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


The History of The Christian Science Movement

Volume Two

by William Lyman Johnson




Table of Contents



ASA GILBERT EDDY, C.S.D.




Chapter XXXI

Pioneer Work

THE years of 1890, ’91 and ’92 were remarkable as a period in the leavening of the thought, not only of those who were working in the ranks, but of many who were looking for spiritual healing. The false teaching of the offshoots of Christian Science was rapidly diminishing in influence, while the work of Christian Science was constantly spreading and growing stronger. This growth we must analyze because of its importance to the creation of the new Church.

From the time Mrs. Eddy closed the College to the formation of the Church, was a period of distinctly educating and refining significance. During the pioneer work, the laborers toiled at the clearing of the land. Like the early settlers of this country, they had little time and thought for other than to make a success of what they had attempted. Some of the conclusions they drew from Christian Science teaching, they took either too radically or too dreamily, and in this way errors crept in. They had to do the best they could. They must pull up the deep-rooted stumps, and clear away the stubborn bramble thickets; to plow the land, and get it in the best possible condition for immediate use. When enough of this clearing had been done, so that a field could lie fallow for a season, and there was assurance of a full storehouse, the workers would have time to think over their successes and failures, and reason out the causes.

In Christian Science up to 1890, this labor was the hardest kind of pioneer work. But with the breaking down of the efforts of the offshoots to choke the growth of Christian Science, the workers had more time to look over the work they had done, and see wherein lay their mistakes.

The period of educational, refining and corrective measures in Christian Science began when Mrs. Eddy closed the College. This, together with the dissolution of the Christian Scientist Association, brought to an end the bickering, and the inharmony of “thy students and my students.” The many regulations which Mrs. Eddy made in regard to who should be eligible to take the Primary Class with her, was the cause of great uneasiness and discord. Questions of eligibility to the Christian Scientist Association, and the jealousy of many toward this select body, standing so close to Mrs. Eddy, was another cause of inharmony. The disorganization of the Church made it a less shining mark for the rivalry of those who desired to be either pastor, or the assistant pastor, to Mrs. Eddy. The adjournment of the National Association for three years helped create an atmosphere which was clearer and easier to breathe, and which brought mental rest and refreshment to all concerned.

After a person has looked long into the history of the Christian Science organization, and studied carefully its mechanism, he perceives that this mechanism, conceived and built by aspiring thought, was made to perpetuate itself, and realizes from what he has seen, the working together of events in the history of the movement. The mechanism had been well planned, but malicious motives on the part of enemies had thrown obstacles into it, in order to stop or break it, but they failed in this endeavor because protective thought immediately became active, and removed the difficulty.

Some methods used in the work had been crude, as were the material means employed by the early pioneers in the woods and field, and progress demanded that the same truth be utilized in a more fitting and dignified manner. While many wonderful cases of healing were recorded, there remained the necessity of eliminating many non-essentials. The Science was hampered by its newness. There was need of a clear understanding of the laws of the Christianly scientific way of applying it to the solution of human problems, and only by a wise method of using corrective measures could the fog be dispelled and the sunlight of truth find entrance.

Up to December, 1999, Mrs. Eddy had conducted the department of the Journal entitled “Questions and Answers.” These dwelt almost entirely upon the varying aspects of absolute Christian Science, and some of them were as follows: “Do animals and beasts have minds?” “What is immortal Mind?” “Is it correct to say of material objects, that they are nothing and exist only in imagination?”

These and kindred questions had been published in the Journal at a time when more careful examination of her statements was needed, and some of them were advanced thoughts which had come to her, but which could not be embodied in Science and Health until she made a revision of that work. Not until September, 1889, was the department bearing this title again opened in the Journal, and the difference in the question matter is marked. Mrs. Eddy evidently felt that she had already done all that was necessary in answering questions which pertained strictly to Science, and now she entered upon the discussion of matters pertaining to methods of procedure.

Some of these questions were as follows:

“I am puzzled to know the relation of Christian Science to education. It must be remembered that education means the whole training of an individual. I have been more than once told that Scientists who wish to adhere closely to Science will read no other literature, not even a newspaper.” (Vol.7, p.358.)

“What should a Christian Scientist do when dining with Christian friends, if he is asked to say grace?” (Vol.7, p.404.)

“In treating a case where unusual obstinacy put in an appearance, causing feelings of discouragement to be met in my own mind, while battling with them, the following lines suddenly came to me:

In the second coming, not as the lonely lamb, Is He driven to the slaughter;
But He that sitteth upon the white horse, Goeth forth conquering,
And to conquest.

The thoughts conveyed brought a ‘New Day’ to my understanding, and I send them, hoping someone else may see the light clearer therefrom. This is a new dispensation – a new age – to mortal consciousness. Jesus was crucified once for all. I am convinced that the martyrdom which many so-called Christian Scientists have preached to their students, and have looked forward to for themselves, is a grave mistake; one through which they build up, for themselves and others, terrors of many kinds which not only are unscientific, but which cause the student just born into the Science to dread a new hell into which he has been thrust by self mesmerism, that was more dreadful to meet than was the orthodox one he was formerly taught to fear.

“Jesus the Christ said, ‘Fear not the world, for I have overcome the world.’ Either these words mean something, or none of his words do If they mean what they say, the malice which crucified the ‘meek and mighty Nazarene’ was at that time overcome; and to-day, it is not martyrs who are called by the voice of Truth, but steadfast, earnest, loving workers; workers too busy with service which shall better humanity in all ways.

“A few years ago we were taught that if we did not devote our whole thought and time to Christian Science healing of the sick, we could neither keep the understanding gained, nor continue in health ourselves, or heal others. Mothers were even urged to leave little children to the care of others, that they might go forth and spread the truth. This, many of us have demonstrated to be a mistake on the part of the teachers themselves. There is not a word in Science and Health which teaches it; rather to the contrary.

“It is observed that when a Christian Science teacher visits a field, heals, and teaches those ready to hear, then passes on to other fields, the work she leaves is simply begun; that those who have accepted the truth have often a longer and harder task, silently and lovingly to live it, and establish it in the regard of their own communities.”

Such were the questions which called for answers. The convention of the National Association of 1890 became in many ways a meeting for the correction and improvement of the work, the advance of the Scientific expression of the workers and adherents.

Other contributory forces which had set themselves in motion were the preparation and publication of the “Bible Lessons,” from which the impersonal pastor was evolved. This period marks also the increased desire of Mrs. Eddy to put personality still more “under her feet,” and to complete the revision of Science and Health, which showed a lessening of personal opinion and of the use of I’s and my’s, with the forceful suggestion that the “Text-Book” was to be the teacher of the future.

Some of those connected with the Christian Science movement seemed to feel that since democracy, government by the people, is the antipode of autocracy, that liberty means anarchy and authorizes a course such as Mrs. Plunkett entered upon in her act of spiritual divorce and marriage. Mrs. Woodbury’s career and her attempts to justify herself by making Mrs. Eddy’s teachings the basis of her action, was but a bungling subterfuge, which she should have known could not deceive sane people. But these matters had to come to the surface to be destroyed, and this period was peculiarly a time when many false conceptions were uncovered and condemned.

While these changes were taking place, however, Mrs. Eddy did not lose sight of the patient, long-suffering, self-sacrificing and faithful little band of worshippers in her disorganized church, meeting regularly, giving their all, and trying to gather anew a building fund to replace the one which had been stolen; trying to hold the members together when schisms and scandals rent their ranks, and brought scorn, laughter and the charge of immorality to the very doors of their meeting place. She saw that out of this hard-pressed little body of tried works there must evolve some time a greater body, and circumstances and time would show the ones who would stand at her side and prove efficient helpers.

To give the little Church a better standing, Mrs. Eddy saw in Mr. Norcross just the type she needed at this especial time. He was of seasoned stock, for he had been her student, and had held the pastorate of the Christian Science Church in Oconto, Wis. He had reached the age at which convictions are thoroughly settled, and he was not to be led astray by some visionary off-shoot of Mental Healing. He was earnest, sincere and simple in his thought and character. He had absorbed and assimilated the spirit of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, and he had the fine characteristic spirit of deep humanitarianism. He was no dreamer after a far-distant and hazy ideal, but found deeds of kindness, benevolence and spiritual uplift to do each day. His steadfast and kindly labors did much to build up the little Church in this trying period, for he spoke and acted with simplicity and love. His belief in the power and comprehensiveness of his theological teaching vanished in one outburst, when, in the class-room, Mrs. Eddy put some question to him, and then worked him down to where all his arguments rested upon a single point, respecting which she asked a question that she knew he must answer rightly if he would be honest with himself and with her. He did not disappoint her expectation, and when the answer came, he burst out with the statement; “then all my years of theological study don’t amount to that’ (snapping his fingers). Mrs. Eddy laughed until the tears ran down her cheeks, and all the class burst into merriment, but the beauty of the event was that every one felt how charged Mr. Norcross was with honesty of purpose, in the manliness of his admission. The merriment of the class was most kindly, for it spoke for the realization that here was an honest and fearless man, and he, too, feeling the love of all, smiled and then broke into a hearty laugh.

He delighted to come to our home on G Street. It was a modest place, for not a little of our old furniture, prints, silver, books and jewelry had been sold, back in 1885, that we might have food and clothing, but it was full of sunlight, and I am sure that under its roof more hard work of various kinds was done for the Cause, than in any other home except that of our Teacher.

With his visits Mr. Norcross brought quiet, manly cheer, good nature, a spiritual radiance and confidence in the ultimate victory of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, even when the hours seemed the darkest. If I were at home when he came, we would always have a pleasant hour of song.

When father gave up all connection with the work in the old churches, for Christian Science, friends of long standing considered him too radical, for they believed that if he was determined to have Christian Science, he might also have some of the pleasures and comforts that the churches and societies he had attended held out to him. His decision was made however, and this determination naturally parted many intimacies, for his time was so taken up with work that it was impossible to spend social evenings as formerly, and his friends of the old days felt that he had drifted away from them. As the Cause began to prosper, be realized that he should show these good friends what Christian Science does for the individual, and by getting again in touch with them, prove to them that he had not become eccentric or peculiar, but remained kind and gentle and open to all that is good and beautiful as were they. He felt that a pleasant way to unbias their thought was to have some of these come to the house for an evening of music, and many pleasant acquaintances were thus renewed. If anyone desired to know more about Christian Science, father or mother were ready to give them information, and our guests went away with a feeling that we were not such a queer people after all, and that our ideals were high both in religion and in art.




Chapter XXXII

The Church Building Troubles

THE time has now come to take up some of the troubles of the disorganized Church in Boston, which had to be straightened out in Mrs. Eddy’s judgment, before she could enter upon her effort to establish the new Mother Church. These troubles are closely related to the collection of the money for the new Building Fund, the power to erect being invested in three Trustees, Alfred Lang, Marcellus Munroe, and William G. Nixon.

On May 25, 1891, a printed notice was sent out to the field by the Trustees, asking for contributions to the Building Fund. All conditions being considered, the money came in rapidly, for by June 13, 1892, a little over a year, the Treasurer, Mr. Lang, had received over $30,000. Unfortunately, during this year which seemed so full of hope, there developed a serious disagreement between the Directors of the Church – Eugene H. Green, David Anthony, Ira O. Knapp, Joseph S. Eastaman, and Wm. B. Johnson – and the Trustees, over the question of the deed of the land. The Trustees took the matter to the Massachusetts Title Insurance Co, which reported the title imperfect in that the deed which conveyed the land to the Trustees did not have in it the words, “to their heirs,” which gave the Trustees only a life estate, so that on the passing away of the last one of the original Trustees, the land and the Church-building would revert to Mr. Knapp, or his heirs, if living.

While there were other objections, this was the principal difficulty. The Trustees had suggested a method for “curing” the title, and, as they stated in their circular, “they had hoped for some months that Mr. Knapp would consent to it.” To do this would mean that the Church should be brought back to a state of organization so that a deed of the entire property could be made to it.

These questions were brought to the attention of the contributors in a circular letter written by the three Trustees, with which there were sent two slips, one only of which was to be filled out, which gave them the opportunity of having their money returned to them, or of authorizing and empowering the Trustees to keep the money and erect the proposed edifice.

To the proposition of reorganizing the Church, under the State laws, the Directors had determinedly said “No!” The Trustees brought every argument possible to bear upon this necessity, not only their own, but those of their attorney, and, as they stated, of Mrs. Eddy’s lawyer, Mr. Perry. By May 5, 1892, Mrs. Eddy saw that the situation had become critical. The pros and cons of the matter had reached her, and she realized that she must do at this time what she did July 20, 1889, when she said, “I have committed my dear flock to God in full faith that he will care for it.”

By February, 1892, Mrs. Eddy began to approach closer to organization, first, by issuing in the Journal of March, Vol. 9, p.487, how Communion should be observed. She then takes up the matter of organization as follows:

“It is not essential to materially organize Christ’s Church. It is not absolutely necessary to ordain Pastors, and to dedicate Churches; but if this be done, let it be in concession to the period, and not as a perpetual or indispensable ceremonial of the Church. If our Church is organized, it is to meet the demand, ‘suffer it to be so now.’ The real Christian compact is love for one another. This bond is wholly spiritual and inviolate.

“It is imperative at all times and under every circumstance, to perpetuate no ceremonials except as types of these mental conditions: remembrance and love, – a real affection for Jesus’ character and example. Be it remembered that all types employed in the service of Christian Science should represent in the most spiritual forms of thought and worship that can be made visible.”

By 1892, Mrs. Eddy saw that conditions had so cleared that she could return to a form of organization that seemed necessary to guide her followers. The Cause had grown so rapidly since the disorganization of the Church, that a Church without legal organization of some kind did not appear satisfactory from a business standpoint, especially when large sums were to be used in its support and in building its edifice for worship.

In February, 1892, the question of the soundness of the deed that Mr. Knapp had given to the Trustees was questioned by the latter, and this tended more than any other question at issue to bring about the reorganization of the Church.

The following letter written by Dr. E. J. Foster-Eddy to Wm. B. Johnson, shows something of the discordant conditions that were beginning to gather headway over the deed of the land.

“62 N. STATE ST., CONCORD, N.H., Feb. 11, 1892.

Dear Brother:

Mr. Frye says we better not trouble Mother with the contents of the letter you gave me Association day. Neither would I be in a hurry about making the record in the book. You people in Boston ought to be sharp enough to look out for these things. The faction would be glad to have it appear that that land was given by Mother to the Church as it stood in the beginning. They think they have a claim on it. This she did not do but gave it to the Trustees in trust etc., or Mr. Knapp did. This point must be watched. In your report you say: ‘Whereas there has been circulated a false report namely etc., and also that the Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston was dismembered and is extinct, it is the duty of this Church to take immediate action to stamp out this falsehood etc. The Board of Directors named in the deed which secures to this Church the parcel of land etc.

Now the old Church was disbanded and the land was not meant to be given to the Church as it formerly stood with those disloyal members. Keep a lookout that you in no way give them a clue or claim upon it. It seems to me some of the points you have for record may possibly give you away.

Very truly yours,

E. J. FOSTER EDDY.”1

The Trustees selected Mr. Griffin as their attorney to look into the soundness of the deed, and the following letter from Alfred Lang to Mrs. Eddy shows what the Trustees were attempting to do.

“LAWRENCE, MASS., March 19, 1892.

Mrs. M. B. G. Eddy,

My dear Teacher:

Since I saw you last in Concord, I have been to Boston with a view of taking the initiatory steps in perfecting the title to our Church Building lot. In further consultation with Mr. Griffin (who by the way is himself as well as his wife, one of Mrs. Meader’s students) I learn that our starting point is with the Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston.

Through that legally incorporate body action can be taken which will cut off all foreign claims to equity in the property.

Mr. Griffin called for the Church records. I asked Mr. Munroe if he would see Mr. Johnson and place the records in Mr. Griffin’s hands. Mr. Munroe writes me that Mr. Johnson will not give up the Church records without instructions from you to do so. We now feel obliged to await your action in this matter. Mr. Griffin says, ‘No individual or body have a title to the property.’

What a condition we are in! I asked Mr. Griffin if it were possible to perfect the title. He answered “Yes.” This much we know. We must give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. We must conform to the laws of our country in our business transactions. Really the work of perfecting this devolves upon yourself and the Church.

I think you may feel assured that we, the Trustees, will release the property to the new Trust, or Directors, that you named, said Directors holding the fee in the whole property but reserving to the Publishing Society a life lease of so much of the property as the publishing house occupies in case it is built upon, and should it ever be sold the Publishing Society to receive the pro-rata value of the publishing building which would be but a small part of their gifts. As four-fifths of all the 1 Original in records of The Mother Church.

money I have received came from outside of the Boston Church, I feel quite sure you will see this to be just. We, the present Trustees, must act together and unanimously, or we can’t effect the object we are seeking.

Please allow me here to say that I should regard it as very unfortunate if we or yourself should break faith with Brother Nixon. I regard him as one of the truest men within my acquaintance. I know he has the good of our Cause at heart. I shall rejoice if the course which you have outlined shall take legal form and be perfected. We can do nothing at building until it is so made. If we should fail in this, it would be one of the hardest blows that has ever hit Christian Science since I knew of it. I do most earnestly desire that there be no delay. I also keenly realize the sacredness of the trust and responsibility devolving upon me in holding this large fund, so lovingly bestowed by some thousands of persons, much the greater part being poor. Did ever since the days of the early disciples any man hold a more sacred trust? It is quite apparent that our maximum sum will be realized with a few weeks.2 Will it look or be right for me to draw from the fund which I hold to satisfy legal charges in quieting a title which has been proclaimed that you yourself have given? Should not this be done either by yourself or by the Church? So sacred do I hold this Building Fund that I am impelled to ask these questions, and I know you will advise and direct wisely.

Believe me that I would not trouble you with all these maters if it were not imperatively necessary. I hoped we should go on and build without doing this. It is known to the field, that we have in the bank nearly the sum which we named in our last circular-letter would warrant us to commence building. What will they say of us, after proclaiming as we have, that we have a lot of land given by yourself, if we should be obliged to say, we have no land to build upon?

It occurs to me that by force of circumstances, not from choice, touching this question, you are still the power on the throne, not behind it. I think we are fortunate in having the best conveyance in the State for our lawyer, and in sympathy with us. Lawyer has told Mr. Munroe that the foreclosure of your mortgage was legally executed. He will answer to that, and it so appears on the record. That point is settled, or it so appears to me.

Very truly your student,

ALFRED LANG.”3

Relative to the statement made in this letter that Mr. Johnson would not give the Church records to Mr. Griffin without instructions from Mrs. Eddy, the following entry from the “diary” of Wm. B. Johnson:

“Tuesday, March 27, 1892. Meet Messrs. Lang and Nixon in Mr. Knapp’s office about 10.30 A.M. They were consulting about letting Mr. Griffin have 2 The maximum sum was to be $20,000, which, when received and in cash, work on the building should be begun.

3 Original in records of The Mother Church.

the record books. At 1.00 P.M. the Directors met at 62 Boylston St., and authorized me to submit the books to Mr. Griffin for one week. Saw Dr. Eddy at Providence Depot at 3.00. Saw him again at the Lowell Depot.”

It is entirely probable that in the conversation between the Directors and the Trustees, the latter urged reorganization of the Church, as this was strongly in their thought, as will be shown by letters in subsequent pages. To Dr. Eddy, Mr. Johnson undoubtedly told the trend of the meeting with the Trustees, sought his advice, and through him that of Mrs. Eddy. That she knew of the desire for reorganization held by the Trustees is evident from a letter written the day after the foregoing entry in the “diary.”

On March 23, Mrs. Eddy wrote the following remarkable letter to my father:

“MARCH 23, ’92.

My dear Student:

I had forgotten what you named, but this is of no consequence, farther than the good it did, namely, to prevent your being misled. All that I have counseled has worked well for Church and Cause. Your only danger now lies in the past being repeated. Another faction formed to pick off my soldiers, and to make the leader of it a traitor, adds to work right in your camp, in the most plausible manner. Watch, the hour is ominous, when any student goes against my advice and still gives orders in my name, that one is making up his quota.

I wrote you, Miss Bartlett and others, not to organize a Church! Then it was reported that I gave the order to organize, but I did not. Now your salvation as a people whose God is the Lord lies in being wise as a serpent.

Again I repeat do not unless God speaks through me to you to do it, change your present materially disorganized – but spiritually organized – Church, nor its present form of Church government, and watch that the Directors are not carried to propose or to make changes relative to the present forms of Church work.

The lot I paid for, the taxes on it, the expense of Lawyer etc. are all straight, legally and forever settled. No man can make it otherwise any more than evil can destroy Good.

Affectionately,

M. B. G. EDDY.

P.S. This letter is private. Wisely warn the Directors not to be misled. Do this alone. M. A. M. is busy on the points before named.”4

Although the Church was continuing its activities as a disorganized body, its charter had not been vacated. The contentions of the Trustees, which they pressed with the utmost vigor upon Mrs. Eddy, compelled her to make plans for the future,

  1. This letter was written to Wm. B. Johnson. It is in The Mother Church. It is written in ink in Mrs. Eddy’s handwriting.


WILLIAM B. JOHNSON, C.S.D.

One of the original twelve members



and on March 26, 1892, she wrote a sketch for the dissolution of the Church, according to law, and the chartering of the Church under a new title. This sketch, the writer believes, she never sent to the Directors, and there is no evidence to show that it was ever set into motion, but it was a step toward the final reorganization, and is therefore of historical interest.

“MARCH 26, 1892.

“Dissolve the Church organization according to law through the Court. Take out a new charter for a Church called the First Church of Christ, Scientist. Make the government of the Church the same as it now is; that there shall be seven (7) Directors of this Church viz: Mrs. M. W Munroe, Miss J. S. Bartlett, William B. Johnson, Ira O. Knapp, Eugene H. Green, Joseph S. Eastaman, David Anthony. That these Directors shall elect the Pastor and see that the Pastor is paid; shall decide his term of service and remove him if necessary for preaching what is not absolutely Christian Science; for neglecting the duties of his office, or for using an influence against the true history of Christian Science, its discovery, its revelation and statement according to the books written by Mary B. G. Eddy, or any other mode of departure from strict loyalty to Christian Science in its statement and demonstration according to above named works, or for any other departure from the strictest doctrine and demonstration of Christian Science that these Directors may discover.

The Pastor shall read Science and Health aloud in the pulpit and use his influence to extend the publication of Mrs. Eddy’s works.

Not one of these Directors shall resign his office while he remains loyal to Christian Science after the definition as above of what constitutes loyalty.

If one should be removed by what is called death, his place shall be immediately supplied by a person loyal to Christian Science as above described, with the exception of the pulpit service. If one of these Directors should depart from the strictest standard of Christian Science according to the foregoing specifications thereof, he shall be removed from office and another one chosen in his place who is loyal as aforesaid with the exception of performing the office of Pastor.

The Church shall not vote on the choice of Pastor or his removal from his office or the term of his service. This shall be the duty of the Directors only.

Whatever Constitution or By-laws this Church shall adopt, they shall in no way conflict with this order of the Directorship of the Church.

The lot of land on the corner of Falmouth and Caledonia Sts.,5 Boston, I gave to this First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, provided they adhere to the above order of Directorship.

These Directors shall be chosen at the first meeting when forming this organization, and this form of government shall be continued or the right to the owner-

  1. What is now Norway St., was at that time Caledonia.

ship of this land shall be forfeited and it shall go to a Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, who will adopt and perpetuate this form of Church government as aforesaid.

There shall be three Trustees of this Church property. Mr. Alfred Lang of Lawrence, Mass., and Mr. Marcellus Munroe of Somerville, Mass., shall be two of them until the Church edifice is built, when their term of office shall expire. Mr. Lang shall continue to act as Treasurer of the Church Building Fund and Mr. Munroe as Secretary of the Trustees.

If one of the Trustees who hold the Church Building Fund objects to this mode of conveying this land whereon to build the Church edifice, this Trustee shall be removed from office and another person who consents to it shall be elected to fill the vacancy.

This land shall be bonded instead of deeded to the Church on the above conditions.

The Charter members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, shall be the above named Directors, if all of these were members of my Church, – but at all events no one shall be a Charter member who was not a loyal member of the present Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, under its present charter, and at the time of its disorganization.

N.B. The reason I give for the surrender of the charter is that the Church to which I give the land, shall be called the First Church of Christ, Scientist. It is now chartered as the Church of Christ (Scientist).”

The Trustees, for reasons that will be shown, were determined to have their way if possible. In another circular letter of June 16, 1892, they state:

“The Trustees are of the opinion that, had they had free access to Mrs. Eddy during the past three months, and had no one to deal with other than herself, this imperfect title would have been in a way to cure, and the Church edifice would ere this have been begun.”

They further made the statement that:

“After the matter had been investigated by the Massachusetts Title Insurance Co. and a plan recommended by which the title could be cured, Mrs. Eddy recommended to the Trustees that her attorney in Boston (Mr. Perry) be consulted with, and his advice taken. In accordance with her request, we laid the whole matter before Mr. Perry, whose opinion of the title was in accordance with the opinion which we had already obtained. As to curing the title, he was very positive in his statement that the first thing to be done was to have a legal church body to take the title; and, after certain steps had been taken (which were pointed out by him) for Mr. Knapp to convey the land to the church itself, instead of the Trustees as at present, his wife releasing her right of dower. This, Mr. Knapp has not been willing to do; although it was recommended by Mrs. Eddy’s attorney.

“We were never ‘urged’ by Mrs. Eddy ‘to go to building,’ nor to ‘stop calling for building funds until we had a good title.’

“We were never ‘urged’ by Mrs. Eddy to ‘go to building’ as the present title now stands; but, on the contrary, she has twice – in the presence of two of the Trustees – requested that they go on and have the title perfected before using the money on the land.”

These statements form a part of a rebuttal against certain complaints made by the Directors to some of the loyal students in the field, in a “confidential letter” sent out by them and dated June 16, 1892. Among these complaints were the following:

“2. If the Deed was not strictly sound and Mr. Nixon knew it as he said he did from the first, he had no right to get your money for building on land to which he had not a clear title.

“3. When Mrs. Eddy was led to fear there was a flaw in the Deed she begged the Trustees to put your money in the building and then have the title made sound.

“4. For if the Deed is broken before this is done the Trustees can claim the money which they have deposited in their own names and nobody but themselves can take it out of the banks.

“5. This was why she urged them to go to building or else stop calling for building funds, until they had a clear title.

“6. Mr. Knapp is ready to give a sound title to the land on the terms of his Deed, and as Mrs. Eddy wished to give it; but they will either have it on their own terms or, as they say, no title at all, and yet continue to receive your money.”

Comparing these statements, the reader will see that there is a wide divergence between those of the Trustees and the Directors, amounting even to a question of veracity, but from absolute proof it will be shown that for some reason the Trustees were not correct, especially in their rebuttal that Mrs. Eddy did not urge them to go on building while there was still a flaw in the Deed.

For this proof the author offers a letter written by Mrs. Eddy, and a printed statement. The letter is as follows:

“MAY 5, ’92.

“MR. JOHNSON.

My dear Student.

Mr. Perry is right, he says the Trustees can go on and build the Church and nothing can trouble them and no harm can come of it.

This is your duty. No I have done mine and you yours, and I from this hour shall not be consulted or brought into the matter in any way or shape.

Mr. Nixon has made all the trouble that has been made, and his duty lies in appropriating, as the contributors expected him to do, the money he has received. That was what I said in the first place and I agree with Perry on this point.

With love,

MARY B. G. EDDY.”

In the Journal of October, 1892, in her article, “To the Contributors of the Church Building Fund in Boston,” Mrs. Eddy wrote:

“…I had advised Mr. Long not to delay appropriating the money he had on hand, and to commence building the church, at the same time we would conjoin in making the title sound. The Trustees then declined to do this.”

These two statements of fact by Mrs. Eddy, the second of which is later than the date of the rebuttals of the Trustees (June 16), put the burden of proof upon them, but it is not necessary in the analysis of this matter to carry it farther. The overcoming of certain other obstacles which lay in the way of the formation of the Mother Church, is the point we wish to consider.

The condition of affairs between the Directors and the Trustees by June, 1892, was anything but hopeful. As shown in her letter of May 5, Mrs. Eddy had seen the animus behind the position of the trustees, and the sooner it came to a head the quicker it would heal. She determined, therefore, to keep out of it as much as possible, and let the Board of Directors and the Trustees come to exactly the right understanding, knowing that God would guide the action that must surely take place.

On the same date as the foregoing letter to my father (May 5), she wrote to Mr.

Lang as follows:

“I hereby state that my students have my full permission to reorganize, or to settle this Church Building question in anyway they please.

MARY B. G. EDDY.”

The Trustees stated that about May 13 (1892), Mr. Lang wrote to Mrs. Eddy, explaining fully the plan by which the title could be cured and conveyed to the Church, as agreed on by both attorneys, and, by a telegram, dated May 15, she declared:

“Have requested Directors to do what your letter proposes.”

In a letter, dated May 16, to Mr. Lang, she wrote:

“I shall not oppose any measure that the Trustees take.”

I have some notes written by my father at this time which read as follows:

“May 11. Went to each of the Trustees with Mr. Knapp. Mr. Knapp offered to make the deed legal, if it is not already so, if Trustees would put deed back into Mr. Knapp’s hands. Mr. Nixon said the only way he could see to get the deed returned was for Mr. Knapp to bring charges against them for violating the conditions of the deed.

“Saw Mr. Lang in his home in Lawrence He said that the whole matter should be known at the student’s meeting and it would be the greatest burst that ever came upon C. S.

“On Monday, May 18, 1892, a meeting of the Business Committee was held. This Committee was asked to convene by the Trustees to take up the matter of curing the deed, as they believed the letter of May 5 from Mrs. Eddy, and her subsequent telegram and letter to Mr. Lang, gave them enough authority to do so.”

Relative to this meeting my father’s notes read as follows:

“Miss Bartlett, Mrs. Munroe, Captain Eastaman and myself, met in Miss Bartlett’s room, and talked over the matter of calling those members of the old Church, for the purpose of reorganizing the Church.

“After careful consideration of the question, we came to the conclusion that we cannot take or sanction a step that implies a return to organization.

“Thursday, May 21, 1892, Mr. Lang called Miss Bartlett, Mrs. Munroe and myself from the Lesson Committee. We went into room 333. Mr. Lang said he was authorized to say that nothing could be done until the Church was reorganized.”

The reason for the action of the Business Committee, at their meeting May 18, and for their attitude was the letter that Mrs. Eddy wrote them on the 23rd of the previous March, in which she said:

“Again I repeat do not (unless God speaks through me to you to do it) change your present materially disorganized – but spiritually organized Church, nor its present form of Church government, and watch that the Directors are not carried to propose or to make any changes relative to the present forms of Church work.”

The result, in the thought of the Business Committee and of the Board of Directors, was that their attitude was not at all shaken by what the Trustees had to state, nor by their threats, and, in a letter shortly to be exhibited, the reader will be shown that Mrs. Eddy, while leaving her Church in the hands of Principle, knew also that the Directors were working with her.

On May 3, 1892, the following hectographed letter, in my father’s handwriting, was sent to certain students:

“BOSTON, MASS. May 3, 1892.

“Dear Christian Scientists:

I know it is my duty to inform you, that malicious influences are governing the Trustees of the Church Building Fund, to make them say that their deed from Mr. Knapp is not legal, because it has not this clause, ‘to their heirs and assigns.’ Mr. Knapp, who had a sound title to the land, as Lawyer Perry will be responsible for proving, has offered, before witnesses, to have this clause put in the deed, and the deed made indisputably legal, if they will return the deed so that it can be done. What hinders the building being started is this: — the factionists in Boston are determined to make the Trustees buy another building lot with the money that has been contributed, and build thereon a church free from the restrictions in the Trust deed. So many of our Church members were belligerents when it was disorganized, that this form of deed and circuitous way of conveying land was deemed the remedy against future broils, and so far has proved a restriction on error. The belligerents are still members of our Church, because the Court has not taken away our Church charter. If our Church reorganizes, in order to transact business, these false members will trouble us, unless the conditions of the deed to the Trustees are carried out.

Their main plot at present is to get money from the students sufficient to buy a lot and then build a Church edifice of their own under no restrictions, that the reign of heterodoxy may have a foundation in Boston, the true Scientists be again robbed and our Cause suffer throughout the land. Under the influence of M. A. M. the Trustees say their deed is not legal; then why do they not let it be made so and not call on students for money that they will not use in building on our lot? Mr. Lang and Mr. Munroe seem completely blinded. It is said that Mr. N. has always hated the Church government as it is stated in his deed, but he claims legal points are what hinder his starting to build. He does not know the need of certain restrictions requisite to get on in our Church. The legal points can easily be adjusted and the Church is ready to adjust them, but the Trustees will not act in this direction, and yet hold on to the money. Lawyer Perry of Boston, 1 Beacon St., will tell you that the land is safely and legally conveyed. The sequel will prove in whose interest Mr. Nixon is at work. He is now on a tour in the West. It is no longer safe to contribute or allow to be contributed, if you can prevent it, another dollar till the Trustees put the $30,000 they now have on hand into a building on the lot that our Teacher has given for this purpose, a lot which is now considered worth about $20,000, and if they delay to build, and still take in contributions then we must ask them to return our money or stop taking money if they are not legally Trustees. Look out that M. A. M. does not shut your eyes as it did ours at first, to the plot of the enemy.

With love,

Yours fraternally,

(Signed) WM. B. JOHNSON.

N.B. I have just returned from Concord, and have talked with our beloved Teacher. She sees it all, and the stupidity of us students. I think we can help in the manner aforesaid, to stop this scheme. W. B. J. Confidential.”

The original copy of this letter is interesting. It is typewritten, and there are many emendations, most of which are in ink, but Mrs. Eddy afterwards went over it, and there are additions and changes made by her in lead pencil.

My father had gone to Concord and had shown her just how conditions stood in Boston, and she desired this letter sent to certain people in the field that she felt were not touched by the efforts of Mr. Nixon.

According to my father’s diary, he went to Concord on Monday, May 2, on the 5.00 P.M. train, and remained there until the 3.30 P.M. train for Boston the next day. He arrived home about 7.30 P.M. and asked me to get the hectograph ready. He wrote the original copy in the hectograph ink, and I made copies from the gelatin. The work was completed and the letters mailed at about eleven o’clock in the evening. These were sent to the following students:

Sue Ella Bradshaw, Mrs. Nellie B. Eaton, Mrs. Ellen Brown Linscott, Mrs. Ruth B. Ewing, Mrs. E. A. Thompson, Edward A. Kimball, Mrs. Ella P. Sweet, M. Anna Osgood, Charles M. Howe, John P. Filbert, E. M. Buswell, Mrs. Caroline W. Frame, Mrs. Emma D. Behan, Mrs. M. Bettie Bell, Mrs. A. J. Baird, Mrs. Mary H. Philbrick, Mrs. Jennie B. Fenn, Mrs. George W. Adams Miss Sarah J. Clark, Mrs. George P. Noyes, Joseph Armstrong, Mrs. Hannah A. Larminie, Miss Emma M. Estes, Mrs. George Lancaster, Mrs. Jessie G. Clark, Mrs. Annie M. Knott, Silas J. Sawyer, Mrs. Isabella H. Stewart, Mrs. Mary A. Lewis, Miss Clara M. S. Shannon, Miss Virginia Johnson, Mrs. Annie V. C. Leavitt, Eugene H. Greene, E. R. Hardy, Stephen A. Chase, Miss Alice Dayton, Mrs. Harriet G. Betts, Mrs. Josephine C. Otterson, Miss Marie M. Adams, Mrs. Augusta E. Stetson, Mrs. M. A. Bagley, Mrs. Henrietta E. Chanfrau, Gen. E. N. Bates, Edward H. Hammond, Mrs. Mary F. Berry, Mrs. Mary B. Hinckley, Mrs. Harvey Bissell, Mrs. Emilie G. Hulin, Miss Sarah J. Pine, Mrs. Pamelia J. Leonard, J. E. Brierly, Mrs. H. Elizabeth Roberts, Miss Mary Brookins, Mrs. Kate E. Rousseau, Mrs. W. T. Carpenter, Bradford Sherman, Edward C. Clark, Mrs. Elvira W. Spaulding, Janet T. Colman, Mary E. Spooner, Miss Ellen E. Cross, William H. Wing, Mrs. A. Dorland, Alfred Farlow.

The letter was signed by my father, not as an officer of the Church, but as an individual, and this was at Mrs. Eddy’s request. The hearty response to it shows the faith which these students had in his honesty of purpose, for to write a letter of this kind amid such conditions and be responsible for it was a task not at all desirable.

By the 16th of the following June (1892), the relations between the Directors and the trustees were in a very strained condition. The “confidential” letter which the Directors had sent to the field, dated June 7 (1892), was the one that made the break wide open, and the paragraphs in which they bring certain charges against the Trustees have been shown. A copy of this “confidential” letter reached the Trustees, and in a communication dated June 16 (1892), called “Circular No. 2,” they made desperate attempts to put themselves in the right light with the contributors. The second paragraph is the one to which the trustees seem to have taken the greatest objections: “If the deed was not strictly sound, and Mr. Nixon knew it, as he says he did from the first, he had no right to get your money for building on land to which he had no clear title.”

This letter of the Directors had been sent to Mrs. Eddy for her inspection as will be shown in the following paragraph.

“When Mrs. Eddy objected to this [the attitude of the Trustees who when Mr. Knapp was ready to give a sound title to the land on the terms of his deed, and as Mrs. Eddy wished to give it, were determined to have it either on their own terms, or, as they said, no title at all, and yet continued to receive money], they spoke of returning the money to the donors. She said that would be terrible for our Cause, but now she sees that of the two evils it is less than for your money to build a Church for the enemies of Christian Science, as no doubt it will be left to the dictation of M. A. M. or error, as at present. Therefore she coincides with us in this measure, namely, for each of the contributors to ask that their money be returned to them, and they hold it until the title to the land is made sound and they can return it with this certain knowledge, and also with the guaranty that the building for which it is given shall be erected on the lot aforesaid.”

This communication was sent not to contributors but to Mrs. Eddy’s students, probably to those whose names appear on page 17-18, as there is a P.S. to this letter which reads: “Please advise your students who have contributed to act in accordance with this letter.” (W. B. J. with other signers.)

The “Circular No. 2,” dated June 16 (1892), expressed a burst of indignation from the Trustees, the first paragraph of which reads:

“After preparing the other circular latter herewith sent you, not imagining that we were to depend on others to make an account of our stewardship committed to us by you, the following letter has come into our possession by the hand of a friend. Not believing in ‘Confidential’ letters of this nature when one’s reputation is brought into question, we submit the complete communication for your inspection, and judgment as to its spirit of fairness.”

According to my father’s notes Mr. Knapp brought the “confidential” letter from Concord to my father on Wednesday, June 8, who immediately went to Providence to obtain the signatures of Mr. Greene and Mr. Anthony. It was not until the 11th that the letters were all gotten out and mailed.

The first draft of this important letter I had completed, by hectograph, when word arrived that changes must be made. This, of course, created considerable more labor, for the letter covered four pages and required for a hundred copies, four hundred sheets of paper. To obtain as many good copies as this from the gelatin necessitated the writing of about three originals. Mrs. Eddy did not want the letter put into print, owing to the amount of publicity which might follow, therefore it was necessary to have it done in this slower, more tedious, but surer and safer manner.

While the Directors saw the not far remote threatening of further schisms, if the Church should again return to organization without having the charter vacated, the position between themselves and the trustees had reached a state of deadlock. Action of some kind was necessary. The Trustees were deeply incensed against the Directors, because the latter body had sent out the “confidential” letter which had cut so deeply. From all indications it would seem that the Trustees had the whip hand, because they held the money, and there was invested in their authority certain rights over which the Directors had no control. They felt, therefore, that they were in a position to defy anybody, in asserting their rights and privileges.

But with the growth of the feeling of power, and whatever other scheme one of them had, whose influence over the other two was so great that neither wife nor daughter could loosen it, a most serious and deplorable condition was surely coming into the affairs of the Church. The stubborn determination of the Trustees, and the animus behind their blockading tactics, a stand that even Mrs. Eddy’s views upon the matter could not move, put the Directors where they must be the seekers for some common meeting ground upon which a solution of the problem could be affected. A reorganization of the Church seemed to be the one that would meet most of the difficulties, but the dangers in this action would be many. It became, however, absolutely necessary that something should be done to relieve the tension, not only in Boston but in the whole field.

The contradictory statements of the Directors and the Trustees, given to the field through the letters mentioned in the foregoing pages, put students and contributors where they did not know which of the official bodies to trust, and with the result that the enthusiasm for the Building Fund began to wane. To soften the hardness of thought of the Trustees, so that something like a just decision could be reached, it was decided to reorganize the Church. While Mrs. Eddy gave consent to this, it was with a feeling of reservation. She realized its dangers, and intended to find a better way, but for the time she “must suffer it to be so now.” She had a premonition that there was a superior method of working out the matter, but just where the legal justification of her ideas lay she had to discover. Not only had she in thought the bringing out of a happy conclusion of the trouble over the deed, but the entry upon another great undertaking about which very few were given the privilege of knowing. Relative to this she sent my father to New York City on a special mission to Mrs. Stetson, which worked out successfully, and which will be spoken of later on.

By the first of August the plans for the reorganization of the Church were well under way, and the papers were being made out for the forming of a new corporation. The name of the Church in its charter of 1879 was Church of Christ (Scientist). The title of the new organization was to be First Church of Christ, Scientist. On the sixteenth day of August, 1892, the Agreement of Association was signed by twelve members whom Mrs. Eddy had selected. But this Agreement, all ready for filing at the State House, was made useless by the request of one of the signers that her name be erased from the document. Upon my father had rested the labor of obtaining the signatures of the signers, and his notes read:

“Wednesday, August 18, 1892. At 3 P.M. received a note from Mrs. requesting me to erase her name from the Agreement. Went to State House, got another paper, called on Capt. Eastaman, who signed it, then called on his wife at her home who also signed. Returned home, wrote letters to former signers to meet me in Mr. Knapp’s office Thursday at 3.30 P.M.

“Thursday, August 18, 1892. Met Miss Bartlett in Providence Depot at 9.00, saw Mr. Knapp in his office 9.15, — left for Fall River at 9.30. Saw Mr. Chase in his home at about 12. He signed the paper. Returned to Boston, and met signers in Mr. Knapp’s office at 3.35.”

This Agreement reads as follows:

“We, whose names are hereto subscribed, do, by this Agreement, associate ourselves with the intention to constitute a corporation according to the provisions of the one hundred and fifteenth chapter of the Public Statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the acts in amendment thereof and in addition thereto.

“The name by which the Corporation shall be known is First Church of Christ, Scientist.

“The purpose for which the Corporation is constituted is to establish and maintain the worship of God in accordance with the doctrines and teachings of Christian Science as contained in a certain book called Science and Health, by Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy. The sixty-ninth edition is particularly referred to, and in such subsequent editions thereof as the Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy may edit. The place within the Corporation is established or located is the City of Boston, within said Commonwealth.

“In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands, this nineteenth day of August, in the year eighteen hundred and ninety-two.

Joseph S. Eastaman, Mary W. Munroe, Mary F. Eastaman, Ellen L. Clarke, Julia S. Bartlett, Janet T. Colman, Ira O. Knapp, Flavia S. Knapp, Stephen A. Chase, Eldora O. Gragg.” William B. Johnson,

The agreement was now ready for filing, but the notice of the first meeting had not yet been drawn up by the lawyer, Mr. Howe. Here was another delay as he was out of town and would not return for several days. It was not until Monday, August 22, that he prepared the notice of the first meeting to be held on Monday, the 29th of August, at No. 122 Dartmouth Street, Boston.

Two days later, on Wednesday the 24th, my father received a letter from Concord, headed “Pleasant View.” This letter contained much that was of great importance and it held back the filing of the “Agreement of Association” at the State House.

The conditions were now changing rapidly with the Board of Trustees of the Building Fund. In their efforts to gain certain points, they had made an error of judgment which made their call for money illegal. The whole matter rested upon the purpose for which Mrs. Eddy deeded the land. The lot had been purchased by the Church for the erection of a Church edifice. Mrs. Eddy deeded it for this special purpose, as recorded in the deed of December 17, 1889:



MRS. MARY F. EASTAMAN, C.S.D.

One of the original twelve members



“This conveyance…is for the uses and purposes following. For the erection and building upon the premises hereby conveyed a church edifice to be named and called The Church of Christ, Scientist.6 A schoolroom capable of accommodating fifty students shall be constructed on the first floor in the vestry of said Church.”

In their appeal for money for the Building Fund, the Trustees had asked for the funds for the purpose of erecting a Church edifice, with rooms included, for Dispensary, Reading Room, and permanent headquarters for the Christian Science Publishing Society. In the Journal of October, 1892, Mrs. Eddy wrote of this as follows:

“I conveyed said lot through Mr. Perry, and Mr. Knapp, of Boston. In Mr. Knapp’s deed of trust to Mr. Lang, Mr. Munroe and Mr. Nixon, no provision was made for publishing rooms. A few weeks ago, my lawyer showed me a circular letter, that had been issued without my knowledge, calling on the public for funds wherewith to build a church, and publishing rooms, upon said lot.

“In July 16, 1892, I asked my lawyer in the presence of the Trustees, Mr. Knapp and Dr. Eddy (Mr. Knapp and Dr. Eddy will testify that I objected from the beginning to having the church occupied for aught else but church work) if advertising for funds to build publishing rooms gave any title to the church property? Before he could reply Mr. Nixon said that it did not, but the lawyer replied emphatically that it did. After that I said no more about commencing to build the church.”

Relative to the circular letter which Mrs. Eddy stated she did not see, it is well to know the reason that the Trustees did not bring it to her attention.

In the first Deed of Trust of December 18, 1889, there is the following paragraph:

“If any member of the Board of Trustees or of the Directors shall bring any business matter before the Rev. Mary B. G. Eddy relating to this fund, or of the building of said Church or any other business matter relating to any of the transactions connected therewith, he or she shall be liable to forfeit his or her place as Trustee or Director, and on complaint of the Rev. Mary B. G. Eddy to the Secretary of either of the Trustees or Directors a meeting of the Board thus notified shall be called and the name of the offending member shall, if she shall so request, be dropped from the Trustees or Directors.”

  1. It is worth while to note here the use of the capital T in The Church of Christ, Scientist, although at that time the name of the organization in the records of the Commonwealth was Church of Christ, Scientist. This should be considered by the reader in conjunction with the title of the present Church.

The conditions had now cleared. Much of the Building Fund had been received after the illegal call by the Trustees in their circular letter of May 25, 1891, and this was returned to the donors. In the meantime, about the first of August, 1892, Mrs. Eddy engaged two attorneys of her native state to look into the laws of Massachusetts, governing church organizations, and they found a statue for incorporating a body of donees, without organizing a church, and on September 1, 1892, Mrs. Eddy conveyed the land to four Trustees, — Stephen A. Chase, Joseph S. Eastaman, Ira O. Knapp and William B. Johnson.

On Monday, August 29 (1892), the date set for the first meeting of the new Church organization, my father received a telegram from Concord which stopped the procedures relative to obtaining a new recognition from the state for a new Church; and on the following Thursday, September 1, Mrs. Eddy signed the now well-known, and very remarkable deed.

Now that the land was in secure hands for a Church edifice, the next step that Mrs. Eddy sought was a new Church organization. The old body which still contained many undesirables should be superseded, and those who desired to become members of the new Church must be proven to be earnest Christian Scientists and loyal to her teachings. The Church organized in 1879 was known as Church of Christ (Scientist); the one to be organized in Augusts, 1892, as First Church of Christ, Scientist, but Mrs. Eddy now desired to have the name of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, for the new body. There were, however, two other Christian Science churches in the country which bore that title, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Oconto, Wis., and The First Church in New York City. The trip taken by my father, to New York, Thursday, July 28, 1892, to see Mrs. Stetson, was for the purpose of having her bring to the attention of that church the desire of Mrs. Eddy to remove the “The” from the title. The church in Oconto was written to for the same purpose, with the result that action was taken to that effect, and it left the newly proposed organization in Boston a clear field to assume the title of The First Church.

Today, those who are thoroughly interested in the history of the Mother Church, and fully realize for what it stands, its unique type of government, and who entertain the hope that Mrs. Eddy’s teachings will be maintained in the future in all their purity, often wonder how the founders of this Church felt when it was framed. The reader may be assured that there was no celebration even of the simplest kind over this remarkable deed. The time was too stern, too replete with difficult problems, for the Treasury was still empty, the Building Funds having been returned to the donors, even as Mrs. Eddy wrote in the Journal of October, 1892, “We have a sound title, but we are minus funds.” The founders realized to their inmost fibre that a step for the future had been made, but only by putting every ounce of energy into their work could the upward step which had been taken be preserved and the next in the ascent be safely achieved. They had come through so many schisms and perils; through all the difficulties relating to the Building Fund, as related in the foregoing pages, that while they knew the Cause would eventually prosper and rise victorious, they realized also that there would still appear many yet unknown enemies which must be conquered through the manifestation of divine Love.

In her heart-searching cry to the “Contributors of the Church Building Fund in Boston,” Mrs. Eddy wrote:

“I am confident that all loyal Christian Scientists will gladly consecrate our church to a more dignified end, than an exchange, or a place for business bickerings, bag and baggage! — a church to be erected on a lot given, and regiven to them under such difficult circumstances, by the author of Science and Health.

“This sad delay to build, this necessity for returning the money so tenderly and generously bestowed, this lack of faith in God’s providence and omnipotence, this straining at a gnat in one legal direction and swallowing a camel in another, have not been blessed by Divine Love. But now that the end has come, let us love one another, and, in the words of St. Paul, — ‘Thank God and take courage.’

“The glorious object you have attempted to achieve, must not be abandoned until it be accomplished. It is far too vital to the present and future welfare of Christian Science, to be left undone.”

After Mrs. Eddy had given her plans to the Trustees under the new deed, — Stephen A. Chase, Ira O. Knapp, Joseph S. Eastaman and William B. Johnson, — they set about calmly to prepare for the founding of the organization. I find frequent mention of visits of Dr. Foster-Eddy to our home, to which he brought letters from Mrs. Eddy or messages by word of mouth that she did not care to trust to writing. In my father’s diary are set forth many and varied activities on his part. On Thursday, September 22, 1892, there is this simple entry, made at the end of a very busy day:

“Ten of the brethren and sisters met at Miss Bartlett’s at 12 M. Upon receiving a telegram from Dr. Foster-Eddy, we adjourned until 12 M. Friday.

“Friday, the 23rd. of September is a day of great moment in the history of Christian Science, the date of the founding of the Mother Church.”

The entry in the diary is so simple, so direct, that to one who is personally and intimately acquainted with the event, these few lines express a deep feeling of thankfulness to God that the work of His hand which standeth forever had been done, and that speech was powerless to express the spiritual longing, and loyalty, and unutterable hope for the future which he felt. This day, and those preceding, had been so filled with devoted labor and precious care, that at the end of all, in weariness of thought, but firm in the consciousness of spiritual victory, utterance came only in these direct and simple words:

“Friday, September 23, 1892. Eleven brethren and sisters met and formed the Church. In the evening Miss Bartlett, William and myself sent notices to the distant members of their election.”

To form this her “First Church,” Mrs. Eddy chose twelve of her students. They were people of the simple, earnest type, without education or learning, and none of them had abundant means. They were not leaders in type, for in them faithfulness was greater than leadership, and she selected these students because she found in them the spirit that would labor and wait for the perfect whole. The first one to become a member of the Church was Dr. Foster-Eddy, but he did not attend the meeting on the 23rd, as he was detained in Concord. These twelve whom Mrs. Eddy thus distinctively honored, selected at this meeting other faithful students to be members of the Church, and all who were elected on this eventful day were called First Members, and formed a part of the governing body of the Church.

The charter under which the original Church of 1879 had carried on its business was not given up when the Mother Church was created, and at the date of this writing (1919) it is still in force.

The holding of this charter was a wise action, for had it been surrendered those who were in the old organization and were factionists, could have taken out a charter for a new church, and have used the name of Church of Christ (Scientist).

As my father’s diary shows, the evening of the 23rd of September was one of activity. Miss Bartlett, who was ever ready to assist in helping father, came to our home, and, after supper, we got out the notices of membership and mailed them.

The day itself seemed to be a most fitting complement to the creation of this organization. The previous Wednesday, the 21st, had been most threatening, and Thursday the 22nd broke with a roaring rain-storm which continued all day and into the night. That evening I was copying some letters in father’s room up under the eaves, and the groaning of the branches of the great elm over our heads, with the surges of the rain, told how fiercely the elements were fighting. Looking up from a letter which had come a short time previously from Mrs. Eddy, father said:

“Listen! How like is this to the mental storms our Teacher and our Cause has gone through. It seems as though this hurricane would destroy this house, our refuge, that the torrents would wash everything away, yet, like all the days of poverty, of distress and sacrifice through which we have so far safely come, this storm too will pass away, and the sunlight, like truth suddenly unveiled, will make us forget our fears in the joy of its great beauty.”

The next morning, Friday the 23rd, broke clear, calm and beautiful, and after breakfast, as was our custom, we read verses from the Scriptures and passages from Science and Health, father having chosen those which he thought appropriate for the day’s work, the formation of the Church. After the reading was finished, he said, now let us have one hymn before we part for the day, and we went upstairs to the piano and sang:

A glorious day is dawning
And o’er the waiting earth, The heralds of the morning
Are springing into birth.
In dark and hidden places
There shines the blessed light; The beam of Truth displaces
The darkness of the night.
The advocates of error
Foresee the glorious morn, And hear in shrieking terror,
The watchword of reform.
It rings from hill and valley,
It breaks oppression’s chain, A thousand freemen rally,
And swell the mighty strain.
The watchword has been spoken, The light has broken forth,
Far shines the blessed token Upon the startled earth.
To hearts and homes benighted The blessed truth is given,
And peace and love united
Point upward unto heav’n.

Thus in the glory of a morning, made so bright after days of darkness and storm, was the whole armor of faith put on, to start aright the founding of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, The Mother Church.




Chapter XXXIII

The Land and the Deed

TIME and the course of legal events have shown that Mrs. Eddy had foreseen the difficulties of the future, and had taken means to prevent the wrecking of her plans for the church building and for the organization, when she had the land at the corner of Falmouth and Norway Streets transferred in a “circuitous way.” Notwithstanding what certain writers have said relative to this act and what aspersions and remarks of ridicule they have passed upon it, time and events have proved that she saw prophetically certain conditions which even keen legal minds did not perceive, and that her conceptions were right. When she made an explanation of her method of transferring the land in the Journal of July, 1892, the conditions relative to the building fund were most chaotic, for the discord between the Trustees and the Directors was at its height, and the outcome looked very dubious. She saw the stubbornness on the part of the trustees, and the intense feeling on the part of one of them who so desired to gain his end that the wrecking of the Cause was but a subordinate matter.

To achieve his purpose this Trustee tried to build up a following by putting forth a propaganda and going to distant points to obtain the assistance of Scientists in his endeavor. The action of the Directors in exposing this plot in their letter of May 3, 189s, had the approval of Mrs. Eddy, and contains a paragraph which will merit repetition, for it presents the key-note of Mrs. Eddy’s statement relative to the transference of the land. She said:

“So many of our church members were belligerents when it was disorganized, that this form of deed, and circuitous way of conveying the land was deemed the remedy against future broils, and so far has proved to be a restriction on error. The belligerents are still members of the Church because the Court has not taken away our Church charter. If our Church reorganizes, in order to transact business, these false members will trouble us, unless the conditions of the deed to the Trustees are carried out.

“Their main plot at present is to get money from students sufficient to buy a lot and then build a church edifice of their own under no restrictions, that the reign of heterodoxy may have a foundation in Boston, the true Scientists be again robbed and our Cause suffer throughout the land.”

It is this letter marked “confidential” which aroused the ire of the Trustees, and brought from them a sharp retort in the circular denominated No. 2, of June 16, 1892. Although the confidential letter undoubtedly had the approval of Mrs. Eddy, as an N.B. read: “I have just returned from Concord, and have talked with our beloved Teacher. She sees it all, and the stupidity of us students. I think we can help in the manner aforesaid to stop this scheme,” yet the Trustees paid not the slightest notice to this, but entered upon the effort to embitter the field against the Directors.

During June, the conditions had become so strained that Mrs. Eddy reluctantly took up the matter, and decided that something must come from her that would be authoritative, and would not only quiet the ferment, but help to adjust all differences in an amicable way, and she wrote for the Journal of June her noted article, “Hints for History.”

The author desires to put special stress upon this article as the precursor of her already famous Deed of Trust, a document of the greatest importance to the government of the Mother Church, and he is impelled to do so for the reason that but three days prior to the writing of these words he was called to the witness stand in the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, before Judge Dodge, sitting as Master in the suit of the Trustees of the Publishing Society, against the Directors of the Mother Church. As attorney for the Trustees, Sherman L. Whipple attacked the position which all the Boards of Directors had held since the organization of the Church September 23, 1892, because there is no action in the records of the First Members which shows that any Board of Directors was anything more than trustees of the land and the funds for building the Church edifice, as detailed in the Deed of Trust made by Mrs. Eddy and dated September 1, 1892. Arguing from this point of view before the Judge, he contended that all the By-laws of the Church voted upon by the Directors were not adopted by a Board of Directors of the Church but at the best by a so-called Board, who had no authorization to do so as far as the records go to show.

His statement on July 9, 1919, reads as follows:

“Now, may I offer this suggestion, that these gentlemen (the Directors) had been appointed under the name of Directors, although under the Deed of Trust they were thus constituted, and the recognition of them as Trustees under the Deed of Trust does not make them Church officers. I am merely stating our contention. And your Honor will observe that no evidence whatever is offered that the First Members or anybody else ever created an office in the Church, of the Directors of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, or elected anybody to that office. These gentlemen were appointed under a Deed of Trust, and when we refer to the Christian Science Board of Directors we refer to those under the trust until there has been some other creation of these people.”

On July 15, he again reiterated his position relative to the labors of the Directors as follows:

“If your Honor please, we desire to call your attention to the fact that here we begin to deal with By-laws which it is alleged the Directors passed. We have pointed out at this time the Directors were not Church officers at all.”

Mr. Dane (for the Directors) — “Pardon me for interrupting but haven’t we had this argument over and over again?”

Mr. Whipple — “We therefore object on that ground, that the Directors had no authority, not being Church officers, or officers of the Church at all, to pass anything which could be called a By-law or accept a Manual. I am not speaking about anything that Mrs. Eddy may have authorized. I am talking about the absolute want of authority of these men who were not even officers of the Church; and on that additional ground we desire to object to this book” (the Manual).

Mr. Whipple based his argument upon the fact that in the minutes of the first meeting of the eleven members, called together to constitute a Church, there is no record of any vote by them to elect a Board of Directors, and this, to one who was not conversant with the history of that time, would look like an omission.

Mr. Whipple’s argument, if it could be proved, would appear dangerous to the Church, for it would tend to make null and void, to a certain extent, the efforts of the Board of Directors in the labors put into effect by their votes, and would make operative the powers the Trustees were seeking to gain. But Mr. Whipple, with all his astuteness as a clever and resourceful lawyer, could not undo the work which Mrs. Eddy so prayerfully and prophetically accomplished for her followers, and by knowing the facts and conditions which surrounded the period of June, 1892, and the culmination of her great conception of this unique and remarkable document, the reader will find that the Deed of Trust contained everything for the promulgation of the secular and religious business of the Church, and that there was absolutely nothing remiss in the records of the meeting of September 23, 1892, for there was no necessity for an election of a governing Board for the new organization, because Mrs. Eddy never wanted the Board of Directors to be elected by members of the Church, but to be appointed by her; for she desired that they should be of but one purpose and that was to serve her, as the wayshower of her teachings, and to be obedient to her demands for the good of the Cause.

It would seem as this time that history has repeated itself with but a slight variation of form, and at this period of heated argument in the Courts over the question of the scope of the labors of the Directors, which Mrs. Eddy so carefully worked out for the government of her Church in the remarkable DEED OF TRUST, a statement from her article “Truth Versus Error” seems most fitting, for time will show that notwithstanding the employment of some of the most learned counsel in the country, Mrs. Eddy had looked farther ahead nearly twenty-seven years ago than they now see, and when she wrote the following passage from the foregoing named article she told a truth that was prophetic:

“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.”

While mention of the matters pending in the court between the Trustees and the Directors, in this year of 1919, may seem ahead of the period we are now recording, yet a short analysis of it will throw an entirely new light upon the genius of Mrs. Eddy in safeguarding her Church. To thoroughly understand the position she held at the time, nearly twenty-seven years ago, it is well to make a thorough examination of all the surrounding conditions which have not only been mentioned in the previous chapter, but others of equal importance. Without knowing these the present reader may not be able to discern clearly the prescience which guided her efforts, while the inquirer of the future may be under a yet greater handicap, hence the necessity of understanding Mrs. Eddy’s “Hints for History” in the Journal of July, 1892, to read between the lines, and apprehend the inspiration behind this great and comprehensive piece of writing which she put forth to correct and pacify, and which was the direct precursor of the DEED OF TRUST, which to Christian Scientists the world over, is as important to their Cause as the Magna Charta, or the Declaration of Independence was to their respective periods of history. In her sixty-eighth year, Mrs. Eddy wrote as follows:

“In December 10, 1889, I gave a lot of land, — in Boston, situated near the beautiful Back Bay Park, now valued at $20,000 and rising in value — for the purpose of having erected thereon a Church edifice to be called the Church of Christ, Scientist.

“I had this desirable site transferred in a circuitous, novel way, the wisdom whereof a few persons have since scrupled; but, to my spiritual perception, like all true wisdom, this transaction will in future be regarded as greatly wise, and it will be found that the acts of Christian Scientists were in advance of the erring mind’s apprehension.

“As with all former efforts in the interest of Christian Science, I took care that the provisions for the land and building were such as error could not control. I knew that to God’s gift, foundation and superstructure, no one could hold a wholly material title. The land and the Church standing on it must be conveyed through a type representing the true nature of the gift; a type morally and spiritually inalienable, but materially questionable — even after the manner that all spiritual good comes to Christian Scientists to the end of taxing their faith in God, and their adherence to the superiority of the claims of Spirit over matter or merely legal titles.

“No one could buy, sell or mortgage my gift as I had it conveyed. Thus the thing rested, and I supposed the trustee deed was legal; but this was God’s business not mine. Our Church was prospered by the right hand of His righteousness, and contributions to the Building Fund generously poured into the treasury. Unity prevailed, till mortal man sought to know who owned God’s temple, and adopted and urged only the material side of this question.

“Note this: The lot of land which I donated, I had to redeem from under mortgage. The foundation on which our Church was to be built had to be rescued from the grasp of legal power, and now it must be put back into the arms of Love if we would not be found fighting against God.

“The diviner claim and means for upbuilding the Church of Christ were prospered. Our title to God’s acres here, will be safe and sound — when ‘we can read our title clear’ to heavenly mansions. Built on the rock, our Church would stand the storm; the material superstructure might crumble into dust, but the fittest would survive, — the spiritual idea would live a perpetual type of the divine Principle it reflects.

“Our Church of Christ, our prayer in brick, should be a prophecy and monument of Christian Science. Then would it speak to you of the Mother Church that you built for her through whom was revealed to you God’s all-power, allpresence, and all-Science. This building begun, would have gone up and no one could suffer from it, for no one could resist the power that was behind it, and against this Church and temple ‘the gates of hell could not prevail.’

“All loyal Christian Scientists hailed with joy this type of universal Love. Not so with error which hates the bonds and methods of Truth, and shudders at the freedom, might and majesty of Spirit, even the annihilating law of Love.

“I vindicate both the law of God, and the laws of our land. I do believe, yea, I understand that with the spirit of Christ actuating all parties concerned about this legal quibble, that it would be easily corrected to the satisfaction of all. Let this be speedily done. Do not, I implore you, stain the early history of Christian Science by the impulses of human will and pride; but let the divine will and the nobility of human meekness, rule this business transaction in obedience to the law of God, and the laws of our land.

“As the ambassador of Jesus’ teachings, I admonish you, Delay not to build our Church in Boston; or else, return every dollar that you yourselves declare you have had no legal authority for obtaining — to the several contributors, and let them, not you, say what shall be done with their money.

“Of my firsts church in Boston, oh! Recording angel, write: God is in the midst of her, how beautiful are her feet, how beautiful are her garments, how hath He enlarged her borders, how hath He made her wilderness to bud and blossom as the rose.”

In order to understand more of the peculiar conditions which surrounded this period, and were some of the matters of import that went to make up the composition of this most valuable and historic DEED OF TRUST, it is necessary to go back several years and consider in addition to what was written in the foregoing chapter, certain trends of thought, which, while some were honest and filled with enthusiasm, had to be harmonized with her plans, while others that were at variance, she was compelled to lovingly plead over, persuade and adjust, or by stern admonition show to be wrong from their inception and unworthy of use. When this has been done, the reader will realize as he could not otherwise, the full scope and grandeur of Mrs. Eddy’s conception not only of the DEED OF TRUST, but of the Mother Church and its branches, and will comprehend in the former, one of the greatest documents ever written for the benefit of a religious organization.

That certain matters may become a complete whole relative to the land upon which the original church building was erected, it is best to take up a paragraph of a letter written by Mrs. Eddy to Wm. B. Johnson, dated July 24, 1889, the whole of which was given in a preceding chapter:

“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 soon as possible.

Again,

M. B. G. Eddy.”

The next letter at hand, relative to this church site, is dated October 9, 1889, but during the interim, events took place in the Church and in the Association which led Mrs. Eddy to take sudden and unexpected steps, and these the writer will attempt to trace. It will be remembered that Mr. Mason resigned his Pastorate of the Church in Boston in July, 1889, and this brought about the efforts of Mrs. Woodbury, with the aid of her students, to be elected to the pastorate. In October, Mrs. Eddy closed the College, and also during this interim, the Church and the Association were disorganized, and Mrs. Eddy made her residence in Concord that she might secure time to take up the necessary labor of revising Science and Health. All of these facts had peculiar significance to those who were near to the heart of the Cause in Boston, and in recalling those past days, only as one lived among them, could he realize in perspective the various fears, consternations and doubts which came in quick succession to many in the Church.

And is it anything to be wondered at that such feelings should be rife at this time in view of the fact that the Church and the Association had gone through the secession of 1888, and, with its depleted treasury and membership, had not yet recovered from the blow. At the same time, Mrs. Eddy was not sure of the mental attitude of Mr. Bailey and of all those who were copying her efforts, such as Mrs. Plunkett, Mrs. Hopkins and Luther Marston, with his church of the Divine Unity (Scientist), and a host of others who were using Mrs. Eddy’s thoughts and labors for their own advantage and without giving her credit. If such conditions had undermined the Church in Boston in 1888, and the efforts of these people had grown stronger during the next year, she saw that she must save all that she could from the wreckage for the preservation of her teaching.

With her removal to Concord, she realized that the labors she must put into Science and Health would interdict her putting forth certain efforts which she had hitherto made for the guidance of her flock, and with the desire to relieve herself of all work that would encumber the hours necessary for revision, she decided to get rid of what might be called the last burden — the building site — and so transferred it to Ira O. Knapp.

Relative to the erecting of a church building, and to this land at this time, the following letter is interesting:

“BOSTON, Oct. 5, 1889.

Rev. MARY B. G. EDDY,

Dear Teacher:

Your students consisting of Rev. L. P. Norcross, Miss J. S. Bartlett, Mrs. M.

W. Munroe, J. S. Eastaman, Mrs. M. F. Eastaman, Ira O. Knapp, Wm. B. Johnson, met this evening to consider the necessary steps to be taken to erect a Church building. By them I was authorized to write to you to obtain your permission to build a Church upon the lat of land at the corner of Falmouth and Caledonia Sts. Boston.

Hoping to receive a favorable reply we are your loving students,

(signed) WM. B. JOHNSON,

for those above named.”

Mrs. Eddy’s answer is as follows:

“CONCORD, N.H.

DICTATED

Dear Student:

Your letter astounds me. I do not own the land for a church site but have put it into honest hands for you to redeem. I shall never pay another dollar to be squandered by my students or to maintain, or support an organized church. This conclusion is God guided. If you will allow the lot on Falmouth St. to be sold you shall have the money you have put into it refunded to you. I have saved it for you, but the church has never recognized my services.

Yours as ever in Truth and Love.

MARY B. G. EDDY.

N.B. Answer in twenty-four hours after this is received or I shall recall this offer, sell the land myself and pay you the balance after taking out the money I have paid in to save yours.

N.B. My earnest advice to you is to never attempt building a church. If you do you will fail and again lose your money. Animal Magnetism will sway you again and demoralize your ranks. You are not strong enough in God to stand.

MARY B. G. EDDY.”

(Written to Wm. B. Johnson in ink, in handwriting of Dr. Foster-Eddy, and signed by Mrs. Eddy. Property of Board of Directors.)

A short time after the date of this letter, Mrs. Eddy decided upon a plan for securing the land to her Church in another way, and at about the beginning of December, 1889, asked my father to take up some of the necessary matters for her in regard to it.

Relative to the work that my father had accomplished for her, she wrote as follows:

“CONCORD Dec. 11, 1889.

My dear Student:

Should have thanked you sooner for your faithful discharge of duty but am busy getting things right and made strong.

I will let you know soon how the lot for building is appropriated for the benefit of you all.

Lovingly your Teacher,

MARY B. G. EDDY.”

(Written in ink to Wm. B. Johnson in Mrs. Eddy’s handwriting.)

On December 17, 1889, Ira O. Knapp transferred to Alfred Lang, Marcellus Munroe and Wm. G. Nixon, in consideration of $5,100, the land for the church edifice.

The interesting point of this deed is the subject of Directors, their appointment and duties, which subsequently appear in the DEED OF TRUST of 1892, and form the bone of contention in the suit between the Trustees and the Directors.

The deed of December 17, 1889, contains the following conditions:

“There shall be a Board of Directors which shall consist of the following members. Ira O. Knapp, of said Boston, Joseph S. Eastaman of said Boston, Eugene H. Green of Providence, Rhode Island, David Anthony of said Providence, and William B. Johnson of said Boston, with the privilege of adding two more names. The said Directors shall maintain Sunday services in said Church building and shall procure the regular and stated preacher of the doctrines of Christian Science. The preacher shall be engaged for not less than one year, and the salary shall not be less than twelve hundred dollars per annum. If for any cause a member of the Board of Directors is removed, the vacancy shall be filled by the vote of the remaining members. If at any time the Directors wish to organize a Church in the usual form they can do it.

“The Board of Directors shall hold their annual meeting in the same month and on the same day of the year as the Trustees.”

While this deed was a step upward and in line with the status of the times, yet it was loose in its construction as we now view it, and, in view of possible inharmony between the Trustee and the Directors, there was danger, especially in the sentence:

“If at any time the Directors wish to organize a Church in the usual form they can do it.”

In making this deed as she did, Mrs. Eddy was not relying upon technicalities of law, nor surrounding her adherents in the Church with tight-fitting bonds and demandatory rules. She was relying upon the demands of Love to make all the work for the expansion of the Church harmonious, and the belief that such harmony must and would prevail, by virtue of the teachings which they had received from her. But time and events proved that the sentence relative to the power given for the “Directors to organize a Church in the usual form” if they so wished, developed into a matter of contention later in the year, 1892, which has been shown in the previous chapter.

The knowledge of this deed, and the desire to have a church edifice seeming ever nearer, brought joy and solace to many faithful adherents, and an evidence of this fact, an article in the January Journal of 1890, entitled “Good News,” is pertinent at this point:

“The lot of land on the corner of Falmouth and Caledonia Streets now valued at fifteen thousand dollars, has been sold to Trustees on the condition that a church edifice shall be built thereon, for Christian Scientists. The building not to be begun until $20,000 has been raised for this purpose. All friends of the Cause are asked to contribute to the building of this Church, with the assurance that the Treasurer, Mr. Alfred Lang, of 279 Broadway, Lawrence, Mass., is under bonds for the faithful performance of his duties, and that not a dollar of the sums donated will be spent until $20,000 has been secured. All amounts will be accounted for, and reported in the Journal quarterly, and due acknowledgment made for all remittances as received.”

This act by Mrs. Eddy has been severely criticized by Miss Milmine and other writers who figure out that the Church had contributed about $7,000 for the land, and that for $5,000 Mrs. Eddy acquired all, and really left the organization nothing. Now it must be remembered by the reader that the Church would have reduced this mortgage if the treasurer, Mr. Bradley, had not absconded with about $5,000 of its funds. Much has been made of this real estate transaction, and several writers have tried to prove undue sharpness on the part of Mrs. Eddy, and to amplify this matter it is well to quote the following:

“Real-estate men in Boston would wonder how it was possible for Mrs. Eddy legally to acquire, for the sum of five thousand dollars, by the proper foreclosure of a mortgage, property upon which Mr. Nathan Matthews had been willing to lend nine thousand dollars. Indeed, it is remarkable that Mrs. Eddy should, at an open foreclosure sale, have been able to buy for five thousand dollars, a property for which hundreds of men in the city of Boston would have been only too glad to have paid, at the time, upwards of ten thousand dollars for…. It is certainly incredible that here in the city of Boston, after due advertisement, and at a legal auction, a piece of real-estate could be purchased for but little more than half the money so sagacious an investor as Mrs. Matthews was willing to lend upon it.”

This quotation shows the foolishness and injustice of a writer making such a criticism when he does not know even a quarter of the vital facts of the case. Had he understood the exact conditions of the time, the peculiarities of the situation, the hatred and malice that was aimed at the efforts of Mrs. Eddy and the little Church; the desire of certain persons not only to steal for their own advantage what Mrs. Eddy had discovered, but to adulterate it into a more popular doctrine, and finally usurp her position as Teacher and Leader, he could not possibly have written in this manner, unless bereft of all reasoning power.

At this period it was absolutely impossible for the little Church to pay off the mortgage or any part of it, because of the loss of its building fund, and since the congregation was greatly depleted by the secession of Mrs. Crosse, who had taken with her those who were most capable and who gave the most financial help to the organization. Furthermore the reader will remember that in this same year (1889), when the matter came up relative to supply for the pulpit, Mrs. Woodbury brought forward the plea that she had been appointed to preach at the Sunday service with the understanding that she should bear the entire expense for the day, since the organization was in such an impoverished condition that it had not sufficient funds to pay for hall rental and for pulpit supply.

Taking into consideration this matter of the transfer of the land from every known angle, there is no ground left for criticism of Mrs. Eddy’s efforts, and furthermore as the property was turned over to the Church, and we know how solidly it has become an indestructible part of the organization, what kind of criticism can be justly cast upon her labors in this direction.

Perhaps the statement in Mrs. Eddy’s letter of October 9, 1889, may seem harsh:

“My earnest advice to you is to never attempt building a church. If you do you will fail and again lose your money.”

She refers here to the loss of the money in the treasury of the Church and to the schism of 1888, and she saw, as no one else could, the conditions which were arising on account of Mrs. Woodbury’s ambitions to be next to her. The exodus of Mrs. Crosse with her adherents left behind a considerable number who were either so affected, or so lukewarm that it could not be told where they stood, and this condition lasted for some time, as is evidence in the letter marked “Confidential,” by the phrase “So many of our church members were belligerents when it was disorganized” (1889). “The belligerents are still members of the church because the Court has not taken away our charter.” She felt therefore that until this error of mad ambition which was reflected in many thoughts all over the country, had been either cured or weeded out, it was unsafe to make any attempt to build upon the land which had been selected for the home of the Mother Church.

It is indeed a blind faultfinder who criticizes Mrs. Eddy in her effort to rescue the property which had been partly paid for by the efforts put forth by her little band of loyal adherents, and who had labored and sacrificed for this sacred plot, and it is the most prejudiced type of adverse criticism, when taken in connection with the expressions of gratitude given by hundreds for her quick and ready action which acted as a spur upon their lagging faith and effort, and which awakened them to a realization of the duties which lay before them, an instance of which is found in the following letter of thanks sent to her by the Church:

To our former Pastor: At a meeting of the Church of Christ (Scientist), Boston, held January 5th, 1890, it was unanimously voted that a letter be addressed to you expressing the gratitude of the Church for what you have done, at a time when the mortgage had nearly expired and there were not funds in the treasury sufficient to place (it) in safety for future use, toward securing the site (corner Falmouth and Caledonia Streets) for erection of a suitable church building.

“For this, as for all your constant efforts to advance the Spiritual growth of the Church and the Cause in every direction, (and) for your noble example and wise counsel, we unite in returning heartfelt thanks.

“W only desire, that the future may prove us worthy of all we have received, through our growth in harmony and love, until we become consciously united in the one bond of love which is the true Church of Christ.

COMMITTEE, per order of Church.”

This feeling of gratitude reached a state of broad enthusiasm when students and adherents comprehended that Mrs. Eddy had stepped into the breach at just the right time, and had taken up their burdens. To pay off the amount needed to secure the land was not in itself the primal cause for their gratitude, for their feelings and experiences went far deeper, and the psychology of their thankfulness lay in the fact that this act of hers came as an inseparable part of her care, love, guidance and sacrifice for her students. They had come to her for healing and counsel on multiple subjects, such as had probably never been proposed to any living person since the days of Jesus, and with instant appreciation of the situation she had given them healing and comfort. It was not therefore the mere handing out of some fifty-one hundred dollars which brought forth prayers of gratitude, but the automatic action of the spirit of Love which was inseparable from her teachings, and when she took immediate action those who knew her saw that it was the manifestation of that which she embodied, which gave Christian Science to the world.

With an enthusiasm for carrying to completion the Mother Church edifice, Mr. Eugene H. Greene, of Providence, sent out letters asking for contributions for the erection of such a building, and explained his effort as follows:

“It seems eminently proper that, unlike other buildings of this character, commonly reared by a few individuals, this one should spring up — a representation of spontaneity of thought and action — a memorial of love, hope, and thankfulness, from thousands all over the land, who have felt the healing touch of the Divine Hand stretched forth to them through Christian Science. This Mother Church may well commemorate the unity of grateful hearts.

“Is it not proper and has not the time come when we can gladly show our appreciation of the return of our birthright by free-will offerings toward the erection of a memorial edifice? Our effort was born of this thought.”

In order that the atmosphere which surrounded this period may be kept intact and presented to the reader, it is well to give some of the responses to Mr. Greene’s call, and this will show the simple, loving attitude of the time:

Mr. E. H. Greene, Providence, R.I.: Yours with papers enclosed, requesting contribution of funds for building a church of Christ (Scientist) in Boston, is received. You are certainly very modest in your request. It seems to me that not only every genuine Scientist, but every one who has been benefited by Science will be willing to give a dollar. I have in the last half hour seen six of our members who are ready with their dollar. We are a little band of about twenty. Two years ago there were but two, Mrs. B. and myself from Omaha, Neb. By help of truth we have done some good I trust.

(Signed) J. A. B., Sutherland, Fla.

“Since I wrote you last I have seen the members of our band, and enclosed you will find the names of those who will give in aid of the plan of building a Memorial church in Boston, and you may hold me responsible for one dollar for each name — twenty-three in all.

J. A. B.”

With the meeting of the national Association in New York City, 1890, looming large, Mr. Bailey wrote as follows in the Editor’s Note Book of May:

“The donation of the ground for a Memorial Church at Boston makes the consideration of ways and means to realize such a structure timely. We cannot resort to the machinery of solicitation employed in the old thought. The right inspiration ought to come at such a meeting as that now in preparation.”

Relative to this Memorial Church the record of the Meeting of the Christian Scientist Association of September, 1890, is of valuable interest. Although the manner by which it was put into action was later abandoned, the plan and purpose were preserved and became that of the original Mother Church; the record reads:

“At the last meeting of the Association of students of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College held in Boston, the subject of a Memorial Church was presented for consideration. Without a dissenting voice, it was concluded that the early erection of a church edifice is not only desirable and possible, but that the spirit of Love now becoming more and more manifest will bear fruit after its kind, and that as a result a Memorial of Love will — must — be erected. No intimation that a topic of this nature would be presented for discussion had been given, and, as a consequence, only an average attendance was present; yet within a few moments, with no vestige of begging or pleading, $2,600, payable within one year or as needed, were pledged by less than one dozen Scientists. This was an admirable outcome of a few minutes well-directed thought, though but a small part of the sum, the people of the Boston Church alone stand ready to pledge toward this enterprise lying so near the hearts of us all.

“Why not build this church the coming year? Why not make it strictly a memorial Church, representing the voluntary offerings of Scientists from ocean to ocean, from Lake to Gulf? What people have greater cause for thanksgiving? And where so fitting a site for the erection of such a building, as in the heart of the very city where the Founder and Teacher of this Science has had the hardest battles to wage against error; where at its early inception she stood alone, sole advocate and defender of the Cause that is to bless infinitely the universal family?

“There are hundreds — yea thousands — scattered throughout the States…who have heard the joyful message. What one of these does not feel impelled to bring to the altar a fitting gift as testimony to the Gospel which has not only made each ‘every whit whole,’ but that has, through his and her own faithful preaching and demonstration, been the means of carrying peace and harmony to thousands of disheartened, weary men and women? Finally, what of that vaster company composed of all classes and conditions, whose members are almost innumerable, because unknown from a statistical standpoint, to whom has been uttered mentally or audibly the healing words: ‘Arise, Go thy way and sin no more, lest a worse thing befall thee’? Should not each of these, freed from sickness and disease, be allowed a contributing hand as well as a grateful heart?

“Boston’s resident Scientists stand ready to do their part, though their riches chiefly are ‘not of this world.’ We naturally assume to be ‘rich’ the members of any city church; but to the common rule the Boston congregation proves a notable exception. ‘Rich in faith toward God and in good works’ it assuredly is; but it includes no brethren of large financial ability.

“In closing, there is one statement due all contributors to this enterprise, both past and perspective, viz.: Your gifts will be securely devoted to your avowed object in sending, as human agencies can make them. Brother Alfred Lang, of 279 Broadway, Lawrence, Mass., treasurer of this fund, is a competent and honorable business man, abundantly responsible for all funds sent him. All moneys thus far contributed are in a bank, deposited to the credit of the Church of Christ (Scientist) Boston, where will be placed all future contributions.”

These sentiments, so warmly expressed in the Association meeting, carried with them great impetus and enthusiasm. Only those who were immersed in the wonderful atmosphere of that period, a condition surcharged with an expectant enthusiasm of demonstration, can realize the remarkable trend of love, gratitude, and willingness to sacrifice for this “Memorial Church.” The struggles of the years past, the schism which had nearly wrecked the movement, the loss of the money in the treasury, these had at first stunned many by the heaviness of the blow, and had it not been for the courage and foresight evinced by Mrs. Eddy the results would have been more destructive or the recovery slower. The very title, “Memorial Church,” was one which quickened the thought of those who had been helped by Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, and a lively response was awakened in every direction. The knowledge that there was really a piece of land in a desirable part of Boston which without fear or doubt, had been secured for this purpose, and that the Teacher had made provisions for its future security, created such a feeling of freedom, and such an uplift of desire to show gratitude to her, that the efforts to raise money by sacrifice of personal pleasures and luxuries, were in their depth of feeling unequalled even at the time when, in 1902, the call went out for contributions for the Mother Church Extension.

In Boston, especially, enthusiasm ran high and strong. To place Christian Science on a more dignified plane, to have this true teaching emerge from the various “isms” which imitated and parodied it, and rise in its own strength of virtue above them, to prove itself by its works, was the dream and desire of all. The saving of small amounts by personal sacrifice, in the elimination of luxuries, and often by the sale of jewelry, furniture and bric-a-brac, was made, and the money turned into the fund.

