
blind belief shuts the door upon it, and condemns the cure of the sick and
sinning if it is wrought on any but a material and a doctrinal theory.
Anticipating this rejection of idealism, of the true idea of God, - this
salvation from all error, physical and mental, - Jesus asked, "When
the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"
Did the doctrines of John the Baptist
confer healing power upon him, or endow him with the truest conception of
the Christ? This righteous preacher once pointed his disciples to Jesus as
"the Lamb of God;" yet afterwards he seriously questioned the
signs of the Messianic appearing, and sent the inquiry to Jesus, "Art
thou he that should come?"
Faith according to works
Was John's faith greater than that of the
Samaritan woman, who said, "Is not this the Christ?" There was
also a certain centurion of whose faith Jesus himself declared, "I
have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel."
In Egypt, it was Mind which saved the
Israelites from belief in the plagues. In the wilderness, streams flowed
from the rock, and manna fell from the sky. The Israelites looked upon the
brazen serpent, and straightway believed that they were healed of the
poisonous stings of vipers. In national prosperity, miracles attended the
successes of the Hebrews; but when they departed from the true idea, their
demoralization began. Even in captivity among foreign nations, the divine
Principle wrought wonders for the people of God in the fiery furnace and
in kings' palaces.
Judaism was the antithesis of Christianity,
because Judaism engendered the limited form of a national or tribal
religion. It was a finite and material system, carried out in special
theories concerning God, man, sanitary methods, and a religious cultus.
That he made "himself equal with God," was one of the Jewish
accusations against him who planted Christianity on the foundation of
Spirit, who taught as he was inspired by the Father and would recognize no
life, intelligence, nor substance outside of God.
The Jewish conception of God, as Yawah,
Jehovah, or only a mighty hero and king, has not quite given place to the
true knowledge of God. Creeds and rituals have not cleansed their hands of
rabbinical lore. To-day the cry of bygone ages is repeated, "Crucify
him!" At every advancing step, truth is still opposed with sword and
Testimony of martyrs
The word martyr , from the
Greek, means witness ; but those who testified for Truth
were so often persecuted unto death, that at length the word martyr
was narrowed in its significance and so has come always to mean one who
suffers for his convictions. The new faith in the Christ, Truth, so roused
the hatred of the opponents of Christianity, that the followers of Christ
were burned, crucified, and otherwise persecuted; and so it came about
that human rights were hallowed by the gallows and the cross.
Absence of Christ-power
Man-made doctrines are waning. They have
not waxed strong in times of trouble. Devoid of the Christ-power, how can
they illustrate the doctrines of Christ or the miracles of grace? Denial
of the possibility of Christian healing robs Christianity of the very
element, which gave it divine force and its astonishing and unequalled
success in the first century.
Basis of miracles
The true Logos is demonstrably Christian
Science, the natural law of harmony which overcomes discord, - not because
this Science is supernatural or preternatural, nor because it is an
infraction of divine law, but because it is the immutable law of God,
good. Jesus said: "I knew that Thou hearest me always;" and he
raised Lazarus from the dead, stilled the tempest, healed the sick, walked
on the water. There is divine authority for believing in the superiority
of spiritual power over material resistance.
A miracle fulfils God's law, but does not
violate that law. This fact at present seems more mysterious than the
miracle itself. The Psalmist sang: "What ailed thee, O thou sea, that
thou fleddest? Thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back? Ye mountains, that
ye skipped like rams, and ye little hills, like lambs? Tremble, thou
earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of
Jacob." The miracle introduces no disorder, but unfolds the primal
order, establishing the Science of God's unchangeable law. Spiritual
evolution alone is worthy of the exercise of divine power.
Fear and sickness identical
The same power which heals sin heals also
sickness. This is "the beauty of holiness," that when Truth
heals the sick, it casts out evils, and when Truth casts out the evil
called disease, it heals the sick. When Christ cast out the devil of
dumbness, "it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb
spake." There is to-day danger of repeating the offence of the Jews
by limiting the Holy One of Israel and asking: "Can God furnish a
table in the wilderness?" What cannot God do?
The unity of Science and
It has been said, and truly, that
Christianity must be Science, and Science must be Christianity, else one
or the other is false and useless; but neither is unimportant or untrue,
and they are alike in demonstration. This proves the one to be identical
with the other. Christianity as Jesus taught it was not a creed, nor a
system of ceremonies, nor a special gift from a ritualistic Jehovah; but
it was the demonstration of divine Love casting out error and healing the
sick, not merely in the name of Christ, or Truth, but in
demonstration of Truth, as must be the case in the cycles of divine light.
