Infomotions, Inc.The Pastor's Son / Walter, William W.



Author: Walter, William W.
Title: The Pastor's Son
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): walter; pastor; bible; christian science; jesus christ; god; science; evil; christian
Contributor(s): Ellis, William [Translator]
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Identifier: etext6310
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Title: The Pastor's Son

Author: William W. Walter

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*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE PASTOR'S SON ***




Produced by Mary Wampler, Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.




THE PASTOR'S SON

BY WILLIAM W. WALTER




DEDICATED TO

F. S. B.
IN GRATEFUL RECOGNITION
OF WORK WELL DONE




PREFACE

My sole reason for writing this book and placing it before the public
is to call the public's attention to _another book_, wherein is
contained the Christ truth, the understanding of which will free you
from all your troubles.

If in sin, it shows the way out; if sick, it will heal you; if
grief-stricken, it will mend your broken heart; if in poverty, it will
give you plenty. I speak from experience, having been sick for more
than seven years, at the edge of the grave, reduced to poverty, and
all earthly hope gone. I was rescued from this inferno on earth, my
health restored, my supply sufficient, my joy complete; surely I can
say, my cup of happiness runneth over. Truly that book sayeth--"Come
all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest."




CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I     THANKSGIVING MORNING

II    THE TURKEY DINNER

III   WHAT WALTER FOUND

IV    PREPARING FOR THE LESSONS

V     THE FIRST LESSON

VI    CONFUSION

VII   THE SECOND LESSON

VIII  THE THIRD LESSON

IX    THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE JOURNAL

X     HUMANITY'S MISTAKE

XI    FALSE INVESTIGATION

XII   A FAIR INVESTIGATION

XIII  THE UNREALITY OF EVIL

XIV   THE DREAM

XV    TRUTH BEING MANIFESTED

XVI   THE FAREWELL SERMON

      A PARTING WORD




CHAPTER I

THANKSGIVING MORNING


"What a beautiful Thanksgiving morning this is," said the Rev. James
A. Williams to his son Walter, as he looked out of the dining-room
window. "There isn't a cloud in the sky, and this soft, balmy breeze
from the south makes one almost believe that it is a June morning
instead of the 30th of November. I know there will be a large attendance
at church this morning, which will please me very much, as I have
prepared an excellent sermon, and feel certain that the congregation
will enjoy it."

He glanced at his son as he finished speaking, and some of the joy and
cheerfulness that had shown in his eyes faded away, for he saw no
return of his joy and happiness on his child's face; all that was
written there was sorrow, pain, and feebleness.

His son, who was nearly seventeen, had always been sickly and feeble
since birth; the best physicians had been employed, change of climate
had been tried, and everything else that promised relief, but of no
avail. The best specialists had been consulted, but they gave little
hope that hereditary consumption could be cured, for the minister's
wife had been similarly afflicted for many years.

The Rev. Williams thought silently for a few moments, then tried to
regain his cheerfulness by changing the subject to something that might
interest his son; so he said, "Well, wife, I suppose that turkey Deacon
Phillips gave us will be done to perfection by dinner time; I am
beginning to feel hungry already, just from thinking of it and it is
two hours to dinner time yet."

Lillian his wife, looked up from her work with a careworn expression
on her face, and said, "Yes, it is a fine large turkey." His wife
always looked worn-out and tired, for not being strong and still
compelled to do all the housework, it fatigued her very much.

It had not always been this way, for the Rev. Williams was a man of
ability, his congregation large, and his salary ample under ordinary
circumstances, but the constant drain of physicians' bills, and the
great expense of sending mother and son to a warm climate each fall,
as the rigors of the northern winters were considered too hard for the
two invalids to bear, had reduced them almost to poverty; consequently
the expense of a maidservant had long since been dispensed with.

Rev. Williams now turned to go to his study, and as he was turning,
said, "I know that I will do justice to that turkey, after delivering
my long sermon, and I am very thankful to Deacon Phillips, and to God,
for having given it to us."

There was silence for a few moments after the father left the room;
then Mrs. Williams said: "Walter, dear, you had better get ready for
church; I will soon have this turkey so I can leave it, then I will
get ready and we will both go to church, there to give thanks to God."

Walter turned to his mother saying, "What have we to be thankful for,
mother?"

His mother looked up, somewhat startled, and answered, "Why for
everything that God gave us." "Everything, mother?" asked Walter.

"Yes dear, everything."

"Oh, mother, I don't see how I am going to do that, father told me
that God gave me this sickness, and I don't see how I can feel thankful
to Him for making me suffer."

The mother anxiously looked at her son, then said, "Remember Walter,
Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, also suffered."

"Yes, I know, but it was not God that made Him suffer, it was the
Pharisees; but father said it was God gave me this sickness and that
I must bear it with love and patience, which I have tried to do, but
I have never been able to understand why a good and loving God should
care to see me suffer."

"I am sure I cannot tell," said his mother, "but it must be for some
good purpose; we will ask your father to explain some time. Now hurry
and get ready."

A few minutes later they both walked to the church, which was only a
short distance away, and entered its wide-open doors.




CHAPTER II

THE TURKEY DINNER



"Well wife, what did you think of my sermon?" asked the pastor as he
sat down to enjoy the turkey dinner.

"I think it was the best sermon you ever delivered, James," answered
his wife, quietly.

"I think so, too," said James, "and what's more, it ought to make every
person that heard it feel very thankful to God, for all He has given
them," then looking around the room he asked, "Where is Walter?"

"I don't know," said his wife, "he became so nervous and tired, that
he left just before the last hymn was sung. I suppose he went up to
his room, you had better call him to dinner."

"I will," answered the pastor, and going to the hall door, he called
aloud, "Walter, dinner is ready."

"All right father, I will be down in a minute," came back the answer
in a rather faint voice. The pastor turned to his wife and asked, "Do
you think that last medicine is doing him any more good than the others
we have tried?"

His wife raised her sad face to his, and replied, "No, James, I don't
think it is helping him, for he seems to get weaker and more nervous
all the time. I feel that he is losing ground even more rapidly than
I am."

Here Walter entered the room, his face more flushed than usual, and
his father's watchful eye took note of it, but he spoke up cheerfully,
"Just look at that turkey, Walter, isn't it a fine one? See how nice
and evenly it is browned, and the oyster dressing, I'll bet it's fit
for a king."

Walter merely glanced at the turkey, then seated himself beside his
mother.

After the pastor had said grace, he picked up the carving knife and
said, "Now, son, just tell me what piece you like best and I will have
it carved out for you before you can say, Jack Robinson."

"You are very kind, father, but I don't believe I care for any turkey,
I am not feeling very well," answered Walter.

"Just try a little, Walter," said the mother coaxingly, "I know it
must be very tender and nice, for Deacon Phillips said it was a young
turkey."

"Yes, Walter," said his father, "hand me your plate, and I will give
you a little of the dark and a little of the light meat, with some of
this delicious dressing."

The boy listlessly handed over his plate without any more ado, his
father put onto it a liberal piece of each kind of meat and some
dressing, then handed it back, with the remark, "Eat all you can son,
for it will make you strong." Then he added, "Now wife, it's your turn,
I know you like the dark meat the best," and while he was talking he
carved a nice piece of the turkey and laid it on her plate, and then
said, "Now father, it is your turn, and I know your failing to be the
leg," and suiting the action to the word, he carved for himself the
leg.

Then, addressing his son once more, he asked,
"How did you like the sermon, Walter?"

"I thought it was very fine, father, and as I looked over the
congregation, I could see many heads nodding their approval of your
words telling them they ought to be thankful, and I tried, oh, so hard,
to be thankful, but I couldn't, for something seemed to say, you have
nothing to be thankful for, God gave you this sickness as a punishment.
I tried to think what I had done to merit this punishment, but found
it could not have been anything I had done, as I remembered that you
had said I always had been sick even when a little child, and then--"

"Tut, tut, child, now don't get excited," said the pastor. "We all
know that your punishment is not for anything you may have done, but
you are probably suffering for the sins of others, the same as Jesus
did; why, Walter, just think, Jesus Christ died for all our sins."

"For my sins, father?" asked the boy.

"Yes, Walter, all our sins."

"But father, I don't see how that could be. We weren't any of us living
at that time, and if we sinned, it must have been since then, and Jesus
could not die for sins that had not been committed."

The father was so surprised at what he heard, that for a moment he
just stared at his son; the idea was entirely new to him, and yet it
was only common sense. He tried to find some reply that would be
reasonable, but before he found it, the boy continued.

"I cannot believe that God punishes any one person for the sins of
another. If He would do this, He would not be a just God. Why, father,
even man is more just than that. Supposing Judge Baxter had pronounced
sentence like this: 'Yes, I find Mose Webster guilty of stealing Mr.
Johnson's chickens, and have decided to send the Rev. James Williams
to the county jail for ten months, because Mose Webster stole those
chickens,' would you think that justice? and could you feel thankful
to the judge for sending you to jail to suffer in the place of Mose
Webster, and--"

"Silence, child," said the father, more sternly than he had ever spoken
to his son before. He was so confused by what the boy had said that
he could not find words to speak. After a time he said, "Walter, never
let me hear you say anything like that again, to think that you, a
minister's son, should say such things. Why, they are almost
blasphemous."

"Never mind, James," said the mother; "think how hard it must be to
suffer year in and year out, without any relief, and remember, dear,
that even some of the apostles doubted at times. Now, let us finish
our dinner." Then, turning to her son, she added, "father will explain
all this to you as soon as he finds time."

The father looked at the flushed face of the boy and his anger softened,
then in a kind voice said: "I think it would be a very nice idea for
us to set aside one or two evenings each week for Bible reading and
study; in this way we would all get a better understanding of God, and
His great love for mankind. What do you think of that plan, Walter?"

"I should enjoy it, as there is a great deal in the Bible that I should
like to have explained."

"All right, Walter, now what would you say to starting our Bible class
to-morrow evening?"

"That would please me," said Walter.

"How about you, mother?" asked the pastor.

"Oh, I certainly want to be a member of the class. I know it will be
very entertaining and instructive, besides it will be such a pleasant
way to spend the long winter evenings."

"Why mother, I thought we were going south this winter."

"No, child, it will be impossible for us to go this year. You know
that this last medicine which you and I are taking costs father five
dollars per bottle, and we each need a bottle a week, so it has been
impossible for father to save the money necessary for our going."

For a moment the boy's face looked sad and grave, and the pastor
swallowed a lump that had risen in his throat, for it hurt the good
man severely to think that he had not the necessary funds to gratify
their every wish, but had already borrowed more than he could pay back
in several years. Still he was willing to make more sacrifices, had
his wife agreed, but she had said on one occasion when they were
discussing this subject, "No, James, I will not leave you again. I
think the separation does us as much harm as the warm climate does
good, and I feel that we have not many more years to be together, so
I cannot bear the thought of being separated from you for another five
months. I think Walter and I will be better off to be at home with
you. We need not go out in the cold very much, and you and I can arrange
some way to entertain and amuse Walter."

The pastor had answered: "Well, Lillian, it may be the better way, for
I must confess that these long separations were very unpleasant to me,
yet I was more than willing to endure them, if thereby you and Walter
could be benefited, still it seems that the change of climate idea did
not prove as beneficial as we had hoped for, but please don't speak
in that hopeless strain again, for you certainly have heard that old
saying, 'while there is life there is hope,' so never give up, and
remember that there are many noted physicians and chemists, working
day and night to get a sure cure for tuberculosis, and who knows but
that the morrow will bring it forth. You know that I am constantly on
the lookout for everything that looks promising."

And so the thought of a southern trip had been dismissed.




CHAPTER III

WHAT WALTER FOUND



Dinner over, they all arose from their seats at the table, and the
father asked, "Walter, what part of the Bible shall we start to study
first?"

"I hardly know, father," said Walter.

"Well, you can take the old family Bible, look it over and then decide.
As for myself I have very little choice; I have read and studied it
so often that I feel very familiar with all it contains."

"All right; father, may I go up to my room now?"

"Yes, certainly, if you choose, but I should think you would rather
be outside to-day, it is so warm, and there won't be many more days
like this this year."

"I believe I would rather go to my room," said the boy, starting in
that direction.

"Just as you please, son," said the father, as he stepped through the
hall to enter the library. Walter went quickly up stairs to his room,
and his mother wondered greatly at his hurry.

Once in his room he closed the door and quietly locked it, then going
to his trunk, he excitedly pulled forth a little book with a black
leather cover which looked very much like a small Bible. He opened it
and began reading in a low tone. "_Science and Health, with Key to
the Scriptures, by Mary Baker G. Eddy_." "Yes, I am sure it is the
same book that lovely lady down south told me about, and asked mother
to get me one, but mother had said, 'no, we will never try Christian
Science; we are real Christians and believe in God.' I could not hear
everything they said, but I did hear the lady say, 'I don't see how
you can say that you believe that God is all Good, and at the same
time think He made your lovely boy sick.' I did not hear mother's
reply, but I know she was angry. Now I wonder who lost this book? I
saw no one in sight when I picked it up this morning; there is no name
in it, so I can't return it to the owner. I wonder if I ought to read
it? I don't need to believe it if I do read it. Anyway, that lady did
not look like a person that was bad, and she said she read Science and
Health every day, and that it had healed her of a severe sickness."

As he talked he turned a few pages and then read, "Contents, Chapter
I, Prayer. I wonder if that chapter is in favor of prayer or against
it. I suppose though it must be against it by the way mother acted
towards that lady." He laid his head upon his hands and thought silently
for some time, then raised his head and said, "Well, I am going to
read it. That lady said reading 'Science and Health' cured her, and
I am going to see if it will cure me if I read it. I suppose the place
to start is Chapter I."

Walter began to read to himself: "Science and Health. Chapter I, Prayer.

"_For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this
mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, and shall
not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he
saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore
I say unto you, what things whatsoever ye desire when ye pray, believe
that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Your Father knoweth what
things ye have need of before ye ask him. Christ Jesus_."

Then he stopped and said, "Why that is just the same as I read in our
Bible; there certainly can be no bad in that. But maybe they only
printed that so as to ridicule it farther on in the book; anyway, I
wonder what Jesus Christ meant, when he said, '_therefore I say unto
you, what things whatsoever ye desire when ye pray, believe ye shall
receive them and ye shall have them_.' Oh, how often and how earnestly
have I prayed for health, with tears running down my cheeks, but my
prayers never seem to have been answered; now I wonder why, for I know
that what Jesus Christ said must be true, for He was the Son of God, and
would not deceive us; why, oh why, doesn't God answer my prayers?"

He stopped to consider for a moment, then turned pale as death, pressed
his thin hands to his breast, as a new thought came to his
consciousness, then he gasped in a whisper, "I--believe--I--know."
He paused a moment, then continued, "It must be that--I see it all
now; I see my mistake. I prayed to God for health, and in the next
instant doubted Him, doubted that He would heal me. In fact, I never
really believed that He would heal me, and Jesus said, 'Believe that
ye receive.' Oh, can this really be true. I am so excited I can hardly
think. Here I am again, this time doubting the word of Christ." Then
he jumped up with the exclamation, "I must tell father, for his prayers
are not answered, and it must be for the same reason. No, I don't mean
that. My father is a minister and he could not doubt God. But why
aren't his prayers answered? I don't know what to do. If I tell father
or mother, they may take the book away, and then my last hope would
be gone. I think I will read it first." So saying, he sat down in an
easy rocker, and was soon absorbed in what he was reading, nor did he
notice how the time flew until he heard his mother's anxious voice and
knock at the door.

He answered at once, and hastily put the book back in his trunk, then
went to the door and opened it.

His mother greeted him with, "Why, Walter, what is the matter? Since
when have you taken to locking your door in the daytime? You look so
flushed and excited, and we haven't heard a sound from you all the
afternoon. We were beginning to get alarmed about you, so I came up
to see what was the matter, and to tell you that supper was ready.
What have you been doing? Don't you feel as well as usual? Tell me,
Walter, are you worse?"

"No, mother, I am not worse, I only became so absorbed in reading that
I forgot all about time, and also that I had locked the door."

His mother did not think to ask him what he was reading, as she had
always been very careful to see that no reading matter that was at all
questionable was brought into the house, so she had no idea that he
had been reading anything but what she had read and deemed proper.

"We had better hurry down, Walter, as father is waiting for his supper."

They both started down the stairs, his mother still talking to him;
but he scarcely heard a word she said, for his thoughts were still
centered on what he had read. And now that his excitement had abated,
there seemed to be a hopeful gleam in his eyes. As soon as they entered
the room, his father noticed that his eyes were brighter, but took it
as a bad sign.

All through the evening meal they had to address him several times
before he would answer, and his father's heart grew heavy as he noticed
the thoughtful mood of his son.

When they had finished their meal, Walter asked to be excused, and
immediately went to his room.

As soon as he was gone the pastor said, "Lillian, did you notice how
Walter acted to-night? It seemed to me that he was very much more
thoughtful than usual."

"Yes," answered the mother, "he seemed confused, and his eyes were so
bright, but he ate a very hearty supper."

"I also noticed that," said the pastor, then added, "It seems there
is a change, but I hardly know whether to say the change is for better
or worse. I hope it is for the best; it may be that the medicine has
just taken effect."

"God grant that this may be so," reverently said the mother. They were
both silent for some time, then the pastor said, "I never heard Walter
speak as he did this noon. I wonder how he thought of such an absurd
thing, as sending me to jail because some one else stole some chickens."

"I know, James, that it does seem absurd at first thought, yet it seems
to me to be just as sensible to punish the wrong person for stealing,
as it would be to punish the innocent with sickness because some one
else had sinned. I have been thinking seriously of this all the
afternoon, but have not arrived at a satisfactory conclusion," said
Mrs. Williams.

The pastor slowly turned toward his wife and said, "Lillian I am
astonished beyond measure to hear this from you; it was bad enough to
hear it from my own son, but to hear it from you is worse. Don't you
think that Almighty God knows what is best for us, do you dare question
anything He does? Do you think the allwise Creator would have made him
sick if it were not for the best?"

"James, do you really believe God made our boy sick?"

"It must be so," answered James, "for we read in the Bible, that God
made everything that was made."

"If this be true James, it would be a sin to give him medicine, for
we would be trying to undo the work of God."

To say the pastor was astonished would be putting it mildly. Never in
his whole life had he been so shocked as on this day, and each shock
was greater than the preceding one.

He now stood perfectly still for a full minute, then said, "It seems
high time that we begin the study of the Bible in this house, for from
what I have heard to-day it is very apparent to me that my wife and
son are quite ignorant of what the Bible contains." Then turning, he
strode from the room.

