refuted by W. Kelly.
(3rd. ed., Race, 1913. [B.T. N3: p.303.])
Many of our readers may not know of this new society, sprung up on American soil, already too fruitful in monstrosities, though not without votaries in Europe generally as well as in Great Britain and its Colonies. Unlike Mormonism, which appealed to superstitious feeling in the humblest class, the later delusion finds its prey among educated folk of easier means, whose ears are inclined to the bombastic phrases of philosophic scepticism, without conscience and without faith. As founded by a woman, Mrs. Dr. Mary Baker Eddy, we need not wonder that women predominate among its million-and-a-half with a sprinkling of men from all grades. For it is a day when the true God is daringly blasphemed; and "Christian Science" is not its least guilty form. "Metaphysical" (not faith-) healing is one of its marked characteristics; had it aspired to no more, one might have left it to perish as a craze among kindred vanities. For is there in Bedlam any mania more certain than the notion, as well as the reasons given for it, that "man is never sick, for mind is never sick, and matter cannot be"? "Sickness is a delusion." "There is no such thing as suffering in the universe of a good God." "Tumours, ulcers, tubercles, inflammation, pain, deformed back [a singular limitation among so many deformities], are all dream-shadows, dark images of mortal [!] thought that will flee away before the light." . . . "haemorrhage and decomposition are beliefs, images of mortal thoughts superinduced upon the body."
To state such wild vapourings sufficiently exposes them to any persons of sound judgment. The unsound may be left to the logic of facts as the best disproof. Nor should such verbiage have called for a notice in these pages, but that the vagary claims to be a religion! as well as a science, and not a new religion but the oldest Christian religion!! yea its clear and intelligible apprehension, according to the rules laid down by the Master Himself!!! Such a pretension, along with its suicidal basis of "NO PERSONAL GOD," calls for the sternest denunciation. Mind without a personal subsistence is the shallowest of delusions. The self-existent God has affections and will, no less than purity, wisdom, and power according to His own infinitude. He is love and light in the beautiful yet true figures of scripture. But to deny implicitly His creation of angels and men, as well as of the heavens and the earth, is to fly in the face of His holy writ. To say that there is no other mind but the One, and no other will but His, is to contradict the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, nay the surest and saddest facts before us every day.
Through one man, says the great apostle, sin entered into the world, and death through sin. When man fell, "dying thou shalt die" began; and Adam was only a father after he sinned. The race is a fallen one. Physical maladies are the symptoms and evidence of the mortality that is the portion of every child of Adam. Nor did he deny the sufferings of this present time, though he counts them not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed toward us. For we know, says he, that the whole creation groans together and travails in pain together until now.
If this craze were consistent, it would deny death as well as sickness and pain. But its inconsistency is palpable and extreme. For if there be no reality in sickness, there can be no room for "healing"; which last they make one of the chief pillars of their system! Nor could there be reality in the miraculous powers which Christ both displayed and conferred on His servants at the first as a sign to unbelievers. How can "Christian Science" come like an angel of light to sick, suffering, and diseased humanity, if "sickness is a delusion," and "there is no such thing as suffering in the universe of a good God"? Is it not plain that "Christian Science" is the real delusion, not sickness or suffering? Christ healed them as real diseases; He will completely clear them away when His world-kingdom comes.
The truth is that this pretentious folly is only a revival of heathen Pantheism. In it Christ has not even the place allowed to Him in the Koran of the false Prophet of Mecca. For He in it is owned to be the Judge, if not the Saviour. But Mrs. Eddy leads her followers to deny a Personal God which the Moslems acknowledge, and consequently the everlasting judgment which remains for the unbelieving. An impersonal God must be indifferent, a mere abstraction incapable of either love or judgment. The True God is He that sent His Son into the world to save sinners, but only such as believe. All others who hear add to their other sins the crowning one of rejecting the Lord and Saviour, and of disbelieving God. Scripture is clear and decisive that He who is to judge the wicked is the same Jesus who once suffered for sins, Just for unjust. What an awful aggravation of their unbelief, when the risen and glorified Saviour sits to judge those who denied the true God as well as His Son! To say that "sin" is an illusion is to sink morally lower than an unbelieving Jew. The very heathen were not so false or audacious, though they had no adequate idea of what sin is in God's sight. "Christian Science" in denying its reality robs Christ of His moral glory as well as His grace, as the Taker away of the sin of the world.
Yet if there be no personal God, if He be but the mind of which we are part, it is a necessary consequence to deny Satan, sin, and judgment, incarnation and redemption; and the profession of believing Christ or the Spirit or the scriptures in any real sense: all must be unreal, and in time thrown aside as inconsistent with their own system. It is an antichrist, and neither "Christian" nor "Science."
Think again how such a system destroys all the highest relations, and duties of the Christian. It were absurd to worship a principle: one can only worship a living personal God. Our communion is with the Father and with His Son by the Holy Spirit. With an impersonal Being this cannot be, as indeed it is folly to talk of mind, will, or love in that case: "His" we cannot say, save improperly.
A living and personal God we are called to serve, and Him only, as the Word when become flesh did perfectly; and He is the truth. Further every form of Pantheism undermines responsibility which must be to a person. Adherence to a principle is quite a different thing. Pantheism or "Christian Science" is incompatible with relationship to God, and hence overthrows the foundation of morality; as it still more evidently shuts out grace, redemption, the new creation, and the new relations God forms in all who receive Christ the Lord by faith.