The following views of the Rev. Mary Baker Eddy upon the subject of the Trinity, are known to us to be those uniformly held and expressed by her. A reference to her writings will fully corroborate this statement.— EDITOR Sentinel.
The members of the Board of Lectureship are not allowed to consult me relative to their subjects or the handling thereof, owing to my busy life, and they seek a higher source for wisdom and guidance. The talented author of this lecture has a heart full of love towards God and man. For once he may have overlooked the construction that people unfamiliar with his broad views and loving nature might put on his comparisons and ready humor. But all Christian Scientists deeply recognize the oneness of Jesus — that he stands alone in word and deed, the visible discoverer, founder, demonstrator, and great Teacher of Christianity, whose sandals none may unloose.
The Board of Lectureship is absolutely inclined to be, and is instructed to be, charitable towards all, and 339hating none. The purpose of its members is to subserve the interest of mankind, and to cement the bonds of Christian brotherhood, whose every link leads upward in the chain of being. The cardinal points of Christian Science cannot be lost sight of, namely — one God, supreme, infinite, and one Christ Jesus.
Along the lines of progressive Christendom, New Hampshire’s advancement is marked. Already Massachusetts has exchanged Fast Day, and all that it formerly signified, for Patriots’ Day, and the observance of the holiday illustrates the joy, grace, and glory of liberty. We read in Holy Writ that the disciples of St. John the Baptist said to the great Master, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?” And he answered them in substance: My disciples rejoice in their present Christianity and have no cause to mourn; only those who have not the Christ, Truth, within them should wear sackcloth.
Jesus said to his disciples, “This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting,” but he did not appoint a fast. Merely to abstain from eating was not sufficient to meet his demand. The animus of his saying was: Silence appetites, passion, and all that wars against Spirit and spiritual power. The fact that he healed the sick man without the observance of a material fast confirms this 340conclusion. Jesus attended feasts, but we have no record of his observing appointed fasts.
St. Paul’s days for prayer were every day and every hour. He said, “Pray without ceasing.” He classed the usage of special days and seasons for religious observances and precedents as belonging not to the Christian era, but to traditions, old-wives’ fables, and endless genealogies.
The enlightenment, the erudition, the progress of religion and medicine in New Hampshire, are in excess of other States, as witness her schools, her churches, and her frown on class legislation. In many of the States in our Union a simple board of health, clad in a little brief authority, has arrogated to itself the prerogative of making laws for the State on the practice of medicine! But this attempt is shorn of some of its shamelessness by the courts immediately annulling such bills and plucking their plumes through constitutional interpretations. Not the tradition of the elders, nor a paltering, timid, or dastardly policy, is pursued by the leaders of our rock-ribbed State.
That the Governor of New Hampshire has suggested to his constituents to recur to a religious observance which virtually belongs to the past, should tend to enhance their confidence in his intention to rule righteously the affairs of state. However, Jesus’ example in this, as in all else, suffices for the Christian era. The dark days of our forefathers and their implorations for peace and plenty have passed, and are succeeded by our time of abundance, even the full beneficence of the laws of the universe which man’s diligence has utilized. Institutions of learning and progressive religion light their fires in every home.
341 I have one innate joy, and love to breathe it to the breeze as God’s courtesy. A native of New Hampshire, a child of the Republic, a Daughter of the Revolution, I thank God that He has emblazoned on the escutcheon of this State, engraven on her granite rocks, and lifted to her giant hills the ensign of religious liberty — “Freedom to worship God.”
Beloved brethren all over our land and in every land,
accept your Leader’s Spring greeting, while
The bird of hope is singing
A lightsome lay, a cooing call,
And in her heart is beating
A love for all —
“’Tis peace not power I seek,
’Tis meet that man be meek.”
Christian Science has been so much to the fore of late that unusual public interest centres in the personality of Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of the cult. The granting of interviews is not usual, hence it was a special favor that Mrs. Eddy received the Herald correspondent.
It had been raining all day and was damp without, so the change from the misty air outside to the pleasant 342warmth within the ample, richly furnished house was agreeable. Seated in the large parlor, I became aware of a white-haired lady slowly descending the stairs. She entered with a gracious smile, walking uprightly and with light step, and after a kindly greeting took a seat on a sofa. It was Mrs. Eddy. There was no mistaking that. Older in years, white-haired and frailer, but Mrs. Eddy herself. The likeness to the portraits of twenty years ago, so often seen in reproductions, was unmistakable. There is no mistaking certain lines that depend upon the osseous structure; there is no mistaking the eyes — those eyes the shade of which is so hard to catch, whether blue-gray or grayish brown, and which are always bright. And when I say frail, let it not be understood that I mean weak, for weak she was not. When we were snugly seated in the other and smaller parlor across the hall, which serves as a library, Mrs. Eddy sat back to be questioned.
