Christian Science: The Science of Christian Healing
John W. Doorly, C.S.B., of London, England
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
To the man in the street Christian Science is perhaps best known because of its claim to heal disease through spiritual means. Consequently the two questions that would naturally present themselves to him are, first, Why does Christian Science place such importance on the heating of the sick? and, secondly, How does Christian Science propose to heal physical disease by spiritual means alone?
In the first place, it may be replied that Christian Scientists make the healing of disease through spiritual means an all-important matter because they know that to heal disease through an understanding of God and of spiritual law, and through spiritual thinking and living, is one of the first and the easiest footsteps in the demonstration of Christianity. Christian Scientists, in fact, recognize that the healing of disease is far easier than the healing of sin. They therefore realize that, if they cannot cast out the human evil called disease through spiritual means, they certainly cannot hope to overcame the more subtle evil called sin. The ability to heal disease through spiritual means is, indeed, one of the first and most important proofs one can give that he really is a Christian: moreover, it is the one proof that humanity will accept as evidence that one does understand God and spiritual law. In the second place, Christian Scientists have learned, both through reason and through practical demonstration, that disease is one of the manifestations of the human mind, and that the way to overcome disease is not through material means or through the material processes of the aforesaid human or mortal mind, which causes disease, but through the spiritual understanding of God and of His creation, or through what the Scriptures term the Mind of Christ. The whole process in Christian Science, whether it be the healing of the sick or the reforming of the sinner, is consequently one of salvation and redemption. Christian Science therefore teaches that what we need in time of sickness, as well as in time of sin, or in time of sorrow, of poverty, or of any human problem is a correct understanding of God and of His demonstrable spiritual law. This spiritual law of God, which heals both sin and disease and overcomes death, is the undivided garment which Jesus of Nazareth strove to present to mankind, but which mankind has failed to grasp in its entirety. Jesus healed disease through spiritual means, in the same way that he overcame sin or in the same way that he walked on the water, fed the multitude, raised the dead or accomplished any of his numerous works. All that he did was for the purpose of proving the supremacy of spiritual law in a so-called material universe. Critics of Christian Science who do not, or will not, recognize this supremacy of spiritual law in the material universe may argue, to their own complete satisfaction, that the Christian Scientist is striving for the impossible, but this does not alter the fact that the Christian Scientist, through his slight understanding of God and of divine law, is accomplishing results in the healing of disease and in the overcoming of sin such as no system has ever dreamt of accomplishing since the Christian era. What must be the result when Christian Scientists have gained an even-clearer understanding of God and of spiritual law?
Unreliability of Physical Sense Testimony
The trouble with our world is, that it reasons, almost entirely, from a material basis and it accepts as true what the physical senses declare to be true, in spite of the fact that every thinking man knows that the testimony of his physical senses is wholly unreliable, and he can prove this to himself in a thousand and one ways in his daily life. Speaking of our physical senses, the testimony of which most mortals accept as true and final, Professor Graham Kerr stated before the Royal Philosophical Society in Glasgow: "We happen to have a particular type of sense-organ, the ear, tuned to catch an insignificant little proportion of the pulses of the ether, and out of these it is able to produce in our mind the sensation of sound. We have another sense-organ, the eye, so tuned as to take in about the one-forty-thousand-millionth part of the known extent of Nature's mighty gamut of ether waves, and out of these it produces in our minds the sensations we call light and color. On such ridiculously inadequate foundations are built, not only our whole conception of the material universe, but also our whole system of aesthetics — our ideas of beauty, whether of sound, or color, or form — and all their varied expressions in literature and art." How truly Paul spoke when he called human reason, or the testimony of the physical senses, "the wisdom of this world," and he declared such wisdom to be "foolishness with God." As an instance of the unreliability of human reason we have only to remember the fact that it declares man to be a material organism, and at the same time insists that he is God's likeness. Speaking of the material organism we call the body, Dr. C. A. Pierle, head of the Department of Chemistry at the West Texas Teachers' College, says: "The net value of an average human being is ninety-eight cents. His body, if divided into its component chemical elements, would be found enough water to wash a pair of blankets, enough iron to make a ten-penny nail, lime sufficient to whitewash a chicken coop and enough sulphur to kill the fleas on a good-sized dog." Does this ninety-eight cents' worth of water, iron, lime, and sulphur constitute man, in God's likeness, or is this the false, finite, mortal and abnormal sense of man? If the material corporeality is the false sense of man, then it is wholly an effect