How would you define Christian Science?
As the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine
Principle and rule of universal harmony.
What is the Principle of Christian Science?
It is God, the Supreme Being, infinite and immortal Mind, the Soul of man and
the universe. It is our Father which is in heaven. It is substance, Spirit,
Life, Truth, and Love,--these are the deific Principle.
Do you mean by this that God is a person?
The word ^person^ affords a large margin for misapprehension, as well as
definition. In French the equivalent word is ^personne^. In Spanish, Italian,
and Latin, it is ^persona^. The Latin verb ^personare^ is compounded of the
prefix ^per^ (through) and ^sonare^ (to sound).
In law, Blackstone applies the word ^personal^ to ^bodily^ ^presence^, in
distinction from one's appearance (in court, for example) by deputy or proxy.
Other definitions of ^person^, as given by Webster, are "a living soul;
a self-conscious being; a moral agent; especially, a living human being, a
corporeal man, woman, or child; an individual of the human race." He adds,
that among Trinitarian Christians the word stands for one of the three subjects,
or agents, constituting the Godhead.
In Christian Science we learn that God is definitely individual, and not a
^person^, as that word is used by the best authorities, if our lexicographers
are right in defining ^person^ as especially a finite ^human being^; but God is
personal, if by ^person^ is meant infinite Spirit.
We do not conceive rightly of God, if we think of Him as less than infinite.
The human person is finite; and therefore I prefer to retain the proper sense of
Deity by using the phrase ^an individual^ God, rather than ^a per^^sonal^ God;
for there is and can be but one infinite individual Spirit, whom mortals have
Science defines the individuality of God as supreme good, Life, Truth, Love.
This term enlarges our sense of Deity, takes away the trammels assigned to God
by finite thought, and introduces us to higher definitions.
Is healing the sick the whole of Science?
Healing physical sickness is the smallest part of Christian Science. It is
only the bugle-call to thought and action, in the higher range of infinite
goodness. The emphatic purpose of Christian Science is the healing of sin; and
this task, sometimes, may be harder than the cure of disease; because, while
mortals love to sin, they do not love to be sick. Hence their comparative
acqui-escence in your endeavors to heal them of bodily ills, and their obstinate
resistance to all efforts to save them from sin through Christ, spiritual Truth
and Love, which redeem them, and become their Saviour, through the flesh, from
the flesh,--the material world and evil.
This Life, Truth, and Love--this trinity of good--was individualized, to the
perception of mortal sense, in the man Jesus. His history is emphatic in our
hearts, and it lives more because of his spiritual than his physical healing.
His example is, to Christian Scientists, what the models of the masters in music
and painting are to artists.
Genuine Christian Scientists will no more deviate morally from that divine
digest of Science called the Sermon on the Mount, than they will manipulate
invalids, prescribe drugs, or deny God. Jesus' healing was spiritual in its
nature, method, and design. He wrought the cure of disease through the divine
Mind, which gives all true volition, impulse, and action; and destroys the
mental error made manifest physically, and establishes the opposite
manifestation of Truth upon the body in harmony and health.
By the individuality of God, do you mean that God has a finite form?
No. I mean the infinite and divine Principle of all being, the ever-present I
AM, filling all space, including in itself all Mind, the one Father-Mother God.
Life, Truth, and Love are this trinity in unity, and their universe is
spiritual, peopled with perfect beings, harmonious and eternal, of which our
material universe and men are the counterfeits.
Is God the Principle of all science, or only of Divine or Christian
Science is Mind manifested. It is not material; neither is it of human
All true Science represents a moral and spiritual force, which holds the
earth in its orbit. This force is Spirit, that can "bind the sweet
influences of the Pleiades," and "loose the bands of Orion."
There is no material science, if by that term you mean material intelligence.
God is infinite Mind, hence there is no other Mind. Good is Mind, but evil is
not Mind. Good is not in evil, but in God only. Spirit is not in matter, but in
Spirit only. Law is not in matter, but in Mind only.
Is there no matter?
All is Mind. According to the Scriptures and Christian Science, all is God,
and there is naught beside Him. "God is Spirit;" and we can only learn
and love Him through His spirit, which brings out the fruits of Spirit and
extinguishes forever the works of darkness by His marvellous light.
The five material senses testify to the existence of matter. The spiritual
senses afford no such evidence, but deny the testimony of the material senses.
Which testimony is correct? The Bible says: "Let God be true, and every man
a liar." If, as the Scriptures imply, God is All-in-all, then all must be
Mind, since God is Mind. Therefore in divine Science there is no material mortal
man, for man is spiritual and eternal, he being made in the image of Spirit, or
There is no material sense. Matter is inert, inanimate, and sensationless,--considered
apart from Mind. Lives there a man who has ever found Soul in the body or in
matter, who has ever seen spiritual substance with the eye, who has found sight
in matter, hearing in the material ear, or intelligence in non-intelligence? If
there is any such thing as matter, it must be either mind which is called
matter, or matter without Mind.
