Christian Science: The Hope of Mankind
Claire Rauthe, C.S., of London, England
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Spiritual understanding of fundamental truths contained in the Bible is today healing the sick and sinning "as in the days of the early Christian church,'' Claire Rauthe, C.S., of London, said last night in a lecture in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Mrs. Rauthe spoke on the subject, "Christian Science: The Hope of Mankind." She declared that "Christian Science has come to free suffering and fearful humanity from itself - from the seeming effects of the carnal mind which claims to erect a universe of its own and run it independently of God, good."
The lecturer was introduced by James Harry McReynolds, C.S.B., First Reader of The Mother Church.
Mrs. Rauthe spoke substantially as follows:
Throughout the ages many devoted people have spent their lives in trying to find ways and means to improve conditions in which men and women have lived and worked, but, some might say, almost in vain. In the world today thousands, having lost their homes and everything they possessed, are obsessed with fear, and worst of all, they are without hope. Perhaps few of us here today are in that position, but does not everyone in his heart of hearts long for security, for a comfortable home and for health and happiness?
I come today to tell you that there is a way out of all this trouble; that there is a solution: that hundreds of thousands of people are finding it is practicable, and that if you will make the effort to learn something about it, you will also find that it is practicable and that it will lift you out of the troubles and difficulties by which you are surrounded and will set you free from sorrow, fear, and the claims of sin.
What is this solution? you may ask. Where is it to be found, and how can I learn to make it practical? The answer to your question is that this solution is to be found in the Bible. Your first reaction to that may possibly be that you know the Bible, that you were brought up on it, and that you have been a member of a church for many years. Some of you may say that your understanding of the Bible has brought great comfort to you, but that nothing you have learned from it has enabled you to obtain employment, find security, health, and, above all, the confidence that you are working out the great problem of being. Let me say right here and now that I can understand you when you give me such an answer, but if you will listen to me for a little, I will tell you something which will, I feel sure, give you an entirely new approach to the Bible - something which will wipe the dust of the ages from its sacred pages and make them live.
Later in this lecture I will tell you more about Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, but at this point I want only to say that from a child she had always been deeply religious, that she experienced in her early life trials and sorrows under which any ordinary person would have succumbed. In addition to these trials, she had very poor health and for many years was an invalid. During and throughout these years she was always turning to God for help and guidance, seeking to find in Him the solution to all her problems. One evening, returning from a meeting, she fell on the ice and injured her spine. She was taken home, and those around her and the doctor in attendance entertained no hope of her recovery. On the third day after the accident she called for her Bible, and after reading the account of Christ Jesus' healing of the man sick of the palsy, as given in the ninth chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew (verses 2-7), she rose, dressed herself, and forever after was in better health than she had before enjoyed. Writing of that experience in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,'' Mrs. Eddy says (p. 108). "When apparently near the confines of mortal existence, standing already within the shadow of the death-valley, I learned these truths in divine Science: that all real being is in God, the divine Mind, and that Life, Truth, and Love are all-powerful and ever-present; that the opposite of Truth, - called error, sin, sickness, disease, death, - is the false testimony of false material sense, of mind in matter: that this false sense evolves, in belief, a subjective state of mortal mind which this same so-called mind names matter, thereby shutting out the true sense of Spirit."
In this experience Mrs. Eddy saw that the solution to the problem confronting humanity was contained in the Bible. She withdrew from society for three years and devoted all her time to studying the Scriptures preparatory to writing the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.'' This book is indeed a veritable key to the Scriptures. It unlocks for us the treasures of the Bible and, as I said, wipes from its sacred pages the dust of the ages and makes them live.
In the short space of time afforded me in a lecture, I can only touch upon some of the great truths which are now seen to be in the Bible, waiting only to be understood by each one of us and to be put into practice. A person who is anxious to follow up what he hears today must obtain a copy of the Bible and of the Christian Science textbook and study them and make what they contain his own. In the first place, let me tell you very briefly something of what Mrs. Eddy discovered about God.
