Lecture on Christian Science, Title Unknown (3)
Dr. Walton Hubbard, C.S.B., of Los Angeles, California
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
There comes a time in the experience of most of us when material methods and remedies fail to heal us of our sicknesses and distresses of mind and body and when material philosophy fails to satisfy us. It is in this extremity that we are led to wonder if God can heal us and by what means we may hope so to approach Him as to receive the divine blessing. From beginning to end of the Bible there are repeated assertions of God's power and willingness to heal, and the inspired writers who made these statements must have experienced the healing to have thus written of it. Yet so little faith has been placed in God as a healer that most Christians have turned to matter first, and to God last, in their effort to be healed.
Christian Science comes with the assurance that there is a law of God which heals and saves; that this law is revealed in the teachings of Christian Science; and that the comforting assurances of healing and peace declared to us in the Bible are realized through the prayer which Christian Science teaches us to offer.
It is, then, a peculiar pleasure that is mine in being privileged to tell you of Christian Science, the greatest discovery since the time of Jesus of Nazareth, for it reestablishes primitive Christian healing, repeating the wonders accomplished by Jesus and his followers and proving that the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, has been made available to us.
Christian Science proves beyond peradventure that God is Love and that He loves us in a way which our highest human sense of love can appreciate as love. It proves that God is omnipotent and available by setting aside what were presumed to be unchanging material laws of sickness and discord, giving us those blessings of health and harmony which we would rightfully expect of a human parent, had he the power to bestow them.
Its Discoverer and Founder
Christian Science was discovered and founded by Mary Baker Eddy. Anyone who makes even the most casual study of Mrs. Eddy's life cannot but be impressed by the wonderful characteristic which she manifested. She was a deep student and went to the very root of any subject which she investigated. Moreover, she was more than what might be termed a religious woman, for she was deeply spiritual. Even the poems and writings of her childhood, many of which were printed in New England publications, almost invariably have in them some reverent thought of God.
Possessed of what the world would call a frail body, she kept up her studies at home when, on account of ill health, she was unable to attend school, and later on, in spite of her lack of ruggedness, she demonstrated a tremendous capacity for work and investigation. After investigating various material systems of healings she turned her attention to the Bible in an effort to discover how primitive Christian healing had been brought about and her faithful search was finally rewarded. In speaking of the result of this search she says, on page 25 of her book Retrospection and Introspection, "The Scriptures had to me a new meaning, a new tongue. Their spiritual signification appeared; and I apprehended for the first time, in their spiritual meaning, Jesus' teaching and demonstration, and the Principle and rule of spiritual Science and metaphysical healing, — in a word, Christian Science."
Mrs. Eddy tells us further that she submitted her discovery to the broadest possible tests. That is, she not only discovered, through her deep Biblical study, the rules for healing as Jesus healed, but she proved the correctness of these rules in actually healing all manner of diseases. Her book "Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures" contains not only the rules for the application of Christian Science, but the admonitions of the one who through experience knew the things to be avoided. This book is a veritable well-spring of spiritual truth and those who have studied it for years find it ever new. It is not a book to be casually read but one to be studied and pondered. Not a line of it can be passed over lightly. "But," one might say, "if the Bible contains the rules for spiritual healing as Mrs. Eddy declares, why not study the Bible alone, instead of studying the Christian Science textbook as well as the Bible?"
Spiritual Understanding Essential
All the study of the Bible by students and scholars for hundreds of years has failed to discover this law of healing. Unless we have the spiritual insight which Mrs. Eddy had we too would fail. It is evident that we must have this law of healing pointed out and explained to us as Mrs. Eddy has done in her writings so that we too may understanding the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures and find the lost treasure of divine healing.
Now, in order that we may understand God, it is not only necessary that we should understand His qualities and characteristics but we must discard those beliefs that have kept us from recognizing them. It was impossible to conceive and bring forth the radio until its discoverer discarded the belief that a wire was essential to the transmission or messages. So, in undertaking to understand God we must dare to discard every belief that is contrary to His nature. It is necessary to refuse to believe anything that is not according to divine logic, even though it may seem to be true to human sense.
To understand that God is the only healer, the Comforter, the source of all peace and joy, we must also see that matter is not a healer, that it cannot comfort, and that it has never been the source of peace and joy.
