The People's Idea of God, by Mary Baker Eddy
Books by Mary Baker Eddy

Its Effect on Health and Christianity
page 541

Its Effect on Health and Christianity

A Sermon:*2

Text:  One Lord, one faith, one baptism. - Ephesians iv. 5.

Every step of progress is a step more spiritual. The
great element of reform is not born of human
wisdom; it draws not its life from human organizations;
rather is it the crumbling away of material elements from
reason, the translation of law back to its original language,
- Mind, and the final unity between man and God.
The footsteps of thought, as they pass from the sensual
side of existence to the reality and Soul of all things, are
slow, portending a long night to the traveller; but the
guardians of the gloom are the angels of His presence, that
impart grandeur to the intellectual wrestling and collisions
with old-time faiths, as we drift into more spiritual
latitudes.  The beatings of our heart can be heard; but
the ceaseless throbbings and throes of thought are unheard,
as it changes from material to spiritual standpoints.  Even
the pangs of death disappear, accordingly as the understanding
that we are spiritual beings here reappears, and


we learn our capabilities for good, which insures man's
continuance and is the true glory of immortality.
   The improved theory and practice of religion and of
medicine are mainly due to the people's improved views
of the Supreme Being.  As the finite sense of Deity, based
on material conceptions of spiritual being, yields its grosser
elements, we shall learn what God is, and what God does.
The Hebrew term that gives another letter to the word
God and makes it good, unites Science and Christianity,
whereby we learn that God, good, is universal, and the
divine Principle, - Life, Truth, Love; and this Principle is
learned through goodness, and of Mind instead of matter,
of Soul instead of the senses, and by revelation supporting
reason.  It is the false conceptions of Spirit, based on the
evidences gained from the material senses, that make a
Christian only in theory, shockingly material in practice,
and form its Deity out of the worst human qualities, else
of wood or stone.
   Such a theory has overturned empires in demoniacal contests
over religion.  Proportionately as the people's belief
of God, in every age, has been dematerialized and unfinited
has their Deity become good; no longer a personal tyrant
or a molten image, but the divine Life, Truth, and Love,
- Life without beginning or ending, Truth without a
lapse or error, and Love universal, infinite, eternal.  This
more perfect idea, held constantly before the people's
mind, must have a benign and elevating influence upon
the character of nations as well as individuals, and will


lift man ultimately to the understanding that our ideals
form our characters, that as a man "thinketh in his heart,
so is he."  The crudest ideals of speculative theology
have made monsters of men; and the ideals of materia
medica have made helpless invalids and cripples.  The
eternal roasting amidst noxious vapors; the election of the
minority to be saved and the majority to be eternally punished;
the wrath of God, to be appeased by the sacrifice
and torture of His favorite Son, - are some of the false
beliefs that have produced sin, sickness, and death; and
then would affirm that these are natural, and that Christianity
and Christ-healing are preternatural; yea, that
make a mysterious God and a natural devil.
   Let us rejoice that the bow of omnipotence already
spans the moral heavens with light, and that the more
spiritual idea of good and Truth meets the old material

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