The Christian Science
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for
a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
Christ Jesus (Matthew 24:14)
Volume 20, Number 1 November 2013
Christian Science Endtime Center P. O. Box 27539 Denver, CO 80227
This Standard contains excerpts from The Christian Science Standard
Volume 10, Number 2, August 1999
Stanley C. Larkin, Author and Editor, 1989 - 2001
“the perfecting of man stated scientifically”
— Mary Baker Eddy
In 1901 Mrs. Eddy said to a correspondent of the New York Herald:
The continuity of The Church of Christ, Scientist . . . is assured. It is growing wonderfully. It will embrace all the churches, one by one, because in it alone is the simplicity of the oneness of God; the oneness of Christ and the perfecting of man stated scientifically. (The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 342:19)
Now what does it mean, “the perfecting of man stated scientifically”? This is the scientific process whereby mankind is translated in order to reach the kingdom of heaven. Jesus explained how he exemplified this perfecting process when he replied to the Pharisees who came to him and said:
Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. And he [Jesus] said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. Nevertheless I must walk to-day, and to-morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. (Luke 13:31-33; emphasis added)
Everyone has to be “perfected,” — ascended out of materiality, out of personality and personal sense, — in order to reach heaven. It cannot be that they “perish,” — reach heaven by dying out of matter. They have to be perfected out of it. This is a scientific statement of the perfecting of man. This is the only process of salvation, — the only way to eternal life in accordance with the Science of Christ.
All the churches must come to see that the way of salvation is a scientific process which each man and woman must work out for himself. They must also see that this process has come to humanity through the second representative of Christ, Mary Baker Eddy, or they will miss the way. As Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health (560:17-19), “Again, without a correct sense of its highest visible idea, we can never understand the divine Principle.” If you do not recognize the revelator, you cannot comprehend the revelation.
Going back to the Miscellany quotation, in order to become perfected, it must be through the perfecting process “stated scientifically.” This point must be noted particularly. It cannot be gained by a general statement of the demonstration of mere human harmony; nor can it be gained without the recognition of Mrs. Eddy’s place in prophecy. The mainstream doctrinal belief regarding Christian Science and its discoverer is that Mrs. Eddy is not the second coming of Christ. Mrs. Eddy foresaw that her teachings would be watered down by the flood because her place in prophecy would be rejected. By rejecting Mrs. Eddy’s place, one loses his scientific understanding, not only of the revelator but also of the revelation. The scientific statement of man’s oneness with Christ becomes lost, and without that understanding, it is impossible for man to be perfected, i.e., transfigured and ascended. The various churches, according to Mrs. Eddy, will come to recognize “one by one” that this is the only Christianly scientific way of salvation.
MORTALS AND IMMORTALS
In the Lesson-Sermon given in The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston in May, 1922, on the subject of “Mortals and Immortals,” is given a description of this perfecting process in six sections as follows.
In section one we are told:
Mortals are not fallen children of God. They never had a perfect state of being, which may subsequently be regained. They were, from the beginning of mortal history, “conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity.” (S&H 476:13-17)
The Bible correlative tells us of Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, who came to Jesus at night and said:
Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:2, 3, 6, 7)
In order to be “perfected,” man must be “born again.” This is a process of spiritualizing human consciousness.
In his book, The Destiny of The Mother Church, Bliss Knapp writes in the chapter “How Divinity Reaches Humanity”:
We have a Bible Lesson entitled “Mortals and Immortals,” given us for study twice each year. That Bible Lesson develops the fact that to the degree that a mortal achieves the ability to overcome sin, disease, and death, he gains immortality. This poses the question, Can there be any good in the human consciousness? Mrs. Eddy replies, “The more I understand true humanhood, the more I see it to be sinless, — as ignorant of sin as is the perfect Maker.” (Unity of Good, p. 49) This indicates a progressive state out of mortality into immortality. (Destiny, p. 219)
In section two we have the following citation:
Mortals are egotists. They believe themselves to be independent workers, personal authors, and even privileged originators of something which Deity would not or could not create. . . . Immortal spiritual man alone represents the truth of creation.
