First Church of Christ, Scientist

Sharing Christian Science in Laguna Beach, CA

Readings from Wednesday Testimony Meeting

Moral healing

August 14, 2019

HYMNS: 18, 330, 5

 

The Bible

1. Job 5:17 happy 

happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:

2. Heb. 12:6, 7 

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

3. Jer. 10:24 

Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.

4. II Chron. 29:1 (to .), 2, 4-6, 10, 11 (to 4th ,), 28 (to :), 29, 36 

Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem.

And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. ...And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street, And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place. For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the Lord, and turned their backs.

Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us. My sons, be not now negligent: for theLord hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, ...And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: ...And when they had made an end of offering, the king and all that were present with him bowed themselves, and worshipped. And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly.

5. John 8:1–11 

Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

6. Heb. 12:11, 12, 14 

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

7. Ps. 94:14 the 

the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.

 

Science and Health

1. SH 6:3 (only), 7 

Divine Love corrects and governs man. ... Calling on Him to forgive our work badly done or left undone, implies the vain supposition that we have nothing to do but to ask pardon, and that afterwards we shall be free to repeat the offence.

2. SH 10:31–12 (to divine); 11:17–18 

Do you ask wisdom to be merciful and not to punish sin? Then “ye ask amiss.” Without punishment, sin would multiply. Jesus' prayer, “Forgive us our debts,” specified also the terms of forgiveness. When forgiving the adulterous woman he said, “Go, and sin no more.” 

A magistrate sometimes remits the penalty, but this may be no moral benefit to the criminal, and at best, it only saves the criminal from one form of punishment. The moral law, which has the right to acquit or condemn, always demands restitution before mortals can “go up higher.” Broken law brings penalty in order to compel this progress. 

Mere legal pardon (and there is no other, for divine ... Truth bestows no pardon upon error, but wipes it out in the most effectual manner.

 

3. SH 8:3–7, 20–24 

We never need to despair of an honest heart; but there is little hope for those who come only spasmodically face to face with their wickedness and then seek to hide it. Their prayers are indexes which do not correspond with their character. Praying for humility with whatever fervency of expression does not always mean a desire for it. If we turn away from the poor, we are not ready to receive the reward of Him who blesses the poor.

4. SH 11:22–27 

We know that a desire for holiness is requisite in order to gain holiness; but if we desire holiness above all else, we shall sacrifice everything for it. We must be willing to do this, that we may walk securely in the only practical road to holiness.

 

5. SH 234:26–3 

You must control evil thoughts in the first instance, or they will control you in the second. Jesus declared that to look with desire on forbidden objects was to break a moral precept. He laid great stress on the action of the human mind, unseen to the senses. 

Evil thoughts and aims reach no farther and do no more harm than one's belief permits. Evil thoughts, lusts, and malicious purposes cannot go forth, like wandering pollen, from one human mind to another, finding unsuspected lodgment, if virtue and truth build a strong defence.

6. SH 29:1 

Christians must take up arms against error at home and abroad. They must grapple with sin in themselves and in others, and continue this warfare until they have finished their course. If they keep the faith, they will have the crown of rejoicing.

 

7. SH 4:17-22 

Simply asking that we may love God will never make us love Him; but the longing to be better and holier, expressed in daily watchfulness and in striving to assimilate more of the divine character, will mould and fashion us anew, until we awake in His likeness.

 

8. SH 19:6 

Jesus aided in reconciling man to God by giving man a truer sense of Love, the divine Principle of Jesus' teachings, and this truer sense of Love redeems man from the law of matter, sin, and death by the law of Spirit, — the law of divine Love.

9. SH 404:26–1 (to 1st .) 

Healing the sick and reforming the sinner are one and the same thing in Christian Science. Both cures require the same method and are inseparable in Truth. Hatred, envy, dishonesty, fear, and so forth, make a man sick, and neither material medicine nor Mind can help him permanently, even in body, unless it makes him better mentally, and so delivers him from his destroyers.

