Watching Point 325
From 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter
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325 — WATCH lest you question whether error should be handled impersonally, when you study about the early days, when Mrs. Eddy personalized it and named it as coming through renegade students, and encouraged students to work against them, as if error were here in human form.
It is possible that at that time the students needed personal enemies to work against, in order for them to put forth their best effort. Yet the time comes when students can work intelligently and successfully against impersonal error. At such a point it would be a backward step to work against persons, as the early students used to do.
No doubt it taxed the credulity of young students to work against an impersonal enemy called animal magnetism, which they could not see, feel, or touch. Mrs. Eddy admits that she believed in those days that it was necessary to attack error personally, in order for one to protect himself against it.
In the Christian Science Journal, volume 6, page 562, we find the following statement by Mrs. Eddy, “Do I approve of treating personally for malicious mesmerism the offending malpractitioner, even when the malpractitioner is attempting to kill someone and the Scientists know it? Shall they treat the offender personally? I answer, if they do treat thus, they prolong their own undertaking. The altitude of Christian Science is Omnipotence. Truth is given us for this purpose, — to destroy error and make man free in the impersonal Christ.”
A physicist studies man-made lightning in the laboratory only that he may learn the operation of the great impersonal phenomenon that takes place in the heavens. Once he begins to study the latter, he has no need to return to the former. Mrs. Eddy at first learned and taught the operation of evil by seeing how it operated through persons. After she discovered its claims, its possibilities, its effects, and how mortals fall into the trap of nothingness, she impersonalized it forever, and directed students never again to take up anyone personally.