Stephen Paget.

The faith and works of Christian science online

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MACMILLAN & CO., Limited







"Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and
sctteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto
him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down.**

Neto gtrtit


All rights reserved


Copyright, 1909,

Set up and electrotyped. Published April, 1909.



J, B. Gushing Co. — Berwick Sc Smith Co,
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.








In January 1907, the first of the Milmine articles
appeared in McClure's Magazine. In 1907, also,
were published Mr. Lyman Powell's Christian
Science, the Faith and its Founder (G. P. Putnam's
Sons), and Mark Twain's Christian Science (Harper
and Brothers); and, in 1908, Religion and Medicine
(Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co.) by Dr.
Worcester, Dr. M*Comb, and Dr. Coriat. These
books seem to show that in America the Church
of Christ, Scientist, is passing, or will soon pass,
from consolidation to disintegration. By the death
of its Founder, who is now eighty-seven years old,
it will begin to be divided against itself. Here in
England are no signs of disintegration, but all of
consolidation; we must wait patiently, it may be
for a quarter of a century, till our country is tired
of Christian Science. I marvel that so many good
people are kind and polite to her; I am of the mind
of Cyrano de Bergerac : —



Que dites-vous ? C*est inutile ? Je le sais.

Mais on ne se bat pas dans Tespoir de succes.

Non ! non I c*est bien plus beau lorsque c'est inutile.

In London there are sixty-four registered healers,
in Manchester ten, in Brighton nine, and so on.
Their names, addresses, and telephone numbers, for
"absent treatment," are published monthly in the
Christian Science Journal. They have all been
"trained to take cases,'' and have made formal
declaration that they use, as their only text-books,
the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings, and that they
are not engaged in any other profession or vocation
than healing. The proportion of men to women,
among these healers in London, is high, i to 4. It
is I to 4 in Boston, i to 7 in Chicago, i to 8 in Los
Angeles. The Founder, of course, is not in practice;
the following notice is printed, weekly, in the
Christian Science Sentinel, in very large type : —


The author of the Christian Science text-book does not consult
nor read letters on disease. Writing to Mrs. Eddy on proper
subjects is not prohibited. Take no notice of startling reports
about Mrs. Eddy. Our Committee on Publication will be reliable
on this subject. Beware of counterfeit letters.

The doctrines of Christian Science are contained
in Mrs. Eddy's writings, especially in Science and


Health, with Key to the Scriptures. The use of this
book, at the ordinary Sunday services, is threefold :
(i) Its version of the Lord's Prayer is read aloud,
sentence by sentence, with the Christian version.
(2) Its "Statement of Being" is read aloud as a
Creed, the congregation standing. (3) The "lesson-
sermon," which is the chief part of the service, is
composed of passages from the Bible, read alternately
with passages from Science and Health; and the
following preface is always recited before the les-
son-sermon : —

Friends, the Bible and the Christian Science text-book are our
only preachers. We shall now read scriptural texts, and their
correlative passages from our denominational text-book: these
comprise our sermon. The canonical writings, together with the
word of our text-book, corroborating and explaining the Bible
texts in their spiritual import and application to all ages, past,
present, and future, constitute a sermon undivorced from truth,
uncontaminated and unfettered by human hypotheses, and au-
thorised by Christ.*

* The Christian Science Quarterly publishes the Sunday "les-
sons" for each quarter. The subjects for the Sundays dur-
ing July-September 1908 were as follows: God, Sacrament,
Life, Truth, Love, Spirit, Soul, Mind, Christianity, Man, Sub-
stance, Matter, Reality. The whole service lasts about an hour.
Where an afternoon or evening service is held, it is an exact repe-
tition of the morning service. No prayers are said (for the use
of the Lord's Prayer, see p. 34), but there is an interval for silent


It is plain, therefore, that we have, in Science and
Health, a sure guide to the doctrines of Christian
Science; so far as any guide can be sure, which,
claiming final inspiration, is yet under frequent
revision, expurgation, and wholesale correction.
The passages which I have put together are mostly
from a 1903 edition. Christian Science is some-
times called Divine Science, or, simply. Science.
That there may be no confusion, I have avoided
the ordinary use of the word Science.

