Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (1889)/09 Healing and Teaching
HEALING AND TEACHING.
Art thou in health, my brother? — 2 Samuel.
|Why art thou cast down, O my Soul,|
|And why art thou disquieted within me?|
|Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise Him,|
|Who is the health of my countenance and my God. — Psalms.|
|Sickness and sorrow, pain nor death,|
|Are felt and feared no more. — Old Hymn.|
IF you can fix Truth more strongly in their thoughts thereby, and your patients are prepared for it, you may explain Christian Science to them; but not too soon, lest you array the mind against its own interests by casting pearls before swine. If the case is that of a young child or an infant, it needs to be met mainly through the parents, silent or audibly, on the strictest rules of Christian Science. The Scientist knows there can be no hereditary disease, since matter cannot transmit good or evil intelligence to man, and Mind produces no pain in matter.
Disease is the false object before the senses. This falsity you have to destroy. It is a belief and error, that claims the reality of Truth; but Truth brings harmony, not discord. Life is perpetual, and never changes into death. Matter and disease cannot destroy Life. Neither do sin, sickness, and death reflect God, “in whom we live and move and have being.” Keep in mind the perfect verities of being, — that man is the image and likeness of painless and permanent Being, and that his perfection is real and unimpeachable.
Because matter has no Ego, its conditions are unreal, and these conditions are the source of all sickness. To believe in the existence of matter is to admit that mortality (and therefore disease) has a foundation in fact. Once let the mental physician believe in the reality of matter, and he must admit also the reality of all its conditions. Thus he will create disease with his mind, faster than medicine can formulate it through material diagnosis; and so he may become the most dangerous doctor of this period.
In proportion as matter, to human sense, loses all entity as matter, in that proportion does man become its master, entering into a diviner sense of the facts, and comprehending the theology of Jesus, as demonstrated in healing the sick, raising the dead, walking the water. All these deeds manifested Christ's control over the belief that matter is Substance, that it can be the arbiter of Life, or the constructer of any form of being.
If man is absolutely governed by God, or Spirit, then man is not subject to matter, “neither indeed can be;” and therefore he cannot suffer from the infringement of any but a spiritual law.
Maintain the facts of Science: that Mind is God, and therefore cannot be sick; also that what is termed matter cannot be sick; that all causation is Spirit, acting through spiritual law. Then hold your ground with a lawyer's skill, and you will win. When you silence the witness against your plea, you destroy the evidence, for the disease disappears. The evidence before the senses is not the Science of the spiritual man.
I will here state a phenomenon which I discovered in 1867. If you call mentally and silently the disease by name, as you argue against it, as a general rule the body will respond more quickly; just as a person replies more readily when his name is spoken; but this is because you are not perfectly attuned to Divine Science, and need the arguments of Truth for reminders. To let Spirit bear witness without words, is the more scientific way. For myself, I heal without silent argument.
Jesus once recognized a malady by its imaginary name. This was when he conversed with the maniac, who declared that the demons within him were called Legion. The Divine Healer commanded these devils to enter a herd of swine, as if they were so many genuine beings, and the animals appeared to suffer with a disorder which is not transferable.
At other times Jesus called the disease by name, as when he said to the epileptic boy, “Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.” It is added that “the spirit rent him sore and came out of him, and he was as one dead” — clear evidence that the malady was not material.
These instances show the concessions which Jesus was willing to make to the popular ignorance of spiritual life-laws. Often he gave no name to the distemper he cured. To the Synagogue-ruler's daughter, “not dead but sleeping,” he simply said, “Damsel, I say unto thee, Arise !” To the sufferer with the withered hand he only said, “Stretch forth thy hand!” and it “was restored whole as the other.”
Avoid talking illness to the patient. Make no unnecessary inquiries relative to feelings or disease. Never startle with a discouraging remark about recovery, or draw attention to certain symptoms as unfavorable, or give a name for a disease. Never say beforehand how much you have to contend with in a case, or fix in the patient's thought the expectation of growing worse before the crisis is passed.
A cross or complaining nurse should never take charge of the sick. Never conjure up from the dark depths of fear some new discovery, to acquaint your patient with it.
Prayers in which God is not asked to heal, but is besought to take the patient to Himself, do not benefit the sick.
Mind determines the nature of a case, which is improved or injured in proportion to the Truth or error that influences conclusions. The mental conception and development of disease are not known or understood by the patient; but the doctor should be familiar with mental action and its effect, in order to judge the case scientifically.
If the case to be mentally treated is consumption, take up the leading points included (according to belief) in this disease. Show that it is not inherited; that inflammation, tubercles, hemorrhage, and decomposition are beliefs, images of mortal thoughts, superimposed upon the body ; that they are not the Truth of man; that they should be treated as error, and put out of mortal mind. Then these ills will disappear from the body.
Man is the offspring of Soul, not body, — of God, not man. He is spiritual, not material. Soul is not in matter, giving it life, sensation, and producing disease. To break the spell, understand that sickness is formed by the human mind, and not by matter.
To the Scientist, sickness is a dream, from which the patient needs to be awakened. Disease should not appear real to the physician, since it is demonstrable in Science that to make disease unreal to his patient is to cure him. To do this the physician must understand the scientific unreality of disease.
If the Truth of Being, while destroying error, causes chemicalization (as when an acid and an alkali meet), then one must neutralize the other, for the purpose of forming a higher combination. This fermentation should be as painless to man as to a fluid; for matter has no sensation, and mortal mind only feels and sees materially.
If an aggravation of symptoms sets in, you may sometimes treat the patient less for the disease, and more for the fermentation, and abate the symptoms, by removing the belief that chemicalization produces pain. When the supposed suffering is gone there can be no pain; and when the fear is destroyed, the inflammation will subside. Calm the fear and confusion induced by chemicalization, which is the alterative effect produced by Truth on error; and explain the symptoms and their cause to the patient.
Truth is an alterative to the entire system, and can make it “every whit whole.” Brains are not Mind. Matter cannot be sick. Mind is immortal harmony. Your mortal body is a mortal belief of discord.
If delusion says “I have lost my memory,” you must contradict it. No faculty is lost. According to Science your body is spiritual, perfect, harmonious in every action. Let the perfect model be present in your thoughts, instead of its demoralized opposite.
Fear is the foundation of all sickness. Some image of disease is frightening the sick. Their mental state, you call a material state. Whatever you cherish in mortal mind is imaged forth on the body, which is the substratum of mortal mind.
Remember that all is Mind, and there is no matter. You are only seeing and feeling a belief, whether it be cancer, deformity, consumption, or fracture that you deal with.
Inflammation is a state of fear, that quickens or impedes the action of the blood; just as a man's blood is quickened when he comes upon some object which he dreads. Inflammation never appears in a part which mortal thought does not reach. That is why opiates relieve it. They calm the fear by inducing stupefaction, — by error instead of by Truth. Opiates do not remove the pain in any proper sense of the words. They only render mortal mind oblivious to it.
Here lies a man in agonizing pain, caused by the presence in the ureters of calculi, which are pressing their ragged way out of the system. A hypodermic injection of morphine is administered, and in twenty minutes the sufferer is quietly asleep. To him there is no longer any pain. Yet any physician — allopathic, homœopathic, botanic, eclectic — will tell you that the troublesome material cause is unremoved, and that in a few hours, when the soporific influence of the opium is exhausted, the patient will find himself in the same pain. Where was it while he slept?
Etherization will apparently cause the body to disappear. Before the thoughts are fully at rest, the limbs will vanish from consciousness. Nay, the whole frame will sink from sight, along with surrounding objects, leaving the pain standing forth as distinctly as a mountain-peak, as if it were a separate bodily member. At last the agony also vanishes. This process shows the pain to be in the mind; for the inflammation is not suppressed; and the pain will presently be felt again, unless the mental image occasioning it be removed by Mind, the Truth of Being.
Matter is never inflamed, never causes this derangement. Fear, conscious or unconscious, produces all inflammation. Note how fear makes the face pallid. It either retards the circulation or quickens it, causing a pale cheek, or a flushed. Even so fear increases or diminishes the secretions, the breathing, the action of the bowels, the action of the heart. The muscles that move quickly or slowly, impelled or palsied by fear, represent the action of all the organs of the human system, including viscera and brains. To remove the fear you must remove the images that produce it.
Whatever the belief is, if arguments are used to destroy it, that belief must be negatived; and the negation must extend to the supposed disease, and to whatever decides its type and symptoms. Truth is affirmative, and confers harmony. All metaphysical logic is inspired by this simple rule of Truth that governs all reality. Mortal mind, or intelligent matter, is an impossibility. You may say: “But if matter and disease are one and the same, why do you insist that disease is formed by mind and not by matter?” Because, the nearer matter approaches its final statement, as animate error, — or as mortal mind, nerves, brains, — the more prolific does it become of disease-beliefs.
The sick know nothing of the mental process by which they are depleted, and next to nothing of the metaphysical method by which they can be healed. The latent thought, in the unconscious substratum of mortal mind, produces the conscious thought, or that condition of the body which we call material. Mortal mind is ignorant of itself, ignorant of the errors it includes, and of their effects upon the body.
Commence your treatment always by allaying the fear of disease or danger. Silently reassure the patient. Watch the result of that simple rule of Christian Science, and you will find that it alleviates the symptoms of every disease. If you succeed in removing the fear, your patient is healed.
The process is simple, but the Science is abstract; and the results are sure if the Science is understood. The tree must be good that produces good fruit. The great fact that God wisely governs all, never punishing for aught but sin, is your standpoint, whence to advance and destroy the human fear of sickness.
If your patient believes in taking cold, mentally convince him that matter cannot take cold, and that mind governs the experience. If grief causes suffering, convince the sufferer that sorrow is not the master of joy, and that he should rejoice always.
If a man is an inebriate, a slave to tobacco, or the special servant of any one of the myriad forms of sin, meet and destroy those errors with the Truth of Being, — by exhibiting to the wrong-doer the suffering that his belief in such habits brings, and convincing him that there is no real pleasure in these beliefs. This is one of the most important points in the theology of Christian Science. Awaken the sinner to this true and new sense of sin; show him that sin confers no pleasure; and this knowledge strengthens his moral courage and increases the ability to master evil and to love good.
If it becomes necessary to startle mortal mind, in order to break its dream of suffering, vehemently tell your patient that he must awaken. Turn his gaze from the false evidence of the senses to the harmonious facts of Soul and Immortal Being. Tell him that he suffers only as the insane suffer, from a mere belief. The only difference is that insanity implies belief in a diseased brain, while physical ailments (so called) arise from belief that some other portions of the body are deranged. Derangement, or disarrangement, is a word which conveys the true definition of ill-health, as disturbed harmony.
The entire mortal body is evolved from mortal mind. A bunion would produce insanity as perceptible as that produced by congestion of the brain, were it not that mortal mind calls the bunion an unconscious portion of the body. Reverse this belief, and the results would be different.
If it becomes necessary to startle the mind, in order to remove its fears, afterwards make known to the patient your motive for this shock, showing that it was to facilitate recovery.
If the sick ask about their disease, tell them only what is best for them to know. Assure them that they think too much about their ailments, and have already heard too much on that subject. Turn their thoughts away from their bodies to higher objects. Teach them that their bodies are nourished more by Truth than by food, and will find rest in God more than in sleep.
By the truthful arguments you employ, and especially by the spirit of Truth and Love you manifest, you will heal the sick. You may call the disease by name when you address it mentally; but by naming it audibly, you are liable to impress it upon the mind. The silence of Science is eloquent and powerful to unclasp the hand of disease, and reduce it to nothingness.
Include moral as well as physical belief in your efforts to destroy error. Cast out all manner of evil. “Preach the gospel to all nations.” Speak the truth to every form of error. Tumors, ulcers, tubercles, inflammation, pain, deformed backs, are all dream-shadows, dark images of mortal thought that will flee before the light.
If from any cause your patient suffers a relapse, meet the cause mentally and courageously, knowing that there can be no reaction in Truth. If error reacts, this reaction arises from either fear or sin. Disease has no intelligence to move itself about, or to change itself from one form to another.
Mind produces all action. If the action proceeds from Truth, from immortal Mind, there is harmony; but mortal mind is liable to any phase of belief. A relapse may come from other minds, which affect your patient; it may come from yourself, because you are not bringing out in your life the Divine Principle of metaphysics, but are departing from its rules. To succeed in healing you must conquer your own beliefs and fears, as well as those of your patients, and you must rise daily into higher and holier being.
A moral question may hinder the recovery of the sick. Lurking revenge and malice may perpetuate, or even create disease. Errors of all sorts tend in this direction. Your true course is to destroy the foe, and leave the field to God, Life, Truth, and Love, remembering that God and His ideas alone are real and lasting.
If mental malpractice or mesmerism is trying to produce a relapse, and wicked minds are becoming dangerous to your patients, remove such obstacles by the Principle of Christian Science, letting Truth destroy error.
Conservatism, or any dishonesty in your theory or practice, would betray a gross ignorance of the method of the Christ-cure that Christian Science reveals. Science makes no concessions to persons or opinions. One must abide strictly by its rules, or he cannot demonstrate its Principle. So long as drugs are administered, or external applications prescribed, illness cannot be efficaciously treated through the metaphysical process. Truth does the work wholly, and you must understand and abide by this Divine Principle of your demonstration.
Animal magnetism, clairvoyance, mediumship, and mesmerism are antagonistic to this Science, and would prevent the demonstration thereof. Teaching or practising in the name of Truth, but contrary to its rules, is most dangerous quackery. It imposes upon the people and does immense harm. Strict adherence to the Principle and rules of my sanitary method has secured the only success of my students. That alone entitles them to the high standing they hold in the community.