Material Methods Fail
My own experience in the practise of medicine may help us to see that we have no reason to trust matter instead of God to heal us. From the very beginning of my practise of medicine I was disappointed in the results following the use of drugs. Sometimes the results seemed to be most marked and again there was absolutely no result, and my experience was no different from that of thousands of other physicians. It was my conscientious desire to become an expert in medicine; but I found that the result was so haphazard that past experience was of no help and tended rather to produce a constantly increasing conviction that drugs had no effect. I watched the cases very closely trying to determine what factors were operating in disease. I was impressed with the mental factor which was so often apparent and which many physicians admit to be almost invariably present in disease. I determined to try to find out by close observation just how large the mental factor was in each case that came to me. At first, I could only see it occasionally: but finally it became more and more apparent and in the end I came to see that all disease is mental. It then became quite evident why drugs could not and did not heal. When they seemed to heal it was only because the faith in the drug entertained by the doctor, the nurse and the world in general was sufficient to replace the belief in disease and so to bring to human consciousness a sense of health. I began to see how little reason there is to trust in drugs and material measures for healing. I saw that the reasoning about these things is altogether faulty.
Take what is known as counter irritation, the use of an irritating plaster or poultice externally in order to alleviate irritation internally. The idea back of the mustard plaster and similar counter irritants is that the body will stop being irritated in one place if it is intentionally irritated in another. If the body is material and disease a material manifestation, then an irritation on the skin could not possibly stop a deeper irritation. But if the body is mental, a state of mortal mind, and disease a mental manifestation, as Christian Science declares it to be, then it is plain to be seen that the human mind might be made to forget one irritation, if it were sufficiently occupied with another, especially if it were made to believe that the measure employed was quite sure to have a beneficial effect. Indeed medical literature has pointed out that chronic eruptions of the skin in children will disappear during the time the child is suffering from an acute eruptive disease only to reappear on the subsidence of the acute eruption.
Unable to recognize that disease is a mental manifestation, the product of wrong thinking, medical investigators are constantly searching in matter for the cause of disease and for remedies with which to combat it. The history of medicine is one of constant change. Drugs which at first, seemed successful are later discarded because the good results which at first seemed to follow their use no longer appear. As soon as the accompanying belief in the efficacy of the drug is destroyed there are no further results following its administration. It is proverbial that the patient must have faith in the doctor. The physician himself almost invariably admits that without the element of belief his drugs and his measures will have no effect. Recently a physician told a young man that what he needed was exercise. But the young man said, "I walk nearly all day in carrying on my business." The doctor replied, "That kind of exercise does you no good because it is taken in the course of your business. You must exercise for the sake of exercise." In other words, the thing that makes it beneficial is the thought that it is exercise. The germ theory and other established medical beliefs will all, in process of time, be discarded.
Old beliefs give way to new theories and these in turn are discarded for others and this will continue until the human mind comes to see that the body is but an expression of thought and all disease a mental manifestation.
Christian Science vs. Mental Suggestion
I could go on quite indefinitely telling you of various things which would indicate that the body is mental and that disease is altogether a thing of material thought. I came to see this clearly through watching disease processes over a period of nine years of medical practice. Now it is obvious that if disease is mental the treatment should be mental. I therefore determined to become a mental specialist and with this in view I began to read various books on the subject of mental healing.
Among the books brought to my attention was the Christian Science textbook. I did not believe that Christian Science was either Science or religion. It was my belief that Mrs. Eddy had appropriated the material law of suggestion and had built about it a system of religious worship and that by studying her book along with the other writings on mental healing I might glean something additional about the mental treatment of disease. However, as I read Science and Health I discovered that it was not like the rest and it finally became apparent to me that Mrs. Eddy had indeed discovered the law of spiritual healing, for the healing was brought about by the recognition of certain spiritual truths about God and man's relationship to Him and not by any power inherent in the human mind. I saw clearly that the person employing suggestion undertook to heal sicknesses, which are always mental beliefs, by the use of an opposite mental belief; but that the Christian Scientist appropriated the power of God, the spiritual fact, the truth, and brought this truth into human consciousness, thus destroying disease. So-called suggestive treatment is dangerous for it is impossible to build up the belief that one is well or that one is better by repeatedly asserting it, without at the same time admitting that repeated assertions that one is sick can make one sick, and thus endowing our sick thoughts with additional power to harm us. It is logically evident and my own experience and that of thousands of others bears out the fact that spiritual healing is the only dependable method of healing discordant conditions. I finally arrived at the point where I could no longer conscientiously practise medicine and I became a Christian Science practitioner.
