"Ye shall know the truth"

Among the many misconceptions of Christian Science, one of the most prevalent is that which regards it as being simply a willingness on the part of its adherents to be optimistic about the every-day affairs of mortal existence. It is true that those who have gained through the study of the Bible and Science and Health the strength and assurance which an understanding even in a degree of the omnipotence of Truth bestows, carry about with them an atmosphere of peace and good cheer that cannot fail to convey to those with whom they come in contact the impression that Christian Science does enable its followers to meet with equanimity circumstances which to mortal thought would seem unendurable. It is quite natural, therefore, that those who have seen the truth thus tested should desire it for themselves when in deep waters, though their knowledge of the truth and its application is often so vague as to lead them into many mistakes. It does not surprise us so much, then, when we hear, as we frequently do, the remark, "I am trying Christian Science," made by some one who we have reason to think has no knowledge of what Christian Science really is.

It is quite apparent to those who know out of their own experience what are the teachings of Science and Health and what they can accomplish for the relief of the sick and the reformation of the sinning, that many times the person making this remark has merely fallen into the popular belief that to be an optimist is to be a Christian Scientist. Christian Scientists, however, have learned that optimism and the simple belief that all is good, will not do the work that Christ Jesus did, and that there must be constant prayer and a scientific demonstration of the allness of good, the omnipotence and omnipresence of divine Mind, thus bringing to light the consequent nothingness of evil, in order to improve human conditions. The mere determination to be happy, despite one's environment or condition, will not of itself bring happiness. The conditions that have produced the inharmony of body or mind must be remedied—the cause removed—before the effects can be right.

Frequently, too, we have heard persons say that they were trying Christian Science, when in fact they were doing nothing more than to abstain through will-power from the taking of drugs. Will-power is not Christian Science, neither is Christian Science will-power, and the optimism of Christian Science is not the cause of the general good health and prosperity which attend the practice of its teachings. Good health and prosperity are simply effects, and so is the ability to be optimistic in the face of what seems to be a disheartening state of affairs.

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Evil's Unreality
December 26, 1914

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