PULPIT AND PRESS
MARY BAKER EDDY
DISCOVERER AND FOUNDER OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AND AUTHOR OF SCIENCE AND HEALTH WITH KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES
Registered U.S. Patent Office
Published by The Trustees under the Will of Mary Baker G. Eddy BOSTON, U.S.A.
Authorized Literature of THE FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST in Boston, Massachusetts
Copyright, 1895 BY MARY BAKER EDDY Copyright renewed, 1923
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All rights reserved
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PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
THE DEAR TWO THOUSAND AND SIX HUNDRED CHILDREN
WHOSE CONTRIBUTIONS OF $4,460[A] WERE DEVOTED TO THE MOTHER'S ROOM IN THE FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST, BOSTON, THIS UNIQUE BOOK IS TENDERLY DEDICATED BY
MARY BAKER EDDY
This volume contains scintillations from press and pulpit—utterances which epitomize the story of the birth of Christian Science, in 1866, and its progress during the ensuing thirty years. Three quarters of a century hence, when the children of to-day are the elders of the twentieth century, it will be interesting to have not only a record of the inclination given their own thoughts in the latter half of the nineteenth century, but also a registry of the rise of the mercury in the glass of the world's opinion.
It will then be instructive to turn backward the telescope of that advanced age, with its lenses of more spiritual mentality, indicating the gain of intellectual momentum, on the early footsteps of Christian Science as planted in the pathway of this generation; to note the impetus thereby given to Christianity; to con the facts surrounding the cradle of this grand verity—that the sick are healed and sinners saved, not by matter, but by Mind; and to scan further the features of the vast problem of eternal life, as expressed in the absolute power of Truth and the actual bliss of man's existence in Science.
MARY BAKER EDDY
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE TEXTBOOK
Laying the Corner-stone
"Feed My Sheep"
Christ My Refuge
CLIPPINGS FROM NEWSPAPERS
BOSTON SUNDAY GLOBE
AMERICAN ART JOURNAL
REPUBLIC (WASHINGTON, D.C.)
NEW YORK TRIBUNE
KANSAS CITY JOURNAL
REPORTER (LEBANON, IND.)
NEW YORK COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER
NEW YORK HERALD
PEOPLE AND PATRIOT
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE JOURNAL
PULPIT AND PRESS
BY REV. MARY BAKER EDDY
First Pastor of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, Mass.
Delivered January 6, 1895
TEXT: They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shall make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures.—Psalms xxxvi. 8.
A new year is a nursling, a babe of time, a prophecy and promise clad in white raiment, kissed—and encumbered with greetings—redolent with grief and gratitude.
An old year is time's adult, and 1893 was a distinguished character, notable for good and evil. Time past and time present, both, may pain us, but time improved is eloquent in God's praise. For due refreshment garner the memory of 1894; for if wiser by reason of its large lessons, and records deeply engraven, great is the value thereof.
Pass on, returnless year! The path behind thee is with glory crowned; This spot whereon thou troddest was holy ground; Pass proudly to thy bier!
To-day, being with you in spirit, what need that I should be present in propria persona? Were I present, methinks I should be much like the Queen of Sheba, when she saw the house Solomon had erected. In the expressive language of Holy Writ, "There was no more spirit in her;" and she said, "Behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard." Both without and within, the spirit of beauty dominates The Mother Church, from its mosaic flooring to the soft shimmer of its starlit dome.
Nevertheless, there is a thought higher and deeper than the edifice. Material light and shade are temporal, not eternal. Turning the attention from sublunary views, however enchanting, think for a moment with me of the house wherewith "they shall be abundantly satisfied,"—even the "house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." With the mind's eye glance at the direful scenes of the war between China and Japan. Imagine yourselves in a poorly barricaded fort, fiercely besieged by the enemy. Would you rush forth single-handed to combat the foe? Nay, would you not rather strengthen your citadel by every means in your power, and remain within the walls for its defense? Likewise should we do as metaphysicians and Christian Scientists. The real house in which "we live, and move, and have our being" is Spirit, God, the eternal harmony of infinite Soul. The enemy we confront would overthrow this sublime fortress, and it behooves us to defend our heritage.
How can we do this Christianly scientific work? By intrenching ourselves in the knowledge that our true temple is no human fabrication, but the superstructure of Truth, reared on the foundation of Love, and pinnacled in Life. Such being its nature, how can our godly temple possibly be demolished, or even disturbed? Can eternity end? Can Life die? Can Truth be uncertain? Can Love be less than boundless? Referring to this temple, our Master said: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." He also said: "The kingdom of God is within you." Know, then, that you possess sovereign power to think and act rightly, and that nothing can dispossess you of this heritage and trespass on Love. If you maintain this position, who or what can cause you to sin or suffer? Our surety is in our confidence that we are indeed dwellers in Truth and Love, man's eternal mansion. Such a heavenly assurance ends all warfare, and bids tumult cease, for the good fight we have waged is over, and divine Love gives us the true sense of victory. "They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shalt make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures." No longer are we of the church militant, but of the church triumphant; and with Job of old we exclaim, "Yet in my flesh shall I see God." The river of His pleasures is a tributary of divine Love, whose living waters have their source in God, and flow into everlasting Life. We drink of this river when all human desires are quenched, satisfied with what is pleasing to the divine Mind.
Perchance some one of you may say, "The evidence of spiritual verity in me is so small that I am afraid. I feel so far from victory over the flesh that to reach out for a present realization of my hope savors of temerity. Because of my own unfitness for such a spiritual animus my strength is naught and my faith fails." O thou "weak and infirm of purpose." Jesus said, "Be not afraid"!
"What if the little rain should say, 'So small a drop as I Can ne'er refresh a drooping earth, I'll tarry in the sky.'"
Is not a man metaphysically and mathematically number one, a unit, and therefore whole number, governed and protected by his divine Principle, God? You have simply to preserve a scientific, positive sense of unity with your divine source, and daily demonstrate this. Then you will find that one is as important a factor as duodecillions in being and doing right, and thus demonstrating deific Principle. A dewdrop reflects the sun. Each of Christ's little ones reflects the infinite One, and therefore is the seer's declaration true, that "one on God's side is a majority."
A single drop of water may help to hide the stars, or crown the tree with blossoms.
Who lives in good, lives also in God,—lives in all Life, through all space. His is an individual kingdom, his diadem a crown of crowns. His existence is deathless, forever unfolding its eternal Principle. Wait patiently on illimitable Love, the lord and giver of Life. Reflect this Life, and with it cometh the full power of being. "They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house."
In 1893 the World's Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago, used, in all its public sessions, my form of prayer since 1866; and one of the very clergymen who had publicly proclaimed me "the prayerless Mrs. Eddy," offered his audible adoration in the words I use, besides listening to an address on Christian Science from my pen, read by Judge S.J. Hanna, in that unique assembly.
When the light of one friendship after another passes from earth to heaven, we kindle in place thereof the glow of some deathless reality. Memory, faithful to goodness, holds in her secret chambers those characters of holiest sort, bravest to endure, firmest to suffer, soonest to renounce. Such was the founder of the Concord School of Philosophy—the late A. Bronson Alcott.
After the publication of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," his athletic mind, scholarly and serene, was the first to bedew my hope with a drop of humanity. When the press and pulpit cannonaded this book, he introduced himself to its author by saying, "I have come to comfort you." Then eloquently paraphrasing it, and prophesying its prosperity, his conversation with a beauty all its own reassured me. That prophecy is fulfilled.
This book, in 1895, is in its ninety-first edition of one thousand copies. It is in the public libraries of the principal cities, colleges, and universities of America; also the same in Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Italy, Greece, Japan, India, and China; in the Oxford University and the Victoria Institute, England; in the Academy of Greece, and the Vatican at Rome.
This book is the leaven fermenting religion; it is palpably working in the sermons, Sunday Schools, and literature of our and other lands. This spiritual chemicalization is the upheaval produced when Truth is neutralizing error and impurities are passing off. And it will continue till the antithesis of Christianity, engendering the limited forms of a national or tyrannical religion, yields to the church established by the Nazarene Prophet and maintained on the spiritual foundation of Christ's healing.
Good, the Anglo-Saxon term for God, unites Science to Christianity. It presents to the understanding, not matter, but Mind; not the deified drug, but the goodness of God—healing and saving mankind.
The author of "Marriage of the Lamb," who made the mistake of thinking she caught her notions from my book, wrote to me in 1894, "Six months ago your book, Science and Health, was put into my hands. I had not read three pages before I realized I had found that for which I had hungered since girlhood, and was healed instantaneously of an ailment of seven years' standing. I cast from me the false remedy I had vainly used, and turned to the 'great Physician.' I went with my husband, a missionary to China, in 1884. He went out under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church. I feel the truth is leading us to return to Japan."