I have arranged the quotations from Science and
Health, and from Mrs. Eddy's other writings, in the
old-fashioned form of articles. It must be clearly
understood that the majority of these articles have
been pieced together, and are not mere transcripts of
single paragraphs, but patchwork of short sentences.

Dr. Herringham, and Mr. Charles Louis Taylor,
have given me much kind help over this book. I
hope that the reader will study carefully the cases on
pages 152-180. I am very grateful to the friends
who gave them to me; and I shall be glad to hear
of more cases.

prayer. The music is very good, and so is the singing. The
shortness of the service, the comfort of the seats, the admirable
distinctness of the reading, and the evident refinement of the
congregation, are all pleasant.



Preface ...•••••• vii

I. Philosophy and Christian Science . . • i

II. The Christian Faith and Christian Science . 30

in. Life and Christian Science .... 40

IV. The Reality of Diseases . • • ,50

V. The Reality of Pain . . . . .81

VI. Testimonies of Healing . • • • • 99

VII. Opposing Testimonies . . • • .130
VIII. "Common-Sense" and Christian Science • 191

IX» Authority and Christian Science . . ,214
Notes 227

Verification of the quotations from the writings of Mary Baker
G. Eddy can readily be made through the references, collected in
Notes at the end of the book.






If words could write their own lives, what adven-
tures they would be able to tell, what hairbreadth
escapes, ups and downs of Fortune's wheel, and ex-
periences in many lands ! There are words that have
been everywhere, met everybody, done everything:
they have travelled through all the races of mankind,
and have suffered as many translations as the body
of St. Cuthbert. Such words, old and worn and
full of memories, are some of the most interesting
of God's creatures. Take, for example, the word
Being. It measures its age in centuries; and who
is ignorant of its history ^ It was born in the house
of Philosophy. It was, and is, and always will be,
the present participle of the verb to Be. That is to
say, Being is being. In the house of Philosophy, it
wore the definite article. All the servants in the
house had to wear that livery : the Good, the Beauti-
ful, the Bad, all of them. It was the Being. It
left Aristotle, and entered the service of the School-
men; of whom, indeed, I know nothing: and they
were kind to it, in their uncouth way, because of
their love of Aristotle. It left oflF its definite article,


when it got to them: and they did not mind, for
they had none in the house. They employed Latin
words, not Greek: and there is no definite article
in Latin. So they made it answer to the name of
Ens, from Esse, to Be: whereby it became bad
Latin instead of good Greek, but was still what it
had been all along, the present participle of the verb
to Be. In the place of its definite article, it wore,
for special occasions, an adjective; and was Merum
Ens, or Supremum Ens. At last, it wore both
article and adjective, and was UEtre Supreme, the
Supreme Being. It begins to feel its age : it cannot
work now as it worked in Athens, more than two
thousand years ago, in the house of Aristotle. It
suffers from the competition of younger and more
pushing words, and is haunted by thoughts of
retirement into a dictionary, of obsolescence, and
of death. Poor word, it had better be dead than
where it is, in Science and Health. I cannot imagine
a worse degradation for one of Philosophy's oldest
and most valued servants.

Or take the word Substance. It, like Being, was
born in Philosophy, and took service with Religion.
It is the Lying-behind, the Standing-under, the
Holding-up. What therefore is the use of Christian
Science saying that there is no Substance in Matter ?
Nobody ever said that there was. In Matter, there
never was, nor is, nor will be, anything but Matter.
There is nothing but a pound of cheese in a pound


of cheese. The word Substance has a philosophical
use, and a popular use: and Christian Science has
confounded them. As an example of the popular use,
we have what the tailor says, when one is buying a
garment: / can recommend this material: there is
plenty of substance in it. That is, plenty of wool and
cotton, and, it may be, plenty of glue: in brief,
plenty of material. As an example of the philo-
sophical use, we have.the phrase, that Matter is a
permanent possibility of consciousness. Not that
any possibility, and least of all a permanent possi-
bility, is anything at all, apart from consciousness:
but, if such a possibility could be anything, it would
be Substance.

