The History of The Christian Science Movement, volume one | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent


The History of The Christian Science Movement

Volume One

by William Lyman Johnson




By Contemporary Authors

Written for and Edited at the Request of Mary Beecher Longyear



Table of Contents




History of This Book

Mr. Johnson’s History itself has an interesting past. Starting in 1919 and continuing for six years, Mrs. Mary Beecher Longyear asked Lyman Johnson to write accounts for the Longyear Foundation on certain subjects in the history of the movement. Apparently, as Mr. Johnson covered different subjects, new questions arose about which Mrs. Longyear wanted more information, and further essays resulted. Thus Lyman Johnson’s history of the movement to 1910 was not written in chronological order, and there was much duplication of information within his completed work of over a thousand pages.

Part of the Thousand Pages, as the text came to be known, was given by Mrs. Longyear to an editor who prepared for publication the parts dealing with the period up to the dedication of the original Mother Church in 1895. This material was then published in 1926 as two volumes, called History of the Christian Science Movement, by Contemporary Authors. These volumes appear to have been immediately suppressed — presumably by Church authorities — for they were never circulated. It was not until 1933 that Lyman Johnson read copies of the two edited volumes, and he objected to the way his work had been pruned, added to, and arranged. The remaining pages were returned to him, but were never published. In 1988, The Bookmark was able to obtain copies of the Longyear volumes, but it was not until 1999 that the missing pages, completing the thousand pages, became available. The photocopy of the original Thousand Pages was not of good quality, and there are inevitably some gaps in the text. Editing has been kept to a minimum.

The History is being presented as two transcripts. The first transcript includes the two Longyear volumes, and the second transcript includes the Thousand Pages as they came to The Bookmark. As we read this record of the movement by someone so closely involved with all that took place in Boston, we begin to understand the reasons why the Church was reorganized, the By-laws written, and the board was made a self-perpetuating board under our Leader’s supervision.

Because we today are so far removed from the events that took place when the Church was formed, we have very little information regarding the obstacles Mrs. Eddy had to overcome in order to insure that her discovery would not be adulterated and lost after she left us. Mr. Johnson gives us such a discerning account of these events, that his History will serve for centuries to come as a priceless record of the early Church by one so capable of appreciating these events and recording them in such detail.



William Lyman Johnson




Preface

MRS. EDDY’S recognition of Christian Science as demonstrable truth, places its origin and explanation in the initial phrase of the Scriptures. “In the beginning God.” Christian Science is thus thought of as part of the radiance of that eternal Light which is forever beaming upon and seeking access to human consciousness. Its appeal is constant, and its appearing finds no limitation or hindrance save in the stupidity or irresponsiveness of dense human belief.

In another sense the appearing of Christian Science, like the appearing of every other spiritual illumination, has been the consummation of a cycle of educational and progressive experiences. By suffering, by the discovery of the failure and imperfection of ideas long clung to and believed in, or by some other maturing process or sequence of human history, people are prepared, made ready for that which otherwise they could not have understood or received; and thus, as men say, it has pleased God to bring forth, in His own time, some new revelation of truth which has laid hold upon the race and dated a great religious epoch.

Thus one might note that, as a presage of the coming of Christian Science, the world had become wearied with the materialistic philosophy with which positivism and evolutionary science had blanketed, as with a pall, the entire world of so-called Christian thought. The inescapable charms of idealism had asserted themselves anew, and even in the laboratories of the seats of materialistic scholarship, those who had been so long enamored of the atom and its rule, were ready to learn that, physical science to the eternal contrary notwithstanding, “all is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation.” (Science and Health, page 468)

This revolt from the old and highly respected order of “stuff and its sufficiency,” was nowhere more marked than in the churches and seminaries where the remembrance of the Galilean and His spiritual affirmations and sovereignty had not wholly been lost. The teaching and works of Christ Jesus challenged the asserted enthronement of matter and its law as final, and here and there the protest of physicists themselves that all materiality must be phenomenal, aided and abetted the idealistic philosophers who were declaring for the existence of an all-inclusive “Spiritual Ultimate.”

Further, humanity had largely become convinced that the rule of Materia Medica was not only a superstition and a failure, but an imposition and a fraud. Enslavement to sin, sickness and death, the appalling tragedy of the suffering of innocency, had come to present too great a contrast to the rules of the healing Christ when on earth, to longer remain undiscerned. A better way of escape from entailed afflictions and sorrows, was demanded as the consistent and legitimate fulfillment of Our Lord’s promises and commands; and to all these appeals, Christian Science came in due time, as an adequate answer and a comforting benediction. Its entry was among the lowly and the inconspicuous. A spiritually discerning New England of everyday mien, and of motherly heart, beheld the Christ anew, on the shores of time, and became His evangel to those who were willing to hear and be healed. And out of these historic beginnings was born a movement whose tidal waves are beating upon the world’s farthest shores today. It is the simple story of this significant event which is told by contemporary observers, in the following pages.




Forward

IN writing the following facts and experiences respecting the early days of the Christian Science movement, I have been impressed and actuated by a deep sense of the importance of surrounding the subject with an accurate historical background. As one recognizes the cumulative authority of historic data, accuracy in statement and in proof is seen to be no less necessary than clearness of vision. In writing of the early days of Christian Science, it has been my intention to give a large amount of detail, and, although some of it may seem trifling in the narration, the data given by others may dovetail with this in such a way that some mooted point may be entirely cleared up, and the reason shown why Mrs. Eddy desired and ofttimes insisted that a certain thing be done in the given way she suggested. Such complete units may comprise valuable precedent for use by future governing boards of The Mother Church, and nothing of value, nothing that would serve as a help, should be overlooked or ignored.

Whatever is told of my father’s labors; whatever private letters to him from Mrs. Eddy may be quoted, are thus used not to give him noticeable prominence, but to disclose essential facts and to show the qualities of the Leader to whom we are all so supremely indebted. They give evidence of her tenderness, her love, her patience, her energy, her persistent devotion, her many cares and trials and her deep appreciation of those who sufficiently believed in her to work under her guidance, without reserve, hesitation or complaint. As time goes on, Christian Scientists will naturally wish to know all that is possible of the early workers who held positions of trust and responsibility; what kind of persons they were; what their vocations, and avocations; their tastes; their mental make-up; their home life, and how and why they came into Christian Science. All those who were identified with the work in its early history, passed through varied trials and testing experiences, and what they accomplished under the guidance of Mrs. Eddy, is destined to become ever more interesting and remarkable to the multiplying beneficiaries of this movement. Their circumstances and experiences were unique; they have not been and they can never be repeated. They simply await grateful and sympathetic appreciation.




Chapter I

The Author’s Early Remembrances and Impressions

The history of the Christian Science Movement found its beginnings in the assertion and the satisfaction of human need. It was not commended to public consideration by any of the means which ordinarily awaken public interest or startle public attention. The quiet teaching and influence of a Christian woman who had none of the distinctions which appeal to social standing and open the way to public recognition, brought into touch with the common distresses of relatively unknown people, effected results which stimulated them to become students and would-be exemplars of the healing promises of Christ Jesus.

This was the way it began and developed,, and no illustration of this dawn of the new day of Christian Science could be more pertinent, therefore, than the story of its entry into a simple home, my boyhood home, where it transformed the health conditions of father and mother, and thus awakened and enlisted upon their part that self-sacrificing devotion to Mrs. Eddy and her Cause, which has ever characterized, in a distinctive way, the attitude of the many serious-minded people who, having become convinced of the saving truth of this teaching, have been ready to count all other things “but offal,” if they might but apprehend and demonstrate this Word of God in Christian Science.

Be it mine, therefore, to tell briefly the simple story of the coming of Christian Science to our humble home, and of all the good it did, the aspirations it awakened, and the service and sacrifice it demanded and secured.

My earliest remembrances of my father are those of a loving parent, doing all he could for his family and those who came to him needing help. With me he was always a source of encouragement, urging me at all times to do my best, whether in school or in play. We were always very close together.

Ever since I can remember, my father was imbued with a deep religious feeling. He had been a member of the Dorchester Street Methodist Church, but the articles of belief of no one sect seemed to satisfy him, and he had a longing for someone to point the way. He went to various churches, and sat in the congregations of many of the famous preachers, but re remained unsatisfied, and found his pleasure in reading and in music.

When the War of the Rebellion broke out, he answered the first call for volunteers, and enlisted for three years’ service in Company E of the First Regiment of Massachusetts Infantry. He was mustered out May 25, 1864. As the result of his army experience, he became a sufferer from fevers and disorders which the physicians said were caused by war-food and swamps. He had also a rupture that gave him much trouble. The physicians told him that in order to prolong his life, he should go to a warmer and drier climate. My mother thought he should follow this advice, but he felt that he must stay with his work.

During the years of 1880 and 1881, he became very much interested in medicine, and gave up his spare time to reading of text-books and the study of elementary Latin. Homeopathy attracted him to its teachings and he had several cases of pills, etc., everything necessary for home treatment. The latter part of the year 1881 found him, during spare time, studying medicine ardently with Dr. Robert Provan. He had made up his mind to go into the practice of medicine, and began to study in a practical and comprehensive manner. During the early summer of 1882 his condition became worse, and, in addition to his medicine and diet, he took a course of treatment for better circulation of the blood, by the vacuum system.

For the rupture he realized that he must have a special truss made, and went one day to Codman and Shurtleff Company, specialists in this line of work. This was in the latter part of August, and I went with him. The salesman, who knew his case, told him that his condition had grown worse since he last fitted him with a truss, and that he knew of nothing that could help him, but if there was hope in anything it might be in Christian Science.

Whether or not father had heard of Christian Science before I do not know, but the statement of the salesman, who was the expert adviser for the Company, brought him deep despondency. By whom or how he was directed to any one particular practitioner, I do not know, neither does Mrs. Harris to who he went for treatment. Mrs. Mary E. Harris (now Curtis, of Bath, Maine) was the wife of Dr. Edward Harris, dentist, whose card, as such, appears in the early volumes of the Journal, 1884 and 1885. Mrs. Harris was a student of Mrs. Eddy, and a woman of decided character, full of courage, and of active and well-poised mentality. From what I can gather of her work in those days, it was characterized by many cases of instantaneous healing, and the curing of many hard, resistful beliefs in a few treatments. In a letter to me she states that my mother told her that when she came to see my father, he was writhing on the floor in agony, and writes, “I know your father had only a few treatments, and was interested in Christian Science from the first.”

It was not long before his condition became bettered, and with this change came an awakening to the “still, small voice,” for he realized that by no figment of the imagination, could his bettered condition be attributed to his dieting, his medicine or his vacuum treatment.

At that period in the history of Christian Science, Boston had a number of zealous believers in spiritualism, so many, in fact, that in 1885 Marcellus J. Ayer founded the Spiritual Temple, and erected a fine, well-appointed building, of large seating capacity and with an excellent pipe organ, at the corner of Exeter and Newbury Streets. By those who had not studied Christian Science, clairvoyants, spiritualists and mind-readers were all classed together, and came in for the same denunciation from the pulpit and the press. Mrs. Eddy’s students and the followers of the Cause had to spend many precious hours in explaining, by word of mouth and by pen, that Christian Science was not allied with any of these peculiar bodies, but relied entirely upon the power of God to heal. The building of the Spiritual Temple, on Exeter Street, made a profound impression in Boston, for there was a large following, and Mr. Ayer made generous contributions to its support. On Sunday afternoons, there was a special service of organ music by a most excellent organist, and music by singers and violinists, then short addresses, and exhibitions of spiritualism. These Sunday afternoons were attractive, and I went several times to hear the music and to see the “spooks,” as we boys called them, and usually the auditorium was crowded. But the fatal period in its history came, when, after many exposures of spiritualism in different large cities in this country, a plot was laid to catch the mediums in sleight-of-hand operations at one of the Sunday séances in the Temple. The result was well-nigh a riot, which brought about the breaking up of the séances at the Spiritual Temple, and it is now a moving picture house.

While my father, like most everyone with an inquiring mind, had looked into spiritualism and mind-reading, when Christian Science was presented to him, I believe that he saw it was the only truth; that it was what he had been searching for, and had at last found.

With the improvement in other respects came also a changed condition of the rupture. He discarded the truss, and never used one afterwards. For years, before coming into Christian Science, he had worn glasses, and, just previous to his healing, his eyesight had grown so bad that he had special lenses made, and for reading used two pairs of spectacles. It was not until about five or six years after his healing that he took up the matter of doing without glasses. His healing had been such a joy, and his study, after working hours, brought such happiness, that he probably omitted the thought of working to help his eyesight. I remember that it was when writing to a patient about a passage in Science and Health that he awoke to the fact that he should be able to do without the aid of glasses. I had been confined to the house for several days, and when a marked change came for the better, he said, as he finished reading to me from the Text-book, “My son, if I have been delivered from so much misery as I have passed through, God can surely help my eyes.” The truth did help him, for from 1889 until about 1907 he read all sizes of print and handwriting, without difficulty.

The healing of my mother was also remarkable. She was troubled with a tumor, and with catarrh in its most grievous form. The first trouble was helped, then healed. The catarrh yielded, at first slowly, as she put away material means, then disappeared also.

The healing of my father had brought with it a desire to be purer and holier, and the thought came to him that he could do as well, if not better, by giving up smoking. He enjoyed his cigar, and found comfort in his pipe when reading. Whether or not it was a struggle with him I do not know, but before he studied with Mrs. Eddy, he had entirely lost pleasure in tobacco and was free.

Our home life had been very pleasant, but the awakening to divine Love brought greater peace and kindness into our household, even though the subsequent years brought trials which had not been dreamed of and which tested faith, perseverance and patience during long struggles. It brought withal the pinch of poverty,but, thank God, through His blessing and the loving thought of the Teacher, Mrs. Eddy, somehow the deserts were crossed, and the Red Sea was divided.

It was about a year after his healing that Mrs. Eddy told father that he should go into the practice of Christian Science, for she said, “you have but little to unlearn, and your healing and study have made you ready.”

I know he was somewhat startled and astonished, but he felt that she was right, and he therefore gave up his work, settled some matters of business and became a practitioner. During the period between his healing and his going into practice, there had been considerable demand for church work, and now that he had given up a living remuneration he could do but one thing,stand by the work to which he had been called, and this he did. When he opened his practice in South Boston, its fine, old families were still there, and he placed a sign in the window which read,

William B. Johnson,

Christian Scientist.

We were living then at 79 F Street, among many friends, especially fellow church attendants. The street was a quiet thoroughfare in those days, with the usual arches of elm trees, for which South Boston was noted. Here we had a large back yard, and father tried rose-growing and the grafting of different plants, with some success.

F Street was not a thoroughfare through which many people passed, so that the sign was seen by but few, and it brought neither inquiries nor patients. Vainly did he wait for them day by day, and, in the meantime, Mrs. Eddy called him to attend to many things that she had to have done. Her teaching and writing took much of her time, and she knew nothing of our financial straits, despite my father’s anxious looks, while he took infinite care that she should not know of them. His savings were being steadily drawn upon, however, for living expenses and for contributions to the little church.

It was in 1884 that I first saw Mrs. Eddy and heard her preach in the Hawthorne Rooms. Father had told me so much about her, what she had done, the wonderful things she had written, and what healing she had accomplished, that, while I was willing to look at her, I shrank from going too close to her, because I had a childish awe of such a wonderful person.

I remember what a beautiful afternoon it was in the early summer, that we walked to the Hawthorne Rooms. The meeting place was not large, but well lighted. Before the service began the room was well filled, and I remember that I was startled out of a reverie by hearing people whisper, “Here is Mrs. Eddy.” I know that I got to my feet, for I remember that my father gently pulled me back,, and told me not to stand up and stare. As Mrs. Eddy mounted the platform, I could see her very distinctly, and remember that she had on a black velvet dress, and this remembrance has been fortified by pictures of her which I have since seen.

At the end of the service, father, who had business to do with some of the members, left me and I was well content to look out on the Common. A crowd of people was hovering around the platform where Mrs. Eddy was standing. After waiting for some time, father came to me and said he wanted me to meet Mrs. Eddy. I know that I held back, as there were some who were waiting to speak to her, but father gently chided me and told me that I must meet her because she was “the greatest person on earth.” This was too much for me, for I could not see how she could be greater than the President of the United States. However, I was still urged forward, and stood in the little gathering of about a dozen people who were lingering about her. Suddenly she realized that there was a child near her, and at that moment father pushed me forward, and said, “Teacher, this is my son.” She was very gracious to me, took my hand and held it. At the clasp of her hand my fears vanished. She then told me that my father had told her about my singing, and said that she would like to hear me sing sometime. I presume I was quite as awkward as are most boys at that age, and I do not remember what I answered, but when she asked me what I would like to be when I grew up, I told her “a fine musician.” Her answer was, “I hope that you will be,” and, looking me in the eyes, she said, putting her hand on my head, “May God bless you.”

The sweetness of her voice, the wonderful questioning of her eyes which seemed to read my thoughts, rather frightened me at first, then drew my tears. The remarkable manner in which she spoke to others and the way she stood, made a picture that I have never forgotten, and in after years, whenever I had the pleasure of seeing her, the picture of that day at Hawthorne Rooms came back with inspiring freshness.

This first impression has always lingered with me as one of the events of my life. When in later years I realized the greatness of the woman, I had no desire to see her, though I had many opportunities to go to Concord, for that one touch of her hand and the blessing given seemed to have sealed up in my child’s memory for future guidance a reverence and a love so great, that through all the years I have been relieved of all need of seeing, that I might believe.




Chapter II

Trying Years for the Novitiates

IF the sign in the window of 79 F Street, South Boston, “William B. Johnson, Christian Scientist,” did not bring patients, it was a nine days’ wonder and attracted many queer glances, sarcastic remarks, and gibes; and with these trials came a yet greater, namely, a lack of funds. The savings of years were fast ebbing, and father was trying to do his best by his family, and also help the church, but money went out, and none came in, and when summer came and school ended, instead of going to the country, it was necessary that I earn money during the vacation time. I had just graduated from the Grammar School, and with my classmates was looking forward to entering the High School, and then going to Harvard. All summer I worked and brought in $2.50 a week. We had already cut expenses to a low point, and that sum was added to what yet remained in the savings bank, and helped a little. We were hoping that before the time came for High School to open our condition would be so improved that I could go. But a week before the time for the resumption of studies, father came to me with tears in his eyes, and put before me the question, whether or not he should give up Christian Science practice and go back into his old line of work again, or, would I be willing to surrender, for some time at least, the hope of attending High School, and keep on with my work and so help the family. I was at this time a boy in my fourteenth year, and was getting three dollars a week. I presume that it was for the love of my father that I decided to give up school rather than because of any particular thought of sacrifice for Christian Science, for I was well and strong, fond of reading and baseball, and had many friends. Although my working hours were from half-past seven in the morning to six at night, and until nine on Saturday evenings, I found time to keep up with some of my chums, in a few of the High School studies.

I do not like to write very much about the years of ’84 to ’87, because they recorded a constant struggle for existence. Several times father felt that he must seek other work, and made application at different places, but without success.

South Boston, while holding a population at that time of nearly sixty thousand, was a more difficult place in which to find practice than Boston proper or other cities. Here everything moved along in well-defined channels. The churches were well-to-do, and were filled with worshippers on Sundays. They had excellent quartets, well-trained choirs, entertaining church sociables, and complete and artistic fairs and suppers. There was no floating population, and no one came to this district except to pay a visit or to live. In the city proper, conditions were different. Thousands came in from out of town each day, as they do now, to their daily labor, and, if looking for Christian Science help, they found it not far from the Common.

These were indeed heart-breaking years, for there was no income for weeks, except what came through my work. I had seen my mother worried and in tears, and have known what it was to have only a bowl of stewed tomatoes and a few crackers for supper, after a hard day’s work, and for weeks we did not know the taste of butter. Books were sold, some engravings that we had possessed for years, also some jewelry, that the rent might be paid. I do not care, even after the lapse of years, to bring back the remembrance of the troubles of my father and mother, for theirs were greater than mine, as I had the years before me, but even now I feel that the trials and labors of those years, with the pinch of poverty, and the constant struggle against the efforts to pervert Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, which caused father untold labor, have all left their mark in a deep-rooted sadness, which I still must make effort to escape from.

It was not until 1888, that the horizon began to brighten. My weekly wage was enlarged, and the receipt by mother of a legacy of one thousand dollars, enabled us to increase somewhat the comforts of the home. Father decided that he would like to find another home that would be better for his practice, as some interest had been awakened in South Boston, and this came about as follows.

In June, 1885, he went out to canvass for subscriptions to the Journal, which at that time was not a very remunerative undertaking nor one that was particularly attractive. The Christian Science Journal had been in existence but about two years, was not advertised, and there seemed to be no backers behind it except the few who gathered at the Hawthorne Rooms every Sunday and at the College. For this work the time seemed out of joint, but Mrs. Eddy saw the necessity of a larger number of subscribers, and asked father if he would go out and try to awaken interest. The residents of South Boston were conservative in their religion; generations of the old families had come and gone; they were in the churches and helped in their support, and were satisfied with what they had. Days of fruitless labor brought no results in the dissemination of the Journal, until one day in June or July of 1885 father called at the home of Mrs. Charles Walker, now Mrs. Elizabeth Green, of Independence Square, and found one who would listen to him, and who subscribed for the Journal. Mr. and Mrs. Walker were then members of the Universalist Church, on Broadway, and they were looked upon as pillars.

The seed of Truth found lodgment in this good woman’s thought. She was simple and modest, but of large heart, and she soon became interested. During the latter part of the year 1886, she came as a good Samaritan, and by word and act brought hope and encouragement. From the time that she and her husband realized what Christian Science meant, they both lent a helping hand, and would gather together little groups of friends, who would be willing to listen, and father would be asked to talk to them. Among those who came into close friendship with us, in about 1886, were Mr. and Mrs. Watson, most excellently taught students of Miss Julia Bartlett. They came originally from Littleton, New Hampshire, quiet, country people, but full to overflowing of innate kindliness, and they are with us now, going their unostentatious way, but steadfast to the core. Mrs. Watson, I believe, served some time at Pleasant View, and is now a practitioner. To the home of Mr. and Mrs. Walker, they brought their quiet earnest ways, and formed part of the little group that gathered around it others who needed the light and healing. Mrs. Walker (now Green) is still one of the faithful and staunch workers, a practitioner and a teacher in the Sunday school of the Mother Church.

In May, 1888, we removed from 79 F Street to 41 G Street. The location of the new home was much better in every way, for the house was on the top of a hill near where were located some of the best and oldest families in the district, whom I shall have reason to mention later on. Here father put a glass sign in the window1 which read,

Wm. B. Johnson

Christian Scientist

Office hours 1 to 4 p.m.

As the house projected some ten feet beyond the residence on the corner opposite, persons coming toward the house were confronted by this strange sign, and it was interesting, when sitting near the windows, to listen to the various comments and conjectures of the passers-by. This change in location was good in two ways; it brought the “sign,” at least, into a better location to be seen, and it gave us closer relations with our friends.

The number of patients increased but there were few who could pay, or would; therefore, much of the work was charitable. The total income of the family at that time was about eighteen dollars a week. This was an improvement and we felt encouraged, for hope began to glimmer in my father’s thought, as the growth of Christian Science was spreading in New York City and in the West, and the progress of the truth was a paramount importance to him.




Chapter III

Retrospective History

MY father was healed and entered lovingly and enthusiastically upon the work before him, during a period of reorganization in the Christian Science movement. From the beginning of Mrs. Eddy’s labors, all kinds of conditions of people gathered about her. Some were able to understand, appreciate, and follow her, while others soon fell by the wayside, so that the real growth was the result of a “survival of the fittest,” those who were spiritually able to see the Teacher as a spiritual guide, and to learn from her rebuke than from her praise.

Many of the benefits and blessings which are ours today, as a result of the growth of the movement, were first secured in Lynn. The disciples who could discern and advance with the Teacher saw, not in dreams but with clear vision, foreshadowed realities that have since become fully realized. At a meeting of the Christian Science Association, held at 6 Nichols Street, Lynn, on July 14, 1878, Lawyer Bancroft read an article entitled “The New School of Medicine,” in which he said, “Who knows but that this little cloud (Christian Science) no larger than a man’s hand, may grow until it covers the firmament.”

The activity of the Teacher and her students at this time was marked by continuous endeavors to heal, to encourage, and to stimulate progress. The spirit of helpfulness was manifest in Mrs. Eddy’s constant efforts to aid needy students. At a meeting at the Teacher’s home, November 21, 1878, the Association, upon motion of Mrs. Eddy, voted “that the money in the treasury, together with voluntary subscriptions to the amount of $50, be given for the benefit of E. J. Arens.” She expressed the thought that members of the Association “were passing through scenes which will be looked upon with much interest by future members.”

Mrs. Eddy’s students were now coming from many directions to attend the meetings of the Association, and she saw that strength, unity of action, and especially the preservation of her teaching from varied interpretations, required that as many students as possible attend the Association meetings. A number who lived at a distance, and whose purses were small, found difficulty in getting to Lynn as often as was necessary. It must be remembered that most of her students were women, with no definite incomes of their own, and in some instances the husbands were not at all interested in that which was taking their wives away from home and the family church. To meet this situation Mrs. Eddy made a motion, which was adopted by the Association March 29, 1879, “that surplus funds be used to defray the travelling expenses of those members who come from a distance.”2

For years Mrs. Eddy had been thinking of the organization of a church of her own, and now, in the year 1879, it seemed to her that the time was ripe for action. At an Association meeting April 19, a motion was made by the Teacher, and adopted, that a church be organized, to be called Church of Christ, Scientist; also that Sabbath services be held in Salem on and after the first Sunday in May, 1879.

At a meeting held April 26, 1897, at 63 Essex Street, Lynn, there was a vote of the Association to reconsider the name of the church, and, in a meeting held May 10, at 8 Broad Street, it was voted that the church be called “Church of Christ,” unless there was already one by that name, and committees for different purposes were appointed. June 21, the Association voted that a historical sketch of the “Church of Christ,” together with the tenets and covenant, be prepared and published.

At an Association meeting at 4 Mystic Street, Charlestown, on July 23, 1879, a letter was read from the Teacher addressed to the members as “brethren in Christ,” and the records refer to it as “fragrant with the spirit of love, and filled with tender, Christian counsel.”

Mrs. Eddy now saw that the boundaries of her work should be enlarged and that she should be relieved of some of it by others. She could not find time to go to the numerous places at which her followers desired her to lecture, and she found difficulties in the way of sending out students not as yet trained by her. They were not prepared to meet the arguments of those who might try to trip them by clever controversy. She wanted those who could give a clear and convincing interpretation of Christian Science, and it was necessary for her to select personally, the most eligible, so that the enthusiastic and self-appointed students who were not fitted for the task, would not be called upon to address the public. She brought this matter to the attention of the Association, August 6, 1879, and a vote of thanks was given “for her generous offer to prepare a class of students for public speaking, that they may be able to conduct the public services, and explain the Scriptures.”

In August, the Church, which had absorbed the attention and enlarged the labors of the Teacher since its formation in April, now became an established fact, the charter having been obtained in June, 1879.3* By unanimous vote, August 22, Mrs. Eddy was invited to become its pastor, and on August 27, the Church held a meeting with Mrs. Eddy in the chair. An interesting record of this meeting reads: “The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved. Then Mrs. Eddy proceeded to instruct those present as to their duties in the Church of Christ, giving some useful hints as to the mode of conducting the church.”

At a meeting held October 19, 1879, “it was unanimously voted that Dr. and Mrs. Eddy merit the thanks of the Society for their devoted labors in the cause of Truth,” and at the annual meeting, December 1, of the same year, it was “voted to instruct the clerk to call Mrs. Eddy to the pastorate of the Church,” and she accepted the call at this meeting.

On Sunday, January 4, 1880, the Church was to celebrate its Communion Service, and this appears to have been looked forward to with much prayerful consideration. A meeting for deliberation previous to Communion Sabbath, was held at the home of the pastor, January 2, and the records state that “The tone of this meeting for deliberation before Communion Sabbath, was rather sorrowful.” The record goes on to state, however, that “a feeling of trust in the great Father of Love, prevailed over the apparently discouraging outlook of the Church of Christ.” This Communion, so different from that of the churches to which the members were accustomed, must have seemed very strange, for though they had severed their former church connections, they were not yet free from the habits, the customs, and the associations of their old homes. They were now entering upon a new, untried path, which was lighted only by faith, and some had the adverse advice of friends and relatives still ringing in their ears. Communion Sabbath must have brought fresh courage, however, for the records contain these simple and suggestive words: “Sunday January 4, 1880. The Church celebrated her Communion Sabbath as a Church, and it was a very inspiring season to us all. Two new members were added.”

The question had often arisen as to what the Teacher’s students should be called. After consultation at a meeting of the Association, January 15, 1880, Mrs. Eddy selected the name “Christian Scientists” and they were so known thereafter.

With the growth of the work new problems appeared, some of which were not always easy to define, because there had been no precedent save in the labors of Jesus. The Master seemed to have used material means in some of his healing work and at a meeting of the Association March 31, 1880, a question was brought to the Teacher relative to the touching on the patient while treating him. Her answer was, “As there seems to be a tendency in the minds of many to confuse this treatment with Christian Science, it will not be best for the practitioner to touch the patient while treating. It is to be expected that the thought will act more freely without the touch.”

At the same meeting a clause was inserted, at the suggestion of Mrs. Eddy, into Article 2 of the Constitution that “none shall be admitted (to become) members who believe in mediumship.” This action was found necessary in order to make plain to the public that Christian Science and Spiritualism had no relation to each other. Spiritualism seemed to be taking a new and strong hold upon people of Boston at this time.

The record of May 23, 1880, reads:

“Our pastor, Mrs. Eddy, preached her farewell sermon to the Church. The business committee met after the service to call a general meeting of the Church to devise means to pay our pastor, so as to keep her with us, as there is no one else who could take her place in teaching us the Science of Life.”

Three days later, May 26, the following resolutions were passed:

“That the members of the Church of Christ, and all others now interested in said Church, do most sincerely regret that our pastor, Mrs. Eddy, feels it her duty to tender her resignation, and while we feel that she has not met with the support that she had reason to expect, we venture to hope that she will reverse her decision and remain with us. Resolved that it would be a serious blow to her Cause to have the public services discontinued at a time when there is such an interest manifested on the part of the people, and we know of no one who is so able as is she, to lead us to the higher understanding of Christianity, whereby to heal the sick and reform the sinner. It was further moved to have the clerk instructed to have our pastor remain with us for a few Sundays, if not permanently.”

At a meeting of the Church, December 15, 1880, an invitation was extended to Mrs. Eddy to accept the pastorate for the ensuing year, but the records state that “She gave no definite answer, believing that it was for the interest of the Cause, and her duty to go into new fields to teach and preach.”

Mrs. Eddy’s labors in teaching and healing were ever increasing, and the Association and Church had grown so promisingly under her careful nurture, that the following action was taken at a meeting held July 20, 1881:

Resolved, That we, the members of the Church of Christ, Scientist, tender to our beloved pastor, Mrs. Eddy, the heartfelt thanks and gratitude shared by all who have attended the services, in appreciation of her earnest endeavors, her arduous labors, and her successful instructions in the healing of the sick, and the reform of the sinner by metaphysical truth or Christian Science, during the past year. Resolved, that while she has had many obstacles to overcome, many mental hardships to endure, she has borne them bravely, blessing them that curse her, loving them that despitefully use her, and thereby manifesting in her Christian example, as well as in her instructions, the highest type of womanhood, and the love that heals. And while we sincerely acknowledge our indebtedness to her, and to God, for these blessings, we each and all will make greater efforts to more faithfully sustain her in her work. Resolved, that while we realize the rapid growth, and welcome the fact of the world-wide spread of this great truth, that Mind, Life, Truth, and Love, as taught and explained by our pastor, does heal the sick, and does bring out the perfection of all things when understood; we also realize that we must put forth more energy and unselfish labor to fulfil the Master’s commands and our pastor’s teachings that we preach the gospel, heal the sick, and love our neighbor as ourselves.”

Up to October 10, 1878, all of the meetings of the Christian Scientists’ Association were held in Lynn, with the exception of a few in Salem, but as the number of students increased, and many came from Boston, a meeting is recorded of October 10, 1878, at 124 W. Newton Street, Boston, Other meetings in this city took place December 5, at 31 Sterling Street; February 27, at 16 Boylston Place and June 7, at 124 W. Newton Street. While the majority of the meetings were held at the Teacher’s home in Lynn, during the years 1878 to 1879, it is apparent that Boston was destined to be the future home of Christian Science.

For some time Mrs. Eddy had been looking toward a larger and broader field for her labor, and she knew that the work should have its headquarters in a large city, but, like everything she did, she waited and prayed for the right time, that no false step be made. She was therefore willing that meetings should be held in Boston, as they would be better attended, and her foresight showed her that they would attract more inquirers than in Lynn.

Less than a year of Church activity, however, revealed the fact that a desire for place and power was appearing. The older students, who had been with Mrs. Eddy continually, seemed to have arrived at the condition where familiarity breeds indifference. Other students had come into the Association, and, by their more impelling activities together with a devotion which many of the older adherents lacked, co-operated effectively with their Teacher. Mrs. Eddy had continually added to her poise and positiveness of statement in presenting the truth of Christian Science. Step by step upward, always seeking, and finding wisdom from past experience, she took more advance ground, until she at length reached the height where she found her horizon broadened and her vision enlarged. As it seemed to her students in Lynn she had suddenly grown beyond them, but they did not realize that it was their own indifference, engendered by their familiarity with the Teacher, which had drawn this dividing line between them. They simply could not keep pace with her.

The students who came in from new fields had no differences. They were eager and ready for the tasks which she appointed them, and they looked honestly and lovingly up to her in the leadership she had acquired. She therefore gave them special tasks, sent them out as missionaries with specific instruction as to their labors, and among the older students, jealousy and fear were thereby aroused. The year previous, June 2, 1880, the Association had voted to expel Mr. Arens, who was Dr. Eddy’s student, and, at a meeting held October 6, 1880, at 551 Shawmut Avenue, there was a vote to the effect, that “we consider the public safety endangered by the malpractice of Edward J. Arens and others, and that a notice thereof be given for publication at the newspaper offices in Boston.”

On October 21, 1881, the following letter was written to Mrs. Eddy by students in whom envy and indifference had taken root:

“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 a departure from the straight and narrow road that leads to growth in Christlike virtue, which departure is made manifest by frequent ebullitions of temper, love of money, 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, to the cause, and to ourselves, we do most respectfully withdraw our names from the Christian Science Association and Church of Christ, Scientist.

S. Louise Durant, Jane I. Straw, Margaret J. Dunshee, Anna B. Newman, Dorcas B. Rawson, James C. Howard, Elizabeth G. Stuart, Miranda B. Rice.

21, October, 1881.”

At a meeting on October 31, 1881, the Association voted to expel James C. Howard, Miranda B. Rice, and Dorcas Rawson, “for conduct unbecoming a Christian Scientist,” and, at the same meeting, Elizabeth G. Stuart was expelled, though her case was evidently specially considered.

Instead of causing serious harm, this break in the ranks simply led Mrs. Eddy to work the harder, more determinedly, and, as those who remained loyal to her gathered in full strength, she knew that the purging would have good effect, since it would decrease the tendency to undermine the trust and faith of the remaining students. As she looked over the field of battle, she evidently felt well satisfied with the condition of the students who had remained true, and realized that, for a time at least, one phase of error had been defeated, and she could leave much more of the work with the faithful ones, and thus take up other pressing labors. It was necessary to give some attention to her copyrights, and for this purpose she and Dr. Eddy went to Washington.

While she had faith in her loyal students, she was careful to provide that nothing should happen while away which could be construed in the records of the meetings of the Association as having been given her approval. This was wise foresight on her part, that the future history of the Cause should not show her sanction of the acts or words of others, and at a meeting of the Association, held November 16, 1881, a request from Mrs. Eddy was read, in which she expressed her desire to withdraw her membership, “because of distance from their place of meeting.” She preferred her name to be taken off the list so long as she was unable to attend the meetings.

At the meeting, held November 16,4 1881, her request was granted, and the following resolutions placed upon record, and a copy sent to her. This meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Clara Choate, 6 Milford Street, Boston:

1 “Resolved, That we the members of the Christian Science Association, do herein express to our beloved teacher and acknowledged leader, Mary Baker Glover Eddy, our sincere and heartfelt thanks and gratitude for her earnest labors in behalf of this association, by her watchfulness of its interests and persistent efforts to maintain the highest rule of Christian love among its members.”

2 “Resolved, That while she has had little or no help, except from God, in the introduction to this material age of her book Science and Health, and in carrying forward the Christian principles it teaches and explains, she has been unremitting in her faithfulness to her God-appointed work, and we understand her to be the chosen messenger of God to bear His truth to the nations, and that unless we hear ‘Her Voice,’ we do not hear ‘His Voice.’”

3 “Resolved, That while many and continued attempts are made by the malpractice referred to in Science and Health, to hinder and stop the advance of Christian Science, it has with her leadership attained a success that calls out the truest gratitude of her students.”

4 “Resolved, That the charges made against her in a letter, signed by J. C. Howard, M. B. Rice, D. B. Rawson and five others, of hypocrisy, ebullitions of temper, and love of money, are utterly false, and that the cowardice of the signers in refusing to meet her and sustain or explain said charges, be treated with the righteous indignation it justly deserves. That while we deplore such wickedness and abuse of her who has befriended them in their need, and when wrong, met them with honest, open rebuke, we look with admiration and reverence upon her Christ-like example of meekness and charity, and will, in future, more faithfully follow and obey her divine instructions, knowing that in so doing we offer her the highest testimonial of our appreciation of her Christian leadership.”

5 “Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be presented to our teacher and leader, Mary B. Glover Eddy, and a copy be placed on the records of this Christian Science Association.”

At a meeting a week later, November 23, the Association voted to invite Mrs. Eddy to attend the meetings of that body, and on March 29, 1882, announcement was made in a meeting of the Association that Mrs. Eddy would very soon return to Boston.

To the students who had been laboring alone in Boston, but hearing occasionally from their Teacher, the meeting of April 12, 1882, at 590 Tremont Street must have been one of inspiring interest, for Mrs. Eddy was present and “gave an account of her winter’s work in Washington, which had been very successful.”

In order to make the logic of events more clear, it is well to remember that the Massachusetts Metaphysical College was organized in January, 1881; that Mrs. Eddy gave up the Lynn home before going to Washington, and that her next place of residence was at 569 Columbus Avenue. At a meeting of the Association on June 21, 1882, Mrs. Eddy requested that her name be placed again upon its records as a member. This gathering was held at Mrs. Eddy’s new home on Columbus Avenue, and the vote to elect her to membership was unanimous, and by the same token of affection she was elected President. At this meeting resolutions were passed relative to the death of Dr. Asa G. Eddy.

In the fall of this year Mrs. Eddy set herself to the task of binding the work of the Church, the Association, and the College, closer together, and at the meetings of the Association many questions were brought up respecting forms of dismissal, the oath of membership, etc. The latter she considered “not good government, and at her suggestion, and by vote, it was expunged.”

Since the death of Dr. Eddy the fear of mesmerism was evidently troubling the students to such a degree that it became an obsession, and, at a meeting held October 11, 1882, Mrs. Eddy believed the time ripe not only to break the fear, but to awaken the thought of her students. In this meeting at the College she said “that there was a great excess of talk about the error (mesmerism). All there is to mesmerism is what we make of it.” She “wished an element of energy to steal away any consciousness of lethargy that might appear to her students.”

Early in 1870, Mrs. Eddy had completed a manuscript which she named The Science of Man, and which she copyrighted but did not attempt to put into print until 1883. At a meeting of the Association she remarked, in regard to The Science of Man, “It is a very good antidote for the plagiarism of Arens. It has the pith of wit in it. Strangers can get from it a digest of Christian Science. It has been needed for a long time.”

At this period Mrs. Eddy’s thought was occupied with plans for a Christian Science periodical which should stand as the official organ of the movement. Although busy with her College, Association and Church, she felt the imperative need of a publication that should be representative of her teaching and work, and how strongly she felt the demand is shown in the following remark which she made at a meeting of the Association in March, 1883: “If I have to give up other work I will have the paper.” The first number of the Journal of Christian Science, as it was then called, was dated April, 1883.

The little Church in the meantime had been struggling along. The change of location from Lynn to Boston, and the growth of the College, had given it fresh vigor, a great desire to be more representative of a definite religious thought. However it still needed to be nurtured and be where Mrs. Eddy could be closely in touch with it so that there could be no deviation of thought from the line of spiritual advance. Mrs. Eddy was a wonderful reader of character, and she saw into the future far enough to know that some of the students who were now working so well and faithfully at her side would, by their desire to be individual, “original thinkers and leaders,” allow their thoughts to go off at the tangent and then separate themselves from her.

To watch over her flock, and keep their thought and work in alignment with her purpose, was the only safeguard that she saw. Her hours at the College were filled with the labor of teaching, writing, counselling, and directing; and in having the meetings under her own roof, she was able to save time expended in going out to another place of meeting. Hence on September 8, 1882, it was voted that the Church hold its meetings for worship in the parlors of Mrs. Eddy’s home, 569 Columbus Avenue. Here the interest and attendance grew until a larger place had to be secured. In November, 1883, the Church held its meetings at 3 Park Street, the Hawthorne Rooms. The capacity of these quarters was about two hundred and twenty-five, and this must have seemed ample for a long time to the laity, but not to Mrs. Eddy, who had wonderful visions of the growth of the movement.

At a meeting of the Church, October 22, 1883, it was voted to wait upon Mrs. Eddy, to ascertain if she would preach for the Society at ten dollars per Sunday, and she accepted the invitation. After the removal of the Church to the Hawthorne Rooms, the number of attendants steadily increased. Mrs. Eddy preached when she could give the time, and when not present the pulpit was supplied by clergymen of other denominations or by some of her students.

The clergymen who preached had been attracted to Christian Science, in most cases because they were inquiring minds, and by the wonderful personality and power of Mrs. Eddy. In most cases, however, they had but touched the hem of her teaching, and though their thoughts were greatly illumined for a time, the thralls of old theology, their years of training and of work in their profession, and their custom to rule and direct,these things speedily brought them back again to earth, and took them out of the controlling influence of her teaching.

At a meeting of the Association, February 5, 1884, resolutions were drawn up, of gratitude to Mrs. Eddy, for “her unremitting toil, and self-sacrifice for the Cause of Christian Science.” They said further, that,

“while certain dissenting members have been added to the list of malpractitioners, she has not conceded to worldly policy in their behalf, but has met all offending students with Christian love and fortitude, blessing all and laboring on for others to reap the reward of her well doing; we feel our thanks are due to her for this. We denounce those who gain public confidence through her teachings, and then sell themselves to the enemy…. Notwithstanding the many public demands made upon our President, she has taken another responsibility in editing our Journal of Christian Science, in order to elevate humanity. This should call forth the gratitude of each and every student, and lead them unswervingly to follow her example, in Christian activity, and more faithfully render, in the future, their service in aid of the fulfilment of so great and laudable a purpose.”

Mrs. Clara E. Choate, who had proved to be a brilliant and versatile worker, and much beloved by Mrs. Eddy, had for some time let her thoughts wander away from true Christian Science. Mrs. Eddy had given her generous praises, and had sent her out to lecture, which work she did brilliantly. She was a capable healer while her thought was in unity with absolute Science, and she had done remarkable work in selling Science and Health. Her lectures and conversation were full of force and charm, and made her one to be admired. But these very characteristics awakened in her the feeling of independence, and a desire to be individual, and to impress people with the thought that she was a deep and original thinker. Like Arens and others who talked and lectured, she quoted wholesale from Mrs. Eddy writings, and gave no credit, so that the listener was led to think that the thoughts were original with her.

In February, 1884, the Association took up Mrs. Choate’s case, and she was expelled from that body. Mrs. Eddy advised, however, that this action be not made public.

At the time of this writing there is much to be said of this brilliant woman, for she awakened to her error, and saw Mrs. Eddy in the true light sometime prior to 1899. During the Woodbury libel suit she came into my father’s office and told him that she had been summoned as a witness by the plaintiff, but had told Mrs. Woodbury’s lawyer that she would testify for the defendant. Her return to Christian Science was with a sincere feeling of love, and reverence, and a desire to labor faithfully for the Cause.

The suit, brought by Mrs. Eddy against Arens in 1883, was successful, and the copies of his work were confiscated and destroyed. Although Arens had thus been defeated at every turn, he was a determined antagonist, and endeavored to make as much trouble for Mrs. Eddy as possible. An instance of this is found in a report given by Mrs. Melissa J. Smith of Allston, “that recently her parlor lecture had been invaded by Arens and his party, in an effort to break up her meetings.”

At that time it was the custom for students selected by Mrs. Eddy to give lectures in the College building, and at a meeting of the Association March 18, 1884, Mrs. Eddy made a motion, which was adopted, that Mr. Levi A. Childs give a lecture upon Christian Science in the College meeting room as often as once a week, and at a meeting held on March 27, it was voted that the admission fee to these lectures be twenty-five cents.

At meetings of the Association reports were continually coming in relative to the noble work that the Journal was accomplishing. The circulation, however, was not large, and Mrs. Eddy saw that every member of the Association must work more diligently for its increase.

At this time the Association numbered about sixty-one members. There were many outside that body, however, who were interested, and there were evidences of steady growth both of the Church and the Association. Mrs. Eddy felt, however, that there should be more individual work done by the members, and on March 18, 1884, the Association adopted the following suggestion which she offered:

“That every member of the Christian Science Association subscribe for the Journal of Christian Science, and obtain annually not less than six subscribers for it or forfeit their membership. Also, that all members who are practicing healing pay twenty-five cents on every $5.00 they receive from their practice, toward supporting the public worship of the Church of Christ, Scientist.”

At this time my father entered yet more whole-heartedly into the work as a practitioner. From the moment he joined her class, Mrs. Eddy seemed to have picked him out as one upon whom she could depend for hard and continuous labor in time of need, in accepting responsibilities, and being very calm and wise in times of trouble. The number of students was not large, the Association and the Church membership small, and the Hawthorne Rooms were filled only when it was known that Mrs. Eddy would preach. Further, there was never a time when critical murmurings could not be heard, and these always provoked an eruption later on. Nevertheless each of these purgings revived the ferment, and the Church and Association took on a healthier growth.

In the class work my father was always ready to answer honestly if he did not understand the question about which she was speaking, and she realized that he did not desire to be thought of as easily comprehending her teachings, but that his conviction must be firmly grounded in a clear understanding of Science, no matter how much time and instruction it might require. She soon discovered that his work in the churches he had attended, had given him poise and definiteness in speech before audiences, and she urged upon him the need of some special study with her, so that when called upon he could fill the pulpit at the services, and advised him to prepare some sermons so that he would always be ready. This he did, and he was not infrequently called upon to supply the pulpit.




Chapter IV

Church Growth

During the year of 1885, the attendance at the services continued to increase, so that in the early part of the year, it taxed the seating capacity of the Hawthorne Rooms, especially when good weather favored. This increase of attendance showed that the interest in Christian Science was genuine, and not prompted by mere curiosity or the appeal of Mrs. Eddy’s personality. However, when she was announced to preach, the rooms were always overcrowded.

The Communion service, held February 8, 1885, brought those who were interested from far and near. It was held in Odd Fellows Hall, situated at the corner of Tremont and Clarendon Streets, and the attendance was about eight hundred. Mrs. Eddy preached and gave an impressive and highly spiritual interpretation of the text, I Corinthians 10:18, “Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?” Fourteen candidates were admitted to Church membership after the sermon.

It thus became apparent that larger quarters must be obtained, but as no suitable place could be found, no change was made. Further, at this time, the question of rent had to be considered, since, although earnest, the congregation was not a wealthy one, a majority of the members and attendants being women who had no personal income, and who had to divide their givings between the Church, the Association, and the Journal. After fully considering their needs and their resources, it was decided to engage Chickering Hall, and a better place could not have been found, since it was centrally located, quiet and admirably adapted for their use. This auditorium, located at 157 Tremont Street, was famous in its day as a recital hall, and here many of the great artists were heard. The seating capacity was four hundred and sixty-four, and this was considered altogether too large when it was first suggested. This question was considered for some time, until my father realized the necessity of a speedy decision, and talked to Mrs. Eddy about it. The capacity of the Hawthorne Rooms was about two hundred and twenty-five, and that of Chickering Hall was more than double this number, but he believed, as did she, that the work would have unbounded growth, and, after canvassing the matter carefully, it was engaged.

The first service held in the new meeting place was on October 25, 1885. Mrs. Eddy was announced to preach, and, as usual, the hall was crowded. Her text was John 21:5, “Then Jesus said unto them, Children have ye any meat? They answered him, No.” The filling of the hall on this first Sunday was a most inspiring achievement, and it brought rebuke as well as courage to those who had argued that it was altogether too large. By way of comment, the Journal of November, 1885, remarked, “Chickering Hall has been engaged for the season; and when this proves too small, we will get a still larger one.” Here was real optimism respecting the future, and this has been the proverbial outlook of Christian Scientists as a body. While they could not see as far as their Teacher, they were willing and ready to look in the direction she pointed.

The acoustic qualities of the new hall were excellent. The first choir was organized by Mrs. Sarah D. Howe, C.S.D., and my father. They selected from the congregation such as could sing well, and the number included Mrs. Howe, solo-soprano; Mrs. Sarah D. Linfield and Mrs. Mary E. Harris, C.S.D., contraltos; Mr. Herbert H. Bangs and Mr. John A. Linfield, tenors; Dr. Edward N. Harris, C.S.D., and my father, basses. The pianist was Mr. Homer Tourjée, son of Dr. Eben Tourjée, the founder and director of the New England Conservatory of Music. Mrs. Howe was the recognized soloist, but sometimes father would officiate in that capacity. The piano soon gave way to a two-manual reed organ, and, after Mrs. Howe went to California, Miss Lottie Bowers was engaged as solo-soprano, and held that position until the occupation of the Mother Church edifice.

The hymnal used was the Social Hymn and Tune Book published by the American Unitarian Society, 1880, and containing many excellently chosen tunes. While the words were not all that could be desired, they fulfilled their mission very well. About the year 1889, Select Songs was also adopted, and both books were used.

Consultations at the college now brought forth the organization of the first (Christian Science) Sunday School, and on the opening Sabbath, October 25, 1885, the announcement was rejoicingly made. Its sessions were held at 1:45, the regular services at 3:00 o’clock. The “Lessons” used in the Sunday School were the International Series, and this fact developed into a matter of much importance which will be explained in a later chapter.

At this time the Christian Scientist Association, while not the legal governing body of the Church, was the real directing power. The Church developed from the Association, and in 1879 its organization was completed with the help of the Association, as instanced by the vote of that body, November 22, 1879, “That the funds of the Association be used for the expenses of the Church.”

The management of the Journal was also assumed by the Association, as is shown by the vote on March 1, 1883, upon names to assist the work of the Christian Science Publishing Company, and in the election, at the same meeting, of an editor, sub-editor, treasurer, and publisher.

As the members of the Christian Scientist Association were all students of Mrs. Eddy, she was much closer in touch with them than with the members of the Church, and necessarily found the Association a better medium through which to accomplish her purposes and plans. She not only attended the meetings held in the College, but a majority of those held in other places. A meeting was held at 569 Columbus Avenue, on May 5, 1886, and was very largely attended, members having come from many “different cities and states.” The rooms at the College were now too small for the increased attendance, and the Association went to Oasis Hall, Odd Fellows building, at the corner of Tremont and Clarendon Streets. A meeting is recorded of February 2, 1887, at 5 Park Street, but on and after September 7, 1887, it met in Meionian Hall, Tremont Temple, and here many interesting events took place which proved to be significant to both the Church and the Association.

In 1885, toward the end of the year, Mrs. Eddy saw with prophetic vision that, while her own students were kept in close touch with her through their Association membership, and that their activities could be properly controlled, the pupils of her students needed to be more firmly bound together that they might also constitute a unified body. The first public announcement of this her thought appeared in the Journal of January 1886, page 185, under the heading, “A Christian Scientists’ Association,” written by her, and in which she said:

“As the cause of Christian Science is extending rapidly all over our country, and the Christian Scientists’ Association of Boston, is exclusively a society of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, I deem it advisable that an organization be formed on a broader basis, by which all Christian Scientists and their students may come together; and I would recommend that steps be taken by my students, throughout the United States, to organize a National Christian Scientists’ Association.”

The first regular meeting of this Association was held in New York City, February 10, 1886, and delegates were present from the Christian Scientist Association5 of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College in Boston, and the Branch Association in Chicago. On page 231 of the Journal of March, 1886, appears the following, relative to the formation of the National Association:

“The purpose of this association is to bring together and place upon an equal footing with one another in Christian Science, all students thereof (whether they have been personally taught by the founder of the order, or have received their instructions from some of her students) and so promote unity and brotherly love.”

A preliminary meeting for organization was held in Boston, January 29, 1886. At this meeting it was voted that charters be granted for the formation of branch associations, and that the “proceedings of this meeting be given to the papers in New York, Chicago, and Boston for publication.” Mr. Charles A. S. Troup was elected to serve as Secretary.

This step toward the enlargement of the scope of her activities, by which all those who had been taught by her students were brought into closer contact with her thoughts and ideals, may be said to stand next in importance to the organization of the Mother Church. The formation and activity of the National Association awakened enthusiasm not only among Mrs. Eddy’s students, but among the pupils of her students as well, and brought both inspiration and direction for better work. It was customary at that time for students to go here and there, teaching and healing, and this resulted in the formation of groups of students of a single teacher in several states, and at the same time tended to increase the desire to teach rather than to heal, which was to the distinct disadvantage of the movement. There were no restrictions then as to the number of classes a teacher might instruct yearly, and no limit as to the number in each class. Neither was the teacher confined to a single field of labor. They were free to go to any locality from which a call might come.

To illustrate the then existing situation,an earnest Christian Scientist might have come to Boston from a city in Wisconsin to study with Mrs. Eddy, taking the Primary and the Normal classes. For some good reason, this student decided to settle in or near Boston to heal and to teach. He proved successful, and instructed, in the course of a year or two, perhaps five or six classes. Later on, a call came to teach a class in his home city, and, while teaching and working there, another call came from one of his students, asking him to conduct a class in yet another state. Thus it came about that this teacher soon had groups of students in several states, without any of these fields of labor having been developed and made strong, and there were many sheep without a shepherd. A yet more serious effect was registered in the fact that differences of opinion having arisen between students, one of them would perchance take issue with their teacher on the subject, repudiate him, and go and study with another of Mrs. Eddy’s students. This brought about confusion in the ranks of the teachers themselves,charges of wrong teaching, of infringement of rights, etc. The seriousness of these difficulties can hardly be realized today, and only the saving and healing power of Truth enabled the work to grow and flourish despite these storms and upheavals. It may be seen, however, out of what almost chaotic conditions Mrs. Eddy later on brought the movement into business-like order.




Chapter V

The Chickering Hall Period

T he troubles which attended the realization by the members that the Hawthorne Rooms were outgrown, and that the Church had no real home, were speedily quieted when Chickering Hall was obtained, and it was not long ere

a settled and calm feeling was restored. At first there were many vacant seats, to be sure, but, instead of sitting close together the faithful few spread themselves out and the empty seats were thus not so noticeable. On the days that Mrs. Eddy preached the hall was sure to be filled to overflowing. The query might be raised as to how people knew that she would preach, since it was not announced in the newspapers nor in the columns of the Journal. The pulpit in those days was supplied either by her students or by various divines who were sufficiently interested in Christian Science to accept an invitation to preach. The good tidings that she would fill the pulpit at a certain date would emanate from the College, and to the Christian Scientist of those days it was almost a crime to stay away from service for any cause except that of the utmost necessity. The extra two hundred or more needed to fill the hall were, to a large extent, friends and relatives of the regular attendants, who had been urged to come and learn the truth about Mrs. Eddy for themselves; her gentleness and nobility; that she was neither a spiritualist nor a mesmerist; that she believed in prayer, loved the Bible, and was perfectly rational.

During the years that the Church worshipped in Chickering Hall, the growth of Christian Science was remarkable, and this was the church home from October, 1885, until March, 1894, a period of eight years and five months.6 During the last year the hall was filled to overflowing well-nigh every Sunday, and not infrequently the doors at the rear were left open so that those who could not get in could hear the service from the outer hallway.

These years were full of hard work for every one connected with the little Church. There were periods of calm, followed by eruptive phenomena; then, when the error had been skimmed from the surface, halcyon days of calm and uplift would come again, and the work would go on nicely. The desire for a church building was already a dominant and impelling thought. The fifty thousand dollars or more, necessary for the erection of a suitable structure, was, in those days, a very large sum to a little band of worshippers numbering regularly not more than three hundred. Few of the members were wealthy, but all were determined to have a church edifice of their own as soon as possible. Many were the made-over dresses and hats, and many members walked long distances to the services to save car fare, that their contributions to the building fund might be the greater. The earnestness, and the determination shown were wonderful, and each hundred dollars added to their fund was looked upon as a landmark, the expenses of the Church being kept as low as possible. On page 14 of the Journal of April, 1886, an interesting account of a Communion Sunday service (March 21), is given, when Mrs. Eddy preached. Printed programs were used, and they proved a great convenience since the supply of hymn books was very inadequate.

About this time Rev. Wm. I. Gill, a Methodist clergyman, studied Christian Science with Mrs. Josephine C. Woodbury, and he seemed to her to be the last word in efficiency; well equipped for the pulpit, and for the position of editor of the Journal. He had written some philosophical articles for The Christian Register, had left the Methodist Church because of its ecclesiasticism, and established an independent church of his own. In the middle of the year 1886, we find Mr. Gill, with Mrs. Woodbury’s assistance, climbing upward, and, at the August meeting of the Christian Scientist Association, in the absence of Mrs. Eddy, he was made chairman. In July, 1886, the Christian Science Publishing Company was organized, and took control of the Journal, and appointed Mr. Gill, Editor, Dr. Silas J. Sawyer, Business Manager, W. H. Bradley, Secretary, and Mr. G. H. Bradford, Treasurer. Mrs. Sarah H. Crosse retired as Business Manager, and Rev. James H. Wiggin, who had been doing some work for the Journal, was relieved, although he was expected to contribute or to assist when called upon.

Mrs. Eddy had now obtained what she had been hoping for during many years, viz., men to take executive positions. She gladly accepted those presented to her with proper recommendations and gave them a chance to serve and to make good.

Mr. and Mrs. Gill used to come to see our family and sometimes stayed to supper, so that we came to know them quite well. I felt that father did not wholly trust him, and future events will explain why. He had a certain quality of country wit which, together with a twangy drawl, was somewhat amusing. In talking with Scientists he was always the questioner, for his mentality was sluggish, and yet he wanted his hearers to think that he knew more of his subject than any one else. However, he never poured out wisdom as from a fount of learning, and when queries were put to him to answer, he always labored as in a heavy gale, and when cornered gave the impression that he was looking for a favorable place to fall. His dress was distinctly that of a man who has lived all his life in a limited area, and who has made his purchases at a country store.

At that time Mrs. Woodbury was gathering about her students in whom she took great interest. Clever with her pen, artistically inclined, a fluent speaker with an attractive manner, she selected for her students those who had money, and who were talented and mentally active. In a word she patronized “brainy” people. As her student, Mr. Gill rose very rapidly, and not only became Editor, but the assistant pastor of the Church. Previous to his coming into Christian Science he had organized in Lawrence, Mass., “The Free Church,” the forty-two members of which, as he said, were fully in accord with Christian Science. For some reason my father questioned this statement, and made quiet inquiries as to the facts, and with the result that these people were found to be without settled belief. It was further learned that Mr. Gill had been a minister in a Baptist and in a Methodist Church, and had turned toward Unitarianism. Finally, his adventures landed him, at the right time, in the midst of a live and growing church which needed a trained divine for an assistant pastor. He was then of quite mature age, turned fifty, and had for years been trying to find his individual niche. Now, after many years of uncertainty, he saw his golden opportunity. Many looked up to him, but, alas, for the expected illumination of the heavens.

From what I remember of a talk had with Mrs. Eddy, I am confident that she never felt that he was the man for the place; but she hoped that eventually she might rebuild him and so make him useful. When he reached the position of Editor, he collected some essays which he had written years before, and which had been printed in the Index of Boston, a philosophical journal, and later, with some additional pages, published in a book under the name of Philosophical Realism. This was advertised in the Journal, and, from what I can remember, the stir it made was very great. The book was not Christian Science at all. He had not shown it to Mrs. Eddy prior to publishing it, and the advertisements in the Journal were without the consent of the Christian Science Publishing Company. At this time Mr. Gill was suffering from extreme self-satisfaction, and assuredly felt that he could teach true Christian Science even to Mrs. Eddy.

The Publishing Company and my father, representing Mrs. Eddy, discussed the matter with Mr. Gill, and in a generous spirit gave him another chance. He promised to write another chapter in harmony with Christian Science and incorporate it in the next edition. But when the next issue came from the press, it appeared without the added chapter. When asked the reason why the new chapter was wanting, his answer was that the printer had lost it. The upshot of the whole matter was that the book and Mr. Gill were both discredited. He was paid in full for his time and went away to write an attack upon Mrs. Eddy and the Church.

As a writer, his work was unsatisfactory; it was weak in style, vagrant, without depth of thought, and his sermons lacked both point and uplift. If he ever felt any real, deep love for Christian Science, it must have been while going through the class with Mrs. Eddy. Mr. Gill’s exodus from the pulpit and the Journal caused no great commotion, only the query, “What next?”

When the life of Mrs. Eddy was being published in the McClure’s, and that portion appeared which dwelt upon the work that the Rev. James Henry Wiggin had done for Mrs. Eddy, I asked my father some particulars in regard to Mr. Wiggin’s connection with the Journal. His answer was that Mrs. Eddy desired to have him write for the Journal, which he did; to look over and select some of the contributed articles, and to improve their contents as much as possible. For a time he was the real Editor of the Journal, although his name does not so appear. From what I remember of my father’s explanation, it became necessary for Mr. Wiggin to step back for a time because Mr. Gill desired to dictate the way the Journal should be conducted. He evidently did this with very good grace, and, perhaps with a chuckle, as he could but have seen, in imagination, the incapable Mr. Gill “hoisting his own petard.”

My personal acquaintance with Mr. Wiggin did not begin until about ten years later. My father had always spoken kindly and lovingly of him, but I met him for the first time in 1897, at a lecture given by an explorer whom Mr. Wiggin was to introduce. I was looking forward to hearing him rather than the lecture, but I was much disappointed by his introduction of the speaker. He was earnest, but his style was heavy and entirely devoid of the sparkle that I had been accustomed to in my college life at Harvard. I afterwards met him socially, heard him talk, and recognized that he was a good, jovial man, but not a scholar. What learning he had digested had come through his ministerial profession and promiscuous reading for the University Press. Although at times interesting, his conversation never showed the flame-like and contagious illumination of real temperament. It lacked brilliance and distinctive point. There was a marked contrast between his style and that of Mrs. Eddy. Truth, plus style in expression, has life eternal in art.

In her history of Christian Science, Miss Milmine refers to the errors in Mrs. Eddy’s English which, as she states, Mr. Wiggin had to correct. It is certain that Mrs. Eddy would not have gone to him for assistance unless she felt the need of help. Her writing was usually done at a white heat, under great pressure from within, and under circumstances most conducive to the making of mistakes, when the import of the subject matter is the vital thing, and to put it down as fast as it is presented to thought, means rapid writing. Seldom has a genius ever been very perfect in his workmanship or in the hasty expression of it. That percentage is the larger in which the original sketch, rough-hewn out of pent-up thought and emotion, in a way which indicates that the maker has “let himself go,” is altogether more powerful in its native character and vital uplift than in that statement of it which is phrased and finished off, when the fires of the original conception have cooled. Probably none of the great piano players ever struck so many wrong keys during the performance of a concerto, as Rubinstein and Liszt, when they were uplifted by surging emotions. The Symphonies of Beethoven, especially the third and the fifth, which are now classics, dismayed the critics by their form and treatment, while Wagner was criticized for his harmony in Tannhäuser. Some of Carlyle’s sentences in the French Revolution begin “nowhere and end in smoke,” and even St. Paul made himself famous for his “disconnected and unfinished sentences.” The authors of “immortal works” have ever made themselves “a trial for critics.” Great thought is the thing, and this Mrs. Eddy supplied in large quantity, and upon a great number of subjects.

Should her letters ever be published, they will show a remarkable grasp of clear statement, but with many passages that could be bettered by careful revision. Her first writing had to express her essential thought, and it was very seldom that she had time to rewrite. This is evidenced by the distinctive character of her handwriting.

She knew that what she sent to be published in the Journal, and especially the By-laws she framed, should be carefully edited before going into print. Somewhere in the files of the Directors of those years, or of Judge Hanna, who was then Editor of the periodicals, there are several letters from Mrs. Eddy which give sharp rebuke because something she had sent for publication had not been edited. She wrote, in substance, that she put thoughts down as they came to her, and knew that they should be put in better grammatical form before being published.




Chapter VI

Prosperity and Progress

During the year 1887, more definite and consistent efforts were made to effect a substantial increase of the building fund, and for this purpose it was decided to have a concert in its aid. The date for this was arranged to agree with that of the first annual meeting of the National Association, April 13.

For the sake of historical record I give the names of the participants in the concert, and their standing in the musical circles of Boston.

Mr. Lyman Brackett, who wrote the music to Mrs. Eddy’s poem, “Shepherd, show me how to go,” was a teacher of piano. As a performer he had a fluent technique, and was a most agreeable and kindly man, always ready to assist wherever he could.

Mr. Charles N. Allen, violinist, was a very favorably-known player, and his engagements were always of the best. Mrs. E. Humphrey Allen, his wife, was recognized as Boston’s leading soprano, a splendid artist in concert, oratorio, recital and church work. Miss Gertrude Edmands at that time needed no introduction to music lovers, for her splendid voice and artistry made her the most noted contralto in the city. Mr. Wulf Fries was a cellist of broad experience, known and loved by everyone who came into the warmth of his friendship. Mr. and Mrs. Allen were interested in Science, and through their kindness and Mr. Brackett’s genial assistance, the artists contributed their services.

In this year of 1887, Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, the famous divine and lecturer, passed away, and Mrs. Eddy paid him a notable tribute in her sermon of March 13. She said:

“We stand on a far-reaching battlefield, amidst fallen heroes. The brave Beecher has passed on, and the advancing ideas of the nineteenth century have lost a prop. He had a steady aim, and his was a broad battle axe, raised against the worst forms of tyranny and oppression. A nation mourns him, and the proper function of society is to remember virtue and forget vice. The great cause of humanity has lost a friend in Mr. Beecher.”

With the coming of the spring of 1887, the field seemed to be cleared of the effects of Mr. Gill’s apostasy. The Journal was running smoothly once more, the Christian Scientist Association and the National Association were doing their labors as laid out for them by the Leader, and her College was filled with earnest seekers. The building fund was showing growth, and it was hoped that the mortgage on the land, situated on Falmouth Street, which had been purchased in 1886, would soon be paid. In every direction, at least on the surface, the field seemed well-fallowed for planting, and hopes were strong for a good harvest.

It was at this promising time that Mrs. Eddy developed and sent forth a poem which was first published in an Amesbury paper about the year 1870. It will be of interest to all Christian Scientists to compare these early versions with the hymn as it now appears in our hymnal, and we therefore give them. It was born of hard and bitter experience, but it leads the reader up out of sickness and sin by distinct steps, to the perfect vision. “Christ our Refuge,” as it was then entitled, can be found on page 52 of the April Journal of 1888.

Over the voice-harp of my soul
There sweeps a hand
Beyond this mortal weak control,
From some soft band
Of Ministries, a white-winged throng
Of thoughts, illumined
By God, and breathed in raptured song,
By love perfumed.
And in this unveiled presence grew
A ladder bright
Rising to bear me upward to
A world of light.
Not from this earthly home afar
But nearer Thee
Father, to shine a loving star
O’er crystal sea.
Over the waves of error here
Time’s Galilee,
Aid me to walk, Christ ever near
To strengthen me,
And fix my sight on God the Rock
Upon the shore
’Gainst which the waves and wind may shock
Oh, nevermore.
I am no reed to shake at scorn
Or from it flee.
I am no medium, but Truth’s, to warn
The Pharisees.
’Gainst their oppression and their wrong
To crucify
The Christ, whose deeds they must prolong
To hold him nigh.

O’er the hushed harpstrings of the mind,
There sweeps a strain—
Low, sad, and sweet, whose measures bind
The power of pain;
And wake a white-winged angel-throng
Of thoughts illumined
By faith, and breathed in raptured song,
With love perfumed.
Oh, in His unveiled presence grow
Life’s burdens light;
We kiss the cross, and wait to know
A world more bright.
Not from this earthly scene afar,
But nearer Thee,—
Father, where Thine own children are,
And love to be;
Where o’er earth’s troubled, angry sea,
We see Christ walk
And come to us, and tenderly,
And wisely talk,—
Saying: “Step safely on the Rock
Upon Life’s shore,
’Gainst which the winds and waves can shock,
Oh, nevermore!
“Thy prayer, some daily good to do
To Mine, for Me,
An offering pure of love, whereto
God leadeth thee.”

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During the latter half year of 1887 some of the students began to read the writings of Messrs. Dresser and Evans. This period among Christian Scientists seemed to be a time when they were willing to read almost anything that dealt with metaphysics, and novels and poems that brought to the forefront the story of Jesus and his times,—anything, in fact, which had a current of thought, no matter how shallow, of healing by divine power. The story of Ben Hur was widely read among Scientists, and the poem “The Light of Asia,” by Sir Edwin Arnold, was warmly discussed among the members of the Church, and comparisons made between it and Science and Health. This poem took such a strong hold that one member, who had a clever and facile gift of rhyming, declared that Science and Health should be put into poetic form like the “Light of Asia.” Mrs. Eddy saw the danger of so much scattered and confusing reading. It took time for her to answer questions from students about it in her classes, and it led their thought off on a tangent from the plane of genuine Christian Science. She found it necessary, after the experience with Mr. Gill and his book, to endeavor to put a stop to it. In the March Journal of 1888, she wrote the following under the title of Christian Science Literature.

“Homoeopathy is the last link in material medicine. The next step is medicine in Mind. One of the foremost virtues of homoeopathy is the exclusion of compounds from its pharmacy. I wish the students of Christian Science (and many who are not students understand enough of this matter to heed the advice) to keep out of their heads the notion that compounded metaphysics (so called) is, or can be, Christian Science. They should take our magazine, work for it, and read it. They should eschew all magazines and books which are less than the best. ‘Choose this day whom ye will serve.’ My students should get the cobwebs out of their minds, which spurious compounds engender. ‘Trust her not, she’s fooling thee,’ says Longfellow in his poem; and he is right.”

