CHRISTIAN SCIENCE

VERSUS

PANTHEISM

 

BY

MARY BAKER EDDY

 

PASTOR EMERITUS OF THE FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST

BOSTON, AND AUTHOR OF SCIENCE AND HEALTH

WITH KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES

 

BOSTON, U.S.A.

Published by Allison V. Stewart

Falmouth and St. Paul Streets

1915

 

Copyright, 1898

By Mary Baker G. Eddy

 

All rights reserved

 

THE UNIVERSITY PRESS, CAMBRIDGE, U.S.A.

 

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE

VERSUS PANTHEISM

 

PASTOR'S MESSAGE TO THE MOTHER

CHURCH, ON THE OCCASION OF THE

JUNE COMMUNION, 1898

 

Subject: Not Pantheism, hut Christian Science.

 

BELOVED brethren, since last you gathered at the

feast of our Passover, the winter winds have come

and gone; the rushing winds of March have shrieked and

hummed their hymns; the frown and smile of April, the

laugh of May, have fled; and the roseate blush of joyous

June is here and ours.

In unctuous unison with nature, mortals are hoping and

working, putting off outgrown, wornout, or soiled gar-

ments the pleasures and pains of sensation and the

sackcloth of waiting for the springtide of Soul. For

what a man seeth he hopeth not for, but hopeth for what

he hath not seen, and waiteth patiently the appearing

thereof. The night is far spent, and day is not distant in

the horizon of Truth even the day when all people

shall know and acknowledge one God and one Christianity.

 

2 MESSAGES TO THE MOTHER CHURCH

 

Christian Science not Pantheism

 

At this period of enlightenment, a declaration from the

pulpit that Christian Science is pantheism is anomalous to

those who know whereof they speak who know that

Christian Science is Science, and therefore is neither

hypothetical nor dogmatical, but demonstrable, and

looms above the mists of pantheism higher than Mt.

Ararat above the deluge.

 

Analysis of "Pantheism"

 

According to Webster the word "pantheism" is de-

rived 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 uni-

verse, conceived of as a whole, is God; that there is no

God but the combined forces and laws which are mani-

fested 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

directed.

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. How-

ever, Pan in imagery is preferable to pantheism in theology.

 

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE VERSUS PANTHEISM 3

 

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]

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

and brooklet.

 

"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 Him-

self 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

 

[1] In Roman mythology (one of my girlhood studies), Pan stood

for "universal nature proceeding from the divine Mind and provi-

dence, of which heaven, earth, sea, the eternal fire, are so many mem-

bers." Pan was the god of shepherds and hunters, leader of the

nymphs, president of the mountains, patron of country life, and guar-

dian 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

celestial world.

 

4 MESSAGES TO THE MOTHER CHURCH

 

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

man.

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

that will is capable of use and of abuse, of right and wrong

action, while God is incapable of evil; that brain is matter,

and that there are many so-called minds; that He is the

creator of man, but that man also is a creator, making

two creators; but God is Mind and one.

 

God not Human Devices the Preserver

of Man

 

God, Spirit, is indeed the preserver of man. Then, in

the words of the Hebrew singer, "Why art thou cast down,

O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope

thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health

of my countenance, and my God. . . . Who forgiveth

all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases." This

being the case, what need have we of drugs, hygiene, and

medical therapeutics, if these are not man's preservers?

By admitting self-evident affirmations and then contra-

 

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE VERSUS PANTHEISM 5

 

dicting them, monotheism is lost and pantheism is found

in scholastic theology. Can a single quality of God,

Spirit, be discovered in matter? The Scriptures plainly

declare, "The Word was God;" and "all things were

made by Him," the Word. What, then, can matter

create, or how can it exist?

 

Jesus' Definition of Evil

 

Did God create evil? or is evil self-existent, and so

possessed of the nature of God, good? Since evil is not

self-made, who or what hath made evil? Our Master

gave the proper answer for all time to this hoary query.

He said of evil: "Ye are of your father, the devil, and the

lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from

the beginning, and abode not in the truth [God], because

there is no truth [reality] in him [evil]. When he speaketh

a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father

of it [a lie]."

