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Star of Boston: The Life of Mary Baker Eddy by Helen M. Wright

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Part Ib


The Great Revelation's Time Had Come

It was February 4th, 1866, a bitterly cold winter night; the streets were covered with ice. Mary Patterson left her home in Swampscott to attend a temperance lecture in Lynn. She slipped on the icy sidewalk, and fell with such force as to injure herself severely, sustaining a concussion of the brain and an injury of the spine, and rendering herself insensible.

A doctor was called. Mary was carried into a nearby house, where she remained unconscious until the following morning. Then, at her insistence, with greatest care she was removed to her own home, the doctor despairing of any recovery for her.

Now Mary was lying in her upstairs bedroom. The doctor had left some homeopathic medicine but Mary Patterson did not take it. She turned instead to Scripture; she knew her healing rested on "that consciousness which God bestows" (S&H 573:7).

The Bible was open to the healing of the man sick of the palsy. "And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, "This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins. Then said he to the sick of the palsy, Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose and departed to his house."

Mary Glover Patterson's eyes lingered on the verse, "For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, rise and walk." Mary at that moment perceived that the same Principle healed both sin and sickness. In this perception she saw in Jesus' words the golden thread that forever holds man in the image of his Maker, which we today know is our own right Mind, the kingdom of God within our consciousness, that is Love. Reverently, humbly, Mrs. Patterson felt the presence of the infinite good we call God.

In early editions of Science and Health Mary tells of reading also that morning from the third chapter of Mark where "our Master healed the withered hand on the Sabbath day." She describes how, "as [she] read, a change passed over [her]; the limbs that were immovable, cold, and without feeling, warmed; the internal agony ceased, [her] strength came instantaneously, and [she] rose from [her] bed and stood upon [her] feet, well" (1881, S&H, Third Ed. p. 156).

Mary Glover Patterson left her bed and, to the utter astonishment of those in the next room who were waiting for her to die, she walked in, healed. When she greeted the pastor at the door he thought he was seeing an apparition.

When the doctor came he expressed such incredulity and disbelief that it seemed to strike at Mary and she felt weakened and could not stand. But as she again turned to her Bible and read from the ninth chapter of Matthew (the healing of the palsied man) Jesus' words, "Arise and walk" spoke to her strongly, and again she arose in strength, and the claim of relapse dissolved.

When interviewed in later years, Mrs. Eddy recalled that as she lay in her room that morning, so close to death, "...the dear ones around me said, 'If you can't live, tell us something, do tell us something as you always do, of your views.'...I said to them, 'Why, I can't conceive in this vestibule that there is death. It does not seem death to me; life seems continuous, and my Father's [infinite good's] face dearer than ever before."

"The clergyman entered and said, 'You seem near heaven. Do you realize that you cannot recover?' I said, 'They tell me so, but I cannot realize it.' And he said to me, 'I must see you again; I am engaged now, but I will call in a little time. I want to see you again, living if I can.'

"He stepped out....I requested the others to leave the room and they did. Then I rose from my bed perfectly sound; never knew health before, always an invalid. I went down stairs....The clergyman returned. He was so startled he did not know whether to conclude it was me in the body or out. He said, 'What does this mean?' I said, 'I do not know.'

"The doctor came....He said, 'How was this done?' I said, 'I cannot tell you in any wise whatever, except it seemed to me all a thing or state of my mental consciousness. It didn't seem to belong to the body, or material condition. When I awakened to this sense of change I was there, that is all I know.' ....He said, 'This is impossible,' and immediately I felt I was back again, and I staggered. He caught me and set me in a chair, and he said, 'There, I will go out. If you have done that much, you can again.'...When I felt myself back again I felt more discouraged than ever.

"As I sat there it all seemed to come to me again with such a light and such a presence, and I felt, 'It is all the mind. These are spiritual stages of consciousness,' and I rose right up again. And then I felt I never could be conquered again.

In Science and Health (p. 108) Mrs. Eddy wrote of this experience,

"When apparently near the confines of mortal existence, standing already within the shadow of the death-valley, I learned these truths in divine Science: that all real being is in God [infinite good] the divine Mind, and that Life, Truth, and Love are all-powerful and ever-present; that the opposite of Truth--called error, sin, sickness, disease, death--is the false testimony of false material sense, of mind in matter; that this false sense evolves, in belief, a subjective state of mortal mind which this same so-called mind names matter, shutting out the true sense of Spirit. ["Error," she said, "comes to us for life, and we give it all the life it has."]

"My discovery that erring, mortal, misnamed mind produces all the organism and action of the mortal body, set my thoughts to work in new channels, and led up to my demonstration of the proposition that Mind is All and matter is naught as the leading factor in Mind-science."

With this discovery Mary rose from her bed, healed.

The Years of Waiting Were Over The Unfolding Demonstration

The years of waiting were over! At last the darkness was past. And though many a weary mile still lay ahead, the great adventure to find the Christ Science was at hand, merging into the revealment of Truth. Discovery had come at last. It was to lengthen into years of expanding revelation.

From that day in February 1866 forward, Mary lived for one purpose only: to bring her revelation of reality to a world sunk in materialism. Reading in the New Testament of Jesus' healing work, Mary Baker Eddy had glimpsed God and his relationship to man in an entirely new way--and found herself healed. She had seen that human birth is the first death. It pulls the wool over our eyes so that we "see through a glass darkly," and no longer remember our preexistence where we knew the truth about ourselves, that our own real and true Mind is Love; and this true Mind sees only as Love sees.