The tie that bound all together in this effort was remarkable. Mrs. Eddy’s students realized that as she was in Concord, they must now depend more upon themselves, and this brought out talent which had before lain dormant. Mrs. Eddy saw this, and rejoiced in it. This responsibility now assumed by the students kept their enthusiasm at a healthful level. They felt they must demonstrate their fitness for their various duties, and bring forth fruits worthy of their high calling. And because she was not in their midst but away from them, they labored as never before, in harmony, friendship, mutual counsel, kindliness and love. All felt that the crucial time was at hand for Christian Science to take on a greater dignity. Moreover, the first church edifice to be erected should be one that should centralize the thought of Christian Science relative to authority, and, secondly, one that should be a spontaneous offering to the Founder, Discoverer and Teacher.

All of these matters, coming at a time when considerable of the deadwood had been cleared from the ranks and a new, sturdy and healthful growth as taking place all over the country, gave great impetus to the work. While this feeling of spiritual gratitude and awakening among the faithful was working toward a destined end, there were those who while attracted by the oneness of purpose of Mrs. Eddy’s loyal adherents, and the logic of her teachings, would not acknowledge her as Discoverer, nor see her as the appointed wayshower of the age.

These people who had suffered from false teaching proved in the large majority of instances to be the most stubborn and unyielding attendants of Christian Science churches, for the teaching of Christian Science against personality seemed to chafe, and their complaints naturally centered upon Mrs. Eddy. Being unable to let go what they had grasped of Christian Science in their extremity, they held on tightly, but gave no whole-hearted allegiance to Mrs. Eddy, for while they had been taught what purported to be Christian Science, in most cases Mrs. Eddy’s name had never been mentioned, and the books they had been given to read had been weak attenuations of Science and Health, and other writings, hence their lack of interest in a “Memorial Church.” Knowing very little of Mrs. Eddy, and not feeling the spiritual gratitude realized by others, they could not understand fully what the word “Memorial” symbolized, relative to gratitude, and interpreted it to mean, in some cases, the exaltation of Mrs. Eddy as an individual. Mrs. Eddy finally decided that she must do something to end this feeling, together with the thought that the word meant, as dictionaries state: “sacred to the memory of a deceased person,…something to keep a person in remembrance,” and she therefore took up the matter in her article in the Journal of November, 1890, entitled “To Christian Scientists,” in which she said:

“I object to such a departure from the Principle of Christian Science, as it would be, to be memorialized in a manner which would cause personal motives for building the First Church of Christ (Scientist) in Boston.

“Contributions to this Boston Building Fund should be made on a higher plane of thought.

“The lot of land that I gave this church, was, for the purpose of building thereon a house for the worship of God, and a home for Christian Scientists.

“The true followers, who worship ‘in Spirit and in Truth,’ will contribute to this Building Fund from a similar motive, and thus abide by the Principle of Christian Science which we acknowledge.

MARY B. G. EDDY.”

It was unfortunate that the enthusiasm for this “Memorial Church” was of such absorbing nature that her adherents did not always stop to explain the meaning they attached to this word “Memorial” and thus dissolve a false conception. At that time there were no organized Publication Committees to make such a matter clear, and even when loyal students attempted to explain to critics the meaning of the word, as they interpreted it, they would not accept the explanation, primarily because Mrs. Eddy had not made the reasons clear. The publication of the foregoing notice served to increase contributions for the building fund, because those who could not fully recognize Mrs. Eddy as being divinely inspired, were pacified by her explanation and uncondescending admonition, and, under these conditions, were willing to contribute.

It is well here to recognize some of the outside causes which were trying to uproot Christian Science and discourage its adherents. The brutal assaults upon Christian Science, and especially upon Mrs. Eddy, were not those to be feared the most, because these usually reacted upon the one who made them. It was the quiet, seemingly inoffensive attacks that admitted good in Christian Science, and then in a very subtle and scholarly manner proceeded to show its alleged weaknesses. Such an instance is that of an article written by the rev. Stacy Fowler and published in the Homiletic Review of August, 1885, but later republished in pamphlet form and sent broadcast to clergymen.

The writer has chosen this article especially because of its subtle infiltration of error into the thought of readers. The vehement tactics of the Rev. Joseph Cook in Tremont Temple at the Monday meeting of ministers, carried weight only with those who would be taken off their feet by the oratorical force and the vehemency of denunciation with which he spoke. This article also contains part of a remarkable letter written by Mrs. Eddy to Rev. Stacy Fowler, which is practically not known though of great value, because of its certainty of attitude. It is a revelation of her knowledge that her teachings are sure and of divine origin. This will be given in its proper place. Some interesting statements from the article “Christian Science,” by Rev. Stacy Fowler, are as follows:

“At the present time in Boston and many other places, the so-called ‘Christian Science’ or ‘Metaphysical Healing’ is taking a strong hold in the community. My attention was first called to the movement a year ago by intelligent and educated friends who were enthusiastic, and who claimed to be benefited by the ‘cure.’ I thought they were in an eccentric state of mind and concluded that they were generalizing from slight principles of philosophy and religion. It then occurred to me to study the Science from the sympathetic view-point, and accordingly I made an effort to see it through the eyes of its originators and expounders. After reading the books of Mrs. Eddy and Dr. E. A. Arens, I had interviews with them and with other so-called ‘healers.’ Then taking my stand at the ‘Metaphysical College’ of Mrs. Eddy I found myself in the centre of the movement. Dr. Arens took lessons of Mrs. Eddy’s husband, and though he claims to heal by the “old Theology,’ he uses essentially the same principles which he learned at the college. He is but an imitator.

“Mrs. Eddy is a remarkable woman. She has been a member of a congregational church; she has been in the hands of physicians of various schools and of no school, and claims at last to have ‘healed’ herself by coming into the ‘understanding of God.’ She has been a student of the Bible and claims that her ‘Science’ is the true interpretation of Scripture.

“Mrs. Eddy claims that she heals instantaneously; that she heals by her thoughts people who are at a distance from her; that people are healed by reading her books and by hearing her preach.

“There are many reports of remarkable cures. Do these pretending healers really heal? Dr. A. J. Gordon gives them credit for healing, and then turns round and fiercely attacks their theology as dangerous, and calls them by harsh names. If, however, they cure the sick, people will not hesitate to turn away from them at the call of a halt from theologians. Not much. If the Scientist can snatch you from the jaws of disease and death you will not boggle over a question of theology. Besides it is by their theology, by their peculiar views of God and man that they assume to work the cures. If they can heal, as they claim they do, they will carry the day, and they ought….

“While ‘healers’ are multiplying it is evident that the Science is waning. Mrs. Eddy writes that her ability to teach the art of healing to her classes in twelve lessons is a greater wonder than her power of ‘instantaneous healing.’”

At this point Rev. Stacy Fowler fails to get away from the training that he received in his theological schooling, and the practice of it in his ministry, namely, belief in the use and value of “personality.” He therefore writes:

“Ostensibly the ‘Science’ rests on a theological basis. It starts with a peculiar idea of God as an impersonal being. But if man is not a person there is no ground for a reasonable psychology. You cannot construct a science of soul if the soul has no personal identity, no real ego of its own. Thought thus becomes too vague and diffused to be brought into order and sequence. Of course if there is no basis for reasonable psychology, then there can be none for reasonable theology, philosophy, or science. Deny human personality and you are floating in thin ether. All sound reasoning begins with the conscious human ego. I think, I am; and the I am of thought is conscious personality. You might as well attempt to rise to the stars by holding to the string of a kite, as to attempt to project yourself into God by denying your own personalism….

“She (Mrs. Eddy) may teach the principles of the Science in twelve lessons, but she cannot impart her power, her personalism in twelve, nor twelve hundred lessons. The real ictus is her personalism. Her pupils are but feeble imitators of their teacher. Hence the spell is losing its charm. The movement is losing its momentum. In its present form it is an epidemic, and as an epidemic it will pass away, as did the Blue Glass mania. It is a transcendental as was Brook Farm, and like that experiment it may be as useful in demonstrating that sentiment, fancy and fitful impulses are not the solid facts of science, nor the panacea for human ills….”

It is well here to note several distinctions. Mrs. Eddy places the ‘mortal mind’ a whole hemisphere of thought outside God, and over against Him. Her language is often pantheistic but her thought is not. In a note to a critic she wrote:

“I am only anti-pantheist, for I see that God, spirit, is not in His reflection, any more than the sun is in the light that comes to this earth through reflection. Can you understand this? No: and no one can fully until I educate the spiritual sense to perceive the substance of spirit, and the substanceless of matter.”

Could any statement be more positive than this? And whence came this surety of vision but from her own research into spiritual facts. In view of the time that has passed since she wrote this letter to Rev. Stacy Fowler, her statement on page 30 has certainly proved true.

No detail of Mrs. Eddy’s early work after she had discovered Christian Science should be lost, for thus the world of today and of the future, can perceive how she steadily grew in spiritual vision and statement. This growth reveals the course which her mentality took, what she eliminated, what she improved, how she worked over and changed for the better that which could be altered, and that her efforts were ever and always constructive, and always looked to the founding of the Mother Church.

Too many who are members of it or who are attending it, do not realize its spiritual import. They know that it is a fact, but they do not understand that it had spiritual inspiration behind it. It is thus that we should look at it and appreciate the spirit made manifest in the labors of the unpretentious group of people who aided her in bringing about the fulfillment of her vision. The spirit made manifest in their participation in this work speaks for great humility, along with genuine enthusiasm, persistence, earnestness and reliability. And it was these characteristics of their devotion which made them an abiding comfort and help to Mrs. Eddy.

They were common folk, but their faith was vital and effective. It rested in the power and wisdom of God and it speaks for the days when God seemed to come down among men and walk with them.




Chapter XXXIV

Publishing House vs. Church

IT is needful here to speak of another plan for which Mrs. Eddy had not provided, and which became the cause of much inharmony. To Mr. Nixon, the manager of the Publishing Society, and Mr. Lang, its Chairman, there came the obsession that the publication of literature was first in importance in the work of disseminating Christian Science. It certainly was simpler and easier to produce Christian Science literature than to heal, and it was further true that there had been, and there still was an enormous number of spurious pamphlets, magazines and books being furnished to t hose eager to get what would enlighten them in regard to Metaphysical Healing; hence their urge that the Publishing Society should be placed in a position which would enable it to meet these demands. At this time the General Association for the Dispensing of Christian Science Literature came into being. It was believed that there would be an enormous increase in demand for literature, if intensive and world-wide operating plans were carried into effect. Mrs. Eddy, however, knew and taught that healing above all things, was the one thing essential to a healthful and continuous growth of her teachings. She saw the danger, and issued a “Card” in the Journal of July, 1891, in which she said of the General Association for Dispensing Christian Science Literature:

“I disbelieve in the utility of so widespread an organization. It tends to promote monopolies, class legislation and unchristian motives for Christian work.”

Relative to this it is well to quote from a letter written to Mrs. Eddy and published by her consent in the Journal of August 1891, which read:

“My dear Teacher: — My husband and I have wondered from the first of the organizing of the Literature Association if you approved of it. It seemed to us as though the Scientist were pouring the letter out to mortal mind, without making mortal mind give up anything for it; and as we look over all our work, we find our best demonstrations have been where we made mortal mind sacrifice for what was given….— I. M. S.”

That the idea of a publishing house ran away with the thought of the Church edifice, undoubtedly expressed one of the many efforts of error to attempt to undo the achievement for which Mrs. Eddy had labored and had saved the Church lot.

The efforts which had been made to raise money by a fair, by concerts, and contributions, had from their inception been for a Church edifice, not a publishing house, and in the deed of 1889, no mention is made of such an institution to be placed upon the land given by Mrs. Eddy. Nevertheless the idea of the erection of a publishing house came to have the first place in the thought of the large majority, and the reason for this will be duly shown. In the Journal of July, 1891, we find an interesting letter which reads as follows:

“Regarding ‘the building to be erected in Boston in the interest of Christian Science:’ I am not so much interested in that part, which I might call the local church, as I am in that which is to stand to the material world as a monument to Truth, the Home of Christian Science, and where is conducted the business for the issue of true literature, which, as seed, can be scattered broadcast, to help in bringing the world to the true Light.

“Every Scientist, and every one interested in Science, wants at least one stone in that building; and so that every one can have that privilege, and the hundred thousand, with their true thought and mite, push its accomplishment to an early fact, I make the following simple suggestion: Let every one of us, children and all, give, say ten cents per month for one year, and the fund will be ample and the next meeting of the National Association could open the building with suitable services, in dedicating it to Truth.

“With this thought, I enclose the ten cent note each for my wife, children and self for three months.

N. P. C., Montreal, Canada.”

Here is a curious perversion of the idea which to Mrs. Eddy and to her closest adherents was most important, viz., the erection of a Church edifice in Boston. It is a curious and singular comment upon the diverging thoughts of this period, that despite the numerous expressions of desire for a church building in Boston which was to be a “Mother Church,” many teachers became obsessed with the thought that the publishing house should be the representative structure of Christian Science, and even the Editor of the Journal permitted the above passage to appear in its columns.

Indeed the cry for a publishing house became an epidemic. I remember that my father, Mrs. Munroe, Miss Bartlett, Captain and Mrs. Eastaman, Mrs. Colman and others tried hard to stem the tide, and show that the land which Mrs. Eddy had deeded was for a church building, and that this was all that she had in thought, all that she had given advice upon or consent to. They saw that the question must sometime come to a head, and waited patiently until matters should be righted.

Dr. Foster-Eddy was placed in a very difficult position in connection with this matter, for he was looked upon as being next to Mrs. Eddy, and all who sought to gain a point, or have their position given prominence, worked in every way to obtain his commendation of their ideas. Mr. Nixon and Mr. Lang, especially, constantly brought their plans for the publishing house before him, and finally induced him to write in the Journal of June, 1891:

“I am most heartily in accord with the article in the May Journal…, ‘Christian Science Publishing House.’ Here is a great work to be done for the Cause and for the whole world. We have not been awake to the demands of Truth upon us, neither have we realized in the least degree the importance and the great outcome of this united action for Good.

“The demand is not upon any particular section of the country, but it is general, it comes to all Christian Scientists everywhere, because it is for the general good of humanity. We must have a foundation, a starting point, and here it is. Now brethren, let us build solidly and well. The bugle calls to work! Let not only the ‘five hundred and ninety-nine’ fall into line, but let all true Christian Scientists enter the ranks.

“I do not say, ‘go ahead!’ but send my check…to the Treasurer, and say “COME ON BRETHREN!!!’

E. J. FOSTER EDDY.”

The thought of contributing to a Christian Science publishing house was received with so much enthusiasm for the reason: First, that there was much difference of opinion relative to the matter of church organization, as has already been set forth. The thought of organization had not become unified, and outside of the adherents in Boston, there were but few who realized that not only was organization in Boston necessary, but in other places also. Secondly, the word given by Mrs. Eddy to disorganize the Church in Boston, had suggested to thousands that church organization was not needed, and that Mrs. Eddy, in taking this step had made it clear that in her judgment material organizations were of no benefit to Christian Scientists. The constant troubles occurring in the Boston Church were not known in many parts of the country, so that the true reason for Mrs. Eddy’s action had not been comprehended. The following from the Journal of July, 1891, throws some light upon the situation:

“We are pleased with the present effort regarding a publishing house and general headquarters for the dispensing of Christian Science literature. This, in connection with the Mother Church, will elicit the interest of Western students, as no previous movement has been able to do. In the past, while we have desired to contribute to the Church fund, out of respect to our Teacher, it has not seemed to us a duty. We have felt that each particular locality should build its own church and pay its own expenses. But the present proposition makes it seem a duty of the absent ones. Hence it will have our support. We cannot send our ‘check’ and say ‘Come on brethren,’ but we choose to cry, ‘Go ahead,’ and we will follow, rather than remain silent. A WESTERN STUDENT.”

It is not difficult, therefore, to see why the proposition to provide a Publishing House made a general appeal. Those to whom the erection of a Church edifice in Boston, did not appeal, felt that they were giving to a broader and more useful purpose by answering the call for funds for a Publishing House.

With the realization that too much attention to the letter of Christian Science was liable to take the place of the demonstration of the spirit, Mrs. Eddy felt that there should be some correction, and she began in a gentle and suggestive way to reveal the trend of her own thought. If the reader can keep in mind the different steps which she took, the wisdom, the tact and the ever increasing momentum of her constructive effort, he will comprehend not only to what her efforts were aimed, but he will note her constant growth in ability to handle and control delicate and dangerous situations. On this much discussed question of church organization, she began in a most efficient way, in the Journal of October, 1891, as follows:

“Question: — Ought students continue to organize Churches and Associations?

“To organize and support Churches, Sunday Schools and Students’ Associations, as heretofore, is the proper way at present to build up the cause of Christian Science. These means have been blessed, and there is no occasion for students to abandon them.”

This notice brought out, especially in the far-sighted and faithful workers, the urgence of a Church edifice in Boston, and they redoubled their efforts. Of one of these sincere and loving workers, Mrs. Janet T. Colman, C.S.D., special mention should be made. Her work as teacher and healer in the early years was most efficient, and she was much beloved by Mrs. Eddy. The following testimony given by her in the Journal of November, 1891, is one that should linger in the thought of all who are interested in the advance of the Cause, and who desire, as did she, to become as a “little child.”

“The building of the Church of Christ (Scientist) in Boston, is very near my heart. Some weeks ago the desire came to me to be willing to do all that God demanded of me for its upbuilding. I had given some money, as much as I felt I could, and I made a sacrifice of some material things to give it. But I found that more was required of me…; I must be willing to take more care and responsibility on myself, and do more for others.

“One morning while riding to Church, the blessed thought came to me, to teach a class, and give all the proceeds to the Church Building Fund, after my expenses were paid. As soon as I reached Chickering Hall, a sister student came to me and said she had some students for me to teach. I had not informed her of my decision in regard to teaching, and this made it so plain to me that God was leading, and so I found that He did lead me, and all who came to the class.”

The reader will notice in the foregoing that Mrs. Colman did not mention funds for a Publishing House, she was giving her effort and encouragement for the erection of a Church building.

On May 25 of this year, the Trustees issued a circular letter which read in part as follows:

Dear Fellow Worker:

About a year ago we were made trustees under a certain trust deed conveying a parcel of land in Boston, situate on corner Falmouth and Caledonia Streets, containing some 12,000 feet of land.

The property was put into our keeping by Rev. Mary B. G. Eddy, for the purpose of erecting thereon a church edifice to be named and called ‘THE CHURCH OF CHRIST (SCIENTIST),’ with rooms included for Dispensary, Reading Room, and permanent headquarters for the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE PUBLISHING SOCIETY of which she was the founder….

To erect such a building as will have an auditorium of sufficient size to accommodate a large body of people — will require an expenditure of at least $50,000 above the value of the land donated.

A building of such a character, in this historic city, should be a representative one, built by contributions of Scientists the world over.

Under the terms of the trust, the Trustees cannot BEGIN the erection of this edifice until at least $20,000 cash is in their hands….

What better use could be made of a few thousands, than to convert them into a free-will offering toward the proposed CHRISTIAN SCIENCE HEADQUARTERS?

We believe a building of this kind erected in Boston will make possible a suitable building in every town and city where there are a number of Christian Scientists.

Its erection will not only establish the work in this city in the minds of the press and public, but will assure the age that Christian Science is of God’s planting; that its proclamation and reception mean regeneration to mankind.

Already, without any special solicitation outside our people here, some $20,000 has been raised….

Brothers, Sisters, shall we not have this edifice begun this year, and will you not do your utmost to make its erection possible? Should not our sense of gratitude for this glorious gospel be such as to impel us to give toward this end as we individually have prospered?



MRS. JANET T. COLMAN, C.S.D.

One of the original twelve members



We need this building very much to establish our work on broader foundations. We need your co-operation toward this end. We need your active influence with others that they in turn may be alive to the demands of the hour. We need at least $40,000 still to carry out our plans for this NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS. Will you help us?...

Fraternally,

Alfred Lang, Marcellus Munroe, W. G. Nixon,

Trustees.”

Despite Mrs. Eddy’s suggestion relative to organization of churches and the erection of the Church edifice in Boston, the funds did not come in as fast as they had when the building of a Publishing House was the popular issue, but loyal students who were awake to the situation, took up the labor in their own fields, and the following shows the effort made in one city.

Dear Friend:

The enclosed circular fully explains itself. Feeling that in this effort to erect a representative building in the home of Christian Science, all Scientists and friends of Christian Science, in common with the residents of Boston, are especially interested, we take pleasure in offering you this opportunity to contribute to the fund.

There seems to be no necessity for urging or soliciting your aid in this matter, we simply bring it to your attention; since, in view of our common cause for gratitude for the advent of Christian Science, and our wish to see its advancement, or contributions, be they great or small, cannot be other than free will offerings of thanksgiving.

It has been suggested that all contributions in this vicinity be combined in one gift from the Church of Christ (Scientist) of Minneapolis. Any wishing to send in this way, may address the Treasurer, Miss E. W. G. This arrangement of course is not obligatory, and anyone preferring to send directly to the Trustees of the fund, in Boston, may follow the instruction of the enclosed circular.

Fraternally

CHURCH OF CHRIST, Scientist,

Minneapolis.”

This plan was soon adopted by other churches and the attention of the public was specifically directed to the raising of funds for a Church edifice rather than a Publishing House.

By March, 1892, the plans had been drawn for the building. Looking at these today, everyone who is acquainted with the present Church edifice will be glad that something took place which made them finally unacceptable. The building, as shown, would have been a most unchurchly look edifice. Its main part would have had a square and severe appearance with an entrance on what is now Norway Street (then Caledonia). Adjoined were the departments of the Publishing House. The dimensions were as follows: Church edifice, 82 x 60 ft.; Publishing House 47 ft. front on Norway Street, 30 ft. back line, by 30 ft. deep. The Publishing House therefore occupied a V shaped lot which fronted on Norway Street. The plan of the buildings is seen below.







The underpinnings were to be of granite with brick walls and stone trimmings, wood to be used in the interior only for doors and windows. At the end of the hall there is a vestry or lecture hall capable of seating three hundred and twenty persons. The entrance to the building opened much the same as the present original edifice with stairways leading to the auditorium on both sides. A sketch of the auditorium is given at the back of this book and the reader can readily see the improvement made in the later plans for the Church.

There was very little to commend this plan as a whole, especially the exterior, as a representative church edifice of Christian Science, for unless it were so signified by a sign, it could as well stand for a library, court-house, or some other institution. The fact is that when the plans were made the dominating thought of a Publishing House were so ever-present that outward semblances of a building for religious service were forgotten. This plan Mrs. Eddy did not like, as she said in substance it did not signify that it was to be used for the most advanced type of a spiritual religion. It is interesting to note however, that when new plans were made, some of the features of this draft were retained because some results had been worked out to the best advantage. The present building in general appearance bears practically no resemblance to this one first proposed.

Although these plans were entirely put aside after Mrs. Eddy drew the new and famous DEED OF TRUST of September, 1892, in which she did away with the Board of Trustees and invested large powers in the Christian Science Board of Directors, yet they were of some value for they gave assurance of progress, and formed the basis of something to talk about in the effort to raise a building fund, and at the meeting of the Alumni of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, on February 3, 1892, much enthusiasm was shown when these plans were exhibited. This meeting taxed the capacity of the room in Hotel Boylston, now the Touraine, and was one of great harmony. Many who desired to attend but could not, sent messages of regret and love. After the regular business had been finished, Mr. Lang, as Treasurer of the Building Fund, announced that he had on deposit in the bands about $24,000, which left a balance to be raised of $6,000. The plans of the building were then shown and the prospect that opened before them awakened much enthusiasm. In explanation of the irregularity of the flat-iron shaped lot, it was stated that this did away with the necessity of purchasing adjoining property, since the law read, in substance, that a steam boiler should not be placed beneath an auditorium.

The Publisher, Mr. Nixon, made the gratifying announcement that the Journal subscription list was notably on the increase, and the financial affairs connected therewith in most satisfactory condition. He said that as “every teacher and practitioner over the country came into intelligent touch with the needs and aims of the publishing society; as each sees that the proposed edifice means vastly more than simply a local church for the use of Boston Scientists, the activities of each would be enlisted in its behalf, and substantial money testimonials (proving deep interest) would follow.”

The Trustees and the Directors having conferred together, unanimously agreed that the only wise course was to begin with not less than thirty thousand dollars cash on deposit. This would be enough to warrant carrying the work steadily forward, and any arrest of activities for other cause than inclement weather, would be a discredit to us.

Responsible parties had pledged themselves to begin work immediately upon receipt of thirty thousand dollars, and to carry it uninterruptedly forward to completion.

At the conclusion of this talk regarding the proposed church edifice, some new pledges were received with promises of further help from those who previously had given as the Lord had prospered.

The records of this meeting are of great interest to those who duly appreciated the struggles of Mrs. Eddy in her desire to have a Church edifice in Boston. None but those who were in the midst of it can realize what such a building would mean to the earnest workers of that time. Often after the purchase of the lot my father would go there and take me with him, and with a perfect and abiding faith in the growth of Christian Science, he would think of the future, and prophesy that in years to come a great concourse of people, larger than went into any church in the city, would be entering the doors of a church to be erected on that land, and that more property would have to be acquired. Prophesying the growth of the Cause throughout the world, he would say: “It needs still more work, and faith in divine Principle, and yet more sacrifice, and we must all give it, and so let us begin by walking home, that we may add our car fares to this world-benefiting fund.”

The rapid spread of Christian Science, the establishment and erection of branch churches, the active labor in the distribution of literature, the increasing amount of attention demanded by laws prohibiting Christian Science practice, the activities of Publication Committees, the participation of church and society organizations in active assistance in war work, – all these absorbing things have been of great significance, and have so filled thought with the needs of the present and of the future that the past has drifted out of remembrance, and in the conception of many become a dead issue.

With the birth of the conception that the old and veteran students and workers who had been with Mrs. Eddy were antiquated in their ideas; that the young Scientist was working in what he called a modern method which gave speed and efficiency, the past with all its glorious achievements, was forgotten by many, and there came about that insidious and tempting argument which would bury the efforts of the past beneath the surface achievements of the present. This, though Mrs. Eddy carefully guarded her students against it, was the cause of the many offshoots from her teaching. The desire of an easier method of obtaining results by a short cut; to reach by a cold and mathematical process the point she urged her students to attain through humility and love of the character of Jesus, brought about the reign of personality. And this it must necessarily do since there can be no attraction in the teaching of mental healing, except through the over-powering influence of a teacher’s personality. The more the spirit of Jesus is left out of the teaching of Christian Science, the greater becomes the field for a dominating will. Teaching will still go on, but healing alas, will decline until there comes the realization of the necessity of making

“My prayer some daily good to do To Thine for Thee,
And offering pure of Love whereto God leadeth me.”

In about 1901, statements were put forth that the students of Mrs. Eddy were not up-to-date in the latest methods of teaching, lecturing and carrying on the Cause, and that active blood was needed which would bring into the work the most modern type of business methods, and these believed that they should be placed upon the Board of Directors, and into other positions of importance. It was found, however, that the man who was most efficient in a large business way, was not a successful person in the important positions of the Mother Church and near Mrs. Eddy. To be so it was necessary for him to give his attention to but one thing, viz.: Christian Science. To learn to live and demonstrate it in every-day work, requires constant study and practice, and the fledgling in Science, astute business man though he may be, has and will find pitfalls and troubles. As in every other undertaking, the preserved veteran, with caution and prayerful consecration to the duties before him, will prove to be a person of the best type of membership of the important Boards of the Cause.




Chapter XXXV

The New Church Organization

WE have learned, in a previous chapter, some of the details connected with the founding of the Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and we would now study the methods and procedures which were promulgated by Mrs. Eddy, and which became unwritten laws of the Church, because the means chosen by her, having been accepted by the “Twelve,” then by the First Members elected by the “Twelve” and later by all who were admitted to membership, were finally solidified into a working plan which is the governing law of our present church organization. Mrs. Eddy realized first that the new Church body was to be planted on the solid rock, and her experience in the organization and government of associations supplied her many useful lessons as to what to do and what to avoid.

Here it is well to quote the minutes of that epoch-making meeting of September 23, 1892, as taken from the records of the Clerk, Wm. B. Johnson. The action relative to the establishment of the Church, reads as follows:

“BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, Sept. 23, 1892.

Eleven persons, namely: Dr. Ebenezer J. Foster-Eddy, Mr. Stephen A. Chase, Mr. Joseph S. Eastaman, Mr. William B. Johnson, Mr. Ira O. Knapp, Miss Julia S. Bartlett, Mrs. Mary W. Munroe, Mrs. Ellen L. Clarke, Mrs. Mary F. Eastaman, Mrs. Janet T. Colman, Mrs. Flavia S. Knapp, Mrs. Eldora O. Gragg, met this day at No. 133 Dartmouth Street, Boston, Massachusetts, at 12 o’clock M. Dr. E. J. Foster-Eddy was chosen chairman, and William B. Johnson, secretary.

“The meeting was opened with silent prayer, followed by the Lord’s Prayer repeated in unison; after which the following business was transacted:

“The following motion was read by the chairman, seconded, and voted: That all who are present, and Mrs. Ellen L. Clarke, who is absent, are First Members of ‘The First Church of Christ, Scientist,’ in Boston, Massachusetts.

Voted: That the secretary shall add Mrs. Ellen L. Clarke’s name to the list of names of those present, which was done.

“On motion of Mrs. Janet T. Colman, seconded by Mrs. Eldora O. Gragg, Dr. Ebenezer J. Foster-Eddy was elected president of ‘The First Church of Christ, Scientist,’ in Boston, Massachusetts.

“Mrs. Mary F. Eastaman moved, Stephen A. Chase seconded, and it was voted that William B. Johnson be the clerk of ‘The First Church of Christ, Scientist,’ in Boston, Massachusetts.

“Voted: On motion of Stephen A. Chase, seconded by Ira O. Knapp, that Mrs. Mary F. Eastaman be the treasurer of ‘The First Church of Christ, Scientist,’ in Boston, Massachusetts. The foregoing votes were unanimous.

“A list of names was read by the clerk of persons proposed for membership with this Church, as follows: Mr. Calvin A. Frye, Mr. Edward P. Bates, Mr. Eugene H. Greene, Mr. David Anthony, Mr. Hanover P. Smith, Mrs. Josephine Curtis Otterson, Mrs. Grace A. Greene, Mrs. Caroline S. Bates, Mrs. Emilie B. Hulin, Mrs. Caroline W. Frame, Mrs. Elizabeth P. Skinner, Mrs. Augusta E. Stetson, Mrs. Henrietta E. Chanfrau, Mrs. Emily M. Meader, Mrs. Bernice H. Goodall, Mrs. Annie V. C. Leavitt, Mrs. Laura E. Sargent, Mrs. Ann M. Otis, Mrs. Mary F. Berry, Miss Martha E. S. Morgan.

“Unanimously voted: That all those persons named in the list read by the clerk, are elected First Members of ‘The First Church of Christ, Scientist,’ in Boston, Massachusetts.

“Voted: That the clerk is requested to notify each of the members of their election as follows:

“You are hereby notified that you are elected one of the First Members of ‘The First Church of Christ, Scientist,’ in Boston, Massachusetts.”

We may well include in this account the Tenets of the Church as they were especially prepared by Mrs. Eddy for this event, for it is of large interest to note how she changed them as time went on, and this will be taken up at a later period, for it is one of the waymarks which show not only care in the selection of words, but her spiritual growth as she overcame obstacles, rose higher and saw the needs of her followers, and of the situation.

The record of this historical meeting proceeds as follows:

“Tenets to be subscribed to by those uniting with ‘The First Church of Christ, Scientist’ in Boston, were read by the president. The Tenets were adopted, and ordered to be written in the book containing the records of this Church.

“TENETS

OF

THE FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST,

BY

REV. MARY BAKER G. EDDY

“To be signed by those uniting with ‘The First Church of Christ, Scientist.’

“1. As adherents of Truth, we take the Scriptures for our guide to eternal life. “2. We acknowledge and adore one Supreme God.

“We acknowledge His Son, the Holy Ghost, and man in His image and likeness. We acknowledge God’s forgiveness of sin, in the destruction of sin, and His present and future punishment of ‘whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie.’ And the atonement of Christ, as the efficacy of Truth and Love. And the way of Salvation as demonstrated by Jesus casting out evils, healing the sick, and raising the dead – resurrecting a dead faith to seize the great possibilities and living energies of the Divine Life.

“3. We solemnly promise to strive, watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus. To love the brethren, and, up to our highest capacity, to be meek, merciful, and just, and live peaceably with all men.”

It is also well to write into this account the concluding part of these minutes, because of the interest in comparing the Rules governing the Church now with those of that time. The time set for the quarterly meetings of the Church, viz., Saturday evening, is to be noted for it brings with it a certain atmosphere of simplicity and of small beginnings:

“The following ‘Rules’ for the government of this Church were adopted:

“RULES

“1. The Annual Meeting of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, shall be held on the first Tuesday evening in October in each year, for the choice of officers for the ensuing year, for listening to the reports of the treasurer, secretary, and committees, and for the transaction of any church business that may properly come before the meeting.

“2. Quarterly meetings of this church shall be held on the Saturday evening next preceding the Communion Sunday in each quarter, beginning with the Saturday next preceding the first Sunday in January, 1893.

“3. Applications for membership, coming from the students’ students, must include the names and recommendations of their teachers. All applications for membership must be addressed to the pastor or the clerk of the Church. If to the pastor, he shall hand the letters to the clerk, who shall read them at the quarterly Church meeting, and the First Members shall vote on admitting these candidates. Candidates for membership with this Church shall be elected by a majority vote.

“4. The names of the members elected at a quarterly meeting of this Church shall on the following Sunday be read from the pulpit and the communion service be held.

“5. The communion shall be observed by this Church on the first Sunday in October, January, April, and July – by special exhortation, hymns, singing, and silent prayer.

“6. Members of this Church cannot be members of other churches except they are of the same denomination as this Church.

“The Clerk was authorized to procure a suitable book in which to keep the records of this Church.

“The meeting then adjorned, subject to a call from the clerk of the Church, at

2.15 P.M.

“Respectfully submitted,

“WM. B. JOHNSON,

Clerk.

We may now consider what the DEED OF TRUST contains relative to a Board of Directors and their duties. It reads as follows:

“1. Said grantees shall be known as the ‘Christian Science Board of Directors’ and shall constitute a perpetual body or corporation under and in accordance with section one, Chapter 39 of the Public Statutes of Massachusetts. Whenever a vacancy occurs in said Board the remaining members shall within thirty days fill the same by election but no one shall be eligible to that office who is not in the opinion of the remaining members of the Board a firm and consistent believer in the doctrines of Christian Science as taught in a book entitled Science and Health, by Mary Baker G. Eddy, beginning with the seventy-first edition thereof.

“2. Said Board shall within five years from the date hereof build or cause to be built upon said lot of land a suitable and convenient church edifice, the cost of which shall not be less than fifty thousand dollars.

“3. When said church building is completed said board shall elect a pastor, reader or speaker to fill the pulpit who shall be a genuine Christian Scientist; they shall maintain public worship in accordance with the doctrines of Christian Science in said church and for this purpose they are fully empowered to make any and all necessary rules and regulations.”

Omitting other paragraphs which deal with the land and might be construed as duties of Trustees, we go to section 9, which reads:

“Said directors shall maintain regular preaching, reading or speaking in said church on each Sabbath, and an omission to have and maintain such preaching, reading or speaking for one year in succession shall be deemed a breach of this condition.

“10. Whenever said Directors shall determine that it is inexpedient to maintain preaching, reading or speaking in said church in accordance with the terms of this deed, they are authorized and required to reconvey forthwith said lot of land with the buildings thereon to Mary Baker G. Eddy, her heirs and assigns forever by a proper deed of conveyance.”

Upon the question of the position occupied by the first board of Directors, and by whom they were elected, a deep quandary has ever existed and judicial authorities have felt that a very grave omission was made in the records of the first meeting of September 23, 1892.

In regard to the position held by the Board of Directors, and named by Mrs. Eddy in the DEED OF TRUST as the Christian Science Board of Directors, I will state that they were never elected to that position by any body of members of the Church. There is absolutely nothing missing from the records of the first meeting of September 23, 1892, the date of the formation of the Church, for there was no necessity for an election of a governing Board of Directors for the new organization, since Mrs. Eddy never wanted the Directors of her Church to be elected by members of the organization. She desired that they one and all should be of one purpose and that was to serve her as the way-shower of her teachings and be obedient to her for the good of the Cause. She recognized the fact that to accomplish the full benefit of her experience in church and association organization, and that for the starting and the continuation of an upbuilding of the Church and the Cause through her future efforts, she must be the sole appointer of the members of the Board, and that for the members of the new organization of September 23, to have elected Directors or even ratified their position as given in the DEED OF TRUST, would have set a precedent for the election of that body by members of the Church.

Owing to the dissension over the building fund, caused by the Trustees, Nixon, Munroe and Lang, Mrs. Eddy felt that the affairs must be put into the hands of four men she could absolutely trust and she organized her Church under Chapter 39 of the Public Statutes of Massachusetts for this purpose. But she goes still farther in the DEED, and empowers this Board not only with the monies of the building fund but with the election of pastor, reader, etc., and the maintenance of public worship, and shows by sections following, what this Board shall do and what it shall not do, so that their labors as officers in charge of the land she deeded to them, are continued as the directors of its religious services, and of its government, in so far as the By-laws soon after enacted by vote of the First Members allowed them.

It is decidedly probable that Mrs. Eddy did not have the finished product of the creation of a new organization in her mind at this date, September 23d, hence the time set in section 2, DEED OF TRUST, “when said Board shall elect pastor, reader and speaker, etc.” was upon the completion of the prospective church edifice.

Until August, 29, probably, the efforts to reorganize the Church of 1879 into a new organization under the same statutes, had been under way, and it is manifest that Mrs. Eddy on September 1, had not definitely decided that the time was ripe to create a new organization (the one we now have) which was so different from the type to which she had been accustomed. This decision may have been retarded by the fact that there was much dissension over the actions of Mr. Nixon, and his efforts to create another faction; hence the need of caution, and the statement in section 3 of the DEED OF TRUST that “When said church building is completed, said Board shall elect a pastor,” etc. The effect of her article “CHURCH BUILDING FUND IN BOSTON,” in which was embodied the DEED OF TRUST, was so great, and the responses of loyalty to her so genuine and broadcast that she felt secure in shortening the time to create an entirely new organization out of the old, and by a plan of invitation to membership, those only who were loyal to her and her teachings would be selected and admitted to the Church, and this development culminated in the meeting of September 23, 1892.

In taking this step of organizing her Church under this practically unused statute, Mrs. Eddy was doing something that was unique as it is considered today. Had the members of the original Church body had a voice in the matter they would have chosen the course which other churches had taken, and organized under the same statute, and would have established the Congregational form of government. All this, Mrs. Eddy had carefully thought out and realized that she must do otherwise, although the newness of the form of church government which she had in mind, would be criticized from the standpoint of its being ecclesiastical and a very great exception to the rule.

To all who look into the matter of the place that the Christian Science Board of Directors have held and still hold, this is of large and vital interest, and an inquirer who may have carefully scrutinized the records of the first meeting of September 23, and found no record of their election cannot help asking how they derived their powers, from what, or from whom. Until there was a Church body organized there could not be a Board of Directors, but they could hold property as Trustees under the DEED OF TRUST. The question of how these four men became the Directors is a matter of very great import. Looking at it from the viewpoint of nearly twentyseven years past, a curious, yet pertinent question of psychology is involved which must confuse all who come in contact with this peculiar situation, until it is cleared up. To entirely eliminate this confusion, we must begin with the knowledge of what this peculiar psychological phase was in the instance of nearly all concerned.

In the first place the Church of 1879 at the time of the creation of the new body, September 23, 1892, had a membership in the vicinity of 300. As the records of the new body show no election of a Board of Directors, and there was none, they were accepted by the members at that time, and have been since by acquiescence. Now this taking of their place simply by acquiescence (and of course with the approval of Mrs. Eddy) places them in a unique position. Neither the Court nor the lawyers question Mrs. Eddy’s acknowledgment of them as her Directors, but when the matters under consideration have to be decided from the legal standpoint, the vital question arises what was the scope of this acquiescence of the members of the Church?

The rapid success of the Christian Science movement and the phenomenal growth of the Church from the beginning has suggested in the thought of counsel that this acquiescence must have been by a considerable number, for the membership at the end of the first year was 1502, the membership of the old Church of 1879 having been considerable, and three of the Directors of the new body having been Directors up to September 23, in the former. Further, this acquiescence given by them might, when looked at below the surface, have been with some reservation; that is, not given by the Church as a harmonious whole, because of the various discordant conditions then extant.

Now that this condition of thought has been noted, let us turn from it and find the exact facts which cannot be controverted. From the time that Mrs. Eddy gave the word to make preparations to form a Church, those who had been appointed in the DEED OF TRUST as members of the Board of Directors found duties which were necessary to perform. To wit: The names of those who were to constitute the other eight of the twelve First Members (the Directors counting as four of them) were given to them by Mrs. Eddy, and they were told of the coming event. It would have been very unusual if, at the different meetings held, some had not asked the question, “how are the Directors to be elected?” The conditions were so different from the old Church body relative to government, that this question would naturally be asked as a matter of information. Having been members of churches for many years and also active workers in various offices of the Church of 1879, they would naturally have reverted to the customs and methods by which that Church was carried on.

As the Deed of Trust contains no instructions as to how the Directors shall be elected, it was most probable that questions arose and were answered upon this point, for every one who was to become one of the “twelve” realized the supreme importance of the action that they were to take, and they wanted to do all things rightly. If these questions came up, as they surely did, they were told that the DEED OF TRUST constituted them the Christian Science Board of Directors, according to Mrs. Eddy’s expressed desire in that instrument, and that for any group to elect them would not be in accordance with Mrs. Eddy’s desire, as it was her distinct privilege, to appoint them, since having trusted them with the land which she had saved for them, she now trusted them as Directors. As twelve persons only were to create the Church, four of whom were Directors, it would not be courteous for them to elect the Board of Directors, or even to ratify Mrs. Eddy’s statement that they shall be known as the Christian Science Board of Directors without being so requested by her. Knowing Mrs. Eddy as well as these students did, they realized in a broad and spiritual way that as she had appointed them she was responsible for them, and desired to be so, and they were responsible to her, and that was enough to satisfy them. Having this understanding prior to the date set for the meeting which was to form the Church, there was unanimous acquiescence that the four men named in the DEED OF TRUST should be the Directors.

There is still another viewpoint, viz: that at the creation of the Church, the powers of the Directors were very limited in scope and that the First Members were the governing body of the organization. In analyzing the position of the Directors we are likely to let the picture of the powers given by the Manual, since the First Members were dissolved and the labor done by them given to the Directors, deceive us relative to their importance at that time, so that in order to know better their position we must put away all that we know of the powers the Directors now have and comprehend the fact that as Trustees of the land they loomed larger in the eyes of the faithful “eight” than as members of the Christian Science Board of Directors. To be a Director on the 23d day of September, 1892, was not a position that brought with it any feelings of being specially honored; these Directors were simply looked upon as being given a duty, viz: to fill a necessary position. No one was envious of them, for no one had any desire for the position. Mr. Knapp, Captain Eastaman and my father had been Directors in the old Church, and to be transferred and hold the same positions in the new was nothing to excite them, or the others of the eight, and all of these simple and harmonious conditions which then prevailed, made perfect the acquiescence to their position as Directors. Instead of being obliged to have a large number acquiesce in the appointment, which the public at the present time might think called for a majority, if not the entire body, of the old organization, it required only eight, and this is all they could have. After these had formed the Church, they elected twenty others, and their acceptance of their membership, also of the formation of the new Church body, was their acquiescence to the Board of Directors.

The chaotic conditions which had been brought about by the action of the Trustees under the deed of 1889 had given Mrs. Eddy much trouble, especially after they had taken a determined stand that the Church must be reorganized before the title of the land could be made sound. While the charter of the church procured in 1879 was not vacated, and is still in existence, the organization had practically been dissolved, and was meeting only as a voluntary body. To reorganize the Church would mean that many belligerents who were in the old organization would become members of the new. Curious complications would arise, because Mr. Nixon, who, as Mrs. Eddy stated in her letter of May, 5, 1892, had “made all the trouble,” was at that time not only a member of the Trustees, but one of the Directors of the Church. To reorganize the Church under the laws which would have been used, the Directors would have been elected by the members, and those who were obsessed by the desire for position would naturally grasp the opportunity to obtain support from those they could persuade to vote for them. At this time such an attempt at politics would have been dangerous, and Mrs. Eddy felt that reorganization should not be undertaken, but rather than give an authoritative word, she decided to leave it to the option of the students, so that by August 16, 1892, the papers had been filled out by them for a church to be called First Church of Christ, Scientist. In allowing the students to take this matter in hand she had suffered “it to be so now,” because she felt that it might be just the Balm of Gilead which would help allay the irritation existing between the Trustees and the Directors.

It was some weeks previous to September 1, 1892, that she had conceived what the government of the Church should be, and at a time when she was allowing her students to make plans (or reorganization though there were very few outside her household and my father who knew of this fact, and to him she had given certain details to work out in absolute secrecy), she realized among the first necessities that the Directors must be of limited number, and they must be appointed by her, and not elected by the Church. Now, it is well to keep in mind that the application for a charter for the reorganized Church was signed August 16, by twelve persons, but in a letter received August 12 there is an important statement which throws light not only upon the attempt at reorganization but upon the position the Board of Directors were to hold in the new Church body. A letter had been written to Mrs. Eddy by the Committee on Business, of which my father was a member, relative to reorganization and some other matters which it was thought only Mrs. Eddy could decide. This letter is an important commentary on the difficulties which surrounded the Teacher at that time, for the action of the Trustees had made conditions chaotic, and she knew there were not only belligerents working for something that would give them what they desired, but others trying to hold what they had, and she was laboring to bring about just the proper result, and this she knew could be accomplished only by having enough time and quiet to demonstrate that what she saw was the right conception. This letter is without fate and is marked by my father as follows: “No date. Received August 12, 8 A.M. Answered Aug. 13, 1892.”

My dear Student:

Take all legal points to my lawyer for settlement and do not come to Concord again without my permission. Write your questions to me: if the letters are opened they can do no special harm now. You confuse me, and I see now that M. A. M. confuses you for this purpose. The one suggestion you made is wrong. I can deed to the Church as safely as to Trustees, if you watch and are present at each annual meeting. For one vote perpetuates the Board of Directors as it now is to be formed.

Now if you had sent your questions and nothing more, this last movement would not have been made.

Stop it. I shall give the land to the Church.

(Signed) M. B. G. E.”

The “movement” of which she speaks was the effort to reorganize the Church, and the Business Committee had opposed these suggestions from the Trustees, as recorded in a previous chapter, and had offered Mrs. Eddy information relative to redeeding the land so that it would be taken out of the hands of Messrs. Nixon, Lang and Munroe.

Mrs. Eddy saw that the concept of a church organization which would be quite different from the one then in existence, would promise a solution of her difficulties. By appointing the Directors herself she realized that there would be less envy relative to place and power, and by sweeping the old organization out of existence so far as its activities were concerned, would make it possible for her to effect as proper selection of those who should become members. The membership of the original body contained at that date not only too much dead wood, but too many who would constitute an opposition in matters of church government. There were those who still had a lingering affection for Mrs. Woodbury, and others who were trying to unite Christian Science and other systems of healing, all of whom were not good representatives of the Church of Christ (Scientist). By making an organization to which those who desired to affiliate would have to be invited and their applications approved by responsible members, the Church would start again on a more secure and clearly defined foundation.

That she desired the greatest care to be used in the selection of those who should be called First Members is evidenced by the following letter to my father:

Sept. 6, ’92.

Dear Student:

I forgot to charge you not to name anyone having a tablet. Wait until the time arrives – then will be soon enough to consider such a question. I trust your good judgment has already guided you thus. Thanks for your kind letter on memory; hope you will always remember your friends.

Affectionately,

(Written in ink in Mrs. Eddy’s handwriting to Wm. B. Johnson.)

(Signed) M. B. G. EDDY.”

The first sentence in this letter may sound a little cryptic, and Mrs. Eddy meant that it should be so, for while the DEED OF TRUST had been signed, sealed and delivered on September 1, the method of organization and government by First Members was not set forth in any way, and the working out of her demonstration was kept as secret as possible. She had asked my father to suggest names of persons to be elected as First Members, and this first sentence, “I forgot to charge you not to name anyone having a tablet” means, look out for those bearing gifts.

At this time there were coming to the Church and asking to be admitted some who had gone out with Mrs. Crosse in 1888, who had become members of the Church of the Divine Unity, and when that body disintegrated found themselves floundering hopelessly, and again sought out the organization and faith in which they had originally been healed. Some of these came back and feelingly offered services and financial assistance, but Mrs. Eddy felt that those who were to be members of her Church must have been faithful to her since she taught them, who had never wavered in their allegiance to her. In this matter she was always very strict, for she felt keenly the sting of desertion by a student. All her students were thought of as her own children, for she had labored with them, healed the, purified them, watched their words and actions, discovered their weak places and strengthened them. In their troubles she had tenderly guarded and assisted the, and at an enormous amount of time and expense, she had kept in touch with them. If any reader doubts these statements then let him ponder upon this, that at this time of writing, August, 1919, there are over 7,000 letters on file in the Mother Church vaults written by Mrs. Eddy! In view of all the love which she bestowed upon her students, the reduction in price of tuition when they could not afford to pay the full amount, and the positions she had given them to fill, is it any wonder that she felt the sting of ingratitude when they went out from her, and even in later years, up to 1909, when students who had never united with the Mother Church made applications, which were referred to her by the Board of Directors, she asked that their belief in her teachings be proved by works.

To her such students often bore tablets (gifts) and in this way sought to show love, but no one could detect what was an attempt to purchase recognition by such means quicker than she, and Mrs. Eddy realized that there were others beside herself, who, though not seeing so far ahead, realized somewhat the growth the Cause would attain, and desired to get in on the “ground floor,” so to speak. She was always fearful of the ambitious person in Christian Science, but not the person with ambition who would be willing to labor and work faithfully under her guidance. It would take many pages to define and illustrate all the peculiarities of that time, the extremes to which many allowed their thought to wander, and one of the difficulties with which the little Church had to contend was the superior attitude that some persons assumed after coming into Christian Science. I refer to those who had come out from wealthy and influential churches of other denominations, and especially those who had held officers. These persons emerged from a condition where a certain amount of pomp and ceremony had been a part of service, and large funds had been handled, and when they entered into the simple service of the Church of Christ, Scientist, among people who had learned that government should come by quiet demonstration, and that certain parts of the Church government and the service were those either chosen or originated by Mrs. Eddy, they thought them without form and unbusinesslike, and desired to show that there were superior methods pursued in the church from which they had come. They therefore took the position not only of critics but mentors, and assumed an attitude of superiority over those who had labored patiently for years beside the Teacher. Many were the complaints sent to Mrs. Eddy about the methods of conducting the services and the business of the Church, and to these, if she found they were offered with love and desire to assist, she always gave courteous and kindly attention, but to those whose complaints were merely carping criticisms she gave no notice, and later issued in the columns of the Journal or the Sentinel timely opinions upon such ill-intentioned efforts. All these things show with what Mrs. Eddy had to contend in these years, especially in the preservation of the land and the organization of the present church body.

It would seem that with the Deed of Trust made public, and brought to the attention of the “field,” there would have been an immediate response, from every direction, to the building fund. The differences of opinion existing between the Trustees of the Publishing Society, in 1892, and the Directors, clearly showed Mrs. Eddy the need of a more thorough demonstration of her teachings by all students. The confusion of thought throughout the “field” was such that adherents, aside from Mrs. Eddy’s students, did not know which way to look for guidance relative to the land and the proposed edifice. To quiet their apprehension she had the following notice printed in the Journal of September, 1892:

“TO THE CONTRIBUTORS TO THE BOSTON CHURCH BUILDING FUND.

My Beloved Students and Friends:

Thanks for your patience. I have given a sound title to the lot of land in Boston, on which to build a Church edifice for the benefit of Christian Science.

For particulars relative to the Building Fund you must communicate with Mr. Alfred Lang, 279 Broadway, Lawrence, Mass., and William B. Johnson, 41 G St., South Boston, Mass.

MARY B. G. EDDY.”

This notice and the following in the Journal of October, 1892, “If all who have contributed to the Church Building Fund will send their full address, – name, street, or post office box,…to Wm. B. Johnson, Secretary of the ‘Christian Science Board of Directors,’…you will confer a favor, and serve the Cause.

WM. B. JOHNSON.”

brought an avalanche of letters to my father, from this country and abroad, relative to the conditions of the Building Fund. While Mr. Lang’s name is mentioned in the former notice, the naming of my father in the DEED OF TRUST as one of the Board of Directors, placed him in a peculiarly responsible position. He was at this time Secretary of both the College Association and of the National, so that he was, outside of Dr. Foster-Eddy, the best known person in the whole field. The questions which he had to answer were of a difficult nature, and called for patience, care and kindliness. The following passage from the article, “To the Contributors of the Church Building Fund,” made the situation yet more complicated:

“As much of the Building Find was received, after this illegal call, the Directors and Trustees have thought best to return this fund to the contributors. It is plain that their money should not be used without their knowledge as to the specific purpose for which the church lot was donated….

“My lawyer has advised, under the circumstances, to return the money to the contributors, for them to send back to the new Board of Directors, to be used according to the original purpose.”

These were busy days, and labor reached far into the night for all in our little home. The reading and answering of many letters was not all, for father was a member of the Bible Lesson Committee, and the new duties placed upon him relative to the formation of the new church organization, together with corresp9ondence in regard to the College and the National Associations, brought duties which at times seemed very burdensome, and when the reader realizes that they were done without remuneration, he will appreciate the fact that these were days of large and continued sacrifice. But the many problems were surely being worked out, and rapidly, as we now look back in perspective, though it did not seem so then. The tangle of troubles which had surrounded the Church were being unraveled and progress was plainly visible.




Chapter XXXVI

Meeting of the College Association

TO strengthen the position of the new DEED OF TRUST, and to bring into greater prominence among her students the new Church organization and their desire for its support, a notice was inserted in the Journal of October, 1892, relative to the coming meeting of the College Association. These few lines carry practically no suggestion of the pending of mighty efforts, unless the reader knows the conditions of the time; to such they are full of compressed significance.

Members of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College Association will please bear in mind the coming meeting (October 5, 1892). A large assembly is anticipated.”

This meeting was very well attended, and many members dame from the west, even as far as from California, and it proved to be one of the most harmonious the Association had ever held, and was pronounced “a grand demonstration of the unifying power of Love.” Dr. Foster-Eddy presided, and after silent prayer, he read a sentence from Science and Health, which seemed to have been prepared especially for the occasion. A this meeting, coming at a most important and significant time in the history of the Cause, there were thoughts to be conveyed directly and indirectly from Mrs. Eddy to her loyal students in solemn conclave that would leaven the thought of the whole “field” and would pacify and correct certain misunderstandings, as for instance respecting the conditions in Boston, and the meaning of, and reason for, the following notice in the Journal of October, 1892:

“I have seen with the last four months, as never before, the great need that students have of being Christian Scientists in word and deed, in their affections, aims and ambitions. For this cause, I indefinitely postpone my class. In the interest of the student and of our Cause, I do this. Please never inquire of me, ‘When will you open your class?’ but wait patiently, till, having on a wedding garment, I invite you to the feast.

Also, my son, Dr. E. J. Foster-Eddy, adds that for the same cause as above named, he respectfully asks his applicants for the Primary course to wait one year longer before entering his class.

MARY B. G. EDDY.”

From my father I learned why Mrs. Eddy did not desire to teach at this time; namely, that since there had been so much confusion relative to the Building Fund, she felt that love for the Cause must unite all in one harmonious whole, and that there were some whose applications she had accepted, who, since being accepted had shown that they were not ready, and not worthy of being taken into the Normal Course. These persons were in such a position in the work that any non-acceptance of them for her class might bring about another schism. Another reason also existed, viz.: the formation of the new Church on September 23 had given her a great amount of detail to work out, and she felt that this was of greater import than teaching a class.

Now, if the reader will keep in mind that the meeting of the College Association, on October 5, was only twelve days after the formation of the Church, much light will be thrown upon this event, and let it be borne in mind that Mrs. Eddy did not make known immediately the fact that a new organization had been given birth, in fact she preferred that it should be kept secret until such time as was ripe for it to become known; and, in order that it should not be guessed, a meeting of the old organization of 1897 was held on the 30th of September, just one week after the founding of the Mother Church on September 23. Even as late as October 25 of the same year, Mrs. Eddy desired that the organization be not given out broadcast and in the following letter, prepared by my father, the reader will see the reason. This I am going to quote from the original, which is in my father’s handwriting:

“Students of Normal teachers must give in their letters of application the names of the persons who taught them Christian Science.

For many reasons it is best not to mention this invitation to anyone but the parties concerned, and tell them to do likewise.

Yours in Christian bonds,

Fraternally,

WM. B. JOHNSON, Clerk of Church.”

This paragraph, which follows a form of invitation for membership, shows the definite reason for the prevailing precaution, and more so in the original than in the amended form made by Mrs. Eddy.

The meeting of the Association on October 5 was planned with the intention of leavening the thought relative to Mrs. Eddy’s postponement of her Normal class, for this decision had brought about much disappointment among the applicants, and the voice of hatred was loud in naming various reasons why she did not teach. It was also considered a wise procedure to bring out to this meeting as many faithful students as possible from every direction, that selection might be made for membership with the new Church organization.

The meeting of the Association, therefore, had been panned with great forethought to take care of the needs of the hour, and the records show that enthusiasm ran high. In those days when Dr. Foster-Eddy was close in touch with Mrs. Eddy at Concord, and came to Boston to conduct a meeting, he entered into his work with much inspiration which in greater part was a sequence of the preparation given him by the Teacher. She often prepared and directed the course of his remarks. On this afternoon he based his address upon the glorious Pauline message, the 13th chapter of Romans, and the demonstration of Love was what he dwelt upon.

A subject that was opened for discussion was “Is there a neutral position in Science?” Upon motion, the Deed of Trust that had been published in the Journal of October was read and listened to with eager attention, and a vote of thanks was unanimously tendered the “Teacher for the wise and satisfactory manner in which she had once more tided the students over what seemed to be a difficult place.” The sentiment was expressed that “Principle had guided, and that material organization was not a necessity in truth; that indeed its observance was a hindrance to growth and demonstration.” Another said (one who had not before seen Mrs. Eddy’s purpose clearly), “I see there is but one Baptism, and one church; there is no benefit in material organization. I am now ready to stand where God wants me to stand. The church will be built. Sometimes the Mother thought has seemed confused, but later we found that it was our thought which was confused.”

A brother spoke of establishing the Church on a non-material basis: and the demonstration of finding a statute of the State of Massachusetts providing for organizations without the necessity of resorting to material methods. Announcement was made that letters were coming in with the assurance that increased subscriptions would be made. Another said, “Divine Love is the key-note of Christian Science. Love is constantly demanding a higher platform; hence the recognition of the Church on a higher plane. Our teacher has given us the key-note and example, and we should follow.” Another remarked, “We are all rejoiced at the happy solution of the Church Fund question. We must learn in the school of experience.”

This meeting so filled with hope for the future, and with thankfulness that the troubles over the church land were ended and that everything was cleared away so that the collection of the Building Fund could go on without fear of complications, gave great inspiration to all. After the meeting, groups of students stayed in the rooms until time for the evening meal, and then went to Fisher’s restaurant in the same block on Tremont Street. As my father had sent for me to copy some letters, I arrived at Steinert Hall just as the meeting was closed, and went to Fisher’s for supper with others, and remember that there were about forty present. Word had been sent ahead, so that extra tables were brought out and room made for all. We had the rear part of the long room practically to ourselves, and I remember how high the feeling ran relative to the events of the afternoon. It was all quiet but very intense, and when passages from the Trust Deed were discussed, tears were in many eyes. In every line these faithful students saw the care and the wisdom in Mrs. Eddy’s efforts. Many were the sacred and simple pledges made by students to each other, and the thoughts of the meeting were turned over and over that new light might be gleaned therefrom. The notices relative to the Building Fund, which have appeared on the foregoing pages, brought many to seek my father’s advice, not only during the day but at the supper hour, and he found it necessary to delegate some of the work of answering questions to me, for he had received a message from Mrs. Eddy which sent him on quests to different hotels to find some students whom she especially desired to have invited to membership with the new Church organization. It was late that night when my father arrived home. He had been busy from five o’clock in the morning until about eleven in the evening, but he was radiant with hope and inspiration, and told my mother and myself that never had the future for the Cause and the Church looked so bright, and that harmony was being restored faster than it had been believed possible; that it was the new deed of the land which had made the walls of fear and jealousy fall, and had allowed confidence in the wisdom and leadership of the Teacher to gain a foothold.

The meeting of the Association impelled the editor of the Journal, Judge Hanna, to make comment in his first issue in the capacity of Editor, as follows:

“The article addressed to the contributors of the Church Building Fund in Boston, by Rev. Mary B. G. Eddy, published in the October Journal will effectually settle the church question. It now appears clearly that the church to be erected on the lot so generously donated by her, will represent the church universal….It is not local to Massachusetts. It is not local in any sense. It is in the fullest sense THE MOTHER church. It typifies the Christian Science church. There will be many church buildings erected all over the world to meet the convenience of local Societies and Congregations; but none of them will take the place of ‘The First Church of Christ, Scientist.’ The material emblem – the church building – but shadows forth the great spiritual fact back of it. There will be no other church building that will in this distinctive sense reflect the spiritual fact. It will stand as the monument of Truth which has dawned upon the nineteenth century. All who desire that this monument shall be erected will contribute, to the extent of their ability, towards its erection, regardless of local church buildings, or local considerations. Is there a true Christian Scientist who can afford not to have a brick in this church?”

At this time John F. Linscott, C.S.B., held a prominent place in the “field.” Christian Science treatment had healed and regenerated him, and Mrs. Eddy’s teachings had largely developed his resources and capacities. He was a man of a rather fearless type and had something of the power to command, also he possessed a speaking voice of considerable sonority and dignity. In 1893, the name of Mr. Linscott was proposed for the position of pastor of the Church in Boston, but when the suggestion was presented to Mrs. Eddy she sent word not to elect him. She felt that he was not ready for the trying position in which he would be placed, and that as a man of considerable temper and of desire to command, he might not be able to control the situation. Rev. D. A. Easton with his experience, also being an ordained minister, and a man “slow to anger and plenteous in mercy,” was a better candidate for that position. Mr. Linscott had gained considerable commendation as the result of his ministry in Denver, Col., and it was well merited, for what he said in those days awakened a conviction of his honesty and truthfulness, while his attitude and voice commanded instant attention. Over the proposed building of a Mother Church edifice, he was most enthusiastic, and to his students and a wide circle of acquaintances in Christian Science, he sent letters of strong appeal for help in this Cause, of which the following is a copy in part:

“Dear fellow workers in Christian Science: We are called to make a demonstration of our profession. The hour is come wherein we can bless ourselves in granting the request made by our Teacher. The request in the October Journal for funds to erect a church building which shall belong to all the students in America, and the wide world, and of which we shall all be members if we desire, speaks to each lover of Science and Health and the Bible.

“The form of organization required by law, is too finite ever to appear in the higher attraction of Love, which will unify us all, here and now, as a church triumphant and governed by the Spirit of Truth.”

On January 13, 1893, Mr. Chase reported that he had on that date as Treasurer $30,416.26. This was money sent to him which contributors had recalled from Mr. Lang, also amounts forwarded directly to him as Treasurer, but the above does not represent the total given for the Building Fund, as some contributors had not called upon Mr. Lang for the contributions they had forwarded to him, and it was not until May 12, 1894, that he turned over to Mr. Chase the uncalled for balance of $1,252.44.

From this time the response to Mrs. Eddy’s publication of the DEED OF TRUST began to gain momentum, and notwithstanding the further changes which again brought commotion to the “field,” and which will be duly considered in this account, the inflow of money became steady and constant.

It is now time to leave the story of the gathering of the Building Fund for a short time and take up certain other matters of interest that have to do with the work of the Directors and the labors of Mrs. Eddy in the direction that the efforts of the Church organization should take, and these details are full of interest to all.

Mrs. Eddy had selected Mr. Chase for a Director and for the position of Treasurer, because she saw in him deep sincerity in his love for her. He had been very little known in Boston, but was a faithful attendant at the meetings of the College Association. It was a surprise to many that he should have been chosen as a member of the Board of Directors, for outside of Mr. Knapp, Captain Eastaman and my father, who had been resident members of the old organization, it would naturally be presumed that either Eugene H. Greene, or David Anthony, both of Providence, would have composed one of the four Directors, and if the question of choice were further sifted relative to the merits of Mr. Greene and Mr. Anthony, general judgment would have been in favor of Mr. Greene, mainly because of his success as an organizer in Providence. But neither of these two gentlemen were business men, and to a certain extent Mr. Chase was. The reason for Mrs. Eddy’s choice is given in a letter of September 16, 1892, written to my father, in which she states:

“I have seen Mr. Chase’s form of business methods, etc. and like them.”

In the organization of the new Church, my father’s labors were many and his responsibilities very large, for he was given many things to do by Mrs. Eddy which required tact, care and accuracy in their handling, and it seemed that he was the only one on whom she could depend. The following letter, so characteristic of her, shows something of the condition of the time, also the care for details which was always in her thought:

“OCT. 14, 1892.

My dear Student:

You are placed by me in a very conspicuous, responsible attitude on this field of Christian Science. God grant that in one instance of my students, and in many a one, the pinnacle does not cause them to cast themselves down.

You, so far, have been modest and meek, prayerful and watchful, and when you have blundered by means of…generally heard from me as the mountain pioneer to call you back to the path.

May God keep you from straying and guide your footsteps.

In your book of church records, keep the name of each member, his P.O. address, and the name of his teacher, and keep the book. I send you a list of such of my students as I at present know no reason for not becoming members themselves, and inviting their students (such as they know are fit) to become members of the Mother, and Mother’s Church.

With love ever and the same,

MARY B. G. EDDY.”

The following is written in pencil on the margin of the first page:

“I specify these students because they are teachers and can be trusted to send their students. Others also are fit for membership.”

Mrs. Eddy had to be most careful as to what was to be said respecting this new organization in the Journal. She realized that this body, to be governed as she desired it should be, directly through her, would meet criticism, and she also recognized the fact that the By-laws which were to govern it must emanate from her, and be ratified by members upon whom she could depend. They were her students, and were chosen because they were faithful to her. Those who could not see the reason for such a form of government would be led to think that it was an autocracy and our of keeping with an organization built upon a democratic foundation, since the members of the Church, unless they were First Members, would have no voice in the matter of government or in determining the ways in which the funds of the Church, to which they had contributed, should be spent.

While she desired the Church to grow fast, it must grow safely, and, she saw no way in which she could send out a world-wide call during the first three months of its existence without causing a careful scrutiny and analysis to be made of the nature of the government of the Church body. There were in Boston a number of persons who had been attending the old organization, and others who were members of it, who could not follow Mrs. Eddy in this matter. Some were skeptical as to how long Christian Science would continue to grow, and based their doubts upon the troubles which had taken place in the Church body since its inception. They had seen the rise and fall of various other beliefs, such as Mental Cure, Mind Cure, etc., and looked from these to the other old established denominations whose foundations seemed unshakable, and wondered how long Mrs. Eddy’s work would continue. Again, the increasing hatred evidenced by the clergy, which found ready echo in the newspapers, disturbed them, and the efforts of the medical profession not only to make persecution as serious as possible, but to limit the practice of Christian Science, and finally to compel its disuse, caused fear. There were others who from unworthiness and from fancied slight were belligerents, and still others who saw the downfall of Christian Science in the near future when Mrs. Eddy should pass away, and they believed that this time was not far distant, because she was then in her seventy-first year. William G. Nixon, who, as Mrs. Eddy said, in one of her letters already quoted, “had made all the trouble,” and of whom she speaks in no gentle terms in her article, “Church Building Fund in Boston,” was then the Manager of the Publishing Society, and had not been asked to become a First Member or invited to membership in the Church. The reader can imagine what his feelings were when he realized that a new organization had been formed, and that he, who had been a Trustee of the Church land, a Director of the Church and Manager and Publisher of Mrs. Eddy’s works, had not been asked to become a member of it.

The attitude which he had taken in everything that pertained to the land for the Church edifice had shown Mrs. Eddy that he was not to be relied upon. Evidence that the author of this work holds, but does not desire to introduce, makes it clear that in August of 1892, he was doing all he could to stop a reorganization of the old Church, not because he believed that such a step should not be taken, but for the purpose of filibustering.

Beside the reasons set forth in the foregoing, there was one which was very vital not only to Mrs. Eddy but to the new Church body and to the Building Fund, – namely that the organization of a new Church under a plan which Mrs. Eddy had worked out and which would put into her hands the entire government, would be construed as one that would tend to bring about a belief that it was a sense of personality which gave impetus to her efforts, and that, after all, the organization and the Church building would be but a “memorial” to her. At the time of the founding of the Church, September 23, she had made but six Rules, and these pertained only to quarterly and annual meetings, the time when Communion should be observed, and how members should be admitted to membership. These few rules were enough to govern a small and select body that she knew would be faithful to her, but for a large membership whose loyalty was as yet unproved, she must wait and find out what was needed.

If one desired at that time to quibble over a comparison of the rules governing the body of 1879 and those of the new organization of September 23, 1892, he would find that the Rules and Regulations of the old body numbered twenty, while those of the new were but six, and among these last there was none which dealt with discipline. It was undoubtedly Mrs. Eddy’s plan to make this a special point in the new Church, and to have the thought take root and grow that Christian Science must bring about an entirely harmonious whole. The experience of years had shown her that rules for discipline should be made only as the necessity for them should appear. The conglomerate membership of the old organization had been very unsatisfactory, and the proofs of the eligibility of a candidate for admission were not comprehensive enough to guard its membership. The fundamental thought of a harmonious beginning, therefore, was in the laying of stones (members) which she felt would forever stay in place and be cemented by the Church Tenet to which they subscribed:

“We solemnly promise to strive, watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus. To love the brethren, and up to our highest capacity to be meek, merciful, and just, and live peaceably with all men.”

Upon such a foundation she laid her hopes of an organization which should be a harmonious unit. But one might ask, if he were familiar with the history of the Church of 1879, “Did she not do practically the same thing then?” She did, and let us note what she wrote into the tenets of the original body:

“We promise to love one another, and to work, watch, and pray; to strive against sin, and to keep the Ten Commandments; to deal justly, love mercy, walk humbly; and inasmuch as we are enabled by Truth, to cast out error, and heal the sick.” (1879.)

The inquirer might further ask, “If the members then subscribed to such a tenet, with a Christ-like desire to obey, why did the rebellion occur in Lynn, and why did the schism, led by Mrs. Crosse, take place in 1888? Since those troubles came about, what would hinder them from occurring again in the new organization?” These questions are worthy of consideration at this time, that future inquirers may have a clear idea of the purport of Mrs. Eddy’s efforts. In the first place, the students who subscribed to these tenets in Lynn were the veriest beginners. They had been wonderfully healed and regenerated, but they were a small body, and surrounded by all that would be opposed to Christian Science. A large percentage were women, and those who had husbands found that it was more difficult to interest men in Christian Science. The furor over Spiritualism was very great, and Lynn was seething with it, and many believed that Christian Science and Spiritualism were the same. Then the thought crept in that Mrs. Eddy obtained her theories from Dr. Quimby. Mrs. Eddy at that time had not grown to the mental status at which she had arrived in 1892, so that the conditions in Lynn in 1879 were immensely different from those in Boston in 1892. Further, Mrs. Eddy now carefully selected those who were to be the members of the organization. In Lynn, she could not do this, because her adherents were so few, and she was obliged to take those who had shown interest in her work. In 1892 the conditions had so changed that she was able to choose her Directors and the First Members, and these selected and invited only those they believed to be absolutely faithful to her. She saw, however, that not until the new organization had existed for some time, and she was better able to analyze the probable trend of events, would it be best to have any public announcement made of its formation. Not until the ferment which had grown out of the trouble over the land had subsided, and was forgotten in the brightness of the future, and Mr. Nixon had either seen the light or resigned from his position as Manager and Publisher, would it be wise to stimulate a more rapid growth of the new Church. She saw that the funds for the edifice must be secured in every way possible, and nothing relative to the organization of the Church, or its form of government be allowed to encourage the thought that personal motives had impelled her to do away with the old church and organize the new. The following letter written to my father will illumine certain conditions of the times:

“OCT. 15, 1892.

My dear Student:

Erase from that communication for C. S. Jour. Any reference to the 7th. Church Rule and then have the article printed and pub. In Journal but be sure and not publish the Rule. Reason – the aim is to prejudice the contributors against met and to make them believe it is all personality in our motives for building a Church, and so stop their contributions. Send proof of your article to me.

With love,

N.B. Be sure and pub. the invitation to unite with our Church.”

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

M. B. G. E.

It was Mrs. Eddy’s intention to publish in the Journal an account of the organization of the Church, together with the Tenets and Rules, but, on October 16, she wrote as follows to my father:

My dear Student:

Do you understand my last request? It is for you not to put into the Journal anything of the matter that I sent to you for publication. Since I sent it I have heard, and discovered things that make this change necessary. How plain it is that my work was done when I said so, and this invitation and By-Law should be private not public. You can keep the list of names if you wish to for a guide to show you the ones that I can vouch for as candidates, but some of them you have in the Church. They are teachers generally and could invite their students to join the Boston Church when you are ready to request this, but let this movement rest for the present, there is enough else to be done.

With love,

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

M. B. G. EDDY.”

In my father’s diary there is the following entry under the date of Monday, October 17, 1892:

“Went to see Judge Hanna, the Editor, to get proofs of Invitation article for Journal, but they had not come. Returned home. Letter came from Concord stopping the publication of all that had been sent. Went again to Judge Hanna and had all ordered out.”

To make these two letters clear it is well to look at Rule 7, which Mrs. Eddy asked not to be published, and for the “Reason” she names. It reads as follows:

“7. To become a member of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, the applicant must be a believer in the doctrines of Christian Science according to the Platform and teaching contained in a book Science and Health, by Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy. The Bible, and Science and Health with other works by the same author, must be his only text-books for self-instruction in Christian Science, and for teaching and practicing metaphysical healing.”

To discern the reasons for the caution which Mrs. Eddy shows, especially in the last letter quoted, we must look into the business matters of the Publishing Society. Mrs. Eddy saw that a change must be made in the position of Manager and Publisher of her books, since Mr. Nixon’s service was not what she certainly had a right to expect from a business man, and her student, and particularly from the publisher of her works.




Chapter XXXVII

The Withdrawal of Mr. Nixon

ON November 1, 1892, Mr. Nixon tendered his resignation to Alfred Lang, Chairman of the Publication Society. Both Mr. Lang and Mr. Munroe, who had constituted with Mr. Nixon the Trustees of the Church land, held tenaciously to their views until Mrs. Eddy made the new DEED OF TRUST, but they were willing to conform to what they saw was something better. This, however, was not Mr. Nixon’s attitude. His spirit was neither impassive nor teachable. During the early part of this year (1892), when there was a deadlock between the Trustees and the Directors, Mr. Nixon, as the reader will recall, went on a trip for the purpose of preaching his own gospel and of getting the support of students and adherents to his side of the controversy. His wife, Mrs. Helen Andrews Nixon, a woman of beautiful character, was faithful in every fiber of her thought to Mrs. Eddy, at that time and through many future trials, but his nature was such that he allowed his life to become embittered by his own interpretations, and his attitude at this time is a commentary upon and closely related to the trend of his thought toward Mrs. Eddy in later years, during the Woodbury suit, and that of the “Next Friends.”

In his letter of resignation he wrote:

Before severing my relations, I desire that all books be examined, on or before January first, ’93, by some competent person whom your Committee may select; and, if found correct, that you give me a statement to such effect, together with a proper receipt for all moneys, credits and books delivered into your hands.

I cannot sever official relation with you without expressing thankfulness that much of my labor during the three years past has been blessed. Financially, and from a business standpoint, my relations to the Society bear some practical and visible evidences.

On assuming my duties as publisher, there was not a dollar in the treasury, but, on the contrary, the Society owed unpaid printing and paper bills to the amount of several hundred dollars, not to mention a contingent liability of many more hundreds represented by unearned Journal and Series subscriptions paid by subscribers in advance, which sum of money had been disbursed in the course of business prior to my coming. Today there is cash in the treasury to the amount of over six thousand dollars ($6,000), with all our bills paid to date. Also, I have double reason to humbly rejoice in that I have been able to speak ‘a word in due season’ to many a burdened heart, and to respond to every call for help that has come to me.

I came to a Society, and to my duties, only after a clear, defined sense of Divine direction; and I now lay down my responsibilities only after an equally clear sense that it is right for me to do so.

God is using and will continue to use us all in every walk of life, as we wait to serve Him. That we may each one ‘do all the good we can, in all ways we can, to as many as we can,’ is my desire.

Fraternally,

W. G. NIXON.”

Mr. Joseph Armstrong, C.S.D., of Piqua, was elected to fill the position vacated by Mr. Nixon, and on January 1, 1893, made an accounting of the books of the Society, and the writer inserts the following report because he believes it of considerable historical value as showing the condition of the times. In prefacing his report, Mr. Armstrong states in substance that he found the financial showing as indicated by the following figures:

ASSETS

On deposit at Old Colony Trust Co. $8,032.92

Due on Ledger accounts 159.96 $8,192.88

Cost of furniture and fixtures 879.07

Cost of Bibles in stock 214.12

Estimated cost of Tracts in stock 550.00

“ “ “ Quarterlies in stock 37.50

“ “ “ Dictionaries and other books 80.00 1,760.69

$9,953.67

There is in stock a quantity of old Journals and Series on which we can make no estimate.

LIABILITIES

Journal and subscriptions paid and unearned which expire

on and after Feb. 1893

$3,531.85

Quarterly

886.78

Advertising

823.95

Due customers on Ledger

263.84

Bills not paid

2,253.01

Balance

2,362.24

$9,953.67

There are some old bills outstanding against the Society which have not been presented and we do not know what they amount to. The above statement shows what would be the condition of said Society if it should cease doing business at the above date, and return to the subscribers and advertisers pro rata the amount of their subscriptions and advertisements which have not yet been earned.

J. Armstrong, Publisher.

Approved: E. B. Hulin,

E. P. Bates,

M. Anna Osgood, David Anthony.

In Mr. Nixon’s report he stated that “there is in the treasury (November 1) over six thousand dollars, and all our bills paid to date.” Just what led Mr. Nixon to make a statement of this kind is not known, but he gave the impression to many that the Publishing Society was doing a large business, and that through his business acumen and care there was a goodly surplus in the hands of the Society. This rumor reached such dimensions, especially in some parts of the West, that the following statement had to be made public:

“It has been the impression of many of the students that there was a large surplus in the hands of the Publishing Committee. You will observe by examining the above statement of the Publisher (the first made in our history) that we are simply in a healthy financial condition. The assets aside from the cash are liable to a large percentage of shrinkage, and the liabilities will be increased somewhat by bills which had not been presented at the date our Publisher (Mr. Armstrong) assumed the duties of this office. We also call attention to the fact as indicated above that the actual cash balance is very small, yet it is sufficient to carry on the business and meet all current obligations.

E. P. BATES,

E. B. HULIN,

M. ANNA OSGOOD, DAVID ANTHONY.

Of the Publishing Committee.”

The retirement of Mr. Nixon was not one of peace or of sincere desire with him, and its result crystallized into a feeling of enmity and bitterness toward Mrs. Eddy which seemed unquenchable, and which family ties could not soften. It is this event that Mrs. Eddy foresaw when she wrote the letter of caution, dated October 16, to my father, “not to put into the Journal anything of the matter that I sent you for publication. Since I sent it I have heard and discovered things that make this change necessary.”

She realized that the resignation of Mr. Nixon would create a flurry, because all such changes produced that effect at that time. There was also another consideration that came up, and which might be made a basis for argument or legal trouble by Mr. Nixon or others who might be so actuated, namely, that Mr. Nixon had been elected to his position by the National Association, and that the Journal at the time he resigned was the property of that body. Mr. Armstrong was elected by the Publishing Committee of Christian Science Publishing Society, and not by the National Association. While that body had dissolved, and had become a voluntary organization which had adjourned for three years, yet there might possibly arise questions from this source relative to the election of a publisher if those who were prone to quibble were inspired to do so, and at that time there were many of such persons who believed that they could conduct the business of the Cause better than Mrs. Eddy or those whom she was guiding by counsel and admonitions.

Miss Milmine has laid considerable stress upon the fact that nothing official appeared in the Journal relative to the new Church until a year later. She goes on to state:

“On October 3, 1893, the first annual meeting of the Mother Church was held in Chickering Hall. The Clerk (Wm. B. Johnson) announced in his report that ‘Since the meeting in which the Church was formed, there have been held seven special and four quarterly meetings. It is in the records of these meetings that the history of the Church is contained, but its doings could not be profitably set forth in a report of this kind.’”

Miss Milmine comments as follows:

“This was the first open official meeting. Up to this time few Christian Scientists knew that a meeting for the selection of church officers had been held in the fall of 1892, but supposed that there was still no formal organization of the body other than the voluntary association which Mrs. Eddy had advocated as a means to spiritual grace, and under which the Massachusetts law allowed the trustees to receive funds.

Boston Christian Scientists had supposed that Mrs. Eddy did not wish to organize her new church under the old charter because, as she stated, she felt that material organization was a hindrance to spiritual growth. But when her new church began its operations, they were confronted by a solid formal organization which had been effected without the knowledge or consent of the church body as a whole. In addition to the usual church officers, Mrs. Eddy had chosen twelve charter members, whose duty it was to ballot upon every candidate for admission to the church – and these twelve were the only persons permitted to vote upon such candidates. All the original members, some of whom had been identified with the church for twelve years, were considered as candidates for admission to the new church, and were balloted upon by the twelve just as were new applicants.”

If in writing of Mrs. Eddy and her work, Miss Milmine had sought the truth from those who knew, she would have written a better book. Had she read the Manual, she would have seen that up to a certain time the First Members constituted the body which voted upon accepting candidates into membership, and the “twelve” were only about one third of the whole number in October, 1892.

It is well worth while here to take up a statement she has written, and show by figures how far from the truth she has strayed. In speaking of the first annual meeting of the Church, October 3, 1892, she says:

“This was the first open official meeting. Up to this time few Christian Scientists knew that a meeting for the selection of church officers had been held in the fall of 1892.”