of false or mortal thinking. Any intelligent person can prove to himself that his corporeality is the effect of mortal thinking by remembering the effects which such wrong mental conditions as fear, hate, greed, selfishness, and passion produce on his material body. The fact is that our entire mortal existence is based on false mortal thinking and false mortal theories. Because men have accepted mortality as a reality, and as God's creation, this in no way makes the delusion true. The time is approaching when men are discerning more and more clearly that what we call human experience, in its every detail, is as much the result of mortal thought, and of mortal systems of thought, as the dream we have at night is the result of dream thought. The day dream of mortality may seem to us to be more concrete and definite than the night dream, but this is only because mortals have for centuries indulged more in the day dream and have seemingly made it a more concrete reality in their thinking. No one who believes in the Christianity of Christ Jesus can also believe in mortality as a divine reality, since Jesus' whole effort was directed to proving that this false sense of existence which we call mortality profited nothing. Is Christian Science going to take something from humanity when it teaches that the material corporeality which is the outcome of material thinking and of sensuality, and, which is subject to every kind of evil influence, is not our true being, but that our true being is God's own image and likeness, the spiritual man?
The Theology of the Future
The Scriptures teach that spiritual things must be spiritually discerned, and Christian Scientists are learning that spiritual facts are real and positive and that, when these facts are spiritually discerned, they deliver from material suppositions or from the false mortal conditions which are the outcome of mortal thought. One thing is absolutely certain, and that is that, in the long run, the world is going to accept the system of thinking and of salvation which gives results. For instance, suppose there should be at this lecture some one who has a deformed or a defective child and that for years he has tried material systems to help in the healing of that child, but without avail. Suppose that this person gets a glimpse of the fact that spiritual law is supreme and can deliver mortals from trouble of every kind; or suppose that in the lecture he only gets a little hope that his child can be helped. Suppose he then proceeds to investigate Christian Science, and to get some understanding of its teachings and, perhaps, to have Christian Science treatment for this child. In the majority of cases it will not be long before some improvement is apparent, and with continued prayer and study the child's healing can be brought to pass through spiritual means alone. Do you imagine that after such an experience all the human reason in the world could convince this individual that the spiritual is not the real, and that the unavailing material way is the right and sensible way? It is through this process, by delivering men and women from disease, from sin, from poverty, from accident, and from distress of every kind, that Christian Science is establishing the fact in human consciousness that, when understood and practiced, spiritual law is ever available to men and that it is supreme in human affairs. Realizing mankind's need of redemption from every phase of evil, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, has written in her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," on page 224: "A higher and more practical Christianity, demonstrating justice and meeting the needs or mortals in sickness and in health, stands at the door of this age, knocking for admission. Will you open or close the door upon this angel visitant, who cometh in the quiet of meekness, as he came of old to the patriarch at noonday?"
Humanity's Neglect of Practical Christianity
We seem to live in a world of material sense that has, and for thousands of years has had, a distorted and mortal sense of God and of God's creation. This world has struggled blindly on in this mist of mortal theories and of materiality, suffering the results of its own distorted thinking in the effects which mortality presents, such as sin, disease, war, poverty, disaster of every kind, and even death. Here and there during the centuries there have arisen men and women whose spiritual vision has pierced the dream of material existence, and they have gained some understanding of God and of the spiritual creation. With varying success these individuals have tried to turn mankind as a whole from the material or fleeting sense of things to a practical understanding of God and of spiritual realities. During the lives of these revelators the world has paused somewhat and has feebly grasped the power, presence, and availability of God and of spiritual law. Inevitably, however, when the revelators have departed, the world has returned to material thinking and living, or to its belief in the reality of material things, although in some cases it has retained the letter of what had been revealed, but very little of the spirit. The record of history, indeed, has been the gradual development in human consciousness of the fact that the spiritual is the real and permanent, and that the material is the fleeting and false sense of existence. Today, we have arrived at a point in this development when the most vital and far-reaching religious body the world has ever known, one which numbers amongst its adherents some of the prominent men and women of this time, the Christian Science Church, is declaring in no uncertain way that the spiritual understanding of God and of his creation is the one desirable asset for the health, the happiness, and the salvation of our race.
