In The Saturday Review appears an interesting letter in...

The Saturday Review

In The Saturday Review appears an interesting letter in "People's Forum" under the heading, "What is Death?" It is assuredly an encouraging sign of the times when this question may be calmly and intelligently discussed in the public press. And such encouragement grows stronger and clearer when women claim and exercise their birthright of equality in the study and discussion of topics of genuine import. May I then be permitted to express my appreciation of your correspondent's letter? She is surely to be felicitated upon her courage in facing undaunted so somber a question.

I trust I may be permitted also to correct an error of statement in this letter upon a subject of such general interest. Your correspondent writes, "Christian Scientists deny death altogether and when they are obliged to mention it they speak of 'passing over' or 'passing out.' " This is one of those half truths which as Lord Tennyson points out, are "a harder matter to fight." As a human experience, death is by no means denied by Christian Scientists, and as such they do not hesitate to use the word when it is necessary or advisable to use it. The best proof of this statement may be found in the fact that Mrs. Eddy uses the word death in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" over two hundred times, and in her other writings almost as many times. Let me quote one pertinent, emphatic utterance of Mrs. Eddy upon this very question of the use of the word death (Miscellany, p. 235), "To teach the truth of life without using the word death, the suppositional opposite of life, were as impossible as to define truth and not name its opposite, error."

It is true, however, that in Christian Science, death is not admitted to be anything more than illusion. It is so defined in Science and Health on page 584: "An illusion, the lie of life in matter; the unreal and untrue; the opposite of Life." As darkness is unreal and is overcome by light; as ignorance, which is mental darkness, is unreal and is overcome by intelligence; as error, also mental darkness, is unreal and is overcome by truth; so death, which is material darkness, is unreal and is overcome by Life, which is spiritual light. The apostle John says, "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Funds of The Mother Church
December 6, 1919

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.