‘It is the first time since the dawn-days of Creation that a Voice has gone crashing through space with such placid and complacent confidence and command.’
This last summer, when I was on my way back to Vienna from the Appetite-Cure in the mountains, I fell over a cliff in the twilight and broke some arms and legs and one thing or another, and by good luck was found by some peasants who had lost an ass, and they carried me to the nearest habitation, which was one of those large, low, thatch-roofed farm-houses, with apartments in the garret for the family, and a cunning little porch under the deep gable decorated with boxes of bright-coloured flowers and cats; on the ground floor a large and light sitting-room, separated from the milch-cattle apartment by a partition; and in the front yard rose stately and fine the wealth and pride of the house, the manure-pile. That sentence is Germanic, and shows that I am acquiring that sort of mastery of the art and spirit of the language which enables a man to travel all day in one sentence without changing cars.
There was a village a mile away, and a horse-doctor lived there, but there was no surgeon. It seemed a bad outlook; mine was distinctly a surgery case. Then it was remembered that a lady from Boston was summering in that village, and she was a Christian Science doctor and could cure anything. So she was sent for. It was night by this time, and she could not conveniently come, but sent word that it was no matter, there was no hurry, she would give me ‘absent treatment’ now, and come in the morning; meantime she begged me to make myself tranquil and comfortable and remember that there was nothing the matter with me. I thought there must be some mistake.
‘Did you tell her I walked off a cliff seventy-five feet high?’
‘And struck a boulder at the bottom and bounced?’
‘And struck another one and bounced again?’
‘And struck another one and bounced yet again?’
‘And broke the boulders?’
‘That accounts for it; she is thinking of the boulders. Why didn’t you tell her I got hurt, too?’
‘I did. I told her what you told me to tell her: that you were now but an incoherent series of compound fractures extending from your scalp-lock to your heels, and that the comminuted projections caused you to look like a hat-rack.’
‘And it was after this that she wished me to remember that there was nothing the matter with me?’
‘Those were her words.’
‘I do not understand it. I believe she has not diagnosed the case with sufficient care. Did she look like a person who was theorising, or did she look like one who has fallen off precipices herself and brings to the aid of abstract science the confirmation of personal experience?’
It was too large a contract for the Stubenmadchen’s vocabulary; she couldn’t call the hand. I allowed the subject to rest there, and asked for something to eat and smoke, and something hot to drink, and a basket to pile my legs in, and another capable person to come and help me curse the time away; but I could not have any of these things.
‘She said you would need nothing at all.’
‘But I am hungry and thirsty, and in desperate pain.’
‘She said you would have these delusions, but must pay no attention to them. She wants you to particularly remember that there are no such things as hunger and thirst and pain.’
‘She does, does she?’
‘It is what she said.’
‘Does she seem o be in full and functional possession of her intellectual plant, such as it is?’
‘Do they let her run at large, or do they tie her up?’
‘Tie her up?’
‘There, good-night, run along; you are a good girl, but your mental Geschirr is not arranged for light and airy conversation. Leave me to my delusions.’
It was a night of anguish, of course–at least I supposed it was, for it had all the symptoms of it–but it passed at last, and the Christian Scientist came, and I was glad. She was middle-aged, and large and bony and erect, and had an austere face and a resolute jaw and a Roman beak and was a widow in the third degree, and her name was Fuller. I was eager to get to business and find relief, but she was distressingly deliberate. She unpinned and unhooked and uncoupled her upholsteries one by one, abolished the wrinkles with a flirt of her hand and hung the articles up; peeled off her gloves and disposed of them, got a book out of her hand-bag, then drew a chair to the bedside, descended into it without hurry, and I hung out my tongue. She said, with pity but without passion:
‘Return it to its receptacle. We deal with the mind only, not with its dumb servants.’
I could not offer my pulse, because the connection was broken; but she detected the apology before I could word it, and indicated by a negative tilt of her head that the pulse was another dumb servant that she had no use for. Then I thought I would tell her my symptoms and how I felt, so that she would understand the case; but that was another inconsequence, she did not need to know those things; moreover, my remark about how I felt was an abuse of language, a misapplication of terms–
‘One does not feel,’ she explained; ‘there is no such thing as feeling: therefore, to speak of a non-existent thing as existent as a contradiction. Matter has no existence; nothing exists but mind; the mind cannot feel pain, it can only imagine it.’
‘But if it hurts, just the same–‘
‘It doesn’t. A thing which is unreal cannot exercise the functions of reality. Pain is unreal; hence pain cannot hurt.’
In making a sweeping gesture to indicate the act of shooing the illusion of pain out of the mind, she raked her hand on a pin in her dress, said ‘Ouch!’ and went tranquilly on with her talk. ‘You should never allow yourself to speak of how you feel, nor permit others to ask you how you are feeling: you should never concede that you are ill, nor permit others to talk about disease or pain or death or similar non-existences in your preserve. Such talk only encourages the mind to continue its empty imaginings.’ Just at that point the Stubenmadchen trod on the cat’s tail, and the cat let fly a frenzy of cat-profanity. I asked with caution:
‘Is a cat’s opinion about pain valuable?’
‘A cat has no opinion; opinions proceed from the mind only; the lower animals, being eternally perishable, have not been granted mind; without mind opinion is impossible.’
‘She merely imagined she felt a pain–the cat?’
‘She cannot imagine a pain, for imagination is an effect of mind; without mind, there is no imagination. A cat has no imagination.’
‘Then she had a real pain?’
‘I have already told you there is no such thing as real pain.’
‘It is strange and interesting. I do wonder what was the matter with the cat. Because, there being no such thing as real pain, and she not being able to imagine an imaginary thing, it would seem that God in his Pity has compensated the cat with some kind of a mysterious emotion useable when her tail is trodden on which for the moment joins cat and Christian in one common brotherhood of–‘
She broke in with an irritated–
‘Peace! The cat feels nothing, the Christian feels nothing. Your empty and foolish imaginings are profanation and blasphemy, and can do you an injury. It is wiser and better and holier to recognise and confess that there is no such thing as disease or pain or death.’
‘I am full of imaginary tortures,’ I said, ‘but I do not think I could be any more uncomfortable if they were real ones. What must I do to get rid of them?’
‘There is no occasion to get rid of them, since they do not exist. They are illusions propagated by matter, and matter has no existence; there is no such thing as matter.’
‘It sounds right and clear, but yet it seems in a degree elusive; it seems to slip through, just when you think you are getting a grip on it.’
‘Well, for instance: if there is no such thing as matter, how can matter propagate things?’
In her compassion she almost smiled. She would have smiled if there were any such thing as a smile.
‘It is quite simple,’ she said; ‘the fundamental propositions of Christian Science explain it, and they are summarised in the four following self-evident propositions: 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. There– now you see.’
It seemed nebulous: it did not seem to say anything about the difficulty in hand–how non-existent matter can propagate illusions. I said, with some hesitancy:
‘Does–does it explain?’
‘Doesn’t it? Even if read backward it will do it.’
With a budding hope, I asked her to do it backward.
‘Very well. Disease sin evil death deny Good omnipotent God life matter is nothing all being Spirit God Mind is Good good is God all in All is God. There–do you understand now?
‘It–it–well, it is plainer than it was before; still–‘
‘Could you try it some more ways?’
‘As many as you like: it always means the same. Interchanged in any way you please it cannot be made to mean anything different from what it means when put in any other way. Because it is perfect. You can jumble it all up, and it makes no difference: it always comes out the way it was before. It was a marvellous mind that produced it. As a mental tour de force it is without a mate, it defies alike the simple, the concrete, and the occult.’
‘It seems to be a corker.’
I blushed for the word, but it was out before I could stop it.
‘A–wonderful structure–combination, so to speak, or profound thoughts– unthinkable ones–un–‘
‘It is true. Read backwards, or forwards, or perpendicularly, or at any given angle, these four propositions will always be found to agree in statement and proof.’
‘Ah–proof. Now we are coming at it. The statements agree; they agree with–with–anyway, they agree; I noticed that; but what is it they prove–I mean, in particular?’
‘Why, nothing could be clearer. They prove: 1. GOD–Principle, Life, Truth, Love, Soul, Spirit, Mind. Do you get that?’
‘I–well, I seem to. Go on, please.
‘2. MAN–God’s universal idea, individual, perfect, eternal. Is it clear?’
‘It–I think so. Continue.’
‘3. IDEA–An image in Mind; the immediate object of understanding. There it is–the whole sublime Arcana of Christian Science in a nutshell. Do you find a weak place in it anywhere?’
‘Well–no; it seems strong.’
