In your report of his service the evangelist is credited...

Enid (Okla.) Eagle

In your report of his service the evangelist is credited as making some remarks with regard to Christian Science that have not the kindly ring of brotherly love which the brother, as a preacher of the gospel of love, must necessarily entertain if he would nicely harmonize preaching and practice. That portion of the report to which I have reference reads as follows: "He referred to Christian Scientists, and told how one had swallowed arsenic to prove that it was poison only because it was believed to be so. and had died immediately." It is very probable that the evangelist did not make this statement in the identical words as reported, for even ministers are not immune from being misquoted at times: but if be has been correctly quoted, then certainly a brief reply will not be amiss. Those engaged in the laudable work of correcting errors of others in the name of the Master should be only too willing to have their own mistakes pointed out, that they may be corrected, and Christ's work done in love.

The evangelist failed to state the name of the arsenic victim, the date of his folly, or location of his home, so I must conclude that the incident was merely used to "point a moral, or adorn a tale." Even had the illustration any real basis, it would not justify uncharitable reflections on Christian Science: because Christian Science does not countenance nor lead to an act so foolish, nor to any so fanatical as the one mentioned. To follow the teachings and example of Jesus the Christ, is what Christian Scientists are striving to do, and the temptations set before the Saviour in the wilderness, and their rejection, are precious lessons to Christian Scientists, and protect them in doing sane things and in rejecting tempting suggestions of evil. When tempted by the devil to throw himself down from the pinnacle of the temple, Matthew tells us that "Jesus said unto him. It is written again. Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." No believer in the Christ-power doubts for a moment that the Master could have thrown himself from the pinnacle without hurt or harm, but to have temporized with temptation in any form would have been to concede power to evil. Christ's teachings attribute all power to God. Christian Science does the same.

Referring again to the arsenic incident, and repudiating it as one of the resultant effects of Christian Science teachings. I ask in all seriousness why in case of accident or misadventure it should be thought a thing incredible that the Christ-truth is potent enough to destroy even the effects of arsenic, or poison of any kind. The Master after his resurrection, when thought was perfectly spiritualized, told his disciples this, in no uncertain words, "They shall take up serpents: and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them." Who doubts that Jesus meant exactly what he said? No Christian should. Christian Scientists certainly do not. We all believe that in time of need God is an ever-present help, and that the Christ-word is true.

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The question naturally arises
December 26, 1908

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