Lecture on Christian Science, Title Unknown (2)
Edward A. Kimball of Chicago, Illinois
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
E. A. Kimball, of Chicago, a lecturer of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Boston, spoke before an audience in the Grand Opera House yesterday afternoon that completely filled the structure. Every seat down stairs was filled, the balcony was in a like condition, and the gallery held its quota. Those that arrived late in the afternoon were obliged to stand in the aisles and many had to leave owing to the lack of room. The lecture was under the auspices of the First Church of Christ Scientist of this city.
Mr. Kimball did not take up the scientific reasonings for his creed, but contented himself with a statement of assumed facts concerning the ills of mankind and the futility of the reliance on drugs for a cure. He also spoke against the belief of a personal devil and an infinite hell, maintaining that such were the depraved imaginings of a barbarous and a pagan time. His address was in part as follows:
"I ask you to lay aside all differences of creed, politics and other beliefs that you may all stand on one common ground without bias or prejudice and that you may consider whether or not there may be some new methods of relieving the ills of mankind. Having all respect for your mental integrity I shall not indulge in any deep sophistry, but leave you to form your own judgments concerning Christian Science.
"What is the justification for your invitation here? Why, because Christian Science is drying the tears, reforming the drunkard and curing ills that are commonly called incurable or fatal. Christian Science purports to teach the science of God, and we do not yet know all concerning God, or even common man. It does not purport to be anything new, but rather a more complete and comprehensive teaching of the life of Jesus Christ.
"This society is trying to do just what Jesus Christ told his disciples they must do. There are some people who practice one-half of the life of Jesus Christ, and what do they do? They spend much of their time in assailing us who try to practice all he taught.
"'Go thou and do likewise,' said Jesus Christ to his apostles, and for 300 years they healed the sick and dying until politics with its baneful influence stopped the work. We have resumed this practice of curing according to God's law. Is God less good, less generous, less willing to help the afflicted than he was 1,900 years ago? Has God changed? I ask you as Christians for an answer and you cannot say that he has. Why then are you warned against us as being dangerous?
"Christian Science is revolutionary in a certain sense, because it casts down so many idols of superstition that have prevailed for so long, most of which have come down to us from the times of paganism.
Personal Devil Theory.
One of the oldest ideals that we have to contend with is the personal devil. Now, where and what is this personal devil? The only reasonable answer that can be given is that sin is the devil. But then sin reduced to its fundamental basis is in the thought, and should people cease to sin tonight, at that time the devil would pass away. They tell you the devil fell from heaven. Do they make devils there? If so, you had better stay away. With the Christian Scientists the devil is merely evil. Many religions require a devil as a prime necessity for the theological foundation of their belief.
The eternal hell is another idea that must be done away with, as there never was a grosser piece of ignorant imagination than this fallacy. It's absurd. Evil is finite, and cannot become infinite! It is a finite misconception of that which is right and proper. Hell is simply the finite punishment that is inflicted on him who sins. What is the use of hell? You scare a man into heaven. The only immortal thing is the infinite goodness of God, and rest assured that this will never brook the companionship of a personal devil and an infinite hell.
Another ideal is that man is naturally bad. Christian Science comes to maintain the rights of man, and that he is not a worm of iniquity, and a mere bubble on the sea of destiny. Likewise it comes to dispel the belief that the science of medicine is a cure for the ills of humanity. Man has no business to be sick. It is unlike and contrary to God; it is not necessary that you should be sick and suffer to go to heaven. Did medicine originate in a Christian age? No. Its history shows that it began in pagan times and came from pagan priests. Christian Science will not submit to the supremacy of matter, but to that of Mind, the greatest potentiality in the world. Drugs have destroyed more lives than all the pestilences and famines combined. They are purely experimental. I would not entirely prohibit the use of drugs if I were able to do so. I was healed of a fatal disease, and I know what it would mean to do away with drugs.
Christian Science is pleading for a right conception of God, and if you turn away one inch from the fatal belief of death you will find yourself with less fear and more strength.
[Published in The Saint Paul (Minnesota) Globe, Feb. 24, 1902.]