Jesus of Nazareth was the perfect example of one who understood the allness of Spirit and the nothingness of matter. He explained to men in detail, and proved in every phase of human experience, that God is Spirit, and that His universe is spiritual; also that the understanding of God and of the spiritual creation does deliver from mortality and its false laws. Humanity has, it is true, retained the letter of his teachings to some extent, but there is not one in a million of his professed followers who accepts the absolute reality of Spirit and the utter unreality of material things enough to demonstrate his teaching even in the simplest ways. His followers have lapsed back to the world's sense of things or to the material sense of things, and in place of a vitally demonstrable religion they have been willing to accept a religion of creeds and doctrines which, in some mysterious and inexplicable way, promises a future salvation, although these doctrines are not potent enough to deliver humanity from its troubles of today. Can any thinking man believe that the theology which does not express enough Christlikeness to deliver him from sin and disease and to protect him from trouble of every kind, here and now, will be able at a future time to deliver him from all evil and to bring him into what he fondly calls "heaven"? If his theology does not express the power and presence of God and His Christ here and now, it is absolutely certain that it win not do so hereafter. Such theories of salvation indicate a complete misunderstanding of Jesus' teachings. He came teaching men that the kingdom of God is at hand and within us, that is, within our thinking: also that God's kingdom, or the reign of spiritual law, comes on earth as well in heaven. In fact, he came teaching men that God is ever-present Spirit and that God's universe is spiritual and perfect: also that the understanding of God and His spiritual universe delivers here and now from the mortal or material sense of things and from the results of mortal thinking, such as sin, disease, and even death. He fearlessly taught his followers that the only values are spiritual values and that men should seek spiritual realities through spiritual sense, and through spiritual thinking, and not seek material things through mortal sense, or through mortal thought and mortal theories of life. In our world the ordinary man devotes practically his whole time and attention to gaining material knowledge and material things and he has little or no time for spiritual things. Then when he has gained the material sense of things he finds that it does not satisfy or protect him, but frequently brings trouble to him and his; or perhaps he fails to gain material things and spends the rest of his life longing for them. Still the world has gone blindly on, never learning from the experiences of others and from its own sufferings, and never realizing that God and His spiritual creation are ever available to men and that, in fact, spiritual values are all that one can really possess. It is to be remembered that when a man has gained even a little of the Mind of Christ, a little understanding of spiritual realities, not death itself can deprive him of that spiritual vision.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science
It was into such a world, bound with mortal traditions, and looking to matter and to the limited, finite, physical senses for relief and for satisfaction, and to material theories for salvation from human woes, that Mary Baker Eddy came. The Bible had foretold in many ways that the spiritual idea of God would one day be revealed through a woman. Jesus once asked: "Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it? it is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast, into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it. And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened," Was not Jesus portraying his own ministry, or Christianity, as the grain of mustard seed which had grown into a great tree that filled the earth and in which the birds of the air, or the uplifted desires of spiritually minded men and women, could find lodgment? Also in the parable of the woman who hid the leaven in the three measures of meal was he not foretelling the ministry of that woman who should bring the Science of Christianity to humanity and leaven the three systems of human thought, so-called material science, theology, and medicine? Is the world so fast bound by mortal illusions that it will never see when God is manifesting Himself to men? Will mortals ever answer to the call of Spirit, thus, "Let us alone: what have we to do with thee?" Is our world still blind to what John meant when he wrote in Revelation 10:1,2: "And I saw another mighty angel come down heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: and he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth?" Can any thinking man fail to see that the little book which is changing the whole of the human thought is the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy? Look back even a few years and you will see that up to quite recently, all Christian churches had taught for centuries that disease was of God and was good for us. Today there are few Christian churches which are not telling men that disease is an abnormal condition and that one should use all the spiritual power he can summon to overthrow it. Why this sudden change after centuries of wrong thinking? Every honest and well-informed man or woman knows that the Christian Science textbook has brought about this leavening of human thought. Furthermore, this book has caused more men and women to become earnest, consecrated students of the Bible than any other book that has ever been written. Again, look back and see that for centuries medical systems have taught that disease is material and must be dealt with through material means. Today many adherents of the medical systems are preaching the non-use of drugs, and many are declaring that disease is wholly mental and must be dealt with in a mental way. These systems, however, have yet to learn that the only mental way to deal with disease is through the Mind of Christ or spiritual understanding, and not through the action of the same human mind which causes disease. Does not every honest thinker and observer of the times know what has caused this great change in medical theories? It is undoubtedly the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy. Is our world following the command to John in Revelation 10:8-11: "And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again. and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him. Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up: and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be to thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up: and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter"? Humanity, in an increasing multitude, is studying the Christian Science textbook in connection with the Bible and is finding it very sweet to the taste, for it is healing humanity's diseases and its sin, and is delivering it from trouble of every kind. Men are also finding these teachings bitter, when Christian Science demands that they should turn in their daily lives from matter to Spirit, and that their lives should be governed by the Mind which is God, and not by the suggestions of hate, greed, jealousy, selfishness, sensualism, and materiality of all kinds. Is mankind blind to all of this? Do men not see the dawning of a new day, the day of Spirit, in which material sense and its effects sin, disease, and death are to be controlled and effaced by the spiritual understanding of God and of God's law? And what of Mary Baker Eddy, God's messenger to this age? Nothing that any of us can say today would add lustre to Mrs. Eddy's name. Her name is carved deep on the heart of humanity and in the lives of millions of men and women who have been redeemed from sin and disease of every kind. Her church is going forward in strict accordance with her teachings and in the service of mankind, proving to men the presence and power of God in human experience, and every day there is accumulating proof that humanity is accepting Mrs. Eddy as God's messenger. Had this world failed to recognize Mrs. Eddy as God's messenger, Christian Science would undoubtedly have been lost for a time, and mankind would again be plunged back into the darkness and hopelessness of materialism. Day by day, Mrs. Eddy's church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, is expanding its borders in accordance with her instructions, and no man can measure what its accomplishments will be. This church has stood, and will stand, the storms of adversity, and will rise above them all, for it is built upon the Rock, Christ Jesus. Christian Scientists recognize in Christ Jesus the Way-shower, and they know that his way is the only way. They also know that his way is the understanding and utilization of spiritual law. They do not feel that they are dimming the glory of Jesus' mission. but rather enhancing it, when they recognize in Mary Baker Eddy God's messenger to this age, for no one has ever turned the thoughts of mankind to Jesus and to his teachings as Mrs. Eddy has done. The gardener who has a supremely beautiful rose in his garden does not feel that he is showing less appreciation for his rose because he also loves and cherishes the lily. If he is a wise gardener, he knows that even the modest violet will bring to his garden something which is desirable.
Christian Science has come to save humanity from the gross materialism of centuries, the culmination of which has been war, hate, greed, numberless incurable diseases, frequent accidents, desolating earthquakes, a great loss of unselfish idealism, and sin in its most hideous forms; also, unrest, fear, and dismay. This Science has come, according to God's command, through Mary Baker Eddy, and it is only through an honest acknowledgment of this fact, and gratitude to her as God's messenger that humanity can ever hope to demonstrate Christian Science. Speaking of her own ability to heal the sick through the understanding of God and of the importance of this healing work, Mrs. Eddy has written (Message for 1901, p. 17): "Had not my first demonstrations of Christian Science or metaphysical healing exceeded that of other methods, they would not have arrested public attention and started the great Cause that today commands the respect of our best thinkers. It was that I healed the deaf, the blind, the dumb, the lame, the last stages of consumption, pneumonia, etc., and restored the patients in from one to three interviews, that started the inquiry, What is it?" No other Christian Scientist has yet shown the wisdom, the strength, and the spiritual guidance which Mrs. Eddy manifested in establishing her church and directing its policy. It is because of her foresight that Christian Scientists possess today a church that is fearlessly calling upon men to turn from the lethargy of mortal sense and awaken to the innumerable blessings of immortal sense. One of the accomplishments of this church is, that it has produced the cleanest and best newspaper on earth, a newspaper which admittedly stands in a class by itself, The Christian Science Monitor. Mary Baker Eddy has set a standard for humanity by which she lived herself and provided that her followers should live, and that standard is the recognition and demonstration of God's infinite presence and power in every detail of our lives. To accomplish this result, a man must not only understand God aright, but he must be pure, honest, selfless, always willing to serve humanity, seeking his brother's good as well as his own, and above all he must be willing to seek first the kingdom of God.
