One of the most difficult things for many to believe, when beginning to investigate Christian Science, is that often the sick are healed through the reading of its text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy. To some such a statement seems absurd, yet there are unnumbered thousands in this country and all parts of the world who state positively that they have been healed through reading this book. These people are among the best citizens in the communities in which they dwell, and their word would be taken as reliable evidence in the courts of the land in which they live. It will be found that the list of diseases thus healed includes those that materia medica has pronounced incurable, as well as all others which are thought to be less difficult of cure. It is true that every word in this text-book can be found in a common school dictionary, but no one has ever claimed to have been healed of sickness by studying a dictionary. It may therefore be asked, Why is it that through the reading of Science and Health the sick are healed?

From the beginning of history it has been believed that man is a material being, made of flesh, blood, and bones. The thoughts and aims of mankind have therefore been to take care of the material body, usually giving little heed to the spiritual man. Men have been taught to be very careful with this flesh and bones, to get all the material pleasures possible, that in the hereafter would be plenty of time to think of spiritual things. Mankind have been taught that life was dependent on matter; that every effect had a material cause; that material means were the only means for the cure of all discordant conditions; therefore that matter was to all intents and purposes ruler. Notwithstanding that this has been the general belief of mankind, there have arisen from time to time great and inspired teachers who have striven to impress on men the importance of spiritual things, and the corresponding non-importance of material things. They endeavored to show men that it was to their best interests to serve God instead of mammon.

The brightest star in this galaxy of spiritual teachers was Christ Jesus, of whose words, works, and life we have only a brief history. No doubt many of his teachings were never recorded, because his hearers did not understand them, not having reached a sufficiently high spiritual altitude; still we have enough of them, when understood, to lift a world out of sin and sorrow. Jesus said to his disciples, "The kingdom of God is within you;" not that it was to be attained only after death. To show his estimate of material things, he said, "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?" Jesus thus showed clearly that he did not consider man to be dependent on material conditions for life and happiness, for he also said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things [harmony, peace, and happiness] shall be added unto you." He acknowledged no allegiance to material law, but often acted contrary thereto; although he said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil;" thus proving that he considered the spiritual sense of law to be far superior to the material. In fact he never advocated the observance of any material law, only as a "suffer it to be so now,"—the choosing of the lesser of two evils, the taking of that course which is nearest right under the circumstances, with the view of working up to the spiritual, the actual; and the assurance that we could succeed in our efforts to gain this high spiritual elevation. The command to strive for its attainment was contained in his admonition, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

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October 19, 1907

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