The Life of Mary Baker Eddy

by Sibyl Wilbur

It is commonly said that, if he would be heard, none should write in advance of his times. That I do not believe. Only, it does not matter how few listen. I believe that we are close upon a great and deep spiritual change. I believe a new redemption is even now conceived of the Divine Spirit in the human heart, that is itself as a woman, broken in dreams and yet sustained in faith, patient, long-suffering, looking towards home. I believe that though the Reign of Peace may be yet a long way off, it is drawing near: and that Who shall save us anew shall come divinely as a Woman, to save as Christ saved, but not as He did, to bring with Her a sword.

William Sharp (Fiona MacLeod)

in The Isle of Dreams

Table of Contents


No mystery to-day surrounds the life story of MARY BAKER EDDY. Her birth, her ancestry for two hundred years, her education, her social development, and her individual service to the world have been scrutinized with the strong search-lights of both love and criticism. Every event of her long career has been established by unimpeachable records and testimony. It is no longer possible to invent fiction concerning the environment in which she was born and reared or the acts which make up her life.

It is possible, however, to minds careless of verity or those dominated by prejudice, to distort facts by exaggerated statement, to deduce erroneous conclusions from improper handling of data, to make wilful and far-fetched conjectures, and to suppress illuminative information in relating incidents, — information which would reveal the true inwardness of a situation otherwise left dark and sinister. Such coloring and molding of evidence is a modern method used for deducing a readable story from statistical documents.

A story told dramatically, with high lights of speculation and deep shadows of conjecture, with all the fascinating and engaging charm of the narrator’s personal fancy woven into the texture, does make racy and entertaining reading. It requires a strong mind to hold fast to simple truth under such i uidance. Because of the pleasure taken in a good story, whole pages of history are mistold and some of the noblest characters in the world’s annals have been misrepresented.

The average modern, rationalistic and sophisticated, would far rather read Renan’s “Life of Jesus,” with its vivid coloring, its subtle suggestion, its bold deduction, and human sympathy, than the simple gospel of St. Mark. Renan flatters his intellect and panders to his sensuality; he is made to feel himself superior in intelligence to the Lord of this earth, and his sensual nature is elevated in importance by the argument that it was the illusion of an impassioned woman which gave to the world the idea of a Deity resurrected from the grave.

What an interpretation of Christ’s agony and victory and its proclamation by the purified and sanctified Mary Magdalene, — she who gave Christendom that immortal phrase, “He is Risen!” To be dominated by such interpretation is no less than a moral catastrophe occurring in the region of consciousness; for not only does Renan’s “Life of Jesus” entertain, flatter, and excite the intellect as an adventure in the realm of ideas, but, as in the case of most intellectual audacities, it leaves the adventurer in disastrous confusion. Renan, indeed, professes a delicate and reverent appreciation for the divine character he so ruthlessly handles and at the close of his drama you behold him a dejected chorus with tear-bedimmed eyes, inviting you to sigh with him over the monstrous blunder of Gethsemane. But the reader finds no tears to shed.

Renan has skilfully unpacked his heart of its treasure, and, by lure and wile, stolen its birthright, its title to divine heritage.

Immensely destructive is the usual commendation of this “Life.” Destructive to what? Can imagination and diction destroy reality, or, rather, can they destroy that faith by which the world lives, the faith in the reality of spiritual experience?

Now the simple gospel narrative tells a straight story of Jesus’ life. It is not concerned to compare the subject of its text to other men of the times in order to prove His reality. It declares His acts as they were, whether raising Jairus’ daughter, walking upon the Sea of Galilee, or feeding the multitude; it reveals Him scourged, spat upon, and crucified, without comment, and without comment relates His resurrection and ascension. The gospel is there for all time. It was in no haste to win attention and therefore did not need coloring or tricking out in fancy. Yes, the gospel stands after all documentary investigation, after the best modern documentary and comparative criticism can do, even after Renan and Strauss.

I have a life story to relate and I plant myself unreservedly on the methods of St. Mark. St. Mark, I believe, was a scribe who related what he had been able to gather from witnesses in a direct and unvarnished way. Now I shall endeavor to do simply that. It is not for me to explain or to expound. The facts of this life shall be left to elucidate themselves when set in an orderly and unembellished array before the world; the import must carry to iii hat consciousness able to receive it. I shall concern myself only to report the truth.

In gathering the facts from the past I have often encountered the disappointments of imperfect memories of a small, a very small, group of men and women of advanced years who knew Mrs. Eddy in her youth; but the records in town books have yielded sufficient information to trace accurately Mrs. Eddy’s residence from year to year. This data refutes certain unfounded assertions which float about as loose rumors, such as that related by an aged woman in Malden and printed in the form of an interview in the Boston Herald. This story was that a Mary Baker told fortunes by reading cards in a mean street in Boston before the Civil War, and had told this woman’s fortune and she believed the fortune-teller to be Mrs. Eddy, the founder of Christian Science. In the late fifties Mrs. Eddy was no longer Mary Baker, but had been twice married. She was then Mrs. Patterson, an almost helpless invalid, living in North Groton, a village in Northern New Hampshire. She had not visited Boston for a long period of years and did not visit it for many years to come. Another rumor there was that a certain Mrs. Glover, who was a spiritualistic medium, in and around Boston during the sixties, could be identified with Mary Baker Eddy as one and the same individual. It is not necessary to discover who that Mary Baker was or who that Mrs. Glover, or to establish that they were individuals in nowise related to Mrs. Eddy. It is only necessary to tell minutely the facts of Mrs. Eddy’s iv ife which are exclusive of all practices of charlatanism, and are at all times stainless and honorable.

All statements of facts made in this narrative are founded on reliable evidence, town registers, church books, and court records. As to the memories of a few old people still surviving who associated with Mary Baker in her youth, it must be said that they are not always all that could be desired, and it is fortunate that public records can usually be depended upon to rectify careless assertion. Compared together these memories sometimes contradict each other; referred back to themselves, they frequently shift and show instability; and a deplorable thing is that they betray evidence of having been tampered with by suggestion, the imagination having been incited by vanity or cupidity.

To remember a thing suggested, with a gift in full view, is a natural enough performance to children and to those in second childhood. But what should be said of the bribers in such a case? It is to the honor of human nature that both men and women have resisted the offer of large sums of money to remember that which would have been convenient to the theories of malicious-minded critics who preceded me in their investigations.

So if the intelligence was sometimes staggered in the search for the truth about this illustrious woman by encounter with malicious inventions, clearly discernible because of the known facts, the provable facts, which correct them, it was also frequently cheered and uplifted by touching the store of thought emanating from persons “whose spirits and v leanliness and freshness of mind and body make old age lovely and desirable.” The writer has nowhere interfered with these memories, neither in interview nor in transcription; and at the risk of seeming unkind to lonely and impoverished old men and women, whom a slight kindness by way of gift might have enlivened, has refrained from any such act, lest it might be said, to the detriment of this history, that the writer, too, had set forth an invention, instead of the truth.

But it is a task which I have imposed upon myself to take the wheat of memory and leave the chaff. I have refused ignoble deductions volunteered as information. I have refrained from handling the relics of rural jealousy strong enough to endure for eighty years, babbling what it merely conjectured almost a century ago concerning a nature it could not then and cannot now comprehend.

I ask the reader to refuse to accept as biography such gossip which the ephemeral press has detailed. For truth’s sake, divest your mind of all speculation and conjecture by which the true story of this life has been so ruthlessly caricatured; divest it at least for the time, and approach without prejudice for an acquaintance with this truly great and singular character. We as human beings owe something to the consciousness of the age, the great highway of souls to come after us. We should make the path straight by rejecting wilful scandal, however amusing and diverting, and by choosing to know the simple gospel truth.


FORTY years after the close of the American Revolution Mary Baker was born in the town of Bow, New Hampshire. Her birthplace was a farmhouse in the midst of cultivated acres, situated on a crest of hills overlooking the broad valley of the Merrimac River. Bow was not a village, but a cluster of farms with a town government, and a district school as a center of education and rural politics. There was no meeting-house, as the homely phrase of those days described the church edifice, but the God-fearing of the community attended divine worship either in the adjoining town of Pembroke, across the river, or in the neighboring city of Concord, the capital of the state, from which Bow is five miles distant.

Bow was a rural settlement, but it was not remote from the stirring forces of the life of its day. The men who owned its homesteads had been born in the heat of political struggle. Their mothers’ birth-pangs coincided with those of a nation. They were born individualist and democrats. New Hampshire, a mountainous state, originally covered with ense forests, had presented to its settlers a stern struggle with nature. The grandsires of the men of this day had been forest clearers, woodsmen who had hewn down a wilderness of pines over two hundred feet in height. Their sons had grown tall and sinewy like the trees they felled.

New Hampshire lay on the Canadian frontier and the French and Indian War had swept it. Its exposed settlements were constantly menaced by the Indians, and, during the wars with England, subject to descents from Canada. In those early days the sons of New Hampshire held back the red men from the less exposed colonies, themselves coming face to face with that treacherous warfare of the forests. This life of woodsman, mountaineer, and Indian fighter had produced a generation of physical giants. Intellectually these men had been well-nigh as vigorously exercised. The colonial settlement had been fraught with bitterest disputes over grants and regrants from England, and the surveying of those woodlands was made in the heat of contention. New Hampshire sent its delegates to the first Continental Congress, and two signatures stand for this state on that charter of American liberty, the Declaration of Independence. Two delegates represented her in the Federal Congress, and, ninth of the states in ratifying the Constitution, New Hampshire in a critical hour insured the success of the Union. Two New Hampshire regiments were at the battle of Bunker Hill. The battle of Bennington, that turned the scale of the war, was won by New Hampshire and Vermont troops under General

Stark, who bore a commission from New Hampshire. All through the War of Independence New Hampshire’s contingent to the army was liberal. When the war closed New Hampshire men returned to the duties of clearing farms, building schoolhouses, and worshiping God. Dartmouth College was founded in 1789; and soon the little red schoolhouses marked the cross-roads newly surveyed. Sixty or eighty pupils was the average attendance at these district schools during the winter months and learning was prized in every home. Thus were men living, acting, and feeling in the early years of the nineteenth century in this particular community. Religion, schooling, politics, and every man his own master, the owner of his own land, made that early American life a throbbing, vital experience.

Men who counted in these communities could not be ignorant and unsocial. They were robust from contending with nature and savages, intensely patriotic and versed in statescraft, as they had but recently been evolving a constitution for the new world; religious, for they were reestablishing a church of Christ, suiting it to democracy where each man must meet God for himself; scholarly they were, too, in a large sense, for they read the best books of England and studied the journals of the day, jealously watching the Old World, that the New World of their dreams might not be found wanting in intellectual progress. These men founded colleges.

For six generations the Bakers had been in New England. Their history is exactly the history of the ypical son of New Hampshire. They had swung the ax, carried the surveyor’s chain, shouldered the musket, fought off the savages, and taken part in government and the establishing of churches and schools. Mark Baker lived on his own farm, a tract of five hundred acres inherited with his brother James. His father was the largest taxpayer in the colony. Mark Baker was a justice of the peace for his township, a deacon of the church, a school committeeman, and for many years chaplain of the state militia. His friends were the clergy, the lawyers of Concord and surrounding towns, a governor of his state, upon whose staff a son served. A future president of the United States was an occasional guest at his home. But his friends also were astute men of business, mill owners, builders, men destined to change the character of the state from agricultural to manufacturing.

The family life at Bow was not set in a deadly routine of depressing labor. To so conceive it is to fail to rise to the true viewpoint which shall help us to understand the character we are considering. There never was at time in history when a people were more alive and progressive than the Americans after the War of Independence. There was no neighborhood in America more admirably situated to reap the full benefit of that peculiar, intense, spiritual culture than was the town of Bow, five miles from the city of Concord. Franklin Pierce and Daniel Webster were reared under these identical conditions. Emerson and Hawthorne have declared the conditions admirable for developing genius.

Mary Baker Eddy’s ancestry can be traced clearly through six generations to the first Baker in America, her earliest emigrant ancestor being John Baker, who was freeman in Charlestown, Massachusetts, in 1634. The generations succeeding, eliminating all but the direct line, are Thomas, of Roxbury; a second Thomas, of Roxbury, who married Sarah Pike; Joseph, born 1714, deacon of the Congregational church, who held a captain’s commission. He was the surveyor of several towns in that part of the colony of New Hampshire which was claimed by Massachusetts, — among the rest, of Pembroke, where he afterwards settled. He married, 1739, Hannah Lovewell, only daughter of Captain John Lovewell. Hannah was born in 1721, was heir to one third the estate of Captain Lovewell and inherited with her husband the lands assigned to her distinguished father in Pembroke.

Captain Joseph Baker had a son Joseph, born 1740, who married Marion Moor McNeil, a descendant of the Scotch Covenanters. They settled in Bow. Their youngest son was Mark Baker, born 1785. He was the father of Mary Baker. So the generations run thus: Mary, Mark, Joseph, Joseph, Thomas, Thomas, John, — which takes the record almost back to Plymouth Rock.

An examination of the genealogy of the wives of the Bakers reveals that the influx was of good blood through the maternal strains. The Pikes of New England have an honorable and interesting genealogy. Hannah Lovewell, great-grandmother of Mary Baker and born just one century before her, ransmits the courageous heart of her soldier father, Captain John Lovewell lost his life in a severe fight with the Indians at Pigwacket, now Fryeburg, Maine, an encounter so desperate that it is recorded in Colonial records and is known as Lovewell’s Fight. This Lovewell’s father was an ensign in Cromwell’s army and lived to the great age of one hundred and twenty years. Hannah Lovewell was one of the bravest women of the colonies.

Marion Moor McNeil, the paternal grandmother of Mary Baker, was a descendant of the McNeils of Edinburgh. Her father and mother, John McNeil and Marion Moor, came to America seeking religious liberty and bringing a rich store of memories and traditions. They possessed a heavy sword encased in a brass scabbard, with the inscription of an ancestor’s name that stated it had been bestowed by Sir William Wallace. General John McNeil of New Hampshire, who won distinction by leading a bayonet charge in the battle of Chippewa in the War of 1812, was a cousin of Marion McNeil Baker.1

1 This is the McNeil connection. I shall not trace it beyond America. Fannie McNeil, niece of Franklin Pierce, afterwards wife of Judge Potter of Washington, was a daughter of that General John McNeil. She claimed a cousinship with Mary Baker Eddy. This Fannie McNeil, who during Pierce’s administration frequently relieved his invalid wife of social duties as mistress of the White House, traced as she supposed the McNeil line to which she belonged directly to Sir John McNeil of Edinburgh. She adopted the McNeil crest for her coat of arms. Mrs. Eddy visited her in Washington in 1880. Together they made a journey to the grave of General McNeil. They thoroughly discussed the McNeil family history, the bravery of its fighting heroes, the deep religious conviction of its covenanting faith. Mrs. Eddy recalled her grandmother’s influence upon her whole life, an influence which shall presently be indicated. She therefore adopted with her cousin, Fannie McNeil, the McNeil crest and coat of arms. She adopted it for sentiment and affection. Its motto could not have better expressed the traits of character transmitted

Leaving the Baker genealogy for Mrs. Eddy’s maternal ancestry, in the same history of New Hampshire families it is stated that Mark Baker married Abigail Ambrose of Pembroke. She was the daughter of Deacon Nathaniel Ambrose, a man at once pious and public-spirited. He gave the money for the first Congregational church built in Pembroke. Mrs. Eddy’s mother and the grandmother of Hoke Smith, ex-governor of Georgia, were sisters. Governor Smith’s father wrote the following letter at the time of a public discussion of Mrs. Eddy’s family, a discussion which lacked a proper comprehension of the family’s standing in its community and its honorable connections. Mr. Smith sent the letter to the publication committee of the Christian Science Church which allows this reprint:

582 West Peachtree Street, ATLANTA, GA., Dec. 28, 1906.

I have known the Rev. Mary Baker Eddy from childhood. She is my first cousin. Her mother hrough a long line to her. It is: Vincere aut Mori. The crest was carved in the mahogany of the lintel above the inner vestibule entrance of her beautiful home on Commonwealth avenue, Boston, where she resided before her retirement to Pleasant View. She also used the crest as a seal and expressed her pleasure in the sentiment of the Scotch strain by having the coat of arms embroidered on white silk and hung in her library.

But a sudden denial to her rights so to enjoy this connection with the Scotch McNeils came through a Scottish descendant of the McNeils living in Aberdeen. Whereupon Mrs. Eddy had a thorough investigation of her genealogy made and being unable to establish the accuracy of Fannie McNeil’s genealogical claims, upon which she had hitherto rested, she requested that all biographers refrain from connecting her with the Rt. Honorable Sir John McNeil, G.C.B., of Edinburgh, sometime ambassador to Persia. It is therefore sufficient to state that Mary Baker Eddys great-grandparents were McNeils; that General John McNeil, the American hero, was her grandmother’s cousin.

was my mother’s younger sister. She [Mary Baker Eddy] was always a beloved visitor in our home. We corresponded for several years while I was in college; the correspondence ended with my regret. I have always admired my cousin’s sincerity and devotion to good works. Her brother Albert was one of the ablest lawyers of New Hampshire; but Mary was deemed the most scholarly member of her family. She has always held a sacred place in my heart. It gives me great pleasure to find that God is always protecting her.

H. H. Smith


IF in describing the conditions of life which bred New Hampshire giants, with its granite in their will and its hemlock in their soul’s fiber, one should neglect to indicate the beauty of summer days, or the clear, cold magnificence of winter months, in that mountainous upland, one would err in stating but half-truths of the environing influences, even though his efforts were but timid strokes.

The allurement which drew settlers into this region in the early days was doubtless the glorified face of Nature. Here was no prairie, easily tilled; here were no gold mines, promising sudden wealth. But there was a constant uplift for the heart, vaguely felt more often than it was understood. There is an enchantment in the New Hampshire panorama, the series of great pictures which unroll in one continuous stretch of glorious scenery, an enchantment so pervading that it is never forgotten. A logger on the mountain-side to-day looks down with indifference upon a transient tourist. The logger’s cup of content is full if he can make a bare living in the forest.

Summer spreads for the son of New Hampshire a shimmering wonder of green and gold with silver rivers winding placidly, fed by those headlong torrents farther up in the rocky hills, where the burning breasts of the mountains are lifted from their headless shoulders. There, too, like Victory’s, is seen the stride of their sheer descents, throwing back the clouds for draperies. This is summer, summer of ripening grain fields, summer of odorous, melodious South winds, balsam-scented and hemlock-tuned.

Autumn’s brilliant moment of splendor passes and the traveler flees before the sere and drear November, gray, brown, and sodden with fog and freezing tears. The mountaineer stays and cuts his logs. Now the great nature painting of all the seasons is preparing. The frost has bitten, the snow has fallen, and once more the sun shines forth. Behold the blue peaks, lifted above the green of the hemlock and the pine, and the dazzling sweep of virgin snow. The air is stimulating and purifying. Over this land bends a sky which gathers its true sons to her heart, whose stars are eloquent, whose storms are majestic, whose day-dawns are passionately tender.

The farmer and the mountaineer of to-day feel the divine salute of Nature as did the early settlers of the state. They are sustained in their life of toil by the same enchantment. But one circumstance of life, one sacred influence they have lost, homely but potent. That is the fireplace of their ancestors. In the living room of the early farmhouses huge logs were burned, and this resinous fire, like a pure spiritual force subduing nature to the will of man, yielded a glory to the homely walls, lighted up the faces of the family circle, drawing each member into a hallowed area, making a sanctified center of their existence.



So it should be realized it was the union of beauty and severity that gave to the New Hampshire character at its best the giant soul, — giant for wrestling toil, giant for deep and long-enduring pain, giant in its capacity for thinking and loving.

Mark Bakers farm in Bow lay on the uplands. It was cleared and cultivated by his father and older brothers before him. The farmhouse was situated on the summit of a hill from which, in gradual undulations, the land sloped to the Merrimac River. The view included three townships and was broad and picturesque rather than grand. Mountains there are in the distance; but this region of the state is scarcely in the foot-hills, though its rugged uplift gives promise of the vast range on the far horizon.

The farmhouse faced the South. It was unpainted in those days and consisted of a two-story and a half main building with a sloping-roofed ell. In the main building was the living room with its great fireplace and the best chamber adjoining. Above these were two chambers and the garret. In the rear were kitchen and butteries with chambers above. The stables were at one side, so that a long feeding-shed connecting them with the house-shed at right angles made a wind break against the North wind for the dooryard. This was a sunny spot for the farm fowls, and a place also where logs were trimmed, horses groomed, and wagons loaded for the market.

A sunny garden surrounded the front door on the South in which in summer were lilacs and roses and old-fashioned marigolds. To the East was the orchard enclosed by a stone wall three feet broad, part of which is still intact, though necessarily it has been rebuilt and repaired innumerable times. The breadth of the walls tells the story of the labor involved in clearing the farm not only of timber but of rocks. Across the road were pastures and grain fields, while to the North and beyond the orchard and stables were woodlands.

That the house was well constructed and comfortable is attested by its century-old frame which still stands, swept by storm and brooded over by sunshine on the now untenanted lands still belonging to Bakers. The sheds have been torn away and only the shell remains. It has been removed to a place by itself on the edge of the pasture land, and one old apple tree blooms each spring at the chamber window where Mary Baker first saw light.

The day of her birth was July 16, 1821. Mary was the youngest child. Her brothers were Samuel, Albert, and George; her sisters, Abigail and Martha. The children were not far apart in years. Albert was ten and Abigail was scarcely more than six when Mary was born. Albert and Abigail, of them all, were especially tender to the baby sister, and in the years to come exercises greater care for her, — the brother in her education, and the sister during her invalid widowhood.

A beloved member of the household when Mary as born was the venerable grandmother Baker who received this babe into her arms with a special solicitation to God. She conferred upon it the name Mary, which was her own name and that of her mother before her. Grandmother Baker’s chair stood by the fireplace. She overlooked the farmyard, and its busy occupations when she glanced up from her knitting; or, sending her glances out through the front door, open on a heated summer day, she saw the bees drowsing in the flowers, the bending grain beyond where the South winds made billows of light and shade. A precious care was in her charge. Ever and anon she touched with her foot the rocker of the cradle, or bent to scan the features of the babe sleeping there and so through the heat of August and the cool September she was the good angel watching and guarding.

The household tasks were not light for the mother of early New England days; she could not brood over a cradle. Mrs. Baker was industrious and placid of spirit, and the placidity meant much for the spirit of her home. She could brew and bake and care for her dairy, scour and sew and weave and dye – all women did this in those days – and it is reported of Mrs. Baker that she was “capable.” But Mrs. Baker found time for the unusual, for visiting the sick and administering to the needy; for entertaining her friends and maintaining the social life; for overseeing her children’s education and holding the family to high spiritual ideals. It is not sufficient to say of her that she was a capable, conscientious New England woman; this she was, ut more. And she has left behind her memories that attest it.

Mrs. Baker was one of those rare mothers of that period who found time for reading; and when guests filled her house, relative, clergymen, or men of affairs, her judgments and observations were sought and her influence in conversation was reported inspiring and uplifting. She was no Penelope, silent at her own fireside while the guests alone enjoyed social discourse. From touching mind and heart with these guests while serving them with hospitable attentions, she deduced ideas for the benefit of her children, ideas which she applied to each according to his temperament. After her death her clergyman, the Rev. Richard S. Rust, D.D., “who,” Mrs. Eddy says, “knew my sainted mother in all the walks of life,” wrote of her as one who possessed a presence which made itself felt like gentle dew and cheerful light. He said she possessed a strong intellect, a sympathizing heart, and a placid spirit, and as a mother was untiring in her efforts to secure the happiness of her family.

But the hands of this mother who labored untiringly were filled with duties in a home made prosperous through personal toil. It was an early American farm and the farm life hummed industriously from early morn until starlight, forwarded by the energy and will of both parents. Visible through the small-paned windows was the farm’s center of activity where the father and brothers went to and fro, now to the fields and now to the town, removing logs and rock, tending sheep and cattle, handling rain and fruits. Within the kitchen, mother and daughters worked not less continuously, laundry and dairy, needle and loom, claiming the attention in rhythmic succession. And of all these workers one knows the mother was earliest astir and latest to rest.

And so Mary Baker grew through infancy at her grandmother’s knee and imbibed her grandmother’s stories and songs; her grandmother’s recollections and store of spiritual wisdom were poured into the hungering mind agape like a young robin’s mouth. And what stories these were and how they thrilled the awakening imagination! For this grandmother, descended from the Scotch Covenanters, could tell dramatic tales of a land torn by religious dissentions for nearly a century.

We can imagine the little Mary on a certain day taken by her grandmother to visit the garret. Up the steep stairs they climb together, the baby hand confidingly in the brown and wrinkled one. Up here under the low-slanting roof, amidst odors of lavender, catnip, and sage, in a dusty gray twilight, weird because of the stray sunbeams that pierce it, grandmother takes from the depths of an old chest the sword of a far-away Scottish ancestor, the blade rusting in its brass scabbard. The child is allowed to handle it, tries to draw the blade, and with great eyes hears its history. Then as she still tugs at it, grandmother kneeling back on her heels sings in quavering accents, “Scots who hae wi’ Wallace bled.” How long ago was it that Sir William Wallace rove the English out of the highlands and back to their own lands?” Five hundred years ago. Yes, for five hundred years that sword has been handed down from kinsman to kinsman. My father’s father’s fathers were Highlanders, wore the kilt and trampled the purple heather and played the bagpipes that summoned the clans.” But why did your father and mother leave Scotland, grandmother?” We came away for religious liberty, child, that we might worship God according to our conscience.” But I should not have run away. And I should have worshiped God according to my conscience. And they could have taken their swords and killed me.” Ay, they did that, my bairn; the blood was spilled of many a God-fearing man. Your ancestors wrote their names on the covenant in blood, and that meant they would keep the covenant with their life blood. Ay, dearie, dearie; it was a long and bitter and terrible strife, but religion was more to our ancestors than their lives.” What is religion?” asks the child, dropping the sword and resting her hands on her grandmother’s shoulders.

“Religion is to know and worship God.”

And there in the twilight of the garret the child fell a wondering, doubtless making then and there her covenant, while the grandmother returned to rummaging in the old chest which had crossed the ocean. Now the grandmother took from the chest some old newspapers, yellow with age, together with ertain old manuscripts. She carried these down to the living room and there on occasions read from them various stories to the little girl.

These stories were of Washington, of Valley Forge, of the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, of the farewell of the commander-in-chief to his troops, and of the death and burial of the first American president. The stories made a deep impression on the child’s mind and she put many questions to her father concerning these events, causing the theme of the family conversation around the fireside to be set to a patriotic key.

“I remember,” says Mrs. Eddy in “Retrospection and Introspection,” written at least sixty years after these times, “reading in my childhood certain manuscripts containing Scriptural sonnets besides other verses and enigmas which my grandmother said were written by my great-grandmother... My childhood was also gladdened by one of my grandmother Baker’s books, printed in olden type and replete with the phraseology current in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Among grandmother’s treasures were some newspapers yellow with age. Some of these, however, were not very ancient, nor had they crossed the ocean, for they were American newspapers, one of which contained a full account of the death and burial of George Washington.”

The grandmother cherished the idea that Hannah More was a relative in some way to her mother. She talked of the pious authoress and of the fact that her mother had written the manuscripts she isplayed. The family rejected the idea of relationship with the English authoress, but Mary, listening to these discussions of literary talents inherent in the blood of her forebears, early resolved to grow up wise enough to write a book. There is no doubt that the great resolutions of her life, already infused with tenacious qualities of loving and willing, were made under the inspiration of the religious grandmother.

From the reading of these old books and papers the child acquired a grave and dignified way of speaking. Mary’s sayings were quoted frequently, in a different spirit, by different members of the family. The grandmother would repeat them dotingly, the father, with grim humor to his guests, and her gifted brother, teasingly and lovingly. He was at this time preparing for college.

Mark Baker was too busy a man for much leisure with his family, yet he had time to guide each son to a successful career. Mary, the youngest daughter of the flock, delicate in health from her birth, was not easily understood by this man of iron will. She perplexed him with her sage sayings and grave doings. The strange stories told about this little one by the grandmother and mother made him wonder sometimes with deep concern.

The story that most perplexed him was that of Mary’s “Voices.” When but eight years old Mary frequently came to her mother, asking her earnestly what she wanted of her. “Nothing, child,” her mother would reply.

“But, mother, who did call me?” she would beseech. “I heard some one call ‘Mary’ three times!”

This assertion that some one was calling her was continually made by the child for nearly a year, until her parents grew anxious for her health. “Take the books away from her,” said her father; “her brain is too big for her body.”

Accordingly, she was sent to romp in the fields, to gather berries and wild flowers along the walls, to sing among the bees. She must not hear so many exciting tales, or be allowed to brood in fancy. As the summer turned into fall she must needs be more indoors, but her brother Albert found her on a drear November evening, huddled closed to the pasture wall, singing softly. The noisy pigs were squealing in the sty and the child had stolen out from the warm fireside to sing to them, thinking they needed comfort before they would go to sleep. Carrying her in on his shoulder, her brother deposited her in her grandmother’s arms, telling merrily of the quaint lullaby.

“But,” said the child excitedly, “they were crying and it must be because it’s cold and dark out there.” God cares for all his creatures, my bairn,” said the grandmother, soothing and caressing the chilled little maiden.

The voices had not ceased to call the little girl, but Mary had ceased to respond to them. Mrs. Eddy has told of these persistent callings which were heard by her for some twelve months, and in her autobiography says:

One day when my cousin, Mehitable Huntoon, was visiting us, and I sat in a little chair by her side, in the same room with grandmother, the call again ame so loud that Mehitable heard it, though I had ceased to notice it. Greatly surprised my cousin turned to me and said, “Your mother is calling you!” ... I then left the room, went to my mother, and once more asked her if she had summoned me. She answered as always before. Then I earnestly declared my cousin had heard the voice and said that mother wanted me. Accordingly she returned with me to grandmother’s room, and led my cousin to an adjoining apartment. The door was ajar and I listened with bated breath. Mother told Mehitable all about this mysterious voice and asked if she really did hear Mary’s name pronounced in audible tones. My cousin answered quickly and emphasized her affirmations. That night before going to rest my mother read to me the Scriptural narrative of little Samuel, and bade me, when the voice called again, to reply as he did, “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.” The voice came; but I was afraid, and did not answer. Afterward I wept, and prayed that God would forgive me, resolving to do next time as my mother had bidden me. When the call came again, I did answer in the words of Samuel, and never again to the material senses was that mysterious call repeated.1

That wisdom and love in this spiritual-minded mother, causing her to guide her child into the full benefit of her first deep religious experience! She did not contradict, rebuke, or deride; but guided gently part of the way, then left the child to go up alone to that mount of sacred experience which no two human beings, however tender their relation, can ascend together.

1 “Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 17.


THOUGH we instinctively give heredity and natural environment a close scrutiny and respectful consideration in viewing a character, we still behold how Destiny strikes through circumstances, and grasping a life, drags it root and all from its soil and culture to replant it for its great development. We shall see how love seized Mary Baker and drew her out of Puritanism to fit her for leadership in a warfare against materialism.

All the Baker children went to school at the crossroads, about a mile from the farmhouse on the way to Concord. When Mary began her schooling, her oldest brother, Samuel, with New England pertinacity, had gone to Boston to learn the trade of mason from which he steadily developed into a contractor and builder of considerable importance. He built many brick buildings and rows of houses which still stand in Boston. Her brother Albert entered Dartmouth College when Mary was nine and returned home when she was thirteen. He studied law with Franklin Pierce at Hillsborough, and later spent a year in the office of Richard Fletcher of Boston and was admitted to the bar in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The youngest rother was also through with the district school when Mary began her formal studies.

Abigail, Martha, and Mary trudged to school alone along the country roads, their brother George calling to fetch them home in stormy weather. It soon developed that Mary could not endure the severe routine of the district schoolroom where restless farmers’ children, with noisily shuffling feet, droned through their lessons, and indulged in occasional rude pranks that ended in birchings. The ungraded district schools were at that time over-crowded and nerve-straining to pupil and teacher alike.

Mary, who could not endure to hear the calves bawl or the pigs squeal in their own farmyard without an effort to comfort them, was depressed or excited by the turbulence of school life. She was therefore soon taken out of that experience and went on with her books at home. The grandmother, full of years, had passed out of the home scene and Mary now came directly under the guidance and observation of her mother and also saw her father more freely now that the boys were away. Her mother she thought a saint, her father an embodied intellect and will.

Her father would enter the house from his farm work, his mind abstracted with business purposes, and would seat himself at the old secretary to write for an hour or arrange papers from his strong box. He was called upon to do much business for his town, making out deeds and settling disputes. Up to the front door would drive two wrangling farmers ith a grievance. Mary, a shy spectator, beheld her father’s unvarying courtesy, his stern repression of profanity or angry speech. On one occasion when his judgment was not accepted and one of the disputants angrily protested, the child from her corner, imitating her father’s dignified bearing, though in the soft voice of her mother, interpolated, “Mr. Bartlett, why do you articulate so vociferously?”

The unexpected rebuke coming from a child and in such unfamiliar words, caused a burst of laughter, followed by general good humor and the neighbors departed in peace. “Mary settled that quarrel,” said her father with his grim smile, and for years after her speech was quoted whenever a turbulent social spirit threatened the general harmony.

Often the minister from Pembroke, “Priest” Burnham, as he was called, the man who was active in founding Pembroke Academy, would drive up to the farm to discuss with Mark Baker church matters, prolonging his visit to elucidate the faulty doctrine of a rebellious parishioner. Condemning all such to eternal judgment with theological satisfaction, the clergyman would offer prayer, after which, before departing, he would accept with benign graciousness the hospitality Mr. Baker would offer him at the corner cupboard. Mary watched such scenes with the gravest interest and remembered them vividly in after years, not without a peculiar relish of humor. Her father was a great churchman and often visited “backsliders” with this same “Priest” Burnham, to labor with them in matters f conscience, and presently she herself became the object of such solicitation.

Among the visitor that came to their home was Governor Benjamin Pierce. He had served through the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 1812nd attained the rank of Major-General. He was twice governor of New Hampshire. Mark Baker was chaplain of the state militia, and a figure of some consequence in politics. Their politics were congenial, both being ardent Democrats and advocates of states rights. The old general sometimes brought with him on his drives to Bow his granddaughter, Fanny McNeil, who was related to the Bakers through her father, and while Mark Baker and the governor talked politics, the women discussed more congenial topics.

Mary liked best to listen to the weightier conversation, especially when it touched the welfare of some one dear to her heart. Once she heard the governor laughing merrily with her father over the way Mark Baker had got the best of his son, Franklin, in a lawsuit involving the towns of Loudon and Bow over the question of pauperism.

“You are not a lawyer, and yet my son says you beat him with your arguments,” said the governor.

“He bore his defeat in good spirit and offered me his congratulations,” replied her father. “He is a magnetic young man destined for great things. It is gratifying in these days of general bad manners to have an opponent of such courtesy and good-will. He swept me a bow like a soldier saluting his commander-in-chief – no less; and then shook hands with me like a kinsman.” And kinsmen we are in some sort, they tell me. See here, Mr. Baker, send your son Albert to see us when he comes home again. Get him into politics right! he can’t understand these matters too young, and Franklin is a zealous Democrat, you know.”

Somewhat later Albert made a visit to the Pierces’, and he, the undergraduate, formed a sincere and devoted attachment for the future president. Something about the young man attracted Franklin Pierce to him. He reminded him, no doubt, of that other devoted friend, Nathaniel Hawthorne, his college mate at Bowdoin. Perhaps it was young Baker’s passion for abstract metaphysics.

“When you’ve finished college, come to me,” Franklin Pierce said in parting, “and I’ll start you reading law.”

The next time Mark Baker was in Concord, the governor entertained him at dinner. Governor Pierce, the politician, was pleased at the prospect of a close alliance with an old family of such wide ramifications as the Bakers of Bow and Pembroke with their numerous voters, and in signification of his satisfaction offered Mr. Baker a gold-headed walking-stick as he was leaving. Mr. Baker declined it, saying he never used a cane. His pride was as unbending as his rugged figure, which he carried erect to his grave.

The love between Albert Baker and his youngest sister was most tender, and she beheld these arrangements for his future with an interest beyond er years. She had seen him leave for college with a pang of desolation, and now with what impatience she watched with face pressed against the pane for his first return home!

When he finally came he caught her up, the frail little girl of nine, and set her once more on his shoulder to queen it through the house.

“Mother,” he said, “Mary is as beautiful as an angel.” Well, my son,” said the good mother; “she is as gentle and sweet-tempered as one.” Now, little sister, tell me about the books,” was his first question, when he had kissed her cheeks and stood her before him at the old secretary. “Have they let you have the books again?”

Vibrating with the bliss of having again with her this beloved brother, she leaned upon his breast and looked up into his face with eyes like dewy violets. She clasped and unclasped her hands around his neck and nestled to his heart. The excess of her emotional nature disquieted him vaguely. Here was no farm girl’s prosaic temperament.

“Now tell your brother,” said he, holding her gently, for he felt again what he had forgotten, how fragile and gentle she was, how like a flower that might be crushed. It was a moment of rare intimacy, such as seldom occurs between members of the same family, except with highly organized natures. It was moreover a moment which yielded important results in her after life.

Standing before him, she explained all her heart with shy candor; how it was that she loved him so ecause he was brave and honorable and a scholar; how she recognized his bravery because he had persisted in his determination to go to college; and his honor, because he had never cried out against the hardship of labor that went hand in hand with his studies.

“And I want very much to be a scholar, too,” she said.

“A scholar, and why, little sister?” Because when I grow up I shall write a book; and I must be wise to do it. I must be as great a scholar as you or Mr. Franklin Pierce. Already I have read Young’s ‘Night Thoughts,’ and I understand it.” Well, sister,” said Albert Baker seriously, “we will have this for a secret and I will teach you. You are still a very little girl, you know; but study your grammar and my Latin grammar. Next summer when I’m home I will teach you to read Latin. Does that make you happy?”

Ah, the deep embrace when Mary flung herself into her brother’s arms! Albert Baker was true to his word. He taught his sister during all his vacations. Mrs. Eddy has said that at ten she was as familiar with Lindley Murray as with the Westminster Catechism which she had studied with her sisters every Sunday since her babyhood. During the four years of her brother’s undergraduate work she read with him moral science, natural philosophy, and mastered the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew grammars. He was an able teacher and she an apt pupil. A friend wrote of him after his death that he was fond of investigating abstruse metaphysical principles and schooled himself by intense and incessant study.” Mary corresponded with her brother and also with her cousin who was at college and her fame gradually spread as a young prodigy of learning whose writing fell naturally into poetry and whose thought was forever brooding on spiritual matters.

In spite of her intelligence, Mary Baker’s spiritual experiences continued to be grave and unusual, as had been her “Voices.” She was what her family though morbidly devout, reading her Bible with absorbed interest, making its characters the familiar friends of her mind. When she discovered that Daniel prayed seven times daily, she formed the habit of doing so likewise. A curious fact is that she kept a record of these prayers in order to examine herself from time to time to learn if she had improved in grace. This was kept up through a number of years and was doubtless her first effort at composition. Her phrases were formed on the style of the psalmist and the prophets. So, when with his cousin, Albert commented on the unusual diction of Mary’s letters, he declared he could only account for it by the habit she had of constantly reading her Bible and writing and rewriting prayers in emulation of David.

Her religious experience reached a grave crisis when she was twelve years of age, though she did not unite with the church until five years later at Sanbornton Bridge. While still in Bow, writing and studying, her father’s relentless theology was alarmed at her frequent expression of confidence in God’s ove. He held to a hard and bitter doctrine of predestination and believed that a horrible decree of endless punishment awaited sinners on a final judgment day.

Whether it was logic and moral science taught her by her brother, or the trusting love instilled by her mother who had guided her to yield herself to the voice of God within her, Mary resisted her father on the matter of “unconditional election.” Beautiful in her serenity and immovable in her faith, the daughter sat before the stern father of the iron will. His sires had signed a covenant in blood and would he not wrestle with this child who dared the wrath of God?

And well he did wrestle and the home was filled with his torrents of emotion. But though Mary might have quoted to him her own baby speech, she was too respectful and his “vociferations” went unrebuked. It is a remarkable thing to note, the conscience of a child in defense of its faith. Can any one suppose it an easy thing to resist a father so convicted with belief in dogma, a father, too, whom all their world honored and heeded? We may be sure it was not easy; that, indeed, to do so tortured this little child’s heart. But Mark Baker was acting according to his conscience, and the child knew it and respected him. She did not view this struggle of consciences as a quarrel, and has repudiated all her life the idea that she ever quarreled with her father.

The notion went abroad, however, that Mark Baker and his daughter Mary were at variance over eligion. The silly gossip of their world reported that she would not study her catechism. They said that Mary had a high temper for all her learning, she of whom her mother had said, “When do you ever see Mary angry?” They even said that Mr. Baker had reported in his anguish to his clergyman, “If Mary Magdalene had seven devils, our Mary has ten.” The struggle, it may be seen, was no casual argument, but a deep wrestle of souls. At last the child succumbed to an illness and the family doctor was summoned. When Mary Baker drove to fetch him his religious intemperance must have given way to paternal affection and fear. He is said to have stood up in his wagon and lashed his horse, crying out to a neighbor who accosted him that Mary was dying.

The physician declared Mary stricken with fever. He left medicines, recommending her to her mother’s most watchful care and admonishing her father to desist from discussions. Mrs. Eddy says of what followed:

My mother, as she bathed my burning temples, bade me lean on God’s love, which would give me rest if I went to Him in prayer, as I was wont to do, seeking His guidance. I prayed; and a soft glow of ineffable joy came over me. The fever was gone and I rose and dressed myself in a normal condition of health. Mother saw this and was glad. The physician marveled; and the “horrible decree” of Predestination – as John Calvin rightly called his own tenet – forever lost its power over me.1

1 “Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 22.

It is true that Mary Baker made a religious profession at this time. She was examined at the age of twelve by the pastor who eagerly put to her the usual “doleful questions,” declaring that he must be assured that she had been truly regenerated. With the eyes of the church members upon her and her own father’s haggard face visible from his place in their family pew, she answered without a tremor:

“I can only say in the words of the psalmist, ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’”

Her childish, but resolute figure, and the grave words so earnestly spoken, brought about a reaction in her favor and the oldest church members wept. Her pastor relented toward her and the ordeal was over. However, it was not until the age of seventeen that she united with the Congregational church.

The circumstances of her struggle with her father made a profound impression on her and the watchful love of her mother saw fit to send her on a visit to a friend in the suburbs of Boston under the care of her brother Samuel. These friends received her with kindness and sought to draw her thoughts away from serious questions with bright entertainment and pleasant diversion. That they did not entirely succeed is shown in some of her verses written at this time in which, while she shows a rapturous love of nature, she declares that all this is the poet’s world-wish and only a shadow hastening way. The asserts, however, that hope lifts the thought to “soar above matter and fasten on God,” which at this very early age presaged her future religious revelation in no uncertain outline.

The entrance of Albert Baker into Franklin Pierce’s law office at Hillsborough; his absorption into the politics of that region which he represented in the New Hampshire legislature for two successive terms; the establishment of Samuel Baker in business in Boston; and the desire of George Baker to enter the cloth mills of Sanbornton Bridge are various reasons which caused Mark Baker to remove from Bow to the mill town eighteen miles north of Concord. He relinquished his share of the title in the Bow property to his brother’s children and bought a farm about a mile from Tilton.

The Baker home life now became more social and less patriarchal. Mary was fifteen, her sisters, Martha and Abigail, eighteen and twenty. All three sisters were notable for their beauty and good breeding. The mother’s agreeable temperament, together with her hospitable nature no less than Mr. Baker’s great interest in public affairs, drew many guests to this house in which the family lived for seven years. Mr. Baker became prominent in the church with which he and his wife very soon united. He conducted the “third meeting” and George Baker led the village choir. George was now established in Alexander Tilton’s mill and rose rapidly to become a mill agent and later a partner of the owner, who before that time had married his sister Abigail.



Mrs. Eddy was a member of this church for many years and taught a class in the Sunday-School

A frequent guest of the family was Professor Dyer H. Sanborn, who kept a private school to which the children of the wealthier families were sent to finish their studies. Boys were prepared by him for college and girls were given a certificate of graduation with academic honors. Mary Baker became his pupil and graduated from this school. Professor Sanborn was the author of a grammar and a man of literary tastes. He trained Mary particularly in rhetoric and corrected the faults which private study had engendered.

The Rev. Enoch Corser, pastor of the Tilton church for all the period of their residence at the farm, was also a frequent and honored guest of the Bakers. He was a man of liberal culture as may be imagined from the fact that he privately tutored his son Bartlett, sending him to college prepared to eliminate the first two years of Greek, Latin, and mathematics. This was Mary Baker’s pastor who first received her into communion. His son has declared his father’s disposition toward her to be one of highest esteem, deep admiration, and warm interest. This pastor regarded Mary as his special pupil and the brightest he ever had.

An intellectual comradeship grew up between Mary and her pastor who, as his son declares, preferred to talk with her to any one of his acquaintance. They discussed subjects too deep to be attractive to other members of the family, which the family freely and good-humoredly admitted. Walking up and down in the garden, this fine, old-school clergyman and the young poetess, as she was coming to be alled, threshed out the old philosophic speculations without rancor or irritation.

He was a fine-looking old Calvinist, with leonine head covered with a mane of silver, and shaggy brows beneath which rolled eyes of eloquence and compassion. His mouth was wide but firm, suggesting both humor and melancholy. His shoulders had the scholar’s droop. One can picture them of a fine summer evening, the slender girl and the old scholar, on their usual promenade in the garden. She must have declared to him something from her philosophy, — perhaps that one drop of divine love melted his eternal hells. As she looked up at her pastor, her great blue eyes poured sunshine upon him and she smiled with such radiance that he was struck dumb in the midst of his defense of Hades. They would be by the willows which still remain, all that is left of the old place, and below them rolled the valley with the village nestling there in the summer twilight.

“Mary, your poetry goes beyond my theology,” cried her pastor; “why should I preach to you!”

As they turned they encountered his son Bartlett and Abigail; for Bartlett was a suitor for Abigail’s hand and she once pinned a rose on his coat in this garden. It is possible that both men were uplifted as they walked down the hill from the Baker home, and that it was then the father, halting his son with a hand on his shoulder, declared to him what he at some time certainly said: “Bright, good, and pure, aye brilliant! I never before had a pupil with such depth and independence of thought. She has some reat future, mark that. She is an intellectual and spiritual genius.”

The young man may not have marked it then, absorbed in his thoughts of the other sister. But he lived to remember it and to pay tribute to that genius by recalling his father’s words. He never married or entered a profession. His father left him well off in lands and money, and with his two maiden sisters he lived for years at Boscawen, a village between Tilton and Concord made famous by Daniel Webster. He was a country gentleman of literary tastes and hospitable habits. Abigail, after rejecting him, married Alexander Tilton, a wealthy mill owner, and became the great lady of the town. Martha, after teaching for a time in the academy, married a state warden.

While Mary was attending the academy an incident occurred which is still related by old residents of Tilton. A lunatic, escaped from the asylum at Concord, invaded the school yard, brandishing a club and terrifying the children who ran shrieking into the house. Mary Baker advanced toward him, and the children, peering through the windows, saw him wield the club above her head. Their blood tingled with horror for they expected her to be struck down before their eyes. Not so. She walked straight up to the man and took his disengaged hand. The club descended harmlessly to his side. At her request he walked with her to the gate and so, docilely, away. On the following Sunday he reappeared and quietly entered the church. He walked to the Baker pew and stood beside Mary uring the hymn singing. Afterwards he allowed himself to be taken in charge without resistance.

Mary Baker must have been a gladsome sight in that grim old meeting-house. She has been described as slender and graceful, with a shower of chestnut curls, delicate, refined features, and great blue eyes that on occasion of unwonted interest became almost black. She wore a fashionable mantle over her silk gown and the bonnet of the period which came around her face, relieved with a delicate ruching of white. Her curls escaped from the bonnet and shaded cheeks which were so glowing they rivaled the rose. She taught the infants’ class in the Sunday-school and an elderly lady in Boston who was in that class relates:

“She always wore clothes we admired. We liked her gloves and fine cambric handkerchief. She was, as I have come to understand, exquisite, and we loved her particularly for her daintiness, her high-bred manners, her way of smiling at us, and her sweet musical voice.” Indeed, in those days her name might have been sung for that of Annie Laurie in the old ballad, so beautifully did her girlhood culminate.

Within two years two events transpired which broke forever the old home circle, and changed Mary from girlhood to womanhood. In 1841 Albert Baker was nominated for Congress in a district where nomination by his party insured election. Before that came to pass he died at the age of thirty-one. His death was regarded as a calamity by his party, and his family felt it as a blow to their greatest ambition. Of Mary’s grief it is sufficient to say that this brother was, after her mother, the dearest of her kindred. She had developed as a flower in his heart. It was well for her that another love came to break a too long-continued sorrow.

George Washington Glover, formerly of Concord, had been associated with Samuel Baker in Boston and with him learned the first step in his profession, that of a contractor and builder. He was now established at Charleston, South Carolina. He visited Tilton with Samuel Baker and fell deeply in love with the young sister. He was an impetuous wooer and won Mary Baker’s heart.


MARY BAKER and George Washington Glover were married two weeks before the Christmas of 1843 at the farmhouse near Tilton by her beloved pastor, Dr. Corser. There was a wedding party and all the notables of the neighborhood and guests from Concord and even Boston attended. Roaring fires greeted the arriving sleighing parties and there were feasting and merriment. Mark Baker saw all his children around him at this wedding, save the lamented Albert, and felt that all were well launched in life. Samuel was there from Boston, with his wife, a missionary in her teens to the Indians. Abigail, who had been married six years, was present with her husband, Alexander Tilton. Martha with her husband, Luther Pillsbury of Concord, and George Baker, still unmarried, were there.

Surrounded by five children, four of whom were well married, Mark Baker was justified in believing that his name and blood would go down to posterity enriched, strengthened, honored. There was to be, however, no permanent issue, save through the medium of that frailest and youngest, the flower-like girl, who, in her bridal garments, clung to his arm as they walked down the stairs of the old-fashioned house. She alone, holding her father back at the arlor door for one parting embrace and long look in his eyes, was to insure him a third and a fourth generation and to make his name known throughout the world.

Her father might well have looked at her with paternal pride on her wedding day. He had dowered her with beauty, educated her with care, gathered her safely into the church, clothed her delicately and without parsimony. As finely and nobly bred was she as any bride who ever left her father’s home in all New England. Yet could this father have looked into the future he would have foreseen that his daughter Mary would yet reject his religious dogmas, his political ideas, his wealth and family pride, — that she would one day depart from them all with a more significant departure than this of going forth as a bride.

The young husband and wife left immediately for the South. George Glover had a promising business in Charleston, South Carolina. During the four years he lived there, from 1839 to 1844, he made thirteen conveyances of property and two were made to him. These acts involved several thousand dollars, as the registry of deeds of that city discloses. He owned a few slaves and employed a number of men in his building ventures. One of the first things Mrs. Glover endeavored to influence her young husband to do was to free his slaves.

With the change of environment the whole question of slavery became a real and terrible one to her, and no longer merely a political issue as it was considered by the Bakers, the Tiltons, the Pierces, in

New Hampshire. A young colored woman who worked in a boarding-house of the city (as was related by a Boston woman sojourning there) had stolen a shawl, and though she gave it up, she was taken to the sugar house and whipped. Her screams were audible on the road. George Glover could not drive out with his wife on a pleasant evening through the magnolia-lined avenues of the “Queen City of the South” and be certain that she would not see or hear some such evidence of the inhuman side of slavery. It was thus that the issue was made real to her.

The question of freeing his slaves was frequently debated between them, Mr. Glover explaining to his wife that it had been made illegal to do so in South Carolina by a statute passed in 1820, and only by a special act of the legislature could slaves be made absolutely free. Her answer to this was that she had learned of some instances where masters allowed their slaves to depart of their own free will. Then her husband argued to her that it would be a loss of property for him to free his slaves as he had accepted them in payment of debts, and very likely would have to do so again. But Mrs. Glover was insistent that to own a human being was to live in a state of sin. Glover was young, prosperous, had large contracts ahead of him, and so thought seriously of yielding to her persuasions. Events soon took the necessity of decision out of his hands and left it to his wife, who decided with characteristic moral acumen.

It was June of the summer following their marriage. Mr. Glover had a contract for supplying building material for a cathedral to be erected in Haiti and on this business went to Wilmington, North Carolina. Because of her unique position in her new social surroundings, not only as an advocate of abolition in conversation, but one who had dared to write on the subject for the local papers, he took his young wife with him. He feared, indeed, to leave her behind, for she was in delicate health and impressionable to the excitement of high argument.

In Wilmington they found yellow fever raging and the city in a panic. Mr. Glover endeavored to forward his business for a speed departure; but he was himself suddenly stricken with the fever and survived but nine days. During his illness his young wife was excluded by his brother Masons from the perilous task of nursing him. Mr. Glover was a member of Saint Andrew’s Lodge, No. 10, and of Union Chapter, No. 3, of Royal Arch Masons, and his need in this hour brought a quick response from members of the order. In his delirium he constantly talked of his wife, of his hopes through her, and of his business plans which he now saw blasted. When he knew he was dying, he begged his brother Masons to see his wife safe to her father’s home in the North. His request was carried out faithfully.

George Glover was interred with Masonic rites with Masonic rites in the Episcopal cemetery of Wilmington. His business associates and members of the lodge followed his body to the grave and then strove to do all that was possible for his widow’s comfort. For a month

Mrs. Glover was entertained in the home of these cordial Southerners, made more than friends by the calamity of the hour. They did all that kinsmen could have done. They converted his business interests into as large a sum of money as possible and an escort was selected to accompany her to her home. She had already communicated with her family, and her brother George met them in New York City.

