The present is ours; the future, big with events.
Every man and woman should be to-day a law to himself, herself,
— a law of loyalty to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
by Mary Baker Eddy
From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy
The present is ours; the future, big with events.
Every man and woman should be to-day a law to himself, herself,
— a law of loyalty to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
by Mary Baker Eddy
Wilt thou be made whole?
God is Spirit. Then modes of healing, other than the spiritual and divine, break the First Commandment of the Decalogue, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” There are no other heaven-appointed means than the spiritual with which to heal sin and disease. Our Master conformed to this law, and instructed his followers, saying, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.” This is enough.
All issues of morality, of Christianity, of pleasure, or of pain must come through a correct or incorrect state of thought, since matter is not conscious; then, like a watchman forsaking his post, shall we have no faith in God, in the divine Mind, thus throwing the door wide open to the intruding disease, forgetting that the divine Mind, Truth and Life, can guard the entrance?
... Mankind will be God-governed in proportion as God’s government becomes apparent, the Golden Rule utilized, and the rights of man and the liberty of conscience held sacred. Meanwhile, they who name the name of Christian Science will assist in the holding of crime in check, will aid the ejection of error, will maintain law and order, and will cheerfully await the end—justice and judgment.
an excerpt from Miscellany by Mary Baker Eddy, Page 221-2
an excerpt from Retrospection and Introspection
by Mary Baker Eddy, Page 54-55
It is often asked, Why are faith-cures sometimes more speedy than some of the cures wrought through Christian Scientists? Because faith is belief, and not understanding; and it is easier to believe, than to understand spiritual Truth. It demands less cross-bearing, self-renunciation, and divine Science to admit the claims of the corporeal senses and appeal to God for relief through a humanized conception of His power, than to deny these claims and learn the divine way, — drinking Jesus’ cup, being baptized with his baptism, gaining the end through persecution and purity.
Millions are believing in God, or good, without bearing the fruits of goodness, not having reached its Science. Belief is virtually blindness, when it admits Truth without understanding it. Blind belief cannot say with the apostle, “I know whom I have believed.” There is danger in this mental state called belief; for if Truth is admitted, but not understood, it may be lost, and error may enter through this same channel of ignorant belief. The faith-cure has devout followers, whose Christian practice is far in advance of their theory.
The work of healing, in the Science of Mind, is the most sacred and salutary power which can be wielded. My Christian students, impressed with the true sense of the great work before them, enter this strait and narrow path, and work conscientiously.
Let us follow the example of Jesus, the master Metaphysician, and gain sufficient knowledge of error to destroy it with Truth. Evil is not mastered by evil; it can only be overcome with good. This brings out the nothingness of evil and the eternal somethingness, vindicates the divine Principle, and improves the race of Adam.
Mary Beth Singleterry
In the Bible (John 5) there is a story of the healing of an impotent man at a place called the pool of Bethesda, a sheep market, located in the ancient city of Jerusalem.
The Bible tells us a “great multitude” of sick folk —“blind, halt, withered”—congregated there waiting for the moving of the water. For it was believed that during a certain season, an angel would come and trouble the water, and that the first one to step into this pool at that time would be healed.
One day Jesus passed by this place and saw a certain man there. This man had been sick for 38 years! With great compassion and knowing, too, that this man had been there for such a long time, Jesus asked him the piercing question, “Wilt thou be made whole?!”
It is interesting that Jesus did not ask him “Would you like to walk again?” or “Would you like to feel better?” No, Jesus asked him if he was ready for a complete transformation — not a mere physical change. It is also interesting to note, the man did not cry out, “Oh yes, I would love to be made whole!!” Instead, as is so often the case, he gave an excuse as to why he had not been healed. His response to Jesus was, “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming another steppeth down before me.” The reason (the excuse) he was not healed was — it was someone else’s fault! Error, hiding behind an excuse, would always like to convince us we are bound by a power apart from God, we are a helpless victim. But in Science we learn there is no such power, for as Mrs. Eddy states, “God is infinite, therefore ever present, and there is no other power nor presence.”!! (S&H)
Jesus did not offer a solution to his excuse. He did not offer to carry him down to the pool. Oh no — Jesus knew this man needed to be aroused up out of a mesmerism. Jesus commanded him to “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” The work of the Master was, of course, effective and the man was made whole!
The lessons from this healing are profound. When you are ever struggling with any problem ask yourself a few important questions. Are you really willing to be made whole, or are you only interested in a “quick fix”? Are you really willing to give up all the excuses that have bound you into believing there is another power other than the One All-powerful God-good? Are you willing to rise up from the belief of life in matter, to get out of that bed of despondency and to “resist all that is unlike good”? Remember the promise that has been given, for it is this, “Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.” (S&H)
Meekness is a quality to attain if we are to be made whole! The word is vastly misused, as many think of it as meaning weakness. Far from it, it represents the calm strength of one who knows who he is, and bends with the Father’s will because he is sure of the power at hand. Such a one walks conforming to whatever shape it is being divinely led to take because he has no human ambition, but trusts and rests completely in the Father’s care. It is an imperative quality, if one is to be restored or put back into his original state of perfection.
It is no wonder that the original meaning of the word is “liquid.” Thus the ability of all liquids to conform naturally and perfectly to the form they are poured into. The clay in the potter’s hands takes the form he moulds it into.
We also see that to restore a broken vase, the potter needs all the broken pieces, thoroughly cleans and polishes all the surfaces; then under his complete control, he is able to put it back together to its original state.
The sheep, in their total obedience to the shepherd’s command and care, is another example of how obedience through meekness is a stepping stone for realizing our wholeness. Due to this obedience, sheep are protected from all dangers, and they dwell safely in the shepherd’s care.
In exact contrast is Naaman’s pride, the unyielding stiffness that seeks its own will. He disobeyed the prophet Elisha when Elisha asked him to go and wash himself in the river Jordan seven times in order to be healed, to be made whole, from leprosy. He lacked the meekness to obey and was not healed until he yielded to the prophet’s command, and then was redeemed and made whole.
It is the Christ that makes whole, as we find in Acts 9:34: “Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole.” and in Exodus 15:26 “I am the Lord that healeth thee.” “Jesus saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
There is no greater example of meekness than that of our great Master’s unswerving obedience and perfect conformity to God’s will. He was empowered to face the wickedness of a world he so blessed, strengthened during his crucifixion and triumphed with his ascension.
