|DEIFICATION OF PERSONALITY|
DEIFICATION OF PERSONALITY
Notwithstanding the rapid sale already of two editions of Christ and Christmas, and many orders on hand, I have thought best to stop its publication.
In this revolutionary religious period, the increasing inquiry of mankind as to Christianity and its unity and above all, God's love opening the eyes of the blind is fast fitting all minds for the proper reception of Christian Science healing.
But I must stand on this absolute basis of Christian Science; namely, Cast not pearls before the unprepared thought. Idolatry is an easily-besetting sin of all peoples. The apostle saith, Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
The illustrations were not intended for a golden calf, at which the sick may look and be healed. Christian Scientists should beware of unseen snares, and adhere to the divine Principle and rules for demonstration. They must guard against the deification of finite personality. Every human thought must turn instinctively to the divine Mind as its sole centre and intelligence. Until this be done, man will never be found harmonious and immortal.
Whosoever looks to me personally for his health or holiness, mistakes. He that by reason of human love or hatred or any other cause clings to my material personality, greatly errs, stops his own progress, and loses the path to health, happiness, and heaven. The Scriptures and Christian Science reveal the way, and personal revelators will take their proper place in history, but will not be deified.
Advanced scientific students are ready for Christ and Christmas; but those are a minority of its readers, and even they know its practicality only by healing the sick on its divine Principle. In the words of the prophet, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.
Friends, strangers, and Christian Scientists, I thank you, each and all, for your liberal patronage and scholarly, artistic, and scientific notices of my book. This little messenger has done its work, fulfilled its mission, retired with honor (and mayhap taught me more than it has others), only to reappear in due season. The knowledge that I have gleaned from its fruitage is, that intensely contemplating personality impedes spiritual growth; even as holding in mind the consciousness of disease prevents the recovery of the sick.
Christian Science is taught through its divine Principle, which is invisible to corporeal sense. A material human likeness is the antipode of man in the image and likeness of God. Hence, a finite person is not the model for a metaphysician. I earnestly advise all Christian Scientists to remove from their observation or study the personal sense of any one, and not to dwell in thought upon their own or others' corporeality, either as good or evil.
According to Christian Science, material personality is an error in premise, and must result in erroneous conclusions. All will agree with me that material portraiture often fails to express even mortal man, and this declares its unfitness for fable or fact to build upon.
The face of Jesus has uniformly been so unnaturally delineated that it has turned many from the true contemplation of his character. He advances most in divine Science who meditates most on infinite spiritual substance and intelligence. Experience proves this true. Pondering on the finite personality of Jesus, the son of man, is not the channel through which we reach the Christ, or Son of God, the true idea of man's divine Principle.
I warn students against falling into the error of anti-Christ. The consciousness of corporeality, and whatever is connected therewith, must be outgrown. Corporeal falsities include all obstacles to health, holiness, and heaven. Man's individual life is infinitely above a bodily form of existence, and the human concept antagonizes the divine. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, on page 229, third and fourth paragraphs, elucidates this topic. 1
My Christmas poem and its illustrations are not a textbook. Scientists sometimes take things too intensely. Let them soberly adhere to the Bible and Science and Health, which contain all and much more than they have yet learned. We should prohibit ourselves the childish pleasure of studying Truth through the senses, for this is neither the intent of my works nor possible in Science.
Even the teachings of Jesus would be misused by substituting personality for the Christ, or the impersonal form of Truth, amplified in this age by the discovery of Christian Science. To impersonalize scientifically the material sense of existence rather than cling to personality is the lesson of to-day.
¹See the revised edition of 1890, or page 334, lines 10-30
33 in current editions.
(Miscellaneous Writings 18831896, Mary Baker Eddy, pp. 307:11310:9)