In your issue for the month of April there is a reference...

Occult Review

In your issue for the month of April there is a reference to Christian Science which is, it seems to me, unnecessarily discourteous in tone; but it is something more,—it shows an ignorance of Christian Science so overwhelming that at first it seems scarcely worth while correcting. The writer produces from an anonymous publication what she fondly imagines is this dilemma: "If prayer can heal diseases, why should it not also bring business? and, if so, why trouble to work? Why not only pray?" Anything more foolish than this it would be difficult to conceive. Let me put the method of argument a little differently. If thought can produce a book, why trouble to go to the publisher, why not only think? Supposing that prayer would produce business, you would still, presumably, require an office in which to transact your business, just as if thought produces a book you still require a publisher to print it.

What, however, the critic has not grasped is the fact that prayer not only heals diseases, but it does bring business, though not perhaps quite in the way she imagines, and that for the simple reason she has not the faintest idea what Christian Science means by prayer. By prayer Christian Science does not mean making petitions to an anthropomorphic God for something for which the material senses create a desire. Prayer, in the words of Mrs. Eddy, on the very first page of Science and Health, is "a spiritual understanding of Him." Now the "Him" being God, and God being Spirit, prayer is a spiritual understanding of spiritual things; in plain English, it is what Jesus meant by that understanding of the truth which was to make men free. Exactly in proportion as man understands absolute Truth he frees himself from the domination of the material falsehoods which have previously fettered him. He frees himself from sin, from sickness, from those limitations which constitute poverty and misery; and in doing this he realizes the truth about substance.

The ministry of Jesus was devoted to teaching men the truth which was to make them free, the truth not only about health and substance, but everything else in the material as in the spiritual universe. He showed the sick how they might be healed through prayer, and he showed, in the temptations, how man might live without bread. He did not, however, in any single instance, suggest to those who were slowly and painfully following his steps, that they should fling aside their daily occupations. He does not appear to have suggested to the disciples that they should give up fishing, and we know that Paul, who certainly knew something about the teaching of Jesus,—enough to heal the sick and raise the dead,—worked at his trade of tent-making, in Corinth. The work of Christian Science is to teach people how to make practical in this century what Jesus taught in the first century. In proportion as humanity gets rid of sin it may attain a spiritual insight, as a result of which it will not need to buy bread or to go a-fishing. Until then it is best for it to go on doing its business, only doing it honestly, as Paul did in Corinth. On the whole, I think that this critic, in following in the steps of the anonymous "X," has followed the blind and has been led into the nearest ditch.

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