Reminiscences of Mary Baker Eddy
by Joseph Mann
The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.
— Psalm 112:6
I thank God upon every remembrance of you.
— Philippians 1:3
Table of Contents
- Chapter I — Introduction to Mary Baker Eddy
- Chapter II — Reporting for Duty
- Chapter III — Mrs. Eddy’s Christ-Standard of Christian Science Living
- Chapter IV — The Inadequacy of Words to Extol Her Living Virtue
- Chapter V — Haying
- Chapter VI — Granite Coping
- Chapter VII — God’s Protective Arm During Her Sojourn in the South
- Chapter VIII — “The Supernal Grace” of God’s Little One
- Chapter IX — The Perfection of Her Standard as a Reformer
- Chapter X — As I Heard Her Read
- Chapter XI — Reading the Lesson-Sermon for Mrs. Eddy
- Chapter XII — Her Spiritually Unfolding or Self-Renewing Beauty
- Chapter XIII — Her Appreciation of Practical Home-Spun Wisdom
- Chapter XIV — Her Bitter Side — The Severity of Her Rebuke
- Chapter XV — Her Natural Well-Rounded Quick and Penetrating Mentality
- Chapter XVI — Exemplary Self-Abnegation
- Chapter XVII — Her Greatness in Deific Alertness
- Chapter XVIII — Self-Condemning But Enlightening Praise
- Chapter XIX — Her Transcendent and Overflowing Grace at Table
- Chapter XX — Her Leadership
- Chapter XXI — My Far-Reaching and Ever Increasing Indebtedness to Mrs. Eddy
- Chapter XXII — Her Spiritual Understanding — Inspiring Scriptural Guidance and Loving Rebukes
- Chapter XXIII — Her Wise and Always Worthy Wit
- Chapter XXIV — Her Sincerity and Oneness with God
- Chapter XXV — Her Divine Naturalness Precluded Professionalism
- Chapter XXVI — Her Demonstration of the Present Christ Superseding All Christmas Commemoration of an Absent Jesus
- Chapter XXVII — A Reformer not “Clothed in Soft Raiment”
- Chapter XXVIII — Inexpressible Soul-Heavings
- Chapter — XXIX The Strikingly Sparkling Diversity of Mrs. Eddy’s Original Flashes of Individuality
- Chapter XXX — A Loving Word of My Sister’s Contributive Hand at Pleasant View and Her Heart-Service as Mrs. Eddy’s Maid
- Chapter XXXI — Her Love-Inspired, Wise, Tender, Motherly Solicitude
- Mann Index
Human languages have been exhausted by historians, biographers, and reminis- cents in their endeavor to give to the world a close-up view of their respective saints — heroic in their unexcelled accomplishments, as men and women so self- forgetful and Christian as to have done their best always as “unto the Lord and not as unto men.”
I should despair of doing justice to Mrs. Eddy’s closet-life, through the medium of word-painting, and were I able to write what I know, the world would regard my portrayal as a canonizing idealism; from my honest recounting of her daily life, even Christian Scientists might ascribe miraculousness to Mrs. Eddy, rather than the ideality of a demonstrated spiritual reality, whose every breath overcame the human with the divine.
Rather, in my prayerful reminiscing, I would immortalize the aura of her spir- itual atmosphere, as I felt this permeating power of her unfolding individuality and rejoiced in its original, inspired outflow to the blessing of a world.
Never does the poverty of human weakness stand out so boldly, as when the heart tries to describe to the head, the ineffable riches of a pure heart.
The hopelessness of justly singing the praises of real heart-service, even with the muse of the poet, is touchingly hinted by Myers:
“Oh, could I tell, ye surely would believe it, Oh, could I only say what I have seen!
How should I tell, or how can ye receive it,
How, till He bringeth you where I have been?”
Joseph G. Mann
Chapter I — Introduction to Mary Baker Eddy
My introduction to Mary Baker Eddy came in the classroom. I was one of a class of forty or fifty students taught by Mrs. Eddy in the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, the only chartered college in the world for the teaching of Christian Science or the Science of Christian Science Mind-healing, founded by Mary Baker Eddy, of which she was President, and in which she was then sole teacher.
Our class, probably, was no exceptionally cosmopolitan body, for always Mrs. Eddy’s classes were as large in numbers as she would permit, and as varied in personnel as the wide world afforded.
Before our large class of mature students (of whom I was the youngest in years, having only passed into my twenties) sat Mary Baker Eddy, natural and queenly, the veritable embodiment and reflection of Mind’s infinite resourcefulness and diversity. In her radiant countenance it was easy to see that Mrs. Eddy herself was the living, palpitating individualization of the Christ-Mind, to whose altitude in her teaching she was drawing her class in proof of what the Master said: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
From the classroom point of vision I witnessed with deepest interest the registration of the mental moods of the class in Mrs. Eddy’s beautiful face. Her teaching was not from the intellectual standpoint of the letter or cold logic, or even a human sense of Science: but out of the spontaneity of the depth of Soul itself. When she went deeply into the bright realm of the allness of God her always bright eyes fairly beamed with loving irradiation. When she took us firmly and lovingly by the hand and led us up the mount of transfiguration, where faith blossomed and fruited into the inspiring reasoning which ripened into spiritual understanding, I felt like the disciple of old that it was good to be here; and I would have built not only three tabernacles to preserve intact that hour, but four: one for Moses, one for Elias and one for the Master, and also one for Mary Baker Eddy, so finishing the four-square completeness of divine Principle which was revealed through her, reducing the transcendentalism of the intellectual trend of Christianity to the inspiring, spiritual practicality of Christian Science, for the final blessing of all mankind.
In our holy classroom Mrs. Eddy was veritably transfigured before us, in her inspired and inspiring teaching, and yet always she was so perfectly natural and unpretentious – so absolutely, humanly appreciable. On the mount of spiritual vision, thought sparkled and flashed, philosophically, logically, scientifically, – always clearly convincingly.
In the valley, especially in leading us through the slimy underworld – the hell of animal magnetism – she also steadfastly carried before us her spiritual lamp, exemplifying the fearlessness of one walking with God; but her deep, sincere, sensitive nature clearly was not at home below; and I saw how sometimes instantly her thought would gloom with a sad, pained look, which in the next instant the smile of God would chase away.
Apropos of Mrs. Eddy’s natural spiritual acumen, let me cite two instances of her exuberantly happy mood, and another which demonstrates the true Science of Mind-healing, proving Mrs. Eddy’s Christlikeness in that she taught us in her classroom “as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”
One student, a very fine mature gentleman whom Christian Science had rescued from the grave, came to the class as a theological student, having preached as a minister of the Gospel in a Congregational church for many years. One day Mrs. Eddy asked him a simple question which, instead of extracting from him a direct reply, prompted him to open an intellectual-wise discussion, arousing Mrs. Eddy to a profound riddling of old theology. When her inspiring elucidation of the point in question had ended with a scientific conclusion entirely satisfactory to my theological classmate, he naively said, “Then, Mrs. Eddy, what does all my theological training amount to?”
Mrs. Eddy’s answer to his new-born burst of spiritual awakening was a spontaneous, so hearty a laugh as to carry the whole class with her in her loving, laughing appreciation.
Another instance of her natural spiritual penetration is illustrated in the case of an old soldier-student in my class. This student had fought in the Civil War and, like many other soldiers, had come out of the army with an old chronic trouble which neither surgery nor materia medica had healed.
Mrs. Eddy one day suddenly turned to him and said, “Mr. So-and-so, you joined the army because of your love for right, to fight for the right and to save the Union, did you not?”
The student hesitating, disconcerted, instantly convicted, replied: “I don’t know, Mrs. Eddy, I think I joined the army for the bounty that was offered.”
Again Mrs. Eddy laughed with such heavenly satisfaction as to make me feel that the whole world was laughing with her; while my Grand Army classmate blushed with confusion, no longer wondering why he was still selfish enough to be ailing.
An example of instantaneous healing by Mrs. Eddy, which I witnessed, made a lasting impression upon me. A well-educated and refined woman, whose mental balance had been lost through special trials and chronic troubles, had been restored through Christian Science to a sound mind, and not long after she applied to Mrs. Eddy for class instruction. In the class she proved to be one of the most wideawake of all students.
The class-term included several lessons on the subtlety of malicious animal magnetism. During one of these lucid lessons, Mrs. Eddy gave the class a very vivid exposure of the dangers of hidden sin, or the secret workings of evil in the name of good; in short, she illustrated the need of the wisdom which is wiser than the wisdom of the serpent whose instinct is to hide; even the divine Wisdom, which brings the serpent out of its hole, or hiding, to its self-destruction. During Mrs. Eddy’s fearless uncovering of the serpent, the classmate referred to suddenly cried out, in wild fear of the exposed serpent, supposed, to her sudden return of so-called unbalanced mentality, to be crawling about the room, “Oh! Mrs. Eddy, I’m so afraid of the serpent!”
Quick as lightning from heaven, Mrs. Eddy rebuked the malicious evil she had uncovered; and her words: “There is no serpent!” accompanied by a stamp of her foot which shook the platform and reverberated over the classroom, were more powerfully thunderous to the victim, to her arousal and instant restoration, than is the thunder following the lightning flash which self-shatters the threatening storm cloud.
And thus Mrs. Eddy taught, illustrated and demonstrated the scientific truth that sin or selfishness is the only soil in which the seeds of sickness and sorrow strike root and thrive, and that the gloom of earth and hell is self-imposed, – is a selfmesmeric human miasma that could no more enter Mrs. Eddy’s divinely lighted classroom, than the mists of earth’s lowlands can rise into the realm of the radiant sun.
Chapter II — Reporting for Duty
Having learned of the need of additional love-prompted helpers at Pleasant View, and after much earnest prayer, I volunteered my services to Mrs. Eddy in whatever capacity she might see fit to use me. Accordingly, in response to her gracious acceptance, I reported for duty at Pleasant View in the year 1898. After my arrival Mrs. Eddy called me to her for the purpose of outlining in a general way what she hoped I might do to relieve Mr. Frye of growing outside duties, up to then devolving upon him, along with his ever increasing inside demands as Mrs. Eddy’s secretary and otherwise special helper.
Pleasant View was comprised of many acres with a very pleasant, indeed natural southern outlook; though on the whole at that time the estate was still in the making. When Mrs. Eddy purchased it, Pleasant View was within her own consciousness, – it was only her own mental concept of divine possibilities to be humanly evolved by that transformation of an abandoned New England farm into a well-ordered simple estate, which, as her restful abode, was also beautiful to look upon by those who loved her.
I entered upon my duties at Pleasant View as superintendent, a capacity of service which involved not only the care of the farm, the garden, the stable, the greenhouse and the help needed in the care of these, but also such special attention as the making of such improvements as Mrs. Eddy would outline from time to time.
Up to the time of my appointment at Pleasant View, Mrs. Eddy had been at the mercy of a general contractor, upon whom she called whenever there was a special need for teams and men to work about the new-born place; his services, naturally, were from the standpoint of the patronizing business world, more than from Principle. But Mrs. Eddy with characteristic resourcefulness was so whole-souled in her appeal to him for his best, that even such hireling faithfulness was profitably appropriated. Her patience and wisdom in such everyday affairs often reminded me of her teaching that we, in Science, should Christ-like “saddle the ass.”
The Master in his time rode the ass, and it was a colt “whereon never man sat.” From this we may infer that no one before him had so consistently demonstrated
the sufficiency of divine Love to meet daily needs, making even the most stupid and contrary of animality subservient to his spiritual progress. From my first inside view of Mrs. Eddy’s daily life, I saw that she with the overflowing graces of the Spirit beautifully emulated our Wayshower in this divine wisdom.
Being a stranger in Concord and at Pleasant View, having just come out of the field of Christian Science practice in Boston, I quite naturally felt at a loss as to just how best to begin in my new sphere of duties. I was sure of only one thing, – that I had come to Pleasant View to help our beloved Leader in such ways as I might; to lighten her burden by being as selfless in serving her, as she, under God, was the unacknowledged faithful servant of the whole world.
Up to this time I had been in the field of Christian Science practice some twelve years; and although I had studied under Mrs. Eddy at her college and had been an earnest student of all her writings and especially of the inspired textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” it remained for this, my first official interview with Mrs. Eddy, to teach me the reality of her intimate reliance on God.
Mrs. Eddy lovingly expressed to me her hope that I look after everything about the place as if it were my own. I promptly assured her that I should be most glad to do so, and incidentally I remarked, “While I am getting acquainted with the requirements of my new calling I shall feel free to ask Mr. Frye about matters not known to me.” But Mrs. Eddy immediately interposed: “No, dear, don’t ask Mr. Frye, ask God.”
I shall never forget with what tender, soulful and overflowing confidence in God she gave me that first Pleasant View quickening, directing my willing human thought away from frail human dependence, Godward.
Even in that earliest experience of my serving at Pleasant View I saw that Mrs. Eddy had a natural, divine assurance which eclipsed even that of Solomon, the wise-man, who otherwise while praying could not doubtfully have asked: “But will God indeed dwell upon the earth?”
In all my later years at Pleasant View I witnessed how truly Mrs. Eddy realized in daily living the truth of her initial sentence of the preface to her God-inspired textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” – “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.”
Chapter III — Mrs. Eddy’s Christ-Standard of Christian Science Living
When Jesus said, “I do always those things that please Him,” he at least hinted that he lived so in tune with the Father as quite naturally or spiritually spontaneously to reflect the divine virtue or grace that instantaneously overcomes evil with good.
The great Master’s standard of healing living is beautifully set forth on page 445 of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” where Mrs. Eddy writes: “Christian Science silences human will, quiets fear with Truth and Love, and illustrates the unlabored motion of the divine energy in healing the sick.”
That Mrs. Eddy herself lived up to this high standard of divine requirement and held this uncompromising scientific demand up to her students is illustrated by a living experience in which I had part at Pleasant View.
Mrs. Eddy called another member of the household (one of the good women workers) and myself to her, and assigned to us a metaphysical problem, the quick solving of which, on our part, was to lift from Mrs. Eddy the weight which error was determined to add to her already crushingly over-burdening load.
According to specific instructions from Mrs. Eddy, we went to work with alacrity and with the buoyancy of prayerful desire. Each had the single desire, – to radiate the sunshine of Soul that should at once love away the dark threatening cloud. We, of course, hoped to work out the problem quickly enough to relieve Mrs. Eddy of any further concern; but to our sorrow we found that our ability to do was not equal to our willingness to do. Our chronic effort, in spite of our prayer to keep Mrs. Eddy out of the valiant struggle we were making, obliged her to call us again and again, to arouse us to the more positive spiritual realization or to the warmth of the divine Love that really meets the human need. In substance, our lack of spiritual spontaneity threw back upon Mrs. Eddy again and again the burden that we would have spared her; and when at last with the help of Mrs. Eddy’s inspiring arousals the problem was solved, Mrs. Eddy was glad and graciously thanked us for our part in its solution. I remember well how Mrs. Eddy’s loving thanks reminded me of the forgiveness of the Master when his disciples slept in the garden when he had asked them to watch while he prayed, and when with the magnanimi-
ty of divinity he said, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak;” and when my fellow-worker with filial fervor and with evident gratitude said to her appealingly, “We did do it, didn’t we, Mother?” Mrs. Eddy replied with the arousing tenderness that one never forgets, “Yes, dear, but it was so very human.”
Chapter IV — The Inadequacy of Words to Extol Her Living Virtue
Writing of Mary Baker Eddy in the superlative sense, as one who knew her cannot help doing, may seem to some idealistic; but in justice to her I must say that in my judgment no historian or biographer will ever find words adequate to the portrayal of the daily life of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
How can one in words do justice to a life so representative of Principle as to be practically selfless in its working, watching and praying for a world?
