The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany/Chapter 2.11
Questions and Answers
Will the Bible, if read and practised, heal as effectually as your book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”?
THE exact degree of comparison between the effects produced by reading the above-named books can only be determined by personal proof. Rightly to read and to practise the Scriptures, their spiritual sense must be discerned, understood, and demonstrated. God being Spirit, His language and meaning are wholly spiritual. Uninspired knowledge of the translations of the Scriptures has imparted little power to practise the Word. Hence the revelation, discovery, and presentation of Christian Science—the Christ Science, or “new tongue” of which St. Mark prophesied—became requisite in the divine order. On the swift pinions of spiritual thought man rises above the letter, law, or morale of the inspired Word to the spirit of Truth, whereby the Science is reached that demonstrates God. When the Bible is thus read and practised, there is no possibility of misinterpretation. God is understandable, knowable, and applicable to every human need. In this is the proof that Christian Science is Science, for it demonstrates Life, not death; health, not disease; Truth, not error; Love, not hate. The Science of the Scriptures coexists with God; and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” relegates Christianity to its primitive proof, wherein reason, revelation, the divine Principle, rules, and practice of Christianity acquaint the student with God. In the ratio that Christian Science is studied and understood, mankind will, as aforetime, imbibe the spirit and prove the practicality, validity, and redemptive power of Christianity by healing all manner of disease, by overcoming sin and death.
Must mankind wait for the ultimate of the millennium — until every man and woman comes into the knowledge of Christ and all are taught of God and see their apparent identity as one man and one woman — for God to be represented by His idea or image and likeness?
God is one, and His idea, image, or likeness, man, is one. But God is infinite and so includes all in one. Man is the generic term for men and women. Man, as the idea or image and likeness of the infinite God, is a compound, complex idea or likeness of the infinite one, or one infinite, whose image is the reflection of all that is real and eternal in infinite identity. Gender means a kind. Hence mankind — in other words, a kind of man who is identified by sex — is the material, so-called man born of the flesh, and is not the spiritual man, created by God, Spirit, who made all that was made. The millennium is a state and stage of mental advancement, going on since ever time was. Its impetus, accelerated by the advent of Christian Science, is marked, and will increase till all men shall know Him (divine Love) from the least to the greatest, and one God and the brotherhood of man shall be known and acknowledged throughout the earth.
The Higher Criticism
An earnest student writes to me: “Would it be asking too much of you to explain more fully why you call Christian Science the higher criticism?”
I called Christian Science the higher criticism in my dedicatory Message to The Mother Church, June 10, 1906, when I said, “This Science is a law of divine Mind, . . . an ever-present help. Its presence is felt, for it acts and acts wisely, always unfolding the highway of hope, faith, understanding.”
I now repeat another proof, namely, that Christian Science is the higher criticism because it criticizes evil, disease, and death — all that is unlike God, good — on a Scriptural basis, and approves or disapproves according to the word of God. In the next edition of Science and Health I shall refer to this.
Mary Baker Eddy.
Mrs. Eddy thus replies, through her student, Mr. Adam Dickey, to the question. Does Mrs. Eddy approve of class teaching: —
Yes! She most assuredly does, when the teaching is done by those who are duly qualified, who have received certificates from the Massachusetts Metaphysical College or the Board of Education, and who have the necessary moral and spiritual qualifications to perform this important work. Class teaching will not be abolished until it has accomplished that for which it was established; viz., the elucidation of the Principle and rule of Christian Science through the higher meaning of the Scriptures. Students who are ready for this step should beware the net that is craftily laid and cunningly concealed to prevent their advancement in this direction.
Instruction by Mrs. Eddy
We are glad to have the privilege of publishing an extract from a letter to Mrs. Eddy, from a Christian Scientist in the West, and Mrs. Eddy's reply thereto. The issue raised is an important one and one upon which there should be absolute and correct teaching. Christian Scientists are fortunate to receive instruction from their Leader on this point. The question and Mrs. Eddy's reply follow.
“Last evening I was catechized by a Christian Science practitioner because I referred to myself as an immortal idea of the one divine Mind. The practitioner said that my statement was wrong, because I still lived in my flesh. I replied that I did not live in my flesh, that my flesh lived or died according to the beliefs I entertained about it; but that, after coming to the light of Truth, I had found that I lived and moved and had my being in God, and to obey Christ was not to know as real the beliefs of an earthly mortal. Please give the truth in the Sentinel, so that all may know it.”
MRS. EDDY'S REPLY
You are scientifically correct in your statement about yourself. You can never demonstrate spirituality until you declare yourself to be immortal and understand that you are so. Christian Science is absolute; it is neither behind the point of perfection nor advancing towards it; it is at this point and must be practised therefrom. Unless you fully perceive that you are the child of God, hence perfect, you have no Principle to demonstrate and no rule for its demonstration. By this I do not mean that mortals are the children of God, — far from it. In practising Christian Science you must state its Principle correctly, or you forfeit your ability to demonstrate it.
I hereby announce to the Christian Science field that all inquiries or information relating to Christian Science practice, to publication committee work, reading-room work, or to Mother Church membership, should be sent to the Christian Science Board of Directors of The Mother Church; and I have requested my secretary not to make inquiries on these subjects, nor to reply to any received, but to leave these duties to the Clerk of The Mother Church, to whom they belong.
Mary Baker Eddy.
September 28, 1910.