"Temporary and eternal means"

Some Christian Scientists in the armed forces have been disturbed by the suggestion that they might sometime need help from another Christian Scientist and not be able to find one. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." Mary Baker Eddy has made a statement which should bring comfort to these people. It is (p. 444): "If Christian Scientists ever fail to receive aid from other Scientists,—their brethren upon whom they may call,—God will still guide them into the right use of temporary and eternal means. Step by step will those who trust Him find that 'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.'" After reading this quotation, the keen student will probably ask, What are these "temporary and eternal means"? In answer to this question I offer the following experience as illustrative. While serving overseas, a United States Army officer, a captain, was taken sick with chills and fever. There was no Christian Scientist available near by to whom he could turn for help. A doctor who noticed that he had eaten little luncheon and had left the table with food on his plate, called at his tent to inquire about his health. He found the captain stretched on his cot, and, after placing a thermometer in his mouth, learned that he was running a high fever.

Although the doctor had the military authority to send this Christian Scientist to an Army hospital, he honored the latter's request and sent him to a rest camp run by the medical battalion of his division. Upon arrival at this camp the captain was burning with fever and feeling depressed and confused in thought, so he asked a chaplain, who was not a Christian Scientist, to read the Bible to him. The passages the chaplain chose and the spirit with which he read brought peace to the captain's mind and inspired him with confidence that God was the healer of the sick and would meet his need. The next morning the fever had disappeared, and he was able to read and study the Lesson-Sermon and some Christian Science literature.

Toward evening of the second day the fever returned; but the captain was able to meet the condition unaided, until next afternoon, when he felt the need to call for more help. He sent a message to a close friend who was a Christian Scientist to call in the evening. In the meantime, he asked another chaplain to read the Bible to him. This chaplain, like the first one, was not a Christian Scientist. When he finished reading, the officer's confusion and fears had started to subside; and after a long talk with his friend, his thinking had cleared measurably. As his temperature was still 105 degrees, his friend, who was just a beginner in Christian Science, said that he would give him as much spiritual support as possible.

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There Shall Be Time No Longer
August 25, 1945

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