Now that the local campaign of a revivalist has drawn...


Now that the local campaign of a revivalist has drawn to a close, I would like to offer a few brief comments on the gratuitous attacks upon Christian Science. It is indeed difficult to understand why the professional revivalist includes these attacks as a part of the regular program. They seem to forget they are addressing an intelligent audience, many of whom know by observation or from experience that the things said against Christian Science are not true, and who are thereby led to wonder if the balance of the discourse is equally unreliable. Judged from the newspaper reports, this revivalist has had less to say against Christian Science in Norfolk than he said in Richmond last year. Possibly he has awakened to the fact that he is defeating his own purpose, because the general experience is an increase in attendance at the Christian Science churches following the advertising thus furnished. Or possibly he has decided that the advice of Gamaliel, "Refrain from these men, and let them alone" is sound doctrine.

He says his quarrel is "with the doctrine of Christian Science." Maybe, but he has yet to offer something on the subject which would indicate that he knows what the doctrine of Christian Science is. It certainly does not teach the things he attributes to it, and his quotations, so called, from Mrs. Eddy's writings are always either incomplete or taken from the context in such a way as to present practically an opposite meaning. For instance, he said that Christian Science teaches that man is never sick. Any one who knows anything of Christian Science knows that it insists that to "heal the sick" is as much the business of a Christian as to "preach the gospel." And it is that very insistence that got Christian Science disliked. Christianity had for centuries been content to "preach the gospel," ignoring Jesus' equally emphatic command to "heal the sick," until Mary Baker Eddy startled the religious world not only by pointing out that it was the business of the church to obey both those commands but also by showing how it could be done.

The Christian Scientist is known as a student of the Bible, and it is in that rich and inexhaustible treasure house that he has found the health and happiness for which he is famed. The great promises of the Bible have always existed, but it took the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health, which is, as its name implies, a veritable Key to the Scriptures, to unlock the sacred Book and make those rich promises available to the here-and-now needs of humanity. It is for this the Christian Scientist is grateful to Mrs. Eddy. Jesus defined a Christian, a follower of the Christ, as, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also." Note the imperative "shall," which admits no evasion. The Christian Scientist is doing those works to-day in just the degree that he comprehends the Science taught by the Christ, and he will go smilingly and lovingly about the Father's business regardless of the "words" of his detractors, both in the pulpit and out, who misunderstand both him and his system, content to be judged by the Master's standard, "By their fruits ye shall know them."

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Principle or Person
June 19, 1920

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