‘Very well. There is more. Those three constitute the Scientific Definition of Immortal Mind. Next, we have the Scientific Definition of Mortal Mind. Thus. FIRST DEGREE: Depravity. 1. Physical–Passions and appetites, fear, depraved will, pride, envy, deceit, hatred, revenge, sin, disease, death.’
‘Phantasms, madam–unrealities, as I understand it.’
‘Every one. SECOND DEGREE: Evil Disappearing. 1. Moral–Honesty, affection, compassion, hope, faith, meekness, temperance. Is it clear?’
‘THIRD DEGREE: Spiritual Salvation. 1. Spiritual–Faith, wisdom, power, purity, understanding, health, love. You see how searchingly and co-ordinately interdependent and anthropomorphous it all is. In this Third Degree, as we know by the revelations of Christian Science, mortal mind disappears.’
‘No, not until the teaching and preparation for the Third Degree are completed.’
‘It is not until then that one is enabled to take hold of Christian Science effectively, and with the right sense of sympathy and kinship, as I understand you. That is to say, it could not succeed during the process of the Second Degree, because there would still be remains of mind left; and therefore–but I interrupted you. You were about to further explain the good results proceeding from the erosions and disintegrations effected by the Third Degree. It is very interesting: go on, please.’
‘Yes, as I was saying, in this Third Degree mortal mind disappears. Science so reverses the evidence before the corporeal human senses as to make this scriptural testimony true in our hearts, “the last shall be first and the first shall be last,” that God and His idea may be to us– what divinity really is, and must of necessity be–all-inclusive.’
‘It is beautiful. And with that exhaustive exactness your choice and arrangement of words confirms and establishes what you have claimed for the powers and functions of the Third Degree. The Second could probably produce only temporary absence of mind, it is reserved to the Third to make it permanent. A sentence framed under the auspices of the Second could have a kind of meaning–a sort of deceptive semblance of it– whereas it is only under the magic of the Third that that defect would disappear. Also, without doubt, it is the Third Degree that contributes another remarkable specialty to Christian Science: viz., ease and flow and lavishness of words, and rhythm and swing and smoothness. There must be a special reason for this?’
‘Yes–God-all, all-God, good Good, non-Matter, Matteration, Spirit, Bones, Truth.’
‘That explains it.’
‘There is nothing in Christian Science that is not explicable; for God is one, Time is one, Individuality is one, and may be one of a series, one of many, as an individual man, individual horse; whereas God is one, not one of a series, but one alone and without an equal.’
‘These are noble thoughts. They make one burn to know more. How does Christian Science explain the spiritual relation of systematic duality to incidental reflection?’
‘Christian Science reverses the seeming relation of Soul and body–as astronomy reverses the human perception of the movement of the solar system–and makes body tributary to Mind. As it is the earth which is in motion, while the sun is at rest, though in viewing the sun rise one finds it impossible to believe the sun not to be really rising, so the body is but the humble servant of the restful Mind, though it seems otherwise to finite sense; but we shall never understand this while we admit that soul is in body, or mind in matter, and that man is included in non-intelligence. Soul is God, unchangeable and eternal; and man coexists with and reflects Soul, for the All-in-all is the Altogether, and the Altogether embraces the All-one, Soul-Mind, Mind-Soul, Love, Spirit, Bones, Liver, one of a series, alone and without an equal.’
(It is very curious, the effect which Christian Science has upon the verbal bowels. Particularly the Third Degree; it makes one think of a dictionary with the cholera. But I only thought this; I did not say it.)
‘What is the origin of Christian Science? Is it a gift of God, or did it just happen?’
‘In a sense, it is a gift of God. That is to say, its powers are from Him, but the credit of the discovery of the powers and what they are for is due to an American lady.’
‘Indeed? When did this occur?’
‘In 1866. That is the immortal date when pain and disease and death disappeared from the earth to return no more for ever. That is, the fancies for which those terms stand, disappeared. The things themselves had never existed; therefore as soon as it was perceived that there were no such things, they were easily banished. The history and nature of the great discovery are set down in the book here, and–‘
‘Did the lady write the book?’
‘Yes, she wrote it all, herself. The title is “Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures”–for she explains the Scriptures; they were not understood before. Not even by the twelve Disciples. She begins thus–I will read it to you.’
But she had forgotten to bring her glasses.
‘Well, it is no matter,’ she said, ‘I remember the words–indeed, all Christian Scientists know the book by heart; it is necessary in our practice. We should otherwise make mistakes and do harm. She begins thus: “In the year 1866 I discovered the Science of Metaphysical Healing, and named it Christian Science.” And she says–quite beautifully, I think–“Through Christian Science, religion and medicine are inspired with a diviner nature and essence, fresh pinions are given to faith and understanding, and thoughts acquaint themselves intelligently with God.” Her very words.’
‘It is elegant. And it is a fine thought, too–marrying religion to medicine, instead of medicine to the undertaker in the old way; for religion and medicine properly belong together, they being the basis of all spiritual and physical health. What kind of medicine do you give for the ordinary diseases, such as–‘
‘We never give medicine in any circumstances whatever! We–‘
‘But, madam, it says–‘
‘I don’t care what it says, and I don’t wish to talk about it.’
‘I am sorry if I have offended, but you see the mention seemed in some way inconsistent, and–‘
‘There are no inconsistencies in Christian Science. The thing is impossible, for the Science is absolute. It cannot be otherwise, since it proceeds directly from the All-in-all and the Everything-in-Which, also Soul, Bones, Truth, one of a series, alone and without equal. It is Mathematics purified from material dross and made spiritual.’
‘I can see that, but–‘
‘It rests upon the immovable basis of an Apodictical Principle.’
The word flattened itself against my mind trying to get in, and disordered me a little, and before I could inquire into its pertinency, she was already throwing the needed light:
‘This Apodictical Principle is the absolute Principle of Scientific Mind-healing, the sovereign Omnipotence which delivers the children of men from pain, disease, decay, and every ill that flesh is heir to.’
‘Surely not every ill, every decay?’
‘Every one; there are no exceptions; there is no such thing as decay–it is an unreality, it has no existence.’
‘But without your glasses your failing eyesight does not permit you to–‘
‘My eyesight cannot fail; nothing can fail; the Mind is master, and the Mind permits no retrogression.’
She was under the inspiration of the Third Degree, therefore there could be no profit in continuing this part of the subject. I shifted to other ground and inquired further concerning the Discoverer of the Science.
‘Did the discovery come suddenly, like Klondike, or after long study and calculation, like America?’
‘The comparisons are not respectful, since they refer to trivialities– but let it pass. I will answer in the Discoverer’s own words: “God had been graciously fitting me, during many years, for the reception of a final revelation of the absolute Principle of Scientific Mind-healing.”‘
‘Many years? How many?’
‘All God, God-good, good-God, Truth, Bones, Liver, one of a series alone and without equal–it is amazing!’
‘You may well say it, sir. Yet it is but the truth. This American lady, our revered and sacred founder, is distinctly referred to and her coming prophesied, in the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse; she could not have been more plainly indicated by St. John without actually mentioning her name.’
‘How strange, how wonderful!’
‘I will quote her own words, for her “Key to the Scriptures:” “The twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse has a special suggestiveness in connection with this nineteenth century.” There–do you note that? Think–note it well.’
‘But–what does it mean?’
‘Listen, and you will know. I quote her inspired words again: “In the opening of the Sixth Seal, typical of six thousand years since Adam, there is one distinctive feature which has special reference to the present age. Thus:
‘”Revelation xii. 1. And there appeared a great wonder in heaven–a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.”
‘That is our Head, our Chief, our Discoverer of Christian Science– nothing can be plainer, nothing surer. And note this:
‘”Revelation xii. 6. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared of God.”
‘That is Boston.’
‘I recognise it, madam. These are sublime things and impressive; I never understood these passages before; please go on with the–with the– proofs.’
‘Very well. Listen:
‘”And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud; and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire. And he had in his hand a little book.”
‘A little book, merely a little book–could words be modester? Yet how stupendous its importance! Do you know what book that was?’
‘I hold it in my hand–“Christian Science”!’
‘Love, Livers, Lights, Bones, Truth, Kidneys, one of a series, alone and without equal–it is beyond imagination and wonder!’
‘Hear our Founder’s eloquent words: “Then will a voice from harmony cry, ‘Go and take the little book; take it and eat it up, and it shall make thy belly bitter; but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.’ Mortal, obey the heavenly evangel. Take up Divine Science. Read it from beginning to end. 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.” You now know the history of our dear and holy Science, sir, and that its origin is not of this earth, but only its discovery. I will leave the book with you and will go, now, but give yourself no uneasiness–I will give you absent treatment from now till I go to bed.’
