Episcopalians along with other sects are asking themselves...

New York World

Episcopalians along with other sects are asking themselves what is behind the extraordinary growth of Christian Science. Why have the adherents of the new faith increased eightfold within ten years, passing the Universalists in number and almost equaling the strength of Unitarianism? Their converts represent a loss from the orthodox denominations, for except for a negligible number of former non-churchgoers they have been recruited from Baptist, Methodist. Presbyterian, and Episcopal churches, even from Jewish synagogues.

The offhand and no doubt the main explanation of the vitality of the new faith is the appeal it makes through the spiritual healing of disease. The institution of a "class in healing" by the Emanuel Episcopal Church in Boston, bears interesting testimony to the present recognition of this principle by other communions.

But beyond this fundamental doctrine, Christian Science must be thought to be gaining at the expense of the older denominations by reason of the latitude of belief it permits. By going to the Bible direct for what the Bible has to teach, with no intermediary but the explanatory commentary of its Founder, it avoids all subjects for controversy. Having no sermons, it affords no inlet for "higher criticism." It rules out ritual and dogma as unessential and averts all danger of dissension over incense and altar candles. Contention regarding predestination or infant damnation and subtleties of dispute concerning transubstantiation do not arise, for there is nothing to provoke them.

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December 22, 1906

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