Matter without Mind is a moral impossibility. Mind in matter is pantheism.
Soul is the only real consciousness which cognizes being. The body does not see,
hear, smell, or taste. Human belief says that it does; but destroy this belief
of seeing with the eye, and we could not see materially; and so it is with each
of the physical senses.
Accepting the verdict of these material senses, we should believe man and the
universe to be the football of chance and sinking into oblivion. Destroy the
five senses as organized matter, and you must either become non-existent, or
exist in Mind only; and this latter conclusion is the simple solution of the
problem of being, and leads to the equal inference that there is no matter.
The sweet sounds and glories of earth and sky, assuming manifold forms
and colors,--are they not tangible and material?
As Mind they are real, but not as matter. All beauty and goodness are in and
of Mind, emanating from God; but when we change the nature of beauty and
goodness from Mind to matter, the beauty is marred, through a false conception,
and, to the material senses, evil takes the place of good.
Has not the truth in Christian Science met a response from Prof. S. P.
Langley, the young American astronomer? He says that "color is in
^us^," not "in the rose;" and he adds that this is not "any
metaphysical subtlety," but a fact "almost universally accepted,
within the ^last few^ ^years^, by physicists."
Is not the basis of Mind-healing a destruction of the evidence of the
material senses, and restoration of the true evidence of spiritual sense?
It is, so far as you perceive and understand this predicate and postulate of
Mind-healing; but the Science of Mind-healing is best understood in practical
demonstration. The proof of what you apprehend, in the simplest definite and
absolute form of healing, can alone answer this question of how much you
understand of Christian Science Mind-healing. Not that all healing is Science,
by any means; but that the simplest case, healed in Science, is as demonstrably
scientific, in a small degree, as the most difficult case so treated.
The infinite and subtler conceptions and consistencies of Christian Science
are set forth in my work Science and Health.
Is man material or spiritual?
In Science, man is the manifest reflection of God, perfect and immortal Mind.
He is the likeness of God; and His likeness would be lost if inverted or
According to the evidence of the so-called physical senses, man is material,
fallen, sick, depraved, mortal. Science and spiritual sense contradict this, and
they afford the only true evidence of the being of God and man, the material
evidence being wholly false. Jesus said of personal evil, that "the truth
abode not in him," because there is no material sense. Matter, as matter,
has neither sensation nor personal intelligence. As a pretension to be Mind,
matter is a lie, and "the father of lies;" Mind is not in matter, and
Spirit cannot originate its opposite, named matter.
According to divine Science, Spirit no more changes its species, by evolving
matter from Spirit, than natural science, so-called, or material laws, bring
about alteration of species by transforming minerals into vegetables or plants
into animals,--thus confusing and confounding the three great kingdoms. No rock
brings forth an apple; no pine-tree produces a mammal or provides breast-milk
To sense, the lion of to-day is the lion of six thousand years ago; but in
Science, Spirit sends forth its own harmless likeness.
How should I undertake to demonstrate Christian Science in healing the
As I have given you only an epitome of the Principle, so I can give you here
nothing but an outline of the practice. Be honest, be true to thyself, and true
to others; then it follows thou wilt be strong in God, the eternal good. Heal
through Truth and Love; there is no other healer.
In all moral revolutions, from a lower to a higher condition of thought and
action, Truth is in the minority and error has the majority. It is not otherwise
in the field of Mind-healing. The man who calls himself a Christian Scientist,
yet is false to God and man, is also uttering falsehood about good. This falsity
shuts against him the Truth and the Principle of Science, but opens a way
whereby, through will-power, sense may say the unchristian practitioner can
heal; but Science shows that he makes morally worse the invalid whom he is
supposed to cure.
By this I mean that mortal mind should not be falsely impregnated. If by such
lower means the health is seemingly restored, the restoration is not lasting,
and the patient is liable to a relapse,--"The last state of that man is
worse than the first."
The teacher of Mind-healing who is not a Christian, in the highest sense, is
constantly sowing the seeds of discord and disease. Even the truth he speaks is
more or less blended with error; and this error will spring up in the mind of
his pupil. The pupil's imperfect knowledge will lead to weakness in practice,
and he will be a poor practitioner, if not a malpractitioner.
The basis of malpractice is in erring human will, and this will is an outcome
of what I call ^mortal mind^,--a false and temporal sense of Truth, Life, and
Love. To heal, in Christian Science, is to base your practice on immortal Mind,
the divine Principle of man's being; and this requires a preparation of the
heart and an answer of the lips from the Lord.
