"The perfection of man is intact"
"The light and warmth of God's love ... meet the human need, whatever that need may be"
In a sermon delivered in Boston in 1885, Mrs. Eddy declared God to be all-powerful and ever present and man to be His creation, His perfect likeness. And she says (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 173), "The perfection of man is intact." In Science and Health, after referring to the inseparability of God and man, she writes (p. 306), "Thus Science proves man's existence to be intact."
Mrs. Eddy uses the word "intact" in a number of other places in her writings. It is a wonderful word. A dictionary defines it as "untouched, esp. by anything that harms, defiles, etc.; uninjured; unimpaired; left complete or entire." This describes the real man, the real you and me. And Christian Science proves what man really is.
The Bible records Jesus' healing of a man considered by all who knew him to be greatly impaired, a man "whose right hand was withered" (Luke 6:6). Jesus, knowing the real man's perfection to be intact, said to the man, "Stretch forth thy hand." And the man did so, "and his hand was restored whole as the other."
There are many helpful lessons to be learned from this healing. First is Jesus' utter confidence in the perfection of God's workmanship. Because of this he could speak with authority and heal whatever the error appeared to be, whether sickness, sin, a storm at sea, lack, hate, or even death itself.
Another lesson is learned from the man "whose right hand was withered." He did not reply with doubt or argument to Jesus' command to stretch forth his hand. He did not say, "I can't." He did not even say, "I'll try," or, "Later on, I will." Obediently, humbly, confidently he stretched forth his hand, and it was restored.
Still another lesson is this: there was no time element in Jesus' healing. There is no greater challenge to Christian Scientists today than the demand Principle makes of us to give instant recognition to the truth that "the perfection of man is intact." Yet we are tempted sometimes to watch or wait for matter to get better, for a fever to abate, or for a boil to become less. If Jesus had watched or waited thus, he could not have brought about so instantaneous and complete a healing. But he saw man as intact and knew that God, the omnipotent, is the only healer. "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works," he said (John 14:10).
The question sometimes arises, "How can God, who is Spirit and 'of purer eyes than to behold evil' (Hab. 1:13), heal a material condition of sickness or sin?" A Christian Scientist once asked herself this question. Instead of mulling over it, however, or getting into a controversy with herself or with others over it, she left it in the Father's hands.
The answer came in a simple, humble, homely way. After several rainy days, she looked out of her window and saw a large mud puddle in the street in front of her house. Just then the sun came out, and it quickly dried up the puddle. Her next-door neighbor brought out a big basket of dripping wet clothes and hung them on the clothesline. And in a very short time the clothes were dry. The sun knew nothing of the mud puddle or of the wet clothes on the clothesline, but it took care of both. It merely shone and gave forth warmth.
The Scientist had her answer. This was like God's care of His children, she reasoned. The Father knows nothing of the pains or fears, but the light and warmth of God's love drive them away, meet the human need, whatever that need may be. Evil cannot exist in the light of God's love.
She learned two other lessons from her neighbor. First, the neighbor had faith in the sun's power. She knew it worked. She expected quick and right results. And secondly, the neighbor knew that nothing she or anyone else could do could keep the sun from shining and from doing its work. To the Christian Scientist the action of the sun was in a degree symbolic of God's presence and power. Nothing can keep God's love, God's law, understood and applied properly, from accomplishing its healing work. It cannot return void. God is omnipotent, ever present, and God's law is irresistible. Our part is to understand this and to be receptive to it, to let it destroy the fear and pain that may seem to be engulfing us.
Science proves that "the perfection of man is intact." Should the proving seem at times to be difficult and of extended duration, nevertheless God's law does govern. And when our acceptance of this law is unqualified and positive, the healing is immediate.
Christian Science is absolute. It does not fail. It cannot fail. It is the law of God made practical in human experience. If our understanding of Science seems to have but touched the hem of its garment, then we should continue in our study of it like little children. Invaluable factors in this study are confidence, courage, and consistency. These qualities of thought—confidence in God's law, courage in obeying it, and consistency in following it—are sureties of progress toward the understanding and demonstration of man's perfection.
On the horizon of thought grave problems loom for solution. There have always been such problems; and yet each one of them presents in essence an opportunity for progress. With divine Science, Jesus solved the problems of his day and proved that "the perfection of man is intact." The problems of today, both individual and collective, can be solved— all of them. God, good, governs men and nations. This great truth is universal, timeless, and intact. And we can prove it.