Our critic's respect for mental suggestion is almost as...

London (Eng.) Morning Post

Our critic's respect for mental suggestion is almost as complete as his dislike of Christian Science. Now the claim that it is possible to do good by means of suggestion is inseparable from the claim that it is possible to do evil. If it is possible by means of suggestion to remove pain, it would be just as possible to inflict it. If it is possible to will a man to do a right action, it would be just as possible to will him to do a wrong one. There is no avoiding this conclusion. The Founder of Christianity recognized this, for suggestion, under one or another of its many aliases, is far antecedent to the Christian era, and recognizing it described it as a house divided against a house, which could not stand. Jesus, however, was never satisfied with the utterance of a mere negative, and so he went on to express the positive. "If I," he continued, "by the Spirit of God cast out devils, then the kingdom of God is come unto you." The kingdom of God, it is quite certain, never came to a man by mental suggestion from a mind imbued with a belief in the power of good and evil. The kingdom of God comes to a man in the precise degree in which he acquires the Mind which was in Christ Jesus, and that is in the exact proportion in which he overcomes sin in himself. Death, Paul writes, entered the world through sin, and sin is, in turn, according to the writer of Genesis, the result of eating the fruit of this very tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The statement constantly put forward today, that mental suggestion is a means by which only good can be accomplished, is worse than ridiculous; it is positively outrageous. The recognition of this is being made with increasing velocity in the law courts of the world. The verdicts given in these cases constitute, indeed, in a remarkable way a confirmation of the words of Mrs. Eddy, on page 105 of Science and Health: "When our laws eventually take cognizance of mental crime and no longer apply legal rulings wholly to physical offenses, these words of Judge Parmenter of Boston will become historic: 'I see no reason why metaphysics is not as important to medicine as to mechanics or mathematics.'" The fact is that no one has ever yet had the hardihood to deny that the human mind is not largely permeated with a belief in the power and reality of evil. Consequently when the theory of mental manipulation is imparted to this mind, it is let loose to thrust out suggestions of so-called good and evil in every direction. This is precisely the mental condition typified by Jesus as a house divided against a house, and, as he said, such a house cannot stand.

In that terrific mental battle with the Jews recorded in the eighth chapter of John, which ended in the attempt to stone him, Jesus referred once more to this subject of the supposititious power and reality of evil, in order, in a way which has generally escaped attention, to expose its nothingness. "Ye are of your father the devil," he said, "and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." Speaking in a manner which would be quite intelligible to those he was addressing, he personified evil in a way strange and almost incomprehensible to western ears. The Hebrew, however, who it has been truly said never opened his mouth without emitting a metaphor, took the substantive Satan or adversary, and personified it as a synonym for evil, just as he took the adjective Belial, worthless, and used it in the same way. Evil, Jesus said, was a murderer from the beginning, from the moment when the eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil first brought death into the world. Yet, he added, the whole thing is a lie, which abode not in the truth because there was no truth in it. Take away the imagery of the east, reduce the phrase to the matter-of-fact English of the twentieth century, and what does it amount to but this—in reality the lie never existed, because there is no reality in it. This is the truth, and the truth in exposing the lie strips it of its claim to reality and power. "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Thus is Christian Science healing wrought.

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