Fear The Chief Procurator Of Disease
( Originally Published 1921 )
PERMIT me to remind you, by way of isolated preface, that the one supreme pest and torment of humanity is fear. Permit me to say that if you were to analyze the subject from premise to conclusion, you would find that fear causes nearly all the sin, nearly all the sickness, nearly all the poverty; it causes nearly all of man's inhumanity to man, and the strife among nations. Indeed, you would find that fear constitutes the chief and almost the only considerable foe of mankind.
Whatever will destroy the fear of this race will practically save the race. And let me declare to you that Christian Science promises to show the way whereby every man and every woman on earth may learn to master that foe, may learn to triumph over the one miserable outrageous cause of human misery.
We on earth speak many languages, we have many moods, but there is one common language we are all accustomed to—that is the utterance of lamentation, the utterance of woe. Our race cries. It complains of heavy heart and heavy burden. It sends forth one interminable monotone of remonstrance because of its hard lot, and it pours out one long monotone of petition to God in order that it may be delivered. It has puzzled over the problem of existence for century after century, and now, after all the centuries, it confesses that it is without a solution. And now comes Christian Science, to promise mankind a solution, adequate, complete, and satisfying.
Let us for a moment consider this pitiful sight—a race stricken, a race in the inveterate anguish of pain, men and women, murmuring, complaining, resisting the awful tragedy of human life. What do we find conspicuously manifesting itself through-out the long procession of the centuries? It is an instinctive attempt on the part of men to penetrate the unknown, to solve the mystery of creation, to search after and become acquainted with God. In this attempt men have formulated every conceivable kind of belief. They have speculated; they have conjectured. They have formulated philosophy, creed, and religion, and they have multiplied interminably the conflicting estimate of God and man and the universe, and with what avail?
Today there is the same conflict of creed, the same antagonism of sectarian bitterness. Here we meet with more than a hundred Christian sects manifesting or externalizing Christianity in the form of ever so many segregated denominations that could not possibly coalesce or amalgamate themselves. Now, I confess to you that in the hour of this great multiplicity of religious beliefs, when men are told that they must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved, and when they turn to all those interpretations of Christians that differ—when they thus turn in dismay and ask : "Which one of them must I believe? I cannot believe them all; what must I do in order to be saved?"—I confess to you that to come upon the scene, and to establish and maintain another sect were utterly without reason, or excuse, or justification, unless it can inch by inch prove its way; unless it can at every step meet the practical need of men who mourn, of men who are in trouble, and who need a substantive practical relief.
If you were to consider the annals of this race from the religious standpoint, you would discover that the estimate of man's relation to God, or the different gods, often was not only terrible, but terrifying. It was only within five hundred years of the Christian Era that the world began to discover or to formulate a more redemptive religion; and the one thing that distinguished Christianity above all others was in this respect. It came to a race that was under a penalty, and it offered the promise of redemption. It came to release the human family from the terrible plight of supposing that it was damned; of supposing that it was under a wretched and vengeful doom ordained of God.
Now what is the position of Christian Science at this hour? It comes to promise more of redemption, more of salvation, more that means health, life, prosperity, welfare, and dominion, than all else that has ever been uttered in the name of religion, philosophy or science. In other words, it promises to the man who is in trouble, more by way of deliverance, more by way of benefit, than all else known to humanity.
The real question, therefore, is this : does Christian Science fulfil its promises or not? It is a question of proof, of demonstration, and Christian Science burns all the bridges behind it, and declares itself to be a demonstrable science, resting wholly upon proof for the evidence of its verity. Coming thus with splendid promise, coming with a message for the hope of millions, like every other evangel that ever touched the conscience of man, it has been resisted, it has been antagonized, it has been denounced, misrepresented, and its advocates have been reviled and stoned; and yet we do not demur. It is simply in accordance with the inveterate custom of this race. And Christian Science, like all others, must stand not perforce of the courtesy of antagonists, but it must stand, and will stand, because of its beneficial influence on behalf of every human being that adopts its teaching and yields to its beautiful influences.
Well did the gentleman who introduced me tell you I am not here for converts. More than that, I do not ask one single thing of you; I do not even ask you to believe what I say because I say it; I am not here to coax you, not here to persuade you. I have too great a respect for your independent mental integrity; I have too much respect for your right to find your way to your own conclusions ac-cording to your light; too much loving-kindness towards you to presume to molest you on your way. We are giving these lectures almost wholly because of the unreasonable misstatements that are made whereby to turn the attention in unfavorable grooves. It is because, with the most industrious continuance, men persist in misstating the entire purpose and promise of Christian Science.
