Caution in the Truth
Perhaps no doctrine of Christian Science rouses so much natural doubt and
questioning as this, that God knows no such thing as sin. Indeed, this may be
set down as one of the "things hard to be understood," such as the
apostle Peter declared were taught by his fellowapostle Paul, "which they
that are unlearned and unstable wrest . . . unto their own destruction." (2
Peter iii. 16.)
Let us then reason together on this important subject, whose statement in
Christian Science may justly be characterized as ^wonderful^.
^Does God know or behold sin, sickness, and death?^
The nature and character of God is so little apprehended and demonstrated by
mortals, that I counsel my students to defer this infinite inquiry, in their
discussions of Christian Science. In fact, they had better leave the subject
untouched, until they draw nearer to the divine character, and are practically
able to testify, by their lives, that as they come closer to the true
understanding of God they lose all sense of error.
The Scriptures declare that God is too pure to behold iniquity (Habakkuk i.
13); but they also declare that God pitieth them who fear Him; that there is no
place where His voice is not heard; that He is "a very present help in
The sinner has no refuge from sin, except in God, who is his salvation. We
must, however, realize God's presence, power, and love, in order to be saved
from sin. This realization takes away man's fondness for sin and his pleasure in
it; and, lastly, it removes the pain which accrues to him from it. Then follows
this, as the ^finale^ in Science: The sinner loses his sense of sin, and gains a
higher sense of God, in whom there is no sin.
The true man, really ^saved^, is ready to testify of God in the infinite
penetration of Truth, and can affirm that the Mind which is good, or God, has no
knowledge of sin.
In the same manner the sick lose their sense of sickness, and gain that
spiritual sense of harmony which contains neither discord nor disease.
According to this same rule, in divine Science, the dying--if they die in the
Lord--awake from a sense of death to a sense of Life in Christ, with a knowledge
of Truth and Love beyond what they possessed before; because their lives have
grown so far toward the stature of manhood in Christ Jesus, that they are ready
for a spiritual transfiguration, through their affections and under-
Those who reach this transition, called ^death^, without having rightly
improved the lessons of this primary school of mortal existence,--and still
believe in matter's reality, pleasure, and pain,--are not ready to understand
immortality. Hence they awake only to another sphere of experience, and must
pass through another probationary state before it can be truly said of them:
"Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord."
They upon whom the second death, of which we read in the Apocalypse
(Revelation xx. 6), hath no power, are those who have obeyed God's commands, and
have washed their robes white through the sufferings of the flesh and the
triumphs of Spirit. Thus they have reached the goal in divine Science, by
knowing Him in whom they have believed. This knowledge is not the forbidden
fruit of sin, sickness, and death, but it is the fruit which grows on the
"tree of life." This is the understanding of God, whereby man is found
in the image and likeness of good, not of evil; of health, not of sickness; of
Life, not of death.
God is All-in-all. Hence He is in Himself only, in His own nature and
character, and is perfect being, or consciousness. He is all the Life and Mind
there is or can be. Within Himself is every embodiment of Life and Mind.
If He is All, He can have no consciousness of anything unlike Himself;
because, if He is omnipresent, there can be nothing outside of Himself.
Now this self-same God is our helper. He pities us. He has mercy upon us, and
guides every event of our careers. He is near to them who adore Him. To
understand Him, without a single taint of our mortal, finite sense of sin,
sickness, or death, is to approach Him and become like Him.
Truth is God, and in God's law. This law declares that Truth is All, and
there is no error. This law of Truth destroys every phase of error. To gain a
temporary consciousness of God's law is to feel, in a certain finite human
sense, that God comes to us and pities us; but the attainment of the
understanding of His presence, through the Science of God, destroys our sense of
imperfection, or of His absence, through a diviner sense that God is all true
consciousness; and this convinces us that, as we get still nearer Him, we must
forever lose our own consciousness of error.
But how could we lose all consciousness of error, if God be conscious of it?
God has not forbidden man to know Him; on the contrary, the Father bids man have
the same Mind "which was also in Christ Jesus,"--which was certainly
the divine Mind; but God does forbid man's acquaintance with evil. Why? Because
evil is no part of the divine knowledge.
John's Gospel declares (xvii. 3) that "life eternal" consists in
the knowledge of the only true God, and of Jesus Christ, whom He has sent.
Surely from such an understanding of Science, such knowing, the vision of sin is
Nevertheless, at the present crude hour, no wise men or women will rudely or
prematurely agitate a theme involving the All of infinity.
Rather will they rejoice in the small understanding they have already gained
of the wholeness of Deity, and work gradually and gently up toward the perfect
thought divine. This meekness will increase their apprehension of God, because
their mental struggles and pride of opinion will proportionately diminish.
Every one should be encouraged not to accept any personal opinion on so great
a matter, but to seek the divine Science of this question of Truth by following
upward individual convictions, undisturbed by the frightened sense of any need
of attempting to solve every Life-problem in a day.
"Great is the mystery of godliness," says Paul; and ^mystery^
involves the unknown. No stubborn purpose to force conclusions on this subject
will unfold in us a higher sense of Deity; neither will it promote the Cause of
Truth or enlighten the individual thought.
Let us respect the rights of conscience and the liberty of the sons of God,
so letting our "moderation be known to all men." Let no enmity, no
untempered controversy, spring up between Christian Science students and
Christians who wholly or partially differ from them as to the nature of sin and
the marvellous unity of man with God shadowed forth in scientific thought.
Rather let the stately goings of this wonderful part of Truth be left to the
"These are but parts of Thy ways," says Job; and the whole is
greater than its parts. Our present understanding is but "the seed within
itself," for it is divine Science, "bearing fruit after its
Sooner or later the whole human race will learn that, in proportion as the
spotless selfhood of God is understood, human nature will be renovated, and man
will receive a higher selfhood, derived from God, and the redemption of mortals
from sin, sickness, and death be established on everlasting foundations.
The Science of physical harmony, as now presented to the people in divine
light, is radical enough to promote as forcible collisions of thought as the age
has strength to bear. Until the heavenly law of health, according to Christian
Science, is firmly grounded, even the thinkers are not prepared to answer
intelligently leading questions about God and sin, and the world is far from
ready to assimilate such a grand and all-absorbing verity concerning the divine
nature and character as is embraced in the theory of God's blindness to error
and ignorance of sin. No wise mother, though a graduate of Wellesley College,
will talk to her babe about the problems of Euclid.
Not much more than a half-century ago the assertion of universal salvation
provoked discussion and horror, similar to what our declarations about sin and
Deity must arouse, if hastily pushed to the front while the platoons of
Christian Science are not yet thoroughly drilled in the plainer manual of their
spiritual armament. "Wait patiently on the Lord;" and in less than
another fifty years His name will be magnified in the apprehension of this new
subject, as already He is glorified in the wide extension of belief in the
impartial grace of God,--shown by the changes at Andover Seminary and in
multitudes of other religious folds.
Nevertheless, though I thus speak, and from my heart of hearts, it is due
both to Christian Science and myself to make also the following statement: When
I have most clearly seen and most sensibly felt that the infinite recognizes no
disease, this has not separated me from God, but has so bound me to Him as to
enable me instantaneously to heal a cancer which had eaten its way to the
In the same spiritual condition I have been able to replace dislocated joints
and raise the dying to instantaneous health. People are now living who can bear
witness to these cures. Herein is my evidence, from on high, that the views here
promulgated on this subject are correct.
Certain self-proved propositions pour into my waiting thought in connection
with these experiences; and here is one such conviction: that an acknowledgment
of the perfection of the infinite Unseen confers a power nothing else can. An
incontestable point in divine Science is, that because God is All, a realization
of this fact dispels even the sense or consciousness of sin, and brings us
nearer to God, bringing out the highest phenomena of the All-Mind.
Seedtime and Harvest
Let another query now be considered, which gives much trouble to many earnest
thinkers before Science answers it.
^Is anything real of which the physical senses are cognizant?^
Everything is as real as you make it, and no more so. What you see, hear,
feel, is a mode of consciousness, and can have no other reality than the sense
you entertain of it.
It is dangerous to rest upon the evidence of the senses, for this evidence is
not absolute, and therefore not real, in our sense of the word. All that is
beautiful and good in your individual consciousness is permanent. That which is
not so is illusive and fading. My insistence upon a proper understanding of the
unreality of matter and evil arises from their deleterious effects, physical,
moral, and intellectual, upon the race.