Through the teachings of Christian Science we are now learning to understand practically that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, the only cause and creator of all that is real and good. Throughout the Bible we learn how God aided and protected from evil all those who trusted in Him. We realize this as we study the accounts of the mighty power of God, as manifested, for example, in the manner in which the children of Israel were brought out of Egypt by Moses and led through the Red Sea and the wilderness. In the many accounts of their wonderful protection in time of war and famine, we see in the history of the Israelites that the Bible, when spiritually understood, constitutes a chart of life.
In the Glossary to the Christian Science textbook, Mrs. Eddy gives the following definition of God (p. 587): "GOD: The great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence."
Let us now draw some logical conclusions from these statements in the light of Christian Science.
What does it mean to be "the great I am"? God as the "I am" must be the perfect, infinite, supreme, self-conscious, underived Being, consciousness or Mind. As self-conscious Mind, He must hold within Himself as ideas all the infinitude of His own creation, which constitutes the spiritual universe, including man. Without ideas, Mind would not be Mind. Here, then, we have the creator as divine Mind or intelligence.
God as Spirit or Soul could not create a universe which is in substance unlike Himself, for the Bible declares that "no fountain can both yield salt water and fresh" (James 3:12). The universe, including man, must therefore be a spiritually mental concept, without even a trace of its opposite, matter.
God as Principle must be the great primal cause and, therefore, the origin of all that really is, and "as like produces like," He cannot be the origin of evil, sin, sickness, or death.
In the Christian Science textbook Mrs. Eddy writes (P. 275), "God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle." God as Love is the great motive power of the universe, and as a synonym for God, Love indicates His deep interest and tender care for His creation. This all-acting, all-wise, all-loving Principle, divine Love, is also Life, and because Life is God, Life must be omnipresent and eternal. Life cannot result in death, for then God would not be eternal and omnipresent. Life as God could not be in something called matter or body, for then God would be absorbed and have a beginning and an end. Death, the opposite of Life, must be unknown to eternal Life.
God as Truth must be the same today as yesterday and forever. God as Truth must, therefore, be eternal and omnipresent, and His creation must express these same qualities. Something that is said to be true today and a lie tomorrow, or at some other time, cannot be Truth. Truth's creation must, therefore, be universal, spiritual, harmonious, immutable, immortal, and eternal. Nothing material can be eternal; therefore it cannot be real or true. Our logical conclusion, therefore, must be that the incorporeal, supreme, omnipotent, perfect, eternal, omniscient God cannot create His opposite - a physical universe and physical man. The infinite God cannot be in finite matter, nor can He be subject to laws of matter, so called.
The universe, including man, is the eternal, unchanging, perfect, spiritual self-expression of God. God is not man, nor in man, and man is not God, but is the reflection of God, just as the ray of light is the reflection of the sun. The ray cannot exist of itself alone, but because the sun is, there must be a ray; and again, because we see the ray, there must be the sun. The whole blaze of all the rays is needed to express the fullness of the sun's light, but each individual ray expresses the quality of the sun in light and warmth. Therefore, because God is, man must be. God is expressing Himself, and the effect is the spiritual universe, including man.
Having now seen to some extent what Christian Science teaches about God, you may well ask, But can the understanding that all is spiritual and perfect come to us and affect our present lives and human affairs? In answer to that question let us turn to the Bible and see what its sacred pages tell us of Christ Jesus, the Founder of Christianity and the greatest exponent of the nature of God the world has ever known. Christian Scientists accept without reservation the Scriptural account of the virgin birth of Christ Jesus, but in the teachings of Christian Science you will learn that they differentiate between the corporeal personality of our Master, born of the Virgin-mother, and the Christ, which was manifested so perfectly through him. On page 583 of the Christian Science textbook Mrs. Eddy gives this definition of the Christ: "CHRIST. The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error." Again on page 334 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes, "This dual personality of the unseen and the seen, the spiritual and material, the eternal Christ and the corporeal Jesus manifest in flesh, continued until the Master's ascension, when the human, material concept, or Jesus, disappeared, while the spiritual self, or Christ, continues to exist in the eternal order of divine Science, taking away the sins of the world, as the Christ has always done, even before the human Jesus was incarnate to mortal eyes."
