There is one distinguishing feature about the life and work of Mrs. Eddy which her critics fail to appreciate, and that is that she has not labored for the rewards or the good opinions of men, but for their welfare and for the approval of God. Other writers may have striven for fame and fortune, but these have not been her ambition. Had she been influenced or actuated in her purpose by love of the world's applause or fear of its adverse judgment, or had she conformed her writings to the prevailing methods of thought and reasoning, she might have been spared much cruel persecution ; but the divine bow of promise in Christian Science would not have spanned the heavens of human consciousness as it is now doing. In supreme loyalty to Truth as revealed to her, she committed her book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," to the providence of God, not to the mercies of men, and right royally it has prospered in good works, which is God's test of books as well as of men. One can understand an individual becoming indignant over wicked works, but that any one with the welfare of humanity at heart should lift voice or pen against a book or a cause that accomplishes good and not evil, and that makes the path of life smoother, happier, and holier for so many of his fellows, is incomprehensible to the last degree.

The world's attention has somewhat recently been called to an instance of this kind. An author of international reputation as a humorist, but who assumes no knowledge of Christian Science, has elected himself the judge and court to pass upon the merits of the Christian Science text-book, and upon its author, whose life has been devoted to the service of God and mankind, and who is the trusted and honored Leader of the most striking moral and religious movement of the century. In considering his judgment it should be remembered that he virtually acknowledges himself to be blind to the real meaning of the book, which is of itself an impeachment of the value of his decision, for how can one judge correctly of that which he does not see? His own confession that he does not understand Science and Health leaves nothing to his criticism but the interest otherwise attaching to his name.

The question with this critic seems principally to be one of "English," of words and terms not having been chosen and arranged according to his own sense of suitability. That he has not seen a single idea in the book, or caught a single drift of the author's thought, he appears to blame entirely upon the author and not upon his own lack of discernment. It is scarcely just to charge an author with one's own inability to understand him, when this same author is understood and enjoyed by thousands of others. The writer of this present article when quite a youth endeavored to become interested in one of Dickens' novels, but laid it aside as dull and stupid after scanning a few chapters, although in later years the reading of this author's books became a genuine pleasure. It is evident that the lack of appreciation in the first attempt was wholly with the reader and not with the author.

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January 11, 1908

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