Mrs. Eddy warned that “Meekness and charity have divine authority.” (S&H p. 270) She followed the Christ example and won the crown of rejoicing. It is evident that popularity, superiority, self-righteousness, pride of achievement or intellect, pride of culture, all have no place in meekness. We cannot but emulate this divine quality, if we are to be made whole.
Are we heeding this from Mrs. Eddy? “The grass beneath our feet silently exclaims, ‘The meek shall inherit the earth.’ ” (S&H p. 516)
I received an email thanking me for a recent contribution to the forum, and all I could reply was, “I think it is great that not only does God show us what we need individually, but also has given us this church so we can share and learn from each other. What a blessing for all!”
It is plain to see if you look at my life before I came here that I didn’t know much about Truth or Love. It was only through great suffering that the door opened so I could even begin to understand it. Now that this door is open, I will do all I can to keep it from shutting, and it is easy to tell on each Wednesday night that we all feel the same way.
The very fact that we have the website and the forum and the Roundtable, Bible Study, services, Unity Watches, practitioner support and everything else brings many blessings. But they are also a call to action for each of us, that we all do the work so they remain a blessing. All of this didn’t come without demonstration, and it will not remain without constant demonstration from each of us. It doesn’t fall to some hierarchy, it falls upon all of us to listen with spiritual sense and act as He directs us every single day!
To me that is absolutely wonderful, because it is undeniable proof we all are useful and important to God. I am so grateful that God has brought all of us this Truth and made it accessible and usable and sharable, so all may benefit. There are many out there right now waiting for their door to open, and the work we do just might be what brings that about. For someone such as me, who so recently felt “locked out,” that is the most wonderful work that I could imagine doing, and I pray every day that I never lose the gratitude and joy I have in working for God.
When I first walked into a Christian Science Church, I was an adult. I had grown up in the Episcopal Church, but rarely attended church after leaving home in my late teens. I found Christian Science when I really needed it, trying to raise our son in a city where we had no family, no support system, though we did attend an Episcopal church, but it was not helping.
When I first read Science and Health, I recognized that it is the truth. However, when trying to practice it and going through what is called “class instruction” for ten straight days, the teacher refused to answer even one question when I asked one. The class notes from those ten days were supposed to be sacred, but I never used them, because they didn’t enable me to practice the Science. And I had no idea that early workers who had known and worked with Mrs. Eddy had written books to help us understand Christian Science. Plainfield made them available to me for the first time.
At last, some 30 years later, I found my real entry into Science through the open door of Plainfield, our practitioners’ constant help and the articles they write, and the intensive teaching every week in the Bible Studies and Roundtables.
Thank you, everyone at Plainfield, for your generous and wonderful support and teaching.
“At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good.” (S&H)
For a long time I struggled with this statement. It seemed no matter how “good” I was to the human standard, it did nothing to overcome the evil in my experience; in fact, it had the opposite effect. “Good” being: be nice at all cost; forgive and let evil continue; don’t speak up; please people; be loving — a very subjective, dangerous word when based on human standards; don’t rock the boat; and many other variations. When I tried to fight evil on a human level, it just made it feel very real and exhausted me. This was personal sense without God.
Since working with a Plainfield practitioner and using Plainfield’s resources, good is beginning to have a new meaning for me. I am learning more of the nothingness of evil and how to overcome its seeming power. This has been a process of purging, self-awareness, repentance, new views, and tears, but worth the process. It is amazing how ignorant one can be of self and not know it.
Today I came across a quote in the book Footsteps by Carpenter, chapter 100. “In her work Miscellany, Mrs. Eddy refers to the poem which contains the line, ‘only great as I am good.’ Although, in this instance goodness would refer to the scientific process for gaining reflection, it must be remembered that the power and majesty of what man reflects belong to God.”
Never in twenty-two years of mental health therapy did I ever entertain the idea that my abuse could be overcome or healed. When I was given a diagnosis of complex post traumatic stress disorder with associative identity disorder due to childhood mental, physical and sexual abuse, I was twenty-nine years old. The treatment was to manage my symptoms, which had become quite a lengthy list all on their own. The therapy was called “cognitive” and consisted of talking to someone about the abuse and taking unknown amounts of medications, which I took the privilege to abuse on a regular basis in an attempt to ease the mental agony of the memories and the lack of self-worth I was feeling.
I had not even come close to the feet of the power that could help me to overcome and heal. Don’t get me wrong, therapy served me well in helping me to realize I did not have to be a victim. But, who was I, if not a victim? That is the catch. Rightfully so, they were trying to convince me of “what I was not,” but I was desperately seeking to find out “who I really am.”
The only identity I knew was the one I was labeled with. I was a product of a very violently abusive, alcoholic father, a submissive mother and the victim of incest, who endured being locked in the basement for hours and beaten and tortured for many years. I walked around for years, with that label stuck on my forehead and my life reflected every bit of it. What I desperately wanted to know was, is God real and why didn’t He stop it.
A year and a half ago, I made my first call to a Christian Science practitioner. My greatest joy was in finding out that God is very real and He is not what I thought He was. He is a loving God, with a greater love than I could ever imagine. I stopped going to therapy and no longer need medication. Over the next year and a half, I began to learn more and more about God. I learned how to feel Love. I learned to honestly forgive my abusers, which has brought me a tremendous amount of healing, and a joy I could have never thought possible. I learned many valuable lessons from studying the Bible. I am learning to overcome my fears and build my confidence. I no longer have the desire to die, because I have found my worth in working for God. In Christian Science I am learning the Truth. I have a new label now, it says, “I am the daughter of the King.” It is imprinted on my heart and is reflected in love. And YES, abuse can be overcome and, most importantly, healed.
Martha Harris Bogue
From the March 1903 issue of
The Christian Science Journal
Confidence is a quality of Mind, a quality of God. Since confidence is God-given, the statement “I lack confidence,” is false. The person who is declaring the lack of confidence to succeed is very confident of his ability to fail!