Through his spiritual origin, Christ Jesus, or Jesus the Christ, understood from early childhood the nature of God and His spiritual universe, including man, better than anyone that ever lived, and he demonstrated his understanding in healing the sick, saving the sinner, raising the dead, feeding the multitude, and overcoming the so-called physical laws of gravitation and transportation. Through his resurrection he proved death to be powerless, and he finally overcame matter and all physicality in his ascension.
From early childhood Christ Jesus was conscious of his spiritual selfhood and of his mission. He knew that God or Spirit was his Father. Throughout his early career he identified himself with God in such memorable statements as, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30), "I am the way, the truth, and the life'' (John 14:6). Christ Jesus never spoke of himself as "God." He referred to himself as "the Son of God," and sometimes as "the Son of man" (Matt. 16:13). Again he added. "My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28). The mission of Christ Jesus was clearly stated when he said, as recorded in the eighteenth chapter of the Gospel of John (verse 37), "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth."
The divinity of the Christ is seen in statements such as, "I came forth from the Father, . . . and go to the Father" (John 16:28), and, "Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58).
On page 36 of her work "No and Yes" Mrs. Eddy writes; "The real Christ was unconscious of matter, of sin, disease, and death, and was conscious only of God, of good, of eternal Life, and harmony. Hence the human Jesus had a resort to his higher self and relation to the Father, and there could find rest from unreal trials in the conscious reality and royalty of his being, - holding the mortal as unreal, and the divine as real." Jesus was the human personality who shared the life of his contemporaries. Christ, was, and still is, the spiritual idea of God, eternally existing with Him. Jesus manifested the Christ, God's ideal man.
The man Jesus worked out his own salvation, and in doing so he became the Way-shower for all humanity. Knowing that God is good, is all powerful, and ever present, he understood the unreal nature of sin, sickness, death, and all evil, for the all-presence of good naturally excludes the presence of its opposite, evil. He never told people that God had sent sickness to make them better. On the contrary, he said of the sick woman that Satan had bound her (Luke 13:16), and later he defined "Satan" as "a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44).
Christ Jesus never accepted the testimony of the physical senses as real. By "real" I mean as created by God. Knowing that God had not caused any disease, he said to the man with the withered hand, "Stretch forth thy hand," and to the man at the pool of Bethesda he proved that neither time nor material processes were needed in order that the laws of God might operate. To him he said, "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk" (John 5:8). Christ Jesus knew that the will or law of God always operates for the benefit of man, giving him health, happiness, success, and harmony. Christ Jesus sometimes said to those whom he had healed. "Go, and sin no more." In other words, Go, be free, and cease to believe in the lies of the carnal mind.
Amplification of the statement, "Go, and sin no more," may be helpful to some of you. Our sufferings and troubles do not always arise from something we ourselves may have done or left undone. They may come through our unconsciously accepting erroneous thoughts into consciousness. For example, we live in a world of thought, and some of the modern inventions and discoveries have shown us, more clearly than ever before, the mental nature of the universe. They have brought peoples and races so close together that events in one continent affect those living in another. It is therefore incumbent upon us to watch our thinking and challenge many of the suggestions which come to us through the press, the radio, and all the innumerable channels of the so-called carnal mind.
Let me give you a very simple illustration. Suppose someone wrote all round the walls of this hall that 2x2 equals 5. Would you accept that as true? No, because you know that it would be a mathematical error, and especially because you know the mathematical fact, namely, that 2x2 equals 4, in all places and at all times. If, however, you did not know that 2x2 equals 4, and if everyone else seemed to believe or began shouting that 3x2 equals 5, you might begin to think it might be true. If you did come to accept it as true, you would be the victim of mesmerism.
The great master Metaphysician, Christ Jesus, understood the mesmeric power of mass psychology and its seeming influence over those who allow their thinking to be done for them by others, and he said to his disciples, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak"' (Matt. 26:41). Mary Baker Eddy gives this counsel: "Because a belief originates unseen, the mental state should be continually watched that it may not produce blindly its bad effects" (Science and Health, p. 377).
Christ Jesus not only performed his great works, but he promised that those who believed on him, that is, who understood what he taught, would be able to do the same works and even greater. If you will look through the Bible, you will observe that wherever you find a righteous person with some understanding of the true nature of God as all-powerful and ever-present, these and similar works were performed, showing that the power to do these works has existed throughout all time.
