A Religious, Therapeutical, Legal, and Scientific Review

of the Christian Science Movement

 

Carol Norton, C.S.D., of New York, New York

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts

 

[Note: This lecture was given on May 28, 1899, at a time when questions were being asked in connection with the death of Mrs. Charlotte M. Barguet of Mount Vernon, New York, while receiving Christian Science treatment from Mrs. Clarence H. Fowler. As a report in the Christian Science Sentinel, published a month after the lecture, stated: "Mrs. Fowler was arrested on the charge of having caused the death of Mrs. Barguet and held to await the action of the grand jury. After giving the matter due consideration the grand jury came to the conclusion that the defendant could not be convicted of the charge, and the case was dismissed accordingly." The dismissal came on May 31, only a few days after Mr. Norton's lecture. [1]

 

[No full copy of this lecture has been found by this site, but a number of contemporary newspaper accounts related to the lecture do exist, some of which are here presented.]

 

The Metropolitan Opera House was well filled Sunday afternoon, May 28, by an audience of upward of three thousand people who gathered to listen to a lecture on Christian Science, by Carol Norton, C.S.D., of this city.

The lecture was under the auspices of the fourteen Christian Science churches in the metropolitan district. A fourfold review of Christian Science, religious, therapeutical, legal, and scientific, was the subject of the lecture, which consumed nearly two hours in its delivery.

Judge S. McArthur Norton, of Allegany County, presided. He was presented to the audience by Rev. W. P. McKenzie, C.S.B., of Cambridge, Mass., member of the International Board of Lectureship, in the following words: —

Because I am a visiting member of the Board of Lectureship I have been asked to be the herald to announce to you the name of the presiding officer of the meeting, and lest there should be any misapprehension when it is learned that the name of the chairman and the lecturer is the same, and it should be thought that this is a family matter, I will say that they are not relatives; indeed, that they have only been acquaintances for a short time; and that this acquaintanceship is a sample of the friendship and the brotherly interlinking of affection which is being expressed between good men and Christian Scientists all over the country. They are recognizing that Christian Science gives the most practical form of benevolent and Christian action.

About six weeks ago there was a lecture in Brooklyn, presided over by Judge Hatch of the Supreme Court. The gentleman who is to preside at this meeting is, I believe, a life-long friend of Judge Hatch, and belongs to the same judicial district. I will present to you S. McArthur Norton, Judge of Allegany County, and I would remark before taking my seat that the Judge hails from Friendship, which is a town near to Amity, and in the same neighborhood as Angelica, so that we can judge beforehand somewhat of his kindly disposition. I have much pleasure, in fact I count it an honor, to present to this audience Judge S. McArthur Norton.

Judge Norton then introduced the lecturer, saying: —

This is an age in which many people think for themselves; in which many people like to investigate the truth of matters which are brought before them. There is a large class of people who do not care to give any new idea a fair trial. People are less tolerant in matters of religion than in any other subject which may be presented to them. Christian Science is not new.

The idea has perhaps recently been promulgated. It has been before the people of this country for only about thirty years; but the Scientists say this same idea prevailed and was practised over two thousand years ago; that if diseases of the body could be healed then why not now; that this religion is founded upon the Bible, and takes the Bible for its corner-stone. It is not new, nor is it any fanaticism, as it has frequently been styled, but is a religion which has the same object in view that the religion of all other churches has, except it adds to the saving of souls the saving of the human body.

We hear much said and much discussion with reference to this matter recently, and with reference to the legal aspects of it, upon which the lecturer to-day is going to give you some ideas. One of the oldest ideas of this government, and of this country, is that to every man belongs life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in his own way, that he may worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. These people, who are devout and religious, believe that the ills of humanity may be alleviated by this same religion without the aid of drugs, without the aid of medicine, but by the divine Power, which is the power behind everything that is good. Are they to be allowed that freedom? Can legislation reach and affect the rights of people to worship as they believe, to heal as they believe? A religion which makes people happier and better and stronger, that makes them better citizens, is a religion which none can condemn. All they ask is a fair investigation.

Many of you, many of us, know something of what Christian Science has done. I know of my own knowledge what has been accomplished in the vicinity where I live. I know that men are made better, that their spiritual welfare is promoted, that the ills of the body are healed, and that great good has been accomplished through the instrumentality of the doctrine of this faith.

In order that the people of the world may understand this, because there are large numbers now who believe in it and who are making this a study and trying to come to an understanding of it, an International Board of Lectureship has been established, so that lectures are given to audiences like this all over the world, that the doctrines and the good of those doctrines may be freely disseminated, — and that you may understand, we are gathered here to-day.

