A gentleman whose orthodox convictions date back, it...

The Telegram

A gentleman whose orthodox convictions date back, it would appear, to the middle ages, when men believed in a devil of horned head and cloven hoof, has had his peace of mind somewhat upset by the friendly remarks of a local minister relative to Christian Science, and in consequence contributes a letter of length to a recent issue of The Telegram. He asserts with some vehemence that Christian Science is unchristian, that it really is "a delusion of the devil," and that being what it is, the healing which it accomplishes must be that of Beelzebub. Perchance the history of Christianity in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when finally written, will not differ much from that of the first.

Among a variety of misstatements, the critic says Christian Science teaches there is no personal God. In her Message to The Mother Church for 1901, Mrs. Eddy wrote upon this subject: "We hear it said the Christian Scientists have no God because their God is not a person. Let us examine this. The loyal Christian Scientists absolutely adopt Webster's definition of God, 'A Supreme Being,' and the Standard dictionary's definition of God, 'The one Supreme Being, self-existent and eternal.' Also, we accept God, emphatically, in the higher definition derived from the Bible, and this accords with the literal sense of the lexicons: 'God is Spirit,' 'God is Love.' Then, to define Love in divine Science we use this phrase for God—divine Principle. By this we mean Mind, a permanent, fundamental, intelligent, divine Being, called in Scripture, Spirit, Love." "We understand that God is personal in a scientific sense, but is not corporeal nor anthropomorphic. We understand that God is not finite; He is the infinite Person" (pp. 3, 4). If Jesus and John were correct in their conception of Deity as Love, Spirit, surely Deity cannot be in finite form or physical embodiment. Far too long, as the world is finding out, has it been trying to make of God a corporeal manlike being, when the truth lay in the opposite direction,—to know God as infinite Love, Spirit, Mind, and the true man as His image and likeness.

The critic also questions the teachings of Christian Science concerning a personal Christ. The Christ of which Christian Science teaches is the saving and healing power of Truth, inherent in the true individuality of every man, exemplified in the life of Jesus and referred to many times by the apostles. "The Christ," says Mrs. Eddy in the same Message, "was Jesus' spiritual selfhood." "The Christ was not human. Jesus was human, but the Christ Jesus represented both the divine and the human, God and man" (pp. 8, 10). The impersonal and incorporeal nature of Christ, considered in the usual acceptance of the word personal as referring to a corporeal being, could not be more strongly stated than by the Master himself when speaking of the spiritual selfhood which he manifested. He said, "Before Abraham was, I am;" "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."

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February 27, 1915

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