Or take the word Reality, another of those me-
diseval words which Christian Science would call
" mouldering ecclesiasticism." What do we mean by
Reality? Is anything real; and if so, what?
Or is everything real; and, if not, why not?
Here, whatever Christian Science may chance to say.
Philosophy is definite and positive; that there is no
Subject without Object, nor Object without Subject;
and that Reality is neither in Subject alone, nor m
Object alone, but in the Unity of Subject and Object :
that is to say, in the Relation between them. Re-
lation, ultimately, is the only Reality. Take, as
a familiar instance of Absolute Reality, the fact
that two and two make four. Neither the first
two, nor the second, are real, apart from the fact


that they make four. Their Relation is the Reality
of them. Or take any common scrap of matter, say,
this printed page. The Reality of the paper and
the printer's ink is in their Relation to the conscious
reader. It is he, to whom the paper is white, and the
ink black: it is he, in whom the page has a certain
shape, size, texture : it is in him, that there is a space
between this line and the next, a difference between
type and margin, a change from one word to another.
Believe what we will about Matter, believe what we
will about Mind, we all know that the Relation of
Subject and Object, the Unity of them, is Reality in
excelsis. Outside Relation, there is Nothing: and,
the more we try to get at the One, the more we
find that we cannot have the One without the Other.
If we could, though we cannot, have the One without
the Other, it would be the None.

I stay at this word Reality, because Christian
Science does pretend to say what is, and what is not,
real. She says, for example, that Evil is not real.
She explains this hard saying. Evil is real "on our
mortal plane,'* but is not really real. Our mortal
plane, therefore, must be, somehow, non-real, not
really real. But how can that be .? For, on our
mortal plane, two and two make four, and the angles
at the base of an isosceles triangle are equal : and
nothing can be realler than that.

Christian Science fails to see that Relation is
Reality. She explains away Matter as non-real.


Anybody could do that. She explains away Mortal
Mind as non-real. Anybody could do that. She
cannot explain away the Relation between Matter
and Mortal Mind. This Relation is Absolute,
or Eternal, Reality. It has nothing to do with
Time and Space, nothing to do with Matter apart
from Mortal Mind, or Mortal Mind apart from

But I, whatever may be the meaning of that word,
am not conscious only of Matter, whatever may be
the meaning of that word. I am conscious also of
the Laws of Matter. I know, for example, that
water turns to steam when it boils, and to ice when it
freezes. These are mathematical facts. The laws
of temperature, atmospheric pressure, density, and so
on, are all as mathematical as mathematical can be;
they are Absolute, Eternal Reality. And, of course,
they are in Me. They are acts of Mind, they are
principles of Thought. They are Mind, they are
Thought. And, though I do not profess to be
"Infinite Mind," yet I am quite sure that "Infinite
Mind," here, is of one Mind with Me. It is I, who
say to two and two. Be Four, and they obey: they
would not be two and two, if they refused. The
more I try to think of my mortal plane as non-real,
the more aggressively, absolutely, eternally, and
really real my mortal plane persists in Being.

For, whether I consider my bodily functions, or
look at the stars overhead, I cannot get away from


the Absolute Reality of mathematics. My pulse,
my breath, my movements, and all the afferent and
efferent performances of my nervous system, display
the Universe. My blood-pressure is no less mathe-
matical than the earth's orbit: and both are real,
being in Mind. Every fact of Nature, to be a fact,
must be an act of Consciousness. Facts are the
Unity of Subject and Object: and there is no dif-
ference, in Reality, between the fact that two atoms
of hydrogen and one of oxygen make a molecule of
water, and the fact that two and two make four.
Either fact is Absolute Reality. Nay, an thou It
mouth, ril rant as well as thou, says Philosophy to
Christian Science. Philosophy does not see why
she should have all the big words and all the capital
letters, before she has learned this elementary rule,
that Reality is not Identity, but Unity. Neither
Subject without Object is real, nor Object without
Subject. What is real, is the Unity of Subject and