Mr. Glover had brought with her a considerable sum of money, but her husband’s business, as may be readily understood from the nature of it, fell to pieces at his death. Now it was that she permitted his slaves to go free, unwilling to accept for herself the price of a human life. No record exists of this transaction because of the statutes on emancipation, which existed in South Carolina until the proclamation of President Lincoln. Mr. Baker, though a Democrat, and opposed to the polices of the abolitionists, was no lover of slavery and he upheld his daughter in this sacrifice of property.

Mrs. Glover was received with tenderness by her parents and given her girlhood room again, a spacious and comfortable chamber in which she had so lately donned her wedding veil. It was August, and she had escaped from the tropic heat of the South to her native mountain air. She breathed deep drafts at her window, looking out over the familiar valley. But there was in her eyes a look of loneliness, a look of fear, and they were often wide and startled, as those of one who sees a vision.

In September she gave birth to a son whom she amed after his father. Mrs. Glover’s life for a time was despaired of. She was far too ill to nurse her child and Mark Baker carried the infant to the home of Amos Morrison, a locomotive builder, whose wife had given birth to twins a few days before George Glover was born. Of these one had died, leaving the mother with a little girl, Asenath. This mother took Mary’s child to her breast with her own and both thrived.

Mahala Sanborn, daughter of a blacksmith, was engaged to nurse Mrs. Glover, but her father would sit for long hours by his daughter’s bed, often taking her in his arms and rocking her gently like a child. The roads were strewn with tan-bark and straw, and the house was hushed as if death had invaded it. When the long struggle for life ended in a feeble victory and the babe was brought home again, the young mother was very happy. Her widowed heart found comfort in maternal expression. He was a vigorous, robust infant, and to her had the eyes and smile of his father. But it seemed she was too tender and too devoted, too weak physically to exercise a mother’s care, and when she had overtaxed herself her parents would send little George home with Mahala Sanborn, or it may be they merely permitted the spinster nurse to take him, indulging her fondness. This was not well, as later events proved.

A significant fact in relation to the child’s infancy is found in the birth of another grandson to Mark Baker a few months later. Abigail Tilton’s first child was born in June of the following year and she amed it Albert, in memory of the lamented brother. This boy was very handsome as was also a daughter, Evelyn, born a few years later. Both were delicate, nervous children, while George Glover was quite the reverse. Sturdy, hearty, and romping, this child of Mary’s made the house ring with his demands. When Abigail was there with her baby, to the smithy little George must go stay with Mahala, and to the smithy he went with the Tilton’s coachman, and there his spirits were not constrained, nor was his childish nature subdued to its proper walk in life. Thus without her consent, at the very outset, was the mother’s influence over her child lost.

George Baker was still living at home and Abigail came out to the farm nearly every day. George and Mr. Tilton were rapidly making a fortune. They had been manufacturing cassimeres and tweeds for eight years and were about to install new machinery, lease a new mill, and otherwise branch out. They were persuading their father to build a handsome house in town, near to the Tiltons, a house in Colonial style, of very comfortable proportions. He was placing his savings in other investments than crops through his son’s and son-in-law’s advice, such as workmen’s houses for rents, and railroad stocks. He was more and more interested in politics, and much pleased when George Baker was made a colonel on the Governor’s staff. His townsmen now called him Squire, in recognition of his growing wealth and influence.

As in the case with most prosperous persons, the sense of executive power made Abigail and George wish to regulate the lives of those dear to them. They were a bit impatient of that quiet unfoldment of destiny which was now dealing with their sister Mary. They could not help discussing her future. They would have liked some definite arrangement for her, especially about her child.



But Mary was performing a sacred duty under their unseeing eyes. While the family talked of Tilton’s tweed, the new Darling mill, workmen’s cottages, and the spur of railroad that would facilitate the shipping, — affairs of such importance in the advancement of the family that their discussion came into the family circle, — Mary’s discerning eyes were watching her mother, for her mother was dying. The daughter was receiving the content of the mother’s stored-up spiritual treasury and was assisting at the loosening of the earth fetters.

Mrs. Baker had enjoyed the new home in town less than a year. She did not bear the transplanting from her rural life. In November, 1849, she died, and her death caused some important changes in the life which flowed around her youngest child. George Baker married Martha Drew Rand a few months before his mother’s death and went to Baltimore to establish himself in mills in that city. About a year later, in the fall of 1850, Mark Baker married Mrs. Elizabeth Patterson Duncan, a well-to-do widow, whose brother was an influential man of affairs in New York and a lieutenant-governor of that state. These events occurred five years after Mrs. Glover returned to her father’s house a widow.

Now Mrs. Glover had not been idle all these ears. Although in delicate health, she had employed her pen in writing and at the request of the Hon. Isaac Hill prepared political articles for the New Hampshire Patriot, published at Concord. She wrote on various subjects, but especially on slavery from her experiences in the South. Her political views were somewhat different from her father’s and their views were to diverge more and more as the civil war drew nigh. She also taught as a substitute instructor in the New Hampshire Conference Seminary, in which her old teacher, Dyer Sanborn, was now a professor. The Rev. Richard S. Rust, principal of the seminary, was so pleased with her work that he recommended to her that she open an infants’ school.

Mrs. Glover did this as an educational experiment. Her school was an early attempt to introduce kindergarten methods. It met with much criticism, as did all such experiments, fifty years ago in New England. So the experiment was one of brief duration. The substitution of love for harshness as a means of discipline, interest for compulsion as a method of imparting knowledge, was held up to derision by the hard-headed element of the community. And hard-headedness had a very great advantage in New England in those days. Hard-headedness was the critic of things in general. It was inclined to consider culture in a woman mincing affectation, very readily agreeing that she gave herself airs, and to be “stuck up” in a New England village, as Margaret Deland says, was next to being a heretic. It was not very easy, with such biting winds of criticism lowing, for an idealist to keep the lilies growing in the garden of the heart. It is not difficult to perceive why Mrs. Glover soon closed her infants’ school.

A very few months of living alone with her father and little son had passed when the talk of the family circle broached the idea of a new mistress for Mr. Baker’s house. Those who knew Mary Baker best at this time declare she was the soul of gentleness, patience, and humility. She had no resistance to offer to plans which were likely vitally to affect her. Passive and gentle, she heard the family planning and arranging. But suddenly she caught the trend of a new argument and then she did offer resistance. Mahala Sanborn, the spinster nurse, was to marry Russell Cheney of Groton, some thirty or forty miles away in the mountains. And Mahala, who was attached to little George, wanted to take the child with her to her new home.

“What, take my little son!” the mother cried. “Abigail, you wouldn’t think of it! Father, do you hear? Why, I couldn’t see him for months. It would break my heart. Indeed, indeed it would!”

Nevertheless, the child was let go. One has no doubt it was done for kindness, as the stern New Englander of those days understood kindness; no doubt it was believed to be necessary and right and just. The new mistress of the home was coming. Mary was to live with Abigail, at least for the present. Now little George was five and Abigail’s child was four. No doubt it was necessary to make due provision for every one’s peace and happiness, for every one’s but the weakest.

Mary did not give up until the very last hour. She knelt by his bed all night before they took her child and prayed for a vision of relief, for a way to be shown that she might not have to yield to the demand to let him go. But in the end she helped to dress him and pack his little things, weeping over each garment she folded away. She took his arms from around her neck and smiled through her tears when she gave him into the arms of Mahala Sanborn.

Four bereavements within a few short years separated Mary Baker from brother, mother, husband, and son. What wonder that at this period she sunk into invalidism and that in later years when reverting to this time she wrote:

It is well to know that material, mortal history is but the record of dreams... The heavenly intent of earth’s shadows is to chasten the affections, to rebuke human consciousness and turn it gladly from a material, false sense of life and happiness, to spiritual joy and true estimate of Being. (“Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 33.)


AS when in a patriotic symphony one hears a prolonged orchestration of a nation’s woe, its anguish crying in the strings, its resentments explosive in the brasses, its struggles hinted in the vague ruffle of drums, there begins to be apprehended a note of hope, which swells and grows until the horn takes it up with confidence and sings and soars above the harmonic conflict a paean of faith; so in preparing to sing its theme a great life is submerged in its community, through periods of prolonged and poignant delay, when affairs obtrude, other voices and other wills are clamorous, and its clear call of faith is drowned for the time, heard only as elfin notes on the inner ear of him who is to play the great strain.

For three years Mary lived with her sister Abigail, thought she spent some time at her father’s home, where she accepted the new regime unflinchingly and even lovingly, recognizing freely the good qualities and capacities of her stepmother. She occupied herself with writing when strong enough, and likewise when strong enough assisted her sister in her social life and entertaining which brought influential personages to their board. Mr. Tilton as now a railroad director and foresaw a future for the little city.

The status of the Tilton and Baker families in the community of Central New Hampshire has been indicated. The town in which they lived was not far from Hillsborough, Franklin Pierce’s home, or Boscawen, the early home of Webster. The Bakers and the Tiltons were Democrats, their political predilection was in the marrow of their bones. It has been indicated that influential personages gathered at their homes, and their friendships with leading politicians were strong. It follows that discussion of public affairs as well as of religion and business ventures found place in their daily intercourse, influencing members of the families in their relations toward each other.

This is the period of 1850 to 1853, when public events were rapidly changing the colonial spirit of all Americans. The passage of the Compromise of 1850, devised by Clay, which included the Fugitive Slave Act, was the beginning of a bitter strife in politics. The debates which now waged in Congress were perhaps the most strenuous mental and moral wrestlings that the republic of the United States has known. This wrestling of mind and soul was to end only in the mighty physical conflict which Americans call the Civil War. In 1850 Webster was working with herculean efforts to preserve the Union against the attacks of the extreme pro-slavery men on the one hand and of the abolitionists on the other.

The Southern states hotly resented the agitation of the question of the morality and wisdom of lavery, while the North seemed to experience a shuddering horror over the Fugitive Slave Law, evading its rulings wherever possible with the passage of personal liberty laws. These laws were intended to protect free negroes falsely alleged to be fugitive slaves and threatened with reenslavement. Such a fate menaced many negroes who had been set free. This was true of the negroes Mary Baker Glover had freed. In the first place with freedom granted, the negro had had to leave the South to preserve it; now even in the North he might lose it if an unscrupulous trader claimed him.

In June, 1852, Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire was nominated for President at Baltimore by the Democratic National Convention which endorsed the Compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Law, and denounced slavery agitation. The Free Soil Democrats, a month later, nominated John P. Hale of New Hampshire for President. Daniel Webster, also of New Hampshire, would doubles have been the Whig candidate but for his age and his uncompromising attitude in support of the Fugitive Slave Law. His death occurred in October of that year. New Hampshire probably never more mentally excited and morally wrought in its history.

At this time Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote his life of Pierce, a delightful biographical sketch. Pierce had married Jane Appleton, the daughter of the president of Bowdoin College, Hawthorne’s alma mater. Had Albert Baker been alive he, too, must have supported Pierce with pen and oratory.

Families were greatly influenced in their political thought by their old-time friendships. Pierce was not only personally a man of rare fascination and magical charm, but he possessed the strength conferred by family tradition throughout New England.

Mary Baker was an unusually intellectual woman; where did she stand in this hour? Conceive her position. She who might have effectively wielded her pen in this cause must allow it to lie idle. She must behold another woman do that which, with her family behind her, as the Beechers were behind Harriet Beecher Stowe, she, too, might have done. She was like a soldier paroled on honor whose sword is restless in its scabbard. Moreover, she was deprived of independence by these circumstances, for, throttled on the subject for which she felt the greatest interest, she could not write on sugary nothings as many other genius, struggling against its environment, has discovered. Furthermore, she was ill a great portion of the time, and as it has been shown that bereavement contributed to that physical condition, it must also be shown that mental isolation, caused by her independent political views, added to it. Her father, who had contended so bitterly with her on religion, would in this hour have contended with equal strenuosity over politics had she asserted her opinions. Her sister Abigail was likewise set against her in political views.

It is still remembered in that community how the Tiltons held an informal social gathering and everybody of consequence in the town attended. It appears to have been a semi-political reception, and n this occasion the Baker sisters disagreed before their guests. Mrs. Glover had come into the parlors to assist her sister. She was a notable figure, because of her grace and beauty, though wasted in health, and her large eyes burned as she listened to the expressions of political opinion around her, called forth by the presidential campaign.

“And what does Mrs. Glover have to say to all this?” said a gentleman who had observed her repressed emotion while listening and taking no part in the conversation. All eyes turned toward her. Those who had not dared to venture an adverse opinion in the great house of the town hushed the lighter-minded around them. It was a moment of such suspense such as only occasionally thrills a social gathering.

“I say,” said Mrs. Glover, “that the South as well as the North suffers from the continuance of slavery and its spread to other states; that the election of Franklin Pierce will but involve us in larger disputes; that emancipation is written on the wall.”

The gathering had received its thrill which went down the backs of the several guests like baptismal currents of lightening.

“Mary,” cried her sister, “do you dare to say that in my house?” I dare to speak what I believe in any house,” responded Mrs. Glover quietly.

The report of that speech went abroad. Mrs. Glover is remembered for it to this day by elderly gentlemen in New Hampshire. They say Mrs. Eddy as an extremely intellectual woman at thirty, and that she had remarkable insight in affairs. They also say that her pride was as unbending as her father’s. Now Abigail, too, had made a speech, not easily forgotten or overlooked by a Baker.

Keeping in mind these political agitations which stirred the country, and further grasping the hour by remembering that it was now railroads were being built across the continent, shipping was being improved by the introduction of steam, gold had just been discovered in California, improved machinery was being placed on the farms and in the mills, it will be seen why, with rapid changes in conditions of living, it was not strange, as a recent writer 1 has said; that there should be a correspondent change in the minds of men and that their ideas should become unsettled and that transcendentalism in religion, literature, and politics should begin to flourish. Methods of education improved, newspapers were published in every town, the lyceum system of lectures became popular. Literature in America developed a new school of which the lights were Emerson, Longfellow, Whittier, Lowell, Hawthorne, Holmes, — all New England men.

In such an era Spiritualism had its birth, and mesmerism and animal magnetism were being widely discussed. But if a Poyen lectured through New England on these subjects, he had an Emerson on his heels with saner topics. Yet it must be taken into account that in the early fifties the conversation at social gatherings was everywhere in America charged with the subject of Spiritualism. In 1849 1849 Encyclopedia Britannica: United States. the Fox sisters of Rochester had startled the world with the story of their “rappings.” That the “undiscovered country” should be rapping to our world attention seemed almost more wonderful than if Mars should be found to-day to be signaling our planet.

London was no less excited over this topic than New York or Boston. Mediums developed on all sides. They saw “the vanished hand” and heard “the voice that is still.” In London they handled red-hot coals and unfastened cords and bonds, they caused musical instruments to be played by unseen touch and the ringing of bells to sound upon the air. Poyen and Andrew Jackson Davis published books on mesmerism or animal magnetism. The cure of disease by clairvoyant diagnosis and mesmeric healing was quite commonly given credence. Were such ideas reconcilable with religion? They speculated on it under the very altar, though New England was not peculiar in this respect. However, it is a just assertion that not to have heard such discussions or not to have been interested in them, was not to have lived at all in the consciousness of the time.

Mary Baker did live in that consciousness, fully and deeply. Just as she lived in the consciousness of political struggle, just as she drank in the new literary atmosphere of that glorious school of New England writers, she was aware of that oscillation in religious notions. Every circumstance of her education and breeding had given her the habit of dealing with life in a large way. She who dared to et aside her father’s and sister’s political opinions to maintain her own convictions, most certainly had ideas concerning Spiritualism. But to connect her life seriously at any period with Spiritualism is to make use of unwarrantable conjecture. Was this the woman to go into trances for the benefit of the superstitious country folk? Would such as these have had access to the great house, to the secluded chamber, to the invalid absorbed in her books? Even Dr. Ladd, the family physician, who was interested in mesmeric experiments, was restrained from practicing on Mary Baker by the dignity of her position.

The time came when Mary Baker had thought her way through this maze of intellectual vaporing and then there came from her pen a refutation of these wonder-workings. The common people were those she then sought on the basis of an independent life of voluntary poverty. She sought working men and women, not to play upon their superstition, but to clear their vision. She associated with Spiritualists for years, more or less; she must associate with them as she must with Universalists and Unitarians. She did not avoid them or their discussions, as will be shown in later chapters. At times she was even present at seances. Her dealing with the entire subject was consistent, and her deep sounding of its contentions was as much a part of her development as the consideration of Calvinism in her earlier years.

While living with her sister Abigail, Mary was often confined to her bed for long periods. She was afflicted with a spinal weakness which caused spasmodic seizures, followed by prostration which amounted to a complete nervous collapse. In her moments of utter weakness her father would take her in his arms and soothe her as though she were again his bairn. All differences of faith and opinion were forgotten in the purely human love which was very strong in this family. Abigail sought in divers ways to make her sister more comfortable. She had a divan fitted with rockers to give Mary a change from long hours in bed, and when the invalid would be able to go about again they would carry her down to the carriage and the two sisters would drive slowly through the village streets and country highways.



Where Mrs. Eddy lived with her sister before her second marriage.

Removed from its original environment

In 1853, after nine years of widowhood, a complete change was brought about in her life and in all the circumstances of it, through a second marriage. Mrs. Eddy has said this marriage was unfortunate and has left it without further word of protest. It was unfortunate, yet jeweled adversity. It occupied twelve years in the heart of her life, and subjected her to a measure of isolation and social obscurity. But it carried her away from worldly stimulation to a prolonged retreat in the mountains where significant experiences dealt with her heart. From 1850 1850ntil 1875 was largely a period of negation for her. She passed a great part of this time in small towns far from the madding strife of cities. She experienced much suffering physically and went through mental agony few natures are called upon to endure. She did not succumb to the assaults of pain or grief, but emerged with a work which seems estined to greatly change the world’s religious thought.

Dr. Daniel Patterson, a dentist, a relative of Mark Baker’s second wife, came to their home on a visit. He was a big, handsome, healthy man with great animal spirits and excessive confidence in himself. He had some knowledge of homeopathy and used the prescribed remedies for his dental patients in his journeys through the country. Mrs. Glover’s invalidism interested him. He expounded it to the family. She was too delicate, he declared, for harsh remedies and would be particularly susceptible to high medical attenuations, the catch phrase of the new medical school of the hour. A crisis occurring in her illness, he experimented and brought her through successfully. On a day in due season, Dr. Patterson confided to Mrs. Tilton that he loved her sister, that he believed her to be suffering as much from the separation from her child as from organic functional disorder. He wanted to marry her, reunite her with her child, give her her own home, and make her a well woman through the care he would bestow.

It is not likely that Mrs. Tilton reflected sufficiently to detect an ambitious project, or that she saw more than an honest love offering devoted care. She consulted her father who discussed the matter with the dentist. Mark Baker must have been doubtful of this fluent-speaking, full-bearded, broad-shouldered optimist in broadcloth. Dr. Patterson was always something of a dandy, and even in the mountains wore broadcloth and fine linen, kid loves and boots, topping all with a silk hat. His raiment was a considerable part of his personality. Mr. Baker must have taken a more accurate measure of this man than did Mrs. Tilton, but he knew it was true that Mary never ceased to grieve for her child, — her child that was not welcome either in the home of his second wife or in the Tilton home. A marriage that would restore that child to Mary might rouse her to health and happiness. Moreover, the dentist was a kinsman of his wife.

The marriage was accordingly arranged, and took place at the Baker home. Mrs. Glover, who was at first startled at the proposal and much averse to the marriage, has explained why she consented to it and how disastrously it terminated for her in two succinct sentences. She says, “My dominant thought in marrying again was to get back my child; but after our marriage his stepfather was not willing he should have a home with me.” (“Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 32.)

Dr. Patterson first took his wife to Franklin, a nearby factory town, where they lived for three years. He employed a housekeeper but put his wife off with regard to her child. She must wait until her health improved. He was much abroad traveling from village to village. He called frequently upon his influential relatives in Tilton, and sometimes leaned a bit heavily upon their goodwill. Not very prosperous, he was always confident that just around the corner was the best success in the world. Left much to herself, Mrs. Patterson, as we must now call Mary Baker, read deeply in her books. She had brought to Franklin furnishings to make her small home comfortable, a few pieces of mahogany willed to her by her mother, long mirrors in gilt frames, her own excellent collection of books. A few family friends came from time to time and certain of the townspeople called. Among them, Mr. Warren Daniels, a wealthy and retired mill owner still living in Franklin, says that Mrs. Patterson’s reputation for intellect and beauty had preceded her, but that in Franklin she led a retired life, was the most reserved of women, and one whom all men must respect and honor.

In 1856 Mrs. Patterson persuaded her husband to remove to Groton, a village to the North of the Winnepesaukee region, near the entrance of the Franconia range of the White Mountains. In this village her son was living with the Cheneys. Perhaps Dr. Patterson was more easily persuaded to make the change since the Tiltons held a mortgage on a little property in that town which he hoped to buy on easy terms. Groton is a farming center, little changed in fifty years. It boasts a general store and post-office, a blacksmith shop, district school and Union church. Situated some miles back from the railroad, its elevation is about one thousand feet above sea-level. The journey thither is by conveyance, up through the foot-hills along a valley pass, following a turbulent trout stream which leaps and falls over the rocks, singing a wild little song of its own. Two mountains loom blue and magnificent away to the North. On the lesser hills along the way loggers are at work.



The new home was a little unpainted cottage off the main road. It was beside the stream in which was a mill-dam. John Kidder, a machinist and cabinet-maker, was their neighbor, and had an interest in the sawmill attached to the Patterson property. Other neighbors there were not far away. It was not a lonely or desolate spot. The town had a small library; to the church came different denominational preachers; the school had eight-four pupils and was taught by a man now holding a position in the faculty of a Massachusetts college. Many physicians, lawyers, and clergymen now scattered over the United States came from this mountain village. Clergymen especially seemed to develop here, twenty having gone out into the world from this mountain nest in the past fifty years.

The Patterson home in exterior was not unlike its neighbors, but within it was different. Mrs. Patterson carried with her an atmosphere which was reflected in her surroundings. She was bedridden most of the time they lived here, yet her active mind secured perfect order, exquisite cleanliness, a shining radiance of books, prints, polished mahogany, and a cherished few gleaming bits of silver service and brass candlesticks. At first she had a housekeeper, but one day she took in a blind girl who came to her door seeking employment. The housekeeper protested and Mrs. Patterson allowed the housekeeper to go and retained the blind girl, who was with her for several years and to-day pays a beautiful tribute to Mrs. Eddy’s kindness. She speaks of her as ow-voiced and gentle, but insistent on perfect housekeeping.

She not only befriended the blind girl, but was kind to her sister, who says, “I thought it the most beautiful home in the world. I was a child of ten and used to visit my sister Myra. I remember well how Mrs. Patterson would call me to her room, lay down her book, and place her thin white hand on my head or stroke my cheek. She wished to comfort me, for I had lately lost a good father.”

Of Mrs. Eddy’s extreme invalidism at this time there is no doubt. “I had the honor to take care of Mrs. Eddy once,” said a very old woman of Groton, “She was all alone in her home and I heard her bell ringing. I went in and found her lying rigid with foam on her lips. I brought her around with cold water. She motioned to her medicine chest, and I gave her what she wanted. Then I sat with her till she got better.”

She was indeed far from well, but Mrs. Patterson had come to Groton to be with her boy. Her desire for him amounted to a passionate hunger of maternity, and he, when he had seen his mother again, was as eager to be with her. But now a peculiar jealousy interfered between mother and son. He would come to his mother in spite of the injunctions of his foster parents and his stepfather, and once broke through the window to get into her room. Dr. Patterson would find him there with his books, leaning upon his mother’s couch, while she examined his progress in studies, a poor progress indeed as she found. The blind servant states that hese visits aroused Dr. Patterson to declare a peremptory prohibition of the lad from the house, which was not entirely successful. He reported to the Tiltons that the boy could not be kept away and that he exhausted his mother. That report brought Abigail Tilton to Groton on a visit, and the Cheneys shortly after fulfilled an ambition long cherished by going West. In her autobiography Mrs. Eddy writes of her son:

A plot was consummated for keeping us apart. The family to whose care he was committed very soon removed to what was then regarded as the far West. After his removal a letter was read to my little son informing him that his mother was dead and buried. Without my knowledge he was appointed a guardian, and I was then informed that my son was lost. Every means within my power was employed to find him but without success. We never met again until he had reached the age of thirty-four. (“Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 32.)

Young Glover ran away from the Cheneys after they had been in Minnesota a short time, and as a young lad enlisted in the Union army for the Civil War. He made a good record as a soldier, was wounded at Shiloh, and after the war became a United States marshal, and led the life of a prospector in the Western states. Mrs. Eddy had a temporary knowledge of him. He wrote her from the front during the war, and that her love for him was not uprooted by continual separation was shown in her excitement and joy at hearing from him. She called in her friends to read his letter, and wept over it and kissed its pages. But her son passed again into obscurity, bent on the pursuit of a freedom which he first learned to love at the Sanborn smithy, and which life in the wild West of those days seemed to foster as second-nature. Thus he grew up beyond the sphere of his mother’s influence and his life became fixed in a path diverse to hers. Destiny inscrutable seemed to fixed in its decree that she should live childless and alone.

When they took her boy from her arms the second time, Mrs. Patterson seemed about to sink into utter despair. A very old man, of more than ninety years, devout and saint-like, used to visit her. He came nearly every day to read the Bible and pray. One day when old Father Merrill came to her home, he saw Mrs. Patterson dressed and walking to meet him with a smile and outstretched hands of welcome. He leaped with delight, clapping his hands and crying out, “Praise God, he’s answered our prayer.” Earnestly they discussed it together. Was her improved condition an answer to prayer? Mrs. Patterson believed that a blameless life should be healthy, but the old man thought God sometimes sent sickness for spiritual good. She did not cross this old man with argument, but she had begun to work on the idea that would haunt her for years until perfected, the nature of Divine healing.

Their neighbors, the Kidders, were also friendly visitors. Mrs. Kidder was a Spiritualist and spent hours urging its claims on Mrs. Patterson. A child born to the Kidders at this time Mrs. Patterson amed after her father. She also took the Kidders’ son, Daniel, a lad of fifteen, for a private pupil. He was an ambitious lad and has since had a successful career in mechanics and railroad construction. He remembers with gratitude the help Mrs. Patterson gave him with his studies, especially in rudimentary mathematics and physics.

Dr. Patterson had kept up his itineracy while at Groton. He has a record for a certain sort of gallantry through the country and was once pursued to his home by an irate blacksmith whose wife was too attractive to the doctor. The less of this recounted is the better, save only that his unfitness as a husband be shown. His fortunes did not thrive. Although he mortgaged Mrs. Patterson’s furniture and articles of jewelry, he could not meet his payments on the little property. A certain farmer went to Tilton and took up the mortgage on the house, and then demanded possession of the mill. Dr. Patterson defied him with high words, and the villagers say they had a personal encounter. When Dr. Patterson saw the legal paper he prepared to remove, not only from the mill but from Groton.

Mrs. Tilton came over to remove her sister in a carriage. Together they drove down the mountain road. The village church bell was tolling, and Dr. Patterson’s enemy having got into the church, found this means of expressing his derision. The blind girl walked behind all the way to Rumney, a distance of six miles. She would not ride in the carriage where she could hear the sobs of her istress. Abigail held her sister in her arms and strove to comfort her. And well she might. She who managed with such executive skill in many affairs had managed but indifferently in arranging this marriage.


IN threading the labyrinth of a mind to find its starting point upon a new phase of existence, it is frequently most difficult to lay hold of the silken clue which guided it to the gateway out of a maze of turnings. Every life has its moments of revelation when it would seem proper to start away upon the higher adventures of the soul; but seldom does a human being go forward without hesitation, leaving the past with its thousand detaining hands by an irrevocable decision. Having received the vision, beheld the clear trail of a path up the mountain, the pilgrim soul, with mystifying impulses which it cannot itself understand, obeying instincts which lie too deep for scrutiny, will almost invariably turn backward on the road of experience to reembrace its worn-out illusions and weep at its old tombs. Finding the old life and its associations as disappointing and unprofitable as ever, it will agonize once more over its mistakes, and putting them off again one by one, will back away toward its future, with face set miserably upon the past. Not until the past smites him, will the pilgrim, with a sudden realization of himself, turn right about and rush for his mountain. Now he must search again for the path. His search may be weary and performed in humility, ut the path once found will never again be forsaken for that pathless wilderness where each human being experiences doubts and despairs.

When Dr. Patterson removed from Groton he engaged board for himself and his wife at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Herbert at Rumney Station. The house was a substantial frame dwelling of the Colonial type with comfortable chambers looking out upon broad lawns. The family life at first appeared to be as broadly harmonious as the fashion of its dwelling. Mrs. Patterson’s invalidism, however, soon aroused comment among the frequenters of the home. As the frail, delicate woman had been criticized by the thoughtless mountaineers of Groton who in their rugged health believed the handsome doctor to be a martyr to the whims of an exacting invalid, so in Rumney she was criticized by the gossiping ladies of the boarding-house. If Dr. Patterson, obedient to his better instincts of courtesy, picked up his wife’s handkerchief, or readjusted her shawl, they were jealously observant, or if in hearty buoyancy he displayed the tenderness of strength toward weakness and lifted Mrs. Patterson in his arms to carry her up-stairs, they sat silently disapproving. For such misinterpretation of her invalidism and lack of appreciation of her character she has been misunderstood in that neighborhood for half a century. Often a nervous sufferer, she soon felt the wisdom of retiring from this atmosphere and persuaded the doctor, who contemplated locating in Rumney, to procure a cottage in Rumney village bout a mile back in the hills. This cottage occupied an eminence near the edge of the town and commanded an agreeable view. It was a pretty home, as her Groton home had been, and her blind servant was still with her and gave her devoted care.

The blind girl, Myra Smith, has described in detail Mrs. Patterson’s persevering efforts to recover her health both in Groton and in Rumney, and her account is interesting because of the light it throws on that period of Mrs. Eddy’s life, and especially because of the edification it may be to other invalids. She relates that Mrs. Patterson faithfully observed the laws of hygiene. Every morning, even in the depth of winter when the weather was severely cold in that mountainous climate, Mrs. Patterson was lifted from her bed into a chair, wrapped in blankets. Her chair was then drawn out into the veranda, where she remained as long as she could sit up, drinking in deep breaths of pure air and feasting her eyes on the beauty of the hills.

Her room meanwhile was thrown wide open to admit a free current of air and streams of sunshine. Her bed was redressed for the day and when the apartment was restored to a proper temperature the invalid returned to it. She was then bathed, rubbed in alcohol, reclothed, and again lifted into her bed. She had a mattress that could be elevated at the head and many of her hours were passed in the half-reclining attitude in which it was possible for her to read, write, or even receive callers when not suffering too great pain. She ate sparingly and according to a strict diet, imposing upon herself a evere regimen of which water, coarse bread, and natural fruits were the principal articles of nourishment.

Beside attention to hygienic regulation of bathing, eating, and going into the fresh air, Mrs. Patterson received homeopathic treatment from Dr. Patterson, and she herself read books on homeopathy. But for all of this, the spinal weakness was not overcome and the nervous seizures continued to occur with increasing violence. Mrs. Patterson was wasting to a shadow under the most careful nursing, and her life was being consumed in ineffectual efforts to appease the ravishment of pain.

While she was still in this condition of ill health, Dr. Patterson left her alone with her servant and took a journey to Washington. His journey was made primarily to carry out a commission for Governor Berry of New Hampshire, who had a fund to be distributed to loyal Southerners. This commission enabled him to push a project of his own, for he had been excited by the news of the fall of Sumter, when South Carolina, having seceded, had fired the first shot in the American Civil War, and it was Dr. Patterson’s hope to secure an appointment on the medical staff of the army. But going out to view the battle of Bull Run, he strayed too far into the Confederate camp and was captured and made a prisoner, presumably as a spy. He was taken to Libbey, the famous Southern war prison, where his experiences were hard and bitter as were those of all who endured like captivity.

Mrs. Patterson read his name in the list of prisoners furnished in press dispatches. She could do nothing to aid him though her sympathy for him was keen as expressed in letters written at this time in the effort to stir her relatives to activity in his behalf, for in spite of his many shortcomings, in all personal relations he had invariably been kind to her and she had for Dr. Patterson a true wife’s devotion. It was about this time that she heard from her son for the first time since he had been taken from her in Groton. He had enlisted and gone to the front. How intolerable it seemed to her to lie sick, and inert in that lonely cottage, with husband and son caught in the maelstrom of her country’s agony, — how desolate and dreary her days may be imagined. Bedridden in the remote mountain village, with little or no company but that of her maid, she was once more thrown back upon herself, and forced by desolation and pain to seek God for comfort and grace to endure her lot while the world was unfolding famous pages of history.

The world, in the persons of the great folk of the vicinity, came to her occasionally. Her maid remembers the grand airs, the rustling garments and the consequential stir created by the calls of certain great dames who kept up the punctilious formality, if not neighborly charity, of remembering what was due Mrs. Patterson, born Baker, also sister of the wealthy Mrs. Tilton. But these intrusions of the world were few and far between.

Meantime Mrs. Patterson read her Bible day by day. At this time she more earnestly than ever pondered the cures of the early church. She has ritten in “Science and Health”1 how in childhood she often listened with joy to these words falling from the lips of her sainted mother, “God is able to raise you up from sickness.” She also declares how she dwelt upon the meaning of this passage of Scripture which her mother so often quoted, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; they shall lay hands upon the sick and they shall recover.” Some of her early experiences now came back to her. She recalled how through her mother’s advice to rest in God’s love she had been able to recover from the fever brought on by religious argument with her father and pastor. She also recalled how she had subdued the insane man in Tilton when she was a schoolgirl and brought him into a state of calmness and tranquility when every one else had fled from him in terror. She remembered her exalted religious state at that period of both these cures and endeavored to determine whether such cures depended upon extreme intensity of faith or whether a calm sense of assurance might not as surely reach God’s attention. While studying and meditating on these apparent miracles of faith in her own experience and striving to connect them with the manner and method of the New Testament cures, a singular event befell which gives verity to Mrs. Eddy’s assertion that for years before the discover of Christian Science she had been searching for spiritual causation for disease and a spiritual method of cure.

Aside from the calls of her aristocratic neighbors, she was not entirely forgotten by the village. The “Science and Health,” p. 359 359hildren, picking berries along the road, would often stop to talk to “the good sick lady” and often repeated at home or in the houses where they sold their berries what she said to them, how her blue eyes shone upon them, and how her thin hands touched their little brown ones with thrilling sympathy.

So by the love of the children a gentle rumor of saintliness was spread through that region and if Mary Baker thought upon the saintliness of her mother, some dwellers of the countryside came to think of Mrs. Patterson as a saint and to go to her for advice and comfort. Among those who sought her aid was a mother carrying her infant, a child whose eyes were badly diseased. The mother was a simple working woman, so simple that she could still believe there was a relation between piety and power. She wept as she laid her babe on Mrs. Patterson’s knees and implored her to ask God to cure his blindness.

Mrs. Patterson was touched by the woman’s faith and the child’s apparent need. She took the babe in her arms and looked into its eyes. She saw they were in such a state of inflammation that neither the pupil nor the iris was discernible. She reflected that Jesus had said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not.” “Who,” she asked herself, “has forbidden this little one?” Mrs. Eddy has stated that she lifted her thought to God and returned the child to its mother, assuring her that God is able to keep his children. The mother looked at the child’s eyes and they were healed.

This apparently miraculous happening struck awe to Mary Baker as well as to the mother.

Here was a clear manifestation of God’s eternal laws of health made to the mind and consciousness of Mary Baker. She had invoked God’s mercy and power and the response had come almost instantly. She believed and yet was bewildered. Here was vision, apocalypse. God had healed the child and despite that fact she was still enchained with pain. She had understood for the child, but could not, as yet, understand for herself. She had by chance struck the harmonious chord, and a spontaneous healing had resulted. She saw there was a path out of her wilderness, but its beginning for her own feet was not clear. The detaining hands of the past and experiences she was about to go through were to impede her progress toward the clear understanding of truth.

During the previous autumn Dr. Patterson had been much interested in circulars describing the healing powers of one Phineas P. Quimby of Portland, Maine. This Quimby had a peculiar reputation. To some minds he was a charlatan, nothing more, a man who had learned some tricks of mesmerism by which he amazed the hearts of the ignorant. To other minds he was a humane, self-sacrificing man of rare endowments who through abstruse study had become acquainted with secret laws of nature by which he was able to restore the sick to health. From time to time the newspapers printed accounts of him, now ridiculing him and now extolling him.

Dr. Patterson had been inclined to take a favorable view of him and defend him against derision. Being himself unable to cure his wife as he had confidently expected to do, he felt much interest in the accounts of Quimby’s cures. It did not matter if Quimby were a mesmerist, or a Spiritualist, or if he transmitted magnetic currents. The thing was he cured. People went to him and got well. It was very much in this matter with Dr. Patterson as in all the affairs of life, a case of “lo here, lo there!”

So the doctor had written Quimby in the fall of 1861, telling him that his wife had been for many years an invalid from a spinal disease, and that having heard of his wonderful cures, he desired to have him visit her; or if Quimby intended to journey to Concord, he would carry his wife to him. Quimby replied that he had no intention of making a trip to Concord, that he had all the business he could attend to in Portland, but that he had no doubt whatever he could effect Mrs. Patterson’s cure if she would come to him.

Dr. Patterson, however, had, as has been related, projects of his own which more and more took possession of him as he read the news of Lincoln’s inauguration and the call for troops to defend the Union. He was full of his proposed trip to Washington, and the preliminary visit which must be made to Concord. These plans required all the funds and energy he had to bestow.

Mrs. Patterson read the Quimby letter with its closing assurance many times. She asked herself often if it were not possible that this man withheld is real experiences from his public circular because of their sacredness, if it were not likely that by piety and prayer, rather than by mesmerism, he had learned the power of healing. This was a perfectly consistent speculation, for from her childhood, from the days of her studying with her brother and later with her pastor, she had been taught to look for a law of cause and effect. Now here was a man healing, she reflected, and there must be a law to govern his cases. Moreover it was natural to her to take the religious view, that this law was only understood through revelation, and to credit Quimby with having received the revelation. She was a sincere Christian and believed healing without medicine must be done by God.

Still it was the law she sought for. It was not enough for her that here and there a miracle of piety could be performed by those who gave their lives up to prayer. She had come to understand that, where the Hebrew prophets had occasionally and sporadically made God’s will prevail in a so-called miracle, Jesus of Nazareth had never failed in invoking health and sustenance. He had cured the most desperate disease with the same readiness as the mildest; He had blessed the poor food and abundance had been found to feed the multitude. Yet here she, Mary Baker, lay on a bed of pain and in sore need of means. Did God withhold from her His bounty because she was a sinner? Like Job, she knew in her heart this was not true. Then where was the fault and what was the law?

Mary Baker had performed certain cures from which she argued as from the sure ground of experience, but these healings were incidental and accidental and she scarcely knew how they had occurred except that she knew they had happened when her thoughts were associated with God. She pondered after this fashion: Laws of God are immutable and universal. Then because His laws are so fixed and so infinitely operative, man by studying them has built up the sciences, as mathematics and mechanics. But in physics he is still crying out for the philosopher’s stone and in medicine for the elixir of life. “I know there is cause and effect in the spiritual world as in the natural!” she would exclaim to herself. “I know there is a science of health, a science of life, a divine science, a science of God.”

But it did not enter Mary Baker’s mind in that hour that by this assertion she had declared herself the discoverer of a great truth, that by this affirmation of faith she had pledged herself to find the way and prove what she had declared. She was to herself only a woman in extremity, hungering for truth. In Portland, Maine, was a man whom she now began to endow with her own faith. If she could get to him, she would question him and find out if he had come close to God’s heart. If he had, how humbly she would beg him to teach her and guide her and how joyfully would she follow! In May of 1862 she wrote a letter to Dr. Quimby, a letter which doubtless surprised that gentleman. She stated her confidence in his possession of a philosophy and that she wished to come to him to study and be healed.

She now began to make preparation to visit Quimby. She requested her sister to come to her aid and her sister responded. She rose from her sick bed and started on the journey though she accomplished it by a somewhat circuitous route. Mrs. Patterson dismissed with love her blind servant so long faithful. Her household goods were packed up and sent to Tilton and she returned with Abigail to her home. On the way to Tilton she explained to her sister her wish to visit Phineas P. Quimby; but Abigail demurred. She said Quimby was a mesmerist and Spiritualist, a quack scientist who had traveled around New England with a youth giving exhibitions in hypnotism.

“Why, Mary,” she said, “how can you desire to visit such a charlatan, - you with your mind, your talents, your religion, you who have always resisted these doctrines of animal magnetism and the professions of Spiritualism?” I certainly do not want mesmerism or Spiritualism,” said Mary, “but I somehow believe that I must see what this man has or has not. I am impelled with an unquenchable thirst for God that will not let me rest. Abigail, there is a science beyond all sciences we have ever studied. It is Christ’s Science. There is a fundamental doctrine, a God’s truth that will restore me to health, and if me, then countless thousands. Has this man Quimby discovered the great truth or is he a blunderer, perhaps a charlatan as you say? I must know.” Mary, dear,” said her sister, “you are excitable and intense. You have lived so long alone in the hills reading and thinking you are morbid. You should not have been left to yourself so long.” Then you must go with me to Portland to make up for neglecting me. You will go, won’t you, Abigail?” Indeed I will not,” cried the energetic Mrs. Tilton. “You shall go to Dr. Vail’s water-cure at Hill, which is a respectable sanitarium. I will hire you a nurse and rent you a cottage there. We shall see what a physician and hospital care can do for you.” But have I not faithfully taken medicine and lived according to hygienic rule for years?” asked Mary. Then turning suddenly to her sister, she asked, “Abigail, do you doubt the power of God?” I do not, but I believe God helps those who help themselves.” So He does, sister, when they come into harmony with His law; that I know,” answered Mary quietly.

Abigail Tilton’s words had a way of driving home and sticking there, like arrows shot into a target. She was a woman of common sense and she proposed to exercise common sense now for her sister. She would hear nothing of Quimby. When Mrs. Tilton had employed a young woman, named Susan Rand, to go to Hill with Mrs. Patterson, had engaged a conveyance to carry her there comfortably, and had instructed the driver to be most careful with his charge, then she supplied her sister with funds sufficient for her stay, felt that she had performed her duty, and washed her hands of the event.

Mrs. Patterson arrived at the sanitarium exhausted with the journey. The driver lifted her out of the carriage rudely and set her upon her feet upon the ground. Mrs. Patterson turned and sped up the steps like a deer, collapsing in the waiting room of the hospital. The utter misery of that collapse was like death settling down upon her. Thus far she had come in her belief that God was going to help her and to help her now. But here God seemed to be forsaking her. She could only reiterate to herself in gasping weakness, “I know God can and will cure me, if only I could understand His way.” But she was in the midst of the doctors again who believed in quite different agencies. She must now submit to the water-cure, the fad of the period.

They carried her to one of the little cottages and instructed her attendant in the system of nursing prevailing at the water-cure. For several weeks the treatment was continued with little result. Mrs. Tilton’s common sense was failing its purpose once more. Then Mary Baker asserted her family spirit. She had wanted to go to Portland to see Quimby, and she determined she would go without further discussion. She wrote him in August that she would try to come to him, though she could sit up but for a few minutes at a time, and she asked him if he thought she would be able to reach him without sinking from the effects of the journey. Quimby replied so encouragingly that she completed her arrangements.

Mrs. Patterson arrived at the International Hotel, Portland, in October, 1862. Here in this otel Dr. Quimby, doctor by courtesy only, had his offices. In his reception room his patients gathered and sat by the hour, talking and visiting, discussing the doctor’s sayings and their own illnesses. And in this reception room on the morning in October, when Mrs. Patterson arrived, were a number of patients together with his son George, a young man scarcely turned twenty-one, who then acted as his father’s secretary.

Mrs. Patterson was assisted up the stairs to this room and her extreme feebleness was marked by all. Dr. Quimby came from his inner office to receive the new patient and she beheld for the first time the man she believed a great physician. He was of small physique, with white hair and beard, level brows, and shrewd, penetrating eyes. He was healthy, dominant, energetic. He had the eye of the born hypnotizer, the man who can persuade other wills to obey his own, especially the wills of the sick and mentally disordered. But his face was kindly and his expression sincere.

Mary Baker was at that time a frail shadow of a woman, an abstracted student, given to much thinking and prayer. With great blue eyes, deep sunk, yet arched above with beautiful brows, she looked into the friendly face bent above her and she looked with the deep intense gaze of the seer.


IN order to understand what sort of meeting it was which took place between the emaciated sufferer and invalid, Mary Baker, and the mesmeric healer, Phineas Quimby, at the International Hotel in Portland, Maine, in October, 1862, it is necessary to survey briefly the latter’s life and work up to this period.

Quimby was the son of a poor blacksmith and was apprenticed as a lad to a clock-maker. He had no schooling and grew up illiterate but industrious and honest. He made with his own hands hundreds of clocks and having his interest thus awakened in mechanics, tinkered with small inventions, and is said to have perfected a number of tools, especially a hand-saw. Part of the time he earned his living making daguerreotypes.

Thus he lived until he was thirty-six years old, a nervous, shrewd little man with a piercing black eye and determined mouth. He was argumentative and somewhat combative, inquiring, inventive, and doggedly determined. These traits were partially due to lack of education; to him an axiom was not a self-evident proposition; he refused to accept anything as a truth unless he could experiment with it and prove it for himself. He was not religious, but man of good morals and of a kindly nature, always ready to help his neighbor.

In 1838 Charles Poyen, the French hypnotist, visited Belfast, Maine, Quimby’s home town, where he gave a course of lectures on mesmerism with illustrative experiments. At his first exhibition in the town hall his efforts were something of a failure, and he declared that some one in the audience perverted the hypnotic influence. He invited whomsoever it was to remain and meet him after the others had gone. The man who remained was “Park” Quimby, as the townspeople called him. Poyen talked with him and assured him that he had extraordinary hypnotic powers, which, if developed, would make him an adept in mesmerism. Quimby was gratified and absorbingly interested. He at once began to experiment on his friends and acquaintances, and whenever he found a willing subject tried to put him into a mesmeric sleep. As he was very often successful in these efforts, people began to talk about him and if any one in the town did an eccentric thing, or had a mishap, the gossips said with waggish appreciation, “Park Quimby has mesmerized him.”

His townsmen came to believe Quimby could compel a man to come in from the street by fixing his eye on him; and nothing more greatly entertained the villagers than to assist at such an exhibition at the corner store. Quimby’s method of hypnotizing at this time was to fix his eyes in a concentrated gaze upon his subject. If he wished thoroughly to mesmerize the subject, that is, to put him to sleep, he ould make passes across the subject’s forehead, continuing his strokes down the shoulders and the length of the arms, shaking his hands after every pass. His subjects professed to thrill and tingle as though electric currents had passed through them, and some of them would perform Quimby’s hypnotic commands, however absurd they might be. Quimby soon found an unusually good subject in a youth names Lucius Burkmar. As his experiments with this young man absorbed his interest and attracted considerable attention, he abandoned his workshop and devoted himself to mesmerism.

In his clock-tinkering days in Belfast, Park Quimby had been regarded as eccentric, and his home town now thought him quite mad in his new role. A few persons took him seriously and sought to have him cure minor illnesses, but more often he was derided, and sometimes even condemned as an infidel. Not appreciated at home, he left Belfast, taking Burkmar with him, and together they gave exhibitions in other towns where he was not so well known to his audiences and could command greater respect for his hypnotic feats. These are said often to have been so startling as to frighten susceptible persons, arousing in them suspicion of witchcraft and magic. More than once on his travels he stirred up a mob from which he and Burkmar had to escape by taking to their heels.

Wonder-working soon proving not entirely agreeable as a method of earning a living, Quimby returned to Belfast and settled down in his workshop again until another mesmerist visited the town in the erson of John Bovee Dods. Dods was the author of a book which was published in 1850. It contained ideas he had taught for twenty years and was entitled “The Philosophy of Electrical Psychology.” He gave public lectures in Belfast, exchanged ideas with Quimby, and took into his employ Quimby’s subject, the lad Burkmar. When Burkmar returned from his trip with Dods, Quimby again employed him and found that Dods had been using him to read clairvoyantly the minds of patients and influencing him to prescribe expensive remedies which Dods manufactured.

Quimby thought that overreaching, and when Burkmar diagnosed cases for him, he influenced him to prescribe simple herbs. These remedies appeared to effect cures as well as the higher-priced ones and Quimby began to believe that it was not the medicine that was doing the curing but the patient’s confidence in the doctor or medium. This was a decided step in a progression of reasoning which, had he possessed the mental equipment, might have carried him into the realm of psychological discovery. He was working honestly and cautiously, however, and so accomplished a modicum of success as a magnetic healer. He first abandoned medicines and second, dismissing the subject he had so long relied upon, began to sit directly with his patients, for he had discovered his own clairvoyant ability to read his patient’s thoughts or induce him to tell “all his sensations.” His cures were in part accomplished by directing the patient’s thoughts to another part of the body from that supposed to be affected. Thus a oil on the back of the neck became a toothache at his suggestion. He rubbed the heads of his patients and otherwise manipulated their bodies, believing in his personal magnetism as the important part of the curative agency.

In relieving the sick of their pains he found that he took their conditions upon himself, and he often related how he had to go into his garden and hoe vigorously, or to his woodpile and saw wood most industriously, to get rid of rheumatic pains or agues, and to reestablish his own equilibrium and recharge himself with electric currents; for Quimby was never all his life rid of the influence of Dods and his theories of transmission of human electricity. Quimby is said to have cured cases of chronic disease of long standing and to have secured a worthier reputation than when working wonders with Lucius Burkmar. He now began to travel about New England again and issued circulars advertising himself far and wide as a healer with a new theory. Avidity for the mysterious in the rural mind carried these circulars to the remotest hamlets. A curious account of his statements as to himself and his methods appeared in the Bangor Jeffersonian in 1857. It was headed, “A New Doctrine of Health and Disease,” and it said in part:

A gentleman of Belfast, Dr. Phineas P. Quimby, who was remarkably successful as an experimenter in mesmerism some sixteen years ago, and has continued his investigations in psychology, has discovered and in his daily practice carries out, a new principle in the treatment of disease.

His theory is that the mind gives immediate form to the animal spirit and that the animal spirit gives form to the body as soon as the less plastic elements of the body are able to assume that form. Therefore, his first course in the treatment of a patient is to sit down beside him and put himself en rapport with him, which he does without producing the mesmeric sleep.

He says that in every disease the animal spirit, or spiritual form, is somewhat disconnected from the body, that it imparts to him all its grief and the cause of it, which may have been mental trouble or shock to the body, as over fatigue, excessive cold or heat, etc. This impresses the mind with anxiety and the mind reacting upon the body produces disease. With this spirit form Dr. Quimby converses and endeavors to win it away from its grief, and when he has succeeded in doing so, it disappears and reunites with the body. Thus is commenced the first step toward recovery. This union frequently lasts but a short time when the spirit again appears, exhibiting some new phase of its trouble. With this he again persuades and contends until he overcomes it, when it disappears as before. Thus two shades of trouble have disappeared from the mind and consequently from the animal spirit, and the body already has commenced its efforts to come into a state in accordance with them.

In 1859 Quimby went to Portland, Maine, and remained there until the summer of 1865. During this period he had many patients and performed a number of cures. His hypnotic practice now seems to have changed its form to a large extent, notwithstanding he manipulated his patients always and his seems to have been the feature upon which he laid the greatest stress. But he now embellished these magnetic treatments with conversation, endeavoring to account for the origin of disease in opinions and notions, oscillating between weirdly speculative and practical points of view and nowhere confining himself to stringent definition.

It was expedient to survey Quimby’s life up to this point and it is now necessary to arrive at a clear conception of what sort of thinker he was. Unless we are quite clear here, we shall stray into a quagmire and find ourselves believing that all that follows in the life of Mary Baker Eddy was the result of her meeting with this man. This argument is advanced only by those who have a vague and confused idea of Quimby. Its claims are these: that Quimby cured Mary Baker of her invalidism, that he gave her the germ ideas of her philosophy, that he presented her with manuscripts which she afterwards claimed as her own, that he focussed her mind, that he was the impetus of all her subsequent momentum. Were these contentions just, none but a perfidious ingrate would deny them. But not to deny them, circumstantially and in totality, is to leave open the gate to the quagmire that Christian Science is mesmerism religionized. For to interpret Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science by Quimbyism is to lose sight forever of the unique and powerful significance of her life.

Summarizing Quimby, therefore, it may be stated that though he was no scientist, he was trained by over twenty years’ experience in practicing mesmerism and without knowing it was really a remarkable hypnotist. It would have been very extraordinary if from his quarter of a century’s experience in mesmerism, clairvoyance, and magnetism he had not reduced his observations to some sort of philosophy however crude and empirical. Though he liked to call it his wisdom, what he actually attained was a jumble of reasoning which even he did not understand. He combated with vigor and manliness sickly ideas in the minds of his patients, but his healthy physical presence, not philosophy, did the work. Saturated with Poyen’s theories of mesmerism and Dods’ doctrines of electrical currents, he was forever trying to convey something of himself to his patients, some subtle fluid or invisible essence. He never eliminated his personality.

Quimby was not even a religious man. He habitually and stoutly denied the Messianic mission of Jesus, declaring that Jesus was a healer and never intended to establish a religion. His notion of the Creator was confused with ideas of nature, and he is said to have called God the Great Mesmerizer or Magnet. Possessing neither education nor the least training in philosophic thinking, and having no real religious faith, this man was ill-equipped for stating a philosophy. Moreover, his belief in his personal magnetism blocked the way for forming a sound philosophic doctrine, even if his lack of cultivation had been modified by reading and scholarly association.

Quimby has been delineated that he may have his due, — Quimby the illiterate mesmerist, Quimby the blundering and stumbling reasoner, Quimby the indly, sympathetic healer, above all, Quimby the unconscious hypnotizer. Ignorance will cover all his errors, good intentions all his accomplishments. He would never have claimed to have originated anything had he known all there was to be known of Mesmer. Quimbyism was but an excrescence on the natural growth of mental suggestion from Mesmer to the Nancy school. Quimbyism is not embryonic Christian Science; it is merely Mesmerism gone astray.

