Accession: 593B.61.002
Editorial Title: J.E. Sewell to Asa T.N. Macdonald, January 31, 1876
Author: J.E. Sewell 
Recipient: Asa T.N. Macdonald 
Date: January 31, 1876
Manuscript Description: Handwritten by J.E. Sewell on the stationery of New College, Oxford. The stationery includes a logo with the motto, "MANNERS MAKYTH MEN." The envelope is included.
Editorial Note: The subject of this letter relates to a passage on page 9 of the first edition of Science and Health, published in 1875: "'At the University at Oxford, a prize of one hundred pounds was offered for the best Essay on Natural Science, to refute the materialism of the present age, or the tendency to attribute physical effects to physical causes, rather than to a final spiritual cause.' This demand for metaphysics coming from the very fount of erudition meets the wants of the age, and is the one question towering above all others, insomuch as it relates more intimately to the happiness and perfection of man. The control mind holds over matter becomes no longer a question when with mathematical certainty we gain its proof, and can demonstrate the facts assumed. This proof we claim to have gained, and reduced to its statement in science that furnishes a key to the harmony of man, and reveals what destroys sickness, sin, and death." A revised version of this passage can be found on page 111 of the current edition of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "A prize of one hundred pounds, offered in Oxford University, England, for the best essay on Natural Science,--an essay calculated to offset the tendency of the age to attribute physical effects to physical causes rather than to a final spiritual cause,--is one of many incidents which show that Christian Science meets a yearning of the human race for spirituality." Asa T.N. Macdonald apparently wrote to Oxford University, asking about this prize. In this letter, Oxford's Vice Chancellor, J.E. Sewell, replied that the prize was offered, not by the University, but by an individual who wished to remain anonymous. The individual stipulated that the prize was to be competed for by members of Oxford University of not less standing than Master of Arts. It was offered in 1870.
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593B.61.002
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593B.61.002
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