Before Christian Science was understood by her followers, it was the virtue of Mrs. Eddy’s life that healed, inspired and drew them Godward. It was her individual life of virtue and prayer that built her church upon the rock-foundation laid by Christ Jesus, secure against the gates of hell. It is her example in following the great Master which continues to inspire to Christian emulation her faithful followers, and will inspire Christians and Christian Scientists with the stimulus of practical Christianity throughout all ages.
It is not an exaggeration to say that without doubt in her time, Mrs. Eddy was the busiest woman on earth. Yet I recall an instance which illustrates the fact that Love is never too busy to be kind and considerate. The painters were at work painting the house. The day was cold and quite cheerless. Mrs. Eddy called her maid to her and asked her to provide hot coffee with cream and sugar for the painters.
Mrs. Eddy herself drank neither tea nor coffee; but always, as hostess, she preferred considerately and lovingly to draw her guests to her, – never taking advantage of an opportunity to drive humanly.
In Mrs. Eddy’s life I saw exemplified the solicitude of real love, – the love to whose magnifying lens there are no little things in life. To Mrs. Eddy nothing that her ever wide-awake Love-sense could see to do was of minor importance. Though preoccupied with the largest world problems, she constantly surprised me with her intimate knowledge of everything in the daily affairs about her.
The divinity of Principle always loomed large in Mrs. Eddy’s life; but never so large as when she had large problems to meet, when she naturally gave her family
of helpers such arousals as were necessary to waken us to the spiritual possibility of undertaking what seemed humanly impossible.
Mrs. Eddy has humbly written that in taking her first steps out of sense, Soulward, she “needed miraculous vision” to sustain her.
I have witnessed many instances of superhuman womanhood, – of natural divinity, demonstrating the predominance of Soul in Mrs. Eddy’s life.
Humanly speaking, Mrs. Eddy, before the awful threatening of lightning and thunder storms, had the natural shrinking of sensitive womanhood; but I have seen her entirely surmount this timidity, and the little spark of divinity which was humanly doubted, was, with the need, so magnified by the “Love which meets every human need” as entirely to cast out mundane fear; and God’s infinite idea towered in the place of a timid, shrinking, dependent little woman, whose human would have fled before the divine came to the rescue.
Mrs. Eddy settled every question on the side of God. She reasoned up through the negative human and rested in the positive divine. I have stood with Mrs. Eddy when with the statuesqueness of a goddess she, as the direct result of her prayerful realization of the truth of man’s God-given illimitable spiritual power and dominion, fearlessly faced the blackest oncoming storm, and when it was fairly upon Pleasant View the threatening clouds parted, furious winds quieted, terrifying lightning with its shocking thunder ceased, and God’s much needed copious rain watered the earth.
Mrs. Eddy in following the Master proved in her own constant demonstration of God-with-us that “God is no respecter of persons;” and that Christ Jesus performed no miracle, but gave natural proof of his divinity when his fearful disciples awakened him as destruction threatened their ship: “and he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still; and the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”
Shakespeare peopled his intellectual fictitious world with persons whom he endowed with characters and characteristics which were wholly idealistic; so hirelings may idealize reminiscently and historically the life of Mary Baker Eddy; but I as with sandals removed from my feet, sacredly cover the holy ground of reminiscence, writing sincerely, even as I saw, heard and understood. I saw in Mrs. Eddy’s pioneer life the omnipotence of abstract divinity individualized in a concrete humanity, which in its humility claimed nothing for itself, but ascribed the living glory of individual daily overcoming evil with good to God alone, – God always with her in even the homeliest human struggles which accompanied her birth of indi-
viduality; or in the demonstration of an originality whose living love lightened and thundered, echoed and re-rechoed in daily life, the holy purpose of Principle over person.
Chapter V — Haying
Mrs. Eddy had the keenest interest in and the most loving appreciation of everything on her estate, from the least to the greatest, within her home or over the many acres that needed care. In proof of this let me give a special instance of her joy at haying time. The grass in the rich valley south of Pleasant view had been cut in the early morning, and in the evening before the dew fell the hay had all been raked and cooked in the clean and careful manner which seemed to bespeak for Mrs. Eddy, as she viewed the hundreds of restful little mounds all over the large field, a tender good-night.
An ideal hay-day followed, though a copious shower blest the earth quite soon after our day’s work was finished. The hay-makers, under the inspiration of always hoping to please the good woman who they knew justly appreciated faithful service, succeeded in getting all the hay in without any being touched by a drop of rain.
The next day Mrs. Eddy lovingly complimented us for our splendid day’s work, saying most graciously, “That is just the way father used to do his haying.”
We were grateful; nothing ever added so to the joy of every worker as the benedictive word from Mrs. Eddy.
Chapter VI — Granite Coping
Mrs. Eddy’s spirit was always to do things without unnecessary delay, or to work above the time-wasting sense of the hireling. Her positiveness and directness in her daily life-work reminded me of the natural flight of a bird whose aim, whenever it takes wing, never seems to be casual or indifferent, but a determination to reach its destination.
A granite coping for the base of the new iron fence along the wide front at Pleasant View had for sometime been under more or less laborious construction; on a Saturday afternoon, the work was nearing completion. The thought of this unfinished work standing before her eyes over another Sunday evidently became unbearable to Mrs. Eddy as she looked out upon it from her tower window; so she sent faithful Mr. Frye out to me with this message: “The fence must be finished before the workmen quit tonight.” “All right,” was my assuring answer. Determined that Mrs. Eddy’s demand should govern the whole situation, I went to the superintendent with a special appeal to finish the work. This man was honest and noble in his reception of my hearty presentation of Mrs. Eddy’s special request; nevertheless he despaired of seeing it carried out, since he already had employed special help and feared only confusion from newly added inexperienced hands.
In the meantime, Mrs. Eddy, without anything having been said to her of the superintendent’s doubt, sent Mr. Frye to me a second time, emphasizing her determination to have this work finished according to her desire; accordingly, again lovingly determinedly I appealed to the good superintendent, whose heart for the noble woman’s sake was now anew in the undertaking; and I more reassuringly sent back word by Mr. Frye to Mrs. Eddy that the work would surely be finished before the men left that night.
Needless to say the work was finished, though we had to encroach a little on lantern-light-extended twilight. According to the superintendent a miracle of good work had been done by this mixed lot of workmen, but let us “render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s,” by recognizing the fact that it was our beloved Leader’s inspiring pressure, from her godly standpoint of possibility, that gave the impetus which brought the work to so satis-
factory and harmonious a finish. And the heart of all were made glad by Mrs. Eddy’s heavenly joy.
Chapter VII — God’s Protective Arm During Her Brief Sojourn in the South
Mrs. Eddy married a well-to-do Southerner, the owner of many slaves, who took her from New England to his sunny southland home. Her sojourn there was brief and sadly concluded by her husband’s sudden demise. Before the erstwhile happy bride was escorted by faithful Masonic friends to her childhood home in the North, she set free all her black human chattels.
Mrs. Eddy one day recounted with the sweetest earnestness the following incident of her sojourn in the South: She, in the care of a select number of her family of blacks, as was the custom in those days, was obliged to travel through quite a distance of wild and dangerous country. The party had hardly camped for the night when her faithful, stalwart bodyguard, who had been on the watch, dashed into the camp; he had espied a band of dangerous degenerates who were lying in wait for plunder and who were known to stop at nothing to achieve their wickedness. Before she had time to inquire into the danger threatening, he took her up in his strong arms and bore her to a place of safety, leaving the others to break up the camp, with all speed, and to follow.
Thus, her genuine feminine gentleness found reciprocation in the finest masculine need-supplying strength, long before she was inspired to write in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” that “gentleness accompanies all the might imparted by Spirit.”
As I recall Mrs. Eddy’s simple recitation of this little passing event of her early life, I realize how consistently she lived what she wrote in “Retrospection and Introspection”: “Mere historic incidents and personal events are frivolous and of no moment, unless they illustrate the ethics of Truth. To this end, but only to this end, such narrations may be admissible and advisable.”
I recollect with what brilliancy Mrs. Eddy, as she told this story, made to shine the ethic of Truth – like a jewel of which her simple narrative was the setting – the divine fact that at no time, nor under any human circumstances is God’s arm “shortened that He cannot save.”
Those of us at Pleasant View who heard Mrs. Eddy tell, with such touching appreciation of his heroic fidelity and worthiness, of the valiant deed of this faithful black man (to her not a slave, but a trustworthy servant) were ineradicably impressed with its grand lesson. One could not know Mrs. Eddy without seeing in her whole life the natural filial dependence upon God, to which Christian Science, through her, is awakening the whole world.
I cannot recall Mrs. Eddy’s running reminiscently, as she often did, back over the period of her life before her discovery of Christian Science, without being renewedly inspired by her magnifying sense of the golden thread of divinity which she so humbly traced, not only from the time of her earliest recollections, but even found running back into her prenatal blessing, in the sacred hope and promise of her good mother.
The Psalmist said: “Thy gentleness hath made me great.”
Mrs. Eddy left with those who knew her the undying conviction of her appreciation of greatness in little things; of the Godlikeness of the truly great and strong, who are as considerately gentle as they are naturally watchful and helpful.
Chapter VIII — The “Supernal Grace” of God’s Little One
What a contrast there exists between the turbulent warfare of men, whose selfish agitation is wickedly personal, and the peaceful working of the leaven of Christian Science planted by the prayerful, purposeful, peace-loving woman of Principle! I am grateful to have witnessed the pioneer spirit with which our beloved Leader fought “the good fight of faith.” It was a restful warfare – a warfare that was as victorious in the beginning as it proved to be in the end, a warfare so replete with LOVE as to leave no battered, vanquished enemy in its wake!
According to the Biblical record, human wisdom or wisdom derived from satiate human experience ends in vanity. “All is vanity,” said Solomon, the sacredly recorded wise man, the most indefatigable of all human experimenters and explorers.
The cosmos of the schools, and all so-called human sciences, are only so many philosophical speculations. In nothing is the ignorance, amounting to imbecility, of so-called human wisdom more clearly set forth than in God’s questioning of Job: “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?”
Mrs. Eddy writes: “Men give counsel; but they give not the wisdom to profit by it. To ask wisdom of God is the beginning of wisdom. Meekness moderating human desire, inspires wisdom and procures divine power.”
The tiny babe, opening its eyes to the great world unfolding to its baby vision, cooes aloud its growing wonder. The maturing child chatters glibly and interestingly concerning its deeper convictions, its larger grasp, of this same world. The adult of ripest years still looks with childlike inquisitiveness and inarticulate wonder out upon and up to the ever unfolding glories of earth and heaven. Mrs. Eddy, leaning confidingly on the bosom of our Father-Mother God, was ever the “little child” whose spirit and grace tend heavenward, opening wide the gates into Love’s kingdom here and now.
My years of uninterrupted service at Pleasant View are hallowed in memory as one spiritually accentuated, self-sustained tone of admiration of the God-reflected reality of Mrs. Eddy’s life of divine constancy and consistency so practicalized to human appreciability as literally to exemplify the spirit of her inspired writings. In the post-graduate enlightenment gained from prayerful service directly under Mrs. Eddy, I saw clearly the practicality as well as the reality of Christian Science, which as she writes “is divine Science reduced to human apprehension:” and I saw that what our Leader wrote of the Master: “The divinity of the Christ was made manifest in the humanity of Jesus,” was equally true of herself; and this in the demonstration of the spirit of Christian Science must be proved true of every Christian Scientist or practical Christian.
What she wrote in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” was clearly her ideal of Christian striving. She says: “The notion that animal natures can possibly give force to character is too absurd for consideration, when we remember that through spiritual ascendency our Lord and Master healed the sick, raised the dead, and commanded even the winds and waves to obey him. Grace and truth are potent beyond all other means and methods.”
Again she writes: “Guard against the subtly hidden suggestion that the Son of man will be glorified, or humanity benefited, by any deviation from the order prescribed by supernal grace.” In this beautifully expressed thought is hinted the secret of Mrs. Eddy’s success as a Christian builder upon the foundation laid by Christ Jesus.
As I review in thought my knowledge of Mrs. Eddy’s prayerful, gracious, strenuous striving to overcome evil with good, I see that from the birth of Christian Science to the establishment of this greatest of all this world’s gracious movements, it was feminine grace and not masculine greatness that discerned and proved God’s immanence in Christian Science.
Like our Master, Mrs. Eddy had a God who revealed to her His word and its spiritual meaning; and she knew that her students must awaken to this same God, to understand spiritually the written word and Love’s power of healing-presence accompanying it.
With her characteristic aliveness Mrs. Eddy once thunderingly rebuked her household with the query: “Have you no God?” – arousing us out of a selfmesmeric barrenness resulting from a very liberal use of the letter quite devoid of the quickening Spirit; that is, devoid of the grace of God-with-us.
Our great Master said, “I ascend unto my God and your God.”
According to the Scripture, “the letter killeth,” and Mrs. Eddy’s word in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” is: “The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love. Without this the letter is but the dead body of Science, – pulseless, cold, inanimate.”
Whatever the inherent excellence, the individual gift, the business capacity of official or lay followers of Mrs. Eddy, if the benedictive winning grace which in thought, word and deed breathed out of her life as naturally and selflessly as the perfume permeates the atmosphere environing the flower, be lacking, it cannot be said of them that they love as she loved.
A sentence, or even a word, contemplated from the point of its original conception, its inspired meaning, teems with the inspirational influx and outflow of the selfless divine energy of Principle, never appreciable from the standpoint of personality or of the dead letter of intellectuality. So the “supernal grace” which was so natural and diffusive in and through our revered Leader, must fill to overflowing the hearts of Christian Scientists, to give them the divine assurance which raises even the dead, and whereby in spite of all adverse sense testimony they may gratefully exclaim with Christ Jesus: “I thank Thee, Father, that Thou hast heard me.”
In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” Mrs. Eddy writes of “the doctrines of Christ or the miracles of grace,” and later she says: “The miracle of grace is no miracle to Love.”
To God, or divine Love, grace is natural; only to sinful human sense is this most indispensable of all virtues miraculous. In Mrs. Eddy’s exemplary life I saw demonstrated what Paul realized, namely, “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”
If Mrs. Eddy was more in the enjoyment of the divine favor than her followers today seem to be, this is not because God was partial to her; for divine Love is impartial, saying to all alike, “My grace is sufficient to thee.”
More and more meaningful to me, the lesson of Mrs. Eddy’s practical Christian life becomes as the experiences of time and spiritual understanding unfold it; and this lesson simply and comprehensively is immortalized in her exemplification of a humility through which divine Love actuated itself to the world in her life of “supernal grace.”
Chapter IX — The Perfection of Her Standard as a Reformer
To the real master whose art is his transcendent life, human existence is a school of experience whose primary and principal purpose is progressively to awaken mankind, – whether in childhood, maturity or age, – to the one indispensable virtue in life, – the art of unselfishness, or the selfless purposes of Principle.
A real master of Arts is not made by the Schools; a Master is not taught of men; he is original; that is, he, in the sense of his attunement with the Infinite, originates from inspiration; and never is he so mean as to counterfeit or copy. It is the master who makes the schools; and only God confers upon him a “degree” of merit.
The great Master was a teacher conscious of having been sent of God. His own words are: “He that sent me is true, and I speak to the world those things which I heard of him” – “but I receive not testimony from man.”
These words give us a sense of the independent originality of the life of Christ Jesus; an originality which also actuated itself in Mrs. Eddy in a practical, spiritual sense, as acute and quick as the original ray is representative of the all-embracing, beneficent, geniality of the sun.
A life that is as regeneratively self-disciplinary as Mrs. Eddy’s is bound to be exemplary and justly disciplinary to others. Her standard, as a reformer, was the requirement of the perfection of God. By precept and example she illustrated the practical benefits of accepting no lower pattern. Her demonstration of Christian Science in daily life proved metaphysics to be above physics, yet, to her, pure Mind was as appreciable as matter seems palpable to the materialist.
Her life and works prove that Christian Science is no less practical in demonstration, than its teaching is ethical in theory.
