The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany

The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany Miscellany

Chapter XIX

[The Christian Science Journal]
A Memorable Coincidence and Historical Facts

326We are glad to publish the following interesting letter and enclosures received from our Leader. That legislatures and courts are thus declaring the liberties of Christian Scientists is most gratifying to our people; not because a favor has been extended, but because their inherent rights are recognized in an official and authoritative manner. It is especially gratifying to them that the declaration of this recognition should be coincident in the Southern and Northern States in which Mrs. Eddy has made her home.

Mrs. Eddy’s Letter

    Dear Editor: — I send for publication in our periodicals the following deeply interesting letter from Elizabeth Earl Jones of Asheville, N. C., — the State where my husband, Major George W. Glover, passed on and up, the State that so signally honored his memory, where with wet eyes the Free Masons laid on his bier the emblems of a master Mason, and in long procession with tender dirge bore his remains to their last resting-place. Deeply grateful, I recognize the divine hand in turning the hearts of the noble 327Southrons of North Carolina legally to protect the practice of Christian Science in that State.

    Is it not a memorable coincidence that, in the Court of New Hampshire, my native State, and in the Legislature of North Carolina, they have the same year, in 1903, made it legal to practise Christian Science in these States?

MARY BAKER EDDY
PLEASANT VIEW, CONCORD, N. H.,
       October 16, 1903
Miss Elizabeth Earl Jones’ Letter

    Beloved Leader: — I know the enclosed article will make your heart glad, as it has made glad the hearts of all the Christian Scientists in North Carolina. This is the result of the work done at last winter’s term of our Legislature, when a medical bill was proposed calculated to limit or stop the practice of Christian Science in our State. An amendment was obtained by Miss Mary Hatch Harrison and a few other Scientists who stayed on the field until the last. After the amendment had been passed, an old law, or rather a section of an act in the Legislature regulating taxes, was changed as follows, because the representative men of our dear State did not wish to be “discourteous to the Christian Scientists.” The section formerly read, “pretended healers,” but was changed to read as follows: “All other professionals who practise the art of healing,” etc.

    We thank our heavenly Father for this dignified legal protection and recognition, and look forward to the day, not far distant, when the laws of every State will dignify the ministry of Christ as taught and practised in Christian Science, and as lived by our dear, 328dear Leader, even as God has dignified, blessed, and prospered it, and her.

With devoted love,
ELIZABETH EARL JONES
105 BAILEY ST., ASHEVILLE, N. C.,
       October 11, 1903

    The following article, copied from the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, is the one referred to in Miss Jones’ letter: —

    The Christian Science people, greatly pleased at the law affecting them passed by the last Legislature, are apt also to be pleased with the fact that the law recognizes them as healers, and that it gives them a license to heal. This license of five dollars annually, required of physicians, has been required of them, and how this came about in Kinston is told in the Kinston Free Press as follows: —

    Sheriff Wooten issued licenses yesterday to two Christian Science healers in this city. This is probably the first to be issued to the healers of this sect in the State.

    Upon the request of a prominent healer of the church, the section of the machinery act of the Legislature covering it was shown, whereupon application for license was made and obtained.

    The section, after enumerating the different professions for which a license must be obtained to carry them on in this State, further says, “and all other professionals who practise the art of healing for pay, shall pay a license fee of five dollars.”

329    This was construed to include the healers of the Christian Science church, and license was accordingly taken out.

    The idea prevails that the last General Assembly of North Carolina relieved the healers of this sect from paying this fee, but this is not so. The board only excused them from a medical examination before a board of medical examiners.

    Mrs. Eddy’s reference to the death of her husband, Major George W. Glover, gives especial interest to the following letter from Newbern, N.C., which appeared in the Wilmington (N.C.) Dispatch, October 24, 1903. Mrs. Eddy has in her possession photographed copies of the notice of her husband’s death and of her brother’s letter, taken from the Wilmington (N.C.) Chronicle as they appear in that paper in the issues of July 3 and August 21, 1844, respectively. The photographs are verified by the certificate of a notary public and were presented to Mrs. Eddy by Miss Harrison.

Miss Mary Hatch Harrison’s Letter

    To the Editor: — At no better time than now, when the whole country is recognizing the steady progress of Christian Science and admitting its interest in the movement, as shown by the fair attitude of the press everywhere, could we ask you to give your readers the following communication. It will put before them some interesting facts concerning Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy, and some incidents of her life in North and South Carolina which might not have been known but for a criticism of this 330good woman which was published in your paper in August, 1901.

