'Well, it is no matter,' she said, 'I remember the words--indeed, all Christian Scientists know the book by heart; it is necessary in our practice. We should otherwise make mistakes and do harm. She begins thus: "In the year 1866 I discovered the Science of Metaphysical Healing, and named it Christian Science." And she says--quite beautifully, I think--"Through Christian Science, religion and medicine are inspired with a diviner nature and essence, fresh pinions are given to faith and understanding, and thoughts acquaint themselves intelligently with God." Her very words.'
'It is elegant. And it is a fine thought, too--marrying religion to medicine, instead of medicine to the undertaker in the old way; for religion and medicine properly belong together, they being the basis of all spiritual and physical health. What kind of medicine do you give for the ordinary diseases, such as--'
'We never give medicine in any circumstances whatever! We--'
'But, madam, it says--'
'I don't care what it says, and I don't wish to talk about it.'
'I am sorry if I have offended, but you see the mention seemed in some way inconsistent, and--'
'There are no inconsistencies in Christian Science. The thing is impossible, for the Science is absolute. It cannot be otherwise, since it proceeds directly from the All-in-all and the Everything-in-Which, also Soul, Bones, Truth, one of a series, alone and without equal. It is Mathematics purified from material dross and made spiritual.'
'I can see that, but--'
'It rests upon the immovable basis of an Apodictical Principle.'
The word flattened itself against my mind trying to get in, and disordered me a little, and before I could inquire into its pertinency, she was already throwing the needed light:
'This Apodictical Principle is the absolute Principle of Scientific Mind-healing, the sovereign Omnipotence which delivers the children of men from pain, disease, decay, and every ill that flesh is heir to.'
'Surely not every ill, every decay?'
'Every one; there are no exceptions; there is no such thing as decay--it is an unreality, it has no existence.'
'But without your glasses your failing eyesight does not permit you to--'
'My eyesight cannot fail; nothing can fail; the Mind is master, and the Mind permits no retrogression.'
She was under the inspiration of the Third Degree, therefore there could be no profit in continuing this part of the subject. I shifted to other ground and inquired further concerning the Discoverer of the Science.
'Did the discovery come suddenly, like Klondike, or after long study and calculation, like America?'
'The comparisons are not respectful, since they refer to trivialities-- but let it pass. I will answer in the Discoverer's own words: "God had been graciously fitting me, during many years, for the reception of a final revelation of the absolute Principle of Scientific Mind-healing."'
'Many years? How many?'
'All God, God-good, good-God, Truth, Bones, Liver, one of a series alone and without equal--it is amazing!'
'You may well say it, sir. Yet it is but the truth. This American lady, our revered and sacred founder, is distinctly referred to and her coming prophesied, in the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse; she could not have been more plainly indicated by St. John without actually mentioning her name.'
'How strange, how wonderful!'
'I will quote her own words, for her "Key to the Scriptures:" "The twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse has a special suggestiveness in connection with this nineteenth century." There--do you note that? Think--note it well.'
'But--what does it mean?'
'Listen, and you will know. I quote her inspired words again: "In the opening of the Sixth Seal, typical of six thousand years since Adam, there is one distinctive feature which has special reference to the present age. Thus:
'"Revelation xii. 1. And there appeared a great wonder in heaven--a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars."
'That is our Head, our Chief, our Discoverer of Christian Science-- nothing can be plainer, nothing surer.