Jesus' definition of devil (evil) explains evil. It shows

that evil is both liar and lie, a delusion and illusion. There-

fore we should neither believe the lie, nor believe that it

hath embodiment or power; in other words, we should

not believe that a lie, nothing, can be something, but deny

it and prove its falsity. After this manner our Master cast

out evil, healed the sick, and saved sinners. Knowing

that evil is a lie, and, as the Scripture declares, brought

sin, sickness, and death into the world, Jesus treated the

lie summarily. He denied it, cast it out of mortal mind,

and thus healed sickness and sin. His treatment of evil

 

6 MESSAGES TO THE MOTHER CHURCH

 

and disease, Science will restore and establish, first,

because it was more effectual than all other means; and,

second, because evil and disease will never disappear in

any other way.

Finally, brethren, let us continue to denounce evil as the

illusive claim that God is not supreme, and continue to

fight it until it disappears, but not as one that beateth

the mist, but lifteth his head above it and putteth his foot

upon a lie.

 

Evil, as Personified by the Serpent

 

Mosaic theism introduces evil, first, in the form of a

talking serpent, contradicting the word of God and thereby

obtaining social prestige, a large following, and changing

the order and harmony of God's creation. But the higher

criticism is not satisfied with this theism, and asks, If God

is infinite good, what and where is evil? And if Spirit

made all that was made, how can matter be an intelligent

creator or coworker with God ? Again: Did one Mind,

or two minds, enter into the Scriptural allegory, in the

colloquy between good and evil, God and a serpent? and

if two minds, what becomes of theism in Christianity? For

if God, good, is Mind, and evil also is mind, the Christian

religion has at least two Gods. If Spirit is sovereign, how

can matter be force or law; and if God, good, is omnipo-

tent, what power hath evil?

It is plain that elevating evil to the altitude of mind gives

it power, and that the belief in more than one spirit, if

 

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE VERSUS PANTHEISM 7

 

Spirit, God, is infinite, breaketh the First Commandment

in the Decalogue.

Science shows that a plurality of minds, or intelligent

matter, signifies more than one God, and thus prevents the

demonstration that the healing Christ, Truth, gave and

gives in proof of the omnipotence of one divine, infinite

Principle.

Does not the theism or belief, that after God, Spirit, had

created all things spiritually, a material creation took

place, and God, the preserver of man, declared that man

should die, lose the character and sovereignty of Jehovah,

and hint the gods of paganism?

 

Theistic Religions

 

We know of but three theistic religions, the Mosaic, the

Christian, and the Mohammedan. Does not each of these

religions mystify the absolute oneness and infinity of God,

Spirit?

A close study of the Old and New Testaments in con-

nection with the original text indicates, in the third chap-

ter of Genesis, a lapse in the Mosaic religion, wherein

theism seems meaningless, or a vague apology for con-

tradictions. It certainly gives to matter and evil reality

and power, intelligence and law, which implies Mind,

Spirit, God; and the logical sequence of this error is idol-

atry other gods.

Again: The hypothesis of mind in matter, or more than

one Mind, lapses into evil dominating good, matter govern-

ing Mind, and makes sin, disease, and death inevitable,

 

8 MESSAGES TO THE MOTHER CHURCH

 

despite of Mind, or by the consent of Mind! Next, it

follows that the disarrangement of matter causes a man to

be mentally deranged; and the Babylonian sun god, moon

god, and sin god find expression in sun worship, lunacy,

sin, and mortality.

Does not the belief that Jesus, the man of Galilee, is

God, imply two Gods, one the divine, infinite Person, the

other a human finite personality? Does not the belief

that Mary was the mother of God deny the self-existence

of God? And does not the doctrine that Mohammed is

the only prophet of God infringe the sacredness of one

Christ Jesus?

 

Scientific Christianity Means One God

 

Christianity, as taught and demonstrated in the first

century by our great Master, virtually annulled the so-

called laws of matter, idolatry, pantheism, and polytheism.

Christianity then had one God and one law, namely,

divine Science. It said, "Call no man your father upon

the earth, for one is your Father, which is in heaven."

Speaking of himself, Jesus said, "My Father is greater

than I." Christianity, as he taught and demonstrated it,

must ever rest on the basis of the First Commandment and

love for man.

The doctrines that embrace pantheism, polytheism, and

paganism are admixtures of matter and Spirit, truth and

error, sickness and sin, life and death. They make man

the servant of matter, living by reason of it, suffering be-

cause of it, and dying in consequence of it. They con-

 

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE VERSUS PANTHEISM 9

 

stantly reiterate the belief of pantheism, that mind "sleeps

in the mineral, dreams in the animal, and wakes in man."