Evil is the counterfeit of good, and seeks to equal it. The infinite Truth of the Christ-cure has come to this age through a “still, small voice,” through silent utterances that accelerate the active and beneficial effects of Christianity.
Sin's opposite error, and its method, appear at the same time. Because Truth is limitless, error strives to be thought unbounded. Because Truth is mighty to do good, error claims an equal right to work evil. The confidence inspired by Science lies in the secret that Truth is real and error unreal. Truth is the mighty, error is the powerless; and Divine Science demands that this age shall prove this. The greatest evil is but the opposite of the highest good. Both have come nearer than ever before to the apprehension of the minds of the world. Truth will remain; error will be self-destroyed through suffering.
A correct view of Christian Science, and its adaptation to healing, includes vastly more than one at first sees. Works on Metaphysics leave the grand point untouched. They never crown the mental power as the Messiah; nor do they carry the day against physical enemies, as Christian Science proposes to do, — even to the extinction of all belief in matter, and the insistence upon the fact that matter is nothing beyond an illusion.
Christian Science is fully stated in this work. Now apply it to the cure of disease, using no other aids.
I have set forth Christian Science, and its application to the treatment of disease, only as I have discovered them. I have demonstrated the effects of Truth on the health, longevity, and morals of men, through Mind, I have found nothing in ancient or in modern systems, on which to found my own, except the teachings and demonstrations of our great Master, and the lives of prophets and apostles. The Bible has been my only text-book. I had no other guide in the strait and narrow way of this Science.
Whosoever affirms that there is more than one method of demonstrating this Science greatly errs, ignorantly or intentionally, and separates himself from the true conception, or possible demonstration, of its healing.
Since the first issue of this work, I am in receipt of unnumbered letters, in “heaps upon heaps,” filled with reassuring, heartfelt acknowledgments that the perusal of my book had healed the writers. All that could be understood of my first and second editions was barely rescued from the abuse of the printers. This remainder, like a homœopathic prescription, was a higher attenuation, that matter could not wholly destroy.
The ruling agent over the mortal body is mortal mind. Its action needs to be controlled by the Divine Mind. Remove the leading fear and governing belief of this lower mind, and you remove the cause of any inflammation, as well as the morbid and exciting action of any organ. You also remove, in this way, what are termed organic, or functional difficulties.
We see on the body the images of mind, even as in optics we see painted on the retina the image that becomes visible to the senses.
When a physician names an ailment, describes its symptoms and dangers, he commits an unconscious offence against happiness and health, and makes a sure job for himself, if not a fatal one for his patient.
A lady in the city of Lynn was etherized, and died in consequence, although her physicians insisted that it would be unsafe to perform the surgical operation without the ether. After the autopsy, her sister testified that the deceased protested against inhaling the ether, and said it would kill her; but she was compelled by her physicians to take it. Her hands were held, and she was forced into submission. The case was brought to trial. The evidence was found to be conclusive; and a verdict was returned that her death was occasioned, not by the ether, but her fear of inhaling it.
Is it skilful or scientific surgery to take no heed of mental conditions, and treat the patient as if she were so much mindless matter, and as if matter were the only factor to be consulted? Had those unscientific surgeons understood metaphysics, they would not have risked such treatment in that woman's state of mind. They would have allayed her fear, or performed the operation without ether. Such ignorance — yea, such cruelty — should arouse thought upon these subjects.
Diplomas no more confer a rightful power to kill people, than does the assassin's steel. The sequel proved that this Lynn lady died from fear, by the action of mortal mind on the body, and not from the disease or the operation.
Give sick people credit for sometimes knowing more than their doctor. Always support their trust in the power of Mind to sustain the body. Never tell the sick they have more courage than strength. Tell them, rather, that their strength is in proportion to their courage. If you make them understand this great truism, there will be no reaction from over-exertion, or on account of excited conditions.
Instruct the sick that they are not helpless victims; but that — if they only know how — they can resist disease and ward it off, just as positively as they can a temptation to sin. This fact of Christian Science should be explained to invalids when they are in a fit mood to receive it, — when they will not array themselves against it, but are ready to become receptive of the new idea. This fact reassures the depressed mind. It will impart a healthy stimulus to the body and regulate the system. It will increase or diminish the action, as the case may require, better than any drug, alterative, or tonic.
Mind is the native stimulus of the body; but mortal belief, taken at its best, is not promotive of health or happiness. Surcharge mind with the explosive gases of fear, or the dread of defeat, and what can you expect but some sudden detonation, cataclysm, or sinking into the belief of death? Tell the sick, that they would meet sickness fearlessly, if they only realized their mental power over every physical action and condition.
“Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art in the way with him.” Suffer not an illusion of sin or sickness to grow upon the thought. Dismiss it with an abiding conviction that its claims are illegitimate, because you know that God is no more the author of sickness than He is of sin. You have no law of His to support the necessity either of sin or sickness, but you have divine authority for denying it that necessity.
Expose the error that would impose penalties for transgressions of the supposed laws of health, — a law of matter opposed to the harmonies of Spirit, without divine authority, and having human sanction only for its approval.
Instead of blind and calm submission to the incipient or advanced stages of disease, rise in rebellion against them. Banish the notion that you can possibly entertain a single intruding fear that cannot be ruled out by the might of Mind, and thus you can prevent its development on the body. No law of God hinders this result. It is wrong to suffer for aught but sin, and God, or Truth, will destroy all other suffering.
Justice is the moral signification of law. Injustice declares the absence of law.
Because mortal mind is kept active, must it pay the penalty in a softened brain? Who dares to say that Mind can be overworked? Encountering our own limits of mental capacity, we conclude that intellectual labor is carried sufficiently far; but when we remember that Infinite Mind is ever active, and that we cannot wear out or trespass upon spiritual energies, we are able to rest in Truth, refreshed by the utterances of Immortality, opposed to mortality.
Shall our teachers die early because they faithfully perform their tasks? Shall printers and authors have the shortest span of earthly existence, because they occupy the most important posts, and perform the most living functions of society? Shall that man pay the severest penalty who does the most good?
Remembering the facts of eternal existence, — instead of reading disquisitions on the barbarous supposition that death comes in obedience to the law of Life, and that God punishes man for doing good, — we shall not suffer as the result of any labor of love, but grow stronger because of it. It is a law of mortal mind, not matter, that causes all things discordant.
When infringing some supposed law we say there is danger; and this fear causes, of itself, the danger, and consummates the physical results. We shall never suffer from a broken law, except it be a moral or spiritual law. The laws of mortal belief are destroyed by the understanding that man cannot legislate the times, periods, and types of disease, wherewith to kill men. God legislates, but God is not the author of barbarous codes.
Let us dismiss sickness as an outlaw, and abide by the rule of perpetual harmony — God's law. Man's moral right is to annul an unjust sentence, a sentence never inflicted by divine authority.
Every law of matter or the body, supposed to govern man, is rendered null and void by the law of God. If we submit to unjust decrees, in ignorance of our God-given rights, it is the bias of education that enforces this slavery. Be no more willing to suffer the illusion that you are sick, or that some disease is developing in the system, than you are to permit a sinful temptation, on the ground that sin has its necessities.
When the first symptoms of disease appear, dispute the testimony of the senses, by Divine Science. Let your higher sense of justice destroy the false process of belief, which you name law; and then you will not be cast fettered and helpless into prison, there to linger till you pay the last farthing, the last penalty your belief demands.
When the body is supposed to say, “I am sick,” never plead guilty. Since matter cannot talk, it must be mortal mind that so speaks. Therefore meet the intimation with a protest.
Mentally contradict every complaint from the body; and hold your ground disputatiously, until the body yields to your demand. Sin is the foundation of sickness, and you can master sin through Mind.
Remember that if sin remains it brings death. You cannot cure a bodily ailment, a moral law being broken, unless you repent and forsake the sin, and Science readjusts the balance. The only safe course is to take antagonistic grounds against all that is opposed to the health and harmony of mind and body.
If you say “I am sick,” you plead guilty. Then your adversary will deliver you to the judge (mortal mind), and the judge will sentence you. Disease has no intelligence to declare itself something, and announce its name. You sentence yourself; or else the sentence comes from your doctor, your friends, your medical books, — from mortal mind in general. Therefore make your own terms with sickness; and be just, if not generous, to yourself.
Meet every adverse circumstance as its master. Observe mind, instead of body, lest aught unfit for development should enter it. Think less of material conditions, and more of the spiritual.
Doctors examine the pulse, tongue, lungs, to learn the condition of matter; when in fact all is Mind, and the body is the substratum of mortal mind, that should respond to a higher mandate.
Nothing is more disheartening than to believe that there is a power opposite to God, or Good, and that He endows this opposing power with strength to be used against Himself, against health, harmony, and Immortality.
Giving discord, the lead, a large majority of doctors depress mental energy, which is the only recuperative power. The knowledge that we can accomplish the good we hope for, stimulates the system to act in the direction that Mind points out. The admission that any bodily condition is beyond the control of Mind disarms man, prevents him from helping himself, and enthrones matter through belief. To those struggling with sickness, such admissions are discouraging, — as much so as the advice to a man who is down in the world, that he should not try to rise above his difficulties.
Will you bid a man let evils overcome him, — assuring him that all misfortunes are from God, against whom mortals should not contend? Will you tell the sick that their condition is hopeless, unless it can be met with a drug? Is a bullet the only refuge from evil chances? Is there no divine permission to conquer evil with Mind?
We should remember that Life is God, and that God is omnipotent. Not understanding Science, the sick will have little faith in it before they feel its beneficent influence. This shows that faith is not their healer.
Recollect, it is not the body, but mortal mind, that reports food as undigested, — that declares the gastric juices, the nervous tissues, and mucous membrane to be out of shape. Matter does not inform you of these derangements, but mind; and this mental testimony can be destroyed only by the better results of the opposite testimony.
Our dietetic speculations admit that food sustains the life of man, and then discuss the certainty that food can kill him.
This false reasoning Jesus rebuked, in his metaphors of the fount and stream, the tree and its fruit, and a kingdom divided against itself. If God institutes hygienic laws, that food shall support human life, He will not annul these regulations by an opposite law, that food shall be inimical to life.
The materialists contradict their own statements. Their belief is the ancient blunder, that there can be any fraternity between pain and pleasure, good and evil, God and Satan. This belief totters to its falling before the battle-axe of Science.
A case of convulsions, produced by indigestion, came under my observation. In belief the woman had chronic liver-complaint, and was then suffering from abdominal obstruction and bilious colic. I cured her in a few minutes. One instant she said, “I must vomit, or die.” The next minute she said, “My food is all gone, and I should like something more to eat.”
Contending persistently against error and disease, you destroy them. If mortal mind can remove disease, this proves, on the homœopathic basis, that mortal mind can likewise produce it. Similia similibus curantur.
The sick argue on the side of suffering, instead of against it. They admit its reality, whereas they should repel it. They should plead in opposition to the testimony of the diseased senses, and maintain man's immortality and eternal harmony.
The refutation of the testimony of material sense is no difficult task, in view of its falsity. The refutation becomes arduous only on recount of the tenacity of belief, the force of education, and the overwhelming weight of opinions on the other side, — all teaching that the body suffers, as if matter could have sensation.
Ignorant of the fact that mental belief produces disease, and all its symptoms, the ordinary physician goes on establishing disease with his own mind. Then he addresses himself to the work of destroying it by the power of matter. When we remove disease by addressing the mind, and giving no heed to the body, we prove that mortal mind creates the suffering.
The depraved appetite for alcoholic drinks, tobacco, tea, coffee, opium, is destroyed only by the mastery of Mind over body. This normal control is gained through divine strength and understanding. There is no enjoyment in getting drunk, in becoming a fool or an object of loathing; but there is a very sharp remembrance of it, a suffering inconceivably terrible to a man's self-respect. Puffing the obnoxious fumes of tobacco, or chewing a leaf naturally attractive to no animal except a loathsome worm, is self-evident error.
Man's enslavement to the most relentless masters — passion, appetite, or malice — is conquered only by a mighty struggle. Every hour of delay makes the struggle more hopeless. If man is not victorious over them, they crush out happiness, health, and manhood. Here Christian Science is the sovereign panacea, giving, to the weakness of mortal mind, strength from the immortal and omnipotent Mind, lifting humanity above itself, into purer desires, — even into moral power and good-will to man.
Homœopathic remedies, sometimes not containing a particle of medicine, are known to relieve the symptoms of disease. What works the cure? It is the faith of mortal mind that changes its own self-inflicted sufferings, and produces a new effect upon the body. In like manner, destroy the illusion of pleasure in intoxication, and the desire for strong drink is gone. Appetite resides in mind, not in matter.
The pains of sense are less harmful than its pleasures. The belief in material suffering causes mortal mind to retreat from its own error, to flee from body to Spirit, and appeal to divine sources outside of itself.
What I term chemicalization is the upheaval produced when Immortal Truth is destroying erroneous and mortal belief. Chemicalization brings sin and sickness to the surface, as in a fermenting fluid, allowing impurities to pass away.
Patients unfamiliar with the cause of this commotion, and ignorant that it is a favorable omen, may be alarmed. If such is the case, explain to them the law of this action. As when an acid and alkali meet and ferment, bringing out a third property, so mental and moral fermentation change the material base of man, giving more spirituality to mortal sense, and causing it to depend less on material evidence. Thus Science, by the alchemy of Spirit, neutralizes disease.
To know that the brain-lobes cannot kill a man, or affect the functions of mind, would prevent the brain from becoming diseased, — though a moral offence is indeed the worst of diseases. One should never hold in mind the image of disease, but efface all its forms and types in thought, both for one's own sake, and for the patient's.
