Boston Sunday Globe | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent

Boston Sunday Globe

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15    [Boston Sunday Globe, January 6, 1895]




         CHURCH WORK

         Christian Science has shown its power over its students,

21    as they are called, by building a church by voluntary con-

         tributions, the first of its kind; a church which will be

         dedicated to-day with a quarter of a million dollars ex-

24    pended and free of debt.

         The money has flowed in from all parts of the United

         States and Canada without any special appeal, and it kept

27    coming until the custodian of funds cried “enough” and

         refused to accept any further checks by mail or otherwise.

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1      Men, women, and children lent a helping hand, some

         giving a mite and some substantial sums. Sacrifices were

3      made in many an instance which will never be known in

         this world.

         Christian Scientists not only say that they can effect

6      cures of disease and erect churches, but add that they can

         get their buildings finished on time, even when the feat

         seems impossible to mortal senses. Read the following,

9      from a publication of the new denomination: —

         “One of the grandest and most helpful features of this

         glorious consummation is this: that one month before the

12    close of the year every evidence of material sense declared

         that the church’s completion within the year 1894 tran-

         scended human possibility. The predictions of workman

15    and onlooker alike were that it could not be completed

         before April or May of 1895. Much was the ridicule

         heaped upon the hopeful, trustful ones, who declared and

18    repeatedly asseverated to the contrary. This is indeed,

         then, a scientific demonstration. It has proved, in most

         striking manner, the oft-repeated declarations of our

21    textbooks, that the evidence of the mortal senses is


         A week ago Judge Hanna withdrew from the pastorate

24    of the church, saying he gladly laid down his responsibili-

         ties to be succeeded by the grandest of ministers — the

         Bible and “Science and Health with Key to the Scrip-

27    tures.” This action, it appears, was the result of rules

         made by Mrs. Eddy. The sermons hereafter will consist

         of passages read from the two books by Readers, who will

30    be elected each year by the congregation.

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1      A story has been abroad that Judge Hanna was so elo-

         quent and magnetic that he was attracting listeners who

3      came to hear him preach, rather than in search of the

         truth as taught. Consequently the new rules were formu-

         lated. But at Christian Science headquarters this is denied;

6      Mrs. Eddy says the words of the judge speak to the point,

         and that no such inference is to be drawn therefrom.

         In Mrs. Eddy’s personal reminiscences, which are pub-

9      lished under the title of “Retrospection and Introspection,”

         much is told of herself in detail that can only be touched

         upon in this brief sketch.

12    Aristocratic to the backbone, Mrs. Eddy takes delight

         in going back to the ancestral tree and in tracing those

         branches which are identified with good and great names

15    both in Scotland and England.

         Her family came to this country not long before the

         Revolution. Among the many souvenirs that Mrs. Eddy

18    remembers as belonging to her grandparents was a heavy

         sword, encased in a brass scabbard, upon which had been

         inscribed the name of the kinsman upon whom the sword

21    had been bestowed by Sir William Wallace of mighty

         Scottish fame.

         Mrs. Eddy applied herself, like other girls, to her studies,

24    though perhaps with an unusual zest, delighting in philos-

         ophy, logic, and moral science, as well as looking into the

         ancient languages, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

27    Her last marriage was in the spring of 1877, when, at

         Lynn, Mass., she became the wife of Asa Gilbert Eddy.

         He was the first organizer of a Christian Science Sunday

30    School, of which he was the superintendent, and later he

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1      attracted the attention of many clergymen of other de-

         nominations by his able lectures upon Scriptural topics.

3      He died in 1882.

         Mrs. Eddy is known to her circle of pupils and admirers

         as the editor and publisher of the first official organ of this

6      sect. It was called the Journal of Christian Science, and

         has had great circulation with the members of this fast-

         increasing faith.

9      In recounting her experiences as the pioneer of Chris-

         tian Science, she states that she sought knowledge concern-

         ing the physical side in this research through the different

12    schools of allopathy, homoeopathy, and so forth, without

         receiving any real satisfaction. No ancient or modern

         philosophy gave her any distinct statement of the Science

15    of Mind-healing. She claims that no human reason has

         been equal to the question. And she also defines care-

         fully the difference in the theories between faith-cure and

18    Christian Science, dwelling particularly upon the terms

         belief and understanding, which are the key words respec-

         tively used in the definitions of these two healing arts.