While this was the first meeting of the Church that was open to all its members, seven special and four quarterly meetings had been held, and these had been of the First Members, the seven special for the purpose of conducting certain business for the Church, and the quarterly for passing upon the applications of candidates. When Miss Milmine speaks of what she may have thought was true, that at the first annual meeting of the Church “few Christian Scientists knew that a meeting for the selection of church officers had been held in the fall of 1892,” she evidently did not inquire of the right source for the facts of the situation. What she means by a “few Christian Scientists” cannot be conjectured, for the membership of the Church at the Annual Meeting, October, 1893, was 1502. Is this number a few? Those who had applied for admission for the periods set forth in the Church Rules, December, April, July and September, had signed application blanks, which gave the full name of the Church, the Tenets, and all the Church Rules. To each member, after his admission, there was sent a little book of seven pages, entitled, “To the Members of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass.” This notified the recipient that he had been accepted as a member. It contained also the following information:

“On the twenty-third day of September, 1892, by advice of our beloved Teacher, Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy, twelve of her students met and formed a Christian Science Church, and named it ‘The First Church of Christ, Scientist.’ At this meeting twenty other students of Mrs. Eddy were elected members of this Church, which with the twelve who formed the Church, are to be known as ‘First Members.’ Church Tenets formulated by Mrs. Eddy, were adopted, also rules for the government of the Church.”

In the membership book also there were printed the Tenets and the Rules of the Church. It is safe to state therefore, that at the first annual meeting, 1502 persons knew of the Church by personal affiliation, and undoubtedly there were many others. In his sermon of April 2, 1893, Easter Sunday, Mr. Easton preached in Chickering Hall on “Joining the Mother Church,” and upon this occasion the names of 138 candidates were read, and this was six months previous to the annual meeting upon which Miss Milmine lays such great stress.

While Mrs. Eddy did not desire a widespread knowledge of the formation of the Mother Church until certain matters at headquarters had cleared up, the membership on October 5, 1892, less than one month after organization, was ninetyone. This membership is of considerable historical interest; because it shows the breadth of the foundation that Mrs. Eddy had the “twelve” lay for the new Church. Between September 23, 1892, and October 5, inclusive, the “twelve” with the twenty persons elected by the, making thirty-two in all, accepted the applications of fifty-nine others who were admitted at the first quarterly meeting of the Church, October 5. Those familiar with the facts will have observed that these were some of Mrs. Eddy’s most devoted workers, among whom may be enumerated: Mary M.

W. Adams, Joshua F. Bailey, Amanda J. Baird, Harriet I. Betts, James M. Brierly, Alice C. Churchill, Sarah J. Clark, Ellen E. Cross, Mary Alice Dayton, Annie Dodge, Mary E. Dunbar, Lida Fitzpatrick, Ella W. Hoag, Julia Field King, Annie M. Knott, Joseph G. Mann, Helen A. Nixon, Sarah T. Prime, Julia E. Prescott, Della Hall Rigby, Kate E. Rousseau, Clara M. S. Shannon, Isabella M. Stewart, Carrie Harvey Snider, Elizabeth Webster, and Ella E. Williams.

Geographically this selection of members is interesting. They come from points as far north as Canada, and as far west as Kansas City, and we may now note the reason for this selection. In a letter to my father, Dr. Foster-Eddy had requested:

“Will you please send Mother by return mail a list of the twelve who formed the Church on Friday, and also the list of those you notified to become First Members of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, which was the first list of charter members?”

The date of this letter is important, namely, September 25, 1892, – two days after the organization, and ten days before the next admission of members, which would be on October 5. Mrs. Eddy desired to have these names, thirty-two in all, and from the field of her students she sent the names of those who were to be invited in time for the next election (October 5). This shortness of time necessitated limiting the distance of the call. There is another important point, in regard to this admission, namely, that, at the meeting of the Christian Science Association held the same day, Mrs. Eddy sent an invitation to those who were present, and who were not members of the Church, to unite with it, and this they did by signing their names in the membership book, and this is the way these geographical boundaries came into being. The next admission of December 31 shows applications coming in from cities farther west and south, and many of these students were suggested by Mrs. Eddy, for she wrote my father October 14, of the same year:

“I send you a list of such of my students as I at present know no reason for not becoming members themselves, and inviting their students (such as they know are fit) to become members of the Mother Church.”

In a P.S. she added:

“I specify these students because they are teachers and can be trusted to send their students. Others are also fit for membership.”

In further refutation of what Miss Milmine has suggested, I would call attention to the fact that in the Journals of May and June of 1893 there were three distinctive mentions of the new organization: one relative to copyright of the rules of the Mother Church in regard to applications for membership, and signed by the Christian Science Board of Directors; a notice, in May, signed by Wm. B. Johnson, as Secretary of the Board of Directors, in regard to supplying the Tenets to other churches of Christ, Scientist; and the third, a sermon by Rev. D. A. Easton, entitled “Joining the Mother Church.” Therefore there could not have been, after a certain date when Mrs. Eddy felt that the time had come to make known the new Church organization, very great secrecy, as Miss Milmine would imply, with the suggestion that this was almost a crime against some adherents of the Cause. In view of all this, it is well to insert here a letter from Mrs. Eddy to my father, which not only shows her intentions but her thoughtfulness of detail:

“OCT. 19, 1892.

My Dear Student:

Tell Mr. Landy, and all who ask to join the Church who are proper candidates, that you will hand their names in and they will be voted on at the quarterly Church meeting and read from the pulpit the following Sunday. I wrote this out as a Church Rule. Do you not remember it?

Keep a little memorandum book in your pocket and when eligible candidates apply or you invite them, put their names on this book and then be sure to have them brought in and voted on by the First Members of the Church as aforenamed.

I hope my last orders for invitations to join Church sent by Miss B. [Miss Bartlett] will be understood and carried out correctly,

With love,

(Written with pencil, in Mrs. Eddy’s handwriting.)

M. B. G. E.”

On Saturday evening, December 31, 1892, the first quarterly meeting of the Church was held, and at that time the total membership was ninety-one. This meeting was attended by resident members and some of the First Members who had come from New York City, and was made interesting by the expressions of love and desire to labor for the new organization. The enthusiasm ran high relative to building up this body of Christian Scientists into a Church Universal, and as was the usual occurrence at such occasions, kind and loving words of caution were spoken by some of the veteran students in Boston, such as Miss Bartlett, Mrs. Munroe, Mrs. Colman, Mr. Knapp, Captain Eastaman and my father, in regard to the care that should be used in bringing into the Church only those they knew would stand firmly by Mrs. Eddy. Many important points relative to the scope of the efforts of the new organization were brought out by questions, and in these my father had to be the spokesman, as he had been given special instructions by Mrs. Eddy relative to the important matters that she felt might come up. One statement brought a sense of relief to most of the members present, and this pertained to the practice of Christian Science, in that those who desired to advertise as teachers or practitioners in the Journal should be members of the Mother Church. Heretofore the management of the Journal had found some difficulty in keeping out of its advertising columns those who were not conforming strictly to the teachings of Mrs. Eddy. By the system of invitation to membership, Mrs. Eddy saw that a sacred responsibility would be laid upon the member who invited a person to unite with the Church, and this would put limitations on the desire of some whose intentions were to enter the field as practitioners in order to add to their incomes.

This meeting was one of great helpfulness to all present, and three hundred and forty-nine (349) applicants were admitted to membership, among them being my mother and myself. For several days previous to this date, we were all very busy at our home, for there were lists of applicants to be made out, and many questions to answer either by letter, or in person to those who called. Communications had come from Mrs. Eddy relative to questions to be taken up, and there were many loving little details to be perfected. I very distinctly remember my father’s homecoming on that Saturday evening. That the meeting had been harmonious I knew by the expression in his eyes, and when he told my mother and myself that we had been accepted as members, we felt very happy.

The following Sunday, January 1, 1893, dawned fair and pleasantly warm for a New Year’s day. This was to be the first Communion at which the names of new members should be read, and Chickering Hall was crowded. Not since Mrs. Eddy had preached had there been so many attendants, and during the reading of the names of communicants by my father, there was a most intense quietness, since every one who had been invited to membership and was present, listened breathlessly for his name. After the service there were true rejoicings over the growth of the Church. Those who had been accepted sought out others whose names they had heard read, and who had been members of the old Church, and heart spoke to heart, and the whole atmosphere was charged with a great sense of peace, hope and loving kindness one to another. Long after the service was ended groups sat or stood about commenting upon the interest of the occasion which had lifted the thoughts of the long-time workers high above the material cares of life, and given them something to work for with love and untiring effort. A Church edifice looked nearer now than ever before. Three hundred and forty-nine applicants were admitted to membership, a number which prompted much expectant thought of the coming Church Universal.

It will be of interest to introduce here a letter from Mrs. Eddy to my father, which shows her in a mood when she felt that her efforts had worked out satisfactorily. To those who knew her, the following bears many strong and pleasant suggestions of the happiness abiding with her:

“PLEASANT VIEW, JAN. 8, ’93

My dear Student:

All is right in your research. I want to see you, and will whenever I can, send for the Board of Directors to come to Concord.

No special reason for seeing you only that it will be a pleasant New Year Greeting.

With much love,

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

M. B. G. E.”

Those whom Mrs. Eddy placed in responsible positions she always felt should be helped not only by her, but by those around her, and she realized that when Mr. Armstrong should take Mr. Nixon’s place on January 1, 1893, he would have to enter upon his first great battle in his work in Christian Science.

He came into his position with a whole-hearted desire to serve his Teacher, Mrs. Eddy, and the Cause. He was not a First Member of the Church because he was beyond the distance that Mrs. Eddy had decided was the one applicable for these members. He came to Boston with perhaps too strong a feeling of suspicion toward most of the resident students and those who had been employed in the Publishing House, and at the beginning of his work this placed him in a difficult position. In some respects this was but natural, since he had been cognizant of the schisms and troubles in the Church and the Publishing Society.

In these years of great and increasing activities in Boston, in the establishment of the Church, and in preparations for a rapid growth of the Cause, Mrs. Eddy saw the need of having Mr. Armstrong in close touch with the work in general. The guidance of the Cause through the Directors and the First Members brought forth many letters from her, and it was through her intimate touch with the four men who formed the Board of Directors that she felt that the greatest amount of good could be effected. To them she opened her heart and told them of her wishes and plans, and certain actions were taken by them, with regard to which, although inspired and guided by her, she often requested that her name be not mentioned, but that they take the responsibility themselves. Some of these most naturally related to the publication of her works, and the duties of Mr. Armstrong as her Manager. And in those days when activities were so divided between First Members and Directors, it was sometimes a troublesome question with Mr. Armstrong whether or not the Directors were right in what they suggested to him; hence it was most natural for him to take the question directly to Mrs. Eddy. The necessity of having to do this over and over again involved a serious loss of time, and so she felt that he could be better guided in his efforts and thoughts if he were a member of the Board of Directors. She therefore decided to ask Captain Eastaman if he would resign from the Board. This delicate mission was given to my father to carry out and Mrs. Eddy wrote him as follows:

“MARCH 21, 1893.

My dear Student:

Read the enclosed then seal it and give it yourself to Capt. Eastaman. I do not like to send it but for my desire to do right, I can send.

As soon as he resigns then elect Joseph Armstrong, my student, who is publisher, – to fill his place. Let me hear how Capt. E. takes this.

Affectionately yours,

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

MARY B. G. EDDY.”

My father wrote Mrs. Eddy of his interview with Captain Eastaman, who was always ready to act and labor for Mrs. Eddy, and her communication in response is as follows:

“PLEASANT VIEW, MARCH 25, 1893.

My dear Student:

Well done good and faithful. My hope is fulfilled and Capt. Eastaman is a greathearted, honest man. I thank God for this.

With love,

M. B. G. EDDY.

The church must be built in 1894 Do volente.

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

The reasons why Christian Scientists should become members of the new Church were made plainly evident in a sermon in April, 1893, by Rev. D. A. Easton, who had taken the position of Pastor when Mr. Norcross resigned. At the Easter Sunday service of the Church, on April 2, which was also Communion Sunday, Mr. Easton spoke at length upon this matter, and a few passages are worthy to be placed in this history of events:

“Every Communion Sunday at the Mother Church, a large portion of the time devoted to the service is occupied in reading a long list of names of applicants. These applicants are from all parts of the United States and Canada, and represent many nationalities. The names are strange and personally they are unknown to most of the members of the Church.

Many of the applicants have never visited the Church, though most of them are active members of some branch Church of Christ, Scientist. This being the case, is there not danger of both the applicants and members of the Mother Church coming to regard the admission of these absent, non-attending applicants as a mere form?”

This question was one which was very much needed at the time, and if I am not mistaken this sermon was looked over by Mrs. Eddy before it was delivered, and certain suggestions made as to taking up the needs of the hour.

The reader will remember that Mrs. Eddy stated in an answer to a question in the March Primary Class of April, 1889:

“I want to say, too, 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.”

Relative to this matter Mr. Bailey wrote, when Editor:

“It seems timely to direct the attention of her students – whether of classes or through reading her works…to our Teacher’s remarks about uniting in church membership with the Boston Church, the Mother Church of the great Universal Church that is now taking visible form. Uniting with the Boston Church gives to all its members a more direct union with the individuality of our Leader.”

Here is presented to the reader one of the remarkable characteristics in Mrs. Eddy’s mental composition. The time was at hand (1889) when she saw the necessity of building up a Mother Church which was to be the Church Universal, and this came when the reconstruction process was well under way after the schism of 1888, and when the Boston field had been purified and a firmer foundation laid, and yet in less than nine months she requested the Church in Boston to dissolve. It would seem singular to one who reads the bare outlines of Mrs. Eddy’s course, that after she had sent out an invitation, which soon became world-wide, to unite with her Church, she should suddenly dissolve it, and that no continued effort be made to have students everywhere become members of the Church she so dearly loved. Yet this is often what she did, viz., go directly opposite to what mortal mind believed to be the best and only course. She would take apart work which it had required years to build, and rebuild it di nouveau, and each rebuilding would be the stronger.

The dissolution of the old Church, however, brought a divergence of thought to persons living at a distance from Boston relative to the wisdom of becoming a member of any Church Universal, the period of nearly three years having elapsed between the dissolution of the old and the creation of the new organization of September, 1892; since the enthusiasm and desire which had been kindled in the March Primary Class had become almost negligible. During the period of dissolution there had been no effort to urge membership with the Church, and outside this there were other reasons which caused the desire to wane. Further, large efforts had been put forth to organize local churches of Christ, and Scientists were putting money and labor into that work. A comparison of figures will show the difference in the activities of the field in November, 1889, at about the time of the dissolution of the Church, and of September, 1892:

Churches

Societies

Dispensaries

1889

18

59

16

1892

55

115

57

There had grown up during this period the feeling that each Church of Christ, Scientist, was sufficient unto itself, and there was practically no interest in a Church to be called the Mother Church.

In these years the labors of Christian Scientist had grown more diverse and required a larger expenditure of time and thought, and there was the serious question brought up when persons living far distant from the Mother Church were asked to unite with it. The inquired of would say:

“What good can such a membership do me, will it not only scatter my thought and effort, but my money? As our church in my home city needs my individual labor and that of my family, and more funds than have yet been raised for it, why should not every effort be put into building up an organization here, and erecting an edifice? To perfect what we have started among us and demonstrate Christian Science from that effort seems better than to have two difficult problems to handle at the same time.”

Such questions as these and many more came to the surface and were talked over freely, and it was for the purpose of setting aright Mrs. Eddy’s desire that Mr. Easton prepared and preached the sermon referred to.

In answering the question that he propounded, he said:

“…Is there not danger of both the applicants and members of the Mother Church coming to regard the admission of these absent, non-attending applicants, as a mere form? We know that it is not a mere form; that rich spiritual blessings will accrue to both applicants and the Church, if the spiritual significance of joining the Mother Church is understood.

“Material sense always seeks to belittle that which does not lie on the surface, does not appeal to the five personal senses. If these applicants were all present personally on Communion Sunday, and stood ranged around the platform as their names were read, and we knew the history of their lives and what brought them into Science, it would to the senses be an impressive ceremony. But are we dependent on the senses to be impressed with the importance of the act?

“That there is a growing appreciation of what membership in the Mother Church means, is evidenced by the increasing number of applicants, the earnest spirit in which many of them are made, and also by the interest in these applications taken by the members of the Mother Church.

“To increase this appreciation and interest is the object of these remarks. To this end I ask you to consider briefly the question, ‘What does membership in the Mother Church signify?’ First, What does it signify to the applicants? It signifies to them obedience. Our dear Leader and Teacher has invited the Scientists everywhere to unite with the Mother Church. Standing on the Horeb heights of her clear spiritual vision, she has surveyed the field of Christian Science work, and has seen that the time has come when the growth of each individual Scientist, and the progress of the work at large, will be promoted by joining the Mother Church. Accepting this invitation promptly and cheerfully is, therefore, a proof that we are learning the lesson of obedience….

“Membership in the Mother Church tends to divest church relations of personality. The very fact that we are uniting with a church that we have rarely if ever visited, few of whose members we know personally, makes Principle prominent and personality passive. It is a step towards membership in the Church Universal, where there is no personality.

“It enlarges our idea of the scope and purpose of Christian Science church work, by helping us to realize that it is not merely for our circle of personal friends, or our community but for the world. The field of Science work is worldwide. It is adapted to all sorts and conditions of men.

“It increases our interest in the growth and welfare of the Mother Church. We are interested in that in which we have a distinct part and lot….Once a member of the Mother Church you will find a new interest in its history, methods, difficulties, and victories. The fact that the Mother Church has been able, in spite of error in all its forms, to maintain its position, and hold high the banner of Science in the city of its birth, has made it possible to organize and maintain the numerous branch churches, that are now so rapidly spreading in this Centennial year over the length and breadth of our land, and even overleaping the limits of our land. Is it not worth while to have part and lot in a church with such a history and such a future?

“Let us consider now the other side of the question. What is the significance to the Mother Church of these applications for membership from such a widespread area? When we hear the long list of unfamiliar names read, what should they signify to us? If we will stop for a moment and think of the successive steps that led us to membership in the Mother Church, we shall at once have a feeling of tender interest in and comradeship for these absent brothers and sisters, who seek church relations with us. We may not know their names or faces, but in the light of our own experience, we know much of what they must have come up through and out of, to lead them to seek church fellowship with us. We can see them taking the first feeble step towards Truth, when they came perhaps not to get Truth, but to get something out of Truth: Then under the teaching of Science and Health, the study of Christian Science Bible lessons, the systematic study of Science in class, and membership in the local Science church, their conception of Truth broadens and widens.”

This sermon was needed at this juncture, for conception of what Mrs. Eddy desired as a Mother Church had not been set forth in the Journal, neither had it been given out broadcast by the Church through circular letters. Those who had united were among adherents who had been closest to the Church during past years and the most trusted pupils of Mrs. Eddy’s students. The number admitted April 2, 1893, was far below that of the previous December, being 138 against the preceding admission of 349 and it was evident that the field was so busy in organizing Churches, Societies and Dispensaries, and in battling against court prosecutions and legislative activities to prohibit Christian Science practice, that it looked upon the whole Mother Church proposition with some indifference. It was made the more uncertain, moreover, by the change in the Publishers and in the Directors, also in the resignation of Mr. Norcross and something definite was needed to awaken the thought of adherents relative to the reasons why loyal Scientists should unite with the Mother Church.

Judge Hanna touched upon this matter in a most characteristic way in the Journal of February, 1894. He said:

“We are sometimes asked, What benefit is to be derived from joining the Mother Church? How does it help absent members who cannot personally attend its services? Why is not membership of our local society or church sufficient?...

“If Mrs. Eddy did not see the need and wisdom of churches and church membership, she would not favor the organization and building of churches. We have but to read Retrospection and Introspection, and her articles in the Journal relative to the Mother Church, to know clearly what her views are. We all know how deeply concerned she is in its welfare. It is in every sense, but particularly in the spiritual sense, the Mother Church. It is the Vine. Can one be in full church membership, in full spiritual union with the branch, until he has first become allied to the Vine?...The benefits of this church membership radiate from the Centre, and surely in both the typical and spiritual sense, the Mother Church is the Central Church. Strictly speaking, there cannot be full membership of the branch without being allied with the Vine.

“One of the most unaccountable and most subtle errors extant, is the opposition, of which we hear so much, to church organization. Some of those who are active in the work, and profess to be, and no doubt honestly believe themselves to be loyal students and followers of our Leader,…are strongly opposed to church organization. How can this position be reconciled with the idea of loyalty and obedience to our Leader, when her wishes and views are made so plain, and have been so often repeated?

“If disobedience in a matter of so much importance as this, is warranted, there is no limit to it, and chaos and general disobedience would soon be the rule. If Science and Health is…the help which all who believe in it at all, declare it to be, then what rule of common reason and justice is there which says we may heed or not heed at our pleasure, the requests and wishes of its author? If she is not inspired, Science and Health is no more than any other book, and those who profess to believe it to be an inspired book with an uninspired author, place themselves in a position at once inconsistent and illogical.

“Those who pretend to believe that she was inspired when she wrote the textbook, but has since lost her inspiration, are even more inconsistent than others.

…With tireless care she has given out instruction, aid, and helpful advice, and is yet constantly doing so. Were it not needed, would she do it? If all, therefore, who should, will unite with the Mother Church in the right spirit, and thereby show their sense of obedience, and lay aside their self-opinionated views touching this important question, we feel sure that they will themselves receive great benefit and be enabled more to benefit those to whom they minister.”

In all these matters, into which the writer has gone in such detail, he has done so that the reader may know why Mrs. Eddy did many things which to persons outside of Science, as well as to many in the ranks, have seemed uncertain in their trend, and that she set things up only to tear them down.




Chapter XXXVIII

The National Association

NOW that we have seen the working of certain necessary matters relative to the beginnings of the Mother Church, we will resume the study of the National Christian Scientist Association, for the thoughts which finally flowered into the conception of the Mother Church were part of the plant that grew as the National Association. Since the organization of churches of Christ (Scientist) was encouraged by that body, and a committee was appointed to take care of it, it is well to note the logical development of these matters, as well as others which had been under the government of the National body, but which became subject to the By-laws of the Mother Church. First as to the matters of ferment which caused disturbance in the field, we may note how Mrs. Eddy disposed of them.

In 1890 the question once more arose relative to eligibility to the Christian Science Association. When Mrs. Eddy disorganized the Association in 1889, she gave the following reason for closing the College, which was to be read at the meeting of September 23, 1889:

The new students whom others have taught may not receive the reception that her students have received from this associated body. They may not consider their students of the same grade, and this may incite improper feelings 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 different grades of students; hence the precedent does not favor the hope of future harmony.”

After a rest of over three years, this matter again rose to the surface, and it came from two directions, – first from Normal teachers, who since October, 1890, had been teaching their students the Normal Course. This privilege had been given them by Mrs. Eddy, who wrote as follows in the Journal of October, 1890:

“My Beloved Students:–

It is your privilege to teach your students the Normal course; but great wisdom, good judgment and clear discernment should be used in doing so. Too much, instead of too little, Christian Science teaching is being done at this period for the Spirit is lacking. The world must gradually grow up to this great fact of Being; and the study of Science and Health with personal experience and individual growth, is better adapted to this end.

Lovingly yours,

MARY B. G. EDDY.”

The second direction from which this desire came was from the students of General Erastus N. Bates and those of Dr. Foster-Eddy, who had been taught by them at the College. They felt that as they had received the degree C.S.B. from the College they were entitled to become members of the College Association, and a number of them went so far as to send their dues to Mrs. Munroe, who was the Treasurer. Over this matter some of the members of the Association became considerably stirred, and cited section 3 of the Constitution: “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.” Those who had been called to the College and had taken courses under General Bates and Dr. Foster-Eddy were given the degree of C.S.B., and these believed on that account they should be admitted, and based their reason particularly upon receiving a degree. This question put Dr. FosterEddy into the vortex of the matter, and he was assailed on one side by these students and on the other side by students whom he taught in the College building, but not under the auspices of the College, nor called by it. These felt that they were entitled to a degree, and to admission to the Association. Their efforts became so pressing that Mrs. Eddy had to issue the following notice which was printed as a flyer to the Journal of March, 1893:

“Since the last meeting of the Alumni of the C. S. A. of my College, I am pressed with inquiries as to the eligibility of my student’s pupils to become members of the above named society. The C. S. A. of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College is my Association. I organized it, framed its Constitution and Bylaws and was President of this Association. The present meetings of this Society are informal, simply the gathering together of the Alumni of the College. A person cannot be made constitutionally a member of the C. S. A. of my College unless I have endorsed his application for membership, nor can he legally receive the degrees of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College unless conferred by its President on her students.

“Mrs. Mary W. Munroe, 281 Columbus Ave., Boston, the treasurer pro tem of the C. S. A. will return all dues, except from honorary members, sent in for membership subsequent to the disorganization of the C. S. A. Dr. Foster-Eddy can form an organization of his students and thus suitably care for his flock.

MARY B. G. EDDY.”

That there matters had made quite a struggle for Dr. Foster-Eddy was known to a few close in touch with Mrs. Eddy. By the retirement of Mrs. Eddy, the Doctor had gradually frown into a place where he was looked up to as the one to whom the students and adherents could go and obtain the best advice and instruction which could be had. Without considering the consequences and seeing from Mrs. Eddy’s standpoint, they urged him in every possible way to promulgate certain efforts that would give them greater freedom, so that sometimes the preponderance of numbers and the pressure of thought led the Doctor to promise what he could not fulfill. It was over this much mooted question of membership that he felt aggrieved when Mrs. Eddy would not allow any but her students to become members of the C. S. A. He firmly believed that those who had been granted the degree of C.S.B. under his teaching and that of General Bates should be admitted, and became very deeply stirred at Mrs. Eddy’s refusal. As Secretary of the Association these matters naturally came to my father’s attention, and he referred them to Mrs. Eddy. On March 21, 1893, Mrs. Eddy wrote, among other matters, the following:

“My son the Dr. has awakened to his own dear noble self, and I am so thankful, I cannot express myself. His mistake and my stern rebuke were God’s dear means for saving him.”

Another matter which caused restlessness was the announcement of resumption of teaching by Dr. Foster-Eddy, and then a later announcement of the fact that these classes would not be formed. In June, 1890, Mrs. Eddy had seen the necessity of having imparted to students who desired to study with her all that she had learned by experience since she had taught at the College, but, as the labors of guiding the work over the whole country had grown so extensively, she had decided to prepare Dr. Foster-Eddy for this special teaching, and in June of 1890, the following notice was sent out. It was very carefully worded so that no false impression, as to the fact that it was not to be under the auspices of the College, could be gained:

“The instruction of classes, independent of a College organization, will be resumed. A normal class may be arranged to follow immediately after the Annual National Christian Science Association. All applicants should furnish certificates of good standing from former teachers.

“Those desiring to take either the Primary, Normal or Obstetric course will immediately communicate with Dr. E. J. Foster-Eddy, 385 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Mass., who will teach these classes. Tuition, $200 for each class.”

In this carefully worded notice it is made clear that the instruction is to be “independent of a College organization,” and that no applicant will apply in the belief that he will be given a degree, such as was conferred when students were called under the auspices of the College.



EBENEZER J. FOSTER EDDY, C.S.D.

The adopted son of Mrs. Eddy

One of the original twelve members



The full extent of this teaching, as had been outlined by Mrs. Eddy, was shortened by the conflict and serious disturbance that took place over the Building Fund, but the time had come when she felt that the ranks of loyal teachers should be strengthened and that those who were worthy should be given the benefit of her ripened labors. Another reason which merits consideration is the fact that at this period, as never before in the history of Christian Science, did she have the opportunity to have so large a number from which to choose those best fitted to be taught, and in a communication dated June 6, 1892, she wrote as follows:

“My son, Dr. E. J. Foster-Eddy, will resume the teaching of Christian Science. He will begin by instructing the Primary class. Those desiring to study with him will please send their applications to him. He is now prepared, so far as it is possible at this time for a student to be, to teach what I teach, and will be governed by the previous rules of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College.

“Also I hereby notify all those dear ones who desire to enter a Normal class taught by me, that my next Normal class will fulfill all previous agreements, and afterwards, no student can enter the class with me for a teacher, who has not first been prepared in the Primary, either by myself or by my son, Dr. Eddy, for entering the Normal class. Severe experience has shown me the importance of adopting this rule for the benefit of my students.

CONCORD, N.H., June 6, 1892.”

As carefully as this notice was worded, it was misunderstood by some of the Normal Students, and letters to that effect came to Pleasant View, so that Mrs. Eddy was obliged to issue a “Card” in the Journal of August of the same year (1892)::

“I was not sensible of giving through the July Journal the impression, relative to my teaching, that some students have evidently received; one that causes them to feel that they do not wish to teach, if this prevents their students from entering Mrs. Eddy’s classes. Now dear ones, all, in my notice I meant simply this: If I were to teach, I should do as I said, – but did not mean that I intended to resume class teaching. One more Normal class will close my engagements, and then is time to talk about ‘what next.’ This class will be opened when I think the students are ready for it, and these shall be duly informed of the date of commencement. Send no more applications to be taught by me. No person must expect to see me without a previous appointment, through my secretary, C. A. Frye.

MARY B. G. EDDY.”

JULY 10, 1892.

The next few months, as the reader has learned, were most momentous in the history of the Cause. The trouble over the land for the Church edifice was coming to the breaking point, and Mrs. Eddy knew not who and how many were touched with the thought that had been given out by the Trustees and by Mr. Nixon, but she saw the imperative need of a settlement of this whole matter, also the necessity of a new Church organization. She realized, therefore, that these conditions were of more importance to the Cause than was teaching, for the latter could be deferred, but it was absolutely imperative for the good of the Cause, for the future of her teachings, the organization of the new Church body and the erection of the proposed edifice, that the errors now fomenting should be destroyed, and all her powers and energies devoted to the upbuilding of the future. In her labor in Boston she did not have all the time she needed for herself, for she was harassed by needless calls upon her for advice. Such unnecessary annoyances had been extant ever since she began her work and had grown rapidly as her adherents increased. Her change of residence from Boston to Concord had been largely caused by this, and at the meeting of the National Association in Cleveland in 1889, Mr. Norcross kindly and gently brought this matter before the gathering. When read in the light of existing conditions, his remarks are of interest and worthy of a place here, because they are added proof of what Mrs. Eddy had to face and overcome.

At that time (1889) Mr. Norcross was Pastor of the Church in Oconto. Mrs. Eddy had just resigned from the Presidency of the Christian Scientist Association and the Pastorate of the Church and had taken up residence in Concord, and it is well to have these facts in mind while reading his remarks, which were in part as follows:

“‘As adherents of Truth, we take the Scriptures for our guide to Life.’ On this plank every Christian Scientist stands squarely. Inseparably connected with this and growing out of it is second, the recognition of the sacredness of the teachings of Science and Health, and the relation of sympathy and loyalty that we, one and all, sustain to our Teacher and Leader. This means that we will listen in the future even more willingly than we have in the past to the voice that comes to us through the personality of her whom God has sent to be our Leader through the ‘Red Sea’ of animal magnetism….On this point, also, all Christian Scientists are a unit.

“But, brethren and sisters, loyalty to our Teacher does not mean that we shall harass and annoy her with all the petty details that come up in the daily management of these churches. She must not be made to ‘serve tables,’ as she is made to serve by our running to her with all our complaints and troubles. Hers is a higher mission….On all occasions of importance, at critical moments, we shall seek her advice. It will be gladly given, and we shall loyally follow it; but we must learn to go alone. The child is old enough and big enough to walk.”

For a short time this had a salutary effect, but as the Cause grew rapidly and new questions came up to be taken care of, the number of letters sent to Mrs. Eddy largely increased, and the most frequent question was, when would she teach. No doubt in their desire to study with Mrs. Eddy, some were moved by thought of the possibility of earning more money thereby, also of being able to hold patients and keep them from going to others to be taught. To hold Truth on a higher level, she decided to free herself from the clinging and persistent thoughts of those who craved to be taught by her or by Dr. Foster-Eddy, and issued, in October, the “Notice” which has been quoted before, but which, in part, is pertinent here:

“I have seen within the last four months, as never before, the great need that students have of being Christian Scientists in word and deed, in their affections, aims and ambitions. For this cause, I indefinitely postpone my class. In the interest of the student and of our Cause, I do this. Please never inquire of me, ‘When will you open your class?’ but wait patiently, till, having on a wedding garment, I invite you to the feast.”

The history of Christian Science teaching abounds with peculiarities, since it was sensitive in the extreme to various influences which were prominent at different periods. When the reader realizes that Mrs. Eddy taught over four thousand students during seven years, he can have some idea of the extent of her labor, not only in teaching but in trying to guide them after they entered upon their work. They came from every walk of life, some saw and absorbed the truth quickly, but many of a high tension make-up, dreamy or impractical, were influenced by false conceptions, not only of their own, but by those who were absorbed in Mind Cure, etc., which they believed better than Mrs. Eddy’s Christian Science, because, as they explained, it was on a broader foundation and did not have in it the insistence upon guarding against animal magnetism. In a great many localities Mrs. Eddy’s students saw these teachers instruct class after class, and the pupils go out and become teachers and do the same. Their work became popular, while Mrs. Eddy’s teachings did not. Many articles have been written about the money which Christian Scientists made during the period from 1887 to 1900 by practice and teaching, and it is unfortunate that the commentators or critics have not distinguished between the earnings of those who were loyal followers of Mrs. Eddy and the representatives of very different teaching, though they were labeled by the press and the public, as Christian Scientists. The practitioners and teachers who had followed Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Hopkins did what might be termed “a land office business.” Their responsibilities began nowhere and ended in the same place. There was nothing to deter a pupil of a teacher from teaching immediately after being taught, and there were no requirements such as Mrs. Eddy demanded, viz.:

“Teachers shall supply themselves and their pupils with no literature, on Christian Science Mind-healing, except such as is used in my College, and shall require their students to abide by this condition.

“These pupils must study the proper textbooks two years before they can take my Normal Course….

“Teachers shall give up the guidance of their pupils after those pupils have taken the Normal Course in the Massachusetts Metaphysical College.” (April, 1888.)

The reader will thus note the easier road which those who were not loyal followers of Mrs. Eddy travelled in seeking to make money. He will realize that Christian Science teachers were called to make no small sacrifice when they sent patients and students to the College. Many patients and pupils were helpful financially, and were most desirable as members of a teacher’s association, but they freely offered them to Mrs. Eddy, knowing that after they had studied with her they must give up all hold upon them. These demands of loyalty and duty were unknown among those who were taught by teachers of other schools, for the utmost freedom was theirs both in what they practiced and what they taught. They took as many patients as came to them and taught in the same way, and their incomes were large. The organization of churches was not encouraged, and there was no considerable call for contributions for building funds such as genuine Christian Scientists were subject to, and it was the discovery of how easily money poured in from this method of teaching which brought out jokes, sarcasms and critical remarks from the pulpit, the press and the public, which had for their chief point of attack, “absent treatment,” and all being centered upon the generalized title of Christian Science. This explains why, after the Mother Church was formed, Mrs. Eddy made a By-law limiting the number of classes a teacher could instruct, and the number in each class, so that it could not be called a money-making proposition.

The ready inflow of money into the hands of those who were teaching so-called Christian Science had its effect upon students and loyal adherents in certain localities, and caused them to feel that while they were laboring in truth, and giving largely to the support of associations and churches, they were receiving far less remuneration for their work than those who were not following Mrs. Eddy. These conditions naturally kept the “field” in a very disturbed state, especially the teachers, and when Mrs. Eddy said or wrote anything touching upon the subject of teaching, a ferment immediately ensured, and misinterpretations became rife.

The explanations which Mrs. Eddy was obliged to make in her “Card” of July 10, 1892, of her statement of June 6, that no student could enter her Normal classes, who has not been prepared in the Primary, either by herself or Dr. Eddy, created a stir which was parallel to the murmurings that arose when, in 1888, she announced in substance that those who would be accepted for her Normal class must have passed through the Primary class with her, an account of which is given in full in a foregoing chapter. It will therefore be seen how unsatisfactory were the methods of conducting the affairs of such a movement as Christian Science was growing to be. Mrs. Eddy was aware of the situation, but owing to the peculiar conditions which the offshoots of her teaching had brought about, she realized that it could be bettered only by educating thought to devote itself to a more unselfish standard.

Another matter which caused restlessness was the question of whether or not the National Association would meet in 1893, as it had adjourned for three years. Among the teachers there was a division of thought because some of the rules promulgated by that body had affected the matter of teaching, especially in regard to the re-teaching of students of another teacher. The resolution for this rule was presented by Mrs. Woodbury and adopted at the last session of the Convention in 1889, and read as follows:

Resolved, That it shall not be considered in accord with Christian Science for one normal teacher to re-teach the student of another normal teacher, or allow such student to enter her association as a member (provided both these teachers are in good standing with the Christian Science Association of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, and both have associations), except upon consent of the former teacher.”

This resolution received considerable criticism before it was presented to the Association. It was found that there would be more effect given to it, by instituting a privilege of appeal upon the part of a pupil who had read and sincere reasons why he should be re-taught, and the following amendment was adopted:

“In case of refusal of the first teacher to give consent, the pupil may apply to the executive committee of the National Association.”

The difficulties that came up relative to the question of re-teaching were considerable. The custom of so doing had begun when pupils who had studied with a student of Mrs. Eddy found that the teacher had become disloyal to the Leader, and immediately sought out another teacher. Then there were cases where Mrs. Eddy’s students had gone from place to place, especially in the West, and taught wherever they could obtain enough to constitute a class. The wandering teacher, while doing much good in arousing interest in Christian Science, did not accomplish all that he would have done if he had given more attention to a smaller clientele, and more fully completed his work.

Further, cases came up wherein students for various reasons shifted from one teacher to another, and after thus studying with several, the question immediately arose as to whose association he should belong. This caused confusion and trouble, and Mr. Bailey, when editing the Journal, was led to write upon the subject as follows:

“The question whether it is an advantage or a disadvantage for a student of Christian Science to be taught by two, three, or more teachers when each is a true, faithful Christian Science Normal teacher, requires little explanation. It is evident that the student taught by such a teacher would not wish to leave that teacher for another, were it not for the error of his own thought, which should be overcome. He can advance in understanding only by doing his own work in Christian Science, instead of going from one teacher to another in the vain hope that they can in some way or measure do his work for him. This method of action useless in every sense, results for the cause in disorganization, and for the student in errors of thought that bring the sure fruits of discord.”

A perusal of the following letters that were sent to my father, and by him given to the Journal, will throw a new light upon the confusion of ideas existing during that period:

“At a meeting of the National Association at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1990, the motion was made and carried that no graduate of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College should receive the students of another graduate, without consent of the first teacher. In case this consent could not be obtained, the only appeal must be to the National Association in Convention. As this law has never been rescinded, it is today in force; and, as it is held by many earnest Scientists to be unjust and arbitrary in extreme, I would like to open the subject for friendly discussion through the pages of the Journal. If there is any form of error which adherence to this regulation is effectually meeting, it would be helpful to workers to know what it is; that they may feel in some measure reconciled to the harm which, in many cases, has seemed to result from its enforcement.

“In some instances, young students without experience have been called to reside hundreds of miles from their teacher, but within some field of some other loyal Scientist. Feeling the need of further instruction, they have appealed to their teacher who would neither give it herself, owing to the distance between them, nor give consent that it should be given by the Scientist at hand. As a result of this neglect, the students suffer. In cases where students unfitted to receive the Word spoken, enter a class, the work during the first series of lessons is simply a preparation of the ground. Later, when ready for the seed to be planted, they desire to enter another class. I have known such to drift away from Science altogether; because, just at this critical time, circumstances have made it impossible to study with the former teacher, and consent could not be obtained to enter the class of another loyal student. Some Scientists though true and loyal, have not yet demonstrated the gift of impartation; others teach from perception, and not understanding. Many times a Scientist teaching to the best of her light, fails to reach some of her students, and they are dissatisfied with their instruction. After a time they meet with another Scientist from whom they feel that they could gain more practical enlightenment, but who feels bound not to teach them, because they are unable to obtain their teacher’s approval. How disastrously discouraging this in some cases is to students, cannot be appreciated until experienced.

“These are but a few of the instances which could be given; for the combinations of circumstances under which the enforcement of this rule brings dissatisfaction are many. A wise Scientist seldom withholds consent, under these and other reasonable circumstances, and for such the law need not stand. In the hands of the unwise it seems to be a covering of the indulgence of personal motives, and here it should stand. Obviously it is in the latter case, where the teacher is governed by personal motives and most liable to withhold consent, that the students most frequently feel the need of other instruction.

“It is said that this rule was intended to meet the error of desultory teaching; and also error, on the part of students, of wandering from Scientist to Scientist, in search of entertainment or an ‘easier way.’ It would seem to me, that the first error is already met by all loyal Scientists who recognize the harm done by that nuisance in Science, the nomadic teacher; and that the second, is not covered by the rule at all. A dishonest student will seek his own way and wander about, under any circumstances, and must cease to be dishonest before he can learn the way of Christian Science from any teacher; while for an honest student, if for unwise reasons he desires to study with others, the advice of his teacher is sufficient to restrain him. At least, such advice is all that can justly be used as a restraint; since each has his own salvation to work out, and, after being admonished, he must be left unmolested to do this. It seems to me that if the Christ-Truth be honestly and practically taught, there will be no desire on the part of honest students to leave their teachers; and if it is not so taught, no legislation can prevent disastrous results.

“It may be added that the appeal to the National Association, granted in the amendment to this by-law, has not been proven practical; since that body has not convened for two years, and will not again do so for at least another year. D. D. S.”

Another questioner asked for guidance:

“I know of a number here and elsewhere who are laboring under the same embarrassing circumstances: the last two being Mrs. Eddy’s students – and she is my teacher. All were taught from Science and Health, and all are good healers and teachers. There is no question in my mind as to who is our teacher; but, while quite a number have come here from different places and therefore have necessarily had different teachers, there seems to be on part of one of the teachers here a disposition to exclude all who have not come directly under her teaching? Is this right? We do not so understand Christian Science. M.E.C.”

Now comes a query which shows a much more confused condition of affairs relative to the by-law of the National Association:

“Our understanding of the matter is this: Said law, together with all the laws of the N. C. S. A., were repealed at the last session; the fifth annual meeting held in New York City in May, 1890. On pages 42 and 43 of Report of this meeting we read as follows:

Be it resolved: 1st. The Constitution and By-laws are hereby repealed and set aside, and the N. C. S. Association is hereby dissolved.

‘2nd. We, the students in the United States and elsewhere, who use the Bible, and Science and Health, given through Rev. Mary B. G. Eddy, as our sole textbooks in ministrations, teaching, and promulgation of Christian Science, and employ, and accept no designation but that of Christian Scientists, hereby resolve ourselves into a voluntary Assembly of Christians.

‘7th. In the meantime every Christian Scientist, – wherever in the world found – who stands on the platform laid down in the second of these resolutions, is invited to constitute himself or herself a member of this Assembly, by the perception and admission that, all members of the body, many as they are, are but one body – thus also the Christ, – and to carry in their daily thought this fellowship in Spirit.’

Standing thus, we can but reflect that Life which is Truth and that Truth which is Love. The only object in penning these few lines is, that harmony may prevail throughout the body. N. J.”

For all this confusion there was only one remedy, and Mrs. Eddy solved it by creating the Mother Church.

The foregoing instances were but a few of the questions which were sent to Mrs. Eddy and to my father, and the indecision on the part of the field relative to the By-law as to whether or not it was in force after the dissolution of the National Association was one of grave concern. The reader will notice in the letter signed D. D. S., the spirit of revolt in the statement:

“A wise Scientist seldom withholds consent (from re-teaching) under these and other reasonable circumstances, and for such the law need not stand. In the hands of the unwise it seems to be a covering of the indulgence of personal motives, and here it should stand.”

Under these conditions who would be the judge as to who was the wise, and who was the unwise Scientist, when such a proposition annulled the entire effect of the By-law, and gave the feeling of liberty to some teachers to do as they pleased. To those who felt the By-law was right and were willing to abide by it, and to those who considered it was not, but desired to remain faithful to the vote of the Association, – the meeting of that body, which was to take place in 1893, was looked forward to as one that would bring about the solution of this great difficulty. The By-law had been tried out for three years, and it was felt that some changes would be made in it that would be a help to everyone. But the officers of the Association notified Mrs. Eddy that they thought it wise to postpone the meeting, and to break up something of the feeling that was being poured out upon them, she wrote as follows in the Journal of April, 1893:

Beloved Students:

I am glad…that the officers of the National Christian Science Association have thought it wise to further postpone this Convention. At your last meeting my proposition for a long adjournment was to give space for riper lessons, and heart and substance to your next convention. You have no impulse to dart upward on weary wing, to let ambition propel your purpose, or pride to make its throne a scaffold. I feel quite sure you will harmonize with the above decision of your officers.

The circumstances seem not ready for the occasion. Along the lines of our faithful ranks we still hear some sharpshooting, as if all were not yet done with war. A short halt will give opportunity to finish all work on hand. May you next meet thoroughly equipped for continual service.

MARY B. G. EDDY.”

Mrs. Eddy did not want the National Association to meet, because even as a voluntary association it was becoming too unwieldy. It was easier for her now to comment upon postponement of its meeting after an adjournment of three years than it would have been if it had been convening yearly up to the moment in question. From the time of the meeting in Chicago in 1888, the enthusiasm for the success of the National body was unbounded, and the preparations made for the meeting in Cleveland were of greater scope than of the year before. Mrs. Eddy had given the word, and that, with the desire of those who could not enter the Christian Scientist Association, gave a broad and vigorous impetus, and many saw in the National a great power which would form the governing body of the whole Christian Science work. Moreover, the gift of the Journal to the Association had started an enthusiasm that rang from coast to coast. This action touched Mr. Norcross very deeply, and by the capabilities he saw in the unified workings of the National body, he felt that new and definite good would come from it, and no better picture of the time could be given than that conveyed by certain passages of his address at the convention of 1889. He said:

“A very important question meets us at the threshold, and one on which depends the future progress of the truth, so far as outward conditions can affect it. Shall we invest any person or any body of men and women with absolute legislative and judicial functions or power in the management of our affairs? Do we want a Bishop or a Board of Bishops? Our Teacher, as we have seen, refuses to assume such dictatorial control, lest we exalt her personality. Shall we commit the worse blunder of following the blind leadership of those less competent than she to lead and guide us? Are we to set out by making a God of personality, as we practically would do by such a course, or shall we reduce our great Principle of impersonality to practice by steadfastly refusing submission to outside, human dictation?

“To put this a little differently: Are we to become simply a denomination, with all the evils of denominationalism as seen in a strongly centralized government, lodged in a body that will hamper and oppress us? Or are we to be a harmonious family of local churches, each one left free to do its own work by such rules and regulations as the exigencies of the case suggest, and led, as it will be, by the promptings of the Spirit?...

“Now, brethren, is it not a little significant that, as a matter of act, every one of our churches that has been planted and established thus far has been organized in accordance with this spirit of liberty, which so well expresses the New Testament idea. So was organized the original church in Boston; so also that in Chicago, and this in Cleveland, Oconto, and elsewhere. This harmonious action, under the spontaneous leading of the Spirit, without preconcerted plan, has led all our churches so far to follow in this way of spiritual liberty.

“But here comes a question which, while I cannot stay to discuss at length, must not be passed over: What if in some one of these local churches so rapidly springing into existence there shall arise a spirit not of truth, – a spirit of dissension and strife? What if there comes indifference to the truth, – a feeling that theosophy or any one of the various forms of mind-cure are equally good with the platform of Christian Science as laid down in Science and Health? Suppose a church becomes heedless to the burning question of the hour, – malicious animal magnetism – or what signifies the same thing, grows cold to the Leader and Teacher? What, in such a case, are we to do?

“We have no Pope or Bishop, no ecclesiastical junta or cabal, to dictate arbitrarily in such a case. We do not want such a power, for this would be to recognize personality, – the evil of all others we are to guard against. But something needs to be done. Can we not so amend our National Constitution that these local churches shall each one have representation in this Association, and thus have a voice in the deliberation of management of the affairs of this body? I believe the time has come for a readjustment of the Constitution of this National Association, – one which shall recognize the existence and function of these churches.

“It might be well to empower the executive committee, or else some general committee, with advisory and discretionary powers, so that in cases demanding immediate action, which cannot await the annual meeting of this Association, the executive committee shall be empowered to act, reporting back to the next annual meeting its action for sanction or revision.

“These few principles, it seems to me, are a sufficient nucleus of organization around which to plant and build new churches. I resume them, to leave a more distinct impression: first, loyalty to the Scriptures; second, loyalty to the teachings of Science and Health, and willingness to follow the spiritual guidance of Leader and Teacher; third, the autonomy and freedom of the local churches to follow the great Congregational principle in managing their local affairs; and fourth, such a revision and recasting of our National Constitution as that these local churches shall be recognized as a factor in Christian Science work and life, and amenable in return to such rules of discipline and procedure as the representatives of all the churches convened in the National Association may from time to time agree upon.”

These words of Mr. Norcross created a profound impression, not only by the suggestions contained therein, but by the very strong and exact way in which his ideas were stated. In view of the fact that we have had much light shed upon Mrs. Eddy’s thought relative to the encouragement of the National Association in 1889, and the causes that impelled her to this step, also the change in her views in regard to it when she saw danger ahead, this light should not stop us from placing ourselves in the atmosphere of that convention of 1889 in Cleveland and of partaking of some of its wonderful hope, earnestness, willingness to sacrifice, its desires for and vistas of the future, and withal its honest enthusiasm. If the reader can put himself for the moment in that atmosphere, he will be able to comprehend more clearly the loving and devoted efforts of the loyal workers, he will recognize the needs of the time, and he will grow as the faithful grew, and come to see how Mrs. Eddy was laboring for the safety of her adherents. He will comprehend that most of those gathered at the convention saw a new unfoldment of valuable effort in the work of the National Association by the suggestions offered by Mr. Norcross, for this body would be a “clearing house” for the troubles of the churches of the whole Christian Science field.

That the suggestion of Mr. Norcross may be made plain to the reader of the present and to the future, it is well to state that there was no mention in the Constitution and By-laws of the National Association relative to churches, for it dealt entirely with students and the associations of students. When the National body was organized in 1886 the number of churches was so small that they were not counted as important enough to be brought into a centralized body, while on the other hand the number of the associations of teachers represented in the National, at the end of its first year of existence, was twenty-five, and its membership was five hundred.

A perusal of section 2 of Article I of the Constitution of the National Association will give the reader the idea upon what Mr. Norcross based his suggestions:

“This National Christian Scientist Association has exclusive jurisdiction in granting charters. No Students Christian Scientist Association can be formed or continue to exist without its sanction. It possesses the sole right and power of granting charters; of receiving appeals and redressing grievances arising in Students Christian Scientist Associations; of originating and regulating the means of its own support; and of doing all other acts conducive to the interest of the Order.”

The reader will see at once that the National Association had a very vigorous power and control over Students Associations, and Mr. Norcross recognized the fact that as its membership was growing fast it was the only body that could deal with the troubles which came with church organization. At the time of this convention there were forty-one bodies advertised in the Journal, where Christian Science services were held, a very large gain over the previous year, and he looked into the future when he said:

“There are thousands, yes, tens of thousands, in the old churches who would have come out of those churches and to us, only we have had no church home to welcome to, and give them shelter. When in the providence of God we gather again for the yearly Meeting of our Association, who can tell whereunto this movement will have grown? Is it idle boasting to predict that we will have fully a hundred churches of this new faith?”

And it was not idle “boasting,” for the Journal of July, one year later, records one hundred and thirty-eight places in which services were held. As he was a worker in the “field,” he was cognizant of many of the difficulties which continually beset the efforts to effect organization, and the proper conduct of their government. After organization there were many matters with which there was difficulty in dealing especially at that time, when there was much false teaching. In small places where no student of Mrs. Eddy’s was located, difficulties often came up as to what was the true solution of a statement, action or intention according to Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, and with this condition extant, it was often a matter of considerable difficulty to find the exact status of a church member who was called before the committee of discipline for a church charged with being not in accordance with Mrs. Eddy’s teachings. Who was to be the judge in a case of this kind? The history of Christian Science shows that it was seldom one individual who sought to bring in some offshoot of Mrs. Eddy’s teaching into a church, but usually several or more, and it is of this condition that Mr. Norcross speaks.

This address hit the mark so squarely that it aroused enthusiasm at the Cleveland convention, and it was felt that in this rapidly growing Association was to be found the body that would be able not only to assist the growth of churches, but to keep them in alignment with Mrs. Eddy’s teachings.

In order that no loose ends remain in the making of this history it is well to relate the outcome of the suggestion of Mr. Norcross. He gave this address as the last number on the program of the first session. The event of this session however was Mrs. Eddy’s gift of the Journal to the Association. The important labor of the second session was the election of officers, and to act upon information relative to the creation of a Dispensary in Boston. The third session was of very great import, – the report by a committee relative to acceptance of the Journal, and a letter of gratitude to Mrs. Eddy for her gift. This letter is one of great beauty both in thought and phraseology, and is well worth careful perusal. At this same session there came a letter from Mrs. Eddy which recommended that a committee be appointed to “look after church work and organization. Give it free discussion.” This most naturally took the place of what Mr. Norcross had to offer.

The writer feels impelled to quote here this remarkable letter of Mrs. Eddy, especially since it is not published in her collected writings.

Her suggestions relative to organization are as follows:

To my beloved Students:

I earnestly 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. xviii, 15, 16, 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 bring forth fruits that shall prove his life is drawn into the service of God, Good. But 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 in order to effect the desired result. But if not all this be sufficient bring the question before the church and the church will then decide it without any further disputation. And if it be found that the brethren have performed faithfully their duty in the effort to reform the offending member, then he ceases to become 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 disputation would ensure, 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).

Yours in Love,

MARY BAKER GLOVER EDDY.”

The Association carefully took up this matter and passed the following resolutions relative to organization of churches:

“That all those who desire to come into the freedom of the sons of God proclaimed and taught in the Scriptures and Science and Health, are exhorted to attach themselves, exclusively to Churches of Christ (Scientist), and where such churches do not exist, to join themselves, wherever there are two or three together, in provisional organizations for the holding of regular Sunday services, at the usual hour for such services, for the study of the spiritual sense of the Bible and Science and Health, and for strengthening one another in the true Christian life, – in the denial and destruction of material sense and its beliefs and ills, – and in the recognition of the principle laid down in Science and Health that one cannot travel east by going west.

“That it is the sense of this Association that here be not too great haste in organizing churches, but that all provisional organizations be made with the thought of eventually constituting a church, and all such provisional meetings or organizations are earnestly requested to report wherever now existing, or heareafter as soon as formed, to the committee hereinafter provided for.

“That to give more effect to the above recommendation, 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 whom shall be 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 afternoon session the names of the general committee herein provided fork, 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.

“Moved and carried that a committee be appointed by the chair in accordance with the provisions and the resolutions, to report to the Association the names of the general committee to look after church work. Wm. B. Johnson of Boston, Mrs.

J. H. Bell of Chicago, and Mr. Joseph Armstrong of Piqua, Ohio, were named as said committee, with leave to report at any time.”

The reader will see from the foregoing the new powers that Mrs. Eddy had invested in the National Association, because the conditions of that time made it necessary, but when she realized during the course of the next year that the body was becoming too unwieldy to be guided, that, as she could not come into touch with the large majority of its members and lead them aright, she felt that the only thing to do was to ask the Association to dissolve. The time was not ready for such an organization built upon the lines laid out for it, but she knew the time would arrive when another organization would be formed, built on stronger foundations, and at the right moment, that would take the place of the National Association, and with her spiritual guidance at the helm, would be the necessary body for the help of all who should come into Christian Science. From her experience she knew that the growth of the National into such a large, enthusiastic and powerful body, would tend toward politics and cliques, and she touched the heart of the matter when she wrote in her message to the Association, May 23, 1890:

“You must give much time to self-examination and correction; you must contend appetites, passions, pride, envy, evil-speaking, resentment, and each one of the innumerable errors that worketh or maketh a lie….For students to work together is not always to co-operate, but sometimes to co-elbow!”

That the largeness of growth of the National Association was one of the points in Mrs. Eddy’s thought that she felt was a danger can be further realized by the reader in the light of what she wrote further on in her message:

“My counsel is applicable to the state of general growth in the members of the National Christian Scientist Association, but it is not so adapted to the members of the students organizations. And wherefore? Because their growth at first is more gradual.

The Christian Scientist Association was in an entirely different category, as it was made up of her students, and she knew the condition of thought of each one, but just what percentage of the thought of the National was composed of her unadulterated teachings she nor none other could tell, for the membership limitations were not such that those affected by other schools could not retain their membership, and if this element should continue to grow, trouble and schism would be imminent. And there is every reason to believe that had the National Association continued to increase as fast as it had, it could have and probably would have been the controlling factor in Christian Science. And why should it not have been? Because of the two Associations it was the more democratic and contained more of the workers than the other, by virtue of the fact that it was open to all Christian Scientists, and some of its most efficient members were pupils of Mrs. Eddy’s students. With the relinquishment of teaching by Mrs. Eddy, the membership with the Christian Scientist Association would cease to grow, while with the National its membership would never stop increasing; therefore it would be very easy for the National Association to say to the other Association, especially should Mrs. Eddy have passed away, We are the governing body, we represent the Christian Science field as a whole, the rank and file, therefore we understand better the needs of all who are Christian Scientists. While Mrs. Eddy realized the truism of these facts yet she saw the danger in numbers, especially as he was not acquainted with a very large percentage, and she felt that she would rather place her confidence and have behind her her own students of the Christian Science Association. But from this body she also saw that trouble might come, and in pages to follow, the story will be told of the remedy she applied which was fitted for the time, and which brought safety and success.




Chapter XXXIX

The World’s Parliament of Religions

NO event in the year 1893 loomed so large in the thoughts of Christian Scientists in America as the announcement that they would have a place in the World’s Parliament of Religions to be held at the World’s Fair in Chicago.

The doctrines of Christian Science were at last to be recognized and placed on an even footing with all others, and the announcement of this fact brought joy, hope and enthusiasm to all.

For those people who did not know her personally, the story of the Parliament of Religions becomes of great significance, because it brought joy and thankfulness to Mrs. Eddy, and to all her followers. The one who has just been born into Christian Science, and who lives in and sees only the present and the future, may, upon the basis of numbers and the status of organization, feel that these efforts of the years past were so small when contrasted with present day issues that they hardly merit attention. But such was not the fact, for those who were earnest in their love for Mrs. Eddy and her teachings were no less earnest than the worker of the present, and to him the advance in the understanding of Christian Science, expressed in the privilege given of placing it before the public upon the same level with other Christian bodies, was one of the great victories of its history. The years of continuous hatred, scorn, ridicule, and the scoffing cry of the clergy that Christian Science was neither “Christian nor Scientific,” would now be met with as perfect an exposition of what Christian Science stands for, as could be put forth. Heretofore such statements when given in public had been made chiefly in the form of answers to criticisms, the most notable that of Mrs. Eddy’s appearance in Tremont Temple, to a largely hostile audience, at a meeting of ministers; now for the first time in the history of the world all denominations were to come together with a feeling of interest, each to listen to what the other had to say. A painful sense of being an antagonist, and of winning out over opponents, was one of the elements which was eliminated at the very start, and the path was clear for a lucid and strong exposition of Christian Science and its work.

The membership of the Mother Church at the time of this gathering was but 1158, and when compared with the membership at present, it may seem that its import could not have been very great. Nevertheless it was an event of far-reaching effects, and combined with all others which were worked out scientifically, it had much to do with the dissemination of the teaching throughout the world, for it presented Christian Science to all denominations of thinking clergy and laymen as never before. All the papers read emphasized the thought that we are called to live as Jesus lived, to heal as He healed, and to love as He loved. Christian Science, the youngest of all the religious denominations, had shown by its steady growth that it made and maintained such progress as entitled it to be placed upon the same platform with other older and fully established cults, and this was indeed a source of comfort to the faithful workers and gave them hope and encouragement, for it was by their labors in part that this recognition had been gained.

No other great international exposition had ever given a place to religious conventions, and it was felt that the Columbian Exposition in its scope and magnitude would set forth as never before the intellectual progress of man, and the splendor of his conceptions would be such as had never before been recorded, but amidst all this show of art and mechanical magnificence, there must be a recognition of how these things became possible, especially in Christian lands, and the World’s Parliament of Religions thus found its place. In this labor Charles Carroll Bonney, who had been foremost in originating and active in promoting this convention, was made President, and as we continue this narrative the reader will see that he was a man fully abreast of his time, and able to meet the difficulties presented in the organization of such a program. In June, 1891, plans had been made and committees formed, and the following notice was sent around the world:

Believing that God is, and that he has not left Himself without witnesses; believing that the influence of religion tends to advance the general welfare, and is the most vital force in the social order of every people, and convinced that of a truth God is no respecter of persons, but that in every nation he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness is accepted of Him, we affectionately invite the representatives of all faiths to aid us in presenting to the world, at the Exposition of 1893, the religious harmonies and unities of humanity, and also in showing forth the moral and spiritual agencies which are at the root of human progress. It is proposed to consider the foundations of religious Faith, to review the triumphs of Religion in all ages, to set forth the present state of Religion among the nations and its influence over Literature, Art, Commerce, Government and the Family Life, to indicate its power in promoting Temperance and Social Purity and its harmony with true Science, to show its dominance in the higher institutions of learning, to make prominent the value of the weekly rest-day on religious and other grounds, and to contribute to those forces which shall bring about the unity of the race in the worship of God and the service of man.”

The following extracts from periodicals will speak for the general sense of the importance of the entry of Christian Science into this convention. The Chicago Inter-Ocean said:

One of the best congresses yet held in connection with the Parliament of Religions, judged by numbers and interest, was that of the Christian Scientists which took place yesterday afternoon in Washington Hall. For two hours before the hall opened crowds besieged the doors eager to gain admission. At two o’clock, the time set for opening the proceedings, the house was filled to the roof, no seats being available for love or money. The delegates came from all parts of the country. Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy, the founder of the organization, chose not to be present, but her devoted disciples were there, and the large audience sat through a program that lasted to seven o’clock in the evening without showing signs of weariness.”

In introducing Judge Hanna, Rev. Dr. Barrows, Chairman, said:

“To the Christian Scientists this Parliament is greatly indebted for the interest they have manifested in its success. The large attendance at their Congress the other day, and the enthusiasm which prevailed, together with their large numbers in this hall today, testify to their earnestness and zeal, and are among the pleasant and helpful features of these assemblages. I am glad to give them fraternal greeting and to welcome them here today.”

For the purpose of historical accuracy the following notice sent to those appointed as members of the Advisory Council is appended:

“CHICAGO, U.S.A., Aug. 9, 1893.

MR. WILLIAM B. JOHNSON,

Boston, Mass.

I take sincere pleasure in informing you that you have recently been appointed a member of the Advisory Council on Religious Congresses, of the World’s Congress Auxiliary, in connection with the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893.

The members of this Council are requested to forward to the Chairman of the Committee any suggestions which they may deem wise regarding the programme of the Congresses, the speakers, the themes to be treated, and the names of other distinguished and representative men whom they would be pleased to have added to the Advisory Council. It is intended that this Council shall be enlarged, so as to be adequately representative of the religious world in all its branches, and in all the continents.

To the members of the Council will be assigned specially reserved places in the Parliament of Religions, and before them the addresses at that phenomenal meeting will be given. Active participation in the Parliament will be limited to members of the Advisory Council, and those especially invited by the General Committee, in whose hands will be the responsible conduct of this great Parliament. Not only theological scholars, but eminent laymen, interested in religious and philanthropic work, will be invited to membership in the Council.

It is earnestly hoped that you may be present at the meetings of the Parliament, but your acceptance of this invitation is desired whether you are able to attend

them or not, as membership of the Advisory Council will reach far beyond the number of those able to be with us on the great occasion.

In sending your acceptance to the Chairman, you will confer a great favor in sending also a brief expression of your views of the proposed Parliament, to be published in subsequent reports, and in the volumes which will record its history and proceedings.

Hoping for your valuable co-operation and that you will send your favorable reply at your earliest convenience, I remain with much respect,

Yours faithfully,

JOHN HENRY BARROWS,

Chairman General Committee.”

On September 1, 1893, Mr. Edward A. Kimball sent out the following notice to practitioners advertised in the Journal:

“ ‘THE WORLD’S PARLIAMENT OF RELIGIONS’

CHICAGO, September 1, 1893.

‘The World’s Parliament of Religions’ will be held in two large halls and about twenty-five small ones in ‘The Palace of Arts,’ situated on the Lake Front at the foot of Adams Street.

The scope of the participation of Christian Scientists in this Parliament has been enlarged since the notice in the September Journal was prepared.

The completed arrangements provide for the use of one of the two large ‘Parliament Halls’ for the sole presentation of Christian Science.

This presentation congress will be held from 2 to 6 P.M. on Wednesday, September 20th, in ‘The Hall of Washington,’ which will accommodate 3,000 people. Prompt attendance is especially important.

We will have the use of a smaller hall, No. 22, during all of the 19th, 20th and 21st for such purposes as may be decided on hereafter. Prior to the congress on Wednesday, this hall will be used as an assembly room or ‘headquarters,’ to which all are invited.

This Congress will be conducted by Scientists, in accord with a programme approved and issued by ‘The World’s Congress Auxiliary’ and under its authority and supervision. The programme has not been completed, but it is probable that at least ten addresses will be delivered by as many Scientists.

This is an opportunity for dispelling much unfounded prejudice and misconception, and as the proceedings of this Parliament will be historical, it is hoped that all will see the desirability of manifesting their interest by attending this meeting.”

The opening of the first day was marked by the gathering of all delegates, and at the appointed hour, 10 a.m., the representatives of a dozen world-faiths moved down the aisle to the platform in the Hall of Columbus. This was indeed a most strangely diversified assembly of religions, and carried with it the whole gamut of the scale, in exterior appearance, from the gorgeousness of Cardinal Gibbons in his chair of state, the Chinese and Japanese in their magnificent silks, to the hermit monk. The first act of this assembly of various tribes and tongues, and also the thousands in the hall, was to sing the words of the One Hundredth Psalm in Watt’s paraphrase:

“Before Jehovah’s awful throne,
Ye nations bow with sacred joy; Know that the Lord is God alone;
He can create, and he destroy.”

Such words as these were evidently selected because they would fit nearly every religion represented, but the effect of these were leavened by three stanzas of the Old Hundredth Psalm Tune, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”

At the close of the Lord’s Prayer led by Cardinal Gibbons President Bonney pronounced the address of welcome.

The words of this able man in his address at a later date to Christian Scientists on their day, have been commended by Mrs. Eddy, and they were indeed the thought of a broad-minded, far-seeing and courageous thinker. His whole being was so filled with the work of this great Parliament for the brotherhood of man, that his thoughts reached out for that faith in the teachings of Jesus that would bring about this brotherhood, and the healing of the sick and sinner in a way that could be proved scientifically by constant demonstration. This would be destined to bind all nations together, and looking from this viewpoint, and keeping it in thought until his address on the Christian Science fay is before the reader, it will be well to quote the words that end his address of welcome to all representatives of the world’s religions:

“We seek in this Congress to unite all religions against irreligion; to make the Golden Rule the basis of this union, and to present to the world the substantial unity of many religions in the good deeds of religious life.

“This day the sun of a new era of religious peace and progress rises over the world, dispelling the dark clouds of sectarian strife. This day a new flower blooms in the gardens of religious thought, filling the air with its exquisite perfume. This day a new fraternity is born into the world of human progress, to aid in the upbuilding of the kingdom of God in the hearts of men. Era and flower and fraternity bear one name. It is a name that will gladden the hearts of those who worship God and love man in every clime. Those who hear its music joyfully echo it back to sun and flower. It is the Brotherhood of Religions. In this name I welcome the first Parliament of the Religions of the World.”

No two days of this convention were so important to Christian Scientists as those of Wednesday, September 20, and the following Friday. The first meeting was held in the Hall of Washington which had a seating capacity of three thousand, but with all standing room taken, the audience numbered at least four thousand, and many could not gain entrance. The program prepared for this day was as follows:

Reading from Scripture and from Science and Health, Silent prayer and the Lord’s Prayer. Address by the President of the National Christian Scientists Association, Dr. E. J. Foster-Eddy.

Papers were read on the following subjects: The Resurrection, by Rev. D. A. Easton, Pastor of First Church of Christ Scientist, Boston; The Trinity, by Rev. Augusta E. Stetson, Pastor of Church of Christ, Scientist, New York City; Spirit and Matter, by Mrs. Ruth B. Ewing, Pastor of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Chicago; God Incorporeal, by Gen. Erastus N. Bates, Pastor of Church of Christ Scientist, Cleveland; Immortals and Mortals, by Mrs. A. M. Knott, Pastor of Church of Christ, Scientist, Detroit; Prophetic Scriptures, by Edward P. Bates, Syracuse; Healing the Sick, by Rev. E. M. Buswell, Pastor of Church of Christ, Scientist, Beatrice, Neb.; The Scientific Universe, by Rev. Isabella M. Stewart, Pastor of Church of Christ, Scientist, Toronto; The Brotherhood of Man, by Alfred Farlow, Pastor of Mission Church of Christ, Scientist, Kansas City; Mind not Matter, by S. J. Hanna, Editor of Christian Science Journal. A change was made in this program as Mrs. Stetson read an article by Mrs. Eddy: “An Allegory” instead of the paper prepared on the “Trinity” by her. This memorable occasion was opened by the splendid address of President Bonney, and before giving this to the reader it is well to quote Mrs. Eddy’s opinion of him:

“A Great Man and his Saying.

“Hon. Charles Carroll Bonney, President of the World’s Congress Auxiliary, in his remarks before that body said: ‘No more striking manifestation of the interposition of Divine Providence in human affairs has come in recent years, than that shown in the raising up of the body of people known as Christian Scientist, who were called to declare the real harmony between religion and science, and to restore the waning faith of many in the verities of the sacred Scriptures.’

“In honest utterance of veritable history, and his own spiritual discernment, this man must have risen above worldly schemes, human theorems or hypotheses, to conclusions which reason too supine or misemployed cannot fasten upon. He spake inspired, – he touched a tone of truth that will continue to reverberate and renew its emphasis throughout the entire centuries of the vast forever.”

The address of President Bonney is as follows:

“I come as general president of the World’s Congress Auxiliary of 1893, to salute you and bid you welcome. This great audience filling the Hall of Washington gives me occasion to extend to you with my words of welcome, words of hearty congratulation. When science becomes Christian, then the world indeed advances toward the millennial dawn.

“No more striking manifestation of the interposition of divine Providence in human affairs has come in recent years, than that shown in the raising up of the body of people which you represent, known as Christian Scientists. We had come to the state of the world in which science was called infidel, although true science could never look otherwise than up through nature unto nature’s God. The Christian Scientists were therefore called to declare and emphasize the real harmony between religion and science; and to restore the waning faith of many in the verities of the sacred scriptures.

“The body of Christian Scientists will do no harm to any other body of worshippers of the living God and servants of the brother man anywhere in the world. Catholic and Protestant – though we may say of the Catholic church that it has always held firm the faith in the supernatural and in the supremacy of the divine – Catholic and Protestant, Baptist and Presbyterian, Methodist and Friends, Unitarian and Congregationalist, may all thank God for the new energy and life contributed to the world and especially to Christendom by you and those whom you represent.

“The common idea that a miracle is something which has been done in contravention of law is to be wholly discarded and repudiated. There is not one miracle recounted in the sacred Scriptures which was not wrought in perfect conformity to the laws the divine Creator had established. It is mere ignorance of those laws that leads men to think that miracles are acts in contravention of them.

“To know the law is to see that the wonder is wrought by means of law, and that the only miracle consists in the wonderfulness of the act which is done. Who can doubt, in witnessing the tremendous events that are now transpiring in our midst, that the day of miracles is as surely here as it was eighteen centuries ago.

“To restore a living faith in the efficacy of prayer – the fervent and effectual prayer of the righteous man which availeth much; to teach everywhere the supremacy of spiritual forces; to teach and to emphasize the fact that in the presence of these spiritual forces all other forces are weak and inefficient, – that I understand to be your mission.

“That you may so fulfill this mission that not only all Christendom, all great bodies to which I have referred, but the whole world and all its worshippers of God and servants of man, may have cause to rise up and call you blessed, is my sincere and fervent wish. The world assembles here in this great year that its peoples and churches may know each other better. You yourselves, come to make known to the world who you are, what faith you hold, what work you have done, what achievements you have made; and on the other hand, to learn from all the others what work they have done, and what faith they hold, in order that, seeing in each other’s faces the same spirit of charity, and learning that all are engaged in the same heavenly service, you may take courage in the support of each other.

“This is the reign of peace which these world’s congresses of 1893 were organized to inaugurate, which they have inaugurated, and which they will continue to uphold. In closing I can only wish to renew my words of heartiest welcome and bid you Godspeed in your work.”

The address of Dr. Foster-Eddy was undoubtedly the best effort he had ever made. In a recent conversation with him he told the writer that what he wrote to have read in public, Mrs. Eddy had usually gone over and oftentimes added paragraphs when she felt that certain matters should be brought out clearer from her point of vision. It is well perhaps to select a few of the most impressive passages from Dr. Foster-Eddy’s address:

“Surely our beloved America is the ‘city set on a hill.’ In it has sprung up the great light, again conceived and brought forth by woman who made it possible for all men to come to it and be freed from sin, disease, death, the enslavement of personal material sense and be renewed in the image and likeness of spirit, Good.

“Why should not the peoples from all the world be drawn to this glowing country made radian by the light of Truth? And why should not one prince come from each tribe or sect and put his rod ‘into the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony,’ – the Parliament of the World’s Religious Congresses? Truly one rod must blossom, one that is not put forth in ignorance, envy, jealousy, bigotry, hate, but by the understanding and demonstration of divine Love. One that shall take root in Mind, be nourished by Spirit, and produce leaves that shall be for the spiritual and physical healing of nations. It must prove its fitness, its mission, by its healthful influence upon the sick as much as its reforming effects upon the sinner. Its methods must be after the manner of Jesus’; and its executors must bear the seal of Christ and the imprint of heaven.

“Brethren, this is an epoch in the history of Christian Science. The year has been a marked one to us. The chaff has been separated from the wheat in a marvelous way. The line of demarcation has been made so plain between the true and the false that the world can no more be deceived by the emissaries of ‘the one evil’ who go about seeking whom they may devour.”

While the meeting on September 20 was of very great import, it was the means to an end of one far greater which took place on Friday the 22d in Columbus Hall. The one on the 20th was what was called a denominational congress, but the one at which Judge Hanna was to read the paper on “Unity and Christian Science” was more important because it was to be before the Parliament of Religions, which embraced the members of the Advisory Council chosen by the proper authorities, and was independent of the denominational congresses. This event was held in the forenoon, and the notable program of addresses was as follows: Rev. Washington Gladden, Religion and Wealth; Rev. E. P. Baker, Christianity in the Hawaiian Islands; Rev. Joseph Cook, What the Bible Has Wrought; Rev. Olympia Brown, Crime and Its Remedy; Miss Fletcher, Professor of Ethnology, Harvard College, The Religion of the North American Indians; and Judge S. J. Hanna, Unity and Christian Science.

The scene upon the large stage during this meeting must have been impressive, for there were seated distinguished representatives of various religions of the world. Of this meeting the Chicago Tribune said:

“The crowd in the Hall of Columbus yesterday morning was greater than at any time since the Parliament first opened. It was apparently the announcement that the cause of Christian Science would be presented which attracted them.”

After referring to the introduction of Judge Hanna by Rev. Dr. Barrows, the Inter-Ocean said:

“Then it was disclosed that one-half the great audience were disciples of the new faith, for a tremendous outburst of applause greeted him. A simple wave of the hand and the most perfect silence prevailed.”

The Congregationalist of Boston spoke as follows:

“But no paper of the day elicited more applause from a part of the audience than one on Christian Science. Here, perhaps it may be said that none of the congresses going on at the same time with the Parliament of Religions, have drawn such immense audiences as that of Christian Science.”

In introducing Judge Hanna, Rev. Dr. Barrows said:

“To the Christian Scientists this Parliament is greatly indebted for the interest they have manifested in its success. The large attendance at their congress the other day, and the enthusiasm which prevailed, together with their large numbers in this hall today testify to their earnestness and zeal, and are among the pleasant and helpful features of these assemblages. I am glad to give them fraternal greeting and welcome them here today.”

Before giving the paper read by Judge Hanna (which does not appear among Mrs. Eddy’s collected writings, and was never published in the Journal), it will be of interest to the reader to know how it was prepared, and the following letter written to my father explains itself:

“PLEASANT VIEW, CONCORD, N.H.

July 31, 1893

Beloved Student:

I desire you to select the very best, comprehensive quotations to be found in all my works, which are applied to, and elucidate the subject herein specified, (naming book and page) although these will not go into the compilation, and send your compilation to Judge Hanna, 62 Boylston Street, Boston, as soon as possible. Be careful to quote no passages that assail the religious belief of any sect. I have selected nine students to do the same with the subject assigned to each one of them.

He will arrange them properly for the presentation of Christian Science at the World’s Fair Congress. This is the only presentation of Christian Science that I sanction for this Parliament. My reasons for this are that ‘What is written, is written.’ The texts are contained in these works, and I for one would not venture to depart from the fundamental teachings of these books, with all the labor bestowed on them. I think that nothing can be said that would be more satisfactory on the subject which I have given out to define Christian Science, in the manner aforesaid.

Affectionately yours,

MARY B. G. EDDY.

N.B. The definitions need to be brief, and selected with great care, by comparing them with others throughout my works, which relate to your subject. If your quotations are not just what are required, to present the best aspect of Christian Science, it may prevent the representation of this subject at the World’s Fair, as the time is limited. (Say nothing of this arrangement till the event is over.)

M. B. G. E.”

(The above letter was typewritten with the exception of the signatures and the last sentence in the postscript, which were in Mrs. Eddy’s handwriting.)

This letter is of large interest to those who find value in the great care which Mrs. Eddy took in inaugurating any work which she felt was of great importance.

To her this was to be the day of days, because her teachings were to be presented for the first time to the world’s most notable representatives of religious thought, and before an audience of fully four thousand people. It was to be the crucial test of her statements and teachings, and there must not be one phrase in the article which would not present absolute Science. With the keenest of analytical thought sitting in judgment, the address must have no weak places in its armor, and it must be perfect in its unity. She realized that for this occasion the article must be a concrete, convincing and vital presentation of her thoughts upon Christian Science, must be expressed in as few words as possible, and convey the sum and substance of her teachings. Was there any person in the whole field of Christian Science capable of writing such a monumental paper? No! She was therefore right when she said:

“The texts are contained in these works, and I for one would not venture to depart from the fundamental teachings of these books, with all the labor bestowed on them.”

Over Science and Health she had labored for years. She had eliminated all that was not needed, and it certainly was the shortest, most vital, and effective exposition of her teaching, that could possibly be prepared. In such a paper she could put implicit trust, and she knew that such an address would have a most salutary effect upon all Christian Scientists present, for there could be no sense of jealousy, relative to the authorship of the article, and as they were acquainted with every passage it contained, the juxtaposition given the selections could but throw a new light upon them, and bring about a perfect unity of thought among all of her followers present. This in turn would sweeten and glorify the atmosphere, and beget alert interest, so that those who were not her adherents would realize the sincerity and love which united and impelled her students. And the paper did have this effect, for it was listened to with breathless attention, and the dignitaries upon the platform realized as never before that Christian Science was giving expression to a vital force; that it did not assail other beliefs, and did not wreck other structures in order to make a place for itself; that its representatives were very intimately associated with the spiritual import of the teaching of the Bible, and that their faith in what had healed and regenerated them had given them an earnestness, and a tempered zeal which is to be reckoned with in the future. The text prepared read as follows:

“Reverend Mary B. G. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, was born in the little town of Bow, among the hills of New Hampshire. Her family tree, taking root in illustrious ancestry, spread its branches from London and Edinburg, Great Britain, to the United States. The family crest and coat of arms bear these mottoes: Vincere aut mori, victory or death, and Tria juncta in uno, three joined in one. In her work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the textbook of Christian Science, the author writes:

“ ‘In this revolutionary period the voice of God in behalf of the African slave was still echoing in our land, when this new Christian crusade sounded the keynote of universal freedom, asking a fuller acknowledgment of the rights of man as a Son of God, demanding that the fetters of sin, sickness and death be stricken from the human mind and body, and their freedom should be won, not through human warfare, not with bayonet and blood, but through Divine Science.

“ ‘God has built a higher platform of human rights, and has built it on diviner claims. These claims are not made through code or creed, but in demonstration of “peace on earth and good-will to men.” Human codes, scholastic theology, material medicine, and hygiene fetter faith and spiritual understanding. Divine Science rends asunder these fetters, and man’s birthright of sole allegiance to his Maker asserts itself.

“ ‘I saw before me the sick, wearing out years of servitude to an unreal master, in the belief that the body governed them, rather than the Divine Mind. The lame, the deaf, the dumb, the blind, the sick, the sensual, the sinner, I wished to save from the slavery of their own beliefs, and from the educational systems which today hold the children of Israel in bondage. I saw before me the awful conflict, the Red Se, and the wilderness; but I pressed on, through faith in God, trusting Truth, the strong deliverer, to guide me into the land of Christian Science, where fetters fall, and the rights of man to freedom are fully known and acknowledged.

“ ‘Christian Science derives its sanction from the Bible; and its divine origin is demonstrated through the holy influence of its Truth, in healing sickness and sin. The healing power of Truth must have been far anterior to the period in which Jesus lived. It is as ancient as the Ancient of Days. It lives through all Life, and extends through all space. Science is not the shibboleth of a sect, or the cabalistic insignia of a philosopher. Science is Mind, not Matter, and because Science is not human it must be Divine.

“ ‘In 1867 I commenced reducing this latent power to a system, in a form comprehensible by and adapted to the thought of the age in which we live. This system enables the devout learner to demonstrate anew in some degree the divine Principle upon which Jesus’ healing was based, and the sacred rules for its present presentation and application to the cure of disease.

“ ‘The Principle of Christian Science is God. Its practice is the power of Truth over error; its rules demonstrate Science. The first rule of this Science is, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” The second is like unto it, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” To demonstrate these rules on any other than their divine Principle is impossible. Jesus’ sermon on the Mount is the essence of the morale of this Science. In 1893, for more than a quarter of a century, these rules have been submitted to the broadest practical tests; and everywhere, when honestly applied, under circumstances which made demonstration possible, they have shown that Truth has lost none of its divine and healing efficacy, even though centuries have passed away since Jesus practiced these rules on the hills of Judea and in the valleys of Galilee. Jesus said: ‘These signs shall follow them that believe: they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.’ This promise is perpetual. Had it been given only to his immediate disciples, the scriptural passage would read you, not they. The purpose of his great life-work extends through time, and touches universal humanity; its Principle is infinite, extending beyond the pale of a single period or a limited following. His miracles illustrate an ever-operative divine Principle, scientific order and continuity. Within one decade this Science has stopped the illicit clamor and advancing trend of free love; it has opened dungeon doors to the captives of sink, sickness and death; given impulse to honest inquiry and religious liberty; moderated the appetites and passions of men; reformed thousands of inebriates; healed over one million cases of disease considered hopeless, and advanced the race physically, morally and spiritually.

“ ‘I learned that all real Being is in the immortal, divine Mind, whereas the five material senses evolve a subjective state of mortal mind, called mortality and matter, thereby shutting out the true sense of immortality and Spirit. Christian Science explains all cause and effect as mental and not physical. It lifts the veil from Soul, and silences the false testimony of sense. It shows the scientific relation of man to God, disentangles the interlaced ambiguities of Being, and sets free the imprisoned mind to master the body.

