It has been said that the negative side of Unitarianism is better known than its positive side, or in other words, people know better its negations than its affirmations. This is largely true of Christian Science. I am confident if we but listen to both sides, we will find in it a welcome helper, and our preconceived opinions will quickly change. When the Founder of Christianity finished his earth work he left his religion a vital force in the world, though in its infancy. Its vitality existed in the fact that those who truly lived as he taught were able to prove their religion by practical works, such as the healing of disease, the casting out of evils, and the raising of the dead. Paul, who never enjoyed the benefits of Jesus' personal teaching, proved that Christianity had an ever-present divine Principle in accord with which all might do these same works through intelligent understanding. It is a recognized fact, that these works continued for the first three centuries of the Christian church, or until Constantine united the Church and State. Then materialism and worldliness crept in and gradually the vivid, spiritual power and works, which had so rapidly established Christianity throughout the Mediterranean country and cities, lessened, until the simple and spiritual import of divine law was again discovered in this century; and Christianity again proves to be scientifically true and demonstrable, "with signs following" through Christian Science.
We are all acquainted with the causes of the great Reformation, of the formation of Calvinistic theology, and of such teaching as we had in puritan America through Jonathan Edwards; of the modern liberal movement in Christianity as well as in Judaism, based on the fact that men could no longer believe in a Deity who left His children in endless torment and degradation. These are all steps upward to the recognition of a common Father, and the universal salvation of mankind from sin and death.
Channing once said, "Wait not to be backed by numbers. Wait not till you are sure of an echo from a crowd. The fewer the voices on the side of truth, the more distinct and strong must be your own." Thus it ever has been that Truth in the hour of its early discernment by men, has been represented by a marked minority. To bring our subject directly to a focus I would say, it is the sole aim of Christian Science to restore Christianity to its primitive strength, simplicity and practical works, namely, the healing of the sick, the preaching of the Gospel (Goodspell) and the casting out of evils from consciousness. To the Christian Scientist, the key-note to the solution of the perplexing problem of human existence is in the rational understanding of the causation of the effects or conditions good and bad which surround us on all sides. If we wish to purify the water supply of our town, we go to the lake from whence it comes, not to a half-way storage reservoir, because we know we must go to primitive first cause. Thus it must be if we would rid ourselves of the ills of the flesh and all their consequent sorrow. We must through rational, sober investigation and calm spiritual thought, ascertain whether or not the great First Cause, admitted to be infinite Perfection, creates both perfection and imperfection, harmony and discord, joy and sorrow, Good and evil, Life and death. Throughout the entire world of nature we have not a single suspension of the law that like produces like. Hence the assertion of Christian Science that God, the divine Mind, is perfection's self-hood, and can create only perfection; therefore sin, disease and death are not creations of a Principle whose very being is eternal and harmonious. Does light produce darkness, or frost create heat, or Truth form error? We answer, never. Can we worship in sincerity a God who creates an innumerable host of helpless beings, and gives them a knowledge of sin; and then perpetually punishes them by sickness, sorrow and death, for using and acting upon this God-given knowledge? Better believe in a Pagan god of evil, as well as a God of Good, than to hold that the eternal one creates, allows or sees a helpless creation, hopelessly subjected to sin, disease and death with no way of escape from this trinity of evil. Again, if sin or the knowledge of evil is in divine Mind, the more Godlike we become by nearer approach to the divine Mind, by overcoming the errors of the human mind, the more evil we shall know. All the thoughts of the Eternal are everlasting. Is evil one of his age-abiding thoughts? Where shall we turn for Truth? Hear what the inspired writer says: God is "of purer eyes than to behold evil." God is not tempted, neither tempteth he any man." Does Christian Science teach there is no sin? It does not. It teaches that evil is the direct result of a belief in a power apart from God or Good, termed sin, satan or devil: that this power is as real to material sense as Good is to spiritual sense, but because Good (the Anglo-Saxon term for God is Good) is the real and eternal, evil must be unreal and temporal in the realm of the real. If this is not so why should we try to overcome evil with Good, or how dare we say that "Truth crushed to earth shall rise again," or believe right, justice and Truth to be immortal or immutable, if their opposites, wrong, oppression, injustice and error are also eternal and equally real? Because Mind is God and he is all and all, matter, Mind's opposite, is unreal and temporal. In this religion it is recognized that God is divine Principle to be understood and demonstrated, instead of a remote and vague personality to be simply adored and believed as an enlarged human being. Jesus as the demonstrator of divine Science, a man who expressed the same Spirit of Truth that actuated Isaiah, Moses, the Baptist and all the spiritual leaders of Hebrew history, differing from these men in the fact that he was more directly born of the divine nature, thus giving him, in the words of the author of our text-book, Science and Health, "the Spirit without measure," proved his words by his deeds, and showed men if they would live in harmony with divine law, it meant not only freedom from disease, sin and death, but the power to do even the works he had done.