The pastor was a good and kind man. He had always been a good husband
and father, always patient and sympathetic with his invalid wife and
son; but this day had been a very trying one to him, first in hearing
his son say things that he considered little less than blasphemous,
then to notice that the mother seemed to indorse what the son had said,
and to make matters worse, to actually hear his wife questioning the
doings of God, as he understood them. This was the last-straw. He was
really angry and out of patience, and somewhat confused, so he decided
to go to his library and think it all over. As soon as he arrived there
he impatiently seated himself in an easy chair and began to soliloquize
after this fashion: "I wonder where Walter got that idea about sending
me to jail, what can that have to do with his sickness; then to think
my wife agreed with him. Let me see, what did she say? I was so outraged
I can scarcely recall what was said. I believe though she said something
about some of the apostles doubting at times. What has that to do with
sending me to jail? I don't seem able to think clearly to-day. Then
this other matter, about giving medicine being a sin. Why everybody
takes medicine; the most pious and devout Christians that ever lived
have taken medicine, and this has been so for thousands of years. The
Bible says that the leaves of the trees are for the healing of the
nations. Then why may not the roots and the bark be used as well? Of
course Jesus Christ did not heal with medicine. He was the Son of God
and was endowed from on high with supernatural power. He didn't need
the medicine. Well, all I can say is that I am glad we are going to
have those Bible lessons, for I know that as soon as we get to studying
them they will get the truth, and then I will hear no more of this
nonsense. I don't think I will mention the matter again until we get
to studying the lessons; then as we get to this medicine question, I
will point it out to them."

So the pastor, after having thought himself into a better frame of
mind, dismissed the subject from his thoughts, arose, and walked over
to the bookcase, selected the book he wanted, and was soon absorbed
in reading.

In the meantime Walter had hurried to his room and was soon busily
engaged in reading "Science and Health."

About nine o'clock he heard his father and mother coming upstairs to
retire for the night. He hastily turned out his light and scrambled
into bed, clothes and all.

A few moments later when his mother looked in she found him in bed
nicely covered up, and supposing him asleep, quietly left the room.
As soon as Walter was sure they had retired, he arose, relit the gas,
and continued reading. It was after midnight when he laid down the
book and said, "I feel sure this book is true, and that God made only
the good, and never made me or any one else sick. I believe I will get
well when I understand how to pray aright." Then he undressed and got
into bed, a happier and more hopeful boy than he had ever been.

After saying his usual prayers, he added, "And now, God, I wish to
thank you for all the good things you have given me. I could not thank
you this morning, for then I thought you had made me sick. But now I
know that you are all good and could not make evil; truly I now have
something to be thankful for and shall always remember this Thanksgiving
day."




CHAPTER IV

PREPARING FOR THE LESSONS


The next morning, when Walter awoke it was broad daylight, and the
hands on the clock pointed to the hour of ten, as his mother came into
his room with an anxious look on her face and said, "I have just come
up to wake you as your father was worried because of your sleeping so
long; how do you feel this morning?"

"Oh, mother, I feel better this morning, and I had the best night's
rest I have had for years. I never woke up once all night, and I feel
strong and hungry."

"Thank God you are better, I will go down and get your breakfast ready."

"All right, mother, I will be down as soon as I wash and dress." Before
going down, he went over to his trunk, took out "Science and Health,"
and said, "I believe that you contain the truth and will free me of
this disease." He then placed it in his trunk again, being careful to
hide it from the view of any one who should carelessly look into it.

Hastily descending to the dining-room, he ate a hearty breakfast. As
he was leaving the table his mother said, "I am sorry you did not take
advantage of the beautiful sunshine yesterday, for the wind has changed
and is now blowing severely from the north and it is very cold and
dreary out."

"I don't mind it at all to-day, mother, for I feel so much better that
I hadn't noticed the weather."

His mother was somewhat astonished to hear him speak so cheerfully,
as it had been customary for Walter to complain of feeling worse on
dreary days. Then she thought, "It must be that new medicine, for he
certainly is better, and I pray God he will continue to improve."

As for Walter, he was glad it was a dreary day, as this would give him
an excuse for staying in his room and continue his reading. He wished
he was there now, but did not want to awaken the suspicion of his
mother by too hurried a departure. So he walked about the room, trying
to think of some excuse. Finally a happy thought occured to him, and
he said, "Mother, I believe I will take the Bible and go to my room
and read, so as to be prepared for our lesson this evening."

"Very well, Walter, you will find it on the library table."

Walter walked into the library, secured the book, then went up to his
room, took out "Science and Health" and was soon absorbed in its
contents.

The afternoon was a repetition of the morning.

At the supper table the Rev. Williams said, "I am sorry we cannot start
our Bible lessons for a few evenings, as I have received a notification
to be present at some meetings to be held by the local clergy."

"Any matter of importance, James?" asked his wife.

"Not particularly so. The Rev. Mr. Johnson said that they wished to
find a way to successfully combat this new heretical idea called
Christian Science, and they want to arrange so that each clergyman
will give a sermon denouncing it, each on a different Sunday, and Rev.
Johnson asked me if I was willing to deliver a sermon on it, and I
told him yes."

"Why father," said Walter, "I did not know that you had ever read or
looked into Christian Science."

"No son, I never did look it up or study it, and what is more I never
intend to. The Bible is good enough for me."

"But, father, how can you preach a sermon on it if you do not know
what it is?"

"I did not say that I did not know what it is. I have heard enough to
know that it _is not_ Christian and that they claim to heal in the same
way that Jesus Christ did. This claim alone proves that it is false, for
Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and that is why He could heal the sick,
and for any man to consider himself equal to Jesus Christ is
blasphemous."

"Father did not Jesus bid His disciples heal the sick?"

"Yes, certainly, He gave His disciples the power to heal the sick, but
His disciples have been dead for a long time, and nobody else was given
the power to heal as Christ did," said the pastor. "Was St. Paul one
of Christ's disciples?"

"No Walter, he was not in reality one of Christ's disciples, but he
was a very good and holy man."

"Did not St. Paul heal the sick?"

"Yes, there are several accounts in the Bible of St. Paul's healing
power."

"Well father, where did St. Paul get his power to heal the sick if he
was not one of the disciples that Jesus gave the power of healing to?"

"Why you see it was like this--that is--I mean to say--" the pastor
stopped rather confused, then finished with, "It is too long a story
to tell to-night, as I must be getting ready for that meeting. I will
explain this all when we start our lessons."

The pastor left the room and entered the library, thinking deeply. "I
wonder where that boy gets those queer ideas from. I am very much
pleased that I suggested those Bible lessons, for if he was not
enlightened, he would surely go astray."

Shortly after, the pastor was wending his way to the meeting, still
thinking of what Walter had said regarding St. Paul. Walter made an
excuse to retire to his room and was soon reading in his precious
"Science and Health;" and it was precious to him, for in it he saw the
only hope he had ever had of getting well. He read far into the night,
and every spare moment of the next few days, so that when Wednesday
evening came he had finished the book. But Wednesday evening was prayer
meeting, so there would be no Bible lessons until Thursday evening.

He spent almost all day Thursday reading Genesis in the Bible and
comparing it with the scientific interpretation as found in "Science
and Health," by Mary Baker G. Eddy, under the subject of Genesis,
beginning on page 501.

About six o'clock his mother called him for supper, and as he laid
down his books he said, "It must be true; I feel that it is the truth.
I will have father start with Genesis to-night and will ask such
questions as will be most apt to get father to see the Bible in its
true light. How I wish I had found this book long ago, then I would
be better prepared to convince father. Still I know that God is good
and will help me, and with Him to help me I cannot fail."




CHAPTER V

THE FIRST LESSON


It was just 7:30 p.m. when the pastor, his wife, and Walter entered
the library to have their first Bible lesson.

"Well, Walter," said the father pleasantly, "have you decided where
we shall commence our studies?"

"Yes, father, I should like to start at the beginning, with Genesis."

The pastor looked at his son and noticed that his face was flushed
with excitement. Still he made no comment about it, but answered, "very
well Walter, if agreeable to mother, we will start with Genesis."

"Yes, James, I am satisfied to start anywhere that pleases Walter."

"As we are all in accord, I will start with chapter 1 of Genesis, and
continue reading until we come to something that you do not understand.
Then you may stop me and I will explain. I think this will be an
excellent way, don't you, Walter?"

"Yes, father, I think that will be the best way." The pastor started
to read Genesis, chapter 1, and there was no interruption until he
arrived at Genesis 1, 26.

Several times Walter was on the point of asking some question, but did
not. Now he asked, "father, what is meant by that verse? I do not
understand it clearly."

"I'll read it again for you," said the pastor. "Genesis, chapter 1,
26th verse. '_And God said, let us make man in our image after our
likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and the
fowl of the air and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over
every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth_.' Do you understand
it now?"

"Not yet. God is Spirit, is He not?"

"Certainly, why do you ask?"

"That verse says that God made man in His image and likeness, does
that mean that man is spiritual?"

"Yes," answered the pastor. "Then my body must be spiritual."

"Oh, no, our bodies are not spiritual, it is only the soul that is in
the body that is here spoken of as the image and likeness of God."

"Then God did not make our bodies, did He, father?"

"Why, certainly He did. Have you never read that God made all that was
made?"

"It doesn't say anything in that verse about God's making a body does it
father?"

"No but it says 'in His image and likeness,' that means just like Him,"
said the pastor.

"Then if I am just like Him, He in turn must be just like me, and in
that case God would have a material body, and would not be wholly
spirit."

"Why son, what queer ideas you have. As I said before this verse is
only speaking of the soul; you will see farther on where He created
the body. Now let us proceed."

"Father, what is meant by that part of this same verse, where it reads:
'_And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and the fowl
of the air_,' etc.?"

"There has been considerable differences of opinion in regard to that
passage. Personally, I think it means that we will have this dominion
after we die and enter the spirit world, for we certainly haven't
dominion over the fish and fowl here."

"James, do you think there will be fish and fowl in heaven?" meekly
asked his wife.

"That is a very absurd question. Everybody knows there will be no fish
and fowl in heaven," said her husband.

"Then how can we have dominion over them if there are none there?"
asked his wife.

"It seems to me that you are both very dense this evening. Let us
continue and these things will clear up as we proceed," said the pastor,
a little nettled at his inability to answer their questions clearly.

Walter had several more questions he wanted to ask on this subject,
but he thought best not to ask too many at one time.

There was no more interruption until the pastor reached Genesis 1,
31st verse--"_and God saw everything He had made, and behold it was
very good, and the evening and the morning were the 6th day_." Here
Walter interrupted with, "Then everything that God made was good."

"Yes, everything that God made was good," answered the pastor.

"If that be true, God could not have made me sick, for sickness is not
good," said Walter.

"Walter, I believe you are right," said his mother.

The pastor looked from one to the other, then slowly laid the Bible
down in his lap. He was surprised at the turn the conversation had
taken, and he remembered that Walter had on a previous occasion said
something similar. Just what would be the best answer to make he did
not know, so thought he would ask Walter a few questions, and in this
way find out what the boy had on his mind. So he asked, "What makes
you so positive that God did not make you sick Walter?"

"Because God is good and just, and I am His child, and the Bible says
He made everything good and He made everything that was made, so
everything must be good. Besides, I cannot conceive of a just God
making me suffer for a sin some one else committed, any more than I
could think of you, father, punishing me for something that our
neighbor's boy had done."

Like a flash the pastor saw now what the boy had meant when he spoke
of sending him to jail because some one else had stolen some chickens.
The boy was only trying to illustrate to him the injustice of punishing
one person for the deeds of another. Then the thought came, "Shall man
be more just than God?" There was something here he did not understand,
and yet the Bible said God made everything that was made. If this be
true, He was the author of all the sorrows and woes, as well as the
joys, of the human race.

Now that he had got to thinking on this subject, he did not like to
admit even to himself that God was the creator of all the wickedness
of the world. He decided he must have more time to think about this
before he could answer the boy, so said, "We know that God is good and
just, and some of the things that to us seem evil and unjust may still
be for our good." He then picked up the Bible to proceed with his
reading.

Walter noticed that his father was ill at ease and decided not to ask
any more questions at present. The pastor then read Genesis 2, 1st
verse: _"Thus the heavens and earth were finished and all the hosts
of them."_ He now cast an anxious look over at Walter, expecting
him to ask some question that would be as hard to answer as the previous
ones, but Walter was sitting perfectly still listening attentively.

The pastor then read the next verse, Genesis 2, 2nd verse: _"And on
the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested
on the seventh day from all His work which He had made"_

"Is that all of creation, father?" asked Walter.

"Yes, God created everything in six days and on the seventh He rested;
that is why we observe the Sabbath day as a day of rest."

There was no interruption in the next three verses, although Walter
heard several things he would like to have asked about. But when it
came to Genesis 2, 6th verse, _"But there went up a mist from the
earth and watered the whole face of the ground,"_ Walter asked, "What is
meant by that _mist_, father?" The pastor tried to find some reasonable
answer, but could not, so he replied, "I suppose it was something like
the fogs we sometimes see rising from the ground." He had come to the
conclusion that these Bible lessons were not going to be quite so easy
and entertaining as he had anticipated, and had determined that on the
morrow he would go over the lesson by himself, and in this way be
prepared for any and all questions that might be asked.

Walter knew what this _mist_ meant; he had read all about it, in
"Science and Health," but still he did not think it policy to say
anything more on the subject just then. The pastor continued his
reading, Genesis 2, 7th verse. _"And the Lord God formed man of the
dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,
and man became a living soul."_

"Will you please explain that verse to me, father?"

"With pleasure; this is the verse I spoke of a little while back, when
I told you that in Genesis 1.26, God only made the soul or spirit of
man, while here is a record of the creation of the body.

"You see, son, we get a better understanding as we proceed. It is like
this, the soul or spirit is in the image and likeness of God, but the
body is not, it being material, having been created of dust. Do you
understand it better now?"

Walter did not answer at once, so his mother said, "That all seems
very plain to me now, although I was somewhat confused before."

The pastor turned a smiling face to her and nodded his head approvingly;
he was now quite at his ease again, and did not look for any further
trouble. Then turning to Walter, he was a little surprised to see him
looking flushed and excited, so said, "Well, Walter, what are you
thinking about?"

The boy looked up and said, "I was trying to think, when God started
His second creation, for He had finished His first one on the sixth
day and rested from His work on the seventh day, and here seems to be
a record of something He created after He had finished."

Had a bomb shell exploded in the room, it would not have surprised and
shocked the pastor and his wife so much as that which they had just
heard; and coming just at the time when the pastor thought he was
making everything clear and plain, it confused him terribly, and in
his ears kept ringing what Walter had said: "I was trying to think,
when God started His second creation, for He had finished His first
one on the sixth day and rested from His work which He had made, on
the seventh day." What could this mean; where did Walter get these
queer thoughts from; were they in reality queer? The idea of a second
creation was absurd, yet the Bible said, Genesis 2. 1, _"thus the
heavens and earth were finished and all the hosts of them."_ There
it was plain enough, it spoke both of heaven and earth, _"and on the
seventh day God ended His work which He had made, and He rested on the
seventh day from all His work which He had made."_ Did God make a
mistake in the first creation and so start in again to rectify His
mistake? Impossible. God was, is, and always will be all-knowing; this
precluded all chance of Deity making a mistake. Was the Bible wrong
in this particular instance, if so, might it not all be wrong? This
thought made the good man's heart stand still. No, no, it could not
be; it must be some slight error in the translation or something of
that kind--yes, it must be; how was it that he had never seen it before?
Then he became conscious that his wife was asking him some question.

"James," he heard her say, "are there really two creations, one
spiritual and the other material?"

What should he answer? He never was so at a loss for a reply in his
whole life; there was his son and his wife, both apparently depending
on him for an explanation, and he absolutely incapable of making a
rational one. And then he remembered that he had said it didn't make
any difference to him what part of the Bible they started with, as he
was very familiar with it all. At length he said: "I don't seem capable
of clear thought to-night; I think we had better stop for this time,
and we will begin at this same verse to-morrow night."

Walter was sorry to see his father so confused and perplexed, and tried
to think of some way to help him arrive at the truth. He was afraid
to say much for fear of awakening his father's suspicion, for if his
father had the least idea that he had secured his information from the
Christian Science text-book, "Science and Health," with key to the
scriptures, he would not have allowed him to ask any more questions,
nor even voice any of his thoughts, on the subject.

Walter decided to try to show his father a way out of his dilemma, so
he said: "Father, don't you think your explanation about that
_mist_ that is spoken of in Genesis, 2. 6, being a fog is wrong?"

"What else could it be, Walter?"

"Have you ever noticed, father, that this particular verse starts in
with a '_but_'? It reads, 'But there went up a mist,' it does not say,
'God made a mist to rise from the earth.'"

"I don't see that the word 'but' changes it any."

"I did not mean to say that it did, I only wished to point out the
fact that here was something that God did not make, for nowhere in the
preceding chapters of Genesis had God made a mist."

"I cannot understand what you mean, Walter. The Bible says that God
made everything that was made, and as I have seen a mist many times,
God must have made it as there is only one Creator," said the pastor.

"On the same line of reasoning, we would have to admit God created all
the evils of this world, for we see these evils every day, and then
I would have to admit that God made me sick, and I can never believe
that, for Genesis 1, 31st verse reads, '_And God saw everything that
He had made, and behold it was very good_.' If we believe this, we
cannot possibly believe He made any evil thing."

"Well Walter, we will not discuss that subject farther at the present
time, for I know as we progress with our lessons you will see it in
a different light; anyway I don't see what that mist has to do with
the subject."

"Father, might not that mist mean a mistake or a misapprehension? Then
that verse would read, 'But there went up a misapprehension from the
earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.'"

"Why, Walter there would be no sense to such a speech; how could a
misapprehension water the whole face of the ground?" "Is not the Bible
supposed to be an inspired book, father?"

"Yes, certainly."

"And is there not supposed to be a spiritual meaning to all there is
written there?"

"Yes, Walter, why do you ask?"

"Then might not the spiritual meaning of that verse be brought out by
using the word 'arose' instead of 'went up,' and the word 'deceived,'
instead of 'watered,' and the word 'intelligence,' in place of 'face,'
and the word 'people,' instead of 'ground'; then the verse would read
like this, 'But there arose a misapprehension from the earth and
deceived the whole intelligence of the people.' If we add to this what
is implied, that the following creation is what the people through
this misapprehension believe, we get a clearer view of the real creation
as narrated in the first chapter of Genesis."

It was several moments after Walter finished speaking before the pastor
or his wife made any reply. Many times that evening they had been
surprised at what they had heard Walter say, now they were both
surprised and bewildered. The mother was the first to speak and said:
"What you say, Walter, seems reasonable, yet I do not think we have
the right to change anything that is written in the Bible."

"That is true, wife, it is from this pernicious habit of translating
the Bible to suit the thought of each ignoramous that thinks he knows
something of the Bible, simply because he has read it once or twice,
that all the contradictory sayings about the Bible originate, and it
ought to be stopped by law," said the pastor.

"Why, father, that is not changing the Bible, it is simply bringing
to light the hidden meaning, the same as you do when you interpret
some of the sayings, or parables, of Jesus; anyway, I merely suggested
that this might be the solution of the question of a second creation."

"Walter do not speak of a second creation again; everybody knows there
is only one creation for there is only one God and He is omniscient;
that precludes the thought of a mistake and a re-creation. God made
everything that was made in six days, and if He made everything in
that time, there would not be anything more to make; for 'everything'
includes, 'all.'" "Then which of the two narratives in the Bible is
the true one, James?" asked his wife.

"My dear, this second narrative is the same creation, told in a more
simple way so that all may understand. It enters into the details and
tells _how_ God created everything."

The pastor had not intended giving such an explanation as this when
he started to speak, but this thought occurred to him and it seemed
reasonable, so he voiced it, and now that he said it, he felt satisfied
that the first creation was the real creation, and that the second
narrative was the explanation of how everything was created.