Another brilliant enunciator, seeker, and servant of Truth, the Rev. William R. Alger of Boston, signalled me kindly as my lone bark rose and fell and rode the rough sea. At a conversazione in Boston, he said, "You may find in Mrs. Eddy's metaphysical teachings more than is dreamt of in your philosophy."
Also that renowned apostle of anti-slavery, Wendell Phillips, the native course of whose mind never swerved from the chariot-paths of justice, speaking of my work, said: "Had I young blood in my veins, I would help that woman."
I love Boston, and especially the laws of the State whereof this city is the capital. To-day, as of yore, her laws have befriended progress.
Yet when I recall the past,—how the gospel of healing was simultaneously praised and persecuted in Boston,—and remember also that God is just, I wonder whether, were our dear Master in our New England metropolis at this hour, he would not weep over it, as he wept over Jerusalem! O ye tears! Not in vain did ye flow. Those sacred drops were but enshrined for future use, and God has now unsealed their receptacle with His outstretched arm. Those crystal globes made morals for mankind. They will rise with joy, and with power to wash away, in floods of forgiveness, every crime, even when mistakenly committed in the name of religion.
An unjust, unmerciful, and oppressive priesthood must perish, for false prophets in the present as in the past stumble onward to their doom; while their tabernacles crumble with dry rot. "God is not mocked," and "the word of the Lord endureth forever."
I have ordained the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," as pastor of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston,—so long as this church is satisfied with this pastor. This is my first ordination. "They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shalt make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures."
All praise to the press of America's Athens,—and throughout our land the press has spoken out historically, impartially. Like the winds telling tales through the leaves of an ancient oak, unfallen, may our church chimes repeat my thanks to the press.
Notwithstanding the perplexed condition of our nation's finances, the want and woe with millions of dollars unemployed in our money centres, the Christian Scientists, within fourteen months, responded to the call for this church with $191,012. Not a mortgage was given nor a loan solicited, and the donors all touchingly told their privileged joy at helping to build The Mother Church. There was no urging, begging, or borrowing; only the need made known, and forth came the money, or diamonds, which served to erect this "miracle in stone."
Even the children vied with their parents to meet the demand. Little hands, never before devoted to menial services, shoveled snow, and babes gave kisses to earn a few pence toward this consummation. Some of these lambs my prayers had christened, but Christ will rechristen them with his own new name. "Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise." The resident youthful workers were called "Busy Bees."
Sweet society, precious children, your loving hearts and deft fingers distilled the nectar and painted the finest flowers in the fabric of this history,—even its centre-piece,—Mother's Room in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston. The children are destined to witness results which will eclipse Oriental dreams. They belong to the twentieth century. By juvenile aid, into the building fund have come $4,460.[B] Ah, children, you are the bulwarks of freedom, the cement of society, the hope of our race!
Brothers of the Christian Science Board of Directors, when your tireless tasks are done—well done—no Delphian lyre could break the full chords of such a rest. May the altar you have built never be shattered in our hearts, but justice, mercy, and love kindle perpetually its fires.
It was well that the brother whose appliances warm this house, warmed also our perishless hope, and nerved its grand fulfilment. Woman, true to her instinct, came to the rescue as sunshine from the clouds; so, when man quibbled over an architectural exigency, a woman climbed with feet and hands to the top of the tower, and helped settle the subject.
After the loss of our late lamented pastor, Rev. D.A. Easton, the church services were maintained by excellent sermons from the editor of The Christian Science Journal (who, with his better half, is a very whole man), together with the Sunday School giving this flock "drink from the river of His pleasures." O glorious hope and blessed assurance, "it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Christians rejoice in secret, they have a bounty hidden from the world. Self-forgetfulness, purity, and love are treasures untold—constant prayers, prophecies, and anointings. Practice, not profession,—goodness, not doctrines,—spiritual understanding, not mere belief, gain the ear and right hand of omnipotence, and call down blessings infinite. "Faith without works is dead." The foundation of enlightened faith is Christ's teachings and practice. It was our Master's self-immolation, his life-giving love, healing both mind and body, that raised the deadened conscience, paralyzed by inactive faith, to a quickened sense of mortal's necessities,—and God's power and purpose to supply them. It was, in the words of the Psalmist, He "who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases."
Rome's fallen fanes and silent Aventine is glory's tomb; her pomp and power lie low in dust. Our land, more favored, had its Pilgrim Fathers. On shores of solitude, at Plymouth Rock, they planted a nation's heart,—the rights of conscience, imperishable glory. No dream of avarice or ambition broke their exalted purpose, theirs was the wish to reign in hope's reality—the realm of Love.
Christian Scientists, you have planted your standard on the rock of Christ, the true, the spiritual idea,—the chief corner-stone in the house of our God. And our Master said: "The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner." If you are less appreciated to-day than your forefathers, wait—for if you are as devout as they, and more scientific, as progress certainly demands, your plant is immortal. Let us rejoice that chill vicissitudes have not withheld the timely shelter of this house, which descended like day-spring from on high.
Divine presence, breathe Thou Thy blessing on every heart in this house. Speak out, O soul! This is the newborn of Spirit, this is His redeemed; this, His beloved. May the kingdom of God within you,—with you alway,—reascending, bear you outward, upward, heavenward. May the sweet song of silver-throated singers, making melody more real, and the organ's voice, as the sound of many waters, and the Word spoken in this sacred temple dedicated to the ever-present God—mingle with the joy of angels and rehearse your hearts' holy intents. May all whose means, energies, and prayers helped erect The Mother Church, find within it home, and heaven.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE TEXTBOOK
The following selections from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pages 568-571, were read from the platform. The impressive stillness of the audience indicated close attention.
Revelation xii. 10-12. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
For victory over a single sin, we give thanks and magnify the Lord of Hosts. What shall we say of the mighty conquest over all sin? A louder song, sweeter than has ever before reached high heaven, now rises clearer and nearer to the great heart of Christ; for the accuser is not there, and Love sends forth her primal and everlasting strain. Self-abnegation, by which we lay down all for Truth, or Christ, in our warfare against error, is a rule in Christian Science. This rule clearly interprets God as divine Principle,—as Life, represented by the Father; as Truth, represented by the Son; as Love, represented by the Mother. Every mortal at some period, here or hereafter, must grapple with and overcome the mortal belief in a power opposed to God.
The Scripture, "Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many," is literally fulfilled, when we are conscious of the supremacy of Truth, by which the nothingness of error is seen; and we know that the nothingness of error is in proportion to its wickedness. He that touches the hem of Christ's robe and masters his mortal beliefs, animality, and hate, rejoices in the proof of healing,—in a sweet and certain sense that God is Love. Alas for those who break faith with divine Science and fail to strangle the serpent of sin as well as of sickness! They are dwellers still in the deep darkness of belief. They are in the surging sea of error, not struggling to lift their heads above the drowning wave.
What must the end be? They must eventually expiate their sin through suffering. The sin, which one has made his bosom companion, comes back to him at last with accelerated force, for the devil knoweth his time is short. Here the Scriptures declare that evil is temporal, not eternal. The dragon is at last stung to death by his own malice; but how many periods of torture it may take to remove all sin, must depend upon sin's obduracy.
Revelation xii. 13. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
The march of mind and of honest investigation will bring the hour when the people will chain, with fetters of some sort, the growing occultism of this period. The present apathy as to the tendency of certain active yet unseen mental agencies will finally be shocked into another extreme mortal mood,—into human indignation; for one extreme follows another.
Revelation xii. 15, 16. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood, after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
Millions of unprejudiced minds—simple seekers for Truth, weary wanderers, athirst in the desert—are waiting and watching for rest and drink. Give them a cup of cold water in Christ's name, and never fear the consequences. What if the old dragon should send forth a new flood to drown the Christ-idea? He can neither drown your voice with its roar, nor again sink the world into the deep waters of chaos and old night. In this age the earth will help the woman; the spiritual idea will be understood. Those ready for the blessing you impart will give thanks. The waters will be pacified, and Christ will command the wave.
When God heals the sick or the sinning, they should know the great benefit which Mind has wrought. They should also know the great delusion of mortal mind, when it makes them sick or sinful. Many are willing to open the eyes of the people to the power of good resident in divine Mind, but they are not so willing to point out the evil in human thought, and expose evil's hidden mental ways of accomplishing iniquity.
Why this backwardness, since exposure is necessary to ensure the avoidance of the evil? Because people like you better when you tell them their virtues than when you tell them their vices. It requires the spirit of our blessed Master to tell a man his faults, and so risk human displeasure for the sake of doing right and benefiting our race. Who is telling mankind of the foe in ambush? Is the informer one who sees the foe? If so, listen and be wise. Escape from evil, and designate those as unfaithful stewards who have seen the danger and yet have given no warning.
