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The Christian Science View of Sin proposition and his own interpretation To the Editors of The Outlook :
of Christian Science, he should recognize I desire to review some points in an that evil can only be overcome with good. article on Christian Science which ap- This is the method which our great Maspeared in The Outlook of July 6.
ter advocated, and just what Christian This essay seems to have been kindly Scientists practice. When God has the intended, but true to the thought expressed ascendency in human consciousness and in its first sentence, “ It is difficult for in the life of the individual, evil of necesany one, not a votary of Christian Science, sity, finds no place. If God be to us to understand what it is,” it manifests infinitely great, evil must become to us only a superficial view of this science. infinitesimal. Herein is the superiority This is indeed a science, and should have of the Christian Science method of overbeen so treated by our worthy editor; coming evil—the sinner has strength and then would he have waited until he had courage to master his evil because of his become a practical Christian Scientist, understanding of the omnipotence of and had healed successfully through its good and the consequent impotency of teaching, to prove, even to himself, that evil. No class of people know better he understood it, before attempting its than Christian Scientists that evil must explanation to others.
be grappled with and mastered, and that Complaint is made that Mrs. Eddy the sinner will never be rid of his wickeddoes not give a clear definition of God, ness nor its just penalties until he ceases yet hundreds of thousands of people have sinning. To say that sin is an illusion been able to destroy troubles for them- and continue sinning is not consistent, selves and others through the clear under for the evil-doer is making it real by his standing of God which they have gained indulgence. Christian Science does not from Mrs. Eddy's book, “Science and incorporate sin under the name of good Health, with Key to the Scriptures." It and allow it place and power, but draws is too bad that our critic did not give his the line emphatically between right and own definition of the personality of God. wrong, and declares that wrong must I have read a number of criticisms in cease and right must prevail to the utthis same strain within the past few weeks most; while he is aided in his struggle wherein the authors have complained of to overcome by his clear sense of the the Christian Science definition of God, omnipotence of good and the powerlessand yet have failed to give their own. ness of evil. Those who are dissatisfied with Christian The Christian Scientist does believe Science should give us a better way of there is an enormous amount of sin in the producing the same results.
world, and why? Because he has not Our critic seems to understand Mrs. through spiritual growth unbelieved this. Eddy's definition of evil as a nonentity; When Paul said, “So fight I not as that it bears the same relation to God one who beateth the air," he meant that which darkness bears to light; but in his his fighting was done intelligently, not by criticism 'thereof does not continue to striking out in an indefinite, ineffectual reason consistently therewith. He fails manner. This same Paul referred to evil to apply the same remedy to evil which as the power of darkness. Darkness he would apply to darkness, and there has no power except to hide the truth fore fails utterly to define the Christian and is always destroyed when the light Scientists' method of destroying evil. He appears. admits that darkness is nothing more I like the definition of sin which our than the want of light; that it is a non- critic quotes from the Westminster Cateentity. Does he attempt to be rid of chism: “Any violation or want of condarkness by simply saying that it is noth-formity of the law of God." In the light ing? He recognizes that the only way of this definition all mistakes as well as to be rid of darkness is to bring in the willful wrongs should be included under light. Now, consistent with his own the name, sin. John said, “ All unrighteousness is sin." All unriht-wis-ness (all not why the divine power so easily annihiunright-wise ness) is sin. All wisdom or lates sin ?
ALFRED Farlow. knowledge which is not right is sin, and Office of the Publication Committee of the First Church all conduct which is allowed or indulged
of Christ, Scientist, Boston, Mass. by reason of this wrong or false knowledge
[We print this letter, selecting it from is sin. It is error, or unriht-wis-ness, to many received on the same subject, believe that sin, which is not of God, is ar. because its authorship makes it really an entity. Hence the truth of Mrs. Eddy's authoritative statement of the position of statement, “ To believe sin is real is itself Christian Scientists on the point involved. sin." Indeed, this is the original sin, and —THE EDITORS.) the proof that we believe it to be real is our iadulgence in it. When we are ready
Union Meetings : A Good Example to admit that there is nothing in it, having to the Editors of The Outlook : lost all pleasure therein, we are ready to The union services held during the let go of it and cease sinning. No harm present month in this town (Napa, Cal.) can come to the sinner nor any perpetuity are not exactly an experiment in có of his sin from his knowledge of its un operation, but they are an example of reality. It is because he believes there is Christian fellowship, and as such, a step something in it that he uses it. It is said in the right direction. The town as a that Jesus did not teach the unreality of whole has displayed a lively interest in sin. Will our critic kindly explain what the new departure, and the one week-day Jesus meant when he said of the devil, prayer service and the one Sunday-evening " He was a murderer from the beginning preaching service already held have been and abode not in the truth, because there well attended. is no truth in him When he speaketh a The principal churches in Napa, aside lie, he speaketh of his own : for he is a from the Episcopal and Roman Catholic, liar, and the father of it"? It is the voca- are Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Christion of a liar to express lies, and a liar in tian, and Christian Adventist. A few weeks the strict sense of that word produces ago the pastor of the Methodist Church nothing else but lies. A lie is utterly had an idea about union services for the devoid of iruth, hence altogether untrue month of July; this notion he communiand unreal—a mere negation. Here we cated to the pastors of the four other have the plain declaration that the devil's churches; they suggested a few modifica“own," or offspring, sin and disease, are tions of his plan, which went into effect lies.