Jesus said, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” We are to work out our salvation,—deliverance from the belief of power in evil—with fear and with trembling, not wait until we get out of fear and the trembling has stopped before we attempt to overcome. Is it His pleasure, His will, that we should fail in that which He has bidden us to do (resist the devil)? Is it His will that we should make mistakes? Of course not! We are to take up the cross daily, take up whatever is opposed to
God that crosses our path, not as something, but as nothing, and put it out of the way.
Fear is faith in evil; courage is faith in God. Doubt is trust in evil. Confidence rightly directed is trust in God, good. When we are afraid we can ask ourselves: “Where is my faith?—what am I trusting in, good or evil, Spirit or matter?” If we fail, it is because our faith is in the wrong thing.
When a very young student, I was called to see a woman who had not stood on her feet or sat in a chair for over ten years. Medical science had entirely failed. My teacher had given my name to the invalid’s family, and I felt that obedience demanded that I should go. I surely went with fear and trembling. All the way I studied Science and Health, and all the time personal sense argued that someone else should have been sent, that if I should fail, the cause of Christian Science would suffer—until I almost wished I could take the train back and send an older practitioner.
Then the consciousness came that those in need had not sent for me, they had sent for Christian Science. I saw that all that was trembling and fearing had no part in it, could neither hinder nor help, that revealed Truth was to do the work, and it was competent, that I did have confidence in God, and these words came: “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” My confidence in God’s ability, in the power of the Word, began at once to take the place of confidence in my own ability to fail. I left self-reliance behind, and with God-reliance went to the woman. I was able to remain only about four hours; but before I left the patient, she walked across the room and sat in a chair. The next morning she was dressed and went to her breakfast with the family. She has been a well woman ever since.
In this I learned that I must never let fear and trembling keep me from taking the step before me. We do not need confidence in our own ability, but we do need confidence in God’s ability and willingness to work in us, to give us dominion over all the earth, and we must have the willingness to take the steps and prove to ourselves and others that God is omnipotent.
One who is seeking freedom, and finds it delayed, is often tempted to question, why am I so long in being healed? I read and study faithfully, do everything required of me, “pray without ceasing,” yet conditions do not change. Others are quickly healed, without any apparent understanding or knowledge of Science, and seemingly without any effort on their part.
This may be quite true; but the fact remains that each one must walk in his own pathway and learn the lessons to be gained therein.
My own healing in Christian Science was slow. The logic and theory of Christian Science was fairly clear to me within a month or two, but to trust it and make it practical took years. Looking back, I can see some reasons for delayed healing. In the first place, I believed absolutely in the reality and power of the error from which I suffered. Then, too, I wanted to be healed above all else, and this is sometimes disastrous. I read the textbook with the thought in mind of being healed. I would read a powerful statement and think, “Maybe this will heal me.”
I would earnestly warn others against such practice. I thought practitioners were wasting their time when they talked so much about God, because I was not seeking a religion. I wished only to be free from suffering.
Another hindrance was that I became desperately sorry for myself. Self-pity is like a poison. It seems some are quickly healed, but I was not one of these. I am deeply grateful for it all and for every step of the way, however rough it seemed.
It is absolutely necessary for some people to be driven to solitude, really to find and know themselves as children of Spirit; to become acquainted with a real self which they have never consciously met before.
This takes time, study, thought, and consecration; a gradual laying aside of old beliefs and habits, a discarding of many faults, some that were once thought to be virtues; and overturning of false education, and a new kind of self-analysis from an entirely new basis.
At times one will say, “I don’t care how wearisome the way is, if I’m healed. But it seems as if I’m making no progress, despite the effort put forth.” This is never so, for when freedom does come, one will be found farther along the road than he had ever dreamed he could be.
For the comfort of such wayfarers our Leader writes: “If your endeavors are beset by fearful odds, and you receive no present reward, go not back to error, nor become a sluggard in the race. When the smoke of battle clears away, you will discern the good you have done, and receive according to your deserving. Love is not hasty to deliver us from temptation, for Love means that we shall be tried and purified.” (S&H p. 22.)
I know in my own experience it was not until one day I laid the textbook down and said, “Well, whether I am ever healed or not, I am certainly finding God as I never knew Him before.” Then better conditions began to be manifested. I turned to Christian Science with the thought of finding God. Then the suffering lessened and finally vanished. I thought less about the body and naturally it troubled me less.
Not unnaturally, I always feel the deepest compassion toward those who seem slow in receiving their freedom, because I know the difficulties of hope deferred; but I must add that I also know much, very much, of its triumphs.
A special patience with those who are likewise “slow” comes from one’s own experience, and a real desire to help, comfort, and encourage becomes a vital part of one’s nature. Then let us persist; let us keep our confidence and faith in God, till the coming of that glad time when we can say, as did Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course.”
More earnest seeking, striving, overcoming, day by day, is still the one thing needful as we “press toward the mark”; but the pilgrim is not alone, for he has at last learned that our heavenly Father is with him every step of the way.
Following is some of the discussion held at a recent Plainfield Church Bible Study. At these sessions, Bible citations from that week’s Independent Christian Science Lesson Sermon are discussed. They are available by teleconference on Saturday mornings at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. If you’d like to join this study group, log on to the church website, plainfieldcs.com, for dial-in information. Everyone is welcome to join in!
When Rebecca told her son Jacob to get the blessing his father was about to give to his elder brother Esau, she was not being deceitful—she knew that Jacob had a divine destiny. God had told her that “the elder shall serve the younger,” and she knew what Jacob was going to become. She was spiritually minded, with a clear sense of what was right, and she was obedient to God.
When Esau found that Jacob had stolen his blessing, he vowed to kill Jacob, so Jacob went away for a time. Then God told him to return home, and it was during the return trip that he wrestled and was transformed. He wrestled with the false concept of himself, with the material sense of life, fear, weaknesses, failures, doubts, and guilt. He was struggling to find his divine purpose for living.
Jacob insisted on being blessed by the angel. He wouldn’t let go until he truly changed. Then he was transformed. Mary Baker Eddy says, “…the patriarch, perceiving his error and his need of help, did not loosen his hold upon this glorious light until his nature was transformed.” (S&H) This is true Christian Science healing, having your nature transformed.