The Teachings of Christian Science about God and Spiritual Law
What then has Mary Baker Eddy revealed to humanity about God and about spiritual law which is enabling men to accomplish these things, and to overcome mortal conditions with spiritual understanding? Mrs. Eddy has blessed mankind overwhelmingly by revealing to them in a sane, practical, and demonstrable way God's true nature and the nature of God's creation. She has also taught humanity that the spiritual understanding of God and of His creation, or that a right mental condition, will operate, with scientific certainty, to deliver from a wrong mental condition or the false sense of existence which we call mortality. Consequently the all-important factor in Christian Science is a spiritual understanding of God and His creation.
Christian Science teaches that God is divine Mind, whom men can know, understand, and demonstrate in every detail of their lives. Since God is also Life, Truth. and Love, and because He is infinite good, therefore when men understand and demonstrate God's infinite presence and power, they are actually bringing into operation the omnipresence and omnipotence of the one divine Mind, God, who is Life Truth, and Love, and who is also infinite good. Christian Scientists do not claim to heal the sick, to reform the sinner, nor to deliver mankind from any of its troubles because of some power which they possess in themselves. They claim that it is the privilege of every man or woman. as a child of God, to understand and to express, in some degree, the power and the presence of the divine Mind, God. They also claim that this understanding will deliver from every phase of mortality. In fact, Christian Scientists claim, that because man is God's image and likeness, he has the inherent right to reflect and to express God's presence and power: also that because God is divine Mind, men can only accomplish such a result through right thinking or spiritual understanding. When Mary Baker Eddy taught mankind that God is Spirit and is also divine Mind, who is ever available to men through spiritual thinking, she at once lifted the terms Spirit and spiritual law out of that rut of superstition and mysticism into which centuries of creed and dogma had tried to force them, and established the recognition of Emmanuel or "God with us."
Man in God's Likeness
Because God is divine Mind, man in God's image and likeness must be the expression of Mind: that is, he must be a right mental condition. Christian Science, however, not only teaches that God is Mind, but it also teaches that He is Life, Truth and Love. Consequently, man in God's likeness expresses a mental condition which is one with infinite Life and, therefore, not with death. He likewise expresses the mental condition which is one with Truth and not with error; also one with Love and not with hate, fear, jealousy or envy. In like manner man in God's likeness expresses the mental condition which is one with Spirit and not with matter. Moreover, Christian Science teaches that God is substance and that God is intelligence; also that He is conscious. Therefore men should always be in that mental condition which expresses true substance and not false substance, or a lack of substance; true intelligence and not false, so-called intelligence, or a lack of intelligence; and true consciousness and not false consciousness, or a lapse of consciousness. Paul has summed up this whole matter of the true mental condition which constitutes man in God's likeness, and the false mental condition which constitutes the so-called mortal man, when he writes, "For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Also, he adds: "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Christian Science consequently teaches that as one begins to think spiritually by entertaining ideas of Life, of Truth, and of Love, and puts this thinking into practice in his daily life, he is attaining, in some degree, to his true being, or to the realization of what constitutes man in the image and likeness of divine Mind, God. It likewise teaches that because of this right mental condition, or because of this attainment to somewhat of man's true estate, that individual will reflect God's presence and power in some degree: also, that before this demonstration of God's presence and power, the so-called carnal mind or mortal thought and its theories of material creation will begin to disappear. At first the less complex phases of mortality will begin to disappear, such as fear, gross materialism, the superficial beliefs in a power apart from God, superstition, disease induced by these simpler phases of mortal thought, poverty, and so forth. Then, through spiritual thinking, such an individual will begin to uncover the subtler phases of mortal thought. He will thus be able to overcome sin, and the disease which is induced by sin, also war and even death. This man is attaining somewhat to the kingdom of God, here and now, and because of his spiritual understanding, or right mental condition, to some extent, God's kingdom is coming "in earth, as it is in heaven."
