As we study the Bible in the light of Christian Science, we are impressed with the fact that the healing of the sick by spiritual means has always accompanied the higher understanding of God, and that while the old prophets may not have understood the law by which this work was done, they yet reflected sufficient light to dispel the darkness of sin and suffering to some extent. When we come to the New Testament we find that the healing of the sick and the sinful was the distinguishing characteristic of Jesus' ministry and also that of his immediate followers. Although Paul was not a student of the great Teacher, in the sense in which the twelve and the seventy were, we read that he came into the truth through healing and soon began to heal others as the Master had done.

The fourteenth chapter of Acts contains a most interesting account of the healing of one who had been a helpless cripple from his birth; and it is noteworthy that even the pagans who saw this wonderful demonstration attributed it to divine power, while the whole city was ready to sacrifice oxen and to crown Paul and his fellow-apostle with garlands. This expression of gratitude recalls the oft-quoted case of Naaman. We are told that when he left his home in Syria to seek the cure of his leprosy from Elisha, "the man of God," he took with him as an offering "ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment." While it is true that none of these were accepted by the prophet, who demanded instead the surrender of pride and personal opinion, the high estimate which Naaman placed upon the healing he hoped to receive is disclosed, and we can readily determine the value he would have placed upon such an understanding of God and His law as would enable him to overcome disease and discord for himself and others, in an ever-increasing degree. Would he not have agreed with the wise man who said that "the price of wisdom is above rubies"?

No one will question the statement of our revered Leader, that "Christian Science is dawning upon a material age" (Science and Health, p. 546). In earlier times material belief was less dense, and a simple faith in divine goodness offered a ready channel for the healing of the sick. But the increased tendency of mankind to disease shows plainly that more than blind faith is needed for the emancipation of the race from the bondage of sin and suffering, and Christian Science has come to supply this need by revealing anew the divine Principle of health and holiness—"the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," of whom Paul speaks as "the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort."

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October 13, 1906

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