I have had the honor of being called upon to present to you the speaker, a man who has made this a study and who has been among the foremost in its ranks for a number of years. I regret to say that I have not long been familiar with this doctrine, but I am glad to say that I am now a student of this theory and of this idea, and hope to know more about it, and I certainly must say that I have a strong belief in it. I have great pleasure, ladies and gentlemen, in introducing to you the lecturer, the representative of the International Board of Lectureship, a gentleman who is undoubtedly better acquainted with you here than I — Mr. Carol Norton, C.S.D., of this city." [2]

 

 

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The Metropolitan Opera House was yesterday afternoon crowded to its doors on the occasion of a lecture on Christian Science by Carol Norton, "member of the International Board of Lectureship of the Mother Church of Christian Science, Boston. Mass." The lecture was under the auspices of the fourteen Christian Science churches of the metropolitan district, and each of the churches was well represented.

The two upper galleries had been set aside for the exclusive use of the members, but these were wholly inadequate to accommodate all who sought admission to them, and many were forced to seek seats in other parts of the house. This was no easy matter, as a full quarter of an hour before the time appointed for the meeting, 3:30 o'clock, every seat in the orchestra and in the boxes had been taken, and many people were standing in the aisles. On the stage were about 100 persons — leaders in the cause — who sat behind the Chairman and the speaker.

Men and women, old and young, in every walk of life were present, and the interest which they took in the proceedings and the signs of approval which greeted the remarks of the speakers left no doubt in the mind of the layman that most of those in the gathering were Christian Scientists. Women largely predominated, composing probably four-fifths of the audience: and the applause — such little as there was, for the audience was earnest rather than demonstrative — was led by a highly enthusiastic woman with a Psyche knot, who sat about eight rows from the front.

Probably the most remarkable feature of the meeting was when, in order, as he said, to prove the excellence and the direct and lasting benefits of Christian Science, Mr. Norton asked all those in the house who had been cured by Christian Science of any disease to stand up. In an instant over 700 people in the orchestra and the first three balconies — not including the regularly recognized Christian Scientists on the platform and in the two upper galleries — rose to their feet. This was the signal for a great outburst of applause. The applause was renewed a moment later when, in response to a second invitation from the lecturer, at least 200 people rose from their seats to give standing evidence to the fact that they had been cured of some sort or other of organic disease.

"And that," said the lecturer, "is what you will find wherever you go among Christian Scientists. We have cured, and we will cure, thousands. Every time we fail that fact is published the wide world over and heralded as a sign that our science is a dangerous fad; yet when we cure hundreds upon hundreds not a word is said. But let me say to you that we can do and we do do as we say. Christian Science has cured and is healing such diseases as locomotor ataxia, blindness, deafness, softening of the brain, paresis, Bright's disease of the kidneys. erysipelas and rheumatism, floating kidneys, cancer, tumor, calcareous deposits in the joints, paralysis, and shaking palsy. The confirmation of physicians regularly graduated from allopathic and homeopathic medical colleges of National import will be gladly furnished any person honestly skeptical of this statement. Facts are stubborn things, and facts such as these a suffering world gladly welcomes.

"But not only this. Christian Science is healing many people that the doctors have failed to cure. If this be the case, as it can be proved is the fact, thousands of people are dying for want of Christian Science treatment. Unsuccessful operations leading to death, the uncertain and in many instances fatal effects of medicine on the system, prove that there are two sides to this great question, and until medical practitioners cease the loss of cases, Christian Scientists cannot be condemned for the occasional loss of cases in the last stages of recognized diseases, while their positive records show such an overwhelming number of successful cures."

The subject of Mr. Norton's address, which extended over nearly two hours, was "A Religious, Therapeutical, Legal, and Scientific Review of the Christian Science Movement." Mr. Norton began his lecture by stating that the meeting was not designed as a defense of Christian Science, its teachings or works. He affirmed that the practical reformatory and healing work of Christian Science, as established by Mary Baker Eddy, was self-evident and needed no defense at his hands.

"Christianity and Christian Science," he said, "are one. No new or revolutionary system is being subjected to adverse criticism in the general misunderstanding of the teachings and work of Christian Science, but the very heart and soul of Christianity itself. Upward of a million religionists in Christendom have accepted the religion and healing of Christian Science, and over two million persons have been directly benefited and healed by its method of therapeutics or cure. Religious liberty is individual liberty. The rights of Christian citizenship can in no wise interfere with the best interests of the public health or the moral progress of the race. Progress in civilization must include religious progress. Christian Science is the North Star of Christianity.

"Physicians of both the allopathic and homeopathic schools, trained nurses and medical students, learned surgeons, and hundreds of privately trained medical experts are now accepting Christian Science as the highest curative method known to the present age. These things in no wise represent the history of a fad, but the intelligent development of scientific curative progress."