Under the powerful influence of the near treatment and the absent treatment together, my bones were gradually retreating inward and disappearing from view. The good word took a brisk start, now, and went on quite swiftly. My body was diligently straining and stretching, this way and that, to accommodate the processes of restoration, and every minute or two I heard a dull click inside and knew that the two ends of a fracture had been successfully joined. This muffled clicking and gritting and grinding and rasping continued during the next three hours, and then stopped–the connections had all been made. All except dislocations; there were only seven of these: hips, shoulders, knees, neck; so that was soon over; one after another they slipped into their sockets with a sound like pulling a distant cork, and I jumped up as good as new, as to framework, and sent for the horse-doctor.
I was obliged to do this because I had a stomach-ache and a cold in the head, and I was not willing to trust these things any longer in the hands of a woman whom I did not know, and in whose ability to successfully treat mere disease I had lost all confidence. My position was justified by the fact that the cold and the ache had been in her charge from the first, along with the fractures, but had experienced not a shade of relief; and indeed the ache was even growing worse and worse, and more and more bitter, now, probably on account of the protracted abstention from food and drink.
The horse-doctor came, a pleasant man and full of hope and professional interest in the case. In the matter of smell he was pretty aromatic, in fact quite horsey, and I tried to arrange with him for absent treatment, but it was not in his line, so out of delicacy I did not press it. He looked at my teeth and examined my hock, and said my age and general condition were favourable to energetic measures; therefore he would give me something to turn the stomach-ache into the botts and the cold in the head into the blind staggers; then he should be on his own beat and would know what to do. He made up a bucket of bran-mash, and said a dipperful of it every two hours, alternated with a drench with turpentine and axle-grease in it, would either knock my ailments out of me in twenty-four hours or so interest me in other ways as to make me forget they were on the premises. He administered my first dose himself, then took his leave, saying I was free to eat and drink anything I pleased and in any quantity I liked. But I was not hungry any more, and did not care for food.
I took up the ‘Christian Scientist’ book and read half of it, then took a dipperful of drench and read the other half. The resulting experiences were full of interest and adventure. All through the rumblings and grindings and quakings and effervescings accompanying the evolution of the ache into the botts and the cold into the blind staggers I could note the generous struggle for mastery going on between the mash and the drench and the literature; and often I could tell which was ahead, and could easily distinguish the literature from the others when the others were separate, though not when they were mixed; for when a bran-mash and an eclectic drench are mixed together they look just like the Apodictical Principle out on a lark, and no one can tell it from that. The finish was reached at last, the evolutions were complete and a fine success; but I think that this result could have been achieved with fewer materials. I believe the mash was necessary to the conversion of the stomach-ache into the boots, but I think one could develop the blind staggers out of the literature by itself; also, that blind staggers produced in this way would be of a better quality and more lasting than any produced by the artificial processes of a horse-doctor.
For of all the strange, and frantic, and incomprehensible, and uninterpretable books which the imagination of man has created, surely this one is the prize sample. It is written with a limitless confidence and complacency, and with a dash and stir and earnestness which often compel the effects of eloquence, even when the words do not seem to have any traceable meaning. There are plenty of people who imagine they understand the book; I know this, for I have talked with them; but in all cases they were people who also imagined that there were no such things as pain, sickness, and death, and no realities in the world; nothing actually existent but Mind. It seems to me to modify the value of their testimony. When these people talk about Christian Science they do as Mrs. Fuller did; they do not use their own language, but the book’s; they pour out the book’s showy incoherences, and leave you to find out later that they were not originating, but merely quoting; they seem to know the volume by heart, and to revere it as they would a Bible–another Bible, perhaps I ought to say. Plainly the book was written under the mental desolations of the Third Degree, and I feel sure that none but the membership of that Degree can discover meanings in it. When you read it you seem to be listening to a lively and aggressive and oracular speech delivered in an unknown tongue, a speech whose spirit you get but not the particulars; or, to change the figure, you seem to be listening to a vigorous instrument which is making a noise it thinks is a tune, but which to persons not members of the band is only the martial tooting of a trombone, and merely stirs the soul through the noise but does not convey a meaning.
The book’s serenities of self-satisfaction do almost seem to smack of a heavenly origin–they have no blood-kin in the earth. It is more than human to be so placidly certain about things, and so finely superior, and so airily content with one’s performance. Without ever presenting anything which may rightfully be called by the strong name of Evidence, and sometimes without even mentioning a reason for a deduction at all, it thunders out the startling words, ‘I have Proved’ so and so! It takes the Pope and all the great guns of his church in battery assembled to authoritatively settle and establish the meaning of a sole and single unclarified passage of Scripture, and this at vast cost of time and study and reflection, but the author of this work is superior to all that: she finds the whole Bible in an unclarified condition, and at small expense of time and no expense of mental effort she clarifies it from lid to lid, reorganises and improves the meanings, then authoritatively settles and establishes them with formulae which you cannot tell from ‘Let there be light!’ and ‘Here you have it!’ It is the first time since the dawn-days of Creation that a Voice has gone crashing through space with such placid and complacent confidence and command.
A word upon a question of authorship. Not that quite; but, rather, a question of emendation and revision. We know that the Bible-Annex was not written by Mrs. Eddy, but was handed down to her eighteen hundred years ago by the Angel of the Apocalypse; but did she translate it alone, or did she have help? There seems to be evidence that she had help. For there are four several copyrights on it–1875, 1885, 1890, 1894. It did not come down in English, for in that language it could not have acquired copyright–there were no copyright laws eighteen centuries ago, and in my opinion no English language–at least up there. This makes it substantially certain that the Annex is a translation. Then, was not the first translation complete? If it was, on what grounds were the later copyrights granted?
I surmise that the first translation was poor; and that a friend or friends of Mrs. Eddy mended its English three times, and finally got it into its present shape, where the grammar is plenty good enough, and the sentences are smooth and plausible though they do not mean anything. I think I am right in this surmise, for Mrs. Eddy cannot write English to-day, and this is argument that she never could. I am not able to guess who did the mending, but I think it was not done by any member of the Eddy Trust, nor by the editors of the ‘Christian Science Journal,’ for their English is not much better than Mrs. Eddy’s.
However, as to the main point: it is certain that Mrs. Eddy did not doctor the Annex’s English herself. Her original, spontaneous, undoctored English furnishes ample proof of this. Here are samples from recent articles from her unappeasable pen; double columned with them are a couple of passages from the Annex. It will be seen that they throw light. The italics are mine:
1. ‘What plague spot,__________’Therefore the efficient
or bacilli were (sic) gnawing__remedy is to destroy the
(sic) at the heart of this_____patient’s unfortunate belief,
metropolis… and bringing_____by both silently and audibly
it on bended knee?_____________arguing the opposite facts in
Why, it was an institute that__regard to harmonious being
had entered its vitals (sic)___representing man as
that, among other things,______healthful instead of diseased,
taught games,’ et cetera. (P.__and showing that it is
670, ‘C.S.Journal,’ article____impossible for matter to suffer,
entitled ‘A Narrative–by______to feel pain or heat, to be
Mary Baker G. Eddy.’)__________thirsty or sick.’ (P. 375, Annex.)
2. ‘Parks sprang up (sic)…
electric street cars run______’Man is never sick; for
(sic) merrily through several__Mind is not sick, and matter
streets, concrete sidewalks____cannot be. A false belief
and macadamised roads dotted___is both the tempter and the
(sic) the place,’ et cetera.___tempted, the sin and the
(Ibid.)________________________sinner, the disease and its
3. ‘Shorn (sic) of its ________cause. It is well to be calm
suburbs it had indeed little___in sickness; to be hopeful is
left to admire, save to (sic)__still better; but to
such as fancy a skeleton_______understand that sickness is not
above ground breathing (sic)___eal, and that Truth can
slowly through a barren (sic)__destroy it, is best of all, for
breast.’ (Ibid.)_______________it is the universal and perfect
_______________________________remedy.’ (Chapter xii., Annex.)
You notice the contrast between the smooth, plausible, elegant, addled English of the doctored Annex and the lumbering, ragged, ignorant output of the translator’s natural, spontaneous, and unmedicated penwork. The English of the Annex has been slicked up by a very industrious and painstaking hand–but it was not Mrs. Eddy’s.
If Mrs. Eddy really wrote or translated the Annex, her original draft was exactly in harmony with the English of her plague-spot or bacilli which were gnawing at the insides of the metropolis and bringing its heart on bended knee, thus exposing to the eye the rest of the skeleton breathing slowly through a barren breast. And it bore little or no resemblance to the book as we have it now–now that the salaried polisher has holystoned all of the genuine Eddyties out of it.
