Part 4 out of 4
indisputable that powers of healing were recognized as among the gifts of
the Spirit. St. Paul's letters render it certain that these gifts were
not a privilege of the original twelve, merely, but that they were the
heritage into which all the disciples entered.
Beyond the era of the primitive Church, through several generations, the
early Christians felt themselves called to the same ministry of healing,
and enabled with the same secret of power. Through wellnigh three
centuries, the gifts of healing appear to have been, more or less,
recognized and exercised in the Church. Through those generations,
however, there was a gradual disuse of this power, following upon a
failing recognition of its possession. That which was originally the
rule became the exception. By degrees, the sense of authority and power
to heal passed out from the consciousness of the Church. It ceased to be
a sign of the indwelling Spirit. For fifteen centuries, the recognition
of this authority and power has been altogether exceptional. Here and
there, through the history of these centuries, there have been those who
have entered into this belief of their own privilege and duty, and have
used the gift which they recognized. The Church has never been left
without a line of witnesses to this aspect of the discipleship of Christ.
But she has come to accept it as the normal order of things that what was
once the rule in the Christian Church should be now only the exception.
Orthodoxy has framed a theory of the words of Jesus to account for this
strange departure of His Church from them. It teaches us to believe that
His example was not meant to be followed, in this respect, by all His
disciples. The power of healing which was in Him was a purely
exceptional power. It was used as an evidence of His divine mission. It
was a miraculous gift. The gift of working miracles was not bestowed
upon His Church at large. His original disciples, the twelve apostles,
received this gift, as a necessity of the critical epoch of Christianity
--the founding of the Church. Traces of the power lingered on, in
weakening activity, until they gradually ceased, and the normal condition
of the Church was entered upon, in which miracles are no longer possible.
We accept this, unconsciously, as the true state of things in
Christianity. But it is a conception which will not bear a moment's
examination. There is not the slightest suggestion upon record that
Christ set any limit to this charge which He gave His disciples. On the
contrary, there are not lacking hints that He looked for the possession
and exercise of this power wherever His spirit breathed in men.
Even if the concluding paragraph of St. Mark's Gospel were a later
appendix, it may none the less have been a faithful echo of words of the
Master, as it certainly is a trustworthy record of the belief of the
early Christians as to the thought of Jesus concerning His followers. In
that interesting passage, Jesus, after His death, appeared to the eleven,
and formally commissioned them, again, to take up His work in the world;
bidding them, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every
creature." "And these signs," He tells them, "shall follow them that
believe"--not the apostles only, but "them that believe," without limit
of time; "in My name they shall cast out devils . . . they shall lay
hands on the sick and they shall recover." The concluding discourse to
the disciples, recorded in the Gospel according to St. John, affirms the
same expectation on the part of Jesus; emphasizing it in His solemn way:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that
I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do."
Few will deny that an intelligence apart from man formed and governs the
spiritual universe and man; and this intelligence is the eternal Mind,
and neither matter nor man created this intelligence and divine
Principle; nor can this Principle produce aught unlike itself. All that
we term sin, sickness, and death is comprised in the belief of matter.
The realm of the real is spiritual; the opposite of Spirit is matter; and
the opposite of the real is unreal or material. Matter is an error of
statement, for there is no matter. This error of premises leads to error
of conclusion in every statement of matter as a basis. Nothing we can
say or believe regarding matter is true, except that matter is unreal,
simply a belief that has its beginning and ending.
The conservative firm called matter and mind God never formed. The
unerring and eternal Mind destroys this imaginary copartnership, formed
only to be dissolved in a manner and at a period unknown. This
copartnership is obsolete. Placed under the microscope of metaphysics
matter disappears. Only by understanding there are not two, matter and
mind, is a logical and correct conclusion obtained by either one.
Science gathers not grapes of thorns or figs of thistles. Intelligence
never produced non-intelligence, such as matter: the immortal never
produced mortality, good never resulted in evil. The science of Mind
shows conclusively that matter is a myth. Metaphysics are above physics,
and drag not matter, or what is termed that, into one of its premises or
conclusions. Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges
the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul. These ideas are perfectly
tangible and real to consciousness, and they have this advantage--they
are eternal. Mind and its thoughts comprise the whole of God, the
universe, and of man. Reason and revelation coincide with this
statement, and support its proof every hour, for nothing is harmonious or
eternal that is not spiritual: the realization of this will bring out
objects from a higher source of thought; hence more beautiful and
The fact of spiritualization produces results in striking contrast to the
farce of materialization: the one produces the results of chastity and
purity, the other the downward tendencies and earthward gravitation of
sensualism and impurity.
