Briefly Tested by Scripture
In our examination of Christian Science we shall find it inextricably bound up with the life of the late Mrs. Eddy, who claimed to be “The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.” Its authoritative text-book, written by her, is entitled “Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures.”
The Apostle Paul wrote:—
“Thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity, patience” (2 Tim. 3:10).
The great apostle put “Doctrine” first, then “Manner of life” as corresponding with his doctrine. In this pamphlet we shall follow this order, considering
1.—MRS. EDDY’S “DOCTRINE”
2.—MRS. EDDY’S “MANNER OF LIFE”
In order to save space we have restricted in the main our quotations from the Scriptures to one passage under each head; very much more testimony might be adduced, but bearing in mind the need of brevity so as to keep this pamphlet within bounds as to size, we have considered it best to follow this course.
We have also left out much matter we would fain have incorporated, but lack of space forbad. We have, however, given sufficient to present a clear outline of the main doctrines of Christian Science, and a full enough sketch of Mrs. Eddy’s life to convey an adequate idea of her strange personality.
Recently the Publishers of this pamphlet and the Author have received long letters from the Office of the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Somerset, complaining of unfair treatment in handling this subject. One sentence, extracted from this letter says:—
“Unfortunately you give quotations, which broken away from their context do not exhibit a fair and just explanation of the author’s meaning, and you thus read into passages from her [Mrs. Eddy’s] works, meanings which were never there.”
Our answer to this accusation is to ask the reader to examine the extracts taken from Mrs. Eddy’s works, and they will see that they have been faithfully reproduced with very great care so as not to misrepresent Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, nor to do violence to the context.
The second charge was that in quoting incidents from Mrs. Eddy’s life as given in the Georgine Milmine book, we were quoting from an unreliable work, which had been thoroughly discredited. It was further stated that the McClure firm, who published the Milmine book, had sold its publishing business outright to Messrs. Doubleday Page & Co., and that:—
“this latter publisher soon became ashamed of the Milmine book, stopped advertising it, stopped selling it, and finally sold its plates as junk.”
We thereupon got into communication with Messrs. Doubleday Page & Co., and received the following reply:—
“The facts in regard to ‘The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science’ are that, as in the case of many other books, the demand after a few years ceased and the plates were about to be melted when we received an offer for them which was higher than the price of old metal and accepted it. We understand that the purchasers had no plan for republishing the book, but wished to use the illustrations.
“There is no foundation for the statement in the letter of November 18th from the Central Bible Truth Depot.
“Very truly yours,
“(signed) Doubleday Page & Co.
Thus the above letter states that there is no foundation for the above statement that they were ashamed of the Milmine Book, stopped advertising it and stopped selling it.
Now let us take up the charge that the incidents given in connection with Mrs. Eddy’s life are extracted from a book that was thoroughly unreliable and false. The writer wrote to Mr. Will Irwin of New York, a journalist of the highest reputation, who was Editor of McClure’s Magazine in which the Milmine papers originally appeared.
He replied very fully in a long painstaking letter. Mr. Irwin begins his reply:—
“The extract from a Christian Science document which you enclose with your letter both interests and amuses me. Let me say in the beginning, in case it may help to allay any apprehension on your part, that it is an ingenious fabric of falsehood based here and there on a little truth.”
Mrs. Georgine Milmine spent three years making a thorough investigation of Mrs. Eddy’s life, members of the Editorial Staff of McClure’s Magazine did considerable work in going over the ground to prove the facts, the Editor himself chose typical parts and made a thorough investigation. He writes:—
“No magazine series with which I have had experience in twenty-five years of that kind of journalism was ever more carefully or meticulously winnowed.”
The McClure firm did not publish the Milmine papers as propaganda against Christian Science.
Mr. Irwin writes:—
“The whole Christian Science crowd refused to give so much as a single fact either in confirmation or rebuttal of anything we had learned about Mrs. Eddy’s life. Let me emphasize that we were not trying to attack Mrs. Eddy or Christian Science. We were simply trying to get a biography of a most astonishingly able woman—the good along with the bad.”
That the bad predominated was not the fault of the McClure Magazine—it was a question of facts.
Suffice it to say that the result of the charges levelled against this pamphlet by the Christian Science Committee on Publication only led to a complete refutation of these charges. The reader may rely on every extract from Mrs. Eddy’s writings as correctly representing her doctrines, and every incident recorded in her life as extracted from the Milmine papers to be absolutely true to fact.
The result of our careful enquiries was of course forwarded to the aforesaid Secretary of the Christian Science Committee on Publication, who did not even take the trouble to acknowledge the same. Comment on such behaviour is needless.
A more barefaced attempt at bluff the writer has never known, and it has only recoiled on the head of those who made it.
Part 1.—Mrs. EDDY’S “DOCTRINE”
John Newton, the converted blasphemer and slave-trader, wrote out of the fullness of his heart,
In these stirring lines we get . . .
The Great Test of Everything
By this test Christian Science must be adjudged Christian or anti-Christian. By this test it must stand or fall. There is no possible middle ground. To be unsound as to the person of Christ is to vitiate everything else. What planet can be right in relation to the other planets, if it is out of relation to the central sun! Christ is the central Sun of Christianity.
The late Mrs. Mary Baker G. Eddy claimed to be “The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.” Thus she styled herself on the title-page of her “Miscellaneous Writings (1883-1896).” Her book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” claims to be the authorized, inspired presentation of the teaching of Christian Science. She says:—
“No human pen nor tongue taught me the science contained in this book” (S&H p. 110).
Throughout this pamphlet, except where indicated otherwise we quote from the 1913 edition.
Christian Science Denies the Deity and Humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ
We offer no apology for making full and copious quotations. If Christian Science is condemned in our enquiry, it shall be out of its own mouth.
Let us examine then the relation of Christian Science to the Lord Jesus Christ.
“The Virgin-mother conceived the idea of God, and gave to her ideal the name of Jesus—that is, Joshua or Saviour” (S&H, p. 29).
“Jesus was the offspring of Mary’s self-conscious communion with God” (S&H, p. 30).
“Mary’s conception of him [Jesus] was spiritual, for only purity could reflect truth” (S&H, p. 332).
“Jesus was born of Mary. Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness. The Christ is incorporeal, spiritual, yea, the divine image and likeness, dispelling the illusion of the senses” (S&H, p. 332).
“Jesus demonstrated Christ: he proved that Christ is the divine idea of God” (S&H, p. 332).
“Wearing in part a human form (that is, as it seemed to mortal view), being conceived by a human mother, Jesus was the mediator between Spirit and flesh, between Truth and error” (S&H, p. 315).
“The word Christ is not properly a synonym for Jesus, though it is commonly so used. The advent of Jesus of Nazareth marked the first century of the Christian era, but the Christ is without beginning of years or end of days” (S&H, p. 333).
“By these sayings [‘Before Abraham was I am’, ‘I and my Father are one’, ‘My Father is greater than I.’] Jesus meant not that the corporeal Jesus was one with the Father, but that the spiritual idea Christ dwells for ever in the bosom of the Father” (S&H, p. 334).
We have neither space, time, nor inclination to point out the amazing number of contradictory statements in the above quotations, but they certainly leave us in no doubt as to the teaching of Christian Science on this important subject.
It teaches that Jesus was and is not divine.
It teaches that Jesus was only human.
It teaches that Jesus was and is not Christ, that Christ never came in flesh, that Christ is simply an idea.
In short, it teaches that Jesus was only an idea conceived by Mary, taking the form of a human ghost, only existing in the imagination; for according to Christian Science there is no such thing as matter. It teaches, likewise, that Christ was only an idea pure and simple.
Let us test these statements by God’s holy Word. We shall see at the outset that “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” is in reality a terrible perversion of the Scriptures, and of blasphemous character. We read:—
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and THE WORD WAS GOD” (John 1:1).
“AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
Could testimony to the Deity and humanity of the Lord Jesus be plainer?
“THE WORD WAS GOD,” states plainly the Deity of Jesus.
“THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH,” states plainly the humanity of Jesus.
And further, the same writer says:—
“Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye hare heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (1 John 4:5).
Christian Science does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, for it affirms that Jesus had no existence before His advent into this world, and that Christ was only an idea.
Christian Science is therefore NOT of God. Christian Science is therefore ANTI-CHRISTIAN.
Were Christian Scientists, who profess to believe the Word of God, to receive its testimony, Christian Science would cease to exist tomorrow.
Scripture allows no quarter to any person or system denying the true Deity and humanity of the Lord Jesus.
Christian Science Denies that the Lord Jesus Died
It affirms that the testimony to His death by His disciples was based on delusion.
“His disciples believed Jesus to be dead while he was hidden in the sepulchre, whereas he was alive, demonstrating within the narrow tomb the power of Spirit to overrule mortal material sense” (S&H, p. 44).
The daring profanity of this denial cannot be exceeded. Without the death of Christ the whole fabric of Christianity falls to the ground, and the Scriptures would be a cruel fraud. Listen how the Apostle Paul begins his clear and logical argument as to the death and resurrection of Christ.
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that CHRIST DIED for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3).
Again, how plain is the statement:—
“Knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that HE DIED, HE DIED unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God” (Rom. 6:9-10).
Similarly, Christian Science denies the most notable miracle performed by the Lord Jesus, viz., the raising of Lazarus.
“Jesus restored Lazarus by the understanding that Lazarus had never died. . . . Had Jesus believed that Lazarus had lived or died in his body, the Master would have stood on the same plane of belief as those who buried the body and He could not have resuscitated it” (S&H, p. 75).
How unfortunate for Christian Science it is that when the disciples mistook the Lord’s allusion to Lazarus sleeping, we read:—
“Then said Jesus unto them plainly, LAZARUS IS DEAD” (John 11:14).
“LAZARUS IS DEAD.” Will you believe this statement of the Son of God, or accept that of Mrs. Eddy?
Of course, if the true Deity and humanity and death of the Lord Jesus are denied, it follows that . . .
Christian Science Denies the Atonement.
We read in Science and Health:—
“Jesus bore our infirmities; he knew the error of mortal belief, and ‘with his stripes’ [the rejection of error] we are healed” (S&H, p. 23).
“The atonement requires constant self-immolation on the sinner’s part. That God’s wrath should be vented upon His beloved Son is divinely unnatural. Such a theory is man-made” (S&H, p. 23).
