The Great Physician," the subject of a sermon reported...

Hamilton Times

"The Great Physician," the subject of a sermon reported in a recent issue, is very needful to-day. It is well for the world to have its attention drawn not only to its need of healing, but to Christ Jesus as an exemplar for healing as well as for moral reform. There is one phase of the sermon, however, to which objection can be taken; and that is to the insistence of the cry that sin, sickness, and death are real because they seem real. Although the sun seems to rise and set, and although millions of people for centuries believed it to rise and set, in these latter days we are better informed.

The subject, "Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?" presented periodically in all Christian Science churches, is a challenge to common sense testimony. Surely it is not asking too much that all thinkers should consider this subject reflectively and not merely from the standpoint of the material senses, which can never render a scientific verdict on any subject. The following are some of the reasons for the Christian Science view that sin, sickness, and death, though seeming actual, are not real: They are not created by God, no mention being made of any of them in the first chapter of Genesis, in which all creation is pronounced good by the creator; and John declares: "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." The mission of Christ Jesus, as defined in the New Testament, was to destroy the works of the devil, and according to the gospel records, he went about destroying sin, sickness, and death in numerous instances, thus proving them destructible or unreal. He completely triumphed over the "last enemy," death. Paul declares that the things which are seen are temporal; and sin, sickness, and death are visibly temporal, not eternal, not substantial, not real. They are not spiritual, nor entities, not spiritual realities or facts, but may be defined as the phenomena of material existence, illusive and unreal. They are not among the eternal verities. Therefore, they are not essential to true manhood; no man would be less a man by reason of freedom from sickness, sin, and death. Mrs. Eddy writes, in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 67): "Man delivered from sin, disease, and death present the true likeness or spiritual ideal."

Christ Jesus is our example of perfect manhood, and neither sickness, sin, nor death was attached to him. Neither would anything be deducted from the reality of the universe if sin, sickness, and death were annihilated in human experience. What would happen would be the discernment by humanity of the new heaven and the new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. If this be considered Utopian, what is to be made of the book of Revelation, with its "bottomless pit" for the devil and all errors? This is their region of native nothingness, because they have no foundation in reality, no Principle. By holding to the unreality of sin, sickness, and death, we can more successfully overcome them, as errors which the truth destroys. In "Retrospection and Introspection" (p. 62), Mrs. Eddy writes: "Test Christian Science by its effect on society, and you will find that the views here set forth—as to the illusion of sin, sickness, and death—bring forth better fruits of health, righteousness, and Life, than a belief in their reality has ever done. A demonstration of the unreality of evil destroys evil."

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January 11, 1919

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