MARY BAKER EDDY
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, 1891, 1892 BY MARY BAKER G. EDDY Copyright renewed 1919 and 1920
All rights reserved
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
VOICES NOT OUR OWN
THE COUNTRY-SEAT (POEM)
MARRIAGE AND PARENTAGE
EMERGENCE INTO LIGHT
THE GREAT DISCOVERY
THE PRECIOUS VOLUME
A TRUE MAN
COLLEGE AND CHURCH
"FEED MY SHEEP" (POEM)
GENERAL ASSOCIATIONS AND OUR MAGAZINE
THE GREAT REVELATION
SIN, SINNER, AND ECCLESIASTICISM
THE HUMAN CONCEPT
RETROSPECTION AND INTROSPECTION
My ancestors, according to the flesh, were from both Scotland and England, my great-grandfather, on my father's side, being John McNeil of Edinburgh.
His wife, my great-grandmother, was Marion Moor, and her family is said to have been in some way related to Hannah More, the pious and popular English authoress of a century ago.
I remember reading, in my childhood, certain manuscripts containing Scriptural sonnets, besides other verses and enigmas which my grandmother said were written by my great-grandmother. But because my great-grandmother wrote a stray sonnet and an occasional riddle, it was no sign that she inherited a spark from Hannah More, or was her relative.
John and Marion Moor McNeil had a daughter, who perpetuated her mother's name. This second Marion McNeil in due time was married to an Englishman, named Joseph Baker, and so became my paternal grandmother, the Scotch and English elements thus mingling in her children.
Mrs. Marion McNeil Baker was reared among the Scotch Covenanters, and had in her character that sturdy Calvinistic devotion to Protestant liberty which gave those religionists the poetic daring and pious picturesqueness which we find so graphically set forth in the pages of Sir Walter Scott and in John Wilson's sketches.
Joseph Baker and his wife, Marion McNeil, came to America seeking "freedom to worship God;" though they could hardly have crossed the Atlantic more than a score of years prior to the Revolutionary period.
With them they brought to New England a heavy sword, encased in a brass scabbard, on which was inscribed the name of a kinsman upon whom the weapon had been bestowed by Sir William Wallace, from whose patriotism and bravery comes that heart-stirring air, "Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled."
My childhood was also gladdened by one of my Grandmother Baker's books, printed in olden type and replete with the phraseology current in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Among grandmother's treasures were some newspapers, yellow with age. Some of these, however, were not very ancient, nor had they crossed the ocean; for they were American newspapers, one of which contained a full account of the death and burial of George Washington.
A relative of my Grandfather Baker was General Henry Knox of Revolutionary fame. I was fond of listening, when a child, to grandmother's stories about General Knox, for whom she cherished a high regard.
In the line of my Grandmother Baker's family was the late Sir John Macneill, a Scotch knight, who was prominent in British politics, and at one time held the position of ambassador to Persia.
My grandparents were likewise connected with Capt. John Lovewell of Dunstable, New Hampshire, whose gallant leadership and death, in the Indian troubles of 1722-1725, caused that prolonged contest to be known historically as Lovewell's War.
A cousin of my grandmother was John Macneil, the New Hampshire general who fought at Lundy's Lane, and won distinction in 1814 at the neighboring battle of Chippewa, towards the close of the War of 1812.
This venerable grandmother had thirteen children, the youngest of whom was my father, Mark Baker, who inherited the homestead, and with his brother, James Baker, he inherited my grandfather's farm of about five hundred acres, lying in the adjoining towns of Concord and Bow, in the State of New Hampshire.
One hundred acres of the old farm are still cultivated and owned by Uncle James Baker's grandson, brother of the Hon. Henry Moore Baker of Washington, D.C.
The farm-house, situated on the summit of a hill, commanded a broad picturesque view of the Merrimac River and the undulating lands of three townships. But change has been busy. Where once stretched broad fields of bending grain waving gracefully in the sunlight, and orchards of apples, peaches, pears, and cherries shone richly in the mellow hues of autumn,—now the lone night-bird cries, the crow caws cautiously, and wandering winds sigh low requiems through dark pine groves. Where green pastures bright with berries, singing brooklets, beautiful wild flowers, and flecked with large flocks and herds, covered areas of rich acres,—now the scrub-oak, poplar, and fern flourish.
The wife of Mark Baker was Abigail Barnard Ambrose, daughter of Deacon Nathaniel Ambrose of Pembroke, a small town situated near Concord, just across the bridge, on the left bank of the Merrimac River.
Grandfather Ambrose was a very religious man, and gave the money for erecting the first Congregational Church in Pembroke.
In the Baker homestead at Bow I was born, the youngest of my parents' six children and the object of their tender solicitude.
During my childhood my parents removed to Tilton, eighteen miles from Concord, and there the family remained until the names of both father and mother were inscribed on the stone memorials in the Park Cemetery of that beautiful village.
My father possessed a strong intellect and an iron will. Of my mother I cannot speak as I would, for memory recalls qualities to which the pen can never do justice. The following is a brief extract from the eulogy of the Rev. Richard S. Rust, D.D., who for many years had resided in Tilton and knew my sainted mother in all the walks of life.
The character of Mrs. Abigail Ambrose Baker was distinguished for numerous excellences. She possessed a strong intellect, a sympathizing heart, and a placid spirit. Her presence, like the gentle dew and cheerful light, was felt by all around her. She gave an elevated character to the tone of conversation in the circles in which she moved, and directed attention to themes at once pleasing and profitable.
As a mother, she was untiring in her efforts to secure the happiness of her family. She ever entertained a lively sense of the parental obligation, especially in regard to the education of her children. The oft-repeated impressions of that sainted spirit, on the hearts of those especially entrusted to her watch-care, can never be effaced, and can hardly fail to induce them to follow her to the brighter world. Her life was a living illustration of Christian faith.
My childhood's home I remember as one with the open hand. The needy were ever welcome, and to the clergy were accorded special household privileges.
Among the treasured reminiscences of my much respected parents, brothers, and sisters, is the memory of my second brother, Albert Baker, who was, next to my mother, the very dearest of my kindred. To speak of his beautiful character as I cherish it, would require more space than this little book can afford.
My brother Albert was graduated at Dartmouth College in 1834, and was reputed one of the most talented, close, and thorough scholars ever connected with that institution. For two or three years he read law at Hillsborough, in the office of Franklin Pierce, afterwards President of the United States; but later Albert spent a year in the office of the Hon. Richard Fletcher of Boston. He was consequently admitted to the bar in two States, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In 1837 he succeeded to the law-office which Mr. Pierce had occupied, and was soon elected to the Legislature of his native State, where he served the public interests faithfully for two consecutive years. Among other important bills which were carried through the Legislature by his persistent energy was one for the abolition of imprisonment for debt.
In 1841 he received further political preferment, by nomination to Congress on a majority vote of seven thousand,—it was the largest vote of the State; but he passed away at the age of thirty-one, after a short illness, before his election. His noble political antagonist, the Hon. Isaac Hill, of Concord, wrote of my brother as follows:—
Albert Baker was a young man of uncommon promise. Gifted with the highest order of intellectual powers, he trained and schooled them by intense and almost incessant study throughout his short life. He was fond of investigating abstruse and metaphysical principles, and he never forsook them until he had explored their every nook and corner, however hidden and remote. Had life and health been spared to him, he would have made himself one of the most distinguished men in the country. As a lawyer he was able and learned, and in the successful practice of a very large business. He was noted for his boldness and firmness, and for his powerful advocacy of the side he deemed right. His death will be deplored, with the most poignant grief, by a large number of friends, who expected no more than they realized from his talents and acquirements. This sad event will not be soon forgotten. It blights too many hopes; it carries with it too much of sorrow and loss. It is a public calamity.
VOICES NOT OUR OWN
Many peculiar circumstances and events connected with my childhood throng the chambers of memory. For some twelve months, when I was about eight years old, I repeatedly heard a voice, calling me distinctly by name, three times, in an ascending scale. I thought this was my mother's voice, and sometimes went to her, beseeching her to tell me what she wanted. Her answer was always, "Nothing, child! What do you mean?" Then I would say, "Mother, who did call me? I heard somebody call Mary, three times!" This continued until I grew discouraged, and my mother was perplexed and anxious.
One day, when my cousin, Mehitable Huntoon, was visiting us, and I sat in a little chair by her side, in the same room with grandmother,—the call again came, so loud that Mehitable heard it, though I had ceased to notice it. Greatly surprised, my cousin turned to me and said, "Your mother is calling you!" but I answered not, till again the same call was thrice repeated. Mehitable then said sharply, "Why don't you go? your mother is calling you!" I then left the room, went to my mother, and once more asked her if she had summoned me? She answered as always before. Then I earnestly declared my cousin had heard the voice, and said that mother wanted me. Accordingly she returned with me to grandmother's room, and led my cousin into an adjoining apartment. The door was ajar, and I listened with bated breath. Mother told Mehitable all about this mysterious voice, and asked if she really did hear Mary's name pronounced in audible tones. My cousin answered quickly, and emphasized her affirmation.