At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good. Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil. Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you. The cement of a higher humanity will unite all interests in the one divinity.
BY REV. MARY BAKER EDDY
[Set to the Church Chimes and Sung on This Occasion]
LAYING THE CORNER-STONE
Laus Deo, it is done! Rolled away from loving heart Is a stone. Joyous, risen, we depart Having one.
Laus Deo,—on this rock (Heaven chiselled squarely good) Stands His church,— God is Love, and understood By His flock.
Laus Deo, night starlit Slumbers not in God's embrace; Then, O man! Like this stone, be in thy place; Stand, not sit.
Cold, silent, stately stone, Dirge and song and shoutings low, In thy heart Dwell serene,—and sorrow? No, It has none, Laus Deo!
"FEED MY SHEEP"
Shepherd, show me how to go O'er the hillside steep, How to gather, how to sow,— How to feed Thy sheep; I will listen for Thy voice, Lest my footsteps stray; I will follow and rejoice All the rugged way.
Thou wilt bind the stubborn will, Wound the callous breast, Make self-righteousness be still, Break earth's stupid rest. Strangers on a barren shore, Lab'ring long and lone— We would enter by the door, And Thou know'st Thine own.
So, when day grows dark and cold, Tear or triumph harms, Lead Thy lambkins to the fold, Take them in Thine arms; Feed the hungry, heal the heart, Till the morning's beam; White as wool, ere they depart— Shepherd, wash them clean.
CHRIST MY REFUGE
O'er waiting harpstrings of the mind There sweeps a strain, Low, sad, and sweet, whose measures bind The power of pain.
And wake a white-winged angel throng Of thoughts, illumed By faith, and breathed in raptured song, With love perfumed.
Then his unveiled, sweet mercies show Life's burdens light. I kiss the cross, and wake to know A world more bright.
And o'er earth's troubled, angry sea I see Christ walk, And come to me, and tenderly, Divinely talk.
Thus Truth engrounds me on the rock, Upon Life's shore; 'Gainst which the winds and waves can shock, Oh, nevermore!
From tired joy and grief afar, And nearer Thee,— Father, where Thine own children are, I love to be.
My prayer, some daily good to do To Thine, for Thee; An offering pure of Love, whereto God leadeth me.
BY REV. MARY BAKER EDDY
The land whereon stands The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, was first purchased by the church and society. Owing to a heavy loss, they were unable to pay the mortgage; therefore I paid it, and through trustees gave back the land to the church.
In 1892 I had to recover the land from the trustees, reorganize the church, and reobtain its charter—not, however, through the State Commissioner, who refused to grant it, but by means of a statute of the State, and through Directors regive the land to the church. In 1895 I reconstructed my original system of ministry and church government. Thus committed to the providence of God, the prosperity of this church is unsurpassed.
From first to last The Mother Church seemed type and shadow of the warfare between the flesh and Spirit, even that shadow whose substance is the divine Spirit, imperatively propelling the greatest moral, physical, civil, and religious reform ever known on earth. In the words of the prophet: "The shadow of a great rock in a weary land."
This church was dedicated on January 6, anciently one of the many dates selected and observed in the East as the day of the birth and baptism of our master Metaphysician, Jesus of Nazareth.
Christian Scientists, their children and grandchildren to the latest generations, inevitably love one another with that love wherewith Christ loveth us; a love unselfish, unambitious, impartial, universal,—that loves only because it is Love. Moreover, they love their enemies, even those that hate them. This we all must do to be Christian Scientists in spirit and in truth. I long, and live, to see this love demonstrated. I am seeking and praying for it to inhabit my own heart and to be made manifest in my life. Who will unite with me in this pure purpose, and faithfully struggle till it be accomplished? Let this be our Christian endeavor society, which Christ organizes and blesses.
While we entertain due respect and fellowship for what is good and doing good in all denominations of religion, and shun whatever would isolate us from a true sense of goodness in others, we cannot serve mammon.
Christian Scientists are really united to only that which is Christlike, but they are not indifferent to the welfare of any one. To perpetuate a cold distance between our denomination and other sects, and close the door on church or individuals—however much this is done to us—is not Christian Science. Go not into the way of the unchristly, but wheresoever you recognize a clear expression of God's likeness, there abide in confidence and hope.
Our unity with churches of other denominations must rest on the spirit of Christ calling us together. It cannot come from any other source. Popularity, self-aggrandizement, aught that can darken in any degree our spirituality, must be set aside. Only what feeds and fills the sentiment with unworldliness, can give peace and good will towards men.
All Christian churches have one bond of unity, one nucleus or point of convergence, one prayer,—the Lord's Prayer. It is matter for rejoicing that we unite in love, and in this sacred petition with every praying assembly on earth,—"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."
If the lives of Christian Scientists attest their fidelity to Truth, I predict that in the twentieth century every Christian church in our land, and a few in far-off lands, will approximate the understanding of Christian Science sufficiently to heal the sick in his name. Christ will give to Christianity his new name, and Christendom will be classified as Christian Scientists.
When the doctrinal barriers between the churches are broken, and the bonds of peace are cemented by spiritual understanding and Love, there will be unity of spirit, and the healing power of Christ will prevail. Then shall Zion have put on her most beautiful garments, and her waste places budded and blossomed as the rose.
CLIPPINGS FROM NEWSPAPERS
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[Daily Inter-Ocean, Chicago, December 31, 1894]
MARY BAKER EDDY
COMPLETION OF THE FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST, BOSTON—"OUR PRAYER IN STONE"—DESCRIPTION OF THE MOST UNIQUE STRUCTURE IN ANY CITY—A BEAUTIFUL TEMPLE AND ITS FURNISHINGS—MRS. EDDY'S WORK AND HER INFLUENCE
Boston, Mass., December 28.—Special Correspondence.—The "great awakening" of the time of Jonathan Edwards has been paralleled during the last decade by a wave of idealism that has swept over the country, manifesting itself under several different aspects and under various names, but each having the common identity of spiritual demand. This movement, under the guise of Christian Science, and ingenuously calling out a closer inquiry into Oriental philosophy, prefigures itself to us as one of the most potent factors in the social evolution of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. History shows the curious fact that the closing years of every century are years of more intense life, manifested in unrest or in aspiration, and scholars of special research, like Prof. Max Muller, assert that the end of a cycle, as is the latter part of the present century, is marked by peculiar intimations of man's immortal life.
The completion of the first Christian Science church erected in Boston strikes a keynote of definite attention. This church is in the fashionable Back Bay, between Commonwealth and Huntington Avenues. It is one of the most beautiful, and is certainly the most unique structure in any city. The First Church of Christ, Scientist, as it is officially called, is termed by its Founder, "Our prayer in stone." It is located at the intersection of Norway and Falmouth Streets, on a triangular plot of ground, the design a Romanesque tower with a circular front and an octagonal form, accented by stone porticos and turreted corners. On the front is a marble tablet, with the following inscription carved in bold relief:—
"The First Church of Christ, Scientist, erected Anno Domini 1894. A testimonial to our beloved teacher, the Rev. Mary Baker Eddy, Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science; author of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures;" president of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, and the first pastor of this denomination."
THE CHURCH EDIFICE
The church is built of Concord granite in light gray, with trimmings of the pink granite of New Hampshire, Mrs. Eddy's native State. The architecture is Romanesque throughout. The tower is one hundred and twenty feet in height and twenty-one and one half feet square. The entrances are of marble, with doors of antique oak richly carved. The windows of stained glass are very rich in pictorial effect. The lighting and cooling of the church—for cooling is a recognized feature as well as heating—are done by electricity, and the heat generated by two large boilers in the basement is distributed by the four systems with motor electric power. The partitions are of iron; the floors of marble in mosaic work, and the edifice is therefore as literally fire-proof as is conceivable. The principal features are the auditorium, seating eleven hundred people and capable of holding fifteen hundred; the "Mother's Room," designed for the exclusive use of Mrs. Eddy; the "directors' room," and the vestry. The girders are all of iron, the roof is of terra cotta tiles, the galleries are in plaster relief, the window frames are of iron, coated with plaster; the staircases are of iron, with marble stairs of rose pink, and marble approaches.
The vestibule is a fitting entrance to this magnificent temple. In the ceiling is a sunburst with a seven-pointed star, which illuminates it. From this are the entrances leading to the auditorium, the "Mother's Room," and the directors' room.