Toward the end of this year, Mrs. Eddy purchased the house numbered 385 Commonwealth Avenue. The College building had become by this time a hive of industry, and Mrs. Eddy found that she needed to be away from it so that she could have more time to develop new lines of progress. During the Christmas holidays of the year 1887 she removed to her new home. Prior to going there she had changes made in the house, and these were looked after by her student, Mrs. Edward P. Bates of Syracuse, New York. This change was very desirable because there were so many divisions to the work that she found it advisable to have more privacy so that she could call together committees and individual workers whom she wanted to have act immediately, and without the matter being noised about.

On December 19, 20, and 21, came an event that had required long and hard labor of many of the faithful workers of the Church,—the building fund fair. At our home in South Boston we were busy for many weeks, making embroideries, handkerchiefs, bags, cushions and candies, and the enthusiasm ran high after services on Sunday. Money must be had, for no one could feel at rest while a mortgage hung over the land designated for the new church edifice. Mrs. Eastaman and her class of girls were the real sponsors of the idea; and, although Mrs. Eddy did not give her entire approval at first, she let her students take the reins and begin the work. Mrs. Eastaman was elected President, Mr. Frank E. Mason, Secretary, and Miss Carrie E Stratton, Treasurer.

This was the first fair of the Church, and never was there such an event, never such enthusiasm, such cordial hand-shaking, such feelings of comradeship and generosity. All bickerings were laid aside, everybody was on the alert to find weak places and to see that there were no dull moments. The fair had its paper, a two-page sheet called Good Tidings. One Tuesday evening Mrs. Eddy attended, and was escorted to the platform by Mr. Henry P. Bailey. She was very gracious that evening, and I can remember very distinctly the great interest caused by her appearance in the Hall. Horticultural building, in which the fair was held, was then on Tremont Street, corner of Bromfield. The fair was attended by Mrs. Eddy’s only child, Mr. George Glover, who with his family had come from the West to spend the winter in Boston. He was received with open arms by the students and the members of the Church. The fact was evident to everyone that Mrs. Eddy did all she could to help and encourage him, and to put him in a mental condition in which he would be a moral and physical help to her, but he certainly seemed to be of a strange make-up. His disinterested attitude toward Christian Science and his mother’s work, became more apparent the longer he remained, and the loyal students naturally lost interest in him because they saw that he brought her neither help nor encouragement, while he constantly consumed her valuable time with small matters that had no connection with the Cause.

Visitors to the services in the Church in Boston since January, 1888, have remarked upon the absence of coughing during the service. The desire of the students and the members to take up and obey the suggestions of Mrs. Eddy is thereby shown, and this desideratum came about in this way. Sunday, January 15, 1888, was rainy, and conducive to colds. Mrs. Eddy preached, and during the service there had been considerable coughing. When the collection was being taken, she evidently felt that the time had come to rebuke this error. She put the matter plainly before the congregation, and urged them to set aside the “claims of matter which led to belief in inflammation of the throat and lungs, and devote at least one day a week to freedom from material delusions.” After this students and members of the Church felt it almost a crime to cough or to sneeze during a service, and the desire to obey in this matter effected a great improvement.

At this period in the history of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy had not departed from all the older forms customary in the other churches, for she felt that her followers must be led gently out of a more material order into the spiritual interpretations of Christian truth. She saw also that those who were leaving the old churches might feel a sense of loneliness when brought into an atmosphere wherein there was nothing left which would remind them that they still remained in bonds of fellowship with their former Christian associates. The change which she saw necessary to the recognition of the spirit—not the letter, the truth—not its symbol—must be a gradual leading.

Among the members of the Church at this time there were twenty-nine children who had never been christened. As best I can remember, I think it was Mr. George Glover who suggested a christening service, and Mrs. Eddy announced that there would be such a service on February 26. Never had so many very small children and babies been at a service of the Church. The christening took place early in the service, and the hymn selected to be sung was,—

I think when I read that sweet story of old,
When Jesus was here among men,
How He called little children as lambs to His fold,
I should like to have been with them then.

After the hymn, twenty-nine children, among whom were a few babes, were brought to the platform and placed in four rows forming a semi-circle. Mrs. Eddy moved among them slowly, and from each received a card bearing the child’s name. Over the head of each child she raised her hands, repeated the name slowly, and pronounced this blessing, “May the baptism of Christ with the Holy Spirit cleanse you from sin, sickness, and death.” While no water was used in this christening rite, it was impressive to all. This was the first and last rite of this kind ever performed in the Church.

In the spring of 1888, the annual meeting of the National Association loomed large upon the horizon. Since its last gathering it had grown in membership beyond expectations. The meeting was to be held in Chicago, and everybody looked forward to seeing Mrs. Eddy, but in the Journal of May, 1888, a notice appeared which read as follows:

“I shall not be present at the National Christian Scientist Association in Chicago, June 13; but my sympathies will go out largely to my students on that occasion. I even thank beforehand those who, with deathless love, are struggling God-ward; and I warn those who are halting or are getting blind, neither to stop and rest on my personality for all they achieve, nor to abuse it; but to remember always that Love fulfills God’s law, and destroys sin as well as sickness, and that there is no other door by which to enter into Christian Science….”

That the students felt her presence in Chicago would do much for the Cause, is evidenced by the following letter from Dr. E. N. Harris, C.S.D.:—

“366 Columbus Ave., May 13, 1888.

Dear Bro. Johnson.

I have thought over the matter of my appointment as Secretary of the National C. S. Association, and have decided not to accept the position, and so informed Mrs. Eddy this afternoon. I went down to Chickering Hall to see you about writing to Rev. Bro. Day, of Chicago, as you remember you requested me yesterday, but you had just gone, so I have not written him, but you or the Chairman of the Executive Com. can write him about the hall, and he can telegraph the answer if you wish to save time. I suggested to Mrs. Eddy the names of Bros. Troup and Mason, either of whom would make a good secretary for the Association, and if Bro. Troup would consent to hold the two positions7 as our late Bro. Linfield did, that might be the most advisable plan.

A strong notice about the time and place of meeting &c, ought to be put in the next number of the Journal, either by the Secy. pro tem or the Executive Committee, with an editorial notice calling attention to the same. I hope your committee will get out a program of the proceedings. There should be some addresses and discussions upon the Science, and the session should continue two days. Now that the Association is well organized the time should be occupied with something profitable than amending By-laws etc.

I regret that our Teacher should have announced in the May number of the Journal that she will not be present, as the thought and expectation of seeing her, face to face, would inspire and draw together a much larger gathering of delegates from far and near. Even if she does not intend to go, it seems to me that it was a mistake to announce it beforehand. We are all liable to mistakes in judgment, sometimes no one of us is infallible.

May the beautiful harmony of Christian Science in its fullest meaning, and the joyful radiance of Spirit ever dawn upon your pathway, is the wish and prayer of yours in Life, Truth, and Love.

E. N. Harris.”

From all the evidence, the decision of Mrs. Eddy not to go came very suddenly. What was it she felt, or prophetically saw, that caused her to change her intention: Did she see mentally the outcome of the Corner case before the eruption began, and feel that she must be in Boston when the storm broke?




Chapter VII

Portentous Events

Those of the students who had been studying books on metaphysics, mental science, mind cure, and faith cure, have found that such reading does not require the same amount of study as does the Bible and the literature of Christian Science, and does not demand the Spartan-like resolution, energy , and activity which are involved in working out one’s own salvation.

The elements in the Church and the Association which had taken up the study of the foregoing subjects became restless because they coveted greater worldly freedom. The Leader’s admonition in the Journal of March, 1888, under the title of “Christian Science Literature,” greatly stirred some of the students, for they believed that their selection of reading matter should be optional, not prescribed. This fermentation of feeling, and the desire for an easier way to health and heaven, was surely and silently agitating their thoughts, and there were those who felt that sometime they must go their own way, that they had outgrown all that Mrs. Eddy taught, and something new and better was desirable. They could find no tangible excuse, however, for breaking away, giving up their affiliations, and probably losing their practice and incomes, Something violent must occur before they could be stirred to revolt, and this opportunity was presented in connection with the trial of Mrs. Abby H. Corner. It is not now necessary to write the details of this case before the court and of her acquittal, but only of the result so far as it was related to the Christian Scientist Association and to the Leader. The expenses of the defendant were two hundred dollars, and at a meeting of the Association some of the members insisted that it pay this sum out of its treasury.

Mrs. Eddy was very strongly opposed to this course, and expressed the thought that the money should be collected by contributions from the Church members. This viewpoint of the Leader was proved to be correct, and set from that time a precedent for all cases in which a practitioner has been called before the courts. Her knowledge of the assured growth of Christian Science, of the Associations and the Church, was so clear that she saw the time would come when one at least of these bodies would acquire a large income and would thus become a target for the unscrupulous. The expenses for the notable cases of this type which have come into the courts since the Mother Church was organized, have been paid by personal contributions, never in any instance by the Church. An appeal, therefore was made to the students to give individually and assist Mrs. Corner, and of this more later on.

The eruption which evidently Mrs. Eddy saw was due, had come, and she knew how to act. First, she determined to go to Chicago, caught the Journal before its going to press, and had inserted therein a notice right from her pen:

“Christian Scientists: For Christ’s sake and humanity’s sake, gather together; meet en masse, at the annual session of the National Christian Scientist 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 13. Firm in your allegiance to the reign of universal harmony, go to its rescue. In God’s hour the powers of earth and hell are proven powerless.”8

By the time June 6 had arrived—the date of a meeting of the Christian Scientist Association— there was a feeling of open revolt. The whole ferment had now come to the crucial point, and thirty-five students demanded to be allowed to honorably withdraw. The meeting was so warm in debate, charges and counter-charges were so abundant, that it was impossible to bring order out of chaos. Mr. Frye, father, and others tried to stem the tide and to pacify, but to no avail, and the meeting adjourned in a condition that was anything but peaceful This was a battle for supremacy. The revolters believed that they could obtain enough power to oust Mrs. Eddy and control the Association. To the faithful students, the horizon looked dark with storm and disaster in every direction, but not so to Mrs. Eddy. This struggle she had seen and prepared for, and she, of all, was the calmest, the one to act most quickly, and in this instance her wonderful reserve force, which has often proved so remarkable to those who have worked intimately with her, was now brought to the front. She called a meeting of a few students at her home on Commonwealth Avenue, picking out those only she felt were not tainted with sedition, and encouraged them so that they could better bear up under the stress, and help her with other matters. On June 8, she called my father to her and sent him to Chicago as the bearer of the following letter, on the outside of which she wrote,— “To my students.”

“Boston, June 8, 1888.

My dear Student.

Listen to this faithful student. Our vice-president in Boston is heading a new faction. Ask Mr. Johnson about it who bears this letter.

As ever your faithful Teacher,

M. B. G. Eddy.”

The students in Chicago he was to visit, to tell the story and what Mrs. Eddy desired to suggest, were as follows: Rev. G. B. Day, Mrs. Elizabeth Webster, Mr. and Mrs. Bradford Sherman, Mrs. J. H. Bell, Mrs. G. W. Adams, Mrs. Caroline D. Noyes, Mr. and Mrs. John F. Linscott, Mrs. Hannah A. Larminie. At the stormy meeting of the Christian Scientist Association of June 6, in Meionian hall, Mr. Charles A. S. Troup had resigned, and my father was elected secretary in his place.

That the revolutionists might obtain the needed power to force their issue, they conceived a plot to get control of the books of the secretary. With this in view, while father was in Chicago, whither he had gone previous to the departure of Mrs. Eddy, one of the dissenters called at our home, engaged by mother in pleasant conversation and suggested that, as my father was away and there was to be another meeting, it was necessary that they have the records. It was all done in such a natural way that mother had no suspicion and gave them up.

Although father may have told her that he had been elected secretary, he undoubtedly had not informed her relative to the strife in the Association, for Section 2 of Article II of the Constitution states, “The members of this Association shall refrain from speaking of the discussions, the business transactions, or of aught that occurs at the meetings, to any but members of the Association, under penalty of a liability to expulsion.”

When father arrived from Chicago, mother told him about the books. This abstraction of the records under false pretenses brought about an immense amount of labor and trouble for father, and it required an interim of nearly a year to effect their return.

These were worrisome days in our home, because the Association and the Church were shaken to their depths, and father’s work seemed endless. he was constantly being sent here and there on various missions for the Leader, that unity might be preserved and the work prosper, and he deeply felt the responsibility of the loss of the records. He went from one to another of those who were impelled to desert, trying to pacify and to persuade, and many who had been on the verge of joining the dissenters were induced to see Mrs. Eddy in the true light and to assure her of their support.

The wonderful effect of Mrs. Eddy’s presence and of her address at the Convention is told in the Journal of 1888, so that there is no need to recite it here; but the remarkable result, the strength that rallied about the Leader, made the controversy in Boston all the more bitter, since the disaffected realized that her strength was so secure that it was impossible to break it. Instead of desiring to use her power, however, Mrs. Eddy hoped to win back the recalcitrants by love and forgiveness, and my father as the secretary sent out the following letter:

“Boston, June 22, 1888.

You are hereby requested to attend a special meeting of the C. S. Association to be holden at the Mass. Met. College, Wednesday June 27 at 2 P.M., called for the following purpose, To give certain members opportunity to comply with the Constitution, Article 2, section I, and the By-laws on Fellowship, section I, namely, ‘If they have aught against other members it shall be their duty to faithfully tell them of it.’

Our self-sacrificing Teacher, Mrs. Eddy says, ‘I have no conception of what some members of the Association are hinting at against me, and I will be present on the 27th. inst. to hear what they have to say. Selfconscious of my own integrity in all things, I call on the members of our Association who have aught against me, to tell me of it, even though they have broken this rule of the Church of Christ, and the commandments of God, by not first having told their brother his fault, I will give them another opportunity to deal justly. This same injustice to others has been bitterly complained of to me by the very members who are now dealing thus with me.

‘I have earnestly counselled my students not to be guilty of this great wrong which has caused much discord. I have set them a different example, and told them first their faults and avoided telling them to others. I will now give them one more opportunity to deal justly, and I will listen patiently and charitably to all they have to say against me, and in return will ask only this, that those who have freely spoken of their great obligations to me, will now be simply just to me.

‘After learning a little even, of the good I have achieved, and which has demanded and been associated with all of my movements since God commissioned me to bring Christian Science into this world of iniquity, they will learn how to estimate its value instead of traducing it.

‘I have no desire of retaining in the C. S. A. those who under the influence of animal magnetism and personal ambition, persist in hurting themselves and trying to hurt others. But my love for my enemies causes this desire to save them from committing a great sin.

‘At the first special meeting called in behalf of Mrs. Corner, I was absent, not because I was not ready or unwilling to help her, but because she needed no help, and I knew it. I was not at the second special meeting because it was impossible, if I got ready for the trip to Chicago, also I wanted this conspiracy to come to the surface, and it has, and now is the only time for us to meet in Christian love and adjust this great wrong done to one who has given all the best of her years to heal and bless the whole human family.’

Wm. B. Johnson, Sec.”

The special meeting called for in the foregoing letter was held, and the records show that the attendance was large. Three members from New York, one from Philadelphia, some from Providence, and others from different cities and towns in Massachusetts, attended. Mrs. Eddy occupied the chair and stated that she had desired that all of her students be present, but some who did not come said that they had received no notification of the meeting. Three witnesses stated that to their positive knowledge notices were sent to all members in the New England and Middle States.

One July 14 of this year, Mr. Frye sent out the following letter to members of the Association:

“Boston, July 14/88.

Dear Brother:—

I regret the necessity of informing you that the ring-leaders of another faction are trying by falsehoods and insinuations, to mislead the members of the Christian Scientist Association. They insisted on an appropriation for Mrs. Corner, but when the test came for individual subscriptions for her, and $170.00, we are told, was pledged, not one of them contributed a cent. Our President called a special meeting for a Christian adjustment of this endeavor to break us up, and notices were addressed to every member in New England and the Middle States. We can prove this by three reliable witnesses. These notices were either intercepted in the mail, or they who received them, say that they did not, because they were afraid to meet what they said, and stayed away. On June 12, during the absence of Mrs. Eddy and our Secretary, they carried away the Association’s books, and have not delivered them up, but we are informed, have placed them in the hands of their lawyer.

“I have thought best to send you the following facts in connection with one of their falsehoods. All others are equally false, and beneath one’s notice.9

“A student and a Free Mason gives out this report of the widow of a Free Mason, and his hitherto much honored Teacher, Rev. Mary B. G. Eddy, of whom it was said that in a fit of temper she pulled a handful of hair out of this lady’s head.

‘About two years ago, I was having much to contend with from attacks of malicious mesmerism, by which attempts were made to demoralize me, and through me to afflict Mrs. Eddy. While under one of those attacks, my mind became almost a total blank. Mrs. Eddy was alone with me at the time, and, calling to me loudly without eliciting a response, she saw the necessity of prompt action, and lifted my head by the forelock and called aloud to rouse me from the paralyzed state into which I had fallen. This had the desired effect, and I wakened to a sense of where I was. My mind was wandering, but I saw the danger from which she delivered me, and which can never be brought about again. Their mental malpractice, alias demonology, I have found out, and know that God is my refuge.’

“When ye shall see ‘the abomination of desolation; spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth let him understand) then let them which be in Judea, flee to the mountain, where I have found my refuge.

Fraternally yours,

C. A. Frye.”

The rebellious members of the Association and of the Church who desired to withdraw were among the most influential. Their names are as follows:—

Mrs. S. E. Avery, C.S.B.

Mrs. Mary T. Bradford, C.S.B.

Mrs. Maria A. Brown, C.S.B.

Mrs. M. A. Bachelder, C.S.B.

Henry P. Bailey, C.S.D.

Wm. H. Bertram, C.S.B.

Mrs. Henry P. Bailey, C.S.B.

Mrs. Sadie I. Bertram, C.S.B.

Mrs. C. A. Beecher, C.S.B.

Mrs. Abby H. Corner, C.S.B.

Miss I. A. Beecher, C.S.B.

Chas. W. Crosse, C.S.B.

George H. Bradford, C.S.B.

Mrs. Sarah H. Crosse, C.S.D.

Others who were in rebellion were:

Miss S. M. Cowan, C.S.B.

Mrs. C. R. Marshall, C.S.B.

Mrs. E. P. Clark, C.S.B.

Mrs. M. R. Nutter, C.S.B.

Albert B. Dorman, C.S.D.

Mrs. N. H. Parker, C.S.B.

Mrs. M. J. Davis, C.S.B.

Mrs. E. L. Palmer, C.S.B.

Miss Mary Hampson, C.S.B.

Mrs. Mary A. Poole, C.S.B.

Mrs. A. D. Kennedy, C.S.B.

Horace N. Poole, C.S.B.

J. M. C. Murphy, C.S.D.

Mrs. R. J. Robinson, C.S.D.

S. E. Kirby, C.S.B.

Mrs. B. J. Swett, C.S.B.

George A. Miles, C.S.B.

Charles A. S. Troup, C.S.B.

Mrs. E. E. Murphy, C.S.B.

Walter J. Vinal, C.S.B.

Up to May 20, 1889, the records of the Association were still in the hands of the seceders. Nearly a year had passed since the tumultuous gathering of June 6, 1888, but, with foresight, Mrs. Eddy had tied up the funds in the bank. The Association, however, held its meetings regularly, and was having a strong and healthful growth. The Church also was showing signs of substantial increase, and the Journal, supervised by Mr. Mason, who became Manager, August, 1888, was doing good work over the entire field. The circulation had so grown and the demands for other literature were so large that rooms were engaged in Hotel Boylston, which stood where the hotel Touraine is now located, for use of the Editor, the Manager of the Journal and as a sales-room. In September, Dr. E. J. Foster-Eddy was made teacher of obstetrics at the College, and on the fifth of November he was legally adopted by Mrs. Eddy.

This growth in every respect, instead of causing the seceders to realize that they were wrong, made them more obdurate, because they knew that their cause was lost and the positions they had held so long would be filled with others who would surely work with the Leader.

Meantime the Association had been waiting patiently for some sign that the books would be returned without taking up legal proceedings, but as they had shown no such inclination, at a meeting held May 20, 1889, a Committee was appointed to bring about a return of the records. The story of this undertaking is best told by my father’s diary which reads as follows:

“May 21, 1889. I say Mr. Troup at his house at a few minutes past eight o’clock A.M. and handed him the communication. Went directly to 19 Berwick Park (8.20 A.M.) to see Mr. and Mrs. Crosse, but found the house closed, and a card in the window which read, P.O. address Hull, Mass. It was my intention to call on Troup, the Crosses, then Dr. Murphy, Bertram and Bailey, and afterward go to Worcester to see Mr. Dorman, and so finish in one day. But the departure of Mr. and Mrs. Crosse broke up the plan.

“I then went to the office of Bertram and Dr. Murphy, but as the time was too early, 9.00 A.M., I went to see Mr. Frye, and found he had left for the College a few minutes before I arrived. At 10.30 I saw Mr. Frye, and he suggested that it would be well for me to present Mr. Tufts, the lawyer for the seceders, with a copy of the communication, to enable him to know from us our position. Accordingly I wrote a copy while at the College, and delivered it to him at once.10 I went next to Murphy and Bertram, found them in, and from there to the office of H. P. Bailey; waited some time and as he had not returned at 2.05, I took the 2.35 train for Hull. There I saw Mrs. Crosse who took the communication and read it. As Mr. Crosse was not at home she took his and said that she would give it to him. Reached home at 7.20 P.M.

“May 22. Saw H. P. Bailey at his home in Dorchester, at 8 A.M., handed him the communication and returned to Boston, then took train for Worcester and there saw Mr. Dorman at his home. Left Worcester for Boston at 6.10 P.M. Upon reaching home, found the following letter from Mr. Troup,—

‘Boston, May 21/89.

Mr. W. B. Johnson,

Dear Sir,—The letter which you delivered to me this A.M. I have sent to Mr. Tufts in order that he may deal with your lawyer, Mr. Adams. Both sides having employed counsel I think, we are not competent to deal with each other except through them. But in regard to the specifications of allowing us a week’s time I think you will find we shall not delay you.

Yours truly,

Chas A. S. Troup.’

“May 23. 9.00 A.M. called on Bro. Frye to consult about Mr. Troup’s letter. It was concluded to carry on the negotiations through Mr. Adams our attorney. I therefore returned home and wrote a copy of the four propositions11 offered by George J. Tufts, Esq.; also a copy of the communication given to those before named, and a copy of Mr. Troup’s letter to give to Lawyer Adams. At noon I called on Bro. Joseph Eastaman, to have him go with me to Lawyer Adams to introduce me, but he suggested that it might be well to see Lawyer Tufts first. I did so and he presented three additional propositions, two of which involved our Teacher, and upon which I could not act without her knowledge or consent. I at once telephoned (from the Adams House) to 385 Commonwealth Avenue for instructions and was informed by Dr. Eddy that the Teacher was out of town. Later, about 5.00 P.M. I went to the house, consulted with Dr. Eddy, wrote a copy of the three additional propositions, enclosed them in a letter written to Mr. Frye, in which I requested him to send me instructions by wire what to do; carried it to the central P.O. and sent it Special Delivery. From this time, Thursday May 23, until Wednesday the 29th, although a great deal of work had been done, letters sent and received, little progress seemingly was made on account of our not being able to communicate with Lawyer Adams.

“May 29, Wednesday. Telegram received this noon with instructions to employ Mr. Perry as attorney to conduct the case. Miss Bartlett went with me to see Mr. Perry and after we had finished I went to see Mr. Tufts. After a brief conversation he changed, at my suggestion, the form of withdrawal notice so that it reads ‘has been allowed to withdraw.’ After leaving his office I went to 7 Temple Street,12 wrote a letter to Mr. Frye and enclosed list of names that Mr. Tufts gave me for use in making out withdrawal notices, and enclosed also the withdrawal form, the one that Mr. Perry had approved.

“June 1. Withdrawal notices came by express for all whose names were on the list furnished by Mr. Tufts. The name of Mrs. Crosse had been omitted when the list was made out, but was afterwards added.

“June 4. Received from Mr. Frye a form of communication to be sent to the withdrawing members.

“June 5. Called on Miss Bartlett, afterwards saw Dr. Eddy at 385, and wrote a proper withdrawal notice for the bank, afterwards attended the Association meeting. On my return home found a telegram from Mr. Frye, that he had received my despatch sent at 1 P.M. and would send bank withdrawal notice by the American Express. In the evening hektographed notices to send with withdrawal certificates.

“June 6. Miss Bartlett and Mrs. Munroe met me in the Publishing Rooms, Hotel Boylston at 9 A.M. for the purpose of witnessing that the certificates were properly sent. To this end they placed the certificates of withdrawal, together with a note from the Secretary, in envelopes, sealed and stamped them. Remembering the experience of a year ago when some of these persons said they did not get a communication from me, though I afterwards learned that they did, I decided to register each one. We all three went to the Post Office, made sure that every name and envelope was checked up properly from the list, and received the receipts. That evening I received Mrs. Eddy’s notice withdrawing restrictions from the bank.

“June 7. I went this morning with Mr. Perry to the office of Mr. Tufts, where we found on entering, Mr. J. M. C. Murphy, who was waiting for Mr. Tufts. I spoke to him but he did not seem to be friendly nor care to talk about anything. In a few minutes Mr. Tufts entered. Mr. Murphy quickly arose and told Mr. Tufts that he would like to see him in private. Mr. Tufts returned from his inner office in a few minutes and said, ‘Mrs. Murphy and Mrs. Bertram have received their certificates, but Mr. Murphy and Mr. Bertram have not.’ I replied that I had sent a certificate to each person whose name was on the list, and had with me ten registry return receipts, to which he replied, ‘Well they may get them but they say they have not received them.’ Mr. Perry then said to Mr. Tufts, ‘this is what we want you to do,’ and handed him an agreement, by which Mr. Tufts should draw the whole amount that belonged to the Association from the bank, deduct the sum agreed upon and give the remainder to Mrs. Munroe as the Treasurer. Mr. Tufts agreed that if I would bring him the receipts for the registered letters he would accept them and so shorted the proceedings. These I obtained and gave to him.

“June 8. Mrs. Munroe met me at Mr. Tufts’ office and as he was satisfied that all the letters had been sent and would be received, we three went to the bank and the sum that should come to the Association was paid over to Mrs. Munroe as Treasurer.

“Thus ends the uncertainty and the turmoil of nearly a year, and of work and worry that has sadly hampered my time and my labors for my family; but may the grace of God, and sweet spirit of rest in Truth surround us all from now on, and bless our Association, our Church, and its brave Pastor and Teacher, that the open wounds may be bound up, and the hearts that are broken, find comfort in the ways of prayer and of peace.”




Chapter VIII

Advance All Along the Line

The National Christian Science Association held its third convention on June 13 and 14, 1888, in the First Methodist Church, corner of Clark and Washington Streets, Chicago, at two o’clock, and Mrs. Eddy, as the President, occupied the chair. After the election of officers it was voted to waive further business until the following day, for with Mrs. Eddy among them no one had any desire for work, or in fact for anything but to see her and hear what she had to say to them. She had just passed through a great strain in the crisis in Boston, as recorded in the previous chapter, and went to Chicago with heart torn, and filled with sadness by the action of those who had deserted her, but with all her latent powers aroused to save the Cause, and with a wonderfully calm assurance that she could do it.

Those who heard her speak at the Convention hung upon her words, and the students who had listened to her for a number of years felt that she had never risen to such a height, never shown so clearly and forcibly, yet tenderly, the demands that now rested upon them.

The enthusiasm of the Convention gave Mrs. Eddy fresh courage, the results had been to her a great inspiration, and she saw that the time was ripe for a new forward step. Her thoughts were filled with new and impelling ideas which she realized she must develop and put into operation some time in the early future.13

Although the results of the tumultuous meeting of the Christian Scientist Association of June 6 were still chaotic and burdensome, demanding settlement at some future time, the trip to Chicago had given her a change and a respite from her ceaseless labors at headquarters, and made her ready to take up the work, either of pacification or of battle. Whatever fears may have come to the surface of her thought about the conditions in Boston, they were modified by the feeling that the National Association was solidly behind her, and to be relied upon.

The work which she had sent my father to do, she found, by his report, had been accomplished when she arrived. Those he had seen were strongly and determinedly with her, and would use every means to stop any spread of the Boston schism in Chicago. With this assurance she broadened the scope of her efforts and sent father in different directions to confer with other students and to establish and unite in action those she knew to be faithful. So busy was he that he had no time to visit old friends and classmates, since Mrs. Eddy desired that he return to Boston so that he should be there when she arrived, and the conditions of the affairs of the Christian Scientist Association be thoroughly known and gone over. To the loyal Boston students it seemed unbelievable that such a number as talked sedition could take such a step as to leave the Church and the Association, and they were hoping on their return to Boston to find that many, having thought the matter over, had repented. But this was not the case, for the dissatisfied students felt that, with the books in their possession and banded together as they were, they could yet gain the control. When Mrs. Eddy found this to be the condition, she sent out the letter, dated June 22, which called for a meeting of the Christian Scientist Association on June 27, that the difficulties might be adjusted, and when she found that the rebellious members did not attend, she seemed to let it go as a matter of lesser importance and plunged into other affairs for the good of the College, the Church, and the Association. Although she knew that the revolters would try in many subtle ways to embarrass her and war upon her work, yet she felt that the upbuilding of the Cause was of greater importance than watching every moment what they might be doing, for there were many necessary changes to be made, some of which had been precipitated by the acts of those who had deserted, and it is interesting to notice now, in retrospect, that all of these changes effected a step in advance.

The outcome of the revolt of June 6 relates itself to one of the most important periods of Christian Science history, one that marks a sharp line and forms a distinctively new epoch, in which there was an overturn of customary methods, and a turning into channels of thought relative to work and organization; in short, a wonderful change in Mrs. Eddy’s methods of dealing with matters which pertained to the Cause. I shall refer to this subject again in a later chapter; but now I want to show how the few faithful students that were left in Boston worked and worshipped through more than a year of strifes, defections, and other trials, that the reader may clearly understand the history of this epochal period and perceive the ramifications of this rebellion and its results. To apprehend the reason and effects of Mrs. Eddy’s withdrawal from the Association and resignation from the Pastorate of the Church, her decision not to be present at the Convention of the National Association in Cleveland in 1889, the closing of the College, the dissolution of the Christian Scientist Association, and of the Church, and her withdrawal to Concord,all these require an intimate knowledge of preceding events.

First, let us note the distinctive features of the year 1888. Mrs. Eddy changed her residence to 385 Commonwealth Avenue, and notified the public that she intended to use the house as a parsonage, and to give all her money accruing from the sale of Science and Health and her other works, over and above her annual expenses, for purchasing sites and erecting school buildings.

Bible Lesson Notes were prepared, the first of their kind, and precursors of better to come.

The Corner case was heard and settled.

The turbulent meeting of the Christian Scientist Association of June 6, and the Convention of the National Association were held.

Frank E. Mason was made Manager of the Journal and a new home provided for it, together with the opening of a public salesroom in the very heart of the city.

Ebenezer J. Foster made assistant to Mrs. Eddy in the teaching of obstetrics, and later on, November 5, adopted by her.

Since the establishment of its Sunday School, on the opening Sabbath, October 25, 1885, in Chickering Hall, the Church had used at these services the International Series. While these were very good, Mrs. Eddy believed that there should be lessons better suited to the explication of Christian Science, and she asked Mr. Mason, the assistant pastor, to arrange something that would be suitable for this purpose. In the Journal of June, 1888, Mr. Mason announced that “Notes on the International Sunday School Lessons” written from a Christian Science standpoint, would appear in each subsequent issue of the Journal. The object of these was “to avoid conflict of ideas and establish unity of thought.”

Here first appears the germ thought of lessons specially suited for the teaching of Christian Science, which lessons afterwards came into existence January 1, 1890, being published under the collective name, the Christian Science Quarterly.

I remember that I was with Mr. Mason, Mr. Bailey, and my father when they went to consider the new home for the Journal. Father suggested that, instead of taking only one room, as had been planned, they lease rooms 209 and 210, take down the partition, and thus make a good-sized apartment which could be used for the Friday evening meetings, also for a Christian Science reading room, and supply a place for the monthly gatherings of the Association. The cost was going to be seven hundred dollars a year; but father argued that, although thirty-five members had left the Association and more than seventy had given up Church attendance, the Cause in Boston was going to grow better than ever, and now was the time to let the opposition see that their efforts could neither destroy nor hinder the work. The rooms were rented and made into one, and this step brought many blessings not only to struggling individuals but to the Cause as well.

The revolt of June 6 and the steadfast attitude of the loyal students had resulted in unforeseen advances, in that,

It led Mrs. Eddy to go to Chicago and thereby produced a stronger and more vigorous National Association.

It gave the Cause in Boston a public and centrally located office for the publication of the Journal; also A free public reading room and salesroom; and A stronger and more masculine efficiency in the official office of Manager; Also a more public and definite aim for results in the Friday evening meetings. These meetings had been held for several years at the homes of College students. Mrs. Eddy liked to have them at the College during the time of her residence there; but, as the neighbors objected to the singing, and as she did not desire to have too much censure brought upon her, they were held at the homes of students who lived near-by. The defection of some of these members at the meeting of June 6, made another place necessary, and the new rooms in Hotel Boylston came into use at a most propitious time.

While Mrs. Eddy had been gradually giving up old forms which had been a part of the worship in other churches, she saw the necessity of still holding to the Friday evenings for the week-night service, in keeping with the custom of Christian Churches generally. The reason, first of all, was to help those who had come into Science, but had not yet become firmly enough grounded to take care of themselves in the face of criticism or of the pleadings of their former pastors to leave Christian Science and to go back into the fold of the church. Further, the habit of attending the Friday evening prayer meeting was one that obtained everywhere, and she did not want to be too radical in making changes.

These meetings were sometimes conducted by Mrs. Eddy, but more frequently by her students, those whom she selected for this work; and, if I remember rightly, father conducted most of them during the first and second year. They were not “demonstration meetings” as we now use the phrase, but more like those of other churches, with the individual prayers omitted. They followed the course laid down in the Christian Scientist Association, a record of which reads (August 27, 1879), “The business of the meeting being transacted, the remainder of the time will be occupied with the discussion of the Scriptures, the subjects having been previously announced.”

The rooms in Hotel Boylston seated about fifty persons, there being a small platform at one end which held a table and a chair for the use of the one who conducted the service. Those who recall these meetings, in a time so full of struggle, feel the wonder of them yet, for these were days big with labor and with blessings, although these last were often unrecognized as such. The family was small, they all knew each other, and there was a dominant desire to help in any way possible, time and energy not being considered when they were expended for the Cause.

An atmosphere of hominess filled those days whose rare perfume can be found only in the memory of those faithful ones who look back upon them with great reverence and love. They can never come again. The only occasion and period that, while not a parallel, will give the reader some idea of them, were found in the life and labors of the Brook Farm colony. Members of that earnest band who had genius and talent, the endowments of fine capacity and character, tilled the soil, cooked, washed dishes, and did all kinds of more menial labor with joy and happiness. So it was with this little band of Christian Scientists, who came together by all roads leading to Boston. Everyone was ready and willing to do his part, no matter how humble.

The break in the Association and the Church had brought the loyal workers and adherents closer together, and they instinctively put more vitality into their action and thought, and worked with more definite aspirations. There was joy always in doing some helpful thing, and there was no thought of recompense. Mrs. Eddy was among us, and those who through many years of vicissitude had never wavered in their confidence in her, knew that she was giving them the truth that Jesus had taught, and felt that every hour near her was precious; that the fulfilment of her wishes was a help both to her and to the world.

The few workers in the office of the Journal, who lived too far away to go home for the evening meal, together with practitioners from the suburbs, who came in town especially for this evening service, would meet friends and relatives at the rooms and usually get their supper at a little restaurant near-by on Tremont Street.

This old-fashioned type restaurant, which ran through to Tamworth Street, was long and narrow, always well-lighted, and always neat. It had about it an air of comfort, and here came Miss Bartlett, Mr. and Mrs. Munroe, Mrs. Colman, Mrs. Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Landy, Captain and Mrs. Eastaman, Mr. Mason, Mr. Bailey, father, mother, and myself. Miss Bartlett and the Munroes usually made up a table with us, and sometimes Mr. Mason would join in pleasant comradeship. Here, over a simple meal, the work that was laid out for the coming week and the experiences of each since they had last met would be talked over. A review of what the Teacher had said to them at the College would follow, or the result of a meeting held for some special purpose; then questions on the interpretation of passages of Scripture and of Science and Health. This hour of the evening meal was filled with a wonderful sweetness. There was a free and generous exchange of thought, a simple association which bore the fruits of faithfulness and unity, while there was always a pervading perfume, since some one had seen Mrs. Eddy yesterday or today, and the few words which she had spoken opened new vistas of the truth that they must seek for and find.

There was no idolatry among these early Scientists. They were not sentimentalists for they had been tried in the fires of struggle and the battles for right. They were middle-aged people who had learned much of the world before coming into Science, and the quiet and reverent way in which they referred to the Teacher, their gentleness, and their ever-present love, spoke the impress which the spirit of Mrs. Eddy had made, a spirit that was ever with us at our meal. If things got too serious Mr. Munroe, who was a bit of a wag, was sure to bring everybody back to a cheerful state by saying some funny thing that did not fail to make us all smile. Then father, who was very exacting in this regard, would invariably take out his watch and say, “Friends, it’s time to be on duty and welcome friends and strangers,” and so would end the evening meal, a prelude of serious thought and uplifting hope for the work that was to come.

I remember these evenings as though they were of yesterday. They made a deep impression upon me, so distinctive was the contrast between this hour of peace and the day’s labors which I had finished. None there had large possessions in stocks, bonds, or business. Their daily remuneration was from God, and they gave generously to the support of the Reading Room (which the office of the Journal was soon called), the Association, the Church, and later to the Dispensary. Many patients were visited and treated without charge though very few had a checking account.

With these people Christian Science was their all in all, for there were few that had not been “brought out of great tribulation” by it. They had made sacrifices, had been maligned, scorned and laughed at; attempts had been made to undermine not only their individual work, but that of the whole Cause, and they had gone from door to door canvassing for subscriptions for the Journal, as voted by the Christian Scientist Association. These seven-times-tried workers carried with them an omnipresent faith in their Teacher. They were constantly inspired by her presence and her word; they had no time for the theatre, the concert, nor the mere social gathering unless Science were a part of it. They knew the world only as they saw it during their busy hours, and it is not to be wondered at that when they came together at their weekly meetings, their thoughts and conversations were devoted to the Cause, and its interests.

The Friday evening services were very simple; they were carried on in a quiet, unpretentious way, but the number of attendants increased, the room became crowded, and it was necessary that another place for the meetings be procured. Steinert Hall, on the same floor, was found available, and having a seating capacity of three hundred and fifty, it looked at first as though the little band of worshippers were lost. Heretofore they had been compelled to keep close together, and they now gathered in the center of the hall, as if feeling that they must still keep hold of hands; but it was not long before new faces appeared at the meetings, and gradually the empty spaces began to fill. The meetings in the Reading Room, and yet more those in Steinert Hall, constituted a period in which they entered upon a regular and substantial growth.

On Easter Sunday, April, 1889, Mrs. Eddy announced at the service that hereafter the Friday evening meetings should be called Public Meetings and be held in Steinert Hall. They were to consist of an address, the relation of experiences, and the discussion of inquiries from the audience. The first of these meetings was held Friday, April 26. At the Easter service referred to, Mrs. Eddy announced that a Christian Science Mission and free Dispensary would be opened during Easter week, and contributions were solicited for this purpose.

Steinert Hall did not fulfil all the necessary requirements. Until the doors were closed it was noisy. There were studios throughout the building, the sound of vocal and piano practice was disturbing, and the rental was rather excessive. A new location was sought, and a hall was obtained at 24 Boylston Street, near Washington.

The first notice of a Friday evening service appears in the Journal of November, 1889, and it read as follows: “Boston,—10.30 o’clock A.M., Chickering Hall, Tremont Street. Sunday School 12 o’clock. Rev. L. P. Norcross, Pastor. Praise Service, Friday 7.30 P.M., 24 Boylston St.”

The title of the Friday evening service will be noted as “Praise.” The meetings continued here until February, 1890, after which they were held at Wesleyan Hall, 36 Bromfield Street. The reason for the removal is undoubtedly that the hall at 24 Boylston Street was used for various purposes during the week,—dances and entertainments,—and it was thought best to obtain a meeting place that would have a more religious atmosphere if possible. Wesleyan Hall, located in the building of that name, and the home of the Methodist Publication, Zion’s Herald, was a meeting place of ministers for their Monday conferences, and it was felt that it would be a more fitting shelter. Such a location would bring the Church and the meetings into direct touch with worshippers of other denominations, and this change proved to be wise. It brought Christian Science to the notice of many ministers, some of whom were led to the serious study of Science, so that antagonism was lessened thereby. Here the Friday evening meetings were very successful.

Wesleyan Hall seated about three hundred and fifty. It was located on the second floor of the building, back from the street so that it was quiet, and well suited at that time to our needs; and here the Friday evening services were held until the Mother Church edifice was finished.

These Friday evening services should not be confused with others that were published in the Journal of July, 1889, to be held every Wednesday and Sunday evenings at 7.45 at 7 Temple Street. These meetings were not for Scientists, as the Committee of the Dispensary makes plain, and it was requested that they “do not attend these Sunday and Wednesday meetings as they are for inquirers, the room disposable being needed for those who have not the Church, the Sunday school, and the Friday evening meetings open to them.”

The Sunday service in Chickering Hall, instead of being in the afternoon, was now at 10.30 A.M., this change having taken place through the ruling of the National Association at its meeting in Cleveland, June 12 and 13, 1889. Upon this question the feeling of the National Association favored the adoption of the morning hour, that being customary with all religious bodies. Heretofore the services were held in the afternoon so that those who had been helped by Christian Science, but who had not left their old churches, could attend them in the morning and come to our services in the afternoon.

Neither Mr. Eddy nor the Church had taken the definite step to have the service in the morning, and the attendance at that time seemed to be upon a rather shifting basis. The afternoon service fulfilled its purpose, however, until the Church grew stronger and was able to make the change. The National Association came out strongly in its demand that Christian Scientists should discountenance the idea that Christian Science “comes in as subordinate, or supplementary to any other religious system,” and made a declaration against the attendance of Scientists at religious services which were in contradistinction to the teachings of Christian Science.

The mid-week services continued on Friday evenings until the second Wednesday in June, 1898, at which time they were changed to Wednesday evening. It is curious to note in regard to these evening meetings, that all mention of them disappeared from the notices of church services in the Journal, from October, 1890, until November, 1897, an interim of over seven years. Just why this was so, I have not been able to learn. The notice of October, 1890, reads: “Boston,—10.30 o’clock A.M., Chickering Hall, Tremont St., Sunday School 12 M. Rev. L. P. Norcross, pastor.” The notice of the previous month made mention of “Praise” meeting on Friday evening. The notice of November, 1897, the first for over seven years, reads, “Friday 7.30 P.M.,” while that of the following month is as follows, “Experience meeting, Friday, 7.30 P.M.”

Previous to this last notice, branch churches were holding and advertising “testimony and experience” meetings. Just how long they had been doing so is not recorded, but the first notice of such appears in the Journal of January, 1892, which announces that the Church in Buffalo has “public conference meetings” on Friday evenings. The next to be recorded is that of the Toledo Church, in the following April.

In the Mother Church the Friday evening meetings were first held in the vestry, but the attendance grew so rapidly, that in about the autumn of 1895, it was found necessary to hold them in the auditorium of the edifice.

At these services collections had been taken since they were held in the Reading Rooms in Hotel Boylston, and this custom was continued until November, 1895, at which time Mrs. Eddy stated that she had no knowledge that contributions were being taken at the Friday evening services, and advised that they be discontinued.




Chapter IX

Christian Science Dispensaries

The inspiration for the Dispensary work came through Mrs. Eddy, and the first meeting for determining plans was held in her sitting room in the College building in December, 1888. A program of the work was considered at several other meetings, and a committee was appointed to select a proper location. It was the unanimous feeling of all concerned that this should be in a situation that would be pleasant and respectable, even if the work was for the poor and the needy. This question of location was perplexing, but it was finally decided that it should be where it could be easily reached from the business district as well as from other parts of the city. With this end in view a room at 3 Boylston Place was secured. This old Boston byway is a dead-end Place, just off the beaten track, located between Tremont and Carver Streets, off Boylston. Here was a little oasis of quiet among brick dwellings of some of the old residents of the section. Through Boylston Street, at that time, came the horse-cars from Cambridge, Brookline, and Boston Highlands, also those from Columbus and Shawmut Avenues. Through Tremont Street came those from the South End, from Washington Street, and from South Boston, so that Boylston Place was within half a block of the confluence of all these car-lines. Not only was this location close to the business district, but it had within a few blocks a large housekeeping and boarding population. It was close to the Boston Public Library, then located at 100 Boylston Street, and furthermore very near the Reading Room. In all these respects the location could not have been improved.

It is distinctly noticeable that those students who were faithful, who were close in touch with Mrs. Eddy and shared in her constructive efforts, saw everything that had to do with the Cause on a big and broad scale.14 They believed in the future, and anticipated advancement and continued prosperity. Thus in locating another Dispensary, a short time later, they sought and found the situation on Temple Street, where there was another great confluence of horse-cars in Bowdoin Square. Through this Square passed the cars for Cambridgeport, Watertown, Allston, Brighton, Somerville, Winter Hill, and Charlestown. Here also was a large population and a possibility of doing great good, as the location was near the Chardon Street Home, and the offices and rooms of the Associated Charities. It would be impossible to have bettered these locations, for they touched the great trunk lines of the city’s transportation system.

The first public announcement of a Dispensary came in the Journal of March, 1889. It read as follows:

“Free Dispensary of Christian Science Healing at No. 3 Boylston Place. This dispensary is for those only who are unable to pay for treatment.

“There is a mission work in connection, and those who are unable to come to us can be visited at their homes. Voluntary contributions accepted, even if small.

“Mrs. G. H. Meader, president; Miss M. R. Lincoln, treasurer; Miss E. L. Mann, secretary.”

At the Easter service in Chickering Hall in April of the same year, Mrs. Eddy announced from the pulpit that a “Christian Science Mission and Free Dispensary would be opened for work among those unable to pay for healing and prevented from hearing the Glad Tidings unless taken to them by messengers of Truth. This line of work opens a new era in the history of Science. It will help raise the vocation of Scientists from being looked on by the world as primarily a means to a livelihood. Most Scientists today are doing a large part of their work without consideration, save the love for the Master. Mission work will draw the world’s attention more distinctly to the humane character of Science than any degree of generosity and self-sacrifice in the routine of a private practice could do.”

In my father’s report as Secretary of the Christian Scientist Association for May, 1889, he wrote:

“It was agreed that the time had come when Christian Scientists should open up new and broader channels of usefulness, and it was believed that mission work like that under consideration is one of the demands of the hour. The establishment of suitable places where the poor can receive the benefits of Christian Science Healing is a work that should have the active co-operation of every lover of science. In this way it is believed that thousands may be reached and be brought to a knowledge of the truth who otherwise might be deprived of such an opportunity for a long time.”

“That it is a ‘Divine Mission’ none will doubt, nor that its establishment now is a necessity. Self-denial is the first proof of our love for others, and whenever Christian Scientists present this proof in their lives and actions the Cause advances apace.”

While the work was in progress, from the early days of February, it was conducted in keeping with a few By-Laws and a simple form of Constitution. Mrs. Eddy, however, saw that the organization should be stronger and more comprehensive, one that would serve as a finished pattern for others in all the fields of Christian Science. She therefore called on her students to go over the matter very carefully, and after several meetings the Christian Science Dispensary Association was organized May 31, 1889, under the auspices of the Church of Christ (Scientist).

The first patients were among the needy who were vouched for by members of the Dispensary Committee, and they in turn brought others. During the first four months—February, March, April, and May—between two and three hundred cases were treated. The outside Mission work was at first done by volunteers, but progress was not marked under these conditions; for it was found that as practitioners were used to having patients seek them, they were like the storekeeper whose trade flowed to him through the door, and he could sell splendidly under those conditions; but when he tried to go out upon the road, find customers, and dispose of his products, he failed. The courage of many a volunteer going into the rougher districts fled between the time she rang or knocked upon the door and the answer; therefore it was found best to have a paid missionary, one specially qualified for this work.

The Committee that took charge of the Dispensary practice gave their time, and worked enthusiastically for the advancement of this branch of the Cause. During the latter part of April, 1889, the work was carried on with one Dispensary, that of Boylston Place, but in May the one at 7 Temple Street was opened. This was a small hall that had a seating capacity of over one hundred, and here evening talks were given, and often to a full room.

At a meeting which was held May 17 for the purpose of bringing about the thorough organization of the Christian Science Dispensary Association, which, as stated, took place on the 31st, it was thought that while the work of the paid missionary was effective, it could not possibly cover enough ground, and that the plan must be enlarged so that results would be more manifest. The contributions for the work which had been sent to Mr. Frye seemed to warrant certain necessary expenditures, and it was again decided that there should be volunteer work for a house-to-house canvass. A visitor was therefore assigned to each street, every house visited, and a report made upon the results. Supplied with copies of Christian Science literature, the missionaries either gave them away or sold them if they could. These visitors continued to call upon those whom they found genuinely interested, and thus each “had a parish, a part of God’s vineyard, for which she was responsible.”

One page 193 of the Journal, volume vii, it is stated:

“As fast as persons who come to the rooms of the Dispensary are sufficiently interested and instructed, they will be brought into the Church and Sunday school, and by the beginning of Fall results will be apparent. The great object of the Christian Science Dispensary Association is spiritual healing. Physical healing, as presented in Science and Health, holds a secondary and merely incidental place.”

The notice of the Dispensary which appeared in the Journal of March, 1889, brought letters of inquiry from different fields of labor relative to methods of procedure, and in the June Journal of the same year, the notices show that the work had been taken up in other places,—Cleveland, New York, and Syracuse,—and before the end of the year, as recorded in the Journal of December, there were nineteen cities which had established Christian Science Dispensaries.

This rapid growth in the number of Dispensaries was primarily effected through those who listened most closely to what Mrs. Eddy suggested the Church in Boston should do, or what she proposed for the good of the Cause in the meetings of the Christian Scientist Association. Further, the National Association in its meeting of June 14, 1889, at Cleveland, recommended the extension of this work.

Mrs. Eddy, ever watchful, had noted carefully the results of the dispensary work in Boston during the months of February to May. During this time she had sent father, at different times, to the Dispensaries, and had him make special notes on subjects that she gave him, that she might find the weak places, if there were any, and strengthen them. The idea of a paid missionary did not specially appeal to her. She felt that every practitioner should be free and unrestricted in the presentation of what he knew to be right, no matter under what conditions he was working. She knew what Christian Science had done for people, that it had given them the courage to come out of old material beliefs, to leave their church friends and their church homes, to take up practice, to teach, to officiate as pastors, and to perform scores of things that they would have thought of as dreams before Christian Science had made them over. She knew that ninety per cent were of the “clinging vine” type before Christian Science had healed them and gave them confidence. If Science had done this why should they be afraid to do what the representatives of other churches were doing,—to go into the slums, into the dark and dismal places, when by the light of Science, they knew that the protecting power was with them as surely as it was with Daniel in the den of lions. Sitting in an office and merely waiting for patients to come was not doing the best for the Cause. She herself had gone out among all classes to conduct business and to battle in the courts. Christian Science had given her this power, and the clinging vines must be strengthened and freed from fears that were but shadows and illusions.

In summing up the work of the Dispensary Association she was impressed that it was most important that it should be carried on throughout the field, and that the experimental work which had been done in Boston should serve as a basis for a more orderly, effective, and inclusive program which should have a better, more rounded out form of government, and which would remain as a guide and inspiration for a world-wide effort.

To bring this finished model before the Scientists in a way that would appeal to the largest number; to have its methods made plain, and thus to stimulate the most far-reaching propaganda, demanded that a definite plan be made ready and approved by the Boston Dispensary Association, so that it could be brought before the National Association in Cleveland. In keeping with this her thought, at a meeting of the Dispensary Association of Boston on May 31, a Constitution and By-Laws were drawn up and perfected, and at the meeting in Cleveland, June 13, they were recommended as the working plan for other Dispensaries.

In resolutions which appear in the records of the Convention of the National Association, June 13, the following deal with what Mrs. Eddy had seen to be necessary:

3. “That recommendation is hereby made to extend the dispensary work on the plan of those heretofore existing in Boston, Cleveland, and New York, and especially the one lately started in Boston—making physical healing an incident, and spiritual healing through preaching the Gospel to every creature, the leading work; and to this end the organization, constitution, and by-laws of the Dispensary recently formed in Boston under the auspices and honorary presidency of our Teacher, are hereby recommended as a model.”

4. “That in all places where Churches of Christ (Scientist) or Christian Scientist Associations exist, all dispensary work should be conducted under the auspices of such church or Association, and that its conduct independently of such organizations, be discountenanced. In cases where these organizations do not exist, it is recommended that individuals desiring to conduct such work put themselves under the auspices of the committee hereinafter provided for, both as a guarantee for the public, and a means of more extended usefulness.”

7. “That to give more effect to the above recommendations a standing committee on Church organization and Dispensary work be, and hereby is, created, said committee to consist of from one to three members from each State represented in the Association; that the said committee agree on an executive committee, of which our Teacher and the President of this Association are ex officio members, and one of them shall be its chairman; the executive committee to consist of three other persons, two of whom shall be residents of Boston and one of New York, in order to secure a quorum at all meetings; to this committee all communications on Church organization and dispensary work are to be addressed; this committee shall consult with the local members of the general committee in the several States, and shall entrust to such local members the carrying out of the conclusions reached. The chair is requested to name a nominating committee of three, to report to the Association at the opening of the afternoon session the names of the general committee herein provided for, in order that it may meet and choose its executive committee, and report, if possible, before final adjournment of this meeting, and the order of proceedings is hereby suspended to allow of such report being heard at any time it may be ready.”

The committee appointed by the chair to report to the Association the names of the general committee to look after church work, were Mrs. J. H. Bell of Chicago, Joseph Armstrong of Piqua, and Wm. B. Johnson of Boston.

Efforts for the advance of dispensary work in the field opened auspiciously through the recommendations of the National Association, but in Boston it was found that other matters were of more importance and demanded some of the labor that was being given to the conduct of the Dispensaries.

In December, 1889, the Dispensary on Boylston Place was closed, and in February, 1891, that on Temple Street changed its activities to 24 Boylston Street, room 210, where it remained until February, 1892, from which place it went to the Reading Rooms, Hotel Boylston, and was advertised there until October, 1894. Then it ceased to exist, so far as notices in the Journal are concerned. The first advertisement of this movement in the Journal of March, 1889, read, Christian Science Dispensaries, but with the number of January, 1890, the title is made to read, Christian Science Dispensaries and Reading Rooms.

For some time previous to 1894 the dispensary work had practically been dropped, in Boston. While it had been in operation it had done much good in many ways,—in healing, in the dissemination of literature, and in educating the working Scientists to help not only financially, but to put forth individual effort; to seek out new paths in the extension of Christian Science; to become more closely in touch with the great body of needy men, women, and children, and learn by experience how to mix with them; to use tact and persuasion effectively and become unflinching bearer of the light to the darkened tenements; to learn to tread the fearsome streets without tremor, and so build up a strength of character that would enable them to take up new and difficult work alone, having learned to think not only in terms of loving service, but to think with reason and logic as well.

To understand the reason for the decline of the dispensary work in Boston, it is necessary to consider some historical facts which will disclose the difficulties thrown in the way of this effort, and this leads us back to June, 1888.

In many ways, Mrs. Crosse, with her facile pen and her aptitude for quick thought and action, had been an efficient helper when she willingly worked under the guidance of Mrs. Eddy; but she came to feel, as the result of the many honors which the Teacher had brought her, her long experience in editing, managing, healing, teaching, and her very extensive acquaintance with Scientists throughout the field, that Mrs. Eddy could not get along without her assistance. She felt also that she could draw about her such a following as would enable her to do without Mrs. Eddy, and, should a pitched battle be precipitated, to force a very serious situation upon the Church and the Association.

When together with others, she left the Church, she immediately set about gathering together the nucleus of an organization which would attract all those who had become disaffected; those who were looking into the question of metaphysics from varied viewpoints, and who wanted the faith and the spiritual stimulus which Mrs. Eddy’s teachings brought, but who did not care to do the amount of study, and make the consecration which Christian Science, as taught by its Discoverer, demanded. By standing for the need of broadening out Christian Science, she felt that she could build up an organization which would be stronger than Mrs. Eddy’s.

Mrs. Crosse left the Association and the Church an embittered woman who was determined to wage war to the bitter end. With ample funds, and associated with some who had been most prominent in teaching and in practice, and who were active in the Church and the Association, and by yet others who were abundantly able to back her enterprise, she began her work by publishing a periodical called The Boston Christian Scientist, which ran through the years 1889 and 1890.

The title of this periodical was cleverly chosen. Its name, and the well-known status and literary ability of its editor, gave promise of making immediate appeal to the many who were becoming interested in Christian Science, especially those who were distant from Boston and who did not know of the schism in the Church and Association. In some way Mrs. Crosse had provided herself with the names and addresses of the subscribers to the Journal, and copies were sent to all. Her intention, and that of those who were working with her, was, by clever means, to undo everything that Mrs. Eddy attempted to bring about. The Church, the Association, and the Journal were well established, but they felt that they could successfully attack the weakest arm of the work, the Dispensary. However, the work in Boston did not dwindle because of the efforts of Mrs. Crosse and her followers. Mrs. Eddy was not defeated, and what I shall write in a future chapter will show that the dispensary work was but of little moment as compared with other things being formulated in Mrs. Eddy’s thought. These we will now consider that we may the better realize how she was planning for the future.

I remember distinctly that at this time I spoke to father about the small attendance at the services in Chickering Hall, and asked him the reason. He told me that many had left the Church; that while some would come back, others would not, but that he had been with Mrs. Eddy the previous day, and she had told him of some of her plans for the future, which he could not give to me, but he added, “my son, never doubt Mrs. Eddy, stand by her in word and in deed, no matter what you may hear about her, and you will be rewarded; there will yet be miracles done by Christian Science and our Teacher which neither you nor I can now comprehend.”

In 1906, several months after the dedication of the Mother Church Extension, father and I were going over some letters written by Mrs. Eddy in 1889, and he told me, in answer to several questions I asked relative to dispensary work, that Mrs. Eddy had very little time to give to it after it had been started, because she had so many new and difficult problems to work out. One day when she had sent for him to do some special work, she told him that she found it difficult to sleep at night because so many wonderful things,—ways, means and results at which the world would marvel—kept coming to her. These were ever developing in her thought, but she did not dare utter one word of them, because the revelation might shake the faith of even the few loyal students in Boston who were left to work with her. Looking backward today, we can realize how wonderfully these, her waking dreams, became realities beyond the ken of her most faithful and sanguine students.

To better realize what Mrs. Eddy’s labors were at that time, let us look over a list of the things she was doing, viz., teaching at the College; planning the programs laid out for the two Associations; instructing and guiding the Church; suggesting and correcting the dispensary work; writing an article every month for the Journal, and keeping close watch over its columns; guarding against false statements in the numerous pamphlets and tracts written and published by students; answering criticisms and sermons through the “press”; revising Science and Health; writing new works, and attending to a very large correspondence!

Let no one who reads these lines, think for a moment that the officers of the Association, the Church, the Dispensary, and the Journal, took any new step in their given fields without bringing it first to her consideration. From the very inception of the movement, hundreds and hundreds of letters, asking advice on different matters of importance, together with numberless communications from the Directors, the Publishers, Editors, the Committee on Publication, and others in charge of subsidiary branches of the work, passed through Mrs. Eddy’s hands, and were in large part answered by her pen. During my ten years of experience, the Board of Directors or the Clerk took no new action without first counselling with her. This precedent had been established many years before the organization of the present Mother Church. It grew out of the fact that she had been able to see so far ahead, and what she pronounced wise had invariably proved best for the Cause. Though she sometimes seemed to right-about-face so suddenly that it took one’s breath away, and often, to the uninitiated, seemed to contradict herself, yet, like the air-scout, she could look down and see what was hidden in the thickets of mortal mind, and thus discern what warranted a quick change in the direction of her forces, so that a trap might be avoided and the goal achieved.

After the withdrawal of the thirty-five members from the Association in 1888, there were but five men, aside from her secretary, Mr. Frye, and nine women, of all Mrs. Eddy’s students, who were loyal to her and working as advertised practitioners in the city of Boston. These should be held in grateful remembrance; they were Erwin L. Colman, Captain Eastaman, Frank E. Mason, Hanover P. Smith, and my father Wm. B. Johnson; Julia S. Bartlett, Janet T. Colman, Mary F. Berry, Mary F. Eastaman, Mary B. Moarn, Mary W. Munroe, Mary C. Piper, Laura A. Rand, and Josephine C. Woodbury. From these, Mrs. Eddy selected those best fitted in her judgment for her purposes and demanded constant attention of them as minute men, to do the things necessary to keep the Cause on an even keel.

After her return from the Chicago convention of June, 1888, Mrs. Eddy saw that it was necessary to strengthen the defences of her work in every way, for she realized that she now had more determined and more forceful opponents than ever before. The rebellion of 1881, in Lynn, which, at that time was serious enough, was a trifling affair as compared to the one that was now trying to shatter all branches of the work in Boston. Here were people of larger stature, of more influential affiliations, of more wealth and far-reaching influence, and she needed to be alert and use all available means that her work might not be destroyed. The College, the Church, the Associations, and the Journal must be given new inspiration and enthusiasm for broader, more effective work, and a wider distribution of the literature must be secured; and when this dispensary work was taken up it is apparent that Mrs. Eddy had about all that even her remarkable efficiency could manage.

Further, six months of experience with the Dispensaries had revealed the fact that this work was secondary in importance to the Church, the College; the Journal and the Associations, and she found that it was drawing very heavily upon her, since it was a new effort, and continual changes were necessary to meet the situations that were constantly precipitated. So many consultations, so many questions of procedure were injected into the work, that it took many of her best and tried students away from the firing line, scattered their efforts, and put a greater burden upon her than she had yet borne. She realized that she needed the united labors of all her loyal students, and these she had to watch and counsel, so that contamination might not turn them away from her. The Dispensaries, to be successful, needed the work of the veteran students and practitioners, but she could not spare their services.

There were yet other facts which rendered the dispensary branch of the work a difficult problem to handle. The word “Dispensary” conveyed to the average thought, and to the poor especially, the idea of medical and surgical treatment for all ills, practically without charge. To explain, when going from door to door, in a canvass for patients who desired treatment through the Dispensary, that there would be no medicine and no surgical operations prescribed or given for their ills, but that they would be helped only through prayer, did not make appeal to many of those who were solicited in this way. A very large percentage of those who were called upon had no realization of the power of prayer, they were not seeking health in this way, they were being sought, and why should they pay even a small sum for that which to them seemed intangible and unpromising. A bottle of lotion or of pills was something that they knew how to use and understood, and it was surely worth a small payment if called for.

When these conditions were summed up, it was found that the dispensary work, while it did good in various ways, was consuming the time and efforts of those who should be active in labors which Mrs. Eddy perceived to be of greater import, and, as practitioners had always done much charity work, it was realized more than ever, that the patient who desired help and went to a practitioner’s office was more receptive of truth, more speedily became closely affiliated with Science, and so was more quickly healed, than one who was solicited. Moreover, Mrs. Eddy saw that something must be done to relieve her so that she might give more time and attention to greater matters. She must herself have the more experienced helpers who had been engaged in the Dispensary work. Therefore, while the Dispensaries in Boston, especially the one on Bowdoin Street, was carried along for some time, the program of the house to house canvass was discontinued. and the rooms were used as Reading Rooms, so that the original title given them, “Christian Science Dispensaries,” became later on “Christian Science Dispensaries and Reading Rooms,” and, finally, they evolved into the Christian Science Reading Room, as we have it today.




Chapter X

The Question of Organization

As it was first constituted, the Church in Boston consisted of local members
like the churches of other denominations. While Mrs. Eddy saw in those early days that the true Church was spiritually embodied, she felt that there must be a strong human bond between those who loved Science, which would keep them closely associated and save them from wandering off through the teaching of other religious or metaphysical cults.

The first distinctive suggestion that we have of the laying of the broader foundation of the Mother Church, as it now stands relative to membership, is in a report of the usual “leave-taking” by a primary class at the College, on March 5, 1889. It is found on page 12 of the Journal of April, 1889, and reads:

“I want to say to my students everywhere, whether they have attended my classes or have received instruction through reading my books, that they can become members of the ‘mother church’ here in Boston, and be received into its communion by writing, without their personal presence. If you are united with us in thought and affection, you know in Science that you are not absent from us. I carry you all in my affection.”

At the time of this “leaving-taking,” March 5, 1889, there were but two churches in the notices of services in the Journal, – Boston and New York. In the February issue of this year, Mr. Mason, as Manager, invited those churches holding regular services to send notices of such for publication, with the result that in the March number there were three additions, – Augusta, Maine; Montreal, Canada, and Brooklyn, New York.

Respecting these churches, now known as Branch-Churches, Mrs. Eddy had for some time previous to March 5, 1889 – which is in many ways a memorable date – felt the necessity of the organization of churches where enough students were located to band themselves together and effect a proper organization. In letters to different students she had suggested this step, but had not given it urgence in a public way, for she was waiting for the proper time. I recall the fact that one Friday evening in Fisher’s restaurant my father brought up this matter during supper, while talking over church matters with Mrs. Munroe and Mr. Mason, and said in substance, that our Teacher feels the time is drawing near when we must have more churches. Our numbers are growing in every locality, and we must have some visible evidence that we believe in God and worship Him, and that those who are inquiring may have the opportunity to visit such churches, the same as they have here in Boston, and learn in them of our teaching, and that we are followers of the Master in word and deed. What we say in private or when at a meeting of students is not authoritative enough for a doubter, but a church, organized under the laws, and with published tenets and rules, opens its doors and its books for public inspection.

A very important question was asked and answered on this occasion (March 5) relative to the formation of churches. Mr. Edward P. Bates, of Syracuse, wondered if “the time to begin organization of a Christian Science Church was not when one patient had been brought out, and whether with this one patient we should not hold a religious service and form a church, and the next Sunday bring in another, and so on?”

On page 13 of the April Journal of 1889, Mrs. Eddy makes the following answer “Yes, that may be well. I want to promote the union of the church. I love the church. The Christian church is sacred to me; just as the Jew held all that had the name of God written on it, so all that calls itself by the name of Christ, I love and hold sacred.

“How shall we best promote union with Christ, and draw all the churches that are called by that holy Name nearer to him? I look to Christ for guidance. Jesus did not carry his church, the Jewish, with him. He could not build his foundation on theirs; neither can we. They are founded on sense and creedal doctrines about God. How can we proceed on our way without the life of Christianity, the recognition of God, Good, as all? It is only that this severs the old attachment of evil. We cannot afford to remain in the fetters of a personal sense of God for then we plant ourselves on matter rather than Spirit. We must plant ourselves on Spirit, and must say as Martin Luther said, ‘Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise, so help me God, Amen.’

“There is no compromise here. We must go forward. What holds the churches from acknowledging that our church, built on Christ, is evangelical? It is pride, the pride of antedated possession. But this is not a lawful pride. I repeat that I love the old church organization which has kept alive the name of Christ, but I want to see it founded on God, and a God who is Spirit, not matter; who is good, and not evil; a God who is supreme over all, superior to sickness, sin and death included; who is a present help in times of trouble; who just when we want Him most, does not turn us over to matter and an M.D. for our refuge.”

Hitherto the matter of a form of worship among the Christian Scientists had been nondescript, for they were without an organization. Many who had been healed and were faithful to the teachings of Mrs. Eddy had not withdrawn from their old church memberships; they believed in Christian Science and practiced it, but were united to a religious belief that was diametrically opposite to it in its teachings. There were wives who were Scientists, but who went to church regularly with their husbands who were identified with other denomination organizations, because they did not want to create discord in the family relations. Further, such Christian Science believers had no church to which to go. There was no incentive or opportunity, therefore, for organized work and for the sacrifice necessary to advance the Cause. Many were obsessed by the thought that all that was necessary was a spiritual church, that an edifice modeled after any of the existing types was a return to old theology.15 Relative to this feeling, a short article appeared in the Journal of December, 1889, in which the following was said: “I have hoped that Christian Scientists would not call our buildings ‘churches.’ …Cannot someone suggest a name having some truer meaning? It is encouraging to hear that in Boston the Scientists are coming out for the spiritual.” The last sentence refers to the dissolution of the Association and of the Church in Boston, which took place during this year.

Mrs. Eddy had realized for some time that there was opposition to the organization of churches and the erection of church buildings. There were many who did not favor such a procedure, for they felt that they did not want to be forced to make a change of any kind, as they were afraid of a disturbance of their peace by being called upon to take a definite stand in regard to their relations with churches of other denominations from which they had not withdrawn. There were others who felt that organization and material buildings belonged to material beliefs, and that all that was necessary was a spiritual church. This view was confined mostly to those who held very radical ideas which were animated more by the letter than by the spirit. In these early days there were some who had been so wonderfully and instantaneously healed and regenerated that their zeal was not tempered by experience. Their leap into the sunlight had been so quick that they were blinded, and their radicalism made them objects of denunciation and persecution. They often subjected themselves to various tests, such as sitting in the hot summer sun to demonstrate over sunstroke; trying to go without food for long periods, and affirming that if the famous Dr. Tanner could fast for forty days and forty nights why should not they who were so much more spiritually enlightened.

As Clerk of the Church and as Secretary of the Christian Scientist Association, father received numerous letters relative to organization, after Mrs. Eddy’s views became known, and a healthful agitation took place all over the field. Most Christian Scientists were earnest, but some were indifferent and some opposed to the idea.

On June 13, 1889, Mrs. Eddy wrote to the National Association, then in convention in Cleveland, as follows:

“I hereby recommend that you appoint a committee to look after church work and organization. Give it free discussion. The churches should be organized under the title of ‘Church of Christ (Scientist).’ They should have an independent form of government, subject only to the moral and spiritual perceptions, and the rules of the Bible and Christian Science as laid down in Matt. 18:15 to 17. If thy brother is walking on forbidden ground, contrary to the spirit of the Bible and Christian Science, go and tell him of it. Rebuke, explain, and exhort him to repent and reform and bring forth fruits that shall prove his life is drawn into the service of God, Good. If he does not hear and heed thy warning and the spirit that beareth witness, take with you another Christian and member of the same church and the church will then decide it without further disputation. If it be found that the brethren have performed faithfully their duty in the effort to reform the offending member, then he ceases to be a member of the church. It is not necessary for the offending member to be present at this final conclusion of the matter, if the line of Scripture, as above laid down, is taken for our discipline. If he were present, oftentimes disputations would ensue, arising from human opinions, and the end of the matter would be a conclusion based on human judgment; whereas the word of God and the rule of government laid down in the Scriptures should be the rule of discipline of the Church of Christ (Scientist).”

