Christian Science versus Pantheism, by Mary Baker Eddy
Books by Mary Baker Eddy
ANALYSIS OF "PANTHEISM"
ANALYSIS OF "PANTHEISM"
According to Webster the word "pantheism" is derived
from two Greek words meaning "all" and "god."
Webster's derivation of the English word "pantheism" is
most suggestive. His uncapitalized word "god" gives
the meaning of pantheism as a human opinion of "gods
many," or mind in matter. "The doctrine that the universe,
conceived of as a whole, is God; that there is no
God but the combined forces and laws which are manifested
in the existing universe."
The Standard Dictionary has it that pantheism is the
doctrine of the deification of natural causes, conceived as
one personified nature, to which the religious sentiment is
Pan is a Greek prefix, but it might stand, in the term
pantheism, for the mythological deity of that name; and
theism for a belief concerning Deity in theology. However,
Pan in imagery is preferable to pantheism in theology.
The mythical deity may please the fancy, while pantheism
suits not at all the Christian sense of religion. Pan, as a
deity, is supposed to preside over sylvan solitude, and is a
horned and hoofed animal, half goat and half man, that
poorly presents the poetical phase of the genii of forests. *1
*1 In Roman mythology (one of my girlhood studies), Pan stood
for "universal nature proceeding from the divine Mind and providence,
of which heaven, earth, sea, the eternal fire, are so many
members." Pan was the god of shepherds and hunters, leader of the
nymphs, president of the mountains, patron of country life, and
guardian of flocks and herds. His pipe of seven reeds denotes the
celestial harmony of the seven planets; his shepherd's crook, that care and
providence by which he governs the universe; his spotted skin, the
stars; his goat's feet, the solidity of the earth; his man-face, the
My sense of nature's rich glooms is, that loneness lacks
but one charm to make it half divine - a friend, with
whom to whisper, "Solitude is sweet." Certain moods
of mind find an indefinable pleasure in stillness, soft,
silent as the storm's sudden hush; for nature's stillness
is voiced with a hum of harmony, the gentle murmur of
early morn, the evening's closing vespers, and lyre of bird
"O sacred solitude! divine retreat!
Choice of the prudent! envy of the great!
By thy pure stream, or in thy evening shade,
We court fair wisdom, that celestial maid."
Theism is the belief in the personality and infinite mind
of one supreme, holy, self-existent God, who reveals Himself
supernaturally to His creation, and whose laws are
not reckoned as science. In religion, it is a belief in one
God, or in many gods. It is opposed to atheism and
monotheism, but agrees with certain forms of pantheism
and polytheism. It is the doctrine that the universe owes
its origin and continuity to the reason, intellect, and will of
a self-existent divine Being, who possesses all wisdom,
goodness, and power, and is the creator and preserver of
A theistic theological belief may agree with physics and
anatomy that reason and will are properly classified as
mind, located in the brain; also, that the functions of
these faculties depend on conditions of matter, or brain,
for their proper exercise. But reason and will are human;
God is divine. In academics and in religion it is patent
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