What is Christian Science?

The Morning Herald

The lecture delivered on Friday evening at the Opera House by Judge Ewing was scholarly, eloquent, earnest, and impressive; and excited comment, discussion, and interest. The Herald is a secular paper and does not meddle with things religious and spiritual except so far as they may be matters of news or of public interest, or as related to secular matters. But this lecture comes within all three of these classifications: it is a matter of news, of public interest, and is related closely to secular interests. The subject of Christian Science, as a belief and as a practice, has become of much interest and is exciting wide discussion in the secular newspapers; and those who believe in it and some who practise it, or pretend to practise it, are under criticism, and a few under judicial examination.

"What is Christian Science?" is a question we are not prepared to answer. This phrase has, of course, two very distinct meanings. In its broad sense it may mean whatever system of scientific philosophy, or concatenated and formal statement Christians have promulgated, or that represent the views and doctrines of Christ and his Church. And in this sense phrase is used as the phrase "political Science," "Social Science." But in the narrower sense it means that system of doctrine, teaching, and practice promulgated by Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy, and accepted, held, and followed those who agree with her and believe in her teachings. And even in that narrow sense it stands with those who accept this system as representing the truths. the teachings, and the promises of Christ, and is founded wholly upon the Bible, and in accordance entirely with its utterances and spirit.

To those who declare their inability to understand this Christian Science, the answer sometimes given is that famous passage from Paul's letter to the Corinthians: "But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God. and the wisdom of God." The keenness of this response and its aptness require no explanation. To those who can believe in the incarnation, the crucifixion, the resurrection, the aseension and the continued sovereignty of the Christ —and in his office, work, power as Saviour, Mediator, and Judge, it ought not to be hard to believe in Christian Science, say its followers—to those who cannot thus believe, of course all written and taught in the Bible is foolishness or worse. If there was a Christ and he was the Son of God with power to give up his life and take it again, and that for the love he bore mankind; if this Christ did raise the dead, heal the sick, make the blind to see and the cripple to walk; and did promise that those who had faith in him should have like power—why should those who thus believe refuse to believe that in fact those promises are being honestly and fairly kept, and that those who take him at his word do what he promised they might do. In this demand they only do what Peter and John did to him who laid at the Gate Beautiful; and repeat what Paul declared he did in the same name and by the same power.

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A Reply to "Enquirer"
May 16, 1901

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