“Final deliverance from error . . . is not reached . . . by pinning one’s faith without works to another’s vicarious effort” (S&H, p. 22).
Christian Science explains the healing stripes of Isaiah 53:5 as “the rejection of error” on the part of the Lord.
If therefore denies the atonement.
It denies the vicarious, the substitutionary work of Christ.
It makes atonement the sinner’s task, and not the Saviour’s work. The atonement requires, they say, “constant self-immolation on the sinner’s part.”
But, thank God, the Scriptures leave us in no doubt on the subject.
“Christ also hath once suffered for sins, THE JUST FOR THE UNJUST, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Pet. 3:18).
Here we get the affirmation that Christ died; that He died vicariously, that He died in the flesh. All these affirmations are denied point blank by Christian Science.
It strikes at the truth that salvation is through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, on the principle of faith apart from works on the sinner’s part, but the blow will recoil on this antichristian system and crush it, for Scripture tells us:—
“To him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:5).
“By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).
The whole Gospel is denied by Christian Science, and the faith of the redeemed of all ages is described as “unnatural” and “man-made.”
Christian Science Denies the Resurrection
If the Lord Jesus did not die, then perforce He was never raised from the dead, therefore Christian Science says:—
“The dual personality of the unseen and the seen, the spiritual and the material, the eternal Christ, and the corporeal Jesus, manifest in flesh, continued until the Master’s ascension, when the material concept of Jesus disappeared, while the spiritual self or Christ continues to exist in the eternal order of divine Science, taking away the sins of the world, as the Christ has always done, even before the human Jesus was incarnate to mortal eyes” (S&H, p. 334).
If Jesus, as we are told, “disappeared,” ceased to exist altogether, what is the meaning of His ascension? The fact is, Christian Science is at such utter variance with facts, both spiritual and natural, that it is impossible for Mrs. Eddy to write a few words without using language that bristles with contradictions. In the above extract she talks of what is “seen”—“corporeal”—“manifest in flesh.” Yet she tells us nothing can be corporeal or in flesh, that there is no such thing as matter.
Christian Science teaches that Jesus was only human, that He existed on the earth a few short years as an illusion to mortal eyes, that in ascension the illusion disappeared into nothingness, whilst a mere idea—Christ—exists for ever, and that mere idea was taking away the sins of the world before the Lord Jesus came into the world, and is doing so now since He has ceased to exist. And yet sensible people are asked to believe such blasphemous absurdities!
Indeed, Mrs. Eddy does not know the meaning of language. She writes:—
“Jesus was the mediator between Spirit and flesh, between Truth and error” (S&H, p. 315).
The dictionary explains the meaning of mediator as “One that interposes between parties at variance for the purpose of reconciling them.” Now Christians believe that spirit supersedes flesh, and that truth disperses error. But according to Science and Health, Spirit is reconciled to flesh, and truth makes friends with error. Can truth be reconciled to error? Can truth be friend to error? or error to truth? Such an insult to common sense may be acclaimed by Mrs. Eddy’s followers as deep philosophy. We call it drivelling nonsense.
Christian Science Denies the God of the Bible
Mrs. Eddy writes:—
“The Jewish tribal Jehovah was a man-projected God, liable to wrath, repentance, and human changeableness” (S&H, p. 140).
Here in one breath is the denial of God and His glory and perfection, and of the inspiration of Scripture, for Scripture in all its parts upholds the presentation of Jehovah as God. And in quoting proof texts to rebut these blasphemous assertions, not one can be found which does not demolish utterly this wretched system. Take this proof text, for instance:—
“As touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matt. 22:31-32).
Remember these are the words of the Lord Jesus so if they are not true we have got no Christ, and therefore no Christianity. He affirms that the Jehovah of the Old Testament is God. “I AM” is the equivalent of Jehovah, and it is the “I AM” of Abraham, Isaiah, and Jacob, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, who is here presented to us as God.
But this passage affirms death and resurrection, both of which are denied by Christian Science, thus we scarcely find any proof verse that does not pierce the lines of Christian Science at several points.
In Acts 7:2 we have the “God of glory” identified as the One who appeared to Abraham, not a mere tribal deity, the fruit of imagination with no real existence, but THE GOD OF GLORY.
Christian Science Denies the Trinity
Mrs. Eddy writes:—
“The theory of three persons in one God (that is, a personal Trinity or Tri-unity) suggests polytheism rather than the one ever-present I AM” (S&H, p. 256).
As Mrs. Eddy did not know the English language in a grammatical sense, we certainly cannot expect her to have had any knowledge of the Hebrew. It is unfortunate for her that the very first verse in the Bible should contradict her. If Mrs. Eddy is past any attempts to enlighten her, we can at least try to enlighten her followers. In the Hebrew language there is the singular number, that is, one and no more; dual, that is exactly two; plural, that is THREE or more. We read in Gen. 1:1,
“In the beginning God [plural] created [singular] the heaven and the earth.”
Here is a complete refutation of Mrs. Eddy in the very first verse of the Bible. Moreover, the word God (plural) is repeated in Genesis 1 no less than thirty times. Even her limited knowledge of English would have sufficed without any knowledge of Hebrew. Mrs. Eddy could have read Genesis 1:26,
“And God [plural] said, Let US [plural] make man in OUR [plural] image, after OUR [plural] likeness.”
And the plural noun followed by a singular verb gives us exactly what Mrs. Eddy denies—a TRI-UNITY, or three divine persons, yet ONE God, for Scripture presents the Father as God, the Lord Jesus as God, the Holy Spirit as God. Yet with all her denial of the Trinity, Mrs. Eddy promulgates a trinity of her own manufacture. She says:—
“God the Father-mother; Christ the spiritual idea of sonship; divine Science, or the Holy Comforter. These three express in divine Science the threefold essentia1 nature of the infinite” (S&H, pp. 331-2).
Her God is not the God of the Scriptures. She alters His blessed name, and hyphenates it for her own evil purposes in a way quite foreign to and unsupported by Scripture.
Her Christ is not the Christ of divine revelation. She reduces His divine person to an idea.
Her Holy Comforter is not the Holy Spirit of the Bible. She reduces His divine person to the contents of the book, Science and Health, of which she is the authoress, and by which she lined her pockets with ill-gotten riches.
Where did Mrs. Eddy get the idea of a “threefold essential nature of the infinite” if not from the Bible? She denies the divine presentation of it in the Bible, and yet steals the idea for her own purposes. Neither logic, consistency, common sense nor honesty is known by her.
Christian Science Denies the Truth as to the Holy Ghost
The gift of the Spirit is one of the great fundamental truths in the Scriptures. This is how Christian Science disposes of it. Describing the Lord as the Teacher and Expounder of Science, Mrs. Eddy says:—
“His student then received the Holy Ghost. By this is meant, that by all they had witnessed and suffered they were roused to an enlarged understanding of divine Science, even to the spiritual interpretation and discernment of Jesus’ teachings and demonstration” (S&H, pp. 46-47).
How different is the plain, unmistakeable account in the Scriptures:—
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).
There is absolutely nothing in common between the statement of Christian Science and that of Scripture.
Christian Science Denies the Truth of the Second Advent
With the positiveness observable in all Mrs. Eddy’s writings, and with no attempt at proof, of course, we read:—
“The second appearing of Jesus is unquestionably the spiritual advent of the advancing idea of God in Christian Science” (R&I, p. 95-96).
The reader will remember that according to Mrs. Eddy, Jesus “disappeared” and ceased to exist at His ascension, but Scripture plainly tells us:—
“This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
How explicit this statement! It is unnecessary to explain it. It explains itself.
Christian Science Denies the Existence of Angels and Heaven
Mrs. Eddy writes:—
“Angels are not etherealized human beings. Angels are pure thoughts from God, winged by Truth and Love. My angels are exalted thoughts, appearing at the door of some sepulchre, in which human beliefs have buried their fondest earthly hopes” (S&H, p. 299).
“Heaven. Harmony; the reign of spirit; government by divine principle; spirituality; bliss; the atmosphere of soul” (S&H, p. 556).
Let us give one verse of Scripture in answer to the denial of the existence of angels:—
“He that denieth Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God” (Luke 12:9).
Here angels are put in contrast to men—two different classes of beings. They are spoken of as rational beings, capable of taking account of language. This is just one verse. Read every passage in Scripture concerning angels, and it will be found that this fantastic theory of Christian Science is a flat denial of the teaching of the Word of God on the point.
As to heaven, we read:—
“Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
Heaven, as everywhere in Scripture, is spoken of as a locality. Transpose the meaning given by Christian Science into the above verse, and it becomes nonsense.
Christian Science Denies the Existence of Satan, of Evil Spirits, of Judgment, and of Hell
The following extracts prove this:—
“Devil. Evil; a lie; error; neither corporeality, nor mind; a belief in sin, sickness and death, animal magnetism or hypnotism” (S&H, p. 585).
“There are evil beliefs, often called evil spirits; but these evil are not spirit, for there is no evil in Spirit” (Footsteps of Truth, p. 207).
“No final judgment awaits mortals, for the judgment day of wisdom cometh hourly and continually, even the judgment by which mortal man is divested of all material error” (S&H, p. 291).
“Hell. Mortal belief, error, lust, sin, sickness, death, self-imposed agony” (S&H, p. 586).
To Satan, evil spirits, and hell all real existence is thus denied. The solemn judgment affirmed by Scripture to follow death is denied. We will give one proof from divine teaching in opposition to Christian Science.
As to the Devil,
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil” (Matt. 4:1).
If the devil were not personal, but “evil,” “a lie,” “error,” then these evil things were found in Christ; and if so, then we have a Christ capable of sin and failure, and a Christ capable of sin and failure could not be a Saviour. The reader will find in Matthew 4:1-11 the evil one is called the devil four times, the tempter once, and Satan once, and actions and speech are ascribed to him, which clearly prove the devil to be a person. All through Scripture Satan is spoken of as a person, existing before the fall of man, his tempter all along the stream of time, and finally to be cast into the lake of fire. Never has he his dupes more completely in his power than when he can persuade them that he does trot exist.
As to evil spirits,
“And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God” (Mark 3:11).
Evil beliefs cannot see, cannot fall down, or cry aloud in vocal speech in acknowledgment of the Son of God. But evil spirits can and did.
As to Judgment.
“It is appointed unto men once to die, but AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT” (Heb. 9:27).
How solemn and distinct is this statement of God’s Word. No denial by Christian Science can avail.
