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Christian Science
KATHERINE ENGLISH

 
         The name Christian Science was introduced by Mrs. Eddy to designate the scientific system of divine healing discovered by her in 1866. Mrs. Eddy's careful and scholarly use of words is often arresting, and its accuracy is invariably justified by any modern dictionary. For instance, the word science signifies knowledge, systematic and formulated knowledge, and such knowledge put to practical use. The meaning of the word is not confined to what is called natural science, or the science that deals with material beings, things, or phenomena. A dictionary defines science as "systematized knowledge considered in reference to the discovery or understanding of truth." This age prides itself upon being scientific, and it would be strange indeed if systematic knowledge were to be limited to material phenomena; if there were no way in which men could gain a knowledge of God as He actually exists or discover the laws of the spiritual universe. All Christians, theoretically at least, agree that God is Spirit, not matter, and that in Him "we live, and move, and have our being." Surely then, a scientific knowledge of Spirit and spiritual laws, which can be proved and used in daily life, should not seem a thing incredible. The discovery of divine law and the reduction of her discovery to a system comprehensible to the age in which we live was the life work of Mrs. Eddy.

         She termed this science "Christian" because no other word could so aptly describe it, for it comes manifesting the spirit of Christ Jesus and his teachings; it is compassionate, helpful, redemptive. It comes, as Jesus did, to deliver us from evil. It teaches us, as he did, to render all power to God, who is good, not evil. Jesus taught men how to fill heart and mind with goodness, how to become blessed, how to forget self, and thus to show what manner of man results from constant communion with God, in whom is no evil at all.

         The work of Jesus was not empirical but scientific; it was the result of his knowledge of the truth, of his acquaintance with God and with the laws of God. These laws which Jesus obeyed and illustrated were laws of Spirit; they enabled him to supersede material laws by his knowledge of a higher code. His deeds were prophetic of a day when all men shall know the truth as he did, and in consequence all shall be free from tyranny, ignorance, pain, from evil in any of its myriad forms. In these latter days, when the old order is changing with such startling rapidity, the teaching of the Nazarene is being found by many of the most thoughtful and intelligent to be the only system of thought that will solve the individual, social, and industrial problems that all must face with what understanding and courage they may.

         Those who are students of Christian Science are beginning, in a very humble way as yet, it is true, but still beginning, to prove that true Christianity is scientific, that it is governed by unvarying laws, irrespective of person, class, time, or space. They are finding that obedience to these spiritual laws divests them step by step of erroneous opinions and beliefs, and of the suffering and limitation which ignorance imposes upon those who submit thereto.

         The only possible way to understand Christian Science is to work it out for one's self in a scientific manner, to test and test again the formulated rules, to observe carefully the results of following them correctly, to let the evidence gained from experiment accumulate until sufficient knowledge is reached upon which to base judgment. Personal observation and experience will then show that Christian Science is worthy of its beautiful name.

 

Excerpt from "Selected Articles"
Christian Science Sentinel, December 13, 1919


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