The exalting and healing effects of metaphysics show their fountain.
Nothing in pathology has exceeded the application of metaphysics.
Through mind alone we have prevented disease and preserved health. In
cases of chronic and acute diseases, in their severest forms, we have
changed the secretions, renewed structure, and restored health; have
elongated shortened limbs, relaxed rigid muscles, made cicatrized joints
supple; restored carious bones to healthy conditions, renewed that which
is termed the lost substance of the lungs; and restored healthy
organizations where disease was organic instead of functional.
MRS. EDDY IN ERROR
I feel almost sure that Mrs. Eddy's inspiration--works are getting out of
repair. I think so because they made some errors in a statement which
she uttered through the press on the 17th of January. Not large ones,
perhaps, still it is a friend's duty to straighten such things out and
get them right when he can. Therefore I will put my other duties aside
for a moment and undertake this helpful service. She said as follows:
"In view of the circulation of certain criticisms from the pen of Mark
Twain, I submit the following statement:
"It is a fact, well understood, that I begged the students who first gave
me the endearing appellative 'mother' not to name me thus. But, without
my consent, that word spread like wildfire. I still must think the name
is not applicable to me. I stand in relation to this century as a
Christian discoverer, founder, and leader. I regard self-deification as
blasphemous; I may be more loved, but I am less lauded, pampered,
provided for, and cheered than others before me--and wherefore? Because
Christian Science is not yet popular, and I refuse adulation.
"My visit to the Mother-Church after it was built and dedicated pleased
me, and the situation was satisfactory. The dear members wanted to greet
me with escort and the ringing of bells, but I declined, and went alone
in my carriage to the church, entered it, and knelt in thanks upon the
steps of its altar. There the foresplendor of the beginnings of truth
fell mysteriously upon my spirit. I believe in one Christ, teach one
Christ, know of but one Christ. I believe in but one incarnation, one
Mother Mary, and know I am not that one, and never claimed to be. It
suffices me to learn the Science of the Scriptures relative to this
"Christian Scientists have no quarrel with Protestants, Catholics, or any
other sect. They need to be understood as following the divine Principle
God, Love and not imagined to be unscientific worshippers of a human
"In the aforesaid article, of which I have seen only extracts, Mark
Twain's wit was not wasted In certain directions. Christian Science
eschews divine rights in human beings. If the individual governed human
consciousness, my statement of Christian Science would be disproved, but
to understand the spiritual idea is essential to demonstrate Science and
its pure monotheism--one God, one Christ, no idolatry, no human
propaganda. Jesus taught and proved that what feeds a few feeds all.
His life-work subordinated the material to the spiritual, and He left
this legacy of truth to mankind. His metaphysics is not the sport of
philosophy, religion, or Science; rather it is the pith and finale of
"I have not the inspiration or aspiration to be a first or second Virgin-
Mother--her duplicate, antecedent, or subsequent. What I am remains to
be proved by the good I do. We need much humility, wisdom, and love to
perform the functions of foreshadowing and foretasting heaven within us.
This glory is molten in the furnace of affliction."
She still thinks the name of Our Mother not applicable to her; and she is
also able to remember that it distressed her when it was conferred upon
her, and that she begged to have it suppressed. Her memory is at fault
here. If she will take her By-laws, and refer to Section 1 of Article
XXII., written with her own hand--she will find that she has reserved
that title to herself, and is so pleased with it, and so--may we say
jealous?--about it, that she threatens with excommunication any sister
Scientist who shall call herself by it. This is that Section 1:
"The Title of Mother. In the year 1895 loyal Christian Scientists had
given to the author of their text-book, the Founder of Christian Science,
the individual, endearing term of Mother. Therefore, if a student of
Christian Science shall apply this title, either to herself or to others,
except as the term for kinship according to the flesh, it shall be
regarded by the Church as an indication of disrespect for their Pastor
Emeritus, and unfitness to be a member of the Mother-Church."
Mrs. Eddy is herself the Mother-Church--its powers and authorities are in
her possession solely--and she can abolish that title whenever it may
please her to do so. She has only to command her people, wherever they
may be in the earth, to use it no more, and it will never be uttered
again. She is aware of this.