We all need to demand the blessing. When going through a problem, don’t stop struggling until you get the blessing, no matter how huge the problem seems to be. No one can do this for us—we all have to do it for ourselves. There is always a blessing, or He wouldn’t be a good God, would He? You struggle and demand the blessing—and then get out of it. Don’t be a martyr, struggling days on end. We’re not humanly trying to do this, this is God working. And because it is God working, you are the victor!
The spiritual evangel asked Jacob, “What is thy name?” One definition of the name “Jacob” is “the deceitful one.” When his father asked him that question, when he came to deceive his father, at that time he was the deceitful one. Now he’s being asked, “Are you still the deceitful one? Who are you? Have you struggled through this? Is your nature transformed?” And because it was, he was given a new name.
Jacob found that his brother was coming to meet him with 400 men, and it looked like Esau was coming for a fight. This is the history of the jealousy and the hatred of the Christly thought. Jacob was the Christly thought, and there was jealousy of him. We see that today. When someone is living the Christly thought, there is huge jealousy. If you let it take you over, then it puts you in a very bad place until you wake up to what you’re doing. You need to get back to your compass, the Bible and Science and Health. Mrs. Eddy’s article in Prose Works, “Love your Enemies,” is very helpful. The power of forgiveness and the ability to reconcile with your brother is a tremendous power because it’s of God. This would seem to be part of the history of mortal mind, of error. But the Christ prevails, as it does in this story. The Christly thought is incapable of jealousy, hatred, or envy. Error needs to be nipped in the bud early or it starts out smoldering and, if not cast out, bursts out in devouring flames. Mrs. Eddy says “hatred is a plague-spot that spreads its virus and kills at last.” (Mis.) Bicknell Young says the hater gets all the hate. This is how evil destroys itself. Be sure you check your thought every night, that you have anger toward no one, and have a forgiving heart if someone has hurt you.
When Daniel was in the lions’ den, and he had done nothing but obey his God,—if he had hated, if he had thought all those evil people out there are doing all those evil things to him, he would have been the lions’ dinner! So hold your ground. If someone does something wrong, are we justified to be handled by the same devil and do something wrong as well? We need to take it out of the personal realm, and ask what is it that’s manipulating? It’s never a person, place, or thing. Ask what is error trying to do here, what is it trying to accomplish? Then don’t let it do what it seems to be doing.
When Jacob saw Esau and his men a distance off, Jacob bowed before Esau seven times. It was an act of great humility. He had totally changed from a prideful, manipulative, egotistical person. That struggle transformed Jacob, and he saw his only purpose in life was to be a servant of God. One of the Bible commentaries says, “The call on your life isn’t to worry about preserving and protecting what is yours, it is about prospering and propagating what is God’s.” And until you go through a struggle like that, and get rid of the pride and preconceived notions of who or what you are—your human personality—until you put that all on the altar of God, and have your life transformed, only then do you see a divine destiny.
The other major point is that Jacob did not try to change Esau. He did not say, “Esau, you need to be changed.” He changed himself. And by changing himself, everything around him changed. The change is within you.
(Introduction by Mary Beth Singleterry)
A couple of definitions for the word “covenant” in the 1828 Webster Dictionary are “a mutual consent or agreement of two or more persons; the promise of God to man, that man’s perfect obedience should entitle him to happiness.” In the Bible you will find the word covenant referred to often. It was a common and natural thing in those days to make a covenant with God. The following is an excerpt from the book “Memoirs of Mary Baker Eddy” by Adam Dickey, who at one time worked in Mrs. Eddy’s home. Mr. Dickey is referring to his father, Nathaniel Dickey, who in the year 1859 made this beautiful covenant with God.
He writes of his father, “I never knew a better man than my father. His life was one of uprightness and purity and he was admired and respected by all who knew him. After he passed on his children found his diary, under the date of August 7, 1859, the following entry, which gives a better insight into my father’s character than I ever could:”
(the text has been copied exactly how it is found in book)
In the name of the Father & of the Son & of the
Holy Gost I thus solemly inter into a covenant
with my Creator & Redeemer, having for its end
the Glory of God & the salvation of my soul.
And that I may be directed aright at this time,
I Beseech Thee Heavenly Father to grant me
the enlightening influences of the Holy Spirit,
Both to dictate the course most proper to be
pursued & to strengthen me that I may be kept
faithful in the discharge of the following
duties, for Jesus sake, Amen.-
1st I give myselfe Body Soul & Spirit into
the hands of my Creator to be used as Gods
will may direct,
2nd That I will at least twice every day
approach him in prayer for the pardon of my
sins & full development of my Christian char-
3rd That I will at least once each day read &
endevour to understand some portion of his
4th That I will endevour to become recon-
ciled to any with whome I may be at variance
and make restitution to such as I may have in
any way injured...
5th That in all matters of doubt or un-
certainty I will keep the example of Jesus be-
fore me & endevour to act according to my
knowledge of his will,
6th That I will keep a journal in which to
record my observation & reflections, For it is
evident I have lost much by not having kept
any record of the various events of my life.
“Choke these errors in their early stages, if you would not cherish an army of conspirators against health, happiness, and success.” (S&H 405)
Little children know instinctively that well-being abides and well-being abounds, harmony abides and harmony abounds, perfection abides and perfection abounds, and that there is no room for anything else in the universe but the Presence of God that abides and abounds forever.
Two little children may fuss or fight together, but scarcely two minutes later, they are sharing the same lollipop, because little children feel the mood of disharmony as so uncomfortable that they will instinctively, instantaneously repent of it, naturally “choke” it, and choose better-feeling thoughts in its place. This is also because little children know joy, are joy, and live joy, the fruit of the Spirit, the well-being that alignment with God brings.
Little children feel the disorientation of misalignment in a pronounced, penetrating way, as a chastening more intense than that which the prodigal son felt when in the “far country,” far away from the Father.
Thinking the wrong thought over and over again — as adults oftentimes do — allows that thought to mature into a belief. This belief, persisted in, then attracts other wrong thoughts related to it, confirming its “reality.” At last, this belief matures into an inverted kind of understanding that the Bible calls “understanding darkened.” The haste with which little children banish misaligning thoughts comes from the honesty with which they sense the apparent “absence” of God that results from such thinking, leading them to automatically, unconsciously follow Mrs. Eddy’s inspired command to “stand porter at the door of thought,” to make sure this insidious thought-process is disallowed at the very beginning (S&H 392).
