Prevention Better than Cure

The familiar axiom, "The proper study of mankind is man," expresses a sentiment with which Christian Scientists are heartily in accord. It is, however, likely that their study would be pursued along lines wholly different from those followed by others, inasmuch as they would begin with the statement of their text-book, "Man is spiritual and not material" (Science and Health, p. 468). According to this teaching, it would be impossible to reach correct conclusions respecting man by taking evidence from "the model of clay," the mortal body; and yet this is constantly done by those who are seeking to better human conditions by material means, and who accept material evidence as not only final, but who do this to the exclusion of the mental and spiritual.

It is now being very generally admitted that efforts for the prevention of disease should take precedence of those for its cure, and accordingly, the supposed causes of disease have been classified in order that people may be prepared to guard against their effects. Thus, it is said that certain diseases invade the human system from without, whilst others are developed within as poisons; in all this research, however, no account is taken of mental or moral conditions, nor is there a hint of a spiritual remedy, of aught that would supply man's spiritual needs, neither is there any intimation that the poisons developed within the system have any relation to discordant mental conditions. The great Teacher said, "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, coveteousness. . . . All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."

Contrary to the medical opinion, that the "poisons" claimed to develop in the body are caused by food and exercise, or their lack, Christian Science maintains that we can secure and preserve good health by becoming conscious of the action of the divine Mind and its government of the body, and by obeying "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus," which alone makes "free from the law of sin and death." Here it should be remembered that there is a wide difference between lawlessness in respect to health and the obedience to spiritual law which Christian Science insists upon, law which preserves health and gives "length of day." It is admitted by many thoughtful physicians that the constant recurrence of thought to the body is unhealthful, yet the observance of material health-laws requires this very thing.

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Scientific Discernment
July 14, 1906

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