If you could choose only one book in the world to have, what would it be? A novel? A biography? I know one thing -- I couldn't decide on just one. It would have to be two. And the two I have in mind really can't be separated from each other.
The first is the Holy Bible. Without the Bible, I'd feel removed from what is to me the most essential record of mankind's spiritual growth throughout history. The second would be one published more recently compared to the Bible, in 1875, by the woman who discovered Christian Science. That woman was Mary Baker Eddy, and the book is the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
You can't separate these two books, because Science and Health has its whole reason for being wrapped up in what the Bible says. The name says exactly what the book is: a means of unlocking the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures, to find the scientific basis of health. That means health in all its forms-yes, physical health, but also mental, financial, and moral health. Wholeness, if you will. A sound life.
Science and Health was written as the result of Mrs. Eddy's in-depth study of the Bible. What had already been a lifetime study yielded to intensive research after a physical healing that happened in 1866. She had suffered a serious accident, and doctors predicted her death. That was what her friends were expecting at any moment. But her reading in the Bible at that dark hour, of a healing performed by Christ Jesus, brought her complete and instantaneous healing. As a matter of fact, after that day she had far better health than she'd ever known before. So she searched the Bible to learn how she had been healed.
Here's an important point: the Bible, Science and Health, Christian healing, and Christian Science all go together. They can't be separated. Christian Scientists see the divine Science explained in Science and Health as the fulfillment of these words spoken by Jesus: "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth" (John 14:14-17).
What backs up the claims made for the Bible and Science and Health-such as that together they explain the truth of being-is proof of their power to improve human lives. Thousands of healings have been documented; Science and Health itself contains eighty-four testimonies of healings that occurred just through reading the book. The healings involve all sorts of diseases and injuries.
Despite the considerable skepticism of this age, spiritual healing goes on today. Christian Science presents a law sanctioned by God alone and shows how readers of its textbook can practice this divine law in their own lives. There is no form of evil or trouble that this law can't remove, and Christian Science lives up to its name as a science -- the Science of Christ; when its rules are followed, the same results always happen, and these results follow the good works of Jesus.
After her own healing Mrs. Eddy sensed that she had discovered a healing science, but did not yet fully comprehend it. Here is something she wrote in Science and Health that speaks to the book's origins: "For three years after my discovery, I sought the solution of this problem of Mind-healing, searched the Scriptures and read little else, kept aloof from society, and devoted time and energies to discovering a positive rule. . . . I knew the Principle of all harmonious Mind-action to be God, and that cures were produced in primitive Christian healing by holy, uplifting faith; but I must know the Science of this healing, and I won my way to absolute conclusions through divine revelation, reason, and demonstration. The revelation of Truth in the understanding came to me gradually and apparently through divine power" (p. 109).
Because Christian Science heals, and because it gives help in figuring out what life is all about, I love the Bible and Science and Health. There are a lot of other books I enjoy reading. But these are the ones I know I need!