After carefully considering the matter, Mrs. Eddy had made the vital decision. She had allowed the “leave-taking” order of procedure to be reported in the Journal for the purpose of testing the thought of the field. From the time of its publication, she kept her fingers on the pulse of the situation, and asked father to bring to her every communication that he received as Clerk and Secretary, and to obtain all information possible on the subject. She was alert, energetic, and determined. The hour had struck, and nothing was going to stand in her way. Everybody working with her seemed to receive a mental stimulus which quickened both thought and action; and the wonders recorded in this period of effort, father described to me in later years in terms which made a deep impression.

From the time that the “leave-takings” were published in the April Journal, there were but three scant months in which to become acquainted with the opinions held by the field relative to the subject, to note conditions and to formulate a program to be acted upon by the National Association in June. Mrs. Eddy felt that the convention in Cleveland would surely be the most important ever held, and effect the most far-reaching good. There must be greater strength shown in every branch and effort of the work; there must be enthusiastic labor and sacrifice. Nothing must be left to chance; the Cause was spreading, new ideas were coming in and must be shaped and governed so that they would not go too far and do injury; hence she must close up every avenue of erroneous thought and misguided ardor, and bring the results of her foresight and experience into the work of forestalling the attacks of her enemies, and of defending her followers from the efforts which she knew would be made to break up the unity of plan and purpose which she had determined upon for the furtherance of the projects which she saw must become working realities in the near future.

The month of May, therefore, was one of great activity. In recounting this history to me, father said that Mrs. Eddy’s clearness of thought and vitality were superhuman. Every day he was in conference with her, and sometimes a message would come at ten o’clock, or later in the evening, for some work to be done which she wanted to be ready in the morning, and to accomplish this would often require most of the night. Sometimes she divined the necessity of immediately sending out special notices to certain students; and I have a keen remembrance of being waked up in the night ofttimes, and of father asking me if I would help him get out some hectograph letters to trusted students in the field.16 We would go down to the dining room, and he would prepare the copy with the special ink that it required, while I would make ready the hectograph, and then would begin to address and stamp envelopes. We were very careful that every name be read back and checked off the list, so that no error should creep in. Sometimes Mrs. Eddy would send a short, but energetic message to be enclosed with the circular letter to several students whom she had selected to do some very special task, and care had to be taken that the work demanded of us in such haste and at such unusual times, did not beget a confused sense that would lead us to make mistakes. When all were ready, checked off, and counted, I would take them to the post office, which was four blocks away, so that they would get into the earliest mail. Sometimes this work was not finished until three or four o’clock in the morning.

At other times messages would come during the evening, calling father to Mrs. Eddy’s home.*17 Something had come to her by mail, telegraph, or messenger, which had either urged her forward to accomplish some end, or had changed some contemplated step which she was about to take; and when she had decided what she wanted to do she felt that she must put the machinery in motion immediately and get the matter off her hands so as to free her thought of it and give a clear path for the problems which were to confront her on the morrow.

Soon after the publication of the “leave-takings,” letters commenting upon the various matters brought out at this time came not only to father but to Mrs. Eddy. Most all approved of church organization, though some were filled with questions, and some expressed doubts and fears mixed with opposition. At a conference with Mrs. Eddy father read to her a letter from a student in the west who was always slow to grasp what she wanted. Mrs. Eddy could forgive her lethargy but not the stubbornness which led her to question nearly everything that Mrs. Eddy commended. This letter criticized the projected organization of churches. Father told me that he had previously read several communications to her on this subject, and when he had finished this student’s comments, he looked at Mrs. Eddy, and when he saw the flash that was in her eyes, he knew that “the best thing to do was to keep perfectly still.” This letter determined her intentions, for she said, “Don’t bring me any more; I have decided what is absolutely necessary to heal the one weak place in our Cause, one which should be the strongest. The slow-reasoning and obstinate thought expressed by this student has been an ‘angel unawares.’”

Mrs. Eddy fully realized that, while she had a wonderfully successful College which was exerting a wide-spreading influence, a growing College Association working en rapport with her, a rapidly centering of still larger forces in the National Association, a Journal growing more in demand with every issue, and an increasing dispensary work, she needed something that would bind these all together in an indissoluble unity. There was great need also of a clearer perception by the many of the value and benefit of her teaching, and of their acceptance of it as authorized by Christ. To attain these ends she knew she must have churches. She must follow in the footsteps of the Apostles and found church after church, guard them and administer them, and have healing and regeneration preached and accomplished in all.

Over this program Mrs. Eddy, Mr. Frye, and father worked many hours at the College and at the Leader’s home, so that all the foundation stones could be laid before the date of the convention in Cleveland. What Mrs. Eddy had to say to the National Association, in convention, and her suggestions to the authorities were immediately carried out and given wide publicity. The results were shown in a very large increase in the number of churches organized under state laws, and of bodies holding regular services but not incorporated.

It is interesting to note how Mrs. Eddy’s convictions were accepted and acted upon at that time, February, 1889. When she suggested there should be “organization,” there were but two notices of services in the Journal. In March there were three. In the following July, thirteen incorporated churches were recorded, and twenty-eight bodies that were not incorporated, holding regular services. In the January issue, six months later, 1890, there were nineteen incorporated and seventy-five unincorporated. This remarkable increase indicates the controlling confidence in the wisdom of Mrs. Eddy’s judgment, and the spirit of obedience with which they were acted upon.

While trust in the vision of the Teacher was gathering strength and momentum through what she had proved and accomplished, there were others who could not, or would not, have trusting faith in what she proposed unless it was entirely in accord with their views. Two months after the meeting of the National Association in Cleveland, a doubter, who signed himself N.S.P., wrote as follows in the Journal of September, 1889:

“I need more light about organization. I have tried to follow the instructions given in Science and Health for over three years, and I belong to the Church of Christ (Scientist), but I cannot see the benefit of Scientists organizing. It seems to me to be fighting the world with its own weapons. Material man says organize; employees organize for protection, and that makes it necessary for the employers to do the same. Capitalists organize to increase their profits. Governments organize armies for aggression, or resistance to aggression! Now it seems to me that this is very worldly; are we who wish to ‘put off the old (material) man and put on the new man’ to do so, or to learn how to do it by following in the old man’s footsteps? Can the world teach us how to grow spiritually? Is there anything in this seeming world that can by any possibility lead us into spirituality? Are not God and one a majority? I see nothing in the life of Jesus or in Science and Health which recommends organization. The instructions that I have received and that I have given have been in strict accordance with our text-book. If our Master and our Leader neither of them recommend or speak of organizing in their works, are we to try to improve them? If we are trusting in organized effort, are we not detracting just so much from our trust in the All-Powerful? If I remember right, Jesus always speaks to the individual or person, and not to an organization. Every one must receive the truth as taught in Science and Health for himself, it cannot be received by proxy! I am not denying the efficacy of church organization for those who require it, but I want a ‘reason for the hope that is within me.’ I am not satisfied with blind faith, but want knowledge.”

In the same issue of the Journal, Mr. Joshua F. Bailey, the Editor, made answer to the foregoing. What he had to say was not very convincing, for Mr. Bailey’s greatest fault was that he was always too much on the fence. He usually wrote a great deal about a subject in question, and in the confusion of words, the reader had to help himself to what fitted his needs, as best he could. Cutting his answer down to its essential thought, we have the following:

“Our Teacher laid down the principles of action in Science and Health. She exemplified them in practice when the first little knot of believers was formed by herself into a church, with not only the simple creed, but with a code of by-laws, and all the usual provisions of organization, to regulate and make more efficient the action of subscribing members. Believers, in the time of the Apostles, did the same thing. If we love truth, we love our neighbor. Only so much of truth is ours as we have given to others; only that is ours, which is our neighbor’s.

“It is personality that stands aloof from organization. The first manifestation of Love is a drawing together, and this results in united action, expressed necessarily through organization. There should be a thorough discussion of this subject in all its bearings. How is personality to be overcome and destroyed: How are we to begin? Shall we set out in the race from the winning post, or at the starting?

“The great error of those who oppose organization is that they assume that a man is where he is not. Our Teacher says, ‘There is no evil, but you are in the sense of evil, and your problem is to work out of it.’ How are we to get rid of personality? Is it by withdrawing ourselves from relation and action with others? Where are we to practice self-sacrifice? What is it that stands in the way of concerted or organized action? What is it that breaks up organizations or prevents their growth? Is it not conflict of personality, unwillingness to surrender self? Are not those who urge the plea of personality, whenever attempts at organization are under consideration, generally bristling with it themselves? Is not the protest against organization in effect the assertion of one personality against many others?

“Is not the most remarkable tendency observable today in worldly matters, that toward co-operation expressed on the part of labor in unions, leagues, etc., and on the part of capital in trusts and like combinations? What is the principle that guides these movements? What do thy all express? Is it not unity, and is not the result increased power?”




Chapter XI

Church Relations and the Pastorate

At the “leave-taking” exercises, on the famous morning of March 5, a question was asked by Mr. Stiles of Brooklyn, and answered by Mrs. Eddy, which set a precedent that was to have much to do with the general recognition of Christian Science as a religion.

Mr. Stiles said: “I joined a church thirty years ago; its creed and doctrines have become nothing to me. Shall I ask a letter of dismission and credence, with this feeling that as an organization it does not represent Christianity, or shall I say to my church what the fact is, and ask for a severance of the church relation and dismissal?”

Mrs. Eddy replied:

“By all means simply ask the letter of recommendation, then you have done your duty as an individual member. When my adopted son, Dr. Foster Eddy, applied to his church in Vermont for such a letter to the Church of Christ (Scientist) here, it was not only given, but with a cordial recommendation and expression of regret.

“I wish you could see, as I do, the gain in three years in the attitude of the churches and the public toward Christian Science Churches. Then they would have spurned such recognition. My own case, however, was an exception. I received such a letter seventeen years ago from the Congregational Church to which I belonged for forty years.”

This suggestion made by Mrs. Eddy thus became a rule in the Church, and was incorporated into the requirements for admission of members in the reorganized Church of 1892.

In the early days of the Church, many who desired to become members asked the clerk of the church to which they belonged for a letter of dismissal, and in the majority of cases this was done by letter. As most of the applicants for membership at that time were women, there were but few who had the temerity to ask for a letter of recommendation to the Church of Christ (Scientist), since to do so meant, in many instances, a long argument, vehement pleadings, and very often harsh denunciations, with the usual declaration that Christian Science was neither Christian nor scientific. If an applicant escaped with this he was very fortunate. Ofttimes his letter was delayed purposely, in order that the pastor’s arguments and admonitions might have time to sink in. Sometimes a curt dismissal with a recommendation to another church of the same denomination was given, and even with this the humble petitioner was fortunate. Many times when a family, which had been good helpers and supporters of the church, left one after the other, the pent-up feelings of the pastor broke loose in the form of public denunciation in the press and from the pulpit, and sometimes a series of lectures was given showing the terrible evil of the teachings of Christian Science.

I can remember many scores of cases where applicants for admission have come or have written to my father, as Clerk, asking if it were necessary for them to obtain a letter of recommendation, and would not one of dismissal answer the purpose. In many instances they much preferred to ask for dismissal, for they realized that the request for a letter of recommendation to a Church of Christ (Scientist) would bring their names into a prominence in church meetings and circles, from which publicity they shrank. Moreover they feared the persecution and ostracism that might follow. Father’s answer in every case was to ask for a letter of recommendation; to request it in a kindly and Christian way, but to firmly insist that the church give such a letter.

When Mrs. Eddy set this precedent so long ago, she realized that those who should ask for letters of recommendation would, in many cases, be met with a sharp rebuff, and that they would be talked to, pleaded with, and threatened, but if they were true Christian Scientists, they would be undeterred in their efforts to obtain what was their due, and pleadings and denunciations would not disturb them, but only given them greater strength to demand what was right. She knew also that if these applicants had been healed they would gladly show the efficacy of the curative value of Science, and, by explaining and offering in themselves living proofs, they would be missionaries of the first rank in pointing out to both clergy and laity why they felt impelled to leave their old home church and identify themselves with the Christian Science movement.

Mrs. Eddy often expressed herself as desirous that the (Christian Science) Churches have about them a distinctly religious atmosphere. The question of a suitable Pastor was always prominent in her thought. She felt that the title of Reverend carried with it a certain weight and dignity which commanded more respect than the designations Pastor or Speaker, and meant something to those who had not found spiritual rest and satisfaction in other denominations. To the church-going multitudes the title of Reverend was looked up to as much as that of Professor by the student body of a university.

Mrs. Eddy has stated that she believes she was ordained in the same manner as were the first teachers of the primitive church, and her ordination took place by the light of a candle on a barrel.

With this thought in mind, she decided, on this memorable morning of March 5, to take up the matter of Pastors for her Churches, and what they should be called. In answer to Mr. E. R. Hardy, of Buffalo, she announced a new departure, which awakened considerable discussion and some doubt, also the decision of some who were acting as Pastors not to follow her suggestion, since it was a matter that was entirely optional.

Mr. Hardy had been practicing in Buffalo, and preaching to a band of Scientists in that city. He inquired of Mrs. Eddy “as to the reception of members from other churches by a pastor, who, like himself, was not ordained.”

Mrs. Eddy replied:

“The ordination of the pastor is not an essential to the reception of members from other churches or of new members. The old membership ceases when the new begins. The pastor is not the church; it is the church that they come into, and that does not depend on the pastor. You are delegated by the church to perform this duty, and your action has as much validity as the action of a chairman or moderator of any meeting who is appointed pro tem. The person, any person, so delegated can receive new members just as effectively as an ordained pastor.”

To the question, “Is ordination of a pastor before attendance on the theological class regular?” She answered, “I think it is perfectly regular, but it should be understood that a finishing up remains, so that all may be done decently and in order, and that we may know who are fully authorized as preachers.”

Mrs. Eddy believed that it gave to a Church of Christ (Scientist) a better appearance to have for its Pastor one who was called Reverend; and the result was that there was an immediate response from some of the Pastors, and we have several Reverends so named in our literature, – E. R. Hardy, Augusta Stetson, Frank H. Mason, and others, – but the title was not generally taken up, because Mrs. Eddy did not make it a requirement.

Those who took upon themselves this title did so not by virtue of any desire of their own, but because the Teacher had suggested it. I know that when father told me that some of those who were preaching in our churches had placed Reverend before their names I was quite shocked, for I felt that the title of Professor, Doctor, or Reverend should be earned by study and proved efficiency in college work. Father then explained why Mrs. Eddy had suggested the privilege.

While she realized that the appellation gave dignity to the person who was filling the pulpit, she also felt that those who were willing to assume such a title would labor more prayerfully and faithfully to sustain their right to it; that the churches would thus have pastors who would be earnest Bible students, interpreting it in accordance with Christian Science teaching. If they should equal in their knowledge of the Scriptures that of the ordained minister, and have beside this the power of healing, then they were even more entitled to the designation of Reverend than the regularly ordained clergy who could not fulfil the demands of Jesus to “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons.”

When the Bible lessons took the place of the sermons preached by the pastors, Mrs. Eddy saw that the title of Reverend was not a further necessity, and in February, 1899, the following By-Law was adopted, 

Legal Titles. “Owing to the change in our Church ministry, all the students of Christian Science must drop the titles of Reverend and Doctor, except those who have received these titles under the laws of the State. My beloved brethren will some time learn the wisdom of this By-Law.”

After the uncomplimentary exit of Rev. Wm. I. Gill from the Pastorate of the Church, it was manifest that, while Mrs. Eddy felt the need of an assistant Pastor, she realized, in view of this last experience, that it would be safer, for a while at least, to leave the preaching to some of her loyal students who would be more competent and more willing to work with her. She was always ready, however, to open the way for some clergyman to preach, if he so desired, thinking that this would bring the Church into closer fellowship with other denominations.

During the year 1888, Mr. Mason preached most of the time, though the pulpit was occasionally supplied by Mrs. Stetson, Mr. Edward P. Bates, and my father. In the fall of this year, however, Mr. Mason became the assistant Pastor.

He was active, robust and vigorous, and capable of doing a large amount of hard work. He was also alert mentally, and Mrs. Eddy saw in him certain qualities which she could broaden and use to advantage. Under her direction he improved not only in his preaching but in his general usefulness, and she gave him more representative labor to do as he grew in stature. He was what is known as a bluff and hearty man, who enjoyed good company, a jovial time, and especially a game of baseball. He enjoyed many opportunities to progress, and he was quick to grasp and to assimilate suggestions for his benefit. It has been said that he was an infidel before coming into Science, but Mrs. Eddy’s teachings appealed to him strongly, and impelled by a sincere desire to know more of the truth, his advance was rapid.

He was a stirring figure in the meeting of the National Association at Chicago because of his tactful activities, and especially on account of his address, which, as I recall, he delivered with the manuscript, entitled “A Bird’s-eye View of Christian Science,” which made a strong appeal, and which was issued in the form of a pamphlet of fifty pages. He was a voluminous writer both of verse and prose, and the Journals of the year April, 1888, to April, 1889, contain seventeen articles by him. In addition to his labors as assistant Pastor, healer, teacher, editor, and author of the “Bible Lessons,” he became, in August, 1888, the Manager of the Journal. 18

Mr. Mason lived and taught at the College, and in the light of our present day modesty in advertising, the following card in the Journal of the year 1888 and 1889, is interesting, “Massachusetts Metaphysical College 571 Columbus Avenue Boston, Mass.

F. E. Mason, C.S.B., Pastor’s (Rev. M. B. G. Eddy) assistant in the Church of Christ (Scientist); resides at the College. Primary and Normal and Obstetric Course Graduate of the above College. Practices and teaches the Practice of the Science of Divine Mind-healing, or Christian Science. Tuition $100.00. Terms satisfactory. Classes formed monthly. Board and rooms at the College, if desired. Absent or present treatments. Address all communications to F. E. Mason, C.S.B.”

It is unfortunate that Mr. Mason could not have curbed his over-ambitious impulses, and realized that satisfaction with self, and especially the inflation of self, has no place in Christian Science. Mrs. Eddy raised him to a high position in the Christian Science world, for she liked his splendid vitality, which she felt would make him very serviceable to the Cause, and tried to keep him from being led away by adulation. Toward the middle of 1889, however, his articles in the Journal began to decline in quality and value, and he seemed to be losing his balance. He was still energetic in his work, but his thought was distinctly less poised and reliable. Mrs. Eddy realized this decline and counseled him urgently; but while he took her censure with his usual good nature, he gradually became more self-enamored and lost correspondingly in usefulness and serviceability.

When the Boston Church was dissolved, there was no further need of him as assistant Pastor, and he was called by the Church in Brooklyn to which he removed.

July 15, 1889, the Boston Church sent to the organization in Brooklyn the following letter:

Whereas, through the resignation of our beloved Teacher, of her pastorate of the Church of Christ (Scientist), Boston, the services of Brother F. E. Mason as her assistant, have been terminated.

And whereas, the Church of Christ (Scientist) of Brooklyn has extended to Brother Mason a call which he has accepted, to become its Pastor; Be it resolved;

(1) That this Church hereby makes expression of its love in the truth toward Brother Mason, for his faithful efforts in the discharge of the duties intrusted to him by our Teacher and Pastor.

(2) It gives to the Sister Church of Brooklyn, its cordial fellowship in the truth, and its prayers for the growth in love of the Church and its Pastor.

In the bonds of truth,

(Signed) William B. Johnson, Clerk.19




Chapter XII

The Ursula N. Gesterfeld, Rebellion

Hebrews 12:1. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

The old saying, “It never rains, but it pours,” is particularly true of the period of Christian Science history that we are now considering, – the years of 1888 and 1889. Ever since her discovery of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy had worked earnestly to keep her writings from being misinterpreted, stolen, or garbled. She knew at this time that Science and Health was not perfected, and that she must soon have the quiet and the peace of mind to write into a new edition the results which enlarged experience had shown her were necessary for a fuller and more adequate presentation of her thought.

At that time when the Church and the Association in Boston were seething with rebellion, every Christian Scientist who could be reached received a circular announcing that a new work was ready for sale, which would be a help to a more thorough understanding of Science and Health. This publication, entitled Statement of Christian Science, comprised in eighteen lessons and twelve sections, was written by Ursula N. Gesterfeld, of Chicago, who had been a student of Mrs. Eddy in one of the Primary classes of 1884.

This circular was sent out under date of June 9, 1888. It read in part,

“This work is not intended to supplant Science and Health, but is offered as a key for those who are unable to discern its meaning. The book Science and Health, first published in 1875, was the first statement of Christian Science given to the public. Though many publications of the same nature are in wide circulation to-day, it still stands pre-eminent among them as the text-book of the Science, because its statements are positive, exact, and unmixed with theory. It is yea, yea; nay, nay. At the same time it is a book difficult of comprehension, and much patient study of it, for many, does not suffice for an understanding of its meaning.”

In many ways the book was cleverly written. It gave evidence that the author had been a reader of philosophy and had lingered over the mystic literature of Oriental writers. Parallel columns showed in paragraph after paragraph that she had rephrased passages from Science and Health and thus befogged the original intent.

Undoubtedly Mrs. Gesterfeld had hoped to have her work accepted, read, and used by Christian Scientists in general; but no sooner did it appear than the discerning student of Science saw the purpose of her efforts, laid it aside, and advised others to do the same.

Realizing that her work had not successfully appealed to loyal students and to Mrs. Eddy, she gave way to passion and hatred, and made a direct attack on the teacher through a pamphlet, “Jesuitism in Christian Science.” This was answered by Mrs. Eddy in a most decisive article in the Journal of November, 1888, which by its vigor and directness showed her to be very much awake to the situation. Mrs. Eddy says,

“The above ((‘Jesuitism in Christian Science’) is the title of a pamphlet by Ursula N. Gesterfeld. Before entering my class in 1884, she had been a student of a Spiritualist and mind-curer. Though a Christian Scientist in name, she is a member of the Theosophical Society of Chicago. Her attempted explanation of my book, Science and Health, is abortive; the altitude of her mind has neither reached the explanation nor inspiration of this work. She attempts to vilify my life and to criticize my works, in the face of twenty-two years of unstained labor upon my part in Christian Science Mind-healing, while she, a suckling, is drawing her nutriment from them. This is at least, silly.

“When teaching her, I found that her mind presented a compilation of other minds, that it possessed, to a remarkable degree, these qualities, – vanity, intellectual dash, and courage without conviction. Her reasoning is intoned with pagan philosophy, her humanity besprinkled with Buddhism, and her pride and purpose is nerved with the spirit of a Judas.

“The picture she draws of me, in the above-named pamphlet, is the subjective state of her own mind, and the minds of members expelled from the Christian Scientist Association of Boston. The reader recognizes at once that it is no portraiture of the Author of Science and Health. The honest seeker after Christian Science asks, ‘Where shall the young child be born?’ Where shall the human concept of the Divine idea be given birth? He queries, Is the mother of Science and Health a misnomer? Does the child look like its mother, act like her, and does it resemble in the least the hideous counterfeit that Mrs. Gesterfeld has conjured up? My heart’s desire is, that the mind of this woman be imbued with better thoughts, and her life uplifted.

“The only sense in which I employ the phrase ‘Loyal Students,’ she seems not to know. I mean those who are loyal to God, to justice, to Truth and Love. Thus loyal, these students and myself are one in motive and aim, – united indissolubly in the bonds of Christian Science. This bond is not personality; it is Principle. Shakespeare says:

‘This above all: to thine own self be true;
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.’”

Mrs. Gesterfeld made a large number of friends and admirers in Chicago, among whom was the Reverend Joseph Adams. This gentleman had studied with Mrs. Eddy, and had preached in Chickering Hall on April 18, May 9, 16, 23, 1886,20 but had wandered off into the espousal of other teachings; and on February 22, 1888, by a vote of the Church of Christ (Scientist) in Chicago, the Directors of that body sent to the publishers of the Journal a resolution requesting them to take his name from the professional cards, because he had affiliated with different schools that were not loyal to Christian Science. His relations with the church in Chicago had already been severed; and upon the vote of that body and its request, his card was removed from the Journal. Soon afterwards, however, he started an organization of his own in the same city, and held services in one of the theatres. There he preached a mixture of doctrines of which the trend was toward Millenarianism, and to this organization he asked Mrs. Gesterfeld to speak.21 He was still, however, a member of the Christian Scientist Association, and the following letters explain themselves:

“Boston, Jan. 15th, 1889.

Dear Brother. (Johnson)

Will you please write to the Rev. Joseph Adams of Chicago, and say to him that if he invites Ursula N. Gesterfeld to preach in his pulpit again, she (U.N.G.) who has come out with such a fearful libelous onslaught upon our Leader, action will be taken by the C. S. Society (as ground) for his expulsion.

Very truly yours in the truth.

(Signed) Dr. E. J. Foster Eddy.”

“41 G St., So. Boston, Mass.,

Jan., 17, 1889.

Rev. Joseph Adams,

146 22nd St., Chicago, Ill.

Dear Brother.

In discharging my duty, I regret being obliged to notify you, that if you invite Ursula N. Gesterfeld, (she who made such a libelous attack upon our Leader) into your pulpit again, the Christian Scientist Association of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, will take action for your expulsion from it.

Fraternally,

(Signed) Wm. B. Johnson,

Secretary.”

In view of the constant stir and change of thought which was taking place in certain circles of Christian Science, there was a feeling by some that Mrs. Eddy had carried Christian Science as far as she could, and that some one else, or a council of others fitted for the task, should be the torch-bearers of the future. Much complaint of difficulty in understanding what Mrs. Eddy wrote, and much criticism from certain literati that her style was not clear, that it misstated, etc., and that she had obtained her ideas from Quimby and others, awakened a strong feeling that there were some who understood divine healing so thoroughly that a text-book could be written which would carry greater conviction, and be more generally helpful than Science and Health. Mrs. Eddy knew that the atmosphere was surcharged with this thought, and while I do not mean to give the impression that it worried her, it did take her attention and her time away from the many labors in which she was absorbed. The dissatisfied body in the Boston Church and in the Association saw in the person of Mrs. Gesterfeld, before she wrote “Jesuitism in Christian Science,” a representative of their own as yet unexpressed feelings on the matter of the comprehensibility of Science and Health, and considered her efforts, as well as those of Dr. Warren Felt Evans and Julius Dresser, as tending to broaden out the limitations which Mrs. Eddy had placed upon the teaching and practice of Christian Science. In the meantime, the prosecutions in various States had brought Christian Science into undue notoriety, and there were those in these groups of “advanced Scientists,” as they considered themselves, who felt that Mrs. Eddy should let down the bars in regard to the allied use, to a certain extent, of the knowledge of medicine and surgery, and that the work of a practitioner could be made more definite and efficient if he knew the exact nature of the disease in hand, and if not, he should have it diagnosed and work from that basic claim. Among those who were strongly imbued with this thought were J. C. M. Murphy and W. H. Bertram, who were well-known workers and practitioners in Boston.

There have always been cycles in the history of the world which have constituted distinctly marked epochs, and which stand out in historical narrative as distinctive features of a period of growth in one direction, or the broadening of some definite tendency in another. The culmination of the Dark Ages is one, the Renaissance another, the American and French Revolutions, the Civil War, and the great World War of today are others. Certain subterranean currents of thought, like the gases in the depths of the earth, come together, expand, and, as in the explosion of Mt. Pelee, ultimately break forth in their discontent, and try to disrupt human undertakings. Replicas of these outbursts of nature, and of unrest and revolution, have been continuous in the political history of nations, and in a diminishing scale, they have appeared in the history of religious bodies. It took many years to consolidate the different views which radiated from the great reformers; and through kindred paroxysms of contradictory interpretation, Christian Science had to go, for at no time in the world’s history had there been such a stirring of thought, both religious and philosophical, and all those who had started with Mrs. Eddy’s teachings as a basis, and had wandered off into other beliefs, seemed like the forces of nature, to coalesce, expand, and then hurl themselves upon one central point.

During these years Mrs. Eddy was besieged with adventurers in religion. There were many who could have been classed as “cranks” and who were always seeking the “outré.” In 1888, Mrs. Humphry Ward’s novel Robert Elsmere was published. It became exceedingly popular all over the civilized world, having been translated into many European languages. It dealt with the higher criticism, and had no small influence over denominational beliefs. William E. Gladstone wrote a review of the book, for the Nineteenth Century, which brought it immediately to the attention of the best thinkers in all lands, and it started a discussion of historic and essential Christianity in a way that no academic writing could have done. In this country there were public readings from it, and ministers lectured and preached on its theme. The Rev. George B. Day, who, up to a recent date, had been pastor of the Church of Christ (Scientist) in Chicago, preached and published a series of sermons entitled “Robert Elsmere.” Fortunately, however, the book told too interesting a story, and was too indefinite and deficient in its teachings to become a text-book, and the ideals it impressed varied greatly with the temperament and susceptibility of the reader. It did set many, not only in the churches, but outside these bodies, thinking and wondering about the truth of Christian belief, and whether or not the clergy were right in their interpretations of the New Testament, and in this way many were led to investigate Christian Science.

During these years a long list of really first class “cranks” came to see my father. Many of them had adventured into Spiritualism, had consulted mediums, tried Faith Cure, and investigated every other “ism” they could reach. At this time, 1888, Spiritualism was making rapid headway in Boston. It made its services attractive and interesting with séances and music of as good character as could be found in the city. Off-shoots from the main body sprang up in different parts of the city, and with them came an influx of clairvoyants, card readers, magnetic healers, and others too numerous to mention. Professor Carpenter drew great crowds by his feats of hypnotism in Tremont Temple, and traveled the length and breadth of New England giving his exhibition of the power of occult skill; and it seemed at that time that nearly everybody was dabbling in some kind of new belief respecting religion or respecting the cure of disease through some psychic agency.

The belief in “Faith Cure,” more especially, was attracting many people. The founder of a prominent representative institution was Dr. Charles Cullis, who, after the decease of his wife, vowed, out of his sorrow, to devote his life to charity. He established a number of charitable institutions, and relied on prayer and faith for their support. One of these, a well-built and attractive structure of stone, occupied the land where the “New Century Building,” 179 Huntington Avenue, now stands, and was in use at the time that Mrs. Eddy purchased the land for the Mother Church. These institutions were for the cure of the sick, and the patients were prayed for and instilled with faith. At Old Orchard Beach, Dr. Cullis held a camp-meeting in summer, and took up such large collections that much comment was made. Rev. A. B. Simpson, of New York, became interested with him in the movement, and after the decease of Dr. Cullis, in 1892, carried on the work now known as the Christian and Missionary Alliance. “Faith Cure” was spoken of and lauded in many pulpits, and it did not have to meet the criticism which was directed against Mrs. Eddy’s teachings.

On January 15-17, 1889, a convention of the “Christian Alliance” was held in Berkley Temple, at which the Rev. A. B. Simpson presided, and pastors from churches in Boston, New York, and many other places were present. One of these meetings Mrs. Eddy with a number of students attended, but she withdrew after a question had been asked by one of the audience relative to healing through Christian Science. The presiding clergyman replied that he knew nothing about it, and had never known any person to be healed by it. Another clergyman replied that he had known cases in Christian Science that he recognized as genuine cures.

It was against such mental surroundings that Mrs. Eddy had to work, in this period of history, to keep her discovery from being classed with the others, and to keep her students from wandering off after false gods. There were, of course, many honest seekers, and some of these who came to Science for healing became the best fitted to work for our Cause. There seemed at this time to be many ministers who were looking for a position, and Mrs. Eddy taught a goodly number; but when they were called upon to be obedient and to rely upon Spirit alone for success, they found the task too difficult. They knew how to manage a church body, and that others should obey, but they found it difficult to yield their established prerogatives. It was too great a lowering of their dignity, and they soon disappeared. Many of these had never been successful. Not being “born to the cloth,” they had changed their denominational views several times, and were willing to take anything in the way of a pulpit which represented a living.

Thus Christian Science attracted many from all denominations; but when they found that to be successful healers and teachers, and to preach satisfyingly to those who by their spiritual lives were regenerating others, was a task such as their previous training had never imposed, the shallowness of their thought soon became apparent. They speedily realized that either the bounds of Christian Science must be broadened to suit their special characteristics and attainments, or they must find another field for their usefulness. Not until the Reverend Lansing P. Norcross came to Boston, as pastor, had there been one who had been really true to Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, and who would have been willing and glad to have worked and preached just for the love of the truth and its Discoverer. It may be fairly and justly said that all the clergymen whom Mrs. Eddy had tried to help, prior to the coming of Mr. Norcross, were men who had been unsuccessful in their work and were without the character that could win success at anything. These she tried to make over and inspire, but, between the bias of their theological training and their general incapacity, she had to let them go; and the most of them requited her labors in their behalf by going out and misrepresenting her work.

Reverend Joseph Adams saw the long sought “Land of Promise” in Christian Science, and at a meeting of the Christian Scientist Association in May, 1886, he stated:

“I feel free to say that my first thought is this:
‘I’ve reached the land of corn and wine,
With all its riches freely mine.
Here shines serene one blissful day,
While all my night has passed away.’

“An Orthodox clergyman for more than twenty years, I now see the light for the first time. The darkness began to flee upon my first introduction to the subject of Christian Science. During the last year my attention was first called to works on Mental Healing; and Dr. Evan’s book on Primitive Mind-cure was the beginning of my investigation. I think this gentleman would be greatly benefited if he would come and sit at Mrs. Eddy’s feet, and learn of her such lessons as it has been my privilege to absorb during the past few weeks. After reading Dr. Evan’s works I at last obtained Mrs. Eddy’s Science and Health, and found to my delight the pith and marrow of the whole subject. I had hungered for many years after this righteousness. I had waited calmly and patiently in fervent prayer, with an ardent desire to conform to Christ, and I now see the answer to this longing has come in being led to this blessed light. I realize that the stand I have taken, as a Christian Scientist, separates me from my clerical brethren. I felt at the first perception of my liberty, as if I were in heaven; and I was ready to cry out with Paul, ‘I do not know whether I am in the body or out of it,’ for I saw but dimly what I now know to be a fact, – that the rule of Christian Science needs but to be followed, to enable one to understand that he is not inside his body. I am out and I intend to stay out.

“Permit me to speak a few words for my home, California. Thus far my wife and I have been regarded as the best exponents of Mental Healing in our vicinity; but I am satisfied that until now we had but the husk and the shell. I felt this instinctively before I came to Boston, and the conviction has become intensified every day during my study at this College. Here we have found the ripe kernel, the rich wheat. We possess an understanding now, by which we can present to our brothers and sisters a broad, deep, solid foundation for work. Babel is already in California, but it will be our privilege to confound it. Once let Christian Science be introduced in its unadulterated truth and purity, and Boston and San Francisco will join hearts and hands in a glorious work that shall ere long lift this country out of matter into Spirit – yea, into the very Kingdom of God.”

The apparently good and honest elements, which appear in the foregoing, were associated with others which had nothing to commend them and which contributed to a very contradictory situation. There was much promiscuous teaching; much domination of students by their teachers; the constant appearance of misleading literature, as well as that which was vicious in its attacks; the action of courts relative to Christian Science practice; the personal government of churches, and other facts too numerous to mention, – all these had brought about a state of strife and confusion which could be clarified only by the help of a miracle. But as in the phenomena of nature, so in the phenomena of mortal mind; it seemed that an eruption – a blowing out of the pent up gases – was the only way in which the eruptive forces could pass away. Inevitably the explosion threw fear into the hearts of the workers in the vineyard. Frequently showers of heated argument and denunciation caused them to apprehend danger, but when all was over, they found that some old and seemingly immovable obstacles had been removed, and the soil had been made more ready for, and responsive to their labor.

All of these contending forces found a place in the thought of those who had deviated from the teachings of Mrs. Eddy, and led them still farther astray, either into oblivion, a return to old doctrines, or into the everpresent belief that there must be another religion springing from Christian Science, which would have a broader horizon and a freer field of action, and which would ultimately become universal.




Chapter XIII

A Great Crisis

IT is in the midst of this contentious and evolutionary condition of things that we find Mrs. Eddy at the most critical turning point of the history of the Christian Science movement. Indeed in many respects it was one of the most wonderful epochs of her life, and it would be very difficult, if not quite impossible, for one who is not familiar with all the factors and phases of the situation to realize the difficulties and struggles which she had to face, that her work and her faithful adherents might be saved.

From the time of the rebellious meeting of June 6, 1888, to the date set for the convening of the National Association in Chicago, on June 13, Mrs. Eddy was much too busy preparing for the journey and making plans for the work to be done, to call to her, for explanation or admonition, those students in Boston who opposed her. While the outbreak at the meeting had deeply hurt her, it had at the same time shown that if these students were not willing to be governed alone by Truth, then she must decide upon the best way of dealing, not only with them, but with all who should follow their steps in the future. She expected that with the lapse of time, the cooling of passions, and the blessing of second thought, some of the dissatisfied students would feel regretful and repentant, and come back to her. More, she felt that her reception in Chicago, and the success of the meetings there, would have a leavening effect on all and satisfactorily assure them that she was capable and worthy of being their Teacher and Leader.

Looking at the matter from the financial side, it would seem almost self-destructive for the practitioners and teachers who were doing the largest amount of work, and who were the most prominent in Church and Association, to give up all connection with the Christian Science organization, and have their names taken from the list of practitioners in the Journal. This observation is from Mrs. Eddy’s point of view; but to understand matters thoroughly, it is necessary to look upon the other side of the shield and know that these dissenters did not expect to be obliged to yield any of their privileges in the Association or in the Church. It was their belief that they could control and, if necessary, eject Mrs. Eddy from the organization.

The Corner case gave them, as they believed, a great leverage, for they meant to show that the obstetrics taught by Mrs. Eddy at the College, was not efficient enough, for the reason that she never had studied surgery or medicine, and therefore was not competent to instruct in the management of these cases, and that the College had no one who could; that it was charging a tuition fee of one hundred dollars for a very short term of instruction, while the price in the Harvard Medical College for the full year was but two hundred. Those who believed that a knowledge of medicine and surgery should be allied with Christian Science treatment to a certain extent had been strongly opposed to Mrs. Eddy’s method of teaching obstetrics, and when the case of Mrs. Corner came up,22 the embers of discontent were fanned into a flame, and those who were opposed to Mrs. Eddy felt that this was a happening that could be used to annul her leadership.

From the date of the meeting of June 6, the chief movers in the conspiracy were writing to members of the Association whom they knew were not wholly loyal to Mrs. Eddy, and to those also who had been admonished or censured by her for some act, in order that they might be coerced to work with them though they remained true to her teachings. Hence, within a short time after the meeting, the feeling of rebellion had spread far beyond the bounds of the Boston field.

Mrs. Eddy was too much engaged with the pressing work before her, the journey to Chicago, and the preparation for the labors to be done there, to attempt to adjust matters in Boston.

Upon her return to Boston from Chicago, Mrs. Eddy, with her characteristic energy, determined to adjust matters, and sent out a letter dated June 22, signed by my father as Secretary of the Christian Scientist Association, to all its members, which called for a meeting to be held on the 27th, the purpose of which was to give certain members an opportunity to comply with the Constitution, Article 2, section I. This letter read in part as follows:

“Members hereby pledge themselves to live peaceably with all men, so far as is consistent with justice and truth, and to do unto others as they would that others should do unto them. To remember the Ten Commandments, and never to interfere with the rights of Mind. It is expected that all members will express their views, by voting for or against any question. It shall be the privilege of all members to act independently, and exert an influence to restrain error and promote truth. Unwillingness to do this, will be considered as disqualifying them for Christian Science.”

It further contained the By-Law on Fellowship, section I, as follows:

“It shall be the duty of Christian Scientists to befriend and help each other in times of need, and, so far as is consistent with justice and truth, to defend the reputation of members of this Association. If they have aught against other members, it shall be their duty to faithfully tell them of it, and so seek a reconciliation.”

Most of those who opposed Mrs. Eddy did not attend this meeting, and excuses were made by some that they had not received notifications.

It was difficult for Mrs. Eddy to understand this attitude, for she could not realize how these teachers and practitioners could give up the vital truth she had taught them, and their only means of livelihood, to follow an urgence that had no foundation. She sent for some to come to her that they might talk matters over. A few responded; some who were tottering, she straightened up and saved, but others turned coldly away.

Having thus sought out many students and pleaded with them to no avail, the Cause in Boston looked anything but promising. The Church needed money not only for its building fund, but for its maintenance. The Journal called for a larger expenditure in many ways, and there was a need of funds to help members of the Church and Association, and yet here, at one blow, those who had been giving the most liberally, were the best known, and had been the most influential in raising money, were leaving her and her work in a body.

Their plan of action was cleverly conceived, and they seemed to possess the most necessary requirements, especially in the matter of material means. They had all of the officers, up to June 6, of the Christian Scientist Association, except the President; the best-known practitioners and teachers, especially those who were living in the city proper and near the College; also those who were considered the most influential in business and society, as well as those who had the most abundant means. Under these conditions they felt sure of the future financial stability of their enterprise. Through their good standing in the community and with the aid and co-operation of their patients and students, they could draw into the Church many who would co-operate with them and thus control the organization. They therefore decided to test Mrs. Eddy’s ability, as asserted by those faithful to her, to destroy any opposition and come off victorious. They knew that Mrs. Eddy and her adherents would try to expel them, and it is said that there was an existing rule governing their case, which read as follows:

Resolved, That everyone who wishes to withdraw without reason, shall be considered to have broken his oath.

Resolved, That breaking the Christian Scientist’s oath is immorality.”

These resolutions do not appear in the printed copies of the Constitution, By-Laws, and Rules of Order, but they may have been established and recognized in the early days of the Association in Lynn.

From the legal side they had worked out their plans, and felt that if they could obtain the books of the Secretary of the Association they could force a conclusion that would give them an honorable dismissal, for they were determined that they would not go from that body with such a stigma on their names as the above “Resolves” imposed, and they were also determined that the expenses of Mrs. Corner’s case should be paid from the treasury of the Association.

If they won on these two points, they believed that these verdicts against Mrs. Eddy would make their case much stronger in the eyes of the public and supply a stepping stone for others of faint heart to leave the Teacher and come to them. With a moral and legal victory over her, with money, and with large influence as practitioners and teachers, there could be no question of their success.

They further proposed to formulate a plan of worship which would be more attractive and institute a broader-tracked order of procedure, which would be acceptable to the many bright thinkers who had gone out of the Christian Science Movement, and to those who had accepted some of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, but would not recognize her as a Leader. To their best belief and understanding, the whole situation was signed, sealed, and delivered into their hands, and all they had to do was to hold their course and consummate their plans.

Fortunately for the Cause of Christian Science, all of their schemes did not work out. The matter of the meeting of the National Association did not trouble them, because that body had no power over members of the church in Boston, nor over those of the Christian Scientist Association. While the National Association was now two years old it was not yet a strong and efficient body. They expected that the Association, made up mostly of delegates, would meet in Chicago; that essays would be read, reports given from the field, questions on healing and teaching considered, and that then it would disband. The meetings would be pleasant, some enthusiasm would be kindled, but that no action would be taken upon matters of importance, because none would come up, all such matters having been handled and promoted through the Christian Scientist Association, which was the controlling body of the Church.

Respecting the relation and authority of these two Associations, it may be assumed that Mrs. Eddy would not have given to the National Association the duties and powers it received at the Convention in Cleveland, in 1889, if she had been sure of the standing and loyalty of the Christian Scientists Association. An organized body of her students, meeting in Boston every month, could better be kept in line with her thought and plans than the larger National Association, which met but once a year, and fully sixty per cent of whose membership she did not know and had never seen. As the Christian Scientist Association was composed of her students, she was acquainted with the mental qualities and characteristics of each, and she could therefore anticipate the stand each would take on any question.

Since the dissenters had requested dismissal and had ceased to attend the meetings of the Association and the Church, it might reasonably be asked here, why, in 1889, a full year after the outbreak of the rebellion, she should have assigned for the first time to the National Association, the consideration of so many important matters, for the records of 1888 and 1889 show that the Christian Scientist Association had been holding its regular monthly meetings, was constantly increasing in membership, and all its activities were marked by peace and love and unity of thought?

To this it may be answered that, while recalcitrants had asked to be honorably dismissed, they had taken legal action, and, having possession of the books of the Secretary, they had determined that they would give them up only upon obtaining what they had been contesting for; and it was not until June 8, 1889, five days before the date set for the Convention in Cleveland, that the matter was settled and they were given letters of dismissal and the expenses of Mrs. Corner’s trial were paid from the treasury of the Christian Scientist Association.

This group was therefore, up to that time, June 8, 1889, members of the Christian Scientist Association as well as the National body, and, as such, they published in January, six months before they were given dismissal, a magazine called The Boston Christian Scientist, which was “devoted to the Cause of Christian Science, and published by the Boston Christian Science Society.”

This magazine started out with the appearance and the atmosphere of being the official organ of Christian Science. There were no recriminations, not an utterance or even the smallest suggestion that those who issued it had broken away from Mrs. Eddy and were carrying on a legal action to obtain an honorable dismissal from the Association. Their attitude, as well as that of the magazine, was expressed in an utter ignoring of Mrs. Eddy and everything that she had done and was doing. They did all as though she did not exist.

Mrs. Eddy evidently saw the meaning and prospective outcome of their efforts, and felt that if they should be able to gain enough power they might use the various arguments noted in foregoing pages, as a lever, and decide to withdraw their demands for dismissal, thus remaining in the Association and the Church, and becoming a menace to her work. She therefore determined to give to the National Association all the character, influence and power that she could so that it would prove to be a substantial support.




Chapter XIV

Fightings Without and Overcomings Within

Immediately upon Mrs. Eddy’s arrival in Boston from the Chicago convention, she was informed of the situation and realized the extent of the opposition to her. Her absence had given her opponents a free hand to undermine her influence and to organize their plans. One after another of her flock had been filched away, and it was impossible to know how many were moved by a desire to separate themselves from her. Oftentimes father would come home, and in the course of the evening would say with sadness, “Mr. and Mrs.  have left us and have gone with Mrs. Crosse, and we don’t know who will go next.” It was perhaps only the previous Sunday that we had seen them at Church, and felt sure they would stand by the Leader. The secession of such a solid body from the Church and Association most naturally created a stir wherever it was heard. For one or two to leave would have been nothing surprising, but for between thirty-five and forty to withdraw en masse created a sensation among religious people generally, and it was looked upon as the beginning of Mrs. Eddy’s downfall.

From this spectacular event arose many absurd stories – hurtful, idle, and slanderous. The air about Mrs. Eddy was thus so befogged that it was difficult for an honest enquirer to see her in her true light, or to make sure which side was truly representing the teachings of Christian Science. Many whom Mrs. Eddy was very anxious to have work with her and for the Cause, and who were becoming genuinely interested through her special efforts, were lost in the surrounding vapors of misrepresentation. They were either absorbed by her opponents or gave up the effort to disentangle the puzzling situation, and ultimately relinquished all thought of maintaining their connection with Christian Science.

The mental efforts directed against her magnified every little difference of opinion which those opposed to Mrs. Eddy had ever had, into serious errors on her part. Admonitions that she had given some students were inflated into beratings, and some of those whom she had censured for wrongdoing, and who had admitted their mistakes and humbly and tearfully asked to be forgiven, now became stirred up, and if they had any sense of self-justification, it received such a twist that they now believed they had been right all the time. Mrs. Eddy had to publicly refute the charge that she habitually employed a physician, even as she had written in “Malicious Newspaper Reports” (1888):

“I have neither called nor consulted a physician for myself for over twenty years,” though I “have averaged twelve hours work per day, with only two weeks vacation, during this time. With few exceptions, when I have called on students to help bear the burdens laid on me, even the burdens they themselves have imposed, I have found my task increased, and my only remedy was to help those students and seek my rest in God. It has reminded me of this Scripture, ‘They bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.’

“The doctor in Springfield, alluded to as one of my physicians, has not the degree of M.D. He was a student of mine, but may at present be figuring under one of many cognomens belonging to mind-traffic, which are obsolete in Christian Science. This item could be published with authority, namely, that I healed him instantaneously of a severe bronchial affection which he said had affected him for more than twenty years, and he was growing rapidly worse.”

Three months later she was obliged to correct another story to the effect that she used drugs, and in Truth Versus Error (original in Journal), she wrote:

“To quench the growing flames of falsehood, once in about seven years I have to repeat this, – that I use no drugs whatever, not even coffea (coffee), thea (tea), capsicum (red pepper); though every day, and especially at dinner, I indulge in homeopathic doses of natrum muriaticum (common salt).

“When I found myself in this new regime of medicine, the medicine of Mind, I wanted to satisfy my curiosity as to the effect of drugs on one who had lost faith in them. Hence I tried several doses of morphine, and so proved to myself that drugs have no beneficial effect on an individual in this state of mind.”23

Among other stories that were circulated was this, that whenever Mrs. Eddy occupied the pulpit, Mr. Mason had to pay her fifteen dollars from his own salary, but this malicious tale he denied publicly.

Although the results of the Convention in Chicago, June 13, cheered Mrs. Eddy and seemed the very antipode of the chaotic meeting of June 6, her arrival in Boston brought her face to face with a cruel situation, and her immersion in this disturbed atmosphere, and the sense of the need of help which attended her resumption of her many duties, – all this surely tempted her to be disheartened, and she said to one of her students, “I do not believe that I have twelve loyal students left.”

What should she do, should she flee away for safety, or should she try to make terms with the opposition? Should she give up the field here and go West, the place that had warmed to her presence and given her courage so recently – a great, growing, and less critical country – and with a few faithful students start a new foundation? There must be a way even through these quicksands of treachery which would lead to safety. Such treks had been made, therefore why could she not try it? First, however, she must make a last effort for adjustment. She who established the rule of “Fellowship” in the Association must now honor it in an earnest, humble plea for the preservation of unity. She who had made these students whole in mind and body, who had given them courage to take up the burdens of life, had bestowed upon them their greatest spiritual uplift, had widened their horizons in every way, and made their financial conditions better than ever before, – she must try to lead them in humility and love now. Thus determining, she placed her case before them in a simple, humble letter, asking them to come to a meeting so that all misunderstandings might be wiped away and harmony reign. Plans were made for a meeting of all the members called for June 27th, and father, mother, and I worked late on the 21st to get the letters out that night as the communication was dated the 22nd.

The attendance was large, and there were a number from out of town places, also from neighboring states. The eventful meeting, June 6th, had been held in Meionian Hall, Tremont Temple, but Mrs. Eddy decided that this most important meeting should be at the College, because of the feelings associated with it, and it should be in the very room in which most of them had received the inspirations of Truth from her.

As father afterwards told me, there was a strong feeling of hope among the early comers, who were cognizant of the dissention and of the import of this special meeting; but as member after member came through the door, and those who above all it had been hoped would attend, did not appear, there was felt a sinking sense of despair, in view of the manifest fact that, though Mrs. Eddy had humbly petitioned their presence, many could so cruelly ignore her. She had certainly asked them in all fairness to tell her of it, if they had aught against her, and added, that she would “give them one more opportunity to deal justly,” asking only that those who had freely spoken of their great obligation to her, would now be simply just to her.

This meeting revealed the fact that the worst fears of those who knew the conditions best, were realized; but Mrs. Eddy, as father told me afterwards, was brave and seemed full of hope, and her words were charged with wonderful spiritual help. It was apparent, however, that the break was ever widening; that the opponents did not intend to respond to her pleading call, but were determined to ignore her and repudiate her as their Teacher and Leader.

At a late hour of the evening of this day, father came home weary and worn. Both mother and I saw that he was not well, and we tried to comfort him as he lay upon the couch in the sitting room. He looked pale and haggard, and as he had not had an evening meal, mother asked him if there were anything special that she could get for him. He said, “No! The trouble is not so much physical as mental.” After some little rest he called me and asked if I would read some passages from the Psalms, especially those which express the pangs of mental wretchedness, in which David, in deep tribulation, appeals for divine help. When I had finished he said, “Now my son select something from the New Testament that correlates with the passages you have just read.”

As I knew of the meeting which was held, and of its purpose, I instinctively felt that the outcome of the call had proved a great disappointment. In some way my thought turned to the First Epistle of John, and the heading of the page seemed a revelation, “A warning against false teachers.” The nineteenth verse reads, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” When I had finished this passage, father said, “that is enough, I have my answer and I am strong now.” I asked about the meeting, but he said nothing except to enquire if I had carefully checked up the envelopes which I had directed from the list of members of the Association. I said that I had, and I asked him why, and he said, “that, while there was a good attendance, the very ones for whom the meeting was specially called did not come.”

It was then that father almost broke down, and with difficulty said, “We may lose Mrs. Eddy.” Mother cried out, “Is she ill?” “No! I have been with her for three hours since the close of the meeting, and she sees very little hope in Boston for her Church. It may be that she will leave here and go to the West, but she does not want to give up her College. I know that our prayers will be answered and that she will obtain divine guidance before this terrible and heart-breaking day is finished, and let us know that tomorrow we shall all see the light, and that our pathways will be made clear.”

The question of leaving Boston and going into the West was evidently strong in Mrs. Eddy’s thought, but even in that proposition there was danger. While the West had received her with open arms, she had to consider the question of how long its loyalty would last when it came to being tried and tested.

In her article, “To Loyal Christian Scientists” (July, 1888), she wrote:

“You, my beloved students, who are absent from me, and have shared less of my labors than many others, seem stronger to resist temptation than some of those who have had line upon line and precept upon precept. This may be a serviceable hint, since necessities and God’s providence are foreshadowed. I have felt for some time that the perpetual instruction of my students might substitute my own for their growth, and so dwarf their experience.”

This question, therefore, could not be laid aside, for, if her labor when in direct contact with her students in Lynn and in Boston had made them less strong to resist temptation, could the result be any different in any other locality. How long would she find enduring steadfastness either in Chicago, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, or any other city where she had loyal students, were she constantly among them and assigning them tasks of sacrifice, the hard and exacting work which she had demanded of those around her in Boston. The students who had just gone from her had for a long time been faithful and true. They had bestowed gifts upon her, and came at her call to undertake the labor which she felt they should do. She had been among them almost constantly, advising them and giving them help. She had tried to keep the wolves from their door, and if her guidance had not proved strong enough to hold these, how could she be sure that students in any other locality would act otherwise under the same conditions. Was it possible that she could govern better through the medium of a dignified remoteness, than by being personally present? Where, then, was there a place for safety? Where was the Egypt to which she could flee with her child and protect it from harm?

In Chicago,24 the students, as a whole, had done all possible for her, but Mrs. Gesterfeld, Mrs. Hopkins, and others who opposed her were also there. The Church was small, but growing steadily, and had as members and attendants many most excellent people. Joseph Adams would undoubtedly stand by her, but she could not appeal to him, owing to an existing contention between him and the church. Rev. Geo. B. Day, who had introduced Mrs. Eddy at the Convention, was the pastor, and he had been an ardent and faithful supporter of her teachings. Would his efforts as a trained theologian and writer and those of the church be strong enough to offset those of her two aggressive enemies in the field? No! In some way she felt that Rev. Mr. Day would not last; that he, too, would wander away from Truth, and that in looking to him for steadfastness, she would lean upon a broken reed. And this proved true, for in the fall of 1889, he began to lose his hold on Christian Science, and in November, 1890, he left the movement and took with him some of the best people of the church.

Further, a retreat from Boston would entail the effects of a defeat, and be liable to weaken and turn against her the laborers in other fields. To have her opponents drive her College from the State which had granted its charter, to give up her dearly-begotten child – the Church, which she had worked so hard for – and relinquish the hope of realizing all her inspired vision of its redemptive significance to suffering humanity! No! She could not do it, she must fight her battle here and now. Heretofore, she had pleaded and pardoned, had forgiven readily and with a simplicity and naturalness of manner which could but appeal to the heart of the one who asked it. Now there must be no more pleading, no more easy road to reinstatement; she must command. No fear or hesitation must be shown; she had a great, an inspired mission, and through the rifts in the surrounding fog, she saw what it meant for the future. If assertive struggle was required of her, she would battle bravely to the last. Her enemies would find her a changed woman. She would train her remaining troops as no bearers of the banner of Christ had ever been before. Her College should be strengthened; the Journal made more effective in its message by making the statements of Science more easily understood. There should be a grouping of all who had been taught, whether by her or by her students, in to one active and enthusiastic body. All who had been healed and helped through Christian Science must be bound together, and honored by being trusted and made responsible. This was to be the last battle, and in God’s name she was going to win.

From this date Mrs. Eddy was a changed woman. She had been wronged in unnumbered ways, but she rose above, and became superior to these injuries. Anew she consecrated herself to the realization of her “high calling of God,” in Christian Science.25

Addressed to Mrs. S. H. Crosse

165 Huntington Ave.

Boston, Mass.

Concord, N.H.

62 N. State St.

Dec. 12, 1889

Dear Student,

Mr. P. did not advertise the lot of land that I wrote you about – in Sunday Herald as I requested – but in the Monday Herald. It had a purchaser in the afternoon of that day, but before it is deeded I meant to give you a chance to buy it if you wish, and will let me know by return of mail.

As ever your Teacher,

Mary B. G. Eddy

(Written in ink in Mrs. Eddy’s handwriting.)

Addressed to Mr. Chas. W. Crosse

165 Huntington Ave.

Boston, Mass.

Jan. 15, 1890

Mr. Chas. Crosse,

If you want the land for a church building on cor. of Falmouth and Caledonia Sts. Please let met know and I will get it for you if these parties, Mr. Knapp and the trustees, Mr. Long, Mr. Munroe and Nixon, will let me have it, as one has said he will. Write me how or on what terms you will take it. Answer at once.

In haste your Teacher,

(Signed) M. B. G. Eddy

(Written in ink in Mrs. Eddy’s handwriting.)

(The Editor.)




Chapter XV

Days of Anxiety for the Cause

AT the Convention in Chicago, Mrs. Eddy, smarting, and suffering from the stings and blows of the meeting of June 6, summed up the conditions as she then saw them in the following lines: “Christian Science and Christian Scientists will, must have a history; and if I could write the history in poor parody on Tennyson’s grand verse, it would read thus:

Traitors to right of them
M.D.’s to left of them.
Priestcraft in front of them,
Volleyed and thundered!
Into the jaws of hate,
Out through the door of Love,
On, to the blest above,
Marched the one hundred.”

Even the foregoing does not paint the conditions that were steadily growing worse during the next three months which were filled with haunting anxieties and an imperiled hope, when sentry after sentry was being picked off.

No one can tell the wretchedness of those days. No pen can describe the pangs of fear and sorrow which were felt when it was realized that a civil war had opened; that dear friends and long-time coworkers were being arrayed against each other, and that the fires of internecine strife were spreading in every direction among unsuspecting and unguarded adherents. A great feeling of defeat and desolation came upon the faithful few as they saw that the truth which had healed and saved so many, and for which such great sacrifices had been made, was being trampled to earth by foes within and without. Enemies abounded on every side; the records of the Association had been stolen; while the students and adherents of former years, who had gone out from Mrs. Eddy, added their denunciations to those of the dictator of the weekly ministers’ meeting, Reverend Joseph Cook; and the rejoicings of unreasonable and illogical opponents, like Reverend A. J. Gordon, and other lesser known detractors, who, as they thought, saw in this rebellion the breaking up of the Christian Science Movement.

Let all who are reaping the benefits of Christian Science today thank God that those students who, not being members of the Association, did not know the worst, but who perceived from the rows of empty seats at the Sunday services that serious troubles had come, were yet willing to stand with Mrs. Eddy in these dark days. Let us be grateful, too, that all those who knew, remained uncomplainingly firm and true, though suffering unspeakably, and thus showed their spiritual Leader that through the long, dark night they were on guard, sleeping on their arms, and ready to suffer with her until the day dawned.

With God’s help she endured all heroically, and made those plans for the future which have proved her unquestionable genius for organization; that she was indeed a divinely appointed Leader. God was surely with her, for though sixty-seven years of age, she was called upon to stand relatively alone while beating back her foes on every side. With wondrous faith, persistence, and spiritual reserve, she held her ground, and continued to build for the future a structure which has astonished the world by its proportions and stability. History records no other kindred overcoming and achievement.

During June and July Mrs. Eddy’s utterances in public and through the columns of the Journal, meant very much to those who knew the existing conditions, but for various reasons she did not speak openly in terms of disclosure and open condemnation. When she made the paraphrase of Tennyson’s lines in her address in Chicago, she did not know of the plans to get control of the books of the Secretary of the Association, nor was she cognizant of the extent of the break that had grown wider every day of her absence. While feeling deeply the ingratitude of the students, she touched but lightly in print upon the matter, hoping that what she wrote might prove a repressive warning. She yet hoped that conditions would improve, and did not want to bring the situation to the knowledge of the public. She would either let it purify or destroy itself, but she hoped for reconciliation, and she would say nothing that would add fuel to the flames.

In “Loyal Christian Scientists” (Christian Science Journal July, 1888), written prior to the meeting of June 27, she took as her theme, the Convention in Chicago. The subject matter is charged with the feeling of the crisis through which she was passing, and she writes very pertinently and strongly, but her words are those only of general admonition to all Scientists:

“Falsehood,” she declares, “is on the wings of the winds, but Truth will soar above it. Truth is speaking louder, clearer, and more imperatively than ever. Error is walking to and fro in the earth, trying to be heard above Truth, but its voice dies out in the distance. Whosoever proclaims Truth loudest becomes the mark for error’s shafts. The archers aim at Truth’s mouthpiece; but a heart loyal to God is patient and strong. Justice waits, and is used to waiting; and right wins the day.

“The stake and the scaffold have never silenced the messages of the Most High. Then, can the present mode of attempting this – namely, by slanderous falsehoods and a secret mind-method, through which to effect the purposes of envy and malice – silence Truth? Never.

“Love is especially near in times of hate, and never so near as when one can be just amid lawlessness, and render good to evil.

“I thunder His law to the sinner, and fairly lighten upon the cloud of the intoxicated sense. I cannot help loathing the phenomena of drunkenness produced by Animal Magnetism. I rebuke it wherever I see it. The vision of the Revelator is before me. The wines of fornication, envy, and hatred are the distilled spirits of evil, and are the signs of these times; but I am not dismayed, and my peace returns to me.

“Error will hate more as it realizes more the presence of its tormentor. I shall fulfil my mission, fight the good fight, and keep the faith.

“For two years I have been gradually withdrawing from active membership in the Christian Scientist Association. This has developed higher energies on the part of true followers, and led to some startling departures on the other hand. ‘Offences must come, but woe to him through whom they come.’”

After the important meeting of June 27, and with the sad realization that the break was complete, Mrs. Eddy’s articles touching upon the matter took on a different tone; but, if the dissenters had expected a blasting denunciation from her through the Journal and the newspapers, they must have been greatly disappointed. She was too much hurt, and they who suffer most say the least; but in an article in the Journal of September, 1888, “Truth Versus Error,” she struck quietly and forcibly at the root of the matter, and took it up in such a manner that those who knew the trouble would realize her attitude, and the students and adherents who were trembling with an unnamed fear for the future of the Cause, would be given courage, while to the newcomer there was nothing that would disturb his mental poise. The following excerpts were full of help to wondering and fearsome thought:

“They who discern the face of the skies can not discern the mental signs of the times, and peer through the opaque error. Where my vision begins and is clear, theirs grows indistinct and ends.

“It is only a question of time when God will reveal His rod, and show the plan of battle.”

In the last paragraph, she conveys the impression that the whole matter should be treated like any other error, made nothing of and forgotten, and in speaking of it thus she shows its false foundation, but does not advertise the condition. She says:

“The late much-ado-about-nothing arose solely from mental malicious practice, and the audible falsehood, designed to stir up strife between brethren, for the purpose of placing Christian Science in the hands of aspirants for place and power. These repeated attempts of mad ambition may retard our Cause, but they can never place it in the wrong hands and hold it there, or benefit mankind by such endeavors.”

Mrs. Eddy never wrote much in criticism or condemnation of disloyal students or said much in public regarding the matter during this trying period, but she began for the first time to plant the seed thought of her individual support, as well as that of the Cause, by students. Heretofore she had borne all the burden upon her own shoulders, but the situation precipitated by this rebellion made it apparent that students and other interested persons must take up the gage of battle for her. They could write about herself, her work, and its results that which would have had the appearance of self-praise had it come from her pen.

An article written expressly for this situation appeared in the Journal of July, 1888. It was signed “A Student,” and was headed, “Abuse of Mental Healing and Teaching, Important Revelations from Behind the Scenes.” Despite its profuse style and the rather bombastic flavor which characterized it, there are some passages which strike very true and are worth quoting. They read:

“The untutored thought of the casual observer sees nothing in the views of the opposing clique which can not be equally true in orthodox Christian Science. A critical examination shows, first, that the leading lights of the opposite party have not chosen their position voluntarily. Some, weak of character to start with, are bullied into it. Others enter through fear of the centrifugal forces of mortal mind, through hate of drudgery in overcoming it, through swaggering treason, or (and these are, by far, the largest number) through the evasion of the requirements of probity and decency, and disregard of that which refines, enriches, and exalts the mind. Having faculties too meager to be bad, and not great enough to comprehend goodness, they creep about in an apologetic way.

“Sympathizers with the opposing clique, labeled with the title Christian Science, are clamoring for the removal of the moral strait-jacket, before showing any signs of moral sanity. This means lowering the standard of Christian Science to accommodate those falling from Scientific grace, and because the herd of mankind can not stand the whole truth, this prejudice, with the privilege of traducing the character of a devout and godly woman, is the basis of a ‘half-way-covenant’ where these renegades form alliances to serve personified evil.

“We shall not falter in our understanding, surrender our high standard, soften the radical statements, or conciliate the old with the new, as is the policy of the vulgar faction. Their reticence in explaining the error and danger of Animal Magnetism, and their attempt at forcing new truth through old channels, may be easier, but not honest; convenient, but not sincere.

“May the wisdom of the hour rule. Enduring the present evil hour in charity, giving indulgence to the sincere, and wishing the triumph of the good, we shall live for the largest blessing.”

In the Journal of September, 1888, page 301, the same author writes as follows:

“In the recent attempt to break up the older organization of Christian Science, one student reports that it seemed a matter of life and death ‘for me to remain in our Association.’

“In this new independence, thinking themselves free, they are blinded by that slavery which is sapping the manhood, degrading the character, and annulling the power to heal. They seem unconscious of moral wrong, and stand before the public as not acting directly in a professional capacity, but as non-partisans, of no school, and yet they themselves set up a rival school and accuse others of strife.

“There was never a more wanton perfidy in the records of human kind than this of the present day. The question is asked, How long before the enmity will extinguish, with its prevarication, the noble name of Christian Science? We answer, Never! The high and sacred character of our Cause is eternal, and such sinister efforts will surely come to naught.”

In this same issue Mr. Mason’s article, “Individual Effort,” appeared in defense of Mrs. Eddy. Its coming was looked forward to by many loyal Scientists, as it took up the conditions that were existing, but did not name them, and in some ways might be likened to a quietly sincere yet forceful telling of Mrs. Eddy’s life and work. This article was effective because it reached many young students, and instead of bringing fear and doubt, it brought peace and cheerfulness. The work that he was doing as Pastor of the Church, and his promotion to Manager of the Journal, and the desire of the opposition to take him away from Mrs. Eddy, filled him with his subject, which is the struggle for victory over the dissenters. The article is well worth reading in its entirely, and there are some choice passages that will bear quotation here and help to show how efforts were being made to hold her teachings so high that human thought could not tear them down:

“Christian Science does not praise goodness. Goodness is ours by right, by inheritance from our blessed Father. No! Christian Science does not praise goodness; but it rebukes error, for error hides from us the sense of Truth. ‘Whomsoever He loveth, He chasteneth.’ Our Pastor and Teacher is ‘all things to all men.’ She is just what we make her. Our own mental conceptions endow others with their physical personality. Consequently the evils entertained we express, and believe them sins. Evil is the subjective condition of our mind, until we conquer it ourselves. Then we are able to discern evil outside of self, and it disappears. ‘To the pure all things are pure.’

“Every nail driven into the hands and feet of Jesus represented a lie. These were furnished by his enemies. Jesus did not supply one of these lies. The human malice with which his persecutors drive the nails through our Master’s hands and feet, was furnished by themselves. They held the nails and drove them through his body, transfixing him to the cross. The cross was the hatred of the world. Jesus furnished none of the implements for his crucifixion. The deductions from this illustration are so apparent as to need no further elucidation. Let us heed the obvious lesson.

“Who but the Stranger has ransomed us from sickness, sin and death? Who has held out to us the finger of love, that we might grasp it, lest our tottering infant limbs weaken beneath the mighty load? Who has given us birth, nursed and cherished us from helpless infancy, even to the present hour, teaching us line upon line, precept upon precept? Who has stood like a guardian angel, with a hand upon our heads, beckoning, cheering, entreating and ever pointing upwards? Whose sense of love has time and again silenced the utterances of hate? Whose tears of pity have washed the feet of mankind, cleansing them from worldly contagion? Who has come a light into this world, that whosoever believeth in Truth shall not abide in darkness? Who has done all this for you and for me, but this Stranger within our gates?

“We can not extinguish this light. All we can possibly do is to deprive ourselves of it. Shall we then extinguish our only sense of the true light? Shall we strike like mad-men to break the lens that enlarges our sense of Truth and Love?

“We need to watch and be sober. The issues of the hour challenge us to greater activity, to increased vigilance, to higher Christianity. Greed rather than sacrifice, – hate, envy, spite, brute courage, Animal Magnetism, – all are fiercely fighting with weapons of falsity. The smooth-tongued Absalom usurps his Father’s throne. Divine peace covers the nest with soft feathers. None can steal away its treasures, and the gratitude and love of millions falls upon the parent bird.”

The September Journal, from which we have already quoted selections, “Truth Versus Error,” by Mrs. Eddy, excerpts from an article by a “Student,” and Mr. Mason’s “Individual Effort,” seems to have been made up largely to meet the existing condition. This number further contained a contribution from Dr. E. J. Foster, “How to Know the True Christian Scientist,” wherein he stated:

“Truly there never has been a time in the history of the world, since the utterances of the prophecy, ‘Many shall come in my name,’ when it has been so nearly fulfilled as at the present. The words ‘They shall deceive the very elect’ are again demonstrated. Because of the many, and their deceit, Christian Science is suffering severely today.

“He who is found teaching and living outside the truth, as laid down in Science and Health, can not claim to be a Christian Scientist. He who would select parts of Science and Health, and use them as his own, is but a plagiarist; and he who would teach the truths of Science and Health, and ignore its author, ‘the same is a thief and a robber.’”

In the Journal of October, an article signed by M. W. M. (Mary W. Munroe), “Who Hath Ears Let Him Hear,” brings into the open some of the remarkable transitional events of this period. She says:

“The record of Christian Science is not unlike that of other religious histories in point of experience. Annals of the past show that each decade has registered a like proportion of friends and foes of every cause, – faithful followers and pronounced traitors. Each epoch has had its leader, and each leader had a peculiar and definite outline of action for the march of spiritual progress.

“Christian Scientists, as a people, have the same experience. In our pilgrimage Zionward we encounter danger and disaster, sometimes to the point of loss, but never signal defeat. The most regrettable feature which characterizes our ranks today recalls the contest of old, with its rival strivings for mastery and greatness.

”What means the dastardly effort we behold in our midst, to falsify and vilify Mrs. Eddy’s teachings and scare the people, when abiding by these teachings will make them masters of evil in all forms, including the desire to hinder, if possible, the establishment of truth and love in purity, lest traitorous sins be uncovered and made to appear?