The fruits of her divinely maturing life are ample proof that there was nothing transcendental, artificial or superficial in Mrs. Eddy’s life as a reformer. Of the writing of her inspired volume, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she said, “I was a scribe under orders.” She became the modern pioneer Christian not from human choice, but by reason of divine necessity. Further, through a practical living demonstration of the teachings of her inspired book, she established the
far-reaching Cause of Christian Science on the sure basis of the Christ-Mind healing, the natural unfoldment of which was the building of The Mother Church as the vine with its world-encircling branches. All these fruits of God-inspired achievements were the result of this one lone pioneer thinker.
In her was a profundity of conviction which could be neither selfishly confined nor personally exploited. What Mrs. Eddy did was the overflow of a selfless spiritual naturalness, the simplicity of which she once illustrated with this naïve story. A little boy who was rebuked for having whistled in the presence of company, selfjustifyingly retorted: “I didn’t whistle; it whistled itself.”
One could not serve under Mrs. Eddy’s spiritually surcharged thought without gathering up countless impromptu lessons upon the nicety with which loyal service recognizes and remembers not alone proprietary rights and claims, but all natural rights and just claims of all fellow-beings, who from Principle live to fulfill the golden rule.
Few have seen at close range God’s hand upon her, as, in serving directly under her, I saw Mrs. Eddy’s necessity by reason of the pressure of divinity upon her.
Through her inspired book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” many believed God-with-her; but only those humanly near, with intuitive sensibilities or divinely illuminated receptivity could appreciate the practical sweetness and severity of her spontaneous God-governed and directed life.
I never doubted Mrs. Eddy’s Providential direction – her right and rightness – even when it was sometimes humanly hard to understand; even as Peter said of Paul’s epistles “in which are some things hard to be understood.” To me her natural spontaneous command and countermand were prompted by the wisdom born of the Love which only blesses; though often I had to pray mightily for ability to obey or to perform by faith.
I confess with all humility that my first concrete lesson on the exactness of Mrs.
Eddy’s requirement – exactness patterning perfection – was not easy to grasp.
Mrs. Eddy had sent word to me to have a good strong post set in the little evergreen arbor, quite near and just south of her house.
Since the post was for Mrs. Eddy’s own hammock, I concluded to do everything, as Paul says, “with my own hands.” It had been my joy from boyhood to do whatever I undertook, well. I selected a suitable post with a large knotty groundend. I dug deep, and added to the dirt-filling a liberal reinforcement of large stones, well tamped in, to make a good solid setting. As I finished I felt a measure of joy
and pride in my work and I mused upon the difficulty in store for the poor sinner who might even in the future be obliged to dig that post out. I reasoned quite conclusively that I should not care to be that sinner.
The very next day Mrs. Eddy viewed the post from her upper veranda and observed that it tipped a little in the wrong direction, and was an inch or two too short.
Herein was a surprise for me, that a matter generally considered so unimportant should ever claim Mrs. Eddy’s attention. But this had, and Mrs. Eddy, not knowing I had done the work myself, called Mr. Frye to her and said, “Tell Joseph to dig up the post and set it as it ought to be.” As he spoke, the lines of my school-reader came to me:
“In the elder days of art
Builders wrought with greatest care Each minute and unseen part
For the Gods see everywhere.”
I was convinced that the Christian God who inspired Mrs. Eddy with such spiritual finesse was, at least, as critical as the poetic gods of Olympus. My conviction was accompanied by a humility which invited the fullness of the profound and enduring lesson that our best human work, judged from above, is faulty; but perseverance divinely inspired, improves, corrects and perfects it.
I shall give another instance of the super-exactness of Mrs. Eddy’s spiritualized vision which occurred many years later. Mrs. Eddy one day called the attention of the carpenter to a slight discrepancy in the height of the ends of the balustrade surrounding the balcony, just outside the bay-window of her study in which she sat daily at work. To her sense the balustrade was at least an inch lower at the end toward her window. It was only after measuring that the carpenter, to his chagrin, was convinced that Mrs. Eddy was right; and that the intuitive measurements of pure Mind are truer than expert trained human judgment.
I remember with gratitude a most meaningful lesson which Mrs. Eddy very tenderly and lovingly gave me. It was apple-year, and our long row of health apple trees had yielded much more choice fruit than Pleasant View needed.
Out of our home-bounty, I gave a barrel of her nice apples as a special thanks offering, from Pleasant View, to the obliging boys at the express office, having in mind their always willing heart and hand. Quite incidentally and innocently I told Mrs. Eddy of it. She was glad I had been generously thoughtful of the boys and
said so, but added so very motherly, “The next time, dear, you will tell Mother? before you do even a kindness in her name.”
The barrel-of-apples incident of my experience at Pleasant View hints Mrs. Eddy’s ever watchful sense to foresee and forestall evil, or whatever human tendency might lead to evil.
I once heard Mrs. Eddy illustrate this particular point of watchfulness before about one hundred of her students whom she had invited to visit her at her Pleasant View home. She sat in her large reception room with her Love-hungry students crowding about her and spoke to them with that quiet earnestness of Soul which impresses itself indelibly upon the receptive thought; “My students think they do well when they discover the burglar after he has broken in, and then succeed in throwing or driving him out; but Mother watches and sees his intent before he gets in, and by faithfully locking the doors and windows keeps him from getting in.”
Paul declared that the damnation of those who slanderously reported that he favored doing “evil that good may come,” was “just.”
Mrs. Eddy always guarded against the too human tendency, blindly to do evil in the hope of doing good.
Even the most conscientious motive to do good which is personal enough to prevent an all-around consideration of Principle, becomes a precedent for evil.
In witnessing the practical human footsteps of Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual progress, I saw the truth of individuality supersede the error of personality.
As light displaces darkness, the inspiration of “the still, small voice” of divine Love awakening individual virtues, supplants personal vices.
Mrs. Eddy’s reform-teaching was not intellectual cramming, but perpetual, intelligent, spiritually-drawing awakening – an arousal of the human out of itself; an uplifting of the human to the altitude of the unfolding divine, at whose dawning the mist of sense evaporates and the brightness of Soul shines forth ever more brightly unto the perfect day.
Chapter X — As I Heard Her Read
True art is divinity spontaneously self-expressed with such ineffable beauty as hushes the human. True art is too selfless and natural to know that it exists even as nature in her selfless divinity, hinted in the majesty of sunrise and sunset, is Being, without pride of being. The naturally resplendent overflow of art, ever, like the prophet, happily calls out to all: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
So God reveals the secrets of His beauty, called art, in their native innocent naturalness, to the receptive heart, as quite beyond human price or preferment.
I recall the natural beauty of Mrs. Eddy’s reading of the Scriptures, as I have often heard her read to her household, or to me, to share with us some special point of inspiration that had come to her; and I am reminded of the Master’s rebuke of the Pharisees when he told them: “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them; for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.”
It is impossible by comparison to do justice to a real artist – and only error suggests human comparisons – “for one star,” as Paul says, “differeth from another star in glory,” but the glory of every real star is above compare.
But my heart would essay a word of humble appreciation of Mrs. Eddy’s reading which gripped me as of such tender divine appeal. As she read, both reader and the word were quite lost sight of in her natural fervor of heart-appeal.
When she read the Scripture, it was easy to realize that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The great heart of divine Love through her appealed understandingly and upliftingly to every waiting and hungering heart.
It is impossible to describe in words with what musical modulation and inflection the genuine pleading of her reading was the reflection of God-with-us.
Often she would preface some morning Scripture-reading with the confiding invitation: “Come and hear what God said to me this morning,” and then she would read as God’s ambassador, or as the good God speaking indeed. There was nothing of the assumed or artificial in all her reading; she read with the unaffected grace of a heart overflowing with humility and understanding, even as she spoke from demonstration, – as one who had suffered and who had a right to speak.
Perhaps in nothing in all her life, as I saw it, did Mrs. Eddy so naturally show forth the truth revealed to her in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” that “tenderness accompanies all the might imparted by Spirit.” Her reading was the acme of Soul’s loving, tender and inspiring appeal, – a reverberation of the spirit of the Christ-appeal: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Chapter XI — Reading the Lesson-Sermon for Mrs. Eddy
Mr. Frye and I, by her special and impromptu appointment, one Sunday, read for Mrs. Eddy and her household the universal Lesson-Sermon; this was the first time that Mrs. Eddy had heard the reading of the services which she had instituted for her Church, The Mother Church, “The First Church of Christ, Scientist,” over which the impersonal Pastor, the Bible and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” ordained by her, was presiding.
I venture to say that two readers have never had so interested and interesting a listener as Mrs. Eddy on that memorable Sunday at Pleasant View.
At the close of the heavenly little home-service, Mrs. Eddy thanked the readers most heartily for their part; she expressed her joy in the sermon, and gave a special word of praise to the reader of the Scriptures, assuring him lovingly, that she had never heard the Bible read more understandingly.
It is difficult for me to write what my heart feels with regard to Mrs. Eddy’s fine aliveness to what the world ordinarily calls the little things of life. In her always consistent, stately Christian presence, errors that were not promptly selfrebuked received her sharp or gentle corrective word; on the other hand, the neverfailing sunshine, or copious and gentle rain of her praise, was always the veritable “Well done, good and faithful servant,” to the honest worker selflessly striving to do his best.
Mrs. Eddy’s appreciation of everything unselfishly or well done was so natural, genuine and heart-overflowing that it must ever remain an inspiring example – not only for Christian Scientists, but for all mankind – of always lovingly rendering “unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s”
Mrs. Eddy by her own daily life inspired the most unselfish service; and even the least hint of selflessness reciprocated was so hallowed by her generous magnifying appreciation, as often to make one feel like the returning Prodigal, whom, “when he was yet a great way off, his father saw, and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
Chapter XII — Her Spirituality Unfolding or Self-Renewing Beauty
In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” Mrs. Eddy says: “Beauty, as well as truth, is eternal. Beauty is a thing of life, which dwells forever in the eternal Mind and reflects the charms of His goodness. The recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul. The embellishments of the person are poor substitutes for the charms of being, shining resplendent and eternal over age and decay.”
What an inspiring sense of beauty! I shall always be grateful to have seen in Mrs. Eddy’s life, as the revelator, abstract revelation reduced to concrete living. Her demonstration of her inspired concept of beauty proved to me that it is impossible for the unreal veil of sense to hide the radiance of Soul. The lucidity of her thought pierced materiality, – her unfolding Christ-mind seeing through matter as only a mythical disappearing mentality.
One could not see Mrs. Eddy and think of her as growing old. It were easier to imagine sunlight affected by shadows, than to think that age could mar her “charms of being.”
The following statement from “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” further reveals Mrs. Eddy’s self-rejuvenating mentality: “Men and women of riper years and larger lessons ought to ripen into health and immortality, instead of lapsing into darkness and gloom. Immortal Mind feeds the body with supernal freshness and fairness, supplying it with beautiful images of thought and destroying the woes of sense which each day brings to a nearer tomb.”
Paul’s beseeching appeal to his brethren was: “Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science not only taught this spiritual requirement, but she demonstrated it progressively in proof of all she taught.
Before her selfless and richly, divinely illuminated thought, false human sense faded out beautifully as compared to the ugly dying of stall-fed selfishness.
Even under the weight of earth’s most cruel wickedness, Mrs. Eddy bore her daily cross with Christian dignity and godly poise. There were no unlovely and
useless years in Mrs. Eddy’s life; on the contrary, I knew her only as always about the Father’s business with the glow of His inspiration so self-evident upon her as to naturally confirm the truth of her own words; “Love never loses sight of loveliness.”
To human sense, age implies helplessness. In Mrs. Eddy’s increasingly Soulgoverned life, the opposite was true; she allowed neither multiplying years, nor time’s vicissitudes to interfere with her usefulness; and her riper years only added wisdom to her ability to do, while age but added to the stateliness of her womanhood, as she emulated with her increasing spirituality the demonstration of Christ Jesus, who to the end lived to minister, “not to be ministered unto.”
Mrs. Eddy had a natural aversion toward animality in its pronounced selfsatisfied types, and a native love for “the beautiful in character” in men and women whose personality was submerged in Principle. As an illustration of this fact let me quote Scripture, and Mrs. Eddy’s elucidation of the Scripture: “The Lord had respect unto Abel, and to his offering: but unto Cain, and to his offering, He had not respect.” In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” Mrs. Eddy casts spiritual light upon this Scripture in this way: She asks, “Had God more respect for the homage bestowed through a gentle animal than for the worship expressed by Cain’s fruit? No; but the lamb was a more spiritual type of even the human concept of Love than the herbs of the ground could be.”
From this viewpoint of Principle Mrs. Eddy frowned upon mere rotund animality or sensuality physicalized and beautiful to sense, which is humanly called health; but she joyed in the health and strength of spirituality individualized symmetrically or in an activity well balanced in wisdom and ability self-sacrificingly to do.
One marvels that a friend can ever seem less than beautiful.” In this statement Mrs. Eddy gives the reason for my seeing in her only the individualization of beauty. For, without doubt, it is true that Mrs. Eddy was my dearest friend; therefore she was to me always the most beautiful being on earth. The beauty of the friendship was its divinity, – a divinity which inspired perpetual progress Godward, like the tireless flow of streams fed by living, gushing mountain springs.
Mrs. Eddy’s whole life was beautiful in giving and doing, – in a self-sacrifice which was nothing less than a beautiful disappearing human inviting the more beautiful oncoming divine. In her always divinely illumined presence, one was not conscious of a personal fading; in her the human was beautiful and disappeared beautifully; even as with matchless beauty the cloud-color-scheme of the setting
sun fades beautifully only to appear again in a sunrise majesty, hinting the unbroken sphere of real Life with its eternity of divine beauty.
Chapter XIII — Her Appreciation of Practical Home-Spun Wisdom
Being deeply impressed with Mrs. Eddy’s universal aliveness, I again hint what in substance I have hinted elsewhere, that Mrs. Eddy had a living interest in everything that appertained to her large and, at that time, undeveloped estate. I intuitively recognized that to truly serve Mrs. Eddy, I must demonstrate an aliveness to duty which amounted to a spontaneity of wisdom in action that was akin to the Godliness in which she rested. It was, therefore, my living prayer to be so alive to the originality of God-with-me as to enable me to do harmoniously and quickly the things of which I knew she had need, and whenever possible, to bring to her the joy of good fruitage before she knew I had planted.
When Jesus said, “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” he foreshadowed the fine scientific point in the teaching of Christian Science that the mesmerism of mortal mind, in whatever form of human belief it may be self-entrenched, is the counterfeit light which the white light of Christian Science must prove to be darkness.
As Mrs. Eddy, on the watchtower of spiritual understanding, was always keenly alive not to be deceived by the works of the darkness that appears to be light, so she taught that not all apparent healing in the name of Christian Science is true Christian healing.
On this same basis Mrs. Eddy rejoiced not so much in whatever was accomplished as in the manner of its accomplishment. I had not been at Pleasant View many weeks when Mrs. Eddy one day told me that she could not realize fully her earnest desire to unify and beautify her Concord home until a certain property-right had been retrieved. She had leased quite a number of acres, of what was then rough pasture, to a near neighbor. The lease did not expire for a number of years and Mrs. Eddy had reason to believe that the foxy neighbor (who was not a Christian Scientist) would make it difficult, or at least unfairly expensive, for her recovery of it; especially if he knew how anxious she was to possess herself immediately of the land.
When she had finished speaking I said to her, “Mother, I think I can get that lease from Mr. –––– at once, and without paying him anything.”
Mrs. Eddy’s only response was a sweet smile.