Will the plague-spot article go into a volume just as it stands? I think not. I think the polisher will take off his coat and vest and cravat and ‘demonstrate over’ it a couple of weeks and sweat it into a shape something like the following–and then Mrs. Eddy will publish it and leave people to believe that she did the polishing herself:
1. What injurious influence was it that was affecting the city’s morals? It was a social club which propagated an interest in idle amusements, disseminated a knowledge of games, et cetera.
2. By the magic of the new and nobler influences the sterile spaces were transformed into wooded parks, the merry electric car replaced the melancholy ‘bus, smooth concrete the tempestuous plank sidewalk, the macadamised road the primitive corduroy, et cetera.
3. Its pleasant suburbs gone, there was little left to admire save the wrecked graveyard with its uncanny exposures.
The Annex contains one sole and solitary humorous remark. There is a most elaborate and voluminous Index, and it is preceded by this note:
‘This Index will enable the student to find any thought or idea contained in the book.’
No one doubts–certainly not I–that the mind exercises a powerful influence over the body. From the beginning of time, the sorcerer, the interpreter of dreams, the fortune-teller, the charlatan, the quack, the wild medicine-man, the educated physician, the mesmerist, and the hypnotist have made use of the client’s imagination to help them in their work. They have all recognised the potency and availability of that force. Physicians cure many patients with a bread pill; they know that where the disease is only a fancy, the patient’s confidence in the doctor will make the bread pill effective.
Faith in the doctor. Perhaps that is the entire thing. It seems to look like it. In old times the King cured the king’s evil by the touch of the royal hand. He frequently made extraordinary cures. Could his footman have done it? No–not in his own clothes. Disguised as the King, could he have done it? I think we may not doubt it. I think we may feel sure that it was not the King’s touch that made the cure in any instance, but the patient’s faith in the efficacy of a King’s touch. Genuine and remarkable cures have been achieved through contact with the relics of a saint. Is it not likely that any other bones would have done as well if the substitution had been concealed from the patient? When I was a boy, a farmer’s wife who lived five miles from our village, had great fame as a faith-doctor–that was what she called herself. Sufferers came to her from all around, and she laid her hand upon them and said, ‘Have faith– it is all that is necessary,’ and they went away well of their ailments. She was not a religious woman, and pretended to no occult powers. She said that the patient’s faith in her did the work. Several times I saw her make immediate cures of severe toothaches. My mother was the patient. In Austria there is a peasant who drives a great trade in this sort of industry and has both the high and the low for patients. He gets into prison every now and then for practising without a diploma, but his business is as brisk as ever when he gets out, for his work is unquestionably successful and keeps his reputation high. In Bavaria there is a man who performed so many great cures that he had to retire from his profession of stage-carpentering in order to meet the demand of his constantly increasing body of customers. He goes on from year to year doing his miracles, and has become very rich. He pretends to no religious helps, no supernatural aids, but thinks there is something in his make-up which inspires the confidence of his patients, and that it is this confidence which does the work and not some mysterious power issuing from himself.
Within the last quarter of a century, in America, several sects of curers have appeared under various names and have done notable things in the way of healing ailments without the use of medicines. There are the Mind Cure, the Faith Cure, the Prayer Cure, the Mental-Science Cure, and the Christian-Science Cure; and apparently they all do their miracles with the same old powerful instrument–the patient’s imagination. Differing names, but no difference in the process. But they do not give that instrument the credit; each sect claims that its way differs from the ways of the others.
They all achieve some cures, there is no question about it; and the Faith Cure and the Prayer Cure probably do no harm when they do no good, since they do not forbid the patient to help out the cure with medicines if he wants to; but the others bar medicines, and claim ability to cure every conceivable human ailment through the application of their mental forces alone. They claim ability to cure malignant cancer, and other affections which have never been cured in the history of the race. There would seem to be an element of danger here. It has the look of claiming too much, I think. Public confidence would probably be increased if less were claimed.
I believe it might be shown that all the ‘mind’ sects except Christian Science have lucid intervals; intervals in which they betray some diffidence, and in effect confess that they are not the equals of the Deity; but if the Christian Scientist even stops with being merely the equal of the Deity, it is not clearly provable by his Christian-Science Amended Bible. In the usual Bible the Deity recognises pain, disease, and death as facts, but the Christian Scientist knows better. Knows better, and is not diffident about saying so.
The Christian Scientist was not able to cure my stomach-ache and my cold; but the horse-doctor did it. This convinces me that Christian Science claims too much. In my opinion it ought to let diseases alone and confine itself to surgery. There it would have everything its own way.
The horse-doctor charged me thirty kreutzers, and I paid him; in fact I doubled it and gave him a shilling. Mrs. Fuller brought in an itemised bill for a crate of broken bones mended in two hundred and thirty-four places–one dollar per fracture.
‘Nothing exists but Mind?’
‘Nothing,’ she answered. ‘All else is substanceless, all else is imaginary.’
I gave her an imaginary cheque, and now she is suing me for substantial dollars. It looks inconsistent.
Let us consider that we are all partially insane. It will explain us to each other, it will unriddle many riddles, it will make clear and simple many things which are involved in haunting and harassing difficulties and obscurities now.
Those of us who are not in the asylum, and not demonstrably due there, are nevertheless no doubt insane in one or two particulars–I think we must admit this; but I think that we are otherwise healthy-minded. I think that when we all see one thing alike, it is evidence that as regards that one thing, our minds are perfectly sound. Now there are really several things which we do all see alike; things which we all accept, and about which we do not dispute. For instance, we who are outside of the asylum all agree that water seeks its level; that the sun gives light and heat; that fire consumes; that fog is damp; that 6 times 6 are thirty-six; that 2 from 10 leave eight; that 8 and 7 are fifteen. These are perhaps the only things we are agreed about; but although they are so few, they are of inestimable value, because they make an infallible standard of sanity. Whosoever accepts them we know to be substantially sane; sufficiently sane; in the working essentials, sane. Whoever disputes a single one of them we know to be wholly insane, and qualified for the asylum.
Very well, the man who disputes none of them we concede to be entitled to go at large–but that is concession enough; we cannot go any further than that; for we know that in all matters of mere opinion that same man is insane–just as insane as we are; just as insane as Shakespeare was, just as insane as the Pope is. We know exactly where to put our finger upon his insanity; it is where his opinion differs from ours.
That is a simple rule, and easy to remember. When I, a thoughtful and unbiased Presbyterian, examine the Koran, I know that beyond any question every Mohammedan is insane; not in all things, but in religious matters. When a thoughtful and unbiased Mohammedan examines the Westminster Catechism, he knows that beyond any question I am spiritually insane. I cannot prove to him that he is insane, because you never can prove anything to a lunatic–for that is a part of his insanity and the evidence of it. He cannot prove to me that I am insane, for my mind has the same defect that afflicts his. All democrats are insane, but not one of them knows it; none but the republicans and mugwumps know it. All the republicans are insane, but only the democrats and mugwumps can perceive it. The rule is perfect; in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane. When I look around me I am often troubled to see how many people are mad. To mention only a few:
The–but there’s no end to the list; there are millions of them! And all insane; each in his own way; insane as to his pet fad or opinion, but otherwise sane and rational.
This should move us to be charitable toward one another’s lunacies. I recognise that in his special belief the Christian Scientist is insane, because he does not believe as I do; but I hail him as my mate and fellow because I am as insane as he–insane from his point of view, and his point of view is as authoritative as mine and worth as much. That is to say, worth a brass farthing. Upon a great religious or political question the opinion of the dullest head in the world is worth the same as the opinion of the brightest head in the world–a brass farthing. How do we arrive at this? It is simple: The affirmative opinion of a stupid man is neutralised by the negative opinion of his stupid neighbour–no decision is reached; the affirmative opinion of the intellectual giant Gladstone is neutralised by the negative opinion of the intellectual giant Cardinal Newman–no decision is reached. Opinions that prove nothing are, of course, without value–any but a dead person knows that much. This obliges us to admit the truth of the unpalatable proposition just mentioned above–that in disputed matters political and religious one man’s opinion is worth no more than his peer’s, and hence it follows that no man’s opinion possesses any real value. It is a humbling thought, but there is no way to get around it: all opinions upon these great subjects are brass-farthing opinions.