It is mental quackery to make disease a reality, hold it as something seen and felt, and then to attempt its cure through Mind. It is no less erroneous to believe in the real existence of a tumor, a cancer, or decayed lungs, while you argue against their reality, than it is for your patient to feel these ills in physical belief. Such practice fastens disease on the patient, and it will reappear in some other more alarming form.
Relieve the patient's mind of the depressing thought that he has transgressed a material law, and must of necessity pay the penalty. Reassure him with the law of Love. God never punishes man for doing right, for honest labor, or for deeds of kindness, though they expose him to fatigue, cold, heat, contagions. If he incurs the penalty of matter, it is but a law of mortal mind, not an enactment of Wisdom; and man should enter his protest against this supposed law, in order to annul it. Through this action of mind, and its results upon the body, he will prove to himself, by small beginnings, the grand facts of being.
If exposure to a draught of air, while in a state of perspiration, is followed by chills, dry cough, influenza, congestive symptoms in the lungs, or hints of inflammatory rheumatism, your Mind-remedy is safe and sure.
If you are a Christian Scientist, such symptoms will probably not follow from the exposure; but if you believe in laws of matter, and their fatal effects when transgressed, you are not fit to conduct your own case, or to destroy the bad effects of belief. When the fear subsides, and the conviction abides that you have broken no law, neither rheumatism, consumption, nor any other ill, will ever result from exposure to the weather.
This is an established fact in Science, which all the evidence before the senses can never overrule. Sickness, sin, and death must at length quail before the divine rights of Intelligence; and then the power of Mind, over the entire functions and organs of the human system, will be acknowledged.
It is proverbial that Florence Nightingale, and other philanthropists engaged in humane labors, have been able to undergo, without sinking, fatigues and exposures that ordinary people could not have endured. The explanation lies in the support they derive from divine law, rising above the human. The spiritual demand, quelling the material, supplies energy and endurance that surpasses all other aids, and forestalls the penalty that our beliefs would attach to our best deeds. Let us remember that the eternal law of right exempts man from all penalties but those due to wrong-doing, though it can never annul the law that makes sin its own executioner.
If there is any mystery in Christian healing, it is the mystery that godliness always presents to the ungodly, the mystery arising from ignorance of the laws of eternal and unerring Mind. The chemical changes that go on in mortal mind serve to reconstruct the body.
We must have faith in all the sayings of our Master, though they are not included in the teachings of the schools, and not understood generally by our instructors in morality.
Jesus said (John viii. 52), “If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.” That statement is not confined to spiritual Life, but includes both the spiritual and physical. Mortal mind must part with error until it puts off “the old man, with his deeds,” and is clothed with immortality.
The body improves under the same Truth that improves the mind. If we are Christians on all moral questions, but are in darkness as to the physical safety which Christianity includes, we shall be more liable to sickness than is the indifferent sinner, because we are more alive to the law, and to the fear of doing wrong.
If man is never to overcome death, why do the Scriptures say, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death”? The tenor of the Word shows that we shall obtain the victory over death in proportion as we overcome sin. The difficulty lies in our ignorance of what sin is. I account it sinful and idolatrous to have more faith in drugs, diet, air, exercise, cleanliness, than in God, Truth, and Love, to keep the body harmonious, and make man undying. The Immortal Mind, governing all, must be acknowledged in the physical realm, so called.
The great spiritual fact must be brought out, that man is, not shall be, immortal. We must begin with the more simple demonstrations, and the sooner we begin the better. When walking we are guided by the eye. We look before our steps; and we look beyond a single step, if we are wise.
I find the path less wearisome when I have the high goal always before my thoughts, than when I count my bleeding footsteps in reaching that goal. If the destination is desirable, the vision speeds our footsteps. The outlook makes us young instead of old, and rests instead of wearying us.
If the belief in death were obliterated, and the understanding could obtain that we live on without death, this would be a Tree of Life, known by its fruits. We should renew our energies and endeavors, and see the folly of hypocrisy, while learning the necessity of working out our own salvation.
When we learn that sickness cannot kill us, and that we are not saved from sin or sickness by death, the thought will quicken us. It will master our fear of the grave, and tend to destroy “the ills that flesh is heir to.”
The relinquishment of all faith in death, and the fear of its sting, would raise the standard of health and morals far beyond its present elevation, and would enable us to hold the banner of Christianity aloft with unflinching faith in Life eternal. Sin brought death, and death will disappear with sin. Man is immortal; and the body cannot die, because it has no life of its own. The illusions named death, sickness, and sin are all that can be destroyed.
I have healed hopeless disease, and raised the dying to life and health, through the understanding of God as the only Life. It is a sin to believe that aught can overpower omnipotent and eternal Life; and this Life must be brought to light by the understanding that there is no death, as well as by other graces of the Spirit.
Charles Follen has beautifully phased this thought: —
A breath transports me to the realms of day.
Our faith should lengthen its borders and strengthen its base, by resting on Spirit instead of matter. When mortal mind gives up its belief in death, it will advance more rapidly towards God, Life, and Love. Belief in sickness and death shuts out a true sense of Life and heaven from our experiences, as certainly as a belief in sin. When will mortals wake to this great fact of Science?
“When this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory. The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law,” — the law of mortal belief, at war with the immortal facts of Life; even the spiritual law that says to the grave, “Where is thy victory?”
What if the lungs are ulcerated? God is more to a man than his lungs; and the less matter we have, the more immortality we possess. Spirit constructs a better body, when it has conquered our fears of matter.
Every trial of our faith in God makes us stronger. The more difficult seems the material condition that is to be overcome by Spirit, the stronger should be our faith and the purer our love. The apostle says, “There is no fear in Love, but perfect Love casteth out fear. . . . He that feareth is not made perfect in Love.”
If the lungs are disappearing, this is but one of the beliefs of mortal mind. Mortal man will be less mortal, when he learns that lungs never sustained Life, and can never destroy God who is our Life. When this is understood, man will be more Godlike.
When you have more faith in Truth than you have in error, — because you understand it, — more faith in Spirit than in matter, more faith in God than in the doctor, then no material condition can prevent Truth from healing the sick and destroying error.
Change your material belief by your spiritual, and understanding and Spirit will form you anew. You will never fear again, — except to offend God, — and will never believe that lungs, or any portion of the body, can destroy Life.
The evidence of man's immortality will become more apparent, as mortal trusts are given up, and the immortal facts of being are admitted. What I have stated is proved by my own recovery, and the recovery of many others, upon the sole basis of Christian Science.
For the benefit of the reader let me quote from Dr. Benjamin Rush, the famous Philadelphia teacher of medical practice: —
It is impossible to calculate the mischief which Hippocrates has done by first marking Nature with his name, and afterward letting her loose upon sick people.
Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, professor in Harvard University, declares himself “sick of learned quackery.”
Dr. James Johnson, “surgeon-extraordinary to the King,” says: —
I declare my conscientious opinion, founded on long observation and reflection, that if there was not a single physician, surgeon, apothecary, man-midwife, chemist, druggist, or drug on the face of the earth, there would be less sickness and less mortality.
Dr. Mason Good, a learned professor in London, said: —
The effects of medicine on the human system are in the highest degree uncertain; except, indeed, that it has already destroyed more lives than war, pestilence, and famine combined.
We are indebted to the faithful sketches and apt remonstrance of R. K. Noyes, M. D., in his History of Medicine, for this plain speaking: —
A drug or substance can never be called a healer of disease. There is no reason, justice, or necessity in the use of drugs in diseases. I believe that this profession, this art, this misnamed knowledge of medicine, is none other than a practice of fundamentally fallacious principles, impotent for good, morally wrong, and bodily hurtful.
My experience has proven to me the fallacy of the medical art, — that its theory is pernicious, and that the way out of it is the only commendable part of it.
Like Jesus, we should speak to disease as one having authority over it, leaving Soul to master the false evidences of the senses, and assert its claims over mortality and sickness. The same Principle cures both sin and sickness. When Christianity overcomes Materia medica, and replaces faith in drugs with faith in God, sickness will disappear.
Sin will submit to Science when, in place of creeds and professions, the Divine Principle of Being is demonstrated. Life is the law of Soul, and Soul is never without its representative. Man's individuality can no more die than Soul, for both are immortal. If we believe in death now, we must disbelieve it the next moment; and this disbelief must continue until we learn that Truth cannot die, and that there is no Truth to death.
If it be a fact that man lives, this truth can never change to its opposite, that he dies. Explain to the sick the power that illusion exercises over their bodies. Give them divine and wholesome understanding, wherewith to fight against their fears, and so efface the images of disease from mortal mind.
The Scriptures plainly declare the baneful influence of mortal mind on the body. Even our Master felt it. In certain localities he did not many mighty works, “because of their unbelief.”
The contest for the recovery of the sick goes on between minds, not between bodies. The victory will be on the doctor's side, only as he subdues the beliefs in disease, through whatever method he may adopt, — whether it be faith in drugs, in hygiene, in prayer, or in some minor curative.
There are really but two modes of practice; one is quackery, the other is Science. To heal the sick we must be familiar with the great verities of being. Mind is immortal. Therefore its embodiment is immortal; and this embodiment is no more material in our waking hours, than it is when it acts, walks, sees, hears, enjoys, or suffers in a dream.
There is no mortal mind out of which to make a mortal body, built from the illusions of sickness, sin, and death. There is but One Mind, the unerring and immortal; and this One contains no mortal opinions. Sin, sickness, and death are beliefs, misnamed mind. All that is real, good, or eternal is included in Immortal Mind.
To be made whole, we have only to forsake the mortal sense of things, turn from the lie of belief to Truth, and gain the facts of being from Immortal Mind.
Neither in Science nor Christianity can we believe in the reality and power of both Truth and error, and hope to succeed with either. Error is not self-sustaining. Its false supports fail, one after another.
According both to medical testimony and individual experience, a drug soon loses its supposed power, and can do no more for the patient. Hygienic treatment loses its efficacy. Quackery at length fails to inspire the credulity of the sick, and then they cease to improve. These lessons are useful. They should naturally and gently change our basis from sense to Science, from error to Truth.
The Bible contains recipes for all healing. “The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Sin and sickness are both healed on the same Principle. There is but one God, one Principle, equal to every necessity and emergency, offering full salvation from sin, sickness, and death.
“Agree to disagree” with approaching symptoms of chronic or acute disease, whether cancer, consumption, or small-pox. Meet the incipient stage of disease with such powerful eloquence as a congressman would employ, to defeat the passage of an inhuman law. Rise, in the conscious strength of Truth, to overthrow the plea of matter, or mortal mind, arrayed against the supremacy of Spirit. Blot out the images of mortal thought, its beliefs, sickness, and sin. Then, when thou art delivered to the judgment of Truth, it shall say, “Well done!”
Any supposed information, coming from the body or inert matter, as if they were intelligent, is an illusion of mortal mind, — one of its dreams. Realize that the evidence of the senses is not to be accepted in the case of sickness, any more than it is in the case of sin.
The Apostle John testified to the divine basis of Christian Science, when the boiling oil failed to destroy his body. Idolaters, believing in more than one Mind, had “gods many,” and thought they could kill the body with matter, independently of Mind.
No man is healed in sin, or by it, any more than he is morally saved in or by sin. To be every whit whole, he must be better spiritually, as well as physically.
Lust, hatred, and dishonesty make a man sick; and neither medicine nor mind can physically help him, unless they make him better morally, and so deliver him from the destroyers. Body and mind are one. The heat of hatred, inflaming brutal propensities, the indulgence of evil motives and aims, will make any man (who is above the very lowest type of manhood) a hopeless sufferer. They consume the body with the fires of hell.
Christian Science commands man to master these propensities, — to hold hatred in abeyance, conquer revenge with charity, and overcome deceit with honesty. Choke these errors in their early stages, if you would not cherish an army of conspirators against health, happiness, and success. They will deliver thee to the judge (the decisions of Truth against error), the judge will deliver thee to the officer (justice), and the law's sentence will be executed upon mind and body. Both will be manacled until the last farthing is paid, — until you have balanced your account with God. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” This is sin's necessity, — to destroy itself, and so yield to the government of God, wherein is no power to sin.
Unremitting toil, deprivations, exposures, — and every untoward condition that is without sin, — can be relieved without suffering. Whatever it is your duty to do, can be done without harm to yourself. If you sprain the muscles or wound the flesh, your remedy is at hand. Mind decides whether or not the flesh shall be discolored, painful, swollen, and inflamed.
Be firm in your understanding that Mind governs the body. Have no foolish fears that matter governs, and can ache, swell, and be inflamed from a law of its own; when it is self-evident that matter can have no pain or inflammation. Your body is as material as the trunk of a tree that you gash, or the electric wire that you stretch, and it would suffer no more from tension or wounds than they do, were it not for mortal mind.
If you believe in inflamed and weak nerves, you are liable to an attack from that source. You will call it Neuralgia, but I call it Illusion. If you believe that consumption is hereditary in your family, or may be induced by severe colds, you are liable to the development of that belief, in the form of what is termed pulmonary disease. If you believe a climate or atmosphere to be unhealthy, it will be so to you. Your fears will master you, whichever direction they take.
Reverse the case. Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you may control yourself harmoniously.
When the condition is present that you say induces disease, whether it be air, exercise, heredity, contagion, or accident, then perform your office as porter, shutting out these unwelcome guests. Exercise the mind's authority over the body, and protest against entertaining aught that you would exclude. Nothing can affect your body to the issues of pain or pleasure, unless the mind fears it, and — like a frightened watchman forsaking his post — admits the intruder, fearing itself not strong enough to guard the entrance.