“Ye students who have been so fully cognizant of a wrestling which is not against flesh and blood, spoken of by Paul (Ephesians 6:12), and of which we are faithfully instructed in the modus operandi of omnipotent Truth, whereby sin is to be defeated and destroyed; heed, I beseech you this warning, lest by your decision is brought out the inevitable result as foretold in the Scripture.

“The Molten Calf is set up in our midst in the form of the ‘god of this world,’ self-aggrandizement and power, and the solemn questions are sent home to thought! What hath malicious mental practice done unto thee, that thou shouldst bring so great a sin unto this people? Why was not the first budding of impious thought at once destroyed, ere it had formulated itself into such gross proportions of misconception as to find expression in revolt?

“Some of the prime movers in this factional measure, we regret to say, have held the most sacred positions of trust and usefulness, which, through force of circumstance, have drawn towards them people of genius, wealth, and social culture. They have been privileged to drink from the spring of each new treasure of our Leader’s spiritual experience, and have worked on with her through these years of toil and struggle, up to a point of promise where she hoped for their ultimate proficiency. Yet they have deceived themselves, thereby deceiving others, and involving them in an issue of the most cruel and relentless betrayal; while of the spoils they evidently expected to establish a kingdom of their own.”




Chapter XVI

Years of Vicissitude

FOR over ten years Mrs. Eddy had now been battling almost incessantly against the persecution of her work. With the aid of her husband, Dr. Eddy, she disproved the charge brought against them, of attempting to injure, physically, Daniel H. Spofford. She passed through the rebellion in Lynn in 1881, kept her work from being destroyed, and broadened the field of her effort by coming to Boston. In 1883, she sued A. J. Arens for plagiarism, and won her case. In Boston she passed through many trying vicissitudes, the loss of her husband, the breaking away of Mrs. Choate, the apostasy of William I. Gill, and finally the trying situation that we are now considering. All of these events, combined with others, had brought to Mrs. Eddy’s name a most unpleasant notoriety. This public conspicuousness repelled some, but awakened much curiosity and impelled many to wish to see her, and thus the healing power of her teaching brought many into the ranks from far and near. Burdened with so many cares it is not surprising that she longed for a rest after all these years of constant struggle, battling with foes in every direction, handling the reins of government in her College as well as in her management of the Journal, the Associations and the Church; guiding them all through mazes of jealousy, hatred and malice, keeping them from being destroyed, and at the same time effecting the marvelous achievement of the creation and establishment of a great movement, and visioning so clearly its future needs while patiently waiting the passing of years for some of her fondest hopes to mature.

After the disappointment caused by the failure of some to attend the meeting of June 27, which had been called especially to bring about an understanding and adjustment with the dissenters, murky clouds of doubt enveloped her as to the absolute loyalty of any of her students, and, as she told my father, she did not know what action to take. However, a few days thereafter, she again put on her armor for battle, called father to see her, and asked him to find out all that he could about what her opponents were doing. They had not then taken the attitude of absolute indifference to her which they afterwards assumed, and there were those who, their temperaments being excitable, were led to disclose certain aspects of their intent. Upon his report of these things, Mrs. Eddy concluded to wait until they had developed a definite plan, that she might know better how to act; she would let all matters pertaining to her work rest for a time. The vacation season was at hand, and in the absence of many students and followers from the city, and while a sense of relaxation dominated the situation, she would be able to obtain a brief rest, mentally and physically, the first for many years.

More clearly than ever before she now saw that there were many weak places in her organizations, and when she looked over the field of battle, she noted again, as in a meeting of the Association of March, 1881, the scarcity of men. She needed and wanted men in the work, and at that time, aside from Mr. Frye, there were but five veteran, professional, male workers in Boston, – Hanover P. Smith, Frank E. Mason, Erwin L. Colman, Joseph S. Eastaman, and my father.

Mr. Smith was an efficient practitioner, and his little book of fifty-one pages, Writings and Genius of the Founder of Christian Science, showed him to be a good expositor of Christian Science, with considerable literary skill, and this little work certainly did a great deal of good. Science had been a great help to him in restoring the power of speech, but, owing to a difficulty in enunciation when excited, together with an effeminacy of manner, he was not well fitted by nature to assume the difficult tasks which at this time Mrs. Eddy had to impose upon those who could fulfil them. He was, however, a gentle, loving, and faithful student.

Of Mr. Mason I have already spoken at length. Despite all of his enthusiasm, his vigor and his aptitude for work, be was liable to be hot-headed, and while Mrs. Eddy recognized his many fine qualities, she never knew which way he would jump upon occasion.

Mr. Colman was a good man, active, kind, generous, and true to Mrs. Eddy in every way, but he was liable to say too much at times, to let his generous spirit and love for Mrs. Eddy bring about undesirable crises. Mrs. Eddy liked and trusted him because of his faithfulness, cleanness of character, and a joyous spirit which was contagious.

Captain Eastaman was much beloved by Mrs. Eddy because she found him ready always to do her bidding. He was generous when money was needed, and his faith in his Teacher was unlimited. The Captain wrote better than he spoke on account of his mixture of languages. He was of Portuguese descent, and, when warmed to his subject, he seemed to be thinking in one language and speaking in another. Mrs. Eddy found him a good practitioner, and at this time she frequently called upon him.

From these men, with the addition of my father, Mrs. Eddy selected those who could accomplish assigned tasks with sureness and dispatch, and I know that father made it his business to be ready at all times to take up any work she wished him to do.

After the clouds of confusion had cleared sufficiently to see the path, the first thing that Mrs. Eddy determined to do was to save the College from being wrecked. This branch of the work was the most important, since study was the starting point of all. While the Associations and the Church might be taken from her, the College was distinctly her own, and here she was soon planting a new ground with fresh seed. No kindred charter could be granted by the State since the Act of 1874, under which the charter had been obtained, was repealed in January, 1882. She, therefore, had an abiding hold upon it.

Mrs. Eddy was keen enough in business, even at this period to know that to build up a successful organization, such as she saw was necessary, there must be enough money to place it on a sound financial basis. She wanted to see the realization of her visions, and her prayer was that she might live to see her work firmly established so that it could go on without her. While she demonstrated strength and power with the passing of the years, she also understood that it would be easier to hasten the growth of the Cause than to lengthen her “span of life.” She was fully alive to the fact that a religious body grows more rapidly and is more respected when it has its own church edifices and a strong and effective organization, than when meeting for its services in small halls and with inadequate financial resources. She saw that she must have well fitted people in positions of responsibility, and to secure such she must find a way to remunerate them for the services they were to render.

She was keenly awake to the fact that she could make the Cause successful through her own individual efforts. Her devotion to business brought her large returns both from the College and from her books, and she determined to increase her income, not for her own personal benefit, since her wants were very simple, but to build churches and broaden the work. To secure this desideratum, at the time in question, she decided that she must increase her efforts in connection with the College. Here she could teach more classes, and the price of tuition could be raised. Those who desired to gain a knowledge of the truth from her, would gladly pay the increase, and with money thus made available, she could do much to augment the efficiency of the work in the entire field, and thus make up the deficit which she now saw staring her in the face as the result of the withdrawal of so many students. She said to father that this break meant harder work for her than ever, and regretted the fact that she was not in her youthful prime. Father, as he told me, replied, – “If you were twenty years younger you would not be doing what the truth is now enabling you to achieve.”

Her first effort was to keep her College from being taken from her either by disloyal students or by a resort to law; the next, to strengthen it in what she saw was its weakest department, that of obstetrics. She must have a competent teacher of that branch who would be able to pass all the requirements of the State as a practitioner of medicine, and she therefore called to her Dr. Ebenezer J. Foster, and appointed him the teacher in this department.

In Dr. Foster, Mrs. Eddy felt that she had found one who would be a great help, not only in this branch of the work but in other lines. He had studied with her in 1887, had been one of the party who went to Chicago with her in 1888, and she found him to be of a quiet and kindly nature. He had not pushed himself forward as an adventurer, but had come in the spirit of honest investigation and had seen the great value of the truth that she was teaching.

At this critical hour in her work, when she was most desirous of more adequate male helpers, she found in Dr. Foster, a soft-spoken and affectionate man, who willingly did what she requested of him, and there was no doubt of his genuine talent in many directions. He had given most of his time, however, to the study and practice of Medicine. On November 5, 1888, Mrs. Eddy legally adopted him as her son.

In August, Mrs. Eddy decided to take a short trip to her native State; and on Sunday, the 19th, she spoke at the Fabyan House in the White Mountains. This brief vacation gave her a change of scene, and the opportunity to evolve some plans of which she had been thinking.

As time went on and she learned of the projected plans of the dissenters, and discerned their purpose to ignore her, she realized for the first time that she must face competition in her own work. Heretofore many of those who went away had named their movement something other than Christian Science, but not so with this group of opponents, for they clung to it; in fact, they quietly and masterfully appropriated it, as was shown in the title they gave to their periodical.

A more earnest and sturdy competitor however, they could not have found than in Mrs. Eddy. She had given too much of her life and labors to allow others to rob her of the results, and she soon formulated plans which were added to during the next year, which served their purposes in a remarkable way, and which soon placed her beyond competition. In her just gain, the others lost, and lost forever.

Upon her return to Boston she, first of all, made Mr. Mason the Manager of the Journal. His good nature, hearty hand-grasp, and general show of cordiality was at this time a great asset in the work. Mrs. Eddy wished to have such helpers as went about their work cheerfully, who were ready to carry all kinds of burdens, and this was Mr. Mason’s distinctive characteristic. He had started his notes on the International Lesson Series, the first of which appeared in the Journal of July, 1888, but Mrs. Eddy soon took them in hand and gave them a spiritual touch which he could not supply.

To Mrs. Eddy the whole work must now assume an aspect no less dignified and business-like than that of other religious denominations. There must be a salesroom for its literature and public Friday evening meetings of prayer and praise. In October the new salesroom in Hotel Boylston was opened, and the Friday evening services were held there, also the meetings of the Christian Scientist Association.

The advent of the first number of The Boston Christian Scientist, January, 1889, startled Mrs. Eddy into a fresh endeavor to make the public see which of the two, the Journal, or The Boston Christian Scientist, was the true exponent of Christian Science. She determined to put her pen into direct competition with that of her opponents, and she knew that the one whose interpretation proved to be the more spiritual would be the victor. To this end an announcement was made in the Journal of February, 1889, that Mrs. Eddy would endeavor to furnish an article every month, and on page 591 of that number the following article, relative to The Boston Christian Scientist, appeared:

A Word of Warning

“The first number of a periodical published in this city and said, in its prospectus, to be ‘devoted to the interests of Christian Science,’ may have reached some of our subscribers during the last month.

“The periodical in question is understood to be issued by persons who have been expelled, for just cause, from the Christian Scientist Association, and by one or more of whom the names of subscribers to the Journal – as the list stood several months ago – are believed to have been dishonorably obtained for the purposes of the present publication.

“This periodical is appropriately published, under these circumstances, anon­ymously. The handkerchief of St. Paul conveyed healing to those who received it, but these mischievous periodicals…are the intended media of malicious animal magnetism to the homes that do not send them away.

“Return the aforesaid periodical, through the mail, to Sarah H. Crosse, 19 Berwick Park, Boston, Mass.”

The dissenters had not shunned the term Christian Scientist, but adopted it for all their work, and their periodical was excellently gotten up. It was in octavo size, with clean-cut type, practically the same as that of the Journal. The name of the editor was not given, but after the first few numbers that of Mr. Charles A. S. Troup appeared as the business manager, with the address of Box 25, Station A, Boston, Mass.

The leading article for January and the next two issues was entitled “Christian Science,” and there was a directory of healers, but the degrees they had received from Mrs. Eddy were not used.

On the inside of the cover the following appeared:

“The Boston Christian Scientist

Hopes to Be

Helpful, interesting and instructive to all Christian Scientists;

A medium for conveying to its readers truth without error;

Fully alive to all interests of Christian Science, and to labor for its promotion;

Valuable to the student of Science, to the Practitioner and to the Teacher;

A medium for the discussion of all live topics in Christian Science;

Another witness upholding the standard of Truth in the world;

Another advocate of all Righteousness and Right Living;

A follower of the saying of Jesus, ‘Resist not him that is evil;’

An exemplification of Paul’s declaration, ‘We can do nothing against the Truth but for the Truth.’”

The editorial in the first issue read as follows:

“The magazine which we offer for the first time this month is in response to a general demand for Christian Science reading. No longer is it mere curiosity, much less a hostile sentiment, that the advocates of mental healing have to deal with. While the public may not, perhaps be more enlightened now than formerly as to the principles of mental science, the phenomena are established, and thousands are laying aside their prejudice to inquire, not whether there is truth in Christian Science, but what that truth is.

“Naturally the popular interest has already called forth a considerable literature; not the less however, is there an increasing desire that those who from the beginning have accepted Christian Science, and demonstrated their understanding by healing, shall give the results of their experience and study to those who are turning now to this Science of Mind.

“We propose to publish a magazine to represent the principles of mental healing apart from all personal claims and sectarian issues, holding forth as we can the Word of Life, with peace toward men, and loyalty to our Leader, Christ. It is in his name that we unite, it is for his glory that we would be jealous.

‘Christ our Royal Master

Leads against the foe,’

but that foe is not personal. However personal the opposition and animosity that may be excited, we recognize the real hostility lies in the thought that does not subject itself to the doctrines of Christ. For Principle, then, not against individuals, our warfare shall be waged.

“Finally we humbly commend our magazine to those everywhere who are interested in this strange but growing teaching. Our idea is neither depreciation nor defense, but explanation and mutual assistance. To this end we devote our individual energies, that as we have opportunity we may diligently scatter the seeds of Truth and leave the fruits of our labors with Him who is our Master and the Lord of the Harvest.”

It will readily be seen by the foregoing editorial that nowhere can be found the smallest suggestion that the students who had withdrawn had made a break with Mrs. Eddy. She is utterly ignored, and their magazine takes upon itself the burden of being the fountain of true Christian Science teaching. It will be observed also that Mrs. Eddy was to meet, really for the first time, foemen worthy of her steel, and if she could vanquish them the stability of the Cause would be greatly increased in the public estimate.

While those students who were still faithful to her, but who had more of the letter than the spirit, metaphorically, snapped their fingers at the publication, and figured that by simply classing it as an error it would soon disappear, Mrs. Eddy did not so judge, but prepared to meet this subtle attack by making her own Journal more effective and appealing in its contents.

Those who had previously gone from her had usually taken their troubles to the newspapers, or had assailed her through pamphlets or books. This kind of frontal attack was easy to meet, because they usually admitted that they had given up Science for something which they called better, and were attacking her teachings from the point of view of their new belief. These present opponents, however, were making no visible or audible attack; they had not, from their viewpoint, given up Science, but were living it and propagating it.

In Richard Kennedy and Edward Arens, who revolted in Lynn, and Luther M. Marston, Wm. I. Gill, Mrs. Gesterfeld and Joseph Adams, she had single foes to battle with. None of these had the mental or the financial strength, however, to make a long-continued fight, and their attacks upon her usually showed to the most casual observer that rank jealousy accounted for the bitterness of their assault; but for nearly forty per cent of the members of her Church to leave en masse, hold to their designation as Christian Scientists, and continue to practice enthusiastically a teaching which Mrs. Eddy called her own, was an occurrence which the public could not so easily explain.

The character and quality of those who had hitherto separated themselves or been separated from the Movement is indicated in the following description quoted from the Chicago Tribune’s account of the first National Convention of Metaphysicians, of which Luther M. Marston was one of the leading members. It is introduced here as a matter of interesting record:

“An audience of about 150 people, one-fifth of whom would attract attention on the street by their peculiar appearance, assembled in the old Church of the Redeemer at the corner of Sangamon Street and Washington Boulevard, last evening. The occasion of the meeting was the opening of the First National Convention of Mental Scientists of the United States. The Chair introduced a Dr. Marston of Boston. The latter was a man with an immense amount of black whiskers and very little voice, but he managed to make it clear that he didn’t know anything about the Committee on Credentials. Mr. Swartz then read the call for the meeting, inviting all teachers, healers and friends of mental cure to come together and talk their creeds over regardless of minor differences of opinion. After the speaker had worked in an advertisement for a neighboring ice-cream saloon, the choir sang a song, and a collection was promptly taken up. Again Mr. Swartz took the floor to deliver an address of welcome, which he premised by saying that he would not indulge in metaphysical discussion, and then wandered off into an hour’s talk on that very topic. The convention will hold two sessions each day of this week, with an extra one Sunday, and a social and literary entertainment Friday night.”

The Boston Christian Scientist in its dress, its reading matter, and its management, assumed a dignified place among periodicals dealing with metaphysics, and Mrs. Eddy realized, as did perhaps none others, that such an excellent showing made it the more dangerous. Underneath the fine appearance and conduct of the magazine, however, there must have lurked a fear of failure, even in the breast of the most optimistic in their ranks, and this because they well knew how Mrs. Eddy was revered and loved by the unnumbered beneficiaries of her healing work, and how resourceful she was in her devotion to the Cause.

In answer to the question, By what means did Mrs. Eddy win against these conditions? It may be said, – Had those who remained loyal to Mrs. Eddy been able to see through a rift in the clouds at the time of her return from Chicago, they would not have found reason for the worry and fear and doubt through which they passed until they felt that the Cause was again firmly on its feet. When Mrs. Eddy suddenly reversed her decision and decided to attend the Convention in Chicago, there was a complete upset of the most cherished plans of the dissenters, although such was not apparent at the time. They had taken her at her word when she announced in the May Journal that she would not attend, and little did they reckon on her call to do battle. Mrs. Eddy knew that her presence in Chicago would draw to the Convention a greater number than would otherwise come, and she realized also that the golden opportunity was ready in which to make her stand for the leadership that rightly belonged to her, and this led her to send out the following far-reaching cry:

“Christian Scientists: For Christ’s sake and for humanity’s sake gather together, meet en masse, at the annual session of the National Christian Scientist 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 the eternal light is bigger than the shadow, and will guard and guide his own.

“Firm in your allegiance to the reign of universal harmony, go to its rescue. In God’s hour the powers of earth and hell are proven powerless.

“Error is foaming, and it hisses at the ‘still, small voice of Truth,’ but it can neither silence nor disarm God’s voice. Spiritual wickedness is standing in high places; but, blind to its own fate, it will tumble into the bottomless pit.

“Christians and all true Christian Scientists, marching under whatsoever ensign, come into our ranks! Again I repeat: person is not in the question of Christian Science. Principle, instead of person, is next to our hearts, on our lips and in our lives. Our watchwords are Truth and Love; and if we abide in these, they will abound in us, and we shall be one in heart, one in motive, purpose, and pursuit. Abiding in these, not one of you can be separated from me, and the sweet sense of journeying on. ‘Doing unto others as ye would they should do unto you,’ conquers all opposition, surmounts all obstacles, and secures success. If you falter, or fail to fulfill this Golden Rule, though you should build to the heavens, you would still build on sand.

“Is it a cross to give one week’s time and expense to the Jubilee of Spirit? Then take this cross, and the crown will come with. Sending forth currents of truth, God’s methods and means of healing, and so spreading the Gospel of Love, is in itself an eternity of joy that outweighs an hour. Add one more notable offering to the Unity of Good, and so cement the bonds of Love.

“Mrs. Eddy will herself attend the convention.”

This cry reverberated over the entire country, and by its spiritual assurance, its heart-moving appeal, and its strength of command, brought a thrill of hope and love to thousands of hearts, together with a great desire to be obedient, to rush to arms in her defense. It brought also an unheeded warning to her opponents in Boston. For them it meant, “mene, mene, tekel, upharsin.”




Chapter XVII

Wandering Students

IT is well here to look back and note what had been happening elsewhere than in Boston to students who had received some instruction from Mrs. Eddy. This retrospection will help to make quite clear certain events which transpired, and reveal certain subterranean currents of thought. While the fact is unpleasant to record, the truth remains that many of these students, after leaving the College, wandered into byways which were at a tangent with her teachings, and it is well for the readers of this history to realize some of the reasons for this fact lest blame be misplaced.

It must be thoroughly understood that in the early days of her teaching she took to her bosom all those who came to her inquiringly. In the glowing anticipation of the great good that her teaching would do, and confident that all who should be touched by it would remain steadfast, she did not fully realize that the seed for future growth and harvest must be carefully selected. Further, this care could not be unhesitatingly exercised in those early days, because she was obliged to work with the people who had come to her.

At that time the larger percentage of patients and students were those who were suffering from mental troubles. Whatever recognition Christian Science received from medical practitioners was grudgingly given from the viewpoint that, while it could not heal organic diseases, it might help nervous troubles. Many students of this type, after leaving Mrs. Eddy’s classes at the close of the course, began looking into other teachings instead of holding to that which had healed them, with the result that, if they did not relapse into their former condition, they became vagrant in their thinking, in keeping with a tendency among those who have suffered from mental troubles. Although realizing the efficacy of the power that healed them, they believed that its potency ended with their recovery, and that they must seek some other mind-medicine which would act as a preventive of relapse.

There was also a “saying” that if a person of education and culture entered a class taught by Mrs. Eddy, he would soon afterwards leave her. The reason for such a view was that she soon discerned those who were sincere truth-seekers, in conspicuous contrast with those who came to her for other reasons. They who were not willing to open their minds and become as “little children,” could not perceive the absolute Science which she taught, and in this way they failed to realize the unanswerable logic of her reasoning and the truth of Christian Science. It was also thought and said by some, that the healing labor of a Scientist was limited to three years, because that had been the length of time that Jesus spent in his ministrations!

These and other fallacies, combined with the desire to investigate Theosophy, different schools of Mind-Cure, Magnetism, Spiritualism, and other beliefs, brought about a condition that darkened the thought and desire of those who were attracted, and they therefore drifted away. This turning from the one and only spiritual path of healing was chronicled the more frequently among the pupils of Mrs. Eddy’s students. In a meeting of the Christian Scientist Association, October, 1886, the Rev. Joseph Adams made the following remarks:

“Beloved Teacher and Students: I greet you to-day in the name of the blessed Christ; and in acquainting you with my experience since leaving here, I cannot report all the progress I would, but can report some. I lectured in several places on my way home, and found a great many inquirers. I find, the more I teach and demonstrate, the more I grow in Christian Science. In California, Institutes of Metaphysical Science have been started, which include the teaching of mind-cure, animal magnetism, mesmerism, spiritualism, clairvoyance and mediumship; while we, as Christian Scientists, are denounced for having our jacket too straight. It needs to be straight; for I recognize in Christian Science the truth of God, and I would like to burn it into the heart of every one, that this Science requires holiness of life, and that it has the scriptures to stand upon. In one town where I gave a parlor talk, I spoke to the elite; proprietors of the leading newspapers were present and very much interested. I went to a town in Pennsylvania where I used to preach, and during my stay was called to treat a case of sprain, and am happy to say that Truth destroyed this error very quickly.

“Upon reaching home, I found that Boston’s most noted spiritualists had come to California, and had made large inroads into my little flock; but when the true word is spoken, sensible persons, like the Prodigal Son, return home.”

These remarks illustrate, to some extent, the outside influences that were distinctly affecting the situation. They also show clearly that here was a man, evidently speaking in all earnestness of his love for Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, and with his eyes seemingly wide open to the existing wrong concepts of herself and her works, but who, in the space of a little over a year after these remarks, had come to such a difference of opinion relative to church organization that he was dismissed by the Church of Christ (Scientist) in Chicago. He at once organized an independent church, which held services in Hooley’s Theatre, and in June, 1887, began the publication of the Chicago Christian Scientist, a monthly periodical which by its vigor of expression and its logical flow of thought, made itself respected by every reader, and received commendation from Mrs. Eddy.

In Joseph Adams, Mrs. Eddy saw a large amount of good, and tried quietly and gently to hold him to her, and not let him go too far in his independence of belief. The difficulties of this situation, owing to his loyalty to Science, his earnest defense of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, and his antagonism toward the Chicago church, precipitated a most delicate situation for Mrs. Eddy to handle, especially as it was at a time when she needed a publication outside the Journal to speak for her.

That the reader may realize the injustice and ingratitude which was being poured upon Mrs. Eddy from all directions, we quote from the conclusion of a notice of the Convention, which appeared in Mind and Nature for October, 1886:

“The real friends of mental healing regret that the cause is so grievously injured by its self-appointed champions. The opportunity of obtaining a transient notoriety – we use the word advisedly, as the antipode of a name and reputation won by sterling merit – always attracts numerous self-styled ‘Professors’ and ‘Doctors,’ who proclaim themselves leaders, and undertake to enlighten the world.

“The enlightenment is oftentimes, as in the present instance, far different from the one intended. In the light expected to be thrown upon the ‘Science of Mind,’ a swollen, conscious, all-absorbing self stood revealed.”

The leaders of this convention were Mr. Swartz and Dr. Luther M. Marston. In a letter dated October 26, 1886, from Council Bluffs, Iowa, signed by J. P. F. (John P. Filbert), a student of Mrs. Eddy, there is an account of the determination of Mr. Swartz to undo all of the Christian Science missionary work that had been accomplished in that place. This letter is in the Journal of November, 1886, and reads as follows:

“Mr. Swartz, of Mental Science renown, of Chicago, is here in Omaha. I have been showing him up a little, and he has threatened to go to law with me for interfering with his work. He claims to be Mrs. Eddy’s student, and I contradict him; and caution people to call for his certificate. Yet he has succeeded in getting up a class at Malvern, Ia., in my absence, in which he gave seven lessons for $25.00, and declares he would even teach for $5.00. He follows up Christian Science. Wherever good is done, he builds on others’ foundations. He has been a great nuisance among us here. He first tried to have me work with him. I told him I could not. Then he turned on me with a venom that knew no bounds.”

The Journal states of Mr. Swartz,

“This swollen, all-absorbing self, was a spectator-beneficiary of five lessons of Mrs. Eddy’s course, which he has well improved in the character here described and which is so perfect of its kind that it carries with it a great power to deceive the inexperienced and unwary, while it becomes a natural curiosity to psychological students.”

That some deterrent might be placed upon the actions of such students as Mr. Swartz, Mrs. Eddy notified the field through the Journal of December, 1886, that “Students from the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, holding certificates not bearing on the face of them the words one year from date, are hereby notified that, until such addition is made, the certificates are invalid.”

In the Journal of April, 1887, Mrs. Eddy again took a step to clear the situation and wrote as follows:

“To whom it may concern

Only Normal Class graduates of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, having credentials signed by M. B. G. Eddy, President, are legal and recognized teachers of Christian Science Mind-healing.

“M. B. G. Eddy, President

“P.S. – The imposition on the public of unqualified teachers, has caused this rule.”

Looking backward today from the wise government of such matters which Mrs. Eddy has provided us, the reader can realize to some extent how chaotic were the conditions of these early years. There was no form of punishment that could be meted out to the offenders except to drop them from the Christian Scientist Association and to take their cards out of the Journal. But as the circulation of that periodical was not sufficient to inform the general public, this method of safeguarding its interests was not effective as will be seen later. So long as an offender held a certificate from the College, he had a large measure of help on his side, which enabled him to go into distant places and establish himself as a teacher of Christian Science.

We find a good illustration in the case of Mrs. H. P. Heathwood. Here was a woman, evidently of good character, who was teaching large classes in Christian Science, but who had never studied with Mrs. Eddy and may never have read a page from any of her published works.

In the Journal of April, 1887, the following query appears: “Is Mrs. H. P. Heathwood, at present located in Chicago, one of Mrs. Eddy’s students? She claims to be, and shows a diploma with Mrs. Eddy’s name signed to it.”

Mrs. Eddy’s answer was, “She was never a student of mine. She was a student of Arthur T. Buswell.”

In the June Journal of the same year, there is another question in regard to Mrs. Heathwood from a Mr. Walker of Leavenworth, Kan., evidently in defense of her, which states:

“I am a student of Mrs. Heathwood, who taught in Denver, Colorado. I saw her diploma, with the names of Mrs. H. P. Read and A. T. Buswell attached. She only claims that her teachers were of the Eddy School. Mrs. Heathwood is an honest and staunch expositor of Truth, as set forth by the grandest woman who has ever lived, Rev. M. B. G. Eddy.”

This case shows the possibilities of abuse to which Mrs. Eddy’s kindness and generosity were subject, and that some – perhaps many – who were not working with her, but were practicing and teaching other forms of Mind-healing, clung to the title of Christian Science. Persecution of her work through ignorance, and when it came straight from the shoulder and could be located, was easily endured or resisted, as compared with the working under false pretences, the calling and publicly advertising as Christian Science, of that which was its antipode. This was the hardest of all to meet and overcome. The quotation relative to Mrs. Heathwood shows the subtlety of this case, and there were very many of the same kind.

Here lay a great difficulty which Mrs. Eddy at that time could not surmount, – to make the public recognize in a discriminating way the difference between Christian Science as she had discovered and was teaching it, and the pseudo Christian Science which was rushing rampant over the land, especially the West.

It was imperative that she take the strongest action she could for the preservation of her work, and the issuance of new certificates, she knew, would be the most effective means. This step meant much hard labor, for it was necessary to look up the record of every student at the end of the year, and to endorse the certificates of those she believed to be loyal and to be teaching Christian Science to others as she had taught them. The task was not only an exacting one but fraught with many dangers, but this fact did not deter her for a moment, because she always acted upon what she saw was right even though she might recall her action in a very short time afterwards. Her decision to give out new certificates to Normal students gave the recipients a fresh guaranty of loyalty and authorization to teach, and put into their hands the power to prove that he who claimed to be a teacher, but who did not have a certificate, was an imposter; but the letter of Mr. Filbert, on page 114, shows that the people did not generally raise the question as to whose student a teacher was, or whether or not he was authorized to teach.

There was a term used at this time to denote the kind of teaching we are now considering, “Wild-cat.” Webster defines it as follows: “Unsound; worthless, irresponsible; unsafe; – said to have been originally applied to the notes of an insolvent bank in Michigan upon which there was the figure of a panther.”

The teaching that was then running wild throughout the country became a sordid scheme for money-making. It reached its climax about the middle of 1889, and then entered upon a steady decline, but it left behind a permeating mental miasma in every place it touched, and it has taken many years of hard work to beget a clear understanding of the difference between true and false Christian Science.

To view the situation from still another angle, let us look on page 24 of the Curriculum of Massachusetts Metaphysical College, bearing the date of 1886, which states, “The following names are taken from a list of 1,000 students taught by the President of this College.”

There is no way of telling in what month of the year this was published, but to give it even the widest latitude for our purpose, let us place it theoretically in December, and then look at the number of advertised practitioners in the Journal of that month which was 102! Figuring from the remainder of goodly number who were faithful but did not advertise, it is evident that a very considerable body of students had wandered away from her. Why, therefore, could not some shrewd, energetic, hypnotic, and executive person or persons bring these disaffected students together under one head, and with what might be considered a broader and easier platform of work (wherein the lines of demarcation between a C.S.D. and a C.S.B. should be obliterated), one upon which all could agree, – not only make money, but through this new organization, reach the goal of ambition and usurp the most prominent position in the world of Metaphysics?

In order that prophecy might be fulfilled in this new body, the leader must be a woman. Keeping this thought in mind, and the year as 1886, let us read part of an article by M. Bettie Bell in the Journal of August, 1889, which suggests events that had taken place during the period which I desire to parallel with what I have asked the reader to bear in mind in the previous paragraph.

“These false teachers hold up to view the beauties of Science and Health, claim the name of ‘Christian Science,’ and tell their victims they are taught by the author of Science and Health at her Metaphysical College, or receive this instruction from her students.

“After they have thus enticed their victims, and bound them hand and foot, they tell them that ‘There are other works of Christian Science, far surpassing Science and Health,’ and they advise that the chapter ‘Prayer and Atonement’ be left aside as ‘useless and meaningless.’ They teach Christian Science in a pious, Sunday-school way, advise and counsel, and tell their subjects they must be so ‘good and so lovely,’ but in no way do they teach Christian Science in its fundamental principle, nor how to rend the fetters of mortal sense. If we ask their students, ‘Are you taught to master animal magnetism?’ they are frightened at the word, and say they never heard of it before.

“Students go away from these instructions impressed with a deep sense of the wonderfulness of their own knowledge; they know all that is to be known, and to study Science and Health is not a matter of importance. Many practice what they call Christian Science without ever having seen a Science and Health, about which they have talked so affectionately while getting hold of their victims.”

In these extracts the writer not only hints at the manifest results of the dissension in Boston in 1888, but, as she was more conversant with an error still more widespread, of longer growth and almost as subtle, which had been expanding since 1886, especially in the middle West, she suggests most strongly the work of the woman, whom in 1889, the newspapers called the “High Priestess.” This woman, Mary H. Plunkett, inspired with mad ambition and aspiring to leadership, which she called impersonal, brought into her ranks for aid and support hundreds of persons interested in metaphysics, and scores of students of Mrs. Eddy who had held prominent places in her Church and Association, and who called her work and their work Christian Science.

She had been a student in one of Mrs. Eddy’s Primary classes, and in the Journal of October, 1887, Mrs. Eddy answered the following question asked by Bradford Sherman:

“I have this day heard a statement from Mrs. Plunkett, to the effect; that she had recently called upon you; that she had found you sick, and unable to go on with your class; that you had invited her to return to the fold; and that she refused your invitation, because she could not agree with you about teaching. I did not credit her statements, and wish to know the facts, over your own signature, that I may be able to deny these, and all such insinuations.”

Mrs. Eddy’s answer to this question was as follows:

“The woman referred to did call on me, about the first of September, and sent up my servant with her card and a bouquet of flowers. I was in good health and spirits; and the entire substance of my conversation with her was a calm and kind rebuke of any false position taken in the name of Christian Science. The substance of her talk was a timid attempt to raise herself in my estimation. After she had left me, I remarked to my clerk: ‘This call was made for the purpose of subsequently misinterpreting what I had said, and you ought to have heard our conversation.’

“Mrs. Mary H. Plunkett’s report of our interview, as stated in the above letter, is an utter falsehood throughout. Nothing of the kind was said. It is not probable that I should ask a person to assist me in teaching Christian Science whom I regarded as too unsafe to be received into my Normal Class. Past experience had taught me her character, and I regret to add, that on the evening of her call I saw no improvement in her motives and aims.

“She is reported as saying that she paid ‘three hundred dollars for her tuition at the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, and that I then required two hundred dollars more to grant her a certificate, which she refused to pay.’ These are the facts relative to our business transactions: When she entered the Primary Course, she claimed not to have the money to pay for her tuition, and asked me to take some jewelry as part payment. I declined; but discounted one third of her tuition, and she paid me just two-hundred dollars. The only money I ever receive for certificates is twenty-five cents on each annually renewed certificate. I gave her no certificate, solely because she did not improve the opportunity she had in the class of receiving my instructions; and because I learned, with sad surprise, that only God’s hand and lessons could so change her motives and morals as to make her receptive of Christian Science. My autumn term was referred to in our conversation; but I simply told her the Primary Class was postponed, to accommodate some members of the bar, who wished to enter my College, but were obliged to attend the September term of court.

“There are sometimes to be met certain adepts who compel honest people to besmirch their own pens, and to spend their time in correcting injurious falsehoods. If you converse with these masqueraders, however cautiously and kindly, they are sure to go away and belie you, and repeat (professedly) what they want people to think what you have said. This retards the cause of Christian Science. How shall we treat such defamers? If we refuse to meet them we lose a possible chance of doing good to this class of creatures. Even if we do not grant them interviews, they will improve other chances to do us evil. Charity receives many blows; but uncharitableness in ourselves is more to be feared than the blows.”

In the June Journal of the same year, Mrs. Crosse wrote under the caption, “Beware of False Teachers”:

“Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Hopkins are traveling over the land, professedly teaching Christian Science, and deluding their victims with the thought that they possess it, pure and simple. When they consider it to be for their advantage, they claim to be Rev. Mrs. Eddy’s students; but otherwise they deny her teachings, – or, worse than that, they vilify her.

To the public be it said, that their journeying is done for ducats, and not in the interest of the Cause; and the many people taught by them, in the cities and towns of the West, are mourning over a victimized condition, or else loudly proclaiming that Christian Science is a humbug.

It is said that they both belong to a theosophical society…Let our Western friends be cautious, both as to their lessons and their teachers. This statement is made for their benefit.

S. H. C.”

The facts of the case, upon which the article of M. Bettie Bell throws some light, combined with the answer of Mrs. Eddy and the statement of Mrs. Crosse, are known. In July, 1886, Mrs. Plunkett with Mrs. Hopkins began the publication of the International Magazine of Christian Science. Mrs. Plunkett was the editor and Mrs. Hopkins her assistant, and the magazine was put into circulation by the Unity Publishing Company, in which Mrs. Plunkett was a partner.

Mrs. Emma Hopkins had been for a short time the associate editor with Mrs. Eddy on the Journal, and had written some very effective editorials before she came into the friendship of Mrs. Plunkett, one of which is “Teachers and Metaphysics,” in the September number, 1885, page 112.

Their efforts were to band together all those who were interested in any brand of mental science, to advertise them as teachers and practitioners, also their books and sanitariums. These two women, with Mrs. Plunkett as the controlling thought, planned and built up a system to which they gave the same name which Mrs. Eddy had given to her discovery, – Christian Science. They organized colleges, schools and seminaries in different cities under the management and instruction of Mrs. Hopkins. These were the Hopkins Colleges of Christian Science in St. Paul, Louisville and Milwaukee, and the Hopkins Theological Seminary in Chicago, for the preparation of students for the Christian Science ministry, the “First Course” of which was devoted to “instruction in the principles and practice of Apostolic Healing; Second, Theology and Practical Ministry.”

In New York City, under Mrs. Plunkett’s direction as Principal, the “National School of Christian Science” was conducted with a large number of students.

There were no restrictions upon teaching by any of the students of these schools; and pupils who knew of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science only as a writer of five books out of a list of fifty which were suggested as dealing with the subject, went out into the field and taught what they called and what they thought was Christian Science. For the purpose of record for the future, we give a list of the books advertised in the International, as follows:

Beautiful Builders,

Mrs. E. J. Smith.

Bread Pills,

C. M. Barrows.

Condensed thoughts about C. S.,

Dr. Wm. H. Holcomb.

Christian Science (No and Yes),

Eddy.

Christian Science is not Pantheism,

C. M. Barrows.

Christian Science versus Mesmerism,

C. M. Barrows.

Divine Law of Cure,

Dr. W. F. Evans.

Esoteric Christianity,

Dr. W. F. Evans.

Mental Therapeutics,

Dr. W. F. Evans.

Essentials of Mental Healing,

Luther M. Marston.

Facts and Fictions,

Barrows.

Fifth Lesson in Christian Science,

Emma Hopkins.

Fifty Doses of Mental Medicine,

L. M. Merriman.

First Lesson in Christian Science,

Emma Hopkins.

Health on a Metaphysical Basis,

Ellen H. Sheldon.

Healing power of Thought,

Mrs. E. G. Stuart.

Leaves of Healing,

A. M. Diaz.

Mental Healing,

Mrs. C. E. Choate.

Mind in Healing,

C. A. Bartol, D.D.

Mind in Medicine, No.4,

C. A. Bartol, D.D.

People’s God

Mrs. M. B. G. Eddy.

Personified Unthinkables,

Sarah Stanley Grimke.

Practical Metaphysics,

M. G. Barrett.

Primitive Mind Cure,

Dr. W. F. Evans.

Rudiments and Rules of Divine Science,

Mrs. Eddy.

Rules for Patients,

Dorman.

Science and Health,

Mrs. M. B. G. Eddy.

Selfhood Lost in Godhood,

Miss Kate Taylor.

Scientific Possibilities of Mind Healing,

C. E. Choate.

Soul Helps for Invalids,

Mrs. Mary E. Robbins.

Sixth Lesson,

Emma Hopkins.

Spirit as a Power,

Mrs. A. M. Diaz.

Start Right, or What is Mental Cure,

Mrs. E. H. Cobb.

The Unfolding, or Mind Understood,

C. E. Choate.

True Christianity,

C. E. Choate.

The Law of Perfection,

Mrs. A. M. Diaz.

The Reason Why,

Mrs. E. H. Cobb.

The Popular Craze,

U. N. Gesterfeld.

Christian Science,

U. N. Gesterfeld.

The Nonsense of Today,

U. N. Gesterfeld.

The Sense of the Future,

U. N. Gesterfeld.

Thoughts of Healing,

Lydia Bell.

Twelve Simple Lessons in Christian Science,

Nina B. Hughes.

Unity of Good and Unreality of Evil,

M. B. G. Eddy.

Universal Mind,

Mrs. G. L. Ballard.

What is Christian Science:

U. N. Gesterfeld.

What is Mental Medicine?

U. N. Gesterfeld.

What is Christian Science?

Dorman.

What Shall Make us Whole?

Helen Bigelow Merriman.

Who Carry the Signs?

Emma Hopkins.

Beside this large list, there were books by Mrs. Plunkett which were advertised by themselves so that they would not get lost in the common crowd.

All of the Colleges and seminaries under the system laid out by Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Hopkins had their associations of students with regular times for meeting, and also a stated hour for mental work, which was called the “Hour of Unison” – 8-9 a.m.

Among the co-workers with Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Hopkins in 1889, we find the names of students of Mrs. Eddy who had been closely in touch with her, – Luther M. Marston, Rev. Joseph Adams, Ursula N. Gesterfeld, Arthur True Buswell, Mr. and Mrs. Choate, Daniel H. Spofford, Albert B. Dorman, J. M. C. Murphy, and others. Among those who had been strong adherents but not students of Mrs. Eddy, but were now allied with Mrs. Plunkett, was C. M. Barrows. This writer had a clear and forcible style, and had most efficiently answered the attacks of Rev. A. J. Gordon, in his article “Christian Science Is Not Pantheism,” which Mrs. Eddy requested him to publish (1885). He was also the author of “Bread Pills, A Study in Mind Cure.” In 1887, he revised and edited Luther M. Marston’s Essentials of Mental Healing, and from that time gave up his allegiance to Mrs. Eddy.

In different cities Rest Rooms were organized, and a notice of the one in Boston reads as follows:

“The spirit of brotherly love is just now manifesting itself in Bureaus of Mental Helpfulness, and Boston joyfully sends greetings to her sister cities with the announcement that she too extends the warm hand of fellowship and assistance.

“Lovers of Wisdom’s ways are cordially invited to visit this Information and Aid Bureau, where they may rest, read and write letters, meet friends, secure board and rooms by letter in advance, if desired, find employer or employee, and cast off the dust and error of the world, either with aqua pura, or the living waters of Truth.

“The committee have happily secured delightful quarters, centrally located opposite the Common, and accessible by horsecars, from any part of the city and all railroad stations.

“These rooms are at 53 Boylston St. up one flight by elevator; furnished gratuitously by the Mental Healing Publishing Co.

“J. G. Fales will be in constant attendance from 8.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Sunday excepted), and one of the ladies of the committee will be present certain hours each day for consultation and assistance. This enterprise is in every sense a labor of love – being ‘without money and without price.’

“No compensation for services rendered is asked or expected, but aid will be gratefully received from those who esteem it a privilege to give of their abundance toward carrying forward this work in Boston.

“It will be the constant purpose and effort to furnish a haven of rest and harmony, and at the same time fulfill the command, ‘Bear ye one another’s burdens.’

M. S. D. (July 1888).”

The International Magazine of Christian Science was a most excellently gotten up periodical, of the very best paper and typography, octavo in size, and volume 3, its most representative year, contained 455 pages of reading matter against 624 of the Christian Science Journal. In this year it took over the Messenger of Truth, edited and published by Albert B. Dorman, C.S.B., Worcester, Mass., with a list of 1500 subscribers, and the Mental Healing Monthly of Luther M. Marston, Boston, with 1800.

The Cover of the International read as follows:

The International Magazine of Christian Science

New York, 13 W. 42nd St.; Chicago, McVickers Building; Boston, 53 Boylston St.; St. Louis, 2205 Olive; Philadelphia, 1325 Spruce; San Francisco, 6 Turk; St. Paul, 580 St. Peter St.; Louisville, 632 ½ Fourth Ave.; Dayton, Ohio, 108 N. Ludlow; Milwaukee, 136 Martin; London Engl, George Redway, Covent Garden; Paris, France, Brentano’s, 17, de l’Opéra; Montreal, John Lowell & Son. 20 cts. $2.00 per year.

Publishers Department.

The International Magazine of Christian Science will be published the first of each month.

Official Organ of the International Christian Science Association.

The intention and objects of the Publishers are:

First–

To teach the power of Mind.

To teach that true religion and Christian Science are identical.

To teach that true religion and health are synonymous.

To prove that Science understood will comfort and satisfy the people, bringing to them all the true desires of their hearts.

Second– To impress on the minds of the people the mighty truths of Christian Science, and the immediate importance of disseminating these truths and applying them in the minutest detail of everyday life.
Third– To have a strictly Christian Science Magazine which will not overlook or cast aside people who are struggling into mental methods, even though they have not yet reached their highest possibilities.
Fourth– To extend a hand of help to the weary practitioner, who is vainly striving to walk in the almost unbeaten paths of the new Science, but who falters and falls because of insufficient knowledge or blind guides.
Fifth– To seek out those who have given up the struggle to solve life’s problems by the old rules – those who have been stricken down and left for dead on the old battlefields.
Sixth– To present a review of the current news concerning the progress of Christian Science.

Only those articles that bear the unmistakable stamp of broad charity, or far-reaching love of divine Truth, will appear in our pages, no word being devoted to the consideration of error or error’s ways. It is our mission to try to show the light to longing multitudes, not to grope about blindly in the old, dark alleys of materialism and falsehood. The pros of Christian Science in its purest aspects will be given consideration, but there will never be space for the cons. Every article, no matter how simple to the inexperienced will carry healing potency in its loving words. And this because no harmful interpolation of the untrue, the false, will be given opportunity to raise its voice to the undoing of the good already accomplished.

Intellect argues; Spirit perceives. There will be no effort at literary style or merit. There is already plenty of highly decorated literature in the market for those who look for surface beauty, but unhappily they are likely to lay such reading down at last with a sign of weariness for its vanity and unsatisfying emptiness.

Purely Christian Science articles are by leading Scientists. Such questions as may be addressed in the spirit of earnest inquiry will be answered briefly.

Mary H. Plunkett,

Editor Unity Publishing Co.

On the first page of the July number of 1888, there is the following: “Christian Science is the science of spirit. The science of spirit is the essence of all religions and philosophies. Spirit is causation, hence back of all the arts and sciences, there is Christian Science, the science of the sciences.”

In the 455 pages of volume 3, Mrs. Eddy’s name appears four times, in what might be called a conversational manner, and the following is the nearest of all to a notice of her great labors; “Mrs. H. the lady who had the case had been reading Mrs. Eddy’s book and applying its teachings as best she could for year.” (March 1889, p.332) Nothing that came before or afterward gave any credit to Mrs. Eddy.

The International Christian Science Association prepared and published a series of “International Bible Lessons, Spiritually Interpreted,” and the following extract gives an idea of their design and make-up:

“The book of Exodus contains forty chapters. So named because it contains an account of the exodus, going out or departure of the tribes of Israel from Mind (Egypt) into Spirit, the promised land, or from embryonic growth into birth.

The first chapters are like twenty-four elders, i.e., the twelve statements of being, masculine and feminine taken twice over, first the twelve masculine and then the twelve feminine.

These statements are as follows in order:

1 Principle 7 Love
2 Soul 8 Substance
3 Mind 9 Intelligence
4 Spirit 10 Omnipresence
5 Life 11 Omniscience
6 Truth 12 Omnipotence.”

There followed an analysis and a summing up of the lesson-subject, and this will suggest the aim and general character of these “International Bible Lessons, Spiritually Interpreted.”

Many visitors to our Christian Science churches, as well as many just becoming interested in the teaching, have wondered at, and sometimes complained about the frequent repetition by the First Reader of the title of our Textbook, Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy. To many it has seemed advertisingly intrusive, and an exhibition of bad taste. And when they may have learned that Mrs. Eddy requested this, they have sometimes expressed their objection more vigorously, but that there was a definite reason for her demand, one that was logical and best for the Cause, will be conceded when certain conditions are known.

During the years from 1885 onward, students who had left Mrs. Eddy, began writing pamphlets and books on what they called Christian Science. To some of these teachers there was more profit and glory in selling and using their own books than in recommending Science and Health. Again, with their drift away from Mrs. Eddy, they found it increasingly difficult to teach pure Science. Hence they used and suggested books that were the easiest for their students to understand, books that represented in most cases their own last surge of thought, for they had reached the stage of complete saturation, and only by being born anew could a mentally chemical change take place which would bring about a clearer knowledge of the spiritual. Among the pupils of these students Mrs. Eddy’s writing were not freely circulated, and she was known as a writer, rather than a teacher. Not one out of five recognized her as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, or as the Leader of the movement. The reader must remember that in 1886 and 1887 there was but one Christian Scientist church organization, that in Boston, though one thousand students had been taught by Mrs. Eddy.

Now if we look back at the list of books offered on the subject of Metaphysics, as taken from the International, we will see that Mrs. Eddy nowhere stands out prominently as an author, only three publications by her being referred to. In the columns of the International, during its three years of popularity, teachers were highly praised for their work, by their students and patients, and by the editors, but there was not a word relative to the labors of Mrs. Eddy. Mrs. Hopkins with her classes in many different places, with her colleges in St. Paul, Louisville, Milwaukee, and her Theological Seminary in Chicago, was looked up to, and was far better known than the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

The following, taken from the August number of the International, discloses a significant estimate and point of view.

“The International has come, and I have devoured it voraciously. It is simply glorious this month, a feast that makes my spiritual mouth water, as we said as children. Mrs. Hopkins’ article is exactly to my notion. I am denying this arrogant, foolish personality, and affirming with an abiding faith that God is my personality, that I am nothing in and of self, that God is myself. And lo! I seem to be finding the Kingdom of Righteousness after much groping and stumbling, and after much tribulation. I find I have only to empty out, and into the secret place of the Most High will flow that which gives peace and motive for action.”

Such students as these were being taught what was told them was Christian Science, and they were going out into the world and teaching others, and this was the endless chain of misrepresentation which needed to be broken. Practically all of the writers on the subject of mental healing were drawing directly from Mrs. Eddy’s works, or paraphrasing her statements, and thousands were reading, being treated and taught, who afterwards realized that something was not true in what they had been given, or else in a reaction of disgust they turned bitterly against anything that was called Christian Science. To safeguard not only her own writings but the whole foundation of Science, it thus became necessary that when quotations were made from her writings, the work and her name should be given. This was like throwing a bomb into the camp of the enemy; for to the honest seeker and wanderer, the proper placement of quotations and the spiritual exposition of them in our Christian Science churches made many hopeless seekers for the real truth pause and think, and gave them a new impulsion to search through thickets and swamps of mortal sense, if they might trace out, ’mid the many blind ways of thought’s confusion, the path that led to Divine Science, the fountain of Truth.

How to eliminate this constantly up-springing error was a grave question. Mrs. Eddy’s powerful strokes at its roots weakened it to some extent, but the difficulties to the overcome were always discouragingly abundant. Students of particularly valuable gifts whom Mrs. Eddy desired to have with her, were oftentimes waylaid and fed upon stories that she had criticized them and spoken ill of their work, while the International Christian Science Association and its magazine were ever in the background, holding out hospitable arms of welcome. To break apart this whole structure, to shatter it at one great stroke as though a blast of divine justice had struck it, was the one need of the time; and lo! that blast came; the structure toppled and fell with a crash almost in the twinkling of an eye.




Chapter XVIII

The Career of Mrs. Plunkett

On February 15, 1889, Mrs. Eddy delivered a lecture in Steinway Hall, New York City, and at the close of her address, Mrs. Plunkett pressed through the crowd that was surrounding her, took her hand, and kissed her on the cheek.

To know the exact psychological meaning of this action, and its relation to that month and year would be of great interest. Was it the quick flaming-up of an old love for her teacher who had warned her of hidden perils? Had Mrs. Eddy’s presence and words shown her that those perils were unexpectedly near? Did she feel that she must have help, and no one but Mrs. Eddy could give it? Or was it done for display and advertisement: To show before the public at that time, when at the zenith of success, that by paying homage to Mrs. Eddy she was admitting that her teacher was greater than herself, would have practically spelt ruin to the business which she had built up around her personality. Did she want to associate herself with Mrs. Eddy in such a way that, when perils came, the whole blame would not fall on her, but upon Mrs. Eddy’s teachings? Yet other questions might be put to be left unanswered; but the fact remains that for some reason Mrs. Plunkett paid tribute to Mrs. Eddy with a kiss, and whether it was impelled by a torture of suffering or was the kiss of a Judas may never be known. In less than two months, however, April 3, 1889, the following appeared in the International:

Special Notice

“We, the undersigned, having dedicated our lives to the service of the Good, and determined to speak, act and live in accordance with it, do declare both to you who faithfully serve, and to you who earnestly seek the truth as follows:

For many years we have recognized that the affection between us was purely fraternal, and we have lived and worked together as friends. Having feared the result of its publication and the possibility our own example proving dangerous to others, we have hitherto concealed this fact. We have now gained riper wisdom; we know with deep and glad certainty that Truth always and everywhere proves a blessing, not a curse; we know that our action, far from being a stumbling block, will only aid the many who are striving to solve the same problem. We, therefore, from the most profound conviction of duty, do jointly declare our marriage contract null and void in so far as it lies in our power to render it so. In this candidly taking this stand before humanity, whom we love and strive to serve, we experience that ‘peace which passeth understanding,’ which the world and the opinion of the world cannot give or disturb. The Truth has made us free!”

John J. T. Plunkett,

Mary H. Plunkett.

New York, April 3, 1889.

In the Internationals of May, June, July, August, and September, of this same year, there were long articles entitled, “Marriage and Divorce,” which were issued as a defense of the severance of the marriage bond between Mr. and Mrs. Plunkett. This act of mutual separation did not greatly shock the adherents of Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Hopkins, for there were those who took it as a spiritual result of holy sacrifice, engendered by spiritual and prophetic vision.

In the International of June of this year, there appeared a “Special Notice” which read:

“Since our forms were made up, a matter of vital gravity relative to the Science has come before the public. It is too late for us to notice it this month, but the July number will contain a full account. Meanwhile let us be slow in judgment, remembering that all great discoveries and reforms were first, a private opinion; second, a little group of believers; third, a target for misrepresentation and abuse; and lastly a fact accomplished. Wait!”

In the July International appeared a startling denouement under the title of “A Statement,” signed by A. Bentley Worthington and Mrs. Mary Bentley Worthington. Without the formality of a legal divorce, Mrs. Plunkett had taken a spiritual husband, and assumed the name of Worthington.

A. Bentley Worthington had been a clerk in the employ of Mrs. Plunkett, and had charge of the financial affairs of her school and the magazine. In her statement to the World and Sun, of New York City, dated July 28, 1889, she stated, “When Mr. Worthington came into my presence I knew instantly that he was my conjugal mate.”

The International for July, 1889, contains fourteen-and-one-half pages devoted to a defense of her spiritual marriage. From beginning to end of this statement there are sprinkled quotations from Science and Health. The article reads as follows:

“Marriage is the only legal and moral provision for generation among human kind. Until the spiritual creation is discerned, and the union of male and female apprehended as in the vision of the Apocalypse, – where its spiritual sense was revealed from Heaven, – this union should continue, under such moral regulations as will secure increasing virtue.”

“The nuptial vow should never be annulled, so long as its moral obligations are kept intact; but the frequency of divorce shows the sacredness of this relation to be losing its strength, and that most fatal mistakes are undermining its foundations.”

“Union of the masculine and feminine qualities seems requisite for completeness. The masculine mind reaches a higher tone by communion with the feminine, while the feminine mind gains courage and strength by communion with the masculine. These different individualities meet and need each other, and their true harmony is in spiritual oneness.”

“Law establishes very unfair differences between the rights of the two sexes. Christian Science furnishes no precedent for such injustice.”

“Infidelity to the marriage covenant is the social scourge of all races.”

“Separation never should take place; and it never would, if the husband and wife were Christian Scientists. Science inevitably lifts one’s being higher in the scale of harmony and happiness.”

“Beholding the world’s lack of Christianity, and the powerlessness of vows to make good husbands and wives, the human will at length demand a higher affection. There will ensue a fermentation over this, as over many other reforms, until we get at last the clear straining of Truth, and impurity and error are left among the lees. The fermentation even of fluids, is not pleasant. An unsettled, transitional stage is never desirable on its own account. Matrimony, which was once a fixed fact among us, must lose its present slippery footing, and find permanence in a more spiritual adherence.”

“The mental chemicalization, which has brought conjugal infidelity to the surface, will assuredly throw off this evil, and marriage will become purer when the scum is gone.”

Computing backward one year from the time of this denouement, the International had spoken of Mrs. Eddy, in its 455 pages of reading matter, but four times, and in the most casual manner. Now, however, Mrs. Plunkett – or Worthington, as she preferred to be called, who, as editor, had never mentioned Mrs. Eddy’s name, writes as follows:

Statement. – “The press, because of its slight knowledge of Christian Science, has persistently spoken of me as its “High Priestess.’ This is entirely unwarrantable and untrue. I am only an earnest and grateful student. Mary B. G. Eddy was my teacher, and the teacher either directly or indirectly of all who are teaching pure Christian Science. Her book, Science and Health, now in its fortieth edition, is the most important book in the world to-day, outside the Holy Scriptures; in fact its statements are Holy Scriptures revealed. While she may sometimes have seemed severe, with some of us, I am convinced that but for her determined and oft-repeated warnings, many, and I am not sure but all of us, because of our belief in materiality, would have fallen back into mind-cure healing, instead of rising to the purely spiritual. I am only one of the many thousands who silently thank God every day for the truth revealed through Mary Baker Eddy.”

The publication of the spiritual divorce of Mr. and Mrs. Plunkett caused great consternation among the loyal students, who took special umbrage over their interpretation of the last sentence of the “Notice,” as though the laws of the land could be set aside by merely saying, “The Truth has made us free!” But, before going any farther, let us look over the field and note the synchronism of events at this time, April to July, 1889, that we may realize what the Leader and her flock were subject to and battling against.

  1. The Church and the Christian Scientist Association were slowly recovering from the blows struck by the seceders the previous June; the battle for the books of the Secretary was still on; and the funds of the Association tied up.

  2. Dispensary work was being definitely organized.

  3. Preparations were being made for the annual meeting of the National Association in June.

  4. The pros and cons of Church organization were being discussed, also

  5. Letters of dismission from other churches.

  6. The ordination of Pastors was being considered.

  7. There was a great scarcity of men for special work, and meantime

  8. Gesterfeld and Adams were asserting themselves against the movement.

Mrs. Eddy was on the point of sending father to various places to see and warn her loyal students to protect their patients and pupils against the subtle suggestions of this interpretation of divorce, and to take means to protect her teachings from the attacks that she knew such a false and free translation would bring against anything labeled Christian Science. As there was so much labor connected with the reconstruction of the Church, of the Associations, and the College, also with the annual meeting of the National Association which was impending, she decided to give answer, through the Journal, to the public notice issued by Mr. and Mrs. Plunkett, and this brought forth her article, “Conjugal Rights,” in the June issue of 1889. The article is too long to be inserted here, but the first two paragraphs strike at the root of the matter:

“It was about the year 1875 when Science and Health first crossed swords with free-love and the latter fell hors de combat. But the warfare was not ended; the book that cast the first stone is still at work deeply down in human consciousness, laying the axe at the root of error.

We have taken the precaution of writing briefly on the above topic, to show the relation of marriage to Christian Science. In the present or future some extra throe of error, ready for copyright, may conjure up a new-style conjugality, which, ad libitum, severs the marriage covenant, puts virtue in the shambles, and coolly notifies the public of broken vows. Springing up from the ashes of free-love, this nondescript phoenix, in the face and eyes of common law, common sense, and common honesty, may appear in the role of a superfine morality, but having no truth it will have no past, present or future.”

Mrs. Eddy had in some way learned that Mrs. Plunkett was to take to herself a spiritual husband. This action was not a matter of great secrecy, for Mrs. Plunkett in her statement wrote that when she and her spiritual affinity found that they must be as one, she called her chief workers together in her office, and, in the presence of Mr. Plunkett, told them all. While Mr. and Mrs. Plunkett were spiritually separated or divorced at this time, he evidently did not like the outlook, but made no objection, except to ask them to think it over carefully, and afterwards to kindly request her to send away from her the man to whom she desired to attach herself. This she did. But in a short time afterwards Mr. Plunkett relented, and told her that she and A. Bentley Worthington should not be separated and to call him back, which she did, and then came the spiritual marriage.

Mrs. Worthington’s “Statement,” which contains her spiritual confession, did not appear until the issue of the July International, but she undoubtedly saw Mrs. Eddy’s “Conjugal Rights,” in the June Journal, and knew that it was aimed at her, and it may be that to obtain revenge she embodied in her “Statement” the numerous quotations from Science and Health, and her tribute, if it can be called so, to her teacher. If so, she certainly gave Mrs. Eddy and her faithful students another heavy load to bear and another battle to fight against the thought of “free-love.”

Following Mrs. Plunkett’s “Statement,” which is her confession of her spiritual marriage, are five pages filled with letters from students and readers who sympathize with her attitude, and who call her “brave,” a “spiritual heroine,” a “spiritual martyr,” and many kindred epithets; and in the September issue is a consoling and appropriate set of verses entitled, “The Soul Shall Know Its Mate.”

If Mrs. (Plunkett) Worthington intended to strike back at Mrs. Eddy on account of “Conjugal Rights,” Mrs. Eddy was to have the last laugh, for in July came the terrible awakening that A. Bentley Worthington had been a thief, that he was a married man with a child, and investigators said that he had several living wives besides the one with the child, and was therefore a bigamist. It seems that Worthington, or whatever his name may have been, had taken money from an employer about twenty-five years previous, and had sought refuge in flight. When the past caught up with him, he went to another town or city, and so on until he landed in the office of the International. When Mrs. Plunkett learned the facts she sent him away, and then wrote, “Mr. Worthington and I stand absolutely alone in the world today with our degree, with the demonstration of true conjugal marriage.”

The newspapers of New York, after making some investigation, suggested that Worthington was probably not his right name; but she wrote in answer that it made no difference to her, “Mary Bentley Worthington is the name I have taken, and I shall carry it as long as I live.”

The series of events which Mrs. Plunkett had precipitated was too much for even such an aspiring and adventurous nature, and she was crippled in every way, in character and in finances. Mrs. Hopkins, her chief of staff, had taken fright soon after the announcement was made of the spiritual divorce. Condemnation was heard everywhere, and the revelation of the character of A. Bentley Worthington was the last straw. In August, Mrs. Plunkett stood amidst the shattered ruins of her edifice with but two hundred dollars and a part ownership in the International, to her name.

Without Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Hopkins the International Christian Science Association and The International Magazine of Christian Science could not proceed, and in October of 1889 they came to an end. Thus disappeared the false, and the true reigned supreme.

Through these troublous years, we find in very many of Mrs. Eddy’s articles such phrases as “Error is stalking through the land.” In her article, “Things to be Thought Of,” she gave a cry of warning as follows:

“The Science is hampered by immature demonstrations, by the infancy of its discovery, by incorrect teaching, and especially by some unprincipled claimants, whose mad ambition drives them to appropriate my ideas and discovery, with credit, appreciation, or a single original conception, while they quote from other authors every random thought in line with mine.

“This dishonesty – yea, fraud – is conspicuous in the verbose lectures of Mrs. Emma Hopkins. She adopts my ethics, or talks them freely, while departing from them. Her injustice to her Teacher and benefactor, to one who tenderly rescued her from unnamable conditions, and then, to spare vanity a blow, receipted in full the bill for her tuition, without ever receiving a cent, – this ingratitude is startling to those who know it all.

“My noble students, who are loyal to their Teacher, loyal to Christ and human obligations, will not be disheartened in the midst of this seething sea of sin.”

In the Journal of March, 1888, under “Unchristian Rumor,” Mrs. Eddy writes:

“The spirit of lies is abroad. Because Truth has spoken aloud, error, running to and fro in the earth, is screaming, to make herself heard above Truth’s voice…Our worst enemies are the best friends to our growth. Charity students, for whom I have sacrificed the most time, – those whose chief aim is to injure me, have caused me to exercise most patience.”

In the same number, under the heading of “Christian Science Literature,” Mrs. Eddy wrote:

“They (Christian Scientists) should take our magazine, work for it and read it. They should eschew all magazines and books which are less than the best. ‘Choose this day whom ye will serve.’ My students should get the cobwebs out of their minds, which spurious compounds engender.”

In the Journal of August, 1888, the following is found in “Consistency, Thou Art a Jewel”:

“I shall not forget the cost of investigating, for this age, the methods and power of error. The way, means, and potency of Truth flowed into my consciousness as easily as the morning light breaketh and the shadows flee; but the metaphysical mystery of error – its hidden paths, purpose and fruits – defied me. I was saying all the time, ‘Come not thou into the secret!’ I yielded at length to what I understood was God’s command, and continued the research, which will crush the serpent’s head, while it is biting her heel.”

In the May Journal of 1888, Mrs. Eddy wrote, under the title “Bogus Christian Science and Colleges”:

“I recommend Christian Scientists, as law-abiding people, not to use the legal arm, or to coerce those calling themselves Christian Scientists, who advertise colleges and universities contrary to State statutes, and even infringe the title of my legally established Metaphysical College. ‘Put up thy sword,’ loyal Scientist! Forbear to enforce the law against these incorporated institutes. They must circulate some of the truths contained in my books, or they could have no foundations. Let them ‘fill up the measure of their iniquity.’ Then, when the harvest is ripe, God will separate the chaff from the wheat, and consume error on its own altars, in its own flames.”

The foregoing quotations are enough to disclose the many difficult and seemingly unsurmountable situations which surrounded Christian Science in these years of well-nigh continuous strife. There are many more passionately longing calls in the earlier writings of Mrs. Eddy, which deal with the various phases of error that were trying to strangle the truth, but the examples quoted are enough to show that whenever such statements appear, it must be remembered that there was always an imperative reason for them. Most of the books and pamphlets on metaphysics which were the outcome of Mrs. Eddy’s disloyal students, the attacks and the sermons against her and her work, are no longer in circulation, and the few that are left are growing dim in the sight of the world. The International Christian Science Association and its magazine, the Boston Christian Scientist, and the movements behind them, have all gone, and are forgotten except by the few now left who were living then and definitely in the conflict; and in less than a generation all the wonderful events of the bitter struggle for Truth will have sunk into the background so far that the details will no longer be distinguishable. These cries for help, however, with cries of encouragement and warning, will live in literature, and the Christian Scientists of the future will wonder as to the why and wherefore of such language.

Because the Cause has grown and prospered and is doing its work, it must have had for its foundations indestructible truth; therefore, there could have been no such thing as failure or fear, and it could not be destroyed, therefore why so much extraordinary language and denunciation. Some analytical writer of the future, basing evidence upon the impulses, intuitions, and certain parts of the writings of genius, may seize upon such cries, and figure out the same fallacious basis, as did Miss Milmine; that they were the cries of a nervous, fearful and high-strung temperament, one obsessed with one subject to such an extent that there were hallucinations growing out of the fear that some one would steal her writings, her friends and students; and that she gave way when in this condition to these thoughts and put them in print.

In another decade probably all, or nearly all, of the known causes will have sunk into oblivion, and a cunning and subtle analyst, evilly disposed, will be able to make a very good argument; but when any reader of his pages notes such statements, let him keep in mind what I have attempted to make clear. Without knowing these conditions, many events in Mrs. Eddy’s life, many of her actions, and much that she has written on this matter will be of little interest, and be a sealed book to the casual student, for he will believe that she was fearful of many imaginary things, because he will not know of the surrounding elements which made for the disruption and the final destruction of the movement. These warning outcries to students, the audible griefs and outbursts of agony, the quick shifts of action that were to forestall a blow were all fully explicable. Mrs. Eddy saw from the inside; she had information of what was going on throughout the country, and unless the reader of many of her writings of that period is cognizant of the existing conditions, and can read the history from the inside, he can get no adequate idea of her wonderful powers, her clarity of vision, her genius to construct and govern on a spiritual basis, and he will gain from such passages but little of the true values, or be likely to receive an entirely false impression of her warnings and appeals for loyalty and steadfastness from the students to whom she had given health and holiness, life and joy.




Chapter XIX

Contentious Rivals

THE first number of the International, the reader will remember, was published in July, 1886, and the first of the Boston Christian Scientist, in January, 1889. The International came to its end in October, 1889. It was not until the August issue of the International that there appeared to be any affinity whatever between the two periodicals, and that only from a financial and business view-point. In this number, however, there appeared an advertisement of the Boston Christian Scientist; that it, –

“Owes no allegiance except to principle!

Recognizes Jesus Christ as the one perfect teacher!

Devotes all its energies to the promulgation of truth!

Avoids all personalities, and is the organ of no person or school!

It is endorsed by leading Scientists all over the U.S. It is published on the first day of every month, and contains twenty-four pages of reading matter. Sample copies free to any address. Friends are requested to send names of persons who many become subscribers. Published by

The Boston Christian Science Society

Box 25, Station A. Boston, Mass.”

There is very good evidence in proof that there was no admiration on the part of Mrs. Crosse and her followers for Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Hopkins. In the first place, Mrs. Crosse was of far finer make-up than either of the other two women, and those she had about her had been in closer touch with Mrs. Eddy, and were nearer to her teachings even after they had left her, than any who had gone with Mrs. Plunkett. In the lists of practitioners which appeared in the International and the Boston Christian Scientist, there are none that advertised in both. J. M. C. Murphy and Albert B. Dorman had gone over entirely to the International organizations, but some of those who followed Mrs. Crosse had never heard of the International. It is evident that Mrs. Crosse desired to keep the two periodicals just as far apart as possible. The loyal students and practitioners throughout the field knew from what Mrs. Eddy had said in print about Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Hopkins, that they were Scientists in name only, and that she must keep the Boston Christian Scientist away from their contamination.

That the International Christian Science Association had made a bid for the dissenters to come to them is evidenced by a paragraph in the International of July, 1888, which reads: “In June thirty-three members of the Christian Scientist Association of Boston resigned in a body with the intention of forming a new one on a broader platform. We suggest that the constitution of the International will be found broad enough for the most exacting; –‘God the only Life; Spirit the only Substance; Love the only Law.’”

The Boston Christian Scientist never made mention of the International in any way, but a half year of publication showed that it was not going to be a success financially, and that it meant a considerable struggle on the part of its readers and backers to keep it going. It appears that when the notice of the spiritual divorce and marriage were published, and the past of A. Bentley Worthington exposed, which was in July, the managers of the Boston Christian Scientist saw the end of the work of Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Hopkins, and felt that the time was ripe to get their business, and therefore took the space for the large advertisement in the International. It is also evident that Mrs. Crosse and those aligned with her wanted to keep themselves just as clean as possible from everything that would appear unsanctioned by Mrs. Eddy during the past. J. M. C. Murphy, one of the most radical of the revolutionists, went over to the International at the time of the secession, because he saw good business in being able to advertise, and Albert B. Dorman, C.S.B., of Worcester, who had realized to his own satisfaction that he was too big a man to be led by Mrs. Eddy, had begun the publication of the Messenger of Truth.

