From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
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Recognizing and Analyzing Malpractice
The Bible indicates that the Master was the Wayshower. Mrs. Eddy’s mission was to show and prove that Jesus’ way was not only practical and scientific, but the only way. In so doing, she had to experiment and to test every step. Consider the injustice of calling any of such tests, mistakes, when they were all part of the necessary development of her spiritual discernment!
There are those who have claimed that she made a mistake, when she wrote the chapter, Demonology, in the third edition of her textbook, Science and Health, in which she depicted animal magnetism as a “lurking demonology in our very midst.” Yet she was but recording error as it confronted her, as she walked the path God laid out for her, and doing so faithfully.
We learn from Mrs. Eddy’s history, that the claim of animal magnetism first appeared to her as a blinding flash, as a power wielded by the enemy that, no matter how modest or set-apart one might be, always stood ready to swallow the offspring of the woman, the spiritual development of her thought. Then, as her faith in God and the allness of His power became more and more real to her, she lost enough of her fear of this blinding flash to face it and dissect it, to learn of what it was composed. Hearing a mighty roar of evil, she began to trace it back to its origin, and instead of finding a mighty lion, she discovered a diminutive mouse squeaking through a megaphone. Thus she commenced to learn something of the illusion, called animal magnetism. In her later experiences, she never lost sight of the claim that is never recognized by the easygoing, placid human thought. When she analyzed the claim, however, by picking it to pieces, she discovered it to be an illusion, nothing claiming to be something, a bluff that is all front and no back. On the other hand, if it is unrecognized, it is the one great deterrent to man’s spiritual growth.
First, the student must deal with malpractice, and overcome any fear of it through analyzing it. Then it can be dealt with scientifically.