MRS. GESTEFELD'S LECTURES
Dear Madam: I have just finished reading Mrs. Gestefeld's Christian Science Lectures, or Statements of Christian Science. As a constant reader of Science And Health, I recognize every thought as taken from your book, but as lacking your spiritual benediction. To those not so familiar with your textbook, the omission to state plainly that Mrs. Gestefeld's quotations are taken from Science and Health has a tendency to mislead people. As every chapter in Mrs. Gestefeld's book is headed with a quotation from Through the Gates of Gold, this naturally sends people to that work for further information. I recognize the same difference between Mrs. Gestefield's Lectures and your book, that I do between the zeal of Saul and the zeal of Paul. Her Lectures lack regeneration. She has not yet been to Damascus. Like the Prodigal Son, I return hungry to the parental house, Science And Health. I hope that those students who have had Mrs. Gestefeld's Lectures recommended to them by their teachers, as superior to any other publication, will stop to think what they want or are searching for in the study of Christian Science.
In connection with the above subject come many inquiries, some of which I will answer. Has Mrs. Gestefeld been in the Normal Class of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, and thus fitted herself to teach Science and Health? No! She was never in the Normal Class; and hence is no more fitted to comment on Mrs. Eddy's work, Science And Health, than an infant is qualified to teach its mother. Is Mrs. Gestefeld a Christian Scientist? Mrs. G. is a member of a Theosophical Society in Chicago. Can a Theosophist be a Christian Scientist? Read what Mrs. Eddy says in No And Yes: "Theosophy is no more allied to Christian Science than the odor of the Upas tree is to the sweet breath of springtide, or the brilliant coruscations of the Northern sky to solar heat and light.".
THE LAST LEAP FOR LIBERTY
As far back as we have any record of mortal man's history, we see him struggling for liberty. There always has been, imbedded in the bosom of humanity, a yearning desire for something higher, better, and nobler than this world affords. We see the same element all through the ages.
The Children of Israel, in bondage to the Egyptians, needed but a torch to set fire to that inborn principle, love of liberty, to lead them to break their bonds and be free. Moses caught a glimmer of Truth, and knew that man was free-born; but the Hebrews clearly showed, by their wanderings and retrogression, that they were following the leadings of mortal mind more than those of the Divine.
No one but Jesus the Christ ever furnished keys to the Kingdom of Heaven that would unlock the door for all mankind. He used those keys to open the portals of Heaven for himself; and he proved beyond cavil that we, with those selfsame keys, can open the door and enter into harmony.
Popular theology implies that Jesus still keeps the keys, and lets in whom he will, as his mercy is sought. If we can, by our eloquence, earnestness, and faith, prevail upon him so to do, he will intercede with the Father; or, in other words, open the door and let us in. Oh superstition! Thou hast darkened all history, and the world is not yet free from thy Satanic influence! Jesus gave to Peter the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and he also gives them to all who accept him as the Christ, the Truth that destroys all forms of error.
With those keys what are we to do? Are we better than Jesus, "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief"? Through faith in those keys (Truth), and with an ever-abiding consciousness that all our faculties are in God, we are to "work out our own salvation."
Mankind, instead of following the precepts and example of Jesus, again wandered away from the light that "lighteth every man," and a gloom settled upon the earth, darker than ever before. Error predominated to such an extent as to almost hide the Truth; but in the sixteenth century humanity was revived. The great Reformation of Luther awakened thought, and the world has made almost uninterrupted progress from that time.
Now, in the last half of the nineteenth century, it is found that all other reforms, revolutions, and awakenings were but preparations for the "full-orbed appearance of Truth." The ideal man, of God's creation, stands revealed in Christian Science as spiritual, perfect, and pure as his Maker.
"Farther we cannot go, higher we cannot look." This is the last act in the great drama of mortal existence. When the curtain falls, error will have been reduced to its native nothingness, and man will stand forth in all his reflected glory, majesty, and might, with boundless freedom, and dominion over all the earth.
This, doubting one, is, in brief, the ultimatum of Christian Science. The simple Truth that Jesus taught, the little leaven that a woman hid in three measures of meal, is working and spreading until "all shall know Him, from the least to the greatest."
IMPATIENCE AND SURETY
My dear Teacher: Sometimes I feel here in Denver a sense of fear that I am not progressing as I ought, and an impatience that I cannot heal my patients instantaneously; but after treating myself, and reading Science and Health, comes a relief, and a perfect confidence that if my work is done in Science the result is sure. In fact I can always heal my patients now, even though it may take me longer than I wish.
Every day strengthens me in the conviction that your teaching in regard to Animal Magnetism and Mesmerism must be heeded, if students ever hope to advance in Science, and triumph over the belief that mortal mind has any authority over man. I can now see that when I came to you I was being unconsciously drawn into its deadly current; and although at the time I really felt you were making it somewhat real to me, I thank you now for giving me especial warning to treat myself against it.
I think we cannot serve two masters; therefore it is very important that we exclude all erroneous books from our table; and if occasionally some mind-cure journal finds its way to our address, we should toss it into the waste-basket, and send the giver a message of Truth.
A WHOLE FAMILY
My very dear Teacher: While our work here in Detroit is very quiet, it has hitherto been free from strife. We are arranging for a Sunday service; which, for the present, and with your approval, I shall conduct. I have been doing a little missionary work through the State this summer, and feel more and more deeply the world's need of Christian Science; and most clearly do I perceive its adaptation to that need.
Surely, after our great convention, we need not fear anything. The feeling in Chicago was no surface enthusiasm, but came from the heart. One little circumstance touched me deeply. I observed one person addressing another with great joy, and exclaiming, "What! you a Christian Scientist? Oh, I am so glad!" These were old friends, who had not met for years, and were unaware of each other's life-progress. I could not but think of the hereafter, when we shall have awakened from this dream. I suppose you know that my youngest sister is with her husband, laboring in our good cause in Toronto, Canada. That makes our entire family in this glorious work.
NEW YORK PHYSICIAN'S TESTIMONY
Dear Madam: I have a student who has given and is now giving much attention to healing by Christian Science,—or at least to its theories, for he has not, to my knowledge, attempted to practise them. At his request, therefore, I write to ask you to state concisely the objects of the school, its terms of tuition, the course of study, and the time it will take, as he thinks strongly of taking a course of lectures at your school.
I will tell you frankly that this does not meet with my approval, and I would have nothing whatever to do with it, were it not that I saw a curious case of apparent cure in one of my own patients, whom I had pronounced incurable. Certain it is, that the cure was from causes unknown to me, and operating only through the mind,—or in some unseen way, I cannot tell how. In a long private practice, and an extended hospital service some years ago in New York, a parallel case has never occurred to me.
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