The article contributed to the columns of a recent issue...


The article contributed to the columns of a recent issue on the subject of "National Hospital Day" would be appropriate and unobjectionable were it not that it includes offensive, erroneous, unjust, and uncalled-for accusations against Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, against her teachings, and against Christian Scientists in general. Nowhere in Mrs. Eddy's writings are to be found such unseemly statements regarding hospitals, surgeons, doctors, nurses, and medical or surgical procedure as those attributed to her by our critic. On the contrary, her writings contain many evidences of high regard for the medical faculty, and appreciation of their humanitarian efforts to alleviate mankind's manifold ills. The attitude of Mrs. Eddy towards the medical profession, as well as that of her students generally, is adequately set forth in the following quotations from her work, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 151): "Great respect is due the motives and philanthropy of the higher class of physicians;" and (p. 164), "It is just to say that generally the cultured class of medical practitioners are grand men and women."

It is recognized that there is a definite need to-day on the part of many for the surgeon, the doctor, the nurse, and the humanitarian institutions with which they are identified. Christian Scientists, however, deprecate and oppose compulsory (state) medicine; but they accord full freedom of conscience to all, not only in religious beliefs, but in medical preferences and practices as well. It is never advanced as an argument that because Jesus' immediate disciples failed to heal in a given instance his teachings were proved worthless; neither do occasional failures on the part of students of Christian Science prove the inefficacy of their teachings. The evidence in its favor is too preponderating to-day for any one to challenge successfully the healing efficacy of Christian Science; and noted surgeons and medical men have testified to its worth. Christian Science, correctly demonstrated, obviates the necessity for surgical or medical procedure. Since its students may not have that understanding of God's power necessary to meet the need in every instance, there is no inconsistency in calling a surgeon to set a broken limb. Nevertheless, Christian Scientists do not hold that God, Truth, is unable to heal in these cases, as in all others; and most practitioners of Christian Science know of instances of broken and dislocated bones being set and healed through their religion, without the aid of surgeon or material appliance.

Your contributor's reference to the "fifth and cholera and famine and plague and death" of India is evidently meant to asperse Christian Science; but the insinuation that a general acceptance and practice of Christian Science would produce such conditions as are stated as existing in that country is as devoid of truth as it is of justice. There is no defense for such calumny; and it is inconceivable that your readers would seriously consider such a groundless imputation. Unwholesome and unsanitary surroundings come of unwholesome and unscientific mental conditions; and as Christian Science inculcates purity of thought, as well as morality of act and cleanliness of environment, it is seen that our critic's aspersions are unjustifiable. Obeying their Master's admonition, students of Christian Science are not content with making clean merely the "outside of the cup and of the platter," but strive for mental and moral purity as well. The absurdity of our critic's claim that "the absent treatment idea" came from India is revealed by reference to the records of the healing of the nobleman's son and the centurion's servant by the Master, absently; and a sneer at absent treatment or healing must be accounted a sneer at Christ Jesus' own practice. Healing through prayer cannot be limited by either time or space, since God is omnipresent as well as omnipotent. There is nothing mystical or occult about Christian Science: it is the simple gospel of the Saviour made practical and applicable to human needs—including physical healing—here and now; and Christians should not be censured for conscientiously striving to do what their Master said those who professed to be his followers should do; and certainly the great Exemplar conclusively demonstrated that "prayer and faith" are sufficient to meet humanity's every need.

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