Body is mind, and subject to its control. It seems to be self-acting matter, only because this mortal mind is ignorant of itself and its own action, and of their results upon the body, — ignorant that the predisposing, remote, and exciting occasion of all bad effects, supposed to arise from climate or accident, is a law of mortal belief, not of matter. In proportion as this law is mentally disregarded, the body will be free from its penalties. The only physician you should venture to employ is a Christian Scientist, — or else a skilful physician, so advanced that he is disgusted with the “science of guessing.”
When treating the sick, first make your mental plea in behalf of harmony, — that health is the everlasting fact, and sickness the opposite falsity. Then realize the absence of disease, since Science denies its presence, and the senses will say Amen! Stick to the Truth of Being, in contradistinction to the error that Life, Substance, or Intelligence can be in matter. Plead with an honest conviction of Truth, and a clear perception of the unchanging, unerring, and certain effect of Science. Then, if your morals are half equal to the virtue of your plea, you will heal the sick.
Explain audibly to your patient (as soon as he can bear it) the utter control that Mind holds over the body. Show him how mortal mind induces disease by certain fears and false conclusions, and how Mind can cure by opposite thoughts. Give him an underlying understanding to support him, and shield him against the baneful effects of his own beliefs. Show him that the conquest over sickness, as well as over sin, depends on mentally destroying the effects of error.
To decide quickly as to the proper treatment of error, — whether it be manifested in forms of sickness, sin, or death, — is the first step towards destroying it. Our Master treated it through Mind. He never enjoined obedience to “the laws of nature,” if by that is meant “the laws of matter,” nor did he use drugs. There is a law of Mind applied to healing. That law belongs to God; and it should be heeded and practised in the way our Master taught, — namely, through Mind instead of matter.
Disease has no intelligence. You sentence yourself to suffer unwittingly. The apprehension of this will enable you to commute this self-sentence, and meet every circumstance as its master, — watching your belief instead of your body.
Think less of so-called material laws, and you will sooner learn man's God-given dominion. You must understand your way out of beliefs and difficulties, or you will never believe that you are out of the woods. The harmony and immortality of man will never be reached without the understanding that Mind is not in matter.
Fear, and its effects on the body, are involuntary. The fear of disease and the love of sin are the springs of man's enslavement. Error is a coward before Truth. Death is but another phase of the dream that life is structural. We must hold forever the consciousness of existence, and sooner or later must scientifically master the errors of sense.
Because mortal mind acts unconsciously, as well as consciously, the sick say, “How can mind have caused a disease that I never thought of, and knew nothing about until it appeared on my body?”
I have answered this question in my explanation of disease as originating in the unconscious mortal mind, or in the body which this mind calls matter. This mortal blindness, and its sharp consequences, show our need of metaphysics. We should study Mind, if we would reach the understanding of Soul and destroy the errors of sense.
To prevent or cure scrofula, and other so-called hereditary diseases, you must destroy the fear and the belief in these ills, and in the possibility of their transmission. This task becomes easy, as you understand that every disease is a belief, and has no character or type, except what mortal mind assigns to it.
Eradicate the image of disease in the unconscious thought, before it has taken tangible shape in conscious thought, alias the body, and you prevent its heredity. Unconscious mind, or matter, cannot dictate terms to conscious mind, or say, “I am sick.” The belief that the unconscious substratum of mortal mind, termed the body, suffers and reports disease, independently of this conscious mind, is the error that prevents mortal man from knowing how to govern his body.
Nothing can interfere with the harmony of being, or end the existence of man. He is the same after as before a bone is broken, or the body guillotined. Man is perfect and immortal; and the mortal and imperfect, that we call man, is a poor counterfeit, to be laid aside for the pure coin. This mortal is put away, and the reality of being is attained, no faster than we realize the immortality of man, and seek a higher model for one's self.
Accidents are unknown to God, or Immortal Mind; and we must leave the mortal basis of belief, and unite with the One Mind, in order to change this notion of chance to a sense of God's unerring direction, and bring out harmony.
“Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven.” A denial of Truth is fatal to Science. A just acknowledgment of Truth, and what it has done for us, is an effectual help. If pride, superstition, or envy prevents the honest recognition and admission of benefits received, this will be a barrier to the recovery of the sick and the success of the student. Casting aside moral honesty, for the mistaken policy of dishonesty, betrays an ignorance of Christian Science, that must unfit one to heal or to teach. If a disciple repeats the rules like a parrot, this shows that he has not understood them. He has gained no knowledge for himself, and will not always be able to stand on another's wisdom and experience.
Until the advancing age admits the efficacy and supremacy of Mind, it is better to leave the adjustment of broken bones and dislocations to the fingers of a surgeon, while you confine yourself chiefly to mental reconstruction, and the prevention of inflammation or protracted confinement.
Christian Science is always the most skilful surgeon, but surgery is the branch of its healing that will be last demonstrated. However, it is but just to say that I have already in my possession well-authenticated records of the cure, by mental surgery alone, of dislocated hip-joints and spinal vertebræ.
The time approaches when mortal mind will forsake its personal, structural, and material basis, sufficiently for the Immortal Mind and its formations to be apprehended, in a realm where material thought interferes not with the spiritual facts of man, whose form is indestructible and eternal. Then it will be found that Mind constructs the body, and with its own materials. Hence no breakage or dislocation can occur. We say that accidents, injuries, and disease kill man; but that is not true. The life of the body is Mind. The body manifests only what mind admits, whether it be a broken bone, disease, or sin.
When Jesus declares that the light of the body is the eye, he certainly means that light depends upon Mind, not upon the complex humors, lenses, muscles, the iris and pupil, constituting the visual organism.
Fevers are fears of various types. The quickened pulse, coated tongue, febrile heat, dry skin, pain in head and limbs, are pictures of mortal mind depicted on the body. The images, held in the unconscious mind, frighten conscious thought. The fever-picture drawn by millions of mortals, and depicted on the body through the transfer of thought from one mortal mind to another, rests at length on some individual mind, and becomes a belief of fear that ends in a belief of death, to be finally conquered by Life. Truth is always the victor. Sickness and sin fall by their own weight. Truth is the rock of ages, the headstone of the corner, and “upon whomsoever this stone shall fall, it shall grind him to powder.”
To prevent a fever, or to cure it mentally, let Spirit destroy this dream of sense. If you wish to heal by argument, find the type of the ailment, get its name, and array your mental plea against the physical. Argue with the patient (mentally, not audibly) that he has no fever, and conform the argument to the evidence.
If the body is material, it cannot, for that very reason, suffer with a fever. If the body is mental, or governed by mind, it will manifest only what mind impresses upon it. Therefore the efficient remedy is to destroy the patient's unfortunate belief, by arguing the opposite facts of harmonious being, — representing man as healthful instead of diseased; and showing it impossible for matter to suffer, to feel pain or heat, to be thirsty or sick. Paralyze fear, and you end the fever.
Mind is the master of the senses, and can conquer sickness, just as it conquers sin. Exercise this authority. Take possession of your body, and govern its feelings as well as its actions.
Rise in the strength of Spirit, to resist all that is unlike God. He has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed.
Plead the case in Science and for Truth. You may vary the arguments, to meet the peculiar or general symptoms of the case you treat; but “be thoroughly persuaded in your own mind,” and you will finally be the winner.
It must be clear to you that sickness is no more the reality of being than sin is. This mortal dream of sickness, sin, and death should cease through Science. Then one disease would be as readily destroyed as another.
It is easier to cure the most malignant disease than it is to cure sin. I have raised up the dying, partly because they were willing to be restored; while I have struggled long, and perhaps in vain, to lift a student out of a chronic sin. The sick recover more rapidly from disease under metaphysical treatment, than the sinner from his sin. Healing is easier than teaching, if the teaching is faithfully done.
Healing the sick and reforming the sinner are one and the same thing in Christian Science. Both cures require the same method, and are inseparable in Truth. When helped metaphysically the sick should never deny their improvement, or impute it to some material cause.
The ordinary practitioner, examining bodily symptoms, telling the patient he is sick, and treating the case according to his diagnosis, would by this course induce that very disease, even if it were not already determined by mortal mind. The physician “agrees with his adversary quickly,” but upon different terms from the metaphysician; for the matter-physician agrees with the disease, while the metaphysician agrees only with health, and bids defiance to disease.
Wiser than his persecutors, Jesus said, “If I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out?” He introduced this comparison because the people acknowledged his power. As it is written, “The common people heard him gladly.”
Again 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 the mind that controls it? When disease is once destroyed in mind, its fear is gone, and therefore it is thoroughly cured. Men obtain harmony only as they forsake discord, acknowledge the supremacy of Mind, and abandon their material beliefs. Mortal belief is “the strong man,” that must be held in subjection before its influence upon health and morals can be touched. This belief conquered, we can despoil “the strong man's goods,” namely, diseases and illusions.
Deplorable cases of overmastering passion show the necessity of giving the higher faculties absolute control over the lower. The animate stratum of mortal mind should govern the inanimate or germinating material substratum.
Mankind must improve through generation. The necessity for uplifting the race is father to the fact that Mind can do it; for we can impart purity instead of impurity, beauty instead of deformity, and health instead of sickness.
One whom I rescued from seeming spiritual oblivion, in which the senses had engulfed him, said to me: —
I should have died, but for the glorious Principle you teach, — supporting the power of Mind over the body, and showing me the nothingness of the so-called pleasures and pains of sense. The treatises I had read and the medicines I had taken only abandoned me to more hopeless suffering and despair. Adherence to hygiene was useless. The mind needed to be set right. The ailment was not bodily, but mental, and I was cured when I learned my way in Christian Science.
Admitting the common hypothesis, that food is requisite to sustain human life, there follows the necessity for another admission, in the opposite direction, — namely, that food has power to destroy life, through its deficiency or excess, in quality or quantity. This is a specimen of the ambiguous character of all material health-theories. They are self-contradictory and self-destructive, — “a kingdom divided against itself, that is brought to desolation.” If food preserves life, it cannot destroy it.
The truth is, food does not affect the life of man; and this becomes self-evident, when we learn that God is our only Life. Because sin and sickness are not qualities of Soul, or Life, we have hope in immortality; but it would be foolish to venture beyond our present understanding, foolish to stop eating, until we gain more goodness, and a clearer comprehension of the living God. In that perfect day of understanding, we shall neither eat to live, nor live to eat.
We cannot deny that Life is self-sustained; and we should never deny the everlasting harmony of Soul, simply because, to the senses, there is seeming discord. It is our ignorance of God, the Divine Principle, that produces the apparent discord; and the right understanding of Him restores harmony.
A blundering despatch, mistakenly announcing the death of your friend, occasions the same grief that his real death would bring. You think your anguish is occasioned by your loss. Another despatch, correcting the mistake, heals that grief, and you learn that your suffering was merely the result of your belief. Thus it is with all sorrow, sickness, and death. You learn at length that there is no cause to grieve, and Divine Wisdom is then understood. Belief, not Truth, produces all the suffering on earth.
If a Scientist had said, while you were laboring under the influence of this belief, “Your sorrow is without cause,” you would not have understood him, although the correctness of the assertion might be afterwards proven to you. So when our friends really depart, and we lament, that lamentation is needless and causeless. We shall know this to be true, when we grow into the understanding of Life.
You say, “I have burned my finger.” This is an exact statement, more exact than you suppose, for mortal mind, and not matter, burns it. Holy inspiration has created states of mind that nullify the action of the flames, as in the case of the three Hebrew captives, cast into the Babylonian furnace; while an opposite mental state might produce spontaneous combustion.
All disease arises, like other mental conditions, from association, and from connection with the thoughts of others. It being a law of mortal mind that certain diseases should be contagious, this law obtains credit through association, — calling up the fear that creates the image of disease, and its consequent manifestation on the body.
This fact in metaphysics is illustrated by the following incident. A gentleman was made to believe that he occupied a bed where a cholera patient had died. Immediately the symptoms of this disease appeared in the gentleman, and he died. The fact was, that he had not caught the cholera by material contact, because no such patient had been in that bed.
If a child is exposed to contagion or infection, the mother is frightened, and says, “My child will be sick.” The law of mortal mind, and her own fears, govern her child, more than the child governs itself, and produce the very results which might have been prevented through the opposite understanding. Then it is believed that the exposure to the contagion wrought the mischief.
You say or think, because you have partaken of salt fish, that you must be thirsty, and you are thirsty accordingly; while the opposite belief would have produced the opposite result.
Note this: belief can only bring on disease; it can never remove it. You say you have not slept sufficiently, or have overeaten. You are a law unto yourself. Saying this, and believing it, you will suffer in proportion to your belief and fear. But your sufferings are not the penalty for having broken a material law; for it was a law of mortal mind that you disobeyed.
The remote cause of all disease is a diseased belief, — a conviction of the necessity and power of ill-health, and a fancy that the mind is helpless to defend the body, and wholly incompetent to control it. Without the mortal mind, any circumstance is of itself powerless to produce suffering. It is the latent belief in disease, and the fear of it, that associate sickness with a certain circumstance, and cause the two to appear conjoined, even as poetry and music are reproduced as one in human memory.
Not perceiving the vital points of metaphysics, not seeing how mortal mind affects the body, — acting beneficially or injuriously on health, as well as on the morals and the happiness of mortals, — we are misled in our methods. We throw the mental influence on the wrong side, thereby actually injuring those whom we mean to bless.
Suffering is no less a mental condition than enjoyment. You cause bodily sufferings, and increase them, by admitting their reality and continuance, as directly as you enhance your joys by believing them to be real and continuous. When an accident happens you think, or exclaim, “I am hurt!” Your thought is more powerful than your words, more powerful than the accident itself, to make the injury real.