This rule of Philosophy comes, of course, into
Religion. It occurs, for example, in the doctrine of
the Trinity. It animates commonplace faith. In-
finite Mind must have something to mind : Infinite
Power must have something to do : Infinite Wisdom
must have something to say : Infinite Love must have
something to love. Therefore, we, and our bodies,
and our senses, though they play us a thousand
tricks, are all real; and so are the tricks. All that


we have, are, or feel, is real ; for it is all in Relation,
that is to say, in Reality. Take a very simple
instance; the toothache is real, because it is realized,
as an object. In the language of religion, God is,
therefore the toothache is. But Christian Science
would put it thus: God is, therefore the toothache
is not. She forgets that Reality is not Identity,
but Unity. She worships the One : but she who wor-
ships the One, worships the None. Consider the
following articles, imagined, by Christian Science,
to be of a philosophical nature.*

Of God

The allness of Deity is His oneness.^ God is the Principle of
divine Metaphysics.^ The fundamental propositions of divine
Metaphysics are summarised in the four following, to me, self-
evident propositions. Even if reversed, these propositions will
be found to agree in statement and proof, showing mathematically
their exact relation to truth. De Quincey says mathematics has
not a leg to stand upon which is not purely metaphysical.

1. God is All-in-all.

2. God is good. Good is Mind.

3. God, Spirit, being all, nothing is matter.

4. Life, God, omnipotent good, deny death, evil, sin, disease.

Disease, sin, evil, death, deny good, omnipotent God, Life.
. , . The divine Metaphysics of Christian Science, like the
method in mathematics, proves the rule by inversion. For ex-
ample: there is no pain in Truth, and no truth in pain; no nerve
in Mind, and no mind in nerve; no matter in Mind, and no mind

* See the Notes to this chapter for the sources of the passages


in matter; no matter in Life, and no life in matter; no matter in
Good, and no good in matter.^

Of Substance

Spirit — the synonym of Mind, Soul, or God — is substance;
that is, the only real substance.* The earth's orbit, and the imag-
inary line called the Equator, are not substance. . . . Divest
yourself of the thought that there can be substance in matter.^

Of Spirit or Soul

In Christian Science, Spirit, as a proper noun, is the name of
the Supreme Being. It means quantity and quality, and applies
exclusively to God.®

Here let us try to see where we are. To clear
the way, let us get rid of three or four statements
which state nothing. Good is Mind. The earth's
orbit is not Substance. Life, Truth, and Love are
Trinity in Unity. Spirit means quantity and quality.
These phrases have no meaning: there is none for
them to have. Neither is there any meaning in the
words, God is AlUtn-all, The only All is All. As
for the statement that the allness of Deity is His
oneness, it illustrates the fact that Christian Science
worships the None. The oneness of Deity, if Deity
had oneness, would be His noneness. As for her
statement that Mind occupies Space, it does not:
Matter, not Mind, occupies Space. She is quite
right, where she says that mathematics are meta-
physical : I have just said so myself. But I never
said, nor did De Quincey, that the reversal of a


string of words is mathematics, or proves anything.
For example, Reverence, Humility, Logic, deny
Christian Science, Theosophy, Esoteric Buddfiism.
Esoteric Buddhism, Theosophy, Christian Science,
deny Logic, Humility, Reverence. Again, there is
no pain in mathematics, and no mathematics in
pain: no paving-stones in Mind, and no mind in
paving-stones : no matter in Death, and no death in
matter : no matter in Evil, and no evil in matter.
Indeed, we are not getting on, at this rate. Let us
try again. God being all, nothing is matter. Why .?
Surely, if God be all, there is nothing that is not God.
There is no substance in matter. Of course there is
not. Then being will be recognised as spiritual, and
death will be obsolete. But why should Death, on
that account, be obsolete ? And what is the use of
saying that Life denies Disease, whereas Disease is
the direct and immediate act of Life ? And, when
Christian Science says that there is no substance in
matter, what does she mean by is, and what does she
mean by in ? Substance and Matter are easy
words : but Is and In are two of the hardest words
that ever were invented. God is All-in-all. What
does she mean by is ? In what sense is He the ob-
jects round me as I sit writing here .f* I do most
firmly believe that "we see all things in God." I am
quite sure that I could not otherwise tell the differ-
ence between my pen and my inkpot. The very
words, objects round me, express Absolute Reality.


