Binding the Power of Pain

In this issue of the Christian Science Sentinel may be found an article about an extraordinary book—a book the earnest reading whereof has stilled pain, wiped out the foundations of disease, and brought to countless thousands great peace of mind.

In the tenth chapter of the Revelation of St. John, we read of an angel who was "clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head," and who "had in his hand a little book open." Students of Christian Science will tell you unhesitatingly that "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy must typify this "little book," for it has brought to them an angelic message of liberation and promise of victory over evil that is a rainbow of hope and joy for the whole human family. As the article referred to above clearly sets forth, many are the instances when, in the midst of pain and distress, the sincere persistent reading and pondering of the truths in Science and Health have brought relief and healing.

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But, someone may ask how can this be? A book may bring pleasure to a reader, enlightenment to a student; but how can its message remove inflammation from a tormented body, for instance, or soothe throbbing temples? A Christian Scientist may reply that this remarkable volume, Science and Health, asseverates the spiritual truth about God and man; and because the office of Truth has ever been to destroy its opposite, error, it should be apparent that whenever or wherever the light of Truth shines forth, darkness is dissipated.

Christian Scientists quote with happy concurrence the apostle's great declaration, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." Following this glorious theorem, we may declare that God being infinite good, in Him is no evil at all; being harmonious Soul, in Him is no pain or disease, or dis-ease. This heavenly conviction comes to the suffering sense as a cooling shower on a sultry day. An exquisite poem of Mrs. Eddy's, which is beloved by all her followers, reads in part (Poems, p. 12):

"O'er waiting harpstrings of the mind
There sweeps a strain,
Low, sad, and sweet, whose measures bind
The power of pain,

"And wake a white-winged angel throng
Of thoughts, illumed
By faith, and breathed in raptured song,
With love perfumed."

Now the happifying truth that a good God has created a painless, harmonious universe, is the celestial strain which will "bind the power of pain" and lift human thought into the realm of spiritual serenity. And right here is evidenced our Leader's marvelous ability to interpret spiritually those statements of Christ Jesus oftentimes obscure to mortals. The great Way-shower unquestionably was once endeavoring to explain to his students the first requisite in Christian healing. In Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy writes of this experience thus (pp. 399. 400): "Our Master asked: 'How can one enter into a strong man's house and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man?' In other words: How can I heal the body, without beginning with so-called mortal mind, which directly controls the body? When disease is once destroyed in this so-called mind, the fear of disease is gone, and therefore the disease is thoroughly cured. Mortal mind is 'the strong man,' which must be held in subjection before its influence upon health and morals can be removed. This error conquered, we can despoil 'the strong man' of his goods, —namely, of sin and disease."

Tens of thousands of readers of Science and Health can report the healing of disease through intelligent adherence to this important metaphysical rule. First, bind the strong man. Does the sufferer cry out that pain is in this arm, or that portion of the body? Let us look first to the carnal mind and its suggestions of fear and false law. We "bind the strong man" when we realize the presence and power of the one Mind, that harmonious consciousness which can tolerate no fear, no anguish, no disease or lack of ease. Our English word "pain" has unlovely progenitors: "penalty," "punishment." The child of God is not being penalized or punished. Pain can seem to be present only when "the strong man" is not bound—when the mesmerism of living in the sensations of a material body is not being dispelled by the light of Truth.

Bind the strong man! Yes no matter how strong and persistent seems the argument of pain, our loving Father, God, the ever-present help in trouble, is mightier. His "Peace, be still," can calm the troubled waters of discordant material sensation this very moment. Someone once asked a man how he was. He replied, "I'm going through hell!" Said his friend: "Well, keep on going. That is no place to stop!" If you seem to be going through the deep waters of physical anguish and cannot for the moment seem to gain the understanding which binds the strong man, keep on going—keep on clinging to Truth, and hear again the comforting, strengthening message, "My grace is sufficient for thee." God, divine Love, is eternally sustaining His child, and will "bind the power of pain" as surely as the summer sun will melt the stubborn frost.

Let us be sure, however, that we welcome the binding not only of painful sense, but of "the strong man" of selfishness, of self-will, and of looking to material sensation for real and lasting happiness. If we mistakenly linger in the domain of the strong man—the carnal mind—looking for or tasting its doubtful and precarious fruit, we must not be surprised if the serpent of pain puts in an appearance. Since the days of Adam and Eve we have always found serpents around the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Bind the strong man! In the name of a good, just, and loving God, let us denounce that pretender to power and action called mortal mind, and turn from its diabolical, unthinkable suggestions to the harmonious facts of being, and there rest. Let us thank God that pain is not happening in the realm of Soul, wherein are peace, order, and quietness now. Let us thank Him that Satan is bound, false law is silenced, Principle is enthroned in the presence of all-conquering good. And what says the inspired author of Science and Health about that strain which shall "bind the power of pain" (Science and Health, p. 568): "For victory over a single sin, we give thanks and magnify the Lord of Hosts. What shall we say of the mighty conquest over all sin? A louder song, sweeter than has ever before reached high heaven, now rises clearer and nearer to the great heart of Christ; for the accuser is not there, and Love sends forth her primal and everlasting strain."

John Randall Dunn

Handling Serpents
October 30, 1943

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