Walter was somewhat confused by his father's explanation. He had never
thought of it in this light, and now he was at a loss what to say. He
felt sure that his father's explanation was not the correct solution,
yet he could not find words to express his thoughts. Then he thought
of his precious "Science and Health"; if I could only look into that
for a few minutes, I know I could find the true explanation; then
turning to his father he said: "Don't you think we have had enough
Bible study for the first night? It is half past nine.

"Why, how fast the evening has passed. I'm sure you must be tired,"
anxiously exclaimed his mother.

"Yes, Walter," said his father, "it is time that we retire, for there
are many more evenings this winter, and we must not think we can learn
all the Bible contains in one evening. I hope I made that second
narrative plain to you."

"I am not fully convinced that we have arrived at the truth of this
second creation, father. I shall spend to-morrow thinking and studying
on that subject, and maybe by to-morrow evening I will be able to see
it as it really is."

"That's right, Walter," said the pastor, highly pleased at the thought
of his son taking such an interest in the scriptures, "it is only by
study and research that we can gain knowledge." The pastor had no idea
that Walter had any other source of information than the family Bible,
but Walter was thinking of his key to the scriptures by Mrs. Eddy,
with which he proposed to unlock the treasure vaults of the Bible.
"Come, Walter, you had better go to bed, I fear you have already
overexerted yourself, as you are not accustomed to being up so late."

Walter turned a bright and cheery face to her and said, "I do not feel
tired at all mother, for the lesson has been very interesting to me,
so do not worry. I am sure it did me good." Then turning to his father,
he said, "Good-night, father, shall we have another lesson to-morrow
night?"

"Yes, certainly; now good-night and pleasant dreams."

Walter bade his mother an affectionate good-night and went to his room.
As soon as he was gone, father and mother looked at each other and
there was hope and delight written on both their faces.

"He is surely getting better," said the mother.

"I never saw him so interested and cheerful in his whole life," remarked
the father.

"I think we have secured the right medicine at last," said the mother.

"I have prayed long and faithfully to God that He spare his life and
guide his footsteps into the ministry, and I believe both prayers have
been heard, for he is surely gaining rapidly in health, and has taken
more than an ordinary interest in the Bible; some of his questions
were very absurd, but this is simply because he does not understand.
I shall put a little study on to-morrow's lesson, so as to be more
able to explain any and all questions he may ask," said the father.

Shortly after, they ascended the stairs to retire for the night. As
they passed Walter's room the mother softly opened the door, looked
at her sleeping boy, silently closed the door, and said, "Dear boy,
he must have been tired to fall asleep so quickly."

But Walter was not sleeping, he felt he could not sleep until he had
cleared up the matter of a second creation. He also knew his mother
would look into the room before she retired, so he pretended to be
asleep. As soon as she had closed the door he arose and turned on the
light, went to his trunk, and brought forth his "Science and Health."
He then seated himself and said, "I'm sure I saw this all explained
in the book; I wonder what part I will find it in; I should think it
would be in the explanation of Genesis." Turning to Genesis, he read
until he came to page 524, line 14, then exclaimed, "Here it is, plain
as day; it wasn't God, Spirit, that created the _dust_ man, and all the
rest of this material universe. It was the Lord God, that is, man's
material conception of God, or false God. I wonder how I am going to
make this plain to father without showing him my 'Science and Health.'"
Then putting away his book he was soon in bed and asleep.




CHAPTER VI

CONFUSION


The next morning as soon as breakfast was over, the pastor went to the
library, secured his Bible, and began to read. After reading for some
time, a look of perplexity came over his face; he leaned back in his
chair, thinking deeply, and his thoughts were as follows: It's
remarkable that I never noticed this second narrative is the reverse
of the first; they are clearly and distinctly two narratives. In the
first there is no mention made of anything material, and all is created
by the word of God--or spiritually; there is no mention of evil,
but--all is pronounced good by God. He made the earth, the trees, and
the animals first, and man last, in an ascending scale; while in the
2d chapter of Genesis, God is supposed to have made man first, then
woman, then the animals, etc., in a descending scale. I am now quite
sure my explanation to Walter about this second creation being a more
detailed account of the first is not correct, yet what else could it
be? It certainly cannot be a second creation. Let me see, what did
Walter say about that _mist_ being a misapprehension that arose
among the people as to creation? And that this second narrative was
the misapprehension? It sounded reasonable and would be an easy solution
to this second creation; but how about this material body of mine, and
the rest of the material things? Are we laboring under a misapprehension
regarding all these things? Impossible, we could not all make the same
mistake; yet according to Walter's explanation this _mist_ watered
the whole face of the earth; that means all the people. Where did this
mist or misapprehension come from? There is no record of God having
made it. What a position for a minister of the gospel to be in, unable
to explain the simplest things regarding creation; preaching that man
is the image and likeness of God, who is Spirit, and believing man was
created out of _dust_ or materially, thereby contradicting the
statement, that we are the image and likeness of God, Spirit; for
matter is not spirit, but its opposite. I must admit I am very much
confused, and I must be able to explain by to-night, for Walter will
be disappointed if he cannot continue his lesson this evening. I think
I had better read these first two chapters of Genesis over a few more
times, and maybe I will be able to see through this confusion.

The pastor read and studied until dinner was called, then the entire
afternoon. When he laid his book down to come to supper he said, "I
am fully convinced that these two narratives are not meant to be the
same, nor is one the explanation of the other, for one is the direct
opposite of the other. But I cannot decide which is the real, for the
Bible speaks as though God was the author of both. Maybe Walter will
have some idea that will shed light on the subject. I am astonished
at his explanation of that mist; it is so reasonable. It is remarkable
that it never occured to me, after the many times I have read it."

At the supper table the pastor said, "Walter, what have you been doing
all day? I haven't seen you except at dinner, and now at supper."

"I have been reading and thinking preparatory to our lesson, as I
suppose we will have another lesson this evening."

"Yes, Walter, we will continue, although I must confess I am not as
well prepared as I should like to be."

"Why, James, I thought you were reading the Bible almost all day," said
his wife.

"So I was, dear, but could not fully satisfy myself as to that second
narrative being an explanation of the first; in fact, I came to the
conclusion that it was not, but that it is a separate, and distinct
narrative."

"Do you mean to say that there really were two creations?" asked his
wife in a surprised tone.

"No, dear, I do not mean that; the fact of the matter is, I cannot
find any reasonable solution for there being two accounts of creation,
and as this thought had never occured to me before, I have not been
able to find a satisfactory explanation. Nevertheless, we will take
this subject up in our lesson this evening, and see if we cannot explain
it satisfactorily to all concerned. I am going to the library, and
when you are ready you can both come there, and we will get an early
start." The pastor then quitted the room.

Mrs. Williams turned to her son and said, "Walter, I cannot understand
how your father can be confused at anything he could find in the Bible,
for he was credited with being one of the best Bible students in this
part of the country."

"I suppose, mother, that it had never occurred to father, that there
were two accounts of creation in the Bible, and possibly it had never
been pointed out to him. I think though, that before the evening lesson
is over we will all understand just why that second account is given.
Personally, I have come to a satisfactory conclusion concerning it,
and maybe father will agree with me."

"Now, Walter, you must not presume to teach your father anything
concerning the Bible; he has put years of hard study on it."

"I know that is true, mother, but it has often happened that a skilled
mechanic has worked for years on some particular thing, and never
attained what he was after, and some other person who knew nothing of
mechanism discovered the solution without any trouble. It may be so
in this case, you or I may say just the thing that will clear up this
seeming mystery."

"I know that such things have happened, but I would hardly presume to
be able to say anything in regard to the Bible that your father has
not thought of years ago."

Walter did not wish to say anything more on this subject at present,
but it had occured to him that if his father had been taught wrong in
regard to creation, most likely he had also been mis-taught in regard
to the rest of the Bible, for he reasoned that if he started to explain
the Bible from the wrong standpoint, that is materially, instead of
spiritually, he would necessarily be in error as to the truth of all
the teachings of the Bible.




CHAPTER VII

THE SECOND LESSON


It was not long before his mother had finished her work. She then said,
"Come, Walter, I am ready now to go to the library."

They both entered and found Mr. Williams waiting for them with the
Bible open in his hand. He looked up at them as soon as they appeared
and said, "I suppose the great question before the class to-night is
to decide whether there are one or two creations chronicled in the
Bible; and if there are two, which one is the real. Have you arrived
at any conclusion in regard to this point, Walter?"

"Yes, father, I have. It seems very plain to me now, and if you will
allow me, I shall be pleased to give my views regarding these two
creations."

This was just what the pastor wanted. He wished Walter to speak first,
to see what conclusions the boy had arrived at, before he expressed
his own opinion, so he readily gave his consent and said, "Speak your
mind freely, son, and if I cannot agree with you on all points, we
will take up those points afterwards and discuss them."

Walter now had the privilege he wanted, but he felt he must be careful
not to say too much for fear of awakening his father's suspicion; so
he quietly opened the Bible he had brought with him, and read aloud,
Genesis 2, 7th verse, "_And the Lord God formed man of the dust of
the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man
became a living soul._" As he finished reading this verse, he looked
at his father and said, "You will notice, father, that the Bible says,
'the _Lord God_' formed this dust man, and this is not the same God that
created man in his image and likeness. You will also notice that in the
first narrative it simply speaks of God creating everything, and in the
second narrative it always speaks of the _Lord God_ as having made
everything and--"

"Wait, Walter," said the pastor hurriedly. He had intended to let
Walter say everything he had to say on the subject, but he could not
think of allowing his son to bring out the theory that there were two
Gods, as this would be worse than the thought of two creations. "You
surely are not trying to bring forth the theory that there are two
Gods, two supreme powers. I cannot possibly allow you to advance such
a thought even in theory, for that would be pantheism."

"Please, father, let me finish my explanation. I have no intention of
bringing forth a theory upholding two supreme powers, but I desire to
show that we are now believing in two supreme powers, and that only
one is true and real. Will you please look at the verse I have just
read? Notice that it uses the words, _Lord God_, and you will
find that this form is used almost all of the way through this second
narrative. Now look at the first chapter of Genesis; you will notice
that it never speaks of the _Lord God_, but simply of God."

The pastor had caught the meaning of what Walter had said, and was now
diligently reading first a verse in chapter 1, Genesis, then a
corresponding verse in chapter 2.

Walter's mother had quietly risen, gone to the bookcase, secured a
Bible and was also comparing one with the other. At length the pastor
looked up at Walter with a surprised and confused look, and said, "What
you say is true, Walter, and I must admit I never noticed this before,
but I cannot see that it changes the narratives any. The author or
writer simply changed the name he employed to designate Deity, that
is all. Still I cannot understand what his reason could have been for
making the change. It is also remarkable that the change should take
place just at the time it does, at the beginning of the second
narrative."

"It does seem strange that such a change should be made, if it was not
done for a purpose," said Mrs. Williams.

"I believe I can explain why the change was made," said Walter.

"Very well, Walter," said the pastor, "let us hear your explanation."

"Well, father, as I understand it, the first creation is real, it being
the work of God. Then the Bible speaks of that _mist_ or misapprehension
that arose, and the story told in the second narrative is this
misapprehension. Therefore, I should judge that _Lord God_ would mean a
man-conceived God; and man, through misapprehending the real character
and nature of Deity, believes the earth and man were created according
to the second narrative, which would agree with all our present ideas. I
mean by this that we all think and believe that God made man materially
out of the dust of the earth, while the first account says man was made
in the image and likeness of God; and as God is Spirit, man must be
spiritual; as a dust or material man cannot be that likeness, because
matter is the opposite of spirit. Then again, everything that God made
was good--and this dust man is more evil than good; and as God, who is
conceded as being all good, made all, and pronounced all He made good,
this dust or material man, being evil, was never made, but, through a
misapprehension, we think man to be material, and believe him to be the
real man. To illustrate what I mean, say some one told you a falsehood
and you believed it to be the truth; then the lie would seem true to
you. Nevertheless, because you believe this lie to be the truth, it
would not make a truth of it, as it would be a lie still, regardless of
your belief. In the same way theologists have made a mistake by thinking
that this second creation is the real, and have taught all mankind that
they originated from dust and must return to dust, and every one
believes this; and because every one believes this mistake, it seems
like the truth to all of us, but no matter how many believe a lie, it
does not make a truth of it; and it is because of this false
interpretation that all evil has come upon us, for in the real and
spiritual creation there is no mention of evil. It is only after that
mist or misapprehension arose that evil is mentioned. Oh, father, if my
explanation is the truth, then God did not make evil, did not make
sickness; and if He didn't make sickness, it was never made, for the
Bible says, God made all that was made, then sickness is also a part of
the misapprehension that arose, and is not real, does not exist, only in
our mistaken thoughts. In other words, we have all been taking a lie for
the truth, and the whole world has been taught this error, and through
this mistake we thought it possible for evil to exist when we ought to
have known that God could not have made evil, for there is no mention of
sin, disease, or death in the first narrative, or real creation."

Walter stopped, his face all aglow with joy and happiness. He had risen
to his feet while he was speaking and now he looked from father to
mother, but he only saw perplexity written on their faces.

"Can't you see it, father? mother, didn't I make it plain? It seems
so easy for me to understand it now; don't you see what it means to
me? It means that I never was sick in reality, that I never need be
sick in reality, that I am sick only in belief, that all any one need
do to get well is to find out this truth, that sickness is only an
illusion, a lie, which the truth will correct. This must be the truth
that Jesus Christ spoke of when He said, Ye shall know the truth, and
the truth shall make you free. Yes, it has made me free, for it has
lifted this cloud of sickness and feebleness from my mind, and I feel
perfectly well and strong."

Again he looked from one to the other of his parents, on his father's
face he saw sorrow written, on his mother's fear.

Walter then turned his face upward, and said, "Oh, thou, God, who is
all good, who never made evil or sickness, I thank thee for this great
truth which thou hast revealed to me. I also desire that thou show
this same truth to my father and mother, and I believe that thou wilt,
for thy Son, Jesus Christ, hath said that whatever we desire when we
pray, we should believe that we receive and we would receive; and I
do believe that my desire will be granted, for Jesus Christ would not
have said it if it were not true."

The Rev. Mr. Williams and his good wife were speechless. The words
they had heard and the actions of Walter had caused the father to fear
that his son's mind had given way; while the mother thought there was
something supernatural about it all, and she felt half inclined to
believe that what she had heard was the truth, and that this wisdom
was given to her son from on high.

Now the pastor advanced to where Walter stood, looked at him
inquiringly, laid his hand on his arm, and said, "Sit down, Walter,
don't get excited about this question; we will all understand it better
after a while." Then looking at his wife, he said, "Mother, don't you
think we have had enough Bible lesson for this evening?"

His wife was surprised at the question, for she had not thought of
Walter as being demented. She could not see why the pastor wished to
discontinue the lesson, for they had only begun; but, ever ready to
agree with her husband, she answered, "Just as you think, James."

Walter looked at his father for a moment, wondering what could be the
matter, and as he thought of all he had said, it occured to him that
his father must think he had lost his reason; this struck him as so
ridiculous that he burst out laughing, more heartily than he had ever
done in his life, for he felt better and more free than ever before.
But his laughter only made matters worse as it confirmed his father's
opinion in regard to his having lost his reason; and now the good man
sadly shook his head, saying, "It is worse than I thought."

This only made Walter laugh the heartier.

The mother looked from her laughing son to her sorrowing husband,
wondering what it all meant. At last she said, "James, what is worse
than you thought?"

Before the pastor could answer, Walter said, "Mother, father thinks
I have gone crazy, and this seemed so ridiculous to me that I could
not control my laughter."

"Crazy!" ejaculated the mother, "did you think that, James?"

The pastor did not answer. He had supposed that no one but a demented
person would say the things Walter had said, but it certainly was not
the act of a demented person to guess what he had thought.

"Mother," said Walter, and there was still a healthy smile on his face,
"now that I come to think of it, I do not wonder that father thought
I had lost my reason, as it would be impossible for him to grasp this
great truth as readily as you or I. To do so, he would have to unlearn
in these few minutes all that he had ever learned regarding this false
creation; with you and I, mother, it would be easier; we only believed,
and belief is never absolute conviction, and can more readily be
changed. I read a parable to-day that I think will explain what I mean.
Jesus said, '_you cannot add any more to a cask already full._'
So it is with father; his mind is filled so full of the present idea
of God and this material creation, that there cannot enter anything
different from this teaching, until some of the old is emptied out.
I believe this emptying out process is what is meant by Jesus when He
said, '_unless ye become as little children, you can in no wise enter
the kingdom of heaven._' I take this to mean that we must put human
opinion and prejudice aside, and have a free, open, and inquiring mind
before this great truth can be understood by us."

"Walter," said his father rather sternly, "I think you have said enough
on this question. Do you think it common sense for you to put yourself
up as a greater authority as to what the Bible means than all the great
men who have labored all their lives on the Bible? I do not wonder
that I thought for a moment you had lost your reason, as I do not think
any sane person would advance such a chimerical idea, and claim it to
be the truth, as you have done. I see I have made a mistake in allowing
you to question the Bible. Hereafter, I shall read from the Bible and
explain it as we proceed, but I will not allow any more comments to
be made. In regard to this question of creation, we will consider that
closed for the present, and in the near future, probably next Sunday,
I will preach a sermon on creation; and as you will undoubtedly both
be there, you will see this question made plain. In the meantime I
think we will discontinue the lesson, so as to give you a chance to
study the Bible. I was not aware that you knew so little of what it
contained, for you do not seem to grasp the simplest statements when
I explain them to you."

Walter was very much astonished at the way his father had taken his
explanation, and for a moment was sorry that he had said so much at
one time; then he smiled as a happy thought struck him. If his father
intended to deliver a thorough sermon on creation, he would be compelled
to carefully study Genesis, and Walter believed enough had been said
to make his father doubt the second narrative. He felt like saying,
"I don't believe you will ever preach that sermon," but instead, he
said, "Alright, father, I shall put considerable study on the Bible,
as you wish and I am sorry if my explanation has offended you, yet I
explained it just as it seemed to me."

"Never mind, Walter," said his mother, "we cannot all of us be as well
versed on the Bible as your father, who has spent most of his life in
the study of it."

"Would you suggest, father, that I continue to study Genesis from the
place we left off?"

"Yes son," said the pastor more kindly, "start from where we left off
this evening, and it might be well for you to review what we have
passed over, so you will be able to fully understand my sermon when
I deliver it."

After a few more commonplace remarks, Walter bade his father and mother
good night, and ascended to his chamber, carrying his Bible with him.

As soon as Walter had left the room, the pastor turned to his wife and
said, "I wonder what can have taken possession of that boy, he has
changed wonderfully. Whereas he was always speaking of his sickness,
and complaining of being weak, he now never refers to his trouble, nor
does he complain of being tired any more. And what is more wonderful,
he does not walk and act as if he was tired or weak; he also looks
cheerful and his explanation was full of vim and courage, even though
it was nonsense."

"I think, James, it is the work of that last medicine. He has begun
to notice that he is getting better, and in his great enthusiasm he
ascribes his healing to the goodness of God, and is very desirous of
giving thanks for his recovery."

"That may be it," said the pastor, "yet I don't see any reason for his
talking such nonsense. Some of his assertions are simply absurd; for
instance, that assertion about his never having been sick in reality,
and that there is no evil; haven't we had the best physicians in the
country, and didn't they say he had hereditary consumption. That
certainly ought to prove its reality. Besides, he has been gradually
growing weaker and weaker under our very eyes."

