An Interesting Letter

[We are pleased to have permission to publish the following interesting letter recently received by one of our contributors, Prof. Joel R. Mosley. The writer is a well-known newspaper man.—Editor.]

Portsmouth, Va., Jan. 23, 1906.

Dear Professor:—I have read your article in the December Christian Science Journal with a great deal of interest and pleasure, and I am wondering if you ever read in the Revised Version of the New Testament the passage you quote in the second page of the article; viz., "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." The Revised Version reads, "All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them" (Mark, 11 : 24). As I understand this, it is a perfect endorsement of Mrs. Eddy's position that our attitude toward an abnormality should be that in reality it does not exist. You know that this position of hers—the unreality of the abnormal—is a hard and exasperating proposition to mortal mind, and when I found that the scholars who revised the Bible (years subsequent to her discovery) absolutely, though unintentionally, of course, endorsed her position, I was pleased beyond expression. I could scarcely believe my eyes. But there it was in cold type, "believe that ye have received." Of course we cannot believe that we have received the answer to our prayer if the abnormality whose removal is desired is still in existence to us; and by putting it in the perfect tense, as the revisers have done, it is exactly the same thing as though they had said, "When ye pray, believe that the thing you would be rid of does not exist [is an illusion]." I was puzzled when, afterwards, I looked the same thing up in the American edition of the Revised Version, and found that it read, in that particular, just as it does in the old version and as you have it in your article. When I finally got it solved it was reconciled by the fact that it was a point on which the American and English revisers did not agree, and they had an understanding, I have learned, that on all points upon which they disagreed, the change from the old version should appear in full in the text of the edition represented by the advocates of the change, but only in the margin of the edition represented by the revisers who held to the sufficiency of the old version. And so the change, in this instance, went into the text of the Oxford (English) edition, and only in the margin of the American edition. The fact, however, that the ripe scholars of even one set of the revisers found, in the original, justification for the "have received," seems to me to be a most gratifying fact to Christian Scientists, who are the only people on the face of the earth who pray in that way.

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Among the Churches
March 17, 1906

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