    I presume we should not be surprised that a noteworthy follower of our Lord should be maligned, since the great Master himself was scandalized, and he prophesied that his followers would be so treated. The calumniator who informed you in this instance locates Mrs. Eddy in Wilmington in 1843, thus contradicting his own statement, since Mrs. Eddy was not then a resident of Wilmington. A local Christian Scientist of your city, whose womanhood and Christianity are appreciated by all, assisted by a Mason of good standing there and a Christian Scientist of Charleston, S.C., carefully investigated the points concerning Major Glover’s history which are questioned by this critic, and has found Mrs. Eddy’s statements, relating to her husband (who she states was of Charleston, S.C., not of Wilmington, but who died there while on business in 1844, not in 1843, as claimed in your issue) are sustained by Masonic records in each place as well as by Wilmington newspapers of that year. In “Retrospection and Introspection” (p. 19) Mrs. Eddy says of this circumstance: —

    “My husband was a Free Mason, being a member in St. Andrew’s Lodge, No. 10, and of Union Chapter, No. 3, of Royal Arch Masons. He was highly esteemed and sincerely lamented by a large circle of friends and acquaintances, whose kindness and sympathy helped to support me in this terrible bereavement. A month later I returned to New Hampshire, where, at the end of four months, my babe was born. Colonel Glover’s tender devotion to his young bride was remarked by all observers. With his parting breath he gave pathetic directions to his brother 331Masons about accompanying her on her sad journey to the North. Here it is but justice to record, they performed their obligations most faithfully.”

    Such watchful solicitude as Mrs. Eddy received at the hands of Wilmington’s best citizens, among whom she remembers the Rev. Mr. Reperton, a Baptist clergyman, and the Governor of the State, who accompanied her to the train on her departure, indicates her irreproachable standing in your city at that time.

    The following letter of thanks, copied from the Wilmington Chronicle of August 21, 1844, testifies to the love and respect entertained for Mrs. Eddy by Wilmington’s best men, whose Southern chivalry would have scorned to extend such unrestrained hospitality to an unworthy woman as quickly as it would have punished the assailant of a good woman: —

A Card

    Through the columns of your paper, will you permit me, in behalf of the relatives and friends of the late Major George W. Glover of Wilmington and his bereaved lady, to return our thanks and express the feeling of gratitude we owe and cherish towards those friends of the deceased who so kindly attended him during his last sickness, and who still extended their care and sympathy to the lone, feeble, and bereaved widow after his decease. Much has often been said of the high feeling of honor and the noble generosity of heart which characterized the people of the South, yet when we listen to Mrs. Glover (my sister) whilst recounting the kind attention paid to the deceased during his late illness, the sympathy extended to her after his death, and the assistance volun332teered to restore her to her friends at a distance of more than a thousand miles, the power of language would be but beggared by an attempt at expressing the feelings of a swelling bosom. The silent gush of grateful tears alone can tell the emotions of the thankful heart, — words are indeed but a meagre tribute for so noble an effort in behalf of the unfortunate, yet it is all we can award: will our friends at Wilmington accept it as a tribute of grateful hearts? Many thanks are due Mr. Cooke, who engaged to accompany her only to New York, but did not desert her or remit his kind attention until he saw her in the fond embrace of her friends.

Your friend and obedient servant,
(Signed) GEORGE S. BAKER
SANBORNTON BRIDGE, N. H.,
       August 12, 1844

    The paper containing this card is now in the Young Men’s Christian Association at Wilmington.

    The facts regarding Major Glover’s membership in St. Andrew’s Lodge, No. 10, were brought to light in a most interesting way. A Christian Scientist in Charleston was requested to look up the records of this lodge, as we had full confidence that it would corroborate Mrs. Eddy’s claims. After frequent searchings and much interviewing with Masonic authorities, it was learned that the lodge was no longer in existence, and that during the Civil War many Masonic records were transferred to Columbia, where they were burned; but on repeated search a roll of papers recording the death of George Washington Glover in 1844 and giving best praises to his honorable record and Christian character was found; 333and said record, with the seal of the Grand Secretary, is now in the possession of the chairman of the Christian Science publication committee.

    In the records of St. John’s Lodge, Wilmington, as found by one of your own citizens, a Mason, it is shown that on the twenty-eighth day of June, 1844, a special meeting was convened for the purpose of paying the last tribute of respect to Brother George W. Glover, who died on the night of the twenty-seventh. The minutes record this further proceeding: —

    “A procession was formed, which moved to the residence of the deceased, and from thence to the Episcopal burying-ground, where the body was interred with the usual ceremonies. The procession then returned to the lodge, which was closed in due form.”