When Mary Baker entered Mr. Quimby’s office he sat down beside her, as was his custom with his patients, to get into the sympathetic and clairvoyant relation with her nature which he called rapport. Gazing fixedly into her eyes, he told her, as he had told others, that she was held in bondage by the opinions of her family and physicians, that her animal spirit was reflecting its grief upon her body and calling it spinal disease. He then wet his hands in a basin of water and violently rubbed her head, declaring that in this manner he imparted healthy electricity. Gradually he wrought the spell of hypnotism, and under that suggestion she let go the burden of pain just as she would have done had morphine been administered. The relief was no doubt tremendous. Her gratitude certainly was unbounded. She was set free from the excruciating pain of years. Quimby himself was amazed at her sudden healing; no less was he amazed at the interpretation she immediately placed upon it, that it had been accomplished by Quimby’s mediatorship between herself and God.

She had come to Quimby prepared to find him a saint who healed by virtue of his religious wisdom, and as soon as she met him she completed her mental picture, endowing him with her own faith. Thus the hypnotist had almost nothing to do. Her faith returned upon her, flooding her with radiance, healing her of her pain. The modest mesmerist was astonished at the faith he believed himself to have evoked. It covered him with confusion to have her religious emotion, engendered by years of suffering, ascribe to him a spiritual nature which he knew he did not possess.

Mrs. Patterson’s case struck Quimby as one of his most remarkable cures. He watched with interest for her return on the following day and his gratification was equal to her gratitude when he found that she was apparently in the same radiant condition of well-being as when she stood erect the day before and said she was well. However, he again administered his mesmeric treatment, stroking her head, shoulders, and back, until she declared she felt as if standing on an electric battery.

“It is not magnetism that does this work, doctor,” she declared. “You have no need to touch me, nor disorder my hair with your mesmeric passes.” What then do you think does the healing?” he asked.

“Your knowledge of God’s law, your understanding of the truth which Christ brought into the world and which had been lost for ages.”

Quimby sat abashed. He was not religious, worshipful, or reverent, but he caught at the wonder of his idea, the glory of it, and vaguely conceived the renown of it. He stumbled, however, in his first step to the pedestal of a greatness which he knew was not his.

“I see what you mean,” he said musingly, “that Christ has come into the world again; but in that case I must be John and you Jesus.”

Delicate religious apprehension and clear mental acumen develop by years of prayer, study, and discussion had fitted Mary Baker’s mind to meet such a statement. She took instant umbrage at the startling irreverence.

“That is blasphemy,” she declared quietly, and Quimby’s eyes, already half whimsical over his tentative remark, dropped before hers. He became instantly serious, and said:

“I didn’t mean it so; I don’t understand the way you explain your cure. No one before ever believed it was divine truth that operated through me. They have said I healed through some mysterious force in myself. I have told them it was healthy electrical currents together with my ‘Wisdom’ that I imparted which effected the cure. But the faith in Christ which you declare enables me to heal I have not. It makes me think it is your faith in Christ that heals you, and all I can do is to acknowledge it. If the spirit of Christ is with you and I acknowledge it, then I bear the relation to you of John to Jesus.”

As is very well known to-day the subject under hypnosis reveals the inner recesses of his mind and gives up to the hypnotizer the thoughts of years. Mrs. Patterson remained for three weeks in Portland and was daily at Mr. Quimby’s office. Quimby always spoke of her as a remarkable woman and would daily question her as to her understanding of her cure. She regarded him with the enthusiasm one rescued from drowning feels for the swimmer who has brought him to shore. She continually invested his mind with her own ideas. He was eager to take advantage of her superior mental qualifications to add something to his “Wisdom,” and he would converse with her by the hour for that purpose.

“You say there is a principle which governs the healing,” he would remark. “Now what do you think that principle is?” I think it is God,” she would reply. “You should understand, Dr. Quimby, much better than I that this is not your magnetism or your wisdom but God’s truth. I try to understand my cure every day, but I am still confused. You should make clear statements concerning your understanding of this truth for your patients’ sake, not in scribbled notes, but in a developed argument summed up in a treatise. You demonstrate truth when you heal, but do you analyze your processes?” I do not understand entirely what I do,” the doctor would say; “so how can I make the patient understand?” But there can be no science of health until the laws can be stated,” Mary Baker would reply. “If this is a philosophy it can be reduced to philosophic arguments. This is a very spiritual doctrine, the eternal years of God are with it, and it must be stated so that it will stand firm as the Rock of Ages.”

Such portentous appreciation greatly excited the ambition of Quimby. He desired to measure up to this conception of himself and his work. But he had not the slightest notion of how to set about reducing a history of his cures to a science. He gathered from Mrs. Patterson’s conversation that he should write something, and perhaps with a quite innocent idea of copying a model he asked her to write something out first. For this purpose he gave her some notes he had made, commenting on the symptoms of recent patients. She took these to her boarding-house and occupied several days striving to piece them into an essay.

Her efforts were not a brilliant success. His penciled thoughts continually contradicted themselves and not only themselves, they directly contradicted her conception of her own cure or any other she had known of. When Mrs. Patterson talked with Quimby, he did not contradict her; on the contrary, he quickly adopted both her language and ideas; but such words as science, principle, truth, inserted at random in his subsequent notes, found no place in his jumble of theories and produced an extraordinary result. As an example of this result, the following quotation is said to be from Quimby’s pencil:

I will now try to establish this science or rock, and upon it I will build the science of life. My foundation is animal matter or life. This set in action by wisdom produces thought. Thoughts, like grains of sand, are held together by their own sympathy, wisdom or attraction. Now man is composed of these particles of matter, or thought, ombined and arranged by wisdom. As thought is always changing, so man is always throwing off particles of thought and receiving others. Thus man is a progressive idea; yet he is the same man, although he is changing all the time for better or for worse. As his senses are in his wisdom, and his wisdom is attached to his idea or body, his change of mind is under one of the two directions either of this world of opinions or of God or Science, and his happiness or misery is the result of his wisdom.

Though Mary Baker’s own pure stream of religious thought wrought such confusion to Quimby’s materialistic theories as to make his utterances sound like philosophy gone mad, her cure, whether a temporary one wrought under hypnotism, or a permanent one achieved through a momentary realization of God, was secure. She consistently maintained that God was the “wisdom” Quimby brought to his patients. Quimby never told her so, and the hypnotist to-day would say that Quimby may have allowed her to hypnotize herself with that thought. However that may be, by seeing God as the principle of her cure, she stood safe on her own foundation, laid in the years of orthodox religious experience, though she was not to understand this until Quimby the hypnotizer lay in his grave.

Quimby really seemed to desire to adopt the idea of bringing God to his patients and would declare with all the wisdom he had that God was the great mesmerizer. Continuing to mesmerize his patients, he began to occupy the position of a lesser god in the minds of many who gathered round him. They uickly took up this idea of God as the great mesmerizer, and Quimby in a sense became His representative. When Quimby, “condensing his identity,” would visit them in waking hours of the night, or when they had returned to their homes, it was to them the shadow of the Almighty. This produced hypnotism more absolute than anything Quimby had hitherto dreamed of. It quite appreciably increased his success as a healer. Though he acquired the idea of God as the healer from Mary Baker, he reversed it and made of the Supreme Being a necromancer.


THROUGH the writings of Mary Baker on what she thought Quimby believed, “Quimbyism” and Quimby manuscripts came to have a factitious existence. Her writings were given into Quimby’s keeping and were doubtless copied by other patients; her explanations of his cures were often accepted instead of Quimby’s, even Quimby himself accepting them in part, flattered at the interpretation put upon him and his work. A curious commingling of mesmerism and religious faith resulted from the association of these distinctly differing minds, and the manuscripts handed from one to another perpetuated this confusion.

Mary Baker dwelt long under the influence of Quimby’s mesmeric belief and it came to have a great, though not supreme, significance in her later teaching, the significance of a counterfeit of the truth she was later to discover and proclaim. From 1862 to 1866 were for her so many years in the wilderness, after which came that search for the mountain which was to be her Horeb, and which had first been shown her by illumination when in Rumney she healed the child of blindness. A sublime faith held her firmly through this period of confusion as it did through subsequent travail f spirit, but the confusion, temporarily wrought in her, induced her to give honor where honor was not due.

In later years, roused by the assault of critics hostile to her restatements of Christ’s teachings. Mrs. Eddy wrote fearlessly of her confused condition at this period. She related how for years she struggled with the effects of Dr. Quimby’s practise, acknowledging that she had written and talked of him with ignorant enthusiasm until she realized the harmful influence of teaching such “a false human concept.” She said:

It has always been my misfortune to think people bigger and better than they really are. My mistake is to endow another person with my ideal and then to make him think it his own... I would touch tenderly his [Quimby’s] memory, speak reverently of his humane purpose, and name only his virtues, did not this man [Julius Dresser] drive me for conscience’s sake to sketch the facts... I was ignorant of the basis of animal magnetism twenty years ago, but know now that it would disgrace and invalidate any mode of medicine. The animal poison imparted through mortal mind by false or incorrect mental physicians, is more destructive to health and morals than are the mineral and vegetable poisons prescribed by the matter physicians... I denounced it [Quimby’s method] after a few of my first students rubbed the heads of their patients and the immorality of one student opened my eyes to the horrors possible in animal magnetism. I discovered the Science of Mind healing and that was enough. It was the way Christ had pointed out; and that had glorified it. My discovery promises nothing but blessing to every inhabitant that walks the globe. 1

The confusion of her ideas with Quimby’s in her early writings, which were widely copied and circulated, gave rise to the Quimby manuscript tradition. This tradition grew into a controversy which deserves some explication, lest, in treating it as negligible, a fabulous fame of incongruous origin shall be perpetuated. The existence of writings of any consequence which are veritable Quimby manuscripts would be negligible were it not for the possible confusion of them with Mary Baker’s writings. Veritable Quimby manuscripts are absolutely hypothetical, as hypothetical as was the inheritance of Mme. Therese Humbert of Paris. It will be remembered that credit for an enormous sum was secured for a period of over twenty years by the Humbert family on a basis of nothing. Nay, not upon nothing. Mme. Humbert had a copy of a will, and she had an affidavit from a notary that securities representing the property she claimed to be heir to were sealed in a strong box and held for her in the safe of a bank. When the court finally ordered this strong box opened, it was found that there were not securities for twenty millions, but there were one thousand dollars, a few copper coins, and a brass button. Eleven millions had been advanced on this absurd basis.

The Quimby claim is a purely intellectual one and the credit secured has been an extravagant Christian Science Journal, June, 1887.

belief, a belief which provokes unjust and invidious suspicion as to the origin of the fundamental principles of Christian Science. To show how baseless is this suspicion, it is necessary to examine the Quimby claim.

Some twenty years after Quimby’s death (which resulted from a tumor of the stomach in 1866), when Christian Science had been placed on a firm foundation, it began to be contended by Quimby’s son and a former patient of Quimby that he had left manuscripts on a number of subjects, setting forth a system of philosophy. Jealously guarding the proof of his claim, the son, by indirect assertion, implies as his reason for not publishing the alleged manuscripts that their authorship would be claimed by the author of “Science and Health” if he published them during her lifetime.

This is a rather strange suggestion, but it sets forth the shadow of a fear justified by circumstances. It has been shown that Mrs. Patterson in 1802 wrote certain manuscripts for Quimby and gave them to him. She repeated this generous, if unprofitable, act in the early part of 1864, when she spent two or three months in an uninterrupted effort to fathom and elucidate “Quimbyism.” It seems almost incredible that a woman of her intellectual and spiritual development should have devoted so long a period to the struggle of formulating a philosophy out of the chaotic but dogmatic utterances of this self-taught mesmerist. But there was a deep-lying reason for this long struggle, which was bound to end in dire failure, and the reason both for he struggle and for the failure could only be made known to her by the extraordinary and impressive circumstance of an original discovery. As the deviation of the needle from the true North caused mariners to investigate for centuries the cause of deflection until the eminent scientist, Lord Kelvin, successfully insulated the compass, so, though she subsequently discovered the principle of mind healing, it was not until Mary Baker learned what “Quimbyism” really was, namely magnetism, that she came to understand why she so long strove in vain to have Quimby unfold to her that which was not his to give, why she so long sought for principle where there was no principle. Quimby was navigating without a compass, and his zigzag course could only fetch home by accident.

But Quimby believed in his own course as the true one. While he acknowledged to other patients that he was delighted with Mrs. Patterson’s enthusiasm and asserted that her perception of truth was keener than that of any other of his patients, it is not in evidence that he ever gave her credit for a scope which exceeded his, save in religious apprehension, which to him was not authoritative. He received from Mrs. Patterson manuscripts to which she unselfishly and unguardedly signed his name. These manuscripts in Mrs. Eddy’s handwriting, interlined with Quimby’s emendations, may still be in existence.

Lest the implied reason for not publishing the alleged Quimby manuscripts – the fear that their authorship would be disputed – should be etroactive, there is still another reason advanced. This reason, too, is given only by implication, but it is worthier of commendation than the former. The second reason is the illiteracy of Phineas Quimby, for which he was in no wise to blame, but which, as has been shown, prevented his accomplishing anything in the way of literature. 1

1 The author made the journey in the depth of winter to the little town of Belfast, Maine, off the main line of travel and somewhat difficult of access, to see, as I supposed, the Quimby manuscripts. Arriving there the custodian of the manuscripts, George A. Quimby, said to me:

“If all the people who have come to see me in the past twenty years about these manuscripts of my father were fishes and were laid head and tail together they would stretch from here to Montana. If all the letters that have been written to me on the subject were spread out they would make a plaster that would cover the country.”

When I asked Mr. Quimby for permission to see these much-talked-of manuscripts, he took from a drawer in his desk a copybook such as school children use to write essays in. It was in a good state of preservation, not yellowed by age, and was written in from cover to cover in a neat copyist’s hand. There were no erasures, or interlineations, no breaks for paragraphs and very few headings. There were dates at the end of the articles, of which there appeared to be two or three different ones in the book. The dates were 1861 and 1863.

“Is this your father’s handwriting?” I asked Mr. Quimby.

“It is not; that is my mother’s, I believe, and here is one in the handwriting of one of the Misses Ware.”

Mr. Quimby went to a great iron safe in the wall of his office and brought out six or eight more books of a similar character. I glanced through the pages and saw that all were written in this style with some variation in the handwriting and then asked:

“Are none of these in your father’s handwriting?” No, they are all copies of copies... These are the only manuscripts I have shown to any one and the only ones I will show.” But,” I objected, “there have recently been printed facsimile reproductions of your father’s manuscripts over the date 1863 in which appears the words ‘Christian Science.’ I particularly wished to see that manuscript.” I am showing you exactly what I showed others. That is the very page that was photographed.” And in whose writing is this?” My mother’s, I believe, or possibly one of the Misses Ware; ... they are My father was self-educated,” said Mr. Quimby, “but he had read a great deal. His head was full of speculative ideas and he was constantly writing down his thoughts. He wrote without capitalizing or punctuating. His mind was always ahead of his pen, and he would not paragraph or formulate his thoughts into essays. I guess many of his words were misspelled too.”

If the son has cherished and still possesses the papers containing his father’s original notes, there must be some more sufficient reason, which he alone knows, why he so long has withheld them from publicity. He has for years refused to submit them for inspection to any person competent or incompetent to judge of their value. Under the most urgent demand he has failed to bring them forth into the light, to allow a friend in dire need to use them in defence in a suit at law, or to permit a distinguished scholar to prepare a brief in their interest. Literary men, lawyers, and journalists have urged their exhibition in vain. In 1887 Mrs. Eddy opies of things my father wrote. He used to write at odd moments on scraps of paper whatever came into his mind.” And have you those papers now?” Yes, I have.” Will you let me see a few pages of them?” No, I will not. No one has seen them and no one shall... I tell you they have all been after them, Arens, Dresser, Minot J. Savage, Peabody, and these recent newspaper and magazine investigators. But I have never shown them. Dr. Savage wrote me that I owed it to the world to produce them.” And did you not think so?” No. I have said I will never print them while that woman lives.” Do you mean Mrs. Eddy?” That is just who I mean.”

HUMAN LIFE, April, 1907.

advertised that she would pay for their publication. But for some deep and inscrutable reason it has been impossible to unveil them.

The conclusion seems warranted that there is nothing worthy of the name of manuscripts in the Quimby safe. It may be that there are certain deposits of fragmentary pencilings of Phineas Quimby. It may be that there are certain of Mrs. Eddy’s writings there. It may be that these writings are interlaced, and to produce one is to produce the other. Thus the Quimby manuscript tradition may rest, not on nothing, but, as in the Humbert will case, on something so near to nothing as to be negligible of consideration.

But though the original manuscripts, if such there be, have never seen the light, it must be understood that George A. Quimby has exhibited some writings which he calls Quimby manuscripts. These are a series of copybooks filled with writing. Originality is not claimed for these writings which are described as copies of copies of Phineas Quimby’s notes, but only are they so described when exact information is required. Ordinarily they are loosely called by Mr. Quimby, “my father’s manuscripts.”

Authenticity is rendered doubtful for these writings, because, not only has no one ever seen the originals on which they are said to be based, but also because the world never heard of these copybooks until after “Science and Health” had long been published, was in its third edition, and the book and its philosophy had begun to make a stir in the world of thought. It would have to be shown learly upon what they are based to clear them of the possibility of plagiarism. It is possible they are of an earlier date than when they first came to be spoken of; it is possible they are enlargements on conversations held with Phineas Quimby by the patients who made the transcriptions; it is possible they are emended Mary Baker writings.

But unless originals exist, how can these copybook writings be authenticated? Yet the copybook manuscripts with their uncertain dates, the “copies of copies,” are all that is meant when critics of Christian Science refer ambiguously to Quimby’s writings. These copybooks have been evasively exhibited in lieu of the original Quimby notes, and the owner of the copybooks has allowed books to be written from them on the philosophy of Quimby, has given out photographs of Quimby, has given out photographs of their pages as facsimili of Quimby’s manuscripts, and has generally led the world to believe they were the writings of his father. He appears himself to be a victim of the Quimby manuscript tradition.

If the copybook manuscripts themselves were published, illustrated with original Quimby notes, illiterate scrawls it may be, yet the genuine pencilings of Phineas Quimby, some interest might be evoked for them. But until this act of sincerity be performed, so far as the evidence goes Quimby left no writings.


BELIEVING thoroughly in Quimby as a profound sage and saintly man, Mrs. Patterson, to the astonishment of her family, returned to Tilton a well woman. Before leaving Portland she ascended to the dome of the city hall by a stairway of one hundred and eighty-two steps to signalize her complete recovery from spinal weakness. Attributing her well-being entirely to Quimby and asserting that he was not a Spiritualist or a mesmerist, she wrote two articles for the Press of Portland, giving him the honor of her cure and revealing a gratitude so heart-felt and sincere that the most cynical must have admitted her generosity. In one article she said she could see dimly and only as trees walking the great principle which underlay his works.

That neither Quimby nor any of his patients could discern this principle, and that he did constantly resort to Spiritualistic clairvoyance for diagnosis and to mesmerism for healing, made no alteration in the faith of Mary Baker. She heard and saw only what was in her own mind and experience, and continued to identify publicly and privately her faith with Quimby’s in the face of all the evidence to the contrary and his own occasional expostulation. The Portland public, reading her articles, fairly caught ts breath and asked in amazement, “What, this Quimby compared to Christ? well, what next?” In her attitude toward Quimby she was like a daughter idealizing a father whom all the world knows to be other than she thinks him. Safe in her religious faith, Mary Baker was to this extent controlled by mesmerism.

On arriving at her sister’s home she talked to the various members of her family and all their intimate friends about Quimby’s power to heal, talked until she really excited in her sister Abigail a curiosity to know something of Quimby. The handsome boy, Albert, whose birth had been largely responsible for the banishment of Mary’s son, George Glover, had grown up into a rather wayward young man. Abigail wanted her boy cured of his habits and she instructed Mary to write “Dr.” Quimby to come to them, as he professed himself able to do, spiritually, or in his “condensed identity,” or by his “omnipresence,” and give Albert the benefit of his magnetic “wisdom.” As nothing resulted from the writing to change Albert’s habits, Mrs. Tilton determined to go herself to Portland. She made the journey with a woman friend about a month after Mary’s return, but she returned home confirmed in her own mind that Quimby was exactly what she had previously supposed him to be, an ignorant quack with a jargon of cant which made no impression upon her. She was gratified that Mary was cured, but what had cured her she failed to comprehend from her experience with Quimby. Abigail Tilton came near to the truth, however, when she old her family that it was Mary’s own faith and had nothing whatsoever to do with the Portland mesmerist. As for Albert, he was not benefited and his life ended in an early death.

Mrs. Patterson’s restored health made possible her activity in her husband’s interest. She shortly made a journey to Washington with letters from the governor of New Hampshire to President Lincoln, to intercede for his release from prison. Official action was set in motion and about the holiday season she returned to Tilton happy over the probable outcome of her trip. Shortly afterwards Dr. Patterson was released and he also came to Tilton. He was penniless, threadbare, and emaciated, a spectacle to excite commiseration. His share in the fortunes of war had been inglorious and bitter, but he had a thrilling tale to unfold and was eager to relate it. Through the assistance of his brother in Saco, Maine, and his wife’s intervention for him with her own family, he soon recovered his former prosperity, but did not at once resume his dental practice, nor did he seem disposed to reassume his domestic obligations. Some natural toleration was felt by all who knew him for his desire for a vacation and he was humored in an imaginary importance which impelled him to a lecture tour. So he departed on a leisurely round of visits to the various towns where he had formerly practiced, speaking on his prison experiences.

Mrs. Patterson remained with her sister and took an active interest in the sewing circles which were organized to provide garments for the soldiers and int and bandages for the hospitals. In this work both sisters were active and much together in their old-time affectionate intimacy. With her wasting illness gone, Mrs. Patterson recovered her early comeliness, her cheeks again became rosy, her eyes sparkling, and her spirits gay. She wrote a letter at this time to Quimby in which she said, “I am as much an escaped prisoner as my dear husband was.”

All through the summer she remained at Tilton, active in charitable work; but in the fall her sense of private duty and personal obligation led her to go to Saco, the early home of her husband. Here she visited his brother and was for a time with her husband, whom she endeavored to persuade to return to his practice. His wander-fever was not yet satisfied, but he agreed to make an effort to establish himself, and for this ultimate object went to Lynn, Massachusetts.

Disappointed in his purposeless conduct, Mrs. Patterson felt a spiritual depression overtaking her. It seemed likely that she was going to find it difficult to reconcile her husband to orderly living, just when her improved health made life seem to stretch before her invitingly with many avenues open for usefulness. Her perplexity was so serious that it amounted to anxiety, and now she experienced a return of a number of minor ailments and illnesses which threatened to culminate in a serious renewal of suffering.

Was this cure of hers, so widely proclaimed, to lapse, and was she again to return to the old misery? In the year which had just passed she had been ore or less absorbed in the world, traveling, and actively working in the relief organizations. Her religious life had not been exclusively absorbing, for she had been conforming more to the customary ways of the world than for many years. But if she could not take her understanding of God’s laws into every-day life and use it to meet the shock of events, of what use was it to her or to others, how could she really claim to possess an understanding? She began to see that she had not possessed herself of clear and definite understanding, or any sound philosophy; and with the hope that she would yet acquire such an enlightenment from Quimby, she left the home of her husband’s family and went again to Portland. This was in the early part of 1864.

During this sojourn in Portland Mrs. Patterson resided at a boarding-house where were also living two other of Mr. Quimby’s patients, Mrs. Sarah Crosby and Miss Mary Ann Jarvis. They became acquainted and shortly a friendly intimacy was established among them all on the basis of their common interest. Mrs. Crosby had an especially vigorous personality and was later to show herself possessed of considerable business ability. At the time of her meeting Mrs. Patterson she had been broken down in health by the birth of several children and thought her vitality exhausted.

Mrs. Crosby’s experience under Quimby’s treatment was like Mrs. Patterson’s in outward seeming. He sat opposite her and gazed fixedly into her eyes; he laid one hand on her stomach and one on her head to establish an electric current; and finally ubbed her head vigorously and told her his spirit would accompany her home. In describing him she says he was a “natural healer.”

It was the custom of the patients to take their treatment in the morning and the afternoon hours were largely spent in disentangling each other’s hair from the mesmerist’s snarling and their ideas from his confusing statements. Mrs. Patterson did not linger long with this feminine seminar. Quimby frequently invited her to return to his office after he was through practicing to continue those interviews which he had had with her on her previous visits, remembering the absorbing discussions of the topic of spiritual healing which she had introduced at the time. On these occasions she sometimes argued long and earnestly with him, endeavoring to lead him to accept her ideas and to group his thoughts into a logical syllogism. Her evenings were almost entirely spent in the attempt to harmonize his notions with her own spiritual ideas. Mrs. Crosby has said that Mrs. Patterson labored long into the night at her writings. These are some of the writings which supposedly form the basis of the copybook literature.

In the spring of 1864 Mrs. Patterson spent two months at Warren, Maine, with Miss Jarvis and her consumptive sister, striving to further the work Quimby had begun and to complete the cure of the consumptive. She had traveled home with the invalids from Portland and they clung to her for healing. She was able to help them but little, for now she was trying believe in “Quimbyism” with all he force of her nature and she talked Quimbyism to the exclusion of all other topics. In Warren she even gave a lecture on Quimby’s “science” in the town hall, defending him from deism and Spiritualism; and in an interview with the editor of the Banner of Light, the Spiritualistic organ, she continued this defence, much to his bewilderment. For what was she, an avowed philosophical Christian, working, this gentleman asked. How could she claim to be the pupil of a disbeliever in Christ’s Christianity – a clairvoyant and a magnetic healer? If Quimby was not such, as all who knew him believed, but something else which he could not fathom, as Mrs. Patterson held, then he wished to see this “defunct Spiritualist” and look into this new doctrine. Thus in those days, Mary Baker’s confusion spread abroad.

In May Mrs. Patterson went to Albion to visit Mrs. Crosby. Here a family of numerous members dwelt in a large roomy farmhouse and life was carried on in the patriarchal spirit of the American Colonial period. Mrs. Crosby lived with her husband’s family and spent much of her time in the big sunny nursery while her mother-in-law directed the work of the household. She was delighted to have Mrs. Patterson with her, and after years of experience in the world, she still looks back to this summer and her companionship with Mary Baker as one of the most stimulating, interesting, and inspiring periods of her life.

Her little daughter Ada became Mrs. Patterson’s shadow, following her everywhere, about the house,

On her walks, and bringing her hassock to sit at her feet to hear fairy stories when she was not banished to outer gloom. She was the first of three young girls who were attracted like young disciples by the wonder and enthrallment of the unfolding, spiritual nature which entertained them with glimpses of the land of heart’s desire. Mrs. Patterson spent a great deal of her time here as elsewhere in writing, but there were long hours which she passed in conversation with Mrs. Crosby, and the latter has said no woman was ever such a friend to her, no friend had up to that time or has since done so much to help her to “get hold of herself.” She has described Mrs. Patterson as possessed of a vigorous intelligence, but a gentle and refined personality, and witnesses her daughter’s devotion to the womanly sweetness of her guest.

Spiritualism was a dominant interest in this family as in many New England families of the period. How Mary Baker strove to overcome the inherent superstition in Sarah Crosby, and how Sarah Crosby curiously misinterpreted the effort and continued to misinterpret through all the years to come makes the most illuminating anecdote which can be told of this visit. It portrays a source of much offense that has trailed its revenge through years, pilloried density and wounded pride crying long and loud against the sprightly wit that cornered them.

Mrs. Patterson was radically opposed to Spiritualism and Mrs. Crosby was almost as strenuously set in its defence. She would describe its phenomena as conclusive argument while Mrs. Patterson, antering her, protested she could reproduce the so-called phenomena. Failing by raillery or argument to convince her friend, she resorted to illustration. In their conversations of a long summer’s afternoon, Mrs. Patterson had occasionally reverted to the influence her lamented brother had exercised over her studies and ideals. She had described his appearance, talents, and personality with the loving strokes of reminiscence which make vivid portraiture. Mrs. Crosby was an impressionable listener. She possessed a sentimental imagination combined with practical energy, and she became enamored of the mental picture of the departed Albert Baker.

To cleanse her mind of such trumpery rouge of false sentiment and to administer a sharp corrective to her superstition, Mrs. Patterson conceived and put in practise an admirable though harmless hoax. One day, as Mrs. Crosby has described it, while they sat together at opposite sides of a table in the big nursery, Mrs. Patterson suddenly leaned back in her chair, shivered from head to foot, closed her eyes, and began to talk in a deep, sepulchral voice. The voice purported to be Albert Baker’s saying he had long been trying to get control of his sister Mary. He wished to warn Mrs. Crosby against putting entire confidence in her, for though Mary loved her friend, the voice said, life was a hard experiment for her and she might come to slight Mrs. Crosby’s devotion.

As the message was uncomplimentary to herself, Mrs. Patterson expected Mrs. Crosby would shortly recognize the pretense and laugh with her over it.

Not so. Mrs. Crosby became mysterious, shook her head sagely, and declared that she knew what she knew. Mrs. Patterson, with a gaiety which she has rarely indulged, continued the hoax. She pretended to go into another “trance” on the following day to inform Sarah Crosby that if she would look under the cushion of a certain chair, she would find letters from Albert. Mrs. Crosby eagerly did so, and her seriousness affected Mrs. Patterson. She had not intended to really mislead her friend, but seeing that she persisted in taking the affair seriously, Mrs. Patterson wrote her some good advice, couched in language supposedly appropriate to spirit utterance, and laid it in the secret place, as good mothers reply to the letters written the fairies. These letters Mrs. Crosby has kept and has always maintained that they came from the spirit land. Though their source was in humor, their character was not facetious; they were not harsh or misleading, subtle or filled with guile; they are gentle admonishments to right living, and cheerful encouragement to believe in the sure reward.1

It seems unnecessary to point out that this whilom Mrs. Crosby allowed these letters to be printed and the following extracts are taken from them; “Sarah, dear, be ye calm in reliance on self, amid all the changes of natural yearnings, of too keen a sense of earthly joys, of too great a struggle between the material and the spiritual. Be ye calm or you will rend your mortal being, and your experience which is needed for your spiritual progress lost, till taken up without the proper sphere and your spirit trials more severe. Child of earth, heir to immortality! love hath made intercession with wisdom for you – your request is answered. Love each other, your spirits are affined. My dear Sarah is innocent and will rejoice for every tear. The gates of paradise are opening at the tread of time; glory and the crown shall be the diadem of your earthly pilgrimage if you patiently persevere in virtue, justice, and love.” ndulgence in nonsense during a rather long and tedious visit does not in any sense connect Mrs. Eddy with the belief in Spiritualism, nor does it show levity concerning sacred things. It was simply an effort to disabuse a too confiding mind of its credulity, which, failing, was turned into a harmless toleration of its limitations. Mrs. Crosby very shortly after her association with Mrs. Patterson took up the study of stenography. She had imbibed from Mary Baker’s companionship the desire to make her life useful. She was one of the earliest female court reporters in New England. After a business career which netted her a small fortune, she settled in Waterville, Maine, where she acquired property, and in continuation of her liking for the esoteric, she became a member of the society of mystic adepts of New York or elsewhere.


IN the autumn of 1864 Mrs. Patterson rejoined her husband in Lynn. After some desultory practise in the offices of other dentists, he had established himself in an office of his own, and the results of his application to business had made it possible for him to send for his wife.

Lynn, a manufacturing center, eight miles from Boston, was now to be her home, save for short periods, for fifteen years, and here her great discover was made and first promulgated. Lynn is too large and important a city to be thought of as a suburb of Boston, though towns more distant from the metropolis of New England bear that relation to the larger city. Lynn is now the third largest city of Massachusetts and was then a thriving town, where the largest shoe manufacturer in the world had his establishment. It is on the seacoast, but has not a shipping port; residential streets skirt the shore; there is a broad plaza, sea-wall, and promenade along the ocean front, and a beautiful drive connects the town with quaint old Marblehead. This drive marks the beginning of what is known in New England as the North Shore, which extends all the way to Gloucester, about thirty miles, and along which stretch of ocean view are situated Manchester-by-the-Sea, Prides Crossing, and Magnolia, the summer homes of the greatest wealth of America. Though Ocean street, Lynn, has many handsome residences, — the people living there boasting that nothing intervenes between them and Ireland save the stormy Atlantic, — still the city is not regarded as a summer resort, nor a residential district of Boston, but, as a factory town, one of the most important shoe factory centers in the world. When the American Civil War made a great demand for shoes, the old-fashioned method of producing foot wear by hand labor was not adequate to meet the demand. Men who held patents on machines for sewing sole leather found it lucrative to rent their machines and many small factories sprang up at this time, not only in Lynn, but in other towns adjoining Boston where land rent was cheaper than the city and where labor could be attracted. Lynn easily led in this industry. Its situation was beautiful, the climate healthful, the accessibility to Boston with its many advantages easy. This industry very early attracted women workers as well as men and whole families went into the shoe factories, for women and children could operate the machines and find employment in the many divisions of the labor which arose from the factory method. Thus the character of a large proportion of the population of Lynn is indicated and it will be readily grasped that this was an excellent starting point for a great religious work, even as Jesus found a seed place among the fishermen of Galilee and Paul among the tent-making Thessalonians.

The thriving town attracted professional as well as business men. A dentist should find plenty to do where so many of the population of both sexes earned good wages. Dr. Patterson after frittering his time away here for months had been to see his wife’s family and doubtless had been admonished by both Mark Baker and Mrs. Alexander Tilton. The latter, believing rigidly in the conventionalities as she did, thought it not proper that Dr. Patterson should keep up his meandering and his desultory occupations. His fitful, incoherent busying of himself with first one project and then another bore no relation to the continuity of existence and compelled his wife to remain in suspended expectation, as guest of relatives and friends, awaiting his mood. Thus Abigail Tilton had taken him to task roundly, and smarting under her words, he had rented the office in Lynn and, with a revival of exuberance and excessive overconfidence, had inserted an advertisement in the local paper in which he asked those whom he had met in his brother dentists’ offices to patronize him in the future and stated that he hoped to secure the patronage of “all the rest of mankind.” He gradually secured a respectable practise, for he was a good dentist and might have succeeded very well had he been less idle, boisterous, and romantic. But he was a born rover, and coupled with his restlessness was a silly vanity in his powers of fascination over equally silly and romantic women. When Mrs. Patterson rejoined him after over two years of separation, it was for but a brief reunion of little more than a year’s duration.

It was her final effort, a serious and praiseworthy effort, to reconcile her husband to regular living and social obligation. She had no light task in holding to right conduct her handsome, wayward, uncouth husband, whose nature craved the flesh-pots, the gauds and baubles of sentimentalism, the specious glamour of notoriety, and over whom “sweetness and light” had but little sway.

With a loyal devotion Mrs. Patterson strove to fulfil her duty as a wife, never betraying what her gentler nature suffered in outraged pride, wounded sensibility, or humiliated aspiration. This man was her husband, she threw the cloak of love over his shortcomings and sought to interest and lead him into the highest associations with which he could be affiliated. During the months which followed, as they were not householders and she had no home duties, she occupied herself with writing, many of her poems and prose articles appearing in the Lynn papers. She attended church and became acquainted with some of the excellent old families of the city, of which friendships some interesting associations continued throughout a long period of her life.

Mrs. Patterson readily made friends whose attachment was strong. Her success was easy, and she quickly gained a place of high regard among the most reserved. Her immediate conquest of strangers was through her indefinable charm which among the ruggeder qualities of both men and women came like the gentle graciousness of a Southerner. Society in New England cities has been emarked for a certain brusqueness, a downrightness which often ruffles the stranger. But though the New Englander is used to this sort of manner, he is not insensible to the gentler appeal and invariably falls captive to the foreigner or Southerner who more easily practises graciousness. Mrs. Patterson was gentle and engaging, her manner in meeting a stranger winning and convincing in its frank sincerity. Her substantial qualities of natural gifts and cultivation, however, held what she so readily gained. Entering into this larger life of Lynn after a long absence from any extended social intercourse, she at first felt the instinct to enjoy its natural pleasure; but she must have been forced soon to the discovery that she could not maintain a social life suitable to her breeding, for people who received her with every evidence of pleasure were but ill-disposed toward the flamboyant dentist whom they must sooner or later encounter. It would be remarked as a disappointing and amazing bit of social data that so gifted and attractive a woman should be married to a man so ordinary, if not vulgar. What could follow for Mrs. Patterson but a social aloofness and a tuning of her strings to suit the necessities?

Ordinary was not the word for Dr. Patterson, since common persons more often than otherwise possess the virtues. Extraordinary was the word for him, who was florid, pretentious, and bombastic. He who had so effectively disported his frock coat, silk hat, kid boots and gloves in the rural mountain districts, making artisans and farmers’ wives yearn fter his departing figure, in the keener social light of Lynn appeared as rather a boorish Beau Brummel, not overnice in the proprieties. In fact gross Impropriety was soon to stamp him unmistakably and thereafter claim him for her own.

Not for the satisfaction, therefore, of any aspiration of her own, but to interest her husband and give him a social environment in which he would not trip at every step, Mrs. Patterson joined him in uniting with the Linwood lodge of Good Templars. The “Worthy Chief” of that organization found that Mrs. Patterson wrote for the press occasionally and was gifted as a speaker and that when she could be prevailed upon to address the lodge, she was listened to with unfeigned interest. Her well-stored mind invested any subject she handled with vital interest and her pleasing address made her a most engaging speaker.

“Mrs. Patterson was unusual in almost every particular,” the lodge president has said, “unusually well-bred, cultivated, and fine-looking, and of excellent taste in matters of dress and the toilet. Some people would comment unfavorably through a sense of inferiority, I firmly believe, and would call her affected, for she was unusually scrupulous in the observation of social form. She had a quiet way about her of commanding attention and in the delivery of an address was, in a strangely quiet way, impressive.”

With such a member on their lists it was not long before the lodge chose her as presiding officer of the Legion of Honor, the women’s branch of the ssociation, and the members still living say she was in this capacity gracious and dignified, displaying a courteous charm with executive force. It is likely that in this office, obscure and unimportant as it was, Mrs. Eddy learned her first lessons in organization and leadership.

Thus the Pattersons lived an outwardly calm and decorous existence, and whatever was transpiring underneath the social waywardness on the part of the husband no outward sign was allowed to manifest itself through the wife’s deportment. No breath of scandal was ever circulated as to their domestic harmony. Mrs. Patterson’s writings occupied the time she spent alone. Some of her poems written at this time were outbursts of patriotic feeling. The Civil War was drawing to a close, and the woman born with the blood of heroes in her veins found expression in verse for her deep love of country and her sympathy with emancipation. Her poems were printed side by side with those of John Greenleaf Whittier, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Phoebe Cary and are preserved in the files of the Lynn papers. She wrote of the bells that rang out the proclamation of emancipation, of the fighting heroes at the front and those fallen in battle, of “our beloved Lincoln,” who “laid his great willing heart on the altar of Justice.” Thus she showed an ardent interest at all times in the affairs of her country. While her verse would not take rank with either Whittier’s or Holmes’ in poetic rhythm or diction, it expressed the fervor of her heart for the cause of freedom. In other instances she revealed an exquisite sensibility o the beauty of nature. Her sublime faith in God is a constant and pervading influence in all her writing, whether verse or prose.

Outwardly calm and decorous, Mrs. Patterson’s interior life was far from tranquil. She had come to Lynn from a period of philosophic abstraction, had come to fulfil her obligations as a wife and this task, as has been shown, was by no means a light or simple one. But difficult, almost desperate as it was, and doomed to failure in the end, it was not the greatest or most important problem of her existence. In meeting the demands of such a task she found the ordinary exercise of long trained domestic and social faculties available. In writing verse and news-letters she exercised developed mental powers. Her news-letters to the Lynn Reporter from Swampscott, the suburb in which she lived, were bright, gossipy communications in which she mentions affairs of the church, the schools, the construction of new and beautiful homes, with descriptions of the laying out of estates in agreeable schemes of landscape gardening. They indicated that she was a special writer of ability who might have become with very little training an excellent journalist. They betray a vivacity, color, fancy that give a sense of a living, glowing, radiant personality to whom life is always a wonderful revelation.

But underneath all assumption of gaiety and social charm, underneath the outward calm and sweetness of wifely devotion, there was a desolating war going on in the heart of this woman. It betrayed itself only occasionally and in half light to those who ere most intimately associated with her and was the occasion of the withdrawal of some half-proffered friendships. She spoke too much of religion was the complaint of the shallow worldlings. No one of them comprehended, save one family of true friends, the depth of her struggle at this period. Something bigger, greater, more portentous, more far-reaching than domestic trials of a tragic character, than even the sense of the struggles of her country for honor and perpetuity, — and to Mary Baker these struggles were real affairs of her own living interest,- yet something more far-reaching than home or national life was making war Titanic in the subjective regions of her soul.

So far the effort has been to portray Mary Baker’s spiritual life side by side with the account of the incidents of her worldly experiences. She has been shown as a docile little girl absorbed in books, a beautiful young woman marrying and leaving home, a bereaved widow in her parents’ house comforting the declining years of her mother, a heart-broken mother herself, a much tried wife in a second marriage, — but through all the various changes in her outward fortune her spiritual life had been developing consistently. This life, awakened in the days of her loving communion with a devout mother, was strengthened in her conscientious struggles with a dominating Calvinistic father; it was stimulated by the uplifting companionship with her clergyman teacher; it was confirmed in the subsequent personal seeking for God in the cloistered suffering in the mountain home. Going out from that cloister she et the first real obstacle to her faith in the weird doctrine of Phineas Quimby. How she strove to harmonize his strange theories with her faith, how she labored to evolve a philosophy from his incoherencies has been related. She had come to a crisis when her faith would no longer endure the association with ideas so incongruous. Her angel fought with the intruder which, veiled in obscurities, could not be named or recognized. The battle was terrific and it was prolonged. It had begun in 1862 and was still going on when the year 1866 dawned. The woman who was to promulgate a new understanding of Christianity, which would shake the world’s thought to its center, was undergoing the anguish, alarm, and terror of a cataclysmic upheaval which she concealed from all the world and bore alone.

She has written of this period that the product of her own earlier thought and meditation had been vitiated with animal magnetism and human will-power, the nature of which she was as ignorant of as Eve of sin before taught by the serpent. What serpent was to teach Mary Baker the nature of magnetism? That lesson was still far off. The unveiling of the angel’s face, the shining visage of Truth in her heart, was to precede the unveiled vision of error by years sufficient for her to grow to the fighting stature in the consciousness of its power.

But now she was all but dominated by the power of the darker error she has named mesmerism or magnetism, and her mental state was worse than the disease which had formerly tortured her body.

While held in this state she still ascribed her cure to Quimby. His thought, his personality, was still obtruding itself between her and God. He was squarely in the light. Her religious peace, her faith, her spiritual being were threatened. Her anguish was intolerable and to no one could she turn for counsel to obtain relief.

Out of this smothered torment in which she sounded a deeper hell than Calvinists had ever imagined, she was lifted suddenly by a physical shock which set her free for her great discovery and revelation. This shock was caused by an accident which carried her to death’s door and from which she recovered in what seems a miraculous manner on the third day following.

This accident has been called, with various shades of sentiment, the “fall” in Lynn. To many thousands that fall with its subsequent uplifting has been the fall of their own torment, mental and physical, and the uplifting of their lives with Mary Baker Eddy’s. The incident or event, as one may look upon it according to his own experience, was recorded in the Lynn Reporter of Saturday morning, February 3, , as follows:

Mrs. Patterson of Swampscott fell upon the ice near the corner of Market and Oxford streets on Thursday evening and was severely injured. She was taken up in an insensible condition and carried into the residence of S. M. Bubier, Esq., nearby, where she was kindly cared for during the night. Dr. Cushing, who was called, found her injuries to be internal and of a severe nature, nducing spasms and internal suffering. She was removed to her home in Swampscott yesterday afternoon, though in a very critical condition.

When this fall occurred Mrs. Patterson was returning to her home from some meeting of the organization of Good Templars. A party of the lodge members was walking with her. She was in the full tide of that life which she had taken upon herself as a duty, but which lay so far apart from the path her conscience would have had her follow. In the midst of apparent light-hearted social gaiety she slipped on the ice and was thrown violently. The party stood aghast, but soon lifted her and carried her into a house, where it was seen that she was seriously injured. Then certain of them volunteered to sit by her bedside during the night. When the physician arrived he said little, but his face and manner conveyed more than his words. It was apparent to the watchers that he regarded her injuries extremely grave and they believed him to imply that the case might terminate fatally. But Divine Will had another fate in view for Mary Baker.

Forty years after this event Alvin M. Cushing, who was the physician, began to say that it was he, and not God, who cured Mrs. Patterson of her injuries after the fall. So high a claim in dispute is worthy of examination. Dr. Cushing states that he was called because he was the physician of the hour, “was in the swim.” He states that he administered a remedy which he calls the third decimal attenuation of arnica which he diluted in a glass of water.

He relates that Mrs. Patterson was taken up unconscious and remained unconscious during the night and he believed her to be suffering from a concussion, and possibly spinal dislocation.

On the following morning, having visited her twice during the night, he found her still semi-conscious but moaning “home, home.” He therefore administered one eighth of a grain of morphine as a palliative and not a curative, and procured a long sleigh in which she was laid wrapped in fur robes and carefully driven to her suburban residence.

This physician says he afterwards prescribed a more highly attenuated remedy which he himself diluted in a glass of water and of which he gave the patient a teaspoonful. He does not know whether she took more of it or not, but when he called again she was in a perfectly normal condition of health and walked across the floor to show that she was cured. He does not remember being told anything at the time of a miraculous cure through the power of prayer. But he was, according to his own reminiscence, an unusually popular man at the time, and had sixty patients a day. He drove a dashing pair of trotters, and was much in evidence on the speedway when not in the consulting room. It is possible he was told of the manner of the cure, that he did congratulate his patient and then forgot the incident. But one thing he did not forget, for he claims to have it in his memoranda, and that is the remedy he prescribed. He doubtless wrote it down in his tablets that the third decimal attenuation of arnica had marvelous curative properties for a concussion f the brain and spinal dislocation with prolonged unconsciousness and spasmodic seizures as concurrent symptoms.

Mrs. Eddy’s account of this accident differs from the physician’s and she believes she knows what healed her and how she was healed and when it occurred. She was not responsible for the calling of the physician and only took his medicine when she was roused into semi-consciousness to have it administered, of which she has no recollection. After the doctor’s departure on Friday, however, she refused to take the medicine he had left, and as she has expressed it, lifted her heart to God. On the third day, which was Sunday, she sent those who were in her room away, and taking her Bible, opened it. Her eyes fell upon the account of the healing of the palsied man by Jesus.

“It was to me a revelation of Truth,” she has written. “The lost chord of Truth, healing as of old. I caught this consciously from the Divine Harmony. The miracles recorded in the Bible which had before seemed to me supernatural, grew divinely natural and apprehensible. Adoringly I discerned the principle of His holy heroism and Christian example on the cross when he refused to drink the vinegar and the gall, a preparation of poppy or aconite, to allay the tortures of the crucifixion.”1

A spiritual experience so deep was granted her that she realized eternity in a moment, infinitude in limitation, life in the presence of death. She Christian Science Journal, June, 1887.

could not utter words of prayer; her spirit realized. She knew God face to face; she “touched and handled things unseen.” In that moment all pain evanesced into bliss, all discord in her physical body melted into harmony, all sorrow was translated into rapture. She recognized this state as her rightful condition as a child of God. Love invaded her, life lifted her, truth irradiated her. God said to her, “Daughter, arise!”

Mrs. Patterson arose from her bed, dressed and walked into the parlor where a clergyman and a few friends had gathered, thinking it might be for the last words on earth with the sufferer who, they believed, was dying. They arose in consternation at her appearance, almost believing they beheld an apparition. She quietly reassured them and explained the manner of her recovery, calling upon them to witness it. They were the first doubters. They were there on the spot; they had withdrawn but a short time since from what they supposed was her death-bed. She stood before them fully restored to health. They shook their heads in amazed confusion. Although the clergyman and his wife rejoiced with her, they could not comprehend her statements. But for all the dissent of the opinion of friends, and later of medicine and theological dogma, Mrs. Patterson escaped, if not death, the clutches of lingering illness and suffering.

Mary Baker did more than experience a cure. She in that hour received a revelation for which she had been preparing her heart in every event of her ife. She had really walked straight toward this revelation, though seemingly through a backward-turning path. The backward-turning was a part of the marvelous fitting of her nature, the enlightenment of her mind for the immense service later of delineating the counterfeit of spiritual healing and to post the warning signs against the dangers of hypnotism. She herself has written of the discovery:

In the year 1866 I discovered the Christ Science, or divine laws of Life, and named it Christian Science. God had been graciously fitting me, during many years, for the reception of a final revelation of the absolute divine Principle of scientific being and healing. (“Science and Health,” p. 107. 2)

When apparently near the confines of mortal existence, standing already within the shadow of the death valley, I learned these truths in divine Science: that all real being is in God, the divine Mind, and that Life, Truth, and Love are all-powerful and ever-present; that the opposite of Truth, — called error, sin, sickness, disease, death, — is the false testimony of false material sense – of life in matter; that this false sense evolves, in belief, a subjective state of mortal mind which this same so-called mind names matter, thereby shutting out the true sense of Spirit. (Ibid., p. 108.)

Of the great discoveries in the world’s history it may be well to consider a moment which have blessed the human race most. The discovery of gunpowder and the invention of movable types came in about the same period. The discovery of the use of ether as an anesthetic and the discovery of Mind-Science also occurred in relatively the same period. Whatever appeals to the senses gains an audience with humanity more quickly than the gentler, more insistent appeal to the intelligence. Yet the former palls and dies, and the latter nourishes and lives. Hate, war, and death astound us and fill us with consternation; thought, love, and life come unawares like dawn and grow tenderly, gently into meaning, blessedness, and power. Gunpowder created a special hell, movable types the blessedness of literature. Ether anesthesia brought in its train an elaborated surgery; Mind-Science has begun to abolish the necessity of surgery, healing of itself the lame, the blind, the deaf; teaching mothers to bear children without pain, children to grow normally without malformation, men and women to abandon evil habits which bring consumption, scrofula, leprosy; nations to abandon wars which slaughter and cripple and leave a heritage of poverty and disease, — slowly but surely it works its way like civilization transforming savagery and the jungle. It is as fundamentally incontrovertible as the axiom that truth is eternal, or that error dies of its own nature.

This great discovery depended largely on the fall of Mary Baker in Lynn, causing her to grapple with the violence of magnetism, rousing her from a mesmeric lethargy, and bringing to her developed spiritual nature the understanding of the principle of life. There was an interval before she could demonstrate what dawned upon her in that hour. When the apple fell for Newton and the kettle teamed for Watts, natural scientific truth dawned on them, but each must apply himself to make clear his conception through years of careful elucidation and working out to a demonstrable point his scientific statement of principle. Mrs. Eddy writes:

My discover that erring, mortal, misnamed mind produces all the organism and action of the mortal body, set my thoughts to work in new channels, and led up to my demonstration of the proposition that Mind is All and matter is naught, as the leading force in Mind-Science. (“Science and Health,” p. 108.)

Indeed her thoughts were to work in new channels. She had risen as it were from death. Her friends immediately set up an argument that she was self-deluded, that she ought to be flat upon her back, that she was defying the laws of nature. This clamor of fear had a temporary effect upon her; it bewildered her into some doubt of her ability to maintain her discovery, even into some doubt as to its basis in truth. Two weeks after she had risen from her prostration she wrote a letter which was a last backward glance to Quimby and Quimbyism, — and yet a letter which sounded the small notes of the clarion. The letter was written to a former patient of Quimby, for Quimby was not dead. He had died the preceding month and could not again obtrude his unformulated theories between her mind and its own spiritual apprehensions. Her discovery waited for her full comprehension and acknowledgement. Yet she wrote a letter which, had it been answered differently, might have taken her back into animal magnetism and the confusion of hypnotism.

In the letter she describes her accident and says that the physician attending her had said that she had taken the last step she ever would, yet in three days she had gotten up from her bed and would walk. She says “I confess I am frightened, and out of that nervous heat my friends are forming, spite of me, the terrible spinal affection from which I have suffered so long and hopelessly. Now can’t you help me? I believe you can. I think I could help another in my condition.”

To this request the former patient replied that he did not know how Quimby had performed his cures and doubted if any one did. He distinctly declined the task of reviving Quimbyism or attempting to stand in the shoes of the mesmerist. So there was a closed door against that refuge from her own responsibility, a refuge which had presented itself to her mind as a last temptation. Quimby was dead; Quimbyism had perished with him. No one remained of those who had gathered round him in life to perpetuate his peculiar influence. Her fall had destroyed the very work she had so long credited him with. Everything must begin anew for her; life must be made completely over. She was forced to turn to God.

Her whole environment was about to be changed, for she was to be left without family and with the barest means of subsistence. Her faith faltered, her limbs trembled, but backward she could not go. It dawned upon her more and more insistently that

God had laid a work upon her. The truth of spiritual being had illumined her and to acquaint humanity with this truth became imperative.