 

10. SH 125:5–6 

Moral conditions will be found always harmonious and health-giving.

11. SH 327:23–13 

Moral courage is requisite to meet the wrong and to proclaim the right. But how shall we reform

 

the man who has more animal than moral courage, and who has not the true idea of good? Through human consciousness, convince the mortal of his mistake in seeking material means for gaining happiness. Reason is the most active human faculty. Let that inform the sentiments and awaken the man's dormant sense of moral obligation, and by degrees he will learn the nothingness of the pleasures of human sense and the grandeur and bliss of a spiritual sense, which silences the material or corporeal. Then he not only will be saved, but is saved. 

Mortals suppose that they can live without goodness, when God is good and the only real Life. What is the result? Understanding little about the divine Principle which saves and heals, mortals get rid of sin, sickness, and death only in belief. These errors are not thus really destroyed, and must therefore cling to mortals until, here or hereafter, they gain the true understanding of God in the Science which destroys human delusions about Him and reveals the grand realities of His allness.

 

12. SH 327:12–13 (to 2nd .) 

The way to escape the misery of sin is to cease sinning. There is no other way.

13. SH 21:25–22 

Being in sympathy with matter, the worldly man is at the beck and call of error, and will be attracted thitherward. He is like a traveller going westward for a pleasure-trip. The company is alluring and the pleasures exciting. After following the sun for six days, he turns east on the seventh, satisfied if he can only imagine himself drifting in the right direction. By-and-by, ashamed of his zigzag course, he would borrow the passport of some wiser pilgrim, thinking with the aid of this to find and follow the right road. 

Vibrating like a pendulum between sin and the hope of forgiveness, — selfishness and sensuality causing constant retrogression, — our moral progress will be slow. Waking to Christ's demand, mortals experience suffering. This causes them, even as drowning men, to make vigorous efforts to save themselves; and through Christ's precious love these efforts are crowned with success. 

“Work out your own salvation,” is the demand of Life and Love, for to this end God worketh with you. “Occupy till I come!” Wait for your reward, and “be not weary in well doing.” If your endeavors are beset by fearful odds, and you receive no present reward, go not back to error, nor become a sluggard in the race. 

When the smoke of battle clears away, you will discern the good you have done, and receive according to your deserving. Love is not hasty to deliver us from temptation, for Love means that we shall be tried and purified.

 

14. SH 455:3–6, 8–14 

A mental state of self-condemnation and guilt or a faltering and doubting trust in Truth are unsuitable conditions for healing the sick. Such mental states indicate weakness instead of strength. ... You must utilize the moral might of Mind in order to walk over the waves of error and support your claims by demonstration. If you are yourself lost in the belief and fear of disease or sin, and if, knowing the remedy, you fail to use the energies of Mind in your own behalf, you can exercise little or no power for others' help.

 

15. SH 542:9 

Even the disposition to excuse guilt or to conceal it is punished. The avoidance of justice and the denial of truth tend to perpetuate sin, invoke crime, jeopardize self-control, and mock divine mercy.

16. SH 130:26 

If thought is startled at the strong claim of Science for the supremacy of God, or Truth, and doubts the supremacy of good, ought we not, contrariwise, to be astounded at the vigorous claims of evil and doubt them, and no longer think it natural to love sin and unnatural to forsake it, — no longer imagine evil to be ever-present and good absent? Truth should not seem so surprising and unnatural as error, and error should not seem so real as truth. Sickness should not seem so real as health. There is no error in Science, and our lives must be governed by reality in order to be in harmony with God, the divine Principle of all being.

 

17. SH 241:19-21 

The substance of all devotion is the reflection and demonstration of divine Love, healing sickness and destroying sin.

18. SH 243:4-8 

The divine Love, which made harmless the poisonous viper, which delivered men from the boiling oil, from the fiery furnace, from the jaws of the lion, can heal the sick in every age and triumph over sin and death.

 

19. SH 270:26-27 

If sin makes sinners, Truth and Love alone can unmake them.