Dr. Holmes on Critics and Criticism

I am an earnest student of Christian Science and an interested reader of the Journal and Sentinel, for which, by the way, I am under obligations to dear friends, who, by their practical application of the teachings of Christian Science, and their demonstration thereof, have compelled, in the mind of a former scoffing unbeliever, the conviction that Science contains an element which is generously conducive to that peace which passeth understanding, to harmony, love, happiness, and success; an element which seems to be rather conspicuously absent from man-made doctrines.

Since coming into Science, I have been considerably interested in the criticisms emanating from non-Scientists, and am reminded of a passage from "The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table" (written about 1857), which seems to me to be quite prophetic of the criticism to which Christian Science has been subjected, and I think a part of it is particularly apropos. It is as follows:—

"Did you never, in walking in the fields, come across a large, flat stone, which had lain nobody knows how long, just where you found it, with the grass forming a little hedge, as it were, all round it, close to its edges,—and have you not, in obedience to a kind of feeling that told you it had been lying there long enough, insinuated your stick or your foot or your fingers under its edge and turned it over as a housewife turns a cake, when she says to herself, 'It's done brown enough by this time'? What an odd revelation, and what an unforeseen and unpleasant surprise to a small community, the very existence of which you had not suspected, until the sudden dismay and scattering among its members produced by your turning the old stone over! Blades of grass flattened down, colorless, matted together, as if they had been bleached and ironed; hideous crawling creatures, some of them coleopterous or horny-shelled,—turtle-bugs, one wants to call them; some of them softer, but cunningly spread out and compressed; . . . but no sooner is the stone turned and the wholesome light of day let upon this compressed and blinded community of creeping things, than all of them which enjoy the luxury of legs—and some of them have a good many—rush round wildly, butting each other and everything in their way, and end in a general stampede for underground retreats from the region poisoned by sunshine. Next year you will find the grass growing tall and green where the stone lay; the ground-bird builds her nest where the beetle had his hole; the dandelion and the buttercup are growing there, and the broad fans of insect angels open and shut over their golden disks, as the rhythmic waves of blissful consciousness pulsate through their glorified being. . . .

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True Responsibility
June 13, 1901

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