“The continuity of The Church of Christ, Scientist,” she said, in her clear voice, “is assured. It is growing wonderfully. It will embrace all the churches, one by one, because in it alone is the simplicity of the oneness of God; the oneness of Christ and the perfecting of man stated scientifically.”
343 It was plain that the answers to questions would be in Mrs. Eddy’s own spirit. She has a rapt way of talking, looking large-eyed into space, and works around a question in her own way, reaching an answer often unexpectedly after a prolonged exordium. She explained: “No present change is contemplated in the rulership. You would ask, perhaps, whether my successor will be a woman or a man. I can answer that. It will be a man.”
“I have been called a pope, but surely I have sought no such distinction. I have simply taught as I learned while healing the sick. It was in 1866 that the light of the Science came first to me. In 1875 I wrote my book. It brought down a shower of abuse upon my head, but it won converts from the first. I followed it up, teaching and organizing, and trust in me grew. I was the mother, but of course the term pope is used figuratively.
“A position of authority,” she went on, “became necessary. Rules were necessary, and I made a code of by-laws, but each one was the fruit of experience and the result of prayer. Entrusting their enforcement to others, I found at one time that they had five churches under discipline. I intervened. Dissensions are dangerous in an infant church. I wrote to each church in tenderness, in exhortation, and in rebuke, and so brought all back to union and love again. If that is to be a pope, then you 344can judge for yourself. I have even been spoken of as a Christ, but to my understanding of Christ that is impossible. If we say that the sun stands for God, then all his rays collectively stand for Christ, and each separate ray for men and women. God the Father is greater than Christ, but Christ is ‘one with the Father,’ and so the mystery is scientifically explained. There can be but one Christ.”
“It is not the spirit of God, inhabiting clay and then withdrawn from it, but God preserving individuality and personality to the end. I hold it absurd to say that when a man dies, the man will be at once better than he was before death. How can it be? The individuality of him must make gradual approaches to Soul’s perfection.”
“I say, ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.’ We cannot force perfection on the world. Were vaccination of any avail, I should tremble for mankind; but, knowing it is not, and that the fear of catching smallpox is more dangerous than any material infection, I say: Where vaccination is compulsory, let your children 345be vaccinated, and see that your mind is in such a state that by your prayers vaccination will do the children no harm. So long as Christian Scientists obey the laws, I do not suppose their mental reservations will be thought to matter much. But every thought tells, and Christian Science will overthrow false knowledge in the end.”
“No; only false science — healing by drugs. I was a sickly child. I was dosed with drugs until they had no effect on me. The doctors said I would live if the drugs could be made to act on me. Then homœopathy came like blessed relief to me, but I found that when I prescribed pellets without any medication they acted just the same and healed the sick. How could I believe in a science of drugs?”
“The work done by the surgeon is the last healing that will be vouchsafed to us, or rather attained by us, as we near a state of spiritual perfection. At present I am conservative about advice on surgical cases.”
“Oh, we cannot oppose them. They all tend to newer, finer, more etherealized ways of living. They seek the finer essences. They light the way to the Church of Christ. We use them, we make them our figures of speech. They are preparing the way for us.”
We talked on many subjects, some only of which are here touched upon, and her views, strictly and always 346from the standpoint of Christian Science, were continually surprising. She talks as one who has lived with her subject for a lifetime, — an ordinary lifetime; and so far from being puzzled by any question, welcomes it as another opportunity for presenting another view of her religion.
Those who have been anticipating nature and declaring Mrs. Eddy non-existent may learn authoritatively from the Herald that she is in the flesh and in health. Soon after I reached Concord on my return from Pleasant View, Mrs. Eddy’s carriage drove into town and made several turns about the court-house before returning. She was inside, and as she passed me the same expression of looking forward, thinking, thinking, was on her face.
In a recent interview which appeared in the columns of the New York Herald, the Rev. Mary Baker Eddy, Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, stated that her successor would be a man. Various conjectures having arisen as to whether she had in mind any particular person when the statement was made, Mrs. Eddy gave the following to the Associated Press, May 16, 1901: —
“Science and Health makes it plain to all Christian Scientists that the manhood and womanhood of God 347have already been revealed in a degree through Christ Jesus and Christian Science, His two witnesses. What remains to lead on the centuries and reveal my successor, is man in the image and likeness of the Father-Mother God, man the generic term for mankind.”
