Science and Health
with Key to The Scriptures
by Mary Baker Eddy
Chapter XII - Christian Science Practice


Divine insight
of undoubted goodness and purity, who has since been
rightfully regarded as the best man that ever trod this
planet. Her reverence was unfeigned, and it was mani-
fested towards one who was soon, though they knew it
not, to lay down his mortal existence in behalf of all
sinners, that through his word and works they might be
redeemed from sensuality and sin.
Penitence or hospitality
Which was the higher tribute to such ineffable affec-
tion, the hospitality of the Pharisee or the contrition of
the Magdalen? This query Jesus answered
by rebuking self-righteousness and declaring
the absolution of the penitent. He even said that this
poor woman had done what his rich entertainer had neg-
lected to do, – wash and anoint his guest's feet, a special
sign of Oriental courtesy.
Here is suggested a solemn question, a question indi-
cated by one of the needs of this age. Do Christian
Scientists seek Truth as Simon sought the Saviour, through
material conservatism and for personal homage? Jesus
told Simon that such seekers as he gave small reward
in return for the spiritual purgation which came through
the Messiah. If Christian Scientists are like Simon,
then it must be said of them also that they love
Genuine repentance
On the other hand, do they show their regard for
Truth, or Christ, by their genuine repentance, by their
broken hearts, expressed by meekness and
human affection, as did this woman? If
so, then it may be said of them, as Jesus said of the
unwelcome visitor, that they indeed love much, because
much is forgiven them.
Compassion requisite
Did the careless doctor, the nurse, the cook, and the
brusque business visitor sympathetically know the thorns
they plant in the pillow of the sick and the heavenly
homesick looking away from earth, – Oh, did
they know! – this knowledge would do much
more towards healing the sick and preparing their helpers
for the "midnight call," than all cries of "Lord, Lord!"
The benign thought of Jesus, finding utterance in such
words as "Take no thought for your life," would heal
the sick, and so enable them to rise above the supposed
necessity for physical thought-taking and doctoring;
but if the unselfish affections be lacking, and common
sense and common humanity are disregarded, what men-
tal quality remains, with which to evoke healing from
the outstretched arm of righteousness?
Speedy healing
If the Scientist reaches his patient through divine
Love, the healing work will be accomplished at one
visit, and the disease will vanish into its native
nothingness like dew before the morning sun-
shine. If the Scientist has enough Christly affection to
win his own pardon, and such commendation as the Mag-
dalen gained from Jesus, then he is Christian enough to
practise scientifically and deal with his patients compas-
sionately; and the result will correspond with the spiritual
Truth desecrated
If hypocrisy, stolidity, inhumanity, or vice finds its
way into the chambers of disease through the would-be
healer, it would, if it were possible, convert
into a den of thieves the temple of the Holy
Ghost, – the patient's spiritual power to resuscitate him-
self. The unchristian practitioner is not giving to mind
or body the joy and strength of Truth. The poor suf-
fering heart needs its rightful nutriment, such as peace,
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