“O Magnify The Lord”
From the July 1923 issue of the Christian Science Journal by Anna E. Herzog
The Psalmist sang, “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.” Who does not long to accept that joyous invitation? Who does not yearn to be so sure of God, good, that good may be exalted in his thinking and in his whole experience? We may greatly rejoice that the way to this much-to-be-desired result is being clearly shown the world to-day through the teachings of Christian Science. Mrs. Eddy says in “Miscellaneous Writings” (p. 194), “The lens of Science magnifies the divine power to human sight; and we then see the supremacy of Spirit and the nothingness of matter.” God’s power is always infinite. As we go on learning about God and loving Him more truly, our sense of His omnipotence is enlarged day by day, until sometime it will occupy thought to the entire exclusion of the beliefs of sin, disease, and death; and we shall then have seen the complete “nothingness of matter.”
That which magnifies God to human sense naturally magnifies all that is Godlike. Our joys are enhanced; our health, strength, courage enlarged; our purity, consecration, honesty increased; our faith, hope, and love strengthened and made enduring through a right apprehension of God. Nothing has ever so magnified — so exalted, explained, and enlarged — the power which Christ Jesus expressed as has Christian Science. No other teaching has trusted it so implicitly, taken it so literally. No other teaching has proved, in the same way Jesus did, that truth so magnifies our sense of man, as being truly the unfallen likeness of his Maker, that this understanding of man’s perfection is seen healing the sick and saving the sinner.
Most of us, when we first turned to Christian Science, found our thoughts full of belief in the power of evil, full of fear and error. As we caught a glimpse of Truth, and its light began to magnify the good already discerned, our faith in good grew; and gradually, or quickly, the thoughts of health mastered the beliefs of disease. Thus was disease ruled out, and healing came. So will this process, through the beneficent teaching of Christian Science, go on in individuals; and thus collectively also, till it shall truly be that “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” The understanding of good will cover and obliterate the falsities of materiality.
How are we daily to carry on this process of magnifying the divine power? A very simply stated rule has been given us by our Leader on page 261 of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” She says, “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.” That rule obeyed will certainly magnify good in the experience of every earnest student; and necessarily, therefore, it will diminish and destroy evil. Magnifying the nature of Truth brings out from under cover much unchristlike thinking, to be destroyed and cast out. We can always rejoice, however, at this uncovering, if we are really honest and in earnest. The false thinking seemed to have been there all the time. How much better to have it exposed! As we cling to our ever growing understanding of the Christ, we may be assured that its activity will do away with all the dark beliefs of sin, disease, and death.
Christian Science, correcting our false sense of health by showing that health is in reality a spiritually mental, and not a physical condition, is proclaiming a true and lasting health for men. As the so-called invalid grasps the enlarged sense of God and His infinite love in His perfect plan for His perfect child, the beliefs of invalidism are laid aside. The realization that the same divine law is governing men, whose changeless activity appears manifested in the mighty operations of the planets and the stars, provides assurance that no seeming bodily action or inaction can resist such orderly omnipotence. As a well-known hymn expresses it: —
“That hand which bears creation up
Shall guard His children well.”
Christian Science exalts the understanding of divine Love to human sense. Its magnifying of the universal, impartial love of God shows itself forth in abundant kindliness, neighborliness, warmth of pure, helpful affection. Really God-inspired love will turn all thought steadily to God as its source. Christian Scientists sometimes seem to be afraid that friendliness, expressed in human affection, is inconsistent with a right understanding of man’s spirituality. We cannot imagine that Jesus kept coldly aloof when the little children he so dearly loved were brought to him, or that he feared that contact with them would prevent his realization of man’s real identity as the reflection of the one Life. As surely as Christian Science teaching will eventually remove all sensuality, all belief of personality, from thinking, just as surely will it remove all cold aloofness, all fear that human kindliness will prevent scientific demonstration. The warm handclasp may be a very helpful token to the lonely or discouraged that the application of Christian Science does make all men brothers. Surely the manifestation of that Love which is God never needs to do away with the little gentle kindlinesses which sometimes are our present means of recognizing or expressing Love.
