Preface | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent

Preface

From Miscellaneous Writings by


Page ix


1         A CERTAIN apothegm of a Talmudical philosopher

          suits my sense of doing good. It reads thus: “The

3         noblest charity is to prevent a man from accepting

          charity; and the best alms are to show and to enable a

          man to dispense with alms.”

6         In the early history of Christian Science, among my

          thousands of students few were wealthy. Now, Christian

          Scientists are not indigent; and their comfortable fortunes

9     are acquired by healing mankind morally, physically,

         spiritually. The easel of time presents pictures — once

         fragmentary and faint — now rejuvenated by the touch

12    of God’s right hand. Where joy, sorrow, hope, disap-

         pointment, sigh, and smile commingled, now hope sits

         dove-like.

15    To preserve a long course of years still and uniform,

         amid the uniform darkness of storm and cloud and

         tempest, requires strength from above, — deep draughts

18    from the fount of divine Love. Truly may it be said:

         There is an old age of the heart, and a youth that never

         grows old; a Love that is a boy, and a Psyche who is

21    ever a girl. The fleeting freshness of youth, however,

         is not the evergreen of Soul; the coloring glory of


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1     perpetual bloom; the spiritual glow and grandeur of

         a consecrated life wherein dwelleth peace, sacred and

3     sincere in trial or in triumph.

         The opportunity has at length offered itself for me to

         comply with an oft-repeated request; namely, to collect

6     my miscellaneous writings published in The Christian

         Science Journal, since April, 1883, and republish them

         in book form, — accessible as reference, and reliable as

9     old landmarks. Owing to the manifold demands on my

         time in the early pioneer days, most of these articles

         were originally written in haste, without due preparation.

12    To those heretofore in print, a few articles are herein

         appended. To some articles are affixed data, where these

         are most requisite, to serve as mile-stones measuring the

15    distance, — or the difference between then and now, —

         in the opinions of men and the progress of our Cause.

         My signature has been slightly changed from my

18    Christian name, Mary Morse Baker. Timidity in early

         years caused me, as an author, to assume various noms

         de plume. After my first marriage, to Colonel Glover

21    of Charleston, South Carolina, I dropped the name of

         Morse to retain my maiden name, — thinking that other-

         wise the name would be too long.

24    In 1894, I received from the Daughters of the American

         Revolution a certificate of membership made out to Mary

         Baker Eddy, and thereafter adopted that form of signa-

27    ture, except in connection with my published works.


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1     The first edition of Science and Health having been

         copyrighted at the date of its issue, 1875, in my name

3     of Glover, caused me to retain the initial “G” on my

         subsequent books.

         These pages, although a reproduction of what has

6     been written, are still in advance of their time; and are

         richly rewarded by what they have hitherto achieved for

         the race. While no offering can liquidate one’s debt of

9     gratitude to God, the fervent heart and willing hand are

         not unknown to nor unrewarded by Him.

         May this volume be to the reader a graphic guide-

12    book, pointing the path, dating the unseen, and enabling

         him to walk the untrodden in the hitherto unexplored

         fields of Science. At each recurring holiday the Christian

15    Scientist will find herein a “canny” crumb; and thus

         may time’s pastimes become footsteps to joys eternal.

         Realism will at length be found to surpass imagination,

18    and to suit and savor all literature. The shuttlecock of

         religious intolerance will fall to the ground, if there be

         no battledores to fling it back and forth. It is reason for

21    rejoicing that the vox populi is inclined to grant us peace,

         together with pardon for the preliminary battles that

         purchased it.

24    With tender tread, thought sometimes walks in memory,

         through the dim corridors of years, on to old battle-

         grounds, there sadly to survey the fields of the slain and

         the enemy’s losses. In compiling this work, I have tried


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1     to remove the pioneer signs and ensigns of war, and to

         retain at this date the privileged armaments of peace.

3     With armor on, I continue the march, command and

         countermand; meantime interluding with loving thought

         this afterpiece of battle. Supported, cheered, I take my

6     pen and pruning-hook, to “learn war no more,” and with

         strong wing to lift my readers above the smoke of conflict

         into light and liberty.

         MARY BAKER EDDY

         CONCORD, N. H.

         January, 1897




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