It is a mere plain simple fact–as clear and as certain as that 8 and 7 make fifteen. And by it we recognise that we are all insane, as concerns those matters. If we were sane we should all see a political or religious doctrine alike, there would be no dispute: it would be a case of 8 and 7–just as it is in heaven, where all are sane and none insane. There there is but one religion, one belief, the harmony is perfect, there is never a discordant note.
Under protection of these preliminaries I suppose I may now repeat without offence that the Christian Scientist is insane. I mean him no discourtesy, and I am not charging–nor even imagining–that he is insaner than the rest of the human race. I think he is more picturesquely insane that some of us. At the same time, I am quite sure that in one important and splendid particular he is saner than is the vast bulk of the race.
Why is he insane? I told you before: it is because his opinions are not ours. I know of no other reason, and I do not need any other; it is the only way we have of discovering insanity when it is not violent. It is merely the picturesqueness of his insanity that makes it more interesting than my kind or yours. For instance, consider his ‘little book’–the one described in the previous article; the ‘little book’ exposed in the sky eighteen centuries ago by the flaming angel of the Apocalypse and handed down in our day to Mrs. Mary Baker G. Eddy of New Hampshire and translated by her, word for word, into English (with help of a polisher), and now published and distributed in hundreds of editions by her at a clear profit per volume, above cost, of 700 per cent.!–a profit which distinctly belongs to the angel of the Apocalypse, and let him collect it if he can; a ‘little book’ which the C.S. very frequently calls by just that name, and always inclosed in quotation-marks to keep its high origin exultantly in mind; a ‘little book’ which ‘explains’ and reconstructs and new-paints and decorates the Bible and puts a mansard roof on it and a lightning-rod and all the other modern improvements; a little book which for the present affects to travel in yoke with the Bible and be friendly to it, and within half a century will hitch it in the rear, and thenceforth travel tandem, itself in the lead, in the coming great march of Christian Scientism through the Protestant dominions of the planet.
Perhaps I am putting the tandem arrangement too far away; perhaps five years might be nearer the mark than fifty; for a Viennese lady told me last night that in the Christian Science Mosque in Boston she noticed some things which seem to me to promise a shortening of the interval; on one side there was a display of texts from the New Testament, signed with the Saviour’s initials, ‘J.C.;’ and on the opposite side a display of texts from the ‘little book’ signed–with the author’s mere initials? No–signed with Mrs. Mary Baker G. Eddy’s name in full. Perhaps the Angel of the Apocalypse likes this kind of piracy. I made this remark lightly to a Christian Scientist this morning, but he did not receive it lightly, but said it was jesting upon holy things; he said there was no piracy, for the angel did not compose the book, he only brought it–‘God composed it.’ I could have retorted that it was a case of piracy just the same; that the displayed texts should be signed with the Author’s initials, and that to sign them with the translator’s train of names was another case of ‘jesting upon holy things.’ However, I did not say these things, for this Scientist was a large person, and although by his own doctrine we have no substance, but are fictions and unrealities, I knew he could hit me an imaginary blow which would furnish me an imaginary pain which could last me a week. The lady said that in that Mosque there were two pulpits; in one of them was a man with the Former Bible, in the other a woman with Mrs. Eddy’s apocalyptic Annex; and from these books the man and the woman were reading verse and verse about:
‘Hungry ones throng to hear the Bible read in connection with the text-book of Christian Science, “Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures,” by Mary Baker G. Eddy. These are our only preachers. They are the word of God.’–Christian Science Journal, October 1898.
Are these things picturesque? The Viennese lady told me that in a chapel of the Mosque there was a picture or image of Mrs. Eddy, and that before it burns a never-extinguished light. Is that picturesque? How long do you think it will be before the Christian Scientist will be worshipping that image and praying to it? How long do you think it will be before it is claimed that Mrs. Eddy is a Redeemer, a Christ, or Christ’s equal? Already her army of disciples speak of her reverently as ‘Our Mother.’ How long will it be before they place her on the steps of the Throne beside the Virgin–and later a step higher? First, Mary the Virgin and Mary the Matron; later, with a change of Precedence, Mary the Matron and Mary the Virgin. Let the artist get ready with his canvas and his brushes; the new Renaissance is on its way, and there will be money in altar-canvases–a thousand times as much as the Popes and their Church ever spent on the Old Masters; for their riches were as poverty as compared with what is going to pour into the treasure-chest of the Christian-Scientist Papacy by-and-by, let us not doubt it. We will examine the financial outlook presently and see what it promises. A favourite subject of the new Old Master will be the first verse of the twelfth chapter of Revelation–a verse which Mrs. Eddy says (in her Annex to the Scriptures) has ‘one distinctive feature which has special reference to the present age’–and to her, as is rather pointedly indicated:
‘And there appeared a great wonder in heaven–a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet,’ etc.
The woman clothed with the sun will be a portrait of Mrs. Eddy.
Is it insanity to believe that Christian Scientism is destined to make the most formidable show that any new religion has made in the world since the birth and spread of Mohammedanism, and that within a century from now it may stand second to Rome only, in numbers and power in Christendom?
If this is a wild dream it will not be easy to prove it is so just yet, I think. There seems argument that it may come true. The Christian-Science ‘boom’ is not yet five years old; yet already it has 500 churches and 1,000,000 members in America.
It has its start, you see, and it is a phenomenally good one. Moreover, it is latterly spreading with a constantly accelerating swiftness. It has a better chance to grow and prosper and achieve permanency than any other existing ‘ism;’ for it has more to offer than any other. The past teaches us that, in order to succeed, a movement like this must not be a mere philosophy, it must be a religion; also, that it must not claim entire originality, but content itself with passing for an improvement on an existing religion, and show its hand later, when strong and prosperous–like Mohammedanism.
Next, there must be money–and plenty of it.
Next, the power and authority and capital must be concentrated in the grip of a small and irresponsible clique, with nobody outside privileged to ask questions or find fault.
Next, as before remarked, it must bait its hook with some new and attractive advantages over the baits offered by the other religions.
A new movement equipped with some of these endowments–like spiritualism, for instance–may count upon a considerable success; a new movement equipped with the bulk of them–like Mohammedanism, for instance–may count upon a widely extended conquest. Mormonism had all the requisites but one–it had nothing new and nothing valuable to bait with; and, besides, it appealed to the stupid and the ignorant only. Spiritualism lacked the important detail of concentration of money and authority in the hands of an irresponsible clique.
The above equipment is excellent, admirable, powerful, but not perfect. There is yet another detail which is worth the whole of it put together– and more; a detail which has never been joined (in the beginning of a religious movement) to a supremely good working equipment since the world began, until now: a new personage to worship. Christianity had the Saviour, but at first and for generations it lacked money and concentrated power. In Mrs. Eddy, Christian Science possesses the new personage for worship, and in addition–here in the very beginning–a working equipment that has not a flaw in it. In the beginning, Mohammedanism had no money; and it has never had anything to offer its client but heaven–nothing here below that was valuable. In addition to heaven hereafter, Christian Science has present health and a cheerful spirit to offer–for cash–and in comparison with this bribe all other this-world bribes are poor and cheap. You recognise that this estimate is admissible, do you not?
To whom does Bellamy’s ‘Nationalism’ appeal? Necessarily to the few: people who read and dream, and are compassionate, and troubled for the poor and the hard-driven. To whom does Spiritualism appeal? Necessarily to the few; its ‘boom’ has lasted for half a century and I believe it claims short of four millions of adherents in America. Who are attracted by Swedenborgianism and some of the other fine and delicate ‘isms?’ The few again: Educated people, sensitively organised, with superior mental endowments, who seek lofty planes of thought and find their contentment there. And who are attracted by Christian Science? There is no limit; its field is horizonless; its appeal is as universal as is the appeal of Christianity itself. It appeals to the rich, the poor, the high, the low, the cultured, the ignorant, the gifted, the stupid, the modest, the vain, the wise, the silly, the soldier, the civilian, the hero, the coward, the idler, the worker, the godly, the godless, the freeman, the slave, the adult, the child; they who are ailing, they who have friends that are ailing. To mass it in a phrase, its clientele is the Human Race? Will it march? I think so.
Remember its principal great offer: to rid the Race of pain and disease. Can it do it? In large measure, yes. How much of the pain and disease in the world is created by the imaginations of the sufferers, and then kept alive by those same imaginations? Four-fifths? Not anything short of that I should think. Can Christian Science banish that four-fifths? I think so. Can any other (organised) force do it? None that I know of. Would this be a new world when that was accomplished? And a pleasanter one–for us well people, as well as for those fussy and fretting sick ones? Would it seem as if there was not as much gloomy weather as there used to be? I think so.
In the meantime would the Scientist kill off a good many patients? I think so. More than get killed off now by the legalised methods? I will take up that question presently.
