Preface

From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by




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Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John viii. 32.

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. Shakespeare

Oh! Thou hast heard my prayer;
And I am blest!
This is Thy high behest :-
Thou here, and everywhere. Mary Baker Eddy


Page vii


1 To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is
 big with blessings. The wakeful shepherd beholds
3 the first faint morning beams, ere cometh the full radiance
 of a risen day. So shone the pale star to the prophet-
 shepherds; yet it traversed the night, and came where, in
6 cradled obscurity, lay the Bethlehem babe, the human
 herald of Christ, Truth, who would make plain to be-
 nighted understanding the way of salvation through Christ
9 Jesus, till across a night of error should dawn the morn-
 ing beams and shine the guiding star of being. The Wise-
 men were led to behold and to follow this daystar of
12 divine Science, lighting the way to eternal harmony.

 The time for thinkers has come. Truth, independent
 of doctrines and time-honored systems, knocks at the
15 portal of humanity. Contentment with the past and
 the cold conventionality of materialism are crumbling
 away. Ignorance of God is no longer the stepping-
18 stone to faith. The only guarantee of obedience is a
 right apprehension of Him whom to know aright is
 Life eternal. Though empires fall, “the Lord shall
21 reign forever.”

 A book introduces new thoughts, but it cannot make
 them speedily understood. It is the task of the sturdy
24 pioneer to hew the tall oak and to cut the rough
 granite. Future ages must declare what the pioneer
 has accomplished.

27 Since the author’s discovery of the might of Truth in


Page viii


1 the treatment of disease as well as of sin, her system has
 been fully tested and has not been found wanting; but
3 to reach the heights of Christian Science, man must live
 in obedience to its divine Principle. To develop the full
 might of this Science, the discords of corporeal sense
6 must yield to the harmony of spiritual sense, even as the
 science of music corrects false tones and gives sweet con-
 cord to sound.

9 Theology and physics teach that both Spirit and
 matter are real and good, whereas the fact is that
 Spirit is good and real, and matter is Spirit’s oppo-
12 site. The question, What is Truth, is answered by
 demonstration, by healing both disease and sin; and
 this demonstration shows that Christian healing con-
15 fers the most health and makes the best men. On this
 basis Christian Science will have a fair fight. Sickness
 has been combated for centuries by doctors using ma-
18 terial remedies; but the question arises, Is there less
 sickness because of these practitioners? A vigorous
 “No” is the response deducible from two connate
21 facts, — the reputed longevity of the Antediluvians,
 and the rapid multiplication and increased violence of
 diseases since the flood.

24 In the author’s work, Retrospection and Introspec-
 tion, may be found a biographical sketch, narrating
 experiences which led her, in the year 1866, to the dis-
27 covery of the system that she denominated Christian
 Science. As early as 1862 she began to write down and
 give to friends the results of her Scriptural study, for
30 the Bible was her sole teacher; but these compositions
 were crude, the first steps of a child in the newly dis-
 covered world of Spirit.


Page ix


1 She also began to jot down her thoughts on the
 main subject, but these jottings were only infantile
3 lispings of Truth. A child drinks in the outward world
 through the eyes and rejoices in the draught. He is
 as sure of the world’s existence as he is of his own; yet
6 he cannot describe the world. He finds a few words,
 and with these he stammeringly attempts to convey his
 feeling. Later, the tongue voices the more definite
9 thought, though still imperfectly.

 So was it with the author. As a certain poet says of
 himself, she “lisped in numbers, for the numbers
12 came.” Certain essays written at that early date are
 still in circulation among her first pupils; but they are
 feeble attempts to state the Principle and practice of
15 Christian healing, and are not complete nor satisfac-
 tory expositions of Truth. To-day, though rejoicing
 in some progress, she still finds herself a willing dis-
18 ciple at the heavenly gate, waiting for the Mind of
 Christ.

 Her first pamphlet on Christian Science was copy-
21 righted in 1870; but it did not appear in print until
 1876, as she had learned that this Science must be
 demonstrated by healing, before a work on the subject
24 could be profitably studied. From 1867 until 1875,
 copies were, however, in friendly circulation.