As to Hell.
“And if thy hand offend thee cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched” (Mark 9:43).
The testimony as to hell, its existence and its being the doom of the lost, falls again and again from the lips of the Son of God. Yet Christian Science on the one hand can pretend to honour Him and the Scriptures, and on the other deny and ridicule His plainest and most solemn testimony.
Christian Science Denies God’s order in Creation
Mrs. Eddy writes:—
“Gender also is a quality, not of God, but a characteristic of mortal mind” (S&H, p. 305).
And yet the Bible, to which Mrs. Eddy pretends to furnish the key, tells us:—
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; MALE and FEMALE created He them” (Gen. 1:27).
It is singular that all through her long life Mrs. Eddy maintained consistently the ‘illusion’ that she was a woman, and was ready to ‘deceive’ three husbands that she was such, which illusion was complete to the very end. Marriage, that institution of God and honoured by Him in His Word, is set aside by Christian Science. It only waits for the success of Christian Science to drive it from the field.
The thrice-married Mrs. Eddy writes:—
“Until it is learned that God is the Father of all, marriage will continue” (S&H, p. 64).
“Matrimony, which was once a fixed fact among us, must lose its present slippery footing, and man must find permanence and peace in a more spiritual adherence” (S&H, p. 65).
At the bottom of this is the revolt against God, and His order in His own universe. It is a very serious indeed. It has resulted in many Christian Scientist marriages being childless. It has broken up many happy homes. No marriage, baptismal, or burial services are ever conducted in Christian Science churches.
Christian Science Denies the Reality of Prayer
What a place Scripture gives to prayer. How the Lord Jesus spent whole nights in prayer! How the early Church prayed! How the great Apostle Paul prayed! Let us examine what place Christian Science accords to prayer. We read:—
“God is not influenced by man. The ‘divine ear’ is not an auditory nerve” (S&H, p. 7).
“Prayer to a corporeal God affects the sick like a drug, which has no efficacy of its own, but borrows its power from human faith and belief” (S&H, p. 12).
So, according to Christian Science, prayer is simply practising delusion upon oneself. Three blessed forceful words of Scripture give prayer, according to God its place.
“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17).
Christian Science Denies the Ordinance of the Lord’s Supper
This most touching ordinance, specially designed by the Lord to bring Himself again and again to the remembrance of His people, is thus dismissed contemptuously by Mrs. Eddy:—
“The Passover, which Jesus ate with His disciples. . . was a mournful occasion, a sad supper taken at the close of day, in the twilight of a glorious career with shadows fast falling around: and the supper closed for ever Jesus’ ritualism or concessions to matter” (S&H, pp. 32-33).
Would any loving-hearted believer on the Lord Jesus acquiesce in this heartless, blasphemous way of treating this sacred subject?
That none might misapprehend as to the supper, the Lord, after His resurrection and from the glory, made it the subject of special revelation to the Apostle Paul; who tells us distinctly he received this truth direct from the Lord, and ends by saying:—
“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come” (1 Cor. 11:26).
A system that has no room for the reverent maintenance of this ordinance stands condemned by the affections of the Lord’s people. Communion services, so-called, are held at rare intervals in the Christian Science churches, but at these services no bread and wine are partaken of, no word is spoken, the communion is one of “silent thought.” What a mockery to call this a communion service.
Christian Science Denies the existence of Sin, Disease and Death
Mrs. Eddy writes:—
“Man is incapable of sin, sickness and death” (S&H, p. 475).
“Sin, sickness, and death are to he classified as effects of error” (S&H, p. 473).
“Suffering, sinning, dying beliefs are unreal” (S&H, p. 76).
“Evil has no reality. It is neither person, place, nor thing, but is simply a belief, an illusion of material sense” (S&H, p. 71).
“DEATH. An illusion, the lie of life in matter; the unreal and untrue; the opposite of life” (S&H, p. 584).
Was there ever a more cynical, cold-hearted denial of fact? Was there ever a more palpable travesty of the truth? Take an ordinary Bible Concordance, and you will find the word sin occurs nearly six hundred times in the Scriptures. And yet Christian Science has the audacity to say that no such thing exists, and it has the hypocrisy to pretend that its teaching affords a Key to the Scriptures.
Take only one verse out of these hundreds:—
“Christ died for our SINS according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3).
But, says Christian Science, Christ is only an idea, Christ never died, there is no such thing as death, there is no such thing as sin. Could contradiction of Scripture be more complete? Could blasphemy be more audacious? Could nine words of Scripture more completely refute Christian Science?
Does it never strike Christian Scientists, in spite of their doctrine, that death is but an illusion, that death regularly claims its toll of Christian Scientists in the same proportion as those who are taught that death is a terrible reality? Does it never strike them that death after all may be real, and that . . .
Christian Science is a Great Delusion?
Even senile decay overtook Mrs. Eddy, the Founder of Christian Science, and Author of “Science and Health,” and at last she fell a victim to this great delusion, and—died.
It is just here that that wretched system attracts its dupes. Mankind dislikes sickness and dreads death. It is humbling to fallen human nature to admit that such things are the judgment of God upon sin. So Mrs. Eddy came along, and persuaded men and women to dwell in this fools’ paradise of her creation, and made a fortune out of it.
It may be comforting to be told that there is no evil, no suffering, no disease, no sin, no death. But alas! after all, what an uncomfortable fools’ paradise to be in, for the evidences of sin, suffering, disease and death are too apparent and persistent to be ignored.
Evidently Mrs. Eddy herself felt this. She advises:—
“If from any injury or from any cause a Christian Scientist were seized with pain so violent that he could not treat himself mentally—and the Scientists had failed to relieve him—the sufferer could call a surgeon, who could give him a hypodermic injection; then, when the belief of pain was lulled, he could handle his own case mentally. Thus it is that we ‘prove all things; [and] hold fast that which is good’” (S&H, p. 464).
Is this not perfectly delicious? Well might Mark Twain, the famous humourist, find himself irresistibly drawn to pick fun out of the system. An imaginary pain resulting from imaginary injury leads the patient under certain circumstances by imaginary Mrs. Eddy’s imaginary advice or permission to send for an imaginary doctor, who is called by the imaginary Mrs. Eddy an enemy of mankind and of the truth, who will use an imaginary syringe to insert imaginary fluid under imaginary skin to produce an imaginary effect on the imagination.
Poor Mrs. Eddy herself was woefully deficient in imagination. The following incident is well known:—
“Some years ago Mrs. Eddy herself had a tooth removed under local anesthesia. It caused her theories to be held up to ridicule in a good many quarters. In reply she gave out this ingenious explanation: that the dentist’s belief in the means he employed was a mental force which combined with her own—exerted in a different direction—produced a painless operation as a logical mathematical RESULTANT OF FORCES” (Brooklyn Eagle Library, 1901).
A system that fails when put to the test is doomed to ridicule and abandonment.
And as to its system of healing, Dr. H.Goddard of Clarke University, found abundant evidence of cures both by Faith-healers commonly so called, such as Dowie and Schiatter, and by followers of New Thought. His general conclusion is that Faith-healing Mental Science is effective in cases where hypnotism would be effective, and fails where hypnotism would fail. Suggestion, he thinks, is the effective agent. Spiritualism claims the same power to heal. But none of these systems can replace lost organs or raise the dead. And if cures prove the truth of systems, we should have to believe in a dozen such systems, all with different doctrines.
The reader has just to put Christian Scientist teaching and Christian Scientist practice alongside each other, to behold the utter inconsistency of Christian Scientists.
For instance, we read:—
“Man in science is neither young nor old. He has neither birth nor death. He is not a beast, a vegetable, not a migratory mind” (S&H, p. 245).
“Never record ages . . . Time-tables of birth and death are so many conspiracies against manhood and womanhood” (S&H, p. 246).
“Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof” (S&H, p. 247).
Yet Mrs. Eddy tells us where she was born, and what happened at different stages in her life. Her photographs show her age. Old age and senile decay asserted themselves, and in the end she—DIED. If her teaching and practice coincided we might believe her only deluded, but she acted as everybody else as to food, drink, clothing, etc. And she had, during her closing years, a fine house, beautifully and luxuriously furnished, she had her servants, carnage and pair, coachman, etc., just as if she had never inculcated these fine theories.
In teaching her word was to be authoritative and final. If no proof was forthcoming, her ipse dixit was to be enough. She says:—
“Because you cannot walk on the water and raise the dead, you have no right to question the great right of divine Science in these directions. Be thankful that Jesus, who was the true demonstration of Science, did these things, and left His example for us” (S&H, p. 329).
She claims that Christian Science can enable its dupes to walk upon the water. Yet no Christian Scientist—not even Mrs. Eddy—has done this. But that need not shake the faith of the Christian Scientist. It is enough that Mrs. Eddy has said it. No proof is needed.
How different was the proclamation of the Gospel by the Apostles. We read:—
“God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will” (Heb. 2:4).
Again Mrs. Eddy writes:—
“Heat and cold are the products of mortal mind. The body when bereft of mortal mind at first cools, and afterwards it is resolved to its primitive mortal elements. Nothing that lived ever died, and vice versa. Mortal mind produces animal heat, and then expels it through the abandonment of a belief or increases it to the point of destruction” (S&H, pp. 374-375).
So this extraordinary woman meanders on with her complacent contradictions. If there is no matter, only mind, what “primitive mortal elements” does the body consist of? She says, “Nothing that lived ever died, and vice versa.” Where does the “vice versa” come in? The extension of “vice versa” means that nothing that died ever lived. But how could anything die unless it had lived, or if it lived, according to Mrs. Eddy, it never died, If Mrs. Eddy was inspired to write her book. It was certainly not by God, for He would inspire consistent statements, and not foolish, high-sounding nonsense as this.
If “heat and cold” are the products of mortal mind, why did Mrs. Eddy use extra blankets when the weather got colder, why did she warm her house, put on warmer clothes like everyone else? She herself exposes the absolute folly and weakness of her vagaries again and again. She says, for instance:—
“One should not tarry in the storm if the body is freezing, nor should he remain in the devouring flames. Until one is able to prevent bad results he should avoid their occasion” (S&H, p. 329).
Ah! it is this until, that is the weak point in the armour of Christian Science.
Again we read:—
“A cup of coffee or tea is not the equal of truth whether for the inspiration of a sermon or for the support of bodily endurance” (S.&H., p. 80).