Towards the end of his ministry Christ Jesus said to his disciples, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now" (John 16:12), and he foretold the coming of another Comforter, even the "Spirit of truth," which would guide us into all truth (John 16:13). In these words Christ Jesus plainly foretold the coming of the final revelation of Truth, which would save and redeem mankind.
This final revelation, which shows how mankind can prove the utter unreality of evil and the ever-presence of good, how we can eradicate from our thinking the claims of evil and cast them out as unreal, has been given to this age through Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Christian Scientists are now proving this to be true in their individual experiences all over the world, and today the sick are being healed and sinners redeemed from vice, as in the days of the early Christian church. For this reason they regard Mrs. Eddy as God's messenger to this age. They consider her to be not only the most spiritually-minded woman who has lived since the time of Christ Jesus, but the most courageous. To them she is the most logical and scientific thinker since Jesus of Nazareth.
Mary Baker Eddy was born in New England in the United States of America, of English and Scottish descent. She was brought up in a very religious home by an unusually spiritually-minded mother. Her parents belonged to the Congregational church. When the time came for her to be made a member of that church, her faith in the goodness of God prevented her acceptance of the doctrine of predestination, but her opposition to that doctrine was so sincere that she was accepted into church membership along with her protest. In her search for truth Mrs. Eddy was led to investigate many schools of healing, but she found them all wanting. In her investigations she tried allopathy and homeopathy and was led through the mazes of hypnotism and mesmerism. In her search for truth she encountered the opposition of every phase of the carnal mind to an extent which would have caused anyone who was not sustained by God to quail and give up the struggle. Nevertheless she persevered and won through to final victory. Today she is almost universally recognized as one of the greatest religious leaders.
At various times in history many people have been healed of inveterate disease and made whole through turning to God in prayer, but until the advent of Mrs. Eddy no one had investigated the cause of his recovery sufficiently to discern its Principle and laws. On page 107 of the Christian Science textbook, Mrs. Eddy writes, "In the year 1866, I discovered the Christ Science or divine laws of Life, Truth, and Love, and named my discovery Christian Science." Because of her great love for humanity she was not satisfied with her own healing, but spared no effort until she was able to give her discovery to the world in such a form that those who were willing to do so could share in her discovery and the blessings it brings.
After her discovery of Christian Science, and before the publication of her textbook, Mrs. Eddy felt that she had first to prove the statements in that book before she could give such a book into the hands of humanity. She did so by numerous cases of healing.
In 1868, when living in Lynn, Massachusetts, Mrs. Eddy healed in one treatment a lunatic who had escaped from the local asylum. His appearance was most frightening as he entered the house where she was living. When Mrs. Eddy approached him, he lifted a chair in order to strike her, but her heart was so full of compassion for him that she did not think of herself and was quite without fear. The man left the house healed and afterwards led a normal life. Many years afterwards he called upon Mrs. Eddy in Boston and expressed his gratitude for what she had done for him (Historical and Biographical Papers by Clifford P. Smith).
In addition to healing the sick and publishing the Christian Science textbook, Mrs. Eddy founded and organized The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. This Church now has branch churches and societies throughout the civilized world, all governed by the Manual of The Mother Church, containing Rules and By-Laws which came to Mrs. Eddy through divine inspiration as the need for them arose. I wish it were possible in this lecture to tell you something of the many activities which Mrs. Eddy provided for giving this truth to the world, so that you could glimpse something of the vast outpouring of Truth flowing out into the world for the benefit of mankind - all arising from the selfless courage and devotion of this one woman, Mary Baker Eddy.
Christ Jesus' teachings were for all people, for all time. Often when asked questions regarding the kingdom of heaven and when it would come, he gave different and varying answers. Never once, however, did he tell anyone that the kingdom of heaven was a locality. Very often in describing it he spoke in parables. Let us for a moment consider some of the answers our Master gave to those who came to him to inquire: "The kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21): "The kingdom of God is at hand" (Mark 1:15); "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).