In Mrs. Eddy’s stupendous “An Allegory” (Mis. 323), the porter is standing on one foot, completely off-balance, his faculties of discrimination divided, rendering him unable to separate truth from error. Thus can an assertive wrong thought overwhelm the clueless, complacent porter as it gains entry into the promised land of Soul, beating its drum of self-insistence as the armies of the kingdom of personal sense occupy more and more of the sacred land over which God had long ago given man dominion.
Thus, I need to treat any thought — no matter how small, no matter how slight — that takes me away from that feeling of centeredness in Life, Truth, and Love as something so disordering that I immediately stop thinking it and constructively replace it, drown it out in flood-tides of spiritual thoughts: Christ-centered, Christ-elevating thoughts, thoughts of gratitude, of appreciation, mighty passages of scripture, psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, angelic thoughts of divine empowerment. This is the essence of Christ’s teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, which is God’s basic training manual on the “warfare with one’s self” (Mis. 118).
Thank you so much for yet another moving post, Parthens.
In the Preface of the first edition of Science and Health, Mrs. Glover wrote: “Owing to our explanations constantly vibrating between the same points an irksome repetition of words must occur; also, the use of capital letters, genders and technicalities peculiar to the science, variety of language, or beauty of diction, must give place to close analysis, and unembellished thought.”
The idea of the “unembellished thought” has stayed with me since I first read that. It feels as though it must have been one of the many reasons Jesus loved children—they came to him unguarded, without agendas or misconceptions. Children have to learn to add “fluff” to their thoughts, just as they have to learn to be guarded.
Since encountering the idea of the “unembellished thought,” I’ve worked to attain it. In order to do that, I’ve needed to handle being proud of some of my abilities and a fear of being vulnerable that led me to being secretive. Because of this, it has helped me to see how that “fluff” I learn to add is not of God. It was just mortal belief that had me justifying my positions to make myself feel better.
It hardly seems a week goes by without finding out something in me needs to be burned away, and I am so grateful for all of it. That intellect that made things too complicated, that hid behind words, was the same intellect that brought my life to ruin. I don’t ever want to go back there! I am so happy to let it all go so that I can move forward with God!
I tell you the truth when I say there is only one Source of all good, God. The conscious recognition and acceptance of this fact, acknowledged by every activity of the mind, not two or three times a day, but every few moments all day long, no matter what the outer self is doing, and this maintained will enable anyone to express his perfect freedom and dominion over all things human.
Mary Baker Eddy
Herbert W. Eustace
Of all the virtues, can there be found one more prolific of quiet, peaceful happiness, more overflowing with love and kindness, than gratitude? This subject has been frequently in my thought, and more especially so since last summer.
When on my vacation, one Sunday evening it was my privilege to hear a learned bishop of the Episcopal Church deliver a sermon. In his address he stated that in his old parish, in one of the large eastern cities, a parish that contained some of the best Christian workers he had ever known, on the reading desks in the church were the old prayer-books that had been there for over a century. They were not then being used, more modern ones having replaced them.
One day the thought came to him to look over these old books, and see what prayers to God had been most frequently used. First he turned to the prayers for help for the sick, for the safety of those at sea, and for the many other blessings mortals so urgently desire; all these prayers were black with finger-marks, showing at once how much they had been used. He then turned to the prayers of thanksgiving to God for the blessings specially vouchsafed unto them, and he was amazed, he said, to find that these prayers of deep gratitude were as clean as any pages in the book, showing, also at once, how little they had been used. There was every evidence to show how constantly they had prayed to God for what they desired, but there was no evidence to show that they had expressed any gratitude for the blessings received.
Are we truly grateful for all the blessings that infinite Love is showering on us? Are we not too often like the ten lepers whom Jesus healed, only one of whom came back to render thanks? Out of ten blessings, do we render thanks for even one? How many times do we allow error to whisper to us, when some prayer is answered, that it just happened that way, or that we should have gotten well anyway, and we look no further than this. We are content that we have what we wanted, or that we are well. Our prayer of thanksgiving is not made, and we have robbed God of what rightfully belongs to Him, a grateful heart. And we have furthermore denied the Bible, for it tells us that, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.”
Dear friends, let us always be ready to acknowledge our heavenly Father’s love and care, not in one way only, but in every way. Let us turn to Him alone with our psalm of thanksgiving for everything that comes into our lives. With St. Paul, let us rejoice at infirmities, reproaches, necessities, persecutions, and distresses for Christ’s sake. Remember “this self-same God is our Helper, He has mercy upon us, and guides every event of our careers” (Unity of Good, p. 4). If we do this we will learn that the seeming distresses are angels entertained unawares, and that Love has been with us all the time.
What a glorious thought this is, that we live in Love! Could we possibly ask for more? Can we express our gratitude in anything less than earnest, consecrated lives? Consecrated to God, striving to have the same Mind in us that was also in Christ Jesus, consecrated to the steadfast purpose of proving that God’s kingdom has indeed come on earth, as in heaven.
Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy, Page 369-370
Metaphysics, not physics, enables us to stand erect on sublime heights, surveying the immeasurable universe of Mind, peering into the cause which governs all effects, while we are strong in the unity of God and man. There is “method” in the “madness” of this system,—since madness it seems to many onlookers. This method sits serene at the portals of the temple of thought, while the leaders of materialistic schools indulge in mad antics. Metaphysical healing seeks a wisdom that is higher than a rhubarb tincture or an ipecacuanha pill. This method is devout enough to trust Christ more than it does drugs.
Meekly we kneel at our Master’s feet, for even a crumb that falleth from his table. We are hungry for Love, for the white-winged charity that heals and saves; we are tired of theoretic husks,—as tired as was the prodigal son of the carobs which he shared with the swine, to whom he fed that wholesome but unattractive food. Like him, we would find our Father’s house again— the perfect and eternal Principle of man. We thirst for inspiring wine from the vine which our Father tends. We crave the privilege of saying to the sick, when their feebleness calls for help, “Rise and walk.” We rejoice to say, in the spirit of our Master, “Stretch forth thy hand, and be whole!”
