The query arises, If Christian Science heals as Jesus healed, why is not its healing instantaneous? The answer is that the Christ-healing is perfect and immediate just in the degree that there is present the understanding which will correct the belief that has caused the disease. If the divine Principle which heals is perfectly understood, its power will be perfectly demonstrated.

There are, however, conditions which enter in, and which make the problem of healing the sick to-day far different from that of apostolic times. The conditions of consciousness which needed to be changed were far different then than now, because they involved very different beliefs. Prominent among these it is noticeable that the cause of disease seems generally to have been ascribed to some evil influence, the work of a demon, or a judgment, or a curse,—some cause that partook of a mental nature and origin. The diseased one believed, and his friends believed, that if some good power could be found to break the influence of this evil power, the healing work would be done and done immediately. The confident expectation of the patient was that if the work were done at all it would be immediate, and as soon as any sense of relief came, he believed that the work was done, and the result, by a fundamental law of thought so often declared by Jesus, was according to his faith.

Over against this we have the thought of to-day, educated in the belief that disease has a physical explanation and cause, and that healing must come as a physical process. So firmly is the belief fixed in thought that healing is a physical process requiring time, that the patient does not expect to be healed except as a work of time, and the practitioner has to guard specially against his own thought dropping into this same mesmeric belief. It is very evident how these modern theories tend to hinder and restrain, on the part of the patient, a ready yielding to the gentle constraint of Truth, a spontaneous response to the spontaneous activity of divine Love, and this difficulty is often accentuated by the entire intellectual attitude of thought that comes through education. To one who has carefully trained himself to look for the reasonableness of things, and to accept nothing but what accredits itself to his reason, it becomes well-nigh impossible for him to yield entirely to Truth until he knows how and why. And it is because of the prevalence of this type of thought that so many are found who do not realize complete and permanent healing until they have gained an understanding of the Principle and rule of Science. Such an one will find release only as, through intelligent co-operation with the practitioner, he rationally works out his own salvation. Wherever the work of Christian Science has been carried on among primitive conditions of thought,—among those who have not studied and entertained theories of disease, etc.,—the response to treatment has usually been remarkable. It has been found quite easy to bring healing to these, but even when this is done there remains the more difficult task of bringing to them a clearly grounded understanding of Christian Science. Some yield readily to the simple appeal of Love and Truth, and are entirely satisfied to receive the release it brings, without seeking that understanding of Truth which is preventive as well as curative.

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July 27, 1907

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