"Infinite Spirit" means one God and His creation, and

no reality in aught else. The term "spirits" means more

than one Spirit; in paganism they stand for gods; in

spiritualism they imply men and women; and in Christian-

ity they signify a good Spirit and an evil spirit.

Is there a religion under the sun that hath demonstrated

one God and the four first rules pertaining thereto, namely,

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me;" "Love thy

neighbor as thyself;" "Be ye therefore perfect, even as

your Father which is in heaven is perfect;" "Whosoever

liveth and believeth in me shall never die." (John xi. 26.)

What mortal to-day is wise enough to do himself no

harm, to hinder not the attainment of scientific Chris-

tianity? Whoever demonstrates the highest humanity,

long-suffering, self-surrender, and spiritual endeavor to

bless others, ought to be aided, not hindered, in his

holy mission. I would kiss the feet of such a messenger,

for to help such a one is to help one's self. The demon-

stration of Christianity blesses all mankind. It loves one's

neighbor as one's self; it loves its enemies and this

love benefits its enemies (though they believe it not), and

rewards its possessor; for, "If ye love them which love you,

what reward have ye?"

 

Man the True Image of God

 

From a material standpoint, the best of people some-

times object to the philosophy of Christian Science, on the

 

10 MESSAGES TO THE MOTHER CHURCH

 

ground that it takes away man's personality and makes

man less than man. But what saith the apostle? even

this: "If a man think himself to be something, when he is

nothing, he deceiveth himself." The great Nazarene

Prophet said, "By their fruits ye shall know them:" then,

if the effects of Christian Science on the lives of men

be thus judged, we are sure the honest verdict of hu-

manity will attest its uplifting power, and prevail over the

opposite notion that Christian Science lessens man's in-

dividuality.

The students at the Massachusetts Metaphysical Col-

lege, generally, were the average man and woman. But

after graduation, the best students in the class averred

that they were stronger and better than before it. With

twelve lessons or less, the present and future of those stu-

dents had wonderfully broadened and brightened before

them, thus proving the utility of what they had been taught.

Christian Scientists heal functional, organic, chronic, and

acute diseases that M.D.'s have failed to heal; and,

better still, they reform desperate cases of intemperance,

tobacco using, and immorality, which, we regret to say,

other religious teachers are unable to effect. All this is

accomplished by the grace of God, the effect of God

understood. A higher manhood is manifest, and never

lost, in that individual who finds the highest joy, there-

fore no pleasure in loathsome habits or in sin, and no

necessity for disease and death. Whatever promotes

statuesque being, health, and holiness does not degrade

man's personality. Sin, sickness, appetites, and passions,

constitute no part of man, but obscure man. Therefore it

 

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE VERSUS PANTHEISM 11

 

required the divinity of our Master to perceive the real

man, and to cast out the unreal or counterfeit. It caused

St. Paul to write, "Lie not one to another, seeing that

ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put

on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after

the image of Him that created him."

Was our Master mistaken in judging a cause by its

effects? Shall the opinions, systems, doctrines, and dog-

mas of men gauge the animus of man? or shall his stature

in Christ, Truth, declare him? Governed by the divine

Principle of his being, man is perfect. When will the

schools allow mortals to turn from clay to Soul for the

model? The Science of being, understood and obeyed,

will demonstrate man to be superior to the best church-

member or moralist on earth, who understands not this

Science. If man is spiritually fallen, it matters not what

he believes; he is not upright, and must regain his native

spiritual stature in order to be in proper shape, as certainly

as the man who falls physically needs to rise again.

Mortals, content with something less than perfection

the original standard of man may believe that evil de-

velops good, and that whatever strips off evil's disguise be-

littles man's personality. But God enables us to know that

evil is not the medium of good, and that good supreme de-

stroys all sense of evil, obliterates the lost image that

mortals are content to call man, and demands man's un-

fallen spiritual perfectibility.

The grand realism that man is the true image of God,

not fallen or inverted, is demonstrated by Christian Science.

And because Christ's dear demand, "Be ye therefore

 

12 MESSAGES TO THE MOTHER CHURCH

 

perfect," is valid, it will be found possible to fulfil it. Then

also will it be learned that good is not educed from evil,

but comes from the rejection of evil and its modus operandi.