with these changes : We are taught that all evil is the work A small and modest handbill was disof the devil; in other words, the work of tributed about the town announcing that deception. Believing and acting that the services each Sunday evening throughwhich is false constitute the sum total of out July would be union services, the sin, and this definition is in perfect accord subject to be “ The Denominational Why." with the one which we have quoted from On Sunday evening, July 7, the pastor of John, “ All unrighteousness is sin." the Christian Church explained to a large
The Christian Scientist does not wink audience in the Methodist Church the at sin, does not simply ignore it, but, faith of his particular denomination. The filled with the understanding of the omnip Wednesday evening preceding he led a otence of God and the utter powerless- union prayer-meeting in the Methodist ness of sin, he grapples with it and crushes Church. And so it was to go throughout it out of existence. If all Christians knew the month-every Wednesday evening a and practised what Christian Science union prayer meeting led by some pastor teaches concerning sin the world would in a church other than his own; every rapidly be regenerated and evil would be Sunday evening the explanation of the speedily annihilated. If evil is as real as creed of some one of the churches repregood, will our critic explain how the sented. The various societies of young power of God destroys evil in the human people, not to be outdone by their elders, heart? Is it not true that the wrongs have decided that their meetings also which are mountains to their victims weigh shall be union meetings. nothing in the sight of God? And is this The result of the first week's services seems to be that many people are aston- Greek has the noun agape and the verb ished to find that the creed of an alien agapao. These words are always emdenomination differs so little from that of ployed in the New Testament in speaking their own.
of love as a virtue or enjoining it as a duty, I believe if such meetings could be and our word love, when translated from arranged for in many country towns it these Greek words, and in all ethical would tend to break down the bars of relations, must be understood in the same ignorance and prejudice that keep so sense. As a command it enjoins a volimany good people apart.
tional, not an affectional, attitude of the Napa, Cal. ETTA L. MILLER. soul toward others, regardless of social
relations, and in defiance of the attitude Love
of others toward us. It must be exercised To the Editors of The Outlook :
and maintained as really, sincerely, and I have read with interest your editorial fully toward enemies that hate us as toward entitled “ The Highest Service of Love." our most lovable and loving friends. The recoil that has taken place from the This is the point on which misunderdoctrine of God's arbitrary and irrespon- standing and confusion arise. Christians sible sovereignty to that of his Father- suppose that the command "Love your hood has resulted in an error no less enemies” means that they must feel the mischievous in the other extreme. The same affection for their enemies that they very attractive phrase " indulgent Father” feel for their wives, husbands, children, is often employed to express his attitude and intimate, confidential friends; and toward us, than which nothing can be often mourn over their inability to do it. more misleading. God is the farthest The world should surely be disabused of possible from being an indulgent Father. this error. Every requirement of his, being based In the New Testament, the true meanupon an unerring estimate of the best and ing of the word love can be ascertained only means of securing the greatest good with certainty only by referring to the of his creatures, is imperative and unalter- Greek word from which it is translated. able. The severest exaction of obedi- For instance, note John xi., 37, “ Behold ence is the truest, purest love.
how he loved him," and John iii., 16, This mischievous error has arisen from “God so loved the world." Our word a misunderstanding of the true significa- loved leaves the meaning of both these tion of ethical love. Some of the greatest texts in uncertainty; while the Greek perplexities, both of doctrinal and prac ephilei in the first, and egapesen in the tical Christianity, are due to the fact that second, make it positive that the first we employ the word love to express two means that Jesus had social affection for concepts that, although not antagonistic, Lazarus, and the second that God was are radically different, at the same time moved by such benevolent desire for the failing to observe the discrepancy. welfare of the sinful world, though it was fault lies in always attaching to the word disloyal to him and unlovely in his sight,
, love the idea of affection, whereas, as a that “he gave his only begotten Son." Christian virtue and duty, it has a very The passages in which the love one has different meaning.
