Christian Science: Its Healing Message for Men and Nations

 

Friedrich Preller, C.S.B., of Berlin, Germany

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts

 

Challenges confronting men and nations can be met effectively by applying the spiritual truths set forth in the Bible, Friedrich Preller, C.S.B., of Berlin, said last night in a Christian Science lecture in Boston.

"According to Christian Science," Mr. Preller said, "the basis for the solution of any problem, no matter what its nature, is the clear realization that cause and effect are to be found in God alone and that, therefore, good can never result in evil nor can God be the originator of sin, sickness, and death."

During the course of his lecture entitled "Christian Science: Its Healing Message for Men and Nations," he described healings through spiritual means alone of heart trouble, hip disease, and the after effects of accident.

A member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship, he spoke in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was introduced by Miss Leslie Harris, C.S.B., Second Reader of The Mother Church.

 

Jesus Solved Every Problem

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

Virtually every Christian is convinced that Jesus, who is acknowledged as the master Christian, solved every problem of human existence. Yes, he was a master in redeeming - a master in binding up, comforting, and liberating, in forgiving, healing, and awakening. Does not a master rightfully expect that those who call him master will themselves some day do the same works that he does even though they are still apprentices and journeymen today? Mankind has nevertheless been taught to be satisfied with merely believing in Jesus' works and with reverencing the Master. But Christian Science shows us how blind belief is replaced by understanding and how we can do the works the Master did.

Through years of devoted study of the Bible, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, searched the Biblical record of Jesus' life and thereby perceived the spiritual truth, in other words, the Science, underlying his words and works. She writes on page 473 of her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "Jesus established what he said by demonstration, thus making his acts of higher importance than his words. He proved what he taught. This is the Science of Christianity."  For nearly ninety years Christian Science has been solving the problems of human existence on the same basis as our Master did, and is thereby proving that it is the Science of Christianity.

According to Christian Science the basis for the solution of any problem, no matter what its nature, is the clear realization that cause and effect are to be found in God alone and that, therefore, good can never result in evil nor can God be the originator of sin, sickness, and death. During the course of this lecture we shall hear how this spiritual fact can be proved.

My friends, if Christian Science solves the problems of the individual, is not the solution of world problems also thereby guaranteed, since they are basically nothing more than a multiplication of unsolved individual problems? The individual, indeed all mankind, suffers from fear, worry, sickness, lack, misfortune, war, and catastrophe. When inharmonies of this nature arise, they often lead to the almost reproachful exclamation, "If there really were a God, He could not and would not allow this!" What would you think of a person who stood within the cold shadow of a wall while the sun was shining and who reproached the sun because its warming rays did not reach him?

 

All Possess Spiritual Understanding

Mrs. Eddy not only exposes the false beliefs regarding the supposed origin of evil, but at the same time shows how evil is destroyed. With clarity and simplicity, she makes the following assertion in her textbook; "It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony'' (Science and Health, p. 390). Here we come upon the root of evil, "our ignorance of God." Who is not acquainted with the devastating effects of ignorance in the various departments of daily life! The mathematical mistake in calculation for the construction of a bridge and the incorrect combination of chemical elements can result in catastrophe. But how much more disastrous is the effect of ignorance of God in the lives of individuals and nations! The effect is sin, sickness, lack, and death. Ignorance can be healed, however, wherever it appears. It can be replaced by understanding. Ignorance of God is replaced by a true understanding of Him.

But how can we know God aright? The five material senses - sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch - are incapable of perceiving anything beyond that which is material or visible. But we are not dependent upon these senses. In the New Testament we read, "We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ" (I John 5:20). Christ Jesus turned men's thoughts heavenward, thereby revealing the spiritual or divine sense of God's creation. We have the ability to perceive, comprehend, discriminate, and think. Christian Science thoroughly emphasizes the necessity for assimilating spiritual sense. Spiritual sense enlightens thought, and such enlightened thought includes spiritual understanding. Spiritual understanding is an invaluable faculty, and each one actually possesses it! "This understanding," as Mrs. Eddy says, "is not intellectual, is not the result of scholarly attainments; it is the reality of all things brought to light" (Science and Health, p. 505). And this spiritual understanding reveals God to us in His true nature.

