In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mary Baker Eddy writes (p. 450), "The Christian Scientist has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death; and he will overcome them by understanding their nothingness and the allness of God, or good."
Those who accept Christian Science as the truth have a solemn obligation to carry out the terms of their enlistment and to engage actively in the healing of sin, disease, and death. This does not necessarily mean as public practitioners of Christian Science, for no matter where a student of Christian Science is—in the home, in school, or in business—there are always opportunities to demonstrate the healing power of Christian Science. And healings do take place at the services in Christian Science churches, at church business meetings and committee meetings, and at Christian Science lectures.
How are these healings brought about? Our beloved Leader says in Science and Health (p. 259), "The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea,—perfect God and perfect man,—as the basis of thought and demonstration." If the basis of thought and demonstration is the realization of perfect God and perfect man, we can readily see that the study of God is a fundamental requirement. Why? Because it is only through an understanding of God and of man's relationship to Him that Christian Science healing can be demonstrated. God is infinite Spirit, and man in His image and likeness is spiritual, perfect, and infinite in quality. As one sees himself to be the child of God, he must see that the same is true for all.
It was Jesus' understanding of the oneness, or unity, of God and man which enabled him to heal the sick and the sinner. Mrs. Eddy writes (Science and Health, pp. 476, 477): "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick." Jesus said (John 8:32), "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Free from what? Free from the belief of a life apart from God; from bondage to sinful and diseased beliefs; from the belief of a material existence or the Adam-dream of life and intelligence in matter; and from all belief in death. Nothing but the knowledge of the truth—of perfect God and perfect man—will make men free.
Treatment is the prayer that recognizes the all-presence and all-power of perfect God and precludes the possibility of any other presence or power. Treatment should be fearless, unlabored, joyous, and spontaneous in the ever-present consciousness of perfect God and perfect man. It was not possible for an erroneous picture to find a place in Jesus' truth-filled consciousness. It was his constant readiness to obey God's guidance, his undeviating loyalty to Truth, and his faithful communion with God at all times that made him the perfect healer. He allowed neither time, place, nor circumstance to interfere with his healing work.
It is this same fidelity to the Principle of Christian Science and to the realization of the perfection of God and man that enables us today to heal those who in sincerity seek our help. There are millions who are hungry for the bread of Truth, who are watching for the Love which heals and saves, and to such we must offer a cup of cold water in the name of Christ, Truth.
Jesus said to the man who had a withered hand (Matt. 12:13), "Stretch forth thine hand." The account continues, "And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other." Jesus did not accept the physical evidence. He simply told the man to stretch forth his hand. Jesus actually saw the perfect man of God's creating—not a diseased mortal. He was evidently not interested in how long the man's hand had been withered, how the condition was brought about, which hand it was, nor was he interested in any material appearances. Jesus knew that God's work was done; that God's perfect creation and His perfect expression could never be changed by mortal sense testimony.
What appears to be a sick man is not man at all, but is a mortal dream. The real man is the perfect idea of God. He is the individual reflection of divine consciousness and therefore is conscious only of God, good. We do not declare the truth to make it true. We declare the truth because it is true. Truth expresses itself. It does not need the help of anyone or anything. The trouble rises from a belief in dualism—the belief in both a material man and a spiritual man, or in a man who is a mixture of the material and spiritual. There is just one man—spiritual man.
Jesus' mission was to demonstrate the Christ, which reveals the real man. This man is the evidence of divine perfection. How grateful we can be that man, the image and likeness of God, can never cease to express perfection. Therefore, when a mortal seems to be sinning, sick, diseased, or dying, we must know that right at that moment, the only man there really is, is expressing health and perfection. Man can never sin, be sick or diseased, nor can he ever die.
In raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus did not plead to know whether God was willing to restore life. He said (John 11: 41, 42): "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always." These words expressed a perfect prayer of confidence in an understood divine Principle. It was a solemn affirmation of Truth; and the false belief of death was proved powerless in the face of such sublime understanding. Prayer as taught and utilized by Jesus was the declaration and acknowledgment of Truth—the understanding of perfect God and perfect man.
The healing power of Christian Science is as potent and present today as it ever was. God always was, is, and ever will be, and man, in His image and likeness, always was, is, and ever will be. Man never ceases to reflect God's completeness. The understanding of the true man never ceases to bring about healing. As we bring to bear upon our daily experience the true understanding of God and man, with its reforming, regenerating, and spiritualizing power, we shall see the mortal concept disappearing and the clear expression of divine Mind unfolding. Our work, then, is to exchange the unworthy for the lovely, the mortal for the immortal, the limited for the infinite, and the material for the spiritual, until man, made in the image of God, is seen to be the only man there is. Man as the image and likeness of God knows no sin, sickness, sorrow, pain, nor death, because in infinite Spirit, Mind, there is no mortality. Like our Master, we must rise into the spiritual sense of being. Then instantaneous healing will be realized. We shall see clearly that there is truly nothing to heal—that there exists only perfect God and perfect man.
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