The auditorium is seated with pews of curly birch, upholstered in old rose plush. The floor is in white Italian mosaic, with frieze of the old rose, and the wainscoting repeats the same tints. The base and cap are of pink Tennessee marble. On the walls are bracketed oxidized silver lamps of Roman design, and there are frequent illuminated texts from the Bible and from Mrs. Eddy's "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" impanelled. A sunburst in the centre of the ceiling takes the place of chandeliers. There is a disc of cut glass in decorative designs, covering one hundred and forty-four electric lights in the form of a star, which is twenty-one inches from point to point, the centre being of pure white light, and each ray under prisms which reflect the rainbow tints. The galleries are richly panelled in relief work. The organ and choir gallery is spacious and rich beyond the power of words to depict. The platform—corresponding to the chancel of an Episcopal church—is a mosaic work, with richly carved seats following the sweep of its curve, with a lamp stand of the Renaissance period on either end, bearing six richly wrought oxidized silver lamps, eight feet in height. The great organ comes from Detroit. It is one of vast compass, with AEolian attachment, and cost eleven thousand dollars. It is the gift of a single individual—a votive offering of gratitude for the healing of the wife of the donor.
The chime of bells includes fifteen, of fine range and perfect tone.
THE "MOTHER'S ROOM"
The "Mother's Room" is approached by an entrance of Italian marble, and over the door, in large golden letters on a marble tablet, is the word "Love." In this room the mosaic marble floor of white has a Romanesque border and is decorated with sprays of fig leaves bearing fruit. The room is toned in pale green with relief in old rose. The mantel is of onyx and gold. Before the great bay window hangs an Athenian lamp over two hundred years old, which will be kept always burning day and night. Leading off the "Mother's Room" are toilet apartments, with full-length French mirrors and every convenience.
The directors' room is very beautiful in marble approaches and rich carving, and off this is a vault for the safe preservation of papers.
The vestry seats eight hundred people, and opening from it are three large class-rooms and the pastor's study.
The windows are a remarkable feature of this temple. There are no "memorial" windows; the entire church is a testimonial, not a memorial—a point that the members strongly insist upon.
In the auditorium are two rose windows—one representing the heavenly city which "cometh down from God out of heaven," with six small windows beneath, emblematic of the six water-pots referred to in John ii. 6. The other rose window represents the raising of the daughter of Jairus. Beneath are two small windows bearing palms of victory, and others with lamps, typical of Science and Health.
Another great window tells its pictorial story of the four Marys—the mother of Jesus, Mary anointing the head of Jesus, Mary washing the feet of Jesus, Mary at the resurrection; and the woman spoken of in the Apocalypse, chapter 12, God-crowned.
One more window in the auditorium represents the raising of Lazarus.
In the gallery are windows representing John on the Isle of Patmos, and others of pictorial significance. In the "Mother's Room" the windows are of still more unique interest. A large bay window, composed of three separate panels, is designed to be wholly typical of the work of Mrs. Eddy. The central panel represents her in solitude and meditation, searching the Scriptures by the light of a single candle, while the star of Bethlehem shines down from above. Above this is a panel containing the Christian Science seal, and other panels are decorated with emblematic designs, with the legends, "Heal the Sick," "Raise the Dead," "Cleanse the Lepers," and "Cast out Demons."
The cross and the crown and the star are presented in appropriate decorative effect. The cost of this church is two hundred and twenty-one thousand dollars, exclusive of the land—a gift from Mrs. Eddy—which is valued at some forty thousand dollars.
THE ORDER OF SERVICE
The order of service in the Christian Science Church does not differ widely from that of any other sect, save that its service includes the use of Mrs. Eddy's book, entitled "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," in perhaps equal measure to its use of the Bible. The reading is from the two alternately; the singing is from a compilation called the "Christian Science Hymnal," but its songs are for the most part those devotional hymns from Herbert, Faber, Robertson, Wesley, Bowring, and other recognized devotional poets, with selections from Whittier and Lowell, as are found in the hymn-books of the Unitarian churches. For the past year or two Judge Hanna, formerly of Chicago, has filled the office of pastor to the church in this city, which held its meetings in Chickering Hall, and later in Copley Hall, in the new Grundmann Studio Building on Copley Square. Preceding Judge Hanna were Rev. D.A. Easton and Rev. L.P. Norcross, both of whom had formerly been Congregational clergymen. The organizer and first pastor of the church here was Mrs. Eddy herself, of whose work I shall venture to speak, a little later, in this article.
Last Sunday I gave myself the pleasure of attending the service held in Copley Hall. The spacious apartment was thronged with a congregation whose remarkable earnestness impressed the observer. There was no straggling of late-comers. Before the appointed hour every seat in the hall was filled and a large number of chairs pressed into service for the overflowing throng. The music was spirited, and the selections from the Bible and from Science and Health were finely read by Judge Hanna. Then came his sermon, which dealt directly with the command of Christ to "heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons." In his admirable discourse Judge Hanna said that while all these injunctions could, under certain conditions, be interpreted and fulfilled literally, the special lesson was to be taken spiritually—to cleanse the leprosy of sin, to cast out the demons of evil thought. The discourse was able, and helpful in its suggestive interpretation.
THE CHURCH MEMBERS
Later I was told that almost the entire congregation was composed of persons who had either been themselves, or had seen members of their own families, healed by Christian Science treatment; and I was further told that once when a Boston clergyman remonstrated with Judge Hanna for enticing a separate congregation rather than offering their strength to unite with churches already established—I was told he replied that the Christian Science Church did not recruit itself from other churches, but from the graveyards! The church numbers now four thousand members; but this estimate, as I understand, is not limited to the Boston adherents, but includes those all over the country. The ceremonial of uniting is to sign a brief "confession of faith," written by Mrs. Eddy, and to unite in communion, which is not celebrated by outward symbols of bread and wine, but by uniting in silent prayer.
The "confession of faith" includes the declaration that the Scriptures are the guide to eternal Life; that there is a Supreme Being, and His Son, and the Holy Ghost, and that man is made in His image. It affirms the atonement; it recognizes Jesus as the teacher and guide to salvation; the forgiveness of sin by God, and affirms the power of Truth over error, and the need of living faith at the moment to realize the possibilities of the divine Life. The entire membership of Christian Scientists throughout the world now exceeds two hundred thousand people. The church in Boston was organized by Mrs. Eddy, and the first meeting held on April 19, 1879. It opened with twenty-six members, and within fifteen years it has grown to its present impressive proportions, and has now its own magnificent church building, costing over two hundred thousand dollars, and entirely paid for when its consecration service on January 6 shall be celebrated. This is certainly a very remarkable retrospect.
Rev. Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of this denomination and Discoverer of Christian Science, as they term her work in affirming the present application of the principles asserted by Jesus, is a most interesting personality. At the risk of colloquialism, I am tempted to "begin at the beginning" of my own knowledge of Mrs. Eddy, and take, as the point of departure, my first meeting with her and the subsequent development of some degree of familiarity with the work of her life which that meeting inaugurated for me.
It was during some year in the early '80's that I became aware—from that close contact with public feeling resulting from editorial work in daily journalism—that the Boston atmosphere was largely thrilled and pervaded by a new and increasing interest in the dominance of mind over matter, and that the central figure in all this agitation was Mrs. Eddy. To a note which I wrote her, begging the favor of an interview for press use, she most kindly replied, naming an evening on which she would receive me. At the hour named I rang the bell at a spacious house on Columbus Avenue, and I was hardly more than seated before Mrs. Eddy entered the room. She impressed me as singularly graceful and winning in bearing and manner, and with great claim to personal beauty. Her figure was tall, slender, and as flexible in movement as that of a Delsarte disciple; her face, framed in dark hair and lighted by luminous blue eyes, had the transparency and rose-flush of tint so often seen in New England, and she was magnetic, earnest, impassioned. No photographs can do the least justice to Mrs. Eddy, as her beautiful complexion and changeful expression cannot thus be reproduced. At once one would perceive that she had the temperament to dominate, to lead, to control, not by any crude self-assertion, but a spiritual animus. Of course such a personality, with the wonderful tumult in the air that her large and enthusiastic following excited, fascinated the imagination. What had she originated? I mentally questioned this modern St. Catherine, who was dominating her followers like any abbess of old. She told me the story of her life, so far as outward events may translate those inner experiences which alone are significant.
Mary Baker was the daughter of Mark and Abigail (Ambrose) Baker, and was born in Concord, N.H., somewhere in the early decade of 1820-'30. At the time I met her she must have been some sixty years of age, yet she had the coloring and the elastic bearing of a woman of thirty, and this, she told me, was due to the principles of Christian Science. On her father's side Mrs. Eddy came from Scotch and English ancestry, and Hannah More was a relative of her grandmother. Deacon Ambrose, her maternal grandfather, was known as a "godly man," and her mother was a religious enthusiast, a saintly and consecrated character. One of her brothers, Albert Baker, graduated at Dartmouth and achieved eminence as a lawyer.