That night, before going to rest, my mother read to me the Scriptural narrative of little Samuel, and bade me, when the voice called again, to reply as he did, "Speak, Lord; for Thy servant heareth." The voice came; but I was afraid, and did not answer. Afterward I wept, and prayed that God would forgive me, resolving to do, next time, as my mother had bidden me. When the call came again I did answer, in the words of Samuel, but never again to the material senses was that mysterious call repeated.
Is it not much that I may worship Him, With naught my spirit's breathings to control, And feel His presence in the vast and dim And whispering woods, where dying thunders roll From the far cataracts? Shall I not rejoice That I have learned at last to know His voice From man's?—I will rejoice! My soaring soul Now hath redeemed her birthright of the day, And won, through clouds, to Him, her own unfettered way! —MRS. HEMANS.
My father was taught to believe that my brain was too large for my body and so kept me much out of school, but I gained book-knowledge with far less labor than is usually requisite. At ten years of age I was as familiar with Lindley Murray's Grammar as with the Westminster Catechism; and the latter I had to repeat every Sunday. My favorite studies were natural philosophy, logic, and moral science. From my brother Albert I received lessons in the ancient tongues, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. My brother studied Hebrew during his college vacations. After my discovery of Christian Science, most of the knowledge I had gleaned from schoolbooks vanished like a dream.
Learning was so illumined, that grammar was eclipsed. Etymology was divine history, voicing the idea of God in man's origin and signification. Syntax was spiritual order and unity. Prosody, the song of angels, and no earthly or inglorious theme.
From childhood I was a verse-maker. Poetry suited my emotions better than prose. The following is one of my girlhood productions.
ALPHABET AND BAYONET
If fancy plumes aerial flight, Go fix thy restless mind On learning's lore and wisdom's might, And live to bless mankind. The sword is sheathed, 'tis freedom's hour, No despot bears misrule, Where knowledge plants the foot of power In our God-blessed free school.
Forth from this fount the streamlets flow, That widen in their course. Hero and sage arise to show Science the mighty source, And laud the land whose talents rock The cradle of her power, And wreaths are twined round Plymouth Rock, From erudition's bower.
Farther than feet of chamois fall, Free as the generous air, Strains nobler far than clarion call Wake freedom's welcome, where Minerva's silver sandals still Are loosed, and not effete; Where echoes still my day-dreams thrill, Woke by her fancied feet.
At the age of twelve[A] I was admitted to the Congregational (Trinitarian) Church, my parents having been members of that body for a half-century. In connection with this event, some circumstances are noteworthy. Before this step was taken, the doctrine of unconditional election, or predestination, greatly troubled me; for I was unwilling to be saved, if my brothers and sisters were to be numbered among those who were doomed to perpetual banishment from God. So perturbed was I by the thoughts aroused by this erroneous doctrine, that the family doctor was summoned, and pronounced me stricken with fever.
My father's relentless theology emphasized belief in a final judgment-day, in the danger of endless punishment, and in a Jehovah merciless towards unbelievers; and of these things he now spoke, hoping to win me from dreaded heresy.
My mother, as she bathed my burning temples, bade me lean on God's love, which would give me rest, if I went to Him in prayer, as I was wont to do, seeking His guidance. I prayed; and a soft glow of ineffable joy came over me. The fever was gone, and I rose and dressed myself, in a normal condition of health. Mother saw this, and was glad. The physician marvelled; and the "horrible decree" of predestination—as John Calvin rightly called his own tenet—forever lost its power over me.
When the meeting was held for the examination of candidates for membership, I was of course present. The pastor was an old-school expounder of the strictest Presbyterian doctrines. He was apparently as eager to have unbelievers in these dogmas lost, as he was to have elect believers converted and rescued from perdition; for both salvation and condemnation depended, according to his views, upon the good pleasure of infinite Love. However, I was ready for his doleful questions, which I answered without a tremor, declaring that never could I unite with the church, if assent to this doctrine was essential thereto.
Distinctly do I recall what followed. I stoutly maintained that I was willing to trust God, and take my chance of spiritual safety with my brothers and sisters,—not one of whom had then made any profession of religion,—even if my creedal doubts left me outside the doors. The minister then wished me to tell him when I had experienced a change of heart; but tearfully I had to respond that I could not designate any precise time. Nevertheless he persisted in the assertion that I had been truly regenerated, and asked me to say how I felt when the new light dawned within me. I replied that I could only answer him in the words of the Psalmist: "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
This was so earnestly said, that even the oldest church-members wept. After the meeting was over they came and kissed me. To the astonishment of many, the good clergyman's heart also melted, and he received me into their communion, and my protest along with me. My connection with this religious body was retained till I founded a church of my own, built on the basis of Christian Science, "Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone."
In confidence of faith, I could say in David's words, "I will go in the strength of the Lord God: I will make mention of Thy righteousness, even of Thine only. O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared Thy wondrous works." (Psalms lxxi. 16, 17.)
In the year 1878 I was called to preach in Boston at the Baptist Tabernacle of Rev. Daniel C. Eddy, D.D.,—by the pastor of this church. I accepted the invitation and commenced work.
The congregation so increased in number the pews were not sufficient to seat the audience and benches were used in the aisles. At the close of my engagement we parted in Christian fellowship, if not in full unity of doctrine.
Our last vestry meeting was made memorable by eloquent addresses from persons who feelingly testified to having been healed through my preaching. Among other diseases cured they specified cancers. The cases described had been treated and given over by physicians of the popular schools of medicine, but I had not heard of these cases till the persons who divulged their secret joy were healed. A prominent churchman agreeably informed the congregation that many others present had been healed under my preaching, but were too timid to testify in public.
One memorable Sunday afternoon, a soprano,—clear, strong, sympathetic,—floating up from the pews, caught my ear. When the meeting was over, two ladies pushing their way through the crowd reached the platform. With tears of joy flooding her eyes—for she was a mother—one of them said, "Did you hear my daughter sing? Why, she has not sung before since she left the choir and was in consumption! When she entered this church one hour ago she could not speak a loud word, and now, oh, thank God, she is healed!"
It was not an uncommon occurrence in my own church for the sick to be healed by my sermon. Many pale cripples went into the church leaning on crutches who went out carrying them on their shoulders. "And these signs shall follow them that believe."
The charter for The Mother Church in Boston was obtained June, 1879,[B] and the same month the members, twenty-six in number, extended a call to Mary B.G. Eddy to become their pastor. She accepted the call, and was ordained A.D. 1881.
Written in youth, while visiting a family friend in the beautiful suburbs of Boston.
Wild spirit of song,—midst the zephyrs at play In bowers of beauty,—I bend to thy lay, And woo, while I worship in deep sylvan spot, The Muses' soft echoes to kindle the grot. Wake chords of my lyre, with musical kiss, To vibrate and tremble with accents of bliss.
Here morning peers out, from her crimson repose, On proud Prairie Queen and the modest Moss-rose; And vesper reclines—when the dewdrop is shed On the heart of the pink—in its odorous bed; But Flora has stolen the rainbow and sky, To sprinkle the flowers with exquisite dye.
Here fame-honored hickory rears his bold form, And bares a brave breast to the lightning and storm, While palm, bay, and laurel, in classical glee, Chase tulip, magnolia, and fragrant fringe-tree; And sturdy horse-chestnut for centuries hath given Its feathery blossom and branches to heaven.
Here is life! Here is youth! Here the poet's world-wish,— Cool waters at play with the gold-gleaming fish; While cactus a mellower glory receives From light colored softly by blossom and leaves; And nestling alder is whispering low, In lap of the pear-tree, with musical flow.[C]
Dark sentinel hedgerow is guarding repose, Midst grotto and songlet and streamlet that flows Where beauty and perfume from buds burst away, And ope their closed cells to the bright, laughing day; Yet, dwellers in Eden, earth yields you her tear,— Oft plucked for the banquet, but laid on the bier.
Earth's beauty and glory delude as the shrine Or fount of real joy and of visions divine; But hope, as the eaglet that spurneth the sod, May soar above matter, to fasten on God, And freely adore all His spirit hath made, Where rapture and radiance and glory ne'er fade.
Oh, give me the spot where affection may dwell In sacred communion with home's magic spell! Where flowers of feeling are fragrant and fair, And those we most love find a happiness rare; But clouds are a presage,—they darken my lay: This life is a shadow, and hastens away.
MARRIAGE AND PARENTAGE
In 1843 I was united to my first husband, Colonel George Washington Glover of Charleston, South Carolina, the ceremony taking place under the paternal roof in Tilton.
After parting with the dear home circle I went with him to the South; but he was spared to me for only one brief year. He was in Wilmington, North Carolina, on business, when the yellow-fever raged in that city, and was suddenly attacked by this insidious disease, which in his case proved fatal.