"That is all true, James, yet I do not think all he said was nonsense.
It seemed to me that when he was speaking he seemed to glow with a
heavenly radiance, and while you thought he had lost his mind, I
supposed he was inspired from on high."

The pastor sat bolt upright in his chair, and looked at his wife. If
this thing kept up much longer he would be demented himself; what was
the matter with his family? How could his wife take the nonsense of
a boy for inspiration?

"Now, James, don't look at me that way; it does not seem so very
incredible to me that God should have made everything good, and that
the good alone is real, and that evil is unreal, but that we make a
reality of it simply by thinking it real. I think that is what Walter
was trying to make clear to us. To illustrate, if you should receive
word this evening that your brother was killed in a railroad disaster,
you would certainly feel sorrowful, and you would say you felt that
way because your brother was killed. Now if in the morning your brother
should step in the house perfectly well, your sorrow would flee. This
would prove that your sorrow was not caused by the death of your
brother, but simply because you believed him dead; so it was the belief
that caused the sorrow, and not the deed itself." "I can agree with
you in regard to your illustration, for it was the belief of my
brother's death, and not his real death, as he did not die, that made
me sorrowful. But the two cases are not parallel; in the one, nothing
had happened, but in the other there is in reality a sick boy, and not
simply the report of a sick boy."

"Can you not see, James, that if God never made sickness, and He made
all there was made, that sickness could not be a reality? And we could
not be sick in reality. Yet if we thought ourselves sick and believed
what we thought, this would make it seem true to us, though in fact,
it was not true. I believe it is just as Walter put it. If we believe
a falsehood to be the truth, this falsehood, then, seems like the truth
to us. But no matter how often, or how many, believe a lie to be the
truth, it still in fact remains a lie."

"What you say about the lie, wife, is plain, but sickness is not a lie
or a falsehood, it is only too real."

"James, if sin, sickness, and death are real, God must have made them,
for the Bible says God made everything that was made and pronounced
it all very good. It might be possible to stretch the imagination so
as to say that sickness, or even death, might be good under certain
conditions; but no Christian would agree with you that sin was good.
And if we would agree that sickness and death were made by God and
were good, then Jesus Christ destroyed the works of God, and at the
same time destroyed something that was good."

"Oh, James, the more I think of Walter's explanation, the more
reasonable it seems, and I cannot get the idea out of my mind that our
boy was inspired when he made that explanation."

"Lillian, I will admit that never in my whole life have I been so
confused on anything as I am in regard to these two narratives of
creation. If we admit that the first is the real and was all that was
made, whence came all this evil, sin, and sickness into the world, and
how did I acquire this material body, and where did all these other
material things come from? If we admit that the second creation is of
God, then God, in a sense, would be responsible for all the trials and
tribulations of man, for God is all-powerful and could have made us
better, even to perfection. Now that I think of it, I don't believe
the Bible mentions anywhere that God made evil. It speaks of the Lord
God cursing the ground, but it does not accuse Him of making evil; and
yet God should have made all. Can evil only be a lie, a dream, a
delusion, a mistake or misapprehension, as Walter called it? What a
state for a minister to be in; why, I believe I am questioning the
truth of the Bible."

"No, James, I don't think you could properly call that questioning the
Bible, you are simply seeking the truth, and I know that when you get
into a calmer frame of mind you will readily find it; don't you think
we had better retire for to-night? To-morrow you will have time to
look up this entire matter."

"I suppose we had, as I see no way to satisfy myself except by carefully
studying the whole book of Genesis, and I am very doubtful whether I
will be able to find what I want even there, for I have often noticed
that when a man once begins to doubt the truth of the Bible, he usually
ends up as an unbeliever. God grant that this may not happen to me."

"O, I have no fear of that," said his wife; "you are too firm a believer
in God to ever doubt anything in the Bible."

"I hope so, wife, yet I must admit that I am beginning to doubt the
genuineness of the second narrative, and for the last fifteen years
I have preached the gospel from the standpoint of this second or dust
creation. In fact, I could not preach otherwise, as it would be
impossible for me to make my congregation believe that they were wholly
spiritual, and that they have no material body, had I desired."

"Why, James, of course we have a material body, don't we have to feed,
clothe, and take care of it?"

"That is the way I always believed, but if Walter's idea is correct
in regard to that mist, or misapprehension, then the first chapter of
Genesis is correct, and in that case we could not possibly have a
material body, but only think we have, and because we believe what we
think, it would seem so to us. Wife, I am half inclined to think this
is the solution, but how can I prove to others, or even myself, that
my body is spiritual when it is so very material?"

"It is quite surprising to me, James, that you cannot readily explain
this part of the Bible, for you have done little else all your life
but study the Bible. At any rate, let it rest for to-night; you will,
no doubt, get the right thought more readily after a good night's
sleep."

The pastor rather reluctantly followed his wife out of the room and
up stairs. He would have preferred to solve this knotty problem before
retiring. He lay awake a long time thinking deeply, and the more he
thought the more firmly he believed that Walter was right in his
conclusions that the first narrative was the true one. Then the thought
came; if this is correct, it will turn the whole world into confusion,
for everybody believes in the dust man; in fact, every clergyman I
know of is preaching the gospel from this standpoint.

It was after midnight before he finally went to sleep.

Walter, also, lay awake some time, but he was not trying to solve the
question of which was the true narrative; he had fully satisfied himself
in regard to this. What he was trying to do was to think of some way
to convince his father and mother in regard to it.




CHAPTER VIII

THE THIRD LESSON


Nearly two months had passed since the evening of the last Bible lesson.
Walter was so interested in studying the Bible and "Science and Health,"
that he did not notice the dreary winter days. Besides, he was gaining
very rapidly in strength and flesh to the great joy of his parents.
His mother had some time ago noticed that he did not take his medicine,
and spoke to him about it. He answered her in a very positive, but
gentle tone, "No, mother, I am not taking any medicine and never intend
to take any more, for I am now depending entirely on God, and He is
making me well."

His mother had asked him when he had stopped taking it, and he said,
"I determined never again to take medicine the night I realized the
unreality of sickness, as it would be very foolish to take medicine
to cure me of something which in reality did not exist." Both his
father and mother tried to persuade him to continue taking his medicine,
as they believed his improvement was due to this last kind he had been
taking.

Walter knew better, so had said, "Please allow me to leave off taking
it for a short time, and if I do not continue to improve, I will start
taking it again to please you."

It had been left that way, although his parents were averse to his
stopping at the very time he seemed to be gaining. They watched him
closely, but he continued to improve so steadily and rapidly, that
taking medicine had not been mentioned to him again. His mother
continued taking hers, but showed no improvement.

Many times Walter asked his father when he would take up their Bible
lessons again; but his father never seemed ready. He noticed that his
father always seemed to be in a very thoughtful mood. The boy knew
what was the cause of it, and several times had tried to engage his
father in conversation regarding creation or some other part of the
Bible, as he desired to point out the truth to him. But his father
always dropped the subject as soon as possible, nor had he preached
his sermon on creation as he had promised.

The pastor daily studied his Bible and was taking copious notes as he
read, but did not seem to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion. Many
times he wondered at the little things Walter would say about the
Bible, and on several occasions he had made up his mind to ask him
some questions, but he disliked to let the boy know of his own inability
to understand the Bible. He wondered if his wife was right in regard
to the boy's being inspired. How else could he account for some of the
things Walter said. On several occasions he had taken the trouble to
prove his assertions, and found to his surprise that the Bible easily
substantiated what the boy had said.

This was the state of affairs on a January afternoon when the pastor
said to himself, "come what will, I am going to continue those Bible
lessons this evening. What Walter said brought me into this darkness
and confusion and it is possible he may say something that will show
me the light."

That evening at supper the pastor surprised his wife and son by saying,
"If it is agreeable to you both, we will continue our Bible lessons
this evening."

They readily assented, and as soon as Mrs. Williams had finished her
work, they repaired to the library.

As soon as they were seated the pastor said, "Well, Walter, have you
changed your mind in regard to which of the two narratives regarding
creation is the correct one?"

"No, father, I have not. I have put considerable more study on that
subject since our last lesson, and I am now fully satisfied and
convinced that the view expressed in regard to the first narrative
being the true one is correct."

"Walter, I believe you are right. I have been studying and thinking
all of these two months, and have come to the same conclusion regarding
creation. Yet in no way have I been able to explain away all these
material things and this material body."

"James, have you come to the conclusion that everything is spiritual?"
asked his wife.

"Yes, Lillian, for there are only two conclusions to arrive at, either
God is the creator spoken of in the first narrative where everything
was made by the Word, or spiritually, and is pronounced very good, or
else God is the creator spoken of in the second narrative and therefore
He would be the creator of all this evil, sickness, sin, and death,
with all the other dire calamities we are subjected to. And since I
have thought and studied on this question, I cannot conceive of our
Heavenly Father being the cause of all our troubles, who are His
children, any more than I would bring such a visitation on my family.
So of the two, I prefer believing that God made everything good as
described in the first narrative, as it is impossible to believe both,
for they are direct opposites. What bothers me is this material body
and everything else that is material."

"Father, I believe I can throw some light on that subject if you will
allow me."

His father looked at him for a moment, undecided whether to ask him
to explain or not, for his last explanation had caused all his
confusion, yet, as he thought of it, he now agreed with that
explanation. Maybe the boy was inspired and he was doing wrong in not
hearing what he had to say. Anyway, his getting well without the use
of doctors or drugs was little short of a miracle to him, so he decided
to have him explain, and said, "I will hear what you have to say on
this subject, Walter, but be careful not to say anything ridiculous."

Walter smiled; he had learned a lesson the time he made his explanation
regarding creation, and he did not intend that his enthusiasm should
cause him to say too much this time and thereby make the same mistake
he had made before. So he simply asked his father a question. "Did not
everybody think the earth was flat years ago?"

"Yes, Walter, but what has that to do with our material bodies?"

"Did everybody believe it, father?"

"Certainly, for they did not know different"

"Did their thinking so make it so?"

"Most assuredly not, as you well know, Walter, the earth was always
round."

"And even though they believed this mistake regarding the earth, it
did not change the earth any, did it, father?" "No, but why these
questions?"

"Only this, father, that this is just what we have been long doing
regarding our bodies, thinking that they were material and believing
it, but our mistaken thought regarding our bodies has not in reality
changed them, any more than the thought that the earth was flat changed
the earth. It seemed flat to those who believed it flat, though the
truth was that the earth was round in reality. So with our bodies;
they are material to us who believe them so, but in truth or reality,
they are spiritual."

"I can readily agree with you in regard to the earth, because we know
that it always was round, but we cannot prove that the body is
spiritual."

"That is just the point, father. We can readily admit that the earth
is round after it has been proven so; still before this proof was
furnished the people would not admit it, any more than we will admit
that our bodies are spiritual. Nevertheless the earth was round before
it was proven so, and so with the body being spiritual. The proof of
its spirituality does not change it any, as it will always remain as
God made it, regardless of what man thinks or believes about it,
nevertheless, Jesus Christ on several occasions proved the body to be
spiritual and the proof that He done so is contained in the Bible, He
also said 'Blessed are they who believe and do not see.'"

"I know Jesus Christ said that, but that was about something entirely
different. You could hardly want me to believe something I could not
see or prove, for you know, Walter, the old saying is that seeing is
believing."

Walter immediately thought of what "Science and Health" said on this
subject, so he said, "Can we always believe what we see?"

"Yes, I think so, son."

"Father, if you were to look out of this window to-morrow morning you
would see in the distance where the heaven and earth seemed to meet;
would you believe they did?"

"Certainly not, for I know better."

"Still you say, seeing is believing." His father leaned back in his
chair and regarded his son critically; was the boy inspired? How else
could he account for his intelligence? What was he to hear next, should
he ask any more questions? Yes, he would ask him something more about
this material body: "Walter is there anything in the Bible that you
know of wherewith to substantiate your claim of a spiritual body?"

"I think there is, father. Jesus Christ must have known that his body
was spiritual, and not material, for if his body had been material he
could not have walked on the water, and in several places it speaks
of Jesus becoming invisible to those around him."

"I know, son, but Jesus Christ was the Son of God."

"That is true, father, so are we, I distinctly remember reading in St.
John--'now are we the sons of God.' St. Paul also speaks of us as sons
of God and joint heirs with Christ."

The Rev. Williams slowly closed the Bible he had been holding open on
his knee and looked at his son. Where would this thing end? He must
try and confine the boy to one thing at a time, so he said, "I am still
in the dark concerning your idea of how the material body came to be."

"Father, I will quote you again from the Bible--'as a man thinketh
in his heart, so is he' This means that if you think anything, no
matter what, and believe what you think, then so it is with you, and
it seems true to you. For instance, take a person that is demented,
who imagines he is King George, and believes it; to himself he is king
George and no one can make him believe otherwise."

"That may be true of one who is demented, but how about a sane person?"

"This person may be sane on every topic but that one. Still I will
give you another illustration of what the wrong thought on any subject
will do. I read a while ago about some college students who decided
to play a joke on their professor. This professor had several blocks
to walk to the college, and the students decided to place themselves
at frequent intervals along his path, and each one was to comment on
how badly he looked, and intimate to him that he was sick. So on a
certain morning as the professor was walking to the college (and he
was feeling as well as usual), the first person he met was one of the
students who greeted him warmly with a hearty 'good morning' and then
added, 'What is the matter, professor, are you sick?' The professor
said, 'No, I am feeling as well as usual; why do you ask?' The student
then told him he looked very pale, and that he thought he must surely
be sick. The professor then assured the student that he was feeling
well and started toward the college. The next student he met also told
him he looked sick; this was repeated several times, and caused the
professor to imagine there must be something wrong. After meeting
several more of the jokers he began to think he must be sick. Then
being told the same thing a few more times, he believed he was sick,
or believed what he thought, and turned back home a very sick man. So
it is with us, we think we have material bodies, and because we believe
what we think, it makes it seem true to us, even though it is not the
truth."

"A very good illustration, Walter, I think I understand what you mean.
If we all thought our bodies were spiritual and believed what we
thought, then our bodies would be spiritual; in other words, whichever
way we thought and believed, so it would really be."

"No father, that is not quite right. Simply thinking you are sick or
well and believing it does not make you sick, or well, in reality; it
only seems to do it to our mistaken mortal sense of things; the truth
of anything remains the truth, regardless of how many falsehoods are
told about it."

"Am I to understand Walter, that no matter what I or others may think
or believe about this body, it does not change the facts regarding it,
but only seems to do so to our senses?"

"That is just what I mean. God made us in His image and likeness, and
as He is Spirit we must be like Him or spiritual, for matter is not
the likeness of Spirit, but its opposite."

"That seems quite reasonable, Walter," said his mother, "but this
material body is here, I can see it and feel it."

"It only seems to be material, mother, because we take our information
from our five material senses; and as these five senses can only testify
regarding material things because of their materiality, they do not
testify to the truth, or reality, of man and the universe."

"But Walter," said the pastor, "if I am not to believe the testimony
of my five senses, how am I to know anything?"

"The five material senses are continually deceiving us. The sense of
sight I have spoken of before, but will give you a different
illustration that shows up the deception of all the senses." "Father,
do you believe life to be a reality?"

"I certainly do."

"Can you see life?"

"I hardly know how to answer that, I can see that you are alive. No,
I shall say we can not see life itself, but only the manifestation of
life."

"I agree with you, father, we cannot see life itself. Can we hear
life?"

"No."

"Can we touch life?"

"No."

"Can we smell life?"

"No."

"Can we taste life?"

"No."

"Then our five material senses do not testify anything regarding a
reality, for you said life was a reality." The pastor and his wife
were very much surprised at Walter's ability to explain these things,
and his mother was fully convinced of his being inspired, and the
father was fast coming to the same conclusion.

"Did you understand me, father?"

"Yes, fully, you made it very plain."

"Now, father, would you say that the opposite of a reality was an
unreality?"

The pastor hesitated, hardly daring to answer; at length he said, "Yes,
it must be."

"Is not death the opposite of life, father?"

"Yes, Walter."

"Then if life is real, its opposite, or death, must be unreal; can you
agree with me, father?" He always addressed his father, for his mother
was showing by the nod of her head that she fully agreed with him."

"I must say, Walter, that I do agree with you, to quite an extent;
but, I shall have to think it all over carefully before I will be fully
convinced."

Walter then continued: "We have found that the five senses do not
testify regarding a reality, now let us see if they testify regarding
an unreality. As we had agreed that death was the opposite of life and
that life was real and death unreal, we will take death as our example.
When a person dies, we say life, or the reality has flown, and the
unreality, the material or dead body, remains. Do our five material
senses testify anything regarding this unreality or dead body? Yes,
all five of them, for we can see this unreality with the eye. If we
move this unreality, we hear it move with the ear. If we reach forth
our hand we can touch it. After decomposition sets in, we can smell
it; and if we would put a piece of it into our mouth, as we do of the
dead cow or bird, we could even taste this unreality. This ought to
convince us of the unreliability of the knowledge transmitted to us
by the five senses; for, as I have shown, they all say the unreal is
real and that the real is unreal. St. Paul said, 'To be carnally minded
is death, and to be spiritually minded is life eternal.'"

"I know that St. Paul said this, but do not see as it has any bearing
on the question we are discussing," said the pastor. "On the contrary,
father, I think it is a verification of what I have been illustrating."

"Can you explain what you mean, Walter, so your mother and I will
understand?"

"To me it seems plain, the carnal mind is the fleshly mind, which
thinks everything is material; and this method of thinking leads to
the belief in a material body and eventually in the death, or unreality,
of this material body, the returning of the fleshly body to its original
state, dust to dust, the real meaning of which I think is, nothing you
were, to nothing you must return, for only the real is eternal."

"Walter, where do you get that definition of the word dust?"

"I take it from what is implied in the 2d chapter of Genesis, 7th
verse, where it reads, '_And the Lord God formed man of the dust of
the ground_'; as there is no record of any dust having been made,
it is very easy to see that dust must be the name given to designate
something that exists only in our imagination, a false sense of the
real, an illusion, and this 'Lord God' the suppositional creator of
material things, is the false or material sense of God entertained by
us mortals, and only exists in our imagination. I believe our prayers
are unanswered for this very reason that the God we have been praying
to exists in our imagination only and is a man-made God, or, as I said
before, a God conceived by man."

"Not so fast, Walter; let us finish one thing at a time. Your
explanation of the dust man is very reasonable, but I don't see where
you get your authority for calling dust an unreality, or illusion."

"Father, I thought we had agreed that there was a hidden, or spiritual,
meaning to all that was written in the Bible, and I think what I have
said about this dust or material man is this meaning; take for instance,
the first verse of chapter 3 of Genesis, which reads, _'Now the serpent
was more subtle than any beast of the field, which the Lord God had
made, and he said unto the woman, yea, hath God said ye shall not eat of
every tree of the garden.'_ Now, father, who ever heard of a talking
snake. No one. It is only a myth, and I believe this snake was used to
symbolize the narrator's idea of evil, tempting the children of God,
Good, to do evil.

"Another illustration that this second narrative is metaphorically
written is in Genesis 2, 9th verse, which reads: _'And out of the
ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the
sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the
garden and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.'_ We can readily
agree that there is no tree that bears fruit called good and evil, so
this word 'tree' is used metaphorically, and stands for something quite
different."