We have seen how, as the woman scripturally prophesied to bring the "Comforter," the Second Coming of the Christ, Mary Baker Eddy had been fitted for her part through steady constant unfoldment. As human kinships had been found wanting, the relationship between the infinite good we call God and Its offspring had become ever more real to her.

Forty-six years of terrible suffering now lay behind, years our Leader would later term "gracious preparation." The spiritual impulsion that had loosened her grasp on human aid had tightened her hold on changeless Love, and Mary was prepared to completely yield to the divine purpose.

On page 24 of Retrospection & Introspection she writes, "I then withdrew from society about three years,to ponder my mission, to search the Scriptures [as we see her doing in Christ and Christmas in Picture No. 3, entitled "Seeking and Finding"], to find the Science of Mind that should take the things of God [of infinite good] and show them to the creature, and reveal the great curative Principle,Deity [infinite Love, our real, true Mind, "the kingdom of God within [us]."

For these next three years she studied the Scriptures, making copious notes on their spiritual meaning; she healed others and began to teach what had been revealed to her. In Science and Health, she writes:

"The search was sweet, calm, and buoyant with hope, not selfish nor depressing. I knew the Principle of all harmonious Mind-action to be God, and that cures were produced in primitive Christian healing by holy uplifting faith; but I must know the Science of this healing [so that we could use this Christ Science just as we use the science of mathematics to work out any problem], and I won my way to absolute conclusions through divine revelation, reason, and demonstration."

Mary foresaw the inevitable struggle with old theology. Old theology had no conception that the fundamental error of mortal man is the belief that man is matter, but Mary heard the whole world's cry for deliverance from the woes of the flesh and material thinking. She reached out with eager comprehension to understand and receive divine Science so that she could translate its message in terms humanity could understand and demonstrate.

At first she says the translation was but a feeble attempt to express in writing the vision that was unfolding. As she persevered, never faltering or failing, the divine inspiration was gradually formulated and systematized so that it revealed the Principle and laws of eternal Life, Truth, and Love.

On page 25 of Retrospection she tells us, "...the Scriptures had 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."

Again on page 25 of Retrospection she states, "I named it Christian, because it is compassionate, helpful, and spiritual. God [infinite good] 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 [true identity] alone is truly substantial. God I characterized as individual identity, but His [infinite good's] 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."

On page 28 (ibid.), Mary Baker Eddy explains, "I had learned that thought must be spiritualized in order to apprehend Spirit [infinite good]. It must become honest, unselfish, and pure in order to have the least understanding of God [infinite good] 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 [infinite good, understanding, present perfection] to be supreme in our affections, we must be clad with divine power. [We must follow the admonition she later wrote, "Know then that you possess sovereign power to think and act rightly."] Purity, self-renunciation, faith, and understanding must reduce all things real to their own mental denomination, Mind, which divides, sub-divides, increases, diminishes, constitutes and sustains, according to the law of God [infinite good]."

Mrs. Eddy tells us she "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..."

The Years 1866 to 1868

Mary Patterson and Her Healings

In March of 1866 the Pattersons took a room in the Russell home. From here, a few months after Mary's healing in February, Dr. Patterson again proved unfaithful, deserting Mary for another woman. When he first proved unfaithful and the pair asked forgiveness, Mary forgave them. But when Daniel betrayed her a second time, deserting her again to run off with another woman, Mary told him he could not return. She had taken him back after his first affair, but she did not after the second.

Mrs. Patterson stayed on with the Russells, reading and studying the Bible and writing as understanding opened for her. Mary felt God-impelled to gain a demonstrable understanding of what had been divinely revealed to her, and to impart this understanding to others. For most of her life she had been seeking an understanding of how to heal physical ailments in the way Jesus did. From her past experiences she had become convinced that all ailments had a mental nature, and could be cured by a change of mind. She now saw that one must see that his own real Mind is God, "the kingdom of God within" and that this is the healer of all ailments.

Unfortunately, the Russells became increasingly hostile toward what Mary Baker Glover (as she now called herself) was writing and devoting her time to, and when she did not have the $l.50 for the week's rent, they evicted her.

Mary Glover was faithfully following the daystar of Christian healing, and it placed extraordinary demands on her as she walked in the way Christ points out. For example, when Mary's sister Abigail offered her a home if Mary would give up her "theory of divine healing," Mary had to refuse.

When Mary had been asked to give up her son, she was an invalid and had neither the strength nor the understanding to resist. But now, having had the divine revelation, she told her sister: "I must do the work God has called me to do." She had learned that "no man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

Hour after hour through the years 1866 to 1870 Mary spent in Bible study, writing down what she was learning from the perspective of revelation. At this time "it looked as if centuries of spiritual growth were requisite to enable me to elucidate or to demonstrate what I had discovered; but an unlooked-for, imperative call for help impelled me to begin this stupendous work at once, and teach the first student, Hiram S. Crafts, in Christian Science." (See Mis. 380:7.)

A call came to her from a child with an inflamed finger. Mary Baker Glover had sought refuge with the Phillips, whose fifteen year old son was suffering from a very painful infected finger which had kept him out of school for several days. Mrs. Glover asked the boy if he would like her to heal it. When he assented she asked him not to look at the finger or allow others to look at it. He was obedient. The next morning all were amazed, for there was no evidence of the painful felon that had kept the boy in agony.

Mary did not consider this healing a miracle, but said it "is natural, divinely natural. All life rightly understood is so" (The Life of Mary Baker Eddy, Sibyl Wilbur, p. 140-1).

