In speaking, at the meeting in the Divinity Schools, of...

Cambridge (Eng.) Chronicle

In speaking, at the meeting in the Divinity Schools, of his impressions of the Pan-Anglican Congress, Dr. Cunningham referred incidentally to Christian Science, urging, as one objection to it, that it was antagonistic to Christianity He made it quite clear, at the Congress, that he founded the charge of antagonism on his belief that, in Christian Science, the salvation of the body was preferred to the salvation of the soul. If this were the case, I quite admit that Christian Science might be science, but it would not be Christian. But it so happens that this is not merely not true, but a complete reversal of the truth. Christian Science teaches that man's health is dependent on his spiritual understanding, and that just in proportion as he becomes conscious of the truth, he becomes, as Jesus said he would be, free; and free not only from sin, but from sorrow, and want, and sickness.

It has been customary for centuries to regard the miracles as supernatural. Hume, taking this line, committed himself in his famous essay on the subject to the statement that the suspension of a lump of lead, of itself, in the air might be regarded as a violation of law. And as he disbelieved in miracles he reduced himself to the argument that that of which there is no recorded observation is an impossibility. Huxley's reply to this was at once logical and crushing. Seeing, he said in effect, that violated law ceases, ipso facto, to be law, the suspension of a lump of lead, of itself, in the atmosphere, would be a phenomenon indicative only of some hitherto unsuspected law, which it would be more intelligent to examine than to disregard.

Christian Science takes Huxley's view of the matter up to a point; but there is a breaking point, and that breaking point is the definition of law. What Huxley would have referred to physical law, Mrs. Eddy refers to God. There is, she insists, an absolute spiritual law, working out in unvarying harmony, of which the wayfaring man may avail himself, and through the understanding of which the miracles become divinely natural. Jesus, she points out, broke every physical law, and demonstrated in doing so that that law was not God's law. The truth is that he healed the sick not by breaking God's law, but by the strictest conformity to it. What he did break was the human sense of law. So long as a man believes that physical causation is governed by law, he will be subject to that law; but when he learns that there is no law but God's law, he will realize why Mrs. Eddy has written, on pages 52 and 313 of Science and Health, that Jesus of Nazareth was not only the best man but the most scientific man that ever trod the globe. He knew more of law than any other man, because he knew more of God, of Truth; and, knowing more of Truth than any other man, he necessarily demonstrated that knowledge more fully. These demonstrations have been called miracles because they were wonderful to those who believed that law was physical, instead of understanding that it was the working of that divine Mind "with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." And because this law really is law, it can be demonstrated to-day as it was demonstrated by Jesus. Indeed, it was he who made this demonstration the test of the understanding of his teaching, in saying that those who believed on him would do the miracles he did.

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September 26, 1908

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