Here Walter stopped and looked at his father to see what effect his
speech was having on him, also because he thought he had said enough
for one time. But his father was leaning slightly forward and had been
drinking in every word the boy was saying, as he was fully convinced
that his son did not of himself know all these things about the Bible,
and, consequently, it must be that he was inspired.

The mother had the same opinion, so did not care to interrupt him.

Walter continued looking from one to the other not knowing what to
make of their silence and the knowing look which passed between them,
as he did not know that they thought him inspired.

At length the father, said, "Walter, do you know what is meant by the
word 'tree' in that verse?"

"I think I do, father; to me it stands for the word, 'thought,' for
this seems to bring out the spiritual meaning of the verse; for
instance, if we would read the verse this way, 'Every thought that is
pleasant to the sight, i. e., understanding, and good for food, the
thought of life also in the midst of the garden and the thought or
belief in good and evil'; this may not be correct, but it at least
makes it plain to me. And when we remember that Adam and Eve were
allowed to eat of all the trees excepting this tree of knowledge of
good and evil, it seems to me that they were forbidden to believe that
both good and evil were real, in other words, to believe that both
spirit and matter existed; for as soon as they would eat or believed
in materiality the penalty would be death, as they were believing in
something that did not in reality exist. This false belief must in the
end inevitably result in death or annihilation, as it is this false
belief of life as existent in matter, or material body, that dies and
is annihilated, for the real or spiritual man cannot die."

"What do you mean by spiritual man?"

"The Bible says: 'God is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent.' Let us
define this word omniscient. In a common sense way, 'omni' means all,
and 'scientia' means science, then it would be proper to say, 'God is
all science, and science is perfect intelligence,' for the scientific
reality concerning anything, is the perfect intelligence pertaining
thereto. We can now say, 'God is all intelligence,' the word 'all'
includes our intelligence, then God is the intelligence, the thinking
ability, or mind, of man."

"Walter, do you wish to intimate that the brain is God?"

"No, father, the brain cannot think."

"Walter, this is nonsense, of course the brain thinks, we certainly
do not think with our hands or feet."

"Just a moment, father, and we will see if the brain has the ability
to think. Supposing we take it out and lay it on a platter, does it
think?" "Certainly not, it is not in its proper place," said his father.

"It seems to me, that if the brain had the ability in itself to think,
it could do so no matter what place it occupied."

"No, Walter, that would not be a fair illustration."

"All right father, we will now take another example. Say a man should
drop dead on the street from apoplexy; there lies his material body,
his brain occupies its accustomed place, not having been disturbed at
all, yet you would not say that his brain had the ability to think?"

"But the man was dead, life had flown," said Mr. Williams.

"Then it is Life that has in itself the ability to think, for everything
else is there, in its proper place, and what is the life of a man but
his consciousness, his intelligence, his mind. Now we have arrived at
the same point in our reasoning where we were before, that God is Mind,
intelligence, the Life of man, and that brains cannot think. You see,
father, the brain is also matter, the same as the rest of our material
body, that is, dust, or as I explained before, nothing; an illusion,
or false conception."

"Do you mean to say I have no body at all?"

"No, father, what I mean is that man has taken a false view of his
body by thinking it material when in reality it is spiritual, as is
all the rest of the universe; for God, Spirit could not make a material
world, as matter is the opposite of spirit."

The Rev. Mr. Williams leaned his head on his hand and was thinking
deeply. Could Walter's explanation be the truth? He could see when
what we called death occurred the consciousness, intelligence, or what
we called life, seemed to leave the body and thereafter the body was
inanimate, and in time returned to dust. Reasoning from this standpoint,
he could agree that life and intelligence were the same, and that the
intelligence of man was his mind was also plain, but that Mind was
God, was beyond his comprehension, because he had always conceived of
mind and brain as being the same, consequently, that the brain had the
power of thought. Yet Walter's explanation concerning the inability
of the brain, in the corpse, to think, and that it was as material as
the rest of the body was quite convincing that brain, in itself, did
not contain the power of thought. Was the boy right regarding the word
omniscient? If so, it would be very easy to agree with him when he
said that God was the intelligence or mind of man; he, himself, believed
in an all intelligent creator.

Walter all this while had been waiting for his father or mother to
express themselves, as they did not, he said: "If we can agree that
Mind is God, then it is very easy to conceive of man as the image and
likeness of God, and this image would be spiritual and not material."

His father looked up at him but did not speak. His mother said: "How
would that help it, Walter?"

"If we reason from the standpoint that Mind is the creative force or
first cause, and as we know that like produces like, it would be
impossible for the creative force, or Mind, to produce matter, for
matter is the opposite of mind. Now let us see what Mind does
create,--why thoughts or ideas and nothing else, so we see that man
is a thought, or a number of them, or idea emanating from the one Mind
or creative force and the idea or thought must be the image and likeness
of the mind or intelligence that conceived it. This would give us a
spiritual man, who in reality would be the image and likeness of the
real God."

"Walter," said his father, "I cannot stand to hear any more to-night,
I will not say that you are right or wrong, as I must have time to
think, and the more I hear you say, the more in the dark I seem to be,
besides it is getting quite late and it is time we were retiring."

"I hope you are not angry for my presuming to explain the Bible as I
see it, for I believe I am right; in fact, I have had proof sufficient
to convince me that it cannot be otherwise."

"No Walter, I am not angry, but very badly mixed up in my reasoning
because of the peculiar views you entertain concerning God and man.
What proof have you had that you are right?"

"Through these peculiar views as you call them, I am being restored
to health; in fact, I believe every symptom has gone forever, and that
I am entirely well, besides I feel so happy, contented, and free that
I can hardly wait for the day when mother will understand, and be free
from her bondage."

"If understanding will make her free I pray God that He will give her
such understanding, but I cannot see what connection understanding can
possibly have with sickness."

"You know, father, Jesus Christ said, 'Ye shall know the truth, and
the truth shall make you free.' The question is, free from what? For
the men He was speaking to answered Him saying: 'We be Abraham's seed
and were never in bondage to any man, how sayest thou then, ye shall
be free?' Jesus Christ answered them, 'Verily, verily I say unto you,
whosoever commiteth sin, is the servant of sin.' At another time as
related in Matthew 9:5, Jesus Christ intimated that sin and sickness
were one and the same. He said to the _sick_ man, 'Son, be of good
cheer, thy _sins_ are forgiven thee,' and certain of the scribes said,
'This man blasphemeth.' Jesus Christ, knowing what they were thinking
and saying, said, 'Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts, for whither
is easier to say, thy sins are forgiven thee or to say, arise and walk.'
If we can now agree that sin and sickness are the same, we could say
with Jesus Christ, 'Verily, verily I say unto you, whosoever commiteth
(sickness) sin, is the servant of sickness,' for we certainly are the
slaves of any sickness that we claim to have, and give it the power to
rule us with a rod of iron, and in doing so, we sin against the first
commandment, 'Thou shalt have no other Gods before me,' as we are making
a God or power of our sickness. And if we take medicine, we are giving
the medicine power to heal, or making a God of it, and in doing so we
break the same commandment. Now, father, good-night, and I hope by a
careful perusal of the Bible on this subject you will be able to agree
with me. Good-night, mother."

"Good-night, Walter," said both his father and mother, as he turned
to leave the room.

As soon as he was gone Mrs. Williams turned to the pastor and said:
"To-night you must surely agree with me that the boy is inspired."

The pastor looked up at her and said, "That is the only way I can
account for the wonderful things he says. I must admit he has gone far
beyond me, in his understanding of the Bible. I intend to put in the
next few days in verifying his explanations."

"James, do you think the boy can be right in regard to sickness and
sin being the same?"

"There is hardly any other conclusion to arrive at, if we believe the
words of Jesus Christ. Now let us go to bed, as it is quite late."




CHAPTER IX

THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE JOURNAL


Bright and early the next morning Walter was up and reading in "Science
and Health." After reading some little time, he heard his mother calling
him to breakfast. He laid his book down and said: "This is the most
wonderful book I ever read; no matter how many times I read it over,
it seems like a new book, and sometimes I wonder if I had not skipped
some of it when I read it before, as there are many things I see in
it now that I did not see before. I suppose it is because I did not
understand it all the first time."

Shortly after breakfast, his mother asked Walter to do an errand for
her down town. On the way he began to wonder if Christian Scientists
had a church or meeting-place, he also wished he knew of some one who
was a Scientist, as he desired very much to ask some questions,
particularly in regard to his mother's illness.

On his return from town, he was compelled to wait several moments at
a railroad crossing near the depot, and as he stepped inside his eye
caught sight of a little bracket nailed to the wall. In the bracket
was a book, and on the cover in large print were the words, "Christian
Science Journal." Walter hastily walked over to the wall, took the
book, and began to examine it. He saw it was published monthly in
Boston. Opening the book, he saw the first part was reading matter,
and as he turned page after page, he came to where he saw, "List of
organized churches of Christ, Scientist." Immediately he began looking
if there was a church in his town. He noticed that the names of the
towns and cities were arranged alphabetically. After searching for a
moment he said, "Yes, here it is, 'Mapelton, Vermont. First church of
Christ, Scientist, First Reader, John J. Sivad; Services 10:45 A. M.,
Sunday School 12 M., Wednesday 7:45 P. M., Number 52 Squirrel Ave.,
on Island. Reading-room same address, 2 to 4 P. M.' Why, that is only
five or six blocks from my home; I wish I could go to their service.
I may some day. They seem to have a great many churches; there are
eight in Chicago alone; three in Cleveland, Ohio; three in Kansas City;
three in London, England; six in New York City; two in New Orleans,
La.; three in Portland; one in Paris, France; one in Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia. "Why, they seem to be in every city in the world."
He continued to read and turned the pages until he came to a page where
he saw printed, "Addresses of Christian Science Practitioners." "I
wonder what they mean by practitioner; it must mean those who practice
Christian Science, but I should think every Christian Scientist would
practice what he knows. I wonder if there are any in Mapelton; let me
see, they are all classified in states and cities; yes, there is
Mapelton. There are three of them here.

"Mrs. F. S. White, C. S., 281 N. Grant St.

"Mrs. M. J. Sivad, C. S., 742 Upland Court.

"Mrs. L. S. Poor, C. S., 45 Napoleon Ave.

"I wonder if all practitioners are women; no, here is Mr. Sherman
Bradford; here is another man; Oh, yes, there are a good many men, but
there are more women than men. I know Mrs. White; her husband used to
keep a shoe store, and Mrs. M. J. Sivad is that lovely lady who lives
in a beautiful large mansion in Upland Court, the finest street in
town; her husband is a retired merchant. And Mrs. L. S. Poor is that
tall, stately looking lady that passes by our house so often. I must
have a talk with them some time. Now I must hurry home or mother will
think something has happened."

Arriving home, he told his mother he had stopped at the depot, and
that this was the reason of his delay.

Walter was now so well and strong that his parents did not worry much
about him, but Walter and his father were quite alarmed at Mrs.
William's condition, for she had been failing rapidly for the last
month and was so weak that it was almost impossible for her to do her
accustomed work. Walter and his father did all they could to help her
and made her work as light as possible.

It was several days later when his mother felt so ill that she could
not get up at all, and so Walter decided to go to one of the
practitioners for advice, which he did that same afternoon.

He told the practitioner of his illness and of his finding "Science
and Health" and that the reading and study of the book had cured him;
also that his mother was sick, that he was a minister's son, and his
father was very much opposed to Christian Science. He also told her
of their Bible lessons and of the confusion of his father.

The practitioner told him that the word practitioner was used instead
of doctor or healer and that this was her profession, healing the sick,
and that she would be pleased to help him all she could, but that she
had no right to treat his mother without her consent.

Walter assured her that it would be impossible to get either his father
or mother's consent, for they refused to have him treated at one time
when a friend had suggested it.

The practitioner then said, "Well, Mr. Williams, your work is before
you. Truth has found you, and Truth will show you a way out of your
seeming trouble. Trust God and never doubt His wisdom, for God, Good,
works in a mysterious way His wonders to perform; you must hold in
thought that everything will come to pass as you wish it, and if you
can persuade your father to have a talk with me, let me know, and I
will be pleased to come."

Thanking the practitioner for her advice, Walter left the house and
started home. He was not fully satisfied with his visit; many of the
questions he had asked the practitioner remained unanswered, as he
supposed, for the practitioner always referred him to "Science and
Health." In answer to one of his most important questions, she said,
"'Science and Health,' page so and so, says thus--"and then she would
quote something from the book, but he could see no connection between
his question and the quotation. When he arrived home he decided to
tell his father all and try to persuade him to have his mother treated
by a Christian Science practitioner.




CHAPTER X

HUMANITY'S MISTAKE


The same evening Walter went into the library to see his father, and
found him seated at his desk with his Bible open before him. As Walter
seated himself near the desk, his father looked up and asked, "What
is it, Walter?"

"I came to have a little talk with you, father."

"I am glad you did, as there are several questions I wanted to ask
you, one of which is in regard to that saying of Jesus Christ--'ye
shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free'-you explained
before but I did not catch your meaning."

"Let us use an illustration to show what is meant by that saying. For
instance, supposing we had been taught from childhood that two times
two are five, and every person on earth believed this to be right, we
would all go through life making this mistake. There would be constant
trouble all over the mathematical world because of it, and when we
tried to rectify this trouble we would use this same mistake in trying
to arrive at a true answer. At times we would deceive ourselves and
believe we were right, only to find later on that we were in deeper
trouble. And when we had children of our own, we would still teach
them the same as we were taught that two times two are five, and the
longer the world stood, the greater would become this mistake, as no
one knew the truth that two times two were only four; yet all this
time the principle of mathematics existed and was correct, but man
knew it not. Now father, imagine how great and widespread this mistake
would become in several thousands of years, and how hard it would be
to convince the people of their mistake, especially the professor of
mathematics who had devoted a lifetime to proving that this mistake
was the truth. You can readily see it would be much easier for the
child who had never learned or believed in the mistake to grasp this
truth than the professor who believed that the mistake was correct.
Supposing that while these conditions existed some one should discover
the truth, that two times two are four, and would bring it before the
world; would not the learned professor ridicule the idea and say two
times two have been five since the beginning of the world, and for any
one to say different is nonsense? Could you induce him to investigate?
No; why? Because he thinks he knows all about it, and that it would
be a waste of time to investigate what he supposes is nonsense. So it
is with man. For thousands of years he has been taught that he has a
material body and that this body is intelligent, and knows when it has
a toe that aches or a stomach that is out of order, or an arm that it
can not move, etc., throughout all the ills that flesh is heir to. And
when man gets in trouble through this mistaken teaching, we try to
correct the trouble by making the same mistake again; for it was through
the belief that man has a material body and that matter is intelligent
that all this trouble came about, and now we try to correct the trouble
by using more matter in the guise of medicine.

"If we had insisted on the professor of mathematics who was using the
mistake of two times two are five in his work, to give us a correct
answer every time, he would be compelled to say that it was an
impossibility. If you were to ask why, he would say, because the
principle of mathematics isn't correct; he could not say otherwise,
as he did not know that the mistake had been made in teaching him that
two times two are five. So it is with man, when he gets so deeply in
trouble that he cannot see any way out he lays his trouble to God and
blames his perfect Principle, when the truth is that the mistake is
not with the Principle, but with his own false belief, brought about
by his being taught a mistake."

Walter stopped and looked at his father, but he said nothing, so he
continued, "And when man goes to the professor of Christianity, the
minister, and asks why all this trouble and sickness has come upon
him, the answer is the same as the professor of mathematics made, by
saying it must be the will of God--thereby intimating that God was the
author of his troubles; in other words, that the Principle of man must
be wrong. Instead of showing him that God, who is all good, could not
make evil, and consequently, he must be suffering through a false
belief brought about by being taught a mistake. Now let us suppose
that some one should discover that man was spiritual and had a spiritual
body, that the entire universe was spiritual and matter did not exist
only as a false belief; that God made everything good, consequently
there could be no evil, and that evil existed only in belief. If the
one who discovered this truth should try to convince the professor of
Christianity, the minister, that God made only the good and the evil
did not exist, the professor would say, thou blasphemest, God made
everything--if he should advance the thought that man was wholly
spiritual, the professor would ridicule him, and say you must be
mistaken, my body is material. I can feel it, and every man's body has
been so since the beginning of the world. If the discoverer insisted
that everything was spiritual in reality, these learned professors
would say the discoverer was insane, and then try to pass laws
prohibiting the teaching of this truth. In olden times they did somewhat
differently; the learned professors of that day crucified the
demonstrator of this truth. It was Jesus Christ, and His students were
called His disciples; later when they went forth to preach the Gospel,
'good spell,' (or truth), and heal the sick, they were called apostles.
The rediscoverer of this Truth at the present time is Mary Baker G.
Eddy, and her students are called Christian Scientists; and later,
when they go forth to preach the Gospel or Truth, and heal the sick,
they are called Christian Science Practitioners, and he who condemns
her teachings condemns the Truth, the same as the scribes and pharisees
condemned the teachings of Jesus Christ; and it is the understanding
of this Truth that sets us free, as Jesus Christ said it would."

For several minutes the pastor did nothing but lean back in his chair
and stare at his son; then he said, "Walter do you mean to tell me
that you received all this information pertaining to the Bible from
a Christian Scientist?"

"No, father, what I know of the Bible and the explanations I have been
able to make regarding the sayings of Jesus Christ, together with what
I have said about the real meaning of creation as narrated in Genesis,
I have learned by careful study of the Christian Science text book,
'Science and Health,' with key to the scriptures, by Mary Baker G.
Eddy, and by comparing the writings in this book with the Bible, I
have become fully convinced that Christian Science, as explained in
'Science and Health' is the same Truth that Jesus Christ taught His
disciples. Jesus Christ said, 'These signs shall follow them that
believe, they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover,'
etc. Christian Science practitioners are doing this, and the signs
spoken of by Jesus Christ follow their work. As yet I have only learned
a few of the simplest things pertaining to this science, but this
little helped me much."

"But, Walter, how do we know that it is not the work of the evil one?
or a trick of the devil to lead you astray? I am very much afraid that
you did wrong in not asking me about this teaching before you filled
your mind so full of it."

"Father, you surely must agree that the things I have explained to you
regarding the Bible are true, or at least nearer right than the way
you were taught; and if you will only study 'Science and Health' you
will soon agree with me."

"Walter, I have had enough of this; you have heard me express my views
regarding this heretical idea; now I must insist that you stop reading
such nonsense at once, I will admit that some of your statements seemed
very plausible, but there is no proof that they are true."

"Father, I must speak more on this subject even though you accuse me
of disobedience. I have ample proof that Christian Science is true,
and that the signs do follow their teachings. One proof is that it was
through the understanding I gained by the study of 'Science and Health'
that I am well to-day."

"Oh, pshaw, the idea that reading a book could have healed you of
consumption! I credited you with more intelligence than that."

"It was not the reading of the book that healed me, it was the
understanding of the truth this book contains that showed me the way
out of my troubles; for if I had not found and studied this book I
would probably not be with you now."

"Did you say you found this book?"

"Yes, Thanksgiving day, between the church and our home. At first I
was afraid to read it, and probably would not have read it if it had
not been for an incident that happened on our last trip to the South."