Some years after this period, when her work had begun to make headway, the patient of Quimby to whom she had written came forward to harass her with a pamphlet in which he displayed her former eulogies of Quimby and her letter to him asking him to take up Quimby’s work. She replied to this pamphleteer in the article on “Mind Healing History” in the Christian Science Journal, from which a quotation is given in regard to the manuscript controversy. In it she says:

Was it an evil hour when I exchanged poetry for Truth, grasped in some degree the understanding of Truth and undertook at all hazards to bless them that cursed me? Was it an evil hour when I discovered Christian Science Mind-healing and gave to the world in my work called “Science and Health” the leaves that are for the “healing of the nations.” Was it for some strange reason that the impulse came upon me to endure all things for Truth’s sake? Does ceaseless servitude while treading the thorny path alone and for others’ sake arise from a purely selfish motive? After the death of the so-called originator of mind-healing it required ten years of nameless experience for me to reach the standpoint of my first edition of “Science and Health.” It was after the death of Mr. Quimby and when I was apparently at the door of death that I made the discovery of the Principle of Divine Science. After that it took ten years of hard work before the first edition of “Science and Health” was published in 1875.1

1 Christian Science Journal, June, 1887.

Mary Baker very shortly began to walk the “thorny path” of which she writes, began the “nameless experience” with its incidents of painful humiliation which she has never recounted or disclosed. She has covered this period with the brief statement that she retired for a time from the world to carry out the work which was before her. The first painful incident came quickly on the heels of the illness resulting from the fall. Shortly after her recovery, Mrs. Patterson’s remarkable experience centered her attention fully upon the philosophy of religion. She determined that she would state the principle of health and life and that she would devote her pen to that purpose; she would no longer write for money or fame, but abandon herself utterly to this great cause.

Dr. Patterson’s reaction to the resolution of his wife was characteristic. His response to her unworldliness was entirely worldly. He left Lynn mysteriously, deserting her, and not only did he leave her but he did so shamefully. He eloped with the wife of a wealthy citizen who had employed his services professionally. Sometime after the partner of his adventure came to the house where Mrs. Patterson was living and asked to see her. Mrs. Patterson received the repentant woman kindly and listened to her story. The woman said she had presumed to come to beg forgiveness and sue her for a favor because Dr. Patterson had so often spoken of his wife’s religiousness. The favor she had to beg of the woman she had wronged was that she would make intercession for her with the deserted usband that she might go home. This Mrs. Patterson undertook to do and succeeded in bringing about a complete reconciliation. She even persuaded the husband to forego a plan he had for confining his wife to her apartment for a period of penance, and by such persuasion so induce this man to allow sweetness and light to prevail that his home was thereafter a happy one. This was the second time in her life that she performed the office of peacemaker for a woman who had been party to the desecration of her own home.

The summer months of 1866 were for Mary Baker a time of reconstructing and dedication of her life. Her husband had gone, gone forever. She could no longer in reason contemplate a life with him. He came back to ask forgiveness after the elopement; it was in his nature to do that, for to him there was no finality to the good-will he expected, however great his offense. But his wife did not receive him. “The same roof cannot shelter us,” she said quietly. “You may come in, certainly, if you desire, but in that case I must go elsewhere.” He stood fumbling with his hat upon the doorstep and then placed it upon his head. “Of what use would that be, Mary?” he faltered. “No, it is I who will go.” Dr. Patterson thereafter roamed from town to town in New England, falling from the social standard of conduct on various occasions and losing social caste by degrees, until he was forbidden houses which had at first received him and, losing his practise when well begun in different towns, he at last etired to live the life of a hermit in Saco, Maine. In 1873 Mrs. Patterson secured a decree of divorce from him in the courts of Salem, Massachusetts. Directly after visiting his wife for the last time he went once more to the Tiltons. Mark Baker was dead; he had passed away the preceding autumn. Mrs. Tilton heard the dentist’s confession in silence. She had nothing to offer by way of advice for the patching up of difficulties. She saw they had reached a climax. But her practical mind made one suggestion as the amende honorable for the husband, that he should settle some sum, however meager, on Mary and not leave her utterly destitute. To this the doctor agreed and a sum was fixed upon to be paid twice a year. This was continued a few years, until Mrs. Patterson refused longer to accept it.

When the doctor had taken his departure, Abigail wrote to her sister to come home. “We will build a house for you next to our own and settle an income upon you,” she said. “You shall have suitable surroundings and not be annoyed by the friction of life in another home than your own. We can be together very much, and you can pursue your writing. There is only one thing I ask of you, Mary, that you give up these ideas which have lately occupied you, that you attend our church and give over your theory of divine healing.”

To this Mary Baker had but one reply, “I must do the work God has called me to.” But Abigail did not believe her sister. She decided to let her along for a time. She felt sure that the grip of poverty, the silence of her family, the desertion of er husband would operate in time to bring her back to the old relations. She wanted her sister, but not keenly enough as yet to sacrifice one iota of her price. Her boy Albert was just twenty-one, handsome, and a bit wayward; but she meant to master that and make a successful man of him. Her daughter Evelyn was only twelve, delicate, studious, pious, the idol of her father. She had great hope of her future. So then Mary, the sister, was after all outside her immediate concern, — save only she hoped Mary did not mean to disgrace them.

Sometimes, indeed, she had inward fears lest that strange spiritual genius of Mary’s really would make itself felt in the world and bring the reproach of “queerness” upon them. Up to this hour their family had been conventional New Englanders, farmers, manufacturers, wealthy, influential and orthodox both in politics and religion. Mary had stood out for abolition when it was unpopular and fanatical to do so. Her difference had made townspeople talk years before. She had proclaimed curious religious ideas when she was last at home, ideas that had made the ladies of the sewing circle wonder and gossip. Perhaps after all it was as well that Mary should wear out her theories among strangers. Some day she would come back to them and they would take care of her. So thought Abigail Tilton, reckoning and weighing the contents of the situation with a mind of worldly prudence.

Poor Abigail. Husband and children were to be taken from her, too. Strangers who thought mainly f her fortune were to flatter her in her declining years of dictation, until dictation was no longer a joy. And pride which had separated her from her beloved sister so long kept her from imparting her last farewell to the one whom she truly loved deepest and best.

So Mary Baker sat alone through these summer months. She had her saddest thoughts to scan at the beginning and not the close of her career, for to her this was truly the beginning. She was forty-five years old and had lived through the experiences of more than a normal life. Let no one think that even the greatest philosopher could contemplate the ruin of so many earthly hopes without heart pangs. Her child, long ago alienated from her by wile and subterfuge, was now a man roaming through the wild life of the West; the husband who had promised so much had gone in disgrace to live out his aimless whims for many years and die alone in his hermit’s hut. Her parents were both gone and her sister was obdurately set against the deep faith of her heart. Without worldly resources or even the social status of recognized widowhood, deserted by all who should have cherished her, might she not with sanction lay her head low to mourn?

Whether for many days or weeks she thought on these things, certain it is that this same year saw her gathering up the strands, strengthening her heart with courage, accepting her mission, and venturing forth steadfastly upon her destiny never again to turn back. From this year the story of Mary Baker’s life deals with religion. She has iven up family for voluntary poverty, society for the contemplation of a new faith. She will for a time nourish this truth, elucidate it to her own mind with her pen, to her own heart with prayer, and in a decade will begin the work of promulgation.


FOR three years after my discovery I sought to solution of this problem of Mind-healing; searched the Scriptures, read little else; kept aloof from society, and devoted time and energies to discovering a positive rule. The search was sweet, calm, and buoyant with hope, not selfish nor depressing. I knew the Principle of all harmonious Mind-action to be God, and that cures were produced, in primitive Christian healing, by holy, uplifting faith; but I must know its Science, and I won my way to absolute conclusions, through divine revelation, reason, and demonstration. The revelation of Truth in the understanding came to me gradually, and apparently through divine power. (“Science and Health,” p. 100.)

After a lengthy examination of my discovery, and its demonstration in healing the sick, this fact became evident to me, — that Mind governs the body, not partially, but wholly. I submitted my metaphysical system of treating disease to the broadest practical tests. (Ibid, p. 111.)

Mrs. Patterson had boarded with her husband in several places in Lynn and Swampscott. She had made a few excellent friends who were steadfast in their interest and loyalty through the hardships which were to befall her in the next few years. Of these friends none were more devoted than the Phillipses, and excellent Quaker family. Mr. Thomas Phillips was a manufacturer of shoe-findings and lived with his family in Buffum street.

Mary Baker was very devoted to this elderly couple whom she called by the endearing names of “Uncle Thomas” and “Aunt Hannah.” Their home became a refuge to her in the summer of 1866. She did not live with them, but boarded with Mr. and Mrs. George D. Clark of Summer street. The Clarks lived in their own home, taking in boarders to increase their income. There were a kindly, social family. In their home Mrs. Patterson had solitude when she desired it, and a friendly democratic society when she felt the human yearning for sympathetic interest in other lives. For such independence and comparative comfort the charges were not heavy. Indeed she could not possibly have met them had they been so, for her purse was but scantily furnished at this time.

But to the Phillips home in Buffun street she fled for true social and spiritual companionship. They were of that excellent breeding which comes of true piety, and they cherished this stricken woman, too proud to admit herself desolate among strangers, as a very lamb of the Lord. Their aged mother lived with them. She was a saintly Quaker, who had passed her ninetieth year, and as the years rolled by and she lived on toward the close of her century of human experience, she grew weary of earth. She would sometimes say with gentle impatience, “I fear the good Father hath forgotten me.” One day he refused to rise from her bed, and said to her children, “Thee need never bring my gown again.” She was determined to go, and so she slept sweetly out of this world’s life.

But before that calm change came upon her, she spent many hours with Mary Baker, hours of mutual consolation and uplifting. These two women, between whom yawned a half century, loved each other tenderly, calling one another by her Christian name, which in both cases was Mary. Their intercourse was of a heavenly sweetness. They would sit side by side on a sofa with hands clasped, sometimes conversing and sometimes meditating. Mr. Phillips, returning home and finding them there, would call his wife and say, “Hannah, do you see our two saints? There they sit together, the two Marys.”

In this house silent prayer was the custom before eating. Mary Baker yielded to this custom with great reverence, often saying it seemed to her like a holy communion. With Mr. Phillips she had frequent conversation about her religious views and her healing experience, delineating for him the features of her discovery, stating the principle to be Divine Life operating in human consciousness. He was the first to listen to her intelligently; he was the first to see that she was depicting a new mental state that would elevate all existence. Upon the aged grandmother her words fell like dew, graciously accepted as pious utterances, but scarcely understood. Upon other members of the family they made but slight impression and, were it not hat they loved their guest, they would have been guilty of an occasional smile of incredulity.

Incredulity there must have been among them. A daughter of the house is to-day a Christian Scientist. She was not a believer in these ideas for many years – not indeed until after Mrs. Eddy had long passed out of her life with the death of her parents. She has related to the author her father’s impressions of the future founder of Christian Science. In rebuking their unbelief he voiced a prophecy by saying: “Mary is a wonderful woman, Susie. You will find it out some day. I may not live to see it, but you will.”

This daughter Susan married George Oliver, and in her own home often entertained Mrs. Patterson. Her husband was a business man with a growing shoe trade which actively engage his mind. He would, however, neglect to return to his business for hours if Mary Baker happened to be at his home for luncheon.

“I cannot understand it,” he would say to his wife of their guest’s conversation, “but I would rather hear Mrs. Patterson talk than make a big deal in business. After listening to her arguments I feel some way as though I would be the better able ‘to cast my net on the right side.’”

It was on Susan Oliver’s brother Dorr, then a schoolboy, that Mrs. Eddy made her first demonstration of Mind-science. The lad had a bone felon which kept him awake at night and out of school during the day. Mrs. Patterson had not been to the Phillips house for several days, and hen she did go and found the boy in agony walking the floor, she gently and sympathetically questioned him.

“Dorr, will you let me heal that felon?” Yes, indeed, Mrs. Patterson, if you can do it,” replied the lad.

“Will you promise not to do anything for it or let any one else, if I undertake to cure it?” Yes, I promise, and I will keep my word,” said Dorr Phillips. He had heard his father and their friend discuss divine healing many times, and had a boy’s healthy curiosity to see what would happen if all this talk was actually tried on a wicked, tormenting, festering felon that was making him fairly roar with rage one minute and cry like a girl the next.

That night the boy stopped at his sister Susie’s house. “How is your finger,” she asked solicitously.

“Nothing the matter with my finger; it hasn’t hurt all day. Mrs. Patterson is treating it.” What is she doing to it? Let me look at it.” No, you’ll spoil the cure. I promised not to look at it or think about it, nor let any one else touch it or talk about it. And I won’t.”

The brother and sister looked at each other with half smiles. They were struggling with skepticism.

“Honest, Dorr, don’t it hurt?” No.” Tell me what she did.” I don’t know what she did, don’t know anything bout this business, but I’m going to play fair and keep my word.”

The boy actually forgot the felon and when his attention was called to the finger it was found to be well. This strange result made an impression on the family. No one quite knew what to say, and they were scarcely ready to accept the healing of a sore finger as a miracle.

“But it is not a miracle,” said Mary Baker. “Nor would it be if it had been a broken wrist or a withered arm. It is natural, divinely natural. All life rightly understood is so.”

Mr. Phillips said there was something in that which he could not understand, and there it rested. With peace restored to his body, Dorr Phillips forgot all about Divine science.

At the Oliver home lived a rich young man from Boston who had come to Lynn to learn the shoe business. He was intense and active, eager to show his father his business sagacity. But severe application to business and excitement over his new responsibilities threw him into a fever. He was brought home from the factory and put to bed, where he promptly lapsed into delirium. The Olivers saw that he was very ill, and sent for his parents. Before they arrived Mrs. Patterson came to the house and found Susan Oliver in distress over the serious situation.

“If he should die before they come, what would I do?” she asked excitedly. “Perhaps I should call our physician. But they might not like it. He is their only child. Think of his prospects, his father’s ortune – and for him to be stricken in this way!” He is not going to die, Susie,” said Mary Baker. “Let me go in and see him.” You may go in, if you think best; but he won’t recognize you,” said Mrs. Oliver.

Mary Baker went into the sick chamber and sat down at the side of the bed. The young man was tossing from side to side, throwing his arms about wildly and moaning. She took his hand, held it firmly, and spoke clearly to him, calling him by a familiar name.

“Bobbie,” she said, “look at me. You know me, don’t you?”

The young man ceased his monotonous moaning, his tossing on the pillows, and his ejaculations. He lay quiet and gazed steadfastly at the newcomer.

“Of course you know me, Bobbie,” she persisted gently. “Tell me my name.” Why, yes,” he said with perfect sanity, “it’s Mrs. Patterson.” In a few minutes he said, “I believe I will go to sleep.”

He did go to sleep and waked rational, and did not again have delirium. His parents came and carried the boy off to Boston for medical attention. But he escaped espionage of nurse and doctor, and of his parents also. They had taken him to the old Revere House, where they were living, and had established him comfortably in the famous Jenny Lind room. But all this solicitation could not hold him. He returned to Lynn and sent word of his state of mind and whereabouts to the distracted arents. Mrs. Patterson had made him well in spite of the physician’s declaration that he was in for a run of fever. So simply was the youth’s release from fever accomplished that none who knew of the case would credit her with having done anything. However, Mary Baker had in this instance once more illustrated her discovery.

Her power to heal the sick was shown once again among these friends. The Charles Winslows of Ocean street were related to the Phillipses, and Mrs. Patterson knew them as intimately as she knew the Olivers. Mrs. Winslow had been for sixteen years in an invalid chair, and Mrs. Patterson, who occasionally spent an afternoon with her, desired to heal her.

“If you make Abbie walk,” said Charles Winslow, “I will not only believe your theory, but I will reward you liberally. I think I would give a thousand dollars to see her able to walk.” The demonstration of the principle is enough reward,” said Mrs. Patterson. “I know she can walk. You go to business and leave us alone together.” But I want to see you perform your cure, Mary,” said Charles Winslow, half mirthfully. “Indeed, I won’t interfere.” You want to see me perform a cure,” cried Mary Baker, with a flash of her clear eyes. “But I am not going to do anything. Why don’t you understand that God will do the work if Mrs. Winslow will let Him? Leave off making light of what is a serious matter. Your wife will walk.”

And Mrs. Winslow did walk, walked along the ocean beach with Mary Baker and around her own garden in the beautiful autumn of that year. She who had not taken a step for sixteen years arose and walked, not once but many times. Though a wonderful thing had been accomplished, the woman’s pride kept her from acknowledging a cure. The method seemed so ridiculously inadequate. To accept it was like convicting her of never having been ill. So she returned to her invalid chair.

Such were some of the first results of Mary Baker’s efforts to prove that she had grasped a great truth and was not asserting an imaginary doctrine of fanciful or fanatical origin. She began to see in the wilfull pride of one patient, the scornful rejection of her services by the parents of another, and the kindly indifference of still another, who guessed things just happened so when you were not watching, that this could not be her field of activity. But she had at her very door abundant opportunity among the humbler shoe workers. The Phillipses were satisfied with their religion and culture; the Winslows were wealthy and secure in their own well-being. They meant to be her friends and told her that the world would say she was mad if she continued to preach divine healing. “It is better not to talk of it,” they said. It seemed to them an unnatural doctrine, something that might become an awkward topic in their drawing-room, something that this interesting woman should be persuaded to forget.

Interesting Mary Baker was, more interesting than ever in her life, with a strange power of impressing the world with the wonder of things which was to grow more and more a part of her. A description of her appearance at this time and of her daily life is afforded through the reminiscences of George Clark, the son of the family in which she was boarding. He says she was a beautiful woman with the complexion of a young girl, her skin being fair, the color often glowing in her cheeks as she talked; her eyes were deep blue, becoming brilliant and large under emotional interest, and her hair falling in a shower of brown curls about her face.

“She usually wore black,” says Mr. Clark, “but occasionally violet or pale rose in some arrangement of her dress. And I remember well a dove-colored gown trimmed with black velvet that she wore in the summer. I remember the colors because she suggested a flower-like appearance; she had a refreshing simplicity about her which made one think of lilies. Yes, that is the very flower, because she had distinction, too. She was a little above medium height, slender, and graceful. Usually she was reserved, though her expression was never forbidding. But when she talked, and she talked very well and convincingly, she would often make a sweeping outward gesture with her right hand, as though giving her thought from her very heart.

“So characteristic were her gestures that I would recognize her to-day were I only to see her out-stretched hand. She sat at the head of our table, y mother occupying the center of one side, and I, in my father’s absence, the opposite seat. From this place at our table she easily dominated attention when she cared to talk, and she was always listened to with interest. Every one liked and admired her, though sometimes her statements would cause a protracted argument.

“We were a rather mixed household and were fourteen at table. There were several shoe operatives from the factories, a salesman or two, and a man who has since become a well-known bootmaker. There was a painter amongst us, who afterwards became a successful artist in landscape. He was an argumentative talker, inclined to be skeptical of most things. The wives of several of the men were also guests at table, and conversation was usually lively, often theological.

“My mother had been a Universalist, but she was progressive in her views, a come-outer, as you might say. She was much interested in Spiritualism and used to entertain the Spiritualists. Séances were sometimes held at our house. Mrs. Patterson sometimes was present at these affairs held in our parlor, just as she took part agreeably, but not conspicuously, in any social gathering. You see she liked people, liked to meet them unaffectedly and kindly, but, mind you, always with that air of distinction, that something that made her different. I think she was hungry for hearts, if I may so express it, but she would draw them up to her level rather than go to theirs.

“On days succeeding a séance my mother would ften leave the breakfast room with the ladies to talk over the doings of the night before and the nature of the ‘phenomena.’ My mother and Mrs. Patterson would occasionally get into a lively argument, and both expressed themselves most positively on opposite sides of the question. They never fell out about it, for they were both too well used to such divergence of view among their friends. My mother was always having to defend her views, and indeed so was Mrs. Patterson. They respected each other, I may say they had too much affection to quarrel.

“But their arguments were highly entertaining to me, and I often wondered how persons holding such opposite views could shake hands so amiably over their differences. I was a youngster and felt very important, for I was going to sea. I used to think that when I came back from seeing the world, all these religious matters would have become of no importance to me. In that I was mistaken, and I fancy now that the arguments going on there at my mother’s table and of an evening when some of the party played whist the others gathered around Mrs. Patterson were the everlasting and eternal arguments of our lives, and that a prophet was among us unawares.”1

Among the boarders in this mixed and highly democratic household were Hiram S. Crafts and his wife. The former was known as an expert heel-finished in the shoe factory. He possessed an ordinary intelligence, a common school education, and Notes from a conversation with Mr. George Clark in July, 1907.

a tendency toward transcendentalism. This tendency was as marked a characteristic in New England middle-classes during the middle years of the last century as Puritanism was in England during the reign of Charles I, two centuries before. It made Unitarianism and Universalism possible as an out-growth of Calvinism.

It may appear extravagant to credit with notions of transcendentalism a shoe-worker of Lynn; but in great mental movements in a nation such as the American, or in a race such as the Anglo-Saxon, history has shown that the artisans, craftsmen, and farmers share in the intellectual experience of the scholars, if that experience is more than a passing ripple. This is especially true in the United States. If they are somewhat later than the scholars in arriving at their convictions, the sympathies and antipathies of the laboring class go deeper and are more compelling. Their “feeling” has to be reckoned with. Thus it will be recalled that Cromwell sought religious men for his army, knowing that unless armed with some staying convictions his common soldiers could never stand against the gentlemen and cavaliers of the forces of the king.

Transcendentalism is a big mouthful of a descriptive; but this term had scholarly origin, being Germanic, not Yankee or British. A brief history of the word may not be impertinent. The term was first applied to Kantian philosophy which only a very exceptional shoe-worker of New England could have been expected to read. How then could a shoe-worker acquire tendencies toward such speculations?

But the philosophers may wrap their notions in very unusual language and still occasionally coin words the vulgar will learn to handle. Kant used this word to denote intuitions which the descendants of Puritans had already analyzed before Emerson made the word transcendentalism familiar in New England as Carlyle did in old England. Thus it was not left for the Yankee shoe-worker to dig it out of the Critique.

A little before the Civil War broke out, in the late forties and early fifties, the lyceum system became popular in America, especially in New England. Courses of lectures were instituted in the small towns as well as in the large cities, and the latest thoughts in science, art, literature, politics, and philosophy were given to the people. How democratic these audiences were was shown in results. Now transcendentalism in both religion and politics began to flourish. The working people were ready to believe something in religion that released them from the pain and cramp of a long-preached doctrine of inherent total depravity. The “rise of man” was being substituted for the ”fall of man” and the cramp in the brain and the ache in the heart were letting go their clutch.

Much earlier than this the intellectual world had revolted from the Calvinistic “plan of salvation.” William Ellery Channing had done such work in Boston that Lyman Beecher left his parish in Eastern Massachusetts in 1823 to go to Boston to “confront and stay the movement”; and he shortly wrote in a letter that “all the literary men of Boston, the rofessors of Harvard College, the judges on the bench are Unitarian.” That was in 1823. The movement continued among the scholars and intellectuals until about 1836, when it reached the people and spread like contagion. Elias Hicks became the unorthodox leader of the Quakers, and Hosea Ballou was with less intellectual difficulty attacking the Calvinistic dogma with the doctrine of Universalism. This last was the really popular reaction in New England. Unitarianism was scholarly, Universalism popular. But it all amounted to a revolt against dogmatic theology. Channing denied the depravity of man to show “how capable God had made him of righteousness.” He was the center of a bitter fight, but to-day he looks calmly down from his pedestal in the Public Garden of Boston, and the average passer-by may wonder why he is there. Emerson taught that the revelations God made to man were made within the soul, that the soul had infinite dignity and capacity, that transcendentalism was an experience of the immanence of God. He also had his bitter fights with the college men – all forgotten now in the universal reverence for his name. Margaret Fuller described the idea of transcendentalism as an exalting conception of the Godlike nature of the human spirit.

Now it must be remembered that this liberalizing work had been going on in New England for fifty years. Its most prominent teachers were Channing, Emerson, and Theordore Parker. There was a danger in the work, looked at religiously, for whereas the scholars might be supposed to take care f themselves philosophically, the breach made in religious customs for the common man left him nothing. In giving up creed and catechism he could scarcely be expected to come into “living touch” with the philosophy of Germany. So the spectacle is presented of Puritan churches becoming Unitarian and Universalist, and presently a large percentage of the members of these, unable to feed on elevated ethical ideas, dropping off into Spiritualism. Yet Spiritualism, so bizarre and tempting, did not generally satisfy the religious need of the descendants of the Puritans. They had been used to the teachings of stern duty, and it was in their nature to show themselves capable of spiritual effort. Though often of but ordinary intelligence, the artisans and craftsmen and agriculturalists of fifty years ago had a deep capacity for religion.

Hiram Crafts was such a man, a Yankee workman transcendentalized. He was not singular, but a type of the man who was to be reached by Christian Science in the first twenty-five years of its promulgation. Out of the hunger of his heart for religion, he was drawn to a more intimate conversation with Mary Baker than he could gain at table, though he sat next her on the left hand and often lingered after supper for an hour of eager questioning and attentive listening. Nor was it singular that her first convert should be made in this way. This man had no intellectual antagonisms to overcome. He was simply hungry for spiritual experience, hungry to realize that personal communion with God that the religious movement of his times had led him to crave.

The hunger of this shoe-worker was such that Mary Baker saw she must provide mental food.

She began to systematize her ideas and to write out a new manuscript, not entirely different from those she had prepared for Quimby. She still believed Quimby had shared the truth of divine healing with her, but her writings were now entirely based on her own experiences. These were written that Hiram Crafts might have something to study. The writings were exceedingly simplified, they were brief summaries, a primer of the simplest statements. Hiram Crafts in describing his pupilage years afterwards said:

“Mary Baker G. Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, was not a Spiritualist when she taught me Christian Science in the year of 1866. At that time I was a Spiritualist, but her teaching changed my views on that subject and I gave up Spiritualism. She never taught me in my mental practise to hurt others, but only to heal the sick and reform the sinner. She taught me from the Scriptures and from manuscripts that she wrote as she taught me.”

In answer to a story intending to reflect discredit upon his teacher, a story which charge her with living upon this poor workman and his family without payment, he further said:

“Mrs. Eddy boarded at my house when I resided in Stoughton, Massachusetts. She furnished our parlor and gave us the use of her furniture.”

But this statement, while it throws a little color on the picture, is not the one to bear in mind oncerning her relation to this family. Hiram Crafts was Mrs. Eddy’s first pupil. She taught him to return to his Bible, to seek in primitive Christianity the religion which he had lost through liberalism, and to become a mental practitioner to the sick and the sinning. In fact she gave him a profession by which he not only was able to live a religious life, but to earn his living. For a long period he did so earn his living and made some unusual cures.

Crafts had gone to Lynn to work in the factories for the winter, but becoming absorbed with this topic of Mind-science, he decided to return to Stoughton to practise it. He invited Mrs. Patterson to go with him and his wife as he was not satisfied with what he had learned, and wanted further information, instruction, and advice in practise.

In leaving Lynn with these humble people, Mary Baker took a radical step. She had tried for months to persuade those who were more akin to her in social and intellectual heritage to accept the truth she had to impart. Of these some, as the Phillips family, loved her, but were impervious to her doctrine. The Winslows had begged her not to talk of it, the Unitarian clergyman of Lynn and his wife were friendly, but they feared for their faith when she spoke to them of God as Principle. The Ellises of Swampscott, mother and son, the latter a teacher, listened with grave interest and amiable social spirit to her arguments for a higher religion when she was a lodger at their house; but they were not moved to accept her tenets. Her doctrine seemed to have the effect of provoking discussion. It aroused in ome minds resentment. In some homes where she had experienced agreeable friendships, she found it necessary to withdraw. In these few months of 1866 this feeling had augmented almost to persecution.

Dr. E. J. Thompson, who was at the time, and still is practising dentistry in Lynn, told the author that he remembers talking to Mrs. Patterson on several occasions about her ideas of religion.

“I used to say to her,” Dr. Thompson said, “‘It may be all true, but I do not grasp it.’ As long as Mrs. Patterson, afterwards Mrs. Eddy, lived in Lynn, she was known as an unusual woman holding peculiar religious views. Never have I heard anything more against her, and I used to see her every day for many years. It was said she held peculiar views at which many people laughed. But no one spoke against her otherwise.”

Yet it was her very life that they were against, these friends of hers; for life meant nothing to her without religion. She could more easily give up society, culture, books, even church, than she could give up speaking of the understanding of God which had come to her. So she made the decision to go into what would have been for her at an earlier date a social Sahara.

To the Crafts she took her personal belongings and house furnishings and helped to make their home more like what she was used to. Her efforts resulted in an attractive home, though one of great simplicity. It would have been impossible for her to do otherwise than make her environment at least nteresting. She lived there not entirely as a guest, for she had made an agreement with Mr. Crafts to guide and tutor him. She also diligently applied herself to writing. The whole problem of the science, of the textbook, and of the practical demonstration might have been worked out here. The wandering of the next few years need not have occurred, but for those inherent traits deep in human nature which show themselves as jealousy, envy, and resentment.

Perfectly natural as an exhibition of human nature was the gradual revelation of Mrs. Crafts’ state of mind. She resented playing the role of Martha in this household. To her naturally fell the marketing and housework. Her tasks were not unusual or heavier than she could well assume, but the presence of a woman in her house who was not contributing dollars and cents directly into her palm was disconcerting to her sense of thrift. Moreover, the guest was a woman conspicuously her superior, one upon whom she must occasionally wait as a serving woman. This waiting and serving was honorable and necessary, and looked upon in a very democratic sense by the household. No one dreamed of making it a badge of shame to the wife, certainly not the husband who had been accustomed to seeing his wife so occupied; certainly not Mrs. Patterson, who on occasion had performed the most menial tasks herself, as every New England girl is instructed to do when occasion requires. It had been imparted to Mary Baker as a part of the ethics of her breeding.

However, the thoughts of serving a woman who held long conversations daily with her husband and otherwise occupied herself with writing aroused in Mrs. Crafts a jealousy which was only increased as the days drifted by and the life they all lived was shown to be without blame. There was no ground for reproach, but Mrs. Crafts found a fault expressed in the statement, “She carried herself above folks.” Her jealousy may be regarded as natural by many, but it was certainly unfortunate in that it presently cut off the development of her husband’s work, and broke the continuity of Mary Baker’s.

But Mary Baker was finding out an invaluable secret. She was learning to pursue her work unmindful of petty disturbance. She seems to have mentally registered a vow, or engraved it upon her hears, “This one thing I do.” She was searching the Scripture, keeping aloof from society, and devoting time and energy to discovering a positive rule of healing. It must be remembered that she was finding the task “sweet, calm, and buoyant with hope, not selfish nor depressing.” She was winning her way to absolute conclusions through reason and demonstration. The revelation in her understanding was coming to her gradually. This was the test of experience.

After a winter of such work as was thought necessary to prepare Hiram Crafts to practise mental healing, the family removed to the neighboring town of Taunton. East Stoughton, where they had passed the winter, is now called Avon and is sixteen miles directly South of Boston. Taunton is still further

South, thirty-two miles distant from Boston. Mr. Crafts opened an office and advertised in the local papers his readiness to deal with various mentioned diseases. He declared, however, that if patients gave him a fair trial, and were not benefited he would refund their money. In three weeks he was able to print the testimonial of a woman patient who had been healed of an internal abscess. The patient tells of her own and her friends’ utter astonishment that this should have been done in an incredibly short time when she had suffered for twelve years and that it should have been done without medicines or applications, but she added that she was convinced that he was a skilful physician and that his cures were not the result of accident.

Such indorsement coming from one living in his own town, whose name and address were printed in full and could be easily seen by the villagers and country folk, had a good effect in swelling the number of his visitors, and Hiram Crafts found himself in the way of doing a great deal of good, while his livelihood, which his wife had feared would be threatened by the abandonment of cobbling, seemed secured. She made it a source of complaint, however, that Mrs. Patterson did not herself practise.

Mrs. Patterson encouraged, advised, and supported her student in all he did. During the evenings she discussed the principle of healing with him. Every cure that he made, however, simple, was a further demonstration of the science. She was as deeply interested and as greatly rejoiced over each cure as was the practitioner. It was a season of onder and delight to both teacher and student, and also at times to the faithful Martha of their household. But doubting relatives filled Mrs. Crafts with dissatisfaction and suspicion. To make shoes was a tangible, legitimate method of earning a living. To practise religious healing was, in their estimation, a pious fraud.

Conversations of this nature with her relatives had its effect in due time. It brought about strained relations in the household and made a new adjustment of conditions necessary. But fortunately before this took place a certain work had been accomplished which could not be undone. Mary Baker saw that not only could she herself heal, but she could impart the understanding of the modus operandi to another. In this respect her work already differed from Phineas Quimby’s; she could detach it from herself, separate it from her personality. What remained was to give the philosophy its scientific statement.


THERE is no period in the life of Mary Baker so difficult to delineate as the one before us. Its outward aspect might be rapidly sketched, the incidents of the next few years might be related comprehensively in a few pages, but the significance of these years, which is of vast importance, can only be indicated with the most reverent suggestion.

Whether outlining with bold pencil strokes or working up the picture from the canvas of environment with subtlest brush touches, how can one hope to convey the idea of a life such as this, gathered out of its past, confirmed for its great future, girded with purpose and panoplied for resistance? Luminosity is attained only by the greatest skill in portraiture, and by what perspicuous, lucid, sane observations of sympathy and understanding only the masters can tell. But even such portraiture meets with success only when the eye to which it is submitted will attentively comprehend. Discernment and transmutation in character must accompany the enlightenment of events.

Mary Baker was not ready to state the science of Mind-healing directly after her discovery through her own personal healing. She was not ready after he had healed others by this discover; nor was she ready when she had fitted her first student to heal disease. How she was prepared for this work cannot be explained by the usual methods of the biographer, by rehearsing the facts of her residence in various places, her associates, or her occupations. A process of germination and unfoldment took place in her which must have had its apocryphal hours as well as apocalyptic moments, its seasons of doubt and fog as its times of certainty and sun. The work laid upon her was that of renaming, actually re-christening, the verities.

In her autobiography Mrs. Eddy has endeavored to explain how she approached this great work. He who runs may not read here. Loose conceptions arise from a careless use of terms, and, as in a trial where life depends on exact and technical phrasing, so in knowing the real Mary Baker Eddy one must apply himself to comprehend her terminology and how she came to adopt it in order to realize what business she was about.

“I had learned that thought must be spiritualized, in order to apprehend Spirit,” she has written. “It must become honest, unselfish, and pure, in order to have the least understanding of God in Divine Science. The first must come last. Our reliance upon material things must be transferred to a perception of and dependence on spiritual things. For Spirit to be supreme in demonstration, it must be supreme in our affections, and we must be clad with divine power. Purity, self-renunciation, faith, and understanding must reduce all things real to their wn mental denomination, Mind, which divides, subdivides, increases, diminishes, constitutes, and sustains, according to the law of God.”1

Thus in her own words we have the secret of her submission to adverse circumstances and conditions with a marvelous cheerfulness. It was submission to the spiritual sense of things, docility to the tutelage of divine inspiration. She further says:

I had learned that Mind reconstructed the body, and that nothing else could. How it was done, the spiritual Science of Mind must reveal. It was a mystery to me then, but I have since understood. All Science is a revelation. Its Principle is divine, not human, reaching higher than the stars of heaven.

I have said that her task was to re-christen the verities. She says that she withdrew from society for about three years to ponder her mission, to search the Scriptures, to find the Science of Mind that should take the things of God and show them to the creature and reveal the great and curative Principle, — Deity.2 How did she set about this task? She says:

The Bible was my text-book. It answered my questions as to how I was healed; but the Scriptures had to me a new meaning, a new tongue. Their spiritual signification appeared; and I apprehended for the first time, in their spiritual meaning, Jesus’ teaching and demonstration, and the Principle and rule of spiritual Science and Metaphysical Healing, — in a word, Christian Science.3

1 “Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 44.

2 Ibid., p. 45. 3 Ibid., p. 39.

In a brief paragraph is related the actual, technical work of reducing her discovery “to the apprehension of the age” in a new terminology, the foundation upon which all her subsequent work was built, the naming of the fundamental conceptions. She says of this earliest work in the stating of her Science:

I named it Christian, because it is compassionate, helpful, and spiritual. God I called Immortal Mind. That which sins, suffers, and dies I named mortal mind. The physical senses, or sensuous nature, I called error and shadow. Soul I denominated Substance, because Soul alone is truly substantial. God I characterized as individual entity, but His corporeality I denied. The Real I claimed as eternal; and its antipodes, or the temporal, I described as unreal. Spirit I called the reality; and matter, the unreality.1

This is the actual work of several years. How it was accomplished who shall say? Who can say when it first grew clear in Mary Baker’s understanding that “matter neither sees, hears, nor feels Spirit” and that the five physical senses testifying that God is a physical, personal Being like unto man are testifying falsely? Was it while she was at the Crafts’ humble cottage home in Taunton, or while with the turbulent Wentworth family? Was it during the quiet hours spent with the motherly old woman in the great empty house on the banks of the Merrimac in Amesbury, or was it while leaving an “Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 39.

inhospitable roof in a deluge of rain late on an autumn night? It is idle to inquire whether in calm or turbulence the spiritual facts grew clear. But both calm and turbulence were her lot, and sometime during these years of trial it became clear to her what her mission was and why it was that ceaseless toil and self-renunciation were laid upon her after years of physical suffering and the sundering of almost every natural or human tie of affection.

“It is often asked,” Mrs. Eddy has written, “why Christian Science was revealed to me as one Intelligence analyzing, uncovering and annihilating the false testimony of the physical senses. Why was this conviction necessary to the right apprehension of the invincible and infinite energies of Truth and Love, as contrasted with the foibles and fables of finite mind and material existence.

“The answer is plain. Saint Paul declared that the Law was the schoolmaster, to bring him to Christ. Even so was I led into the mazes of divine metaphysics through the gospel of suffering, the providence of God, and the cross of Christ. No one else can drain the cup which I have drunk to the dregs, as the discoverer and teacher of Christian Science; neither can its inspiration be gained without tasting this cup.” (“Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 46.)

Taking up the incidents which formed the setting of this work of germination and unfoldment, we find the last tie which bound her to family and home broken. Or to speak more exactly, we find her submitting to the severing of the last tie, for Mrs. Eddy never broke one tie with her own hands, never was herself the cause of one separation from all those who went out of her life, never neglected a duty to a relative or friend, or failed to show grateful remembrance for any service performed in her behalf.



There had been backward looks, many and often, to those loved ones of her family. Sitting alone in the twilight of many a day, she had reflected long and sadly on the lights and shadows of the past, dreaming of her mother’s love, dearer to her than her pen could related. She wrote of that mother as she oftenest remembered her, bending over her and parting the curls to kiss her cheek. The dear love of sister and brother found a place in her poetry and the sterner affection, deep and tried, of her old father is often referred to. She had thought of herself as a young bride, of the lights of her own home, the remembered glance of her husband’s eye. Of all these memories that was most poignantly sweet which picture ... a glad young face,

Upturned to his mother in playfulness;

And the unsealed fountains of grief and joy

That gushed at birth of that beautiful boy.”

These verses called “I am Sitting Alone,” were written in September, , shortly after Dr. Patterson’s desertion and before she left Lynn with her first student. In the summer of 1867 her memories culminated in a passion of affection. She must see some of her family once more and look again upon the mountains around her old home, those hills to hich she had lifted her eyes when a schoolgirl, walking in the garden of her pastor; when a young bride leaving home; when a young mother with her babe in her arms; and when coming back from a visit to her own mother’s grave.

Yes, Sanbornton Bridge and Tilton were dear to her. Her native soil and natal horizons drew her as they must always draw all that is human in the hearts of the least and the greatest. Perhaps her compelling impulse in visiting Tilton was to see her brother George who had returned from Baltimore and now resided there with his wife and child. He had become blind. This great sorrow rested upon him heavily, indeed so heavily that he shortly yielded to an illness and died. But a few months before his death she made this visit home. How sensible she was of his sorrow and affliction she revealed in certain other verses in which she would have conveyed to her brother more than sympathy, the understanding of her own faith. But this conveyance of her faith was not possible; he could not accept it, though her stanzas with a depth of affection beg him to dispel the shadow and give back from his earnest eyes the image of the soul of Truth and Light.

On the occasion of this home-going Mary visited her brother and her sisters Abigail and Martha. With Abigail she had her last talk. She was not able to reconcile her to her views any more than she was able to inspire her brother with her faith. There was much of homely criticism to be endured and passed over, much of that sort reminding of the rivial which makes a prophet in his own land and in his own house unknown because the outward circumstances loom big and the inner life is unguessed. So it was with Jesus when in Nazareth. “Is not this the carpenter’s son?” they asked, and “are not his brothers and sisters here with us?” So “He did not many mighty works there.” In her sister Martha’s home Mary Baker did, however, perform a significant healing. Martha, who it will be remembered, married Luther Pillsbury of Concord, was now in Tilton with her daughter Ellen, then a young woman of twenty-one. This daughter lay critically ill of an abscess. Mary Baker went to the sick chamber and sat with her niece for a while. The girl lay supinely inert and helpless in bed; she is said to have been exceedingly ill and to have had perfect quiet ordered.

Shortly after her aunt’s visit to her sick chamber, they appeared together in the family living room. The young woman was dressed and expressed a desire to eat supper with the family. Every member of the household protested at once on seeing her. They were seriously alarmed. But Ellen, obeying her aunt, refused to return to her bed and suffered no effects. Ellen Pillsbury recovered completely, and within a few days returned to Taunton with her aunt Mary, a distance of a hundred miles. The story of this healing was told the author by Martha Rand Baker, widow of George Baker, who still lives in Tilton.

It is rather singular that such an incident as this should have had no convincing effect on Mary

Baker’s family. As a matter of fact it only the more alienated them from Mary and her religion. Even Ellen Pillsbury came in after years to repudiate the healing and repudiate it with resentment.

During the visit with her to Taunton this niece was detached in her affections from her aunt. Ellen was amazed at the simplicity and humbleness in which she found her Aunt Mary living at the home of the Crafts, was amazed at the social isolation, the rigorous application to a severe regimen of work which her aunt had imposed upon herself. Moreover, she resented a firm guidance which her aunt directed over her. All would have been made simple, beautiful, and acceptable had Ellen been able to imbibe the tenets of the faith which had healed her. But these she rejected. She returned to Tilton and ever after scoffed at the very mention of Christian Science. It was she who prevented her aunt Abigail in her last sickness from sending for Mary. She would turn pale with resentment when reminded that she had herself been lifted from a critical illness by her aunt. Her antipathy amounted to a passion, and is related with wonder by old neighbors. It is but another instance of many remarkable antagonisms which Christian Science healing has given rise to through its very unanswerableness. Ellen Pillsbury appeared to resent the notion that she was made to be a living witness of its power. She acted as the final disintegrating factor in Mary Baker’s home relations.

Shortly after Ellen Pillsbury returned to Tilton, Mary Baker severed her relations with the Crafts, inding that no further good could be done along the lines of procedure she had marked out with them. Mrs. Crafts was a confirmed Spiritualist, and after a very temporary lull in her resistance to Christian Science she renewed her opposition with all the energy of a narrow mind and found countless ways of expressing her resistance. Mary Baker went to Lynn for a short visit with the Winslows. She explained to them her desire for a quiet home in which she could write and work out her great problem. They suggested that she go to Amesbury and their reasons were clear. They were Quakers. In Amesbury, a quiet little town in the extreme Northeast corner of Massachusetts, situated on the Merrimac River, nine miles from the sea, dwelt the great Quaker poet, Whittier. It was natural for them to suggest this as an admirable place for literary seclusion. It was a quiet, peaceful village with historic tradition. The Winslows had friends there to whom they commended Mrs. Glover, as she was now called by her own request.

But to the Quakers she did not go. It will be remembered that the Winslows were disquietly affected by her ideas, even after being convinced of their healing power. They had told her if she persisted in presenting such doctrine she would be thought insane. This was also the opinion of a Unitarian clergyman and his wife. It was not in Mary Baker’s heart to arouse such opposition further or to carelessly enter another environment of resistance. She now turned her footsteps to the home of an elderly Spiritualist woman of whom she had heard much.

Mrs. Eddy has told the author that her frequent removals during this period from one residence to another was due to the revolutionary character of her teaching. She found that Spiritualists revealed a greater willingness than others to receive truth, and she wanted to teach; she was ready to teach whomsoever would accept her doctrine. It was to the simple-minded that she was constrained to address herself and to the simplest society. How these uneducated and simple folk were variously wrought upon to receive and reject her compels the narration of many painful episodes. Of these Mary Baker was not unduly mindful. Mrs. Eddy has but recently pointed out to the author that the assaults of the trivial-minded counted for but little in comparison with the kind words of the nobly serious who, differing from her in belief, differed according to their honor and nobility. Of these Bronson Alcott was one who came to her in her darkest hour with the words, “I have come to comfort you.”

It was at the home of Mrs. Nathaniel Webster that Mrs. Glover applied for board. Mrs. Webster lived alone in a three-story house of some fifteen rooms at the foot of Merrimac street near the river. Her husband, a retired sea-captain, was at that time a superintendent of cotton mills in Manchester, and was away from home except for an occasional Sunday’s visit. With open heart and open arms Mrs. Webster received the religionist. She had a sympathetic and hospitable nature, and moreover an inquiring mind. She was agreeably impressed when Mary Baker told her that she was engaged on a very erious work and that her work required reflection and solitude. She explained to her that she was writing, but did not further enter upon a discussion of her ideas at the time. They came to an agreement for modest terms and Mrs. Webster gave her a large chamber at the Southeast corner on the second floor. Here she had sunlight and a view of the river.

The winter and part of the following summer were spent very quietly. These two women were placidly content together. If “Mother” Webster was inclined to discuss Spiritualistic “phenomena” this was not a new experience for Mary Baker. She had listened to these ideas before and in many instances had shown rare toleration, even as she did in this case. In some of their conversations Mrs. Glover endeavored to lead Mrs. Webster into an understanding of the Science of Mind. But the elderly woman showed but little comprehension. She so far failed to understand her as to think that Mrs. Glover was writing a revision of the Bible. Mrs. Webster had numerous guests of her own faith; many invalids came to her for a resting-place. With these Mrs. Glover sometimes mingled and performed not a few cures. These simple people came to speak of her with awe and reverence, and the rumor went abroad that a woman was living at Mrs. Webster’s who could perform miracles. When walking along the river banks on pleasant summer evenings with Mother Webster, Mrs. Glover attracted the villagers’ attention. Young people loitering on the bridge would gaze at her curiously, half xpecting to see Mrs. Glover walk upon the water of the river. Such incidents made this sojourn in Amesbury a mingled experience. Seeking absolute retirement, she was forced to endure a somewhat unpleasant notoriety through the volubleness of the kindly old soul with whom she made her home.

What she was writing at this time was comments on the Scriptures, setting forth their spiritual interpretation, the Science of the Bible, and laying the foundation of her future book. Of these writings she said:

If these notes and comments, which have never been read by any one but myself, were published, they would show that after my discovery of the absolute Science of Mind-healing, like all great truths, this spiritual Science developed itself to me until “Science and Health” was written. These early comments are valuable to me as waymarks of progress, which I would not have effaced. (“Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 42.)

This quiet work and spiritual unfoldment came to an abrupt halt in this home through the return to the house of a son of her hostess. In sardonic reminiscence the son has related that in spite of his mother’s protests he dragged Mrs. Glover’s trunk out upon the front veranda, ejected her into the night and storm, and locked the door upon her. He has explained that he wished to clear his mother’s house of strangers that his vacation might be agreeable. This is a startling account of a ruffianly act which almost any man would hesitate to tell of himself, and it gives rise to the question as to what really happened there that so unmannerly a deed should be unblushingly proclaimed.

As a matter of fact the incident did not occur as related by descendants of the family. There was cause for much offense, but the cause decidedly lay not with Mrs. Glover. She left the house of her own volition, left it with the same composure that she had first entered it. And her leaving was justifiable. A lady who was a guest of the house at the time accompanied her and together they went to the home of Miss Sarah Bagley. Here arrangements were made for Mrs. Glover’s entertainment for the time being, as she expected shortly to return to Stoughton.

Miss Bagley’s home, while simple and modest, was nevertheless a home of refinement, a place admirably adapted for a quiet and studious life, and some months later Mrs. Glover returned and passed a winter with her. The house was an old homestead built by Squire Lowell Bagley. It is standing today, just below the hill clothed with cedar and pine on which the poet Whittier lies buried after living for fifty years in the quiet old town. Across the way and a little further up the street was the home of Valentine Bagley, who had been a sea-captain. Once in his wanderings he had been a cast-away in Arabia. Suffering tortures of thirst in the desert, he resolved, if he reached home, to dig a well by the wayside, that no passer-by should ever want for water. This well was dug and Whittier, hearing the story, wrote his poem on the “Captain’s Well.” Indeed, the town is full of the legends of the past hich Whittier immortalized, of witches sent to Salem to be tried and put to death, of Friends deported or hounded across the boundaries. Historic old mansions built in the seventeenth century still stand upon the street.

When Squire Bagley died the townspeople were much surprised that he had not left a fortune to his daughters. He had led a retired life for a number of years and given his daughters a good education. Miss Sarah Bagley, however, found it necessary, when her father’s affairs were settled, to teach school for an income, and Whittier was one of her first committee-men. With him she had very pleasant associations. She taught for several terms and then remained at home to be with her sister who was not strong. They opened a small-wares shop in their home which stood so close to the street as to make it convenient. But in spite of these occupations which Miss Bagley found it necessary to take upon herself, and though she did some sewing in connection with tending her shop, it is an injustice to her memory to speak of her as the village dressmaker or school-teacher with a show of condescension. She was well read and cultivated, a friend of Whittier, and regarded by him as a gifted woman. She was able to perform the service of bringing Mary Baker Eddy and John Greenleaf Whittier together in one or two significant though unrecorded meetings.

When Mrs. Glover came into this home quietly and composedly on a stormy evening of the late summer of 1868, after the unpleasant episode at the Websters’, she brought with her new life and new nterests to the somewhat gray and saddened existence of the maiden daughter of the old squire whose fortunes had faded. Miss Bagley had been a Universalist and had become a Spiritualist in religious belief, but she soon became interested in Mrs. Glover’s doctrine. She was an agreeable companion who needed only the living touch of sympathy and interest to waken her from the apathy into which her dreary round of duties had drawn her. Mrs. Glover taught her the elements of Christian Science, for it must be remembered that she had not yet definitively grasped this Science herself.

After Mrs. Glover left her they corresponded for over two years, until Mrs. Glover returned again to live with her and teach her to heal. This event changed her whole subsequent life. She laid aside her needle and closed her shop, devoting herself to practising the healing art. She earned her living for twenty years as a practitioner and laid aside sufficient to keep her in comfort for the last ten years of her life during seven of which she was afflicted with semi-blindness. But Sarah Bagley was never a Christian Scientist. She did not follow her teacher out of the maze into the bright light of complete understanding. She refused, as did another student, to lay aside mesmerism and confused her practise with such doctrines.

While living in Stoughton with the Crafts, Mrs. Glover met Mrs. Sally Wentworth, who brought her daughter to her to be healed of consumption. Mrs. Wentworth invited Mrs. Glover to come and live with her, and wrote her while she was in Amesbury, epeating the request. Mrs. Glover now accepted the invitation, and was a member of the Wentworth household for about two years. This household was composed of father and mother, a son and daughter, and a married son who occasionally visited the house. The daughter, Lucy Wentworth, was a girl of fourteen; the brother Charles, a little older, was a high school boy, and the oldest son Horace, was a journeyman shoemaker, of a happy-go-lucky disposition, much averse to religious discussions.

In complying with Mrs. Wentworth’s earnest appeal that she should make her home with them and teach her Mind-science, Mary Baker did not entirely realize the conditions she was to encounter. Mrs. Wentworth was a domestic-minded woman, not over gifted with intellectuality, but of a receptive and teachable nature. She had been a practical nurse and had gone out to the sick of the neighborhood for years. But she was a Spiritualist, and believed in rubbing the limbs of her patients to give them comfort. She had eagerly drunk in all that Mary Baker had imparted to her of Mind-healing when she met her at the Crafts’, and thought she could combine this with her nursing and massage to make her a more practical healer.

From the very start Mary Baker had to disabuse her mind of such a hope. She talked to her of the fallacy of such a procedure, often illustrating by her experience with Phineas Quimby. In just what way this doctrine of rubbing and clairvoyantly reading the patients’ minds was inimicable to a cure in Mind-science Mary Baker did not herself at hat time know. Hence she could not authoritatively govern Mrs. Wentworth in her thinking. Mrs. Wentworth was inclined to the Quimby method and Mary Baker had not found herself sufficiently to gainsay her predilection. She told Mrs. Wentworth freely all that she knew of Quimby’s method, but she herself worked on her own ideas, writing for hours in her room, struggling with the conflicting theories.

Mrs. Glover had with her a manuscript which she had prepared while at Portland under the sway of Quimby’s thought. Mrs. Wentworth wanted to copy this. She found in it certain comfort for her Spiritualistic leanings. Mrs. Glover did not refuse it to her, but felt so uncertain of its character that she did not want her to circulate it and made her promise to keep it only for her own perusal. Not yet certain enough to absolutely condemn it, she gravely doubted the statements which she had herself penned at an earlier date while still under Quimby’s influence.

Now, as has been said, Mary Baker was engaged on a manuscript concerning the spiritual significance of the Scripture. On this she was devoting the closest thought, endeavoring to make clear the apprehensions of pure spiritual doctrine. Mrs. Wentworth, as Mrs. Webster had done, spoke of this as Mrs. Glover’s Bible. So the family gossiped among themselves and came to speak of the manuscript Mary Baker loaned Mrs. Wentworth as the “Quimby” manuscript, and the one she was at work on as “Mrs. Glover’s Bible.” Horace Wentworth, the shoemaker, visiting home, caught up these phrases ith the readiness of a jocular and jeering temperament. He had an able second in all his jests and gibes in the person of a cousin, a gay-hearted, mirth-loving girl, given to mimicry. Between them they tormented the patient mother with a burlesque of her work.

Mary Baker was never a witness of these hilarious scenes. She kept rather strict hours at her desk, varying her work with recreation of a suitable nature. She lived for nearly two years in this village surrounded with wooded hills. She knew well its quiet walks and inspiring vistas. In her room she wrote assiduously and spent many hours in meditation and prayer. Her relations with the two children living at home, as well as with the father and mother, were cordial and agreeable. Far from being a recluse, she welcomed the children to her room when not engaged with her writing, and made their joys and sorrows her own. The daughter Lucy was particularly devoted to her.

