Christian Scientists are sorry to see that the Boston American...

Boston (Mass.) American

Christian Scientists are sorry to see that the Boston American has repeated an old error about Mrs. Eddy while reviewing a book by Dr. Allan McLane Hamilton. Although this author qualified his story about Mrs. Eddy by saying "if this is believed," and the Boston American did not omit this caution, the story itself ought not to be repeated, for it never was true and its fictitious character has been repeatedly shown. Indeed, the magazine articles from which Doctor Hamilton got the story in question have been often disbelieved by discerning readers. For example, last year D. Dr. Karl Holl, professor of church history in the University of Berlin, wrote an article on Christian Science for a German magazine and examined the magazine articles in question while preparing to write his own; but he dismissed them with the comment that "most of the statements are readily recognized as gossip and slander."

The gist of the story in question is that Mrs. Eddy did not discover Christian Science, but learned it from a magnetist or mesmerist named Doctor Quimby. This story did not originate with Doctor Quimby. It got its start from something said by his son, George A. Quimby; but even the younger Quimby would hardly recognize the story as related with the qualification "if this is believed" by Doctor Hamilton. For instance, George A. Quimby stated his position precisely in a letter dated Aug. 19, 1904, to the Rev. Mr. Savage of Billerica, Mass., as follows: "A word or two about Mrs. Eddy. No one, least of all myself, disputes her claims that she is the 'originator of Christian Science,' as far as the religious aim goes. It is all hers. The facsimile of the author on the label, and her picture blown in the bottle and stamped on the cork! But so far as she claims to have originated the treatment of disease mentally, she lies. I don't never prevaricate nor hedge, nor any of those minor subterfuges—she simply lies. If she had never met P. P. Quimby there never would have been any Christian Science. That is all I claim."

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