Divine Light Explained by Christian Science
James Harry McReynolds,
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
People have been seeking enlightenment all through the ages. The attainment of light and still more light has been their constant desire. The need for light, or understanding, has been recognized by all honest seekers for truth, and many Bible writers have cried out for spiritual discernment. "O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles" (Ps. 43:3). "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law" (Ps. 119:18).
Spiritual light has been shining in all its grandeur throughout eternity. Although it has not always been recognized and appreciated and although there have been periods of seeming chaos and confusion, men have been coming nearer and nearer to this light.
"And step by step, since time began,
We see the steady gain of man."
(Christian Science Hymnal, No. 238.)
Sufficient evidence of the attainment of spiritual enlightenment is already apparent to encourage us to press on in assurance that eventually divine light will so illumine our consciousness as to reveal fully God's absolute supremacy and the harmony and beauty of His creation.
God as Light
Spiritual light originates in God, and because it is pure in nature, it is undimmed and unadulterated by the darkness of evil. Light, when referring to physical illumination, is material, and nothing material is in God or originates in Him. Physical light travels, perhaps, faster than any other form of matter, and when it appears, it destroys darkness; but divine light is omnipresent and requires no time for transmission. In the New Testament we read (I John 1:5), "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."
Divine light is intelligence, or spiritual understanding, and the dark shadows of ignorance disappear in the presence of this light. Whatever originates in darkness is just as unreal and impotent as darkness itself, and it is proved to be mythical in nature when the searchlight of Truth is thrown upon it. Darkness does not go to another place; it simply vanishes into its own nothingness. The ever-presence of spiritual light is a constant defense against the possible intrusion or invasion of mental darkness.
Spiritual light emanates from God, and in Christian Science a synonymous term for God is Mind, spelled with a capital "M" in order to distinguish it from the human mind. Divine intelligence, as opposed to the intelligence which is supposed to originate in the human brain, is derived from this all-seeing and all-knowing, infinite Mind, called God. This divine intelligence dispels mental darkness or ignorance, and as human consciousness is illumined by divine intelligence, the darkness of ignorance disappears. These two opposites cannot dwell together nor mingle any more than physical light and darkness can coexist.
God's first command in the opening chapter of Genesis is (1:3), "Let there be light." In response to this command (ibid.), "There was light." Perhaps the significance of this mandate for light is that after the creation of the heaven and the earth the light appeared to bring God's creation into view. In many places in the Scriptures, God is referred to as light and as dwelling in light. "Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment" (Ps. 104:2). Inasmuch as God is light and dwells in light, His creation must have its being in light, rather than in darkness.
The human need is divine intelligence, and infinite Mind supplies this intelligence. As divine light illumines human consciousness, the way to meet the human need or to solve the human problem is revealed.
Now, to use a simple illustration, you could be starving and at the same time be in "arm's reach" of food, but if it were packaged in such a way that you did not recognize it, you would still be hungry. Obviously, the solution to your problem would be an awareness of what was present. You would need something to show you what was in the packages.
You will recall the incident related
in the sixth chapter of II Kings (14-17), where the king of Syria warred
against the king of Israel, and the prophet Elisha, through spiritual insight,
warned the king of Israel of the danger and prevented his being ambushed on
several occasions. The Syrian king was repeatedly thwarted in his plans, and he
concluded that he was being betrayed by someone in his own company. When he was
told that it was the prophet Elisha who was warning the king of
Elisha's protection, as well as that of his servant, was at hand all of the time; Elisha knew it, but his servant, not having Elisha's spiritual vision, was unaware of it. But when Elisha prayed for him, his eyes were opened, spiritual light illumined his consciousness, and he was able to see what Elisha recognized at the outset. What the servant needed is what you and I need: it is to have our eyes opened. "Open thou mine eyes," the Psalmist prayed (Ps. 119:18), "that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law."
When we are materially-minded, judging only by the senses, naturally we see limitation, perhaps danger and frustration, but when our consciousness is illumined by divine light, spiritual understanding will reveal to us whatever may be needed. We read these words in the book of Job (22:21): "Acquaint now thyself with him," that is, with God, "and be at peace." The obvious implication here is that God can be understood, and that as He is understood, His truths are demonstrated. What is our need, then? It is to acquaint ourselves with all-seeing, all-knowing Mind, God. Spiritual ideas proceed from divine Mind, and our intelligent use of them supplies our daily needs. Again, our need is spiritual discernment or enlightenment; it is a knowledge of God's spiritually mental and wholly intelligent nature.