The Executive Members of The Mother Church of
Christ, Scientist, will please accept my heartfelt acknowledgment of their beautiful gift to me, a loving-cup, presented July 16, 1903. The exquisite design of boughs
encircling this cup, illustrated by Keats’ touching couplet,
Ah happy, happy boughs, that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu!would almost suggest that nature had reproduced her primal presence, bough, bird, and song, to salute me.The twelve beautiful pearls that crown this cup call to mind the number of our great Master’s first disciples, and the parable of the priceless pearl which purchases our field of labor in exchange for all else.
Most thinkers concede that Science is the law of God; that matter is not a law-maker; that man is not the author of Science, and that a phenomenon is chimerical, unless it be the manifestation of a fixed Principle whose noumenon is God and whose phenomenon is Science.
348 My discovery that mankind is absolutely healed of so-called disease and injuries by other than drugs, surgery, hygiene, electricity, magnetism, or will-power, induced a deep research, which proved conclusively that all effect must be the offspring of a universal cause. I sought this cause, not within but ab extra, and I found it was God made manifest in the flesh, and understood through divine Science. Then I was healed, and the greatest of all questions was solved sufficiently to give a reason for the hope that was within me.
The religious departure from divine Science sprang from the belief that the man Jesus, rather than his divine Principle, God, saves man, and that materia medica heals him. The writer’s departure from such a religion was based upon her discovery that neither man nor materia medica, but God, heals and saves mankind.
Here, however, was no stopping-place, since Science demanded a rational proof that the divine Mind heals the sick and saves the sinner. God unfolded the way, the demonstration thereof was made, and the certainty of its value to the race firmly established. I had found unmistakably an actual, unfailing causation, enshrined in the divine Principle and in the laws of man and the universe, which, never producing an opposite effect, demonstrated Christianity and proved itself Science, for it healed the sick and reformed the sinner on a demonstrable Principle and given rule. The human demonstrator of this Science may mistake, but the Science remains the law of God — infallible, eternal. Divine Life, Truth, Love is the basic Principle of all Science, it solves the problem of being; and nothing that worketh ill can enter into the solution of God’s problems.
349 God is Mind, and divine Mind was first chronologically, is first potentially, and is the healer to whom all things are possible. A scientific state of health is a consciousness of health, holiness, immortality — a consciousness gained through Christ, Truth; while disease is a mental state or error that Truth destroys. It is self-evident that matter, or the body, cannot cause disease, since disease is in a sense susceptible of both ease and dis-ease, and matter is not sensible. Kant, Locke, Berkeley, Tyndall, and Spencer afford little aid in understanding divine metaphysics or its therapeutics. Christian Science is a divine largess, a gift of God — understood by and divinely natural to him who sits at the feet of Jesus clothed in truth, who is putting off the hypothesis of matter because he is conscious of the allness of God — “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” Thus the great Way-shower, invested with glory, is understood, and his words and works illustrate “the way, the truth, and the life.”
Divine modes or manifestations are natural, beyond the so-called natural sciences and human philosophy, because they are spiritual, and coexist with the God of nature in absolute Science. The laws of God, or divine Mind, obtain not in material phenomena, or phenomenal evil, which is lawless and traceable to mortal mind — human will divorced from Science.
Inductive or deductive reasoning is correct only as it is spiritual, induced by love and deduced from God, Spirit; only as it makes manifest the infinite nature, including all law and supplying all the needs of man. Wholly hypothetical, inductive reasoning reckons creation as its own creator, seeks cause in effect, and from atom 350and dust draws its conclusions of Deity and man, law and gospel, leaving science at the beck of material phenomena, or leaving it out of the question. To begin with the divine noumenon, Mind, and to end with the phenomenon, matter, is minus divine logic and plus human hypothesis, with its effects, sin, disease, and death. It was in this dilemma that revelation, uplifting human reason, came to the writer’s rescue, when calmly and rationally, though faintly, she spiritually discerned the divine idea of the cosmos and Science of man.
With our Leader’s kind permission, the Sentinel is privileged to publish her letter of recent date, addressed to Mr. John C. Higdon of St. Louis, Mo. This letter is especially interesting on account of its beautiful tribute to Free Masonry.
I have not read Gerhardt C. Mars’ book, “The Interpretation of Life,” therefore I have not endorsed it, and any assertions to the contrary are false. Christian Scientists are not concerned with philosophy; divine Science is all they need, or can have in reality.
CHESTNUT HILL, MASS.