Wherever Mary went now, she healed. On the beach in the summer of 1866, Mrs. Glover saw a seven-year-old boy, George, whose mother had left him there while she did an errand. The child had club feet and had never walked. When the mother returned she was stunned to see her George walking hand in hand with a strange woman. The two women looked into each others eyes, and wept. The child was completely and permanently healed. And so the healings, hundreds of them, continued.

Still Mary had no place to call home. In 1866, alone, Mary Baker Glover was forced to change her residence ten times. For the next few years she lived in various homes--the Crafts', the Winslows', the Websters', Mrs. Bagley's, the Wentworths', and others. Why the many moves, when Mrs. Glover so loved everyone she came in contact with?

An early student explained, "...It was unfortunate that at this time in her life Mrs. Glover, with her small income, was obliged to live with people who were without education or cultivation. It was never Mary's custom to keep apart from the family. She invariably mingled with them and through them kept in touch with the world. She had a great work to do; she was possessed by her purpose, and like Paul the apostle...she reiterated to herself, "This one thing I do." Of course simple-minded people, who take life as it comes from day to day, find any one with so fixed an object in life, a rebuke to the flow of their own animal spirits [and so grew to resent her]."

In these first years of revelation, both inner calm and outer turbulence were Mary's lot. During the germination and unfoldment of this holy work she found the last tie which bound her to family and home, broken. Dearly as she loved her family and all connected with her childhood home, Mary submitted to this severing.

One protests, why was this added burden necessary? Surely infinite good would not inflict continued suffering needlessly! Why were ceaseless toil, self-renunciation and rejection and the sundering of almost every natural or human tie of affection now laid upon Mary Glover after her years of physical suffering?

Our Leader herself supplies the answer, for it was during these years of trial that it became clear to her what her mission was. In Retrospection, p. 30, Mrs. Eddy writes,

"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."

Mrs. Glover Finds a Student

Mary's recovery from her fall on the ice was a revelation from the divine Mind. She had glimpsed "Life in and of Spirit; this Life being the sole reality of existence." (See Mis. p. 24). However, it was not until the latter part of 1866 that Mary Glover arrived at the scientific certainty of how to be well herself and how to heal others.

Mrs. Eddy makes it clear that Christian Science came to mankind from God; that she was simply the "transparency for Truth." (See S&H 295:19-24). We have seen that from before birth God was preparing Mary for her divine mission--to share with mankind the Science that lay behind Jesus' work and that lay behind her healing. Mary Baker Eddy's history is a holy one, but her task was by no means easy. Mary began where Jesus left off. How was she to teach frail mortals from this spiritual height?

"Start where you stand" is the beginning of the road to accomplishment. Mary made that beginning.

In the fall of 1866, Mary Baker Glover found her first student. It was at Mrs. Clark's boarding house that Mrs. Glover met Hiram S. Crafts. Mrs. Glover, by this time, had proved by many cases of healing that all causation is infinite Mind. Hiram learned quickly, and wanted to become a healer. After the Crafts returned home, Mrs. Crafts asked Mrs. Glover to come to them and help Hiram establish a practice.

Mrs. Glover moved in with Hiram Crafts and his wife in order to teach him Christian Science healing. She instructed Hiram from manuscripts that she wrote. His success in healing was so phenomenal that in April, 1867, they moved to a larger town, Taunton, Massachusetts, where Hiram Crafts advertised in the Taunton newspaper:

"To the Sick, Dr. H.S. Crafts. Would say unhesitatingly, I can cure you, and I have never failed to cure Consumption, Catarrh, Scrofula, Dyspepsia, and Rheumatism with many other forms of disease and weakness, in which I am especially successful...."

Then appeared testimonials of wonderful healings, such as that of Mrs. Abigail Raymond, who was healed of an internal abscess that threatened to destroy her life. "Dr." Crafts was an apt pupil, and with Mrs. Glover's help he where, in 1867 and 1868, she continued seeking a thorough understanding of the Principle and rules of the divine Science that had healed her. Here she had time to write the beginnings of what would become Science and Health.

The Websters witnessed many healings performed by Mary Glover. Years later when Mrs. Glover was publishing the first edition of Science and Health a student asked her why she wrote Science and Health. In response, Mary told her of the following occasion.

One day a telegram arrived at the Websters for Mrs. Mary B. Glover (as Mrs. Eddy was then calling herself). It said, "Mrs. Gale is very sick. Please come..." The telegram summoned her to the bedside of a lady who was dying of consumption.

Three or four doctors were present when she arrived--fine men who had expended all their medical knowledge in trying to save this lady from death. When they had found there was no hope for her recovery, they had decided to test "that woman" (Mary Baker Glover) as they had heard of someone who had been cured by her. At their suggestion the lady's husband had sent for her.

When Mrs. Glover arrived at Mrs. Gale's home, the doctors informed her there was no hope; the patient was dying of pneumonia. Mary entered the room. The patient was propped up with many pillows and could not speak. Our Leader saw that what Mrs. Gale needed was an arousal and quickly pulled all the pillows away from behind her. As she fell backwards, the patient said, "Oh, you have killed me," but Mrs. Glover told her that she could get up and that she would help her to dress. (Mrs. Eddy, like Jesus, healed instantaneously by knowing the truth, just as a mathematician "heals" 2x2=5.) The lady was instantaneously well, healed on the spot. Mrs. Glover asked the doctors to leave the room while she helped Mrs. Gale dress, after which they rejoined the doctors and Mr. Gale in the sitting room.