Dorman was a puzzling personality. He was of a soaring and ambitious nature, untrained and narrow. He had some fluency in writing, and in Worcester, where he was practicing, he acted in a dominating manner, and the thought of his own greatness made him feel that he could offer something for the good of Christian Science which Mrs. Eddy had not yet realized. The result of Luther M. Marston’s thought, that there must be a periodical dealing with Mind-Healing built upon a broader basis, brought about the publication of his Mental Healing Monthly. Prior to the issue of the first number of the International, Dorman realized that Mrs. Plunkett was attempting to gather all schools of Metaphysical belief under one banner, and he felt impelled to do the same and get there first if he could. The most effective reform, he thought, would be effected by eliminating all lines of demarcation between the titles C.S.B. and C.S.

In the October Journal of 1886, there appeared an article by Mrs. Eddy, entitled “Effects of Malicious Animal Magnetism,” in which she wrote:

“A circular is going the rounds, signed by Albert B. Dorman, soliciting subscriptions from the students of the Mass. Metaphysical College for a sheet in which they are to advertise and drop their title of degrees of C.S.B. to C.S., under the specious show of accommodating those who have taken no degree at a College, but receive their name as Christian Scientists when taught by students of the Normal Class who are in good standing with the College.

“In this very Circular he signs his own name with C.S.B. appended, and with high claims of good motives. I knew nothing of the above, until a student sent me the Circular.”

Just how matters stood between Mrs. Eddy and Albert B. Dorman is not apparent, for in the Journal his card still remained as a practitioner. From surface indications it seemed evident that he changed his intentions and went through a Normal Class with Mrs. Eddy, for, in the Journal of the following February (1887), his title shows a change from C.S.B. to C.S.D., and he is advertised as Principal of the Worcester Metaphysical Institute. This card remained in the Journal until February, 1888, and then disappeared. In the Journal of June, 1888, he is rebuked by T. M. Donehue, C.S.B., of Denver, Col., for a wrong interpretation of Christian Science, which he had written in his Messenger of Truth, and his name was found among the seceders of June 6. In July of this year (1888) his Messenger of Truth was merged with the International.

It seemed to be the effort of those who followed the leadership of Mrs. Crosse, to differentiate themselves as much as possible from the followers of Marston, Dorman, Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Hopkins, for these last had been too long off color, and would bring an undesirable element to the support of the standard which they wished Mrs. Eddy’s students and adherents to regard as their ideal.

Marston, who was firmly attached to the International, and had published his book, Essentials of Mental Healing, in 1886, had organized a church in Boston, which met in his offices at 130 Chandler Street, Boston. In his book he speaks nowhere of Mrs. Eddy, but in the advertisement of his Boston College of Metaphysical Science, incorporated November, 1886, he put the following in a conspicuous place:

Normal Graduate of Massachusetts Metaphysical College

In the Journal of June, 1887, in her article, “Mind Healing History,” Mrs. Eddy wrote:

“…this ingratitude, even that of a child who hates his mother, and this (show of) gratitude, should be a lesson to that suckling littérature of Mr. Marston, whom I taught, and whose life I saved three years ago, but who now squeaks out an echo of Mr. Dresser’s abuse.”

The first appearance of Mr. Marston’s book was anything but literary, and in 1887 it was revised by C. M. Barrows and put into better English. Marston’s large and attractive advertisements of his book and College in the International evidently bore fruit, and he was able to organize quite a band of worshippers in Boston. At the time of the secession in June, he and other workers of the International Christian Science Association made every effort to line up the discontented students of Mrs. Eddy with their work, and some went and strengthened Mr. Marston’s church organization.

Mrs. Crosse and those closely attached to her had to fight for their very existence against the influential energies exerted by the International Association and its magazine. The one woman of prominence in social circles and with wealth at her command, who had been an energetic and enthusiastic worker, but who went out with Mrs. Crosse was Mrs. Horace K. Batchelder, first a student of Miss Bartlett, then of Mrs. Eddy. Mrs. Crosse had interested Mrs. J. Montgomery Sears to a certain extent, and such an acquisition to the Church in Boston was eagerly looked forward to, but the defection of Mrs. Crosse turned Mrs. Sears away from Christian Science.

Mrs. Batchelder was an interesting character, and it was unfortunate that, owing to her unguarded zeal, she was led away from Mrs. Eddy. She was the wife of the junior partner of the firm of Palmer, Batchelder & Co., then at 146 Tremont Street, importers of jewelry and works of art. The Batchelders lived in a large, old-fashioned house nearly a century old on Fort Avenue, Roxbury. This location was one of the most beautiful in any of the suburbs of Boston at that time. The house stood on the top of a commanding hill, which gave it a splendid view over the country for miles around. The grounds were extensive, terraced, and beautifully kept. Mr. and Mrs. Batchelder were very hospitable, and gave some interesting entertainments and musicales, including a very memorable strawberry festival, on June 17, 1886, which Mrs. Eddy attended.

This affair was in the evening, and to me it was a long and lasting delight. Refreshments were served, and then Mrs. Eddy spoke from a balcony to nearly two hundred people. This out-door occasion removed, for the time, all formalities, and brought a feeling of greater love, freedom and friendship in the thought of the work. Mrs. Eddy’s address seemed to be inspired by the beauty that surrounded her, the calmness and quiet of the night, the distant lights of the city, the intermingled perfumes of the flowers, and the wholesome smell of the freshly watered earth, and she talked to a delighted audience about fruits, apple-blossoms and flowers.

In those years of early youth, starving day by day for loveliness of nature which was denied me by my long hours of work necessary to hold our little family together, her words made a deep impression, especially because of their poetic suggestions. The account in the July Journal, 1886, conveys no adequate idea of the effects of her words, some few of which are here recalled. Said she, –

“Some day Christian Science will enable us to enjoy such a treat without raising the fruit, compounding the cake, freezing the cream, or buying the sugar; just as Jesus fed the multitude, without procuring the loaves and fishes through the usual channels of natural production and supply.”

She argued that if belief produces disease, and its removal leaves health to have its perfect work, then false belief may also prevent the perfect fulfillment of Spirit in all our material surroundings, flowers and fruit not excepted.

During the early summer and autumn several entertainments were held at Mrs. Batchelder’s in aid of the Building Fund, and those who assisted were Mrs. Augusta E. Stetson and Mr. Lyman Brackett.

At that time Mrs. Batchelder was considered an artist of considerable merit. She painted the picture of Mrs. Eddy which hangs in the Leader’s home, also the head of Jesus which was copied from an old gem. To build up a new body of those who would secede from Mrs. Eddy, it was very desirable to have Mrs. Batchelder, because of her wealth and influence. Had she stayed entirely with Mrs. Crosse, the results would not have been so bad for herself, but she wandered still farther away, and when the great crash came she was pitifully adrift, and this is how it came about.

A certain Mrs. W. W. Hulings of Denver, evidently a remarkable personality, began practicing and teaching what she called Christian Science. The International published laudatory items about her work, and in its issue of February, 1889, it stated that “Mrs. Hulings lectured in Brattleboro, Vermont. So great an interest was manifested that a class was formed, and in a few days an evening class to accommodate those who could not attend in the afternoons. Mrs. Hulings is a speaker of great power and ability.” There then follows a recital of a number of cases of healing.

In the International of May, 1889, there is a long account of Mrs. Hulings’ work in Boston. This is written by Miss Alzire Chevallier, who lived about two minutes’ walk of Mrs. Batchelder. The account reads:

“Mrs. Hulings left her pleasant home in Denver in obedience to the Master’s voice; ‘Go ye into all lands,’ etc. While holding large classes in Brattleboro, Mrs. Choate induced her to come to Boston and hold a class in the Choate Metaphysical Institute. After that, Mrs. Hulings was a guest at the Norfolk House, Roxbury, where she held a large class among the boarders and near residents every afternoon, and a class for the employees of the hotel in the evening. Then for a month she was the guest of Mrs. Eben Tourjee, wife of the head of the New England Conservatory of Music. Here she taught many of the young lady students. She then became the guest of Mrs. Batchelder. The article goes on to state that the denizens of the Hemenway House (founded and supported by the very wealthy lady of this name, as a thank offering for her own cure through Christian Science) cried out for the spiritual food which Mrs. Hulings so freely gave without money and without price, and not satisfied with her recent lectures before them, was now soliciting that she hold a class there, not only for the inmates and patients but also for the cultured patronesses of the home…The wives of our most eminent clergymen and literary men of more than national repute sit at her feet. One by one, Scientist teachers and healers have found their way to her classes. Her intense spirituality, her large claim for dominion and freedom for the sons and daughters of God, her single-heartedness, the single eye which makes her whole being full of light, the absence of greed and mammon and money worship, which inspire her hearers and enable her, by words no more eloquent and forcible than many other gifted teachers, to read the consciousness and waken the recognition of their true selves in the hearers.”

There follows a considerable list of cases of healing.

No better time could have been seized upon for a person of Mrs. Hulings evident ability to come to Boston and attempt to gain a large and efficient following. The conditions could have been scarcely more chaotic and the observer from the outside would have given large odds that Mrs. Eddy’s power had come to an end. There was not only the schism in the Association and the Church, with the exodus of influential members, and the publication of the Boston Christian Scientist, the constant hacking away at the parent vine by the ever-increasing activities of the workers of the International Christian Science Association, the increasing number of cases coming before the courts, etc., but also the growing tendency of opponents to bring bills, restricting Christian Science practice into the legislature. These were all aimed at Mrs. Eddy and her followers, and they had to bear all of the burden and the expense.

The fear and excitement caused by Mrs. Eddy’s statement in March, 1888, that she would receive into her Normal Class only those she had been preparing by a Primary Course, brought about a ferment among her students who had the privilege of teaching, because it put them in a position where their students would not, as heretofore, be acceptable for the Normal Class. There were on her waiting lists many such students, and their feelings were wrought up to a considerable pitch of excitement. Letters of protest came from all parts of the country, and in the Journal of the following month of April, there appeared the statement that as the announcement in March had aroused some dissatisfaction on the part of her Normal Graduates, she would now state that pupils of such students might be admitted to the College under certain conditions.

This change of attitude helped to quiet the dissatisfaction, although the wise stipulations that she laid down were new to the field, and required something that no school of metaphysics had ever thought of. But even hints did not cure the trouble that Mrs. Eddy was trying to get rid of, and in the Journal of the following November she came out with the definite and unqualified statement that “Hereafter no students can be admitted to the Massachusetts Metaphysical College who have not passed through the Primary Class.” Notwithstanding more protests, although of lesser volume, she made the point-blank statement in the Journal of the next month that,

“Having reached a place in teaching where my students in Christian Science are taught more during seven lessons in the Primary Class than they were formerly in twelve, and taught all that is profitable at one time, hereafter the Primary Class will include seven lessons only. As this number of lessons is of more value than twice this number in times past, no change is made in the price of tuition, three hundred dollars.

Mary Baker G. Eddy.”

This, of course, brought some consternation and criticism, because the price of tuition remained the same. Until May, 1889, she had evidently taught in her Normal classes some who had studied with her students, their applications had been in for some time, but in the Journal of that month Mrs. Eddy made the following decision:

“Mass. Metaphysical College, Special Notice. All students who wish to go through the entire course at the Mass. Metaphysical College should send in their applications early for admission to the other classes, and thus be ready for the opening of the Theological class. Notice is also given that after the coming Primary Class no students who have been under the instruction of any other teacher, whether a Normal Student of the Mass. Metaphysical College or not, will be received. This notice is positive and final.”

Just at this time the spiritual divorce and marriage of Mrs. Plunkett came out, and the ensuing consternation of students and adherents, the criticisms of the press, and the denunciations of the pulpit, not only of Mrs. Plunkett, but of Mrs. Eddy and her chapter on “Marriage,” – all made the hour one of very unusual interest. Then, out of a seemingly clear sky, came the most astonishing announcement in the Journal in the hands of the National Association, and had resigned the pastorate of her Church! And on top of this she made the definite statement that she would not attend the convention of the National Association to be held in Cleveland. In the next month, July, Mr. Mason resigned from the position of assistant pastor, and went to Brooklyn, and this was the condition of affairs in the middle of July, 1889.

To an analyzing observer, taking in all the objective facts of the case, it would appear that Mrs. Eddy’s power had broken, for she was left with only a handful of students in Boston, and how far they were loyal remained to be seen. It would appear that there could be no better time for the right person to step in and gather up the fragments. Mrs. Crosse with all her brilliancy was not the one, because she represented an independent movement. Mrs. Choate with all her capabilities would not do, because those who were aligned with Mrs. Crosse would not accept her. There must then be a fusion candidate, why not, then, Mrs. Hulings, who was creating such a furor everywhere, and in all circles by her teaching and lectures?

To understand the entrance into Boston of Mrs. Hulings, it is necessary to review the work of Mrs. Choate for a moment. As has been mentioned in the foregoing, it will be remembered that she had allied herself with Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Hopkins, while her husband, Mr. George Choate, was an advertised practitioner in the International Magazine, and her writings were among the books set forth in the list dealing with Christian Science and published in its columns. It came about that in 1888 Miss Julia S. Bartlett went to Providence to heal and teach, and thereby offset the work of Mr. and Mrs. Choate, who were holding classes. There the following article taken from the Boston Globe of Sunday, March 18, 1888, issued by the Committee on Publication of the Christian Scientist Association, appeared in a Providence newspaper:

“Was an Attack on Mrs. Eddy.

Why she denounced certain so-called Teachers of Christian Science.

To the Editor of the Globe:

In your issue of the 11th and 12th inst. Rev. Mary B. G. Eddy’s name and photograph were not in keeping with the characters which accompanied them, viz., Clara E. Choate and George D. Choate. The article designed to advertise the aforesaid was an attack on her, too insignificant and false to notice at length. It is sufficient to say that, in no sense whatever can she indorse those excommunicated students who claim that her stern, uncompromising rebukes to selfishness and crime, were the outbreaks of an imperious, tyrannical disposition.

The ‘vituperative’ Mrs. Eddy is known by those who know her and tell the truth, to be charitable to a fault. Those who defame her without a shadow of truth in what they say, have knelt in penitence before her, and confessed with tears their vice, and she has bade them go and sin no more. She did not divulge their awful confessions, but strove to reform the individuals.

Mrs. Eddy’s leniency with those who are advertising chartered colleges is seen in this: she never told the history of her college as the only chartered school, or named in public the incompetence of these teachers to teach Christian Science until after seven years, she was driven to do this, to protect the community and save her respectable students from being classed with such company.

Those of her students who are honest in their purpose, and desire to become healers, have been willing to fulfill the requisite conditions, and have rejoiced when, as friend, pastor, teacher and mother, from her lofty heights of self-abnegation, Mrs. Eddy has spoken to them the awful rebuke which pierced their ease and comfort in sin. Nor did she wait till there was a full return to right doing, but, at the faintest evidence of reformation or remorse, she went out toward them while yet they were a great way off, and restored to them the robe of healing power and the rule of peace. In those terrible hours of suffering, when the ‘excommunicated’ students stand face to face with their punishment, they remember her loving, warning words, prophesying of these very hours. No vindication of Mary Baker Glover Eddy as a character is necessary.

The history of a great cause will declare her.

Committee on Publication of the Christian Scientist Association. Boston, March 17.”26

In a letter dated May 23, 1888, Mrs. Eddy wrote to Mrs. Choate as follows:

“May 23, 1888.

Dear Student.

The impression has gone out, that I want articles injurious to any of my students printed, or that I in any way am causing a perpetual quarrel among those who are, and those who are not members of the C.S.A. is wholly false. It is just the reverse, I always counseled peace.

Sometimes I have answered questions in letters, and to individuals in the line of Science relative to the history of Students but never with a purpose to harm them, but only to tell the truth.

I do not justify one Student encroaching on the territory of another’s practice or business.

I did not know that Miss Bartlett was going to Providence until she was there. I knew nothing of the article in Providence newspapers referring to you until it was sent, and I was told of it.

Nothing can be more injurious to our cause than this quarreling of my Students.

Hoping you and all those who are doing good will see this,

I am truly yours,

Mary B. G. Eddy.”27

The published criticisms of Mr. and Mrs. Choate in the newspapers, and Miss Bartlett’s work in Providence to offset their labors, brought much bitterness of feeling, notwithstanding Mrs. Eddy’s letter, and they believed that they had been selected as special targets to be destroyed. When they saw the condition of things in the Church and the Association, and the fermentation relative to students of the College, they felt that there was room for a fusion candidate in Boston who could rally all schools under one standard. All of these, it would be thought by an on-looker, and by nine-tenths of those who were not counted among Mrs. Eddy’s adherents, were teaching and practicing the same thing except the doctrine of Animal Magnetism, to which Mrs. Eddy, as they thought, so foolishly clung. If hundreds of others could carry on their labors of teaching and practice, without even uttering or thinking of Animal Magnetism, or writing of it in the periodicals, why could not Mrs. Eddy? This doctrine had been thrown overboard by Luther Marston, Mrs. Plunkett, Mrs. Hopkins, and all their followers from the time of the beginning of the International movement, in the early part of 1886, and the seceders of June, 1888, had eliminated it from their teachings and practice, as well as from the pages of the Boston Christian Scientist, therefore these bodies were on an equal footing so far as Animal Magnetism was concerned.

We have seen that in Boston the International Christian Science Association had established a “rest room” on Boylston Street, which was in operation in July, 1888, and was three months ahead of our own, which did not come into activity until the following October. The International movement seemed to appeal at this time to more of the clergy than Mrs. Eddy’s pure doctrine. The Rev. Charles G. Ames, successor to the famous Rev. James Freeman Clarke, of the Church of the Disciples, then at Warren Avenue and W. Brookline Street, now on Peterboro Street, Back Bay, was writing incisive paragraphs for the International Magazine. The Rev. O. P. Gifford, undoubtedly the most eloquent Baptist preacher in Boston, who had studied with Mrs. Eddy, and preached for her, had been captured by the workers for the International, and there were many others. The church organization begun by Luther M. Marston was going hand in hand with the International, was growing, and formed a nucleus for a more important work. Hence in the confusion of the time, why could not a capable leader come just at this juncture, and build up from the remnants a strong organization?

It will be remembered that Mrs. Hulings came to Boston by the invitation of Mrs. Choate, and it is evident that the success of the former in her lectures and social affairs drew much attention to the Choate Metaphysical Institute, but it will be necessary to turn from this for a few moments, however, to take up other matters that were directly connected with the foregoing.

Mr. Mason, although doing the best he could, was not equal to what Mrs. Eddy desired as a pastor for the Church, and the following letter from her explains itself:

“Boston, May 28, 1889.

To the Church of Christ (Scientist) Boston.

Beloved Brethren: –

For good and sufficient reasons I again send you my resignation which must be final, of the Pastorate of the Church of Christ (Scientist) Boston, and recommend that you secure a Pastor to enter upon this labor in early autumn, one who will take full charge of this dear church, look after its interests, receive and attend to applications for membership, hold regular communion service, and in all respects discharge the duties of a Pastor. Also I beg that you will give such an one a sufficient salary to enable him to give his whole time to the duties which belong to this responsible office.

Yours in the bonds of Spirit,

Mary B. G. Eddy, Pastor.”28

Mr. Mason, having received a call from the church in Brooklyn, was given God-speed by the church in Boston, in a letter of July 15, 1889.

In the meantime, Mr. Joshua Bailey was going through a succession of nightmares over the rapidly changing conditions that were coming over the field. The strong and growing offensive of the International disturbed him, because to the layman it was more attractive than the Journal, as it was lighter reading, perhaps more entertaining, and far more gossipy about the work and movements of teachers, practitioners and individuals, and any one who compares the two after Mr. Bailey took entire charge of the Journal will see that he fashioned certain pages after the style of his rival.

The revolution of June, 1888, caused him many a fear, and when the Boston Christian Scientists appeared, he felt that his position was one of great hazard, because he must make the Journal better in every way than his competitor’s. It must be truly said that as a writer he was not equal to Mrs. Crosse, who had a direct and illustrative manner of expression, while Mr. Bailey was wordy and not incisive. There is no doubt but that he was in a very perplexed condition of thought in March, 1889. He was of a nervous temperament, and while he wanted to do right, and his desires were in the proper place, he found his path made more difficult by not keeping his eyes straight ahead.

Mrs. Eddy saw his weaknesses as well as his worth, and she took him into her Primary Class in April, 1889, which gave him new hopes, confidence, and inspirations for work. He came to our home quite often to seek advice from father, when hard-pressed, and at one of these visits, in the spring of 1889, he was full of fear. I remember this visit very distinctly, because father and I were busy getting out notices for a meeting of the Association, and father said, “I hope no one will come this evening for we must get all of this work done and mailed before we retire.” At about eight o’clock the bell rang, and Mr. Bailey appeared.

Seeing that we were very busy, he told us to keep right on and that he would go over the matter he came for while we worked. After he had explained the trouble, father realized that he was in a very much disturbed condition, and that the best thing to do was to get his thought away from it for a time, so that he could think more clearly. He, therefore, proposed a walk to the top of the near-by hill where a splendid view could be had.

The evening was beautiful, and the air soft and sweet as it usually is in the month of May. We walked about a little, and in calling Mr. Bailey’s attention to the Blue Hills and how beautifully blue they were at certain times, and to the lighthouses in the harbor, and explaining just where they were, we got his thought away from himself, and, as we sat down on a bench from which we could see the harbor, I remember a simple and homely piece of advice which father gave him as follows:

“Brother Bailey, out there beyond that second lighthouse is a very bad piece of water, and the channel is narrow and crooked, and at certain times the tides run in swift and treacherous currents. When the steersman at the wheel is coming through that place in bad weather, combating wind and tide, he keeps his eyes only on the goal, this nearer lighthouse put in that place to guide him. When a runner is in a race he is told by his trainer never to look behind but look always straight ahead, lest, by taking his eyes from the goal that had been set for him, he either lose confidence by seeing the expression in the face of the runner just behind him, or stumble over something that he did not see, and lose the prize. There is but one goal, and we must keep our eyes on that, and work, work, work, to reach it, and we shall, if we have faith and don’t look behind.”

In January of this year (1889) Mr. Bailey realized that Mr. Mason was not satisfactory to Mrs. Eddy, and proposed the name of a clergyman he believed well-fitted for the position as Pastor, but Mrs. Eddy seemed indifferent to the matter. In the following June, Mr. Bailey was again deeply disturbed. Instead of keeping his eyes straight ahead, and concentrating his energies on the effort to resist all of the disabling events which were taking place, he was glancing sideways at the dramatic happenings that were being recorded in the fold of the International, and undoubtedly saw its downfall and everything connected with it, and felt that now was the golden opportunity to gather up the remnants for our Cause.

In order to do this he must have a candidate, not for a leader, but for the Pastor of the Church, who, by education, experience and character would be one who could eliminate all the friction, and build up again the long-suffering little Church of Christ (Scientist), and he suggested to Mrs. Eddy the name of Rev. Charles Macomber Smith, D.D., who had for twenty-five years been a Baptist minister, and was recognized as a man of refinement and scholarly attainments.

Mr. Bailey had evidently made suggestions or overtures to Dr. Smith to such an extent that he had submitted the matter to his church, and expected to be called by Mrs. Eddy. When Mrs. Eddy brought this matter to the attention of my father, he made very strenuous objections to the candidate, and told her the dangers that would most probably ensue. Mrs. Eddy saw the truth of father’s statement and asked him to say nothing, but to gather more knowledge, which he did with the following result.

“P.O. Address, 385 Commonwealth Avenue.

Massachusetts Metaphysical College,

571 Columbus Ave., Boston, Mass.,

July 20, 1889.

My dear Student:

I thank you for keeping still. I have just written Mr. Bailey that I positively decline to give any decision or even an opinion relative to any candidate whom my dear Church or Com. may propose for pastor, and I have no one to propose of my selecting. I want this to be done utterly independent of me by the Church and then they can satisfy themselves and feel a responsibility in the case which belongs alone to the Church and Society.

I hope that hypnotism will not go on in the ranks by aspirants for office, nor outside of their own ranks, to in any way influence this choice of a pastor.

I have committed my dear flock to God in full faith that he will care for it.

Lovingly your Teacher,

(Signed) M. B. G. Eddy.

p.s. I want to thank you for your wise action and faithful performance of your tasks which characterized your part in the final settlement with our offending members of the C.S.A. and I ask that you continue to watch and pray for this Asso. and our Church. Be most careful to accept no members of the C.S.A. who are not vouched for by Christian Scientists whom you know are right and loyal.

Again your faith-filled friend who leaves you all with God.

(Signed) M. B. G. Eddy.”

(Written in ink in Mrs. Eddy’s handwriting.) Received by W.B.J. July 23 (as noted in his handwriting).

Upon Mrs. Eddy’s recommendation the Business Committee of the Church wrote to Dr. Smith as follows:

“Boston, Mass., July 22, 1889.

Rev. Charles Macomber Smith, D.D.

The Business Committee of the Church of Christ (Scientist) deem it advisable to say nothing further on the matter of calling you to the Pastorate of this Church. We felt that we owed you this statement that might know our position.

Thanking you for your kind and courteous attention, we are yours in love and respect.

(Signed) Julia S. Bartlett.

Wm. B. Johnson.

J. S. Eastaman.”

The following was written to the church of which Dr. Smith was Pastor:

“Boston, Mass., July 24, 1889.

To the Church of Divine Unity.

The Church of Christ (Scientist) have decided not to call Dr. C. M. Smith to become their Pastor, but to look elsewhere for a supply.

No such action was conceived or recommended by Mrs. Eddy. When the question of calling him was first named to Mrs. Eddy, by a member of her Church, nearly six months ago, she refused three times to listen to the suggestion, and has never been heartily in favor of such action, not for lack of respect for Dr. Smith but because she did not think it right to interfere with the Pastor of another Church.

Yours sincerely,

Wm. B. Johnson, Clerk,

of Church of Christ (Scientist).”

The following letters from Mrs. Eddy explain themselves.

“P.O. Address, 385 Commonwealth Avenue.

Massachusetts Metaphysical College,

571 Columbus Ave., Boston.

Doctor’s Smith’s case has failed because it was not started by our Father. This is history, that every thing that I have started from His direction has stood. The candidates proposed by me for my aid in pulpit have never been what I wanted, but only the best I could do under the circumstances.

If the elements and people brought by Dr. S. had come into our church and been guided by M.A.M. they would again have broken it up. I have kept the flock from being scattered till now. Had I had my time to tend them we should have had a large church membership.

Now I own your church lot for a meeting house and I want the sums collected for building put into the work at once. You can trust me with the land until you pay for it. I want the first floor above ground, for my college, and a vestry when needed.

Go to building as soon as possible.

Again

(Signed) M. B. G. Eddy.”

(Written to Wm. B. Johnson, in ink in Mrs. Eddy’s handwriting and received by him July 24, 1889, as recorded in his own handwriting).)

“P.O. Address, 385 Commonwealth Avenue.

Massachusetts Metaphysical College,

571 Columbus Ave., Boston, Mass.,

July 23, 1889.

My dear Student:

Your tender parting on paper with your Pastor was touching. Yes, I call you all my children and feel a Mother’s emotions of joy or grief in your prosperity and adversity.

My only care is this, now, and it would be light if all my students had your foresight and caution. Please notice this word to the wise. If Mr. Joshua Bailey starts another movement of importance and you get knowledge of it let me know before he influences my thought by a report of his own.

Be careful to admit no members into your C.S.A. that are not endorsed by me and I will be careful as possible to know whom I send through my son.

Lovingly yours,

(Signed) M. B. G. Eddy.

(Confidential)”

(Written in ink, in Mrs. Eddy’s handwriting, and received July 24, 1889, as recorded in the handwriting of W. B. J.)

Luther M. Marston, it will be remembered, had organized a church which held its services at his rooms, 130 Chandler Street, Boston. With the spread of the work through the influence of the International Christian Science Association, its Magazine and its “rest room,” it began to grow larger, and was given a generous impulse by the coming and work of Mrs. Hulings, who brought to it many people of refinement and wealth. In about May of 1888, it left its humble quarters and leased a large and splendidly located apartment at 5 Park Street. Partitions were taken down, and the place became a well-appointed hall, beautifully furnished. Here on Sundays was a Bible service at 2 p.m. and sermon at 3.30, and the organization was known as the Church of the Divine Unity (Scientist), and Dr. Charles Macomber Smith was its Pastor.




Chapter XX

A Transitional Period

BEFORE going farther into matters of historical interest relative to Dr. Smith and the Church of the Divine Unity, it will be well to note some of the reasons for the agitations that were being recorded in the ranks of old theology. Among the ministers who were either taught by Mrs. Eddy, preached for her or spoke favorably of her ideas, were:

Rev. A. P. Peabody, D.D., Rev. Charles D. Barbour, Rev. C. A. Bartol, D.D., Rev. O. P. Gifford, Rev. H. Slade, Rev. Dr. Strickland, Rev. E. T. Wilkes, Rev. J. W. Winkley, Rev. W. C. Wood, also Wm. I. Gill, Joseph Adams, and George B. Day.

Students of the early history of Christian Science need to remember that the time covered marked a great transitional state in the religious thought of this country. Universalism was just finding itself and struggling against orthodox condemnation for its existence. Unitarianism was organizing and moulding itself to fit the period, and Emerson, Clarke and Theodore Parker were effecting great changes, broadening the religious view, and extending the horizon of religious liberty. In the seventies and the eighties, many perplexing theological questions were coming to the surface to be answered. The people were beginning to think for themselves, and the subjects of eternal punishment and infant damnation, especially, were very prominent topics of discussion. In the eighties, the ministers whose thought was logically analytical, began to look in all directions for hidden truths, and in this search a considerable number, who were open-minded, began to inquire into Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, and, while they could not separate themselves from their own doctrines and churches, they realized that she had discovered something which merited closer inspection.

Dr. Smith was a type of man who was always seeking for that which he believed to be a nobler concept of religious. He was a Baptist theologian, very much respected for his scholarly attainments, and beloved by his parishioners of the First Church in Somerville, Mass. At one period of his labors, he preached for three churches, but about the year 1887, he resigned these pastorates, and in the early part of 1888 became the preacher for the Church of the Divine Unity. From what I have been able to gather from some of his close acquaintances, and from his son, he never called himself a Christian Scientist. In 1890, he accepted the Universalist teaching, but this change from the old to the new did not cause any break in friendships or respect, because those who knew him realized that he would not have made such a decision unless he felt it was right and best. In 1899, he gave up active work in the pulpit, and he passed away in 1908. Prior to his retirement from the Baptist connection, he had read Science and Health, and expressed the thought that Mrs. Eddy’s work had done much good, and should continue.

His connection with the Church of the Divine Unity came about through the influence of one of his closest friends, Dr. Samuel A. Green, a very much respected ex-mayor of the city of Boston. This well-known gentleman was a physician of the Allopathic school, and for a considerable length of time was Librarian of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Genial and cultured, he was a man everybody seemed to know and esteem, and his conduct of the mayor’s office was marked by a high standard of excellence.

To understand the conditions surrounding Dr. Smith at that time, and the significance to him of Mrs. Eddy’s letters, it is well for the reader to understand that in Mr. Bailey’s character there was the constant desire for harmony, for what we should call to-day “peace at any price.” He wanted unity, and as Editor, he wanted substantial growth. After being instructed by Mrs. Eddy, he had been raised to great heights of inspiration, and his whole thought was centered on adjustment and unification. His nature was gentle and kindly, and there is not a particle of doubt as to his loyalty to Mrs. Eddy. In his position as Editor, he not only had competition, but he had troubles to meet at home, as his wife was not in sympathy with him. While she was kind and loving, there was an only partially hidden opposition to Christian Science, which may have accounted in some degree for his mental restlessness. It was his nature to follow, and advance to the utmost any concept that came to him as a verity.

It was one of Mr. Bailey’s characteristics to be just as passionate an admirer of a person as he was of a subject, and his regard for Dr. Smith interdicted his seeing that no matter how fine a man he might be, he was intimately connected with a church, most of whose members dissented from the teachings of Mrs. Eddy. The following letter of July 11, shows that he had made serious overtures to Dr. Smith, – and had probably gone too far.

“Office of

The Christian Science Journal

Hotel Boylston, Boylston St.

Boston, Mass., 11 July, 1889.

Dear Brother (Johnson).

A note reached me this morning from Dr. Smith, saying that he was fixed, that it is better for him not to speak again till all is settled. Will show it to you…It is a very kindly and suitable note.

I have engaged the room for the meeting, Monday evening. Hadn’t you better invite Mrs. Stetson for next Sunday?

Sincerely,

(Signed) J. F. Bailey.”

From the time of the convention of the National Association in Cleveland, June, 1889, it seems that Mr. Bailey was not entirely en rapport with his position as Editor, and Mrs. Eddy realized that his lack of mental poise gave a vagrancy to his thought which interfered with his concentration upon a piece of work long enough to complete it. The editorial labor seemed to be a burden, and he felt that, now that he had studied with Mrs. Eddy, he should do some teaching. By August, 1889, the condition led Mrs. Eddy to feel that it was desirable to find some one who could take over the entire responsibility of his position. From September, Mr. Bailey was practicing and teaching, and his literary work was confined to “The Editor’s Note Book.”

At the Cleveland convention Mr. William G. Nixon had been elected Publisher of the Journal, and in September he received the following most surprising and seemingly contradictory letter from Mrs. Eddy.

“385 Commonwealth Ave.

Boston, Sept. 30, 1889.

My dear Student.

God our God has just told me who to recommend to you for the Editor of C. S. Jour. But you are not to name me in this transaction. It is the Rev. Charles Macomber Smith, D.D., 164 Summer St., Somerville, Mass. He was healed by reading Science and Health, and then left a large salary to preach Christian Science, and then left that position for the hope that J. F. Bailey had held out to him of preaching for my Church, but I objected to taking him solely because his church had not been consulted before giving him a call.

Get him sure but be very reticent, let it not be known until he is engaged or you will have a fuss about it.

Lovingly,

M. B. G. Eddy.”

According to Mr. Nixon’s statement, he received the following letter from Mrs. Eddy (not dated) before he could act upon the first.

“Concord, N.H.

62 State St.

To Mr. Nixon.

My dear Student.

I regret having named the one I did to you for Editor. It is a mistake he is not fit. It was not God evidently that suggested that thought but the person who suggests many things mentally, but I have before been able to discriminate, I wrote too soon after it came into my thought. He has not been taught C. S. and I hear refuses to be taught by any one but me. Love to wife.

Ever affectionately,

M. B. G. Eddy.”

In her Life of Mrs. Eddy, Miss Milmine has made considerable comment on these two letters in the attempt to show that Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual insight and inspirations were totally unreliable. It is therefore unfortunate for the honest readers of her book, that they were not shown the reason for Mrs. Eddy’s change of opinion. This Miss Milmine could not do, because she knew so little of the details of the matter.

From what my father told me, it seems that when Dr. Smith became Pastor of the Church of the Divine Unity, he believed that it was the only one which represented the true platform of Christian Science, and was the one having the most influential membership, assured harmony, and healthful growth. The reader will recall Mrs. Eddy’s estimate of Luther K. Marston, or Dr. Marston as he should be called, since he had received his degree of M.D. After leaving Mrs. Eddy, he had played a very clever game in the interest of his own success, and had allied himself with Dr. Warren Felt Evans and Julius Dresser. He had been able to gather about him many patients, students and adherents who would not have gone to Mrs. Eddy’s faithful workers for help, because they thought that as Dr. Marston was an M.D., as well as one who believed in Christian Science and practiced it, he could better diagnose their troubles.

At this period there was a strong and growing feeling among many that a practitioner of Christian Science should know something of the practice of medicine. This was the thought that became strongly assertive in the rebellion of May, 1888. J. M. C. Murphy and W. H. Bertram, both Mrs. Eddy’s students, firmly and tenaciously believed in this, and, after the meeting in June, when they separated themselves from the Church and the Association, they became medical students. An interesting fact is found in the statement of these two gentlemen, published in the April issue of 1889, of the magazine Christian Science, which was controlled by Mrs. Hopkins:

Medical Testimony

We have found, while going through the medical school that everything in it confirms Christian Science. We believed in the science of mind before we took the course, but believe more than ever in it since studying material medica.

In the dissecting room the cadaver represents flesh, bone, nerve, heart, lungs, etc. When we put the scalpel into the body did it flinch? No. Why? Because there is no sensation in matter. It proves mind, the only potency, and only reality, as nothing out side of actual revelation can do.”

Dr. J. M. C. Murphy,

Dr. W. H. Bertram.

There is much evidence to show that Dr. Marston’s mixture of Christian Science and medical knowledge was one that caught the attention of many who could go only part way with Mrs. Eddy, and proved to be one that struck the popular desire at just the right time, and it was this compound that undoubtedly brought Dr. Green into affiliation with the Church of the Divine Unity.

It was most unfortunate that in those days the term Christian Science should have been such a confusing generality, and to the present students of Christian Science it seems almost unbelievable. Such was the fact, however, and it is wise that future readers of this work should know the many ramifications of the use of the title which to-day is sacred to those only who accept Mrs. Eddy’s teaching as the spiritual interpretation of Our Lord’s Words and Works.

Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Hopkins did more than any others, with the aid of their eager and zealous followers, to obscure the true meaning of the term, so that to the general public their adherents were just as much Christian Scientists as those who were faithful to Mrs. Eddy and her teachings. When Luther Marston and others went out from Mrs. Eddy, prior to 1887, they no longer named themselves Christian Scientist, but took other appellations, until they found it convenient to come back to it under the influence and leadership of Mrs. Plunkett, as a name that assured a better financial return than that of Metaphysician, Mind Healer, Mental Scientist, etc.

The reader will discern also how easily the layman could be misled by such terms as The National Christian Science Association, and The International Christian Science Association, both of which were launched at about the same period in the early half of the year 1886. The National was organized January 29, 1886, and the International about the same date, so that with two bodies bearing names so nearly alike, it is no wonder that those who did not think discriminatingly were deceived as to which had sprung from the true seed. Moreover, the International had been successful from the start, because it drifted with the current, and with its popular publication, its numerous headquarters, its “rest-rooms” and reading-rooms, which preceded ours, it seemed to be eminently successful, and to be carrying on the work in a properly organized and business-like way.

It appears that after the announcement of Mrs. Plunkett’s spiritual divorce and marriage, with the favorable comments upon her action which were published in the International, Dr. Smith began to realize that something was wrong with the leaders and the people who would favor such a step. In the International of July, 1888, an enthusiastic paragraph had been inserted in regard to Dr. Smith, and his work, which, appearing in a periodical controlled by Mrs. Plunkett, must have awakened many thoughts over which to ponder, and undoubtedly brought about a more careful analysis of the situation, the beliefs of the prime-movers, and with the result, as he afterwards acknowledged, that he realized he had been entirely led astray by the talk, suggestions and thoughts of others into believing that those connected with the Church of the Divine Unity were the only real and true Christian Scientists in the city.

This instance was not different from that of the well-known Baptist clergyman, Rev. O. P. Gifford, a student of Mrs. Eddy, as the following from the Journal of August, 1887, will show:

Ways That Are Dark

“The efforts made by the originators of the so-called recent Mental Science Convention, held in Boston, were the very opposite of praiseworthy. Their dishonesty is now patent to many. Among the names of advertised speakers was one who positively declined to appear with them, Mr. George E. Ricker. The presence of one speaker, Rev. O. P. Gifford, was obtained by a falsehood, he being assured that the convention was sanctioned by Rev. Mrs. Eddy.”

The reader will further and more fully recognize the confusion of thought in this period when he has knowledge of the fact that in 1888 there were three well-financed and largely circulated monthly periodicals, each friendly to each other and dealing with the same subject, with the following names, The Chicago Christian Scientist, Christian Science, and The International Magazine of Christian Science, all pitted against the Christian Science Journal. In January, 1889, yet another entered in the perplexing state of affairs, – The Boston Christian Scientist. Beside these excellently gotten up monthlies, there were a number of smaller and lesser known periodicals that were sent everywhere, so that there was a continuous stream of spurious Christian Science Literature going into thousands of homes where the Christian Science Journal had never been seen. I cannot speak authoritatively of the number of periodicals which were published under the name of Christian Science, but I have the titles of thirteen that were in existence in 1891, and there were others! The four important magazines which I have mentioned reached more people than the Journal, and gave the impression that the teachers, practitioners and editors they represented were the real expositors of the great truths of Christian Science. To give her efforts greater weight and authority, and to gain more attention for her periodical, Mrs. Hopkins advertised as follows in the Christian Science:

ALL TWELVE LESSONS

by

Emma Curtis Hopkins

(From notes taken in Boston, 1883-5)

Now on sale at this office.

Only a limited number is

Issued in pamphlet form.

Price per lesson, 25 Cents.

Christian Science Publishing Co.,

Fanny M. Harley, Manager, Chicago.

At this time, in Mrs. Eddy’s own Church, Science and Health had not taken its distinctive place as a part of the order of worship, and a visitor would find only occasional mention of the text-book or of Mrs. Eddy, which would show him the difference between the ethics of the Church of Christ (Scientist) and the Church of the Divine Unity. At both places the auditor would hear exactly the same expressions: “Christian Science, Truth, Love, Mind, Principle, Omnipotence, mortal mind, error,” etc., and the hymns sung by congregations were practically the same until the Christian Science Hymn Book was published. It was not until August, 1889, that Science and Health was made a definite part of the service, and in her request that it be incorporated into it, Mrs. Eddy seemed to be feeling her way, and asks rather timorously (and with a modesty that paints its own suggestive picture of the condition of the times) that selections from Science and Health be read at the services. The following is the text of her request:

“Order of Church Service

To the Church of Christ (Scientist), Boston.

Beloved Brethren, – I recommend that you lay aside all that is ceremonial even in appearance in our Church and adopt this simple service.

Before the sermon read one hymn, sing once. Read selections from a chapter in the Bible, and if agreeable to pastor and Church, a corresponding paragraph from Science and Health. Repeat alternately the Lord’s Prayer, the pastor repeating the first sentence and the audience the following one. Unite in silent prayer for all who are present. Close with reading hymn, singing, silent prayer, and the benediction.

Yours lovingly in Christ,

(Jour. Aug. 1889) Mary B. G. Eddy.”

Looking back at this request from the present, when not only Christian Scientists, but the world at large recognizes the genius, the inspiration, and the executive power of Mrs. Eddy as a Leader, it would be difficult to believe, unless absolute evidence were offered, that she ever made in such a manner, the request to read paragraphs from Science and Health, – “if agreeable to pastor and Church.”

The reader is already aware of the constant struggles of the little Church to grow and prosper, and to increase its building fund. On top of all the trials it had experienced up to the early part of 1888, there came a blow which seemed not only serious and crippling to the Church, but one which enemies would construe as proof that Mrs. Eddy’s personal influence and friendship, as well as her teachings, did not make people truthful and honest; for it then became known that the Treasurer, Wm. H. Bradley, had absconded with not only the regular funds of the Church, but also with the amount that was in the building fund, for which great sacrifices had been made for several years by the little band of faithful workers.29 Then came the Corner case and the rebellion of June, 1888, with the secession of Mrs. Crosse and her followers.

It is not difficult to realize, therefore, that anyone who was interested in the subject of Christian healing, who had heard of wonderful cases of cures, and had been told that they had been performed through the efforts of practitioners allied with the Church of the Divine Unity, should have been led into that organization, for the reason that it seemed to be the only one which was having a substantial growth, which was not disintegrating by the wholesale exodus of its members, and by loss of funds through defalcation.

This had evidently been the case with Dr. Smith. But his awakening came, and Mr. Bailey undoubtedly worked faithfully to help him see Mrs. Eddy as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, and that the teachings of Mrs. Hopkins, Joseph Adams, Mrs. Gesterfeld, and Mrs. Plunkett, with her “free-love” and spiritual marriage relations, were not of the true school, and that Mrs. Eddy was and always had been opposed to them.

With the ending of Mrs. Plunkett’s power, and the consequent disorganization of her International Christian Science Association, and of the International Magazine, the practitioners who had advertised therein, found that there was no other publication open to them except Christian Science, controlled by Emma Hopkins. As this monthly was not nearly so extensive in scope as the International, and was practically an all-Western periodical, and the mouthpiece of Mrs. Hopkins, Mr. Bailey reasoned that, under these conditions the Church of the Divine Unity was liable to fall apart, and why should it not come with Dr. Smith, into the fold of the Church of Christ, (Scientist)? To accomplish this it was necessary to have Dr. Smith given a position, preferably the Pastorship, and for this Mr. Bailey worked hard. But Mrs. Eddy realized at this time that such a step would be unwise, for she states in her letter, received by my father July 24, “If the elements and people brought by Dr. S. had come into our church, and had been guided by M.A.M. they would have again broken it up.”

It is manifest, therefore, that Mr. Bailey had gotten himself into pretty deep waters in the matter of trying to obtain the pastorate of the Church for Dr. Smith; so deep, in fact, that he had evidently given up his position with the Church of the Divine Unity, since Mrs. Eddy states in her letter to Mr. Nixon, that he “left that position for the hope that J. F. Bailey held out to him, of preaching for my Church.” When Mrs. Eddy decided not to call him, and letters were written to that effect by the Business Committee and the Church through its Clerk, Mr. Bailey, notwithstanding his erratic enthusiasms, was tender-hearted and honest, and, as he was not at ease in the Editorial chair, and felt that there was an opportunity in the field of teaching to make the larger income, which was greatly desired by his wife, he suggested to Mrs. Eddy that Dr. Smith be given the position of Editor.

There is very little doubt that if Dr. Smith had been well taught in Science and had given his whole heart to it, he would have gone far to have satisfied Mrs. Eddy. Mr. Bailey saw in Dr. Smith such a fine character that he seemed to forget the fact that to work with Mrs. Eddy, and follow the course she must pursue, in the midst of the most confused period in her entire experience, he must be one who could understand her methods; be willing to do her bidding, and know not only the letter, but the spirit of Science, through the experience of practice. Mr. Bailey’s lack of good judgment in this matter is a sample of a weakness which came to the surface in another way, in 1890, and which placed the Leader and the Publishing Society in a most uncalled for position, out of which he emerged only after a public retraction of what he had said in his editorial, the Trustees having repudiated in the Journal the heresy which he had set forth with the most intense and imperative enthusiasm.

The situation in July of 1889 was the most confused30 that had ever existed in Christian Science. The decision by Mrs. Eddy that she would not teach had caused a tremendous stir all over the country, and those who had sent in applications were very greatly disappointed. The restrictions placed upon normal teachers, that they should not re-teach a student of another normal teacher or allow such students to enter their associations as members (providing both teachers were in good standing with the Christian Scientist Association and both had associations), except upon consent of the former teacher, brought out much disagreeable criticism and dissatisfaction, as expressed by the National Association in Cleveland the previous June. The revelations in regard to Mrs. Plunkett, and the consequent attacks upon Mrs. Eddy, relative to her chapter on “Marriage,” which Mrs. Plunkett brought into especial notice by the atrocious manner in which she quoted from it to uphold her actions; the results of the secession of 1888 combined with the publication of the Boston Christian Scientist, worked with all other oppositions to make such a condition in Boston, that Mrs. Eddy felt when she wrote into the letter received by my father, July 23, “I have committed my dear flock to God in full faith that he will care for it,” that she had come to the place where all human effort must stop, and that she must wait until God should show her the way.

It was when thus resting and trusting in God, with all her mental powers awake and awaiting the time when divine guidance would come, that Mr. Bailey, in his honest, if not wise endeavor, pushed Dr. Smith forward, and gave Mrs. Eddy a glowing and enthusiastic account of what his candidate could effect for her relief and the good of the Cause, by his learning, and other fine qualities.

Light is then thrown upon the change in Mrs. Eddy’s thought toward Dr. Smith, which took place after she had written the letter of September 20 to Mr. Nixon. Less than four months after her change of judgment, i.e., on February 17, 1890, Dr. Smith made application to the authorities of the Universalist denomination to preach that doctrine, and on February 24 was given his license, and after one year’s labor he was granted full fellowship in that church.

It is evident, that for some time previous to his request for license to preach, he had begun the study of the requirements and the Articles of Faith of the Universalist denomination. In the interim between Mrs. Eddy’s letter of September 20 and the one that followed, she had undoubtedly learned that Dr. Smith, instead of working toward the true teachings of Christian Science, as she had hoped he would, and had so been led to believe by Mr. Bailey, had turned his thought toward entering the Universalist ministry. There was a further hazard that he would bring with him from the Church of the Divine Unity those who were attached to him merely by friendship and respect, and not because they desired to become Christian Scientists. It is thus becoming evident that at this time of upheaval and transition, Mrs. Eddy felt, on second thought, that she must have near her only those who understood her and her motives. She was then seeking for a respite from the excessive work of many years; she had given up teaching, but had been working with Gen. Erastus N. Bates, who had succeeded her as teacher at the College, and had also been working out the question of when to close the College, which she did in this same month, September, 1889. She was also preparing to take up her permanent residence in Concord, her one greatest desire at this time being to devote herself entirely to the revision of Science and Health.

The decision of Dr. Smith to study with no one but Mrs. Eddy came at the wrong time, because she had given up teaching. Moreover, as he would study with no other teacher, she realized that to be an efficient and proper editor, one who could help guide the Cause, he must know, understand, live and work in Christian Science. The knowledge that his thoughts had turned and were centering upon the ministry of the Universalist church showed that he was not the man for the position.

There is still another reason which goes hand in hand with the foregoing, but before considering it one should know another characteristic of Mrs. Eddy which showed her breadth of view, as well as her confidence in herself to uplift and reconstruct the thoughts of those who earnestly and honestly desired to work with her.

Upon Mr. Bailey’s optimistic and enthusiastic report of Dr. Smith’s awakened attitude toward her and her teachings, and his willingness to leave the Church of the Divine Unity (which was previous to September 20, and probably before she had decided to go to Concord), she realized that with a closer acquaintance, and with her guidance and help, Dr. Smith would practically become her student, and through co-operative work, he could be made the type of Editor which she had long desired; that by his scholarly attainments he would bring much credit to the Journal, be able to place it on a higher literary plane, and thereby make it rank with the foremost religious periodicals.

Between the time Mrs. Eddy wrote to Mr. Nixon, the letter of September 20 and the next letter without date, she had worked out a series of most important determinations, which she was to put into almost immediate effect. First, by notice dated three days after the first letter, which makes it the 23rd, action was taken to disorganize the Christian Scientist Association. In the Journal of the following month, – October, – the notice of the closing of the College appeared. This decision, therefore, must have come in late September. Early in October, she had left Boston, and had taken up her residence in Concord. These activities show how quickly she conceived and carried out changes which she saw were for the best good of the Cause.

The days set by Mrs. Eddy for getting ready for removal to Concord were filled with work, not only for Mr. Frye, Dr. Foster-Eddy, and her household help, but for my father as well. It was only after careful thought and severe wrenching of heart-strings that Mrs. Eddy made the quick and determined decision to leave Boston. She loved to teach, and she has suggested in print that she loved her students better than anything else on earth. She enjoyed working with them, watching them grow, and guiding them that they might get the best results from their work; but she knew that while she remained in Boston, even though she had given definite notice that she had ceased teaching, pleading requests for instruction still poured in upon her, deeply pathetic cries for a surer, more adequate knowledge of Truth from the only Teacher of Christian Science. She realized that so long as she remained in Boston, she would not be able to make the field thoroughly understand the fact that she would not again teach classes in Christian Science, unless she took some definite step that would isolate her not only from headquarters, but from the city as well; for she was intent upon one great object, to obtain immediately the quiet and the time to revise Science and Health, and she felt that everything must give place to that effort, because the book was to be the future guide and teacher, and was more important for coming generations than the College or the Journal, therefore everything must be sacrificed to this one end, which would in time duly justify itself.

The second letter, relative to Dr. Smith, is printed in Miss Milmine’s book without punctuation. And sine Mrs. Eddy was usually very careful in the punctuation of her letters, it becomes evident that it was written in great haste. In fact, its whole utterance and tone make this clear. When she says of Dr. Smith, “he is not fit,” she meant that he was not fitted by having been taught Christian Science, had not gone through the fires, had not the necessary practice and experience to fill such a position, and the fear of those he might bring with him into the Church or into the Editor’s office, had manifestly been increasing. Added to this, her probable knowledge of his desire to enter the Universalist ministry compelled her to realize that she needed some one of greater experience and training in Christian Science.

Every business man understands the difficulties he has to assume when he places a new employee in a responsible position, among new and strange surroundings, even though he has had some experience in the work, and effort is made to educate him further, and develop his efficiency, at long distance. This is what Mrs. Eddy would have had to do had she made Dr. Smith Editor. He was a stranger to her, he did not know her unique and individual methods of work, and had not plumbed the depths of the peculiar currents of thought then existing in Christian Science, and it would have been necessary for her, and for her alone, to guide and instruct him. Such a task, directed from Concord, would have been fraught with much labor and danger, especially at that disturbed time. Communication would have been a tedious work, especially with a stranger, and would have required precious time, and Mrs. Eddy’s whole desire was to lessen her burdens in every direction, and to obtain rest and quiet, in a word to be the possessor of all her working hours for the supreme undertaking upon which she had determined to enter.




Chapter XXI

The New York Field

IT will be well to turn for a short time to what Mrs. Eddy considered in 1889 the most promising field for Christian Science, New York City, and realize what was taking place in that great metropolis.

This was Mrs. Plunkett’s center of activity, and she was laying out extensive plans for the propagation of her Association and Magazine. Until June, 1886, Mr. and Mrs. J. Allen Campbell were the only advertised practitioners in the city, at which time Mrs. Laura Lathrop went into the work. While Mr. and Mrs. Campbell were practically the first of Mrs. Eddy’s students to go into the work professionally in New York, the real energizing force was put into effective motion by Mrs. Lathrop. Mr. Campbell was a kindly type of man, but without push, and lacking in executive ability. When the National Association was organized, he was mentioned for the position of President, and, at a meeting held in the office of Edward A. and E. M. Bailey, at 368 Columbus Avenue, January 29, 1886, he was elected.

In November, 1886, Mrs. Lawrence Brown, A.M., M.D., C.S.B., who had lived at 526 Columbus Avenue and on Yarmouth Street, both of which places were within a very short distance of the College, went from Boston and took up the work in New York, and in the same month Mrs. Stetson also went there. The latter has stated publicly that Mrs. Eddy desired her to go to New York. This has been flatly contradicted, but the fact remains that the work prospered, and grew slowly but surely. A half year later, Mr. and Mrs. Snider, who were students of Mrs. Eddy, left Kansas City, where they had been practicing, and in May, 1887, had entered enthusiastically into the work in New York, so that at this time there were seven of Mrs. Eddy’s students practicing in that city, also one who was not her student, Miss Jane Stoll, C.S. The following year did not show any increase in the number of advertised workers, but the Cause was progressing, a church was organized, and its first service was held December 4, 1887.

The secession in Boston, June, 1888, had its effect in New York, as witnesses the fact that by November of that year Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, Miss Stoll, and Mrs. Lawrence Brown had gone from the work, so that there were left Mrs. Lathrop, Mrs. Stetson, Mr. and Mrs. Snider, and Mrs. Elizabeth P. Skinner, who had become an advertised practitioner in October, 1888.

Mrs. Lawrence Brown (Maria A. DeForrest Brown) came from some place in the West where she had been practicing medicine. With letters of introduction from well-known physicians in this country, she had been allowed to do some work, and to study as to the treatment of disease in France, during the terrible European cholera epidemic of 1884 and 1885. According to her statement, she became known as the Florence Nightingale of the infected region. After studying with Mrs. Eddy, she became most enthusiastic in her praise of her Teacher and of Christian Science, and Mrs. Eddy asked her to take up practice and settle near the College, so that she could keep in close touch with her and guide her when necessary, for she saw the good that she might do if Mrs. Brown would abide by her teachings. She therefore took rooms, first at 526 Columbus Avenue, near the College, and later removed to 4 Yarmouth Street.

While in New York, especially during the years of 1887 and 1888, her criticism of Mrs. Eddy and stories derogatory to her, were of a character that marked her as one who apprehended Christian Science in only a superficial way, and when the conditions of thought which actuated Mrs. Crosse and her followers touched her, she speedily withdrew from the Christian Science Association.

This reference to Mrs. Brown would not be complete without the statement that at the election of officers for the first year of the National Association she was chosen for the position of second Vice-President.

By virtue of the fact that he was the first student of Mrs. Eddy to establish the work in New York, and having been elected the first President of the National Association, Mr. Campbell felt that anything that was to be accomplished in that city relative to Science should first be brought to him for consideration. He gave the impression that, in his opinion, the New York field was his, and when Mrs. Lathrop went there to labor, Mr. Campbell seemed to feel that she was encroaching upon the work of himself and wife. With the advent of Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Stetson, and Mr. and Mrs. Snider, he thought that he was being crowded out, though these workers certainly had no purpose or thought of this kind. They labored enthusiastically and untiringly for the advance of Christian Science and with the result that his slow methods and lack of executive ability cost him his place in the advancing Cause, and this was a bitter experience for him.

Slowly but surely he had to recognize the fact that Mrs. Lathrop, Mrs. Stetson, and Mrs. Snider were carrying on, and bringing about the aggregation of a strong church body. Mrs. Stetson, furthermore, was leading a vigorous offensive against other false teachings, and was selected to preach at the Christian Science services. The secession of Mrs. Crosse touched him, and the last time that his card and that of his wife appeared in the Journal was in the issue of August, 1888. He evidently felt that he should be the one appointed to control the New York end of this exodus.

The first number of the Boston Christian Scientist appeared in January, 1889, and I have in my possession letters from him to my father, asking for the names and the number of those who left the Christian Scientist Association. I mention the first number of the Boston Christian Scientist here, because the publication of that magazine manifestly prompted him to a definite course of action. In a letter of January 16, 1889, to my father, as Secretary of the Association, he wrote, “As a member of the C. S. A., I have a right to this information which I hope will come immediately.”

This letter father took to Mrs. Eddy, who suggested that he wait a short time before answering. On January 22, another letter was received from Mr. Campbell, asking for immediate information, and two days later came a third, making the same demand. He did not get the information he desired, and he must have been shocked when he realized that Mrs. Crosse had no use for him. He was finally led into Millenarianism, which seemed at this period to be a catch-all for those who had gravitated to the outer edges of Christian Science.

It was at this time that Mrs. Eddy’s many labors and trials brought clouds of depression, and she was led to look anxiously for some place of refuge where she could propagate Christian Science under more favorable circumstances. She felt that the persecutions which had been aimed at her were most unjust and she longed to find a place of peace, and a more fruitful soil for the implanting of her teachings. Ever since her first trip to the West, she had a fondness for that part of the country. In its largest city, however, – Chicago, there were some outright enemies, and more whose antagonism was but slightly covered, and this number was constantly growing. Rev. Joseph Adams with his very active periodical, the Chicago Christian Scientist, was there, also Mrs. Gesterfeld, who was working constantly to alienate Mrs. Eddy’s students and bring them into her fold, and who was writing voluminously and teaching many classes. Emma Hopkins was holding large classes and conducting her magazine, Christian Science, while Rev. George B. Day was wavering in his allegiance to his Teacher. There were also in Chicago Mrs. C. A. Beecher and Miss I. A. Beecher, both students of Mrs. Eddy, who had left her at the secession of June, 1888.

Upon careful analysis, New York seemed to be the most promising field for the propagation of Christian Science. The conditions were much more clearly defined, and seemingly more stable. If Mrs. Eddy had been obliged to take up the gage of battle for a contest for supremacy, she would have preferred Mrs. Plunkett, because her success was far more dependent upon personal attractions, which were alluring but shallow. A contention with Mrs. Hopkins, Mrs. Gesterfeld, and Mr. Adams, all forcible writers and speakers, would have been argumentative, cold-blooded, and long-continued.

In February, 1889, Mrs. Eddy decided that her presence was needed in New York City to encourage and inspire the workers in that field. She wanted to see for herself the interest that the great metropolis had in her teachings, and it was therefore arranged for her to lecture in Steinway Hall on the evening of February 15, 1889. There had been only a twenty-four hour notice of this important event, and yet the audience numbered over a thousand, which greeted her by rising, and remained standing until she was seated.

The Rev. J. C. Ager, pastor of the New Jerusalem Church of Brooklyn, escorted Mrs. Eddy to the stage and presented her to the audience. The most important remark made by Mr. Ager was to the effect “that while the stream which had originated in the teaching of Mrs. Eddy had divided into many branches, some of which, he had been told, flowed through very muddy channels, nevertheless in all its forms it commanded the serious attention of thoughtful observers, as the most important modern religious movement.”

Mrs. Eddy spoke upon the following themes:

Is God the divine Principle or a person?

Is man personal and individual?

Is matter substance?

Is material medica a science?

Does Christian Science tend to destroy the efficacy of the atonement? And she concluded with a splendid peroration on: “Christian Science, the stranger within our gates.”

It was on this occasion that Mrs. Plunkett took Mrs. Eddy’s hand and kissed her. One New York newspaper spoke of Mrs. Eddy’s visit as the “invasion of the territory of a rival in Christian Science.” This statement referred, of course, to Mrs. Plunkett.

Mrs. Eddy’s visit and lecture did much for the Cause in New York. It not only brought solidification of the work but it gave impetus and inspiration, and from that time the growth was more rapid, the church increasing to such an extent that larger quarters were demanded.

There is some speculation as to how Mrs. Stetson came to be selected as the preacher for the church in New York. Whatever question there may be concerning this matter, the fact remains that Mrs. Stetson was selected by Mrs. Eddy to preach at certain times in Boston. Her first sermon was September 18, 1887, and the Journal of October makes the following comment:

“Mrs. F. J. Stetson was the speaker September 18. Her text was from 2 Timothy 1:7: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’ She gave a brief exposition of the Christian Science view, illustrated with apt poetic quotations. Her delivery was clear and deliberate, every word being distinctly heard throughout the hall, though she did not exert herself to speak loud. The Pastor (Mrs. Eddy) was present, and gave the Benediction at the close of the service.”

When necessity occurred, Mrs. Stetson was sent for, and I distinctly remember one instance, on a Friday evening, when a telegram came from Mrs. Eddy, which stated that she had sent Mr. Mason away on business, and to get Mrs. Stetson for the following Sunday.

Respecting Mrs. Stetson and her ordination as pastor of the church in New York, Mrs. Eddy states in Miscellaneous Writings, “The meaning of it all, as now shown, is this: when you were bidden to be ordained, it was in reward for your faithful service.” (Page 158.) The following is the program of the exercises at this ordination.

CHURCH OF CHRIST (SCIENTIST)

New York City.

ORDINATION AND INSTALLATION SERVICE,

At Hardman Hall,

Tuesday evening, October 21, 1890, at 8 o’clock,

Ordaining and installing

Mrs. Augusta E. Stetson

as

Pastor of the Church of Christ (Scientist).

ORDER OF EXERCISES.

Quartette – “The Lord is in His Holy Temple.” By the Choir.

Mrs. C. H. Thomas. Mr. George W. Delano.

Mrs. George W. Delano. Mr. W. S. Chapin.

Mrs. Louisa Lawrence, Accompanist.

Reading by the Clerk of the minutes of the Church Meeting calling Mrs. Augusta E. Stetson to the Pastorate of the Church, and her letter of acceptance.

Quartette – Te Deum.

Reading of Scriptures and “Science and Health”

By Rev. F. E. Mason, Pastor of Church of Christ (Scientist), Brooklyn.

Solo – “Come unto Me.”

Mrs. C. H. Thomas.

Address and Prayer of Consecration.

Rev. L. P. Norcross, Pastor Church of Christ (Scientist), Boston.

Solo – “But the Lord is mindful of His Own.”

Mrs. George W. Delano.

Address of Welcome to the Pastor, and Right Hand of Fellowship.

Solo – “Les Rameaux.”

Mr. W. S. Chapin.

Hymn By Congregation.

Benediction.

By Mrs. Augusta E. Stetson




Chapter XXII

An Important Decision

BY November, 1888, Mrs. Eddy had reached the determination to stay in Boston. She realized that the best way to make progress was to advance slowly, and to cultivate and plant only such soil as was suited for the seed. To do this, it was necessary to select carefully the students that she should accept for her classes. This she could now do, as the demand for her instruction had grown beyond the limits of her available time. The conditions had changed since she had been obliged to offer special inducements to obtain students and in this connection it is interesting to read the College notice as published in the early years:

college course

Now that classes are in formation for the fall session at the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, some of the entrance regulations may be useful to our readers who contemplate making inquiries on these points.

A collegiate course in metaphysical healing, Christian Science, includes twelve lectures. Tuition, $300.

A limited number of clergymen received each term free of charge.

To worthy indigent students discount is made on $300.

Husband and wife regarded as one, and together pay one tuition – $300.

None but those of good moral character are permitted to enter on any terms.

A few students can be accommodated with board at the College for ten dollars per week. All can obtain board near the school.

There is yet another reason why she made more careful selection than she had done in the years eighty-one to eighty-five, namely, in those years there were very few imitators of her teaching, hence of those who applied for instruction most were free from erroneous perceptions and conceptions, with which many who came later were burdened. There was much false teaching and literature in the field, all of it being called Christian Science, and yet Mrs. Eddy realized that in the Primary Classes, and especially in the Normal, she was not finding so many who came with the spirit of little children. In March, 1888, she tried to remedy what she saw was a deterrent to healthful growth, and published the following notice:

“After the next class she will receive no Normal students who have not been previously prepared by herself in the Primary Course. She very much regrets this necessity, but finds it her duty to do this, so great is the demand for thoroughly qualified teachers.31

The foregoing notice brought out much criticism, and the following months were filled with the greatest confusion. The Corner case brought its troubles in the courts, and hastened the outbreak in Boston and the secession of Mrs. Crosse. By November (1888), Mrs. Eddy realized more than ever that those who should be accepted for the Normal Class must be students of her Primary Course; and, with supreme courage, she announced in the Journal of November that, thereafter no students can be admitted to the Massachusetts Metaphysical College Normal Class who had not passed through the Primary Class.

Further, undismayed by criticism, she lessened the number of lectures given the Primary Class from twelve to seven.

She had reached a point where she felt convinced that she must not only construct but reconstruct. She knew that eventually her teaching would emerge from the chaotic state which then surrounded it, and when the awakening should come to those who had been erroneously taught, she must have the needed spiritual food to give them. Science and Health must be stated in terms that would be not only spiritually logical, but express less of human conjecture and personal opinion.32

Mrs. Eddy realized that at no time in her work had she been so splendidly fitted to teach. Her lectures were clear though concentrated, so that those whose thought was open and responsive, drank in her teachings, and found that she had given them the key which opened the treasures of spiritual truth. Besides the lessons in the College, she gave monthly talks and expositions at the meetings of the Christian Scientist Association, and the records of those gatherings show loving enthusiasm for the work, and the help received from what she said. At the meeting of the Association of August, 1885, Mrs. Eddy took for her subject “The Energizing Power of Truth,” and the following comment is made in the Journal: “Though all lectures delivered before the Association are powerful stimuli to nobler endeavor in the work of disseminating Truth, many report an unprecedented descent of spiritual power from the ‘preaching of the word’ by our Pastor on this occasion.”

This is only one of the many instances in which Mrs. Eddy’s words smoothed out rough places, and gave hope and encouragement, so that her teaching by no means ended with the session of the class.

While the College, with its students, was beloved by her, no other part of her work gave her so much care and trouble. Those who left her became imitators, and the two most noted in this respect were Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Hopkins. When the latter was dismissed from the Christian Scientist Association (at a special meeting, December 16, 1885), it was evident that she determined to parallel Mrs. Eddy’s efforts, and to do the same type of class-work that she did. In the Journal of October, 1886, Mrs. Eddy strikes directly at all such teachers, and especially at Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Hopkins, when she writes:

“The growth of human inquiry and the increasing popularity of Christian Science, I regret to say, has called out of their hiding places and set upon us the poisonous reptiles and devouring beasts of mortal mind. To these elements of ignorance, mad ambition, envy, strife, hate, and to their Babels of confusion worse confounded, I call a halt! And if the voice of Truth and Love be heard above this din of error and hate, the stately march of Christian Science will go on.

“To protect the public, all my worthy students receive certificates of degrees, that are renewed annually, until they graduate with diplomas. These credentials should be required (and dates examined) from all who claim to practice or teach Christian Science, Mind-healing.

“Until the students graduate, they are incapable of teaching more than the first lessons of the Science of Mind. For them not to say this to all who apply to be taught, is an error. As yet I have found no one able to explain correctly all my text-book Science and Health.” (Journal, October, 1886, page 158.)

The foregoing appeared soon after the establishment of the International Magazine of Christian Science and was a protest against the teaching of Mrs. Plunkett, especially since Mrs. Eddy had not given her a certificate.

In April, 1885, Mrs. Hopkins had given voice in protest to the very work that she was promulgating in the next year. While assistant editor of the Journal, she wrote the following:

“The annoyance of bona fide graduates of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, at being confounded with counterfeit practitioners, claiming to be alumni of their alma mater, but practicing a system of healing uncountenanced there, will soon be obviated by the new and wise provision of the president of the College, who has instituted it for the protection of the public from imposition, and the defense of faithful students.” E. H.

Mrs. Eddy’s “new wise provision” about which Mrs. Hopkins wrote, was published in April, 1885, and is as follows:

“The public are hereby notified that all students of this College should be possessed of a certificate to that effect, having the legal official seal of the College. Any party using said seal illegally, or without authority of the President of the College, shall be dealt with according to law.

“This method of protecting Christian students, and the public, has been rendered necessary by malpractitioners and teachers who claim to be Christian Scientists, or students of this College, and are teaching and practicing contrary to the principles taught therein.”

The last and highest course in the College was that of D.S.D., – the course in Theology. The requirements of this were as follows:

“Students who take the full Collegiate Course of four terms, who have practiced healing during the intervals for four years, and have evinced an aptness to become intelligent advocates of the teachings of Christ as contained in the Scriptures and elucidated in this Institution, may graduate with the degree of D.S.D.; and they are qualified to establish Colleges.”

When Mrs. Hopkins was dismissed from the Christian Scientist Association (December 16, 1885) she decided to copy every plan that Mrs. Eddy had made. To do this, she had been blessed with the most excellent opportunities, for she had been very close to Mrs. Eddy, having been her assistant editor, and having lived at the College with her Teacher. We have already referred to the way she used the notes taken in Mrs. Eddy’s classes. As Mrs. Eddy had advertised a Theological Course, but from which no one had been graduated up to October, 1886, Mrs. Hopkins, who was thoroughly conversant with her Teacher’s ideas, decided to teach theology as part of the curriculum of her Course, and it is this false teaching of a Theological Course to which Mrs. Eddy refers in the closing paragraph of the notice appearing in the October 1886 Journal.

