“I’ve Got Cold”
From Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy, page 239-241
Out upon the sidewalk one winter morning, I observed a carriage draw up before a stately mansion; a portly gentleman alight, and take from his carriage the ominous hand-trunk.
“Ah!” thought I, “somebody has to take it; and what may the potion be?”
Just then a tiny, sweet face appeared in the vestibule, and red nose, suffused eyes, cough, and tired look, told the story; but, looking up quaintly, the poor child said,— “I’ve got cold, doctor.”
Her apparent pride at sharing in a popular influenza was comical. However, her dividend, when compared with that of the household stockholders, was new; and doubtless their familiarity with what the stock paid, made them more serious over it.
What if that sweet child, so bravely confessing that she had something that she ought not to have, and which mamma thought must be gotten rid of, had been taught the value of saying even more bravely, and believing it,—“I have not got cold.”
Why, the doctor’s squills and bills would have been avoided; and through the cold air the little one would have been bounding with sparkling eyes, and ruby cheeks painted and fattened by metaphysical hygiene. Parents and doctors must not take the sweet freshness out of the children’s lives by that flippant caution, “You will get cold.”
Predicting danger does not dignify life, whereas forecasting liberty and joy does; for these are strong promoters of health and happiness. All education should contribute to moral and physical strength and freedom. If a cold could get into the body without the assent of mind, nature would take it out as gently, or let it remain as harmlessly, as it takes the frost out of the ground or puts it into the ice-cream to the satisfaction of all. The sapling bends to the breeze, while the sturdy oak, with form and inclination fixed, breasts the tornado. It is easier to incline the early thought rightly, than the biased mind. Children not mistaught, naturally love God; for they are pure-minded, affectionate, and generally brave. Passions, appetites, pride, selfishness, have slight sway over the fresh, unbiased thought. Teach the children early self-government, and teach them nothing that is wrong. If they see their father with a cigarette in his mouth—suggest to them that the habit of smoking is not nice, and that nothing but a loathsome worm naturally chews tobacco. Likewise soberly inform them that “Battle-Axe Plug” takes off men’s heads; or, leaving these on, that it takes from their bodies a sweet something which belongs to nature,—namely, pure odors.
From a religious point of view, the faith of both youth and adult should centre as steadfastly in God to benefit the body, as to benefit the mind. Body and mind are correlated in man’s salvation; for man will no more enter heaven sick than as a sinner, and Christ’s Christianity casts out sickness as well as sin of every sort. Test, if you will, metaphysical healing on two patients: one having morals to be healed, the other having a physical ailment. Use as your medicine the great alterative, Truth: give to the immoralist a mental dose that says, “You have no pleasure in sin,” and witness the effects. Either he will hate you, and try to make others do likewise, so taking a dose of error big enough apparently to neutralize your Truth, else he will doubtingly await the result; during which interim, by constant combat and direful struggles, you get the victory and Truth heals him of the moral malady.
On the other hand, to the bedridden sufferer administer this alternative Truth: “God never made you sick: there is no necessity for pain; and Truth destroys the error that insists on the necessity of any man’s bondage to sin and sickness. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ ”
Then, like blind Bartimeus, the doubting heart looks up through faith, and your patient rejoices in the gospel of health.
Thus, you see, it is easier to heal the physical than the moral ailment. When divine Truth and Love heal, of sin, the sinner who is at ease in sin, how much more should these heal, of sickness, the sick who are dis-eased, discomforted, and who long for relief!