Jesus established his church and maintained
his mission on a spiritual foundation of Christ-healing. He taught his
followers that his religion had a divine Principle, which would cast out
error and heal both the sick and the sinning. He claimed no intelligence,
action, nor life separate from God. Despite the persecution this brought
upon him, he used his divine power to save men both bodily and
The question then as now was, How did Jesus
heal the sick? His answer to this question the world rejected. He appealed
to his students: "Whom do men say that I, the Son of man, am?"
That is: Who or what is it that is thus identified with casting out evils
and healing the sick? They replied, "Some say that thou art John the
Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets."
These prophets were considered dead, and this reply may indicate that some
of the people believed that Jesus was a medium, controlled by the spirit
of John or of Elias.
This ghostly fancy was repeated by Herod
himself. That a wicked king and debauched husband should have no high
appreciation of divine Science and the great work of the Master, was not
surprising; for how could such a sinner comprehend what the disciples did
not fully understand? But even Herod doubted if Jesus was controlled by
the sainted preacher. Hence Herod's assertion: "John have I beheaded:
but who is this?" No wonder Herod desired to see the new Teacher.
The disciples apprehended their Master
better than did others; but they did not comprehend all that he said and
did, or they would not have questioned him so often. Jesus patiently
persisted in teaching and demonstrating the truth of being. His students
saw this power of Truth heal the sick, cast out evil, raise the dead; but
the ultimate of this wonderful work was not spiritually discerned, even by
them, until after the crucifixion, when their immaculate Teacher stood
before them, the victor over sickness, sin, disease, death, and the grave.
Yearning to be understood, the Master
repeated, "But whom say ye that I am?" This
renewed inquiry meant: Who or what is it that is able to do the work, so
mysterious to the popular mind? In his rejection of the answer already
given and his renewal of the question, it is plain that Jesus completely
eschewed the narrow opinion implied in their citation of the common report
A divine response
With his usual impetuosity, Simon replied
for his brethren, and his reply set forth a great fact: "Thou art the
Christ, the Son of the living God!" That is: The Messiah is what thou
hast declared, - Christ, - the spirit of God, of Truth, Life, and Love,
which heals mentally. This assertion elicited from Jesus the benediction,
"Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not
revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven;" that is,
Love hath shown thee the way of Life!
The true and living rock
Before this the impetuous disciple had been
called only by his common names, Simon Bar-jona, or son of Jona; but now
the Master gave him a spiritual name in these words: "And I say also
unto thee, That thou art Peter; and upon this rock [the meaning of the
Greek word petros , or stone ] I will
build my church; and the gates of hell [ hades , the under-world ,
or the grave ] shall not prevail against it." In
other words, Jesus purposed founding his society, not on the personal
Peter as a mortal, but on the God-power which lay behind Peter's
confession of the true Messiah.
It was now evident to Peter that divine
Life, Truth, and Love, and not a human personality, was the healer of the
sick and a rock, a firm foundation in the realm of harmony. On this
spiritually scientific basis Jesus explained his cures, which appeared
miraculous to outsiders. He showed that diseases were cast out neither by
corporeality, by materia medica , nor by hygiene, but by
the divine Spirit, casting out the errors of mortal mind. The supremacy of
Spirit was the foundation on which Jesus built. His sublime summary points
to the religion of Love.
New era in Jesus
Jesus established in the Christian era the
precedent for all Christianity, theology, and healing. Christians are
under as direct orders now, as they were then, to be Christlike, to
possess the Christ-spirit, to follow the Christ-example, and to heal the
sick as well as the sinning. It is easier for Christianity to cast out
sickness than sin, for the sick are more willing to part with pain than
are sinners to give up the sinful, so-called pleasure of the senses. The
Christian can prove this to-day as readily as it was proved centuries ago.
Our Master said to every follower: "Go
ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature! . . . Heal
the sick! . . . Love thy neighbor as thyself!" It was this theology
of Jesus which healed the sick and the sinning. It is his theology in this
book and the spiritual meaning of this theology, which heals the sick and
causes the wicked to "forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his
thoughts." It was our Master's 'theology which the impious sought to
Marvels and reformations
From beginning to end, the Scriptures are
full of accounts of the triumph of Spirit, Mind, over matter. Moses proved
the power of Mind by what men called miracles; so did Joshua, Elijah, and
Elisha. The Christian era was ushered in with signs and wonders. Reforms
have commonly been attended with bloodshed and persecution, even when the
end has been brightness and peace; but the present new, yet old, reform in
religious faith will teach men patiently and wisely to stem the tide of
sectarian bitterness, whenever it flows inward.