While Mrs. Hopkins had been very successful in interesting people in what she taught, it was not until after September, 1888, that she reached her greatest popularity. Previous to this she had worked hand in hand with Mrs. Plunkett in the International, which, however, was the mouthpiece of Mrs. Plunkett rather than of Mrs. Hopkins. In 1888, she attached to herself a Mrs. I. A. Nichols of Chicago, who had come into possession of some money, and desired to edit a magazine dealing with Christian Science. This monthly periodical, called Christian Science, was established September, 1888, and became the voice of Mrs. Hopkins. With this accessory she was able to be independent of Mrs. Plunkett, who, only eight months afterward, took the fatal step that led to her downfall, and at the same time left to Mrs. Hopkins all that she could pick up from the wreckage. As Mrs. Hopkins had practically ceased to advertise or write for the International when she found out Mrs. Plunkett’s trend of thought, she escaped the odium that descended upon the International, and was able to continue her work without carrying any part of that load.

By 1891, her schools and seminary had become very successful, and it would seem that good business management had largely to do with its prosperity. The first “ordination service” of her seminary, was January 10, 1889, and an account states that on that date, “the first regular Christian Science Ministry ever ordained was sent forth from the C.S. Theological Seminary in Chicago.” Another account, speaking of the “Baccalaureate,” states that “Emma Curtis Hopkins, after testifying to the qualifications and character of twenty-two students, ordained them, and sent them forth as the first class from the Theological Seminary.” The ceremony which attended this ordination was elaborate with music and “floral display.” A week previous, beginning with January 3, exercises called “class reviews” were held, in which all twenty-two graduates read papers on prescribed subjects.

By April, 1891, the attendance at the Theological Seminary had grown to such proportions that “seventeen rooms were annexed to the Seminary House (2019 Indiana Avenue) suitable for offices and sleeping apartments.”

Candidates for advanced studies were required to recite alone. Each was trained to express himself upon all the twelve lessons and to explain the Scriptures according to Christian Science. Six weeks of close, unremitting application were required to complete the term. It is stated that some of the most capable students occupied more than a year doing the imposed tasks.

Certain persons connected with the seminary were appointed as lecturers, to whom calls could be sent for work in localities where there was need of help, and the following is a notice to this effect: “Dr. and Mrs. Yarnall, of the Theological Seminary, 2019 Indiana Ave., Chicago, are open for engagements for Lecturing, Teaching and Healing in Christian Science. The Doctor’s greatest specialty is lecturing to unbelievers, giving the Rationality and Philosophy of Christian Science Healing so clearly as to silence all skepticism.”

In June of each year, a day was set apart for a service for the Theological Students, to be held all over the country. The names of all those who had graduated, or were still studying, were to be read, or called at that service, and the following declaration made, “It is finished. Now your demonstrations are instantaneous.”

In May, 1891, the Alumni of the Theological seminary numbered 145, and the members of the Healing Class 350. In November of the same year, the ordained Ministry numbered 104.

I have gone to this length in stating the facts with regard to the work of Mrs. Hopkins in order that the reader may know for a surety, not from conjecture, against what Mrs. Eddy had to contend in just this one case.

Today, when the term Christian Science has been clearly defined, and is understood to have been first and fully presented only in the teaching and writings of Mrs. Eddy, there are but few who realize the nature of the battle she had to wage to free the term from the far-reaching handicap and disability which grew out of its application to all kinds of false teaching and methods. Very few among Mrs. Eddy’s students knew of these conditions, primarily because they would not read, receive, or keep in their homes any literature but that which was recommended by her, and much credit must be given them for their courage, perseverance, and the unfaltering faith expressed in this loyalty. As Mrs. Hopkins’ work was mostly in the Middle-West, not very much was heard about it in the East. The year 1891 was a time in which she was having her greatest success. She was teaching class after class in her different schools, and at the Seminary she had, as before stated, 145 members of the Theological Alumni, and a class in healing, number 350. In May of the same year, the Journal bore the names of but seven practitioners in the great city of New York.

Because such an organization as that of Mrs. Plunkett, in her period of work, and of Mrs. Hopkins, made no attacks upon Mrs. Eddy, either in print or in speech, and sailed along with a fair wind and smooth sea under the name of Christian Science, while Mrs. Gesterfeld, Adams, Marston, Mrs. Crosse and others did the same, the world did not know of the silent conflict that was going on. When Mrs. Eddy made strong, public protest against the wrongs done to her, the world knew practically nothing and was so blind as to conclude that she was assuming too much, and attempting to place herself as the sole proprietor of Christian Science. The conditions and circumstances were so confused that few made any effort to clarify them.

The multiplication of false literature was rapid, and the refusal of loyal adherents to read or have anything to do with it, stirred to resentment and scorn those who suggested, or circulated it, so that they considered objectors bigoted, lacking in breadth of view and in charity toward others. They could not recognize the difference between what they had been given as truth by their teachers, and Science as taught by Mrs. Eddy.

These misled but enthusiastic and devoted students who set their teachers upon a pedestal were to be pitied, for they were doing the best they knew how, and had gone to the only teacher, or healer, of whom they had heard, or who was in their locality. Their loyalty to their teachers was just as genuine as that of Mrs. Eddy’s students were to her. It was this pitiable state of affairs which made constructive work so difficult for Mrs. Eddy in many localities. From the point of view of their students, these teachers had what they called proper grounds for criticism of Mrs. Eddy’s attitude, – that she was usurping a position which did not belong to her. Was not their front unbroken? Were not their Theological seminary and other schools filled with hundreds of students, while the Massachusetts Metaphysical College was closed, the Association and the Boston Church disorganized, and the National Association adjourned for three years, and perhaps indefinitely? Had not the Boston Church been rent and impoverished by theft and secession? Had not Mrs. Eddy resigned from two strong positions, – the Pastorship and the Editorship? Had she not, while owning two residences in Boston, been forced to leave and become a refugee and recluse in Concord? Was not the church in Chicago, which had always been one of her strongholds, breaking into pieces? And when summed up, was not their organization to their way of thinking “a survival of the fittest”?

With these conditions clearly set forth, the reader will readily see that the more urgently Mrs. Eddy attempted to enforce her rightful claims as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, the more intense and extended the feeling against her. The other schools, who were teaching under the name of Christian Science, taught that this truth belonged to no one person, so that to the general public Mrs. Eddy seemed to be putting forth demands that were false, and her adherents making an absurd defense of them, especially in view of the testimony relative to Dr. Quimby, which Mr. Dresser was giving broadcast. Certain it is that opposition and anger was expressed by thousands when Mrs. Eddy’s name was mentioned as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Such an announcement at the beginning of the reading from Science and Health, even in our services, created not only a stir, but an intense antipathy, for the reason that from their point of view it was pushing personality into the foreground. This opposition was bitter and there still remains some of it. It has taken years to overcome what should have been eliminated from human thought. The following letter relative to the matter, from Mrs. Laura E. Sargent, C.S.D., is an interesting item of history, now nearly twenty-six years past, and her advice contained therein may have been the original thought which made the naming of the book and author, a prescribed part of our service.

“Pleasant View,

Concord, Dec. 6th, 1892.

Mr. Wm. B. Johnson, C.S.D.

Dear Brother in Truth.

In compliance with a request from our beloved Teacher, I submit the following testimonial for truth.

One of my students was called to work in a field where one of Emma Hopkins’ students had been at work. This so-called teacher had left her students and entered a hospital to fit herself for a professional nurse. When my student first went among them she could not mention Science and Health, and its author, without great stir and confusion ensuing, although they did not rave quite so much when she spoke of Science and Health, as when she named our dear Teacher. She took the book into the pulpit each Sabbath, and read from it, but there would be so much noise, such coughing, shuffling of feet, etc., while the reading continued, that the service was seriously marred. When I had an opportunity to talk with her, I gave her this line of direction. Each time, before reading from Science and Health, to say, “I will read from our text-book, Science and Health, by Rev. Mary B. G. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.” I pointed out the error that would separate the book from its author, and told her that these few words of truth, spoken in love each Sabbath, was a treatment, by which we could meet the false claim, and that in justice to our beloved Cause, and our Leader, and Teacher, it must be done. After her return she wrote that she had followed the directions, and the noise all ceased, and not one objection was being made. Here was the proof of what was needed to meet the error, and I wish every pulpit where Christian Science is preached, would take the same line of action. If this were done, the world would soon learn the difference between Christian Science and faith-cure, or mind-cure.

Yours in the truth,

Laura E. Sargent.”




Chapter XXIII

Dissolution of the Association

TO satisfy for a time the demand of those who desired teaching from her after she had announced that she would receive no more students at the College, Mrs. Eddy called Gen. Erastus N. Bates of Cleveland to occupy her position as teacher. No situation in the field of Christian Science could have been more difficult to fill than this, and when Mrs. Eddy closed the College entirely, she gave the following appreciation of his work: “I have great pleasure in assuring the public that Gen. Erastus N. Bates’ teaching in the Mass. Metaphysical College was satisfactory to his class and to me.”

While his teaching was good, even excellent, those who have been in close touch with Mrs. Eddy, and knew the uplift that her expression of thought gave to her students, can readily see that no matter how good the teaching of another in that position might be, comparisons would ultimately be made. The disappointment of hundreds at not being able to have her as their teacher compelled her to take the only step that would relieve the situation. She had turned over the Journal to the National Association at the Convention in Cleveland, in 1889, as a gift from her, which action, she felt, would relieve her not only of much labor, but also of considerable criticism. The financial prosperity of her College, the increasing profits from her books, her purchase of the house at 385 Commonwealth Avenue, and her removal thereto, had caused a great deal of comment about money-making. The change of the rules of the College, by which pupils, in order to take the Normal Course, must go through her Primary Class, and the reduction of the number of lessons in the Primary, from twelve to seven, with no corresponding lowering of the price, created more dissatisfaction. Those who were disposed to look at the remuneration of her labors from this viewpoint had still another point of attack, namely the ownership of the Journal by her, until she gave it to the National Association. They felt that from all these sources she had too much money, so that to make clear her motives, Mr. Frye announced in the Journal of June, 1888, under the title of “No Change of Base,” that all the profits accruing from the sale of her works, would be given to a fund to be devoted to the advance of the Christian Science movement.

While criticism was not so violent against the income she derived from her books and teaching, it was felt that as the Journal was made up almost entirely of the writings of contributors, the profits from the periodical did not belong entirely to Mrs. Eddy. Nearly twenty years later this same charge was brought out in the newspapers, at the time of the “Next Friends” suit; that Mrs. Eddy drew vast sums from the Journal and Sentinel. Those who looked with jealous eyes at the Journal in 1889, believed that the profits were considerable. The facts are, they were so small as to be almost negligible; for, on the first of September, 1889, the books showed that the Journal and Publishing Society were just about able to pay monthly expenses from monthly receipts. From September, 1889, to June, 1890, a period of nine months, the total receipts of the Publishing Society were $15,532.29, – the disbursements, $13,189.86, – the profit, $2,351.43. This profit was undoubtedly due in part to the efforts of Mr. Wm. G. Nixon, who had been elected publisher, and to the efforts of the members of the National Association, who, in the Convention at Cleveland, guaranteed a more enthusiastic support. After Mrs. Eddy had given the Journal to the Association, those who still desired to criticize, said that she had turned over an unprofitable and losing proposition for others to support.

The labor of directing and editing the Journal had always been a source of much care and work to Mrs. Eddy. To gain time for her revision of Science and Health there was but one course open, and that was to appoint others who should relieve her from all responsibility in regard to it.

At the time of the presentation of the Journal, she had already taken the step of giving up teaching, and had resigned as Pastor and Editor. She saw, from the course of events, while General Bates was teaching, that there were manifest dangers in many directions, one being the feeling by Dr. Foster-Eddy, that, although an adopted son and the Professor of Obstetrics in the College, he had been pushed aside so that general Bates might have the position. Until the latter had been appointed, he had been very little known as a teacher of great and unusual merit. He had not been a contributor to the Journal, nor had he preached for Mrs. Eddy in her Church. On the other hand, Dr. Foster-Eddy had risen in popularity very rapidly, and at Cleveland (1889) he was elected President of the National Association, succeeding Mrs. Eddy in that position. As Mrs. Eddy did not attend that Convention he was the most honored of all present. He felt, therefore, that he should have been the one selected to take her place as teacher in the College. Her choice of General Bates, however, made the fact clear to Dr. Foster-Eddy that he was expected to go wherever she decided to go, and he found it difficult to explain the situation to the many hero worshippers who expected that he would succeed her as the teacher of the College.

This condition of affairs brought strife directly into her private life, and Mrs. Eddy decided to end it all, and close the College. But before doing so, she prepared the thought of her students for it by first withdrawing from, and then dissolving, the Christian Scientist Association. This action was necessary on account of the diversity of opinions relative to the relation of members to their former teachers. Mrs. Eddy felt that after she had taught students they should not be retaught by another teacher. She further desired that her students, although they had been taught by another teacher, previously to being taught by her, should not belong to the association of a former teacher. This matter was brought to a head at the Convention in Cleveland, by the following motion:

“Moved and seconded that a member of a Normal student’s association should, after joining the Association of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, be freed from membership in the former association; the normal student who is president of such an association may continue to be a member of it and of the Association.”

This is made clear when we remember that anyone having the privilege of becoming a member of the Christian Scientist Association must have been a student of Mrs. Eddy, since section 4 of Article I of the Constitution of the Association reads: “No person shall be a member of this Association who has not taken at least one course of instruction from President Mary B. G. Eddy.”

Secondly, the Normal student who was president of a teacher’s association would, under nearly all conditions, be the teacher of that association. The point for which Mrs. Eddy was striving is expressed in the By-Law of the Mother Church, Article XIX, section I: “After a student’s pupil has been duly authorized to be a teacher of Christian Science, he is no longer under the jurisdiction of his former teacher.”

There had always been trouble growing out of the desire of teachers wholly to control their students. The feeling on the part of many students was one of deep love for the teacher who had brought them out of great trouble into the truth, and, although these students were afterwards taught by Mrs. Eddy, they felt that they owed their allegiance to their first teacher, because she had done so much for them. Working under these conditions, many students fresh from Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, and capable of doing great good, lost their individuality and their clear concept of the instruction which they had received under Mrs. Eddy, and became servants of their teachers, rather than diligent workers in vineyards of their own. They allowed their independence of thought and outlook to be molded by their fear of separation from their teachers. Mrs. Eddy found that some of her Normal class students were being retaught by their former teachers, and she realized fully the confusion of thought that would exist if this continued, and the consequent lessening of the value of her own work, and she determined that such conditions must come to an end.

While the dissolution of the Christian Scientist Association took place suddenly, it had undoubtedly been in Mrs. Eddy’s thought for nearly a year. The Association had continued to grow slowly but steadily after the exodus of Mrs. Crosse, but the battle that had taken place seems to have decided Mrs. Eddy more than ever in the conviction, as expressed in the Journal of July, 1888:

“For two years I have been gradually withdrawing from active membership in the Christian Scientist Association. This has developed higher energies on the part of true followers, and led to some startling departures on the other hand.”

Thirteen months after the appearance of the foregoing statement, Mrs. Eddy decided to withdraw herself from the Association. This constituted her fifth effort, during the year 1889, to disengage herself from responsibilities, – her resignation from the Editorship, the Pastorate, as Teacher, as President of the National Association, and as President of the Christian Scientist Association.

The records of the Association of September 5, 1888, show that Mr. Frye presented a request from Mrs. Eddy to be permitted to withdraw her membership from the Christian Scientist Association, and for this purpose he moved a suspension, pro tem. of section 4, of Article I of the Constitution,33and it was carried. Mrs. J. C. Woodbury then made a motion that Mrs. Eddy’s request be granted, and the motion was carried. Mrs. J. T. Colman suggested the name of Calvin A. Frye for President, and he was unanimously elected.

In studying this most remarkable period of Mrs. Eddy’s life, and of the history of Christian Science, we can look calmly back on these events without foreboding fears, for we have come to know their successful outcome. It was not so, however, with those who were laboring with Mrs. Eddy at that time, and if you who read this will try to put yourselves in the position of those who were then close to her, you may be able to apprehend to some extent their feelings of dismay, their fears and anxieties when they faced the fact that she was severing herself from them. The events of this year had been of deep significance. The schism in the Association and the Church, the unforeseen warfare against the faithful students, the refusal of the seceders to listen to Mrs. Eddy, their legal procedures relative to their demands on the Association, all these events had filled the air with portentous elements which seemed but waiting to be ignited to create an explosion which would rend everything asunder. And just at this juncture Mrs. Eddy asked to be allowed to withdraw from the Association, the body which she had founded, loved and nurtured! The stroke seemed heavy and hard to bear, but, although she withdrew, she was ready at the right time to enter its monthly meetings, and gave counsel and encouragement in her addresses to them in November of the same year, and in February and April of 1889.

The fact of the severance of ties with the Association seemed to have awakened a greater sense of loyalty in her students, and, at the meetings she attended, the relationship between teacher and students seemed to have changed for the better. She came to them now with a more evident recognition that she was the logical Leader for this age. She was still the helper to all, but the added dignity of the rightful position into which she was growing, had a salutary effect upon those who had previously gone to her with all their little gossips. Certain familiarities which she had allowed, or tolerated in the past, she gently, but firmly, put aside. She was now, more than ever, becoming a general, and was learning how to command her forces for the advancement of the Cause. What she had said about students who were absent from her and had shared less of her labors than many others, etc., she was now putting into operation, and was gaining thereby. Heretofore she had always stated frankly and perhaps impulsively what was in her thought to those around her; and some, who could not understand her means and methods, repeated what they heard, often with embellishment and translations of her spoken word, which brought about misunderstandings. She now saw the necessity of being the only general, the lonely Leader of her adherents, and she must be that Leader in word and deed, in command and dignity.

The meetings of the Association with its visiting members were a joy to her, as well as a burden. Many came with troubles which they should have solved for themselves; others with gossip and complaints which were small and useless, and with which she never should have been burdened. They should have realized her stature, her life, and the great scope of her labors as being too important for such trivial matters. Being with her, living under the same roof, and seeing her under varying conditions, many looked too much at, and into her personality, and not at the difficult tasks she tried to do. So long as she remained a receptacle for trivial and foolish matters; so long as no one would take any initiative or decisive step (no matter how acute the situation), unless she first gave the order, even in trifling matters, so long would she be without the necessary remoteness, the necessary dignity of position, which gave her power to enforce respect. There was a great work to be done, great spiritual battles to be fought, and she must have soldiers who were earnest, who would think for themselves; work quickly and surely in emergencies, and realize that spiritual Omnipresence to which all allegiance was due. To accomplish this, she must get farther away from the multitude of students and adherents, and at the same time keep in closest touch with those who could serve her best, and she saw that the most effective way would be to withdraw from the Christian Scientist Association. This withdrawal made her appearances at the meetings, when she felt the necessity of attending, much more effective, for she could better measure the needs of the hour, and husband her resources for vital attacks upon the errors that were coming to the surface.

Certain outcroppings of error induced her to attend the meeting of the Association of February, 1889, after an absence since November of the previous year. The publication and circulation of Mrs. Gesterfeld’s book, Statement of Christian Science, had caused stir and confusion, and in January, 1889, there appeared the first number of the Boston Christian Scientist. Those behind this periodical had labored with all their strength to disseminate it in every direction and by all means at their disposal. Mrs. Eddy saw that there was need of her presence and corrective word in the coming meeting of the Association, and with the energy she always showed in such critical moments, she mentally mastered the situation and brought confidence, hope, and courage to many who were fearful of the outcome of the very general attack upon the Cause. The subject of the meeting “Cause or Profession – which?” she took up and developed, thus impressing her students with the necessity of alertness and constant and careful study of the Scriptures, together with Science and Health, to enable them to meet the questions of the hour scientifically, and rebuke sin as did Christ Jesus. Among her remarks were the following:

“There is only one way to meet this rule of sin. Would we entertain a guest that was spoiling our house? Now, instead of entertaining the guest that says, ‘you cannot heal!; old beliefs are re-established; you feel your patient’s beliefs,’ etc., it is your duty to eject this guest at once. No man can enter into a strong man’s house and spoil his goods except he first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. You can make your house – the body – just what the mind is. The discouragement brought to you, you are able to expel as an unwelcome guest. This is the ground on which all must work. Watch just what your thoughts are, and labor there until success greets your efforts. If you think you haven’t time to attend to it, say I have; or if you think you need help, prove it otherwise. There is no one who can help you like yourself. There are no conditions hindering. They are only what you admit. Whenever you take this position you go up higher. The opposite position is that of ‘I don’t care.’

“Let me tell you something for your encouragement. The one who has met the most, and conquered it, is the nearest heaven, harmony. Students are morally responsible to meet any error in themselves, and then it will disappear from the patient. It is not the patient. It is some moral wrong in the student. Never allow error (the use of medicines) to be used indirectly, not merely from fear that they injure your patient, for they have no virtue, but for the reason that God would not get all the glory of the healing. ‘He anointeth my head with oil, my cup runneth over’ means, the action of Mind on our consciousness.

“Water corresponds to unconscious mind. All unconscious thought is in solution, when it comes to the surface it is dry land. The Red Sea, spoken of in the Scriptures, is the figuration of fear in unconscious mind. Error, sin, sickness and death, is sown and commences in the unconscious mind of your patients, and yourself. Your patients, through ignorant fear; your own, through neglect, or willful sin.

“‘Baptism by fire’ corresponds to fear in mortal mind. All our suffering is from fear. We have got to pass through the furnace heated seven times hotter than it was wont to be. Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity. The remedy for the trials of the hour, hatred, fear, etc., is love. How shall I meet this heated hatred, this envy, this malice, this poison of thought? is the question with the Christian Scientist. The answer is, by the exercise of Love, which chasteneth the evil doer. Evil hath its own reward. The law in Israel to-day is – What you say or do to cause another to suffer, shall cause you, not them to suffer, and we do not succeed because we do not observe this law. That the spirit of revenge in mortal mind may not prevail, student should see the necessity of, and strive to attain a clearer understanding of the law of Love.”34

The peculiar conditions existing in the Christian Scientist Association had been a constant trial and disadvantage to Mrs. Eddy. While she was recognized as the Teacher, the fact must be kept in mind, that in these early years, while talking with students, preaching, teaching, and writing, she did not by any means reach the altitude in the estimation of those about her (with the exception of a few) which she has since gained. The fact “that a prophet hath no honor in his own country” certainly applied to her. Close familiarity bred indifference, so that many who were asked to perform special work either refused, for some discreditable reason, or often slighted the undertaking by not putting undivided effort into it, so that she finally had to put her students to severe tests to find out who were those in whom she could place her trust.

In 1888 there was very little in her career which evidenced to the many the steady advance of her powers. The large majority saw only struggles, jealousies, failures, and the evidence of seemingly imminent storms. A few, for there are always those who can perceive the inner qualities of genius, realized her greatness then, and were sure of yet more wonderful manifestations of it, in the future. This inability to comprehend the ultimate trend of her efforts led many of her students, especially those moved by the praises of their pupils and the outflowing gratitude of patients, to feel that their students should have the privilege of attending and becoming members of the Christian Scientist Association.

In order to make clear certain instructions given by Mrs. Eddy, relative to the disbanding of the Association, it will be necessary to say something further respecting the relations existing between herself and her students, and between Normal students and their pupils. These relations were the cause of endless confusion, and Mrs. Eddy not infrequently came face to face with the startling fact that there was a difference of opinion between what she set forth and the statements of other student teachers who had retaught some of those who had studied under her.

The feeling of Normal students that their pupils should be received into the membership of the Association, was one of the matters of constant ferment, but Mrs. Eddy was determined that, while those who held the degree of C.S.B. and those students who were taught by Normal Class teachers were practically in the same grade, there should still be a line of demarcation. In 1886, Albert B. Dorman, C.S.B., of Worcester, seems to have been the mouthpiece of opposition to her thought, and in August or September of 1886, he sent out his circular letter in which he asked that Scientists drop the degree of C.S.B. to C.S.

His idea in this was to bring to an equal footing those who held the degree of C.S.B., given by Mrs. Eddy, and those who had been taught by Normal teachers, but who had no degree. So far as the standing of each was considered, they were on a parity, with the exception that those who held the degree of C.S.B. were privileged to become members of the Christian Scientist Association. The C.S.B. degree at that time gave privilege only to practice, not to teach, therefore its value, intrinsically, was no greater, so far as the labor permitted, than that of a student of a Normal Class teacher. The reader can therefore see the reason why friction and feeling arose over this issue. Just what thought, or what body of students, impelled Albert Dorman to send out his circular letter is, at this late date, a matter of conjecture. It may have been ambition, for he was inclined that way, or it may have been the fact that having applied for Normal Class teaching, he was not accepted (for the reason that Mrs. Eddy saw in him the very faults which afterwards led him away at the time of the secession of Mrs. Crosse). This led him to publish the Messenger of Truth, and finally to line up with Mrs. Plunkett. It is evident from all the records at hand that the matter of his circular letter was gone over and smoothed out, and that he was again taught in one of Mrs. Eddy’s Normal Classes, for, in the Journal of March, 1887, he appears with the degree of C.S.D., and as Principal of the Worcester Institute. When I say “again taught in one of her Normal Classes,” I mean that, as his first teacher had been one of Mrs. Eddy’s students, who held the degree of C.S.D., he therefore entered the College with the privilege of taking the Normal Course, for which he would receive the degree of C.S.B. To obtain a C.S.D. title it was necessary to take two courses with Mrs. Eddy.

To eliminate entirely this situation, and stop all jealousy, she prepared the way by resigning from the Association, which action relieved the tension between those who had been taught by Normal teachers and those who held the degree of C.S.B., because, without Mrs. Eddy, membership with the Association would not be so desirous.

This first step, therefore, allayed considerable of the feeling; but, as Mrs. Eddy visited the meetings, even though only occasionally, envy again came to the surface. She felt she must, however, hold the Association together, for primarily its members were her students. She knew them all, and for what they were best fitted, and she must keep them, so as to be able to have sufficient touch with them to guide them, and find out in whom to place her trust. Her resignation from the Association gave her an added advantage, for she knew that when her watchful eye would be absent, some of the mice would begin to play, so to speak, and there were those who would naturally be led by others, and would find their own level, so that a sifting proceed would take place, which would reveal those who were the most faithful, and prove to be the ones whom she could employ in special work.

Her determination to isolate herself for the necessary revision of Science and Health, established her decision to dissolve the Association. She realized that as she would be away from Boston, she would not have time to guide it through its stress and storm. She felt that the Association, by being made up of her students, formed the nucleus of something greater that was to grow up sometime in the future when the land should be ready for planting, and that her students, especially those who had been tried and not found wanting, should be kept in her storehouse until she should be ready to use them.

The constant expectancy of her students, and their inquiries as to whether she would attend the meetings of the Association, became a burden which was not removed when she withdrew from the Association, but she evidently thought that when that was dissolved the trouble would disappear automatically.

I have said all this respecting Mrs. Eddy’s withdrawal and her dissolution of the Association, because all critics, in their story of these events, have blundered, and quite failed to discern the most important grounds of her action in these two matters. I have tried to show, also, the relationship between Normal teachers and their pupils, and Mrs. Eddy and her students, with the attendant bickerings, so as to prepare the reader to understand better the communication sent to members of the Association explaining why it should be dissolved.

While the reasons given in the foregoing were very largely contributory to Mrs. Eddy’s action, there were yet others which came sharply to the surface after students had been taught in the College by others. As the only statement in the Journal in praise of teaching at the College, was written by Mrs. Eddy relative to General Bates, a reader will naturally presume that he was the last and the only one who taught. While it was to him that Mrs. Eddy gave appreciation when she closed the College, yet Dr. Foster-Eddy had also taught a Primary Class after General Bates had finished his labors.35 By allowing him this privilege, Mrs. Eddy was better able to harmonize him with the situation and the conditions of life and work upon which she was then entering, and she helped therefore to allay the feeling that the Doctor was holding against General Bates. There is very little question but that the motives of both men, in their reverence for Science were equally good, but there is no doubt that the work of General Bates was inherently deeper, broader, and richer. The record of a special meeting, in which the Association was dissolved, is as follows:

“Boston, Mass., Sept. 23, 1889.

At a special meeting of the Christian Scientist Association of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, held this day, it was voted that we continue to meet on the first Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m., in the Christian Science Reading Room, as students of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College; also that the funds of the Association remain in the hands of Mrs. Munroe, to be used for the same purposes as now used for, subject to the wish of the students.

Again that the Secretary notify the members of this Association of the action taken in this meeting, and request them to remit the same sum of money quarterly, as heretofore, to Mrs. M. W. Munroe, 2 Chester Ave., Somerville, Mass., for the purpose of paying incidental expenses.

After which a communication from our Teacher (a copy of which is enclosed) was adopted by a unanimous vote. By which act the Christian Scientist Association of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College was dissolved at three o’clock and ten minutes, p.m.

Fraternally,

Wm. B. Johnson, Secretary.”

Below we give Mrs. Eddy’s letter asking for the dissolution of the Association.

“To the members of the Christian Scientist Association of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College.

Beloved Students: –

I have faithfully sought the direction of Divine wisdom in my advice herein given, namely, that you vote to-day to dissolve this organization.

1st. Because the teacher who organized this first Christian Science Association has retired from her place in the College, and no longer prepares the students for entering this Association.

2nd. Because new students whom others have taught may not receive the reception that her students have received from this body They may not consider them students of the same grade, and this may incite improper feeling between my students and the students of other teachers. I regret to say that there has been much discord in the past between students connected with this Christian Science Association, and it would seem more natural for them to harmonize than for different grades of students; hence the precedent does not favor the hope of future harmony.

3rd. Because it is more in accord with Christian Science for you to unite on the basis of Love and meet together in bonds of affection, from unselfish motives and the purpose to benefit each other, and honor the cause. Therefore I strongly recommend this method alone, of continuing without organization, the meeting together of the students of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College.

I most earnestly desire that the present reputation of my College shall be sustained, and go into history honoring God and whomsoever He hath anointed with peace on earth and love for the whole human family.

Affectionately your Teacher,

Mary B. G. Eddy.”36

After the appointment of General Bates as teacher, there was much query as to whether or not students taught by him should receive a degree. There was considerable stir throughout the field since Mrs. Eddy’s students could not adjust themselves to the position that a degree of C.S.B. should be given to anyone unless taught personally by her. But she came out firmly with the statement that those who had studied with General Bates and Dr. Foster-Eddy had been officially called by the College, and that they should have the degree of C.S.B. When these students asked to be admitted to the Association, more trouble came to the surface, because the thought prevailed that as they had not been taught by Mrs. Eddy, they were not of the same grade, and the Constitution stated that no person should be a member who had not taken at least one course with Mrs. Eddy.37

As she had called a number of students to the College and had them taught, much criticism and feeling would have been engendered if she had allowed them to become members of the Association, and given her added burdens to carry. To dissolve the Association was the best way out of the difficulty. This would sever the lines of demarcation that had been kept so exact ever since the body was formed, yet allow her to keep in touch with her students.

The greatest stroke of her wisdom appears in section 3: “Therefore I strongly recommend this method alone, of continuing without organization, the meeting together of the students of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College.”

From this time forward the voluntary Association grew and prospered with more prevailing harmony than hitherto, and proved a notable help to the Leader and the Cause, especially in the work of creating out of chaotic conditions, the new organization, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, The Mother Church.




Chapter XXIV

Rev. Joseph Adams and Church Organization

IN the midst of the constantly changing conditions under which Christian Science was growing, in these years of construction and reconstruction, and when the name Christian Science, a title designed and placed before the world by Mrs. Eddy, was being tossed about from hand to hand by whomsoever desired to attempt some kind of mental healing, the name of Rev. Joseph Adams stands out distinctly as one who was admired by Mrs. Eddy, because of his fearlessness and his capacity to phrase his statements in a clear and comprehensive manner.

The students who knew him in Chicago at the time he severed his relationship with the newly established church in that city, saw in him only an iconoclast and an enemy to the Cause, especially after he established his Chicago Christian Scientist and began holding services in Hooley’s Theatre. What these students thought of him and what Mrs. Eddy’s thoughts were in regard to him are two quite different concepts, and it is Mrs. Eddy’s view that we are to consider. In practically every instance her comprehension of character and ability was broader and more far-seeing than that of her students, a very large per cent of whom were trying to be so scientific that they were getting more of the letter than the spirit, but as this is one of the characteristics of young students in any branch of study, we must not consider it an unusual or unredeemable fault. The narrowness of their lines of vision often threw events and actions out of their true perspective. At a time of strife and persecution, Mrs. Eddy was always rejoiced to find those who were willing to fight fearlessly for her; to uphold her work, and place it before the public in a clear, logical, and forceful manner, and Joseph Adams’ defense of Mrs. Eddy was the very best written at that period.

What I shall have to write of this student is based not upon hearsay, but upon his own writings and upon extracts from letters written to him by Mrs. Eddy. Owing to the singular conditions which surrounded him, critics of Mrs. Eddy, unacquainted with her breadth of view, might attribute peculiar motives to her appreciation of him, even after the church in Chicago had cast him out and asked that he be dismissed from the Christian Scientist Association, and that his card be dropped from the Journal. She did not hold him up as an ideal to her adherents, nor offer him position under her protection, but she saw that he was too much of a man to play the part of a whining sentimentalist, and that there would be no faltering of his footsteps in the path which he should determine to tread. She realized that he was one of the kind who must work alone to find his own salvation. Above his great fault – that of the obsession of independence and freedom of thought – towers the fact that his publication, the Chicago Christian Scientist, was the only publication not authorized by Mrs. Eddy, the value of which she recognized, and the following pages will make clear her reasons therefore.

The specific trouble which confronts a writer in trying to clear up the fog hanging over certain regions of the history of Christian Science, is the fact that there was, in those early periods, a misunderstanding of the natural trend of thoughts and impulses, which had been thrown out of their orbit by collision with an impelling force, not comprehended in its simple, calm illumination, and spiritual intent. The return to a de-sentimentalized attitude and to natural and honest simplicity, with a broader view of the relationship which should exist between a Christian Scientist and his fellow man, constituted a line of demarcation between those who thought and lived Christian Science with inherent honesty and unlabored love, and those who simply talked it. The disturbed condition of the time was another factor, also the amount of pioneer and constructive work which students were called upon to do, the lack of strong organization, of logical, unified effort, and the various confused interpretations which were attached to the title “Christian Science” and to its teachings.

To return now to Mr. Adams, who certainly had an exceptional capacity for hard work, and who was fearless in contesting for what he believed to be right. No one in the field at that time surely, had such an amount of energy. He could travel, teach, and lecture seemingly without pause, and never seemed to feel weary. His pen was ever ready; he could write columns without stopping, and what he had to say contained point, and would interest his readers and hold them by the vigor of his style. His differences with the Church of Christ (Scientist) in Chicago seemed to have reconstructed his thought in many ways. His dismissal by that body, as an organization, urged him to put forth his best efforts in defense of views which he based upon Mrs. Eddy’s statement in the first edition of Science and Health:

“We have no need of creeds and church organizations to sustain or explain a demonstrable platform, that defines itself in healing the sick and casting out error” (p.166).

His development of this thought is worth consideration and will be put in a parallel column with a letter written by Mrs. Eddy when I take up the matter of the organization of the Mother Church, in another chapter; but the following quotations should appear at this juncture, since they throw considerable light upon the thought of the times.

“The mistake the disciples of Jesus made to found religious organizations and church rites, if indeed they did this, was one the Master did not make; but the mistake church members made to employ drugs to heal the sick, was not made by the students of Jesus.”

“…‘Well,’ we think we hear some say, ‘did not Mrs. Eddy organize a church with a creed, constitution and by-laws after the manner of the churches to-day?’ Perhaps she did, and in all probability her reason for doing it may be in principle similar to the one Jesus gave to the rulers of Israel when they questioned him on the subject of divorce, stating that when a man wanted to put away his wife, Moses permitted them to give her a writing of divorcement, ‘But what sayest thou?’ Note his answer: ‘Moses permitted it because of the hardness of your heart; but from the first it was not so, etc. Some think in like manner, Mrs. Eddy permitted her students to organize, not because it was scientific to do so, but because of the hardness of their hearts, – their inability at that time to perceive that Christian Science ‘had no need of creeds and church organizations to sustain or explain a demonstrable platform.’”

It would seem from a reasonable viewpoint that, as Mrs. Eddy had changed the text in her later editions and had an organized church in Boston, his argument was not on a solid foundation. It would be interesting, however, to know just what were the conversations, if any, between himself and Mrs. Eddy in regard to this matter while he was in Boston studying with her and preaching at the services in Chickering Hall. Five times he officiated in the pulpit, and his sermons received commendation not only from the little band of attendants, but from the Journal and from Mrs. Eddy who was present on two of the occasions. There is no doubt that Mrs. Eddy saw in him great earnestness, devotion to what he believed to be right, and independence and fearlessness of thought. She probably recognized also that his independence needed restraining, as it was liable to be the power that would finally control him, and make less effective the qualities which might be so valuable to her.

There is one point which stands out prominently, to wit: although his views on church organization caused his dismissal from the Chicago church, and for the period of nearly a year and a half he spoke and wrote against the organization, there is no record of any rebuke given by Mrs. Eddy, except in “Admonition,” which gave opportunity for striking indirectly at a greater error.

Early in 1887, trouble began to brew in Chicago. Joseph Adams had established himself in that city, and the question of organization came to the surface. In June, 1886, a group of Christian Scientists assembled in the Sherman House with the object of establishing a church, to be called the Church of the Disciples. It was at this proposition that Joseph Adams took umbrage, for he found no authority which came directly from Mrs. Eddy relative to organization. The church in Boston he considered Mrs. Eddy’s own church body, organized by her for a special purpose which he did not question. The vote to organize in Chicago brought about his constantly growing antagonism, and, in June of the next year (1887), he began the publication of the Chicago Christian Scientist, and gathered together a group of followers, to whom he preached in Hooley’s Theatre. Services were held every Sunday, and were carried on without form of organization.

In view of the foregoing it is well to bear in mind that at this time Mrs. Eddy had given no instructions or suggestions for the organization of churches. This question she did not take up and put into action until she made the appeal to the March Primary Class of 1889, nearly two years later.

On February 22, 1888, the following action was taken by the church in Chicago:

“At a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Church of Christ (Scientist) at Chicago, it was unanimously resolved:

That the Publishers of the Christian Science Journal be requested to take from the list of professional cards the advertisement of Rev. Joseph Adams, of this city.

The particular reason assigned for this action is, that he has affiliated with different schools who are not loyal to Christian Science.

Ellen Brown Linscott, George B. Day, Pastor,

Mrs. G. P. Noyes, Mrs. Julian Blain,

Sarah F. Bickford, Mrs. G. W. Adams,

Directors.

Chicago, Feb. 22, 1888.”

Acting upon this request the Publishers of the Journal removed his card. Mrs. Eddy carefully reviewed the situation and wrote a remarkable article entitled “Admonition,” which appeared in the March number of the Journal, and which is as follows:

“Letters from loyal Christian Scientists, in the West, bring complaints of Brother Joseph Adams, the substance of which is that his course tends to disorganize our churches and schools, and to interfere with the rights of individuals.

“The Christian Scientist Association, of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, Boston, of which he is a member, enjoined by myself to exercise towards this brother the charity that ‘seeketh not her own,’ but another’s good, has taken no decided action hitherto on these complaints, but a recent letter from Mr. Adams to the clerk of my church, breathing less of the spirit of brotherly love than Christian Science demands, has awakened a purpose among many to decide this question.

“If a member of any medical society departs from established usages, and deviates from the usual charge for service, or takes the patient of a fellow member without first consulting him, it is deemed not only dishonorable, but it is sometimes a cause for expulsion. According to the Apostle, all things must ‘be done decently and in order.’ To affiliate with the reign of righteousness, we must love one another. It is axiomatic that ‘Order is Heaven’s first law’ and unity is the chief corner-stone of Christian Science.

“The Constitution of the oldest Association of Christian Scientists reads, on Duty of Members: ‘It shall be the privilege of all members to act independently, and exert an influence to restrain error and promote truth…Members hereby pledge themselves to do unto others as they would that others should do unto them…If a member violates the Constitution, or departs from strict rectitude of character, thus forsaking the foundations of Christian Science, that member shall be expelled from this Association.’ All who join this Association are, according to its Constitution, made life-members, and nothing can sever their membership except violation of the Constitution.

“‘If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone.’ This Scriptural step has been taken already with this dear brother. Each one of us must abide by the Golden Rule, and he who ‘spake as never man spake,’ said, ‘He that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad.’”

Nothing surely could be plainer, more encouraging or kindlier than this “Admonition.” But Mrs. Eddy had a twofold reason in writing as she did, especially about the Association, as she saw that seeds of dissension were springing up in that body, which culminated in the secession of Mrs. Crosse in the same year.

In view of a letter commending an article in his Chicago Christian Scientist, written by Mrs. Eddy in the following October, it is well to know more of the facts of his work, so that her future critics may see clearly that she was not influenced in any way by Joseph Adams, and that her commendatory letter was heartfelt, since he had earnestly and lovingly upheld her work, a course which he had taken since the first issue of his periodical.

The part of Mrs. Eddy’s letter that applies to the matter in hand is as follows:

385 Commonwealth Ave.

Boston, Mass.

Oct. 3, ’88.

Rev. Jos. Adams.

Dear Student:

The leading article in your Magazine was needed and will do good. It is only by laying bare the atrocities of animal magnetism and malicious malpractice that the human race can be saved from a bondage that will so far exceed the history of the Israelites in Egypt as the power of sin exceeds the inertia of matter to cause suffering…

Yours in Christ,

M. B. G. Eddy.”

That the synchronism of events may be kept in the thought of the reader, it is well to notice particularly the date of Mrs. Eddy’s letter, which is a time of great distress, a few months after the secession of Mrs. Crosse. Out of an aching heart she wrote him in an hour of strife and darkness, when almost everything she had planted, nurtured, and was about to harvest, seemed to be swept away from her, and she did not know how many loyal students she had left.

From the foregoing letter the reader will perceive that Mrs. Eddy read the Chicago Christian Scientist, and I remember that my father used to have it at home, and he would go over each number very carefully, mark different passages, and take them to Mrs. Eddy.

In his support of Mrs. Eddy in her sermons, and in his articles he had always been consistent, and gave her the entire credit for the discovery of Christian Science. Out of a number of periodicals, ostensibly dealing with Christian Science, his was the only one that ever took up, fought for, and proved in such an incontestable way, that the title of Christian Science was hers and belonged only to her teachings, and that those who were teaching other methods should not take this title. Mrs. Eddy was so much pleased with this defense, which appeared in the October issue of 1887 (and I remember my father read it to me), that she said to him, – she wished she had an editor who could write so directly to the point as this fearless but stubborn student.

In his defense of Mrs. Eddy (and it is worth while noting that it was printed five months before her “admonition” appeared), he struck straight from the shoulder at an object which Mrs. Eddy and all her loyal students had been warring against for years, and came to their help in a way and with an effect that could not have been possible through the columns of the Journal, because this succor came from an outside source.

In this defense, entitled “It will not mix,” he wrote:

“Please call things by their right name. What we mean is this: Don’t call Mind Cure, Faith Cure; Psychical Healing, Occult Science; Psychology, Mind Reading or Psychometry; Magnetism, Orthodox Christian Science; Christian Theosophy, Spiritualism or any other ism by the name of Christian Science. Some of my friends and students have been told again and again, ‘they are all the same or simply different names, given to different phases of the same thing,’ but those who say such things are either in utter ignorance of what Christian Science is, or they do not sufficiently understand it, so as to discriminate between Christian Science, and the many claimants to that name, or they are guilty of deception for mercenary purposes. We don’t like to think of anyone being guilty of the latter, but we have seen and heard of some things of late, which compel us to make a demand for honesty.

“Christian Science is the name which the Rev. Mary B. G. Eddy gave to her system of treating sin and sickness, which system of treatment she has given, after much patient, persevering and self-denying labor to the public, in her book entitled Science and Health. Any impartial person who has no axe to grind must admit that the name is her exclusive right, and we hold, that no one can or ought in common honesty to use that name, unless they can conscientiously endorse and do practice her method of treating disease. If some think they have obtained a clearer perception of truth than she has expressed in Science and Health, or believe that her system is mixed with pernicious error which they have a capacity for eliminating, and are now able to give to the public a better system than hers, then give to your improved system, as you think it, another name. Don’t take her hard-earned name and trade with it for the sake of gain, and call it Christian Science. ‘Fair play is a jewel.’

“We have studied Christian Science as expounded in Science and Health, and also the other things named which claim to be equivalent to it, and find ourselves utterly unable to mix them. Christian Science is not eclectic, it is pre-eminently exclusive. You may reply to me ‘that is only your personal opinion,’ Precisely, but it is the persistent claim of Science and Health, why then do you insist on christening your system with another’s name when the children are born and fed by different parents?

“If Mrs. Eddy and her system of treating sin and disease is in error, as I am hearing almost every day (and such denunciations against her that I will not stir up feeling by naming them), will some one please explain, why those very same persons cling with such tenacity to her name and palm themselves off as Christian Scientists, while they disclaim against it, and withhold in their professed teaching of Christian Science the most important part of it? Beloved, I am not writing under the influence of feeling or making an attack upon any personality but combating a grievous error which is greatly perplexing inquirers after truth, doing nobody any good, and which can be destroyed by the practice of the royal law, ‘Do unto others as you would that others should do to you.’”

In another chapter I have given an account of the conditions surrounding those who came into Christian Science who were at the time members of churches of other denominations, and showed how Mrs. Eddy, in the March Primary Class of 1889, gave definite reasons why those who desired to become members of a Christian Science church should ask for letters of dismission and recommendation from churches of other denominations to which they belonged. Mrs. Eddy had undoubtedly realized that this step was necessary, even in her experiences in Lynn, but up to March, 1889, she had not found the hour ripe for such action. She had given her time and effort to the building of a permanent structure, and the foundation must be made strong by the instruction given in the College. The demands that she had placed upon her students to think and act differently from others, had been seemingly difficult to follow, as she had been leading them out of old customs as fast as she dared. The medical profession had struck harder than any other body at the foundations of her work, also most of the ministers. From the churches she had hoped to draw the largest amount of affirmation and approval of her discovery, for divine healing was especially in their province as followers of Jesus’ commands. For her to have made a demand in the early part of her work, that all who studied with her or were healed through Christian Science should immediately withdraw from their churches, would have added enormously to the burdens that were put upon her.

It would be interesting to know if Mrs. Eddy had considered this question of church membership with Joseph Adams during the seasons of class instruction. He was the type of man who would think of just such an exigency, as he was keenly alert to seize upon vital matters which affected the labor in which he was engaged. His experience in the ministry would naturally impel him to ask for information on this subject from Mrs. Eddy.

In February, 1888, he struck squarely on this point in an article called “No Policy,” in which he answered some criticism relative to his advice pertaining to church relations, and wrote as follows:

“‘What is policy? Holding with the hare and running with the hounds,’ in anticipation that when the hare is caught and nicely cooked we may secure a savory portion…Now because we have urged upon all Christian Scientists no policy, especially in regard to their church relationships, some of our friends have deemed it their duty to administer to us a sarcastic and cutting rebuke. We have received the rebuke in all good feeling, because while they claim to be Christian Metaphysicians, we have no right to attribute to them any other than a purely Christian and anti-jealous motive. We shall assume then that the desire of our critics in giving the rebuke was to do us good, and save others from what they regard as pernicious teaching. But perhaps, it will surprise our friends, if we say, that the criticism has led us to review the advice given Christian Scientists in regard to their church connections, and as a result, we are constrained to take an advanced line, and offer suggestions, much stronger in quality than we have ever given before.

“We do not, for the movement assume the prerogative of dictation, but we must declare what seems to us to be the truth, and the right thing to do, even if it should call upon us a fire of criticism, which for the time being, would send us to the fields or streets as a common laborer, to earn our bread. This time our affirmation is, that no Christian Scientist can be a consistent member of an orthodox church, as that term orthodoxy is understood to mean a belief in certain dogmas or creeds, which are regarded as essential to salvation.

“You may be a Scientist, and you may be a Metaphysician, a believer in what is called Faith Cure and Divine Healing and retain your membership, but you cannot be a true Christian Scientist and a consistent member of an orthodox church at the same time. The churches of to-day believe in, teach and preach the existence of two distinct principles; Good, with God as its source, and Evil, with Satan as its fountain head….

“How then can you remain identified with a church, which according to your understanding of truth, believes in and propagates a falsity, and expect you to endorse its faith in the entity of evil? Can you find a church regarded as orthodox which has no faith in a personal devil, as well as a personal God? You profess to have none, where then is your consistency in remaining in a church whose creed you cannot conscientiously endorse? If you stay there, it must be from one of two considerations or motives, either you are in ignorance of what Christian Science teaches, or you have not fully apprehended its claims. You have adopted its name because of some physical benefits received without a spiritual apprehension of what it is, or you are staying in the church as a matter of policy, because you find it to your material interest, and gratifying to your personality to do so. If the latter, (and of that you must be the judge,) we call upon you to drop your policy, come out at once, be true to your convictions, or the little light you have will become obscured by clouds of darkness which will bring again your sickness, till suffering shall compel you to be honest with yourself. If in your heart, you are a Christian Scientist, you cannot retain your membership in any of the so-called orthodox churches without sailing under false colors….

“Before the battle between Truth and error, flesh and spirit grows fiercer (as it certainly will), suffer me to address all who call themselves Christian Scientists, as Gideon was commanded to do to the thirty-two thousand who had gathered from all Israel to participate in the impending battle, ‘Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return, and depart early from Mount Gilead,’ for we would rather be reduced to 300, who declare, as the result of clear spiritual perception and deep conviction – ‘The allness of God and the nothingness of Matter,’ than myriads of those who try to amalgamate the two, or with thousands of those who take the orthodox churches in one hand and Christian Science in the other. Beloved, don’t get angry with us; we have no desire, purposely, to wound your feelings, but we know you cannot fight with one hand hold of orthodoxy, and the other for Christian Science. Blows coming from such a position would not kill a fly. The battle-axe of Truth must have two hands, and a heart fired with conviction, for nothing else can cleave in pieces the claims of personality, or to the dust of nothingness the giant belief that life, substance and intelligence is in and of matter.”

It will be necessary here to go back to Mrs. Eddy’s letter of commendation of October 3, 1888, for its contents and the article to which she refers show, on the surface, a peculiar synchronism of thought between Joseph Adams and herself relative to the need of the time and the events so rapidly taking place. From all indications it is evident that he was fully aware of the secession of Mrs. Crosse in the previous June, and the underlying reasons, which could have been perceived only by one who saw the largeness and the purity of the spirit behind the personality of genius, and he upheld her during these difficult months. In the July number, 1888, he published for his leading article, her address in Chicago before the National Association, and prefaced it with a short but excellent comment upon it. His publication was the only one that earnestly and wholeheartedly sustained her teachings, and defended her at this most critical time, and we shall therefore quote in full the article which Mrs. Eddy commends, for it is well to record in this chronicle of events a piece of writing by Joseph Adams which appealed strongly to her, especially at a peculiar psychological period in the growth of Christian Science.

Common Honesty

“We must insist upon it. Every little while we meet with persons who claim to be teachers or demonstrators of Christian Science, but when we get to know their beliefs, they utterly repudiate a most important part of it, that is its teachings on the subject of mesmerism. We readily acknowledge that the principle of Christian Science is Truth, and Truth is as old as God, for it is God, and God belongs to all, for he is ‘our Father’ so that no one person or any number of persons have any exclusive right in God, but the name Christian Science is not old, for all who know anything of the subject, will admit that the name Christian Science originated with Mary B. G. Eddy, and that name stands as the representative of a system or method of Divine healing, which includes instruction in the nature, mode of operation, and way by which that subtle belief of the carnal mind can be effectually overcome. Instruction in that part of the system of healing is not an indifferent or optional thing but an important and essential part of it, and to leave it out would be equivalent to the omission of instruction in addition or subtraction in the principles of mathematics, and then call it arithmetic. Now if any of our brethren and sisters have, by a superior spiritual understanding been led to perceive that proper instruction in the nature and antidote of mesmerism is not only unnecessary, but that even the mention of it is harmful to the students of the Science, and you feel that it is your conscientious duty to ignore it altogether, then be honest, and call your system of teaching by some other name.

“Do not call it Christian Science, for the public know, (that is, those who have read Mrs. Eddy’s book, Science and Health, or who know anything of her teaching,) that instruction regarding the belief of mesmerism is an essential part of the system of Christian Science, and in a course of study, it must not be left out. If competent teachers or students misrepresent the true teachings on that subject, that is no fault of the system any more than Jesus is to blame for the many who misrepresent his teachings, and call themselves Christians. If you proclaim yourself a Christian Scientist the public will expect you to give them all that is involved in Christian Science, or you will be a cheat, for you will keep back part of the price. Please do not be offended, or misunderstand us. We are not asking you to deify or worship anyone’s personality, but simply pleading for common honesty. Neither do we ask you to credit Mrs. Eddy with more than what belongs to her. Our views of holding up anyone’s personality for admiration may be offensively radical to some, but we cannot help it.

“It is not our desire to offend the least of God’s children, but we must confess according to our views of Christian Science, that any effort the tendency of which is to fix our attention upon the personality of any public benefactor rather than upon the principles of Truth which they proclaim, is not only unscientific but positively idolatrous. We know something of Mrs. Eddy, (and unless we have misjudged her altogether,) she would not thank us for holding up her personality as an object of admiration, and we have no sympathy with any effort in that direction. If there is one thing she impressed upon our mind, while passing through her classes, more than another, it was this, not to look at Mrs. Eddy, but to the Truth which she declared.

“This eulogizing of personality, – pardon us if we seem vulgar – but we are sick of it. What have any of us that we have not received? Have we a power to perceive, know and speak the Truth to the help and blessing of our fellows? Can we boast of it as if it were our own, or we had acquired it by some superior natural faculty which lifted us into authority over our fellow men? No indeed! Even the great Teacher did not arrogate to himself any such thing. Listen to him; ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself – the words that I speak to you, I speak not of myself, and the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.’

“This was not only true of Jesus, but it is true of all the world’s benefactors. God or Truth was working in and through them, and just as there is no virtue due to a ship for plowing her way through the great waters, because of a force that is not inherent in her, but operating upon her, so there is no virtue due to anyone’s personality for doing good. If they do it, it is because they are constrained by the love of Christ, (Truth). The Psalmist recognized and spoke the truth when he said, ‘Not unto us Oh Lord! Not unto us, but unto thy name be all the glory.’”

Reviewing quickly in thought all the events of the months from the tumultuous meeting of the Christian Scientist Association, to the time of the writing of her letter of October 3, 1888, the reader will see how Mrs. Eddy in the remarkable second part of this letter strikes at the very root of much of the trouble which had arisen to overwhelm her labors, and which suggests also the reason she determined, a few months later, to get away from all things which would tend to regard the seeming peculiarities of genius as a very great power, and a very fertile field for gossip.

The letter in question (of Oct. 3) which appears below, was published with the permission of Mrs. Eddy, and Joseph Adams wrote in explanation, “Our experience on the subject of Animal Magnetism is not equal to that of Mrs. Eddy’s, but as we have looked into the subject, we are more than ever convinced that Mrs. Eddy is right and that we shall do well to take heed unto her teachings as unto a light that shineth in the dark.”

“385 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, Mass.

Oct. 3, ’88.

Rev. Jos. Adams.

Dear Student:

The leading article in your Magazine was needed and will do good. It is only by laying bare the atrocities of animal magnetism and malicious mental malpractice that the human race can be saved from a bondage that will so far exceed the history of the Israelites in Egypt, as the power of sin exceeds the inertia of matter to cause suffering. My personality asserted and aimed at by others has been under my feet twenty-two years; but the foes of Christ, marshaled under the signals of Christian Scientists seem to see my personality very vividly and are constantly firing at it, although they never hit me. They conclude that I must come down because I make my personality bigger than theirs, yet they will tell you they do not believe in personality. True, I have troublesome friends who burden themselves with personality, but I have scientific students who follow my teachings and leave my personality alone, more alone, than any others on the globe; for this I thank God and take courage.

Yours in Christ,

M. B. G. Eddy.”

It is well to note carefully the passage which is the keynote of the situation of the hour, and which Mrs. Eddy sums up in the statement: – “but the foes of Christ marshaled under the signals of Christian Scientists, seem to see my personality very vividly and are constantly firing at it.” Here she strikes directly at those who had studied with her and had gone out and set up schools of their own and called their teaching Christian Science. The occasion which had most to do with the writing of the foregoing statement into the letter she penned to Joseph Adams, was, no doubt, the revolution led by Mrs. Crosse.

Another very important statement, is this, – “My personality asserted and aimed at by others has been under my feet twenty-two years.”

As this letter was written in 1888, she therefore reckoned the placing of personality under her feet, from the year of her discovery of Christian Science in 1866. This shows what her intentions were at that time relative to personality, namely an eternal burial of it and absolute trust in Principle.

The statement, “they never hit me,” was never truer than during later years of toil and persecution, especially at the time of the suit of Mrs. Woodbury. The Church then was not large, wealthy, or influential enough to show the animus which was behind the flamboyant and widely advertised action on the part of Mrs. Woodbury and her lawyer. While certain By-laws had been made, they had not been brought to the state of perfection which they afterwards attained, and the Manual was just being issued. The popular feeling against Mrs. Eddy at this time was much more marked than in the later suits of the Next Friends, because, during the interim, the growth of the Mother Church and its branches had been large, and the Mother Church Extension had been completed. But Mrs. Eddy’s attitude was far removed from what Mrs. Woodbury and her lawyers were attempting to strike as her existing personality, for, during this period of persecution by courts, the pulpit and the press, she did some of her greatest and noblest work. Her attitude therefore, was just the same as in 1888, when she wrote as above, that her enemies were unable to hit her.

In the previous chapter I have suggested that many of Mrs. Eddy’s students saw and were influenced by only her outward expressions and realized very little of the dominant spirit behind the physical personality. Neither could they read aright the signs which always accompany the footsteps of genius in its power of concentration, and its introspective research for the underlying object of discovery or development. These, therefore, were the ones who gave her the most trouble; who either aped her speech or action, or became angry because she would not come down to the level of their viewpoint, or who revolted when she attempted to save them from their own personality, or their sentimental concepts of Christian Science, and tried to lead them to see spiritual verities. She therefore wrote as she did respecting “troublesome friends.”

In conjunction with this letter it is well to read Mrs. Eddy’s article “Truth Versus Error” (Journal of September, 1888), and note the connection of thought between the two. Nothing could be clearer in regard to her personality and the fact that it had been under her feet for twenty-two years, than the following, –

“They who discern the face of the skies can not discern the mental signs of these times, and peer through the opaque error. Where my vision begins and is clear, theirs grows indistinct and ends.”

This can but refer to those whose sense of their own personality had led them astray, and those who went out with Mrs. Crosse, because they felt that Mrs. Eddy’s personality was too strongly assertive.

While the reader has in mind this remarkable letter to Joseph Adams, it is well to refer to a story concerning him which had no foundation. It was told me by one of the best-known teachers in the present field of Christian Science, and who at the present time is living. The teacher in question stated that Mr. Adams had said, “the best time to begin treatment is in the morning, to turn over on the back, and treat in this position.” What he did write, and his statement appears in an article on “how to Pray,” which was in answer to correspondents who desired to know as to whether they should kneel or stand in prayer, was this: “We try to put our body in as comfortable position as possible, so that our attention will never be directed to it, and mentally repeat the Lord’s Prayer.” He further gives directions and suggestions for treatment which, in both spirit and in word, are entirely compatible with Christian Science teaching.

In the pages of his periodical Mr. Adams often commented upon, and tried to correct certain attitudes assumed by Christian Scientists, which were often detrimental not only to themselves but to the Cause. The immediate attempts of young Scientists to convert all the members of their family, and their personal friends was one of the troublesome tendencies of the day, and Mrs. Eddy in her classes often urged enthusiastic students to make haste slowly. In his publication of June, 1889, Mr. Adams gave the following advice, –38

“Here comes up the question, ‘Isn’t it better, when there exists an antagonism between husband and wife, because of Christian Science, for them to separate?’ Separate! What for? ‘Oh, for their difference of pinion.’ Separate for difference of opinion! Then for Heaven’s sake we would recommend that universal mortal mind construct islands in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, where men and women can live entirely by themselves! For I will guarantee there are not two persons in this world who are exactly of the same opinion in all things. Do you think there are? Am I to separate from my wife because she occupies a higher spiritual plane than I do? Because she perceives an illuminating, emancipating, sin-killing and sickness-destroying truth? Am I to separate from her because of that? No, indeed! I would say to her, ‘Give me your hand, and with God’s help, I will climb up to where you are!’ And that is the teaching of Christian Science.

“If difference of opinion is the only ground of difficulty, then agree to disagree. That’s the best thing to do. But some may say, ‘Suppose my husband not only does not see things as I see them, but is overbearing, dogmatical, sour; never giving me a sweet look or a pleasant word; in fact, is just as tyrannical as a man can be, what then?’...First, we say, treat in patience. Secondly, don’t crowd your belief upon your husband…Let your life preach the spirituality of the truth (you stand for), and it will not be long before he will be saying, ‘Look here, wife; I see that God is with you, and I will go with you.’”

A reader of the Chicago Christian Scientist of this period will notice Mr. Adams’ articles have a force and clearness which effect a quickening and uplift, which appeal to the trembling inquirer and show him the proper path to follow. He did not sentimentalize, and did not take himself too seriously; he aimed to give a manly, outspoken utterance of his belief, and if he was proved in the wrong, he as manfully and graciously apologized. These characteristics, combined with the force of his writings, Mrs. Eddy approved, even though she had to admonish him for his independence of view, and the impetuous force of his nature which was prone to seize upon an idea that she put forth, and carry it farther than she cared to have it go for the time.

His periodical was entirely unlike those that were carried on ostensibly as Christian Science magazines. Whereas he gave a large amount of space to quotations from Science and Health, and other of her writings, and gave her full credit for her discovery of Christian Science, the others practically made no acknowledgment of her works, and rarely mentioned her name. During the years of 1889 and 1890, he made many references to her work and called her “sister Eddy.” He also printed very many quotations, giving the name of the publication, from which they were taken. He advised also, the purchase of Mrs. Eddy’s works, and in a notice, he wrote:

“Are you supplied with Mrs. Eddy’s works? See cover of this Magazine. If you are able to purchase all, do so: for their possession will be worth more to you than the richest Colorado mine – that is, if you work the books as the miner does the mine.”

At this time the Rev. George B. Day was the pastor of the regularly organized church in Chicago, and toward this organization which had dismissed him from membership early in 1888, Mr. Adams seems to have borne little ill feeling, if any, neither did he seem to have the time for engendering enmities. To Rev. Mr. Day, he extended all courtesies, and printed in his periodical many of his sermons.

In 1890 the Chicago Christian Scientist had become well founded, and Mrs. Eddy read it with a great deal of interest, and wrote Joseph Adams her appreciation sometime during the year 1890:39

“I have examined your sermons (published), have read your magazine, and am ready to certify publicly or privately that what you write presents the truths of Christian Science with much clearness and Christian fervor.”

She often held up the Chicago Christian Scientist to Mr. Bailey as a well-conducted magazine, and spoke of its excellent editing, arrangement and editorials. Just what Mr. Bailey’s attitude relative to Joseph Adams was, is a question, but at this time he seemed to be curiously confused in his attempts to edit the Journal. With an honesty of purpose that is not to be doubted, he did what he thought was his best, but he feared the influence of Mrs. Plunkett and her International, Mrs. Hopkins and her Christian Science, Mrs. Crosse and the Boston Christian Scientist. Toward these, however, he could have had no feelings of envy or jealousy because they were not approved by Mrs. Eddy in any way; but the Chicago Christian Scientist she read and commended.




Chapter XXV

An Editor’s Mistakes

MR. BAILEY may have felt his own shortcomings and painfully realized them when put into comparison with Mrs. Adams as a writer. In personal business talks he seemed to be continually wandering in his judgment, and would suddenly launch out upon the depths something that he thought was the greatest suggestion that could be made, and then put the whole into print without asking for advice or counsel. In 1890, he conceived the idea of making the Journal the only authorized periodical dealing with Christian Science. While the idea was fundamentally right, yet the manner in which he expressed his desire, did much to bring about a condition which increased the difficulties for Mrs. Eddy. At the convention of the National Association in 1890 in New York City, Mr. Bailey’s special idea was launched to make the Journal the only authorized organ of Christian Science, and to follow that up with the suggestion that Christian Scientists read only what a committee should select for them. This idea of censorship developed in Mr. Bailey’s thought to such an extent that in his “Editor’s Note Book” in the Journal of November, 1890, he breaks forth against all literature which, to his conception, is not in line with what he believes to be true Christian Science, and writes, –

“There is only one way out of this: it is to burn every scrap of ‘Christian Science Literature’ so-called, except Science and Health, and the publications bearing the imprint of the Christian Science Publishing Society of Boston: return to the diligent study of Science and Health and the Bible; preach Christ as there unfolded: direct all inquirers to the same, as the only sources of truth, and warn the public, at every opportunity, against the refuge of lies.”

This dictum so baldly and unreasonably stated, stirred up trouble everywhere. It seemed to classify the sermons of the Rev. George B. Day, preached in the Chicago church; the Hymnal in general use; the sermons of Joseph Adams; and pamphlets written by loyal students, which did not have the “imprint” of the Christian Science Publishing Society, as “false literature” which should be burned because in Mr. Bailey’s opinion it was “the refuge of lies.” In the Journal of the next month, December, Alfred Lang, Chairman of the “Publication Committee” made plain that Mr. Bailey’s statement relative to “false literature” was unauthorized and unwise and not the thought of “our committee.” He also repudiated other statements of Mr. Bailey.

This was indeed a trying time for the Journal, and for Mrs. Eddy, since Mr. Bailey was making wild statements in his editorials which were hurting the Cause, and awakening severe criticism and ridicule. In the Journal of October 1890 (p. 318), he had made a most serious error upon which every critic of Mrs. Eddy has harped, and in which the greatest satisfaction has been found as an argument to prove that Science and Health, comes before the Bible, and is considered more important. He said, –

“‘Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.’ The words of the old theology puts us, in spite of ourselves, in the current of that thought. ‘All is Mind.’ A beginner in Christian Science, for this reason progresses more rapidly, if the Bible is laid aside for a time. A student – in the tongue of the world called, a ‘patient’ – who says to a Scientist ‘I take so much comfort in reading my Bible,’ if guided wisely, will be answered, ‘Let your Bible alone for three months or more. Don’t open it even, nor think of it. But dig day and night at Science and Health.’”

Such a statement coming from the Editor of the Journal startled not only Christian Scientists but the whole religious world at the time, and the matter was taken up in a number of pulpits. On top of this glaring error, he put into his “Note Book” in the November issue, his views about “false literature,” which not only started an eruption, but brought upon Mrs. Eddy and the Cause much unfavorable comment, becausce he placed Science and Health before the Bible in his statement: – “return to the diligent study of Science and Health and the Bible.”

In the December Journal the following notice appeared.

“Boston, Mass., Nov. 22, 1890.

At a meeting of the Publication Committee this day held, it was unanimously voted that the sentiments expressed in the October Journal, page 318, lines 20-21, and the November Journal, page 359, lines 34-36, were unauthorized, unwise, and not the thought of the Committee. Also that at present it is not advisable to issue a Children’s Quarterly.40

Alfred Lang,

Chairman Publication Committee.”

In the January issue, 1891, Mr. Bailey made an explanation of his statements which had brought about the censure of the “Committee” and of everyone who had read them. Those who were critical of Christian Science, and did not know the conditions which governed the Journal at that time, (namely that it had passed from the hands of Mrs. Eddy in June 1889, when she turned over all responsibility for its maintenance and its contents to the Publishing Society, and desired not to be consulted in any way relative to it), believed that Mr. Bailey’s statements were authoritative, and that Mrs. Eddy had especially sanctioned them, in view of the fact that she was then finishing the proofs of the new edition of Science and Health which would be ready for distribution two months later in January.

In most of the books which have been written from the critical standpoint, about Mrs. Eddy, this statement of Mr. Bailey appears. The unfortunate fact that Mrs. Eddy did not answer these errors of judgment herself, as she had always so swiftly and surely done in the past, is considered a point in favor of the argument that it went into the Journal with her approval. Coming as it did only four months after her short message to the National Association (1890), in which she signed herself “Mother Mary”41 and being generally connected with an unfortunate statement in Dr. Foster-Eddy’s address42, they felt that Mr. Bailey’s words relative to using only Science and Health for “three months or more,” were cut from the same piece. The fact of the case is that he put forth the thoughts which had been uppermost in his mind for many months, and gave them to the public at a time when Mrs. Eddy had surrendered everything in order to work uninterruptedly on the new edition of Science and Health. Heretofore she had usually caught up with and corrected any wrong statement which had been intended for publication, or had made immediate answer or correction. Hence, as she made no reference to his words “Let your Bible alone for three months or more,” critics have quoted his statement, and used it against Mrs. Eddy, and the teachings of Christian Science. But there are reasons why Mrs. Eddy did not make a correction. These can be found on page 249 of the Journal of September, 1890, the issue one month previous to the one in which Mr. Bailey’s erratic advice is given, and they are as follows:

“1. I shall not be consulted verbally, or through letters, as to whose advertisements shall or shall not appear in the Christian Science Journal.

2. I shall not be consulted verbally, or through letters, as to the matter that should be published in the Journal and C. S. Series.

3. I shall not be consulted verbally, or through letters, on marriage, divorce, or family affairs of any kind.

4. I shall not be consulted verbally, or through letters, on the choice of pastors for churches.

5. I shall not be consulted verbally, or through letters on disaffections, if there should be any between the students of Christian Science.

6. I shall not be consulted verbally, or through letters, on who shall be admitted as members, or dropped from the membership of the Christian Science Churches or Associations.

7. I am not to be consulted verbally, or through letters, on disease and treatment of the sick; but I shall love all mankind – and work for their welfare.”

Mary B. G. Eddy.

Prior to this, in the Journal of August 1889, she had laid the foundations of this statement in a notice that reads: –

“Take Notice: No correspondence relating to any matter of organization, or aught connected with Church, Christian Scientist Associations, or matters relative to individuals, – in fine, no question relating to our cause except those involving the real essence or animus of Christian Science, will be considered by Mrs. Eddy, Dr. Foster-Eddy, or Mr. Frye.”

To go back still farther, Mrs. Eddy had written in the Journal of July, 1889, –

“These inquiries are coming from all the ‘four quarters,’ – For what purpose has Mrs. Eddy relinquished certain lines of labor in the field of Christian Science and called others to the work? Is she writing her history? Or completing her works on the Scriptures? She is doing neither, but is taking a vacation, her first in twenty-five years. She is taking no direction of her own or others, but her desire is that God may permit her to continue to live apart from the world, free from the turmoil in which her days have been passed for more than a quarter century.”

She had been for a number of years the clearing house for the consciences of others, and in the Journal of July 1889, she wrote: –

“Now turn…to the mother with almost 4,000 children, each of whom, at six years old, at furthest (I have very few that are more than six), has set up housekeeping alone, and some of them at one year. The clever ones, or rather, the good-natured ones, act independently for their own household and never think of helping mother.”