When Clara Shannon, in later years, asked Mrs. Eddy what had prompted her to write Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy told Clara of this healing, and added "One of the doctors, an old experienced physician, witnessed this, and he said, "How did you do it, what did you do? Mrs. Glover said, "I can't tell you, it was God," and he said, "Why don't you write it in a book, publish it, and give it to the world?"

When Mary Baker Glover returned home she opened her Bible, and her eyes fell on the words "Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book" (Jeremiah 30.2).

Mrs. Glover Takes Two Students

Mary Glover still longed to teach others how to heal; her months with Hiram Crafts had shown her that others could be taught how to heal as Jesus had healed. Early in 1870 Mary Glover took two students, Sarah Bagley and Richard Kennedy.

Because Mrs. Glover had as yet no textbook she used the Socratic method for teaching. Later her early talks were systematized; the dissertations were dignified into the form of lectures which her early students declared to have been illuminating and inspirational beyond price.

These dissertations as well as her writings, we learn, were beginning to unseal the fountains of her inspiration. She had arrived at a clear standpoint, and could now wrap in words the spiritual concepts which had before been elusive and intangible. From this standpoint she lifted her eyes to a far horizon--the work now before her was the work of promulgation, how to make it known, how to spread it abroad.

By the spring of 1870 Mary Baker Glover had completed the manuscript entitled "The Science of Man." This booklet contained the fundamental principles of Christian Science, but she knew it was premature. "I did not venture upon its publication until later, having learned that the merits of Christian Science must be proven before a work on this subject could be profitably published" (Ret. p. 35).

Although Mary Glover had patiently labored four successive years, carefully and earnestly writing and rewriting the truth that was growing in her understanding, only to set it aside, she knew it was a necessary step. She understood that the unfolding of revelation was a steady growth. She could not have had her great discovery in 1866 had she not been prepared for it by long application to spiritual inquiry. Neither could she have written Science and Health had she not labored long and with perfect submission to imperative spiritual guidance.

All is Already Within Our Consciousness

No one learns anything from a book, whether it is the Bible or a book on arithmetic. Everything in the arithmetic book or the Bible or in any subject, is already within our consciousness"the kingdom of God within you." It is only as we desire to learn, have a hunger to learn, that a book helps us to step by step learn the subject. So it was with Mary Baker Eddy as she tells us in Retrospection and Introspection.

In Ret., p. 31, Mary Baker Eddy tells us, "From my earliest 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."

In The Christian Science Journal, June, 1887, Mrs. Eddy wrote, "As long ago as 1844 I was convinced that mortal mind produced all disease, and that the various medical systems were in no proper sense Scientific. In 1862, when I first visited Dr. Quimby, I was proclaiming--to druggists, spiritualists, and mesmerists--that Science must govern all healing." And in Ret. p. 31, Mrs. Eddy tells us, "The first spontaneous motion of Truth and Love, acting through Christian Science on my roused consciousness, banished at once and forever the fundamental error of faith in things material; for this trust is the unseen sin, the unknown foe,the heart's untamed desire which breaketh the divine commandments."

"The Christian Scientist is alone with his own being and with the reality of things" just as the mathematician is alone with the multiplication table. (See '01, p. 20:8.) But, if he thinks 2x2=5 is something "out there," other than his own misperception, his own ignorance, he can't heal a single mistake in math. All we ever need is to get understanding; then, as the Bible says, " [his] stripes ye were ye first the kingdom of God," then "all these things shall be added unto you." (I Pet. 2:24 and Matt. 6:33)

Classes Are Started

In Lynn Mrs. Eddy started classes with those she had drawn to her through healing. They were shoe factory workers, their hands stained with the leather dye and tools of the day's occupation, their narrow lives cramped mentally and physically. As they listened to the words of revelation that Mary Glover poured on them, they must have found their hearts stirred within them. Like the early Christians they found the Word confirmed by healing power, for they were able to perform cures with the truths they had learned. Courage from on high must have impelled this little band of mental pioneers as they went forth to solve the problems of life through the spiritual instruction Mary Glover gave them.

For Mrs. Glover the ability to heal came from far more than an intellectual understanding of metaphysical concepts. It was rather whether material sense or spiritual sense governed the practitioner. Without the spiritual aspect, the love, the healing practice turned into a mesmeric exercise of one mind controlling another. This is why she stressed to her students the need for greater goodness and purity in their thought and lives. Before Mrs. Eddy wrote the words in Science and Health, she lived the words, and proved them for all time.

The healings at this time were many. For Mary Glover, her discovery of divine Science, which had come as a revelation from God, was a "pearl of great price." Scientific Christian healing was a lifework. It was not simply a way to earn a living, but rather a total commitment was essential to success in this healing work. You cannot think of the physical condition, but must think only the fact that God, your own real Mind, "the kingdom of God within" you as your own consciousness, is all. You have to shut out what the physicians have said, and shut out everything else from the material side.

Mary said that she spoke sharply sometimes because the thought must move. To follow Mrs. Glover, any student would have to cross swords with the world's beliefs in matter as a reality. Today the honest earnest student knows he can only follow Christ as far as he follows his Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, who brought the Second Coming of the Christ.

