In a recent criticism of Christian Science by a well-known religious writer we were told that we are to "make disease minister to the higher life of the spirit." If that is one of the purposes of disease in the world, why try to combat it, why pray for delivery from it? Why not let God decide when sufficient ministry to the higher life has been accomplished? The human parent punishes a child when he does wrong, and in consequence the child does better another time. A parent does not punish a child when he has not done wrong, in order to minister to his higher life!

Discipline in this world is one thing, punishment is quite another. Christian Science does not tell the invalid, whose life has been one long round of misery, that his seeming punishment is being inflicted in order that he may have that which can be made to minister to his higher life. It does tell such a man that his illness can surely be cured, and it backs its assertion, with the testimonies of hundreds of similar cases that have been cured. Adherence to Christian Science teaching does not exempt one, however, from the discipline of life; indeed it demands discipline of the most rigid kind, for it imposes as a standard of conduct none less exacting than that of the Master.

The Master's conduct and the Master's word, throughout all his life and teaching, were of a positive, healthful nature. He did not treat disease as though it were in any way a benefit to humanity. That is the philosophy of the Stoic, not the gospel of Christ. The Master went about healing the sick wherever he found them, and instructed his disciples to do likewise. "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," is an utterance of his which is characteristic of the positive, authoritative manner in which he taught. Disease does not belong to this realm. It is negative and destructive, not positive, normal, or true. Only in the realm of Truth (which makes us free) is to be found that which ministers "to the higher life of the spirit."

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September 15, 1906

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