The clerical critic represented Christian Science as "affected...

Lee Journal

The clerical critic represented Christian Science as "affected mostly by the well-to-do, idle, and luxurious living class, who overate, overdrank, and overslept themselves, and never doing any work, made themselves ill." Now, this is the strangest perversion of facts that can well be imagined. Even in the West End of London, where if anywhere it would be true, it may be said with perfect safety that ninety-five per cent of the Christian Science church members are hard workers at the ordinary avocations of life. Outside London, the main strength of the movement lies in the manufacturing cities and the great seaports, where it certainly cannot be said that the idle "most do congregate." It shows the recklessness of the critic's method that he should have permitted himself to make such a statement as this. Let any one go into the meetings in such places as Warrington and Rochdale, Liverpool and Hull, and he will find that there are "more things in heaven and earth" than are dreamed of in his philosophy.

Then the critic went on to describe Christian Science as pantheistic. Now pantheism is the doctrine which "identifies mind and matter, making them manifestations of one absolute being." This is the doctrine, as Huxley once showed, of the philosophic materialism and idealism of today. It was the logical result of the teaching of Bishop Berkeley in the eighteenth century, as it is the logical result of the teaching of Professor Ostwald, to whom Oxford recently awarded a gold medal, but it is the very antithesis of the teaching of Mrs. Eddy, who denies alike the reality of the phenomenon matter, and of the noumenon which Berkeley described as mind and Ostwald describes as energy. If, however, this critic accepts the infinity of God and the reality of matter, it will puzzle him to escape the net of pantheism. Neither is it very safe to describe Christian Science as blasphemous. There is in the Westminster Library a copy of Science and Health, the fly-leaf of which is endorsed in the handwriting of one of the Abbey's great deans, as presented by Arthur Stanley. Now no doubt Dean Stanley knew, quite as well as our critic, that the teaching of that book was not in conformity with the teaching of the Church of England, but I think he knew something else, which our critic is in danger of forgetting—that you cannot define Christianity in a dogma, and that the great apostle to the Gentiles knew what he was talking about when he wrote the thirteenth chapter of his first epistle to the Corinthians: "If speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. . . . But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love" (Rev. Ver.).

February 13, 1909

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