 Before writing this work, Science and Health, she
27 made copious notes of Scriptural exposition, which
 have never been published. This was during the years
 1867 and 1868. These efforts show her comparative
30 ignorance of the stupendous Life-problem up to that
 time, and the degrees by which she came at length
 to its solution; but she values them as a parent


Page x


1 may treasure the memorials of a child’s growth, and
 she would not have them changed.

3 The first edition of Science and Health was pub-
 lished in 1875. Various books on mental healing have
 since been issued, most of them incorrect in theory
6 and filled with plagiarisms from Science and Health.
 They regard the human mind as a healing agent,
 whereas this mind is not a factor in the Principle of
9 Christian Science. A few books, however, which are
 based on this book, are useful.

 The author has not compromised conscience to suit
12 the general drift of thought, but has bluntly and hon-
 estly given the text of Truth. She has made no effort
 to embellish, elaborate, or treat in full detail so in-
15 finite a theme. By thousands of well-authenticated
 cases of healing, she and her students have proved the
 worth of her teachings. These cases for the most part
18 have been abandoned as hopeless by regular medical
 attendants. Few invalids will turn to God till all
 physical supports have failed, because there is so little
21 faith in His disposition and power to heal disease.

 The divine Principle of healing is proved in the
 personal experience of any sincere seeker of Truth. Its
24 purpose is good, and its practice is safer and more po-
 tent than that of any other sanitary method. The un-
 biased Christian thought is soonest touched by Truth,
27 and convinced of it. Only those quarrel with her
 method who do not understand her meaning, or dis-
 cerning the truth, come not to the light lest their
30 works be reproved. No intellectual proficiency is req-
 uisite in the learner, but sound morals are most de-
 sirable.


Page xi


1 Many imagine that the phenomena of physical heal-
 ing in Christian Science present only a phase of the
3 action of the human mind, which action in some unex-
 plained way results in the cure of disease. On the con-
 trary, Christian Science rationally explains that all
6 other pathological methods are the fruits of human
 faith in matter, faith in the workings, not of Spirit,
 but of the fleshly mind which must yield to Science.

9 The physical healing of Christian Science results
 now, as in Jesus’ time, from the operation of divine
 Principle, before which sin and disease lose their real-
12 ity in human consciousness and disappear as naturally
 and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and
 sin to reformation. Now, as then, these mighty works
15 are not supernatural, but supremely natural. They are
 the sign of Immanuel, or “God with us,” — a divine
 influence ever present in human consciousness and re-
18 peating itself, coming now as was promised aforetime,

 To preach deliverance to the captives [of sense],
 And recovering of sight to the blind,
21 To set at liberty them that are bruised.

 When God called the author to proclaim His Gospel
 to this age, there came also the charge to plant and
24 water His vineyard.

 The first school of Christian Science Mind-healing
 was started by the author with only one student in
27 Lynn, Massachusetts, about the year 1867. In 1881,
 she opened the Massachusetts Metaphysical College in
 Boston, under the seal of the Commonwealth, a law
30 relative to colleges having been passed, which enabled
 her to get this institution chartered for medical pur-


Page xii


1 poses. No charters were granted to Christian Scien-
 tists for such institutions after 1883, and up to that
3 date, hers was the only College of this character which
 had been established in the United States, where
 Christian Science was first introduced.

6 During seven years over four thousand students
 were taught by the author in this College. Meanwhile
 she was pastor of the first established Church of
9 Christ, Scientist; President of the first Christian Sci-
 entist Association, convening monthly; publisher of
 her own works; and (for a portion of this time) sole
12 editor and publisher of the Christian Science Journal,
 the first periodical issued by Christian Scientists. She
 closed her College, October 29, 1889, in the height of
15 its prosperity with a deep-lying conviction that the
 next two years of her life should be given to the prep-
 aration of the revision of Science and Health, which
18 was published in 1891. She retained her charter, and
 as its President, reopened the College in 1899 as auxil-
 iary to her church. Until June 10, 1907, she had never
21 read this book throughout consecutively in order to elu-
 cidate her idealism.

 In the spirit of Christ’s charity, as one who “hopeth
24 all things, endureth all things,” and is joyful to bear
 consolation to the sorrowing and healing to the sick,
 she commits these pages to honest seekers for Truth.



Mary Baker Eddy


 NOTE. — The author takes no patients,
 and declines medical consultation.




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Love is the liberator.