by Mark Twain
BOOK I of this volume occupies a quarter or a third of the volume,
and consists of matter written about four years ago, but not hitherto
published in book form. It contained errors of judgment and of fact.
I have now corrected these to the best of my ability and later
Book II was written at the beginning of 1903, and has not until now
appeared in any form. In it my purpose has been to present a
character- portrait of Mrs. Eddy, drawn from her own acts and words
solely, not from hearsay and rumor; and to explain the nature and
scope of her Monarchy, as revealed in the Laws by which she governs
it, and which she wrote herself.
MARK TWAIN NEW YORK. January, 1907.
BOOK I. CHRISTIAN SCIENCE
"It is the first time since the dawn-days of Creation that
a Voice has gone crashing through space with such
placid and complacent confidence and command."
CHAPTER I. VIENNA 1899.
This last summer, when I was on my way back to Vienna from the
Appetite- Cure in the mountains, I fell over a cliff in the twilight,
and broke some arms and legs and one thing or another, and by good
luck was found by some peasants who had lost an ass, and they carried
me to the nearest habitation, which was one of those large, low,
thatch-roofed farm-houses, with apartments in the garret for the
family, and a cunning little porch under the deep gable decorated with
boxes of bright colored flowers and cats; on the ground floor a large
and light sitting-room, separated from the milch-cattle apartment by a
partition; and in the front yard rose stately and fine the wealth and
pride of the house, the manure-pile. That sentence is Germanic, and
shows that I am acquiring that sort of mastery of the art and spirit
of the language which enables a man to travel all day in one sentence
without changing cars.
There was a village a mile away, and a horse doctor lived there,
but there was no surgeon. It seemed a bad outlook; mine was
distinctly a surgery case. Then it was remembered that a lady from
Boston was summering in that village, and she was a Christian Science
doctor and could cure anything. So she was sent for. It was night by
this time, and she could not conveniently come, but sent word that it
was no matter, there was no hurry, she would give me "absent
treatment" now, and come in the morning; meantime she begged me to
make myself tranquil and comfortable and remember that there was
nothing the matter with me. I thought there must be some mistake.
"Did you tell her I walked off a cliff seventy-five feet high?"
"And struck a boulder at the bottom and bounced?"
"And struck another one and bounced again?"
"And struck another one and bounced yet again?"
"And broke the boulders?"
"That accounts for it; she is thinking of the boulders. Why didn't
you tell her I got hurt, too?"
"I did. I told her what you told me to tell her: that you were now
but an incoherent series of compound fractures extending from your
scalp-lock to your heels, and that the comminuted projections caused
you to look like a hat-rack."
"And it was after this that she wished me to remember that there
was nothing the matter with me?"
"Those were her words."
"I do not understand it. I believe she has not diagnosed the case
with sufficient care. Did she look like a person who was theorizing,
or did she look like one who has fallen off precipices herself and
brings to the aid of abstract science the confirmations of personal
It was too large a contract for the Stubenmadchen's vocabulary; she
couldn't call the hand. I allowed the subject to rest there, and
asked for something to eat and smoke, and something hot to drink, and
a basket to pile my legs in; but I could not have any of these things.
"She said you would need nothing at all."
"But I am hungry and thirsty, and in desperate pain."
"She said you would have these delusions, but must pay no attention
to them. She wants you to particularly remember that there are no
such things as hunger and thirst and pain.''
"She does does she?"
"It is what she said."
Does she seem to be in full and functionable possession of her
intellectual plant, such as it is?"
"Do they let her run at large, or do they tie her up?"
"Tie her up?"
"There, good-night, run along, you are a good girl, but your mental
Geschirr is not arranged for light and airy conversation. Leave me to
It was a night of anguish, of course-at least, I supposed it was,
for it had all the symptoms of it--but it passed at last, and the
Christian Scientist came, and I was glad She was middle-aged, and
large and bony, and erect, and had an austere face and a resolute jaw
and a Roman beak and was a widow in the third degree, and her name was
Fuller. I was eager to get to business and find relief, but she was
distressingly deliberate. She unpinned and unhooked and uncoupled her
upholsteries one by one, abolished the wrinkles with a flirt of her
hand, and hung the articles up; peeled off her gloves and disposed of
them, got a book out of her hand-bag, then drew a chair to the
bedside, descended into it without hurry, and I hung out my tongue.
She said, with pity but without passion:
"Return it to its receptacle. We deal with the mind only, not with
its dumb servants."
I could not offer my pulse, because the connection was broken; but
she detected the apology before I could word it, and indicated by a
negative tilt of her head that the pulse was another dumb servant that
she had no use for. Then I thought I would tell her my symptoms and
how I felt, so that she would understand the case; but that was
another inconsequence, she did not need to know those things;
moreover, my remark about how I felt was an abuse of language, a
misapplication of terms.
"One does not feel," she explained; "there is no such thing as
feeling: therefore, to speak of a non-existent thing as existent is a
contradiction. Matter has no existence; nothing exists but mind; the
mind cannot feel pain, it can only imagine it."
"But if it hurts, just the same--"
"It doesn't. A thing which is unreal cannot exercise the functions
of reality. Pain is unreal; hence, pain cannot hurt."
In making a sweeping gesture to indicate the act of shooing the
illusion of pain out of the mind, she raked her hand on a pin in her
dress, said "Ouch!" and went tranquilly on with her talk. "You should
never allow yourself to speak of how you feel, nor permit others to
ask you how you are feeling; you should never concede that you are
ill, nor permit others to talk about disease or pain or death or
similar nonexistences in your presence. Such talk only encourages the
mind to continue its empty imaginings." Just at that point the
Stuben-madchen trod on the cat's tail, and the cat let fly a frenzy of
cat-profanity. I asked, with caution:
"Is a cat's opinion about pain valuable?"
"A cat has no opinion; opinions proceed from mind only; the lower
animals, being eternally perishable, have not been granted mind;
without mind, opinion is impossible."
"She merely imagined she felt a pain--the cat?"
"She cannot imagine a pain, for imagining is an effect of mind;
without mind, there is no imagination. A cat has no imagination."
"Then she had a real pain?"
"I have already told you there is no such thing as real pain."
"It is strange and interesting. I do wonder what was the matter
with the cat. Because, there being no such thing as a real pain, and
she not being able to imagine an imaginary one, it would seem that God
in His pity has compensated the cat with some kind of a mysterious
emotion usable when her tail is trodden on which, for the moment,
joins cat and Christian in one common brotherhood of--"
She broke in with an irritated--
"Peace! The cat feels nothing, the Christian feels nothing. Your
empty and foolish imaginings are profanation and blasphemy, and can do
you an injury. It is wiser and better and holier to recognize and
confess that there is no such thing as disease or pain or death."
"I am full of imaginary tortures," I said, "but I do not think I
could be any more uncomfortable if they were real ones. What must I
do to get rid of them?"
"There is no occasion to get rid of them. since they do not exist.
They are illusions propagated by matter, and matter has no existence;
there is no such thing as matter."
"It sounds right and clear, but yet it seems in a degree elusive;
it seems to slip through, just when you think you are getting a grip
"Well, for instance: if there is no such thing as matter, how can
matter propagate things?"
In her compassion she almost smiled. She would have smiled if
there were any such thing as a smile.
"It is quite simple," she said; "the fundamental propositions of
Christian Science explain it, and they are summarized in the four
following self-evident propositions: 1. God is All in all. 2. God
is good. Good is Mind 3. God, Spirit, being all, nothing is matter
4. Life, God, omnipotent Good, deny death, evil, sin, disease.
There--now you see."
It seemed nebulous; it did not seem to say anything about the
difficulty in hand--how non-existent matter can propagate illusions I
said, with some hesitancy:
"Does--does it explain?"
"Doesn't it? Even if read backward it will do it."
With a budding hope, I asked her to do it backwards.
"Very well. Disease sin evil death deny Good omnipotent God life
matter is nothing all being Spirit God Mind is Good good is God all in
All is God. There do you understand now?
"It--it--well, it is plainer than it was before; still-- "
"Could you try it some more ways?"
"As many as you like; it always means the same. Interchanged in
any way you please it cannot be made to mean anything different from
what it means when put in any other way. Because it is perfect. You
can jumble it all up, and it makes no difference: it always comes out
the way it was before. It was a marvelous mind that produced it. As
a mental tour de force it is without a mate, it defies alike the
simple, the concrete, and the occult."
"It seems to be a corker."
I blushed for the word, but it was out before I could stop it.
"A--wonderful structure--combination, so to speak, of profound
thoughts-- unthinkable ones--um--"
It is true. Read backward, or forward, or perpendicularly, or at
any given angle, these four propositions will always be found to agree
in statement and proof."
"Ah--proof. Now we are coming at it. The statements agree; they
agree with--with--anyway, they agree; I noticed that; but what is it
they prove I mean, in particular?"
"Why, nothing could be clearer. They prove:
1. GOD--Principle, Life, Truth, Love, Soul, Spirit, Mind. Do you
"I--well, I seem to. Go on, please."
"2. MAN--God's universal idea, individual, perfect, eternal. Is
"It--I think so. Continue."
"3. IDEA--An image in Mind; the immediate object of understanding.
There it is--the whole sublime Arcana of Christian Science in a
nutshell. Do you find a weak place in it anywhere?"
"Well--no; it seems strong."
"Very well There is more. Those three constitute the Scientific
Definition of Immortal Mind. Next, we have the Scientific Definition
of Mortal Mind. Thus. FIRST DEGREE: Depravity I. Physical-Passions
and appetites, fear, depraved will, pride, envy, deceit, hatred,
revenge, sin, disease, death."
"Phantasms, madam--unrealities, as I understand it."
"Every one. SECOND DEGREE: Evil Disappearing. I. Moral-Honesty,
affection, compassion, hope, faith, meekness, temperance. Is it
"THIRD DEGREE: Spiritual Salvation. I. Spiritual-Faith, wisdom,
power, purity, understanding, health, love. You see how searchingly
and co- ordinately interdependent and anthropomorphous it all is. In
this Third Degree, as we know by the revelations of Christian Science,
mortal mind disappears."
"No, not until the teaching and preparation for the Third Degree
"It is not until then that one is enabled to take hold of Christian
Science effectively, and with the right sense of sympathy and kinship,
as I understand you. That is to say, it could not succeed during the
processes of the Second Degree, because there would still be remains
of mind left; and therefore--but I interrupted you. You were about to
further explain the good results proceeding from the erosions and
disintegrations effected by the Third Degree. It is very interesting;
go on, please."
"Yes, as I was saying, in this Third Degree mortal mind disappears.
Science so reverses the evidence before the corporeal human senses as
to make this scriptural testimony true in our hearts, 'the last shall
be first and the first shall be last,' that God and His idea may be to
us-- what divinity really is, and must of necessity be all-inclusive."
"It is beautiful. And with what exhaustive exactness your choice
and arrangement of words confirm and establish what you have claimed
for the powers and functions of the Third Degree. The Second could
probably produce only temporary absence of mind; it is reserved to the
Third to make it permanent. A sentence framed under the auspices of
the Second could have a kind of meaning--a sort of deceptive semblance
of it-- whereas it is only under the magic of the Third that that
defect would disappear. Also, without doubt, it is the Third Degree
that contributes another remarkable specialty to Christian
Science--viz., ease and flow and lavishness of words, and rhythm and
swing and smoothness. There must be a special reason for this?"
"Yes--God-- all, all--God, good God, non-Matter, Matteration,
Spirit, Bones, Truth."
"That explains it."
"There is nothing in Christian Science that is not explicable; for
God is one, Time is one, Individuality is one, and may be one of a
series, one of many, as an individual man, individual horse; whereas
God is one, not one of a series, but one alone and without an equal."
"These are noble thoughts. They make one burn to know more. How
does Christian Science explain the spiritual relation of systematic
duality to incidental deflection?"
"Christian Science reverses the seeming relation of Soul and
body--as astronomy reverses the human perception of the movement of
the solar system--and makes body tributary to the Mind. As it is the
earth which is in motion, While the sun is at rest, though in viewing
the sun rise one finds it impossible to believe the sun not to be
really rising, so the body is but the humble servant of the restful
Mind, though it seems otherwise to finite sense; but we shall never
understand this while we admit that soul is in body, or mind in
matter, and that man is included in non-intelligence. Soul is God,
unchangeable and eternal; and man coexists with and reflects Soul, for
the All-in-all is the Altogether, and the Altogether embraces the
All-one, Soul-Mind, Mind-Soul, Love, Spirit, Bones, Liver, one of a
series, alone and without an equal."
"What is the origin of Christian Science? Is it a gift of God, or
did it just happen?"
"In a sense, it is a gift of God. That is to say, its powers are
from Him, but the credit of the discovery of the powers and what they
are for is due to an American lady."
"Indeed? When did this occur?"
"In 1866. That is the immortal date when pain and disease and
death disappeared from the earth to return no more forever. That is,
the fancies for which those terms stand disappeared. The things
themselves had never existed; therefore, as soon as it was perceived
that there were no such things, they were easily banished. The
history and nature of the great discovery are set down in the book
"Did the lady write the book?"
"Yes, she wrote it all, herself. The title is Science and Health,
with Key to the Scriptures-- for she explains the Scriptures; they
were not understood before. Not even by the twelve Disciples. She
begins thus-- I will read it to you."
But she had forgotten to bring her glasses.
"Well, it is no matter," she said. "I remember the words--indeed,
all Christian Scientists know the book by heart; it is necessary in
our practice. We should otherwise make mistakes and do harm. She
begins thus: ' In the year 1866 I discovered the Science of
Metaphysical Healing, and named it Christian Science.' And She says
quite beautifully, I think--' Through Christian Science, religion and
medicine are inspired with a diviner nature and essence, fresh pinions
are given to faith and understanding, and thoughts acquaint themselves
intelligently with God.' Her very words."
"It is elegant. And it is a fine thought, too--marrying religion
to medicine, instead of medicine to the undertaker in the old way; for
religion and medicine properly belong together, they being the basis
of all spiritual and physical health. What kind of medicine do you
give for the ordinary diseases, such as--"
"We never give medicine in any circumstances whatever! We--"
"But, madam, it says--"
"I don't care what it says, and I don't wish to talk about it."
"I am sorry if I have offended, but you see the mention seemed in
some way inconsistent, and--"
"There are no inconsistencies in Christian Science. The thing is
impossible, for the Science is absolute. It cannot be otherwise,
since it proceeds directly from the All-in-all and the
Everything-in-Which, also Soul, Bones, Truth, one of a series, alone
and without equal. It is Mathematics purified from material dross and
"I can see that, but--"
"It rests upon the immovable basis of an Apodictical Principle."
The word flattened itself against my mind in trying to get in, and
disordered me a little, and before I could inquire into its
pertinency, she was already throwing the needed light:
"This Apodictical Principle is the absolute Principle of Scientific
Mind- healing, the sovereign Omnipotence which delivers the children
of men from pain, disease, decay, and every ill that flesh is heir
"Surely not every ill, every decay?"
"Every one; there are no exceptions; there is no such thing as
decay--it is an unreality, it has no existence."
"But without your glasses your failing eyesight does not permit you
"My eyesight cannot fail; nothing can fail; the Mind is master, and
the Mind permits no retrogression."
She was under the inspiration of the Third Degree, therefore there
could be no profit in continuing this part of the subject. I shifted
to other ground and inquired further concerning the Discoverer of the
"Did the discovery come suddenly, like Klondike, or after long
study and calculation, like America?"
"The comparisons are not respectful, since they refer to
trivialities-- but let it pass. I will answer in the Discoverer's own
words: 'God had been graciously fitting me, during many years, for the
reception of a final revelation of the absolute Principle of
"Many years. How many?"
"All--God, God--good, good--God, Truth, Bones, Liver, one of a
series, alone and without equal--it is amazing!"
"You may well say it, sir. Yet it is but the truth This American
lady, our revered and sacred Founder, is distinctly referred to, and
her coming prophesied, in the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse; she
could not have been more plainly indicated by St. John without
actually mentioning her name."
"How strange, how wonderful!"
"I will quote her own words, from her Key to the Scriptures: 'The
twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse has a special suggestiveness in
connection with this nineteenth century.' There--do you note that?
Think--note it well."
"But--what does it mean?"
"Listen, and you will know. I quote her inspired words again: 'In
the opening of the Sixth Seal, typical of six thousand years since
Adam, there is one distinctive feature which has special reference to
the present age. Thus:
"'Revelation xii. I. And there appeared a great wonder in
heaven--a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and
upon her head a crown of twelve stars.'
"That is our Head, our Chief, our Discoverer of Christian Science--
nothing can be plainer, nothing surer. And note this:
"'Revelation xii. 6. And the woman fled into the wilderness,
where she had a place prepared of God.'
"That is Boston. I recognize it, madam. These are sublime things,
and impressive; I never understood these passages before; please go on
with the--with the--proofs."
"Very well. Listen:
"'And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed
with a cloud; and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it
were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire. And he held in his
hand a little book.'
"A little book, merely a little book--could words be modester? Yet
how stupendous its importance! Do you know what book that was?"
"I hold it in my hand--Christian Science!"
"Love, Livers, Lights, Bones, Truth, Kidneys, one of a series,
alone and without equal-- it is beyond imagination for wonder!"
"Hear our Founder's eloquent words: 'Then will a voice from harmony
cry, "Go and take the little book: take it and eat it up, and it shall
make thy belly bitter; but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey."
Mortal, obey the heavenly evangel. Take up Divine Science. Read it
from beginning to end. Study it, ponder it. It will be, indeed,
sweet at its first taste, when it heals you; but murmur not over
Truth, if you find its digestion bitter.' You now know the history of
our dear and holy Science, sir, and that its origin is not of this
earth, but only its discovery. I will leave the book with you and
will go, now; but give yourself no uneasiness-- I will give you absent
treatment from now till I go to bed."
Under the powerful influence of the near treatment and the absent
treatment together, my bones were gradually retreating inward and
disappearing from view. The good work took a brisk start, now, and
went on swiftly. My body was diligently straining and stretching,
this way and that, to accommodate the processes of restoration, and
every minute or two I heard a dull click inside and knew that the two
ends of a fracture had been successfully joined. This muffled
clicking and gritting and grinding and rasping continued during the
next three hours, and then stopped--the connections had all been made.
All except dislocations; there were only seven of these: hips,
shoulders, knees, neck; so that was soon over; one after another they
slipped into their sockets with a sound like pulling a distant cork,
and I jumped up as good as new, as to framework, and sent for the
I was obliged to do this because I had a stomach-ache and a cold in
the head, and I was not willing to trust these things any longer in
the hands of a woman whom I did not know, and whose ability to
successfully treat mere disease I had lost all confidence. My
position was justified by the fact that the cold and the ache had been
in her charge from the first, along with the fractures, but had
experienced not a shade of relief; and, indeed, the ache was even
growing worse and worse, and more and more bitter, now, probably on
account of the protracted abstention from food and drink.
The horse-doctor came, a pleasant man and full of hope and
professional interest in the case. In the matter of smell he was
pretty aromatic--in fact, quite horsy--and I tried to arrange with him
for absent treatment, but it was not in his line, so, out of delicacy,
I did not press it. He looked at my teeth and examined my hock, and
said my age and general condition were favorable to energetic
measures; therefore he would give me something to turn the
stomach-ache into the botts and the cold in the head into the blind
staggers; then he should be on his own beat and would know what to do.
He made up a bucket of bran-mash, and said a dipperful of it every
two hours, alternated with a drench with turpentine and axle- grease
in it, would either knock my ailments out of me in twenty-four hours,
or so interest me in other ways as to make me forget they were on the
premises. He administered my first dose himself, then took his leave,
saying I was free to eat and drink anything I pleased and in any
quantity I liked. But I was not hungry any more, and did not care for
I took up the Christian Science book and read half of it, then took
a dipperful of drench and read the other half. The resulting
experiences were full of interest and adventure. All through the
rumblings and grindings and quakings and effervescings accompanying
the evolution of the ache into the botts and the cold into the blind
staggers I could note the generous struggle for mastery going on
between the mash and the drench and the literature; and often I could
tell which was ahead, and could easily distinguish the literature from
the others when the others were separate, though not when they were
mixed; for when a bran-mash and an eclectic drench are mixed together
they look just like the Apodictical Principle out on a lark, and no
one can tell it from that. The finish was reached at last, the
evolutions were complete, and a fine success, but I think that this
result could have been achieved with fewer materials. I believe the
mash was necessary to the conversion of the stomach-ache into the
botts, but I think one could develop the blind staggers out of the
literature by itself; also, that blind staggers produced in this way
would be of a better quality and more lasting than any produced by the
artificial processes of the horse-doctor.
For of all the strange and frantic and incomprehensible and
uninterpretable books which the imagination of man has created, surely
this one is the prize sample. It is written with a limitless
confidence and complacency, and with a dash and stir and earnestness
which often compel the effects of eloquence, even when the words do
not seem to have any traceable meaning. There are plenty of people
who imagine they understand the book; I know this, for I have talked
with them; but in all cases they were people who also imagined that
there were no such things as pain, sickness, and death, and no
realities in the world; nothing actually existent but Mind. It seems
to me to modify the value of their testimony. When these people talk
about Christian Science they do as Mrs. Fuller did: they do not use
their own language, but the book's; they pour out the book's showy
incoherences, and leave you to find out later that they were not
originating, but merely quoting; they seem to know the volume by
heart, and to revere it as they would a Bible-- another Bible, perhaps
I ought to say. Plainly the book was written under the mental
desolations of the Third Degree, and I feel sure that none but the
membership of that Degree can discover meanings in it. When you read
it you seem to be listening to a lively and aggressive and oracular
speech delivered in an unknown tongue, a speech whose spirit you get
but not the particulars; or, to change the figure, you seem to be
listening to a vigorous instrument which is making a noise which it
thinks is a tune, but which, to persons not members of the band, is
only the martial tooting of a trombone, and merrily stirs the soul
through the noise, but does not convey a meaning.