All forms of error are uprooted in Science, on the same basis whereby
sickness is healed,--namely, by the establishment, through reason, revelation,
and Science, of the nothingness of every claim of error, even the doctrine of
heredity and other physical causes. You demonstrate the process of Science, and
it proves my view conclusively, that mortal mind is the cause of all disease.
Destroy the mental sense of the disease, and the disease itself disappears.
Destroy the sense of sin, and sin itself disappears.
Material and sensual consciousness are mortal. Hence they must, some time and
in some way, be reckoned unreal. That time has partially come, or my words would
not have been spoken. Jesus has made the way plain, --so plain that all are
without excuse who walk not in it; but this way is not the path of physical
science, human philosophy, or mystic psychology.
The talent and genius of the centuries have wrongly reckoned. They have not
based upon revelation their arguments and conclusions as to the source and
resources of being,--its combinations, phenomena, and outcome, --but have built
instead upon the sand of human reason. They have not accepted the simple
teaching and life of Jesus as the only true solution of the perplexing problem
of human existence.
Sometimes it is said, by those who fail to understand me, that I
^monopolize^; and this is said because ideas akin to mine have been held by a
few spiritual thinkers in all ages. So they have, but in a far different form.
Healing has gone on continually; yet healing, as I teach it, has not been
practised since the days of Christ.
What is the cardinal point of the difference in my metaphysical system? This:
that ^by knowing the unreality of^ ^disease, sin, and death^, you demonstrate
the allness of God. This difference wholly separates my system from all others.
The reality of these so-called existences I deny, because they are not to be
found in God, and this system is built on Him as the sole cause. It would be
difficult to name any previous teachers, save Jesus and his apostles, who have
If there be any ^monopoly^ in my teaching, it lies in this utter reliance
upon the one God, to whom belong all things.
Life is God, or Spirit, the supersensible eternal. The universe and man are
the spiritual phenomena of this one infinite Mind. Spiritual phenomena never
converge toward aught but infinite Deity. Their gradations are spiritual and
divine; they cannot collapse, or lapse into their opposites, for God is their
divine Principle. They live, because He lives; and they are eternally perfect,
because He is perfect, and governs them in the Truth of divine Science, whereof
God is the Alpha and Omega, the centre and circumference.
To attempt the calculation of His mighty ways, from the evidence before the
material senses, is fatuous. It is like commencing with the minus sign, to learn
the principle of positive mathematics.
God was not in the whirlwind. He is not the blind force of a material
universe. Mortals must learn this; unless, pursued by their fears, they would
endeavor to hide from His presence under their own falsities, and call in vain
for the mountains of unholiness to shield them from the penalty of error.
Jesus taught us to walk ^over^, not ^into^ or ^with^, the currents of matter,
or mortal mind. His teachings beard the lions in their dens. He turned the water
into wine, he commanded the winds, he healed the sick,--all in direct opposition
to human philosophy and so-called natural science. He annulled the laws of
matter, showing them to be laws of mortal mind, not of God. He showed the need
of changing this mind and its abortive laws. He demanded a change of
consciousness and evidence, and effected this change through the higher laws of
God. The palsied hand moved, despite the boastful sense of physical law and
order. Jesus stooped not to human consciousness, nor to the evidence of the
senses. He heeded not the taunt, "That withered hand looks very real and
feels very real;" but he cut off this vain boasting and destroyed human
pride by taking away the material evidence. If his patient was a theologian of
some bigoted sect, a physician, or a professor of natural philosophy,--according
to the ruder sort then prevalent,--he never thanked Jesus for restoring his
senseless hand; but neither red tape nor indignity hindered the divine process.
Jesus required neither cycles of time nor thought in order to mature fitness for
perfection and its possibilities. He said that the kingdom of heaven is here,
and is included in Mind; that while ye say, There are yet four months, and
^then^ cometh the harvest, I say, Look up, not down, for your fields are already
white for the harvest; and gather the harvest by mental, not material processes.
The laborers are few in this vineyard of Mind-sowing and reaping; but let them
apply to the waiting grain the curving sickle of Mind's eternal circle, and bind
it with bands of Soul.
The Deep Things of God
Science reverses the evidence of the senses in theology, on the same
principle that it does in astronomy. Popular theology makes God tributary to
man, coming at human call; whereas the reverse is true in Science. Men must
approach God reverently, doing their own work in obedience to divine law, if
they would fulfil the intended harmony of being.
The principle of music knows nothing of discord. God is harmony's selfhood.
His universal laws, His unchangeableness, are not infringed in ethics any more
than in music. To Him there is no moral inharmony; as we shall learn,
proportionately as we gain the true understanding of Deity. If God could be
conscious of sin, His infinite power would straightway reduce the universe to
If God has any real knowledge of sin, sickness, and death, they must be
eternal; since He is, in the very fibre of His being, "without beginning of
years or end of days." If God knows that which is not permanent, it follows
that He knows something which He must learn to ^unknow^, for the benefit of our
Such a view would bring us upon an outworn theological platform, which
contains such planks as the divine repentance, and the belief that God must one
day do His work over again, because it was not at first done aright.
Can it be seriously held, by any thinker, that long after God made the
universe,--earth, man, animals, plants, the sun, the moon, and "the stars
also,"--He should so gain wisdom and power from past experience that He
could vastly improve upon His own previous work,--as Burgess, the boatbuilder,
remedies in the Volunteer the shortcomings of the Puritan's model?
Christians are commanded to ^grow in grace^. Was it necessary for God to grow
in grace, that He might rectify His spiritual universe? The Jehovah of limited
Hebrew faith might need repentance, because His created children proved sinful;
but the New Testament tells us of "the Father of lights, with whom is no
variableness, neither shadow of turning." God is not the shifting vane on
the spire, but the corner-stone of living rock, firmer than everlasting hills.
As God is Mind, if this Mind is familiar with evil, all cannot be good
therein. Our infinite model would be taken away. What is in eternal Mind must be
reflected in man, Mind's image. How then could man escape, or hope to escape,
from a knowledge which is everlasting in his creator?
God never said that man would become better by learning to distinguish evil
from good,--but the contrary, that by this knowledge, by man's first
disobedience, came "death into the world, and all our woe."
"Shall mortal man be more just than God?" asks the poet-patriarch.
May men rid themselves of an incubus which God never can throw off? Do mortals
know more than God, that they may declare Him absolutely cognizant of sin?
God created all things, and pronounced them good. Was evil among these good
things? Man is God's child and image. If God knows evil, so must man, or the
likeness is incomplete, the image marred. If man must be destroyed by the
knowledge of evil, then his destruction comes through the very knowledge caught
from God, and the creature is punished for his likeness to his creator.
God is commonly called the ^sinless^, and man the ^sinful^; but if the
thought of sin could be possible in Deity, would Deity then be sinless? Would
God not of necessity take precedence as the infinite sinner, and human sin
become only an echo of the divine?
Such vagaries are to be found in heathen religious history. There are, or
have been, devotees who worship not the good Deity, who will not harm them, but
the bad deity, who seeks to do them mischief, and whom therefore they wish to
bribe with prayers into quiescence, as a criminal appeases, with a money-bag,
the venal officer.
Surely this is no Christian worship! In Christianity, man bows to the
infinite perfection which he is bidden to imitate. In Truth, such terms as
^divine sin^ and ^infinite^ ^sinner^ are unheard-of
contradictions,--absurdities; but ^would^ they be sheer nonsense, if God has, or
can have, a real knowledge of sin?
Ways Higher than Our Ways
A lie has only one chance of successful deception,--to be accounted true.
Evil seeks to fasten all error upon God, and so make the lie seem part of
Emerson says, "Hitch your wagon to a star." I say, Be allied to the
deific power, and all that is good will aid your journey, as the stars in their
courses fought against Sisera. (Judges v. 20.) Hourly, in Christian Science, man
thus weds himself with God, or rather he ratifies a union predestined from all
eternity; but evil ties its wagonload of offal to the divine chariots,--or seeks
so to do,--that its vileness may be christened purity, and its darkness get
consolation from borrowed scintillations.