She saw more clearly than ever at this time, the absolute necessity of making Science and Health the teacher of the future, as she had decided not to teach again at the College after she should close it. To do the great, and exacting work of revision, as she had it planned in her thought, she felt that she must have a rest from the burdens that were continually cast upon her, that she might have time for study, meditation and refreshment for the needful labor which she knew would be hers. She realized that she must be free from being sought after for advice, also free from the misinterpretations that were being continually placed upon her private utterances, and even gestures and expression. In the Journal of September, 1889, in “Mistaken Views” she wrote: –

“A person said to me: ‘I felt the influence of your thought upon my mind and it produced a wonderful illumination, peace and understanding,’ naming the time of this occurrence. But I had not thought of them especially as I recollect, for quite a season, but had a clear consciousness that they were doing well, and my affections were continually and involuntarily flowing out towards them and all the world. Another may speak of an opposite belief of my influence upon them of which I am totally ignorant and innocent…

“Too much and too little is attached to me as authority, to qualify other people’s thoughts and actions. A tacit acquiescence with general views is often construed as direct orders, or at least delivered as such.”

In the Journal of January 1890, she stated more forcibly than ever her desire to be the entire possessor of her own time, and wrote as follows: –

“No letters containing inquiries as to the management of other peoples affairs will be read or answered by me or my secretary from this date, and no interviews for the purpose above named will be granted. The individual privilege sacrificed for twenty years I now claim. Having relinquished hitherto my own personal peace, time, and opportunity to help others – to cast my mite for all who needed it into the scale of justice, wisdom, and love, proportionately to my understanding, and leave it for them to maintain the true poise, – experience has shown that thus the balance was often lost, and blame always attached to me.

“A moral necessity has sometimes impelled me to tell one student of another’s error, not to injure anyone, but solely to save the student from falling into similar temptation and the contamination of a mental atmosphere to which he was exposed; and that student has betrayed his Lord, forfeited the help of Truth by telling and exaggerating what has been said, thus traducing the mother motive and losing the end in view.

“Some students are saying and doing things in my name, while thinking and acting contrary to my judgment and counsel. This conduct deceives the world, and stultifies the growth of students.” (Parting Makes Tender.)

These quotations show that Mrs. Eddy, now that the Journal was in the possession of the National Association, having Trustees to take charge of it, and an Editor to supervise its contents, had relinquished all responsibility for its production. At this time she was working out the question of organization or non-organization of Church and Association, and completing the most exacting task of all, – the finishing of the proofs of the new edition of Science and Health. Rev. Mr. Wiggin was then working with her but was not giving the aid that it was expected he would be able to furnish, which fact was made plain by Dr. Foster-Eddy in his address to the National Association in New York City, 1890, when he said, “I know of work done this last year in trying to make Science and Health clearer from the worldly point of view, by one replete with the lore of men, but strange as it may seem, that work has been a failure from the spiritual and Scientific side.”

At this time when Mr. Bailey was making such expensive mistakes Mrs. Eddy was trying to do away with everything that would tend to absorb any of her time from the work on the new edition. The two Associations, the Church, the College and the Journal she had placed in such a position that they would no longer be a burden, and the correction of Mr. Bailey, she left to those who were responsible for the periodical. A letter written to Joseph Adams, and published by him in March 1891,43 shows the pressure under which she had been working on Science and Health. He had asked for the privilege of consultation with her and she had answered:

“Gladly would I – if I were situated so that I could do it any way. When we meet I will tell you what I am about, and you will rejoice with me I know. It is now impossible for me to give one hour to aught but what I have on hand.”

Mr. Adams adds:

“Like many other we wondered at her forced seclusion, when to all appearances she seemed to be at the acme of so much usefulness, but this statement in her letter became the germ of our hope, patience and expectation. The reason for that seclusion appears at last, and for ourselves we are not a little grateful for the retirement which has given birth to such a book.”

Among the many and obvious changes which impinge upon the thought of the careful reader of this new edition, two are especially notable. The first is the lessening, to a large extent of the use of the personal pronouns, and the leaving out of much that might be called “personal views.” Events and experiences had brought about a deeper and more significant realization as to the meaning of personality and she saw this injurious claim clearer than ever when she wrote to Joseph Adams in regard to it in her remarkable letter already quoted. Evidently she was working harder and more carefully than ever to put personality under her feet.

The second of these marked changes was in the chapter of Animal Magnetism, which was reduced to one-half its former dimensions. For this she had a definite reason namely that the belief in this seeming power had grown to such an extent that it was much more feared by many, than the wrath of God in old theological beliefs. Questions, and fears on this subject had been pouring upon her, from all directions, and it was expected by some that the new edition would contain many more pages on this subject than the former, but instead she gave but about half the space. Her conviction that she would make less of it so far as the length of the chapter was concerned, would tend to mitigate and lessen the talk about it, also to reduce and destroy the fear of it. To prepare expectant readers for this important change she wrote in the Journal of August, 1890, a period five months before its publication:

“The discussion of malicious animal magnetism had better be dropped until Scientists understand clearly how to handle error, – until they are not in danger of dwarfing their growth in love, by falling into this lamentable practice in their attempts to meet it. Only patient, unceasing love for all mankind, – love that cannot mistake Love’s aid, – can determine this question on the Principle of Christian Science.

Mary B. G. Eddy.”

To many who had laid great stress upon the workings of animal magnetism, who had taught it and preached it, allowed it to grow into a great and sinister ogre, and had used it as an excuse for their failures and sins, this chapter was a severe disappointment. Joseph Adams wrote of it as follows:

“Its reduction to one-half its size is very significant, and full of hints to all students of Christian Science. We thank you, Sister Eddy, and take the hint, for there is no doubt that nearly all, if not all, of your students did magnify that belief of the carnal mind more than one-half its proper size. And it grew in our imagination to such an extent that it became a devil, more terrible to some than the roaring lion of orthodoxy.”

In the thought expressed in the foregoing notice by Mrs. Eddy, and in the reduction of the size of the chapter which strongly suggests to make less of it, she reiterated a thought which she had clearly defined nearly eight years previous, on October 11, 1882, at a meeting of the Christian Scientist Association. She had then said:

“There is a great excess of talk about error (mesmerism). All there is to mesmerism is what we make of it.”

She evidently wished that an element of energy might steal away any sense of lethargy felt by her students. (From the records.)

Such a task as Mrs. Eddy had accomplished had given her but little time to work in as many channels as she had hitherto done, and her reliance upon the foresight and judgment of the Publication Committee, Mr. Nixon and Mr. Bailey, had allowed costly mistakes to take place. His obsessing desire was to make the Journal and the Publication Society the arbiters of what students should read. This led to the formation of the “General Association of dispensing Christian Science literature,” which had grown out of a boomerang effort that Mr. Bailey had set in motion shortly after he became Editor. It was not always what Mr. Bailey said, but the way he said it, which led seekers for advice to take a road that led into difficulties, as for instance in his “Explanatory” in the Journal of January, 1891, in which he explains his statements, especially this,

“It may be wise, as an isolation from thought that works against C. S. treatment, to recommend momentary, undivided and devoted attention to Science and Health. This course has frequently been pursued by the writer, with the happiest results.”

With this explanation, in the Journal of December, 1890, Mr. Bailey’s position as Editor came to an end. Before he had put into print the statement, “Let your Bible alone for three months or more. Don’t open it even, nor think of it, but dig day and night at Science and Health.” It seems that nearly a year previous to the publication of his objectionable counsel, he had personally advised many to pursue this course. As Editor, he naturally seemed next to Mrs. Eddy and to Dr. Foster-Eddy in advisory authority, and to some, the statement that the Bible should be laid aside, and the effort devoted to Science and Health, meant that nothing should be read but Mrs. Eddy’s writings. The result was that many gave up reading everything in the Journal, and other publications of the Publishing Society, which was not written by Mrs. Eddy. In the Journal of March, 1890, the following question appeared:

“Will you please inform anxious inquirers through the Journal, what they are to do about taking or reading the Journal, if their teacher, a Normal Class Student, tells them they must read only Mrs. Eddy’s pieces. Are the others considered error?”

In the June issue of the same year appeared the following inquiry:

“We have been advised to read nothing that does not come from the pen of Mrs. Eddy. Both Journal and the Series are not to be looked at any longer.”

Mr. Bailey ultimately became frightened at the manner in which his advice had been taken, but with his retirement from the Journal, he entered heartily into the program of a movement for the world-wide distribution of literature.

In the May Journal, 1891, a notice appeared which requested that Scientists organize for this purpose.

Work had been under way for a considerable time before its plan was thus made public. There was a strong thought that, as the new edition had been published, a widespread effort should be made to give it greater circulation, and many thought that if patients and students did not purchase a copy they were not loyal. This concept soon took on the form of fear that as the new edition was such an advance over the previous, whatever healing had been done through reading the older editions was imperfect, and only by perusal of the new would complete healing and spiritual attainment be insured!

An article was especially written for the Journal of April which went over the whole ground very carefully and logically and a quotation from the last paragraph of it will not be out of place. This read:

“Let the new volume be studied in connection with earlier editions. The very contrast helps to show how the thoughts have risen only as we have been able to receive them. This, again, will reveal why the new edition could now be written for us. It is simply because the advancing thought, or demonstration, of Christian Students has ascended to that plane which makes it both possible and practicable for us to have the new Work.”

It was evident, much to Mrs. Eddy’s grief, that the letter of Christian Science was being greatly over-emphasized.44

With the publication of the new edition (in January or February, 1891), having had time to again mount to the top of her watchtower, Mrs. Eddy saw that the program of the Association for Dispensing of Christian Science Literature was stirring up a great amount of trouble, and because of this realization she published in the Journal of July, 1891, the following comprehensive “Card.”

“Since my attention has been called to the article in the May Journal, I think it would have been wiser not to have organized the General Association for Dispensing Christian Science Literature.

1. Because I disbelieve in the utility of so widespread an organization. It tends to promote monopolies, class legislation and unchristian motives for Christian work.

2. I consider my students as capable, individually, of selecting their own reading matter and circulating it, as a committee would be which is chosen for this purpose.

I shall have nothing further to say on this subject, but hope my students’ conclusion will be wisely drawn, and tend to promote the welfare of those outside, as well as those inside this organization.

Mary B. G. Eddy.”

With this “Card” was printed another “Notice” which was as follows:

“Having awakened to the fact that material means and methods cannot be incorporated in the practical demonstration and work of Divine Science and especially in the circulation of Christian Science literature, I hereby recall the request made in the May Journal, namely, ‘that Scientists organize for the systematic distribution of Christian Science literature,’ and hereby declare the General Association for Dispensing Christian Science Literature disorganized from date.

Carol Norton

General Secretary.”

New York, June 26, 1891.

The dictum set forth, and taken up by the National Association, that people had learned to distrust literature which did not come through the authorized publishing agents of the National Association, when coupled with Mr. Bailey’s statements in the October Journal, brought the question home to every one who desired to write, whether his essay, or book, would be approved by the Publishing Society. This Society, at that time, had not enough funds to enable it to be the publishers of a large number of books, neither would it have been a wise procedure; for there were many who, coming in as they did through wonderful cases of healing, and spiritual uplift, were enabled to write essays and articles that were scientific and of large helpfulness; but the conditions of the time, the persecutions, and the looming up of fears of the future often led those whose defensive thought was not on guard, into retrograde steps, and such books as might have been approved by the Society would have been worse than a monetary loss. Again, in such a matter, there was the question of favoritism, personal acquaintance, and many other things which would place good works, written by faithful and devoted students, outside the pale, and which without the “imprint” would be classed as false literature. Viewed from every angle, such a dictum as was set forth at the convention relative to literature, and by the Association for Distribution of Christian Science Literature, naturally tended “to promote monopolies, class legislation and un-christian motives for Christian work.”

Mrs. Eddy’s clear and ringing words came with no uncertain voice, and met the hearty commendation of everyone who was broad enough to see her viewpoint. She was educating all who could follow her thought that they must “seek and find”; by so doing they would learn to stand upon their own feet, and the shackles of personality would be escaped from. This was the motive in her whole thought at this time, for she was realizing that pupils of her students were looking too much at the personality of their teachers, just as her students had looked upon her personality. They were absorbing their manner of dress, action, and speech, and in their expressions were using words in a way that soon became indigenous to her adherents only.

Mrs. Eddy saw that as time went on more stress should be laid upon Science and Health as the teacher. This would liberate every seeker from the control of the personality of a teacher, and bring greater strength and unity to the Cause. Her realization of the dangers of personality were never greater than in 1888.

The refutation of Mr. Bailey’s printed expressions by the Publishing Society, and the disorganization of the Committee for Distributing Literature, came too late to save the Chicago Christian Scientist. Immediately after the publication of Mr. Bailey’s statements, its subscription list and the sales of the magazine were greatly reduced, so that its days were practically numbered.

Meantime the National Association had grown too large for Mrs. Eddy to watch over and to see that it was directed in the best way for the advancement of the Cause. Its very enthusiasm was a source of danger unless guided in the right channel. Under certain impulses, students and adherents became unwise in their fervency and made trouble that required her precious time to correct. In advice to her closest body of students, – the members of the Christian Scientist Association, – she said at the meeting of April, 1889:

“Error will urge two extremes; the first to act too far in advance of our understanding, and to strike a blow too soon, and bring on a crisis that we are not fully prepared to meet and master. We must not mistake self-sufficiency, pride in the letter of Christian Science, and our finite conception of the fitness of things, for spiritual intuitions.”

The Cause of Christian Science had grown so fast that many of the enthusiastic were intoxicated with the view that it would sweep the earth in a short time, and there were wild estimates as to the number of adherents. It was figured that, in 1891, there were 650,000 who had been helped by Christian Science; and, when estimating from this the ratio of growth of the past, and applying it to the future, the outlook was made to appear optimistic in the extreme.

Mrs. Eddy’s concept was sane and well-grounded. Her whole thought was to “obey the laws,” to grow in wisdom and the power of God, to be loved and respected, not as the result of the greatness of the organization, but by the love and the respect for the spiritual joy, health, and happiness which her discovery and work would bring. Her address to the National Association in 1890 is echoed in her “Card” to the Association for Dispensing Christian Science Literature.

During several years, Joseph Adams had written critically upon the thought of large organizations in religious work. He believed that unification should be sought and found in the work of everyday effort in Christ’s cause, a labor that would recognize every man as a brother. He had nothing good to say of the rapidly expanding National Association, for he wrote that he saw nothing but danger in an organization which was steadily growing into an autocratic body. This attitude toward religious organization brought upon him much bitter criticism. Mrs. Eddy saw this expanding desire of the National Association, and realized that to allow it to go on would not be wise. Her letter to the Association is one that will bear the closest scrutiny and analysis, and the following passages, when read in the light of the events related in the foregoing, will show the keenness of her vision, fearlessness, and prophetic insight:

“The time it takes yearly to prepare for this National Convention is worse than wasted, if it causes thought to wander in the wilderness, or ways of the world. The detail of conforming to society, in any way, costs you what it would to give time and attention to hygiene in your ministry and healing.

“For students to work together is not always to co-operate, but sometimes to co-elbow! Each student should seek alone the guidance of our common Father – even the divine Principle which he claims to demonstrate – and especially should he prove his faith by works ethically, physically, and spiritually. Remember that the first and last lesson of Christian Science is love, perfect love, and love made perfect through the cross. I once thought that in unity was human strength; but have grown to know that human strength is weakness, – that in unity with divine might alone is power and peace.”

Over this remarkable communication to the National Association there hangs a curious mystery. The letter was written in Concord and dated May 23, 1890. The convention began its meetings on the morning of the 27th, but Mrs. Eddy’s letter was not read until the fifth session, on the 29th. There are many possible interpretations of this fact, and the right one would no doubt throw some light on Mrs. Eddy’s request of the Association that it would not meet again for three years, if it should decide not to disorganize.

Before closing this chapter, it is necessary to follow the career of Joseph Adams, even though it leads to a sad ending for one so gifted and fearless, and to whom Mrs. Eddy wrote two important letters, one of which is of inestimable value. It is unfortunate that he tried to go faster toward a certain goal than Mrs. Eddy felt she could go at that time. The desire to follow the example of Jesus in spirit was an honest and impelling desire with him, and he was willing to sacrifice all; but in the impulse of his desire, he had not fully considered Mrs. Eddy’s perception that to make the rugged path easier and less dangerous, she must prepare the way, and thus avoid an overwhelming opposition.

In February, 1889, Mr. Adams decided to surrender the title of Reverend because he believed that he should take “his place as a man among men, assuming no authority or spiritual power, which is not the inheritance of all God’s children.”

This desire to stand on a common basis in his relations with his fellow men, and to accept every one as a brother, led him unfortunately to be less discriminating in his discernment of the thought of others who came to him with appeals for assistance and help. It was his encouraging of all and everything, an attitude which contained some elements of Christian Science, or at least had yearnings toward it, which led him to open his pulpit to Ursula N. Gesterfeld. This was undoubtedly an opportunity for which she had longed. Mrs. Gesterfeld was a woman of unusual activity, mentally and physically. She had a pushing, energetic nature, and a determination that brooked no interference. After studying with Mrs. Eddy, her ambition to lecture before the public began to assert itself, and, in the Journal of February, 1887, the following advertisement was printed:

MRS. URSULA N. GESTERFELD, C.S.B.

gives the following lecture:

The Popular Craze.

Christian Science or the Mind Cure.

What it amounts to.

Considered under the following heads:

What is it thought to be by the uninformed public.

What it is considered by those who criticize without understanding it.

What it really is.

How to gain the necessary understanding of it, which enables all to have practical demonstration of its truth.

Engagements made on application.

It is evident that owing to the form of organization of the church in Chicago, of which Rev. George B. Day was the pastor, she found no outlet for her ambitions, and sought for an opening in the services held by Mr. Adams. To become as well-known as possible, she not only wrote for the Chicago Christian Scientist but for Mrs. Plunkett’s International. After Mrs. Eddy’s answer to her, in the article “Jesuitism and Christian Science,” published in the Journal of November, 1888, she undoubtedly did all that she could to turn Mr. Adams against Mrs. Eddy, and through her efforts he became less wise in discriminating between those who adhered closely to Mrs. Eddy, and those who deceived him as to their loyalty to Christian Science.

Because of the strength and the brilliancy of some of his writings, and perhaps, most of all, because of his continual defense of Mrs. Eddy during the years 1888-89, the opponents of Mrs. Eddy were impelled to disparage his work. With the breaking up of the International in October, 1889, and the ending of the Boston Christian Scientist in December, 1890, the followers of Mrs. Crosse and Mrs. Plunkett found themselves without a periodical in which to state their views and advertise as practitioners. The only magazine which had a standing outside the Journal was that of Joseph Adams, but they could not join with him while he held loyal to Mrs. Eddy. Mr. Bailey’s statements about false literature and its results precipitated Mr. Adams’ regrettable turning away from Christian Science; but true to his own statements in “It will not Mix,” he changed the title of his magazine with the issue of September, 1891, to the Chicago Truth Gleaner.

Although wandering away from the teachings of Mrs. Eddy, and under the stress of chagrin repudiating them, we should be grateful and thankful that his efforts drew from her the October 3, 1888 letter, relative to personality. Not only does this letter show to every student that to rise spiritually he must put personality under his feet, but it constitutes an answer to the criticism made by Miss Milmine that Mrs. Eddy’s going from Boston was in the nature of a retreat. Letters, actions, and the retrospect of years, will show that Mrs. Eddy planned every movement in the light of the Master’s method. Her letter shows how fully she realized the dangers of personality, and that she must act as Jesus did under the same circumstances. After the Master had taught his first course of lessons, he sent his students out to demonstrate. Later, he resumed his instructions, but he continually directed them away from his personality to God, the impersonal Principle. However, they still looked at his personality, and he finally told them plainly that it was expedient for him to go away from them for a time, because, so long as they leaned upon him, the higher spiritual understanding which was so essential could not be gained.




Chapter XXVI

The Evolution of the Impersonal Pastor

WE, who today enjoy the benefits of an impersonal Pastor, should realize that the position thus given to the Bible and Science and Health was one of evolution, and covered in its progress a period of over five years. The question of a true pastorate, not only of the Church in Boston, but of branch churches, was a difficult problem, and it could not be solved in a moment. Those who were elected to these positions, unless filled with the spirit, rather than the letter, unless experienced in the healing work, and actuated by a deep impelling love for humanity, were not suitably equipped for this “high calling of God.” There were many at that time who were top-heavy with the letter. Many of them had a remarkable flow of language. They could multiply argument and illustrations, which, as they came from their lips, sounded remarkably well, but they had little or no power of demonstration. Their thought was scientifically presented, but they lacked not only the fruits of the Spirit but warmth of human nature as well. Mrs. Eddy’s words in the Journal of March, 1888, well apply to this condition: “Science is hampered by immature demonstrations, by the infancy of its discovery.”

In Mrs. Eddy’s advice to students, in the Journal of August, 1891, she wrote:

“The time approaches when each church of Christ (Scientist) will call to the pulpit Christian Science pastors, properly equipped for this solemn office. These pastors will preach especially to the edification of the people, and not so much for the instruction of the students. My students are expected to know the teaching of Christian Science sufficiently to discriminate between error and truth, thus sparing the preacher a task, and the temptation to be misled.”

Mrs. Eddy had found that too many of those who had been chosen to preach were talking far “over the heads” of the attendants, who were but beginners or inquirers.

Through the years from 1888 until the new organization of the Church in Boston was completed, Mrs. Eddy, in word and deed, laid great stress upon guarding against personality. She realized that in the newly formed body it must be eliminated so far as possible, but the rapid growth of the Cause seemed, at times, to overwhelm her labors in this direction, especially after the dedication of the original Mother Church, at which time there came remarkable growth in attendance and a large increase in respect for Christian Science. With this rapid extension of the work, the pervading and insistent thought appeared which had come down through the churches of other denominations, and which young students and adherents had not shaken off – the appeal of personality, and the belief of spiritual leadership in the person of a minister or preacher. Judge Hanna, who was opposed in every fibre of his composition to personal worship, was sorely tormented by those who laid in wait to congratulate him after services in the Mother Church. He was so troubled in thought and so restricted in his power to make his way through the crowd, who were eager to be near him, that, instead of going out of the door from the choir gallery, which was the nearest mode of exit, he tried to escape through the vestry; but there again he was waylaid, and, in self-defense, for his own good and that of the positions he was then occupying, he asked the Directors if they would not build over one of the windows in the pastor’s room into a door, and make a stairway from it as an exit. This exit was never pleasant or satisfactory, but the Directors recognized his reason for the request and had the addition made, much to the relief of the Judge, who was thus able to make his way out of the church undisturbed.

There is no doubt that Mrs. Eddy saw the constant likelihood that the personal pastor, if brilliant and forceful in speech, and attractive in personality, would gradually move away from the true Science, at an ever-increasing angle; and, by the very strength of his human nature, his power to impress people, cause history to repeat itself, and bring about divisions in the movement and variations in Christian Science teaching. She remembered the many illustrations of this in the history of Christianity, and in order to preserve the purity of the teaching for which she had worked and suffered, and the unity of the church body which she had organized, these dangers of personality and the greater danger of the infiltration of individual points of view, too free or careless paraphrase, and personal translation of her teachings, must be avoided.

With the Bible and Science and Health ordained as the Pastor, she felt that the future of the Church was safe. The personality of the reader, no matter how impelling, would be toned down, since he would not have the freedom of a personal expression of his views, and so be saved from the “pride of personality.” If his nature lacked spirituality and humane instincts, the absence of these essentials would soon be uncovered, because he would have no opportunity to pour forth a spell-binding flood of fine-sounding sentences, but must make his reading simple, uplifting, and full of healing power, by his spiritual apprehension of the truth uttered.

Mrs. Eddy’s experience with thousands of students and adherents had increased her capacity to perceive and sound the depths of personality. If the clergyman who was known as a great orator was willing to forget the breathless interest of his auditors when mounting to a great climax, to forget the words and letters of praise, the commendation of the press and the outlook for a more lucrative or influential position through promotion, and became a reader in a Christian Science church, such a man was of the type she needed, for she knew that such a man had given up all for Christ.

Before taking the step in April, 1895, of instituting the Bible and Science and Health as the impersonal Pastor of all Churches of Christ, Scientist, she watched very carefully the working and outcome of the efforts of some of the branch churches which had adopted this order of service though but a single reader was employed. The labors of Judge Hanna in the pulpit, through stress and storm, had been not only efficient in every way, but his strength in the spirit and letter of Science, added to true manliness, gave vigorous force and uplift to his work. His conduct, in his positions of honor as Editor, Pastor, and legal representative of the Church, when bills against Christian Science were under discussion, was meek and modest, and his sermons were filled with freshness of thought and healthful uplift. Under rebuke, when there came an unconscious slip in some of his many labors, he was patient, and Mrs. Eddy saw in him a man among men. In 1895, she realized that with the growth of the Journal his labors were constantly increasing, and that he would be greatly needed in the future, not only in view of his scientific efficiency, but because of the value of his legal knowledge; and with the great demand upon his time and effort he would have very inadequate time for the preparation of his sermons. She knew too that perfection in his work was his ideal, and that he must either have relief or give up one of his positions.

At this time, Dr. Foster-Eddy was suggesting to Mrs. Eddy that as the Journal was rapidly growing, and Judge Hanna’s time must be occupied with it, – why could he not be relieved of the duties of Pastor? As the son of the Leader, he undoubtedly felt that he should be given a more important position than the one he occupied, viz., that of publisher of Mrs. Eddy’s works. She saw what was in his thought as clearly as she had discerned his envy of General Bates, when she elected him to succeed her as teacher in the College. As letters in future chapters will show, Mrs. Eddy was trying in every way to have her adopted son realize that he too was putting personality ahead of spirituality. When he came to her as a student, he was modest, gentle, simple and earnest in manner, but his elevation had been too sudden; he could not see the danger of allowing others to fawn upon him; he was taking flattery seriously, and was thus led to push his position, and all that went with it, into the foreground.

With all her strength Mrs. Eddy had been trying to drive the thought of personal worship into the background; and yet, right in her home as in the Church, the Doctor was being seduced by it. The worship of personality was still in the air; and women, and sometimes men, craved his attention and advice, and sought favor by subserviency and adulation, believing that the nearer they came to him the closer they were to the Leader. If he had been left alone, or still better, if he had been the possessor of the power to rebuke such thoughts and remain untouched by them, if he had but been governed by the constant and loving advice of Mrs. Eddy, he might have accomplished all the good for which she selected him as her son.

It is sufficient to say that she saw the danger, and had realized also that the Church must have a Pastor for all time whose voice would ever be nothing but the truth, and therefore she made the great decision, and Science and Health and the Bible became the impersonal Pastor of all Christian Science churches.

To Mrs. Caroline D. Noyes, C.S.D., of Chicago, there seems to belong, so far as written records show, considerable credit for her exposition in the Journal of the use of Bible sermon-subjects, and their illumination by correlative passages from Science and Health. This method was given a very satisfactory trial in the church in Chicago, and in the Journal of May, 1890, Mrs. Noyes wrote as follows, under the heading of Church Service:

“The largely increased number of Scientists in many localities brings with it desire for churches, or public Sunday services in some form. In many instances, Scientists have been deterred from realizing these desires by an erroneous impression about a pastor or trained speaker as a necessary adjunct. So few of them have learned the “new tongue” that the supply is not equal to the demand. For the encouragement of those who are in this situation, and as an answer to many inquiries concerning the recently organized church in Chicago, something of our experience is here related.

“Recognizing that the truth expressed in Science and Health is both our teacher and healer, we resolved to take it into our pulpit and make it our preacher also, by reading selections from it, together with appropriate passages from the Scriptures in place of a sermon. This plan we adopted as an experiment, believing that it would result in unity of thought and exclusion of error. The result has exceeded our most sanguine expectations. In two months both church and Sunday school have doubled in number. This large body of regular attendants is united in the opinion that a complete and satisfactory public Sunday service has been compassed in this way. It has thus demonstrated that a Christian Science church can be carried on successfully and profitably without a regular speaker.

“A subject is chosen for each Sunday, for example: ‘The Spiritual Creation,’ ‘Impersonal Man,’ ‘Divine Healing,’ etc., and one of our number is appointed to search the Scriptures and Science and Health for selections bearing upon the subject. These are then aggregated, and when interwoven form a very impressive and helpful discourse. All who realize the great benefit derived from references given in the notes on the Sunday-school lessons can gain an idea of the result of grouping the numerous passages found to illustrate and explain each of the subjects selected. The reading of these beautiful and inspiring passages to a large body of listeners brings out unity and harmony, and largely divests the service of a sense of personality. We have also the certainty of listening only to pure, unchallenged Christian Science. However satisfying a Christian Science sermon may be, if it expresses genuine Christian Science, the ideas are sure to be found in Science and Health. Variation of phraseology or amplification constitutes all we get which is new.

“We do not desire to convey the impression that there are no circumstances under which a pastor or speaker may not be necessary, nor to imply that it is not well to have one….It is apparent however that the numerous groups of Scientists who are waiting for a pastor or speaker, to establish services, can proceed at once with possibly greater advantage to themselves than could be realized with a speaker. They are certain to gain strength through reliance on their own efforts, and from participation in the worship.”

In reading this article one cannot but feel the entire sincerity manifest in every sentence, and the serene confidence, with its atmosphere of gentleness, kindliness, and spiritual appeal, which resulted from successful demonstration. It is interesting to compare it with Mr. Bailey’s objections contained in the Editor’s Note Book of the same issue:

“The article ‘Church Service’ is rich in practical suggestiveness, but does it reach the ideal to be aimed at by Scientists in their assemblies? If our services be modeled on those described by Sister Noyes, will they not degenerate into routine? Collated passages of the Bible and Science and Health are undoubtedly more instructive than a ‘sermon.’ But these could be repeated from a phonograph, and the element of personality would be still further eliminated, so that the service would hardly be more mechanical. The main feature of assemblies in which Scientists come together to praise God should not be the reading of passages from any books. Scientists leading the life of demonstration – and there are no other Scientists – are a living epistle which should be known and read of all men. Their meetings should bring out the facts and experience, in the life that is spiritual. Meetings modeled on those of the Mohammedans – in which readings of the Koran predominate – will not be more instructive, in the long run, than those of the present Christian sects. In Science it is not the pastor or the ‘trained speaker’ who is to be looked to as the possessor of the ‘new tongue.’…

“Suppose our friends in Chicago and elsewhere make their meetings on the model of assemblies of the early Christians – who were also, according to their understanding, living a life of demonstration – and give us their experience in this line. What is needed in our meetings is illustration of the Bible and Science and Health. How hard it is to put new wine into old bottles! We tire of the routine of the sects, and there is danger that we set up one fetish for another. Let the voice of the living God be heard in our assemblies! Let us all speak in the ‘new tongue,’ bring out the spiritual facts of the Life that is unfolding, and thus help to realize the one consciousness.”

In the Journal of the next month, June, answers were made to Mr. Bailey as follows:

“I do not think the remarks about church service in May Journal would have been made had Sister Noyes’ article given more of detail. Some one always reads the selections from Science and Health and the Bible who has demonstrated enough to believe what he or she is reading, and this carries conviction to the hearer. In several instances, to our knowledge, ‘the signs’ have followed.

“I hardly think the phonograph could fill the place any more than it could for the Bible readings every Sunday from the pulpits. The Word of God must be spoken, and Truth voicing itself is not putting ‘new wine into old bottles.’ ‘The tree is known by its fruits,’ and we have much to thank God for in our being led to this point through the wilderness.” (Mrs. G. W.)

“When a child is born, the father and mother talk for it; and, now, the Bible and Science and Health are speaking in our new-born church, which is founded on them. I believe churches all ought to start in this way, and that Science and Health will be shown to be the best preacher when they are read by a student who loves and understands spiritual truth. The people are much pleased, and say, ‘How good it is to be here.’ In Science and Health we recognize the Teacher, Healer and Preacher, – the three in one, – and this action is bound to prosper, for people are being healed in and by our service. The pure service is accomplishing the work; and when we are grown older the students will be able, with God’s power, to give sermons of demonstrations.” (M. B. B.)

In answer, Mr. Bailey wrote as follows in the same issue:

“The Note Book’s remarks were not made with any special reference to the service of our Chicago friends. They were directed against the spirit of routine, and the habit of dependence, either on a regular speaker or on some one delegated to do a certain work for others. It is this that destroys vitality in the public services of sects. There is a natural tendency with Scientists, who mostly come out from the old churches, to start off on much the same lines. The more use that can be made of the Bible and Science and Health, the better. Probably the experience of any one assembly cannot be repeated in any other. Whether we are now working out a form of church service, or whether individual participation will characterize Scientists’ meetings, no one can, to-day, tell, but we can all agree that the final appeal in every development of Science among men is to demonstration.”

In the light of the change which Mrs. Eddy made in April, 1895, and the ever-increasing proofs of the value of the impersonal Pastor, the writer feels that no comment is necessary on Mr. Bailey’s remarks.

Although the events here recorded took place nearly five years before Mrs. Eddy authorized this exceedingly important change, yet she had the matter in her thought relative to the Mother Church, when she wrote into the Deed of trust of the land, September 1, 1892, a space of two years and seven months before she ordained the Bible and Science and Health as Pastor for all the churches:

“When said church building is completed said Board shall elect a pastor, reader or speaker to fill the pulpit.”

Notwithstanding the fact that she saw the great need of the impersonal Pastor in the Mother Church, as well as in all the churches, at an earlier date than April, 1895, she was well content to wait and have patience until the appointed time should arrive. In the years 1892-1895, there was a considerable influx of ministers into the churches. Some came because they saw the dawn of a great truth; others, especially some who had not been successful, discerned an opportunity to enter upon what appeared to them as a successful religious career, suited to their talents and their training. It was a special opening, since so few in the ranks of Christian Science had been educated to preach. It is an interesting fact, moreover, and one in accord with the times, that every minister who showed himself in even small degree in sympathy with the Cause was made the object of hero worship. But their dissertations smacked more of their old teaching than of Christian Science, for it had not been through healing and demonstration that their interest in Christian Science had been awakened; and the hairsplitting arguments of these divines was a peril to many adherents, especially those who were young in Science.

There was yet another danger, viz., in the looking up to and reliance on personality. We have already given a list of the ministers who studied with Mrs. Eddy from the time she began teaching in Boston, and we have seen that out of that list there was not one who stayed with her. The privilege that she had given to clergymen, to teach them without charge, and her desire, in these years, to have those who were educated for the ministry fill the pulpit, had become well known, and this seemingly open invitation proved an attraction to many. But in looking backward over these years, it seems as though divine guidance was showing the way. Despite the fact that many clergymen were anxious to be placed in the pulpit, the desire for the impersonal Pastor was steadily growing.

It is well to note certain other matters that were contributory to Mrs. Eddy’s ordination of the Bible and Science and Health, so that the reader may have a thorough knowledge of one of the most remarkable changes ever inaugurated in any religious movement. In considering them, the reader will obtain a glimpse of the patience and perseverance shown by Mrs. Eddy in waiting for just the right time.

First of all, the use of but one reader, as was the custom at that time, who read from both books, made it necessary to copy all that was to be read in the form in which it was to be presented to the congregation. To the copying of the correlative passages from Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy made rightful objections, and these became stronger in her thought especially after the issue of the revised edition of 1891. In the Journal, excerpts from her writings, in the articles of contributors, had always been given in full, but in the issue of April, 1891, the following change was requested by the Editor, Miss Sarah J. Clark, who succeeded Mr. Bailey in that position.

“In preparing your article for publication, eliminate all quotations from our text-book, Science and Health; also avoid giving the thought with the change of a few words, as thought thus expressed is not our own, but belongs to the individual consciousness that has wrought it out through actual experience. It may be well not to explain the Bible as much as we have formerly done, until a higher plane is reached.”

This effort of Miss Clark, while not fully enough stated to make its intention entirely plain to everybody, was an endeavor in the right direction, for its aim was to stop the continual use of direct quotations from Science and Health, for reasons shortly to be explained, and to bring out individual thought in the matter of helpful experience. Mrs. Eddy had continually urged Mr. Bailey to obtain articles for the Journal of this character. A text taken up and developed with academic technique, from the point of view of the letter, had become all too evident; and in the issue of May, 1889, Mr. Bailey made the following comment:

“‘Readers will notice in every column of the Journal an improvement in the character of the communications, and in the reports of cases. This is due to the fact that experience in Science is being brought out, instead of dry essays about Science.’ The articles about Science had always been filled with liberal quotations from Mrs. Eddy’s works, and with paraphrases of her thoughts; while, to use her own words, the contents of the Journal should have been for ‘the edification of the people, and not so much for the instruction of the students.’”

In their zeal for Christian Science, there were those who felt that it would be easier to introduce the spirit of Christian Science to the general public if the name of Christian Science were not attached. Therefore pamphlets were printed by individuals, having in them direct quotations from her works, while the name of the author was not given. Others, who had compunctions upon the question of quotations without the name of the author, obtained their ends by paraphrasing her statements, and issued their writings in this form.

In the Journal of June, 1890, an article in the “Editor’s Note Book” named, “Hiding the Name of Christ,” shows the very peculiar conditions existing at that time; and if the reader will keep this thought in mind, he will realize the justice of Mrs. Eddy’s rebuke, in an article to be quoted further on in this chapter. The article referred to follows:

“Hiding the Name of Christ

“A brother recently sent to the Journal the proof that a ‘pastor’ intentionally tried to hide the words ‘Christian Science Tract’ which stand at the head of one class of the Society’s publications. He argued that there are many persons to whom the words ‘Christian Science’ are an offence, who still might be reached by the Truth thus disguised.

“About the same time there was sent to the Journal a copy of a periodical conducted by another brother, in which the words Christian Science had been carefully suppressed throughout. The contents consisted largely of quotations, more or less direct, from Science and Health; but there was made no acknowledgment of the source whence they – as well as all the Science thought expressed – were derived.”

In the Journal of August, 1891, Mrs. Eddy wrote as follows:

Question: ‘Is it right to copy your works and read them at our public services?’ The Good which human sense sees not is the only absolute Good. The evil which these senses see not is the only absolute evil. Would it be right for me to enter Mr. Smith’s store and take from it his garments, which are on sale, array myself in them, and put myself and them on exhibition, and then say, These garments are Mr. Smith’s; he manufactured them and owns them. The spectators may ask, Did he give you permission to do this; did he sell them, or loan them to you? But have you asked yourself what right have I to do this? True, it saves you purchasing these garments, and gives the public patterns which are useful to them; but does this silence your conscience? Or, because you have confessed they were the property of a noted firm, did it justify you in appropriating them, and so avoiding the cost of hiring?

“Copying my works verbatim, compiling them in connection with the Scriptures, taking your copy into the pulpit, announcing the author’s name, then reading it publicly as your compilation – is what? We answer, it is a mistake; in common parlance it is ignorant theft.

“If you should print and publish your copy of my works, you would be liable to arrest for infringement of copyright, which the law defines and punishes as theft. Reading in the pulpit copies of my publications spares you the clergyman’s salary and printer’s bill. But does it spare you our master’s condemnation of an error in the heart? You literally publish my works through the pulpit, and evade the law but not the gospel.

“Your manuscript copy is liable, in some way, and at some period, to be printed as your original writings, thus incurring the penalty of the law, and increasing the record of theft in the United States Circuit Court.

“I gave the Church of Christ (Scientist) in Boston, which I had organized, and had been its pastor many years, permission to cite in the Christian Science Quarterly from my work Science and Health, passages giving the spiritual meaning of Bible texts. But this was a special privilege, and the Author’s gift.

“Christian Science demonstrates that the patient who pays whatever he is able to pay for being healed is more apt to recover than he who withholds a slight equivalent for health. Healing morally and physically are one. Then is that sermon, for which you pay nothing, the precedent for preaching Christian Science, and are you doing to the author of above book, and your Teacher, as you would have others do unto you?

“To the question of my beloved students, ‘Is it right to copy your works and read them for public services?’ I answer, It is not right to copy my book and read it publicly, without my consent. My reasons are as follows:

“1st. This method is an unseen form of error standing in a holy place.

“2nd. It breaks the eighth commandment, one of the ten divine rules for human conduct…

“The time approaches when each Church of Christ (Scientist) will call to the pulpit Christian Science pastors, properly equipped for this solemn office. These pastors will preach especially to the edification of the people, and not so much for the instruction of students. My students are expected to know the teaching of Christian Science sufficiently to discriminate between error and Truth, thus sparing the preacher a task, and themselves the temptation to be misled.

“Much good has been accomplished through Christian Science Sunday services. Of two evils, this would be the least; viz., – if Christian Scientists occasionally mistake in interpreting revealed Truth, not to leave the Word unspoken and untaught. Therefore I offer, as a gift to my noble students, – working faithfully for Christ’s Cause on earth, – the privilege of copying and reading my works for Sunday service, provided they each and all destroy these copies at once, after said service. Also, that when I shall so elect, and give suitable notice, they desist from further copying my writings, as aforesaid.

“This injunction does not curtail the benefit the student derives from making his copy, nor detract from the good his hearers receive from his reading it. But it is intended to forestall the possible evil of putting the divine teachings contained in Science and Health into human hands, to subvert or to liquidate.”

This article awakened in all who read it a desire to do what was right, but many queries suggested themselves, such as, Shall the form of service of reading correlative passages from the Bible and Science and Health be given up, and a pastor or speaker be chosen to preach sermons?

There was also the question as to whether or not her permission was for everybody who desired to go over the lesson, to have the privilege she offered of writing out the necessary passages from Science and Health, or was it intended for readers only?

Mrs. Eddy’s objections were aimed at two points – she did not want promiscuous copying of her works by those who had not been elected to places in which they could be held responsible for the carrying out of her request to destroy their copies at once after the service. Secondly, she desired to do away with the belief which was gaining a strong foothold, that to be healed and to keep well and in the straight path, adherents must copy her words by hand. This effort would give a deeper introspection, but it would evolve into a formula, and her objections to this course were of the same kind that she made in regard to “Christ and Christmas” in the Journal of February, 1894, when she wrote:

“The illustrations were not intended for a golden calf, at which the sick may look and be healed.”

There was also the question aroused by the passage in regard to pastors, which was interpreted to mean that she still desired that churches have pastors. All the questions, and many others, were answered in her “Notice” in the Journal of October, 1891, which read:

Question: – Shall we continue to read in the pulpit, on Sunday, extracts from Science and Health?

“If you comply with my terms relative to these Sunday services, published in the August issue of this year’s Journal, you should. I have consented to this as above, and see no other causes than those designated in the August Journal for changing the form you had already adopted for your Sunday sermons. I have no permission for you to use my writings as aforesaid, except it be in place of a sermon delivered in your established pulpits.”

Mrs. Eddy’s words are clear and to the point in that, if a church has been using the Bible and Science and Health for a sermon, it was at liberty to continue to do so. If it had a pastor, she gave no advice to change. In the last sentence she makes her thoughts very clear in regard to copying, and gives this privilege only to those who should officiate in “established pulpits” in the churches.

By this time (October, 1891), the growth of the system of using the “Bible Lessons” for the Sunday sermon had shown many splendid results, and was one of the much-considered questions of the hour. In a meeting of the Christian Scientists Association held this month, the matter was brought up, and the records contain the following:

“Much was said in favor of the Bible Lessons, of how much they had accomplished in the Sunday services, in place of sermons….Questions were asked regarding the best method for studying these lessons and experiences given. To the direct question as to the wisdom of writing the references, quite a general expression was given of a higher understanding, a greater unfolding of truth in the study, from the reading of the references from the Bible and Science and Health, both in the home study and in the Sabbath School class.”

A student of these events, who does not know the exact conditions of the time, will ask: Why did not Mrs. Eddy make the Bible and Science and Health the impersonal Pastor at a much earlier date, when she found how much good it was doing in so many of the branch churches, and thus relieve herself of some of the burdens that seemed unnecessary, and make sure that the future sermons in the churches should always be in accord with her teachings? The fact is that the time for such a general change was not ripe, until at the period she made it, for the reason that with the constant and steady growth of Christian Science, all suggestions coming from her, being more and more observed, accepted, and acted upon, there was the constantly rising cry that she was a dictator, that her adherents were placing her book before the Bible; that she was making herself deified, etc. We have seen in another chapter, how, in August, 1889, and again in October, 1891, she almost tremblingly asked, in her “Order of Service,” to “read selections from a chapter in the Bible, and if agreeable to pastor and Church a corresponding paragraph from Science and Health.

The steady and healthful growth of the use of “Bible Lessons” for sermons, the course of which she had carefully watched, encouraged her to take the step of having “corresponding paragraphs from Science and Health” made a definite part of the service. The reader should remember that in this “Order of Church Service” these corresponding paragraphs from Science and Health did not constitute the sermon; they were read before the sermon.

With this step forward, namely the reading of Science and Health as a definite part of the service, and finding that it was readily accepted, her vision was strengthened, and when she knew that more and more of the branch churches were using the Bible and the text-book as the pastor, she took yet another step in advance, in December, 1891, and issued a general “Order of Church Service,” which reads as follows:

“That there may be uniformity among Christian Scientists in their Church services, I submit the following Order of Exercises:

Anthem.

Pastor announces that he will read from the Bible and Science and Health.

Reading.

Lord’s Prayer and Spiritual Version repeated alternately.

Pastor commences the first line of the Prayer, and repeats it with the Church; then he responds to it with the version. Next, the Church repeats the second line of the Prayer and Pastor responds, and so on to the end.

Pastor reads Hymn.

Singing.

Collection.

Pastor reads Hymn.

Singing.

Benediction.

Mary B. G. Eddy.”

The discussion over the question of copying, and the stroke of genius that gracefully granted the use of her works, caused a deep sense of rejoicing everywhere, for those who were watching the signs of the times realized that a great change was being brought about slowly but surely, and her permission and helpful suggestions gave new life, especially to the small churches. Many letters of earnest gratitude were received by Mrs. Eddy from all over the world, and she realized therefrom that love and trust in her guidance of her flock was constantly growing stronger, and that the time had come to take a still more advanced step, which she did by making her “Spiritual Version” a part of the “Order of Exercises.”

At this point it will be interesting, perhaps, to the reader to know what the “Spiritual Version” or “interpretation” was at that time, and I take the liberty of putting into parallel columns the versions contained in the sixteenth edition of Science and Health, and the revised edition of 1891.

Sixteenth

O Divine Supreme Being, who art in eternal harmony,
Adorable and nameless,
Ever-present and omnipotent, –
Whose supremacy will appear as matter disappears, –
Give us the understanding of Truth and Love,
For loving Thee we shall know Thee.
Lead us into Life, and deliver us from sin, sickness, and death,
For God is Life, Truth, and Love, forever. So be it.”

<

Revised, 1891
Our Father, which art in Heaven,
Our eternal supreme Being, all-harmonious,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Forever glorious.
Thy kingdom come!
Ever-present and omnipotent!
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.
Thy supremacy appears as matter disappears.
Give us this day our daily bread;
Give us each day the living bread;
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And Truth will destroy the claims of error.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;
Led by Spirit, mortals are freed from sickness, sin and death;
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
For Thou art all Substance, Life, Truth, and Love forever. So be it.”

A comparison of these two “versions” will show the step which Mrs. Eddy took in uniting her spiritual version with the “Lord’s Prayer,” and the confidence which she must have felt in her followers to ask them to make it a part of their Sunday service.

With her, this was a time of fresh activities. The efforts of Mrs. Plunkett, Mrs. Crosse, Mrs. Hopkins, and others, were no longer effective to break down her organizations. She could see her way clearly, and it was with no such hesitancy now (though only two months after she had written, “if agreeable to pastor and Church,” etc.) that she published the “Order of Exercise.”

With ever-growing confidence in the loyalty of her adherents, she carefully watched the signs of the times, and though the desire continued to grow in every direction for the use of the Bible and Science and Health in the services, instead of sermons written and preached by a pastor, she still patiently and perseveringly waited, until, at the end of nearly five years from the time when Mrs. Noyes wrote her account in the Journal of May, 1890, Mrs. Eddy realized that the work was done – that the people were unanimously accepting the impersonal pastor.




Chapter XXVII

The Rotherham Translation Controversy

IN the Journal of July, September, and October of 1890, the Editor, Mr. Bailey, showed excessive enthusiasm over Rotherham’s translation of the New Testament, and in the August issue it was advertised for sale by the Publishing Society.

On page 184 of the Journal of July, 1890, Mr. Bailey took a serious matter into his own hands, and without getting Mrs. Eddy’s approval, made the following announcement:

“All quotations from the New Testament printed in the Journal hereafter will be made to accord with Rotherham’s version. Several months’ use of Rotherham warrants the declaration that it is the one translation of the ‘New Testament in its Spiritual sense,’ and every Scientist should make it his aim to possess a copy of this work. It should be the inseparable companion of Science and Health in the closet, the class-room and on the platform. Each incites to the study of the other….and we thus vibrate with increasing understanding and delight between the two….All apparent separations between the Old and New Testaments and Science and Health dissolve, the texts disappear, and the ‘unity of Good’ is realized in an atmosphere that is above the mists of sense, and free from the conditions of time and space.”

According to Miss Milmine, in her Life of Mrs. Eddy, Mr. Nixon received the following letter respecting this matter:

“July 14, 1890.

385 Commonwealth Ave.

My Dear Student:

Many thanks for your copy of Rotherham’s translation of the New Testament. But I cannot see the merit in it that Mr. Bailey attaches to it in his long notice in the Journal. The language is decaying as fast as that of the Pickwick Papers. I prefer the common version for all Scriptural quotations.

Most truly and affectionately,

M. B. G. Eddy.”

It seems curious, in view of the fact that Mrs. Eddy wrote so definitely in this letter to Mr. Nixon of her preference for the common version, for all Scriptural quotations, that more deference was not paid to her expressed desire, and it would be interesting to know whether or not Mr. Nixon showed this communication to Mr. Bailey and to the members of the Publishing Society. However, the fact remains that Mr. Bailey continued his course, and changed all quotations in the articles he had on hand to be published, and continued doing so for some time. Further, in the September and October issues of the Journal, he wrote extensively in praise of this version.

In his overwhelming enthusiasm for Rotherham, Mr. Bailey made the following statement, in the Journal of July, 1890:

“Rotherham could not have known of Christian Science when his translation was made; but had he been a conscious collaborator with the Author of Science and Health – as we know he was in Mind – his work could hardly have been more evidently the complement of hers. However, had his translation been the work of a Scientist it would not, perhaps, have carried to Scientists themselves – from the present standpoint in thought – the conviction it now does, and would have been quite without authority for unbelievers in Science.”

In the August Journal, Mrs. Eddy took exception to Mr. Bailey’s statement, and made correction of the same. Her “Card” read in part as follows:

Mr. Editor: – The late articles referring to me in the July issue of the Journal contain presentments that I object to as having uttered or written. God alone appoints the befitting path and place for each of His children, and mankind should wait on Him, and let the ages declare judgment. It is my impression that at least a half century will pass away before man is permitted to render public his verdict on some of the momentous questions which are now agitating the world.”

Conditions soon evolved which made it difficult for Mr. Bailey to carry out his purpose with regard to this translation. His intention seemed to be to make it the authorized version for all Christian Scientists, for in the Journal of October, 1890, there appeared “A correction,” from which we quote as follows:

“The manuscript copy of the ‘Report from the Field,’ presented at the New York Meeting, closed with a quotation – Luke vii. 22 – from the common version. In the published ‘Report of Proceedings,’ this quotation is given in the words of Rotherham’s version. Its author requests that the passage as it stands in the common version be published in the Journal, as it expresses better her thought and was what she wanted.”

In the Journal of January, 1891, a contributor (probably Mr. Alfred Farlow) made the following criticism of the use of Rotherham’s translation:

“Will you allow me a few lines to express my thoughts regarding Rotherham’s translation of the New Testament? I find the book very useful, as the translation is generally clearer and more exact than the common version. For home study I value it highly, and would cheerfully recommend it; but experience has caused me to conclude that it is not best to quote this translation in Christian Science publications – nor do I see any necessity for so doing, since the spiritual signification of the common version is identical with that of Rotherham.

“Opposers of Christian Science take advantage of the popular ignorance regarding this recent translation, and denominate our use of it ‘misquotation.’ In view of this fact, would it not be better to use the King James Version exclusively for study, and refrain from published quotations in Christian Science literature from this new translation, until it is more fully introduced? I have a copy of the Series, published July 15, on the margin of which is written opposite each quotation: ‘Wrongly quoted.’ This was circulated for the purpose of showing how Christian Scientists misquote the Bible. If we, as Christian Scientists, make too strong a claim upon this translation before it is properly tested out, will it not be called a Christian Science Bible?

“We are taught to ‘Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves,’ and in view of the results I have seen, I could more freely circulate literature wherein quotations are made from a translation which is known to the public.”

The Editor, who succeeded Mr. Bailey, Miss Clark, wrote regarding the matter as follows:

“Science demands law and order: and since the truths expressed in Science and Health are all derived from the common version, is it wise for us, who have demonstrated so little of divine Principle, to choose a translation of our own? Does it not tend to bring confusion in our own ranks, and also among those who are reaching out for a clearer understanding of the Bible? The suggestion seems timely, and no doubt will meet the hearty approval of both readers and contributors.”

When Miss Clark wrote in the foregoing, “Does it not tend to bring confusion in our own ranks?” she summed up the characteristic quality of practically all Mr. Bailey’s efforts during his connection with the Journal. It was only on account of the serious conditions of the times and the desire of Mrs. Eddy to have peace among those who still adhered to her, and at the same time to be able to work on the new edition of Science and Health, that he was allowed to continue his editorship. He was much entangled in the snares of personality, fear, and indecision, and was being controlled by others for personal ends. With the courage of an excessive self-estimate, he had suggested to Mrs. Eddy that he was the one competent person to make a revision of Science and Health; for, as he stated to her, the arrangement was not good, it was “too cut up.” He was so insistent that Mrs. Eddy at last gave him the opportunity he desired. The result was altogether unacceptable in its form, and in its darkening of the spiritual import of the text.

Shortly after he succeeded Mrs. Crosse in the editorial chair, and found that the Journal was not on a paying basis, he proposed to Mrs. Eddy to let him have it as his own personal property. He urged that this would relieve her of the financial drain, and would preserve it against being seized in case of suits which might be brought against the Teacher. Mrs. Eddy was loath to give it up, but Mr. Bailey was not to be discouraged. He evidently felt that as she had resigned from the position of Editor, and from all participation in its management, he might as well have it for his own personal possession. With great insistence, he finally urged Mrs. Eddy to the point where she was ready to turn it over to him, but having realized, in due time, the animus behind his efforts, and to make sure that the Journal should be held for safe-keeping, she gave it to the National Association at its Cleveland convention in 1889.

The light of additional facts which have come to hand since the author wrote of Mr. Bailey’s efforts to have Dr. Smith made Editor, discloses the reason why Mrs. Eddy having discerned the peculiar existing conditions and trend of thought, reversed her request that Mr. Nixon secure Dr. Smith for this position.

It is interesting in this connection to note what a clearinghouse for many students, who had turned away from Mrs. Eddy, Luther Marston’s Magazine, Mental Healing Monthly, had become. In his own publication, as well as in Mrs. Plunkett’s Truth, later known as the International Magazine of Christian Science, the statement was made that he was a Normal Graduate of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College. Further, among the contributors to its pages are found such names as the following students: Arthur T. Buswell, Miss Isabel A. Beecher, Rev. O. P. Gifford, Clara E. Choate, Rev. J. W. Winkley, who had preached in Chickering Hall, Rev. (or Prof.) A. J. Swarts, Editor of Mental Science Magazine and President of the Spiritual Science University, a self-convicted plagiarist of Science and Health; Mrs. Plunkett, Mrs. Hopkins, and the apostate Rev. William I. Gill; also Julius A. Dresser, the defender of Quimbyism, Rev. Dr. C. A. Bartol, who had once preached for Mrs. Eddy, and Dr. Addison Crabtree, to whom Mrs. Eddy had extended a helping hand in commending his Journeyings of Jesus.

One conversant with the circumstances and the history of these years, and acquainted with these individuals, can imagine the bitterness of the thought expressed by some of them when giving their impressions of Mrs. Eddy. In the July issue, 1887, of this Marston periodical, Mental Healing Monthly, Julius A. Dresser gives vent to his feelings in regard to the answer made by Mrs. Eddy to his pamphlet containing his defense of Quimby as the discoverer of mental healing, in which Ms. Eddy wrote (Journal of June, 1887):

“By reason of ‘mining and tunneling,’ and the sinister, silently directed mental influence of our latest aspirant to the discovery of Christian Science, – a student who, about one year ago, received his first lesson from me, – Mr. J. A. Dresser has again ‘let loose the dogs of war.’ In other words, he has loosed from the leash his pet poodle, to alternately bark and whine at my heels. In a peppery pamphlet, Mr. Dresser delivers a stupendous eulogy over the late P. P. Quimby, as his healer, and exaggerates and fabricates in Quimby’s behalf; but all this is kind, and I wish it were honest. I commend gratitude, even in the child who hates his mother; and this gratitude should be a lesson to that suckling littérateur, Mr. Marston, whom I taught, and whose life I saved three years ago, but who now squeaks out an echo of Mr. Dresser’s abuse.”

To the foregoing list of names, well known in Metaphysical circles, must be added that of Dr. Warren Felt Evans as an editorial contributor. His six books dealing with “Mind Cure” had given him a distinctive standing not only in America, but in England, as a leading thinker on this subject.

All of the foregoing who lived in, or near Boston, attended the “Church of the Divine Unity (Scientist),” together with many other people of wealth and social standing, and the reader can easily see what difficulties the poor and struggling little Church of Christ (Scientist) would have met with had Mr. Bailey’s plans for the union of these two bodies been carried out.

Nothing more need be said of the work of Joshua F. Bailey while editor of the Journal. He was a singular character, one who no doubt desired to do right, but he lacked poise. As he wrote, so he taught. Sometimes, in steadier moments, gleams of splendid truth were reflected from his association with Mrs. Eddy, but it is difficult to see, even at this period of retrospect, any real and abiding good which Mr. Bailey ever achieved in his position as editor. After the rebellion of Mrs. Crosse, he seemed to be the only one to fill the gap, and for this let us give him credit. Had he been of greater build, mentally and spiritually, and had he anticipated and listened to Mrs. Eddy’s desires instead of thinking of the great value of his own personal opinion, he might have accomplished much in that most trying period in the history of Christian Science, to save the Cause not only from enemies without, but from the contamination of the many who were carrying on their work under the title of Christian Science, or claiming that it was just the same as Christian Science, while dimming the vision of honest seekers for this great truth. That Mrs. Eddy and the truth she discerned should have lived, and passed through this seething sea of error, goes to show that it was indeed a “survival of the fittest,” and of divine origin.




Chapter XXVIII

The Christian Science Hymnal

MRS. EDDY had disorganized the College, the Christian Scientist Association, the Boston Church, and given the National Association the option either to disorganize or to adjourn for three years, but in it all, and with great foresight, she was working out the form of a new church organization, biding her time for the right moment when she was to put forth effort, and meanwhile preparing the essential accessories for the new church body.

With her thought turning constantly toward a Mother Church, she knew that everything to be connected with it must be put upon a Scientific basis, and one of these necessities was a hymn-book which would be entirely in accord with the teachings of Christian Science. In its services the church had used, first, the “Social Hymn and Tune Book”; and later, “Select Songs,” an excellent compilation, was used in conjunction with it. While these were very good hymnals in their way, there were many stanzas that could not be used. In 1890, when the beginnings of a Christian Science Hymnal were made, several compilations for Christian Science church services were on the market: “Fifty Christian Science Hymns,” published by Joseph Adams; “A Collection of Familiar and Original Hymns and Tunes Rendered Scientifically for Christian Science Service,” by Ursula Gesterfeld, of which many thousands were sold; “A Christian Science Hymn and Tune Book,” by Mrs. Hanna More Kohaus; and a “Hymnal for Christian Science Church and Sunday School Service,” by Jessie Day, daughter of Rev. George B. Day of Chicago, which, for a time was advertised in the Journal. Mrs. Eddy felt, however, that a hymnal should be made up and published under the auspices of her church so that it should always be kept as a standard. With this decision reached, a committee on the Hymnal was selected, and the following notice sent out:

“Christian Science Publishing Society,

24 Boylston Street.

Boston, Mass., Aug. 5th, 1890.

Wm. B. Johnson,

41 G. St. So. Boston

Dear Sir:

At a recent meeting of the Publication Committee of this Society you were selected as a member of a committee appointed to compile a church hymnal for the use of Christian Scientists. The names and addresses of the committee are herein enclosed.

Prof. Lyman Brackett, 152 Tremont St., Boston, Chairman.

Miss Julia Bartlett, W. Rutland Sq., Boston.

William B. Johnson, 41 G. St., So. Boston.

Miss Susie M. Lang, 279 Broadway, Lawrence, Mass.

Mrs. Chas. Thomas, 201 W. 55th St., N. Y. City.

E. H. Hall, 44 Boylston St., Boston.

W. G. Nixon, 24 Boylston St., Boston.

Said Committee will meet at the call of the Chairman. If for any reason you cannot serve on this committee, please notify the Chairman,

Respectfully,

W. G. Nixon, Sec’ of Committee.”

To Miss Bartlett, Miss Lang, Mr. Nixon, and my father was intrusted the labor of the selection of the words, and to the others, the selection of the music. The production of this book was one of great effort, for those whose work it was to select the words found themselves very much restricted. Unhappily, there were not many Christian Scientists at that time who were able to write good hymn-stanzas, such as Mrs. Eddy demanded. The especial talent which expressed religious feeling in the writing of hymns was at its height in the first half of the eighteenth century when Methodism was advancing with rapid strides, and many noble hymns were evolved. In America the use of these worthy hymns had not come into being until some score of years after they became a definite part of the services in the churches of Great Britain. It was unfortunate in some ways that the popularity soon won by the “Gospel Hymns” held back the dissemination of good art, and hindered not only its growth but the inspiration that might have brought about the production of American spiritual hymns. In the work of traveling evangelists, there arose the demand for hymns of a more catching style, which blossomed into the enormously popular “Gospel Hymns.” The first book of these was of far greater merit than the succeeding volumes. Not only did the poetry grow commonplace, but the music also, for the most part, was of very poor quality, and contained no religious or devotional character, so that it has come to be said that hymn-writing, both in words and in music, is a past art.

Much criticism of the tunes written by Mr. Brackett has been heard, and some of it amounted to severe condemnation, not only of the music itself but of what has been called an attempt to project himself into undue prominence; and some have even wondered why Mrs. Eddy allowed him to publish his personality so broadcast in the Hymnal of her church. Neither Mrs. Eddy nor the then Publication Committee of the Society should be blamed in this matter.

The book was no worse, from the musical viewpoint, than a great many others that were considered of excellent merit, – in fact it was far better, all told. From what I know of Mr. Brackett, I cannot feel that he was the type of man to force himself into public prominence. He merely followed a strong precedent set by Ira D. Sankey and many others, as a glance through the various volumes of the “Gospel Hymns” will show.

The words and music of the “Gospel Hymns” expressed a desire for an easily learned and readily singable tune, irrespective of its value as a musical composition, and not infrequently the poorest of these were the greatest favorites. There is no doubt but that most of this music set the musical taste back in America at least twenty years. The constant singing and assimilation by old as well as young of these hymns has seriously blunted the general perception and appreciation of a higher standard of art, and when Mr. Brackett compiled the work, this enthusiasm and demand for more “Gospel Hymns” was at its flood. The Methodist, Congregational, and Baptist denominations, which were the chief supporters of the Moody and Sankey revival meetings, supplied the bulk of the adherents to Christian Science, and up to the time of the great revivals referred to, the singing in their churches was not whole-souled or hearty. There was no enthusiasm, no joyousness, in the congregational singing anywhere. However, the “Gospel Hymns” certainly did beget a liking for easily sung and remembered tunes, and in this they accomplished something; namely, the desire to sing. Their lilt, their joyous swing, captured the people both old and young, while even the children could “join in the chorus.”

The result was a great increase in the pleasure of song, which would never have come about had not a new type of music been evolved. The Moody and Sankey movement meant the erection of large tabernacles and the training of great choruses for making the most of these hymns; and by the consequent great growth in popularity of this type of music, finely written and dignified hymns, which were used more generally in Anglican or Episcopal churches, and which had gradually worked into a better class of hymnals, were passed by and neglected.

Mr. Brackett knew that the music of the “Gospel Hymns,” in most instances, was not dignified enough for Christian Science services; hence the only course to pursue, under the pressure of the demand for easily learned tunes, of better harmonic structure, and more in keeping with the order of exercises, was for him to write them himself. And at this period he was the only one interested in Christian Science who was enough of a musician to have this task placed before him. All of his work is far above that of the composers of the “Gospel Hymns,” in harmony, melody, and in the adjustment of music to words. The older Scientists, especially those in Boston, who had been singing from the two excellent compilations there in use, always preferred their favorites among the solid old tunes, but those coming in from other churches, who had been acquainted for some years with the “Gospel Hymns” and loved them, took an immediate liking to Mr. Brackett’s melodies.

The plan of the Hymnal was well conceived because it supplied three tunes for each hymn, thus affording variety.

Upon the announcement respecting the compilation of a hymnal, many suggestions came to the committee, and it will be of interest to give a few of them.

Said one:

“I do not believe that it is Scientific to take the old Protestant hymns and change them, merely to have them read scientifically. That seems to me to be covering up the old man with the new, instead of ‘putting off the old man and putting on the new.’ Besides, there is plenty of poetry in Christian Science. The Bible is full of it. There is more and better poetry in the Bible than in any other book that was ever published. I mean actual poetry and not rhyme. If my ideas are right, the poetry is crowded out when we let in the rhyme.

“Another murderer of the poetic vein is the measuring of lines by just so many syllables. Mortal mind says that we must do so as the tune requires it. Is the tune scientific that requires the killing of the words? Are we supposed to be singing the tune or the words? I propose that if we are not scientific enough to compose music that will not murder the poetry, we resort to chanting….

“Is there anything more disagreeable to anyone who has a love of poetry in him, than to hear ministers dole out the words of a hymn? Yet the very poorest readers among them are not near as guilty of murder as are some of the tunes to which they are sung. ‘Let the dead bury their dead, come thou and follow me,’ is the saying of the Master.”

Miss Lang, of the Committee, was busy in Lawrence with her practice, and certain work was allotted to her, but Miss Bartlett and my father acted as a clearing house for all that was sent in for consideration. In his diary and notes for 1891 and 1892, there are very many references to meetings at Miss Bartlett’s rooms, and of her coming to our home to look over hymns. I was given the work of going through the back numbers of the Journal, and selecting what I thought would be of use, and here one might ask, Why were the many excellent verses in the old Journals of 1884-5, etc., not given musical settings? The answer is found in the fact that most of the authors had relinquished Science or had proved themselves disloyal.

None of those charged with the responsibility of compiling the Hymnal comprehended what an arduous and long-drawn-out task they had undertaken. It was not until about October, 1892, that deliveries were made, and this completed another upward step in the logical and spiritual order which Mrs. Eddy had in mind for the perfection of the Christian Science organization.

In 1897 Mrs. Eddy suggested to the Board of Directors of the Mother Church that should there be at any time a revision made of the Hymnal, she would like to have three hymns added: “I need Thee every hour,” “I’m a pilgrim and I’m a stranger,” and “Eternity.”

The work of the revision of the Hymnal was taken up the latter part of 1898, and it was the aim of the Committee to select for the new Hymnal the music which is best known, and the most used.

In the revision it had been the plan to remove certain tunes by Mr. Brackett, which time had proved to be of least value, and utilize more of the best of the second tunes. When this was brought to the attention of the Directors, Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Knapp thought that they preferred keeping Mr. Brackett’s, rather than the less melodic second tunes, and both represented the thought of those coming from small communities where there were very few persons trained to play the piano or organ, and who believed that Mr. Brackett’s tunes were more easily learned and sung.

The revision, as would be expected, brought forth both praise and criticism, much of the latter being over the elimination of a number of the second tunes. This usually came from people living in the larger cities, for by careful inquiry I found that the second and better tunes were very little used by at least eighty per cent of the people. And the reason for this is found in the fact that these tunes were written by trained musicians who wrote in a masterly way; but the movement of the different parts which makes for beauty, though not always for melody, created difficulty for untrained players.

The results of this first revision, after curiosity and criticism had subsided, was a great and growing increase in the congregational singing. Within a year the newspapers everywhere were noting that the congregations of no other denomination sang so fervently and enthusiastically as those of Christian Science churches.




Chapter XXIX

Mrs. Josephine Curtis Woodbury

IF the faithful members of the little church in Boston thought that the settlement of the affairs between Mrs. Crosse and her adherents and the Christian Scientist Association, which was completed by the attorneys for each side in June, 1889, was to be the ending of all their trouble, they were mistaken, for in 1890 Mrs. Josephine Curtis Woodbury took with her from the organization about thirty-five members.

It is a most difficult task to picture or to unravel Mrs. Woodbury’s psychology. She was certainly a remarkable character, with unusual powers of attraction, and the ability to hold people to her, especially those who were wealthy and influential. Those who were solidly loyal to her believed profoundly in her, and that her efforts were sincere, God-directed, and untiring, and that she was ever growing broader in her spiritual perceptions.

Mrs. Woodbury had become interested in Christian Science in 1879; and believing that it would help her physical condition, she visited Lynn, and had her first conversation with Mrs. Eddy. Shortly after Mrs. Eddy came to Boston, Mrs. Woodbury entered an evening class at the College, but this was soon dissolved because of the death of Dr. Eddy. In 1885, however, she received Normal Class teaching. From July, 1885, to June, 1889, she was a contributor to the Journal, and in this period forty-one of her writings appeared in that periodical. These were not always signed with her own name, since she was accustomed to use various pseudonyms.

One of the reasons for this was that her contributions were rather high in their flight, and did not satisfy Mrs. Emma Hopkins, who was then the acting editor of the Journal. Between these two distinctively temperamental women, there existed no friendship or love. Her estrangement from Mrs. Eddy, in 1883, and until the fall of 1884, may have made Mrs. Hopkins guarded as to publishing her contributions, and it was after Mrs. Hopkins had departed with Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Woodbury had become acting editor, that she had the opportunity in which she delighted, namely, to make her influence felt. From November, 1885, to July, 1886, was the period of large opportunities for her, and she used them to the very best advantage. During this time, fourteen of her articles were published in the Journal; also many minor paragraphs upon passing events. In July, 1886, Rev. Mr. I. Gill was elected Editor of the Journal and, as he had been a student of Mrs. Woodbury, she most naturally had an opportunity to have her contributions appear.

Much of her over-elaborated style, and her use of words of Latin derivation, she acquired from Rev. Mr. Wiggin, her very close, friendly, literary adviser; and much of the later stir relative to his labors with Mrs. Eddy over the revision of Science and Health, came through Mrs. Woodbury after he had passed away. In writings which she published after her excommunication from the Mother Church, and in which she gave her life history in a most audacious manner, her style is labored and clumsy. Her writing for the Journal was far simpler and straightforward; and the style which her work later took on was expressive of the change in her whole character, and pictures the artificiality of her later years as nothing else could do. To those who knew her and traced her career, her defense of herself, published in 1897, is an epitome of the fictitious and deceitful fabric about which her thought had wound itself.

