It is sometimes said by the critics of Christian Science...

The Onlooker

It is sometimes said by the critics of Christian Science that the Bible is ignored in that religion, sometimes even that Christian Scientists have a Bible of their own. Such a criticism is among the wildest of those prevalent. The most rudimentary knowledge of Science and Health should be sufficient to convince any one that, so far from supplanting the Bible, there never was a book which more completely met the requirements of the great saying of the Lord Chancellor Erskine, "The best turn any book can do its reader is to refer him to the Bible."

In "Retrospection and Introspection," the autobiographical sketch in which Mrs. Eddy has given the world all that it is right or necessary they should know of her private life, she has explained how, with the Bible as her clue, she groped her way within the labyrinth of human theories and speculations, until she stood, at last, before the gate that is strait, on the way that is narrow, and "which leadeth unto life." In all these strivings, she has told us, the Bible was her only text-book, the book in which Rousseau has said "a giant may swim and a child wade." And when, in the year 1875, her own book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," was published, it was, as the Christian Science commentary on the Bible, to become, jointly with the Bible, the textbook of Christian Science. "Christian Scientists," wrote Mrs. Eddy in a letter printed in The Christian Science Journal of May, 1906, "are fishers of men. The Bible is our sea-beaten Rock. It guides the fishermen. It stands the storm. It engages the attention and enriches the being of all men."

The first of the six tenets of the Christian Science Church, which are to be found on page 497 of Science and Health, reads as follows: "As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life." Not merely the New Testament, but the Old: Alpha and Omega, Genesis and Revelation. "The Hebrew Bible," says Carlyle, "is it not before all things true, as no other book ever was or will be?" And it was the Hebrew Bible of which Jesus spoke when he said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law. or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." The law and the prophets as Jesus understood them were the books of the Old Testament, as we have them to-day; and the method by which he proceeded to fulfil them was probably the exact antithesis of anything to which the Jewish hierarchy or the Jewish people had looked forward. It was summed up in the command, "Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's; and unto God the things that are God's." He claimed the mantle not of Joshua or of Gideon, but of the shepherd of the 23d Psalm. He came to Jerusalem not as David came, with an army and the sword, but riding amidst his disciples on the colt of an ass.

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