Jesus distinctly taught the arrogant Pharisees that, from the beginning,
their father, the devil, was the would-be murderer of Truth. A right
apprehension of the wonderful utterances of him who "spake as never man
spake," would despoil error of its borrowed plumes, and transform the
universe into a home of marvellous light,--"a consummation devoutly to be
Error says God must know evil because He knows all things; but Holy Writ
declares God told our first parents that in the day when they should partake of
the fruit of evil, they must surely die. Would it not absurdly follow that God
must perish, if He knows evil and evil necessarily leads to extinction? Rather
let us think of God as saying, I am infinite good; therefore I know not evil.
Dwelling in light, I can see only the brightness of My own glory.
Error may say that God can never save man from sin, if He knows and sees it
not; but God says, I am too pure to behold iniquity, and destroy everything that
is unlike Myself.
Many fancy that our heavenly Father reasons thus: If pain and sorrow were not
in My mind, I could not remedy them, and wipe the tears from the eyes of My
children. Error says you must know grief in order to console it. Truth, God,
says you oftenest console others in troubles that you have not. Is not our
comforter always from outside and above ourselves?
God says, I show My pity through divine law, not through human. It is My
sympathy with and My knowledge of harmony (not inharmony) which alone enable Me
to rebuke, and eventually destroy, every supposition of discord.
Error says God must know death in order to strike at its root; but God saith,
I am ever-conscious Life, and thus I conquer death; for to be ever conscious of
Life is to be never conscious of death. I am All. A knowledge of aught beside
Myself is impossible.
If such knowledge of evil were possible to God, it would lower His rank.
With God, ^knowledge^ is necessarily ^foreknowledge^; and ^foreknowledge^ and
^foreordination^ must be one, in an infinite Being. What Deity ^foreknows^,
Deity must ^fore^^ordain^; else He is not omnipotent, and, like ourselves, He
foresees events which are contrary to His creative will, yet which He cannot
If God knows evil at all, He must have had foreknowledge thereof; and if He
foreknew it, He must virtually have intended it, or ordered it
aforetime,--foreordained it; else how could it have come into the world?
But this we cannot believe of God; for if the supreme good could predestine
or foreknow evil, there would be sin in Deity, and this would be the end of
infinite moral unity. "If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness,
how great is that darkness!" On the contrary, evil is only a delusive
deception, without any actuality which Truth can know.
How is a mistake to be rectified? By reversal or revision,--by seeing it in
its proper light, and then turning it or turning from it.
We undo the statements of error by reversing them.
Through these three statements, or misstatements, evil comes into
^First^: The Lord created it.
^Second^: The Lord knows it.
^Third^: I am afraid of it.
By a reverse process of argument evil must be dethroned:--
^First^: God never made evil.
^Second^: He knows it not.
^Third^: We therefore need not fear it.
Try this process, dear inquirer, and so reach that perfect Love which "casteth
out fear," and then see if this Love does not destroy in you all hate and
the sense of evil. You will awake to the perception of God as All-in-all. You
will find yourself losing the knowledge and the operation of sin, proportionably
as you realize the divine infinitude and believe that He can see nothing outside
of His own focal distance.
In Romans (ii. 15) we read the apostle's description of mental processes
wherein human thoughts are "the mean while accusing or else excusing one
another." If we observe our mental processes, we shall find that we are
perpetually arguing with ourselves; yet each mortal is not two personalities,
In like manner good and evil talk to one another; yet they are not two but
one, for evil is naught, and good only is reality.
^Evil^. God hath said, "Ye shall eat of every tree of the garden."
If you do not, your intellect will be circumscribed and the evidence of your
personal senses be denied. This would antagonize individual consciousness and
^Good^. The Lord is God. With Him is no consciousness of evil, because there
is nothing beside Him or outside of Him. Individual consciousness in man is
inseparable from good. There is no sensible matter, no sense in matter; but
there is a spiritual sense, a sense of Spirit, and this is the only
consciousness belonging to true individuality, or a divine sense of being.
^Evil^. Why is this so?
^Good^. Because man is made after God's eternal likeness, and this likeness
consists in a sense of harmony and immortality, in which no evil can possibly
dwell. You may eat of the fruit of Godlikeness, but as to the fruit of
ungodliness, which is opposed to Truth,--ye shall not touch it, lest ye die.
^Evil^. But I would taste and know error for myself.
^Good^. Thou shalt not admit that error is something to know or be known, to
eat or be eaten, to see or be seen, to feel or be felt. To admit the existence
of error would be to admit the truth of a lie.
^Evil^. But there is something besides good. God knows that a knowledge of
this something is essential to happiness and life. A lie is as genuine as Truth,
though not so legitimate a child of God. Whatever exists must come from God, and
be important to our knowledge. Error, even, is His offspring.
^Good^. Whatever cometh not from the eternal Spirit, has its origin in the
physical senses and material brains, called ^human intellect^ and
^will-power,--alias^ intelligent matter.
In Shakespeare's tragedy of King Lear, it was the traitorous and cruel
treatment received by old Gloster from his bastard son Edmund which makes true
The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
Make instruments to scourge us.
His lawful son, Edgar, was to his father ever loyal. Now God has no bastards
to turn again and rend their Maker. The divine children are born of law and
order, and Truth knows only such.
How well the Shakespearean tale agrees with the word of Scripture, in Hebrews
xii. 7, 8: "If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for
what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without
chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not
The doubtful or spurious evidence of the senses is not to be
admitted,--especially when they testify concerning Spirit, whereof they are
confessedly incompetent to speak.
^Evil^. But mortal mind and sin really exist!
^Good^. How can they exist, unless God has created them? And how can He
create anything so wholly unlike Himself and foreign to His nature? An evil
material mind, so-called, can conceive of God only as like itself, and knowing
both evil and good; but a purely good and spiritual consciousness has no sense
whereby to cognize evil. Mortal mind is the opposite of immortal Mind, and sin
the opposite of goodness. I am the infinite All. From me proceedeth all Mind,
all consciousness, all individuality, all being. My Mind is divine good, and
cannot drift into evil. To believe in minds many is to depart from the supreme
sense of harmony. Your assumptions insist that there is more than the one Mind,
more than the one God; but verily I say unto you, God is All-in-all; and you can
never be outside of His oneness.
^Evil^. I am a finite consciousness, a material individuality,--a mind in
matter, which is both evil and good.
^Good^. All consciousness is Mind; and Mind is God,--an infinite, and not a
finite consciousness. This consciousness is reflected in individual
consciousness, or man, whose source is infinite Mind. There is no really finite
mind, no finite consciousness. There is no material substance, for Spirit is all
that endureth, and hence is the only substance. There is, can be, no evil mind,
because Mind is God. God and His ideas--that is, God and the
universe--constitute all that exists. Man, as God's offspring, must be
spiritual, perfect, eternal.
^Evil^. I am something separate from good or God. I am substance. My mind is
more than matter. In my mortal mind, matter becomes conscious, and is able to
see, taste, hear, feel, smell. Whatever matter thus affirms is mainly correct.
If you, O good, deny this, then I deny your truthfulness. If you say that matter
is unconscious, you stultify my intellect, insult my conscience, and dispute
self-evident facts; for nothing can be clearer than the testimony of the five
^Good^. Spirit is the only substance. Spirit is God, and God is good; hence
good is the only substance, the only Mind. Mind is not, cannot be, in matter. It
sees, hears, feels, tastes, smells as Mind, and not as matter. Matter cannot
talk; and hence, whatever it appears to say of itself is a lie. This lie, that
Mind can be in matter,--claiming to be something beside God, denying Truth and
its demonstration in Christian Science,--this lie I declare an illusion. This
denial enlarges the human intellect by removing its evidence from sense to Soul,
and from finiteness into infinity. It honors conscious human individuality by
showing God as its source.
^Evil^. I am a creator,--but upon a material, not a spiritual basis. I give
life, and I can destroy life.
^Good^. Evil is not a creator. God, good, is the only creator. Evil is not
conscious or conscientious Mind; it is not individual, not actual. Evil is not
spiritual, and therefore has no groundwork in Life, whose only source is Spirit.
The elements which belong to the eternal All,--Life, Truth, Love,--evil can
never take away.
