Christian Scientists accept the guidance of Science and Health...

St. Albans (Vt.) Messenger

Christian Scientists accept the guidance of Science and Health without compulsion. Beyond a few necessary rules of church government, no one is "required" to do anything in Christian Science. Mrs. Eddy does not exercise despotic control over her coreligionists. Spontaneity and individuality of action are cardinal teachings in Christian Science. Christian Scientists are expected to study the Bible with the help of the denominational text-book, and why should they not do so. Every denomination has its Bible commentaries, its Scriptural exegesis. Why should not Christian Science be allowed its interpretation? It is a mistake to say that Mrs. Eddy "makes Holy Writ say what she wants it to say, and boldly explains away clear, straightforward teaching in the Old and New Testament." Mrs. Eddy does only what thousands of clergymen, including our critic, do every Sunday in the year—she takes her text and gives her interpretation of it, based upon the illumination of her spiritual understanding. What our critic probably means to say is that Mrs. Eddy has given an explanation of the Old and New Testament which does not agree entirely with his opinions, and this is true, and we have no apology to offer.

He says that by Mrs. Eddy's method, namely, by giving the Bible a spiritual interpretation, "we could prove anything," and that such proof "amounts to nothing." Unfortunately for the argument, this is the very method depended upon by all the other Christian sects to substantiate their especial claims, and if it proves nothing in one case, it cannot be held to prove anything in the other. The fact is, however, that Mrs. Eddy wisely rests her claims, not upon new theories, but upon Christly works. She perceives that Jesus designated certain abilities as characteristic of his followers, and she has consistently urged upon Christian Scientists the possession of these Christian faculties. Jesus said, "And these signs shall follow them that believe," and then he told how we may know a Christian. This is the test of all teaching, and if it has never been applied to the older systems of theology, it is because there has been no insistence upon that phase of Christian activity. Mrs. Eddy teachs, in effect, that it is not enough to say, "I am a Christian;" but one must make good his claim by imitating the life of Christ and exhibiting those signs which the Master himself said should accompany those who believe.

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