At present I wish to ask you to examine some of the Scientist’s performances, as registered in his magazine, ‘The Christian Science Journal’–October number, 1898. First, a Baptist clergyman gives us this true picture of ‘the average orthodox Christian’–and he could have added that it is a true picture of the average (civilised) human being:
‘He is a worried and fretted and fearful man; afraid of himself and his propensities, afraid of colds and fevers, afraid of treading on serpents or drinking deadly things.’
Then he gives us this contrast:
‘The average Christian Scientist has put all anxiety and fretting under his feet. He does have a victory over fear and care that is not achieved by the average orthodox Christian.’
He has put all anxiety and fretting under his feet. What proportion of your earnings or income would you be willing to pay for that frame of mind, year in year out? It really outvalues any price that can be put upon it. Where can you purchase it, at any outlay of any sort, in any Church or out of it, except the Scientist’s?
Well, it is the anxiety and fretting about colds, and fevers, and draughts, and getting our feet wet, and about forbidden food eaten in terror of indigestion, that brings on the cold and the fever and the indigestion and the most of our other ailments; and so, if the Science can banish that anxiety from the world I think it can reduce the world’s disease and pain about four-fifths.
In this October number many of the redeemed testify and give thanks; and not coldly but with passionate gratitude. As a rule they seem drunk with health, and with the surprise of it, the wonder of it, the unspeakable glory and splendour of it, after a long sober spell spent in inventing imaginary diseases and concreting them with doctor-stuff. The first witness testifies that when ‘this most beautiful Truth first dawned on him’ he had ‘nearly all the ills that flesh is heir to;’ that those he did not have he thought he had–and thus made the tale about complete. What was the natural result? Why, he was a dump-pit ‘for all the doctors, druggists, and patent medicines of the country.’ Christian Science came to his help, and ‘the old sick conditions passed away,’ and along with them the ‘dismal forebodings’ which he had been accustomed to employ in conjuring up ailments. And so he was a healthy and cheerful man, now, and astonished.
But I am not astonished, for from other sources I know what must have been his method of applying Christian Science. If I am in the right, he watchfully and diligently diverted his mind from unhealthy channels and compelled it to travel in healthy ones. Nothing contrivable by human invention could be more formidably effective than that, in banishing imaginary ailments and in closing the entrances against subsequent applicants of their breed. I think his method was to keep saying, ‘I am well! I am sound!–sound and well! well and sound! Perfectly sound, perfectly well! I have no pain; there’s no such thing as pain! I have no disease; there’s no such thing as disease! Nothing is real but Mind; all is Mind, All-Good, Good-Good, Life, Soul, Liver, Bones, one of a series, ante and pass the buck!’
I do not mean that that was exactly the formula used, but that it doubtless contains the spirit of it. The Scientist would attach value to the exact formula, no doubt, and to the religious spirit in which it was used. I should think that any formula that would divert the mind from unwholesome channels and force it into healthy ones would answer every purpose with some people, though not with all. I think it most likely that a very religious man would find the addition of the religious spirit a powerful reinforcement in his case.
The second witness testifies that the Science banished ‘an old organic trouble’ which the doctor and the surgeon had been nursing with drugs and the knife for seven years.
He calls it his ‘claim.’ A surface-miner would think it was not his claim at all, but the property of the doctor and his pal the surgeon–for he would be misled by that word, which is Christian-Science slang for ‘ailment.’ The Christian Scientist has no ailment; to him there is no such thing, and he will not use the lying word. All that happens to him is, that upon his attention an imaginary disturbance sometimes obtrudes itself which claims to be an ailment, but isn’t.
This witness offers testimony for a clergyman seventy years old who had preached forty years in a Christian church, and has not gone over to the new sect. He was ‘almost blind and deaf.’ He was treated by the C.S. method, and ‘when he heard the voice of Truth he saw spiritually.’ Saw spiritually. It is a little indefinite; they had better treat him again. Indefinite testimonies might properly be waste-basketed, since there is evidently no lack of definite ones procurable, but this C.S. magazine is poorly edited, and so mistakes of this kind must be expected.
The next witness is a soldier of the Civil War. When Christian Science found him, he had in stock the following claims:
Chalky deposits in
Atrophy of the muscles of
Stiffness of all those joints,
Excruciating pains most of the time.
These claims have a very substantial sound. They came of exposure in the campaigns. The doctors did all they could, but it was little. Prayers were tried, but ‘I never realised any physical relief from that source.’ After thirty years of torture he went to a Christian Scientist and took an hour’s treatment and went home painless. Two days later he ‘began to eat like a well man.’ Then ‘the claims vanished–some at once, others more gradually;’ finally, ‘they have almost entirely disappeared.’ And– a thing which is of still greater value–he is now ‘contented and happy.’ That is a detail which, as earlier remarked, is a Scientist-Church specialty. With thirty-one years’ effort the Methodist Church had not succeeded in furnishing it to this harassed soldier.
And so the tale goes on. Witness after witness bulletins his claims, declares their prompt abolishment, and gives Mrs. Eddy’s Discovery the praise. Milk-leg is cured; nervous prostration is cured; consumption is cured; and St. Vitus’s dance made a pastime. And now and then an interesting new addition to the Science slang appears on the page. We have ‘demonstrations over’ chilblains and such things. It seems to be a curtailed way of saying ‘demonstrations of the power of Christian-Science Truth over the fiction which masquerades under the name of Chilblains.’ The children as well as the adults, share in the blessings of the Science. ‘Through the study of the “little book” they are learning how to be healthful, peaceful, and wise.’ Sometimes they are cured of their little claims by the professional healer, and sometimes more advanced children say over the formula and cure themselves.
A little Far-Western girl of nine, equipped with an adult vocabulary, states her age and says, ‘I thought I would write a demonstration to you.’ She had a claim derived from getting flung over a pony’s head and landed on a rock-pile. She saved herself from disaster by remember to say ‘God is All’ while she was in the air. I couldn’t have done it. I shouldn’t have even thought of it. I should have been too excited. Nothing but Christian Science could have enabled that child to do that calm and thoughtful and judicious thing in those circumstances. She came down on her head, and by all the rules she should have broken it; but the intervention of the formula prevented that, so the only claim resulting was a blackened eye. Monday morning it was still swollen and shut. At school ‘it hurt pretty bad–that is, it seemed to.’ So ‘I was excused, and went down in the basement and said, “Now I am depending on mamma instead of God, and I will depend on God instead of mamma.”‘ No doubt this would have answered; but, to make sure, she added Mrs. Eddy to the team and recited ‘the Scientific Statement of Being,’ which is one of the principal incantations, I judge. Then ‘I felt my eye opening.’ Why, it would have opened an oyster. I think it is one of the touchingest things in child-history, that pious little rat down cellar pumping away at the Scientific Statement of Being.
There is a page about another good child–little Gordon. Little Gordon ‘came into the world without the assistance of surgery or anaesthetics.’ He was a ‘demonstration.’ A painless one; therefore his coming evoked ‘joy and thankfulness to God and the Discoverer of Christian Science.’ It is a noticeable feature of this literature–the so frequent linking together of the Two Beings in an equal bond; also of Their Two Bibles. When little Gordon was two years old, ‘he was playing horse on the bed, where I had left my “little book.” I noticed him stop in his play, take the book carefully in his little hands, kiss it softly, then look about for the highest place of safety his arms could reach, and put it there.’ This pious act filled the mother ‘with such a train of thought as I had never experienced before. I thought of the sweet mother of long ago who kept things in her heart,’ etc. It is a bold comparison; however, unconscious profanations are about as common in the mouths of the lay membership of the new Church as are frank and open ones in the mouths of its consecrated chiefs.
Some days later, the family library–Christian Science books–was lying in a deep-seated window. It was another chance for the holy child to show off. He left his play and went there and pushed all the books to one side except the Annex. ‘It he took in both hands, slowly raised it to his lips, then removed it carefully, and seated himself in the window.’ It had seemed to the mother too wonderful to be true, that first time; but now she was convinced that ‘neither imagination nor accident had anything to do with it.’ Later, little Gordon let the author of his being see him do it. After that he did it frequently; probably every time anybody was looking. I would rather have that child than a chromo. If this tale has any object, it is to intimate that the inspired book was supernaturally able to convey a sense of its sacred and awful character to this innocent little creature without the intervention of outside aids. The magazine is not edited with high-priced discretion. The editor has a claim, and he ought to get it treated.