^Evil^. I am intelligent matter; and matter is egoistic, having its own
innate selfhood and the capacity to evolve mind. God is in matter, and matter
reproduces God. From Him come my forms, near or remote. This is my honor, that
God is my author, authority, governor, disposer. I am proud to be in His
outstretched hands, and I shirk all responsibility for myself as evil, and for
my varying manifestations.
^Good^. You mistake, O evil! God is not your authority and law. Neither is He
the author of the material changes, the ^phantasma^, a belief in which leads to
such teaching as we find in the hymn-verse so often sung in church:--
Chance and change are busy ever,
Man decays and ages move;
But His mercy waneth never,--
God is wisdom, God is love.
Now if it be true that God's power ^never waneth^, how can it be also true
that ^chance^ and ^change^ are universal factors,--that ^man decays^? Many
ordinary Christians protest against this stanza of Bowring's, and its sentiment
is foreign to Christian Science. If God be ^changeless good^^ness^, as sings
another line of this hymn, what place has ^chance^ in the divine economy? Nay,
there is in God naught fantastic. All is real, all is serious. The
phantasmagoria is a product of human dreams.
From various friends comes inquiry as to the meaning of a word employed in
the foregoing colloquy.
There are two English words, often used as if they were synonyms, which
really have a shade of difference between them.
An ^egotist^ is one who talks much of himself. ^Egotism^ implies vanity and
^Egoism^ is a more philosophical word, signifying a passionate love of self,
which doubts all existence except its own. An ^egoist^, therefore, is one
uncertain of everything except his own existence. Applying these distinctions to
evil and God, we shall find that evil is ^egotistic^,--boastful, but fleeing
like a shadow at daybreak; while God is ^egoistic^, knowing only His own
all-presence, all-knowledge, all-power.
We read in the Hebrew Scriptures, "The soul that sinneth, it shall
What is Soul? Is it a reality within the mortal body? Who can prove that?
Anatomy has not descried nor described Soul. It was never touched by the scalpel
nor cut with the dissecting-knife. The five physical senses do not cognize it.
Who, then, dares define Soul as something within man? As well might you
declare some old castle to be peopled with demons or angels, though never a
light or form was discerned therein, and not a spectre had ever been seen going
in or coming out.
The common hypotheses about souls are even more vague than ordinary material
conjectures, and have less basis; because material theories are built on the
evidence of the material senses. Soul must be God; since we learn Soul only as
we learn God, by spiritualization. As the five senses take no cognizance of
Soul, so they take no cognizance of God. Whatever cannot be taken in by mortal
mind--by human reflection, reason, or belief--must be the unfathomable Mind,
which "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard." Soul stands in this relation
to every hypothesis as to its human character.
If Soul sins, it is a sinner, and Jewish law condemned the sinner to
death,--as does all criminal law, to a certain extent.
Spirit never sins, because Spirit is God. Hence, as Spirit, Soul is sinless,
and is God. Therefore there is, there can be, no spiritual death.
Transcending the evidence of the material senses, Science declares God to be
the Soul of all being, the only Mind and intelligence in the universe. There is
but one God, one Soul, or Mind, and that one is infinite, supplying all that is
absolutely immutable and eternal,--Truth, Life, Love.
Science reveals Soul as that which the senses cannot define from any
standpoint of their own. What the physical senses miscall soul, Christian
Science defines as material sense; and herein lies the discrepancy between the
true Science of Soul and that material sense of a soul which that very sense
declares can never be seen or measured or weighed or touched by physicality.
Often we can elucidate the deep meaning of the Scriptures by reading ^sense^
instead of ^soul^, as in the Fortysecond Psalm: "Why art thou cast down, O
my soul [sense]? . . . Hope thou in God [Soul]: for I shall yet praise Him, who
is the health of my countenance, and my God [my Soul, immortality]."
The Virgin-mother's sense being uplifted to behold Spirit as the sole origin
of man, she exclaimed, "My soul [spiritual sense] doth magnify the
Human language constantly uses the word ^soul^ for ^sense^. This it does
under the delusion that the senses can reverse the spiritual facts of Science,
whereas Science reverses the testimony of the material senses.
Soul is Life, and being spiritual Life, never sins. Material sense is the
so-called material life. Hence this lower sense sins and suffers, according to
material belief, till divine understanding takes away this belief and restores
Soul, or spiritual Life. "He restoreth my soul," says David.
In his first epistle to the Corinthians (xv. 45) Paul writes: "The first
man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening
spirit." The apostle refers to the second Adam as the Messiah, our blessed
Master, whose interpretation of God and His creation--by restoring the spiritual
sense of man as immortal instead of mortal--made humanity victorious over death
and the grave.
When I discovered the power of Spirit to break the cords of matter, through a
change in the mortal sense of things, then I discerned the last Adam as a
quickening Spirit, and understood the meaning of the declaration of Holy Writ,
"The first shall be last,"--the living Soul shall be found a
quickening Spirit; or, rather, shall reflect the Life of the divine Arbiter.
There is no Matter
"God is a Spirit" (or, more accurately translated, "God is
Spirit"), declares the Scripture (John iv. 24), "and they that worship
Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth."
If God is Spirit, and God is All, surely there can be no matter; for the
divine All must be Spirit.
The tendency of Christianity is to spiritualize thought and action. The
demonstrations of Jesus annulled the claims of matter, and overruled laws
material as emphatically as they annihilated sin.
According to Christian Science, the ^first^ idolatrous claim of sin is, that
matter exists; the ^second^, that matter is substance; the ^third^, that matter
has intelligence; and the ^fourth^, that matter, being so endowed, produces life
Hence my conscientious position, in the denial of matter, rests on the fact
that matter usurps the authority of God, Spirit; and the nature and character of
matter, the antipode of Spirit, include all that denies and defies Spirit, in
quantity or quality.
This subject can be enlarged. It can be shown, in detail, that evil does not
obtain in Spirit, God; and that God, or good, is Spirit alone; whereas, evil
^does^, according to belief, obtain in matter; and that evil is a false
claim,--false to God, false to Truth and Life. Hence the claim of matter usurps
the prerogative of God, saying, "I am a creator. God made me, and I make
man and the material universe."
Spirit is the only creator, and man, including the universe, is His spiritual
concept. By matter is commonly meant mind,--not the highest Mind, but a false
form of mind. This so-called mind and matter cannot be separated in origin and
What is this mind? It is not the Mind of Spirit; for spiritualization of
thought destroys all sense of matter as substance, Life, or intelligence, and
enthrones God in the eternal qualities of His being.
This lower, misnamed mind is a false claim, a suppositional mind, which I
prefer to call ^mortal mind^. True Mind is immortal. This mortal mind declares
itself material, in sin, sickness, and death, virtually saying, "I am the
opposite of Spirit, of holiness, harmony, and Life."
To this declaration Christian Science responds, even as did our Master:
"You were a murderer from the beginning. The truth abode not in you. You
are a liar, and the father of it." Here it appears that a ^liar^ was in the
neuter gender,--neither masculine nor feminine. Hence it was not man (the image
of God) who lied, but the false claim to personality, which I call ^mortal
mind^; a claim which Christian Science uncovers, in order to demonstrate the
falsity of the claim.
There are lesser arguments which prove matter to be identical with mortal
mind, and this mind a lie.
The physical senses (matter really having no sense) give the only pretended
testimony there can be as to the existence of a substance called ^matter^. Now
these senses, being material, can only testify from their own evidence, and
concerning themselves; yet we have it on divine authority: "If I bear
witness of myself, my witness is not true." (John v. 31.)
In other words: matter testifies of itself, "I am matter;" but
unless matter is mind, it cannot talk or testify; and if it is mind, it is
certainly not the Mind of Christ, not the Mind that is identical with Truth.
Brain, thus assuming to testify, is only matter within the skull, and is
believed to be mind only through error and delusion. Examine that form of matter
called ^brains^, and you find no mind therein. Hence the logical sequence, that
there is in reality neither matter nor mortal mind, but that the self-testimony
of the physical senses is false.
Examine these witnesses for error, or falsity, and observe the foundations of
their testimony, and you will find them divided in evidence, mocking the
Scripture (Matthew xviii. 16), "In the mouth of two or three witnesses
every word may be established."