Practical Examples of Healing
In the Bible there are many striking instances of the overcoming of wrong thinking and the suppositional effects of such thinking through spiritual understanding. In the 12th chapter of Numbers it is recorded of Miriam that she murmured against Moses and she became a leper. It would appear that jealousy and resentment were wrong mental conditions which seemed to result in a diseased condition called leprosy. Moses' spiritual understanding of God, and of man in God's likeness, enabled him to free Miriam from jealousy and resentment, also from leprosy and she was healed of that disease. Likewise in I Kings 13th chapter, there is the story of how King Jeroboam stretched forth his hand against the man of God, and his hand dried up. Hate and passion had seemingly paralyzed his hand. Then the man of God, through spiritual thinking, delivered Jeroboam from hate and passion, and his hand was restored. Both of these incidents have been regarded by superstitious mortals as extraordinary phenomena, produced by God. As a matter of fact they are both very practical illustrations of the harmful effects of evil thinking and of the healing effects of spiritual thinking. In the 17th chapter of Matthew we have a striking illustration of how Jesus traced disease back to wrong thinking or mortal ignorance, and then healed it through the Mind of Christ. When the epileptic boy was brought to him, Jesus recognized at once that, according to mortal theories, the boy was bound by some supposed law of heredity, or some erroneous thinking in which his parents had been indulging. He, therefore, dealt immediately with the parents' thinking and so with the cause of the trouble, and the disease was healed on this basis. Christian Scientists know from experience that, frequently, in dealing with disease in children, one has to deal with the mortal mind's asserted law of heredity, also with the parents' fear, or their false faith in medical laws, and sometimes with the mortal mind's belief that the parents have sinned and the child is consequently suffering from that sin. In fact, Christian Scientists have learned to deal, not so much with the disease itself, but with the wrong mortal thinking which claims to have produced the disease. They have also learned to handle this wrong mortal thinking with spiritual understanding, or with the Mind of Christ.
The spiritual understanding of God as divine Mind and of man's true estate as God's likeness, combined with the desire and the struggle to apply this understanding to the differing phases of mortal experience, constitutes a real prayer. Such prayer heals the sick and the sinner, by delivering them from false beliefs in mortality or from the false mental conditions which induced their diseases and their sins. Speaking of prayer, Jesus said, "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
Is not this a command to withdraw constantly from the mortal or material sense of existence, in fact to shut out of our thought the testimony of the physical senses, and through spiritual sense to commune with the divine Mind, God? This process of entering into "the secret place of the most High" through spiritual sense, and so shutting the door of thought against material sense, is not the result of a spasmodic desire or activity. It is the constant, consecrated desire and ability to understand God and His spiritual creation as real, and to recognize the fleeting, false, temporal, and unreal nature of material existence. Such prayer is based on God, the one divine Mind, and on man's eternal unity with God. It therefore contains no element of chance or of failure. Mrs. Eddy has summed up the purpose and motive of all true prayer when she writes (Science and Health, p. 9): "Dost thou 'love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind?' This command includes much, even the surrender of all merely material sensation, affection, and worship. This is the El Dorado of Christianity. It involves the Science of Life, and recognizes only the divine control of Spirit, in which Soul is our master, and material sense and human will have no place." Christian Scientists have time and time again seen all manner of sin and all manner of disease disappear when some Christian Scientist has reached in thought the exalted consciousness of God's infinite presence and power and of divine Love's willingness and ability to care for every human need. In this realization of God's tender care and loving protection, they have gained some sense of "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding." Into this condition of spiritual thought and communion with God there can enter no phase of evil or disease, nor can any such mortal beliefs remain in the mentality of one who is striving to turn his every thought and desire to God. True prayer demands not only right thinking, or the spiritual understanding of God and of man, but it also demands constant right action. This has been so well expressed in that well-known hymn (Christian Science Hymnal, p. 30):
When Jesus, our great Master came
To teach us in His Father's name,
In every act, in every thought,
He lived the precepts which he taught,
So let our lips and lives express
The holy gospel we profess;
So let our works and virtues shine,
To prove the doctrine all divine.