Beloved Leader: — Informally assembled, we, the ushers of your church, desire to express our recognition of the blessings that have come to us through the peculiar privileges we enjoy in this church work. We are prompted to acknowledge our debt of gratitude to you for your life of spirituality, with its years of tender ministry, yet we know that the real gratitude is what is proved in better lives.
It is our earnest prayer that we may so reflect in our thoughts and acts the teachings of Christian Science that our daily living may be a fitting testimony of the efficacy of our Cause in the regeneration of mankind.
Beloved Christian Scientists: — Accept my thanks for your successful plans for the first issue of The Christian Science Monitor. My desire is that every Christian 353 Scientist, and as many others as possible, subscribe for and read our daily newspaper.
I have given the name to all the Christian Science periodicals. The first was The Christian Science Journal, designed to put on record the divine Science of Truth; the second I entitled Sentinel, intended to hold guard over Truth, Life, and Love; the third, Der Herold der Christian Science, to proclaim the universal activity and availability of Truth; the next I named Monitor, to spread undivided the Science that operates unspent. The object of the Monitor is to injure no man, but to bless all mankind.
In view of complaints from the field, because of alleged misrepresentations by persons offering Bibles and other books for sale which they claim have been endorsed by me, it is due the field to state that I recommend nothing but what is published or sold by The Christian Science Publishing Society. Christian Scientists are under no obligation to buy books for which my endorsement is claimed.
[The above lines were written extemporaneously by Mrs. Eddy on New Year’s morning. The members of her 355household were with her at the time, and it was gratifying to them, as it will be to the field, to see in her spiritualized thought and mental vigor a symbol of the glad New Year on which we have just entered. — EDITOR Sentinel]
I have not infrequently hinted at this. However, if the occasion demands it, I will repeat that men are very important factors in our field of labor for Christian Science. The male element is a strong supporting arm to religion as well as to politics, and we need in our ranks of divine energy, the strong, the faithful, the untiring spiritual armament.
The Christian Scientists at Mrs. Eddy’s home are the happiest group on earth. Their faces shine with the reflection of light and love; their footsteps are not weary; their thoughts are upward; their way is onward, and their light shines. The world is better for this happy group of Christian Scientists; Mrs. Eddy is happier because of them; God is glorified in His reflection of peace, love, joy.
356 When will mankind awake to know their present ownership of all good, and praise and love the spot where God dwells most conspicuously in His reflection of love and leadership? When will the world waken to the privilege of knowing God, the liberty and glory of His presence, — where
Editor Christian Science Sentinel: — In reply to inquiries, will you please state that within the last five years I have given no assurance, no encouragement nor consent to have my picture issued, other than the ones now and heretofore presented in Science and Health.
This simple statement of oneness is the only possible correct version of Christian Science. God being infinite, 357He is the only basis of Science; hence materiality is wholly apart from Christian Science, and is only a “Suffer it to be so now” until we arrive at the spiritual fulness of God, Spirit, even the divine idea of Christian Science, — Christ, born of God, the offspring of Spirit, — wherein matter has neither part nor portion, because matter is the absolute opposite of spiritual means, manifestation, and demonstration. The only incentive of a mistaken sense is malicious animal magnetism, — the name of all evil, — and this must be understood.
I have crowned The Mother Church building with the spiritual modesty of Christian Science, which is its jewel. When my dear brethren in New York desire to build higher, — to enlarge their phylacteries and demonstrate Christian Science to a higher extent, — they must begin on a wholly spiritual foundation, than which there is no other, and proportionably estimate their success and glory of achievement only as they build upon the rock of Christ, the spiritual foundation. This will open the way, widely and impartially, to their never-ending success, — to salvation and eternal Christian Science.
Beloved Student: — I have just finished reading your interesting letter. I thank you for acknowledging me as your Leader, and I know that every true follower of 358Christian Science abides by the definite rules which demonstrate the true following of their Leader; therefore, if you are sincere in your protestations and are doing as you say you are, you will be blessed in your obedience.
The Scriptures say, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.” You are aware that animal magnetism is the opposite of divine Science, and that this opponent is the means whereby the conflict against Truth is engendered and developed. Beloved! you need to watch and pray that the enemy of good cannot separate you from your Leader and best earthly friend.
You have been duly informed by me that, however much I desire to read all that you send to me, I have not the time to do so. The Christian Science Publishing Society will settle the question whether or not they shall publish your poems. It is part of their duties to relieve me of so much labor.
I approve the By-laws of The Mother Church, and require the Christian Science Board of Directors to main359tain them and sustain them. These Directors do not act contrary to the rules of the Church Manual, neither do they trouble me with their difficulties with individuals in their own church or with the members of branch churches.