The book's serenities of self-satisfaction do almost seem to smack
of a heavenly origin-- they have no blood-kin in the earth. It is
more than human to be so placidly certain about things, and so finely
superior, and so airily content with one's performance. Without ever
presenting anything which may rightfully be called by the strong name
of Evidence, and sometimes without even mentioning a reason for a
deduction at all, it thunders out the startling words, "I have Proved"
so and so. It takes the Pope and all the great guns of his Church in
battery assembled to authoritatively settle and establish the meaning
of a sole and single unclarified passage of Scripture, and this at
vast cost of time and study and reflection, but the author of this
work is superior to all that: she finds the whole Bible in an
unclarified audition, and at small expense of time and no expense of
mental effort she clarifies it from lid to lid, reorganizes and
improves the meanings, then authoritatively settles and establishes
them with formulas which you cannot tell from "Let there be light!"
and "Here you have it!" It is the first time since the dawn-days of
Creation that a Voice has gone crashing through space with such placid
and complacent confidence and command.
[January, 1903. The first reading of any book whose terminology is
new and strange is nearly sure to leave the reader in a bewildered and
sarcastic state of mind. But now that, during the past two months, I
have, by diligence gained a fair acquaintanceship with Science and
Health technicalities, I no longer find the bulk of that work hard to
P.S. The wisdom harvested from the foregoing thoughts has already
done me a service and saved me a sorrow. Nearly a month ago there
came to me from one of the universities a tract by Dr. Edward Anthony
Spitzka on the "Encephalic Anatomy of the Races." I judged that my
opinion was desired by the university, and I was greatly pleased with
this attention and wrote and said I would furnish it as soon as I
could. That night I put my plodding and disheartening Christian
Science mining aside and took hold of the matter. I wrote an eager
chapter, and was expecting to finish my opinion the next day, but was
called away for a week, and my mind was soon charged with other
interests. It was not until to-day, after the lapse of nearly a
month, that I happened upon my Encephalic chapter again. Meantime,
the new wisdom had come to me, and I read it with shame. I recognized
that I had entered upon that work in far from the right temper --far
from the respectful and judicial spirit which was its due of
reverence. I had begun upon it with the following paragraph for fuel:
"FISSURES OF THE PARIETAL AND OCCIPITAL LOBES (LATERAL
SURFACE).--The Postcentral Fissural Complex--In this hemicerebrum, the
postcentral and subcentral are combined to form a continuous fissure,
attaining a length of 8.5 cm. Dorsally, the fissure bifurcates,
embracing the gyre indented by the caudal limb of the paracentral.
The caudal limb of the postcentral is joined by a transparietal
piece. In all, five additional rami spring from the combined fissure.
A vadum separates it from the parietal; another from the central."
It humiliates me, now, to see how angry I got over that; and how
scornful. I said that the style was disgraceful; that it was labored
and tumultuous, and in places violent, that the treatment was involved
and erratic, and almost, as a rule, bewildering; that to lack of
simplicity was added a lack of vocabulary; that there was quite too
much feeling shown; that if I had a dog that would get so excited and
incoherent over a tranquil subject like Encephalic Anatomy I would not
pay his tax; and at that point I got excited myself and spoke bitterly
of these mongrel insanities, and said a person might as well try to
understand Science and Health.
[I know, now, where the trouble was, and am glad of the
interruption that saved me from sending my verdict to the university.
It makes me cold to think what those people might have thought of
No one doubts--certainly not I--that the mind exercises a powerful
influence over the body. From the beginning of time, the sorcerer,
the interpreter of dreams, the fortune-teller, the charlatan, the
quack, the wild medicine-man, the educated physician, the mesmerist,
and the hypnotist have made use of the client's imagination to help
them in their work. They have all recognized the potency and
availability of that force. Physicians cure many patients with a
bread pill; they know that where the disease is only a fancy, the
patient's confidence in the doctor will make the bread pill effective.
Faith in the doctor. Perhaps that is the entire thing. It seems
to look like it. In old times the King cured the king's evil by the
touch of the royal hand. He frequently made extraordinary cures.
Could his footman have done it? No--not in his own clothes.
Disguised as the King, could he have done it? I think we may not
doubt it. I think we may feel sure that it was not the King's touch
that made the cure in any instance, but the patient's faith in the
efficacy of a King's touch. Genuine and remarkable cures have been
achieved through contact with the relics of a saint. Is it not likely
that any other bones would have done as well if the substitution had
been concealed from the patient? When I was a boy a farmer's wife who
lived five miles from our village had great fame as a
faith-doctor--that was what she called herself. Sufferers came to her
from all around, and she laid her hand upon them and said, "Have
faith-- it is all that is necessary," and they went away well of their
ailments. She was not a religious woman, and pretended to no occult
powers. She said that the patient's faith in her did the work.
Several times I saw her make immediate cures of severe toothaches.
My mother was the patient. In Austria there is a peasant who drives
a great trade in this sort of industry, and has both the high and the
low for patients. He gets into prison every now and then for
practising without a diploma, but his business is as brisk as ever
when he gets out, for his work is unquestionably successful and keeps
his reputation high. In Bavaria there is a man who performed so many
great cures that he had to retire from his profession of
stage-carpentering in order to meet the demand of his constantly
increasing body of customers. He goes on from year to year doing his
miracles, and has become very rich. He pretends to no religious
helps, no supernatural aids, but thinks there is something in his
make-up which inspires the confidence of his patients, and that it is
this confidence which does the work, and not some mysterious power
issuing from himself.
Within the last quarter of a century, in America, several sects of
curers have appeared under various names and have done notable things
in the way of healing ailments without the use of medicines. There
are the Mind Cure the Faith Cure, the Prayer Cure, the Mental Science
Cure, and the Christian-Science Cure; and apparently they all do their
miracles with the same old, powerful instrument--the patient's
imagination. Differing names, but no difference in the process. But
they do not give that instrument the credit; each sect claims that its
way differs from the ways of the others.
They all achieve some cures, there is no question about it; and the
Faith Cure and the Prayer Cure probably do no harm when they do no
good, since they do not forbid the patient to help out the cure with
medicines if he wants to; but the others bar medicines, and claim
ability to cure every conceivable human ailment through the
application of their mental forces alone. There would seem to be an
element of danger here. It has the look of claiming too much, I
think. Public confidence would probably be increased if less were
The Christian Scientist was not able to cure my stomach-ache and my
cold; but the horse-doctor did it. This convinces me that Christian
Science claims too much. In my opinion it ought to let diseases alone
and confine itself to surgery. There it would have everything its own
The horse-doctor charged me thirty kreutzers, and I paid him; in
fact, I doubled it and gave him a shilling. Mrs. Fuller brought in an
itemized bill for a crate of broken bones mended in two hundred and
thirty-four places--one dollar per fracture.
"Nothing exists but Mind?"
"Nothing," she answered. "All else is substanceless, all else is
I gave her an imaginary check, and now she is suing me for
substantial dollars. It looks inconsistent.
Let us consider that we are all partially insane. It will explain
us to each other; it will unriddle many riddles; it will make clear
and simple many things which are involved in haunting and harassing
difficulties and obscurities now.
Those of us who are not in the asylum, and not demonstrably due
there, are nevertheless, no doubt, insane in one or two particulars.
I think we must admit this; but I think that we are otherwise
healthy-minded. I think that when we all see one thing alike, it is
evidence that, as regards that one thing, our minds are perfectly
sound. Now there are really several things which we do all see alike;
things which we all accept, and about which we do not dispute. For
instance, we who are outside of the asylum all agree that water seeks
its level; that the sun gives light and heat; that fire consumes; that
fog is damp; that six times six are thirty-six, that two from ten
leaves eight; that eight and seven are fifteen. These are, perhaps,
the only things we are agreed about; but, although they are so few,
they are of inestimable value, because they make an infallible
standard of sanity. Whosoever accepts them him we know to be
substantially sane; sufficiently sane; in the working essentials,
sane. Whoever disputes a single one of them him we know to be wholly
insane, and qualified for the asylum.
Very well, the man who disputes none of them we concede to be
entitled to go at large. But that is concession enough. We cannot go
any further than that; for we know that in all matters of mere opinion
that same man is insane--just as insane as we are; just as insane as
Shakespeare was. We know exactly where to put our finger upon his
insanity: it is where his opinion differs from ours.
That is a simple rule, and easy to remember. When I, a thoughtful
and unblessed Presbyterian, examine the Koran, I know that beyond any
question every Mohammedan is insane; not in all things, but in
religious matters. When a thoughtful and unblessed Mohammedan
examines the Westminster Catechism, he knows that beyond any question
I am spiritually insane. I cannot prove to him that he is insane,
because you never can prove anything to a lunatic--for that is a part
of his insanity and the evidence of it. He cannot prove to me that I
am insane, for my mind has the same defect that afflicts his. All
Democrats are insane, but not one of them knows it; none but the
Republicans and Mugwumps know it. All the Republicans are insane, but
only the Democrats and Mugwumps can perceive it. The rule is perfect:
in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane. When I look
around me, I am often troubled to see how many people are mad. To
mention only a few:
The Atheist, The Theosophists, The Infidel, The Swedenborgians, The
Agnostic, The Shakers, The Baptist, The Millerites, The Methodist, The
Mormons, The Christian Scientist, The Laurence Oliphant Harrisites,
The Catholic, and the 115 Christian sects, the Presbyterian excepted,
The Grand Lama's people, The Monarchists, The Imperialists, The 72
Mohammedan sects, The Democrats, The Republicans (but not the
Mugwumps), The Buddhist, The Blavatsky-Buddhist, The Mind-Curists, The
Faith-Curists, The Nationalist, The Mental Scientists, The Confucian,
The Spiritualist, The Allopaths, The 2000 East Indian sects, The
Homeopaths, The Electropaths, The Peculiar People, The----
But there's no end to the list; there are millions of them! And
all insane; each in his own way; insane as to his pet fad or opinion,
but otherwise sane and rational. This should move us to be charitable
towards one another's lunacies. I recognize that in his special
belief the Christian Scientist is insane, because he does not believe
as I do; but I hail him as my mate and fellow, because I am as insane
as he insane from his point of view, and his point of view is as
authoritative as mine and worth as much. That is to say, worth a
brass farthing. Upon a great religious or political question, the
opinion of the dullest head in the world is worth the same as the
opinion of the brightest head in the world--a brass farthing. How do
we arrive at this? It is simple. The affirmative opinion of a stupid
man is neutralized by the negative opinion of his stupid neighbor no
decision is reached; the affirmative opinion of the intellectual giant
Gladstone is neutralized by the negative opinion of the intellectual
giant Newman--no decision is reached. Opinions that prove nothing
are, of course, without value any but a dead person knows that much.
This obliges us to admit the truth of the unpalatable proposition
just mentioned above --that, in disputed matters political and
religious, one man's opinion is worth no more than his peer's, and
hence it followers that no man's opinion possesses any real value. It
is a humbling thought, but there is no way to get around it: all
opinions upon these great subjects are brass-farthing opinions.
It is a mere plain, simple fact--as clear and as certain as that
eight and seven make fifteen. And by it we recognize that we are all
insane, as concerns those matters. If we were sane, we should all see
a political or religious doctrine alike; there would be no dispute: it
would be a case of eight and seven--just as it is in heaven, where all
are sane and none insane. There there is but one religion, one
belief; the harmony is perfect; there is never a discordant note.
Under protection of these preliminaries, I suppose I may now repeat
without offence that the Christian Scientist is insane. I mean him no
discourtesy, and I am not charging--nor even imagining--that he is
insaner than the rest of the human race. I think he is more
picturesquely insane than some of us. At the same time, I am quite
sure that in one important and splendid particular he is much saner
than is the vast bulk of the race.
Why is he insane? I told you before: it is because his opinions
are not ours. I know of no other reason, and I do not need any other;
it is the only way we have of discovering insanity when it is not
violent. It is merely the picturesqueness of his insanity that makes
it more interesting than my kind or yours. For instance, consider his
"little book"; the "little book" exposed in the sky eighteen centuries
ago by the flaming angel of the Apocalypse, and handed down in our day
to Mrs. Mary Baker G. Eddy, of New Hampshire, and translated by her,
word for word, into English (with help of a polisher), and now
published and distributed in hundreds of editions by her at a clear
profit per volume, above cost, of seven hundred per cent.!--a profit
which distinctly belongs to the angel of the Apocalypse, and let him
collect it if he can; a "little book" which the C.S. very frequently
calls by just that name, and always enclosed in quotation-marks to
keep its high origin exultantly in mind; a "little book" which
"explains" and reconstructs and new-paints and decorates the Bible,
and puts a mansard roof on it and a lightning-rod and all the other
modern improvements; a "little book" which for the present affects to
travel in yoke with the Bible and be friendly to it, and within half a
century will hitch the Bible in the rear and thenceforth travel
tandem, itself in the lead, in the coming great march of Christian
Scientism through the Protestant dominions of the planet.
"Hungry ones throng to hear the Bible read in connection with the
text- book of Christian Science, Science and Health, with Key to the
Scriptures, by Mary Baker G. Eddy. These are our only preachers.
They are the word of God. "Christian Science Journal", October,
Is that picturesque? A lady has told me that in a chapel of the
Mosque in Boston there is a picture or image of Mrs. Eddy, and that
before it burns a never-extinguished light. Is that picturesque? How
long do you think it will be before the Christian Scientist will be
worshipping that picture or image and praying to it? How long do you
think it will be before it is claimed that Mrs. Eddy is a Redeemer, a
Christ, and Christ's equal? Already her army of disciples speak of
her reverently as "Our Mother."
How long will it be before they place her on the steps of the
Throne beside the Virgin--and, later, a step higher? First, Mary the
Virgin and Mary the Matron; later, with a change of precedence, Mary
the Matron and Mary the Virgin. Let the artist get ready with his
canvas and his brushes; the new Renaissance is on its way, and there
will be money in altar-canvases--a thousand times as much as the Popes
and their Church ever spent on the Old Masters; for their riches were
poverty as compared with what is going to pour into the treasure-chest
of the Christian- Scientist Papacy by-and-by, let us not doubt it. We
will examine the financial outlook presently and see what it promises.
A favorite subject of the new Old Master will be the first verse of
the twelfth chapter of Revelation--a verse which Mrs. Eddy says (in
her Annex to the Scriptures) has "one distinctive feature which has
special reference to the present age"--and to her, as is rather
"And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with
the sun, and the moon under her feet," etc.
The woman clothed with the sun will be a portrait of Mrs. Eddy.
Is it insanity to believe that Christian Scientism is destined to
make the most formidable show that any new religion has made in the
world since the birth and spread of Mobammedanism, and that within a
century from now it may stand second to Rome only, in numbers and
power in Christendom?
If this is a wild dream it will not be easy to prove it so just
yet, I think. There seems argument that it may come true. The
Christian- Science "boom," proper, is not yet five years old; yet
already it has two hundred and fifty churches.
It has its start, you see, and it is a phenomenally good one.
Moreover, it is latterly spreading with a constantly accelerating
swiftness. It has a better chance to grow and prosper and achieve
permanency than any other existing "ism"; for it has more to offer
than any other. The past teaches us that in order to succeed, a
movement like this must not be a mere philosophy, it must be a
religion; also, that it must not claim entire originality, but content
itself with passing for an improvement on an existing religion, and
show its hand later, when strong and prosperous--like Mohammedanism.
Next, there must be money--and plenty of it.
Next, the power and authority and capital must be concentrated in
the grip of a small and irresponsible clique, with nobody outside
privileged to ask questions or find fault.
Next, as before remarked, it must bait its hook with some new and
attractive advantages over the baits offered by its competitors. A
new movement equipped with some of these endowments--like
spiritualism, for instance may count upon a considerable success; a
new movement equipped with the bulk of them--like Mohammedanism, for
instance-- may count upon a widely extended conquest. Mormonism had
all the requisites but one it had nothing new and nothing valuable to
bait with. Spiritualism lacked the important detail of concentration
of money and authority in the hands of an irresponsible clique.
The above equipment is excellent, admirable, powerful, but not
perfect. There is yet another detail which is worth the whole of it
put together and more; a detail which has never been joined (in the
beginning of a religious movement) to a supremely good working
equipment since the world began, until now: a new personage to
worship. Christianity had the Saviour, but at first and for
generations it lacked money and concentrated power. In Mrs. Eddy,
Christian Science possesses the new personage for worship, and in
addition--here in the very beginning--a working equipment that has not
a flaw in it. In the beginning, Mohammedanism had no money; and it
has never had anything to offer its client but heaven-- nothing here
below that was valuable. In addition to heaven hereafter, Christian
Science has present health and a cheerful spirit to offer; and in
comparison with this bribe all other this-world bribes are poor and
cheap. You recognize that this estimate is admissible, do you not?
To whom does Bellamy's "Nationalism" appeal? Necessarily to the
few: people who read and dream, and are compassionate, and troubled
for the poor and the hard-driven. To whom does Spiritualism appeal?
Necessarily to the few; its "boom" has lasted for half a century, and
I believe it claims short of four millions of adherents in America.
Who are attracted by Swedenborgianism and some of the other fine and
delicate "isms"? The few again: educated people, sensitively
organized, with superior mental endowments, who seek lofty planes of
thought and find their contentment there. And who are attracted by
Christian Science? There is no limit; its field is horizonless; its
appeal is as universal as is the appeal of Christianity itself. It
appeals to the rich, the poor, the high, the low, the cultured, the
ignorant, the gifted, the stupid, the modest, the vain, the wise, the
silly, the soldier, the civilian, the hero, the coward, the idler, the
worker, the godly, the godless, the freeman, the slave, the adult, the
child; they who are ailing in body or mind, they who have friends that
are ailing in body or mind. To mass it in a phrase, its clientage is
the Human Race. Will it march? I think so.
Remember its principal great offer: to rid the Race of pain and
disease. Can it do so? In large measure, yes. How much of the pain
and disease in the world is created by the imaginations of the
sufferers, and then kept alive by those same imaginations?
Four-fifths? Not anything short of that, I should think. Can
Christian Science banish that four-fifths ? I think so. Can any other
(organized) force do it? None that I know of. Would this be a new
world when that was accomplished? And a pleasanter one--for us well
people, as well as for those fussy and fretting sick ones? Would it
seem as if there was not as much gloomy weather as there used to be?
I think so.
In the mean time, would the Scientist kill off a good many
patients? I think so. More than get killed off now by the legalized
methods ? I will take up that question presently.
At present, I wish to ask you to examine some of the Scientist's
performances, as registered in his magazine, The Christian Science
Journal --October number, 1898. First, a Baptist clergyman gives us
this true picture of "the average orthodox Christian"--and he could
have added that it is a true picture of the average (civilized) human
"He is a worried and fretted and fearful man; afraid of himself and
his propensities, afraid of colds and fevers, afraid of treading on
serpents or drinking deadly things."
Then he gives us this contrast:
"The average Christian Scientist has put all anxiety and fretting
under his feet. He does have a victory over fear and care that is not
achieved by the average orthodox Christian."
He has put all anxiety and fretting under his feet. What
proportion of your earnings or income would you be willing to pay for
that frame of mind, year in, year out? It really outvalues any price
that can be put upon it. Where can you purchase it, at any outlay of
any sort, in any Church or out of it, except the Scientist's?
Well, it is the anxiety and fretting about colds, and fevers, and
draughts, and getting our feet wet, and about forbidden food eaten in
terror of indigestion, that brings on the cold and the fever and the
indigestion and the most of our other ailments; and so, if the Science
can banish that anxiety from the world I think it can reduce the
world's disease and pain about four-fifths.
In this October number many of the redeemed testify and give
thanks; and not coldly, but with passionate gratitude. As a rule they
seem drunk with health, and with the surprise of it, the wonder of it,
the unspeakable glory and splendor of it, after a long, sober spell
spent in inventing imaginary diseases and concreting them with
doctor-stuff. The first witness testifies that when "this most
beautiful Truth first dawned on him" he had "nearly all the ills that
flesh is heir to"; that those he did not have he thought he had --and
this made the tale about complete. What was the natural result? Why,
he was a dump-pit "for all the doctors, druggists, and patent
medicines of the country." Christian Science came to his help, and
"the old sick conditions passed away," and along with them the "dismal
forebodings" which he had been accustomed to employ in conjuring up
ailments. And so he was a healthy and cheerful man, now, and
But I am not astonished, for from other sources I know what must
have been his method of applying Christian Science. If I am in the
right, he watchfully and diligently diverted his mind from unhealthy
channels and compelled it to travel in healthy ones. Nothing
contrivable by human invention could be more formidably effective than
that, in banishing imaginary ailments and in closing the entrances
against sub-sequent applicants of their breed. I think his method was
to keep saying, "I am well! I am sound!--sound and well! well and
sound! Perfectly sound, perfectly well! I have no pain; there's no
such thing as pain! I have no disease; there's no such thing as
disease! Nothing is real but Mind; all is Mind, All-Good Good-Good,
Life, Soul, Liver, Bones, one of a series, ante and pass the buck!"
I do not mean that that was exactly the formula used, but that it
doubtless contains the spirit of it. The Scientist would attach value
to the exact formula, no doubt, and to the religious spirit in which
it was used. I should think that any formula that would divert the
mind from unwholesome channels and force it into healthy ones would
answer every purpose with some people, though not with all. I think
it most likely that a very religious man would find the addition of
the religious spirit a powerful reinforcement in his case.
The second witness testifies that the Science banished "an old
organic trouble," which the doctor and the surgeon had been nursing
with drugs and the knife for seven years.
He calls it his "claim." A surface-miner would think it was not
his claim at all, but the property of the doctor and his pal the
surgeon--for he would be misled by that word, which is
Christian-Science slang for "ailment." The Christian Scientist has no
ailment; to him there is no such thing, and he will not use the
hateful word. All that happens to him is that upon his attention an
imaginary disturbance sometimes obtrudes itself which claims to be an
ailment but isn't.
This witness offers testimony for a clergyman seventy years old who
had preached forty years in a Christian church, and has now gone over
to the new sect. He was "almost blind and deaf." He was treated by
the C. S. method, and "when he heard the voice of Truth he saw
spiritually." Saw spiritually? It is a little indefinite; they had
better treat him again. Indefinite testimonies might properly be
waste-basketed, since there is evidently no lack of definite ones
procurable; but this C. S. magazine is poorly edited, and so
mistakes of this kind must be expected.