The decisions by vote of Church Councils as
to what should and should not be considered Holy Writ; the manifest
mistakes in the ancient versions; the thirty thousand different readings
in the Old Testament, and the three hundred thousand in the New, - these
facts show how a mortal and material sense stole into the divine record,
with its own hue darkening to some extent the inspired pages. But mistakes
could neither wholly obscure the divine Science of the Scriptures seen
from Genesis to Revelation, mar the demonstration of Jesus, nor annul the
healing by the prophets, who foresaw that "the stone which the
builders rejected" would become "the head of the corner."
Atheism, pantheism, theosophy, and
agnosticism are opposed to Christian Science, as they are to ordinary
religion; but it does not follow that the profane or atheistic invalid
cannot be healed by Christian Science. The moral condition of such a man
demands the remedy of Truth more than it is needed in most cases; and
Science is more than usually effectual in the treatment of moral ailments.
God invisible to the senses
That God is a corporeal being, nobody can
truly affirm. The Bible represents Him as saying: "Thou canst not see
My face; for there shall no man see Me, and live." Not materially but
spiritually we know Him as divine Mind, as Life, Truth, and Love. We shall
obey and adore in proportion as we apprehend the divine nature and love
Him understandingly, warring no more over the corporeality, but rejoicing
in the affluence of our God. Religion will then be of the heart and not of
the head. Mankind will no longer be tyrannical and proscriptive from lack
of love, - straining out gnats and swallowing camels.
The true worship
We worship spiritually, only as we cease to
worship materially. Spiritual devoutness is the soul of Christianity.
Worshipping through the medium of matter is paganism. Judaic and other
rituals are but types and shadows of true worship. "The true
worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth."
The Jewish tribal Jehovah was a
man-projected God, liable to wrath, repentance, and human changeableness.
The Christian Science God is universal, eternal, divine Love, which
changeth not and causeth no evil, disease, nor death. It is indeed
mournfully true that the older Scripture is reversed. In the beginning God
created man in His, God's, image; but mortals would procreate man, and
make God in their own human image. What is the god of a mortal, but a
More than profession required
This indicates the distance between the
theological and ritualistic religion of the ages and the truth preached by
Jesus. More than profession is requisite for Christian demonstration. Few
understand or adhere to Jesus' divine precepts for living and healing.
Why? Because his precepts require the disciple to cut off the right hand
and pluck out the right eye, - that is, to set aside even the most
cherished beliefs and practices, to leave all for Christ.
No ecclesiastical monopoly
All revelation (such is the popular
thought!) must come from the schools and along the line of scholarly and
ecclesiastical descent, as kings are crowned from a royal dynasty. In
healing the sick and sinning, Jesus elaborated the fact that the healing
effect followed the understanding of the divine Principle and of the
Christ-spirit which governed the corporeal Jesus. For this Principle there
is no dynasty, no ecclesiastical monopoly. Its only crowned head is
immortal sovereignty. Its only priest is the spiritualized man. The Bible
declares that all believers are made "kings and priests unto
God." The outsiders did not then, and do not now, understand this
ruling of the Christ; therefore they cannot demonstrate God's healing
power. Neither can this manifestation of Christ be comprehended, until its
divine Principle is scientifically understood.
A change demanded
The adoption of scientific religion and of
divine healing will ameliorate sin, sickness, and death. Let our pulpits
do justice to Christian Science. Let it have fair representation by the
press. Give to it the place in our institutions of learning now occupied
by scholastic theology and physiology, and it will eradicate sickness and
sin in less time than the old systems, devised for subduing them, have
required for self-establishment and propagation.
Two claims omitted
Anciently the followers of Christ, or
Truth, measured Christianity by its power over sickness, sin, and death;
but modern religions generally omit all but one of these powers, - the
power over sin. We must seek the undivided garment, the whole Christ, as
our first proof of Christianity, for Christ, Truth, alone can furnish us
with absolute evidence.
Selfishness and loss
If the soft palm, upturned to a lordly
salary, and architectural skill, making dome and spire tremulous with
beauty, turn the poor and the stranger from the gate, they at the same
time shut the door on progress. In vain do the manger and the cross tell
their story to pride and fustian. Sensuality palsies the right hand, and
causes the left to let go its grasp on the divine.
As in Jesus' time, so to-day, tyranny and
pride need to be whipped out of the temple, and humility and divine
Science to be welcomed in. The strong cords of scientific demonstration,
as twisted and wielded by Jesus, are still needed to purge the temples of
their vain traffic in worldly worship and to make them meet
dwelling-places for the Most High.