When a Christian minister espouses the cause of the material...

News and Observer

When a Christian minister espouses the cause of the material senses and turns advocate for them, he places himself, perhaps unwittingly, in the ranks of the materialists, a paradoxical position for a Christian. In spite of his reluctance to believe in the fallibility of the five physical senses, it is nevertheless true that they do not bear trustworthy testimony, and the out-and-out materialist, the natural scientist who works in the laboratory, will be the first to confirm this. The material body and the material universe, which seem so dear to our critic that he rushes to their defense, have never been explained by natural science. No one knows what matter is. Let our critic try to give an adequate and satisfactory definition of matter, and he will discover how little is really known of it.

The materialism which rises no higher than "three meals a day" for a material man, is the same unfortunate concept of life which Jesus came to rebuke with the evidence of the spiritual senses. He said, "Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?" Christian Science honors Mind at the expense of matter, and the Christian Scientist has always before his gaze that ultimate spiritual state which Mrs. Eddy describes when she says: "In that perfect day of understanding, we shall neither eat to live, nor live to eat" (Science and Health, p. 388), but we shall be sustained "by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Shall she be reproached for thus emulating the Master? Would it not be well for critics who laugh at this spiritual idealism to show first wherein it differs from Christ's Christianity? Mrs. Eddy's standard is that of the Master, who healed all manner of diseases by his teaching. It is such teaching as his which Mrs. Eddy holds to be indispensable to a Christian ministry, a teaching which will win men to Christ, separating them, not only from their sins, but from their sicknesses as well.

Her book Science and Health embodies her spiritual commentary on the Bible, and it has done more to make plain the sacred volume and render its promises available and practical than any other interpretation ever given the Scriptures. Through it she is entreating all men to abandon materialism for the beauty of holiness, for spirituality and righteousness. She has been pleading with the race to put its trust in God, to put away fear, selfishness, and sensuality, and to love good, and she has had much success. Through her teachings many have been persuaded to reach up for something better than matter, and many have been released from the bondage of pain. She has proved that all we know of God comes, not through the vaunted material senses, but through spiritual sense. If we depended upon the five physical senses for evidence of God or immortality, we would have none and the world would be bereft of hope. Those who have benefited by her teachings are unspeakably grateful for the knowledge that God is supreme and that evil and matter and disease and sin are not eternal.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.