The report of a lecture on Christian Science given by a...

Leytonstone Express and Independent

The report of a lecture on Christian Science given by a clergyman, is interesting if for nothing else than as showing what this critic understands by Christianity and what he believes Christian Science to be. First, he imagines Christian Science healing to be effected by suggestion, and he accepts this as Christian; secondly, he declares that Christian Science gets rid of the incarnation, and as such is unchristian. Let us examine both these doctrines.

Christian Science expressly and unqualifyingly rejects healing by suggestion. It does this for two reasons. First, because the human mind is not a healing element; and second, because the entire process of suggestion is antichristian. The human mind is itself filled with beliefs of good and evil. It is incapable, therefore, of true healing, which means a total denial of the power of evil. What happens is merely that the sick man's mind is dominated for a moment by a stronger mind, and his thought directed into a different channel. The cause is unaffected. When the pressure is removed, the thought of the patient reverts to the former channel, and except that the human will-power of the sick person has been weakened and made less capable of future resistance of evil, little has occurred. Now, Christian Science teaches that sickness is the result of some material belief. It sets to work, consequently, to eradicate this belief. If it is successful, the cause of the sickness is destroyed, and the patient is permanently healed.

In healing the paralytic man, Jesus demanded, "Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?" It is clear from this that Jesus saw some metaphysical interdependence between sickness and sin. Christian Science explains this interdependence. Sin, it says, is not a temporal or geographical expression, so that what is normal in one country may be regarded as abnormal in another; and what is desirable in one country is undesirable in the next. Sin is, scientifically speaking, a belief in anything apart from God. In this way the man who is sick as the result of flagrant vice, is guilty of a deliberate sin of commission; none the less, the man who is sick through believing in some material law of inharmony, is guilty of the sin of omitting to recognize that there is no power but God.

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