Physical Healing

Students of Christian Science are supposed to be familiar with Mrs. Eddy's teachings as found in the text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," especially those which relate to healing; and there is one passage on page xi of the Preface with which we cannot be too familiar, namely, "The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus' time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation." In view of this and many similar statements which may be found in our text-book and in Mrs. Eddy's other writings, it is surely obvious that the healing of disease should always be accorded the importance which it deserves as one of the signs, that our Master said should "follow them that believe." Occasionally we hear some one speak of "mere physical healing," as if there could be such a thing in Christian Science, when the healing influence of divine Truth, as revealed through Science and Health, permeates human consciousness and dispels all darkness, thus bringing "life and immortality to light," to use the apostle's words.

It is quite true that the greater number of those who come to Christian Science for help are at first looking only for physical healing; and for a time they are satisfied with the relief felt from the absence of pain and fear, consequently they are apt to think and talk a great deal about the physical changes of which they are conscious, and which they are disposed to bring to the notice of others to such an extent as to call forth a criticism upon the healing, which apparently has gone no deeper than the flesh. It is not, however, fair to decide upon this question from the immature thought and utterances of the one who is only taking the first steps in Science; because when "the operation of divine Principle" begins to be felt in human consciousness, a great change is going on, much greater indeed than either the one healed or his friends can perceive. We should never forget that due appreciation of this healing, both on the part of the one who experiences it and also on the part of those who know of it, tends to open wide the windows which let in the healing radiance of "the Sun of righteousness;" and so we may well rejoice in the signs vouchsafed us, and every day and hour look for more.

The one who speaks of "mere physical healing" fails possibly to see that to the sick person this is his greatest human need, and that it is nearly impossible to lift thought to Spirit and spiritual things while it is held down by the belief in a suffering mortal body. The faithful student of Christian Science, however, learns how to encourage the struggling thought to rise above material evidence—to be, as St. Paul says, "absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." This is of course a very different thing from a sense of relief gained through the use of material remedies, and Paul's words aptly express the healing of Christian Science. Moreover, when one begins to experience the full force of these words, "present with the Lord," he knows that there are advance steps to be taken—that the physical and mental transformation must go on to its spiritual ultimate, until the outcome is realized in the way of which the psalmist speaks when he says, "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness."

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November 11, 1916

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