From the Bible we learn that God is Spirit. This truth enables us to realize that He is universal and omniactive, that His power is supreme, that His substance is infinite and ever at hand, and that He is wholly individual because there is none like Him.
God is Soul, and His creation, man, reflects Soul's spiritual properties. Soul gives man conscious identity and an awareness of his at-one-ment with God. The true understanding of Soul – that it is not a limited sense of life, dependent on a mortal body, but is infinite divine Life, or God, forever expressed in man – comes as a great new light to men. It brings a new sense of dominion over limitation and evil. The prophet Jeremiah wrote (24:7), "I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God." The consciousness or "heart" which Soul gives enables us to know that the integrity of our character and the harmony of our existence are preserved by our Father-Mother God.
In Christian Science, God is understood to be divine Principle. This synonymous term for God is capitalized so that it will not be confused with what is commonly referred to as a rule or principle of accounting or mechanics. Someone unacquainted with such a term for God may ask, "What is meant by this word?" In referring to God as divine Principle, we mean that He is the creator of all, that He is the source of all true being, as well as the basis of all law and order, and that He upholds and sustains all creation. When we say, for instance, that God is the divine Principle of man, we mean that Principle is man's creator and governor. It follows, then, that divine Principle is always with its creation, man, and governs him unerringly, supporting and sustaining his being. Divine Principle is the unchanging Life of man, and from this we understand that man can no more be separated from Life than Principle can cease being eternal and ever present.
God is Truth, as the Bible declares. This means, in one sense, that He is the basis of everything real. All reality proceeds from Truth, and whatever originates in Truth is as harmonious and indestructible as Truth itself. From this we see that evil or error, being the opposite of Truth, is inharmonious, temporal, and unreal because it does not originate in Truth. Truth is light, and light liberates from darkness by destroying it. As the light of Truth enters, error's darkness disappears. In fact, to Truth there is no darkness, no error, hence no mistake, confusion, discord, impurity; and this we prove step by step in Christian Science by the overcoming of such appearances.
God is Love, and Love is light. Love is always illuminating and revealing. Love is full enlightenment for its idea, man, and provides for his well-being and security. It is commonly recognized that hatred is the opposite of love and, thus, is blindness, darkness. We might say, then, that to love is to be enlightened and that we are standing in spiritual light when we are loving. As we read in the first epistle of John (2:10,11): "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes." We have heard it said, "Why, I was so mad I could not see straight." Such an expression clearly indicates lack of light, of love.
Nothing really is or can be accomplished without Love – without light. The divine light of Love pierces error's darkness; it washes away all selfish and lustful thinking; it annihilates all disease and impurity. The light of Love is everywhere; it is all about us. Its rays, outshining error's darkness, silently and effortlessly permeate God's universe. Love is the light that opens the door to accomplishment.
Christ Jesus and Divine Light
Now, the question occurs, "What is it that brings this spiritual light to humanity, to you and to me?" The answer is that it is the Christ. The advent of the one who was to reveal the Christ, Truth, was foretold by the prophet Isaiah, who wrote: "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined" (9:2); "And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising" (Isa. 60:3).
These sayings pointed to the coming of Jesus of Nazareth, as human representative or demonstrator of God's power. His spiritual nature was the Christ. He lived the Christliness which he taught, and by his perfect example he showed us how we, too, can demonstrate the Christ, Truth, in our everyday affairs. When Jesus said (John 8:12), "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life," he was clearly referring to the Christ which he manifested. The divine light of Christ is just as powerful to dispel the darkness of error and to illumine our way today as it was in Jesus' time. The Apostle Paul discerned the ever-present nature of this divine light when he said (Eph. 5:14), "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." In substance, he was admonishing his hearers to open their consciousness to Truth, to reality, and thus to arouse themselves from the dream of life in matter.
