Practitioner and Patient

The beginner in Christian Science may find himself perplexed in his effort to understand the office of a practitioner. Former beliefs concerning the healing art and physicians provide no accurate basis for an estimation of the metaphysician and his work. Material medical theories and practices address themselves frankly to the prevention and cure of disease by means of matter. They take no thought for the mind, except as it relates to and is dependent on the body. Metaphysics, obedient to Jesus' command, takes no thought for the body, dealing rather with the mental states which cause disease, and appealing to the divine Mind for prevention and cure alike. Materia medica is avowedly unreligious, and its art requires no Christian qualification.

At the outset and in all their procedure the two systems diverge. The man of material medicine, content with the apparent restoration of the body to the normal, rests his case there; the one who heals through Mind, viewing the healing of the body as indicative of a mental change, pushes on toward reformation, that moral and spiritual regeneration without which there is no true metaphysical attainment. As the Christian Science practitioner does not, therefore, occupy a position analogous to that of the medical doctor, it may be helpful to the beginner in Science to have set forth, in part at least, the office of a practitioner, his relation to the patient, and vice versa.

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