"What incident was that? I don't believe I heard anything about it."

"One day as mother and I were walking along the street, a lady
approached us, and among other things made the remark that she read
'Science and Health' every day, and the reading of the book had healed
her of some severe disease. This lady did not look like a bad person,
so I thought if the book had healed her, it might me, and the truth
it contains has done so."

"You have certainly gained a great deal in health since Thanksgiving
day, but may not this be the work of the devil to lead you astray?"

"Father do you think it a good thing that I am well?"

"What a question, why certainly I do."

"Did you ever hear of the devil doing a good thing?"

The pastor looked surprised, but answered, "No."

"Then why do you say that maybe my getting well is the work of the
devil?" The pastor could not find a ready answer, after a moment he
said, "As I said before, I don't want anything to do with Christian
Science, be it good or bad, and it will please me if you will never
mention it to me again."

"Oh, father, I must speak of it to you for--"

"Silence! I will hear no more of it."

"But father, listen to--"

"Walter, I forbid you to speak to me on the subject again."

"Father, I must speak!"

"Do you dare disobey me?"

"Yes! for my mother's life depends upon my speaking. Let me speak this
once on this subject, and I will agree never to mention Christian
Science to you again unless you wish it."

The pastor's anger had been rising, but when Walter said his mother's
life depended on his speaking, every particle of color left his face,
and the anger vanished at once. He looked at Walter and saw he was
dreadfully in earnest, so he said, "Speak this once, I will hear you."

"Father it was through the reading of 'Science and Health' that I was
healed of the dread disease that is even now threatening the life of
my mother; and as soon as I was convinced of the truth of this teaching
I called upon a practitioner, asking her for advice regarding my
mother's illness and asked her to give mother treatment. I did this
without your consent, as I knew how prejudiced you both were regarding
this subject, but the practitioner kindly told me she would not treat
mother without her consent. And I knew mother would never consent to
take treatment if you were opposed to it, so I felt I must gain your
consent first. The practitioner would be pleased to come and talk with
you on this subject at any time."

"No doubt of it, but I will have nothing to do with Christian Science."

"Oh, father, don't say that; you must be even more prejudiced than I
thought."

"Yes, I am prejudiced, against all such nonsense."

"Father, will nothing change your views?" said Walter rather coldly.

"No, nothing."

"Then father, forever hereafter, I will ascribe the death of my mother
to your unreasoning prejudice against Christian Science, for the medical
profession cannot cure her, but Christian Science can." As Walter
finished speaking, he arose from his chair and left the room; he
immediately proceeded to his own bed-chamber, as he felt he must be
alone, for he was terribly hurt by his father's prejudice against
something which he admitted he had never investigated.

Walter had always supposed that his father was very broad-minded, but
in this instance he thought him very narrow, condemning something he
knew nothing about, in fact could not be induced to investigate or
try, even though his dearly beloved wife's life might be saved by a
trial.

It was at least a half hour before Walter could calm himself enough
to think clearly. Then like a flash he remembered one of the sayings
of the practitioner when he had told her that he thought he would have
trouble in persuading his father to try Christian Science. She said,
"Truth has found you and Truth will lead you out of your trouble." He
now bowed his head and said, "Oh, God, I had forgotten that thou art
an ever-present help in time of trouble."

He then secured his "Science and Health" and after reading for some
time he stopped and said: "Here is what I have been looking for." Then
he slowly read, aloud, "God, Good, is not the creator of evil."
Continuing to soliloquize he said, "Of course not, God is Good, and
Good could not make evil. Then evil does not exist, for God made
everything that was made. Is prejudice an evil?"

"Certainly; then it does not exist in reality, but only seems to exist,
because of the false report of the material senses. Then my father
cannot be prejudiced. This must be what the author of 'Science and
Health' called 'error,' and when the truth is declared pertaining to
any error, that error ceases to exist-for an error can only exist as
long as we believe the error to be the truth. When we discover the
truth respecting a lie, the lie is gone, for truth has taken its place;
the truth is there all the time, but we cannot see the truth because
we believe the lie.

"I see my error very plainly now. I believed my father was prejudiced,
and this was an error; in other words I believed a lie to be the truth.
The real truth is that God never made prejudice and it does not exist,
so my father could not express it, but it only seemed so to me, just
as my sickness seemed real to me until I discovered that God never
made it, but I had to prove it to myself before I could believe, or
understand it, and as rapidly as I understood the truth regarding the
error of sickness, just in the same proportion did the sickness
disappear and the truth or health appear. Health was there all the
time, but I thought I was sick, and my believing what I thought made
the unreal seem real to me. I see now what that practitioner meant
when she said my work was before me. I have another demonstration to
make, at least that is what I saw it called in that Christian Science
Journal. It means that I must demonstrate the truth regarding the
existence of prejudice. It is easy enough for me to say it does not
exist or to believe God never made it, and this would be a step in the
right direction; but to annul this error entirely, I must be able to
prove to myself, its nonexistence; that means I must fully understand
the nothingness of evil under the guise of prejudice, and realize the
ever-presence of Good, for if God (Good) is ever present, prejudice,
or evil, is never present; now I must get to work.

"I made my first demonstration with the help of the Bible and 'Science
and Health,' and with their help I will make this one."

It was nearly midnight before he stopped his work. He was not afraid
of his mother calling in to see him, as she had been unable to leave
her bed for several days, his father had been compelled to hire a
servant to do the housework, and she was coming in the morning.

The Rev. Williams did not retire until long after midnight; he also
had the same evil to fight, for he had admitted that he was prejudiced
and so his prejudice seemed real to him. When Walter had first quitted
the room, the pastor thought of calling him back and giving him a
severe reprimand; but as he thought of all the misery the boy had been
through in these many years of sickness, he decided not to do it. He
then began to think of all that Walter had said throughout the Bible
lessons and his thoughts were as follows "I cannot help admitting that
a great many things he said seemed nonsense at first, but after a
careful research of the Bible I found them fully substantiated and to
be the real meaning; besides some of his explanations are very plain
and prove his assertions. To think he got his information out of the
Christian Science text book 'Science and Health,' with key to the
scriptures, which nearly every clergyman and professors of all kinds
have been ridiculing for the last thirty-five or forty years! Was there
really something to Christian Science? Of course not; if there had
been, all these learned men who had investigated it would not have
denounced it. But maybe they were like me, so prejudiced that they
denounced it without investigating. I even preached a sermon opposing
it, simply because some one else said it was heretical, and as like
as not this person never investigated it any more than I did, but
denounced it because some one spoke ill of it to him. Now that I think
of it, it was not a very Christian-like act to preach a sermon
condemning something I have never looked into. Maybe that is what is
the matter with us all; it is the same as sentencing a man without a
hearing. I believe I will investigate this thing a little. I'll go
over and have a talk with Parson Jones; he is considered a very well
educated and broad-minded man; perhaps Walter was right when he accused
me of being unreasonable; it certainly cannot do any harm to
investigate. If there is nothing in it, I can tell the boy so, and if
there is, it would be wrong not to try it for my wife's illness. Let
me see, what did Walter say about its not being the work of the devil?
He said the devil, or evil, could not or would not do good. This seems
reasonable, and it surely would be doing good to heal any one of
sickness. The Bible says Jesus Christ went about doing good, and this
good that is spoken of was healing the sick and preaching the gospel.
Yes, I'll just go over to Parson Jones to-morrow morning and have a
long talk with him on this subject; now I must go to bed."




CHAPTER XI

FALSE INVESTIGATION


The next morning about 9 o'clock the Rev. Williams put on his coat and
hat and said, "Walter, I am going out calling and will probably be
gone until lunch time."

Ten minutes later he was seated in an easy chair in Parson Jones's
study. After a few commonplace remarks he said, "Rev. Jones, I came
over here to ask your advice about something I do not seem able to
satisfy myself on."

Rev. Jones was a short, fleshy man, with red hair and face; he was
noted for being a well educated and well read man, also of being very
short and sharp in his speech, always speaking directly to the point.
So he said, "Well, what is it?"

"I came to ask you if you know anything about this new cult called
Christian Science?"

"Nothing to it at all."

"My boy, Walter, claims to have been healed by reading the text book,
'Science and Health.'" "A book full of rubbish, heresy, and nonsense."

"The boy is well now, and you know he has always been sick since he
was a child."

"Reading that book didn't heal him."

"Still he claims it did, he stopped taking medicine, began reading the
book, and soon we saw he was improving."

"Rest assured it wasn't the book."

"He does not claim it was the book, but the truth the book contained
that did the work."

"Nonsense! there is no truth in that book."

"How, then, can we account for his getting well?"

"Probably the after effect of the medicine, or else he only believed
himself sick."

"That is just what he claims, that he was only sick in belief and not
in reality."

"Just as I thought," said the Rev. Jones.

"What do you mean, Mr. Jones?"

"He is another one of those simple-minded fellows who believed they
were sick, and then claim reading that book cured them," said Rev.
Jones.

"But I employed the best physicians and specialists, and they all
agreed that he had hereditary consumption and was incurable."

"Most of these physicians are numbskulls and quacks."

"Do you call Professor Chas. William Canterbury of the University of
Canterbury a numbskull or quack?"

"Eh, no, of course not."

"He examined him thoroughly about a year ago and agreed with the
diagnosis of the other physicians; furthermore he told me the boy could
not live more than a year, and it was about this time that he began
to fail very rapidly," said the Rev. Williams.

"When did he begin to mend?"

"It was just at the time when he was failing rapidly that he found a
copy of 'Science and Health' on the street, and he claims that as soon
as he began the reading of the book he began to get better."

"This must be the work of the devil; it never was the book. You had
better be careful, Rev. Williams," said the Rev. Jones, with a startled
look. "So I told the boy, and he asked me a question which I would
like to ask you."

"What is it?"

"Do you consider it good that my boy is well, Rev. Jones?"

"Why certainly."

"Did you ever hear of the devil doing good?"

"No," said the Rev. Jones, with a shake of his head.

"Then how can you say his getting well is the work of the devil who
never does anything good?"

Rev. Jones sat back in his chair with a jerk.

"Rev. Williams, do you intend to defend this heretical cult?"

"Certainly not. I merely gave you the answer my boy gave me."

"A very bright answer, when you think of it," said Rev. Jones, rather
stiffly.

"Especially so, coming from one of those simple-minded fellows who
only believed they were sick and then claimed that book healed them."
It had nettled the Rev. Williams a little to hear his son called
simple-minded, after the boy had shown that his knowledge of the deep
things of the Bible surpassed his own, hence his reply.

"Well, all I've got to say is that there is nothing in Christian
Science," said Mr. Jones, with a bored look on his face.

"Rev. Jones, I did not come here out of idle curiosity, for you well
know my wife has been sick for years with tuberculosis, and has been
gradually failing until at the present time she is confined to her
bed, and our family physician doesn't think she will ever get up from
it. My son claims that Christian Science has cured him and that it
will cure his mother if I will consent to try it. I told him I would
not, and he said forever hereafter he would blame my unreasonable
prejudice for his mother's death, and knowing you to be a very well
read man, I came to you for advice."

"I have given you my opinion of it."

"On what do you base your opinion?"

"On what I have heard and read about it."

"Did you ever investigate it thoroughly, Rev. Jones?" "Thoroughly
enough to convince myself of the fallacy of its teachings."

"Did you ever talk to one of those practitioners?"

"No. They are a lot of hair-brained women and know no more than the
author of 'Science and Health,'" said the Rev. Jones with a contemptuous
toss of his head.

"Did you ever read what they call their textbook, 'Science and Health?'"

"No, my time is too valuable to waste it on reading nonsense."

"How do you know it is nonsense?"

"I have heard enough of what it contains."

"Can you quote something, Mr. Jones?"

"Yes, here are some of the things printed in that book:

"There is no death. You haven't a body. Your stomach can't ache. There
is no matter. Brains can't think. There is no sickness. There is no
sin. There is no evil. All is good, Good is God, God is Mind, Mind is
God, God is all." He stopped and looked at the Rev. Williams, then
continued, "All what, I would like to know."

"Are you sure the book contains these things?" "Certainly, I have it
from a man who bought a book."

"If the book contains such assertions, it certainly must be nonsense."

"Nonsense, I should say so. No one but a demented person would write
such stuff."

"I am glad I came to see you about this thing, as I hardly knew what
to say to Walter in reply to his accusations of being prejudiced."

"Oh, it's always well to investigate a new thing of this kind before
you condemn it, at least that is what I did."

"But you say you never read the book yourself?"

"No, I never saw the book myself, but my friend Dr. Thompson has one."

"Do you know whether he has read it carefully?"

"No, he never read it through, he intended to, but when he saw such
assertions as I quoted to you, he could see there was nothing in it."

"Why, certainly, of course. You must excuse me, Mr. Jones, for acting
carefully in this matter, because of the condition of my wife." "I
would do the same if I were in your place, but you can rest assured
there is nothing in it."

"I suppose not, yet I wish there was for my wife's sake."

"You wouldn't dare use it if there was, they would cast you from your
church."

"But no one need know it, Rev. Jones."

"Do you think one of those female practitioners could keep such a good
thing? They would be pleased beyond measure to be employed by a
minister, and would scatter the news to the four winds of heaven."

"I hadn't thought of that; thank you, Mr. Jones, for pointing out to
me the danger of employing one of those Christian Scientists. I also
thank you for showing me the nonsense of thinking Christian Science
could cure my wife of something that the best physicians pronounce
incurable. I must be going now, as I wish to talk it all over with my
son. Good day, Rev. Jones."

"Good bye, Rev. Williams, call again."

"I shall be pleased to."

The pastor wended his way home, well satisfied with himself. Walter
could not now accuse him of being prejudiced, for he had given Christian
Science an impartial investigation, besides he was congratulating
himself that he had been wise enough to consult with a deep-thinking
man like Parson Jones, before employing a practitioner, for that
practitioner would have delighted in telling it to every person in his
parish, and this would have resulted in the loss of his position. The
parson felt he had had a narrow escape from a great trouble.

As soon as he arrived home he called Walter to the library and told
him of his visit to Parson Jones, and also what Rev. Jones had said
regarding Christian Science.

Walter was somewhat surprised at the news, but after a moment he said,
"You say you have given Christian Science an impartial investigation?"

"Yes, Walter, I have; you see I was not as prejudiced as you thought.
I talked for an hour with Parson Jones, and he convinced me that it
was nothing but a lot of rubbish and nonsense."

"What does Parson Jones know about it?" "Why, Walter, Mr. Jones is
considered the best educated man in our city."

"Best educated in what?"

"In every thing in general."

"Did Parson Jones ever study Christian Science under a qualified
Christian Science teacher?"

"No, I think not."

"Did he ever study 'Science and Health,' the text-book of this science?"

"No, he considered it a waste of time."

"Did he ever read 'Science and Health'?"

"No."

"Did he ever see the book?"

"He said not."

"Then he certainly must be a very bright man to know what Christian
Science is. For a man that can know all about a science of any kind
without taking instructions, without studying, without reading, without
seeing the text-book of that science, is certainly a remarkably wise
man."

"But, Walter, he got his information in a different way."

"How was that, father?" "His friend Dr. Thompson bought a 'Science and
Health' and told him all about it."

"Was Dr. Thompson ever taught Christian Science?"

"No, I guess not."

"Did he ever study or read 'Science and Health'?"

"He intended to read it, but when he saw such ridiculous assertions
in it, he considered it folly to read it," said the pastor.

"Another one of those wise men that know all about a science without
instruction, study, or reading."

"What do you mean, Walter?"

"Father, if Dr. Thompson had told you that he knew all about medicine
by simply glancing into a medical book, would you believe him?"

"Certainly not!"

"And if he had found therein some quotations that he did not understand,
would you think it strange?" said Walter.

"No."

"And if he should tell you that those quotations which he did not
understand were rubbish and nonsense, would you consider him a good
authority?"

"No, how could he be," replied the pastor.

"Then, why should you believe him in regard to Christian Science, when
he confesses that he never studied or read the text book of this
science?"

"But everybody says there is nothing to Christian Science," said the
pastor.

"So did everybody say the earth was flat until it was proven round,"
replied Walter.

"That's the point exactly; none of our learned men have been able to
prove that the claims of Christian Science are true," said the pastor
quickly.

"That is because they do not go to those who can furnish the proof."

"Who can prove it, Walter?"

"Many thousands of those who were healed and the practitioners in
particular."

"Parson Jones said they are a lot of hair-brained women."

"Does that make them so?" asked the boy. "No, yet he ought to know
what he is talking about."

"Did Parson Jones ever have a talk with one of those hair-brained
women, as he calls them?"

"No, I don't think he did, but he says he has investigated this cult
sufficiently to know there is nothing in it," said the pastor, rather
quietly.

"I suppose, father, he gave it what you call an impartial investigation,
and probably went about it in the same way you did. You went to a man
for advice on a subject he had never studied and who was so prejudiced
he would not take the time to prove whether it was right or wrong, yet
he professed to know all about it, and advised you to let it alone.
Now, father, if you wanted advice pertaining to a foreign country,
would you go to a man who had never been there, and hadn't even read
about it, or would you go to some one who had lived there for many
years?"

"I should certainly go to the man who had been there," said the pastor.

"Then when you want information regarding Christian Science, why don't
you go to a Christian Scientist?" said his son. The pastor was silent
for a moment, then said, "I see what you mean, Walter; my going to see
Rev. Jones about Christian Science is like going to a blacksmith for
information pertaining to surgery."

"Yes, father."

"I guess you are right, Walter. I believe I will go to see a
practitioner, for if there is anything on this earth that can help
your mother I will let nothing stand in the way of a trial of it."

"Oh! thank you, father, I will go now and see if this practitioner can
come to see you."

"Who is this practitioner?"

"Mrs. White, who lives down on Grant St.; she promised to come any
time I would ask her to."

When Walter said Mrs. White, the pastor recalled what Parson Jones
said regarding these lady practitioners telling all his parishioners,
and the possibility of his losing his position; this made him very
much afraid, so he said:

"Wait a minute, Walter, let us talk this matter over a little before
you go. Had you thought of the position it would place me in to have
a Christian Science practitioner coming to our home every day? And
most likely she would be delighted to tell all her friends that the
Rev. Williams of the Park Row Church had been compelled to call her
in to treat his wife."

"No, father, I do not think she would say a word about it."

"But some of my parishioners might see her coming here every day, and
then I would be in danger of losing my position."

"Father, would you let your position stand in the way of saving mother's
life?"

The pastor did not answer at once, but was thinking deeply; at length
he looked up and said, "Walter, your persistence has won the day. I
will at least have a talk with this practitioner; you may tell her to
come this evening if she will, and I will talk with her."

"Oh, father, how happy you have made me. And I know you will change
your opinion of this lady practitioner after a few minutes' talk with
her, and I feel confident that through her my mother will be made
well."

"I pray God it will be as you say."

Several minutes later Walter was on his way to the practitioner's. In
due time he was back and told his father she had promised to come that
evening at 7:30.




CHAPTER XII

A FAIR INVESTIGATION


Promptly at 7:30 the door-bell rang, and Walter went to the door to
welcome the practitioner; he showed her into the parlor and called his
father. After a formal introduction, the Rev. Williams asked both the
practitioner and Walter into the library, the pastor being afraid he
might have some callers that would know the practitioner, although he
did not state his reason for going to the library.