MRS. EDDY AS A CHILD
As a child Mary Baker saw visions and dreamed dreams. When eight years of age she began, like Jeanne d'Arc, to hear "voices," and for a year she heard her name called distinctly, and would often run to her mother questioning if she were wanted. One night the mother related to her the story of Samuel, and bade her, if she heard the voice again to reply as he did: "Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth." The call came, but the little maid was afraid and did not reply. This caused her tears of remorse and she prayed for forgiveness, and promised to reply if the call came again. It came, and she answered as her mother had bidden her, and after that it ceased.
These experiences, of which Catholic biographies are full, and which history not infrequently emphasizes, certainly offer food for meditation. Theodore Parker related that when he was a lad, at work in a field one day on his father's farm at Lexington, an old man with a snowy beard suddenly appeared at his side, and walked with him as he worked, giving him high counsel and serious thought. All inquiry in the neighborhood as to whence the stranger came or whither he went was fruitless; no one else had seen him, and Mr. Parker always believed, so a friend has told me, that his visitor was a spiritual form from another world. It is certainly true that many and many persons, whose life has been destined to more than ordinary achievement, have had experiences of voices or visions in their early youth.
At an early age Miss Baker was married to Colonel Glover, of Charleston, S.C., who lived only a year. She returned to her father's home—in 1844—and from that time until 1866 no special record is to be made.
In 1866, while living in Lynn, Mass., Mrs. Eddy (then Mrs. Glover) met with a severe accident, and her case was pronounced hopeless by the physicians. There came a Sunday morning when her pastor came to bid her good-by before proceeding to his morning service, as there was no probability that she would be alive at its close. During this time she suddenly became aware of a divine illumination and ministration. She requested those with her to withdraw, and reluctantly they did so, believing her delirious. Soon, to their bewilderment and fright, she walked into the adjoining room, "and they thought I had died, and that it was my apparition," she said.
THE PRINCIPLE OF DIVINE HEALING
From that hour dated her conviction of the Principle of divine healing, and that it is as true to-day as it was in the days when Jesus of Nazareth walked the earth. "I felt that the divine Spirit had wrought a miracle," she said, in reference to this experience. "How, I could not tell, but later I found it to be in perfect scientific accord with the divine law." From 1866-'69 Mrs. Eddy withdrew from the world to meditate, to pray, to search the Scriptures.
"During this time," she said, in reply to my questions, "the Bible was my only textbook. It answered my questions as to the process by which I was restored to health; it came to me with a new meaning, and suddenly I apprehended the spiritual meaning of the teaching of Jesus and the Principle and the law involved in spiritual Science and metaphysical healing—in a word—Christian Science."
Mrs. Eddy came to perceive that Christ's healing was not miraculous, but was simply a natural fulfilment of divine law—a law as operative in the world to-day as it was nineteen hundred years ago. "Divine Science is begotten of spirituality," she says, "since only the 'pure in heart' can see God."
In writing of this experience, Mrs. Eddy has said:—
"I had learned that thought must be spiritualized in order to apprehend Spirit. It must become honest, unselfish, and pure, in order to have the least understanding of God in divine Science. The first must become last. Our reliance upon material things must be transferred to a perception of and dependence on spiritual things. For Spirit to be supreme in demonstration, it must be supreme in our affections, and we must be clad with divine power. I had learned that Mind reconstructed the body, and that nothing else could. All Science is a revelation."
Through homoeopathy, too, Mrs. Eddy became convinced of the Principle of Mind-healing, discovering that the more attenuated the drug, the more potent was its effects.
In 1877 Mrs. Glover married Dr. Asa Gilbert Eddy, of Londonderry, Vermont, a physician who had come into sympathy with her own views, and who was the first to place "Christian Scientist" on the sign at his door. Dr. Eddy died in 1882, a year after her founding of the Metaphysical College in Boston, in which he taught.
The work in the Metaphysical College lasted nine years, and it was closed (in 1889) in the very zenith of its prosperity, as Mrs. Eddy felt it essential to the deeper foundation of her religious work to retire from active contact with the world. To this College came hundreds and hundreds of students, from Europe as well as this country. I was present at the class lectures now and then, by Mrs. Eddy's kind invitation, and such earnestness of attention as was given to her morning talks by the men and women present I never saw equalled.
MRS. EDDY'S PERSONALITY
On the evening that I first met Mrs. Eddy by her hospitable courtesy, I went to her peculiarly fatigued. I came away in a state of exhilaration and energy that made me feel I could have walked any conceivable distance. I have met Mrs. Eddy many times since then, and always with this experience repeated.
Several years ago Mrs. Eddy removed from Columbus to Commonwealth Avenue, where, just beyond Massachusetts Avenue, at the entrance to the Back Bay Park, she bought one of the most beautiful residences in Boston. The interior is one of the utmost taste and luxury, and the house is now occupied by Judge and Mrs. Hanna, who are the editors of The Christian Science Journal, a monthly publication, and to whose courtesy I am much indebted for some of the data of this paper. "It is a pleasure to give any information for The Inter-Ocean," remarked Mrs. Hanna, "for it is the great daily that is so fair and so just in its attitude toward all questions."
The increasing demands of the public on Mrs. Eddy have been, it may be, one factor in her removal to Concord, N.H., where she has a beautiful residence, called Pleasant View. Her health is excellent, and although her hair is white, she retains in a great degree her energy and power; she takes a daily walk and drives in the afternoon. She personally attends to a vast correspondence; superintends the church in Boston, and is engaged on further writings on Christian Science. In every sense she is the recognized head of the Christian Science Church. At the same time it is her most earnest aim to eliminate the element of personality from the faith. "On this point, Mrs. Eddy feels very strongly," said a gentleman to me on Christmas eve, as I sat in the beautiful drawing-room, where Judge and Mrs. Hanna, Miss Elsie Lincoln, the soprano for the choir of the new church, and one or two other friends were gathered.
"Mother feels very strongly," he continued, "the danger and the misfortune of a church depending on any one personality. It is difficult not to centre too closely around a highly gifted personality."
THE FIRST ASSOCIATION
The first Christian Scientist Association was organized on July 4, 1876, by seven persons, including Mrs. Eddy. In April, 1879, the church was founded with twenty-six members, and its charter obtained the following June.[C] Mrs. Eddy had preached in other parishes for five years before being ordained in this church, which ceremony took place in 1881.
The first edition of Mrs. Eddy's book, Science and Health, was issued in 1875. During these succeeding twenty years it has been greatly revised and enlarged, and it is now in its ninety-first edition. It consists of fourteen chapters, whose titles are as follows: "Science, Theology, Medicine," "Physiology," "Footsteps of Truth," "Creation," "Science of Being," "Christian Science and Spiritualism," "Marriage," "Animal Magnetism," "Some Objections Answered," "Prayer," "Atonement and Eucharist," "Christian Science Practice," "Teaching Christian Science," "Recapitulation." Key to the Scriptures, Genesis, Apocalypse, and Glossary.
The Christian Scientists do not accept the belief we call spiritualism. They believe those who have passed the change of death are in so entirely different a plane of consciousness that between the embodied and disembodied there is no possibility of communication.
They are diametrically opposed to the philosophy of Karma and of reincarnation, which are the tenets of theosophy. They hold with strict fidelity to what they believe to be the literal teachings of Christ.
Yet each and all these movements, however they may differ among themselves, are phases of idealism and manifestations of a higher spirituality seeking expression.
It is good that each and all shall prosper, serving those who find in one form of belief or another their best aid and guidance, and that all meet on common ground in the great essentials of love to God and love to man as a signal proof of the divine origin of humanity which finds no rest until it finds the peace of the Lord in spirituality. They all teach that one great truth, that
God's greatness flows around our incompleteness, Round our restlessness, His rest.
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.
* * * * *
I add on the following page a little poem that I consider superbly sweet—from my friend, Miss Whiting, the talented author of "The World Beautiful."—M.B. EDDY.
AT THE WINDOW
[Written for the Traveller]
The sunset, burning low, Throws o'er the Charles its flood of golden light. Dimly, as in a dream, I watch the flow Of waves of light.
The splendor of the sky Repeats its glory in the river's flow; And sculptured angels, on the gray church tower, Gaze on the world below.
Dimly, as in a dream, I see the hurrying throng before me pass, But 'mid them all I only see one face, Under the meadow grass.
Ah, love! I only know How thoughts of you forever cling to me: I wonder how the seasons come and go Beyond the sapphire sea?
April 15, 1888.
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[Boston Herald, January 7, 1895]
A TEMPLE GIVEN TO GOD—DEDICATION OF THE MOTHER CHURCH OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE
NOVEL METHOD OF ENABLING SIX THOUSAND BELIEVERS TO ATTEND THE EXERCISES—THE SERVICE REPEATED FOUR TIMES—SERMON BY REV. MARY BAKER EDDY, FOUNDER OF THE DENOMINATION—BEAUTIFUL ROOM WHICH THE CHILDREN BUILT
With simple ceremonies, four times repeated, in the presence of four different congregations, aggregating nearly six thousand persons, the unique and costly edifice erected in Boston at Norway and Falmouth Streets as a home for The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and a testimonial to the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Rev. Mary Baker Eddy, was yesterday dedicated to the worship of God.
