At times of need, many Christian Scientists turn to the chapter "Christian Science Practice" in Science and Health faster than a hungry dog to a favorite buried bone, and for good reasons. How many of us, however, return to the same few well-chosen pages for support? There will come a time--and probably sooner than we might wish--when we need to begin chewing on all of it, the whole chapter, and not just those comfy pages we like best.
For some, the trial may smack too much of boiled mustard greens to be engaging, but people have been healed by gaining a more inspired grasp of it. It is saturated with important and, some might add, subtle points. Mrs. Eddy presents a "mental case", as mental as a case of insanity, which it is at bottom. A temptation could be to view the trial as just an example of how a physical problem--in this instance "liver complaint"--is met and the physical body returned to its normal functioning. Yes, on one level it is that, but since disease can only exist in some false belief of one's personal sense, he needs to begin understanding that matter, nothingness, can never be well or ill and therefore never really healed of anything. We possess a body, but it is not a physical something.
Another aspect of the trial worth noting is that it is the healing of a "Mortal Man" who felt ill in the course of doing good for a friend. Could this imply that a condition for healing or continued healing is to be always doing good for one's fellow man? Mrs. Eddy certainly chose the scenario and every detail of the trial carefully. This query may have a partial answer in the statement and two questions in the chapter "Prayer" (S&H 9: 5-11). Does it not appear that the only way for us to consistently express and demonstrate our God-given health and harmony is first to see and love our neighbor as His flawless reflection?
The above is by no means an attempt to present a definitive statement, or even more than a well-meant first thought, on the trial, but nothing in Science and Health should go unpondered and certainly not the trial. One would not exhaust its message with fifty prayerful readings. It, like all of our textbook, is a wellspring of inspiration, and we need all of it in order to attain and continue in harmony and health.