In conclusion, the lecturer paid a tribute to the press for its "broad-minded treatment " of Christian Scientists. Referring to the case of Harold Frederic, the lecturer denied that he had died as a result of Christian Science treatment. [3]

 

 

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The Christian Scientists have been very bitterly assaulted, lately, and have come out valiantly in defence of their ideas and practices.

The gathering at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York was a most remarkable one, in that the house was filled by a crowd that outnumbered believers, but which went away greatly astonished and much of its curiosity changed into belief, or, at least, resolve to let the sect have a right to freedom. The idea that is taught is not repulsive nor inconsistent to those who believe deeply in the way of the other religions. There is something appealing to the most thoughtful and religious in the plan of using the same means that the Great Teacher employed to cast out diseases and to lift the minds of men from a low plane.

There is undoubtedly good cause for believing that there will be nothing injured by allowing the Christian Scientists to have their way. They certainly present doctrines that are bound to help the world to be better, for a religion that inculcates as its basis, purity of thought and living, the utter discarding of the selfish, and reliance on the Divine; and forbids scandal and gossip-mongering cannot but have a helpful influence. That it has failed in effecting physical cures in some cases does not in the least vitiate its spiritual excellence. There is no disputing the fact that the less people think of themselves the better they will be. Anyway, there has been more good done to the sect than harm by the opportunity vouchsafed it to have a clear explanation of its doctrines. Any people who are devout in a religion that inculcates morality and purity of living have a right to have fair play and decent treatment from the press and people. [4]

 

 

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Fully 2,800 listeners sat in the Metropolitan Opera House yesterday afternoon and patiently heard Carol Norton talk for nearly two hours on Christian Science. It was said to be the largest and most representative meeting in the interests of the Christian Science movement ever held in this city, and in view of the recent strictures put upon the Christian Scientists by the District Attorney and the Board of Health it was considered to be of unusual interest.

 

Audience in Two Parts

A singular test was made as to what proportion of the audience was composed of Christian Scientists. Members of the New York, Brooklyn and New Jersey churches, by common consent, seated themselves in the box tiers and upper galleries, leaving the main door to other visitors. When, toward the close of his lecture Mr. Norton asked all in the audience who had received any benefit whatever from Christian Science treatment to stand the persons in the galleries and boxes rose almost en masse, while those on the main floor were nearly all seated. The result of this test was received with applause.

"Now," said Mr. Norton, "will all who have been cured of organic disease by Christian Science treatment please rise?"

The number of persons who rose to their feet was not so numerous as on the first call, but it represented fully one-quarter of the audience.

Referring in an impersonal way to the recent concentrated attacks on the Christian Science movement, Mr. Norton said: —

"I expect soon to see the time when news shall be sent around the world by wireless telegraph that Mrs. A., who had been treated for cancer by the most eminent specialists in the world and pronounced incurable, had been healed by Christian Science, or that Mr. B., who had long been a sufferer from organic disease, was allowed to die without giving the Christian Science treatment a trial, and his friends were demanding an investigation.

"The tide is setting our way. There is going to be a great change in public sentiment about Christian Scientists and their work. All we want is fair play, and I believe that the newspapers and the American people will see that we get it. Investigate for yourselves and see how many persons are saved every year by our treatment. Then think of the thousands who die every year who do not receive it and who might be saved if they did.

 

Jesus as a Healer

"Christianity and Christian Science," the speaker continued, "are one. The term signifies the science, or practical understanding, of the divine Principle of Christianity. "

"Out of some thirty-seven so-called miracles recorded of Jesus, upward of twenty-six represent instances of physical healing without drugs or material means. The reappearance of Christian healing through mental methods, without drugs, material means or surgery, is hailed as something new, and by many antagonized as detrimental to the public health and the evangelical catholicity of the Christian religion. But this cloud of misapprehension and opposition is fast passing by.

"Upward of a million religionists in Christendom have accepted the religion and healing of Christian Science, and over two million persons have been directly benefited and healed by its method of therapeutics or cure.

"In religion Christian Science is the exact antipodes of fanaticism, superstition, witchcraft, mesmerism, occultism, heathenism. Its teachings have nothing in common with the terms and deductions of spiritualism. The metaphysics of the Orient and the statements of theosophy represent the exact opposite of the Christian and demonstrable metaphysics of Christian Science. So-called curative methods of faith and mind and the suggested efficacy of hypnotism, animal magnetism, autosuggestion and mental healing, as commonly taught, are antagonistic to the premise and methods of Christian Science, religiously, therapeutically and scientifically. … [5]

 

 

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... Carol Norton, C.S.D.,  lectured yesterday afternoon in the Metropolitan Opera-House under the auspices of the fourteen Christian Science churches in the metropolitan district. Every seat in the spacious theatre was filled. It was the largest audience the preachers of the faith have ever gathered in this city, numbering 3,500 persons.