The next witness is a soldier of the Civil War. When Christian
Science found him, he had in stock the following claims :
Indigestion, Rheumatism, Catarrh, Chalky deposits in
Shoulder-joints, Arm-joints, Hand-joints, Insomnia, Atrophy of the
muscles of Arms. Shoulders, Stiffness of all those joints,
Excruciating pains most of the time.
These claims have a very substantial sound. They came of exposure
in the campaigns. The doctors did all they could, but it was little.
Prayers were tried, but "I never realized any physical relief from
that source." After thirty years of torture, he went to a Christian
Scientist and took an hour's treatment and went home painless. Two
days later, he "began to eat like a well man." Then "the claims
vanished--some at once, others more gradually"; finally, "they have
almost entirely disappeared." And-- a thing which is of still greater
value--he is now "contented and happy." That is a detail which, as
earlier remarked, is a Scientist-Church specialty. And, indeed, one
may go further and assert with little or no exaggeration that it is a
Christian-Science monopoly. With thirty-one years' effort, the
Methodist Church had not succeeded in furnishing it to this harassed
And so the tale goes on. Witness after witness bulletins his
claims, declares their prompt abolishment, and gives Mrs. Eddy's
Discovery the praise. Milk-leg is cured; nervous prostration is
cured; consumption is cured; and St. Vitus's dance is made a pastime.
Even without a fiddle. And now and then an interesting new addition
to the Science slang appears on the page. We have "demonstrations
over chilblains" and such things. It seems to be a curtailed way of
saying "demonstrations of the power of Christian-Science Truth over
the fiction which masquerades under the name of Chilblains." The
children, as well as the adults, share in the blessings of the
Science. "Through the study of the 'little book' they are learning
how to be healthful, peaceful, and wise." Sometimes they are cured of
their little claims by the professional healer, and sometimes more
advanced children say over the formula and cure themselves.
A little Far-Western girl of nine, equipped with an adult
vocabulary, states her age and says, "I thought I would write a
demonstration to you." She had a claim, derived from getting flung
over a pony's head and landed on a rockpile. She saved herself from
disaster by remembering to say "God is All" while she was in the air.
I couldn't have done it. I shouldn't even have thought of it. I
should have been too excited. Nothing but Christian Science could have
enabled that child to do that calm and thoughtful and judicious thing
in those circumstances. She came down on her head, and by all the
rules she should have broken it; but the intervention of the formula
prevented that, so the only claim resulting was a blackened eye.
Monday morning it was still swollen and shut. At school "it hurt
pretty badly--that is, it seemed to." So "I was excused, and went
down to the basement and said, 'Now I am depending on mamma instead of
God, and I will depend on God instead of mamma.'" No doubt this would
have answered; but, to make sure, she added Mrs. Eddy to the team and
recited "the Scientific Statement of Being," which is one of the
principal incantations, I judge. Then "I felt my eye opening." Why,
dear, it would have opened an oyster. I think it is one of the
touchingest things in child-history, that pious little rat down cellar
pumping away at the Scientific Statement of Being.
There is a page about another good child--little Gordon. Little
Gordon "came into the world without the assistance of surgery or
anaesthetics." He was a "demonstration." A painless one; therefore,
his coming evoked "joy and thankfulness to God and the Discoverer of
Christian Science." It is a noticeable feature of this literature--the
so frequent linking together of the Two Beings in an equal bond; also
of Their Two Bibles. When little Gordon was two years old, "he was
playing horse on the bed, where I had left my 'little book.' I noticed
him stop in his play, take the book carefully in his little hands,
kiss it softly, then look about for the highest place of safety his
arms could reach, and put it there." This pious act filled the mother
"with such a train of thought as I had never experienced before. I
thought of the sweet mother of long ago who kept things in her heart,"
etc. It is a bold comparison; however, unconscious profanations are
about as common in the mouths of the lay member ship of the new Church
as are frank and open ones in the mouths of its consecrated chiefs.
Some days later, the family library--Christian-Science books--was
lying in a deep-seated window. This was another chance for the holy
child to show off. He left his play and went there and pushed all the
books to one side, except the Annex "It he took in both hands, slowly
raised it to his lips, then removed it carefully, and seated himself
in the window." It had seemed to the mother too wonderful to be true,
that first time; but now she was convinced that "neither imagination
nor accident had anything to do with it." Later, little Gordon let
the author of his being see him do it. After that he did it
frequently; probably every time anybody was looking. I would rather
have that child than a chromo. If this tale has any object, it is to
intimate that the inspired book was supernaturally able to convey a
sense of its sacred and awful character to this innocent little
creature, without the intervention of outside aids. The magazine is
not edited with high-priced discretion. The editor has a "claim," and
he ought to get it treated.
Among other witnesses there is one who had a "jumping toothache,"
which several times tempted her to "believe that there was sensation
in matter, but each time it was overcome by the power of Truth." She
would not allow the dentist to use cocaine, but sat there and let him
punch and drill and split and crush the tooth, and tear and slash its
ulcerations, and pull out the nerve, and dig out fragments of bone;
and she wouldn't once confess that it hurt. And to this day she
thinks it didn't, and I have not a doubt that she is nine-tenths
right, and that her Christian- Science faith did her better service
than she could have gotten out of cocaine.
There is an account of a boy who got broken all up into small bits
by an accident, but said over the Scientific Statement of Being, or
some of the other incantations, and got well and sound without having
suffered any real pain and without the intrusion of a surgeon.
Also, there is an account of the restoration to perfect health, in
a single night, of a fatally injured horse, by the application of
Christian Science. I can stand a good deal, but I recognize that the
ice is getting thin, here. That horse had as many as fifty claims;
how could he demonstrate over them? Could he do the All-Good,
Good-Good, Good- Gracious, Liver, Bones, Truth, All down but Nine, Set
them up on the Other Alley? Could he intone the Scientific Statement
of Being? Now, could he? Wouldn't it give him a relapse? Let us
draw the line at horses. Horses and furniture.
There is plenty of other testimonies in the magazine, but these
quoted samples will answer. They show the kind of trade the Science
is driving. Now we come back to the question, Does the Science kill a
patient here and there and now and then? We must concede it. Does it
compensate for this? I am persuaded that it can make a plausible
showing in that direction. For instance: when it lays its hand upon a
soldier who has suffered thirty years of helpless torture and makes
him whole in body and mind, what is the actual sum of that
achievement? This,.I think: that it has restored to life a subject
who had essentially died ten deaths a year for thirty years, and each
of them a long and painful one. But for its interference that man in
the three years which have since elapsed, would have essentially died
thirty times more. There are thousands of young people in the land
who are now ready to enter upon a life-long death similar to that
man's. Every time the Science captures one of these and secures to
him life-long immunity from imagination-manufactured disease, it may
plausibly claim that in his person it has saved three hundred lives.
Meantime, it will kill a man every now and then. But no matter, it
will still be ahead on the credit side.
[NOTE.--I have received several letters (two from educated and
ostensibly intelligent persons), which contained, in substance, this
protest: "I don't object to men and women chancing their lives with
these people, but it is a burning shame that the law should allow them
to trust their helpless little children in their deadly hands. "Isn't
it touching? Isn't it deep? Isn't it modest? It is as if the person
said: "I know that to a parent his child is the core of his heart, the
apple of his eye, a possession so dear, so precious that he will trust
its life in no hands but those which he believes, with all his soul,
to be the very best and the very safest, but it is a burning shame
that the law does not require him to come to me to ask what kind of
healer I will allow him to call." The public is merely a multiplied
"We consciously declare that Science and Health, with Key to the
Scriptures, was foretold, as well as its author, Mary Baker Eddy, in
Revelation x. She is the 'mighty angel,' or God's highest thought to
this age (verse 1), giving us the spiritual interpretation of the
Bible in the 'little book open' (verse 2). Thus we prove that
Christian Science is the second coming of Christ-Truth-Spirit."
--Lecture by Dr. George Tomkins, D.D. C.S.
There you have it in plain speech. She is the mighty angel; she is
the divinely and officially sent bearer of God's highest thought. For
the present, she brings the Second Advent. We must expect that before
she has been in her grave fifty years she will be regarded by her
following as having been herself the Second Advent. She is already
worshiped, and we must expect this feeling to spread, territorially,
and also to deepen in intensity.
Particularly after her death; for then, as any one can foresee,
Eddy- Worship will be taught in the Sunday-schools and pulpits of the
cult. Already whatever she puts her trade-mark on, though it be only a
memorial-spoon, is holy and is eagerly and gratefully bought by the
disciple, and becomes a fetish in his house. I say bought, for the
Boston Christian-Science Trust gives nothing away; everything it has
is for sale. And the terms are cash; and not only cash, but cash in
advance. Its god is Mrs. Eddy first, then the Dollar. Not a
spiritual Dollar, but a real one. From end to end of the Christian
Science literature not a single (material) thing in the world is
conceded to be real, except the Dollar. But all through and through
its advertisements that reality is eagerly and persistently
The Dollar is hunted down in all sorts of ways; the
Christian-Science Mother-Church and Bargain-Counter in Boston peddles
all kinds of spiritual wares to the faithful, and always on the one
condition--cash, cash in advance. The Angel of the Apocalypse could
not go there and get a copy of his own pirated book on credit. Many,
many precious Christian- Science things are to be had there for cash:
Bible Lessons; Church Manual; C. S. Hymnal; History of the building
of the Mother-Church; lot of Sermons; Communion Hymn, "Saw Ye My
Saviour," by Mrs. Eddy, half a dollar a copy, "words used by special
permission of Mrs. Eddy." Also we have Mrs. Eddy's and the Angel's
little Blue-Annex in eight styles of binding at eight kinds of
war-prices; among these a sweet thing in "levant, divinity circuit,
leather lined to edge, round corners, gold edge, silk sewed, each,
prepaid, $6," and if you take a million you get them a shilling
cheaper --that is to say, "prepaid, $5.75." Also we have Mrs. Eddy's
Miscellaneous Writings, at 'andsome big prices, the divinity- circuit
style heading the exertions, shilling discount where you take an
edition Next comes Christ and Christmas, by the fertile Mrs. Eddy--a
poem--would God I could see it! --price $3, cash in advance. Then
follow five more books by Mrs. Eddy, at highwayman's rates, some of
them in "leatherette covers," some of them in "pebble cloth," with
divinity- circuit, compensation-balance, twin-screw, and the other
modern improvements; and at the same bargain-counter can be had The
Christian Science Journal.
Christian-Science literary discharges are a monopoly of the
Mother-Church Headquarters Factory in Boston; none genuine without the
trade-mark of the Trust. You must apply there and not elsewhere.
One hundred dollars for it. And I have a case among my statistics
where the student had a three weeks' course and paid three hundred for
The Trust does love the Dollar, when it isn't a spiritual one.
In order to force the sale of Mrs Eddy's Bible-Annex, no healer,
Metaphysical-College-bred or other, is allowed to practice the game
unless he possesses a copy of that book. That means a large and
constantly augmenting income for the Trust. No C.S. family would
consider itself loyal or pious or pain-proof without an Annex or two
in the house. That means an income for the Trust, in the near future,
of millions; not thousands-millions a year.
No member, young or old, of a branch Christian-Scientist church can
acquire and retain membership in the Mother-Church unless he pay
"capitation tax" (of "not less than a dollar," say the By-Laws) to the
Boston Trust every year. That means an income for the Trust, in the
near future, of--let us venture to say--millions more per year.
It is a reasonably safe guess that in America in 1920 there will be
ten million Christian Scientists, and three millions in Great Britain;
that these figures will be trebled in 1930; that in America in 1920
the Christian Scientists will be a political force, in 1930
politically formidable, and in 1940 the governing power in the
Republic--to remain that, permanently. And I think it a reasonable
guess that the Trust (which is already in our day pretty brusque in
its ways) will then be the most insolent and unscrupulous and
tyrannical politico-religious master that has dominated a people since
the palmy days of the Inquisition. And a stronger master than the
strongest of bygone times, because this one will have a financial
strength not dreamed of by any predecessor; as effective a
concentration of irresponsible power as any predecessor has had; in
the railway, the telegraph, and the subsidized newspaper, better
facilities for watching and managing his empire than any predecessor
has had; and, after a generation or two, he will probably divide
Christendom with the Catholic Church.
The Roman Church has a perfect organization, and it has an
effective centralization of power--but not of its cash. Its multitude
of Bishops are rich, but their riches remain in large measure in their
own hands. They collect from two hundred millions of people, but they
keep the bulk of the result at home. The Boston Pope of by-and-by
will draw his dollar-a-head capitation-tax from three hundred millions
of the human race, and the Annex and the rest of his book-shop stock
will fetch in as much more; and his Metaphysical Colleges, the annual
Pilgrimage to Mrs. Eddy's tomb, from all over the world-admission, the
Christian-Science Dollar (payable in advance)-- purchases of
consecrated glass beads, candles, memorial spoons, aureoled
chrome-portraits and bogus autographs of Mrs. Eddy; cash offerings at
her shrine no crutches of cured cripples received, and no imitations
of miraculously restored broken legs and necks allowed to be hung up
except when made out of the Holy Metal and proved by fire-assay; cash
for miracles worked at the tomb: these money- sources, with a thousand
to be yet invented and ambushed upon the devotee, will bring the
annual increment well up above a billion. And nobody but the Trust
will have the handling of it. In that day, the Trust will monopolize
the manufacture and sale of the Old and New Testaments as well as the
Annex, and raise their price to Annex rates, and compel the devotee to
buy (for even to-day a healer has to have the Annex and the Scriptures
or he is not allowed to work the game), and that will bring several
hundred million dollars more. In those days, the Trust will have an
income approaching five million dollars a day, and no expenses to be
taken out of it; no taxes to pay, and no charities to support. That
last detail should not be lightly passed over by the reader; it is
well entitled to attention.
No charities to support. No, nor even to contribute to. One
searches in vain the Trust's advertisements and the utterances of its
organs for any suggestion that it spends a penny on orphans, widows,
discharged prisoners, hospitals, ragged schools, night missions, city
missions, libraries, old people's homes, or any other object that
appeals to a human being's purse through his heart.
I have hunted, hunted, and hunted, by correspondence and otherwise,
and have not yet got upon the track of a farthing that the Trust has
spent upon any worthy object. Nothing makes a Scientist so
uncomfortable as to ask him if he knows of a case where Christian
Science has spent money on a benevolence, either among its own
adherents or elsewhere. He is obliged to say "No" And then one
discovers that the person questioned has been asked the question many
times before, and that it is getting to be a sore subject with him.
Why a sore subject? Because he has written his chiefs and asked with
high confidence for an answer that will confound these
questioners--and the chiefs did not reply. He has written again, and
then again--not with confidence, but humbly, now--and has begged for
defensive ammunition in the voice of supplication. A reply does at
last come to this effect: "We must have faith in Our Mother, and rest
content in the conviction that whatever She does with the money it is
in accordance with orders from Heaven, for She does no act of any kind
without first 'demonstrating over' it."
That settles it--as far as the disciple is concerned. His mind is
satisfied with that answer; he gets down his Annex and does an
incantation or two, and that mesmerizes his spirit and puts that to
sleep--brings it peace. Peace and comfort and joy, until some
inquirer punctures the old sore again.
Through friends in America I asked some questions, and in some
cases got definite and informing answers; in other cases the answers
were not definite and not valuable. To the question, "Does any of the
money go to charities?" the answer from an authoritative source was:
"No, not in the sense usually conveyed by this word." (The italics
are mine.) That answer is cautious. But definite, I think--utterly
and unassailably definite--although quite Christian-Scientifically
foggy in its phrasing. Christian-Science testimony is generally foggy,
generally diffuse, generally garrulous. The writer was aware that the
first word in his phrase answered the question which I was asking, but
he could not help adding nine dark words. Meaningless ones, unless
explained by him. It is quite likely, as intimated by him, that
Christian Science has invented a new class of objects to apply the
word "charity" to, but without an explanation we cannot know what they
are. We quite easily and naturally and confidently guess that they
are in all cases objects which will return five hundred per cent. on
the Trust's investment in them, but guessing is not knowledge; it is
merely, in this case, a sort of nine- tenths certainty deducible from
what we think we know of the Trust's trade principles and its sly and
furtive and shifty ways.
Sly? Deep? Judicious? The Trust understands its business. The
Trust does not give itself away. It defeats all the attempts of us
impertinents to get at its trade secrets. To this day, after all our
diligence, we have not been able to get it to confess what it does
with the money. It does not even let its own disciples find out. All
it says is, that the matter has been "demonstrated over." Now and
then a lay Scientist says, with a grateful exultation, that Mrs. Eddy
is enormously rich, but he stops there; as to whether any of the money
goes to other charities or not, he is obliged to admit that he does
not know. However, the Trust is composed of human beings; and this
justifies the conjecture that if it had a charity on its list which it
was proud of, we should soon hear of it.
"Without money and without price." Those used to be the terms.
Mrs. Eddy's Annex cancels them. The motto of Christian Science is,
"The laborer is worthy of his hire." And now that it has been
"demonstrated over," we find its spiritual meaning to be, "Do anything
and everything your hand may find to do; and charge cash for it, and
collect the money in advance." The Scientist has on his tongue's end
a cut-and-dried, Boston-supplied set of rather lean arguments, whose
function is to show that it is a Heaven-commanded duty to do this, and
that the croupiers of the game have no choice but to obey.
The Trust seems to be a reincarnation. Exodus xxxii. 4.
I have no reverence for the Trust, but I am not lacking in
reverence for the sincerities of the lay membership of the new Church.
There is every evidence that the lay members are entirely sincere in
their faith, and I think sincerity is always entitled to honor and
respect, let the inspiration of the sincerity be what it may. Zeal
and sincerity can carry a new religion further than any other
missionary except fire and sword, and I believe that the new religion
will conquer the half of Christendom in a hundred years. I am not
intending this as a compliment to the human race; I am merely stating
an opinion. And yet I think that perhaps it is a compliment to the
race. I keep in mind that saying of an orthodox preacher--quoted
further back. He conceded that this new Christianity frees its
possessor's life from frets, fears, vexations, bitterness, and all
sorts of imagination-propagated maladies and pains, and fills his
world with sunshine and his heart with gladness. If Christian
Science, with this stupendous equipment--and final salvation
added--cannot win half the Christian globe, I must be badly mistaken
in the make-up of the human race.
I think the Trust will be handed down like Me other Papacy, and
will always know how to handle its limitless cash. It will press the
button; the zeal, the energy, the sincerity, the enthusiasm of its
countless vassals will do the rest.
The power which a man's imagination has over his body to heal it or
make it sick is a force which none of us is born without. The first
man had it, the last one will possess it. If left to himself, a man
is most likely to use only the mischievous half of the force--the half
which invents imaginary ailments for him and cultivates them; and if
he is one of these--very wise people, he is quite likely to scoff at
the beneficent half of the force and deny its existence. And so, to
heal or help that man, two imaginations are required: his own and some
outsider's. The outsider, B, must imagine that his incantations are
the healing-power that is curing A, and A must imagine that this is
so. I think it is not so, at all; but no matter, the cure is
effected, and that is the main thing. The outsider's work is
unquestionably valuable; so valuable that it may fairly be likened to
the essential work performed by the engineer when he handles the
throttle and turns on the steam; the actual power is lodged
exclusively in the engine, but if the engine were left alone it would
never start of itself. Whether the engineer be named Jim, or Bob, or
Tom, it is all one--his services are necessary, and he is entitled to
such wage as he can get you to pay. Whether he be named Christian
Scientist, or Mental Scientist, or Mind Curist, or King's-Evil Expert,
or Hypnotist, it is all one; he is merely the Engineer; he simply
turns on the same old steam and the engine does the whole work.
The Christian-Scientist engineer drives exactly the same trade as
the other engineers, yet he out-prospers the whole of them put
Is it because he has captured the takingest name? I think that
that is only a small part of it. I think that the secret of his high
prosperity lies elsewhere.
The Christian Scientist has organized the business. Now that was
certainly a gigantic idea. Electricity, in limitless volume, has
existed in the air and the rocks and the earth and everywhere since
time began-- and was going to waste all the while. In our time we
have organized that scattered and wandering force and set it to work,
and backed the business with capital, and concentrated it in few and
competent hands, and the results are as we see.
The Christian Scientist has taken a force which has been lying idle
in every member of the human race since time began, and has organized
it, and backed the business with capital, and concentrated it at
Boston headquarters in the hands of a small and very competent Trust,
and there are results.
Therein lies the promise that this monopoly is going to extend its
commerce wide in the earth. I think that if the business were
conducted in the loose and disconnected fashion customary with such
things, it would achieve but little more than the modest prosperity
usually secured by unorganized great moral and commercial ventures;
but I believe that so long as this one remains compactly organized and
closely concentrated in a Trust, the spread of its dominion will
Four years ago I wrote the preceding chapters. I was assured by
the wise that Christian Science was a fleeting craze and would soon
perish. This prompt and all-competent stripe of prophet is always to
be had in the market at ground-floor rates. He does not stop to load,
or consider, or take aim, but lets fly just as he stands. Facts are
nothing to him, he has no use for such things; he works wholly by
inspiration. And so, when he is asked why he considers a new movement
a passing fad and quickly perishable, he finds himself unprepared with
a reason and is more or less embarrassed. For a moment. Only for a
moment. Then he waylays the first spectre of a reason that goes
flitting through the desert places of his mind, and is at once serene
again and ready for conflict. Serene and confident. Yet he should
not be so, since he has had no chance to examine his catch, and cannot
know whether it is going to help his contention or damage it.
The impromptu reason furnished by the early prophets of whom I have
spoken was this:
"There is nothing to Christian Science; there is nothing about it
that appeals to the intellect; its market will be restricted to the
unintelligent, the mentally inferior, the people who do not think."
They called that a reason why the cult would not flourish and
endure. It seems the equivalent of saying:
"There is no money in tinware; there is nothing about it that
appeals to the rich; its market will be restricted to the poor."
It is like bringing forward the best reason in the world why
Christian Science should flourish and live, and then blandly offering
it as a reason why it should sicken and die.