Bondage to Material Beliefs
No doubt there are many who are kept from turning to God for healing by their bondage to medical beliefs. But if we are to know more of God we must have the courage to deny that the pronouncements of the doctor are to be feared and reverenced. How many of us are there who have more faith in the doctor's statement that our sickness is grave or incurable than we have in the Master's declaration "And these shall follow them that believe, * * they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover," Mark 16:17, 18. These medical beliefs which we so worship have often been inculcated in childhood and entertained for years; yet a lie gains no strength with age and it is high time that we discarded every belief which keeps us from understanding God. Let us, then, remember that in order to understand God we must give up matter and trust our faith in God fully.
In like manner have the religious beliefs of a God of love and hate, of fiery punishment and eternal damnation, kept us from understanding God and appropriating His healing. If we are to make use of the law of healing we must earnestly desire to know God and in addition we must be willing to give up every material belief which keeps us from understanding Him. The majority of the beliefs that keep us in darkness are either medical or religious. Now we all earnestly desire to be healed and must all be willing to try to understand God in order that this desire may be fulfilled. How then shall we proceed?
In the second paragraph of the preface to the Christian Science textbook Mrs. Eddy writes, "The time for thinkers has come. Truth, independent of doctrines and time-honored systems, knocks at the portal of humanity. Contentment with the past and the cold conventionality of materialism are crumbling away. Ignorance of God is no longer the stepping-stone to faith. The only guarantee of obedience is a right apprehension of Him whom to know aright is Life eternal."
We are going to have to think about God, since "the time for thinkers has come." Truth is knocking at your door and mine for admittance, and, as we admit Truth, this understanding of God destroys the sicknesses and discords which distress us.
Correct Concept of God
In thinking about God let us take some spiritual fact that we are all agreed upon. No doubt we are all fairly well agreed that God expresses wisdom, infinite intelligence. The magnitude and grandeur of the starry firmament is evidence of the intelligence that is nothing short of infinite. Now let us see where this admission leads us. We shall have to admit that God is Life for who can conceive of dead intelligence? We shall have to admit that God is Truth because infinite intelligence could not have within it untrue or non-intelligent thought without ceasing to be infinite, and so ceasing to be God. We shall have to admit that God is Mind because we have already admitted that God expresses infinite intelligence, and infinite intelligence is simply the expression of infinite Mind. We shall have to admit that God is Spirit, because, according to Webster's Dictionary, spirit and mind are one. And later on we shall have to admit that God is Love. We have not as yet discussed the nature and character of God's creation but when this is done it will be seen that God showers infinite goodness upon His creation, that He protects, guides, and cares for all that He has made, and that no less a term than infinite Love can properly express His nature. In these terms for God we have a basis from which to learn of Him.
So far, in our contemplation of God, we have not included any thought about God's universe. Reverting again to our first thought about God, we started out with the admission that God expresses infinite intelligence and that He is therefore divine Mind. Divine Mind is omnipresent and filled with ideas, Mind manifests intelligence which is expressed in ideas or thoughts. These thoughts or ideas are the activity of Mind. It is impossible to conceive of Mind without ideas, for Mind in order to be Mind must be filled with ideas.
Here, then, is, the spiritual creation, divine Mind everywhere present filled with spiritual ideas. Mrs. Eddy declares that God's ideas "range from the infinitesimal to infinity, and the highest ideas are the sons and daughters of God." (S. & H. 503:3). God's creation exists in divine Mind, is never separated from it, and never ceases to be the direct effect or activity of it. It follows that man, the expression of divine Mind, has no volition of his own, but forever expresses the health and perfection of infinite Mind whose idea he is.
Admitting that there is nothing wrong with the argument as to the nature and character of God and of man's perfection because of his inseparability from God, we are immediately confronted, by the fact that this conclusion is contrary to the evidence of the material senses that man is material and that he is imperfect and mortal, subject to sin, sickness and death. If we accept the evidence of the material senses as to the nature and character of man we are right where we started and will remain there. Our argument as to the nature of God and His perfect idea becomes a mere excursion into philosophical thinking with no direct application and no result.