“I loved her,” Lucy Wentworth told the author, “because she made me love her. She was beautiful and had a good influence over me. I used to be with her every minute that she was not writing or otherwise engaged. And I was very jealous of her book. We talked and read together and took long walks in the country. I idolized her and really suffered when she locked her door to work and would not let me come to her. After she had worked for hours she always relaxed and threw off her seriousness. Then she would admit us, my brother Charles and me, and sometimes a school friend of Charles. The oys would romp in her room sometimes rather boisterously, but she never seemed to mind it. Our times together alone were quieter. When she finally left our house it seemed to me my heart would break.

“But a coolness grew up in the family toward our guest. I don’t know how it came about. My father thought she absorbed my mother too much and that she was weaning me away from them. Perhaps she was unconsciously, for she made a great deal of me. Yet her influence over me was always for good. We read good books and talked of spiritual things. She loved nature; she was cultivated and well-bred. Her manners seemed to me so beautiful that I imitated her in everything. I never missed any one as I missed her. She said good-by to me with great affection, held me in her arms and looked long into my eyes. ‘You, too, will turn against me some day, Lucy,’ she said. And if I have seemed to, did I not have reason? Why did she never write to me? I have never heard from her, not one word since she left our house thirty-five years ago.”

It was not in Mary Baker’s nature to wean a child from its parents. She had had her own heart-breaking experience of this herself. Her experiences with the Crafts, taught her to avoid in the future a too close mingling with another family. And her conclusions were based on just analysis of human nature. Richard Kennedy of Boston, an early student of Mrs. Eddy, in commenting upon her relations with this family, made these observations to he author in explaining the situation there and elsewhere when Mrs. Eddy was working out her religious statement:

The Wentworths were well enough in their way, as were the Crafts with whom Mrs. Eddy lived at an earlier period, and the Websters of Amesbury. It was an unfortunate fact that Mrs. Eddy with her small income was obliged to live with people very often at this time in her life who were without education and cultivation. It was never her custom to keep apart from the family. She invariably mingled with them and through them kept in touch with the world. She had a great work to do; she was possessed by her purpose and like Paul the apostle, and many another great teacher and leader, she reiterated to herself, “This one thing I do.” Of course simple-minded people who take life as it comes from day to day find any one with so fixed an object in life a rebuke to the flow of their own animal spirits. Mrs. Wentworth was what old-fashioned New Englanders call “clever,” that is to say, kind-hearted. She looked well after the creature comforts of those under her roof. Lucy was a spirituelle young girl, Charles was a sensible, lively boy, but Horace was something of a scoffer, without any leanings toward religious inquiry.

Horace Wentworth, the scoffer, has in late years done more than scoff at the memory of his mother’s guest. He has made allegations of a grave nature against Mary Baker Eddy. He has said that in leaving his father’s house Mrs. Glover maliciously slashed the matting and tried to set the house afire by putting live coals on a pile of papers. He has gossiped after this manner for many years, and finding hat his stories went well in the village square, he eventually told them to newspaper correspondents and saw them printed in the metropolitan press. The apparent foundation for such slanderous gossip is that children playing roughly in Mrs. Glover’s room tore the matting with their heavy shoes, and some dead ashes were laid on a newspaper to be removed with the rubbish. There was no thought of serious unpleasantness when Mrs. Glover left his father’s home, nor dared this son speak against his mother’s teacher so long as his mother lived.

But the scoffings of the son and the mimicry and mockery of his cousin Kate did create a discord in the home which came to wear on Mrs. Glover’s mind. She frequently overheard the wordy and worldly clamor in the rooms down-stairs. She heard the harsh laughter and mincing mimicry; she heard the passionate defense made of her by the young daughter Lucy; she heard Mrs. Wentworth sharply reprimanding her eldest son with the words, “If ever there was a saint on earth it is Mrs. Glover.” She heard the father interfere with a tolerant plea for his boy. The house was too small for her to live in unmindful of these indiscreet wranglings.

There seemed to be a hopeless division in the family over her, her personality, her teaching, her interpretation of the Bible. This division of opinion threatened to become a serious cause of difference in an otherwise united family. Mary Baker made up her mind one evening, after reading a letter from Miss Bagley, that she would return to the quiet home f this cultivated maiden lady in Amesbury and go on with her work where she would be less disturbed and in no way the cause of discussion.

But it was not Mary Baker’s idea of good-breeding to break off long-established relations rudely or with recrimination. She recognized the limitations of this family; she knew what she had to do and that she must be about it. She acquainted Mr. and Mrs. Wentworth with her intentions and her leave-taking was made with courteous attentions on both her part and theirs. She was escorted to the train by the elder Mr. Wentworth, who carried her bag and wraps. He found her a comfortable seat in the train and shook hands with her with expressions of regret at parting. This may not be as romantic an account as that of Horace Wentworth, who, from long embellishment of his reminiscences, came to say that his family had gone from home and that Mrs. Glover, ever strewing a newspaper with smoking coals, fled clandestinely. However, the sober facts are that the leave-taking was quite devoid of adventure and as decorous as usual with well-behaved personages.

Returning to Amesbury in the fall of 1870, Mary Baker spent the winter completing certain manuscripts and teaching two students. These students were Sarah Bagley and Richard Kennedy. Kennedy was a young man a little past his majority, who boarded at the Captain Webster house where Mrs. Glover had previously lived. He had a small box factory in the town, employing a few hands and earning for himself a good living. He was alert and ctive, clean-minded and clear-headed, and Mrs. Glover readily accepted him with Miss Bagley as a student. The winter evenings were passed in conversation on metaphysics. The Socratic method of teaching was necessarily adopted by Mrs. Glover, as she had as yet no text-book. These early talks were later systematized, the dissertations were dignified into the form of lectures. And these lectures some of her early students declare to have been illuminating and inspirational beyond valuing in money.

Her dissertations as well as her writings were beginning to unseal the fountains of her inspiration. She had arrived by this winter’s work at a clear standpoint. She could now definitely wrap in words the spiritual concepts which had before been elusive and intangible. She was beginning to lay hold of the technical processes of her work. From this standpoint she lifted her eyes to a far horizon. The work now opened up before her, the work of promulgation.

By the spring of 1870 she had completed a manuscript which she entitled “The Science of Man.” This manuscript was copyrighted but not published until some time later. “I did not venture upon this publication until later,” she says, “having learned that the merits of Christian Science must be proven before a work on this subject could be profitably published.” (“Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 53.)

It was first issued as a pamphlet and is advertised in the first number of the Christian Science Journal. It was later converted into the chapter Recapitulation, embraced in later editions of “Science and Health.” It contains the fundamental principles of Christian Science and its simplest comprehensive tenet, the scientific statement of being. With this manuscript completed she knew that she could teach the science and extend her work, that the time was ripe for harvest.

Through four successive years she had labored carefully, patiently, earnestly, writing and rewriting, while the truth grew in her understanding. It is no refutation of her sublime discovery in 1866 or of her divine guidance in preparing and presenting its principles that the work was a growth and did not spring full blown into her mind. Mary Baker Eddy could never have made her discover in 1866 had she not been prepared for it by long application to spiritual inquiry. Nor would she have written “Science and Health” had she not labored long and with perfect submission to imperative spiritual guidance. The preparation for the discovery is shown by the fact of her childhood and young womanhood and, as this narrative reveals, her statement of long preparation is sustained by the fact of her life. She says: “From my very childhood I was impelled by a hunger and thirst after divine things, — a desire for something higher and better than matter – to seek diligently for the knowledge of God, as the one great and ever-present relief from human woe.”1

With regard to important dates in her memory concerning the portents of what was to be revealed “Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 47.

to her she says: “As long ago as 1844 I was convinced that mortal mind produced all disease and that the various medical systems were in no sense scientific. In 1862, when I first visited Mr. Quimby, I was proclaiming to druggists, Spiritualists, and mesmerists that science must govern all healing.”1

Her life, her acts, her conversations all sustain this statement, though mortal mind belongs to the terminology in later years. Before meeting Quimby the conception of that which “sins, suffers, dies” was growing in her thought, though as a vague apprehension. While in Groton she astounded the old man who visited her to pray with her by rising to meet him in no other strength than a faith groping blindly. In Rumney she healed the diseased eyes of a child instantaneously, and as a further proof that she was acquiring a more definite hold of this great truth, she was herself healed by her own religiosity while under Quimby’s magnetic treatment and in spite of his manipulations. No one should be confused by these facts concerning the definite discovery in . Mrs. Eddy says: “The first spontaneous motion of Truth and Love, acting through Christian Science on my roused consciousness, banished at once and forever the fundamental error of faith in things material; for this trust is the unseen sin, the unknown foe, — the heart’s untamed desire, which breaketh the divine commandments.”2

If she was thus prepared for her discovery, indeed re-prepared after experiencing magnetism by an act Christian Science Journal, 1887.

2 “Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 48.

of providence, that her healing might be clear and definite, then we may believe she was by the same gradual process prepared for the writing of her book. Again it is best to take her own words for a description of the attuning of her faculties. She says:

Naturally, my first jottings were but efforts to express in feeble diction Truth’s ultimate... As sweet music ripples in one’s first thoughts of it like the brooklet in its meandering midst pebbles and rocks, before the mind can duly express it to the ear, — so the harmony of Divine Science, first broke upon my sense, before gathering experience and confidence to articulate it. Its natural manifestation is beautiful, and euphonious, but its written expression increases in power, and perfection, under the guidance of the great master.1

1 “Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 43.


WITH the coming of spring in the year 1870 Mrs. Glover’s thoughts were definitely shaped for the work before her. She had decided to return to the city of Lynn and take up the teaching of Divine Science. She had the manuscript, “The Science of Man,” for a basis. From a worldly standpoint her resources were meager. Her small income had been carefully husbanded, but she had in hand only a modest sum for capital with which to venture into a city and rent rooms. Her wardrobe too was scanty, carefully preserved though it had been. That she was invariably neat and attractive in appearance is in itself a statement suggestive of a miracle. That she had had shelter, food, and clothing for four years on an income of two hundred dollars per annum, and had nowhere incurred the charge of charitable entertainment, and that she had all that time worked assiduously at her intellectual and spiritual problems is one of the mysteries of the possibilities of poverty, fully as beautiful in its revelation as the glory of opulence.

Richard Kennedy, the young man who with Miss Bagley had received her instruction during the winter, had no mind to leave his teacher. He had become so imbued with enthusiasm for the Science e had been studying that he wished to practise it, and he wished to begin his practise in the larger field of Lynn. He conceived the idea of accompanying his teacher and practising under her guidance. He talked it over with Mrs. Glover many times, joining her when she took her evening walk along the river at sunset, and eagerly setting forth his plans for mutual work. It was his desire to be under Mrs. Glover’s supervision, taking the burden of practise entirely on his shoulders and leaving her free to teach and write. He also believed that he could reliever her of many business cares. He had some capital, and so sensible was he of the enlightenment he had received that he was quite ready to risk his savings and to agree to share equally with Mrs. Glover in any income which he might derive from the practise of Mind Science.

Mrs. Glover was not so ready to enter into this agreement with her young student. He had an unblemished reputation, had honorably conducted himself toward her with the chivalrous devotion of a son to a mother; but he was untried in the ways of life, there had been no test put upon him such as she well knew lay before him if he took up the work with her. She knew the city of Lynn, its somewhat harsh industrialism, its free intermingling of the sexes in the factory life, and the nearby temptations of Boston – all very different from the village life of Amesbury.

“Richard,” she said to him, laying a hand upon his shoulder and looking searchingly into his frank, boyish face, “this is a very spiritual life that Mind

Science exacts, and the world offers many alluring temptations. You know but little of them as yet. If you follow me you must cross swords with the world. Are you spiritually-minded enough to take up my work and stand by it?”

Richard Kennedy thought he was. His eagerness and enthusiasm carried the day. Accordingly he accompanied Mrs. Glover to Lynn and they stopped at the home of Mrs. Oliver until they could make arrangements for offices and living rooms. Mr. Kennedy soon found a desirable apartment in a three-story building at the corner of South Common and Shepard streets, a little out of the business district and yet within easy walking distance of the main thoroughfares. This building stands there to-day, but has been crowded in between more recent buildings and does not have the attractive appearance that it had forty years ago.

The house was then a gable-roofed frame structure, surrounded by lawns and shade trees. The open space across the way was a large park, Lynn Common, lined with stately trees. The open view, good air, and commodious interior of the house made it an attractive place. Miss Susie Magoun had but recently leased the place for a private school for young girls, and she used the first floor for this purpose and the third floor for her own sleeping apartments. She was a good business woman, but quite young and somewhat nervous about her extensive financial obligations. When young Kennedy called on her one evening early in June, she was looking over the building and beginning o feel apprehensive about her second floor and what sort of tenants she would be likely to have there. The young misses who were to come there for grammar studies and the accomplishments of music, painting, and dancing were the daughters of the wealthier families of Lynn. It was necessary that her tenants should be desirable persons.

Accordingly Miss Susie Magoun was pleased when Richard Kennedy explained that he was a physician who would practise mental healing and that he was in partnership with a lady who taught moral science and was writing a book on her system. She thought it prudent, however, to reserve her decision until she saw the lady, who might be a Spiritualist and the mental healing resolve itself into trances and seances. All this doubt was swept away in her meeting with Mrs. Glover, to whom she straightway put those doubts into questions. Mrs. Glover unreservedly told her the facts, stating that she did not hold to any such views or practises. Her quiet, well-bred manner reassured the little school-mistress, who forthwith let her second floor of five rooms to Mrs. Glover and Mr. Kennedy for offices and sleeping rooms. She presently found her tenant so agreeable that she persuaded an old friend to come to live with her and open a dining-room for them all in the house. Thereafter the family took their meals together.

Of Mrs. Glover’s religious views the school-mistress remained unenlightened beyond these first explanations and the fact that she attended church regularly. Indeed they rented a pew together at the

Unitarian church a few doors away on South Common street. The Rev. Samuel B. Stewart was the clergyman at the time. Why Miss Magoun should have withheld herself from a knowledge of Mrs. Glover’s teaching is a matter of relatively small importance, yet it has some relation to the events of the succeeding months. She was young, social, and of a lively disposition. To her Mrs. Glover seemed somber, serious, austere. On the contrary, the young doctor, as Kennedy was now called, entered more into her plans. He took part in some of her social affairs. They met upon the same plane. It was he who paid the rent; it was he who would perform and errand for her in the city; it was he who exchanged the gossip of the hour with her. Indeed Richard Kennedy was little more inclined than was their hostess to accept the austerities of Christian Science.

The rooms which Mrs. Glover had taken were fitted up very plainly, for she had well learned the severe lesson of plain living and high thinking. She formed her first class in Mind Science shortly after they were settled. Her first pupils came from the shoe shops. Patients came in response to the modest sign which was put up outside the door. Mrs. Glover advised and instructed her associate in giving treatment. Meanwhile she continued her writing in her own rooms. The treatment interested the more speculative of the patients and they sought Mrs. Glover to talk with her and learn of this new Science. Thus the first students were gathered around her.

It is not possible to draw a picture of those first classes in Mind Science that will appeal to a sense of the beautiful. The students who were drawn to gather were workers; their hands were stained with the leather and tools of the day’s occupation; their narrow lives had been cramped mentally and physically. Their thoughts were often no more elevated than their bodies were beautiful. They could not come to Mrs. Glover in the daytime, for their days were full of toil. At night, then, these first classes met, and it was in the heat of July and August. In the barely furnished upper chamber a lamp was burning which added somewhat to the heat and threw weird shadows over the faces gathered round a plain deal table. Insects buzzed at the windows, and from the common over the way the hum of the careless and free, loosed from the shops in the park, invaded the quiet of the room. Yet that quiet was permeated by the voice of a teacher at whose words the hearts of those workmen burned within them. “The light which never was on land or sea” was made to shine there in that humble upper chamber.

I have said this picture was not beautiful, yet it appeals to the deepest and highest sense of beauty, that sense through which the heart receives impression. Mrs. Baker laid her finger upon the central motive of life those summer evenings forty years ago, and the response was a spiritual thrill which vibrated through consciousness to the circumference of the world’s horizon, not immediately, but gradually, persistently as the years passed. And that moment of xquisite tenderness, evoked in the humble upper chamber, seems destined to swell into an eon, where time melts into eternity; for it was in such a moment that the understanding of divine consciousness was imparted. God is no respecter of persons, St. Peter discovered. He had seen the despised Nazarene impart this consciousness to the fishermen on the shores of Galilee. The shoe-worker from his dingy bench, his foul-smelling glues and leathers, the whirr and clangor of machinery, saw the walls of his limitation melt, and experienced the inrush of being where the lilies of annunciation spring.

To these students Mary Baker was not somber, austere, or formidable. She was invariably interested and interesting, possessing a sympathy which went deep down to the heart of things. She rebuked sin and sickness alike and there was an invariableness about her queries and her eyes which searched their lives. Some could not endure such testing and fell away; others stood fast and experienced amazing results in their lives. There were healings of consumption, of tumor, of dropsy, and other extreme cases of disease made by these students, and such results were so amazing to the students that some of them were confounded by their very success.

One of her first students was George Tuttle, the brother of a woman whom Richard Kennedy, directed by Mrs. Glover, had healed of tuberculosis in an advanced stage. George Tuttle was a stalwart young seaman who had just returned from a cruise to Calcutta. It is said that he was asked what he hought he would get out of Mrs. Glover’s class in metaphysics. He replied that he didn’t think about it at all, that he joined because his sister asked him to. When he actually cured a girl of dropsy as a result of his first grappling with Mind Science, he was so surprised and frightened that he washed his hands of it forever.

It was not by overstating what Mrs. Glover had taught them, but by misstating her teaching, through misapprehension or through wilful distortion, that some of these earlier students became ineffectual and subsequently, through chagrin, were entirely estranged from the cause which they had at first so ardently espoused. One of the rebellious students was Charles S. Stanley, brother-in-law of the seaman Tuttle. He was a shoe-worker and a Baptist. The healing of his wife had led him to seek admittance to the class Mrs. Glover was conducting. After some questioning she admitted him, only to find him argumentative, controversial, determined to discuss dogma from the standpoint of a Baptist rather than a Christian. In the class were men and women, mostly shoe-workers. These students had various religious creeds; there were Methodists, Unitarians, Universalists, and others. The controversial Baptist affected the harmony of a class where other members had risen above creed into the consideration of pure Christianity. His arguments recurred from day to day until Stanley broke away from Mrs. Glover’s teaching without completing her course of instruction. Indeed she dismissed him for lack of teachableness, though he insisted he knew all there as of Mind Science. He practised without her sanction and with indifferent success for a time and later became a homeopathic physician.

Wallace W. Wright, a bank accountant, came to grief in his practise of Mind Science. He was the son of a Universalist clergyman of Lynn, and a brother of Carroll D. Wright, who afterward became United States Commissioner of Labor. His relations with Mrs. Glover were interesting because the rock upon which he struck was not superstition, as in the case of Tuttle, or dogma, as in the case of Stanley, but psychology. He precipitated a discussion which finally led Mrs. Glover to draw the line sharply between mesmerism and Mind Science, to indicate once and for all what Quimbyism was, what mesmerism is, and to rid her practising students of the custom of laying hands upon their patients.

Wright had entered her class with some intellectual perturbation but left it with enthusiasm. When he had completed the course he began to practise in Lynn and later he carried his work elsewhere with success, which continued so long as he was an obedient follower. But he began to alter in his mental attitude and to question the spirituality of what he was doing. He began to believe he was practising mesmerism. Thereupon his power to cure began to wane, until he lost it utterly. He wrote of his peculiar experience to a Lynn paper which published his letter. He said:

The 9th of last June found me in Knoxville, Tennessee, as assistant to a former student. We met with good success in a majority of our cases ut some of them utterly refused to yield to the treatment. Soon after settling in Knoxville I began to question the propriety of calling the treatment “Moral Science” instead of mesmerism. Away from the influence of argument which the teacher of this so-called science knows how to bring to bear upon students with such force as to outweigh any attempts they may make at the time to oppose it, I commenced to think more independently, and to argue with myself as to the truth of the positions we were called upon to take. The result of this course was to convince me that I had studied the science of mesmerism.1

Thus was summed up in a phrase the evil which had stalked like a shadow in the wake of Mary Baker’s religious investigation of years. The science of mesmerism, following upon the heels of Divine Science, was dogging and menacing it, threatening to worry and tear to pieces the good that was done. It explained in a word all her long struggle with Quimbyism; it explained the dereliction of those who had been earnest for a time and the interference of her students’ relations which had exhibited peculiarly baleful effects on her teachings. The full significance of hypnotism and mental suggestion did not come to her at once, though with that student’s explanation of his failure dawned the first clear vista of animal magnetism.

The result of this letter was soon evident in Mrs. Glover’s life and affairs. It was not that Wright had abandoned the cause. Wright was bound to go by his very nature; intellectual self-sufficiency Lynn Transcript, January 13, 1872.

and scholarly pride were certain to claim him. He had a brief controversy with five of Mrs. Glover’s students through the medium of the Lynn papers in which he called upon Mrs. Glover to walk on the water, raise the dead, and live without air and nourishment. Then retiring from the controversy, he exultantly declared that Mrs. Glover and her science were dead and buried.

Mrs. Glover minded this no more than if, as she said to a woman student, he should declare he could dip the Atlantic dry. Such harassing of herself and work she had learned to expect and knew that it was not vital. As for Tuttle, the superstitious, who dropped Mind Science because it worked results which frightened him, he was not worthy of more than a passing smile; and Stanley, whose grievance was a most confused demand for a personal God, anatomy, and manuscripts, exhibiting a virulent case of acquisitiveness together with the fear that he was being duped, was annoying but negligible. It was no one of these three students who seriously affected Mrs. Glover’s work.

The test of Mind Science came actually and vitally in the mental attitude of Kennedy. She had accepted him as a co-worker with some hesitation. He was in the relation to her of a chosen disciple. To him she had expounded more deeply and intimately the physically inscrutable and intangible apprehensions of truth than to any other student. When this vision of the working of mesmerism came to her so clearly in January of 1872, she would have defined it to him. But when she came to do so, he beheld Kennedy remove himself from her tutelage. He was blind, deaf, and immovable. He was incapable of perceiving what she would have pointed out to him, and revealed himself as never having comprehended the nature of Mind Science and to be actually working with the processes of mesmerism and the hypnotic action of mental suggestion.

That Kennedy actually could not or would not understand that a line of cleavage separated Mind Science from mesmerism Mary Baker now realized. She realized it with sorrow, because of himself and because he had practised in her name. She had taught him principle, but had permitted him to make use of the method of laying his hands upon his patients. So she had permitted Hiram Crafts, Mrs. Wentworth, and Miss Bagley. The results now shown were personal, magnetic, confusing. In Kennedy’s case, it now appeared, he had surrounded himself with a bevy of patients who were not seeing truth but Kennedy. Through such methods and practises the pure doctrine of divine healing was liable to become a byword.

Some years later a suit was brought in her name, though without her consent, against Tuttle and Stanley for the object of collecting unpaid tuition. At the trial all three of these students, Tuttle, Stanley, and Kennedy, exhibited unreservedly their utter lack of comprehension of the first postulate of Mind Science. But Kennedy in particular, out of his own mouth, proved himself incapable of grasping it. In his testimony, which was preserved in the notes of the presiding judge, he said:

I went to Lynn to practise with Mrs. Eddy. Our partnership was only in the practise, not in teaching. I practised healing the sick by physical manipulation. This mode was operating upon the head, giving vigorous rubbing. This was a part of her system that I learned. The special thing that she was to teach me was the science of healing by soul power. I have never been able to come to a knowledge of that principle. She gave me a great deal of instruction of the so-called principle, but I have not been able to understand it... I was there at the time Stanley was there. I made the greatest effort to practise upon her principle and I have never had any proof that I had attained to it.1

This statement made in court many years later was the fact revealed in the spring of 1872. It was the cause of the separation of Mary Baker and Richard Kennedy. Stated as he expressed himself in court it sounds very simple to a worldling. And as Mr. Kennedy related the cause of his separation from Mrs. Glover to the author, it appears a reasonable and ordinary event. He said their separation was not due to a quarrel but to a gradual divergence of views. He continued practising physical manipulation and has continued until this day. He claims to have no knowledge of Christian Science, having never read the text-book and failing to comprehend the spiritual significance of what he had been taught by word of mouth.

This divergence of view, that culminated in the severance of their relations, was developing for McClure’s Magazine, May, 1907.

several months. The schoolmistress, Miss Susie Magoun, had married and gone to live elsewhere. A new tenant was in the house. Mr. Kennedy’s social life in Lynn had prospered through Miss Magoun’s introductions. His youth, charm, and affable address had made him happy in the acquisition of some influential acquaintances. And when the day came on which Mrs. Glover and he mutually destroyed their contract he went his way quite content. Looked at from a purely worldly standpoint he had been honorable and had not wronged his teacher.

But Richard Kennedy, as a student, had absorbed a great deal of her time, and as a practitioner he had absorbed a great deal more. This was relatively unimportant; the vital injustice was that he had misrepresented her Science to a large number of patients and was to misrepresent her for many years. Perhaps he had done this unconsciously, even as he was the unconscious agent in the precipitation of her struggle with the counterfeit of her Science. Animal magnetism had to be apprehended, defined, and stamped as the “human concept.” Doubtless it was as well that the struggle should be precipitated through him as another.

The conflict of opinion between these two resulted in fixing the purpose of Mary Baker to write a text-book. She had thus far taught Mind Science by lectures and by writing out manuscripts for students. She distributed such manuscripts unsparingly. These were copies of “The Science of Man,” which had been copyrighted, and also disquisitions on the

Scriptures. She had encouraged her students to write their own conceptions of certain portions of the Scriptures, to stimulate them to deeper research. This practise she discontinued. She saw that they were not fitted to do such work any more than Kennedy was fitted to make his own deductions. Upon her it rested to do the work, and to guard her doctrine with the utmost zeal from contamination and adulteration.

When Mary Baker began to rid herself completely of the relics of the influence which Quimby had exerted over her mind, she ordered all her students to desist from stroking the head while treating patients mentally. She herself had never laid hands on a patient to heal him, but she had permitted her students to practise by this method. Seeing that the method was not in accordance with the principle of Divine Science, she wished all her students to discontinue its practise. Now it was that Richard Kennedy absolutely rebelled and left her; not it was that Miss Bagley of Amesbury refused to be guided by her. Wallace W. Wright had already come to grief by the use of the method. Mary Baker denounced it once and forever. From the spring of 1872 manipulation, or physical contact of any sort, had no part in Christian Science. And so at that early date she substantiated the Science of Man and Divine healing.


HER application of her purpose from 1872 to 1875 was more rigid, more exclusive, more laborious than it had ever been. Her experience in Stoughton and Amesbury had yielded the “Science of Man” manuscript and also certain commentaries on the Bible. Now the book which she purposed writing was to contain the complete statement of Christian Science. It was the book and nothing but the book which engrossed her. These three years saw her in public rarely, except for the walks she took by the sea, those visits to the Red Rocks where she used to linger long in meditation. Of these three years there is very little to record of her activity. But they flowered in the first edition of “Science and Health.” If any one reading this life thinks this great work was accomplished easily, or that when she said the book was given to her as a revelation, she meant that a personal Deity literally guided her hand across the pages, framing the words for her, let him consider the ceaseless mental toil and spiritual application stretching between the miraculous recovery in 1866 and the publication of her book in 1875.

When Mrs. Glover severed her relations with Richard Kennedy, he removed to another house ut she remained in her rooms at South Common and Shepard streets for several months. She had with her a great deal at this time a little girl named Susie Felt, a child of twelve. Mrs. Glover took her meals at the child’s home and the little maid was so attached to her that she spent as much time with her as she was permitted. The child found this woman, whom her elders sometimes thought distant and somber, to be lovely, gracious, and sweet. Like Lucy Wentworth she was devoted to her. To-day she cherishes a ring, a book, and a picture as mementos of those happy hours when she had the companionship of this great soul, relaxed from the toil of the day, when she would tell her the most wondrous things her ears had ever heard. Such hours were hers in the twilight alone with Mary Baker when the divine overflow suffused sweet dew that could not harm the tender violets of a child’s unfolding thoughts.

But the dove-like cooing of a little child’s questions or the harmonious enfolding of the diapason of the sea, when she listened to its voice, crouched along on the brown rocks, were not all that reached her. The change and fluidity of life was in the waves, in the flight of the gulls, and in the drifting ships. Returning to the city from what was in those days a rough unwalled beach, she would see the lights of the Lynn factories betokening the passionate struggle of human endeavor. Had she stood erect on those rocks by the sea, erect in spirit while her body crouched for safety against its boulders, had she felt her ego slip away from her n some supreme moment when divine sense lifted her to the consciousness of spiritual being above the waves of time? Even so, she must still return to the city, to the work in hand, and alas, to the shock of events.

Some of her students had remained loyal to her and to her teaching. Of these were George Barry, S.P. Bancroft, Dorcas Rawson, and Miranda Rice. She lived for a time with Dorcas Rawson, and she lived at several boarding-houses until she secured a home of her own. When she left South Common street, a student, George Barry, took charge of her furnishing. She returned to live for a time with the Clarks where she had resided directly after Dr. Patterson’s desertion. George Clark, who supplied the graphic picture of Mrs. Eddy in those days, was a witness for her in her divorce suit brought in Salem in 1873. He says that Mrs. Eddy waited until nearly night for her case to be called and they thought it would not be disposed of that day. But when she was called to the witness stand the judge asked her why her husband deserted her. She replied, “Because he feared arrest.” “Arrest for what?” asked the judge. “For adultery,” Mrs. Eddy replied quietly. The judge made a brief examination of her witnesses and the decree was granted.

George Clark asserts that Mrs. Eddy worked very industriously at her writing while at his mother’s house and he at one time carried a prospectus of her book to Adams & Co., Publishers in Bromfield street. Her manuscript was not accepted, but ne of his own which he had taken with him at the same time was. Clark’s book was a boy’s story of sea-going life which the publisher felt would sell well. He rejected Mrs. Glover’s book for the reason that he saw no possibilities in it for profit.

Mrs. Glover accompanied Clark to Boston and they returned together late in the afternoon. She made no comment on her failure, but cheerfully encouraged the young man over his own venture, saying his wholesome, breezy story would sell well and he might come to be a great author. He was much engrossed with those thoughts of greatness when they walked through the Lynn streets in the early evening nearing home. She suddenly caught him by the arm. “Stop, George,” she cried. “Do you see that church? I shall have a church of my own some day.”

She struck her hands together as she said this and then stood for a minute lost in thought. The young man was ashamed of his selfishness, and for a time really wished that it had been her book, and not his, which had been accepted. But her book was not ready, nor was it to be published in the ordinary way for the profit of a bookman.

In the spring of 1875 Mrs. Glover was living in a boarding-house at Number 9 Broad street. She had moved in these three years several times. Her doctrine and her absorbed life had brought her in conflict with many minds and many persons. Discussion, controversy, and ridicule had pursued her, making application to her work doubly difficult.

She had nearly completed her book, however, and what she needed was absolute peace and seclusion in order that she might put those important finishing touches to her work which would bring it together, unify it, complete it. Leaning at the window of her room, she gazed down the leafy street, thinking of the dining-room below stairs and its many discordant personalities, the latest gibes of her worldly critics, the latest smiles and glances and expressive shrugs. Was every step of the way of this book to be disputed by such hindrance and intrusion? Leaning there at the window, she breathed a silent prayer for a resting-place.

Lifting her eyes, she saw across the way a little frame house with a sign affixed stating that it was for sale. It was a two story and a half dwelling with a small lawn around it and a shade tree at the corner. It had little bow windows and tiny balconies. Contemplating it, she resolved to own it. It should be the first home of Christian Science; there she would complete her book.

This was not an impossible venture. Mrs. Glover had received for tuition some funds which she had guarded against the possibility of publishing her own book. Her life had been frugal, orderly, and well-planned. Nothing but the book had kept her from organizing large classes. With her own home, her work could now go forward with better progress. She unfolded her plan to her little group of students and certain of them undertook the business arrangements. The Essex County registry of deeds shows that on March 31, 1875, Francis E. Besse, in consideration of $5,650, deeded to Mary Baker Glover the property of Number 8 Broad street.



Where Mrs. Eddy completed the text of the First Edition of Science and Health

When Mrs. Glover moved into her new home her means were so limited she was obliged to lease the greater part of the house. She reserved for herself the front parlor on the first floor for a class-room and furnished it plainly with chairs and tables. On the attic floor she also reserved a small bedroom, lighted only by a skylight which was in the sloping roof and could be lifted like a trap for ventilation. In this garret chamber she finished her manuscript of “Science and Health,” practically the work of nine years. Here she read the proofs of the first edition and prepared the revisions for the second and third editions. The room was austerely furnished with a carpet of matting, a bed and dressing bureau, a table and straight-backed chair. Its one article of luxury was an old-fashioned hair-cloth rocker. No one entered this room but Mary Baker until the book was finished. On the wall she had hung the framed inscription, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

The greater part of Mrs. Glover’s new home was given over to tenants. Necessity compelled her to depend on such sources for an income. She was sometimes fortunate in her tenants, but occasionally otherwise. Her own simple and well-regulated life, entirely devoted to religion, was never the cause of comment, except as criticism always attached to a new religious movement. The history of Methodism, of Quakerism, of Unitarianism abundantly shows this. The daily attendance of her students, their evotion to their teacher, and zeal for their faith created astonishment in Lynn and so caused some gossip. The purple-and-gold sign, “Christian Science Home,” which arched the door was the cause of much speculation. It became a common thing for cripples and invalids to go to the house for treatment, and many remarkable cures which Mrs. Eddy performed instantaneously are recorded.

During the summer the little place grew most attractive. The affectionate zeal of her students, many of whom she had healed from serious complaints or diseases and some of whom she had reclaimed from intemperate lives, made her gardens bloom, kept her grass-plot like velvet, and relieved the austerity of her parlor with decoration. Mrs. Glover’s balconies were filled with calla lilies of which she was particularly fond, and when she stood among them tending and caring for them with the sunlight sifting through the leaves of the elm, making splashes of green and gold upon her cool white gown, she made a picture of composure and purity.

Early in the summer Mrs. Glover gave the manuscript of her book into the hands of a printer. A fund was subscribed to by some of the students to insure its publication, and was repaid to them under circumstances to be related. There was some halt in its publication, even now that everything had apparently been done for its forthcoming. Mrs. Eddy has stated in her autobiography the peculiar circumstances of this delay. She had hesitated to include in the book a chapter on animal magnetism, and she believes it was the Divine purpose that this hapter should be written. Months had passed since the printer received her copy. He had been paid nearly $1,000 but he still delayed, and all efforts to persuade him to finish the book were in vain.

Contrary to her inclinations, Mrs. Glover set to work at the painful task of delineating the counterfeit of Christian Science. She wrote out the manuscript for a compete chapter and with this started to Boston to confer with the stubborn printer. The printer had himself started to see her, however, to tell her that he had already prepared the copy which he had in hand and wished her to give him sufficient more to comprise a closing chapter. They met at the Lynn railway station and both were astonished. He had come to a standstill through motives and circumstances unknown to her, but had resumed his work, as his explanations showed, at the same time that she had begun writing the pages she had been reluctant to pen; and now that he was ready for more copy he met her on her way to him with the closing chapter of the first edition of “Science and Health.”

The book came out in the fall, the edition numbering one thousand. It was a stout volume bound in green cloth, a succinct, concise, and lucid statement of Christian Science. Though Mrs. Eddy has many times since revised this book, her revision has always been for what she believed to be an improvement of expression. The essential statements are the same as in the original volume. Because of these subsequent labors, because she has rearranged the order f the chapters, enlarged the explanation in certain passages, curtailed it in others, altered the sequence of sentences, struck out unnecessary illustration to make room for the irresistible enforcement of the declaration of her doctrine, certain critics have said that the original work has disappeared in the book that stands to-day, and a brilliant satirist goes so far as to say that “Science and Health” is the product of another mind than Mary Baker Eddy’s.

Because of the supreme audacity and unscrupulous wickedness of such an assertion, this first edition is indeed a “precious volume.” It holds, like the monstrance, that receptacle in which the consecrated bread is shown to the multitude, the verities of Christian Science. Was ever a book so attacked as this? First, this famous critic declared it absurd; second, that its ideas were not original; third, that “every single detail of it was conceived and performed by another.” Witness the three different standpoints of the satirical assailant. First, the book is absurd; the critic couldn’t understand it; he would “rather saw wood” than to try, for he does not find the work of analyzing it easy. Second, maybe she who claims to be author did write it, but the ideas are not original, for the great idea of this book, “the thing back of it,” the critic has come to see, is “wholly gracious and beautiful; the power, through loving mercifulness and compassion, to heal fleshly ills and pains and griefs.”1 And he does not see how such an idea could possibly interest the accredited author. He does not Mark Twain, “Christian Science,” p. 284.

see! But mark the culminating effect of the book upon him and then come to his third standpoint.

Why should such an idea interest Mary Baker Eddy, he wonders, unless she is, as her followers believe, “patient, gentle, loving, compassionate, noble-hearted, unselfish, sinless – a profound thinker, an able writer, a divine personage, an inspired messenger.”1 And why should they not believe her so? The critic says: “She has delivered to them a religion which has revolutionized their lives, banished the glooms that shadowed them, and filled them and flooded them with sunshine and gladness and peace; a religion which has no hell; a religion whose heaven is not put off to another time, with a break and a gulf between, but begins here and now, and melts into eternity.”2

“Let the reader turn to the chapter on prayer and compare that wise and sane and elevated and lucid and compact piece of work with the aforesaid preface [the preface to the third edition] and with Mrs. Eddy’s poetry,” says this critic.

Indeed, let him compare it with Mrs. Eddy’s sublime hymn, Shepherd, show me how to go

O’er the hillside steep,

How to gather, how to sow,

How to feed Thy sheep.”

But the critic’s third standpoint is: “I think she has from the very beginning been claiming as her Mark Twain, “Christian Science,” p. 285.

2 Ibid., p. 280

own another person’s book, and wearing as her own property laurels rightfully belonging to that person – the real author of ‘Science and Health.’”

Who is this real author who was first, absurd; second, unoriginal; third, an inspired messenger? The real author of every word of the first edition, and every word, phrase, paragraph, and chapter of the very last edition is the one who wrote the limping verses of girlhood, the so-called “Quimby” manuscripts with their confusion of ideas, the statement of the Science of Man, Genesis and Apocalypse, and finally “Science and Health.” She was the precocious and nervous girl educated for the most part at home; she was the suffering invalid whose pure religion was tampered with by the mesmeric influence of a hypnotist; she was the poor and devoted Christian, healing without price and distributing her manuscripts to whomsoever would read them; she was the absorbed student and devotee, maligned by unfaithful students.

Who else was it that the scoffing Horace Wentworth declared he did not dislike but thought ridiculous when she sat in his mother’s parlor and said she had a mission from God to complete the work of Jesus Christ on earth? Who else was it that wrote the manuscript which Mrs. Catherine I. Clapp, the Wentworth’s cousin Kate, was employed to copy and which this amanuensis has herself said contained the first form of the ideas subsequently given to the world in “Science and Health,” certain paragraphs of which she used to scoff at and make fun of to her intimates? Who else was it who orked on the book Mother Webster called Mrs. Glover’s “Bible” when rustics of Amesbury gapingly watched to see her walk upon the Merrimac River? Who else was it that prepared the prospectus that George Clark carried to a Boston printer and had rejected? Who else was it that wrote the manuscripts the student Stanley contended for and thought he was wronged because he could not possess? Who else was it that prepared that closing chapter on animal magnetism and carried it to the printer? Who else was it wrote the scientific statement of being?

Internal evidence or higher criticism will not divorce this work from its author Mary Baker Eddy any more than it will divorce the fourth gospel from St. John. The first edition of “Science and Health,” which the critics of that day fell upon with ironic glee, stands as the model of the finished structure of to-day. It was written under the severest of hardships and was revised painstakingly in the midst of the multitudinous duties of a leader. It has been plagiarized and pirated from, vilified and burlesqued, but it will stand.


THE house at Broad street was purchased by Mrs. Glover that it might become a refuge from the distraction of fleeting worldly interests encountered in boarding-houses; that it might be a haven of security insuring her against moving from place to place and the intrusion of elements of thought likely to create discord in her little flock of students; in fact it was bought for a home and designed for a center of peace. How shortly it became a storm center, a theater of intense mental disturbance, must be shown; for it was while living in this house that Mary Baker had enough of agitation, through the discord of her early students, the dereliction and menace of those she had cherished as friends and intimate aids, the failure of the second edition of her book, the harassment of a series of petty lawsuits, and ultimately, the revelation of a dastardly plot as ingenious as it was diabolical, to make her wish to leave not only the house but Lynn, and to seek a new base of activity.

A great work of promulgation lay before the founder of Christian Science. The twilight of dawn was revealing its elements in her mind, but they did not yet stand forth distinctly. The signs of the times were as yet but vague. Looking backward, hilosophic students of history declare that no such period of freedom and pure democracy was ever experienced in the world’s history as was enjoyed in the United States from a bout 1870 to 1880. What was to come after in the despotism of trusts and the menace of great wealth in the hands of a few was not yet dreamed of. America felt young, happy, and virtuous. A revived industrialism, following the disastrous waste of the Civil War, made the consciousness of the people buoyant. No one thought of criticizing democracy. Only that little group of transcendentalists in New England, known as the Brook Farm colony, had ever ventured to raise the warning cry of the danger of a mechanical society plunging ahead to materialism. And the seeds of that social experiment had not yielded its harvest of socialism.

But Mary Baker had the nature of a true seer. No more than the great Way-shower of Palestine would she have dreamed of leading a few followers into a community to make a stand against the trend of the world. Like Him, she knew the truth must be sown broadcast. But the seed must first be grown in the little garden plot among her earliest students. Renan has said that Jesus could not possibly have had a knowledge of Plato or of Buddha or of Zoroaster; yet He was aware by the subtle sympathy of humanity, of the elements of the great philosophic speculations of His age. It is possible that even a scholar like Renan may be mistaken in his judgment as to how the seer of God becomes possessed of the needs of his time. Mary Baker as not a sociologist, a political economist; she was not concerned with those social passionists whose philosophy was shaped at the universities, and who were insisting upon the religion of democracy. But in her heart of hearts was the seed of truth which was to multiply for the health of her age.

Classes in Christian Science were formed almost immediately after Mrs. Glover was settled in her new home. All during the summer of 1875, in spite of laborious hours spent in her little study under the eaves, she conducted classes, and these were more numerously attended than were those formerly held at South Common street. Though her charge for tuition had been advanced from $100 to $300, Mrs. Glover’s income was still meager for the reason that she privately admitted the greater percentage of her students without fee, teaching them gratis that the work might the more rapidly spread. Payment was required from those who were able, and some made their payments in instalments. Time and experience proved that those who paid valued the treasure they secured, while those who did not very shortly allowed it to become valueless. The weekly wage of the toiler is of infinite sweetness to him, while a munificent allowance is an unpalatable surfeit of indulgence to an ingrate. For in human nature is the instinct to value only that which we acquire by some individual energy. The gospel is as free as the sunshine, but the yoke and the burden, the leaving of father and mother, are indications of the service required; and diffused sunshine is regained only by labor as in mining for coal nd diamonds. Concerning the tuition fee for class instruction Mrs. Eddy has written in “Retrospection and Introspection.”:

When God impelled me to set a price on my instruction in Christian Science Mind-healing, I could think of no financial equivalent for an impartation of a knowledge of that divine power which heals; but I was led to name three hundred dollars as the price for each pupil in one course of lessons at my college, — a startling sum for tuition lasting barely three weeks. This amount greatly troubled me. I shrank from asking it, but was finally led, by a strange providence, to accept this fee. God has since shown me, in multitudinous ways, the wisdom of this decision; and I beg disinterested people to ask my loyal students if they consider three hundred dollars any real equivalent for my instruction during twelve half-days, or even in half as many lessons. Nevertheless, my list of indigent charity scholars is very large, and I have had as many as seventeen in one class.1

Among the students in the first class held in Broad street was Daniel H. Spofford, a man who figured largely in the events of the next few years. He came from New Hampshire, and as a youth had lived in Eastern Massachusetts, working as a chore boy in farms and later as a watchmaker’s apprentice until he entered the army at the age of nineteen. He served through the Civil War and when he was mustered out returned to Lynn and entered the shoe-shops. He first met Mrs. Glover in South Common street. He did not enter her class there, “Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 71.

but had access to her manuscripts through another student and copied them, or portions of them, for his private perusal. Leaving Lynn for a three years’ sojourn in Southern and Western states, he carried these copies about with him, pondering and studying them. Being awakened to a faith which he but partially grasped, he returned to Lynn and attempted to practise Mind-healing without further acquaintance with the author of the manuscripts.

Mrs. Glover heard of this man and his efforts to practise her doctrine. She smiled at the excited students who reported the facts to her and sent a messenger to him with a note which read: “Mr. Spofford, I tender you a cordial invitation to join my next class and receive my instruction in healing the sick without medicine, — without money and without price.” So Mr. Spofford became one of those students who because of his qualities was given his instruction gratis.1

1 Mr. Spofford recently made an affidavit to the effect that he met Mary Baker Glover in 1870, that she taught metaphysical healing from manuscripts the authorship of which she attributed to P.P. Quimby. Yet Daniel Spofford, shortly after his graduation from her class in May, , unequivocally ascribed to this same Mary Baker Glover the authorship and discovery of Christian Science and signed his name to a resolution drawn up for the purpose of creating an organization of Christian Scientists. Mr. Spofford himself produces the data which contradicts his own affidavit. The author has recently visited Mr. Spofford at his present home in a country settlement between Haverhill and Amesbury. I went for the express purpose of asking him to explain the discrepancy between his statements of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, the one affidavit printed in McClure’s Magazine for May, 1907, and the one in the resolution which he helped to draw up in 1875.

Mr. Spofford is to-day a man about sixty-five, slightly bent in carriage, with clear blue eyes and whitened hair. His manner is very gentle and courteous, and his personality sensitive and I should say, idealistic. Mr. Spofford made

It was directly after Mr. Spofford’s completion of class work that he called together a meeting of students for the purpose of arranging for renting a hall and raising a subscription toward sustaining Mrs. Glover as a teacher and instructor in weekly services. Mr. Spofford’s emotional and moral nature had been deeply stirred by his class work, so truly affected that he was able to say thirty-five years after to hostile critics of Mrs. Eddy that no price could be put upon what Mrs. Glover gave her students, that the mere manuscripts which he had formerly studied were, compared to her expounding of them, as the printed page of a musical score compared to its interpretation by a master.

no immediate reply to my question as to the disparity. After some hesitation he turned from the question by saying, “I believe Mrs. Eddy is the sole author of ‘Science and Health’ and I believe it is the greatest book in the world outside the Bible... I don’t wish it to be understood that I have said Christian Science was Quimbyism. I said that Mrs. Eddy taught some of the Quimby doctrine when I first knew her in 1870. Mrs. Eddy developed her own ideas and wrote her own book, ‘Science and Health,’ and I was the publisher of the first edition and I know that book thoroughly. I don’t confuse in my own mind the work of Quimby and of Mrs. Eddy. I don’t see why the world should do so. It is clear to me that Mrs. Eddy at first taught some of the ideas of Quimby; that later she abandoned those ideas entirely for her own, incorporating her own system of religious interpretation in her book.”

Mr. Spofford stated that he had been forced by persons who came into her circle to abandon Mrs. Eddy and the teaching of Christian Science. Mr. Spofford supplied the aforesaid magazine with a private letter of Mrs. Eddy to himself, written before her marriage to Dr. Eddy. In that letter occurs this passage:

“No student or mortal has tried to have you leave me that I know of. Dr. Eddy has tried to have you stay. You are in a mistake; it is God and not man who has separated us and for the reason I begin to learn. Do not think of returning to me again... God produces the separation and I submit to it. So must you. There is no cloud between us, but the way you set me up for a Dagon is wrong, and now I implore you to return forever from this error of personality and go alone to God as I have taught you.” – Human Life, July, 1907.

The meeting of students which Mr. Spofford called together appointed a committee to carry out the will of the meeting and the committee was composed of the three who supposedly stood nearest to the teacher at the time, each one of whom was to participate in one of the petty lawsuits which presently involved the community of students in strife. These students composed for the time a committee harmonious in devotion of the cause and enthusiastic for its furtherance. They drew up the following resolutions:

Whereas, in times not long past, the Science of healing, new to the age, and far in advance of all other modes, was introduced into the city of Lynn by its discoverer, a certain lady, Mary Baker Glover,

And, whereas, many friends spread the good tidings throughout the place, and bore aloft the standard of life and truth which had declared freedom to many manacled with the bonds of disease or error,

And, whereas, by the wicked and wilful disobedience of an individual, who has no name in Love, Wisdom, or Truth, the light was obscured by clouds of misinterpretations and mists of mystery, so that God’s work was hidden from the world and derided in the streets,

Now, therefore, we students and advocates of this moral science called the Science of Life, have arranged with the said Mary Baker Glover to preach to us or direct our meetings on the Sabbath of each week, and hereby covenant with one another, and by these presents do publish and proclaim that we have agreed and do each and all agree to pay weekly, for one year, beginning with the sixth day of June,

A.D. 1875, to a treasurer chosen by at least seven students the amount set opposite our names, provided, nevertheless, the moneys paid by us shall be expended for no other purpose or purposes than the maintenance of said Mary Baker Glover as teacher or instructor, than the renting of a suitable hall and other necessary incidental expenses, and our signatures shall be a full and sufficient guarantee of our faithful performance of this contract.










This was the first step toward a Christian Science church. It will be seen from the amounts pledged by the signers of the resolutions that they did not have very much to contribute and the whole sum amounted to only ten dollars per week, part of which was to go for the necessary expense of a hall. But the meetings begun in this humble way continued as long as Mrs. Eddy remained in Lynn. Her student, S.P. Bancroft, conducted the singing, his wife playing the melodeon. The hall was one used by the Good Templars and was rather small. The audiences seldom exceeded twenty-five.

Besides teaching, preaching, and writing, Mrs. Glover performed many healings. She healed George Barry of consumption; she caused Mrs.

Rice to have a painless delivery of a child. These two students were so devoted to her that they were continually about her house, rivaling each other in services to their teacher. Barry habitually addressed her as “Mother.” He inscribed to her the lines of poetry he wrote, of which the following is an example of his state of mind, if not of any particular genius for verse making:

“O, mother mine, God grant I ne’er forget,

Whatever be my grief or what my joy,

The unmeasured, unextinguishable debt

I owe to thee, but find my sweet employ

Ever through thy remaining days to be

To thee as faithful as thou wast to me.”

The young man spaded her garden, went to market for her, carried messages to and from the printer in Boston, and in many ways made himself an efficient aid. Mrs. Glover taught him patiently for he was not educated. She corrected his penmanship and orthography, and after he had shown some advancement allowed him to do some copying for her. When he presently fell in love, he brought the young woman of his choice to see Mrs. Glover. She received her not only as a friend but as a student, and gave her sanction to the marriage which presently followed. It was understood that Mrs. Glover felt as a mother toward Barry, and such a relationship with her was recognized by the other students.

Dorcas Rawson and Barry were the students who arranged for buying the Broad street house. When he first edition of “Science and Health” was published they, with Elizabeth Newhall, undertook to dispose of the one thousand volumes, making short journeys into the adjoining towns and canvassing from door to door with them, talking Christian Science wherever they could get a hearing, and frequently winning disciples who later came to Mrs. Glover for instruction. George Barry considered himself chief agent for the disposal of the book. He had an interest in its sale, for he and Elizabeth Newhall had advanced the money for its publication.

As yet everything was moving harmoniously in the little home. But the advent of a new personality was to throw the band of workers into a confusion of jealousy. The new figure in the drama of the early church work was Asa Gilbert Eddy. Mr. Eddy was sent to Mrs. Glover by the Godfreys of Chelsea.

Mrs. Glover had instantly healed a finger on Mrs. Godfrey’s right hand from which she was suffering greatly. Mrs. Godfrey had broken a needle in her hand and further aggravated the wound by poisoning it with colored thread. For weeks she had carried her hand in a sling, refusing to allow the finger to be amputated as a physician advised. Visiting her relatives who were Mrs. Glover’s tenants, she had been astonishingly healed. Retiring as usual, she arose with the finger cured. Her astonishment and gratitude was such that she sent many patients to Mrs. Glover, brought her own child through a blinding snowstorm to be cured of embranous croup, sent a workman who had fallen from the roof of a house and lost the use of his arm. All these cases were cured by Mrs. Glover.

Now the Godfreys were acquainted with Mr. Eddy. They remember him today as a grave, sweet-tempered man, to whom children were devoted. He was a bachelor living in East Boston, an agent for a sewing-machine concern. He was not in good health and the Godfreys, recounting to him their unusual experiences, impressed upon him the idea of visiting Mrs. Glover.

When Mr. Eddy visited Mary Baker she not only healed him, but advised him to enter a new class she was forming. She read his character and read it aright. He was a man of such gentleness and sweetness that persons knowing him but slightly were often led to think him devoid of the true force of manliness. He was, however, so those who knew him best declare, possessed of the staying quality of sterling integrity. Seldom assertive, preferring to master a situation by patiently studying it and moving conciliatingly and gently among the forces at play, he could, when occasion demanded, act with a masterfulness that commanded instant respect. Mrs. Glover placed considerable responsibility in Mr. Eddy’s hands very early in their acquaintance and as soon as she did so a conflict of personalities began which shook her circle from circumference to center.

Daniel Spofford had opened an office in Lynn directly after finishing his class instruction. His ractise had been quite successful and had had two years to grow into flourishing condition. Mrs. Glover had been revising her book during these two years and was aware of the slow and unsatisfactory way in which the first edition was being gradually disposed of. She sent for Spofford and laid before him the needs of the movement. The book must be sent forth to do the work it was written to do. She needed greater business ability than George Barry possessed to accomplish this. A new edition must be watched through the press, and ways and means of circulation thought out. She asked Daniel Spofford to undertake this work. Spofford assured her of his willingness but referred to his practise. What should he do with that? Mrs. Glover told him to give it into the hands of Mr. Eddy.