^Sight^. Mortal mind declares that matter sees through the organizations of
matter, or that mind sees by means of matter. Disorganize the so-called material
structure, and then mortal mind says, "I cannot see;" and declares
that matter is the master of mind, and that non-intelligence governs. Mortal
mind admits that it sees only material images, pictured on the eye's retina.
What then is the line of the syllogism? It must be this: That matter is not
seen; that mortal mind cannot see without matter; and therefore that the whole
function of material sight is an illusion, a lie.
Here comes in the summary of the whole matter, wherewith we started: that God
is All, and God is Spirit; therefore there is nothing but Spirit; and
consequently there is no matter.
^Touch^. Take another train of reasoning. Mortal mind says that matter cannot
feel matter; yet put your finger on a burning coal, and the nerves, material
nerves, ^do^ feel matter.
Again I ask: What evidence does mortal mind afford that matter is
substantial, is hot or cold? Take away mortal mind, and matter could not feel
what it calls ^sub^^stance^. Take away matter, and mortal mind could not cognize
its own so-called substance, and this so-called mind would have no identity.
Nothing would remain to be seen or felt.
What is substance? What is the reality of God and the universe? Immortal Mind
is the real substance,--Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love.
^Taste^. Mortal mind says, "I taste; and this is sweet, this is
sour." Let mortal mind change, and say that sour is sweet, and ^so^ it
would be. If every mortal mind believed sweet to be sour, it would be so; for
the qualities of matter are but qualities of mortal mind. Change the mind, and
the quality changes. Destroy the belief, and the quality disappears.
The so-called material senses are found, upon examination, to be mortally
mental, instead of material. Reduced to its proper denomination, matter is
mortal mind; yet, strictly speaking, there is no mortal mind, for Mind is
immortal, and is not matter, but Spirit.
^Force^. What is gravitation? Mortal mind says gravitation is a material
power, or force. I ask, Which was first, matter or power? That which was first
was God, immortal Mind, the Parent of ^all^. But God is Truth, and the forces of
Truth are moral and spiritual, not physical. They are not the merciless forces
of matter. What then ^are^ the so-called forces of matter? They are the
phenomena of mortal mind, and matter and mortal mind are one; and this one is a
misstatement of Mind, God.
A molecule, as matter, is not formed by Spirit; for Spirit is ^spiritual^
consciousness alone. Hence this spiritual consciousness can form nothing unlike
itself, Spirit, and Spirit is the only creator. The material atom is an outlined
falsity of consciousness, which can gather additional evidence of consciousness
and life only as it adds lie to lie. This process it names material attraction,
and endows with the double capacity of creator and creation.
From the beginning this lie was the false witness against the fact that
Spirit is All, beside which there is no other existence. The use of a lie is
that it unwittingly confirms Truth, when handled by Christian Science, which
reverses false testimony and gains a knowledge of God from opposite facts, or
This whole subject is met and solved by Christian Science according to
Scripture. Thus we see that Spirit is Truth and eternal reality; that matter is
the opposite of Spirit,--referred to in the New Testament as the flesh at war
with Spirit; hence, that matter is erroneous, transitory, unreal.
A further proof of this is the demonstration, according to Christian Science,
that by the reduction and the rejection of the claims of matter (instead of
acquiescence therein) man is improved physically, mentally, morally,
To deny the existence or reality of matter, and yet admit the reality of
moral evil, sin, or to say that the divine Mind is conscious of evil, yet is not
conscious of matter, is erroneous. This error stultifies the logic of divine
Science, and must interfere with its practical demonstration.
Is There no Death?
Jesus not only declared himself "the way" and "the
truth," but also "the life." God is Life; and as there is but one
God, there can be but one Life. Must man die, then, in order to inherit eternal
life and enter heaven?
Our Master said, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Then God and
heaven, or Life, are present, and death is not the real stepping-stone to Life
and happiness. They are now and here; and a change in human consciousness, from
sin to holiness, would reveal this wonder of being. Because God is ever present,
no boundary of time can separate us from Him and the heaven of His presence; and
because God is Life, all Life is eternal.
Is it unchristian to believe there is no death? Not unless it be a sin to
believe that God is Life and All-in-all. Evil and disease do not testify of Life
Human beings are physically mortal, but spiritually immortal. The evil
accompanying physical personality is illusive and mortal; but the good attendant
upon spiritual individuality is immortal. Existing here and now, this unseen
individuality is real and eternal. The socalled material senses, and the mortal
mind which is misnamed ^man^, take no cognizance of spiritual individuality,
which manifests immortality, whose Principle is God.
To God alone belong the indisputable realities of being. Death is a
contradiction of Life, or God; therefore it is not in accordance with His law,
but antagonistic thereto.
Death, then, is error, opposed to Truth,--even the unreality of mortal mind,
not the reality of that Mind which is Life. Error has no life, and is virtually
without existence. Life is real; and all is real which proceeds from Life and is
inseparable from it.
It is unchristian to believe in the transition called ^ma^^terial death^,
since matter has no life, and such misbelief must enthrone another power, an
imaginary life, above the living and true God. A material sense of life robs
God, by declaring that not He alone is Life, but that something else also is
life,--thus affirming the existence and rulership of more gods than one. This
idolatrous and false sense of life is all that dies, or appears to die.
The opposite understanding of God brings to light Life and immortality. Death
has no quality of Life; and no divine fiat commands us to believe in aught which
is unlike God, or to deny that He is Life eternal.
Life as God, moral and spiritual good, is not seen in the mineral, vegetable,
or animal kingdoms. Hence the inevitable conclusion that Life is not in these
kingdoms, and that the popular views to this effect are not up to the Christian
standard of Life, or equal to the reality of being, whose Principle is God.
When "the Word" is "made flesh" among mortals, the Truth
of Life is rendered practical on the body. Eternal Life is partially understood;
and sickness, sin, and death yield to holiness, health, and Life,--that is, to
God. The lust of the flesh and the pride of physical life must be quenched in
the divine essence,--that om-
nipotent Love which annihilates hate, that Life which knows no death.
"Who hath believed our report?" Who understands these sayings? He
to whom the arm of the Lord is revealed. He loves them from whom divine Science
removes human weakness by divine strength, and who unveil the Messiah, whose
name is Wonderful.
Man has no underived power. That selfhood is false which opposes itself to
God, claims another father, and denies spiritual sonship; but as many as receive
the knowledge of God in Science must reflect, in some degree, the power of Him
who gave and giveth man dominion over all the earth.
As soldiers of the cross we must be brave, and let Science declare the
immortal status of man, and deny the evidence of the material senses, which
testify that man dies.
As the image of God, or Life, man forever reflects and embodies Life, not
death. The material senses testify falsely. They presuppose that God is good and
that man is evil, that Deity is deathless, but that man dies, losing the divine
Science and material sense conflict at all points, from the revolution of the
earth to the fall of a sparrow. It is mortality only that dies.
To say that you and I, as mortals, will not enter this dark shadow of
material sense, called ^death^, is to assert what we have not proved; but man in
Science never dies. Material sense, or the belief of life in matter, must
perish, in order to prove man deathless.
As Truth supersedes error, and bears the fruits of Love, this understanding
of Truth subordinates the belief in death, and demonstrates Life as imperative
in the divine order of being.
Jesus declares that they who believe his sayings will never die; therefore
mortals can no more receive everlasting life by believing in death, than they
can become perfect by believing in imperfection and living imperfectly.
Life is God, and God is good. Hence Life abides in man, if man abides in
good, if he lives in God, who holds Life by a spiritual and not by a material
sense of being.
A sense of death is not requisite to a proper or true sense of Life, but
beclouds it. Death can never alarm or even appear to him who fully understands
Life. The death-penalty comes through our ignorance of Life,--of that which is
without beginning and without end,--and is the punishment of this ignorance.
Holding a material sense of Life, and lacking the spiritual sense of it,
mortals die, in belief, and regard all things as temporal. A sense material
apprehends nothing strictly belonging to the nature and office of Life. It
conceives and beholds nothing but mortality, and has but a feeble concept of
In order to reach the true knowledge and consciousness of Life, we must learn
it of good. Of evil we can never learn it, because sin shuts out the real sense
of Life, and brings in an unreal sense of suffering and death.
Knowledge of evil, or belief in it, involves a loss of the true sense of
good, God; and to know death, or to believe in it, involves a temporary loss of
God, the infinite and only Life.
