The True Dominion Of Man

From the Christian Science Journal, May 1903, by

WITH the coming of Christian Science into our thought and lives, we begin to see, as did Isaiah, that “all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll,” and our uprising thought begins to create for us a “new heaven and a new earth” “for the former things are passed away.”

The boundaries of thought expand. The limitations of sense lose something of their vise-like hold. Fears which held us slaves are left behind as an outgrown garment.

We find that the impulses of envy and malicious jealousy which sway us to action, have their roots in unsuspected, unregenerate soil, while thoughts prompting us to good are fed from the wellspring of purity, truth, and love, which is God.

Before we began to know the truth through Christian Science, we could not classify or distinguish between the wellsprings of impulse. Subtly indeed does evil cloak itself in the likeness of good, and with diabolical suavity does it blind us to the real condition, and cause us to seek no deeper than the surface.

But Christian Science teaches us to look for the motive behind every thought, to learn more of God, to draw from the pure, exhaustless fount of Truth. It teaches us that it is not enough to mean to do right; we must do right. Not enough to have a good motive; we must learn how to express accurately that good motive. To be sure, God ”knows all things, and rewards according to motives, not according to speech”‘ (Science and Health, p. 15); but “man is the expression of God, Soul” (Science and Health, p. 477), and through man, God’s controlling power and presence must be made known to sin-sick mortality.

It becomes imperative then, that, as individuals, we seek the wellspring of our every thought. If its source is in evil, we must overcome it. If born of God, this fact must be indelibly stamped upon our consciousness and we must command the right expression of it if God is to be made known to our fellow-men through us. We must not rest content in the fact that this truth is being revealed to us. The very fact that we have become stewards of it, demands. of us a faithful stewardship, that through us it may be correctly presented or expressed for the uplifting of humanity.

It is self-evident that a chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and in order to ascertain its strength accurately, it must be tested in every part. So it is in our ascent into spiritual realities.

“Seeking is not sufficient. It is striving which enables us to enter” (Science and Health, p. 10), and as Jesus “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” so must we be tried in all points and be found without sin. Faith in Christian Science is not blind, it is perfect reliance upon God; but our faith must be tested, and in Science and Health, p. 28, we learn that faith has two definitions, trustfulness and trustworthiness, and that God’s demands upon us are for “self-reliant trustworthiness, which includes spiritual understanding and confides all to God.”

Is the cable that Truth is forging in our consciousness strong and capable of withstanding severe strain in each and every link? The test must be made and is made individually with us all, and what could be Truth’s only proof that we have this kind of “faith”? Are we both trust full and trust worthy? Through broadening conceptions and expanding thought we first perceive and then learn how to prove the unreality of sin and sickness, and man’s dominion over them. Many of these demonstrations are instantaneous, and our trustfulness is strengthened as we are receptive to such proofs.

But are we receptive to the tests which prove our trustworthiness? It is the inherent desire of mortal man to escape dis-ease of every kind, therefore he does not welcome the trial which through weeks, months, even years perhaps, makes it necessary for him to cling to the goodness and allness of God when every jarring human sense is loudly declaring that man is not perfect, and that the Christian Science assertion of his dominion is but an idle dream.

In its very nature trustfulness calls for a more prolonged strain to ascertain accurately its constancy; and only in faithfulness through long-continued trial can we know that we are truly reflecting the steadfastness of God.

Holding thought receptive to the immediate healings of Truth, we receive more quickly the blessings and assurance of trustfulness. But the trustfulness that is trustworthy, asks for no sign and is willing to prolong the struggle until, through the purifying fires of suffering, we come to be truly obedient to God and cease to murmur and doubt.

We have already learned something of the power of thought, and that our thoughts of Good are able to vanquish material discord. We have learned the truth of Mrs. Eddy’s statement that “Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort.” We have learned that Christian Science is an accurate, demonstrable science, capable of as assured proof as is the science of mathematics. Yes, we have learned through experience something of these three undeniable facts, yet in moments when the manifestation of God’s power is delayed -and His allness seems remote from our consciousness; when the human is undergoing its test of trustworthiness, the cry of Jesus on his cross is echoed in us: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” But the experience passed for Jesus Christ, the idea of God solved the problem of life. Jesus arose from a consciousness that was dimmed for a moment by suffering, to the realization of man’s unity with God in Christ, and in this resurrection, manifested in the flesh, he established that unity as based upon irrevocable law and gave to mankind, for all time, the assured proof of the grandeur and possible attainment that is his through steadfastness.

Since omnipotent Good destroys error, it follows of necessity that good thought destroys evil.

