THE second declaration in the Lord's Prayer is, "Hallowed be thy name," and its spiritual interpretation, as given by Mrs. Eddy in Science and Health (p.16) is, "Adorable One." In these two words there is expressed the sum and substance of Christian Science. The wisdom of our Leader in the use of this expression is profound, for to understand these two words is to know God, the truth that makes free. It is to have dominion and power, to be able to heal the sick, and to find the kingdom of God with all that is added to it.
Christian Science teaches that there is only one God, and that one adorable, good. It also teaches that there is only one divine Principle, source of all existence; that there is only one Mind, one supreme intelligence, manifest through all, guiding and directing all. It follows that there is only one Spirit, one substance, reality, of which the universe, including man, is created; only one Soul, one infinite Person, reflected in all spiritual forms and individualities. There is only one Life, in whom "we live, and move, and have our being." There is only one Truth, one Word, which, as St. John says, "in the beginning was . . . with God, and . . . was God." There is only one Love, for since God is Love, there can be no other; in a word, to quote St. Paul, "There is ... one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." This is summed up in Science and Health, where we read, "For God is infinite, all-power, all Life, Truth, Love, over all, and All" (p.17).
It was a great step in human progress when the Hebrew prophets and teachers conceived that there was one God instead of many gods, but mankind did not understand God as supreme, omnipotent, for they acknowledged the power and reality of evil, a power apart from God. Hence it was a yet greater step in human progress when Christ Jesus taught and demonstrated that God is the only One; that there is no other reality or power. When we are conscious that God is One, we also know that God is Spirit and God is good. No thoughtful conception of God ascribes to Him either materiality or evil. It is only when we are led to assume, erroneously, the existence of some other power, that the belief in matter or evil creeps in. God is our Father, the wholly perfect One. God is infinite, unlimited even by the knowledge of matter. Of these two facts all who accept the teaching of the Master are fully assured by him, and even those who have not heard this gospel have an intuitive sense of it in greater or less degree.
Whence then comes this other belief that so confuses and enslaves men? God is perfect, infinite, and always has been, therefore He knows only the absolute truth. Mortals, on the other hand, are imperfect, finite. In their experience there seem to be different degrees or stages of development. They reason only relatively; they do not know the absolute. In divine Mind, ideas can have neither comparison nor denial. All is positive; there is no negative. To human sense every concept is comparative. Every positive implies a negative; every statement of truth includes a possible denial of that truth. When Christ Jesus gave to the world the truth about God, that God is One, he knew that mortal mind would deny that truth, and he therefore taught the disciples to pray, "Deliver us from evil." A more accurate translation of his teaching is, "Deliver us from the evil one" (Rev.Ver.). As mortals are taught and declare that God is One, the opposite or negative belief asserts for itself that evil is one.
"The evil one," as Jesus knew, is not a reality, is not the truth, can have no existence, for God is One. The evil one is only the negative suggestion that seems to arise to deny the positive. The prayer, "Deliver us from the evil one," is equivalent to a denial of all negative suggestion. As all reality and good is in God, the "adorable One," so all evil, unreality, is the suggestion of mortal mind, the one evil. But if God is supreme, the only Mind, there is no mortal mind, no evil one. Not only is the negative suggestion untrue and unreal, but the belief in a mortal mind capable of making or entertaining the suggestion is untrue.
In answer, then, to the question, Whence comes this belief that so confuses and enslaves man? we answer, The truth is that it does not come. It is nowhere, has never been anywhere, comes from nowhere. It cannot originate in divine Mind, and mortal mind has no real existence. God's man is not confused and enslaved, nor can any belief exist that would tend or has power to confuse or enslave him. Any seeming evidence that evil exists, is the false evidence of false sense. Any seeming belief based on such evidence has no more reality or existence than the evidence itself, and there is no mind in which such belief can exist. If we follow it back from seeming effect to seeming cause, it vanishes into nothingness.
In sleep we sometimes dream of impossible situations and experiences. They are not real. Even in the dream we may know they are not real, yet on account of them we seem to be filled with a sense of fear and suffering. There is no real suffering and no real fear; it is all a false sense, and the remedy for it is to wake up. The truth brings us sure deliverance. As we are taught in Christian Science, man is the image and likeness of God, hence spiritual, eternal. God is the Life and Mind of man. Mortal man and mortal mind are impossibilities in the domain of the "adorable One." They are only a dream. In the mortal dream, we seem to be in situations and to have experiences that we know are impossible to a child of God. We do not really believe in them; they are not real; and yet they seem to fill us with fear and suffering. We pray to be delivered from evil, and if we understand that the God to whom we pray is Truth, and that the evil is a dream fantasy, the prayer wakes us up, and the waking is our deliverance. God, divine Truth, delivers human sense from sin, disease, and death. Thus are we made free.