The concept of God has, in the course of time, become so shallow that mankind has suffered shipwreck thereon. Mrs. Eddy saw the need of a clear understanding of God and met it by making the nature of Deity understandable - by depicting it through seven different terms. She derived these seven synonyms literally or by implication from the Bible, where they had always been contained but not understood. Each of these synonyms presents an aspect of God in His oneness, allness, and completeness. As I have said, it is the purpose of these synonyms to reveal to human consciousness the nature of Deity in its actuality, immediacy, and omnipotence. Our experiences confirm the fact that this vibrant presence of Deity transforms and liberates the seeker after Truth.

 

Man Expresses Infinite Deity

Christian Science reveals God as infinite Mind, as inspiring Soul, as omnipresent Spirit, as never-erring Principle, as eternal Life, as unchangeable Truth, as all-embracing Love. It pays to become familiar with these synonyms in order to be ready to apply the understanding of them to every situation in human experience.  Christian Science shows every oppressed individual how he can increase his understanding of God and apply that understanding to his daily problems. Science shows that man is the expression of this infinite Deity and that, basically, he possesses by reflection all that God Himself has. Can a problem remain unsolved, unmet, any individual be dissatisfied, when a yearning consciousness turns understandingly and trustingly to a God who, as the synonyms illustrate, reveals Himself as Spirit - as creator and preserver, as Father and Mother? My friends, the faith of the Christian Scientist is based on the orderliness of good. For him, every hour is the fulfillment of divine law; and how could it be otherwise, since law is dependable, unchanging, and is unchangeable?

The following experience shows that even a slight understanding of God heals - in this case an understanding of God as eternal Life, hence deathless. A woman of my acquaintance suffered from heart attacks in her youth. She sought help at fresh-air sanatoriums and at spas and was under medical treatment for many years. She experienced temporary relief, to be sure, but the relapses became more frequent and severe. She later became acquainted with Christian Science. She witnessed a remarkable healing through this religion, but was still not ready to place her trust in Truth. She remained in ignorance of God and of man's relationship to Him. One evening the dreaded heart attack returned with such severity that she felt she was dying. She suddenly remembered Christian Science, and with it came the thought that this religion affirms Life and destroys the fear of death. With this thought, clarity and peace came to her to such an extent that she spent a good night. The next morning she asked for Christian Science treatment, and from that day she willingly opened her consciousness to the unchanging truths of this religion. Within a short time she was healed. She later became an active member of the Christian Science church. Her health remained good during the Second World War and the postwar period with its many privations. Not only was this woman healed physically, but from the beginning of her spiritual rebirth through Christian Science, severe periods of depression, from which she had suffered for years, gave way to a happy state of thought.

Through the liberating understanding of God which Christian Science brings into our lives, we can perceive man as the Scriptures declare him to be, the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26). Our health, our progress, and our harmony are increased when we no longer see in man the product of a material and embryonic development. If, as we are told in the first chapter of Genesis, God, Spirit, said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness," is not man spiritual? The offspring of Spirit cannot be a corporeal organism, a material personality, a suffering mortal.

Without a doubt, Jesus would not have done a single one of his marvelous works if he had thought of man as corporeal, material, and mortal, Even though unreliable material sense denies man's true existence, the fact still remains that man is spiritual. Does not everyday life offer continued proof that the physical senses are highly unreliable, deceptive, and even misleading? It is not true that the earth is flat, that railroad tracks converge in the distance, that rain is pattering in the radio studio or that there are horses present there, whose hoof beats our ears believe they hear. Without reason, we would be helpless victims of the material senses. And are not the assertions of corporeal sense regarding man a deception of the senses? It is not true that man is material, sick, sensual, poor, limited, or weak. Here, however, human reason is not sufficient to tell us the truth, but, rather, spiritual understanding is a vital necessity.

It is worthwhile to follow the exhortation of the prophet Isaiah (Isa. 2:22), "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" Mrs. Eddy likewise exhorts us in these positive words (Science and Health, p. 495): "When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought." This spiritual manhood is not something to be attained in the future, but is your spiritual selfhood and mine here and now. This true selfhood, this spiritual man, does not live in difficult, disturbed, extreme, or even interesting time. Our true selfhood lives in God. We breathe the atmosphere of omnipotence. Our true temperature is derived from the warm-heartedness of divine Love, our pulse beat is the rhythm of Spirit. God, or Soul, provides us with unlimited abilities and resources. Our energies come from the divine Mind. Our conversation is in Truth, and our government originates in divine Principle.

