Many persons marvel at the thought of instantaneous or other healing in Christian Science by so-called absent treatment, when the patient is separated from his practitioner. Any failure to comprehend absent healing is no doubt traceable to the fact that for centuries the world has been accustomed to a display of material means in cases of sickness—the excitement of the hasty summoning of a person from afar, the procuring and application of material devices, the constant attendance and attention of nurses, and all the well-known procedure of the sick-chamber. The elimination of these activities therefore tends to arouse a feeling that "nothing is being done" for a patient—and absent healing assumes a supernatural aspect instead of being accepted as supremely natural and normal. In reality, the term "absent treatment" is a misnomer. Treatment, as understood in Christian Science, is the knowledge and realization of the presence and power of God—therefore every treatment is a present treatment, because of the constant and unvarying presence and power of God.

The natural and normal nature of absent healing is indisputable in face of the procedure of Christ Jesus in healing the nobleman's son as recorded in John's gospel, and in several other instances, establishing its efficacy and sanctioning its use through all time. The Scripture referred to cites the case of the healing in language so terse and plain that it cannot be misunderstood: "The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house."

The boy was instantaneously healed—by "the word" spoken by Jesus and believed by the nobleman. The Master's spiritual understanding of Life and of the omnipotence of God, applied to an individual case in response to an honest appeal for help, wrought an immediate cure. The father of the boy "believed"—but he did not know the exact hour of the healing until his servants told him, and he then remembered that it was the same moment in which Christ Jesus had said, "Thy son liveth."

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August 10, 1912

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