An extraordinary move in any organization causes instant excitement in all its parts unless the whole is so unified that it will act in perfect harmony. George Barry, who had professed such profound love and intentions of devotion toward his teacher, now instantly rebelled when acquainted with her desire to relieve him of the direction of her publication. He who had been all docility and gentleness, while he felt himself the most important personage in the field, now went into a paroxysm of rage and would not come near the Broad street house. Spofford was in a little better mood. He affected to accept the situation cheerfully, but constantly hinted that he was being driven out, that a cloud had come between him and his teacher, that certain students were trying to compel him to leave her. But, he asserted, othing should compel him to do so. They might try to their utmost, but he would stand faithful to his post.

The talk waged back and forth among the students. Barry was angry, Spofford was offended, the women students who had made desultory efforts to sell the book felt themselves criticized in the new arrangement. Some of the patients did not like Mr. Eddy as well as they had Mr. Spofford; some liked him better. In the midst of the struggle of personalities Mrs. Glover quietly married Asa Gilbert Eddy, and the war temporarily ceased. The marriage took place on New Year’s Day, 1877. The Unitarian clergyman, the Rev. Samuel B. Stewart, whose services Mrs. Glover had formerly attended with Richard Kennedy and Miss Susie Magoun, performed the ceremony.

Sobered by this unlooked-for event, the students for a time were quieted. Barry who all the time had expected to be solicited to return became ominously silent. Mr. Spofford, who received back his practise when Mrs. Eddy was married, attended to his extra duties with some address but with mingled feelings. He had entertained other ideas which this event had dashed to the ground, and for a time he knew of nothing better to do than attend to his work without complaint. Other students showed their pleasure in what they regarded as a romantic and humanizing incident by giving Mr. and Mrs. Eddy a reception about three weeks after the wedding, bringing various bridal gifts to her house and spreading a supper here. They made speeches indicative of their good feeling and generally betrayed a desire to make a rosy ring around their teacher and the man she had chosen to honor.

Mrs. Eddy replied to their good-will offering with an address which brought them out of the somewhat hectic sentimentalism which threatened to inundate her. She spoke of her marriage as a spiritual union and recalled them to their fidelity to truth and the noble purposes they had cherished. She then took the Bible and read from it, expounding certain passages until she brought the company into its usual sense of the spiritual work she wished her students to perform. They beheld their teacher and leader, the same Mary Baker, with hands as ever out-stretched to them with the spiritual gift to be transferred through them to the whole human race and to the age; with growing solemnity they saw through her eyes the far horizon and the vision of the work they had to do. Mr. Eddy at this moment became simply one of them again, a student who stood a little closer, but still a student. He, like them, must carry out her directions that the spreading of Christian Science should not languish, but to him was the special duty given of guarding her against the onslaughts of the envious and ambitious who pressed too close with their human desires.

If for a time Mrs. Eddy’s influence lulled the storm, it suddenly broke forth again and now followed storm upon storm. George Barry was the first to move. He brought suit against her in the spring of 1877 to recover $2,700 which he said was ue him for services extended over five years. His bill of particulars stated his services very minutely. He mentions copying manuscripts, searching for a printer, moving goods from the tenement on South Common street, disposing of some articles at auction and storing others, clearing up rooms, paying rent for same, withdrawing moneys from the Boston Savings Bank, aiding in buying the house at 8 Broad street, aiding in selecting carpets and furniture, helping to move and putting down carpets, working in the garden. He made items of fifty cents for fetching up a pail of coal from the cellar, items for walking out with her in the evening in search of a dwelling. There was nothing that he did not mention in his bill of particulars, even to a pair of boots which he bought for himself with her money. As for the copying, he had done it so badly that his work was useless to her. Mrs. Eddy had taught him, healed him, paid many of his debts, guided him in his marriage, and directed his practise as she did that of many of her students.

When the suit was heard in court Mrs. Eddy went on the stand and explained her relations with the young man, how she had practically adopted him, and what her intentions toward him had been. Her attorney, Charles P. Thompson, argued: “It is important to look at the relations of the parties and at what their understanding was at the time of rendering and receiving services. If the understanding was that of an exchange of services without any compensation, it cannot be revoked.” Barry recovered $350 instead of $2,700 and afterwards repented and ade a tentative effort to return to her good-will. But whether or no that was a serious intention will be presently shown.

Mrs. Eddy’s next troubles were with Spofford. She was preparing the manuscript for her second edition. In the midst of this labor Mr. Spofford began to evince a renewal of his dissatisfied frame of mind. He balked at all of her advice and continually declared that the book could not be financed. While striving to make the way plain for him, her business agent, and continuing her literary labors, her doors were thronged with perplexed students who wished her help in healing patients. The students pressed upon her so with their varying needs that she was finally driven to leave her home for a time with her husband and keep her whereabouts unknown, for they interrupted her work and the book lay waiting.

She gave Mr. Spofford a Boston address and from there wrote him several letters urging him to speak to certain of the students and patients for her. Among them were two young women of Ipswich, the wife of the mayor of Newburyport, and a manufacturer of Boston, all of whom had pressed her for attention and healing. She wished them to be instructed in the necessity of doing their own mental work and thus to cease interfering with the more important work which lay upon her. Concerning these matters she wrote of him: “If the students still continue to think of me and to call on me I shall at last defend myself and this will be to cut them off from me utterly in a spiritual sense by a bridge they annot pass over... I will let you hear from me as soon as I can return to prosecute my work on the Book... I am going far away and shall remain until you will do your part and give me some better prospect.”1

And again she wrote him: “If you conclude not to carry the work forward on the terms named, it will have to go out of edition as I can do no more for it, and I believe this hour is to try my students who think they have the cause at heart and see if it be so... The conditions I have named to you I think are just... Now, dear student, you can work as your teacher has done before you, unselfishly, as you wish to, and gain the reward of such labor. Meantime, you can be fitting yourself for a higher plane of action and its reward.”2

Mr. Spofford’s reply to this earnest solicitation that he should apply himself to pushing the book came in July of that year. He closed out the stock of “Science and Health” which he had received from George Barry and Elizabeth Newhall, and paid over the money from the sale of these books, something over $600, to these two students. They had supplied the capital for the first edition in consideration of gratitude to their teacher. They now received all the profits that had accrued, as Mrs. Eddy had no agreement with them for a royalty. There was a loss all around by this premature act. Mrs. Spofford claimed $500 against the edition for personal expenses, which he could not by such hasty

1 From letters furnished McClure’s Magazine.

2 Ibid.

and ill-advised methods realize. The students themselves lost by the transaction. The publication of the book was temporarily interrupted and the author left without means to finance the second edition which was still in press. When the second edition finally came out it was found to be a slim book, labelled Volume II, though there was no Volume I. It was a complete failure; its typographical errors were legion.

Now it is necessary to inquire rigidly into the mental state of Daniel Spofford at that time to understand what had happened. He complains to-day that Mrs. Eddy did not understand the situation; he says that she was a woman and surrounded by many advisers, and would suggest that her life was in small like a queen’s court where suspicion and jealousies are rife and that one could not act for her firmly and steadfastly and bring about satisfactory results. Doubtless he had some business trials, doubtless there were many difficulties in financing a book of this character, and doubtless there was unwarrantable interference from the various students who wanted the text-book, wanted to see it circulated speedily and widely. But a man of ability should have silenced the intruders, should have worked patiently and purposefully, and should not have wound up so important a business as had been intrusted to him by rash precipitation.

Mrs. Eddy was justly indignant at his gross mismanagement of her affairs and his extraordinary method of accounting. He left her stranded without the means to forward a second edition. This might ave been remedied had he withdrawn. But he did not withdraw. He called on her, not to explain his trials and the disadvantages under which he labored, but to tell her that he intended to remove from her all means for carrying on her work, “for,” said he, “you have proven yourself incapable as a leader, and I propose to carry on this work myself and alone.”

Thus Spofford did not go quietly and leave Mrs. Eddy to gather up the strands that were broken. He began to practise and to teach in opposition to her and to call upon her students with the object of deflecting them from her to himself as he had threatened he would do.

How did Mrs. Eddy meet these trials? It has been stated that she authorized and inspired at her house in Broad street meetings of devoted students who concentrated their thoughts upon individuals, — presumably Kennedy, Spofford, and Barry, — that a formula of mental suggestion was used against them.

Perhaps the charge that Mrs. Eddy so instructed her students to gather in a body and work mentally to do injury to others may be considered as an example illustrating her statement, “As of old, evil still charges the spiritual idea with error’s own nature and methods.” Christian Scientists who have been in the movement a quarter of a century state that there is absolutely nothing hidden or occult in the teaching of Christian Science and that they have never known of a concerted effort of thought being made to bring about any result against an individual. There is, in fact, no secret doctrine. But they do know that Mrs. Eddy has steadfastly from the beginning of her teaching to the present day instructed her students never to seek to injure another mentally.

Mrs. Eddy says in “Miscellaneous Writings,” “I have no skill in occultism; and I could not if I would, and would not if I could, harm any one through the mental method of Mind-healing, or in any other manner.” Indeed, Mrs. Eddy would have had to go back on everything she had ever taught or written of the working of divine love in the consciousness of the individual had she suggested that destructive thought be used against those who were opposing her work. The idea is utterly inharmonious with the fundamental tenets of her faith.

However, it is not possible to state whether that early group of pioneer students did or did not meet to concentrate their thoughts against individuals with the idea of destroying their harmful influence. Certainly they did not have Mrs. Eddy’s inspiration for such an endeavor, and in doing so must have departed from her teachings. But Mrs. Eddy had propounded not only the doctrine of Divine Mind governing all reality, she had indicated the rival force of illusion in the theory of mesmerism or animal magnetism and in the second edition of her book, the so-called Volume II, she had further indicated the working of this hypnotic force. She had come to see that manipulation is not the only method of hypnotism, but that the mind acts independently f matter for evil as well as for good. Now the little handful of struggling neophytes had not learned how to meet this evil and were doubtless more or less frightened at the notion of it.

Some of the students saw in the dereliction of Daniel Spofford the operation of malicious animal magnetism, 1 and became much alarmed. Miss Lucretia Brown of Ipswich particularly declared that Mr. Spofford was causing her to suffer a relapse into ill health by calling upon her and suggesting that she was not in health. Miss Dorcas Rawson, who was one of the earliest students, was Miss Brown’s teacher and healer. She reported

1 Malicious Animal Magnetism is a term used in Christian Science, and perhaps it may be proper to define its significance, since it has been largely misapprehended in the public press of late. The word magnetism was first applied to a peculiar attraction of iron ore, so named because it was discovered in the city of Magnesia. Later the word animal was joined to it to define electrical experiments with an animal. This term, animal magnetism, eventually came to include the peculiar influence one person was able to exert over another by physical contact. In this sense animal magnetism is similar, if not identical, with the term mesmerism, referring directly to the experiments of Mesmer. The more modern term, hypnotism, has the peculiar significance of the power of mind over mind without the necessity of actual physical contact... Through Mrs. Eddy’s teaching, the term animal magnetism has become broad enough to include any and all action of the human mind, applying it to that peculiar power, influence, or force which is possessed by the creature in contradistinction to the Creator. Since Christian Science has introduced the proposition that God is the only real Mind, the carnal mind in all its varied manifestations is naturally, in the interest of self-preservation, arrayed against it. Therefore, every wilful phase of this human opposition which is created by the introduction of Science is malicious. Hence the use of the term malicious animal magnetism. It is magnetism because it refers to a supposed power independent of God; malicious, in keeping with the Scriptural declaration, “The Carnal mind is enmity against God.” Mrs. Eddy refers to it as the human antipode of Divine Science. It is a term which is broad enough to include all that is opposed to God. It includes every phase of evil, every phase of human antagonism to truth, — From and interview with Alfred Farlow in Human Life, August, .

Miss Brown’s condition to Mrs. Eddy and the fact that Daniel Spofford had called upon Miss Brown. Miss Rawson suggested that he be restrained from malicious interference with her work. Miss Brown also urged it, as she declared she suffered much from his interference.

Mrs. Eddy had nothing to do with the suit at law which was presently brought by Miss Brown. She has always shown herself not only just, but admirably sane, in all her worldly transactions. So, instead of advising this suit, she advised against it, but was not insistent to the point of rupture. She was engaged with her own affairs and would not permit the frightened students to encroach too heavily upon her time. The suit brought by themselves and in their own folly bore all the marks of haste and fear. The bill of complaint drawn up by Miss Brown reads:

Humbly complaining, the plaintiff, Lucretia L. S. Brown of Ipswich, in said County of Essex, showeth unto your Honors, that Daniel H. Spofford, of Newburyport, in said County of Essex, the defendant in the above entitled action, is a mesmerist and practises the art of mesmerism and by his said art and the power of his mind influences and controls the minds and bodies of other persons and uses his said power and art for the purpose of injuring the persons and property and social relations of others and does by said means so injure them.

And the plaintiff further showeth that the said Daniel H. Spofford has at divers times and places since the year 1875 wrongfully and maliciously and with intent to injure the plaintiff, caused the laintiff by means of his said power and art great suffering of body and mind and severe spinal pains and neuralgia and a temporary suspension of mind and still continues to cause the plaintiff the same. And the plaintiff has reason to fear and does fear that he will continue in the future to cause the same. And the plaintiff says that said injuries are great and of an irreparable nature and that she is wholly unable to escape from the control and influence he so exercises upon her and from the aforesaid effects of said control and influence.

The students thronged to Mrs. Eddy’s house before the suit was tried, beseeching her to join with them, to at least attend the hearing at the Supreme Judicial Court in Salem. She at last yielded to the extent of accompanying them on that morning in May, 1878. A new student, Edward J. Arens, argued the case. Mrs. Eddy was amazed at his arguments so contrary were they in their purport to her teaching, especially the argument that Miss Brown had no power to withstand the injuries she complained of. Nor was Mrs. Eddy at all surprised at the decision of the judge that it was not in the power of the court to control Mr. Spofford’s mind. “Most certainly it was not in the power of the court,” Mrs. Eddy declared to her students. She rebuked them severely, pointing out that the suit was but an exhibition of their own wilfulness in attempting to protect mind and health otherwise than as she had taught them. She returned to her home to insist for the future more strenuously, more decidedly, on her doctrine of meeting evil by resting in the confidence of Divine Love.

The student Arens, who argued what was called at the time the “Ipswich Witchcraft case,” had been received for instruction by Mrs. Eddy in the fall of 1877. He was a cabinet-maker of Lynn, an energetic, ambitious young man, and when he came into Christian Science he found Mrs. Eddy’s affairs in that languishing and entangled state to which Daniel Spofford had brought them. He wished to show his personal force, to push the sale of the book and to realize for the cause of the book and the young society funds that would put life into its circulation and thus permit of a broader scope of activity. His efforts were more vigorous than well-advised, and two years later Mrs. Eddy wrote thus of his activity in her affairs:

“In the interests of truth we ought to say that never a lawsuit has entered into our history voluntarily. We have suffered great losses and direct injustice rather than go to law, for we have always considered a lawsuit of two evils the greater. About two years ago the persuasions of a student awakened our convictions that we might be doing wrong in permitting students to break their obligations with us... The student who argued this point to us so convincingly offered to take the notes and collect them, without any participation of ours. We trusted him with the whole affair, doing only what he told us, for we were utterly ignorant of legal proceedings. It was alleged indirectly in the Newburyport Herald that we caused a bill to be filed in the Supreme Court to restrain a student of ours from practising mesmerism. That statement was utterly false. It as a student who did that contrary to our advice and judgment and we have the affidavit of the reluctant plaintiff certifying to this fact.” (“Science and Health,” third edition.)

The case directly referred to is “the Ipswich affair,” and the plaintiff, Miss Lucretia Brown. Other cases which Arens brought in Mrs. Eddy’s name were the suits against Stanley and Tuttle, referred to in a previous chapter, and a suit against Richard Kennedy brought in the municipal court of Suffolk county, Massachusetts, in February, 1878, to collect a promissory note made in 1870. The suit against Stanley and Tuttle resulted unfavorably because the defendants claimed that Mrs. Eddy had first instructed them to manipulate the head, and later instructed them to treat differently, without touching the patient, and they claimed to have been confused and to have received no benefits. In the case of Kennedy, judgment was awarded in Mrs. Eddy’s favor. The note for which suit was brought read:

In consideration of two years’ instruction in healing the sick, I hereby agree to pay Mary Baker Glover one thousand dollars in quarterly installments of fifty dollars, commencing from this date, February, .


In April Arens arranged a suit against Daniel Spofford to collect from him a royalty on his practise for unpaid tuition fees. This suit was dismissed for insufficient service. Barry’s suit against Mrs. Eddy was still dragging on and was not settled until October of the following year. Keeping in mind these suits of law, with their varying results for which the activity of Arens was responsible, the reader has a fairly clear idea of the maze of Mrs. Eddy’s affairs in the spring and summer of 1878. Arens had arrayed against her in a definite way the minds of Kennedy and Spofford, and Barry who knew them both well was in opposition on his own account.

It was at this time that George Barry wrote the following letter to Mrs. Eddy which, considering events about to befall, may illuminate what was always regarded as an inscrutable conspiracy. The letter shows the peculiar nature of young Barry and also, indirectly, the nature of others. It reads:

It is evident to me that you desire Dr. Kennedy to leave the city, and I think also it would be for your interest to accomplish this end. The relations between he and I are probably of a different nature from what you suppose, as I owe him a debt on the past, which, if driving him from Lynn will accomplish, it can and shall be done. He thinks I am your greatest enemy, and favor, if either, his side. Let him continue to think so; it will do me no harm. For my part I rather a person would come out boldly and fearlessly as you and I did facing each other, than a sneak like a snake in the grass, spitting his poison venom into them he would slay. I have said I owe Dr. Kennedy on an old score, and the interview I had with him last night has increased that debt, so that I am now determined, if it be your object also, as two heads are better than one, to drive him from Lynn. Why should we be nemies, especially if we have one great object in common? Perhaps we can be united on this, and the result may be that this city will finally be rid of one of the greatest humbugs that ever disgraced her fair face. All this can be accomplished but as I said before, it is necessary to be very cautious, and not let the fact of our communicating together be known, as a friend in the enemy’s camp is an advantage not to be overlooked.

This thoroughly detestable letter is so artless in its wickedness as to need no comment. It was without the shadow of a doubt an effort to inveigle Mrs. Eddy into a dishonorable correspondence with its wretched author. Whether or not it was a part of the forthcoming inscrutable conspiracy can only be conjectured. Mrs. Eddy’s reply to her erstwhile student was very brief: “We will help you always to do right; but with regard to your proposition to send Dr. Kennedy out of Lynn we recommend that you leave this to God; his sins will find him out.”


DURING the summer which followed the lawsuits arranged and prosecuted by the student Arens, affairs at Number 8 Broad street progressed more quietly. Both Mr. and Mrs. Eddy were teaching metaphysics. Mrs. Eddy’s classes were held at her Lynn home, but Mr. Eddy taught in East Cambridge and in Boston, as well as in Lynn. The disaffected student Spofford was seldom seen in Lynn. He had opened an office in Boston and still retained one in Newburyport.

In October, 1878, the Boston Herald printed an article stating that Daniel Spofford had disappeared and his friends were greatly alarmed concerning him. A description of him was given and other papers were asked to copy it. A few days later the same paper stated that his body had been found and was lying at the morgue. On the twenty-ninth of October the Herald was able for the first time to print a fact in this case, relating that Asa Gilbert Eddy and Edward J. Arens were under arrest for conspiring to murder Daniel Spofford.

After the lapse of thirty years it is as difficult to form an opinion concerning this amazing charge as it was at the time of its occurrence. It is difficult because it requires one to follow the tangled threads f a conspiracy, a conspiracy so well wrought as at first to deceive the grand jury of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and, as was afterward found, too intricate to yield its prime mover even under legal scrutiny, and the indictment against Mr. Eddy and Mr. Arens was quashed by the District Attorney, Oliver Stevens. It may be well to state at once that Mr. Spofford had not had a hair of his head harmed, and lives to-day, still rehearsing the strange features of this strange story which, without explanation, would throw discredit on the blameless life of Mr. Eddy, and by implication on Mrs. Eddy.

When the two innocent men were arrested they were held in three thousand dollars’ bail for examination in the municipal court on November 7 for the crime of conspiring to kill Daniel Spofford. The preliminary hearing was held before Judge May. Counsel for the government submitted no argument after the hearing of evidence, but called the attention of the Court to a chain of circumstances established which he believed was strong enough to hold the prisoners. Judge May, after deliberation, declared it his opinion that the case was a very anomalous one, but that he would hold the defendants to appear before the Superior Court at the December hearing, and he again fixed the amount of bail, which would release them from the necessity of going to prison, at three thousand dollars each.

The case was called before the Superior Court in December, 1878, and an indictment was found on two counts. The first read: “That Edward J. Arens and Asa G. Eddy of Boston aforesaid, on the th day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-eight, in Boston aforesaid, with force and arms, being persons of evil minds and dispositions, did then and there unlawfully conspire, combine, and agree together feloniously, wilfully, and of their malice aforethought, to procure, hire, incite and solicit one James I. Sargeant, for a certain sum of money, to wit, the sum of five hundred dollars, to be paid to said Sargeant by them, said Arens and Eddy, feloniously, wilfully, and of his said Sargeant’s malice aforethought, in some way and manner and by some means, instruments and weapons, to said jurors unknown, one Daniel H. Spofford to kill and murder against the law, peace and dignity of said Commonwealth.”

The second count charged the prisoners with hiring Sargeant “with force and arms in and upon one Daniel H. Spofford to beat, bruise, wound, and evil treat against the law, peace, dignity of said Commonwealth.”

The Superior Court record reads: “This indictment was found and returned into Court by the grand jurors at the last December term when the said Arens and Eddy were severally set at the bar, and having the said indictment read to them, they severally said thereof that they were not guilty. This indictment was thence continued to the present January term, and now the District Attorney, Oliver Stevens, Esquire, says he will prosecute this indictment no further, on payment of costs, which are thereupon paid. And the said Arens and Eddy are thereupon discharged, January 31, 1879.”

This monstrous charge was thus dismissed without a trial. The men accused were made to appear too insignificant in the world’s affairs to warrant a full and clear exoneration. They were let go like guilty culprits who just escaped the sting of the law’s lash. Their case is not singular. It is to be deplored that the law does not always make the vindication of a man, entangled in its meshes through the unwarranted suspicions of his enemies or neighbors, so clear and emphatic that he may stand innocent in reputation, unblemished, and without reproach, even as he did before the law laid hands upon him.

What would have happened had the process of law taken its full course? Doubtless the guilty conspirator would have been made to appear. To fasten a crime upon an innocent man is in itself a hideous crime, and by the very nolle prosse of this indictment a conspiracy was shown to exist which, had the district attorney of that day felt his whole duty, he would have disentangled by thoroughly sifting the evidence. He had a crime to fit to an individual. He should have gathered all the known details, examined every circumstance, however slight. He should not have lost a shred or tatter. For his work was to piece together a fabric of evidence to match a fabric of guilt. The garment would have fit but one man and that man the criminal.

In speaking of a district attorney’s obligations to the people, James W. Osborne, a distinguished attorney of New York City, and a former assistant in the district attorney’s office, says:

It is as much his duty to take care of the rights of one of the people as the rights of all... Resting always on the evidence, his feet are fixed in the way they should go... A human being moves in certain well-defined circles, which, joined together, make up a complete history of the man’s life. When you have a section of the arc of any man’s history, you are pretty well able to follow it to its completion. It is like the key to a puzzle around which the broken pieces naturally group themselves. There is the social life, the religious life, the business life, — will these sections of the arc fit together? Can you complete the ring? When you have them all they fall into place naturally; all phases join by an imperceptible cleavage; the circle is completed by those who, with hands joined, encompass the life. You see the complex whole. Here is the individual. You know the mainspring of his thoughts, his desires, his habits, his acts. Taken together you have his character; you have the man.

I am not obliged to give you the motive for a crime to prove it to have been perpetrated... The motives of the human heart are often beyond comprehension. But it is the most natural thing in the world to ask, “Who could have desired to do this deed?” Therefore a motive is a part of the evidence, and when you can prove a motive, it becomes of the greatest importance. It excludes other possible agents, all things being equal, and becomes like a finger pointing unswervingly and declaring to the shrinking and guilty person, “Thou art the man!”

As the district attorney of that day did not see fit to so handle his evidence, no unswerving finger ever pointed out the guilty person. It is therefore not possible to make any direct accusation at this late date either by surmise or inference, but that the reader ay form his own opinion of the nature of the entanglement it is only necessary to tell the main facts of the story.

Mr. Spofford did disappear from Boston in October, 1878, and was absent from his office two weeks. But he disappeared of his own free will and passed the fortnight in the home of the man who claimed to have been hired to kill him. Mr. Spofford told his story in court. He said that a man, introducing himself as James Sargeant and describing himself as a saloon-keeper, had come to him in the early part of the month at his office, 297 Tremont street, Boston. This man first asked him if he knew two men named Miller and Libbey. Being answered in the negative, he said, “Well, they know you and they want to get you put out of the way.”

Then he related that these two men had employed him to make away with Spofford. The plan was to get Spofford to take a drive on a lonely road, and in some remote spot to beat him over the head and kill him, then to entangle his body in the reins and cause the horse to run away. Having unfolded this marvelous plot, Sargeant acknowledged that he was to get $500 for his services. He told him that he had already received $75, and meant to try to get the rest. But Sargeant declared he had no desire to risk his own life in such a business, although apparently suffering no qualms from any moral scruple. He further stated that he had already been to a state detective, Hollis C. Pinkham, and asked him to watch the case.

Mr. Spofford said that he himself immediately ent to this state detective, and found that Pinkham did know of the matter, but apparently was so little concerned that he had not even thought it necessary to warn Spofford. In fact, the state detective expressed himself of the opinion that it was a trumped-up story sold by Sargeant to ingratiate himself with the police department, for this man, the detective told Spofford, was an ex-convict with a bad criminal record.

According to his own story, Mr. Spofford did nothing further until Sargeant came again to call upon him, and when he again beheld the square-set, brutal-featured man in his office he was greatly alarmed. Sargeant had come to tell him that the men, Miller and Libbey, were pressing him to complete his work; that he had put them off, saying their man was already dead; but they had sent an agent to his office and now accused Sargeant of playing false with them.

Spofford conferred again with the state detective and on that official’s advice disappeared. He chose a strange place to conceal himself. Mr. Spofford actually took the drive on the lonely road with the ex-convict and went with him to his house in Cambridgeport. Sargeant did not even ask him to pay for the hired horse and buggy. Spofford remained in the home of the saloon-keeper of Sudbury street for two weeks, reading the papers in which he was advertised as lost and later as lying in the morgue, never venturing to come forth and disclose his whereabouts to his anxious friends. This strange proceeding would seem to indicate that the depraved an, Sargeant, had been employed by some one as an actor in a farce rather than a tragedy.

At the preliminary hearing in the municipal court of Boston there was a strange assemblage of witnesses brought to swear against the liberty of the teacher of moral science, Mr. Eddy, and his student, Edward Arens. The two men who had been summarily arrested and haled to court were astounded to behold Daniel Spofford in such a company. Besides Sargeant, the saloon-keeper of Sudbury street, there were his sister, who kept a house of ill-fame at 7 Bowker street, and several women inmates of this house; also George Collier, Sargeant’s accomplice, who was under bonds awaiting trial on some charge of evil doings of his own; Jessie MacDonald, a discharged servant from Mrs. Eddy’s household; and the detectives employed in the case, Hollis C. Pinkham and Chase Philbrick, were of the company.

Sargeant, with bold effrontery, professed to identify Mr. Eddy and Edward Arens as “Miller and Libbey.” He then told a long and vivid story of his meetings with them, — how they had come into his saloon one morning and told his fortune and then, getting into confidential conversation, had asked him if he knew any one who could be hired to put a man out of the way; how he had said that he was ready himself for any such job, provided there was money in it; and how by arrangement he afterward met Mr. Eddy and Mr. Arens on the railroad track in East Cambridge on the seventeenth of August at five-thirty o’clock in the afternoon. There, he declared, being somewhat alarmed for himself, he had ad his friend Collier conceal himself in a freight car to hear the details of the wicked conspiracy, and he stated how he had also provided himself with a revolver in case these desperate characters should attack him.

The presiding judge must have wondered at this on studying the calm, sweet eyes of Mr. Eddy, the astounded and fearless gaze of Mr. Arens, and then the shifty, cruel eyes of Sargeant. But his perplexity must have increased on observing the guileless expression of Spofford. Collier testified to the truth of all Sargeant had said; the women witnesses from the Bowker street house declared that Sargeant had come there and left with his sister the $75 he had received for the murder; the detective, Pinkham, stated that he had listened to Sargeant’s and Spofford’s stories, that he had seen Sargeant talking to Arens on Boston Common, and that he had also seen Sargeant approach Mr. Eddy’s house and be refused admission. The testimony of the servant girl, Jessie MacDonald, was that she had heard Mr. Eddy say that Spofford kept Mrs. Eddy in agony and he would be glad if Spofford were out of the way; also she had heard Mrs. Eddy read a chapter from the Bible which says that all wicked people should be destroyed.

Russell H. Conwell was the attorney employed by Mrs. Eddy to conduct the defense of her husband and her student. The able lawyer had prepared a thorough analysis of the apparent facts, but as the case never came to trial, the defendants had no hearing. Mrs. Eddy, however, did not rest after the eremptory dismissal of the case, but remained active in the defense of her husband’s honor, until every charge was privately examined and affidavits secured covering every point. In these affidavits she was singularly fortunate in receiving the confession of the accomplice Collier which promised to clear up the entire matter had the nolle prosse not been entered. Shortly after the police court hearing, this man wrote the following badly spelled letter now in Mrs. Eddy’s possession:

To Dr. Asa G. Eddy and E. J. Arens, — Feeling that you have been greatly ingured by faulse charges and knowing thair is no truth in my statements that you attempted to hire Sargeant to kill Daniel Spofford, and wishing to retract as far as possible the things I have sed to your ingury, I now say that thair is no truth whatever in the statement that I saw you meet Sargeant at East Cambridge or any other place and pay or offer to pay him any money; that I never herd a conversation between you and Sargeant as testified to by me. Whether Daniel Spofford has anything to do with Sargeant I do not know. All I know is that the story I told on the stand is holy faulse and was got up by Sargeant.


This letter led Mrs. Eddy to inquire out the man Collier and persuade him to make an affidavit before a justice in Taunton, December 17, 1878. His sworn statement is as follows:

I, George A. Collier, to on oath depose and say of my own free will, and in order to expose the man who has tried to injure Dr. Asa G. Eddy and Edward J. Arens, that Sargeant did induce me by great persuasion to go with him to East Cambridge from Boston, on or about the 7th day of November last, the day of the hearing in the municipal court of Boston in the case of Dr. Asa G. Eddy and E. J. Arens for attempting to hire said Sargeant to kill one Daniel Spofford, and that he showed me the place and the cars that he was going to swear to, and told me what to say in court, and made me repeat the story until I knew it well, so that I could tell the same story that he would, and there was not one word of truth in it all. I never heard a conversation in East Cambridge between said Eddy and Arens and Sargeant, or saw them pay or offer to pay Sargeant any money.

(Signed) GEO. A COLLIER.

The other affidavits Mrs. Eddy secured were statements as to Mr. Eddy’s whereabouts on the day and at the house when the ex-convict Sargeant declared he was conferring with him and giving him money on the railroad tracks. The statements made before justices and sworn to in all cases were that Mr. Eddy was teaching a class in metaphysics at the home of David Grey, 43 Clifford street, Boston Highlands, from two-thirty o’clock until five-forty-five o’clock. The ride in the horse cars of those days to East Cambridge from this address would have consumed an hour. Mr. Eddy, however, reached his home in Lynn about seven-fifteen, p.m., having gone from Boston Highlands to the Eastern depot and returned to his home on the six-thirty o’clock train. It took him three quarters of an hour to reach the Eastern depot from his class in Boston

Highlands. That he arrived home at the hour stated does not rest on Mrs. Eddy’s statement alone but is attested by Miranda R. Rice under oath, who was at 8 Broad street with Mrs. Eddy, waiting to hear particulars from Mr. Eddy of his new class.

As to the detective’s testimony that he had seen Sargeant at Mr. Eddy’s door, Mrs. Eddy wrote at the time:

The only time this man Sargeant came to our threshold; to our knowledge, was the day the detective came to arrest Mr. Eddy; he preceded the detective a few minutes and had just been ordered from the door by Mr. Eddy because of his impertinent remarks, when the detective who had him in attendance rang at the front door and himself admitted Sargeant into the house.

Though the state removed the detective, and Sargeant and Collier subsequently went to jail on other charges, this case, which was built up on perjuries and which collapsed without a hearing, evidently had great villainy in it and it should have been made to appear. Mrs. Eddy never held Daniel Spofford directly responsible for involving her husband in the wicked conspiracy and causing him to appear at the bar of justice in the company of thieves and women of ill-repute. At most she believed him blindly acquiescent in a design which it was never in his heart to originate. But she did point out, without naming, one who had motive and character for the instigation of the dastardly intrigue.


THE development of machinations usually has the result of clearing the atmosphere. The hostile plot related in the previous chapter operated in this manner. Its workings were like a chemical precipitation. Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual genius was resisting the encroachments of the little group around her and preparing to deal with the larger needs of a great spiritual movement.

She foresaw the future prophetically, and that the hour had struck for a new movement in the history of human rationalism. In less than twenty-five years the century would close, and in the opening of the twentieth century a new era of mental life awaited humanity. Mrs. Eddy realized this; she desired to prepare for it, to have in readiness processes of amelioration for the miseries of an age more or less in the bondage of fear, an operative organization by which humanity might lay hold of the new hope which should thrill it. Christian Science must go forward, it must be presented to the world beyond this little city of Lynn, it must be organized.

To trace in any great movement, as Lecky the historian of rationalism has pointed out, the part which belongs to the individual and the part which belongs to general causes is an extremely delicate ask. Mrs. Eddy had already made an amazing gift to her time which might well be deemed a sufficient work for any one individual to have perfected. In her treatise, “Science and Health,” she had given to the world a new conception of the nature of the Supreme Being and His habitual government of the universe. But having received a spiritual revelation, and having formulated this revelation into a treatise, Mrs. Eddy now apprehended that there existed a socially diffused sense throughout the world that a new age of reasoning was to appear with the dawn of the twentieth century. In apprehending this she realized a fresh work which was laid upon her, the work of bringing into the full glare of the world’s thought a spiritualized realization of the Christian faith.

What then were the tasks of the hour? An effective church organization was the crying need. After that Mrs. Eddy foresaw the necessity of establishing a college of instruction which would serve as a strong center of propaganda. Her book must have a third edition and this edition must be effectively circulated. Teachers and practitioners must be sent forth. It was a great work which unfolded itself in her mind in the very face of the conspiracy to dishonor her in Lynn, directed at her through the persons of her husband and student.

During the summer of 1878 Mrs. Eddy had ventured to carry her work into Boston. She first gave lectures on Sunday afternoons in the Shawmut Avenue Baptist church, and later lectured in the Parker Fraternity building on Appleton street.

This latter place was a hall for public meetings which seated from three hundred to four hundred persons. At first her lectures drew but a few people, but very shortly the audiences grew larger and she was soon able to fill the hall.

The Boston audiences were a revelation to Mrs. Eddy. The listeners attracted to the new doctrine were distinctly of a cultivated world. While her long labors in Lynn had unfolded her own powers, they had attracted to her only disciples whose intellectual limitations caused them to be more or less disappointing. They had been able to follow her only a certain distance in philosophic speculation, whereupon a reaction of some sort of stubbornness would ensue, a stubbornness impossible to cope with. In Boston a new quality of mind responded to her. Those first Boston audiences revealed to her that the foundation of her church was to be laid in the city of liberal culture.

Though Lynn was stubborn, the founder of Christian Science was not yet done with her efforts there. From that base her future activity was to be projected. The last two years of her residence in Lynn were not without the compensation of blessedness and fruition. A few students who remained loyal to the work were taught in Broad street, and when she went forth they followed her to Boston and became her aids. She could not personally do everything that lay before her; she must direct them to tasks by the faithful performance of which the struggles of the early church might have been greatly minimized.

Mr. and Mrs. Eddy lived a tranquil domestic existence. Their union was based on affection and mutual esteem. Their housekeeping was ideally simple and harmonious. Perfect orderliness, exquisite cleanliness, and gentle social courtesy were Mrs. Eddy’s marked characteristics, while calm, upright, steadfast, a continual support and protection to his wife, Mr. Eddy has been likened to the late President McKinley in his individual traits.

A vivid idea of the interior of that home may be gained, which is pleasing to remember when one is tempted to think of it only as a storm-buffeted center, its inmates scandalized, ridiculed, and outraged by hirelings and plotters determined to molest its peace. The exterior of the little house with its balconied portico, its flowers and shade trees has already been described. The first-floor rooms, so long occupied for classes and lectures, were now converted into a charming little parlor and study. Mrs. Eddy received her callers in the first room and did her literary work in the second.

The walls of the reception-room were finished in plain gray paper with gold cornices. The windows were hung with white lace draperies, looped back over high gilt arms. A crimson carpet covered the floor and the furniture was of black walnut. The tables always held vases of flowers, for Mrs. Eddy was devoted to the cultivation of plants in summer and winter, and her success with them was an evidence of her continual love of the beautiful. It is impossible to impart in such meager details the veritable charm of Mrs. Eddy’s home, a charm which as existed in every home she has made; but those who have described the room speak of it as a place where one breathed the atmosphere of graciousness expressed in rare simplicity.

In this room Mrs. Clara Choate was received by Mrs. Eddy in January, . She was one of Mrs. Eddy’s devoted students during that troublous time, and her description of the home life shows that Mrs. Eddy was not overwhelmed by her difficulties, but calm and resolute. She also tells of a certain buoyancy and gaiety which at times characterized Mrs. Eddy, a gaiety which caused her to rally her students to cheerfulness and mirth, as she later rallied the lawyers and journalists who assembled with awe-struck countenances to catechize her on the rationality of her mind.

Mrs. Choate, whose husband is a member of the family which has given so many distinguished publicists to the American nation, and who is herself related to the Blaines, was an early reader of “Science and Health.” She secured a copy of the first edition and read it with wonder and delight, but she did not immediately become a Christian Scientist. Having sent from her home in Salem for a practitioner and having been greatly benefited in health, she determined to meet the author of the book and study its doctrine at first hand. She accordingly came to Lynn. When she was shown into the little gray-walled parlor, she looked about in some wonderment. Expecting to find austerity, she was surprised to behold harmony, beauty, and sunshine. Yet this presently appeared the natural nvironment for the religion of love. Her meeting with Mrs. Eddy was typical of many such meetings. She describes it thus:

When the double doors leading into the back parlor were at last opened and I saw her standing there, I was seized with a sense of great gladness which seemed to be imparted by her radiant expression. Mrs. Eddy instantly healed me of every ill that had claimed me. I cannot describe the exhilaration that rushed through my whole being. I was uplifted and felt a sense of buoyancy unspeakable. It was as though a consciousness of purity pervaded Mrs. Eddy and from her imparted itself to me, whereupon I felt as if treading on air to the rhythmic flow of music.

Mrs. Eddy was over fifty years old, but Mrs. Choate describes her as a graceful figure in a violet-colored house-gown finished with lace at the throat and wrists. Her hands were small and expressive, her hair rippled about her face and was dressed high at the back of her well-shaped head. Her cheeks glowed with color and her eyes were clear, unwavering, like wells of light.

Mrs. Choate was not much over twenty, a young wife and mother who had never been away from home before. Mrs. Eddy called her “child,” and took her into that circle of friends which closely surrounded her. Later Mrs. Choate and her husband came to live across the street. She was much with Mrs. Eddy in and out of the house, and her happy spirits often relieved the strain of Mrs. Eddy’s arduous days. It was in May that they came to reside n Lynn. Her husband, George D. Choate, entered a class during that month, his opposition to Christian Science having been swept away by his wife’s marvelous healing and her enthusiasm for the cause of the new religious movement. They were later to aid in the establishment of college and church.

Other students who now came into the work were Miss Julia Bartlett, Mrs. Ellen J. Clark, Arthur True Buswell, and James Ackland. Some of them lodged in the Broad street house, occupying the several chambers of the second floor, but not living at the family table. Many incidents of the daily life of Mrs. Eddy are related by the students which show her never to have forgotten those sterling habits gained from the guidance of a mother remarkable throughout her life for housewifely virtue.

Though occasionally entertaining her students at the table and serving them with the food she prepared with her own hands, she was ever the teacher, writer, lecturer, organizer. If she sometimes walked on a pleasant evening with them to her favorite retreat on the beach, she never relaxed into the idleness of mere diversion. Spiritual realization was the constant theme of her conversation. Those around her had found health, harmony, joy in the science of being which she had taught them; they must help her to spread this gospel. The world was hungering for this truth; it must be fed. The world was sick in sin and error; it must be healed and taught truth. None of the students found in her a companion in idle thought and self-seeking. Sometimes hey complained of it and would have had her merrier, more diverted, less contained, and full of far-seeing plans. Because of her persistently maintained superiority to these human instincts some of the students were eventually estranged.

Organization was her word for the hour. It had become in her mind an imperative duty to organize the Christian Science church. A tentative organization had been made. In 1875, it will be remembered, the little band of eight students had pledged themselves to raise money for church services, but their ranks had been broken by rebellion and that organization was disbanded. On July 4, 1876, the Christian Science Association was formed to hold the students together for work and occasional meetings. This proved effectual for its purpose for a number of years. Mrs. Eddy now urged the incorporation of a church society. This was accomplished in August, 1879, and a charter, issued August 23, was received from the state. The articles of incorporation stated that the Church of Christ, Scientist, was to be established in Boston, thus fulfilling Mrs. Eddy’s prophetic vision.

The members of the new church were twenty-six in number and the organization was made at the home of Mrs. Margaret Dunshee in Charlestown. The first officers and directors were: Mrs. Eddy, president; Margaret Dunshee, treasurer; Edward A. Orne, Miss Dorcas Rawson, Arthur True Buswell, James Ackland, Margaret J. Foley, Mary Ruddock, Oren Carr, directors. They elected and ordained Mrs. Eddy pastor after the Congregational ethod of New England. This is not the basis of the present Christian Science church, but the organization continued in existence for about thirteen years when the church was reorganized.

For a year and a half the church carried on public meetings in the parlors of the various members. Not until December, 1883, were regular services held in a public hall. The first public meetings of the church were convened at Hawthorne Hall on Park street, Boston, and that hall, which has since been demolished, was the real cradle of the church. Mrs. Eddy was the active pastor from the date of organization and regularly preached a Sunday morning sermon. Even before the church regularly engaged a hall in Boston she preached at Parker Fraternity building, making the trip to Boston from her Lynn home for this purpose. On the morning of each Sabbath her students would seek her and find her sitting with closed eyes, deep in meditation. Urging her to eat, to dress, to make preparation for the delivering of her sermon, they expressed much love in solicitation. She would, however, send them away, demanding silence and time for thought. On the railway train from Lynn to Boston the students would join her. She was always faultlessly dressed and usually in a mood of spiritual gaiety.

In the pulpit there was never a trace of fatigue. It has been said that her sermons were exhilarating and moved her audiences to emotional exaltation; yet in the same breath critics add that she brought forward only the healing phase of her teaching, seldom touching on religious questions, such as epentance, humility, or prayer. They say that she was cold or indifferent to such topics. These two statements are not consistent, nor is the latter founded on fact. Many of her sermons are included in “Miscellaneous Writings” and are essentially spiritual. Prayer, Mrs. Eddy teaches, is the realization of the omnipresence of God and the aspiration for purity. Silent realization has always been an opening ceremony of her church. As for repentance, she taught the very essence of it, which she declared was the forsaking of sin.

The seeds of rebellion were in the first church organization. The reactionary effect observable in many of the early students was to repeat itself. Kennedy had persisted in the use of mesmerism, Spofford endeavored to wrest the leadership from the church’s founder, now Arens conceived the idea of writing a book on the topics he had studied, and for that purpose stole bodily from Mrs. Eddy’s writings. He preceded her to Boston and opened an office not far from where Kennedy had established himself. Rebellion now broke forth with violence in a group of students who walked out in a body. They prepared the following statement as their reason for so doing:

We, the undersigned, while we acknowledge and appreciate the understanding of Truth imparted to us by our teacher, Mrs. Mary B. G. Eddy, led by Divine Intelligence to perceive with sorrow that departure from the straight and narrow road (which alone leads to growth in Christlike virtues) made manifest by frequent ebullitions of temper, love of oney, and the appearance of hypocrisy, cannot longer submit to such leadership. Therefore, without aught of hatred, revenge, or petty spite in our hearts, from a sense of duty alone, to her, the cause, and ourselves, do most respectfully withdraw our names from the Christian Science Association and Church of Christ, Scientist.





21 October, 1881

Examining the charges summed up in this statement, it can readily be seen how the fresh impetus at work in Mrs. Eddy’s mind had wrought upon these narrow-visioned artisans. The Boston lectures had seemed to take the work beyond their sphere; the influx of new students from beyond Lynn had detached the teacher’s attention from their immediate concerns; the necessity to provide funds for propaganda had put an end to the easy-going communistic methods of the primitive movement; and above all, Mrs. Eddy had commanded an extraordinary obedience from her later students and they had submitted. Mr. Choate went to Portland where she sent him to teach, heal, and lecture, Mr. Buswell went on a similar errand to Cincinnati, Joseph Morton was sent to New York. These were the signs of a burgeoning of the work which alarmed the first students, and some of them retaliated, as has been shown, by malediction.

Had Mrs. Eddy been the virago and the avaricious hypocrite that they in their suspicion and ealousy brought themselves to believe, her work would have died in Lynn, and the greatest religious movement of modern times would never have been known. But instead of receiving its death blow from the carefully worded epistle of apology, it was re-baptized and confirmed, and the young church was in reality purged of the worst elements of opposition and encumbrances of ineffectuality which had hampered its growth.

The apology was read at a meeting at the home of Mrs. F. A. Daman of Lynn, in whose parlor the Christian Science church convened in the summer and fall of 1880. Mrs. Eddy, who had attended the meeting unaware of the agitation brewing secession, was entirely unprepared for the epistle. Grieved and astounded, she addressed the meeting in reply. She declared that these deluded students were the victims of that worldly influence which perverted the sense of spiritual things, an influence which the teaching of Christian Science almost invariably aroused in its first encounter with worldly desires, but not to be expected from those who had resisted flippancy and ridicule for years. She pleaded with them to rid themselves of such thoughts, to rise above personal rivalries, jealousies, and ambitions, to purge their minds of the critical spirit which led them to misconceive her own life and work, and to reaffirm the high purpose to which they had been called, namely the founding of the church.

Finding that her appeal did not meet with the response which would have shown the rebellious students merely victims of a temporary delusion, ut beginning to realize that they were incapable of the work to which she urged them, she made a masterly decision. She took from them the right to resign by expelling them from the ranks of her church, thereby preserving the church’s charter. She took one week for this sweeping move, having warned them directly after the reading of the paper that they were liable to expulsion. They failed to comprehend her meaning. She was, however, about to assert that power and strength which has been hers in all subsequent emergencies in her church, the force and foresight which has caused the world to acknowledge her a leader preeminent in efficiency with masterly direction. She was determined to preserve the remnant of her church against such internecine strife by asserting its substantial integrity and its power to rid itself of rebels.

Her act had a most salutary effect on the loyal students. Dismay had at first threatened them. They now rallied around her and in a few weeks published in the Lynn papers a reply to the seceders in the form of resolutions. In these they expressed their heartfelt love and gratitude for their teacher and acknowledged her as their leader in Christian Science, saying that she alone was able to protect the work she had founded; they denounced the charges brought against her as utterly false and deplored the wickedness of those who could abuse one who had befriended them in their need and rebuked them with honesty. They expressed their admiration and reverence for her Christlike example of meekness and charity, and declared that in future hey would more faithfully obey her instructions in appreciation of her Christian leadership.

Thus Mrs. Eddy preserved the organization of her church and she had already laid the foundation for the college of instruction she purposed to establish in Boston. The Massachusetts Metaphysical College was the name she selected for that institution, which she organized in January, , six months before the struggle in her church. She drew up an agreement with six students to teach pathology, ontology, therapeutics, moral science, metaphysics, and their application to the treatment of diseases, and for these purposes the college organization received a charter from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Mrs. Eddy was named president and the six students directors.

To thoroughly understand the force of Mrs. Eddy’s character it is only necessary to view the difficulties of the situation in which she was placed when she perfected these two basic organizations. She had been so pressed for money that she had been obliged to go upon her knees and cleanse her own floors, she had had to make over the garments she wore to present a faultless appearance of good taste to the public; she had protected her husband by her own energetic conference with counsel and witnesses in a conspiracy to charge him with murder; she had seen her oldest and most trusted women students plot against her and desert her; she had lectured and taught, and sent out missionaries to the North, South, and West; she had sent Mrs. Choate as a precursor to Boston.

In the midst of such activities the third edition of “Science and Health” had been prepared and was in press. It was issued in 1881, and contained those chapters whose mere captions arouse to-day in her thousands of followers the enthusiasm of faith. Footsteps of Truth, Science of Being, Recapitulation, Creation, Prayer, and Atonement were in its contents. This edition retrieved the blundering workmanship of the second edition and is in some respects a clearer statement of her doctrine than she had yet made. With such comprehensive and effective efforts for the future, she prepared to leave Lynn and to step into the full current of the life of her times in the city conceded to have the greatest culture in America.

Thus very shortly after the publication of the resolutions by her faithful students in February, 1882, the furnishings of the Broad street house were packed and stored until determinate arrangements should be made for a future residence. On the last evening before leaving Lynn a meeting of the church was held in the denuded rooms, the members seated on packing-cases for their final deliberations. At this meeting Miss Julia Bartlett was received into the church. She later performed an important work of teaching and healing in New Hampshire. Miss Bartlett is probably the oldest member of the Christian Science church who has remained unfaltering in loyalty to the cause. She resides to-day in St. Botolph street, Boston. She has been a remarkably successful healer and it was through her work in

New Hampshire that many students, among them the family of Ira O. Knapp, were brought into Christian Science. Mr. Knapp is one of the directors of the Mother Church.

Before settling in Boston Mr. and Mrs. Eddy made a visit to Washington and on this occasion Mr. Eddy performed a service of inestimable value for his wife and the cause to which she was dedicated. This was the thorough investigation of the subject of copyrights. Through the labors of her husband, Mrs. Eddy was thoroughly enlightened on this most important matter, important to the security of all her subsequent work. It has been remarked again and again, sometimes critically by those who saw only the worldly advantage of protection of property, again admiringly by those who perceive that every act of Mrs. Eddy’s business career was established in sanity and adherence to the law, that her copyrights have been iron-clad and infrangible and never neglected. Perhaps to her followers alone the real value of her copyrights is apparent. Their value to Christian Scientists is that they preserve Christian Science unadulterated for the years to come.

The necessity for investigation into this highly abstruse and perplexing subject was made apparent by the perfidy of the student, Edward J. Arens. He, some time in 1880, became imbued with the idea of metaphysical authorship, doubtless planning to turn his energies to the same purpose that had been threatened by a former student, namely to wrest the leadership of Christian Science from its discoverer. He issued a pamphlet entitled “Theology, or the Understanding of God as Applied to Healing the Sick.”

The preface to the third edition of “Science and Health” was written by Asa G. Eddy, and in writing it Mr. Eddy dealt vigorously with Arens. He states that while Arens says he has made use in his pamphlet of “some thoughts contained in a work by Eddy,” he for over thirty pages repeats Mrs. Eddy’s words verbatim, having copied them without quotation and filching, among other passages of the book, the very heart of Christian Science. This is the scientific statement of being which Mr. Eddy calls “that immortal sentence,” and which reads: “There is no life, truth, intelligence nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All in all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is made in His image and likeness; hence man is spiritual and not material.”1

Mr. Eddy very tersely says in his arraignment of Arens: “If simply writing at the commencement of a work, ‘I have made use of some thoughts of Emerson’ gave one the right to walk over the author’s copyrights and use page after page of his writings verbatim, publishing them as his own, any fool might aspire to authorship and any villain become the expounder of truth.” He then makes this statement concerning his wife: “Mrs. Eddy’s works are the outgrowth of her life. I never knew so unselfish an individual, or one so tireless in what “Science and Health,” p. 468.

she considers her duty.” As for Arens, he dismisses him with this emphatic characterization: “It would require ages and God’s mercy to make the ignorant hypocrite who published that pamphlet originate its contents. His pratings are colored by his character; they cannot impart the hue of ethics, but leave his own impress on what he takes.”

The federal courts subsequently enjoined Arens not to publish or circulate his pamphlet, and all printed copies were destroyed by order of the court. This did not happen until after Mr. Eddy’s death, or until process of law dealt with Arens, as shall be presently recounted. But Arens’ perfidy wrought upon Mr. Eddy seriously. He suffered real anguish of mind from it, being far more disturbed than was his wife, for he regarded it as a culmination of bitter attacks upon her work and an exhibition of malicious animal magnetism.

Speaking in a purely human sense, Mr. Eddy resented the unfaithfulness of one whom Mrs. Eddy had taught and trusted very largely with her business affairs. He felt it keenly that one who had gone through such an experience of unjust prosecution as Arens had suffered jointly with him in the Lynn conspiracy and who had been defended by his wife’s faithful energies should now array himself against the cause. Arens was living in Boston not far from the house on Columbus avenue which Mr. And Mrs. Eddy leased in the spring of 1882. He was teaching and preaching adversely to Christian Science, and as yet had not been restrained from circulating his pirated writings.

