From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
Holy Water of Inspiration
The fifth chapter of Numbers contains the account of what was called the trial of jealousy. In it, the suspected woman is made to drink of the holy water. If she has committed adultery, the water is bitter and causeth a curse, whereas, if she has not committed adultery, she shall be free.
What concerns us is the spiritual interpretation of this ancient Mosaic custom, wherein the holy water typifies the spiritual inspiration which comes from the divine source.
From the standpoint of Christian Science, animal magnetism acts upon spiritual thought as that which would confuse, depress and render fearful, the consciousness that should be strong, positive and courageous. But, in this passage, the tables are turned; for it indicates that the effect of inspiration on a thought adulterated with error, mortal mind theories and beliefs, is to produce a chemicalization.
If one’s thought is on a mortal level, even if it be purified to the highest possible degree, Truth will cause such to chemicalize.
This statement is made without reservation, because it is a metaphysical fact. It embodies the only explanation of why many splendid men and women fight spiritual inspiration, persecute it and revile it. That is, it indicates that their basis of thought is the human mind, even though it may be refined. To such, the coming of Truth acts like something from the devil; it makes them uncomfortable and produces a stir.
It is necessary to know this, in order that one may understand the true reason for much of the persecution Mrs. Eddy endured at the hands of cultured and refined men and women.
In Christian Science, adultery, spiritually considered, is the state of human thought where mortal mind is the underlying basis, no matter how refined and educated such a thought may be. To correspond with this trial of jealousy, the holy water of inspiration which Mrs. Eddy poured forth, really constituted a trial for mental adultery. If Mrs. Eddy’s draught of inspiration reacted like a curse and produced a mental chemicalization, that was sufficient evidence to prove that the basis of one’s thought was mortal and material.
Hence, when Mrs. Eddy voiced inspiration and gave humanity a cup of water in Christ’s name, although, in agreement with Science and Health, page 570, she did not fear the consequences, yet they often seemed serious, due to the fact that those on a human level of thought and action chemicalized so over her outpouring, that they turned on her, as if she had committed an evil thing. However, such antagonism merely exposed the adultery of their thought. How different was the action of this inspiration on those whose foundation of thought was changing from the human to the divine. They drank in her sweet revelations, as would a thirsty man on the desert welcome a drink of cool water on a hot day. She gladly shared her revelations with such, and trusted God to protect her from those who turned on her, because their own thought was fundamentally unsound.
So this ancient Mosaic custom, spiritually interpreted, helps the present-day student to understand the strange phenomenon of fine men and women turning on Mrs. Eddy, as if she had given them a bitter dose, when, in reality, she simply voiced, with the highest and most loving motive, the messages of good which she received from God. She expressed this in her own words as follows: “When I went where the people were not good it produced a chemical. While I was writing S. & H. I moved to eight places. I would no sooner settle down and begin to write, than it would produce such a chemical I would have to go to some other place.”