Christ Jesus demonstrated for us once for all, and with the most convincing proofs, that humanity can master even death, that man’s supremacy in Good is absolute, and every individual is capable of demonstrating this to be so if he but refuse to yield himself accessory to the persistent belief of evil that anything can separate him from God. But this at-one-ment with God, Love, is sure to be tested; and this unity, persistently maintained at all times and under all conditions, is the measure of our trustworthiness.

Jesus drained the cup to the very dregs in order that his demonstration might be the more absolute and conclusive, and in so doing solved the question of supreme dominion for every age and clime and conquered death; and in this glorious assurance of everlasting life, mankind, through science, learns that the only tomb whose portals yawn, is that of temptation submitted to when we allow error, in any form, to fasten its claim upon our thought. We must concur in the conspiracy before it can enforce upon us its lying claim. We have power, through the Christ, to keep thought constantly ascending and so elevate and maintain it above the claims of sin, sickness, and death, as to reject their message and remain ever watchful, attuned to the celestial harmony of purity, health, and life. We can absolutely refuse to admit the discords of sense. Should our ears grow dull of hearing, we must strive with renewed energy to become responsive to Truth.

This is the ”glorious liberty of the sons of God” and our sure salvation.

Mortal mind seeks to accomplish our downfall by persuading us that we are victims of some thing or some body,—are more sinned against than sinning. We can urge many excuses for ourselves; but are we victims? Never when we know this truth, that we are regulators of our own thought and gain dominion over discord in proportion as we attune thought to the key of God’s great harmony, “On earth, peace, good-will toward men,” thereby bringing to pass God’s kingdom “in earth, as it is in heaven.”

This constitutes the perfection and dominion of man as taught by Jesus and reiterated to-day by our Leader, Mrs. Eddy. The tendency of frail humanity is to want something visible to lean upon. We cling to those who have first made known to us the possibilities of our own earth life. We are prone to bow before those who we believe have demonstrated more of the divine Mind than have we, or who have longer been students of metaphysics. We call upon them again and again to sound for us the key of harmony when we have lost our way amid material discords. But the time comes to us all when we must learn to lean only upon God, to know that His strength is sufficient for us, and to grow content to be alone, in thought, with God. One by one unsuspected idols are uncovered to us that we may destroy them, and if we have not learned obedience, we struggle and clasp them closer, seeking to take them with us.

Through scientific demonstration we may catch a glimpse of the power and joy that may be ours through Mind, and our weary hope is directed from earth, to the pure atmosphere of holy thought where, “no more strangers and foreigners,” we become “fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.”

“Man, made in His likeness, possesses and reflects God’s dominion over all the earth” (Science and Health, p. 516), and “fixing your gaze on the realities supernal, you may rise to the spiritual consciousness of being, even as the bird which has burst from the egg, and preens its wings for a skyward flight” (Science and Health, p. 261). The Scriptures tell us that as a man thinketh, so is he, and Science and Health tells us (page 261), how we can think right and thus come to know our likeness in God. “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.”

If for a moment our thoughts waver we must search our own consciousness where we shall find that, quite unsuspected by us in our warfare between the holy and the human thought, we are clinging to some material belief with a grim clutch of unconscious habit. In that moment of awakening we learn that man has no responsibility, and that the government is upon the shoulders of God; learn that we have not been content or grateful enough, or sufficiently conscious of what God has already done and revealed to man.

Then we shall go on diligently, more satisfied and more grateful. To learn how much of God’s love fills us, governs our thoughts, and is expressed in our deeds, we must diligently inquire how much we are letting that Mind be in us which was also in Christ Jesus, and in so doing, find there are no material problems to solve. Love in Christ has already solved them and our only task is to “hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true.”

We find that, like the disciples of old, we are bidden to dwell in the city of Jerusalem (the habitation of peace) until we are endued with power from on high. We must keep thought safe in the habitation of peace; learn to know whether our thoughts are divine or human, and in the illumination which follows, we shall know that God is All-in-all; then we relax the human grip, cease to clutch at shadows, and find God’s peace here and now.

Shall we pause to count the bleeding footsteps which lie between earth’s discordant din and that aloneness in the harmony of Mind? Is it not enough that, like Daniel, our face is toward the light?

Into this Holy of Holies, we enter alone, to be alone with God. Learning the utter nothingness of earthly resting-places, we catch glimpses of the “Love brooding over all” in this aloneness. Love grows sweeter as we contemplate it with more calmness, cease to bemoan the shattered idols of earth, and lose our fear.

Then let our watchword be “Rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation,” and “Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you may control yourself harmoniously” (Science and Health, p. 392), because “the calm and exalted thought is spiritual understanding, and is at peace” (p. 506).

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