That reason was furnished me by the complacent and unfrightened
prophets four years ago, and it has been furnished me again to-day.
If conversions to new religions or to old ones were in any
considerable degree achieved through the intellect, the aforesaid
reason would be sound and sufficient, no doubt; the inquirer into
Christian Science might go away unconvinced and unconverted. But we
all know that conversions are seldom made in that way; that such a
thing as a serious and painstaking and fairly competent inquiry into
the claims of a religion or of a political dogma is a rare occurrence;
and that the vast mass of men and women are far from being capable of
making such an examination. They are not capable, for the reason that
their minds, howsoever good they may be, are not trained for such
examinations. The mind not trained for that work is no more competent
to do it than are lawyers and farmers competent to make successful
clothes without learning the tailor's trade. There are seventy-five
million men and women among us who do not know how to cut out and make
a dress-suit, and they would not think of trying; yet they all think
they can competently think out a political or religious scheme without
any apprenticeship to the business, and many of them believe they have
actually worked that miracle. But, indeed, the truth is, almost all
the men and women of our nation or of any other get their religion and
their politics where they get their astronomy--entirely at second
hand. Being untrained, they are no more able to intelligently examine
a dogma or a policy than they are to calculate an eclipse.
Men are usually competent thinkers along the lines of their
specialized training only. Within these limits alone are their
opinions and judgments valuable; outside of these limits they grope
and are lost-- usually without knowing it. In a church assemblage of
five hundred persons, there will be a man or two whose trained minds
can seize upon each detail of a great manufacturing scheme and
recognize its value or its lack of value promptly; and can pass the
details in intelligent review, section by section, and finally as a
whole, and then deliver a verdict upon the scheme which cannot be
flippantly set aside nor easily answered. And there will be one or
two other men there who can do the same thing with a great and
complicated educational project; and one or two others who can do the
like with a large scheme for applying electricity in a new and
unheard-of way; and one or two others who can do it with a showy
scheme for revolutionizing the scientific world's accepted notions
regarding geology. And so on, and so on. But the manufacturing
experts will not be competent to examine the educational scheme
intelligently, and their opinion about it would not be valuable;
neither of these two groups will be able to understand and pass upon
the electrical scheme; none of these three batches of experts will be
able to understand and pass upon the geological revolution; and
probably not one man in the entire lot will be competent to examine,
capably, the intricacies of a political or religious scheme, new or
old, and deliver a judgment upon it which any one need regard as
There you have the top crust. There will be four hundred and
seventy- five men and women present who can draw upon their training
and deliver incontrovertible judgments concerning cheese, and leather,
and cattle, and hardware, and soap, and tar, and candles, and patent
medicines, and dreams, and apparitions, and garden trucks, and cats,
and baby food, and warts, and hymns, and time-tables, and
freight-rates, and summer resorts, and whiskey, and law, and surgery,
and dentistry, and blacksmithing, and shoemaking, and dancing, and
Huyler's candy, and mathematics, and dog fights, and obstetrics, and
music, and sausages, and dry goods, and molasses, and railroad stocks,
and horses, and literature, and labor unions, and vegetables, and
morals, and lamb's fries, and etiquette, and agriculture. And not ten
among the five hundred--let their minds be ever so good and
bright--will be competent, by grace of the requisite specialized
mental training, to take hold of a complex abstraction of any kind and
make head or tail of it.
The whole five hundred are thinkers, and they are all capable
thinkers-- but only within the narrow limits of their specialized
trainings. Four hundred and ninety of them cannot competently examine
either a religious plan or a political one. A scattering few of them
do examine both--that is, they think they do. With results as
precious as when I examine the nebular theory and explain it to
If the four hundred and ninety got their religion through their
minds, and by weighed and measured detail, Christian Science would not
be a scary apparition. But they don't; they get a little of it
through their minds, more of it through their feelings, and the
overwhelming bulk of it through their environment.
Environment is the chief thing to be considered when one is
proposing to predict the future of Christian Science. It is not the
ability to reason that makes the Presbyterian, or the Baptist, or the
Methodist, or the Catholic, or the Mohammedan, or the Buddhist, or the
Mormon; it is environment. If religions were got by reasoning, we
should have the extraordinary spectacle of an American family with a
Presbyterian in it, and a Baptist, a Methodist, a Catholic, a
Mohammedan, a Buddhist, and a Mormon. A Presbyterian family does not
produce Catholic families or other religious brands, it produces its
own kind; and not by intellectual processes, but by association. And
so also with Mohammedanism, the cult which in our day is spreading
with the sweep of a world-conflagration through the Orient, that
native home of profound thought and of subtle intellectual fence, that
fertile womb whence has sprung every great religion that exists.
Including our own; for with all our brains we cannot invent a
religion and market it.
The language of my quoted prophets recurs to us now, and we wonder
to think how small a space in the world the mighty Mohammedan Church
would be occupying now, if a successful trade in its line of goods had
been conditioned upon an exhibit that would "appeal to the intellect"
instead of to "the unintelligent, the mentally inferior, the people
who do not think."
The Christian Science Church, like the Mohammedan Church, makes no
embarrassing appeal to the intellect, has no occasion to do it, and
can get along quite well without it.
Provided. Provided what? That it can secure that thing which is
worth two or three hundred thousand times more than an "appeal to the
intellect"--an environment. Can it get that? Will it be a menace to
regular Christianity if it gets that? Is it time for regular
Christianity to get alarmed? Or shall regular Christianity smile a
smile and turn over and take another nap? Won't it be wise and proper
for regular Christianity to do the old way, Me customary way, the
historical way--lock the stable-door after the horse is gone? Just as
Protestantism has smiled and nodded this long time (while the alert
and diligent Catholic was slipping in and capturing the public
schools), and is now beginning to hunt around for the key when it is
Will Christian Science get a chance to show its wares? It has
already secured that chance. Will it flourish and spread and prosper
if it shall create for itself the one thing essential to those
conditions--an environment? It has already created an environment.
There are families of Christian Scientists in every community in
America, and each family is a factory; each family turns out a
Christian Science product at the customary intervals, and contributes
it to the Cause in the only way in which contributions of recruits to
Churches are ever made on a large scale--by the puissant forces of
personal contact and association. Each family is an agency for the
Cause, and makes converts among the neighbors, and starts some more
Four years ago there were six Christian Scientists in a certain
town that I am acquainted with; a year ago there were two hundred and
fifty there; they have built a church, and its membership now numbers
four hundred. This has all been quietly done; done without frenzied
revivals, without uniforms, brass bands, street parades, corner
oratory, or any of the other customary persuasions to a godly life.
Christian Science, like Mohammedanism, is "restricted" to the
"unintelligent, the people who do not think." There lies the danger.
It makes Christian Science formidable. It is "restricted" to
ninety-nine one-hundredths of the human race, and must be reckoned
with by regular Christianity. And will be, as soon as it is too late.
There were remarkable things about the stranger called the
Man--Mystery- things so very extraordinary that they monopolized
attention and made all of him seem extraordinary; but this was not so,
the most of his qualities being of the common, every-day size and like
anybody else's. It was curious. He was of the ordinary stature, and
had the ordinary aspects; yet in him were hidden such strange
contradictions and disproportions! He was majestically fearless and
heroic; he had the strength of thirty men and the daring of thirty
thousand; handling armies, organizing states, administering
governments--these were pastimes to him; he publicly and
ostentatiously accepted the human race at its own valuation- -as
demigods--and privately and successfully dealt with it at quite
another and juster valuation--as children and slaves; his ambitions
were stupendous, and his dreams had no commerce with the humble plain,
but moved with the cloud-rack among the snow-summits. These features
of him were, indeed, extraordinary, but the rest of him was ordinary
and usual. He was so mean-minded, in the matter of jealousy, that it
was thought he was descended from a god; he was vain in little ways,
and had a pride in trivialities; he doted on ballads about moonshine
and bruised hearts; in education he was deficient, he was indifferent
to literature, and knew nothing of art; he was dumb upon all subjects
but one, indifferent to all except that one--the Nebular Theory. Upon
that one his flow of words was full and free, he was a geyser. The
official astronomers disputed his facts and deeded his views, and said
that he had invented both, they not being findable in any of the
books. But many of the laity, who wanted their nebulosities fresh,
admired his doctrine and adopted it, and it attained to great
prosperity in spite of the hostility of the experts."-- The Legend of
the Man-Mystery, ch. i.
JANUARY, 1903. When we do not know a public man personally, we
guess him out by the facts of his career. When it is Washington, we
all arrive at about one and the same result. We agree that his words
and his acts clearly interpret his character to us, and that they
never leave us in doubt as to the motives whence the words and acts
proceeded. It is the same with Joan of Arc, it is the same with two
or three or five or six others among the immortals. But in the matter
of motives and of a few details of character we agree to disagree upon
Napoleon, Cromwell, and all the rest; and to this list we must add
Mrs. Eddy. I think we can peacefully agree as to two or three
extraordinary features of her make- up, but not upon the other
features of it. We cannot peacefully agree as to her motives,
therefore her character must remain crooked to some of us and straight
to the others.
No matter, she is interesting enough without an amicable agreement.
In several ways she is the most interesting woman that ever lived,
and the most extraordinary. The same may be said of her career, and
the same may be said of its chief result. She started from nothing.
Her enemies charge that she surreptitiously took from Quimby a
peculiar system of healing which was mind-cure with a Biblical basis.
She and her friends deny that she took anything from him. This is a
matter which we can discuss by-and-by. Whether she took it or
invented it, it was-- materially--a sawdust mine when she got it, and
she has turned it into a Klondike; its spiritual dock had next to no
custom, if any at all: from it she has launched a world-religion which
has now six hundred and sixty- three churches, and she charters a new
one every four days. When we do not know a person--and also when we
do--we have to judge his size by the size and nature of his
achievements, as compared with the achievements of others in his
special line of business--there is no other way. Measured by this
standard, it is thirteen hundred years since the world has produced
any one who could reach up to Mrs. Eddy's waistbelt.
Figuratively speaking, Mrs. Eddy is already as tall as the Eiffel
tower. She is adding surprisingly to her stature every day. It is
quite within the probabilities that a century hence she will be the
most imposing figure that has cast its shadow across the globe since
the inauguration of our era. I grant that after saying these strong
things, it is necessary that I offer some details calculated to
satisfactorily demonstrate the proportions which I have claimed for
her. I will do that presently; but before exhibiting the matured
sequoia gigantea, I believe it will be best to exhibit the sprout from
which it sprang. It may save the reader from making miscalculations.
The person who imagines that a Big Tree sprout is bigger than other
kinds of sprouts is quite mistaken. It is the ordinary thing; it makes
no show, it compels no notice, it hasn't a detectible quality in it
that entitles it to attention, or suggests the future giant its sap is
suckling. That is the kind of sprout Mrs. Eddy was.
From her childhood days up to where she was running a half-century
a close race and gaining on it, she was most humanly commonplace.
She is the witness I am drawing this from. She has revealed it in
her autobiography not intentionally, of course--I am not claiming
that. An autobiography is the most treacherous thing there is. It
lets out every secret its author is trying to keep; it lets the truth
shine unobstructed through every harmless little deception he tries to
play; it pitilessly exposes him as a tin hero worshipping himself as
Big Metal every time he tries to do the modest-unconsciousness act
before the reader. This is not guessing; I am speaking from
autobiographical personal experience; I was never able to refrain from
mentioning, with a studied casualness that could deceive none but the
most incautious reader, that an ancestor of mine was sent ambassador
to Spain by Charles I., nor that in a remote branch of my family there
exists a claimant to an earldom, nor that an uncle of mine used to own
a dog that was descended from the dog that was in the Ark; and at the
same time I was never able to persuade myself to call a gibbet by its
right name when accounting for other ancestors of mine, but always
spoke of it as the "platform"--puerilely intimating that they were out
lecturing when it happened.
It is Mrs. Eddy over again. As regards her minor half, she is as
commonplace as the rest of us. Vain of trivial things all the first
half of her life, and still vain of them at seventy and recording them
with naive satisfaction--even rescuing some early rhymes of hers of
the sort that we all scribble in the innocent days of our
youth--rescuing them and printing them without pity or apology, just
as the weakest and commonest of us do in our gray age. More--she
still frankly admires them; and in her introduction of them profanely
confers upon them the holy name of "poetry." Sample:
"And laud the land whose talents rock
The cradle of her power,
And wreaths are twined round Plymouth Rock
From erudition's bower."
"Minerva's silver sandals still
Are loosed and not effete."
You note it is not a shade above the thing which all human beings
churn out in their youth.
You would not think that in a little wee primer--for that is what
the Autobiography is--a person with a tumultuous career of seventy
years behind her could find room for two or three pages of padding of
this kind, but such is the case. She evidently puts narrative
together with difficulty and is not at home in it, and is glad to have
something ready- made to fill in with. Another sample:
"Here fame-honored Hickory rears his bold form,
And bears a brave breast to the lightning and storm,
While Palm, Bay, and Laurel in classical glee,
Chase Tulip, Magnolia, and fragrant Fringe-tree."
Vivid? You can fairly see those trees galloping around. That she
could still treasure up, and print, and manifestly admire those Poems,
indicates that the most daring and masculine and masterful woman that
has appeared in the earth in centuries has the same soft, girly-girly
places in her that the rest of us have.
When it comes to selecting her ancestors she is still human,
natural, vain, commonplace--as commonplace as I am myself when I am
sorting ancestors for my autobiography. She combs out some creditable
Scots, and labels them and sets them aside for use, not overlooking
the one to whom Sir William Wallace gave "a heavy sword encased in a
brass scabbard," and naively explaining which Sir William Wallace it
was, lest we get the wrong one by the hassock; this is the one "from
whose patriotism and bravery comes that heart-stirring air, 'Scots wha
hae wi' Wallace bled.'" Hannah More was related to her ancestors. She
explains who Hannah More was.
Whenever a person informs us who Sir William Wallace was, or who
wrote "Hamlet," or where the Declaration of Independence was fought,
it fills us with a suspicion wellnigh amounting to conviction, that
that person would not suspect us of being so empty of knowledge if he
wasn't suffering from the same "claim" himself. Then we turn to page
20 of the Autobiography and happen upon this passage, and that hasty
suspicion stands rebuked:
"I gained book-knowledge with far less labor than is usually
requisite. At ten years of age I was as familiar with Lindley Murray's
Grammar as with the Westminster Catechism; and the latter I had to
repeat every Sunday. My favorite studies were Natural Philosophy,
Logic, and Moral Science. From my brother A1bert I received lessons
in the ancient tongues, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin."
You catch your breath in astonishment, and feel again and still
again the pang of that rebuke. But then your eye falls upon the next
sentence but one, and the pain passes away and you set up the
suspicion again with evil satisfaction:
"After my discovery of Christian Science, most of the knowledge I
had gleaned from school-books vanished like a dream."
That disappearance accounts for much in her miscellaneous writings.
As I was saying, she handles her "ancestral shadows," as she calls
them, just as I do mine. It is remarkable. When she runs across "a
relative of my Grandfather Baker, General Henry Knox, of Revolutionary
fame," she sets him down; when she finds another good one, "the late
Sir John Macneill, in the line of my Grandfather Baker's family," she
sets him down, and remembers that he "was prominent in British
politics, and at one time held the position of ambassador to Persia";
when she discovers that her grandparents "were likewise connected with
Captain John Lovewell, whose gallant leadership and death in the
Indian troubles of 1722-25 caused that prolonged contest to be known
historically as Lovewell's War," she sets the Captain down; when it
turns out that a cousin of her grandmother "was John Macneill, the New
Hampshire general, who fought at Lundy's Lane and won distinction in
1814 at the battle of Chippewa," she catalogues the General. (And
tells where Chippewa was.) And then she skips all her platform people;
never mentions one of them. It shows that she is just as human as any
Yet, after all, there is something very touching in her pride in
these worthy small-fry, and something large and fine in her modesty in
not caring to remember that their kinship to her can confer no
distinction upon her, whereas her mere mention of their names has
conferred upon them a faceless earthly immortality.
When she wrote this little biography her great life-work had
already been achieved, she was become renowned; to multitudes of
reverent disciples she was a sacred personage, a familiar of God, and
His inspired channel of communication with the human race. Also, to
them these following things were facts, and not doubted:
She had written a Bible in middle age, and had published it; she
had recast it, enlarged it, and published it again; she had not
stopped there, but had enlarged it further, polished its phrasing,
improved its form, and published it yet again. It was at last become
a compact, grammatical, dignified, and workman-like body of
literature. This was good training, persistent training; and in all
arts it is training that brings the art to perfection. We are now
confronted with one of the most teasing and baffling riddles of Mrs.
Eddy's history--a riddle which may be formulated thus:
How is it that a primitive literary gun which began as a
hundred-yard flint-lock smooth-bore muzzle-loader, and in the course
of forty years has acquired one notable improvement after
another--percussion cap; fixed cartridge; rifled barrel; efficiency at
half a mile how is it that such a gun, sufficiently good on an
elephant hunt (Christian Science) from the beginning, and growing
better and better all the time during forty years, has always
collapsed back to its original flint-lock estate the moment the
huntress trained it on any other creature than an elephant?
Something more than a generation ago Mrs. Eddy went out with her
flint- lock on the rabbit range; and this was a part of the result:
"After his decease, and a severe casualty deemed fatal by skilful
physicians, we discovered that the Principle of all healing and the
law that governs it is God, a divine Principle, and a spiritual not
material law, and regained health."--Preface to Science and Health,
first revision, 1883.
N.B. Not from the book itself; from the Preface.
You will notice the awkwardness of that English. If you should
carry that paragraph up to the Supreme Court of the United States in
order to find out for good and all whether the fatal casualty happened
to the dead man--as the paragraph almost asserts--or to some person or
persons not even hinted at in the paragraph, the Supreme Court would
be obliged to say that the evidence established nothing with certainty
except that there had been a casualty--victim not known.
The context thinks it explains who the victim was, but it does
nothing of the kind. It furnishes some guessing-material of a sort
which enables you to infer that it was "we" that suffered the
mentioned injury, but if you should carry the language to a court you
would not be able to prove that it necessarily meant that. "We" are
Mrs. Eddy; a funny little affectation. She replaced it later with the
more dignified third person.
The quoted paragraph is from Mrs. Eddy's preface to the first
revision of Science and Health (1883). Sixty-four pages further
along--in the body of the book (the elephant-range), she went out with
that same flint-lock and got this following result. Its English is
very nearly as straight and clean and competent as is the English of
the latest revision of Science and Health after the gun has been
improved from smooth-bore musket up to globe-sighted, long distance
"Man controlled by his Maker has no physical suffering. His body
is harmonious, his days are multiplying instead of diminishing, he is
journeying towards Life instead of death, and bringing out the new man
and crucifying the old affections, cutting them off in every material
direction until he learns the utter supremacy of Spirit and yields
In the latest revision of Science and Health (1902), the perfected
gun furnishes the following. The English is clean, compact,
dignified, almost perfect. But it is observable that it is not
prominently better than it is in the above paragraph, which was a
product of the primitive flint-lock:
"How unreasonable is the belief that we are wearing out life and
hastening to death, and at the same time we are communing with
immortality? If the departed are in rapport with mortality, or
matter, they are not spiritual, but must still be mortal, sinful,
suffering, and dying. Then wherefore look to them--even were
communication possible-- for proofs of immortality and accept them as
oracles?"--Edition of 1902, page 78.
With the above paragraphs compare these that follow. It is Mrs.
Eddy writing--after a good long twenty years of pen-practice. Compare
also with the alleged Poems already quoted. The prominent
characteristic of the Poems is affectation, artificiality; their
makeup is a complacent and pretentious outpour of false figures and
fine writing, in the sophomoric style. The same qualities and the
same style will be found, unchanged, unbettered, in these following
paragraphs--after a lapse of more than fifty years, and after--as
aforesaid--long literary training. The italics are mine:
1. "What plague spot or bacilli were [sic] gnawing [sic] at the
heart of this metropolis . . . and bringing it [the heart] on
bended knee? Why, it was an institute that had entered its
vitals--that, among other things, taught games," et cetera.--C.S.
Journal, p. 670, article entitled "A Narrative--by Mary Baker G.
2. "Parks sprang up [sic] . . . electric-cars run [sic] merrily
through several streets, concrete sidewalks and macadamized roads
dotted [sic] the place," et cetera.--Ibid.
3. "Shorn [sic] of its suburbs it had indeed little left to
admire, save to [sic] such as fancy a skeleton above ground breathing
[sic] slowly through a barren [sic] breast."--Ibid.
This is not English--I mean, grown-up English. But it is
fifteen-year-- old English, and has not grown a month since the same
mind produced the Poems. The standard of the Poems and of the
plague-spot-and-bacilli effort is exactly the same. It is most
strange that the same intellect that worded the simple and
self-contained and clean-cut paragraph beginning with "How
unreasonable is the belief," should in the very same lustrum discharge
upon the world such a verbal chaos as the utterance concerning that
plague-spot or bacilli which were gnawing at the insides of the
metropolis and bringing its heart on bended knee, thus exposing to the
eye the rest of the skeleton breathing slowly through a barren breast.
The immense contrast between the legitimate English of Science and
Health and the bastard English of Mrs. Eddy's miscellaneous work, and
between the maturity of the one diction and the juvenility of the
other, suggests--compels--the question, Are there two guns? It would
seem so. Is there a poor, foolish, old, scattering flint-lock for
rabbit, and a long-range, centre-driving, up-to-date Mauser-magazine
for elephant? It looks like it. For it is observable that in Science
and Health (the elephant-ground) the practice was good at the start
and has remained so, and that the practice in the miscellaneous,
outside, small-game field was very bad at the start and was never less
bad at any later time.
I wish to say that of Mrs. Eddy I am not requiring perfect English,
but only good English. No one can write perfect English and keep it
up through a stretch of ten chapters. It has never been done. It was
approached in the "well of English undefiled"; it has been approached
in Mrs. Eddy's Annex to that Book; it has been approached in several
English grammars; I have even approached it myself; but none of us has
Now, the English of Science and Health is good. In passages to be
found in Mrs. Eddy's Autobiography (on pages 53, 57, 101, and 113),
and on page 6 of her squalid preface to Science and Health, first
revision, she seems to me to claim the whole and sole authorship of
the book. That she wrote the Autobiography, and that preface, and the
Poems, and the Plague-spot- Bacilli, we are not permitted to doubt.
