Chapter 6 — First Church of Christ, Scientist, Concord, N. H. | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent

Chapter 6 — First Church of Christ, Scientist, Concord, N. H.

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Page 157



1          [Concord (N. H.) Monitor]


       MRS. EDDY’S GIFT TO THE CONCORD CHURCH


3     “BELOVED TEACHER AND LEADER: — The members
       of the Concord church are filled with profound joy
       and deep gratitude that your generous gift of one hun-
6     dred thousand dollars is to be used at once to build a
       beautiful church edifice for your followers in the capital
       city of your native State. We rejoice that the prosperity
9     of the Cause in your home city, where, without regard
       to class or creed, you are so highly esteemed, makes
       necessary the commodious and beautiful church home
12    you have so freely bestowed. We thank you for this
       renewed evidence of your unselfish love.”

       The church will be built of the same beautiful Concord
15    granite of which the National Library Building in Wash-
       ington is constructed. This is in accord with the ex-
       pressed wish of Mrs. Eddy, made known in her original
18    deed of trust, first announced in the Concord Monitor
       of March 19, 1898. In response to an inquiry from the
       editor of that paper, Mrs. Eddy made the following
21    statement: —

       On January 31, 1898, I gave a deed of trust to three
       individuals which conveyed to them the sum of one


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1     hundred thousand dollars to be appropriated in build-
       ing a granite church edifice for First Church of Christ,
3     Scientist, in this city.

       Very truly,
       MARY BAKER EDDY



       CORNER-STONE LAID AT CONCORD


       Beloved Brethren: — This day drops down upon the
       glories of summer; it is a glad day, in attune with faith’s
9     fond trust. We live in an age of Love’s divine adven-
       ture to be All-in-all. This day is the natal hour of my
       lone earth life; and for all mankind to-day hath its gloom
12    and glory: it endureth all things; it points to the new
       birth, heaven here, the struggle over; it profits by the
       past and joys in the present — to-day lends a new-born
15    beauty to holiness, patience, charity, love.

       Having all faith in Christian Science, we must have
       faith in whatever manifests love for God and man. The
18    burden of proof that Christian Science is Science rests
       on Christian Scientists. The letter without the spirit
       is dead: it is the Spirit that heals the sick and the
21    sinner — that makes the heart tender, faithful, true.
       Most men and women talk well, and some practise what
       they say.

24    God has blessed and will bless this dear band of brethren.
       He has laid the chief corner-stone of the temple which
       to-day you commemorate, to-morrow complete, and there-
27    after dedicate to Truth and Love. O may your temple
       and all who worship therein stand through all time for
       God and humanity!

30                            MARY BAKER EDDY


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1     MESSAGE ON THE OCCASION OF THE
       DEDICATION OF MRS. EDDY’S GIFT, JULY 17, 1904


3     Beloved Brethren: — Never more sweet than to-day,
       seem to me, and must seem to thee, those words of
       our loved Lord, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto
6     the end.” Thus may it ever be that Christ rejoiceth
       and comforteth us. Sitting at his feet, I send to
       you the throbbing of every pulse of my desire for the
9     ripening and rich fruit of this branch of his vine, and
       I thank God who hath sent forth His word to heal
       and to save.

12    At this period, the greatest man or woman on earth
       stands at the vestibule of Christian Science, struggling to
       enter into the perfect love of God and man. The infinite
15    will not be buried in the finite; the true thought escapes
       from the inward to the outward, and this is the only
       right activity, that whereby we reach our higher
18    nature. Material theories tend to check spiritual at-
       traction — the tendency towards God, the infinite and
       eternal — by an opposite attraction towards the tem-
21    porary and finite. Truth, life, and love are the only
       legitimate and eternal demands upon man; they are
       spiritual laws enforcing obedience and punishing dis-
24    obedience.

       Even Epictetus, a heathen philosopher who held that
       Zeus, the master of the gods, could not control human
27    will, writes, “What is the essence of God? Mind.” The
       general thought chiefly regards material things, and keeps


       Copyright, 1904, by Mary Baker G. Eddy. All rights
30    reserved.