When the Pharisees saw Jesus do such deeds of mercy, they went away and took counsel how they might remove him. The antagonistic spirit of evil is still abroad; but the greater spirit of Christ is also abroad,—risen from the grave-clothes of tradition and the cave of ignorance. Let the sentinels of Zion’s watch-towers shout once again, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.”
In different ages the divine idea assumes different forms, according to humanity’s needs. In this age it assumes, more intelligently than ever before, the form of Christian healing. This is the babe we are to cherish. This is the babe that twines its loving arms about the neck of omnipotence, and calls forth infinite care from His loving heart.
When giving this season becomes distorted, as depriving us of what we have, especially where we see a need, we can remember the inexhaustible source from which we give. We possess the wisdom that is equally inexhaustible from the same source to help us discern where a need might be and lead us to give from our heart’s rich overflow. Often it is the gift of the intangible things that reaches farther; like the love for our brother expressed as kindness, tenderness, sincerity, honesty, guilelessness, courtesy, unselfishness, generosity, and good temper. In this season we can all relive the Christ presence by our inexhaustible love for all of mankind. The poem below sums up what our world needs most, it is something we can all give:
Ask God to give thee skill
In comfort’s art:
That thou may’st consecrated be
And set apart
Unto a life of sympathy.
For heavy is the weight of ill
In every heart;
And comforters are needed much
Of Christlike touch.
— A. E. Hamilton
I am very grateful that I can listen online to the Plainfield Sunday service and during the week to the reading of the weekly Bible Lesson. When it is not possible to personally participate in the Bible study or Roundtable, there is the opportunity to listen to the recorded version. Thank you everybody who is actively working in this Independent Christian Science Church. I am very grateful to have discovered you.Germany
What a powerful Bible Study on September 20, 2014. The ideas shared couldn’t be more relevant and helpful to us today in handling the many challenges facing mankind. The idea of “pursuing” the enemy has really stuck with me. We turn on error and handle it — we don’t flee from the things that frighten us but face them. By doing so we bless not only ourselves but the world. Thank you for the Bible Study, Roundtables and Watches — a powerful antidote to the mental miasma of world thought.Illinois
What great Roundtables we have! We are so blessed to have such good dedicated teachers at Plainfield.Texas
I listened to the Roundtable called, “Do You Want to be Whole?,” and I wish to tell you how much it means to me. Everyone who participated was awesome and I plan to listen again.Pennsylvania
I’d like to say how grateful I am for the wonderful items I have been able to access on the Plainfield website. I have been listening to archived audio services and have been systematically listening to each one. I am gradually getting around to accessing more and more on your website. There’s so much on it and I’m learning so much. It’s been a joy. The Wednesday testimony meetings have been inspirational. Thank you too for all the lovely hymns. I listen to them even if I’m busy at home. I find them very uplifting.England
What differentiates this church is Spirit. It is not any person, or any special feature, or anything one could point to. It is the Spirit of God, of Truth and Love, which is missing wherever there is hypocrisy and dishonesty and stuff.
The watches are powerful too. So necessary to tear mortal mind’s imaginations to pieces and shred them into nothingness.Costa Rica
Thank you for all that you do each and every day to further the cause of Christian Science both locally and throughout the world. Know that your time is well-spent and you could not be focused on a more important task than what you are doing. This is the work, that if Mary Baker Eddy were with us today, she would be most supportive of continuing. Using the Internet provides you with a fabulous tool to send the healing message out to all corners of the earth. We who are on the receiving end are most grateful and appreciative. Please accept the enclosed contribution to support the wonderful work you are doing at Plainfield.Georgia
The Sunday Roundtables are full of helpful teaching. Recently it was brought out that it is important to understand Mrs. Eddy’s life as explained in the preface of Spiritual Footsteps, and the way to work with the 7 synonyms of God. Many thanks.Maryland
I am grateful for you all, the practitioner’s dedication to the classes and for the website. It always has new things to read or hear.
I appreciate all the participants in the Roundtable and Bible study. This has really become my family. I needed such fellowship that is edifying and strengthening.
I am doing my daily reading of the Bible, Science and Health, and Prose Works and meditating with the passages so as to get the application to daily experience. It is amazing how current and “live” the books are; speaking to daily challenges, helping me neutralize error, and sift the chaff from the wheat.Virginia
Thank you for the wonderful website. It helps me every day. The audio songs by Peter and Faith are very special.California
Thanks to everyone for another uplifting Wednesday night meeting. It ended with some joyous postlude music.Vermont
I love all the great stuff on the web page. I listened to Joseph’s recording of The Greatest Thing in the World many times. It has brought much comfort and understanding to my heart.New York
The following testimonies are offered with great love to those seeking encouragement and inspiration.
I want to share a blessing I had very recently. As you know, shopping for cars can be very overwhelming sometimes. At the dealership recently, not only was I able to find a very nice replacement car, I also had the opportunity to experience God’s ever-present love.
I was completing the documents and getting ready to make the first payment on my new car, when the gentleman in charge of the Accounting Department at the dealership approached me and asked me if I work for the church. He had noticed my reference on one of the documents I had completed. I said, yes. Then I asked him if he knew about our church. He said he didn’t, but said that he does know God, and he handed me a book from the shelf in his office. It was a book about God. I can’t recall the author, nor did I have time to read it. After a few seconds, he paused and turned to me and asked, “Benjamin, do you know God?” I said, yes, I know Him and all He has done for us. Then he continued with his duties. When I asked him if I could now make my payment, he told me he had already paid my first payment and advised me not to tell anyone about what he had done.
As I got up to leave, he held my hand and blessed me in the name of God, and I returned the same blessing to him. It was a moment that reminded me of Mrs. Eddy saying that heart speaks to heart. It was a humble and blessed moment for us, and the blessing goes on to bless everyone around us through sharing our experience.
I’m grateful to God, whose love fills every space and every heart, and whose light cannot be hidden. It was a very brief moment, but surely was made possible by God. “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings,” Mary Baker Eddy. “Ye are the light of the world,” Christ Jesus. May this light never be hidden. Amen.