As human consciousness is illumined by this divine light, it is saved from the deception of the carnal mind; it is saved from the false belief that there is a power apart from God, that evil is as real as God and more powerful. In this divine light, man sees himself as he really is – God's exact image and likeness. The darkness of evil, whether in the form of disease, sin, or ignorance, cannot appear in the illumination of divine light. This light reveals the presence of everything real and good and at the same time it shows the non-existence and "nowhereness" of the unreal and evil. In a darkened room, for instance, shadows may present outlines of grotesque-looking creatures and objects, but as light appears, the distorted creatures and objects are seen to be as mythical as those in night dreams.
Divine light does not change man; it reveals him in perfect agreement with his Father, in his original and forever state of purity and immortality. At the same time, divine light dispels the dark shadows of impurity and mortality. This light is man's forever defense against the intrusion of evil or darkness.
Jesus was so conscious of his Christ-nature that he moved freely in the frictionless atmosphere of divine light and Love. Thus, he obliterated opposition by God's power, with which he was clothed. He was at all times in complete accord with the will of God, hence there were no closed doors to him, no hopeless or incurable diseases, no impossible tasks. His spontaneous obedience to God's will was also a closed door to evil and evil suggestions. He did not resist the will of God, but made God's will his will.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science
When thoughtful and reverent students of the Bible read of the healings accomplished by the Master, is it any wonder they ask the question, "Why are not these works repeated today when he said (Mark 16:17) 'these signs shall follow them that believe'?" The answer to this question is that healings are being accomplished today because the divine method employed by Christ Jesus has been brought to light in Christian Science.
Then the question is asked, "What is Christian Science?" The most illuminating answer to this question will be found in an honest study of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. At the close of the lecture any of the ushers will gladly tell you how and where you may obtain a copy of this inspired and inspiring book. In one of her lesser writings, "Rudimental Divine Science" (p. 1), Mrs. Eddy defines Christian Science "As the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony."
Let me say here that in order to understand Christian Science rightly it is essential to obtain a fair and proper estimate of its Discoverer. This is not advocated in order to immortalize or deify her, for no one was more completely selfless in her thought about her human personality than Mrs. Eddy was. She learned from Jesus' example that she could do nothing of herself and that she could succeed only as she was inspired by God and obeyed Him.
The true concept of Mrs. Eddy is
to be found in her writings. In reply to an inquiry from a clergyman who sought
an audience with her at a very busy time in her life, Mrs. Eddy replied (The
First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 119): "Mary of old
wept because she stooped down and looked into the sepulcher – looked for
the person, instead of the Principle that reveals Christ. The Mary of to-day
looks up for Christ, away from the supposedly crucified to the ascended Christ,
to the Truth that 'healeth all thy diseases' and gives dominion over all the
What safe and loving admonition! We learn the truth about the Master from the Gospels and from the epistles of Paul and John. Many of the biographies of Jesus may make entertaining reading, but often they so color his character with the imagination of the writer that they all but obscure his true nature.
The good that has been accomplished by Mrs. Eddy's writings is only partially recognized and appreciated today, and it remains for future generations properly to evaluate her life mission and to do justice to her real character. Truly, we find her in her writings, and in this way it will be seen that she is not only the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science but that she is the forever Leader of the Christian Science movement. She leads and guides the adherents of Christian Science today and always through her inspired writings. She lived a glorious and full life; lived to see her discovery safely established and prospering.
Prior to Mrs. Eddy's discovery of Christian Science, at a time when she was critically ill and all material methods of healing had failed, when she was separated from her family and harassed by poverty, she had no resort other than to God. As a result of her prayer in this extremity, she was restored to health wholly through spiritual means.
At this early date she was unable to understand fully or to explain the method of her recovery, but she was certain that God had healed her. Later, she wrote (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 28): "I had learned that Mind reconstructed the body, and that nothing else could. How it was done, the spiritual Science of Mind must reveal. It was a mystery to me then, but I have since understood it. All Science is a revelation. Its Principle is divine, not human, reaching higher than the stars of heaven."
Her healing led to an exhaustive three years' study of the Bible. As a result of this study, the divine method of healing demonstrated so successfully by Christ Jesus was revealed to her, and with this revelation there came the realization that Christian Science was the Comforter promised by Christ Jesus.