Now reverse the process. Declare you are not hurt, and understand the reason why, and you will find the ensuing good effects to be in exact proportion to your fidelity to Christian Science, and to your disbelief in physics. Such a fact illustrates and demonstrates our theories.
That mother is not a Christian Scientist, and her affections need better aids, who says to her child: “You look sick,” or “You look tired;” “You need rest,” or “You need medicine.”
Such a mother runs to her little one, who has hurt her face by falling on the carpet, and says, moaning more childishly than her child, “Mamma knows you are hurt.” The more successful treatment is to say, “Oh nonsense [no-sense material], you're not hurt; you only think you are.” Presently the child forgets all about the accident, and is at play again.
Drugs, cataplasms, and whiskey are shocking substitutes for the dignity and potency of Mind, and its divine power to heal. It is pitiful to lead men into temptation through the byways of physiology and Materia medica. To victimize the race with intoxicating prescriptions for the sick — until mortal mind acquires an educated appetite for strong drinks, and men and women are made loathsome sots — is not only unchristian, but inhuman.
The physical affirmation of disease should always be met with the mental negation. Whatever the mind desires to produce on the body it should express mentally, and hold fast to this ideal.
If you have sound and capacious lungs, and want them to remain so, be always ready with the mental protest against the opposite belief. Discard all notions about lungs, tubercles, or hereditary consumption, arising from any circumstance, and you will find that Mind, self-consciously assured of its power, can steer the body into health or sickness, as directly as it can forbid the feet to walk or impel the hands to steal.
Through fear the body becomes suddenly weak or abnormally strong, showing mortal mind to be the producer of strength or weakness. A sudden shock from fear or grief has caused instantaneous death. Because fear originates in the unconscious mortal mind, it produces disease or death involuntarily. I never knew a patient who did not recover when the fear of the disease was gone. The conscious mortal mind is superior to its unconscious substratum, and the stronger never yields to the weaker except through fear or choice.
If mortal mind is its own enemy, and works against itself, it does little in the right direction and much in the wrong. Cherishing evil passions and malicious purposes, this mind is not a healer, but engenders disease and death.
I would sooner be exposed to every plague on earth, than endure the cumulative effects of guilty conscience. The abiding consciousness of wrong-doing tends to destroy the ability to do right. If sin is not repented of, and is not lessening, it is hastening on to physical and moral self-destruction. We are conquered by the moral punishments we incur, and by the ills we dread.
Disease is a fear expressed, not so much by the lips, as in the functions of the body. Mitigate the fear, and you relieve the oppressed organ; and the inflammation, decomposition, or deposit will abate. Destroy the fear, and the disabled organ will resume its healthy functions.
Consumptive patients always show great hopefulness and courage, even when in hopeless danger. This state of mind is anomalous, except to the expert in Christian Science. The mental state, being unconscious, is not understood. It is a stage of fear so excessive that it amounts to fortitude. The belief in consumption presents to mortal thought an image more terrifying than any other disease. The patient turns involuntarily from contemplating it; but, though unacknowledged, the latent fear remains strongly in mind.
Just so it is with the greatest crime. It is the most subtle, and does its work almost unperceived. The most fatal disease comes from the most hidden, undefined, and insidious belief.
Ignorance of the cause or approach of disease is no argument against its mental origin. You confess to ignorance of the future, and incapacity to preserve your own life, and this belief only precipitates the danger. Such a state of mind induces fear. It is like walking in darkness, on the edge of a precipice. You cannot forget the danger. The fear is present, and your steps are less firm because of the peril.
The history of Christianity furnishes sublime proofs of the supporting influence and protecting power bestowed on man by his Heavenly Father, the omnipotent Mind, who gives him strength to defend himself not only from temptation, but from bodily suffering.
A patient thoroughly booked in medical theories has less sense of the divine power, and is more difficult to heal through Mind, than an aboriginal Indian who never bowed the knee to the Baal of civilization.
The Christian martyrs were prophets of Christian Science. Through the uplifting and consecrating power of Divine Truth they obtained a victory over the senses, a victory that Science alone can explain. Stolidity is an opposite state of mortal mind, and suffers less, because it knows less, of material law.
If Mind is the only actor, how can mechanism be automatic? Mortal mind constructs a machine, manages it, and then calls it material. A mill at work, or the action of a water-wheel, are effects. Their primary cause is mortal mind. Without this mind the body is devoid of action, and this deadness shows where the life was, — in the cause, not the effect.
Mortal mind sends its despatches over the body, but it is both telegraph-office and wire. Nerves are unable to talk, and matter can return no answer to mind.
When the blood rushes through the veins, or languidly creeps along its frozen channels, we call this condition disease. This is a misconception. Fear is producing the propulsion or the languor; and we prove this to be so when the fear is destroyed, and the circulation returns to that standard which mortal mind has decided upon as essential for health.
Anodynes, counter-irritants, and depiction never reduce inflammation, as will the Truth of Being, whispered into the thoughtful ear. If Christian Healing is abused by a mere smattering of Science, it becomes a shocking bore. It starts a petty cross-fire over every cripple and invalid, sending into him the cold bullet, “Nothing ails you,” instead of cheerfully effecting a cure.
The question is, which is first, mind or pain? If pain is first, what feels it? If mind is first, then mind makes the pain. You say a boil is painful; but that is impossible, for matter without mind is not painful. The boil simply manifests your belief in pain, — inflammation and swelling; and you call this belief a boil.
Heat and cold are products of fear. The body, bereft of mortal mind, at first cools; and afterwards it is resolved into its primitive mortal elements, — dies, as men say. Fear produces animal heat, and expels it through other beliefs, that either cause the abandonment of fear, or increase it to the point of self-destruction and death. Sin is fear, and must produce (in belief) inflammation and death. Heat would pass from the body as painlessly as gas when it evaporates, but for the belief that inflammation and pain must accompany it.
Chills and fever are often the form in which fear manifests itself. Change the mental state, and the chills and fever disappear. Even a mesmerist can prove this, but a Christian Scientist can never prove it in the same way. The mesmerist scares his subject into quaking, though the victim knows not what is frightening him. The Scientist removes the terror, stops the shaking, and is incapable of producing the fear. Truth punishes sin, but cannot produce either sin or sickness.
The patient may tell you that he has a humor in the blood, a scrofulous diathesis. His parents have believed that before him, or some of his progenitors farther back. Now mortal mind, not matter, forms that conclusion and its results. You will have humors just as long as you believe them to be either safety-valves, or mentally ineradicable.
A corrupt mind is manifested in a corrupt body. Lust, malice, and all sorts of evil, are diseased beliefs, and you can only destroy them by destroying the wicked motives which produced them. If the evil has ended in the conscious mortal mind, while its effects still remain on the unconscious, you can remove this disorder only as God's law is fulfilled, when punishment has cancelled the crime.
Fear, whether it arise from ignorance or malice, is the whole of disease. You can cure the fear that is occasioned by ignorance; but you cannot remove the fearful effects produced by sin, so long as sinful motives or desires remain.
A mental state of self-condemnation and guilt, or a faltering and doubting trust in Truth, are unsuitable conditions for healing the sick. Such mental states indicate weakness, instead of strength. Hence the necessity of being right yourself, in order to teach this Science of Healing. You must utilize the might of Mind, and its moral power, in order to walk over the waves of error, and support your claims by demonstration. If lost yourself in the belief and fear of disease, and ignorant of the mental remedy, you fail to use the energies of Mind in your own behalf, you can exercise little or no power for others' help. “First cast the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother's eye.”
Men in business have found Christian Science important to enhance their physical and mental powers, to enlarge their perception of character, to give them acuteness and comprehensiveness, and an ability to go beyond their ordinary business capacity. The mind, imbued with this Science, becomes more elastic, is capable of greater endurance, and requires less repose.
The Science of Being develops the latent capacities and possibilities of man. It extends the atmosphere of thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher circles. A confined odor is not as beneficent as the escaped fragrance.
Give up the belief that Mind is compressed within the skull, and that matter is the limit of humanity, and you will quickly become more manly or womanly, understanding yourselves and your Maker better than before.
Man is never sick; for Mind is not sick, and matter cannot be. Illusion is both the tempter and the tempted, the sin and the sinner, the disease and its cause, death and the dying. It is well to be cheerful in sickness; to be hopeful is still better; but to understand that sickness is a delusion, and that Truth can destroy it, is best of all, for it is the universal and perfect remedy.
We say that one mortal mind can influence another, and thereby affect the body; but we rarely remember that we govern our own bodies. The mesmerizer produces pain by making his subject believe that he feels it. Here pain is proven to be a belief without an adequate cause. That social curse, the mesmerist, by making his victims believe they cannot move a limb, renders it impossible for them to do so until their belief or understanding masters his.
So the sick, through belief, have induced stiff joints and cramped muscles. The only difference between voluntary and involuntary mesmerism is, that one is done consciously and the other unconsciously.
In the one case it is understood that the deformity or disease is a mental illusion; while in the other it is insisted that the misfortune is a material effect. Mortal mind is employed to remove the illusion in one case; but matter is appealed to in the other. Really, both have their origin in mortal mind, and are produced by it; and they should be healed by Immortal Mind.
Faith in time and medicine will soothe fear and change belief. Faith even removes bodily ailments for a season; or else it changes those ills into new and more difficult forms of disease, until at length the Science of Mind comes to the rescue, and we comprehend the mystery.
“But,” says one, “no man can mesmerize me.” That is a mistake. Mortal man is a belief, and not the Truth of Being. The boaster is constantly producing on himself the results of belief; and he will continue to do so, until this belief is deprived of its imaginary powers by Truth, which sweeps away the gossamer web of mortal illusion. The most self-reliant state is one of rectitude and understanding, and this is best adapted to heal the sick.
Expose the body to certain temperatures, and illusion says that it takes a cold and has catarrh; but no such result occurs without mind to demand it and produce it.
The corpse, deserted by thought, is cold and decays, but it never suffers. The body of Mind is subject to Mind. Mortal mind says, “My body is dying — disappearing.” To others this body has not disappeared. They will bury it, and believe that the body will decompose into dust. But this is not so to the dying belief. Mortals waken from the dream of death, with healthy bodies, not seen by those who think they have buried the body, — and that Mind has lost a body.
While belief is declaring that certain states of the atmosphere produce catarrh, fever, rheumatism, or consumption, those effects will follow, — not because of the climate, but on account of the belief. I have healed diseases in too many instances, through the action of Truth on the mind, and its corresponding effects on the body, not to know that what I say is true.
Invalids flee to tropical climates in order to save their lives, but they come back no better than when they went away. Then is the time to cure them with Christian Science, and prove that they can be healthy in all climates, when their fear of climate is driven out.
The material body, that you call me, is mortal mind; and this mind is material in its sensation, even as the body that has originated in material sense, and been developed according to it. This materialism of parent and child is in mortal mind, as the dead body proves; for that body, when the law of this mind has doomed it to decay, is no longer thy parent.
The Science of Being unveils the errors of sense; and spiritual perception, aided by Science, is able to reach Truth. Then error disappears. Sin, sickness, and death will abate, and seem less real, as we approach that Utopian period, and then we shall no more fall into sickness than into sin. The moral man has no fear of committing a murder, and he should be as strong on the question of disease.
The Christian Scientist goes on to conquer sin, sickness, and death; and he will overcome them in proportion as he is conscious of their powerlessness, and of the might of divine power. Sickness, to him, is no less a temptation than sin is, and he heals them both by understanding God's power over them. He knows they are errors of belief, that Truth can and will destroy.
Resist the devil — error, of whatever sort — and it will flee from you. Error is opposed to Life. We can and shall ultimately so rise as to avail ourselves of the supremacy of Truth over error, Life over death, and Good over evil, in every direction; and this will go on until we no more fear that we shall be sick and die, than that we shall steal, murder, or commit suicide. Sickness, as well as sin, involves weakness, temptation, and fall, — a loss of that control over the body which the apostle declared to be “our reasonable service.”
Let the slave of wrong desire learn the lessons of Science, and he will get the better of that desire, and ascend a degree in the scale of health, happiness, and Life.
|Heed not the images forever thronging|
|From out the foregone life thou liv'st no more.|
|Faint-hearted mariner! still art thou longing|
|For the dim line of the receding shore?|
The pallid invalid, whom you declare to be wasting away with consumption of the blood, should be told that blood never gave Life and can never take it away; that there is more life and immortality in one good motive and act, than in all the blood that ever flowed through mortal veins, stimulating a personal sense of material life.
Let the despairing invalid, inspecting the hue of her blood on a cambric handkerchief, think of the experiment of those Oxford students, who caused the death of a felon, through the belief that he was bleeding to death, when not a drop of blood had been shed. Then let her learn the opposite principle of Life, as taught in Christian Science, and she will understand that she is not dying on account of the state of her blood, but suffering from her belief that blood is destroying her life. The fact is, that the so-called vital current does not affect her health, but her fear produces the results she dreads.
The belief that Life is contingent on matter must be met and mastered by Science, before Life can be understood and its harmony obtained. Christian healing has this advantage over other methods, — that it is Truth controlling error, and by it man goes up higher. Other methods are embodiments of error opposing error, and represent an increasing warfare of matter with matter.
Disquisitions on disease have a mental effect similar to that produced by telling ghost-stories in the dark. Nothing is understood of material existence. Mortals are here without their consent, to be removed as involuntarily, not knowing why or when. As children look everywhere for the imaginary ghost, so sick humanity sees danger in every direction, and looks for relief in all ways except the right one. Darkness induces fear. The adult no more comprehends his own being than does the child; and he must be taken out of his darkness before he can get rid of the illusive sufferings that throng it.