When mortal man blends his thoughts of existence with the spiritual and works only as God works, he will no longer grope in the dark and cling to earth because he has not tasted heaven. (S&H 263:1-10)
Note here that mortal man in order to perfect himself must blend his “thoughts of existence with the spiritual” and work “only as God works.”
Through repentance, spiritual baptism, and regeneration, mortals put off their material beliefs and false individuality. It is only a question of time when “they shall all know Me [God], from the least of them unto the greatest.” Denial of the claims of matter is a great step towards the joys of Spirit, towards human freedom and the final triumph over the body. (S&H 242:1-8)
So, mortals blend their “thoughts of existence with the spiritual” and “put off their material beliefs and false individuality.” As Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, “The mortal mind through which Truth appears most vividly is that one which has lost much materiality — much error — in order to become a better transparency for Truth.” (S&H 295:19-22) When they all know God, that is the perfected or transfigured state.
This second section also includes the following correlative passage from St. Paul:
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:11-14)
Here is another statement of the perfecting of man. Paul is telling us that mortals have a responsibility to do something in the human realm, both for themselves and others, and not to ignore this responsibility. Like Paul we must desire, and expect, to be with the Saviour in his kingdom.
In the third section Mrs. Eddy tells us in Science and Health:
Mortals are not like immortals, created in God’s own image; but infinite Spirit being all, mortal consciousness will at last yield to the scientific fact and disappear, and the real sense of being, perfect and forever intact, will appear.
The manifestation of God through mortals is as light passing through the window-pane. The light and the glass never mingle, but as matter, the glass is less opaque than the walls. The mortal mind through which Truth appears most vividly is that one which has lost much materiality — much error — in order to become a better transparency for Truth. Then, like a cloud melting into thin vapor, it no longer hides the sun. (S&H 295:11-24)
Mortals can never know the infinite, until they throw off the old man and reach the spiritual image and likeness. What can fathom infinity! How shall we declare Him, till, in the language of the apostle, “we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”? (S&H 519:14)
Here is the “perfect man” and the perfecting process.
The twelve tribes of Israel with all mortals, — separated by belief from man’s divine origin and the true idea, — will through much tribulation yield to the activities of the divine Principle of man in the harmony of Science. These are the stars in the crown of rejoicing. They are the lamps in the spiritual heavens of the age, which show the workings of the spiritual idea by healing the sick and the sinning, and by manifesting the light which shines “unto the perfect day” as the night of materialism wanes. (S&H 562:11-21 The twelve)
So, the “twelve tribes of Israel with all mortals” are never really separated from “the true idea,” and “through much tribulation” mortals “yield to” the immortal man “in the harmony of Science.” The belief of separation yields to “the activities of the divine Principle of man in the harmony of Science” and we see them as “stars in the crown of rejoicing.” The perfecting process includes “healing the sick and the sinning.” We reach the “perfect man” as the result of the perfecting process as detailed in these references.
The Bible citations confirm these points:
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21)
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. (Revelation 2:17)
The white stone with the “new name” indicates the immortal nature, i.e., the purified consciousness. The mortal consciousness has yielded to the scientific fact, and “the real sense of being, perfect and forever intact” can never be reversed.
The fourth section begins with the following citations from the Bible:
And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. (Genesis 32:24-30)
Here Jacob is being perfected “through much tribulation.” Divine Love requires the giving up of the mortal dream, — all materiality, — which often comes “through much tribulation.” On page 296 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy writes:
Progress is born of experience. It is the ripening of mortal man, through which the mortal is dropped for the immortal. Either here or hereafter, suffering or Science must destroy all illusions regarding life and mind, and regenerate material sense and self. The old man with his deeds must be put off.
Mortal man ripens, — the old man is thrown off. The ripening process is the translating process.