It is doubtful if a gathering more intelligent in appearance was ever assembled beneath the same roof. For nearly two hours they sat and listened intently to the speaker. Sometimes they applauded by the clapping of their hands. It is estimated that one-third of those present were professed Christian Scientists, and when toward the close Mr. Norton asked all who had been healed by Christian Science to rise about 500 responded. And then, while the organ pealed, the congregation arose and with one voice joined in singing the Doxology.

The meeting was presided over by the  Rev. W. P. McKenzie. C.S.B., member the International Board of Lectureship, from Cambridge, Mass. Beside him on the platform sat Mrs. Laura Lathrop, C.S.D., representing the Board of Education of the Chinatown Science movement. Back of them were representatives from the local churches and visiting Scientists from other cities. The speaker was introduced by … Judge S. McArthur Norton, of Allegheny County.

Mr. Norton began his lecture by stating that it was not designed as a defense of Christian Science, its teachings or works. He affirmed that the practical reformatory and healing work of Christian Science was self-evident, as established by Mary Baker Eddy, and needed no defense at his hands.

"Christianity and Christian Science," he said, "are one. The term signifies the science, or practical understanding of the divine Principle of Christianity. Christian Science, or the science of divine Mind, is in operation and trend as old as the religion of Jesus; its divine Principle antedates the Christian era.

"Christian Science is the revival of the religion of Jesus. Christ taught that sins were moral or spiritual errors, and diseases physical discord or errors. According to the teachings of the evangelists in the New Testament, especially the words of Christ's direct biographers, moral regeneration and physical healing went hand in hand.

"Upward of a million religionists in Christendom have accepted the religion and healing of Christian Science, and more than two million persons have been directly benefited and healed by its method of therapeutics or cure.

"In religion Christian Science is the exact antipode of fanaticism, superstition, witchcraft, mesmerism, occultism, heathenism. Its teachings have nothing in common with the terms and deductions of spiritualism.

"Christian Scientists do not administer drugs, refrain from manipulating the body and eschew all material methods in the cure of disease. They therefore cannot be classed as practitioners of medicine, because they neither believe in it nor give it. Their healing system is a part of their religion." [6]

 

 

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... Referring to the legal aspects, Mr. Norton said: "Christian Science heals disease and destroys physical and moral depravity by one and the same method. Christian Scientists do not administer drugs and eschew all material methods in the cure of disease. They therefore cannot be classed as practitioners of medicine, because they neither believe in nor give it. Their healing system is a part of their religion, and as such is a vital essential of the God-given rights of Christian citizenship and personal liberty.

"Under the rights vouchsafed to every citizen of this great Commonwealth, as recorded in the Declaration of Independence, and in our National Constitution, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are among the inalienable rights of individuals. If drugs fail to cure and Christian Science practice succeeds, as it does in thousands of cases pronounced incurable by the physicians, the right of prayer and the privilege of having this treatment cannot be said to be a matter for either State or National legislation." [7]

 

[1] The quote comes from the Christian Science Sentinel, June 29, 1899; other details are supplied from a report in the July 13, 1899, issue of the Sentinel. A headline in The Mount Vernon News announced on June 1: "FAILED TO INDICT THE SCIENTISTS. The Barguet Case Finally Settled by Grand Jury."

[2] The Christian Science Sentinel, July 6, 1899; the source of the report is noted at the end as "Mail and Express".

[3] The New York Times, May 29, 1899.

[4] The Christian Science Sentinel, June 29, 1899; the source of the report is noted at the end as The New London (Conn.) Telegraph.

[5] The New York Herald, May 29, 1899.

[6] The New York World, May 29, 1899.

[7] The New York Daily Tribune, May 29, 1899.

 

 

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[The following letter to the editor by the lecturer was reprinted in the July 13, 1899, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel under the headline "Medical, Legal, and Religious Aspects of Christian Science":]

 

To the Editor of the Troy Record: — I am asked, as a Christian Scientist, to give my views of the general medical and legal questions brought to the attention of the public by what is known as the Mount Vernon case — the recent death of a Mrs. Barguet of that city, while under Christian Science treatment. By way of preface I desire to say that I am not acquainted with the details of the case proper. I do not know how long the patient was sick, what her general chances of recovery were, or at what stage of the development of her trouble the Christian Science treatment began. Therefore I shall leave those who know directly of the details of the case to speak of these points. The bare facts of the case stand as follows: An intelligent woman, surrounded by an intelligent family, the majority of whom believe in its religion and healing, desired Christian Science mind-healing rather than that of either allopathy or homśopathy. According to the medical opinions advanced since her death, she was suffering from a recognized disease called dropsy. In spite of the treatment, the case ended fatally. These are the plain facts of the case. The legal, medical, and religious conclusions to be drawn from these facts can be briefly put as follows: —

 

Therapeutical Aspects

First. The practitioner who attended Mrs. Barguet, and who did her best to heal the case, represents a school of therapeutical practitioners which has at the present time in the United States and Canada alone a following of upwards of two million intelligent and thinking people. This school of healing has established itself through rational common-sense results, and not by or through superstition, fanaticism, or unprovable claims.