Among other witnesses, there is one who had a ‘jumping toothache,’ which several times tempted her to ‘believe that there was sensation in matter, but each time it was overcome by the power of Truth.’ She would not allow the dentist to use cocaine, but sat there and let him punch and drill and split and crush the tool, and tear and slash its ulcerations, and pull out the nerve, and dig out fragments of bone; and she wouldn’t once confess that it hurt. And to this day she thinks it didn’t, and I have not a doubt that she is nine-tenths right, and that her Christian Science faith did her better service than she could have gotten out of cocaine.
There is an account of a boy who got broken all up into small bits by an accident, but said over the Scientific Statement of Being, or some of the other incantations, and got well and sound without having suffered any real pain and without the intrusion of a surgeon. I can believe this, because my own case was somewhat similar, as per my former article.
Also there is an account of the restoration to perfect health, in a single night, of a fatally injured horse, by the application of Christian Science. I can stand a good deal, but I recognise that the ice is getting thin here. That horse had as many as fifty claims: how could he demonstrate over them? Could he do the All-Good, Good-Good, Good-Gracious, Liver, Bones, Truth, All down but Nine, Set them up on the Other Alley? Could he intone the Scientific Statement of Being? Now, could he? Wouldn’t it give him a relapse? Let us draw the line at horses. Horses and furniture.
There is a plenty of other testimonies in the magazine, but these quoted samples will answer. They show the kind of trade the Science is driving. Now we come back to the question; Does it kill a patient here and there and now and then? We must concede it. Does it compensate for this? I am persuaded that it can make a plausible showing in that direction. For instance: when it lays its hands upon a soldier who has suffered thirty years of helpless torture and makes him whole in body and mind, what is the actual sum of that achievement? This, I think: that it has restored to life a subject who had essentially died ten deaths a year for thirty years, and each of them a long and painful one. But for its interference that man would have essentially died thirty times more, in the three years which have since elapsed. There are thousand of young people in the land who are now ready to enter upon a life-long death similar to that man’s. Every time the Science captures one of these and secures to him life-long immunity from imagination-manufactured disease, it may plausibly claim that in his person it has saved 300 lives. Meantime it will kill a man every now and then; but no matter, it will still be ahead on the credit side.
‘We consciously declare that “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” was foretold as well as its author, Mary Baker Eddy, in Revelation x. She is the “mighty angel,” or God’s highest thought to this age (verse 1), giving us the spiritual interpretation of the Bible in the “little book open” (verse 2). Thus we prove that Christian Science is the second coming of Christ–Truth–Spirit.’– Lecture by Dr. George Tomkins, D.D., C.S.
There you have it in plain speech. She is the mighty angel; she is the divinely and officially sent bearer of God’s highest thought. For the present, she brings the Second Advent. We must expect that before she has been in her grave fifty years she will be regarded by her following as having been herself the Second Advent. She is already worshipped, and we must expect this feeling to spread territorially, and also to deepen in intensity .
Particularly after her death; for then, as anyone can foresee, Eddy-worship will be taught in the Sunday-schools and pulpits of the cult. Already whatever she puts her trade-mark on, thought it be only a memorial spoon, is holy and is eagerly and passionately and gratefully bought by the disciple, and becomes a fetish in his house. I say bought, for the Boston Christian-Science Trust gives nothing away; everything it has for sale. And the terms are cash; and not cash only but cash in advance. Its god is Mrs. Eddy first, then the Dollar. Not a spiritual Dollar, but a real one. From end to end of the Christian-Science literature not a single (material) thing in the world is conceded to be real, except the Dollar. But all through and through its advertisements that reality is eagerly and persistently recognised. The hunger of the Trust for the Dollar, its adoration of the Dollar, its lust after the Dollar, its ecstasy in the mere thought of the Dollar–there has been nothing like it in the world in any age or country, nothing so coarse, nothing so lubricous, nothing so bestial, except a French novel’s attitude towards adultery.
The Dollar is hunted down in all sorts of ways; the Christian-Science Mother-Church and Bargain-Counter in Boston peddles all kinds of spiritual wares to the faithful, always at extravagant prices, and always on the one condition–cash, cash in advance. The Angel of the Apocalypse could not go there and get a copy of his own pirated book on credit. Many, many precious Christian-Science things are to be had there–for cash: Bible Lessons; Church Manual; C.S. Hymnal; History of the building of the Mother-Church; lot of Sermons; Communion Hymn, ‘Saw Ye My Saviour,’ by Mrs. Eddy, half a dollar a copy, ‘words used by special permission of Mrs. Eddy.’ Also we have Mrs. Eddy’s and the Angel’s little Bible-Annex in eight styles of binding at eight kinds of war- prices: among these a sweet thing in ‘levant, divinity circuit, leather lined to edge, round corners, gold edge, silk sewed, each, prepaid, $6,’ and if you take a million you get them a shilling cheaper–that is to say, ‘prepaid, $5.75.’ Also we have Mrs. Eddy’s ‘Miscellaneous Writings,’ at noble big prices, the divinity-circuit style heading the extortions, shilling discount where you take an edition. Next comes ‘Christ and Christmas,’ by the fertile Mrs. eddy–a poem–I would God I could see it–price $3, cash in advance. Then follow five more books by Mrs. Eddy at highwaymen’s rates, as usual, some of them in ‘leatherette covers,’ some of them in ‘pebbled cloth,’ with divinity circuit, compensation balance, twin screw, and the other modern improvements: and at the same bargain counter can be had the ‘Christian Science Journal.’ I wish it were in refined taste to apply a rudely and ruggedly descriptive epithet to that literary slush-bucket, so as to give one an accurate idea of what it is like. I am moved to do it, but I must not: it is better to be refined than accurate when one is talking about a production like that.
Christian-Science literary oleomargarine is a monopoly of the Mother Church Headquarters Factory in Boston; none genuine without the trade-mark of the Trust. You must apply there, and not elsewhere; and you pay your money before you get your soap-fat.
The Trust has still other sources of income. Mrs. Eddy is president (and perhaps proprietor?) of the Trust’s Metaphysical College in Boston, where the student who has practised C.S. healing during three years the best he knew how perfects himself in the game by a two weeks’ course, and pays one hundred dollars for it! And I have a case among my statistics where the student had a three weeks’ course and paid three hundred for it.
The Trust does love the Dollar when it isn’t a spiritual one.
In order to force the sale of Mrs. Eddy’s Bible-Annex, no healer, Metaphysical College-bred or other, is allowed to practise the game unless he possess a copy of that holy nightmare. That means a large and constantly augmenting income for the Trust. No C.S. family would consider itself loyal or pious or pain-proof without an Annex or two in the house. That means an income for the Trust–in the near future–of millions: not thousands–millions a year.
No member, young or old, of a Christian-Scientist church can retain that membership unless he pay ‘capitation tax’ to the Boston Trust every year. That means an income for the Trust–in the near future–of millions more per year.
It is a reasonably safe guess that in America in 1910 there will be 10,000,000 Christian Scientists, and 3,000,000 in Great Britain; that these figures will be trebled by 1920; that in America in 1910 the Christian Scientists will be a political force, in 1920 politically formidable–to remain that, permanently. And I think it a reasonable guess that the Trust (which is already in our day pretty brusque in its ways) will then be the most insolent and unscrupulous and tyrannical politico-religious master that has dominated a people since the palmy days of the Inquisition. And a stronger master than the strongest of bygone times, because this one will have a financial strength not dreamed of by any predecessor; as effective a concentration of irresponsible power as any predecessor had; in the railway, the telegraph, and the subsidised newspaper, better facilities for watching and managing his empire than any predecessor has had; and after a generation or two he will probably divide Christendom with the Catholic Church.
The Roman Church has a perfect organisation, and it has an effective centralisation of power–but not of its cash. Its multitude of Bishops are rich, but their riches remain in large measure in their own hands. They collect from 200,000,000 of people, but they keep the bulk of the result at home. The Boston Pope of by-and-by will draw his dollar-a-head capitation-tax from 300,000,000 of the human race, and the Annex and the rest of his book-shop will fetch in double as much more; and his Metaphysical Colleges, the annual pilgrimage to Mrs. Eddy’s tomb, from all over the world–admission, the Christian-Science Dollar (payable in advance)–purchases of consecrated glass beads, candles, memorial spoons, aureoled chromo-portraits and bogus autographs of Mrs. Eddy, cash offerings at her shrine–no crutches of cured cripples received, and no imitations of miraculously restored broken legs and necks allowed to be hung up except when made out of the Holy Metal and proved by fire-assay; cash for miracles worked at the tomb: these money-sources, with a thousand to be yet invented and ambushed upon the devotee, will bring the annual increment well up above a billion. And nobody but the Trust will have the handling of it. No Bishops appointed unless they agree to hand in 90 per cent. of the catch. In that day the Trust will monopolise the manufacture and sale of the Old and New Testaments as well as the Annex, and raise their price to Annex rates, and compel the devotee to buy (for even to-day a healer has to have the Annex and the Scriptures or he is not allowed to work the game), and that will bring several hundred million dollars more. In those days the Trust will have an income approaching $5,000,000 a day, and no expenses to be taken out of it; no taxes to pay, and no charities to support. That last detail should not be lightly passed over by the read; it is well entitled to attention.
