"I give you people credit for being well-intentioned and sincere, yet I can but think that when one is downright sick something ought to be done for him. To do simply nothing under such circumstances is to assume a hazard for which I should not want to be responsible." So writer a Christian man who betrays the inevitable prejudice of the uninformed, and in so doing he fairly represents that large body of Christian believers who do not think out religious matters for themselves, but who form their judgments on the basis of generally accepted teaching and conventional custom. These people are entirely right in thinking that "something ought to be done," under the conditions named, but they are woefully astray in their thought of what "doing something" means, and it is here that for unnumbered thousands the author of Science and Health has proved to be a true Leader in the attainment of a more effective understanding of Truth.

The question of "doing" leads immediately to the very heart of things. Christian people have all, and always, accepted the statement that in the beginning God spake and it was done. They would concede that Spirit was then unaided by matter, and that, as the result of this purely spiritual assertion, "the heavens were made." This being true. "something" was certainly done in the manifestation of divine Life and law, quite apart from material agencies. Spirit and its idea was agent, and it follows, as a sequence of the immutability of the divine nature and law, that Spirit, Mind, and its idea is agent. This is the tap-root of the universally accepted teaching that God is the only Cause and creator, and Christian Science insists upon the practical value of this teaching. It declares that in truth God is the only doer, and it thus allies itself with Christ Jesus' definite declaration that it is the Father who "doeth the works." We speak of rays of light as effective in dispelling darkness, but we know that in truth the agent is the sun. So, too, in Christian Science we speak of the healing realization and declarations of truth, but, as St. Paul says, it is always "God who worketh in us,"—the eternal Truth reflected in spiritual consciousness,—and this alone effects the healing.

If life and health are "of God" they are to be truly realized or possessed in the measure of our acceptance of God as their source, sustenance, and protector. The sense of dependence upon matter, in order to have "something done," is the direct and baneful fruitage of the belief in the reality of a dead stuff, apart from God but created by Him and essential to His beneficent doing. Christian Science casts away this gross material sense, and declares that as there is but one "greater light," whose radiance banishes all darkness, so there is but one Truth, whose omnipresent activity banishes error and error's every effect. To do "something," therefore, in Christian Science is to reflect, bring into realization, and so into corrective relations, that divine Truth whom to know is to be made free. To do "nothing" is to turn one's back to the light of Truth. It is to believe in materiality and to depend upon it.

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January 11, 1908

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