It is a humbling thought, but there is no way to get around it: all opinions upon these great subjects are brass-farthing opinions.
It is a mere plain, simple fact--as clear and as certain as that eight and seven make fifteen. And by it we recognize that we are all insane, as concerns those matters. If we were sane, we should all see a political or religious doctrine alike; there would be no dispute: it would be a case of eight and seven--just as it is in heaven, where all are sane and none insane. There there is but one religion, one belief; the harmony is perfect; there is never a discordant note.
Under protection of these preliminaries, I suppose I may now repeat without offence that the Christian Scientist is insane. I mean him no discourtesy, and I am not charging--nor even imagining--that he is insaner than the rest of the human race. I think he is more picturesquely insane than some of us. At the same time, I am quite sure that in one important and splendid particular he is much saner than is the vast bulk of the race.
Why is he insane? I told you before: it is because his opinions are not ours. I know of no other reason, and I do not need any other; it is the only way we have of discovering insanity when it is not violent. It is merely the picturesqueness of his insanity that makes it more interesting than my kind or yours. For instance, consider his "little book"; the "little book" exposed in the sky eighteen centuries ago by the flaming angel of the Apocalypse, and handed down in our day to Mrs. Mary Baker G. Eddy, of New Hampshire, and translated by her, word for word, into English (with help of a polisher), and now published and distributed in hundreds of editions by her at a clear profit per volume, above cost, of seven hundred per cent.!--a profit which distinctly belongs to the angel of the Apocalypse, and let him collect it if he can; a "little book" which the C.S. very frequently calls by just that name, and always enclosed in quotation-marks to keep its high origin exultantly in mind; a "little book" which "explains" and reconstructs and new-paints and decorates the Bible, and puts a mansard roof on it and a lightning-rod and all the other modern improvements; a "little book" which for the present affects to travel in yoke with the Bible and be friendly to it, and within half a century will hitch the Bible in the rear and thenceforth travel tandem, itself in the lead, in the coming great march of Christian Scientism through the Protestant dominions of the planet.
"Hungry ones throng to hear the Bible read in connection with the text- book of Christian Science, Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker G. Eddy. These are our only preachers. They are the word of God." "Christian Science Journal", October, 1898.
Is that picturesque? A lady has told me that in a chapel of the Mosque in Boston there is a picture or image of Mrs. Eddy, and that before it burns a never-extinguished light. Is that picturesque? How long do you think it will be before the Christian Scientist will be worshipping that picture or image and praying to it? How long do you think it will be before it is claimed that Mrs. Eddy is a Redeemer, a Christ, and Christ's equal? Already her army of disciples speak of her reverently as "Our Mother."
How long will it be before they place her on the steps of the Throne beside the Virgin--and, later, a step higher? First, Mary the Virgin and Mary the Matron; later, with a change of precedence, Mary the Matron and Mary the Virgin. Let the artist get ready with his canvas and his brushes; the new Renaissance is on its way, and there will be money in altar-canvases--a thousand times as much as the Popes and their Church ever spent on the Old Masters; for their riches were poverty as compared with what is going to pour into the treasure-chest of the Christian- Scientist Papacy by-and-by, let us not doubt it. We will examine the financial outlook presently and see what it promises.