Resurrection from the dead (that is, from the belief in death) must come to
all sooner or later; and they who have part in this resurrection are they upon
whom the second death has no power.
The sweet and sacred sense of the permanence of man's unity with his Maker
can illumine our present being with a continual presence and power of good,
opening wide the portal from death into Life; and when this Life shall appear
"we shall be like Him," and we shall go to the Father, not through
death, but through Life; not through error, but through Truth.
All Life is Spirit, and Spirit can never dwell in its antagonist, matter.
Life, therefore, is deathless, because God cannot be the opposite of Himself. In
Christian Science there is no matter; hence matter neither lives nor dies. To
the senses, matter appears to both live and die, and these phenomena appear to
go on ^ad infinitum^; but such a theory implies perpetual disagreement with
Life, God, being everywhere, it must follow that death can be nowhere;
because there is no place left for it.
Soul, Spirit, is deathless. Matter, sin, and death are not the outcome of
Spirit, holiness, and Life. What then are matter, sin, and death? They can be
nothing except the results of material consciousness; but material consciousness
can have no real existence, because it is not a living--that is to say, a divine
That man must be vicious before he can be virtuous, dying before he can be
deathless, material before he can be spiritual, is an error of the senses; for
the very opposite of this error is the genuine Science of being.
Man, in Science, is as perfect and immortal now, as when "the morning
stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy."
With Christ, Life was not merely a sense of existence, but a sense of might
and ability to subdue material conditions. No wonder "people were
astonished at his doctrine; for he taught them as one having authority, and not
as the scribes."
As defined by Jesus, Life had no beginning; nor was it the result of
organization, or of an infusion of power into matter. To him, Life was Spirit.
Truth, defiant of error or matter, is Science, dispelling a false sense and
leading man into the true sense of selfhood and Godhood; wherein the mortal does
not develop the immortal, nor the material the spiritual, but wherein true
manhood and womanhood go forth in the radiance of eternal being and its
perfections, unchanged and unchangeable.
This generation seems too material for any strong demonstration over death,
and hence cannot bring out the infinite reality of Life,--namely, that there is
no death, but only Life. The present mortal sense of being is too finite for
anchorage in infinite good, God, because mortals now believe in the possibility
that Life can be evil.
The achievement of this ultimatum of Science, complete triumph over death,
requires time and immense spiritual growth.
I have by no means spoken of myself, I ^cannot^ speak of myself as
"sufficient for these things." I insist only upon the fact, as it
exists in divine Science, that man dies not, and on the words of the Master in
support of this verity,--words which can never "pass away till all be
Because of these profound reasons I urge Christians to have more faith in
living than in dying. I exhort them to accept Christ's promise, and unite the
influence of their own thoughts with the power of his teachings, in the Science
of being. This will interpret the divine power to human capacity, and enable us
to ^apprehend^, or lay hold upon, "that for which," as Paul says in
the third chapter of Philippians, we are also "apprehended of [or grasped
by] Christ Jesus,"--the ever-present Life which knows no death, the
omnipresent Spirit which knows no matter.
Many misrepresentations are made concerning my doctrines, some of which are
as unkind and unjust as they are untrue; but I can only repeat the Master's
words: "They know not what they do."
The foundations of these assertions, like the structure raised thereupon, are
vain shadows, repeating--if the popular couplet may be so paraphrased--
The old, old story, Of ^Satan^ and his ^lie^.
In the days of Eden, humanity was misled by a false personality,--a talking
snake,--according to Biblical history. This pretender taught the opposite of
Truth. This abortive ego, this fable of error, is laid bare in Christian
Human theories call, or miscall, this evil a child of God. Philosophy would
multiply and subdivide personality into everything that exists, whether
expressive or not expressive of the Mind which is God. Human wisdom says of
evil, "The Lord knows it!" thus carrying out the serpent's assurance:
"In the day ye eat thereof [when you, lie, get the floor], then your eyes
shall be opened [you shall be conscious matter], and ye shall be as gods,
knowing good and evil [you shall believe a lie, and this lie shall seem
truth]." Bruise the head of this serpent, as Truth and "the
woman" are doing in Christian Science, and it stings your heel, rears its
crest proudly, and goes on saying, "Am I not myself? Am I not mind and
matter, person and thing?" We should answer: "Yes! you are indeed
yourself, and need most of all to be rid of this self, for it is very far from
The egotist must come down and learn, in humility, that God never made evil.
An evil ego, and his assumed power, are falsities. These falsities need a
denial. The falsity is the teaching that matter can be conscious; and conscious
matter implies pantheism. This pantheism I unveil. I try to show its
all-pervading presence in certain forms of theology and philosophy, where it
becomes error's affirmative to Truth's negative. Anatomy and physiology make
mind-matter a habitant of the cerebellum, whence it telegraphs and telephones
over its own body, and goes forth into an imaginary sphere of its own creation
and limitation, until it finally dies in order to better itself. But Truth never
dies, and death is not the goal which Truth seeks.
The evil ego has but the visionary substance of matter. It lacks the
substance of Spirit,--Mind, Life, Soul. Mortal mind is self-creative and
self-sustained, until it becomes non-existent. It has no origin or existence in
Spirit, immortal Mind, or good. Matter is not truly conscious; and mortal error,
called ^mind^, is not Godlike. These are the shadowy and false, which neither
think nor speak.
All Truth is from inspiration and revelation,--from Spirit, not from flesh.
We do not see much of the real man here, for he is God's man; while ours is
I do not deny, I maintain, the individuality and reality of man; but I do so
on a divine Principle, not based on a human conception and birth. The scientific
man and his Maker are here; and you would be none other than this man, if you
would subordinate the fleshly perceptions to the spiritual sense and source of
Jesus said, "I and my Father are one." He taught no selfhood as
existent in matter. In his identity there is no evil. Individuality and Life
were real to him only as spiritual and good, not as material or evil. This
incensed the rabbins against Jesus, because it was an indignity to their
personality; and this personality they regarded as both good and evil, as is
still claimed by the worldly-wise. To them evil was even more the ego than was
the good. Sin, sickness, and death were evil's concomitants. This evil ego they
believed must extend throughout the universe, as being equally identical and
self-conscious with God. This ego was in the earthquake, thunderbolt, and
The Pharisees fought Jesus on this issue. It furnished the battle-ground of
the past, as it does of the present. The fight was an effort to enthrone evil.
Jesus assumed the burden of disproof by destroying sin, sickness, and death, to
sight and sense.
Nowhere in Scripture is evil connected with good, the being of God, and with
every passing hour it is losing its false claim to existence or consciousness.
All that can exist is God and His idea.
It is fair to ask of every one a reason for the faith within. Though it be
but to repeat my twice-told tale,--nay, the tale already told a hundred
times,--yet ask, and I will answer.
^Do you believe in God?^
I believe more in Him than do most Christians, for I have no faith in any
other thing or being. He sustains my individuality. Nay, more--He ^is^ my
individuality and my Life. Because He lives, I live. He heals all my ills,
destroys my iniquities, deprives death of its sting, and robs the grave of its
To me God is All. He is best understood as Supreme Being, as infinite and
conscious Life, as the affectionate Father and Mother of all He creates; but
this divine Parent no more enters into His creation than the human father enters
into his child. His creation is not the Ego, but the reflection of the Ego. The
Ego is God Himself, the infinite Soul.
I believe that of which I am conscious through the understanding, however
faintly able to demonstrate Truth and Love.
^Do you believe in man?^
I believe in the individual man, for I understand that man is as definite and
eternal as God, and that man is coexistent with God, as being the eternally
divine idea. This is demonstrable by the simple appeal to human consciousness.
But I believe less in the sinner, wrongly named ^man^. The more I understand
true humanhood, the more I see it to be sinless,--as ignorant of sin as is the
To me the reality and substance of being are ^good^, and nothing else.
Through the eternal reality of existence I reach, in thought, a glorified
consciousness of the only living God and the genuine man. So long as I hold evil
in consciousness, I cannot be wholly good.
You cannot simultaneously serve the mammon of materiality and the God of
spirituality. There are not two realities of being, two opposite states of
existence. One should appear real to us, and the other unreal, or we lose the
Science of being. Standing in no basic Truth, we make "the worse appear the
better reason," and the unreal masquerades as the real, in our thought.