If Christian Science is true, all that is needed for housekeeping purposes is the purchase of Mrs. Eddy’s book, “Science and Health,” and when meal time comes round, let each hungry person find the bodily refreshment he or she needs by the perusal of its wonderful truth. Let Christian Science households act according to their teaching. If truth is superior to coffee or tea for the refreshment of the tired body, then it were folly to take coffee or tea or food of any kind in preference thereto.
How different is the statement of Scripture:—
“Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you: even as the green herb have I given you all things” (Gen. 9:3).
Whatever Mrs. Eddy preached, she practised the partaking of good food as provided by a bountiful Creator for the material needs of His creatures. What respect can one have for her preaching when her practising failed at every point!
Could anything be more absurd than the following?—
“The daily ablutions of an infant are no more natural or necessary than would be the process of taking a fish out of water every day and covering it with dirt in order to make it thrive more vigorously thereafter in its natural element” (S&H, 1906, p. 413).
Though inspiration was claimed for this ridiculous statement, it was so ridiculous that in later editions the words, “and covering it with dirt,” were omitted. One can really congratulate Mrs. Eddy’s only child that his mother took an aversion to him, and turned her back upon him at an early stage in his existence.
Take the following choice bit:—
“Divest yourself of the thought that there can be substance in matter, and the movements for mortal mind will be found to be equally possible for the body” (S&H, p. 90).
Of course, when Mrs. Eddy travelled distances she invariably went by train, and in her closing days she drove out in a carriage drawn by two black horses. If the above statement is true, what need of steamers and trains and motor cars for Christian Scientists? It is really wearisome to repeat the vagaries of this woman; though she has shown herself astute in various ways, especially in money making.
“The less mind there is manifested the better. When the unthinking lobster loses its claw, the claw grows again. If the science of Life were understood, it would be found that the senses of Mind were never lost, and that matter has no sensation. Then the human limb would be replaced as readily as the lobster’s claw—not with an artificial limb, but with the genuine” (S&H, p. 489).
Mind is everything we are told elsewhere. And now we are told the less mind we have the better. What is the gain of having another imaginary limb? If there is no real limb, it never was lost, and perforce never could be replaced. Where are we? On our heads or our feet? The Indian juggler is a plain, simple man compared to this High Priestess of blasphemous folly and dexterous twaddle.
Seriously, what a chance war presents to the Christian Scientist. Away with surgical knives, scalpels, and the like. To the front, ye Christian Scientists! Bring your twelve-and-sixpenny Science and Health. Visit the base hospitals. Turn out the doctors, dressers, nurses, these enemies of mankind, with indignation. Teach the heroes of the battlefield how to grow fresh arms, legs, jaws, etc. Surely among the tens of thousands of patients you can meet with some success. Be it ever so partial, we shall hail your deeds as the dawn of a millennium of joy and peace for this sad, disease-stricken, death-ridden world. Put it to the proof, we beseech you.
But no, in the presence of all this sorrow and suffering and death you are dumb and impotent, or at best can only mock the suffering and the dying with your juggling with facts.
Mrs. Eddy says, “The less mind the better.” Then the lunatic asylums will surely produce the superman of Christian Science creation. Let us doff our hats to the brainless idiot. He cannot feed or care for himself. He cannot walk, he knows not how to put one foot before the other. He cannot even read the twelve-and-sixpenny Science and Health. He is incapable of taking in the fact that such an illustrious person as Mrs. Eddy has ever lived. So much the better. We have at last reached Mrs. Eddy’s great ideal-the acme of perfection.
We may well ask how it is that Christian Science has succeeded as it has.
Georgine Milmine, in her book, replies to this question with illuminating frankness:—
“Mrs. Eddy’s philosophy makes a double appeal to human nature, offering food both to our inherent craving for the mystical and to our desire to do well in a worldly way, and teaching that these extremes are not incompatible with ‘science.’ Indeed, as one of the inducements offered to purchasers of the first edition of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy advertised it as a book that ‘affords opportunity to acquire a profession by which you can accumulate a fortune.’ . . . And in after and more prosperous days Mrs. Eddy has written in satisfied retrospect. ‘In the early history of Christian Science, among my thousands of students few were wealthy. Now Christian Scientists are not indigent; and their comfortable fortunes are acquired by healing mankind morally, physically, and spiritually. . . .’ Worldly prosperity, indeed, plays an important part in the Christian Science religion today. It is singularly enough, considered a sign of spirituality in the Christian Scientist. Poverty is believed to be an error, like sin, sickness and death; and Christian Scientists aim to make what they call their ‘financial demonstration’ early in their experience” (M, pp. 209-210).
This accounts for a good deal, does it account for all? We believe not. There must be a great driving force behind this illusion, greater than the attractive forces appealing to the mystical side of human nature and its love of “filthy lucre.” This driving force is without doubt SATANIC. There we get the secret of the whole thing. Satan has used as his tool a mixture of hysteria, ignorance, folly, subtilty, ambition, greed, will and immense driving force. The extraordinary hypnotic power exercised by Mrs. Eddy over her dupes was supernatural without a doubt—we are convinced it was SATANIC.
Undoubted and wonderful cases of healing have occurred in Christian Science. So they have in Spiritualism, Dowieism, Mormonism, the Tongues Movement, etc., etc. And all these false movements are unsound as to the Person of Christ and His blessed atoning work. By this test they are condemned root and branch, and any healing that takes place by ordinary means, or under ordinary circumstances, is undoubtedly SATANIC.
The time is fast coming when all the little antichrists will be absorbed by the Antichrist, and every delusion will be absorbed in the delusion foretold in Scripture.
Christian Science, Millennial Dawnism, Seventh-Day Adventism, Christadelphianism, Mormonism, the Tongues Movement and the like, are all indications that we are nearing the coming of the Lord, when all true believers shall be caught up, and then Christendom, bereft of every bit of reality, will take its awful plunge, foretold by Scripture, into open apostasy.
Then Antichrist will be revealed.
“Whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thess. 2:9).
Evidently power to heal diseases as well as other lying wonders are here indicated, as being a Satanic imitation of miraculous power to heal diseases present in Pentecostal days, when the Apostles preached the Gospel,
“God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will” (Heb. 2:4).
And as men are turning their backs on God, and the truth, and refusing salvation, the day is not far distant for the fulfilment of the prophecy,
“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess. 2:11-12).
In Mrs. Eddy’s system there is no explanation of how the idea of sin came in. Every truth of Scripture is denied. In her own history there is not a line as to her finding “repentance toward God,” or “faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” necessary. Her associates were Spiritualists, Mesmerists, Unitarians—people without any true knowledge of God.
Every truth of God and fact in nature are denied, and nothing substituted but soul-destroying delusions of the most blasphemous nature possible.
Poor, deluded Mrs. Eddy has found out by now, as all her followers will find out, the truth of the philosopher Kant’s proposition, that “a dream which we all dream together, and which we all must dream, is not a dream, but . . .
May God preserve each reader from these anti-Christian snares, and may each have the joy and rest of knowing the blessedness of salvation through the atoning death and finished work upon the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Saviour of sinners.
Part 2.—Mrs. EDDY’S “MANNER of LIFE.”
The doctrines of Christian Science, as we have seen, stand condemned in every detail by Scripture as blasphemous and antichristian to the last degree. A brief account of the self-styled “Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science” will only strengthen, if possible, the absolute conviction that Mrs. Eddy was simply the tool of Satan. Without Satanic power behind her, her teachings would have been long ago laughed out of existence. But we must take the matter seriously, and earnestly strive to deliver those who are already entangled in this terrible delusion, and warn those who stand in danger of being so entangled.
Mary Baker was born in 1821 at Bow, New Hampshire, U.S.A., the youngest of six children. Her father was a farmer, a man of iron will, fierce temper, intense prejudices and narrow mind.
Without a doubt she was hysterical, nervous, and subject to violent seizures—the temperament we are familiar with in that type of religious fanatics, who have dreams and visions and revelations.
Mrs. Eddy’s Hysteria
When eight years old she avers that she distinctly heard a voice calling her name three times in an ascending scale. She writes.—
“I thought this was my mother’s voice, and sometimes went to her beseeching her to tell me what she wanted. Her answer was always: ‘Nothing, child! What do you mean?’ Then I would say: ‘Mother, who did call me? I heard somebody call Mary three times!’ This continued till I grew discouraged, and my mother was perplexed and anxious” (R&I, p. 15).
This, she says, continued for twelve months, and became so insistent, that at length her mother read to her the Scripture story of the youthful Samuel, and bade her respond to the voice by saying, “Speak, Lord: for Thy servant heareth.”
Mrs. Eddy says:—
“The voice came; but I was afraid and did not answer. Afterwards I wept, and prayed that God would forgive me, resolving to do next time as my mother had bidden roe, When the call came again, I did answer, in the words of Samuel, but never again to the material senses was the mysterious call repeated” (R&I, pp. 18-19).
It is strange that the voice, so insistent for twelve months, should have ceased just when it had gained its point of compelling attention. The following description of Mary’s hysterical temperament would tend to make one sceptical of the truth of the above statement.
“These attacks, which continued until very late in Mrs. Eddy’s life, have been described to the writer by many eye-witnesses, some of whom have watched by her bedside and treated her in Christian Science for her affliction. At times the attack resembled convulsions. Mary fell headlong to the floor, writhing and screaming in apparent agony. Again she dropped as if lifeless and lay limp and motionless until restored. At other times she became rigid like a cataleptic, and continued for a time in a state of suspended animation” (M, p. 21).
Once when a neighbour, observing Mary’s excited condition, enquired of her father as to it, he replied bitterly:—
“The Bible says Mary Magdalene had seven devils, but our Mary has got ten” (M, p. 21).
As Mary Baker grew to womanhood ill-health and nervous affliction followed her. Her desire for being rocked and swung was evidence of hysterical temperament. When a young widow and the mother of a child, a large cradle was made for her in which she was rocked to sleep, and a large swing was erected in her sister’s house, where she then lived, and she would be swung for hours at a time.
When Mrs. Glover married Daniel Patterson things continued much as they were:—
“Mrs. Patterson’s invalidism, from being intermittent, soon became a settled condition. She sent for her cradle while they were living in Franklin, and the older residents still recall the day that Patterson drove into town with a large wagon containing his wife’s cradle” (M, p. 33).