According to divine Science, spiritual dominion is the birthright of man. Dominion over the whole earth! The Scriptures confirm this on the basis of the first account of creation in the first chapter of Genesis, and the Psalmist cries out in wonderment at the greatness of man (Ps. 8:6), "Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet." This dominion exists in the consciousness of each one of us, and through spiritual understanding finds its expression in daily living. It extends in human experience to circumstances and conditions in the home and outside the home. Fear of a condemnatory past and a threatening future disappears through an understanding of this spiritual dominion.  This dominion raises the individual above the beliefs of time and space, of ignorance and limitation. Spiritual dominion shields, heals, and frees us from all ills. Jesus' life shows that man's divinely bestowed dominion, or the power of Spirit, annuls man-made and so-called material laws. Yes, my friends, the so-called atomic forces are subject to this God-given dominion.

 

God Revealed as the Only Physician

Who would not wish to see this dominion realized in his own life and in the lives of nations? The inspired Word of the Bible has invaluable significance for the fulfillment of this wish. How right is Mrs. Eddy when, in reference to this Book of books, she says in Science and Health (p. 547): "The Scriptures are very sacred. Our aim must be to have them understood spiritually, for only by this understanding can truth be gained." And she further states (p. 406), "The Bible contains the recipe for all healing." The Bible sets forth the healing message of spiritual salvation for men and nations, it reveals God as the only physician and the Word of God as the only medicine. Christ Jesus bore witness to this fact during his earthly career. In our time, Mary Baker Eddy, through divine inspiration, has made possible the practical application of the spiritual truths contained in the Bible in all conditions of life. Thus Christian Science proves today what Jesus unmistakably proved, that all who believe on him, that is, all who understand him, who love him and keep his commandments, can heal on a spiritual basis.

A few years ago I witnessed the following healing: A woman was run down by a motorcycle. The impact was so great that she was dragged several yards, and one leg appeared to be injured beyond help. She was taken to a hospital unconscious. The doctor's first decision was to amputate the leg. This woman had known of Christian Science for several years. When she regained consciousness, she immediately requested that a Christian Science practitioner be asked for help. The next day the doctor said an amputation would no longer be necessary. He could, however, scarcely conceal his horror at the condition of the leg. Christian Science treatment was continued. In his quiet, consecrated, spiritual work there came to the Christian Science practitioner, like an illumination, the verse from the Bible (John 1:14), "And the Word was made flesh," as well as a citation from Science and Health (p. 507), "Creation is ever appearing, and must ever continue to appear from the nature of its inexhaustible source." A few days later the doctor discovered the beginnings of the formation of new flesh. It is noteworthy that because of her closeness in Christian Science during this entire experience, this woman manifested an affirmative, joyous, and grateful disposition. Medication or other material means were not used. After ten weeks she was released, healed. Her leg had been perfectly restored to its normal condition. She could use her leg as she had previously. The truth of Mrs. Eddy's words (Science and Health, p. 425), "Correct material belief by spiritual understanding, and Spirit, will form you anew," had been demonstrated. May I take this opportunity to point out to you that Christian Science is a religion of joy. Joy is an element of God, Life, and an essential factor in healing.

 

The Christ Is Available to All

Jesus once said of himself (John 16:28); "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father." These few words explain his spiritual origin, his mission, and his eternal oneness or unity with God. Christian Scientists love and honor Jesus as the greatest friend of humanity, as the Founder of Christianity. They regard him as the most successful man of all times. By virtue of the spiritual nature of his mentality he earned the title of Christ, or Son of God. It was the Christ - the power of God - which enabled him to accomplish the mighty works which men call miracles.