 

Second. Among the practitioners of Christian Science mind-healing are to be found ex-allopathic physicians, some of whom have practised over forty years; ex-homśopathic physicians who have practised upwards of twenty years; hundreds of ex-trained nurses and medical students who have adopted the healing methods of Christian Science because through them they have obtained results beyond the possibility of either allopathy or homśopathy.

 

Third. Homśopathy, during its early history and establishment, was as bitterly opposed by allopathy as Christian Science is now antagonized and persecuted by the combined forces of allopathy and homśopathy. Hence we are not unduly disturbed or frightened if the old schools of established medical practice seek to perpetuate medical monopoly through persecution in the guise of prosecution, or through the extension of legislative action, which is nothing more or less than an effort to create a Medical Trust.

 

Fourth. The newspapers of New York City daily publish a list of death notices. Of this list undoubtedly eighty per cent of the cases represent instances of medical failure. In common justice, why should these so-called regular failures escape newspaper publication while the occasional so-called irregular failures of Christian Science, which is healing thousands upon thousands of authentic cases already given up by the doctors, is made the occasion of undue publicity, satire, and cries of "danger to the public health"?

 

Fifth. The rights of a particular school of therapeutics are based first, last, and always upon the actual results obtained by this school in the healing of disease. I know of a case of consumption of the lungs healed by Christian Science after everything else failed, and am ready to give the confirmation of an allopathic physician in relation to this case. Another case of cancer healed by Christian Science after everything else had failed, confirmed by a physician of fifteen years' practice. Another instance of softening of the brain and cancer healed in a few weeks by Christian Science, confirmed by a physician of fifteen years' practice. Another case of valvular disease of the heart of twenty years' standing healed by Christian Science and confirmed by a physician of nine years' experience. The names of the principals in these instances, as well as those of the regular graduated physicians, will gladly be furnished any honest sceptic. These definite and visible cures multiplied in thousands of cases account for the present spread of Christian Science and its steady march toward religious, legal, and medical recognition. An isolated failure proves nothing. A system should be judged by its definite results and the actual outcome of the application of its principle in the majority of cases, not by the occasional failure which, taken as the symptoms of any system, would lead to immediate rejection and condemnation.

 

Legal Aspects

First. The legal aspects of the Mount Vernon case appeal to me as follows: Christian Scientists give no drugs. Therefore they do not practise medicine. Christian Scientists do not operate through prayer cure, faith, or mind cure. Their method of healing has nothing in common with hypnotism, animal magnetism, auto-suggestion, suggestive therapeutics, or incantation. The strongholds of Christian Science in America are the centers of intelligence and knowledge. In the ranks of Christian Scientists are to be found physicians, clergymen, judges, authors, teachers, successful business men, reformers, musicians, and thousands upon thousands of the intelligent masses. Christian Scientists are not a class of people who appropriate unto themselves the claims of infallibility, neither are they followers of fads and passing fanatical theories of this age of eclecticism. The majority of them have been healed by Christian Science of organic diseases after the best medical skill of the century had failed. They therefore have practical reason for their faith.

 

Second. The healing of disease without drugs or material means is a part of the Christian religion as established by Jesus Christ. The divine basis of the entire Christian ministry rests upon the command of Christ, "preach the Gospel." The divine basis of the healing system of Christian Science is the correlated command of Christ, "Heal the sick." Christian Scientists affirm that if they imitate Christ's method of preaching the Gospel they should also imitate his method of healing the sick. Thus the legal aspects of this method of treatment are brought at once into direct contact with the religious privileges, duties, and essentials of the Christian religion, and our subject becomes a religious question as well as a legal one.

 

Third. The attitude of leading legal authorities upon this question can be clearly seen by the following utterances of recent date: —

 

Judge J. E. McKeighan, of St. Louis, Mo., says, after-quoting certain articles of amendments of the Constitution, "The healing of physical disease as well as the salvation from sin in Christian Science is founded on the distinct and definite religious basis arising from the true relation as taught in the Bible and Science and Health, the text-book of Christian Science, by Mrs. Eddy, between God and man. It is the application of this principle which, according to Christian Science, rescues the sinner from sin and heals the physically sick. And I therefore maintain that any law, federal or state, which would undertake to punish Christian Scientists for healing the physically sick by the application and use of their religious principles would be unconstitutional and in violation of the foregoing provisions of the federal and similar provisions of the different state constitutions."