When I came to Plainfield, I had been a student of Christian Science for about thirty years, had attended 3 different churches, and was class taught, so-called. However, I had never been able to access Christian Science, though I clung to the understanding that it was obviously the truth of our existence. Every fall for the past 5 years I had been hospitalized by my family for what was called clinical depression, but treatments and anti-depressants were a joke for me, because I knew they could not help me. Back home, on the nights I could get sleep, I could not bear to wake up in the morning, and walked through my day, without telling anyone, all the time thinking I was somehow left out by God. I was terrified of perhaps even going to jail in this life, as well as future damnation.
Two years ago I was searching the internet for any straw I could grasp to save myself from drowning. I guess I put in “Christian Science” or something, and saw a quotation from Bicknell Young, “Consciousness, Where Art Thou?” and a phone number for Plainfield. I was saved almost immediately by the help I received from a practitioner there who answered my phone call, and I am grateful every day for all the help I have received and am still receiving from her. I am also grateful for the teaching of the other practitioner at Plainfield, who is dedicating himself to reading Mrs. Eddy’s works for audio through the Wellspring Foundation, as well as the other leadership at Plainfield, also the literature by early Christian Scientists which have been proscribed by the Mother Church.
Moreover, I am delighted to be part of a worldwide community led by Plainfield where we openly talk the truth to each other all the time and work with it together, the one idea of the one Mind. It is indeed a foretaste of heaven. So I also want to express my sincere gratitude to all my fellow members in Christ who are interacting here, in the services, the Bible Study and Roundtable, the unity watches, and through the website in the Forum to understand this truth and help each other throughout the world and send it forth to all who have not yet had the opportunity to find Christian Science.from F.M. in Maryland
I would like to express my gratitude for Christian Science for helping me gain a better understanding of God and man’s relationship to Him, and how this is the answer to every conceivable human problem if we learn and apply it correctly.
In my own experience, I have been delivered from the physical and mental dependence on a well-known prescription tranquillizer, the healing of an acute case of tendinitis in which my pointer finger was curled completely to my thumb, and surgery was to be scheduled so I could continue my employment. My finger uncurled before my eyes in one Christian Science treatment. I have had healings of bladder infections, colds, effects of a horse stomping on my bare foot, and many other things.
However, I am most grateful for the freedom from fear this Science gives us, and for the wonderful sense of purpose we have to be able to lift our consciousness up to the point where we can actually be a help to all mankind. I am also grateful for all the help I have received in gaining this better understanding and for all the wonderful committed workers in this Science that are devoted to bringing this healing Truth to everyone. I am very grateful.from S. D. in Iowa
I was remembering that, quite a while ago, I was struck by a statement in that week’s lesson, from the Bible, Psalm 27: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Up until that point in my life, I believed that I was invincible. Well, not invincible, but certainly not fearful. But a practitioner in this church was helping me with some issues; and when I looked honestly into consciousness, I realized that most of what I did every day was done out of fear. I worked long hours because I feared not being able to pay my bills. I went out of my way to help people because I feared not being loved. I worked out each day because I feared not being strong. It was a real eye-opener for me to see how much I was being driven by fear.
That was when I began to make some fundamental changes. I changed careers so I could devote more time to church and family. I stopped worrying about whether I could pay my bills. I became more interested in helping those who were truly working for God. I lost interest in working out. I began to fear less and trust that God would take care of me.
Jacob from Costa Rica recently sent us a great article on Confidence by Martha Harris Bogue in which it is written: “Fear is faith in evil; courage is faith in God.”
For me, this was an incredibly liberating healing, to be free of much of the fear that I had considered normal for most of my life.
I am grateful for the help of that practitioner and for the writings of Mary Baker Eddy. They have shown me that God is not only the strength of my life, but He is my very life, and that has healed me of much of the fear I brought with me to Plainfield.from G. S. in New Jersey
I am most grateful for our practitioners. Recently, one of my Realtors asked to show my home to a couple, for they wanted one very similar to mine. They arrived, and only the husband came in. I discovered the wife was outside caring for their large dog. I suggested that I could take care of the dog while she also viewed the house with her husband. All went well until my neighbor arrived and got out of his car and the dog wanted to make friends with him. Lunging forth, the dog caught me off guard, and the sharp pull on the leash knocked me off balance and I landed on the sidewalk. When the Realtor noticed what happened, his first remark was, “We are going to the Emergency Room!” for a cut was bleeding on my forehead.
It was late Wednesday afternoon, and those in Plainfield would have been preparing for the Wednesday evening meeting so I did not call a practitioner. During the night, a pain, similar to one associated with a cracked rib developed. Calling the next morning, I was given two citations concerning “accidents” and the “trial” from our Textbook. I was also told I could not be harmed for doing such a kind deed. That pain lessened immediately. The practitioner’s reply was, “Joy cometh in the morning.” Each day since the “tumble,” marvelous progress is quite evident, and I am now completely free of pain.
I am most grateful for this quick healing.from J. D. in Arizona
Upon reading the article on your website, “The Rhythm of the Universe” I realized that after seeking true Christian Science in the Plainfield Church I no longer have anxiety dreams! Thank you Plainfield Church for working so diligently to deliver true Christian Science to the hungry world.from C. H. in Pennsylvania
I would like to express my gratitude for a healing I had just last night.
I was out of town last week for work and was supposed to come back Sunday, but I didn’t arrive back home until late Monday night due to a layover. Yesterday was my first day back at the office in a little over a week. So, when I got to work, I felt a little anxious and I didn’t handle it right away. Before I knew it, it was time to go home.
As I was leaving work, I started having heart palpitations. They continued for a few hours and were still harassing me when I called in for the Tuesday night Unity Watch. During the call I heard “Love is the liberator,” from Science and Health; and before I hung up from the call, the palpitations stopped. I was able to carry on the watch in peace. I’d heard those words before, but last night they seemed so meaningful and so alive, that I was healed.
This healing made me think of something my grandmother used say when referring to the scripture, “No weapon formed against thee shall prosper.” She’d say that to those striving to do the will of God, weapons may form, but they will not prosper.
