Christian Science is Christian idealism pushed remorselessly...

The Guardian

Christian Science is Christian idealism pushed remorselessly home to its logical and inevitable conclusions. All systems of idealism have, of course, some points in common, and Christian Science has some points in common with Berkeleyism, as Berkeley had with Abelard, and Abelard with the Neo-Platonists, but that is all that it is possible to say. The theory that the phenomenon of matter is nothing but a subjective condition of mortal mind is accepted in Christian Science, and to that extent the teaching of Christian Science is in agreement with the theories of scientific and philosophical idealism. But Christian Science does not stop at this point. It goes on to insist that this mortal mind or asserted energy is in itself nothing but a negation of the divine Mind, or Principle, which we term God. This surely makes matter unreal with a thoroughness which has never previously been contemplated, and constitutes as fundamental a difference from any other form of idealism as could possibly be stated.

If Christian Science left the question here, it would no doubt reduce the whole negation called evil to the level of a mere abstract privation, after the manner of one school of idealists, or be driven into the quandary (of another school) of attempting to account for its emanation from a first cause which is entirely good. It is here it once more severs itself from every other school of idealism, and accepts the burden of proof in the manner demanded by the Founder of Christianity himself when he said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also." This is the meaning of healing in Christian Science. It is "a religion of health," if by that is meant that physical comfort is its essential aim. The essential aim of Christian Science is to give men that full, exact knowledge of God which will make them free from the oppression of those very physical laws which Berkeley regarded as part of the divine scheme; it is to bring about the destruction of sin through the understanding of the Christ. Incidentally, this heals man, of course, not only of sickness and pain, but of sorrow and want and fear; but the mere physical healing occupies to-day exactly the place it held in the teaching of Jesus when he bade the disciples of the Baptist. "Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them."

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