From the year of 1887, she seemed to utilize all her powers to keep in touch with editors of newspapers and with public men; and from 1891 to 1902, she seemed to have much influence with them both in Boston and in New York. One of the most dignified of Boston’s evening papers appeared to be willing to print about anything that she supplied it.

From the time that she first met Mr. Wiggin, she dominated his thought; and as there has been much said relative to his labors on Science and Health, which contains inescapable suggestions that he practically rewrote it, it seems best to put in to evidence, at this point, a letter written by him to Mrs. Woodbury, commending her volume of poems “Echoes.” A comparison of Mr. Wiggin’s labored, inflated style with the directness of that of Mrs. Eddy’s is pertinent and interesting.

“The author of these poems has passed through varied spiritual experiences. Reared amidst reasonable skepticism as to many Scriptural teachings, and a distrust based not on flippant fault-finding, but on deep-searching criticism, she came later into the living conviction of the profound truth permeating the Bible, and its Christian revelation. For the most part, these verses are the outgrowth of her maturer years.

“In Mrs. Woodbury’s adherence to unusual ideas she has encountered something more painful than mere misapprehension, – that is, misrepresentation, and what often seems like absolute persecution. This misjudgment has been largely caused by certain inherited characteristics, which are naturally inevitable in Mrs. Woodbury as lilacs in May or thorns on a rose tree. Firstly, her brain power, overtopping that of most people with whom she has been brought into ecclesiastical association; secondly, her keen insight into – and often sarcastic comment upon – the opinions, motives, foibles, and blunders (her own included), which has set her lambent with into free play over every subject she touches; thirdly, her poetic temperament, not only gilding what it touches, but enwreathing incidents with airy arabesques of romantic fancy, wholly incomprehensible to obtuse minds; fourthly, a rare frankness in the discussion of mundane facts; fifthly, a capacity and aptitude for leadership.

“From such sources has arisen much of the opposition encountered by this lady; since nothing so disturbs people as ridicule, especially when merited. Intellectual superiority is a sure rouser of jealousy; and dictators seldom enjoy being themselves directed. It is well, therefore, that this lovely volume should drop from the press ‘adorned as a bride for her husband,’ to show the writer’s fine nature and lofty ideals; for it is full of devout aspiration, which finds fit outlet to the eye, through the subtle illustrations by Eric Pape, and the lesser decorations by his gifted wife.

“If some verses are trivial, like her Graduation Ode, these the better serve as milestones to make the gallop from girlhood, ‘twenty miles away,’ to a scene of victory, where enmity and detraction vanish bloodlessly into the dust, itself soon to be laid low by the dews of peaceful starlight.”

It is interesting to note that Mr. Wiggin wrote this rather fatuous appreciation either in 1896 or 1897, and with a knowledge, which he must have had, of her past, especially the events of 1890. He must have been conversant with the fact that she had tried to impose upon the world what she called an immaculate conception, in the form of her son born in 1890, and called the Prince. It is indeed most singular that Mr. Wiggin, to whom Miss Milmine, in her life of Mrs. Eddy, gives unstinted praise for keen intellect and perception, should have written of her in such terms of approval.

There was abundant reason indeed why Mr. Wiggin should not have written in this way, since Mrs. Eddy, some time previous to December 26, 1900, had attempted to show him how false she was to the teachings of Christian Science. The following letter, written while the Woodbury-Eddy suit was pending, when read in the light of this event, shows that Mr. Wiggin had opportunity to know that Mrs. Woodbury was not what she would have the world believe:

“Pleasant View,

Concord, N.H.

Dec. 26, 1900.

W. B. Johnson.

Dear Brother.

Mother requests that the Directors get from Mrs. Wiggin the letter Mrs. Eddy wrote to Mr. Wiggin about Woodbury – demand it from her, of course pay for it if need be – and ask her if she has ever shown it to Mrs. Woodbury.

Fraternally,

C. A. Frye.”

From the foregoing will be seen the power that Mrs. Woodbury could exert over certain people she believed would be useful to her; but it is necessary, for the thorough analysis not only of this period in Christian Science, but for an understanding of Mrs. Woodbury and the working of a nature which lost its hold on spiritual foundations in the hypnotizing desire for the fascinations of the personal, that we go back to the year of 1889, and follow a chain of events which have seldom, if ever, been excelled in romantic audacity.

It is evident that, from the year of 1889, her romantic ideas were growing constantly more dreamy. What Mrs. Woodbury and her students considered a gift from Principle – her “literary work” – had been a surprise even to herself in its development; and with the foolish adoration of some of her students who saw in her, even then a successor to Mrs. Eddy, she cast longing eyes toward the heights of leadership.

While she had done considerable lecturing in different places, she had never been selected to supply the pulpit in Chickering Hall, though she has stated that on July 15, 1889, she was notified that she had been unanimously requested to fill the pulpit on the twenty-first of the month. On July 17, she wrote to my father as follows:

“Dear Brother.

I have communicated with Miss Bartlett. Could the choir open the service on Sunday with the first five verses of Mrs. Eddy’s hymn “Christ My Refuge”? Mrs. Linfield has copies of it. No. 159 is another hymn I would like sung, omitting the second stanza. Also 150, and if a third is needed the last three verses of 163.

Thanking you for your letter.

J. C. Woodbury.”

At a meeting in which the question had arisen relative to supply for the pulpit, there had evidently been much confusion. The Chairman, after calling for the vote, had seemingly not noted clearly certain conditions, as the following letter from my father to Mrs. Woodbury will show.

Boston, July 19, 1889.

Mrs. J. C. Woodbury.

Dear Sister.

The Directors and Business Committee of the Church of Christ (Scientist) advise that they are informed that the greater part of the persons present at the meeting July 15th did not vote on the proposition to invite you to speak from the pulpit on the 21st instant.

Under these circumstances, using their discretion in the best interest of the church, they direct me to cancel the invitation.

Wm. B. Johnson, Clerk

of Church of Christ (Scientist).”

Mrs. Woodbury has written that the proposition was made plain to her, and had been offered on the ground that the expenses of the day would be paid by her, owing to the depleted condition of the treasury of the Church.

That the organization was in severe financial straits there is no doubt, and as to the money which had been so sacrificingly collected for the Building Fund, the reader will remember that the Treasurer, Mr. Bradley, had absconded with it.

Mrs. Woodbury has written that when Mrs. Eddy heard of the foregoing confusion, and of Mrs. Woodbury’s severe disappointment, after she had made all plans for the occasion and had notified students and patients far and near, she wrote her:

“so old a student in Christian Science should no longer rely upon her personal advice, but accept Infinite guidance.”

It seems to have always been necessary, in the history of great undertakings, that a certain exigency should recast a thought which had been considered the one by which to be guided. It was so in this case, for this desire to fill a public place showed Mrs. Eddy that so long as she had determined to stay in the East, and to retain her Church in Boston, it must have a regular pastor. To be sure, the organization was without funds of any kind. Mrs. Crosse had taken with her, a year previous, those who were best able financially to contribute to the support of the Church, and left only a little band of people, most of whom were dependent upon their practice, which had been much reduced by the schism in the Church and the Association.

At this time, the person in Boston who had the largest number of students, as well as adherents, was Mrs. Woodbury; and with the pastorship of the Church vacant, Mrs. Woodbury and her students saw no one, especially in the immediate vicinity, so capable of filling the position as herself. And why not? Was not Christian Science, especially at that time, a woman’s work? Mrs. Stetson was the Speaker in the church in New York; Mrs. F. E. W. Wilkins, in Arkansas City; Mrs. E. B. Fenn in Omaha; and in bodies that were not incorporated, there were a number of women who were filling the pulpits.

This, to her, without doubt seemed the psychological moment of her life – the golden time – and she must seize it; and in order to grasp it she instructed her students to work for that end. But Principle, even in this seething maelstrom of thought, guided the course of the little Church, and her ambitious plans went awry.

Experience had already shown that the selection of certain persons from the members of the Church to preach was not a wise procedure, because it created envies and criticisms and lowered the Church’s standard. As a body aiming for success, it lost its unity, so that even the Mother Church had a seemingly dark future, with hardly a gleam of hope and with the constant and haunting fear hanging over it of further schisms in its ranks. But hope was to come; and the confusion that arose over the matter of Mrs. Woodbury to fill the pulpit, brought things to a focus. Mrs. Eddy saw that the Church should take immediate action to have a proper supply, and that more financial sacrifices were yet needed in order to pay a proper salary, as she had suggested in her letter of May 28, 1889, when she resigned, and recommended:

“that you (the Church) secure a Pastor to enter upon this labor in early Autumn. One who will take full charge of this dear Church, look after its interests, receive and attend to applications for membership, hold regular communion service, and in all respects discharge the duties of pastor. Also I beg that you will give such an one a sufficient salary to enable him to give his whole time to the duties which belong to this responsible office.”

With these suggestions firmly fixed in the thought of the loyal and unselfish workers, a more united and vigorous effort was put into effect to procure a suitable pastor; and, after consultation with Mrs. Eddy, the Rev. Mr. Norcross was called, and the following is a copy of the letter written to him:

Boston, Mass., August 21, 1889.

Rev. Lanson P. Norcross.

Dear Brother.

In a meeting of the Church of Christ (Scientist), held this date, it was voted to extend to you a call to become its Pastor; to take effect Sept. 1st, 1889.

Owing to the shortness of the time, an early reply will greatly oblige.

Yours in Truth,

William B. Johnson, Clerk.

For the Business Committee.”

For its record value, we give Mr. Norcross’s letter of acceptance:

“To the Church of Christ (Scientist), Boston, Mass.

Dear Brethren:

Your business Committee have read over to me a schedule of the terms relating to salary, tenure of service, vacation, etc., a copy of which has been given to me. If ratified by you it will be in force, since it is satisfactory to me, and I on my part will be governed by it if adopted by the Church. My telegram and letter of acceptance of your call are in the hands of your Clerk and doubtless will be read to you.

I earnestly join with you in the prayer that the hand of the Lord may be upon us for good.

Ever in truth your brother co-worker,

L. P. Norcross”

Boston, Mass., Sept. 9, 1889.

Mr. Norcross came just at the dawn of another critical period in the history of the little and valiantly struggling Church in Boston, which grew out of the perversion of certain parts of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings then in a formative state.

In order to trace the connection of events which led to a woman’s attempt to impose on husband, friends, and the world, an immaculate conception, we must go back to 1887, and carefully note the outcroppings of a mental peculiarity which culminated in a most curious and astounding announcement.

The fact that Mrs. Woodbury had been appointed as acting editor to take the place of Mrs. Hopkins had given her an impetus which constantly increased. Seizing upon one of the most fateful and darkening misapplications of Christian Science teaching, namely, that of gaining power over others for personal ends by mental process, Mrs. Woodbury began to pry into the affairs of other teachers and students, to find, if possible, their weaknesses. Those who came to her for treatment, she subtly cross-examined relative to past history; and when anything, as she thought, was withheld, she made such threats of dire calamity that they related events and occurrences which none others knew, and which they had begged might not be exacted from them. She would insist, however, that everything be revealed to her under penalty of not taking their cases, or by the threat that unless they obeyed her they could not be healed by any practitioner.

After the exodus of Mrs. Crosse, Mrs. Woodbury felt that no one stood between herself and Mrs. Eddy, and she determined that no one ever should. The cunning audacity with which she acquired a mental domination over people, in ways that were difficult to follow and prove, seemed to grow in technical facility as time went by. After her adventurous dream of preaching for the church on June 21, 1889, she undoubtedly worked to make it come about that no one but herself should be chosen for the position; and when Dr. Foster-Eddy’s name was suggested to her by a student, as being the one who should occupy the pulpit, she said, “How long do you think he will stay?”45

With the exercise of the power of fear over her students and patients, a power which she seemed to make very effective, she felt that she would be the next Leader of the Christian Science movement. Even in 1889, before the College closed, her thought had reached such a state that she would not send either students or patients to Mrs. Eddy to be taught.

Her husband, E. Frank Woodbury, had for some time ceased to be of interest to her, and was, in her circle, a nonentity. Her newly-found powers of attracting, holding, and compelling people to do her bidding was a wonderful and fascinating pleasure. To draw toward her and gain the attention of such public men and women as Dr. Minot J. Savage, Dr. Alexander McKenzie, Hezekiah Butterworth, Mrs. Mary Livermore, Lillian Whiting, and other well-known people, was a matter of great satisfaction; and to have around her, at her home, prominent musicians, writers, and artists, and be able to make them do her bidding and create in them the thought that she controlled their destinies, was the height of some of her dreams.

But her conquest and power over women impelled her to yet greater undertakings. To this end, she realized that not only was a brilliant parade of mental powers necessary, but also the influence of dress and the enhancement of the physical. With this ever-increasing tendency toward the personal and physical, and its employment in the domination of serviceable men, she opened the door for her own defeat; and the self-exaltation of which she had dreamed, namely, of being the leader of a great movement, crumbled away. Error had again destroyed itself.

In her lecturing, she had visited places in the West, where she had tried to have students believe that Mrs. Eddy had sent her to look after them, and thus gave the impression that she had been specially selected by Mrs. Eddy as the nearest to her of all her students. Her labors in this direction were not successful, however, and she left only a trail of ill-feeling behind her. She had lectured also in cities and towns of Maine, and in Montreal, where she taught and endeavored to form a church. According to the Montreal Gazette of October 8, 1889, she addressed a gathering in that city; and it is about this date, and probably in this place, that the physical and mental attributes which she had so carefully cultivated in herself for the purpose of the control of others met the same type of forces in another, which proved yet more compelling and which brought her downfall.

The next few months reveal a marked change in the external aspects of Mrs. Woodbury’s history; for, on November 15, 1889, she had her Academy dissolved. This, as she explains in her account of it, was following Mrs. Eddy’s footsteps and being obedient, the Massachusetts Metaphysical College having been dissolved on November 9. As time went on, and no other of Mrs. Eddy’s students dissolved their academies, Mrs. Woodbury told her adherents that she was the only one who was obeying Mrs. Eddy and asked her students if they were willing to stand by Mrs. Eddy through standing by her, thus leading them to believe that Mrs. Eddy wanted them to uphold her against all jealousies and attempts to destroy her work, because she was the only one who understood the needs of Mrs. Eddy and the fundamentals of her spiritual intent, since none of the other students had grown as fast as she. With the closing of her Academy, she resigned from the National Association, and her husband did the same, on the ground that Mrs. Eddy did not believe in any kind of material organization.

It will thus be seen that she began very cleverly to lay plans for the subjugation of all students and patients, so as to lead and control their thought gradually and convincingly before a crisis in her life which she knew must come.

She has written that in January, 1890, she visited Mrs. Eddy, and by this time she must have known that she was progressing toward motherhood. Was her visit to Mrs. Eddy of the same nature as Mrs. Plunkett’s kiss, at a time when everything seemed dark, and she was crying inwardly for help, – craving for a certain compassion that she knew only Mrs. Eddy could give; or were her designs more sinister and deep, with a program laid out in a cleverly conceived plan to shift the burden to another, and to put herself before the world as the adorable mother of a spiritually-born child? Did she force out of the true perspective, to Mrs. Eddy, the chagrin and disappointment over not having been called to fill the pulpit, and over financial trials, etc., which she was well able to relate, – for her sister has made the statement that her study of Christian Science had not stopped her ability to lie. Mrs. Eddy was always tender with those who were suffering, always ready to give them time and advice for their benefit. The following, from her “Mind Healing History,” shows her attitude toward people who came to her in need:

“It has always been my misfortune to think people better and bigger than they really are. My mistake is, to endow another person with my ideal and make him think it his own. When I thought Mr. Quimby was doing good, it was natural for me to help him, and hundreds of others I have helped since then, sparing neither ease, time nor money for this.”

Mrs. Woodbury has written of this visit, that Mrs. Eddy gave comfort in the following words, which “were not at the moment received in their deepest import”:

“Go home and be happy. Commit they ways unto the Lord. Trust Him and he will bring it to pass.”

If Mrs. Eddy did make this comforting answer, it was probably a simple piece of advice given to one she believed to be suffering from some fear, but Mrs. Woodbury interpreted it to mean a matter of greater importance; for on the morning of June 11, 1890, a son was born to her, and she wrote of the occasion:

“There was born to me a baby boy; though, till his sharp birth-cry saluted my ears, I had not realized that prospective maternity was the interpretation of preceding months of poignant physical discomfort, not unreasonably attributed to other physiological causes and changes, – growing out of my age and former reliance upon medical opinion, – and pointing in the direction of some fungoid formation.”

In the following month, on July 4, the child, named the Prince, was baptized in a pool of salt water at Ocean Point, Maine, in view of a “crowd of people assembled on the neighboring bluffs.” He was laid three times prayerfully in a pool, which was thereupon named “Bethesda”; and when lifted from the water, those congregated to witness the ceremony, most of whom were her students and patients, “joined in a spontaneous and appropriate hymn.”

With this impressive beginning, Mrs. Woodbury started to carry out certain elementary plans which had been in her thought for some time, but which, of course, she had never dared to suggest to any one. The child was proclaimed an immaculate conception, and to this her husband did not seem to object. She now cajoled, persuaded, and threatened her students, when necessary, to proclaim him the “Prince of Peace” who had come to redeem the world, and that she was a second Mary, and the child had been conceived by Mrs. Eddy, whom she called God. With her power of exaggeration of viewpoint, she called upon the faithful to bring gifts to the Prince, and this must be in new gold coin which had never been used, and be presented personally to the child, and declared that it was their duty to support the Prince. On one occasion the child was placed in the same room with a corpse, that the dead might be raised.46

With the discontinuance of her Academy, and the not too prosperous condition of her husband’s business affairs, Mrs. Woodbury impressed upon those she held under her spell, that it was their duty to purchase a suitable house in which the Prince should live. To this extra drain upon their resources some demurred, but her threats of illness and even of death for those who would not do her bidding, and especially those she felt might give up their loyalty to her, led some to give more than they could afford. This house was also to be the church of the immaculate conception, as well as the spiritual abode of the child.

She impressed the thought upon them that, as she was the closest of all students to Mrs. Eddy and the only one who understood her expressed as well as unexpressed desires, and, as Mrs. Eddy had, according to Mrs. Woodbury’s account, foretold the coming of the Prince in her “words of comfort,” it was therefore as though divinely desired that the house should be near to that of Mrs. Eddy, so that connection between the two would be easy.

Determined to go to the very limits in every detail so that she might escape as much of the penalty as possible, she put forth her propaganda, and bolstered it up with interlocking and suitable arguments which would hold her students and patients to her, and make them willing to give tribute in the way of proper support for the child.

The house chosen for the Prince and his mother was 412 Newbury Street, which is the next parallel thoroughfare to the south of Commonwealth Avenue. Number 412 is on the south side of the street, while 385 Commonwealth Avenue is on the north side, so that they faced each other; and at that time there were no buildings opposite 385, and none opposite 412. They were thus in plain sight of each other, and almost exactly opposite. With the naked eye, persons going into 385, Mrs. Eddy’s home, could be clearly discerned by any one from the front windows of Mrs. Woodbury’s house. The selection of this home for Mrs. Woodbury was therefore of twofold value, – it was but a short distance from Mrs. Eddy’s home, and its location was very favorable for the purpose of espionage.

Before Mrs. Woodbury had hit upon the scheme of making her students pay for the house, the condition of her finances was not promising, and she must have had considerable worriment over the matter. Knowing from truthful witnesses the threats she had made to students, that some calamity would befall them unless they remained loyal to her and gave money for the purchase of the house, it is worthwhile to know how she interpreted the financial relief which, through “unexpected channels,” flowed into the family coffers. The following is her version:

“A strange posture of affairs! None approved my course, while many doubted my sanity, if not my integrity. Was there no balm in Gilead, to help a disciple whose future had been recently so brilliant? Must her supplications be vain in her extremity? O God of the lonely, come to others with comforting guidance, as to one heart then Thou camest.47 Feed them with the manna of Principle! Quench their thirst at the wellspring of Love!

“Applicants for aid and instruction had to be turned away, money in hand. Though some patient would indignantly exclaim, ‘She can heal me in an hour, if she will let me see her!’ yet, for nearly two years, every dollar was refused, while the constant exertion was to conform my life to our Leader’s message. During this interval, came occasional letters from my Teacher, filled, as aforetime, with affectionate counsel. In some way relief must come, and so it did: for, through unexpected channels, providential aid flowed into the family coffers.”

Let us now analyze these statements and find how much truth there is in them, because they should not go down in history as being all of the facts of the matter, real and verified.

First, Mrs. Woodbury is right in her statement that “applicants for aid and instruction were turned away money in hand.” And the reason was that they did not bring enough, for she had determined to place a very high value upon her labors, and to educate those who felt they must have her help, to make a large return for it. Indeed, she has written that for a year or two she charged $200 for twelve lessons, and she makes the boast that it is twice the amount asked by Mrs. Eddy’s other students, save in a few exceptional cases.

Secondly, she is undoubtedly right when she states that “though some patient would indignantly exclaim ‘she can heal me in an hour, if she will let me see her!’ yet, for nearly two years, every dollar was refused.”

These patients knew that she could heal them, – that is, free them from the fear of her threats that if they did not do her bidding, they would die, and also from the fear awakened by the knowledge that she had some of her closest adherents working to bring about the penalty of death for those who were disobedient. Owing to the very sudden demise of several of her students who had disobeyed her, those who were her students had a haunting fear for the ill effects of not doing all that she had asked of them. As these deaths were sudden, and without warning, one of which was at the doorstep of the person’s own residence, it will be seen how, at that time, when the air, not only in Christian Science circles but everywhere, was filled with thoughts of mesmerism and hypnotism, many would be driven into a hysteria of fear and would allow it to sway their purposes, though ever hoping for a time when liberty of thought and action would be theirs. If those she wanted to influence were too physically well and mentally poised to have fear of her, and she saw that they might be dangerous, she undertook to make trouble between husband and wife, if they were so related. She had so delved into the histories of her patients and students and had gathered, like a detective agency, so much information relative to others in Christian Science circles, people she would like to have welded to her, that she felt she could control them all upon pain of exposure.

The letters which she states she received from Mrs. Eddy, “filled, as aforetime, with affectionate counsel,” were looked upon by some of her students (who testified in the investigation, made by the lawyers for the defense in 1899) as forgeries in some cases and in others, as mere fictitious statements. Her last statement, in which she writes, “In some way relief must come, and so it did,” is undoubtedly true; but the manner in which she procured it, the writer has already shown.

The propaganda of the child as being an immaculate conception clung tenaciously in the thought of some of her students. Even as late as 1895 one of her strongest supporters went into the details of the birth of the Prince, and said that the physicians stated the boy must be the Nazarene.

Mrs. Woodbury has written as follows relative to the building of the original Mother Church edifice:

“Meanwhile Mrs. Eddy had removed her home to Concord, N. H. There, in May, 1894, I was told by her that she had felt the great need of a church for the good of humanity. Under these circumstances, I naturally wished to help her new organization; but she said, in response to several proposed plans, ‘Wait, and Love will open the way.’”

This statement does not at all agree with the testimony of a number of witnesses, prepared for the defense in the suit of 1899, and who were her students. Their testimony shows that she told them Mrs. Eddy did not want the church built because she had outgrown material organizations; and she asked them to take up the thought that even if the Treasurer of the Building Fund did have enough money for the purpose, the edifice could not be built. She told them that she knew she had enough power to prevent it, and thought that if she could win Dr. Foster-Eddy, she would destroy Mrs. Eddy’s purpose in adopting him as her son.

She has written also, but in the spirit of one who has been persecuted and injured:

“that I advised my students to seek union with the Mother Church, and attend regularly its meetings, when locally rendered feasible, – advice heartily accepted; but, so far as I am informed, no reply whatever was vouchsafed the requests of my students and my daughter. On the contrary, all my recognized friends were cold-shouldered, like their teacher.”

The facts in regard to the foregoing are that she instructed her students to attend the meetings in the Mother Church, and to work against the success of the services. At the Sunday morning services, and those held on Friday evening in the vestry, her chosen students were the first at the doors and the first in the places of meeting, and they took the seats directly in front of the pulpit; and from the opening until the end, sought, by the power they believed they possessed, silently to confuse Judge Hanna, and the course of the service. The effect upon Judge Hanna was, as might have been expected, absolutely nothing; but the results upon others, who held a rather hysterical fear of mesmerism, made them forget, for the time, that there was a greater power for good than hypnotism, and the services, especially those of Friday evening, were not as spontaneous as they should have been. Those who knew the methods of Mrs. Woodbury realized that the students she sent there were for a sinister purpose, a part of which was to find out the attitude of those of her students who had left her, with whom they associated, and what they had related of her affairs to the Directors or to Judge Hanna.

It was her plan to send her students first to the Church, and, after they had broken the ice, so to speak, and the attendants had become used to seeing them, for her to appear. I distinctly remember the first Sunday she came to service, and the consternation it caused. She seated herself with her students in the middle section of the pews, within a short distance of the pulpit, about six rows back. Her attendance was not desired by the Directors, or by those who were most loyal to the Cause, for the reason that the odium of the propaganda of the immaculate conception, the Pool of Bethesda, the abode of the Prince, the church for him, and many other attending embellishments, had not diminished; and to accept her who was not even outwardly a repentant Magdalen, was not at all in keeping with Christian custom or requirement.

How then, was it going to be possible for the Church to place restrictions upon the attendance of those who were undesirables? There seemed to be but one way – to make the seats in the Church rentable to those who should be acceptable to the persons in charge. Heretofore all seats had been free. Now, through the Clerk of the Church, a notice was sent out for a meeting of the First Members, who at that time held the governing power of the organization, and a vote was taken to lease all the sittings in the Church, except those reserved for the Directors. The charge was very small, and it was made so that it would not create too much stir. A notice, stating information relative to the rental of seats and the date of the afternoon set for this purpose was given out. For this I was asked by the Directors to have a plan made of the pews in the auditorium; and, having obtained a blueprint from the architects, I had six sheets made, which gave the location of pews and the number of seats in each.

On the afternoon set for the leasing of sittings, an application was made by a student of Mrs. Woodbury for seats for her teacher and family. The applicant was told that if Mrs. Woodbury desired seats, it would be necessary for her to apply in person. After the close of the seat-letting, Mrs. Woodbury came into the Church and waited in the lower vestibule until the Directors came down from the auditorium to go into the Director’s Room, and then applied for sittings. Over this there was considerable controversy, and the Directors told her that they could not give her seats at present, as all the members of the church had not been able to be present to apply for sittings. After much consideration, and an appeal to Mrs. Eddy for advice (which personally I do not believe she gave, as she held aloof from the matter), Mrs. Woodbury was finally given seats, as she claimed that she had been admitted to probationary membership for two years, on April 20, 1895, and that Mrs. Eddy had held out strong hope of full membership, in letters written to her, of which the following are of much interest:

“February 27, 1895.

Mrs. Woodbury,

Dear Student. I have your letter asking my assistance in getting admission to the Church. I have made a rule, which has been published in our Journal that I shall not be consulted on the applications for membership to this church or dismissals from it. The responsibility must rest on the First Members according to the rules of the Church. Hence I return your letter to you and the church.

May the love that must govern you and the church influence you and your motives, is my fervent wish. But remember, dear student, that malicious hypnotism is no excuse for sin. But God’s grace is sufficient to govern our lives and lead us to moral ends.

With love,

Mary Baker G. Eddy.”

After another appeal by Mrs. Woodbury, Mrs. Eddy wrote her as follows on April 8, 1895.

“Now, dear student, try one year not to tell a single falsehood, or to practice one cheat, or to break the Decalogue, and if you do this to the best of your ability at the end of that year God will give you a place in our church as sure as you are fit for it. This I know. Don’t return evil for evil, and you will have your reward.”

In her plea for membership, Mrs. Woodbury had suggested to the Directors the subject matter of some of the letters received from Mrs. Eddy, but the Board was very careful in its answers, and she realized that to have them see her point of view it would be necessary for her to obtain Mrs. Eddy’s permission to show them certain of her letters, and the following explains the situation:

“My Dear Student.

I am willing you should let them read my letter. I forgot to mention this, hence my second line to you. Now mark what I say. This is your last chance, and you will succeed in getting back, and should. But this I warn you, to stop falsifying, and living unpurely in thought, in vile schemes, in fraudulent money-getting, etc. I speak plainly even as the need is.

I am not ignorant of your sins, and I am trying to have you in the church for protection from temptations, and to effect your full reformation. Remember the M. A. M., which you say in your letter causes you to sin, is not idle, and will cause you to repeat them, and so turn you again from the church, unless you pray God to keep you from falling into the foul snare. In the consciousness that you and your students are mentally speaking to me, I warn you this is forbidden by a strict rule of the by-laws as well as by conscience.

Mary B. Eddy.”

At a Friday evening meeting in the last week of October, 1895 (the same year she was admitted to probationary membership), Mrs. Woodbury spoke at considerable length, but what she said is not the same as what she has written. It was of a tone of such justification of certain of her acts, that on the following Monday the First Members dropped her from probationary membership.

One March 24 of the next year (1896) she was reinstated in probationary membership, but her whole nature was averse to going in the straight path. She had been so long used to dominating others, ruling them by fear, that she could not cast off the habit, and on April 4, 1896, she was finally and forever excommunicated from membership with the Mother Church. Mrs. Woodbury has made a curious note of this occurrence in her statement of these proceedings. She makes no mention of the fact that she had been reinstated as a probationary member on March 24 before she was excommunicated. For some reason she passes directly over this event, and tries to make it appear that when she was excommunicated she held no kind of membership with the Church. The following are her words:

“It is interesting to note that at the date of this excommunication (April 4, 1896) I was neither a member of the church, nor an applicant for membership, had no seats in the edifice, and had not attended service there for about three months; yet no reasons were adduced to justify the absurdity of excommunicating a person not identified with the organization in any particular.”

The dates of her probationary membership, reinstatement, and excommunication, are published in the Journal of June 1896, page 122.

The action of excommunication by the First Members had been taken without bringing the matter to the attention of Mrs. Eddy, as she had made it a rule that she was not to be consulted upon matters of admission or of dismission from the Church. In regard to Mrs. Woodbury’s excommunication, it is interesting to note that as soon as she was notified of her punishment she immediately wrote to Mrs. Eddy, and her students did the same, bombarding her with protests and threats. The First Members, Directors, and the helpers at Pleasant View held back these letters, as they were upon matters about which Mrs. Eddy had given very strict orders that she was not to be consulted. Before taking the action to excommunicate Mrs. Woodbury, and also before publishing the facts in the Journal, the Directors had sought and received legal advice relative to procedure, for they knew that Mrs. Woodbury would like nothing better than to win a successful suit, also to bring Mrs. Eddy personally into court. My father, who had known her longer than any of the other Directors, had the matter gone into most carefully, for he knew the increasing bitterness of the hatred which Mrs. Woodbury would show when she knew that she had been excommunicated forever from the Church. Mr. Frye was notified of the intentions of the First Members, and he was told that the matter should not be brought in any way to the attention of Mrs. Eddy until all necessary action had been taken, as this would protect her, and the responsibility would all rest upon the First Members. The whole matter, therefore, was in accordance with the suggestions in Mrs. Eddy’s letter to Mrs. Woodbury, of the year previous (February 27, 1895), already quoted.

The events of a year later, when Mrs. Woodbury was excommunicated, can be seen to be in accordance with Mrs. Eddy’s statement in the foregoing letter.

It was most natural that Mrs. Woodbury and her students would appeal to Mrs. Eddy from the sentence of the First Members, for they suspected that it was through Mrs. Eddy’s suggestions that she was reinstated to probationary membership on March 24, 1896.

After Mrs. Eddy had seen the notice of excommunication in the June Journal, she was told of the incessant efforts of Mrs. Woodbury and her students to reach her by letters and telegrams, and of threats of certain actions, for they felt that Mrs. Eddy had been cognizant of the attitude of the First Members. The pressure upon those around Mrs. Eddy was very great because letters were constantly being sent to her by Mrs. Woodbury and her students, but they were not answered. Mrs. Woodbury writes of this under the title of “Errant Missives.”

“Great errors oft from little causes spring. Gail Hamilton once wrote a pungent essay on the Total Depravity of Inanimate Things. To such depravity may perchance be laid the miscarriage of important letters to Mrs. Eddy, and from her to me, some of which are referred to in this narrative, which have not been returned from the dead-letter office, yet are reported as never having reached their proper destination.”

To make an end to this constant stream of appeals, Mrs. Eddy wrote to Mrs. Woodbury that she had not advised the excommunication, nor known of its publication until she read it in the Journal, and had on this same day (June 11) sent to my father a telegram which read:

“I did not advise it, or know that you published Woodbury’s excommunication, till reading it. Say and do nothing more about her.”

If Mrs. Woodbury and her students thought they could scare Mrs. Eddy, this last sentence of her telegram must have shown them how far they were wrong in their anticipations.

The evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Mrs. Woodbury, adduced from the testimony of some of her former students, is in my father’s handwriting, and bears the following: “Original writing of evidence in W’s case, April 4, 1896.”

This date is the same as that on which she was excommunicated, and the facts are that on the morning of that day, my father called upon and interviewed about eight people whose knowledge of Mrs. Woodbury’s acts was of sufficient accuracy and strength to form charges to be brought before the First Members. A copy of these were sent to Pleasant View, after the excommunication, but no word of the punishment dealt out to Mrs. Woodbury. In regard to this copy Mrs. Eddy wrote as follows:

“Pleasant View, Concord, N. H.

April 29, 1896.

My Dear Student.

I have no chance to return this record of crimes except via express. God will settle her account and I have nothing to do with it. How prosperous our cause is, truly we have great cause for rejoicing. Oh, that God will save her in His own way.

With love,

Mother.”

(Written in pencil to Wm. B. Johnson, in Mrs. Eddy’s handwriting, and now in possession of the Board of Directors.)

The next action of Mrs. Woodbury was to obtain a hall, as near to the Church as possible, in which to hold public Sunday services. The place selected and obtained by her was in the Legion of Honor Building at 200 Huntington Avenue, directly opposite Norway Street. At that time, most of the congregation attending services in the Church passed through Norway Street; so that on going toward Huntington Avenue after service, no one could fail to see the very obtrusive sign which advertised the fact that Mrs. Woodbury was still at work.

When the Mother Church was dedicated January 5, 1895, it was expected, not only by adherents of Christian Science but by interested persons outside, that Mrs. Eddy would personally attend the services; but as she did not, and months went by while she remained in Concord quietly working out new plans, Mrs. Woodbury, as the reader will remember, labored against the building of the Church, and told her students that Mrs. Eddy could not appear in the Mother Church until she was made a member. This statement came to my father during the last week in March, 1895, and he immediately conveyed it to Mrs. Eddy.

Those who knew the Teacher well in those days are familiar with the fact that she enjoyed a good joke and would laugh heartily over one that had brilliant edge. My father, who was an excellent mimic, when in the mood, and was a good teller of stories, used to enliven the mealtime in that way when he was a guest at Pleasant View.

When she saw her beloved edifice finished, and the Cause moving ahead with a promising stride, Mrs. Eddy felt freer than ever before, and at certain times would be ready to make a joke, or a fanciful play upon words, and it is more than probably that when she was informed by my father of Mrs. Woodbury’s having told her students that she (Mrs. Eddy) could not appear in the Mother Church until she was made a member, Mrs. Eddy immediately determined to break this thought; and the first day of April, 1895, a day which carries with it certain pregnant suggestions, was the one she chose for making her visit to the Church, and spending the night in the Mother’s Room. Twenty days later, on April 20, Mrs. Woodbury was admitted as a probationary member, and this action taken at this time, also carries with it certain suggestions.

Thus it is seen that the little band of workers who were left after the exodus of Mrs. Crosse, labored hard and faithfully to keep the Church from being wrecked, but when they were beginning to feel sure that the storm had passed, and they were regaining strength and confidence, this added trouble came about which brought down upon it, and upon the truth it was teaching, a nauseous and deceitful impeachment.

In Mrs. Crosse the loyal members of the little Church had an enemy whose methods of warfare were more fair and humane than those of Mrs. Woodbury. From the testimony of some of her students, the idea of immaculate conception never entered Mrs. Woodbury’s thought until she found herself on the way to motherhood, and her insistent and elaborated propaganda to this effect was built up to fit an emergency. The uncertainty of her character, her lack of business sense, and orderly progression of thought and action, made her a less dangerous competitor or foe, while her own misdeeds in regard to healing and teaching showed her to be unkind, grasping, unreliable in her word, and quite lacking in the spirit of Christianity; and therefore, as time has proved, she was wholly incapable of creating a successful religious organization of her own.




Chapter XXX

Further Church Problems

IN carrying the story of Mrs. Woodbury up to the time of her excommunication, the reader must not think that from the year 1890, in which she gave birth to the Prince, to the year of her excommunication, there were no other troubles precipitated for the little church.

The disorganization of the College, the Church, the Christian Scientist Association, and the option given to the National Association either to disband or to adjourn for three years, had left conditions in a most peculiar status, probably a more confused situation than had ever come upon a growing religious body. Out of the chaos that seemed to be haunting every hope of the Cause in the second half of 1888, the advice of Mrs. Eddy in the March Primary Class of 1889, in which she gave the word to organize churches, and offered much valuable advice for the carrying on of the work, indicated to those who were close to her that the growth of everything which she had organized and nurtured was about to burgeon into fuller bloom. When, however, it was announced that she had resigned from the Journal, from the pastorate of the Church, and had dissolved the College and disorganized the Christian Scientist Association, those who were organizing churches did not know what to do, and it is not surprising that the thought of disorganization filled the air.

There were many who adhered rigidly to what Mrs. Eddy wrote in the first edition of Science and Health, relative to church organization; and, while being loyal to her in all things, they had not undertaken to organize churches, because she had not definitely given such a command. What she had said in the March Primary Class had been considered merely as a suggestion, because they believed she was acting in response to certain demands of mortal mind for a time; while the word given to the Boston Church, and also the Christian Scientist Association to disorganize, was the proof to them that organization was not scientific.

There were yet others who were passionate radicals on the subject of non-organization, and they too stood upon a platform built from the passage in the first edition of Science and Health. With the coming of Christian Science into their lives, they had seen an immediate and compelling form of democracy which separated them from all man-made laws of church government, and made them free in action and free in thought. While honest, sincere, and God-fearing, their thought was more or less opposed to all forms of government for churches, which they considered wrong and unnecessary, and their intolerance is reflected in the article which we have already quoted from the Journal. Of this class, those who had received degrees from theological and medical institutions, or from liberal arts universities, felt it to be their duty to drop all titles which had been legitimately given them.

Most naturally, the effect of Mrs. Eddy’s words to the organizations in Boston to disorganize, was in evidence that their thought was correct, and that they had been in accord with her all the time; but as no word came from Mrs. Eddy asking the other churches to disband, the question was one that was open for discussion. As time went on, and Mrs. Eddy gently advanced the thought of organization of churches, it is interesting to note that their growth increased rapidly. At this period, when all that pertained to metaphysical teaching was in a seething whirlpool; when hundreds who were writing pamphlets, editing magazines, and contributing toward them, were stealing right and left from Mrs. Eddy; when there was division in the ranks of Christian science, and the efforts were increasing among physicians and legislators, to effect the passing of bills prohibiting Christian Science treatment, the power of Truth is shown in this – that despite all these disturbing things, the large majority of Mrs. Eddy’s students remained loyal to her and labored unceasingly for the propagation of her teachings.

Under these conditions, and even after Mrs. Eddy had given up all personal relationship with the Church in Boston and gone to Concord, the little organization continued to grow. While Mr. Frank Mason, with his genial smile and hearty hand-clasp, his joviality, good nature, and mental and physical make-up for hard work, had done much for it, the advent of Mr. Norcross, with his more dignified manner, the earnestness which marked all his doings, and his readiness to be shown by Mrs. Eddy, – all this gave to the work of the church body a more unified and substantial character, and the congregation had an ever-increasing sense of stability.

From the time Mrs. Eddy dissolved her Church until the new organization was formed, she had continually worked over the matter of having a Church. She was looking forward to one on a scale that had never been attempted before by any religious body and felt that it must be a Church Universal.

The organization then in existence had some serious defects not only in the requirements of its charter but in its methods of government and the precedents of procedure. It was not adequately equipped to fulfil what she saw was necessary for the Future Church – one that would be able to hold securely the pure teachings of Christian Science. She felt that the then existing church body was too much weighted down with dead wood and with those who had wandered away from true Christian Science but who had not given up their affiliation with the Church or the Association.

Mrs. Eddy had realized that the remarkable spread of her teachings had outgrown the provisions she had made for governing her adherents. As an instance, the rules for punishing offences committed by members of the Christian Scientist Association were too loose in construction. They had sufficed in the early days of the Association, but the demands of Mrs. Crosse and her followers for honorable dismissal instead of expulsion, and the fact that it was granted, showed a weakness in its structure. Let us look for a moment into section i of Article V of the Christian Scientist Association, revised edition of 1889, (which is the same as in that of 1886):

“If a member violates the Constitution or the By-laws, or if he or she departs from the strict morality and rectitude of character, thus forsaking the foundations of Christian Science, that member shall be expelled from this Association. It is not necessary that the member be notified to appear at the meeting at which this expulsion takes place, if any member of the Association furnishes evidence of one or more of the aforesaid offences. Any member who is dissatisfied with the demands of Christian Science can withdraw from this Association.”

One of the weakest links of the rules dealing with violation of Constitution and By-laws was the fact that there was not enough definition of what constituted a violation, and no exact method of making sure that a member was guilty, unless the offence was so flagrant that there could be no other judgment. The ruling which had been handed down since the days in Lynn, that immorality consisted not only of the significance attaching to it today, but that the breaking of a Scientist’s oath was an immorality, made it a term of the severest reproach, and of degradation, one which could be applied promiscuously to persons who were thought to be disloyal to the teachings of Christian Science. It was a very dangerous word to use against another.

In 1888-89 and 1890, the belief of malpractice was so prevalent that students were altogether too suspicious of each other for their own good; and despite Mrs. Eddy’s warnings not to make so much of it, but to drop it, charges and countercharges became so entangled with this fear that it was almost impossible to get at the truth of the matter. All of this confusion eventually was put upon Mrs. Eddy to straighten out, because no student was satisfied with any other judgment but hers.

The rules governing the church body had also been outgrown; but this critical period was not the time to tear down and try to build anew, for there were too many conflicting ideas. In such a chaotic time she could not reorganize the different bodies and make a strong line of demarcation between those she was most desirous to keep and those she felt should be kept out. She realized there were thousands of honest inquirers for true Mind Healing who had been caught in the snares of the different offshoots of Christian Science, and she felt that some day a change would come and they would be ready to seek Christian Science.

The legal tangles over the efforts of Mrs. Crosse, and the return of the stolen books of the Secretary, showed that the laws of government were not yet perfected, also the respect and the desire for her leadership had not grown to the state wherein she could use it to the best advantage. The exigencies of the time did not have fitting rules to control them. The present Church Manual is an example of continued change and additions to meet the questions that continually arose. To let the Church and the Association go along in what was a state of disorganization, yet, as paradoxical as it may seem, with organization, was a great stroke of wisdom on the part of Mrs. Eddy. The adherents in Boston were so busy with their troubles, and with reconstruction of their ranks, that they had but little time to worry over the outward appearance of disorganization; and the communications sent by Mrs. Eddy to their meetings, also her appearances, although fewer than ever before, held them together in a spirit of love.

The new church body, Mrs. Eddy realized, must be built up first on a proper legal foundation, which would allow a government that would give the desired results; and second, with a superstructure that should be erected of the material which she knew to be of the proper kind to protect the spiritual truth which was to be unfolded. To reach this point from the date on which Mrs. Eddy had written that the Church must disorganize required nearly three years. In this effort she showed a patience and perseverance which were remarkable, and the reason for these statements will be shown as we advance.

On November 23, 1889, Mrs. Eddy wrote Rev. Mr. Norcross as follows:

“My Dear Student.

This morning has finished my halting between two opinions.

This Mother Church must disorganize, and now is the time to do it, and form no new organization but the spiritual one.

Follow Christ Jesus’ example and not that of his disciples, which has come to naught in science; ours should establish Science but not material organization. Will tell you all that leads to this final decision when I see you.

Lovingly,

M. B. G. Eddy.”

The next day, November 24, 1889, the following notice was given out:

“The annual meeting of the Church of Christ (Scientist), Boston, will be held in the Christian Science Reading Room, No. 210 Hotel Boylston, 24 Boylston Street, Monday, Dec. 2, 1889, at 7.30 p.m.

At this meeting the question will be laid before the Church: – to consider the advisability, and take action thereon, of dissolving the organization of the Church on the basis of material and human law, and of remaining together henceforth on a plane of spiritual law in accordance with the higher teachings we are constantly receiving.

Per order of Business Committee,

Wm. B. Johnson, Clerk.”

While Mrs. Eddy disorganized the Church, she had no thought of abolishing the religious services of the body that had been meeting under the name of the Church of Christ, Scientist, but had the strong desire that it should exist. But with this seemingly anomalous condition, there came certain troubles which were eventually referred to her for advice. In July of 1890 there arose the necessity of electing Directors, and in answer to a letter written by my father, I quote Mrs. Eddy’s reply in full:

“Concord, June 13, 1890.

My Dear Student.

Am glad that another point is made strong, and our Fort is held.

Am I indebted to you for an anonymous article headed “Gratitude”? I think of sending it to Editor of Christian Science Journal.

Many thanks to you for your, as usual, faithful discharge of duty.

Your loving Teacher,

M. B. G. Eddy.”

It makes no difference whether Mr. Anthony48 is or is not a member of our church – if he is a suitable Director in your Board. The Church is not organized as formerly.

M. B. G. E.”

(Written in ink, to Wm. B. Johnson, in Mrs. Eddy’s own handwriting, and now in possession of the Board of Directors.)

The part of this letter necessary for our present use is that which mentions Mr. Anthony. Mrs. Eddy, in suggesting certain persons for Directors, had given Mr. Anthony’s name, but as he was not a member, the question of eligibility was raised and was sent to Mrs. Eddy, with the results seen in the foregoing.

With the disorganization of the Church there were some who could not see how there could be any government, although they knew that Mrs. Eddy still desired services continued. To do so they must have realized that even some slight form of agreement must be made and maintained, that the body might have at least a Treasurer to receive monies and make payments. It will be seen from the foregoing letter that Mrs. Eddy desired a proper and adequate Board of Directors, and to this position Mr. Charles S. Cutter of Cambridge was appointed. He had been a capable worker on different committees, especially one which was composed of himself, Joseph S. Eastaman, and my father, to secure the land for the Church, and which declared itself dissolved, after having finished its work, on January 5, 1890.

Six months later, on July 11, he wrote a curious letter to my father, in answer to a communication sent him notifying him that he had been appointed as a member of the Board of Directors, which read as follows:

“Cambridgeport, July 11, 1890.

William B. Johnson,

Dear Brother.

Yours of July 9th received and contents noted. In replying, I wish to say that if your communication has reference to the Church of Christ (Scientist), Boston, that holds its services in Chickering Hall, then my (so-called) appointment, as a member of the Board of Directors, you refer to, is “Null and Void,” for there is no such Board in existence. I positively refuse the use of my name in connection with said (self-appointed) Board. Please inform those who claim to be members of said Board that I am not seeking for place or power, but for peace to reveal to humanity the purity I reflect of God.

Fraternally Yours,

Chas. S. Cutter.

P.S. Please do me the favor to read the following to the above parties.

‘Heaven will be the sweet surprise of a perfect explanation.’

C. S. C.”

The persevering reader of this history will by this time have perceived that those were very curious days; and that though well-meaning and Christian, the lack of broad comprehension and translation of the needs of the hour, and of the Leader’s suggestions, resulted in much side-stepping, and the maintenance of the balance of the organization in Boston was very unsteady. Mr. Cutter had allowed his regard for and close friendship with Frank Mason to influence his thought, and in the chaotic condition of the Church, he could see but very little good in anybody who should try to fell Mr. Mason’s place. It was just such conditions of thought, and the absolutism of the letter in the matter of organization or nonorganization, which caused Mrs. Eddy to wait for nearly three years before she effected, at just the right psychological moment, the creation of the Mother Church. She had to wait for a striving after the perfection of the letter, to fade, and the growth of the spirit of Truth to take its place; to make those who had assimilated the letter, and whose faces showed it by their severity, – by the total lack of an encouraging and kindly smile, – to make themselves over, so that the face betokened the gladness, the love and the humanity within, which Christian Science had brought them. And no better schooling for this could have been invented than to compel adherents and workers in Christian Science in Boston to do their labor efficiently and with the best interests in their thought, without a hard and binding government to drive them to their work. To labor, not for a great church or for a glittering and mysterious symbol, but for the love of healing and saving; – and, when Mrs. Eddy selected the “twelve” to form her Church, she took those whose faces reflected the gratitude, the love and the smile of confidence, and the sunshine of kindliness, compassion, and humanity, which had come only by long vigils at the sick-bed; by their own simplicity of thought; by their own and others’ trials and persecutions, and victories through Christ’s overcoming.

She realized to the fullest extent just what chemicalization the whole field of Christian Science was in, and what all the off-shoots of it must go through before her project would be safe to take from its place of concealment and put into action.

And what chemicalization must the field go through? First, personality. Her students must forget her personality, and by her dignified remoteness this effect was being evolved. This remoteness had also brought out stronger allegiance, not only in those who had been her students, but in those who were coming into Christian Science. It had also the effect of discounting the efforts of those of her students, like Mrs. Hopkins, who had organized schools of their own, and it kept them from getting at and quickly using her plans for their own progress. Second, by giving up teaching, she had a more definite knowledge of what her students were doing, and knew how to figure up what the capacities of each might be. If she had continued teaching, her students would have been too numerous for her to discover their individual capacities. Third, as they looked to her for guidance, though not able to have free and easy access to her as in the past years, there was but small chance that familiarity would breed indifference; and, looking to her for the intuitive leadership and advice which was absolutely necessary for their work, they received what she gave them in a deeper and more reverential way, which brought with it the ever-increasing conviction that she was divinely inspired for the good of mankind. Fourth, by September, 1892, the immortal date of the formation of the Mother Church, most of the offshoots and imitators of her teachings had either faded away or were tottering to a fall. The hundreds of books and pamphlets, which had been published from 1881 to 1890, dealing with what they called Christian Science (which years were those of their greatest prosperity), had run their race, and the large majority had passed into oblivion. Luther M. Marston, and his Mental Healing Magazine, and Albert B. Dorman’s Messenger of Truth had merged with Mrs. Plunkett’s International Magazine of Christian Science in 1888, and all three went out of existence with her fall; and this disaster brought crashing down many of those who were teaching, practicing, and writing. It destroyed, to a large extent, the opportunity of the practitioners and teachers advertised therein to find a publication of enough scope and circulation to make advertising pay. As it was the largest advertiser of books on Mental Science, etc., these went with it, also its system of “Rest Rooms.” The Boston Christian Scientist, built up by Mrs. Crosse, ran for two years and issued its last number December, 1890; and by the end of 1891, the Chicago Christian Scientist had disappeared.

At the beginning of the year 1892, the only movement of any considerable strength was that led by Emma Hopkins, which had for its publication Christian Science, then in its fourth volume. But her efforts were waning. She had endeavored to hold to herself as many of Mrs. Eddy’s students as she could control, that this prestige might favor her work, but she had reached the peak of her success in 1891, and the year of 1892 gave evidence of sure and steady disintegration. Her work was practically localized in the West, and the only well-known representative she had in the East was our old and dissatisfied friend, Albert B. Dorman. The rapid growth of Christian Science churches and organizations scattered throughout the country, which held services, was crowding out the offshoots, who were not able to unify their work, and people were being more careful in their selection of Mental Healing cults. The churches and societies of Christian Science were educating the thought in a larger way than we can comprehend at this time. Now that much false literature had been read, put aside and forgotten, and the floods of pamphlets that had been sent out had ceased, those who had been awakened to the power of healing through divine Mind were far more ready to listen to Christian Science than ever before.

In 1891 the Church of Divine Unity (Scientist) which had seemed so prosperous and strong in its growth, and had among its members so many influential and wealthy people, came to its end, and with it went the literary activities of some of the most talented and earnest writers on the subject of Mind Cure. As long as this church of the Divine Unity (Scientist) existed, it was an incentive and inspiration to Julius A. Dresser, Rev. Wm. I. Gill, Luther M. Marston, Byron J. Butts, Albert B. Dorman, Arthur True Buswell, Rev. Dr. C. A. Barton, Rev. O. P. Gifford, Rev. Charles Macomber Smith, Mrs. Clara E. Choate, Mrs. Abby Morton Diaz, Helen Bigelow Merriman, and Dr. Warren Felt Evans, the last four of this group being fluent and forcible writers.

By 1892, the power of Mrs. Woodbury was greatly broken. Many of her students, suffering from the chagrin of realization that they had been duped, forced to do what they knew they should not have done, began to come back to the services in Chickering Hall, and the excitement of the claim of immaculate conception faded into the background.

By the middle of 1892, the fields, which for eight years had been full of weeds and looked to be of poor soil, as if by a miracle had suddenly rid themselves of the undesirable growths, the land had grown fertile, and they were ready for the planting, – and at that moment Mrs. Eddy created the First Church of Christ, Scientist, The Mother Church.

Through these troubled periods, those closely identified with the work, and in the thick of the fight, were sorely tried. From the time that Mrs. Eddy selected my father to precede her to Chicago in 1888 and carry her letter of advice and commendation, many heavy and responsible burdens were intrusted to him, and his associations with Mrs. Eddy grew ever closer. On account of his ability to work for long and successive hours, she found that she could feel sure that whatever task was necessary for the Cause, no matter how difficult or arduous, he would carry out.

While serving the Teacher and the Cause in this capacity, there still remained the grave question of earning a living. In 1888 he was made Secretary of the Christian Scientist association as well as of the National body, in 1890 a Director of the Church, its Clerk, a member of the Business Committee, also one of the Hymnal and the Bible Lesson Committees. From not one of these labors was there any remuneration, neither was any expected; but the amount of work required to transact the business called for by each left but very little time for patients, and it was my small earnings that bridged many difficult places.

The chaotic state of the church organization, with its depleted treasury, took every cent for maintenance, and the faithful adherents economized in every way. Father, mother, and myself walked to Chickering Hall and back again, on Sunday, that we might put the money thus saved into the contribution box, and clothes were made over, cleaned and pressed, and made to go another season. There were days when our financial outlook was very dark, when not only food ran low, but when there was no coal in the bin, and we had to go to bed early to keep warm. But in some way our credit remained good, and the grocer, who had known us when our affairs were more prosperous, and with whom we had always traded, trusted us, even when there was not a cent in the house, because father told him (although with cost of pride) the exact conditions, and by reason of this honest statement of circumstances, which he respected, he filled our orders. In those days I have seen my father come home from a meeting of the Church with a troubled look upon his face, but with far deeper sorrows in his heart. A plain little supper finished, father would start for his room on the top floor, where he had a desk, and I could hear him singing his favorite hymn of those days:

By the thorn-road and none other,
Is the mount of vision won;
Tread it without shrinking, brother!
Jesus trod it, – press thou on!
By thy trustful, calm endeavor,
Guiding, cheering, like the sun,
Earth-bound hearts thou shalt deliver:
Oh, for their sake, press thou on!

And this hymn, as his tired feet went up the stairs, carrying a still more weary and troubled heart, trailed off into the distance with a sob in its accents.

This, for the present, is enough of the personal, and I would not have related these incidents if it were not for the fact that they bear upon the actual building up of certain aspects of the Cause, for these struggles made us veterans. Other generous and noble hearts of the period had given their all, and our difficulties, the trials I have told, will appear less personal, when it is known that they will apply to many others who have already gone from us, but who have not left us their history in the sacrifices for the propagation of that which they knew was the promised second coming of God’s Son to heal and to save.

End of Vol. I


  1. At this time it was the custom for practitioners to place in windows, or on their houses, signs such as physicians are accustomed to exhibit.↩︎

  2. At a meeting of the Association held in March 1883, Mrs. Eddy remarked how few men belonged to the Association, although the number had been increasing somewhat ever since the meetings were held in Boston.↩︎

  3. * Miss Wilbur, in the Life of Mary Baker Eddy, gives the date as August 23, but in Retrospection and Introspection, page 44, Mrs. Eddy has given it as June, and the records of the Association agree with her date.↩︎

  4. Georgine Milmine states in her Life of Mrs. Eddy, that the Resolutions were published in February, 1882, in the Lynn Union, and Miss Wilbur gives the same date, but according to the records of the Association the Resolutions were adopted November 16, 1881.↩︎

  5. In the records of the older Association the title reads Christian Scientists’ not Scientist.↩︎

  6. In speaking of the period of 1886, Miss Georgine Milmine, in her book on Mrs. Eddy, writes, “Systematic efforts were now begun to raise money for a permanent church building in Boston. The congregation had outgrown its old quarters in Chickering Hall, on Tremont Street, and was having difficulty in obtaining a place for its services, some of the larger halls refusing to rent to Christian Scientists.”

    The foregoing statement is incorrect in every particular, for, as I have shown, in 1886 the Church had not outgrown Chickering Hall. There were halls in other parts of the city, but they were not conveniently located; and as to the assertion that other halls were refused to Christian Scientists, this is simply absurd, for even at that time the credit of the little Church was good in every respect. Furthermore, the June and July meetings of the Christian Scientist Association were held in Oasis Hall in the Odd Fellows building.↩︎

  7. Mr. Charles A. S. Troup was at that time Secretary of the Christian Scientist Association.↩︎

  8. This article is well worth reading in its entirety, as it appears in the June Journal, 1888, page 154. Compare with version in Miscellaneous Writings, page 134.↩︎

  9. In Miss Milmine’s book the author has left out all of the first part of Mr. Frye’s letter.↩︎

  10. This communication was a request from Mrs. Eddy, with the action of the Association thereon.↩︎

  11. The four propositions were, 1. Vote to appropriate $200 of the funds of the Association to be expended by the Treasurer for the purpose of refunding contributions already paid in and to complete payments in assistance of Mrs. Corner. 2. Vote to permit, with approval of President, the withdrawal of those handing in notice of withdrawal. 3. The present Treasurer and Secretary to resign and turn over everything after completion of above. 4. Any false statements, libel, or slander of any of the withdrawing members in relation to the President, by which they may have influenced the minds of other members to withdraw from this Association, to be withdrawn.↩︎

  12. Number 7 Temple Street was the situation of the Dispensary in that part of the city. There was another at 3 Boylston Place. The first notice of these Dispensaries appeared in the Journal of March 1889.↩︎

  13. The seeds of many of these ideas were developed during the following year, and were brought before and acted upon by the National Association at its next meeting in Cleveland. This Convention was far more remarkable in its scope and accomplishment than any of the preceding, and some of its adoptions are extant today. These matters will be taken up in another chapter and will show the parallel between the scope of the National Association and that of the present Mother Church.↩︎

  14. In the Journal of October, 1886, in an article entitled “The Educational System of Christian Science Mind Healing,” Mrs. Eddy writes: “My students have ample means through their profession, to sustain the expense of good school buildings located in the best portions of our chief cities, and this should be done without delay.”↩︎

  15. At the time when the information was given out that there was to be a church edifice in Concord, N.H., one Scientist, so well known that I do not care to mention his name, made the statement that he hoped Mrs. Eddy would not have a steeple or a tower on the building, because such ornaments represented old theology. Ever since I can remember, Mrs. Eddy had desired that the movement should have regard for churchly effects. When the Directors of the Mother Church asked her which style she favored for the Extension, folding seats or pews, her immediate answer was “Pews.” In a conversation over church buildings with my father, at her home at Pleasant View, she said that when she saw a steeple on one of the good old churches, she felt that it symbolized a finger pointing heavenward.

    In about 1907 there was considerable literature on the question as to what style of architecture symbolizes the teachings of Christian Science. Many of our buildings had been designed in harmony with the lines of the Greek architecture, the cost of which is lower than that of the Gothic or Renaissance. But when it is looked upon as suitably symbolizing Christian Science, a doubt must enter the mind of the thoughtful. They can but wonder if an architecture developed and perfected for the worship of pagan gods can be fittingly representative of our faith.↩︎

  16. Most of these were within a five hundred mile radius, and a large majority of them afterwards became First Members of the Mother Church.↩︎

  17. *∗ In talking over this period, father has told me that, after the first week of that very eventful month of May, he seldom went to bed. He usually slept in a large arm chair, so that should a messenger come he could hear the bell and be ready to answer. The reader must bear in mind that at this period the telephone was not in general use in houses. But few had them, not even the wealthy. He must also remember, in order to appreciate the stirring activity mentioned, that this was the eventful year of 1889.↩︎

  18. At this time Mrs. Eddy desired that all sermons preached in the Church in Boston be without such aid. That Mrs. Eddy had definite convictions regarding this subject is indicated by a reference to it in the Journal of August, 1889 (page 234), where she queries, --“Does the use of manuscript indicate or encourage realization? Or is it a web of error, whose meshes are ever closing about its victims?”

    In her classes Mrs. Eddy gave constant injunction to her students to preach and to lecture without the use of manuscript. Mr. Mason was very apt in this free address, and Mrs. Eddy commended him highly for it.↩︎

  19. In December, 1890, Mr. Mason severed his connection with the church in Brooklyn. Before he went there the members were not working in harmony and the position was not one that a temperament such as his would find agreeable. With his resignation, he also gave up practice, and started a church of his own which was not in accord with Christian Science. The Brooklyn church soon crumbled after he left, and it was not until May, 1892, that an organized body was again established there.↩︎

  20. Other works that the one referred to in the foregoing by Mrs. Gesterfeld are, “The Breath of Life,” a series of self treatments, 1898; “The Woman who dares,” 1898; “How to control Circumstances,” 1901.↩︎

  21. Rev. Joseph Adams was an Englishman who, when at the age of sixteen, was converted by Rev. Charles G. Phinney, a famous revivalist, and united with the Congregational Church. He came to this country as one of a small company on a business venture. The project was not a success. He went to Oberlin at the call of Dr. Finney, was received into his household and attended college. At the age of twenty he returned to England and began work as an evangelist. He soon found the doctrine of the Congregationalists too Calvinistic, and he changed to that of the Wesleyan Methodists. In the year 1870 he found himself dissatisfied with this belief, and three years later, in this country, he again changed and returned to the Congregational Church, which he found to be more liberal here than in England. He began work in Corry, Pennsylvania, and preached there and in several other places, then went West, and preached in Leadville, Colorado, and from there went to Oakland, California, as assistant pastor of an Independent Congregational body. Here his preaching began to deviate from the strict belief of his religious body, and the bonds between himself and his senior pastor were broken, and his pastorate ended by his dismissal from one of the clerical associations. In the meantime his wife had become interested in Christian Science, and he began to study it and wrote to Mrs. Eddy relative to some interpretation of her work. She became interested in him and soon after he became her student.↩︎

  22. Mrs. Abby H. Corner was prosecuted, but as professional evidence which was accepted by the court, proved that Mrs. Corner’s daughter would probably have succumbed to a hemorrhage, even had a physician been present, she was acquitted.↩︎

  23. In Miscellaneous Writings the last sentence reads, “Hence I tried several doses of medicine, and so proved to myself that drugs have no beneficial effect on an individual in a proper state of mind.”↩︎

  24. In 1888, Chicago and its suburbs were not as today. Its population was then less than 500,000. Mrs. Gesterfeld had published her statement of Christian Science in June, 1888, and the attack on Mrs. Eddy, “Jesuitism in Christian Science,” in the fall; yet it was not until March 20, 1889, that her fellowship was withdrawn from the Chicago church. Mrs. Hopkins was there also with her Christian Science Association, her Theological Seminary, and publishing her monthly magazine, Christian Science.↩︎

  25. Mr. Johnson’s statements would indicate that in numbers, in social standing, and in working efficiency, Mrs. Crosse’s following seems to have been much stronger, at this time, than Mrs. Eddy’s, in so far as it gave some promise of permanence as the leading organized body of those who stood for the teachings of Christian Science. In this situation, Mrs. Eddy’s supreme interest in the advance of the Cause, rather than in the question of her own leadership, or the preeminence of the body of her faithful followers, – all this seems to be indicated by the fact that despite Mrs. Crosse’s withdrawal from her as a coworker and loyal friend, Mrs. Eddy wrote her the following letters, the originals of which have recently been submitted to the Editor.

    Addressed to Mrs. Sarah H. Crosse

    165 Huntington Ave.

    Boston, Mass.

    Concord, Dec. 7, 1889

    Dear Student,

    I find, contrary to my expectations that I cannot deed the lot of land on the corner of Falmouth and Caledonia Sts. To those in the Church who started the building fund, which it was my intention to do. So I have done the next best thing, as I desire to deal with all alike. Have advertised in tonights Boston Herald the lot for sale to any one who was a member of my Church when that lot was bargained for. This is to give you a chance to purchase it at a reduced price. I do not and will not make one cent out of it myself. That was not my object in purchasing, but it was to save it for those who as well as myself had put money into it and lost.

    As ever,

    (Signed) M. B. G. Eddy

    (Written with pencil in Mrs. Eddy’s distinctive script.)↩︎

  26. From the original newspaper clipping in the author’s possession.↩︎

  27. From a copy in my father’s handwriting.↩︎

  28. From a copy in my father’s handwriting.↩︎

  29. After Mr. Bradley’s flight from Boston with the funds of the Church in his possession, a committee was appointed to take action, and, if possible, have him see his mistake. The members were Mrs. Munroe, Miss Bartlett, Mr. Frye, Captain Eastaman and Wm. B. Johnson. The amount taken was between $4000 and $5000, and none of it was recovered.↩︎

  30. Beside the changes relative to Mrs. Eddy’s giving up teaching, the students in Boston were greatly perplexed and discouraged by her determination to leave the city. To obtain the necessary time and quiet, she left, in the early spring, with Dr. Foster-Eddy for Barre, Vt., two hundred miles from Boston. At that time it had a population of about 3,600. But its distance from Boston was a serious drawback, and her stay there was very short. She returned to Commonwealth Avenue, and then went for a short time to Concord, N.H. The opening of the College under General Bates impelled her to be nearer headquarters, and she went to a home on Poplar Street, Roslindale, number 175, but her stay there was short as she could not obtain the needed time for her labors on Science and Health, and early in October she retired to Concord, for a long residence.

    The house on Poplar Street, Roslindale, was purchased for her by Dr. Foster-Eddy, but although it had spacious grounds, in many ways it was not what she desired.↩︎

  31. The italics are Mrs. Eddy’s.↩︎

  32. The question of “free-love” was one upon which Mrs. Eddy laid special stress. The chapter in Science and Health had given rise to much conjecture as to the subject of spiritual marriage. Even before Mrs. Plunkett had created such a sensation, the unfaithful treasurer of the Church had gone with the funds to Canada, and this action had, undoubtedly, been hastened by the attractions of his spiritual affinity. The relations between himself and his affiliated brought much condemnation upon Christian Science, and the stigma that it promoted the severance of the marriage covenant.

    It is noticeable in the chapter on “Marriage” in the new edition of 1890, that Mrs. Eddy left out the following which was in previous editions: –“The last infirmity of evil, that would fasten on mankind a new burden of guilt, is named Free Love; but the very boldness of depravity exposes its deformity.

    “I am reminded that the above paragraph was first published ten years ago, when this offence was getting a foothold in society. How is it now? Free Love is less obtrusive, certainly, and I trust that it is nearer extinction. Has my work been instrumental in accomplishing this result?” – Sixteenth edition, page 153.↩︎

  33. “All persons entering this Association become life members, though they may be expelled for violation of the Constitution or By-laws.”↩︎

  34. In my father’s handwriting, never printed.↩︎

  35. This class must not be confused with one he taught in 1892, which was not under the auspices of the College, and which created much confusion, the facts respecting which will be found in another chapter.↩︎

  36. This communication from Mrs. Eddy was sent to each member of the Association, and it was intended that it should not be made public. It was never printed in the Journal.↩︎

  37. It was not until after the Mother Church was organized in 1892, that Mrs. Eddy made a strong line of demarcation between her students and those taught by General Bates and Dr. Foster-Eddy, at the College, in regard to privileges. The rules relative to countersigning application for membership with the Mother Church, gave this power to Mrs. Eddy’s loyal students, Directors, and First Members. When applications appeared with the countersignature of students taught by General Bates and Dr. Foster-Eddy, although the countersigners held the degree of C.S.B., they were not accepted, and Mrs. Eddy rigidly upheld the rule, although Dr. Foster-Eddy tried several times to have her include the aforementioned students among those who should exercise the privilege.↩︎

  38. From a sermon, “The Marriage Relation and the Family Relation,” which was an answer to Mrs. Plunkett’s announcement of her spiritual divorce, – preached April 14, 1889.↩︎

  39. Month and date not given by Mr. Adams.↩︎

  40. The Children’s Quarterly was an idea that Mr. Bailey had developed.↩︎

  41. This caused considerable criticism, but when taken in conjunction with the message from the National Association, it will be seen that it is a natural sequence: – “It is moved and seconded that a telegraphic despatch of greeting and words of affection be sent by the Secretary to our Mother from her assembled children.”↩︎

  42. Dr. Foster-Eddy made a serious error in his address at the convention when he said, “There was but one Moses, one Jesus; and there is but one Mary.” In the August Journal, Mrs. Eddy wrote: – “The late articles referring to me in the July issue of the Journal contain presentments that I object to having uttered or written now in regard to myself. God alone appoints the befitting path and place for each of his children; and mankind should wait on Him, and let the ages declare judgment.”↩︎

  43. Written, as he states in his issue of March 1891, “about one year ago in response for a little of her time,” which would make it about March 1890.↩︎

  44. Seizing upon the vital and mighty truths of Christian Science, many, in the overturn of old beliefs and thoughts, saw, and learned first, the letter, and those who came in contact with them discerned a lack of expressed tenderness and sympathy. The yearning for love by children was often repelled, and the kiss refused. They were told to “call no man your father upon earth: for one is your Father which is in heaven.” Such an attitude was published in the Journal of March, 1890, page 599, which reads: “I had an experience with a student whose knowledge of Christian Science had become a burden to her, in this way: She was, by nature, a person whose convictions on all points were vivid in the extreme, and who on entering into Science was instantly an extremist in that. She became morbid to such a degree she did not dare to admire her two beautiful children. She was afraid to let them see she loved them, because it was, as she expressed it to me, all “a lie.” Those little bodies were not hers. She was not their mother, etc. She was distressed that she took pleasure in her house and in the pleasant things of material life.”↩︎

  45. From the testimony prepared for the defense in the suit of 1899.↩︎

  46. From testimony prepared for the defense in the suit of 1899.↩︎

  47. By the “one heart” she meant Mrs. Eddy.↩︎

  48. David Anthony, C. S. D., of Providence.↩︎

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