From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
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Mrs. Eddy’s Unselfed Love
In Luke, the Master speaks of the Pharisees as loving the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and being as “graves that appear not.” The Master realized the humility that was necessary to attain true greatness, the self-immolation that brings reflection. He also recognized that the moment man experiences that greatness, he is tempted to lose his humility; if he does, he also loses his greatness. When man permits self-aggrandizement to rob him of his spiritual achievement, at that point he becomes a concealed grave to those who listen to him, because he points them to himself, instead of to God; a gesture that always indicates the death of spiritual progress.
Mrs. Eddy knew God as the only power. Hence, whatever was accomplished, came through His power. This reasoning unfolds that man’s work is effort or reflection, and God’s work is achievement. Hence, when man takes credit for achievement, that is self-aggrandizement. It is like taking all the credit, simply because you introduced a man in want to the one who would supply that want. What credit is due you for that? Similarly, a practitioner merely introduces his patient to God. Therefore, why should he take credit to himself for what results by way of healing and regeneration? The only credit Mrs. Eddy ever took to herself was for being a channel for God. The world criticizes her for her effort, and aggrandizes her for her achievement. As a matter of fact, she should be praised for her effort, and God be praised for her achievement.
As evidence of Mrs. Eddy’s humility, I quote her own words, “There is but one way through, and only one way through; and that is to unself. It is my unselfed love that has made a success of this Cause for the world.” She perfectly illustrated David’s statement in Psalm 63: “Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.” Mrs. Eddy recognized that she was not the wings. Those belonged to God. She was willing humbly to rejoice in their shadow, keeping self out of sight. She let the wings do the work, and now, the world would accuse her of self-aggrandizement. But, once it is recognized that her whole urge was to remain in the background, to remain hidden in the shadow of His wings, then it will be seen that the great upbuilding of the Cause was the result of the divine Mind’s activity, for which Mrs. Eddy was but the humble channel. She knew, that a desire for the uppermost seats in the synagogue would mark the end of her humility, which in turn would mark the end of God’s help. So she wrote in Miscellaneous Writings, page 1, “Humility is the stepping-stone to a higher recognition of Deity.”