That Life is not contingent on bodily conditions is proven, when we see that Life and man survive this body. Spiritually we cannot discern either sin, sickness, or death; and they disappear in the ratio of our spiritual growth. Sickness is not imaginary. It is more than fancy, for it is a solid conviction.
An animal may infuriate another by looking him in the eye, and both will fight for nothing. A man's gaze, fastened fearlessly on a ferocious beast, often causes him to retreat in terror. This latter occurrence represents the power of Truth over error, — the might of Intelligence exercised over mortal fears, to destroy them; whereas the hygienic drilling and drugging, adopted to cure disease, are represented by the two beasts who quarrel on an intensely material basis, into which mind scarcely enters.
The sick are more deplorably lost than the sinner, if the sick cannot rely on God for help, and the sinner can.
The movement-cure — pinching and pounding the poor body, to make it sensibly well, when it ought to be insensibly so — is another medical mistake, resulting from the usual notion that health depends on inert matter, instead of on Mind. Can matter, or what is termed matter, act without Mind ?
You say that certain material combinations produce disease; but if the material body causes disease, can matter cure what itself causes? Mortal mind prescribes the drug and administers it. Mortal mind plans the exercise, and puts the body through certain motions. No gastric gas accumulates, not a secretion or combination can operate, apart from the action of mortal thought.
Anatomy describes muscular action as produced by mind in one instance, and not in another. Such fallacies beset every material theory. One statement contradicts another.
The motion of the arm is no more dependent upon the direction of mortal mind, than are the action and secretions of the liver. When this mind quits the body, the liver becomes no more torpid than the hand; both are dead.
Anatomy finds a necessity for nerves, to convey the mandate of mind to muscle, and cause action; but what does anatomy say when the cords contract and become immovable? Has mortal mind ceased speaking to them; or can muscles, bones, blood, and nerves rebel against mind in one instance, and not in another, and become cramped despite the mental protest?
Does disease dispute the empire of Mind, dethrone it, and take the government into its own hands? Is sickness an aggressive, self-constituted material power, that copes astutely with Mind, and finally conquers it? Has God endowed matter with power to disable Mind, and chill harmony with a long, cold night of discord? Such a power, without the divine permission, is inconceivable; and, if divinely directed, such a power manifests less wisdom than we usually find displayed in human governments.
Unless muscles are self-acting at all times, they are never so, — never capable of acting contrary to mental direction. If muscles can cease to act, and become rigid of their own preference, — be deformed or symmetrical, as they please, or as disease directs, — they must be self-directing. Why then consult anatomy, to learn how mortal mind governs muscle, if we are only to learn from anatomy that muscle is not so governed?
Is man a material fungus, without Mind to help him? Is a stiff joint or contracted muscle as natural a result of law as the supple and elastic condition of the healthy limb?
If disease can attack and control the body without the consent of mortal mind, sin can do the same; for both are error, and were announced as partners from the beginning. The Christian Scientist finds only effects where the ordinary physician looks for causes. The real jurisdiction is in Mind, controlling every effect, and recognizing all causation as vested in itself.
The prophylactic and therapeutic (i. e. the preventive and curative) arts belong emphatically to Christian Science; as would be readily seen, if psychology, or the Science of Soul, were understood. Medicine is finding its proper level. Limited to matter, by its own law, it has none of the advantages of Mind.
Ontology is defined as “the science of the necessary constituents and relations of all beings.” This is the element in my medical system which first engaged my attention. In ontology I learned the nature and essence of all being, — Mind, and its essential qualities. Its pharmacy is moral, and its medicine is intellectual and spiritual, for physical healing; yet this most important branch is the one least understood and demonstrated by metaphysical quacks.
The anatomy of Christian Science is mental self-knowledge, and involves the art of dissecting thoughts, in order to discover their quality, quantity, and origin. Are thoughts divine or human? That is the important question. This branch of study is indispensable to the excision of error. It teaches when and how to probe the self-inflicted wounds of malice, envy, and hate. It bids mad ambition pause. It bestows the hallowed influences of unselfishness, philanthropy, spiritual love, and the government of the body, both in health and sickness.
Teacher and student should be familiar with the obstetrics of this Science. To attend properly the birth of the new child, or the divine idea, you should so detach mortal thought from its material conceptions, that the birth will be natural and safe. Though gathering new energies, an idea should injure none of its useful surroundings, in the travail of spiritual birth. It should not have within it a single element of error, and should remove properly whatever is offensive. Then would the new idea, conceived and born of Truth and Love, be clad in white garments. Its beginning will be meek, its growth sturdy, and its maturity undecaying.
The treatment of insanity is especially interesting. However obstinate the case, it yields more naturally than most diseases to the salutary action of Truth, which is the counteraction of error.
The leading arguments to be used in curing insanity are the same as in other diseases: namely, the impossibility for matter to control Mind, or to suffer; the need that mortal mind be healed by Truth; that Mind can establish a healthy brain; that Intelligence can destroy all error, whether that error be called physical or mental, dementia or dysentery.
There are many species of insanity. Sin is a high degree of insanity. It is only spared from this classification because its method of madness is more in consonance with common mortal belief. Every sort of sickness is a degree of insanity; that is, sickness is always hallucination. This view is not altered by the fact that it is not acknowledged or discovered by everybody.
There is a universal insanity, that mistakes fable for fact throughout the entire round of the material senses; but this general craze cannot shield the individual case from the special name of insanity. Those unfortunate people, who are committed to insane asylums, are but well-defined instances of the baneful effects of illusion on mortal minds and bodies.
We can never treat both mind and matter, for there is but one existence, and that one is immortal Mind. The supposition that we can correct insanity by the use of purgatives and narcotics is in itself a mild species of insanity. Do drugs go of their own accord to the brain, and so destroy the inflammation of its disordered functions, — thus reaching mortal mind through matter? Or does this mind first distribute the drugs through the blood, and thence to intelligence and sentiment?
The only effect produced by medicine is dependent upon mental action. If the mind were parted from the body, could you produce any effect upon the brains by applying the drug to them? Would the drug restore will and intelligence to cerebrum and cerebellum?
In medical practice objections would be raised if one doctor should administer a drug to counteract the working of a remedy prescribed by another. It is not less important in metaphysical practice, that the minds which surround your patient should not act against your influence, by continually expressing such opinions as may alarm or discourage, or by giving antagonistic advice. While it is certain that Mind can remove any obstacle, yet you want the ear of your auditor. It is more difficult to make yourself heard mentally when others are thinking about your patients, or conversing with them; therefore you should seek to be alone with the sick while treating them.
A scientific metaphysician never converses on other subjects while treating the sick. The Scientist discerns more clearly the mental cause of disease than the anatomist does the physical, and goes to work more understandingly and with more self-assurance. The greatest hindrance to the prosperity of Christian Science is the envy of malpractioners, who seek to check the better success of the honest practitioner, by setting in motion a counter-current of mortal mind, designed to affect the invalid as poison might affect its antidote.
Our Master easily read the thoughts of mankind, and this insight better enabled him to direct those thoughts aright; but what would be said, at this period, of an infidel blasphemer who should hint that Jesus used his incisive power injuriously?
The higher your attainment in the Science of mental healing and teaching, the more impossible it will become for you to influence minds in any way adverse to their highest interest. Jesus could injure no one by his mind-reading. The effect of his Mind was always to heal and save. His holy motives and aims were traduced by the sinners of that period, as they would be to-day, if Jesus were personally present, practising his Christian Science. No one, taught of God to discern the healing power of Truth, can misuse this mental force. This strong point in Christian Science is not to be overlooked, — that “the same fountain cannot send forth both sweet and bitter waters.”
The student who receives his knowledge of Christian Science, or Metaphysical Healing, from a human teacher, may be mistaken in judgment and demonstration; but God cannot mistake when He selects one for this service who has grown into such a fitness for it, as renders any abuse of her mission an impossibility. The All-wise does not bestow His trusts upon the unworthy, when He commissions a messenger who is spiritually near Himself.
Since the divine light of Christian Science first dawned upon me, I have never used this newly discovered power in any direction that I should fear to have openly known. It was not till years after I was personally attacked by mental malpractice, not until this attack was aimed at my life, that I investigated this subject thoroughly, and discovered the full purpose and extent of metaphysical quackery.
Though the Scriptures so prophesy of this age, it never seemed to me that the Truth of God could be made to appear a lie, until the Judases began to multiply, and many stood ready to accept the thirty pieces of treasonable silver.
Had my students abided closely by my teaching, not one of them could ever have shamed my system by malpractice, or turned from Christian Science to mesmerism. My object, ever since I entered this held of labor, has been to prevent suffering, never to produce it. That we cannot both produce and prevent the same pain is self-evident.
I have sometimes wondered if the disciples of our Master, the primitive healers, had such ripe experiences with the machinations of sin as arc open at this period, — if the hidden arrows of the wicked were aimed at them as at Christian healers now, and yet they were able to say, “None of these things move me.”
Our Master read mind on a scientific basis, the omnipresence of Mind. Approximating this discernment indicates spiritual growth, and a union with the infinite capacities of the One Mind. This is the only genuine Science of mind-reading. Paul said, “To be spiritually-minded is Life.” We approach God, or Life, in the ratio of our spirituality and fidelity to Truth; and in that ratio we are able to discern the thoughts of the sick and the sinful, that we may heal them. They cannot hide from the eye of Wisdom.
Whoever reaches this point of moral culture cannot injure others, and must do them good. The greater or less ability of a Christian Scientist, to discern thought, depends on his faithfulness. This kind of mind-reading is not clairvoyance; but it is important to our success in healing, and is one of the special characteristics of that success.
The physical effects of fear illustrate its bad influence on the body. Gazing long and helplessly at a lion, crouched for a spring upon you, would you not suffer and feel weak? The body is not more affected by animal fear than it is by the images of disease held before the mind that is ignorant of metaphysics. Unless such a cause of terror is removed from contemplation, the senses will at length be paralyzed into the belief which men call death. Nothing but the power of Truth can prevent a fatal result from either cause, if the occasion continue; but that power can prove man's dominion over the beasts of the field and the fear of disease.
Without fear there can be no inflammatory or torpid action of the system. Remove the fear, and you destroy its effects. By looking a tiger fearlessly in the eye, Sir Charles Napier sent him cowering back into the jungle.
Sir Humphry Davy cured a case of paralysis by simply introducing a thermometer into the patient's mouth, — which he did in order to ascertain the temperature of the body, — the patient supposing that this ceremony was to heal him. If half the attention given to hygiene were given to the study of Christian Science, and its elevation of thought, this alone would usher in the millennium.
Bathing and rubbing, to alter the secretions, or remove unhealthy exhalations from the cuticle, receive a useful rebuke from Christian Healing. We must beware of making clean the outside of the platter only.
A hint may be taken from the Irish emigrant, whose filth does not affect his happiness, when mind and body rest on the same basis. To the mind equally gross, dirt gives no uneasiness. It is the native element of such a mind, symbolized but not chafed by its surroundings; but impurity and uncleanliness, which do not affect the gross, could not be borne by the refined.
We need a clean body and a clean mind, — a body rendered pure by Mind, not by matter. One says, “I take good care of my body.” No doubt he attends to it with as much care as he would to the grooming of his horse; and possibly the animal sensation of scrubbing has more meaning, to such a man, than the pure and exalting influence of Mind; but the Scientist takes the best care of his body when he leaves it most out of his thought, and, like the Apostle Paul, is “willing rather to be absent from the body, and present with the Lord.”
John Quincy Adams presents an instance of firm health and adherence to hygienic rules, but there are few others. The tobacco-user, eating or smoking poison for half a century, sometimes tells you that the weed preserves his health; but does this make it so? Does his assertion prove the use of tobacco to be a salubrious habit, and man the better for it? Such instances only prove the illusive physical effect of a belief, confirming the Scriptural conclusion, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
The generous liver may object to my small estimate of the pleasures of the table. The sinner will see that, in the system I teach, the demands of God must be met. The small intellect is alarmed at my exclusive appeals to Mind, and the licentious disposition is discouraged ever its slight spiritual prospects. When all are bidden to the feast, the excuses come. One has a farm, another has merchandise; therefore they cannot come. Truth will compel us all at length, in ways we least expect, to exchange the pleasures of sense for the joys of Soul.
Contending for the inharmonious spectacle presented by the senses, we virtually contend against the control of Mind over body, and deny the ability of mental power to produce a desired result. This false method is as if a defendant should argue for the plaintiff, and in favor of a law which he knows will militate against himself.
I would not transform the infant at once into a man, nor would I keep the suckling a lifelong babe. No impossible thing I ask, when urging the claims of Christian Science; but because this teaching is in advance of the age, we should not deny the need of spiritual Life.
We have no right to say that Life depends on matter now, but will not depend on it after death. We cannot spend our days here in ignorance of the Science of Life, and expect to find the grave a reward for this ignorance and sloth. Death will not make us harmonious and immortal, as a recompense for unfaithfulness. If we give no earthly heed to the Life which is spiritual and eternal, we shall not be ready for it hereafter.
“This is Life eternal,” says Jesus, — is, not shall be; and then he defines everlasting Life as a present knowledge of his Father and himself, — “to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus the Christ, whom Thou didst send.”
The Scriptures say, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God,” — showing clearly that Truth is the Life of man; whereas the world objects to making this teaching a reality.
If belief says that food disturbs the harmonious functions of mind and body, either the food or the illusion must be dispensed with. Which shall it be? If this belief be not destroyed, it may some day say that you are dying from want of food; for the penalty is thus coupled with the belief. The less we know or think about hygiene, the less we are predisposed to sickness.
