Chapter One Hundred Twenty-three
From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
Mrs. Eddy a Soldier of God
Lest certain statements and incidents in the Bible be discarded by the materially-minded, because of a lack of understanding, records which, when spiritually interpreted, are seen to contain the meat of the word, the following warning is given in the last chapter of Revelation: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” So-called higher criticism has deleted, as incomprehensible and harmful, portions of Scripture which today are clearly understood by the veriest neophyte in the study of Mind-healing. Christian Scientists recognize, that such omissions would remove some of the most important foundation stones from the spiritual structure of the Bible.
More than all others, Mrs. Eddy, through her life’s experience, has portrayed the hidden workings of evil, as well as the correct solution of its claim to existence and power. Yet the materially-minded, not perceiving the importance of many of the outward evidences in her life, as bearing testimony to the inward spiritual strife, and the vital lessons taught, would desire to expurgate from the record of her life those things which, from a human standard of good, do not accord with the world’s ideal of a patient, loving Christian, meek and long-suffering, traits which we are trained to associate with the life and character of the one approaching perfection. But such traits were not characteristic of Mrs. Eddy’s warfare against evil. In actual demonstration, Mrs. Eddy’s attitude was similar to that of St. Paul, as portrayed in Acts 16, where his sense of superiority to his enemies was so dominant, that it made them afraid.
The effectiveness of one’s spiritual arguments depends upon the mental ground one occupies, when making such declarations. One must feel a conscious sense of dominion over error, in order to have the Truth effective in demonstration. In such an offensive warfare against the claims of evil, meekness and gentleness would be fatal. Mrs. Eddy was a soldier of God, and the record of her warfare is more important for the instruction of the student, than is that of her meekness, love and patience, which were qualities which she exhibited as the fruit of her warfare against evil, but not during such warfare. It is plain, therefore, that to expunge from her life’s record the positive methods necessary, when she was battling with Goliath, would be to rob the student, and the world, of the footsteps vital to the completion of the knowledge by which, and only by which, man may work out successfully the problem he is required to solve.
Mrs. Eddy’s own conception of the importance of a complete understanding of her life, is evinced in a statement that she made in a letter to Edward A. Kimball: “For the world to understand me in my true light, and life, would do more for our Cause than aught else could. This I learn from the fact that the enemy tries harder to hide these two things from the world, than to win any other points.”
Therefore, the warning in Revelation becomes a necessity at the end of Mrs. Eddy’s life, that nothing shall be added to it or taken from it. Sometime, all spirituallyminded students will awaken to perceive that her life, with nothing expurgated, provides the perfect pathway for her followers. In it, there is lacking not one experience needed as the outward proof of that spiritual animus which, even under the greatest kind of affliction, never departed from her, as the underlying motive-power and dominating influence in her life.