Evil is without Principle. Being destitute of Principle, it is devoid of
Science. Hence it is undemonstrable, without proof. This gives me a clearer
right to call evil a negation, than to affirm it to be something which God sees
and knows, but which He straightway commands mortals to shun or relinquish, lest
it destroy them. This notion of the destructibility of Mind implies the
possibility of its defilement; but how can infinite Mind be defiled?
^Do you believe in matter?^
I believe in matter only as I believe in evil, that it is something to be
denied and destroyed to human consciousness, and is unknown to the Divine. We
should watch and pray that we enter not into the temptation of pantheistic
belief in matter as sensible mind. We should subjugate it as Jesus did, by a
dominant understanding of Spirit.
At best, matter is only a phenomenon of mortal mind, of which evil is the
highest degree; but really there is no such thing as ^mortal mind^,--though we
are compelled to use the phrase in the endeavor to express the underlying
In reality there are no material states or stages of con-
sciousness, and matter has neither Mind nor sensation. Like evil, it is
destitute of Mind, for Mind is God.
The less consciousness of evil or matter mortals have, the easier it is for
them to evade sin, sickness, and death, --which are but states of false
belief,--and awake from the troubled dream, a consciousness which is without
Mind or Maker.
Matter and evil cannot be conscious, and consciousness should not be evil.
Adopt this rule of Science, and you will discover the material origin, growth,
maturity, and death of sinners, as the history of man, disappears, and the
everlasting facts of being appear, wherein man is the reflection of immutable
Reasoning from false premises,--that Life is material, that immortal Soul is
sinful, and hence that sin is eternal, --the reality of being is neither seen,
felt, heard, nor understood. Human philosophy and human reason can never make
one hair white or black, except in belief; whereas the demonstration of God, as
in Christian Science, is gained through Christ as perfect manhood.
In pantheism the world is bereft of its God, whose place is ill supplied by
the pretentious usurpation, by matter, of the heavenly sovereignty.
^What say you of woman?^
Man is the generic term for all humanity. Woman is the highest species of
man, and this word is the generic term for all women; but not one of all these
individualities is an Eve or an Adam. They have none of them lost their
harmonious state, in the economy of God's wisdom and government.
The Ego is divine consciousness, eternally radiating throughout all space in
the idea of God, good, and not of His opposite, evil. The Ego is revealed as
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; but the full Truth is found only in divine Science,
where we see God as Life, Truth, and Love. In the scientific relation of man to
God, man is reflected not as human soul, but as the divine ideal, whose Soul is
not in body, but is God,--the divine Principle of man. Hence Soul is sinless and
immortal, in contradistinction to the supposition that there can be sinful souls
or immortal sinners.
This Science of God and man is the Holy Ghost, which reveals and sustains the
unbroken and eternal harmony of both God and the universe. It is the kingdom of
heaven, the ever-present reign of harmony, already with us. Hence the need that
human consciousness should become divine, in the coincidence of God and man, in
contradistinction to the false consciousness of both good and evil, God and
devil,--of man separated from his Maker. This is the precious redemption of
soul, as mortal sense, through Christ's immortal sense of Truth, which presents
Truth's spiritual idea, ^man^ and ^woman^.
^What say you of evil?^
God is not the so-called ego of evil; for evil, as a supposition, is the
father of itself,--of the material world, the flesh, and the devil. From this
falsehood arise the self-destroying elements of this world, its unkind forces,
its tempests, lightnings, earthquakes, poisons, rabid beasts, fatal reptiles,
Why are earth and mortals so elaborate in beauty, color, and form, if God has
no part in them? By the law of opposites. The most beautiful blossom is often
poisonous, and the most beautiful mansion is sometimes the home of vice. The
senses, not God, Soul, form the condition of beautiful evil, and the supposed
modes of self-conscious matter, which make a beautiful lie. Now a lie takes its
pattern from Truth, by reversing Truth. So evil and all its forms are inverted
good. God never made them; but the lie must say He made them, or it would not be
evil. Being a lie, it would be truthful to call itself a lie; and by calling the
knowledge of evil good, and greatly to be desired, it constitutes the lie an
The reality and individuality of man are good and God-made, and they are here
to be seen and demonstrated; it is only the evil belief that renders them
Matter and evil are anti-Christian, the antipodes of Science. To say that
Mind is material, or that evil is Mind, is a misapprehension of being,--a
mistake which will die of its own delusion; for being self-contradictory, it is
also self-destructive. The harmony of man's being is not built on such false
foundations, which are no more logical, philosophical, or scientific than would
be the assertion that the rule of addition is the rule of subtraction, and that
sums done under both rules would have one quotient.
Man's individuality is not a mortal mind or sinner; or else he has lost his
true individuality as a perfect child of God. Man's Father is not a mortal mind
and a sinner; or else the immortal and unerring Mind, God, is not his Father;
but God ^is^ man's origin and loving Father, hence that saying of Jesus,
"Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is
The bright gold of Truth is dimmed by the doctrine of mind in matter.
To say there ^is^ a false claim, called ^sickness^, is to admit all there is
of sickness; for it is nothing but a false claim. To be healed, one must lose
sight of a false claim. If the claim be present to the thought, then disease
becomes as tangible as any reality. To regard sickness as a false claim, is to
abate the fear of it; but this does not destroy the so-called fact of the
^claim^. In order to be whole, we must be insensible to every claim of error.
As with sickness, so is it with sin. To admit that sin has any claim
whatever, just or unjust, is to admit a dangerous fact. Hence the fact must be
denied; for if sin's claim be allowed in any degree, then sin destroys the
^at-one-ment^, or oneness with God,--a unity which sin recognizes as its most
potent and deadly enemy.
If God knows sin, even as a false claimant, then acquaintance with that
claimant becomes legitimate to mortals, and this knowledge would not be
forbidden; but God forbade man to know evil at the very beginning, when Satan
held it up before man as something desirable and a distinct addition to human
wisdom, because the knowledge of evil would make man a god,--a representa-
tion that God both knew and admitted the dignity of evil.
Which is right,--God, who condemned the knowledge of sin and disowned its
acquaintance, or the serpent, who pushed that claim with the glittering audacity
of diabolical and sinuous logic?
Suffering from Others' Thoughts
Jesus accepted the one fact whereby alone the rule of Life can be
demonstrated,--namely, that there is no death.
In his real self he bore no infirmities. Though "a man of sorrows, and
acquainted with grief," as Isaiah says of him, he bore not ^his^ sins, but
^ours^, "in his own body on the tree." "He was bruised for ^our^
iniquities; . . . and with his stripes we are healed."
He was the Way-shower; and Christian Scientists who would demonstrate
"the way" must keep close to his path, that they may win the prize.
"The way," in the flesh, is the suffering which leads out of the
flesh. "The way," in Spirit, is "the way" of Life, Truth,
and Love, redeeming us from the false sense of the flesh and the wounds it
bears. This threefold Messiah reveals the selfdestroying ways of error and the
life-giving way of Truth.
Job's faith and hope gained him the assurance that the so-called sufferings
of the flesh are unreal. We shall learn how false are the pleasures and pains of
material sense, and behold the truth of being, as expressed in his conviction,
"Yet in my flesh shall I see God;" that is, Now and here shall I
behold God, divine Love.
The chaos of mortal mind is made the stepping-stone to the cosmos of immortal
If Jesus suffered, as the Scriptures declare, it must have been from the
mentality of others; since all suffering comes from mind, not from matter, and
there could be no sin or suffering in the Mind which is God. Not his own sins,
but the sins of the world, "crucified the Lord of glory," and
"put him to an open shame."
Holding a quickened sense of false environment, and suffering from mentality
in opposition to Truth, are significant of that state of mind which the actual
understanding of Christian Science first eliminates and then destroys.
In the divine order of Science every follower of Christ shares his cup of
sorrows. He also suffereth in the flesh, and from the mentality which opposes
the law of Spirit; but the divine law is supreme, for it freeth him from the law
of sin and death.
Prophets and apostles suffered from the thoughts of others. Their conscious
being was not fully exempt from physicality and the sense of sin.