After being comfortably seated, the pastor said, "Mrs. White, I think
it only fair to you to state that I have always been very much
prejudiced against Christian Science and would not even now have
consented to have an interview with you if it had not been for the
persistence of my son."

"Mr. Williams," said the lady, "I don't believe you could be any more
prejudiced than I was, and I only consented to try it after every other
means had failed to cure me, and as I was not made well after one
week's treatment I became skeptical, and wanted to stop taking
treatment. But my husband said, 'Let us give it a fair trial, as there
is nothing else for you.' The fact is that nearly everybody is
prejudiced against Christian Science, and yet none of those who are
can give you a reasonable answer why they are, and as a rule know
nothing at all about it. So it does not seem strange to me to find you
in this frame of mind."

"I suppose my son has told you he found a 'Science and Health' and
that he believes reading it has cured him."

"Yes, he told me, but you make a mistake when you say he believes
reading the book cured him; he doesn't believe it, he knows it."

"Why do you say he knows it, Mrs. White?"

"Because if he did not know or understand the truth that 'Science and
Health' contains, he would not now be well, for these are the signs
following, spoken of by Jesus Christ."

"Excuse me, Mrs. White, but I don't seem to catch your meaning; what
signs follow the reading of 'Science and Health'?" "Simply reading
'Science and Health' will not help us, although it is a step in the
right direction. It is when we understand the truth contained therein
that the signs follow. Jesus Christ said, 'These signs shall follow
them that believe, they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall be
healed, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.'
If we use the word 'understand', instead of 'believe', we get a clearer
view of what Christ meant when he said, 'These signs shall follow them
that _understand_.' And as the same truth that Jesus Christ taught
is contained in this book, the understanding of it must be followed
by the same signs."

"But I am not willing as yet to concede that this book does contain
the Christ Truth," said the pastor.

"Mr. Williams, when you were attending school, suppose the teacher had
given you a mathematical problem to solve, and had said, 'You will
find the rule by which this example can be worked on page 105, and the
correct answer is 18.' You would have looked up the rule and started
to work the example. If when you were done the answer you got was 18,
you would know at once that you understood the rule, and had applied
it correctly. Thereafter you would not merely believe that you knew
the rule, but you would know that you understood it. So it is with the
sick; take your son's case, for instance; he found a 'Science and
Health,' began to read and study it; in it is printed the rule of
health. After a little study he understood this rule. He then applied
it correctly and got the answer, _health,_ and this is sufficient
proof to him that the scientific method of healing the sick as Jesus
Christ did, is contained in this book, and no amount of argument to
the contrary can ever convince him that it is not true, any more than
it would have been possible to tell you that you did not understand
the rule by which you solved your mathematical problem after you had
secured the correct answer. Correct answers are the signs following,
or proofs of understanding, of any science."

"Then it is not God that does the healing, but the correct application
of a rule," said the pastor quickly.

"Oh, yes, it is God that heals the sick; for instance, when you were
working the problem mentioned above, you found the rule on the page
indicated by the teacher, but the rule did not do your problem, neither
did the mere application of the rule do it, but it was your
intelligence, or mind, that directed the correct application of the
rule that solved the problem; so to Mind must be given the credit of
the solution, for the rule could not do anything without Mind to direct
the application. And so it is with the rule of health; it is in 'Science
and Health,' but to be benefited thereby it must be correctly applied
by the intelligence of man, which is his mind."

"But this statement contradicts your first statement."

"In what way, Mr. Williams?"

"In the first instance, you said it was God that did the healing, and
now you say it is the intelligence of man, or mind."

"Mr. Williams, do you believe God is all intelligence?"

"Yes, certainly."

"Then He must be the intelligence of man, or his mind, otherwise God
would not be _all_ intelligence." The pastor sat perfectly still,
fully absorbed with his own thoughts. Mrs. White waited a few moments,
then continued: "What I have said in regard to applying the rule is
in full accord with the teachings of Jesus Christ wherein He
demonstrated the necessity of us working out our own salvation."

"Mrs. White, you say that God is the intelligence of man, or his mind."

"Yes, for God is _all_ intelligence."

"You also say that God is good only."

"Yes, God is _all_ Good."

"Then according to this theory that God is all intelligence, you must
admit that He is also the bad or evil intelligence found in some men,
and if this be true, you could hardly claim that He is all good, for
one statement would contradict the other," slowly said the pastor.

"You have made a mistake in your reasoning, Mr. Williams. A bad
intelligence is not intelligence, but a lack of intelligence, or
non-intelligence; in other words, ignorance, and ignorance has no place
in the realm of intelligence, for ignorance is evil, and intelligence
is good," said the practitioner. "Your explanation sounds very
reasonable, but I am not yet willing to agree with you; it may be
because I do not fully understand," answered the pastor.

"I do not think it possible for man to fully comprehend any science
in a few moments, and this science is the science of sciences."

"Am I to understand that evil and ignorance have no place in the
universe; in other words, are not real?" asked the pastor.

"Yes, the good alone is real. It is only through ignorance of the truth
that evil seems real, or has place or power."

"But we see evil all about us," said the pastor.

"This seems so, but it is only a misapprehension of the truth, for
evil is not real, has no entity or principle, God (Good) never made
it," said the practitioner.

"But if it is not real, and God did not make it, where did it come
from?" asked the pastor.

Mrs. White's face broadened into a smile, and then she said, "Mr.
Williams, I think I will tell you a little story that I wrote to one
of my patients who was suffering from a claim of indigestion. She
insisted that evil was real, and offered up the evidence of her
indigestion as proof thereof. This little story came to me as I was
thinking of her case. It may enlighten you on the origin of evil as
it did her. Now for the story."




CHAPTER XIII

THE UNREALITY OF EVIL


"Once upon a time long, long ago, there was a great and good king, who
lived in a country where everything was good. He had thousands of
subjects under him, and these subjects were all good. This was because
the king was good and the people strove to be like him. But one day
one of his people imagined she saw an evil thing or devil, and became
greatly alarmed thereat. She hurried home and told her husband what
she had seen, and he believed her story about this evil, or devil (that
never had any existence, only in the imagination of this woman). And
because of her great fear of it this woman kept thinking of this evil
constantly, until at last it seemed very real to her, and after a time
she imagined this evil, or devil, had entered her body and was stopping
her stomach from digesting its food. She also told this to her husband,
and he became afraid of this myth, and told his friends that an evil,
or devil, had entered the body of his wife. His friends began to talk
about this evil, or devil, wondering what it might be. At length, after
discussing it for some time, they decided they didn't know what this
evil was, but that it ought to be given a name, so called it
indigestion, because it had stopped the woman's stomach from digesting
her food. In this way this imaginary thing became real enough to have
a name. After the people had given this evil, or devil, a name, they
all began to make suggestions of how best to get rid of him. One
suggested that a plate be made hot and applied to the stomach. This,
he thought, would make it so uncomfortable for the devil that he would
leave. Another suggested that the woman take a strong dose of peppermint
and burn the devil; another suggested that they manipulate the stomach,
i. e., pull and haul and pound it, hoping in this way to kill him;
another said, let us attach an electric battery and shock the devil.
Another said he believed that devils had an aversion for blue lights,
and thought that if they would let a blue light shine on him, he would
leave. Another said, give the woman a bath of mud, let her be covered
all over with soft mud, and this will smother the devil. Still another
suggested that the woman be sent away from home to another climate,
he thinking the devil might not like the change, and so leave the
woman. Hundreds of other suggestions were offered and tried, but none
of them succeeded in driving this devil out of the woman. And now, after
several thousands of years, the people are still offering advice to
this woman, but with no better success. The simple reason why all these
things did not succeed in driving out this evil, or devil, is that in
reality there wasn't any devil to drive out, as it was only an imaginary
thing and had no existence, only as an illusion in the mind of the
woman. About 2,000 years ago, there lived a man who was intelligent
enough to understand what the trouble was. He said that there were not
any evils, or devils, and that God, or the Creative Principle, was
_good only_, and that evil was a lie, or delusion, and proved His
words by His works. This enraged the wise men of His time very much,
for they had been teaching the people that evil was real, and that in
many instances God put evil upon His children to make them good. These
wise men were sore afraid that the people would believe what this good
man was teaching and denounce their teaching. So they conspired together
and had Him crucified, and still continued their teaching that evil
was as real as good. About forty years ago, a woman, intelligent and
good, became conscious of the unreality of evil, and after a careful
study of the life of this man who was crucified, she discovered that
all this good man had said and taught regarding the unreality of evil,
was the truth. She wrote a book explaining this great fact, and said,
'If the people would study this book, they could prove for themselves
that there weren't any evils, or devils.' As in the time of the good
man that was crucified, so in her time, the wise men were teaching the
people that evil was real, and as the teachings of this woman were
contrary to their teachings, they became enraged; and if it had been
customary to crucify people in her time, she would have been crucified.
Since that book was written, many thousands of people who imagined
they had evils or were possessed with devils, have, by reading and
studying this book, discovered that all of the evils, or devils of the
past and present were imaginary, and seemed real, because we feared
them. This book also teaches that the _only_ way to get rid of
these imaginations, or false beliefs, is to use our God-given
intelligence and reason rightly, and then we would discover the
nothingness of these evils, or devils, and our fear of them would
depart, likewise the evils, or devils, no matter under whatever name
they might be masquerading, as it was only our ignorance of the true
facts, coupled with our fear, that made them seem real. So with this
woman, who imagined she saw an evil, or devil; if she had not feared
it, she would have investigated and consequently have discovered its
unreality."

As Mrs. White finished her story, she looked at Walter, and by the way
he nodded his head she was sure he had grasped the truth of her story.
Then, glancing at the pastor, she said, "Mr. Williams, does that answer
your question, as to the unreality and origin of evil?"

"Mrs. White," said the pastor nervously, "That story answers my
questions so fully that I haven't any foundation to stand on, and as
I have been preaching the reality of evil these many years I am at a
loss to know what to say or do."

"Do not worry or get excited, Mr. Williams, Every person is more or
less confused as his old idols and gods are destroyed, but fear not,
for out of this destruction will rise an intelligent temple with God,
Good, the ruler thereof."

"But I am at a loss what to do. I have discovered the fact that I was
mistaught in regard to the reality of evil, and now I fear that all
the rest of my teachings may be at fault and I cannot conscientiously
preach what is false, as God knows I would not wilfully mislead my
fellow-man. I am afraid I will be compelled to give up my position at
once, and feel I am not fitted to do anything else." He then glanced
at the practitioner and said, "Mrs. White, can you offer me any advice?"

"Yes, first of all, remember that there is room in God's kingdom for
all His children. Second, remember that your real source of supply is
not your church, but God; trust in Him fully, and your every need will
be supplied. Third, I would advise you not to give up your position
on the spur of the moment; take time to consider, study 'Science and
Health,' and see if it is what you want. If it is, you can then send
in your resignation. If not, no one need be the wiser that you have
been studying the book."

"But I cannot conscientiously preach one thing and believe another."

"Then, Mr. Williams, I would suggest that you ask for a vacation for
six months, as I understand from what your son told me, that it has
been a long time since you have taken one, and by the time six months
have passed you will know what is best for you to do.

"Mrs. White, I would be pleased to take your advice, but I haven't
enough money to carry me for six months without a salary."

"God is your supply, trust Him fully," said Mrs. White.

"Father, have no fear, God is all good, all love, and I know He will
not see us want, if we will only trust Him."

"Walter, my son, I will take your advice and trust it all to God."
Then, after a moment, he looked at Mrs. White and said, "Now, Mrs.
White, let us talk of my dear wife's illness; I suppose Walter told
you she has been suffering from tuberculosis of the lungs for many
years. Do you think she can be healed?"

"Mr. Williams, do you think an all-powerful God could heal her? For
it is not myself that does the healing, but God."

"Yes, I know that God can heal her if He will."

"Have you ever asked Him to?"

"Many hundreds of times have I asked, prayed, begged, and beseeched
Him."

"What did you expect to accomplish by your begging and beseeching?"

"I do not understand what you mean, Mrs. White."

"Did you think you could influence a good and just God by your begging
and beseeching, to be more than good and just?"

"Oh, I did not wish to influence God," said the pastor.

"Then what did you expect to accomplish by begging and beseeching?"
As the pastor did not answer, Mrs. White continued:

"A good and just God could not be less than good and just, and if this
be true, what could we expect to accomplish by begging and beseeching?
Mr. Williams, the reason your prayers have not been answered, is that
you don't know how to pray aright, besides you have been praying to
a false god, an idol of your own making."

The pastor's back stiffened up perceptibly, as he said rather cooly,
"Mrs. White, don't you think your accusations are a little unjust? You
must remember I am an ordained minister."

"Mr. Williams, don't think I am alluding only to you; almost the whole
human race has made the same mistake. I am free to confess that I did
not know how to pray aright until after I had studied 'Science and
Health.' If you will allow me, I will try to prove my assertions."

"Please proceed."

"Mr. Williams, when you pray, do you or do you not have a mental picture
of your god in mind?"

"Yes, most generally I do." "Will you please describe this mental
picture?" asked Mrs. White.

"When I close my eyes in prayer, I usually see the spirit of God as
though He was appearing through the clouds," said the pastor.

"Does this spirit of God, as you call it, have a human face?"

"Yes, Mrs. White, a face that is radiant with goodness and love."

"Mr. Williams, don't you see that this is a god of your own making,
an imaginary creature of your own mind?"

"I don't quite understand," said the pastor, somewhat confused.

"When you close your eyes to pray, you imagine you see the face of a
man, appearing through the clouds. You know this is not real, but the
face appears only in your imagination, and when your congregation close
their eyes, they each have an imaginary picture of some kind before
them, or else a void, and if you were to compare notes, you would find
no two persons to have the same picture or idol. Are there so many
gods as that? If not, which one of the congregation has the right one?
The fact is, most people pray to a god of their own making, a man-made
god, a thing that does not exist, except in their own imagination, and
then wonder why their prayers are not answered. Have I proven my
assertion, Mr. Williams?"

"Yes, Mrs. White, you have, but you have also robbed me of my God, and
now I am entirely at a loss."

"Better no god at all than a false one," said Mrs. White.

"That may be true, Mrs. White, but you do not wish to intimate that
there is no God?"

"Most assuredly not, have I not told you that God heals the sick, that
God is Good, that God is Mind? If I have robbed you of your false god,
I have done a good work, for then you are ready to seek the true God.
I recommend that you carefully study 'Science and Health.' In it I
found who and what the true God is. If you will read this book, in
connection with the Bible, you will find that it will unlock the
mysteries of the Bible, and you will come into possession of that peace
that passeth all understanding." "I shall certainly do as you suggest,
Mrs. White; for I have determined to find the true God."

"Now, Mr. Williams, do you wish me to give your wife treatment?"

"Yes, I have determined to give Christian Science a fair trial."

"As it is getting rather late, I will not see your wife to-night, but
will treat her absently as soon as I get home. I would also suggest
that you acquaint her with the fact that I will see her tomorrow
evening."

"But I have not asked her whether she is willing to take science
treatment," said the pastor.

"Father, that has all been arranged, as I have asked her; all that
mother wanted was your sanction. Otherwise she would not take the
treatment, and I had acquainted Mrs. White with the facts before she
came."

"I am pleased to hear that your mother is willing to try these
treatments, as we have tried everything else, and now this is our last
and only hope."

"When it should have been your first; yet that is the way of mortals,
they try everything else first and God last, nevertheless God is ever
ready to help man when man turns to Him, no matter what has gone
before," said the practitioner.

"Mrs. White, your words give me great hope, yet my wife's case seems
hopeless."

"Mr. Williams, why should you think it strange that a good, and loving,
and all-powerful Father should be ever ready to help His children?"

"I know not, unless it is because He did not answer my prayers, and
this may have weakened my faith," meekly said the pastor.

"But you did not pray to an all-good, loving, and all-powerful God,
or you would surely have been answered; you were praying to a false
god, even one of your own making."

"Yes, I know now that there was something wrong, and I supposed it was
because God did not wish to help; but you have shown me that the fault
was not with God, but with myself."

"Well, Mr. Williams, I am glad that the light of understanding is
coming to your consciousness, and now I must be going. I have no special
directions to give you regarding your wife except that I don't want
you or Walter to tell a single person that your wife is receiving
Christian Science treatment, and you may rest assured that I shall not
tell any one."

The pastor was very much relieved to hear Mrs. White say she would
tell no one, and supposing she did not wish to jeopardize his position
as minister, he said, "I thank you very much, Mrs. White, for being
so solicitous of my position."

Mrs. White's answer rather surprised him. She said: "When I told you
to tell no one, I did not have you or your position in thought, I was
simply thinking of the welfare of your wife. Now good-night, and you
may expect me at the same hour to-morrow evening."

The pastor and his son bade her a hearty goodnight, then returned to
the library. As soon as they arrived there the pastor turned to his
son and said, "Walter, what other reason could Mrs. White have in
bidding us say nothing of the treatments, excepting my position?"

"Father, I do not fully understand why this is done, but I have heard
that they request this in all cases. I think it is for the same reason
that Jesus Christ told them He healed, to go and tell no man."

The pastor looked at his son and said, "It may be for the same reason,
although both are a mystery to me, at any rate this disproves the
assertion the Rev. Jones made in regard to these lady practitioners
being pleased to tell their business to everybody. Why, any one could
be healed by Christian Science and no one be the wiser. I wonder if
this does not account for the mysterious recovery of Mr. Anderson. You
remember the paper stated that he was given up by the physicians, and
that he could not live more than twenty-four to thirty-six hours; then
to the surprise of everybody he began to mend rapidly, and in six
week's time no one would think that he ever had a sick day in his life.
And ever since he has been attending to his business, and every time
I meet him he seems running over with happiness, joy, and good health."

"Father, wasn't he supposed to be suffering from a very severe case
of Blight's disease?"

"Yes, he had a consultation of three of our best physicians, and they
pronounced it Bright's disease."

"If it really was Christian Science that healed him, I am sure it will
heal mother."

"Yes, son, I think so too, I believe I will ask Mr. Anderson what healed
him, for if it was Christian Science, it will give me more confidence."

"Now please bring me this science book you found, as I would like to
see it."

"I will get it at once, father," said the delighted boy, for he felt
sure that if his father ever started to read it, he would never leave
it until he had discovered the great truth the book contained.

In a few moments he was back and handed the book to his father, who
said, "Walter, I wish you would call in to see your mother and acquaint
her with what has been done; then you had better retire, as I may spend
some time with this book."

"All right, father. Good-night."

"Good-night, Walter," said the pastor, as he assumed an easy position
in his large armchair.

Walter went to his mother's room and, finding her awake, told her all
about the visit of the practitioner, and also some of the things she
had said, and that she was coming to see her the next evening. He then
bade her a cheerful good-night and retired to his own room, a very
happy and well satisfied boy.

His father continued his reading until long after midnight, and as he
closed the book he said aloud, "It truly is a wonderful book, but I
cannot agree with all that it contains, although this may be because
I do not fully understand." He then wended his way to his wife's
bedchamber, and looking in, found her sleeping peacefully; then he
murmured: "I must trust God fully, for no one else can help her."




CHAPTER XIV

THE DREAM


The next evening at the appointed hour Mrs. White made her appearance,
and after a few casual remarks, requested to be taken to Mrs. Williams.
The pastor introduced her to his wife.

