THE FUNCTION OF A TEXT-BOOK

Many persons, when they attend a Christian Science testimony meeting for the first time, are startled on hearing some one say, "I was healed by reading Science and Health." Such a statement is so foreign to the limited experience of these people that they often ridicule the idea and misjudge both Christian Science and the one who gave the testimony. I am free to confess that I was once much disturbed in this way, and very skeptical. While such hasty criticisms reveal an attitude of mind more or less distorted by former training and experience, if not by egotism, they do not arouse any antagonistic thoughts on the part of Christian Scientists to whom they may be uttered. They are the result of misunderstanding, and Scientists are quick to make allowances and correction whenever this is possible, because they understand the doubter's attitude. If corrections are not made, are not understood, or are not accepted, only those who hold the erroneous positions can be affected disadvantageously; for it is always to the disadvantage of any person to hold a prejudice either for or against anything whatsoever. Such an attitude prevents the holder from enjoying the freedom of the truth.

There should be nothing strange about the statement that reading Science and Health or other Christian Science literature has healed some one. That is exactly what it was written to do, and such statements prove the effectiveness of its mission; but some people seem to think that the text-book is regarded by Scientists as a sort of fetish or charm, though nothing is farther from the truth. Science and Health is the text-book of Christian Science, and contains an explanation of spiritual healing as taught and demonstrated by Christ Jesus. It shows how that healing was done; and when some sufferer reads these things and is healed, it is because he has apprehended the teachings and applied them so effectively that his ailment has disappeared.

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THE CHEERFUL GIVER
February 18, 1911
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