MRS. EDDY TALKS
I found at one time that they had five churches under
discipline. I intervened. Dissensions are dangerous in
an infant church. I wrote to each church in tenderness,
in exhortation, and in rebuke, and so brought all back to
union and love again. If that is to be a pope, then you
can judge for yourself. I have even been spoken of as a
Christ, but to my understanding of Christ that is
impossible. If we say that the sun stands for God, then all his
rays collectively stand for Christ, and each separate ray
for men and women. God the Father is greater than
Christ, but Christ is 'one with the Father,' and so the
mystery is scientifically explained. There can be but
"And the soul of man?"
"It is not the spirit of God, inhabiting clay and then
withdrawn from it, but God preserving individuality and
personality to the end. I hold it absurd to say that when
a man dies, the man will be at once better than he was
before death. How can it be? The individuality of him
must make gradual approaches to Soul's perfection."
"Do you reject utterly the bacteria theory of the
propagation of disease?"
"Oh," with a prolonged inflection, "entirely. If I
harbored that idea about a disease, I should think myself
in danger of catching it."
About Infectious Diseases
"Then as to the laws - the health laws of the States
on the question of infectious and contagious diseases.
How does Christian Science stand as to them?"
"I say, 'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's.'
We cannot force perfection on the world. Were vaccination
of any avail, I should tremble for mankind; but,
knowing it is not, and that the fear of catching smallpox
is more dangerous than any material infection, I
say: Where vaccination is compulsory, let your children
be vaccinated, and see that your mind is in such a state
that by your prayers vaccination will do the children no
harm. So long as Christian Scientists obey the laws, I
do not suppose their mental reservations will be thought
to matter much. But every thought tells, and Christian
Science will overthrow false knowledge in the end."
"What is your attitude to science in general? Do you
"Not," with a smile, "if it is really science."
"Well, electricity, engineering, the telephone, the steam
engine - are these too material for Christian Science?"
"No; only false science - healing by drugs. I was a
sickly child. I was dosed with drugs until they had no
effect on me. The doctors said I would live if the drugs
could be made to act on me. Then homoeopathy came
like blessed relief to me, but I found that when I prescribed
pellets without any medication they acted just
the same and healed the sick. How could I believe in
a science of drugs?"
"The work done by the surgeon is the last healing that
will be vouchsafed to us, or rather attained by us, as we
near a state of spiritual perfection. At present I am
conservative about advice on surgical cases."
"But the pursuit of modern material inventions?"
"Oh, we cannot oppose them. They all tend to newer,
finer, more etherealized ways of living. They seek the finer
essences. They light the way to the Church of Christ.
We use them, we make them our figures of speech.
They are preparing the way for us."
We talked on many subjects, some only of which are
here touched upon, and her views, strictly and always