Within a few days I had the lease which I happily put into her hands. Mrs. Eddy was most keenly interested to know how I had worked the miracle and listened attentively as I related the simple facts. I began by telling her how she herself had set me a worthy example in the instance of her outwisdoming the crafty neighbor who would have thwarted her buying a little strip of land on which stood an unsightly barn; and how in much the same way I had, in this instance, taken advantage of the cupidity of another too-humanly ambitious neighbor. He was a contractor and was often hired to do ploughing, grading and general rough “man and team” work at Pleasant View. Shortly after I had taken up my duties at Pleasant View, this contractor-neighbor (intending to impress me, as the new superintendent, with his magnanimity) confided to me that he had taken the lease from Mrs. Eddy for “a mere song” and simply to accommodate her. He added that he considered it of no value to himself.
Remembering this conversation, especially the last point, I went to him and frankly told him of Mrs. Eddy’s desire to beautify her estate and her hope that she might be spared any extra preliminary expense. This, of course, involved his surrender of the lease to Mrs. Eddy. But when I told him that the general improvement of her estate would mean much extra work for his men and teams, the lease resumed its proper value to him and he capitulated in favor of the rightful owner whose world-wide worth had given it its original value and now had called it home to fulfil its destiny.
As I concluded my recital to her, I expressed my satisfaction in having outwitted the cunning neighbor. But Mrs. Eddy interposed, saying, “Not outwitted, – outwisdomed.”
It was clear to me that her glad smile was inspired not so much by her natural satisfaction over the recovery of the lease as by the fact that sufficient Love had been demonstrated to outwisdom cupidity, not only to her satisfaction, but to the ultimate blessing of all concerned, as is always true where Science supersedes sense to the triumph of good over evil.
Chapter XIV — Her Bitter Side: The Severity of Her Rebuke
In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” Mrs. Eddy quotes historic testimony of Jesus’ severity. It is recorded by those who knew, that “his rebuke was fearful.” In this respect Mrs. Eddy grandly emulated our Master. I not only saw and heard, but keenly felt her Christlike exemplification of the Way-shower’s uncompromising severity, as well as his most gracious gentleness.
I speak not of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science in terms of idealistic adulation. No one that had the inherent virtue to serve under her from Principle, could have the idealistic sense of our Leader which is gained by many in the confounding of the spiritual ideal, or “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” revealed through Mrs. Eddy, with the practical woman, who in daily life was demonstrating the reality of the ideal, by subordinating the human to, and overcoming it by, the divine. She was not a negative or personal Leader; but in all ways, a positive consistent demonstrator of the divine Principle which Christian Science declares to be divine Love, or “God-with-us.”
To Mrs. Eddy the ideal was not transcendental. Her life did not elevate God above the world; but she made appreciable the Revelator’s vision that God dwells with men and so shall be their God and they His people; and in this sense, her spontaneous spiritual sense was so sternly uncompromising with any human weakness as to illustrate, in experience, the Scripture that “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Mrs. Eddy was a true friend in that she had the moral courage to wound when the necessity for sin-healing demanded it. She was never cold or cruel in her demonstration of the stern severity of Principle; for her sense of Principle was the overflowing sense of divine Love which not only hurts “not the oil and the wine,” but most lovingly supplies and tenderly applies them to expedite the true healing which followed her severe and always skillful metaphysical surgical operations.
The following letter written to me during my first year of serving at Pleasant View, hints the Love that healed after it had wounded.
Concord, New Hampshire, July 8, 1899.
“My beloved Son:
You know Mother wrote “Science and Health” under Divine orders. When I left the room the last day you were here I thought I had done speaking to you. But when I opened the Bible I felt impelled to return and knew not why!
What I said I now know but little of. Why I said it God alone knows.
But from experience I must believe it was needed or I should not have been so led. I remember only your kind care for me and my place. I remember never a word or act of yours that was not kind. I remember that God is Love and that He loves us all and knows best what we need most – so let His will be done.
(Signed) Mother. M. B. Eddy
I found in Mrs. Eddy’s home life of practical service, the positive power of predominating Principle, so natural and so diffusively expressed in good works, as to leave no room in her consciousness and overflowing selfless efforts, for the impractical transcendentalism of the dreamer. She had not the least patience with a student, a servant or would-be follower who self-satisfactorily cried loudly, “Lord, Lord,” through a mere intellectual grasp of the Scriptures or of the letter of the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures;” and time after time I have heard her flash out sternly the most scathing and thunderous rebuke to one, serving near enough to her to prove worthy of it, who might, ever so honestly, bring to her words instead of works, or plausible explanation of failure instead of actually accomplishing what was reasonably possible and God-required.
I could cite experience after experience out of my life at Pleasant View, in proof of the facts witnessed in Mrs. Eddy’s practical demonstration of the Love that is God. The Godlike glory of our beloved Leader’s natural spiritual affection revealed to me the demonstrable fact that Love itself is sweet or bitter to us, just in the degree that we ourselves are saints or sinners; a saint’s heaven is a sinner’s hell.
Chapter XV — Her Natural, Well-Rounded, Quick and Penetrating Mentality
The purity of Mrs. Eddy’s thought was always strikingly evidenced in her wonderful natural acumen along whatever human lines, or into whatever depths she was called upon to turn her penetrating spiritual searchlight.
It was my good fortune, while at Pleasant View, to meet men and women of note, – lights of the professions of business and of letters, – who regarded an interview with Mrs. Eddy a privilege. Invariably, distinguished callers whom it was often my pleasure, after the visit, to take to the station, expressed in glowing terms their admiration of Mrs. Eddy. Lawyers, for instance, were surprised at her understanding grasp of law; business men marveled that a woman should manifest such an enterprising capacity for business. Leading lights generally were astounded by her comprehensive knowledge of world-problems, and her deep, motherly heartinterest in the weal of the world.
Honest hearts found Mrs. Eddy a bright, sparkling, entertaining, but above all, an instructive conversationalist. No honest man or woman could come into her presence without being enriched by Mrs. Eddy’s indescribable but appreciable and unforgettable womanhood.
It is pleasant to recall Lord Dunmore’s visit at Pleasant View which illustrates so beautifully the truism that as “like attracts like,” so the graces of the Spirit expressed are reciprocated. I found it divinely natural to receive his Lordship and later to present him to Mrs. Eddy. The occasion of his visit had a natural dignity and grace which elicited Mrs. Eddy’s warmest praise. To her soulful, appreciative expression of this I named herself as the inspiration of what she admired, saying, “It is natural and easy to shine in your presence, Mother;” she with her usual magnanimity, reassuringly replied, “It is your own true appreciation of me that makes you dignified and gracious.”
At supper one evening the conversation was turned to the subject of cooking. Various general remarks were made by different members of the family relative to the fine points of scientific requirement as to proper seasoning, delicate flavoring, the human differences of taste, et cetera; Mrs. Eddy naively contributed to the conversation, saying, “My students tell me that nobody can make cocoa that tastes
quite like that which Mother makes; but I don’t know why it is so, unless it is that Mother stirs more Love into it.”
The following incident is one which Mrs. Eddy took great delight in telling; it recounts an instance of her outwisdoming the wiles of an avaricious neighbor.
With the improvement of Pleasant View in mind, Mrs. Eddy wished to purchase a little strip of land on which stood an unsightly barn. The old man who owned the objectionable adjoining half-acre seemed willing to accept Mrs. Eddy’s tempting offer, but for some unknown reason raised his price as often as Mrs. Eddy agreed to meet his advancements.
At last Mrs. Eddy divined that a crafty neighbor, for his own benefit, was secretly manipulating the old gentleman.
She at once sent for this intriguing neighbor and, enlisting him in her behalf, engaged him to buy the property for her. She invited him to set his valuation of the barn in question which he cunningly placed at two or three hundred dollars. He then named the price for which he thought Mrs. Eddy might buy both lot and barn.
An agreement was made whereby he was to deliver to her the deed for the property after which she was to make him a valuable present in lieu of commission.
The transaction went through smoothly; the deed, accurate and safe in her hands, Mrs. Eddy said to her neighbor agent, “Now I will make you a present of the barn, and you may move it off as soon as you can.”
The barn, really, was comparatively worthless, and Mrs. Eddy’s would-be deceiver had deceived himself.
Mrs. Eddy laughed heartily when she told of teaching this schemer the lesson of his life, in letting him fall into the pit which he had dug for her.
In such practical ways Mrs. Eddy proved her business ability, and demonstrated the truth of the Scripture: “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.”
It is also inspiring to recall and to accent an especially noteworthy bent in the life of our Leader, – her always selfless and loving consideration of others. This was most pronounced in her home life, where, in conversation with her guests, she considerately interested herself in subjects and things which most interested them. As dear as the living subject of Christian Science was to her heart, I never knew her to introduce it to visitors or guests who were not Christian Scientists.
Mrs. Eddy, ever tenderly watchful, always practiced far more than she preached, demonstrating what all true followers who emulate her know, that divine Love consistently lived on earth as it is in heaven makes a Christian Scientist a ministering angel; this heaven-born spirit pervaded the atmosphere of her home of which she was the exemplary center.
As the beauty and fragrance of the flower is appreciated, so the aroma of real Love individualized itself in Mrs. Eddy, radiated around her and permeated the universe through her. The aura of her natural stately presence ever hinted her overflowing spiritual sufficiency, made so humanly appreciable as her unselfish heart betrayed it, – sternly, tenderly or compassionately – always lovingly, unfailingly, rejoicing others with its native, diffusive sweetness.
Chapter XVI — Exemplary Self-Abnegation
Joseph, when told by the angel to take Mary and her babe and fly for temporary safety into Egypt, did not stop, wisely to theorize about the ever-presence of God; nor did he speculate as to whether or not it was scientific to run, perhaps driven by fear, when the Love that knows no fear is everywhere. He obeyed as by intuition, and the child Jesus was saved from the avalanche of human wrath which was started on its senseless self-destructive slide by the spiritual power of his humble birth.
The child Jesus was an unfolding wonder of divinity to Mary as she tenderly mothered him with the sweet solicitude of a wise and affectionate mother.
The same overflowing Soul out of which, before his birth, Mary rejoicingly exclaimed: “My soul doth magnify the Lord,” constrained the boy Jesus at the tender age of twelve to reverse the relationship of sense, saying to his humanly concerned parents: “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” In Jesus the prophecy, “a little child shall lead them,” was literally fulfilled. Joseph and Mary had to grapple with the human perplexity of seeing the child God-governed beyond their comprehension; for “they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.”
The foregoing hint of Biblical history reminds me of a very pertinent fact which in her class at the Massachusetts Metaphysical College Mrs. Eddy brought out by a question. It was on the point of understanding. Mrs. Eddy asked: “Does anyone in the world understand Science and Health?” One student answered in the affirmative; whereupon Mrs. Eddy again asked, “Who?”
The student replied, “Mrs. Eddy.”
But Mrs. Eddy, with an earnestness which amounted to solemnity, shaking her head emphatically, said, “No! No! A thousand times No!”
My first true conception of Mrs. Eddy may be said to have been gained in that, to me, eventful primary class, through Mrs. Eddy’s own emphatic “No,” which at once rebuked the impractical idealism of the enthusiastic student, and awakened me to see that Mrs. Eddy herself was too genuinely humble either to make, or to allow, any human claim for herself.
Awakening came to me even more naturally and fully during my volunteer service at Pleasant View. My ideal of Mrs. Eddy in no way suffered from my further awakening; but rather, it became more beautiful as I saw at close range the practicality of Truth in her honest daily living.
Christian Science awakening mankind to the “Mind that was also in Christ Jesus,” forestalls the possibility of the recurrence of the mistake made with regard to Jesus, whom the Jews through personal ignorance crucified, and the Christian world, not understanding him, have since then personally worshipped.
Mrs. Eddy’s revelation of the Science of God and man throws the needed light upon Jesus’ spiritual conception of God’s impartiality as expressed in the Master’s words: “I go unto my God and your God;” and her humble living and dying in exposition and immolation of personality, in demonstration of divine Principle, is an everlasting rebuke to the blind religious or worshipful belief which stops short of her spiritual understanding.
As one who saw in Mrs. Eddy’s positive Love-leadership the power of God’s immanence, – a sweet genuineness which is nothing less than a constant subordination of the human to the divine in practical daily life, – I cannot help giving my natural impression of Mrs. Eddy’s abhorrence of whatever savored of the personal.
She fairly despised the world’s insinuation that her students worshipped her. Sometimes when the gloom of an unappreciative world’s malice hung heavy over her, she would give utterance to her natural revulsion: “Worship me!” she would say, “They don’t even love me truly enough to supply me with tea-jackets without troubling me.”
In my watchful, prayerful service under her, I learned how Mrs. Eddy longed to see in her students the practical proof of the Love for which and by which she lived.
She was as tender as she was strong with overshadowing divinity. She even exemplified what Christian Science teaches, namely, that true Love blasts not the bud, blights not the blossom, tempers the seasons to the requirement of sound fruitage; and while waiting patiently on the period of ripening, supplies the rain and sunshine needed to mature full ripeness and mellowness.
Mrs. Eddy was not of the kind who congratulate themselves on their blindness to evil, or seeing it, avoid it for selfish reasons.
When a mere girl, blooming into young womanhood, her inborn purity asserted itself quite appreciably to a young man who was as thoughtless or discourteous as
to smoke in her presence. Before the company of young friends who had come to bid her farewell, she snatched a cigar from his mouth and to his rebuke threw it out of the car window.
Society ladies who today selfishly ride in their comfortable limousines might take a hint from Mrs. Eddy’s progressive, purifying life; the mentality of their purer womanly insistence would then help their less favored sisters who must ride in public conveyances where often the law relative to smoking is disregarded, inasmuch as spineless public servants do not do their law-enforcing duty from Principle.
The natural exility of Mrs. Eddy’s exemplary womanhood had none of the modern elements of weakness which incline women of today toward the coarsening indulgences from which true femininity should save self-indulging men.
Mrs. Eddy’s refined purity-loving nature naturally shrank from a world reeking in sensuousness. She never regarded herself especially favored of God, except as she construed her human suffering, resulting from her inherited delicate constitution; or as David recognized God’s hand upon him, when he said: “Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.”
I happily recall how upon an informal occasion Mrs. Eddy inadvertently ruminated aloud, with sweet child-like wonderment, saying: “I don’t understand, Joseph, dear, how it is that people press upon me so; why they want to see me; why even Lords and Ladies come from across the sea to call upon me, – me, an antiquated old fossil!”
Chapter XVII — Her Greatness in Deific Alertness
Mrs. Eddy’s whole life was a fulfilling of the Christ-command: “Watch!” But it was not a fearful, apprehensive, personal watch; it was a voluntary prayerful Soulvigilance, replete with the Love which neither slumbers nor sleeps, lifting her above a merely negative human watch against evil, to the positive spiritual aliveness in good that naturally does good.
Mrs. Eddy’s discovery and founding of Christian Science, her world-fame as teacher in the Metaphysical College of her institution, her inspired writings, and her monumental work of building her church, The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, commemorate her greatness in great things, for all time; but it remains for those whose good fortune it was to live in her home, to serve under her immediate direction, and to receive the line upon line of her precepts and example, to tell posterity how great was Mrs. Eddy, not as a seventh day but as a seven day Christian. Indeed, her Christlike greatness consisted in doing all the little things of daily life with the same prayerful care that characterized her greatest achievements.
In Mrs. Eddy’s home-atmosphere of spiritual excellence, her household was naturally inspired in everything to strive for excellence. When special demands from the Field were not pressing upon her, those near her were treated with many an edifying sally of inspired wit or wisdom.
Once, in passing, Mrs. Eddy illustrated, by quoting Shakespeare, the resourcefulness of a good reader, showing the possibility of reading into, as well as out of, the written word; in the first rendering she emphasized the word “philosophy,” and in the second “your”: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy!” and, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy!”
The inspiration of Mrs. Eddy’s writings springs from their Inspiration; the power of her preaching lay in her practice; and the strength of her teaching was in her own consistent living. The Christian admonition of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” is: “At all times, and under all circumstances, overcome evil with
good;” and Mrs. Eddy in her Christian alertness always returned good for evil, and then went a step farther and offered more good, gratis.
