In the course of an address recently delivered by the Rev. Mr.—...

Lincoln Gazette

In the course of an address recently delivered by the Rev. Mr.—at Spilsby, the statement was made that the speaker could not understand how Christian Scientists "could believe there was no such thing as pain." Of course, if you take a scientific or metaphysical statement and state it in a mere crude, unrelated manner, most people who are ignorant of the subject would find themselves in this gentleman's position. Spinoza, for instance, argued that evil was good. Put exactly like that, it sounds entirely preposterous, and though the world has, as every Christian Scientist thinks, rightly rejected the idea, it would be parodying Spinoza's meaning to state it in that way.

According to the teaching of Christian Science, sensation is not physical but mental. In this it has the support of a large body of natural scientists. If you prick your finger, Huxley once pointed out, hardly anything could induce you to believe that the pain was not in the wound, whereas, as a scientific fact, it would not be within two feet of it. The whole sensation of pain, in plain English, is that it is a condition of consciousness. The way, therefore, to overcome pain is to change the mental condition, and the idealist philosophers, from the time of Plato down to our own time, would have been much more logical if, having insisted that pain was mental, they had gone on to insist that it must be overcome by effecting a change of mind.

The originators of every teaching are, however, permitted to define their terms in their own language. That is a concession which every great thinker and every thinking person has admitted is inevitable. You could not define an isosceles triangle differently from Euclid, and then insist that the argument based on his definition was a ridiculous one; and so, if you are going to take exception to Mrs. Eddy's statements about the unreality of pain, you can do so fairly only by first accepting her definition of reality. Now, Mrs. Eddy defines reality as that which is spiritual and eternal. The material, she insists, is but the temporal counterfeit, or humanly mental misconception of the real. Man, therefore, made in the image and likeness of God, is spiritual, and not material; since God is Spirit, the image and likeness of God must be spiritual, and not material. Now, the divine consciousness is unconscious of evil and unconscious of pain; otherwise pain and evil would be eternal, as they never could be obliterated from omniscience. Therefore, when Mrs. Eddy says that pain is unreal, she does not in the least mean that pain is unreal to the human senses, but that pain has no place in the divine Mind. The critic should have no difficulty whatever in realizing the logic of this.

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