After a divorce was granted to Mrs. Patterson in 1873, on the ground of her husband’s desertion, she was mostly known by the name of her first husband, Glover.
Gradually working into a system of mind-healing, she lived for years a strange existence—a mixture of poverty, ill-health, violent friendships ending with as violent quarrels, moving from house to house, where she began by charming and ended by disgusting those who in pity had befriended her.
The disappointment and weariness of the ambitious, struggling woman are vividly depicted for us in a sentence:—
“Untrained in any kind of paid work, she fell back upon the favour of her friends or chance acquaintances, living precariously upon their bounty, and obliged to go from house to house, as one family after another wearied of her” (M, p. 108).
And yet amid all this that is sordid and scheming there was a compelling personality about the woman to which the following is a striking tribute:—
“Mrs. Glover’s highly coloured speech, her odd clothes, and grand ways, her interest in strange and mysterious subjects, her high mission to spread the truth of her dead master [Quimby, of whom more anon], made her an interesting figure in a humdrum New England village. . . . All these people, with whom she stayed, love to talk of her and most of them are glad to have known her—even those who now say the experience was a costly one. She was like a patch of colour in those grey communities. She was never dull, her old hosts say, and never commonplace. She never laid aside her regal air; never entered a room or left it like other people. There was something about her that continually excited and stimulated, and she gave people the feeling that a great deal was happening” (M, pp. 122-123).
One description out of several will suffice to describe Mrs. Glover at this time, and throw a lurid light upon the kind of person she was.
At Stoughton she lived for many months with Mrs. Sally Wentworth, who was a Spiritualist and believed in the healing power of Spiritualism.
“Mrs. Glover went into Mrs. Wentworth’s house to teach her the Quimby system for a consideration of $300, which sum was to cover her board and lodging for a considerable period of time. . . . The estrangement which resulted in Mrs. Glover’s leaving the house began in a difficulty between her and Mr. Wentworth. Mr. Wentworth was indignant because Mrs. Glover had attempted to persuade his wife to leave him, and to go away with her and practise the Quimby treatment. After this Mrs. Glover’s kindly feeling toward the family seemed to disappear altogether. Mrs. Clapp [Mrs. Wentworth’s niece] remembers going to the house one day and being disturbed by the sound of violent pounding on the floor upstairs. Her aunt, with some embarrassment, explained that Mr. Wentworth was sick in bed, and that Mrs Glover had shut herself in her room and was deliberately pounding on the floor above his head to annoy him” (M, pp. 121, 123-124).
Other things of a similar nature occurring, Mrs. Glover was asked to move on. She left on a day when the whole family were away from home, without saying good-bye. When the Wentworths returned they found her bedroom door locked, and no clue left as to Mrs. Glover’s whereabouts.
When at length the door was forced open, the son, Horace T. Wentworth, under affidavit, thus describes the scene:—
“A few days after Mrs. Glover left, I and my mother went into the room which she had occupied. We were the first persons to enter the room after Mrs. Glover’s departure. We found every breadth of matting slashed up through the middle, apparently with some sharp instrument. We also found a feather bed all cut to pieces. We opened the door of a closet. On the floor was a pile of newspapers almost entirely consumed. On top of these papers was a shovelful of dean coals. These had evidently been left upon the paper by the last occupant. The only reason they had not set the house on fire evidently was because the closet door had been shut, and the air of the closet so dead, and because the newspapers were piled flat and did not readily ignite—were folded so tight, in other words, that they would not blaze” (M, p. 125).
Mrs. Clapp, in her affidavit, fully substantiates this statement.
Mrs. Eddy and Quimby—The Mental Healer
In 1861 Mrs. Patterson first heard of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby. In the early forties Quimby became interested in Mesmerism. He gave up clock-making, and began to practise Mesmerism with great success, finally elaborating a system of mental healing without the aid of medicines. He was an enthusiast—believed he had solved the riddle of life. His one consuming idea was to commit his ideas to writing for the sake of posterity. This he did in ten manuscript volumes.
Mrs. Patterson put herself under Quimby’s care for spinal trouble. In three weeks she was cured. But more than that, Quimby not only cured a patient, he gained an enthusiastic admirer.
“For the first time in her life she felt an absorbing interest. Her contact with Quimby and her enquiry into his philosophy seem to have been her first great experience, the first powerful stimulus in a life of restraint, disappointment and failure. Her girlhood had been a fruitless, hysterical revolt against order and discipline. . . . Up to this time her masterful will and great force of personality had served to no happy end. Her mind was turned in upon herself; she had been absorbed in ills which seem to have been largely the result of her own violent nature—lacking any adequate outlet, and, like disordered machinery, beating itself to pieces. Quimby’s idea gave her her opportunity, and the vehemence with which she seized upon it attests the emptiness and hunger of her earlier years” (M, p. 57).
Mrs. Patterson was allowed to copy certain of Quimby’s manuscripts. She haunted his room, studied his writings, watched his treatment of patients.
She left Portland thoroughly captured and delighted with Quimby and his system. She talked incessantly of him, and wrote him many letters. In 1864 she spent two or three months in Portland.
“‘She would work with Dr. Quimby all afternoon,’ says Mrs. Crosby, and then she would come home and sit up late at night writing down what she, had learned during the day. . . . It was during this visit that she first manifested a desire to become herself an active force in the teaching and practising of this ‘Science.’ The desire became actually a purpose, perhaps an ambition—the only definite one she had ever known. She was groping for a vocation” (M, p. 62).
And we may safely add she was groping for a vocation that meant financial gain, a means of livelihood, if not more. Quimby died in 1866.
“Nine years after his death (1875), Mrs. Eddy published her book, Science and Health, in which she developed her system of curing diseases by the mind. In this work she mentions Quimby incidentally, and acknowledges no indebtedness to him for the idea upon which her system is based. Upon this foundation Mrs. Eddy has since established the Christian Science Church” (M, p. 70).
How much Mrs. Eddy discovered Christian Science, and how much she borrowed from Quimby, in spite of her assertion to the contrary, may be easily tested. The author of The Faith and Works of Christian Science writes:—
“Mr. Lyman Powell quotes from Quimby the following phrases. . . . ‘Christian Science: Science of Health: Matter has no intelligence: Matter is an error: Truth is God: God is Principle: Error is sickness: Truth is health: The patient’s disease is in his disbelief.’ Side by side with these phrases and sentences, he sets the parallel phrases and sentences of Science and Health. ‘The deadly parallel,’ He says, ‘does not always prove the case. There may be similarity of view without plagiarism. But when similarity shades off into practical identity of thought and word alike, there is but one conclusion to be reached.’ . . . The documentary evidence is indeed overwhelming, that Mrs. Eddy did not discover Christian Science, but took it from Quimby.”
And yet Mrs. Eddy rebukes vigorously all who dare to commit, in the smallest degree, plagiarism in connection with her writings.
Mrs. Eddy and “Malicious Animal Magnetism”
In June, 1870, Mrs. Eddy persuaded a former student of hers in the Quimby philosophy to remove with her to Lynn. Richard Kennedy was not quite twenty-one, Mrs. Eddy was in her fiftieth year—he was to practise mental healing, she was to confine herself to instructing pupils in the same. They prospered beyond their expectations, largely through Kennedy’s popularity and ability to secure patients. Mrs. Eddy concentrated her energies upon teaching and writing.
In less than two years Kennedy’s patience was worn out by Mrs. Eddy’s jealous and exacting nature. He determined to leave her. With the business acumen that always characterized her Mrs. Eddy was left with about $6,000, Kennedy, having paid all living expenses when together, and handing over half of whatever money was left from his practice, whilst she retained all her teaching fees. Not a bad bargain, surely.
Kennedy changed his office, refused to talk about Mrs. Glover, and went on practising. This so angered Mrs. Glover that she charged him with being a mesmerist and his treatment mesmerism.
“Her hatred of Kennedy was one of the strongest emotions she had ever felt, really a tragic passion in its way, and since the cheerful energetic boy who had inspired it was in no way an adequate object, she fell to and made a Kennedy of her own. She fashioned this hypothetical Kennedy bit by bit, believing in him more and more as she put him together. She gave him one grisly attribute after another, and the more terrible she made her image, the more she believed in it and hated and feared it; and the more she hated and feared it, the more furiously she wrought upon it, until finally her creation, a definite shape of fear and hatred, stood by her day and night to harry and torment her. Without Malicious Mesmerism as his cardinal attribute, the new and terrible Kennedy could never have been made” (M, p. 221).
In 1877 a rupture occurred between Mrs. Eddy and another of her practising students, Daniel H. Spofford. She pursued him with the same wild charges of “Malicious Mesmerism.” Later, Edward J. Arens was added to her list. To such a pass did her obsession become that:—
“Certain ones of the students were delegated to attend her from Lynn to Boston and to occupy front seats in the Hawthorne rooms for the purpose of treating her as she spoke. On the way back to Lynn the party frequently discussed the particular kind of evil influence which had been brought to bear upon Mrs. Eddy during the service. Already Mrs. Eddy thought she could tell which was Kennedy’s influence and which was Spofford’s, and she could even liken their effect upon her to the operation of certain drugs. Later, Arens’ malevolence, too, came to have an aroma of its own, so that when Mrs. Eddy rose in the morning she could tell by the kind of depression she experienced which of the three was to be her tormentor for the day” (M, p. 272).
The Rev. J.H.Wiggin, a retired Unitarian minister, who was Mrs. Eddy’s literary adviser for four years, said that Mesmerism was her devil, and that no Church could get on long without a devil.
On June 3, 1882, Mrs. Eddy’s third husband died. She telegraphed to Dr. Noyes, of Lynn, to come and perform an autopsy. He found death had resulted from an organic disease of the heart, the aortic valve being destroyed. But Mrs. Eddy believed her husband had died from mental arsenic, caused by “Malicious Mesmerism.”
Dr. Noyes actually showed Mrs. Eddy her husband’s heart, but so great was her obsession, that two days after, she gave an interview, which appeared in the Boston Post, June 5, 1882. The following are extracts from it:—
“My husband’s death was caused by malicious mesmerism. . . . I know it was poison that killed him, not material poison, but mesmeric poison. Oh! Isn’t it terrible, that this fiend of malpractice is in the land.”
In 1887, when Mrs. Eddy was 66 years old, “Malicious Animal Magnetism” had a special department allotted to it in the Christian Science Journal, and continued to be so treated for some years. One pities the hysterical, over-strung, nervous system, which afflicted Mrs. Eddy so sadly as a child, and continued to be such a bane in her life till extreme old age.