 

Judge Joseph R. Clarkson, of Omaha, Neb., writes, "The system of Christian Science healing proves itself an institution of God. Through its adherents, healings are accomplished, sinners are saved, suffering of every sort alleviated, and death in many instances successfully defied. With such facts knocking at the door of human understanding would it be legal from any point of view for mankind to say to mankind you shall not turn to God for aid? Knives, scalpels, saws, poisons, plants, animals, experiments, conflicting human opinions, irreconcilable human theories, remedies all right to-day all wrong to-morrow, everything but God must be your choice? No. Christianity without healing is not the Christianity Jesus taught, practised, and bequeathed to mankind."

 

Colonel Watres, attorney-at-law and ex-Lieutenant Governor of the State of Pennsylvania, writes, "One has a perfect right to employ an allopath, homśopath, eclectropath, or any other kind of a doctor, and they have a right to employ no doctor if they see fit, but rely upon divine power, and this without fear of molestation. The Truth will maintain itself, and the harder it is pressed the more it will be demonstrated."

 

Governor Thomas, of Colorado, in vetoing an obnoxious medical bill which aimed at the suppression of Christian Science mind-healing in that state, writes under date of April 25, 1899, "The fundamental vice of the bill is that it denies absolutely to the individual the right to select his own physician. This is a right of conscience and is that which enables the citizen to worship God as he may desire."

 

Professor William James, of Harvard University, says, "The state is not a medical body, has no right to a medical opinion, and should not dare to take side in a medical controversy."

 

Fourth. The rights of individual privilege, the constitutional rights of every citizen, and the privileges of religious liberty all grant to the sick and suffering such healing methods as they individually desire.

 

Fifth. The recent medical bill which has become a law in the State of Illinois, gives the Christian Science practitioners of that great state definite legal status as follows: "Provided that nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to any person who ministers to or treats the sick and suffering by mental or spiritual means without the use of any drug or material remedy."

 

Religious Aspects

First. The power of God, alias divine Mind, is as great over the body as over the soul, according to the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Therefore, mental therapeutics is a vital part of the Christian Science faith. Christianity originally meant health to the body and salvation to the soul. It is again meaning this to the Christian religionists of this century, and nothing can prevent its general acceptance. Men want it, humanity needs it, Love gives it.

 

Second. All that is herein stated is voiced in the spirit of deference and kindness to the representatives of law, medicine, and religion who hold contrary views. The spirit of honest criticism is abroad. Christian Scientists can afford to be tolerant with opposition and kind with persecution because their positive results greatly exceed even the effects proceeding from the abuse of their tenets by minds of fanatical tendency and unbalanced procedure. In the skilled hands of the well established Christian Science practitioners mental therapeutics is an agency which stands as the best friend of the public health, and will in the days to come reunite the regenerative work of Christianity with the power for healing practised by Christ as recorded in the New Testament. These views are set candidly before a thinking public, prone to justice and impatient with injustice and unthinking condemnation.

 

Very sincerely yours,

Carol Norton, C.S.D.

The Troy Record.

 

 

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[The Christian Science Sentinel of Sept. 7, 1899 republished from the Pittsburg (Pa) Dispatch an item by Mr. Norton. There is no indication if this reprinted piece is the synopsis of a lecture (perhaps even of this Metropolitan Opera lecture) or if it is an article or letter to the editor from Mr. Norton's pen. There is also no indication of the original publication date in the Dispatch. But since the subjects treated are relevant to the lecture accounts just presented and since the temporal coincidence of this report with the others is marked, this article is appended here for reference.]

 

Christian Science Explained

 

Eighteen Reasons Set Forth to Show that it is both

Christian and Scientific — Medical, Religious, and Legal

 

There are eighteen reasons, medical, religious, and legal why it is claimed that Christian Science is both Christian and Scientific.

First. — So-called regular medical practice, or allopathy, was preceded by many forms of medical vagaries and superstitions. The leech and bleeding, incantations and Indian medicine men, herbs, and all the crude phases of so-called heroic treatment marked the early steps of what is known as modern medicine. Allopathy has gone, and is going, through many stages of development and so-called progressive expansion. The history of medicine is the history of experiment, guessing, poisons, and misery. While the discovery of anaesthetics has undoubtedly decreased the amount of pain in the world simply by subjugating it, the direct causes of disease and bodily pain have never been brought within the range of destruction through either allopathy or homoeopathy. Incurable organic diseases are multiplying, and medicine receives its most pronounced criticism from its own representatives.

Second. — Allopathy was for a time considered regular, and as representative of scientific materia medica. The work of Hahnemann brought into positive existence the great theory of "like is cured by like," when straightway a great battle was precipitated and progressive homoeopaths were called quacks and irregulars, and social and professional ostracism for years accompanied all their work and effort. But homoeopathy had come to stay and remain with the race as one of the visible manifestations of a tendency toward metaphysical practice and the gradual elimination of the drug element in modern medicine.