Richard Kennedy was one who did not. When he had entered the scene in June of 1870, he at first seemed to be a promising student. Sadly, he proved unfaithful; he became a mesmerist. Richard Kennedy's faithlessness was a blow to Mary Glover. His erring, disobedient ways--manipulating his patients--caused Mrs. Glover great distress. In the end, however, it was a great blessing, for it led her to deeply penetrate into the evils of animal magnetism and mesmerism. It again proved her statement, "The very circumstance which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares" (S&H 574:27).

It was necessary that Mrs. Eddy go "to the bottom of mental action [which] reveals the theodicy which indicates the rightness of all divine action, as the emanation of divine Mind, and the consequent wrongness of the opposite so-called action,evil, occultism, necromancy, mesmerism, hypnotism" (S&H p. 104). By delving into the ways of mesmerism and animal magnetism in light of the life of the Master she would gain the understanding that man--Mind's idea or image cannot be used by evil as an agent, or a victim, because man, in reality, is forever governed by the one Mind, God, the kingdom of God within your consciousness, which is your real true Mind and "cannot be tempted with evil, neither...tempteth [God, infinite good] any man" (James 1:13). She would realize that the infinity of good as Mind, your real Mind, implies the unreality of evil mentality.

Mrs. Eddy about 1871,when teaching her first classes in Lynn, Mass.

This spiritual truth would prove of invaluable assistance to her all through the years to come, enabling her in great measure to defend the expansion of her work against division and divergence. She later said, "If students do not learn to handle animal magnetism [error of any kind, and the belief of life, substance and intelligence in matter], Christian Science will do very little good in the world."


How She Came To Write Science & Health

Above all, the conflict with Richard Kennedy was a blessing in disguise because it fixed in Mary Glover the purpose to begin writing a textbook.

Mary Baker Glover recalled that after she had earnestly asked God what her next step should be, she opened her Bible and her eyes fell on the verse: "Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever" (Isaiah 30:8). From 1866 to 1872 Mary had intensely studied the Bible. She had healed the sick through prayer alone, and had taught others how to heal every manner of sin and disease. In 1872 she suspended teaching in order to devote her full time to finishing Science and Health.

Between 1872 and 1875 Mary Glover was busy writing the textbook that would explain the Science that through divine revelation she had discovered in 1866. In the Preface of her first edition of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy wrote: "We propose to settle the question of 'What is Truth?' on the ground of proof. Let that method of healing the sick and establishing Christianity, be adopted, that is found to give the most health, and make the best Christians...."

Her method of healing, which demonstrated the reality of the divine Science that had been revealed to her by God, the infinite good that was her own divine Mind, "the kingdom of God within" her consciousness, did "give the most health, and did make the best Christians...." Why? Because it treated the whole man, transforming human character while it healed the body.

The First Edition of Science and Health

In the spring of 1874 Mrs. Glover was living in a boarding-house at Number 9 Broad Street. She had moved many times and now needed absolute peace and seclusion in order to add those important finishing touches that would bring her book, Science and Health, together, to unify it and complete it. She did not have this peace and quiet here at No. 9 Broad Street.

Leaning at the window she breathed a silent prayer for a resting place. Lifting her eyes, she saw across the way a little frame house with a sign affixed stating it was for sale. Contemplating it, she resolved to own it. With her own home she felt her work would go forward more progressively.

The house at No. 8 Broad Street--Mr. Eddy is in the window

Mary had some modest resources, saved from tuition payments, which she had guarded in case she had to publish her own book. On March 31st, 1874, the property at No. 8 Broad Street was deeded to Mary Baker Glover. It was to be the first home of Christian Science; there she would complete her book. Because of limited means she had to rent out much of the house, reserving the front parlor for a class-room. On the attic floor she reserved a small bedroom lighted only by a skylight in the sloping roof. In this unheated garret chamber she was able to finish her Science and Health manuscript, the work of nearly nine years.

In the fall of 1874 Mary Baker Glover gave the manuscript of her book into the hands of a printer. A fund had been subscribed to by some of the students to ensure its publication. Mrs. Glover had done everything necessary. Then half way through there was a halt in its printing.

In Retrospection, p.37 and 38, Mrs. Eddy tells us, "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....

"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 fulfill this painful task, and finished my copy for the book....My printer resumed his work at the same time, finished printing the copy he had on hand, and started for Lynn to see me. [At the same time] I started for Boston with my finished copy. We met at the Eastern depot in Lynn, and were both surprised....Not a word had passed between us, audibly or mentally, while this went on."

Science & Health came out on October 30, 1875 in an edition of one thousand. It was a stout volume bound in green cloth. Though Mrs. Eddy would many times revise this book, the essential statements in her last edition are the same as in the original volume. Her revision was always for improvement of expression, not to change the content of her message, although, to bring it closer to what people of her day could accept, she hid those vital truths they were not ready for. On page 37 of Retrospection she states,

"Science and Health, containing the complete statement of Christian Science...was published in 1875."

The landmark 50th edition of Science and Health came in early 1891. By September it had reached sixty-two editions. "The book had been written under the severest hardships. It was revised painstakingly in the midst of the multitudinous duties of a leader. It has been plagiarized and pirated from, vilified and burlesqued, but it will stand."

It still stands today. To date over 9,000,000 copies of this remarkable book have been sold. "Science and Health is the textbook of Christian Science. Whoever learns the letter of this book, must also gain its spiritual significance, in order to demonstrate Christian Science."

Whether teaching or lecturing, healing was at the heart of all Mary Glover's efforts. Concerning her teaching, she wrote a prospective student in 1876, "...If I do not make pupils capable of healing I will refund the money to them." To Mrs. Glover, the purpose of teaching was to produce students who could heal through Christian prayer alone.