In opposition to the belief preached for centuries that the Christ is limited to the person of Jesus, Mrs. Eddy explains to us the duality of Christ Jesus. She differentiates clearly and convincingly between the human Jesus and the divine Christ, his eternal spiritual manhood. In Science and Health (p. 333) she writes, "The advent of Jesus of Nazareth marked the first century of the Christian era, but the Christ is without beginning of years or end of days." Christian Science explains the Christ as the spirit of God in action. Therefore, although Jesus is no longer in our midst, the Christ is present and available to all those who are willing to let it work in and through them. Christian Science reveals how the Christ resurrects human consciousness - heals and saves it from all fleshly ills. It is the Christ, the power of God, Spirit, that removes the burdens from our shoulders, heals the sick, takes away sorrow from our hearts and oppressive labor from our hands.

Whatever we really know of God, Spirit, whatever we truly understand of Him, is our Christ - your Christ and my Christ. It is that which illumines, elevates, yes, spiritualizes our thinking and inspires us to righteous living. It is only through the Christ that human consciousness awakens to the spiritual and eternal facts of being. The numerous problems confronting men and nations are indicative of the individual's necessity to acknowledge and accept within himself the living Christ, for only through the Christ comes individual, instantaneous, and final salvation.

The Christ is our peace in the midst of every conflict, it is our protection in every danger, it is our strength in every weakness; it is the door leading out of every helpless situation, our way in the midst of every straying, our Truth when we are assailed by lies, our liberator from every oppression, our life in the midst of death's shadow, our protector from every disaster. The Christ is your and my spiritual selfhood, it is our faithful friend. When we become conscious of its presence and power and submit to it, we too can heal, comfort, save, and redeem men in its name.

 

The Anti-Christ Is a False Concept

Let us remember that if we do not acknowledge and yield to the Christ, the anti-Christ will make its claims upon us. The anti-Christ is the false concept of existence which claims that man can be deprived of self-control and harmony. It is the erroneous claim that would divide and that attributes existence and power to evil. Mrs. Eddy says (ibid. p. 169), "Whatever teaches man to have other laws and to acknowledge other powers than the divine Mind, is anti-Christian." To attribute the cause of so-called worldwide problems to various forms of government, to economic inequalities, and to national differences is erroneous. It is also foolish self-deception to seek the anti-Christ outside of a false sense of selfhood - to seek it in the world, in a nation, or among any particular group of people. The record of unceasing error must be brought to an end in ourselves individually.  The Christ, Truth, must overcome the anti-Christ, or error, in the consciousness of each one of us. Christian Science teaches us to acknowledge and adore one infinite God, to recognize and love His infinite idea as inseparable from Him. Thus Christian Science brings to light man's unity with God. This conscious unity with God has up to this very hour brought peace and freedom to innumerable individuals. It is evident that in the proportion that this oneness or unity of God and man is accepted by men, walls of separation fall and the unification of men and of nations becomes a present experience. Jesus' followers continued for some time after his ascension in the way pointed out by Jesus through his example and parables, his teachings and his life. Dogma, traditions, theories, ceremonies, and human opinions were the thicket to be cut through in order to open up again the way of primitive Christianity. Mary Baker Eddy proved herself to be capable of this tremendous task. Her religious training, her significant experiences, and, not least of all, her great love for God and men, had prepared her for this spiritual mission. In the ascending scale of her spiritual development, permeated by an understanding faith in God, Mrs. Eddy experienced in 1866 a memorable physical healing which saved her from threat of death. This healing, accomplished when she turned to her Bible for guidance, heralded the natal hour of the Christian Science movement. Demonstration characterized the reinstatement of primitive Christianity. Demonstration of the truths of Christian Science guarantees today the genuineness and perpetuity of this religion.

 

Mrs. Eddy Shared Her Discovery

Mrs. Eddy not only discovered the Science of Christianity, but she also made her discovery available to all mankind, and every unprejudiced seeker for Truth can demonstrate for himself the veracity of its teaching. Her chief work, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," contains a comprehensive elucidation of her teaching. The Manual of The Mother Church by Mary Baker Eddy, in its turn, upholds, governs, and protects the church organization which she founded. All of Mrs. Eddy's writings and the periodicals established by her, including the daily newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, are imbued with the spirit of the healing Christ. The Christian Science church organization and all its activities which she also founded, are fulfilling their mission throughout the world, namely the promulgation of the gospel of Christ and the demonstration of its undiminished power. The Mother Church with its branches is enabling Christian Scientists to aid in the elevation of the human race. This elevation is substantially furthered by the Christian Science Lesson-Sermons, which many earnest Christian Scientists study faithfully each day.  The Christian Science literature is available at Christian Science Reading Rooms throughout the world.