Jesus did not destroy or ignore any of the right customs of his day. Rather did he fulfill them. It is ours to do the same. As Christian Scientists we need not desire to abolish with one sweep the wholesome customs of human living; but with regard to every right one we can mentally consider the truth of which it is but a symbol; and in uniting motive and act, work out our own and others’ liberation from meaningless habit and conventional custom, which, it is admitted, constitute a large part of the life of society in general. Thus may every right daily act be enlarged, literally magnified, by spiritual understanding. Thus does the growing apprehension of God and His universe and His man put vital interest and joyous power into the humblest act of the day. Christian Science is, indeed, an all-transforming influence, enlarging and ennobling daily tasks. It truly gives continuously, in Samuel Longfellow’s words, “the wide horizon’s grander view.”
That view naturally leads us, among other things, to a more just valuation of education. All the wisdom of all the material schools could never heal one case of sickness as Jesus healed it, nor save one sinner from despair. Realizing this, our false estimates adjust themselves, and we see that, although all good human things are desirable and rightly ours, the highest education must ever be that spiritual understanding of God which heals disease and sin. We shall then cease to be satisfied with the mere letter; and our sense of education, thus enlarged, will show the inadequacy of the sense previously entertained. We shall see more clearly the meaning of Paul’s statement, ”The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life;” and as we realize the wonderful results to be attained by that highest of education, we shall be impelled to strive for the spirit.
The sense of supply immediately changes under the light of Truth’s appearing. It was Jesus’ understanding of God as the ever present source of supply that made possible the finding of the tribute money and the feeding of the multitude. Every one, as his sense of God as the inexhaustible source of good, always present with man, is enlarged, may prove some dominion over the belief of lack. Jesus said, “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of.” He did not say that the Father knew the lack we believed in or seemed to suffer from — far from it. He knows man’s need; He knows infinite abundance and perfection. Then, as through this “lens of Science” we see a little more as divine Mind sees, we too shall realize, as ever present with us, the things of which we have need.
Perhaps there is nothing more interesting than the change which the gradual exalting of good in consciousness brings to our estimate of heaven. Our highest ideal, when we turn to Christian Science, may be a sense of rest as inactivity; to another, it may be a chance to be active. A Christian Science practitioner was once heard to say that she never really felt in heaven unless engaged in the attempt to destroy some apparently outrageous claim of evil for some one. The listener wondered what that earnest worker was going to do for happiness when she actually reached the heavenly consciousness in which there will be no belief of sin, sickness, or death to overcome! Even that selfless sense of service needs magnifying, by a realization of the power of good so great that joy will cease to be dependent on error to overcome, and will be, instead, dependent just on the ceaseless realization of the perfection of the infinite, — that realization which is the ultimate of overcoming. Just as Christian Science teaching changes and enlarges our sense of health, education, wealth, and heaven, so it could be shown that every phase of thinking is changed, every ideal enlarged and spiritualized, by Truth.
The Bible is full of instances of the dominion given men by a magnifying of their sense of God’s immanence. Every thinker can recall many such cases. What a glorious magnifying of the presence and protection of God came to Elisha’s servant when, in answer to his master’s prayer, he saw the mountains full of “horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha”! What a magnifying of the sense of supply came to the widow of Zarephath who, as the result of unselfish obedience, saw that the “barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail”! What gold unlimited ever gave its possessor such a magnified wealth of dominion as that expressed by Peter when he said to the man at the temple gate, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” What an enlarged sense of the capabilities of men, when instructed by God, was seen by the Jews who said of Jesus, “How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” And in our own age what an amazing example of the help and support derived from an enlarged concept of God, was our beloved Leader’s work in establishing the Cause of Christian Science!
Every case of Christian Science healing to-day is proving to each of us, and to the world, the actual present fact that all that is needed to prove man’s dominion over the whole earth is to “magnify the Lord;” to let every thought, expressed in consecration and righteous activity, give to God infinite power, till at last there shall be no pretense of evil power left anywhere. Then we shall see the truth of all men as God’s children, and therefore as free and perfect. Then shall our magnified understanding of God and man, as perfect creator and perfect creation, be expressed as Paul refers to it: “And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.” Then, too, shall Mrs. Eddy’s statement about the Wisemen be realized (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 164): “Their highest human concept of the man Jesus, that portrayed him as the only Son of God, the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and Truth, will become so magnified to human sense, by means of the lens of Science, as to reveal man collectively, as individually, to be the son of God.”