The human consciousness has always associated the kingdom of God with complete harmony, bliss, and eternal life. In the book of Revelation, chapter 21, verse 1, we read the statement of the Revelator, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth." St. John was obviously one of the most spiritually-minded of the disciples of Christ Jesus, and it was with John, the beloved disciple, that Christ Jesus shared some of his most sacred experiences. When dealing in the Christian Science textbook with the verse I have just quoted, Mrs. Eddy asks the question (p. 572), "Were this new heaven and new earth terrestrial or celestial, material or spiritual?" She then goes on to show that the material sense of St. John would not have been able to comprehend such a vision, and a few lines farther on she writes (p. 573): "The Revelator was on our plane of existence, while yet beholding what the eye cannot see, - that which is invisible to the uninspired thought. This testimony of Holy Writ sustains the fact in Science, that the heavens and earth to one human consciousness, that consciousness which God bestows, are spiritual, while to another, the unillumined human mind, the vision is material. This shows unmistakably that what the human mind terms matter and spirit indicates states and stages of consciousness.''
In her book "No and Yes" Mrs. Eddy gives us a clear statement of what the consciousness of Jesus, the Christ, must have been when she writes on page 36, "The real Christ was unconscious of matter, of sin, disease, and death, and was conscious only of God, of good, of eternal Life, and harmony." When we examine our thinking, when we look within ourselves, we find there is apparently a constant struggle between what we discern of this spiritual state of thinking, and the material.
A woman once went to a Christian Science practitioner because of blindness, which had caused her to give up her work as a schoolteacher, the doctors having pronounced the trouble as incurable. From early youth this woman had always entertained a great sense of resentment and hatred towards her mother, and she was full of self-pity. She was also under the burden of a cruel sense of stigma because of having been born out of marriage. The practitioner turned to God with all her heart, and a sense of the great Mother-love of God filled her consciousness. She explained to the woman how, in the light of Christian Science, she had every right to know that God was not only her Father and Mother, but that she was His spiritual and beloved child. She mentioned to her such passages from the Bible as Genesis 1:26, 27, where we read that God created man in His own image and likeness, and Isaiah 2:22, "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils." The practitioner reminded the woman that Christ Jesus spoke to his disciples of God as "our Father" and "your Father," and she told her that, in accordance with the Bible, Christian Science teaches that no one has ever to suffer for the sins of others. As the practitioner explained the teachings of Christian Science in this way, the consciousness of the woman changed. Instead of resentment and hatred, compassion filled her thought. The physical healing was slow, but later when the woman went before a medical board in order to receive a pension, she was told that a miracle had happened and that she would be able to teach in her school again. Instead of receiving a pension, she was given further sick leave, and before a year was over she was teaching again - a happy, healthy woman, healed of blindness, and a living example of what our Master meant when he told the man at the pool of Bethesda to rise and sin no more (John 5:14).
From what I have said you will, I am sure, appreciate that the human consciousness is the only place where the seeming struggle for good and the victory over evil take place, and Christian Science shows you how this can be accomplished.
The healing in Christian Science rests on a demonstrable Principle - God and His perfect idea, incapable of expressing in quality or substance anything that is unlike God, good. Man is the embodiment of divine ideas, and, these ideas constitute the consciousness of the real man, made in the image and likeness of God.
The civilized world is more ready now than it was formerly to approach metaphysical ideas with an open mind, and it is now a fact widely recognized that worry, fear, hatred, resentment, greed, and anger produce unhealthy effects on the body. In other words, our individual consciousness determines the state of our health, the conditions in our homes, our businesses, our surroundings. A prominent physical scientist was quoted many years ago as saying that "the universe in which we live is a creation of our own minds," and more than thirty years ago a well-known professor in Germany described matter as "thought formation." Many well-known passages in the Bible bear out this view, and you will readily recall the familiar statement in the book of Proverbs that as a man "thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Prov. 23:7).
In the first chapter of Genesis we are told that God created man in His own image and likeness. This mortal, material man, who gets sick, sins, and dies, cannot possibly be the man created in the image and likeness of God, Spirit. He is surely the opposite of such. Believing that we are mortal, existing in this material universe, governed by cruel so-called laws of sin, disease, and death, there is no doubt, that it is from this state of belief, or deception, that we and all mankind need to be saved. Today Christian Science has come as the promised Comforter to free suffering and fearful humanity from itself - from the seeming effects of the carnal mind, which claims to erect a universe of its own and to run it independently of God, good.