Coming as a new sect into your community, establishing a new propaganda, inviting the attention of mankind, it is proper, it is, indeed, a privilege and a duty for us, to justify by way of statements and testimony this new endeavor for the amelioration of human conditions; and so to-night it is my purpose very briefly to give you some little idea of the distinctive religious beliefs that are being uttered in the name of Christian Science. As against the proposition that we do not believe in God, please at-tend for a moment while I ask you "what think the people of England?" What does Christian orthodox England think that a man ought to believe concerning God in order to be acceptable in their midst?
What will pass muster, what will meet the highest standard of your requirements?
There are people of this audience who do not believe in God at all. Now, please, my friends, let me say a word to you. Every man and woman in this room knows that he is conscious of something. He is conscious of his environments, of the things that have existence. He knows that everything exists as an effect; everything has already been made, that is now produced. Something has produced it. To all the phenomena of the universe there is, without argument, some mighty or potent impulsion that has induced or produced them. What is it? Everything exists because of foundation, of origin, of source, of principle. Everything that you know anything about has been induced and is sustained by some basic principle.
What is it? Every man here knows that he is intelligent. He knows that he himself and his ancestors have sprung from something that is likewise intelligent. Everybody here ought to know enough to know that no effect can rise superior to its source. Everybody here ought to know that the very intelligence of a human being necessarily includes the conclusion that it springs from some intelligent source. Everyone in this room knows that the universe, or whatever you call it, the things of existence, the paraphernalia of mankind, is governed, is ruled, by and according to law. Every-body here knows that the law which governs the universe is anterior to the existence thereof, or to man himself. Everybody knows that an intelligent source must have procured and does now sustain the universe. Every man here believes in God, for the simple reason that nothing other than that which is the basis, the foundation, the source, and the origin, the Principle, the rule, the law, and the power that sustains it—nothing else, nothing other is entitled to be called God.
What must a man in England believe, in order to be acceptable, to believe in God?
We think that he must believe that God is one God only, one supreme, individual, self-existent, spiritual entity, one conscious being, one omniscience, one supreme and sublime aggregation of all truth, all knowledge, all science, all wisdom.
We believe that this God is Life, and we mean thereby that God is the creator of life and of life only; and on this point we utterly repudiate every suggestion that God has instituted or procured sickness and death, for any purpose.
We believe that one in order to believe aright concerning God must know that as Spirit, as Mind, as intelligence, He is the supreme power of the universe, supreme as power without a rival, without an equal, without a competitor.
We believe that one must know that God is good, the infinity of good; and in knowing that, he must know that God is good only; that He is in no wise evil, does not cooperate with evil, does not make use of it for any purpose whatever. Our God is good—supreme, infinite, untainted good. We believe that all the problems of life and of evil must be solved, and may be solved, in some other way than by putting upon the estimate of God the supposition that He has involved Himself in any one thing for the discomfiture of mankind or of you.
We believe that one must know that the law of God, the fundamental law of being, is the law of life for you; and at this point, in the name of Christian Science, I declare that there is no law of God against you. You are not under stress of condemnation or damnation. God is not ministering to His people by the application of disease, and pain, and agony. God is infinite good. To know God aright one must understand that always, so far as humanity is concerned, He is by nature, purpose, and law, good; the very dearest and nearest friend to everybody and anybody; that He is always a very present help in all kinds of trouble to all kinds of men and women.
We must understand that God is the healer of all thy diseases, and we must be so specific and so practical in that understanding that it should mean simply this,—that that which means God, that which means law, and power, and opportunity, and privilege, that which means the fundamental rule of the normal order of the universe, may be available to mankind, may be applicable to the healing of disease, and as such is equal to the elimination and expulsion of disease, and is the only thing which is equal to it.
If we are to be stoned, this is the place to stone us. We insistently entreat mankind to divest itself of the assumption that God does any evil whatever. We entreat the world to make its stand and try to get along today and to-morrow and forever with a good God. For what purpose? What does it matter if you consider God as being the author of disease or not? It matters just as much as does the difference between heaven and hell. Look on this race, penetrate its anguish, listen to its breaking hearts, and ask what is the matter with us, and you will get your first answer when you learn that the primary difficulty with this race is that every man and woman is more or less afraid of God.