No charities to support. No, nor even to contribute to. One searches in vain the Trust’s advertisements and the utterances of its pulpit for any suggestion that it spends a penny on orphans, widows, discharged prisoners, hospitals, ragged schools, night missions, city missions, foreign missions, libraries, old people’s homes, or any other object that appeals to a human being’s purse through his heart.
I have hunted, hunted, and hunted, by correspondence and otherwise, and have not yet got upon the track of a farthing that the Trust has spent upon any worthy object. Nothing makes a Scientist so uncomfortable as to ask him if he knows of a case where Christian Science has spent money on a benevolence, either among its own adherents or elsewhere. He is obliged to say no. And then one discovers that the person questioned has been asked the question many times before, and that it is getting to be a sore subject with him. Why a sore subject? Because he has written his chiefs and asked with high confidence for an answer that will confound these questioners–and the chiefs did not reply. He has written again– and then again–not with confidence, but humbly, now, and has begged for defensive ammunition in the voice of supplication. A reply does at last come–to this effect: ‘We must have faith in Our Mother, and rest content in the conviction that whatever She does with the money it is in accordance with orders from Heaven, for She does no act of any kind without first “demonstrating over” it.’
That settles it–as far as the disciple is concerned. His Mind is entirely satisfied with that answer; he gets down his Annex and does an incantation or two, and that mesmerises his spirit and puts that to sleep–brings it peace. Peace and comfort and joy, until some inquirer punctures the old sore again.
Through friends in America I asked some questions, and in some cases got definite and informing answers; in other cases the answers were not definite and not valuable. From the definite answers I gather than the ‘capitation-tax’ is compulsory, and that the sum is one dollar. To the question, ‘Does any of the money go to charities?’ the answer from an authoritative source was: ‘No, *not in the sense usually conveyed by this word*.’ (The italics are mine.) That answer is cautious. But definite, I think–utterly and unassailably definite–although quite Christian-scientifically foggy in its phrasing. Christian Science is generally foggy, generally diffuse, generally garrulous. The writer was aware that the first word in his phrase answered the question which I was asking, but he could not help adding nine dark words. Meaningless ones, unless explained by him. It is quite likely–as intimated by him–that Christian Science has invented a new class of objects to apply the word charity to, but without an explanation we cannot know what they are. We quite easily and naturally and confidently guess that they are in all cases objects which will return five hundred per cent. on the Trust’s investment in them, but guessing is not knowledge; it is merely, in this case, a sort of nine-tenths certainty deducible from what we think we know of the Trust’s trade principles and its sly and furtive and shifty ways.
Sly? Deep? Judicious? The Trust understands business. The Trust does not give itself away. It defeats all the attempts of us impertinents to get at its trade secrets. To this day, after all our diligence, we have not been able to get it to confess what it does with the money. It does not even let its own disciples find out. All it says is, that the matter has been ‘demonstrated over.’ Now and then a lay Scientist says, with a grateful exultation, that Mrs. Eddy is enormously rich, but he stops there; as to whether any of the money goes to other charities or not, he is obliged to admit that he does not know. However, the Trust is composed of human beings; and this justifies the conjecture that if it had a charity on its list which it did not need to blush for, we should soon hear of it.
‘Without money and without price.’ Those used to be the terms. Mrs. Eddy’s Annex cancels them. The motto of Christian Science is ‘The labourer is worthy of his hire.’ And now that it has been ‘demonstrated over,’ we find its spiritual meaning to be, ‘Do anything and everything your hand may find to do; and charge cash for it, and collect the money in advance.’ The Scientist has on his tongue’s end a cut-and-dried, Boston-supplied set of rather lean arguments whose function is to show that it is a Heaven-commanded duty to do this, and that the croupiers of the game have no choice by to obey.
The Trust seems to be a reincarnation. Exodus xxxii.4.
I have no reverence for Mrs. Eddy and the rest of the Trust–if there is a rest–but I am not lacking in reverence for the sincerities of the lay membership of the new Church. There is every evidence that the lay members are entirely sincere in their faith, and I think sincerity is always entitled to honour and respect, let the inspiration of the sincerity be what it may. Zeal and sincerity can carry a new religion further than any other missionary except fire and sword, and I believe that the new religion will conquer the half of Christendom in a hundred years. I am not intending this as a compliment to the human race, I am merely stating an opinion. And yet I think that perhaps it is a compliment to the race. I keep in mind that saying of an orthodox preacher–quoted further back. He conceded that this new Christianity frees its possessor’s life from frets, fears, vexations, bitterness, and all sorts of imagination-propagated maladies and pains, and fills his world with sunshine and his heart with gladness. If Christian Science, with this stupendous equipment–and final salvation added–cannot win half the Christian globe, I must be badly mistaken in the make-up of the human race.
I think the Trust will be handed down like the other papacy, and will always know how to handle its limitless cash. It will press the button; the zeal, the energy, the sincerity, the enthusiasm of its countless vassals will do the rest.
The power which a man’s imagination has over his body to heal it or make it sick is a force which none of us is born without. The first man had it, the last one will possess it. If left to himself a man is most likely to use only the mischievous half of the force–the half which invents imaginary ailments for him and cultivates them: and if he is one of these very wise people he is quite likely to scoff at the beneficent half of the force and deny its existence. And so, to heal or help that man, two imaginations are required: his own and some outsider’s. The outsider, B, must imagine that his incantations are the healing power that is curing A, and A must imagine that this is so. It is not so, at all; but no matter, the cure is effected, and that is the main thing. The outsider’s work is unquestionably valuable; so valuable that it may fairly be likened to the essential work performed by the engineer when he handles the throttle and turns on the steam: the actual power is lodged exclusively in the engine, but if the engine were left alone it would never start of itself. Whether the engineer be named Jim, or Bob, or Tom, it is all one–his services are necessary, and he is entitled to such wage as he can get you to pay. Whether he be named Christian Scientist, or Mental Scientist, or Mind Curist, or Lourdes Miracle- Worker, or King’s-Evil Expert, it is all one,–he is merely the Engineer, he simply turns on the same old steam and the engine does the whole work.
In the case of the cure-engine it is a distinct advantage to clothe the engineer in religious overalls and give him a pious name. It greatly enlarges the business, and does no one any harm.
The Christian-Scientist engineer drives exactly the same trade as the other engineers, yet he out-prospers the whole of them put together. Is it because he has captured the takingest name? I think that that is only a small part of it. I think that the secret of his high prosperity lies elsewhere:
The Christian Scientist has organised the business. Now that was certainly a gigantic idea. There is more intellect in it than would be needed in the invention of a couple of millions of Eddy Science-and- Health Bible Annexes. Electricity, in limitless volume, has existed in the air and the rocks and the earth and everywhere since time began–and was going to waste all the while. In our time we have organised that scattered and wandering force and set it to work, and backed the business with capital, and concentrated it in few and competent hands, and the results are as we see.
The Christian Scientist has taken a force which has been lying idle in every member of the human race since time began, and has organised it, and backed the business with capital, and concentrated it at Boston headquarters in the hands of a small and very competent Trust, and there are results.
Therein lies the promise that this monopoly is going to extend its commerce wide in the earth. I think that if the business were conducted in the loose and disconnected fashion customary with such things, it would achieve but little more than the modest prosperity usually secured by unorganised great moral and commercial ventures; but I believe that so long as this one remains compactly organised and closely concentrated in a Trust, the spread of its dominion will continue.
VIENNA: May 1, 1899.
 After raising a dead child to life, the disciple who did it writes an account of her performance, to Mrs. Eddy, and closes it thus: ‘My prayer daily is to be more spiritual, that I may do more as you would have me do… and may we all love you more and so live it that the world may know that the Christ is come.’–Printed in the Concord, N.H., Independent Statesman, March 9, 1899. If this is no worship, it is a good imitation of it.
 In the past two years the membership of the Established Church of England have given voluntary contributions amounting to $73,000,000 to the Church’s benevolent enterprises. Churches that give have nothing to hide.
 I may be introducing the capital S a little early–still it is on its way.