    It has never been claimed by Mrs. Eddy nor by any Christian Scientists that Major Glover’s remains were carried North.

    The Wilmington Chronicle of July 3, 1844, records that this good man, then known as Major George W. Glover, died on Thursday night, the twenty-seventh of June. The Chronicle states: “His end was calm and peaceful, and to those friends who attended him during his illness he gave the repeated assurance of his willingness to die, and of his full reliance for salvation on the merits of a crucified Redeemer. His remains were interred with Masonic honors. He has left an amiable wife, to whom he had been united but the brief space of six months, to lament this irreparable loss.”

    From the Chronicle, dated September 25, 1844, we copy the following: “We are assured that reports of unusual sickness in Wilmington are in circulation.” This periodi334cal then forthwith strives to give the impression that the rumor is not true. It is reasonable to infer from newspaper reports of that date that some insidious disease was raging at that time.

    The allegation that copies of Mrs. Eddy’s book, “Retrospection and Introspection,” are few, and that efforts are being made to buy them up because she has contradicted herself, is without foundation. They are advertised in every weekly issue of the Christian Science Sentinel, and still contain the original account of her husband’s demise at Wilmington.

    May it not be, since this critic places certain circumstances in 1843, which records show really existed in 1844, that the woman whom he had in mind is some other one?

    We can state Mrs. Eddy’s teaching on the unreality of evil in no better terms than to quote her own words. Nothing could be further from her meaning than that evil could be indulged in while being called unreal. She declares in her Message to The Mother Church [1901]: “To assume there is no reality in sin, and yet commit sin, is sin itself, that clings fast to iniquity. The Publican’s wail won his humble desire, while the Pharisee’s self-righteousness crucified Jesus.”

MARY HATCH HARRISON
Major Glover’s Record as a Mason

    Of further interest in this matter is the following extract from an editorial obituary which appeared in 1845 in the Freemason’s Monthly Magazine, published by the late Charles W. Moore, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts: —

335    Died at Wilmington, N.C., on the 27th June last, Major George W. Glover, formerly of Concord, N.H.

    Brother Glover resided in Charleston, S.C., and was made a Mason in “St. Andrew’s Lodge, No. 10.” He was soon exalted to the degree of a Royal Arch Mason in “Union Chapter, No. 3,” and retained his membership in both till his decease. He was devotedly attached to Masonry, faithful as a member and officer of the Lodge and Chapter, and beloved by his brothers and companions, who mourn his early death.

    Additional facts regarding Major Glover, his illness and death, are that he was for a number of years a resident of Charleston, S.C., where he erected a fine dwelling-house, the drawings and specifications of which were kept by his widow for many years after his death. While at Wilmington, N.C., in June, 1844, Mr. Glover was attacked with yellow fever of the worst type, and at the end of nine days he passed away. This was the second case of the dread disease in that city, and in the hope of allaying the excitement which was fast arising, the authorities gave the cause of death as bilious fever, but they refused permission to take the remains to Charleston.

    On the third day of her husband’s illness, Mrs. Glover (now Mrs. Eddy) sent for the distinguished physician who attended cases of this terrible disease as an expert (Dr. McRee we think it was), and was told by him that he could not conceal the fact that the case was one of yellow fever in its worst form, and nothing could save the life of her husband. In these nine days and nights of agony the young wife prayed incessantly for her husband’s recovery, and was told by the expert physician that 336but for her prayers the patient would have died on the seventh day.

    The disease spread so rapidly that Mrs. Glover (Mrs. Eddy) was afraid to have her brother, George S. Baker, come to her after her husband’s death, to take her back to the North. Although he desired to go to her assistance, she declined on this ground, and entrusted herself to the care of her husband’s Masonic brethren, who faithfully performed their obligation to her. She makes grateful acknowledgment of this in her book, “Retrospection and Introspection.” In this book (p. 20) she also states, “After returning to the paternal roof I lost all my husband’s property, except what money I had brought with me; and remained with my parents until after my mother’s decease.” Mr. Glover had made no will previous to his last illness, and then the seizure of disease was so sudden and so violent that he was unable to make a will.

    These letters and extracts are of absorbing interest to Christian Scientists as amplification of the facts given by Mrs. Eddy in “Retrospection and Introspection.”