Chapter 3 — Personality
From Miscellany by Mary Baker Eddy
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Table of Contents
AT a time of contagious disease, Christian Scientists en-
3 deavor to rise in consciousness to the true sense of
the omnipotence of Life, Truth, and Love, and this great
fact in Christian Science realized will stop a contagion.
6 In time of religious or scientific prosperity, certain indi-
viduals are inclined to cling to the personality of its
leader. This state of mind is sickly; it is a contagion
9 — a mental malady, which must be met and overcome.
Why? Because it would dethrone the First Command-
ment, Thou shalt have one God.
12 If God is one and God is Person, then Person is infinite;
and there is no personal worship, for God is divine Prin-
ciple, Love. Hence the sin, the danger and darkness of
15 personal contagion.
Forgetting divine Principle brings on this contagion.
Its symptoms are based upon personal sight or sense.
18 Declaring the truth regarding an individual or leader,
rendering praise to whom praise is due, is not a symp-
tom of this contagious malady, but persistent pursuit
21 of his or her person is.
Every loss in grace and growth spiritual, since time
began, has come from injustice and personal contagion.
24 Had the ages helped their leaders to, and let them alone
Copyright, 1909, by Mary Baker Eddy. Renewed, 1937.
1 in, God’s glory, the world would not have lost the Science
3 “What went ye out for to see?” A person, or a Prin-
ciple? Whichever it be, determines the right or the
wrong of this following. A personal motive gratified by
6 sense will leave one “a reed shaken with the wind,”
whereas helping a leader in God’s direction, and giving
this leader time and retirement to pursue the infinite
9 ascent, — the comprehending of the divine order and con-
sciousness in Science, — will break one’s own dream of
personal sense, heal disease, and make one a Christian
Is not the old question still rampant? “When saw we
thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed
15 thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came
unto thee?” But when may we see you, to get some good
out of your personality?
18 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was
with God, and the Word was God” (St. John). This
great truth of God’s impersonality and individuality and
21 of man in His image and likeness, individual, but not
personal, is the foundation of Christian Science. There
was never a religion or philosophy lost to the centuries
24 except by sinking its divine Principle in personality.
May all Christian Scientists ponder this fact, and give
their talents and loving hearts free scope only in the
27 right direction!
I left Boston in the height of prosperity to retreat from
the world, and to seek the one divine Person, whereby
30 and wherein to show others the footsteps from sense to
Soul. To give me this opportunity is all that I ask of
1 My soul thanks the loyal, royal natures of the beloved
members of my church who cheerfully obey God and
3 steadily go on promoting the true Principle of Christian
Science. Only the disobedient spread personal contagion,
and any imaginary benefit they receive is the effect of
6 self-mesmerism, wherein the remedy is worse than the
LETTER TO A CLERGYMAN
9 My Dear Sir: — I beg to thank you for your most
excellent letter. It is an outpouring of goodness and
greatness with which you honor me.
12 In a call upon my person, you would not see me, for
spiritual sense demands and commands us; hence I seek
to be “absent from the body,” and such circumstances
15 embarrass the higher criticism.
The Scripture reads: “Blessed are they that have not
seen, and yet have believed.” A saving faith comes
18 not of a person, but of Truth’s presence and power.
Soul, not sense, receives and gives it. One’s voluntary
withdrawal from society, from furnishing the demands
21 upon the finite to supply the blessings of the infinite, —
something impossible in the Science of God and credited
only by human belief, by a material and not by the
24 spiritual sense of man, — should come from conscience.
The doctrine of Buddha, which rests on a heathen basis
for its Nirvana, represents not the divinity of Christian
27 Science, in which Truth, or Christ, finds its paradise in
Spirit, in the consciousness of heaven within us — health,
harmony, holiness, entirely apart from limitations, which
30 would dwarf individuality in personality and couple evil
1 with good. It is convenient for history to record limi-
tations and to regard evil as real, but it is impossible
3 in Science to believe this, or on such a basis to demon-
strate the divine Principle of that which is real, harmo-
nious, and eternal — that which is based on one infinite
6 God, and man, His idea, image, and likeness.
In Science, we learn that man is not absorbed in the
divine nature, but is absolved by it. Man is free from
9 the flesh and is individual in consciousness — in Mind,
not in matter. Think not that Christian Science tends
towards Buddhism or any other “ism.” Per contra,
12 Christian Science destroys such tendency. Mary of old
wept because she stooped down and looked into the sepul-
chre — looked for the person, instead of the Principle that
15 reveals Christ. The Mary of to-day looks up for Christ,
away from the supposedly crucified to the ascended
Christ, to the Truth that “healeth all thy diseases” and
18 gives dominion over all the earth. The doubting disciple
could not identify Christ spiritually, but he could mate-
rially. He turned to the person, to the prints of the nails,
21 to prove Christ, whereas the discharged evidence of mate-
rial sense gave the real proof of his Saviour, the veritable
Christ, Truth, which destroys the false sense with the
24 evidence of Soul, immortality, eternal Life without begin-
ning or end of days.
Should I give myself the pleasant pastime of seeing your
27 personal self, or give you the opportunity of seeing mine,
you would not see me thus, for I am not there. I
have risen to look and wait and watch and pray for the
30 spirit of Truth that leadeth away from person — from
body to Soul, even to the true image and likeness of
God. St. John found Christ, Truth, in the Word which
1 is God. We look for the sainted Revelator in his writ-
ings, and there we find him. Those who look for me in
3 person, or elsewhere than in my writings, lose me in-
stead of find me. I hope and trust that you and I may
meet in truth and know each other there, and know
6 as we are known of God.
Accept my gratitude for the chance you give me to
answer your excellent letter. Forgive, if it needs forgive-
9 ness, my honest position. Bear with me the burden of
discovery and share with me the bliss of seeing the risen
Christ, God’s spiritual idea that takes away all sin, disease,
12 and death, and gives to soul its native freedom.