In 1901 Calvin Frye wrote in his diary concerning a healing in which the patient was supposed to die. After Mrs. Eddy cured him she said, "I knew that if he died he would awake to find he had not that disease and I wanted to awake him to it before he died" (Frye's Diary, Oct. 9, 1901).

Mary Baker Glover wanted to awaken all mankind to the divine truth of their being. This was certainly behind her writing of Science and Health, the Second Coming of the Christ, the "Comforter" Jesus promised and prophesied. Mary Baker Glover knew it was part of her divine mission to see that the message in Science and Health reached all who "hunger and thirst after righteousness." Therefore one of Mary Glover's primary concerns was getting Science and Health into the hands of the public.

She appointed one of her students, Daniel Spofford, as publisher, to be responsible for the sale of the book. She wrote him, "What you most need is Love, meekness and charity, or patience with everybody....These things would increase your success."

In March of 1876 Mary Glover met Asa Gilbert Eddy, who came to her for healing of heart disease. He quickly became a Christian Science practitioner, being the first to announce himself to the public as a Christian Scientist. To a pupil, Mrs. Eddy wrote: "....Last spring Dr. Eddy came to me a hopeless invalid. I saw him then for the first time, and but twice. When his health was so improved he next came to join my class....In four weeks after he came to study he was in practice doing well, worked up an excellent reputation for healing and at length won my affections on the ground alone of his great goodness and strength of character."

The need to protect her "child," the newborn "cause of truth," was something Mrs. Eddy was keenly alert to because the materialistic thought of the entire world openly resisted this holy "cause" to the point of trying to destroy it. One such case occurred when Mary Baker Eddy's husband, Dr. Eddy, was falsely charged with being a party to a conspiracy to murder Daniel Spofford. This malicious lie was exposed and dismissed; and in March, 1879, Mrs. Eddy wrote a friend that "The cause is prospering again, rising up slowly from the awful blow of malice and falsehoods dealt it last autumn...."

Materialism's attempt to ruin the cause of Truth had failed utterly, and Mrs. Eddy was not slowed down by it, but courageously, under divine direction, led the holy Cause forward.

Students Turn Against Their Teacher

Such events should not surprise us. Isaiah 54:15-17 had prophesied, "Behold they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy."

This case was but one example. The five years after the publishing of Science and Health saw the conflict of personalities as people did "gather together against" Mrs. Eddy--important helpers turning against her and perpetrating much evil, robbing her of funds so that she could not properly publish the second edition of Science and Health. (Picture 4 of Christ and Christmas shows this time of Mrs. Eddy's life.)

But Isaiah's prophecy continues with a promise of deliverance, "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me."

Once again the prophecy held. The conflict of Mrs. Eddy's materially-minded, unscientific students cleared the atmosphere. Neither disaffection among her students nor aggression from without conquered her steadfast confidence and trust in divine direction. At the end of a path of seeming defeat Mrs. Eddy always saw a widening horizon.

However dire the circumstances Mrs. Eddy faced, she invariably found them to be blessings in disguise. For instance, it was because of setbacks like the ones mentioned here that Mary was led to investigate "the metaphysical mystery of error" (Mis. 223:1). Mrs. Eddy knew evil to be an illusion, hypnotic suggestion only; but she also knew that unless its true nature was specifically uncovered, thought could be influenced unconsciously. Her next edition of Science and Health therefore expanded the original sixteen pages on this subject into a forty-six page chapter entitled "Demonology."

Always aware of divine support, Mary Baker Eddy went forward. Because of the tremendous amount of work now involved, Mrs. Eddy at this time organized the Christian Science Association, to help carry the load.

A bitter blow came to Mary with the death of her beloved husband, Dr. Asa Gilbert Eddy, on June 3, 1882. Mrs. Eddy retired to a student's home in Vermont to regain her peace and to find healing. The healing came.

On returning home Mrs. Eddy wrote in her Bible: "Aug. 6th, 1882...opened to Isaiah 54." One of the comforting verses she read there was, "thou...shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more." Soon she was able to tell a student, "The ship of Science is again walking the wave, rising above the billows, bidding defiance to the flood-gates of error, for God [her own right Mind, "the kingdom of God within" her consciousness] is at the helm."

The Christian Science field was now to see a great outreach. In 1882, following her return from her retreat in Vermont after Dr. Eddy's death, Mrs. Eddy delivered an address on Christian healing in the Methodist temple in Barton. This was a subject ever in her heart.

The Christian Science Journal appeared in April, 1883. Mrs. Eddy served as editor and wrote much of the Journal's contents. Mrs. Eddy's work was hard and arduous, seven days a week, with little leisure. She rested solely in the love for the work, and the love for God (infinite good).

Christian Science was now knocking loudly at people's thinking. Newspapers and churches were raising questions regarding this new denomination. Mrs. Eddy issued two pamphlets: "Historical Sketch of Metaphysical Healing" and "Defense of Christian Science."

After much revision "Historical Sketch of Metaphysical Healing would be published in 1891 as the book Retrospection and Introspection; and later "Defense of Christian Science" would be issued as No and Yes.

Besides her publishing, writing, preaching, Mrs. Eddy also gave classes, and in 1884 she even made her first trip to Chicago, where she lectured on: "Whom do men say that I am?" She told a student afterwards, "I went in May to Chicago at the imperative call of people there and my own sense of the need. This great work had been started, but my students needed me to give it a right foundation and impulse in that city of ceaseless enterprise. So I went, and in three weeks taught a class of 25 pupils, lectured in Music Hall to a full house, got 20 subscriptions for my Journal, sold about thirty copies of Science and Health...."