“ ‘The first commandment of the Hebrew Decalogue unfolds the fact of universal brotherhood; since to have one God is to have one Mind and one Father, and this spiritually and scientifically establishes the brotherhood of man. Also, God being the only Mind, it is found impossible for God’s children to have other minds, or to be antagonistic and way one with another. Mind is one, including noumena and phenomena, God and His thoughts. Mind is the center and circumference of all Being, the central sun of its own universe and infinite system of ideas. Therefore Mind is divine and not human. To reduce inflammation, dissolve a tumor, or cure organic disease, I have found Mind more potent than all lower remedies. And why not, since Mind is the source and condition of all existence?

“ ‘Christian Science solves the problem of the relative rights and privileges of man and woman on their diviner claims. It finds in scriptural Genesis, that Eve recorded last is therefore first, she is a degree higher than Adam in the ascending intelligence of God’s creation. Woman neither sprang from the dust of which adamah was formed, nor from an ovum; she was the first discoverer of human weakness, and the first who acknowledged error to be error. Woman was the mother of Jesus, and the first to perceive a risen Saviour. Woman first apprehended divinely man’s spiritual origin; and first relinquished the belief in material conceptions. It is a woman that discovered and founded the Science of Christianity.

“ ‘The Revelator had not passed the transitional stage in human experience called death, but he already saw in prophetic vision woman “crowned with twelve stars,” types of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the spiritual enlightenment of primal religion.

“ ‘If brain, blood, bones help constitute a man, when Adam parted with his rib he lost a portion of his manhood. Man is the generic term for God’s children, made in his own image and likeness, and because they are thus made, reflected, the male and female of His creating are equipoised in the balances of God. So let it be.

“ ‘To the sore question “What are the workingmen’s rights?” Science answers, Justice and mercy, wherein the financial, civil, social, moral and religious aspect of all questions reflect the face of the Father. And this question will not rest till both employer and employee are actuated by the spirit of this saying of the meek and mighty Son of God: ‘Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

“ ‘The following are the Tenets of the Christian Science churches:

“ ‘1. As adherents of Truth, we take the Scriptures for our guide to eternal Life.

“ ‘2. We acknowledge and adore one Supreme God. We acknowledge his Son, and the Holy Ghost, and man in the Divine image and likeness.

“ ‘3. We acknowledge God’s forgiveness of sin, in the destruction of sin, and His punishment of “whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie.” We acknowledge the atonement as the efficacy and evidence of Divine Love, of man’s unity with God, and of the great merits of the Way-shower.

“ ‘4. We acknowledge the way of salvation demonstrated by Jesus, as the power of Truth over error, sin, sickness and death, and the resurrection of human faith to seize the great possibilities and living energies of the Divine Life.

“ ‘We solemnly promise to strive, watch and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus. To love one another, and, up to our highest understanding, to be meek, merciful and just.’ ”

This address was of such interest to Christian Scientists that it brought into the thoughts of all kindlier feelings of love for Mrs. Eddy and the Cause, and a deeperrooted longing to work more and ever more as she asked each and all to do.

In an editorial in the Journal of March, 1894, Judge Hanna made excellent comment in which he said:

“Some people entertain the notion that Christian Scientists belong to the army of cranks. The careful sifting process of the authorities of this Parliament, and the rigid purging, is very conclusive evidence, that they did not regard the people composing our Association as coming within that category. This should have its effect in removing from public sentiment the erroneous notion that because we are the adherents and advocates of a Christianity which appears to be so at variance with current views and interpretations that it seems new, we are therefore cranks and dangerous propagandists. Would that those who thus misjudge us would come and learn of us what kind of Christianity ours is! They would not be long in placing their seal of approval on the action of said authorities.”

That Christian Science after all its persecutions from without and the treasons from within, which had tried to render it asunder, together with the schisms which had taken away some of its capable workers and ill-affected others, was in a homogeneous condition in 1893, and by its unity of thought and teaching had taken a place among the world’s religions, was due entirely to Mrs. Eddy’s wisdom and perpetual caution and guidance. The Mental Scientists, Mind Curists, etc., who had taken their start from Mrs. Eddy’s discovery, had no solid basis upon which to work, and their efforts were at odds, for they had no textbook to keep their thoughts and activities in the right path. Their conventions from 1886 to 1889 had been failures so far as their endeavor to find a platform upon which they could all unite harmoniously, and in 1893 this condition still existed, so that their efforts at their very best could not be condensed into a well-defined religious doctrine. It was therefore with just pride that Christian Scientists gave thought and enthusiasm to this great Parliament, and further on we shall realize the results of this call to place Christian Science on the platform with other great religious doctrines, and shall see also how it leavened the thought among the Clergy and the Press. In order that the reader of the future may not unintentionally belittle the Parliament, in view of the greater events which have transpired since, it is well to realize some of the impressions received by others on that occasion. An interesting passage from a report relative to the Parliament reads as follows:

“The Parliament was not a place for the suppression of opinions but for their frankest utterance, and what made it so supremely successful was mutual tolerance, extraordinary courtesy, and unabated good will…. There were clouds big as thunder, and there were thunders with lightnings in them that smote as with strokes from God’s own right hand. The Parliament did not suppress the individuality and frankness of its members. What made this meeting glorious was its entire freedom from ecclesiastical control and the usual restrictions of conferences, assemblies and synods….

“The Parliament has been called a great international clearing house to promote the interchange of opinions. The impression it made on those regularly attending its sessions has often been compared with what happened in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, al-though the Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven, constituted a more provincial assembly than that which met at Chicago. There were times in the Parliament when the religious feeling was most intense and pervasive. A holy intoxication, it has been said, overcame the speakers as well as the audience. An eminent professor of Moral Philosophy, Dr. N. J. Morrison, of Marietta College, declared that it reminded him of the emotions he had felt at the great revival meetings of President Finney and Mr. Moody. Dr. Frederick A. Noble said: ‘There were hours when it seemed as though the Divine Spirit was about to descend upon the people in a great Pentecostal outpouring. Never did Christ seem so large and precious to me, never did Christian faith seem so necessary to humanity and so sure to prevail as when the Parliament of Religions closed.’

Rev. George P. Candlin wrote:

“I feel confident that the memory of that great assembly will have a most potent influence on our lives. Chicago will be the Mount Tabor of our experience, and the holy impulse of those transfigured hours will not be spent while life shall last.”

Other significant commendations coming from earnest thinkers could be quoted, but the foregoing will give the reader some idea of the atmosphere of an occasion which was surcharged with kindly feelings of toleration for the beliefs of one’s brother man, and willingness to listen to a statement of his religious views, whatever his faith might be. However, the Christian Scientist who reads these pages is likely to ask, “What good, outside of being admitted into the Parliament, and putting forth our views, did it bring to us?” In answer we can say, It brought into the thought of the clergy and the secular and the religious press, a feeling of toleration never before known. This was one of the first requisites of the Parliament, and it could not have achieved success without it. It required the clergy and the secular and religious press to be tolerant toward those who were not believers in Christ Jesus, and it brought out a broader feeling of tolerance among those who took the teachings of Jesus as their guide, so that they were willing to listen to and to look closer into the teachings of Christian Science, and be more outspoken of the good they found in it. From this month of September, 1893, the pulpit and the press underwent a noticeable change for the better. This was especially shown in articles which appeared in newspapers, and the following extracts are worthy of embodiment in this account. The Parliament was an inseparable part of a great epoch in the history of the solidifying of Christian Science thought by Mrs. Eddy, and the crystallizing of its government in the By-Law of The Mother Church. The Forum for November, 1893, contained the following from the pen of Rev. Dr. Charles A. Briggs, entitled “The Alienation of the Church and the People.”

“The church has limited its conception of salvation too much to the future life. It has not comprehended the length and breadth of the salvation taught by Jesus Christ. The poor, the sick, the suffering and the dying need a salvation that relieves their physical maladies. Christians have undoubtedly in all ages, in a measure, established hospitals, infirmaries, institutions for the relief of the poor. The toiling masses in our age are no worse off than were those of other ages. But they think that they are more miserable. And they are more miserable, for they have learned that they are capable of better things, and they are yearning for better things. They are anxiously looking for a Saviour who will redeem them from their misery. Jesus Christ is that Saviour. His Church should bear them the glad tidings of that salvation.

“In this respect the advocates of Christian Science, if we understand them aright, have grasped an important principle, and are engaged in an active, zealous propaganda, in which many devout men and women share. There can be no doubt that the salvation of Jesus Christ is a salvation from all misery, and that as Jesus removed bodily maladies, so his Church should aim to do the same. Prayers for the recovery of the sick and the dying should be offered in faith and holy love.”

In the New York Outlook for November, 1893, there appeared the following.

“What does Jesus mean when, in his commands to his disciples to teach and preach, he almost invariably enjoins them to ‘heal the sick’? and why is it that this part of the command is always ignored by our ministers in the pulpit and out of it, never noticing or commenting upon it? Why do we claim that the day of miracles is past, and the preachers put limitations upon their interpretations of miracles? For some days I have dwelt in the household of one whose daughter is a Christian Scientist, and I have met and known personally people who have been wonderfully cured, people whose diseases were not imaginary, but were given up as incurable by eminent specialists. Only yesterday a lady passed here twice who two weeks ago was said by her physicians to be dying with cancer on the breast, and who was almost instantly healed. These I know, and the fact cannot be denied that they are healed. Now, all my training and education has been in the direction of believing this ‘Science’ false and fraudulent, but how can I explain to myself or others this strange thing which is taking place before my eyes?” S.B.P.

The reply to the above in the Outlook was as follows, but evidently not written by a Christian Scientist:

“Jesus meant just what he said. The modern development of medical science is a good reason for the neglect you complain of by ministers, especially in view of the demands of other subjects and the uncertainties of this subject. By ‘miracles’ we understand operations contrary to experience, whose causes lie beyond human knowledge and control. In this sense the day of miracles is not past. As to what you have seen in the field of ‘Christian Science,’ we admit that, after all needful allowance for quackery and exaggeration, there is a certain residuum of extraordinary facts which can neither be explained away nor as yet satisfactorily explained.”

The Christian Register for November, 1893, contained the following on the spread of Christian Science.

“The number of pronounced adherents is probably much smaller than the number of interested inquirers, for there is an immense market for the books and papers published in this interest. Indeed, it is not often that the subject is mentioned in any company without bringing out a more or less sympathetic expression. The testimonials to the ‘healing of all manner of sickness and disease among the people’ are so numerous that enthusiastic disciples do not hesitate to proclaim a new advent of the Christ, or, rather, a return to the methods of Jesus and a vast manifestation of the same power by which he wrought his ‘wonderful works.’ A movement which has its origin in the new faith of Divine Immanence in Humanity is open to criticism, but is not to be treated with derision or suspicion. In its conflict with materialism the Church should not meet with hostility, but should hail as timely allies all who ‘lift up holy hands without wrath or doubting’ to invoke the Eternal Powers that work for the perfecting of man in the image of the Highest.”

Many other articles of like tenor could be quoted. Indeed, to the reader of newspaper comments upon Christian Science, it seemed that there had come suddenly a bursting asunder of the bonds which had deterred editors from seeing the teachings of Christian Science as they should have, and that there had come to them a greater sense of tolerance and freedom.

The distribution of Christian Science literature at the Exposition had been considerable. For a time one hundred Journals a day were given out, later two hundred, and this increased to three hundred and fifty. The largest for any one day was eight hundred.




Chapter XL

Advance of the Cause

WITH breaking down of certain barriers in the pulpit and the press through the feeling of tolerance which had pervaded the Parliaments, other conditions came about wh9ich were the direct result of it, and which gave further impetus to the growth of the Cause. The first was the call for and distribution of larger amounts of Christian Science literature, and a larger interest in the organization and strengthening of branch churches and societies. There was also a greater desire to unite with the Mother Church, and in the year 1894 registered the admission of 1790, a larger number than that of the next two years. The recognition of Christian Science as a religion had brought about a singular turn of events with many of those who had once renounced Mrs. Eddy’s teachings and had gone into the ranks of Mental Healing and Mind Cure. They now found themselves without a theology and with so many differences and divisions among them, that they could not agree as to methods of healing, teachings or study, hence they instinctively turned toward Christian Science, and began attending its services. They realized that without an organization which had with it a unity such as that of Christian Science, and without a definite platform for teaching and study, their efforts would never become unified, and they saw no success ahead. There were three courses open to them: to keep on as they were going, to go back to the old churches from which they had originally come, or to take up again Mrs. Eddy’s teachings. To many, the first was impossible, because a chemicalization of thought had set in which brought about great unrest and dissatisfaction; the second appealed to some, those who were too stubborn to admit they had been wrong, or had given up all their interest in Mental Healing; and the third appealed to those in whom the seed planted by Mrs. Eddy had taken deep root. In their hours of darkness, they realized that Christian Science was a great, vital truth.

There were yet others who left Christian Science because they saw what they believed to be a broader field for money-making. These were those who had not been authorized to teach Christian Science, but who, following Mrs. Plunkett, Mrs. Hopkins and others, went out and taught class after class and accumulated much money during the heyday of that short but profitable period. But with the growth of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, and the decrease in the demand for theirs, they found a decreasing market for their wares. Other religious enterprises had perished, while Christian Science was steadily advancing. There was only one periodical which advertised practitioners and teachers on a large scale, and that was the Journal, the official organ of Christian Science. They could not advertise as teachers, but they might as practitioners, hence their only hope was in returning to the ranks of Christian Science and becoming members of the Mother Church. It was fortunate for the Church, and for those who sought the advertising pages of the Journal for a practitioner, that the large majority of these persons were known; and while they were kindly met, they were treated with reserve because of the false teaching they had received, and the freedom with which they had taught others when they had not been prepared for it as Mrs. Eddy prescribed.

Now that Christian Science, as taught by Mrs. Eddy, was proving that it was a great and growing force for good, old students and adherents of Mrs. Eddy, who had gone from her in years past, saw the advantages of again getting close in touch with her. In the days of poverty and strife, when it looked as though the various off-shoots were more likely to live than Mrs. Eddy’s own presentation of Christian Science, they had gone from her to easier and more lucrative fields of labor; but now, because the Leader’s students were gaining every day the place which belonged to them, they, the Prodigals, came to ask admission, and full honors. This culminated in a condition which Mrs. Eddy had to clarify, and to this end, in the Journal of February, 1894, she wrote as follows:

From letters received, I infer, that some of my students seem not to know in what manner they should demean themselves towards the students, of those teachers, who have turned away from us. This query is abnormal, after ‘line upon line and precept upon precept’ in the Scriptures, and in my books, on this very subject. “In Mark 9th chapter, commencing at the 33rd verse, you will find my views on this question. I have learned that nothing save love is admissible towards friend and foe. Besides, my own sympathies extend to the above named class of students more than to any other. If I had the time to talk with all the students of Christian Science, and correspond with them, I would gladly do it, and do my best toward helping them through the straight and narrow path. But I have not moments enough in which to give all the time needed by them, to those of my own flock, and charity must begin at home “Distinct denominational and social organizations…are at present necessary. But all people can love one another, and should, and never envy, never elbow, never slander, never hate, never try to injure, but always to bless their fellow mortals.”

This admission by Mrs. Eddy did much good among those who were willing to listen to her voice and obey to the best of their ability, but the conditions which came about among those who were coming to Christian Science from their old teaching and relations, brought about many trying experiences in branch churches and societies. Now a few had not been able to lay aside the impress of the teaching they had received, especially the dominating personality. They found it difficult to focus their reading and study upon what Mrs. Eddy prescribed, and in small towns where Christian Science had just taken root, these conditions became serious. They could not get away from the viewpoint that personality and will power must be used in healing, and their use of formulas for healing had become so assimilated that they could not free themselves from this pernicious system. As they had never worked under any restrictions in their practice, and as they had not organized churches, labored for them, sacrificed for them and been held within reasonable bounds by law they found difficulty in coming into line with the rules of church government, and those laid down by Mrs. Eddy relative to teaching and practice.

Under their old teaching, and in their practice, they had read everything in which they thought there might be some good, and their teachers, such as the very successful Frances Lord, who taught widely both in this country and in England, recommended the very type of literature which Mrs. Eddy asked her students to shun, namely books by Warren Felt Evans, Theosophy, Indian mysticism, materialistic philosophy, etc. In conversation with patients of loyal practitioners, they interfered with the straight course of Christian Science, and in their conversations recommended what they called broader lines of reading so that the patient was often led away from the truth which his practitioner was trying to present. Other periodicals were suggested as substitutes for the Christian Science Journal, on the ground that its articles were too heavy, too scientific.

It was also affirmed that the Journal was the means of advertising Mrs. Eddy’s books and strengthening her claim as being the only teacher of Christian Science, while for years they had been taught that Christian Science had been brought out by no one person, that it had always been and always would be the product of the cumulative thought of many spiritual thinkers. To accept Mrs. Eddy as the Teacher, and the Leader, as well as the divinely appointed wayshower of the age, was something they found most difficult. The rock upon which they had stood for years they felt to be slipping away from under them, and their nearest refuge was in Christian Science, but as they were not ready to accept this in its fullness, they were filled with fear for the future, querulous, and critical, especially of the Journal. In an editorial in the Journal of January, 1894, Judge Hanna referred to this condition as follows:

“The fact that our Cause has an organ through which the utterances of the students and friends of Christian Science may from time to time be given, should be appreciated by all. But more important than this is the other fact that through its columns our beloved Leader may and does give forth her words of encouragement, guidance, and admonition, in almost every issue. For these reasons the Journal should be so fully appreciated that all gladly take a lively interest in its welfare and success.

“The seeming indifference concerning it manifested by some who are otherwise active, raises the question whether they are not, unconsciously or otherwise, listening to those subtle arguments which seek to prevent the Journal’s publication and circulation. We occasionally hear of teachers who advise their students not to read the Journal. In doing this are they not setting their own sense of wisdom up against that of our Leader’s? That sort of teaching, generally carried out, might and would…soon stop its publication. Would not this be thwarting the purpose and desire of our Leader in establishing it and continuing its publication? Is this obedience and loyalty? Is it not well for those who take this position to think upon what its establishment and publication has cost our Leader? The fact that she started it and desires its continuance, and is doing so much for its support, ought to be sufficient to silence all such arguments as those referred to.”

Some of the “wandering” students of Mrs. Eddy now either felt the call, or the importance of obtaining a place in the ranks of Christian Science, and in some of the smaller places they made themselves very troublesome by assuming a larger knowledge of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings than that of faithful adherents who had started the work and built it up, but who had not studied with Mrs. Eddy. The reader must remember that the necessity of uniting with the Mother Church was not then so pronounced. There was no Manual, and no rule that required membership in order to have a practitioner’s card in the Journal, and there was no reason to look suspiciously at a person who was practicing because he was not a member of the Church. Hence those who had been students of Mrs. Eddy found no difficulty in entering a Christian Science community and making rapid headway in an assumed leadership, and this brought about a large amount of friction. While their beginnings were easy, to maintain their position was an entirely different proposition, especially if they had not remained loyal, for their past labor was looked into and they were judged accordingly.

There was yet another class of students, who had been taught by Mrs. Eddy, and who gave a different kind of trouble – those who had gone through her classes, but had lost enthusiasm and spirit to carry out the work and remained in a state of inactivity until awakened to the fact that Mrs. Eddy’s students were being more respected and looked up to than they had ever been, and that the call for authorized teachers was large and the remuneration very fair. Then they came to life and sought patients and students. But, alas, their knowledge had become inadequate because of disuse. They had not advanced with Mrs. Eddy as had her loyal students, and their worth was questioned because of their weakness and inefficiency.

For such students Mrs. Eddy had little use, unless they waked up, put their shoulders to the wheel, and showed a willingness to struggle and sacrifice. She felt that the labor which she had individually spent upon such students in her classes, through which they had been healed and regenerated, should have been appreciated. She esteemed good antagonists who were honest in their views much more than those who absorbed all she gave so plentifully, and then went to sleep in the Garden of Gethsemane, when they should have been watching and praying for the defence of the truth which had saved them. When such students awoke and had desires to be again recognized by Mrs. Eddy, they wrote her supplicating letters which it was impossible for her to know just how to answer. She needed to know what they had done, and how they had lived and thought since they left her class, for she had realized from experience that it was necessary to write with great care lest any word of praise or encouragement be magnified and used for personal ends. As the Cause of Christian Science grew and became more prosperous, the greater became the desire of those who had gone out from her to come back, and to gain their end they were impelled, first of all, to write to Mrs. Eddy. To read all these letters and make investigation was more than it was possible for her to do, and she took the course which every Christian Scientist knows is the right one – she let them work out their own salvation. Where she knew the conditions, and realized there were extenuating circumstances, she immediately sent words of cheer and help, but it became necessary for her to be relived of this burden, and to show that the way was still open for all supplicants if they would but work aright, she issued the following notice in the Journal of June, 1894:

“I hereby state publicly and positively, that until I advertise through these pages, or send special request to individuals to the contrary of this statement, I shall not receive a call from any one nor read letters, MSS., etc., which I have not myself first solicited. I advertise this, after waiting over two years for sufficient time of my own to arrange my writing desk, and while having on hand packages of sermons, with request that I examine them, other people’s correspondence to read, heaps of MSS. sent for approval, pyramids of letters requiring immediate answers, tired columns of applicants to call on me, business letters innumerable, etc. “My work for the other Church is done; and be it remembered that five years ago I came to Concord, N.H. for the purpose of retirement.

“If I know myself this is my sole desire – that all whom I have taught Christian Science, and all its teachers and its students, by whomsoever taught, yea, that all mankind, shall have one Shepherd, and He shall gather them into His fold, (unto Himself) Divine Love.

May 3, 1894 MARY BAKER EDDY.”

To those who had been taught what they were told was Christian Science and in which instruction the name of Mrs. Eddy was seldom if ever mentioned, the foregoing notice from the Leader of the Christian Science movement seemed the words of an usurper of a position to which no person had an exclusive right. These innocent but sadly deluded students were to be pitied, for by the fall of Mrs. Plunkett, and later by the utter collapse of the efforts of Mrs. Hopkins and others, as related in a foregoing chapter, they were left without leaders, and found that others who had been in their ranks had dropped out and turned to something else. Mr. and Mrs. Choate, earnest students of Mrs. Eddy in the Lynn days, had seen the handwriting on the wall, and their grave mistake in leaving her. The students of Mrs. Woodbury, who had been subject to her personality, were now disgusted with her and her pose as the mother of an immaculate conception, and were in a state of mental ferment. Mr. and Mrs. Choate had taught many students since leaving Mrs. Eddy, had been in close touch with Mrs. Plunkett, Mrs. Hopkins, and the congregation which sat under the preaching of Dr. Charles Macomber Smith, in the Church of the Divine Unity (Scientist) on Park Street. They also enjoyed the company of well-educated and clever people who attended that church, and wrote for Mr. Marston’s Mental Healing Monthly, but when at length they saw that their salvation lay in Christian Science, they found it impossible to bring their students into the same line of thought, and these could but drift along in what they had learned from their teachers.

In the meantime the Cause of Christian Science was growing with distinct bounds under the guidance of Mrs. Eddy, and here was their nearest haven. But in order to enter it they must accept her and her teachings in full, and they were told that they must put away their late sense of things and learn anew. For them to recognize Mrs. Eddy as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, and to honor the rules relative to who should teach, was a very difficult thing to do after the era of personal freedom they had so long indulged and enjoyed. To suggest that they accept the leadership of Mrs. Eddy, was a proposition which wrought them up to a high pitch of self-defending protest, and everything that Mrs. Eddy did brought forth a flood of censure at their hands. She had to refuse to see some of her students who had been untrue and harmful to her, but who now wanted to come back to herm, because she did not have the time; and because she made plain these facts, as we have shown, they declared her to be “a tyrant.”

The homage paid to her by her faithful students stirred them deeply, and probably no year in the history of the Cause brought forth so many events at which offence was taken as this of 1893. It is important that we consider some of these in order that we may understand why Mrs. Eddy wrote certain articles which are published in Miscellaneous Writings.

After she left Boston, her manner of living in Concord was such that no particular attention was attracted by it. The purchase of the estate later known as “Pleasant View,” was done so quietly that but few knew of it except those close to her. The first knowledge that the field had of it was gained from her article “Pond and Purpose” in the Journal of August, 1892, in which she wrote:

“Beloved Students: In thanking you for your gift of the pretty pond contributed to my ‘sweet home’ in Concord, N.H., I make no distinction between my students and your students; for here, thine becomes mine through gratitude and affection.”



MISS JULIA S. BARTLETT, C.S.D.

One of the original twelve members



In the Journal of June, 1893, there appeared two pictures of “Pleasant View,” and in that of July there was a letter from Mrs. Eddy of which the Editor writes, “The following letter was written in acknowledgment of the gift of a beautiful boat presented by the students and friends of Toronto, to be placed in the pond at Pleasant View. The boat contained among other decorations a number of masonic symbols.” Then follows Mrs. Eddy’s letter, “To Donors of Boat, from Toronto, Canada,” which is found in Miscellaneous Writings.

In the same Journal there is a notice relative to the National Cyclopedia of American Biography, which Mrs. Eddy highly commended to “every Christian Scientist.”

The next event was the Parliament of Religions in Chicago, which brought her into great prominence, while in December the announcement was made of the publication of Christ and Christmas, which was highly commended by Judge Hanna.

The disappointed and anxiously ambitious students to whom we have referred, interpreted all these things as evidences of a well-nigh idolatrous devotion, a worship of personality which Mrs. Eddy was accepting without protest or objection. The modest home of Mrs. Eddy was magnified into a great estate, and nothing too critical could be said of the price for which she sold her books, and the large profits she must be realizing in order to live so extravagantly.

The announcement of the forthcoming National Cyclopedia of American Biography added fuel to the flame, and the cry went up in all the land that Mrs. Eddy was using the Journal for the advertisement of her books and personal propaganda. It was the duty of the National Association, as they declared, to rebuke this exploitation of Mrs. Eddy, her continuous laudation, and “Mothering.”

The event that created the greatest uproar, however, was the publication of Christ and Christmas. The poems met with very little censure, but the illustrations awakened much criticism, and this was heaped especially upon the pictures “Christian Science Healing,” “Christian Unity” and “Truth versus Error,” because the face of the woman in these pictures was thought to be designed to represent Mrs. Eddy herself. Of these, “Christian Unity” was the one that drew the harshest comment, because the woman having a scroll in her hand marked Christian Science as holding the hand of Jesus, and the halo about the head is as large and as important as that of the Saviour. The figure of the woman in “Truth versus Error” also has a halo, and in these, it was affirmed, Mrs. Eddy had pushed her personality into the foreground more than ever and put herself on a par with Jesus. It was even declared that the artist had used Mrs. Eddy as his model.

That these impressions gained ground not only among adherents, but outside, in other religious circles, is evidenced by a paragraph written by Mrs. Eddy under the title “Queries” and published in the Journal of February, 1894:

“The clergyman may not understand that the illustrations in Christ and Christmas refer not to my personality, but rather foretell the typical appearing of the womanhood, as well as the manhood of God, our divine Father and Mother.”

These criticisms did not trouble Mrs. Eddy; but she was touched by the asserted projection of her personality, which adherents unconsciously and innocently seized upon, for she realized that it would retard their growth, and she felt obliged to rebuke it in the Journal of February, 1894, under “Hear, O Israel,” in which she wrote:

“Notwithstanding the rapid sale of two editions of Christ and Christmas, and many orders on hand, I have thought best to stop its publication. In this revolutionary religious period, the increasing inquiry of mankind as to Christianity and its unity, and above all, God’s dear love, opening the eyes of the blind – is fast fitting all minds for the proper reception of Christian Science Healing.

“But I must stand on this absolute basis of Christian Science, namely, Cast not pearls before the unprepared thought. Idolatry is an easily besetting sin of all peoples. The apostle saith: ‘Little children, keep yourselves from idols.’

“The illustrations were not intended for a golden calf, at which the sick may look and be healed. As Christian Scientists, we must beware of unseen snares, and adhere to the divine Principle and rules for demonstration. We must guard against the deification of finite personality. Every human thought should turn instinctively to the divine Mind as its sole centre and circumference. Until this be done, man will never be found harmonious and immortal.

“Whoever looks to me personally for health or holiness mistakes. He that by reason of human love or hatred, or from any other cause, clings to my material personality, greatly errs, stops his own progress, and loses the path to health, happiness and heaven. The Scriptures and Christian Science reveal the Way, and these revelators will take their proper place in history, but will not be deified.

“The advanced Scientific students were ready for Christ and Christmas; but these are a minority of its readers, and even they can know its practicality only by healing the sick on its divine Principle. In the words of the apostle, ‘Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.’

“Friends, strangers and Christian Scientists, I thank you each and all for your scholarly, artistic and scientific notices of my book. The little messenger has done its work, fulfilled its mission, retired with honor, and mayhap taught me more than it has others,. This knowledge I have gleaned from its fruitage, namely, that contemplating finite personality impedes spiritual growth, even as holding in mind the consciousness of diseases prevents the recovery of the sick.

“Christian Science can only be taught through its divine Principle which is invisible to corporeal sense. A material human likeness must be the antipode of man in the image and likeness of God. Hence it is not the model for a Metaphysician. I earnestly advise all my students to remove from observation or study the personal sense of any one, and not to dwell in thought upon their own, or others’ corporeality.

“According to Christian Science, material personality is an error in the premise, and must result in erroneous conclusions. All will agree with me that material portraiture often fails to express even mortal man, and therefore declares its unfitness for fable or fact.

“The face of Jesus has been so unnaturally delineated, it has turned many from the true contemplation of his character. He advances most in divine Science who meditates most of God and spiritual things. Experience will prove this true. Pondering on the finite personality of Jesus, the son of man, is not the channel through which is reached the Christ, or Son of God, the true idea of man’s divine Principle.

“I warn students against falling into this spirit of anti-Christ. The consciousness of corporeality, and whatever is connected therewith, must be outgrown. They are the falsities which include all obstacles to health, holiness, and Heaven. Man’s individual life is infinitely above a bodily existence, and remember, the human concept antagonizes the Divine….The poems and illustrations are not a text-book. Scientists take them too hard. Let them return to the Bible and Science and Health which contain all, and much more, than they have yet learned, We should prohibit ourselves the childish pleasure of studying Truth through the senses, for this is not the intent of my works. Even the teachings of Jesus are misused by substituting his personality for the Christ, the impersonal form of Truth…To Scientifically impersonalize a material sense of existence – rather than to cling to its personality – is the lesson of today. I ask my students to give their attention to this lesson and receive its blessing.”

This remarkable piece of writing, while applicable to all ages, was distinctly a product of the times, and part of it must be made clear from the thought of that period and the known reasons for its writing, especially from the paragraph beginning with “Christian Science can only be taught through its divine Principle,” etc., to the end of the article. This was the first work that Mrs. Eddy issued with illustrations, and this is explained by the fact that the poem lent itself so easily and excellently thereto. At that time thought of the labors and works of Jesus was paramount among the adherents of Christian Science, and in a more personal manner than today, because Mrs. Eddy had not led them as far away from it as she did later. It was felt by nearly every practitioner and student that he must have a picture of Jesus in his house or room, and the question often arose, as to what face of all that were to be had was the most like his. When Christ and Christmas was published, many adherents immediately saw what they believed must be the true face of the Master, and that it must be so because it was Mrs. Eddy’s demonstration. Her statement relative to the face of Jesus: “I never looked upon my ideal of the face of Jesus, but the one in my work approximates it,” brought about a curious phase of thought in not a few of the adherents of the Cause. They dwelt upon this picture and felt that if such lineaments should be found among men who were morally and mentally beyond reproach, and who were laboring earnestly and faithfully in Christian Science, their features were of this mold also, through demonstration, because they were living the Christ life! Those who seemed to be the most eligible to this reflection were ministers who had become interested in Christian Science, because apart from their features their manner of address, their soft, kindly speech made such appeal. The man of business was less eligible, because he was more brusque and active physically and more awake to the practical side of everyday life. All this led foolish women adherents to admire particularly those men practitioners who as they thought resembled the picture of Jesus, and in conversation phrases like the following were not infrequently heard: “His face is like that of Jesus.” “He has the most Christlike face I ever saw,” with the result that such a person at once became an object of superstitious interest and admiration.

Naturally, such an unfortunate had all that he could do to keep his Christianly Scientific balance, and the likeness of his features to those in Christ and Christmas put him in a position which to a loyal, honest, and sensible Christian Scientist was embarrassingly trying. Knowing of these exhibitions of human weakness, the reader will more fully realize the significance of Mrs. Eddy’s rebuke when she wrote:

“The poems and illustrations are not a text-book. Scientists take them too hard. Let them return to the Bible and Science and Health which contain all, and much more, than they have yet learned. We should prohibit ourselves the childish pleasure of studying Truth through the senses, for this is not the intent of my works. Even the teachings of Jesus are misused by substituting his personality for the Christ, the impersonal form of Truth.”

It seems that in those days, whatever Mrs. Eddy did for the benefit of humanity was quite sure to be interpreted in a way that contradicted her purpose, and in very many cases her own adherents gave her words a meaning which she had never thought of, and which brought about unfavorable comment. The impulsion to give an awe-inspiring interpretation of her efforts would often have defeated the very end for which she was working had she not at once discovered and corrected the error.

These were the conditions which were rife at that period, and no one knew or understood them better than did Mrs. Eddy; but she realized that not until the proper time came would it be best to make an attempt to lovingly call to her standard those wandering ones who were again looking toward Christian Science. To the students who had gone from her she was ready to send out a kind and earnest recall, but it was not until after the ferment over Christ and Christmas had gone into the past, that she issued this call in the Journal of December, 1894, and the very title is significant of the tenderness and love which was in her heart for all who needed help. It was headed “Overflowing Thoughts.”

“In this receding year of religious Jubilee, 1894, I, as an individual, would cordially invite all persona who have left our fold, together with those who never were in it – all who love God and keep His commandments, to come and unite with the Mother Church in Boston. Coming thus they should be welcomed as of old, greeted as brethren endeavoring to walk with us hand in hand as we journey to the Celestial City.

“Also, I would extend a tender invitation to Christian Scientists’ students, – those who are ready for the table of our Lord. So should we follow Christ’s teachings, so bury the dead past, so loving one another, go forth to the full vintage time, exemplifying what we profess. But some of the older members are not quite ready to take this advanced step in the full spirit of that charity which thinketh no evil, and if it be not taken thus, it is impractical, unfruitful, Soulless.

“I am not unmindful of the ‘whisperers,’ the unspiritual, barren minds, breathing hatred and falsehood ignorantly, or maliciously, mentally and audibly, at work on the apathetic consciences – sowing seedlings of strife; declaring in the dark, ‘Mrs. Eddy is a tyrant, and she is hurting you shockingly’ – words that are vain when themselves know, that as masked murderers, they are seeking to blind the eyes of my students as to their teacher, the sooner to kill them morally and physically.

“By reason of this dernier infirmity of inquiry, ‘Be not deceived, God is not mocked.’ Ask your God, and mine, if this be so; ask my household if such is my intent or act towards anyone; ask those who know me best, if I counsel or devise aught that hurts another’s health, morals or prosperity. My deepest desires, and daily labors, go to prove that I love my enemies, and would help all to gain the abiding consciousness of health, happiness and Heaven.

“I hate no one, and love others more than they love me. As I now understand Christian Science, I would sooner harm myself than another, lest by breaking Christ’s command, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,’ I should lose my hope of Heaven.

“The works I have written on Christian Science contain absolute Truth, and my necessity was to tell it, therefore. I did this even as a surgeon who wounds to heal. I was a scribe under orders, and who can refrain from transcribing what God indites, and ought not that one to take the cup, drink all of it, and give thanks?

“Being often reported as saying what never escaped from my lips when rehearsing facts concerning others who were reporting falsehoods about me, I have been sorry, and wished I were wise enough to guard against that temptation, Oh! may the love that is talked be felt, and so lived that when weighed in the scales of God, we be not found wanting. Love is consistent, uniform, sympathetic, selfsacrificing, unutterably kind, even that which lays all upon the altar, speechless and alone bears all burdens, suffers all inflictions, endures all piercing for your sake, and for the Kingdom of Heaven.”

This article taken from the original is different from the one published in Miscellaneous Writings, which appears there as revised. The reader will recognize therefore that the writing as it is given in the foregoing is one that was brought about by the condition of the times and when read and reread in the light of its environment, it is a most remarkable disclosure of Mrs. Eddy’s feelings, purposes and hopes. It was evidently written with a great sense of inspiration, of deep love and the desire to give what she had learned and was learning by experience to all. Toward those who had left her, and toward those, especially, who were groping in the dark, she advanced with outstretched hands of guidance, love, and welcome. There are passages in this article which voice a great heart-searching desire, – a desire to have all who have aught against her to ask for proof: “Ask your God, and mine, if this be so; ask my household,” etc.

In the closing words, especially, she opened her heart to all; and in the desire to go even more than half-way toward them, she was willing to acknowledge humbly her own liability to error and said: “I wish I were wise enough to guard against that temptation.”

By this she showed that in finding something in herself to overcome, especially the same trouble they all had, that she was not placing herself upon a spiritual pedestal, but could feel as they felt. In her willingness to acknowledge her own faults, she could ask them to meet her frankly and acknowledge theirs. How the cry of her inmost heart rang out in that deep-seaching prayer: “Oh! may the love that is talked be felt, and so lived that when weighed in the scales of God, we be not found wanting.”

Her thoughts at this portentous time, December, 1894, were overflowing with such fullness that words could hardly express them, for this was indeed a “Jubilee” year. The Mother Church edifice was nearing completion and would be ready for dedication in the following month. It was the culmination of the labor of thirty years; the healing and teaching of thousands; the writing, re-writing, and arranging of thousands of pages; the inditing of thousands of letters, the giving of personal counsel and encouragement to thousands of students and adherents; the guidance of her flock; the oversight of legal matters pertaining to her publications and the Church lot; the rebuking of error in hundreds; the bringing out and strengthening of the talent she found among those who could help her; the defence of her teachings not only against persecution from without but against treason within; the defence of her personal character; the checking of too enthusiastic students lest they run too fast; the interdiction of personal deification, and other labors too many to enumerate. For thirty years she had been looking forward to the time when there should be a suitable place for the Christian Science Service, and for nearly ten years the collection of funds for building had been in progress.

It is a remarkable fact that until the Mother Church was erected, no church edifice had been erected in any of the cities of this country by Christian Scientists, and it is still more remarkable that Christian Science was able to enter the Parliament of Religions and to take the place it did when there was not a building representing the Christian Science denomination in the whole world, except a little structure in Oconto, which to the onlooker of other large denominations, made the contrast even greater; for the little building in Oconto, as bravely as it stands out in the history of Christian Science, could not be an example to the world of the success of the movement either in point of numbers, progress, or financial ability. What then had been the reason for the dignified, never-fearing, and always hopeful attitude of Christian Scientists individually and collectively? The constant training and idealization of their thought, the constant growth in mental poise and strength, the application of Christian Science to daily problems and the successful working out of these problems, the continuous and unquestionable regeneration of hopeless human beings in the matter of health, strength, and moral status, the more spiritual interpretation of the works and the words of Jesus, and lastly the manifestation of gratitude, love, and full-hearted willingness to sacrifice for the upbuilding of the Cause of Christian Science, and the realization of the ideals and hopes of their Teacher and Leader, Mrs. Eddy. At the appointed time the Church edifice was built, and Mrs. Eddy had appointed this time even though there was not quarter enough funds in the treasury, for she wrote my father on March 25, 1893, nearly two years before the date of dedication, “The church must be built in 1894, Deo volente.” And God was willing.

There were yet other unusual issues which were contributory to Mrs. Eddy’s realization of her great demonstration, and which brought to her “overflowing thoughts”; for she found that the funds for the Church edifice were flowing into the treasury with unprecedented volume and steadiness without solicitation or urgence, and that a new radiance would be shed upon the labors of her faithful adherents, since the building would be dedicated without a mortgage of any kind. Although the country was passing through a great financial crisis, there was not thought of obtaining a loan or a mortgage, and the workers in the field and the little children were all doing more than they had thought they would be able to do. At the time she was penning “Overflowing Thoughts,” there was almost enough in the hands of Mr. Chase, the Treasurer, to complete the edifice, and a few weeks later when the Directors told her that enough money had been contributed, she suggested that the field be notified to that effect.

The reader of these statements can readily see why Mrs. Eddy’s thoughts were overflowing with gratitude for all, not only toward her adherents but toward all believers in the mission of Jesus Christ. For enough money to be in the treasury to pay all bills for the erection and furnishing of the building, and for the Treasurer to state in a point-blank way that no more contributions would be accepted after a certain date, was practically without precedent, and most astonishing to the outside world especially, for it threw a new light upon the growing influence of Christian Science.

And this remarkable achievement was made possible only through the gratitude of countless thousands for the cessation of pain and grief. It was an expression of the love of her students, and of adherents who for the most part had never seen her, and it was the knowledge of their gratitude and love for the Science she had discovered and taught which touched her heart and inspired her response in “Overflowing Thoughts.”

As the day for the completion and dedication of the Church drew near, Mrs. Eddy gratefully realized that the contributions for its erection, which came from all parts of the earth, had, in large part, been earned by little children and elderly people of very humble resources, who had made great sacrifices in order to send them, and that it was sincere gratitude which had impelled them in their giving. And it was in this hour of victory over treason, hatred, and malicious persecution, that she humbly and lovingly stooped to help the needy and faltering ones to see the truth, and if possible, to effect reconciliation between herself and some of her old students who had been unjust and unkind to her. Taking their hands in hers, she gave them her blessing and a prayer for their aid. Read her “Overflowing Thoughts” in the light of the times, such as I have earnestly but, I know, inadequately described, and you will in its radiance become forever grateful for an effort such as no other human being has put forth since Christ Jesus, in the way of a religious protest. Martin Luther with indomitable courage served a great purpose and achieved a great overcoming as a Protestant, but his struggle was only with the Church of Rome. Mrs. Eddy protested not only against the dogmas and bitter prejudices of many and powerful religious sects, but against the universal theories and practice of medicine, the reigning material philosophy of the schools, and the misapprehension and contempt of the world at large.

The reader will see that the conditions of thought which Mrs. Eddy felt were inherently opposed to her in September, 1893, were not fancied, as some critics would have their readers believe, and they were not alleviated to any large extent until after her expression of love in “Overflowing Thoughts,” which seemed to dissolve the barriers as no other appeal had done. The conditions of thought extant in Christian Science, which Mrs. Eddy tried to correct in her articles “Queries,” “Hear Ye, Israel,” “Christ and Christmas,” and “Overflowing Thoughts,” were very peculiar, as I have tried to show, and they explain the call for a meeting of the National Association at the close of the Christian Science Congress, September 20, 1893. The chaos precipitate by the deeding of the land for the Church edifice previous to the “Deed of Trust” showed Mrs. Eddy that the best way to improve conditions, overcome existing difficulties, remove obstacles, and further the success of the Cause, was to take the same step, in another mater, which she did with respect to the land, viz., take control of it. Hence, at the close of the Christian Science Congress, September 20, 1893, Dr. Foster-Eddy, as President of the National Association, read the following communications from her:

To the National Christian Scientist Association: – I recommend that this meeting be considered as the adjourned meeting of the National Christian Scientist Association; and that this body shall adjourn to meet again three years from this date.

MARY B. G. EDDY”

My dear Students: – I have a unique request to lay before the National Christian Scientist Association. It is this: Will you decide by vote, whether or not I am already the owner of the Christian Science Journal, which seems to have fallen into my hands by reason of your prior vote to disorganize this Association? However this may be, I see the wisdom of owning this Christian Science waif. Therefore I respectfully suggest to this honorable body the importance of voting on this question.

Affectionately yours,

MARY B. G. EDDY.”

As a result, the record of the event reads:

“It was moved, seconded and unanimously carried, that the meeting be considered the adjourned meeting of the National Christian Scientist Association, and that the body should adjourn to meet again in three years from this date.

“It was also moved, seconded, and unanimously carried: That it be declared by this Association of Christian Scientist to be its understanding that the Christian Science Journal is now owned by Rev. Mary B. G. Eddy, its donor and original proprietor. There was then read an instrument signed by Mrs. Eddy, in which she redonated to this Association the Christian Science Journal. It was moved, seconded, and unanimously carried, that the offer be accepted with gratitude and thanks subject to all the conditions contained therein. Moved and carried, that a business and publication committee consisting of Mr. E. P. Bates, Mr. Joseph Armstrong, and Mr. Eugene Greene be appointed to act in a business capacity for this Association.

WM. B. JOHNSON, Secretary.”

The step which Mrs. Eddy thus took in asking the members of the National Association to assure her that the Journal was her property, was one that she felt was necessary and wise. The thoughts of many of the members of the Association were at variance in regard to who owned the Journal, for they did not understand the resolutions taken at the meeting in New York City relative to conditions under which the Association was existing and carrying on business. During the three years which had gone by, certain peculiar ideas relative to the standing of the Association had found place, and there seemed to be a ferment over the question as to its powers, and the reason for its existence as a mere voluntary Association. During these years since the adjournment in New York, many thousands had come into Christian Science, and it was natural with those who had entered the practice to make inquiries about becoming members of the National Association. As there had been no provisions made at the last meeting of the body (when it disorganized) to accept candidates, their thoughts became somewhat confused. In the meantime, notices appeared in the Journal to the effect that the members of the National Christian Scientist Association, were to send their Association dues from May 27, 1890, to May 27, 1893, to Wm. B. Johnson, Secretary.

To many, especially those who came into Christian Science since 1889, this seemed a curious way to carry on an organization. Those who had been closely in touch with the little church in Boston in 1889 and saw the benefit which had followed its disorganization and its existence as a voluntary body, realized that Mrs. Eddy was following out the same plan with the National Association, but the very large majority of the adherents of Christian Science did not; hence a peculiar fermentation took place, and some of its rulings were called in question.

The vote of the Association in 1890, relative to Mrs. Eddy’s request, was to the effect that “this Association be disorganized”; that the Constitution and By-Laws be thus set aside and the N.C.S.A. dissolved, that they resolve themselves into a voluntary assembly of Christians and “adjourn the present meeting for three years.”

Out of this came conditions quite parallel with those which came about after the disorganization of the Church in Boston in 1889, an example of which was shown in the protest and criticism of Chas. S. Cutter as given in a foregoing chapter.

Since for three years the Association had been a “voluntary Assembly of Christians,” no small amount of critical and conflicting thought sprang up relative to the Board of Directors of the Church, which was then in the same status of disorganization. While this state of affairs was existing in the Association, rulings which it had made for the good of the entire field were being obeyed by those only who spiritually discerned the situation, and were being ignored by as many more because they were not understood, and, further, had been “repealed and set aside.”

It was in the midst of these circumstances that Mr. Bailey and Mrs. Stetson again cast longing eyes upon the Journal. The report of the Publishing Committee on January 1, 1893, showed that Mr. Nixon’s report of the favorable financial condition of the Journal was not true, and that it was just holding its own. Mr. Bailey believed that as a private enterprise he could take it, have it well backed financially, and make a success of it; but, under existing conditions, to whom did it legally belong? The Association had accepted it at its meeting in Cleveland in 1889, had made plans and carried them out to finance it, enlarge its circulation, and give it broader scope in every way, and whatever benefits had been derived from all this would seem to belong to the Association. It was therefore a question with some. To whom did the Journal belong when the National Association was dissolved as a chartered body? Mrs. Eddy saw the danger in which the Journal was placed. She further realized that as the established organ of Christian Science it was a very valuable asset for the future. She therefore felt the need of knowing positively, from the Association itself, who owned the Journal, and when she found how a large number would attend the Christian Science Congress on September 20, at Chicago, she decided to take the step she did; and when the Association had declared its understanding to be that “the Christian Science Journal is now owned by Rev. Mary B. G. Eddy, its donor and original proprietor,” she redonated it to the Association. This, in the words of Dr. Foster-Eddy, “was to make doubly sure that it belonged to her, and that no person or persons had, or could have, any legal claim on the Journal.” In this simple and effective manner she swept aside everything that might disturb the status of its ownership in the future.

All matters which were fomenting relative to the ownership of the Journal, were stilled when the National Association settled the question; but to further put an end to commotions which had been stirred up, Mrs. Eddy had inserted in the Journal of November, 1893, and on a page which faces the account of the vote of the Association, the following “NOTICE”:

My beloved Christian Scientists: – Please send in your contributions as usual to our Journal. All is well at headquarters and when the mist shall melt away you will see clearly the glory of the heaven of love within your own hearts. Let this sign of peace and harmony be supreme and forever yours.

“I proposed to merge the adjourned meeting in the one held at Chicago, simply because I see no advantage and great disadvantage in one student’s opinions or modus operandi becoming the basis for others; read ‘Retrospection’ on this subject. Science is absolute and best understood through the study of my works and a daily Christian demonstration. It is their materiality that clogs the student’s progress, and ‘this kind goeth not forth but by prayer and fasting.’ It is materialism through which the animal magnetizer preys and becomes a prey. Spirituality is the basis of all true volition. Assembling themselves together, and listening to each other amicably, or contentiously, I have seen, is no aid to the student in acquiring solid Christian Science. Experience, and above all obedience, are the tests of growth and understanding in Science.”

While Christian Scientists as a whole went to Chicago filled with the feeling of brotherly love, and honestly wanted to do their part in bringing about the true “brotherhood of man,” some did not have the wisdom to avoid all denominational criticism. While the great Parliament of Religions did very much to bring about a spirit of peace and love, yet all feeling and argument did not vanish, and some struck hard at Christian Science. This was not in the congresses, but outside; and because of the love Christian Scientists had shown, these shafts brought the greater pain, and it was soon found that Christian Scientists were replying to these attacks, and incidentally passing criticism upon other religions. Articles were sent to the Journal also for publication, which contained criticism of other religious systems. When these reached Mrs. Eddy, she was impelled to advise her followers in her article, “Take Heed,” published in the Journal of November, 1893, which read as follows:

“I hereby enjoin upon all Christian Scientists that hereafter they refrain from speaking or writing condemnatory of any Christian denomination, and only promulgate Christian Science through correct statement of the science of Christianity, and by its good works.

“This alone is consistent with our attitude and the brotherly place accorded us in the Congress and Parliament of Religions in A.D. 1893.

MARY B. G. EDDY”

At the end of the year of 1886, Mrs. Eddy had been teaching in Boston a little over four years, in the midst of denunciation from the believers in medicine, the clergy, and the press, and persecution from all directions. Despite these disabilities, the results of her teaching were such that those who had come to be healed, without faith, and with scarcely a hope, yet grasping at the last straw, were marvellously helped amid a chaos of mental antagonism, and the following testimony coming at this period will help us to realize how divinely she was led, and why these students wrote as they did. This beautiful “New Year’s Greeting” was sent to Mrs. Eddy after Mr. Gill had made his vicious newspaper attack, and had been so efficiently answered by Mrs. Crosse.

“With heartfelt gratitude for the blessed truths that through you have become manifest, and as a slight token of sincere affection, we take advantage of this most joyous period – the commemoration of Christ’s nativity, when the heart of the Christian world is brought to a more acute sense of the munificence of God’s goodness, and in loving ecstasy throbs with praise and adoration of the Father’s bondless and overflowing love, as exemplified through the Son, to convey to you the happy greetings of a few earnest followers, gathered together in His and thy name – a Bible-and-Science class holding its conclave here beneath the shadows of this far-away ‘dome of the continent.’

“To Him who is Life, Love and Truth – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – we do first, and above all, owe devotion and praise. He has again manifested His infinite love and watchfulness by renewing the oil in the lamp, causing the light, which, to material sense, was becoming dim, to become bright and clear again, enabling us to read once more the loving words and message sent – ‘peace on earth and goodwill towards man.’ To you, next, do we owe grateful acknowledgment and praise as the instrument of Truth’s manifestation; for through a life lovingly devoted to self-sacrifice and spiritual reflection you have brought yourself so far within the pale of His holy will as to become (in a measure greater than others) transparent to the Light; and as such, the reflecting agent of Truth, to all who would see.

It was in the far-off East, in the ages past, Where the herald of Light appeared,
Which illumined the way to the then known West, Where lay the God-inspired.
Again in the East does the Light appear; And extends its rays to the West;
And this new West hears with willing ear The story of Truth’s behest.

“May the presence of our loving instructor long be spared to us, and may each succeeding New Year bring with it increased joy, in the knowledge that the world’s darkness grows less and less dense, and that the light of Truth, through Christian Science, is bringing order out of chaos, leading to the fulfillment of the Master’s prayer: ‘Thy will be done aw it is in Heaven,’ – this is the earnest wish of your affectionate students and followers.”

It may be possible, but it would surely be difficult to find a more fittingly expressed concept of the position Mrs. Eddy held in the thoughts of her students. The joy of healing, the realization of heart satisfaction and happiness, and the knowledge of the safety of the future, lifted them out of the past, and the truth came as “a white-winged angel throng’ of purer, more beautiful thoughts. Thus they expressed their gratitude with tender impressiveness. There is no preconceived plan in this. It all came from the depths of an enriched and quickened consciousness of good.




Chapter XLI

The Church Building Fund

IT is worthwhile at this point, for the benefit of those who may inquire into the detail of the history of the collection of funds for the building of the Mother Church, to place the facts before the world.

The thought of a building fund which had lain dormant during the selfish régime of Mr. Gill was revised by Mrs. Crosse and a concert in its aid was planned for April 13 (1887).

This concert took place in Chickering Hall, and was the direct result of the efforts of the students in Boston to band themselves more securely together and labor for the Cause and a Church home, The meeting of the National Association in Boston in April, 1887, brought members from distant points, and their attendance at the concert for the Building Fund in the evening helped spread the need for contributions in as many directions as those members lived.

A mote that was difficult to remove from the eyes of some who lived at a distance was, “What good will such an edifice be to me or to hundreds of others who live at such a distance that we cannot attend, and may never see it?” This argument held back many contributions that would otherwise have flowed into the treasury. If the view had been held with less personality, and they could have realized for what purpose, beside a place for meetings or services, it was meant, the spiritual interpretation would have been apprehended.

It was realized by the workers in Boston that some other method of obtaining contributions must be employed that would awaken and make an individual appeal to those interested in Christian Science. It was thought that the plan of using a card, having for its central figure a Bible and upon it Science and Health, would be most fitting. Upon this Mrs. Crosse commented in the Journal of July, 1887, as follows:

The attention of Journal readers, and friends of Christian Science everywhere, is called to the great need of earnest effort in behalf of the Church-building Fund. As an aid toward the accomplishment of this purpose, a card has been designed and printed, and is offered for sale, by students and friends, to all desirous of assisting in the work. The appropriateness of the design will be appreciated, symbolizing, as it does, the basis of Christian Science.”

These cards read as follows:

“THE ONLY TEXT-BOOKS

“Used in the Teaching and Practice of Christian Science.

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’

– I Cor. 3, 11.”

Then in the center is a picture of the Bible with Science and Health upon it.

In the reign of peaceful reconstruction that followed Mr. Gill’s departure, these efforts for contributions were more enthusiastically taken up than ever before. Mrs. Eddy had given her consent for the use of Science and Health on the Building Fund card, but she uttered words of caution relative to their use, for they should not be used in any way that would suggest begging, either from adherents or from those outside. She preferred that all contributions should come from those who were grateful for what Christian Science had done for them, and she felt that the results of this labor should be demonstration and that the right source for obtaining money should be found.

As these cards for contributions for the Building Fund were being made ready to be sent out, Mrs. Eddy took this factor into consideration in her sermon of June 19, 1887, in Chickering Hall. This was Communion Sunday, and Chickering Hall was filled, as it was known that she would preach. I remember this sermon very well, and the comments made upon it, and that it not only was remarkable as a guide to those who were working to find contributors, but to teachers and adherents as well, and the reader will notice how well her words are fitted to the purpose, in a metaphysical way, because Mrs. Eddy did not desire to appeal directly for a Church edifice, for the reason, as already stated, that others might consider it as a memorial to her. The text of her remarks, which is not in her published writings, is as follows:

“ ‘Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.’ Notwithstanding the privileges the disciples had enjoyed with their Master, who had qualified them to be fishers of men, they, who had been called from their nets, as soon as they had lost sight of him, relapsed, turned back to their nets, and were ensnared in them again. ‘They toiled all night and caught nothing.’ It is always darkest before dawn. The night was far spent. They had sailed forward and backward over the dark waters, vainly searching for gain, – reminding us of Job’s experience, where he says: ‘I go forward, but He is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive Him.’ As they drew nigh to the shore, they heard the loving voice of their Master, saying: ‘Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.’ Then he directed them to cast their net on the right side of the ship. This is the important thing to understand, which is the right side? Is it the material or the spiritual side of life and its pursuits? They found, after they had learned by bitter experience their mistake, and yielded obedience to Christ’s command, – that success followed; for now, heading his direction, they cast their net on the other side, and gathered an abundance of fish.

“One who loved his Teacher was the first to recognize the stranger on the shore; and he told Peter, who immediately gathered his fisher’s coat about him. Peter did not attempt to walk over the wave as he once did, when Jesus was nearer to him, but was willing to beat against the wave; so, plunging into the water, he swam for the shore.

“Upon their arrival the disciples found that Jesus had provided for their wants, for ‘they saw a fire of coals, there, and fish lad thereon, and bread’; and Jesus supped with them. Whence came this supply of food, which had been prepared for them? Was it not a spiritual feast, even the ‘bread that cometh down from Heaven?’ After they had partaken of this – the last supper, the perpetual Passover, but not a material supper – we find the disciples so enlightened and strengthened in Spirit that they never returned to their old pursuits, but were steadfast in following his teachings, proclaiming the ‘glad tidings of salvation’.”

These remarks showed to students and adherents the only way in which to labor for the furtherance of the Cause, to cast their nets on the right side; for by so doing they would reap the spiritual benefits, and this would be equally so with money matters for the Building Fund, for the only way to obtain this was by the spiritual way, through gratitude for Christian Science, and this would give every stone in the foundations and in the whole edifice, solidity and strength.

Mrs. Crosse made vigorous appeals for the church edifice, and in going over these with my father (while looking up some historical data), he told me that I should read them carefully, for while they were written and signed by Mrs. Crosse, Mrs. Eddy contributed their essential thought, and desired that all arguments against the building of a Mother Church in Boston, be Scientifically taken up and the error destroyed. It is therefore with added interest that we scan these editorials of Mrs. Crosse carefully, for here we may glean many suggestions which were undoubtedly given her by Mrs. Eddy. Here is one from the September, 1886, Journal. It presents a very good picture of times that were different from the present, and which can never be duplicated. The family of Christian Scientists was then small, and Mrs. Eddy was like a mother to them all:

Dear Journal Readers, – You are returning homme, or soon will be, and a consideration of the Cause you profess to love is required of you. Without doubt, you have given testimony of the Truth, and carried the glad tidings to many poor sufferers, that there is healing and salvation for them; without doubt, too, you have spoken a good word for the Journal, and recommended or given it to them to read, but have you forgotten the Church? It is your privilege to give generously and receive the reward. If I knew of a beautiful country, replete with hill and mountain effects, and a glorious effulgence over it all, would it not be a duty and pleasure for me to urge all travelers to journey thither? Would they not receive ample return for their expenditure, supposing there were some costs entailed? So it is with our Church work. We are entering a beautiful country, and the Light is before us – attainable – for us. I do not feel like a beggar at all when I ask you for your gifts for the Church, for am I not showing you the way to bless others as well as yourselves?...

“Do not be niggardly, those of you who can afford to do so much; and you can all afford to do something. I would like every one of you to feel this is a direct appeal to you individually. Let it be a heart offering. Never mind about taking counsel with the head. Get out of the finite sense, and know that Good is infinite, and that you have inexhaustible treasures.

“I am told that some say it is unscientific – that is, not in strict keeping with Christian Science – for us to build a church of brick! Well now, that is a way of getting out of doing good, but I hope it is not an excuse for parsimony. The Church triumphant is not of brick. It is Heaven; One Mind, and the harmony thereof. But who of you are ready to quite do away with the symbols yet? Not one of you has given all you have, and said ‘I have no further need of what mortals require.’ Jesus did not reject a temple to teach in….Inquiry comes ‘When are we to have our church edifice?’ When you get ready to give liberally toward it….

“Think of the good we can achieve with plenty of room, and our altar established. We shall show a great growth in numbers this fall, and without doubt we shall show a spiritual growth, which is the only growth in fact. More room is needed. We are crowded in our Sunday-school facilities in Chickering Hall. Be not afraid that we shall spend your money in vain show; but we would like something worthy of the great Truth we represent. The Church work is the most important of all. Dear friends, let us join hands, and work with a will which shall be after the Spirit.”

Mrs. Eddy is responsible for another plea at this time, though it appeared under another nom de plume:

“The home of the Christian Scientist is in the understanding of God. His affection and interests are there, and his abiding place is there. The entrance to that home,…is through the footsteps of Truth, by following Jesus’ words and works. Human reason could not teach men this true following. Spiritual perception and inspiration must do this. Christian Scientists,…must build three tabernacles, and the building of these must be in the divine order. Christian Science teaches the great unreality of sin, and students of this Science,…must meet and master the claims of sin in all its forms; thus, and thus only, demonstrating its nothingness.

“First, there was the tabernacle reared to the living God, by self-consecration to the life of Christ – this includes the victory over sickness, sin and death. This tabernacle is the gospel of Jesus and no structure could be reared whose foundation was not laid thereon. To him who builds the first, the second is not hard.

“The second tabernacle is made for Moses, by the fulfilling of the law, according to the Hebrew Decalogue. Nor was it sufficient that a man did not break this law visible. The Penal law restrains mortals to a great extent, through fear of punishment but the law of God is Love, constraining man.

“In that silent sanctuary, hidden from mortal’s sight, there must be moral courage, honesty, purity, and rigid, unswerving adherence to right. This home of Soul and tabernacle of Justice brought to light much spiritual power, so that healing appeared through Moses. A union of Love and Justice, the gospel and law, is the certain home of the disciple, wherein he abides in the understanding and partakes of the power of God. Love,…when understood, detaches our affections from the human standpoint, and attaches them to the divine. It wings our efforts, inspires our struggles, heals our hearts, bruised in warfare with error, and enables us to lay ourselves willing offerings on the altar.

“The third tabernacle was Elias. Whosoever hath inhabited the second may enter this, where prophetic vision is the reward of faithfulness, unselfishness, love. There thought triumphs over the din of error, and reads in the ‘signs of the times,’ with assure hope, the final ‘restoration of all things.’

“This Horeb-height is the unity of the law from Sinai, the death on Calvary, and the Revelation. It is the tabernacle of the Most High, the Mount of Transfiguration.” (Jul. Dec. ’86.)

With these thoughts given by Mrs. Eddy to her congregation there should have been a heartier response for a Church home from certain sources and especially from the one who was then filling the pulpit, Mr. Gill. While he had spoken well and earnestly on this Sunday, it was not long before he succeeded in elbowing Mrs. Crosse out of office, as Manager, also Rev. James Henry Wiggin, who had been retained by the Journal to look over the makeup of its columns.

One of Mrs. Eddy’s faithful students, Mrs. A. M. Harvey, wrote a letter to Mrs. Eddy relative to the Building Fund, which appeared in the August Journal of 1887, with Mrs. Eddy’s approval, and on this account it is well to quote it herewith. It read as follows:

My Precious Teacher:

You can do as you please concerning the money I sent you for the church, – make it known or not. I feel it my duty of all students, let them live where they may, to do and give all they can to build the Mother Church in Boston. I, for one, mean to give all in my power to help the Cause. I am willing to sacrifice; and I deem it the duty of all to think less of what we eat, drink, wear, or make a show with, beyond cleanliness, neatness and comfort. It is my intention to live for the Cause.

We must have that church built! Chicago alone has students enough, if they would take it up as Methodists would, to have it built in one year….It is a shame to let the enterprise drag along in the way it does. Let us all put our shoulders to the wheel…Let us be in earnest, and see what can be done….Forgive me, if I have said too much. I do feel that it is time to be in earnest….

Your loving student,

Mrs. A. M. HARVEY.”

In this matter Mrs. Harvey more than kept her promise, for Mrs. Crosse had inserted in the Journal of September: under “Generosity,” – “From Mrs. Harvey comes the liberal gift of five-hundred dollars to the Church-building Fund, and from another student one thousand.”

The Building Fund cards had garnered some return by the end of August (1887) and the committee wrote for the Journal as follows:

“Many encouraging letters have been received, in answer to the circulars sent to the students in different States, all expressing their deep interest in the work, and their earnest desire to see our Church established. Many have responded generously to our appeal, while others have added their mite; but to each and all who have done what they could, we should like to give the assurance that their contributions have been thankfully received.”

In every walk of life, in every business house and organization, there are those who have certain special talents, and for them it is easy to accomplish the objective for which they aim. This was the case in the little Church in Boston where Mrs. Mary F. Eastaman held the little children so lovingly and tenderly to her heart, and filled them with earnestness and zeal to labor for a fair, that would be in aid of the Building Fund. This effort was started in the early summer of 1887, and until the autumn they persevered in their work, and this touched to earnestness the thought of mothers, fathers and relatives. They took hold with enthusiasm, and broadening out the plans, decided to make it a nation-wide undertaking by inviting the different Students’ Associations to participate. From small beginnings among the children the matter of the fair had grown to a plan that was most exceptional in its scope, and by this venture it was hoped that a new source of energy would be tapped among adherents all over the country. As the fruitage of the plan increased, arrangements had to be made to take care of the work, for it was altogether too much for one person, even of one with such energy and quick activities as Mrs. Eastaman, and a meeting was called and officers and committees selected. Mrs. Eastaman was elected President, Frank E. Mason, Secretary, and Miss Carrie E. Stratton, Treasurer.



MRS. ELLEN L. CLARKE, C.S.D.

One of the original twelve members



This event was successful not only in its management, but in the loving and devoted efforts of all who participated. On Tuesday, December 20, the second evening, Mrs. Eddy attended, and was escorted to the platform by Henry P. Bailey, As usual, her presence excited interest, and conversation and other activities were hushed until after she had retired. Before leaving she made a few remarks, relative to the fair, the Church and the interest that had been aroused by the efforts of the little children. A very pretty picture of this event, that brings back the scenes and the atmosphere that enveloped those efforts, is contained in “Fair Memories,” by Mrs. Crosse, in which she said (Journal, January, 1888):

“…In the first place the Fair was a success in every way, and one of the most artistic displays of the kind ever presented to the people of Boston….On the evening when our Leader was present, the hall was packed, and happiness and goodfellowship prevailed….

“To the absent ones who helped in this undertaking, we extend thanks; and we are especially grateful to the children who contributed their mites to the Boston Church. Dear little ones! May they grow up in Truth, and never have so much (seemingly) to overcome as their older brothers and sisters have found."

Looking backward upon this event it is well to notice that even in those early days Christian Scientists did all things well. They aimed for the best, that which should be for the good of all, and were not satisfied with that which was mediocre, and this was by demonstration of the truth that was taught them.

What the writer desires at this point is for the reader of the present, as well as of the future, to realize that those who labored with Mrs. Eddy had to work and demonstrate every cent of the money needed to put this Cause where it is today, and although the contributions for the building of the original Mother Church edifice, and that of the great extension exceeded the amounts required, they should not carry in thought that it was all done without some sacrifice. To realize fully what the efforts were of the members of the little Church, especially at a time when there was a large measure of opposition to organization and the building of churches, will put the reader in closer intimacy with the desires and efforts of the great pivotal center, – Mrs. Eddy, who not only gave the spiritual help for continuance of devoted efforts, but practical and solid business advice. It is wise to extract from this period all the efforts that will show the faithfulness of the labor, sacrifice and love of her students and adherents, which rose and distilled itself into a perfume of faith about Mrs. Eddy, and how, under her inspiration some of them worked. The earnestness of their desire is seen in the following statement:

  • The use of this title Leader with a capital L, is one of the earliest, if not the first application of this designation that appeared in the Journal or in any publication.

“It is the desire of every Christian Scientist to provide our Leader with a Church-building of her own. This edifice is a testimonial to the Discoverer and Founder of the Christian Science, and a visible expression of the love and gratitude in which our Teacher is held by many thousands who have been blessed by her life and labors.”

At this point it is well to look into the results of the efforts to increase the contributions by the sale of these Cards. The total amount received in one year from the sale of Cards was but $405.00, or with deductions of cost of plate and printing $384.25. Other expenses, such as stamps and envelopes, make further reductions in this amount.

Another event which transpired in aid of the Building Fund, was an entertainment in Chickering Hall, March 1, 1888, by Mrs. Jessie Griswold, reader, as a testimonial of gratitude for her healing. She was assisted by Mrs. Mamie E. Hitch, vocalist, and Lyman Brackett, pianist. The amount that the Treasurer received from this entertainment was $70.92. At the beginning of the ear of 1888, the conditions that existed in the little Church did not point to an erection of a Church edifice in the very near future. While the mortgage on the land had been reduced from $9,000 to $5,000, there was yet to be considered the cost of a proper structure. The earnest Scientists wondered why funds came so slowly into the treasury, and they pushed their efforts still harder to overcome a burden of which they were ignorant. This burden was the feeling held by so many against organization and the erection of a Christian Science edifice.

Some of the interest relative to Christian Science that had been aroused in clubs and in literary circles had been set in motion in July of the previous year (1885) by Miss Lilian Whiting, Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett and Louisa M. Alcott. These three names so well known in the literary world, especially that of Miss Alcott, attached to anything of which they spoke favorably, interested the most select and cultured of New England’s literary world. Miss Whiting was then writing for the Boston Traveler, and was a correspondent for some Western newspapers. She wrote, July 2, 1885, for the Ohio Leader an account of her call upon Mrs. Eddy, and the headlines read as follows:

“Boston Life. The marvel of the ‘Mind Cure’ or Metaphysical Healing at the Hub. The experience of Frances Hodgson Burnett and Louisa M. Alcott with a healer. An outline of the faith of the new set called Christian Scientists.”

  • This passage is of interest in its wording: “This edifice is a testimonial to the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science,” and shows, perhaps the germ of the thought that finally flowered seven years later into the inscription on the tablet on the “bay” of the original Mother Church: “A testimonial to our beloved Teacher, the Reverend Mary Baker Eddy: Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.”

The article by Miss Whiting was most favorably disposed toward Mrs. Eddy and her teachings, and she spoke of her as a woman “filled with the spirit.” Such an article as this naturally brought joy to the hearts of earnest students and they saw, and probably too optimistically, the happy results of such an article, in a great change of opinion among all classes of people who were interested in religion and in health. The great fault in the zeal of those days was a too ready acceptance of a favorable attitude toward Christian Science, which was often magnified into a state of absolute conversion, and which brought about the belief that the number of persons who would, when called to declare themselves adherents of Mrs. Eddy, be a very large body, a multitude, while in fact the number was far below their estimate. There were many in 1887 calling themselves Christian Scientists, and these probably amounted to at least four thousand, and undoubtedly more, who would not subscribe a dollar to help build a Church edifice in Boston. By these four thousand I mean those who were calling themselves Christian Scientist but were not followers of Mrs. Eddy. Besides this number there were many who were adherents of Mrs. Eddy, who for certain reasons did not care to give.

If, in the future, the exact data which told the truth about certain conditions should disappear, there would be grounds for argument that the number of Christian Scientists in the United States and Canada were so many thousands, and of these only twenty-five per cent subscribed to the Building Fund, therefore the proof was apparent that the large majority of her followers did not hold her in such esteem as the Journal was declaring, and that a Church edifice as a testimonial to her was not seriously thought of. Such would be the facts that could be presented if the data, which is rapidly disappearing, were not at hand to prove the opposite, and as the writer has this proof, he is going to set it forth for all time, and show that arguments to the contrary are not true.




Chapter XLII

Explanation of the Delayed Fund

IN January, 1888, the newspapers, magazines, and writers in general put every offshoot of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings under the title of Christian Science. While some had been honest enough to take a new title, such as Mental Healing, Mind Cure, etc., others who saw more business in Mrs. Eddy’s name, Christian Science, held to that, and these were greater in number than those who had sought other titles. First of all it is well again to call to mind the efforts of Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Hopkins, for, in 1886, they began the issue of their periodical Truth, A Magazine of Christian Science, and the advertisements of teachers and healers were named Christian Scientists. In 1887 Dr. Wm. H. Holcomb published a small book entitled Condensed Thoughts about Christian Science. One page 4 he wrote:

This new system has been called Christian Science by Mrs. Mary G. Eddy, of Boston, who claims to be its founder, and who certainly was one of its earliest and most talented expositors. To many minds, however, Mrs. Eddy’s theoretical views are not satisfactory, being neither sufficiently Christian nor sufficiently scientific. Other names of it have been accordingly adopted – Mind Cure, Thought-Cure, Truth-Cure, Metaphysical Healing, Christian Healing, Christian Theosophy, etc., etc., according to the fancy or the belief of a practitioner.

“Christian Science is an excellent name for it, if we bear in mind the true meaning of Christ and Christian.”

This quotation shows distinctive trends of the time, for the writer gives a certain amount of credit to Mrs. Eddy, then shows a tendency to believe that her views are unsatisfactory, but accepts the title – Mrs. Eddy’s own hard-earned title Christian Science – and writes his book under the title of Condensed Thoughts about Christian Science. It is easy to realize why he held to the name of Christian Science, and the reason was that he was a student of Miss Frances Lord, who had studied with Mrs. Hopkins, after she went away from Mrs. Eddy, and afterwards with Mrs. Plunkett, Mrs. Hopkins, and Dr. Eugene B. Weeks. In the back of Dr. Holcomb’s book there is printed an advertisement of a volume by Frances Lord.

“Christian Science Healing, help for Mind, Body and Estate….

“Christian Science Healing is the first Manual or complete guide to the theory and practice of healing, and the only book yet published giving practical directions for the application of the teachings of Christian Science to all the circumstances of daily life. Study it with care and you will need no teacher. Hundreds have learned to heal themselves and others by the study and practice of these teachings.”

There was also advertised the following book, Swedenborg’s Doctrine of Correspondence, and True Christian Science.

In the same year there was issued in New York, The Mind Cure Mentor, a Hand-book of Healing, a Text-book of Treatments, a Compendium of Practical Christian Science by Dr. Jean Hazard, who was the head of the “New York School of Primitive and Practical Christian Science.”

Probably none of the pamphlets on Christian Science had so rapid sale as Life is Worth Living, by a writer using the pen name “Eleve.” Early in 1889, the same writer published, My Progress in Christian Science. A short quotation will show something of the conditions that Mrs. Eddy had to overcome, and will also be interesting cumulative testimony toward the point to which we are progressing:

“My first reading was the works of Evans, but while his theory is beautiful, uplifting and very interesting, I found no practical help. Next I tried Mrs. Eddy’s book and found it metaphysical in the extreme, requiring constant study to find her meaning. The language seemed so obscure that I longed for some one to write an interpretation of it. Still as others had comprehended I felt sure I should in time, and resolved to ‘leave no stone unturned’ in order to do so….My longing was and is now, for some practical printed instructions; for while portions of Science and Health have become comprehensible and I appreciate their beauty, the rest is still like Greek.

“At last I found just what was needed for further instruction. It was a ‘Lesson’ by Mrs. Hopkins (fifth), and helped me more than anything I had read. …There is a magazine published which now gives me helpful articles of actual experience in practice.”

These writings by “Eleve” were widely read because what she had to state was put forward in a very simple manner that spoke for the sincerity of what she believed, and it was these qualities combined with a certain tenderness of mood that appealed to the women especially. The longing of “Eleve” for some one to write an interpretation of Science and Health, because, as she stated, it required constant study to find the meaning, “and the language seemed so obscure,” was answered by Ursula N. Gesterfeld published in 1888, under the title of “Christian Science,”

  • These were from notes taken in Mrs. Eddy’s class, as she advertised in her periodical, Christian Science.

† Probably the magazine Christian Science.

her “Statement of Christian Science, in eighteen lessons.” This publication brought a well-merited rebuke from Mrs. Eddy.

There had always been the argument that what Mrs. Eddy wrote was difficult to understand, that the terminology was confusing, and the metaphysical statements hard to remember, and the immediate, but not lasting success of these periodicals resulted from a so-called simpler definition of metaphysical statements, and a method of putting them before the reader in a manner that it was hoped would bring quicker results. These efforts so diluted Mrs. Eddy’s strong statements, however, that they led to distortion. Even as late as September, 1889, there is a question asked in the Journal that shows how prevalent this argument was even at that time:

“I wish so often we might have two magazines, one for students and one for outsiders. Is this practicable? I think hundreds are hungering for Science, but are frightened out of it by not comprehending the meaning of terms. I need in my own work simple telling for the poor….Scientists are crying out for printed matter. Do let us have it.” (Not signed.)

Books, pamphlets, teaching and practicing, such as have been described were prevalent to an enormous extent all over the country, and that of Miss Frances Lord reached to the British Isles. A Scientist today who has practically no knowledge of the conditions at this period, would find it difficult to believe that at that time there were probably more persons who called themselves Christian Scientists who did not use Science and Health as a text-book, than those who did. The appeal of what Mrs. Eddy had discovered ad placed before the world was very great, but her teachings shorn of a certain part made a greater appeal as a “Popular Craze” as Mrs. Gesterfeld named it. And the part of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings that was omitted was Animal Magnetism. Alas, teachers, practitioner and writers, adding their own human conceptions to what they learned from these diluted metaphysics, brought about a confusion among themselves, so that the different bodies could find no platform upon which to agree. In Boston, Luther Marston was the acknowledged leader of all students and adherents who went out from Mrs. Eddy. He and Julius Dresser, the defender of Dr. Quimby, and bitter opponent of Mrs. Eddy, were closely allied, When Marston broke away from his teacher, he gave up the title of Christian Science and Christian Scientist, but it is a singular fact to find, when he realized that his literary efforts were not successful, that he made another change, in that, his monthly publication which began its first issue August, 1886, and which was named Mental Healing Monthly was broadened in its title to Mental Healing Monthly, Devoted to the Exposition of Christian Science and Divine Truth.

For several years after he went away from Mrs. Eddy, he entirely adjured for himself and for his teachings the name of Christian Science, and it was only after he found that there were so many schools of Mental Healing, all with different platforms, and some of such a radical stand that he could not affiliate with them, that the only safe course for him to pursue, if he wished to be separated from the, was to again use the term Christian Science, to which he added “Divine Truth.”

To readers who may not be in adherence with Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, and may be critical of her labors, the writer reels that the following will show some of the reasons why the attempts of those loyal to Mrs. Eddy to obtain a sufficient Building Fund were not successful. I quote from an editorial in the Mental Healing Monthly of November, 1886. This is from a letter written by Mrs. Plunkett to Luther Marston:

“Chicago Christian Scientists welcomed to the needy ranks of journalism the Mental Healing Monthly,…and have had no cause since to do other than congratulate themselves on the valuable acquisition….The good work of healing and teaching according to the strictest rules of Christian Science still goes on under the grand practice of the Students of the new college which we have named in honor of our much loved teacher, and the metaphysical association, – also named in her honor, – is very prosperous and harmonious. Seventy-five new names were presented for membership at our last meeting….The feeling of kindly fellowship evinced by all our students, toward all others who are laboring to promote the cause, has drawn to our work public and private interest, and the kindest encomiums of press and people. The new college is consecrated to the service of humanity. Already projects are on foot for a free dispensary, schools for the young, and Sunday services, in addition to the regular curriculum.”

The visiting Christian Scientist who comes to Boston, and looks at the two church edifices and the extensive buildings of the Publishing Society, and reads all that is extant in print of the life of Mrs. Eddy, will gain the idea that because Mrs. Eddy had her college and Church here in Boston where she lived among her adherents, very little but pure Christian Science was taught and practiced in Boston. Though the church edifices and publishing buildings may seem to speak of success, and of large and rapid growth, such was not the case. In the Mental Healing Monthly for November, 1886, Luther Marston wrote:

“There are as many factions in the city of Chicago as in Boston, all profess to believed, and to follow the Christ principle….We have no less than six distinct schools of Mental Healing in Boston. Each teacher is equally earnest in his views.”

  • Mrs. Eddy.

These six different schools of which he speaks can be accounted for as follows: that of Mrs. Eddy, Luther Marston, Mr. and Mrs. Choate, Dr. Warren Felt Evans, Julius Dresser (representing Quimby), and Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Hopkins. To those Scientists living distant from Boston and seeking guidance from headquarters, there was much difficulty in knowing just what was taking place. Unless an adherent realized the fullness of Mrs. Eddy’s divine appointment to leadership, was willing to follow her in all things, and accepted her methods and acts in their entirety, he was in a most perplexing condition of thought.

Those who were touched by personality and could not comprehend Mrs. Eddy’s mental and spiritual stature, and had doubts of her spiritual vision, saw confusion when they looked to Boston for guidance, for they found students of Mrs. Eddy who had held important positions in Church and Association, building up schools and churches of their own. In 1885, the Rev. J. W. Winkley, whom Mrs. Eddy liked and had taught, and who had preached in Hawthorne Rooms on March 22, 1885, went out with Luther Marston, and in November of the next year became the Pastor of the Church of the Divine Unity (Scientist), which had been founded by Marston. For this body, Mrs. Choate gave lectures, and others who preached or spoke had been students or defenders of Mrs. Eddy, as Arthur True Buswell, Rev.

C. A. Bartol who had preached in Hawthorne Rooms, C. M. Barrows who had defended Mrs. Eddy in his “Christian Science is not Pantheism”; also Mrs. Emma Hopkins, who until November 1885 had been the Assistant Editor of the Journal under Mrs. Eddy. To those who had heard of Mrs. Eddy only through her books, it was not surprising that some, who were considering mental healing, should have looked favorably toward the Church of Divine Unity (Scientist), as the organization which disseminated true Christian Science, as it contained these persons who had been distinctly honored by her.

To the new recruits in the ranks of Christian Science these conditions were made more misleading by the following letter from Mrs. Abbie Morton Diaz which was sent out to all interested in Christian Science, Mental Healing and kindred beliefs. Mrs. Diaz was a woman of large abilities, and was the founder of the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union of Boston, also a writer of some merit. She wrote as follows:

My dear Friend: – Will you not speak at the Convention of Mental Healers, to be held in Boston on the 19th and 20th. The call is to be issued in behalf of all the friends of Mental Healing. Of course, you are one, and you can certainly find standing room on so broad a platform. Even if you are not in sympathy with the chief movers in the matter, still a chance to speak a word for Truth is all the same….It is important that at such a convention the pure truth be given, without personality, and clothed in language plain and simple, – language which will reach the hearts and heads of the audience. You are accustomed to public speaking, and are enthusiastic for the cause…

Will you not come? I wish I could rid you of the idea that there are in Boston a set of mind-curers who differ in principle and practice from the teachings of Mrs. Eddy. Mrs. Meader and Mrs. Newman teach the truth as it is conveyed in Mrs. Eddy’s books. I have questioned Mrs. Eddy’s students as to principles and treatments, and I find no difference, except that Mrs. Eddy’s students teach a fear of evil, a fear of which her own book denies the reality. The Bible expressly says, ‘I will deliver thee from the fear of evil.’ There will probably be many speakers at the Convention, with whom I am not in perfect sympathy; but what of that? We can all give our best words, and you know that in the reality we are all one, all of one Mind and of one I.

Hoping for a favorable answer, with love, your friend,

ABBIE MORTON DIAZ.

BELMONT, MASS., August 7, 1887.

P.S. This is by order of committee, and myself personally.”