The Science of healing is the Truth of healing. If one is untruthful, his
mental state weighs against his healing power; and similar effects come from
pride, envy, lust, and all fleshly vices. The spiritual power of a scientific,
right thought, without a direct effort, an audible or even a mental argument,
has oftentimes healed inveterate diseases.
The thoughts of the practitioner should be imbued with a clear conviction of
the omnipotence and omnipresence of God; that He is All, and that there can be
none beside Him; that God is good, and the producer only of good; and hence,
that whatever militates against health, harmony, or holiness, is an unjust
usurper of the throne of the controller of all mankind. Note this, that if you
have power in error, you forfeit the power that Truth bestows, and its salutary
influence on yourself and others.
You must feel and know that God alone governs man; that His government is
harmonious; that He is too pure to behold iniquity, and divides His power with
nothing evil or material; that material laws are only human beliefs, which
govern mortals wrongfully. These beliefs arise from the subjective states of
thought, producing the beliefs of a mortal material universe,--so-called, and of
material disease and mortality. Mortal ills are but errors of thought,--diseases
of mortal mind, and not of matter; for matter cannot feel, see, or report pain
Disease is a thing of thought manifested on the body; and fear is the
procurator of the thought which causes sickness and suffering. Remove this fear
by the true sense that God is Love,--and that Love punishes nothing but
sin,--and the patient can then look up to the loving God, and know that He
afflicteth not willingly the children of men, who are punished because of
disobedience to His spiritual law. His law of Truth, when obeyed, removes every
erroneous physical and mental state. The belief that matter can master Mind, and
make you ill, is an error which Truth will destroy.
You must learn to acknowledge God in all His ways. It is only a lack of
understanding of the allness of God, which leads you to believe in the existence
of matter, or that matter can frame its own conditions, contrary to the law of
Sickness is the schoolmaster, leading you to Christ; first to faith in
Christ; next to belief in God as omnipotent; and finally to the ^understanding^
of God and man in Christian Science, whereby you learn that God is good, and in
Science man is His likeness, the forever reflection of goodness. Therefore good
is one and All.
This brings forward the next proposition in Christian Science,--namely, that
there are no sickness, sin, and death in the divine Mind. What seem to be
disease, vice, and mortality are illusions of the physical senses. These
illusions are not real, but unreal. Health is the consciousness of the unreality
of pain and disease; or, rather, the absolute consciousness of harmony and of
nothing else. In a moment you may awake from a night-dream; just so you can
awake from the dream of sickness; but the demonstration of the Science of
Mind-healing by no means rests on the strength of human belief. This
demonstration is based on a true understanding of God and divine Science, which
takes away every human belief, and, through the illumination of spiritual
understanding, reveals the all-power and ever-presence of good, whence emanate
health, harmony, and Life eternal.
The lecturer, teacher, or healer who is indeed a Christian Scientist, never
introduces the subject of human anatomy; never depicts the muscular, vascular,
or nervous operations of the human frame. He never talks about the structure of
the material body. He never lays his hands on the patient, nor manipulates the
parts of the body supposed to be ailing. Above all, he keeps unbroken the Ten
Commandments, and practises Christ's Sermon on the Mount.
Wrong thoughts and methods strengthen the sense of disease, instead of cure
it; or else quiet the fear of the sick on false grounds, encouraging them in the
belief of error until they hold stronger than before the belief that they are
first made sick by matter, and then restored through its agency. This fosters
infidelity, and is mental quackery, that denies the Principle of Mind-healing.
If the sick are aided in this mistaken fashion, their ailments will return, and
be more stubborn because the relief is unchristian and unscientific.
Christian Science erases from the minds of invalids their mistaken belief
that they live in or because of matter, or that a so-called material organism
controls the health or existence of mankind, and induces rest in God, divine
Love, as caring for all the conditions requisite for the well-being of man. As
power divine is the healer, why should mortals concern themselves with the
chemistry of food? Jesus said: "Take no thought what ye shall eat."
The practitioner should also endeavor to free the minds of the healthy from
any sense of subordination to their bodies, and teach them that the divine Mind,
not material law, maintains human health and life.
A Christian Scientist knows that, in Science, disease is unreal; that Mind is
not in matter; that Life is God, good; hence Life is not functional, and is
neither matter nor mortal mind; knows that pantheism and theosophy are not
Science. Whatever saps, with human belief, this basis of Christian Science,
renders it impossible to demonstrate the Principle of this Science, even in the
A mortal and material body is not the actual individuality of man made in the
divine and spiritual image of God. The material body is not the likeness of
Spirit; hence it is not the truth of being, but the likeness of error--the human
belief which saith there is more than one God,--there is more than one Life and
In Deuteronomy (iv. 35) we read: "The Lord, He is God; there is none
else beside Him." In John (iv. 24) we may read: "God is Spirit."
