"Sickness," writes Mrs. Eddy on page 460 of Science and Health,...

Weston Super-Mare Gazette

"Sickness," writes Mrs. Eddy on page 460 of Science and Health, "is neither imaginary nor unreal,—that is, to the frightened, false sense of the patient. Sickness is more than fancy; it is solid conviction. It is therefore to be dealt with through right apprehension of the truth of being." Where the critic has come to grief is in not understanding in the very least what is meant to be conveyed, in Christian Science, or in scientific idealism for that matter, by the word real. To the Christian Scientist that only is real which is of God, all else is a mere temporary sense, relatively true or untrue, of something unlike God. When, consequently, he says that a man is healthy, he is alluding to the spiritual man, made by God, who is Spirit, perfect, in His own image and likeness, and not to the material counterfeit of that man, subject to all the laws of the flesh, to sin, disease, and death. Devoting, as he is, every moment he can spare to the effort to arouse mortal man from a false sense of life into "the glorious liberty of the children of God," the Christian Scientist is little likely to underrate the agonies of human suffering. But because in his struggle with sickness and misery and sin he declines to handicap himself by describing them as real, that is, as part of the divine creation, it does not imply that he denies that they may seem, relatively, very real indeed to the human consciousness.

Finally the critic explains that the way to get rid of sickness is by prayer in conjunction with a doctor. Now no Christian Scientist has a word to say against those good men who have engaged in a lifelong struggle with disease and pain in the way which seems truest to them, but for themselves they are conscious that they have found a better way, a way that binds up not only the physically wounded but the broken-hearted, which heals not only pain but remorse, which conquers sin as well as sickness. Which kind of a physician did the speaker really think Luke was? Does he believe that the man who raised Eutychus from the dead in the street at Troas, sent for a man practising the medical methods of the first century to heal him of some minor form of sickness? The medical methods of the first century have been laid bare to us by Pliny. They were of the nature of spells and serpent-gazing. The gall of a weasel was a specific for an asp's sting, the blood of a tortoise for that of a serpent. Bad sight could be healed by means of the liver of a she-goat, poison could be dissipated by tabloids of charred viper's flesh. Will your readers accept such a picture of the "beloved physician," or will they accept that of that great scholar, Professor Harnack, who has written, "His medical profession seems to have led him to Christianity, for he embraced that religion in the conviction that by its means, and by quite new methods, he would be enabled to heal disease and drive out evil spirits." This method Harnack boldly terms the Science of Christianity.

January 16, 1909

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