True Nature of Matter Explained by Christian Science
The most profound statement of reality that has been made by a spiritual seer since the days of the Master was made by Mrs. Eddy in her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." It is known as "the scientific statement of being," which begins (p. 468):
"There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all."
The discovery of this great truth was made in 1866, nearly a century ago, by spiritual revelation rather than by physical experiment. This statement shocked and even antagonized contemporary physical scientists when it was first made, but you can see from the writings and findings of present-day physical scientists that their concept of matter has been radically altered during the intervening years. They once thought the atom, for instance, was the smallest indivisible particle of matter, but recent discoveries have shown that the atom can be divided, and that it is really a form of physical force or electric energy. "Electricity," we read in Science and Health (p. 293), "is not a vital fluid, but the least material form of illusive consciousness, – the material mindlessness, which forms no link between matter and Mind, and which destroys itself." This last statement is most revealing in view of recent detonations of atomic and hydrogen bombs.
Mrs. Eddy's profound discovery was the subject of much ridicule at the time she made it, and to show what a transformation has taken place in the thought of physical scientists, I would like to quote from an address made a few years ago by Dr. Donald Hatch Andrews, a prominent nuclear scientist. He said: "Nineteenth century science was clearly opposed to the religious point of view. Twentieth century science appears to be moving closer and closer to a harmonious relationship with religion. It is taking on a pattern which adds new vigor to old faith. It strengthens our hope that we can find new sources of spiritual power with which to cope with the problems of this new atomic age."
And in another place this nuclear scientist said, ". . . with the atom enlarged to a diameter of a hundred yards, the nucleus is still smaller than the head of a pin, so you see how small it is." And he added: "If you ask what else is there in the atom, the answer is nothing. From the material point of view there are just the few electronic footballs and the pin-head nucleus, and the rest is just empty space. And since we are made of atoms, we, too, are nothing much but empty space. If I could put my body in an imaginary atomic press and squeeze these atomic holes out of it just as the holes are squeezed out of a sponge, I would get smaller and smaller until finally when the last hole was gone, my body would be smaller than the smallest speck of dust which you could see lying on a piece of paper."
These discoveries are thought-provoking, but Mrs. Eddy discerned that matter and Spirit are opposites and that, consequently, none of Spirit's properties, such as life, truth, intelligence, and substance, exist in matter, because Spirit, God, is All-in-all, and therefore that matter exists only as a myth, an unreality, a false concept. The Christian Scientist is not, therefore, engaged in exploring matter. He is happy he can prove through his study and practice of Christian metaphysics that his intelligence, health, success, resources, are dependent upon God, rather than upon inert, mindless matter.
Spiritual Healing and Divine Light
At this point someone may ask, "If there is no matter, then what is it that is pained, weary, diseased? What is it that needs healing?" The answer is that it is human consciousness. However, to answer the question more satisfactorily we shall need to discuss briefly the subject of spiritual healing.
In Christian Science it has been proved that all disease is mental and that it can be cured permanently only as the mental cause is detected and wiped out of consciousness. When a Christian Scientist is confronted with a discordant condition, one of the first things he does is to realize that he cannot be made to believe that his problem is physical, irrespective of its appearance. He sets about to prove through spiritual understanding that the discordant condition is only an imposition of the carnal mind and is as mental and unreal as the carnal mind itself. The more quickly he is able to detect the discord as a false belief projected by the carnal mind, the more quickly and effectively he will be able to dispose of it.
Often we hear of someone who becomes ill when he hears news which may affect him or his pocketbook adversely. The bad news may be wholly false, but if the individual accepts it as true, he may develop some physical ailment such as stomach ulcers. The cause in such a case is admitted to be mental, whether the report is true or false, but you may classify the effect as physical. If it is logical to classify the cause as mental, it should not be thought illogical to treat the effect as mental.
