Our critic perhaps unconsciously finds himself attempting...

The Star

Our critic perhaps unconsciously finds himself attempting to hold the inconsistent and untenable position of admitting an effect and in the same breath denying its cause. He acknowledges that "truthful and sensible people" testify that they have been healed of divers diseases. If truthful, then their statement that they have been healed is true. The truth which has made them free has been interpreted to this age through the book Science and Health, which the gentleman ridicules for its "illogical twaddle, its childish repetitions and assertions." Many of those who testify at a Christian Science service were healed merely by reading this book. Is it possible to believe that "illogical twaddle" or "childish repetitions" could heal inveterate disease or change the evil habits of a lifetime? Since the results cannot be denied, will it not be necessary for the critic to amend his views of Christian Science and its text-book? I wish to assure him that neither Mrs. Eddy nor Christian Scientists put Science and Health above the Bible. The Bible remains for Christian Scientists the chart of life, the most valuable book in the world. Science and Health is what it declares itself to be, a "Key to the Scriptures," a spiritual interpretation of the text which enables the student to believe more practically in the all-power of God.

On the question of the non-existence of matter, the critic says that "no sane philosophy would teach that matter has no real existence." It may be that the gentleman does not remember what Mr. Huxley said: "After all, what do we know of this terrible matter except as the name for the unknown hypothetical cause of states of our own consciousness?" Professor Oswald of the University of Leipzig has said that "matter is a thing of thought, which we have constructed for ourselves, rather imperfectly, to represent what is permanent in the change of phenomenon." Prof. Boden P. Bowne, who holds the chair of philosophy in Boston University, says in his book, "Theory of Thought and knowledge," "Objects exist for us only as the mind builds up valid conceptions within itself." In his book "Metaphysics" he says, "Common sense unhesitatingly takes phenomena for substantial realities, and takes the phenomenal categories as the deepest facts of real existence. In this way it builds up a mechanical and material system which often proves a veritable Frankenstein for its creator. But when we came to study this extra-mental reality we found it extremely elusive. It finally appeared that the world of things can be defined and understood only as we give up the notion of an extra-mental reality altogether, and make the entire world a thought-world; that is, a world that exists only through and in relation to intelligence." And elsewhere in the same work Professor Bowne says, "A thought-world is the only knowable world and a thought-world is the only real world." Of course it is not necessary to say that neither Mr. Huxley, Professor Oswald, nor Professor Bowne was writing in an effort to confirm the doctrine of Christian Science. I quote them merely to disprove our critic's statement that nowadays no sane philosophy would teach the non-existence or unreality of material substance.

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