CSEC ON-LINE REFERENCE LIBRARY
J. P. FILBERT, CSD
The term love is the embodiment, burden, and premise of John's remarks, as found in this 20th verse. Love! Who can define it? "Mortals misname it, call it what it is not, and then wonder what it is;" hence, mortal man can only repeat an infinitesimal part, and exercise that portion. The unselfish glory of Love is distorted by "human definitions and named qualities of matter."
Mankind has caught but an infinitely small spark of divine Love, which can be made visible to the senses only in better morals, better health, kind deeds, actions, looks and words; in a loving, unselfish disposition in our own household, towards parents, children, and mankind in general, with sympathy for the afflicted, the sorrowing, and the cast-down; in taking them by the hand in a kind act, kind look or word. The sin and physical sick, hungering for the bread of Truth, find no comfort in the stereotyped expressions of logic, or parrot utterances, composed of paragraphs committed to memory.
What think you, were you to call a Christian Scientist to the bedside of the heavenly homesick and suffering patient, and he should repeat Homer or Shakespeare to the patient for relief? What comfort could the creature obtain from such a course? Yet, for me to call upon a suffering patient, and repeat the letter only, minus the spiritual rays of Love, would be a parallel procedure. The mortal that is heavy laden by the hand of the lord god of this world, is in a parched condition; and one drop of the waters of sympathy and kindness, and a crumb of the bread of tenderness from a fellow-mortal, will do a hundred times more for such a mortal than all the combined utterances of lore or logic, committed to memory and repeated orally or silently.
Jesus wept at Lazarus' grave, because of the sisters' blindness to spiritual Truth. But his deep, tender compassion for their need brought forth his (at that time) highest demonstration of Love. This brought out the true sense of the words, "See how he loved him.'' Such sympathy as this is a heavenly shower and solvent that first cools mortal mind and then dissolves it, and so cleanses the foul atmosphere of error, delivering the patient from his enemy and destroyer, the carnal mind.
Such is the surgery of Christian Science, all by the selfsame Spirit, Love reflected, or God made manifest in the flesh. The anti-Christian, serpentine logic that has crept into beliefs of so-called Christian Scientists and has given vent to such utterances, in substance, as, "you must be stoical and bereft of all human sympathy towards your own family and in the sick room," is one of those detestable things that so-called Christian Scientists have defiled themselves with. Such a mode as this is eating and drinking damnation, not reflecting the Christ-image, which alone can heal and save.
John refers to mortals when he says, "He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" "No fate, no circumstance, no foe can make Love loveless," though it shines through the shadows of mortals. If we believe God to be Love, and claim to be its likeness and character, we, as mortals, must shadow forth that thought which holds us, lest our image be that of the beast. There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed." The second coming of Christ is with ten thousand of his angels through the clouds. Every mortal is a cloud that needs piercing. If we are Christian Scientists in deed and act, the Christ-image of Love will pierce these clouds of mortal mind and make itself manifest in the flesh. Love cannot express anything apart from loveliness, purity and meekness, which is the divine nature which illuminates and exercises the nobler sentiments of mankind.
We are enjoined to be "a peculiar people," not to love less, but more than the world. This is Jesus' direct command. It is an oasis in the desert of error, which attracts the pilgrim in the wilderness of mortal mind, enriches our own being, and honors God, and, like Jesus, becomes a law of attraction that will draw all mankind. The mortal who has no human love guided by the higher sentiments is to be compared with the barren mountain peak that has not a blade of grass upon it, but claims to be a green pasture by still waters. The Christian Scientist who has not Love in the heart cannot heal; and I would rather be treated by a Chinese leper than to place myself under the care of a Christian Scientist in name only, or one who does not at least try to live the requirements of a Christian character. No wonder the pulpit and the press glare at a spurious "mind-healing," for whatever does not harmonize itself with the teachings of Jesus the Christ is spurious, fatuous and anti-Christian, and deserves to be denounced.
This second coming of Christ is to appear with ten thousand of his angels (pure thoughts), dispelling every cloud of an evil and carnal sense of things, and so cleansing the foul miasma of carnal mind, as a refreshing summer shower cleanses the atmosphere. This is the right way; but instead of this, Paul says that "grievous wolves shall enter in, among you, not sparing the flock," with damnable heresies, leading astray such as are not grounded and rooted in Truth.
"History repeats itself." As the early Christian era went into apostasy, so in this period, there will be a great falling away until that detestable mortal mind, alias "son of perdition," stands revealed. We must commence with the lowest round of the ladder and do all that the world calls good and Christlike, just and humane, for if the world of sense can condemn us in the exercise of inhumanity, how much greater will be our condemnation in the sight of God.
"Love thy neighbor as thyself" is Jesus' command, and if this is not exercised in a higher degree of compassion than a world of sense can conceive of, how can we hope or expect that the world can regard Christian Science as a higher order of Christianity? The aching, distressed, suffering human heart needs the healing balm of Love reflected; it needs the oil of sympathy, and oil of gladness from the Christian Scientist, and not the vague stab of stereotyped paragraphs. "Little children, love one another" is the most profound command, verified by the divine Teacher, that was ever uttered by the human tongue, and is the genius of Christian Science.
