Please permit us to say that the statement made—according...


Please permit us to say that the statement made—according to your report—concerning Christian Science at the special service of the Evangelical Alliance at Littleborough, to the effect that Christian Science taught that the whole of the external world was an illusion, may be misleading. We do not for a moment suggest any intention to mislead, but there is unmistakable ignorance or misconception as to what Christian Science teaches in this respect. Christian Science does teach the existence of a universe. It declares, however, that this universe is spiritual, consisting of Mind's creations, namely, spiritual ideas ranging "from the infinitesimal to the infinite" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 336); and that the material sense of the universe is illusion. This is one of the points at which Christian Science comes into conflict with popular opinion. But there is a great difference between saying that the universe consists of spiritual ideas and saying that it is an illusion.

Mrs. Eddy states the teaching of Christian Science briefly on page 124 of Science and Health: "The universe, like man, is to be interpreted by Science from its divine Principle, God, and then it can be understood; but when explained on the basis of physical sense and represented as subject to growth, maturity, and decay, the universe, like man, is, and must continue to be, an enigma. . . . Spirit is the life, substance, and continuity of all things. We tread on forces. Withdraw them, and creation must collapse. Human knowledge calls them forces of matter; but divine Science declares that they belong wholly to divine Mind, are inherent in this Mind, and so restores them to their rightful home and classification." Also, on page 337 of the same work, Mrs. Eddy writes, "The visible universe and material man are the poor counterfeits of the invisible universe and spiritual man." This teaching is Scriptural; see Hebrews 11:3 (Weymouth's translation): "Through faith we understand that the worlds came into being, and still exist, at the command of God, so that what is seen does not owe its existence to that which is visible."

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