From Letters, Substantially as Published

Sometimes an apparently inconsequential error in a quotation...


Sometimes an apparently inconsequential error in a quotation completely changes the meaning of a passage and thereby does an injustice to the person quoted. An instance of this sort is to be found in the first quotation that is included in the "Rational Viewpoint" in your issue of September 5—a citation from a booklet which purports to quote from the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

The booklet in question claims erroneously that Mrs. Eddy says, "The blood, heart, lungs, brain, have nothing to do with life." There is a serious mistake in this quotation; the slip relates to the word "life." If the author of the booklet had known the distinction that Mrs. Eddy makes between material, human life and the divine Life, God, and if he had quoted exactly, he would have capitalized this word as Mrs. Eddy does whenever she uses it to characterize Deity. The failure to capitalize in this instance perverts her teaching that material blood, heart, lungs, and brain have nothing to do with God, the divine Life—a teaching that conforms accurately to the words of Christ Jesus, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing."

The spiritual understanding of God and man is the foundation of the Master's profession and practice and is fundamental in Christian Science. Seeing clearly that God, good, is infinite divine Life, and that the real man, God's image and likeness, reflects and expresses this divine Life, Jesus healed functional and organic disease without resorting to material means. In other words, he taught and effectively utilized the absolute spiritual truth about God and man.

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