There is a mighty difference between genius and talent. Talent is the letter, and genius is the ray of spirituality made manifest in the flesh. Talent is the river of mortal thought that runs into the ocean of mortal mind, but genius is the river of life that flows out of the throne of God, Good; the former flows in, the latter flows out; one absorbs, the other radiates; one is borrowed, the other is original; the latter has sympathy, the other has not. This sympathy must be exercised by mortals ere they are fit to enter the sickroom. It is like a prime factor in mathematics, it cannot be divided. So the solar rays of Spirit shine upon mortals. If they will but exercise a moment of silence and allow Love to predominate over the letter, good results will be obtained.
God enjoins mortals to come and reason together, for the higher sentiments always precede revelation or the fruits of the spirit; and finally, whatever seems to be forced upon mankind and is not gentle, kind, loving, and comes not under the law of attraction, is vile, fatuous, and anti-Christian. Nothing but the similitude of an angel of God has any part or place in Christian Science. O, when shall we arrive at what these glorious words imply. No mortal can, unless the heart is first prepared by the Lord of lords. "He that loveth not, knoweth not God," and is still "in the surging sea of error," beholding himself in the mirror of mortal mind, but calling himself someone else. Jude, the Apostle, refers to such as "murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouths speaking great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage." These are they that separate themselves sensually, having not the Spirit. I charge no person, but I do charge the error. This error has made many of us drunken. Cast it out, lest we be found wanting. By this "we know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren," says John. This term "brethren" applies to mortals. We have Jesus' authority for it, and, what is more, it is the Principle of Christian Science.
It is a painful sight to behold the brusk remarks appealed to and palmed off for Christian Science by those who claim to "have passed from death unto life." Any index for information on this subject will warrant that "Love is the fulfilling of the law." "Love fulfils the law in Christian Science, and nothing short of this divine Principle, understood and demonstrated, can ever furnish the vision of the Apocalypse," in which mortal mind is seen passing away. Jesus and John lay the greatest stress upon it, and even the law of Sinai exalts it as the greatest of the commands.
Here is found then the prolonged tone from Genesis to Revelation, that love, from the sentiments up to spiritual radiation, is the fulfilling of the law, and the prophets' testimony and witness of the Spirit, which is the seal of adoption, and Principle of Christian Science. "But," replies the logical critic of Christian Science, "our textbook declares there is no matter, and here you would have me love my brother in the flesh, my children, in fact, my enemy." Just so is Jesus' command, but no one can or should stand upon the higher and abstract statements of Science unless he or she can first fulfill the lower. Jesus loved them that crucified him, and interceded for them with the Father to lay it not to their charge, for they knew not what they did. He fulfilled every sentence he uttered, every command, every rule and precept, and we must do likewise, lest our utterances with the lips become chaff, and send forth a deceptive sound.
Such a heart as Jesus', overflowing with love, commencing with the higher moral sentiments, or Golden Rule, at all times and under all circumstances, exemplifies the term Christian Science. Peter knew this at the moment of radiating revelation. When interrogated by the divine Teacher, it gushed forth in that memorable utterance, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Such love extends to all alike. Such love is blind to anything apart from Good. This love is the motive power of man in God's image, and should be the motive power of mankind, and is, when all seeming babel is laid down. Then all our judgment as mortals is taken away. This causes meekness, and thus we behold evil, alias the concepts of mortal mind, as we behold our likeness in a mirror, simply as a shadow, minus life or intelligence; and nothing is real to us in such mirrored reflections when we once understand mortal mind in this sense. I would have my readers understand this illustration, since it is the important lesson in Christian Science, and not only deny these phantoms seen in mortal mind, but turn from them to the evangel of Truth and Love, which is the dew of heaven, refreshing mankind, and making Good manifest in the flesh. In such supreme moments we can see nothing but goodness, tenderness, and express it. But we must commence at the lower round of "Jacob's ladder" in order to reach the pinnacle. Thus did Jesus as he "went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick." The mother's compassion for her child is unselfish and pure, and is the first step in Christian Science. Such a quality tends to forget self in doing for others, and is approaching the God-likeness.
But "he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" If I claim that I am under the law blameless, and have not compassion towards mankind, coupled with sympathy, then I am still under the law of sin and death, and am but representing a cloud without a drop of rain, a cistern that is broken, not capable of holding one drop of water from the river of Life. Dry and barren as the desert myself, how can I give drink to the parched wanderer in the desert of mortal mind? O that all Christian Scientists might purge themselves from this iniquity of sense, and become meet vessels for the Master's use, and be filled with kindness, mercy, truth, and the oil of gladness, which are the first fruits of the Spirit. Whatever mode contradicts the fruits of a contrite heart is anti-Christian.
Our concepts of God cannot be hidden, but are reflected upon mortal mind. A partial, unjust, unkind, haughty, and unsympathetic mortal mind foreshadows its idea of God, which is like itself, and always registers our actions; but if we verily believe that Love only is God and we are the image of Love, then nothing can prevent us from making manifest the Love concept in all our outward modes and actions, for it is written upon our foreheads with the diamond of Truth, and we must reflect at least an infinitesimal fraction of the Love that is God reflected in the flesh; and this is the whole conclusion of Christian Science, the whole Law, prophecy, baptism, eucharist, charity, priesthood, healing, and the testimony of Jesus, that Love is made manifest in the flesh.
The Christian Science Journal, December, 1891
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