Our scholarly expositor of the Scriptures, Lyman Abbott,

D.D., writes, "God, Spirit, is ever in universal nature."

Then, we naturally ask, how can Spirit be constantly pass-

ing out of mankind by death for the universe includes

man?

 

The Grandeur of Christianity

 

This closing century, and its successors, will make strong

claims on religion, and demand that the inspired Scriptural

commands be fulfilled. The altitude of Christianity open-

eth, high above the so-called laws of matter, a door that no

man can shut; it showeth to all peoples the way of escape

from sin, disease, and death; it lifteth the burden of sharp

experience from off the heart of humanity, and so lighteth

the path that he who entereth it may run and not weary,

and walk, not wait by the roadside, yea, pass gently on

without the alterative agonies whereby the way-seeker

gains and points the path.

The Science of Christianity is strictly monotheism,

it has ONE GOD. And this divine infinite Principle,

noumenon and phenomena, is demonstrably the self-

existent Life, Truth, Love, substance. Spirit, Mind, which

includes all that the term implies, and is all that is real and

eternal. Christian Science is irrevocable unpierced

by bold conjecture's sharp point, by bald philosophy, or

by man's inventions. It is divinely true, and every hour

 

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE VERSUS PANTHEISM 13

 

in time and in eternity will witness more steadfastly to its

practical truth. And Science is not pantheism, but Chris-

tian Science.

Chief among the questions herein, and nearest my

heart, is this: When shall Christianity be demonstrated

according to Christ, in these words: "Neither shall they

say, Lo, here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of

God is within you"?

 

EXHOETATION

 

Beloved brethren, the love of our loving Lord was never

more manifest than in its stern condemnation of all error,

wherever found. I counsel thee, rebuke and exhort one

another. Love all Christian churches for the gospel's

sake; and be exceedingly glad that the churches are united

in purpose, if not in method, to close the war between

flesh and Spirit, and to fight the good fight till God's will

be witnessed and done on earth as in heaven.

Sooner or later all shall know Him, recognize the great

truth that Spirit is infinite, and find life in Him in whom

we do "live, and move, and have our being" life in

Life, all in All. Then shall all nations, peoples, and

tongues, in the words of St. Paul, have "one God and

Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in

you all." (Ephesians iv. 6.)

Have I wearied you with the mysticism of opposites?

Truly there is no rest in them, and I have only traversed

my subject that you may prove for yourselves the unsub-

 

14 MESSAGES TO THE MOTHER CHURCH

 

stantial nature of whatever is unlike good, weigh a sigh,

and rise into the rest of righteousness with its triumphant

train.

Once more I write. Set your affections on things above;

love one another; commune at the table of our Lord in one

spirit; worship in spirit and in truth; and if daily adoring,

imploring, and living the divine Life, Truth, Love, thou

shalt partake of the bread that cometh down from heaven,

drink of the cup of salvation, and be baptized in Spirit

 

Prayer for Country and Church

 

Pray for the prosperity of our country, and for her vic-

tory under arms; that justice, mercy, and peace continue

to characterize her government, and that they shall rule all

nations. Pray that the divine presence may still guide and

bless our chief magistrate, those associated with his execu-

tive trust, and our national judiciary; give to our congress

wisdom, and uphold our nation with the right arm of His

righteousness.

In your peaceful homes remember our brave soldiers,

whether in camp or in battle. [1] Oh, may their love of coun-

try, and their faithful service thereof, be unto them life-

preservers! May the divine Love succor and protect

them, as at Manila, where brave men, led by the dauntless

Dewey, and shielded by the power that saved them, sailed

victoriously through the jaws of death and blotted out the

Spanish squadron.

Great occasion have we to rejoice that our nation, which

 

[1] This refers to the war between United States and Spain for

the liberty of Cuba.

 

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE VERSUS PANTHEISM 15

 

fed her starving foe, already murdering her peaceful

seamen and destroying millions of her money, will be

as formidable in war as she has been compassionate in

peace.

May our Father-Mother God, who in times past hath

spread for us a table in the wilderness and "in the midst

of our enemies," establish us in the most holy faith, plant

our feet firmly on Truth, the rock of Christ, the "substance

of things hoped for" and fill us with the life and under-

standing of God, and good will towards men.

 

Mary Baker Eddy

 

 

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