It may be that she "refuses adulation" when she is not awake, but when
she is awake she encourages it and propagates it in that museum called
"Our Mother's Room," in her Church in Boston. She could abolish that
institution with a word, if she wanted to. She is aware of that. I will
say a further word about the museum presently.
Further down the column, her memory is unfaithful again:
"I believe in . . . but one Mother Mary, and know I am not that one,
and never claimed to be."
At a session of the National Christian Science Association, held in the
city of New York on the 27th of May, 1890, the secretary was "instructed
to send to our Mother greetings and words of affection from her assembled
Her telegraphic response was read to the Association at next day's
"All hail! He hath filled the hungry with good things and the sick hath
He not sent empty away.--MOTHER MARY."
Which Mother Mary is this one? Are there two? If so, she is both of
them; for, when she signed this telegram in this satisfied and
unprotesting way, the Mother-title which she was going to so strenuously
object to, and put from her with humility, and seize with both hands, and
reserve as her sole property, and protect her monopoly of it with a stern
By-law, while recognizing with diffidence that it was "not applicable" to
her (then and to-day)--that Mother--title was not yet born, and would not
be offered to her until five years later. The date of the above "Mother
Mary" is 1890; the "individual, endearing title of Mother" was given her
"in 1895"--according to her own testimony. See her By-law quoted above.
In his opening Address to that Convention of 1890, the President
recognized this Mary--our Mary-and abolished all previous ones. He said:
"There is but one Moses, one Jesus; and there is but one Mary."
The confusions being now dispersed, we have this clarified result:
Were had been a Moses at one time, and only one; there had been a Jesus
at one time, and only one; there is a Mary and "only one." She is not a
Has Been, she is an Is--the "Author of Science and Health; and we cannot
1. In 1890, there was but one Mother Mary. The President said so.
2. Mrs. Eddy was that one. She said so, in signing the telegram.
3. Mrs. Eddy was not that one for she says so, in her Associated Press
utterance of January 17th.
4. And has "never claimed to be "that one--unless the signature to the
telegram is a claim.
Thus it stands proven and established that she is that Mary and isn't,
and thought she was and knows she wasn't. That much is clear.
She is also "The Mother," by the election of 1895, and did not want the
title, and thinks it is not applicable to her, end will excommunicate any
one that tries to take it away from her. So that is clear.
I think that the only really troublesome confusion connected with these
particular matters has arisen from the name Mary. Much vexation, much
misunderstanding, could have been avoided if Mrs. Eddy had used some of
her other names in place of that one. "Mother Mary" was certain to stir
up discussion. It would have been much better if she had signed the
telegram "Mother Baker"; then there would have been no Biblical
competition, and, of course, that is a thing to avoid. But it is not too
I wish to break in here with a parenthesis, and then take up this
examination of Mrs. Eddy's Claim of January 17th again.
The history of her "Mother Mary" telegram--as told to me by one who ought
to be a very good authority--is curious and interesting. The telegram
ostensibly quotes verse 53 from the "Magnificat," but really makes some
pretty formidable changes in it. This is St. Luke's version:
"He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent
This is "Mother Mary's" telegraphed version:
"He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the sick hath He not
sent empty away."
To judge by the Official Report, the bursting of this bombshell in that
massed convention of trained Christians created no astonishment, since it
caused no remark, and the business of the convention went tranquilly on,
thereafter, as if nothing had happened.
Did those people detect those changes? We cannot know. I think they
must have noticed them, the wording of St. Luke's verse being as
familiar to all Christians as is the wording of the Beatitudes; and I
think that the reason the new version provoked no surprise and no comment
was, that the assemblage took it for a "Key"--a spiritualized explanation
of verse 53, newly sent down from heaven through Mrs. Eddy. For all
Scientists study their Bibles diligently, and they know their Magnificat.
I believe that their confidence in the authenticity of Mrs. Eddy's
inspirations is so limitless and so firmly established that no change,
however violent, which she might make in a Bible text could disturb their
composure or provoke from them a protest.
