Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/284

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

pier and a better man by such faith. But let him not upbraid his fellow-man whose faith is not as his is; let him not imagine that truth is entirely on his side; and, above all, let him beware of dogmatism. So "with malice toward none, with charity for all," he may cultivate that openness of mind which a genuine search for truth fosters and intellectual liberty maintains.

I think you will agree with me that much ontological speculation is a distinct loss to sound philosophy, and that there would be a great saving of time and talent if all thinkers accepted and acted upon "the conclusions of Hume and Kant, so well stated by the latter in a sentence" quoted by Prof. Huxley:

"The greatest and perhaps the sole use of all philosophy of pure reason is, after all, merely negative, since it serves, not as an organon for the enlargement (of knowledge), but as a discipline for its delimitation, and, instead of discovering truth, has only the modest merit of preventing error."

Robert Mathews.

Rochester, N.Y., May 3, 1889.




EDITOR'S TABLE.


THE CLAIMS OF "CHRISTIAN SCIENCE:"

WE print in this number of the "Monthly" a defense of "Christian science," and an explanation is due our readers for the appearance of such a paper in the pages of a scientific journal. Our April issue contained a carefully prepared article, which aimed to give a just statement of the claims and the results of "Christian science." The writer of that article had good authority for all his statements, and his only purpose was to tell the truth about the new theory. Notwithstanding his efforts in respect to fairness, he is charged, in the reply which we publish, with the most ignorant misrepresentation of the doctrine. We do not concede the truth of this charge, but we print Mr. Bailey's exposition for two reasons: first, to remove all possible ground for the charge of one-sidedness; and, second, to give our readers a fuller idea of what kind of stuff "Christian science" is. Of the half-dozen replies sent us we selected for publication the one that came from the most authoritative source — from the editor of "The Christian Science Journal" — although it was the only one of the whole number which did not explicitly concede the honesty of purpose of Mr. Fernald's article. The reader will observe in the reply frequent quotations from Mrs. Eddy's book, "Science and Health," which, being written by the inventor of the doctrine, is generally accepted as the authoritative expression of the tenets of the sect. Reference to Mr. Fernald's article will show that his statement of the claims of "Christian science" was based upon quotations from exactly the same source, and hence is no more open to the objection of being a "fanciful representation" than is the exposition of Mr. Bailey.

If a doubt remained in the mind of any reader as to whether this doctrine deserves the name of "science," it must be destroyed by Mr. Bailey's article. This writer defines man as "a state of consciousness," comprising, first, the impressions received through the five senses, and, second, "the impressions of Spirit." He asserts that sense-impressions can be kept out of consciousness by these other impressions, and hence that the former are unreal and not to be trusted. This is a good sample of the jumping at conclusions which passes among "Christian scientists" for legitimate induction. The pretension that the senses are "unreal," and that their "testimony can not be true," is too absurd for serious discussion. Nobody who has either any knowledge of science or any plain common sense can accept it — even the "Christian scientists" do not themselves believe it. We venture to say that Mrs. Eddy governs her actions by her sense-impressions a thousand times a day. She would not step off from the