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1     Mind much out of sight. The Christian, however, strives
       for the spiritual; he abides in a right purpose, as in laws
3     which it were impious to transgress, and follows Truth
       fearlessly. The heart that beats mostly for self is seldom
       alight with love. To live so as to keep human conscious-
6     ness in constant relation with the divine, the spiritual, and
       the eternal, is to individualize infinite power; and this is
       Christian Science.

9     It is of less importance that we receive from man-
       kind justice, than that we deserve it. Most of us
       willingly accept dead truisms which can be buried
12    at will; but a live truth, even though it be a sapling
       within rich soil and with blossoms on its branches,
       frightens people. The trenchant truth that cuts its
15    way through iron and sod, most men avoid until
       compelled to glance at it. Then they open their
       hearts to it for actual being, health, holiness, and im-
18    mortality.

       I am asked, “Is there a hell?” Yes, there is a hell for
       all who persist in breaking the Golden Rule or in dis-
21    obeying the commandments of God. Physical science
       has sometimes argued that the internal fires of our earth
       will eventually consume this planet. Christian Science
24    shows that hidden unpunished sin is this internal fire, —
       even the fire of a guilty conscience, waking to a true sense
       of itself, and burning in torture until the sinner is con-
27    sumed, — his sins destroyed. This may take millions of
       cycles, but of the time no man knoweth. The advanced
       psychist knows that this hell is mental, not material, and
30    that the Christian has no part in it. Only the makers of
       hell burn in their fire.

       Concealed crimes, the wrongs done to others, are mill-


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1     stones hung around the necks of the wicked. Christ Jesus
       paid our debt and set us free by enabling us to pay it;
3     for which we are still his debtors, washing the Way-shower’s
       feet with tears of joy.

       The intentional destroyer of others would destroy him-
6     self eternally, were it not that his suffering reforms him,
       thus balancing his account with divine Love, which never
       remits the sentence necessary to reclaim the sinner.
9     Hence these words of Christ Jesus: “Depart from me, all
       ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping
       and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and
12    Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of
       God, and you yourselves thrust out.” (Luke 13 : 27, 28.)
       He who gains self-knowledge, self-control, and the king-
15    dom of heaven within himself, within his own conscious-
       ness, is saved through Christ, Truth. Mortals must
       drink sufficiently of the cup of their Lord and Master
18    to unself mortality and to destroy its erroneous claims.
       Therefore, said Jesus, “Ye shall drink indeed of my
       cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am
21    baptized with.”

       We cannot boast ourselves of to-morrow; sufficient unto
       each day is the duty thereof. Lest human reason becloud
24    spiritual understanding, say not in thy heart: Sickness is
       possible because one’s thought and conduct do not afford
       a sufficient defence against it. Trust in God, and “He
27    shall direct thy paths.” When evil was avenging itself on
       its destroyer, his preeminent goodness, the Godlike man
       said, “My burden is light.” Only he who learns through
30    meekness and love the falsity of supposititious life and
       intelligence in matter, can triumph over their ultimatum,
       sin, suffering, and death.


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1     God’s mercy for mortal ignorance and need is assured;
       then who shall question our want of more faith in His
3     “very present help in trouble”? Jesus said: “Suffer
       it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all
       righteousness.”

6     Strength is in man, not in muscles; unity and power are
       not in atom or in dust. A small group of wise
       thinkers is better than a wilderness of dullards and stronger than
9     the might of empires. Unity is spiritual cooperation,
       heart to heart, the bond of blessedness such as my beloved
       Christian Scientists all over the field, and the dear Sun-
12    day School children, have demonstrated in gifts to me
       of about eighty thousand dollars, to be applied to build-
       ing, embellishing, and furnishing our church edifice in
15    Concord, N. H.