The law of God, of divine light, operates with unerring consistency and is effective in every situation; and we can say that in Christian Science healing takes place as the result of the operation of divine law. This law cannot be successfully opposed by the evil forces of darkness. It acts as a law of annihilation to evil and as a law of enforcement to harmony and goodness. Truth manifesting itself as divine law eradicates from human consciousness the lie or mistaken belief about man. Love manifesting itself as divine law operates to save mankind from the deception and imposition of the carnal mind. When human consciousness accepts the truth about man and his relationship to his creator, it is freed of erroneous and discordant conclusions, and the result is healing. It is said of man in the book of Proverbs (23:7) that "as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." In Christian Science, we learn that this is as true about physical conditions as it is about moral conditions.
You will recall the physical scientist said that the human body is infinitesimally small when all the "space" is squeezed out, so when you are tempted to think that pain is real or that some false growth is becoming enlarged and aggravated, you might ask yourself, "Is this disease in the space in my body, or is it in the minute speck with all the 'holes squeezed out'?" If it is in the "space" surely it cannot hurt you, because the "space" in your body is just like the "space" on the outside of it. If it is in the minute speck, surely it must be much more insignificant than the speck. Actually, it exists neither in the "space" nor in the "speck" of matter, but only in erroneous thinking. It may be that you will not think in this way when you work in Christian Science to eradicate error, but some such reasoning may help you to deflate error's aggressive boasting to domination and power.
Christ Jesus demonstrated the healing power of God, and his work was built on the foundation of the all-inclusiveness and continuity of infinite Life. The theology of Christian Science, being the same as that of Christ Jesus, includes healing the sick and saving the sinner. We read in Science and Health (p. 138): "Jesus established in the Christian era the precedent for all Christianity, theology, and healing. Christians are under as direct orders now, as they were then, to be Christlike, to possess the Christ-spirit, to follow the Christ-example, and to heal the sick as well as the sinning."
In the demonstration of spiritual healing, we begin with the premise that God is supreme and infinite Life and that all He creates and maintains is good and perfect, like Himself. In the first chapter of Genesis (verse 31), we read, "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." The testimony of the physical senses is unreliable because untrue and thus is opposed to the real nature of man created in God's likeness. And in order to bring about harmony in any discordant situation, this false testimony must be refuted by steadfast denial, and the truth of man's perfect being must be honestly and consistently affirmed. We confidently and reverently acknowledge that God's power is the only power, that His law is ceaselessly operating to govern His creation, man, that His outstretched arm is forever at hand to bless us, that His loving and tender care is always supporting and protecting us, and that divine intelligence is constantly available to direct us. In Proverbs we read (4:20-22): "My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh."
Let me state the method of spiritual healing briefly in another way. As the light of Life illumines human consciousness, we are enabled to see man as God sees man. The power of this light of Life is revealed as a present reality. God gives to His idea, man, the full power of expression, and this light expels from human consciousness the shadows of ignorance and failure. All needed intelligence, health, vigor, substance, is seen as present because God, the source of all reality, is ever present. As we work and pray, conscious of the fact that the ever-present Christ is with us, we have divine assurance that this method of salvation is correct and the result certain.
An example of the healing Christ or the power of God was proved in the experience of a friend of mine a number of years ago, and I would like to tell you about it briefly. Her back had been broken in a fall, and as all material means of healing had failed, she had become a helpless invalid. One evening when the doctor was talking to her husband in an adjoining room she overheard him say in desperation that he knew of but one thing further to recommend, and he said this experiment would be very trying and painful and that he frankly offered little hope it would prove beneficial. My friend, who was residing on an upper floor of an apartment hotel, could not face the thought of continued suffering and helplessness; so the next morning after her husband left for work, she decided to make her way to the window and fall out. She crawled out of bed with great difficulty, and after an hour or more of tedious effort she was inching along towards the window when the housemaid came in. She at once saw the desperateness of the situation and told my friend that she knew nothing about Christian Science, but that there was a Christian Science practitioner on the same floor and that she had observed sick people go in to see her and come out well. The maid finally persuaded my friend to let her call the practitioner.
The practitioner came immediately and explained to her briefly the constant and impartial nature of divine Love for its creation, man, and how greatly it exceeded our human sense of love. She also told her some truths about God's man, made in His image and likeness, which was certainly not a crippled image.
After a while, and much to my friend's surprise, the practitioner asked her to get up. It was then that she realized she felt no pain, and she did get up without any assistance. She was immediately and permanently healed in that hour. Her healing took place over twenty-one years ago, and she has not had the slightest return of any trace of the condition.
