The fact is that the calling of names, at all times an...

Bournemouth (Eng.) Visiter's Directory

The fact is that the calling of names, at all times an unwise proceeding, is a peculiarly unwise one on such a subject as heresy. The Christianity of Christendom changed, Froude once declared, with every century down to the Reformation, when it was entirely remade; and he might have added, that it has changed with every century since. The Christianity of the Bible, however, has never changed. It is summed up in one or two particular verses more expressively than in any others, because in those verses it is reduced from verbal definition to practical demonstration. "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also," is the test not of the Christian Scientist of today, but of the Founder of Christianity. It is a curious commentary on orthodoxy that the one church which insists on the application of this verse in its full significance, is the church which orthodoxy selects to brand as heretical.

Even more unfortunate is the description of the science of Christian Science as prehistoric. If it is prehistoric it is something of which our clerical critic has no knowledge, and this is obviously the case. It is not necessary to trouble your readers with a definition of science from the dictionaries. It will be admitted, however, by every one, that science is the expression of absolute Truth, and Truth, it is to be suspected, is prehistoric. Supposing, on the other hand, that a definition of science is sought from our own time, it would be impossible to appeal to a higher authority than Huxley, and here is Huxley's definition of the term. Science, he wrote, was the answer a man made to the question, What do I know? The critic will at this point begin to appreciate the significance of healing in Christian Science. It is the answer the Christian Scientist makes to the question what he knows of Truth. Some eighteen centuries ago Jesus came preaching in Galilee and Judea the gospel of Christ, which he summed up as the truth which would make men free. When the deadened spiritual sense of the populace revolted from the deep metaphysical truths embedded in this gospel, he turned to them with the words that if they could not accept his teaching for the words' sake, they must do so for the very works' sake; and so he performed the miracles of healing in demonstration of the fact that knowledge of the truth could make men free, and those works of healing became his answer to the question as to what he knew.

There is absolutely no connection between teaching of this nature and spiritualism, though that is the critic's third count against Christian Science. Anybody who understands the teaching of either Christian Science or spiritualism can see this at a glance. So far from being supernatural, the miracles of Christian Science, like the miracles of Christ Jesus, are divinely natural. The Greek words translated miracle in the New Testament mean simply an act of power or a sign. The Latin word which came to be substituted for them in the Vulgate means simply something remarkable. The miracles of Jesus were acts of power or signs, inasmuch as they were demonstrations of the power of absolute Truth, and they were wonderful inasmuch as they were demonstrations of this power to people who had never dreamed that such demonstrations were possible or practical. What Mrs. Eddy has done, has been to teach humanity that Jesus' promise that those who believed in him would be able to do his works was no mere theoretical statement, but an absolute scientific fact, demonstrable exactly in proportion as men grasped his teaching and lived his life; that is to say, in the degree they accepted him as the way. His miracles were not limited to the healing of physical troubles, nor was the healing of sickness his ultimate object. That ultimate object was the destruction of sin, itself the source of evil and inharmony of every description. And so Mrs. Eddy has written, on page 150 of Science and Health, "Now, as then, signs and wonders are wrought in the metaphysical healing of physical disease; but these signs are only to demonstrate its divine origin—to attest the reality of the higher mission of the Christ-power to take away the sins of the world."

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