for himself is made the measure of the This can be made plain by referring to love he owes his neighbor are, when corthe Greek. For the emotional love that rectly interpreted, especially interesting exists among kindred, and the attachment and instructive. What is the nature of we feel for others not akin that we call the love one has for himself? Analyze it friendship, the Greek uses the noun philos carefully. Do you find any affection in and the verb philco. When translated it? Not a particle.
it? Not a particle. What, then, is this from these words, or used in the same mysterious love, and what is the meaning sense, its meaning is purely social. In of the command, " Thou shalt love thy the New Testament philco is never used neighbor as thyself”? A little careful in an ethical sense. It is never found in introspection will make the answer plain. the imperative. On the other hand, to That which is dearest to every man, as express the attitude of the will that is pertaining to himself, is life. Next to life called benevolence-wishing well—the come reputation and rights. Manifestations of kind regard and interest in his others, in short, who does to others as he welfare are also sources of great pleasure would have others do to himself, with and joy to every human heart. These, fulfill the royal law, “ Thou shalt love thy then, may be considered as the inventory neighbor as thyself." of man's love for himself and the catalogue Chelsea, Mich.
THOMAS HOLMES. of his duties to others. The man, the woman, who regards the life, reputation, Through a slip of the pen or an error and rights of others as sacredly as he in type, in our issue of July 13, we incorwould have others regard his life, rectly gave the address of the treasurer reputation, and rights, and manifests a of the Working Girls' Vacation Society. neighborly, brotherly spirit toward others. The correct address is : Miss Edith Bryce, and endeavors to promote the welfare of 20 West Fifty-fourth Street, New York.
Notes and Queries
It is seldom possible to answer any inquiry in the next issue after its receipt. Those who find expected answers late in coming will, we hope, bear in mind the impediments arising from the constant pressure of many subjects upon our limited space. Communications should always bear the writer's name and address. Any book named in Notes and Queries will be sent by the publishers of The Outlook, postpaid, on receipt of price. What is meant to the practical mind when we,
and Color Works at Detroit, is published by the Detroit in praying, ask God to bless us, or bless this or bless Chamber of Commerce and Convention League in the that? It is not clear to me; in fact it is about mean- “Detroit Business Review," volume II., No. 15. It is ingless to me. I fear to most of us it is a term we well worth the attention of all employers in large or use hardly knowing what we do mean. E. W. A.
small organizations both of a commercial and an indusGood feeling often falls into a mere formal expression, trial kind. The suggestions made by Mr. Neal are in as in the current phrase, “How do you do?” “Very his view the lines on which the labor problem will be well, I thank you,” in which really the inquirer neither solved." seeks explicit information about health nor receives it from the answer. Religious feeling drops thus sometimes
To Several Correspondents. There are two also into expressions which though not without also real conceptions respecting the future life: The first is that sentiment are largely formal. Such is the phrase, “God God has endowed all men with immortality in creation, bless us." It is a real expression of man's recognition of
that they must in the nature of the case live eternally, his need of a divine helper and of his desire for divine and that either all will eventually be brought to the companionship. It is vague in expression because it knowledge and the love of God, and to consequent holiexpresses a vague feeling, and sometimes it must be ness (Universalism), or that some will not, and will conse consessed that it really expresses no feeling at all. The quently live in endless sin and misery (Calvinism). The obligation pressed upon us in recognizing this tendency other theory is that God alone has immortality in himto forinalism is endeavor to vitalize devout forms with self, that man is immortal only as he is in vital connecall the feeling that we can.
tion with God, his immortality being derivative or con
ditioned upon his character. For an able presentation Please give a list of books on Scandinavia
of this view, see Dr. McConnell's “Evolution of Immor. for a history club.
I, M. M.
tality.” This view seems to us more consonant with both See the volumes on Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, in
the teaching of Scripture and philosophy than the first, the "Story of the Nations" series (Putnams), Thomas's
though we do not think it safe to be dogmatic on the "Sweden and the Swedes” (Rand, McNally & Co.),
subject. Sturluson's “Stories of the Kings of Norway" (Scrib ners), Hare's “ Sketches in Holland and Scandinavia" Inquirers to whom we have commended the (Macmillan), Nelson's "History of Scandinavia and
booklets for the religious instruction of children, pubSuccessful Scandinavians in the United States (O. N.
lished by Dr. W. J. Mutch, of New Haven, Conn., viz., Nelson, Minneapolis), Neukomm's “Rulers of the Sea,
“Christian Teachings” and “ History of the Bible," will Norsemen in America from the Tenth to the Fifteenth be interested in his latest issue, "Junior Bible Lessons Century” (Estes & Lauriat), Anderson's “ Viking Tales (25 cents). Its topics are drawn from the history of of the North” (Griggs & Co.).