Mrs. Eddy and Her Marriages
In 1843, Mrs. Eddy tells us she married “Colonel” George Washington Glover. He was, in fact, a bricklayer by trade, and took her to Charleston, South Carolina, whither he was attracted by higher wages. Six months later the young bricklayer died of yellow fever. Mrs. Eddy tells us she lost all her husband’s property, except the money she brought with her. However, another account states the following:—
“His young wife was left in a miserable plight, being far from home, among strangers, and without money. Mr. Glover, however, had been a Freemason, and his brothers of that order came to his wife’s relief. They buried her husband and paid her railroad fare to New York, where she was met by her brother George, and taken back to her father’s home. Here the following September, her son was born, and she named him George Washington, after his father” (M, p. 25).
Mrs. Glover’s treatment of her son was unnatural and constituted a grave blot on her character. “Mary,” said her father, “acts like an old ewe that won’t own its lamb. She won’t have the boy near her.” Her mother, sister and neighbours cared for this child, to whom his own mother had taken such a curious aversion. When quite young she allowed him to be adopted, and some time after his foster-parents removed to a distant part of the country, and his mother did not see him till 1878, when he was thirty-four years old, and himself married, with two children. She contrived to keep him at a distance from her all her life.
In 1853, Mrs. Glover married Daniel Patterson, an itinerant dentist. The marriage was not happy. Mrs. Patterson became chronically ill, peevish and exacting. In 1862 separation took place for two years; four years later absolute separation ensued, followed by her being granted a divorce in 1873 on the ground of his desertion. He evidently found life with her unendurable.
In 1877 Mrs. Patterson married Asa Gilbert Eddy, whom she describes as “Dr.” Eddy. He had been a sewing-machine agent, a Christian Science student, and a pedlar of her book. After his twelve lessons in the art of Christian Science healing, she imposed the title of “Doctor” upon him, even as she had called her first husband “Colonel” and her second “a distinguished dentist.”
We say advisedly that Mrs. Patterson married Mr. Eddy, for when this “quiet, dull little man” as he was described, broke the news of his impending marriage to Mr. Spofford, a Christian Scientist healer, Spofford said, “You’ve been very quiet about all this, Gilbert.” Eddy replied, “Indeed, Mr. Spofford, I didn’t know a thing about it myself till last night.”
“He then produced the marriage license from his pocket, and Mr. Spofford noticed that the ages of both the bride and groom were put down at forty years, Knowing that Mrs. Eddy was in her fifty-sixth year, he remarked upon the inaccuracy, but Mr. Eddy explained that the statement of age was a mere formality and that a few years more or less was of no consequence” (M, p. 175).
And yet Mrs. Eddy discounts marriage in her system and only during the earlier part of the day on which she “annexed” Eddy as her third husband, she had written to Spofford, “I shall never again trust a man.” But then, Mrs. Eddy was never consistent in her writings or conduct.
Mrs. Eddy and “Science and Health”
In 1875 Mrs. Eddy first published Science and Health, the authorised presentation of Christian Science, nine years after Quimby’s death.
Doubtless she obtained the radical and distinctive feature of her system—the cure of disease by the power of mind—from Quimby. But Mrs. Eddy and her followers disavow this with indignation. Inspiration is claimed for Science and Health. Mrs. Eddy writes:—
“No person can take the individual place of the Virgin Mary. No person can compass or fulfil the individual mission of Jesus of Nazareth. No person can take the place of the author of Science and Health, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science. . . . The second appearing of Jesus is unquestionably the spiritual advent of the advancing idea of God as in Christian Science” (R&I, pp. 95-96).
“In the year 1866, I discovered the Science of Metaphysical Healing, and named it Christian Science. God has been graciously fitting me, during many years, for the reception of the absolute Principle of Scientific Mind-healing . . . No human tongue or pen taught me the Science contained in this book . . . and neither tongue nor pen can overthrow it” (S&H, 1898, pp. 1, 4).
“In 1895 I ordained the BIBLE AND ‘SCIENCE AND HEALTH WITH KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES,’ the Christian Science Text-bock, as the Pastor, on this planet, of all the churches of the Christian Science Denomination. . . whenever and wherever a church of Christian Science is established, its Pastor is the Bible and my Book” (Miscellaneous Writings, 1897, pp. 382-383).
Indeed, in a subtle way Science and Health is put before the Bible in importance, even as the teaching of Christian Science negatives the Bible in toto. Under the heading The Precious Volume, Mrs. Eddy writes:—
“Even the Scriptures give no direct interpretation of the scientific basis for demonstrating the spiritual Principle of healing, until Our Heavenly Father saw fit, through the Key of the Scriptures in SCIENCE AND HEALTH, to unlock this ‘mystery of godliness.’”
Could anything be more blasphemous? “The spiritual Principle of Healing,” according to Mrs. Eddy, is God. For the direct unfolding of the scientific basis of God, whatever such expression may mean, we have to wait till a neurotic woman in 1870 reveals Him. She it is who unlocks this “mystery of godliness.” Yet the Scripture tells us Christ incarnate—“God manifest in the flesh”—in His wonderful life and death and ascension—is “the mystery of godliness.” But this is not so with Mrs. Eddy.
Mrs. Eddy believed Christian Science was foretold in the Book of Revelation.
“John the Baptist prophesies the coming of the Immaculate Jesus, and declared that this spiritual idea was the Messiah who would baptize with the Holy Ghost—Divine Science. The Son of the Blessed represents the Fatherhood of God; and the Revelator completes this figure with the Woman, or type of God’s motherhood” (S&H, 1888, p. 513).
In this subtle way does Mrs. Eddy clearly indicate herself. Referring to Rev. 10, she writes:—
“Did this same book contain the revelation of divine Science whose ‘right foot’ or dominant power was upon the sea,—upon elementary, latent error, the source of all error’s visible forms? . . . Then will a voice from harmony cry: ‘Go and take this little book. Take it and eat it up, and it shall make thy belly bitter; but it shall be in thy mouth as sweet as honey.’ Mortal obey the heavenly evangel. Take up Divine Science. Study it, ponder it. It will be indeed sweet at its first taste, when it heals you; but murmur not over Truth, if you find its digestion bitter. . . . Christ, God’s idea will eventually rule all nations and peoples—imperatively, absolutely, finally—with Divine Science. This immaculate idea, represented first by man [Jesus] and last by woman [evidently meaning herself] will baptize with fire” (S&H, 1898, pp. 550-551, 552, 557).
Never was a book, claimed to be divine, inspired, immaculate, so rewritten, altered, taken from and added to, as Science and Health. For thirty years Mrs. Eddy was at it. Edition after edition was printed, altered in arrangement and matter until at length the recent volumes differ very materially from the former.
As to Mrs. Eddy’s ability to write a book fit for publication from a grammatical point of view Mrs. Eddy tells us her favourite studies as a child were Natural Philosophy, Logic and Moral Science, and that her brother gave her lessons in Hebrew, Greek and Latin Then she makes the astounding statement:—
“After my discovery of Christian Science most of the knowledge I had gleaned from schoolbooks vanished like a dream. Learning was so illumined, that grammar was eclipsed” (R&I, p. 20).
But Mary Baker’s schoolmates testified that her education was finished when she completed Smith’s grammar and had mastered long division sums.
Evidently as Christian Science advanced. Mrs. Eddy keenly felt her ignorance of grammar and ordinary rules of writing. So in 1885 she employed the Rev. James Henry Wiggin, a retired Unitarian minister, to edit her book. It is interesting, if sad, to note he was a Unitarian, an unbeliever in the deity of the Lord Jesus and the atoning efficacy of His blood, but that would form no hindrance to the task to which Mrs. Eddy called him, for her system, likewise, was blankly Unitarian in its teaching. An account of his work is given:—
“Besides granting subjects to participles, antecedents to pronouns, introducing the subjunctive mood in conditions contrary to fact, and giving consistency to the tenses of the verbs, Mr. Wiggin largely rearranged the matter in each chapter, and gave the book its first comprehensible paragraphing. . . . He prevailed on Mrs. Eddy to omit a very libellous chapter on ‘mesmerists,’ and here and there throughout the book expurgated some amusing absurdities. . . . It became with him a genuine concern, as he often said, ‘to keep Mrs. Eddy from making herself ridiculous.’ . . . He used to tell with enormous glee, how Mrs. Eddy would sometimes receive his suggestions by slyly remarking, ‘Mr. Wiggin, do you know I sometimes believe God speaks to me through you’” (M. pp. 320, 324).
How pitiful and blasphemous, apart from the shocking teaching of the book, is this claim to inspiration and even superiority to the Bible in the light of all this literary juggling and deceit.
Mrs. Eddy and Money-Making
It is symptomatic of an antichristian religion that it dopes the conscience and makes it easy to go on with sin and the world, and in connection with this system there is the added attraction of its being a money-making concern. Let Mrs. Eddy speak for herself as to the financial side of her religion.
“When God compelled me to set a price on my instruction in Christian Science mind healing, I could think of no financial equivalent for an impartation of that divine power which heals; but I was led to name three hundred dollars as the price for each pupil in one course of lessons at my college—a startling sum for tuition lasting barely three weeks. This amount greatly troubled me. I shrank from asking it, but was finally led by a strange providence to accept this fee” (R&I, p. 71).
But Mrs. Eddy soon got over her shrinking, for we read that afterwards her full scale of fees was as follows:—
Primary Class, 12 lessons (afterwards 7) . . . $300
Normal Class, 6 lessons . . . $200
Class in Metaphysical Obstetrics 6 lessons . . . $100
Class in Theology 6 lessons . . . $200
Total . . . $800
That is, thirty lessons in all cost over £160. She could not say, like the Apostle Peter:—
“Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have GIVE I thee” (Acts 3:6).
nor could she say that she carried out the injunctions of the Lord when He enjoined:—
“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, FREELY GIVE” (Matt. 10:8).
On the contrary, a more sordid, money-making concern than Christian Science is hard to imagine.
Take her gains from her book, Science and Health, to begin with. Her first edition of 1,000 copies in 1875 was disposed of after much peddling and wearisome effort. In 1891 it had reached sixty-two editions. The year 1896 witnessed the publishing of the one hundredth edition. Between five and six hundred editions have gone through the press.
