Miscellaneous Writings (1883-1896) by Mary Baker Eddy
Books by Mary Baker Eddy

page 223


   It is related of Justin Martyr that, hearing of a Pythagorean
professor of ethics, he expressed the wish to become
one of his disciples.  "Very well," the teacher
replied; "but have you studied music, astronomy, and
geometry, and do you think it possible for you to understand
aught of that which leads to bliss, without having
mastered the sciences that disengage the soul from
objects of sense, so rendering it a fit habitation for
the intelligences?"  On Justin's confessing that he had
not studied those branches, he was dismissed by the
   Alas for such a material science of life!  Of what
avail would geometry be to a poor sinner struggling with
temptation, or to a man with the smallpox?
   Ancient and modern philosophies are spoiled by lack
of Science.  They would place Soul wholly inside of body,
intelligence in matter; and from error of premise would
seek a correct conclusion.  Such philosophy can never
demonstrate the Science of Life, - the Science which
Paul understood when he spoke of willingness "to be
absent from the body, and present with the Lord."  Such
philosophy is far from the rules of the mighty Nazarene
Prophet.  His words, living in our hearts, were these:
"Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as
a little child, shall in no wise enter therein."  Not through
astronomy did he point out the way to heaven and the
reign of harmony.
   We need the spirit of St. Paul, when he stood on Mars'
hill at Athens, bringing Christianity for the first time

MISC 345

into Europe.  The Spirit bestows spiritual gifts, God's
presence and providence.  St. Paul stood where Socrates
had stood four hundred years before, defending himself
against the charge of atheism; in the place where Demosthenes
had pleaded for freedom in immortal strains
of eloquence.
   We need the spirit of the pious Polycarp, who, when
the proconsul said to him, "I will set the beasts upon
you, unless you yield your religion," replied: "Let them
come; I cannot change from good to bad."  Then they
bound him to the stake, set fire to the fagots, and his
pure and strong faith rose higher through the baptism
of flame.
   Methinks the infidel was blind who said, "Christianity
is fit only for women and weak men;" but even infidels
may disagree.  Bonaparte declared, "Ever since the
reign of Christianity began the loftiest intellects have had
a practical faith in God."  Daniel Webster said, "My
heart has always assured and reassured me that Christianity
must be a divine reality."
   To turn the popular indignation against an advanced
form of religion, the pagan slanderers affirmed that
Christians took their infants to a place of worship in
order to offer them in sacrifice, - a baptism not of
water but of blood, thus distorting or misapprehending
the purpose of Christian sacraments.  Christians met
in midnight feasts in the early days, and talked of the
crucified Saviour; thence arose the rumor that it was
a part of Christian worship to kill and eat a human
   Really, Christianity turned men away from the thought
of fleshly sacrifice, and directed them to spiritual

MISC 346

attainments.  Life, not death, was and is the very centre of
its faith.  Christian Science carries this thought even
higher, and insists on the demonstration of moral and
spiritual healing as eminent proof that God is understood
and illustrated.

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