Her improved rendition of verse 53 went into the convention's report and
appeared in a New York paper the next day. The (at that time) Scientist
whom I mentioned a minute ago, and who had not been present at the
convention, saw it and marvelled; marvelled and was indignant--indignant
with the printer or the telegrapher, for making so careless and so
dreadful an error. And greatly distressed, too; for, of course, the
newspaper people would fall foul of it, and be sarcastic, and make fun of
it. and have a blithe time over it, and be properly thankful for the
chance. It shows how innocent he was; it shows that he did not know the
limitations of newspaper men in the matter of Biblical knowledge. The
new verse 53 raised no insurrection in the press; in fact, it was not
even remarked upon; I could have told him the boys would not know there
was anything the matter with it. I have been a newspaper man myself, and
in those days I had my limitations like the others.
The Scientist hastened to Concord and told Mrs. Eddy what a disastrous
mistake had been made, but he found to his bewilderment that she was
tranquil about it, and was not proposing to correct it. He was not able
to get her to promise to make a correction. He asked her secretary if he
had heard aright when the telegram was dictated to him; the secretary
said he had, and took the filed copy of it and verified its authenticity
by comparing it with the stenographic notes.
Mrs. Eddy did make the correction, two months later, in her official
organ. It attracted no attention among the Scientists; and, naturally,
none elsewhere, for that periodical's circulation was practically
confined to disciples of the cult.
That is the tale as it was told to me by an ex-Scientist. Verse 53--
renovated and spiritualized--had a narrow escape from a tremendous
celebrity. The newspaper men would have made it as famous as the
assassination of Caesar, but for their limitations.
To return to the Claim. I find myself greatly embarrassed by Mrs. Eddy's
remark: "I regard self-deification as blasphemous." If she is right
about that, I have written a half-ream of manuscript this past week which
I must not print, either in the book which I am writing, or elsewhere:
for it goes into that very matter with extensive elaboration, citing, in
detail, words and acts of Mrs. Eddy's which seem to me to prove that she
is a faithful and untiring worshipper of herself, and has carried self-
deification to a length which has not been before ventured in ages. If
ever. There is not room enough in this chapter for that Survey, but I
can epitomize a portion of it here.
With her own untaught and untrained mind, and without outside help, she
has erected upon a firm and lasting foundation the most minutely perfect,
and wonderful, and smoothly and exactly working, and best safe-guarded
system of government that has yet been devised in the world, as I
believe, and as I am sure I could prove if I had room for my documentary
It is a despotism (on this democratic soil); a sovereignty more absolute
than the Roman Papacy, more absolute than the Russian Czarship; it has
not a single power, not a shred of authority, legislative or executive,
which is not lodged solely in the sovereign; all its dreams, its
functions, its energies, have a single object, a single reason for
existing, and only the one--to build to the sky the glory of the
sovereign, and keep it bright to the end of time.
Mrs. Eddy is the sovereign; she devised that great place for herself, she
occupies that throne.
In 1895, she wrote a little primer, a little body of autocratic laws,
called the Manual of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and put those
laws in force, in permanence. Her government is all there; all in that
deceptively innocent-looking little book, that cunning little devilish
book, that slumbering little brown volcano, with hell in its bowels. In
that book she has planned out her system, and classified and defined its
purposes and powers.
MAIN PARTS OF THE MACHINE
A Supreme Church. At Boston.
Branch Churches. All over the world
One Pastor for the whole of them: to wit, her book, Science and Health.
Term of the book's office--forever.
In every C.S. pulpit, two "Readers," a man and a woman. No talkers, no
preachers, in any Church-readers only. Readers of the Bible and her
books--no others. No commentators allowed to write or print.
A Church Service. She has framed it--for all the C.S. Churches--
selected its readings, its prayers, and the hymns to be used, and has
appointed the order of procedure. No changes permitted.
A Creed. She wrote it. All C.S. Churches must subscribe to it. No
A Treasury. At Boston. She carries the key.
A C.S. Book--Publishing House. For books approved by her. No others
Journals and Magazines. These are organs of hers, and are controlled by
A College. For teaching C.S.
DISTRIBUTION OF THE MACHINE'S POWERS AND DIGNITIES
Pastor Emeritus--Mrs. Eddy.
Board of Directors.
Board of Education.
Board of Finance.
First Members (of the Supreme Church).
Members of the Supreme Church.
It looks fair, it looks real, but it is all a fiction.