With wise forethought, Mrs. Eddy designated the Bible and Science and Health as our only preachers. Consequently we find no personal preachers in The Mother Church or in its branches, hence no human opinions. The Bible Lessons, which constitute the sermons at our Sunday services, are uniform throughout the world and are to be found in the Christian Science Quarterly. These Lesson-Sermons make each subject they deal with more comprehensive to human consciousness, for the textbook explains the Bible texts in their spiritual import and their application to daily life. The King James Version of the Bible is the one which is used in preparation of the Bible Lessons and in the study in English of these Lesson-Sermons. The Bible Lesson Committee of The Mother Church selects and arranges the references from the Bible and Science and Health for each of the twenty-six subjects. Each subject is repeated once during the year, and new selections are chosen by the Committee. Thus there unfolds to the individuals and the congregation an interesting, varied, and inspiring abundance of spiritual treasures.

The Christian Scientist loves this study. Experience has taught him how advantageous it is for the unfoldment of spontaneity in his thinking; how it frees him from material selfhood and promotes self-government. To draw a comparison of the healing power of Christ, Truth, with the Biblical account of the healing of the Syrian captain, Naaman, it is as though the Scientist has washed himself seven times in the Jordan of Truth and has been blessed mentally and physically. The study and demonstration of the truths of Christian Science is for him what Paul calls exercise in godliness. It is not difficult to understand that the healing and redeeming essence of our Lesson-Sermons has a beneficent influence on human life far beyond the borders of the Christian Science movement. It is the efficacy of spiritual understanding vigorously supporting all honest human endeavor. Fear is overcome, weakness is supplanted by strength, accidents are prevented, abilities come to light. The Christian Science Lesson-Sermons are of decisive significance in solving the problems of the individual, hence the problems of the world.

 

Prayer Is Key to Treasure House

The Bible Lessons with their healing effect represent only one of the activities which explain the gratitude and reverence for Mrs. Eddy in the hearts of her followers. Christian Scientists revere their Leader, but they do not worship her, for Mrs. Eddy herself has instilled in them the recognition of the truth that God, Spirit, is the "adorable One" (Science and Health, p. 16).

For the Christian Scientist prayer goes hand in hand with his study. To him prayer is the key to the treasure house of Spirit. Primarily, it is through silent prayer that he strives for conscious oneness with God, and since God is Spirit, his prayer must be spiritual. In his conversation with the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well, a story familiar to Bible students, Jesus corrected the erroneous concept which would confine prayer to a certain place and limit it to a certain time. He said (John 4:14), "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.'' As the result of the experiences of a prayerful life, Mary Baker Eddy has devoted the first chapter of her textbook to the subject of prayer. In it she says (p. 4), "What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds."  Christian Science teaches us so to pray, that our character may be purified, our thinking humbled, and our life be made fruitful.

Christian Scientists pray with the assurance that they will be heard, with that assurance which enabled Jesus to say (John 11:41, 42): "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And 1 knew that thou hearest me always." A faith free from all doubt, trust without reservation, yes, the absolute certainty or spiritual understanding that God is the source of all good, enables the Christian Scientist to express his gratitude early in the morning for the blessings of the new day. He learns to thank God for His good gifts before any evidence of them whatsoever is humanly apparent.

Whether we are praying or expressing our gratitude, let us do both in the spirit of joy. Deep inward joy that God exists and that we are His beloved ideas gives wings to our prayers, and they rise to demonstration. To remain in constant unity with God is prayer "without ceasing." In other words, praying without ceasing is demonstrating without pause, demonstrating uninterruptedly the true understanding of God and man.

 

Men and Nations Blessed by Prayer

The effect of true prayer is never limited to the one who prays; it blesses all within the radius of his consciousness; it blesses men and nations. Prayer elevates thought and destroys the foundation on which problems are based in material thinking. Whether the problem is sorrow or anxiety, sickness or pain, enmity or separation, prayer makes the balm of divine Love an effective universal remedy.

