The Rev.—informs your readers that he would not...

Rochdale (Eng.) Times

The Rev.—informs your readers that he would not like to stand before the throne at the end of the world if he had taught, as Christian Science does, that "one sacrifice, however great, is insufficient to pay the debt of sin." Yet why he should mind doing that, or indeed anything else, if he is confident that one sacrifice has paid the debt of all sin, is not quite obvious. Christian Science sees Christ Jesus as the Wayshower. It sees in his crucifixion the type and symbol of the sacrifice of the material, mortal, and fleshly beliefs that each one has to make in working out his own salvation. In such a sacrifice it sees a gradual spiritualizing of thought that in a corresponding degree brings one into harmony, at-one, with spiritual reality, with the divine Mind. This is, in brief, the spiritual truth that Christian Science discloses to be the essential meaning of atonement.

The gentleman does not, by the way, mention which one of the many current explanations of the doctrine accepted today by orthodoxy, he himself is in favor of. His apparent content simply to notify your readers of his displeasure with the Christian Science teaching recalls his remarks on infallibility. The Christian Scientist is satisfied with the infallibility of Christian Science, usually through his own experience, and is concerned only to demonstrate it as far as he may be able, without discussing or condemning the religious beliefs of those who differ from him. This attitude is a widely different one, though this critic seems hardly to have appreciated it, from that induced by such a belief in infallibility as will persuade one, without the slightest provocation, to denounce as fools and heretics those with whose religious beliefs he may be at variance. The allusion to "glass houses" is, under the circumstances, a little inept.

The reverend critic's contention that the reference to anointing in the passage from James establishes the fact that material means are requisite, raises the question, What is the actual healing factor? Is it the ointment, or is it God? James says that "the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up." He doesn't say anything about the ointment raising him up. Is not the ointment to be regarded as a symbolical element, necessary at that day, introduced to mark the occasion as one for devoutness and consecration? If it is seriously contended that it was the ointment which should heal, it is at least strange that the composition of it has not been preserved. If, however, it is argued that for ointment we are to read the latest discovery or device of medicine or surgery which medical science declares to be effective, with or without any appeal to the Deity, then that is to argue that God reserves His healing for the infinitesimal minority which can obtain such medical ministration; and, moreover, that His chosen servants for the work are a class who do not necessarily admit Him to exist and who do not professedly accord Him any power whatever. Christian Scientists do not believe that God needs to, or in fact does, employ any material means at all, or that He requires any such agents.

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February 24, 1912

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