 

Remarkable Results Secured

Third. — The next logical step to the work of the high-dilutionists in homoeopathy of course had to be mental, — metaphysical therapeutics. The remarkable results secured through the highest attenuations of homoeopathy led the Discoverer of Christian Science Mind-healing to her great therapeutical deduction which bases the entire healing structure of Christian Science, namely: "All Causation is Mind, and every effect is a mental phenomenon."

Fourth. — Modern medicine with its drugs and drugging, its reliance upon material ways and means, surgery with its instruments, lacking moral and regenerative power, the absurd speculations relating to air, exercise, diet, and the terrors of the germ theory with its myriad hosts of microbes and little impersonal devils, called, "disease-germs," proves not only the utter lack of true science in materia medica, but shows the modern superstition of the human mind. While dignified with the word science, they really are well classified by the great physician, John Mason Good, M.D., F.R.S., of London, who writes: "The effects of medicine on the human system are in the highest degree uncertain, except, indeed, that they have destroyed more lives than war, pestilence, and famine combined."

 

The World against Medicines

Sir John Forbes, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London, also writes: "No systematic or theoretic classification of diseases or therapeutic agents ever yet promulgated is true or anything like truth, and none can be adopted as a safe guidance in practice." Our own Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes declared that "it would be better for the world but worse for the fishes if the contents of every apothecary shop were emptied into the sea."

Fifth. — Four-fifths of the adherents of Christian Science, which body now numbers upwards of one million believers in Christendom, have been healed of organic and functional diseases through Christian Science, without drugs, after all medical practice failed. Their acceptance of Christian Science is therefore based upon fact not fable, and upon common sense rather than upon fanatical faith or superstitious credulity.

Sixth. — The destruction of the causes of disease in the latent thought, or sub-conscious mind, is the great work of this system. Morbidity, sensualism, evil-thinking, self-consciousness, parental impressions, inheritance, fear, self-contemplation and self-exaggeration, impurity, and the belief of physical causation, are the great causes of the diseases that afflict the human race.

Christian Science practice depends wholly upon mental diagnosis, and elevates the profound truths of mental anatomy and the direct effect of Mind over the organism of the body. By its practical application of the idea of the mental character of matter it dissolves cancers and heals consumption when medical so-called science admits its utter failure in the face of these disorders.

 

Religious Aspects of the Case

First. — The God of the Old Testament, alias the Eternal Mind, the God of Israel, is represented in the teachings of Judaism as a God who forgiveth iniquities and healeth diseases. The Old Testament sets forth the healing of disease without material means and by divine power. According to the teachings and life of Jesus Christ the reformation of the sinner and the healing of the sick were one and the same thing, and he commanded his followers in all ages to heal the body and reform character. Therefore the healing of the sick through mental or spiritual processes should be as much a part of the Christian religion to-day as it was during the earth-life of Jesus and through the history of the church for the first three centuries of its existence.

Second. — According to the Founder of the Christian religion that which is impossible with man is possible with God — divine Mind, the Principle of health. The Christian ministry rests upon the great commission of Christ, "Go ye into all the world, preach the Gospel." This ministry and all Christians should also obey the next command of this commission, "Heal the sick." If Christ's followers to-day imitate and repeat his Gospel they should also imitate and repeat his works of healing; for he not only said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments," but he also declared, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do."

 

Mentality and Spirituality

Third. — If God, alias divine Mind, the Principle of the Universe and man, is All-in-all, then God, or Spirit, is as supreme in the physical realm so-called as in the mortal or spiritual. Therefore spirituality is mental, or character health, and normality or bodily health or wholeness is under the direct government of the divine Nature, alias God.

Fourth. — As there is no incurable evil to the power of infinite Good, so under the proper application of the divine Principle of mental healing, alias God, there should not be, and is not, any such thing as incurable sickness or physical disorder. Health of body is as normal as health of character.

Fifth. — The healing of the organic and functional diseases of the human body according to the teachings of Christ as recorded by the evangelist, and the spiritual and therapeutical deductions of Christian Science as taught by its Founder, Mary Baker Eddy, are neither miraculous nor supernatural, but divinely natural. The tenets and methods of faith cure, mind cure, hypnotism, animal magnetism, and mesmerism have nothing in common with the modus operandi of Christ or the teachings of Christian Science.

Sixth. — Metaphysical Christianity is practical Christianity. Scientific Christianity is being proven as eminently practical through the regenerative and physical healing work of Christian Science, which is nothing more or less than a scientific or provable knowledge of the Omniscience of the Supreme Being that to some is known as divine Nature, to others as Creator or First Cause, while others worship God under the names of Father, The Eternal, Divine Principle, Life, Truth, Love. The healing of the sick without drugs or material means is a vital part of the Christian religion, and as such comes under the rights of religious liberty and rational common-sense obedience, not only to the commands of the Founder of Christianity, but to the scientific and visible actualities of twentieth-century progress.