My husband was a freemason, being a member in Saint Andrew's Lodge, Number 10, and of Union Chapter, Number 3, of Royal Arch masons. He was highly esteemed and sincerely lamented by a large circle of friends and acquaintances, whose kindness and sympathy helped to support me in this terrible bereavement. A month later I returned to New Hampshire, where, at the end of four months, my babe was born.
Colonel Glover's tender devotion to his young bride was remarked by all observers. With his parting breath he gave pathetic directions to his brother masons about accompanying her on her sad journey to the North. Here it is but justice to record, they performed their obligations most faithfully.
After returning to the paternal roof I lost all my husband's property, except what money I had brought with me; and remained with my parents until after my mother's decease.
A few months before my father's second marriage, to Mrs. Elizabeth Patterson Duncan, sister of Lieutenant-Governor George W. Patterson of New York, my little son, about four years of age, was sent away from me, and put under the care of our family nurse, who had married, and resided in the northern part of New Hampshire. I had no training for self-support, and my home I regarded as very precious. The night before my child was taken from me, I knelt by his side throughout the dark hours, hoping for a vision of relief from this trial. The following lines are taken from my poem, "Mother's Darling," written after this separation:—
Thy smile through tears, as sunshine o'er the sea, Awoke new beauty in the surge's roll! Oh, life is dead, bereft of all, with thee,— Star of my earthly hope, babe of my soul.
My second marriage was very unfortunate, and from it I was compelled to ask for a bill of divorce, which was granted me in the city of Salem, Massachusetts.
My dominant thought in marrying again was to get back my child, but after our marriage his stepfather was not willing he should have a home with me. A plot was consummated for keeping us apart. The family to whose care he was committed very soon removed to what was then regarded as the Far West.
After his removal a letter was read to my little son, informing him that his mother was dead and buried. Without my knowledge a guardian was appointed him, and I was then informed that my son was lost. Every means within my power was employed to find him, but without success. We never met again until he had reached the age of thirty-four, had a wife and two children, and by a strange providence had learned that his mother still lived, and came to see me in Massachusetts.
Meanwhile he had served as a volunteer throughout the war for the Union, and at its expiration was appointed United States Marshal of the Territory of Dakota.
It is well to know, dear reader, that our material, mortal history is but the record of dreams, not of man's real existence, and the dream has no place in the Science of being. It is "as a tale that is told," and "as the shadow when it declineth." The heavenly intent of earth's shadows is to chasten the affections, to rebuke human consciousness and turn it gladly from a material, false sense of life and happiness, to spiritual joy and true estimate of being.
The awakening from a false sense of life, substance, and mind in matter, is as yet imperfect; but for those lucid and enduring lessons of Love which tend to this result, I bless God.
Mere historic incidents and personal events are frivolous and of no moment, unless they illustrate the ethics of Truth. To this end, but only to this end, such narrations may be admissible and advisable; but if spiritual conclusions are separated from their premises, the nexus is lost, and the argument, with its rightful conclusions, becomes correspondingly obscure. The human history needs to be revised, and the material record expunged.
The Gospel narratives bear brief testimony even to the life of our great Master. His spiritual noumenon and phenomenon silenced portraiture. Writers less wise than the apostles essayed in the Apocryphal New Testament a legendary and traditional history of the early life of Jesus. But St. Paul summarized the character of Jesus as the model of Christianity, in these words: "Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself." "Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
It may be that the mortal life-battle still wages, and must continue till its involved errors are vanquished by victory-bringing Science; but this triumph will come! God is over all. He alone is our origin, aim, and being. The real man is not of the dust, nor is he ever created through the flesh; for his father and mother are the one Spirit, and his brethren are all the children of one parent, the eternal good.
EMERGENCE INTO LIGHT
The trend of human life was too eventful to leave me undisturbed in the illusion that this so-called life could be a real and abiding rest. All things earthly must ultimately yield to the irony of fate, or else be merged into the one infinite Love.
As these pungent lessons became clearer, they grew sterner. Previously the cloud of mortal mind seemed to have a silver lining; but now it was not even fringed with light. Matter was no longer spanned with its rainbow of promise. The world was dark. The oncoming hours were indicated by no floral dial. The senses could not prophesy sunrise or starlight.
Thus it was when the moment arrived of the heart's bridal to more spiritual existence. When the door opened, I was waiting and watching; and, lo, the bridegroom came! The character of the Christ was illuminated by the midnight torches of Spirit. My heart knew its Redeemer. He whom my affections had diligently sought was as the One "altogether lovely," as "the chiefest," the only, "among ten thousand." Soulless famine had fled. Agnosticism, pantheism, and theosophy were void. Being was beautiful, its substance, cause, and currents were God and His idea. I had touched the hem of Christian Science.
THE GREAT DISCOVERY
It was in Massachusetts, in February, 1866, and after the death of the magnetic doctor, Mr. P.P. Quimby, whom spiritualists would associate therewith, but who was in no wise connected with this event, that I discovered the Science of divine metaphysical healing which I afterwards named Christian Science. The discovery came to pass in this way. During twenty years prior to my discovery I had been trying to trace all physical effects to a mental cause; and in the latter part of 1866 I gained the scientific certainty that all causation was Mind, and every effect a mental phenomenon.
My immediate recovery from the effects of an injury caused by an accident, an injury that neither medicine nor surgery could reach, was the falling apple that led me to the discovery how to be well myself, and how to make others so.
Even to the homoeopathic physician who attended me, and rejoiced in my recovery, I could not then explain the modus of my relief. I could only assure him that the divine Spirit had wrought the miracle—a miracle which later I found to be in perfect scientific accord with divine law.
I then withdrew from society about three years,—to ponder my mission, to search the Scriptures, to find the Science of Mind that should take the things of God and show them to the creature, and reveal the great curative Principle,—Deity.
The Bible was my textbook. It answered my questions as to how I was healed; but the Scriptures had to me a new meaning, a new tongue. Their spiritual signification appeared; and I apprehended for the first time, in their spiritual meaning, Jesus' teaching and demonstration, and the Principle and rule of spiritual Science and metaphysical healing,—in a word, Christian Science.
I named it Christian, because it is compassionate, helpful, and spiritual. God I called immortal Mind. That which sins, suffers, and dies, I named mortal mind. The physical senses, or sensuous nature, I called error and shadow. Soul I denominated substance, because Soul alone is truly substantial. God I characterized as individual entity, but His corporeality I denied. The real I claimed as eternal; and its antipodes, or the temporal, I described as unreal. Spirit I called the reality; and matter, the unreality.
I knew the human conception of God to be that He was a physically personal being, like unto man; and that the five physical senses are so many witnesses to the physical personality of mind and the real existence of matter; but I learned that these material senses testify falsely, that matter neither sees, hears, nor feels Spirit, and is therefore inadequate to form any proper conception of the infinite Mind. "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." (John v. 31.)
I beheld with ineffable awe our great Master's purpose in not questioning those he healed as to their disease or its symptoms, and his marvellous skill in demanding neither obedience to hygienic laws, nor prescribing drugs to support the divine power which heals. Adoringly I discerned the Principle of his holy heroism and Christian example on the cross, when he refused to drink the "vinegar and gall," a preparation of poppy, or aconite, to allay the tortures of crucifixion.
Our great Way-shower, steadfast to the end in his obedience to God's laws, demonstrated for all time and peoples the supremacy of good over evil, and the superiority of Spirit over matter.
The miracles recorded in the Bible, which had before seemed to me supernatural, grew divinely natural and apprehensible; though uninspired interpreters ignorantly pronounce Christ's healing miraculous, instead of seeing therein the operation of the divine law.
Jesus of Nazareth was a natural and divine Scientist. He was so before the material world saw him. He who antedated Abraham, and gave the world a new date in the Christian era, was a Christian Scientist, who needed no discovery of the Science of being in order to rebuke the evidence. To one "born of the flesh," however, divine Science must be a discovery. Woman must give it birth. It must be begotten of spirituality, since none but the pure in heart can see God,—the Principle of all things pure; and none but the "poor in spirit" could first state this Principle, could know yet more of the nothingness of matter and the allness of Spirit, could utilize Truth, and absolutely reduce the demonstration of being, in Science, to the apprehension of the age.
I wrote also, at this period, comments on the Scriptures, setting forth their spiritual interpretation, the Science of the Bible, and so laid the foundation of my work called Science and Health, published in 1875.
If these notes and comments, which have never been read by any one but myself, were published, it would show that after my discovery of the absolute Science of Mind-healing, like all great truths, this spiritual Science developed itself to me until Science and Health was written. These early comments are valuable to me as waymarks of progress, which I would not have effaced.
Up to that time I had not fully voiced my discovery. Naturally, my first jottings were but efforts to express in feeble diction Truth's ultimate. In Longfellow's language,—
But the feeble hands and helpless, Groping blindly in the darkness, Touch God's right hand in that darkness, And are lifted up and strengthened.
As sweet music ripples in one's first thoughts of it like the brooklet in its meandering midst pebbles and rocks, before the mind can duly express it to the ear,—so the harmony of divine Science first broke upon my sense, before gathering experience and confidence to articulate it. Its natural manifestation is beautiful and euphonious, but its written expression increases in power and perfection under the guidance of the great Master.
The divine hand led me into a new world of light and Life, a fresh universe—old to God, but new to His "little one." It became evident that the divine Mind alone must answer, and be found as the Life, or Principle, of all being; and that one must acquaint himself with God, if he would be at peace. He must be ours practically, guiding our every thought and action; else we cannot understand the omnipresence of good sufficiently to demonstrate, even in part, the Science of the perfect Mind and divine healing.
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. Purity, self-renunciation, faith, and understanding must reduce all things real to their own mental denomination, Mind, which divides, subdivides, increases, diminishes, constitutes, and sustains, according to the law of God.
I had learned that Mind reconstructed the body, and that nothing else could. How it was done, the spiritual Science of Mind must reveal. It was a mystery to me then, but I have since understood it. All Science is a revelation. Its Principle is divine, not human, reaching higher than the stars of heaven.
Am I a believer in spiritualism? I believe in no ism. This is my endeavor, to be a Christian, to assimilate the character and practice of the anointed; and no motive can cause a surrender of this effort. As I understand it, spiritualism is the antipode of Christian Science. I esteem all honest people, and love them, and hold to loving our enemies and doing good to them that "despitefully use you and persecute you."
As the pioneer of Christian Science I stood alone in this conflict, endeavoring to smite error with the falchion of Truth. The rare bequests of Christian Science are costly, and they have won fields of battle from which the dainty borrower would have fled. Ceaseless toil, self-renunciation, and love, have cleared its pathway.
The motive of my earliest labors has never changed. It was to relieve the sufferings of humanity by a sanitary system that should include all moral and religious reform.
It is often asked why Christian Science was revealed to me as one intelligence, analyzing, uncovering, and annihilating the false testimony of the physical senses. Why was this conviction necessary to the right apprehension of the invincible and infinite energies of Truth and Love, as contrasted with the foibles and fables of finite mind and material existence.
The answer is plain. St. Paul declared that the law was the schoolmaster, to bring him to Christ. Even so was I led into the mazes of divine metaphysics through the gospel of suffering, the providence of God, and the cross of Christ. No one else can drain the cup which I have drunk to the dregs as the Discoverer and teacher of Christian Science; neither can its inspiration be gained without tasting this cup.
The loss of material objects of affection sunders the dominant ties of earth and points to heaven. Nothing can compete with Christian Science, and its demonstration, in showing this solemn certainty in growing freedom and vindicating "the ways of God" to man. The absolute proof and self-evident propositions of Truth are immeasurably paramount to rubric and dogma in proving the Christ.
From my very childhood I was impelled, by a hunger and thirst after divine things,—a desire for something higher and better than matter, and apart from it,—to seek diligently for the knowledge of God as the one great and ever-present relief from human woe. The first spontaneous motion of Truth and Love, acting through Christian Science on my roused consciousness, banished at once and forever the fundamental error of faith in things material; for this trust is the unseen sin, the unknown foe,—the heart's untamed desire which breaketh the divine commandments. As says St. James: "Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."
Into mortal mind's material obliquity I gazed, and stood abashed. Blanched was the cheek of pride. My heart bent low before the omnipotence of Spirit, and a tint of humility, soft as the heart of a moonbeam, mantled the earth. Bethlehem and Bethany, Gethsemane and Calvary, spoke to my chastened sense as by the tearful lips of a babe. Frozen fountains were unsealed. Erudite systems of philosophy and religion melted, for Love unveiled the healing promise and potency of a present spiritual afflatus. It was the gospel of healing, on its divinely appointed human mission, bearing on its white wings, to my apprehension, "the beauty of holiness,"—even the possibilities of spiritual insight, knowledge, and being.
Early had I learned that whatever is loved materially, as mere corporeal personality, is eventually lost. "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it," said the Master. Exultant hope, if tinged with earthliness, is crushed as the moth.
What is termed mortal and material existence is graphically defined by Calderon, the famous Spanish poet, who wrote,—
What is life? 'Tis but a madness. What is life? A mere illusion, Fleeting pleasure, fond delusion, Short-lived joy, that ends in sadness, Whose most constant substance seems But the dream of other dreams.
The physical side of this research was aided by hints from homoeopathy, sustaining my final conclusion that mortal belief, instead of the drug, governed the action of material medicine.
I wandered through the dim mazes of materia medica, till I was weary of "scientific guessing," as it has been well called. I sought knowledge from the different schools,—allopathy, homoeopathy, hydropathy, electricity, and from various humbugs,—but without receiving satisfaction.
I found, in the two hundred and sixty-two remedies enumerated by Jahr, one pervading secret; namely, that the less material medicine we have, and the more Mind, the better the work is done; a fact which seems to prove the Principle of Mind-healing. One drop of the thirtieth attenuation of Natrum muriaticum, in a tumbler-full of water, and one teaspoonful of the water mixed with the faith of ages, would cure patients not affected by a larger dose. The drug disappears in the higher attenuations of homoeopathy, and matter is thereby rarefied to its fatal essence, mortal mind; but immortal Mind, the curative Principle, remains, and is found to be even more active.
The mental virtues of the material methods of medicine, when understood, were insufficient to satisfy my doubts as to the honesty or utility of using a material curative. I must know more of the unmixed, unerring source, in order to gain the Science of Mind, the All-in-all of Spirit, in which matter is obsolete. Nothing less could solve the mental problem. If I sought an answer from the medical schools, the reply was dark and contradictory. Neither ancient nor modern philosophy could clear the clouds, or give me one distinct statement of the spiritual Science of Mind-healing. Human reason was not equal to it.
I claim for healing scientifically the following advantages: First: It does away with all material medicines, and recognizes the antidote for all sickness, as well as sin, in the immortal Mind; and mortal mind as the source of all the ills which befall mortals. Second: It is more effectual than drugs, and cures when they fail, or only relieve; thus proving the superiority of metaphysics over physics. Third: A person healed by Christian Science is not only healed of his disease, but he is advanced morally and spiritually. The mortal body being but the objective state of the mortal mind, this mind must be renovated to improve the body.
In 1870 I copyrighted the first publication on spiritual, scientific Mind-healing, entitled "The Science of Man." This little book is converted into the chapter on Recapitulation in Science and Health. It was so new—the basis it laid down for physical and moral health was so hopelessly original, and men were so unfamiliar with the subject—that I did not venture upon its publication until later, having learned that the merits of Christian Science must be proven before a work on this subject could be profitably published.
The truths of Christian Science are not interpolations of the Scriptures, but the spiritual interpretations thereof. Science is the prism of Truth, which divides its rays and brings out the hues of Deity. Human hypotheses have darkened the glow and grandeur of evangelical religion. When speaking of his true followers in every period, Jesus said, "They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." There is no authority for querying the authenticity of this declaration, for it already was and is demonstrated as practical, and its claim is substantiated,—a claim too immanent to fall to the ground beneath the stroke of artless workmen.
Though a man were girt with the Urim and Thummim of priestly office, and denied the perpetuity of Jesus' command, "Heal the sick," or its application in all time to those who understand Christ as the Truth and the Life, that man would not expound the gospel according to Jesus.
Five years after taking out my first copyright, I taught the Science of Mind-healing, alias Christian Science, by writing out my manuscripts for students and distributing them unsparingly. This will account for certain published and unpublished manuscripts extant, which the evil-minded would insinuate did not originate with me.
THE PRECIOUS VOLUME
The first edition of my most important work, Science and Health, containing the complete statement of Christian Science,—the term employed by me to express the divine, or spiritual, Science of Mind-healing, was published in 1875.
When it was first printed, the critics took pleasure in saying, "This book is indeed wholly original, but it will never be read."
The first edition numbered one thousand copies. In September, 1891, it had reached sixty-two editions.
Those who formerly sneered at it, as foolish and eccentric, now declare Bishop Berkeley, David Hume, Ralph Waldo Emerson, or certain German philosophers, to have been the originators of the Science of Mind-healing as therein stated.
Even the Scriptures gave no direct interpretation of the scientific basis for demonstrating the spiritual Principle of healing, until our heavenly Father saw fit, through the Key to the Scriptures, in Science and Health, to unlock this "mystery of godliness."
My reluctance to give the public, in my first edition of Science and Health, the chapter on Animal Magnetism, and the divine purpose that this should be done, may have an interest for the reader, and will be seen in the following circumstances. I had finished that edition as far as that chapter, when the printer informed me that he could not go on with my work. I had already paid him seven hundred dollars, and yet he stopped my work. All efforts to persuade him to finish my book were in vain.
After months had passed, I yielded to a constant conviction that I must insert in my last chapter a partial history of what I had already observed of mental malpractice. Accordingly, I set to work, contrary to my inclination, to fulfil this painful task, and finished my copy for the book. As it afterwards appeared, although I had not thought of such a result, my printer resumed his work at the same time, finished printing the copy he had on hand, and then started for Lynn to see me. The afternoon that he left Boston for Lynn, I started for Boston with my finished copy. We met at the Eastern depot in Lynn, and were both surprised,—I to learn that he had printed all the copy on hand, and had come to tell me he wanted more,—he to find me en route for Boston, to give him the closing chapter of my first edition of Science and Health. Not a word had passed between us, audibly or mentally, while this went on. I had grown disgusted with my printer, and become silent. He had come to a standstill through motives and circumstances unknown to me.
Science and Health is the textbook of Christian Science. Whosoever learns the letter of this book, must also gain its spiritual significance, in order to demonstrate Christian Science.
When the demand for this book increased, and people were healed simply by reading it, the copyright was infringed. I entered a suit at law, and my copyright was protected.
Through four successive years I healed, preached, and taught in a general way, refusing to take any pay for my services and living on a small annuity.
At one time I was called to speak before the Lyceum Club, at Westerly, Rhode Island. On my arrival my hostess told me that her next-door neighbor was dying. I asked permission to see her. It was granted, and with my hostess I went to the invalid's house.
The physicians had given up the case and retired. I had stood by her side about fifteen minutes when the sick woman rose from her bed, dressed herself, and was well. Afterwards they showed me the clothes already prepared for her burial; and told me that her physicians had said the diseased condition was caused by an injury received from a surgical operation at the birth of her last babe, and that it was impossible for her to be delivered of another child. It is sufficient to add her babe was safely born, and weighed twelve pounds. The mother afterwards wrote to me, "I never before suffered so little in childbirth."
This scientific demonstration so stirred the doctors and clergy that they had my notices for a second lecture pulled down, and refused me a hearing in their halls and churches. This circumstance is cited simply to show the opposition which Christian Science encountered a quarter-century ago, as contrasted with its present welcome into the sickroom.
Many were the desperate cases I instantly healed, "without money and without price," and in most instances without even an acknowledgment of the benefit.
A TRUE MAN
My last marriage was with Asa Gilbert Eddy, and was a blessed and spiritual union, solemnized at Lynn, Massachusetts, by the Rev. Samuel Barrett Stewart, in the year 1877. Dr. Eddy was the first student publicly to announce himself a Christian Scientist, and place these symbolic words on his office sign. He forsook all to follow in this line of light. He was the first organizer of a Christian Science Sunday School, which he superintended. He also taught a special Bible-class; and he lectured so ably on Scriptural topics that clergymen of other denominations listened to him with deep interest. He was remarkably successful in Mind-healing, and untiring in his chosen work. In 1882 he passed away, with a smile of peace and love resting on his serene countenance. "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace." (Psalms xxxvii. 37.)
COLLEGE AND CHURCH
In 1867 I introduced the first purely metaphysical system of healing since the apostolic days. I began by teaching one student Christian Science Mind-healing. From this seed grew the Massachusetts Metaphysical College in Boston, chartered in 1881. No charter was granted for similar purposes after 1883. It is the only College, hitherto, for teaching the pathology of spiritual power, alias the Science of Mind-healing.
My husband, Asa G. Eddy, taught two terms in my College. After I gave up teaching, my adopted son, Ebenezer J. Foster-Eddy, a graduate of the Hahneman Medical College of Philadelphia, and who also received a certificate from Dr. W.W. Keen's (allopathic) Philadelphia School of Anatomy and Surgery,—having renounced his material method of practice and embraced the teachings of Christian Science, taught the Primary, Normal, and Obstetric class one term. Gen. Erastus N. Bates taught one Primary class, in 1889, after which I judged it best to close the institution. These students of mine were the only assistant teachers in the College.
The first Christian Scientist Association was organized by myself and six of my students in 1876, on the Centennial Day of our nation's freedom. At a meeting of the Christian Scientist Association, on April 12, 1879, it was voted to organize a church to commemorate the words and works of our Master, a Mind-healing church, without a creed, to be called the Church of Christ, Scientist, the first such church ever organized. The charter for this church was obtained in June, 1879,[D] and during the same month the members, twenty-six in number, extended a call to me to become their pastor. I accepted the call, and was ordained in 1881, though I had preached five years before being ordained.
When I was its pastor, and in the pulpit every Sunday, my church increased in members, and its spiritual growth kept pace with its increasing popularity; but when obliged, because of accumulating work in the College, to preach only occasionally, no student, at that time, was found able to maintain the church in its previous harmony and prosperity.
Examining the situation prayerfully and carefully, noting the church's need, and the predisposing and exciting cause of its condition, I saw that the crisis had come when much time and attention must be given to defend this church from the envy and molestation of other churches, and from the danger to its members which must always lie in Christian warfare. At this juncture I recommended that the church be dissolved. No sooner were my views made known, than the proper measures were adopted to carry them out, the votes passing without a dissenting voice.
This measure was immediately followed by a great revival of mutual love, prosperity, and spiritual power.
The history of that hour holds this true record. Adding to its ranks and influence, this spiritually organized Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, still goes on. A new light broke in upon it, and more beautiful became the garments of her who "bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace."
Despite the prosperity of my church, it was learned that material organization has its value and peril, and that organization is requisite only in the earliest periods in Christian history. After this material form of cohesion and fellowship has accomplished its end, continued organization retards spiritual growth, and should be laid off,—even as the corporeal organization deemed requisite in the first stages of mortal existence is finally laid off, in order to gain spiritual freedom and supremacy.
From careful observation and experience came my clue to the uses and abuses of organization. Therefore, in accord with my special request, followed that noble, unprecedented action of the Christian Scientist Association connected with my College when dissolving that organization,—in forgiving enemies, returning good for evil, in following Jesus' command, "Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." I saw these fruits of Spirit, long-suffering and temperance, fulfil the law of Christ in righteousness. I also saw that Christianity has withstood less the temptation of popularity than of persecution.
"FEED MY SHEEP"
Lines penned when I was pastor of the Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston.
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.
The apprehension of what has been, and must be, the final outcome of material organization, which wars with Love's spiritual compact, caused me to dread the unprecedented popularity of my College. Students from all over our continent, and from Europe, were flooding the school. At this time there were over three hundred applications from persons desiring to enter the College, and applicants were rapidly increasing. Example had shown the dangers arising from being placed on earthly pinnacles, and Christian Science shuns whatever involves material means for the promotion of spiritual ends.
In view of all this, a meeting was called of the Board of Directors of my College, who, being informed of my intentions, unanimously voted that the school be discontinued.
A Primary class student, richly imbued with the spirit of Christ, is a better healer and teacher than a Normal class student who partakes less of God's love. After having received instructions in a Primary class from me, or a loyal student, and afterwards studied thoroughly Science and Health, a student can enter upon the gospel work of teaching Christian Science, and so fulfil the command of Christ. But before entering this field of labor he must have studied the latest editions of my works, be a good Bible scholar and a consecrated Christian.
The Massachusetts Metaphysical College drew its breath from me, but I was yearning for retirement. The question was, Who else could sustain this institute, under all that was aimed at its vital purpose, the establishment of genuine Christian Science healing? My conscientious scruples about diplomas, the recent experience of the church fresh in my thoughts, and the growing conviction that every one should build on his own foundation, subject to the one builder and maker, God,—all these considerations moved me to close my flourishing school, and the following resolutions were passed:—
At a special meeting of the Board of the Metaphysical College Corporation, Oct. 29, 1889, the following are some of the resolutions which were presented and passed unanimously:—
WHEREAS, The Massachusetts Metaphysical College, chartered in January, 1881, for medical purposes, to give instruction in scientific methods of mental healing on a purely practical basis, to impart a thorough understanding of metaphysics, to restore health, hope, and harmony to man,—has fulfilled its high and noble destiny, and sent to all parts of our country, and into foreign lands, students instructed in Christian Science Mind-healing, to meet the demand of the age for something higher than physic or drugging; and
WHEREAS, The material organization was, in the beginning in this institution, like the baptism of Jesus, of which he said, "Suffer it to be so now," though the teaching was a purely spiritual and scientific impartation of Truth, whose Christly spirit has led to higher ways, means, and understanding,—the President, the Rev. Mary B.G. Eddy, at the height of prosperity in the institution, which yields a large income, is willing to sacrifice all for the advancement of the world in Truth and Love; and
WHEREAS, Other institutions for instruction in Christian Science, which are working out their periods of organization, will doubtless follow the example of the Alma Mater after having accomplished the worthy purpose for which they were organized, and the hour has come wherein the great need is for more of the spirit instead of the letter, and Science and Health is adapted to work this result; and
WHEREAS, The fundamental principle for growth in Christian Science is spiritual formation first, last, and always, while in human growth material organization is first; and
WHEREAS, Mortals must learn to lose their estimate of the powers that are not ordained of God, and attain the bliss of loving unselfishly, working patiently, and conquering all that is unlike Christ and the example he gave; therefore
Resolved, That we thank the State for its charter, which is the only one ever granted to a legal college for teaching the Science of Mind-healing; that we thank the public for its liberal patronage. And everlasting gratitude is due to the President, for her great and noble work, which we believe will prove a healing for the nations, and bring all men to a knowledge of the true God, uniting them in one common brotherhood.
After due deliberation and earnest discussion it was unanimously voted: That as all debts of the corporation have been paid, it is deemed best to dissolve this corporation, and the same is hereby dissolved.
C.A. FRYE, Clerk.
When God impelled me to set a price on my instruction in Christian Science Mind-healing, I could think of no financial equivalent for an impartation of a knowledge of that divine power which heals; but I was led to name three hundred dollars as the price for each pupil in one course of lessons at my College,—a startling sum for tuition lasting barely three weeks. This amount greatly troubled me. I shrank from asking it, but was finally led, by a strange providence, to accept this fee.
God has since shown me, in multitudinous ways, the wisdom of this decision; and I beg disinterested people to ask my loyal students if they consider three hundred dollars any real equivalent for my instruction during twelve half-days, or even in half as many lessons. Nevertheless, my list of indigent charity scholars is very large, and I have had as many as seventeen in one class.
Loyal students speak with delight of their pupilage, and of what it has done for them, and for others through them. By loyalty in students I mean this,—allegiance to God, subordination of the human to the divine, steadfast justice, and strict adherence to divine Truth and Love.
I see clearly that students in Christian Science should, at present, continue to organize churches, schools, and associations for the furtherance and unfolding of Truth, and that my necessity is not necessarily theirs; but it was the Father's opportunity for furnishing a new rule of order in divine Science, and the blessings which arose therefrom. Students are not environed with such obstacles as were encountered in the beginning of pioneer work.
In December, 1889, I gave a lot of land in Boston to my student, Mr. Ira O. Knapp of Roslindale,—valued in 1892 at about twenty thousand dollars, and rising in value,—to be appropriated for the erection, and building on the premises thereby conveyed, of a church edifice to be used as a temple for Christian Science worship.
GENERAL ASSOCIATIONS, AND OUR MAGAZINE
For many successive years I have endeavored to find new ways and means for the promotion and expansion of scientific Mind-healing, seeking to broaden its channels and, if possible, to build a hedge round about it that should shelter its perfections from the contaminating influences of those who have a small portion of its letter and less of its spirit. At the same time I have worked to provide a home for every true seeker and honest worker in this vineyard of Truth.
To meet the broader wants of humanity, and provide folds for the sheep that were without shepherds, I suggested to my students, in 1886, the propriety of forming a National Christian Scientist Association. This was immediately done, and delegations from the Christian Scientist Association of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, and from branch associations in other States, met in general convention at New York City, February 11, 1886.
The first official organ of the Christian Scientist Association was called Journal of Christian Science. I started it, April, 1883, as editor and publisher.
To the National Christian Scientist Association, at its meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, June, 1889, I sent a letter, presenting to its loyal members The Christian Science Journal, as it was now called, and the funds belonging thereto. This monthly magazine had been made successful and prosperous under difficult circumstances and was designed to bear aloft the standard of genuine Christian Science.
It is often asked, Why are faith-cures sometimes more speedy than some of the cures wrought through Christian Scientists? Because faith is belief, and not understanding; and it is easier to believe, than to understand spiritual Truth. It demands less cross-bearing, self-renunciation, and divine Science to admit the claims of the corporeal senses and appeal to God for relief through a humanized conception of His power, than to deny these claims and learn the divine way,—drinking Jesus' cup, being baptized with his baptism, gaining the end through persecution and purity.
Millions are believing in God, or good, without bearing the fruits of goodness, not having reached its Science. Belief is virtually blindness, when it admits Truth without understanding it. Blind belief cannot say with the apostle, "I know whom I have believed." There is danger in this mental state called belief; for if Truth is admitted, but not understood, it may be lost, and error may enter through this same channel of ignorant belief. The faith-cure has devout followers, whose Christian practice is far in advance of their theory.
The work of healing, in the Science of Mind, is the most sacred and salutary power which can be wielded. My Christian students, impressed with the true sense of the great work before them, enter this strait and narrow path, and work conscientiously.
Let us follow the example of Jesus, the master Metaphysician, and gain sufficient knowledge of error to destroy it with Truth. Evil is not mastered by evil; it can only be overcome with good. This brings out the nothingness of evil and the eternal somethingness, vindicates the divine Principle, and improves the race of Adam.
The following ideas of Deity, antagonized by finite theories, doctrines, and hypotheses, I found to be demonstrable rules in Christian Science, and that we must abide by them.
Whatever diverges from the one divine Mind, or God,—or divides Mind into minds, Spirit into spirits, Soul into souls, and Being into beings,—is a misstatement of the unerring divine Principle of Science, which interrupts the meaning of the omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of Spirit, and is of human instead of divine origin.
War is waged between the evidences of Spirit and the evidences of the five physical senses; and this contest must go on until peace be declared by the final triumph of Spirit in immutable harmony. Divine Science disclaims sin, sickness, and death, on the basis of the omnipotence and omnipresence of God, or divine good.
All consciousness is Mind, and Mind is God. Hence there is but one Mind; and that one is the infinite good, supplying all Mind by the reflection, not the subdivision, of God. Whatever else claims to be mind, or consciousness, is untrue. The sun sends forth light, but not suns; so God reflects Himself, or Mind, but does not subdivide Mind, or good, into minds, good and evil. Divine Science demands mighty wrestlings with mortal beliefs, as we sail into the eternal haven over the unfathomable sea of possibilities.
Neither ancient nor modern philosophy furnishes a scientific basis for the Science of Mind-healing. Plato believed he had a soul, which must be doctored in order to heal his body. This would be like correcting the principle of music for the purpose of destroying discord. Principle is right; it is practice that is wrong. Soul is right; it is the flesh that is evil. Soul is the synonym of Spirit, God; hence there is but one Soul, and that one is infinite. If that pagan philosopher had known that physical sense, not Soul, causes all bodily ailments, his philosophy would have yielded to Science.
Man shines by borrowed light. He reflects God as his Mind, and this reflection is substance,—the substance of good. Matter is substance in error, Spirit is substance in Truth.
Evil, or error, is not Mind; but infinite Mind is sufficient to supply all manifestations of intelligence. The notion of more than one Mind, or Life, is as unsatisfying as it is unscientific. All must be of God, and not our own, separated from Him.
Human systems of philosophy and religion are departures from Christian Science. Mistaking divine Principle for corporeal personality, ingrafting upon one First Cause such opposite effects as good and evil, health and sickness, life and death; making mortality the status and rule of divinity,—such methods can never reach the perfection and demonstration of metaphysical, or Christian Science.
Stating the divine Principle, omnipotence (omnis potens), and then departing from this statement and taking the rule of finite matter, with which to work out the problem of infinity or Spirit,—all this is like trying to compensate for the absence of omnipotence by a physical, false, and finite substitute.
With our Master, life was not merely a sense of existence, but an accompanying sense of power that subdued matter and brought to light immortality, insomuch that the people "were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." Life, as defined by Jesus, had no beginning; it was not the result of organization, or infused into matter; it was Spirit.
THE GREAT REVELATION
Christian Science reveals the grand verity, that to believe man has a finite and erring mind, and consequently a mortal mind and soul and life, is error. Scientific terms have no contradictory significations.
In Science, Life is not temporal, but eternal, without beginning or ending. The word Life never means that which is the source of death, and of good and evil. Such an inference is unscientific. It is like saying that addition means subtraction in one instance and addition in another, and then applying this rule to a demonstration of the science of numbers; even as mortals apply finite terms to God, in demonstration of infinity. Life is a term used to indicate Deity; and every other name for the Supreme Being, if properly employed, has the signification of Life. Whatever errs is mortal, and is the antipodes of Life, or God, and of health and holiness, both in idea and demonstration.
Christian Science reveals Mind, the only living and true God, and all that is made by Him, Mind, as harmonious, immortal, and spiritual: the five material senses define Mind and matter as distinct, but mutually dependent, each on the other, for intelligence and existence. Science defines man as immortal, as coexistent and coeternal with God, as made in His own image and likeness; material sense defines life as something apart from God, beginning and ending, and man as very far from the divine likeness. Science reveals Life as a complete sphere, as eternal, self-existent Mind; material sense defines life as a broken sphere, as organized matter, and mind as something separate from God. Science reveals Spirit as All, averring that there is nothing beside God; material sense says that matter, His antipode, is something besides God. Material sense adds that the divine Spirit created matter, and that matter and evil are as real as Spirit and good.
Christian Science reveals God and His idea as the All and Only. It declares that evil is the absence of good; whereas, good is God ever-present, and therefore evil is unreal and good is all that is real. Christian Science saith to the wave and storm, "Be still," and there is a great calm. Material sense asks, in its ignorance of Science, "When will the raging of the material elements cease?" Science saith to all manner of disease, "Know that God is all-power and all-presence, and there is nothing beside Him;" and the sick are healed. Material sense saith, "Oh, when will my sufferings cease? Where is God? Sickness is something besides Him, which He cannot, or does not, heal."
Christian Science is the only sure basis of harmony. Material sense contradicts Science, for matter and its so-called organizations take no cognizance of the spiritual facts of the universe, or of the real man and God. Christian Science declares that there is but one Truth, Life, Love, but one Spirit, Mind, Soul. Any attempt to divide these arises from the fallibility of sense, from mortal man's ignorance, from enmity to God and divine Science.
Christian Science declares that sickness is a belief, a latent fear, made manifest on the body in different forms of fear or disease. This fear is formed unconsciously in the silent thought, as when you awaken from sleep and feel ill, experiencing the effect of a fear whose existence you do not realize; but if you fall asleep, actually conscious of the truth of Christian Science,—namely, that man's harmony is no more to be invaded than the rhythm of the universe,—you cannot awake in fear or suffering of any sort.
Science saith to fear, "You are the cause of all sickness; but you are a self-constituted falsity,—you are darkness, nothingness. You are without 'hope, and without God in the world.' You do not exist, and have no right to exist, for 'perfect Love casteth out fear.'"
God is everywhere. "There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard;" and this voice is Truth that destroys error and Love that casts out fear.
Christian Science reveals the fact that, if suffering exists, it is in the mortal mind only, for matter has no sensation and cannot suffer.
If you rule out every sense of disease and suffering from mortal mind, it cannot be found in the body.
Posterity will have the right to demand that Christian Science be stated and demonstrated in its godliness and grandeur,—that however little be taught or learned, that little shall be right. Let there be milk for babes, but let not the milk be adulterated. Unless this method be pursued, the Science of Christian healing will again be lost, and human suffering will increase.
Test Christian Science by its effect on society, and you will find that the views here set forth—as to the illusion of sin, sickness, and death—bring forth better fruits of health, righteousness, and Life, than a belief in their reality has ever done. A demonstration of the unreality of evil destroys evil.
SIN, SINNER, AND ECCLESIASTICISM
Why do Christian Scientists say God and His idea are the only realities, and then insist on the need of healing sickness and sin? Because Christian Science heals sin as it heals sickness, by establishing the recognition that God is All, and there is none beside Him,—that all is good, and there is in reality no evil, neither sickness nor sin. We attack the sinner's belief in the pleasure of sin, alias the reality of sin, which makes him a sinner, in order to destroy this belief and save him from sin; and we attack the belief of the sick in the reality of sickness, in order to heal them. When we deny the authority of sin, we begin to sap it; for this denunciation must precede its destruction.
God is good, hence goodness is something, for it represents God, the Life of man. Its opposite, nothing, named evil, is nothing but a conspiracy against man's Life and goodness. Do you not feel bound to expose this conspiracy, and so to save man from it? Whosoever covers iniquity becomes accessory to it. Sin, as a claim, is more dangerous than sickness, more subtle, more difficult to heal.
St. Augustine once said, "The devil is but the ape of God." Sin is worse than sickness; but recollect that it encourages sin to say, "There is no sin," and leave the subject there.
Sin ultimates in sinner, and in this sense they are one. You cannot separate sin from the sinner, nor the sinner from his sin. The sin is the sinner, and vice versa, for such is the unity of evil; and together both sinner and sin will be destroyed by the supremacy of good. This, however, does not annihilate man, for to efface sin, alias the sinner, brings to light, makes apparent, the real man, even God's "image and likeness." Need it be said that any opposite theory is heterodox to divine Science, which teaches that good is equally one and all, even as the opposite claim of evil is one.
In Christian Science the fact is made obvious that the sinner and the sin are alike simply nothingness; and this view is supported by the Scripture, where the Psalmist saith: "He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light. Man that is in honor, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish." God's ways and works and thoughts have never changed, either in Principle or practice.
Since there is in belief an illusion termed sin, which must be met and mastered, we classify sin, sickness, and death as illusions. They are supposititious claims of error; and error being a false claim, they are no claims at all. It is scientific to abide in conscious harmony, in health-giving, deathless Truth and Love. To do this, mortals must first open their eyes to all the illusive forms, methods, and subtlety of error, in order that the illusion, error, may be destroyed; if this is not done, mortals will become the victims of error.
If evangelical churches refuse fellowship with the Church of Christ, Scientist, or with Christian Science, they must rest their opinions of Truth and Love on the evidences of the physical senses, rather than on the teaching and practice of Jesus, or the works of the Spirit.
Ritualism and dogma lead to self-righteousness and bigotry, which freeze out the spiritual element. Pharisaism killeth; Spirit giveth Life. The odors of persecution, tobacco, and alcohol are not the sweet-smelling savor of Truth and Love. Feasting the senses, gratification of appetite and passion, have no warrant in the gospel or the Decalogue. Mortals must take up the cross if they would follow Christ, and worship the Father "in spirit and in truth."
The Jewish religion was not spiritual; hence Jesus denounced it. If the religion of to-day is constituted of such elements as of old ruled Christ out of the synagogues, it will continue to avoid whatever follows the example of our Lord and prefers Christ to creed. Christian Science is the pure evangelic truth. It accords with the trend and tenor of Christ's teaching and example, while it demonstrates the power of Christ as taught in the four Gospels. Truth, casting out evils and healing the sick; Love, fulfilling the law and keeping man unspotted from the world,—these practical manifestations of Christianity constitute the only evangelism, and they need no creed.
As well expect to determine, without a telescope, the magnitude and distance of the stars, as to expect to obtain health, harmony, and holiness through an unspiritual and unhealing religion. Christianity reveals God as ever-present Truth and Love, to be utilized in healing the sick, in casting out error, in raising the dead.
Christian Science gives vitality to religion, which is no longer buried in materiality. It raises men from a material sense into the spiritual understanding and scientific demonstration of God.
THE HUMAN CONCEPT
Sin existed as a false claim before the human concept of sin was formed; hence one's concept of error is not the whole of error. The human thought does not constitute sin, but vice versa, sin constitutes the human or physical concept.
Sin is both concrete and abstract. Sin was, and is, the lying supposition that life, substance, and intelligence are both material and spiritual, and yet are separate from God. The first iniquitous manifestation of sin was a finity. The finite was self-arrayed against the infinite, the mortal against immortality, and a sinner was the antipode of God.
Silencing self, alias rising above corporeal personality, is what reforms the sinner and destroys sin. In the ratio that the testimony of material personal sense ceases, sin diminishes, until the false claim called sin is finally lost for lack of witness.
The sinner created neither himself nor sin, but sin created the sinner; that is, error made its man mortal, and this mortal was the image and likeness of evil, not of good. Therefore the lie was, and is, collective as well as individual. It was in no way contingent on Adam's thought, but supposititiously self-created. In the words of our Master, it, the "devil" (alias evil), "was a liar, and the father of it."
This mortal material concept was never a creator, although as a serpent it claimed to originate in the name of "the Lord," or good,—original evil; second, in the name of human concept, it claimed to beget the offspring of evil, alias an evil offspring. However, the human concept never was, neither indeed can be, the father of man. Even the spiritual idea, or ideal man, is not a parent, though he reflects the infinity of good. The great difference between these opposites is, that the human material concept is unreal, and the divine concept or idea is spiritually real. One is false, while the other is true. One is temporal, but the other is eternal.
Our Master instructed his students to "call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." (Matt. xxiii. 9.)
Science and Health, the textbook of Christian Science, treats of the human concept, and the transference of thought, as follows:—
"How can matter originate or transmit mind? We answer that it cannot. Darkness and doubt encompass thought, so long as it bases creation on materiality" (p. 551).
"In reality there is no mortal mind, and consequently no transference of mortal thought and will-power. Life and being are of God. In Christian Science, man can do no harm, for scientific thoughts are true thoughts, passing from God to man" (pp. 103, 104).
"Man is the offspring of Spirit. The beautiful, good, and pure constitute his ancestry. His origin is not, like that of mortals, in brute instinct, nor does he pass through material conditions prior to reaching intelligence. Spirit is his primitive and ultimate source of being; God is his Father, and Life is the law of his being" (p. 63).
"The parent of all human discord was the Adam-dream, the deep sleep, in which originated the delusion that life and intelligence proceeded from and passed into matter. This pantheistic error, or so-called serpent, insists still upon the opposite of Truth, saying, 'Ye shall be as gods;' that is, I will make error as real and eternal as Truth.... 'I will put spirit into what I call matter, and matter shall seem to have life as much as God, Spirit, who is the only Life.' This error has proved itself to be error. Its life is found to be not Life, but only a transient, false sense of an existence which ends in death" (pp. 306, 307).