Nothing is more real than the Unity of Subject and
Object: and, when I say pen, I am in this Unity.
My pen is real, because it is not I : and I am real,
because I am not my pen. It and I are real in Unity,
real in God. Christian Science is under the delusion
that my pen, somehow, is not real, because all the
Reality is used up by God. Whereas, if He were not,
my pen would not be, nor I either. It and I are in
Him. What could be more really real than that ?
No wonder that Christian Science evades, with
happy laughter, heart-searching words like Is and

Of Evil

Evil has no reality. It is neither person, place, nor thing, but
is simply a belief, an illusion of material sense.^ God, good,
being ever present, it follows in divine logic that evil, the supposi-
tional opposite of good, is never present.*

Here Christian Science throws to the winds all
that she has just said. A moment ago, she exiled
God out of our lives into Absolute Reality: now,
she wants Him back. I must ask her once more
to face this Eternal and Infinite and Ever-present
Truth, that two and two make four. This divine
fact is Absolute Reality. It is so absolutely real,
that it has nothing to do with Good and Evil.
There is comfort, for all of us, in mathematics,
more comfort than we can see at first sight. The
propositions of Euclid, and the multiplication table,
seem so far from any kind of religious fervour.


Yet, as surely as the heavens are telling the glory
of God, and the firmament showing His handiwork,
so two and two, making four, and the angles at
the base of an isosceles triangle, being equal, are
eloquent of Him. They tell us, that Absolute
Reality is neither Good nor Evil. That sounds a
lame conclusion. But what more do we want ?
What business have we, with our pin-point selves,
and our lives hardly visible under a microscope,
to drag Absolute Reality down into the practical
affairs of a world that we do not fully understand,
nor ever will ^ Absolute Reality is mathematical,
not ethical. We know that Good and Evil are
labels for our experiences; which are so small that
they have to be labelled, or we should be sure to
leave them behind. Somehow, there is a reason, as
for Good, so for Evil. In this world, our one chance
is neither to reason about them, nor to try to reconcile
them, but to believe in both of them.

Of Sin

Sin, sickness, and death are comprised in human material belief,
and belong not to the divine Mind. They are without a real origin
or existence. They have neither Principle nor permanence, but
belong, with all that is material and temporal, to the nothingness
of error, which simulates the creations of Truth.®

Here we see why Christian Science was in such
a hurry to explain away Evil. She had to explain
away Evil, that she might be free to explain away


Sin. In April of last year, a leading Christian
Scientist, at an Albert Hall meeting, said, "The
fact (is) revealed, in Christian Science, that God is
sinless, that sin therefore has no Divine authority,
and consequently no real power, that it has no
intelligence or mind, no natural being or existence
in God, that it has no law, no influence, no attrac-
tiveness, no presence or manifestation, no power
of suggestion or thought, that it is no part of God,
and therefore no part of man." You can see and
hear him, as you read, playing off^, by the use of
this long string of dull negatives the fact of God
against the fact of sin. That is what comes of
deifying man at God's expense. Another Christian
Scientist has tried, by the use of positives mixed
with negatives, to present a recognisable picture of
sin, without openly breaking with Christian Science.
"Sin has no place in the eternal realm of Infinite
Truth where all is pure and holy. Therefore,
Christian Science places it on the human plane.
On this plane it is real. So real that the Bible was
sent to awaken the world," etc. But what right
has he to say that in the eternal realm of Infinite
Truth all is pure and holy .? Two and two are
there, eternally making four; an occupation which
is neither pure nor holy. There, also, are the
mathematics of chemistry, including the action of
absinthe on the drunkard's brain: and the mathe-
matics of the movement of solid bodies, including


the behaviour of a volcano and the shock of railway
trains in collision. The wreckage of drunkards,
mountain-sides, and passengers is neither pure nor
holy: still, these disasters do inhabit Eternity, and
are represented, somehow, in the eternal realm of
Infinite Truth. It is but a poor compliment to
God, to refer Evil and Sin to "our mortal plane."
If God were not. Evil and Sin would not be on our
mortal plane: for there would not be any mortal

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Online LibraryStephen PagetThe faith and works of Christian science → online text (page 1 of 16)