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Christian Science Journal
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“SPEECH BELONGS TO MIND”
Josiah C. Merriman
IN “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” Mary Baker Eddy says (p. 485), “Science declares that Mind, not matter, sees, hears, feels, speaks.” Therefore, “Science declares that Mind . . . speaks.” Then in the realm of reality Mind alone speaks, for Mind is God and God is All.
On page 190 of “Miscellaneous Writings” Mrs. Eddy quotes this passage from Luke (11:14): “And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake.” And she explains: “In this case it was the evil of dumbness, an error of material sense, cast out by the spiritual truth of being; namely, that speech belongs to Mind instead of matter, and the wrong power, or the lost sense, must yield to the right sense, and exist in Mind.” The incorrect sense of speech must yield to the correct sense, or the correct speech.
Jesus said (John 14:10), “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” In this verse he seems to imply that the “words” of the Father are also His “works.” Again Jesus said (John 5:30), “I can of mine own self do nothing,” clearly showing that he recognized no selfhood apart from God.
We too can prove that our speech reflects the purity and power of Mind, since “speech belongs to Mind.” How often we find that words which are spoken from the understanding of absolute Truth meet a situation, regardless of its nature. Any problem is a denial of the one Mind. When we speak from the basis of the one Mind and know that Mind alone speaks, dullness gives way to clarity and problems vanish.
In Psalms we read (33:9), “For he [God] spake, and it was done.” This shows plainly that the divine speaking and doing are inseparable, because the speaking of Mind is the doing of Mind. This speaking of Mind is the language of Spirit. Our Leader’s words (Miscellaneous Writings, pp-279, 280), “We, to-day, in this class-room, are enough to convert the world if we are of one Mind; and then the whole world will feel the influence of this Mind; as when the earth was without form, and Mind spake and form appeared,” apply to us today. As we prove we are of one Mind, “the whole world will feel the influence of this Mind. Knowing that we are of one Mind, we have the evidence of Mind, because the evidence of Mind is the language of Mind, since “speech belongs to Mind.”
Jesus declared that we should do the same works that he did (see John 14:12). He claimed nothing for himself that is not true of man. He also implied that since we can do what he did, we can say what he said when we speak from the basis of Christlike understanding. Since true speaking and doing are inseparable and speaking is one of the ways of Mind’s doing, our thoughts and actions must express our understanding of Mind. This is the language of Mind. Our speaking reflects our thought. So our thoughts are what we are really saying.
If we approach our problems as Jesus did, from the basis of the Christ, the true idea of God, or Mind, we shall heal as he did, and our healing will be the evidence of knowing Mind. Jesus always admitted his oneness with the Father (see John 10:30). Too often we quote the statements of Jesus thinking that they are true only for Jesus, while really they are true for all. Man, as the image, the compound idea, the representation, of God, cannot be separate from God. Since, in Science, we are one with the Father and the Father is the one Mind, certainly we are one with the one Mind. An idea must have a Mind in which to dwell.
A few minutes of reflection will prove to anyone that he is constantly identified or at one with his own thinking. All the activity, expression, and evidence of his daily life lies within the field of his own thought. The Psalmist’s declaration that God “spake, and it was done” shows clearly that the speaking and the doing are identical. When Mind speaks, the decision is made. Our decisions result from our awareness, or our mode of consciousness. Then we can and must maintain the sense of good. In reality we can see, feel, and hear only that which reflects Mind. Then when we realize man’s oneness with Mind as its idea, we can speak with the authority of Mind, just as did the Master. Mind sees completeness, perfection. The action that followed Jesus’ word was spontaneous and was at one with his speaking and seeing. Mind spake and it was done—the boat into which the disciples received Jesus willingly was instantly on the other side of the lake.
At another time Jesus said (John 5:17), “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” May this not mean that he was aware of the action of Mind and reflected that action through spiritual understanding? Thus Mind identifies man. When we speak only as the reflection or idea of Mind, our conversation is in heaven. This makes our speech pure, good, free. Thus speaking, we are conscious of perfection, completeness, harmony.
Speech maintaining harmony is its own assurance that our conversation is in heaven. Conversation in heaven maintains health, abundance, good. There is no element of inharmony, nothing inharmonious, in heaven, because heaven is a divine state of thought. In his direct teaching, Jesus consistently held to the present reality of the kingdom of heaven. Science absolutely stated is always simple. We must be positive—we must be absolute in our statement of Science. Divine mind is positive. Then the language of Mind is positive.
Jesus set forth truth which he knew as a present reality, not as past, not as approaching. There is no past and no future in true consciousness, only the dependable now. Jesus’ consciousness of constant, positive oneness with the Father constituted his doctrine.
We must read the Bible in the present sense. We must read Science and Health in the present sense. Both record the disappearing of error and the appearing of Truth. Where? Here. When? Now. A friend of mine who used to attend church with me sometimes in New York said one night, “When people speak of Mrs. Eddy at the Wednesday testimony meetings, they always say, “Mrs. Eddy says.’” My friend added, “That interests me, because Truth is timeless, Truth is always now.”
We must never admit there is a time when Truth is not. This will rule out all doubt, the “perhaps,” the “ought to be,” and enable us to dwell at all times with perfection. How many times daily do we claim our oneness with God in the positive terms of Jesus? We say very readily, “I am honest,” but do we just as readily say, “As God’s idea I am Godlike, I am well, I am perfect, I include all right activity”? Science teaches that heaven is a quality of Mind and therefore man reflects it. On this basis we can prove that we do not have a single inharmony in our thinking; and when we have no inharmony in our thinking, we have health and healing. We heal wherever we are. As Christian Scientists we can decide to be honest and to be well.
We maintain the continuity of our honesty when we say, “There’s no effort to that—we’ve always been honest.” Then can we not maintain the continuity of all good? To do this we must speak from the rightful basis of man’s present perfect being. We must not deny the omnipresence of Mind.
Good is positive. When we talk from the standpoint of good—the positive standpoint—we voice that authority which was so characteristic of Jesus. The centurion mentioned in the eight chapter of Matthew knew that Jesus’ speech was incisive and brought transformation: his very word rendered perfection apparent. The centurion realized understandingly that Jesus spoke with such divine authority that the very word healed. There was no element of time or distance influencing Jesus’ positive word, for his vision knew no bound. Any utterance that does not embody purity, harmony, and good must lie outside the positive infinitude of Truth. Obviously there is nothing outside infinity, so such an utterance is in reality unheard, and actually unsaid. Only the truth can express a fact.
We must talk and work as Jesus did. We are divinely able to say with him that the words that the Father speaketh, we speak; the works that the Father doeth, we do. Demonstrating these truths, we prove Mrs. Eddy’s dynamic saying, “Speech belongs to Mind.”
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Josiah C. Merriman was a medical doctor who turned to Christian Science and became a Christian Science Teacher. He met often with Herbert W. Eustace, who corrected Dr. Merriman’s work. With the persecution that attended being a “non-conformist” in the church science hierarchy, Dr. Merriman followed his wife’s wishes and did not leave the institutional church. In his classes, he singled out those students who had great understanding and introduced them to Mr. Eustace’s “Clear Correct Teaching.”