The Bible citations continue:
Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. (Psalms 84:9, 11)
The correlative references in Science and Health describing the perfecting process of Jacob are as follows:
Jacob was alone, wrestling with error, — struggling with a mortal sense of life, substance, and intelligence as existent in matter with its false pleasures and pains, — when an angel, a message from Truth and Love, appeared to him and smote the sinew, or strength, of his error, till he saw its unreality; and Truth, being thereby understood, gave him spiritual strength in this Peniel of divine Science. Then said the spiritual evangel: “Let me go, for the day breaketh;” that is, the light of Truth and Love dawns upon thee. But the patriarch, perceiving his error and his need of help, did not loosen his hold upon this glorious light until his nature was transformed. When Jacob was asked, “What is thy name?” he straightway answered; and then his name was changed to Israel, for “as a prince” had he prevailed and had “power with God and with men.” Then Jacob questioned his deliverer, “Tell me, I pray thee, thy name;” but this appellation was withheld, for the messenger was not a corporeal being, but a nameless, incorporeal impartation of divine Love to man, which, to use the word of the Psalmist, restored his Soul, — gave him the spiritual sense of being and rebuked his material sense.
The result of Jacob’s struggle thus appeared. He had conquered material error with the understanding of Spirit and of spiritual power. This changed the man. He was no longer called Jacob, but Israel, — a prince of God, or a soldier of God, who had fought a good fight. He was to become the father of those, who through earnest striving followed his demonstration of the power of Spirit over the material senses; and the children of earth who followed his example were to be called the children of Israel, until the Messiah should rename them. If these children should go astray, and forget that Life is God, good, and that good is not in elements which are not spiritual, — thus losing the divine power which heals the sick and sinning, — they were to be brought back through great tribulation, to be renamed in Christian Science and led to deny material sense, or mind in matter, even as the gospel teaches. (S&H 308:16-23 next page)
Jacob was struggling, not with a man or a condition or an environment, but with mortal belief, — “a mortal sense of life, substance, and intelligence as existent in matter.” Jacob was moving from a corporeal being to an incorporeal being. “His nature was transformed,” as he was engaged in the process of being perfected. Mrs. Eddy is telling us that we must “deny material sense,” so, Christian Scientists should be in the habit of denying the material senses.
In Science we are children of God; but whatever is of material sense, or mortal, belongs not to His children, for materiality is the inverted image of spirituality. (S&H 572:8)
Jacob is a wonderful illustration of a mortal who is being transformed.
We turn now to the fifth section. Here we see that “the perfecting of man stated scientifically” must be through demonstration.
Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. (John 12:28-30)
This last is a very comforting remark. God spoke to them and they heard His voice. This is divinity reaching humanity as explained in the Science and Health citations.
We must go and do likewise, else we are not improving the great blessings which our Master worked and suffered to bestow upon us. The divinity of the Christ was made manifest in the humanity of Jesus. (S&H 25:28)
We reach humanity and achieve the perfecting of man through divinity. Our immortality must be expressed, not just through faith and emotional love, but through our humanity, — in healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out devils, and meeting every human need.
While we adore Jesus, and the heart overflows with gratitude for what he did for mortals, — treading alone his loving pathway up to the throne of glory, in speechless agony exploring the way for us, — yet Jesus spares us not one individual experience, if we follow his commands faithfully; and all have the cup of sorrowful effort to drink in proportion to their demonstration of his love, till all are redeemed [perfected] through divine Love. (S&H 26:1)
The mortal is struggling and drinking “the cup of sorrowful effort” to become perfected.
So, in this section we see that God works through us right here and now. Walking in the light of Christ is necessary for us to make demonstrations over sin and disease. We have to follow Jesus to be transformed. Immortality is the glory that Jesus had. For us to tread the pathway up to the throne of glory, immortality, we must show proofs of our own piety in demonstrating our control over sin and disease. Jesus trod the pathway up to the throne of glory to show us as mortals how to do it.
Mankind is victorious as he reaches the kingdom, which he does through his demonstration of spiritual sense. This sixth section shows the victory resulting from the perfecting process as shown in section five where Jesus was giving the instruction to work out of the mortal up to the “throne of glory.” Glory is the radiance of Soul, the loveliness that transcends material sense.