These propositions, understood in their Science, elucidate my meaning.
When treating a patient, it is not Science to treat every organ in the body.
To aver that harmony is the real and discord is the unreal, and then give
special attention to what according to their own belief is diseased, is
scientific; and if the ^healer realizes^ the truth, it will free his patient.
What are the means and methods of trustworthy Christian Scientists?
These people should not be expected, more than others, to give all their time
to Christian Science work, receiving no wages in return, but left to be fed,
clothed, and sheltered by charity. Neither can they serve two masters, giving
only a portion of their time to God, and still be Christian Scientists. They
must give Him all their services, and "owe no man." To do this, they
must at present ask a suitable price for their services, and then
^conscientiously^ ^earn their wages^, strictly practising Divine Science, and
healing the sick.
The author never sought charitable support, but gave fully seven-eighths of
her time without remuneration, except the bliss of doing good. The only pay
taken for her labors was from classes, and often those were put off for months,
in order to do gratuitous work. She has never taught a Primary class without
several, and sometimes seventeen, free students in it; and has endeavored to
take the full price of tuition only from those who were able to pay. The student
who pays must of necessity do better than he who does not pay, and yet will
expect and require others to pay him. No discount on tuition was made on higher
classes, because their first classes furnished students with the means of paying
for their tuition in the higher instruction, and of doing charity work besides.
If the Primary students are still impecunious, it is their own fault, and this
ill-success of itself leaves them unprepared to enter higher classes.
People are being healed by means of my instructions, both in and out of
class. Many students, who have passed through a regular course of instruction
from me, have been invalids and were healed in the class; but experience has
shown that this defrauds the scholar, though it heals the sick.
It is seldom that a student, if healed in a class, has left it understanding
sufficiently the Science of healing to immediately enter upon its practice. Why?
Because the glad surprise of suddenly regained health is a shock to the mind;
and this holds and satisfies the thought with exuberant joy.
This renders the mind less inquisitive, plastic, and tractable; and deep
systematic thinking is impracticable until this impulse subsides.
This was the principal reason for advising diseased people not to enter a
class. Few were taken besides invalids for students, until there were enough
practitioners to fill in the best possible manner the department of healing.
Teaching and healing should have separate departments, and these should be
fortified on all sides with suitable and thorough guardianship and grace.
Only a very limited number of students can advantageously enter a class,
grapple with this subject, and well assimilate what has been taught them. It is
impossible to teach thorough Christian Science to promiscuous and large
assemblies, or to persons who cannot be addressed individually, so that the mind
of the pupil may be dissected more critically than the body of a subject laid
bare for anatomical examination. Public lectures cannot be such lessons in
Christian Science as are required to empty and to fill anew the individual mind.
If publicity and material control are the motives for teaching, then public
lectures can take the place of private lessons; but the former can never give a
thorough knowledge of Christian Science, and a Christian Scientist will never
undertake to fit students for practice by such means. Lectures in public are
needed, but they must be subordinate to thorough class instruction in any branch
None with an imperfect sense of the spiritual signification of the Bible, and
its scientific relation to Mind-healing, should attempt overmuch in their
translation of the Scriptures into the "new tongue;" but I see that
some novices, in the truth of Science, and some impostors are committing this
Is there more than one school of scientific healing?
In reality there is, and can be, but one school of the Science of
Mind-healing. Any departure from Science is an irreparable loss of Science.
Whatever is said and written correctly on this Science originates from the
Principle and practice laid down in Science and Health, a work which I published
in 1875. This was the first book, recorded in history, which elucidates a
pathological Science purely mental.
Minor shades of difference in Mind-healing have originated with certain
opposing factions, springing up among unchristian students, who, fusing with a
class of aspirants which snatch at whatever is progressive, call it their
first-fruits, or else ^post mortem^ evidence.
A slight divergence is fatal in Science. Like certain Jews whom St. Paul had
hoped to convert from mere motives of self-aggrandizement to the love of Christ,
these so-called schools are clogging the wheels of progress by blinding the
people to the true character of Christian Science,--its moral power, and its
divine efficacy to heal.
The true understanding of Christian Science Mind-healing never originated in
pride, rivalry, or the deification of self. The Discoverer of this Science could
tell you of timidity, of self-distrust, of friendlessness, toil, agonies, and
victories, under which she needed miraculous vision to sustain her, when taking
the first footsteps in this Science.
The ways of Christianity have not changed. Meekness, selflessness, and love
are the paths of His testimony and the footsteps of His flock.