It would be interesting to note the answers given by people who are not Christian Scientists if they were asked what health meant to each of them. It is thus defined in a dictionary: "The state of being hale, sound, or whole, in body, mind, or soul; especially the state of being free from physical disease or pain." The concluding part of this definition would probably express the thought of health as entertained by many, but it should be noted that it is purely negative, as if health were merely the absence of disease. The first part is better, but it gives undue prominence to the body, and yet most people seem to believe that health is dependent upon bodily conditions and so-called material law. Respecting this Mrs. Eddy says, "Health is not a condition of matter, but of Mind; nor can the material senses bear reliable testimony on the subject of health" (Science and Health, p. 120). Surely nothing can be of greater importance than to know what health is, and how it is to be realized and maintained.

It is very likely that all Christian people would admit health to be a gift of God, and yet there are few indeed who can claim to possess it, even in the rather limited sense in which it is held in general. Most people have certain health laws in which they believe, but it cannot be denied that those who observe these laws most rigorously have usually the least freedom and in the end are little more than prisoners in the mortal body over which man ought to be ruler. The old Latin proverb about a sound mind in a sound body means to most people that the mental condition is dependent upon the bodily state, but in Christian Science it is held that a truly sound mind, one which in adequate degree reflects the activities of the divine Mind, must always govern the body perfectly and bring out health and harmony; but this can never be the case where the body is placed before the mind, or where the human thought is dominated by ignorance and fear, or poisoned by hatred, lust, or selfishness.

May 25, 1912

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