       We read in Holy Writ: “This man began to build, and
       was not able to finish.” This was spoken derisively.
18    But the love that rebukes praises also, and methinks the
       same wisdom which spake thus in olden time would say
       to the builder of the Christian Scientists’ church edifice
21    in Concord: “Well done, good and faithful.” Our proper
       reason for church edifices is, that in them Christians may
       worship God, — not that Christians may worship church
24    edifices!

       May the loving Shepherd of this feeble flock lead it
       gently into “green pastures . . . beside the still waters.”
27    May He increase its members, and may their faith never
       falter — their faith in and their understanding of divine
       Love. This church, born in my nativity, may it build
30    upon the rock of ages against which the waves and winds
       beat in vain. May the towering top of its goodly temple
       — burdened with beauty, pointing to the heavens, bursting


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1     into the rapture of song — long call the worshipper to
       seek the haven of hope, the heaven of Soul, the sweet sense
3     of angelic song chiming chaste challenge to praise him who
       won the way and taught mankind to win through meekness
       to might, goodness to grandeur, from cross to crown,
6     from sense to Soul, from gleam to glory, from matter to
       Spirit.



       ANNOUNCEMENT


9     Not having the time to receive all the beloved ones who
       have so kindly come to the dedication of this church, I
       must not allow myself the pleasure of receiving any of
12    them. I always try to be just, if not generous; and I
       cannot show my love for them in social ways without
       neglecting the sacred demands on my time and attention
15    for labors which I think do them more good.



       A KINDLY GREETING


       Dear Editor: — When I removed from Boston in 1889
18    and came to Concord, N. H., it was that I might find
       retirement from many years of incessant labor for the
       Cause of Christian Science, and the opportunity in Con-
21    cord’s quiet to revise our textbook, “Science and Health
       with Key to the Scriptures.” Here let me add that,
       together with the retirement I so much coveted, I have
24    also received from the leading people of this pleasant city
       all and more than I anticipated. I love its people —
       love their scholarship, friendship, and granite char-
27    acter. I respect their religious beliefs, and thank their
       ancestors for helping to form mine. The movement of
       establishing in this city a church of our faith was far from


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1     my purpose, when I came here, knowing that such an
       effort would involve a lessening of the retirement I so
3     much desired. But the demand increased, and I con-
       sented, hoping thereby to give to many in this city a
       church home.



       ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF GIFTS



       To the Chicago Churches


       My Beloved Brethren: — I have yearned to express my
9     thanks for your munificent gift to First Church of Christ,
       Scientist, in Concord, of ten thousand dollars. What is
       gratitude but a powerful camera obscura, a thing focus-
12    ing light where love, memory, and all within the human
       heart is present to manifest light.

       Is it not a joy to compare the beginning of Christian
15    Science in Chicago with its present prosperity? Now
       [1904] six dear churches are there, the members of which
       not only possess a sound faith, but that faith also possesses
18    them. A great sanity, a mighty something buried in the
       depths of the unseen, has wrought a resurrection among
       you, and has leaped into living love. What is this
21    something, this phoenix fire, this pillar by day, kindling,
       guiding, and guarding your way? It is unity, the bond
       of perfectness, the thousandfold expansion that will
24    engirdle the world, — unity, which unfolds the thought
       most within us into the greater and better, the sum of
       all reality and good.

27    This unity is reserved wisdom and strength. It builds
       upon the rock, against which envy, enmity, or malice
       beat in vain. Man lives, moves, and has his being in God,
30    Love. Then man must live, he cannot die; and Love


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1     must necessarily promote and pervade all his success.
       Of two things fate cannot rob us; namely, of choos-
3     ing the best, and of helping others thus to choose.
       But in doing this the Master became the servant. The
       grand must stoop to the menial. There is scarcely an
6     indignity which I have not endured for the cause of
       Christ, Truth, and I returned blessing for cursing. The
       best help the worst; the righteous suffer for the unright-
9     eous; and by this spirit man lives and thrives, and by
       it God governs.



