[Translated from the German]

What is True Sympathy?

The student who takes up Christian Science and begins to assimilate the ideas set forth in the text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy, is often confronted with the question as to how, with his newly awakened sense, he should express his sympathy when error still presents itself in some one of its various phases, such as sin, disease, or a sense of lack. In many instances the false sense of sympathy has not fully yielded to a truer sense. It sometimes seems to the student who has been blessed by the touch of Truth, that he does not show himself to his fellow beings who know nothing of the teachings of Christian Science, in such a way as will make them feel convinced of the possession of true sympathy on his part. On the other hand, he is afraid that through silence he may be thought unloving.

In cases such as these we do well to consider the attitude of our beloved Master in all instances where error confronted him in the form of lamentations and false sympathy. In Matthew we read that when he "came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, he said unto them, Give place." Had not these people come to express their sense of sympathy? In the face of this false concept Christ Jesus had but a decisive "Give place" for the mortal sense. Mark, in his narrative of the same case, states that when Christ Jesus came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue he said, "Why make ye this ado, and weep?" and he "put them all out." In John's gospel we read that at the grave of Lazarus Jesus "groaned in the spirit, and was troubled," when he beheld the manifestation of sorrow in those around him. Speaking of this, Mrs. Eddy has said, "Had Jesus believed that Lazarus had lived or died in his body, the Master would have stood on the same plane of belief as those who buried the body, and he could not have resuscitated it" (Science and Health, p. 75).

Even though we have not yet in our pilgrimage reached the heights of spiritual understanding to which Jesus attained, and though our attempt to comfort those in sorrow may not at all times be accompanied by a visible sign, that is by the immediate destruction of the false belief, yet we must strive to gain a more correct sense of sympathy, which will gradually enable us to refute all false evidence based on mere sense-testimony, and to hold fast to the truth of being. In Science and Health (p. 207) we find this authoritative statement: "There is but one primal cause. Therefore there can be no effect from any other cause, and there can be no reality in aught which does not proceed from this great and only cause. Sin, sickness, disease, and death belong not to the Science of being."

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