The practitioner, after explaining her purpose in calling, kindly
requested the pastor to leave the room as she wished to be alone with
her patient.

As soon as the pastor had left the room, Mrs. White turned to her
patient and said in a voice full of affection and love: "Be not afraid,
Mrs. Williams, God is an ever-present help in time of trouble, therefore
I bid you hope."

Some of the languid and discouraged look that had been on Mrs.
Williams's face seemed to fade away as she said, "You bid me hope,
when all the rest of the world and my physicians have told me my case
is hopeless? Surely you do not believe I can be healed."

"Mrs. Williams, I not only believe, but I know you can be healed, for
nothing is impossible to God, and from now on He is your physician.
Do not think it is I that is going to heal you, but our heavenly Father.
'He doeth the work.'"

"If I could only believe," said the sick woman, with eyes full of
tears.

"Mrs. Williams, you can at least say the same as the man in the Bible
said when Jesus asked him if he believed He could heal him; he said:
'Oh, God, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.' And this is what I am
going to do, I am going to help thine unbelief, that is, cast it out,
and let Truth reign in your consciousness. To accomplish this you must
be obedient; if you have any prejudice, cast it aside. The word
prejudice means to prejudge, and very few people are wise enough to
prejudge even the most simple things of life, and those who do, are
wrong more times than they are right."

"What you say is true, and I don't want to be prejudiced about anything,
but there has been so much said against Christian Science and it has
been ridiculed so severely that I find it hard to have any faith in
it, yet I am very willing to give it a trial."

"Mrs. Williams, what would you think of a judge or a jury that would
convict a person solely on the evidence of witnesses who were opposed
to the person on trial, and probably all of the testimony was of this
type: ('I heard Mr. Smith say he heard the prisoner had done it')? in
other words mere gossip; would you consider this justice? Yet that is
just the kind of trial that all prejudiced people give Christian
Science. If Christian Scientists point to the great mass of evidence
in favor of this science, this evidence is ridiculed and denied, no
matter how honest the person may be who gave the testimony."

"Your contention is true, Mrs. White, I did prejudge or sentence
Christian Science on the testimony of its enemies."

"I am glad to hear you admit this, as it shows me that one obstacle
to your recovery has been removed, and you will now give Christian
Science an impartial hearing and a fair trial. And now before I give
you a silent treatment, I wish to set your thoughts aright about God.
You may have said that it is God's will that you are suffering, or
that He had put this thing upon you as a punishment, either for
something you, or some one else, had done. This is a terrible thing
to do, to accuse your Maker, a God who is all good, all love, of such
a contemptible act as this. No, Mrs. Williams, rest assured God never
did such a thing. Let us see what the Bible says on this question. In
the first place, it says God made everything good; do you believe
that?"

The sick woman nodded her head.

"Next, it says, 'And God saw everything He had made and pronounced it
_very good_'; it further states that God made everything that was
made; do you believe this also?"

"Yes."

"You have heard it said that Christian Science claims that sin, disease,
and death are not real, haven't you?" asked the practitioner.

"Yes."

"Now let us see if their claims are true. You agreed that God made
everything that was made and that it was good. Now then, can you in
any possible way show me wherein this claim of sickness of yours is
good? if not, then God did not make it, it cannot be real, and it does
not exist."

"But, Mrs. White, I have suffered with it for years, and it certainly
is real to me," said Mrs. Williams.

"Let me show you how real it is, and what is necessary to make it
unreal to you. Suppose I lie down on that couch over there," she said,
pointing to a couch at the further side of the room. "As I fall asleep,
the things in the room gradually fade from my sight and consciousness,
that is, they become unreal to me, in fact they have no existence for
me for the time being, yet they are all there. After a little I begin
to dream that I am getting ready to take a trip to Europe. I pack my
trunk, telephone for the expressman to take it to the depot, I dress
myself in my traveling suit, get into my carriage, and am driven to
the depot. On the way down I see some of my friends. I bow to them,
and as I get out of the carriage at the depot I find my husband and
sister there, to bid me God speed on my journey. I realize that my
husband came from his place of business, and my sister from a distant
part of the city. We enter the depot chatting gaily. My husband goes
to inquire about the train. He comes back and tells us it is ready,
and we walk down a pair of stairs and out into the train shed. As we
approach the train, my husband gets out my ticket, shows it to the
porter, and he says, 'Second car to the rear.' As we reach the place
indicated, my husband shows the ticket to another porter who is standing
there. He examines it and says with a wave of his hand, 'Right in this
car.' We enter, and find the number of my berth. My husband puts my
traveling bag under the seat, and we all sit there talking for some
time. We then hear the conductor's warning, 'All aboard.' My husband
and sister both kiss me and hurriedly leave the car. A moment later
I see them on the platform. I hear the bell on the engine ring, I feel
the car move, and wave a last farewell to those on the platform as
they pass from my sight. A little later I am out in the country. Then
we dash through a village without stopping, and at length we arrive
at New York. I take a carriage to be driven to the dock. On the way
there the horse becomes frightened, runs away, tips the carriage over,
throws me under a rapidly moving street car, which runs over both my
feet. The ambulance is called. I am taken to the hospital. The pain
is almost unbearable. The physician examines my injuries and says he
will be compelled to amputate both my feet. This seems so terrible to
me that the shock wakes me up. For a few moments after I awake, I still
feel the pain and lie there trembling with fright, for the dream has
been so real. Yet in reality I never left the couch, and everything
in the room is there just as I left it when I went to sleep. It was
all an illusion, and the only thing necessary to prove it to me was
something or somebody to awaken me. So it is with man. God made him
perfect and everything good, and all man needs to prove it to himself
is to be awakened, that is, made acquainted with the true facts
pertaining to life. This means man must understand the science of
being; then his delusion regarding sin, disease, and death will be no
more real than my trip to Europe with its accompanying pain and
disasters."

"I see the force of your illustration, Mrs. White, but I am sure I am
not dreaming." "But you are suffering from a delusion, and a delusion
is a dream, and is no more real. If it had been possible for some one
to tell me while I was on my dream trip, that it was a dream, I would
have denied it, because it seemed real to me. So with you, this delusion
seems so real you believe it to be a reality. Nevertheless the facts
were that I was suffering from a delusion, and so are you. So let us
deny that evil is real, and we will wake up to the truth, or
understanding, that it is not real. Now I will give you your treatment."




CHAPTER XV

TRUTH BEING MANIFESTED


The treatment over, Mrs. White said a few more cheerful words to her
patient and then called the pastor into the room, saying to him, it
would be well if he would read from "Science and Health" to his wife
whenever he found time, which he promised to do.

A few minutes later, Mrs. White was on her way home, and the pastor
and his family were more hopeful than they had been for some time.
Walter and his father discussed with Mrs. Williams the happenings of
the evening, and it was quite late before they all retired for the
night.

Mrs. White came regularly every evening for about a week, and as her
patient began slowly to mend she came only every other evening. The
Rev. Williams and also Walter read to the sick woman every day, and
by the end of the month Mrs. Williams began to stay up several hours
each day. She also was an eager reader and student of "Science and
Health." Many were the pleasant evenings spent by them in explanation
and discussion of what they were reading.

True to his word, the pastor decided to trust in God for his supply,
and had asked for a vacation, which was granted him. Near the end of
the second week a letter came; in it was a check from a man whom he
had loaned some money to, a long time before. It also contained a note
explaining that he had always intended to pay the debt, but not until
recently had his financial circumstances permitted it. When the pastor
saw it, he said, "Surely this is in return for my trust in God, for
I long ago reckoned this money as lost."

At the end of three months, Mrs. Williams was so far recovered that
she was able to take care of her household duties and the pastor's
understanding of "Science and Health" had increased to such an extent
that he felt sure it contained the Christ Truth, but he was not yet
ready to say he would give up his position as pastor. Walter grasped
the truth more rapidly than his father, and whenever he found him
perplexed or doubtful he was ever ready to point the way. His mother
was constantly gaining both in health and understanding, and when
Spring came and the end of the pastor's six months' vacation drew nigh,
she was entirely healed.

It was at this time the pastor told his wife and son that he had
determined to hand in his resignation and leave the ministry. They
agreed with him that he could not consistently preach the old belief
after understanding the truth; and as his congregation was very well
satisfied with the minister who was filling his place, they would not
miss him much.

A few days later he handed in his resignation. It was somewhat of a
surprise to the directors, and they asked him to reconsider; but when
he assured them it was final, they in due time accepted it and requested
that he preach a farewell sermon. At first the pastor thought of
declining, but did not; instead, he told them he would consider for
a few days.

That evening, as they were all sitting in the library, he told his
wife and son of their request, and said he had not fully made up his
mind what was best to do. At this point Walter spoke up and said, with
a smile on his face: "Father, do you remember one evening when we were
having our Bible lessons you promised to preach a sermon on creation?"

"Yes, son, I remember."

"Why not preach that sermon as a farewell, for I know you can do so
now with understanding."

The father looked at his son, smiled, and said: "Not a bad idea; what
do you think of it, wife?"

"I think it would be grand and might be the means of showing some poor
sufferer the truth. How thankful I am for this truth, and how I wish
the whole world would know the Christ Truth."

"Then it is settled, I will tell the directors of my decision in the
morning;" which he did, also telling them on what subject he would
preach.




CHAPTER XVI

THE FAREWELL SERMON


The appointed Sunday dawned clear and balmy, and by the time the
services commenced, the church was filled to its full capacity, the
new minister officiating; and when it came time for the sermon, he
announced that the Rev. Williams would preach his farewell sermon, and
that the subject would be "Creation." The pastor slowly arose from the
seat he had been occupying and leisurely walked up to and into the
pulpit. He slowly allowed his gaze to roam over the crowded church,
then began his sermon in a clear, full voice:

"My dearly beloved brethren, once again, after more than six months'
vacation, I stand before you for the last time as pastor. I have been
in your midst for more than fifteen years, trying to point out to you,
to the best of my ability, the way to salvation. In that time I have
made many staunch friends--friends to be proud of, friends that were
true, friends that were friends in time of storm as well as sunshine,
friends that have stood the test of time, and I hope will stand the
test to the end of time, for a severe test of their love and friendship
for me and mine is coming."

By this time every eye was fastened on him, and each individual ear
was strained to catch his every word.

The Rev. Williams now opened the Bible he had carried to the pulpit
with him, and said:

"As has been announced by your pastor, the subject of my sermon is
'The Creation.' In explanation I might say that just before, and during
the time of my vacation, I was carefully studying the Bible relative
to this subject, and I discovered the fact that during all the time
I was studying for the ministry, and these many years that I have been
an ordained minister, I had not become acquainted with the true facts
regarding the creation of man. It was the discovery of this, with many
others I have since made, that compelled me to send in my resignation,
and in my sermon to-day I shall endeavor to make plain my discovery.
I say my discovery, although it was not mine originally, but another's
whose illumined spiritual sense is as far above mine as the blue vaults
of heaven are above the earth. I will now read to you verses from the
first and second chapters of Genesis. No doubt, you are all more or
less familiar with them. Genesis, Chapter I, 26th verse, reads: _'And
God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let
them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the
air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every
creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.'_ Chapter 1, 27th
verse, reads: _'So God created man in his own image, in the image
of God created He him; male and female created He them.'_ Chapter
1, 31st verse, reads: _'And God saw everything that He had made, and
behold, it was very good, and the evening and the morning were the 6th
day.'_ Chapter 2, 1st verse, reads: _'Thus the heavens and earth
were finished, and all the hosts of them.'_ Chapter 2, 6th verse,
reads: _'But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the
whole face of the ground.'_ Chapter 2, 7th verse, reads: _'And
the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into
his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.'"_

As he finished reading this verse, he laid the Bible down and said,
"I now wish to call your attention to chapter I, 26th verse. Therein
is stated that God made man in His image and likeness. Chapter I, 27th
verse, reiterates this statement so as to more fully emphasize this
great truth. We now come to the question of what is God. We all agree
that God is Spirit. If this be true, then man must be spiritual and
not material, else he would not be the image and likeness of God,
Spirit. In chapter I, 31st verse, we read that _God saw everything
He had made, and behold, it was very good._ Now I want to ask, is
sin, disease, trouble, affliction, or death good? It has been said
that under certain conditions sickness might be good. I also thought
this at one time, but in no way can we conceive of sin as being good.
Then God never made sin, neither did He make disease and death; then
whence came they? Is there an evil power that creates these dreaded
things? If we believe this, we will have two creators, or gods, which
cannot be true. Let us see if the Bible will not throw some light on
this seeming mystery. Chapter 2, 1st verse, reads: _'Thus the heavens
and earth were finished and all the hosts of them.'_ Now this is
all of creation, God has finished His work, yet in the same chapter
a little further along we read: _'But there went up a mist from the
earth and watered the whole face of the ground.'_ In the next verse
we read: _'And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living
soul.'_ But God had finished His work some time before, at least
so it was stated in some of the preceding verses. Is there a second
creation, or is this simply one of the contradictions spoken of by
some of our Bible critics? We can not conceive of an all-knowing God
having made a mistake when He created man spiritually in His image and
likeness and then later making another man materially from dust.

"I wish to call your attention to the fact that the Bible does not
state that this _dust man_ is made in the image and likeness of God, in
fact it does not state that he was made at all, it simply says: 'And the
Lord God _formed_ man of the dust of the ground.' Then this dust man at
best was only _formed_ and never made. Neither does it state that God
had anything to do with the forming of this dust man, as it does of the
spiritual man made in His image and likeness, but states the _Lord_ God
formed him.

"Nowhere in the first chapter of Genesis, which is the true or spiritual
creation, does the Lord God create anything; it is only after that
_mist_ (spoken of in the 6th verse of chapter two) arose from the
earth that the _Lord_ God _formed_ the dust or material man,
or anything else. Then the mystery of this seeming second creator, the
Lord God, and his creation or forming of this dust or material man and
material world must lie within this _mist_, and it does; this
mist that arose was simply a misapprehension that arose amongst the
people, wherein they believed themselves to be _formed_ of dust
or materially, whereas in truth they were created spiritually. And
this _Lord_ God spoken of that formed the dust man is not the
real creator, the true God, but is man himself, who, through his own
false idea or belief, formed man of dust, in other words, by his
misapprehension of his true nature, man thinks himself material, when,
in reality, he is spiritual, and it is through this mistake that all
this evil or materiality seems to exist. But it is no more real than
the dust man, and gets its seeming reality in the same way through a
delusion or misapprehension of the truth. The proof that evil is not
real, does not exist, and was never made, is contained in the Bible.
Genesis 1, 31st verse, is this proof; it reads: 'And God saw
_everything_ that He had made, and behold, it was very good, and
the evening and the morning were the 6th day.' I wish you to note that
this verse says _everything_; this includes _all_. Then everything that
really exists is good, it cannot be otherwise. Our God, our Creator,
could not make both good and evil, else He would not be perfect, for
evil is an imperfection and an imperfection can have no principle, hence
no reality. Evil has the same reality that a lie has. What becomes of a
lie when the truth is declared? It ceases to exist; so with evil; it
being unreal, it ceases to exist, when Good is declared.

"Now, Beloved, I will quote you the greatest command given to man by
Jesus Christ: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and
with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.' I will now give you my
interpretation of this great commandment: Thou shalt love the _Good_,
thy God, with all thy love, and with all thy intelligence, and with all
thy thoughts. Oh, if we could only do this, there surely would be no
evil. Do we obey this greatest command of our Master? No. For instead of
loving God, we fear Him, and lay every evil that befalls us at His door.
If there be a cyclone, a flood, a cloudburst, a railroad disaster, a
conflagration, an earthquake, an epidemic, we say it is the will of God.
Oftentimes we labor long and faithfully to accomplish a desired result,
and just as we think we have success in our hands, we fail, and all our
hopes and desires are destroyed; again we say, it is the will of God. If
we see any of our brethren sick, we claim it to be the will of God. If
we see the father of a family taken away, we bow our heads and say God's
will be done. If we see a family of children left motherless, again we
bow our heads and say God's will be done. If we see a beautiful infant
snatched by death from the breast of it's heart-broken mother, we meekly
bow again, and, with heart full of sorrow, say, it's the will of God. I
tell you it is not the will of God, the will of Good. There is no good
in it, hence not of God's making, but is the work of evil, or devil, in
other words, the work of a delusion, the believing of a lie. And when we
stand meekly by and see evil destroy our health, our hopes, our
happiness, our homes, without a protest, we are abetting the devil in
his work. The Bible says God gave man dominion over _all_ the earth, so
rise in the might of your intelligence, your Mind, and destroy this
evil, this illusion, this lie, with the sword of truth, in Christ's
name. God, Good, is with you in this work, and with Him for you, who can
stand against you? Too long has man been robbed by evil in the name of
good. Jesus Christ said: 'Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall
make you free.' This truth has been revealed and is in our midst; 'seek
and ye shall find.' St. John, the most beloved disciple, said: 'God is
Love.' Can you believe a father who is Love would destroy the hopes
of His children, make them suffer through accident, sickness, and
poverty, and after three score and ten years let them die, in other
words, kill them? Even the lowest of earthly fathers would not do this.
Jesus Christ said: The last enemy to overcome is death.' This surely
does not mean that we must submit to death, but the opposite, or
overcome death. Christ's bidding us to overcome death shows that death
is an evil. Then all things that are allies of death, such as sickness,
poverty, accidents and the like, must be overcome, and when we have
overcome all these things there will be no death to overcome; therefore
I bid you awake from this delusion, this dream of life in matter, to
the truth of life in Mind, in God. Simply believing in God is not
enough, you must know God. Again I say, awake and work out your own
salvation, as St. Paul said you must; salvation, is not believing, but
knowing. In the words of one of the prophets, _acquaint_ thyself
with God and be at peace. Search the Scriptures, they contain the truth
of life. Use your reasoning power, and do your own thinking-for the
kingdom of heaven is at hand. Christ is risen and is knocking at your
door, let Him in, and He will show you the way out of trouble, sin,
disease, and how to conquer death.

"Now, Beloved, in conclusion, I would like to call your attention to
my family, as you all know my son Walter was a sufferer for years from
a disease that materia medica says is incurable; you now see him in
your midst, a well and strong young man. I had long ago come to the
conclusion that it was the will of God that he was sick, but through
his own realization of the great truth that God made only the good,
he was healed--in a like manner his mother, my wife, was healed of the
same dread disease by _one_ who _knew_ that the good only was real, and
proved it by destroying this seeming evil, which to us is known as
tuberculosis. My wife is also in your midst, hale and hearty, as proof
of my statement. And as I have also acquired this understanding of God,
I cannot consistently preach the gospel in the old way, hence my
resignation from this church and the ministry, and now I must echo the
words of that great man, Martin Luther: 'Here I stand, I can do no
otherwise, so help me God.' Amen."




A PARTING WORD


Nearly, all my life I was an inveterate reader of fiction, trying in
this way to forget my troubles and pain, as many thousands of others
are doing to-day. During all this time there was a book in existence
the study of which would have banished all my misery, but I knew it
not. It is with the hope that in this way I may reach a few of these
thousands and get them interested enough so they will seek the truth
in the way pointed out herein, that this work of fiction is put upon
the market. "Seek and ye shall find," and when found, hold fast that
which is true and you will come into that peace that passeth all
understanding.

THE AUTHOR.







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