Entertaining Angels


Centuries ago a good and devout Israelitish king declared, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivered them.” So long as we think of angels as personal celestial beings, distinct from God and separate from man, we gain little from this statement save its poetic value and the religious feeling it may nourish. When, however, we learn through Christian Science that angels are “God’s thoughts passing to man” (Science and Health, p. 581), we become conscious of the spiritual law concerning salvation. As we read the Bible we find both in the Old Testament and the New that the holy men of olden time were saved from direst danger by angels, but Christian people have too long been accustomed to think that these were personal visitations which belonged to a bygone period, and that they are not available for us today. There is therefore great need that we lay hold anew upon the Scripture promises, which are so wonderfully illumed in Christian Science, and find that “God’s thoughts” do deliver all those who trust Him.

In Christian Science we are taught that God is divine Mind. This Mind is infinite, everywhere present. It is wholly and only good, knowing no evil. It is the only power. Man, the spiritual, eternal, real man, the original which mortal mind claims to counterfeit in a fleshly man, exists as an idea in the divine Mind, and as such has no relation to the material counterfeit falsely called man; knows, in truth, only spiritual things. Divine Mind supplies to its ideas its own qualities-wholly good, spiritual thoughts, spiritual understanding. The real man, the true consciousness, is the spiritual understanding of God, man, and the universe, while mortality, with its belief in matter, in sin, sickness, and death, is the false sense of God, man, and the universe. Whenever, therefore, any one of us individually lays aside a wrong belief about existence and receives spiritual understanding into his thinking, an angel straight from God has come to him; a spiritual idea lights his mentality and puts out mental and moral darkness, and brings healing and strength now and always.

A personified concept of “angel” has usually seemed vague and uncertain, a being we might or might not believe in, but one with whom we could not affiliate. The angel of spiritually right thinking, however, is something which can come inside our own mental borders and abide with us. We can keep thought receptive to the divine idea through the sincere desire for good and by abandoning evil as soon as we see it to be evil. Standing mentally at this point of receptivity, we truly pray; and this is the open doorway through which angels crowd. Then, as these luminous thoughts, God-given, multiply righteousness within the secret place where motive and purpose are born, protection, too, is vouchsafed to growing pureness of heart, and the encamping angels do deliver us from trouble.

God gives; man receives. Divine Mind sustains; man and the universe are thereby sustained. This great activity is wholly mental, purely spiritual. Mrs. Eddy defines it as divine Mind reflected by man. It is an infinite thought-process in which God, Truth, Life, Love, infinite, divine, all-knowing, all-seeing Mind, nourishes and cherishes His own ideas, contains and maintains them, protects and preserves them. This activity of Mind is surely the infinite mode by which man exists. Mortal mind declares that man has a material personal existence apart from God, and all the discord of human experience bases itself upon this belief; and this mortal mind may ask how spiritual reality is going to help material trouble when they are such direct opposites. Christian Science answers that God-given thoughts enter individual consciousness to correct wrong thinking. The angels that inspire right thinking have an office, a work to perform in saving mankind. This Mrs. Eddy defines on page 581 of the text-book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” in declaring angels to be “the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality.” Such angels change our thinking. Encamping with us, they expel wrong thought. They enrich, bless, uplift, and purify, in fact transform individual thinking; they are the saving power in human consciousness, that “mind of Christ” which the apostle tells us is available for all mankind. Surely for every wrong thought there is a saving “angel.” Truth always saves from error, and Christian Science has come that we may find the truth as Christ Jesus lived and taught it, and receive its angel hosts of pure, true thoughts.

In her 1901 Message to The Mother Church (p. 8) Mrs. Eddy says: “We have the authority of Jesus for saying Christ is not God, but an impartation of Him.” Again upon page 10 she writes, “Christ being the Son of God, a spiritual, divine emanation, Christ must be spiritual, not material.” Her use of the words impartation and emanation applied to Christ as the Son of God is akin to the statement, “Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (Science and Health, p. 332). Here we can understand God as having sent Christ, who was exemplified in Jesus, to save the world; divine Mind itself through its highest idea, uttering itself to men, and entering human thought-processes as a divine “emanation” to pierce and scatter the darkness of wrong belief. God thus imparts His angels to him who stands cleansed and receptive to them; and the clustering company of them bring holiness for sin, health for sickness, joy and light for distress and darkness.

Christian Science as theory does little for us; practised it does much. These angels of God must be entertained. Unwelcomed at the threshold of our mental courtyards, they cannot reach our need. Given entrance, they save and heal. Meek desire to know God, and patient obedience to His law, open wide the doors of thought to God; and we must be instant and constant at this doorway, seeking Him. “Round about them that fear him,” reads the psalm, “the angel of the Lord encampeth.” So when fear hath torment, when sin tempts, when sickness and grief and loss and worry threaten us, we turn straight to the angels of God’s presence and let them in. Always we bid them enter, and always we cherish them if we are obeying Truth. Nothing keeps us so busy as this business of watching our thoughts and seeing that only the angels encamp with us. Evil would strike its tents at our doors, perchance would rush its pretentious hosts upon our domain of thoughts; but knowing that Truth steadfastly sets a watch of angels, we may reasonably expect them to deliver us if we trust and serve God through right thinking, not half-heartedly, but wholly and entirely.

Not “unawares” are angels entertained in Christian Science, but with alertness, with fixed purpose, with keen, quick responsiveness to the divine demands.

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