Indeed, we know she wrote them. But the very certainty that she wrote
these things compels a doubt that she wrote Science and Health. She
is guilty of little awkwardnesses of expression in the Autobiography
which a practiced pen would hardly allow to go uncorrected in even a
hasty private letter, and could not dream of passing by uncorrected in
passages intended for print. But she passes them placidly by; as
placidly as if she did not suspect that they were offenses against
third-class English. I think that that placidity was born of that
very unawareness, so to speak. I will cite a few instances from the
Autobiography. The italics are mine:
"I remember reading in my childhood certain manuscripts containing
Scriptural Sonnets, besides other verses and enigmas," etc. Page 7.
[On page 27.] "Many pale cripples went into the Church leaning on
crutches who came out carrying them on their shoulders."
It is awkward, because at the first glance it seems to say that the
cripples went in leaning on crutches which went out carrying the
cripples on their shoulders. It would have cost her no trouble to put
her "who" after her "cripples." I blame her a little; I think her
proof-reader should have been shot. We may let her capital C pass,
but it is another awkwardness, for she is talking about a building,
not about a religious society.
"Marriage and Parentage "[Chapter-heading. Page 30]. You imagine
that she is going to begin a talk about her marriage and finish with
some account of her father and mother. And so you will be deceived.
"Marriage" was right, but "Parentage" was not the best word for the
rest of the record. It refers to the birth of her own child. After a
certain period of time "my babe was born." Marriage and
Motherhood-Marriage and Maternity-Marriage and Product-Marriage and
Dividend--either of these would have fitted the facts and made the
"Without my knowledge he was appointed a guardian." Page 32.
She is speaking of her child. She means that a guardian for her
child was appointed, but that isn't what she says.
"If spiritual conclusions are separated from their premises, the
nexus is lost, and the argument with its rightful conclusions, becomes
correspondingly obscure." Page 34.
We shall never know why she put the word "correspondingly" in
there. Any fine, large word would have answered just as well:
stereoptically--any of these would have answered, any of these would
have filled the void.
"His spiritual noumenon and phenomenon silenced portraiture." Page
Yet she says she forgot everything she knew, when she discovered
Christian Science. I realize that noumenon is a daisy; and I will not
deny that I shall use it whenever I am in a company which I think I
can embarrass with it; but, at the same time, I think it is out of
place among friends in an autobiography. There, I think a person
ought not to have anything up his sleeve. It undermines confidence.
But my dissatisfaction with the quoted passage is not on account of
noumenon; it is on account of the misuse of the word "silenced." You
cannot silence portraiture with a noumenon; if portraiture should make
a noise, a way could be found to silence it, but even then it could
not be done with a noumenon. Not even with a brick, some authorities
"It may be that the mortal life-battle still wages," etc. Page 35.
That is clumsy. Battles do not wage, battles are waged. Mrs. Eddy
has one very curious and interesting peculiarity: whenever she notices
that she is chortling along without saying anything, she pulls up with
a sudden "God is over us all," or some other sounding irrelevancy, and
for the moment it seems to light up the whole district; then, before
you can recover from the shock, she goes flitting pleasantly and
meaninglessly along again, and you hurry hopefully after her, thinking
you are going to get something this time; but as soon as she has led
you far enough away from her turkey lot she takes to a tree. Whenever
she discovers that she is getting pretty disconnected, she couples-up
with an ostentatious "But" which has nothing to do with anything that
went before or is to come after, then she hitches some empties to the
train-unrelated verses from the Bible, usually--and steams out of
sight and leaves you wondering how she did that clever thing. For
striking instances, see bottom paragraph on page 34 and the paragraph
on page 35 of her Autobiography. She has a purpose--a deep and dark
and artful purpose--in what she is saying in the first paragraph, and
you guess what it is, but that is due to your own talent, not hers;
she has made it as obscure as language could do it. The other
paragraph has no meaning and no discoverable intention. It is merely
one of her God-over-alls. I cannot spare room for it in this place.
"I beheld with ineffable awe our great Master's marvelous skill in
demanding neither obedience to hygienic laws nor," etc. Page 4I.
The word is loosely chosen-skill. She probably meant judgment,
intuition, penetration, or wisdom.
"Naturally, my first jottings were but efforts to express in feeble
diction Truth's ultimate." Page 42.
One understands what she means, but she should have been able to
say what she meant--at any time before she discovered Christian
Science and forgot everything she knew--and after it, too. If she had
put "feeble" in front of "efforts" and then left out "in" and
"diction," she would have scored.
" . . . its written expression increases in perfection under the
guidance of the great Master." Page 43.
It is an error. Not even in those advantageous circumstances can
increase be added to perfection.
"Evil is not mastered by evil; it can only be overcome with Good.
This brings out the nothingness of evil, and the eternal
Somethingness vindicates the Divine Principle and improves the race of
Adam." Page 76.
This is too extraneous for me. That is the trouble with Mrs. Eddy
when she sets out to explain an over-large exhibit: the minute you
think the light is bursting upon you the candle goes out and your mind
begins to wander.
"No one else can drain the cup which I have drunk to the dregs, as
the discoverer and teacher of Christian Science" Page 47.
That is saying we cannot empty an empty cup. We knew it before;
and we know she meant to tell us that that particular cup is going to
remain empty. That is, we think that that was the idea, but we cannot
be sure. She has a perfectly astonishing talent for putting words
together in such a way as to make successful inquiry into their
She generally makes us uneasy when she begins to tune up on her
fine- writing timbrel. It carries me back to her Plague-Spot and
Poetry days, and I just dread those:
"Into mortal mind's material obliquity I gazed and stood abashed.
Blanched was the cheek of pride. My heart bent low before the
omnipotence of Spirit, and a tint of humility soft as the heart of a
moonbeam mantled the earth. Bethlehem and Bethany, Gethsemane and
Calvary, spoke to my chastened sense as by the tearful lips of a
babe." Page 48.
The heart of a moonbeam is a pretty enough Friendship's-Album
expression --let it pass, though I do think the figure a little
strained; but humility has no tint, humility has no complexion, and if
it had it could not mantle the earth. A moonbeam might--I do not
know--but she did not say it was the moonbeam. But let it go, I
cannot decide it, she mixes me up so. A babe hasn't "tearful lips,"
it's its eyes. You find none of Mrs. Eddy's kind of English in
Science and Health--not a line of it.
Setting aside title-page, index, etc., the little Autobiography
begins on page 7 and ends on page 130. My quotations are from the
first forty pages. They seem to me to prove the presence of the
'prentice hand. The style of the forty pages is loose and feeble and
'prentice-like. The movement of the narrative is not orderly and
sequential, but rambles around, and skips forward and back and here
and there and yonder, 'prentice-fashion. Many a journeyman has broken
up his narrative and skipped about and rambled around, but he did it
for a purpose, for an advantage; there was art in it, and points to be
scored by it; the observant reader perceived the game, and enjoyed it
and respected it, if it was well played. But Mrs. Eddy's performance
was without intention, and destitute of art. She could score no
points by it on those terms, and almost any reader can see that her
work was the uncalculated puttering of a novice.
In the above paragraph I have described the first third of the
booklet. That third being completed, Mrs. Eddy leaves the
rabbit-range, crosses the frontier, and steps out upon her
far-spreading big-game territory-- Christian Science and there is an
instant change! The style smartly improves; and the clumsy little
technical offenses disappear. In these two-thirds of the booklet I
find only one such offence, and it has the look of being a printer's
I leave the riddle with the reader. Perhaps he can explain how it
is that a person-trained or untrained--who on the one day can write
nothing better than Plague-Spot-Bacilli and feeble and stumbling and
wandering personal history littered with false figures and obscurities
and technical blunders, can on the next day sit down and write
fluently, smoothly, compactly, capably, and confidently on a great big
thundering subject, and do it as easily and comfortably as a whale
paddles around the globe.
As for me, I have scribbled so much in fifty years that I have
become saturated with convictions of one sort and another concerning a
scribbler's limitations; and these are so strong that when I am
familiar with a literary person's work I feel perfectly sure that I
know enough about his limitations to know what he can not do. If Mr.
Howells should pretend to me that he wrote the Plague-Spot Bacilli
rhapsody, I should receive the statement courteously; but I should
know it for a--well, for a perversion. If the late Josh Billings
should rise up and tell me that he wrote Herbert Spencer's
philosophies; I should answer and say that the spelling casts a doubt
upon his claim. If the late Jonathan Edwards should rise up and tell
me he wrote Mr. Dooley's books, I should answer and say that the
marked difference between his style and Dooley's is argument against
the soundness of his statement. You see how much I think of
circumstantial evidence. In literary matters--in my belief--it is
often better than any person's word, better than any shady character's
oath. It is difficult for me to believe that the same hand that wrote
the Plague-Spot-Bacilli and the first third of the little Eddy
biography wrote also Science and Health. Indeed, it is more than
difficult, it is impossible.
Largely speaking, I have read acres of what purported to be Mrs.
Eddy's writings, in the past two months. I cannot know, but I am
convinced, that the circumstantial evidence shows that her actual
share in the work of composing and phrasing these things was so slight
as to be inconsequential. Where she puts her literary foot down, her
trail across her paid polisher's page is as plain as the elephant's in
a Sunday-school procession. Her verbal output, when left undoctored
by her clerks, is quite unmistakable It always exhibits the strongly
distinctive features observable in the virgin passages from her pen
already quoted by me:
Desert vacancy, as regards thought. Self-complacency. Puerility.
Sentimentality. Affectations of scholarly learning. Lust after
eloquent and flowery expression. Repetition of pet poetic
picturesquenesses. Confused and wandering statement. Metaphor gone
insane. Meaningless words, used because they are pretty, or showy, or
unusual. Sorrowful attempts at the epigrammatic. Destitution of
The fat volume called Miscellaneous Writings of Mrs. Eddy contains
several hundred pages. Of the five hundred and fifty-four pages of
prose in it I find ten lines, on page 319, to be Mrs. Eddy's; also
about a page of the preface or "Prospectus"; also about fifteen pages
scattered along through the book. If she wrote any of the rest of the
prose, it was rewritten after her by another hand. Here I will insert
two-thirds of her page of the prospectus. It is evident that
whenever, under the inspiration of the Deity, she turns out a book,
she is always allowed to do some of the preface. I wonder why that
is? It always mars the work. I think it is done in humorous malice I
think the clerks like to see her give herself away. They know she
will, her stock of usable materials being limited and her procedure in
employing them always the same, substantially. They know that when
the initiated come upon her first erudite allusion, or upon any one of
her other stage-properties, they can shut their eyes and tell what
will follow. She usually throws off an easy remark all sodden with
Greek or Hebrew or Latin learning; she usually has a person watching
for a star--she can seldom get away from that poetic idea--sometimes
it is a Chaldee, sometimes a Walking Delegate, sometimes an entire
stranger, but be he what he may, he is generally there when the train
is ready to move, and has his pass in his hat-band; she generally has
a Being with a Dome on him, or some other cover that is unusual and
out of the fashion; she likes to fire off a Scripture-verse where it
will make the handsomest noise and come nearest to breaking the
connection; she often throws out a Forefelt, or a Foresplendor, or a
Foreslander where it will have a fine nautical foreto'gallant sound
and make the sentence sing; after which she is nearly sure to throw
discretion away and take to her deadly passion, Intoxicated Metaphor.
At such a time the Mrs. Eddy that does not hesitate is lost:
"The ancient Greek looked longingly for the Olympiad. The Chaldee
watched the appearing of a star; to him no higher destiny dawned on
the dome of being than that foreshadowed by signs in the heavens. The
meek Nazarene, the scoffed of all scoffers, said, 'Ye can discern the
face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?'--for
He forefelt and foresaw the ordeal of a perfect Christianity, hated by
"To kindle all minds with a gleam of gratitude, the new idea that
comes welling up from infinite Truth needs to be understood. The seer
of this age should be a sage.
"Humility is the stepping-stone to a higher recognition of Deity.
The mounting sense gathers fresh forms and strange fire from the
ashes of dissolving self, and drops the world. Meekness heightens
immortal attributes, only by removing the dust that dims them.
Goodness reveals another scene and another self seemingly rolled up
in shades, but brought to light by the evolutions of advancing
thought, whereby we discern the power of Truth and Love to heal the
"Pride is ignorance; those assume most who have the least wisdom or
experience; and they steal from their neighbor, because they have so
little of their own."--Miscellaneous Writings, page 1, and six lines
at top of page 2.
It is not believable that the hand that wrote those clumsy and
affected sentences wrote the smooth English of Science and Health.
It is often said in print that Mrs. Eddy claims that God was the
Author of Science and Health. Mr. Peabody states in his pamphlet that
"she says not she but God was the Author." I cannot find that in her
autobiography she makes this transference of the authorship, but I
think that in it she definitely claims that she did her work under His
inspiration--definitely for her; for as a rule she is not a very
definite person, even when she seems to be trying her best to be clear
and positive. Speaking of the early days when her Science was
beginning to unfold itself and gather form in her mind, she says
(Autobiography, page 43):
"The divine hand led me into a new world of light and Life, a fresh
universe--old to God, but new to His 'little one.'"
She being His little one, as I understand it.
The divine hand led her. It seems to mean "God inspired me"; but
when a person uses metaphors instead of statistics--and that is Mrs.
Eddy's common fashion--one cannot always feel sure about the
[Page 56.] "Even the Scripture gave no direct interpretation of the
Scientific basis for demonstrating the spiritual Principle of healing,
until our Heavenly Father saw fit, through the Key to the Scriptures,
in Science and Health, to unlock this 'mystery of godliness.'"
Another baffling metaphor. If she had used plain forecastle
English, and said "God wrote the Key and I put it in my book"; or if
she had said "God furnished me the solution of the mystery and I put
it on paper"; or if she had said "God did it all," then we should
understand; but her phrase is open to any and all of those
translations, and is a Key which unlocks nothing--for us. However, it
seems to at least mean "God inspired me," if nothing more.
There was personal and intimate communion, at any rate we get that
much out of the riddles. The connection extended to business, after
the establishment of the teaching and healing industry.
[Page 71.] "When God impelled me to set a price on my instruction,"
etc. Further down: "God has since shown me, in multitudinous ways, the
wisdom of this decision."
She was not able to think of a "financial equivalent"--meaning a
pecuniary equivalent--for her "instruction in Christian Science Mind-
healing." In this emergency she was "led" to charge three hundred
dollars for a term of "twelve half-days." She does not say who led
her, she only says that the amount greatly troubled her. I think it
means that the price was suggested from above, "led" being a
theological term identical with our commercial phrase "personally
conducted." She "shrank from asking it, but was finally led, by a
strange providence, to accept this fee." "Providence" is another
theological term. Two leds and a providence, taken together, make a
pretty strong argument for inspiration. I think that these statistics
make it clear that the price was arranged above. This view is
constructively supported by the fact, already quoted, that God
afterwards approved, "in multitudinous ways," her wisdom in accepting
the mentioned fee. "Multitudinous ways"-- multitudinous
encoring--suggests enthusiasm. Business enthusiasm. And it suggests
nearness. God's nearness to his "little one." Nearness, and a
watchful personal interest. A warm, palpitating, Standard-Oil
interest, so to speak. All this indicates inspiration. We may
assume, then, two inspirations: one for the book, the other for the
The evidence for inspiration is further augmented by the testimony
of Rev. George Tomkins, D.D., already quoted, that Mrs. Eddy and her
book were foretold in Revelation, and that Mrs. Eddy "is God's
brightest thought to this age, giving us the spiritual interpretation
of the Bible in the ' little book'" of the Angel.
I am aware that it is not Mr. Tomkins that is speaking, but Mrs.
Eddy. The commissioned lecturers of the Christian Science Church have
to be members of the Board of Lectureship. (By-laws Sec. 2, p. 70.)
The Board of Lectureship is selected by the Board of Directors of the
Church. (By-laws, Sec. 3, p. 70.) The Board of Directors of the
Church is the property of Mrs. Eddy. (By-laws, p. 22.) Mr. Tomkins
did not make that statement without authorization from headquarters.
He necessarily got it from the Board of Directors, the Board of
Directors from Mrs. Eddy, Mrs. Eddy from the Deity. Mr. Tomkins would
have been turned down by that procession if his remarks had been
unsatisfactory to it.
It may be that there is evidence somewhere--as has been
claimed--that Mrs. Eddy has charged upon the Deity the verbal
authorship of Science and Health. But if she ever made the charge,
she has withdrawn it (as it seems to me), and in the most formal and
unqualified; of all ways. See Autobiography, page 57:
"When the demand for this book increased . . . the copyright was
infringed. I entered a suit at Law, and my copyright was protected."
Thus it is plain that she did not plead that the Deity was the
(verbal) Author; for if she had done that, she would have lost her
case--and with rude promptness. It was in the old days before the
Berne Convention and before the passage of our amended law of 1891,
and the court would have quoted the following stern clause from the
existing statute and frowned her out of the place:
"No Foreigner can acquire copyright in the United States."
To sum up. The evidence before me indicates three things:
1. That Mrs. Eddy claims the verbal author ship for herself. 2.
That she denies it to the Deity. 3. That--in her belief--she wrote
the book under the inspiration of the Deity, but furnished the
In one place in the Autobiography she claims both the language and
the ideas; but when this witness is testifying, one must draw the line
somewhere, or she will prove both sides of her case-nine sides, if
It is too true. Much too true. Many, many times too true. She is
a most trying witness--the most trying witness that ever kissed the
Book, I am sure. There is no keeping up with her erratic testimony.
As soon as you have got her share of the authorship nailed where you
half hope and half believe it will stay and cannot be joggled loose
any more, she joggles it loose again--or seems to; you cannot be sure,
for her habit of dealing in meaningless metaphors instead of in plain,
straightforward statistics, makes it nearly always impossible to tell
just what it is she is trying to say. She was definite when she
claimed both the language and the ideas of the book. That seemed to
settle the matter. It seemed to distribute the percentages of credit
with precision between the collaborators: ninety-two per cent. to
Mrs. Eddy, who did all the work, and eight per cent. to the Deity,
who furnished the inspiration not enough of it to damage the copyright
in a country closed against Foreigners, and yet plenty to advertise
the book and market it at famine rates. Then Mrs. Eddy does not keep
still, but fetches around and comes forward and testifies again. It
is most injudicious. For she resorts to metaphor this time, and it
makes trouble, for she seems to reverse the percentages and claim only
the eight per cent. for her self. I quote from Mr. Peabody's book
(Eddyism, or Christian Science. Boston: 15 Court Square, price
"Speaking of this book, Mrs. Eddy, in January last (I901) said: 'I
should blush to write of Science and Health, with Key to the
Scriptures, as I have, were it of human origin, and I, apart from God,
its author; but as I was only a scribe echoing the harmonies of Heaven
in divine metaphysics, I cannot be supermodest of the Christian
Science text- book."'
Mr. Peabody's comment:
"Nothing could be plainer than that. Here is a distinct avowal
that the book entitled Science and Health was the work of Almighty
It does seem to amount to that. She was only a "scribe." Confound
the word, it is just a confusion, it has no determinable meaning
there, it leaves us in the air. A scribe is merely a person who
writes. He may be a copyist, he may be an amanuensis, he may be a
writer of originals, and furnish both the language and the ideas. As
usual with Mrs. Eddy, the connection affords no help--"echoing" throws
no light upon "scribe." A rock can reflect an echo, a wall can do it,
a mountain can do it, many things can do it, but a scribe can't. A
scribe that could reflect an echo could get over thirty dollars a week
in a side-show. Many impresarios would rather have him than a cow
with four tails. If we allow that this present scribe was setting
down the "harmonies of Heaven"--and certainly that seems to have been
the case then there was only one way to do it that I can think of:
listen to the music and put down the notes one after another as they
fell. In that case Mrs. Eddy did not invent the tune, she only
entered it on paper. Therefore dropping the metaphor--she was merely
an amanuensis, and furnished neither the language of Science and
Health nor the ideas. It reduces her to eight per cent. (and the
dividends on that and the rest).
Is that it? We shall never know. For Mrs. Eddy is liable to
testify again at any time. But until she does it, I think we must
conclude that the Deity was Author of the whole book, and Mrs. Eddy
merely His telephone and stenographer. Granting this, her claim as
the Voice of God stands-for the present--justified and established.
I overlooked something. It appears that there was more of that
utterance than Mr. Peabody has quoted in the above paragraph. It will
be found in Mrs. Eddy's organ, the Christian Science Journal (January,
I901) and reads as follows:
"It was not myself . . . which dictated Science and Health, with
Key to the Scriptures."
That is certainly clear enough. The words which I have removed
from that important sentence explain Who it was that did the
dictating. It was done by
"the divine power of Truth and Love, infinitely above me."
Certainly that is definite. At last, through her personal
testimony, we have a sure grip upon the following vital facts, and
they settle the authorship of Science and Health beyond peradventure:
1. Mrs. Eddy furnished "the ideas and the language." 2. God
furnished the ideas and the language.
It is a great comfort to have the matter authoritatively settled.
It is hard to locate her, she shifts about so much. She is a
shining drop of quicksilver which you put your finger on and it isn't
there. There is a paragraph in the Autobiography (page 96) which
places in seemingly darkly significant procession three Personages:
1. The Virgin Mary
2. Jesus of Nazareth.
3. Mrs. Eddy.
This is the paragraph referred to:
"No person can take the individual place of the Virgin Mary. No
person can compass or fulfil the individual mission of Jesus of
Nazareth. No person can take the place of the author of Science and
Health, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science. Each
individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity."
I have read it many times, but I still cannot be sure that I
rightly understand it. If the Saviour's name had been placed first
and the Virgin Mary's second and Mrs. Eddy's third, I should draw the
inference that a descending scale from First Importance to Second
Importance and then to Small Importance was indicated; but to place
the Virgin first, the Saviour second, and Mrs. Eddy third, seems to
turn the scale the other way and make it an ascending scale of
Importances, with Mrs. Eddy ranking the other two and holding first
I think that that was perhaps the intention, but none but a
seasoned Christian Scientist can examine a literary animal of Mrs.