Each Christian Scientist was obliged to possess a copy, and when a new edition came out it was his duty to possess the latest. It was the duty of each scientist on pain of losing his membership in the Church to circulate and sell as many of them as he could. Each teacher and patient was obliged to have a copy, and that the latest edition. The book sold for $3.18 including postage. The manufacture of each book cost forty-seven and a half cents exactly. There was no advertising or booksellers’ profits to take into account.
Mrs. Eddy received at first $1 royalty on each book, but afterwards, when her adopted son, Dr. Foster Eddy, whom she afterwards repudiated, became her publisher, she worked up her royalty to $1.50 per volume.
“Dr. Foster’s accounts show that in the year 1893 he paid Mrs. Eddy $11,692.79 in royalties; in 1894 her royalties amounted to $14,834.12; and in 1895 she received from Dr. Foster $18,481.97, making a total profit of $45,008.88 for the three years. Needless to say, her annual royalties have greatly increased since 1895, and have now reached a figure which puts all other American authors to financial shame?” (M, p. 420).
In 1891 Mrs. Eddy published a series of auto-biographical sketches in which many incidents of the author’s life were “highly idealized.” This small volume, “Retrospection and Introspection,” sold for the sum of $1.
If Christian Science contained the message of God’s relief to mankind, is it conceivable that it should be prostituted to such sordid covetousness?
Nor does this exhaust the story. Christian Science jewellery—emblems, rings, brooches, watches, pendants, etc.—sold for prices varying from $2.50 to $325. Mrs. Eddy’s authorized photograph, but since admitted by Christian Scientists to be a composite, sells in its cheaper form for $1. In the Journal (May, 1899), Mrs. Eddy in announcing it, wrote:—
“I simply ask that those who love me purchase the portrait” (M, p. 452).
Then there was the “Mother Spoon.” Mrs. Eddy adopted the title “Mother” in 1895. In 1903 she substituted for it the title “Leader” as the result of Mark Twain’s effective and humorous sally in the North American Review. The spoon was an ordinary silver spoon, with Mrs. Eddy’s portrait embossed upon it, Mrs. Eddy’s signature, the motto, “Not Matter but Mind Satisfieth,” and a picture of Pleasant View, Mrs. Eddy’s home. When this spoon was put upon the market, Mrs. Eddy wrote:—
“Mother requests that . . . each Scientist shall purchase at least one spoon, and those who can afford it, one dozen spoons, that their families may read this motto at every meal, and their guests be made partakers of its simple truth. MARY BAKER G. EDDY” (M, p. 451).
Did it never strike those who used such spoons what a denial this was of every tenet of Mrs. Eddy? Was it “matter” or “mind” which was put into the spoon, and conveyed to their mouths? Surely the truth was that at meal times matter and not mind satisfied. This ordinary silver spoon sold for $5.00!
Mrs. Eddy and Her Followers
At first the story is one of hard won success chequered by disaster and defections. Time and again students would revolt and leave her, sometimes in large numbers in comparison with the few adherents she had in her early struggling days. As some of them said:—
“We stand the brunt and burden of Christian Science, and Mrs. Eddy gets the money and the glory” (M, p. 357).
In 1878 Mrs. Eddy sued Richard Kennedy. On appeal Kennedy won the case. In April, 1878, she sued George H. Tuttle and Charles S. Stanley, two of her students and lost the case. The same month she sued Daniel Spofford, and lost the case. In May, 1878, came the witchcraft case, Brown v Spofford, of which Mrs. Eddy was the instigator, and in which she represented the plaintiff in court.
“These law suits reached a sensational climax when, in October 1878, Asa Gilbert Eddy [Mrs. Eddy’s husband] and Edward J. Arena were arrested on the charge of conspiracy to murder Daniel H. Spofford. . . The case was called in the Superior Court in December, 1878, and an indictment was found on two counts” (M, pp. 247, 257).
We give two instances of disillusionment. In 1871 Wallace W. Wright, of Lynn, began to practise as a Christian Science healer. Soon he began to have doubts, and wrote:—
“I began to question the propriety of calling this treatment ‘moral science’ instead of mesmerism. Away from the influence or argument, which the teacher of this so called science knows how to bring to bear upon students with such force as to outweigh any attempts they may make at the time to oppose it, I commenced to think more independently, and to argue with myself as to the truth of the positions we were called upon to take. The result of this course was to convince me that I had studied the science of mesmerism” (M, p. 149).
Mr. Wright publicly challenged Mrs. Eddy to restore the dead to life, to walk on the water, to live twenty-four hours without air or twenty-four days without food and water, to heal a broken arm, to restore sight where the optic nerve was destroyed. Mrs. Eddy refused the challenge.
Perhaps the most powerful personality of Mrs. Eddy’s adherents was Mrs. Woodbury. She joined the movement in 1879, and became one of her foremost healers and teachers. She wrote a great deal for the Journal, lectured as far west as Denver, organized classes and church societies, and possessed an amazing personal influence over those she came in contact with.
“In June, 1890, Mrs. Woodbury gave birth to a son, whom her followers believed was the result of ‘immaculate conception,’ and an exemplification of Mrs. Eddy’s theory of ‘mental generation.’ Mrs. Woodbury named her child, ‘The Prince of Peace.’ . . . The fact that he was a fine healthy baby, and was never ill, seemed to Mrs. Woodbury’s disciples conclusive evidence that he was the Divine principle of Christian Science made manifest in the flesh. . . they professed to believe that when he grew to manhood he would enter upon his Divine ministry. When word was brought to Mrs. Eddy of the birth of Mrs. Woodbury’s ‘little Immanuel,’ as he was often called, she was far from convinced. ‘Child of light!’ she exclaimed indignantly, ‘she knows it is an imp of Satan!” (M, pp. 431-432).
Open rupture followed, and Mrs. Woodbury brought a libel suit against Mrs. Eddy. In May, 1899, in the Arena, Mrs. Woodbury attacked Mrs. Eddy.
“In this attack Mrs. Woodbury satirically touched upon Mrs. Eddy’s conviction that she is the star-crowned woman of the Apocalypse, and then took up the Quimby controversy, producing Mrs. Eddy’s early letters and newspaper contributions as evidence that she got her theory of mind-cure from Mr. Quimby. She criticised the English of Science and Health; ridiculed the Mother Room [a room elaborately ornamented in the Mother Church Boston]; insinuated that Mrs. Eddy had illegally conferred degrees, and had been compelled to close her college for that reason; accused her of an inordinate greed for money and trafficking in the temple. She declared that Mrs. Eddy had been a medium, and that she was a victim of Demonophobia—the fear of witchcraft” (M, pp. 436-437).
In this article Mrs. Woodbury wrote of Eddy:—
“Very tenacious is she of the paradoxical title carved on her Boston church, ‘The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.’ Surely a ‘Discoverer’ cannot be the ‘Founder’ of that which she had been under the necessity of discovering; while a ‘Founder’ would have no need of discovering her own foundation. What she has really ‘discovered’ are ways and means of perverting and prostituting the science of healing to her own ecclesiastical aggrandisement, and to the moral and physical depravity of her dupes. As she received this system from Dr. Quimby, it meant simply the healing of bodily ills through a lively reliance on the wholeness and order of the Infinite Mind, as clearly perceived and practically demonstrated by a simple and modest love of one’s kind. What she has ‘found’ is a commercial system, monumental in its proportions, but already tottering to its fall” (M, pp. 438-439).
This surely is language than which none could be stronger, but our unprejudiced examination of Mrs. Eddy’s “doctrine” and “manner of life” leads us to endorse it as none too severe.
But if we have to point out reverses and defeats, we must also place on record that Mrs. Eddy gradually became an object of almost worship, if not quite, in the eyes of her deluded followers.
Sibyl Wilbur writes in her “Life of Mary Baker Eddy” the following extravagant description of this:—
“It is well Mrs. Eddy was elevated above the throng or she would have been borne down by it. As it was, men leaped upon the stage and assisted women to follow. They wanted to take her hand, to tell her of wonderful healings, to touch her dress if nothing more. A babble of rejoicing broke forth. . . . Some persons declared the address had healed them Spontaneously. Men and women wept together. When Mrs. Eddy came from her private suite and entered the drawing room the assembly almost immediately lost its head in one concerted intense desire to touch the hand of the woman who had so eloquently preached God’s love as to make the sick well at the sound of her voice. They pressed forward upon her regardless of each other. Silks and laces were torn, flowers crushed, and jewels lost” (pp. 320-321).
Can any sane person doubt but that Mrs. Eddy possessed the hypnotic art to high degree, or that worse still, the influence was demoniacal? Of her early days, before she met Quimby, we read:—
“When spiritualism swept over the country, Mrs. Glover took on the symptoms of a ‘medium.’ . . . She heard mysterious rappings at night, she saw ‘spirits’ of the departed standing by her bedside, and she received messages in writing from the dead. There are people living who remember distinctly the spiritism craze in Tilton, and who witnessed Mrs. Glover’s manifestations and mediumship” (M, p. 30).
Mrs. Eddy afterwards denied that she had ever been a Spiritualist, but our strong impression is that she was that all through her strange career.
Mrs. Eddy as an Administrator
After years of struggling, Mrs. Eddy arrived at a point where success and wealth marked her. She was fifty years old before she really grasped her objective; sixty before the thought struck her that the most effective way to secure her aim was by organizing a church; seventy before she reached her greatest triumph, viz., the re-organization and control of the Mother Church in Boston. Her system of church government was not thought out as a whole, but was largely the accretion of by-law on by-law, intended to keep the whole organization within her own individual grasp.
“To attain the end she desired it was necessary to keep fifty or sixty thousand people working as if the Church were the first object of their lives: to encourage hundreds to adopt church-work as their profession and make it their chance of worldly success; and yet to hold all this devotion and energy in subservience to Mrs. Eddy herself, and to prevent any one of her healers from attaining any marked personal prominence and from acquiring a personal following” (M, p. 461).
To attain this end Mrs. Eddy did not scruple as to the means employed. That she imposed her will so effectively is tribute enough to her commanding personality. At first the pastors of her branch churches were allowed to preach and expound the tenets of Christian Science. But this was open to considerable danger if a pastor was especially able and influential. So in the Journal of April, 1895, Mrs. Eddy announced there were to be no more sermons, that each church should have instead a First and a Second Reader, who should read without comment from the Bible and Science and Health. The Bible was put first and Science and Health second, but Mrs. Eddy soon reversed this. Mrs. Eddy herself arranged what had to be read. A Reader must not be a Leader in the Church, and Mrs. Eddy might remove a Reader at will. When Science and Health is read, the Reader must distinctly announce its full name and give the author’s name.