It is sometimes said that the uncivilized Red Men are more exempt from contagious diseases than the more enlightened races. Our missionaries may introduce measles and small-pox to the Gentiles, but do they show them, either by precept or example, the power of God, Truth, to prevent and destroy disease? The poor Indian, ignorant of what is termed hygienic law, is healthier than the devotee of this supposed law. Must we not then call it a law “more honored in the breach than the observance”?
Even the hope of freedom from the bondage of sickness and sin has little inspiration to nerve our endeavors, owing to our fatal belief that error is as real as Truth, — that evil is equal in power to good, if not superior, and that discord is as normal as harmony.
If man did not exist before his material organization, he cannot exist after the body is disintegrated. If we live after death, and are immortal, we must have lived before birth; for if Life ever had any beginning, it must have also an ending, according to all scientific calculations. Do you believe this? No! Do you understand it? No! And this is why you doubt the statement, and the facts it implies.
We weep because others weep, we yawn because they yawn, and we have small-pox because others have it; but mortal mind, not matter, contains and carries the infection. When this mental contagion is understood, we shall he more careful of our company; and we shall avoid the loquacious advocate of disease, as we do the advocate of crime. Neither sympathy nor society should ever tempt us to the hearing or advocacy of error.
Palsy is a belief that attacks mortals through fear, and paralyzes the body, making certain portions of it immovable. Destroy the fear, show mortal mind that no muscular power can be lost, — for Mind is supreme, — and you will cure the palsy.
Ossification, or any unusual condition of the bones, is as directly the action of mortal mind as insanity. Bones have only the substance of thought; they are only an appearance to mortal mind.
The so-called substance of bone is formed first by the parent's mind, through self-division. Soon the child becomes a separate, individualized thought, — another mortal mind, which speedily takes possession of itself.
What you call matter was originally primitive error in solution, — the unformed mortal mind, likened, by Milton, to “chaos and old night.” One theory about this mortal mind is, that its sensations form blood, flesh, and bones. The Science of Being — wherein all is Mind, or God and His thoughts — would still be clear, but for the belief that Mind can result in matter, or that Mind can enter its own embodied thought, and bind itself with its own beliefs, calling its bonds material.
Let us suppose two parallel cases of bone-disease, both similarly produced, and attended with the same symptoms. A surgeon is employed in one case, and a Christian Scientist in the other. The surgeon — believing that matter forms its own conditions, and renders them fatal at certain points — entertains fears and doubts as to the termination of the injury. Not holding the reins of government in his own hands, he believes that something stronger than Mind — namely, matter — governs the case. His treatment is therefore tentative. This mental state invites defeat. The belief that he has a master in matter — and may not be able to mend the bone — combines with his fear, and both are communicated to the patient, either verbally or otherwise. Thus his resistance to an unfavorable result is two-thirds disarmed. Remember that the unexpressed fear oftentimes affects the sensitive patient more strongly than the expressed fear.
The Christian Scientist, understanding that all is Mind, commences with mental causation, the Truth of Being, to destroy the error. This corrective is an alterative, reaching to every part of the human system. According to Scripture, it searcheth “the bones and marrow;” and it restores the harmony of man.
The matter-physician contends with matter, as both his foe and his remedy. He regards the ailment as weakened or strengthened, according to the evidence this foe presents.
The Scientist — making Mind his basis of operation, irrespective of matter, and regarding the Truth and harmony of being as superior to its error and discord — has rendered himself strong, instead of weak, to cope with the case; and he proportionately strengthens his patient with the stimulus of courage and conscious power. Both courage and consciousness are now at work in the economy of being, — according to the law of Mind, which ultimately asserts its absolute supremacy.
Called to the bed of death, what material remedy have we, when all such remedies have already failed? Mind is our last resort; but it should not be deemed the least, as we shall learn in that startling moment. The dream of death is to be mastered by Mind. Thought must waken from its own material declaration, “I am dead,” to catch this trumpet-word of Truth, “There is no death!”
All is Mind; there is no matter. Life is real, and death is the delusion. A demonstration of the facts of Soul, according to Jesus, resolves the dark visions of sense into harmony and immortality. Our privilege at this supreme moment is to prove the words of our Master, “If any one keep my word, he will never see death.” To so divest our beliefs of their false trusts and material evidences, that the spiritual facts of being may appear, — that is the great step whereby to sweep away the false and give place for the true. Thus we may establish in Truth the temple, or body, “whose builder and maker is God.”
We should consecrate existence, not “to the unknown God,” whom we “ignorantly worship,” but to the eternal builder, the everlasting Father, — the Life, that mortal sense cannot impair or mortal belief destroy. We have tested the ability of mental might to offset human misconceptions, and replace them with the Life that is spiritual, not material.
I here present my readers with an allegory illustrative of the law of Mind, and the supposed laws of matter and hygiene.
Suppose a mental case to be on trial, as cases are tried in court. A man is charged with liver-complaint. The patient feels ill, ruminates, and the trial commences. Personal Sense is the plaintiff. Mortal Man is the defendant. Belief is the attorney for Personal Sense. Mortal Minds constitute the jury. Materia Medica, Anatomy, Physiology, Mesmerism, and Mediumship are the pretended friends of Man. The court-room is filled with interested spectators, and Judge Medicine is on the bench.
The evidence for the prosecution being called for, a witness testifies thus: —
I represent Health-laws. I was present on certain nights when the prisoner, or patient, watched with a sick friend. Although I have the superintendence of human affairs, I was personally abused on those occasions. I was told that I must remain silent until called for at this trial, when I should be allowed to testify in the case. Nothwithstanding my rules to the contrary, the prisoner watched with the sick every night in the week. When thirsty, he gave him drink. During all this time lie attended to his daily labors, partaking of food at irregular intervals, sometimes retiring to sleep immediately after a heavy meal. At last he had the liver-complaint; which I considered criminal, inasmuch as the offence is deemed punishable with death. Therefore I arrested Mortal Man in behalf of the state (i. e. Body) and cast him into prison. At the time of the arrest the prisoner summoned Physiology, Materia Medica, the felon Mesmerism, and a masked individual named Mediumship, to hinder his punishment. The struggle, on their part, was long. Material missiles were employed vigorously, but unavailingly. Materia Medica held out the longest; but at length all these assistants gave up their weapons to me as a representative of Health-laws, and I succeeded in getting Mortal Man into close confinement.
The next witness is called: —
I am Coated Tongue. I am covered with a foul fur, placed on me the night of the liver-attack. Morbid Secretion, Irregular Appetite, Constipation, Foul Stomach, and Debility are other witnesses to confirm my statements. Morbid Secretion mesmerized the prisoner and took control of his mind, producing sleepiness, making him despondent, — that his fate might the sooner be decided.
Another witness takes the stand and testifies: —
I am Sallow Skin. I have been dry, hot, and chilled by turns, since the night of the liver-attack. I have lost my healthy hue, and become bad-looking, although nothing on my part has occasioned this change. I practise daily ablutions, and perform my functions as usual, but I am robbed of my good looks.
The next witness testifies: —
I am Nerve, the Generalissimo over Mortal Man. I am intimately acquainted with the plaintiff, Personal Sense, and know him to be truthful and upright; whereas Mortal Man, the prisoner at the bar, is capable of falsehood. I was witness to the crime of liver-complaint. I knew the prisoner would commit it, for I convey messages from my residence in Matter, alias Brain, to Body, and am on intimate terms with Error, who is a personal acquaintance of the prisoner.
Another witness is called for by the Court, and says: —
I am Mortality, Governor of the Province of Body, in which Mortal Man resides. In this province there is a statute regarding disease, — namely, that he upon whose person disease is found shall be treated as a criminal and punished with death.
The Judge asks if, by doing good to the neighbor, it is possible for anybody to become diseased, transgress the laws, and merit punishment; and Governor Mortality replies in the affirmative.
The deposition of Mr. Abdomen is then read, he being too inactive to be present.
Another witness takes the stand, and testifies: —
I am Ulceration. I was sent for, shortly after the night of the liver-attack, by the officer of the Board of Health, who protested that the prisoner had abused him, and that my presence was required to confirm his testimony. One of the prisoner's friends, Materia Medica, was present when I arrived, endeavoring to assist the prisoner to escape from the hands of justice, alias nature's law; but my sudden appearance with a message from the Board of Health changed his purpose, and he decided at once that the prisoner should die.
The testimony for the plaintiff, Personal Sense, being closed, Judge Medicine arises, and with great solemnity addresses the jury of Mortal Minds. He analyzes the offence, reviews the testimony, and explains the law relating to liver-complaint; the conclusion of which is, that laws of nature render disease homicidal. In compliance with a stern duty, his honor, Judge Medicine urges the jury not to allow their judgment to be warped by the petty suggestions of Sentiment. They must regard, in such cases, only the evidence of Personal Sense against Mortal Man.
As the Judge proceeds, the prisoner grows restless. His sallow face blanches with fear, and a look of despair and death settles upon it. The case is given to the jury. A brief consultation ensues; and then the jury returns a verdict of “Guilty of liver-complaint in the first degree.”
Judge Medicine then proceeds to pronounce the solemn sentence of death upon the patient. By loving his neighbor as himself, Mortal Man was guilty of benevolence in the first degree; and this has led him into the commission of the second crime, liver-complaint, which material laws regard as homicide. For this crime Mortal Man is sentenced to the torture until he is dead. “May God have mercy on his Soul,” is the Judge's solemn peroration.
The prisoner is then remanded to his cell (sick-bed), and Theology sent for to prepare the frightened sense of Life, or God, — which must be immortal, — for death, the Body having no longer any friends.
Ah! but Christ, Truth, the friend of Mortal Man, can open wide those prison-doors, and set the captive free. Swift on the wings of Love there comes a despatch: “Delay the execution; the prisoner is not guilty.” Consternation fills the prison-yard. Some exclaim, “It is contrary to law and order.” Others say, “Christ supersedes our laws; let us follow him.”
After much debate and opposition, permission is obtained for a trial in the Court of Spirit, where Science is allowed to appear as counsel for the unfortunate prisoner. Witnesses, judges, and jurors, who were at the previous Material Court of Common Errors, are now summoned to appear at the bar of Truth.
When the case for Mortal Man versus Matter is opened, his counsel regards the prisoner with the utmost tenderness. The earnest eyes, kindling with hope and triumph, are uplifted for a single moment. Then Science turns suddenly to the supreme tribunal, and opens the argument for the defence: —
The prisoner at the bar has been sentenced unjustly. His trial was a tragedy, and is morally illegal. Mortal Man has had no proper counsel in the case. All the testimony has been on the side of Material Sense, and we will unearth this foul conspiracy against the liberty and life of Man. The only valid testimony in the case shows the alleged crime never to have been committed. The prisoner is not proved “worthy of death, or of bonds.”
Your Honor, the lower court has sentenced Mortal Man to die, but Man was made in the image of God. Denying justice to the body, that court commended Spirit to heavenly mercy, — Spirit which is God of Himself, Infinite Wisdom, and Man's only lawgiver! Who or what has sinned? Has the body committed a criminal deed? Counsellor Belief has argued that the body should die, while Mortal Mind, which alone is capable of sin and suffering, is comforted and commended to mercy. The body committed no offence. Mortal Man, in obedience to higher law, helped his fellow-man, an act which should result in good to himself.
The law of our Supreme Court decrees that whosoever sinneth shall die; but good deeds immortalize man, bringing joy instead of grief, pleasure instead of pain, and life instead of death. If liver-complaint was induced by trampling on Laws of Health, it was a good deed; for the agent of those laws is an interferer with Mortal Man's liberty and rights, and should be consigned to oblivion.
Watching beside the couch of pain, in the exercise of a Love that “fulfils the whole law,” — doing “unto others as ye would, that they should do unto you,” — is no infringement of law; for no demand, human or divine, renders it just to punish a man for doing right. If mortals sin, our Supreme Judge in equity decides what penalty is due for the sin, and Mortal Man can suffer only for sin. For nought else can he be punished, according to the laws of God.
Then what jurisdiction had his honor, Judge Medicine, in this case? To him I might say, in Bible language, “Sittest thou to judge a man after the law, and commandest him to be smitten contrary to the law?” The only jurisdiction to which the prisoner can submit is that of Truth, Life, and Love. If these condemn him not, neither shall Judge Medicine condemn him; and I ask that he be restored to the liberty of which he has been unjustly deprived.
The principal witness (the officer of the Health-laws) deposed that he was an eye-witness to the good deeds for which Mortal Man is under sentence of death. After betraying him into the hands of your law, the Health-agent disappeared, to reappear however at the trial, as a witness against Mortal Man, and in the interest of Personal Sense, a known criminal. Your Supreme Court must find the prisoner, on the night of the alleged offence, to have been acting within the limits of the divine law, and in obedience to it. Upon this statute hangs all the law and testimony. Giving a cup of cold water in Christ's name is a Christian service. Laying down his life for a holy cause, Mortal Man should find it again. Such deeds bear their own justification, and are under the protection of the Most High.
Prior to the night of his arrest, the prisoner summoned two professed friends, Materia Medica and Physiology, to prevent his committing liver-complaint; or at any-rate to prevent his arrest for it. But Fear was the sheriff who handcuffed Mortal Man, and precipitated the result for which many would now punish him. You have left Mortal Man no alternative. He must believe your law, fear its consequences, and be punished therefor. His friends struggled hard to rescue the prisoner from the penalty they considered justly due; but they were compelled to let him be taken into custody, tried, and condemned. Thereupon Judge Medicine sat in judgment on the case, and substantially charged the jury, twelve Mortal Minds, to find the prisoner Guilty. His Honor sentenced Mortal Man to die for those deeds which the divine law compels him to commit. Thus the lower court construed obedience to the law of Love as disobedience to the law of Life. Claiming to protect a Mortal Man in right-doing, the court pronounced a sentence of death for doing right.