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. (Luke 12:32, 35, 36)
According to Luke, we have something to do; we can’t just sit back and be carried into the kingdom. The door that is to be opened when the lord “cometh and knocketh” is the door of spiritual translation. Luke speaks of a “wedding.” The “lord” (groom) is Christ Jesus; the bride is Mrs. Eddy, the representative of the Christ in the second advent. In order to transfigure and enter the kingdom, we must recognize this fact. The lord, returning as a bride, is knocking at the door of human consciousness today. We must open the door to the recognition of this second appearing in order to engage in the process of “the perfecting of man stated scientifically.” (For more detailed explanation on this subject of the bride, see The Christian Science Standard Volume 5, Numbers 1 & 2, and Volume 13, Numbers 1 – 4.)
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world [mortals, i.e., Peter, James, John, etc.]: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. [In other words, they were mortals which were given to Jesus, that he might teach them how to perfect themselves and others.] And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one. (John 17:1, 4, 6, 22)
What is that oneness? It is oneness with Christ. There is a process we have to go through before we achieve that oneness. Jesus has done his part on earth; we must now do ours.
In the following Science and Health citation, we can see that the disciples needed to understand that Jesus was a model of spiritual sense, not personal sense.
Immortality, exempt from age or decay, has a glory of its own, — the radiance of Soul. Immortal men and women are models of spiritual sense, drawn by perfect Mind and reflecting those higher conceptions of loveliness which transcend all material sense. (S&H 247:13)
Notice that the real man as he exists now in heaven, is a model (form) of spiritual sense, expressing spiritual individuality, not personality, — like Moses and Elias in their transfigured form. On the Mount of Transfiguration Peter, James and John saw Jesus as a model of spiritual sense. In contrast, Judas was looking for the Messiah as a military leader, a model of personal sense. So, when Jesus didn’t fulfill Judas’ expectation, he abandoned the cause and betrayed his Master.
The way through which immortality and life are learned is not ecclesiastical but Christian, not human but divine, not physical but metaphysical, not material but scientifically spiritual. Human philosophy, ethics, and superstition afford no demonstrable divine Principle by which mortals can escape from sin; yet to escape from sin, is what the Bible demands. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” says the apostle, and he straightway adds: “for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians. ii. 12, 13). (S&H 98:31-9)
To escape from mortality and the suffering of the endtime is what the Bible demands. Our choice is to do it now, or wait and see what is going to happen — as in the days of Noah — and do nothing. Do it and see the reward, or fail to do it and experience the suffering that goes with it. Mankind has been trying to learn the way to immortality and life through the “ecclesiastical,” “human,” “physical,” and “material”; but the way we have to learn it is “Christian,” “divine,” “metaphysical,” and “scientifically spiritual.”
The sinless joy, — the perfect harmony and immortality of Life, possessing unlimited divine beauty and goodness without a single bodily pleasure or pain, — constitutes the only veritable, indestructible man, whose being is spiritual. This state of existence is scientific and intact, — a perfection discernible only by those who have the final understanding of Christ in divine Science. Death can never hasten this state of existence, for death must be overcome, not submitted to, before immortality appears. (S&H 76:22; emphasis added)
The last Bible citation (John 17) tells us that Jesus’ disciples were to be “one.” Note how this correlates with Mrs. Eddy’s statement in Miscellany quoted earlier (342:19), for “in it alone is the simplicity of the oneness of God; the oneness of Christ.” It must, of course, result in the expression of the oneness of man, in line with Jesus’ statement in this section, “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.” (John 17:22) We must see this spiritual fact, as given by Mrs. Eddy and Jesus, in demonstration of our immortality.
Speaking of the endtime Jesus says, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.” (Matthew 25:31) When the lord returns, he returns in “glory,” and all the holy angels with him. This is the “glory” of the second advent and “the final understanding of Christ in divine Science” which enables us to demonstrate “the perfecting of man stated scientifically.”
Quoting from Mrs. Annie M. Knott, CSD:
It would be difficult to find words which can adequately express the change wrought in those who become students of this teaching. Their standards are changed, they no longer believe in a distant heaven to be reached after death, but instead they learn to look for heaven, or harmony within, even as Christ taught. The character of God becomes the object of their constant and diligent study, since they know that it is possible for all humanity to become the sons of God. (The Christian Science Journal, June 1903, p. 161)
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