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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/230

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

IS CHRISTIAN SCIENCE A "CRAZE"?
By JOSHUA F. BAILEY.

THE impression is quite general that Christian Science is merely a captivating theory; that its text-book, “Science and Health,” is a collection of ingenious opinions—relating mainly to the cure of physical disease by imaginative means—that appeal especially “to persons of a highly religious and highly emotional nature.” It is also confounded with “faith-cure” and “mind-cure,” and alleged abuses and malpractice occurring under these and other irregular forms of mental healing are heralded as “another Christian Science case.” It is credited with contemning observation and induction, and, by consequence, natural science; with making man “a part of God,” and with various fanciful pretensions about sickness and death, and the unreality of matter.

A writer in the April “Popular Science Monthly” succeeded in committing all these errors and offenses against exactness of statement—besides others that space forbids the enumeration of—in less than four pages of the “Monthly.” After having in this small compass misstated the doctrines and pretensions of the true school of Mind-healing, demolished his own misstatements, and all the false systems as well, this writer, with a strange disregard of sequence, devotes six pages to argument and instance in favor of mental healing, and—most surprising of all—administers what Christian scientists consider a well-merited rebuke to the M.D.s for not giving the public the benefits of this “pleasant and inexpensive medicine that cures in some cases where drugs fail,” “shortens the term of sickness and lightens its pains in many other cases," and, “furthermore, has no injurious incidental effects.”

There is really no excuse for such misrepresentation of Christian Science; for it has a text-book, “Science and Health,” universally recognized as the exponent of its doctrines and methods. When called in question, it is entitled to be judged on authorized statements, and not on those of speculators in public credulity, on newspaper gossip and public rumor. This text-book says: “Systems of so-called 'mind-cure' are as truly material as the prevailing systems of medicine. They have no relationship with Christian Science”; and of “faith-cure,” “Faith is belief, and not understanding. Belief is virtually blindness when it admits truth without understanding it. If truth is admitted, but not understood, it may be lost, and error may enter through this same channel of ignorant belief.”

So far from not trusting observation and induction, “Science and Health” is a record of experiments in Mind that satisfy the