A young man learned of Christian Science when he was nineteen years of age. Up to that time he had prayed a great deal in the way he had been taught as a child. Within a few years he lost his mother, his father, and his brother. Due to an accident, he himself suffered a serious hip disease, and doctors had declared his case incurable. Because of the death of his mother he leaned more than ever on God for loving care, and in so doing, his prayers underwent a change. He now prayed as his heart dictated and he felt happier. His prayers, evidencing a firm faith, made it easier for him to bear his loss and his physical suffering. He was confined to a hospital for fifteen months. He bore all his sorrow with a certain dignity, believing that God had ordained this experience of suffering for him. The last time he was in the hospital the New Testament was his only literature. Not only did he read a chapter from the Gospels each day - he studied it. He was disconcerted as he discovered a difference between the Biblical record and the sermons preached from the pulpit. One day he was discharged as incurable and, in order to walk at all, was obliged to wear an orthopedic brace. His right leg was two inches shorter than his left leg. He continued to attend church, but the conflict regarding his faith increased, and very soon he was led to withdraw entirely from the church. But his communion with God increased, and his prayers were now a sincere desire for right guidance.  Undoubtedly the change was brought about through his prayer expressed in the words of the Psalmist (139:23, 2-1): "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

When, two weeks after the young man's withdrawal from the church, he learned of Christian Science, he felt without question that his prayer had been heard. He became acquainted with a Christian Scientist who, at his request, explained a few fundamental  truths regarding this, to him, new religion. She told him in particular what Christian   Science teaches about God, man, and man's unity with God. When he was alone again, he let these few but mighty thoughts do their work in his consciousness. Suddenly it was as though scales fell from his eyes. What he had sought in prayer, sensed and felt through an earnest study of the Bible, but had expected only beyond the grave, became a present experience through that first contact with Christian Science. Complete newness of life with undreamed of possibilities unfolded for him. He felt at home at once in the atmosphere of this religion. With a quickening of thought which made the physical become of no significance to him, he grasped for the first time what it means to be the child of God and thus be able to enjoy God's love, goodness, and presence. He was so preoccupied with rightly cherishing in thought this newly acquired understanding that when he went to bed and removed the brace from his body, he did not think at all of a physical healing. When he awakened the next morning, he discovered that for the first time in five and one half years he could stand and walk without pain. About two weeks later his right leg had regained its normal length and strength.

Why was it that this healing did not come to the young man until Christian Science had touched his consciousness, although there had previously been such strong faith and fervent prayer? Undoubtedly it was because his ignorance of God, that is, the belief that illness was in accordance with God's will, had prevented such a demonstration. But now the seed of Christian Science had fallen on prepared soil. A suddenly illuminated understanding of God, accompanied by deep joy, had made prayer capable of bringing results. This experience comprised three essential points of the Christian Scientist's faith: the influx of the divine Spirit, the birth of the Christ in human consciousness, and the resurrection to a new life. This healing took place more than thirty-five years ago and has been permanent.

World problems are by no means limited, as is generally supposed, to the field of politics. Incurability, for example, has long been to human sense a world problem. To Jesus there was no limiting of omnipotence in any field. Thus he instantly healed, among others, a woman of whom it says in the Gospel of Luke that she could not be healed by any. The concept that something is incurable is merely a false belief. And it has succeeded in winning acceptance only because the omnipotence of God has been left unheeded. Yet the Bible records God as saying (Ex. 15:26), "I am the Lord that healeth thee." Christian Science assures the human consciousness that it need not be frightened into believing that something is incurable, for to omnipotence there is nothing "too difficult" or "too late."

 

Scientific Healing Divinely Natural

Jesus once said  (Matt. 15:13), "Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." The belief that something is incurable belongs quite definitely to this type of plant. It does not exist in the garden of God's creation! Who gave men the right to designate a disease as incurable, just because it will not yield to human means and efforts? Should not the failure of human thought and ability lead to a humble acknowledgment of God's all-power, rather than to the discouraging pronouncement of "incurable"? How often has fervent prayer rescued one from the brink of the grave, dispelled distress, and averted extreme dangers! The Apostle James says (James 5:16), "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man [that is, the prayer of him who thinks rightly and understands truly] availeth much."

