The writer of the exposition of the Sunday school lesson...


The writer of the exposition of the Sunday school lesson in a recent issue of the Conservative, referring to healings by Jesus, said that the Master "never 'treated' anyone either by 'present treatment' or by 'absent treatment' or otherwise." Because healing as practiced in Christian Science is accomplished through either absent or present treatment, and since such healing was inferred by your contributor to be different from that recorded in the Master's ministry, I should like to explain why no such difference exists. At the grave of Lazarus, Jesus said, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me." He spoke those words previous to his command, "Lazarus, come forth," and evidently must have communed with God, silently praying to the Father, before audibly expressing gratitude for the answer which had not yet been outwardly manifested. Now, treatment in Christian Science, whether in presence of or absence from the one seeking relief, is neither more nor less than prayer to God. Furthermore, it is precisely the same prayer of confidence in God's infinite ability and gracious willingness to bestow all good on man, as that employed by Jesus. That Jesus' healing ministry was not confined to instances where he was present with the recipient is evident in the restoration by him of the nobleman's son and the servant of the centurion, both of whom were far removed from the Master when healed through his ministration. Thus both present and absent treatment in Christian Science healing are identically the same as observed by Jesus, who declared that his followers should do the works which he did.

Again, your correspondent intimated that because Jesus healed "without money and without price" this should be done also by modern "divine healers." Christian Scientists disclaim any personal healing ability. But healing in Christian Science, being accomplished wholly through the operation of divine Mind, God, the Father to whom Jesus prayed, is preeminently divine healing. It is assumed therefore that your contributor meant to include Christian Science practitioners among those who, he thinks, should make no charge for their services. Although the records of our Master's works do not show that payment was made to him for the many benefits he bestowed, they do show that he recognized and taught the justice and necessity of making payment of right obligations between men. For instance, on one occasion he asked Peter to pay the tribute money for both himself and that disciple, and directed him to obtain the necessary coin from a fish's mouth. When all have fully demonstrated the Master's teachings, there will be no need of asking payment for healing or any other service. In the meantime ministers of the gospel are praying for the sick and preaching that salvation is "free," and yet they are paid for this service. It seems, then, equally just that Christian Science practitioners who devote their time to the healing work should be entitled to remuneration, since "the labourer is worthy of his hire."

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September 10, 1927

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