In Christian Science God is not infinite in theoretical abstraction, but in divine immanence; so Mrs. Eddy, in healing and in the meeting of human needs, demonstrated her individualization of the might of Mind, the Mind “that was also in Christ Jesus,” the practical presence of divine Love’s ever-presence, – as God dwelling with men and not above them.
It was quite impossible to come into the presence of Mrs. Eddy’s teeming spiritual aliveness without being enriched with some meaningful, helpful quickening.
It was sweetly natural for Mrs. Eddy to give, give, give in every way possible. It seemed that she always found or made ways to do this, to her own joy and to the blessing of others.
When she had a moment to spare during my business calls upon her, she often introduced topics most profitable to me. So it happened that one day I confided to her the secret of my voluntary self-sacrifice in the devotion of my life to the Cause. She was deeply touched by my prayer always to live up to the radical requirements of Christian Science as understandingly as I could and even by faith to the same extremity of self-denial to which some years before, death had driven me. Insofar as once I had practically died, since nothing of the world could help me, I lived as remembering the futility of all worldliness or worldly offerings.
Then, as if in confirmation of my simple confiding, I quoted my favorite Scriptural motto: “For ye are dead,” pausing as if I would rest at this point. Mrs. Eddy, quick as a flash, carried the quotation on to the positive living side, saying with deep, measure soulfulness, “And your life is hid with Christ in God.” So in her usual watchful way my teacher renewedly impressed upon me the fullness of the lesson in Science, that prayerful sense denial is conclusively effective when clinched with the benedictive Soul affirmation.
Chapter XVIII — Self-Condemning But Enlightening Praise
I once had to deal with the florist at Pleasant View, who was not a Christian Scientist, on a point affecting the morale of our entire corps of employees. He contended for certain predilections which hinted a spirit of time-serving rather than the spirit of Love for which we were praying in serving Mrs. Eddy.
The outcome of the interview was so satisfactory that I quite inadvertently spoke of it to Mrs. Eddy, thereby proving the truth of the Scripture: “Mine own mouth shall condemn me.” Mrs. Eddy generously praised me for my just sense toward him, saying: “He should have taken his shoes off before you.” But even as she spoke I grew self-condemned in the knowledge that to speak to her of the affair at all was more reprehensible than praiseworthy.
I saw clearly notwithstanding her most sincere laudation, that it was impossible to report to her the fruits of such a victory without betraying the painful fact of a causal friction – a friction the soil of which my comparatively superficial triumph had not ameliorated to regeneration. Had I done my duty as superintendent so perfectly as to have forgotten it, Mother need not have had even a passing concern.
In the pure light of the overflow of Mrs. Eddy’s true appreciation, my wellmeant but limited offering, which had invited her praise, brought me selfcondemnation; and I saw with arousing clearness the striking agreement of the Master’s words to his disciples: “Rejoice not that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven,” with Mrs. Eddy’s averment in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “No man is physically healed in willful error or by it, any more than he is morally saved in or by sin.”
Chapter XIX — Her Transcendent and Overflowing Grace at Table
Mrs. Eddy’s home life had a most striking natural tendency upward. There was never a mean or frivolous mood hinted by her, even in her most human moments. The temper of her thought was always edifying, and whether in pleasantry or in seriousness her timely story always illustrated a moral.
No incident which would drive home a good lesson was too simple. This is illustrated by the utter simplicity of the following story which Mrs. Eddy once told to clinch an after-dinner lesson. A little boy had been watching a rooster trying in vain to fly to the top rail of a fence. The determined bird after trying a number of times, and each time falling just a little short, finally landed heavily upon the ground, and straightening up, crowed lustily.
The little boy, eyeing the self-defeated rooster, scornfully asked: “What you crowing for?”
In such simple ways Mrs. Eddy often illustrated the baselessness of mortal mind, – the nothingness of false human claims and vain boastings.
Mrs. Eddy’s after-dinner talks were always especially delightfully pleasant whenever the pressure of special field problems was lighter; and often the deepest metaphysical lessons spontaneously fed us far more satisfactorily than the delectable material food which we had enjoyed for dinner.
For approximately two years, it was my good fortune to sit at the head of Mrs. Eddy’s table, where I prayed to carve and serve with the ability and grace which only the Love that meets “every human need” can inspire. It goes without saying that a woman of Mrs. Eddy’s genuineness lived above the world’s insincerity of gratuitous superficial compliments; therefore I am very grateful to recall her spontaneous expression one day at table, when in commending me for my judicious serving she said, “Joseph always seems to know just what everyone wants.”
At table, the rarefied human in her, always replete with overshadowing and permeating divinity, especially sparkled and glowed with an inspirational naturalness. Here many a soulful burst of laughter contributed toward a healthy digestion. Her healing smile was as cheering as the golden sunbeam gleaming through the
rifted, disappearing cloud, and presaged the triumph of Soul over every false sense in daily life.
Mrs. Eddy’s strength as a reformer lay in her closet life with God, – her absolute inside honesty and sincerity at all times.
Her wit and humor were always refreshing and rejuvenating, and as natural as the overflow of the bubbling spring.
Mrs. Eddy had no time for banquets, and as Christian Science teaches, it was easy to see that she did not live to eat. The careless cook however can get no consolation from this fact of Soul in Mrs. Eddy’s life. For so long as lack of spirituality requires eating, will Mrs. Eddy’s ideal of exalting self-denial point to the wisdom which progressively elevates the standard of cooking to the perfection of the art and science of divine Mind; the perfection exemplified by the love-inspired wisdom with which the Master, after his resurrection, cooked fish for his disciples, no doubt with the Master Love-touches of flavoring and seasoning that meet the divine requirement.
To Mrs. Eddy the demand of Science was a divine urge in all that appertains to the human. The same pure Mind which healed a sick mortal was expressed in the highest, most wholesome, most satisfactory results in providing and cooking.
Mrs. Eddy could not bear animal gormandizing; but she enjoyed seeing all at her table eat heartily in proof of a good healthy appetite.
The human not divinely governed amounts to nothing; and what is the divine, if the human conception of it is too abstract to be practically appreciable? In Mrs. Eddy, what was called the human was as naturally divinely governed, as in Science it is understood that the divine is self-governed.
The Scripture assures us that “Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth;” so the severity of divine necessity was the yea, yea, and nay, nay, of divine Principle in Mrs. Eddy’s life. But her gentleness was the gentleness of a giant, – the innate spirituality or divinity of her nature, naturally restraining, subordinating, subduing, silencing the human, with the positiveness of a divinely reflected glory.
Chapter XX — Her Leadership
Mrs. Eddy was preeminently a Leader, the strength and glory of whose leadership lay in her own consecrated following of the Christ, – a Leader herself irresistibly divinely led. It is self-evident that if Mrs. Eddy had not drawn mankind through Love she could never have become so great a Leader. Humanly she could not have compelled others to follow her. In humility she could teach and lead them through Love demonstrated in healing, but she could not personally rule. She could win them only by being right, and by lovingly, self-sacrificingly leading on: Love pleading for all; not personal rulership driving. Her leadership led out of, not into, the world. Jesus said of himself, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight.”
The greatness of Mrs. Eddy’s leadership was best seen in the naturalness of her closet-home-life. Here we witness her leadership of Love, practically demonstrated, – Love amounting to law, divinely not humanly enforced.
A faithful, humble and intelligent obedience to this Love-law never escaped Mrs. Eddy’s appreciative eye, as the following story strikingly illustrates: An earnest, honest, consecrated student protesting his appreciation of her leadership, said to her: “Mrs. Eddy, I’ll follow you faithfully, as far as I can see!” Her swift reply, rebuking his limited sense, was, “You can’t see; you will have to walk by faith.” Blessed indeed was the student whose virtue inspired him to follow Mrs. Eddy in the light of her living faith in God!
Mrs. Eddy taught, and her life illustrated, that there is no reality in the human to be enjoyed and preserved; but whatever to human sense seems real is exchanged through spiritual awakening for the divinely real and enduring. This fact, though well understood by her students, was easily lost sight of; those who served directly under her often, out of hearts too human, thought to anticipate and cater to her needs, or fondly hoped to add to her comfort and joy; but their too human ideals often reacted more to their pleasure than to Mrs. Eddy’s satisfaction.
Altogether too often we had to learn, at her expense, that our love for her was more human than divine. While her household were saying, “It is good for us to be here, let us build three tabernacles,” Mrs. Eddy was listening to the voice out of the
cloud; a voice which demanded an obedience confirmed by practical demonstration over the human that would settle in comfortable places. Many, many times to my sorrow have I seen Mrs. Eddy’s unwise helpers burden her with their abortive, independent endeavors. In her book “Miscellaneous Writings” Mrs. Eddy writes: “The neophyte is inclined to be too fast or too slow.” Paul had the same sad experience in his early Christian endeavors, to which his lamentation bears witness: “The good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do.” I learned during my years of sacred service at Pleasant View and from my life in her home that her students, whether in her home or in the great Field of Christian Science, seldom contributed to Mrs. Eddy’s happiness by their well-meant but independent endeavors, as my recounting of a few very meaningful experiences proves.
At one time many of Mrs. Eddy’s most loving, faithful followers proposed to employ the skill of a landscape artist to turn the extensive natural acreage of Pleasant View into a modern estate, with beautiful drives. But Mrs. Eddy gratefully and gently led them higher, into the realm of her immediate requirements which could be met only by divine Mind.
At another time a faithful helper was inveigled into a plan for enlarging and modernizing the greenhouse at Pleasant View. Praying to keep from Mrs. Eddy whatever might add to the always pressing demands upon her time, he himself authorized the florist to proceed with his project.
Alterations were begun and had been carried well along with the best of intentions of all concerned; then one day, quite casually choosing to drive by the cottage, from her carriage Mrs. Eddy espied the looming structure of the enlarging greenhouse. Immediately, following her investigation of the undertaking, she issued the order that the former greenhouse be restored at the expense of her overambitious and self-appointed benefactors.
This was a severe and never-to-be forgotten lesson. One would be blind indeed, who did not see in Mrs. Eddy’s stern sense, Love’s determination always to compel the healing arousal which leads to the fulfilment of the golden rule. The student’s mistaken sense of love, instead of sparing Mrs. Eddy the weight of a human thought, had served only to impose upon her the added duty of rebuking untimely human zeal.
The wise man said: “There is a time to every purpose under the heaven;” and nobody knew better than Mrs. Eddy that Love inspires doing the right thing at the right time and in the right way. And no doubt there is a proper time to build green-
houses; but there never is a time when human building should be invited or permitted at the expense of the divine.
Earthly palatial homes and boundless estates never obscured Mrs. Eddy’s vision of the “many mansions” of the “Father’s house.”
Mary Baker Eddy, our beloved Teacher and Leader, did not vie with the ages in imposing architectural church splendor, when she inspired the building of the chaste and wholesome Mother Church. But she was mindful of the “one thing needful,” according to the Master, and prayed to outshine the church-builders of the old world not in magnificence of cathedrals, but in the simplicity of the spiritual building in which she humble led, – even the spiritual building which overcomes “the world, the flesh and the devil,” for whose superstructure of self-sacrifice Christ Jesus laid the foundation.
The indefatigable, progressive spiritual endeavors and attainments of Mrs. Eddy’s practical spiritual leadership were tempered always with forbearance and patience with spiritually dull followers.
Those things which many out of gratitude would do for her, she tenderly appreciated, recognizing every loving desire, as the parent appreciates filial heartpromptings; but nothing gave to Mrs. Eddy the joy of real satisfaction as a hearttouch of reciprocal spirituality, proved true by self-sacrificing, intelligent obedience.
Mrs. Eddy longed for the responsive companionship of Spirit, which her Loveleadership must inspire. Let me share, with the sacred hush of the regenerate being into whose companionable Spirit she lived to draw her followers, as she abode there in its inspiring communion, an experience which is enriched with the ripening of maturing memory.
One day her longing heart lifted a business interview entirely above her usual edifying human, quite to the borders of the promising divine; and as I was about to leave her presence, she arose from her comfortable chair, clasped my hand firmly, and resting her venerable head on my shoulder, mused aloud, oh, so tenderly: “Joseph, dear, Mother is homesick for heaven.”
Chapter XXI — My Far-Reaching and Ever-Increasing Indebtedness to Mrs. Eddy
When Jesus said: “Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall not pass away,” he ascribed the immortality of his words to the divine intelligence that inspired him, and not to the greatness of his human achievements. Respect is due to the world-leaders of history whose lives of service and achievement have benefited the world down through the ages; yet with the dawning of real light, it must be seen that in comparison with the humble Nazarene’s leavening life in the world, all merely personal benefactors are like fading shadows before the light that dissipates them.
The greatness of Jesus of Nazareth is immortalized by the natural spiritual earth-transforming power whereby he proved that God is ever with His own, in His kingdom on earth as in heaven.
The history of Christianity testifies to many noble individual Christian standard-bearers; and the Christian Church, which before the advent of Christian Science was quite devoid of the primitive healing power of the early centuries, justly pointed with pride to its “noble army of martyrs;” but to Mary Baker Eddy belongs the credit of the universal new birth that is coming to the world through Christian Science. Through her discovery of Christian Science she became not only the first Christian Scientist from the viewpoint of time, but as the exponent of her discovery she was the first, through the infallible spiritual light of her original inspiration, to draw the straight line of demarcation of spiritual understanding between the heavenly influence on earth of the Christ Mind – the Mind “that was also in Christ Jesus” – and the hypnotic counterfeit so-called mental influence of mesmerism.
Sometime, through spiritual understanding the Christian world will see, as I in serving under her, saw in her daily life and works, the results of Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual understanding; and then all true Christians will as gladly give to her the place in their hearts which she now fills in the hearts of true Christian Scientists.
To God, through Mrs. Eddy, belongs the credit of that which to benighted believers seemed a miracle of healing. The four physicians called to my death-bed, after a final consultation agreed that nothing more could be done for me. I had been accidentally shot and their diagnosis revealed the ball from the thirty-two cal-
iber revolver lodged in the inner layer of the pericardium of the heart. From the depth of this human hopelessness, with all the evidences of the triumph of the last enemy clearly apparent upon the body, Christian Science awakened me to a new sense of life which brought with it an almost instantaneous restoration to health. With the return of consciousness came the glow of warmth, driving out the chill of death.
It is noteworthy here to mention a point introduced in my primary class at the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, relative to President Garfield’s long period of languishing between life and death. The student asked why Garfield was not healed through the prayer of Christian Scientists who had volunteered their best when the dying President had been given up. By way of answering, Mrs. Eddy cited my case of healing to illustrate her point. She said: “We have with us in this class a man who was far more dangerously wounded than post mortem evidence showed Garfield to have been; and yet this man was healed in Christian Science.” Mrs. Eddy then expatiated on the weight of universal belief, for or against a case, saying: “Garfield, as President, was at the mercy of pitiless publicity; whereas the man who is with us was too inconspicuous to have been known beyond his neighbor-friends; and even they, as well as every relative, were kept from the bedside of the stricken struggler.”
It is apropos of this subject to record here the substance of an inspiring conversation I once had with Mrs. Eddy along the lines of true healing or spiritual awakening, which in whatever degree realized, prophesies the ultimate triumph of Life over death. During the conversation Mrs. Eddy questioned deeply into my experience; her sweetly appreciative comment of it, I reverently record: “You have had a wonderful experience, you were thrown violently out of the house and picked yourself up outside; go not back into the house.”
No one in the great Field of Christian Science has greater cause for gratitude than I, for the blessing of an original healing whereby God’s right hand snatched me from an early grave. Divine Love has now for nearly forty-five years drawn me out into the ever brightening spiritual light of Christian Science to the enjoyment of the regeneration in which my progressively new-born being naturally overflows to the healing of others. Out of the heart of Soul-born gratitude, I offered my all in service to Mrs. Eddy; gratitude inspired my service under her, and growing gratitude now inspires my reminiscent writing of her supreme spiritual naturalness and the practicality of her Christian example as a true Christian Scientist.
