That is to say, it could not succeed during the process of the Second Degree, because there would still be remains of mind left; and therefore--but I interrupted you. You were about to further explain the good results proceeding from the erosions and disintegrations effected by the Third Degree. It is very interesting: go on, please.'

'Yes, as I was saying, in this Third Degree mortal mind disappears. Science so reverses the evidence before the corporeal human senses as to make this scriptural testimony true in our hearts, "the last shall be first and the first shall be last," that God and His idea may be to us-- what divinity really is, and must of necessity be--all-inclusive.'

'It is beautiful. And with that exhaustive exactness your choice and arrangement of words confirms and establishes what you have claimed for the powers and functions of the Third Degree. The Second could probably produce only temporary absence of mind, it is reserved to the Third to make it permanent. A sentence framed under the auspices of the Second could have a kind of meaning--a sort of deceptive semblance of it-- whereas it is only under the magic of the Third that that defect would disappear. Also, without doubt, it is the Third Degree that contributes another remarkable specialty to Christian Science: viz., ease and flow and lavishness of words, and rhythm and swing and smoothness. There must be a special reason for this?'

'Yes--God-all, all-God, good Good, non-Matter, Matteration, Spirit, Bones, Truth.'

'That explains it.'

'There is nothing in Christian Science that is not explicable; for God is one, Time is one, Individuality is one, and may be one of a series, one of many, as an individual man, individual horse; whereas God is one, not one of a series, but one alone and without an equal.'

'These are noble thoughts. They make one burn to know more. How does Christian Science explain the spiritual relation of systematic duality to incidental reflection?'

'Christian Science reverses the seeming relation of Soul and body--as astronomy reverses the human perception of the movement of the solar system--and makes body tributary to Mind. As it is the earth which is in motion, while the sun is at rest, though in viewing the sun rise one finds it impossible to believe the sun not to be really rising, so the body is but the humble servant of the restful Mind, though it seems otherwise to finite sense; but we shall never understand this while we admit that soul is in body, or mind in matter, and that man is included in non-intelligence. Soul is God, unchangeable and eternal; and man coexists with and reflects Soul, for the All-in-all is the Altogether, and the Altogether embraces the All-one, Soul-Mind, Mind-Soul, Love, Spirit, Bones, Liver, one of a series, alone and without an equal.'

(It is very curious, the effect which Christian Science has upon the verbal bowels. Particularly the Third Degree; it makes one think of a dictionary with the cholera. But I only thought this; I did not say it.)

'What is the origin of Christian Science? Is it a gift of God, or did it just happen?'

'In a sense, it is a gift of God. That is to say, its powers are from Him, but the credit of the discovery of the powers and what they are for is due to an American lady.'

'Indeed? When did this occur?'

'In 1866. That is the immortal date when pain and disease and death disappeared from the earth to return no more for ever. That is, the fancies for which those terms stand, disappeared. The things themselves had never existed; therefore as soon as it was perceived that there were no such things, they were easily banished. The history and nature of the great discovery are set down in the book here, and--'

'Did the lady write the book?'

'Yes, she wrote it all, herself. The title is "Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures"--for she explains the Scriptures; they were not understood before. Not even by the twelve Disciples. She begins thus--I will read it to you.'

But she had forgotten to bring her glasses.

The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg and other Stories Page 41

Mark Twain

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