Mrs. Eddy Explains
Why Prayer for the President Failed—Says There Was
Lack of Faith.
Concord, N. H., Oct. 3.—The opinion
of Mrs. Mary Baker G. Eddy, the head of the Christian Science denomination,
on the death of President McKinley has been obtained through an
answer to the question: “Why did Christians of every sect in the
United States fail in their prayers to save the life of our late
Mrs. Eddy says:
“My answer to this inquiry is briefly
this: Insufficient faith or spiritual understanding and a compound
of prayers wherein one earnest, tender desire works unconsciously
against the modus operandi of another, would prevent the result
desired. In the June message to my church in Boston, this year,
I refer to the effect of one human desire or belief, equally sincere,
unwittingly neutralizing another.
“In the practice of materia medica
croton oil is not mixed with morphine to remedy dysentery, for those
drugs are supposed to possess opposite qualities, and so to produce
opposite effects. The spirit of the prayer of the righteous heals
the sick; but this spirit is of God, and the divine mind is the
same yesterday, to-day and forever, whereas the human mind is a
compound of faith and doubt, of fear and hope, of faith in truth
and faith in error. The knowledge that all things are possible to
God excludes doubt; but differing human concepts as to the divine
power and purpose of the infinite mind, and the so-called power
of matter, act as the different properties of drugs are supposed
to act—one against the other—and this compound neutralizes itself.
Why Prayer Failed.
“Our lamented President, in his loving
acquiescence believed that his martyrdom was God’s way. Hundreds,
thousands of others believe the same, and hundreds of thousands
who prayed for him feared that the bullet would prove fatal. Even
the physicians may have feared thus.
“These conflicting states of the human
mind, of trembling faith, hope, and of fear, evinced a lack of the
absolute understanding of God’s omnipotence, and thus they prevented
the power of absolute truth from reassuring the mind, and through
it resuscitating the body of the patient.
“The divine power and poor human sense,
yea, the spirit and the flesh, struggled, and to mortal sense the
latter prevailed. Had prayer so fervently offered possessed no opposing
element, and his recovery been regarded wholly contingent on the
power of God, the power of divine love to overrule the purposes
of hate, and the law of spirit to control matter, the result would
have been scientific and the patient would have recovered.
“St. Paul writes: ‘For the law of
the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law
of sin and death.’ And the Saviour of man saith: ‘What things soever
you desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall
have them.’ Human governments maintain the right of the majority
to rule. Christian Scientists are yet in a large minority on the
subject of divine metaphysics, but they improve the morals and the
lives of men; and they heal the sick on the basis that God has all
power, is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, supreme over all.
“In a certain city the Master ‘did
not mighty works because of their unbelief,’ because of the mental
counteracting elements, the startled or unrighteous, contradicting
minds of mortals. And if He were personally with us to-day, He would
rebuke whatever accords not with a full faith and spiritual knowledge
of God—He would mightily rebuke a single doubt of the universe.
“If the skillful surgeon or the faithful
M. D. is not dismayed by a fruitless use of the knife, or the drug,
has not the Christian Scientist with his conscious understanding
of omnipotent power, reason for his faith shown by God’s works,
even under constant stress of the hindrances aforesaid?”