The structure came forth from the hands of the artisans with every stone paid for—with an appeal, not for more money, but for a cessation of the tide of contributions which continued to flow in after the full amount needed was received. From every State in the Union, and from many lands, the love-offerings of the disciples of Christian Science came to help erect this beautiful structure, and more than four thousand of these contributors came to Boston, from the far-off Pacific coast and the Gulf States and all the territory that lies between, to view the new-built temple and to listen to the Message sent them by the teacher they revere.
From all New England the members of the denomination gathered; New York sent its hundreds, and even from the distant States came parties of forty and fifty. The large auditorium, with its capacity for holding from fourteen hundred to fifteen hundred persons, was hopelessly incapable of receiving this vast throng, to say nothing of nearly a thousand local believers. Hence the service was repeated until all who wished had heard and seen; and each of the four vast congregations filled the church to repletion.
At 7:30 a.m. the chimes in the great stone tower, which rises one hundred and twenty-six feet above the earth, rung out their message of "On earth peace, good will toward men."
Old familiar hymns—"All hail the power of Jesus' name," and others such—were chimed until the hour for the dedication service had come.
At 9 a.m. the first congregation gathered. Before this service had closed the large vestry room and the spacious lobbies and the sidewalks around the church were all filled with a waiting multitude. At 10:30 o'clock another service began, and at noon still another. Then there was an intermission, and at 3 p.m. the service was repeated for the last time.
There was scarcely even a minor variation in the exercises at any one of these services. At 10:30 a.m., however, the scene was rendered particularly interesting by the presence of several hundred children in the central pews. These were the little contributors to the building fund, whose money was devoted to the "Mother's Room," a superb apartment intended for the sole use of Mrs. Eddy. These children are known in the church as the "Busy Bees," and each of them wore a white satin badge with a golden beehive stamped upon it, and beneath the beehive the words, "Mother's Room," in gilt letters.
The pulpit end of the auditorium was rich with the adornment of flowers. On the wall of the choir gallery above the platform, where the organ is to be hereafter placed, a huge seven-pointed star was hung—a star of lilies resting on palms, with a centre of white immortelles, upon which in letters of red were the words: "Love-Children's Offering—1894."
In the choir and the steps of the platform were potted palms and ferns and Easter lilies. The desk was wreathed with ferns and pure white roses fastened with a broad ribbon bow. On its right was a large basket of white carnations resting on a mat of palms, and on its left a vase filled with beautiful pink roses.
Two combined choirs—that of First Church of Christ, Scientist, of New York, and the choir of the home church, numbering thirty-five singers in all—led the singing, under the direction, respectively, of Mr. Henry Lincoln Case and Miss Elsie Lincoln.
Judge S.J. Hanna, editor of The Christian Science Journal, presided over the exercises. On the platform with him were Messrs. Ira O. Knapp, Joseph Armstrong, Stephen A. Chase, and William B. Johnson, who compose the Board of Directors, and Mrs. Henrietta Clark Bemis, a distinguished elocutionist, and a native of Concord, New Hampshire.
The utmost simplicity marked the exercises. After an organ voluntary, the hymn, "Laus Deo, it is done!" written by Mrs. Eddy for the corner-stone laying last spring, was sung by the congregation. Selections from the Scriptures and from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," were read by Judge Hanna and Dr. Eddy.
A few minutes of silent prayer came next, followed by the recitation of the Lord's Prayer, with its spiritual interpretation as given in the Christian Science textbook.
The sermon prepared for the occasion by Mrs. Eddy, which was looked forward to as the chief feature of the dedication, was then read by Mrs. Bemis. Mrs. Eddy remained at her home in Concord, N.H., during the day, because, as heretofore stated in The Herald, it is her custom to discourage among her followers that sort of personal worship which religious teachers so often receive.
Before presenting the sermon, Mrs. Bemis read the following letter from a former pastor of the church:—
"To Rev. Mary Baker Eddy.
"Dear Teacher, Leader, Guide:—'Laus Deo, it is done!' At last you begin to see the fruition of that you have worked, toiled, prayed for. The 'prayer in stone' is accomplished. Across two thousand miles of space, as mortal sense puts it, I send my hearty congratulations. You are fully occupied, but I thought you would willingly pause for an instant to receive this brief message of congratulation. Surely it marks an era in the blessed onward work of Christian Science. It is a most auspicious hour in your eventful career. While we all rejoice, yet the mother in Israel, alone of us all, comprehends its full significance.
"LANSON P. NORCROSS."
* * * * *
[Boston Sunday Globe, January 6, 1895]
STATELY HOME FOR BELIEVERS IN GOSPEL HEALING—A WOMAN OF WEALTH WHO DEVOTES ALL TO HER CHURCH WORK
Christian Science has shown its power over its students, as they are called, by building a church by voluntary contributions, the first of its kind; a church which will be dedicated to-day with a quarter of a million dollars expended and free of debt.
The money has flowed in from all parts of the United States and Canada without any special appeal, and it kept coming until the custodian of funds cried "enough" and refused to accept any further checks by mail or otherwise. Men, women, and children lent a helping hand, some giving a mite and some substantial sums. Sacrifices were made in many an instance which will never be known in this world.
Christian Scientists not only say that they can effect cures of disease and erect churches, but add that they can get their buildings finished on time, even when the feat seems impossible to mortal senses. Read the following, from a publication of the new denomination:—
"One of the grandest and most helpful features of this glorious consummation is this: that one month before the close of the year every evidence of material sense declared that the church's completion within the year 1894 transcended human possibility. The predictions of workman and onlooker alike were that it could not be completed before April or May of 1895. Much was the ridicule heaped upon the hopeful, trustful ones, who declared and repeatedly asseverated to the contrary. This is indeed, then, a scientific demonstration. It has proved, in most striking manner, the oft-repeated declarations of our textbooks, that the evidence of the mortal senses is unreliable."
A week ago Judge Hanna withdrew from the pastorate of the church, saying he gladly laid down his responsibilities to be succeeded by the grandest of ministers—the Bible and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." This action, it appears, was the result of rules made by Mrs. Eddy. The sermons hereafter will consist of passages read from the two books by Readers, who will be elected each year by the congregation.
A story has been abroad that Judge Hanna was so eloquent and magnetic that he was attracting listeners who came to hear him preach, rather than in search of the truth as taught. Consequently the new rules were formulated. But at Christian Science headquarters this is denied; Mrs. Eddy says the words of the judge speak to the point, and that no such inference is to be drawn therefrom.
In Mrs. Eddy's personal reminiscences, which are published under the title of "Retrospection and Introspection," much is told of herself in detail that can only be touched upon in this brief sketch.
Aristocratic to the backbone, Mrs. Eddy takes delight in going back to the ancestral tree and in tracing those branches which are identified with good and great names both in Scotland and England.
Her family came to this country not long before the Revolution. Among the many souvenirs that Mrs. Eddy remembers as belonging to her grandparents was a heavy sword, encased in a brass scabbard, upon which had been inscribed the name of the kinsman upon whom the sword had been bestowed by Sir William Wallace of mighty Scottish fame.
Mrs. Eddy applied herself, like other girls, to her studies, though perhaps with an unusual zest, delighting in philosophy, logic, and moral science, as well as looking into the ancient languages, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.
Her last marriage was in the spring of 1877, when, at Lynn, Mass., she became the wife of Asa Gilbert Eddy. He was the first organizer of a Christian Science Sunday School, of which he was the superintendent, and later he attracted the attention of many clergymen of other denominations by his able lectures upon Scriptural topics. He died in 1882.
Mrs. Eddy is known to her circle of pupils and admirers as the editor and publisher of the first official organ of this sect. It was called the Journal of Christian Science, and has had great circulation with the members of this fast-increasing faith.
In recounting her experiences as the pioneer of Christian Science, she states that she sought knowledge concerning the physical side in this research through the different schools of allopathy, homoeopathy, and so forth, without receiving any real satisfaction. No ancient or modern philosophy gave her any distinct statement of the Science of Mind-healing. She claims that no human reason has been equal to the question. And she also defines carefully the difference in the theories between faith-cure and Christian Science, dwelling particularly upon the terms belief and understanding, which are the key words respectively used in the definitions of these two healing arts.
Besides her Boston home, Mrs. Eddy has a delightful country home one mile from the State House of New Hampshire's quiet capital, an easy driving distance for her when she wishes to catch a glimpse of the world. But for the most part she lives very much retired, driving rather into the country, which is so picturesque all about Concord and its surrounding villages.