Chapter XXII — Her Spiritual Understanding,
Inspiring Scriptural Guidance and Loving Rebukes
Mrs. Eddy tells us that the Bible was her only guide “in ‘the straight and narrow way’ of Truth;” and again she writes: “All Truth is from inspiration and revelation.” Therefore it must be seen that it was Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual understanding of the Bible which opened the way and led her in it, to the discovery, in Christian Science, of the Master’s practical, spiritual footsteps.
A guide-book outlines and describes correctly and minutely the right way from city to city around the world; but only one who reads and understands and obeys directions finds the book a guide.
So the Bible was Mrs. Eddy’s guide, – her spiritual guide out of matter into Mind. As a spiritual guide-book, the Bible must be spiritually understood; if misread, from a mere intellectual grasp of the letter, the same Bible that guided Mrs. Eddy, mis-guides; even as the crass materialism of the religious world looking to matter for medicine, instead of to divine Mind, proves.
Mrs. Eddy herself in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” confirms the need of inspired reading when she says: “The divine Science taught in the original language of the Bible came through inspiration, and needs inspiration to be understood. Hence, the misapprehension of the spiritual meaning of the Bible, and the misinterpretation of the Word in some instances by uninspired writers, who only wrote down what an inspired teacher had said….Inspired writers interpret the Word spiritually, while the ordinary historian interprets it literally.”
The foregoing paragraphs serve only to give a sustaining background to what I am about to say of Mrs. Eddy’s closet-life necessity, which, as I witnessed it, awakened in me some of the saddest strains in my life.
As one of the family about her, I could not help knowing of many of the spontaneous lightning-flashes of divinity, which through her rebuked evil uncompromisingly, as her sharp spiritual eye detected error in students and official workers in the great Field of Christian Science.
It goes without saying that Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual acumen never misled her, or deceived her into a personal exposition and handling of evil. Those who knew her understood clearly that Principle preponderated over person in her own life, therefore she always uncovered and rebuked evil from Principle, or with the Love that made it quite impossible for her to harm; and whether she loved gently or severely, her Godly incentive was bound to bless.
As the Bible, spiritually understood, is our God-given guide-book, guiding the children of earth to heaven, and misunderstood, keeps them wanderers on earth or precipitates them into hell, so the spiritual-leadership rebukes of Mrs. Eddy, understood and sacredly cherished with the Love that gave them, were bound to bless; but when perverted, in personal circulation by envy, jealousy, or by a fanciful loyalty which strains out gnats of faults, to swallow camels of personal favor-courting, they become the cause of the reversal of Mrs. Eddy’s own prayer, through those who lacked the spiritual sense of Principle either to understand her spontaneous life, or to trust God with the undying faith and trust with which she herself waited upon Love, and the leaven of divine Love always sacredly planted by her.
The saddest point in the history of my witnessing at Pleasant View the life of the Discoverer of, and Leader in, Christian Science, was to note that lack of spirituality in her students and followers often led them to water as unwisely as she had planted wisely. Even her most conscientious and loving followers often so personalized, from lack of true Love, a God-impelled prompting of Mrs. Eddy’s, as for the time being to hinder the true operation of Love through her; but undismayed, she worked, watched and prayed, living, chiding, rebuking, as one knowing that “All things work together for good to them that love God.”
Chapter XXIII — Her Wise and Always Worthy Wit
When the reality of being predominates in one’s life, there is no such thing as wasteful light-heartedness or non-productive levity. Selfless living or loving keeps the dead leaves of morbidity from hiding the beautiful, bubbling spring and hindering the open flow of wisdom’s waters of Life.
In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” Mrs. Eddy writes: “Mind’s infinite ideas run and disport themselves.” In nothing was this revealed truth more appreciably demonstrated than in Mrs. Eddy’s natural home-life. Her wealth of witticism, colorful repartee, and always edifying humor had never a flavor of worldliness. Even her most pointed, ludicrous jokes never failed to carry with them some special quickening or lesson of enlightenment. I remember one such story which Mrs. Eddy used in my primary class at the Metaphysical College, to expose the absurdity of the theological belief that God’s image and likeness can be material: “Pat’s Echo” – When Pat called out, “How do you do this morning?” Echo answered, “Pretty well, I thank you!”
Those who have seen Mrs. Eddy in the naturalness of her beaming, bubbling being, know how truly she writes, when in “Miscellaneous Writings” she says, “I agree with the Reverend Dr. Talmage, that ‘there are wit, humor, and enduring vivacity among God’s people.’”
Chapter XXIV — Her Sincerity and Oneness with God
The sayings of Jesus have resounded through the ages to the comfort and inspiration of all humble enough to hear. He described himself to his disciples as the good shepherd, saying of his sheep: “I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” The Master was ever conscious of his earth-mission; that is, he was ever conscious of is divine necessity to manifest, make evident or demonstrate the infinite resourcefulness of God, or the Life that is God.
A very natural experience came to me one day which elucidated the true meaning of the Master’s startling claim: “I and my Father are one,” – a scientific declaration of the oneness or unity of son and Father.
Mrs. Eddy called me to her, as she in directing affairs was wont to do, and before touching upon any point of the day’s outline, she most graciously complimented and sweetly thanked me for a good work I had done.
I at once thanked her for her special word of loving appreciation, saying, “But, Mother, it was not I who did it; the credit belongs to God.” Quick as lightning Mrs. Eddy gently rebuked my false modesty with her usual heavenly decisiveness, “Yes, dear, but God is never seen apart from man, and when I speak of God I mean also His reflection, for I cannot separate them; they are one, and that one is God and man. I know and see God only in His reflection.”
Those who were fortunate enough to be near Mrs. Eddy found in her this Christlike aliveness which not only always pointed Godward, but also indicated the living oneness and inseparability of God and man.
Her humanity was ever reliably sweet with overshadowing and overflowing divinity. In her inspiring presence I saw not the immanence of God in the abstract, but in the practical concrete wherein human duality disappeared before the unfolding spiritual oneness, scientifically revealed through her and recorded in her book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.”
Chapter XXV — Her Divine Naturalness Precluded Professionalism
There is no room in Christian Science for the haughtiness of mortal mind’s superficial superiority, which is the “Lord, Lord” of profession at the expense of practice; the pride of such “professionalism” contrasts painfully with the humbleness of our Leader’s life. In the early pioneer days of the Cause, Mrs. Eddy worked and prayed in obscurity, watching alone with God; making herself “of no reputation;” letting her work introduce her.
Even after she had written her inspired volume “Science and Health” Mrs. Eddy continued for some time to do her own housework. And so it was in dusting cap and with broom in hand that a famous author, in search of the author of “Science and Health” found her as she responded to his friendly knock. Mrs. Eddy related this historic incident of her early life with a view of awakening us to the fact that a true Christian Scientist begins patiently at the foot of the ladder which reaches from earth to heaven, but does not remain there; inspiration indicates the need of legitimate progress and justifies its hope and expectation. Mrs. Eddy said of the experience that it was no disgrace for the author of “Science and Health” to be discovered wearing a dust cap and with broom in hand, but it would not have been in keeping with the inevitability of the law of progress for her to remain where her distinguished literary caller found her.
Mrs. Eddy’s life in Christian Science will remain the pattern for her followers for all time. She has said: “Follow your Leader only so far as she follows Christ.” Hers was indeed a leadership of Principle, far above the merely human or personal; and only those “which came out of great tribulation” and “have washed their robes white in obedience and suffering” are ever really following her Christ-example, as I bore witness to it in her home life of living sacrifice; seeing her work, watch and pray, night and day, and day and night, to establish, as she did, the worldregenerating cause of Christian Science.
In “Science and Health” Mrs. Eddy refers to her consecrated application of her life to the solution of the “problem of Mind-healing.” In devoting time and energies “to discovering a positive rule,” she says: “The search was sweet, calm and
buoyant with hope, not selfish nor depressing.” And this ideally portrays her whole self-sacrificing life as I saw it.
However heavy the weight of her own cross with the increasing demands of the fast growing Cause upon her, one could not come into Mrs. Eddy’s presence without feeling the inspiration of her conscious communion with God.
The golden thread of her spiritual consciousness was easily discernible in her transcendent hope and faith, and in her understanding of the power of divine Mind to overcome evil with good.
In her writings Mrs. Eddy teaches the Science of Being, the transfiguration, as it were, of Christ Jesus upon the mount; so in her daily demonstration of Christian Science, she emulated the Master’s practicality as he demonstrated it, when immediately upon coming down from the mount, in response to the pitiable appeal of the man who tearfully exclaimed: “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief,” he was healed the son whom the disciples failed to heal. So in her daily life of actual, practical, individual emulation of Christlike living – a blessing of self, only in living for others – our beloved Leader brings us down from the mount only to teach us, by exemplary practice, as well as precept, the way up again.
The priceless experience of having served under the inspiration of the world’s everlasting benefactress constrains me to write, biographically, what I honestly can, for the benefit of posterity.
Our revered Leader’s sufferings and triumphs for the Cause she loved and for which she lived, put to shame the selfish, feeble efforts of would-be followers who, seeking after “the loaves and fishes,” are not constrained to strive so unselfishly as God demands and as she lived, for the happiness, which, in blessing the world, leads out of it.
There was nothing professional in Mrs. Eddy’s life. Her happy, beaming overflow of genuineness of Soul on every hand, quite naturally silenced false sense, and enthroned the Soul-sense, healingly and savingly.
Professionalism will have a short day in Christian Science. Its day will be only long enough to teach Christian Scientists that Jesus meant what he said when he told his disciples: “But he that is greatest among you, let him be…as he that doth serve;” and to let Mrs. Eddy’s followers learn, through bitter experience if they must, that God demands no less of every faithful follower than He demanded of His original vicegerent, and of her who in all humility, at every human cost, demonstrated, in founding our Cause, the Love which meets the human need of our
extending and perpetuating God’s cause successfully, through our demonstration of the same self-sacrificing Love.
Her appreciable self-immolation introduced Christian Science invitingly and irresistibly to the world, saying to the sick and suffering, sorrowing world-weary, with the spirit of the Master: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Chapter XXVI — Her Demonstration of the Present Christ Superseding All Christmas Commemoration of an Absent Jesus
In her book “Christ and Christmas” Mrs. Eddy poetizes and pictures her unfolding sense of the Christ, God’s perfect ideal, the inspired conception of which had come to her years before through the divine revelation of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.”
Revelation is God speaking to the children of men. The spiritually minded hear the revealed word, and through the inspiration of spiritual understanding hearers become doers. The idea of spiritual understanding unfolds in human consciousness gradually and progressively as the child Jesus unfolded from human infancy his infolded divine manhood.
When Christendom and the world awaken to Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual concept of the Christ-Principle, of which Jesus was the fullest human expression, it will be generally understood how the prophet foresaw the impersonal Saviour which made Christ Jesus “Immanuel,” the purity of manhood reflecting God on earth.
From sacred history we learn how beautifully Jesus’ nativity was heralded by angels; how, providentially guided by his star, the wise men found the new born babe in a manger, and in reverent appreciation of its immaculate conception and birth of promise, left with it their choicest gifts; how, from its humble stable-birth, the child grew and blossomed spiritually into unprecedented manhood, which quickly fruited and ripened into a demonstration of oneness with Soul which proved human sense and sense existence as null and void as the shadow that vanishes under the all-pervading luminosity of the noon day light.
The lack of spiritual understanding of the ages has shrouded the immaculate conception of Jesus and his singularly humble birth in a religious superstition which has superstitiously commemorated his nativity in a Christmas celebration which leads into worldliness or selfishness, instead of out of it into Christian unselfishness.
A sin-sick and suffering world is waiting for the wisdom of Christian Science to awaken it from its worshipful belief in Jesus as a personal saviour, to the spiritual
understanding of the Christ-Mind – the Mind that is God, which Christ Jesus embodied and reflected to the effectual awakening of the sinner, to the healing of the sick, to the final raising of the dead, and to his own resurrection and ascension; and the same impersonal Saviour that actuated the Master remains benedictively with the world, even as Jesus’ own words indicate: “Lo! I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
The revelation of Christian Science inspires mankind with the spiritual sense of the Christ which outlined Jesus’ wonderful personal appearing and disappearing; and this naturally unfolding spiritual sense also naturally lets divine emulation of the great Master supersede human commemoration of him.
“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” avers that the last supper which he ate with his disciples “closed forever Jesus’ ritualism or concession to matter.”
Mrs. Eddy’s consecrated, exemplary, progressive spiritual life and teaching lifted human thought above the mere human commemoration of a birth, even to the unfolding spiritual sense of the Christ-Mind, whose living glory in and through Jesus made him the Wayshower, indeed, for all mankind, – the Wayshower out of belief in matter, into the heavenly glory of understanding Spirit.
As Christ Jesus never celebrated his own nativity in what the religious world calls Christmas, and in the giving and receiving of choice presents, so Mrs. Eddy spiritually outgrew the more human sense of Christmas and progressively awakened to that divine sense which quite unbeknown to the world radiates God’s blessing to all mankind through Christian Science.
In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” Mrs. Eddy in speaking of the practicality of Jesus’ spirituality, says: “Through the magnitude of his human life, he demonstrated the divine Life. Out of the amplitude of his pure affection, he defined Love. With the affluence of Truth, he vanquished error. The world acknowledged not his righteousness, seeing it not; but earth received the harmony his glorified example introduced.”
Without doubt Mrs. Eddy from childhood had a very exalted sense of Christmas. Her progress from Christmas gift-giving to the Christ awakening which is above the need of human remembrancers, was as natural as Jesus’ merging from childhood into manhood in Christ. The selfish human celebration of the birth of Jesus no more awakens humans to the spiritual sense, with power, of the always present Christ, than Jesus by remaining a babe in the manger could have demonstrated
the superiority of Christ – the divine with which God endows man without measure
– over all human limitations, error or evil, and even the last enemy.
Long before Mrs. Eddy took her final step from “presents” to Principle she wrote of herself in “Miscellaneous Writings”: “In 1866 when God revealed to me this risen Christ, this Life that knows no death, that saith, ‘Because he lives, I live,’ I awoke from the dream of Spirit in the flesh so far as to take the side of Spirit, and strive to cease my warfare.
“When through this consciousness I was delivered from the dark shadow and portal of death, my friends were frightened at beholding me restored to health.
“A dear old lady asked me, ‘How is it that you are restored to us? Has Christ come again on earth?’
“ ‘Christ never left,’ I replied; ‘Christ is Truth, and Truth is always here, – the impersonal Saviour.’”
I am most grateful to have seen at Pleasant View Mrs. Eddy’s natural footsteps from a glorious human sense of Christmas, most lovingly and practically celebrated with choice gifts, to that divine sense which she immortalized in her numerous writings for the inspiration of her followers.
In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” Mrs. Eddy advises that we “Emerge gently from matter into Spirit. Think not to thwart the spiritual ultimate of all things, but come naturally into Spirit through better health and morals and as the result of spiritual growth.”
Mrs. Eddy’s own notes to me so beautifully hint her divine leading out of the too human sense of Christmas, that I give them here. They, as a spiritual awakening, were Mrs. Eddy’s gift to me on that memorable Christmas.
Please purchase for Mother these things, and put my card in each package and sly it into their rooms for Christmas.
With love always,
Enclosed with this note to me was a list of the names of every member of her family and all helpers at the cottage; with Mrs. Eddy’s own selection of the presents for each one.
The joy with which this great godly woman entered into the Christmas spirit reminded me of the Master’s words: “Except ye become….as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
The following note shows how carefully she herself considered every necessary detail:
I will hand the money on the start to you, soon after dinner; or you get the bills of whom you purchase, – which shall I do?
Before I could start for town to do her Christmas shopping, the following note came, lifting my thought above it all:
I did not think of what I was putting on you of materiality. I am sorry. Let me change the program. Mr. Frye will give…. Give yourself a new Science and Health when it appears; and give your thought to God. Help me that way.