To this circular, loyal adherents took broad exception, for they saw that it was an attempt to induce Scientists into this Convention, and the sentence in the letter of Mrs. Diaz: “I wish I could rid you of the idea that there are in Boston a set of mind-curers who differ in principles and practice from Mrs. Eddy’s teachings,” was an attempt to make Mrs. Eddy’s adherents believe that if they came to the Convention they would be among those who worked in the very same way. For Mrs. Eddy’s followers, however, there was a grain of comfort, for they realized that those who were organizing this Convention were putting forth the greatest effort to make it a success because the one held in June, 1887, had been a distinct failure. To this Mrs. Eddy’s students and practitioners had been invited and some attended, although all those who could be reached by loyal workers in Boston were warned. Among those of Mrs. Eddy’s students who attended were George E. Ricker and Rev. O. P. Gifford, of whom it was written that he delivered an interesting and admirable lecture.

For the value of authentic record, it may be well to make an explanation relative to Dr. Gifford. It is very evident that previous to this Convention he had been drawn over to those who had organized these meetings, for he evidently felt more at home among the adherents of Luther Marston than in the little church of Mrs. Eddy, as he found there Rev. C. A. Bartol, Rev. J. W. Winkley, Rev. Wm. I. Gill, Warren Felt Evans, Julius A. Dresser, C. M. Barrows, Mrs. Choate, Mrs. Hopkins, Dr. Samuel A. Green, Mayor of Boston, Dr. Charles Macomber Smith, D.D., Mrs. Diaz, and others who formed a brilliant, interesting and intellectual group. The proof relative to the exact position of Dr. Gifford is in the fact that in the July number of the Mental Healing Monthly the writer finds that the name of Rev. Mr.

Gifford appears as the first mentioned among “Regular and Occasional Contributors.”

What Mr. Marston had in thought when he broke away from Mrs. Eddy, he persevered in, but when he had gathered about him all schools that bordered on Christian Science, he found that he did not have the genius to weld them together into a living organization, and it is interesting to know just what Mrs. Eddy thought of his effort, as expressed in her “Definition of Purpose,” which appeared in the Christian Science Journal of November, 1885.

“…What tender-hearted mind-curer has discovered an improvement on Christian Science, metaphysical healing, by which error destroys error, and would gather all sorts into a ‘a national convention’ with sophistry that such is the true fold for Christian healers, and the Good Shepherd cares for all. Yes, He does care for all, and His first care is to separate the sheep and goats, and this is the first lesson of healing taught by our blessed Master.

“If, according as the gentleman aforesaid states, large flocks in mind-traffic are wandering about without a leader, what séance had opened his tear-dimmed eye to behold the remedy is to help them by his leadership? Is it that he can guide them better than they can guide themselves who have the guidance of our common Father, or that they are incapable of helping themselves? I, as their teacher, can say they know quite as much of Christian Science as he does; and my heart pleads for them all to possess themselves more and more of Truth and Love. Mixing all grades of any article is not productive of purity; only those who have an interest in mixing are apt to propose it.

“The hypocrite alone wishes to be known as antagonistic to no one, for he has no truth to defend. It is a wise saying, that men are known by their enemies. To sympathize with any degree of error, is not to rectify it; but error always unites in a definition of purpose with truth, to give it buoyancy. What is under the mask? Is it not envy, medium-ship, free-love, mesmerism, etc., error in borrowed plumes? Then was it wit to warn the wise?

M. B. G. E.”

While her words may seem to have some sting in them, she saw the great danger that would come from the attempt to find some platform upon which many different schools of mental healing could unite. She realized that a successful effort would make more difficult her labors to keep her students and their teaching in the right path, as she would have them go. There are in this article some very strong and incisive passages such as Mrs. Eddy wrote when thoroughly aroused and her definition of a hypocrite is one:

“The hypocrite alone wishes to be known as antagonistic to no one, for he has no truth to defend.”

Another is “Error always unites in a definition of purpose with truth, to give it buoyancy.”

In the same issue of the Journal Mrs. Eddy wrote as follows as a warning to her followers:

“Subscribers cannot afford, when the Science of Mind is revolutionizing the opinions of the world in relation to the nature of all human ills, to be without the Christian Science Journal. It will strive to keep them enlightened in the true idea, and to expose that which departs from Christianity.

“While so many are springing up all over the country claiming to practice Christian Science, and have not even the rudiments of it, the public needs to know how the difference may be detected, so as not to be led into error. Jesus said of those who undertook to imitate him: ‘He that gathereth not with us, scattereth abroad:’ and ‘they that are not for us, are against us.’ At present there is an attempt made by many to impede the work, those who would climb up some other way, but will not be able. Jesus said: ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.’ This is essentially a spiritual work, and we recognize it as such in healing, well knowing that people cannot be healed in their sins.

E.”

The reader is now fully aware of the forces that were acting behind Mrs. Abbie Morton Diaz when she sent out the circular letter asking all friends of Mental Healing to attend the Convention. It would seem that Mrs. Diaz and members of her committee did not understand the conditions of the times, nor exactly what Mrs. Eddy taught. If they had they would not have placed together the names of Mrs. Meader and Mrs. Newman, as in the following sentence, “Mrs. Meader and Mrs. Newman teach the truth as it is conveyed in Mrs. Eddy’s books.” In this she was right in the case of Mrs. Meader, but not in that of Mrs. Newman. Luther Marston evidently knew who Mrs. Newman was, because he was working with Mrs. Eddy when her name came into prominence, but he took no step to correct the matter, and the consequences were more perplexing conditions for those just coming into Christian Science. Mrs. Anna B. Newman was employed to treat Miss Louisa M. Alcott. Her treatments were unsuccessful, and Miss Alcott wrote a letter to the Woman’s Journal, which was published in the issue of April 18, 1885, in which she gave her experiences and the failure of the practitioner. The case, on account of Miss Alcott’s prominence, was heralded broadly as a failure of Christian Science, but neither Miss Alcott nor others noted the fact that Mrs. Newman was not a student of Mrs. Eddy, and it seems she had no affiliations with the Church of Christ (Scientist). When Luther Marston said that there were six distinct schools in Boston he might have added another, for from what the writer has discovered, Mrs. Newman was a worker by herself, and she neither advertised in the Mental Healing Monthly, in Truth, nor in the International Magazine of Christian Science. In answer to Miss Alcott’s letter, one was written by Mr. Frye, and sent to all the leading papers throughout the country. It read as follows:

“MASSACHUSETTS METAPHYSICAL COLLEGE.

Boston, May 15, 1885.

To whom it may concern:

“The current opinion that all mental healing is Christian Science, necessitates an exposition of the difference between the false and true mental practice.

Miss Louisa M. Alcott, of this city, after employing Mrs. Anna B. Newman for her physician, states in a letter widely copied by the press, that she tried the effects of ‘mind-cure’ to heal herself of sickness, and found it of no avail. The ‘treatment’ to which she was subjected, she says, produced ‘mesmeric sensations, sunshine in the head, walking on the air, slight trances,’ etc.

That those acquainted with the facts may not misapprehend the method employed in her case, it seems proper to state authoritatively that ‘mind cure’ is not Christian Science, and no member of the Christian Scientists’ Association, Church, or College, conducted her case. The ‘sensations’ of which she speaks, are at variance with the teaching and practice of Christian Science.

The mental mal-practice, so denounced by the founder of the right practice, has methods of its own. The experience of Miss Alcott, if correctly stated, indicates clearly that she has been a victim of what Jesus stamped as ‘demonology’ and by a more modern term is named mesmerism; for the introduction of Truth as in Christian Science, has no other effect than to benefit one mentally, morally, and physically.

CALVIN A. FRYE, Clerk of Church of Christ (Scientist). ARTHUR T. BUSWELL, Sec. Christian Scientists’ Ass’n.”

The fact that Miss Alcott with Mrs. Burnett and Miss Whiting called upon Mrs. Eddy in the following June may be taken as proof that the foregoing open letter by Mr. Frye, and other statements that appeared in the press, had aroused interest as to the real status of Christian Science and the difference between what it taught and that of other offshoots. The reader will therefore apprehend what appears to be the utter ignorance of the difference in the teachings of the various beliefs that had struck out from Mrs. Eddy’s teachings when Mrs. Diaz placed Mrs. Newman as an exponent of Christian Science doctrines. It is hardly believable that a woman of the qualities of Mrs. Diaz could have sanctioned such a letter unless certain thoughts about her impelled it. It is very easy to see that such could have been her teaching and probably belief when surrounded by such persons as Luther Marston, Elizabeth G. Stuart, and Rev. Wm. I. Gill, all renegade students of Mrs. Eddy.

The unsuccessful outcome of two conventions both in attendance and genuine enthusiasm, and the absolute failure to make a platform upon which they could unite, caused much chagrin to Luther Marston, and to his followers, and to those especially who went with him from Mrs. Eddy. He had been able to gather about him certain ones in Boston who had been adherents of Mrs. Eddy and had become discontented because she would not tolerate additions to her teachings that were not in accord with them.

There are very definite reasons why a committee and Mrs. Diaz should have sent out a letter of the kind they did, and it is well to look into them, for they have a great deal to do with the conditions of Science in Boston at that time, – with the Building Fund, and with the trend of events during the next two years. The writer can make it clearly seen that Luther Marston and Julius Dresser would seize upon such an opportunity as this to “square themselves” with Mrs. Eddy, and they knew that to make the statement that there was no difference in the principles and practice of all mental healers, Christian Scientists included, in Boston, would give Mrs. Eddy a large amount of trouble in answering. To blazon this throughout the country, by their circular letter, would cause great damage, and help to break down the guard of many who had hitherto held aloof, and would fraternize with the ideas of others whose definition and knowledge of exact Christian Science was not strong enough to take care of their attitude. This letter was without doubt a clever, but bunglesome attempt to “get back” at Mrs. Eddy because she had written two months previously, in the June Journal of 1887, an article in regard to Mr. Dresser’s attack upon her in his defense of Quimby, and the reader will readily comprehend how such men and their intimate followers would act under such stings from Mrs. Eddy’s pen, as the following:

“By reason of ‘mining and tunnelling’ 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.’”

A most valuable extract from Mrs. Eddy’s answer to Mr. Dresser, which shows how some could easily be led astray by believing that what Mr. Dresser taught was the same as that of Mrs. Eddy, and which gives a key to the situation, is the following:

“The fact is, Mr. Dresser borrows from my Science and Health, though without giving the author due credit, and then attributes these statements to Mr. Quimby’s lore. Incapable of deciphering Christian Science Mind-healing, Mr. Dresser does not understand it well enough even to state its ideas correctly, and could not demonstrate Mind-science through his own statement….It can be shown that Mr. Dresser tried Quimby’s method, and relinquished it because he could not heal by it. I denounced it, after a few of my students rubbed the heads of their patients, and the immorality of one student opened my eyes to the horrors possible in Animal Magnetism. A mesmerist contemporary with Mr. Dresser, Dr. Evans, had it announced on his business cards, until 1884, that he practiced mesmerism….

“This obscure history, which Dresser foists upon the public, provides no legacy of Mind, whereby Quimby’s unscrupulous advocate can take one forward step for the human race. After the death of this so-called Originator of Mind-healing, it required ten years of nameless experience for me to reach the standpoint of my first edition of Science and Health, the book that gave Mr. Dresser his only knowledge (meager as it is) of the Science of Mind-healing….

“Before understanding and settling the great question of my discovery, I wrote to Mr. Dresser, who had tried Mr. Quimby’s cure by manipulation, and asked him if he could help anybody, or tell me how Quimby healed. He replied, in a letter which I have, to the effect that he could not, and was unable to heal his wife of a slight ailment; adding, that he did not believe anyone living knew how Mr. Quimby healed the sick….

“If ever Mr. Quimby’s ominous manuscripts are brought to light, it will be when my copyrights have expired, and the dear-bought treasures of Truth are appropriated by both the evil and the good.”

The reader can readily comprehend from these remarks relative to Mr. Dresser, that had wide circulation, just how he and his adherents must have felt, and in the Mental Healing Monthly of the next month, Mr. Dresser issued a “Card” as follows:

“To all Christian Scientists, Mental Scientists, and Metaphysicians everywhere.

The lecture recently issued in pamphlet form, entitled The True History of Mental Science, was written and delivered in response to a call for facts relating to the discovery of the principle and the founding of this science. The lecture itself shows that I could have given the facts years sooner; but having no desire to oppose or antagonize any person whatever, I withheld the facts until the demand for them became great enough to show that the publishing was for the cause of the truth only…Mrs. M. B. G. Eddy has attacked me….for telling these facts. But as readers of the two statements, hers and mine, do not themselves know which tells the truth, I shall ask them to compare the two and judge for themselves, not only of the statements made, but of the spirit manifested by the two writers. Read and decide for yourselves which one is humbly trying to serve the cause of truth, and which has some other motive. I have no controversy with anybody, and shall not reply to Mrs. Eddy. I have no personal cause to maintain, either for myself or Dr. Quimby; all is for the simple truth and the real facts. And I have no fear that the truth will suffer, or fail to be finally vindicated.

JULIUS A. DRESSER.”

JUNE, 1887.




Chapter XLIII

The Quimby Contention

HISTORY and the future place upon Mr. Dresser the burden of proving his case, and during his earthly life he was unable to do so. In the year 1919 his son, Horatio Dresser, again took up arms in behalf of Dr. Quimby, but goes no greater distance than did his father. He, like his father, furnishes no proof, in that he does not produce Dr. Quimby’s manuscripts. These writings of Dr. Quimby are very closely held by his son, and it is well worth while to look into this matter which Julius Dresser, in a little over a year after studying with Mrs. Eddy, and, who had previously been a patient of Dr. Quimby, stirred up.

While the writer is appreciative of the efforts of the Christian Science Publication Committees, in their efforts to combat the Quimby theory in 1906 and 1907, they could never get any deeper than the surface because they did not know the causes which urged Julius Dresser to make these statements, nor did they have at hand certain literature that had been seemingly buried in the dust of past years.

When Mr. Dresser’s lecture in defense of Dr. Quimby was issued in pamphlet form, my father sought some of the students who had gone from Mrs. Eddy with Luther Marston, to find out more about Mr. Dresser, and happening to pass the publishing house of the Spiritualist organ, the Banner of Light, he saw a card beside a photograph of Dr. Quimby, which read, “The late Dr. P. P. Quimby, Magnetic Physician of Maine.” This he reported to Mrs. Crosse, who made mention of it in the Journal of September, 1887. In the previous June (1887) when Mrs. Eddy answered with such vigor and power the statements of Julius Dresser, she also sent broadcast a most important offer relative to the Quimby manuscripts. In 1883, George A. Quimby, son of Dr. Phineas P. Quimby, stated over his own signature, and before a witness, that he had in his possession then all of the manuscripts written by his father. Relative to this, Mrs. Eddy made the following offer:

I hereby declare, to expose the falsehood of parties publicly intimating that I have appropriated matter belonging to the aforesaid Quimby, that I will pay the cost of printing and publishing the first edition of those Manuscripts, with the author’s name attached:

Provided, – that I am allowed first to examine said Manuscripts, and that I find they were Mr. P. P. Quimby’s own compositions, and not mine, that were left with him many years ago, – or that they have not, since his death, in 1865, been stolen from my published works; and also, that I am given the right to bring out this one edition under copyright of the owner of said Manuscripts, and that all the money accruing from the sale of said book shall be paid to said owner. Some of Mr. Quimby’s purported writings, quoted by J. A. Dresser, were my own words, as nearly as I can recollect them.

There is a great demand for my book, Science and Health. Hence Mr. Dresser’s excuse for the delay in publishing Quimby’s Manuscripts – namely, that this age is not sufficiently enlightened to be benefitted by them (?) – is lost; for if I have copied from Quimby, and my book is accepted, this acceptance creates a demand for his writings.

MARY BAKER G. EDDY.”

The lecture by Julius Dresser that brought forth the replies from Mrs. Eddy was delivered by him at the Church of the Divine Unity, February 6, 1887, and this is the second time that he had brought the matter to the surface. In the Boston Post of February 24, 1883, Mr. Dresser set forth his claim in behalf of Quimby, and Mrs. Eddy answered it by a lengthy article dated March 7, 1883, and a part of a paragraph that has never been republished is worthy of quotation, as it will make the reader more conversant with the spirit and the conditions of the times. Mrs. Eddy, in this, gives an account of her recovery from her fall in Lynn, and goes on to state:

“To us this demonstration was the opening of the new era of Christian Science. We then gained a proof that the principle, or life of man is a divine intelligence and power, which, understood, can heal all diseases, and reveals the basis of man’s immortality. But the minds around us at that time were unacquainted with our mental theory. One individual of strong intellectual power and little spirituality even occasioned us some momentary fears of our ability to hold on to this wonderful discovery. In one of these moments of fear we wrote to Mr. Dresser, but we wrote him after we had proved our ability to work out the problem of mental healing. The failing state referred to was a state of mind; and there are living witnesses to our health at that time, – we were never as well before in our life. It was

  • Not in Mrs. Eddy’s published works.

† This refers to a letter written in Lynn, dated February 15, 1866, to Mr. Dresser, and the part in question reads as follows:

“Two weeks ago I fell on the sidewalk and struck my back on the ice, was taken up for dead, came to consciousness amid a storm of vapors from cologne, chloroform, ether, camphor, etc., but to find myself the helpless cripple I was before I saw Dr. Quimby. The physician attending said I had taken the last step I ever should, but in two days I got out of my bed alone, and will walk; but yet I confess I am frightened, and out of that nervous heat my friends are forming, spite of me, the terrible spinal affection from which I have suffered so long and hopelessly….Now can’t you help me? I believe you can. I write this with this feeling; I think that I could help another in my condition if they had not placed their intelligence in matter. This I have not done, and yet I am slowly failing Won’t you write me if you will undertake for me if I can get to you?...

Respectfully,

MARY M. PATTERSON.”

but a timid hope that we referred to, – a trembling explorer in the great realm of mental causation, where evil is more apparent and good more divine. We sought for once the encouragement of one we believed friendly, also with whom we had conversed on Dr. Quimby’s method of healing; and, when we had said to him, ‘It is a mystery,’ he replied to the effect that he believed no one but the doctor himself knew how he healed. But, lo! After we had founded mental healing, and nearly twenty years have elapsed, during which we have taught some six hundred students and published five or six thousand volumes on this subject, already circulated in the United States and Europe, the aforesaid gentleman announces to the public Dr. Quimby, the founder of mental healing.”

All that the writer intends to do in taking up this discussion relative to Quimby is to bring forward certain events that had a large bearing upon the little Church in Boston, upon Mrs. Eddy’s efforts, and upon the collection of the Building Fund.

After Mr. Dresser had delivered his lecture, Rev. Wm. I. Gill, at that time the Editor of the Journal, took up the work of refutation, and answered in the November, 1886, issue, under the title of “Aspersions of Christian Science Rebutted.” This article contains the following testimony:

“I was treated by Dr. P. O. Quimby, in Portland, for neuralgia in the head. Mrs. Eddy was also a patient of his. I first met her there, and it was in the summer of 1862. His mode of treating the sick was to immerse his hands in water and manipulate their heads. My father (W. P. Morgan) offered him one thousand dollars ($1,000) to explain his method of treating disease; to which the Doctor replied: ‘I cannot; I do not understand it myself.’ I never knew of his attempting to teach any one. His method was entirely different from Mrs. Eddy’s system of Christian Science.

(Witness) Mrs. E. A. THOMPSON.

We concur in affirming the known truth of the above statement.

Mrs. A. D. MORGAN.

W. P. MORGAN, A.M. Mrs. A. R. RUTTEN.

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, Sept. 1886

We, the subscribers, hereby testify that the testimony signed by Mrs. E. A. Thompson, Mrs. A. D. Morgan, Mr. W. P. Morgan, A.M., and Mrs. A. R. Rutten, was spontaneously uttered in Mrs. Eddy’s class, was heard by the class of about thirty members, and was elicited accidentally.

Prof. E. J. FRENCH.

M. ANNA OSGOOD.

J. A. D. ADAMS, M.D.”

Rev. Mr. Gill then pursues the matter as follows:

“Dr. Dresser occupies on the subject in question about the same mental plane as Dr. Quimby. He has been simply a practitioner in healing, not a philosophic expositor of the law of healing agency. Here too, as everywhere, unlike our irate critics, we ‘speak not unadvisedly with our lips,’ as proved by a letter from Dr. Dresser himself to Mrs. Glover, now Mrs. Eddy, the substance of which is as follows: In this letter, Mr. Dresser makes an allusion to his wife as sick, and to a word of advice to him from Mrs. Glover, (now Eddy), to follow the practice of Dr. Quimby, and so cure his wife; and to this he replies that he cannot do it, and does not know how. This was in 1866, one year after Dr. Quimby’s death; and Mrs. Dresser has not yet set up for a healer. Nor did he do this until after he had read Mrs. Eddy’s book, Science and Health, 1875. Of all this we can furnish a reasonable proof.”

In this controversy statements were made by various persons that they had seen and read manuscripts of P. O. Quimby held by Mr. George A. Quimby, and that they found certain truths in regard to healing the sick set forth therein, but that is as far as anything has ever gone to prove that Mrs. Eddy’s teachings were the same as those of Dr. Quimby. In the Journal of July, 1892, there appeared the following under the title of “Uncovered” and the prefatory note to the letter from Mrs. Mary H. Philbrick to Mrs. Eddy is by the Teacher:

“The following extract copied from a letter to me recently received from a well-known Christian Scientist, may at least amuse the readers of our Journal.

“After doing justice to this subject I had dropped it, as we naturally turn away from a fossilized falsehood. But evidence and testimony on the side of truth are always in order, and proverbially better late than never.

“ ‘It might be of interest to you to know that Mr. A. J. Swartz of Chicago went to see the late Dr. P. O. Quimby’s son, and procured his father’s writings for the purpose of having them published in order to show the world that your ideas were borrowed from Quimby. After having examined them, to their utter disappointment it was found that there was nothing that would compare in any way to Science and Health; and he, Swartz, concluded that it would aid you too much to publish them, so they were returned to the owner.

“ ‘Mrs. Swartz saw and read these MSS, and she gave me this information.’

MARY H. PHILBRICK.”

AUSTIN, May 18, 1892.

In reply to this Mr. Dresser wrote that Mr. Swartz never saw Dr. Quimby’s manuscripts, but that Mr. Quimby read a few paragraphs from them. In an account of his visit to George A. Quimby, Mr. Swartz wrote in his periodical, Mental Science Magazine of June, 1888, that Mr. Quimby read him considerable of his father’s writing. This was undoubtedly true, because George Quimby found that Mr. Swartz was opposed to Mrs. Eddy, and also because he was the proprietor and editor of the Mental Science Magazine. He goes on further to state:

“He loaned me for several days a book of 116 pages, consisting of printed articles by editors, by patients, and the immediate friends of Dr. Quimby; also, some written by the doctor. These were taken from the newspapers, and bear printed dates reaching back to 1840. Dr. Quimby’s signature is printed as the author of some of these. They are all interesting and valuable. He kindly permitted me to copy all I desired for publication or for use in my own forthcoming work of interpretation, or New Era doctrines.”

If there was any person at that time who would have liked to humble Mrs. Eddy, it was A. J. Swartz. This man was of an adventurous type, rough, impetuous and determined. In 1886 he had called together all interested in Mental Healing for a convention in Chicago, and the following comment is gathered from reports in the daily newspapers:

“From the foregoing report and from later ones in the daily press, it would seem that the so-called national convention has proved to be what those who were acquainted with its originator (Swartz) expected, simply a public exhibition of himself….In the light expected to be thrown upon the Science of Mind, a swollen, all-absorbing ‘self’ stood revealed.”

Another light is thrown upon Professor Swartz, although a Reverend as he called himself, by his actions in Albany, N.Y., in 1888. He published in the newspapers that he would undertake the cure of twelve invalids selected by any of the citizens of that city, even those suffering from disease which physicians called incurable, and he would heal them in seven treatments. Over this he had trouble with the police authorities, and was taken before the judge of the Police Court that he might prove that his system of cure did not come under the medical restrictive law of the State. He managed to prove this, and got together a class and taught them his methods.

In the Christian Science Journal of November, 1886, there is the following mention of Professor Swartz:

“This ‘swollen, all-absorbing self’ was a spectator-beneficiary to five lessons of Mrs. Eddy’s, which he has well improved in accordance with the character here described; 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.”

In Council Bluffs he had trouble with Mrs. Eddy’s students, Mr. and Mrs. Filbert, who complained that he had followed them and other students of Mrs. Eddy and sought to get pupils away by offering to teach seven lessons for $25.00, and to quote from a letter by Mrs. Filbert, “Wherever good is done, he builds on others’ foundations.”

Reverend Swartz in 1887 was gathered in my Luther Marston, as one of the wandering flocks of “mind-curers,” and was a speaker at the convention of October 19 and 20, 1887, held in Boston, and as usual took his own personal position, practically agreeing with no one. It will be seen therefore that with the peculiar mental makeup of Rev. Mr. Swartz on the one hand, and his enmity toward Mrs. Eddy and her followers on the other, and having some urgence of Julius Dresser to publish all he could against the validity of Mrs. Eddy’s discovery, when he had read some of the published writings of Dr. Quimby and heard some passages from manuscripts by his son, he was evidently much disappointed, and in his report of his journey to George A. Quimby, and his investigations as given in his Mental Science Magazine, of April, 1888, there is not much show of enthusiasm, and one reading between the lines sees keen disappointment. What he did find were some statements about healing diseases by mental treatment, but his sense of disappointment was in the fact that he found no statements of a theology upon which a religious body could be firmly founded.

In his defense of Quimby, Mr. Dresser lays considerable stress upon the efforts of “Professor Swartz” and states that he “made a careful investigation of the facts in 1888,” and his statements are of “particular value since they come from an outsider, who had no reason to defend Quimby.” In this Mr. Dresser is most unfortunate, because he relies upon the character of one who would have done everything in his power to destroy the work of Mrs. Eddy. Neither Professor Swartz nor Mr. Dresser has ever published passages from the manuscripts of Dr. Quimby to prove that they were the same as Science and Health.

Mr. Dresser’s lecture was weak in its attempt to do what he aimed. His statement and would-be proofs were further weakened by using as a witness one whose honesty of views and purpose were exposed in the Journal.

Horatio Dresser, son of Julius Dresser, wrote:

“When the ‘True History of Mental Science’ first appeared, there was, of course, strenuous effort to contradict its statements. The gentleman who formerly revised Mrs. Eddy’s manuscripts has since told me that Mrs. Eddy said the pamphlet must be answered. Accordingly the gentleman mentioned point after point, asking if father’s statements were correct. Mrs. Eddy could not deny them. Then there is nothing to say was the rejoinder.”

This gentleman “who formerly revised Mrs. Eddy’s manuscripts,” as Mr. Dresser wrote, was undoubtedly the Rev. Wm. I. Gill, not the Rev. Mr. Wiggin, for Mrs. Eddy’s answer to Mr. Dresser’s pamphlet, published in the Christian Science Journal of June, 1887, shows that she did not need the assistance of any one to make the powerful and stinging reply that she gave, and which is in a vein characteristic of her efforts when thoroughly aroused, and it does not seem or sound possible that Mr. Wiggin could have said “Then there is nothing to say.” This Mr. Gill, after his extinction from the Church and the Journal, and his going from Boston, as already related, went to Chicago, and from there made his bitter attack through the newspapers upon Mrs. Eddy, and in about August of 1887, became the Editor of Luther Marston’s Mental Healing Monthly, and attended the Church of the Divine Unity (Scientist). As Julius Dresser was not only active in this Church but was one of the contributors to the Mental Healing Monthly, he and Mr. Gill became very friendly. Mr. Gill, still holding to his characteristic, hedging and working for personal ends, evidently squared himself with Mr. Dresser over the strictures that he had written in his article in the Journal relative to the lecture on Quimby, and placed the blame upon Mrs. Eddy; so that an answer such as Mr. Dresser quotes, that when she was asked if Julius Dresser’s statements were correct, and she answered that she could not deny them, and he said, “Then there is nothing to say,” has the peculiar turn of duplicity that came to the surface in Mr. Gill when he was in a tight place.

While Mrs. Milmine, in her Life of Mrs. Eddy, brings forward the Quimby controversy, it can be clearly read between the lines that her investigation into it was a disappointment, and she leaves open some places that show decided weakness in the evidence that she thought she would link up into a strong chain. To do so she had more than anybody else possessed, viz., all the enemies of Mrs. Eddy, renegade students, those who had known her in past years, had misunderstood her and then became intensely jealous of her success. With all of these helps she should have been able to show something absolutely definite to the world if there was such to show and prove. Writing for a large and influential magazine such as McClure’s, she was obliged to produce that only which could show some semblance of being able to be proved, for unlike individual publication, she could not make wild assertions and hearsay statements.

To one acquainted with the reason why Christian Science prospered and grew, the following passage from page 59 of Miss Milmine’s book, places certain facts indisputably on the side of Mrs. Eddy:

“His offices [Dr. Quimby’s] were constantly filled with patients, and his mail was enormous. People came to consult him from all over New England and the Far West. He treated ‘absently’ thousands who could not visit him in person.”

Considering these statements as absolute facts, it is probable that the number of patients that Dr. Quimby treated was far greater than the number treated or taught by Mrs. Eddy. And yet, although they came “to consult him from all over New England and from the Far West,” there never was a banding together of these persons into an organization that tried to carry on the method of healing as he healed, or were inspired into religious fervor by his talks or healing, and formulated them into a theology. After being helped, these “thousands” went the way they had pursued before going to Dr. Quimby. They stayed in their churches and were satisfied with what they heard preached. What help they may have received from Dr. Quimby did not change their attitude toward the religious doctrines that they heard in their churches, for if it had, they would have come out and separated themselves as did those who were Mrs. Eddy’s students. Have the researchers into the methods of P. O. Quimby ever found an instance wherein these “thousands” from all over the country by teaching, preaching, and using the treatments that he gave them, stirred up the clergy, the press and the medical schools to critical, denunciatory and persecutive essays and arguments? No! The “thousands” who were treated by Dr. Quimby went back to their homes, helped maybe, but with no uplifting inspiration to organize and to carry on a religious work that would heal and regenerate through the scientific knowledge of Jesus’ methods of healing. How different, the, from the labors of Mrs. Eddy, and when some of those who had been treated by Dr. Quimby were healed by her methods, and then studied with her, they realized new impulses, and came out of their old churches from which the treatments of Dr. Quimby had failed to dislodge them, and became adherents of Mrs. Eddy. This is undeniable and unalterable proof.

In speaking of the Quimby manuscripts, Miss Milmine makes the very important statement that “Quimby’s writings as a whole, have never been published, but the present writer [Miss Milmine] has had free and continuous use of the them.” From this point Miss Milmine goes on to make some explanation of Dr. Quimby’s theories, which sounds as though she felt she must do so in order to make more of her story; but one who reads between the lines realizes that she had met with a most serious disappointment when she sought out and read, evidently over and over, Dr. Quimby’s manuscripts, of which she had “free and continuous use.” She does not make one parallel passage with the writings of Mrs. Eddy, and most remarkable of all, nowhere does she condemn Mrs. Eddy as a plagiarist. Had she found absolute evidence that the methods of Mrs. Eddy were identically the same as those of Dr. Quimby, and that, therefore, she had appropriated them, she would have proclaimed it to the world, for a separate volume of many pages could have been written upon it and it would have read like a novel. To have proved such to be a fact would have been the crowning point in her investigation; but her pages ring with disappointment, and while studying the Quimby manuscripts of which she had “free and continuous use,” she must have thought, if these contain the original ideas of Christian Science, why has Dr. Quimby’s son never had them published? At the time her articles were printed in McClure’s, twenty-four years had elapsed since Julius Dresser had made the claim for Dr. Quimby in the Boston Traveler of February, 1883, and for some unexplainable reason the son had not brought out his father’s writings. There surely had been no lack of opportunity, for he was living at its flood tide, namely, when the thought of healing through mental means was greatest throughout the country.

Up to 1907 the opportunity had come and gone at least three times, during which the organizations that Mrs. Eddy had brought together were nearly wrecked by desertion and treason, – in Lynn, in Boston, when Mr. Gill attempted to dismember, and in 1888, when Mrs. Crosse and over thirty left the Christian Scientist Association, and about seventy the Church, and Mrs. Eddy had partly decided to seek a new home in the West and start the work again. These were the times when Dresser should have come to the front, and proved that his father’s writings were the absolute foundations of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, and that she had appropriated them as her own. As each year went by and the cause of Christian Science grew stronger, the chances for success of doing this grew smaller. The mystery that has hung over these manuscripts has never been cleared away. In 1883 (a long time ago) Julius Dresser expressed his hopes that they would be published, and that desire has become hereditary with his son Horatio. In fact the Quimby theory has been a most vital matter in the Dresser family, for it has given them a very fruitful topic upon which to write books, and for the value of record we must include Annetta Gertrude Dresser, a patient of Dr. Quimby, who is the author of a book entitled The Philosophy of P. P. Quimby. In fact the Dresser family have had an advantage because two of them were under Quimby’s treatment; they had a monopoly of it, and were left practically undisturbed because no one else wanted it.

When Julius A. Dresser started the matter of the doctrines of P. P. Quimby in 1883, there was a strong feeling in different circles that his intentions were not altogether altruistic relative to placing Dr. Quimby among the immortals. That was at a time when the production of new methods of mental healing were being born every month, and the demand was large. He had watched the growth of Mrs. Eddy’s work in teaching, and of the College in Boston, and realized that there was an opportunity for another school of metaphysical teaching, and there was fame and money in such, if it were made successful. And why should not he be the person, for he and his wife had participated to a larger extent than any others in Dr. Quimby’s methods of treatment, and it might be possible to organize a large part of those “thousands” of patients that Quimby had treated into a body of which he should become the leader. Dr. Quimby’s son seemed to have no desire for this labor, for he was satisfied with attending to his business in Belfast, Maine; so here was one of the greatest propositions of the time directly beneath the hand of Mr. Dresser and ready for plucking.

To understand the connecting links between some of these opponents of Mrs. Eddy, and why they connected themselves so closely together, although working in different ways, is of vital interest in this history because it shows that if Mrs. Eddy would not unite with, or recognize them, they would make war upon her. First it will be well to know why Rev. A. J. Swartz took the side of Mr. Dresser. In June of 1887 Mr. Swartz had not accepted the Quimby theory that Mr. Dresser delivered on February 6, 18887, and which was published in the March and April numbers of Marston’s Mental Healing Monthly. These he must have read, for in his issue of June he wrote as follows:

“Under Quimby it seems that disease was called a mental state, a belief; under Evans and others the same has ripened into Truth and into the unity of God and man, the latter treated as a limitation of Deity. Nevertheless, beyond a doubt, it will be recorded by the pens of history and facts, that Mrs. M. B. G. Eddy first discovered sand declared the highest fact for the new religious system or spiritual Truth, viz., that, ‘All is Spirit, there is no matter.’ Not only this great scientific fact, but we regard her as the first to teach the absolute unity of Life, and to discard the fallacy, the error wherever found that man is a spirit or a soul, or that he has any life of his own. With her we say, ‘Soul signifies Deity and nothing else,’ and Spirit, Intelligence, Life and such are to be applied to God.”

Even at this time in his wandering away from the teaching that Mrs. Eddy had given him gratuitously, he could not forget the uplift he had received during her teaching, and neither could Dr. Addison D. Crabtree, to whom Mrs. Eddy had extended welcome, and had taught, and had spoken good words of his volume, The Journeyings of Jesus. He had come into the ranks of loyal adherents, enjoyed Mrs. Eddy’s hospitality, and had spoken at some of the meetings of the Christian Scientist Association and had been signally honored, and because he had written extensively upon The Journeyings of Jesus and a volume of 800 pages entitled Clairvoyance, Mesmerism, Magnetism, he felt considerably in the forefront among Scientists.

He was a man of power of application to produce literature of a certain kind, but was easily led by those who desired to control him, and as he was an M.D., he took the same view that Luther Marston did relative to the use of medical knowledge, and went out with him and became one of his chief helpers in the Church of the Divine Unity, and was advertised as one of the contributors to the Mental Healing Monthly. But as that magazine did not give him the full scope for his labors, we find him closely in touch with A. J. Swartz, and writing for the Mental Science Magazine.

But Dr. Addison D. Crabtree, working as he was with Marston, Dresser, Swartz, Gill and others who had turned away from Mrs. Eddy, could not forget what Mrs. Eddy had done for him, for she had, as Miss Milmine has stated, been able to “nerve many a weak arm and to steel many an irresolute will,” so that “their contact with her remained the most vivid and important event of their lives.” And this was so with Dr. Crabtree, for upon an attack upon Christian Science by a physician, published in the Transcript, he made a most admirable reply through the Mental Science Monthly of Swartz, and this is of much historical value because it shows clearly certain conditions in 1887, of which very few today are cognizant. This was published in the issue of August, 1887, and the part that applies is as follows:

“In the same paper [Transcript], July 6th, the editor publishes a letter from a prominent Christian Science practitioner – a female – a part of which I quote. ‘The public note with pain and disgust that there have arisen innumerable factions, schools and systems among the many advocates and practitioners of mental healing,…who seem to be doing little else than wrangling over the question, “Who discovered Christian Science healing?”…until the previous inquiry, “Is there such a thing as Christian Science healing?” seems at an end.’ All of which is regretfully submitted as the present position in which the various factions have most selfishly and unwisely placed themselves before the public….

“If women (and men) will try to reduce the great volume of disease and suffering without drugs, and they will, then I highly approve of Mrs. Eddy’s way, of compelling students to apply themselves, as do the medical schools, to several years’ preparation before declared competent to cope with disease. I had a pleasant interview with that lady last week, who promised me a list of her graduates, etc., but the letter has not yet reached me. Her last class consisted of 33, among whom were a Harvard M.D., a New York homeopathist, and several ministers. Mrs. Eddy teaches obstetrics to her pupils, for how could they practice a science so delicate of which they were ignorant?”

Dr. Crabtree came into the field of Christian Science at a time when physicians and ministers were looked at with great reverence, and his literary efforts were the cause of his being much entertained, for the production of two works with titles that meant very much to Christian Scientists at that time, caused adherents to value him for more than he or his books were really worth. Mrs. Eddy asked Christian Scientists to purchase his book The Journeyings of Jesus and at the Point of Pines, July 16, 1886, he was a guest of the Christian Scientist Association, and was one of the speakers, and he wrote an interesting account of his experiences dated July 21, which was published in the Boston Transcript.

Rev. Swartz, while being a radical and a man always on the move and tireless in his labors for his Spiritual Science University and his magazine, did not draw hard and fast lines as to what should be said in praise of Mrs. Eddy’s work until after Julius Dresser had swung him to his side.

It was undoubtedly the idea of Mr. Swartz that Mrs. Eddy was behind the movement to purchase his magazine, for he felt that his “University” was the only competitor to Mrs. Eddy’s College.

In his Mental Science Magazine of March, 1888, he wrote as follows:

“Our readers seem to misinterpret the omission of reference to Mrs. Eddy’s work from our monthly reports of many workers while in the East the last five months. We ask not to be regarded as bigoted or indifferent. Some have written me about it and others have named it to me, and now, rather than be regarded as narrow and jealous, I prefer to let the interested know that I have taken the course in this which has seemed right…even if I was disregarded. The numerous teachers and workers in the independent ranks of metaphysicians are too often regarded as unwilling to fraternize with Mrs. Eddy, and they are often severely criticized by those who do not know the honest efforts that have been made to harmonize generally. I can only report failure in the same attempt. A student in the West, who had the money, had authorized me to arrange with Mrs. Eddy for her to come and take a course of the latter in obstetrics. During the Mental Healers’ Convention in Boston, October last, I was in attendance. While in Boston I wrote Mrs. E. a polite letter that a matter of business interest to her had been committed to me, and that I would meet her in an interview if she would indicate her convenience. I gave my address, but she has made no reply.”

The position assumed by Swartz is most interesting, and bears out the quotation from Mind in Nature which Mrs. Hopkins applied to Swartz as a “swollen, allabsorbing self.”

Swartz made his visit to George A. Quimby in February, 1888, and in his magazine for April of that year wrote:

“If, through the mistakes of ambition, the writer of Science and Health has led many of us to ignore for a time the good works of other true reformers, our timely rescue from the unchristian and uncharitable ways is secured by the palpable mistakes she and her immediate following have made and are still making, and her claim that she was the founder of mind-healing is false; nor is it true that she first conceived the idea of applying Christian to the science. Having been misled in the past, we have done wrong toward facts by claiming to our readers that she first designated it as above, and hence it is our duty to correct the error.”

When Swartz realized that Mrs. Eddy did not care to unite her work with his, the expression of his opinion of her, as in the foregoing, shows a very quick and decisive change from that which he held when he was preparing the way for amalgamating his work with hers, for he wrote in his issue of the previous December,

  • Published in Chicago; first number March, 1885. “A popular Journal of Physical, Medical and Scientific Information.”

“The spiritual conceptions and divine utterances by Mrs. M. B. G. Eddy when, led by inspiration, she asserted and reasserted: ‘All is Spirit, there is no matter,’ and, ‘All is Good, there is no evil,’ will prove to be the Truth, the spiritual meat, drink and rock, even the ‘stone’ or ‘chief head of the corner,’ now so cruelly set at naught by the professed builders, materialists and the Christian sectarian theologians….If some of her methods have been adjudged unwise, and if utterances or defence have seemed injudicious, still the mitigating facts are as justifiable and as free from wrong as would be a lifted weapon of death in the hand of a mother, over whose child a maniac or fiend might raise a dagger in wrath.”

On another page he wrote as follows:

“If one wishes to find less selfishness, greater spirituality, more charity and wisdom than Mrs. Eddy evinces year by year, he does not realize his wishes among dissenting ranks.”

And this is the type of man that Julius Dresser, in his book The True History of Mental Healing holds up to view as one of “deep and careful investigation,” and his statements as “of particular value, since it comes from an outsider who has no particular reason to defend Dr. Quimby.” In view of the facts stated in the foregoing, his letter to Mrs. Eddy in which he made known his desires to unite his work with hers; the precarious financial condition of his “University,” and his Magazine, also his sudden change from Mrs. Eddy to Quimby theory, stamp him, according to Julius Dresser as “an outsider who had no particular reason to defend Dr. Quimby” except, it might be casually and truthfully added, that he saw in this move his last opportunity to gain a foothold in the world of mental science, and recuperate his fortunes.

One can readily realize how easy it was for persons brought into contact with Swartz, and again with those he taught under the name of Christian Science, to believe that it was the same as that which Mrs. Eddy was teaching, and he depended upon the name of Christian Science while lecturing and teaching, especially in the East, and in the West, using Spiritual Science where it would enhance his own interests among those who disliked Mrs. Eddy’s terms. From what I have been able to gather from reading many scores of pages of the writings of Swartz, and learning something from those who had personal contact with him, I should say he was not a charlatan for he believed in what he attempted to do; but there was an abnormal strain in his makeup that compelled him unconsciously to do things that to others, more normally constituted, would be called not strictly just or honest. From the foregoing statements the reader will recognize the peculiarly disturbed condition of the times and the question that must have been on the lips of thousands, “What is the absolutely true and unadulterated Christian Science that has evidently healed and helped so many, but has not given me what I expected?”

In the Journal of the following May, two months after Swartz had published his letter to Mrs. Eddy, the following appeared from her pen:

“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 title of this article is of interest, viz., – “Bogus Christian Science and Colleges.”

Had Julius Dresser known as much about Swartz as the reader now understands, he might not have quoted so extensively from Swartz’s fulsome praise of Quimby. Had he known the thoughts of many of those who attended the Church of the Divine Unity (Scientist) or who were writing for the Mental Healing Monthly, he might not have been so impetuous in pushing forward the Quimby theory to take the place of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, for it turned out to be a boomerang and again there was exhibited the truth that “error destroys itself.”

Mr. Dress could not get away from the idea that was close to his heart, but never broadly put into operation, that he must organize a body of believers who would have a form of religious worship founded upon the theories of P. P. Quimby. He believed he saw in the organization of the Church of the Divine Unity that opportunity, for the reason that most of the attendants had found some form of discontent in the churches they had attended. Many who had come there had left Mrs. Eddy, and were wandering about in a mental maze without a leader or a guide, and he, with a clear conception of what mental healing should be, was the one appointed to be their shepherd. Therefore, he launched out vigorously upon the Quimby theory, as the lifeboat into which all should climb or be drawn in order to be saved.

Miss Milmine, when she gives credit to Mrs. Eddy for anything, does it very grudgingly. Having met and talked with many of Mrs. Eddy’s students, and learned from them the history of their lives before and after studying with her, she draws this conclusion:

“Many of her students never worked so well after they withdrew from her compelling leadership, and their contact with her remained the most vivid and important event in their lives. Out of her abundant energy and determination, Mrs.

Eddy was able to nerve many a weak arm and to steel many an irresolute will, and she has done much of her work with tools which were given temporary hardness and edge by the driving personality behind them.”

With zealous enthusiasm Julius A. Dresser struck out with the Quimby theory, but he soon realized that he was not listened to by Mrs. Eddy’s loyal adherents, and in the circle of the Church of the Divine Unity he found that there was honest and strongly grounded objection to his propaganda.

Although Mrs. Eddy is her answer to Mr. Dresser in “Mind Healing History” couples the names of Marston and Dresser together, they drifted apart, and from what the writer has been able to glean, it was on account of Dresser’s determination to attribute everything to Quimby and become the leader of a new body of mental healers.

Indeed Mr. Dresser’s effort to bring Mr. Quimby into the foreground was a failure from the beginning, as witness Mrs. Plunkett and Mrs. Hopkins who were advertising that:

“The good work of healing and teaching according to the strictest rules of Christian Science still goes on under the grand practice of the Students of the new college, (which we have named in honor of our much loved teacher) [Mrs. Eddy], and the metaphysical association, (also named in her honor).”

In their periodical, the International Magazine of Christian Science, no mention was made of Mr. Dresser’s pamphlet, neither is there a reference to P. P. Quimby among its pages. Mrs. Hopkins’ magazine Christian Science, that began its first issue September, 1888, took no notice of Mr. Dresser, or of the Quimby controversy. Helen Wilmans, in her Back Numbers of Wilmans’ Express (Condensed) does not touch upon Mr. Dresser and his theory, neither does Miss Frances Lord during all the 449 pages of her book Christian Science Healing, published in 1890. Dr. William H. Holcomb, who published his Condensed Thoughts about Christian Science, in 1887, makes no mention in his sixth edition of Mr. Dresser and his “hobby.” Relative to Dr. Holcomb, there is an interesting item in the International of November, 1888, “that during a recent visit to Boston, he made a delightful and wholesome address to an appreciative audience.”

As the writer has this address at hand it is worthy of note that there is nothing in it relative to the Quimby theory, and this was given at a place of meeting at which Mr. Dresser and his friends were present.

It will be seen therefore that all of these many bodies of mental healing, practically acknowledged themselves as offshoots of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings. They were all as innocent as babes of who and what P. P. Quimby was and did, and there were some of his patients among the “thousands” who were members of these different bodies, but found nothing to attribute to him, for they had received no teaching from him that had suggested a system or a science, and they were content to be followers of Mrs. Plunkett, Mrs. Hopkins, A. J. Swartz, Luther Marston, Frances Lord, and many others.

The reader will probably ask after reading so much of this matter, why did Mrs. Eddy accept Julius Dresser into her class, after he had made his accusations against her in the Boston Post of February, 1883, and why did he desire to study with her when he was so sure that Quimby was the discoverer of her method? From what can be gathered, the demands of honesty were not altogether too strong in Julius Dresser, and when Mrs. Eddy allowed him to enter her class he came as one who with innocence in his face had dishonesty in his heart, and for the purpose of learning at first hand if he could not find some statement, or throw certain meanings which he desired to cast upon them for the benefit of his own ends. He came not in a sincere, open-hearted way ready to learn, but with the desire to pervert.

It would seem from the evidence of dates of the going of Luther Marston from Mrs. Eddy, in about August of 1885, and the entrance into her class of Julius Dresser, in about May or June of 1886, that the latter had watched the breaking away of Marston and figured up the results. Luther Marston, by leaving Mrs. Eddy, was able to take a number of followers with him from the Association and the Church, and Dresser evidently had it in mind to collect about him those believers in mental healing who were without a leader. The idea of being a leader in the mental healing world was beginning to take a very important place in the thought of Mr. Dresser, for he believed himself much better fitted for a place of that kind than Marston, and probably than any other person; but first he would study with Mrs. Eddy, and by taking what he could from her teachings, and uniting them with what he had gotten from Quimby, who then in the whole wide world was better fitted to bring about a platform that would unite all who were without a leader?

From Mrs. Eddy’s statement in the Journal of June, 1887, “a student who, about one year ago, received his first lesson from me, – Mr. J. A. Dresser” did not wait very long before he put into operation the plans he had made for his own elevation previous to studying with Mrs. Eddy, for he must have given utterance to his belief in Quimby as the discoverer of Christian Science within four months, probably at the most, after he left Mrs. Eddy’s class, because Wm. I. Gill answered what he called Dresser’s “Caudle Lecture” in the Journal of the November following the June (1886) which can be set down approximately as the time he studied. The period of time that had elapsed between his teaching and his outright statement in his exposition of his Quimby theory was so small that he could not have put Mrs. Eddy’s teachings into practice to any great extent and learned by demonstration, so that Mrs. Eddy had solid ground beneath her argument when she wrote, “Incapable of deciphering Christian Science Mind-healing, Mr. Dresser does not understand it well enough even to state its ideas correctly and could not demonstrate Mind-science through his own statement.”

Mr. Dresser’s treatment of Mrs. Eddy almost immediately after she had taught him aroused the faithful students, and, although Mrs. Crosse had been pushed out of the Journal by Wm. I. Gill, her pen took up the defense, and in a letter, published in the same issue with that of Gill’s “Aspersions of Christian Science Rebutted,” she wrote under the caption of “An open letter to Sowers of Dissension” an excellent appeal for loyalty to Mrs. Eddy, and a few sentences will show their value at a time of schismatic inclination:

“It is a fact too well known to be mentioned here, but so much error is being set afloat, that buoys, showing the inexperienced mariner which way to sail to avoid disaster and shipwreck, are necessary to bring him into the haven of Life….You know not how rapidly you deteriorate when you set up supposed standards of your own, and ask people to march with you. You will need to ask for something beside charity to cover your sin, which you know will not remain concealed. Do not any of you speak of arbitrariness as an excuse for your departure from God….You flavor your lie with a little of Truth, and it is but a trap for those ignorant of Christian Science. If you succeed in deceiving yourselves, you are in a dangerous condition. Sad, indeed, is the attitude of one [Dresser] who having had a glimpse of the Light, turns to the obscurity of sense, and is the means of darkening other thoughts. Reflect you so little of Spirit that you can hear nothing but the whispers of the serpent? That you have been faithfully taught, I know; that you have been led to the Mount of Revelation, I know; that you have been patiently, lovingly, sacrificingly dealt with, I know; then, are you content to sink into the abyss of error again? It is true that we have to work like the children of Israel, ‘with the trowel in one hand, and the sword in the other’; but we were taught at the start that we should have to. The ridiculous and sinful attempt of departing from the Truth, and assuming then to save the world, is the conception of ambitious, mortal sense.”

Up to 1890, there was a rather curious and interesting difference of opinion held by the adherents of mental healing relative to the organization of churches. To those who saw that the closest following of Mrs. Eddy’s methods insured the greatest success for themselves, plans were made and put in action to this end.

There were many whose conception of mental healing was nothing more than the use of will power, and the saying over of formulas, and the belief in “faith.” Their conceptions of God were still materialistic, and they had not been led out of matter into spirit, and they were content to stay in the churches in which they had been before they adventured into the field of mental healing.

The inducement set forth by both Julius Dresser, and his son Horatio, was that they did not encourage persons to leave their churches, and that, as the leaders of Quimby’s teachings, they discouraged adherents from so doing. Starting in this way, diametrically opposite to the ideas of the followers of Mrs. Eddy, they found an easier road and one that would quiet antagonism from the clergy, in that their conceptions of theology did not clash, and that they did not take members from the churches.

In 1888, a year that is a good example, it is the deduction of the writer, that out of the thousands who were called Christian Scientists but about twenty-five per cent believed in church organization.

The general feeling regarding the matter is well expressed by one who wrote:

“I cannot see the benefit of Christian Scientist organizing. It seems to me to be fighting the world with its own weapons. Material man says organize; employees organize for protection….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?...I see nothing in the life of Jesus, or in the text book to that, which is Science and Health, that recommends organization. The instructions that I have received and that I have given, have been in strict accordance with Science and Health. If our Master and our Leader neither of them recommended or speak of organizing in their works, are we to try to improve on them? If we are trusting in organized effort, are we not just so much detracting 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 to 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.”

The foregoing letter is a most valuable commentary upon the condition of the times. The reader will recognize the peculiar mental twist of this writer, when he takes into consideration the fact that Mrs. Eddy gave out certain views in the article “Organization of Scientist Churches” in the Journal of April preceding the August when this inquirer wrote to the Journal. While Mrs. Eddy in her answer in the March Primary Class did not make a broad request for churches to organize, yet her desire is clearly indicated. It may have been possible that the inquirer did not read this article, but if he is such an earnest student as he intimates, he could hardly have escaped the printed proceedings of the meeting of the National Association in the Journal of the following June. In the report of these meetings is the letter written by Mrs. Eddy in which she asks the following to be put into action:

“I earnestly recommend that you appoint a committee to look after church work and organization. Give it a 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. xviii, 15, 16, 17.”

She then gives fuller particulars relative to discipline of members. The Journal then goes on to show the adoption of Mrs. Eddy’s recommendations, and its appointment of a committee to look after church work. In a further comment on this matter “Marcia on the Association Meeting,” in the same Journal makes the following:

“Many points of importance were discussed and settled, but perhaps the most important work done was the arrangement made for the organization of churches and dispensaries.”

It would seem therefore that if this inquirer had been really alive to what was being done, and read his Journal, he would have been awake to the trend of the desires of Mrs. Eddy, and this is a very good example of the type of thought that did not comprehend and follow readily what others grasped, obeyed and labored for, when Mrs. Eddy gave the word.

This feeling against organization spread abroad in all directions, and it took about five years of patient work on the part of Mrs. Eddy’s faithful students to overcome it.

Without this detailed knowledge of the conditions that surrounded the effort to collect funds for a church edifice, no one interested in Christian Science can comprehend the many obstacles that the brave little band of followers of Mrs. Eddy had to overcome, – what patience, what loving and kindly argument they used, to straighten out the thought of patients and students, what faith in the teachings of their beloved Leader they showed, and their never-failing courage in times when storm clouds gathered from different directions and would not only destroy, but shut out the light, and leave them without guidance.

One going into every detail of the establishment of the work in Boston by Mrs. Eddy in the spring of 1882 will wonder how Christian Science ever grew and blossomed. To be sure there was fertile soil, but about every two months some tenderly cared-for plant was plucked up by the roots and destroyed. The advent of Mrs. Eddy into Boston, her purchase of a house in one of the finest residential sections and the success of her College struck hard at the hopes of Julius Dresser, for he saw that Mrs. Eddy had seized the opportunity that he had desired but had been too slow to grasp, for he had been urged to bring out Quimby’s teachings, and his attack was made in the Boston Post of February 24, 1883. This seemed to him a most favorable time because Mrs. Eddy’s teachings had stirred up so much opposition from the clergy and the medical profession, and he figured that the passing away of Mrs. Eddy’s husband, and her statements relative to his death caused by animal magnetism, that were printed in the newspapers, would tend to make her teaching look absurd, and turn many away to what he considered a saner form of mental cure. This was indeed a crucial time, and Miss Milmine has made the statement that “Mr. Eddy’s death was regarded as a blow to the movement.”




Chapter XLIV

Attacks on Mrs. Eddy

N 1884 came the severance of ties between Mrs. Eddy and Mrs. Choate. The latter not only took away adherents but brought another school of teaching into Boston, and to the curious onlooker this looked like a very serious breach in the ranks of Mrs. Eddy’s followers. In this same year Prof. L. T. Townsend, D.D., of Boston University, delivered an address before the Methodist Preachers’ Meeting upon the topic of “Prayer and Healing,” and published it in 1885, under the title of “Faith Work, Christian Science and Other Cures,” which struck at Scientists most viciously. To this Mrs. Eddy made reply in an open letter dated March 21, 1885, of which the following is the most vital part:

It is with a thrill of pleasure I read in your article [in Zion’s Herald, March 18] these words: ‘If we have in any way misrepresented either Dr. Cullis or Mrs. Eddy, we are sorry.’ Even the desire to be just is the life of Christianity. And those words inspire me with belief that you wish to be just and true, and that you will correct the statement you make at the close of your article, where you use these words, describing me as ‘the pantheistic, and prayerless Mrs. Eddy, of Boston.’

“It would be difficult to build a sentence of so few works conveying ideas so opposite to the fact.

“In refutation to your statement that I am a pantheist, I refer you to my sermons and publications. As to being ‘prayerless,’ I shall ask you to consider the following: – ‘When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are, for they love to pray, standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which is in secret shall reward thee openly.’

“I hope I am not wrong in literally following the advice of Jesus, and were it not because of my desire to set you right on this question, I would feel a delicacy in making the following statement. Three times a day I retire to seek the divine blessing on the sick and sorrowing, with my face toward the Jerusalem of Love and Truth, in silent prayer to ‘the Father who seeth in secret,’ with child=like confidence that he will ‘reward openly.’ It affords me great joy in being able to state that Jesus’ words were true, as I can testify by personal experience, in a peace that passeth understanding, and in ‘signs following’; namely, practical demonstration. As to the peace, it is unutterable. As to ‘signs,’ behold the sick who are healed, the sorrowful who are made hopeful, and the sinful, or ignorant, who have become ‘wise unto salvation.’

“And now, dear sir, as you have expressed contrition for an act which you have again immediately repeated, you are placed in this dilemma: To repeat those words of regret which honor you as a just man and Christian gentleman. In Christian love, sincerely yours,

MARY B. G. EDDY.”

The history of this letter is as follows: It was sent to the Editor of Zion’s Herald and was refused admission. Upon his refusal to print it, the explanation was made that the purpose was to correct a statement made by Professor Townsend in its columns, but with no avail. The Journal then took up the matter as follows:

“We submit the matter to the public without controversy, whether it is right in the light of Scripture teaching, or in accordance with the written or unwritten law of courtesy, that a newspaper should admit in its columns a misstatement (we wish to confine ourselves to the most gentle and courteous terms possible) and not allow the other party concerned to at least explain away such misstatement. One of the best characteristics of the American people is fair play. They are our ‘Caesar,’ to whom we now confidently appeal.”

This statement supplies a good example of the feeling of some newspapers, and most of the organs of religious denominations, of that period, and if special urgence or influence was brought to bear upon them, articles that were written in defense of Christian Science were “edited” in such a manner that the most vital part was left out, or such passages cut from the context so that statements of effective argument were left hanging without support.

By this time, in 1885, the condition of the little army led by Mrs. Eddy was in a much better position to meet attacks of all kinds and to make a firmer defense than ever before, for the reason that persons who had gathered about her realized the necessity of warding off as many attacks as Mrs. Eddy would allow, and if we trace closely the details of those times we will realize that for every vicious assault, there was opened by Truth a way of effective defense. When, therefore, Rev. A. J. Gordon voiced the sentiments of Professor Townsend and brought against Mrs. Eddy the charge that she was a pantheist, she was defended by C. M. Barrows, in his pamphlet Christian Science is not Pantheism. At this time Mrs. Eddy appeared upon the platform of Tremont Temple, March 16, 1885, to refute the charges brought against her in a letter written by Rev. A. J. Gordon, and read by Rev. Joseph Cook, at one of his Monday lectures, and the next month found Mrs. Eddy and her loyal students defending her against the statements that she used opium, was a mesmerist, a medium, a pantheist, and prayerless.

It is well for the reader to comprehend fully the fact that at this time (1885) after a residence in Boston of about three years, Mrs. Eddy’s teachings had caused a stir in religious and medical circles which had become nationwide, and that men and women of national and international standing as professors, theologians, philosophers, philanthropists, and physicians, either praised some of the things she taught and accepted them, or denounced them entirely.

While, of course, the foundations were laid in Lynn, the great bulk of the work was started in Boston, and because of the distinctive position that Boston then held in all that was intellectual, it radiated from there, and no religious doctrine ever made such rapid progress in the permeation of such great distances, or touched as many persons in so short a time. In the same year, while Mrs. Eddy was combating the arguments of Professor Townsend, and defending herself in Tremont Temple from the attack of Rev. A. J. Gordon, the letter of Miss Louisa M. Alcott was published in the Woman’s Journal (April 18), and in the magazine Mind in Nature of the same month, Bishop Samuel Fallows followed up an article that had appeared in the month before in which he made an attack upon Mrs. Eddy’s teachings. The complaints of the clergy of his diocese relative to what they called the “encroachments” of Christian Science into their ranks, were given to him and he sought protection in public denunciation. This was answered by Mrs. Eddy in an article in the same magazine, that was full of vigor, and replies were also made by these of her adherents: S. J. Avery, M.D., Rev. H. Slade, Mrs. Gesterfeld, and an interested sympathizer, Maria Upham Drake.

In the meantime, the Rev. A. J. Swartz had started the Mental Science Magazine and by his enormous physical and mental energy, in travelling and teaching, had increased its circulation so that by the beginning of 1887, it probably had a circulation as large if not larger than the Christian Science Journal: therefore, there are grounds for belief that in the year in which we are now interested, 1885, Mr. Swartz’s publication was the most serious competitor the Journal had in the West.

In the same year Mrs. Eddy’s name and that of her College was brought into controversy over the legality of the power of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College to grant charters. This was a revival of the opposition of a Rev. Mr. Rice of Danvers, and a member of the Massachusetts Legislature from that district, and he reported to that body that Mrs. Eddy had concluded not to issue diplomas. In 1881, Mr. Rice called upon Mrs. Eddy in Lynn to talk over the matter. She had two witnesses present, and when he asked her about her teaching, inquiring if she intended to give diplomas to graduating classes, she replied that she would claim all the rights and privileges conferred by charter, whether she did or did not intend to use them. This revival of inquiry was occasioned by news that had come from students at some of the classes giving out Mrs. Eddy’s answer relative to a question of degrees. Up to this time, May, 1885, the matter had lain quiescent, and the only title which designated those who had been taught by her was C.S. Other practitioners went merely by their names. It is evident that Mrs. Eddy saw the necessity of granting degrees to her students so that those who were Normal Class graduate, s and entitled to be teachers, could be differentiated from those who had taken only the Primary Class, but the stir that was aroused when this was learned by those who were opposed to her College retarded her decision, as she realized the necessity of waiting until this feeling should have passed away. When the time was ready she announced with no hesitating expression that the College would confer degrees, and made clear just what these were to be. This was printed in the Journal of February, 1886, and degrees were given.

Then there appeared in the Century Magazine of July, 1887, an article by Rev. Dr. James M. Buckley on “Christian Science.” Dr. Buckley was considered at that time one of the most eminent writers in the country on Methodism, and for nearly twenty years after the most learned authority on ecclesiastical law. On account of his attitude relative to clergymen of the Methodist denomination who felt inclined to deviate from the strict letter of Methodism, he was called an autocrat, and his attitude of always having a chip on his shoulder gave him the nickname of “Fighting Buckley.” His article in the Century raised a storm of protest from every source that was interested in any kind of mental healing. Dr. Buckley in this article evidently made the greatest effort to write an essay that would be “smart” and there is no doubt but that he succeeded. He referred largely to the works of W. F. Evans, Sarah Grinke, Elizabeth Stuart, Edward Arens, Kate Taylor, W. T. Nichols, E. W. Baldwin, M.D., E. B. Hazzard, and Luther M. Marston.

Of the replies to this article of Dr. Buckley, C. M. Barrows in the Mental Healing Monthly made the most effective of any that the writer has found, because he took up the criticism in the same vein of writing, but fortunately left out the satirical quality that Dr. Buckley injected into his. The writer of the article in the August number of the Journal, 1887, which is unsigned, certainly made it a decidedly literary effort, and went into the duel with “Fighting Buckley” with a smile on his lips, but its purpose seems to be to keep the worst from being known by loyal adherents. Luther Marston was seriously “rapped” by Dr. Buckley for certain statements in his book Essentials of Mental Healing, so that in the issue of September, Barrows came to the rescue with a brilliant and compelling article entitled “Tricks that are Vain.”

∗The following were students of Mrs. Eddy: Elizabeth G. Stuart, who wrote “Healing Power of Thought,” Kate Taylor, “Selfhood lost to Godhood,” Luther M. Marston, “Essentials of Mental Healing.” Edward Arens studied with Mrs. Eddy’s husband.

The most dangerous thing about Dr. Buckley’s article was that it was doubleedged, and it did just what he intended. It cleverly made the reader believe, by his own inference, that Christian Science and all mental healing were not worthy of serious attention. He felt that by subtly bringing about a feeling of careless indifference, by finding something to praise so as to throw readers off their guard, he could furnish more of interest to the secular press, and that they would take it up from his point of view and dilate in a much more sneering manner than he had done. And this is just what happened, for he judged the time and the effect of his writing to a nicety, and the Christian Science Journal of August, 1887, makes the following prelude to its answer:

“The evident purpose of the article is not so much instruction as entertainment. The author means to tell a good story and he does it. His essay is worthy of notice in this Journal, however, chiefly because so much attention has been aroused in other literary camps, leading to diatribes in the daily papers, some of which are by no means gifted with the wisdom of Dr. Buckley’s essay, which is generally fair and discriminating. He may not separate the wheat from the tares. The truth is sometimes so sandwiched, that it momentarily resembles the thieves crucified on either side….It is surely not quite fair to adduce Mr. Hazzard’s extravaganza prayer ‘as an example of Christian Science.’”

Dr. Jean Hazzard was the head of the “new York School of Primitive and Practical Christian Science,” and boasted that it was free from “eccentricity, pretension and fanaticism.” He was never a student of Mrs. Eddy. His claims relative to what he taught, his extravagant expressions in his articles, and his freedom of quotations from Mrs. Eddy, sharpened the wits of the writers of “squibs” in the newspapers, and one Sunday issue in a would-be funny manner tried to trace Christian Science to “absurd ultimates,” while another, linking the names of Mrs. Eddy and Hazzard together, stated that Mrs. Eddy had “staked her reputation upon the Hazzard of a die.”

∗Hazzard’s extravaganza prayer out of which the newspapers got much enjoyment was a “prayer for a dyspeptic,” and to show that he knew practically nothing about Christian Science, and the fact that Dr. Buckley quoted this to bring ridicule upon mental treatment, it is perhaps well to quote some paragraphs in this place.

“Holy Reality! We BELIEVE in Thee that Thou art EVERYWHERE present. We really believe it. Blessed Reality we do not pretend to believe, think we believe, believe that we believe. WE BELIEVE. Believing that Thou art everywhere present, we believe that Thou art in the Patient’s stomach, in every fibre, in every cell, in every atom, that Thou art the sole, only Reality of that stomach. Heavenly Holy Reality, we will try not to be such hypocrites and infidels, as every day of our lives to affirm our faith in Thee and then immediately begin to tell how sick we are, forgetting that Thou art everything and that Thou art not sick and therefore that nothing in the universe was ever sick, or can be sick….We know, Father and Mother of us all, that there is no such a thing as a really diseased stomach, that the disease is in the Carnal Mortal Mind given over to the World, the Flesh and the Devil; that the mortal mind is a twist, a distortion, a false attitude, the HAMARTIA (Off-the-Trackness) of Thought….Help us to stoutly affirm with our hand in Your hand, with our eyes fixed on Thee that we have no Dyspepsia, that we never had Dyspepsia, that we will never have Dyspepsia, that there is no such thing, that there was never any such thing, that there never will be any such thing. Amen.”

Unless a person was pretty thoroughly grounded in the technique of expression in Christian Science, as Mrs. Eddy taught and wrote it, a reader would be confused as to what Christian Scientists believed relative to the unreality of matter, for Hazzard is most unfortunate in his use of words and the capitalization, and has no definite rule such as Mrs. Eddy made. For instance he speaks of disease as a “hateful Excrescence, and that what happens in the Body is the shadow of the lie in the Soul.” The word “Soul” in strict Christian Science is the synonym of God, and it is impossible that there could be the “shadow of a lie” in God. It is not necessary to place before the reader the unscientific manner in which Dr. Hazzard’s statements are put, and a discriminating reader would most naturally realize that his teachings were not Christian Science; but the innocent beginner would very likely be deceived, especially as Dr. Hazzard often quotes from Mrs. Eddy to support his ideas, and uses as in the prayer mentioned the following, – “Father and Mother of us all,” which is akin to Mrs. Eddy’s definition, “Father-Mother God.”

Looking at Dr. Buckley’s article twenty years after it was written, and being better able to consider the surrounding conditions, his essay looks to be far more Mephistophelian in its craftiness than was realized at that time, for while he criticized some of Mrs. Eddy’s statements, he used those at a tangent from her teachings to show the absolute confusion of thought then existing, and that if those who were teaching and practicing in this way were students of Mrs. Eddy, then her teachings must have been so abstruse and unscientific that they could have supplied no real scientific foundation.

C. M. Barrows struck hard and surely in his article, and the words of a man who had formerly defended Mrs. Eddy against attacks are worthy of being read in connection with the article which caused so much stir in literary and religious circles:

“The author of the article (Dr. Buckley) deserves no credit. His attitude is not friendly, but hostile; he has investigated the subject on which he writes, not in order to discover the truth, but that he may make certain phases and statements about it appear supremely silly. In his writings on the different phases of psychical healing, Dr. Buckley’s method and aim is to treat the subject as unworthy of serious attention, and bring it into contempt. That his quotations from the Christian Science text-books are correct, and that the exaggerated statements and conclusions of ignorant people about the ‘Science’ are as he represents, need not be denied, but when, on the authority of an educated writer, and a divine, under sanction of such a publication as the ‘Century’ he declares by implication that what he has seen fit to place before his readers, fairly sets forth the arguments for and against mental healing, he forsakes the spirit of candor that convinces for the tricks of the pettifogger and political shyster….If the vagaries that Dr. Buckley has so industriously gleaned and paraded before the readers of the ‘Century’ constitute a fair exposition of mental healing, then let us join him in the sneer. But the fact is – and no man knows it better than Dr. Buckley – that the main issue is not touched by his article, and is this: Is it possible for the sick to be benefited by a mental influence?”

Dr. Buckley had indeed seized upon the most favorable time in the history of Christian Science and of its offshoots to gather the greatest crop of vagaries and of absurdities and place them upon the dissecting table for analysis, and the task proved even too great for him because the roots and vines were so enmeshed that in order to separate them one must have known the parents of them all and the reasons for their birth. In no year of the history of mental healing did the thought run so wild as in that of 1887-8. From Mrs. Eddy’s pure statement that “God is All-inAll” there came a constant dilution into formulas, which while giving credit to God, gave it only as a cold fact, not a spiritual realization, and it was to be repeated over and over again until the will forced the body to obey. In 1887, all thoughts of God, of the works and demands of Jesus, seemed to be cast aside, and treatment was brought down to a mere activity of mental force.

While the article of C. M. Barrows, in reply to the attack of Dr. Buckley, answered the critic in an excellent manner, so far as the layman was concerned, upon reading it today it lacks the authoritative utterance of spiritual inspiration even as it did then. It will be remembered by the reader that Barrows defended Mrs. Eddy in his essay “Christian Science is not Pantheism” which the Journal of 1885 advertised as “a talented, analytical, and most just reply to Rev. A. J. Gordon, D.D.” By writing articles in defense of Mrs. Eddy he struck in a way that everyone could read to advantage. He did not indulge in the involved terminology that many Scientists used, but used the world’s own vocabulary, and where answers made by most earnest Scientists failed to have effect, by virtue of being “too scientific” for the readers of that time, his efforts brought about the desired result.

It is unfortunate that so many held such a high estimate of him, for his efforts in March and April of 1887 were most disturbing. No one who had been touched by the healing process of Christian Science, or had been in any one of its mental healing offshoots, had the courage or the audacity to proclaim and send abroad the doctrine that C. M. Barrows did in March, 1887. The culmination of his ideas he concentrated into an article published in the Mental Healing Monthly of March 1887, entitled “A False Standard,” and the reader will realize from the following selected quotations how dangerous to Mrs. Eddy’s teachings were his expositions.

“In commenting upon what are called faith-cures, the London Lancet says, ‘There is no question but that they are wrought. There is no miracle in faith healing, but it would be a miracle if faith healing did not occur under favorable conditions. The mistake that has been made is in proclaiming faith-cure as a religious function….

“If faith-cure be in no proper sense a religious function, it is equally a mistake for mental healers of any school to claim that their mode of practice, or the principles upon which their mode of curing is based, is peculiarly Christian….

“There is no historical evidence to show that Jesus Christ introduced among men any new way of treating disease, or that his occupation was that of a mental healer. On the contrary, his special mission was that of an itinerant religious teacher, a character with which the Orientals were very familiar….

“Mental healers will never avail themselves of the full power of their art until they hold and practice it apart from all religious dogmas and the fervors of pietism; until they see that it depends solely on the ceaseless operation of the one eternal law that promotes vegetable growth and keeps the stars in their orbits.

“The moral reform that some classes of mind-curers have declared to be part and parcel of the process of healing disease has no necessary connection with it; and one may heal or be healed of bodily ailments without experiencing any religious or moral change whatever….

“But so long as a mind-curer advertises to do the work of a physician, why should he wear the cloak of religion, as though his calling were not to be respected on its own merits? If everyone who practices did not know that healing is purely secular and no part of religion then there might be a reasonable excuse for confounding the two.”

These statements did not go unchallenged, and C. M. Barrows received many letters from members of Luther Marston’s church and readers of his magazine protesting against his point of view.

These persons, all students of Mrs. Eddy could not be dragged down into the quicksands of disbelief in the healing power of Jesus’ teachings, for from Mrs. Eddy they had first learned how to interpret the Scriptures, and by her had been quickened into action, mentally and physically. Mrs. Eddy, always keen to sense the drift of the hour, made answer to the article of C. M. Barrows in the Journal of April, 1887, under the title of “Truth Healing” which is to be found in Miscellaneous Writings (p. 259), but there are paragraphs in the original which applied severely to the times, which she eliminated from the later version, and the writer selects certain passages to show how Mrs. Eddy met this theory which would undermine the entire foundations of her teachings:

“Truth is the power of God which heals the sick and sinner, and is applicable to all the needs of man. It is the universal, intelligent Christ, illustrated by the life of Jesus, through whose ‘stripes we are healed.’ By Truth’s conflicts, defeats, and triumphs, Christian Science has been reduced to the understanding of mortals, and found able to heal mind and body.

“Pagan mysticism, Grecian philosophy, or Jewish religion, never entered into the line of Jesus’ thought or action. His faith partook not of drugs, matter, nor mortal mind. The Divine Mind was his only instrumentality and potency, in religion or medicine. The Principle of his cure was God, in the laws of Spirit, not of matter; and these laws annulled all other laws….

“Truth is supreme and omnipotent. Then, whatever else seemeth to be intelligence or power is false, deluding reason and denying revelation, and seeking to dethrone Deity. The truth of Mind-healing uplifts mankind, by acknowledging pure Mind as absolute and entire, and that evil is naught, although it seems to be.

“Perverting either the Truth, or the method of Mind-healing, is as fatal to practitioner as to patient. The silent, mental practice, that masks its designs and forwards its purposes through the subtle influence of mesmerism, is the reverse of Truth, and the age has yet to learn that this error is more destructive to health and morals than are the most deadly drugs and the more open enticements of sin….

“According to divine law, sin and suffering are not cancelled by repentance or pardon. Christian Science not only elucidates, but demonstrates this verity of being; namely, that mortals suffer from the wrong they commit, whether intentionally or ignorantly; that every effect and amplification of wrong will revert to the wrong-doer, until he pays his full debt to divine law, and the measure he has meted is measured to him again, full, pressed down, and running over….

“The so-called Mental Practitioners of this period show a marked tendency to plant Mind-healing on an evil basis, and assume that mental practice, although it be malpractice, is Mind-healing. Consequently they must keep from the community all knowledge of mental malpractice, and call it Christian Science. All Science is Divine. Then, to be Science, it must produce physical and moral harmony….

“It is impossible to be a Christian Scientist without apprehending the moral law so clearly that, for conscience’s sake, one will either abandon his claim to even a knowledge of this Science, or else make the claim valid.”

The article by Mrs. Eddy was not only discriminating in its manner but written with much wisdom relative to the conditions. To read the essay by C. M. Barrows, and then that of Mrs. Eddy it will be seen that she takes up his whole argument in a most sagacious manner. She mentioned no names, and her reply is of the utmost kindness, for she realized that C. M. Barrows had never made claim that he was a Scientist, and she was grateful for his able defense of her in earlier writings. She clinched the foundations of her teachings when she wrote of Jesus’ works:

“His faith partook not of drugs, matter, nor mortal mind. The Divine Mind was his only instrumentality and potency, in religion or medicine.”

In answer to his statement:

“The moral reform that some classes of mind-curers have declared to be part and parcel of the process of healing disease has no necessary connection with it.”

Mrs. Eddy wrote:

“It is impossible to be a Christian Scientist without apprehending the moral law so clearly that, for conscience’s sake, one will either abandon his claim to even a knowledge of this Science, or else make the claim valid.”

C. M. Barrows in his reply to criticisms wrote in the Mental Healing Monthly

of June, 1887, under the title of “Objections considered”:

“The article makes not comments at all on the Christian religion or the character of its founder….It makes these statements: (1) The notion that the power to heal disease is acquired only on reaching lofty altitudes of pietism is erroneous; (2) Mental healing is in no distinctive sense a Christian function; (3) Jesus did not introduce among men a new way of treating disease, and healing was not his vocation….Whatever may be the apparent cause of cure, in any and all cases of genuine healing, the efficient power or force that restores health is one and the same. No mental healer, no prayer, no drug, is the cause of a cure; the healing power is a direct exertion of that eternal energy which is the life and health of the universe – that force to which men in all ages of the world have applied the name Spirit, the antithesis of matter. Every denial of this proposition is a blow at the fundamental doctrine upon which ‘Christian scientists’ profess to plant themselves.

“Holding sharply to the strict and only possible construction of this doctrine of the ‘one power,’ we must assert that in each and every one of the millions of cases of cure of patients in the charge of physicians and treated with medicine, the cure was caused by the very same power that heals a patient who is treated in the true way by a ‘Christian scientist.’ No man or woman, however, will claim that the service rendered by physicians is a moral one….That mental healing is in no distinctive sense a Christian function is attested by the fact that it was practiced ages before Jesus appeared on earth, and has been practiced by persons who were not Christians. If there is but one power that heals, then Jesus could not have introduced a new way of treating disease; and that mental healing was not his chief or special work is proved by the entire body of traditions and writings of the New Testament and Christian sects.”

This defense by C. M. Barrows of his point of view brought about still more chemicalization of thought, and Mrs. Eddy felt it was necessary to put all the force she had into a statement of her own position. She took in this a wise method of procedure, for she made no direct attack upon Barrows, but took up the main points of his statements and showed by her reasoning that he was wrong. Mrs. Eddy felt the time had come to make the most efficient answer to the conditions that were extant in the Church of Divine Unity, and in Marston’s magazine, for the forces of Dresser, Barrows and Marston, were working in different ways to destroy her labors, and she saw that the best way in which to reach her adherents in Boston was to deliver a sermon and to touch upon the points brought out by Barrows. This Mrs. Eddy preached in Chickering Hall on Sunday June 5. She took for her text “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law,” and we quote from her as follows: –

“We are accustomed to think and speak of gravitation as a law of matter, when every quality of matter, in and of itself, is inert, inanimate, and nonintelligent. The assertion that matter is a law or a lawgiver, is anomalous. Wherever law is, Mind is; and the notion that Mind can be in matter is pantheism, – rank infidelity, which either excludes God from the universe, or includes Him in every mode and form of evil. Pantheism presupposes that God sleeps in the mineral, dreams in the animal, and wakes in wicked men.

“The distinction between that which is and is not law, must be made by Mind, and as Mind. Law is either a moral or an immoral force….

“Our great ensample, Jesus of Nazareth, met and abolished this unrelenting false claim of matter with the righteous scorn and power of Spirit. When, through Mind, he restored sight to the blind, he figuratively and literally spat upon matter; and by the anointing with this great Truth, that Mind is All, he demonstrated the healing power and supremacy of the law of Life and Love….

“God’s interpretation of Himself furnishes man with the only suitable or true idea of God, and the divine definition of Deity differs essentially from the human. It interprets the law of Spirit, not of matter. It explains the eternal dynamics of Being, and shows that nature and man are as harmonious today as in the beginning, when ‘the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’

“Whatever appears to be law, but partakes not of the nature of God, is not law, but is what Jesus declared it, ‘a lie, and the father of it.’ God is Good, and Good is the law of Life, not of death, of health, and not of sickness, of good and not of evil….In this eternal harmony of Science, man is not fallen; he is governed in the same rhythm that the Scripture describes, when ‘the Morning Stars sang together, and all the Sons of God shouted for joy.’”

The reader will recognize from these two answers given by Mrs. Eddy, how she held her dignity and how this dignified bearing in her masterly answers was the unconscious and unlabored effect of the sureness of her position, and the fullness and ripeness of the development of her knowledge of the spiritual interpretation of the teachings of Jesus. To take away from mental healing the power to heal morally would be to give greater freedom to sin. The churches had been unable to conquer the “lusts of the flesh” by sermons, prayers and exhortations, but the healing power of her teachings first curing the sick, brought about their spiritual regeneration because of the desire to remain well and happy, and because an entirely new view of the beauty of living had been given, and these results produced an increase in courage and the strength to go about their daily tasks and to make success for their business undertakings.

A keen analyst of the contemporary literature dealing with mental healing would ponder over the problem that appeared in May of 1887, in both the Christian Science Journal and the Mental Healing Magazine, one an attack upon Mrs. Eddy’s teachings relative to Animal Magnetism, and the other a defense by her. The two are so componently conjoined that it would appear that the defender must have had some inkling of what the attacker was going to do, and this is just what happened. The columns of the Mental Healing Magazine were then at their highest point of attack upon Mrs. Eddy’s teachings. Julius Dresser’s lectures on Quimby were given in the March and April numbers; C. M. Barrows’ article in March and June, and to blast Mrs. Eddy’s teachings still further, Luther Marston felt that he should make ridiculous the teachings of Animal Magnetism. It so happened that he had told his intent to several of his intimates and read them parts of it, and it had reached the ears of one of Mrs. Eddy’s students who took the whole matter to her, with the outcome that when Marston’s magazine of the issue of May appeared with the attack, the Journal came upon the scene with the defense, and as Ms. Eddy’s article has never been reprinted it is well to note just what stirred her to write. Marston wrote as follows:

“These are trying times for mental healers of all schools. The waters of mortal mind are stirred by the various opinions of those engaged in mental healing. It is claimed that there are two distinct classes of Mental Healers. How can it be otherwise, from the false and erroneous teaching of those who profess to believe only in one good, or Divine power, and still teach and fear an opposite, that is at work through a few persons to injure them….

“I am constantly receiving letters asking ‘What shall we do to counteract the teaching that is going broadcast that all who do not follow the direction of the leaders of the Christian Science Association are “mind curers,” “malicious mesmerizers,” etc.?’ To all earnest enquirers my answer is, ‘Go on in the good work. God is on the side of truth. Do not hesitate to say that all such reports are wholly false.’….I am willing to labor to destroy sin in all its forms, but I am not willing to have innocent people branded as imposters. I shall raise the battle-axe in defence of the hundreds of God’s loving children, who are being falsely attacked by so-called Christian Scientists. Scores of innocent people have been taught a lie, in the name of ‘Christian Science,’ and they believed it.”