 

The Legal Aspects of the Case

First. — Law, common law, and the rights of Christian citizenship in all nations is based not only upon the moral code of Moses, the great system of human rights, justice, order, and mercy, but upon the God-given rights of man recognized by the signers of our national Declaration and Constitution. In the preamble of the Constitution one of the reasons given for the ordination and establishment of the Constitution is the promotion of the general welfare. In the preamble of the Declaration of Independence, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are mentioned as among the inalienable rights of man.

Second. — Good health brought about by the cure of disease, as well as its prevention, is certainly a part of the general welfare named in the Constitution. Bodily health or harmony is certainly a vital part of life and an essential attainment in the pursuit of happiness mentioned in the preamble of the Declaration. Therefore, if popular and materially legalized methods of healing diseases utterly fail, and the restoration in this century of the method of Jesus Christ is found to be practically efficacious, the legal rights of citizenship give Christian religionists, or Christian Scientists, rightful protection of their dependence upon Christian Science Mind healing as an essential part of the Christian religion as safe-guarded by those portions of our national bill of rights which relate to religious liberty.

 

The Triple Alliance

Third. — Governor Thomas of Colorado, one of the foremost lawyers of the West, in giving his reasons for his recent veto of a medical bill aimed at the practice of Christian Science in that state, spoke of the triple alliance of allopathy, homoeopathy, and eclecticism working in a united way against medical progress as manifested in systems wholly outside the pale of these schools. Twentieth-century religionists and citizens, jealous not only of individual rights and personal liberty, but equally jealous of the attainment and retention of good health, will in no wise accept or allow any form of legislation which will tend to the creation of a Medical Trust, or anything which interferes with the rights of an individual in the choice of his minister, priest, grocer, lawyer, physician, or mode of treatment, be it according to the so-called regular schools, or according to the methods in vogue with the early Christians as established by Christ.

Business men engaged in furnishing the masses with the necessities of life receive a profit from their labors and live thereby. Ministers and missionary workers receive payment for their services, and are thereby supported while they carry on righteous work. Lawyers represent the interests of individuals and support the law of equity and justice, and receive fees for the same. Physicians engaged in the humanitarian labor of alleviating human suffering and curing disease, earn their living thereby and minister to humanity at the same time. Christian Scientists give their whole time, labor, and energies to the moral, spiritual, and physical welfare of humanity, and receive therefrom a reasonably modest and peculiarly small moneyed return or fee. In common justice who shall affirm the error of this proceeding.

 

No Drugs or Medicine Used

Fourth. — Christian Scientists in their practice eschew the use of drugs and never use medicine. They cannot, therefore, be said to be practitioners of medicine. The healing of the sick through spiritual or mental methods is a part of their religion, and as such is not a matter of legislation. Their practices are decreasing diseases and sicknesses, and therefore cannot be said to be a menace to the public health. They have the religious right and the individual privilege of relying wholly upon divine ways and means, if this expresses their own definite wishes. In the words of Attorney-at-Law L. A. Watres, ex-Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, "This is a free country and religious beliefs cannot be interfered with nor rights trampled upon. One has a perfect right to employ an allopath, homoeopath, electropath, or any other kind of a doctor, and they have a right to employ no doctor if they see fit, but rely upon divine power, and this without fear of molestation."

Fifth. — Christian Scientists deferentially respect the motives of all honest opposers, whether in the ranks of the ministerial critics, or among our earnest lawyers, physicians, and surgeons. The Christian Science movement, under the wise leadership of Mrs. Eddy, is leaving no stone unturned in its educational propaganda in order that the people may know the Christianly Scientific character of the religion and healing methods of this system. We welcome honest investigation and cannot but be tolerant and patient with persecution under the guise of prosecution.

 

Fair Play for Christian Science

Sixth. — In the spirit of Christ's charity, with heads and hearts lifted high above the earth-damps of ignorance, superstition, persecution, intolerance, and bigotry, let us give Christian Science fair play. Let its text-book, Science and Health, written by Mrs. Eddy, be compared with the Scriptures; let its therapeutical teachings and results be compared with the utterances of the most advanced scholars in modern medicine and surgery; let its teachings in relation to matter be compared with the pronounced deductions of such minds as Huxley, Tyndall, Oswald, Clifford, Grant Allen, and Haeckel; let its sociologic results be investigated from the standpoint of honesty and impartiality, and above all investigate its claims in relation to the cure of disease by direct contact with the upwards of one million people who have been healed through its practical efficiency during the last twenty years; let common sense, sober judgment, and the spirit of tolerant love and investigation answer the question, Is Christian Science Christian? Is it Scientific?

 

Carol Norton, C.S.D.

Pittsburg (Pa) Dispatch.

 

 

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