It is openly apparent to the casual reader of Professor...

The Literary Review of the New York (N. Y.) Evening Post

It is openly apparent to the casual reader of Professor Riley's review of "The Quimby Manuscripts" that his view is that of the antagonist of Christian Science bent upon strengthening his preconceived conclusions, rather than that of the book reviewer undertaking to fairly evaluate the contents of a new volume. His desire to discredit Mrs. Eddy and to destroy her teachings appears in the first paragraph in a charge of plagiarism on the ground that Quimby originated or coined the phrase "Christian Science." I have at hand a book, written by Bishop Adams of Wisconsin and copyrighted in 1850, entitled, "Elements of Christian Science." Its contents bear no likeness to the teachings of Christian Science, yet it shows conclusively that the term was current at least a decade before, as is stated, Quimby first used it, completely disproving the claim that Mrs. Eddy necessarily borrowed from him the name she gave her discovery. Moreover, it is significant that these words do not appear in his writings until after he had met Mrs. Eddy.

Neither Quimby nor Mrs. Eddy originated the idea that the cause of disease is mental; likewise the cure. Mental healing had exponents centuries before Quimby and his contemporaries either thought or wrote of this subject. The International Encyclopedia (Vol. XV, p. 413) says of mental science: "Eginhard, an intimate of Charlemagne, was the first to make recorded observations in any way analogous to modern mental healing." Julius A. Dresser, a patient of Quimby and promoter of New Thought, in "The True History of Mental Science" states: "The foundation principles of what we now term mental science are shown by history to have been largely understood by the philosophers of all ages." Accepting the reviewer's statement that "plagiarism is like a question of priority in patents," when we examine the literature of the middle decades of the nineteenth century we find a coterie of writers upon mental healing, some of whom published works on the subject before the dates of Quimby's manuscripts. Some of these authors were practitioners of different phases of mental healing, among them being John Bovee Dods, the Rev. W. F. Evans, and Andrew Jackson Davis. Quotations from a single one of these will serve to indicate the type of thought current at that time. In "Six Lectures on the Philosophy of Mesmerism" Mr. Dods states: "All motion and power originate in mind, and as the human spirit, through an electro-magnetic medium, comes in contact with matter, so the infinite spirit does the same." In the "Philosophy of Electrical Psychology" Mr. Dods said: "Mind is the first great moving cause"; "I am well aware that mental and physical impressions may be termed causes of diseases"; also, "Mind, or spirit, is above all and absolutely disposes of and controls all." From these and other writings of similar tenor it is manifest that Quimby expressed the thought that was current with his predecessors and contemporaries in regard to the mental cause and cure of disease.

While seeking relief from bodily ills which she knew to have mental cause Mrs. Eddy discovered the Science of being and divine law. Upon these fundamental facts she developed a system of religion and practice explained in the Christian Science textbook; but as her fundamentals were original with her as well as the rule and method, it was by no means plagiarism to employ words and terms used by others—in fact, she could do no less. The author of a new method in arithmetic of necessity uses terms, signs, and symbols employed in general by others who have preceded him; but he is by no means guilty of the charge of plagiarism if the system he develops is original with himself. The religion known as Christian Science originated with Mrs. Eddy, and neither sophistry, misrepresentation, nor falsity can destroy the facts.

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February 18, 1922

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