43In 1867 I introduced the first purely metaphysical system of healing since the apostolic days. I began by teaching one student Christian Science Mind-healing. From this seed grew the Massachusetts Metaphysical College in Boston, chartered in 1881. No charter was granted for similar purposes after 1883. It is the only College, hitherto, for teaching the pathology of spiritual power, alias the Science of Mind-healing.
My husband, Asa G. Eddy, taught two terms in my College. After I gave up teaching, my adopted son, Ebenezer J. Foster-Eddy, a graduate of the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia, and who also received a certificate from Dr. W. W. Keen’s (allopathic) Philadelphia School of Anatomy and Surgery, — having renounced his material method of practice and embraced the teachings of Christian Science, taught the Primary, Normal, and Obstetric class one term. Gen. Erastus N. Bates taught one Primary class, in 1889, after which I judged it best to close the institution. These students of mine were the only assistant teachers in the College.
The first Christian Scientist Association was organized by myself and six of my students in 1876, on the Centennial Day of our nation’s freedom. At a meeting of the Christian Scientist Association, on April 12, 1879, it was 44voted to organize a church to commemorate the words and works of our Master, a Mind-healing church, without a creed, to be called the Church of Christ, Scientist, the first such church ever organized. The charter for this church was obtained in June, 1879,1 and during the same month the members, twenty-six in number, extended a call to me to become their pastor. I accepted the call, and was ordained in 1881, though I had preached five years before being ordained.
When I was its pastor, and in the pulpit every Sunday, my church increased in members, and its spiritual growth kept pace with its increasing popularity; but when obliged, because of accumulating work in the College, to preach only occasionally, no student, at that time, was found able to maintain the church in its previous harmony and prosperity.
Examining the situation prayerfully and carefully, noting the church’s need, and the predisposing and exciting cause of its condition, I saw that the crisis had come when much time and attention must be given to defend this church from the envy and molestation of other churches, and from the danger to its members which must always lie in Christian warfare. At this juncture I recommended that the church be dissolved. No sooner were my views made known, than the proper measures were adopted to carry them out, the votes passing without a dissenting voice.
The history of that hour holds this true record. Adding to its ranks and influence, this spiritually organized 45Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, still goes on. A new light broke in upon it, and more beautiful became the garments of her who “bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace.”
Despite the prosperity of my church, it was learned that material organization has its value and peril, and that organization is requisite only in the earliest periods in Christian history. After this material form of cohesion and fellowship has accomplished its end, continued organization retards spiritual growth, and should be laid off, — even as the corporeal organization deemed requisite in the first stages of mortal existence is finally laid off, in order to gain spiritual freedom and supremacy.
From careful observation and experience came my clue to the uses and abuses of organization. Therefore, in accord with my special request, followed that noble, unprecedented action of the Christian Scientist Association connected with my College when dissolving that organization, — in forgiving enemies, returning good for evil, in following Jesus’ command, “Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” I saw these fruits of Spirit, long-suffering and temperance, fulfil the law of Christ in righteousness. I also saw that Christianity has withstood less the temptation of popularity than of persecution.