A View from the Outside

La Belle (Mo.) Star

Every the week the great metropolitan dailies come to the desk. We read all that the headlines indicate is of vital interest these messages from the world as it exists outside our little circle. There are no influences in the material world powerful to allay or excite prejudice as are the press and the pulpit, and yet we find occasionally a great movement, sustained by a vitalizing truth, standing the test of experiment, and proving by its "fruits" that these two dominant forces have no mortgage upon the hearts and consciences of people which intelligence and right reasoning cannot cancel when the day of foreclosure arrives. It is still clear in the memory of the writer when the great Christian church was ridiculed and condemned by people who boasted membership with some old established orthodox denomination. He also remembers how unkind and unjust were the criticisms on homoeopathy when its voice was first heard in the land. He has been very much interested in recent years in reading criticisms pulpit, press, and materia medica of the new movement known as Christian Science. But for these criticisms it might have been years before this subject came to his attention. Some time ago an account was given in one of the metropolitan papers of an orthodox minister who preached a lengthy discourse against Christian Science to his audience, which had been growing smaller for several months. One of his members him. after the services, if he had ever read the Christian Science text-book. Science and Health, by the Founder of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy. He answered that he had read and studied it thoroughly, but could not understand it, nor could he understand Christian Science, which the text-book is supposed to teach. The preached that sermon there were five large churches in his city filled to overflowing with people who say they understand text-book and have been healed by Christian Science. At the time he preached the sermon, also, there were a number of good, faithful men and women in his small congregation who were suffering mentally and greatly in need of the healing which unkind criticism and "unrighteous judgment" could never bestow. I am not a Christian Scientist. I have never studied the text-book. I have never met Mrs. Eddy. I do not intend to declare myself in favor of or against the movement she established something like forty years ago, and which is gathering into its ranks the very best and most thoughtful people in this country as well as in Europe. Australia, and other lands; but the criticism of the good minister above mentioned makes me wonder if his people had not been more benefited that Sabbath day had he dwelt at lenth on the commands of the Saviour, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel" and "heal the sick." criticising a people whose greatest offence was the fact that they were doing what they could to obey these commands.

Suppose a minister should announce from the platform that every man who claims that by an understanding of mathematics he can stand on the bank of a river and measure exactly the distance to the opposite shore without rod or is a fanatic, a man whose claims are pernicious, and it was afterwards learned that the minister did not know the multiplication table and could not compute the area of a rectangle, what importance would thinking people attach to his statement? Suppose he should say that whoever claims to understand the science of sufficiently to coax out of the silences a symphony so sweet and beautiful that it has been known to win the love of a savage whose arm was raised to strike a death blow, is deluded and misled, and it was afterward learned that the good minister did not know one note from another, what importance would thinking people attach to his statements? What, in fact, must be the impression created by a statement to the effect that a people who claim to have an understanding of the Bible that heals all manner of disease are demented, impostors, and irresponsible, and it is afterwards learned that the man who makes such statements admits that with his understanding of the Bible he cannot cure a single case of illness, however slight? Is he prepared to criticise a people who do heal the sick and the sinful?

Among the Churches
November 18, 1905

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