Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/215

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
211
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE

THE GRAIN OF TRUTH IN THE BUSHEL OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE CHAFF
By CHARLES CLARENCE BATCHELDER

WHERE there is smoke, there must be some fire," is a proverb which may justly be applied to the claims made by Christian Science, for it is hardly fair to a large number of educated men and women to jeer at them as the victims of the absurd delusion that they have been cured of non-existent maladies. Not only can they produce well attested cases of undisputed cures of distinct diseases, without the use of medicines, but similar results occasionally occur at Lourdes and elsewhere, and, in fact, have taken place in unbroken succession throughout the centuries ever since the Temple Cures of Ancient Egypt. Though the facts are too well established to be denied, we may yet question the explanations they give of the cause and method, especially when we find that the Pagan idolatry of the priests of Ammon-Ra produced the same effect as the Pantheistic philosophy which Dr. Quimby and Mrs. Eddy adapted from Hindu sources. For though the charge of Pantheism is violently repudiated, it is even more authoritatively affirmed by the statement "God is All, and All is God."

Now while the philosophy is not convincing to the ordinary reasoning mind, a study of the methods of Christian Science can not fail to command admiration, not only on account of the efficient financial management, but also for the clever use of the most effective methods of mental healing. The fact that these procedures were discovered empirically does not distinguish them from the systems of the recognized medical schools, for the uses of most drugs were found in the same way.

It is also not just to accuse the "healers" of being quacks and charlatans, for, though there may be exceptions, it seems well established that sincerity on the part of the operator is usually essential to produce that conviction in the patient which is absolutely requisite for all cures of this nature in every age and time. In other words, the christian scientists are perfectly right in saying that "faith," conviction, belief, are necessary to produce the desired result, and that doubt in the patient, or among those present, is likely to prevent success. The reasons for this will be apparent later.

The opponents of this system affirm that most of the diseases in question are only imaginary, and do not really exist. Though we