Numerous well authenticated healings of so-called incurable diseases through Christian Science give the lie to the belief that something is incurable. The healing which I have related of the young man who was said to be incurable, illustrates how Christian Science heals. Such a healing does not take place through a mere striving for health as though there were nothing higher, nor through supplication, nor through will power. Neither some mystic process, nor fanaticism, nor ritualism brings healing. Christian Science explains its process of healing as divinely natural, as in accordance with divine law, and as the inevitable result of spiritual understanding.

The four Gospels shine with instances of the healings accomplished by our beloved Master. Wherever he appeared, there followed healings of every kind. They were brought about with few words but with an all-embracing, compassionate love and the recognition of man's true birthright as the image of Spirit. Jesus claimed no monopoly with regard to his healing and work. We know of his joy following the healings effected by his disciples. When they told him from time to time of the fruits of their work, he responded with a prayer of gratitude to God. We read in the Gospel of Luke (10:21): "In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight." Thus today, too, there is cause for rejoicing and gratitude, when healing is again being accomplished through Christian Science according to the same Principle and the same rules. Christian Science practice begins with the correction of errors in our own thinking; it continues with the correction of errors in the thought and actions of others; and it goes still further in the solution of the problems of nations.

Mrs. Eddy provided for the listing of the names of Christian Science practitioners in The Christian Science Journal. These workers are available to help those whose own understanding is not yet sufficient to solve their problems. The practitioners are members of the Christian Science church. Through purification of their own character, through prayer, study, experience, and their own healings they have gained an understanding of the truths of Christian Science that can be applied practically. They have placed themselves at the service of mankind. The American author, Orison Swett Marden, a contemporary of Mrs. Eddy's, said, "The physician of the future will be a man who understands how to restore to the sufferer the union with God which he has lost." The Christian Science practitioner is the physician of the twentieth century who heals without the use of drugs or material methods. He heals the sick, the sinner, and those who have other human problems through the realization of man's unity with God.

 

Practitioner Destroys Fear First

Christian Science treatment is a purely spiritual process for the correction of human ills. It is the application and utilization of spiritual understanding. It excludes a physical diagnosis and any use of material means. It deals with the false concepts of man in human consciousness. Fear, ignorance, and sin are evils, to which all discords are to be traced. They must be detected, uprooted, and cast out. The work of the practitioner comprises the probing of thoughts, to determine their origin and nature, the correcting of mistaken beliefs, and the establishment of spiritual facts.

One of the first duties of the practitioner is to destroy the fear of the one seeking help. When that is overcome, the problem has for the most part lost its seeming reality. Fear is, in fact, the greatest enslaver of mankind. But why should we fear? Whatever experience may come, our work is to acknowledge and find only God's ever-present love, which is enduring and is never touched by the beliefs of mortality. Let there echo in our hearts always the words of the Bible, "Fear not," as they have resounded through the centuries down to our own day!

Christian Science treatment is based on a correct concept of God and of man as His idea or reflection. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science summarizes the approach to treatment in these words (Science and Health, p. 259): "The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, - perfect God and perfect man, - as the basis of thought and demonstration." Only when the practitioner is actually convinced of the truth which he thinks, do his arguments, namely his denying of erroneous claims and his maintaining of spiritual facts, succeed. This success is also closely connected with honest self-examination, sincere consecration, and patience on the part of the patient. Sometimes there is a halting or halfway attitude toward Truth, as, for example, continued reliance on material remedies or the indulgence in bad habits. Such an attitude, as well as hidden fear, self-love, and pride, delays or makes more difficult the solution of the problem. In this connection let us heed Mrs. Eddy's words (Science and Health, p. 167). "Only through radical reliance on Truth can scientific healing power be realized."

In conclusion, one thing more, my friends. God fulfills what He promises, but let us take Him at His word. Only thus do we make it possible to have fulfilled in us what He has promised, in other words, the demonstration of His power in our lives. Indeed, our unreserved trust in the omnipotent, omnipresent, all-knowing, and all-acting Mind gives us dominion over time, solves problems, and enables us to prove that we live, move, and have our being in God.

You see, my friends, it is worthwhile to come out of the cold shadow of the walls of a material way of thinking and living, into the warming and quickening light of divine Truth and Love.

 

[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 7, 1956, under the headline "Spiritual Truths Can Meet Every Challenge Effectively".]

 

 

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