Poor, poor humanity! What an awful penalty it pays! How unconscionably it has been imposed upon. What a penalty it pays for being afraid of our dear God. This is the universal fear which permeates the entire philosophy of humanity and constitutes the primary cause of universal, racial, bodily ill. I have no time in which to vindicate that statement by way of argument; I have to speak with more or less effrontery because I cannot amplify all these statements. The world has been considering this subject for 6,000 years, and although Christian Science promises to solve it, and does not expect to be 6,000 years in impressing that solution upon mankind, nevertheless, obviously, I am unable to do more than touch upon it here and there to-night. But this is to be conspicuously observed as a part of the teaching of Christian Science. Our God has ordained nothing, not one thing, which is vengeance for you, not even damnation for you, not even a wrathful destiny. The whole problem when solved will leave us with a splendid, satisfying, competent, adequate, and loving God.
If sickness be not of God, from whence cometh it? Here is another point which is rocky in the theology of the world—the "origin of evil." People have stumbled and have despaired over it. Thou-sands of men contemplating the mystery of evil have committed suicide in their agony; and now comes Christian Science to solve this long puzzle of the ages.
Sickness instead of being a natural concomitant of life, instead of existing because it has a right to exist, is declared to be wholly illegitimate and an abnormity altogether without basis in God or Science, without basis in fact or order or in law; without a legitimate right to exist. Christian Science declares that disease is a disorder of humanity instead of a rule and consequence of God. It declares it to be a monstrosity of human procurement, and as being outrageously imposed upon this race. And coming thus in this crusade against disease, it faces it with the understanding that sickness has no right to infest you, no right to spoil your life; it comes absolutely to expose all kindred evils as mere negations resulting from a well-nigh universal mental aberration on the part of this race.
So then here is the distinctive point in our teaching. It is that you need no longer contend against a leviathan of evil that has unobstructed power to crush you. Not at all. It comes to expose evil so as to make it clear that you may be its victor instead of its victim. It matters not so very much to the man who is sick whether the sickness is of God or not; the one important question with him is "Can I be cured? Can I be saved?" That is the most practical question of all time and of mankind, and as a practical question, it demands and is en-titled to a practical answer.
To declare that the only way of salvation is a mystery is not practical. To declare that the only feasible way of salvation means that you are to die first, upon the theory that if a man is dead he may be happy or not, is not practical. Nothing is practical in the way of salvation other than salvation. A hope of salvation does not mean salvation at all.
Fear is a mental activity, but I ask you to consider this, as sensible people of the Twentieth Century—if you are to be saved you certainly ought to know it: How much of salvation does this race need? Go to every man and learn what it is that clusters near his heart by way of trouble, and he will tell you: "I want to be saved from this misery." And long before you have gone down the procession of mankind you will find that they want to be saved from everything that maketh the mourner, that distresses by way of wound or trial.
Now comes the question, "Can you be saved or not?" We are in the midst of trouble by our own confession. We want to get out. Can we do it? Almost everything by way of philosophy and religion, declares that you cannot get out; that the only way to get out is to die out, and Christian Science comes and declares that you can get out of the whole outrageous business now.
Then comes the question : What is the way of salvation? Is there a new Saviour? No, there is but one. One is enough. There never will be another; no need of another. Then comes the question : What think ye of Christ? What must a man believe concerning Christ in order to be saved? What do the people of England require in this respect? What think ye of Christ?
The Christian Scientist is taught to believe that Jesus as a mere bodily condition was not divine. He is taught to understand that it was the Mind which was in Christ that was divine. He is taught that the sublime spiritual individuality, that august endowment from on high, that spiritual understanding, without measure, without boundary, without horizon, that grand, splendid, noble, spiritual grasp and apprehension and knowledge—this is the immortal Christ. Therein is the divine son of God.
What Mind was it that was in Christ? Paul says "Let this mind be in you," because it was the Mind that was in Christ that was divine, that constituted the Messiahship—that is, the Saviour. It was this Mind that healed the sick, that raised the dead, that raised Jesus from the dead, that walked upon the waves, and moved mountains. It was the Mind that was in Christ that saved Jesus from the taint of humanity.