You can imagine the husband's astonishment when he returned that evening and found his wife not only out of bed but standing in front of the kitchen stove cooking a chicken she had walked half a mile to buy.
Vision and Light
One of the most subtle and stubborn mortal beliefs that mankind has to contend with is that of poor vision, or lack of vision altogether. The Psalmist had a true concept of vision when he said (Ps. 36:9), "In thy light shall we see light." Light is defined in the dictionary in part as (Webster), "the essential condition of vision." Spiritual light is always shining, and thus God is continually imparting light to His creation. Divine light is as constant and invariable as Spirit itself, and it is shining everywhere. Wherever spiritual light is, vision is, because vision is simultaneous with spiritual light. Man has vision because of its spiritual, indestructible nature. Man's vision is spiritual and changeless, and as this truth is realized we are able to prove that vision does not lessen at the age of forty nor diminish with the passing of years. Real vision comes from divine Mind, God, and man as Mind's reflection is in full possession of unrestricted vision.
A dictionary says in substance that blindness is an unwillingness "to understand or judge; apart from intelligent direction or control," and of deafness it says, "unable" or "unwilling" to hear or listen – "determinedly inattentive." These definitions help us to understand the mental nature of blindness and deafness, and Christian Science reveals to us the spiritually mental nature of sight and hearing. Man coexists with God; so he cannot be separated from God's enlightened and harmonious government. How often we let fear blind us to God's power, to His loving care, to His ever-availability! How often we let self-will and human planning make us "determinedly inattentive" and thus deaf. Jesus said (Mark 8:18), "Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not?"
"Eyes" are defined in Science and Health as (p. 586), "Spiritual discernment, – not material but mental." Spiritual discernment, or the ability to discern spiritually, originates in the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-hearing divine Mind, God, and so true vision is perfect and unstrained. In fact, since vision comes from God and is maintained by Him, it cannot become defective. As we are more attentive to God's word, our vision or spiritual discernment is increased.
Man as Mind's expression includes vision as an essential quality of his being. He includes spiritual discernment as consciousness, and so is aware of the fact that he has spiritual discernment.
I would like to tell you of a man I know who was healed of poor eyesight. His vision was blurred, and as a result of eyestrain he suffered continually from headaches.
He consulted an optometrist who prescribed glasses with strong, tinted lenses. Three times during the next two and a half years the lenses were changed for stronger ones, and he was told that as he grew older his eyes would become weaker and he would be required to continue changing the lenses at intervals for stronger ones.
In the meantime he married a Christian Scientist, and subsequently he became interested in Christian Science. One day he broke his glasses, and it occurred to him that now was a good time for him to put into practice the spiritual truths he had been learning in Christian Science. His first thought was that God is infinitely more powerful in perfecting his vision than two small pieces of glass. He held steadfastly to the truth that God alone was the source of vision and that as God's reflection he had divine authority to claim his right to freedom and dominion over the false claims of limitation.
He made a sincere effort each day to read the Lesson-Sermon from the Bible and Science and Health, and he persisted in his study and prayer. He encountered considerable difficulty during the first week, and he was unable to read with any degree of satisfaction, but he memorized and prayerfully contemplated the definition of "eyes" from Science and Health just quoted, "Spiritual discernment, – not material but mental," and he clung firmly to the fact that he had God-given ability to manifest spiritual discernment.
At first, he seemed to make little progress, but soon his vision began to improve, and within a month the difficulty was completely corrected and he never had any further trouble. Several years later he was required to undergo a thorough physical examination in obtaining a new business position. This included an eye examination, and the test revealed that his vision was perfectly normal. This healing, accomplished through his own study and prayer, took place sixteen years ago, and there has been no return of the difficulty.
My friends, our great and continuing human need is for spiritual discernment, for more divine light. Our need is to be made aware of what is present and available, to be made conscious of the spiritual, indestructible nature of health, of the divine and exhaustless nature of substance, and of the unimpairable nature of vision. Let us ask God to illumine our thought so that we may recognize the ability and power man has by reflection – to awaken to the purity and divinity of man's real being and to know the ceaseless, harmonious operation of divine law. "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law" (Ps. 119:18).