It was with surprise and disappointment that we read in the...

Elyria (Ohio) Chronicle

It was with surprise and disappointment that we read in the Oberlin Review the résumé of an address by the president of Oberlin College, in which he assailed Christian Science and even sought to reflect on the character and motives of Mrs. Eddy. Surprise proceeded from the evident fact that he presumed to speak with freedom about that with which he was lamentably unfamiliar; while disappointment was experienced because one occupying a position where he is supposed to stand as an exemplar of high ideals before a student body of young men and young women, should resort to unfair and wholly unwarrantable representations as to the teachings of a great and growing religious organization with which he does not happen to be in sympathy, and especially that he should stoop to try to ridicule and bemean a woman to whose memory multitudes of all creeds and of no creed, throughout the world, have paid highest tribute. Unfortunately his remarks in their entirety were not given, otherwise they might be reviewed in regular order. Evidently only fragments were reported, but more especially such portions as stood out prominently by reason of their denunciatory characteristics.

Manifestly, as in the case of many others who have essayed to expose the alleged faults of Christian Science, the critic made the mistake of judging this teaching according to his own peculiar understanding of it or the contentions of certain of its enemies, rather than from first-hand information from authorized Christian Science literature. It is noteworthy that this concession was made: "This new faith does have a message for health as well as for moral and religious life. Some genuine Christian people have, through healing, gotten a new relationship with God." This is actually a wonderful testimony, since it shows the fruit of the teaching. For what other church can more, or even as much, be said? But how this statement could be given out as truthful, and then be followed by declarations derogatory of that same system, is inexplicable.

The critic is credited with saying, "Christian Science, however, as a consistent system is indefensible;" also, "Intellectually, Science and Health is ridiculous, and no one could better stultify his intellect than by believing it." Such general and sweeping allegations are what are denominated in law procedure, "merely surplusage." Nothing definite is set forth, much less offered as provable. To the thoughtful they are only as "sounding brass." It is doubtful whether there had been any previous calm and deliberate reflection on the possible reactionary effect that such criticisms might have for the speaker. The history of religious doctrine furnished warning for those who are disposed to call things "ridiculous" or to describe them as calculated to "stultify the intellect," merely because they have not accepted them. Practically the same things were said about the teachings of Jesus Christ by schoolmen of his times. It is true, as the critic confessed, that multitudes through Christian Science have found God and have experienced all manner of healing; and these beneficiaries have come from all walks in life, thousands of them being identified with the so-called learned professions. More than that, and what is highly significant, in this cloud of witnesses are a great number who were revered and prized members of other churches, who testify that they were unable to find the spiritual help they craved until it was gained by them in Christian Science.

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