Chapter One Hundred
From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
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Only Great As I Am Good
A scientifically correct conception of our Leader compels the realization that her claim to being a Christian Scientist was not accretion, but depended entirely on what she reflected from God. This statement substantiates what the Master said,“I do nothing of myself.” What man reflects from God, can never be attached to his personality, and it is only misguided hero worship on the part of those who attempt it. What Mrs. Eddy reflected, came from God; hence, it was never personal.
If a man could invent a pair of invisible wings that would enable him to jump higher than anybody ever jumped before, nobody would attach any great acclaim to him, as having greatly developed bodily muscles, after it was discovered what it was that enabled him to perform such a feat. The credit would go to the invention and not to the actual feat. So credit is due Mary Baker Eddy, not so much for her great attainment, as for the fact that she gained the ability to reflect the divine Mind and to teach others how to do likewise. For this, we owe her endless homage. But the world is apt to acclaim what a man does, rather than the way he does it, since the world judges by results. In her work, Miscellany, Mrs. Eddy refers to the poem which contains the line, “. . . only great as I am good.” Although, in this instance, goodness would refer to the scientific process for gaining reflection, it must be remembered that the power and majesty of what man reflects, belong to God.
In his book, Mary Baker Eddy, Lyman P. Powell writes of our Leader, on page 246, “Once, after making a remark which she wished at once to recall, she placed her finger on her lips and said, ‘That was Mary talking; now let God talk.’”
What glorious proof is this simple declaration that even after years of spiritual growth, when Mrs. Eddy voiced mortal mind, it was just as incorrect then, as it was at the beginning of her career. When her opinion was not based on demonstration, it was no more valuable than that of the least of her students, and she knew it. If there was any doubt about it being a demonstration, she would continue to work until the truth was disclosed to her. Then she would change her course, and reverse her decision, no matter what it cost, if the divine Mind led her so to do. She never hesitated to condemn the Mary in her, even at the latter part of her human experience. She denounced the Mary and exalted the Christ; for the Truth had no effect on the Mary, except to improve it in preparation for its elimination. All the years of demonstration could not make the Mary spiritual. Truth is not a development, but a reflection. If one should reflect Truth for twenty years and then stop, what he would voice at that point would be animal magnetism, just as much as though he had never reflected Truth before.