Nineteen centuries ago there appeared the most remarkable healer of disease this planet has ever known. Not one drug did he prescribe. His treatment included no element of mental suggestion or hypnotism. He was never known to recommend massage or dependence upon any hygienic program. That he considered the cause of all human discord to be mental, or what the Scripture calls "the carnal mind," is evidenced in such a statement as this, recorded in the seventh chapter of Mark's Gospel (20-23): "That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts." Then Christ Jesus proceeds to catalogue some of mankind's unlovely thinking, and adds, "All these evil things come from within, and defile the man." Once, he met one whom he had healed of an infirmity of long standing, and bade him sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto him (John 5: 14).
The student cannot escape the conclusion, therefore, that since Jesus recognized the cause of disease as mental, he dealt with the problems of discord and disease from a spiritually mental standpoint. But he did not for a moment teach that his healing work was the result of one human mind controlling another mortal mind. He stated plainly that his heavenly Father, God, did all the mighty works, for without Him he, the Master, could do nothing.
The Bible records that the great Teacher and healer soon gave his immediate disciples instruction in the mighty work of spiritual healing, and in the Acts of the Apostles we find inspiring examples of their accomplishment along this line of Christian ministry. And is it not a recognized fact that spiritual healing was not an unfamiliar occurrence in the first two or three hundred years after Jesus?
How well were the succeeding centuries called "the dark ages"! When the light of Truth-healing seemed to be extinguished, how great was the darkness! But here and there in the years that followed would appear the tiny light of a brave reformer, accompanied many times by some evidence of Christian healing. And now, in the nineteenth century, has come the crowning renaissance of the spiritual healing practiced by the Master and his followers. It has come through the consecrated work of the most spiritually-minded woman these latter days have produced, Mary Baker Eddy. Reared by devout parents with Puritan ideals, she had early become a seeker after Christian healing. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 359) she has written of herself that "in childhood, she often listened with joy to these words, falling from the lips of her saintly mother, 'God is able to raise you up from sickness; ' and she pondered the meaning of that Scripture she so often quotes: 'And these signs shall follow them that believe;... they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.'"
Logically and unequivocally does she follow her great Way-shower in teaching that disease, or anything that defiles the sons of men, proceeds from "evil thoughts" —from fear, from ignorance of God and His spiritual creation. Having resolved the problem into the mental realm, she shows that spiritual light, the light of Truth and Love, can banish every concept belonging not to the kingdom of a good God; and certainly dis-ease, or the absence of harmony, cannot be laid at the door of a loving and just heavenly Father. Thanks to Mrs. Eddy's teachings, more and more are Christians protesting against the familiar phrase in post-mortem resolutions: "Whereas, it hath pleased Almighty God, in His infinite wisdom, to take from our midst this brother (or this sister)..." Christian Scientists know that their infinitely good God not only would not but could not be the author of hellish disease or untimely death. Can light beget its opposite, darkness? Can Love create the absence of love—in other words, hate? That which causes disease and death, therefore, is the individual and universal ignorance of the nature of God and of the man of His creating.
Recently, a widely read weekly magazine has devoted prominent space in its pages to that which many may feel is a most important discovery. Accompanied by lurid illustrations, the article in question states that "a new branch of medical science called psychosomatics" is showing that fear and upset emotions oftentimes lie at the root of many diseases. Is not this discovery a little late? It is clear, from statements quoted earlier in this editorial, that Christ Jesus traced disease to mental origins nineteen hundred years ago; and better yet, he demonstrated that all discord can be permanently wiped out through the spiritualization of thought.
Mrs. Eddy restated and elaborated upon this theme in 1875, when she wrote the Christian Science textbook. Science and Health. Since 1883, the Christian Science periodicals have been carrying in each issue reports and testimonies of the healing, through spiritual means alone, of practically every disease known to the human family. "There are none so blind as those who won't see," runs an old adage. It is indeed a sad commentary on the material-mindedness of the age that mortals, in their affliction, will look for relief in all directions but to "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ"—that omnipotent Life and Love at whose mighty voice all earthly storms may be stilled.
Now let us suppose that a Christian Scientist has the case of an individual suffering from heart trouble, plainly brought on by fear or some other emotional upset. He will be mindful of his Leader's instructions in Science and Health (pp. 411, 412) which read: "Always begin your treatment by allaying the fear of patients. Silently reassure them as to their exemption from disease and danger. Watch the result of this simple rule of Christian Science, and you will find that it alleviates the symptoms of every disease. If you succeed in wholly removing the fear, your patient is healed. The great fact that God lovingly governs all, never punishing aught but sin, is your standpoint, from which to advance and destroy the human fear of sickness." Then on page 392 of the same book, Mrs. Eddy writes, "The only course is to take antagonistic grounds against all that is opposed to the health, holiness, and harmony of man, God's image."
From the foregoing statements, the difference between healing by the Christ, Truth, and the methods of modern psychology is apparent. In Christian Science we are taught to turn to God, divine Mind, and not to the human mind, for healing. A Christian Scientist leads the thought of his patient to God, divine Love, and from this vantage point can nullify the fearing thought, knowing that man, God's image, is as safe and indestructibly harmonious as his Maker.
Fear, then, and all emotional upsets come from ignorance of God. Their only cure is in knowing the truth about God and His Christ. Paul sums it up in these immortal words (II Tim. 1:7): "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."