In an article by Prof. Irving Fisher, entitled "Preventable...

New Haven (Conn.) Union

In an article by Prof. Irving Fisher, entitled "Preventable Disease Kills 600,000 Yearly," we find some statements which in the judgment of Christian Scientists certainly call for review.

Professor Fisher declares that "if the Christian Scientists were logical in their views they would agitate for the abolition of water filtration, of garbage removal, of quarantine, of drainage, of meat inspection, of pure food laws, etc." In reply to this, permit me to say that it is not only in keeping with Christian Science to favor all reasonable sanitary measures, but these are demanded by Christian Science, and Christian Scientists can heartily and consistently endorse any methods of cleanliness which can possibly be introduced, so long as they are practicable. The teaching of Christian Science has this advantage, however, that it gives the spiritual, eternal, and immutable Principle upon which the proper idea of sanitation should be based, and thus renders the appeal for it the more reasonable to all thinking people. The adage, "Cleanliness is indeed next to godliness," is a truism of Christian Science. It is utterly impossible for one to have his ideals improved without at the same time having inculcated a sincere disposition and desire to improve his material surroundings. The writer has known of many instances where whole families have been lifted out of the filth of the slums in our large cities, either by improving their surroundings or by leaving them for better conditions, as a result of the improved mental condition which Christian Science has brought them. Pure water, pure food, pure air, cleanliness in every detail, are inculcated by Christian Science, and this for the reason that the purest and best in the material approach most nearly to the spiritual.

While demanding absolute cleanliness both in body and in mind, Christian Science appeals to us where it finds us, namely, in a more or less imperfect state. It not only points to spiritual perfection as a state to be attained, but it impels its adherents to improve the material environment in which they find themselves. It is thus considerate of the fact that perfection must be attained by the gradual unfoldment of spiritual truth in consciousness, and the consequent "putting off" of material conditions. It teaches that while it is unreasonable to expect all it promises by way of spiritual efficiency and betterment to be demonstrated at this particular stage in our social progress, that we can and must improve steadily along all lines.

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August 31, 1912

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