Christian Science and Health

To the Editor of the Morning Post.

Sir:—There are perhaps few things more difficult than the attempt to express a new truth in language which shall not be open to misrepresentation. It means the rejection of accepted dogmas, the use of unfamiliar expressions, and of a terminology more exact than need otherwise be employed. The human mind, which is inherently indolent, revolts from this. It regards new ideas with suspicion, and precision with positive animosity. It would be easy to elaborate this contention, but a single illustration must suffice, especially as it happens to be peculiarly apposite to the subject of this letter.

Every one knows the spirit in which Renan approached the problem of the four Gospels, his candid predilection for the Synoptic, his fulminations against the Johannine. To-day the patient labor of the great Greek scholars of the last half century is elucidating the fact that there is in the fourth Gospel a vocabulary so distinct and a terminology so exact as to have baffled the great skeptic, and betrayed him into conclusions based on imperfect knowledge. In the light of this warning the critics of Science and Health might wisely stay to consider in what proportion prejudice and reason mingle in their arguments. The perennial platitude that science is antagonistic to revelation is based on a definition of the former term which is frankly arbitrary. When once you have committed yourself to the contention that science is concerned with physical phenomena alone, and that primary causes are in "the domain of unprovable assumptions," you have embarked on begging the question on a colossal scale. You have shut yourself out from experiencing that "science helthe" which in the translation of Wycliffe was to be shown "to his puple in to the remyssioun of hir synnes," and have reduced the promise of Jesus, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," from the absolute to the relative.

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Spiritually Minded
June 30, 1906

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