Eddy's creation and tell which end of it the tail is on. She is
easily the most baffling and bewildering writer in the literary trade.
Eddy is a commonplace name, and would have an unimpressive aspect
in the list of the reformed Holy Family. She has thought of that. In
the book of By-laws written by her--"impelled by a power not one's
own"--there is a paragraph which explains how and when her disciples
came to confer a title upon her; and this explanation is followed by a
warning as to what will happen to any female Scientist who shall
"The title of Mother. Therefore if a student of Christian Science
shall apply this title, either to herself or to others, except as the
term for kinship according to the flesh, it shall be regarded by the
Church as an indication of disrespect for their Pastor Emeritus, and
unfitness to be a member of the Mother-Church."
She is the Pastor Emeritus.
While the quoted paragraph about the Procession seems to indicate
that Mrs. Eddy is expecting to occupy the First Place in it, that
expectation is not definitely avowed. In an earlier utterance of hers
she is clearer--clearer, and does not claim the first place all to
herself, but only the half of it. I quote from Mr. Peabody's book
"In the Christian Science Journal for April, 1889, when it was her
property, and published by her, it was claimed for her, and with her
sanction, that she was equal with Jesus, and elaborate effort was made
to establish the claim.
"Mrs. Eddy has distinctly authorized the claim in her behalf that
she herself was the chosen successor to and equal of Jesus."
In her Miscellaneous Writings (using her once favorite "We" for
"I") she says that "While we entertain decided views . . . and
shall express them as duty demands, we shall claim no especial gift
from our divine origin," etc.
Our divine origin. It suggests Equal again. It is inferable,
then, that in the near by-and-by the new Church will officially rank
the Holy Family in the following order:
1. Jesus of Nazareth. --1. Our Mother. 2. The Virgin Mary.
I am not playing with Christian Science and its founder, I am
examining them; and I am doing it because of the interest I feel in
the inquiry. My results may seem inadequate to the reader, but they
have for me clarified a muddle and brought a sort of order out of a
chaos, and so I value them.
My readings of Mrs. Eddy's uninspired miscellaneous literary
efforts have convinced me of several things:
1. That she did not write Science and Health. 2. That the Deity
did (or did not) write it. 3. That She thinks She wrote it. 4. That
She believes She wrote it under the Deity's inspiration. 5. That She
believes She is a Member of the Holy Family. 6. That She believes She
is the equal of the Head of it.
Finally, I think She is now entitled to the capital S--on her own
Thus far we have a part of Mrs. Eddy's portrait. Not made of
fictions, surmises, reports, rumors, innuendoes, dropped by her
enemies; no, she has furnished all of the materials herself, and laid
them on the canvas, under my general superintendence and direction.
As far as she has gone with it, it is the presentation of a
complacent, commonplace, illiterate New England woman who "forgot
everything she knew" when she discovered her discovery, then wrote a
Bible in good English under the inspiration of God, and climbed up it
to the supremest summit of earthly grandeur attainable by man--where
she sits serene to-day, beloved and worshiped by a multitude of human
beings of as good average intelligence as is possessed by those that
march under the banner of any competing cult. This is not intended to
flatter the competing cults, it is merely a statement of cold fact.
That a commonplace person should go climbing aloft and become a god
or a half-god or a quarter-god and be worshiped by men and women of
average intelligence, is nothing. It has happened a million times, it
will happen a hundred million more. It has been millions of years
since the first of these supernaturals appeared, and by the time the
last one in that inconceivably remote future shall have performed his
solemn little high-jinks on the stage and closed the business, there
will be enough of them accumulated in the museum on the Other Side to
start a heaven of their own-and jam it.
Each in his turn those little supernaturals of our by-gone ages and
aeons joined the monster procession of his predecessors and marched
horizonward, disappeared, and was forgotten. They changed nothing,
they built nothing, they left nothing behind them to remember them by,
nothing to hold their disciples together, nothing to solidify their
work and enable it to defy the assaults of time and the weather. They
passed, and left a vacancy. They made one fatal mistake; they all
made it, each in his turn: they failed to organize their forces, they
failed to centralize their strength, they failed to provide a fresh
Bible and a sure and perpetual cash income for business, and often
they failed to provide a new and accepted Divine Personage to worship.
Mrs. Eddy is not of that small fry. The materials that go to the
making of the rest of her portrait will prove it. She will furnish
She published her book. She copyrighted it. She copyrights
everything. If she should say, "Good-morning; how do you do?" she
would copyright it; for she is a careful person, and knows the value
of small things.
She began to teach her Science, she began to heal, she began to
gather converts to her new religion--fervent, sincere, devoted,
grateful people. A year or two later she organized her first Christian
Science "Association," with six of her disciples on the roster.
She continued to teach and heal. She was charging nothing, she
says, although she was very poor. She taught and healed gratis four
years altogether, she says.
Then, in 1879-81 she was become strong enough, and well enough
established, to venture a couple of impressively important moves. The
first of these moves was to aggrandize the "Association" to a
"Church." Brave? It is the right name for it, I think. The former
name suggests nothing, invited no remark, no criticism, no inquiry, no
hostility; the new name invited them all. She must have made this
intrepid venture on her own motion. She could have had no important
advisers at that early day. If we accept it as her own idea and her
own act--and I think we must--we have one key to her character. And
it will explain subsequent acts of hers that would merely stun us and
stupefy us without it. Shall we call it courage? Or shall we call it
recklessness? Courage observes; reflects; calculates; surveys the
whole situation; counts the cost, estimates the odds, makes up its
mind; then goes at the enterprise resolute to win or perish.
Recklessness does not reflect, it plunges fearlessly in with a
hurrah, and takes the risks, whatever they may be, regardless of
expense. Recklessness often fails, Mrs. Eddy has never failed--from
the point of view of her followers. The point of view of other people
is naturally not a matter of weighty importance to her.
The new Church was not born loose-jointed and featureless, but had
a defined plan, a definite character, definite aims, and a name which
was a challenge, and defied all comers. It was "a Mind-healing
Church." It was "without a creed." Its name, "The Church of Christ,
Mrs. Eddy could not copyright her Church, but she chartered it,
which was the same thing and relieved the pain. It had twenty-six
charter members. Mrs. Eddy was at once installed as its pastor.
The other venture, above referred to, was Mrs. Eddy's Massachusetts
Metaphysical College, in which was taught "the pathology of spiritual
power." She could not copyright it, but she got it chartered. For
faculty it had herself, her husband of the period (Dr. Eddy), and her
adopted son, Dr. Foster-Eddy. The college term was "barely three
weeks," she says. Again she was bold, brave, rash, reckless--choose
for yourself--for she not only began to charge the student, but
charged him a hundred dollars a week for the enlightenments. And got
it? some may ask. Easily. Pupils flocked from far and near. They
came by the hundred. Presently the term was cut down nearly half, but
the price remained as before. To be exact, the term-cut was to seven
lessons-- price, three hundred dollars. The college "yielded a large
income." This is believable. In seven years Mrs. Eddy taught, as she
avers, over four thousand students in it. (Preface to 1902 edition of
Science and Health.) Three hundred times four thousand is--but perhaps
you can cipher it yourself. I could do it ordinarily, but I fell down
yesterday and hurt my leg. Cipher it; you will see that it is a grand
sum for a woman to earn in seven years. Yet that was not all she got
out of her college in the seven.
At the time that she was charging the primary student three hundred
dollars for twelve lessons she was not content with this tidy
assessment, but had other ways of plundering him. By advertisement
she offered him privileges whereby he could add eighteen lessons to
his store for five hundred dollars more. That is to say, he could get
a total of thirty lessons in her college for eight hundred dollars.
Four thousand times eight hundred is--but it is a difficult sum for
a cripple who has not been "demonstrated over" to cipher; let it go.
She taught "over" four thousand students in seven years. "Over" is
not definite, but it probably represents a non-paying surplus of
learners over and above the paying four thousand. Charity students,
doubtless. I think that as interesting an advertisement as has been
printed since the romantic old days of the other buccaneers is this
one from the Christian Science Journal for September, 1886:
"MASSACHUSETTS METAPHYSICAL COLLEGE
"REV. MARY BAKER G. EDDY, PRESIDENT
"571 Columbus Avenue, Boston
"The collegiate course in Christian Science metaphysical healing
includes twelve lessons. Tuition, three hundred dollars.
"Course in metaphysical obstetrics includes six daily lectures, and
is open only to students from this college. Tuition, one hundred
"Class in theology, open (like the above) to graduates, receives
six additional lectures on the Scriptures, and summary of the
principle and practice of Christian Science, two hundred dollars.
"Normal class is open to those who have taken the first course at
this college; six daily lectures complete the Normal course. Tuition,
two hundred dollars.
"No invalids, and only persons of good moral character, are
accepted as students. All students are subject to examination and
rejection; and they are liable to leave the class if found unfit to
remain in it.
"A limited number of clergymen received free of charge.
"Largest discount to indigent students, one hundred dollars on the
"No deduction on the others.
"Husband and wife, entered together, three hundred dollars.
"Tuition for all strictly in advance."
There it is--the horse-leech's daughter alive again, after a three-
century vacation. Fifty or sixty hours' lecturing for eight hundred
I was in error as to one matter: there are no charity students.
Gratis- taught clergymen must not be placed under that head; they are
merely an advertisement. Pauper students can get into the infant
class on a two- third rate (cash in advance), but not even an
archangel can get into the rest of the game at anything short of par,
cash down. For it is "in the spirit of Christ's charity, as one who
is joyful to bear healing to the sick " that Mrs. Eddy is working the
game. She sends the healing to them outside. She cannot bear it to
them inside the college, for the reason that she does not allow a sick
candidate to get in. It is true that this smells of inconsistency,
but that is nothing; Mrs. Eddy would not be Mrs. Eddy if she should
ever chance to be consistent about anything two days running.
Except in the matter of the Dollar. The Dollar, and appetite for
power and notoriety. English must also be added; she is always
consistent, she is always Mrs. Eddy, in her English: it is always and
consistently confused and crippled and poor. She wrote the
Advertisement; her literary trade-marks are there. When she says all
"students" are subject to examination, she does not mean students, she
means candidates for that lofty place When she says students are
"liable" to leave the class if found unfit to remain in it, she does
not mean that if they find themselves unfit, or be found unfit by
others, they will be likely to ask permission to leave the class; she
means that if she finds them unfit she will be "liable" to fire them
out. When she nobly offers "tuition for all strictly in advance," she
does not mean "instruction for all in advance-payment for it later."
No, that is only what she says, it is not what she means. If she had
written Science and Health, the oldest man in the world would not be
able to tell with certainty what any passage in it was intended to
Her Church was on its legs.
She was its pastor. It was prospering.
She was appointed one of a committee to draught By-laws for its
government. It may be observed, without overplus of irreverence, that
this was larks for her. She did all of the draughting herself. From
the very beginning she was always in the front seat when there was
business to be done; in the front seat, with both eyes open, and
looking sharply out for Number One; in the front seat, working Mortal
Mind with fine effectiveness and giving Immortal Mind a rest for
Sunday. When her Church was reorganized, by-and-by, the By-laws were
retained. She saw to that. In these Laws for the government of her
Church, her empire, her despotism, Mrs. Eddy's character is embalmed
for good and all. I think a particularized examination of these
Church-laws will be found interesting. And not the less so if we keep
in mind that they were "impelled by a power not one's own," as she
says--Anglice. the inspiration of God.
It is a Church "without a creed." Still, it has one. Mrs. Eddy
draughted it--and copyrighted it. In her own name. You cannot become
a member of the Mother-Church (nor of any Christian Science Church)
without signing it. It forms the first chapter of the By-laws, and is
called "Tenets." "Tenets of The Mother Church, The First Church of
Christ, Scientist." It has no hell in it--it throws it overboard.
THE PASTOR EMERITUS
About the time of the reorganization, Mrs. Eddy retired from her
position of pastor of her Church, abolished the office of pastor in
all branch Churches, and appointed her book, Science and Health, to be
pastor- universal. Mrs. Eddy did not disconnect herself from the
office entirely, when she retired, but appointed herself Pastor
Emeritus. It is a misleading title, and belongs to the family of that
phrase "without a creed." It advertises her as being a merely
honorary official, with nothing to do, and no authority. The Czar of
Russia is Emperor Emeritus on the same terms. Mrs. Eddy was Autocrat
of the Church before, with limitless authority, and she kept her grip
on that limitless authority when she took that fictitious title.
It is curious and interesting to note with what an unerring
instinct the Pastor Emeritus has thought out and forecast all possible
encroachments upon her planned autocracy, and barred the way against
them, in the By- laws which she framed and copyrighted--under the
guidance of the Supreme Being.
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
For instance, when Article I. speaks of a President and Board of
Directors, you think you have discovered a formidable check upon the
powers and ambitions of the honorary pastor, the ornamental pastor,
the functionless pastor, the Pastor Emeritus, but it is a mistake.
These great officials are of the phrase--family of the
Church-Without-a-Creed and the Pastor-With-Nothing-to-Do; that is to
say, of the family of Large-Names-Which-Mean-Nothing. The Board is of
so little consequence that the By-laws do not state how it is chosen,
nor who does it; but they do state, most definitely, that the Board
cannot fill a vacancy in its number "except the candidate is approved
by the Pastor Emeritus."
The "candidate." The Board cannot even proceed to an election
until the Pastor Emeritus has examined the list and squelched such
candidates as are not satisfactory to her.
Whether the original first Board began as the personal property of
Mrs. Eddy or not, it is foreseeable that in time, under this By-law,
she would own it. Such a first Board might chafe under such a rule as
that, and try to legislate it out of existence some day. But Mrs.
Eddy was awake. She foresaw that danger, and added this ingenious and
"This By-law can neither be amended nor annulled, except by consent
of Mrs. Eddy, the Pastor Emeritus"
The Board of Directors, or Serfs, or Ciphers, elects the President.
On these clearly worded terms: "Subject to the approval of the
Therefore She elects him.
A long term can invest a high official with influence and power,
and make him dangerous. Mrs. Eddy reflected upon that; so she limits
the President's term to a year. She has a capable commercial head, an
organizing head, a head for government.
TREASURER AND CLERK
There are a Treasurer and a Clerk. They are elected by the Board
of Directors. That is to say, by Mrs. Eddy.
Their terms of office expire on the first Tuesday in June of each
year, "or upon the election of their successors." They must be
watchfully obedient and satisfactory to her, or she will elect and
install their successors with a suddenness that can be unpleasant to
them. It goes without saying that the Treasurer manages the Treasury
to suit Mrs. Eddy, and is in fact merely Temporary Deputy Treasurer.
Apparently the Clerk has but two duties to perform: to read
messages from Mrs. Eddy to First Members assembled in solemn Council,
and provide lists of candidates for Church membership. The select
body entitled First Members are the aristocracy of the Mother-Church,
the Charter Members, the Aborigines, a sort of stylish but unsalaried
little College of Cardinals, good for show, but not indispensable.
Nobody is indispensable in Mrs. Eddy's empire; she sees to that.
When the Pastor Emeritus sends a letter or message to that little
Sanhedrin, it is the Clerk's "imperative duty" to read it "at the
place and time specified." Otherwise, the world might come to an end.
These are fine, large frills, and remind us of the ways of emperors
and such. Such do not use the penny-post, they send a gilded and
painted special messenger, and he strides into the Parliament, and
business comes to a sudden and solemn and awful stop; and in the
impressive hush that follows, the Chief Clerk reads the document. It
is his "imperative duty." If he should neglect it, his official life
would end. It is the same with this Mother-Church Clerk; "if he fail
to perform this important function of his office," certain majestic
and unshirkable solemnities must follow: a special meeting "shall" be
called; a member of the Church "shall" make formal complaint; then the
Clerk "shall" be "removed from office." Complaint is sufficient, no
trial is necessary.
There is something very sweet and juvenile and innocent and pretty
about these little tinsel vanities, these grave apings of monarchical
fuss and feathers and ceremony, here on our ostentatiously democratic
soil. She is the same lady that we found in the Autobiography, who
was so naively vain of all that little ancestral military riffraff
that she had dug up and annexed. A person's nature never changes.
What it is in childhood, it remains. Under pressure, or a change of
interest, it can partially or wholly disappear from sight, and for
considerable stretches of time, but nothing can ever permanently
modify it, nothing can ever remove it.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
There isn't any--now. But with power and money piling up higher
and higher every day and the Church's dominion spreading daily wider
and farther, a time could come when the envious and ambitious could
start the idea that it would be wise and well to put a watch upon
these assets-- a watch equipped with properly large authority. By
custom, a Board of Trustees. Mrs. Eddy has foreseen that
probability--for she is a woman with a long, long look ahead, the
longest look ahead that ever a woman had--and she has provided for
that emergency. In Art. I., Sec. 5, she has decreed that no Board
of Trustees shall ever exist in the Mother- Church "except it be
constituted by the Pastor Emeritus."
The magnificence of it, the daring of it! Thus far, she is
The Massachusetts Metaphysical College; Pastor Emeritus;
President; Board of Directors; Treasurer; Clerk; and future Board
and is still moving onward, ever onward. When I contemplate her
from a commercial point of view, there are no words that can convey my
admiration of her.
These are a feature of first importance in the church-machinery of
Christian Science. For they occupy the pulpit. They hold the place
that the preacher holds in the other Christian Churches. They hold
that place, but they do not preach. Two of them are on duty at a
time--a man and a woman. One reads a passage from the Bible, the
other reads the explanation of it from Science and Health--and so they
go on alternating. This constitutes the service--this, with
choir-music. They utter no word of their own. Art. IV., Sec. 6,
closes their mouths with this uncompromising gag:
"They shall make no remarks explanatory of the Lesson-Sermon at any
time during the service."
It seems a simple little thing. One is not startled by it at a
first reading of it; nor at the second, nor the third. One may have
to read it a dozen times before the whole magnitude of it rises before
the mind. It far and away oversizes and outclasses the best
business-idea yet invented for the safe-guarding and perpetuating of a
religion. If it had been thought of and put in force eighteen hundred
and seventy years ago, there would be but one Christian sect in the
world now, instead of ten dozens of them.
There are many varieties of men in the world, consequently there
are many varieties of minds in its pulpits. This insures many
differing interpretations of important Scripture texts, and this in
turn insures the splitting up of a religion into many sects. It is
what has happened; it was sure to happen.
Mrs. Eddy has noted this disastrous result of preaching, and has
put up the bars. She will have no preaching in her Church. She has
explained all essential Scriptures, and set the explanations down in
her book. In her belief her underlings cannot improve upon those
explanations, and in that stern sentence "they shall make no
explanatory remarks" she has barred them for all time from trying.
She will be obeyed; there is no question about that.
In arranging her government she has borrowed ideas from various
sources-- not poor ones, but the best in the governmental market--but
this one is new, this one came out of no ordinary business-head, this
one must have come out of her own, there has been no other commercial
skull in a thousand centuries that was equal to it. She has borrowed
freely and wisely, but I am sure that this idea is many times larger
than all her borrowings bulked together. One must respect the
business-brain that produced it--the splendid pluck and impudence that
ventured to promulgate it, anyway.
ELECTION OF READERS
Readers are not taken at hap-hazard, any more than preachers are
taken at hap-hazard for the pulpits of other sects. No, Readers are
elected by the Board of Directors. But--
"Section 3. The Board shall inform the Pas. for Emeritus of the
names of candidates for Readers before they are elected, and if she
objects to the nomination, said candidates shall not be chosen."
Is that an election--by the Board? Thus far I have not been able
to find out what that Board of Spectres is for. It certainly has no
real function, no duty which the hired girl could not perform, no
office beyond the mere recording of the autocrat's decrees.
There are no dangerously long office-terms in Mrs. Eddy's
government. The Readers are elected for but one year. This insures
their subserviency to their proprietor.
Readers are not allowed to copy out passages and read them from the
manuscript in the pulpit; they must read from Mrs. Eddy's book itself.
She is right. Slight changes could be slyly made, repeated, and in
time get acceptance with congregations. Branch sects could grow out
of these practices. Mrs. Eddy knows the human race, and how far to
trust it. Her limit is not over a quarter of an inch. It is all that
a wise person will risk.
Mrs. Eddy's inborn disposition to copyright everything, charter
everything, secure the rightful and proper credit to herself for
everything she does, and everything she thinks she does, and
everything she thinks, and everything she thinks she thinks or has
thought or intends to think, is illustrated in Sec. 5 of Art. IV.,
defining the duties of official Readers--in church:
"Naming Book and Author. The Reader of Science and Health, with
Key to the Scriptures, before commencing to read from this book, shall
distinctly announce its full title and give the author's name."
Otherwise the congregation might get the habit of forgetting who
(ostensibly) wrote the book.
This consists of First Members and their apostolic succession. It
is a close corporation, and its membership limit is one hundred.
Forty will answer, but if the number fall below that, there must be
an election, to fill the grand quorum.
This Sanhedrin can't do anything of the slightest importance, but
it can talk. It can "discuss." That is, it can discuss "important
questions relative to Church members", evidently persons who are
already Church members. This affords it amusement, and does no harm.
It can "fix the salaries of the Readers."
Twice a year it "votes on" admitting candidates. That is, for
Church membership. But its work is cut out for it beforehand, by Sec.
, Art. IX.:
"Every recommendation for membership In the Church 'shall be
countersigned by a loyal student of Mrs. Eddy's, by a Director of this
Church, or by a First Member.'"
All these three classes of beings are the personal property of Mrs.
Eddy. She has absolute control of the elections.
Also it must "transact any Church business that may properly come
"Properly" is a thoughtful word. No important business can come
before it. The By laws have attended to that. No important business
goes before any one for the final word except Mrs. Eddy. She has
looked to that.
The Sanhedrin "votes on" candidates for admission to its own body.
But is its vote worth any more than mine would be? No, it isn't.
Sec. 4, of Art. V.--Election of First Members--makes this quite
"Before being elected, the candidates for First Members shall be
approved by the Pastor Emeritus over her own signature."