Second Visit to Chicago

In 1888 Mary Baker Eddy made a second visit to Chicago. On this visit Mrs. Eddy spoke extemporaneously, for she had not been told she would be the principle speaker. She spoke on "Science and the Senses." The Boston Evening Traveller described what happened at the end of the address:

"When she had finished, the scenes that followed will long be remembered by those who saw them. The people were in the presence of the woman whose book had healed them, and they knew it. Up came the crowds to her side, begging for one hand-clasp, one look, one memorial of her, whose name was a power and a sacred thing in their homes. Those whom she had never seen before--invalids raised up by her book, Science and Health; each attempted to hurriedly tell the wonderful story. A mother who failed to get near held high her babe to look on her helper. Others touched the dress of their benefactor, not so much as asking for more. An aged woman, trembling with palsy at Mrs. Eddy feet, cried, 'Help, help!' and the cry was answered. Many such people were known to go away healed."

Other healings that day involved rheumatism, paralysis, diabetes. One in particular was noted by several people. A woman in the front row had come in with great difficulty on crutches. At the conclusion of the talk she rose and spoke to Mrs. Eddy, who leaned over the platform to reply. Immediately the woman laid down her crutches and walked out free." Mrs. Eddy healed her just as a mathematician would heal 2x2=5.

If we weren't all so buried in the senses, if we could all learn the lesson of love, we would all be doing this same kind of healing today.

Loving Rebukes: a Call to Awaken

While Mrs. Eddy was in Chicago a number of her students met, back in Boston, and rebelled against her. Even so, Mrs. Eddy continued to love them. Love was the only way Mrs. Eddy knew to respond to hate, or to settle disagreements. She knew that "the arrow that doth wound the dove darts not from those who watch and love, [for] Love alone is Life; and life most sweet, as heart to heart speaks kindly when we meet and part."

Mary Baker Eddy did not turn away from her students when they failed her. Like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, she returned again and again to lovingly urge them to wake up. She reproved, rebuked, exhorted with a boundless love. Like Jesus on the cross she proffered forgiveness in place of judgment, "for they know not what they do."

Now, after this students' rebellion, Mrs. Eddy again saw the great need of teaching her students how to guard against the influence of animal magnetism--the belief that mind is in matter and is both evil and good, that evil is as real as good, and more powerful.

Mrs. Eddy was separated from most theologians of her day, because she knew that in order to heal as Jesus did, one needs to believe and understand that God [infinite good, your own real Mind, "the kingdom of God within" your consciousness] does not know evil, and therefore one must treat evil as an illusion of the carnal Mind, as merely hypnotic suggestion. The problem of animal magnetism is not one of overcoming a real power, but of not being influenced by the false suggestion that matter or brain, or human methods have power.

Mrs. Eddy considered teaching the handling of animal magnetism most important today. She wanted it thoroughly understood "that human will is not Christian Science, and he [the Christian Scientist] must defend himself from the influence of human will. He feels morally obligated to open the eyes of his students that they may perceive the nature and methods of error of every sort, especially any subtle degree of evil, deceived and deceiving" (S&H 451:20). "Uncover error, and it turns the lie upon you," she tells us, but we must continue to uncover it so it can be seen that it is illusion only, hypnotic suggestion, for it has no power when seen correctly.

It was Mary Baker Eddy's correct seeing--seeing with the eyes of Love--that enabled her to heal continuously. She "saw the love of God encircling the universe and man;" and this love so permeated her consciousness that she healed with Christ-like compassion everyone who turned to her for healing.

"Christianity, with the crown of Love upon her brow, must be [our] queen of life" (S&H 451:6). Then we will demonstrate the nothingness of sickness and sin. Our lives will reveal the omnipotence of divine good, and healing will follow.

The Love that crowned Mary Baker Eddy's life work transcended any sense of self. Meekness was one of the great qualities of the Leader of Christian Science, and one she especially valued, for it is essential in the healing practice. Mrs. Eddy's meekness, along with her unselfed love, purity, honesty, fearlessness, wisdom, and her absolute faith in God were her foundation stones as she brought the Second Coming of the Christ, the "Comforter" Jesus promised.

It was because Mrs. Eddy lived what she taught, and because she "let this Mind be in [her], which was also in Christ Jesus" that she was able to perform so many thousands of healings and taught her students to heal. It was because she constantly launched out deeper and anchored herself to God [to her own real divine Mind, "the kingdom of God within" her consciousness], that she could instantly heal the errors presented to her.

Mrs. Eddy warned that we are inconsistent if we fail to do as we say. She was instant and loving both in her rebuke of the wrong method and in her explanation of the right way to heal because she knew that only so far as the purity of the divine Mind was reflected in the students' minds, only to that degree would they succeed in healing. "When will the Spirit of Truth and Love prevail throughout the ranks of those who profess to be Christian Scientists?" she pleaded. The harvest has not yet come, but the way to the accomplishment of all good is marked by three milestones: self-knowledge, humility, love.

"The Onward March"

In November, 1888, Mrs. Eddy wrote a student, "We are gaining in the onward march slowly, but surely, through the clouds of selfishness out into the light of universal Love. God speed the dawn. Our cause has had a great propulsion from my late large class. Over fifty members have gone into our C. S. Association since the stampede out of it."

