An Unusual Prescription

From the Christian Science Sentinel, October 4, 1900, by

In a recent issue of the Sentinel we republished from the Midland an account of a lady who went to a famous New York physician for medical advice and treatment. After giving the doctor a list of her symptoms and answering his questions, she was told that she needed to read her Bible more. When she demurred the doctor told her, kindly but firmly, to go home and read her Bible an hour each day for a month and then come to him again.

She was not a little surprised at this unexpected advice from her physician, but finally concluded that as the prescription was not an expensive one she might at least give it a trial. At the end of the month she returned to the doctor’s office and declared that she felt like a different person and needed no other medicine.

When asked how he knew that was what she needed the doctor replied that if he were to omit his daily reading of the Bible he would lose his greatest source of strength and skill. He said that he never went to an operation or attended a distressing case without reading his Bible, and then he added: “Your case called not for medicine, but for sources of peace and strength outside your own mind, and I showed you where to find them unfailingly. I gave you my own prescription and I knew it would cure.”

He said there were many cases in his practice where the prescription would work wonders, but only a few were willing to try it.

The prescription was certainly a most unusual one for a doctor of medicine to give, and what may seem to be another remarkable thing about it is that it was one the doctor had freely administered in his own case. Because he had learned from experience he knew whereof he spake.

Even though the one who gave it relied upon material means and methods in his practice, yet he felt the need of looking to a higher source for help. He had not reached the place where he could dispense with material remedies, but he realized that these alone could not suffice.

While it may seem that his faith was divided, yet had he lived to continue his practice he would, no doubt, have relied less and less upon the material and more upon the spiritual until he would have given up the material altogether and relied entirely upon the spiritual. Such faith in the power of God’s word cannot decrease but it must increase until it is seen that God is All-in-all.

This incident illustrates the yearning of human thought to rise above its limitations and find help outside itself. Its own means and methods fail in the time of greatest need and then is most keenly felt the necessity there is for looking beyond mortal and material things for that which can bring health and happiness. Mortals would be spared many bitter experiences if they earlier learned to turn from earth to heaven.

Mortals little realize the help that is to be derived from the faithful study of the Bible. We are told that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” and that “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” If this be true the Bible was written from a higher, and consequently more spiritual, point of view than the world has yet attained. The sacred writers had come nearer the Truth of Being, the eternal reality of existence, and the limitations of mortal thought had in a measure disappeared.

Words are the expression of thought, and if the reader understands the writer he partakes of the writer’s mental condition. When the Bible is read understandingly, thought is spiritualized and this improves man’s condition physically as well as morally.

The Christian world has been taught, and is accustomed to look to the Bible for help in time of trial and temptation, but fails to realize it is a help in time of sickness as well. This is not because the help is not there but because mortals do not seek expecting to find. God’s word is spoken not less to the invalid than it is to the sinner or the Christian bowed down with care and sorrow. It only remains for the needy one to seek diligently and he will find.

The Bible is God’s word to all His children. Because it seems hard to realize this it is difficult to take Him at His word, and for this reason all the promises are not verified in human experience. But this is due to no failure on God’s part, rather is it man’s failure to put forth his hand and take the blessing that is already within his reach. As thought is spiritualized the limitations imposed by material interpretations of God’s word are removed and greater blessings of the gospel of salvation are realized.

The Psalmist sang: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities: who healeth all thy diseases.” The prophet said: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Again, “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily.” These texts are not perverted when applied to physical as well as moral healing, for it is God’s will that man should be every whit whole. While one should look for and desire moral and spiritual restoration more than physical healing, yet he should not rob himself by limiting God’s power and willingness to bestow all good.

The one who goes to the Bible as a little child, earnestly desiring to understand the divine message, will find help. There is nothing God cannot do for His children, and the honest, faithful study of His word enables mortals to acquaint themselves with God and be at peace.

The great difficulty has been that while mortals realize they must trust their spiritual welfare to God’s care, they believe their material prosperity depends upon their own endeavors. They need to know that of themselves they can do nothing and that all things are safe in the “hollow of His hand.” The faithful study of the Bible impresses one with this fact. God is nearest and most real to the one who communes most with Him and is willing to trust all things to His keeping.

Mortals little realize what a storehouse of wealth and wisdom is to be found in the Bible. Who dare say that the world would not be better, physically as well as morally, if this unusual prescription of the famous New York physician were universally administered?

When one opens his Bible let him remember that “God is no respecter of persons,” and that He is unchangeable, “the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.” Then as he reads how God cared for the children of Israel, supplying all their needs, physical as well as spiritual; how His eternal goodness was likewise manifest in the days of the prophets; then coming down to the days of Jesus, recalling how he healed the sick and the sinner and declared that he “came not to destroy but to fulfil;” then remembering that he sent out his disciples into all the world to do the works that he did; remembering all this, we ask, who could fail to be impressed with the thought, that if we are all God’s children and He changes not, surely He must be able and willing to bless us as He did those who lived in Bible times? When human thought is once impressed in this manner, who can limit the blessings that will be realized by the one who habitually turns to God?

As Christian Scientists we love the Bible and appreciate its worth as never before, and our hearts overflow with gratitude to God that we have our text-book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker G. Eddy, to elucidate His word. What a treasure we have in the Bible and Science and Health, and how great are God’s tender mercies toward us! May we not ask ourselves the question, Do we appreciate the glorious opportunities afforded us to demonstrate the goodness of God which leadeth to repentance? Are we fully awake to the fact that we shall be held responsible for the right use of the talents entrusted to our keeping? If to-day we enjoy a greater light than we had yesterday a greater work is expected of us and more humbleness of mind is necessary to perform it.

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