Whether or not it was as a result of sorrow engendered in his heart or distress arising in his mind over the continual harassment brought by attacks on the work to which he had given his energies, Mr. Eddy visibly failed in health. His heart became weak; he lost his appetite and could not sleep. He complained of a sense of suffocation, an oppression of the suggestion of evil. Mrs. Eddy summoned Dr. Rufus K. Noyes, a graduate of the Dartmouth Medical School, who was then a resident of Lynn, but who is now a distinguished Boston physician. He was known to Mrs. Eddy as a young man of brilliant achievements for his years, and had recently served as a resident physician in the city hospital.

She summoned Dr. Noyes to diagnose her husband’s case, for much perplexity had arisen among her students concerning his condition. She told the physician she believed her husband was suffering from the suggestion of arsenical poisoning, because, to her, the symptoms appeared to be those of actual or material arsenic. Some of her household had believed Mr. Eddy was suffering from cancer of the stomach. Dr. Noyes diagnosed the case as disease of the heart. He advised rest and tonic, digitalis and strychnia. But Dr. Noyes believes that his prescription was not adhered to and no medicines were administered.

It may be asked why Mrs. Eddy called a regular physician, especially if she did not intend to administer the medicines prescribed. A great deal of excitement was aroused by her husband’s illness, oth among her friends and her critics. She desired a diagnosis at which no man or woman could cavil. She did not believe that her husband had cancer, or that his heart was defective, but that he was suffering from suggestion. She believed that a practising physician, trained in natural science, would bear her out in this and thus clinch her own diagnosis. But she was ahead of her age. Experimental psychology had not then made the important discovery that the deadliest poison is a secretion engendered by the working of hatred.1

That Mr. Eddy suffered greatly, and that Mrs. Eddy suffered with him in her deep affection and sympathy is vouched for. A student who came The Washington Herald in August, 1907, printed on article descriptive of the experiments of Professor Elmer Gates in his laboratory of psychology and psychurgy. The article was also printed in the Chicago Tribune. It states: “Professor Gates has shown the causative character of thinking in a long series of most comprehensive and convincing experiments. He found that change of mental state changed the chemical character of the perspiration. When treated with the same chemical re-agent the perspiration of an angry man showed one color, that of a man in grief another, and so on through the list of emotions, each mental state persistently exhibiting its own peculiar result every time the experiment was repeated.

“When the breath of Professor Gates’ subject was passed through a tube cooled with ice, so as to condense its volatile constituents, a colorless liquid resulted... He made his subject angry and five minutes afterwards a sediment appeared in the tube which indicated the presence there of a new substance produced by the changed physical action caused by a change of the mental emotion. Anger gave a brownish substance, sorry gray, etc... Each kind of thinking produced its own peculiar substance which the system was trying to expel... Professor Gates undertook to discover the character of the substances which he obtained by condensation of the breath of his subjects. The brownish precipitate from the breath of any persons administered either to men or to animals caused stimulation and excitement of the nerves. Another substance, produced by another kind of discordant thinking, when injected into the veins of a guinea pig or a hen, killed it outright... The deadliest poison known to science is hate. Professor Elmer Gates is the man who has found it out, ... who has demonstrated it.”

and went in Mrs. Eddy’s house with the freedom of a sister has drawn a picture of the hour of sorrow which is tenderly beautiful. Mrs. Eddy had the work of her church to carry on; her room was littered with books and papers; there was no order there at this time, for she could give but snatches of attention to affairs while her husband was lying stricken in an adjoining room. He breathed with agony and with physical sobs. Sitting with him, Mrs. Eddy would lay her face close to his and murmur, “Gilbert, Gilbert, do not suffer so,” and under her silent treatment he would be relieved for a time and sleep.

But Mr. Eddy observed that he distracted his wife from her pressing business and heroically declared, “My sickness is nothing; I can handle this belief myself.” He steadfastly declared he was coping with the attack and urged his wife to leave him. When she had reluctantly done so, he experienced a depression, but refused to have her called to relieve him. Just before his death he cried out, “Only rid me of this suggestion of poison and I will recover.” Mrs. Eddy had retired but was called; her husband expired, however, before she could reach him. This was before daybreak on Saturday morning, June 3, 1882.

If there is any truth in the old saying, died of a broken heart, it might well be applied to the death of this good man. Because of the persistent rumors concerning his illness and death, rumors that he had had a cancer, that he had been taking arsenic, and even that some one had actually given him a ose of poison, Mrs. Eddy again called Dr. Noyes, this time to perform an autopsy. Dr. Noyes exposed the heart and exhibited the physical organ to Mrs. Eddy, pointing out the valvular difficulty. He found no traces of arsenic whatsoever, no cancer or other disease of the stomach.

In so far then as the surgeon’s knife can prove anything, Mr. Eddy died of heart exhaustion. But the surgeon’s knife cannot find everything; it cannot find love, for example, in the noblest heart that ever beat; nor can it find hate in the cruelest. Who can with authority deny Mrs. Eddy’s statement that poison mentally administered killed her husband? “Not material poison,” she declared, “but mesmeric poison.”

It may not be the term that natural science would admit, but natural science acknowledges readily that grief, disappointment, and profound depression will cause heart failure. Remembering the wicked charge of wilful attempt to murder falsely brought against Mr. Eddy, and the cruel assaults upon his wife, whom he loved and cherished, by the seceding students, and the attempt at a veritable overthrow of the work to which he was devoted, it may be very easily understood why Mrs. Eddy declared that her husband was mentally poisoned, and in that statement doubtless she was scientifically exact. It should be remembered that this happened in the early days of Christian Science practise and at the time when Mrs. Eddy was just awakening to the pernicious mental influence of hate. Christian Science presents a doctrine of love which antidotes ate. “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need,” says Mrs. Eddy in “Science and Health.”

Mr. Eddy’s remains were taken to Tilton, New Hampshire, and interred in the cemetery on the banks of the Merrimac River in the shadow of the beautiful foot-hills of the White Mountains. A granite shaft marks the spot. Mr. George D. Choate accompanied the body and Mrs. Clara Choate remained with Mrs. Eddy who arranged for her the topics of the eulogy which Mrs. Choate delivered on Mr. Eddy in Hawthorne Hall. Her subject was: “Blessed are they who die in the Lord; for their works shall follow them.”


WITH the death of her husband Mrs. Eddy suffered a severe blow, having lost a devoted co-worker and friend in whom she had found great satisfaction through a most exalted human relationship. A new chapter now opens in her life, a period of worldly activity in the cause of religion. She becomes the founder and the organizer, the teacher and promulgator of Christian Science and in this character transcends her former self as the kind hostess and sympathetic friend. Girlhood, widowhood, wifehood vanish, are swallowed up, in a complex but unified individuality which reveals her preeminently as the founder, Mary Baker Eddy.

The most cynical critics of this illustrious woman have made the comment that she is never so commanding a figure as when she bestirs herself in the face of calamity. Although these critics have essayed to portray her in the sad moment of her bereavement as a woman prostrated, hysterical, and exhausted, afraid to go out of her house and afraid to stay in it when in the quiet upper chamber the mortal remains of her husband lay draped for the grave, the events of those days will not harmonize with such a characterization.

Mrs. Eddy was self-controlled in the face of her ereavement, so calm that she in every way conformed to the usages and standards of the world, and yet bore herself with the composure of one acting in sublime faith. As there had been unwarranted rumors concerning Mr. Eddy’s illness and death, she had permitted an autopsy. That grim function completed and the verdict of heart failure rendered, Mrs. Eddy summoned such friends and students as she could rely upon. Mr. Eddy’s interment was lovingly arranged for and carried out and her tribute to his life and work was pronounced for her in a public service. She then took steps to withdraw from active work through the summer and rearranged her plans for a campaign of several years, looking to the establishment of the church on a firm foundation.

Before leaving Boston for a summer’s rest, a period which the world would call a time of mourning, but which to Mrs. Eddy was a spiritual retreat for the restatement in her consciousness of the deep things of love and truth and immortality, she gathered together her students and gave to each his work. She received representatives from the press and granted an interview in which she refuted the popular notion that consternation had seized her with the swing of death’s pinion. She declared with superb affirmation, “I believe in God’s supremacy over error, and this gives me peace.”

Mr. Arthur True Buswell, the student whom Mrs. Eddy had sent to Cincinnati to teach and practise, came to her house in Columbus avenue, summoned by telegram to join in an advisory council. He suggested that she make use of his home in Barton, in he Northern part of Vermont, for her vacation, and she accepted. Her house in Boston she left in the care of her students, Miss Julia Bartlett and Mrs. Abbie Whiting. She took with her as companion for the summer Miss Alice Sibley, a young woman of great beauty of character who was much endeared to her.

Although she had exhibited heroic qualities of energy and fortitude, neglecting nothing of direction and command before leaving Boston, she showed on the journey traces of nervous exhaustion and at times the hysteria of grief threatened to overwhelm her. With her wonderful faith she battled against the thoughts which assailed her, holding herself to her great purpose with the energy of a saint. Mr. Buswell relates that her great struggle was known to his household, but that she carried it through alone, though they often watched outside her door. After a night of agony she would emerge from her struggle with a radiant face and luminous eyes, and they would hesitate to speak to her for fear of disturbing the peace which enveloped her.

However great the struggle of the night, day found her ready to discuss the work of the movement. During the brief summer she constantly considered the situation in Boston. She planned the reorganization of her household, the reopening of the college, discussed what new students should be admitted to the fall classes, arranged for lectures to be given by the old students, and above all discussed the founding of a periodical which she resolved to call the Journal of Christian Science.

In such practical matters Mr. Buswell could help her, and together they discussed the proposed new organ of the propaganda. She decided to make Mr. Buswell the first assistant editor and business manager. This subject required a great deal of thoughtful consideration and the vital needs of its conception focussed and controlled her thought, leaving her grief to yield more gently to the ministration of divine agency.

An almost equally important matter for consideration was the future conduct of her household which she purposed establishing on an institutional basis. She turned over in her mind the qualifications of students in order to settle upon one in whom she could repose the trust of steward of her household. One day she requested Mr. Buswell to telegraph to Calvin A. Frye of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Directly afterward she resolved to return to Boston, and what had been in many respects a pleasant summer interval of inspirational drives and walks shared with Alice Sibley and of practical conferences with Mr. Buswell now came to an end.

Hastening to answer Mrs. Eddy’s summons, Mr. Frye met the returning party at Plymouth, New Hampshire. Mrs. Eddy requested him to make the journey to Boston with them and on the train she unfolded in part her plans and her needs of efficient stewardship. She put to him searching questions concerning his own life and his willingness to serve the cause of Christian Science. To all her questions he replied sincerely and declared himself ready to perform whatever lay in his power. Mrs. Eddy did ot tell him at the time what she later revealed to him, that Mr. Eddy had gone to Lawrence some months before his death and inquired into Mr. Frye’s record with the possible idea of summoning him to this very position. He had anticipated his wife’s need. The Rev. Joshua Coit, Mr. Frye’s pastor in the Congregational church, had so spoken of Mr. Frye that Mr. Eddy recommended him to his wife as a man to be trusted with her intimate affairs.

Mr. Frye entered Mrs. Eddy’s household on her arrival in Boston and from that hour to the present has remained faithful in her service. There is no term that will cover the manifold duties which have devolved upon him. He is usually spoken of as her private secretary because of the enormous amount of correspondence of which he relieves her. He has been her bookkeeper, her purchasing agent, and her personal representative on many important occasions. Those who would make a reproach of his faithfulness have referred to him as her butler and her coachman. Indeed, he has not hesitated to don a livery in her service to guard her on her daily drives.

But a few words concerning Mr. Frye’s history will correct the impression that the titles of servitude are warranted by his natural social status. The Frye family is an old one, as American ancestry goes. His grandfather and great-grandfather fought in the wars of 1812 and the Revolution. Frye village, now a part of Andover, Massachusetts, was named for his grandfather who had a prosperous milling business there in grist and lumber. His ather, Enoch Frye, prepared for college in Phillips Andover Academy and graduated from Harvard in the class made famous by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Calvin Frye received his education in the district school of Frye village. His father was in moderate circumstances, having contracted a lameness which unfitted him for active life work, and it was not possible for him to educate his sons as he had himself been educated. There were five children of Calvin’s generation, a brother who died in infancy, one who lost his life in the Civil War, another who is a business man of Boston, and a sister who with Calvin became a Christian Scientist.

Calvin married at the age of twenty-eight, but his wife lived only a year after the marriage and they had no children. He thereafter lived at home with his parents and sister in Lawrence, working in the Natick mill as an overseer of machinery. His family belonged to the Congregational church, his father and grandfather before him having been members of the choir. For fifteen years Calvin was an active church-worker, librarian, class leader, and usher. He and his sister Lydia became interested in Christian Science at the same time through Mrs. Clara Choate who carried the new teaching into Lawrence. She healed a relative of the Frye family and was then invited to their home.

Mr. Frye’s mother had suffered a mental derangement for many years and Mrs. Clara Choate restored her to sanity which continued for four years, when under a sudden return of her malady she expired. But her marvelous restoration made firm onverts of brother and sister, and Calvin Frye went to Lynn and studied Christian Science in the autumn of 1881 and practised healing in Lawrence until Mrs. Eddy summoned him to Boston. Lydia Frye Roaf joined her brother and was for a time in charge of Mrs. Eddy’s domestic affairs. She returned to Lawrence and practised Christian Science until her death. The Fryes have been a united family, neglecting none of the filial duties and paying each other the attention of yearly visits. Calvin Frye is a quiet, earnest man with a clear and placid countenance, and he is not without a mild mirthfulness which makes him an agreeable companion. His education has been broadened by the habit of reading. In practical matters he is an active, careful agent and the quality of faithfulness is preeminently his.

The house which Mr. and Mrs. Eddy had taken in Boston before Mr. Eddy’s death was at 569 Columbus avenue. Shortly after her return to Boston she removed to the house next door at 571. This was a three-story dwelling with a gray stone front. It was very simply furnished for Mrs. Eddy curtailed and modified the views of the enthusiastic students who would have had her (as one of them regretfully expressed it to the author) “lay carpets the feet would sink into or hang draperies of rich lace and velvet and decorate with bronzes and paintings which would reflect her taste in art.” The students who desired and urged such appointments were of two temperaments, those who loved her devotedly in a very human way and wished to exalt her before the world of Boston; others who had decidedly florid views of what metaphysics should manifest in worldly appearance and would have turned the modest gray institute into a Vatican palace, with oratories, perpetual altar lights, and chapel incense as its features, had they had their way.



One of a series of gray stone residences in Columbus Avenue

Boston, occupied by Mrs. Eddy in 1882

Mrs. Eddy had previously expressed her views on these matters. Mrs. Choate had given her a reception at her house in Tremont street at the corner of Upton street on her return with Mr. Eddy from Washington early in the spring of 1882. Through the efforts of a student who had a large social acquaintance the parlors were filled with fashionable Bostonians. Mrs. Eddy was simply garbed in a quiet gray silk with a black lace shawl draped over her shoulders. When she appeared the babble was quieted and she made a brief address. She then shook hands with a few of the guests, and retired from the scene of festivity. She afterward told her disappointed students that Christian Science could not be forwarded after that method.

Governed by ideas of simplicity, she now gave orders for the fitting out of the college. The classroom on the second floor was laid with oil-cloth. The wealthy and fashionable students, of whom there were now a good many, lifted their hands in amazement and despair. Mrs. Eddy further ordered a small platform built in one corner on which her table and chair should be placed. The entire house was furnished with like austerity and had the plainness of an office even in the front parlors though it was always garnished throughout with the shine of perfect order.

Miss Julia Bartlett and Mrs. Abbie Whiting were living in the house. Alice Sibley came and went with the freedom of a daughter. Mr. Edward H. Hammond of Waltham, who later introduced Christian Science into Baltimore, Mr. Hanover P. Smith, who wrote a book of appreciation of Mrs. Eddy, and Mr. Arthur Buswell also resided there. The house was run on the cooperative plan and the residents all used the parlors for receiving patients, each having his specified office hours.

On the front door of the house was affixed a silver plate bearing the inscription, “The Massachusetts Metaphysical College,” and students soon began to overflow the parlors. They were attracted through the public services at which Mrs. Eddy usually presided, or through the accounts of her own or her students’ healing which were frequently printed in the papers of Boston. Mrs. Eddy’s class-room became the center and soul of the house. She was teaching two or three hours a day. Of the work of the college she bore the entire burden.

So much did she pour her genius into it that when its doors were finally closed in 1889 she wrote that the college drew its breath from her and, as the reason for closing it, asked who else could sustain the institute in its vital purpose on her retirement. No one had helped her carry on the work of teaching up to this time. Asa G. Eddy, it is true, taught two terms in Lynn; Dr. E. J. Foster-Eddy taught one term in Boston, and General Erastus N. Bates taught a class just before the institute was closed. But aside from this assistance, Mrs. Eddy taught all the lasses that passed through the college during the eight years of its existence. The students aggregated four thousand. It will be seen that Mrs. Eddy must have taught from thirty to fifty students a month throughout this period. The task was herculean, the work accomplished amazing, for it must be remembered that she was not only teaching several hours every day but she was also lecturing every Thursday evening in the parlors of the college and preaching almost every Sunday. During the first few months after her return to Boston she was arranging for the establishment of the Journal, which made great demands upon her time.

The Journal of Christian Science, afterwards called the Christian Science Journal, made its first appearance April 14, . The little magazine, destined to become the organ of the church, was at first an eight-page paper, issued every other month. It was an attractive publication from the first moment of its birth, and to-day those first numbers are so rare and so eagerly desired that the bound volumes are worth their weight in gold. In the prospectus Mrs. Eddy stated the purpose of the Journal, or rather her purpose in founding it. She said it was the desire of her heart “to bring to many a household health, happiness, and increasing power to be good and to do good; — to kindle all minds with a common sentiment in a regard for and understanding of Infinite Truth.”

It was not a great literary output in its first issues nor did it leap at once to financial self-sufficiency. Rather was it a shy, modest little pamphlet which equired the sinking of a good deal of capital to get it on its legs, and it was a great drain on the attention of the founder. But it was seen at once that it had a sufficient raison d’etre. It conveyed rare touches of sympathy for lives shut in, lives that were desolate, lives that had seemed to spell failure. It was not sent to the mighty or the learned, nor was it designed for such, but for the needy. It contained articles on how to keep well, on prayer as a spiritual aspiration, on sunshine in the home, on the folly of having nerves, the fallacy of that tired feeling, the abuse of will power. Its pages sparked with witty sayings culled from great authors, and nuggets of gold from philosophic minings. It showed in every column the earnest diligent work of its editor.

Some of the articles from Mrs. Eddy’s pen in these early numbers have been reprinted in her book “Miscellaneous Writings,” which have served as the stepping-stone to many of her followers in a comprehension of the text-book, “Science and Health.” There is no doubt that her personality is revealed in them in more vivid colors than elsewhere. From time to time in the Journal appeared a poem from her hand and from these devout versifications were chosen some which have become the best beloved hymns of the church.

Mrs. Eddy did not write the entire contents of the Journal, far from it; there were numerous excellent articles by her students and co-workers. But her impress is strongly visible, and in glancing through its pages one can almost see her at work at her desk, so direct and vital is the editorial contact. It is ournalism which has the keen and bracing atmosphere that was felt in the old days from such great dailies as Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune. To be sure it is journalism in a limited sphere and with its own direct appeal, but it is of that sort which brings into a home the highest sense of a socialized life.

The founding of the Journal proved to be one of the most effective moves Mrs. Eddy made in the establishment of Christian Science. The magazine could go cheaply where it would cost a great deal of money to send lecturers and practitioners. Moreover, it carried in a peculiar way the personal touch of the founder of Christian Science. And yet the Journal was in no sense a personal organ. To so style it is to confuse its aims with those of a political or biased publication. Its appeal was to the spiritual sense of the reader.

The Journal’s history is singular in that it has had a series of editors who fell away from Christian Science into strange apostasy. The first associate editor, Arthur True Buswell, was expelled from the Christian Science Association. His case was a peculiar one and difficult to explain, for he but recently declared to the author that Christian Science in his opinion is the vital truth of the world. But he also admitted that he was attracted to certain apostate students who were frankly practising hypnotism.

Mrs. Emma Hopkins, wife of an Andover professor, was the second to assume the position of associate editor, her name first appearing in the Journal in February, 1884. Mrs. Hopkins was a tudent of Mrs. Eddy. She came to her in trouble and sickness. She was healed, taught, and provided with employment congenial to her mind. But after the most extravagant happiness in her new-found field of usefulness, she became the victim of a flattering woman from Detroit who came to study at the college. This woman was Mary H. Plunkett, known later in New York as an advocate of marriage by selection of soul affinity without regard to marriage and divorce laws. Mrs. Plunkett departed for New Zealand with her affinity, leaving her husband behind and was later reported to have wearied of her companion or to have been deserted by him and to have entered a religious order.

This woman succeeded by flattery and cajolement in turning the head of Emma Hopkins. She told her she would make her the greatest woman on the planet and succeeded in making the Andover professor’s wife believe herself a feminine genius whose name would go down the ages as another Hypatia. It was strange that a student could sit for two or three hours in a class-room under the spiritual teaching which led all into a rapt sense of the higher life; and then make her way to the office of a recognized aide de camp and there plot desertion and heresy.

However, it was so. Mrs. Hopkins left with Mrs. Plunkett for the West and began teaching a system of so-called metaphysics under her management in Detroit, Chicago, and other Western cities. Her teaching was a perversion of the doctrine she had learned from the founder of Christian Science, though the perversion was at first so subtle that it as scarcely possible to detect it. It was, however, the old heresy of hypnotism clothing itself in religious terms. Under the tutelage of the brilliant worldling, for such Mrs. Plunkett was known to have been in Detroit, it is not surprising that Mrs. Hopkins found the singularly pure ideals of Mrs. Eddy to appear reversed or that she was presently joining the chorus of Christian Science deserters in declaring her selfish and tyrannical. The two women published for a time a magazine which they called The International Magazine of Christian Science, a deceptive name which caused considerable annoyance to the management of the Journal.

In the fall of 1885 Mrs. Sarah H. Crosse became assistant editor and remained in that position until she too left Christian Science with a group of other students, some of whom departed from the association in for the very strange reason that they desired to study medicine. This disaffection will be spoken of in another chapter. The Rev. Frank Mason then became editor of the Journal. He later went to New York and founded a church in Brooklyn which was non-Christian Science. Mr. William G. Nixon took the business management of the Journal in 1890 and his apostasy will be described in connection with the building of the Mother Church. During that year Mr. Joshua Bailey was editor and the year following Miss Sarah J. Clark of Toledo acted in this capacity, — both loyal students. Finally, in 1892, the charge of the Journal was assumed by Judge Septimus J. Hanna, who stood like a rock and for ten years edited it with ability and iscretion. He was relived of his duties in 1902 that he might become active in the lecture field, since which time its able editing has been conducted by Mr. Archibald McLellan.

During all these years the little magazine, in spite of precarious storms, under the masterly superguidance of Mrs. Eddy, grew into a powerful organ for the church. In its early days its life was more than once threatened by such sinister means as the publication of a counterfeit which just escaped the infringement of copyright. But of the use of copyrights Mrs. Eddy had been wisely educated by both investigation and experience. It was in 1883, shortly after founding the Journal, that she exercised her knowledge of the law in this respect and brought to an end the encroachments of Edward J. Arens which have been previously referred to.

Mrs. Eddy sued Arens for infringement of copyrights by filing a bill in equity in the United States Circuit Court of Boston in April, 1883. Arens filed an answer in which he alleged that the copyrighted works of Mrs. Eddy were not original with her, but had been copied by her, or by her direction, from manuscripts originally composed by Phineas Quimby. This extraordinary statement he was called upon to substantiate with proofs. He was unable to present the slightest evidence, his appeals to George Quimby of Belfast, Maine, meeting with no response. Arens therefore gave notice to the court, through his counsel, that he would not submit testimony, that he had none to submit. Thus Arens’ defense fell to the ground and his failure to prove the old and orn statement that Mrs. Eddy’s book was Quimbyism became a veritable vindication of her authorship. The United States Court issued a perpetual injunction against Arens, restraining him from printing, publishing, selling, giving away, or distributing in any manner his pirated works under pain of a fine of $10,000. Furthermore, his printed books to the number of thirty-eight hundred were “put under the edge of the knife and their unlawful existence destroyed.” The costs of the suit which were $113 were taxed against Arens.

Thus the seal of the United States Court was put upon Mrs. Eddy’s rights as an author, and those copyrights which Mr. Eddy secured in her name were never again disputed. This signal triumph came at a time when Mrs. Eddy needed such a perpetual guarantee from justice for her right of way. Having secured it, no one could again with propriety publicly or privately dispute her authoritative claim as discoverer of the science she was establishing.


THE most modest appeal of the Christian Science Journal very early began to create results which were first apparent in the arrival of students from the West at the Metaphysical College in Boston. And no sooner had the first Western students returned to their homes than they began to insert their cards as practitioners in the Journal, and thereafter letters of inquiry poured in from Milwaukee and Chicago, and Mrs. Eddy’s morning mail began to assume bulky proportions. She published a notice in the magazine referring the inquirers to her Western students, but they were not satisfied with anything but information from headquarters.

In the spring of 1884 a pressing demand came from Chicago that a teacher of Christian Science be sent there – if Mrs. Eddy herself would not come. So manifold were the demands on Mrs. Eddy’s time that the idea of a Western trip seemed out of the question. Her correspondence, her classes, her Thursday evening lectures, and Sunday morning sermons, to say nothing of the editing of the Journal, left her no time for the slightest recreation and seemed too imperative to be laid down for a fraction of an hour. Conducting a class in Chicago would mean a month’s absence. In the emergency she ooked about her for a suitable and capable person to send out to the Macedonia of the West.

Among the names that suggested themselves to her was that of Mrs. Clara Choate, a student who had occasionally taken her place in the pulpit and who had performed excellent work as a practitioner and teacher. But when she broached the subject to Mrs. Choate she found her unwilling to go. Mrs. Choate had a large practise in Boston, her home ties seemed strong. She had living with her an aged parent and her child was in school. Mrs. Eddy recognized the weight of the objection and did not urge the request upon her, but it became something for discussion among the students that Clara Choate was at variance with her teacher. A situation not exactly harmonious appeared to be arising. To dispel this Mrs. Eddy called together the students resident in her house for a prayerful consideration of the duties of all and their obligations to her as faithful disciples. She foresaw that the work was growing with such giant strides that faithfulness to duty must be exacted and yielded if the call for missionaries was to be answered.

It was not possible for Mrs. Eddy to call a conference in this somewhat over-eager community of students without enormous significance attaching itself to the occasion. Realizing this, she requested the students of the house to regard the meeting for counsel as a private meeting, and directly the name Private Meeting was coined. The Private Meeting society, or the “P.M.” as it was immediately dubbed, became talked about among the students outside the ouse who felt that something was being planned from which they were to be excluded. The P.M. society met but twice, but so widely was its existence discussed that Mrs. Eddy was obliged four years later to write an account of its deliberations. She related that the meetings had considered two topics, first, There is no Animal Magnetism; second, God is All, there is None beside Him. These topics were given out without instructions and the students who joined in the meeting were expected to quietly treat the disharmony in their midst.

“If harm could come from the consideration of these two topics,” Mrs. Eddy wrote, “it was because of the misconception of those subjects in the minds that handled them... I dissolved the society and we have not met since.”1

In April Mrs. Eddy decided that she herself would go in response to the increasingly urgent call from the West. She handed over the charge of the Journal to Mrs. Hopkins, arranged for a suspension of her Thursday night lectures, and provided for certain of her students to fill the pulpit during her absence. Class work in the college was likewise suspended. The arrangements for the journey were left to Mr. Frye, who was to travel with her as secretary while Mrs. Sarah Crosse attended her as a companion. She spent a month in Chicago teaching a class in a private house on the West Side. Double parlors were taken for the class work, beside the suite of rooms engaged for her party.

Students came from towns outside of Chicago as “Miscellaneous Writings,” p. 350.

well as from various parts of the city. The parlors soon proved inconveniently small, but the work was successful for her teaching met with enthusiasm. The great Christian Science movement of the West resulted from that early visit of Mrs. Eddy, a visit undertaken in such perplexity as this call, colliding with her stress of work, had brought about. But by business punctiliousness and executive command she had been able to lay down the duties which had at first seemed imperative of personal direction. Few of her followers could then understand the amazing fortitude this required. But the Western field in the years following justified its demand upon her time. Its response was an abundant harvest of idealism in the midst of vaunting materialism.

When she returned to Boston it was with vision rested by that far horizon which was presently to stretch to the Pacific. Not many months later there appeared in the Journal this notice: “The California Metaphysical Institute affords an opportunity on the Pacific Coast for receiving a course of instruction in the rudiments of Christian Science. Those desiring information will address Ella Bradshaw, C.S.B., San José, California.” And one month later a similar card advertised establishment of the Illinois Christian Science Institute, incorporated, at Chicago. This was but the beginning of what rapidly grew into a network of academies and institutes for the dissemination of her doctrine.

When the church showed signs of outgrowing its Boston and New England environment it became ecessary to look to the needs of the field at large. Mrs. Eddy realized this need almost before it was apparent, certainly before it was obvious to other eyes than hers. She had done everything hitherto to promulgate her doctrine; now it was forced upon her that she must safeguard it from adulteration and heresy. In her very first class in Chicago there arose a mind to lead a rebellion. Mrs. Ursula Gestafeld was the student who subsequently led a movement of mental scientists in the Western city, and her innovation, counterfeiting the teaching she had received, was but a type of what might and did occur in other localities.

“For many successive years,” Mrs. Eddy writes, “I have endeavored to find new ways and means for the promotion and expansion of scientific Mind-healing, seeking to broaden its channels, and, if possible, to build a hedge round about it, that should shelter its perfections from the contaminating influences of those who have a small portion of its letter, and less of its Spirit. At the same time I have worked to provide a home for every true seeker and honest worker in this vineyard of Truth.

“To meet the broader wants of humanity, and provide folds for the sheep that were without shepherds, I suggested to my students, in 1886, the propriety of forming a National Christian Scientist Association. This was immediately done, and delegations from the Christian Scientist Association of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, and from branch associations in other states, met in eneral convention at New York City, February 11, .”1

Thus Mrs. Eddy describes how, from her address to the association in Boston which held its tenth annual meeting on January sixth of that year at the college building, the action was immediately taken to carry out her views and wishes for the associations in other cities to be drawn into a unity of purpose. On February tenth the first regular meeting of the national association was held in New York City with delegates present from Boston and Chicago. This national association held four subsequent meetings and was of tremendous aid in the formative period of the church. It held its second meeting in Boston, its third meeting in Chicago, its fourth meeting in Cleveland, and its final meeting in New York, when Mrs. Eddy requested its members to adjourn for an indefinite period. She had then other plans for the church which unfolded successfully and harmoniously.

It was somewhat in consequence of the forming of the national association, somewhat in the gradual missionary work of the Journal, and largely because of the healing work of the students, who went out from the college month after month, that the Christian Science doctrine spread to every part of the country. This book is not a history of the Christian Science movement, hence it is not within its province to show how it came about that thirty academies were in existence in 1888. But so it was, and these schools in Colorado, Kansas, California, “Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 73.

Iowa, Nebraska, New York, The District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri, and Kentucky.

This inspiring growth of adherents in all parts of the country did not result instantaneously or miraculously from Mrs. Eddy’s visit to Chicago, but grew with a healthy, sturdy activity during the four years intervening between the spring of 1884 and 1888. Mrs. Eddy was meantime faithfully pursuing her work at the college on Columbus avenue. Her house became the center of much interest and was for several years a very notable residence in Boston. It was substantial without being pretentious, its arrangement was typical of modern city residences and Mrs. Eddy relaxed somewhat the rigid order of its furnishings as the months flew by and her financial resources were more abundant and secure. On the first floor was a suite of parlors continuous with a small reception-room. These rooms could all be thrown together by opening sliding doors, and this was done on Thursday nights when the curious Boston literary folk came to hear the new doctrine. For, had they not read what Bronson Alcott said of this new teacher of metaphysics, and was not Bronson Alcott a prophet to be heeded? 1

1 “The profound truths which you announce, sustained by facts of the immortal life, give to your work the seal of inspiration – reaffirm in modern phrase the Christian revelations. In times like these, so sunk in sensualism, I hail with joy your voice, speaking an assured word for God and immortality, and my joy is heightened that these words are of woman’s divinings.” – Bronson Alcott in a letter to Mary Baker Eddy, dated Concord, Mass., and quoted in the Journal. ”have you heard her lecture, have you been to her college?” And to Mrs. Eddy’s home came many distinguished persons during the years from to 1887. It was not then so difficult a matter to meet the founder of Christian Science as it became later. One had only to ring her bell and state his purpose of inquiry to a student on duty, and as soon as Mrs. Eddy could lay aside the work of the moment she would come to the reception-room, a kindly and sympathetic hostess with the rare charm of perfect composure through which shone a radiant readiness to believe the highest and best and noblest of whomsoever presented himself. Among such callers and inquirers into her teaching were Frances Hodgson Burnett and Louisa M. Alcott. These two women, since crowned with literary laurels and embalmed for the future with a fame all their own, went together, one day, as was related by a literary woman of Boston, to meet Mrs. Eddy and acquaint themselves with her doctrine from her own lips.

“Mrs. Burnett appeared to receive Christian Science like a birdling fed,” said this literary lady, herself the editor of a journal. “But Miss Alcott, though her father was a transcendentalist and some years before had more than half avowed a faith in the new system of metaphysics, did not take to it. She was of a very practical, matter-of-fact mind. She had had enough of idealism and was determined to keep her feet upon terra firma. But she was impressed with Mrs. Eddy’s personality.”1

If Miss Alcott was impressed with her personality, – Katherine Conway, of The Pilot, in an interview he certainly did not correctly apprehend the doctrine, as she revealed her understanding of it in an article written for the Woman’s Journal, a magazine devoted to woman’s suffrage and conducted by Miss Alice Stone Blackwell. Mrs. Eddy replied to her article in the Christian Science Journal, kindly pointing out the difference between hypnosis and her own teaching. It is interesting to note that Miss Blackwell was herself a contributor to the Christian Science Journal on the subject of suffrage in April, .

In printing the article on suffrage in her journal, in frequent references to the educational advancement of women, and in reviewing books on diverse subject, Mrs. Eddy revealed a broad interest in woman’s work all over the world. She likewise maintained an active, alert interest in the sermons and public speeches of eminent men, and either herself or through her editors reviewed philosophic treatises that came from the press.

Of Madame Blavatsky and theosophy she had somewhat to say and printed an article which, while it radically disagreed with theosophic occultism, gave the Russian woman credit for broad scholarship. On the other hand, in a review of a publication on George Eliot’s essays and verse by Rose Elizabeth Cleveland, Mrs. Eddy praises Miss Cleveland for her felicity as an editor and in a genuine outburst of sincere appreciation of the great English novelist declares her womanly and heroic with firm, unfaltering adherence to honest conviction and conscientious reasonableness. “Her metaphysics purge aterialism with a single sentence,” declares Mrs. Eddy, quoting the sentence as follows, “One may know all that is to be known about matter and nothing that needs to be known about man.”

Lilian Whiting, author of “The World Beautiful,” then a Boston journalist and correspondent for Western papers, described a visit to Mrs. Eddy in an article for the Ohio Leader, dated July 2, . As Miss Whiting was not a Christian Scientist her description is edifying as to how Mrs. Eddy appeared to the casual visitor of those days. Miss Whiting wrote that her note requesting permission to call was replied to with a courteous invitation to do so at an hour named. She continues:

“Accordingly at eight o’clock on that evening I rang the bell of the large and handsome residence on Columbus avenue near West Chester Park, known as the Metaphysical College. A maid ushered me into a daintily furnished reception-room where pictures and bric-a-brac indicated refinement and taste. Presently Mrs. Eddy came in and greeted me with a manner that, while cordial and graceful, was also something more, and had in it an indefinable element of harmony; and a peace that was not mere repose, but more like exaltation. It was subtle and indefinable, however, and I did not think of it especially at the time, although I felt it. The conversation touched lightly on current topics and finally recurred to the subject of metaphysics.”

Describing her singular experience as a result of the call, she says: “I remembered afterwards how extremely tired I was as I walked wearily and anguidly up the steps to Mrs. Eddy’s door. I came away, as a little child friend of mine says, ‘skipping.’ I was at least a mile from my hotel and I walked home feeling as though I were treading on air. My sleep that night was the rest of Elysium. If I had been caught up into paradise, it could hardly have been a more wonderful renewal.” Miss Whiting continues as though loath to cease the description and, with many adjectives, dwells on her “exalted state,” the “marvelous elasticity of mind and body,” and “an utterly unprecedented buoyancy and energy that lasted days.” She then remembers to state that all this was the result of a half hour’s conversation on metaphysics with “the most famous mind-curer of the day.”

Such were some of Mrs. Eddy’s experiences with the sisterhood of writers who now rendered grave or excited appreciation and anon intellectual disparagement. But whether they were critical or effusive of praise, Mrs. Eddy never turned one of them away, or refused an audience to any inquirer. To doctors, clergymen, and philosophers she gave intellectual attention and while she lived in the world of affairs, she lived in it broadly, deeply, generously, acting her own part as a leader wisely, but yielding courteous consideration to all other leaders in whatever movement and without regard to sex.

The increasing number of her students, their teaching and healing in the wider field, now opening up for the establishment of the new church, created an ever-increasing demand for her text-book, “Science and Health.” The book had been through ifteen editions, and there were therefore fifteen thousand copies in circulation, but letters came to her from the West, complaining that the book was not obtainable. It was necessary to put forth a fresh edition, and Mrs. Eddy determined to revise the book and give to it the benefit of her experience in elucidating many of its statements.

On her return from the visit to Chicago she did not take up the active editorship of the Journal, but contented herself with supervising its columns, applying herself in all spare moments to the rewriting of “Science and Health.” For many months she worked on the manuscript and in August, 1885, she had prepared a completed first draft. This manuscript contained all the essential matter of the earlier editions, — as a comparison will show, — but it had been simplified and clarified and given illuminating touches throughout by Mrs. Eddy’s higher unfoldment in metaphysical understanding.

Having completed the first draft of her work, Mrs. Eddy engaged the Rev. James Henry Wiggin to read the manuscript with a view of indexing it and also to preparing it for the printer with the privilege of making proper technical emendations such as are usually given all manuscripts by the editors of a publishing house. Mr. Wiggin was a man whom many Boston authors had employed for such work, and, because of his reputation for honor and ability, she believed that her book might be entrusted to his hands without fear that he would overstep his privilege and tamper with its subject matter or context. Such proved to be the character of his workmanship.

Mr. Wiggin was a prominent figure in Boston literary circles during the eighties and nineties. He was a retired Unitarian clergyman and for a time an editor for the University Press. While he was, in a sense, a man of the world, that is to say, a social fraternizer with the literary, musical, and artistic Bohemia of two continents, — for he traveled somewhat in Europe, — he was a man of character and enjoyed the friendship of men highly esteemed. John Wilson and Edward Everett Hale were his friends.

It is difficult to understand why after he has passed to another world the claim is made in his name that he practically rewrote “Science and Health.” Mr. Wiggin himself never made such a claim in any writings which he left and it may be sincerely doubted if he would have considered it honorable to strike so vitally at the integrity of any writer for whom he had worked as to cast a doubt upon the product of his mind. To even make the claim of polishing and giving style to a writer’s expression is, as it were, to assert that he has something to say and does not know how to say it. The fact that Mrs. Eddy’s book had gone through fifteen editions before Mr. Wiggin came on the scene proved that she both had something to say and knew how to say it.

Mr. Wiggin used the pseudonym Phare Pleigh in writing for the Christian Science Journal, and it is doubtful if Mr. Wiggin would think it fair play to print his personal letters after his death. He was a friend of Mrs. Eddy, though never a convert to Christian Science, and being a man of the world, he xpressed himself on the subject of the new religion at various times in various ways according to his mood and the character of the friend he was with. But what Mr. Wiggin thought as to Mrs. Eddy’s authorship he expressed in an extensive review published in 1886 entitled “Christian Science and the Bible.” In this review the following passage occurs:

“Now in this century there has arisen a sect called Christian Scientists. Their founder and cornerstone is Mrs. Mary Baker Glover Eddy. Born in Concord, New Hampshire, and afterwards a resident of Sanbornton and Lynn, she has been for several years a resident of Boston, where she is pastor of the Church of Christ, Scientist. She is also president of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, a school of the prophets whose students are taught Mrs. Eddy’s views as they are set forth in ‘Science and Health,’ a book which she first published ten years ago, and which has since passed through many editions, though she practised and taught the Science years before the book was printed or the college established.”

Through a period of five years Mr. Wiggin wrote many articles for the Christian Science Journal and he used his brain and talents in its defense, taking up the cudgels against clergymen in all parts of the country who essayed in sermon or magazine article to ridicule the new faith. Is it necessary to assume that he was acting the part of a hypocrite or merely enjoying a tilt with professional theologians under the cover of his pseudonym like a masked knight at a tournament?

It is possible that he was more strongly attracted to Christian Science than some of his worldly associates knew. In one of his articles in the Journal, “Heard at the Clubs,” he tells how a political discussion in which he was interested was interrupted by a reference to Christian Science and how an editor, an actor, and others testified to its benefits to the astonishment of a noted literary divine from Great Britain. He declared, “the talk everywhere turns on Christian Science and whoever has met the founder has been impressed with her integrity of purpose.” His various articles may be found in volumes three and four of the Journal.

Men of great parts have elsewhere and often been attracted to a cause, served it for a time earnestly and faithfully, and then fallen away from it. But in such instances it is seldom asserted that they gave it its life blood and then grew ashamed of it and ridiculed it. Such men do not give life blood to anything. They may be clever and gifted, but they are never the inspiration of a movement.

After Mr. Wiggin had handled Mrs. Eddy’s manuscript for the sixteenth edition of her book this announcement was made in the Journal for January, 1886: “Attention is called to this volume. It is worth the notice not only of Christian Scientists, but of all who are interested in the progress of truth. It is from the University Press, Cambridge, and this is a guaranty for its typographical appearance. All the material of other editions is herein retained, but all of it has been carefully revised and rewritten by Mrs. Eddy, and greatly improved. The arrangement of the chapters has been changed. One new chapter has been added, on the Apocalypse, giving an exposition of the bearings on Christian Science of the twelfth chapter of Revelation, to which it is believed by Mrs. Eddy to particularly relate. A special feature is a full index, prepared especially for this edition by a competent gentleman. In these days no important book has a right to come before the public without a proper index.”

For about five years Mr. Wiggin gave Mrs. Eddy the benefit of his literary training in reading the proofs of her successive editions and also the proofs of the Journal. She paid him fittingly for his work and cherished a kindly regard for him. It is regrettable that a revelation of his personal vanity as shown in private correspondence should have been given to the world in recent pamphlets – since vanity and egotism are common weaknesses shared in some degree by all mankind. In a playful protest against his learned profundities exhibited on one occasion in a philosophic review printed in the Journal, Mrs. Eddy wrote: “Now Phare Pleigh evidently means more than ‘hands off.’ A live lexicographer of the Anglo-Saxon tongue might add to the definition the ‘laying on of hands’ as well. Whatever his nom de plume means, an acquaintance with the author justifies one in the conclusion that he is a power in criticism, a big protest against injustice, — but the best may be mistaken.”1

1 – It was a great mistake to say that I employed Reverend James Henry Wiggin to correct my diction. It was for no such purpose. I engaged Mr. Wiggin so as to avail myself of his criticisms of my statement of Christian Science, which criticisms would enable me to explain more clearly the points

With Mrs. Eddy’s own gentleness of characterization and generosity of appreciation, Mr. Wiggin may fall into his rightful place in the story of her life as an aid and not a marplot, and his memory need not be stigmatized with the reproach of literary caddishness.

During the summer of 1888 Mrs. Eddy spent a few weeks in Fabyans, New Hampshire, at the White Mountain House. Her student, Mrs. Janette E. Weller, traveled with her. She gave an informal address to the summer guests who gathered from various resorts in the mountains when they learned that she was sojourning at the hotel. She afterward withdrew with her secretary and traveling companion to the farm of Ira O, Knapp for absolute retirement. She had just closed an eventful year in which she had formulated the subject matter hat might seem ambiguous to the reader. Mr. Calvin A. Frye copied my writings, and he will tell you that Mr. Wiggin left my diction quite out of the question, sometimes saying, “I wouldn’t express it that way.” He often dissented from what I had written, but I quieted him by quoting corroborative texts of Scripture.

In Christian Science my diction has been called original. The liberty that I have taken with capitalization in order to express the “new tongue” has well nigh constituted a new style of language. In almost every case where Mr. Wiggin added words, I have erased them in my revisions.

Mr. Wiggin was not my proof-reader for my book, “Miscellaneous Writings,” and for only two of my books. I especially employed him on “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” because at that date some critics declared that my gook was as ungrammatical as it was misleading. I availed myself of the name of the former proof-reader for the University Press, Cambridge, to defend my grammatical construction, and confidently awaited the years to declare the moral and spiritual effect upon the age of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” ... I hold the late Mr. Wiggin in loving and grateful memory for his high-principled character and well-equipped scholarship. MARY BAKER EDDY.

Pleasant View, Concord, New Hampshire, Nov. 20, 1906

- Statement printed in the “New York American,” November , 1906.

of a new book, written during the winter and put forth in May, 1888, changed her residence, and paid an eventful visit to Chicago.

“Unity of Good and Unreality of Evil” was advertised in these words in the Journal: “This little book is at last ready for the public. Next to ‘Science and Health’ it is the most important work she has written.” And it remains to-day the most important because of its absolute metaphysics. Her entire list of publications in that year included “Science and Health,” “Unity of Good,” “Christian Healing,” “People’s Idea of God,” “Christian Science, No and Yes,” “Mind Healing, an Historical Sketch,” and “Rudiments and Rules of Divine Science.”

It was becoming well-nigh impossible for Mrs. Eddy to have even an hour of her waking time to herself for the purpose of meditation, deliberation, or consideration of the larger plans that were now imperative. How “Unity of Good” was written is a mystery, for while she lived at the college whoever sought her had but to knock on her door. The large chamber over the parlors at the college was more of a library, a study, an office, than a quiet chamber for rest. Her door was thronged from early morning until late at night, and the uselessness of such distraction was that the most insistent besiegers were those with the least important business.

For such reasons, and because the field actually demanded her wisest deliberations, Mrs. Eddy took steps to remove from the college building. During the holiday season of 1887 she left Columbus avenue to reside in a house she had purchased at 385

Commonwealth avenue. This was the first house she had owned since the Broad street house in Lynn, for she leased the college building at a rental of one thousand dollars annually. Her new home was on the outskirts of Boston, overlooking from the rear in those days the Charles River and fronting on a boulevard parkway where stands to-day the superb Anne Whitney statue of Lief Ericsson. The house included twenty beautiful rooms. It was fitted up suitably, though not extravagantly and Mrs. Eddy took with her for an immediate household a few of her students and her secretary. Her life was fixed by a very punctilious order; she wrote at certain hours, received at certain hours, attended the college to teach her classes, and began to take the daily drive which was to be the only recreation she insisted upon from that time to the present.

The West was calling for her again. Letters which poured in told her that she must go out in the field once more. The National Christian Scientist Association was to meet in Chicago in 1888, and Mrs. Eddy determined to deal with all her students’ needs and wants at the focal point and meet them for the purpose of satisfying their insistent claims upon her attention. In order that the occasion might be a gratifying one to the entire field, and that the church might be renewed and refreshed for its pioneer work, Mrs. Eddy issued a call for this convention which was printed in the Journal for May. She said:

Christian Scientists: For Christ’s and for humanity’s sake, gather together, meet en masse, at the annual session of the National Christian Science

Association. Be of one mind in one place and God will pour you out a blessing such as you never before received. He who dwelleth in eternal light is bigger than the shadow, and will guard and guide His own. Let no consideration bend or outweigh your purpose to be in Chicago on June the 13th.

The call was not without its effect. Hundreds journeyed to Chicago to attend what was anticipated as a “week’s jubilee of spirit.” It was the first great gathering of Christian Scientists from many parts of the United States. The knowledge had gone abroad that Mrs. Eddy would herself attend the convention, and this served to draw together not only the students who had graduated from her classes, but also hundreds who had been healed by her students and who wished to know more about her philosophy. Mrs. Eddy made the journey accompanied by Captain and Mrs. Eastaman, her secretary Calvin Frye, and Dr. E. J. Foster, a young physician who had studied with her and whom she afterwards legally adopted as her son.

The national association held its business meetings in the First Methodist church of Chicago, then situated on Washington and Clark streets. On the second day the convention assembled at Central Music Hall for a program of addresses to be delivered by practising students. The doors being opened to the public, much to the astonishment of the eight hundred delegates, there assembled an audience of about four thousand, among whom were many prominent Chicagoans, for the newspapers had not failed to advertise the fact that the Boston rophetess, as they chose to call her, was in the city. All unaware of the curiosity her coming had aroused, Mrs. Eddy attended the meeting, expecting to occupy a seat upon the platform among her students, but to take no part in the program. Her purpose was to greet and cheer her students.

Destiny was not to have it so. The Rev. George B. Day, pastor of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Chicago, had decided to introduce her as the speaker of the day and on his own authority had inserted a notice in the papers that she would make an address. As he led Mrs. Eddy through the anteroom to escort her to the stage, he acquainted her with his purpose. His fear that she would refuse to accede had led him to delay telling her until the last moment before she stepped upon the platform. A student much beloved of Mrs. Eddy who was standing near the door, saw her protest with an outward sweep of her hand and a slow negative shake of the head, and declare with emphasis that she was in no way prepared to speak. The clergyman, all excitement and nervousness, persisted and Mrs. Eddy halted for a moment on the threshold of the stage, and lifted her eyes as though for inspiration and guidance. A newspaper report of what followed says:

Without a subject selected and without notes she entered the platform when, as by some preconcerted plan, the whole vast audience rose to its feet and welcomed her. She walked to the center of the stage and after being introduced recited the first verse of the ninety-first psalm and in the address which followed her voice filled that immense auditorium so that those most remote from her could hear distinctly.

The address thus delivered without preparation, outline, or text has been pronounced by many of her students to be one of the greatest statements of Christian Science ever made from a rostrum. Like Lincoln’s great unreported speech, delivered in Bloomington, it came upon the delegates as a surprise, and so spellbound were the hearers that the very reporters forgot to take notes. It was inadequately reported, and though the substance of it was sent out to the papers, and was printed in the Journal, and the report was subsequently reprinted in “Miscellaneous Writings” under the subject, Science and the Senses, it is certain that something of the spirit of her utterances was lost in the transcription, for the amazing effect of her address cannot entirely be understood from reading it to-day.

When she ceased speaking, the scenes which immediately followed were intensely dramatic, extraordinary, unprecedented. In the audience were many who had been healed from grievous illnesses by reading her book, and scarcely any of her hearers but had known of marvelous cures; hence the audience was anticipating a miraculous wave of health and it received it at flood tide. Whatever had been on the program was forgotten for the time, swept aside by an impetuous forward rush of that audience to the platform, indifferent to the chairman’s attempts to get a hearing.

It was well Mrs. Eddy was elevated above the hrong or she would have been borne down by it. As it was, men leaped to the stage and assisted women to follow. They wanted to take her hand, to tell her of wonderful healings, to touch her dress if nothing more. A babble of rejoicing broke forth above which came the cries of many who were crowded to the rear, beseeching attention to themselves. A mother who failed to get near held high her babe, an old woman held up palsied hands, crying, “Help me!” Some persons declared the address had healed them spontaneously. Men and women wept together.

So carried away by the tide of emotion as to neglect details, the newspaper correspondent who reported these events for a Boston paper declared simply that many were healed there and then. As a matter of fact the cases verified were actually eleven. The Boston Traveler reporter said: “As the people thronged about Mrs. Eddy with blessings and thanks, meekly and almost silently she received their homage until she was led away from the place, the throng blocking her way from the door to the carriage.”

While in Chicago Mrs. Eddy lived at the Palmer House, and access to her being easily gained, importunate callers besieged her doors. It was no part of her plan to hold a public reception in Chicago, or in fact to do anything of a public nature. Her amazement at the publicity thrust upon her left her without choice, and how to satisfy the sudden demand for personal greeting was a difficult question to decide. In the evening of the day on which she experienced uch an ovation, she decided to go to the parlors for a short time to satisfy the persistent callers.

Learning of her decision, the hotel hurriedly decorated the rooms with a profusion of flowers, giving a festive and brilliant appearance for an impromptu reception. This was to prove a singular function. Men and women of wealth and fashion crowded and elbowed persons from the humblest walks of life. The parlors, the corridors, the stairways were thronged. When Mrs. Eddy came from her private suite and entered the drawing-room, the assemblage almost immediately lost its head in one concerted, intense desire to touch the hand of the woman who had so eloquently preached God’s love as to make the sick well at the sound of her voice. They pressed forward upon her regardless of each other. Silks and laces were torn, flowers crushed, and jewels lost. Mrs. Eddy drew back from the pressure of humanity and as she looked upon the flushed faces she seemed to shrink within herself, as if asking, “What came you here to see?” She turned to her secretary and companion for assistance and almost immediately withdrew by a side door. When the company learned that she had withdrawn they gradually and disappointedly dispersed.

From such scenes Mrs. Eddy had always shrunk with peculiar sensitiveness. As she had told her students when first coming to Boston, she now reiterated to her immediate helpers, “Christian Science is not forwarded by these methods.” A year later in Steinway Hall, New York City, Mrs. Eddy had a similar experience. There the audience was equested to file by her across the stage, and obedience to the request was enforced by the ushers. In the confusion of the reception, however, strange scenes occurred. Faithful students were startled to see Mrs. Mary H. Plunkett press forward, take Mrs. Eddy’s hand, and leaning forward dramatically kiss her cheek. Thus she publicly associated herself with the teacher whose work she had misrepresented and whose trust she had betrayed.

Public functions and such scenes of worldly ambition had much to do with a resolve which was growing in Mrs. Eddy’s mind to withdraw entirely from public life that the adulation of her personality might cease and the truth she taught have opportunity to make its way through the work of her students.