Even the little "Pastor Emeritus" is a fiction. Instead of being merely
an honorary and ornamental official, Mrs. Eddy is the only official in
the entire body that has the slightest power. In her Manual, she has
provided a prodigality of ways and forms whereby she can rid herself of
any functionary in the government whenever she wants to. The officials
are all shadows, save herself; she is the only reality. She allows no
one to hold office more than a year--no one gets a chance to become
over-popular or over-useful, and dangerous. "Excommunication" is the
favorite penalty-it is threatened at every turn. It is evidently the pet
dread and terror of the Church's membership.
The member who thinks, without getting his thought from Mrs. Eddy before
uttering it, is banished permanently. One or two kinds of sinners can
plead their way back into the fold, but this one, never. To think--in
the Supreme Church--is the New Unpardonable Sin.
To nearly every severe and fierce rule, Mrs. Eddy adds this rivet: "This
By-law shall not be changed without the consent of the Pastor Emeritus."
Mrs. Eddy is the entire Supreme Church, in her own person, in the matter
of powers and authorities.
Although she has provided so many ways of getting rid of unsatisfactory
members and officials, she was still afraid she might have left a life-
preserver lying around somewhere, therefore she devised a rule to cover
that defect. By applying it, she can excommunicate (and this is
perpetual again) every functionary connected with the Supreme Church, and
every one of the twenty-five thousand members of that Church, at an
hour's notice--and do it all by herself without anybody's help.
By authority of this astonishing By-law, she has only to say a person
connected with that Church is secretly practicing hypnotism or mesmerism;
whereupon, immediate excommunication, without a hearing, is his portion!
She does not have to order a trial and produce evidence--her accusation
is all that is necessary.
Where is the Pope? and where the Czar? As the ballad says:
"Ask of the winds that far away
With fragments strewed the sea!"
The Branch Church's pulpit is occupied by two "Readers." Without them
the Branch Church is as dead as if its throat had been cut. To have
control, then, of the Readers, is to have control of the Branch Churches.
Mrs. Eddy has that control--a control wholly without limit, a control
shared with no one.
1. No Reader can be appointed to any Church in the Christian Science
world without her express approval.
2. She can summarily expel from his or her place any Reader, at home or
abroad, by a mere letter of dismissal, over her signature, and without
furnishing any reason for it, to either the congregation or the Reader.
Thus she has as absolute control over all Branch Churches as she has over
the Supreme Church. This power exceeds the Pope's.
In simple truth, she is the only absolute sovereign in all Christendom.
The authority of the other sovereigns has limits, hers has none, none
whatever. And her yoke does not fret, does not offend. Many of the
subjects of the other monarchs feel their yoke, and are restive under it;
their loyalty is insincere. It is not so with this one's human property;
their loyalty is genuine, earnest, sincere, enthusiastic. The sentiment
which they feel for her is one which goes out in sheer perfection to no
other occupant of a throne; for it is love, pure from doubt, envy,
exaction, fault-seeking, a love whose sun has no spot--that form of love,
strong, great, uplifting, limitless, whose vast proportions are
compassable by no word but one, the prodigious word, Worship. And it is
not as a human being that her subjects worship her, but as a supernatural
one, a divine one, one who has comradeship with God, and speaks by His
Mrs. Eddy has herself created all these personal grandeurs and
autocracies--with others which I have not (in this article) mentioned.
They place her upon an Alpine solitude and supremacy of power and
spectacular show not hitherto attained by any other self-seeking enslaver
disguised in the Christian name, and they persuade me that, although she
may regard "self-deification as blasphemous," she is as fond of it as I
am of pie.
She knows about "Our Mother's Room" in the Supreme Church in Boston--
above referred to--for she has been in it. In a recently published North
American Review article, I quoted a lady as saying Mrs. Eddy's portrait
could be seen there in a shrine, lit by always-burning lights, and that
C.S. disciples came and worshiped it. That remark hurt the feelings of
more than one Scientist. They said it was not true, and asked me to
correct it. I comply with pleasure. Whether the portrait was there four
years ago or not, it is not there now, for I have inquired. The only
object in the shrine now, and lit by electrics--and worshiped--is an oil-
portrait of the horse-hair chair Mrs. Eddy used to sit in when she was
writing Science and Health! It seems to me that adulation has struck
Mrs. Eddy knows about that. She has been there, she has seen it, she has
seen the worshippers. She could abolish that sarcasm with a word. She
withholds the word. Once more I seem to recognize in her exactly the
same appetite for self-deification that I have for pie. We seem to be
curiously alike; for the love of self-deification is really only the
spiritual form of the material appetite for pie, and nothing could be
more strikingly Christian-Scientifically "harmonious."
