Preface

From Miscellaneous Writings by




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PREFACE


Page ix


1      A certain apothegm of a Talmudical philosopher
         suits my sense of doing good. It reads thus: “The
         noblest charity is to prevent a man from accepting
         charity; and the best alms are to show and to enable a
5      man to dispense with alms.”

         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
         are acquired by healing mankind morally, physically,
10    spiritually. The easel of time presents pictures — once
         fragmentary and faint — now rejuvenated by the touch
         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
         from the fount of divine Love. Truly may it be said:
         There is an old age of the heart, and a youth that never
20    grows old; a Love that is a boy, and a Psyche who is
         ever a girl. The fleeting freshness of youth, however,
         is not the evergreen of Soul; the coloring glory of


Page x


1      perpetual bloom; the spiritual glow and grandeur of
         a consecrated life wherein dwelleth peace, sacred and
         sincere in trial or in triumph.

         The opportunity has at length offered itself for me to
5      comply with an oft-repeated request; namely, to collect
         my miscellaneous writings published in The Christian
         Science Journal
, since April, 1883, and republish them
         in book form,—accessible as reference, and reliable as
         old landmarks. Owing to the manifold demands on my
10    time in the early pioneer days, most of these articles
         were originally written in haste, without due preparation.
         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
         Christian name, Mary Morse Baker. Timidity in early
         years caused me, as an author, to assume various noms
20    de plume
. After my first marriage, to Colonel Glover
         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.

         In 1894, I received from the Daughters of the American
25    Revolution a certificate of membership made out to Mary
         Baker Eddy, and thereafter adopted that form of signa-
         ture, except in connection with my published works.


Page xi


1      The first edition of Science and Health having been
         copyrighted at the date of its issue, 1875, in my name
         of Glover, caused me to retain the initial “G” on my
         subsequent books.

5      These pages, although a reproduction of what has
         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
         gratitude to God, the fervent heart and willing hand are
10    not unknown to nor unrewarded by Him.

         May this volume be to the reader a graphic guide-
         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,
         and to suit and savor all literature. The shuttlecock of
         religious intolerance will fall to the ground, if there be
20    no battledores to fling it back and forth. It is reason for
         rejoicing that the vox populi is inclined to grant us peace,
         together with pardon for the preliminary battles that
         purchased it.

         With tender tread, thought sometimes walks in memory,
25    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


Page xii


1      to remove the pioneer signs and ensigns of war, and to
         retain at this date the privileged armaments of peace.

         With armor on, I continue the march, command and
         countermand; meantime interluding with loving thought
5      this afterpiece of battle. Supported, cheered, I take my
         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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Love is the liberator.