Practice and Theory

How often one hears it said by those just beginning the study of Christian Science that they see the theory but cannot understand or demonstrate its Principle. How insidious is the temptation in the early acquaintance with metaphysics to advise the inquiring friend to go to a practitioner rather than to endeavor to give the help one's self. How familiar the excuse which always argues that the experienced and tried practitioner is the only one who can meet the case quickly and efficiently; but how hopelessly devoid of understanding or any basis in Truth such an attitude is. If the experienced student were the source of the healing, if the balm were derived from mere human experience, then there would be some reason for such shifts of arguments. But to the student who gains a glimpse of the understanding of what God is, there is no excuse and no such excuse suggests itself.

On a hillside in Judea, more than nineteen centuries ago the Master said, "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." Now the grain of mustard seed was used to illustrate, as every one knows, the smallest atom of faith possible of conception. Yet small as this was, its power removed mountains. It is, of course, axiomatic that God appears or is revealed to mankind through the understanding. A gleam of sunshine never mixes with the darkness of the cavern into which it may penetrate. That gleam of sunshine will always show the sun to any one who looks into it, and will cause all it rests upon to radiate and glow, and it should be remembered that such radiation and glow is reflected and never inherent in anything but the sun. That understanding, however, which receives the revelation of the Christ-idea is broadened and illumed accordingly, but the fact that Truth works independently of any human agency enables the student in Christian Science, even as a beginner, to demonstrate the power of Christ in ways which seem often to startle and surprise even the demonstrator himself. It is for the reason that Truth is never limited or affected by any human understanding of it, that the results of the practice of Christian Science either for one's self or for others so often exceed the seeming ability of the student. This is surely the explanation for the remarkable results so often accomplished by children in their simple acceptance of metaphysical Truth.

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Arguments of Self-deception Unreal
June 5, 1920
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