Thus shall we best proclaim abroad,
The honors of our Saviour, God.
When the salvation reigns within,
And grace subdues the claim of sin.
When through spiritual thinking and living, and through some attainment of man's true selfhood, men learn to demonstrate God's presence and power in human affairs, then will God's kingdom surely come on earth as well as in heaven. Sin, disease, and even death will then flee away before this truly scientific demonstration of God's infinite presence and power. Humanity cannot prove its Christianity more effectually today than by attaining enough of the Mind of Christ to heal all manner of disease. If the Christian churches will do this, and in proportion as they do it, they will then, through the same process of true prayer, be enabled to deliver men in a practical and scientific way from their sins, from war, and even from death. They cannot, however, deliver mankind from sin or death through the Mind of Christ so long as they are unable to overcome the simpler human belief called disease. The prayer of spiritual understanding makes available to men the great physician and the great surgeon, the "lo, I am with you alway." This is the only way by which humanity's diseases can ever be healed, and this prayer, or spiritual understanding of God and of the real man, will deliver humanity from its myriads of medical theories, many of which not only fail to heal disease, but are breeding disease in the human mind by making the human mind dwell on disease as a reality. If our world is ever going to be freed from disease, and it can be freed whenever it wishes to be, it is going to be freed through true prayer and through consecrated thinking and living. It is through such thinking that the divine Mind, God, is made manifest in His healing and redeeming nature. In the chapter, "Christian Science Practice," in her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy has made perfectly plain what heals the sick, in that she starts this important chapter on the healing of disease with the story of the repentant Magdalen. In this chapter, Mrs. Eddy points out that the qualities of thought in the Magdalen, through which the Christ operated, and which the Christian Science practitioner must possess if he is going to heal the sick, are as follows: the adoration of good, the recognition of our debt to God, repentance, contrition, reformation, a deep moral uprising, affection, the reverence for God and His Christ, meekness, gladness, consecration to Spirit, God, gratitude to God, and "a priceless sense of the dear Father's lovingkindness" (Science and Health, p. 366). Also, she declares, we must have tenderness, pitiful patience, love, joy, strength, and compassion. It is through these qualities of thought, which are born in human consciousness as the result of the spiritual understanding of God and of man's true being as God's likeness, that God manifests Himself with power and with intelligence to heal the sick and the sinning. Christian Scientists, in healing disease, do not need a knowledge of disease. They only need a spiritual understanding of God and of God's law.
Most Christian Scientists have come out of conditions in which mortal disease laws had been known to them and forced on them from the time they were children. Eventually these supposititious disease laws had bound them with disease and nothing could deliver them, until Christian Science healed them. They are not anxious, therefore, to accept again the myriad theories of disease which have been formulated by the human mind.
Christian Science has come to deliver humanity from every error of mortal thought and the results of such thought, and to prove to men that God is ever-present divine Mind, and that man is His idea, spiritual and perfect. The first evil from which Christian Science is going to deliver men is disease. By this process it is going to prove to them that Christian Science is of God and that it can likewise deliver them from sin and death. Should Christian Science fail to take this first step in the demonstration of God's presence and power, and so fail to heal the sick, they would have proved their inability to deliver humanity from the least of its troubles and, consequently, they could not deliver humanity from its greater troubles, sin, war, and death. The fact that Christian Scientists, through reflecting somewhat of the Mind of Christ, are healing disease of all kinds, is a proof that they are going on to free men from every phase of mortality. We Christian Scientists are striving by our works, as well as our words, to prove that Christ's way is the only way and that his way is the way of Spirit. Is humanity going to resist this teaching because it has so far relied almost wholly on material ways and means which have not delivered men from their troubles? The evidence is fast accumulating that humanity is not going to resist Christian Science, but that, in fact, humanity is welcoming it in a way that no other religious teaching has ever been welcomed. The effects of this acceptance of Christian Science will surely be, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Christian Scientists are therefore going forward in the endeavor to hasten this day by consecrating their lives and their thinking to the one divine Mind, God, to His Christ, and to man in God's image and likeness, and they believe that already they can hear the faint promise of the fulfillment of those wonderful words of the prophet Micah, "But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it. In that day, saith the Lord, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; and I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever."