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
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
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.
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 nightbird 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
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
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
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
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, be-seeching 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 grand-
mother'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!
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
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, 't is freedom's hour,
No despot bears misrule,
Where knowledge plants the foot of power
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  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.
 See Page 311, Lines 12 to 17,
"The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany."
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
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
churchmembers 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
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,  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.
 This statement appears to be based upon the Annual Report of the
Secretary of The Christian Scientist Association, read at its meeting, January
15, 1880, in which June is named as the month in which the charter for The
Mother Church was obtained, instead of August 23, 1879, the correct date.
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.
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.
 An alder growing from the bent branch of a pear-tree.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
gar and gall," a preparation of poppy, or aconite, to allay the tortures
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
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
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
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 Chris-
tian 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," saith 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? 'T is 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
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
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
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
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
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 Hahnemann
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,  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
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
 Steps were taken to promote the Church of Christ, Scientist, in April,
May, and June; formal organization was accomplished and the charter obtained in
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 everpresent
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
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 in-fringement 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Be temperate in thought, word, and deed. Meekness and temperance are the
jewels of Love, set in wisdom. Restrain untempered zeal. "Learn to labor
and to wait." Of old the children of Israel were saved by patient waiting.
"The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by
force!" said Jesus. Therefore are its spiritual gates not captured, nor its
golden streets invaded.
We recognize this kingdom, the reign of harmony within us, by an unselfish
affection or love, for this is the pledge of divine good and the insignia of
heaven. This also is proverbial, that though eternal justice be graciously
gentle, yet it may seem severe.
For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth,
And scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.
As the poets in different languages have expressed it:--
Though the mills of God grind slowly,
Yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience He stands waiting,
With exactness grinds He all.
Though the divine rebuke is effectual to the pulling down of sin's
strongholds, it may stir the human heart to resist Truth, before this heart
becomes obediently receptive of the heavenly discipline. If the Christian
Scientist recognize the mingled sternness and gentleness which permeate justice
and Love, he will not scorn the timely reproof, but will so absorb it that this
warning will be within him a spring, welling up into unceasing spiritual rise
and progress. Patience and obedience win the golden scholarship of experimental
The kindly shepherd of the East carries his lambs in his arms to the sheepcot,
but the older sheep pass into the fold under his compelling rod. He who sees the
door and turns away from it, is guilty, while innocence strayeth yearningly.
There are no greater miracles known to earth than perfection and an unbroken
friendship. We love our friends, but ofttimes we lose them in proportion to our
affection. The sacrifices made for others are not infrequently met by envy,
ingratitude, and enmity, which smite the heart and threaten to paralyze its
beneficence. The unavailing tear is shed both for the living and the dead.
Nothing except sin, in the students themselves, can separate them from me.
Therefore we should guard thought and action, keeping them in accord with
Christ, and our friendship will surely continue.
The letter of the law of God, separated from its spirit, tends to demoralize
mortals, and must be corrected by a diviner sense of liberty and light. The
spirit of Truth extinguishes false thinking, feeling, and acting; and falsity
must thus decay, ere spiritual sense, affectional consciousness, and genuine
goodness become so apparent as to be well understood.
After the supreme advent of Truth in the heart, there comes an overwhelming
sense of error's vacuity, of the blunders which arise from wrong apprehension.
The enlightened heart loathes error, and casts it aside; or else that heart is
consciously untrue to the light, faithless to itself and to others, and so sinks
into deeper darkness. Said Jesus: "If the light that is in thee be
darkness, how great is that darkness!" and Shakespeare puts this pious
counsel into a father's mouth:--
This above all: To thine own self be true;
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
A realization of the shifting scenes of human happiness, and of the frailty
of mortal anticipations,--such as first led me to the feet of Christian
Science,--seems to be requisite at every stage of advancement. Though our first
lessons are changed, modified, broadened, yet their core is constantly renewed;
as the law of the chord remains unchanged, whether we are dealing with a simple
Latour exercise or with the vast Wagner Trilogy.
A general rule is, that my students should not allow their movements to be
controlled by other students, even if they are teachers and practitioners of the
same blessed faith. The exception to this rule should be very rare.
The widest power and strongest growth have always been attained by those
loyal students who rest on divine Principle for guidance, not on themselves; and
who locate permanently in one section, and adhere to the orderly methods herein
At this period my students should locate in large cities, in order to do the
greatest good to the greatest number, and therein abide. The population of our
principal cities is ample to supply many practitioners, teachers, and preachers
with work. This fact interferes in no way with the prosperity of each worker;
rather does it represent an accumulation of power on his side which promotes the
ease and welfare of the workers. Their liberated capacities of mind enable
Christian Scientists to consummate much good or else evil; therefore their
examples either excel or fall short of other religionists; and they must be
found dwelling together in harmony, if even they compete with ecclesiastical
fellowship and friendship.
It is often asked which revision of Science and Health is the best. The
arrangement of my last revision, in 1890, makes the subject-matter clearer than
any previous edition, and it is therefore better adapted to spiritualize thought
and elucidate scientific healing and teaching. It has already been proven that
this volume is accomplishing the divine purpose to a remarkable degree. The wise
Christian Scientist will commend students and patients to the teachings of this
book, and the healing efficacy thereof, rather than try to centre their interest
Students whom I have taught are seldom benefited by the teachings of other
students, for scientific foundations are already laid in their minds which ought
not to be tampered with. Also, they are prepared to receive the infinite
instructions afforded by the Bible and my books, which mislead no one and are
their best guides.
The student may mistake in his conception of Truth, and this error, in an
honest heart, is sure to be corrected. But if he misinterprets the text to his
pupils, and communicates, even unintentionally, his misconception of Truth,
thereafter he will find it more difficult to rekindle his own light or to
enlighten them. Hence, as a rule, the student should explain only
Recapitulation, the chapter for the class-room, and leave Science and Health to
God's daily interpretation.
Christian Scientists should take their textbook into the schoolroom the same
as other teachers; they should ask questions from it, and be answered according
to it,--occasionally reading aloud from the book to corroborate what they teach.
It is also highly important that their pupils study each lesson before the
That these essential points are ever omitted, is anomalous, when we consider
the necessity of thoroughly understanding Science, and the present liability of
deviating from absolute Christian Science. Centuries will intervene before the
statement of the inexhaustible topics of Science and Health is sufficiently understood to be fully
The teacher himself should continue to study this textbook, and to
spiritualize his own thoughts and human life from this open fount of Truth and
He who sees clearly and enlightens other minds most readily, keeps his own
lamp trimmed and burning. Throughout his entire explanations he strictly adheres
to the teachings in the chapter on Recapitulation. When closing the class, each
member should own a copy of Science and Health, and continue to study and
assimilate this inexhaustible subject--Christian Science.
The opinions of men cannot be substituted for God's revelation. In times
past, arrogant pride, in attempting to steady the ark of Truth, obscured even
the power and glory of the Scriptures,--to which Science and Health is the Key.
That teacher does most for his students who divests himself most of pride and
self, and by reason thereof is able to empty his students' minds of error, that
they may be filled with Truth. Thus doing, posterity will call him blessed, and
the tired tongue of history be enriched.
The less the teacher personally controls other minds, and the more he trusts
them to the divine Truth and Love, the better it will be for both teacher and
A teacher should take charge only of his own pupils and patients, and of
those who voluntarily place themselves under his direction; he should avoid
leaving his own regular institute or place of labor, or expending his labor
where there are other teachers who should be specially responsible for doing
their own work well.
Teachers of Christian Science will find it advisable to band together their
students into associations, to continue the organization of churches, and at
present they can employ any other organic operative method that may commend
itself as useful to the Cause and beneficial to mankind.
Of this also rest assured, that books and teaching are but a ladder let down
from the heaven of Truth and Love, upon which angelic thoughts ascend and
descend, bearing on their pinions of light the Christ-spirit.
Guard yourselves against the subtly hidden suggestion that the Son of man
will be glorified, or humanity benefited, by any deviation from the order
prescribed by supernal grace. Seek to occupy no position whereto you do not feel
that God ordains you. Never forsake your post without due deliberation and
light, but always wait for God's finger to point the way. The loyal Christian
Scientist is incapable alike of abusing the practice of Mind-healing or of
healing on a material basis.
The tempter is vigilant, awaiting only an opportunity to divide the ranks of
Christian Science and scatter the sheep abroad; but "if God be for us, who
can be against us?" The Cause, ^our^ Cause, is highly prosperous, rapidly
spreading over the globe; and the morrow will crown the effort of to-day with a
diadem of gems from the New Jerusalem.
To energize wholesome spiritual warfare, to rebuke vainglory, to offset
boastful emptiness, to crown patient toil, and rejoice in the spirit and power
of Christian Science, we must ourselves be true. There is but one way of ^doing^
good, and that is to ^do^ it! There is but one way of ^being^ good, and that is
to ^be^ good!
Art thou still unacquainted with thyself? Then be introduced to this self.
"Know thyself!" as said the classic Grecian motto. Note well the
falsity of this mortal self! Behold its vileness, and remember this
poverty-stricken "stranger that is within thy gates." Cleanse every
stain from this wanderer's soiled garments, wipe the dust from his feet and the
tears from his eyes, that you may behold the real man, the fellow-saint of a
holy household. There should be no blot on the escutcheon of our Christliness
when we offer our gift upon the altar.
A student desiring growth in the knowledge of Truth, can and will obtain it
by taking up his cross and following Truth. If he does this not, and another one
undertakes to carry his burden and do his work, the duty will ^not be^
^accomplished^. No one can save himself without God's help, and God will help
each man who performs his own part. After this manner and in no other way is
every man cared for and blessed. To the unwise helper our Master said,
"Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead."
The poet's line, "Order is heaven's first law," is so eternally
true, so axiomatic, that it has become a truism; and its wisdom is as obvious in
religion and scholarship as in astronomy or mathematics.
Experience has taught me that the rules of Christian Science can be far more
thoroughly and readily acquired by regularly settled and systematic workers,
than by unsettled and spasmodic efforts. Genuine Christian Scientists are, or
should be, the most systematic and law-abiding people on earth, because their
religion demands implicit adherence to fixed rules, in the orderly demonstration
thereof. Let some of these rules be here stated.
^First^: Christian Scientists are to "heal the sick" as the Master
In so doing they must follow the divine order as prescribed by Jesus,--never,
in any way, to trespass upon the rights of their neighbors, but to obey the
celestial injunction, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye
even so to them."
In this orderly, scientific dispensation healers become a law unto
themselves. They feel their own burdens less, and can therefore bear the weight
of others' burdens, since it is only through the lens of their unselfishness
that the sunshine of Truth beams with such efficacy as to dissolve error.
It is already understood that Christian Scientists will not receive a patient
who is under the care of a regular physician, until he has done with the case
and different aid is sought. The same courtesy should be observed in the
professional intercourse of Christian Science healers with one another.
^Second^: Another command of the Christ, his prime command, was that his
followers should "raise the dead." He lifted his own body from the
sepulchre. In him, Truth called the physical man from the tomb to health, and
the so-called dead forthwith emerged into a higher manifestation of Life.
The spiritual significance of this command, "Raise the dead," most
concerns mankind. It implies such an elevation of the understanding as will
enable thought to apprehend the living beauty of Love, its practicality, its
divine energies, its health-giving and life-bestowing qualities,--yea, its power
to demonstrate immortality. This end Jesus achieved, both by example and
precept. ^Third^: This leads inevitably to a consideration of another part of
Christian Science work,--a part which concerns us intimately,--preaching the
This evangelistic duty should not be so warped as to signify that we must or
may go, uninvited, to work in other vineyards than our own. One would, or
should, blush to enter unasked another's pulpit, and preach without the consent
of the stated occupant of that pulpit. The Lord's command means this, that we
should adopt the spirit of the Saviour's ministry, and abide in such a spiritual
attitude as will draw men unto us. Itinerancy should not be allowed to clip the
wings of divine Science. Mind demonstrates omnipresence and omnipotence, but
Mind revolves on a spiritual axis, and its power is displayed and its presence
felt in eternal stillness and immovable Love. The divine potency of this
spiritual mode of Mind, and the hindrance opposed to it by material motion, is
proven beyond a doubt in the practice of Mind-healing.
In those days preaching and teaching were substantially one. There was no
church preaching, in the modern sense of the term. Men assembled in the one
temple (at Jerusalem) for sacrificial ceremonies, not for sermons. Into the
synagogues, scattered about in cities and villages, they went for liturgical
worship, and instruction in the Mosaic law. If one worshipper preached to the
others, he did so informally, and because he was bidden to this privileged duty
at that particular moment. It was the custom to pay this hortatory compliment to
a stranger, or to a member who had been away from the neighborhood; as Jesus was
once asked to exhort, when he had been some time absent from Nazareth but once
again entered the synagogue which he had frequented in childhood.
Jesus' method was to instruct his own students; and he watched and guarded
them unto the end, even according to his promise, "Lo, I am with you alway!"
Nowhere in the four Gospels will Christian Scientists find any precedent for
employing another student to take charge of their students, or for neglecting
their own students, in order to enlarge their sphere of action.
Above all, trespass not intentionally upon other people's thoughts, by
endeavoring to influence other minds to any action not first made known to them
or sought by them. Corporeal and selfish influence is human, fallible, and
temporary; but incorporeal impulsion is divine, infallible, and eternal. The
student should be most careful not to thrust aside Science, and shade God's
window which lets in light, or seek to stand in God's stead.
Does the faithful shepherd forsake the lambs,--retaining his salary for
tending the home flock while he is serving another fold? There is no evidence to
show that Jesus ever entered the towns whither he sent his disciples; no
evidence that he there taught a few hungry ones, and then left them to starve or
to stray. To these selected ones (like "the elect lady" to whom St.
John addressed one of his epistles) he gave personal instruction, and gave in
plain words, until they were able to fulfil his behest and depart on their
united pilgrimages. This he did, even though one of the twelve whom he kept near
himself betrayed him, and others forsook him.
The true mother never willingly neglects her children in their early and
sacred hours, consigning them to the care of nurse or stranger. Who can feel and
comprehend the needs of her babe like the ardent mother? What other heart yearns
with her solicitude, endures with her patience, waits with her hope, and labors
with her love, to promote the welfare and happiness of her children? Thus must
the Mother in Israel give all her hours to those first sacred tasks, till her
children can walk steadfastly in wisdom's ways.
One of my students wrote to me: "I believe the proper thing for us to do
is to follow, as nearly as we can, in the path you have pursued!" It is
gladdening to find, in such a student, one of the children of light. It is safe
to leave with God the government of man. He appoints and He anoints His
Truth-bearers, and God is their sure defense and refuge.
The parable of "the prodigal son" is rightly called "the pearl
of parables," and our Master's greatest utterance may well be called
"the diamond sermon." No purer and more exalted teachings ever fell
upon human ears than those contained in what is commonly known as the Sermon on
the Mount,--though this name has been given it by compilers and translators of
the Bible, and not by the Master himself or by the Scripture authors. Indeed, this title really indicates more
the Master's mood, than the material locality.
Where did Jesus deliver this great lesson--or, rather, this series of great
lessons--on humanity and divinity? On a hillside, near the sloping shores of the
Lake of Galilee, where he spake primarily to his immediate disciples.
In this simplicity, and with such fidelity, we see Jesus ministering to the
spiritual needs of all who placed themselves under his care, always leading them
into the divine order, under the sway of his own perfect understanding. His
power over others was spiritual, not corporeal. To the students whom he had
chosen, his immortal teaching was the bread of Life. When ^he^ was with them, a
fishing-boat became a sanctuary, and the solitude was peopled with holy messages
from the All-Father. The grove became his class-room, and nature's haunts were
the Messiah's university.
What has this hillside priest, this seaside teacher, done for the human race?
Ask, rather, what has he ^not^ done. His holy humility, unworldliness, and
self-abandonment wrought infinite results. The method of his religion was not
too simple to be sublime, nor was his power so exalted as to be unavailable for
the needs of suffering mortals, whose wounds he healed by Truth and Love.
His order of ministration was "first the blade, then the ear, after that
the full corn in the ear." May we unloose the latchets of his Christliness,
inherit his legacy of love, and reach the fruition of his promise: "If ye
abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall
be done unto you."
In the first century of the Christian era Jesus went about doing good. The
evangelists of those days wandered about. Christ, or the spiritual idea,
appeared to human consciousness as the man Jesus. At the present epoch the human
concept of Christ is based on the incorporeal divine Principle of man, and
Science has elevated this idea and established its rules in consonance with
their Principle. Hear this saying of our Master, "And I, if I be lifted up
from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
The ideal of God is no longer impersonated as a waif or wanderer; and Truth
is not fragmentary, disconnected, unsystematic, but concentrated and immovably
fixed in Principle. The best spiritual type of Christly method for uplifting
human thought and imparting divine Truth, is stationary power, stillness, and
strength; and when this spiritual ideal is made our own, it becomes the model
for human action.
St. Paul said to the Athenians, "For in Him we live, and move, and have
our being." This statement is in substance identical with my own:
"There is no life, truth, substance, nor intelligence in matter." It
is quite clear that as yet this grandest verity has not been fully demonstrated,
but it is nevertheless true. If Christian Science reiterates St. Paul's
teaching, we, as Christian Scientists, should give to the world convincing proof
of the validity of this scientific statement of being. Having perceived, in
advance of others, this scientific fact, we owe to ourselves and to the world a
struggle for its demonstration.
At some period and in some way the conclusion must be met that whatsoever
seems true, and yet contradicts divine Science and St. Paul's text, must be and
is false; and that whatsoever seems to be good, and yet errs, though
acknowledging the true way, is really evil.
As dross is separated from gold, so Christ's baptism of fire, his
purification through suffering, consumes whatsoever is of sin. Therefore this
purgation of divine mercy, destroying all error, leaves no flesh, no matter, to
the mental consciousness.
When all fleshly belief is annihilated, and every spot and blemish on the
disk of consciousness is removed, then, and not till then, will immortal Truth
be found true, and scientific teaching, preaching, and practice be essentially
one. "Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he
alloweth. . . . for whatsoever is not of faith is sin." (Romans xiv. 22,
There is no "lo here! or lo there!" in divine Science; its
manifestation must be "the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever,"
since Science is eternally one, and unchanging, in Principle, rule, and
I am persuaded that only by the modesty and distinguishing affection
illustrated in Jesus' career, can Christian Scientists aid the establishment of
Christ's kingdom on the earth. In the first century of the Christian era Jesus'
teachings bore much fruit, and the Father was glorified therein. In this period
and the forthcoming centuries, watered by dews of divine Science, this
"tree of life" will blossom into greater freedom, and its leaves will
be "for the healing of the nations."
Ask God to give thee skill
In comfort's art:
That thou may'st consecrated be
And set apart
Unto a life of sympathy.
For heavy is the weight of ill
In every heart;
And comforters are needed much
Of Christlike touch.
--A. E. HAMILTON