As always, Mary saw the future prophetically. When discouragement assailed her, spiritual vision showed her the path ahead. She had learned to walk over, not through, troubled waters of mortal strife. She utterly trusted the Truth which had delivered her from frailty and suffering. Thus was Mrs. Eddy led, by foresight and wisdom, to guide the initial stages of a movement destined to be world-wide, and to unfold forever.

In March 1892 Mrs. Eddy wrote in the Journal: "If our Church is organized, it is to meet the demand, 'suffer it to be so now.' The real Christian compact is love for another. This bond is wholly spiritual and inviolate. Our prosperity and progress rest on the love felt and expressed for each other by its members."

Because Mrs. Eddy saw that more of the spirit than of the letter was required to reach the Christ-stage of healing instantly, and to encourage this spirit she spent much of 1893 working with James Gilman, an artist from Vermont, to illustrate a poem she had written early in the year. This poem, and the pictures illustrating it, she said, were her life story.

In June of 1899 Mrs. Eddy traveled to Boston to address the Annual Meeting of The Mother Church. Because of the large numbers attending that year, the meeting was held in Tremont Temple. Mrs. Eddy told her students that the special demand of the hour was the "fulfillment of divine Love in our lives...." She went on to say, "Divine Love has strengthened the hand and encouraged the heart of every member....Divine Love hath opened the gate Beautiful to us, where we may see God and live....Divine Love will also rebuke and destroy disease, and destroy the belief of life in matter....Divine Love is our only physician, and never loses a case. It binds up the broken-hearted; heals the poor body, whose whole head is sick and whose heart is faint...."

As always when Mrs. Eddy spoke there were healings, wonderful healings, many of which are preserved in the archives of the Mother Church. Mary Baker Eddy taught and demonstrated dominion over all evil. She taught lasting spiritual peace. The divine revelation of Christian Science had come from infinity, it moved through infinity, and the Leader moved with it.

Hear again the triumphant promise of Isaiah 54, "For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame."

The Mother Church and the Extension

How true this prophecy was can be seen from what occurred at the time of the dedication of the Extension to the little Mother Church in 1906, a short sixty years after her great discovery of evil's unreality and infinite good's allness, fulfilling Jesus' promise and prophecy of the "Comforter," the Second Coming of the Christ. Thousands of Christian Scientists poured into Boston. "The press of the world was staggered at this sign of so great a vitality in so new a religion." Of this occasion, Sibyl Wilbur wrote:

The Christian Scientists who had come to Boston to see The Mother Church [Extension] dedicated, remained to attend the Wednesday evening meeting at which testimonies of Christian Science healing were given. The great temple was crowded from floor to dome, and overflow meetings were held in the original Mother Church and in four--public halls. Many who were not Christian Scientists were amazed listeners to the outpouring of testimonies from every part of the great auditorium. Men and women arose in their places on the floor of the church, and in first and second balconies. As each arose he called the name of his city and waited his turn to tell of the miracle of health and virtue wrought in his or her life as a result of the study of Christian Science. The names of the cities called up the near and the far of the civilized world--Liverpool, Galveston, St. Petersburg, San Francisco, Paris, New York, Atlanta, and Portland. There were colored people as well as white in that audience; there were French, German, and Scandinavian; there were army officers from Great Britain, and members of the British nobility, Americans of great wealth, jurists, former doctors and clergymen, teachers, clerks, day laborers.

It was like a jubilation of any army with banners. And not only with the vanquishment of cancers, consumption, broken limbs, malignant diseases, and paralysis did these votaries of Christian Science testify, but of poverty overcome, victory gained over drunkenness, morphine, and immoral lives. It was a triumphant assertion of health and power of spiritual living. (The Life of Mary Baker Eddy, Sibyl Wilbur, p. 342).

S. P. Bancroft, who had studied with Mrs. Eddy in 1870, and who was present when Bronson Alcott visited her little group in 1876, wrote to Mrs. Eddy at this time of dedication:

My dear Teacher, Of the many thousands who attended the dedicatory services at the Christian Science church last Sunday it is doubtful if there was one so deeply impressed with the grandeur and magnitude of your work as was the writer, whom you will recall as a member of your first class in Lynn, Mass., nearly forty years ago. When you told us that the truth you expounded was the little leaven that should leaven the whole lump, we thought this might be true in some far distant day beyond our mortal vision. It was above conception that in less than forty years a new system of faith and worship, as well as of healing, should number its adherents by the hundreds of thousands, and its tenets be accepted wholly or in part by nearly every religious and scientific body in the civilized world...

Seated in the gallery of that magnificent temple, which has been reared by you, gazing across that sea of heads, listening again to your words explaining the Scriptures, my mind carried back to that first public meeting in the little hall on Market Street, Lynn, where you preached to a handful of people....As I heard the sonorous tones of the powerful organ [in this grand amphitheater] and the mighty chorus of five thousand voices, I thought of the little melodeon on which my wife played, and of my own feeble attempts to lead the singing.

Possibly you may remember the words of my uncle, the good old deacon of the First Congregational Church in Lynn, when told that I had studied with you. "My boy, you will be ruined for life; it is the work of the devil." He only expressed the thought of all Christian (?) people at that time. What a change in the Christian world! "The stone which the builders rejected" has become the corner-stone of this wonderful temple of "wisdom, Truth, and Love...." (My. pp.58-60).


Star of Boston book sections

Introduction | Part 1a | Part 1b | Part 2 | Part 3

Christ & Christmas Pictures

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Summary | Conclusion



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