21    Besides her Boston home, Mrs. Eddy has a delightful

         country home one mile from the State House of New

         Hampshire’s quiet capital, an easy driving distance for

24    her when she wishes to catch a glimpse of the world. But

         for the most part she lives very much retired, driving rather

         into the country, which is so picturesque all about Con-

27    cord and its surrounding villages.

         The big house, so delightfully remodelled and modern-

         ized from a primitive homestead that nothing is left ex-

30    cepting the angles and pitch of the roof, is remarkably

Page 48

1      well placed upon a terrace that slopes behind the build-

         ings, while they themselves are in the midst of green

3      stretches of lawns, dotted with beds of flowering shrubs,

         with here and there a fountain or summer-house.

         Mrs. Eddy took the writer straight to her beloved “look-

6      out” — a broad piazza on the south side of the second

         story of the house, where she can sit in her swinging chair,

         revelling in the lights and shades of spring and summer

9      greenness. Or, as just then, in the gorgeous October

         coloring of the whole landscape that lies below, across the

         farm, which stretches on through an intervale of beautiful

12    meadows and pastures to the woods that skirt the valley

         of the little truant river, as it wanders eastward.

         It pleased her to point out her own birthplace. Straight

15    as the crow flies, from her piazza, does it lie on the brow

         of Bow hill, and then she paused and reminded the reporter

         that Congressman Baker from New Hampshire, her cousin,

18    was born and bred in that same neighborhood. The

         photograph of Hon. Hoke Smith, another distinguished

         relative, adorned the mantel.

21    Then my eye caught her family coat of arms and the

         diploma given her by the Society of the Daughters of the


24    The natural and lawful pride that comes with a tincture

         of blue and brave blood, is perhaps one of her characteris-

         tics, as is many another well-born woman’s. She had a

27    long list of worthy ancestors in Colonial and Revolutionary

         days, and the McNeils and General Knox figure largely in

         her genealogy, as well as the hero who killed the ill-starred

30    Paugus.

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1      This big, sunny room which Mrs. Eddy calls her den —

         or sometimes “Mother’s room,” when speaking of her

3      many followers who consider her their spiritual Leader —

         has the air of hospitality that marks its hostess herself.

         Mrs. Eddy has hung its walls with reproductions of some

6      of Europe’s masterpieces, a few of which had been the

         gifts of her loving pupils.

         Looking down from the windows upon the tree-tops

9      on the lower terrace, the reporter exclaimed: “You have

         lived here only four years, and yet from a barren waste

         of most unpromising ground has come forth all this

12    beauty!”

         “Four years!” she ejaculated; “two and a half, only

         two and a half years.” Then, touching my sleeve and

15    pointing, she continued: “Look at those big elms! I had

         them brought here in warm weather, almost as big as they

         are now, and not one died.”

18    Mrs. Eddy talked earnestly of her friendships . . . .

         She told something of her domestic arrangements, of how

         she had long wished to get away from her busy career in

21    Boston, and return to her native granite hills, there to

         build a substantial home that should do honor to that

         precinct of Concord.

24    She chose the stubbly old farm on the road from Con-

         cord, within one mile of the “Eton of America,” St. Paul’s

         School. Once bought, the will of the woman set at work,

27    and to-day a strikingly well-kept estate is the first impres-

         sion given to the visitor as he approaches Pleasant View.

         She employs a number of men to keep the grounds and

30    farm in perfect order, and it was pleasing to learn that this

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1      rich woman is using her money to promote the welfare of

         industrious workmen, in whom she takes a vital interest.

3      Mrs. Eddy believes that “the laborer is worthy of his

         hire,” and, moreover, that he deserves to have a home and

         family of his own. Indeed, one of her motives in buying

6      so large an estate was that she might do something for the

         toilers, and thus add her influence toward the advancement

         of better home life and citizenship.

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