Will it flourish and spread and prosper if it shall create for itself the one thing essential to those conditions--an environment? It has already created an environment. There are families of Christian Scientists in every community in America, and each family is a factory; each family turns out a Christian Science product at the customary intervals, and contributes it to the Cause in the only way in which contributions of recruits to Churches are ever made on a large scale--by the puissant forces of personal contact and association. Each family is an agency for the Cause, and makes converts among the neighbors, and starts some more factories.
Four years ago there were six Christian Scientists in a certain town that I am acquainted with; a year ago there were two hundred and fifty there; they have built a church, and its membership now numbers four hundred. This has all been quietly done; done without frenzied revivals, without uniforms, brass bands, street parades, corner oratory, or any of the other customary persuasions to a godly life. Christian Science, like Mohammedanism, is "restricted" to the "unintelligent, the people who do not think." There lies the danger. It makes Christian Science formidable. It is "restricted" to ninety-nine one-hundredths of the human race, and must be reckoned with by regular Christianity. And will be, as soon as it is too late.
"There were remarkable things about the stranger called the Man--Mystery- things so very extraordinary that they monopolized attention and made all of him seem extraordinary; but this was not so, the most of his qualities being of the common, every-day size and like anybody else's. It was curious. He was of the ordinary stature, and had the ordinary aspects; yet in him were hidden such strange contradictions and disproportions! He was majestically fearless and heroic; he had the strength of thirty men and the daring of thirty thousand; handling armies, organizing states, administering governments--these were pastimes to him; he publicly and ostentatiously accepted the human race at its own valuation- -as demigods--and privately and successfully dealt with it at quite another and juster valuation--as children and slaves; his ambitions were stupendous, and his dreams had no commerce with the humble plain, but moved with the cloud-rack among the snow-summits. These features of him were, indeed, extraordinary, but the rest of him was ordinary and usual. He was so mean-minded, in the matter of jealousy, that it was thought he was descended from a god; he was vain in little ways, and had a pride in trivialities; he doted on ballads about moonshine and bruised hearts; in education he was deficient, he was indifferent to literature, and knew nothing of art; he was dumb upon all subjects but one, indifferent to all except that one--the Nebular Theory. Upon that one his flow of words was full and free, he was a geyser. The official astronomers disputed his facts and deeded his views, and said that he had invented both, they not being findable in any of the books. But many of the laity, who wanted their nebulosities fresh, admired his doctrine and adopted it, and it attained to great prosperity in spite of the hostility of the experts." --The Legend of the Man-Mystery, ch. i.
JANUARY, 1903. When we do not know a public man personally, we guess him out by the facts of his career. When it is Washington, we all arrive at about one and the same result. We agree that his words and his acts clearly interpret his character to us, and that they never leave us in doubt as to the motives whence the words and acts proceeded. It is the same with Joan of Arc, it is the same with two or three or five or six others among the immortals. But in the matter of motives and of a few details of character we agree to disagree upon Napoleon, Cromwell, and all the rest; and to this list we must add Mrs. Eddy. I think we can peacefully agree as to two or three extraordinary features of her make- up, but not upon the other features of it.