I note this phrase:
"Christian Science eschews divine rights in human beings."
"Rights" is vague; I do not know what it means there. Mrs. Eddy is not
well acquainted with the English language, and she is seldom able to say
in it what she is trying to say. She has no ear for the exact word, and
does not often get it. "Rights." Does it mean "honors?" "attributes?"
"Eschews." This is another umbrella where there should be a torch; it
does not illumine the sentence, it only deepens the shadows. Does she
mean "denies?" "refuses?" "forbids?" or something in that line? Does she
"Christian Science denies divine honors to human beings?" Or:
"Christian Science refuses to recognize divine attributes in human
"Christian Science forbids the worship of human beings?"
The bulk of the succeeding sentence is to me a tunnel, but, when I emerge
at this end of it, I seem to come into daylight. Then I seem to
understand both sentences--with this result:
"Christian Science recognizes but one God, forbids the worship of human
beings, and refuses to recognize the possession of divine attributes by
any member of the race."
I am subject to correction, but I think that that is about what Mrs. Eddy
was intending to convey. Has her English--which is always difficult to
me--beguiled me into misunderstanding the following remark, which she
makes (calling herself "we," after an old regal fashion of hers) in her
preface to her Miscellaneous Writings?
"While we entertain decided views as to the best method for elevating the
race physically, morally, and spiritually, and shall express these views
as duty demands, we shall claim no especial gift from our divine organ,
no supernatural power."
Was she meaning to say:
"Although I am of divine origin and gifted with supernatural power, I
shall not draw upon these resources in determining the best method of
elevating the race?"
If she had left out the word "our," she might then seem to say:
"I claim no especial or unusual degree of divine origin--"
Which is awkward--most awkward; for one either has a divine origin or
hasn't; shares in it, degrees of it, are surely impossible. The idea of
crossed breeds in cattle is a thing we can entertain, for we are used to
it, and it is possible; but the idea of a divine mongrel is unthinkable.
Well, then, what does she mean? I am sure I do not know, for certain.
It is the word "our" that makes all the trouble. With the "our" in, she
is plainly saying "my divine origin." The word "from" seems to be
intended to mean "on account of." It has to mean that or nothing, if
"our" is allowed to stay. The clause then says:
"I shall claim no especial gift on account of my divine origin."
And I think that the full sentence was intended to mean what I have
"Although I am of divine origin, and gifted with supernatural power, I
shall not draw upon these resources in determining the best method of
elevating the race."
When Mrs. Eddy copyrighted that Preface seven years ago, she had long
been used to regarding herself as a divine personage. I quote from Mr.
F. W. Peabody's book:
"In the Christian Science Journal for April, 1889, when it was her
property, and published by her, it was claimed for her, and with her
sanction, that she was equal with Jesus, and elaborate effort was made to
establish the claim."
"Mrs. Eddy has distinctly authorized the claim in her behalf, that she
herself was the chosen successor to and equal of Jesus."
The following remark in that April number, quoted by Mr. Peabody,
indicates that her claim had been previously made, and had excited
"horror" among some "good people":
"Now, a word about the horror many good people have of our making the
Author of Science and Health 'equal with Jesus.'"
Surely, if it had excited horror in Mrs. Eddy also, she would have
published a disclaimer. She owned the paper; she could say what she
pleased in its columns. Instead of rebuking her editor, she lets him
rebuke those "good people" for objecting to the claim.
These things seem to throw light upon those words, "our [my] divine
It may be that "Christian Science eschews divine rights in human beings,"
and forbids worship of any but "one God, one Christ"; but, if that is the
case, it looks as if Mrs. Eddy is a very unsound Christian Scientist, and
needs disciplining. I believe she has a serious malady--"self-
deification"; and that it will be well to have one of the experts
demonstrate over it.
Meantime, let her go on living--for my sake. Closely examined,
painstakingly studied, she is easily the most interesting person on the
planet, and, in several ways, as easily the most extraordinary woman that
was ever born upon it.