Mrs. Eddy’s article (not reprinted) “Ways that are Vain,” shows her, in the beginning, in a most unusual mood that suggests her realization, that Mr. Marston has been out-manœuvred. The writer has chosen the following parts of this piece of writing for the matter in hand:

“ ‘But who is mixing the fatal draught that palsies heart and brain,
And loading the bier of each passing year with ten-hundred-thousand slain?
Who blights the bloom of the land today, with the fiery breath of Hell,
If the Devil isn’t and never was? Won’t somebody rise and tell?’”

“Certain individuals entertain the notion that Christian Science Mind-healing should be two-sided, and only denounce error in general, – saying nothing, in particular, of error that is damning men. They are sticklers for a false, convenient peace, straining out gnats and swallowing camels. The unseen wrong to individuals and society, they are too cowardly, too ignorant, or too wicked to uncover, and they excuse themselves by denying that this evil exists….

“Animal Magnetism, in ascending steps of evil, entices its victim by unseen, silent arguments. Reversing the modes of good, in their silent allurements to health and holiness, it impels mortal mind into error of thought, and tempts into the committal of acts foreign to the natural inclinations….Animal Magnetism fosters suspicious distrust, where honor is due, fear, where courage should be strongest, reliance, where there should be avoidance, a belief in safety, where there is most danger; and these miserable lies, poured constantly into his mind, fret and confuse it, spoiling that individual’s disposition, undermining his health, and sealing his doom, unless the cause of the mischief is found out and destroyed….

“The question is often asked, Why is there so much dissension among mental practitioners? We answer, Because they do not practice in strict accordance with the teachings of Christian Science Mind-healing. If they did, there would be unity of action. Being like the disciples of old, ‘With one accord in one place,’ they would receive a spiritual influx impossible under other conditions, and so would recognize and resist the Animal Magnetism by which they are being deceived and misled.

“The mental malpractitioner, interfering with the rights of Mind, destroys the true sense of Science, and loses his own power to heal. He tries to compensate himself for his own loss, by hindering, in every way conceivable, the success of others. You will find this practitioner saying that Animal Magnetism never troubles him, but that Mrs. Eddy teaches Animal Magnetism; and he says this to cover his crime of mental malpractice, in furtherance of unscrupulous designs….

“Unless one’s eye are opened to the modes of mental malpractice, – working so subtly that we mistake its suggestions for the impulses of our own thought, – the victim will allow himself to drift in the wrong direction without knowing it….”

This bugle call to her followers came at a time when new and uncertain elements of thought were entering into opposition to her teachings. The conditions were being stirred more than ever by the larger efforts of those Luther Marston had gathered about him, and on May 25 a “Convention of Mental Healers” was held in Boston. While this was not entirely successful so far as a nation-wide effort, it was a precursor of one to follow, and preparations were made for a much greater effort to take place in October.

The loyal adherents watched this effort, and not without some fear and trembling, and the reader has already perceived the subtle scheme to bring into their convention those loyal to Mrs. Eddy, as evidenced in the letter signed by Mrs. Diaz, which was given on a former page, but they were cheered when they realized from verbal and also written reports in the Mental Healing Monthly that the methods of these teachers and writers who spoke at the meetings, were so different that they could not all stand upon one platform, and therefore showed a decided lack of unity, in fact a wide diversity of ideas. But Mrs. Eddy saw danger in many of the things that were said, and felt they should be answered in a way that did not personalize them, and this she did in her article in the Christian Science Journal of November, entitled “Vainglory.” A few sentences from this strong and urgent piece of writing will give the reader some idea of how she touched upon certain points:

“The bird whose right wing flutters to soar, while the left beats its way downward, falls to the earth.

“Two personal queries give point to human action: Who shall be greatest? and Who shall be best? Earthly glory is vain, but not vain enough to attempt pointing the way to Heaven, the harmony of Being. The imaginary victories of rivalry and hypocrisy are defeats….He is unfit for Truth, and the demonstration of divine power, who departs from Mind to matter, and from Truth to error, in pursuit of better means for healing the sick and casting out error.

“The Christian Scientist keeps straight to the course….Hence he suffers no shipwreck in a starless night on the shoals of vainglory….

“Who is it that understands unmistakably a fraction of the actual Science of Mind-healing? It is he who has fairly proven his knowledge on a mental, Scientific basis, – who has made his choice between matter and Mind, and proven Mind the only healer. These are self-evident propositions: that man can only be Christianized through Mind; that without Mind the body is without action; that Science is a law of Mind. The conclusion follows, that the correct Mind-healing is the proper means of Christianity, and is Science.

“Today Christian Science is sold in the shambles. Many are bidding for it, but are not willing to pay the price. Error is vending itself on trust, well knowing the willingness of mortals to buy error at par value….

“We are in the Valley of Decision. Then let us take the side of him who overthrew the seats of the money-changers, and such as sold doves, – of such as bartered integrity and peace for money and fame….

“To seek or employ other means than those the Master used in demonstrating Life scientifically, is to lose the priceless knowledge of his Principle and practice….”

This article is worth reading in its entirety and can be found in Miscellaneous Writings. It is as effective today as it was then for the guidance of the present and the future. “Vainglory” was not written because Mrs. Eddy felt that she must keep herself constantly before her adherents in order to show them that her powers were not failing even at the age of sixty-six, but was written with a most definite purpose in view. The reader is now acquainted with the efforts of Dresser and his Quimby theory, the two conventions set in motion by Luther Marston, and the two articles by C. M. Barrows, but there is one matter that has not yet been opened up, and that is the process of decadence that was taking place in the thought of Luther Marston. Mrs. Eddy saw this and realized that before long, unless he should straighten out, he would practically lose all he had aimed for, and this man who had gone from her in an attempt to become the leader of those who were “wandering about without a leader” had become so mixed in his thought that his own adherents in his church, and writers for his own magazine were taking him to task, and he was losing the faith of those he had gathered about him. In less than a year, by June, 1888, the outlook for his magazine was so unpromising that he sold it out to the International, and less than a year later the church of which he was so proud had dwindled to nothing.

L. P. Holbrook took up the matter in an excellent article, – “Our Standard” and this is of considerable value, and will show how Marston “hoisted his own petard.”

“It was with sincere regret that I perused the article in the March number of this magazine entitled ‘A False Standard.’ This magazine is the acknowledged organ of the Mental Science & Christian Healing Association. Think then of the incongruity of publishing an article in its columns that would read to a casual reader like a decided disavowal of any religious principle as necessarily connected with our method of healing, and to the most charitable, like a slur upon the Christian teachings of our beloved science.

“The inconsistency is apparent,…for we are met by the inquiry at once, ‘What does this mean?’ You call yourselves Christian Scientists, and yet say religion has nothing at all to do with it, nay, that a spirit of faith in prayer is a hindrance rather than a help to success in ‘Mental Healing.’

“Students say, if this is so, we have been taught entirely wrong….The matter came up for discussion at our last student’s meeting, and the unanimous opinion was expressed that the article was injurious in its tendency and contrary to the spirit of our teachings. I would like to hear from many others…for I think the vital truths of our science are unwittingly attacked by a professed friend.”

In the same issue Marston took up a defense of the position of the managers and the editor of his magazine, and stated that they were not “responsible for, nor supposed to endorse all the ideas put forth by writers whose names appear in it.” Then he made a defense of Barrows, and when the reader has read the quotation that has been selected, which shows how fearfully mixed in his thoughts Marston had become, he will realize how clearly Mrs. Eddy knew his character, and saw the outcome of his efforts when she wrote of him in November 1885, in “Definition of Purpose”:

“What séance has opened his tear-dimmed eye to behold the remedy is to help them by his leadership? Is it that he can guide them better than they can guide themselves who have the guidance of our common Father, or that they are incapable of helping themselves?...I, as their teacher, can say they know quite as much of Christian Science as he does….Mixing all grades of any article is not productive of purity; only those who have an interest in mixing are apt to propose it.”

Mrs. Eddy had indeed given a clear reading of the future in the life of Luther Marston, and it would have been interesting to have known her thoughts when she saw the dwindling away of the army that he had gathered to oppose her.

The attitude that Marston had taken in his magazine relative to C. M. Barrows, brought about more dissatisfaction when he allowed the second article by that writer to appear, “Objections considered,” which went even farther down the scale of materialism than his first. The consequences of this were that a considerable number of his subscribers gave up their subscriptions, and went over to Truth.

Although the machinations of Marston were being destroyed, the process of destruction was not without effect upon Mrs. Eddy’s labors, for she had to watch every movement of her students and see that what they said in their teaching, writing, practice and lecturing, should be correct, for the great amount of spurious literature that was flooding the country was bringing about a mixture of expression, and at this time she saw the absolute necessity of keeping her followers right to the mark, and in order to do so, she was obliged to call attention to their errors. Some objected, and to make her meaning clear she published in the Journal of March, 1888, under the title of “Unchristian Rumor” the following:

“The assertion that I have said hard things about my loyal students in Chicago, New York, or any other place, is utterly false and groundless. I speak of them as I feel, and I can not find it in my heart not to love them. They are essentially dear to me, who are toiling and achieving success, in unison with my own endeavors and prayers. If I correct mistakes which may be made in teaching or lecturing on Christian Science, this is in accordance with my students’ desires, and thus we mutually aid each other, and obey the Golden Rule.

“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….”

In the same issue she published her article relative to spurious literature, and unless a reader is acquainted with some of the vast amount of such literature, he will not recognize the value of the advice that Mrs. Eddy gave in her short article of warning:

“…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.”

The various trends of thought that had been developed by the off-shoots from Christian Science, and had brought all these conditions to the surface, had given the suggestion very strongly to outsiders that in Mental Healing there was absolutely no science, and if so there was no certain way in which to treat disease by which cure would be effected. Physicians and medical societies who saw the encroachments of Mental Healing upon their practice, and who noted the various divisions of thought and method, the quarrels and lack of unity, were looking for the proper opportunity – a situation in which death should occur under mental treatment – to bring about the prosecution of the practitioner, and prove before the courts that such practice should be prohibited by law. They found it in the case of Mrs. Corner, in the spring of 1888.

It is apparent upon analysis of the events that took place in the years of 1886-7 and the first part of 1888, that the mental disturbances, which the divisions and subdivisions of offshoots from Mrs. Eddy’s teachings had started, were about to come into eruption, and this is just what happened over the famous Corner Case, which has been fully described in a former chapter.

It is well here to make a short résumé of all the events that took place during the period we have been analyzing, – the history of the first attempts of the first Building Fund, – so that at a glance the reader can see the numerous efforts for construction, also destruction, that took place:

September, 1885, Mrs. Crosse appealed for funds for a Church edifice; The apostasy of Luther Marston;

June, 1886. The treachery of Wm. I. Gill and his attempts to seize the leadership away from Mrs. Eddy, and his attack in a Chicago newspaper;

Mrs. Crosse again takes charge of the Journal, and sets in action once more the efforts for a Building Fund, that had lain dormant during Gill’s régime;

The Building Fund Concert;

Building Fund Cards, and the work of its Committee; The “Fair” for the Building Fund;

Reasons for the slowness of contributions;

Six distinct schools of Mental Healing in Boston; The attack of Julius Dresser upon Mrs. Eddy; The theories of C. M. Barrows;

The attack of Rev. Dr. Buckley;

The Convention of Mental Scientists and the misleading letter of Mrs. Diaz;

The attempt of A. J. Swartz to amalgamate his work with that of Mrs. Eddy, his insidious attempts to get hold of her students, and his attack upon her in his defense of Dresser and Quimby;

Spurious Christian Science literature, and Mrs. Eddy’s warning; The secession of Mrs. Crosse;

The discouragement of Mrs. Eddy, and her thought of leaving Boston.

During this period Mrs. Eddy had written seventy-three articles, and a number of short paragraphs and notices for the Journal, also newspaper articles. In the same time she had appeared before the Church and the two Associations as preacher and speaker forty-three times, had written many hundreds of letters and taught a large number of students primary and normal courses. Besides this labor she had written poems and sketches that were not published, and she brought out a revised edition of Science and Health.

Miss Milmine makes an attempt to belittle the appreciation shown by Mrs. Eddy’s students of her many labors, and sets forth this statement: “She was, as her students used proudly to declare, in the saddle day and night.” The story we have told will go far to prove that her students did not overestimate Mrs. Eddy’s continuous labors, and the real fact is that none knew just how great and far-reaching they were, for the perspective was not long enough for a just appreciation.

A knowledge of these early days of the work in Boston, is of the greatest importance in the history of Mrs. Eddy’s labors. This period will probably remain the one of most intense interest in the future history of the Cause and of Mrs. Eddy’s growth, on account of the many issues that she had to meet, and the sureness of her own vision in not being led to compromise with the ideas of others. Of this time, she was forced to write in the Christian Science Journal:

“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 worse confounded, I call a halt! And if the voice of Truth and Love be heard above the din of error and hate, the stately march of Christian Science will go on.”

Miss Milmine has suggested in many places in her book that Mrs. Eddy was a paranoiac, that she had the continual fear night and day that others were attempting to steal her ideas and her writings, but she did not take the trouble to investigate the facts that there were scores who were doing so, and this chapter shows how they were grossly infringing upon her rights and carrying her discovery and her name “Christian Science” into the shambles of materialism. However, because their methods were so diverse, and the spiritual import so attenuated that they could find no platform upon which to unite, they all fell apart.

Mrs. Eddy speaks of these persons in the Christian Science Journal of March, 1888, and the reader will note her use of the word “environments,” and from what has gone before, he will realize that for guidance from Mrs. Eddy, the distant student should make known to her conditions, or the “environments,” with which he was surrounded. She speaks as follows:

“The need felt by students of their Teacher’s counsel, – especially by those at a distance, working assiduously for our common cause, – and their constant petitions for the same, should be met in the most effectual way.

“To be responsible for supplying this want, and poise the wavering balance on the right side, is impracticable, without a full knowledge of the environments. The educational system of Christian Science lacks the aid and protection of State laws. 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, without credit, appreciation, or a single original conception, while they quote from other authors every random thought in line with mind.”

Such a statement as the foregoing Miss Milmine did not know or did not understand. If she had read it and had honest intentions at heart, she would have sought out the sources of Mrs. Eddy’s reasons, just as the writer has done. Had she thus taken up her work, she would have learned so much of the actual truth of Christian Science history and the devoted and self-sacrificing efforts of Mrs. Eddy, for the good of all humanity, that it would not have been possible for her to have written as she has, for honesty and her conscience would have prevailed over all other things, justice would have been her guide, and she would have come into the realization of what Mrs. Eddy has written on page 234 of Miscellaneous Writings: –

“That one should have ventured on such unfamiliar ground, and, self-forgetful, should have gone on to establish this mighty system of metaphysical healing, called Christian Science, against such odds, – even the entire current of mortality, – is matter of grave wonderment to profound thinkers.”




Chapter XLV

The Question of Church Government

IN her conception of Church government and its crystallization into that of the Mother Church, Mrs. Eddy laid the foundations for what she thought was best for her organization; and many of the most faithful students, who had struggled along with her since she had taught them, found nothing to question in her judgment of this method of organization and government. Gradually the thought of a majority of her adherents was coming into line with hers; many, however, felt that her provisions for the election of officers, and the conduct of the business of the organization, are not sufficiently broad, and that they do not harmonize with her declaration that the movement is “essentially Democratic.” Criticism of her rules of organization have come from those who, as it is fair to assume, were and are sincere in thinking that the government of the Church is ecclesiastical to a degree which, from the historical point of view, involves a serious hazard, and thus it came about that Rev. Mr. Norcross, then Pastor of the Church, and many others since have not been able to accept the interpretation given by the majority to Mrs. Eddy’s provisions for the Church government.

Mr. Norcross was a fine man in many respects as well as a sincere believer in Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, but his concept of the democratic method of Congregational church government, together with a letter Mrs. Eddy had written to him when he became Pastor, relative to organization, effected a decided stand upon his part. In the meeting of the National Association in Cleveland in 1889, he had delivered an excellent address on “Church Government,” and said that the Congregational method is in accord with the genius of free thought. It is the system by which all the liberal churches of America are managed….It is not a little significant that, as a matter of fact, every one of our churches that has been planted and established thus far has been organized in accordance with this spirit of liberty, which so well expresses the New Testament idea.”

In her letter to Mr. Norcross of November 23, 1889, Mrs. Eddy wrote as follows:

“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.”

Believing as strongly as he did in the Congregational form of government, the organization of the New Church body came to him as a sudden shock. And it is easily apprehended why he felt in this way. His address at the Cleveland meeting of the National Association had been approved by Mrs. Eddy before he gave it, and it created much enthusiasm. In her message to the members she practically ratified it when she stated that the churches “should have an independent form of government.” From June, 1889, to September 23, 1892, the date of the founding of the present Mother Church organization, Mr. Norcross had seen the Christian Science churches grow from thirteen to fifty-five, while unorganized bodies which held services every Sunday, from eighteen to one hundred and fifteen. He felt that some of this advancement was due to his statement and appeal, which Mrs. Eddy had seconded and put into motion at the meeting in Cleveland.

The sudden and unlooked for change of order in the Mother Church was therefore unexpected and disturbing to the ideas which he so enthusiastically held, and especially in view of his conviction, that this course might tend to bring about the same change in the government of the other churches of the denomination, which seemed to him to be a retrograde step. His three years as Pastor of the little Church had brought him greater peace and prosperity than he had probably ever enjoyed before. He had enjoyed more liberty of action than he had previously known, and there was a sense of greater freedom of thought because he was holding a position in which he was subject only to the directions of Mrs. Eddy, and not to members of the Church. Having hopes and expectations of the eventual perfection and successful working of a church body built only upon a spiritual foundation, his happy dreams were quite dissipated by the outcome of the events of 1892.

It will be remembered that Mr. Nixon made a tour of the West in order to secure adherents for his battle against the Directors. To Mr. Norcross these events loomed large and menacing, and he saw himself as the Pastor of not only a disorganized church body, but one that was being broken up and might finally disintegrate altogether, the whole field being thrown into a state of chaos and revolution. As Pastor, he was in the midst of this seething situation, and was appealed to right and left by the members of the congregation, also from different parts of the country, for advice upon this controversy, hence his solicitude and anxiety.

In her Life of Mrs. Eddy, Miss Milmine makes an unfortunate and very questionable statement relative to Mr. Norcross, in speaking of him as one of the “deposed pastors.” The truth in regard to his retirement was known to but very few, and this is so today. The change from Mr. Norcross to Mr. Easton was managed with the greatest care by the Directors and there was no upheaval of thought in consequence. Many of the church people regretted that he was to leave, but most of them assumed that it was because his term of service had expired, or that a change would be good for the Church, as he had been preaching three years.

Miss Milmine’s attempt to cast a slur upon Mrs. Eddy by suggesting that she deposed Mr. Norcross, using a word of singularly suggestive meaning in this connection, is an attempt to attach to Mrs. Eddy the unwarranted exercise of a selfish and autocratic power, and needs explanation. Had Miss Milmine known the truth, she would have written otherwise. She has not only cast a wrong light upon Mrs. Eddy, but she has not put the case of Mr. Norcross discriminatingly and fairly before the world. She undoubtedly received her information from Mr. Nixon, and the history of it is that when Mrs. Eddy took the matter of the land out of the hands of the three Trustees in 1892, by virtue of the “Deed of Trust” of September 1, 1892, Mr. Nixon saw the collapse of all his schemes, and became embittered relative to Mrs. Eddy and those who were faithful to her. Mr. Norcross was a man of peace, his mental attitude and efforts being always toward harmony. Out of the kindness of his heart he called upon Mr. Nixon, and became companionable with him that he might bring some uplift to his thought, and thus save him, but his efforts were of no avail. On the other hand, Mr. Nixon’s attitude toward the reorganization of the Church, as Mrs. Eddy planned, had its influence upon Mr. Norcross.

To understand the underlying thought of those who had taken the same stand as Mr. Nixon, it will be well to bring forward at this point a portion of the letter sent out by father on May 3, 1892. He said:

“What hinders the building being started is this: the factionists in Boston are determined to make the Trustees buy another building lot with the money that has been contributed, and build thereon a church free from the restrictions of the Trust deed. So many of our Church members were belligerents when it was disorganized, that this form of deed and circuitous way of conveying land was deemed the remedy against future broils, and so far has proved to be restrictive to error. The belligerents are still members of our church, because the Court has not taken away our Church charter. If our Church reorganizes, in order to transact business, these false members will trouble us, unless the conditions of the deed to the Trustees are carried out. Their main plot at present is to get money from students to buy a lot and then build a church edifice of their own without restrictions, that the reign of heterodoxy may have a foundation in Boston, the true Scientists be again robbed and our Cause suffer throughout the land….Mr. Nixon does not know the need of certain restrictions which are requisite in our Church. The legal points can easily be adjusted and the Church is ready to adjust them, but the Trustees will not act in this direction, and yet hold on to the money. Lawyer Perry will tell you that the land is safely and legally conveyed.”

This pertinent letter was approved by Mrs. Eddy, and this was the condition in which Mr. Norcross, a lover of peace and harmony, found himself, and with a devoted longing to assist and to bring about repentance, he sought out Mr. Nixon and thus brought about an increasing intimacy between the two. Mr. Nixon realized that it would be but a short time before he would be asked to resign as Publisher, and to him it meant, as later events proved, the end of his connection with Mrs. Eddy’s interests and with the Cause. After the organization of the Mother Church body, Mr. Munroe and Mr. Lang began to lose interest in their former attitude, for they realized that Mrs. Eddy had cut the ground from under their feet when she made the new “Deed of Trust” and they saw their case was hopeless. With this awakening they also lost faith in Mr. Nixon, and where he had swayed them before, he found that they were now drifting from his views and his influence. Meantime Mr. Norcross reached the conviction that the form of government which Mrs. Eddy had evolved was not of the best type. It is very easy to realize what his objections would be when it is known how he was opposed to any “body of men or women having absolute legislative and judicial functions” in the management of the affairs of the Church. Nevertheless the attempted reorganization of the Church in August, 1892, with a change of name from “Church of Christ (Scientist)” to “First Church of Christ, Scientist,” seemed to him a backward step, even though this would have given the members of the body the power of voting as to how the Church should be governed, and would have been in accordance with the Congregational method. He felt most strongly that the only type to labor in and for, was the spiritual church.

The suggestions relative to “Church Government” which he had given so eloquently and clearly at the Cleveland Convention, and which had been of great value to other churches, in forming their organizations, had been received with a feeling of gratitude, and the publication of his paper in the Journal had brought him many letters of approval and thanks for timely advice which was needed throughout the field. This had gradually brought about an obsession that in this branch of church government and methods involved, he was an authority, and the calls upon him from the field for advice, further enhanced his appreciation of the unusual position into which his exposition of church government, according to Congregational methods, together with Mrs. Eddy’s approval of them, had placed him.

Let us look for a moment into his statement at the Cleveland Convention, and notice how strongly he expressed himself. He said:

“A very important question meets us at the threshold, and one on which depends the future progress of the truth, so far as outward conditions can effect it. Shall we invest any body of men or women with absolute legislative and judicial functions or power in the management of our affairs? Do we want a Bishop or Board of Bishops? Our Teacher, as we have seen, refuses to assume such dictatorial control, lest we exalt her personality. Shall we commit the worse blunder of following the blind leadership of those less competent than she to lead and guide us?...Are we to become simply a denomination, with all the evils of denominationalism as seen in a strongly centralized government, lodged in a body that will hamper and oppress us?...As a matter of fact, every one of our churches that has been planted and established thus far has been organized in accordance with the spirit of liberty, which so well expresses the New Testament idea. So was organized the original church in Boston; so also that in Chicago, and this here in Cleveland, in Oconto, and elsewhere. This harmonious action, under the spontaneous leading of the Spirit, without preconcerted plan, has led all our churches so far as to follow in this way of spiritual liberty.”…

In summing up his basic ideas for the guidance of churches in their government, Mr. Norcross affirmed that outside of willingness to follow Mrs. Eddy, one of the most important was “autonomy and freedom of the local churches to follow the great Congregational principle in managing their local affairs.”

With his enthusiasm for church government in accordance with this “great Congregational principle,” and recognized as one of its most learned exponents in the ranks of Christian Scientists, Mr. Norcross was filled with surprise when Mrs. Eddy drew up the form of government for the Mother Church, since her plan was not in accordance with the Congregational order. A Board of Directors was appointed by her in the “Deed of Trust,” but there was no provision therein for their election by the members of the Church, since they were empowered to fill all vacancies on their Board. They were given certain important duties to perform, and over these the members had no jurisdiction. The “First Members” was a select body appointed by Mrs. Eddy, and they were the ones to take up matters of discipline, and upon them rested the approval of the Rules and By-laws of the Church. To a person in conscientious sympathy with the idea of great freedom and liberty in church government, the body of “First Members” could have been construed, to use Mr. Norcross’s own words, as a “strongly centralized government, lodged in a body that will hamper and oppress us.” Whatever hopes Mr. Nixon had entertained relative to his power and position, he saw them crumbling away for he realized that the control of the new organization with its order of “First Members” to which he had not been appointed, or elected, was going to be lodged in the hands of students who were entirely in harmony with Mrs. Eddy’s new point of view. The conditions had changed since he had been appointed a Trustee under the deed of December 17, 1889, of which time Mrs. Eddy wrote, –

“When the first deed was executed, the Church was in such a condition, that it troubled me to know whether to donate my lot to the Church, or to Christian Scientists in general.”

Mr. Nixon thoroughly believed that the erection of an adequate publishing building was more necessary than the erection of a church edifice in Boston, also that the call for funds for the former would meet with a more hearty response than for the latter purpose. As Publisher he saw a large field for his efforts in the increase of our literature, which naturally meant an increase of his salary. The efforts of the Directors to use the funds entirely for a church edifice did not meet with his approval, and when he found that pressure was becoming too great, he felt that a return to organization would be the next best course, but the plan pursued should be that of the reorganization of the old Church. Respecting this there are some matters which are pertinent here, and they will be seen in another light when their connection with events is revealed.

Into this strife and confusion Mr. Norcross was unwittingly borne. In his attempts to save Mr. Nixon, he unconsciously put himself in a very unfortunate light, for by his visits to him and his intercessions with the Directors and others of the Church, he awakened the impression that he was under the influence of Mr. Nixon, and his opinions of the organization of the new Mother Church, although honest and sincere, and not harsh in their statement, constituted further evidence that he was not at one with the methods of government of the new body. That he did not promptly take a position in harmony with what Mrs. Eddy had adopted, and labor eagerly for its advance, explains why his name was not proposed for “First Membership.”

By the middle of January of 1893, his thought was in a confused condition and he realized that his efforts in Mr. Nixon’s interest had failed since it became necessary for Mr. Nixon to resign, which he did on January 1, 1893. In his efforts to shield Mr. Nixon he had offered the argument that the business of the Publishing Society had been very successful under his management, but the statement of the Publishing Committee relative to the audit of the books as of January 1, 1893, when Mr. Armstrong took Mr. Nixon’s place, brought out the fact that there was no such large surplus as Mr. Nixon had intimated. This was a great disappointment to Mr. Norcross, and it came to him as a severe blow, for he had felt that if Mr. Nixon had done as much good for the Publishing Society as his own public statements showed, he merited encouragement and approval.

Most naturally the advent of Mr. Armstrong in the position of Mr. Nixon created no small stir. Mr. Armstrong’s business abilities were of unknown quantity to the adherents in Boston, and there was anxiety relative to his power of making a success of his new labors. Another change of importance was a division of the labor which had hitherto been part of the work of Mr. Nixon, namely, that Dr. Foster-Eddy was to assume charge of the publication of Mrs. Eddy’s works, and the field was notified of this in the Journal of January, 1893. All such changes in important positions brought about much conjecture, with the anxiety and confusion which would naturally take place in bodies of workers, especially in those so closely affiliated in daily labors with the Church and the Publishing Society. It was not strange therefore that there were feelings of wonderment as to what would happen next.

When Mr. Armstrong came to Boston he brought with him as assistants two of Mrs. Eddy’s students, Mr. James A. Neal and Mr. Thomas W. Hatten. In the Publishing House, Mr. Armstrong looked carefully over the employees, as it was right he should do, that he might have with him none who were tainted with any sense of disloyalty to the Cause, but his judgment of some, and of one especially, was not what it should have been, and his discharge of these brought about a great deal of adverse criticism, which shortly reached Mrs. Eddy, and she had him restore one of her worthy students, Mrs. Sarah F. Linnfield, to her position.

To quiet this ferment, and bring about what she saw was necessary in a change of Pastors, Mrs. Eddy prepared the way by writing for the February meeting of the Christian Scientists’ Association a message which would serve as a guide to the thoughts of her students, and bring about an understanding of the fact that she knew all the existing conditions and was laboring to correct them in the best and kindest possible manner.

In reading the messages of correction of this period and comparing them with many written prior to 1892, it will be seen how Mrs. Eddy had grown rapidly away from the habit of touching upon personality. She ceased to mention persons, but took the errors to be corrected in the aggregate, as the outcroppings of mortal mind which must be changed or destroyed, and she selected for the title of her peacebringing message, “Obedience.” In Miscellaneous Writings the context is changed from the original, and gives the impression of futurity, but the original applies itself directly to the conditions in hand, and when the reasons for its inspiration are known, it comes to us with impinging force, exhibiting as it does a deep knowledge of human nature, and deep spiritual perception. A few passages are herewith quoted to show how Mrs. Eddy handled the delicate yet menacing conditions which she did not desire to see expand into a schism.

“...Obedience alone demonstrates the divine Principle which we profess to understand and love. Never absent from its post, never off guard, never out of time, obedience is ‘faithful over a few things.’ If in one instance this cardinal point be lacking, you lose its reward, to be made ‘ruler over many things.’ To a liver thereof, a progressive life is the sole reality of life, and unfolds its own immortal Principle.

“Until the student of Christian Science separates the tares from the wheat, discerns between the thought, motive and act superinduced by evil minds, and the true God-given intent and volition, and arrests the former, and obeys the latter, he is not on the safe side of practice….The disobedient make their moves before God makes His, or too late to follow Him. We should wait for God to direct our footsteps, then, hasten to obey under every circumstance.

“To accomplish this, human will must first be subjugated. We cannot obey both God and a false human sense, false mental suggestions, mistaken motives and human policy….

“Self-ignorance, self-will, self-righteousness, must be met manfully and overcome or these errors will uproot the truth. Be of good cheer, the warfare is pleasant; it gives you employment; the divine Principle worketh with you; and obedience crowns persistent effort with everlasting victory….

“Insubordination in little things to the law of Love, and strict obedience thereto, test or discriminate between the unreal and the real Scientist….

“Loyal, vigilant fellow-workers in the vineyard of the Lord, a mighty victory is to be won, a great freedom for the race, and our success must be under arms. Let us rejoice that the clarion call to peace will at length be heard above the din of battle, and prove sweeter than the sound of vintage bells to the villagers on the Rhine.

“I recommend that this Association hereafter meet annually. Many of its members reside a long distance from Massachusetts, they are members of the Mother Church and occasionally will be with you on Sunday. This, perhaps, is all the time they can afford away from their own fields of labor.”

A careful perusal of this whole article and a comparison with the later version in Miscellaneous Writings (p.116) gives much evidence that it was written under impelling inspiration. Not only does it relate itself to Mr. Nixon, to the change in the Publishing House, to the position in which Mr. Norcross had placed himself in his attempts to save Mr. Nixon, and his feeling in regard to the form of organization of the Mother Church, but to another very important matter, viz., the change in the time of the meeting of the Association, which would not convene for a year.

To some of the members of the Association this came as a shock, especially those distant from Boston, because this meeting had always brought them in closer contact with those who were near to Mrs. Eddy, had given them new inspirations for their distant work, as well as a knowledge of how matters were conducted under her immediate direction. These were the momentary regrets of those faithful ones who were anxious to learn from labors which were being directed by Mrs. Eddy in Boston. There were others, however, who did not attend the meetings in the same contented spirit. They came because of a sense of duty; or in view of the possibility of seeing Mrs. Eddy, and of entering a complaint against some other teacher, or of obtaining all the gossip possible respecting conditions in Boston as well as Pleasant View. There were others who were not at all faithful to Mrs. Eddy. They questioned her statements, acts, and attitude regarding certain reforms which she had suggested.

The Association at this time was really existing by precedent. It had no particular duties as in former years, when it was the real governing body of the Church and the efficient factor of the denomination for the whole field. Since the reorganization of the Church it had no voice in its management. The organization of the new Church body in September, 1892, had purified it of those who had been belligerents, but this had effected no change in the Association. Various duties had come by accretion to the Association during the early years of the work in Boston, when that body was larger in number than the membership of the Church, which had grown out of it. The Association had now become an organization which did not have any distinctive plans to form and work out, the body of “First Members” which Mrs. Eddy had organized, having been given the powers which the Association had previously exercised. The things which Mrs. Eddy particularly disliked, and felt sure would lead to trouble, were the organizations which had no definite labor to perform for the good of the Cause. She realized that these were breeding places for gossip and criticism, and trouble always grew out of them. The larger they were, the greater the likelihood of the spread of doubtful teachings. She had seen this in the National Association and she puts it very clearly in her letter to the convention of that body in New York City, in 1890:

“The time it takes yearly to prepare for this National Convention is worse than wasted, if it causes thought to wander into the wilderness, the ways of the world….

“For students to work together is not always to co-operate, but sometimes to co-elbow!”

She had seen for some time that the Association was of no more advantage to the furtherance of the work, and the time and money spent by far-distant members in coming to Boston, could better be devoted to other more definite and important purposes. She had, however, “suffered it to be so now,” because of the custom which had grown up respecting these gatherings, though each meeting had meant added labors for her. The students expected that either she would be present, or they would receive a message from her. In all this, they anticipated too much, and this expectation was growing into too dominating a tradition. While she was glad to give her time and effort to help her students, she realized that with the rapid growth of the Cause her duties must constantly increase, and that she must further isolate herself from the reach of either ambitious, fawning, or inefficient students. Further, a troublesome question was coming to the surface relative to the privilege of the students of General Bates and Dr. Foster-Eddy, who had studied at the College, to become members of the Association. By adjourning the Association for one year, she would not be causing the shock that would have ensued if she had asked it to disband. The body of “First Members” was now taking the place formerly held by the Association in its business relations with the Church, and they were acting legally in accordance with the By-laws of the organization. The actions taken by the Association in former years were outgrowths of custom which became unwritten laws, but which had no legal power as if granted by the charter given by the State to the Church in 1879.

Thus in adjourning the Association for one year, Mrs. Eddy saw that while there would be some criticism and disappointment, it would be only among a few, and this could be explained by the fact that those who attended the meetings of the Association most regularly were the students who lived in the vicinity of Boston. Next in order were those living within a radius of two hundred and fifty miles, and among this number would be students who were so financially conditioned that they could bear the expense. From these she had selected those whose labors had shown the largest results and whom she knew were true to her, and made them First Members.

This adjournment of the Association for a year was looked upon by those who analyzed the conditions as the gradual dissolution of the Association, and looking backward in this perspective, some saw what they believed danger to the Church. These consisted mostly of those who had not been chosen as “First Members” although they lived within the boundaries set forth in the foregoing. They felt that such a body as composed the “First Members” was so much smaller than the Association, that it constituted what might be called a Board of Bishops, or a body of those having power in the exercise of legislative and judicial functions, who were not elected to their positions by the members of the Church, and it seemed curious that such appointed bodies as the Directors and the “First Members” should hold the government, approve By-laws and Rules, and make all arrangements for the complete working of the machinery of the Church, when they were not elected by its members. Here was something new and to some unlawful in the method of controlling members and of conducting a church organization. It was practically without a precedent and seemed altogether opposed to the spirit of democratic government.

It was fortunate, however, that those Mrs. Eddy had selected as “First Members” were so well known by their activities in healing, in teaching, and in organizing churches, that they formed the strongest group of efficient leaders in their localities, and were able to shape the thought of students, patients, and adherents respecting Mrs. Eddy’s form of government for the Mother Church, which certainly greatly strengthened her position as the Founder and Leader of the Movement.



MRS. FLAVIA S. KNAPP, C.S.D.

One of the original twelve members



Before leaving the subject of Mrs. Eddy’s article “Obedience” it is well to record for future history just how it was received by the members of the Association. To them it was a matter of sacred import. The atmosphere from the very beginning was filled with the perfume of love and a deep longing for greater consecration and more co-operative labor for the Cause. The attendance was large, and the number from distant states and cities was perhaps more than had ever before assembled. Whether or not Mrs. Eddy had sent telegrams to some asking them to attend is a question the writer does not wish to answer in the affirmative, but he is of the opinion that such was the case, because she would most naturally desire an assent to her request by as large a number of members as possible. From what I can recollect of the arrangements for this meeting, and of the results as gathered from going over some of the original notes taken by my father, it is evident that a feeling of great expectancy prevailed, and that a new departure was about to take place. Dr. Foster-Eddy presided, and read from the Bible and Science and Health passages that had evidently been selected with great care, as being in accord with the spirit of the message to come. The reader who desires to have a clearer light shed upon the atmosphere which pervaded the meeting should read the passages that were selected, viz.: the 5th chapter of 2nd Corinthians, and from Science and Health, pages 326 and 327.

Over Mrs. Eddy’s message, my father had spent considerable time previous to the meeting, for as Secretary it was a part of his duty to read what Mrs. Eddy had sent, and he worked to obtain as clear and impersonal a realization as possible of her meaning. When I write impersonal I mean that owing to the fact that Mrs. Eddy was trying to cure certain evils which were manifest in some of the members, and of which my father was cognizant, it required care not to over accentuate certain words, or by unguarded tone or glance at the moment of reading, to attach the meaning of the passage to any particular person or group of individuals. The passages read from Science and Health bore very strongly upon “pleasure in revenge,” “persecution,” “moral madness,” etc., and one, knowing of whose actions they were corrective, had to be careful not to become so much stirred that he could not remain quietly impersonal when he read the message of Mrs. Eddy, so that no false or harmful effect would result from it. After many remarks by members upon different points which the message had brought out, there was a request that it be read again, and this was done.

Mrs. Eddy had seen that this was exactly the right time for a message upon this subject from her, because thought was again being stirred by the changes which had been made and others that would soon take place. Up to this time no notice of any kind had appeared in the Journal, or had been read from the pulpit, relative to the creation of a new organization, for which fact the reasons have already been given. That there was a new Church body, could not be kept entirely secret since those who were known to be absolutely true to Mrs. Eddy were being asked to unite with it. But those who had been members of the old, and had not yet been invited into the new, felt injured and some became revengeful in spirit. This attitude was assuming considerable proportions at this time, i.e., four months after the organization of the Mother Church. The time for a more complete separation of the Association from the affairs of the Church had come, also relief from the calls upon her time which it caused. Thus made acquainted with the reasons why Mrs. Eddy wrote this message at this time, the title “OBEDIENCE” takes on a new import. It was a corrective measure, a step forward in showing the way. It not only struck directly at those who had revengeful feelings at heart, but to those who would absorb its spiritual intent, it broke down boundaries which had kept adherents aloof from one another. Meanwhile, it opened the way to make the path easier for Mr. Armstrong and Dr. Foster-Eddy in their new fields of labor.

Although this message on “Obedience” seems hidden away in Miscellaneous Writings, and to the average reader of this book is not of nearly such large interest as some others, when its purpose and source of inspiration are known it becomes a very distinctive epoch marker in the life of Mrs. Eddy and in the Cause, especially that of the building of the Mother Church. It would be well if the reader who goes over this most fruitful message, knew the spiritual uplift which it brought at the meeting of the Association. In an atmosphere tense with expectation of something of great import to come, the meeting opened with the passages from the Bible and Science and Health, as noted in the foregoing, which made ready the way for the remarks of Dr. Foster-Eddy, the subject and development of which were given by Mrs. Eddy (as he told the writer) to awaken thought upon a certain matter which was closest to her heart. His words were substantially as follows:

“The lesson which I have read this afternoon was selected because it was in line with the Sunday School lessons which we have had for this quarter. These lessons are wonderful. They bring out the way in which we should build the material temple. We see why the temple had to be rebuilt and why it was not built to remain permanently. It was because it could not be built on a material, sinful foundation and in opposition to the wisdom and law of God. God’s Temple can be erected only by those who have come out from sense material, and are building from the sense spiritual. Life, Truth, and Love must be the corner stone. It must be built in the Spirit and by the understanding of the divine order. We see by these lessons that one was chosen to build this Temple who had forsaken in a measure the worldly sense, and come into a more spiritual sense. Then the priesthood had to be purified. Each one of us who is working in truth belongs to the true priesthood and we must be purified to do the work demanded of us in establishing “His holy Place.” We who are Christian Scientists are building the true spiritual temple according to Divine Science as revealed to us in Science and Health, and while we are building this spiritual Temple it is natural to our sense of things that there be the manifestation of the material temple, and this material temple cannot be built except by the spirit of true Christian Science. As we are building this material temple so are we growing spiritually and perfecting the spiritual Temple which is made without hands. This material temple being typical of the spiritual Temple, it is of the utmost importance that this material temple in Boston be brought out as if it is the only one that is ever created on the face of the earth, that all may be brought unto it. As we are growing and building spiritually and working in Truth and Love so shall we see this material building the representative of the Church Universal, unfolding in beauty before the eyes of the world.”

While at this meeting, inspiration and spiritual leading were felt, and members thought and spoke as never before, new visions of the needs of the hour came to them and the atmosphere was one of deep, loving, quiet, and spiritual quickening, for in all things, the importance of the time in the history of the Cause, – the sequential unveiling of the vision of the temple in the “Bible Lessons” of each week, and the message from Mrs. Eddy, had come to them not as mere coincident happenings, but through the “unlabored” working of a spiritual force, and as an exemplification of Cowper’s words, “God moves in a mysterious way.”




Chapter XLVI

An Era of Important Events

Y the middle of February of 1893 it was thought best that Mr. Norcross be released from his position. His perception of duty to the new Church had become confused partly by the desires of those of the old body who were opposed to the new organization, and had not been invited to become members, and partly by the feeling which was strong in the field against organization, and which was brought very forcibly to him by letters of protest, also by questions for advice relative to Congregational methods. Most naturally, every time he wrote upon this, his thought reverted to the body for which he was preaching and which to his conception was far from having the liberty of individual action that government under the Congregational system gave. The first effort put forth by those who were opposed to the new Church was to work upon the Pastor so that he would not be in harmony with the Directors or Mrs. Eddy. Mr. Norcross was not bitter nor unkind, neither was he in any sense disloyal. Circumstances which he did not know how to handle pushed him on to the place where the Directors and Mrs. Eddy felt that in order to save him for the good of the Cause, it would be best to have him locate in some other place. By the second week in February it was found necessary to obtain someone who would be acceptable as his successor. There had evidently been some correspondence between Mrs. Eddy and my father relative to this selection, and the following from Mr. Frye is of interest:

“PLEASANT VIEW, CONCORD, N.H.

Feb. 24, ’93.

W. B. JOHNSON,

Dear Brother:

Mrs. Eddy says ‘do not delay to write Mr. Easton as advised in her letter.’

Yours sincerely,

C. A. F.”

It is evident from the next letter to be presented that Mrs. Eddy had several names under consideration, and that a communication from father to Mrs. Eddy had crossed the foregoing letter of Mr. Frye.

On February 25, father received another letter from Mr. Frye relative to the selection of Pastor. The writer confesses that he does not know to what the first paragraph refers, but does not omit it for that reason, for he feels that by giving the whole communication it may eventually throw some light upon other letters which are on file in the hands of the Directors of the Mother Church, and thus form a valuable link in the history of the Cause. This letter is as follows:

Feb. 25, ’93.

WM. B. JOHNSON,

Dear Brother:

Mrs. E. does not want to be seen in this Church matter. It was too bad to draw her into it; it was contrary to the precedent she established.

Now I will say on my own responsibility, that in the correspondence with Rm.

L. [John F. Linscott] he has shown himself unreliable; came to a conclusion at one time and then turned square about to do just the contrary to what she advises. Such a man is not the man for Boston, her own pulpit.

This letter is confidential. Say not one word of it to anybody.

Fraternally yours,

C. A. F.”

At the time this letter was written, Mr. Linscott was Pastor of the church in Denver, Col. He was undoubtedly an earnest courageous worker. He was also able to win adherents to the Cause, but events of later years showed that he could be led by others, and it was this which Mrs. Eddy had detected in his nature when she dictated the foregoing letter to my father. Mr. Linscott left Denver in the following May and became Pastor of the church in Chicago in June.

It is interesting to note at this point Mrs. Eddy’s love and care for her students as exemplified in his case. As indicated in the letter of Mr. Frye, Mrs. Eddy handled the matter so as not to disturb him, though she found that he was not the one for the pulpit of her Church. She knew that he needed help and encouragement and endeavored by her own effort to give him greater stability. To keep him on an even keel she asked father to have a letter from him printed in the Journal of February, 1893. This letter is a declaration of loyalty to Mrs. Eddy, and by its publication she not only forestalled possible feeling on the part of Mr. Linscott for not being called to the Pastorate, but made his position as a worker of more value in the eyes of the field. Both he and his wife, Ellen Brown Linscott, C. S. B., had a large following of students in different parts of the West where they had taught. It is true that both were erratic but they had good qualities and were faithful to Mrs. Eddy and the Cause. Although hard-pressed for one who would be an acceptable Pastor for her Church Mrs. Eddy saw clearly the course he might pursue, and to this she showed as usual her clear character reading, for eight years later, while First Reader of the Church in Washington, D.C., Mr. Linscott took a position which led him entirely away from Science.

The release of Mr. Norcross from the Mother Church was an act of kindness to him, and when he was notified he showed deep feeling over it. Upon my father devolved the task of informing him of the change, and it was sudden, for in those days quick action and a certain amount of secrecy was necessary, that ferments might not come about among the members in Boston. Mr. Norcross took the change in a manly way, and when relieved of the pressure of thought which had been about him, his perceptions became clearer, and his loyalty to the Teacher and the Cause stronger.

Mr. Easton came to the Church not as an entire stranger to those who had remained loyal during the trying years of 1888 to 1892 for he had preached on Easter Sunday of 1889, about four years previous to becoming Pastor in 1893, and had been a contributor to the columns of the Journal. He had been a student in the Primary Class which assembled at the College on February 25, 1889 (the last one Mrs. Eddy taught) of sixty-five students. As they finished their course of March 5, this was called the March Primary Class. The gift of the class to Mrs. Eddy was an autograph album in which all members wrote their names, and they chose Mr. Easton to make the presentation address to their Teacher. Among those of the class who afterwards became prominent were Mr. and Mrs. Edward P. Bates and Edmund R. Hardy.

Mr. Easton was born in Cincinnati in 1843. He prepared at Antioch College (Ohio) for entrance to Bowdoin College, and was graduated in 1865. He devoted himself to the study of law, but before being admitted to the bar, he became impressed that his true vocation was the ministry, and he entered Andover Academy and took a course of three years. At the Second Congregational Church in Danbury, Conn., he preached about six years, and then filled the pulpit for the Congregational Church in Naugatuck for three years. During this latter ministry he was prostrated by a nervous ailment which led to his retirement. After recovery he engaged in business in New York City. The healing of his wife (Margaret E.), which was a remarkable case, brought his attention more strongly to Christian Science for his own needs and he took up its study in 1888.

At times when Mrs. Eddy was the Pastor of the Church, it was the custom when she did not preach, for others to fill the pulpit, and upon the close of the March Primary Class she asked Mr. Easton to preach on Easter Sunday (1889). Mrs. Eddy was present and introduced him. After his sermon, she again stepped forward and spoke in a way that was most memorable to all who understood her meaning, for she was deeply moved.

Before giving some of her statements it is well worth while to note the cause of her happiness and inspiration upon this Easter morning. In the first place the little Church was permeated with a most harmonious thought, for it had recovered from the schisms of the year that was past. At the Easter of the previous year, storms had been gathering and were moving in the direction of Mrs. Eddy. They had broken with great force, and their effect was felt in the Church, the Association, and over the entire field. At the beginning of the year the magazine that attempted to be a rival of the Journal, The Boston Christian Scientist, had made its appearance, and after three months of existence, Mrs. Eddy saw that she had nothing to fear from it.

The services began at 2 P.M., with Sunday School exercises conducted by Dr. Foster-Eddy. At 3 o’clock the hall was crowded, and amid a deep hush Mrs. Eddy stepped upon the platform. Easter was a day that brought many tender and inspired thoughts to her, and she was impelled to say: “I love the Easter service when it comes, for it speaks of Life and not of death.”

She had for the preacher on this day, one whom she loved, and who had been in the church of her youth. Relative to this she said:

“In my long journeyings I have met one who comes from the place of my own sojourning for many years, the Congregational Church….He has left his old church, as I did, from a yearning of the heart, because he was not satisfied with a manlike God, but wanted to become a God-like man. He found that the new wine could not be put into old bottles without bursting them, and he came to us.”

Everyone who understood Mrs. Eddy felt the tremendous force of her presence. The most remarkable sentence she uttered was the following, as it appears in Miscellaneous Writings, page 178.

“My friends, I wished to be excused from speaking to-day, but will yield to circumstances. In the flesh, we are as a partition wall between the old and the new; between the old religion in which we have been educated, and the new, living, impersonal Christ-thought that has been given to the world to-day.”

This version, not nearly so intimate as the original, is perhaps better for the public in general, because it contains less of that which they might label personality. She was speaking to her beloved students and loyal followers on the day that was very dear to her and from the hearts of those about her there welled up a great tide of affection which she certainly felt. The words she uttered are these, –

“I stand in the flesh, like a partition wall between the old and the new, between the old religion in which I was brought up, and the new, living, impersonal Christ-thought that has been given to the world through me.”

In his work as Pastor, Mr. Easton filled the position acceptably. A certain feeling of friendship went out to Mr. Norcross, because he was always simpler and more direct in his thought and bearing, and seemed surer of his ground. Some excuse might be justly offered for Mr. Easton because he had been away from the ministry for some time and had been absorbed in business. As he came into closer touch with the interests of the Cause in Boston, his thought grew freer and clearer, and his sermons showed a steady improvement.

March 1893 found the general conditions of the Church in its outlook more harmonious and promising than ever it had been before. The meeting of the Association on February 1, and Mrs. Eddy’s article on “Obedience,” had conjoined to bring about a greater feeling of unity, and she evidently realized that the time was approaching when she would be called upon to take a most important step. The management of the Publishing Society was now in good hands; the publishing of her works had been committed to one she could fully trust, Dr. Eddy; Mr. Easton had been installed as Pastor, and the Building Fund was slowly increasing. One further change was demanded in her judgment, viz.: to have Mr. Armstrong in closer touch with her and with her ideas relative to Church government. Although he had assumed his duties on January 1, 1893, he was not made a First Member until January 14, 1895, so that he knew very little of Mrs. Eddy’s desires relative to Church work. She felt that it was most important that he should be placed in a position which would be of help to him, and one that would associate him with three others of her most trusted students. She therefore asked Captain Eastaman to resign from the Board of Directors so that Mr. Armstrong could become a member of that Board. The letters quoted in a previous chapter relative to this matter show how considerately she desired this change to be handled; how she disliked being obliged to make it. A line she wrote to my father on March 21, 1893, will speak for her loving intent. She said:

“Read the enclosed, then seal it and give it yourself to Capt. Eastaman. I do not like to send it but for my desire to do right, I can send….Let me hear how Capt. E. takes this.”

My father’s report upon this brought the following from Mrs. Eddy, dated March 25, 1893:

“Well done good and faithful. My hope is fulfilled and Capt. Eastaman is a greathearted, honest man. I thank God for this.”

This letter has a greater significance than the reader can grasp unless he knows the exact conditions. The few words, “My hope is fulfilled,” and “I thank God for this,” are the expressive evidences of the lifting of a great burden, with an accompanying feeling of hope and the expectation of good for all. And now she was again heard:

“The church must be built in 1894 Deo volente.”



JOSEPH S. EASTAMAN, C.S.D.

One of the original twelve members



With this insistent thought there had come to her the realization that at last she would be able to place the organization where she had desired it to be. All the important offices, Directors, Manager, and Publisher, were filled with students she could trust, and the change she felt was necessary as to the Pastor would take place in a week, while the body of First Members was working together harmoniously.

This body of First Members, so far as I could learn from my father, was Mrs. Eddy’s conception in its entirety. None of the officers of the old Church organization had any part in its formulation, neither did the attorneys who drew up the Deed of Trust of September, 1892, in which no provisions whatever for such a body are made to appear. Mrs. Eddy had profited by her experience in connection with the Christian Scientists’ Association, as a distinct aid to the Church in Boston, and she introduced this kindred idea at the meeting at which the new Church was founded, September 23, 1892.

The effect of Mrs. Eddy’s words, “The Church must be built in 1894 Deo volente” was remarkable. Her letter was sent to our little home on G Street, South Boston, and was marked “important.” My father was at a meeting in the Reading Rooms at the time. I had just come home from Harvard, and my mother and I decided it best that I go immediately to father with it, which I did. I had been taught the wisdom of discretion in the handling of letters from Pleasant View, and when the attendant at the Reading Room called my father from the meeting I told him that I had a letter marked “important” in my pocket. We went out into the hallway, and after he had read it several times he said gravely, yet with a happy tremor in his voice, “My son, this is the beginning of a new and wonderful era for Christian Science and the world. To reach this position meant a constant struggle of many years, and in this hour when our Teacher sees victory near, let us be more humble, and more diligent in our labors, willing to give up everything which does not help our Cause, and so help to prove that Christian Science is the truth which Jesus taught.”

This scene has lingered with me in all its detail, atmosphere and color. I can see the Reading Room with its oak woodwork and furniture. It was not bright and sunny, for being on the second floor, on the Tremont Street side of the building, it was overshadowed by the walls of the Hotel Pelham, across the way. In the afternoon when the sun was thus entirely hidden, the Reading Room received only the light that came from the open sky above, and it was at this time on the afternoon of March 26, 1894, that I entered the room with the letter. Groups of persons were quietly reading or talking in low tones. The atmosphere was one of deep earnestness. A morning of recitations and examinations had given me a sense of weariness, and I had a distinct feeling of dread of the future. Our sacrifices had been so great, and of such long duration, that they seemed to have no end. This, my first year in college, to which I had looked forward so long and eagerly, had been one of continuous struggle, because I had been obliged to do some outside work, especially on Saturdays, to secure the necessary means of continuing my study. I remember that I rather begrudged the time spent in going to the Reading Room with this letter because it consumed one of my afternoon study periods, and there were examinations coming on the morrow. Several times I had thought “what will three or four hours delay signify in the reception of the letter by my father; why not wait until he gets home?” But the word “important” had spoken authoritatively, and the respect that had been bred in me for Mrs. Eddy, and the necessity of giving immediate attention to her wishes, left me no choice but to respond and at once. My rather anxious forebodings were dispelled like a morning mist before the sun, when I saw the look upon my father’s face as he began to read the letter. The joy in his heart soon reached mine, and when he expressed himself in the above words and added that he would immediately call the Directors and gather as many of the First Members as possible and let them have this word which was to prove such an incentive to their work, my sense of gladness was great.

I knew that a prophet in Israel was our pilot and at the wheel, and that she would bring our ship to its home port if we were but true and faithful to duty and to God. The firm, glad tone of these, her words, made us sure that she was certain of her course and would reach the goal, and the hearts of all in our little band were fired with the spirit of determination and of joy. And so despite our burdens and our cares, the world was wonderful and full of light, and the future was sweetly assured.

With the election of Mr. Armstrong to the Board of Directors of the Mother Church, pursuant to her letter of March 21 (1893), Mrs. Eddy felt that the conditions warranted our taking forward steps in building the church edifice. This is seen in the fact that her letter relative to building was written four days after the one in which she asked Captain Eastaman to resign.

On March 27, the day after the reception of the letter from Mrs. Eddy, the Directors met and talked over the situation. The “Deed of Trust” required that the edifice to be erected should cost not less than $50,000, but the Building Fund in hand on April first was but $36,000.

The financial facts of the situation at this time have never had a satisfactory explanation. Mr. Armstrong in his book, The Mother Church, makes some statements regarding it which are entirely correct, but he did not make everything clear. He says:

“Although our fund now amounted to about forty thousand dollars, receipts almost ceased, the students either thinking that enough had been already raised, or else fearing, on account of the former experience, that the money might be lost, or otherwise fail of its purpose.”

If we look closer into the facts it can be seen that there were other facts of more significance, because they constituted the real menace of the hour. The statement in the “Deed of Trust” by Mrs. Eddy relative to the building of an edifice, was misinterpreted through carelessness, with respect to the meaning of section 2 of the “Deed,” which reads:

“Said Board shall within five years from date hereof build or cause to be built upon said lot of land a suitable and convenient church edifice, the cost of which shall not be less than fifty thousand dollars.”

In matters of this kind, human thought often fails to be stimulated to take immediate action. It usually lets time go by and only when the end of the period is in sight, does it rouse itself to action and begin work, and this was the case in this instance. While the settlement of the matter of the land, and the organization of the Mother Church in September, 1892, had given some impetus to the work, this was primarily among Mrs. Eddy’s students, and others who were closely in touch with her. While the field showed some interest, the large majority remained unmoved by her appeal. They were not different from large bodies generally, and went into unified action only under the impulsion of necessity. The five year period was not interpreted in terms of immediate action, and they further interpreted the section of the “Deed” too literally with respect to the expense involved. The statement, “the cost of which shall not be less than fifty thousand dollars,” was understood by many to mean that an edifice should be erected at a cost of that amount. As thirty thousand dollars had been contributed at the time Mrs. Eddy wrote the “Deed of Trust” (September 1, 1892), there was a period of five years in which to raise the remaining twenty thousand, which would be at the rate of four thousand a year. With the constant increase of adherents and their contributions, they reasoned that there was no special need to hurry, as Mrs. Eddy had not demanded immediate action. This was the prevailing condition of the thought, and the reader can realize something of its delinquency and stagnation with regard to the Mother Church edifice, in the presence of the fact that it took nine months for the fund to grow from $30,000 to $36,000.

All these reasons, however, for apathy might be called those of the surface.

There were others which were yet more subtle and determinative in their effect.

During this period of six months there were no articles in the Journal relative to contributions that would awaken the field to the need of united and immediate action. It was altogether apathetic, and the soporific effect which induced that condition was the constant reiteration of the magnitude and gloriousness of the “spiritual church.”

The “spiritual church” had been, and was a most fruitful subject for essays and sermons, and tended to make persons turn away not only from material organization, but from the erection of church edifices. During this period of six months in which nothing appeared in the Journal except the two official notices mentioned, there were published two articles dealing with the “spiritual church,” and parts of these are worth quoting since they clearly show the trend of the times. The first is from a sermon by Captain John F. Linscott, given in the Denver church, and published in the May, 1893, issue of the Journal. In touching upon the “spiritual church” he took a larger view than many at that time, who were not broad in their vision, nor liberal in their statements relative to material organization. He said:

“A universal Church reflecting the character of Love has no one visible church as a national, provincial, or diocesan church, but only local congregations, each one responsible to God as a member of the body, and bearing one another’s burdens because Love constrains us. The simple tenets which govern the two hundred local branches of The First Church, or the One Vine, cover all needs by way of a covenant. Study them for the beauty and power in them that hold us in one body today….

“Let us realize what it means to have a religion without superstition and bigotry, living under a church government without tyranny of codes and creeds, but in the freedom of the sons of God.

“The seed of this Church is now ready for sowing. The responsibility is on us, as soldiers under a captain who never lost a battle….There is no retreat; nowhere else to go, but forward and upward, increasing the grand army of the Universal Church Militant, till the Kingdom of this world shall become the Kingdom of our Lord and his Christ.”

To the August Journal of this same year, Lida S. Stone contributed an article, “The True Church,” in which she laid strong accent upon the “spiritual church,” timidly touched upon the erection of the building in Boston, and then, as though she might be thought too material in her concept of the “church,” she returned to the “spiritual” side, and when the reader had finished, the great desire of Mrs. Eddy for an edifice in Boston was probably forgotten. Mrs. Stone wrote as follows:

“Obedience to one spiritual Law, alone will build our thought pure and loving to all mankind. We are looking to the building of the Mother Church in Boston; shall we look at it as material? Mrs. Eddy in an article to the students speaks of it as ‘our prayer in brick.’ The Mother Church expresses the spiritual idea in such a way that all may comprehend it. Solomon’s temple was a more material concept than the ‘latter house,’ which latter house, Malachi tells us, ‘exceeded the glory of the former.’ Why? Because it was a purer, higher concept, though less glorious to material sense. They learned to build better by becoming obedient to God. Our temple will become manifest to the world when we bring out loving, truthful, obedient lives. When we see that ‘the gold and silver are mine, saith the Lord,’ and all that we have to give is God’s, we shall lay down this thought of self outside of God, and so bring out the temple that all may know that our God is a living God, and not ‘an unknown God.’”

While this article is eminently Scientific and instructive, the statement can be ventured with safety that it probably did not bring a dollar into the Building Fund. As we go on, however, we will note, by way of contrast, how Mrs. Eddy dealt with the material things that were necessary for the erection of her Church building. Finely spun theories, the most Scientific statements of Christian Science, but having little of the Spirit, constitute a commodity for which she had very little use. She knew the need of physical labor as well as mental.

This was the condition in which Mrs. Eddy found the field when she had completed arrangements to which we have referred, for strengthening the position of the Cause in Boston. She found the field apathetic and she realized that something must be done to awaken the people to the practical significance of their pledge and opportunity. She realized that its indifference was of the head and not of the heart, and that the best way to rouse it would be to start work on the edifice immediately. This would place a responsibility upon every loyal adherent and give each a definite goal for which to strive.




Chapter XLVII

The Church to Be Built in

THIS brings us to the place in history of the Mother Church wherein the Directors were instructed by Mrs. Eddy that the church must be built in 1894.

A design for a church and a publishing house had been drawn by Arthur Gray in the early part of 1892, and had appeared in the Journal of March, 1892. These drawings had been on exhibition at the Reading Rooms in Hotel Boylston, and had met with considerable criticism. Mr. Alfred Lang, who at that time was one of the three Trustees, happened to meet Mr. Franklin I. Welch, an architect, who had shortly before become interested in Christian Science, and suggested that he submit plans for a church and publishing building. His design was better liked than that of Arthur Gray, but at about this time, there came the dissolution of the Board of Trustees, by virtue of the “Deed of Trust” made by Mrs. Eddy, the powers heretofore held by them being now lodged with the Board of Directors. The finances of the enterprise were in disturbed condition owing to the fact that Mrs. Eddy had asked that all the money contributed to the Building Fund be returned to the donors. For the Treasurer to make these returns to individuals, and for them to again forward it to the Building Fund, for a church, not a church and a publishing house, as previously planned, took some time, and plans could not be considered, until the financial problem was more nearly worked out.

However the word to build which Mrs. Eddy had sent out in her letter of March 25, immediately impelled the Directors to take action. The plans of Arthur Gray, and of Franklin I. Welch, were looked over carefully, and certain changes were considered. Visits were made to churches of other denominations, and all information that the Directors felt would be of help was obtained. They learned that since these plans had been drawn, laws had been enacted relative to buildings for public assemblies, and that a church, hall, or meeting place, which should hold eight hundred or more, to be five feet above the ground, must be of first-class fireproof construction. The plans drawn by the two architects in 1892 had been made previous to this law and the Directors could have then built of wood and brick. The new regulations which required steel and brick, or stone, would increase the cost about one-third.

Mr. Welch studied the peculiar shape of the lot and knew that in a Christian Science church, where there would be very little of form or ceremony in its order of exercises, the healing words spoken from the pulpit, should be heard by everyone, and the shape of the audience room should be such as to insure the best possible acoustic effects.

The peculiar shape of the lot caused considerable speculation among architects as well as laymen, as to how the best architectural and utilitarian results could be obtained. To this problem Mr. Welch gave much time and thought, and the idea took form by considering first the proper way in which to treat the apex of the land at the corner of the two streets. By placing a tower on this sharp angle of the site and putting entrances behind it on the ground floor, the broadest part of the plot could be saved in its entirety for the auditorium. From his sketches the Directors saw that good results could be obtained, and encouraged him to put every foot of available space to some use. Mrs. Eddy was notified by the Directors that plans had been drawn which were acceptable to the Board, and she was asked as to her wishes. She replied in substance to lay the foundation stones. Acting upon this the Directors met on Friday, July 7 (1893), in the Publishing Room, in Hotel Boylston and there authorized Mr. Welch, who was present, to “proceed at once to perfect the plans for The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston.”

To my father was assigned the labor of looking after certain mechanical parts of the construction as he was more conversant with these matters than the others. By the fifth of August the survey was completed and Mr. Welch had his plans ready for the laying of the foundations.

It is at about this time that an important change was made in the matter of construction. The Directors felt that if the edifice was to be a testimonial to the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, it should be eminently fitting, not only from a utilitarian point of view, but it should be an outward symbol of the beauty of the teaching for which she stood. Further, it should be constructed in every part of the best materials. The Directors therefore instructed the architect to figure on a building of granite instead of brick. The Directors realized that the cost of such a structure would be considerably more, but they felt that the gift which Christian Scientists had to offer must be the best of its kind. Moreover a subtle sense of the incongruity of the phrase “our prayer in brick” was felt by all, and that “our prayer in stone” would be more descriptively in keeping with a universal sense of propriety.

The land for the Church edifice had been created by filling in a part of the Charles River and no one knew to what depth the foundations would have to go before a solid bottom would be struck. The Directors hoped that gravel or hardpan would be struck without having to go too far down, there being a tradition that this location had been somewhat higher than its surroundings, being an island at low tide. If this were so, they felt sure that they would be able to strike a good foundation at not a very great expense, and they were greatly pleased to learn as the result of soundings that a bottom of fine sand and gravel was reached at a depth of 16, 17, and 18 feet.

On October 19, 1893, the bid of John T. Scully for driving the piles was accepted, the amount being $1,282, and on the same date a contract was closed with J. Sutherland to furnish and lay the stone for the foundation, which amounted to $5,876.

On October 27, excavation for the foundations was begun, and four days later, the 31st, the first piles were driven. On Wednesday, November 8, the first of the foundation stones was laid.

On Wednesday, December 6, granite, brick, and iron work, not including the roof, were contracted for at an expense of $57,000. The contracts thus awarded, including that of December 6, amounted to $64,138, while it was reported by the treasurer, at the Annual Meeting of the Church held October 3, that he had in hand but $42,542. It had taken six months for the fund to grow from $36,000 to $42,572, i.e. about $1,000 a month, and figuring upon this rate of increase, the amount in hand must have been about $44,572 on December 6, when these contracts were let, so that they were then about $10,000 behind.

Yet other contracts had been made since the date of the Annual Meeting, which called for payment of $7,138, and while at the close of this meeting $500 was subscribed, part of this was in pledges, which reduced in so far the actual cash balance. The reader will therefore see that the Directors were placed in a very trying positon. They realized that Mrs. Eddy very earnestly desired that the Church should be built (completed) in 1894. So much had been said openly among the representatives of offshoots of the Christian Science Movement, and by its antagonists, to the effect that this Church should not be built, that it had become a tradition and was trying to solidify itself into a fact. Struggles and overturns in its history had featured about ten years’ time, and Mrs. Woodbury had been the source of the most malignant effort to defeat the erection of the Church. She had said “the church would never be built.” At this time she was working with the older students she had been able to keep with her, and with new pupils, and was sending them to meetings and gatherings wherever they could obtain entrance, to poison thought and create trouble. Through her ingratiating personality, and by means of the people of wealth and influence whom she had gathered about her, she was able to get into touch with editors, managers, and proprietors of newspapers and influence them against Mrs. Eddy. Mrs. Eddy realized that the thought that her Church would never be built, which was constantly being repeated during these ten years, had found its culmination in these efforts, and she knew that nothing would so advance the building project as the shattering of this mesmeric belief, and this she accomplished as will be speedily shown.

The Annual Meeting of October 3, 1893, showed enthusiasm for the Cause and for the erection of the edifice, but under the existing conditions more than enthusiasm was needed to complete the Church. The Directors saw looming ahead of them the necessity of making contracts, which, though figured as closely as was possible, involved more money than they had in the treasury, and in order to be able to go on and finish the building in 1894, it was necessary to make the contracts months ahead. With only $42,572 in the treasury on October 1, and with contracts awaiting to be taken up, amounting to $64,138, the Directors seemed to be in a severe strait. The “Deed of Trust” did not allow a lien to be made on the land or upon the part constructed, and while they had hoped to work out the problem by themselves and not trouble Mrs. Eddy, they felt that her guidance was necessary, and they took it to her. She was shown that the amount of money on hand would build the edifice to a point a little above the level of the auditorium floor. While they could make contracts that would carry the work to this point only, such a plan would mean loss of time, and larger expense.

In answer, Mrs. Eddy pointed out a method, which while unusual, would bridge over the difficulty, and this was to make contracts for the stone, brick, and iron, as though enough funds were on hand to complete the walls, and find contractors who would be willing to place in their contracts a clause that would give the Directors the right to stop work at any time when it was found that there was not enough money in the treasury to carry the construction farther, but they must complete their work to a certain point, which had been figured in keeping with the amount of money in the treasury. This would insure the purchase of materials by the contractors for the full contract, and if enough funds came in to pay for them, the Church would lose neither money nor time. On the other hand the contractors took no risk, for if the Church should cease to exist, they would have full adjustment of all claims from the value of the land, and of construction as far as it had gone.

Contractors as a rule do not care to enter into such an arrangement, but after some search three men were found who would sign such an agreement, Messrs. Barker, Fellows and Swenson. Rather than make separate contracts with each of these it was thought best to make one joint agreement, and on December 6, 1893, papers were signed, and the following was placed in them:

“The party of the second part to have the privilege to stop the work, at any point above the level of the audience room floor, on four weeks’ notice; and the work to be resumed on four weeks’ notice, providing that not over one year shall intervene between the time of stopping and starting the same; and, if not stopped by the party of the second part, said contract shall be finished on or before August first, 1894.”

It was the desire of the Directors to make the construction look as promising as possible, to give it an appearance of prosperity. There had been so much comment upon the shape of the lot, that they felt some suitable justification should be made of its adaptability for the purpose in hand, and they realized that by making certain stipulations in the contract relative to carrying the tower nearer to a state of completion than the walls, the structure, as it went along, would have a better appearance, for the tower was to be the dominating feature. By doing this, those who were interested in the Cause would gain a better idea of what the edifice was to be, and it would create more interest. In the contract they placed the stipulation that the contractors would have until September to finish the tower, from a point ten feet above the walls of the main building.

The Directors were wise in this matter. The course pursued enhanced the effect of the structure even while under completion. Then too, by putting the money and effort into the tower, a place was made for the tablet, and the completion of the “Mother’s Room” was advanced. It was to be her church, a testimonial to the Teacher and Leader of Christian Science, and the tablet forms a part of the wall of this room, which was to be devoted to her personal use. Hence it should be the first in thought and construction.

This consideration in the thought of the Directors brought good results, for Mrs. Eddy decided that they must be helped in the whole construction. She realized that the field was not yet awake to the necessity of building the Mother Church. It was too busy with its own affairs, and did not realize the importance of what was taking place in Boston for the good of all. She foresaw, however, that by asking for co-operation in the financial undertaking, there would ensue cooperation in mental work and an enthusiasm which would carry the building to completion. She, therefore, wrote to some of her students relative to the need of funds for the edifice, and gave them the privilege of contributing a thousand dollars each to the Building Fund, with the result that $44,000 was at once secured.

After the laying of the foundations, building work ceased, for winter had set in, but the Directors were rejoicing that with contracts made for the cutting of the stone, and for some of the iron work, the materials would be all ready when spring opened.

To the faithful in Boston the laying of the foundations meant great progress. The Directors and those close to Mrs. Eddy felt that interest in the building of the church must not wane during the winter when no work could be done, and a part of the efficient and encouraging labor of adherents during that period can be attributed to the constant effort to keep the necessity of building the church before the entire field.

To many the erection of a church edifice in Boston still seemed to be a local affair which should be attended to by the Boston adherents, and Mrs. Eddy’s students who knew what she so desired, took up with the earnestness of missionaries the labor of changing this idea. Mrs. Eddy thought of yet another way to assist the building of the church, and at the same time to lessen the devotion of students to her personality. She had humanly enjoyed the tokens of love and gratitude which students had sent her every Christmas time, but she realized that for the Christmas of 1893 another course should be pursued, and in the Journal of December (1893), she published the following:

“ ‘A Word to the Wise.’ Will all the dear Christian Scientists accept my tender greetings for the forthcoming holidays and grant me this request, – let the present season pass without one gift to me?

“Our church edifice must be built in 1894. Take thither thy saintly offerings and lay them in the outstretched hand of God. The object to be won affords ample opportunity for the grandest achievement to which Christian Scientists can direct attention, and feel themselves alone among the stars. No doubt must intervene between the promise and event; faith and resolve are friends of Truth, seize them, trust the Divine providence, push upward our prayer in stone and God will give the benediction.”

These words to the wise did much to give a more definite aim to the building of the church, and Judge Hanna took up the matter editorially in the January Journal in a way which made direct and effective appeal. He wrote:

“The commencement of the building of ‘The First Church of Christ, Scientist,’ in Boston, the Mother Church, ‘our prayer in stone’ which we are to ‘push upward’ and which ‘must be built in 1894,’ is an event of such great magnitude that no attempt at its elaboration will now be made. Suffice it to say, that in view of past history, the fact that at last our purpose is actually becoming perceptible, is cause for profound rejoicing. It speaks volumes for the power of Truth in overcoming all mental and material obstacles. Its corner stone will be laid, and its spire whose ‘silent finger points to heaven,’ will be touched to its final completion before the dawn of another year, – provided that all who are interested in, and have received and expect to receive the benefits of Truth shall continue to contribute their tithes in the spirit of Love. Suppose each one of us should make an estimate of what we expended by way of physicians’ bills before coming into Science, and should contribute even twenty-five per cent of that amount to the Church Building Fund, how long would it be before the treasury would be full? Let us see to it that the admonition of our Leader shall become an established fact during the year 1894.”

The continued putting forth of organized effort and the efficiently directed labor of Mrs. Eddy’s students, especially the “First Members,” brought unprecedented results not only to the Building Fund but to the attendance at the services of the Church in Boston. There were many persons who had received help through Christian Science treatment at that time who had not been enthusiastic helpers in the effort to meet the financial need. Some of these were people of wealth and of social standing in their communities. Their connection with other churches made them rather timid; they hesitated to sever the relations of years, and attend the services of what the world called a band of cranks, who worshipped in a hall. Mrs. Eddy realized this in all its fullness and knew that an edifice which had about it elements of beauty, would break down some of this timidity relative to coming out of a “fashionable church” into a Christian Science organization. The letting of the contract for the granite and a notice of the fact which appeared first in the Concord Monitor, early in January of 1894, and was copied into other newspapers, showed more clearly than anything else, the type of edifice which was under construction, for the granite was to be the finest that could be quarried in the country. The stone from the quarries in Quincy, Mass., had always been considered the best until that from a certain part of New Hampshire was found, and here it is best to let the article in the Concord Monitor speak:

“Another Large Contract Comes to New Hampshire.”

“The contract for building the church edifice of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, corner of Falmouth and Caledonia Streets, Boston, has been awarded to the French Pond Granite Railway Company of Woodsville, Charles L. Fellows of Concord, and John Swenson of West Concord. Mr. L. O. Barker, superintendent of the French Pond Company, who received the World’s Fair award for his exhibit of Concord granite, is to be congratulated for bringing this contract to a successful termination.”

The article was copied in the Journal of February, and for the first time Scientist everywhere realized that in architecture and in material the Mother Church edifice was to be a building that would stand as a symbol of the beauty and enduring power of Christian Science. No more was it to be known as “our prayer in brick.” It was to be of richer material, everlasting granite, and this the finest in the country. Instead of contributing to the erection of an ordinary edifice, the type many had in mind from seeing the plans of Arthur Gray and of no particularly distinctive architecture, they realized that their money would speak for beauty. Thus it came upon them suddenly that they should have the most beautiful edifice they could build, and with this incentive they gave more freely.

The Directors hoped that the contractors would be able to begin work upon the walls in March. They also looked ahead relative to costs of contracts, and felt that it might be well to sound the field in regard to contributions. They did not care to make a direct appeal, and it was thought best to have a picture of the edifice as it would look when completed published in the Journal of March, 1894, also a description of the interior. The Journal for March contained as a frontispiece a very good woodcut of the church building, which was the first picture the field had seen, and it created an excellent impression. Following a description there was a strongly written reason why the church was being built. This was inspirational in quality, and was written by Judge Hanna. That the reader may sense the atmosphere of the time, we quote some of its most telling passages:

“We have heretofore dwelt upon the importance of this church building, but we cannot too keenly appreciate the full meaning of this achievement to our Cause, and the cause of mankind. To us as Christian Scientists, the building is, of course, but a symbol of…the Universal Church of Christ….It speaks in monumental stone for the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. It declares…for the establishment of the New Jerusalem now and here.

“Its motto is: ‘Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.’ Its steps of progress are emblemed by the Cross and Crown…and as individuals, its members must each bear its cross to win its crown. Turn to the Glossary and read again the definition of ‘Church.’ ‘The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle.

‘The Church is that institution which affords proof of its utility, and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of Divine Science, thereby ‘casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick.’ (Science and Health, p.583.)

“Then let us understand that we are each a part of the Church. Without individual members there could be no aggregate Church. It represents YOU. How important then that YOU do YOUR part for IT.”

Mrs. Eddy’s “A Word to the Wise” and this forceful article by Judge Hanna awakened a new and deeper interest in the building of the church, though it is noticeable that during the years 1893 and 1894 there was not one article in the Journal which in any way pleaded for funds. During the very trying and strenuous months of November and December, 1894, there were no reports of the progress of the building, nor suggestions of the need of more money. The only notice dealing with the process of building was that of Mr. Chase, which was not even marked “Notice” and did not hold a conspicuous place. Its statement was direct and simple and without any attempt to exert influence. It read as follows, –

“Until notice is published that enough funds have been received to fully complete the Mother Church and finish the same, it is expected that all contributions will continue as heretofore.”

It is indeed most interesting to note the labors of the Scientists of that time and realize the quiet, concentrated and compelling work they did in furnishing funds without being continually urged. Their efforts sprang from the highest impulsion of love. To comprehend this thought it is necessary for the future to know all, so that no critic can say there was any fear of Mrs. Eddy or others, or that teachers and practitioners, in order to hold themselves in good standing, were obliged to collect funds, etc. There was absolutely no unwritten law of any kind relative to obtaining funds, and neither the Directors, the officers of the Association nor the Trustees of the Publishing Society had power, or tried to exert any influence whatever upon the field. The truth is that every dollar which came into the treasury was an offering of love, and no one can find in the Journal any type of exhortation to send it. To be sure, in the years of 1891 and 1892 there were meetings of the Massachusetts Metaphysical Association in which enthusiasm was expressed, but even this was tempered by the feeling that offerings must come from love, and all loyal teachers advised against anyone giving who had the thought that by so doing he would be healed. Only the bread that was cast upon the waters by love would be returned. The thought that money given to the building fund as an investment would be repaid in health or success was not encouraged. It was this attitude of thought which held in abeyance any tendency toward that mental intoxication so frequently evidenced in the meetings of the Christian Alliance and revival services, where those under the personal influence of a speaker, take on a peculiar mental attitude and upon the impulse of the moment do, or promise to do, what they would not when in a more normal condition. To realize the calm beauty of the thought held by faithful Scientists it is well to quote from an article in the Journal of November, 1894, written by C. Henry Clark, and headed, “If I be lifted up”:

“What then as the avowed disciples and followers of the humble Nazarene, should we do to-day? Shall we not open our hearts, and loosen our purse-strings, open the doors of our affections and welcome, as we never have before, the coming of this Jesus, and aid in rescuing from the oblivion of centuries the Church of Christ, – with God, Good, as its author and head, and man, God-crowned and immortal, its communicant, and Christ its Life?

“Shall we not be alive to the golden opportunity to aid in planting upon a sure foundation, of which this our ‘prayer in stone’ is but the type, the Mother Church, from which shall radiate in every land, the rays of an ever-increasing light of divine Love? The church whose re-appearing at the closing decade of the nineteenth century brings to view the Jesus of Nazareth, the God-anointed man, as the brother, the friend, the immortal model of all mankind, no longer a stranger and an outcast, and his disciples no longer forced to wander about from place to place, but found firmly established in every center of population…in churches whose guardian angel is divine Love, whose mission is to preach the Gospel to very creature, to heal the sick, to cleanse the leper, cast out sin, declare the Kingdom of God, and proclaim the resurrection of the dead.”

In the Journal of the next month, December, Miss Mary Brookins wrote upon the “Church of Christ” in a kindred awakening way, –

“The question is sometimes asked: ‘Why, if we hold so high a spiritual ideal of the church, do we organize at all and give to our thought a seemingly material embodiment?’ From an elevation of thought above the physical sense Mrs. Eddy, our beloved Leader, has seen the wisdom, the necessity of this movement for the redemption of the race, and has pointed out the work to her students; and the history of Christian Science thus far has proven the correctness of her counsel.

“So there is the material structure for eyes that have not learned to see farther. Yonder in Boston, the history of the growing conception of the Church of Christ is being written in letters of granite ‘that he who runs may read.’ Our faithful Teacher, through whose sacrifice the structure visible and invisible, has been made possible in this generation, has named the building, ‘our prayer in stone.’ It is our unceasing prayer, our unceasing declaration of man’s unity with God, and it will ever stand as a symbol of that one united brotherhood, manifest here and now, in which strife and envying and mistrust and hatred and vengeance are heard no more forever, – in which health and wholeness and harmony are the rule of life. The voice of Truth is calling loudly for us who have been blessed with a broader gleam of the true light, to come out from our former misconception of Life and its demands, and show to the world in such form as it can recognize, a church after the type not much known since the apostolic times, – a church whose members acknowledge one God only, even Divine Love.

“Truth’s call is not only that we establish and maintain our local churches after this Divine pattern, but also that the Christian Scientists all over the land unite in so manifesting the one universal Church of Christ, which…includes every child of God. Such is the Mother Church, whose outward temple is being built in Boston, but whose abiding place is the universe, the infinite presence of God.

“In order to begin to make this universal membership manifest, less than two years ago, the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, began inviting into its ranks all true and faithful students of Christian Science, who were not members of other churches, and this invitation was extended so as to include all, (not members of other churches) who can subscribe to its simple tenets and rules, all who love Christian Science and read understandingly the works of its Founder, in connection with the Bible.”