The big house, so delightfully remodelled and modernized from a primitive homestead that nothing is left excepting the angles and pitch of the roof, is remarkably well placed upon a terrace that slopes behind the buildings, while they themselves are in the midst of green stretches of lawns, dotted with beds of flowering shrubs, with here and there a fountain or summer-house.
Mrs. Eddy took the writer straight to her beloved "lookout"—a broad piazza on the south side of the second story of the house, where she can sit in her swinging chair, revelling in the lights and shades of spring and summer greenness. Or, as just then, in the gorgeous October coloring of the whole landscape that lies below, across the farm, which stretches on through an intervale of beautiful meadows and pastures to the woods that skirt the valley of the little truant river, as it wanders eastward.
It pleased her to point out her own birthplace. Straight as the crow flies, from her piazza, does it lie on the brow of Bow hill, and then she paused and reminded the reporter that Congressman Baker from New Hampshire, her cousin, was born and bred in that same neighborhood. The photograph of Hon. Hoke Smith, another distinguished relative, adorned the mantel.
Then my eye caught her family coat of arms and the diploma given her by the Society of the Daughters of the Revolution.
The natural and lawful pride that comes with a tincture of blue and brave blood, is perhaps one of her characteristics, as is many another well-born woman's. She had a long list of worthy ancestors in Colonial and Revolutionary days, and the McNeils and General Knox figure largely in her genealogy, as well as the hero who killed the ill-starred Paugus.
This big, sunny room which Mrs. Eddy calls her den—or sometimes "Mother's room," when speaking of her many followers who consider her their spiritual Leader—has the air of hospitality that marks its hostess herself. Mrs. Eddy has hung its walls with reproductions of some of Europe's masterpieces, a few of which had been the gifts of her loving pupils.
Looking down from the windows upon the tree-tops on the lower terrace, the reporter exclaimed: "You have lived here only four years, and yet from a barren waste of most unpromising ground has come forth all this beauty!"
"Four years!" she ejaculated; "two and a half, only two and a half years." Then, touching my sleeve and pointing, she continued: "Look at those big elms! I had them brought here in warm weather, almost as big as they are now, and not one died."
Mrs. Eddy talked earnestly of her friendships.... She told something of her domestic arrangements, of how she had long wished to get away from her busy career in Boston, and return to her native granite hills, there to build a substantial home that should do honor to that precinct of Concord.
She chose the stubbly old farm on the road from Concord, within one mile of the "Eton of America," St. Paul's School. Once bought, the will of the woman set at work, and to-day a strikingly well-kept estate is the first impression given to the visitor as he approaches Pleasant View.
She employs a number of men to keep the grounds and farm in perfect order, and it was pleasing to learn that this rich woman is using her money to promote the welfare of industrious workmen, in whom she takes a vital interest.
Mrs. Eddy believes that "the laborer is worthy of his hire," and, moreover, that he deserves to have a home and family of his own. Indeed, one of her motives in buying so large an estate was that she might do something for the toilers, and thus add her influence toward the advancement of better home life and citizenship.
* * * * *
[Boston Transcript, December 31, 1894]
The growth of Christian Science is properly marked by the erection of a visible house of worship in this city, which will be dedicated to-morrow. It has cost two hundred thousand dollars, and no additional sums outside of the subscriptions are asked for. This particular phase of religious belief has impressed itself upon a large and increasing number of Christian people, who have been tempted to examine its principles, and doubtless have been comforted and strengthened by them. Any new movement will awaken some sort of interest. There are many who have worn off the novelty and are thoroughly carried away with the requirements, simple and direct as they are, of Christian Science. The opposition against it from the so-called orthodox religious bodies keeps up a while, but after a little skirmishing, finally subsides. No one religious body holds the whole of truth, and whatever is likely to show even some one side of it will gain followers and live down any attempted repression.
Christian Science does not strike all as a system of truth. If it did, it would be a prodigy. Neither does the Christian faith produce the same impressions upon all. Freedom to believe or to dissent is a great privilege in these days. So when a number of conscientious followers apply themselves to a matter like Christian Science, they are enjoying that liberty which is their inherent right as human beings, and though they cannot escape censure, yet they are to be numbered among the many pioneers who are searching after religious truth. There is really nothing settled. Every truth is more or less in a state of agitation. The many who have worked in the mine of knowledge are glad to welcome others who have different methods, and with them bring different ideas.
It is too early to predict where this movement will go, and how greatly it will affect the well-established methods. That it has produced a sensation in religious circles, and called forth the implements of theological warfare, is very well known. While it has done this, it may, on the other hand, have brought a benefit. Ere this many a new project in religious belief has stirred up feeling, but as time has gone on, compromises have been welcomed.
The erection of this temple will doubtless help on the growth of its principles. Pilgrims from everywhere will go there in search of truth, and some may be satisfied and some will not. Christian Science cannot absorb the world's thought. It may get the share of attention it deserves, but it can only aspire to take its place alongside other great demonstrations of religious belief which have done something good for the sake of humanity.
Wonders will never cease. Here is a church whose treasurer has to send out word that no sums except those already subscribed can be received! The Christian Scientists have a faith of the mustard-seed variety. What a pity some of our practical Christian folk have not a faith approximate to that of these "impractical" Christian Scientists.
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[Jackson Patriot, Jackson, Mich., January 20, 1895]
The erection of a massive temple in Boston by Christian Scientists, at a cost of over two hundred thousand dollars, love-offerings of the disciples of Mary Baker Eddy, reviver of the ancient faith and author of the textbook from which, with the New Testament at the foundation, believers receive light, health, and strength, is evidence of the rapid growth of the new movement. We call it new. It is not. The name Christian Science alone is new. At the beginning of Christianity it was taught and practised by Jesus and his disciples. The Master was the great healer. But the wave of materialism and bigotry that swept over the world for fifteen centuries, covering it with the blackness of the Dark Ages, nearly obliterated all vital belief in his teachings. The Bible was a sealed book. Recently a revived belief in what he taught is manifest, and Christian Science is one result. No new doctrine is proclaimed, but there is the fresh development of a Principle that was put into practice by the Founder of Christianity nineteen hundred years ago, though practised in other countries at an earlier date. "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun."
The condition which Jesus of Nazareth, on various occasions during the three years of his ministry on earth, declared to be essential, in the mind of both healer and patient, is contained in the one word—faith. Can drugs suddenly cure leprosy? When the ten lepers were cleansed and one returned to give thanks in Oriental phrase, Jesus said to him: "Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole." That was Christian Science. In his "Law of Psychic Phenomena" Hudson says: "That word, more than any other, expresses the whole law of human felicity and power in this world, and of salvation in the world to come. It is that attribute of mind which elevates man above the level of the brute, and gives dominion over the physical world. It is the essential element of success in every field of human endeavor. It constitutes the power of the human soul. When Jesus of Nazareth proclaimed its potency from the hilltops of Palestine, he gave to mankind the key to health and heaven, and earned the title of Saviour of the World." Whittier, grandest of mystic poets, saw the truth:—
That healing gift he lends to them Who use it in his name; The power that filled his garment's hem Is evermore the same.
Again, in a poem entitled "The Master," he wrote:—
The healing of his seamless dress Is by our beds of pain; We touch him in life's throng and press, And we are whole again.[D]
That Jesus operated in perfect harmony with natural law, not in defiance, suppression, or violation of it, we cannot doubt. The perfectly natural is the perfectly spiritual. Jesus enunciated and exemplified the Principle; and, obviously, the conditions requisite in psychic healing to-day are the same as were necessary in apostolic times. We accept the statement of Hudson: "There was no law of nature violated or transcended. On the contrary, the whole transaction was in perfect obedience to the laws of nature. He understood the law perfectly, as no one before him understood it; and in the plenitude of his power he applied it where the greatest good could be accomplished." A careful reading of the accounts of his healings, in the light of modern science, shows that he observed, in his practice of mental therapeutics, the conditions of environment and harmonious influence that are essential to success. In the case of Jairus' daughter they are fully set forth. He kept the unbelievers away, "put them all out," and permitting only the father and mother, with his closest friends and followers, Peter, James, and John, in the chamber with him, and having thus the most perfect obtainable environment, he raised the daughter to life.
"Not in blind caprice of will, Not in cunning sleight of skill, Not for show of power, was wrought Nature's marvel in thy thought."
In a previous article we have referred to cyclic changes that came during the last quarter of preceding centuries. Of our remarkable nineteenth century not the least eventful circumstance is the advent of Christian Science. That it should be the work of a woman is the natural outcome of a period notable for her emancipation from many of the thraldoms, prejudices, and oppressions of the past. We do not, therefore, regard it as a mere coincidence that the first edition of Mrs. Eddy's Science and Health should have been published in 1875. Since then she has revised it many times, and the ninety-first edition is announced. Her discovery was first called, "The Science of Divine Metaphysical Healing." Afterward she selected the name Christian Science. It is based upon what is held to be scientific certainty, namely,—that all causation is of Mind, every effect has its origin in desire and thought. The theology—if we may use the word—of Christian Science is contained in the volume entitled "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."
