Too Hasty Criticism

The Herald

Editor of The Herald:—My attention has been called to certain questions propounded in The Herald by "An Observer." He has seen the deep interest which Christian Scientists manifest in the text-book of their denomination, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker G. Eddy. He asks if this deep interest which he is pleased to call "superstitious reverence," is not fetish worship. I reply, No. He confesses that he does not comprehend Science and Health. He is therefore in no position to pass judgment upon those who do understand it., and whose understanding of this remarkable book brings them help for the problems of life. I can sympathize with one who does not grasp the meaning of Science and Health at the first reading, for I have had a similar experience, but a careful observer would note that the difficulty of under standing a scientific work at the first glance, is no objection to the book. It indicates that subjects are treated with which the readers are not fully familiar. In reading any scientific work of a philosophic nature, the first essential to understanding it fully, is to occupy the view point of the writer. This necessarily requires some investigation and some study, and no one is in a position to pass judgment on a new treatment of a profound subject until he does comprehend it.

For very plain and simple reasons, this remarkable work merits the high regard of those who understand it. Those who read this book find that their study of it makes it easier to do right and harder to do wrong. It helps to make them well and to keep them well. From my own experience I can testify that it makes God nearer, Christ Jesus dearer, and the Bible more precious to me. What the compass is to the mariner, that Science and Health is to the believer. It takes him safely over the ocean of trouble and discord into the haven of peace. The mariner values and carefully guards his compass because of what it does for him, and the intelligent reader of Science and Health has the same regard, for the same reason, for his text-book. He who had never sailed the seas might flippantly declare the mariner's regard for his compass to be fetish worship: but the mistaken judgment of the careless observer will not cause the careful seaman to abandon the instrument which is to him so great a help.

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