∗When Mrs. Eddy began the work of reorganizing the Mother Church in 1892, she desired that those who were to be charter members should not be members of any other church not even a Christian Science organization. For this purpose she sent my father to New York City to see Mrs. Frame, Mrs. Hulin, Mrs. Skinner, Mrs. Stetson, and Mrs. Otterson and request them to resign from their churches. At that time Mrs. Stetson was pastor of First Church, and she was requested to resign from that body, (continued on the next page)

In these latter days when very large sums are being raised for different bodies, religious and secular, “teams” are formed and trained in the most modern methods to obtain these funds, but no such efforts, in any part of the world, were made to obtain funds for the Mother Church edifice. It is probable that when Miss Brookins wrote this article she knew nothing of the tremendous struggle that was being recorded in Boston during November and December, since the Directors and other workers did not advertise their difficulties, in fact they tried to prevent any knowledge of them from getting into the field. Hence in the Journals we have referred to there was no mention of the date when the edifice would be completed, for the conditions at the time looked so adverse that the Directors felt they could not afford to make a mistake by setting a date and then having to cancel it on account of the incomplete condition of the building. This explains why no notice was given in the December Journal of the first service. It was only in the issue of January, which was especially gotten out ahead of time so that it would reach many subscribers before the first of the month, that there came the welcome news that the Church was ready for dedication. The frontispiece was a reproduction from a pen drawing of a view of the edifice from the south, and the first article (unsigned) The Mother Church, opened with the welcome and inspiring phrase:

“The Mother Church edifice – The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, is erected. The close of the year Anno Domini, 1894, witnessed the completion of ‘our prayer in stone,’ all predictions and prognostications to the contrary notwithstanding. Of the significance of this achievement we shall not speak in this article. It can be better felt than expressed. All who are awake thereto have some measure of understanding of what it means, but only the future will tell the story of its mighty meaning, or unfold it to the comprehension of mankind. It is enough for us now to know that all obstacles to its completion have been met and overcome, and that our temple is completed as God intended it should be.

“This achievement is the result of long years of untiring, unselfish and zealous effort on the part of our beloved Teacher and Leader, the Reverend Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, who nearly thirty years ago began to lay the foundations of this temple, and whose devotion and consecration to God and humanity during the intervening years, have made its erection possible….

but not to give up the pastorate. This plan was abandoned in August 1892, as charter members must be residents of the State of Massachusetts, and the plan was changed to “twelve” living within the State. These elected other chosen students of Mrs. Eddy, and these in turn invited and commended their faithful pupils. A general invitation was also sent out to all loyal students of Mrs. Eddy to become members, and in “Overflowing Thoughts” (December 1894), Mrs. Eddy said “I, as an individual, would cordially invite all persons who have left our fold, together with those who were never in it, – all who love God and keep His commandments, to come and unite with the Mother Church in Boston.”.

“The anomalous precedent has at last been established of building a church without incurring a penny’s indebtedness, much less of loading it down with a heavy pecuniary weight under which it might groan for years. And why should not the house of God be paid for as promptly at least as the house of man? What good reason is there for building churches on other than strictly business principles?

The churches of old, as we find it recorded in the Bible, were so built.

“To the Directors and other faithful workers who have so generously given their time and energies to the task of bringing the work to so successful a termination, within the time, special thanks are due, and will, of course, be withheld by none. One of the grandest and most helpful features of this glorious consummation is this: that one month before the close of the year, every evidence of material sense declared that the church’s completion within the year 1894 transcended human possibility. The predictions of workman and onlookers alike were that it could not be completed before April or May of 1895. Much was the ridicule heaped upon the hopeful, trustful ones, who declared and repeatedly asseverated to the contrary. This is indeed then, a Scientific demonstration. It has proved in a most striking manner the oft-repeated declarations of our textbook that the evidence of the mortal senses is unreliable.

“Could a full history be written of the sacrifices made by many in contributing their mites, it would be a revelation such as would astonish the most stoical; it would touch to tenderness the heart of adamant. No greater evidence of God’s immanence in this work is needed than a bare recital of the facts connected with the raising of funds for, and the building of this temple, and all may rest assured that both in its type and its Spiritual Reality, it is ‘approved of Him.’”

∗The completion of the edifice without debt, as Mrs. Eddy desired it to be, set the precedent for Christian Science organizations the world over not to dedicate their buildings until every cent of indebtedness had been paid. No rule was made relative to this, but the precedent was taken up immediately as the only proper course.




Chapter XLVIII

Steady Advance

MEANTIME, what of the little Church in Chickering Hall? The period of Mr. Easton’s pastorate was one of large growth. The plan Mrs. Eddy had laid out in her organization of the new body, The Mother Church, had been one which was working smoothly. The old organization with its deadwood, its drones, and its belligerents, had been eliminated, and the new body was being built up strongly and rapidly by active believers in Mrs. Eddy’s teachings. Chickering Hall gradually filled up so that all seats on the floor were taken. In the early part of 1894, notice was received from the owners of the building that it would be made over into a business building, and that it could offer the use of the Hall but for a short time and no lease would be given.

The Directors found a suitable place in Copley Hall on Clarendon Street, in a building known as the Grundmann Studios. They took also an adjoining hall capable of seating about two hundred, both of which were well lighted. When the Church removed from the Hawthorn Rooms to Chickering Hall there was the thought of the congregation being swallowed up in space as it seated four hundred and sixty-four, and now this seemed again to be a consideration, for Copley Hall seated at the minimum 625, and this could be increased to a hundred more. The smaller adjoining hall gave an opportunity hitherto never possessed, of having sufficient space for the Sunday School. On the whole the change was a most excellent one; there was now room enough for all without anyone having to stand during the service.

At first the environments seemed strange. The sudden change from Chickering Hall with its subdued lighting, its overhanging balcony, its small platform and crowded condition, was in sharp contrast to the brilliant light of day coming from overhead, the spaciousness of the hall itself, grey walls, warm in tone, instead of the dull brown of Chickering, no overhanging balcony, and a very large platform, which was really a stage, and which could easily accommodate fifty people. With this change came also another – the appointment of Judge Hanna to fill the position left vacant by the decease of Rev. Mr. Easton.

There is no doubt but that the labors of Judge Hanna did much to bring about a clearer understanding of Christian Science for the strangers within the gates. His thought and delivery were direct, and from his legal training and practice he had learned to prove each statement as he went along, and then to sum up the vital points of what he had said. He always made a fine impression. He was evidently convinced as to the absolute truth of what he was declaring, and he made you feel the truth and beauty of Science.

The period of worship in Copley Hall was marked by increased attendance, and with this came a more ready response to the calls for the building fund for the new Church. From the time Mrs. Eddy organized the new church body, September 23, 1892, there had been a welding together of the thoughts and purposes of the church members and a corresponding increase in efficient unity. Those who had been faithfully working with her during the battles of years, had become veterans and were no longer scared by threatening clouds of rebellion, for they knew that certain cleansing processes in the past, while painful and trying, had proved to be severe tests of their faith, and had established a courage to face future trials which had behind it the knowledge of omnipresent spiritual aid. As this grew and broadened in these veteran teachers and practitioners, it was implanted as never before in their students and patients, and with this came an ever-increasing confidence in the right guidance of Mrs. Eddy, her capacity to read the signs of the times and to wisely advise, so that when she asked them to do certain things, they were obedient, even though they could not clearly see the path. They knew that she had gone before, and would not have asked them to follow unless she knew well the footing was safe.

The spring of 1894 opened early, and by the middle of March weather conditions were such that the Directors were expectant that the contractors would begin work upon the walls before the first of April. With the advent of the last week in March, there being no movement by the contractors, they made inquiry relative to the delay and were assured that the work would begin at once. By the end of the first week in April, notwithstanding this promise, nothing had been done, and my father was sent to inquire why. The Directors had been assured that the steel beams had been bought in December, but it turned out that while the contractors had attempted to do so there had arisen a conflict of opinion between the architect and the one who was to furnish the steel in regard to the amount of material, with the result that nothing was done. When father returned and laid the matter before them, they immediately called a consultation of architect, contractors, and agent of the steel Company, and an agreement was made that some of the most necessary beams, to be used for immediate work, should be delivered in ten days, and the rest should follow as soon as possible. According to my father’s diary, Tuesday, April 24 (1894), marks the time when L. O. Barker began work on the walls and the first stone was laid at 2 P.M.

Mrs. Eddy had been looking anxiously forward to the time when the “Corner Stone” could be laid, and in several communications had asked for an approximate date. The Directors felt the importance of this matter, and determined that the “stone” should be ready and on the ground ahead of the time when the foundation for it had been prepared, so that it could be put in its position at the earliest possible moment. An entry in my father’s diary, dated Friday, April 27, is of interest, and will give the atmosphere of the situation. It is as follows:

“Went to the lot. While there brothers Chase and Armstrong came, and a few minutes later Mr. Swenson of Concord, N.H., who is supplying the grey granite appeared. After a brief conversation with L. O. Barker, they came to where the Directors were standing, and in response to a question in regard to the ‘Corner Stone,’ Mr. Swenson said it was ready to have the date cut on it and this would require about three days. Relative to the iron work that was necessary to have put into place before the ‘Corner Stone’ could be set, Mr. Barker said it would arrive in about ten days.

“Just before the opening of the evening meeting in Wesleyan Hall, I showed Bro’s Knapp and Armstrong the telegram which I received in the afternoon from Mr. Frye in which he requested me to send him the exact date when the ‘Corner Stone’ would be laid. At the close of the meeting Mr. Armstrong received a telegram from Mr. Chase, sent from Concord, N.H., in which he requested the Directors to wait for him. He came about 9 o’clock and gave us a brief statement of his interview with Mrs. Eddy.”

For some very definite reason Mrs. Eddy desired the “Corner Stone” to be laid on the first day of May, and the following from the “diary” brings this her hope into view:

“Saturday, April 28. Met Bro’s Knapp and Armstrong in the Publisher’s office at 1 o’clock. A telegram had been received from the Teacher in which she requested the Directors to lay the ‘Corner Stone’ Tuesday, May 1. It was thought best by the Directors present that one of them should go to Concord at once and hasten the sending of the ‘stone,’ also to the Teacher and consult her wishes relative to laying the ‘stone,’ or any other necessary matters. For this purpose Mr. Knapp left Boston on the 3 o’clock train for Concord. At the same hour, Mr. Chase came into the office in response to a telegram sent to him by Mr. Armstrong. We thought it most necessary to take up all matters pertaining to the laying of the ‘stone’ and among them was a proper receptacle for holding the papers which were to be put into it. It was agreed that Mr. Chase and I should look after this matter and we went immediately to the office of the architect to inquire if the box which was to hold the documents had been made. Upon not finding him at his office we went to the Church lot where he was in consultation with foremen, but he could tell us nothing definite. Mr. Chase, Mr. Welch and I went immediately to the coppersmith’s on Pitts Street, where the box was to be made, and there learned that nothing had been done about its construction. The young man in charge of the office assured us that he would have it made and delivered at the Publisher’s office by 9 o’clock on Monday the 30th.



IRA O. KNAPP, C.S.D.

One of the original twelve members



“Before Mr. Knapp left for Concord that day, it was agreed that if the laying of the ‘Corner Stone’ should take place on Tuesday, May1, and notice of the event was to be made in the Sunday morning service (the next day) he should let me know by telegraph, and I would notify Bro’s Armstrong and Chase. About 9 0’clock in the evening I received the following from Mr. Knapp: ‘Don’t give notice.’”

It will be seen from the foregoing that the Directors were making every effort to have the “Corner Stone” ready by the date Mrs. Eddy desired. While they may have fully realized that it would be an impossibility, under the existing conditions, they prepared everything as fully as they could for the completion of the purpose in hand. On April 29, it was clearly evident the “stone” could not be put in place May 1, as it had not been shipped, and the iron work upon which it was to rest had not been received. Mrs. Eddy was notified and postponed the date, but intimated to the Directors that it should be as early as possible.

On Monday, April 30, the Directors met for consultation with the architect and found that the most serious trouble was relative to the iron work. Mr. Ford who had contracted for this part of the work was called upon but could give no definite explanation of the delay, although he had received a letter from the steel company in Pottsville, Penn., which to him was not at all clear, and had that morning written the company to send him a more complete statement, which he hoped to receive in two or three days.

The date, May 1, for the laying of the “Corner Stone,” which Mrs. Eddy desired, had been prompted, perhaps by the completion of her work upon the address she had written which was to be placed in the “stone,” and this is indicated by the fact that at a meeting of the Directors on Saturday, May 5, as the “diary” reads, “Mr. Chase read a paper from our Teacher which is to go into the ‘Corner Stone.’”

Up to this time the struggle and worry of the Directors had been incessant. Contracts had not been carried out relative to time, and the work of construction was months behind their plans and warranted expectation. The “Corner Stone” was not yet finished, and the girders which should have been on the ground over a month previous, had not been made. In the midst of these distressing delays and disappointments, privilege was given by Mrs. Eddy for the Directors to read the message which was to be placed in the “stone,” and as I afterwards learned, they were most deeply touched, inspired, and encouraged by the following beautiful passage:

“Without pomp or pride, laid away as a sacred secret in the heart of a rock, there to typify the prophecy: ‘And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest;…as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.’ Henceforth to whisper our Master’s promise: ‘And upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’

“To-day, be this hope in each of our hearts, – precious in God’s sight as shall be the assembling of His people in this Temple, sweet as the rest that remaineth for the righteous, and fresh as a summer morn – that from earth’s pillows of stone, our visible lives are rising to God. As in the history of a seed, so may our earthly sowing bear fruit, exude the juice of that vine whereof our Father is the husbandman, be poured into the cup of Christ, drunk after the manner of Jesus, and inspire the whole race.”

All the Directors felt the responsibility of putting every energy possible into the work of building. To them the first sentence of the second paragraph above was a direct and definite demand, and with a feeling of gratitude for the message they immediately took up the work with renewed faith and vigor. Mr. Knapp and Mr. Chase went to see Mr. Ford, the agent of the Pottsville firm, and he told them that he had hopes of getting something definite from the office of his company. He had signified his desire to make a contract for the steel for the roof, and on behalf of the Directors Mr. Chase told him that the Directors looked favorably upon this proposition but before making any contract with him they desired some visible evidence of the ability of his company to furnish the work by having the iron for the floors in hand. In the afternoon Mr. Chase and my father went to the coppersmith’s and obtained the engraved plate for the box which was to be placed in the “Corner Stone.”

Upon inquiry of those who had the work in hand of getting the “Corner Stone” ready, it was learned that labor on it had not been pushed as it should have been. On April 27, Messrs. Barker and Swenson, who had charge of this matter, stated that the work of carving the date would require about three days, but up to May 9 the “stone” had not been finished. The Directors decided to send for it and have it polished at the church lot. By so doing they would be able to have it set in place when the right moment arrived, and thus notify the field, – for what Mrs. Eddy had written and was to be placed in the “stone” was of large importance to Christian Scientists and the erection of the edifice, and it was especially desired that it would appear in the June issue of the Journal.

Monday, May 7, was a busy day for the Directors and a page from father’s diary will show the efforts put forth by them:

“Went to the Publishing Rooms to see Mr. Armstrong. We took up the matter of the curved girders which we need first on which to lay the ‘Corner Stone.’ Mr. Armstrong thought that if we found we were going to be delayed too long by the Pottsville Company it would be well to see if we could not get them made at once nearer home, and go on with the work. I called upon Mr. Knapp and told him of this suggestion to which he agreed. I then went to the church lot, to see Mr. Welch relative to this necessary iron; he said he had received a letter from Mr. Ford, in which he wrote that the girders for the floors had been cut. This, as I understood it, was in reply to a letter sent to the Pottsville Company by Mr. Welch in which he stated that owing to some portion of the walls not being laid according to plan, the length of the girders would have to be changed. This letter from Mr. Ford stated that although the girders had already been cut, they would cut them again according to instructions of Mr. Welch, with but very little, or perhaps no expense, but nothing relative to the shipment of the curved beams was said in this letter. The one promising outlook of this day was the statement of Mr. Barker, the Concord contractor, that he was to put on an additional force of workmen.”

Wednesday was a day of cheering news to the Directors, for Mr. Ford reported the receipt of a telegram from his Company that the iron work for the floor would be shipped the following Friday, and that he had telegraphed for shipment of the curved beams at once.

The end of the trouble between the Directors of the old Church and the three Trustees, Messrs. Nixon, Lang and Munroe, was now being approached, for on Friday, May 11, the Directors met in response to a telegram from Mr. Chase, at 62 Boylston Street, the Publishing Rooms. Mr. Chase read a letter from Mr. Lang in which he said that he had money in his possession as former Treasurer of the Church Building Fund and desired to turn it over to the present Treasurer. The Directors instructed Mr. Chase to see Mr. Lang and make arrangements to receive the money. The next day, the 12th, Mr. Chase went to Lawrence, and received the money from him, also the following statement:

“I have this day turned over to Stephen A. Chase, of Fall River, Mass., treasurer of the Christian Science Board of Directors, $1,252.44, the amount remaining in my hands uncalled for and unproven by the donors. In a number of cases the donors transferred directly to the Board of Directors, while in others there was an entire failure to call for a refund, or to prove their claims. These cases are now fully covered by the above amount so turned over to the above named treasurer. Alfred Lang.”

The time for laying the “stone” was now getting to be a matter of some anxiety, chiefly on account of the iron beams. The labor conditions all over the country were in such a disturbed condition that difficulty in fulfilling contracts was everywhere experienced. The Directors realized that they could not wait much longer for the Pottsville Company and again considered the proposition to have them made in Boston.

Friday, May 18, is a date of considerable importance in the history of the building of the edifice, and was one of continuous activity for the Directors. A direct picture of the events of this day is best derived from father’s diary, which states:

“West to Publishing Office at 9 A.M. and met the Directors. After a brief conference about preparing for the ceremony of laying the ‘Corner Stone’ it was decided to put therein a copy of all Mrs. Eddy’s works. These were obtained from her publisher, Dr. Foster-Eddy, except Defence of Christian Science and a complete set of the Series. Mrs. Janet T. Colman, who was then serving in the Dispensary, was asked if she had a copy of the Defence. She replied that she had and would donate it to be put in the ‘stone.’ She immediately left for her home in Allston to procure it. I came home and got the Series of which I had a complete set, and returned to the Publishing Rooms with them. From there I went to the Church lot and told Mr. Barker to have the stone ready to receive the box with the contents.

“About noon Messrs. Chase and Armstrong went to see Mr. Ford about iron work for the bay and the floors. I went to the office of Mr. Welch to tell him to go to the Publishing Rooms, while Mr. Knapp went to the Church lot to ask Mr. Barker to meet us there. At this meeting it was felt that the iron beams for the support of the ‘Corner Stone’ would have to be made in Boston, and Mr. Knapp and Mr. Welch were delegated to look after this matter. Dr. Eddy, Mr. Armstrong, Mr. Chase and myself, took the copper box which was to go into the ‘stone,’ in a carriage to the coppersmith’s and saw it sealed, and returned to the Publishing Rooms. While the others went to meet Mr. Knapp and Mr. Welch I stayed in the carriage with the precious box. Messrs. Knapp and Welch had returned and reported that the iron they so much needed could be placed on the ground by the Church lot the next day. The other three Directors entered the carriage and we were driven to the foundations of the Church and found that Mr. Barker had the ‘stone’ ready for our use. The ‘Corner Stone’ was in a little wooden house, used by the architect. The Directors asked all others there to leave them alone with the ‘stone’ and when everything was ready they placed the box in the cavity made for it. The Directors then stood upon the ‘stone,’ one on each corner, and Mr. Chase read from a copy of the message from Mrs. Eddy that had been placed in the copper box. When the reading was finished the Directors with heads uncovered and hands joined, repeated in unison the Lord’s Prayer, and the ceremony of placing the copper box in the ‘Corner Stone’ of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, The Mother Church, ended.

“Immediately after this simple ceremony, Mr. Barker laid the copper plate in its place, cemented it in and placed a seal upon it. I remained with the ‘stone’ until about 7:15 P.M. when Brothers Neal and Hatten, who had been elected to take charge of it until it was placed in the wall, relieved me. The ceremony took place at 5:15 in the afternoon. Mr. Chase was authorized to send a telegram to Mrs. Eddy which he did on his way to Fall River:

To REV. MARY BAKER EDDY,

Pleasant View, Concord, N.H.

‘Boston, May 18, 1894.

The box was placed in the “stone” at 5:15 this afternoon.

STEPHEN A. CHASE.’”

The contents of the copper box were as follows: The Bible, Science and Health eighty-fourth edition, Retrospection and Introspection, Rudimental Divine Science, No and Yes, People’s Idea of God, Christian Healing, Unity of Good, Historical Sketch of Christian Science Mind Healing, Defence of Christian Science, Five numbers of the Christian Science Series, an address in manuscript by Mrs. Eddy, written for the occasion, Christian Science Journal, June, 1894, The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lessons, for the quarter beginning April 1894. Three cards, one containing a list of Mrs. Eddy’s students who contributed $1,000 each to the Building Fund, another, a grateful acknowledgment of these contributions by the Teacher; and the third, the personnel of the Board of Directors, written in Mrs. Eddy’s own handwriting.

The names of contributors are as follows: E. J. Foster-Eddy, Mrs. Caroline W. Frame, Mrs. Elizabeth P. Skinner, Mrs. Emilie B. Hulin, Mrs. Emily M. Meader, Mrs. Josephine Curtis Otterson, Mrs. Eldora O. Gragg, Mrs. Sue Livingstone Mims, Carol Norton, Mrs. Augusta E. Stetson, Mrs. Rose E. Kent, Septimus J. Hanna, Camilla Hanna, Mrs. Berenice H. Goodall, Mrs. Pamelia J. Leonard, John F. Linscott, Ellen Brown Linscott, Janet T. Colman, M. Bettie Bell, Silas J. Sawyer, Mrs. Jennie E. Sawyer, Miss Sarah J. Clark, Mrs. Ruth B. Ewing, Mrs. Elizabeth Webster, Charles M. Howe, Edward A. Kimball, Mrs. Kate Davidson Kimball, Mrs. Mary M. W. Adams, Ezra M. Buswell, Mrs. Elizabeth Buswell, Mrs. Emma A. Thompson, Mrs. Mary W. Munroe, Miss Julia S. Bartlett, Mrs. Laura Lathrop, Mrs. Isabella M. Stewart, John H. Stewart, Mrs. Mary Hinds Philbrick, Mrs. Hannah Abigail Larminie, Francis J. Fluno, Mrs. Ella V. Fluno, Mrs. Julia Field King, Miss Emelyn M. Tobey, Mrs. Ellen L. Clark, Edward P. Bates, Mrs. Caroline S. Bates, Alfred Farlow, Mrs. Harriet L. Betts, Edwin W. Baxter, Mrs. Elizabeth H. Baxter, Mrs. Ella P. Sweet, and Mrs. Caroline D. Noyes.

The number of names is fifty-one, but Mrs. Eddy counted husband and wife as one in her call, and the names as placed in the foregoing were taken from the books of the Treasurer and are in the order the contributions came in.

The letter which was sent out by Mrs. Eddy is of unusual interest and has never before been published. It was typewritten, and the signature and postscript were in Mrs. Eddy’s handwriting. The letter reads as follows:

“PLEASANT VIEW, CONCORD, N.H., 1894.

My Beloved Students:

I have prepared a subscription list for building the Mother Church. The names to be placed thereon I have carefully selected. All who sign it agree to pay $1,000. It is dated December 25, 1893, for my Christmas gift. It reads the same as the slip enclosed. I give this opportunity to as many as I can readily reach of my faithful students to sign, that I may put their names which are attached to the sums severally paid, with my name, and Science and Health, and my card of thanks, into a box placed in the Corner Stone of our Church. I shall name this special donation, as an extra bequest to the Church Building Fund, presented to me for this object, in demonstration of their love for their Teacher, and their devotion to our Cause – by my fellow laborers in Christian Science. This box with its sacred contents and associations is to be placed as above named in our monumental Church.

When I receive your name on the slip enclosed I shall send it to the Treasurer, Mr. S. A. Chase, who will paste it on the subscription list. Please send in time for your name and amount you give, to be memorized as specified. The Treasurer will receipt to you for $1,000.

Also for important reasons keep this transaction a sound secret till the time comes for its dénouement, the laying of the Corner Stone. Please sign your name twice, – one signature is to be pasted on my subscription list, the other remains on the enclosed slip.

With great love,

(Signed) MARY BAKER EDDY.

Please answer at once.”

Before proceeding farther in this history, it will be well to consider several matters which are closely related to important events referred to in the previous pages. It will be noted that the ceremony of placing the copper box in the “Corner Stone” took place on May 18, and among the literature was a copy of the Journal of June of the same year. There is no error in this because the Directors had had Judge Hanna make ready, well ahead of time, the contents of the Journal for June, so that when the date was set for the ceremony it was in print. The following explanation may eliminate confusion over two dates, May 18 and 21. The first is that when the box was placed in the “stone” and sealed therein. The second is that of the moving the “stone” into the place designed for it, and is more properly the date of the laying of the “stone.” My father was not at this last event, but the following is his story of it:

“Saturday, May 19. Met the Directors in Publishing Rooms. Mrs. Ann M. Otis had arrived from Concord and was present with Judge Hanna. The matter of the slowness of the steel Company was thoroughly known to Mrs. Eddy, and she had sent a message that intimated that it might be best to send one of the Directors to Pottsville to hasten the forwarding of the steel for the edifice. The Directors acquiesced immediately to this and my father was selected to go. The Directors thought also that it might be best for Mr. Barker to go. I went to the Church lot, talked it over with him and we left on the 6:30 P.M. train.”

On this Saturday, the 19th, the Directors saw the necessity of putting the “stone” in its proper place at the earliest moment. This day was one of storm and rain, and no work was done upon the edifice. Monday the 21st was a day of threatening showers, but the weather was such that some work could be done. The three Directors determined that an attempt should be made to lay the “stone,” and they proceeded to the Church lot. Upon arrival they found that the superintendent had been called away, and the foreman had little knowledge of the plans of the building. They decided to take charge of the matter themselves and called some of the men together, told them what was to be done and set this definite labor in motion. After some changes had been made in the masonry in order to let in the curved beams, all was ready. The “stone” was placed on rollers and pushed into the position prepared for it.

Before closing this chapter, one other matter which should be recorded, namely, that Mrs. Eddy did not call upon the members of the Board of Directors for a contribution, for she felt that the time and effort they were giving was worth more than the amount she asked from her faithful students. Conjoined with this is the story of how the names of two of her most faithful students, Joseph Eastaman and Mary F. Eastaman did not appear among the donors. During the latter part of the year of 1893, Captain Eastaman received letters from some of his patients in which they stated that they had not received acknowledgment of payments made to him which they had sent by mail. He complained to the Post Office authorities who advised him to ask the carrier to notify him how many letters he left during the day in his box in the doorway of the building in which his office was located on Park Street. The result of this was the discovery that some of his mail had been stolen and destroyed. In the meantime Mrs. Eddy wondered why she had heard no response from such faithful students relative to the contribution for which she had asked. When Captain and Mrs. Eastaman heard something of what Mrs. Eddy had requested, word was given to Mrs. Eddy that they had not received her letter, and, in consequence of the secrecy for which Mrs. Eddy had asked on the subject, they had not known of it until months later. Mrs. Eddy told them that there was a work for them to do, and the following by her and contained in the Journal of July, 1894, will make clear her regard for them:

“NOTA BENE. Among the recent thronging memories of golden days we note one shadowy form; the absence in the Corner Stone of the Mother Church, in Boston, of the names of two beloved students, Captain Joseph S. Eastaman and Mrs. Mary F. Eastaman of Boston. I hoped to have treasured their names with others of their classmates at my College in that sacred receptacle. But the circumstances which occasioned both my disappointment and theirs, was doubtless a kind providence which reserved their contribution of 1000 dollars to our Church building fund, for the special honor of building its platform and pulpit. For which object it now is to be appropriated, and is most gratefully acknowledged. Also we are pleased to accept this circumstance as serving another good purpose, – a type of their solid standing on the platform of Christian Science.”

For ten years the students of Mrs. Eddy had been valiantly struggling, sacrificing and saving for the dawning of such an event as has just been related. Some who had started with enthusiasm had dropped by the wayside, unable to keep up with the leaders because of insufficient courage or indifference. Others had been led into bypaths which seemed easier to travel, and had gone with those who desired to become leaders of some offshoot from Mrs. Eddy’s teachings which seemed to require less work and self-abnegation. Others had found the life Mrs. Eddy desired them to lead and exhibit as an example of Christian Science too much of a sacrifice of the pleasures and temptations of the world, while others had believed the power of leadership was greater in them than in Mrs. Eddy and the controlling instinct in this was the belief in the attraction and strength of personality.

These years had seen Christian Science go through many experimental phases which Mrs. Eddy had to consent to, more for the satisfaction of some of her students than because she needed the experience herself. Her statement in an Association meeting in Boston in 1880, against the “laying on of hands” later aroused a storm in certain mind cure associations, and parallel columns were published in a magazine which showed that the instances in the New Testament wherein it reads that Jesus touched the patient, are greater by nearly one hundred per cent than instances wherein he did not. Through these years she had taken steps which were difficult for some of her students to believe were authorized by prophetic vision. At the time they were healed and saved they proclaimed her the divinely appointed Wayshower of the age, but some of them were found wanting when weighed in the balance by the testing of their loyalty by labors they were called upon to do. But these ten years had shown the most remarkable results in the recasting of human thought. It had done for woman what no other religious teaching had ever accomplished. It had taken the woman, ailing, complaining, bitter toward the world, ineffective in the ordinary business of life, and made her well and full of confidence as to her rightful position in the world. It had made her not only a healer, teacher, and helper of others, but a bread winner. To the woman of the clinging type it had given independence of thought, a definite aim, and a courage to go out into the world and labor in a way she never had possessed the temerity even to dream. The list of names of those who contributed, counting Mr. and Mrs. Eastaman, contains fiftythree, and thirty-nine are women. These women were all active workers in Christian Science, in teaching and in healing, responding to calls at all times of night and day, going into infected places to minister to the sick, and doing what the physician did not do, nor try to do, viz., purifying and saving the sinner.

Only about six of these thirty-nine women had ever taken upon themselves more than the responsibilities of housework, prior to the call, the urge of Christian Science to be more essential to the world’s progress God-ward. There were thousands beside these, and the fruit bearing of these labors of Mrs. Eddy and all was seen in the building of The Mother Church, and their efforts had given her the inspiration to write in her message “Laying the Corner Stone,”

“To-day I pray, that Divine Love, the life-giving Principle of Christianity, shall speedily wake the long night of materialism, and the universal dawn soon break upon the spire of this Temple.”

The demonstration of her teaching and the knowledge by her people that “God is Love” gave her the rich and abiding incentive to write:

“Laus Deo, – on this Rock (Heaven chiseled squarely good)
Stands His Church –
God is Love and understood By His flock.
Laus Deo, honor it;
Slumber not, in God’s embrace Be awake;
Like this stone be in thy place, Stand, not sit.”




Chapter XLIX

Spiritual and Material Progress

FOR a moment it will be necessary to leave the story of the building of the material church and take up important matters relating to the advancement of the spiritual Church, which Mrs. Eddy saw was of absolute necessity at this time. She felt that to bring about a greater spiritualization of thought among her adherents, an increase in the appreciation of the gain in the erection of the Mother Church was necessary, and to apprehend as broadly as possible the definite steps in her plans, and how some of them came to their fulfilment, it will be necessary first of all to realize the conditions under which she was obliged to work at this time.

If the reader knew the number of letters Mrs. Eddy wrote each week, and the many subjects discussed in these communications, he would be astonished at the incessant demand that was made upon her, and equally astonished at the very great amount of work she accomplished each day. The writer speaks advisedly, because two months of research work among the archives in the Mother Church, especially among the personal communications written by Mrs. Eddy, which have been donated to the Church, brought surprise and astonishment at the mental activities of a woman of seventythree years. Her grasp upon the various subjects she had to consider revealed the quickness and accuracy of her perception. Of all matters upon which she wrote, apart from the construction of the church edifice, perhaps none seemed more important than that of publishing Christ and Christmas. Her difficulties with Mr. Gilman the artist, were serious, especially perplexing were those growing out of the fact that he did not understand the spiritual significance of her thought and hence could not express it symbolically. Many were the conferences with him and many the letters Mrs. Eddy wrote him of explanation and encouragement, but it was not until August of 1893, after about six months of labor, that she was able to compass the difficulties, and it was at this time that she wrote the following quatrain and sent it to him:

“No blight, no broken wing, no groan, Life’s fane can dim;
Eternal swells Christ’s music-tone In heaven’s hymn.”

If we look for the reason for changes in certain vital things which pertain to the form of worship in the church, we will find that they came with Mrs. Eddy’s own spiritual growth, which in turn came only through her aspiration. The degree of spirituality required to write Christ and Christmas, had emphasized the importance of the study of the New Testament along with that of Science and Health. She was seeking to help her students to understand better the simple truths the Master taught. Mr. Norcross and Mr. Easton had been more successful exponents of the Old Testament than of the New; and they had expatiated upon the prophecies of the coming of the Christ at length, and their efforts were sincere and legitimate because they felt the importance of proving to the world that Christian Science was the “second coming of Christ.” Mrs. Eddy appreciated this, but she knew that the world could comprehend this fact only through the healing works. She realized that testimony respecting actual healing were of more practical benefit to practitioners and patients than to be familiar with the Old Testament prophecies. As the Truth of Being had been made apparent in the works of Jesus and his Disciples, she considered it necessary that these ideals should be the impelling possession of all her students.

The passing of Mr. Easton left the pulpit vacant, and Mrs. Eddy looked about for a man who had not been too much immersed in old theology, and who would be obedient to her wishes in preaching the highest truths of Christian Science. In a letter written to the Clerk of the Mother Church, March 13, 1894, she says:

“My dear Student:

The first thing that I recommend you to do is this, give Mr. Hanna a call for one year to fill your pulpit in Boston. He can carry on the Magazine all the same and each month publish one of his own sermons. That will help him to matter for the Journal. Dr. Talmage with his immense labors edits a weekly paper. Call a meeting of the Board of Directors and give the judge a call this week. Do not let the absence of a regular pastor diminish your audience.

Please keep what I write to you to yourself, and if they must hear from me write and I will reply.

Lovingly, MOTHER.

N.B. I want you to have the Com. on preparing the S. S. Quarterly, stop the lessons in the Old Testament and begin at the 18th verse of the last chap. of Matt. for your Scripture studies. I see your minds need this change to spiritualize thought, greatly need it. Prepare your Quarterly on the same plan that you have adopted, simply change from the O. T. to the New.

Also I find the pulpit is making an unwise use of Science and Health by reading too much from it. The speaker should never select a portion of my book which treats of one topic, especially, and then turn and read other portions which include still more topics. This is confusing and they are not able to select more than one to advantage. Therefore I strictly forbid reading my book Science and Health in such a manner. Allow not over one page of the book to be read before the sermon….Let the selection illustrate the sermon.

In haste,

Lovingly, MOTHER.”

With this change in the Sunday School Lessons, comments of gratitude came from all over the field. The course outlined created a firmer faith in the fact that the prophecies of the Old Testament concerning the daughter of Zion had reached fulfilment at this time, and healed many of the belief that Mrs. Eddy’s teachings were only a step to something better.

The greatest difficulty at this time with respect to the church building project was in obtaining the structural iron. The reader will remember that at a meeting of the Directors it was agreed that one of their number should go to the steel mills and look after the material, and father was chosen for that mission.

According to his diary, he left with Mr. Barker on Saturday, May 20, and arrived in Pottsville Sunday morning. Monday they went to the works of the Pottsville Iron Co, and he states:

“Met the proprietors, made known the object of our visit to them, and learned that nothing had been shipped except the curved irons and two other pieces. The importance of having our work sent immediately was urged upon Messrs. Atkins the owners, and after some discussion they agreed to send a car load Friday the 25th. Mr. Barker and the engineers looked over the drawings, and the former said there were some lines which did not clearly indicate what was meant by them, and it was suggested that the architect who made the plans come on and see the engineer. Mr. Barker left for Boston and I remained to look after the shipment of the material. On Thursday I went to the mills and saw the owners and they reiterated their promise of the previous day relative to shipment. I talked with their engineer and he again intimated that it would be best for the architect to come to the works and explain certain lines in the blue prints. I at once wrote Mr. Armstrong to that effect.”

By putting on extra men the owners were able to keep their agreement, and they shipped a car of material on Friday. He learned from the freight agent of the Pennsylvania Railroad on Saturday that a carload had left Friday night and was probably in Jersey City.

“Monday May 28 Mr. Welch the architect arrived and went into conference with the draughtsman who had charge of our work. A consultation was held with Mr. Atkins the younger, and after showing him how urgent the matter of iron was to us and to thousands of others, he told the man in charge of his works to lay everything aside and get the work out as soon as possible, and then told me he thought he could send another car load to-night. On Wednesday May 30, when I called at the iron works I was told that some of the material had left late yesterday, but I had to wait over in order to get an invoice statement. At 2:30 I left Pottsville for Philadelphia. On account of labor conditions I felt that it would be necessary to keep track of the last shipment, and on Thursday May 31, after considerable searching found the man who had the record of the car and was informed that it had left here and was in Jersey City, and had reached there at one o’clock A.M. I left at once for Jersey City and arrived there at one o’clock P.M., found the freight agent and asked if the car had come; he stated that it was out on the meadows and would be sent to Harlem at one o’clock that night. Saturday June 2, in Harlem where I learned from the freight agent that our car left there the day before. Left New York City, arrived in Boston at 7:30 P.M. Monday June 4, went with Mr. Armstrong to see the freight agent of the Old Colony R.R. Prov. Division, and learned that the car was in the freight yard and that he would have it sent in the next day.”

With the iron at hand for continuing the building work, the prospects looked brighter. Mrs. Eddy was notified of arrival of material and was gladdened, but with never relaxing vigilance she told father to keep constant watch upon the rest of the work contracted for by the Pottsville Co., and that it might be best to make contracts with iron concerns located in Boston, even though the cost might be a little more, for she felt that time could be saved, and if changes had to be made they could more readily be done here than at a distance. June 11, the Directors made a contract for the iron for the roof with the Boston Bridge Company, for $8,290, with the agreement that it should be completed sufficiently for the slaters to begin their work August 23. June 26, the contract for the slating was let to John Farquar & Son for $6,472, and while father was in Pottsville the contract for plumbing was awarded to Crawford & Young for $1,608. One July 7, Edward P. Bates of Syracuse, N.Y., was given the contract for heating and ventilation for $5,500.

During these months of construction Mrs. Eddy made every effort to hasten the work, also to avoid mistakes which caused loss of time, and her urgence was always a powerful impetus to the members of the Board to make sure of each step. That her care and effort did not lag, and that her patience was always fresh and encouraging, is witnessed by the following representative letters to the Directors.

“Do not delay one other day to lay the foundation of our church, the season will shut in upon you perhaps, and the frost hinder the work. God is with you, thrust in the spade Oct. 1st, 1893, and advertise in next number of Journal that you have begun to build His temple for the worship and service of Divine Love, the living God.

With great love, MOTHER.”

The counsel of this communication was observed to the letter, but in their attention to rapid construction the Directors made a slight error in yielding up a part of their control of affairs and allowing others to come in and assume charge of certain parts of the work. While Mrs. Eddy called for the help of certain students who were acquainted with building construction, she did not wish them to take from the Board the responsibility she had given them, or to assume, because she had encouraged certain suggestions they had given, that they could go ahead and interfere with plans the Directors had already made. She realized from past occasions the difficulty of attempting to handle two separate bodies and have them work to one end. To correct this mistake of the Board, she wrote the following on July 16, 1894:

“To the Christian Science Board of Directors

My dear Students:

I know you realize that if one instance occurs in an example of mathematics, where you should have added instead of subtracted, you must go over that example and do it rightly or you cannot finish your sum in Science. As in mathematics so in Metaphysics you cannot obey the Principle through mistakes and so must correct your mistake. Therefore take back your gift from God, your task of contracting for building His Temple and never more put it out of your hands. See yourself, dear Mr. Johnson, to the making of the iron, and to you all I again say build rapidly, suffer no delay. Remember this.

Your teacher in Christ,

MARY BAKER EDDY.”

This letter not only encouraged the Directors in their labor, but showed them that Mrs. Eddy desired to have them at the head of all the work, and that no other persons, whether students, or others, no matter how well equipped in the knowledge of building construction, should assume powers which she had given to them, and which some through honest zeal and others through ambition desired to obtain.

By the first of August material which had been contracted for by the Pottsville Co., was called for by the Directors, as they desired to have it on hand even before the time it was needed. The reply from the Company was not satisfactory, so, on August 7, father again went to Pottsville. Arriving there on the 8th, he went to the works, and found, as he states, –

“that nothing had been done on the work. I told Mr. Atkins the junior member that we must have our material at once. If he could not give it to us we would cancel the rest of his contract and obtain it nearer home; that we were ready to pay every cent promptly according to terms of our contract with Mr. Barker his agent in Boston, also that we had promised to honor his draft for iron for the work, but not until it was finished. After more conversation we went to the man who had charge of the punching and fitting, and he ordered him to lay aside everything and get the work out by to-morrow evening. The foreman said it was impossible to have it done by that time. Mr. Atkins told him if it was necessary he must have the men work all night. We then went to the bridge mill where Mr. Atkins gave an order relative to our work. I then telegraphed Mr. Armstrong, and stated that the Company had promised to ship all our work by the next evening and asked him what I should do relative to their contract. His reply was ‘Come home when all is shipped.’ I then telephoned Mr. Atkins that they could go on, for I had told him that I would send word by wire to the Directors and ask them if they would wait for him to complete his work. Thursday went to the mill and saw the owners. They told me that all the work they promised me yesterday would be shipped at 6 o’clock this P.M. Then the younger Mr. Atkins told me that there were some bent irons to be gotten out for the gallery stairs, and the material for them was not yet rolled. He said, ‘I did not know of this yesterday. If I had I would not have promised you all the work as I did.’ He said the earliest day he could promise this was Wednesday of next week. I immediately wrote Mr. Armstrong. On August 10 called on the freight agent of the Penn. R.R. and learned that the iron work went out last night.”

During these months of construction, every delay in the arrival of material and every failure of the contractors brought a feeling of discontent among the men working on the building, for this was a period of labor depression and discontent. The contractors of New Hampshire, who were to furnish stone and brick and put them in place, including the iron, were evidently not used to the demands of large cities relative to speed and accuracy. Their mechanical and technical resources were not up-to-date, and they did not seem to be able to grasp the situation as a whole and manage the many building operations. The stone for the walls was slow in arriving, and there was not enough work for the masons. Men became discontented and left the contractor for another job which gave promise of steady work. Further, the contractors were slow in paying the masons, and in September (I think it was), when there was enough material on hand to keep a large force busy, the contractors failed to be on hand when pay day came, and it was only through the advancement of money by loyal students who could be quickly reached and who contributed enough for the need, that the masons were kept at work. This experience at a time when the Directors were trying to push the work as fast as possible, put them on their guard against a repetition of this trouble, and they reserved a sum sufficient for such a situation from their monthly settlement with contractors.

With the growth of the edifice, troubles for the Directors began to multiply on account of the many types of labor involved. Contractors failed in their promises to start on their work and offered various excuses, so that much time was consumed in pacifying and urging not only contractors but the workmen. By the first of October it seemed as though it would not be possible to have the edifice finished by the beginning of 1895.

About the middle of October Mrs. Eddy had chosen Mr. Armstrong to look after the architect and take over the mental supervision of the work, while father was to be at the building to help harmonize labor conditions and keep everybody going at highest possible speed. He left home at six-thirty every morning, and it was not until seven or after, in the evening, that he returned. One evening father told her that the money for the Building Fund was coming in a most encouraging manner, and that this had taken a considerable burden from the Directors, for since July the response had not seemed as hearty as previously, the reason being that part of the field had interpreted wrongly a portion of Mrs. Eddy’s message in the Journal of June. In the July Journal she wrote as follows:

“In your last number of the Journal I said, ‘My work for the Mother Church is done.’ By this I meant that my approbation of and interest in this Church, and our other church organizations, are not in the least abated, but that a Sabbath rest was stealing over me when contemplating what had been accomplished.

“The church, more than any other institution at present, is the cement of society, and it should be the bulwark of civil and religious liberty. But the time cometh when the religious element, or Church of Christ, shall exist alone in the affections, and need no organization to express it. Till then this form of godliness seems as requisite to manifest its spirit, as individuality to express Soul and Substance.”

Part of the field had taken what she said relative to her work for the Mother Church being done, as meaning that she would not take any active interest in the erection of the church, and had resigned from all attempts at guiding the organization and the building operations. Reports spread that history was again repeating itself and that there was a schism among the members in Boston and that Mrs. Eddy had again withdrawn herself from them. When she corrected this impression in the July issue, as quoted above, those who did not favor church organization translated for their own satisfaction the passage, “But the time cometh when the religious element, or Church of Christ, shall exist alone in the affections, and need no organization to express it.” They felt that out of experience with her former Church, her disorganization of it, and of the two Associations, she had made the organization of the new body her final experiment, and had found her answer, namely, that only through the spiritual church would her spiritual teachings find the strongest and safest growth, all experiments of church organization having shown their weakness by the breaking out of rebellions from within. Assumptions were rife that the Directors had assumed all authority, in fact, had practically taken it away from Mrs. Eddy, because her physical powers were waning in this her seventy-third year. Those who were timorous of the future of the Cause, saw trouble directly ahead in the lack of her guiding hand, and with this contributions lessened.

Another cause of lack of healthful increase in the Building Fund was the feeling that enough money must have been contributed to complete the edifice. The reader will perceive that as no definite figure had been set, and no reports by the Treasurer as to the sum contributed had been given to the field since the Annual Meeting of October, 1893, they had no knowledge of the amount that would be necessary. While the thought of $50,000, which had been mentioned in the Deed of Trust in conjunction with the requirement that the edifice should not cost less than that amount, had been partly forgotten, some of those who had stood with the three Trustees could not forget the sum they had named as being sufficient to complete a suitable building, and there was also a conservative element which had not grown with the times, and these two held to what Mr. Lang had set forth in a meeting of the Association in February, 1892, viz.:

“Owing to helpful ability cheerfully donated by brethren…the cost of the entire structure, complete, promises to come within fifty thousand dollars instead of to exceed that sum, as at first probable.”

Conjoined with this came the feeling against all things which looked worldly, and some seized upon a statement made by Mrs. Eddy in the same issue of the Journal as proving that all that Christian Science needed was a place in which to hold services, not necessarily a splendid and dignified structure. The following is a question and its answer:

“If not ordained, shall the Pastor of the Church of Christ, Scientist, administer the Communion, – and shall members of a Church not organized receive the Communion?

“Our great Master administered to his disciples the Passover, or Last Supper, without the prerogative of a visible organization and ordained priesthood. His spiritually prepared Breakfast, after his resurrection, and after his disciples had left their nets to follow him, was the spiritual Communion which Christian Scientists celebrate in commemoration of the Christ. This ordinance is significant as a type of the true worship, and it should be observed at present in our Churches.

“It is not essential to materially organize Christ’s Church. It is not absolutely necessary to ordain Pastors, and to dedicate Churches; but if this is done, let it be in concession to the period, and not as a perpetual or indispensable ceremonial of the Church. If our Church is organized, it is to meet the demand, ‘suffer it to be so now.’ The real Christian Compact is love for one another. This bond is wholly spiritual and inviolate. It is imperative at all times and under every circumstance, to perpetuate no ceremonials except as types of these mental conditions: remembrance and love, – a real affection for Jesus’ character and example. Be it remembered that all types employed in the service of Christian Science should represent the most spiritual forms of thought and worship that can be made visible.”

I have already spoken of the attitude of a very conservative element in the ranks of Christian Scientists, who in their expression of thought and outward appearance harked back to the manners of the Puritans who “pulled long faces,” and who by the soberest type of dress sought to show their aloofness to that which was worldly and of the devil. It is well worth while to very carefully consider the thought of the period we are now studying, and note certain tendencies which Mrs. Eddy was obliged to correct, and which had injurious effects upon the growth of Christian Science, and which gave inquirers a wrong view of the aim of her teachings. A quotation from the Journal of December, 1889, is of considerable interest.

“I wish something might be said in the Journal to check the tendency to dress, and devotion to the laws of mortal mind as manifested in the fashions. The exhibition in this line staggers many of ‘the people standing by,’ who ask, ‘Can this be the coming of the Christ in the Spirit?’ ” (Signed E. N.)

This was answered in the March issue as follows:

“E. N. speaks of ‘tendency to dress.’ When through Science other dormant qualities are aroused, is not the sense of beauty in color and outline also quickened? Not that we should care to drape and adorn personality more, as personality, but we instinctively love all forms of beauty for beauty’s own sake, more than ever before. It seems certain, too, that the thought most deeply absorbed in the study of Christian Science naturally leans to simplicity of dress and adornment, and of manner, also. Beauty becomes spontaneous; of the heart; of love; and delights in harmony of color, grace of outline, appropriateness, etc., rather than in luxury of gems or raiment. – A. K.”

This brings the matter directly to a question asked of Mrs. Eddy in the Hawthorn Rooms. It was the custom then for her to answer written questions handed to her, and one of them was, “How can a Christian Scientist afford to wear diamonds and be clad in purple velvet?” Mrs. Eddy stepped forward and answered, “This ring that I wear was given me several years ago as a thank-offering from one I had brought from death back to life; for a long time I could not wear it, but my husband induced me to accustom myself by putting it on at night, and finally I came to see it only as a sign of recognition and gratitude to my Master, and to love it as such. This ‘purple velvet’ is ‘purple,’ but it is velveteen, that I paid one dollar and fifty cents a yard for, and I have worn it for several years, but it seems to be perpetually renewed, like the widow’s cruse.” (Journal, February 1889, pl. 583.)

Such were the peculiar conditions which some who had been touched by the regenerating power of Christian Science felt and expressed, and they were exactly what Mrs. Eddy did not desire, for the persons who took most strongly this attitude were not of the class who had been brought up in and belonged to educated and refined society. They were of those whose mentality had never been broadened by contact with the inspiring and uplifting things of this life. When Mrs. Eddy bought what was then considered an expensive house on Columbus Avenue, people of this type were astounded because she did not take up an abode which was more humble, and so keep within the lines they traversed. They could not realize that Lynn and Boston were so dissimilar in their social and intellectual life that when Mrs. Eddy decided to leave the former, it was not, as Miss Milmine suggests in her book, that she was driven out, but the time had come, and she knew it, to make an appeal not only to a larger number, but to people living in a different strata of thought. Mrs. Eddy realized she must show that she represented progressive intelligence; that when she entered into her work in Boston, she must be identified, both in her teaching and her surroundings, with the best representation of wholesome culture and uplifting aspiration.

From all these disclosures of the nature of the times, the reader will see that no religious leader since Jesus had to decide upon so many and such a varied assortment of questions relative to all the matters of life embraced in her teachings. He will also realize some of the occasions of criticism which hampered the work, – the peculiar types of thought which made up the Christian Science “field” at that time, and especially with respect to what constituted a church edifice suitable for the requirements of a large city. The many ideas which obtained as to what it should look like would be of great interest if we now had them. These ideas would naturally be a reflection of what their possessors had seen in the places in which they lived, and show how some people residing far distant from life centers felt about the matter. Let me cite a revealing letter which came to father about September, 1894, during the busiest part of the building operations, and which brought many a laugh to our fireside. The writer, who lived in a small town in the West, had sent for himself and family a contribution of a dollar. Two months later came another dollar with a letter which told of his large and splendid farm. A considerable time later on he made a contribution of another dollar, and said that he “thought things were going pretty slow” and that he and his family had done their share, and he wanted to know “by next mail when the church would be finished.”

The letters which had been sent out by the Trustees of the Building Fund in regard to contributions, and the information given by all of them in correspondence and verbally, together with the publication of Mr. Lang’s remarks, as quoted on another page, impressed upon thousands the thought that the edifice could be completed for less than $50,000, and since no stated sum was ever named to the field as necessary for it completion, Christian Scientists had to go through an educational process and accept the fact that a larger amount was necessary than they had figured upon. Its next stopping place was at $100,000. By a peculiar psychological turn its computers accepted this as the amount which would fulfil all obligations and be plenty, and when this had been contributed efforts relaxed since no urgence had come from Mrs. Eddy that more was needed. To offset these currents of thought Mr. Chase published in the Journal of August, 1894, the following: “Until notice is published that enough funds have been received to fully complete the Mother Church, …it is expected that all contributions will continue as heretofore.”

The feeling that Mrs. Eddy had relaxed her vigilance, and the wrong translation of her statement that “a Sabbath rest is stealing over me,” brought from her the following, as published in the Journal of September:

Dear Editor: You have my permission to state through your Journal, that I am living, and well, and doing well, – if indeed it is right for me to cease awhile from toil. Concord, N.H., August 18, 1894.”

The reader will perceive that the conditions surrounding the erection of the Mother Church seemed rather chaotic and will wonder how in the midst of such varieties of thought, harmonious progress could be made; but to one who lived among those activities it can be seen that although fogs were constantly being blown in upon the scene of operations the sun of Truth was shining brightly, and as one obstructing thought after another was dissipated the scene became brighter and those who had held these thoughts spontaneously came together in one heartfelt handclasp to work for one end. When the vision of the greatness of the truth that they were receiving came to them, the personal opinions and thoughts, which had been imposed upon them by others, seemed so small that they dropped them even as burdens, and went with outstretched hands and willing hearts to uphold the standard of the truth they loved. Could they have known the amount of time and labor their Leader was putting into the work, they would have come sooner and never been held back by the narrowness of personal views which were without value. They would have come, too, with fuller hearts and hands, if they had but known Mrs. Eddy’s ever watchful activities of which the following presents a good example:

My dear Student.

“PLEASANT VIEW, CONCORD, N.H.

July 12, 1894.

“I cannot say whether the big sum of 1,000 dollars will build the platform and pulpit and buy the chairs for it. You had better find this out and if it will then I would have it thus appropriated. Have you got enough windows engaged to be made? And if not tell Mrs. Baird about how the chairs are provided and offer the window to her. I wish you would tell the Scientists not to say there are already sufficient funds to build the church and furnish it. Who knows this? Let the contributions go on. The money will be safe for God’s dear use. The 5 dollars was for you.

With love,

MARY BAKER EDDY.

N.B. Before the tablet is engraved let Mr. Wilson of Cambridge punctuate it. The Dr. my son can attend to this.” (Written to Mr. Armstrong.)

Over the wording of the tablet, which is engraved on the bay of the tower, Mrs. Eddy spent considerable time and thought, and it was not until after at least three drafts had been made that she gave word to the Directors to submit it to Mr. Wilson, who was the head of the University Press of Cambridge. The inscription reads as follows:

“THE FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST.

ERECTED ANNO DOMINI, 1894.

A testimonial to our beloved Teacher, the Reverend Mary Baker Eddy, Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science; Author of its text-book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures; President of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, and the first Pastor of this denomination.”

With every change or suggestion of alteration in the plans of the edifice of any importance, Mrs. Eddy was notified. Perhaps the most difficult situation and problem for the Directors was the question of finish for both the interior and exterior. This was not so much a question of cost as of nice conformity to what Christian Scientists would expect. To build an edifice which would be in its distinctive style of architecture a symbol of the teaching of Christian Science would have been then, as it is now, “a doubtful undertaking.” To have made the church edifice inside and out of severe lines with no expression of beauty, would have been indica∗This is the $1,000 given by Mr. and Mrs. Eastaman, spoken of in the preceding chapter.

tive of a rigid Puritanical spirit, repellent to the younger generation coming into Science and looking for that which was modern in construction and decoration. Since the first plans drawn by Arthur Gray in March, 1892, the conception of all who were directly connected with the process of building, had expanded into a higher ideal of an edifice which by its dignity should be an expression of the position held by Christian Science among the religions of the world. The Directors and Mrs. Eddy felt the sacredness of the trust imposed on them of spending the hard earned money of contributors, and guarded against any error of judgment which would cause criticism of waste.

In view of the many criticisms which might be made of this first important edifice, Mrs. Eddy gave the Directors the privilege of taking a wise step, namely, that of allowing students, or associations of students, to make special gifts of part of the furnishings of the edifice. In the Mother Church Extension this privilege was not given, because the Directors and Mrs. Eddy did not desire to have any one person, or any body of students, make their ability to give largely stand out as personal. The reader can see that rivalry in giving might ensue; that disappointment, chagrin and envy might be engendered over the obtaining of some cherished place upon which to bestow a gift; that one group of students who should desire to give windows might believe that the subjects chosen by them were more spiritual and appropriate than those donated by another group who had been given the preference either because of previous application or by choice of the Directors. The reader can easily see how such conditions would bring criticism and inharmony, especially at the time the Extension was built, when the membership and the wealth of individual and collective givers was very much greater than in 1894.

Relative to this matter of individual or collective gifts of seats, windows, bells, organ and other furnishings, Mrs. Eddy was averse in 1894, but she modified her views to fit the exigencies of the period and the thought of her students. In this first experiment (which it really was) of church building she realized that if the students desired to give certain parts of the furnishings it might be better so, for, if criticism should come from without and within the fold that money had been lavishly spent, the blame would not fall entirely upon herself or her Directors. In the construction and furnishing of the Mother Church there was a fine demonstration, in that all who gave worked in harmony with those who were identified with the building and finishing of the edifice, and the knowledge that gifts of furnishings had been made, disarmed those who were prone to misunderstand and criticize efforts which at the time were beyond their comprehension.

With the inflow of gifts, that capacity to discern and meet the conditions of the time, which was so markedly characteristic of Mrs. Eddy, caused her to realize that these gifts must have suitable surroundings so that they might become an integral part of the whole, and thus make for greater harmony. With this conception of what her church should be, she wrote the following on September 12, 1894, to the Board of Directors:

“I hear of the costly finish you are giving the inside of our Temple. That is a good type and not pharisaical. But allow me to suggest that if you have the money to use, you give some additional touches to the outside of our church, which you would put inside for the above purpose. Advice is cheap. I shall not charge you a dollar for it, at least that would be more than it is worth.

With love,

MARY BAKER EDDY.”

This letter acted as an immediate urgence upon the Directors and broadened their ideas as to what could be done in beautifying the structure. They immediately called upon the architect for a plate drawing of the church and sent it to Mrs. Eddy with the request that she make suggestions. On September 18, she wrote my father as follows:

“My dear Student.

Yours at hand. Have looked at the plate drawing of our church and cannot see a chance for ornamentation unless it be on the finish of the points on the steeple and roof. Even on these it may not be practical, the architect will know. One thing make certain, that you have your roof and steeple finished before the snow falls. Tell the architect to put all the workmen on this he can. It is easier to work inside than out in cold weather. Meet the saying ‘It must be done this year.’

With much love, Mother,

M. B. G. EDDY.”

The Directors desired that the building should be advanced as far as possible before September 30, since Communion Sunday would fall on this date, and it was known that many students and adherents were coming to attend the service as well as to be at the Annual Meeting of the following Tuesday.

Communion Sunday, held on September 30, was attended by adherents from all parts of the country. The attendance in Copley Hall was the largest that ever met together in the observance of Communion, and 278 members were admitted, bringing the total membership to 3,256. Practically all who came from a distance went to see the progress that had been made upon the church edifice, and what they witnessed brought a great sense of longing and hope for the completion of the building. This was especially at the Annual Meeting on October 2. At that time there was no By-law which called for a report at the Annual Meeting of the Church of the Treasurer of the Board of Directors. However, Mrs. Eastaman, as Treasurer of the Church, made one, and showed that on October 2 there was a balance of $3,896 on hand. The members, however, expected that Mr. Chase would give figures of the cost of the building to date and the amount in the treasury, but he did not, and this brought forth such criticism that Mrs. Eddy made a By-law which quieted this feeling. In a few remarks made by Mr. Chase he spoke of the increased cost of building on account of the necessity of fire-proof construction, and that, until “he gave notice to the contrary,” contributions would be as gladly accepted as ever. The feeling in the thought of all, especially after the meeting, was that of unity; that the Church, which was rising so bravely amidst seeming persecutions and hatred of all kinds, was to be a symbol of the unity which had flowed together in one unbreakable mass, being thus welded by the demonstrations of healing and purifications through the teachings of Christian Science. The influence of these meetings acted like a leaven in the field, for teachers and adherents went back to their homes and told their students and patients of the great work going on in Boston, and what the building of the Mother Church meant for each and all. In less than a week after the Annual Meeting a freshened interest seemed to spring up over the country and contributions increased rapidly.

The following letter with explanations, is of interest at this point:

“PLEASANT VIEW, CONCORD, N.H.

Oct. 19, ’94.

My beloved Student.

Your letter is worth to me a priceless value. But I enclose only $5.00 for it. I know it can be done this year, but my anxiety is over. Three months have been lost, but your movement on the iron saved the result of a greater loss. Mr. Armstrong was here yesterday. I chose him because he is in Boston and because I had not talked with others, to take the responsibility of seeing that God’s order is carried out in the space of time allotted it.

I regret that you had not employed the highest priced plasterer, or did not let me decide that question. Take no risks now. It is easier to supply money than time. Oh, remember that our time is not ours but in His hands and He appoints the periods. Help Armstrong by encouragement and mental support in his arduous task.

May the Love that is God, Good, and omnipotent guide you.

(Signed) MOTHER.”

(Written in ink to Wm. B. Johnson, in Mrs. Eddy’s handwriting.)

When some of the conditions surrounding this letter are known, a light will be shed upon it which, so far as the results of the construction of the Church edifice are concerned, is of interest. In the first place, Mr. Armstrong was to have general charge of looking after contracts and the clerical work involved. His position as Manager and Publisher brought him into Boston every day. Mr. Chase came to Boston from Fall River, usually only on call. Mr. Knapp lived in Roslindale, and came to his office on Columbus Avenue, week days excepting Thursdays, and was there from 9 A.M. until 1 P.M. One of the most striking passages in this letter is the statement: “I know it can be done this year, but my anxiety is over,” and this combines itself with the warning: “Take no risks now. It is easier to supply money than time.”

At the time Mrs. Eddy wrote the foregoing letter, she knew the outlook to be that enough funds to complete the edifice would come into the treasury before the first of the year. She had kept in very close touch with the work of construction, and, as it advanced and she saw frequent photographs of the building as it progressed, she realized that with enough, and perhaps more money than was needed for the purpose of mere utility, the whole structure should be marked by a finish and beauty of detail which had not been considered in the drawing of the plans. The reader will get this flash of desire in the sentence, “I regret that you have not obtained the highest priced plasterer, or did not let me decide the question.” A few days later after the reception of this letter, my father was called to Concord, and Mrs. Eddy intimated to him that she again desired the matter of beautifying the exterior considered. My father replied that the exterior was so far along that very little could now be done except perhaps on the tower, but the interior could be made the most up-to-date and beautifully finished of any church in the city, if not in the country. She asked him to give this matter immediate study and obtain all the help necessary.

He arrived home from Concord at about 6:30 in the evening. Mrs. Munroe was there and was waiting to see him on important Church matters. He told us he had some important matters he wanted to tell us, and during supper he related Mrs. Eddy’s desire, and asked if there were any suggestions I could make. As the tower had not been all completed, I suggested that a richer treatment could possibly be made, and pointed out as example the Romanesque tower of the First Baptist Church at the corner of Clarendon Street and Commonwealth Avenue. Previous study under Professor Norton had given me some knowledge of the world’s best architecture, especially in Gothic and Italian Renaissance, and I gave him the names of some of the best books dealing with this subject, which showed notable examples with the finest of detail in steel engravings. He immediately went to the Public Library, which was a walk of but seven minutes, and returned with some of the volumes, and began a study of their contents. The next day he brought this matter to the attention of the Board of Directors and the architect was called in. It was too late to make any decided change even in the tower, for the stones were all cut to the plan, and to do so would have delayed finishing the work in the time Mrs. Eddy desired, but it was an incentive to make a more artistic study of the interior, and the finishings for this could be changed without delaying progress. The Directors decided therefore to add to the dignity and beauty of the entrance to the Mother’s Room, which did not suit them and was not of distinctive quality.

The architect, Mr. Welch, was called in, also Mr. Comstock, and a friend of Mr. Bates, to go over designs for a more suitable entrance. A plan was drawn for a marble entrance and accepted by the Directors. This was an arch of pure white Italian marble, with steps of the same material leading up to the floor level. Beside this improvement other plans for the finish were gone over carefully, and it was decided that a mosaic wainscoting in the auditorium would be better than one of wood as it would be more durable and easily kept clean, and would bring to the walls, the floor and places where shadows rest, a brighter, more cheerful aspect. Carpets of the proper color for the aisles would show well against the mosaic and produce a more pleasing color scheme. With the study of the plans, delightful possibilities arose of creating a beautiful interior, with a careful expenditure of money, so that those who were giving freely would see something in which they knew their money was well invested, and that would last indefinitely. With the question of floor and wainscoting settled and the color for walls and ceiling decided upon, the lighting fixtures were considered, and it was decided that silver would not only be the most complementary color, but would be something that no other church in the city possessed. This treatment had been used but a short time, and was an effort to get away from the heavy dark bronze, or the brass which had been so universally popular, and it proved a happy choice, for the fixtures blended well with the walls, and the standards on the pulpit became a part of the cream tone of the background.

Treatment of the auditorium ceiling was carefully thought out, and it was proposed that it be carried higher than intended in the original plans, as this would insure better ventilation, and would allow the placing in the center of the electrical sunburst, which was something of a new departure at that time, and one which brought expressions of pleasure and admiration from all who visited the church. With one addition of beauty, there came another to act as complement to it. For the lighting of the side entrances, fixtures in the form of bronze torches were suggested and accepted. In the vestry the division of the room into smaller sections for Sunday School classes was happily arranged by using large glass windows which could be raised and lowered. The woodwork here is worth more than a casual glance, for the paneling of oak is as fine as can be found in the city.



MRS. ELDORA O. GRAGG, C.S.D.

One of the original twelve members



As members of the church and earnest adherents saw what was taking place, they became more than ever anxious to add to the beauty and utility of the edifice. Beside money, individual gifts were offered. The Steinway concert grand came from a young woman who had been healed; and gifts were sent for the “Mother’s Room.” Who would have dared dream two years before that we would have such a beautiful Church edifice, and that a chime of bells would be in the tower there, which would voice the motto on the “Liberty Bell” in Philadelphia, but with a greatly enriched meaning: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all the inhabitants thereof.” This chime was given by the students of Mrs. Gragg, and there was no thought of praise for the givers, since no inscription marked the bells, and they therefore became a general part of the contribution.

An interesting letter about the bells and other matters, which shows how closely Mrs. Eddy kept in touch with the work, was written to the Board of Directors, dated November 26, 1894:

“The only reason I consented to painted walls for our church was the absurd look it must present to see mosaic floors and unpainted walls. The Bells I want, and dear Mrs. Gragg supplies these the Dr. tells me. I have directed the students Mr. and Mrs. Bates, Mrs. Frame and Mrs. Hulin to put no silk walls or onyx stone into Mother’s Room. I hope now you will abide by this last limit stated on paper that I send by the Dr. today as the boundary for all monies laid out in our Church.

Affectionately, Mother

MARY B. EDDY.”

This letter shows that Mrs. Eddy was pleased with the bells; and, in speaking of them to my father, she quoted parts of some verses relative to their winsome call. He afterwards found the complete lines, and these seemed to have dwelt with Mrs. Eddy from girlhood, bringing back the country scenes she so well loved:

The Sabbath bell! The Sabbath bell! To toil worn men a soothing sound;
Now labor rests beneath its spell, And holy stillness reigns around.
The ploughman’s team, the thresher’s flail, The woodman’s axe, their clamors cease,
And only nature’s notes prevail,
To humble bosoms echoing peace.
The Sabbath bell! The Sabbath bell! What soul-awakening sounds we hear!
Its blessed invitations tell
Of welcome to the house of prayer. “Come, sinner, come,” it seems to dry;
“Oh never doubt thy Maker’s love; Christ has thy ransom paid, then why
Delay his clemency to prove.”

– Anon.

One of the impending questions was that of the organ. I remember distinctly my father’s visit to Mr. Metcalf, who desired to make this contribution, at his place of business on Franklin Street, the Dennison Co., of which he was the President. Mr. Metcalf was a man of gentle and refined nature, who, by keen business instinct and hard work, had progressed and prospered in business until he had reached the position of President of this large corporation. He was a liberal-handed, kindly, honest, God-fearing gentleman, and, from his position as deacon in his own church, he came into membership with the Mother Church through the healing he had witnessed in his own family. He was a man who always desired the best, and when he chose the maker of the instrument he was to give, he called upon the firm that had been awarded the prize at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, – the Farrand and Votey Co. The conditions for an instrument of a number of tone qualities were not good, since the space provided was insufficient. At first it was thought by the builders that they could not construct an instrument with more than two manuals, but a place was found for putting part of the motor mechanism, which they had not figured upon, and this opened the way for a third manual.

The months of November and December brought constant labor and care for Mrs. Eddy and the Directors. In November she wrote to the Board as follows:

“COMMANDS TO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. 1. You must not delay a single hour to close your contract, and to have the men at work. 2. Keep the men at work inside the church every working day, besides your night work until the inside is finished. 3. Finish this church in 1894, even if you have to give up some of your gods such as mosaic floor in the auditorium, or other decorations. You can hold services in the vestry this year. 4. Retain your present architect by destroying the influence of hypnotism, and then his sense of what can be done will be enlarged. Remember he has not been taught as you have.”

On November 23, Mrs. Eddy wrote to Mr. Chase and Mr. Armstrong as follows:

“I fear you did not quite understand me so will put down the strong points in their order. 1. First and last of all is this important one, finish the church on Saturday night or Sunday morning and hold services in it the last Sunday in this year.

2. $12,000 was the sum stated as a limit, but I do not mean you should put that full sum into the finishing of the church, if by so doing you could not complete the church this year. 3. Get the roof and tower done if possible, and I know it can be by putting enough men at work on the roof. The inside must be done and will, so that you can hold your service in the church this year, even if the outside is not entirely finished. 4. God has to keep changing His orders to you; by reason of so many advisers you are swayed from abiding by just what he says. Now finish as was named by us here. Have the chimes as was agreed upon (without electric connection). Paint the walls if you can get it all done this year. I do not care to have this done, and only say this to gratify the students as I see it would be a great disappointment to them not to have it so, but if this painting will prevent your getting into the church at the time stated don’t have it done. Remember this. Also if you can get the more expensive organ into the church and achieve the first change herein named, namely to finish the church this year, do that and leave the tuning to be done, the next year.

Let me know at once when your outside work is done and I implore you to keep the commandments in this letter.

With love,

MARY BAKER EDDY.”

Over the matter of stained glass windows Mrs. Eddy gave considerable thought. The Directors realized that in the choice of subjects they must have Mrs. Eddy’s guidance, and they furnished her with a plan of the wall space in which windows were to be located.

The first draft of subjects for windows was sent to the Directors by Mrs. Eddy September 18, 1894, and she wrote as follows to the Board:

“I herewith send a bit of Bible history to be illustrated on your church walls in the auditorium, according as they are numbered on successive windows. Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary anointing the head of Jesus, Mary first at the resurrection, Woman God crowned, (Rev. 12th chap.) Have these pictures arranged on windows that follow one after the other as above numbered.”

On December 18, she sent the following memorandum to the Directors:

“Pictures for windows. Order of arrangement. To be printed on the picture. 1st. Mary the mother of Jesus, 2nd. Mary anointing the head of Jesus, 3rd. Woman God crowned. Rev. 12th chap.

On the windows in Mother’s room according to number. The star of Bethlehem, Suffer little children to come unto me, Seeking and finding.”

These windows were made by Phipps and Slocum of Boston and were a very hurried effort as the contract was not given until a late date in the construction of the church, and they were obliged to work overtime in order to get them done.

Relative to the three windows Mrs. Eddy named for the Mother’s Room, it is to be noted that these subjects were taken from the illustrations of Christ and Christmas. This work had been subject to a great deal of criticism, both within and without the ranks of Christian Scientists. Notwithstanding these criticisms, and her withdrawal of the book from publication, Mrs. Eddy decided that she wanted some of these illustrations reproduced in the windows of her room in the Church edifice, for the reason that they represent a phase of the history of Christian Science and of her life and work. The evidence of this is found in a letter which she wrote to Mr. Gilman, the artist, in which she said:

“You have illustrated and interpreted my life on the plates which you sent me.”

The reason why she desired to have these windows in the edifice and why she chose the three is a matter of interest, and there is a spiritual symbolism attached to them which should be of value to the reader. The star that shone over a “night of chaos” was the “loyal ray” that pointed the path to salvation.

The picture “seeking and finding” was one over which Mrs. Eddy pondered for some time. The spiritual meaning of these words begets several interpretations, and the difficulty Mrs. Eddy had was in selecting the one which should convey the most helpful meaning, be the most highly spiritualized and point its lesson. Her first conception she wrote to Mr. Gilman on May 8, 1893, as follows:

“Have a poor looking candlestick and candle instead of a lamp, representing the Scripture thought ‘candle of the Lord’, and poverty. Instead of a book in the woman’s hand represent her with handkerchief to her eyes as if weeping. The book would present her as ‘seeking’ but there must be a different thought embodied in this Scripture, ‘Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.’ Let the opposite figure be kneeling but not bent, have beside him a table, and on it a bottle and wine glass, and a bunch of cigars.”

The more Mrs. Eddy pondered over the most spiritual and effective interpretation of her verses, she found the law laid down in the axiom, “Poetry begins where art leaves off.” While interested in Christian Science to a certain extent, Mr. Gilman was not at that time a practicing student of her teachings. He was a resident of Concord, and Mrs. Eddy found certain qualities in him she liked. The nearness of his place of residence made it easy for her to keep closely in touch with him and direct his work in the production of the illustrations. Since her discovery of Christian Science one of the greatest difficulties she had experienced was in trying to have students realize the spiritual significance and intent of her lines. This is illustrated in the fact that so many take the poem “The Mother’s Evening Prayer” literally, and think of the “child” as representing a mortal, instead of symbolizing “Christian Science.”

In the sketch for “Seeking and Finding,” Mrs. Eddy evidently desired to make the broadest possible appeal to the millions who suffered from the effects of in∗The name of this artist should not be confused with that of a James F. Gilman, who contributed five articles to Volume 9 of the Journal.

temperance. However, she discerned a stronger picture, one of greater value to the future than this interpretation, and wrote Mr. Gilman accordingly.

In the illustration it is well to notice that the light which is shining upon the pages she has written and upon the Bible does not come from the candle but from the Star of Bethlehem which shines through the skylight of the room.

In the original sketch of the illustration, the serpent was not in the same position as in the published drawing, and the explanation of Mrs. Eddy relative to this is stated in the Journal of January, 1894, as follows:

“It was my humble endeavor to reproduce, with reverent touch, the modest glory of Divine Science. Not by the aid of foreign device or environment could I copy art, never having seen the painters’ masterpieces. But the art of Christian Science, with true hue and character of the living God, is akin to its science, and ‘Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,’ gives scope to shade and shadow of Divinity, imparting to humanity meekness and might. One incident serves to elucidate the nature of art.

“I insisted on placing the serpent behind the woman in the picture ‘Seeking and Finding;’ my artist at the easel objected, as he often did to Soul’s expression through the brush, but finally yielded. A few days afterwards, through chance directed, the following in Rotherham’s translation of the scriptures was handed to me – I had never before seen it. ‘And the serpent cast out of his mouth, behind the woman, water as a river, that he might cause her to be river-borne.’ Neither material finesse, standpoint, nor perspective, guides the infinite Mind and spiritual vision that should, (and) does guide His children.”

The question of having the serpent appear in the illustration was one of grave consideration with Mrs. Eddy for the reason that she did not know just how the serpent and its position behind her would be taken and interpreted. Those who were not acquainted with Rotherham’s translation might criticize from the viewpoint that she was wrong artistically, perhaps Scripturally, also from that of precedent in works of painters in which the serpent is a part. On September 11, 1893, before the book went to press, she wrote to Dr. Foster-Eddy:

“I have decided to have 500 pictures finished with the serpent on them and then I can do as God directs about putting them in my first edition of 1000 copies. Have written this to artist.”

On September 13, she again took up the finishing of this illustration, and wrote the Doctor:

“I would like to have the figure you are going to see about, changed in position thus. Sitting with right arm on the table, pen in hand, paper before it, and the eyes looking – Oh, looking as if heaven had come to view, and the whole being as if absorbed and enrapt! It can be done and a real artist would do it. I would give money for it and what would not my students give?”

When the time came for selecting the windows for the “Mother’s Room,” Mrs. Eddy considered very carefully the advisability of using this illustration, and wrote to Dr. Foster-Eddy in regard to it on October 7, 1894:

“Don’t have ‘Seeking and Finding’ in any window of the Mother Church. Have only the ‘Star of Bethlehem’ and ‘Suffer little Children’ etc., and the Bible and Science and Health with the star shining over them in ‘Mother’s Room.’ Remember this is important to be done this way.”

On the same date she wrote again to the Doctor a reconsideration of her directions as follows:

“I should like a picture such as I named of a woman but without the serpent if you can make the artist do justice to the subject.”

This was the final direction relative to this picture, and it was placed in the “Mother’s Room” without the serpent.

The illustration “Suffer Little Children” seemed to have been a very much easier problem, and her directions to Mr. Gilman were as follows:

“An aged man in arm chair, not sick or infirm, and the little girl you had reading to him. Let it represent childhood teaching age from Science and Health.”

The reader will realize that Mrs. Eddy at this time was using the most careful discrimination relative to what thought should be portrayed by the pictures in the windows, and that she desired only such as should symbolize to the greatest extent the meaning of her teachings from the beginning to full fruition, and yet not be too personal in application to her. Perhaps the most difficult task she had at this time was that of keeping her students from making the edifice too much a memorial to her, of using her as a personality and as a symbol, which she felt was giving to the world the thought that she was being deified by her followers. The plan had been made to place in the “Mother’s Room” a window illustrating the “Woman God Crowned,” but Mrs. Eddy saw that it was not wise, and she wrote Dr. Foster-Eddy on September 12, 1894, as follows:

“I see that it is not wisdom to tell so big a history in ‘Mother’s Room’ window. Leave out the woman picture as portrayed in Rev. 12. and put in its place the painting of my vignette on the first music sheet of ‘Christ My Refuge’ which Mrs. Stetson appropriated, and with a slight change, put in Carol’s poem which is published. The students Mrs. Emma Silvester MacDonald and Mrs. Laura E. Sargent and their students want to give this window for ‘Mother’s Room’ and will have it in the design aforenamed. There is a sweet pathetic incident in connection with this which we will tell you when you come home….The picture is a woman clinging to a rock midst the foaming waves and underneath the picture is to be this verse from my poem: – ‘Thus Truth engrounds me on the Rock etc.’”

The question of personality kept steadily coming to the surface during the finishing of the church edifice, and, in October, Mrs. Eddy again had to take matters in hand to avoid this danger. Mrs. Stetson wished to contribute a marble figure of a woman, and on October 7, 1894, Mrs. Eddy wrote to the Doctor the following instructions:

“Stop at once Mrs. Stetson’s getting up the figure in marble. I have written to her that she must not do it. When I see you I will tell you why and you will see the great importance of what I say. See for Mother that this is stopped. There is too much personality getting into the Church. God allows nothing of this in C. S. Let us obey Him and be consistent with our doctrine teaching His revelation. I hear from a true source this word.”

The foregoing makes clear some of the difficulties which Mrs. Eddy had to surmount in her effort to eliminate the picturing of personality, particularly in the “Mother’s Room,” and the reader will be rather curious to know why Mrs. Eddy had all three windows in the room taken from the illustrations in Christ and Christmas, especially as she had withdrawn the poem from publication. The reason is undoubtedly that she considered it to be a direct inspiration, and relative to this she wrote to Mr. Gilman, on May 8, 1893, at a time when she had made very definite suggestions to him in regard to the illustrations:

∗The music referred to was written by Irving I. Harwood, C.S., dated 1887, and copyrighted by Mrs. Eddy in that year. The composition is for a quartet of mixed voices, and in character is like most of the anthems written for church service at that time. Mr. and Mrs. Harwood were students of Mrs. Woodbury. The picture on the title page is 5 ¼ inches high by 3 ½ wide, and represents a cross of strong and rugged type of hewn rock in the midst of troubled waters, with the figure of a woman clinging to the arms of the cross with both hands and her knees resting upon a rock that is just above the surface of the water. From above a light is shining through what is meant for darkness upon the cross and the woman. Artistically the picture is not of great excellence, but its meaning is evident, and the motif was evidently inspired by a well-known picture which had a wide distribution at that period, entitled “Rock of Ages,” and which was an illustration of the lines of that Gospel Hymn which became famous during the revival meetings of Moody and Sankey. A copy of this music with the wood-cut of the woman “clinging to a rock” is in the collection of Mrs. Longyear.

“Now carry out these designs with all the skill of an artist and my story is told in Christian Science, the new story of Christ, and the world will feel its renovating influence.

Do not delay nor trouble your thought to deviate from what God has given me to suggest, but follow it implicitly, remember this.”

To Mrs. Eddy this poem was one of her most precious products of thought, and on December 14 of 1892, she wrote to Carol Norton:

“Christ and Christmas was an inspiration from beginning to end. The power of God and the wisdom of God was even more manifest in it and guided me more perceptibly, as those of my household can attest, than when I wrote Science and Health. If ever God send you to me again I will name some of the marvelous guidance that he gave me. He taught me that the art of Christian Science has come through inspiration the same as its Science has. Hence the great error of human opinions passing judgment on it.”

This is the history of the selection of the windows in the “Mother’s Room,” but as thousands look at these windows today, it is safe to say that none of them are cognizant of the detail of care and thought with which Mrs. Eddy made the selection of them. Probably no windows in any other church edifice in the country received such careful consideration. This, the epoch-marking edifice of a new religious movement, was to contain no imperfection in its structure, nothing that would awaken false impressions. Mrs. Eddy knew the “field” would consider the edifice as embodying much which would direct thought to her interpretation of the New Testament, and this interpretation, first and last, must be spiritual.

As we look back upon this event and calmly and lovingly analyze the conditions surrounding the erection of the Church, we cannot help being filled with admiration for the unselfish labors of those who dedicated their time and effort to its completion, and for the prophetic vision and executive powers of Mrs. Eddy made manifest therein.




Chapter L

The Church Opening

As the date set for the dedication came nearer, many new problems confronted the Directors, and they were obliged to take up some of them with Mrs.

Eddy. They were loath to do this as they knew that she had many labors to complete, especially the preparation of her “Sermon,” which would be the most important part of the Order of Exercises. Nevertheless they realized she must know and approve their plans. The problem of music for the dedication was one which confronted them most strongly. The choir, which had done its best in Chickering and in Copley Halls, would not prove satisfactory to the thousands who would attend the dedication. In this small body there was not one well-trained voice, and there was no leader. It had existed primarily and simply to lead the singing of the congregation. The services to be held were of too much import, however, with the whole world looking on, to have the music of a quality that would not rank with that of other churches in Boston. At the dedication service of such an edifice, constructed of the finest materials, the natural feeling of all was that the music should have a quality that would be of decided merit. To this therefore they gave serious consideration, and there seemed only two courses to be pursued, either to have the Boston choir (which had been strengthened by the advent of Miss Elsie Lincoln as soloist) perform the service, or of calling upon the choir of First Church of Christ, Scientist, New York City, to assist. Without the aid of a pipe organ, the Boston choir, which had no distinctive tonal quality and practically no training, could not meet the need, especially in view of the fact that the program was to be repeated five times. The choir of the New York church was better than that of any other Christian Science organization. The voices were practically all trained, and it was capably conducted by Mr. Henry Lincoln Case, a student of Mrs. Stetson. Mrs. Eddy therefore decided to call this choir to take part in the dedicatory service, and on December 10 wrote to Dr. Foster-Eddy as follows:

“I would take Mrs. Stetson’s singers for she has done well for the Church fund. But if Miss Lincoln wishes to attend the dedication, honor her by permitting her to go on to the platform and sing a solo, or in any other proper way.”

