From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
Mrs. Eddy’s Demonstration of Supply
Much is said about Mrs. Eddy’s large financial holdings. Even students of Christian Science have wondered about it, knowing that, although a student might make friends with the mammon of unrighteousness to the extent of having his modest needs taken care of, yet a further gathering of this world’s goods might make him a slave to mammon, so that his spiritual progress is interfered with. From this standpoint, how can Mrs. Eddy’s possession of so much wealth be explained?
A wise man once said, “If you seek more mammon than you can handle, it will handle you.” The moneys that flowed in to Mrs. Eddy in her later experiences, meant no more to her than the opportunity to relieve her mind of the financial burden which had been hers for many years; beyond that, money simply provided her with the sinews of war for the carrying on of the great Cause of Christian Science. There was no time in her life that a modest income would not have supplied her with all that she demanded for herself.
One reason Mrs. Eddy was able to accumulate a large surplus, was because she spent so little in those ways which would prove a deterrent to any Christian Scientist indulging them, such as spending for personal gratification, putting on an outward show to impress others, in other words, spending unnecessarily.
Mrs. Eddy had large residences both at Pleasant View, and at Brookline, but they functioned more as a college or institution, where she trained students to aid in carrying on her work. Her home represented the Cause of Christian Science, to which she invited workers who were ready for such a high calling. As a result, she had little of the real privacy of a home, a retreat where she might find peace and rest. Usually, when people accumulate money, either they desire rest and pleasure, or else they become miserly, getting a morbid satisfaction out of mere possessions. With all the money Mrs. Eddy acquired, she spent none for amusement or pleasure, nor did she rest. Furthermore, the use she put her money to, proved that she was not a miser. She was lacking in any motive through which she might take satisfaction or enjoyment in the possession of material wealth, apart from the good she might do with it.
If the student of Christian Science makes a scientific demonstration of supply for the sole purpose of setting his thought free from mundane cares, that it may master the infinite idea, a right sense of supply will be the visible expression of such a thought. Now, let us suppose this student should so lose himself in the Church, that he should forget himself in thinking of the great movement of which he is privileged to be a part. If he does not differentiate between his needs and the needs of the Cause, then his demonstration of supply will broaden proportionately to cover those of the Cause, as well as his own. The deduction is, therefore, that Mrs. Eddy received a larger amount of mammon than she needed for her own individual requirements, because she linked herself with the Cause of Christian Science, thereby making her needs those of the Cause. Hence, in making the demonstration to supply the needs of the Cause, she supplied her individual ones at the same time.
Mrs. Eddy’s individual needs were interwoven in this way with those of her church. Hence, her demonstration of supply broadened to cover the church. Notwithstanding, this larger manifestation never turned around and throttled her own spiritual growth, as it might have done, had it merely represented her personal needs and demonstration. If a student, not having this mental relationship to the Cause, should demonstrate more mammon than was necessary, you would be forced to conclude that his thinking on the side of mammon overbalanced his thinking on the side of Spirit.