       To First Church of Christ, Scientist, New York


12    Beloved Brethren: — I beg to thank the dear brethren of
       this church for the sum of ten thousand dollars presented
       to me for First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Concord,
15    N. H. Goodness never fails to receive its reward, for
       goodness makes life a blessing. As an active portion of
       one stupendous whole, goodness identifies man with
18    universal good. Thus may each member of this church
       rise above the oft-repeated inquiry, What am I? to the
       scientific response: I am able to impart truth, health, and
21    happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason
       for existing.

       Human reason becomes tired and calls for rest. It has
24    a relapse into the common hope. Goodness and benevo-
       lence never tire. They maintain themselves and others
       and never stop from exhaustion. He who is afraid of
27    being too generous has lost the power of being magnani-
       mous. The best man or woman is the most unselfed.
       God grant that this church is rapidly nearing the maxi-
30    mum of might, — the means that build to the heavens,
       — that it has indeed found and felt the infinite source


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1     where is all, and from which it can help its neighbor.
       Then efforts to be great will never end in anarchy but
3     will continue with divine approbation. It is insincerity
       and a half-persuaded faith that fail to succeed and fall
       to the earth.

6     Religions may waste away, but the fittest survives;
       and so long as we have the right ideal, life is worth living
       and God takes care of our life.



9                           To The Mother Church


       My Beloved Brethren: — Your munificent gift of ten
       thousand dollars, with which to furnish First Church of
12    Christ, Scientist, of Concord, N. H., with an organ, is
       positive proof of your remembrance and love. Days of
       shade and shine may come and go, but we will live on and
15    never drift apart. Life’s ills are its chief recompense;
       they develop hidden strength. Had I never suffered for
       The Mother Church, neither she nor I would be practising
18    the virtues that lie concealed in the smooth seasons and
       calms of human existence. When we are willing to help
       and to be helped, divine aid is near. If all our years were
21    holidays, sport would be more irksome than work. So,
       my dear ones, let us together sing the old-new song of
       salvation, and let our measure of time and joy be spiritual,
24    not material.



       To First Church of Christ, Scientist,


       New London, Conn.


27    Beloved Brethren: — I am for the first time informed of
       your gift to me of a beautiful cabinet, costing one hundred
       and seventy-five dollars, for my books, placed in my room
30    at First Church of Christ, Scientist, Concord, N. H.


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1     Accept my deep thanks therefor, and especially for the
       self-sacrifice it may have cost the dear donors.

3     The mysticism of good is unknown to the flesh, for
       goodness is “the fruit of the Spirit.” The suppositional
       world within us separates us from the spiritual world,
6     which is apart from matter, and unites us to one another.
       Spirit teaches us to resign what we are not and to un-
       derstand what we are in the unity of Spirit — in that
9     Love which is faithful, an ever-present help in trouble,
       which never deserts us.

       I pray that heaven’s messages of “on earth peace, good
12    will toward men,” may fill your hearts and leave their
       loving benedictions upon your lives.



       THANKSGIVING DAY, 1904


15    Beloved Students: — May this, your first Thanksgiv-
       ing Day, according to time-tables, in our new church
       edifice, be one acceptable in His sight, and full of love,
18    peace, and good will for yourselves, your flock, and the
       race. Give to all the dear ones my love, and my
       prayer for their health, happiness, and holiness this
21    and every day.



       RELIGIOUS FREEDOM


       Beloved Brethren: — Allow me to send forth a paean
24    of praise for the noble disposal of the legislative question
       as to the infringement of rights and privileges guaran-
       teed to you by the laws of my native State. The con-
27    stituted religious rights in New Hampshire will, I trust,
       never be marred by the illegitimate claims of envy,
       jealousy, or persecution.

30    In our country the day of heathenism, illiberal views,


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1     or of an uncultivated understanding has passed. Free-
       dom to worship God according to the dictates of en-
3     lightened conscience, and practical religion in agreement
       with the demand of our common Christ, the Holy One
       of Israel, are forever the privileges of the people of my
6     dear old New Hampshire.

       Lovingly yours,
       MARY BAKER EDDY

9     BOX G, BROOKLINE, MASS.,
       April 12, 1909




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Love is the liberator.