Has the word "incurable" become obsolete since the advent of Christian Science? One reads in the Christian Science periodicals and hears at Wednesday testimony meetings in Christian Science churches many accounts of the healing of diseases formerly called incurable. Obviously it is no longer an accurate word.
A Christian Scientist never sees a problem as hopeless. When someone has been told that his disease, or perhaps an enslaving appetite, cannot be healed, and he struggles with the despair that results, what must it mean to him to learn that it is never too late for God's help! God's boundless love, cherishing His creation, is sufficient to meet every need.
The opening door to the discovery of Christian Science by Mrs. Eddy was her own recovery from an injury which her physician considered serious - a healing brought about through her study of the Scriptural record of a healing accomplished by Christ Jesus. Her liberation awakened so deep a conviction of God's power and willingness to preserve life that she confidently applied her understanding of the divine law of health and freedom to heal others.
She healed consumption in its last stages, and malignant diphtheria; restored carious bones, when a surgeon had been ready to amputate the limb; healed cancer in a critical stage; restored both sight and hearing (see The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany, by Mrs. Eddy, P. 105.)
She recorded in 1883 that at that period it was the cases called incurable ,which were brought to Christian Science for healing (see Miscellaneous Writings, p. 6). The proof that spiritual power heals sickness which material remedies cannot help played a vital part in the growth of the Church of Christ, Scientist, and has helped immeasurably to lift from human thought the fear of incurability.
How is such healing accomplished? Through prayer, and without the use of material remedies. In the opening sentence of the first chapter of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures Mrs. Eddy describes this healing prayer: "The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, - a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love."1
It is the spiritual understanding of God which brings the conviction that all things are possible to Him. All of comfort and security, all of health and joy, are not only possible but also natural to God. For Him to cause or tolerate pain in His creation would be impossible; He is infinite Love. Because He is omniactive good, malfunctioning could never exist in His universe.
It is natural for a perfect God to give good gifts to His children. In fact, the Bible assures us that "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." 2 Two of these good gifts are life and health; and since there is no variableness in the Giver, evil has no origin and therefore no continuity. The good gifts are as dependable as divine Love which bestows them. It is the unchanging nature of God, His tenderness, His power to preserve man's perfection, which endures.
The Gospel of John says of God that "all things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." 3 And we read in Genesis that God pronounced it a "very good" 4 creation. To be very good means such consistency in perfection as to include no seed from which evil could develop.
This same account in Genesis says of God's creation that the "seed is in itself," 5 and it brings forth fruit after its own kind. What Mind reproduces expresses Mind's intelligence, is spiritual and harmonious.
Evil has no seed within itself, since it is not included in the very good creation of the only creator. Then evil has no life in itself, no power to develop or increase, no substance. Discord, which has no place in God's creation, has therefore no beginning; so of course it cannot endure.
Why is it possible for spiritual power to heal when material methods fail? Because Christian Science healing deals with thought rather than with the physical body. Mrs. Eddy explains that "the physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus' time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation."6 Removing from human consciousness belief in the reality of sin and disease is the only operation necessary to heal them.
A person's thinking has a relation to his body similar to that which a motion picture film has to the image thrown on the screen. Nothing can appear on the screen which does not originate in the film. If one sees something ugly or unpleasant on the screen, he cuts it out of the film. He does not go to the screen and attempt to cut out part of it or to paint over it. Once the scene has been cut out of the film, he has no fear that it will ever again show on the screen.
Even so, the correction of an erroneous physical condition must begin with the spiritual correction of thought. To say that a disease cannot be healed would be like saying it is impossible to change one's thinking. Of course we can-with God's help. Christian Science does more than merely change the diagnosis, calling an illness a sick mind rather than a sick body. A patient would be no better off with a sick mind.
Discerning specifically the false thinking which produces the disease is a first step in the practice of metaphysical healing. But that alone does not heal. The next vital need is replacing the mental discord with spiritual ideas. This brings the awakening from the dream that one could have been, even temporarily, the unlikeness of God. It proves that mental discord is as unreal as its physical effect. Christian Science healing is spiritual awakening through which suffering from sickness or another form of enslavement is eliminated from thought and thus from embodiment.
A child was sent home from school. The school doctor told his parents that their young son had epilepsy in the last stages. He advised them to keep the boy at home since he could no longer be cared for at the school. He said it was impossible to heal him.
There came a day when the condition was so grave that the boy was lying as one dead, unable to move and unconscious. In desperation the parents asked a Christian Science practitioner to help them. She explained to them that God is good and that His creation expresses His perfection. She told them that God is All-in-all and that therefore nothing unlike Him could be real; that a belief in the reality of evil, disease, and death would be disbelief in God. They learned that man is God's own child, created in His image, and always in His care.
They were so ready to receive this truth that even in the darkest hour they were able to pray. In fact, they spent the whole night praying and expressing their thanks to God for His goodness and love. The following afternoon the boy was his natural, happy self, running around freely and eating with a hearty appetite. And from that hour he has been healthy all through the years.
Both medical so-called law and general belief classify certain diseases as incurable. When those who have been told that a case is hopeless begin to understand the liberating law of divine Love, they are able to separate the patient from the influence of collective belief which is rooted in false education. The healing of epilepsy just related proved that the power of God is superior to the threat of incurability. The parents' thought was so filled with gratitude for God's love and trust in His care for their son that their fear of the medical prophecy was conquered and the boy freed from the symptoms of the disease.
Man has never depended on material conditions for life or well-being. Mrs. Eddy assures us that "suffering, sinning, dying beliefs are unreal. When divine Science is universally understood, they will have no power over man, for man is immortal and lives by divine authority." 7
Through His Christ, God feeds human consciousness with spiritual ideas that illumine the darkness of fear and false belief. This light awakens thought to behold the radiance of divine Love's presence, to see God's beloved creation as the forever evidence of His glory and the full representation of His wisdom and power. Fear and suffering flee before this Christ light, which reveals man wholly free from discord, consciously blessed, divinely comforted, preserved by God throughout eternity in his original perfection.
1) Science and Health, p. 1; 2) James 1: 17; 3 John 1: 3; 4) Gen. 1:31; 5) V. 11; 6) Science and Health, Pref., p. xi; 7) p. 76.
Re-published from a pamphlet originally put out by the Christian Science Publishing Society over fifty years ago.