The Christian Science textbook
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

Mary Baker Eddy

 

 

 

 

Chapter 6 - 
Science, Theology, Medicine
part 2 - Theology

 

       
      

But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. - Paul.

      The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. - Jesus.

 

           Churchly neglect

      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.

      Christ rejected  

      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?"

      John's misgivings  

      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 antipathetic  

      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.

      Priestly learning  

      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 spear.

      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.

      Lawful wonders  

      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 Christianity  

      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.

      The Christ-mission  

      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 spiritually.

      Ancient spiritualism  

      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.

      Doubting disciples  

      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 about him.

      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.

      Sublime summary  

      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.

      Healthful theology  

      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 destroy.

      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.

      Science obscured  

      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."

      Opponents benefited  

      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."

      Anthropomorphism  

      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 mortal magnified?

      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.

      Temple cleansed  

      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.

    

     

Main Chapters

4 - Christian Science versus Spiritualism 8 - Footsteps of Truth 12 - Christian Science Practice * 16 - The Apocalypse
3 - Marriage 7 - Physiology 11 - Some Objections Answered * 15 - Genesis
2 - Atonement and Eucharist 6 - Science
6 - Theology
6 - Medicine
10 - Science of Being

10 - Platform of Christian Science

14 - Recapitulation
1 - Prayer 5 - Animal Magnetism Unmasked 9 - Creation 13 - Teaching Christian Science

 * chapter 17 - Glossary

note: chapters 6, and 7 are separated into their major components -
- chapters 15, 16, and 17 are elements of the section: Key to the Scriptures

chapter 18 - Fruitage

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Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, BC, Canada - (c) Copyright 2008 - public domain - Rolf A. F. Witzsche