Unreality of Matter
It is necessary that we should not only recognize the truth about God and man but that we should see the untruth of everything contrary thereto. Now Christian Science teaches that the material man and the material universe are expressions or beliefs or thoughts which are the opposites or counterfeits of true ideas, the creations of Mind. On page 60 of Misc. Writings Mrs. Eddy declares that "Evil in the beginning claimed the power, wisdom, and utility of good; and every creation or idea of Spirit has its counterfeit in some matter belief. Every material belief hints the existence of spiritual reality and if mortals are instructed in spiritual things, it will be seen that material belief in all its manifestations reversed, will be found the type and representative of verities priceless, eternal, and just at hand." The trend of modern material philosophy is to admit matter to be mental, the expression of what is termed law or thought, but what these materialists do not see is that the law or thought of which matter is the expression is not really law, but a counterfeit of God's law. We need to recognize that matter is mental, the expression of beliefs which Mrs. Eddy tells us she has named mortal mind, for want of a better term. While matter, to material sense may not seem to be mental, it is a significant fact that physicist and chemist alike maintain that it is. The Christian Scientist is daily proving that matter is but a mental manifestation, an expression of beliefs that are contrary to God's law. Jesus' appearance in the room with the disciples when the door was shut is definite proof that matter is mental. When the disciples said, "It is a spirit," Jesus simply said, "Handle me, and see. A spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have." Jesus brought his flesh and blood body into the room when the door was closed, which could only have been done by his clear recognition that man is spiritual and that the so-called material man is altogether mental, a product of belief. My experience in the practise of medicine convinced me absolutely that all disease is mental, and if a diseased body is mental then a healthy one is mental and all that is required to experience health is to exclude sick thoughts by entertaining only God's thought of health.
Christian Science Unfolds Scriptures
It is probable that the majority of us, having been brought up in a Christian nation, have certain fundamental beliefs of creed and dogma, and whether we recognize them or not we approach Christian Science with the prejudice of whatever beliefs we are entertaining. Even those who think that they have no religious beliefs because they have never been identified with any particular church are almost certain to entertain the general religious thoughts which pervade the current literature of a Christian people so that in spite of their thoughts to the contrary they do entertain certain credal beliefs.
It is then important that we should understand what Christian Science teaches about those fundamentals of religious belief which almost everyone entertains. What does it teach about prayer, salvation, the divinity of the Christ, the virgin birth and the miracles? To begin with it can be said that Christian Science answers all these questions logically. The Scriptures speak of the "Mystery of Godliness"; and we may have been led to think, from such utterances, and from the oft repeated statement that certain things in the Bible were not for us to understand, that Godliness is difficult to understand. It seems that at the time the New Testament was written there were many secret societies each having its secret work or mysteries, which were perfectly understood by those who were initiated; so that the use of the phrase mystery of Godliness did not infer that it was unreasonable or difficult to understand. Mrs. Eddy declares that "God is to be understood, adored and demonstrated." (S. & H. 472:2) It is certain that as we understand God we do adore Him because we find Him altogether lovely and through the understanding of Christian Science we are able to demonstrate our sonship with Him.
What is the prayer of healing? We have established as a basis for our reasoning that God is Mind and that the reflection, Mind's ideas, constitutes man and the universe, that the spiritual man, God's idea, lives and moves and has his being in divine Mind. We have also found that the so-called material man is a false concept or belief, a counterfeit of the real man. Now as counterfeits, as mortals, we are suffering according to our beliefs, from sickness and discord. Our faith in medicine and other material measures has not been strong enough to replace the belief of sickness, or having replaced it for a short time, the troublesome belief has again asserted itself and the sufferer finally in desperation turns to God for relief. What must our communion be? How are we to pray aright? We cannot beg God to make us well for His idea is already perfect. It is evident that our prayer, our communing with God, must be in the way of asserting that which we have seen to be logically true of God's man. We can be grateful to God that we are His children, that as such we are inseparable from Him, that His children are as perfect as He is perfect, that they are the constant objects of His loving care and protection, that no evil can come or ever has come nigh them and that they exist forever perfect in divine Mind. We must also recognize that the discordant conditions from which we have been suffering are wrong thoughts entertained in the human mind which disappear as we appropriate the truth about man in God's image and likeness. When through such a prayer as this healing comes to us there comes with it a wonderful sense of nearness to God and of His loving care for us. It is then that we are able to declare from actual experience that God is Love. The human mind, through the leavening of spiritual truth, becomes a better belief, more nearly like the divine model, and this process will go on until mortality is swallowed up of Life.
