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We then come to the grand conclusion of Peter's missionary visit, and this is the account of it:

“Stating these and such like things, they bring to him the distressed with sickness and the tormented with demons, paralytics also and those suffering diverse perils; and there was an infinite number of sick people collected.

With such sayings he went up on a height, and ordered all the multitude of sick people to be ranged before him, and addressed them all in these words.

“As you see me to be a man like to yourselves, do not suppose that you can recover your health from me, but through Him who coming down from Heaven has shown to those who believe in Him a perfect medicine for body and soul. Hence let all this people be witnesses to your declaration that with your whole heart you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they may know that themselves also may be saved by Him.' And when all the multitude of the sick with one voice cried out that He is the true God whom Peter preaches suddenly an overpowering light of the Grace of God appeared in the midst of the people, and the paralytics being cured began to run to Peter's feet, the blind to shout on the recovery of their sight, the lame to give thanks on regaining the power of walking, the sick to rejoice in restored health; some even who were barely alive, being already without consciousness or the power of speech, were raised up, and all the lunatics and those possessed of demons were set free.

“So great grace of His power did the Holy Spirit show on that day, that all from the least to the greatest, with one voice confessed the Lord, and not to delay you with many words, within seven days, more than ten thousand men, believing in God were baptized and consecrated by

sanctification, so that Theophilus who was more exalted than all the men of power in that city, with all eagerness of desire, consecrated the great palace of his house under the name of a Church, and a chair was placed in it for the apostle Peter by all the people. And the whole multitude assembling daily to hear the word, believed in the healthful doctrine which was a vouched by the efficacy of cures."

Although The Recognitions, and therefore this great sermon of Peter, may be of the nature of tradition, we know that it was through the healing of multitudes that the original Christian Churches were founded. We will find this to be the case when we come to the Ministry of Gregory Thaumaturgus; but there is also this note by Eusebius, who wrote not fiction but true history For "Thomas under a divine impulse sent Thaddæus as herald and evangelist to proclaim the doctrine of Christ, as we have shown from the public documents found there. When he came to these places he both healed Agbarus by the word of Christ and astonished all there with the extraordinary miracles he performed. After having sufficiently disposed them by his works, and led them to adore the power of Christ, he made them disciples of the Saviour's doctrine. And even to this day, the whole city of Edessa is devoted to the name of Christ; exhibiting no common evidence of the beneficence of our Saviour likewise to them. And let this suffice as taken from the accounts given in ancient documents."

In Retrospection and Introspection (page 16) Mrs. Eddy gives this testimony:

"It was not an uncommon occurrence in my own church for the sick to be healed by my sermon. Many pale cripples went into the church leaning on crutches who went out carrying them on their shoulders.

'And these signs shall follow them that believe.'Truly,

"The healing of the seamless dress
Is by our beds of pain,
We touch Him in life's throng and press,
And we are whole again."

It will be noted that Peter in The Recognitions insisted that his healing was done through the truth of Christ, and not through any personal power of his own. It is the entire elimination of the personal ego that makes this early theology so pure, so refreshingly sweet and simple and that brings men so close to God. The saints did not advertise themselves as such. Those who talked with them heard nothing at all about their own gifts, but everything about God's presence and power, which needed no superior human medium in order to abundantly reach mankind; for since Christ Jesus had opened the way, it behoved all men to follow in His footsteps.

With kindred simplicity and efficiency the truth was spoken by Mrs. Eddy. On one occasion some flowers sent to the Concord Church by Mrs. Eddy and thence distributed to the sick, brought uplift and healing to an old gentleman, and this incident drew from her pen a message on the subject of “not matter but spirit” in which the following passages occur:

“The restoration of pure Christianity rests solely on spiritual understanding, spiritual worship: spiritual power. Ask thyself, Do I enter by the door and worship only Spirit and spiritually, or do I climb up some other way? Do I understand God as Love, the divine Principle of all that really is, the infinite good, than which there is none else and in whom is all? Unless this be so, the blind is leading the blind, and both will stumble into doubt and darkness, even as the ages have shown.

“I have the sweet satisfaction of sending to you weekly flowers that my skilful florist has coaxed into loveliness despite our winter snows.

Also I hear that the loving hearts and hands of the Christian Scientists in Concord send these floral offerings in my name to the sick and suffering. Now, if these kind hearts will only do this in Christ's name, the power of Truth and Love will fulfil the law in righteousness.

“Today our great Master would say to the aged gentleman healed from the day my flowers visited his bedside: Thy faith hath healed thee. The flowers were imbued and associated with no intrinsic healing qualities from my poor personality. The scientific, healing faith is a saving faith; it keeps steadfastly the great and first commandment, 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me'-no other than the spiritual help of divine Love." (Miscellany, pp. 152, 153.)

CHAPTER II

THE CHRISTIAN PLATONISTS

Clement and Origen of Alexandria.

T

HE persecutions of the Christians by Rome in the

early centuries, persecutions which swept with

cyclonic violence throughout the Roman Empire, were of a fierceness and barbarity mercifully inconceivable to our present generation. Neither is it necessary to dwell on the cruelty of an age now long past, provided two important points are always remembered in connection with them. The first is that hundreds and thousands sustained martyrdom, both men and women, young and old together, and that instead of Christianity being swept from off the face of the earth by this means, it became firmly established, and ever since has been slowly but surely transforming the world, if not yet into the full beauty of Christ's kingdom upon earth, at least into a sphere where life, liberty, and freedom of conscience are among the recognized rights of man.

The second point is that without going into any details of the terrible tortures inflicted on these early Christians, it must be asserted that they could not-flesh and blood could not have endured such treatment, could not have existed in a living, breathing condition, as so many of the martyrs did-if they had not been sustained by an actual law of life that entirely over-reached and quelled the physical law of nature. The record of their superhuman

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