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Dr. Match is to Kindly give me the name and price of a good
begin, September 1, a small quarterly, “Christian Xurbook of Bible stories, suitable for children from three
ture," presenting the best modern ideas bearing on nurto six years of age.
D. A. H.
ture in home, church, and school, (15 cents single copy; The Charles Foster Publishing Company, Philadelphia,
50 cents yearly). has, we believe, volumes of stories from both Testaments, J. H. A. is informed by several correspondents costing perhaps 75 cents each; The Pilgrim Press, Boston, has Weed's “ Life of Christ for the Young"-a book of
that he will find the lines he speaks of in The Outlook of the primary grade, 50 cents.
The still, small voice in autumn's hush, Can I learn how to rid my farm of poison ivy?
Yon maple tree the burning bush, It grows in great quantity along the stone walls under the apple trees, and keeps me away from some
in Whittier's "Chapel of the Hermits," stanza sixteen. of the sweetest places on my property.
If “ L. M. R.," whose request for an article on The only effective way is to tear it up by the roots. This is the way in which a certain golf-links was cleared of it.
"The Freedom of the Press " appeared in the e columns,
issue of June 8, will send his address to us we will be “ Rounding Out a Business.” On this subject glad to forward to him a brief on the subject which has an article by Mr. Thomas Neal, of the Acme White Lead been kindly sent to him by a Philadelphia lawyer.
No. 14 The Steel Strike
The history of the steel before this paper reaches our readers.
strike last week is chiefly The one piece of news of real importance a record of unsubstantiated rumors. In is that on Saturday last President Shaffer the first place, the prediction of the week and Secretary Williams of the Amalgabefore that several of the closed plants mated Association bad a conference with would be reopened with non-union help President Schwab and Mr. J. Pierpont remains unfulfilled. No important works Morgan, of the Steel Trust, and that after have yet been started up again. In the
In the this conference President Shaffer sent next place, the report that a Federal Judge telegrams to the executive officers of the was about to issue a number of blanket Amalgamated Association asking them to injunctions against the strikers has not as meet in Pittsburg on Monday of this week. yet been followed by any such action. In As to the suggested basis of settlement the third place, the announcement that the rumors now current have apparently pressure was to be brought upon the as little basis as most of those which Republican National Committee, through darkened the situation last week. We Senator Hanna, to intervene on the have only to add that since a labor war of part of the strikers, as it did last year such proportions as was threatened is not in the coal strike, is, to say the least, only an immediate disaster to the entire unverified. In the fourth place, the community but threatens increased peril sensational despatches stating that the for the future, the entire community will Mayor of Wellsville, O., had forbidden hope that some pacific and honorable union men from accosting non-union men method of adjustment may be found. on the streets, and that the Mayor of McKeesport, Pa., had prohibited the importation of non-union men and refused
The extremely unhistori
The Schley Inquiry to protect the property of the trusts, proves
cal third volume of Macto have so little basis of fact as to be lay's history of the Navy, with its bitter unworthy of serious attention. The only personal attack on Admiral Schley, has case reported during the week in which served one useful purpose; it has led the non-union men failed to secure the protec. Admiral to call for a Court of Inquiry. Such tion of the public was that of the three an inquiry into the conduct of Admiral hundred negroes imported from Alabama Schley before, during, and after the naval to work for the Latrobe Steel and Copper battle of Santiago should, in our judgment, Company at Melrose Park, III. In have taken place long since. The charges this case the remonstrance of the whole made are specific; those who reiterate town against the importation and the them from time to time in the public press fear inspired among the negroes led are able to quote a characterization of the company to abandon its project and Admiral Schley as guilty of “ reprehensible send the negroes back. In this incident conduct " made by his immediate superior the company might justly complain that officer and a letter from the Secretary of its legal rights had not been protected, the Navy to the Senate Naval Committee but the strike at Melrose Park is not, we describing Admiral Schley's conduct as believe, connected with the struggle between marked by “unsteadiness in purpose and the Amalgamated Association and the in push and failure to obey orders." It Steel Trust. That conflict, if we may is not our intention to examine in detail believe present reports, may be ended the charges made against Admiral Schley,