It was the Mind in Christ that was before Abraham. Therein is not only the eternality of Christ, but the immortality of man, exhibited and represented. It was the Mind that was in Christ that came to do the will of God. This he referred to when he said: "My Father is greater than I," but "I and my Father are one."
It was the Mind that was in Christ that came to fulfil the law, not to overturn, not to act in contravention of law, not to upset the rule of nature, but to demonstrate the law. The whole Christian mission practically was the enforcement of law. This splendid representative of omniscience, this one who knew more than all men about God, man, and the universe; this one who was always wise, always right, always lawful, always perfect; this one really attested his entire mission by enforcing the divine law of Life, the harmony of good, of immortality.
He was the attestation of the splendid fact that God, by way of nature, purpose, and law, is equal to the healing of the sick, and is ready, ever ready, according to his changeless nature, to do it. What think ye of Christ? What must I think, or what must other persons think, to be saved? I must know that when Christ overcame sin he overcame that which had no right to be. I must know that when he overcame sickness, he overcame that which had no right to be; that he did not compel nor demolish anything that God had ordained, anything that God respected, anything that needed to be or continue.
You have got to understand that when Christ Jesus overcame evil he overcame an abnormity that had no right to exist. If one were to contend for the opposite proposition he would be obliged to sustain the proposition that Jesus Christ came on earth to undo, to subvert, the divine rule and purpose. You cannot think of anything more grotesque, more tragic, or more farcical than to suppose that a wise God would institute the undoing of His own wisdom, the undoing of His own purpose and provision. The mere fact that Christ Jesus overcame disease ought to carry with it the conclusion that disease ought to be overcome.
What must I believe? I must believe that everything he did was in exquisite accord with law. I must believe that he understood the law governing the cause. I must understand that his was an object lesson for the instruction, for the guidance, for the redemption of this race, and now I come to declare the most important thing of all. It is this: When Christ Jesus reformed the sinner he did it in the only right way, and when he healed the sick, he did it in the only right way. Again if we are to be stoned, here is the place to cast us down. We rest upon this abrupt, startling statement that Christ Jesus healed the sick in the only right way. He did it, and when he did it according to the only right way all the people were healed of all manner of diseases spontaneously.
Think of it. Think, Christian men and women. I ask you to consider what would happen if you could sustain the alternative. If Jesus did not do it in the only right way, then there is a better Saviour than Christ Jesus. We belong to a race that has tried every other way in which to heal the sick. We belong to a race which has for 4,000 years been coaxing matter to heal all of its diseases. We belong to a race that has swallowed all the matter there is in the world, or most of it, and yet a race which buries fifty million people every year.
Think of it. Fifty million people die every year on this globe. Would it not be well for them to consider the only right way? We come to plead for more reliance upon Christ and Christianity. We come to declare that the people of this world are not getting one thousandth part of the good of life out of Christianity, out of the true knowledge of the Science of Life they are entitled to. We come to plead with men to learn that in Christ and his way and his teaching and his rules you have the possibilities of irresistible, competent, and adequate salvation from all your misery tonight.
What think ye of Christ? We think that in Christ we have an object lesson for daily living. We are taught to obey the Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, and every mandate of God in Christ. We are taught that whatever means forgiveness of sin, whatever means atonement, whatever means intercession, mediation, whatever means heaven or redemption,—we believe that it is all adequately included, considered, and observed in the teaching of Christian Science.
I come to declare as against anything that anybody in the world may say, that no one lives, no one ever lived, who more adequately and unequivocally placed all his hope upon this divine Christ, or who was ready to accept more through Christ and Christianity, or who derived more through Christ and Christianity, than we do. What must I do to be saved? I must understand that Christ Jesus proved, absolutely demonstrated, this one prodigious thing, namely, that you are entitled to do-minion over all the earth.
About four or five months ago some one sent me a newspaper with a portrait of a woman and a few remarks beneath to the effect that this woman had been sick with rheumatism, in bed, for seven-teen years. During that time she had read the Bible through sixty-six times, and was then reading it through the sixty-seventh time. Alas, the poor woman, with how little avail did she read that Book ! Why, my friends, let me remind you that upon its first page almost is the declaration that God gave man dominion over all the earth; and is that true or not? If not, we may as well throw the Book into the fire. If it be true, what does it mean to men? It ought to mean that God, before Adam was born, provided a natural inalienable right on the part of men to dominate over all the earth. That surely ought to mean dominion over your body, your business, your household, your affairs, your environment, your circumstances, your condition. It ought to mean just what it says.