Thus the Sanhedrin is the personal property of Mrs. Eddy. She owns
it. It has no functions, no authority, no real existence. It is
another Board of Shadows. Mrs. Eddy is the Sanhedrin herself.
But it is time to foot up again and "see where we are at." Thus
far, Mrs. Eddy is
The Massachusetts Metaphysical College; Pastor Emeritus,
President; Board of Directors; Treasurer; Clerk; Future Board of
Trustees; Proprietor of the Priesthood: Dictator of the Services;
Proprietor of the Sanhedrin. She has come far, and is still on her
In this Article there is another exhibition of a couple of the
large features of Mrs. Eddy's remarkable make-up: her business-talent
and her knowledge of human nature.
She does not beseech and implore people to join her Church. She
knows the human race better than that. She gravely goes through the
motions of reluctantly granting admission to the applicant as a favor
to him. The idea is worth untold shekels. She does not stand at the
gate of the fold with welcoming arms spread, and receive the lost
sheep with glad emotion and set up the fatted calf and invite the
neighbor and have a time. No, she looks upon him coldly, she snubs
him, she says:
"Who are you? Who is your sponsor? Who asked you to come here?
Go away, and don't come again until you are invited."
It is calculated to strikingly impress a person accustomed to Moody
and Sankey and Sam Jones revivals; accustomed to brain-turning appeals
to the unknown and unendorsed sinner to come forward and enter into
the joy, etc.-- "just as he is"; accustomed to seeing him do it;
accustomed to seeing him pass up the aisle through sobbing seas of
welcome, and love, and congratulation, and arrive at the mourner's
bench and be received like a long-lost government bond.
No, there is nothing of that kind in Mrs. Eddy's system. She knows
that if you wish to confer upon a human being something which he is
not sure he wants, the best way is to make it apparently difficult for
him to get it--then he is no son of Adam if that apple does not assume
an interest in his eyes which it lacked before. In time this interest
can grow into desire. Mrs. Eddy knows that when you cannot get a man
to try--free of cost--a new and effective remedy for a disease he is
afflicted with, you can generally sell it to him if you will put a
price upon it which he cannot afford. When, in the beginning, she
taught Christian Science gratis (for good reasons), pupils were few
and reluctant, and required persuasion; it was when she raised the
limit to three hundred dollars for a dollar's worth that she could not
find standing room for the invasion of pupils that followed.
With fine astuteness she goes through the motions of making it
difficult to get membership in her Church. There is a twofold value
in this system: it gives membership a high value in the eyes of the
applicant; and at the same time the requirements exacted enable Mrs.
Eddy to keep him out if she has doubts about his value to her. A word
further as to applications for membership:
"Applications of students of the Metaphysical College must be
signed by the Board of Directors."
That is safe. Mrs. Eddy is proprietor of that Board.
Children of twelve may be admitted if invited by "one of Mrs.
Eddy's loyal students, or by a First Member, or by a Director."
These sponsors are the property of Mrs. Eddy, therefore her Church
is safeguarded from the intrusion of undesirable children.
Other Students. Applicants who have not studied with Mrs. Eddy can
get in only "by invitation and recommendation from students of Mrs.
Eddy . . . or from members of the Mother-Church."
Other paragraphs explain how two or three other varieties of
applicants are to be challenged and obstructed, and tell us who is
authorized to invite them, recommend them endorse them, and all that.
The safeguards are definite, and would seem to be sufficiently
strenuous --to Mr. Sam Jones, at any rate. Not for Mrs. Eddy. She
adds this clincher:
"The candidates be elected by a majority vote of the First Members
That is the aristocracy, the aborigines, the Sanhedrin. It is Mrs.
Eddy's property. She herself is the Sanhedrin. No one can get into
the Church if she wishes to keep him out.
This veto power could some time or other have a large value for
her, therefore she was wise to reserve it.
It is likely that it is not frequently used. It is also probable
that the difficulties attendant upon getting admission to membership
have been instituted more to invite than to deter, more to enhance the
value of membership and make people long for it than to make it really
difficult to get. I think so, because the Mother. Church has many
thousands of members more than its building can accommodate.
AND SOME ENGLISH REQUIRED
Mrs. Eddy is very particular as regards one detail curiously so,
for her, all things considered. The Church Readers must be "good
English scholars"; they must be "thorough English scholars."
She is thus sensitive about the English of her subordinates for
cause, possibly. In her chapter defining the duties of the Clerk
there is an indication that she harbors resentful memories of an
occasion when the hazy quality of her own English made unforeseen and
"Understanding Communications. Sec. 2. If the Clerk of this
Church shall receive a communication from the Pastor Emeritus which he
does not fully understand, he shall inform her of this fact before
presenting it to the Church, and obtain a clear understanding of the
matter--then act in accordance therewith."
She should have waited to calm down, then, but instead she added
this, which lacks sugar:
"Failing to adhere to this By-law, the Clerk must resign."
I wish I could see that communication that broke the camel's back.
It was probably the one beginning: "What plague spot or bacilli were
gnawing at the heart of this metropolis and bringing it on bended
knee?" and I think it likely that the kindly disposed Clerk tried to
translate it into English and lost his mind and had to go to the
hospital. That Bylaw was not the offspring of a forecast, an
intuition, it was certainly born of a sorrowful experience. Its
temper gives the fact away.
The little book of By-laws has manifestly been tinkered by one of
Mrs. Eddy's " thorough English scholars," for in the majority of cases
its meanings are clear. The book is not even marred by Mrs. Eddy's
peculiar specialty--lumbering clumsinesses of speech. I believe the
salaried polisher has weeded them all out but one. In one place,
after referring to Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy goes on to say "the
Bible and the above- -named book, with other works by the same
It is an unfortunate sentence, for it could mislead a hasty or
careless reader for a moment. Mrs. Eddy framed it--it is her very
own--it bears her trade-mark. "The Bible and Science and Health, with
other works by the same author," could have come from no literary
vacuum but the one which produced the remark (in the Autobiography):
"I remember reading, in my childhood, certain manuscripts containing
Scriptural Sonnets, besides other verses and enigmas."
We know what she means, in both instances, but a low-priced Clerk
would not necessarily know, and on a salary like his he could quite
excusably aver that the Pastor Emeritus had commanded him to come and
make proclamation that she was author of the Bible, and that she was
thinking of discharging some Scriptural sonnets and other enigmas upon
the congregation. It could lose him his place, but it would not be
fair, if it happened before the edict about "Understanding
Communications" was promulgated.
The By-law book makes a showy pretence of orderliness and system,
but it is only a pretence. I will not go so far as to say it is a
harum-scarum jumble, for it is not that, but I think it fair to say it
is at least jumbulacious in places. For instance, Articles III. and
IV. set forth in much detail the qualifications and duties of
Readers, she then skips some thirty pages and takes up the subject
again. It looks like slovenliness, but it may be only art. The
belated By-law has a sufficiently quiet look, but it has a ton of
dynamite in it. It makes all the Christian Science Church Readers on
the globe the personal chattels of Mrs. Eddy. Whenever she chooses,
she can stretch her long arm around the world's fat belly and flirt a
Reader out of his pulpit, though he be tucked away in seeming safety
and obscurity in a lost village in the middle of China:
"In any Church. Sec. 2. The Pastor Emeritus of the Mother-Church
shall have the right (through a letter addressed to the individual and
Church of which he is the Reader) to remove a Reader from this office
in any Church of Christ, Scientist, both in America and in foreign
nations; or to appoint the Reader to fill any office belonging to the
Christian Science denomination."
She does not have to prefer charges against him, she does not have
to find him lazy, careless, incompetent, untidy, ill-mannered, unholy,
dishonest, she does not have to discover a fault of any kind in him,
she does not have to tell him nor his congregation why she dismisses
and disgraces him and insults his meek flock, she does not have to
explain to his family why she takes the bread out of their mouths and
turns them out-of-doors homeless and ashamed in a strange land; she
does not have to do anything but send a letter and say: "Pack! --and
ask no questions!"
Has the Pope this power? --the other Pope --the one in Rome. Has
he anything approaching it? Can he turn a priest out of his pulpit
and strip him of his office and his livelihood just upon a whim, a
caprice, and meanwhile furnishing no reasons to the parish? Not in
America. And not elsewhere, we may believe.
It is odd and strange, to see intelligent and educated people among
us worshipping this self-seeking and remorseless tyrant as a God.
This worship is denied--by persons who are themselves worshippers of
Mrs. Eddy. I feel quite sure that it is a worship which will continue
That Mrs. Eddy wrote that amazing By-law with her own hand we have
much better evidence than her word. We have her English. It is
there. It cannot be imitated. She ought never to go to the expense
of copyrighting her verbal discharges. When any one tries to claim
them she should call me; I can always tell them from any other
literary apprentice's at a glance. It was like her to call America a
"nation"; she would call a sand-bar a nation if it should fall into a
sentence in which she was speaking of peoples, for she would not know
how to untangle it and get it out and classify it by itself. And the
closing arrangement of that By- law is in true Eddysonian form, too.
In it she reserves authority to make a Reader fill any office
connected with a Science church-sexton, grave-digger,
advertising-agent, Annex-polisher, leader of the choir, President,
Director, Treasurer, Clerk, etc. She did not mean that. She already
possessed that authority. She meant to clothe herself with power,
despotic and unchallengeable, to appoint all Science Readers to their
offices, both at home and abroad. The phrase "or to appoint" is
another miscarriage of intention; she did not mean "or," she meant
That By-law puts into Mrs. Eddy's hands absolute command over the
most formidable force and influence existent in the Christian Science
kingdom outside of herself, and it does this unconditionally and (by
auxiliary force of Laws already quoted) irrevocably. Still, she is
not quite satisfied. Something might happen, she doesn't know what.
Therefore she drives in one more nail, to make sure, and drives it
"This By-law can neither be amended nor annulled, except by consent
of the Pastor Emeritus."
Let some one with a wild and delirious fancy try and see if he can
imagine her furnishing that consent.
MONOPOLY OF SPIRITUAL BREAD
Very properly, the first qualification for membership in the
Mother- Church is belief in the doctrines of Christian Science.
But these doctrines must not be gathered from secondary sources.
There is but one recognized source. The candidate must be a believer
in the doctrines of Christian Science "according to the platform and
teaching contained in the Christian Science text-book, 'Science and
Health, with Key to the Scriptures,' by Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy."
That is definite, and is final. There are to be no commentaries,
no labored volumes of exposition and explanation by anybody except
Mrs. Eddy. Because such things could sow error, create warring
opinions, split the religion into sects, and disastrously cripple its
power. Mrs. Eddy will do the whole of the explaining, Herself--has
done it, in fact. She has written several books. They are to be had
(for cash in advance), they are all sacred; additions to them can
never be needed and will never be permitted. They tell the candidate
how to instruct himself, how to teach others, how to do all things
comprised in the business--and they close the door against all
would-be competitors, and monopolize the trade:
"The Bible and the above--named book [Science and Health], with
other works by the same author," must be his only text-books for the
commerce-- he cannot forage outside.
Mrs. Eddy's words are to be the sole elucidators of the Bible and
Science and Health --forever. Throughout the ages, whenever there is
doubt as to the meaning of a passage in either of these books the
inquirer will not dream of trying to explain it to himself; he would
shudder at the thought of such temerity, such profanity, he would be
haled to the Inquisition and thence to the public square and the stake
if he should be caught studying into text-meanings on his own hook; he
will be prudent and seek the meanings at the only permitted source,
Mrs. Eddy's commentaries.
Value of this Strait-jacket. One must not underrate the
magnificence of this long-headed idea, one must not underestimate its
giant possibilities in the matter of trooping the Church solidly
together and keeping it so. It squelches independent inquiry, and
makes such a thing impossible, profane, criminal, it authoritatively
settles every dispute that can arise. It starts with finality --a
point which the Roman Church has travelled towards fifteen or sixteen
centuries, stage by stage, and has not yet reached. The matter of the
Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary was not authoritatively
settled until the days of Pius IX.-- yesterday, so to speak.
As already noticed, the Protestants are broken up into a long array
of sects, a result of disputes about the meanings of texts, disputes
made unavoidable by the absence of an infallible authority to submit
doubtful passages to. A week or two ago (I am writing in the middle
of January, 1903), the clergy and others hereabouts had a warm dispute
in the papers over this question: Did Jesus anywhere claim to be God?
It seemed an easy question, but it turned out to be a hard one. It
was ably and elaborately discussed, by learned men of several
denominations, but in the end it remained unsettled.
A week ago, another discussion broke out. It was over this text:
"Sell all that thou hast and distribute unto the poor."
One verdict was worded as follows:
"When Christ answered the rich young man and said for him to give
to the poor all he possessed or he could not gain everlasting life, He
did not mean it in the literal sense. My interpretation of His words
is that we should part with what comes between us and Christ.
"There is no doubt that Jesus believed that the rich young man
thought more of his wealth than he did of his soul, and, such being
the case, it was his duty to give up the wealth.
"Every one of us knows that there is something we should give up
for Christ. Those who are true believers and followers know what they
have given up, and those who are not yet followers know down in their
hearts what they must give up."
Ten clergymen of various denominations were interviewed, and nine
of them agreed with that verdict. That did not settle the matter,
because the tenth said the language of Jesus was so strait and
definite that it explained itself: "Sell all," not a percentage.
There is a most unusual feature about that dispute: the nine
persons who decided alike, quoted not a single authority in support of
their position. I do not know when I have seen trained disputants do
the like of that before. The nine merely furnished their own
opinions, founded upon--nothing at all. In the other dispute ("Did
Jesus anywhere claim to be God?") the same kind of men--trained and
learned clergymen--backed up their arguments with chapter and verse.
On both sides. Plenty of verses. Were no reinforcing verses to be
found in the present case? It looks that way.
The opinion of the nine seems strange to me, for it is unsupported
by authority, while there was at least constructive authority for the
It is hair-splitting differences of opinion over disputed
text-meanings that have divided into many sects a once united Church.
One may infer from some of the names in the following list that some
of the differences are very slight--so slight as to be not distinctly
important, perhaps-- yet they have moved groups to withdraw from
communions to which they belonged and set up a sect of their own. The
list--accompanied by various Church statistics for 1902, compiled by
Rev. Dr. H. K. Carroll--was published, January 8, 1903, in the New
York Christian Advocate:
Adventists (6 bodies), Baptists (13 bodies), Brethren (Plymouth) (4
bodies), Brethren (River) (3 bodies), Catholics (8 bodies), Catholic
Apostolic, Christadelphians, Christian Connection, Christian
Catholics, Christian Missionary Association, Christian Scientists,
Church of God (Wine-brennarian), Church of the New Jerusalem,
Congregationalists, Disciples of Christ, Dunkards (4 bodies),
Evangelical (2 bodies), Friends (4 bodies), Friends of the Temple,
German Evangelical Protestant, German Evangelical Synod, Independent
congregations, Jews (2 bodies), Latter-day Saints (2 bodies),
Lutherans (22 bodies), Mennonites (12 bodies), Methodists (17 bodies),
Moravians, Presbyterians (12 bodies), Protestant Episcopal (2 bodies),
Reformed (3 bodies), Schwenkfeldians, Social Brethren, Spiritualists,
Swedish Evangelical Miss. Covenant (Waldenstromians), Unitarians,
United Brethren (2 bodies), Universalists,
Total of sects and splits--139.
In the present month (February), Mr. E. I. Lindh, A..M., has
communicated to the Boston Transcript a hopeful article on the
solution of the problem of the "divided church." Divided is not too
violent a term. Subdivided could have been permitted if he had
thought of it. He came near thinking of it, for he mentions some of
the subdivisions himself: "the 12 kinds of Presbyterians, the 17 kinds
of Methodists, the 13 kinds of Baptists, etc." He overlooked the 12
kinds of Mennonites and the 22 kinds of Lutherans, but they are in
Rev. Mr. Carroll's list. Altogether, 76 splits under 5 flags. The
Literary Digest (February 14th) is pleased with Mr. Lindh's optimistic
article, and also with the signs of the times, and perceives that "the
idea of Church unity is in the air."
Now, then, is not Mrs. Eddy profoundly wise in forbidding, for all
time, all explanations of her religion except such as she shall let on
to be her own?
I think so. I think there can be no doubt of it. In a way, they
will be her own; for, no matter which member of her clerical staff
shall furnish the explanations, not a line of them will she ever allow
to be printed until she shall have approved it, accepted it,
copyrighted it, cabbaged it. We may depend on that with a four-ace
THE NEW INFALLIBILITY
All in proper time Mrs. Eddy's factory will take hold of that
Commandment, and explain it for good and all. It may be that one
member of the shift will vote that the word "all" means all; it may be
that ten members of the shift will vote that "all" means only a
percentage; but it is Mrs. Eddy, not the eleven, who will do the
deciding. And if she says it is percentage, then percentage it is,
forevermore --and that is what I am expecting, for she doesn't sell
all herself, nor any considerable part of it, and as regards the poor,
she doesn't declare any dividend; but if she says "all" means all,
then all it is, to the end of time, and no follower of hers will ever
be allowed to reconstruct that text, or shrink it, or inflate it, or
meddle with it in any way at all. Even to-day-- right here in the
beginning--she is the sole person who, in the matter of Christian
Science exegesis, is privileged to exploit the Spiral Twist. The
Christian world has two Infallibles now.
Of equal power? For the present only. When Leo XIII. passes to
his rest another Infallible will ascend his throne; others, and yet
others, and still others will follow him, and be as infallible as he,
and decide questions of doctrine as long as they may come up, all down
the far future; but Mary Baker G. Eddy is the only Infallible that
will ever occupy the Science throne. Many a Science Pope will succeed
her, but she has closed their mouths; they will repeat and reverently
praise and adore her infallibilities, but venture none themselves. In
her grave she will still outrank all other Popes, be they of what
Church they may. She will hold the supremest of earthly titles, The
Infallible--with a capital T. Many in the world's history have had a
hunger for such nuggets and slices of power as they might reasonably
hope to grab out of an empire's or a religion's assets, but Mrs. Eddy
is the only person alive or dead who has ever struck for the whole of
them. For small things she has the eye of a microscope, for large
ones the eye of a telescope, and whatever she sees, she wants. Wants
THE SACRED POEMS
When Mrs. Eddy's "sacred revelations" (that is the language of the
By- laws) are read in public, their authorship must be named. The
By-laws twice command this, therefore we mention it twice, to be fair.
But it is also commanded that when a member publicly quotes "from
the poems of our Pastor Emeritus" the authorship shall be named. For
these are sacred, too. There are kindly people who may suspect a
hidden generosity in that By-law; they may think it is there to
protect the Official Reader from the suspicion of having written the
poems himself. Such do not know Mrs. Eddy. She does an inordinate
deal of protecting, but in no distinctly named and specified case in
her history has Number Two been the object of it. Instances have been
claimed, but they have failed of proof, and even of plausibility.
"Members shall also instruct their students" to look out and
advertise the authorship when they read those poems and things. Not
on Mrs. Eddy's account, but "for the good of our Cause."
THE CHURCH EDIFICE
1. Mrs. Eddy gave the land. It was not of much value at the time,
but it is very valuable now. 2. Her people built the Mother-Church
edifice on it, at a cost of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
3. Then they gave the whole property to her. 4. Then she gave it to
the Board of Directors. She is the Board of Directors. She took it
out of one pocket and put it in the other. 5. Sec. 10 (of the deed).
"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 building thereon to Mary
Baker G. Eddy, her heirs and assigns forever, by a proper deed of
She is never careless, never slipshod, about a matter of business.
Owning the property through her Board of Waxworks was safe enough,
still it was sound business to set another grip on it to cover
accidents, and she did it. Her barkers (what a curious name; I wonder
if it is copyrighted); her barkers persistently advertise to the
public her generosity in giving away a piece of land which cost her a
trifle, and a two--hundred--and--fifty--thousand--dollar church which
cost her nothing; and they can hardly speak of the unselfishness of it
without breaking down and crying; yet they know she gave nothing away,
and never intended to. However, such is the human race. Often it
does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.
Some of the hostiles think that Mrs. Eddy's idea in protecting this
property in the interest of her heirs, and in accumulating a great
money fortune, is, that she may leave her natural heirs well provided
for when she goes. I think it is a mistake. I think she is of late
years giving herself large concern about only one interest-her power
and glory, and the perpetuation and worship of her Name--with a
capital N. Her Church is her pet heir, and I think it will get her
wealth. It is the torch which is to light the world and the ages with
I think she once prized money for the ease and comfort it could
bring, the showy vanities it could furnish, and the social promotion
it could command; for we have seen that she was born into the world
with little ways and instincts and aspirations and affectations that
are duplicates of our own. I do not think her money-passion has ever
diminished in ferocity, I do not think that she has ever allowed a
dollar that had no friends to get by her alive, but I think her reason
for wanting it has changed. I think she wants it now to increase and
establish and perpetuate her power and glory with, not to add to her
comforts and luxuries, not to furnish paint and fuss and feathers for
vain display. I think her ambitions have soared away above the
fuss-and-feather stage. She still likes the little shows and
vanities--a fact which she exposed in a public utterance two or three
days ago when she was not noticing-- but I think she does not place a
large value upon them now. She could build a mighty and far-shining
brass-mounted palace if she wanted to, but she does not do it. She
would have had that kind of an ambition in the early scrabbling times.
She could go to England to-day and be worshiped by earls, and get a
comet's attention from the million, if she cared for such things. She
would have gone in the early scrabbling days for much less than an
earl, and been vain of it, and glad to show off before the remains of
the Scotch kin. But those things are very small to her now-- next to
invisible, observed through the cloud-rack from the dizzy summit where
she perches in these great days. She does not want that church
property for herself. It is worth but a quarter of a million--a sum
she could call in from her far-spread flocks to-morrow with a lift of
her hand. Not a squeeze of it, just a lift. It would come without a
murmur; come gratefully, come gladly. And if her glory stood in more
need of the money in Boston than it does where her flocks are
propagating it, she would lift the hand, I think.