One of the principal witnesses. Nerve, testified that he was a ruler of Body, in which province Mortal Man resides. He also testified that he was on intimate terms with the plaintiff, and knew Personal Sense to be truthful; that he knew Mortal Man, and he was made in the image of God, but was a criminal. This is a foul aspersion on the Maker. It blots the fair escutcheon of Intelligence. It indicates malice aforethought, a determination to condemn mortals, in the interest of Personal Sense. At the bar of Truth, in the presence of Divine Justice, before the Judge of our higher tribunal, the Supreme Court of Spirit, and before its jurors, the Spiritual Senses, I proclaim this witness, Nerve, to be destitute of Intelligence and Truth, and bearing the messages of Error only.
Man self-destroyed; the testimony of matter respected; Intelligence not allowed a hearing; Soul a slave, though recommended to mercy; the helpless body executed, — these are the terrible records of your Material Court of Common Errors, and I ask that the higher Court of Spirit reverse this decision.
Here the opposite counsel, Belief, called Science to order, for contempt of court. Various notables — Materia Medica, Anatomy, Physiology, and Mediumship — rose to the question of expelling Science from the bar, for such high-handed illegality. He was overthrowing the judicial proceedings of a regularly constituted court.
But Judge Justice, of the Supreme Court of Spirit, overruled their motions, on the ground that unchristian usages are not allowed at the bar of Truth, which ranks above the lower Court of Error.
Science then read from the supreme statute-book, the Bible, — remarking that it was better authority than Blackstone, — certain extracts on the Rights of Man: —
Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, and let him have dominion over all the earth.
And I give you power over all things, that nothing shall by any means harm you.
Whoso believeth in Me shall not see death.
Then Science proved the witness, Nerve, to be a perjurer. Instead of a ruler in the Province of Body, wherein Mortal Man was reported to reside, Nerve was an insubordinate citizen, putting in false claims to office, and bearing false witness against Man. Turning suddenly to Personal Sense (by this time silent) Science continued: —
I ask your arrest, in the name of Almighty God, on three separate charges: perjury, treason, and conspiracy against the rights and existence of man.
Then Science continued: —
Another witness, equally unimportant, said that a garment of foul fur was spread over him by Morbid Secretion, on the night of the liver-attack; while the facts in the case show that this fur is a foreign substance, imported by Belief, the attorney for Personal Sense, who is in partnership with Error, and smuggles his goods into market without the inspection of Soul's government officers. Whenever the Court of Truth summons Furred Tongue to appear for examination he disappears, and is never more heard of.
Morbid Secretion is not an importer or dealer in fur, but we have heard Materia Medica explain how it is manufactured, and know the witness to be on friendly terms with the firm of Personal Sense, Error, & Co., receiving pay from them, and introducing their goods into the market. Also, be it known that Belief, the counsel for the plaintiff, Personal Sense, is a buyer for this firm. He manufactures for it, keeps a furnishing store, and advertises largely for his patrons.
Ulceration testified that he was absent from the Province of Body, when a message came from Belief, commanding him to take part in the homicide. At this request Ulceration repaired to the spot where the liver-complaint was in process, frightening away Materia Medica, who was then manacling the prisoner, in his pretended attempts to save him. Materia Medica was an unconscious participant in the misdeed for which the Health-officer had Mortal Man in custody, though Mortal Man was innocent of all crime.
Science then turned from the abashed witnesses, and pointed his words like sharpened steel at these worthies Materia Medica, Physiology, the felon Mesmerism, and the masker Mediumship, saying: —
God will smite you, O whited walls, for injuring, in your ignorance, the unfortunate Mortal Man who sought your aid in his struggles against liver-complaint. You came to his rescue, only to fasten upon him an offence of which he is innocent You aided and abetted Material Error. You sacrificed Mortal Man, meanwhile declaring Disease to be God's servant, and the righteous executor of His laws. Our higher statutes declare you all, witnesses, jurors, and judges, to be offenders, only awaiting the sentence which General Progress will pronounce.
We send our very best detectives to whatever locality is reported to be haunted by Disease; but, visiting the spot, they learn that Disease was never there, for he could not possibly elude their search. Your Material Court of Errors, when it condemned Mortal Man on the ground of hygienic disobedience, was manipulated by the oleaginous machinations of the counsel, Belief, whom Truth arraigns before the supreme bar of Soul, to answer for his bloodshed. Morbid Secretion is taught how to make sleep befool reason, before sacrificing mortals to false gods.
Mortal Minds were mesmerized by your attorney, Belief, and compelled to give a verdict delivering Mortal Man to his grave. Good deeds are transformed into crimes, to which you attach penalties; but no warping of justice can render a disobedience to the laws of Matter real disobedience to God, or an act of homicide. Even penal law regards homicide, under stress of circumstances, as justifiable. Now what greater justification can any deed have, than that it is for the good of one's neighbor? Wherefore then, in the name of outraged justice, do you sentence Mortal Man for ministering to the wants of his fellow-man, in obedience to higher law? You cannot trample upon the Supreme Bench. Mortal Man is amenable to God, who sentences only for sin.
The false and unjust beliefs of your mental legislators compel them to enact laws of sickness, and then render obedience to these laws punishable as crimes. In the presence of the Supreme Lawgiver, standing at the bar of Truth, and in accordance with the divine statutes, I repudiate the false testimony of Personal Sense. I ask that he be forbidden to enter any more suits against Mortal Man, to be tried at the Court of Material Error. I appeal to the just and equitable decisions of Spirit, to restore to Mortal Man the rights whereof he has been deprived.
Here the counsel for the defence closed; and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, with benign and imposing presence, comprehending and defining all law and evidence, explained from his statute-book, the Bible, that any Law is null and void if it undertakes to punish aught but sin.
He also decided that the plaintiff, Personal Sense, be not permitted to enter any suits at the bar of Soul, but be enjoined to keep perpetual silence, and, in case of temptation, to give heavy bonds for good behavior.
He concluded his charge thus: —
The plea of Belief we deem unworthy of a hearing. Let what Belief utters, now and forever, fall into oblivion, “unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.” According to our statute, Material Law cannot bear witness against Mortal Man; neither can Fear arrest him, nor Disease cast him into prison. Our law refuses to recognize Man as sick or dying, but holds him to be in the image and likeness of his Maker. Reversing the testimony of Personal Sense, and the decrees of the Court of Error in favor of Matter, we decide in favor of Mortal Man, and against Matter. We further recommend that Materia Medica, Physiology, Health-laws, Mesmerism, and Mediumship be publicly executed at the hands of our sheriff, Progress.
The Supreme Bench decides in favor of Intelligence, that no law outside of Mind can punish Mortal Man. Your personal jurors, in the Material Court of Error, are myths. Your attorney, Belief, is an impostor, persuading Mortal Minds to return a verdict contrary to law and gospel. The plaintiff, Personal Sense, is recorded in our Book of books as a perjurer. Our Teacher of Spiritual Jurisprudence speaks of him, as “a murderer from the beginning.” We have no trials for sickness before the tribunal of Spirit. Man is adjudged innocent of transgressing physical laws, because there is no spiritual statute relating thereto. The law of God, or Truth, is our only code. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
The jury of Spiritual Senses agreed at once upon a verdict; and there resounded throughout the vast audience-chamber of Soul the cry, Not Guilty.
Then the prisoner rose up strong, free, and glorious. We noticed, as he shook hands with his counsel, Science, that all sallowness and debility had disappeared. His form was erect and commanding, his countenance beaming with health and happiness. Supremacy had taken place of fear. Mortal Man, no longer sick and in prison, walked forth, his “feet beautiful upon the mountains,” as of one who bringeth glad tidings.
The above allegory illustrates the effect of mortal belief. It is designed to show how the testimony of personal sense, and the plea of error, would condemn man, while the plea of Science converts the sentence into the triumph of Truth.
The moral and spiritual facts of health, whispered into thought, produce very direct and marked effects on the body. A physical diagnosis of disease — when mortal mind must be its cause, if it exists — has a tendency to induce disease.
It has been said to me: “The world is benefited by you, but it feels your influence without seeing you. Why do you not make yourself more widely known?”
Did my friends know how little time I have in which to make myself known, except through my publications and Christian work, — how much time and toil are required to establish the stately operations of Christian Science, — they would understand why 1 can be seen so seldom.
In founding this system of ethics and medicine I have labored for Principle, not for personality; although malice has striven to misrepresent me, to hinder my work, or to divert my system of healing into mischievous channels.
Others cannot take my place, even if willing to do so. I therefore remain at my post, working for the generations to come, never looking for a present reward. Sordid selfishness, mad ambition, weak envy, and puerile hatred have watched the good done by Christian Science, as the many-headed Cerberus watched at the gates of Hades.
I have adhered to Truth most strongly in the hour of its detraction. Will others do the same? “The hireling fleeth because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep.” Neither dishonesty nor selfishness ever founded a true system of ethics or health.
Others may fill their pockets by a misappropriation of my labors, but their success will be short-lived. Falsehood and hypocrisy are a foundation of sand. Honesty, Truth, and Love are the only foundations whereon to rear the superstructure of Christian Science.
The false evidence of material sense contrasts strikingly with the testimony of Soul. Material sense says: —
I am unjust, and no man knoweth it. I can cheat, lie, rob, murder, commit adultery, and elude detection by smooth-tongued villany. Brutal in propensity, deceitful in sentiment, fraudulent in purpose, I mean to make my short span of life one gala-day. What a nice thing is sin! How the proud reveller succeeds, where goodness fails! The world is my kingdom, where I sit enthroned in the gorgeousness of matter. But a touch, an accident, the law of God, may at any moment annihilate me, for all my fancied joys are mortal. Like an airy bubble, I but expand to my own destruction, and shine with the fatal resplendency of error.
Soul bearing opposite testimony saith: —
I am Spirit. Man, whose senses are spiritual, is my likeness. I give him understanding, for I am full of unutterable perfections. The beauty of holiness, the infinity of being, imperishable glory, all are mine, for I am God. I grasp and gather into myself all bliss, for I am Love. I give immortality to man, for I am Truth. I am Life, without beginning and without end. I am supreme over all, because I am Intelligence. I am the Substance of all, because I am that I am.
BREVITIES ON TEACHING.
The teacher must make clear the Science of Healing to students, — that all is Mind, and that the Scientist must conform to God's requirements. Then no hypothesis, as to the existence of another power, can interpose a doubt or fear, to hinder the demonstration of Christian Science. Unfold the latent energies and capacities for good in your scholar. Teach the great possibilities of man endued with Divine Science. Teach the fatal effect of dwarfing this understanding by recourse to other means for healing. Teach the meekness and might of a “life hidden with Christ,” and there will be no desire for any other healing methods. You render the divine law of healing obscure and void, when you weigh the human in the scale with the divine, or limit, in any direction of thought, the omnipresence and omnipotence of God.
A Christian Scientist never gives medicine, never recommends hygiene, never manipulates. He never tries to “focus mind.” He never places patient and practitioner “back to back,” never consults “spirits,” nor requires the life-history of his patient. Above all he cannot trespass on the rights of Mind through animal magnetism. I need not add that tobacco and intoxicating drinks are not in line with Christian Science.
A Christian Scientist requires “Science and Health” for his text-book, and so do all his students and patients. Why? First: Because it is the standard work, the first ever published on Christian Science, or the Science of Healing through Mind; though other works have borrowed from this book without giving it credit, and adulterated the Science. Second: Because “Science and Health” will do more for teacher and student, for healer and patient, than can possibly be accomplished without it.
If the reader of this book observes a great stir throughout the whole system, and the moral and physical symptoms seem aggravated, these indications are favorable. Continue to read, and the book will become the physician, allaying the tremor that Truth often brings to error when destroying it. It is no more scientific to see disease than it is to experience it. If you would destroy the sense of disease, you should not build it up by wishing yourself to see the form it assumes, nor by prescribing a single application for its relief.
Mental quackery rests on the same platform with all other quackery. The chief plank in this platform is, that Science has two principles in partnership, one good, the other bad; and that these two may be simultaneously at work on the sick. This theory is supposed to enable quacks to practise from both a mental and material standpoint. Another plank in the platform is this, that error will finally have the same effect as Truth.
Some people, mistaught as to Mental Science, inquire of my students when it will be safe to check a fever. Know that in Science you cannot check a fever, after admitting that it must have its course. To fear and admit the power of matter, is to paralyze mental and scientific demonstration. Departing from my instruction, many learners commend diet and hygiene. They even administer medicine for certain diseases, thinking thereby to initiate the cure which they think to complete with Mind! Such practice is the veriest charlatanism. The Scientist's demonstration rests on one Principle, and there must be no opposite principle or rule.
The perversion of Mental Science is like asserting that the products of eight multiplied by five, and of seven by ten, are alike forty, and that their combined sum is fifty, and then calling the process mathematical.
It is anything but scientific to diet, dose, and exercise, in order to aid the human body until the Divine Mind is ready to take the case. Divinity is always ready. Semper paratus is Truth's motto. Having suffered sufficiently from quackery myself, I desire to keep it out of Christian Science. The two-edged sword of Truth must turn in every direction, to guard this Tree of Life.
“Mind-cure” is an effort to heal mortality with erring mortal mind, instead of resting on the omnipotence of Immortal Mind. Placing such a power in the hands of frail mortals is like putting a knife into the hands of a child, who, by his ill-regulated, spasmodic motions, may wound others as well as himself.