From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
Mrs. Eddy Accomplished Her Earthly Mission
The Christian Scientist does not wait until death appears, to do the work necessary to overcome it. Neither does he wait until he can make a complete demonstration over matter before he attacks it. Once he has gained some recognition of the Principle of being, as everlasting Life, he may suffer, he may be frightened, he may be sick or feel weak; but he will be sustained and be enabled to finish his tasks. When he does finally have the claim of death to face, he will discover that, every time he persisted in withdrawing thought from matter and then, giving it back to God with the mortal limits removed, he was handling death, just as when someone peeling the different layers of an onion, reaches the center and finds that there is nothing there, nothing left to do, it has all been done. He has endured unto the end, as the Master said, and hence, is saved the necessity of doing more.
Mrs. Eddy endured to the end, thus gaining her salvation. She endured, until she had accomplished her earthly mission, until she had finished that part of her destiny, until she had promulgated and perpetuated that which, as a messenger from God, she had received to give out to mankind.
There were times when I beheld our Leader in the throes of a struggle with the claim of death. Yet I watched her return to a full sense of vigor, without undergoing a period of convalescence. In fact, I can truthfully say that I never saw our Leader in a period of so-called convalescence. On such occasions, she reminded me of a rubber ball which is squeezed out of shape, but which returns to its normal condition the moment the pressure is released. If, during the night, she had a struggle with some phase of error, the morning would find her at her desk, serene and busy, with full command of the situation. The reason for these instantaneous healings may be found in the fact, that within herself she had established the Principle of Life, the true sense of it, which is all the conviction man needs to carry him safely through any struggles with the claims of evil.
If a man was on a staging which he knew was firmly attached to a building, he would know that no wind could blow it away nor cause it to fall. Armed with this knowledge, he has confidence to remain on it, no matter how much it might be blown about, because this confidence would sustain him until the completion of the work.
This human sense of life, properly understood, is a staging which sustains man, as he attempts to build up in his consciousness a new idea of man. In the case of the Master, when he had completed his work on the right idea of man, he calmly permitted his enemies to work their will on the staging. He no longer needed it to continue with his work, his final proof that they could not harm him. The temporary staging is not needed after a building is completed.
While man continues in the belief of a mortal sense of life, the process whereby he gains the true understanding of Life is identical with the process whereby he is permanently attached to his real self, the self which is eternal with God. During the process of enduring to the end, it is as important to be attached to our real selfhood, as it is to be attached to God; in fact, the two processes are one, for man’s real self is never separated from God. It was Mrs. Eddy’s recognition of her oneness, not only with the Father, but with her real self, that enabled her to endure to the end, the point at which the human staging was no longer a necessity. She once said, “’He that endureth unto the end shall be saved.’ Jesus endured; after he disappeared from their view, he endured. The Lord delayed his coming, so the disciples went back to their nets. He endured; he showed the same nail-prints and the same body after as before, showing it was the same Jesus. So we shall be saved, if we endure.”