"When will the error of believing that there is life in matter, and that sin, sickness, and death are creations of God, be unmasked? When will it be understood that matter has no intelligence, life, nor sensation, and that the opposite belief is the prolific source of all suffering? God created all through Mind, and made all perfect and eternal. Where then is the necessity for recreation or procreation?" (p. 205).
"Above error's awful din, blackness, and chaos, the voice of Truth still calls: 'Adam, where art thou? Consciousness, where art thou? Art thou dwelling in the belief that mind is in matter, and that evil is mind, or art thou in the living faith that there is and can be but one God, and keeping His commandment?'" (pp. 307, 308). "Mortal mind inverts the true likeness, and confers animal names and natures upon its own misconceptions. Ignorant of the origin and operations of mortal mind,—that is, ignorant of itself,—this so-called mind puts forth its own qualities, and claims God as their author;... usurps the deific prerogatives and is an attempted infringement on infinity" (pp. 512, 513).
We do not question the authenticity of the Scriptural narrative of the Virgin-mother and Bethlehem babe, and the Messianic mission of Christ Jesus; but in our time no Christian Scientist will give chimerical wings to his imagination, or advance speculative theories as to the recurrence of such events.
No person can take the individual place of the Virgin Mary. No person can compass or fulfil the individual mission of Jesus of Nazareth. No person can take the place of the author of Science and Health, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity.
The second appearing of Jesus is, unquestionably, the spiritual advent of the advancing idea of God, as in Christian Science.
And the scientific ultimate of this God-idea must be, will be, forever individual, incorporeal, and infinite, even the reflection, "image and likeness," of the infinite God.
The right teacher of Christian Science lives the truth he teaches. Preeminent among men, he virtually stands at the head of all sanitary, civil, moral, and religious reform. Such a post of duty, unpierced by vanity, exalts a mortal beyond human praise, or monuments which weigh dust, and humbles him with the tax it raises on calamity to open the gates of heaven. It is not the forager on others' wisdom that God thus crowns, but he who is obedient to the divine command, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
Great temptations beset an ignorant or an unprincipled mind-practice in opposition to the straight and narrow path of Christian Science. Promiscuous mental treatment, without the consent or knowledge of the individual treated, is an error of much magnitude. People unaware of the indications of mental treatment, know not what is affecting them, and thus may be robbed of their individual rights,—freedom of choice and self-government. Who is willing to be subjected to such an influence? Ask the unbridled mind-manipulator if he would consent to this; and if not, then he is knowingly transgressing Christ's command. He who secretly manipulates mind without the permission of man or God, is not dealing justly and loving mercy, according to pure and undefiled religion.
Sinister and selfish motives entering into mental practice are dangerous incentives; they proceed from false convictions and a fatal ignorance. These are the tares growing side by side with the wheat, that must be recognized, and uprooted, before the wheat can be garnered and Christian Science demonstrated.
Secret mental efforts to obtain help from one who is unaware of this attempt, demoralizes the person who does this, the same as other forms of stealing, and will end in destroying health and morals.
In the practice of Christian Science one cannot impart a mental influence that hazards another's happiness, nor interfere with the rights of the individual. To disregard the welfare of others is contrary to the law of God; therefore it deteriorates one's ability to do good, to benefit himself and mankind.
The Psalmist vividly portrays the result of secret faults, presumptuous sins, and self-deception, in these words: "How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors."
The immortal man being spiritual, individual, and eternal, his mortal opposite must be material, corporeal, and temporal. Physical personality is finite; but God is infinite. He is without materiality, without finiteness of form or Mind.
Limitations are put off in proportion as the fleshly nature disappears and man is found in the reflection of Spirit.
This great fact leads into profound depths. The material human concept grew beautifully less as I floated into more spiritual latitudes and purer realms of thought.
From that hour personal corporeality became less to me than it is to people who fail to appreciate individual character. I endeavored to lift thought above physical personality, or selfhood in matter, to man's spiritual individuality in God,—in the true Mind, where sensible evil is lost in supersensible good. This is the only way whereby the false personality is laid off.
He who clings to personality, or perpetually warns you of "personality," wrongs it, or terrifies people over it, and is the sure victim of his own corporeality. Constantly to scrutinize physical personality, or accuse people of being unduly personal, is like the sick talking sickness. Such errancy betrays a violent and egotistical personality, increases one's sense of corporeality, and begets a fear of the senses and a perpetually egotistical sensibility.
He who does this is ignorant of the meaning of the word personality, and defines it by his own corpus sine pectore (soulless body), and fails to distinguish the individual, or real man from the false sense of corporeality, or egotistic self.
My own corporeal personality afflicteth me not wittingly; for I desire never to think of it, and it cannot think of me.
The various forms of book-borrowing without credit spring from this ill-concealed question in mortal mind, Who shall be greatest? This error violates the law given by Moses, it tramples upon Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, it does violence to the ethics of Christian Science.
Why withhold my name, while appropriating my language and ideas, but give credit when citing from the works of other authors?
Life and its ideals are inseparable, and one's writings on ethics, and demonstration of Truth, are not, cannot be, understood or taught by those who persistently misunderstand or misrepresent the author. Jesus said, "For there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me."
If one's spiritual ideal is comprehended and loved, the borrower from it is embraced in the author's own mental mood, and is therefore honest. The Science of Mind excludes opposites, and rests on unity.
It is proverbial that dishonesty retards spiritual growth and strikes at the heart of Truth. If a student at Harvard College has studied a textbook written by his teacher, is he entitled, when he leaves the University, to write out as his own the substance of this textbook? There is no warrant in common law and no permission in the gospel for plagiarizing an author's ideas and their words. Christian Science is not copyrighted; nor would protection by copyright be requisite, if mortals obeyed God's law of manright. A student can write voluminous works on Science without trespassing, if he writes honestly, and he cannot dishonestly compose Christian Science. The Bible is not stolen, though it is cited, and quoted deferentially.
Thoughts touched with the Spirit and Word of Christian Science gravitate naturally toward Truth. Therefore the mind to which this Science was revealed must have risen to the altitude which perceived a light beyond what others saw.
The spiritually minded meet on the stairs which lead up to spiritual love. This affection, so far from being personal worship, fulfils the law of Love which Paul enjoined upon the Galatians. This is the Mind "which was also in Christ Jesus," and knows no material limitations. It is the unity of good and bond of perfectness. This just affection serves to constitute the Mind-healer a wonder-worker,—as of old, on the Pentecost Day, when the disciples were of one accord.
He who gains the God-crowned summit of Christian Science never abuses the corporeal personality, but uplifts it. He thinks of every one in his real quality, and sees each mortal in an impersonal depict.
I have long remained silent on a growing evil in plagiarism; but if I do not insist upon the strictest observance of moral law and order in Christian Scientists, I become responsible, as a teacher, for laxity in discipline and lawlessness in literature. Pope was right in saying, "An honest man's the noblest work of God;" and Ingersoll's repartee has its moral: "An honest God's the noblest work of man."
The neophyte in Christian Science acts like a diseased physique,—being too fast or too slow. He is inclined to do either too much or too little. In healing and teaching the student has not yet achieved the entire wisdom of Mind-practice. The textual explanation of this practice is complete in Science and Health; and scientific practice makes perfect, for it is governed by its Principle, and not by human opinions; but carnal and sinister motives, entering into this practice, will prevent the demonstration of Christian Science.
I recommend students not to read so-called scientific works, antagonistic to Christian Science, which advocate materialistic systems; because such works and words becloud the right sense of metaphysical Science.
The rules of Mind-healing are wholly Christlike and spiritual. Therefore the adoption of a worldly policy or a resort to subterfuge in the statement of the Science of Mind-healing, or any name given to it other than Christian Science, or an attempt to demonstrate the facts of this Science other than is stated in Science and Health—is a departure from the Science of Mind-healing. To becloud mortals, or for yourself to hide from God, is to conspire against the blessings otherwise conferred, against your own success and final happiness, against the progress of the human race as well as against honest metaphysical theory and practice.
Not by the hearing of the ear is spiritual truth learned and loved; nor cometh this apprehension from the experiences of others. We glean spiritual harvests from our own material losses. In this consuming heat false images are effaced from the canvas of mortal mind; and thus does the material pigment beneath fade into invisibility.
The signs for the wayfarer in divine Science lie in meekness, in unselfish motives and acts, in shuffling off scholastic rhetoric, in ridding the thought of effete doctrines, in the purification of the affections and desires.
Dishonesty, envy, and mad ambition are "lusts of the flesh," which uproot the germs of growth in Science and leave the inscrutable problem of being unsolved. Through the channels of material sense, of worldly policy, pomp, and pride, cometh no success in Truth. If beset with misguided emotions, we shall be stranded on the quicksands of worldly commotion, and practically come short of the wisdom requisite for teaching and demonstrating the victory over self and sin.