Is there anybody in this crowded hall who could say he knew of anybody exercising dominion over everything? What is the matter? Is there some-thing the matter with God, or man? There is something the matter with man, and he admits it. Man says we are a fallen race, and we have been damning Adam and Eve for six thousand years because they fell and dragged us down with them.
What is the matter with this race? Everybody is afraid. They are taught as babies to be afraid. Our mothers begin to scare us as soon as we can listen and take note. It is : "Darling, don't do this, or some awful thing will happen." "Don't eat that ice cream, my dear little thing." "Why not, mamma?" "Oh, because you will have about fifty or sixty different kinds of stomach ache if you do!" And just as soon as we get away from our mothers we find that everybody else is engaged in the business of trying to make us afraid. We are taught to be afraid of the sun, afraid of the air we breathe, and of the food we eat and so on.
The commonest form of fear is that which scares people out of their digestive integrity. I remember how they scared me out of my food. It was declared to you that this was my first public appearance in England. I came here in a private way about twenty years ago. I was not exactly a corpse, but I was in a fair way to be one. I came here as a post graduate of a sanitarium in America, wherein I had sojourned together with all the environment of misery for about a year and a half. Failing to cure me, they decided to ship me to England, but before I came over here they got me so that I was afraid of everything in the way of food there was in the world, and I tramped all the way around Great Britain with bottles of baby food. I would pay five or six dollars a day for board, and then have to hire a steward to cook the baby food. Now I know I was scared out of my food and of the capacity to digest it, and I never could digest my food until I was taught in Christian Science. Although it may not seem to be a very dignified utterance, it is certainly by way of practical testimony for me to say that I can digest any food in England. I am no longer afraid of my food, nor of my stomach.
Let me pause here just one minute. What is the matter with us? We are gratuitously afraid of nearly everything. If you will stop being afraid of your food and of your stomach, because you don't have to be afraid, you will find that in consequence thereof your stomach will spontaneously behave itself. You will find that according to a law which is as old as the universe you can digest your food if you will stop being afraid; if you will stop insisting upon it that you cannot do it.
Be not afraid. You are entitled to dominion. On this point what does Christian Science teach? In order to be saved you should know that when Christ Jesus said "Go thou and do likewise," he meant it. When he said "These things shall ye do and greater," he meant it. When he said "The kingdom of heaven,"—the kingdom of harmony—the kingdom of health and life—"is within you," as possibilities, he meant it. You are entitled to dominion over your business, over your affairs, over your health. Each one here may learn the way whereby to win, instead of perpetually losing. These then are some of the distinctive practical fruits of Christian Science teaching.
What think ye of Christ? Can you speak of one more benevolent, more comprehensive, more adequate, more calculated to meet the need of a splendid, perfect manhood? Can you think of a more dignified mission than that of Christ in the fulfilment of law? Can you think of more that means salvation? Can you think of more by the way of promise than the one which promises to equip you now for salvation and declare that this is its day?
I would not speak by way of odious comparison, but I ask you, in the solitude of your own judgment, to declare whether or not you think this is Christ-like, Christian, moral, and redemptive. I am familiar with every statement of Christian creed known to man. I believe that all that is claimed for historic Christianity, all the interpretations that have been vouchsafed to man concerning Christianity and its precepts, have not filled the full measure of Christian Science teaching. Not for one moment would I stand in an attitude of defense, nor for a moment contend with anybody in acrimonious de-bate on the subject of religions; but, coming in a time when we are challenged, when attempts are made to impeach our purpose and the rectitude of our endeavor, and the outcome of our work, I am unequivocal in asserting that we know Christian Science as a religion is pre-eminently God-like and spiritual, pre-eminently Christ-like and Christian, pre-eminently moral, redemptive, regenerative, and that its sole purpose is to enforce the declaration of Christ, "These things shall ye do."
