A short time ago a critic of Christian Science in a public address before a body of ministerial brethren called this teaching an "offshoot of religion." Just how scathing this critic intended his denunciation to be we do not know, but if he meant thereby that Christian Science is an offshoot of Christianity, which Webster defines as "the religion of Christians," he is nearer correct in his definition than he perhaps was aware, inasmuch as he thus unwittingly placed Christian Science on an equal plane with his own denomination in that Webster further defines Christianity as "the body of beliefs, practices, and sentiments developed from the teachings and life of Christ."

In support of this contention we would cite further the Websterian definition of Christian Science as a system of healing that "bases its teaching on the Scriptures as understood by its adherents." Do not other offshoots of "the religion of Christians" do likewise? Let us also note the definition of Christian and see wherein Christian Scientists fail to substantiate their claim to be humble followers of Christ Jesus. The dictionary defines a Christian as "one who believes, or professes or is assumed to believe, in Jesus Christ, and the truth as taught by him;" and especially, "one whose inward and outward life is conformed to the doctrines of Christ."

There is no trouble in finding what "the doctrines and precepts taught by Christ" are. There would be no New Testament were it not for these self-same doctrines and precepts. The four gospels are a faithful chronicle of the religion which Christ Jesus taught,—the "new commandment" on which, linked with the commandment of the Mosaic decalogue, "hang all the law and the prophets,"—and the apostolic epistles and the Revelation of St. John all dated from and were based upon the Master's teachings. Not only, too, is the letter of these doctrines and precepts given by the sacred writers, but they also chronicle the works that Christ Jesus did in demonstration of them.

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November 25, 1911

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