In a sermon on Christian Science, recently reported in...

Essex County Telegraph,

In a sermon on Christian Science, recently reported in your paper, the clergyman began with a sketch of Mrs. Eddy's career which bristled with inexactitudes. His opening date was wrong; his sketch of the evolution of the discovery of Christian Science was mixed; the numbers of editions of Science and Health mentioned hopelessly short of the truth; while the declaration that Mrs. Eddy claimed Science and Health to be one with the Bible was a culmination which could not be substantiated for a moment.

What Mrs. Eddy did say of Science and Health was that in writing it the Bible was her only guide and text-book, and what Science and Health represents to the Christian Science movement today is this: it is a commentary on the Bible to which Christian Scientists are indebted for that understanding of the Bible which is making possible their healing work. Serious, however, as these mistakes are, they fade into absolute insignificance in comparison with the statement that Mrs. Eddy claimed to be "the returning Messiah—in some points the Holy Spirit himself." Such a statement should never have been made from a pulpit without absolute proof, and the clergyman could not possibly give any. What Mrs. Eddy really does say in Science and Health is this: "Today, though rejoicing in some progress, she still finds herself a willing disciple at the heavenly gate, waiting for the Mind of Christ" (Pref., p. ix).

Then this clerical critic went on to explain exactly what Christian Science is. It taught, he explained, that disease might be healed without the use of drugs. This is just about as accurate a statement of the matter as it would be to insist that electricity is a method of lighting rooms without gas. Christian Science certainly heals the sick, but it does this in the process of making them better men. In the Bible, the words "whole" and "holy" mean very much the same thing, and Christian Science only makes men physically whole in proportion as it makes them mentally holier. "Now, as then," Mrs. Eddy writes on page 150 of Science and Health, "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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September 21, 1912

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