CHRISTIAN SCIENCE, SO-CALLED.
Much of it is vague and confusing, but wherever doctrines and principles are clearly stated, they are utterly antagonistic to the Scriptures. It is a little like Buddhism, as has been said by some one before but much like English Deism and Idealism, combined with German Pantheism. It denies explicitly the existence of matter, the creation of the material universe by God, the atonement of Jesus Christ, and the distinctive doctrines of -the Christian system. It propounds a series of principles, some of which we quote from Mrs. Edey's standard book:
PLATFORM OF CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS.
1. That there is neither a personal Deity, a personal Devil, nor a personal man.
2. That God is Principle and not person, Mind and not Matter : that this principle is what the Scripture declares it, namely, Life, Truth and Love.
3. That God, which is the perfect Mind or Principle, including the perfect idea, is all that is real or eternal.
5. That Spirit is the only substance, even "the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen." The spiritual and eternal are substance, whereas the material and temporal are not substance.
10. That man was and is the idea of God, the conception of Mind; that this idea was co-existent and co-eternal with Mind; hence, that man was forever In Mind, but Mind was never in man. There was never a material idea or personal man. All is mind, there is no matter; all is harmony, there is no discord; all is Life, there is no death; all is good, there is no evil; all is God and His idea.
11. That Science decides matter or the mortal body to be nothing but a belief and an illusion. If you besiege sickness, sin or death with this scientific understanding of being, you will learn that our statement of God and man is true, and the opposite statement of them is the error and discord that Truth casts out. . . . As the mythology of Pagan Rome has yielded to a more spiritual idea of Deity, so shall our material theology or doctrinal religions yield to a more spiritual idea of God than a material man presents, until all materiality shall disappear in thought, and the finite give place to the infinite, and the impersonal, unlimited and unerring idea, and the impersonal, limitless or infinite Principle of this idea shall appear, and "Thy kingdom have been on earth as it is in Heaven."
13. There is but one Spirit or God, hence there are no spirits or gods, and no evil spirit, because Spirit is God. A personal God, a personal man, a personal devil, and evil and good spirits, are theological mythoplasm, mere beliefs that must finally yield to the opposite science of God and man.
18. That Life; Truth and Love are the Trinity, or Triune Principle, the three in one, the same in action and entity, and these are the one God. That the Holy Ghost is divine science, revealing and explaining this triune principle, and leading into all Truth; that Christ is but another term for God, and Jesus was the name of a man. The conception of Jesus was spiritual. The spirituality of Mary was the transparency through which immortal Mind was reflected in that better likeness of Truth and Love, the good and pure Jesus. Into Mary's idea of God and conception of man, the male, or sensual element of thought entered not to taint the idea; thus it was that Jesus became the mediating or intervening idea between Truth and error, of soul and sense, which opposed not God, that healed the sick, dispelled the illusions of sense, or the belief of Life and Intelligence in matter, and revealed the impersonal Truth, namely, that soul and God are one, and the "I" or the Father.
19. That our church is built on Christ, not a person, but the Principle that Christ said "is the Way, the Truth, and the Life;" that Christian Science is the Way, and its foundations are eternal.'"
Dr. Gordon, of Boston, thus sums up its teachings: Christian Science calls itself "the understanding of God," which is simply the translation of the Greek word "theosophy." One of the fundamental axioms of theosophy is set forth in the following sentence: "There is no personal devil. That which is mystically called the devil is the negative and opposite of God. And whereas God is I AM, or positive Being, the devil is not." Its platform opens with the astounding declaration "that there is neither a personal Deity, a personal devil, nor a personal man."
Beyond its palpable contradictions of the Word of God, we must confess also the shock which it gives to our reverence to hear Jesus constantly spoken of as a metaphysician and demonstrator of Christian Science--"the most scientific Man that ever trod the globe;" to be told that the cause of His agony in the garden was that He was touched with "the utter error of a belief of life in matter;" that on the cross He was giving this world "an example and proof of Divine science;" that His Christianity "destroyed sin, sickness and death, because it was metaphysics and personal sense, bore the cross and reached the right hand of a perfect Principle."
It will hardly be necessary, after what has been said, to distinguish "Christian Science" from the "prayer of faith," which is said in the Scripture to "save the sick." No one who believes this promise or makes use of it, has ever, so far as we know, considered that its fulfillment depends on the action of mind upon mind. All who credit "faith cures," as they are sometimes called, hold that they are the result of God's direct and supernatural action upon the body of the sufferer. "Christian Science" pointedly denies the efficacy of prayer for the recovery of the sick. It says:
"Asking God to heal the sick has no effect to gain the ear of love, beyond its ever presence. The only beneficial effect it has is mind acting on the body through a stronger faith to heal it; but this is one belief casting out another-a belief in a personal God casting out a belief in sickness, and not giving the understanding of the principle that heals"- Science and Health, It., 171.
Here the antagonism between two things that differ is so marked that we only aced call attention to it.
Rev. Green Wood, of Chicago, adds these forcible words: "The chief cornerstone of science is the following postulate: That the immortal basis of Life is soul, not body, Life, not death," i.e. the immortal basis of Life is Life, or Life is its own basis. But enough. This seems very like a mouse racing around in a peck measure in pursuit of his own tail. Is not this the baseless fabric of a vision?
Is not this the necromancy for resort to which Saul, King of Israel, lost his Kingdom and his life, and the penalty for which, under the Theocracy, was death? Is not this the Gnostic mysticism of the first century which claimed that the body of our Lord Jesus Christ was a myth, or as now set forth, an idea? To meet this Gnostic mysticism, John wrote his first epistle, wherein he sets forth, by Divine authority, that the man Jesus was not a myth, not an "idea," but a veritable person-a real man. See I. John iv., 2, 3: Hereby know ye the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God. And this is that spirit of Antichrist whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already is in the world. Chap. v., 1: Jesus is the Son of God. "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." At the last, false Christs and false prophets shall arise, and shall show signs and wonders to seduce if possible even the elect. But take ye heed. Behold I have foretold you all things. Let all beware, lest following after this ignis fatuus they thereby prove themselves to be not of the elect, but the dupes of Buddhism and Gnostic mysticism insidiously palmed off upon Christian America in this nineteenth century under the guise of "Christian Science "!