The present Boston congregation was organized April 19, 1879, and has now over four thousand members. It is regarded as the parent organization, all others being branches, though each is entirely independent in the management of its own affairs. Truth is the sole recognized authority. Of actual members of different congregations there are between one hundred thousand and two hundred thousand. One or more organized societies have sprung up in New York, Chicago, Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Detroit, Toledo, Milwaukee, Madison, Scranton, Peoria, Atlanta, Toronto, and nearly every other centre of population, besides a large and growing number of receivers of the faith among the members of all the churches and non-church-going people. In some churches a majority of the members are Christian Scientists, and, as a rule, are the most intelligent.
Space does not admit of an elaborate presentation on the occasion of the erection of the temple, in Boston, the dedication taking place on the 6th of January, of one of the most remarkable, helpful, and powerful movements of the last quarter of the century. Christian Science has brought hope and comfort to many weary souls. It makes people better and happier. Welding Christianity and Science, hitherto divorced because dogma and truth could not unite, was a happy inspiration.
"And still we love the evil cause, And of the just effect complain; We tread upon life's broken laws, And mourn our self-inflicted pain."
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[The Outlook, New York, January 19, 1895]
A CHRISTIAN SCIENCE CHURCH
A great Christian Science church was dedicated in Boston on Sunday, the 6th inst. It is located at Norway and Falmouth Streets, and is intended to be a testimonial to the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, the Rev. Mary Baker Eddy. The building is fire-proof, and cost over two hundred thousand dollars. It is entirely paid for, and contributions for its erection came from every State in the Union, and from many lands. The auditorium is said to seat between fourteen and fifteen hundred, and was thronged at the four services on the day of dedication. The sermon, prepared by Mrs. Eddy, was read by Mrs. Bemis. It rehearsed the significance of the building, and reenunciated the truths which will find emphasis there. From the description we judge that it is one of the most beautiful buildings in Boston, and, indeed, in all New England. Whatever may be thought of the peculiar tenets of the Christian Scientists, and whatever difference of opinion there may be concerning the organization of such a church, there can be no question but that the adherents of this church have proved their faith by their works.
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[American Art Journal, New York, January 26, 1895]
"OUR PRAYER IN STONE"
Such is the excellent name given to a new Boston church. Few people outside its own circles realize how extensive is the belief in Christian Science. There are several sects of mental healers, but this new edifice on Back Bay, just off Huntington Avenue, not far from the big Mechanics Building and the proposed site of the new Music Hall, belongs to the followers of Rev. Mary Baker Glover Eddy, a lady born of an old New Hampshire family, who, after many vicissitudes, found herself in Lynn, Mass., healed by the power of divine Mind, and thereupon devoted herself to imparting this faith to her fellow-beings. Coming to Boston about 1880, she began teaching, gathered an association of students, and organized a church. For several years past she has lived in Concord, N.H., near her birthplace, owning a beautiful estate called Pleasant View; but thousands of believers throughout this country have joined The Mother Church in Boston, and have now erected this edifice at a cost of over two hundred thousand dollars, every bill being paid.
Its appearance is shown in the pictures we are permitted to publish. In the belfry is a set of tubular chimes. Inside is a basement room, capable of division into seven excellent class-rooms, by the use of movable partitions. The main auditorium has wide galleries, and will seat over a thousand in its exceedingly comfortable pews. Scarcely any woodwork is to be found. The floors are all mosaic, the steps marble, and the walls stone. It is rather dark, often too much so for comfortable reading, as all the windows are of colored glass, with pictures symbolic of the tenets of the organization. In the ceiling is a beautiful sunburst window. Adjoining the chancel is a pastor's study; but for an indefinite time their prime instructor has ordained that the only pastor shall be the Bible, with her book, called "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." In the tower is a room devoted to her, and called "Mother's Room," furnished with all conveniences for living, should she wish to make it a home by day or night. Therein is a portrait of her in stained glass; and an electric light, behind an antique lamp, kept perpetually burning[E] in her honor; though she has not yet visited her temple, which was dedicated on New Year's Sunday in a somewhat novel way.
There was no special sentence or prayer of consecration, but continuous services were held from nine to four o'clock, every hour and a half, so long as there were attendants; and some people heard these exercises four times repeated. The printed program was for some reason not followed, certain hymns and psalms being omitted. There was singing by a choir and congregation. The Pater Noster was repeated in the way peculiar to Christian Scientists, the congregation repeating one sentence and the leader responding with its parallel interpretation by Mrs. Eddy. Antiphonal paragraphs were read from the book of Revelation and her work respectively. The sermon, prepared by Mrs. Eddy, was well adapted for its purpose, and read by a professional elocutionist, not an adherent of the order, Mrs. Henrietta Clark Bemis, in a clear emphatic style. The solo singer, however, was a Scientist, Miss Elsie Lincoln; and on the platform sat Joseph Armstrong, formerly of Kansas, and now the business manager of the Publishing Society, with the other members of the Christian Science Board of Directors—Ira O. Knapp, Edward P. Bates, Stephen A. Chase,—gentlemen officially connected with the movement. The children of believing families collected the money for the Mother's Room, and seats were especially set apart for them at the second dedicatory service. Before one service was over and the auditors left by the rear doors, the front vestibule and street (despite the snowstorm) were crowded with others, waiting for admission.
On the next Sunday the new order of service went into operation. There was no address of any sort, no notices, no explanation of Bible or their textbook. Judge Hanna, who was a Colorado lawyer before coming into this work, presided, reading in clear, manly, and intelligent tones, the Quarterly Bible Lesson, which happened that day to be on Jesus' miracle of loaves and fishes. Each paragraph he supplemented first with illustrative Scripture parallels, as set down for him, and then by passages selected for him from Mrs. Eddy's book. The place was again crowded, many having remained over a week from among the thousands of adherents who had come to Boston for this auspicious occasion from all parts of the country. The organ, made by Farrand & Votey in Detroit, at a cost of eleven thousand dollars, is the gift of a wealthy Universalist gentleman, but was not ready for the opening. It is to fill the recess behind the spacious platform, and is described as containing pneumatic wind-chests throughout, and having an AEolian attachment. It is of three-manual compass, C.C.C. to C.4, 61 notes; and pedal compass, C.C.C. to F.30. The great organ has double open diapason (stopped bass), open diapason, dulciana, viola di gamba, doppel flute, hohl flute, octave, octave quint, superoctave, and trumpet,—61 pipes each. The swell organ has bourdon, open diapason, salicional, aeoline, stopped diapason, gemshorn, flute harmonique, flageolet, cornet—3 ranks, 183,—cornopean, oboe, vox humana—61 pipes each. The choir organ, enclosed in separate swell-box, has geigen principal, dolce, concert flute, quintadena, fugara, flute d'amour, piccolo harmonique, clarinet,—61 pipes each. The pedal organ has open diapason, bourdon, lieblich gedeckt (from stop 10), violoncello-wood,—30 pipes each. Couplers: swell to great; choir to great; swell to choir; swell to great octaves, swell to great sub-octaves; choir to great sub-octaves; swell octaves; swell to pedal; great to pedal; choir to pedal. Mechanical accessories: swell tremulant, choir tremulant, bellows signal; wind indicator. Pedal movements: three affecting great and pedal stops, three affecting swell and pedal stops; great to pedal reversing pedal; crescendo and full organ pedal; balanced great and choir pedal; balanced swell pedal.
Beautiful suggestions greet you in every part of this unique church, which is practical as well as poetic, and justifies the name given by Mrs. Eddy, which stands at the head of this sketch.
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[Boston Journal, January 7, 1895]
CHIMES RANG SWEETLY
Much admiration was expressed by all those fortunate enough to listen to the first peal of the chimes in the tower of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, corner of Falmouth and Norway Streets, dedicated yesterday. The sweet, musical tones attracted quite a throng of people, who listened with delight.
The chimes were made by the United States Tubular Bell Company, of Methuen, Mass., and are something of a novelty in this country, though for some time well and favorably known in the Old Country, especially in England.
They are a substitution of tubes of drawn brass for the heavy cast bells of old-fashioned chimes. They have the advantage of great economy of space, as well as of cost, a chime of fifteen bells occupying a space not more than five by eight feet.
Where the old-fashioned chimes required a strong man to ring them, these can be rung from an electric keyboard, and even when rung by hand require but little muscular power to manipulate them and call forth all the purity and sweetness of their tones. The quality of tone is something superb, being rich and mellow. The tubes are carefully tuned, so that the harmony is perfect. They have all the beauties of a great cathedral chime, with infinitely less expense.