We Christian Scientists would do well to conserve and increase our faith in God. It is approximately true that the Old Testament called for belief, the New Testament demands faith, while Christian Science requires understanding. Nevertheless, simple faith in God is precedent to spiritual understanding. It is essential to the acquisition and development of the understanding of divine Principle, which chiefly constitutes the mental equipment for success in Christian Science.

Now and then, faith was inculcated by the speakers for God who furnished the foreword for the Christian gospel. For instance, one of them said that "the just shall live by his faith" (Habakkuk 2:4). They also taught the value of understanding: "Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it" (Proverbs 16:22). And in the New Testament Paul once used our term "spiritual understanding" (Colossians 1:9). Nevertheless, the concordances to the Scriptures and the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, prove beyond question that faith had the distinct prominence in original Christianity which understanding has in its Science. So Mrs. Eddy declared the relation between these subjects in our religion when she said that Christian Science "couples faith with spiritual understanding" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 108).

Christ Jesus, it is to be remembered, delivered the explicit teaching, "Have faith in God" (Mark 11:22). None of his teachings is more emphatic than this one: none is oftener repeated in similar words. Furthermore, he specified faith as an essential factor in effective prayer or treatment. Thus, when his disciples asked him why they had failed to cure in a certain case, he answered, "Because of your little faith" (Matthew 17:20). This quotation is from the American Revised Version. Mrs. Eddy has given almost the same rendering (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 222), and the entire incident (Matthew 17:14—21) attests the correctness of this translation. Moreover, this incident and others (for instance, Matthew 9:27—31) show that the Master did not intend to limit his answer to a single failure or success. He meant that faith is an essential factor in mental practice. "According to your faith be it unto you" is a general rule.

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The Loving-Kindness of God
August 9, 1930

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