I am so grateful for this healing, and grateful that I’m back home with all of you. I thank God for Christian Science, for this church, for practitioner support, the many resources available on the church website, and for all I am learning here.from L. F. in Maryland
I would like to relate how by being an information seeker on the internet, I also became mesmerized by government conspiracy sites; some of which suggested government take over, and various other nefarious activities. I thought I had found knowledge only known to a relatively small group of people. When I tried to share this information with others, I was met with disbelief, skepticism, and disinterest. I then became angry and somewhat depressed. In working with a practitioner in the Plainfield Independent Church, I have been healed of this obsession and no longer “cruise the net” looking for conspiracy information. It was just another form of aggressive mental suggestion. Certainly not a spiritual activity!
As Mrs. Eddy states on page 96 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Love will finally mark the hour of harmony, and spiritualization will follow, for Love is Spirit. . . . This material world is even now becoming the arena for conflicting forces. On one side there will be discord and dismay; on the other side there will be Science and peace. . . . These disturbances will continue until the end of error, when all discord will be swallowed up in spiritual Truth.” She further states: “Mortal error will vanish in a moral chemicalization. This mental fermentation has begun, and will continue until all errors of belief yield to understanding. Belief is changeable, but spiritual understanding is changeless.”
I am very grateful for the support and direction given to us by the practitioners of this church. Also, I am grateful to be a member of this church and to be able to participate in the “watches” for the church, our country, and the world.from J. F. in Maine
I was so grateful for the unity watch on Tuesday, September 30. It met my immediate need. The watch message was from Mary Baker Eddy’s Lessons of the Seventh Day:
“Never recognize a person in the argument but take up the error only. Be conscious of the Truth and error will disappear. Overcome the evil mind with Good, with Love. Feel that no other presence exists. This will deliver us. There is no personality. This is most important to know.” On Tuesday morning I was struggling to see my oldest son as not a mortal with some ugly so-called “personality traits.” Shortly thereafter, my email beeped — it was the watch message that had been selected for that night! It was clear what I needed to do, which was, and is, to separate the error from my son and recognize he is a reflection of infinite individuality, not personality. This is an idea I worked with the whole day, and it helped get me through some challenging circumstances that flared up with him. Though difficult, I had my “armor” on and was able to stand with Principle to challenge this error for what it was — nothing.from E. S. in Georgia
I wish to express my gratitude toward Plainfield Church for the complete transformation it effected in my life earlier this year. Before I contacted a Plainfield practitioner, I felt desperate about my finances and “stuck” in my job. I was working an odd shift schedule, and felt forgotten and that my work was being overlooked. The practitioner was not impressed by all that mesmerism. We began working together with the article “Place” by Mrs. Eddy. Wow, what a message! I felt like it had been written especially for me, and I carried around a copy of it everywhere I went for several months. Many times a day, I would “stand still and lift up [my] vision,” to see that I am receptive to nothing but good. It was so freeing to realize that I “do not have to plan, to think how or when or where; that is God’s business — [my] business is to carefully reflect, listen to, and obey when this call comes.”
As I became more receptive, supply seemed to come to me like turning on a tap. First, my employer began frequently catering lunches to show appreciation for us. Then, a company I’d interned with contacted me about writing some freelance articles for them. That opportunity immediately met my most important financial obligations. I posted a sticky-note to my computer at work that reads, “Today, my activity is God-directed, God-protected and God-placed.” I sort of thought the healing was over, but am grateful to say things continued to progress. On the day I was eligible (by company rules) to be promoted, I was offered a rewarding position that has brought about much growth and joy. The freelance writing work has increased, too. I’ve been able to travel and do all sorts of things that seemed 100% impossible earlier this year. My cup runneth over.
I’m overjoyed to say that looking back at my “pre-Plainfield” time is foggy to recall. At one time, it felt that if only my circumstances would change, then I could change my thinking. I’m happy to say that I now know that it’s the other way around: when my thinking changed, so did my circumstances. I am so grateful to Plainfield, its practitioners, members and the treasure trove of online materials.from L. S. in Texas
original lyrics by Peter Kidd
God sent water out of the desert land of Edom
Without rain or wind or cloud.
In the same way, He will deliver you to freedom
Though you cannot seem to see a way out.
Do you think it’s a hard thing to be healed?
Well, stop thinking that if you would be restored.
It is but a light thing to The Lord.
It is but a light thing to The Lord.
You remember, there was the feeding five thousand
With some bread, a couple of fish.
Can’t you see that you will be fed and clothed and housed and
Live a life far better than you could wish?
You have only desired to find the Way;
Lift your thought up — waiting there is your reward.
It is but a light thing to The Lord.
It is but a light thing to The Lord.
If you think that you’re going to God
But you don’t really believe that He will do anything,
Then you’re not really going to God —
You’re just imagining a vain thing.
A waste of time.
God provided horses and chariots of fire
To destroy the enemy.
When you’re low down, it is the evil one’s desire
That you do not claim your right to be free.
They with you are much more than they with them.
The Almighty is your shield and your sword —
It is but a light thing to The Lord.
It is but a light thing to The Lord.
Science and Health, 1st ed., Chapter 1, by Mary Baker Glover
We will specify three of the footsteps that enter in by the door, or enable us to become receptive of Truth.
To become as a little child in that we are willing to leave the old for the new, and look beyond landmarks, theories, doctrines, and beliefs, pleasures or pains of sense; but here we must watch that we receive not Truth from person, but Principle; the test being, that whatever cometh from Truth is demonstrable, and brings forth good fruits; our lives must testify to this.
Purity is the foundation of the science of Life; “None but the pure in heart shall see God.” Inspiration is the highest means to convey messages from Principle to idea, i. e., from God to man; but these messages are never borne into matter, therefore to be recipient of Truth, we must begin to recognize ourselves Soul, and not body, and receive and impart the teachings of Spirit. Such messages are angels, but not winged messengers; they are the aroma of Soul passing to man, the impressions that guide him aright, and are demonstrable when understood, and not understood unless demonstrated.
To rightly apprehend and receive more Truth, we must put into practice what we already possess. This higher understanding of the relationship between God and man will not be recognized by the opposite belief of Life and Intelligence in matter. And the explanations or the wholesome rebukes of our Father, even Wisdom and Love, will often be deemed severity; but we must avoid the yielding to error demanded by error; remembering Love often moves the sinner to hate, in that it stirs this opposite element before destroying it; and not until the sinner and the sick feel their need of Truth to save them from sickness or sin, will they become receptive of it.