Being a librarian for most of his professional working life, my father-in-law had a special love of books. Books held treasures, and he handled them with respect. One task he particularly enjoyed was selecting books on all subjects for the general public. He tried to be fair and impartial in his choices. He told me he strove to choose only the very best for the public and to give them something that would really help them.
One book he always made sure was on the library shelf was Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. This is the textbook of Christian Science. As far as he was concerned, this was a book that really helped people. It is a book based solely on the Holy Bible.
He had been introduced to Science and Health as a young man while working in the library. When he was called up to serve as a flying officer in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, he and the book were pretty much inseparable. Like many other people at that time, he prayed to feel the presence of God and be able to meet with courage and compassion whatever lay before him.
During a long campaign in Italy my father-in-law became very ill. He was taken into a hospital with suspected appendicitis and was prepared for an immediate appendectomy. My father-in-law began to pray. The Bible and Science and Health had been showing him how to pray. He was learning that God, the perfect Principle, is the governor of all that He creates. After another examination the operation was postponed until morning. My father-in-law passed the night praying and reading Science and Health. When morning came he felt wonderfully well. Reexamining him, the doctors found that the operation wasn't necessary, and they canceled it.
When he was discharged from the hospital, a South African pilot stopped him and asked if he could borrow the book my father-in-law had been reading all night; this man had seen him prepared for surgery and now saw him suddenly well. My father-in-law was overjoyed at the pilot's recognition of his healing, and he gave him a spare copy of Science and Health, along with a Bible. No wonder Science and Health was precious to my father-in-law. He had had firsthand proof of the healing power of God through reading it.
Science and Health speaks to the heart. It's for seekers-for those who aren't afraid to ask questions. And it's for those who want to listen (although the answers may not be what you are expecting!). The book introduces the reader to God, who is both Love and Principle. It reveals the truth of God and creation. People have often said that Science and Health articulates what they have always felt to be true deep down. It does not cram the reader with information. It presents a revelation that came to its author as gently and naturally as the unfolding of a bud. It leads the reader on a spiritual journey, revealing what has been true from the foundation of the world.
The book's deeply Christian message begins to come out in the first chapter, "Prayer." Following this, chapters such as "Atonement and Eucharist," "Marriage," "Science, Theology, Medicine," "Footsteps of Truth," and "Christian Science Practice" help explain how anyone can learn to heal as Jesus Christ did. The last hundred pages of the book are given over to accounts of those who have been healed of all kinds of physical ills while reading Science and Health.
The Bible tells us in Proverbs, "The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord" (16:1). Mrs. Eddy wrote in Science and Health the truth that came to her from God. She said in one place, "God had been graciously preparing me during many years for the reception of this final revelation of the absolute divine Principle of scientific mental healing" (p. 107).
Science and Health awakens readers to spiritual reality, to the truth that God is all-power and that His love for His creation is unchanging. That's why it's a book that really helps and heals.
You can find in-depth articles about Christian Science in a monthly magazine, The Christian Science Journal.