Until he awakes from his delusion, he suffers least from sin who is a
hardened sinner. The hypocrite's affections must first be made to fret in their
chains; and the pangs of hell must lay hold of him ere he can change from flesh
to Spirit, become acquainted with that Love which is without dissimulation and
endureth all things. Such mental conditions as ingratitude, lust, malice, hate,
constitute the miasma of earth. More obnoxious than Chinese stenchpots are these
dispositions which offend the spiritual sense. Anatomically considered, the
design of the material senses is to warn mortals of the approach of danger by
the pain they feel and occasion; but as this sense disappears it foresees the
impending doom and foretells the pain. Man's refuge is in spirituality,
"under the shadow of the Almighty."
The cross is the central emblem of human history. Without it there is neither
temptation nor glory. When Jesus turned and said, "Who hath touched
me?" he must have felt the influence of the woman's thought; for it is
written that he felt that "virtue had gone out of him." His pure
consciousness was discriminating, and rendered this infallible verdict; but he
neither held her error by affinity nor by infirmity, for it was detected and
This gospel of suffering brought life and bliss. This is earth's Bethel in
stone,--its pillow, supporting the ladder which reaches heaven.
Suffering was the confirmation of Paul's faith. Through "a thorn in the
flesh" he learned that spiritual grace was sufficient for him.
Peter rejoiced that he was found worthy to suffer for Christ; because to
suffer with him is to reign with him.
Sorrow is the harbinger of joy. Mortal throes of anguish forward the birth of
immortal being; but divine Science wipes away all tears.
The only conscious existence in the flesh is error of some sort,--sin, pain,
death,--a false sense of life and happiness. Mortals, if at ease in so-called
existence, are in their native element of error, and must become ^dis-eased^,
disquieted, before error is annihilated.
Jesus walked with bleeding feet the thorny earth-road, treading "the
winepress alone." His persecutors said mockingly, "Save thyself, and
come down from the cross." This was the very thing he ^was^ doing, coming
down from the cross, saving himself after the manner that he had taught, by the
law of Spirit's supremacy; and this was done through what is humanly called
Even the ice-bound hypocrite melts in fervent heat, before he apprehends
Christ as "the way." The Master's sublime triumph over all mortal
mentality was immortality's goal. He was too wise not to be willing to test the
full compass of human woe, being "in all points tempted like as we are, yet
Thus the absolute unreality of sin, sickness, and death was revealed,--a
revelation that beams on mortal sense as the midnight sun shines over the Polar
The Saviour's Mission
If there is no reality in evil, why did the Messiah come to the world, and
from what evils was it his purpose to save humankind? How, indeed, is he a
Saviour, if the evils from which he saves are nonentities?
Jesus came to earth; but the Christ (that is, the divine idea of the divine
Principle which made heaven and earth) was never absent from the earth and
heaven; hence the phraseology of Jesus, who spoke of the Christ as one who came
down from heaven, yet as "the Son of man ^which^ ^is in heaven^."
(John iii. 13.) By this we understand Christ to be the divine idea brought to
the flesh in the son of Mary.
Salvation is as eternal as God. To mortal thought Jesus appeared as a child,
and grew to manhood, to suffer before Pilate and on Calvary, because he could
reach and teach mankind only through this conformity to mortal conditions; but
Soul never saw the Saviour come and go, because the divine idea is always
Jesus came to rescue men from these very illusions to which he seemed to
conform: from the illusion which calls sin real, and man a sinner, needing a
Saviour; the illusion which calls sickness real, and man an invalid, needing a
physician; the illusion that death is as real as Life. From such
thoughts--mortal inventions, one and all--Christ Jesus came to save men, through
ever-present and eternal good.
Mortal man is a kingdom divided against itself. With the same breath he
articulates truth and error. We say that God is All, and there is none beside
Him, and then talk of sin and sinners as real. We call God omnipotent and
omnipresent, and then conjure up, from the dark abyss of nothingness, a powerful
presence named ^evil^. We say that harmony is real, and inharmony is its
opposite, and therefore unreal; yet we descant upon sickness, sin, and death as
With the tongue "bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we
men, who are made after the similitude [human concept] of God. Out of the same
mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to
be." (James iii. 9, 10.) Mortals are free moral agents, to choose whom they
would serve. If God, then let them serve Him, and He will be unto them
If God is ever present, He is neither absent from Himself nor from the
universe. Without Him, the universe would disappear, and space, substance, and
immortality be lost. St. Paul says, "And if Christ be not raised, your
faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins." (1 Corinthians xv. 17.) Christ
cannot come to mortal and material sense, which sees not God. This false sense
of substance must yield to His eternal presence, and so dissolve. Rising above
the false, to the true evidence of Life, is the resurrection that takes hold of
eternal Truth. Coming and going belong to mortal consciousness. God is "the
same yesterday, and to-day, and forever."
To material sense, Jesus first appeared as a helpless human babe; but to
immortal and spiritual vision he was one with the Father, even the eternal idea
of God, that was--and is--neither young nor old, neither dead nor risen. The
mutations of mortal sense are the evening and the morning of human thought,--the
twilight and dawn of earthly vision, which precedeth the nightless radiance of
divine Life. Human perception, advancing toward the apprehension of its
nothingness, halts, retreats, and again goes forward; but the divine Principle
and Spirit and spiritual man are unchangeable,--neither advancing, retreating,
Our highest sense of infinite good in this mortal sphere is but the sign and
symbol, not the substance of good. Only faith and a feeble understanding make
the earthly acme of human sense. "The life which I now live in the flesh I
live by the faith of the Son of God." (Galatians ii. 20.)
Christian Science is both demonstration and fruition, but how attenuated are
our demonstration and realization of this Science! Truth, in divine Science, is
the stepping-stone to the understanding of God; but the broken and contrite
heart soonest discerns this truth, even as the helpless sick are soonest healed
by it. Invalids say, "I have recovered from sickness;" when the fact
really remains, in divine Science, that they never were sick.
The Christian saith, "Christ (God) died for me, and came to save
me;" yet God dies not, and is the ever-presence that neither comes nor
goes, and man is forever His image and likeness. "The things which are seen
are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2
Corinthians iv. 18.) This is the mystery of godliness --that God, good, is never
absent, and there is none beside good. Mortals can understand this only as they
reach the Life of good, and learn that there is no Life in evil. Then shall it
appear that the true ideal of omnipotent and ever-present good is an ideal
wherein and wherefor there is no evil. Sin exists only as a sense, and not as
Soul. Destroy this sense of sin, and sin disappears. Sickness, sin, or death is
a false sense of Life and good. Destroy this trinity of error, and you find
In Science, Christ never died. In material sense Jesus died, and lived. The
fleshly Jesus seemed to die, though he did not. The Truth or Life in divine
Science--undisturbed by human error, sin, and death--saith forever, "I am
the living God, and man is My idea, never in matter, nor resurrected from
it." "Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is
risen." (Luke xxiv. 5, 6.) Mortal sense, confining itself to matter, is all
that can be buried or resurrected.
Mary had risen to discern faintly God's ever-presence, and that of His idea,
man; but her mortal sense, reversing Science and spiritual understanding,
interpreted this appearing as a risen Christ. The I AM was neither buried nor
resurrected. The Way, the Truth, and the Life were never absent for a moment.
This trinity of Love lives and reigns forever. Its kingdom, not apparent to
material sense, never disappeared to spiritual sense, but remained forever in
the Science of being. The so-called appearing, disappearing, and reappearing of
ever-presence, in whom is no variableness or shadow of turning, is the false
human sense of that light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness
comprehendeth it not.
All that ^is^, God created. If sin has any pretense of existence, God is
responsible therefor; but there is no reality in sin, for God can no more behold
it, or acknowledge it, than the sun can coexist with darkness.
To build the individual spiritual sense, conscious of only health, holiness,
and heaven, on the foundations of an eternal Mind which is conscious of
sickness, sin, and death, is a moral impossibility; for "other foundation
can no man lay than that is laid." (1 Corinthians iii. 11.) The nearer we
approximate to such a Mind, even if it were (or could be) God, the more real
those mind-pictures would become to us; until the hope of ever eluding their
dread presence must yield to despair, and the haunting sense of evil forever
accompany our being.
Mortals may climb the smooth glaciers, leap the dark fissures, scale the
treacherous ice, and stand on the summit of Mont Blanc; but they can never turn
back what Deity knoweth, nor escape from identification with what dwelleth in
the eternal Mind.