Out of her overflowing divinity Mrs. Eddy realized the wealth of means which enabled her to finance a great Cause and build the Mother Church, to represent and bless the spiritual leaven she had planted in the world.
Others with the world’s millions, but lacking the spirituality which earned Mrs. Eddy’s riches, may imitatively undertake great projects, ostensibly for the world’s good, but insofar as their efforts are sense-pleasing they are apt to be as weak and vain as Mrs. Eddy’s profound doing was always strong and fruitful in sensesacrificing.
The following Christmas note one year gladdened my heart, not because of the check for one hundred dollars which Mrs. Eddy sent with it, but because of her reassuring words of “gratitude and love.”
“My beloved Student:
With gratitude and love for your kindness and faithful help the past year,
I am lovingly your debtor, Mother,
(Signed) Mary Baker Eddy.”
Her reassuring words of “gratitude and love” have always meant much to me; but what is such an individual remembrance compared to the gift of her life to the world, through Christian Science? Mrs. Eddy’s life of spiritual uplift is hinted in her exalted portrayal of “What Christmas Means to Me,” in which her final words are:
“I love to observe Christmas in quietude, humility, benevolence, charity, letting good will towards man, eloquent silence, prayer, and praise express my conception of Truth’s appearing.
“The splendor of this nativity of Christ reveals infinite meanings and gives manifold blessings. Material gifts and pastimes tend to obliterate the spiritual idea in consciousness, leaving one alone and without His glory.”
Chapter XXVII — A Reformer Not “Clothed in Soft Raiment”
In my closet-acquaintance with Mrs. Eddy it was easy to see why outsiders so cruelly misjudged her. From birth she was too genuine before God to waste time in trying to please; but those fortunate enough to come into her wholesomely, ingratiating presence were always indelibly impressed by her unaffected, tenderly trembling graciousness, whether early, along her ever climbing pathway, or late, as the ripening years of her genuine being hallowed every human heart-throb with the solicitude which bespoke God-with-us.
According to Scripture, human birth-pangs are inevitable, the averment of Holy Writ being: “In sorrow shalt thou bring forth.” Insofar as world leaders are disposed to be fair, it should not seem strange to them that a good woman, who has become inestimably great as the Leader of an epoch-making Christian Cause, should have been, to a merely materialistic appreciation, a strange child – strange in the sense of an unusual child, unusually sensitive beyond human appreciation; hence, a most misunderstood, misjudged child, all along the line of her tender and painful unfoldment, up to the much maligned woman who was still less understood by the worldly wise as the renowned spiritual Leader in Christian Science. The Godly woman who sang:
“I will listen for Thy voice, Lest my footsteps stray”
must from childhood have been ill at ease in a worldly world that could not appreciate her heavenly longings, which those, understanding of heart, might have seen in the tearful eyes focused on spiritual things, while her ears, divinely attuned, listened naturally to heavenly tones.
To explicit Mrs. Eddy’s human history, with a view of detracting from her Godly leadership in Christian Science, is like coldly detailing a mother’s sorrowful suffering in giving birth to a most promising child. Only an enemy could magnify meanly her period of travail; whereas, a friend would rejoice in the safe delivery, and would love the noble child and its most noble mother.
Those who would in a personal way attempt to detract from Mrs. Eddy’s nobility, no more knew her great heart than the devil can appreciate the goodness of God.
Her enemies, or those who do not understand her, hence, cannot know the truth, falsely accuse her of turning against certain prominent students. But I knew Mrs. Eddy as a too truly spiritual mother ever to hate one of her children; she loved even those who willfully or mistakenly perverted her teaching, ever praying for their redemption from mesmeric by-paths, where the conceit of intellectuality, which they believed superior to Mrs. Eddy’s spirituality, had driven them in the name of Christian Science. From long and close association with our consecrated Leader, I know what she has written in “Retrospection and Introspection” to be true; namely, that “Nothing except sin in the students themselves, can separate them from me. Therefore we should guard thought and action, keeping them in accord with Christ, and our friendship will surely continue.”
A great general’s uncompromising “yea, yea” and “nay, nay” on the battlefield are often only too easily misunderstood or misconstrued by the rank and file; he may even be maligned by his soft critics, who from their safe home-base see not the need of uncompromising fighting. But the loyal soldier who loves his cause more than his life fights only to defeat the enemy and to establish the fruits of a world-blessing victory.
So Mary Baker Eddy, like a true Christian soldier, lived far beyond the allotted three score years and ten, standing off the last enemy to a ripe old age. In spite of the inherited sensitiveness that subjected her delicate soul to the murderous shocks of an unsympathetic world, she lived triumphantly enough, by the grace of God, to establish the great world-encompassing Cause of Christian Science.
After her discovery of Christian Science, her spiritually uplifted life and good works drew to her the world-weary of earth who, like herself, were looking hopefully heavenward. With the spiritually ripening of time, it will become clear to all mankind, as my understanding nearness to Mrs. Eddy has forever convinced me, that in every instance just the reverse of what her benighted accusers say of our beloved Leader is true.
It is impossible for anyone, from the long-distance view of the world, to do Mrs. Eddy justice which God vouchsafes her through the spiritually honest “closeup” which her household and loyal Christian Scientists have through demonstrable understanding; since according to Scripture, the same carnal mind that misunderstands, misjudges and maligns the Godly of earth, is also “enmity against God.”
Has the world ever been just to its benefactors? Was Jesus of Nazareth loved by those who failed to understand him or to appreciate his good works?
Intellectual critics, biographers or historians who lack the spirituality of intuitive perception may write, in the hope of pecuniary gain, what pleases morbid, worldly drifters; but such sordid spirits can no more appreciate the sturdy spiritual pioneer statuesqueness of Mrs. Eddy’s womanhood – the natural virtue of which enabled her to live triumphantly, in spite of the weaknesses of the flesh – than the worldly-wise of the Master’s time appreciated the virtue of the God-anointed; hence, Jesus’ penetrating enquiry: “What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in king’s houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
Chapter XXVIII — Inexpressible Soul-Heavings
One could not live in Mrs. Eddy’s home or serve under her direct jurisdiction without witnessing striking instances of suffering heroically borne, and understandingly overcome; or, without hearing startling spontaneous expressions, pregnant with the spiritual vitality which draws such admonitory meaning from past suffering as to lend its inspiration to present regenerative suffering.
There was nothing of the shallow or selfish of earth’s ease-lovers in Mrs. Eddy’s natural home-life. As she had borne the birth-throes of her spiritual discovery, so she valiantly suffered on, with the patient, pioneer spiritual ruggedness which lead in the establishment of the great Cause of Christian Science.
As it was prophesied of Jesus, that he should save the people from their sins, so Christian Science saves mankind from its sins; but the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science has never taught in word or in her consecrated life, so far as it was my special blessing to witness it, that Christian Science saves sinners from the effects of their sins; and her life-example proves that a Christian voluntarily follows the Master in regenerative cross-bearing.
It would be quite impossible to write what I feel about the heart-rending situation that was forced upon Mrs. Eddy through the so-called “next friends,” who had concocted a scheme whereby to prove Mrs. Eddy “incompetent;” but I must note a few salient points from my vantage ground of intimate knowledge.
While the persecuting trial was upon her, Mrs. Eddy called me from my new field work to take again my place among the workers at Pleasant View for a few weeks.
The morning after my arrival Mrs. Eddy called me into her study to instruct me in the work I was to take up. I found her serious to the point of sadness, under the weight of that maliciously instigated court-proceeding.
During the conversation that ensued, Mrs. Eddy deprecated the wickedness that was, through human relationship, trying to discredit her in the eyes of the world in the hope of ending her living leadership as the pioneer Christian Scientist.
Her only son, not understanding the power of God in Christian Science to shield him from the evil influence of he personally ambitious, had become the open avenue for insidious workings against his mother. As she ruminated upon the miserable situation, she plaintively soliloquized, “For every mistake Mother has ever made, she has suffered, and suffered, and suffered.”
But, O, how her sweet face lighted up when tenderly reassuringly I said to her, “Cheer up, Mother, for this is the last channel of flesh-relationship through which evil could presume to reach you.”
In spite of her own immediate and great need Mrs. Eddy found time to lovingly inquire about my activities in the field. She was glad that I had prospered; glad to know of the building of a little church in my new field of service. Of these she said, “I like those small beginnings. First, the right thought, then right words, and words proved by the hands.”
It was inspiring once more to hear her read to me as she did upon the first morning of my return. She read naturally, sweetly and without glasses a large share of two chapters from the Bible. What I had learned in previous years of service was renewedly emphasized now upon my return; namely, that it is impossible, unselfishly to give without also receiving. I had come to Pleasant View only to give, but I left feeling greatly enriched. Humbly I saw anew the vast scope of possibilities of higher and more selfless service in the field – a service requiring no less selfsacrificing than the infinite demands made on each one who, serving under the immediate inspiration of Mrs. Eddy, prayed with her to give all and to do all.
Chapter XXIX — The Strikingly Sparkling Diversity of Mrs. Eddy’s Original Flashes of Individuality
The profound simplicity of Mrs. Eddy’s directness has always greatly impressed me; I therefore feel impelled to pass to posterity a few of the meaningful spontaneous flashes that have blessed me.
Out of motherly appreciation, Mrs. Eddy presented me with a very neat gold watch on the inner plate of which was engraved: “With Love, Mother.”
In thanking her I said quite earnestly, “It will remind me always to be on time.”
Mrs. Eddy smiled appreciatively and said, “Yes, dear, it will remind you that time is precious and belongs to God; and throughout time it will say to you – ‘Watch!’ ”
I recall with ever renewed appreciation the extent of Mrs. Eddy’s natural trust in God which covered protectively every human exigency. Early in my sojourn at Pleasant View our conversation led one day to the subject of hiring and dismissing helpers who came to Pleasant View to serve her. As we touched upon the questions of worthiness or unworthiness, and the matter of determining exactly the period of service, I saw her unqualified reliance upon God as it is hinted in her inimitable, profoundly comprehensive expression: “God appoints and He disappoints.”
As my service at Pleasant View passed into years, I naturally rested in an enlightened conviction that touched the hem of understanding with regard to Mrs. Eddy’s natural, restful spiritual spontaneity – a divinely intuitive right guidance, constantly assuring me that only spiritual understanding draws intelligently on God for what we humanly need.
With the prayer of planting in the universal consciousness, to the everlasting blessing of mankind, what has all my life blessed me, I am impelled to put into a simple setting a very rare jewel.
After I had been so marvelously snatched from the grave through the hand of God in Christian Science, I very naturally immediately became a happy student of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures;” and as naturally, found therein the reason for the new-born hope within me. As soon as I could arrange for it, I ap-
pealed to Mrs. Eddy for an early enrollment for the primary course in the Massachusetts Metaphysical College. From my birth in Christian Science my consecrated activities on behalf of the sick and needy naturally led me into many deep and trying experiences. In those earliest years I found myself on the dangerous ground of devious human conceptions of Christian Science, all of which formed the wicked gauntlet I must run. There was the presumptuous claim, in the name of Christian Science, that human mind-cure is healing; but which like the various phases of mesmerism made mortals comfortable in the flesh, instead of awakening them out of carnal-mindedness and lifting their lives through the divinity of Christian Science above the degenerating fleshly.
Though only a babe in Christian Science, I was, nevertheless, as Saint Paul said of himself, “free born,” and as a vigorous healthy child, I naturally drew on “Science and Health,” and “Science and Health” only, for my inspiring, nourishing and sustaining milk – and pure milk it proved to be to me.
One evening during the primary class-term, Mrs. Eddy gave a class reception, that we might all take her by the hand and at the same time get better acquainted with one another.
The benedictive tone of that memorable evening was sounded for me during my few moments apart with my venerable Teacher. As I took her hand, I said, “Mrs. Eddy, I have passed through very trying experiences before coming to this class, but Science and Health saved me.”
Her very earnest reassuring, motherly response was, “Yes, dear, and it will save every one who adheres to its inspired teaching and spiritually enlightening leading.”
A swift but complete conception of the genuinely consistent humanity of Mrs. Eddy’s childhood home was afforded those of us at Pleasant View who heard Mrs. Eddy tell the story of the kernel of corn. The incident was only simple and passing, but the deeply appreciative way that Mrs. Eddy spoke of it to us betrayed the lasting impression it had made upon her as a child and which now through her very earnestness she was passing on to us. As a little girl, in playing about in the kitchen, she picked up a kernel of corn from the floor and threw it into the coal hod; her mother seeing her demanded that little Mary, with her own tiny hand, pick out the grain of corn from where it would be wasted and save it to feed some hungry chicken.
The practical thrift of this timely motherly lesson could be traced, in its assimilation, through her later life at Pleasant View where I had a part in the management
of the home affairs. In the light of Christian Science it had attained the dignity of the divine demand of the Master: “Gather up the fragments that remain that nothing be lost.”
It is heart-gratifying to know that the sacrifices of her early pioneer days which cut to the very marrow of self-denial (often she lacked the penny wherewith to buy even an apple to appease her hunger) were not in vain. In the zenith of her Leadership in Christian Science Love blessed her with only the sweetest orange juice that I had the joy of procuring for her in a world that, at any cost to herself, she had called into spiritual awakening.
In her book “Retrospection and Introspection” Mrs. Eddy writes: “Science is the prism of Truth, which divides its rays and brings out the hues of Deity.” Nothing could more naturally demonstrate this poetic statement than Mrs. Eddy’s own spiritually colorful life, as I bore witness to it, as in daily life she reduced the divine winsomeness to edifying human appreciation.
The grandeur of Mrs. Eddy’s originality was practicalized in the beneficent unfoldment of her inspiring individuality – an individuality so representative of divine Principle as entirely to supersede personality.
As “like attracts like,” so I had occasion to note that the great woman of heroic individuality was not only herself divinely original, but she was most liberally appreciative of the originality of others. I was privileged to prove this fact with unmistakable surety when I took to her the copy of an article that I had written at Pleasant View, hoping she would find time to scan it and pass upon its worthiness for publication. When she had read what I had written, she called me to her, and requested that I send it for publication in both the Sentinel and Journal, saying, “Notwithstanding your free use of quotations, it is one of the most original writings in Christian Science that I have ever read.”
One Easter Sunday morning Mrs. Eddy called her household to her and gave us an Easter lesson to which I cannot hope to do justice from memory; but I want to hint the spirit of it and to share a few of the quickening points which I noted at the time.
After elaborating upon the true meaning of Easter, she hinted the inevitability of spiritual radicality in the progressive unfoldment of the new birth, saying, “You must get rid of the ‘old man,’ the old woman; you cannot make them better and keep them. You are not getting rid of the old man if you try to make him better. If you should succeed in making him better, he would stay with you. If you patch up
the old and say it is good enough, you do not put it off, but keep it. If you try to make the old satisfactory, you are preparing to keep it, not to put it off.
“We have but one Mind; and to abide in this perfect freedom of individuality is the resurrection, – is to have risen above material or lower demands. The resurrective sense is positive; it is ‘yea, yea and nay, nay.’ The resurrective sense does not listen compromisingly to error. It is always about its ‘Father’s business,’ – reflecting Principle. Jesus’ whole life was resurrective; that is, his life was a constant conscious rising spiritually above sin, sickness, death; and his resurrection from the grave was to sense a type of divine Love’s final triumph over the human belief that matter is substance, or has power to impose limitations to Mind or man.”
Chapter XXX — A Loving Word of My Sister’s Contributive Hand at Pleasant View and Her Heart-Service as Mrs. Eddy’s Maid
At about the time Mrs. Eddy purchased the site of the original Mother Church, my sister Pauline and I rented a house on Falmouth Street, where The First Church of Christ, Scientist, now stands, and established a home for ourselves in Boston. This our humble home became the home of many a worthy pioneer worker. My sister’s wholesome cooking and the fine motherly spirit that made her the clean, orderly housekeeper that she was, drew many, who loved Pauline for her homespun genuineness, to our home. By such heart and hand service my sister did her share toward covering the expenses incident upon pioneer-building in a large city.