In the months of December, 1894, and January, 1895, two dates stand out in sharp relief in the history of the growth of Christian Science, namely, that of the first service in the new edifice, and that of the next Sunday which was to be the dedicatory service.

December 18, 1894, marks the date of the decision by Mrs. Eddy to make a change in the form of service in the Mother Church. During the course of several years she had noted the progress of a broader spirituality, a decrease of materialism and a decline in the worship of personality, especially of those who had been chosen as pastors. In keeping with this advance she determined to make the sermon a collection of correlative passages from the Bible and Science and Health, so that instead of looking upon the pastor with admiration for his personality and therefore not obtaining the full import of the truths spoken, the people, under the teaching of an impersonal pastor, would be led to listen to and profit by the spiritual interpretation of the word of God. Mrs. Eddy now saw that the Cause was ready for her to inaugurate this highest type of preaching in the Mother Church.

In his book The Mother Church, Mr. Armstrong quotes a letter from Mrs. Eddy relative to this form of service, but there is a communication written by her the day previous which, in order to complete the cycle of her thought should be given, since it shows by its concreteness of statement that it was put down practically at the moment when it came to her. This is not recorded by Mr. Armstrong. The date is December 18, 1894. It is addressed to the Directors, Mr. Bates and Dr. Eddy, and reads as follows:

“Have the first service in God’s Temple Dec. 30, ’94 consist of a Sunday School, no sermon. God has spoken plainly to me that the Bible and Science and Health are to be the only preachers in this House of His.

M. B. EDDY.”

It was characteristic of Mrs. Eddy that when she received an inspiration which she recognized as direct from Principle, she at once began to think upon its effective use in and for the Church, and we find that the next day after sending the above counsel, she wrote more in regard to the matter as follows:

“PLEASANT VIEW, CONCORD, N.H., Dec. 19, 1894.

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

My beloved Students:

Present no contribution box on Dedication day. When you know the amount requisite and have received it for finishing the church building close all contributions and give public notice thereof.

Hold your service in the Mother Church Dec. 30, 1894, and dedicate this church Jan. 6th. The Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures shall henceforth be the Pastor of the Mother Church. This will tend to spiritualize thought. Personal preaching has more or less of human views grafted into it. Whereas the pure word contains only the living, health-giving Truth.

With love, Mother,

MARY BAKER EDDY.”

For some reason the Directors did not immediately reply to her letter. They were in the midst of many pressing labors, and for the consideration of a communication of this kind, they would naturally have thought it necessary to have a meeting of the full Board. Mr. Chase, as Treasurer of the Building Fund, undoubtedly had all that he could attend to, and the distance of Fall River from Boston made immediate attendance at a Board meeting somewhat uncertain. With much pressing work on hand, Mrs. Eddy became somewhat disturbed about what action the Directors would take relative to her change in the order of service. On December 22 the Directors met and wrote her, but their communication did not reach her before she had penned a letter to them which shows her desire to complete the preparations for the service of December 30 so that there would be no misunderstanding or confusion, and on December 23 she wrote as follows:

“There is not sufficient time now to arrange a proper program for our Church services on Dec. 30th. No one has conferred with me on the subject. I have named it to the Dr. but nothing has been given me till today, just as I was leaving, to know even if you had arranged for it yourselves. But it is quite enough to say that I alone in consultation with the Directors was the one to have arranged so important a matter as this.

Now I object to pushing into this week, this muddled movement of setting up a precedent for worship in the Mother Church without the Mother who has originated all that belongs to this new Church, even knowing what your formula is! The thing must be stopped right now. I must see a program of your order of service, how you announce the reading of the Bible and the reading of Science and Health etc. in every particular. I thought that this small right was registered a long time ago.

Have printed circular ready for notifying the public that only the S. School will be held in the new church December 30. Then make arrangements for the Church services according to the Deed and vote on the Church rule enclosed.

∗In Mr. Armstrong’s book there is another paragraph at the beginning of the letter which reads: “The day is well-nigh won. You will rest on your arms. Thank God you have been valiant soldiers – loyal to the heart’s core. ‘Who is so great a God as our God?’”

This was not in the original letter, and must have been added sometime later, perhaps when the manuscript was shown to her.

†This was the rule relative to the change to be made in the Mother Church from a sermon by the Pastor to a sermon prepared from the Bible and Science and Health.

N.B. I open my letter to say I had not read Mr. Knapp’s letter through and Mr. Frye has just brought it to me and I see that he wrote to me on this subject. But I will send the letter because God does guide me and so it must be needed for some purpose.

Lovingly yours,

MOTHER.”

When the Directors had carefully considered this letter of Mrs. Eddy, they felt that the conditions of the Deed should be more strictly carried out. Another problem which confronted them was the fact that the time for Communion Sunday came on the same date as that set for the dedication. It had been the custom for the Clerk of the Church to read at that service the names of those admitted to membership. As the dedicatory services were to be given five times, the Directors realized that much valuable time would be consumed in the process of reading five hundred and seventy-eight names over five times. To obviate this Mrs. Eddy temporarily set aside the By-law relative to the date of Communion so that it would be held on Sunday, December 30, which would be the first service in the new edifice. With these problems taken up and solved, even though only one week before the first service, all those closely in touch with the Directors took fresh courage and went to work with redoubled energy for the completion of the building.

Mention might be fittingly made here of the very helpful labors of certain individuals, and how that love for the Cause inspired some to undertake work they had never thought they should be called upon to do, and how the fear of falling from unsteady ladders used by the workmen was overcome by not a few persons who had never had the practice of climbing to a considerable height on temporary scaffoldings which swayed with each footstep. The week beginning with December 23 was one of constant care and watchfulness. Of the Directors, Mr. Armstrong and my father bore the brunt of the burden, as Mrs. Eddy had given them certain specific duties to perform. At our home there seemed to be more work to be done than it was possible to accomplish. The change in the date of admission of members to a week earlier had necessitated extra labor in the preparation of the list of names, with a complete record of each applicant, for the meeting of the First Members, the addressing of the notices of admission and the envelopes in which they were to be placed.

According to Mrs. Eddy’s directions it was necessary for my father to be at the edifice at the same time the workmen were to arrive. It was his custom to rise about 4:30 in the morning, and do what work he could before we had breakfast, at about 5:45. I would wait for the morning mail, open everything that came in it, except letters from Mrs. Eddy or Mr. Frye, and carry to the church all that was important. As soon as recitations were finished, I hurried home to find a large amount to do, in helping to answer letters, examine applications, etc., which kept mother and myself at work until midnight. It was not until late in the evening that my father would come home, as he stayed at the church while some of the night shift of workmen were there. The harder we labored, the greater seemed the amount of work to be done. Scientists from distant points came to the house to ask advice about matters pertaining to their work, for as a Director, Clerk of the Church, Secretary of the College Association and of the National body, it was believed by visitors that all their many and different questions could be answered by father and there was but little left in which to eat and sleep.

So many matters came up during this last week which demanded the attention of the Board of Directors, that the work of preparing for the meeting of the First Members, and the lists of candidates to be admitted, devolved upon me. The change of the date of Communion, which Mrs. Eddy made a week earlier, necessitated immediate notification of the First Members, as they would otherwise meet in accordance with the By-law then in force, which set the time for admission and Communion. The word relative to the change came to our home by telegram and reached us at about 10:30 P.M. My father had not arrived home from the church, where he had been as usual all day, looking out for the work and keeping watch of the night shifts. I realized the immediate need of preparing notices and telegrams to be sent to each First Member. In that period residence telephones were few and far between, and were used mostly in business houses. For the general public some drug stores had telephones, and a message would be delivered to a house by one of the clerks at a time most convenient to him. If one looks through the practitioners’ columns in the Journal of this period he will not find an instance of a practitioner advertising that he had a telephone. In these early days of the Church, when Bylaws required the vote of First Members, it had become a fixed custom that everything else must be laid aside and a meeting immediately called, when Mrs. Eddy sent from Concord something upon which action must be taken. Oftentimes from her view of the wide horizon, she saw what was needed, and picking up pencil and paper, which she always kept within reach, she penned, upon the inspiration of the moment, a By-law which would correct some wrong tendency, or put into motion some labor that she saw was of the utmost necessity for the good of the Cause. Many of the notices for special meetings of the First Members I had written, duplicated with the hectograph and sent by mail, and so, when the very important telegram arrived which changed the time of admission and Communion, I immediately began the preparation of notices, and when my father reached home, which was about 11:45 P.M., I had everything ready.

To those living in Pennsylvania and New York, I wrote telegrams, as the time was so short that we did not care to risk the mails. Let it here be remembered that these chosen First Members were a very zealous band of workers, and they were also somewhat sensitive relative to anything capable of being construed by them or by others into a slight. If by any oversight my father had neglected to notify one of the First Members of a meeting, he would have been sure to have heard of it, and been asked why an official notice had not been forwarded them. In certain ways these were days of seeming uncertainty to many of the teachers and practitioners, especially the former, because of the unsettled condition throughout the field. With so much incorrect teaching extant, without published By-laws (for the Manual had not then been printed), no teacher knew just what course some erratic student might take, and because of something wrongly interpreted, rush to Concord in person, or write severe charges against his teacher or practitioner and try to force it upon Mrs. Eddy’s attention. Some of the First Members felt, therefore, that if they should not receive notice of a meeting, it would be explained by something other than accident, and my father, who was always tender and careful of the feelings of others, paid the most loving attention to the detail of seeing that no one was in any way left unnotified.

The position occupied by the First Members at that time was more than one of mere honor, for they were placed in positions of trust by Mrs. Eddy. In those days when there were a few Rules but no By-laws for the Church government, certain conditions sprang up so suddenly that necessary By-laws came in rapid succession from about the beginning of the year 1894. It was the desire of Mrs. Eddy that Bylaws which she sent to be accepted by the First Members, be passed upon as soon as possible, and a quorum of resident members was sufficient unless she stated in the By-law that a unanimous vote of all the body would be required. To be a First Member who should be painstaking and willing to do all required, some personal sacrifice seemed necessary, because it meant giving up, at short notice, hours set for practice or for other matters. At the quarterly meetings, all of the members were expected to be present, also at specially called meetings for all the members when Mrs. Eddy thought the importance and far-reaching effects of a certain Bylaw demanded it. Such calls upon those coming from a distance meant expense in both time and money, but I never heard one word of complaint on this ground, and there were some members whose financial condition was not affluent, so that having to come several hundred miles, the outlay reduced considerably their ready money. They never considered this point, however, but came promptly at the call with the faith in their hearts that they were doing right.

When my father arrived home, everything was ready for his inspection. At that date there were thirty-five First Members, and we carefully went over each name and address together. The telegrams, he said, must go that night, so as to reach their destinations early in the morning. The telegraph office in South Boston had been closed since eight o’clock, and I knew that I should have to go to the State Street office of the Western Union, which was the main office and was open all night. With this question decided, we found that I had about one minute to get to the station in order to catch the last car which went at midnight. I arrived there just a few seconds too late. There were no taxi-cabs of any kind obtainable, and I knew the only thing to do was to walk the two miles to the telegraph office. This I did, and then walked home, which I reached about 1:30. The walk through deserted streets over the bridges, past coal wharves and through sections that were known to be dangerous to pedestrians after dark, did not affect me in the least. I felt sustained and happy, for I realized to some fullness the necessities of the labor and the value of the outcome, so with a happy swing and a song in my heart, I made my way through the dark streets and darker wharves, and went to bed with the feeling of the great joy of living and accomplishing something, no matter how small.

This was indeed a season of wonderful inspiration to all who were closely in touch with the building of the Mother Church. We all reached out with longing hands and hearts for something to do which would insure progress. We knew the thoughts of Scientists all over the world were looking upon this work with the greatest hope and expectation, and that the outside world, to a considerable extent, was interested. The convergence of Christian Science thought and money from all parts of the earth, the spreading of the news of the night-and-day efforts of the Directors to complete the edifice, the knowledge that notwithstanding the conditions of labor and finance the building was nearing completion, brought from members of other religious bodies various comments. Those who had justice and mercy in their hearts spoke generously upon the hard but progressive struggle. Those who were antagonistic, and they were very many, especially ministers, deacons, churchcommittees, etc., who had seen some of the most intelligent and generous contributors toward their churches leave them for the ranks of Christian Science, saw nothing but a menace in the completion and dedication of the Mother Church, and this feeling had grown as the plans developed for a building that was to be so complete in detail, and built of the fine materials.

Had the edifice been constructed on the original plan, with little outward semblance of a church building, which would have cost only $50,000, or perhaps a little more, such a building would have suggested that the Christian Science effort in Boston, its headquarters, was not one that spoke either for great progress of the faith, or for the possession of adequate financial resources. “God moves in a mysterious way,” and it was so in the erection of the Mother Church. Its building had to come at a time governed by Principle. It was a period in her work which Mrs. Eddy saw from her mount of vision was one when the off-shoots of her teachings had come to the exhaustion of their fertility and strength, and when those students and adherents who had left her for cold mental formulas and to labor without the love of obedience to the teachings of Jesus, had begun again to turn their thoughts to her teachings, and who, after their period of existence in the arid desert, found freshness and freedom as they read her writings, for they found in them the interpretation and inspiration of divine Love. If a church edifice had been erected in 1888, the schism of that year would probably have taken place just the same, and the same trouble would have eventuated if it had been built in 1892. From the time of the schism of 1888, Mrs. Eddy’s conception of church government took on a new, rapid and vigorous growth. The bitterness of the struggle of June, 1888, brought about the laying of a new foundation for Christian Science, especially in the West, and developed latent courage and powers in Mrs. Eddy. But in those days the business of the Church, the two Associations and the Journal, took much of her time, and that she might keep her remaining adherents in the straight path, she sought devoutly by prayer and understanding to know the direction God desired her to take. In the midst of a seething chaos of rebellion and hatred, she prepared herself to listen to His voice, not her own, and it was because she had so done in the past, and by the blessings which had come from this attitude, that she was able to respond more fully than ever before to the directions of the One Mind.

Not all who were adherents of Christian Science could possibly realize this for it was necessary to know the history of Mrs. Eddy’s labors, to have gone with her step by step, and understood how she overcame each obstacle. To her the great moment had arrived for giving urgency and enthusiasm to the completion of the building fund, hence her word to father March 25, 1893, “The church must be built in 1894 Deo volente.”

Further, from her keen analysis and understanding of the conditions of the period, she realized that the time had come to take the next step, and this was done when, on September 29, of the same year (1893), she wrote:

“God is with you, thrust in the spade Oct. 1st, and advertise in next No. of Journal that you have begun to build His temple for the worship and service of Divine Love, the living God.”

In this year of our Lord (1920), we often hear in Christian Science circles the statement that “very fine people are now coming into Christian Science – persons of influence and education.” This is indeed a pleasurable knowledge to all who love Christian Science, but as a historian of past events in the Cause, and an analyst of conditions which not only surrounded it but were contained within it, the writer must not let such a statement cast any shadow over the work of those faithful students beloved by Mrs. Eddy for their patient and fruitful labors. Future generations will profit by the knowledge of their work, for it is only by their loyal efforts that others can reap a noble harvest. Whatever may be the social or intellectual makeup of those entering the Cause now or in the future, let us try to make it appear that our demonstrations are as spiritually worked out as were those of the early students in whom Mrs. Eddy put implicit trust.

These early students learned certain truths thoroughly, first by the instruction and healing received, second by their labors, and third by the success of their labors. As pioneers in a rough country and beset by opposition, with great patience, love of their work and the fruitage of it, though at first small, they learned thoroughly and in a spiritual way what was necessary for the advancement of their work. At that time psychology had not been taught to any large extent in colleges. It is probable that ninety-nine per cent of Mrs. Eddy’s students had not seen a textbook on this subject, but the hard lessons they learned as pioneers, aided by spiritual perception, gave to them a distinctive and effective psychology (if we have to use that term) of their own, which was of the greater value, because it was practically suited to the purposes for which they used it with faithfulness, and because it became a part of their demonstration. Further, this capacity was awakened within them through the teaching of Mrs. Eddy who was able to look deeply into the mental composition of those who came to her for help.

Her faithful students by their touch with surrounding conditions and by the results of their labor, learned invaluable lessons relative to teaching and practice, and these did not become mere mental formulas, for the things of the Spirit, upon which Mrs. Eddy laid such memorable stress, guided them and as they kept their thought open to her words and requirements, their psychology became at one with the spiritual intent of their work. To these students the preparation for the dedication of the Mother Church became a pæan of prayerful thanksgiving, for they knew that the seeming failure of the former attempts to create an adequate building fund and erect a church edifice had been but stepping stones to their final success. They could see from their knowledge of the conditions and events in the history of the Cause, and of the labors of Mrs. Eddy, how she had been guided by Principle, how she had signaled at just the right moment that the time had come for certain action to be taken, and had assumed large burdens and not failed in carrying them. They, therefore, considered the completion of the edifice her demonstration. Looking at this from another angle, the fact looms up that this attitude of her students helped to establish Mrs. Eddy as the appointed Teacher of the age, not only in their thought, but in the thought of their students and patients. It witnessed that Mrs. Eddy was not a dreamer of dreams but a Leader who by the demonstration of the truth of her own teachings had surmounted the most difficult undertakings.

It was with these thoughts in their hearts that those who had been closely connected with Mrs. Eddy went about their activities during the last week of the enterprise, not with exuberant feelings of preparation for the celebration of a victory which had been long deferred, but with a prayer of thankfulness for the good that had come to them. There was no sadness in their mien, as they went among the workmen, and there was no sense of boastfulness over the success which they knew was to crown their efforts. Their practice in Christian Science of guarding patients against relapse, against complications setting in when the patient was well on the road to recovery, was maintained during this last week. There was no letting down of their efforts, and for every step accomplished there was gratitude to God.

It was this acquired habit of working out each step, and never stopping, which brought to completion more than the foremen and artisans of each trade had thought could be accomplished.

At our home there were so many other important matters to be attended to, that even the vital question of having the pews in their places in the edifice for the first service did not trouble us. We had sat in the wooden chairs in Copley Hall, and if we had to do so for a time in the Church, it would not seem a great hardship. Mr. James A. Neal had been sent to the manufacturers in Michigan to hasten the shipping of the pews, but owing to the backward condition of the edifice in October, when the contract was made, the agent of the manufacturers had inserted a clause therein relative to delivery, which named the time December 25 as the date “or as soon as the church is ready,” and to a veteran builder the stage of progress reached when the contract was made in October would not have warranted an earlier date for the shipment of the pews which would be the last of the furnishing to come, since everything else must be finished and the rubbish cleared away before they could be put in place.

The efforts of Mr. Neal were successful, for on the 18th of December, just ten days before they were to be used, they arrived in Boston, and here came another difficulty which had to be surmounted; they could not be put in place, since the auditorium was full of scaffolding which was being used by the plasterers. There was no room in the vestry for storage, as the floor was filled with barrels of cement lime, the sliding doors for the class rooms and other materials. To unload the freight cars and put the pews with their carefully polished surfaces in freight houses where they were liable to damage from different sources, did not seem a wise course to take, and it was thought best to hire space at the large storage warehouse on Massachusetts Avenue, corner of Westland Avenue. This would, of course, require two handlings, but there would be surety against damage by weather, theft and fire. This problem simplified itself by the labor of the Directors in getting together the faithful students who were helping in the work about the interior of the edifice, and having them work mentally as well as physically in assisting the artisans to hasten their various labors so as to be able to clear the floors for the pews.

This movement was successful, for the foremen were kept in a happy mood, and inspired to complete the work sooner than the time expected by them, and this spirit entered into the efforts of the workmen and they vied with each other in finishing their tasks. They realized that many thousands were expecting unusual efforts from them, and although the length of the time of labor as counted by days would be shortened by haste, yet there was the promise of the profitable overtime pay they would receive. During that eventful day, Friday the 18th, the students by their energy, good humor and inspiring zeal had removed from the auditorium every piece of unnecessary timber, barrels, boxes, rubbish, etc., so that when the staging was ready to be taken down all that was unessential was out of the way. Every movement was carefully planned so that each new step should be taken with surety as well as rapidity. As many painters as could be used for the finishing of the ceiling were put on the work during this Friday, and they were kept at it all night. Extra arc lamps and bunch lights were hired, and by six in the morning the painting was finished.

My father had stayed at the building all night, so as to be on hand in case any questions arose as to funds necessary for payment of extra help or for overtime. At two o’clock in the morning, he made a couch of some gunny sacks and painters’ cloths, in an obscure corner of the vestry, where he snatched about two hours’ sleep, and he arrived home Saturday morning at about half-past seven, and told us the good news that the scaffolding would be taken down that day, the painting being all done, and that when the floor was cleared the pews would be put in place, so that if we took hold that day and helped clean up, everything would be ready for the setting of the pews on Monday. Saturday noon I went to the building and found the staging all down and an efficient band of students working in various groups piling up pieces of boards where they could be easily reached by the laborers and taken outdoors onto the opposite open lot. Some of these student-workers were wearing old clothes and some new, just as they had been drafted the minute they put their heads within the door. There were dignified teachers and practitioners working in shirt sleeves and aprons, and there was much dust and dirt everywhere. At about eight o’clock in the evening an extra number of brooms appeared and were put into effective use by enthusiastic workers, and behind them came men and women with buckets and mops, and as the dirt was washed up the mosaic flooring gleamed in its beauty under the brilliant glow of electric lights.

Perhaps no one was more surprised at the rapidity of preparation for the pews than the man who had been sent from the factory to take charge of putting them in place. Upon him much depended, and his arrival in the church on Friday was greeted with much good feeling; but, unfortunately, he assumed a dictatorial bearing which was not in keeping with his position and added yet another trial to the many in hand. On Monday, the 24th, he refused to work because conditions were not according to his liking, and toward the close of the day the Directors decided that something must be done to relieve the situation. They realized that there was nothing in the contract which could compel him to start in upon his work, because, since there were artisans still working in the auditorium, he could seek safety behind the clause which his Company had inserted relative to the finishing of their work on the pews by “December 25, or as soon as the church is ready.” Late Monday afternoon the Directors called him before them. They laid out the situation clearly, showed him that, although he might abide by the letter of the clause in the contract, the opinions of architects and builders they had consulted had been unanimous, that if he had the interest of his firm at heart and wanted to save them money, the conditions were of such excellent character in the auditorium that he should begin at once, otherwise it would be necessary for the Directors to make complaint to his Company and send them photographs of the space for the pews which showed everything cleared and prepared for the work of their representative. After some expostulation, he said he would also take up the matter with his firm, but the situation evidently showed him that he was treading on unsafe ground, and, although a dozen workmen were still busy upon different pieces of work in the auditorium, he began setting up the pews on Tuesday. This was Christmas and a holiday but the work continued.

It was thought that the placing of the pews would be a comparatively easy matter, because they had been built according to the plans in a blue print which showed the exact space allotted to each. The lengths and curves of the pews fitted their positions with surprising exactness, but what gave a considerable amount of trouble was the shaping of the bases to the slope grade of the slanting floor. This, too, had been marked upon the blue print, but, owing to the settling of materials and the contraction of the cement, it was found necessary to reshape a considerable number of the pews. Experienced men were immediately procured for this purpose, and the work was pushed along as rapidly as could be under the circumstances, but at times it looked like a forlorn hope when the first service was only three days distant.

Relative to the material for the pews, Mrs. Eddy and the Directors desired the appearance of the auditorium to be light and harmonious, and they therefore chose a wood light in color yet mellow, of close grain, yet with enough variety in its grain to give it life, and this was curly birch. Its color made a most complimentary background for the shade of old rose plush that had been chosen for the cushions.

As the pews went into place, those who were working in the auditorium could see the harmony of color that was becoming more apparent as the furnishing was being completed. By Saturday morning, December 29, victory over all the seeming adverse conditions was easily discernible, and the first service in the new edifice was assured. There were a few more pews to be placed and the building needed a thorough cleaning. Workmen still had much to do in finishing certain parts of the various jobs, which would take at least three weeks longer, but the auditorium was usable, and the first service could be held in it as requested by Mrs. Eddy. Late Saturday afternoon the last pew was in place, and the word was given to clean up and make ready for the Sunday service.

With the coming of Saturday many students had arrived in Boston from different parts of the country, and the corps of workers which had been doing splendid duty for two weeks, gave place to some of those who had come to attend the service, and who were willing and felt competent to do physical labor. At about seven o’clock brooms, dusters, buckets and mops were brought forth and there ensued such a loving, and joyous competition in work as has perhaps never been equaled. Intermingled with it was a holy happiness, a fresh urgence to preach the farreaching truth of this great teaching.

At about ten-thirty the First Members who had been in quarterly meeting and had acted upon the names of candidates for admission on the coming Sunday, swelled the number of students and workers in the auditorium and there ensued moments of deep feeling, for they now met classmates they had not seen for years. These First Members were anxious to take up broom and mop whenever the opportunity offered, and by eleven o’clock the cleaning, washing and dusting had been finished and the room was ready for its first epoch-making service. The Directors, who had been busy making plans for the morrow and for a week hence – the dedicatory service – came from their retreat and complimented all for their activities. They announced that in a short time all the lights would be turned on, and asked them to stay and see how everything looked. All evening the electricians had been wiring up the sunburst in the ceiling and were almost ready to turn on the current. Around the auditorium the many helpful workers gathered in groups, and when all was ready the one in charge of the wiring turned out all the lights and then began lighting them in sections, those around the wall first, then the sunburst, which shone out radiantly for a moment, and then there was a flash and it went out on account of a short circuit. My father, Mrs. Munroe and others, including myself, were sitting on the right hand side of the room about six rows back, and as the sunburst went out and left only the wall brackets lighted, our attention was called to the window at the right of the pulpit: “The Woman God Crowned.” The light was just right in it angle to strike the crown upon her head. The figure was clearly outlined by the leaded portions and seemed emerging from space, but the crown, with its setting of faceted glass, caught up the rays of light and sent them in all directions, not piercing shafts, but soft glancing rays with rainbow hues.

∗This effect cannot now be seen at any time because the space that was between the church wall and the adjoining house has been filled in by the walls of the Extension. This space was triangular, about five feet at its greatest depth. It was painted white on its three sides and acted as a light well. The conditions were the same on the other side of the pulpit behind the window, “Mary first at the tomb.” These two subjects were much beloved by Mrs. Eddy, and to show the windows to better advantage the Directors had placed behind them, in the wells, electric lights and reflectors, but owning to their nearness to the picture they were not successful as they made a spotty effect, some parts nearer the lights being over-illuminated. After trying in different ways to obtain a general illumination the effort was abandoned. The effect however was not as rich in suggestion of beauty as without lights behind them and only the wall brackets used. Especially was it so with the window in question, for enough lights went through the glass to strike upon the painted walls in the light shaft. This made the figure seemingly to stand out from the glass, and the crown of diamonds catching the direct rays and reflecting them by their facets, made an effect that was of great beauty. When opportunity came, which was usually at the close of a week-night service, I often had the pleasure of showing this effect to students who had come from a great distance for their first visit to the Mother Church and the results always gave them much pleasure.



MRS. MARY W. MUNROE, C.S.D.

One of the original twelve members



The attention of all in our group caught the beauty of the effect, and they called to others to come and see it. Soon the lights went out again and then came the steady illumination of the “sunburst,” the standards on the pulpit and on the corners of the choir rail.

This first illumination of the auditorium was of profound significance to the Scientists then present, and one thought surged through all, namely, the wish that Mrs. Eddy were there to rejoice in the completion of her long struggle. To those who had worked with her in Boston since 1882, and who knew the nature and severity of the battles that had been fought, this realization of their twelve years of constant effort brought tears to their eyes, not of regret for the seeming sterility of past years in the history, but of gladness. They knew that these had been the best years of their lives because they had made the best use of them. Happiness had come to them through their own healing and in helping others, and for all this they were indebted to their beloved Teacher.

There was only one thing lacking for the comfort of the congregation which was to meet on the morrow, namely, cushions for the pews. However, this was a minor consideration. The Directors had done their utmost to have the cushions finished in time, and there was satisfaction in the knowledge that they would be in place for the dedicatory service. The chimes in the tower were not ready for use, but would be before the end of a week. It was therefore with heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving that at midnight the Directors and students saw that the auditorium was all ready for the service only ten and one-half hours away, and the command to complete and to hold service on December 30 would be complied with. They all knew, further, that through the foresight and demonstration of Mrs. Eddy this result had been achieved. Outside the Directors and Judge Hanna, it is probable no one knew of the coming epoch making change in the order of service which was to be announced upon the morrow.

It was with happy hearts that the workers left the church shortly after midnight, and walked to a position opposite the bay of the tower, where they could see the only light now evident in the edifice, that in the Mother’s Room, which was to burn continually. This to them was a symbol of the great truth their Teacher had rediscovered. Its constant ray would fittingly represent the never dying faith in Christian Science and the ever illuminating power of this faith.

The morning of this first service dawned clear but not cold. As we ate breakfast at our home, not very much was said, because we were all so filled with thought for the coming service. After the weeks of unremitting toil, it was a great relief to arise in the morning and know that the strain was over, and that what our Teacher had commanded and prayed to have done had been accomplished. We had given much in both time and money to the building fund, and in order to do it had sacrificed many things we had desired and in some cases had absolutely needed, and the reaction which followed the realization that the strain was past left us in a peculiar condition. We could hardly believe that from this time on we could perhaps afford a few things which would make the daily round of work a little easier.

In the midst of this sense of release, the desire to reach the new edifice as soon as we could came upon us with thrilling urgence, and we made an early start. When we arrived at the edifice the doors were just being opened to about a hundred persons. Some of these had come from distant places during Saturday night, and others from outlying towns and cities.

As we walked through Norway Street, from Huntington Avenue, my father asked me to make notes of all important happenings (especially the attitude of those who attended the service) for use at some future time. Every attendant seemed happy; and as we took seats in the auditorium, and students and friends grouped themselves together, there was considerable conversation and all were interestedly noting the various things which attracted their attention. This was more particularly so among those who were not students of Mrs. Eddy, especially those who had come in through healing but had not taken up the work. These had not borne the brunt of the years of difficult warfare. They were happy over the victory of the present, which they knew had been hard fought, and were celebrating it by admiring its fruits.

The students who had been in the forefront, who had been closely in touch with Mrs. Eddy and had given largely, bore themselves differently, for they realized that, although the victory had been won, they must work from now on just as hard, to hold what they had gained and to go still farther into the enemy country of disease and sin. They knew from their experience with their Teacher that she expected them to continue their efforts and not rest on their arms because success had attended their labors. They came to the service as veterans of an army come, quietly, serenely, and with the poise of assurance. The years of upward struggle had given them the experience that there were to be no so-called heroes in the Christian Science army, and no hero worship; that they were all expected to take up any work they were called upon to do and be grateful that they had been given the opportunity. On that morning, watching carefully, one could but observe the sweet simplicity of some of these veteran workers who entered the edifice with a prayer of thanksgiving on their lips, and welcomed patients and students with a smile and an expression of the eyes that meant more than words.

The auditorium was bright with sunlight which flooded the windows on the Falmouth Street side of the church. The change from Copley Hall was very marked; for while that place was spacious in every way and there was plenty of daylight, it all came from overhead, while the high walls gave a sense of enclosure.

Here, however, the light came from all directions and there was no shut-in sense at all. When the services began there were about six hundred and fifty people in the auditorium.

In an article entitled “First Services in the New Church,” printed in the February Journal, it was said, “At these services the auditorium was filled to overflowing, many being obliged to stand in the doorways and vestibule.” This statement is rather misleading. The count which I made was seven hundred and ten. The average attendance in Copley Hall for the month previous to the opening service was about five hundred and fifty, and this new auditorium seated a few over nine hundred. It had been decided that the gallery should not be opened until all seats had been filled on the floor. While there were some persons who came into the service late and stood about the doors on the main floor, there was room for many in the gallery. An edifice that would seat nine hundred persons was looked upon as one which would be sufficient for many years. This thought was engendered by precedent, for every church building in the city had always been large enough for its congregations, and many of them too large. For a city-church body to increase to such an extent as to be obliged to hold duplicate services on Sunday was a new and distinct step in religious history. This is what actually took place, but it was not thought of at that first service because the size of the auditorium seemed sufficient for years to come.

This first service was very simple. It was “Communion Sunday,” and the opening hymn was No. 178, written by Mrs. Eddy. As the Scripture lesson, Judge Hanna read from Mark xiv. 12-26, and paragraphs two and three of page 340 and two and three from page 348 of Science and Health. The different revisions of Science and Health have brought a change in the placement of chapters, and these passages not having been printed before in any account of this first service, it may be well to quote them at this point as they appeared in the edition then in use, that of the copyright of 1894. There are some differences also in wording and capitalization when compared with our present edition as revised by Mrs. Eddy. The following are the paragraphs:

“What a contrast between our Lord’s Last Supper and his last spiritual breakfast with his disciples, in the bright morning hours, at the joyful meeting on the shore of the Galilean Sea! His gloom had passed into glory, and his disciples’ grief into repentance, hearts chastened and pride rebuked. Convinced of the fruitlessness of their toil in the dark, and wakened by their Master’s voice, they changed their methods, turned away from material things, and cast their net on the right side. Discerning Christ, Truth, anew on the shore of time, they were enabled to rise somewhat from mortal sensuousness, or the burial of mind in matter, to newness of Life in Christ.

“This spiritual meeting with our Lord, in the dawn of a new light, is the morning meal which Christian Scientists commemorate. They bow before Christ, Truth, to receive more of his reappearing, and silently commune with the divine Principle thereof. They celebrate their Lord’s victory over death, his probation in the flesh after death, its exemplification of human probation, and his spiritual and final ascension above matter, or the flesh, when he rose out of material sight.

“Our baptism is a purification from all error. Our church is built on the divine Principle of Christian Science. We can unite with this church only as we are newborn of Spirit, as we reach the Life which is Truth and the Truth which is Life, by bringing forth the fruits of Love, – casting out error and healing the sick. Our eucharist is spiritual communion with the one God. Our bread, ‘which cometh down from Heaven,’ is Truth. Our cup is the cross, our wine the inspiration of Love, – the draught our Master drank, and commended to his followers.” (p.340.)

“The magnitude of Jesus’ work, his material disappearance before their eyes, his reappearance in idea, all enabled the disciples to understand what Jesus had said. Heretofore they had only believed; now they understood. This understanding is what is meant by the Descent of the Holy Ghost, – that influx of Divine Science which so illuminated the Pentecostal Day, and is now repeating its ancient history.

“His last proof was the highest, the most convincing, the most profitable to his students. The malignity of brutal persecutors, the treason and suicide of his betrayer, were overruled by divine Love, to the glorification of the true idea of God, which they had mocked and tried to slay. The final demonstration of the Truth Jesus taught, and for which he was crucified, opened a new era for the world. They who slew him, wishing to stay his influence, only perpetuated and extended it thereby.” (p. 348.)

These splendid passages, so wonderful in their interpretation of the “Last Breakfast” and the “Pentecostal Day,” were uplifting in their inspirational appeal. This day with the sunlight streaming into the clean, sweet auditorium, seemed to veteran workers like a resurrection morning. The renewal of faith in the teachings of Jesus and the gratitude that welled up in all our hearts to Mrs. Eddy, are beyond the scope of words to tell. In other churches the audible words of thanks and “amen” coming from those deeply touched, are signs of exaltation of feeling, but here the recognition of indebtedness to God, though equally great, was unspoken, because conscious healing and regeneration had come through the understanding of Mrs. Eddy’s interpretation of the Master’s teaching. To Christian Scientists, awakenings of spiritual inspiration bring the desire to help and heal, expressed in action, and to them such action meant immediate demonstration of some good. To those who had labored side by side with Mrs. Eddy during the long and hard struggle, the first paragraph of page 340, which Judge Hanna read with an elevation of spiritual fervency which everybody felt, seemed a part of the history of their labors with her. Had she not been reborn? Had she not rebuked and chastened pride? Had she not awakened them when they slept and were discouraged, and changed their methods by exhorting them to “cast their nets on the right side”? and through the burial of their sense of Mind in matter, had they not come into “newness of life in Spirit”?

It seems to me now as it did then that these passages from Science and Health form a most beautiful introduction to the “silent prayer” which followed. Every minute of this morning service “seemed big with blessings” for those who had been in the hard struggle so many years and had sacrificed so much were “leaning on the sustaining Infinite.” No congregation could have placed themselves in the mental attitude of prayer with more love for their fellowmen, more desire to help, to sacrifice, and to walk in the footsteps of the Master, than those sincere followers who quietly demonstrated within themselves a dwelling place for divine Principle. The time given to prayer was longer than at present, not because of any church rule, but for the reason that Judge Hanna must have realized the height and depth of the gratitude to God which all felt. The audible repetition of the Lord’s Prayer with the spiritual interpretation was not of large volume, but it was full of feeling and surcharged with understanding. Strangers who were present spoke of the remarkable effect produced upon them. The atmosphere which seemed new to them was that of earnestness, the love of, and belief in prayer. The faithful were giving heartfelt thanks for the accomplishment of a great undertaking, and were demonstrating the working out of their own salvation and helping in that of others. In the churches from which strangers came, they had not expected that anything which was said in the sermon or any interpretation of the Bible would heal a sufferer then and there; but these Christian believers, kneeling before God, knew this, and further, they rejoiced and were glad that this glorious morning marked a wider opening of the door for the coming of the Christ to all those who had sinned and suffered. It was an atmosphere of inward and outward reverence, the sacredness, earnestness and tenderness of which they felt, though they perchance could not analyze it.

As I thought then, and as I realize now, how much better it would have been if music had not come directly after this and broken the depth of feeling which everybody experienced, and this not because of any lack of merit, for the number was the trio for women’s voices, from Mendelssohn’s “Elijah,” the words being taken from the 121st Psalm. The singers were Miss Elsie Lincoln, Miss Mary Metcalf and Miss S. Louisa Simonds.

It is interesting to note here that a few years later, Mrs. Eddy changed the form of the Communion service so that the solo or musical part of the order came at a considerable length of time after the prayer, placing the conclusion of the prayer a hymn to be sung by the congregation. This was a distinct improvement, as it ∗(S. & H., p.vii.)

brought unity, and warded off the temptation to think upon the personality and art of a singer, or to have the expectancy of what was to come, enter during the moment of prayer.

Succeeding the rendition of the trio, there came the reading of the names of those admitted to membership, the total number of which was five hundred and seventy-two. Miss Lincoln then sang “Holy Night”; and at the conclusion of the solo, Judge Hanna stepped forward, and with tender yet forceful words gave loving greeting to those who had come into membership with the Mother Church at this Communion. After a pause that marked distinctly the ending of his address to the communicants, which seemed charged with the importance of something to come, he announced that from this Sunday there would be a change in the order of exercises in the Mother Church services; that Mrs. Eddy had ordained as Pastor of her Church the Bible and Science and Health, and that with this service he ended his pastorate. The new Church Rule which provided for the new order of service in the Mother Church was then read by the Clerk, Wm. B. Johnson. After this reading the congregation knelt in silent communion. The closing Hymn was No. 111, “From the table now retiring,” and the benediction closed the service. The remarkable words of the Communion Hymn filled to completeness the meaning of this day, – Communion Sunday, and the first service in the new edifice.

If the reader will live this time as we lived it, he will realize the overwhelming surge of feeling that rose when Judge Hanna read the appealingly questioning words of the hymn –

“Saw ye my Saviour? Heard ye the glad sound?
Felt ye the power of the Word? ’Twas the Truth that made us free, And was found by you and me
In the life and the love of our Lord.”
He will understand the tense feeling of the moment.

Never did the Judge seem more inspired than when he gave his loving welcome to those who were admitted to membership; and when he spoke of the change that was to take place in the pastorate of the Church, tears were in many eyes. He was not the type of man and Scientist, however, to allow his feelings to hold sway, and realizing it should go no further, he rose to his full stature and in a tone both strong and tender rebuked it; and with thrilling quality in his voice and manner, gave them the treatment they needed in the words, – “I gladly lay down my charge at the foot of the higher and better ministry, – the unadulterated Word of God.” Those present who were awake to the signs of the times, could but have felt thrilled by the way in which he uttered these words. With a great upward leap which, if it had not taken place in a religious service would have begotten a vocal outburst of thankfulness, the thoughts of the hearers rose to meet and welcome the new advance their Leader desired them to take, and they accepted the Judge as the herald who came to give them the great message that now was the accepted time; that while one victory had been won, another advance must be taken for the salvation of many peoples bound down by oppression and sorrow. With loftiness of aspiration, with love for all men, with a freshly anointed faith and holy and tempered zeal, these earnest Scientists had gone to their knees in silent communion, and they had gained a clearness of vision never before attained.

Most of the congregation, as they had come early, had been seated long enough for the newness of the surroundings to have worn off, and familiarity with the details of the interior had succeeded wonderment, so that their admiration for the beauty of the material setting had given place to their longing for the spiritual “grace” which they knew would from now on be the meat and drink of all true followers who entered the portals of the Mother Church.




Chapter LI

The Dedication of the Mother Church

THE January Journal of 1895 contained a simple notice from the Directors that the dedication services of the Mother Church edifice would be held January 6. To the waiting Scientists the following was of large import: “An Address from our former Pastor, the Reverend Mary Baker Eddy, will be read, but she will not be present at these services.”

Another notice of interest and perhaps surprise was that from Mr. Chase which stated: “There are ample funds now in my hands to meet all obligations, and all contributions should cease after January 6, 1895, as none can be received which were not subscribed prior to that date.”

On page 440 of the same issue of the Journal, there appeared quotations from the Old and New Testaments which were chosen as applicable to the dedication of the edifice; they were: Zech. 8: 9-11; Malachi 3: 1-5; I Kings 8:12, 13; Micah 4: 1; Rev. 20: 3, 4.

Some paragraphs from an editorial in the Journal of the month (January) belong in this place, because they give explanation to the world of the reason why thousands gladly worked for and contributed for the building of the church:

“Shortly after the issuance of this number of the Journal another calendar year will have drawn to its close. The year of our Lord, 1894, will have passed into human history as a part of what men call time. In reality this year, like all other years, belongs not on the side of time, but of eternity. It has been a year of growth and great achievement in Christian Science. The more than a quarter of a century of plowing and planting has brought forth an abundant harvest whose golden grain is waving in the sight of the believer and unbeliever alike. The sickle is being thrust in and the pregnant sheaves gathered and garnered by the faithful husbandmen. God has manifested His glory in rich measure to the faithful, toiling ones, and they may well lift up their hearts in thankfulness for His abundant blessings….

“Think back over the past and recall what God has done through Mrs. Eddy whom He selected to do His great work in this our era. Through buffetings and contumely, through persecution and ridicule, through denunciation bitter and hatred most intense,…at times deserted by those most trusted, betrayed by those most loved, she has moved undismayedly, unflinchingly on, a very lion-heart of courage, a very Samson of spiritual strength. Hopefully, trustingly, fearlessly she strove and wrought, knowing that through all God was working with her, declaring no doubt, each moment, with the Psalmist: ‘My soul wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge is in God.’

“Did she toil, trust, hope, watch and pray in vain? Witness the, even now, stupendous results! Think of the unfolding future!...

“Testimonials of their glorious experiences come pouring into the Journal office from hearts upraised and filled with thankfulness to God because he has at last revealed himself to them. And thus the mighty work, so humbly and so obscurely begun by our brave Leader nearly thirty years ago, goes grandly on. Who can stay it? who can turn the appointed one from her mission? who can turn away from God those to whom He has thus revealed Himself? Who can thwart His eternal purpose, or stem the onrushing tide of the river of Truth?...The world is at last beginning to understand somewhat of the depth and breadth and length and height of the meaning involved in those oft-repeated words, – omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience. To many they are no longer meaningless words, suggesting only in vague, dim conception a theoretical God, but bringing into their deepest consciousness His helpful, healing presence.

“Then, too, think of the year’s achievement in the erection of the Mother Church, – The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, – the Mother Vine, whose outspreading branches cover the true disciples everywhere! Read in its granite and marble and iron, the story of triumph and victory! See in its solid walls the emblem of the unchanging Truth it typifies! And know that it stands for the second coming of Christ, whose mission now, as of old, is to ‘Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons,’ and redeem the world.”

To a very large percentage of the subscribers of the Journal these articles and notices brought surprise and joy. Those who went about their work giving to it all their attention, and knowing that when the edifice was finished and ready for dedication they would be notified, – all these accepted the news with earnest and loving quietness born of the faith they had in the ultimate achievement, and their thoughts relative to it which had always rested in peace, remained calm and thankful in the hour of victory.

To others it came as a great relief, for they had heard of the efforts which unfaithful students had been making to circulate reports injurious to the Cause. They heard of what Mrs. Woodbury was teaching the large body of students who still held to her, namely, that the edifice “should never be completed unless she were given membership and reinstated as a teacher in good standing.” This thought had wide circulation through the many avenues she controlled, and was taken up as a “slogan” by other disloyal students who saw in the completion of the edifice a menace to plans and endeavors they were making. Mrs. Eddy’s success meant their defeat. They already saw that the invitation Mrs. Eddy had given in the Journal of December, 1894, in her article “Overflowing Thoughts,” and the work the Scientists in accordance with her suggestions were doing to reclaim some who had left Mrs. Eddy to seek an easier method, was working its leaven, and they struggled the harder to overcome it. In the mental field, the one who felt that the completion of the church would prove disastrous to his dreams of being the leader of a great host of workers, was Julius Dresser, and his efforts to create false impressions in the public mind, relative to Mrs. Eddy’s discovery and teaching, were more injurious than those of Mrs. Woodbury, because his books were in demand, and he had become widely known in his commendation of the system of Phineas Quimby.

With the coming of Monday morning, December 31, workmen were again busy inside and on the exterior of the building. There was considerable painting to be done on the outside. Inside much of the finishing was incomplete, enough to keep a core of workmen busy for a week or more. All was to be completed, if possible, before the coming Sunday, and there certainly was no relaxing in the efforts of the Directors and their helpers. The Methuen Bell Company, the makers of the chimes, wanted to rig up a derrick from the tower with which to hoist the tubular Chimes, but the Directors demurred because they wanted the building to be free from staging, since they knew that the newspapers would be taking photographs of it during the week. Further, many Scientists would arrive during the week, and they wanted the edifice to look complete and unmarred. When a hoisting apparatus was not allowed outside the tower and the foreman for the bell Company complained, he was shown how the tubes could be hoisted through the stairway without difficulty. The largest tube could be easily carried by two men, and with the completion of the circular iron stairway which allowed a space in the center for the handling of the tubes, the matter was somewhat simplified, and the work went on rapidly. It was not possible to have the pipe organ for the day of dedication since the parts had not all arrived, and the plaster was still too damp for the placement of wind-chests and other woodwork which it was necessary to keep dry.

One of the greatest difficulties for the Directors was the obtaining of a reader for Mrs. Eddy’s address. She desired one who had been trained to read before audiences. While she had at hand several who had been ministers, she had the feeling that her message was of a character which called for a variety of expressions of voice and rhythm. She did not want a reader who wore a solemn expression. Her message was one that not only brought out facts relative to the teachings of Jesus, but touched lightly with good cheer and fellowship upon the labor of the workers. It was not a sermon in the old sense, but an address that had in it moments of great inspiration. She had carefully gaged the composition of her audience, and the children, whom she dearly loved for their efforts, must be thought of and appealed to in the address. A reader who should do justice to her address must be both clear in discernment and forceful and pleasing in delivery, and every effort was made, at Mrs. Eddy’s request, to get the best one for this purpose. Some names of public readers had been given to Mrs. Eddy with detail as to their qualifications, but up to about January 2, the question had not been decided. This was the situation on January 1, when Mrs. Eddy wrote the following note to William B. Johnson:

“Dear Student,

I forgot to say I shall be able to inform you tomorrow who will read my Sermon on dedication day. Don’t delay circulars. Print, Sermon by etc – will be read. Also have children ‘Busy Bees’ seated in the front pews. They will wear badges simply ‘Mother’s Room.’ I have named them in my Sermon.

Do not let the constant dropping change your true sense of ‘Mother.’

N.B. To arrange rightly and get the best reader is difficult, so it is best no to name who shall read on Sunday the Scriptures or S. & H.

M. B. E.”

With this matter taken care of, the making up of the Order of Service was turned over to some one whose management proved decidedly unfortunate. At this time Mrs. Stetson had a large number of followers among the resident members of the Mother Church, and through them wielded a marked influence over the determination of affairs. Of course all acknowledged allegiance first to Mrs. Eddy, but a large number evidently believed Mrs. Stetson to be next to her in spiritual and mental attainments.

It will be remembered that regarding the music for the dedicatory service Mrs. Eddy wrote December 10, “I would take Mrs. Stetson’s singers for she has done well for the Church fund,” etc. In keeping with this suggestion, an invitation had been sent to Mrs. Stetson, and she acquiesced on behalf of the First Church, New York, and the Order of Service was made up and sent to the printer without having been shown to Mrs. Eddy or the Directors. On Saturday morning the printed programs were brought to the church, and when the Directors looked them over they found that another number had been added without consultation with either Mrs. Eddy or themselves.

The original order of service was as follows:

  1. Organ voluntary.
  2. “Laus Deo.” Words by Mrs. Eddy. Music by Sydney Percival.
  3. Selections from the Bible and Science and Health.
  4. Silent Prayer and audible repetition of Lord’s Prayer with its spiritual interpretation.
  5. “Feed my Sheep.” Solo. Words by Mrs. Eddy. Music by Lyman Brackett.
  6. Reading of letter to Mrs. Eddy by Rev. Lanson P. Norcross.
  7. Reading of the Sermon written by Mrs. Eddy.
  8. Hymn by congregation, “Christ My Refuge.”
  9. Benediction.

In order that the reader may fully understand the reason for the order of the service, especially the placement of 5, 6, 7, it will be best to quote Mr. Norcross’ letter which was dated Denver, Col., December 22, in which place he was then preaching for the Christian Science Church of that city.

“TO THE REVEREND MARY BAKER EDDY,

Dear Teacher, Leader, Guide!

Laus Deo! It is done! At last you begin to see the fruition of that you have worked, toiled, prayed for. The ‘Prayer in Stone’ is accomplished.

Across two thousand miles of space, as mortal sense puts it, I send my hearty congratulations. You are fully occupied, but I thought you would willingly pause for an instant to receive this brief message of congratulation. Surely it marks an era in the blessed onward work of Christian Science. It is a most auspicious hour in your eventful career. While we all rejoice, yet the Mother in Israel alone of us all, comprehends its full significance. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Preface p. vii. 8.

Yours lovingly,

LANSON P. NORCROSS”

The entire program up to No. 7 – the Sermon – was a gradual leading up to this most important event, and nothing then at hand could have been finer to precede it that the solo, “Feed My Sheep,” as these words are a prayer and full of spiritual inspiration when rendered from that point of view, thus leading to the thought of the letter from Mr. Norcross. Having this communication read at this time was eminently fitting since it showed the love of the former pastor of the Church toward Mrs. Eddy, although he had resigned his position enwrapped in a haze of speculation as to the reasons for it. He left behind him many friends who knew that sometime he would prove himself to be a preacher and teacher of the highest order, and this letter brought about a happy reunion of thought, and at the same time shut off any comment by disloyal adherents which might otherwise appear in the newspapers.

When the printed programs were handed to the Directors, which was on Saturday morning, twenty-four hours before the dedicatory service, they found to their astonishment, that an anthem, with a solo written by Henry Lincoln Case, which he had dedicated to Mrs. Eddy had been placed after No. 5. The words of the anthem were from Psalm 48, Verses 14, 17, 21-24, 28, 29. The Directors realized that this would break up the continuity of the thought Mrs. Eddy had carefully arranged, and immediately made inquiry as to why this change had been made, – why they had not been informed, and also asked if Mrs. Eddy had given her permission. In answer something was said relative to the fact that Mrs. Eddy had signified her intention to have this composition sung at the dedication, but before consenting to this they thought it wise to take up the matter directly with Mrs. Eddy, and my father therefore went to Concord to see her. The result of the interview was that the anthem was omitted and the order which Mrs. Eddy desired was restored. Late in the afternoon my father returned from Concord, saw the Directors, and then went to help the workers who were preparing the building for the morrow. Relative to the elimination of this anthem by Mr. Case, Mrs. Stetson has written of this unfortunate incident on page 27 of her book Reminiscences, Sermons and Correspondence, 1884-1913, published by G. R. Putnam & Sons, as follows:

∗Original copy in MSS., in collection of Mrs. Longyear, also copy of original printed Order of Service.

“In December, 1894, a month before the Mother Church was dedicated, Mrs. Eddy wrote to me in regard to an anthem which the musical director of our church had composed and sent to her, offering it as a dedicatory anthem for her church. The title…was ‘The Lord Is My Strength and Song.’ In Mrs. Eddy’s letter to me she requested that I thank the composer of the music, saying she was very much pleased with it, and that she desired me to see that the choir rehearse it thoroughly and sing it at the dedicatory service of her Church. She said she would tell Dr. Foster-Eddy and Wm. B. Johnson that this was to be done, and charge them not to let animal magnetism prevent the New York church from presenting it. She also directed me to take it up and handle the effort that malicious animal magnetism would make to prevent the anthem from being rendered. I have Mrs. Eddy’s letter to this effect. We complied with her request. The anthem was practiced for eight weeks and on the Saturday before the dedication, we presented ourselves at the Mother Church, where we found the Directors and others clearing away rubbish and getting ready for the Dedicatory Service. I went to Mr. Johnson and told him that we had come at Mrs. Eddy’s request to rehearse for the service. He hesitated, seemed embarrassed and said, ‘Well, the program is long now and we do not think you will be needed.’ I replied: ‘But we must sing because our Leader sent for us. We have made all preparations, and she told me that we must let nothing prevent us from singing this anthem.’ Mr. Johnson then replied, ‘Well, you cannot rehearse to-night; there is too much confusion.’ Mr. E. P. Bates came up at that moment and I repeated to him what I had said to Mr. Johnson. He said, ‘Well, if you want to rehearse, you will have to come in the morning.’ ‘I do not understand this.’ I exclaimed. ‘I have come at Mrs. Eddy’s request.’…Mr. Bates, Mr. Knapp and Mr. Johnson then agreed that the best thing to do was for the choir to sing a hymn on Sunday instead of the dedicatory anthem. We were forced to accede to this.

“When I noticed that our singing was being opposed, I went back to the choir, which was waiting in a corner of the church, and told the members….I asked them to promise me that no matter what indignities might be offered them, they would take no offence. Every member of the choir submitted without a murmur to the change in the program. They came Sunday morning, took their seats in the choir gallery, and when the time arrived they arose and sang a hymn (Christian Science Hymnal 121)….

“About a week later I received a letter from Mrs. Eddy, saying that she had supposed we had sung the anthem as she had directed, and had learned through Dr. Foster-Eddy three days after that we had not done so. She was greatly disturbed and again said that she had charged the Directors to let nothing interfere with the singing of that anthem. I told her that we had done all we could, and it seemed better to submit than to make any trouble. I have Mrs. Eddy’s letter in confirmation of this.

“On Saturday before Easter, of the following year I received a special letter from Mrs. Eddy, asking me to get the choir together to sing that anthem the next day in The Mother Church.”

In view of the foregoing statement made by Mrs. Stetson and in absence of knowledge of the contents of letters from Mrs. Eddy, which she states she received, very little more can be said of this incident by way of explanation, but the fact remains that the Order of Exercises was changed and the anthem omitted. Just what Mrs. Eddy said to my father when he paid his hurried visit to Concord on Saturday I do not know, but he told me when he saw me at the church that there would be a change in the program, and gave me a copy from which I made others for the use of the Directors and Judge Hanna. I know that to Mrs. Stetson and to several others who were in close touch with her, he was very noncommittal and did not suggest in any way that Mrs. Eddy had approved the change; he gave the reason that on account of the number of services to be held the program was too long with the anthem, and as this had been inserted after the order had been made up it was the one that would necessarily have to be eliminated.

If the readers of Mrs. Stetson’s book feel that the reply of Mr. Bates to her was somewhat out of joint with the time and place, they should be broad in judgment for the conditions of those last few hours were very trying, especially to those who were laboring in important positions and bearing the brunt of the battle.

There is no doubt that the elimination of the anthem was felt by Mrs. Stetson and Mr. Case more than by the other members of the First Church choir. To her Mr. Case was the only person then in Christian Science who was capable of writing music to words which were spiritualized through an apprehension of Christian Science. He had been connected with one of the large and influential churches in New York City in a musical capacity, and had left it to become a member of First Church, and this was looked upon as of large benefit to it. But behind Mrs. Stetson’s chagrin there was deep disappointment, for it meant a temporary, if not a permanent blow, to some of her hopes and ambitions.

∗Mrs. Stetson is wrong in this statement relative to the following year which would make it Easter Sunday of 1896. It was at the “Children’s Service” held at request of Mrs. Eddy on April 14, 1895, that the choir from First Church, New York City, furnished the music, and the anthem by Mr. Case was given on that occasion.

This Saturday afternoon found the edifice in a condition of considerable confusion, even more so than on the Saturday a week before, for the preparations were on a broader scale. Efficient plans were necessary for the handling of large numbers of people and for taking care of the children when they appeared at one of the services. With Mrs. Bemis, the reader of the Sermon, it was necessary for one of the Directors to keep in touch. She was not a Christian Scientist and it was felt best that she should know something of Mrs. Eddy’s labors and works in order to read the words that she had written understandingly. The preparations of the week previous had been made for but seven hundred people, but these were to be for three or four thousand, and Mrs. Eddy expected that there would be no slip of any kind.

This Saturday evening at the edifice was one of intensive labor for all who were assisting in getting ready for the next day. Unlike the preparations for the first Sunday service in the church, the vestry had to be cleared of everything movable because the plans had been made that those who should be waiting to attend a service should do so in the vestry. At the end of the service the congregation were to retire through the side exits on Norway and Falmouth Streets, and those who were in the vestry should go into the auditorium by the front stairways. At about halfpast eleven in the evening it seemed as though everything was done that was necessary, and, as we started home, a group of us stopped on Norway Street, just as we did a week before, saw the lights go out, all but the one in the “Mother’s Room,” and rejoiced that our work was successfully completed.

The night was not fair and the weather conditions did not seem to promise sunshine for the morrow. We who had labored for both Sundays hoped that a bright January day would give the effect that we had on the opening Sunday of the edifice, when every corner was flooded with sunshine. We wanted all visitors to see it as we had enjoyed it then.

The closing days of the week had been busy at our home. The inflow of Scientists into the city had brought many to see my father relative to various matters. These inquirers, so earnest in their appeal, gave us much extra labor and trouble, but we knew that those who had come from a distance were not cognizant of the unremitting toil we had gone through during the last three weeks. Their first notification of the date of the dedication had come to them through the January Journal.

Although we did not retire until about one o’clock Sunday morning, we were up at five. The first service was to be at nine o’clock, and we anxiously looked out of the windows to see what kind of weather was promised. The sky was clouded, and the feeling of the air was that there would either be a fall of snow or rain, and at the time for the opening service a wet snow was falling, though not heavily.

A picture of the church and its surrounding as it looked that morning may be of interest. The morning was dull, the atmosphere heavy, and there was no promise of clearing. Underfoot the streets were muddy, and about the church, where there had been heavy carting, the macadam was cut deep. As one approached the edifice from Huntington Avenue through Norway Street, he saw the solid granite tower looming against the dull grey clouds and assuming a dark slate color on account of the dampness. To the right on Norway Street, there was one long stretch of open lot which reached to Massachusetts Avenue, and was partly filled with water. Where the beautiful park now is, was undeveloped land which reached beyond Symphony Hall. The only building then on Huntington Avenue was the brick block on the corner of Norway Street. This open front plot was as dismal in appearance as the one that stretched up Norway Street. It, too, was inundated, as its surface was about eight feet below the level of the street. Along its border ran a wooden fence, and an apology for a sidewalk made of ashes and gravel. The flat-iron shaped mass of single houses bounded by Falmouth, St. Paul and Norway Streets, of which the church was the apex, looked cold and forbidding, especially those on Norway Street, which were of cheap construction and four stories high. There were no stores on Huntington Avenue, as there are now, this being a high-rental residential district at that time.

A gloomier or more forbidding morning could scarcely have been conjectured. There was no wind, but just a perpendicular and sluggish fall of wet snow which soon melted. There was no life in the air and it made everything cold and damp. But this atmospheric condition had very little effect upon those who came to the dedication. About the edifice there were hundreds of people, most of them adherents of the Cause, but some from the neighborhood who were curious to see what was going on. Through the thin veil of snow the lighted windows of the church gleamed a welcome, and the moment one reached the vicinity of the edifice all thought of the cold and wet vanished, and gladness took its place.

Fifteen minutes before the service began the chime of bells was heard. To most they sounded strange, because the ringer was pealing some of the “grandsire changes” instead of playing a tune. At a distance far enough away so that the hangover of the bells was damped and no blur perceptible, this rush of notes in rapid succession was pleasing to the ear, but not so near to, for the tower was not of sufficient height to give the best effect to these “changes.” Aside from this pealing the Directors had selected the program for the bells, and there followed “Shepherd, show me how to go,” “The morning Light is breaking,” “Joy to the world the Lord is come,” “O’er waiting harpstrings of the mind,” “All hail the power of Jesus’ name,” and “Saw ye my Saviour?” The playing of these tunes was pleasing to those who were listening, but the bells were sadly out of tune.

The writer attended the second service at 10:30 A.M.; when he arrived at the edifice, about twenty minutes ahead of time, he found the vestry filled with people. Everybody was cheerful and expectant. Just before the singing of the final hymn by the congregation, the ushers asked that lines be formed so that the ascent of the stairways from the vestry to the street floor could be made easily and rapidly. This done, there was a wait until the time when the auditorium above should be emptied, and the ushers give the word for the people in the vestry to move upward. Everybody, of course, wanted to obtain a seat, but there was no pushing and no irritation shown, although some had waited for the opening service only to find no place to stand nor sit and had patiently waited for the next service. As the children were to have the place of honor at this service, those in the vestry had to wait longer than would otherwise have been necessary, as the little ones were to be seated first. When the word was given by the ushers, there was a well-ordered advance into the auditorium. As I was unable to obtain a seat, I stood on the right hand side of the balcony during the service. Owing to the heavily clouded sky, all the lights were turned on so that, in contrast with the gloomy inclement weather outside, the auditorium was splendidly bright. The view from the gallery of the pulpit and choir gallery was very beautiful, for the florist had been given carte blanche. Part of this floral decoration had been placed on Saturday evening and filled the steps leading to the pulpit. Large palms were also on the choir railing. Easter lilies were grouped together in masses and attached to the platform lamps, and their green, white and gold made a very beautiful effect against the silver of the standards. The desk was wreathed with white roses fastened with broad white ribbons and touched out with asparagus vine. At the right of the desk there had been placed a large basket of white carnations, and on the left a glass vase of pink roses. As neither the pipes nor the organ case had been erected, the expanse of painted wall was relieved by a great seven-pointed star of lilies which rested on palms. This star had a center of white immortelles, and across this in pink letters were the words, – “LOVE – CHILDREN’S OFFERING.”

While the first number on the program was named an organ voluntary, it had to be played on a large reed organ. Near the end of this opening number, the four Directors took seats upon the platform and the eventful service began. The home choir sang the hymn “Laus Deo,” written by Mrs. Eddy, and set to music by Sydney Percival, who was a student of Miss Clara M. S. Shannon, C.S.D. The Scripture Lesson was from Revelation 12:10-12, 12:13, and 12:15, 16. From Science and Health there were read paragraph 3rd, page 560; 1st, 2nd and last, page 561; 1st, 2nd and 3rd page 562; and, the first two of page 563.

The arrangement of the passages from the Bible and Science and Health are set forth as they were read, on page 12 of Pulpit and Press, so that they need not be inserted here. These selections were a key-note to the whole service and touched with a spiritual light the efforts, sacrifices and final accomplishment of the building of the edifice.

The attitude of the children, the little “Busy Bees,” who numbered two hundred and twenty, was of great interest at this service. Each wore a badge of white ribbon, which bore in gilt a bee-hive and the words, “Mother’s Room.” To them the scene was new and inspiring and after many wonderings and saving of pennies for a purpose they knew they should sometime fully realize, they saw now the fulfilment of what had been promised. Their Sunday experiences had been in the sessions of the Sabbath School, and with what was passing before them today, something new, wonderful and beautiful, they were all intent to catch its meaning. They may not have fully comprehended the great import of the event and hour, but who knows the depth and sureness of the thought of a child born and reared in the teaching of Christian Science? A considerable number had seen Mrs. Eddy and heard her preach in Chickering Hall, and some of them had been christened by her at the service of February 26, 1888, when “the little ones were gathered about her on the platform in sweet silence, as she named for each one the fruitage of ‘Christ’s baptism of the Holy Spirit,’ exemption from sin, sickness and death. Even the very small children understood her through her explanation of baptism by water and by fire and the Holy Ghost, realizing, probably, as little children never did before, more of the truth of Being, and what it requires of us.”

Thus had Mrs. Crosse written in the Journal of March, 1888. Many of these children at the dedication had recovered from their hurts, grievances and ills through this teaching, and those who were children of practitioners, had witnessed the help given to father’s or mother’s patients, and had heard the gratitude expressed for Mrs. Eddy’s teachings. With faithful hearts they, too, had labored in many ways for the pennies they gave and this was their hour, and their earnest deeds were to be recorded not only in Mrs. Eddy’s Sermon, but in the enduring materials which had gone into the building of the “Mother’s Room.”

The hymn which the Directors had requested the New York choir to sing, “Now sweeping down the years untold,” words by Laura C. Nourse, C.S.B., was effectively rendered, and the tone quality and volume showed excellent training.

Relative to the one who was to read Mrs. Eddy’s Sermon there was intense interest as she arose to read the communication from Mr. Norcross, and still more as she paused for perfect attention before she should speak the first word of the Sermon. There was hardly need of this for there was a breathless hush pervading the whole auditorium. To many, especially those who had come from large cities and were acquainted with the efforts of fine orators, the rendition of great pieces of literature by actors and readers, the reading of the first paragraph was distinctly disappointing, for it was evident that Mrs. Bemis represented a type of elocutionists who have been superseded by those who believe in greater simplicity of effort, a deeper sincerity in intensity when climaxes are reached – the whole to be more as though inspired by the moment, rather than studied and professional in effect. If disappointment was felt it was but for a moment, however, because the earnest Scientists present knew without having to adjust themselves that what they were to hear was of paramount importance. So long as they could hear what Mrs. Eddy had written, neither the personality, voice nor style of the reader dampened interest or ardor. The Sermon with its variety of color, its lightness and grace of touch upon events connected with the erection of the edifice, its loving tribute to certain workers, its simplicity and tenderness when speaking of the labors of the children, and its splendid depth of metaphysical utterance and teaching, made a profound impression upon all.

∗Judge Hanna read from the Bible and Dr. Foster-Eddy from Science and Health.

To the children who occupied the front seats in the middle of the auditorium, the event of interest was the taking of their photographs in a group by flashlight.

Four services had been planned for the day, but as there was a general feeling that one more should be held for the benefit of those who had arrived late from long distances, arrangements were made for a fifth.

Here it is worth noting that many who had come from afar hoped that Mrs. Eddy would attend the dedication. Although the Directors stated in their notice of the date set for dedication that she would not be present, yet memory harked back to the meeting of the National Christian Scientist Association in Chicago in 1888, which Mrs. Eddy hurriedly decided to attend after having announced in a previous issue of the Journal that she would not. Owing to telegrams which had been sent out to many of her students in the Far West and in the British Isles, relative to the time for the dedication, there was a feeling that although she might not be at all the services there was a possibility that a very large hall might be taken for the occasion which would hold five thousand people and she would there address them. Not only was the precedent of 1888 remembered by many, but also her visit to New York City, in February, 1889, where she gave a lecture.

Further, a statement published by the Board of Directors was not accepted as the highest authority, because Mrs. Eddy did not definitely say over her own signature that she would not come to Boston on that day to address her followers. Thus to those who were known to be close to Mrs. Eddy, the question was put by many earnest students, “Don’t you think that Mrs. Eddy will come?” “If she knows how many thousands are here, don’t you think she may come, so that we can go to our distant homes to tell that we have been in personal touch with her, heard her voice and received her blessing?”

To all these earnest queries the Directors and others stated that they were assured Mrs. Eddy would not be present, that she had considered the question thoroughly, what was best for her students and for the Cause, and that what she had to say in her Sermon would be ample for all. They would receive it and assimilate it the better, because they would not be looking at her personality, and if they desired to receive a blessing from this Sermon they must immediately get into alignment with Mrs. Eddy’s thought. There were other inquirers, of course, who were impelled by curiosity rather than by deep love for her. They had touched the hem, but were still influenced by the glamor of personality.

At the close of the 3 o’clock service, which ended about 4:30, the edifice was kept open so that a general inspection could be made, and the hours that ensued brought happiness to all the faithful workers present.

It is thought that about five thousand, at the smallest estimate, attended these services. The Boston Globe estimated that “fully 3000 people came from long distances.” A committee of local workers who had taken the responsibility of finding boarding places for this influx experienced considerable difficulty in so doing. Huntington and Massachusetts Avenues were not then studded with restaurants as they are now. At that date there was no restaurant or café from Massachusetts Avenue to the Oxford Hotel, and on Massachusetts Avenue from Harvard Bridge to Tremont Street. There were no hotels south of Massachusetts Avenue, the Somerset, the first built on Commonwealth Avenue, not having been erected, neither had the Touraine. The nearest hotels to the church were the Oxford, the Copley Square, corner of Exeter Street, and the Vendome at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Dartmouth Street. It was therefore something of a problem at that time to find accommodations for so many visitors, but they were all taken care of.

The church was kept open until about nine o’clock in the evening, and many who had attended the earlier services of the day returned to go over the edifice at their leisure. Under the brilliancy of the electric lights, new beauties were discovered as they inspected the room from different points of view. In the niches at the angles of the walls on the stairways to the main floor and to the gallery there were large palms. In the arched recesses on each side of the entrance to the “Mother’s Room” there were vases of carnation. This room was the place in which all interest settled, because it was to be the abode of Mrs. Eddy when she should visit the church. Everything was in place for her coming and everything would be ready at her arrival no matter how unexpectedly she might come to Boston. The main room with its white marble floor mosaicked with sprays of fig leaves and the ripe fig fruit; the light green walls with old rose trimmings; the broad, soft couch; the comfortable easy chairs, one of which was a rocker; the open fire-place with a gas log; the warm and beautiful rugs, seemed most comfortable and inviting.

Off this were two smaller rooms, one a bed chamber and the other a toilet. In 1895 the decorations of the “Mother’s Room” were considered very fine and absolutely up to date. The color scheme had been worked out by Haberstroh and Son, who were considered the best interior decorators in Boston. Their experience had been very broad and they had done not only public places, but their work was in many of the finest dwellings in the city. Today, our taste for decoration has taken a different turn, and we look toward a rich simplicity and a greater sense of freedom in contrast with a set and perhaps stilted arrangement of color and placement of furniture, and we might now call the effect of the decorations of the “Mother’s Room” too elaborate and abundant, but this was not so considered in 1895. In the furnishing of this room the decorators were handicapped to some extent by the character of the gifts of loving adherents, and they found some difficulty in harmonizing everything that was to go into the room.

Whatever criticism the present and the future may make upon the decorations of the “Mother’s Room” however, there should always be remembered what the articles of furnishing of this room symbolized. Each penny given, each article of decoration contributed, had behind it a thought, and all of these thoughts coming from every direction crystallized themselves into the word carved into the enduring marble tablet over the door of the room, “LOVE.” At that period the general effect of the room was one of richness, an effort to secure the reflection of the depth of love and gratitude of Christian Scientists for their Leader. Mrs. Eddy was a woman of simple tastes who desired that which was both comfortable and artistic. She did not want the “Mother’s Room” to show a lavish outlay of money and rich display. For many years grateful and happy students had wanted to send her gifts suitable for a princess; they had desired to furnish her home in Concord as they had attempted to do that on Columbus Avenue, and would have sent her the finest in the markets of the world, if she had not requested them not to do so. No critic should ever place an atom of blame upon Mrs. Eddy relative to the furnishings of the room. She made known to the Directors and to others that certain effects which loving students wished to achieve she did not desire, but it was impossible to restrain their gratitude altogether, and Mrs. Eddy had to “suffer it to be so now.” In this connection it is well to quote again her letter relative to certain decorations which she heard were going into the room:

“PLEASANT VIEW, CONCORD, N.H., Nov. 26, 1894.

Board of Directors,

My dear Students,

…I have directed the students Mr. and Mrs. Bates, Mrs. Frame and Mrs. Hulin to put no silk or onyx into Mother’s Room. I hope you will abide by this last limit stated on paper that I send by the Dr. today, as the boundary for all monies laid out on our Church.

Affectionately Mother,

MARY B. EDDY.”

There is no particle of doubt that the room made a deep impression of beauty upon nearly everyone who saw it during the days it was open for visitors in the week following the dedication Sunday. If there were among them some who had made a study of the color scheme and the carvings and furniture of the Gothic and Italian Renaissance periods, they may have wished that a more classical refinement had dominated, but to the very great majority the room was interesting and beautiful because it was to be devoted to the needs of Mrs. Eddy. I remember that when I spoke of certain beautiful individual effects in the room to my father and said how I thought Mrs. Eddy would enjoy them, he smiled and said, “She will enjoy them for the love they represent; but to her the sunshine and flowers of her garden, which she so dearly loves, are more precious than silken coverings, rare rugs and fine furnishings,” and he quoted to me the last four lines of her poem, “June”:

“And thou wilt find that harmonies, In which the Soul hath part,
Ne’er perish young, like things of earth, In records of the heart.”

Not since the annual meeting of the National Association in New York in 1890 had there been such a gathering of adherents in one place and, as stated in the Journal of February, 1895:

“Notwithstanding every effort was made to reach the entire field with the notice, it is doubtless true that many failed to receive it in time to make the long distance necessary to put them down in Boston on the day. Had the notice been earlier no doubt many hundreds, if not thousands, more would have come.”

To many, especially those who abided by the spirit of the precepts which Mrs. Eddy gave at the meeting of the National Association in New York City, relative to the work they should do in their field of labor, this invitation to come to Boston meant much, for it seemed to be a time for the filling of pitchers at the spring where workers from many lands and climes would meet for the same purpose and with the same spirit.

These four years, as Mrs. Eddy had desired, through the indefinite adjournment of the Association, had eliminated to a very large extent the spirit of “elbowing,” as she had put it in her message to that body, and the faithful endeavors of her adherents had built up a stronger and better organized body, the Mother Church. To the veteran workers on this Sunday afternoon and evening, as they met each other in the auditorium and in the hallways, there seemed to come a feeling that for a few days they could rest on their arms and enjoy one another’s companionship. Many were the quiet but happy reunions not only of classmates, but of the pupils of students and the patients of practitioners; group intermingled with group and related their experiences in church organization. Now that there were ample funds in the hands of Mr. Chase, the work of building suitable edifices for branch churches could safely be taken up, and this date of dedication marks the beginning of an enthusiastic and constantly advancing stride in the erection of Christian Science houses of worship throughout the world.

The atmosphere of Dedication Day is well described in a passage from the Journal of February, 1895, where we may read:

“There are times when human expression fails to give vent to thought and feeling. The dedication occasion of our ‘Prayer in Stone’ is surely one of these times. As well might one attempt to define the unseen quality of divine Love, or bring about in pictorial representation the glory of the Transfiguration scene, as to express in poor human language the deep emotion, the sweet sense of joy, and the peace which truly passeth all mortal understanding, which pervaded the assembly and filled the hearts of the faithful. All were abundantly repaid for coming, and not one of those who made the midwinter trip across the continent but would gladly repeat it for another such benediction.”



STEPHEN A. CHASE, C.S.D.

One of the original twelve members



A few paragraphs from the newspapers should be included in this account, since they give evidence of the striking change of viewpoint which had taken place during a very short time. There is no doubt that the editors were first impressed from the material side. They saw that the beauty and cost of the structure represented a certain degree of wealth and power, and that the dedication of such a costly building upon which there was no debt, the Treasurer having already requested that no more funds be contributed, gave abundant proof of an undertaking which was both unique and beautiful. The Boston Herald published Mrs. Eddy’s sermon in full, and departed from its usual custom respecting capitalization by adhering to the copy as prepared for the press. In its report of the events of the day it said:

“The structure came forth from the hands of the artisans with every stone paid for – with an appeal, not for more money, but for a cessation of the tide of contributions which continued to flow in after the full amount needed was received. From every state in the Union and from many lands, the love offerings of the disciples of Christian Science came to help erect this beautiful structure, and more than 4,000 of these contributors came to Boston from the far-off Pacific coast and the Gulf states and all the territory that lies between, to view the new-built temple and to listen to the message sent them by the teacher they revere.”

The Boston Globe in its report brought out some interesting details:

“Surging crowds of Christian Scientists from all parts of the United States poured in and out of the new edifice of that faith…yesterday. Two-thirds of the vast congregations which attended the dedication yesterday were women, strong, healthy, muscular women. They were not slow in speaking of this fact as a proof of the value of Christian Science as a gospel of health….It was a remarkable crowd, and the church for hours presented a wonderful scene of life….The devout spoke of it in terms of reverence as ‘Our Prayer in Stone,’ and regarded it as significant of yet greater achievements. Mrs. Eddy has spent nearly thirty years in making the erection of this elegant structure possible, and The First Church of Christ, Scientist, now stands as a monument of her devotion and consecration….The event has touched a chord in the hearts of Christian Scientists from Boston Bay to the Golden Gate.”

The following sentence from the New York Sun should be placed on record for the knowledge of future generations:

“To emphasize the impersonal nature of the service, Mrs. Eddy announced her intention of being absent on the occasion, and sent a communication ordaining the Bible and Science and Health as the rightful pastor of the church.”

In the “Editor’s Table” of the Journal of February, 1895, the following was said:

This church “stands for a whole God, a whole Christ, a whole creation, and a full and complete and triumphant fulfilment of ‘all the law and the prophets.’ Nor will its mission cease until ‘all men shall know Him, even from the least unto the greatest.’ It is to be regarded not in its type, the Church militant, but in its antitype, the Church universal, the Church triumphant, the Peterian Rock against which the gates of hell shall not prevail.”

To the students of Mrs. Eddy who were most spiritually sighted, there had come the recognition of the fact that her teachings were for the healing of then nations; that the truth of Christian Science reaching out to all peoples would gain speedy recognition because of its healing power. In this regard Christian Science was epochal. Although her discovery might be called American, it soon ceased to be thus thought of, and the students in Canada and the Maritime Provinces took up the work with remarkable readiness and earnestness when it is remembered that this teaching was called American, and that the religious freedom in these British colonies is not so marked as in the United States. The recognition of her teachings by British subjects and their propaganda of them was a matter which brought much gratitude to Mrs. Eddy, and they were always thoughtful and grateful to her. No body of Christian Scientists seemed more awake to the needs and responsibilities of the hour than the students of the Toronto Christian Science Association. They expressed their gratitude to the Board of Directors and with their letter Mrs. Eddy was pleased and deeply touched, and asked that it be printed in the Journal. It appeared in the March issue as follows:

TORONTO CHRISTIAN SCIENCE ASSOCIATION.

TORONTO, Dec. 11, 1894.

To STEPHEN A. CHASE, IRA O. KNAPP,

WM. B. JOHNSON,

J. ARMSTRONG,

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

Dear Brothers: – Whereas the time is rapidly approaching when our beloved Mother Church is to be dedicated and we are soon to see the symbol of this,…The Church of Christ Scientist, standing out and taking first place among the edifices of the land, we, as an association of Christian Scientists, felt that we could not let this opportunity pass without giving some expression to the gratitude which we feel towards your honorable body for the faithfulness, untiring zeal, and unselfish devotion to the cause for which you have labored so earnestly, that the outward structure of the Mother Church should, in accordance with the Mother’s wish, be a visible expression in stone, ere the year of 1894 had closed.

We are conscious of the victory won; we catch already in the mental horizon a glimpse of the freedom which loyal Christian Scientists all over the land will feel now that the Church is finished, and truly, gentlemen, your names will be written in each of our hearts, ‘with a pen of iron, and the point of a diamond.’ Your demonstration will be written in history and as the mists roll away before the sunshine of eternal Love, we feel that then we shall be able to grasp in a higher light the full significance of what you have done to help mankind

Signed on behalf of the Toronto Christian Science Association.

J. H. STEWART, President.”

To many who year after year had attended the services in Boston, who had been grateful for what divine Love had given them in Hawthorn Rooms and had grasped the beauties of the present to shape into larger beauties for the future; who had cherished each day of worship with joy because something more was being accomplished for the beloved Cause, – these all, when the Hawthorn Rooms were outgrown and there seemed no place to meet, still hoped on, and knew that the right place would be ready for them when the time came. This work for and confidence in Truth was blessed and the doors of Chickering Hall were in due time opened to them. Here mighty battles of faith and conscience were fought, and here the faithful were welded together into an army of veterans, trained to anticipate the same kind of attacks which they had met; trained by the faith in their Leader who had directed them, and working in a surer way to save for the Cause those who were not sure of their footsteps. Here, too, the faithful were glad for the mercies they received. They thought them to be large and gracious, and felt their unworthiness to accept them, and from them they learned meekness and greater love. Although they felt Mrs. Eddy’s absence when she resigned from the pastorate and removed to Concord, nevertheless they awoke, like the veterans they were, to the necessity of learning not to lean on her personality. No more needed impulsion could have been given them than when she compelled them to depend on God, and wrote to my father July 20, 1889:

“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.”

When through their labors they saw the seats left vacant by seceders gradually filled with new followers, and in their kindly patience and gratitude spoke to each other every Sunday of the increase, they were thankful for what the day had brought forth, and with simple but fervent prayer gave thanks to the “FatherMother God” who had been so good to them. Later, when they left Chickering Hall now outgrown, for Copley Hall, they made their new home glorious by faith, hope and charity to all; and when at last the completion of the home they had prayed for, labored for, sacrificed for, had been demonstrated in a fullness almost unbelievable, then their thanks and rejoicing were beyond words.

In their constant struggle toward the completion of the edifice, there had really been no pause. The seeming set-backs which had come to the church in Boston with a consequent loss of membership, did not sensibly disturb its advance, and for the reason as Mrs. Eddy has said, –

“Stately Science pauses not, but moves before them, a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night, leading to divine heights.” (S. and H. p.566.)

The opening service with its perfect quiet, carried with it the feeling that now those who had fought were gathered together in the tender hush of a gladdening realization that the struggle was past, and that they were to dwell in the glorious sunshine of hope fulfilled.

To those who had not lived in the work in Boston, this was also the day of days, so that all felt the inspiration of a realization in greater or less degree of the closing words of Mrs. Eddy’s Sermon:

“Divine presence, breathe Thou Thy blessing on every heart in this house. Speak out, O soul! This is the newborn Spirit, this is His redeemed; this His beloved. May the kingdom of God within you, – with you alway, – reascending, bear you outward, upward, heavenward. May the sweet song of silver-throated singers, making melody more real, and the organ’s voice, as the sound of many waters, and the Word spoken in this sacred temple dedicated to the ever-present God – mingle with the joy of angels and rehearse your heart’s holy intents. May all whose means, energies, and prayers helped erect The Mother Church, find within it home, and heaven.” (Pulpit and Press, p.10.)

END OF VOL. II

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