Cause and effect are inseparable, but precept is possible...

The Christian Science Monitor

Cause and effect are inseparable, but precept is possible without practice, just as is theory without demonstration. All of which conclusively proves that neither theory nor precept is cause. The Bible, which, if it is anything, is a great, scientific textbook, makes this perfectly clear. "He that believeth on me," Jesus said, "the works that I do shall he do also," and so, when he sent out his disciples, it was to preach the gospel and to heal the sick, in other words, to illustrate the coincidence between cause and effect. How futile, indeed, is precept without example, or theory without practice, is made clear by the apostle James. "Faith," said he, "without works is dead;" in other words, a faith which is dead is not causation, because no effects follow. Thus precept without practice is in the same category as faith without works. It is, that is to say, dead, as dead as a theory incapable of demonstration.

The Roman philosophers of the early years of the Christian era called this demonstration a miraculum, and out of this has been derived the English word miracle, the true significance of which scholastic theology, having no mind to accept Jesus' command literally, has eluded by the simple method of in turn defining it as supernatural. Such an exhibition of cause and effect as the raising of Lazarus, or the walking on the water, is, of course, to the human mind, entirely metaphysical, or beyond the physical, but this is only because of the human mind's ignorance of Principle. Mrs. Eddy has, indeed, explained this, with her usual marvelous clarity, on page 126 of Science and Health, where she writes: "The point at issue between Christian Science on the one hand and popular theology on the other is this: Shall Science explain cause and effect as being both natural and spiritual? Or shall all that is beyond the cognizance of the material senses be called supernatural, and be left to the mercy of speculative hypotheses?"

Now what a man demonstrates is always his own knowledge of anything. If his knowledge is purely material, he soon discovers that his premises are forever changing, for the very simple reason that there is no Principle in them. The verification of this is written in a million textbooks, from the Ethics of Aristotle to the Summa of Aquinas, and from the theories of Abelard to the speculations of Kelvin, themselves nothing but a mental Sahara of shifting sands. But if a man has caught one glimpse of the spiritual, he has found the rock of Principle, and his knowledge will begin to expand, just as the dawn broadens into day. How scientific this knowledge is, he will discover by the ease with which he will be able to account for every failure equally with every success, and by the certainty with which he will be able to assure himself that the world regards the demonstration of spiritual law as supernatural, not by reason of anything it knows about it, but solely by reason of its ignorance of it. Then, at last, he will begin to understand what Christ Jesus meant when he said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

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