From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
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Extension of Demonstration
Christian Scientists must watch lest they fail to recognize the breadth of the application of Truth. Our Leader considered nothing too simple to bring under the sheltering wing of demonstration. She considered nothing of any value that was not the manifestation of demonstration. The only thing that made any action right to her was the spiritual activity of the thought back of it. The answer, “Yes,” might be wrong in the mouth of one student and right in the mouth of another; for, being human opinion in one case, and a demonstrated affirmation in the other, one would be founded on the sand and the other, on the rock.
From the beginning to the end of our experience in Science, there is nothing that does not demand a demonstration. Mrs. Eddy required her coachman to make a demonstration of handling the horses. Nothing in her home was neglected. To live with her was a liberal education in itself. The only thing that would render abortive the training of her students in these new fields of endeavor, would be the false impression that it was Mrs. Eddy’s own fear which prompted her call for work, her own personal fastidiousness which brought forth such absolute requirements, that the students were obliged to resort to demonstration in order to fulfill them. Animal magnetism would always suggest this thought, that the breadth of the demonstration at Pleasant View was simply required to meet her personal exacting demands, instead of being the lesson to each student that represented a preparation for the Divinity Course. Careful study and spiritual thought would reveal to every student who ever spent any time at Pleasant View, that God’s reason for their presence with our beloved Leader was to teach them the Divinity Course, which she promised to every student. However, in the higher realm of spiritual education there are certain demands made upon the individual, that must be met before his eyes are opened to see God’s plan, which he must fulfill on faith.
It would have been natural for the disciples to feel, during the Master’s sojourn with them, that they were being brought together to minister to his needs, and to help in preparing for his great experience on the cross. Nevertheless, time has since revealed that an equally important objective of their discipleship was the perpetuating of the Master’s teaching, exhibiting its practical application to the average human thought, and taking advantage of their own individual opportunities for spiritual growth.
Although the first obligation of the students, who were called to go to Pleasant View, was to help our beloved Leader in whatever way she demanded, a by-no-means secondary object was the promulgation of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings in their application to every phase of human experience, and the preparation for the Divinity Course, which is taught alone by God, although the training for it is given by man.
Mrs. Eddy gave her students the preparation which, if understood and acted upon, would enable them to receive through spiritual inspiration, the great honor which all students desired to have: that of being taught of God.
The breadth of the operation of Christian Science covers all things, no matter how insignificant. Such a conception and demonstration must always precede the Divinity Course, since the teachings of this course always concern the process of blessing humanity, of correcting and placing under the government of divinity those affairs which have been appropriated by mortal belief,
On page 22 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes, “When the smoke of battle clears away, you will discern the good you have done, and receive according to your deserving.” It is also true that, when the smoke of battle clears away, one can discern the good that has been done to him, and realize somewhat the breadth of the teaching of this Divinity Course and its application. Those students who received Mrs. Eddy’s promise that she would teach them this course, and who feel that she did not, thereby expose the fact that they did not take advantage of her instructions while they were with her. If they had, they would be receiving this Divinity Course now as a constant influx of revelation.