P.S.--Since I wrote the foregoing, Mr. McCrackan's article appeared (in
the March number of the North American Review). Before his article
appeared--that is to say, during December, January, and February--I had
written a new book, a character-portrait of Mrs. Eddy, drawn from her own
acts and words, and it was then--together with the three brief articles
previously published in the North American Review--ready to be delivered
to the printer for issue in book form. In that book, by accident and
good luck, I have answered the objections made by Mr. McCrackan to my
views, and therefore do not need to add an answer here. Also, in it I
have corrected certain misstatements of mine which he has noticed, and
several others which he has not referred to. There are one or two
important matters of opinion upon which he and I are not in disagreement;
but there are others upon which we must continue to disagree, I suppose;
indeed, I know we must; for instance, he believes Mrs. Eddy wrote Science
and Health, whereas I am quite sure I can convince a person unhampered by
predilections that she did not.
As concerns one considerable matter I hope to convert him. He believes
Mrs. Eddy's word; in his article he cites her as a witness, and takes her
testimony at par; but if he will make an excursion through my book when
it comes out, and will dispassionately examine her testimonies as there
accumulated, I think he will in candor concede that she is by a large
percentage the most erratic and contradictory and untrustworthy witness
that has occupied the stand since the days of the lamented Ananias.
Broadly speaking, the hostiles reject and repudiate all the pretensions
of Christian Science Christianity. They affirm that it has added nothing
new to Christianity; that it can do nothing that Christianity could not
do and was not doing before Christian Science was born.
In that case is there no field for the new Christianity, no opportunity
for usefulness, precious usefulness, great and distinguished usefulness?
I think there is. I am far from being confident that it can fill it, but
I will indicate that unoccupied field--without charge--and if it can
conquer it, it will deserve the praise and gratitude of the Christian
world, and will get it, I am sure.
The present Christianity makes an excellent private Christian, but its
endeavors to make an excellent public one go for nothing, substantially.
This is an honest nation--in private life. The American Christian is a
straight and clean and honest man, and in his private commerce with his
fellows can be trusted to stand faithfully by the principles of honor and
honesty imposed upon him by his religion. But the moment he comes
forward to exercise a public trust he can be confidently counted upon to
betray that trust in nine cases out of ten, if "party loyalty" shall
If there are two tickets in the field in his city, one composed of honest
men and the other of notorious blatherskites and criminals, he will not
hesitate to lay his private Christian honor aside and vote for the
blatherskites if his "party honor" shall exact it. His Christianity is
of no use to him and has no influence upon him when he is acting in a
public capacity. He has sound and sturdy private morals, but he has no
public ones. In the last great municipal election in New York, almost a
complete one-half of the votes representing 3,500,000 Christians were
cast for a ticket that had hardly a man on it whose earned and proper
place was outside of a jail. But that vote was present at church next
Sunday the same as ever, and as unconscious of its perfidy as if nothing
Our Congresses consist of Christians. In their private life they are
true to every obligation of honor; yet in every session they violate them
all, and do it without shame; because honor to party is above honor to
themselves. It is an accepted law of public life that in it a man may
soil his honor in the interest of party expediency--must do it when
party expediency requires it. In private life those men would bitterly
resent--and justly--any insinuation that it would not be safe to leave
unwatched money within their reach; yet you could not wound their
feelings by reminding them that every time they vote ten dollars to the
pension appropriation nine of it is stolen money and they the marauders.
They have filched the money to take care of the party; they believe it
was right to do it; they do not see how their private honor is affected;
therefore their consciences are clear and at rest. By vote they do
wrongful things every day, in the party interest, which they could not be
persuaded to do in private life. In the interest of party expediency
they give solemn pledges, they make solemn compacts; in the interest of
party expediency they repudiate them without a blush. They would not
dream of committing these strange crimes in private life.
Now then, can Christian Science introduce the Congressional Blush? There
are Christian Private Morals, but there are no Christian Public Morals,
at the polls, or in Congress or anywhere else--except here and there and
scattered around like lost comets in the solar system. Can Christian
Science persuade the nation and Congress to throw away their public
morals and use none but their private ones henceforth in all their
activities, both public and private?
I do not think so; but no matter about me: there is the field--a grand
one, a splendid one, a sublime one, and absolutely unoccupied. Has
Christian Science confidence enough in itself to undertake to enter in
and try to possess it?
Make the effort, Christian Science; it is a most noble cause, and it
might succeed. It could succeed. Then we should have a new literature,
with romances entitled, How To Be an Honest Congressman Though a
Christian; How To Be a Creditable Citizen Though a Christian.