Christian Science is now enjoying the tardy though almost grudgingly bestowed recognition that it heals disease of all kinds. Its greatest function, however, is not as a panacea or cure-all, efficient in this direction though it is, so far as it is at present understood. No, its specific purpose is not merely to ameliorate or improve, but to rectify whatever is amiss. In accomplishing this end, the healing of disease, while characteristic of its ministry, is strictly speaking the incidental evidence that the work of rectification has begun or perhaps has been carried farther than upon some previous occasion. The patient or the student thus becomes aware of the work as actually having been done. These statements are supported by many passages in Science and Health; notably, "Christian Science acts as an alterative, neutralizing error with Truth. ... The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind" (p. 162).

Perhaps no more convincing proof of the "alterative" effects are vouchsafed to the individual than in cases of the "healing" of temper. If it were possible or necessary to present an array of cases, doubtless thousands could be cited, but mere number is not necessary in order to make the proof convincing: one is sufficient. A man who in his youth had acquired and even unwittingly cultivated the habit of losing his temper, or getting angry upon the slightest provocation, or even when there was no provocation, became interested in Christian Science, not so much because of any physical advantages that he hoped or even thought he might get out of it, as because he wanted to discover what the new philosophy might have for him as a basis of conduct or perhaps as a religion. From time to time he had slight, often almost unexpected healings, which at first seemed as if they would have occurred anyway, but which came in such numbers that they could not be expalined away or set aside. Shortly before beginning the study of Christian Science, he had had an altercation with another man and had been obliged to resign a good position in consequence. He had been studying Christian Science for six months when he was suddenly brought face to face with his former opponent, but such a radical change had come over him that he was able to greet this man with honest cordiality. More than that, there was no return of the old-time animosity, though the two men were frequently thrown in each other's company through business interests.

Here is a healing which only those who know the man most intimately can possibly have any way of estimating. Yet, so far as the man himself can determine, it is a complete and permanent cure, for under far more trying circumstances than ever characterized the case just specified he has not discovered the slightest symptom of the old malady, for temper may justly be called a malady. The "alterative" has done its work, quietly but effectively. Prior to his gaining a working knowledge of Christian Science, this same man had grappled with his enemy, for such he recognized this bad habit to be. He tried all the ways and means suggested to him, among others the exercise of will-power; but after struggling long to control himself, he would at last reach the breaking-point and the passion would burst from him with a resistless overflow which sometimes led to serious consequences to others as well as to himself, and always with remorseful reflections on his own part. Another method which proved futile was to go away from the person or persons, or even from the scene which aroused the sleeping lion; but this was useless, because the fight was continued with as much fierceness as when the tormentors were actually present. Equally useless was the effort to think of other themes; the malady apparently had to reach its climax and then subside more or less gradually. Every attempt to control his temper by will-power, no matter how applied, proved an utter failure because, as he now sees, that is not the proper way to gain the victory.

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June 8, 1912

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