The discoverer and founder of Christian Science gives us the following answer:*1
In the year 1866, I discovered the Christ Science or divine laws of Life, Truth, and Love, and named my discovery Christian Science. God had been graciously preparing me during many years for the reception of this final revelation of the absolute divine Principle of scientific mental healing.
Mary Baker Eddy herself was healed from a severe spinal injury during the early stages of her discovery. The injury that the doctors had announced would be fatal, became healed in an instant, together with years of ill health. She determined to discover the science of the process that had healed her, which she proved by healing others. Many of these were cases that the medical doctors had given up. She writes: *2
About the year 1869, I was wired to attend the patient of a distinguished M.D., the late Dr. Davis of Manchester, N. H. The patient was pronounced dying of pneumonia, and was breathing at intervals in agony. Her physician, who stood by her bedside, declared that she could not live. On seeing her immediately restored by me without material aid, he asked earnestly if I had a work describing my system of healing. When answered in the negative, he urged me immediately to write a book which should explain to the world my curative system of metaphysics.
In 1875 she published the first edition of her textbook on Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She had hoped at first that many of the Christian churches would accept her discovered Science of Christ healing as it re-instituted the long lost element of primitive Christian healing. This did not happen. Consequently she saw herself forced by this rejection to create her own church, the Church of Christ Scientists.
She writes about the effectiveness of this scientific method of Christian healing, saying: *2
After my discovery of Christian Science, I healed consumption
in its last stages, a case which the M.D.'s, by verdict of the
stethoscope and the schools, declared incurable because the lungs
were mostly consumed. I healed malignant diphtheria and carious
bones that could be dented by the finger, saving the limbs when
the surgeon's instruments were lying on the table ready for their
amputation. I have healed at one visit a cancer that had eaten the flesh of the neck and exposed the jugular vein so that it stood out like a cord. I have physically restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, and have made the lame walk.
Question - What is God?
Answer. - God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love.
Question - Are these terms synonymous?
Answer. - They are. They refer to one absolute God. They are also intended to express the nature, essence, and wholeness of Deity. The attributes of God are justice, mercy, wisdom, goodness, and so on.
Question - Is there more than one God or Principle?
Answer. - There is not. Principle and its idea is one, and this one is God, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Being, and His reflection is man and the universe. Omni is adopted from the Latin adjective signifying all. Hence God combines all-power or potency, all-science or true knowledge, all-presence. The varied manifestations of Christian Science indicate Mind, never matter, and have one Principle.
Question - What is the scientific statement of being?
Answer. - There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.
Question - Have Christian Scientists any religious creed?
Answer. - They have not, if by that term is meant doctrinal beliefs. The following is a brief exposition of the important points, or religious tenets, of Christian Science:-
1. As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.
2. We acknowledge and adore one supreme and infinite God. We acknowledge His Son, one Christ; the Holy Ghost or divine Comforter; and man in God's image and likeness.
3. We acknowledge God's forgiveness of sin in the destruction of sin and the spiritual understanding that casts out evil as unreal. But the belief in sin is punished so long as the belief lasts.
4. We acknowledge Jesus' atonement as the evidence of divine, efficacious Love, unfolding man's unity with God through Christ Jesus the Way-shower; and we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ, through Truth, Life, and Love as demonstrated by the Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming sin and death.
5. We acknowledge that the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection served to uplift faith to understand eternal Life, even the allness of Soul, Spirit, and the nothingness of matter.
6. And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.