THE Christian Science movement has reached its present stately proportions under the shadow of the world's disapproval. It has been the butt of thoughtless ridicule, the object of misdirected humor and of unjust censure. It has been misrepresented and misjudged, criticised and condemned. And now, after a third of a century of its establishment, after all these abundant opportunities for its observation, the critics and opponents of Christian Science might well sit down to consider soberly what it is that has aroused their ire or their antagonism. What is the bad thing about Christian Science, and in what way has it made its disciples worse? What is the evil influence that Christians and others should beware of in it?
Christian Science has been called Utopian, idealistic, impracticable, because the blessings it holds out to men have been considered as too good to be realized in this wicked world. It has been condemned as unchristian, because it repudiates the entity and power of that evil sense, or sense of evil, which many religionists speak of in the same breath with which they speak of God. Its followers have been called fanatics because they have persisted in the actual practice of its teachings, even to the extent of relying upon God in their troubles rather than upon erring, mortal man. And so its many critics of many minds have spent their ammunition upon it, while the followers of this truly Christian Science have gone meekly on their way, while it is "gathering beneath "its wings the sick and sinning" (Science and Health,p.55).
After all that has been said against it, why should not Christian Science be true? Why should men have to go on in such continuous misery and not begin to see a little of heaven even upon earth? or why should it be more impracticable to realize good ideals than bad ones? Why should it not be better, even for an orthodox Christian, to exalt good alone as the intelligence and power of the world, rather than a little good and much evil? What is there unchristian in giving the whole world and the whole of man to God and God's control? and why should it not be as effectual to immerse oneself in prayer and good thoughts as to dose oneself with drugs? Or why should it be thought strange by a God-fearing people that He should be believed as kind and helpful when man goes to Him in trouble, as man to man? After all that can be said or thought of to the contrary, why not?