Unquestionably the majority who come to Christian Science...

The Onlooker

Unquestionably the majority who come to Christian Science come for the healing, but there is a proportion, and I think a growing one, who do not. Though my health was not of the best—I suffered from a chronic functional disorder, common, but sufficiently unpleasant—and my sight demanded that I should wear spectacles continually, I came to be interested in Christian Science mainly out of curiosity and because my interest was always quickened by any new thought. Nor was I particularly aroused at the instances of wonderful healing in Christian Science. I was familiar with the lives of the saints; of "marvelous cures" we have no lack, and I was impatient with the marvelous, not being on the lookout for a religion, but for a philosophy to whet my appetite for intellectual conceit. What impressed me first was: Here were a number of ordinary, normal people, who had adopted a system radically opposed to all orthodox ideas, who yet remained unexaggerated in statement and attitude, and found in their system a remedy not merely for the ills, but for the rubs and frictions of every-day life. Moreover, to any one who had emerged with difficulty, as I had, from orthodoxy, to the comparative freedom of agnosticism, it was a delight to hear God named as Mind and Principle. This was about nine years ago, when orthodox ministers were not so generally permitted the liberties they now enjoy. Still, I did not come eagerly to Christian Science; I disliked the text-book, its style and the seeming reiteration of the one idea wearied me. Moreover, Mrs. Eddy's assertion that it was founded on the Bible seemed preposterous; it aroused in me the keenest suspicion. Here was another trying to father her ideas on an accumulation of mystical writings. How glad I am to think that the first healing, and indeed most of the healing I have received, has been through the Bible—thanks to the illumination it has received through the words of our textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." My intention was to take Christian Science as a philosophy, and to enjoy its ethics from a mystical altitude. Any one imagining he can soar into the infinite on the mere statements of Christian Science, will resemble, to quote a distinguished novelist, "one of those huge birds who, in the endeavor to fly, only succeeds in an ungainly hop." The theoretical transcendentalist must take his place with the children, and learn the alphabet of its theology in "the more simple demonstrations of control" (Science and Health, p. 429).

I am glad to bear witness to the good Christian Science has brought me. It has given me health that is often unconscious of the body; sight as good as any man's and better than that of many; as interest always alive; the freedom of anxiety as to the future; the lifting of fear, and a gradually awakening sense of the reality and nearness of good. The words of St. John's Gospel, that "all things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made," are a revelation in the light of Christian Science; they make good a demonstrable possibility here and now; they are correlative with the scientific statement of being in our text-book, "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all" (Science and Health, p. 468).

October 26, 1907
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