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Reproduced from the archive of The Mary Baker Eddy Library

Christian Science is not Pantheism

Christian Science is not Pantheism: A Reply to Rev. A. J. Gordon is an eight-page pamphlet written by Charles M. Barrows. It was published in 1885 in Boston by Deland and Barta, Printers and sold for 25 centsEditorial Note: 25 cents is equivalent to $7.54 in 2022. a copy. Barrows was not a Christian Scientist, but he was interested in mental healing and published books and pamphlets on aspects of the topic. His decision to write Christian Science is not Pantheism apparently came about because of attacks on Christian Science by A. J. Gordon, a prominent Boston Baptist clergyman of the time, who castigated Christian Science in articles and sermons, such as "Christian Science Tested by Scripture," published in the March 12, 1885 issue of the Congregationalist. Gordon also denounced Christian Science in a letter written to another clergyman, Joseph Cook, which Cook read in one of his popular Monday lectures, held in Boston’s Tremont Temple. One of Gordon's charges against Christian Science was that it is pantheism, which he regarded as antithetical to true Christianity.

In the first part of his pamphlet, Barrows discusses Gordon’s attacks on Christian Science and notes that Mary Baker Eddy was given ten minutes to reply to the attack in Tremont Temple. He then gives definitions of pantheism, which essentially holds that God and nature are one and that God is immanent in nature. He goes on to write that Christian Science does not teach that at all, and he provides quotations from Eddy that show it is the opposite of pantheism. He then briefly refutes some of Gordon’s other criticisms of Eddy’s theology and ends the pamphlet by stating that far from being harmful, the fruits of practicing Christian Science bring physical healing as well as happier lives and moral and spiritual progress.

In 1885, Barrows wrote at least two lettersEditorial Note: See 521.56.014 and 521.56.015. to Mary Baker Eddy about Christian Science is not Pantheism, and once it was published, Christian Scientists were able to order copies by writing to Mary Baker Eddy or her secretary, Calvin A. Frye. That Mary Baker Eddy had high regard for Barrow’s pamphlet is evident in this letterClick link to view V00874 document in new window from Frye to Eddy’s student, Ellen Brown Linscott:

I send you by same mail a - copy of "Christian Science is not Pantheism" by C. M. Barrows. It is a very strongly written article by one who was not a scientist, and should be s[?]cattered everywhere. There should be thousands of them sent throughout the West. Mrs Eddy will furnish 1000 copies for $50,00

A scan of the pamphlet can be viewed hereClick link to view 000000000016 document in new window.

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25 cents is equivalent to $7.54 in 2022. See 521.56.014 and 521.56.015.