My province as a Leader — as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science — is not to interfere in cases of discipline, and I hereby publicly declare that I am not personally involved in the affairs of the church in any other way than through my written and published rules, all of which can be read by the individual who desires to inform himself of the facts.
In the Sentinel of July 31, 1909, there appeared under the heading “None good but one,” a number of quotations from a composite letter, dated July 19, which had been written to Mrs. Augusta E. Stetson by twenty-four of her students who then occupied offices in the building of First Church of Christ, Scientist, of New York, and were known as “the practitioners.” This letter was forwarded to Mrs. Eddy by Mrs. Stetson with the latter’s unqualified approval. Upon receipt of this letter Mrs. Eddy wrote to Mrs. Stetson as follows: —
My Dear Student: — Awake and arise from this temptation produced by animal magnetism upon yourself, allowing your students to deify you and me. Treat yourself for it and get your students to help you rise out of it. 360It will be your destruction if you do not do this. Answer this letter immediately.
Beloved Brethren: — In consideration of the present momentous question at issue in First Church of Christ, Scientist, New York City, I am constrained to say, if I can settle this church difficulty amicably by a few words, as many students think I can, I herewith cheerfully subscribe these words of love: —
My beloved brethren in First Church of Christ, Scientist, New York City, I advise you with all my soul to support the Directors of The Mother Church, and unite with those in your church who are supporting The Mother Church Directors. Abide in fellowship with and obedience to The Mother Church, and in this way God will bless and prosper you. This I know, for He has proved it to me for forty years in succession.
My Dear Student: — Your favor of the 10th instant is at hand. God is above your teacher, your healer, or any 361earthly friend. Follow the directions of God as simplified in Christian Science, and though it be through deserts He will direct you into the paths of peace.
I do not presume to give you personal instruction as to your relations with other students. All I say is stated in Christian Science to be used as a model. Please find it there, and do not bring your Leader into a personal conflict.
CHESTNUT HILL, MASS.
CHESTNUT HILL, MASSACHUSETTS
Revered Leader, Counsellor, and Friend: — The Trustees and Readers of all the Christian Science churches and societies of Greater New York, for the first time gathered in one place with one accord, to confer harmoniously and unitedly in promoting and enlarging the activities of the Cause of Christian Science in this community, as their first act send you their loving greetings.
With hearts filled with gratitude to God, we rejoice in your inspired leadership, in your wise counselling. We revere and cherish your friendship, and assure you that it is our intention to take such action as will unite the churches and societies in this field in the bonds of Christian love and fellowship, thus demonstrating practical Christianity.
My address before the Christian Scientist Association has been misrepresented and evidently misunderstood by some students. The gist of the whole subject was not to malpractise unwittingly. In order to be sure that one is not doing this, he must avoid naming, in his mental treatment, any other individual but the patient whom he is treating, and practise only to heal. Any deviation from this direct rule is more or less 364dangerous. No mortal is infallible, — hence the Scripture, “Judge no man.”
The rule of mental practice in Christian Science is strictly to handle no other mentality but the mind of your patient, and treat this mind to be Christly. Any departure from this golden rule is inadmissible. This mental practice includes and inculcates the commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Animal magnetism, hypnotism, etc., are disarmed by the practitioner who excludes from his own consciousness, and that of his patients, all sense of the realism of any other cause or effect save that which cometh from God. And he should teach his students to defend themselves from all evil, and to heal the sick, by recognizing the supremacy and allness of good. This epitomizes what heals all manner of sickness and disease, moral or physical.
The esteem in which Mrs. Eddy is held in Concord has been officially expressed in the following preamble and resolutions, which were unanimously adopted by the Board of Aldermen and Common Council of that city and thus have become a part of Concord’s records
CONCORD, N. H.
Gentlemen: — I have not only the pleasure, but the honor of replying to the City Council of Concord, in joint convention assembled, and to Alderman Cressy, for the kindly resolutions passed by your honorable body, and for which I thank you deeply. Lest I should acknowledge more than I deserve of praise, I leave their courteous opinions to their good judgment.
366 My early days hold rich recollections of associations with your churches and institutions, and memory has a distinct model in granite of the good folk in Concord, which, like the granite of their State, steadfast and enduring, has hinted this quality to other states and nations all over the world.
My home influence, early education, and church experience, have unquestionably ripened into the fruits of my present religious experience, and for this I prize them. May I honor this origin and deserve the continued friendship and esteem of the people in my native State.