WHILE the “jubilee of spirit” was being celebrated in Chicago during June, 1888, a quite different order of mental activity was causing fomentation in the Christian Scientist Association at Boston. Some of Mrs. Eddy’s students had become inoculated with the theories of Mr. Julius Dresser and Dr. Warren F. Evans. Both of these men had been patients of Quimby during the early sixties and both undertook to establish systems of healing. Both men printed and issued books on mental science. They attracted a small following which in later days came to be known as the New Thought Movement.

It was not so much the teaching of these writers on mental suggestion which attracted Mrs. Eddy’s students, — for those who had passed through her classes well knew that mental suggestion and Christian Science were as divergent as a chimeric dream and a scientific discovery, — but rather was it the thought that they might carry Christian Science itself outside the walls of its citadel and become writers and teachers and leaders among the philistines. Christian Science within the fold was too stringent on its demands. Not satisfied with manna, they would return to the flesh-pots of Egypt. The eat desired was intellectual divertissement; not only that, they would handle the things of God with more careless ease and roll the jewels of the temple upon the street for the delectation of the curious.

Thus it was that a group of rebels had coalesced within the Christian Scientist Association. They were not without examples for their dereliction. The group of students who departed from the church in Lynn had preceded them by about ten years and gone their ways into the inviting world of freedom. Mrs. Plunkett, Mrs. Hopkins, Mrs. Gestafeld had emulated Kennedy, Spofford, and Arens. But these examples were not edifying as solutions of the problem of finding happiness by returning to intellectual speculation after avowing allegiance to a spiritual ideal. Therefore this new group of Christian Science deserters would find a more plausible reason for their conduct.

In order that they might manage their departure without the shame of expulsion they took advantage of the absence of Mrs. Eddy and the secretary, William B. Johnson, to possess themselves of the Association’s books. These they placed in a lawyer’s hands and notified Mrs. Eddy on her return from Chicago that the books would not be surrendered until they had received an honorable dismissal from the Association. Expulsion, they felt, would be dishonorable, carrying with it the implication of unworthiness.

While the unmannerly abstraction of the Association’s books was the modus operandi of their rebellion, the casus belli announced was the Corner ase. In the spring of 1888 Mrs. Abby H. Corner, a student and member of the Association, had attended her daughter in childbirth and the accouchement terminated fatally to both mother and child. Mrs. Corner was prosecuted for malpractise by the state but was acquitted when the facts were brought out that the cause of death was one which a medical practitioner could not have averted, namely hemorrhage. Certain members of the Association disagreed with Mrs. Eddy in respect to the propriety of certain proceedings relative to Mrs. Corner’s defense.

Although Mrs. Eddy did not approve of her students taking charge of the surgical part of obstetrical work unless they were surgeons or mid-wives duly qualified by the state requirement, she did not desert her student in time of trouble, and although the Association paid Mrs. Corner’s expenditures for defense, — a matter of two hundred dollars, - the disagreement over the Corner case was what the restless element in the Boston church needed for a plausible excuse to seek the world and its freedom, and to desert the pure ideality of the fundamental statement of Christian Science found in the scientific statement of being. Mrs. Eddy did not engage in any spiritual wrestling with these rebellious students, though she did ask them to come to her in Christian love and state their grievances to her personally. As none of them did so, they were eventually dismissed, thirty-six members going out of a congregation of about two hundred.

Although their tactics had been successful in securing the so-called letters of dismissal, after their expulsion the seceding students declared they had considered a plan for expelling Mrs. Eddy from her own church and the Christian Scientist Association. However, the points held by Mrs. Eddy on this occasion and with which the belligerent students disagreed are to-day reckoned among the common-sense practises of Christian Science, and this incident is an example of the numerous instances where the short-sightedness of the pupil has attempted to brush aside the more mature and accurate judgment of the teacher, and where Mrs. Eddy proved her worth as a leader of the Christian Science movement. With such deep-boring desire to explode the citadel of Christian Science faith and blow into the heavens its foundation stones, the insurrectionists would have accomplished destruction had it been in human power to do so, and the dust of centuries might again have settled over the spiritual revelation, as Spofford had once foretold would be the result if Christian Science were demolished.

“Under Divine Providence there can be no accidents,” Mrs. Eddy says in “Science and Health,” and the rebellion in the Boston church in 1888 1888as no more a fortuitous or calamitous occurrence than the rebellion in Lynn which resulted in the transplanting of the work to Boston, the establishment of the college and Journal, and the creation of the National Christian Scientist Association. Mrs. Eddy had safeguarded the text-book of Christian Science by copyrights, and in the months n which she waited for the culmination of the conspiracy in the Boston church she turned over in her mind the many-sided problem of safeguarding the organization. She was once more submitting herself for divine guidance, and in the sacred secrecy of such communion was evolving a plan by which security should be attained against explosive schism.

Now the first step toward the masterly solution of this great problem of organization which confronted her was a loosening of all the bonds which apparently held her students together. With absolute reliance upon the underlying, irrevocable compact of spirit, which constitutes the “church indivisible,” Mrs. Eddy first closed the Metaphysical College and then a few months later dissolved the organization of the Boston church.

She had continued teaching classes at the college during the summer of 1889, but on October 29 of that year she closed its doors. Its dissolution was accomplished after due deliberation and earnest discussion by a vote of the board of directors of the college corporation. In announcing its purpose the board presented to the public resolutions in which it thanked the state for its charter, the public for its patronage, and declared its everlasting gratitude to its president for her great and noble work. The teaching was henceforth to be done by the qualified students.

In “Retrospection and Introspection” Mrs. Eddy has given her clearly defined argument for this procedure and it is an unmistakable disclaimer of elight in personal success. She says: “The apprehension of what has been, and must be, the final outcome of material organization, which wars with Love’s spiritual compact, caused me to dread the unprecedented popularity of my College. Students from all over our continent and from Europe were flooding the school. At this time there were over three hundred applications from persons desiring to enter the college, and applicants were rapidly increasing. Example had shown the dangers of rising from being placed on earthly pinnacles, and Christian Science shuns whatever involves material means for the promotion of spiritual ends.”1

It was the first way-mark of withdrawal. The dangers arising from personal adulation were in a thousand ways made apparent to Mrs. Eddy and the more she requested her students to look away from her and fix their eyes on truth, the more she was made to feel that danger of apotheosis, which desired to set her on “earthly pinnacles.” Appealing to Caesar seemed to be a fixed concept of a human sort among the students which required the most thorough-going denial. As the Romans would have made Nero a god, so the students seemed bent on making their spiritual leader a Caesar of egotism, a peculiar reversal in human deduction. Mrs. Eddy was obliged to publish in the Journal the following notice:

I shall not be consulted verbally or through letters as to the following: Whose advertisement shall or shall not appear in the Journal.

1 “Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 67.

The matter that should be published in the Journal.

On marriage, divorce, or family affairs of any kind.

On the choice of pastors for churches.

On difficulties if there should be any between students of Christian Science.

On who shall be admitted as members or dropped from the membership of Christian Science churches.

On disease, or the treatment of the sick.

But I shall love all mankind and work for their welfare.

Each and every one of these disclaimers of absolutism were sincere; they were avowals of a steadfast purpose to refuse to ascend a dictator’s throne. If it had for a time seemed wise for her to direct and guide the affairs of the church and association, experience had shown her in no unmistakable way the misconstruction which wilful human perversion may place upon such direction. The rebellious students of that year had announced as one of their grievances the opinion that Mrs. Eddy was too arbitrary in the conduct of the Christian Scientist Association. Such a statement she received as a premonitory signal. It was a mailed hand threatening Love’s dominion. Between those who would set her up and those who would drag her down, the founder of Christian science stood serene in the consciousness of spiritual insight. She would not desert her post or be driven from it until she had led her students into the ways of self-direction.

But withdrawal was not desertion, and withdrawal more and more occupied her thoughts as a means to the end of establishing the impersonal guidance of the church. Certain personal and family matters crowded upon her for attention. She who had given so much to the world must consider somewhat her own affairs before taking up the problem, the great problem of the “church visible.”

During the difficulties of 1888 which may be realized as the clamoring of three hundred disappointed students who would have Mrs. Eddy to teach them and no other and the half hundred rebellious students who would rend if possible the local church, George Glover, Mrs. Eddy’s long-wandering son was present in Boston with his wife and children. Mrs. Eddy had seen her son but once before since he had been separated from her in his infancy. Having located him in 1879 in Minnesota, she had sent him a telegram requesting him to come to her. He was then a man thirty-five years of age. He came to Boston and visited her and Mr. Eddy at the home of the Choates where she was then residing temporarily.

While on his brief visit to Boston, Mrs. Eddy had studied the character of her long-alienated son with the eyes of maternal solicitude, and also the detached sense of independent individuality. Was this boy a Baker or a Glover? Moreover, was he a teachable man? In rehearsing his experiences on this visit to his mother in 1879, Glover is said to have since related to a newspaper correspondent that for some strange reason his mother would not ear of his returning to his Western home and that he stayed on for several weeks with her while she endeavored to teach him Christian Science, — which he modestly acknowledged he “made a mess of.” But having heard considerable about Richard Kennedy and his misuse of the science of Mind, and feeling that Kennedy was harassing his mother with false reports of her teaching, Glover one day, without revealing his plans to his mother, visited Kennedy’s offices and, according to Glover’s alleged statement, threatened him with a revolver. According to the newspaper which quotes Mr. Glover he declared that he told Kennedy he knew of his “black art tricks” to ruin his mother and he meant to stop him.

“Mother seemed very much surprised when I told her what I had done,” George Glover is said to have stated in March, 1907, referring to the visit in 1879. “But she did not scold me and in a few days she consented to let me return home to the West and to my wife and little son.”

How clearly George Glover had shown to his mother after weeks of effort to educate him, to teach him Christian Science, the ungovernable, untameable spirit of the man of the plains, no one but himself had ever told, if indeed he did relate his experiences on his visit East as quoted. Richard Kennedy absolutely denies the occurrence. But whether George Glover did bully him or did not, and whether or not he recounted a fiction to his mother and later to the press, his nature is shown to have been alien to her nature, to have been mpervious to her doctrine. Destiny still parted them with an insurmountable barrier. Hungering for the plains, restless for the saddle, his leathern holster bulging beneath his coat, his hand nervously seeking his hip at the slightest altercation, what could a woman of sixty do with a man of middle age, settled in his habits? Here was no longer the problem of mother and son. Authority and obedience were as a dead letter. Time had set its seal upon him as a man and an individual.

Departing for the West, he went over the great divide in human concepts for another ten years, but in 1887 sent his mother a characteristically casual note stating that he intended coming East to pay her a visit. In a letter which Glover says he received from his mother dated October 31, 1887, she replied to her son in words pregnant of her apprehensions with regard to his character. “I must have quiet in my home,” she wrote, “and it will not be pleasant for you in Boston.” She told him that the Choates were no longer with her. “You are not what I had hoped to find you,” she continued, “and I cannot have you come... The world, the flesh, and evil I am at war with... Boston is the last place in the world for you or your family. When I retire into private life, then I can receive you if you are reformed, but not otherwise. I say this to you, not to any one else. I would not injure you any more than myself.”

But this letter which speaks volumes of maternal regret appears to have had no effect in deterring George Glover from seeking the mother whom he ad disregarded for years. She was now nearly seventy years of age, spiritualized by years of self-abnegation and religious devotion. He was in his forty-fifth year and hardened in the ways of the flesh. He presented himself with the confidence of filial relationship. Yes, he was her son, and she received him as such. She provided for him a residence in Chelsea. With his children he visited her at her home and he attended the church and was cordially received by its members. Mrs. Eddy appeared upon the platform with the children around her and lovingly presented them to the world and her church.

After several months of enjoying himself in the reflected glory of his mother, George Glover with his family again returned to the West. He had taken no step to come to his mother’s standard of life and she had not urged him or repelled him. But she had studied him and reflected on the joy it would have been to her to have been able to find in him a son fitted to carry out certain demands of her work. Such reflection carried with it regret and finally resulted in an effort to find among her students one who could bear to her the relation of a dutiful, obedient, and worthy son, one who would perform the acts of filial respect and service that would insure her the nucleus of a spiritual household. In the enjoyment of such a home, quiet domesticity would take its natural course and as the years revolved she might withdraw to the heights of contemplation, putting off one by one the claims of the world.

Pursuing this idea in November, 1888, Mrs. Eddy legally adopted Dr. Ebenezer Johnson Foster in the Suffolk County (Massachusetts) Probate Court, stating as her reasons in the proceedings before Judge McKim that he was associated with her in business, home life, and life work, and that she needed his interested care and relationship. The plea was granted and Dr. Foster added Eddy to his name and became her son. This effort toward parental relationship was not a success, and may be briefly set forth.

Dr. Foster came from a small town in Vermont. He was a graduate of the Hahneman Medical College in Philadelphia and for two years a member of the clinics of the Blockley Hospital and of Pennsylvania Hospital. He was later a member of the Vermont State Homeopathic Medical Society. Holding diplomas from both the regular and the homeopathic schools of medicine, he was attracted to Christian Science by the healing of a close friend who had been an old army comrade. He came to Boston an enthusiastic inquirer in the fall of 1887 and took a course of lessons under Mrs. Eddy’s instruction at the college. Before its close he taught one term in the college. Previous to his adoption he resided in her Commonwealth avenue home together with other students. He was one of that group of intimate students among whom were Julia Bartlett, Calvin Frye, Captain and Mrs. Eastaman, William B. Johnson, and Augusta Stetson.

Dr. Foster-Eddy was an agreeable and accomplished man of forty with a clear, well-trained mind nd the enthusiasm for work which was so necessary in the multitude of duties pressing upon all. He remained with Mrs. Eddy until 1896. In she made him her publisher when she removed William G. Nixon from that office. Dr. Foster-Eddy then lived at the Commonwealth avenue house, though Mrs. Eddy was residing in Concord. Away from her personal influence, he was not as attentive to business as the requirements of his office demanded, and he indulged in certain fopperies which brought down upon him scathing criticism from other students, not entirely unwarranted. It became necessary for Mrs. Eddy to remove him from the publishing business in the spring of 1896, when she made Joseph Armstrong, a former banker of Kansas, her publisher.

Mrs. Eddy then directed Dr. Foster-Eddy to go to Philadelphia to carry out certain plans in the work of the church. She gave him a letter to present to the Philadelphia church and minute instructions, but he did not carry out her directions. As her personal agent he misrepresented her and became persona non grata in that city. The Philadelphia church wrote a letter concerning him to Mrs. Eddy and she recalled him, but he did not return to her at once. He first went to Washington on a pleasure trip and finally presented himself at Pleasant View, bursting with a story of his fancied wrongs. Mrs. Eddy received him in the library and heard him out; then she left him in silence. He quitted the house and returned to Boston where she sent him a letter of admonition, kindly worded, but unmistakable in ts rebuke. Instead of returning to Pleasant View, Dr. Foster-Eddy went West, traveled for a long time, and eventually returned to his old home in Vermont. Mrs. Eddy made no charge against him, nor did she ask for an explanation. She did not, however, erase him from her memory for she yet speaks of him as her son.

It was after the adoption of Dr. Foster that Mrs. Eddy began looking about for a permanent home removed from Boston. In the early spring of Dr. Foster persuaded her to go to Barre, Vermont, with a view to spending the summer in the mountains. He preceded her there and engaged a furnished house, and Mrs. Eddy with Miss Martha Morgan, who was then her housekeeper, and Mr. Frye, followed when arrangements were completed. She did not, however, remain long, for the surroundings were not desirable. Dr. Foster returned to Boston and selected a house in Roslindale, a suburb of Boston. This house Mrs. Eddy occupied for a short time; but this situation, too, proved not desirable. For as Barre was too remote from the center of affairs which she must still direct, Roslindale was too accessible to the interruptions of visitors.

While on her way to and from Barre, Mrs. Eddy had passed through her native town, Concord, New Hampshire. Its beauty and its dignity appealed to her so powerfully that she sojourned for a time there while the Roslindale property was being negotiated for. When Roslindale failed as a satisfactory habitation, her agreeable experience in Concord eturned to her mind as an argument for its selection as an abiding place. But she would not again make a hasty decision or permit others to do so for her in so important a matter as a permanent home. So she decided to live for a time in a furnished house in Concord and look about her for the desirable home.

It was in the fall of 1889 that she retired to Concord, carrying out her purpose of withdrawal from the personal direction of the students in Boston. In Concord she resided at 62 North State street for a few months. While living there she took her daily drives in and around the little New Hampshire capital, so dear to her because of her earliest recollections of childhood. From one of those drives she returned by the road (now, through her gift to the city, a macadamized avenue) which stretches along the crest of a valley to the Southwest from the city. Halting her carriage about three quarters of a mile outside the capital, she looked out over the valley in contemplation. Mrs. Eddy saw here the vision of a home remote yet accessible. She saw Bow, her birthplace, nestling in the ridge of blue hills away to the East and she discerned the hazy outline of Monadnock, far to the Southwest, rearing its august and lonely head. Below the pleasant upland upon which she stood lay all the broad valley, like the Valley of Decision, which her years had spanned, and doubtless she saw with the eloquent prophet of old “multitudes, multitudes in that Valley of Decision.”

What Mrs. Eddy beheld in vision she brought to ass. Land was bought uniting two estates and the old house encumbering the spot where she stood when she made her determination was moved back and under the direction of her student, Mr. Ira O. Knapp, rebuilt into a modest, modern country home. This place Mrs. Eddy named Pleasant View, and there she resided from 1892 until 1908, a period of about fifteen years. Those who have never seen this charming, idyllic spot can picture it by imagining a broad sweep of green acres, sloping gently to a little lake, a ribbon of river, and a line of hills away to the East. The house standing back from the road, surrounded by a well kept lawn, was given a picturesque addition of a small tower and broad Eastern veranda, with an unpretentious portico over the front entrance.

Within the soft gray-green walls of the simple frame dwelling a shining order, peace, and dignity came to prevail. Mrs. Laura Sargent, a student of Mrs. Eddy’s first class in Chicago, came from her home in Wisconsin to reside with Mrs. Eddy as companion, and has remained with her ever since. And to her loving attendance much of the quiet harmony of that home may be attributed. A gentle veil of seclusion descended over Pleasant View, securing to it a quiet and dignity necessary to the detached life of contemplation, a life wherein things temporal may stand forth in their relation to things eternal as types of spiritual significance. It was the life of brooding love, a life of the highest rarity in human experience, wherein heaven leans and kisses earth. Here Mrs. Eddy spent the years of perfecting the type of organization under which she conceived the spiritual compact of her church to rest.



It was not without action, however, that she brought about the firm foundation of a Christian Science church which should be unassailable as the rock of her doctrine. Mrs. Eddy had been clearing the way before her for an activity which was to eventuate in the building of the Mother Church in Boston, not simply as a structure of stone, but as a structure of legal compact from which should flow order in the conduct of church affairs. Her first step in this work was to request that the local Boston church dissolve its organization. After this was done in obedience to her request she published in the Journal for February, 1890, the following notice:

The dissolution of the visible organization of the church is the sequence and complement of that of the college corporation and association. The college disappeared that the spirit of Christ might have freer course among its students and all who come into the understanding of Divine Science. The bonds of the church were thrown away so that its members might assemble themselves together to “provoke one another to good works” in the bond only of love.

With the National Christian Scientist Association adjourned in New York this same year, the bonds of organization were entirely loosed and what the future held in store for them Christian Scientists were unable to discern. They had now to live the life and perform the works which a living faith emanded of them, and to trust that their teacher, withdrawn from the clash of petty affairs, was working out a plan by which they might manifest to the world a perfect unity of purpose. And she was working out such a plan, — meantime by letters and communications in the Journal encouraging her students all over the country to organize local churches. Thus detached organization was progressing with wonderful strides throughout the country.

In Boston the church was homeless, but still holding meetings, which now convened in Chickering Hall. This church had endeavored to purchase a lot of ground in Falmouth street as early as 1886 with the idea of erecting an edifice thereon, but through various dissensions and rebellions it had been unable to complete its purchase so that in 1889 a heavy mortgage still hung over its head. In December, 1889, Mrs. Eddy personally satisfied this mortgage and gave the lot in trust to her student, Ira O. Knapp. Mr. Knapp reconveyed the property to three trustees, namely, Alfred Lang, Marcellus Monroe, and William G. Nixon. The purpose of forming this trusteeship was that donations might be received for a building fund from loving students throughout the field.

The building fund had been growing slowly but surely; now a hitch in the mind of one of the trustees brought it to a sudden stop. It was William G. Nixon, Mrs. Eddy’s publisher, who could not be satisfied with the ultimate purpose of the trusteeship, and demanded that the title of the land be crutinized by legal eyes. A paroxysm of doubt among his fellow trustees followed with the result that all surrendered their trusteeship and returned to the donors the funds which had accrued for the church building.

Undismayed by this action Mrs. Eddy rose to the demands of the situation. She employed an attorney to search the statutes of Massachusetts for a law by which her contemplated gift to the church might be made good and valid. Her lawyer very shortly put his finger upon the necessary legal enactment, a statute seldom resorted to, which seemed a providential decree for this emergency. This statute provided that trustees might be deemed a body corporate for the purpose of holding grants and donations without the formal organization of a church. So on September 1, 1892, Mrs. Eddy again conveyed her gift of ground, which was now valued at twenty thousand dollars, to four new trustees who were Ira O. Knapp, William B. Johnson, Joseph S. Eastaman, and Stephen A. Chase. These trustees pledged themselves to erect upon this lot a church building.

That no doubt might exist in the minds of her students throughout the United States and elsewhere that her purpose was entirely unselfish and that it was for the ends to which they all looked, Mrs. Eddy now counseled a reorganization of the Boston church as a Mother Church, which should draw its membership from Christian Science churches throughout the world. Thus by her advice twelve students came together and perfected such an organization which so satisfied the wishes of her tudents that over fifteen hundred members united before the first annual meeting, held in October, 1893.

Now the building fund began to grow as it had not done before. The donations returned by the doubting Thomas were sent back doubled and trebled. In order to secure the more rapid completion of the Mother Church edifice forty students each contributed one thousand dollars in . Mrs. Eddy privately summoned her student, Joseph Armstrong, to Pleasant View, placing in his hands the power of decision in vexatious questions that might arise, and through his able, loyal, patient direction the original Mother Church was completed in every perfection of detail on the night of December 30, 1894.

Thus the great labor of her mind during the first five years of her retirement brought to a satisfactory conclusion. The little local church, which in 1888 had threatened to eject the founder of the Christian Science movement, was no more; it had been dissolved and swallowed up in that larger organization which, in the provisos of its trust deed, pledged itself to teach nothing within the church walls which should not be in strict harmony with the doctrine and practise of Christian Science as set forth by Mary Baker G. Eddy in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” The trustees, moreover, now constituted the board of directors of the Mother Church and they elected Mrs. Eddy pastor emeritus. The church was dedicated January 5, 1895.

So had Mrs. Eddy ably directed her students by love that was wise and counsel that was firm in the midst of dereliction, stubborn opposition, revolt, and schism to that state of mind and that perfection of organization that they found themselves self-operative under provisos which would prevent their straying from her teaching. And in doing this she succeeded in withdrawing her own personality from the clashing world of events, leaving only Truth enthroned for ruler. What wonder that with one accord the church bestowed upon her the loving title of Leader!


ALTHOUGH Mrs. Eddy had withdrawn from active participation in the work of her church, her withdrawal was in the nature of retirement and not seclusion. She did not go into a selfish privacy at Pleasant View, but remained actively engaged in many duties which her position required of her. She no longer edited the Journal, preached from the pulpit, or taught regular classes, but she continued to contribute articles to the Journal, to send annual messages to her church, and to receive those who had the right to her counsel. She made several visits to Boston in the interest of the Mother Church and received annually for several years large numbers of communicants from many parts of the country. She prepared articles for the press on request, and, besides revising her book “Science and Health” from year to year, gathered together and edited some of her scattered articles which she published under the title “Miscellaneous Writings.”

Life at Pleasant View fell into that regularity which facilitates the highest order of usefulness. Mrs. Eddy had living with her a quite numerous household. Mrs. Laura Sargent, her companion, took active charge of the household regime, and her sweet-tempered direction of the servants, her ceaseless nspection of the domestic machinery, made affairs move with pleasant exactness. Miss Kate Shannon of Montreal was another inmate of the household who devoted special attention to Mrs. Eddy’s personal wants. Mrs. Pamelia J. Leonard, of Brooklyn, spent many months of several years at Pleasant View assisting in the work of church advancement, work which Mrs. Eddy never neglects. Mr. Frye continued in his faithful service of steward and secretary combined, and his duties were of the most diverse nature, varying from ordering supplies, keeping accounts, and transmitting Mrs. Eddy’s directions to her gardeners and coachman, to assisting in handling her heavy mail.

If Mr. Frye and Mrs. Sargent have been the most constant of Mrs. Eddy’s attendants in her retirement, there have been many other students called upon to serve their Leader, and such service has always been regarded in the nature of an honor. There have been many assistant secretaries and many assistant companions, but as to the personnel of that roll of honor it is not necessary to make any further statement than the plain and straightforward one once made by Mrs. Eddy, that no one was ever called to Pleasant View for discipline. They were called there because they had shown by their work elsewhere a high order of usefulness.

Mrs. Eddy has maintained her habit of rising early through all the years of retirement. She rises about six o’clock in summer and before seven o’clock in winter. She has an hour for prayerful meditation three times daily, morning, noon, and night. In the orning it is her custom to walk through the various rooms of her house on a tour of friendly inspection, whereon she not infrequently directs some change in the adjustment of furnishings and draperies; but mainly the tour is one of cheerful sociability when she talks with every member of her household, the laundress and the gardener’s assistant not being neglected in words of commendation and sallies of wit or spiritual admonition. The love and reverence in which all hold her make her coming an anticipation of each day.

After her regular morning exercise (which at Pleasant View was in the fine weather frequently a walk about the artificial pond which some of her students had caused to be built in the lower garden, and on less agreeable days an hour’s pacing of the covered veranda) Mrs. Eddy returns to her study where her secretary brings her letters. After dinner, which it is her custom to take in the middle of the day, she usually goes for a drive. As the daily drive was the only occasion on which she was seen in public for many years, it became a matter of public interest and her Concord neighbors took pleasure in meeting her brougham, drawn by a sober pair of black horses. They would bow their friendly salutations or occasionally, when she ordered her coachman to stop and summoned them with a kindly and courteous gesture, would approach her carriage and shake hands with the venerable religionist.

During the nineties Mrs. Eddy made several visits to Boston. After the completion of the original Mother Church she made a journey especially to nspect it, her heart yearning over this gift which she had so generously shared with her students in presenting to the organization. On April 1, 1895, she went to Boston unannounced, with her companion and her secretary, and spent that night in the rooms designed for her especial use in the church building. These rooms are in the tower of the church and consist of a study, a bedroom, and a dressing room. They are exquisitely fitted with every necessary appointment, the furnishing being a gift of the children of the church.

On May 26 of the same year she again visited the Mother Church and preached from its pulpit, and in February, 1896, she also preached in the Mother Church, returning the same afternoon to Concord. On Monday, June 5, 1899, Mrs. Eddy came to Boston from Concord and spent the night at her Commonwealth avenue house, then occupied by Septimus J. Hanna, who was the first reader in the Mother Church at that time. The church held its annual meeting in Tremont Temple the following day and in the afternoon she appeared on the platform and addressed the meeting. Judge Hanna escorted Mrs. Eddy to the platform and introduced her, the students arising and quietly saluting her with waving handkerchiefs. She spoke briefly on the text from Malachi, “Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven.”

Mrs. Eddy avoided a public reception by withdrawing from the platform before the meeting adjourned and returning the same afternoon to

Concord. This does not mean that she was unwilling to receive her students when she could fittingly arrange to do so. At the June communion service in 1895 a telegram from her was read to the congregation in which she invited all members who desired to call upon her to go to Pleasant View on the following day. About two hundred responded to this invitation, and Mrs. Eddy threw her house open, receiving them with great kindness, shaking hands with all, and conversing with many at length. This general reception was repeated in , when she was obliged to receive nearly three thousand guests. She could not personally greet such a large company, so she received them en masse, making a lengthy address and having refreshments served upon her lawn.

Mrs. Eddy sent no message of invitation in 1898, but a great many students made the pilgrimage to Concord nevertheless, and were obliged to content themselves with seeing her start on her drive. It became generally known to her church that their Leader was not pleased to have these annual visits take the appearance to the world of a pilgrimage of adoration, for it had begun to be spoken of as though she had withdrawn from daily intercourse with them only to secure a personal adulation greater than that accorded to any living woman. This of all things Mrs. Eddy desired to avoid, for the charge of apotheosis lurked behind any demonstration of her students’ affection. So for several years such visits were discouraged.

But in 1901, the year in which Mrs. Eddy was ighty years of age, she again permitted the students to gather at Pleasant View after the June communion. On this occasion three special trains, leaving Boston for Concord, carried her guests. In June, 1903, several special trains carried about 10,000 Christian Scientists to Concord. As the great multitude approached Pleasant View members of her household went to the gates and requested the students to enter the grounds and Mrs. Eddy sent word that she would address them from the balcony outside her study. When she entered the balcony she stood looking down on the great throng of people for a moment in silence, then stretched out her hands to them in a gesture characteristic of her great heart’s love, seeming to say in that mute appeal, “All that I have I give unto you.” She spoke briefly, addressing them as though they were indeed the lambs of the Lord whom she would feed with heavenly manna. Here and there a student wept; all hung upon her words and her voice carried to the remotest listener. As she stepped back into her room, many began to write down the words they remembered, and as they compared their notes, each one seemed to have caught a special and personal message. This was the last time Mrs. Eddy received her students en masse at Pleasant View.

There was, however, in 1904, a large concourse of students in Concord to celebrate the dedication of the Concord church, a structure of virgin granite near the central square of the capitol. This church edifice was the gift of Mrs. Eddy to her students in that city, and is one of the most beautiful of the any beautiful Christian Science churches in America. About two thousand students gathered for this occasion, but they respected Mrs. Eddy’s wish not to haunt her drive or to visit Pleasant View. They assembled in front of the church and awaited her visit to them. From her carriage she made an address which the perfect silence of the assemblage made clearly audible. She directly addressed herself to the president of the church as representing the church body, but her remarks were in the nature of a general meeting.

When Mrs. Eddy published “Miscellaneous Writings” in 1897, she requested in the March Journal that her students cease teaching Christian Science for one year. She had labored assiduously on this new publication, gathering her scattered writings out of the Journal and from many messages and class lessons, also from some letters on special subjects; and she believed the book would better prepare the minds of persons coming into the faith to understand the Christian Science text-book than the efforts of students. The book met with great success, for it was like a personal meeting with the Leader, full of the animated flashes of her wit and the quiet touches of her sympathetic understanding.

Although this work was sent out as a sort of primary class-book, it was eagerly read by the students who had gone through many classes with her as teacher, and soon became the most cherished of her writings after “Science and Health.” Its appearance gave rise to a demand for just one more class, nd Mrs. Eddy consented to receive as students a number of the petitioners in November, 1898. A class of sixty-one members was organized in Concord. Among those who joined were members from England, Scotland, and Canada. Mrs. Eddy refused remuneration for her instruction, which she gave in the Concord Christian Science hall, and she taught but two sessions. The lessons occurred on November 21 and 22, the first lasting for two hours, the second for four. The students were abundantly satisfied with what was pronounced her “wondrous teaching.”

Among the members of this last class was the editor of a newspaper in Concord who by becoming her student became her personal friend. Another editor became her student by reading her text-book, and they were ever after during her residence there welcome guests at her house. This close relationship with the two most prominent intelligencers of the city made Concord feel that the whole city was on terms of intimacy with the venerable Leader of the Christian Science Church. Her views on many public questions were obtained by them and printed in their papers and, whereas she had been too modest to acclaim her benevolences, they were not slow to do so, and Concord became aware that Mrs. Eddy was supplying a sum to the state fair association for the relief of the poor, and frequently made donations for hospitals and religious associations outside her church, that she had given the city a well-paved boulevard and contributed large sums for projects of the state of New Hampshire. She was no longer private personage, but one of the capitol’s best known and most public-spirited citizens.

The world which had been so long in recognizing her seemed at last ready to acknowledge her work as an important factor in the progress of latter-day civilization. It was women who conferred the first general honor upon her, an honor quite apart from that accruing to her by reason of her religious leadership. The Daughters of the American Revolution made her a member of their body in February, 1893, when the wife of the president of the United States, Mrs. Harrison, was chief officer of the organization. And it was at Mrs. Harrison’s request that the honor was bestowed.

Newspapers and magazines now frequently besought her for interviews and communications on important matters. She occasionally acceded to the latter requests, giving her views on the War with Spain, and, after the death of President McKinley, paying her tribute to his noble life. On the occasions of public festivals and celebrations she also has given on request her views as to the meaning of the Puritan Thanksgiving Day and its significance to this generation and the true meaning and best celebration of the spirit of Christmas. On such questions of public morals as marriage and divorce she has responded to requests for her opinions.

But to the interviewer in person, Mrs. Eddy was not accessible. Her reasons for refusing to receive press correspondents in general were not based on selfishness or indifference to public interest, but rather that she might not be represented as self-seeking. She had established a publication committee while still active in the church work, and this committee had extended its offices to every important city in America, and of late years to foreign cities. It was not Mrs. Eddy’s wish to perform an act of supererogation in giving out news of the church. Concerning her own life, she did not think it necessary to admit the world too intimately into her personal affairs, for to admit the world would be to make a parade of the simplest private virtues and devotions. Acting as she believed with the highest propriety, she consistently refused an audience to the special correspondent.

Because of this insistent privacy at Pleasant View a rumor grew up in the newspaper offices that the founder of the new religious faith, which was established on the tenet that God is able to heal all our infirmities, was herself a victim of infirmity. What that infirmity might be could only be surmised and speculated upon by the fertile brains of ingenious reporters. In May of 1905 Mrs. Eddy broke her long-continued rule and granted an interview to a representative of the Boston Herald. On that occasion she said: “All that I ask of the world is time, time to assimilate myself to God. I would take all the world to my heart if that were possible; but I can only ask my friends to look away from my personality and fix their eyes on Truth.” So gracious, so gentle, so detached, so luminous was her personality, that the interviewer could not press upon her the many questions framed for the occasion, but submitted them to Mrs. Eddy’s secretaries for her o take up in a more leisurely way with them, when she could dictate her replies. So humbly cognizant of this yielding on the part of the reporter was Mrs. Eddy, that she sent to the Boston Herald a kind tribute of appreciation.

But this interview did not satisfy a certain element of the press of America. The picture of a saintly character, living a contemplative and spiritual life of retirement did not accord with its preconceived notion, false as its own mental vision was. It yearned to press home upon the minds of the world its own image in a dramatic, first-page “story,” and for that end a newspaper of New York decided to make such a powerful demand for an audience that it should not be gainsaid. The occasion for making this demand seemed to the newspaper mind to arise at the dedication of the new Mother Church in Boston.

In 1902 Mrs. Eddy had suggested in her message to the church the need for a larger church edifice in Boston, and at the annual meeting the church voted to raise any part of $2,000,000 required for the erection of such and edifice. The work of clearing land adjacent to the original Mother Church began in October, 1903. The corner-stone of the new church building was laid in 1904, and like a miracle the great structure of white granite and Bedford stone began to arise from the heart of the city. In 1906 it lifted its white dome, a serene symbol of faith, above all the surrounding buildings, visible from far and near, a crown of peace. This church was dedicated in June, 1906, when about forty thousand Christian Scientists filled the city of Boston and took part in the six successive services of communion.



The Christian Scientists who had come to Boston to see the Mother Church dedicated remained to attend the Wednesday evening meeting at which testimonies of Christian Science healing were given. The great temple was crowded from floor to dome and overflow meetings were held in the original Mother Church and in four public halls. Many who were not Christian Scientists were amazed listeners to the outpouring of testimonies from every part of the great auditorium. Men and women arose in their places on the floor of the church and in the first and second balconies. As each arose he called the name of his city and waited his turn to tell of the miracle of health and virtue wrought in his life as a result of the study of Christian Science. The names of the cities called up the near and the far of the civilized world – Liverpool, Galveston, St. Petersburg, San Francisco, Paris, New York, Atlanta, and Portland. There were negroes as well as white men in that audience; there were French, German, and Scandinavian; there were army officers from Great Britain, and members of the British nobility, Americans of great wealth, jurists, former doctors and clergymen, teachers, clerks, day laborers. It was like a verberation of an army with banners. And not only of the vanquishment of cancers, consumption, broken limbs, malignant diseases, and paralysis did these votaries of Christian Science testify, but of poverty overcome, victory gained over drunkenness, morphine, and immoral ives. It was a triumph and assertion of the health and power of spiritual living.

Who now would lay a finger upon the character of the founder of such a living faith? Who now would say that she had not taught a creed by which men can live and ennoble their lives? Who would begrudge her her hard-won right to retirement, peace, and serenity? It would be difficult to believe, did not all the world know, that in October of this same year two representatives of a New York newspaper did present themselves at Pleasant View and demand an audience with the venerable founder then in her eighty-fifth year. So churlish and so threatening was their demand, so steeped were they in a strange suspicion, that the faithful protectors of Mrs. Eddy’s home life knew not what to say. The preposterous assertions that Mrs. Eddy was no longer living seemed to require the reproof of her presence, and yet to introduce such violent accusers to the saintly Leader seemed out of the question. Mrs. Eddy herself solved the difficulty, when the matter was laid before her, by saying that she would see not only them, but with them her neighbor across the way, that by his testimony the unbelieving reporters might be convinced that they were talking with the veritable Mary Baker Eddy.

The interview was brief, but the reporters were given ample time to ask the questions they desired. The turbulence of their quest, the malignity of their purpose, caused the venerable woman a slight tremulousness as she arose to greet them; a flush mounted her cheeks and she leaned momentarily pon the table at which she had been writing when they entered. Upon such evidences of natural emotion they based a story of absolute decrepitude and they did not spare her silvered head from indignity. The lurid story these writers gave to the world was that Mrs. Eddy could not possibly drive abroad in her carriage and therefore must be impersonated by some other gray-haired woman many years her junior. They declared that she did not manage her business, and was controlled mentally and physically by a designing clique who lived in her house and humbugged her church.

The vilification of a blameless life smote the public consciousness of the entire country. Far from feeling that the New York paper had performed a clever journalistic feat, the press of the country repudiated it with loathing and scorn. But with characteristic American enterprise, it sent representatives to Concord, New Hampshire, on the very day of the publication of the story, Sunday, October 28, 1906. The Associated Press, the Publishers Press, all the large newspapers of Boston and New York had representatives at Mrs. Eddy’s home within twenty-four hours. In this emergency Mr. Alfred Farlow, head of the Christian Science Publication Committee, came to Mrs. Eddy’s relief. To meet the gathering newspaper men he sent to Concord an able representative, Mr. H. Cornell Wilson, of New York. Mr. Wilson conferred with Mr. Frye and his assistant, Mr. Lewis C. Strang, a former dramatic critic of Boston. From men of affairs in Concord who were not Christian Scientists Mr. Strang and Mr.

Wilson secured affidavits as to Mrs. Eddy’s social and business character. The affidavits were from the treasurer of the Loan and Trust Savings Bank of Concord, Fred N. Ladd; the president of the National State Capital Bank, J. E. Fernald; a lawyer who stands at the head of the New Hampshire bar, General Frank S. Streeter; the mayor of Concord, Charles R. Corning; and the editors of the two most prominent New Hampshire papers, M. Meehan of the Concord Patriot and George H. Moses of the Monitor and Statesman.

The affidavits covered the points that Mrs. Eddy had personal and business relations with her bankers, that she was the person who rode out in her carriage daily, and that she was not an invalid, or in any way mentally impaired, as she had received within the week for a call of a half-hour’s duration Mayor Corning and General Streeter. Mr. Moses declared that he possessed in Mrs. Eddy’s handwriting a budget of more than a hundred letters written to him during the past few years (the last one bearing a recent date), letters concerning printing which he had done for her. Affidavits were also furnished from members of the Pleasant View household; the two secretaries, Calvin A. Frye and Lewis C. Strang; the two companions, Mrs. Laura Sargent and Mrs. Pamelia Leonard, refuting the charge that Mrs. Eddy had any organic disease.

The assembled press representatives accepted with thanks the data supplied them, but united in the request for a personal interview with Mrs. Eddy. Their request was not only united but individual, and he most persistent of the reporters besieged the front door of Pleasant View, while photographers and artists stood at the gateway and haunted the driveway. Recognizing the situation as imperative, Mrs. Eddy decided to receive them all on Tuesday, October 30. They were bidden to come at one o’clock, when she would give them an audience just before taking her drive.

Accordingly, about fifteen newspaper men and women drove to Pleasant View and assembled in her drawing-room. There were also present her banker, her lawyer, the mayor, and a few men prominent in the Mother Church. The dainty rose drawing-room was quite filled with an official-looking assemblage, and many of the faces were intense with expectation of what they were about to behold. When Mrs. Eddy came down her own stairway and stood for a moment in the entrance, confronting the cynical and skeptical world, a world which refused to believe in disinterested virtue, she caught for a moment at the portière and an expression of pained comprehension slowly swept her face a crimson stain burned her cheeks, and her eyes flashed a look of reproach over the assemblage.

Professor H. S. Hering, first reader of the Concord church, courteously and briefly stated the purpose of the gathering. Mrs. Eddy bowed. To the first question, “Are you in perfect bodily health?” she replied clearly and firmly, “I am.” When the second question was put, “Have you any physician beside God?” Mrs. Eddy loosed her grasp upon the portière, took a step forward, and stretching out both hands in sweeping, open gesture, declared solemnly and with magnificent energy, her voice thrilling all who heard her, “Indeed, I have not! His everlasting arms are around me and support me, and that is enough.”

Here Mrs. Eddy terminated the interview with another bow to the assemblage and a hand lifted against further questioning. She withdrew and Mr. Frye and Mrs. Sargent escorted her to her carriage which was waiting under the porte-cochere. As she left the house the newspaper men crowded the windows to watch her drive away. When her carriage disappeared, they asked to be shown the house, and were escorted over it. They entered the quiet study on the second floor, looked at the pictures on the walls, the books in the cases, stood where she so often did to survey the broad valley. They went through the simple little bedroom adjoining and surveyed the plain austerity of its furnishing with frank curiosity. The women reporters asked to see her wardrobe, and were shown the orderly clothes-room where her garments hung. In the dining-room they saw where she sat at table, the chocolate service she used, and inquired who sat on her right and left. They saw the library, her special chair, the table where books of reference were consulted. They examined the rugs and hangings of the drawing-room, the souvenirs, certificates of honor, the paintings. They did not ask to see her account books, or the exact spot in which she knelt at prayer.

On the whole the investigation of the private life and character of the venerable Leader was satisfactory to the newspapers. The journal which had printed the disagreeable article was discredited. It had failed to substantiate the story that Mrs. Eddy was in feeble health, and could produce no one to bear it out in the statement that she was mentally incapable. Her home life was shown to be simple and her relations with the citizens of Concord open and honorable.

But one important circumstance of Mrs. Eddy’s life remained uncanvassed, her relation with her son, George W. Glover. Herein the New York newspaper which had aroused the recent inquiry thought it saw an opportunity to again challenge public attention and prove that the life upon which public scrutiny had been bent was not blameless. On Thanksgiving Day of 1906 a representative of the paper called on Mr. Glover in his home in Lead City, South Dakota, carrying a letter from Senator William E. Chandler of New Hampshire which stated that he had consented to act as legal counsel concerning certain questions which had arisen in connection with Mrs. Eddy’s life. In its subsequent story of the interview with George Glover, the newspaper stated frankly that it found the son a loyal champion of his mother, and that it was necessary to impress upon him his legal opportunity and to make him believe that his aid was necessary to extricate his mother from being “detained in the custody of strangers against her will.”

The clever New York newspaper man sat down in George Glover’s home, a home with which Mrs. Eddy had presented her son, and drew from the uileless Westerner the story of his life and his relations with his mother. It was a story which must have surprised the reporter, for in spite of skilful manipulation of the facts, the truth was made apparent and stood forth in unblemished purity a witness to the mother’s faithful consideration for her only child. He related the circumstances of his several visits to his mother while she was living at Pleasant View, how his mother had given him $5,000 at one time to further his mining interests, how she had built for him the finest house in Lead City at an expense of $20,000 and had sent him $1,100 additional to make alterations which he desired after occupying it, how she had interested herself in the education of his children and had sent money to him for that purpose.

To be sure, George Glover’s story was filled with personal grievances. He did not like it that he could not always have direct access to his mother when visiting her at Pleasant View. He would have liked to realize for days the pleasure he experienced for a few hours in seeing her embrace and caress his children and make merry with the youngest in a relaxed mood. He recounted how she had once permitted him in a sportive spirit to ring her electric bells and summon her secretary. It was the presence of a secretary which seemed particularly to have aggrieved the son. A secretary was to him an unnecessary personage, a man of affairs who scanned his demands upon his mother’s love with an unemotional business eye and offered advice where Glover thought he would have benefited had advice ot been given. As a matter of fact Calvin Frye never acted as adviser but as executor of Mrs. Eddy’s wishes.

Playing upon this prejudice toward the secretary, the newspaper representative appears to have found it easy to induce Glover to exaggerate in his own mind the sense of his grievances and to catch the fear that he would eventually be wrongfully deprived of his inheritance by those men of affairs with whom his mother had so long associated. Glover was induced to believe that he was in a pitiable condition of neglect and that powerful friends had been raised up by the newspaper to aid him. Thus he beheld his “legal opportunity” to interfere in the management of his mother’s affairs.

As soon as George Glover consented to act in a suit at law nominally for his mother’s interests, but in reality against her every wish and purpose, her only other heirs were sought out by this same agency and persuaded to join the issue. These heirs were her adopted son, Ebenezer Foster-Eddy, and George W. Baker, her nephew. The suit was brough by the sons and nephew, together with Glover’s oldest child, Mary Baker Glover. It was called the petition of next friends, or exactly, “The petition of Mary Baker Glover Eddy who sues by her next friends George W. Glover, Mary Baker Glover, and Geroge W. Baker against Calvin A. Frye, Alred Farlow, Irving C. Tomlinson, Ira O, Knapp, William B. Johnson, Stephen A. Chase, Joseph Armstrong, Edward A. Kimball, Hermann S. Hering, and Lewis C. Strang.”

The particulars of the complaint are too fresh in the minds of the public to be recounted save in summary. It is sufficient to say that it was set forth in the bill that Mrs. Eddy was forcibly detained and constrained to do the will of strangers, that her large estate was manipulated improperly by her secretaries, and that she was in a feeble mental state which prevented her comprehending what disposition was being made of her affairs. The plaintiffs prayed that the defendants be required to give account of all their business transactions, and if they had wrongfully disposed of any property that they be made to restore it; that they be restrained from any further business dealings in Mrs. Eddy’s name, pending the suit, and that a receiver be appointed to take possession of all Mrs. Eddy’s property.

So this son, who was alienated from his mother in childhood because his rugged health and boisterous spirits were declared by relatives to be unendurable in a home where she was an invalid, was now in her advanced years stirred up against her by what motive it is difficult indeed to determine, but by the method of arousing a false fear for her welfare through his unfamiliarity with the enormous social interests involved. But Mrs. Eddy was not supine under the peculiar and extraordinary attack. She came forward to meet the issue with the deliberation of a superbly clarified intellect and her procedure was so wise in every detail as to win the applause of the most judicial as well as the most worldly of her critics.

Her first act was to employ an expert accountant to go over her books and ascertain if any charge of mismanagement or malfeasance could be brought against her trusted secretary, Calvin A. Frye. When her books which had been audited yearly were found to be substantially correct, save for a slight error in bookkeeping which defrauded not her, but the secretary himself, she created a trusteeship, transferring all her property to three men for their management and disposition, subject to clearly defined conditions. These three men were her cousin, The Honorable Henry M. Baker, her banker, Josiah E. Fernald, and the editor of the Christian Science Journal and Sentinel (also member of the board of directors of the Mother Church), Archibald McLellan. But one of these men was a Christian Scientist; the others were prominent business men of Concord, her cousin having represented his district in Congress.

With a view of taking this step she had caused to be created a trust deed for the benefit of her son, George W. Glover, and his family, by which she conveyed securities valued at $125,000 to the guardianship of her lawyer, General Frank S. Streeter, Archibald McLellan, and Irving C. Tomlinson. The provisos of the trust guaranteed a liberal annual income to her son during his lifetime and to his wife during hers, a smaller annual income to each of her grandchildren, and the expenditure of money for the education of those who had not completed their schooling, and its maintenance in force until her youngest grandchild should reach his majority.

On the death of her son and his wife, and the arrival of the grandchildren at years of majority, the trust was to be paid over in equal shares to her grandchildren. This trust bore the proviso, however, that the beneficiaries should not directly or indirectly contest her last will or other disposition of property.

This arrangement did not satisfy George Glover, whose suspicion was now thoroughly aroused by misrepresentations of his mother’s property. He was led to believe that her fortune was enormous and that he was faring but ill in its benefits. The petition was filed March 1, 1907, and on April 2 the trustees of Mrs. Eddy’s property begged leave to intervene and be made substitutes in place of the “next friends.” Thereupon the complainants amended their petition and considerable legal delay ensued. On June 5, Judge Robert N. Chamberlin of New Hampshire denied the motion of the trustees to intervene, but on June 27 he constituted the Honorable Edgar Aldrich a master of the court to hear all pertinent and competent evidence and determine whether Mary Baker G. Eddy on the first day of March, 1907, was capable of intelligently managing, controlling, and conducting her financial affairs. Co-masters were subsequently appointed, these being Dr. George F. Jelly of Boston, an alienist, and the Honorable Hosea W. Parker of Claremont, New Hampshire, an eminent lawyer.

Accordingly, when all the details of qualifying for masters were completed, Judge Aldrich began the hearing in Concord. The hearing opened on Monday, August 13, 1907. It was continued for six days, with a recess for Saturday and Sunday, and on the sixth day the complainants withdrew their suit by motion of their counsel, without asking from the masters any finding upon the questions submitted to them by Judge Chamberlin. The withdrawal of the suit came suddenly and was in the nature of a collapse. It followed shortly upon the heels of a visit paid to Mrs. Eddy at Pleasant View by the masters’ court and counsel for both defendants and plaintiffs which was a courtesy extended to her, because of her years, by Judge Aldrich. Senator Chandler, the lawyer for George W. Glover, had endeavored to have the court command Mrs. Eddy’s presence that the court could convene as well in the library of Pleasant View to protect Mrs. Eddy from the unnecessary strain of appearing in a court room among the throngs of the curious and at such a season as mid-August. During the visit to her home she exhibited such mental alertness and ability in discussing financial, civic, and social topics, that it was a foregone conclusion that the masters’ findings would adjudge her eminently capable of administering her own affairs. Apprehending this clearly from long legal experience, the astute lawyer for the complainants decided upon withdrawal.

Therefore, after almost a year of unjust prosecution, Mrs. Eddy was permitted to regain the privacy which she desired and the conduct of matters relative to the welfare of the church in which her lifework had centered. Her first public appearance came hrough her trustees when she made public her intention of creating a fund for the education of indigent students along lines of Christian Science inquiry. The details of her project have not been worked out, but the public was satisfied that the fortune derived from the sale of her various books was designed for the betterment of humanity.

On Sunday, January 26, 1908, Mrs. Eddy changed her residence from Pleasant View, Concord, to Chestnut Hill, in the suburbs of Boston. Her new home, the former Lawrence estate, is a cheerful gray stone mansion, situated in twelve acres of well-wooded ground, commanding a view of the Blue Hills. It is a commodious house, containing twenty-five rooms, and is adapted for the use of a larger household than was Pleasant View. Mrs. Eddy’s new educational projects require the additional attention of extra clerks and secretaries, and she also desired to be in closer touch with the headquarters of the church in furthering her philanthropic purposes.

Her removal from Concord was made by special train and she was accompanied by a small party of Christian Scientists. Her drive to the station from Pleasant View was somewhat of a farewell to her birthplace and was on the whole a rather sad one; but the journey aroused her spirits to the work before her, and she entered her new home blithely and cheerfully. Her energy was unusual and within a few hours she had established the routine of her life in her new home. The arrangement of its rooms is not unlike that of Pleasant View, except for a greater spaciousness and more agreeable accommodations for her assistants and visiting friends.



When it became known in Concord that Mrs. Eddy had decided to make her home in Massachusetts, the city council met and passed resolutions of regret at her departure and of appreciation for the kindly relations that had existed for nineteen years between her and Concord people and also of her beneficence to the city of Concord. The mayor and the clerk were authorized to attest the testimonial of esteem in behalf of the city. This was done and the resolutions forwarded to Mrs. Eddy. She replied to their cordial recognition in the following words:

To the Honorable Mayor and City Council, Concord, N. H.

GENTLEMEN, — I have not only the pleasure but the honor of replying to the City Council of Concord, in joint convention assembled, and to Alderman Cressy, for the kindly resolutions passed by your honorable body, and for which I thank you deeply. Lest I should acknowledge more than I deserve of praise, I leave their courteous opinions to their good judgment.

My early days hold rich recollections of associations with your churches and institutions, and memory has a distinct model in granite of the good folk in Concord, which like the granite of their State, steadfast and enduring, has hinted this quality to other states and nations all over the world.

My home influence, early education and church experience, have unquestionably ripened into the fruits of my present religious experience, and for this I prize them. May I honor this origin and eserve the continued friendship and esteem of the people in my native State.

Sincerely yours,


By this letter she affirms her continued interest in all who have been associated with her throughout her long years of usefulness and noble living; and by the projects to which she has lately set her attention, namely, the working out of her philanthropic and educational endowment, she has declared her intention of rising above the criticism of an unjust world into the pure atmosphere of brotherly love, fulfilling the commandments of her only acknowledged Master, to love God with all her heart and her neighbor as herself.