For some years I had been in the Boston Field as a Christian Science practitioner, – and so continued. Some years later, after the Mother Church had been built, we purchased a house on St. Stephen Street, within sight of our beloved Church. It was while living happily in this home – the home which, as a result of our united prayers and untiring activities for the Cause and the good of others, was now free from debt – that my sister responded to a call for help from Pleasant View: the cook was in need of rest, and Pauline was asked to fill her place for a few weeks.
Later my sister and I left our Boston home and went to Pleasant View. Pauline at first became housekeeper at the cottage which was the home of the coachman and the florist, and I became superintendent, and what not; our only prayer was that we might be helpful to “Mother.”
If my sister were here, I am sure she would have a word to write in commemoration of her true and dutiful love for our beloved Leader. It is as a tribute to her simple, child-like faithfulness that I reverently write that word for her.
Pauline served as Mrs. Eddy’s maid for many years. Her devotion is hinted by the fact that in all the years of her heart-service in our beloved Leader’s home, Pauline was never beyond the reach of Mrs. Eddy’s call, except on a rare occasion that was of Mother’s own planning for her. Without doubt this unstinted, untiring, selfless service was inspired originally by an undying gratitude to Mrs. Eddy for the blessing of Christian Science that had come into our childhood home; and
when her brother who had been abandoned by the physicians as positively hopeless, through the sunlight of divine Love was rescued from impending death.
I recall what one of our true friends, whose faithfulness to the Cause duly elevated him to the Mother Church Directorship, said of Pauline when recommending her to Mrs. Eddy. His word of simple, direct finality was in substance, She knows the virtue of silence. This, in epitome, is indeed the statue of Pauline. She never spared herself – her living first for others was ever silently, justly appreciative of all she saw or heard – but her part was always to do.
My sister was not a class student of Mrs. Eddy; but it is self-evident that in her prayerful attendance on our Leader she was given the “line upon line, precept upon precept” of practical instruction which gave her a clear foundational grasp of Christian Science.
I am grateful to have in my possession a definite tone of Mrs. Eddy’s own appreciation of Pauline. It is a little verse which had evidently been cut from some magazine and which Mrs. Eddy one day handed to Pauline. Mrs. Eddy had carefully enfolded the clipping in a sheet of paper on which she wrote the words: “From Mother;” this she sealed in a tiny envelope on which she wrote the name “Pauline.” Although Mrs. Eddy herself did not compose the verse it, nevertheless, paints the picture of her servant and seals the simple Soul-bond that existed between my sister and our beloved Leader.
A Letter She Never Wrote
It was never set down in black and white, The loving letter she did not write;
She thought it out as she baked the bread,
As she mended the stockings and made the bed; She wove the beautiful sentences through
The morning’s work that was her’s to do; But it never was written with ink and pen,
For the boys came home from school and then She hadn’t a chance in black and white
To scribble the letter she did not write.
Chapter XXXI — Her Love-Inspired, Wise, Tender, Motherly Solicitude
The crowning glory of Mary Baker Eddy’s home-life was the radiation of her genuine motherliness. Her family of helpers at Pleasant View as naturally called her “Mother” as the little chick peeps for maternal overshadowing. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” she has written: “Home is the center, but not the boundary of the affections;” and in her selfless radiation of divine Love, Mrs. Eddy shared with the whole world the overflow of the divinity that predominated so humanly appreciably in her own home.
Mrs. Eddy’s rugged life of ascendant, self-sustaining and persevering spirituality was a timely rebuke to the pious, religious belief that virtue is sullied by vice, or that sinners vitiate saints.
As Leader in the demonstration of Christian Science Mrs. Eddy emulated the Master in his exemplification of the divine requirement of being in the world but not of it.
The religious world interprets the Scriptural command that Christians “come out from among them” to mean little more than that those Christianly inclined withdraw personally from the worldly or evilly inclined; but Mrs. Eddy offers to a weary world the inspired interpretation that Christians have within themselves the strength of Principle which meets worldliness as its master; that they aspire and attain to the innate spirituality of their birthright, – that divine dominion which knows no subjection to evil.
Religious devotees of all ages have personally withdrawn from the mad rush of worldliness, into the seclusion of some especially dedicated sanctuary; but Mrs. Eddy’s understanding of God-with-her cloistered her in divine Mind, where her life was “hid with Christ in God.”
The Master’s divine appeal for his disciples was, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” This same divine Love, by exalting Mrs. Eddy above evil, only quickened her to every opportunity to do good.
The Scriptural requirement is that every one love his neighbor as himself. But in order humanly to meet this divine demand one must first know what it means to love oneself! One loves oneself only as one knows God as Love. To love one’s neighbor as one loves oneself, then, means nothing less than that one must be pure and unselfish enough always in all ways to let God reflect for individual, mutual and common good. In perfect accord with the Scriptural standard of unselfishness, is the word of our textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” where Mrs. Eddy says: “Blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good.”
The world is blessed, without knowing the cost to Mrs. Eddy of her steadfast loving whereby she devoted her life to the establishment of the Cause of Christian Science, thus selflessly seeing her own in the good of all mankind; but those who lived in her immediate family know best how to Mrs. Eddy there was nothing insignificant or unimportant, even as divine Love embraces all indiscriminately from the infinitesimal to the infinite. The same great heart whose purity enabled Mrs. Eddy to reflect God’s healing presence to a world, found its joy, in spite of the burdens of a world-cause ever upon her, in always lovingly remembering her family of helpers, in and about Pleasant View. Her own little note to me, will describe, better than I can, her instant watchfulness and thoughtfulness. Even the faithful barn cat came in for her share of loving remembrance, as the following “greetings” prove:
“My Darling Son:
Pull up the strawberries – they are not in the proper place.
Give my love to Pauline and greetings to kitty.
In Mrs. Eddy’s living the power to bless was not dependent upon a personal appearing or disappearing; her representation of Principle was always paramount in her metaphysical ministration, whether she yielded to the constraint of wisdom to be personally absent or present.
The wisdom voiced by Paul that “all things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient,” was once lovingly evoked by Mrs. Eddy when one of her pair of beautiful black horses was lame.
The coachman at Pleasant View was not a Christian Scientist but he believed himself to be a thorough horseman.
The horse had been lame a week or more, when one day while out on her drive Mrs. Eddy inquired of the coachman, saying, “Henry, can you cure the horse?”
Henry answered promptly, “I think I can. There is a certain liniment which I think will heal him.”
Mrs. Eddy said, “How long a trial do you want?” “About ten days,” Henry replied.
“Very well,” Mrs. Eddy said, “Make the most of your time.”
At the end of ten days the horse was still very lame; Mrs. Eddy said to Henry, “The horse is still lame; have you given your medicine a fair trial?”
Henry frankly admitted that he had.
Mrs. Eddy then said to him, “Will you now let Mr. Mann have as fair a trial, to treat the horse with the mental medicine of Christian Science?”
Henry replied that he would be glad to see the horse healed in any way.
Whereupon Mrs. Eddy called me to her and said, “Joseph, please take up the horse that Henry has failed to heal and demonstrate, in healing him, the power of Mind-healing.”
In less than a week, the horse was perfectly sound, to the rejoicing of all.
This instance, illustrating Mrs. Eddy’s wise leading in the overcoming of evil with good, is only one of a thousand that I might cite.
In Mrs. Eddy wisdom and Love were richly embodied, expressing themselves naturally, wisely and lovingly in most appealing and winsome ways. Her patient planting of the permeating leaven of Principle made her life a standing rebuke to the “zeal not according to knowledge,” or to whatever was merely theoretical or personal.
A windmill was operated at Pleasant View to add to the supply of spring water for the little pond, some distance from the house and at the foot of the slope in the meadow.
One unusually windy day a very annoying squeak developed, which with every revolution of the wheel could easily be heard at the house.
I knew it to be Mrs. Eddy’s special hour of prayer for the world. Determined not to have her disturbed by this wicked noise, I cast about for a volunteer from among the men, who would silence the discord. To my surprise I found the men afraid to go up that height, with the mill in operation, in so strong a wind.
And so it happened that I, filled only with the desire to help “Mother,” took an oil can and smilingly, hand over hand, went up into the mill. I oiled the gearing, healing the squeak with Love’s lubricant; and thence to earth again, to the joy of every observer. But little did I, or any one dream, that Mrs. Eddy also had been an interested spectator.
The next day Mrs. Eddy preceded our usual business interview with the following sweet motherly discourse: “Mother admired your agility and fearlessness when yesterday for her sake you clambered up into the windmill to arrest the offender hiding there behind that threatening wind, but you will not do it again, will you, dear?”
I saw clearly as she spoke that it was no mere motherly favoritism which prompted Mrs. Eddy’s loving consideration of me; but rather I saw the scientific reason behind it; namely, that faithful service involved my awakening to a sense of my individual value to her beyond any mere hand service. Mrs. Knew better than a commanding general knows that the malicious enemy trains its sharpshooters upon an exposed officer before it risks a shot at a private.
The same wise motherly concern was evidenced by Mrs. Eddy when she learned that I had cleared the north roof of the house of all snow, to prevent snowslides from frightening the horses, as she entered or emerged from her carriage. But I assured Mrs. Eddy that I was quite awake to my danger and reassured her by telling her that when I went up on the roof I tied myself to the chimney with a strong rope. At this she laughed heartily and commended me for my ingenuity.
Paul once made bold to say, “I would that all men were even as I myself.” So my prayer is in everything to be as lovingly considerate and just as I saw these virtues exemplified by Mrs. Eddy. The following notes written to my sister and me, intimate another assurance of her tender thoughtfulness:
“Joseph and Pauline:
My dear Students:
The strawberries are most delicious; they were brought from my place in Roslindale. While they are numerous and before Martha goes to canning them, help yourself to them.
With love, Mother (Signed) M. B. Eddy.”
And again she wrote lovingly:
“My Precious Joseph and Pauline:
If you would like to drive at any time, take my old black horse and go wherever you please, and whenever. Look out for him: he will shy.
With love, Mother (Signed) M. B. Eddy.”
Her immediate loving care of her loved ones is most sweetly hinted by the following brief note to me:
“My best Boy:
Please step into the store and be suited to a rubber coat, and hand the bill to Mother through Mr. Frye. Tell dear Pauline to look after her brother; if she only takes good care of him, not matter about the grammar.
As time went on Love opened my eyes to see that instead of oiling windmills, or of jeopardizing myself in any other minor activity, Mrs. Eddy wanted me to employ what real grace I had in helping to save those, who had come to serve at Pleasant View, from the homesickness which tempted those who had not fully left a human home, to find their real home in the Christ-Mind. I am grateful to let her own letter speak for itself.
Pleasant View, Concord, N.H.
My dear Student:
I thank you for your faithful work on my book, it encourages me to know I am so near being done with this careful work on Science and Health. The best of it is the book will be so perfect a standard now in capital letters and all else. I consider you now in my employ as usual and there is always enough to be done.
Keep dear Mrs. ––– from being homesick. They all have it so much easier when away than when at the post besieged, they are apt to go away.
But they should be at this post of duty more than all others and God will bless them for it more than for aught else. This I know to be true.
With love, Mother (Signed) M. B. Eddy.”
Even in her little notes of instructions, the ever-loving, encouraging word was never lacking, as the following communication shows:
It is my duty to say I would not change anything relative to….Let us go on as now. You are growing and this is my reward above all else.
The world, from the viewpoint of its carnal criterion can never appreciate the righteousness of a spiritual Leader. Jesus’ enemies could hardly tell the truth about the humble Wayshower who really lived in heaven even while he sojourned, for the good of the world, on earth. Of Jesus Mrs. Eddy writes in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “The world acknowledged not his righteousness, seeing it not; but earth received the harmony his glorified example introduced.” What Mrs. Eddy here says of Jesus is equally true of herself. She was really known only by those who had the good fortune either to live understandingly in her home, or to see her in the light of the spiritual understanding of Christian Science. So, my prayer is to write of Mrs. Eddy as a friend, or as one who understands her sufficiently to tell the truth about her.
As I saw her in her home as the great-hearted mother, so was she as a spiritual Teacher and Leader of Principle; and so must she become known to the world, as an everlasting example of Soul-permeating righteousness.
In her 1901 Message to her Church Mrs. Eddy’s motherly prayer is: “Give us, dear God, again on earth the lost chord of Christ; solace us with the song of angels rejoicing with them that rejoice; that sweet charity which seeketh not her own but anothers good, yea, which knoweth no evil.”
|Animal magnetism 2, 3|
1, 8, 9, 46, 47, 60, 62, 72
25, 32, 49, 50, 65
|Biblical 16, 36|
5, 39, 70
1-3, 5, 6, 8, 15-21, 25, 26, 29, 31, 32, 34, 35, 37, 39-41, 43, 45, 47-50, 53-57, 60-62, 64-70
2, 8, 20, 25, 39, 46, 47, 59, 65, 70, 71, 77
|Church of Christ, Scientist 25, 39, 70|
|Civil War 2|
1, 5, 36, 39, 48, 51, 67
26, 54, 64
|Cure 67, 74|
15, 18, 34
Mann Index, continued
8, 26, 31, 50, 64
8, 26, 31, 50, 64
3, 6, 9,17, 22, 30, 37, 39, 40, 45, 46, 49, 50, 54, 58, 65, 72, 74, 77
1, 16, 20, 40, 44, 50,54
6, 14, 15, 32, 33, 40, 52, 53, 56, 64, 65, 73, 74
4, 5, 12, 21, 25, 59, 76
1-3, 6, 17, 20, 29, 31, 40, 42, 44, 45, 47, 48, 53, 54, 57, 67, 73-75
6, 8, 9, 17-19, 27, 29, 31, 36, 37, 40, 44, 46, 47, 52, 54, 56, 57, 63, 64, 69, 77
5, 12, 16-18, 31, 32, 34, 44, 46, 50, 53, 54, 61, 62, 70-72, 77
3, 14, 21, 43, 48, 54, 58, 62, 74
|Malicious animal magnetism 3|
Mann Index, continued
1, 8, 9, 36, 46, 47, 60, 62, 67, 72
1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 17, 19, 23, 31, 37, 41, 43, 46, 49, 52, 54, 55, 57, 59, 63, 64, 68, 72
19, 21, 26, 49, 57, 58, 66, 69, 76
|Medicine 49, 74|
|Member 6, 58|
1, 3, 4, 47, 74
|Mind-healing 1, 2, 53, 74|
|Minister 2, 27|
9, 12, 18, 30, 47
20, 25, 39, 46, 59, 70, 71
29, 30, 34, 48, 73
|New England 4, 14|
|Pat’s Echo 51|
70, 71, 73, 75, 76
|Peace 9, 16|
4-6, 9, 11, 12, 15, 17, 21, 22, 25, 29-34, 37, 41, 45, 50, 58, 64-68, 70, 72-84, 76
Mann Index, continued
20, 53, 72
4, 6, 8, 9, 16, 17, 29, 40, 48, 50, 60, 66, 70, 74, 75, 77
|President 1, 48|
21, 23, 25, 39
23-25, 39, 49
26, 37, 49, 56, 57
20, 44, 45, 53
1-6, 8, 14-20, 24-27, 29-32, 34, 36, 37, 39-41, 43, 45, 47-62, 64-68, 70-74, 76, 77
4, 17, 20, 25, 32, 37, 45, 47, 48, 65, 66, 70, 75
|Services 4, 25|
11, 14, 20, 23
3, 4, 9, 16, 22, 61, 74
16, 30, 32, 36-38, 52, 53, 65, 75, 77
Mann Index, continued
1, 19, 39, 40, 46, 49, 67, 77
|Testimony 18, 19, 31|
1, 2, 9, 16, 21, 31, 46
|Waters 23, 51|
3, 8, 9, 11, 12, 16, 31, 33, 42, 59, 61, 68