In 1902, to still further safeguard her position, she decreed that the Reader’s office should be limited to three years. In 1907 teachers and healers were forbidden to use rooms in the churches, in the reading-rooms or in rooms connected therewith.
As teaching was easier than healing, and the tendency would be to have few healers and many teachers, Mrs. Eddy cut down the teacher’s fees to $50 per student, and restricted the number of scholars to thirty per year. From 1903 to 1906 all teaching was suspended under the by-law-“Healing better than teaching.”
Mrs. Eddy brought into existence a Board of Directors, but she did all the directing. Any director could be dismissed at her request, and none appointed without her permission.
The President of the Church was elected for a term of one year by the directors, subject to Mrs. Eddy’s approval. The First and Second Readers were elected every third year by the directors, subject to Mrs. Eddy’s approval. The Clerk and Treasurer of the Church were elected once a year by the directors, subject to Mrs. Eddy’s approval. Lectures might be given to branch churches only by lecturers appointed by Mrs. Eddy, through the directors, and the lecture must pass her censorship. After a lecture the audience might not linger behind for social intercourse, but were at once to “depart in quiet thought.”
The Publication Committee, the Christian Science Publishing Society, the Board of Lectureship, the Board of Missionaries, and the Board of Education, were all under Mrs. Eddy’s personal control.
Her followers were forbidden to read anything on religious topics but Christian Science literature, and that was limited to her own writings and what she permitted in the Journal. Many more details might be given, but we refrain from wearying the reader.
Well might it be said:—
“The result of Mrs. Eddy’s planning and training and priming is that she has built up the largest and most powerful organization ever founded by any woman in America. Probably no woman so handicapped—so limited in intellect, so uncertain in conduct, so tortured by hatred and hampered by petty animosities—has ever risen from a state of helplessness and dependence to a position of such power and authority” (M, p. 480).
In June, 1907, there were probably about 60,000 Christian Scientists in the world, 43,876 being members of the Mother Church, Boston, among them many members of branch churches. There were 3,515 Christian Science “healers” authorized to practice by Mrs. Eddy.
The auditorium of the Mother Church, Boston, is capable of seating 5,000 hearers. The walls are decorated with texts signed, “Jesus Christ” and “Mary Baker G. Eddy,” and these names stand side by side.
Mrs. Eddy’s Closing Days
Mrs. Eddy’s masterful personality controlled and compelled much, but it could not control disease, old age, and death.
It was about 1879 when Mrs. Eddy was agitated in talking of “Malicious Animal Mersmerism” that students first noticed the violent trembling of the head, which was the beginning of the palsy which afterwards afflicted her. At her lectures Mrs. Eddy would use spectacles instead of overcoming the defect by mental healing, as Christian Science would suggest. Occasionally a visitor would express surprise at this. This generally annoyed Mrs. Eddy, who on one occasion sharply replied, “I wear glasses because of the sins of the world.”
Mrs. Eddy left Boston in 1889 and removed to Concord, New Hampshire, and retired from public work. Age was coming on, and with it increasing infirmities. At the end of three years she bought a property known as Pleasant View, adding more land to the estate, building stables, and a gardener’s house.
“All the members of her household lived as if they were exactly as old and as much enfeebled as Mrs. Eddy. They rose early, retired early; never went out of the house except upon her commissions; never dined out, received visits, or went to Boston for a holiday. . . . Her breakfasts, her nap, her correspondence, her visitors, her clothes, even, were matters of the greatest importance. Her faithful women especially delighted in dressing her hair which, since she had left Boston, she had ceased to colour, and which was now soft and white” (M, pp. 413-414).
After she took up her residence at Pleasant View, Mrs. Eddy visited Boston but four times, only remaining on each occasion a few hours.
In 1907, Mrs. Eddy’s son, G. W. Glover, brought an action against ten prominent Christian Scientists. He asked for an adjudication that through his mother’s old age and failing faculties she was incompetent to manage her estate, and that a receiver of her property be appointed. She promptly met this by declaring a trusteeship for the control of her estate. Mr. Glover withdrew the suit.
“This lawsuit disclosed one interesting fact, namely, that while in 1893 securities of Mrs. Eddy amounting to $100,000, were brought to Concord, and in January, 1899, she had $238,200, and while in 1907, she had about $1,000,200 of taxable property, Mrs. Eddy in 1901 returned a signed statement to the assessors at Concord that the value of her taxable property amounted to $19,000. This statement was sworn to year after year” (M, pp. 457-458).
In 1895 Mrs. Eddy adopted the title “Mother” and instituted the Concord “pilgrimages,” which after became so conspicuous. That year 180 Christian Scientists responded to her invitation. In 1897, 2,500 people made the pilgrimage. The Journal states that upon this occasion Mrs. Eddy wore “a royal purple silk dress covered with black lace” and “a dainty bonnet.” She wore her diamond cross and the badge of the Daughters of the Revolution in diamonds and rubies. In 1901, 3,000 “pilgrims” arrived. The pilgrimages ceased in 1904, but that year the “pilgrims” were invited to meet her at the new Christian Science Church in Concord. Fifteen hundred “pilgrims” responded. She made no speech, but addressed the President of the Mother Church from her carriage. Her voice was very weak, and she had aged very considerably since her last official appearance. This was her last meeting with the general congregation of her Church.
“After the pilgrimages were discouraged there was no way in which her devoted disciples could ever see Mrs. Eddy. They used indeed to go to Concord and linger about the highway to catch a glimpse of her as she drove by, until she rebuked them in a new by-law in the Church Manual: Thou shalt not steal, Sect 15. Neither a Christian Scientist, his student or his patient, nor a member of the Mother Church, shall daily and continuously haunt Mrs. Eddy’s drive by meeting her once or more every day when she goes out—on penalty of being disciplined and dealt with justly by her Church” (M, pp. 444-445).
Thus did Mrs. Eddy endeavour to hide her weakness from the eyes of her deluded followers. She, who had taught that disease, weakness, senility, and death, were illusions, could not deliver herself, and in her own person was the denial in every practice of her life and in her physical condition, of her own system.
In 1907, when in her eighty-seventh year, Mrs. Eddy purchased a mansion in Newton, a suburb of Boston. The house was re-modelled and enlarged in great haste at a cost which must nearly have equalled the original cost; $100,000. Hundreds of workmen night and day worked upon it in feverish haste. On Jan. 26th, 1908, Mrs. Eddy, with nearly a score of her followers and a doctor boarded the train at Concord. A pilot engine brought up the rear to ensure perfect safety. It is probable that her move was actuated by her old dread of “Malicious Animal Magnetism.” Two large vaults were built into the house—a strange addition to be made by an old lady who taught that death was an illusion of the senses, an error of the mind. It certainly looks as if she knew that she was humbugging others, whilst she prepared for the great reality—DEATH.
The end came in 1910. We cannot obtain any account of her last moments. A Christian Scientist lady in charge of one of their handsome sale-rooms informed us there was nothing to relate. She drove out every day till one day the daily drive had to be foregone, and two days later she died. This lady used the expression “she died” just as any ordinary person would have used the expression. A physician has testified that she died of pneumonia, and that her appearance in death was that of an old woman.
And thus this strange mixture of strength and weakness, astuteness and folly, who had built up with such force of will and tenacity of purpose out of the denial of every Scripture doctrine, and out of the denial of every solid fact of nature, the strangest and most fantastic of delusions, passed away into the region where she would wake up to the awful reality of things she had lived to deny, and into the realm where she could fool no one.
For what had she gained in the light of the truth of Scripture? Nothing, infinitely worse than nothing. Her loss is irreparable, and terrible, and she has left behind her an influence which she cannot undo.
The only possible explanation of her success is that the Christian Science movement is SATANIC, and has behind it Satan’s influence and subtilty.
May God preserve each reader from Mrs. Eddy’s soul-destroying delusions, and may he or she believe . . .
If Christian Scientists practised their doctrines; if they refrained from food and lived on truth; if they needed no covering to keep their bodies warm; if they were never ill; if they transported themselves on their journeys without mechanical help of any sort; if they never betrayed signs of increasing age; if above all, they never died, there would be one, and only one religion in the world—Christian Science.
But when in addition to its antichristian doctrines we find it breaking down on every one of these points, we are more than justified in describing it as . . .
Satan’s Great Delusion
and wondering why such a blasphemous system can exist at all.
I.M. Haldeman, D.D., of New York, in his monumental work on this evil system, gives good advice:—
“Turn from this thing which, calling itself Christian Science, is neither scientific nor Christian, and beneath its indecent defiance of science and its treacherous betrayal of Christ, conceals the face of Antichrist and the form of Satan.”
Surely advice was never more timely and needed, nor expressed in language more accurate.
Mrs. Eddy might well ask:—
“Is there any more reality in the waking dream of mortal existence than in the sleeping dream? There cannot be, since whatever appears to be a mortal man, is a mortal dream. Take away this mortal mind, and matter has no more sense as a man, than it has as a tree” (S& H, p. 250).
Even Mrs. Eddy had, by her own words, danced herself dizzy. She did not know whether she was sleeping or waking. Now she knows. Can we be blamed, if we refuse to follow her an inch in such paths of incredible folly?
We cannot do better in closing this brief sketch than quote the opinion of Pundita Ramabai, a native of India, converted to Christianity, and the only woman upon whom the title “Pundita” has been conferred.
“On my arrival in New York I was told that a new philosophy was being taught in the United States, and that it had won many disciples. The philosophy was called Christian Science, and when I asked what its teaching was, I recognized it as being the same philosophy that has been taught among my people for 4,000 years. It has wrecked millions of lives, and caused immeasurable suffering and sorrow in my land, for it is based on selfishness, and knows no sympathy or compassion. It means just this, the philosophy of nothingness. You are to view the whole universe as nothing but falsehood. You are to think it does not exist. You do not exist. I do not exist. The birds and the beasts that you see do not exist. When you realize that you have no personality whatever, then you will have attained the highest perfection of what is called ‘Yoga,’ and that gives you liberation, and you are liberated from your body, and you become like him without any personality.”
In short, Christian Science is pagan in origin and teaching. How true it still is, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Cor. 1:21).