In a short report in your paper of Dr. Den Hertog's...

Het Vaderland

In a short report in your paper of Dr. Den Hertog's address in the "Service for the Youth" in the Willemskerk, there appear two tirades on Christian Science, about which I should like to make a few remarks both for equity's sake and for the information of your readers. According to the report the speaker said that Christian Science and some other movements, which he mentioned, probably think that they bring something new, whereas the fact is that they are "desperately old." Apart from the peculiarity of the expression "desperately old," I must remark that Christian Science does not claim to be anything but a revival of the primitive teaching and practice of Jesus. In the Manual of The Mother Church in Boston, Massachusetts, we read as its aim and purpose (p. 17): "To commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing." If this is "desperately old," the remark applies to our Master. Certainly Christian Science does not bring anything new, and it never claims to do so. The truth which our Master referred to is indeed "desperately old," for it is without time. "Before Abraham was, I am," says the Christ.

The speaker further asks, "What else is Christian Science but the ostrich putting his head in the sand?" It is safe to assume that the choice of this metaphor springs from the peculiar, yet very widespread opinion, that Christian Scientists make things very easy for themselves by absolutely denying the reality of evil; but people forget that this denial can hold only by a complete conversion of thought, and a continuous resistance to the suggestions of evil. It demands an actual surrender to and a trust in omnipotent Love in all the vicissitudes of life, so that His will may "be done in earth." This, of course, is not performed all at once, but it forms the direction of our daily efforts. This is divine service [the Dutch name for divine service means divine exercise], by which one proves his belief with "signs following." Certainly, it is easier to be afraid and cry, "Lord! Lord!" than to resist evil. In James we read, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." This is what Christian Science teaches; and by its ministry thousands have been made healthy and happy, having become reconciled to God.

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