When we turn to the Bible, we read of Moses as the great lawgiver, who gave to the children of Israel the Ten Commandments, which are as vital to us today as they were when they were first written. We read of that great prophet Elijah, who has been described as "the grandest and the most romantic character that Israel ever produced" (Smith's Bible Dictionary), and of many other great religious leaders, until we come to Christ Jesus. When John the Baptist sent messengers to him to inquire if he was the promised Messiah for whom the Israelites were waiting, he gave no direct answer, but pointed to the works which he was performing. "Go," he said, "and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them" (Matt. 11:4. 5).
How was it that Christ Jesus performed these wonderful works? Does not the answer lie in the way he was thinking? How then did Jesus think? Surely the answer lies in the fact that he always identified himself and all other men with God, the Father. Mrs. Eddy puts this very clearly when she writes in the Christian Science textbook (pp. 476, 477): "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick." Christ Jesus "beheld the perfect man," the man made in the image and likeness of God. In these four lines which I have just quoted lies the secret of the centuries, the answer to the question, How does spiritual healing take place? It is the truth which destroys error, just as light destroys darkness. The light does not know or see the darkness. In fact, light can never perceive its opposite, darkness. Where light is, darkness cannot be. In just this way does the truth about God and man, entering individual consciousness, destroy erroneous belief - the illusions of the so-called carnal mind, which have no substance, reality, or presence in the allness of the infinite Mind, God.
Let me illustrate. A young student of Christian Science one day heard of a dying child who four doctors had said could not live. This student was so filled with compassion for the mother that she went to see her in order to tell her about Christian Science. To her great surprise the mother asked her to pray for her son and heal him. The young Christian Scientist did not have the courage to tell the mother that she did not know how the healing in Christian Science was done. She went home and turned with all her heart to God for help and guidance, and the words which came to her thought were from the Christian Science textbook where Mrs. Eddy gives the spiritual interpretation of the Lord's Prayer. At first the young student was reluctant to turn to the Lord's Prayer. She had not yet overcome a certain dislike of the teaching of her former church, that God sometimes takes away that which we love in order that we may come to love Him more.
At last she obeyed. As she read again and again those wonderful words of the Lord's Prayer with the spiritual interpretation by Mrs. Eddy, her consciousness became filled with the thought that God is the only cause and creator of man and man the beloved child of God. In the light of Mrs. Eddy's interpretation of the words, "Our Father, which art in heaven," as "Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious," she saw that God must be the eternal Life of man and that the great Mother-Love could never end in death, and that God as Mind must forever hold within Himself His own idea. She saw that in the kingdom of God there could be only complete harmony and that no cruel so-called law of the carnal mind could enter there. With her heart full of gratitude the young student turned to a further statement in the Lord's Prayer, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." By this time she fully realized that God's will for His creation was only life, health, harmony, perfection, strength, and all good. A short time later she heard from the mother that the child had taken a turn for the better. He improved rapidly, put on weight, and began to develop as a normal, healthy child should.
From this simple illustration you will realize that the healing in Christian Science results from prayer to God - not a prayer of petition to a personal God, asking Him to do something, but a prayer which affirms God's healing presence and boundless love. As the Christian Scientist grows in his understanding of God, his prayers will become more and more imbued with power according to his certainty of the allness of God and the consequent understanding of the unreality, the nothingness, of evil, of sin, disease, and death. From the illustration just given, you will also realize that the physical or corporeal presence of the one offering the prayer is not essential. There is Biblical authority for this, and the most notable cases of what we call "absent treatment" are those of the healing by Christ Jesus of the centurion's servant and the nobleman's son.
As the spiritual understanding of God, as presented by Mary Baker Eddy, becomes clearer to us, we shall be able to understand man, the reflection of God, as the embodiment of all right ideas, and in this spiritualized state of consciousness, sorrow, sin, disease, and death will find no place at all. This knowledge of the allness of God and the unreality of evil will enable us to look fearlessly upon the discords which seem to be so evident in the material world today and cheerfully remember the words of our Master, "Look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28).