The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany/Chapter 2.01
TO THE CHRISTIAN WORLD
IN the midst of the imperfect, perfection is reluctantly seen and acknowledged. Because Science is unimpeachable, it summons the severest conflicts of the ages and waits on God.
The faith and works demanded of man in our textbooks, the Bible and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” and the proof of the practicality of this faith and these works, show conclusively that Christian Science is indeed Science, — the Science of Christ, the Science of God and man, of the creator and creation. In every age and at its every appearing. Science, until understood, has been persecuted and maligned. Infinite perfection is unfolded as man attains the stature of man in Christ Jesus by means of the Science which Jesus taught and practised. Alluding to this divine method, the Psalmist said: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?”
I have set forth Christian Science and its application to the treatment of disease just as I have discovered them. I have demonstrated through Mind the effects of Truth on the health, longevity, and morals of men; and I have found nothing in ancient or in modern systems on which to found my own, except the teachings and demonstrations of our great Master and the lives of prophets and apostles. The Bible has been my only authority. I have had no other guide in the strait and narrow way of Truth.
Jewish pagans thought that the learned St. Paul, the Mars' Hill orator, the canonized saint, was a “pestilent fellow,” but to-day all sorts of institutions flourish under the name of this “pestilent fellow.” That epithet points a moral. Of old the Pharisees said of the great master of metaphysics, “He stirreth up the people.” Because they could find no fault in him, they vented their hatred of Jesus in opprobrious terms. But what would be thought to-day of a man that should call St. Paul a “pest,” and what will be thought to-morrow of him who shall call a Christian Scientist a “pest”? Again, what shall be said of him who says that the Saviour of men, the healer of men, the Christ, the Truth, “stirreth up the people”?
It is of the utmost concern to the world that men suspend judgment and sentence on the pioneers of Christianity till they know of what and of whom these pioneers speak. A person's ignorance of Christian Science is a sufficient reason for his silence on the subject, but what can atone for the vulgar denunciation of that of which a man knows absolutely nothing?
On November 21, 1898, in my class on Christian Science were many professional men and women of the highest talents, scholarship, and character in this or any other country. What was it that brought together this class to learn of her who, thirty years ago, was met with the anathema spoken of in Scripture: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake”? It was the healing of the sick, the saving of sinners, the works even more than the words of Christ, Truth, which had of a verity stirred the people to search the Scriptures and to find in them man's only medicine for mind and body. This Æsculapius, defined Christianly and demonstrated scientifically, is the divine Principle whose rules demonstrated prove one's faith by his works.
After my discovery of Christian Science, I healed consumption in its last stages, a case which the M.D.'s, by verdict of the stethoscope and the schools, declared incurable because the lungs were mostly consumed. I healed malignant diphtheria and carious bones that could be dented by the finger, saving the limbs when the surgeon's instruments were lying on the table ready for their amputation. I have healed at one visit a cancer that had eaten the flesh of the neck and exposed the jugular vein so that it stood out like a cord. I have physically restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, and have made the lame walk.
About the year 1869, I was wired to attend the patient of a distinguished M.D., the late Dr. Davis of Manchester, N. H. The patient was pronounced dying of pneumonia, and was breathing at intervals in agony. Her physician, who stood by her bedside, declared that she could not live. On seeing her immediately restored by me without material aid, he asked earnestly if I had a work describing my system of healing. When answered in the negative, he urged me immediately to write a book which should explain to the world my curative system of metaphysics. In the ranks of the M.D.'s are noble men and women, and I love them; but they must refrain from persecuting and misrepresenting a system of medicine which from personal experience I have proved to be more certain and curative in functional and organic diseases than any material method. I admonish Christian Scientists either to speak charitably of all mankind or to keep silent, for love fulfils divine law and without this proof of love mental practice were profitless.
The list of cases healed by me could be made to include hopeless organic diseases of almost every kind. I name those mentioned above simply to show the folly of believing that the immutable laws of omnipotent Mind have not power over and above matter in every mode and form, and the folly of the cognate declaration that Christian Science is limited to imaginary diseases! On the contrary, Christian Science has healed cases that I assert it would have been impossible for the surgeon or materia medica to cure. Without Mind, man and the universe would collapse; the winds would weary, and the world stand still. It is already proved that Christian Science rests on the basis of fixed Principle, and overcomes the evidence of diseased sensation. Human mentality, expressed in disease, sin, and death, in tempest and in flood, the divine Mind calms and limits with a word.
In what sense is the Christian Scientist a “pest”? Is it because he minds his own business more than does the average man, is not a brawler, an alcohol drinker, a tobacco user, a profane swearer, an adulterer, a fornicator, nor a dishonest politician or business man? Or is it because he is the very antipode of all these? In what sense is the Christian Scientist a charlatan? Is it because he heals the sick without drugs?
Our great Exemplar, the Nazarene Prophet, healed through Mind, and commanded his followers to do likewise. The prophets and apostles and the Christians in the first century healed the sick as a token of their Christianity. Has Christianity improved upon its earlier records, or has it retrograded? Compare the lives of its professors with those of its followers at the beginning of the Christian era, and you have the correct answer.
As a pertinent illustration of the general subject under discussion, I will cite a modern phase of medical practice, namely, the homœopathic system, to which the old school has become reconciled. Here I speak from experience. In homœopathy, the one thousandth attenuations and the same triturations of medicine have not an iota of the drug left in them, and the lower attenuations have so little that a vial full of the pellets can be swallowed without harm and without appreciable effect. Yet the homœopathist administers half a dozen or less of these same globules, and he tells you, and you believe him, that with these pellets he heals the sick. The diminishing of the drug does not disprove the efficiency of the homœopathic system. It enhances its efficiency, for it identifies this system with mind, not matter, and places it nearer the grooves of omnipotence. O petty scorner of the infinite, wouldst thou mock God's miracles or scatter the shade of one who “shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”? If, as Scripture declares, God made all that was made, then whatever is entitled to a classification as truth or science must be comprised in a knowledge or understanding of God, for there can be nothing beyond illimitable divinity.
The homœopathist handles in his practice and heals the most violent stages of organic and inflammatory diseases, stops decomposition, removes enteritis, gastritis, hyperæmia, pneumonia, diphtheria, and ossification — the effects of calcareous salts formed by carbonate and sulphate of lime; and the homœopathic physician succeeds as well in healing his cases without drugs as does the allopath who depends upon drugs. Then is mind or matter the intelligent cause in pathology? If matter, I challenge matter to act apart from mind; and if mind, I have proved beyond cavil that the action of the divine Mind is salutary and potent in proportion as it is seen to act apart from matter. Hence our Master's saying, “The flesh profiteth nothing.” The difference between metaphysics in homœopathy and metaphysics in Christian Science consists in this forcible fact: the former enlists faith in the pharmacy of the human mind, and the latter couples faith with spiritual understanding and is based on the law of divine Mind. Christian Science recognizes that this Mind is the only lawgiver, omnipotent, infinite, All. Hence the divine Mind is the sovereign appeal, and there is nothing in the divine Mind to attenuate. The more of this Mind the better for both physician and patient.
Ignorance, slang, and malice touch not the hem of the garment of Christian Scientists, for if they did once touch it, they would be destroyed. To be stoned for that which our Master designated as his best work, saying, “For which of those works do ye stone me,” is to make known the best work of a Christian Scientist.
Finally, beloved brethren in Christ, the words of the New York press — “Mrs. Eddy not shaken” — are valid. I remain steadfast in St. Paul's faith, and will close with his own words: “Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”