Binding Heavy Burdens

IN the twenty-third chapter of Matthew it is recorded that our Master said of the scribes and Pharisees, "They bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers." It sometimes occurs that well meaning Christian Scientists bind heavy burdens on themselves and others. It may be that the burden is laid upon a loved one already staggering beneath a load of disease and suffering, this additional burden assuming the plausible argument that the healing is slow or seemingly unattainable because of sin, fear, criticism, impatience, self-righteousness, self-pity, or some other unlovely trait of character in the patient. So-called mortal mind may also present the argument that there are other members of the family opposing Christian Science, and that progress is thereby delayed; that the parents of this dear one have sinned, and therefore he must suffer the penalty; that there are those preventing the healing who are hateful, revengeful, jealous; that for some reason there is much of malpractice to meet. It may even sometimes occur that these same arguments present themselves forcibly to the Christian Science practitioner, as an excuse for delayed healing, thus unfitting him, if he accepts them, for the work on hand. The burden may be imposed upon one's self in the form of self-condemnation for past errors repented of and forsaken, or present sinful desires and indulgences. These and many others of the same kind are the heavy loads with which Christian Scientists may unwittingly burden themselves and others, if they are not alert to detect and repudiate such suggestions as they present themselves to their thought.

But take courage, dear sufferer; hear the loving call of the Christ ringing down the centuries, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." The Christ is here, and still beckons with loving finger to all who are bearing the heavy burdens of sin and sorrow and suffering. None are excluded; all have the opportunity to drop the load and find rest and peace. On pages 476 and 477 of our textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy tells how the gentle Nazarene brought the healing Christ to human problems, and how Christian Scientists may avail themselves of the same divine rule. She says: "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick." And so to-day Christ, Truth, can look straight through the nothingness of the lying arguments of material sense and see the perfect man of God's creating where a sinning, sick, and dying mortal seems to be. This is Immanuel, "God with us;" and it bears to-day the same healing effects that it did nineteen centuries ago on the shores of the Galilean sea.

But, says one, what about unforsaken sin, such as selfishness, ingratitude? Let us see. Did Jesus' healing condone sin and leave a healthy sinner? Rather, did not his vision of God and His perfect man destroy the false, sinful sense that was boasting of an identity called a patient? Did not his great love and compassion see that God's man could no more sin than he could suffer? Did Jesus love less because so-called mortal mind scornfully argued that here was some one unworthy because he was a sinner? No, he knew that sin is as much an imposition of the impersonal enemy, material sense, as is disease, and that the greatest sinner is but the greatest victim of error, and needs even more than others the tender love and compassion of the Christ, which alone can heal and regenerate.

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One Who Loved
February 17, 1923

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