The Christian Scientist who reads the attempts of certain...

The Christian Scientist who reads the attempts of certain non-Scientists to tell others what Christian Science is, cannot but wonder if there ever was a religious philosophy so utterly misapprehended, misrepresented, and distorted as is this one. He wonders if public speakers in general are so much in the habit of discoursing upon, and even attempting to instruct their audiences concerning, things about which they know so little, as are many who assume to tell the public what Christian Science is and what it is not. If so, no wonder the world of mankind is in a state of chaos and confusion; no wonder people are so largely governed by prejudice and misconception. If Romanism and Protestantism, each by the other, are as grossly misrepresented in the pulpit and on the rostrum as Christian Science has been, it is not strange that each should regard the other with dread, suspicion, and distrust. We have read sermon after sermon, delivered by men of confessed learning and ability, the ostensible purpose of which was to expound Christian Science in an unprejudiced spirit, yet which were so full of misconception as to subject them to the charge of being caricatures of, rather than fair and intelligent disquisitions upon, the subject. It is unfortunate that those occupying the place of public instructors should so sadly fail of their true mission in this respect.

Among those who have recently assumed to tell the public of Christian Science is a worthy woman by the name of Pundita Ramabai, a Christian Hindu who is now lecturing in this country. She declares that what is known in America as Christian Science is nothing more than Hindu philosophy under a Western name. A part of her lecture is reported in the Record of Christian Work for August. In this lecture she speaks of certain Christian Science Ladies' Clubs and what is taught there as Christian Science. As there is not known among Christian Scientists such a thing as a "Ladies' Club,"—such social organizations being utterly foreign to their system,—it is painfully apparent, at the outset, that this estimable Christian woman is assuming to speak of that concerning which she has no knowledge whatever. To those familiar with the situation, however, her error is easily forgiven, for she has manifestly gathered her information (such as she has) from a class of people variously styling themselves Christian Scientists, Divine Scientists, Truth-Seekers, etc., but who in reality are students of occultism, and doubtless have imbibed a measure of that Hindu philosophy of which she speaks, and to which she likens Christian Science.

September 29, 1898

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