Men may reasonably inquire why it is that so many adverse criticisms from pulpit and press, of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," are being made, if it really is such a key and explains the principle and law of the spiritual healing taught and practised by Jesus in the first century, as claimed by Christian Scientists; and why is it that one class of honest readers pronounce it full of unreasonable and contradictory statements, while another class, equally honest and intelligent, claim to find its reasoning faultless, its statements invincible, and that it brings into such clear view the healing truth of the Scriptures, that every honest and patient student of the two books can demonstrate their verity and unity. It may also be as reasonably asked why so many scholars and thinkers of every civilized country on the globe, both now and in the past, have made the same criticisms against the Bible that are now being made against Science and Health. The inquiry may also be made why so large a proportion of people, even in our own favored land of schools and churches, either do not accept or tacitly ignore the Bible as containing the truth and law of God.
The solution of the problem is not found in the commonly differing opinions of men. The difference is so radical that its cause must be deeper than is generally supposed. The more one gets of the teachings of Christian Science, the more apparent the reason becomes. The fundamental reason is that they view the same thing from opposite standpoints. The Christian Scientist has traversed the ground from which his critic views him. This not only enables him to understand his censor but to sympathize with him. It is not, however, so easy for him who has viewed from both points to explain to him who has seen from but one. The critic concluding to preach a sermon or write an article against Christian Science gets its text-book and glances through it in search of contradictions and false premises, which beforehand he feels sure he will find, and supposing it to be written from the same standpoint and it to be written from the same standpoint and with the same object that he would write a commentary, readily finds many statements which to him seem contradictory and false, and he then holds up to scorn and ridicule either his own misconception of the thought of the author, or his misunderstanding of a Truth the author not only comprehends, but after years of patient study and toil has demonstrated again and again in ways and methods to which her critic is an absolute stranger.
Those intellectual giants, Ingersoll, Paine, Voltaire, and others, who have in labored volumes held up the sacred Scriptures to like scorn and ridicule, did so after long and patient study of the work they condemned. Science and Health unlocks the mystery and solves the problem to the reader whose sense of his own wisdom stands not out so boldly as to dim and darken the child-thought of Jesus that astonished and confounded the wise men of his time, which child-thought alone, he often declared, could receive and demonstrate the Truth he came to reveal. The critics of Science and Health examine it from the standpoint of human experience gathered from the observation of the physical senses only. Viewed from this standpoint, which Paul declared was "foolishness with God" and "received not the things of the Spirit," what becomes of the spiritual conception of Jesus, his healing the sick, raising the dead, walking the wave, and stilling the tempest? And what becomes of his resurrection and final ascension? These mighty deeds cannot be understood by the five finite physical senses of mortal man, nor the experience gathered solely therefrom; for nothing thus measured can stand the strain of time. Indeed, the senses to-day boldly contradict our present accepted theories of astronomy, and would roll this science back to the prison-cell of him who caught its first gleam. Evidently these deeds did not spring out of what these finite senses call law. These wonderful events resulted from the operation of the everlasting might and supremacy of the spiritual law of God that annulled every mortal code and evil power that falsely claimed to come from the very source that was then smiting their ruthless and blighting touch. All see that the potency even of material forces have increased as they become less visible and material; and that these forces have not a particle of innate intelligence, but yield their destructive nature and become helpful servants, as the mind of man grows less material and therefore more ready to grapple with invisible agencies. The words "miracle" or "supernatural" are not needed to solve the problem to him who to any degree beholds through healing demonstrations the universal and resistless potency of the law of the one, infinite, divine Mind, whose intelligence is spiritual and ever saving, instead of material and destroying. Neither are these words needed to explain to our people the phenomena of electricity or frozen water, while to the denizen of Africa, who has never witnessed or heard of either, they might be useful.