In your issue of Nov. 2 you published a communication...

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In your issue of Nov. 2 you published a communication from a clergyman who refers to Christian Science as "silly philosophy," and quotes statements from the Christian Science text-book in evidence of his contention. Your readers' attention should be called to the fact that these quotations are too abstract to give an adequate knowledge of Christian Science on the various subjects cited by this critic, and it is but just to state that Mrs. Eddy did not hope to teach her ideas by the use of broken sentences and abridged statements, otherwise she would have used them. We submit that an author should be permitted to state her own ideas in her own way. ...

Our critic affirms that nowhere in the Scripture can it be found that Jesus was "charged with healing the sick through Beelzebub." The exact wording of the Bible is as follows: "And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils." Is it not evident to our critic that what Jesus cast out was the devil (evil of dumbness, the affliction of being dumb—not able to speak)? The ancients may have believed that this affliction was occasioned by an evil being which they called devil. Those of our time would probably say the patient was dumb because of some bodily affliction. A Christian Scientist in further explanation would say that the bodily affliction was primarily due to an erroneous mental condition which needed to be corrected, and this erroneous mental condition might be termed devil, evil, or error if the term be properly understood, and thus we would arrive at a description of the real nature of the disorder. If faith or trust in God will heal and prevent sickness, then a want of trust in God must be the real cause or occasion for disease. Thus by a consideration of its cure we discover its cause. If by correcting the mental condition we destroy the bodily affliction we have our proof that the basis of the trouble was mental. The term "devil" in Christian Science does not refer to a fabled being with intelligence, horns and hoofs, but is synonymous with error, evil. It applies to a false belief, a lack of understanding of the divine power.

In connection with this critic's query concerning the Christian Scientists' description of what is commonly termed "devil," it would have been interesting if he had given his own conception. It would be interesting to know what he believes to have been the nature of the devil which in this particular instance was cast out in order that the dumb might speak. Was it a person, an animal, a spirit, disease, badness, evil, delusion? What was it? If the term "sickness" is not a proper one to apply to the condition which prevents a man from speaking, it is at least properly called an infirmity. Furthermore, it is evident that the Scriptures use the term devil as synonymous with disease and disorder, and it only remains for us to determine the literal Scriptural meaning of the word devil in order to have the Scriptural definition of disease. It is said in the text that Jesus "cast out devils" and "healed the sick." Note that here, as in other parts of the Gospels, the term "cast out devils" is mentioned first in the enumeration, which would indicate that it was necessary to cast out devils in order that the sick might be healed. In other words, the casting out of the particular evil or error of consciousness which constituted the foundation of disease was necessary in order that the disease, its manifestation, might be made to disappear.

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