From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
Sanctification of Heavenward Footsteps
It is well to remember, that Mrs. Eddy’s life can never be defended through the human effort to meet argument with argument, as animal magnetism would present them. The right way is to narrate her life in a simple straightforward manner, but with so much inspiration and love for our Leader put back of it, that those who read it will feel this inspiration.
Before successful flights were made in heavier-thanair machines, arguments, which seemed final, were circulated to prove it to be impossible. Yet, when the first flight was made, that automatically silenced all such arguments. Mrs. Eddy set spirituality as her goal. Then, she purposed to set forth the process of gaining this spirituality in such a concrete form, that any honest student might attain it for himself. Critics may pick at her life to prove this or that to her discredit, but the indisputable fact that she did reach her goal, silences such attempts, and justifies every step that she took. She did attain the spiritual-mindedness necessary to bring down the fire of inspiration from heaven. That is enough.
Thus, with this information in mind, no student need ever attempt to defend her memory through argument. Otherwise, he may become like the bear, who in friendliness, used a stone to kill a bothersome fly on a man’s head. The fly was killed, but so was the man.
Let us further analyze this question: Why need no student of Christian Science ever attempt to defend Mrs. Eddy’s memory from the attacks of animal magnetism?
The only defence Mrs. Eddy needs from any student, is for him to destroy in his own consciousness any fear, lest the searchlight of human criticism find something in our Leader’s life that cannot be explained away, or that might be inconsistent with what she teaches.
Neither good nor evil can be understood from a human standpoint, since the effort to do so is the attempt to apprehend effect without knowing cause. If cause is not understood, error may use effect to deceive, rather than to instruct.
In the life of one who is truly consecrated to the dissemination of spiritual good, every experience is needed, and is important in attaining that good. While this fact may not be apparent during the struggle, yet the motive and attainment sanctify the method. It cannot be denied, that there is much in the journey from sense to Soul that gives the appearance of being evil, until spiritual perception shows it to be good. A piece of steel might be convinced, that its being plunged from a red hot furnace into a bath of oil, was an evil experience, until the future discloses, that that drastic treatment is needed, in order to prepare it to function successfully under extreme conditions.
Thus we arrive at the important conclusion, that it is foolish and abortive to criticise the waymarks of a reformer from a human standpoint of good, for some of the very things one might wish never had happened, things that hostile critics unearth in their unfriendly research, are found to have been of the utmost importance, when viewed from the standpoint of spiritual understanding. Thus is exemplified the Biblical statement, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose,” or to them who have a deep and profound desire for God, which they put first in their thought and life; who recognize the call of God to awaken from the human mesmerism, which would divert and pervert thought from its natural attraction to God; who also become the channels through which God calls all mankind to a spiritual status, the ones who send out the mental call for all mankind to come into a faith in God, rather than a faith in matter; who have the desire to assist mankind in their warfare against the action of mesmerism in manipulating their thinking; and finally, who are unswerving in this effort. Since Mrs. Eddy fulfilled these requirements in her life, she has the honor of coming under the category that all things worked together for her good and, therefore, she is above criticism of any kind.
Oh! Students of Christian Science who love our Leader and are grateful for her ministry, be not afraid! Let the heathen rage! For when the spiritual searchlight of God is thrown on the misunderstood experiences of our beloved Leader, it will be seen that they contributed the most important stones in the foundation of her spiritual building.