The Christian Scientist's God is not personal in the sense of being a big man with a body, but it is certain that Christian Scientists do appreciate the nearness and dearness of God as they never did before. Mrs. Eddy declares in her book Unity of God: "Now this self-same God is our helper. He pities us. He has mercy upon us, and guides every event of our careers. He is near to them who adore Him. To understand Him, without a single taint of our mortal, finite sense of sin, sickness, or death, is to approach Him and become like Him."
Is there anything distant or cold or unapproachable about such a concept of God? And then there is the answer to the prayer, the fact that this communion with God, this entertaining of God's thoughts, heals the difficulties which have led us to approach him in prayer.
A great deal has been said about God's plan of salvation. Salvation has usually been considered to mean the avoidance of punishment for sin after death. Now what would you and I wish to be saved from and when would we want that salvation to appear? Is it not our desire to be saved at this moment from sickness, from sin, from discord, from lack, and every condition which keeps us from the health and joy and peace that are rightfully ours as the children of God? The way of salvation is through the Christianly scientific prayer of realization of God's goodness and love. Each one of us can be conscious today of something of God's salvation, and in this evidence of salvation today we will find abundant assurance of final salvation from everything unlike God. If then, we are to appropriate salvation through our own understanding of God, following the Biblical injunction to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling," what was accomplished by Jesus' atonement and what relation does it bear to our salvation?
Let us recall again, as a basis for our reasoning, that God is Mind, and that man is Mind's idea, and that to be rid of the discordant beliefs which beset us it is necessary to lay hold on this spiritual fact and through this righteous prayer, to destroy every discordant condition until at last, in our progressive demonstration, we shall have destroyed sickness, sin and death. If we must, through our own efforts, under the guidance of Truth, be rid of these errors, it certainly was not intended that we should depend on the vicarious effort of another to do so. But Jesus showed us the way. Mrs. Eddy points out that "His consummate example was for the salvation of us all, but only through doing the works which he did and taught others to do" (S. & H. 51:19-31) Jesus' atonement, his demonstration of unity or at-one-ment with God, becomes more important to us than ever, since we have learned that it is through striving that we are to be rid of sin, sickness and death, and that through the destruction of all error he has become our Wayshower, "the first-born among many brethren" as the Bible declares.
Reverting again to the fact that God is Mind and that man is His perfect idea, as a fundamental fact of Christian Science teaching, one might ask, "Just where and how does the Christ come in?"
The word Christos is a Greek word which means anointed. The Christ is spoken of in the Old Testament as the Messiah, a Hebrew word which means God with us. When we turn to God for help and undertake to recognize that man is Mind's idea, God's image and likeness, the divine consciousness that comes to us is the Christ, Truth. Now, Jesus was anointed with the Christ, the Spirit of truth, so fully that he was justly called Jesus, the Christ. The writer of the Book of Hebrews points out that Melchizedek was the Christ consciousness which came to Abraham, and also tells us that Moses was conscious of the Christ in some degree, for he declares that Moses esteemed "the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt, for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward." He knew that what he gained through his consciousness of the Christ, even though, on this account, he received the world's reproach, far outweighed anything that the world had to offer. David speaks of his consciousness of the Christ. Isaiah tells of the Christ, how this divine idea unfolds in human consciousness, and what it does. Jesus taught his followers the truth which he understood, and to the degree that they appropriated his teachings were they in possession of the Christ-Mind which animated him.
Mrs. Eddy points out that the word Christ as it was used in the New Testament meant "The divine manifestation of God which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (S. & H. 583:10). Today, as in Bible times, the Christ comes to us when we turn to God and earnestly strive to become conscious of our true selfhood in him.
The appropriation of the Christ is an individual problem, but we have always before us the perfect and complete demonstration of the Christ which Jesus left as an example and an inspiration to help us on. The Christ is divine and if, through the understanding of Truth as taught in Christian Science, we are accomplishing healings, we are proving that we are in possession of the Christ consciousness to some degree.
Christian Science teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin. In fact, there is no truth within the Bible that does not confirm and support the teachings of Christian Science. In speaking of the virgin birth, Mrs. Eddy declares that "The illumination of Mary's spiritual sense put to silence material law and its order of generation, and brought forth her child by the revelation of Truth, demonstrating God as the Father of men." (S. & H. 29:20) She also says, "The Science of creation, so conspicuous in the birth of Jesus, inspired his wisest and least understood sayings, and was the basis of his marvellous demonstrations" (S. &. H. 539:30). This divine consciousness which Jesus possessed in so large degree enabled him to vanquish every error. He overcame temptation in himself and destroyed sin, sickness and death in others and finally overcame death for himself.
