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Elsewhere in this issue appears a very calm and temperate...
The Janesville (Minn.) Argus
Elsewhere in this issue appears a very calm and temperate article forwarded by Rollin E. Smith of Minneapolis, chairman of the Christian Science committee on publication for Minnesota. Attention is called to this article, with the urgent request that it be read without prejudice. It is utterly devoid of the spirit of intolerance, such as characterized the sermons that called it forth, and is so surpassingly fair and liberal as to commend it even to the most captious critic. We admit it readily and freely to our columns in the interests of fair play, not only to the church that has been misrepresented, but to the many who have found comfort and solace in that cult when others have failed to satisfy them. In all fairness this is their privilege and their right. And they have the right, in conformity to the principles of civil and religious liberty, to exercise their preferences as to worship in any manner they may choose, without becoming the objects of ridicule and derision and without being subjected to the humiliation that inevitably is the sequence of pulpit discourses that are based upon misinformation, prejudice, and intolerance.
We learn that a clergyman, not content with delivering five discourses aimed at Christian Science, is occasionally throwing criticisms at the Christian Science church and its followers in his other sermons. We here wish to enter protest against that sort of thing. We will not pretend to assume that he has not the right to attack other forms of worship, but we do assume, and we know, that in so doing he not only belittles himself as a minister, but that in the minds of very many people, both in the church and out, he has lowered his own standing and dignity as a minister and brought odium upon the profession he is supposed to represent.
It is not so much the misstatements relative to Christian Science that were characteristic of this clergyman's sermons, as the fact that through his discourses he failed to give credit to the Founder of Christian Science for honesty and sincerity. When he represented in his discourses that Mrs. Eddy's writings were from the standpoint of relative rather than absolute truth, a material life basis rather than a spiritual life basis, from the physical rather than the metaphysical, he committed a very grave offense. If he understood the basis of Mrs. Eddy's writings his discourses were a clear deception; if he did not, it does not speak well of his pretensions in speaking upon the subject. Fairness on his part would have prompted an explanation. But as there was no explanation given, rather than to consider him dishonest the only rational conclusion is charitably to assume that he did not know.
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