Boston Herald | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent

Boston Herald

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             [Boston Herald, January 7, 1895]

         [Extract]

             A TEMPLE GIVEN TO GOD — DEDICATION OF THE

         MOTHER CHURCH OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE

         NOVEL METHOD OF ENABLING SIX THOUSAND BELIEVERS TO

         ATTEND THE EXERCISES — THE SERVICE REPEATED FOUR

         TIMES — SERMON BY REV. MARY BAKER EDDY, FOUNDER OF

         THE DENOMINATION — BEAUTIFUL ROOM WHICH THE CHILDREN

         BUILT

         With simple ceremonies, four times repeated, in the

         presence of four different congregations, aggregating

18    nearly six thousand persons, the unique and costly edifice

         erected in Boston at Norway and Falmouth Streets as a

         home for The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and a

21    testimonial to the Discoverer and Founder of Christian

         Science, Rev. Mary Baker Eddy, was yesterday dedicated

         to the worship of God.


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1      The structure came forth from the hands of the artisans

         with every stone paid for — with an appeal, not for more

3      money, but for a cessation of the tide of contributions

         which continued to flow in after the full amount needed

         was received. From every State in the Union, and from

6      many lands, the love-offerings of the disciples of Christian

         Science came to help erect this beautiful structure, and

         more than four thousand of these contributors came to

9      Boston, from the far-off Pacific coast and the Gulf States

         and all the territory that lies between, to view the new-

         built temple and to listen to the Message sent them by

12    the teacher they revere.

         From all New England the members of the denomina-

         tion gathered; New York sent its hundreds, and even

15    from the distant States came parties of forty and fifty.

         The large auditorium, with its capacity for holding from

         fourteen hundred to fifteen hundred persons, was hopelessly

18    incapable of receiving this vast throng, to say nothing of

         nearly a thousand local believers. Hence the service was

         repeated until all who wished had heard and seen; and

21    each of the four vast congregations filled the church to

         repletion.

         At 7 :30 a. m. the chimes in the great stone tower, which

24    rises one hundred and twenty-six feet above the earth,

         rung out their message of “On earth peace, good will

         toward men.”

27    Old familiar hymns — “All hail the power of Jesus’

         name,” and others such — were chimed until the hour for

         the dedication service had come.

30    At 9 a. m. the first congregation gathered. Before this


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1      service had closed the large vestry room and the spacious

         lobbies and the sidewalks around the church were all

3      filled with a waiting multitude. At l0:30 o’clock another

         service began, and at noon still another. Then there was

         an intermission, and at 3 p. m. the service was repeated

6      for the last time.

         There was scarcely even a minor variation in the exer-

         cises at any one of these services. At 10:30 a. m., how-

9      ever, the scene was rendered particularly interesting by

         the presence of several hundred children in the central

         pews. These were the little contributors to the building

12    fund, whose money was devoted to the “Mother’s Room,”

         a superb apartment intended for the sole use of Mrs. Eddy.

         These children are known in the church as the “Busy

15    Bees,” and each of them wore a white satin badge with a

         golden beehive stamped upon it, and beneath the beehive

         the words, “Mother’s Room,” in gilt letters.

18    The pulpit end of the auditorium was rich with the

         adornment of flowers. On the wall of the choir gallery

         above the platform, where the organ is to be hereafter

21    placed, a huge seven-pointed star was hung — a star of

         lilies resting on palms, with a centre of white immortelles,

         upon which in letters of red were the words: “Love-

24    Children’s Offering — 1894.”

         In the choir and the steps of the platform were potted

         palms and ferns and Easter lilies. The desk was wreathed

27    with ferns and pure white roses fastened with a broad

         ribbon bow. On its right was a large basket of white

         carnations resting on a mat of palms, and on its left a vase

30    filled with beautiful pink roses.


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1      Two combined choirs — that of First Church of Christ,

         Scientist, of New York, and the choir of the home church,

3      numbering thirty-five singers in all — led the singing,

         under the direction, respectively, of Mr. Henry Lincoln

         Case and Miss Elsie Lincoln.

6      Judge S. J. Hanna, editor of The Christian Science

         Journal, presided over the exercises. On the platform

         with him were Messrs. Ira O. Knapp, Joseph Armstrong,

9      Stephen A. Chase, and William B. Johnson, who compose

         the Board of Directors, and Mrs. Henrietta Clark Bemis,

         a distinguished elocutionist, and a native of Concord, New

12    Hampshire.

         The utmost simplicity marked the exercises. After an

         organ voluntary, the hymn, “Laus Deo, it is done!”

15    written by Mrs. Eddy for the corner-stone laying last

         spring, was sung by the congregation. Selections from the

         Scriptures and from “Science and Health with Key to the

18    Scriptures,” were read by Judge Hanna and Dr. Eddy.

         A few minutes of silent prayer came next, followed by

         the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, with its spiritual inter-

21    pretation as given in the Christian Science textbook.

         The sermon prepared for the occasion by Mrs. Eddy,

         which was looked forward to as the chief feature of the

24    dedication, was then read by Mrs. Bemis. Mrs. Eddy

         remained at her home in Concord, N. H., during the day,

         because, as heretofore stated in The Herald, it is her

27    custom to discourage among her followers that sort of

         personal worship which religious teachers so often receive.

         Before presenting the sermon, Mrs. Bemis read the fol-

30    lowing letter from a former pastor of the church: —


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1      “To Rev. Mary Baker Eddy

         “Dear Teacher, Leader, Guide: — ‘Laus Deo, it is done!’

3      At last you begin to see the fruition of that you have worked,

         toiled, prayed for. The ‘prayer in stone’ is accomplished.

         Across two thousand miles of space, as mortal sense puts

6      it, I send my hearty congratulations. You are fully occu-

         pied, but I thought you would willingly pause for an

         instant to receive this brief message of congratulation.

9      Surely it marks an era in the blessed onward work of

         Christian Science. It is a most auspicious hour in your

         eventful career. While we all rejoice, yet the mother in

12    Israel, alone of us all, comprehends its full significance.

             “Yours lovingly,

         “LANSON P. NORCROSS”




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