What does Christian Science teach of baptism and communion? Let me quote from page 35 of the Christian Science textbook: "Our baptism is a purification from all error. Our church is built on the divine Principle, Love. We can unite with this church only as we are new-born of Spirit, as we reach the Life which is Truth and the Truth which is Life by bringing forth the fruits of Love, — casting out error and healing the sick. Our Eucharist is spiritual communion with the one God. Our bread, 'which cometh down from heaven,' is Truth. Our cup is the cross. Our wine the inspiration of Love, the draught our Master drank and commended to his followers."
When Jesus sent the twelve apostles forth, as related in the tenth chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew, he commanded them saying, "And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." They were not only to preach that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, but they were to prove it. Christian Science is again declaring that the kingdom of heaven is at hand and offering constant proofs of the availability of the divine law to heal. James said, "Show me thy faith without thy works and I will show thee my faith by my works." Spiritual understanding is always accompanied by results.
Now, many healings brought about through the application of Christian Science are instantaneous or practically so. Other healings take some time and others, to human sense are tedious. I recall a case in my own experience where eight months of treatment were required to bring about a healing, yet the healing was, in my opinion, an excellent one, for according to medical belief, it might have been years before this man could have resumed his normal business activity.
We are all desirous of quick healings. The healings which the Master accomplished were almost invariably instantaneous healings, or at least if the record fails to state that the healing was immediate, no statement is made as to the length of time required for the complete manifestation of health to appear. Two of Jesus' healings as recorded in the Bible seem not to have been instantaneous, and in my own effort to heal the sick there has been a certain measure of comfort, when healing has not been instantaneous, in the fact that even with Jesus' spiritual understanding some of his works took a little time for their completion.
The healing of the nobleman's son, as described in the fourth chapter of the Gospel according to John, is one of these instances. This healing was brought about through what Christian Scientists would call absent treatment. Jesus was in Cana, and the nobleman's son in Capernaum about fifteen miles away at the time the father entreated Jesus to heal him. On the nobleman's return he met his servants who had come to tell him of his son's recovery, and according to the Scripture "then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him." They did not declare that he was instantaneously healed, but the Scripture infers that the fever left him and he began to amend at the time Jesus declared "Thy son liveth."
The other instance is a healing of an entirely different character, and is related in the twenty-second chapter of Luke's Gospel. Jesus said to Peter, "Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen the brethren." It is evident, from the wording, that while Jesus had no doubt of the effectiveness of his prayer for Peter's healing from the error that was assailing him, the healing was not apparent and did not become evident until after Peter had denied Jesus thrice. Christian Scientists are grateful for the instantaneous healings, and for those that are not instantaneous, for they are all evidences of spiritual power.
Throughout the Epistles the adherents of the early church were frequently enjoined to have patience. Now where healing is instantaneous, no patience is acquired. It might be reasonably inferred that the healing accomplished in the early days of the primitive Christian church was, in many instances, not instantaneous. The principal thing is to get the healing whether it be instantaneous or not, and thus prove our relationship to God and our understanding of Him. One who had turned to Christian Science for healing said, 'Why is it that with all the instantaneous healings related in the Christian Science periodicals, I must read and study in order to get my healing?" I replied, "The only reason I know why you have to read and study in order to get your healing is because you did not get an instantaneous healing." God's child, the divine idea, is patient and expectant, and loving. When we find that we are entertaining impatient, hopeless and unloving thoughts, let us undertake to demonstrate patience, expectancy, and love, for they are divine qualities needed in the healing. Through our daily study of Christian Science, we are increasingly confident of the fact that Christian Science heals and that each day brings an added realization of the infinite power of that truth which we declare.
Let us watch our thinking and so far as we are able, let us cast out those thoughts which are detrimental. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Phil. 4:8.
God's blessings are for us all, and God's children are all as the Bible declares, "joint heirs with Christ." Let us be faithful to that degree of spiritual understanding which we possess and it will continue to grow in human consciousness, proving its presence in the healing of our sicknesses and sins and we shall be worthy of the benediction, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many."