We are striving to do nothing other than that which he declared we must do and can do in order to be saved. What does all this do for the man who believes it? He loses the hideous burden of fear. We are not so much afraid. We are not at all afraid of God. We are not at all afraid of a devil. We are not afraid of hell, and we are not so much afraid of sickness, not so much afraid of the ordinary occurrences of life. I believe that if it could be ascertained, it would be determined, that we are not half so much afraid as we used to be, and like-wise, that we have lost one-half of the havoc of fear. Fear, according to Christian Science, is an outrageous imposition upon you. Nobody would be afraid for a moment if he knew that he had dominion over all evil. Just as soon as you learn to prove this do-minion, you cease to fear; and that is what we are doing. Line upon line, precept upon precept, we are resisting, we are overcoming; we are dominating, manifesting a supremacy, we are winning, we are happier, more joyful, more self-contained, more reliant, more favorably expectant.
If we were to boast at all it would be to declare that we are gaining a knowledge and a power that very largely enable us to overcome evil, and it is for this that we sound forth our gratitude, and be-cause of this we insistently testify to mankind.
Twenty years ago, in this very London, I was a dying man. Your London physicians gave me no hope. I was miserably, wretchedly sick. I had suffered the torments that would have been sufficient for the damnation of the race, and it was only as a last resort and in desperation that I reluctantly, without faith, turned to Christian Science and was healed. I have been living twenty years in consequence, and now I am one of a million of the same sect—a million people that have been turned from beds of disease and from their graves. No wonder that we stand with such confidence to proclaim "I know that my Redeemer liveth."
Christ Jesus healed the multitude of all manner of diseases in the only right way. How? What did he do? Christian Science testifies thus—Christ Jesus was no mystery worker, no spasm of interference with law and rule, but the fulfilment and enforcement of law. We have, we believe, learned the truth. We have learned the rule. We have learned the modus operandi, and the result of this practice, still in its infancy, has been that every disease in the long list accounted fatal and incurable, has been healed by Christian Science treatment, every one without reserve; inaccessible tumors, malignant cancers, the worst forms of consumption, blindness, epilepsy, locomotor ataxia, leprosy, Bright's disease. These, in thousands of instances, have been healed, proving beyond the possibility of controversy the statement that there is something that will heal all manner of diseases.
Now, it is not a very gracious thing for a person to come before the wide, wide world and utter an impeachment of its system, or of its venerated custom, and yet I could not possibly do according to my purpose if I did not admit this,—that whoever understands the way of healing according to Christ necessarily criticizes. He necessarily discovers defects in every other system, and while I have no tirade of abuse, nothing but a simple analysis to offer—I ask you nevertheless to consider the matter from the standpoint of pure reason according to a logical sequence, and according to the most exacting demands of science.
Christian Science impeaches the medical theory and its practice. It has no enmity, not a word of unkindness, concerning the splendid men who have devoted their beautiful faculties in behalf of the sick. and suffering. No; and yet it recognizes the fact that no one on earth so greatly deplores the inadequacy of that system as does the physician himself. I have a little on this particular subject to say at this moment, and I will ask you to consider one or two things. First, the medical system is impeached for the reason that it is not a science. It does not pretend to be. It declares that it is not. It admits that it proceeds tentatively, that its progress and operations are experimental, and very largely accidental. For this reason there is no stability. The theory changes every night, and the practice changes the next night.
I remember very well the time when they used to bleed everyone who was sick. Our first American President was bled to death. He was killed by being bled three times. After that they struck another habit, or fad. It was the use of calomel, and they kept this up till they found that calomel loosened everybody's teeth, and made them drop out; then they stopped it. Then they turned to a very quaint habit. They got the blue glass habit we used to have in America. I do not know whether it ever blighted you, but you would see people sitting round under a pane of blue glass and have the sun shine on them. Then we came to the X-ray habit. That will probably be outgrown now, since it has been asserted that the X-ray causes cancer.
We go on till we come to the microbe theory, and just as everybody was scared almost to death with microbes, according to the customary rule some other physicians came to the front, and declared that microbes were not the cause of disease; that a microbe will not invade or infest a body that is perfectly healthy, because, in point of fact, it is really a symptom rather than a cause. But as soon as one goes another comes. We have now the very fashion-able habit called appendicitis. Out of the fund of your own observation you have occasion to note that theory and practice are perpetually changing, and never promising to undo the habit of disease.
Do you know that somebody told me that I ought not to tell stories to an English audience?—but I believe I will disobey. I do not know what you will do to me, but I am going to tell you a story about appendicitis. I heard it over in America. It was to the effect that in consequence of a trolley accident ever so many people were injured. They called in some physicians and surgeons to minister to them, and in course of examination they found one man who was insensible. They were puzzled about it, because there was no wound or broken bones, nor anything of that kind, and in their quandary, not knowing what to do, one man spoke up and said: "Well, what do you say to operating on him for appendicitis?" "Well," they said, "suppose we do. We have got to do something." So they took the man off for the purpose of an operation, and as they began to divest him of his clothing they discovered upon his neck a little ribbon, or string, with a tablet, and on the tablet were these words : "In case of accident please do not operate on me for appendicitis, because my appendix has been cut out twice already."
Christian Science impeaches the medical theory because of its defective estimate concerning the primary cause or essence of disease. Until the day of Hahnemann it was customary to ascribe to matter all that there was by way of causation. Hahnemann declared that the world would never solve its problems until it entered the mental realm, and Christian Science explores beyond these discoveries, and declares that the primary cause of the bodily impairment of this race is in the mental realm, mostly fear, and it declares this one thing that ought to arouse the most intense hope and joy in this world, namely, that when you really decide upon what is the primary cause of disease you will learn that it may be cancelled. Then you learn that disease can be cured, because its cause can be abolished; and one reason why these incurable diseases are being cured is that the Christian Scientist is learning that what he has to do is to expel cause; and Christian Science practice is after the fashion of expulsion, elimination, whereby abnormity, that twists, and warps, and distorts the human organism, is expelled, and whereby the same human organism spontaneously recovers according to divine and fundamental law.
Again, Christian Science impeaches the medical practice because of the inadequacy of remedy. In the city of Paris a few weeks ago one of the news-papers published a communication from a physician declaring that there were not more than sixteen drugs that exercised any curative efficacy upon disease. In New York last fall one of the leading professors declared that of fifteen hundred remedies listed in the pharmacopeia, not thirty of them had any efficacy whatever. In New Jersey another physician declared that there were only two, and likewise there are others coming forward to confess the hopeless inadequacy of drugs in the conflict with disease.
Now what is the right way? How did Jesus heal the sick? Was it Mind or matter? Which was it? It was the Mind that is God—that created the universe, that exercises all power, that affords you existence, that induces all the activities of life. Mind is the inducement. Christian Science comes to declare that that is the omnipotent God. The omnipotence of Mind means the omnipotence of God. It is the Mind that is God, the Mind that was in Christ, that is the power that Christ Jesus manifested; and that power is available to you and to every one that lives. It is equal to the mastery of disease. Nothing else is. We are proving really to our surprise that this Mind is available, that it is at hand, that we may take hold upon it, exercise it, wield its efficacy, and become the possessors of its splendid benefits. Christian Science Mind-healing is the enforcement of divine and fundamental law, and incidentally it is the expulsion of every abnormity, every monstrosity, everything that is unrighteous.
Much by way of uncharitableness has disposed itself upon this redemptive gospel; much more, alas! —and I say alas for humanity—much more has uncharitably disposed itself upon the venerable woman who has discovered, who has demonstrated, and who has taught and published this interpretation of Christianity to men, and yet although some-times a burst of deep regret springs, involuntarily, as we think of the ruthless assaults upon this gentle and revered tender-hearted woman, there is not one word to utter in defence of her. It would be beneath the dignity of her mission, it would be beneath the dignity of my pursuit and purpose, to cross swords in disagreeable conflict with those who rise up and ridicule or defame. No. This woman who has stood with her hand burning for forty years in the fire of antagonism and assault, this one who, in spite of it, has learned to be more godly, more up-right, more honest, more uncompromisingly faithful; this one who has learned to be charitable, compassionate, and loving,—this one has learned, as we have come to know also, that there is but one answer to the world and all that it chooses to say, and that answer is justification.
You may assail anything on earth, but no man can do anything to justification, and I submit to you that one million people redeemed from vice, from sin, agony, fear, wretchedness, poverty, and the confusion and dismay of life—I submit to you that those people stand forth before men, before citizens, stand in justification of this movement, in justification of this ministry, in justification of her sacrifice, and in justification of her silence. Millions are coming out from under the cloud of grief and doom, and as they find the fear cast off, as they find the heart less burdened, as they find the balm that pours itself upon the wounds of life, they know that they have come into their own and they are satisfied.
Delivered at Queen's Hall, London, England. Published in The South Eastern Advertiser, April 18, 1908.