She is still reaching for the Dollar, she will continue to reach
for it; but not that she may spend it upon herself; not that she may
spend it upon charities; not that she may indemnify an early
deprivation and clothe herself in a blaze of North Adams gauds; not
that she may have nine breeds of pie for breakfast, as only the rich
New-Englander can; not that she may indulge any petty material vanity
or appetite that once was hers and prized and nursed, but that she may
apply that Dollar to statelier uses, and place it where it may cast
the metallic sheen of her glory farthest across the receding expanses
of the globe.
A brief and good one is furnished in the book of By-laws. The
Scientist is required to pray it every day.
THE LORD'S PRAYER-AMENDED
This is not in the By-laws, it is in the first chapter of Science
and Health, edition of 1902. I do not find it in the edition of 1884.
It is probable that it had not at that time been handed down.
Science and Health's (latest) rendering of its "spiritual sense" is
"Our Father-Mother God' all-harmonious, adorable One. Thy kingdom
is within us, Thou art ever-present. Enable us to know--as in heaven,
so on earth--God is supreme. Give us grace for to-day; feed the
famished affections. And infinite Love is reflected in love. And
Love leadeth us not into temptation, but delivereth from sin, disease,
and death. For God is now and forever all Life, Truth, and Love."
If I thought my opinion was desired and would be properly revered,
I should say that in my judgment that is as good a piece of
carpentering as any of those eleven Commandment--experts could do with
the material after all their practice. I notice only one doubtful
place." Lead us not into temptation" seems to me to be a very
definite request, and that the new rendering turns the definite
request into a definite assertion. I shall be glad to have that
turned back to the old way and the marks of the Spiral Twist removed,
or varnished over; then I shall be satisfied, and will do the best I
can with what is left. At the same time, I do feel that the shrinkage
in our spiritual assets is getting serious. First the Commandments,
now the Prayer. I never expected to see these steady old reliable
securities watered down to this. And this is not the whole of it.
Last summer the Presbyterians extended the Calling and Election
suffrage to nearly everybody entitled to salvation. They did not even
stop there, but let out all the unbaptized American infants we had
been accumulating for two hundred years and more. There are some that
believe they would have let the Scotch ones out, too, if they could
have done it. Everything is going to ruin; in no long time we shall
have nothing left but the love of God.
THE NEW UNPARDONABLE SIN
"Working Against the Cause. Sec. 2. If a member of this Church
shall work against the accomplishment of what the Discoverer and
Founder of Christian Science understands is advantageous to the
individual, to this Church, and to the Cause of Christian
Science"--out he goes. Forever.
The member may think that what he is doing will advance the Cause,
but he is not invited to do any thinking. More than that, he is not
permitted to do any--as he will clearly gather from this By-law. When
a person joins Mrs. Eddy's Church he must leave his thinker at home.
Leave it permanently. To make sure that it will not go off some time
or other when he is not watching, it will be safest for him to spike
it. If he should forget himself and think just once, the By-law
provides that he shall be fired out-instantly-forever-no return.
"It shall be the duty of this Church immediately to call a meeting,
and drop forever the name of this member from its records."
My, but it breathes a towering indignation!
There are forgivable offenses, but this is not one of them; there
are admonitions, probations, suspensions, in several minor cases;
mercy is shown the derelict, in those cases he is gently used, and in
time he can get back into the fold--even when he has repeated his
offence. But let him think, just once, without getting his thinker
set to Eddy time, and that is enough; his head comes off. There is no
second offence, and there is no gate open to that lost sheep, ever
"This rule cannot be changed, amended, or annulled, except by
unanimous vote of all the First Members."
The same being Mrs. Eddy. It is naively sly and pretty to see her
keep putting forward First Members, and Boards of This and That, and
other broideries and ruffles of her raiment, as if they were
independent entities, instead of a part of her clothes, and could do
things all by themselves when she was outside of them.
Mrs. Eddy did not need to copyright the sentence just quoted, its
English would protect it. None but she would have shovelled that
comically superfluous "all" in there.
The former Unpardonable Sin has gone out of service. We may frame
the new Christian Science one thus:
"Whatsoever Member shall think, and without Our Mother's permission
act upon his think, the same shall be cut off from the Church
It has been said that I make many mistakes about Christian Science
through being ignorant of the spiritual meanings of its terminology.
I believe it is true. I have been misled all this time by that word
Member, because there was no one to tell me that its spiritual meaning
AXE AND BLOCK
There is a By-law which forbids Members to practice hypnotism; the
penalty is excommunication.
1. If a member is found to be a mental practitioner-- 2.
Complaint is to be entered against him-- 3. By the Pastor Emeritus,
and by none else; 4. No member is allowed to make complaint to her in
the matter; 5. Upon Mrs. Eddy's mere "complaint"--unbacked by
evidence or proof, and without giving the accused a chance to be
heard--" his name shall be dropped from this Church."
Mrs. Eddy has only to say a member is guilty--that is all. That
ends it. It is not a case of he "may" be cut off from Christian
Science salvation, it is a case of he "shall" be. Her serfs must see
to it, and not say a word.
Does the other Pope possess this prodigious and irresponsible
power? Certainly not in our day.
Some may be curious to know how Mrs. Eddy finds out that a member
is practicing hypnotism, since no one is allowed to come before her
throne and accuse him. She has explained this in Christian Science
History, first and second editions, page 16:
"I possess a spiritual sense of what the malicious mental
practitioner is mentally arguing which cannot be deceived; I can
discern in the human mind thoughts, motives, and purposes, and neither
mental arguments nor psychic power can affect this spiritual insight."
A marvelous woman; with a hunger for power such as has never been
seen in the world before. No thing, little or big, that contains any
seed or suggestion of power escapes her avaricious eye; and when once
she gets that eye on it, her remorseless grip follows. There isn't a
Christian Scientist who isn't ecclesiastically as much her property as
if she had bought him and paid for him, and copyrighted him and got a
charter. She cannot be satisfied when she has handcuffed a member,
and put a leg-chain and ball on him and plugged his ears and removed
his thinker, she goes on wrapping needless chains round and round him,
just as a spider would. For she trusts no one, believes in no one's
honesty, judges every one by herself. Although we have seen that she
has absolute and irresponsible command over her spectral Boards and
over every official and servant of her Church, at home and abroad,
over every minute detail of her Church's government, present and
future, and can purge her membership of guilty or suspected persons by
various plausible formalities and whenever she will, she is still not
content, but must set her queer mind to work and invent a way by which
she can take a member--any member--by neck and crop and fling him out
without anything resembling a formality at all.
She is sole accuser and sole witness, and her testimony is final
and carries uncompromising and irremediable doom with it.
The Sole-Witness Court! It should make the Council of Ten and the
Council of Three turn in their graves for shame, to see how little
they knew about satanic concentrations of irresponsible power. Here
we have one Accuser, one Witness, one Judge, one Headsman--and all
four bunched together in Mrs. Eddy, the Inspired of God, His Latest
Thought to His People, New Member of the Holy Family, the Equal of
When a Member is not satisfactory to Mrs. Eddy, and yet is
blameless in his life and faultless in his membership and in his
Christian Science walk and conversation, shall he hold up his head and
tilt his hat over one ear and imagine himself safe because of these
perfections? Why, in that very moment Mrs. Eddy will cast that
spiritual X-ray of hers through his dungarees and say:
"I see his hypnotism working, among his insides--remove him to the
What shall it profit him to know it isn't so? Nothing. His
testimony is of no value. No one wants it, no one will ask for it.
He is not present to offer it (he does not know he has been accused),
and if he were there to offer it, it would not be listened to.
It was out of powers approaching Mrs. Eddy's--though not equalling
them --that the Inquisition and the devastations of the Interdict
grew. She will transmit hers. The man born two centuries from now
will think he has arrived in hell; and all in good time he will think
he knows it. Vast concentrations of irresponsible power have never in
any age been used mercifully, and there is nothing to suggest that the
Christian Science Papacy is going to spend money on novelties.
Several Christian Scientists have asked me to refrain from
prophecy. There is no prophecy in our day but history. But history is
a trustworthy prophet. History is always repeating itself, because
conditions are always repeating themselves. Out of duplicated
conditions history always gets a duplicate product.
READING LETTERS AT MEETINGS
I wonder if there is anything a Member can do that will not raise
Mrs. Eddy's jealousy? The By-laws seem to hunt him from pillar to
post all the time, and turn all his thoughts and acts and words into
sins against the meek and lowly new deity of his worship. Apparently
her jealousy never sleeps. Apparently any trifle can offend it, and
but one penalty appease it--excommunication. The By-laws might
properly and reasonably be entitled Laws for the Coddling and
Comforting of Our Mother's Petty Jealousies. The By-law named at the
head of this paragraph reads its transgressor out of the Church if he
shall carry a letter from Mrs. Eddy to the congregation and forget to
read it or fail to read the whole of it.
Dishonest members are to be admonished; if they continue in
dishonest practices, excommunication follows. Considering who it is
that draughted this law, there is a certain amount of humor in it.
FURTHER APPLICATIONS OF THE AXE
Here follow the titles of some more By-laws whose infringement is
punishable by excommunication:
Silence Enjoined. Misteaching. Departure from Tenets. Violation
of Christian Fellowship. Moral Offences. Illegal Adoption. Broken
By-laws. Violation of By-laws. (What is the difference?) Formulas
Forbidden. Official Advice. (Forbids Tom, Dick, and Harry's clack.)
Unworthy of Membership. Final Excommunication. Organizing Churches.
This looks as if Mrs. Eddy had devoted a large share of her time
and talent to inventing ways to get rid of her Church members. Yet in
another place she seems to invite membership. Not in any urgent way,
it is true, still she throws out a bait to such as like notice and
distinction (in other words, the Human Race). Page 82:
"It is important that these seemingly strict conditions be complied
with, as the names of the Members of the Mother-Church will be
recorded in the history of the Church and become a part thereof."
We all want to be historical.
The Hymnal. There is a Christian Science Hymnal. Entrance to it
was closed in 1898. Christian Science students who make hymns
nowadays may possibly get them sung in the Mother-Church, "but not
unless approved by the Pastor Emeritus." Art. XXVII, Sec. 2.
Solo Singers. Mrs. Eddy has contributed the words of three of the
hymns in the Hymnal. Two of them appear in it six times altogether,
each of them being set to three original forms of musical anguish.
Mrs. Eddy, always thoughtful, has promulgated a By-law requiring the
singing of one of her three hymns in the Mother Church "as often as
once each month." It is a good idea. A congregation could get tired
of even Mrs. Eddy's muse in the course of time, without the
cordializing incentive of compulsion. We all know how wearisome the
sweetest and touchingest things can become, through
rep-rep-repetition, and still rep-rep- repetition, and more
rep-rep-repetition-like "the sweet by-and-by, in the sweet by-and-by,"
for instance, and "Tah-rah-rah boom-de-aye"; and surely it is not
likely that Mrs. Eddy's machine has turned out goods that could
outwear those great heart-stirrers, without the assistance of the
lash. "O'er Waiting Harpstrings of the Mind" is pretty good, quite
fair to middling--the whole seven of the stanzas--but repetition would
be certain to take the excitement out of it in the course of time,
even if there were fourteen, and then it would sound like the
multiplication table, and would cease to save. The congregation would
be perfectly sure to get tired; in fact, did get tired--hence the
compulsory By-law. It is a measure born of experience, not foresight.
The By-laws say that "if a solo singer shall neglect or refuse to
sing alone" one of those three hymns as often as once a month, and
oftener if so directed by the Board of Directors--which is Mrs.
Eddy--the singer's salary shall be stopped. It is circumstantial
evidence that some soloists neglected this sacrament and others
refused it. At least that is the charitable view to take of it.
There is only one other view to take: that Mrs. Eddy did really
foresee that there would be singers who would some day get tired of
doing her hymns and proclaiming the authorship, unless persuaded by a
Bylaw, with a penalty attached. The idea could of course occur to her
wise head, for she would know that a seven-stanza break might well be
a calamitous strain upon a soloist, and that he might therefore avoid
it if unwatched. He could not curtail it, for the whole of anything
that Mrs. Eddy does is sacred, and cannot be cut.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
It consists of four members, one of whom is President of it. Its
members are elected annually. Subject to Mrs. Eddy's approval. Art.
XXX., Sec. 2.
She owns the Board--is the Board.
Mrs. Eddy is President of the Metaphysical College. If at any time
she shall vacate that office, the Directors of the College (that is to
say, Mrs. Eddy) "shall" elect to the vacancy the President of the
Board of Education (which is merely re-electing herself).
It is another case of "Pastor Emeritus." She gives up the shadow
of authority, but keeps a good firm hold on the substance.
Applicants for admission to this industry must pass a thorough
three days' examination before the Board of Education "in Science and
Health, chapter on 'Recapitulation'; the Platform of Christian
Science; page 403 of Christian Science Practice, from line second to
the second paragraph of page 405; and page 488, second and third
BOARD OF LECTURESHIP
The lecturers are exceedingly important servants of Mrs. Eddy, and
she chooses them with great care. Each of them has an appointed
territory in which to perform his duties--in the North, the South, the
East, the West, in Canada, in Great Britain, and so on--and each must
stick to his own territory and not forage beyond its boundaries. I
think it goes without saying--from what we have seen of Mrs.
Eddy--that no lecture is delivered until she has examined and approved
it, and that the lecturer is not allowed to change it afterwards.
The members of the Board of Lectureship are elected annually--
"Subject to the approval of Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy."
There are but four. They are elected--like the rest of the
domestics-- annually. So far as I can discover, not a single servant
of the Sacred Household has a steady job except Mrs. Eddy. It is
plain that she trusts no human being but herself.
The branch Churches are strictly forbidden to use them.
So far as I can see, they could not do it if they wanted to. The
By-laws are merely the voice of the master issuing commands to the
servants. There is nothing and nobody for the servants to re-utter
That useless edict is repeated in the little book, a few pages
farther on. There are several other repetitions of prohibitions in
the book that could be spared-they only take up room for nothing.
THE CREED It is copyrighted. I do not know why, but I suppose it
is to keep adventurers from some day claiming that they invented it,
and not Mrs. Eddy and that "strange Providence" that has suggested so
many clever things to her.
No Change. It is forbidden to change the Creed. That is
important, at any rate .
I can understand why Mrs. Eddy copyrighted the early editions and
revisions of Science and Health, and why she had a mania for
copyrighting every scrap of every sort that came from her pen in those
jejune days when to be in print probably seemed a wonderful
distinction to her in her provincial obscurity, but why she should
continue this delirium in these days of her godship and her far-spread
fame, I cannot explain to myself. And particularly as regards Science
and Health. She knows, now, that that Annex is going to live for many
centuries; and so, what good is a fleeting forty-two-year copyright
going to do it?
Now a perpetual copyright would be quite another matter. I would
like to give her a hint. Let her strike for a perpetual copyright on
that book. There is precedent for it. There is one book in the world
which bears the charmed life of perpetual copyright (a fact not known
to twenty people in the world). By a hardy perversion of privilege on
the part of the lawmaking power the Bible has perpetual copyright in
Great Britain. There is no justification for it in fairness, and no
explanation of it except that the Church is strong enough there to
have its way, right or wrong. The recent Revised Version enjoys
perpetual copyright, too--a stronger precedent, even, than the other
Now, then, what is the Annex but a Revised Version itself? Which
of course it is--Lord's Prayer and all. With that pair of formidable
British precedents to proceed upon, what Congress of ours--
But how short-sighted I am. Mrs. Eddy has thought of it long ago.
She thinks of everything. She knows she has only to keep her
copyright of 1902 alive through its first stage of twenty-eight years,
and perpetuity is assured. A Christian Science Congress will reign in
the Capitol then. She probably attaches small value to the first
edition (1875). Although it was a Revelation from on high, it was
slim, lank, incomplete, padded with bales of refuse rags, and puffs
from lassoed celebrities to fill it out, an uncreditable book, a book
easily sparable, a book not to be mentioned in the same year with the
sleek, fat, concise, compact, compressed, and competent Annex of
to-day, in its dainty flexible covers, gilt--edges, rounded corners,
twin screw, spiral twist, compensation balance, Testament-counterfeit,
and all that; a book just born to curl up on the hymn-book-shelf in
church and look just too sweet and holy for anything. Yes, I see now
what she was copyrighting that child for.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION
It is true in matters of business Mrs. Eddy thinks of everything.
She thought of an organ, to disseminate the Truth as it was in Mrs.
Eddy. Straightway she started one--the Christian Science Journal.
It is true--in matters of business Mrs. Eddy thinks of everything.
As soon as she had got the Christian Science Journal sufficiently in
debt to make its presence on the premises disagreeable to her, it
occurred to her to make somebody a present of it. Which she did,
along with its debts. It was in the summer of 1889. The victim
selected was her Church-- called, in those days, The National
Christian Scientist Association.
She delivered this sorrow to those lambs as a "gift" in
consideration of their "loyalty to our great cause."
Also--still thinking of everything--she told them to retain Mr.
Bailey in the editorship and make Mr. Nixon publisher. We do not know
what it was she had against those men; neither do we know whether she
scored on Bailey or not, we only know that God protected Nixon, and
for that I am sincerely glad, although I do not know Nixon and have
never even seen him.
Nixon took the Journal and the rest of the Publishing Society's
liabilities, and demonstrated over them during three years, then
brought in his report:
"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 advance--
subscriptions paid for the Journal and the "Series," the which goods
Mrs. Eddy had not delivered. And couldn't, very well, perhaps, on a
Metaphysical College income of but a few thousand dollars a day, or a
week, or whatever it was in those magnificently flourishing times.
The struggling Journal had swallowed up those advance-payments, but
its "claim" was a severe one and they had failed to cure it. But
Nixon cured it in his diligent three years, and joyously reported the
news that he had cleared off all the debts and now had a fat six
thousand dollars in the bank.
It made Mrs. Eddy's mouth water.
At the time that Mrs. Eddy had unloaded that dismal gift on to her
National Association, she had followed her inveterate custom: she had
tied a string to its hind leg, and kept one end of it hitched to her
belt. We have seen her do that in the case of the Boston Mosque.
When she deeds property, she puts in that string-clause. It provides
that under certain conditions she can pull the string and land the
property in the cherished home of its happy youth. In the present
case she believed that she had made provision that if at any time the
National Christian Science Association should dissolve itself by a
formal vote, she could pull.
A year after Nixon's handsome report, she writes the Association
that she has a "unique request to lay before it." It has dissolved,
and she is not quite sure that the Christian Science Journal has
"already fallen into her hands" by that act, though it "seems" to her
to have met with that accident; so she would like to have the matter
decided by a formal vote. But whether there is a doubt or not, "I see
the wisdom," she says, "of again owning this Christian Science waif."
I think that that is unassailable evidence that the waif was making
money, hands down.
She pulled her gift in. A few years later she donated the
Publishing Society, along with its real estate, its buildings, its
plant, its publications, and its money--the whole worth twenty--two
thousand dollars, and free of debt--to --Well, to the Mother-Church!
That is to say, to herself. There is an act count of it in the
Christian Science Journal, and of how she had already made some other
handsome gifts --to her Church--and others to --to her Cause besides
"an almost countless number of private charities" of cloudy amount and
otherwise indefinite. This landslide of generosities overwhelmed one
of her literary domestics. While he was in that condition he tried to
express what he felt:
"Let us endeavor to lift up our hearts in thankfulness to . . .
our Mother in Israel for these evidences of generosity and
self-sacrifice that appeal to our deepest sense of gratitude, even
while surpassing our comprehension."
A year or two later, Mrs. Eddy promulgated some By-laws of a self-
sacrificing sort which assuaged him, perhaps, and perhaps enabled his
surpassed comprehension to make a sprint and catch up. These are to
be found in Art. XII., entitled.
THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE PUBLISHING SOCIETY
This Article puts the whole publishing business into the hands of a
publishing Board--special. Mrs. Eddy appoints to its vacancies.
The profits go semi-annually to the Treasurer of the Mother-Church.
Mrs. Eddy owns the Treasurer.
Editors and publishers of the Christian Science Journal cannot be
elected or removed without Mrs. Eddy's knowledge and consent.
Every candidate for employment in a high capacity or a low one, on
the other periodicals or in the publishing house, must first be
"accepted by Mrs. Eddy as suitable." And "by the Board of
Directors"--which is surplusage, since Mrs. Eddy owns the Board.
If at any time a weekly shall be started, "it shall be owned by The
First Church of Christ, Scientist"--which is Mrs. Eddy.
I think that any one who will carefully examine the By-laws (I have
placed all of the important ones before the reader), will arrive at
the conclusion that of late years the master-passion in Mrs. Eddy's
heart is a hunger for power and glory; and that while her hunger for
money still remains, she wants it now for the expansion and extension
it can furnish to that power and glory, rather than what it can do for
her towards satisfying minor and meaner ambitions.
I wish to enlarge a little upon this matter. I think it is quite
clear that the reason why Mrs. Eddy has concentrated in herself all
powers, all distinctions, all revenues that are within the command of
the Christian Science Church Universal is that she desires and intends
to devote them to the purpose just suggested--the upbuilding of her
personal glory-- hers, and no one else's; that, and the continuing of
her name's glory after she shall have passed away. If she has
overlooked a single power, howsoever minute, I cannot discover it. If
she has found one, large or small, which she has not seized and made
her own, there is no record of it, no trace of it. In her foragings
and depredations she usually puts forward the Mother-Church--a lay
figure--and hides behind it. Whereas, she is in manifest reality the
Mother-Church herself. It has an impressive array of officials, and
committees, and Boards of Direction, of Education, of Lectureship, and
so on--geldings, every one, shadows, spectres, apparitions,
wax-figures: she is supreme over them all, she can abolish them when
she will; blow them out as she would a candle. She is herself the
Mother-Church. Now there is one By-law which says that the
"shall be officially controlled by no other church."
That does not surprise us--we know by the rest of the By-laws that
that is a quite irrelevant remark. Yet we do vaguely and hazily
wonder why she takes the trouble to say it; why she wastes the words;
what her object can be--seeing that that emergency has been in so
many, many ways, and so effectively and drastically barred off and
made impossible. Then presently the object begins to dawn upon us.
That is, it does after we have read the rest of the By-law three or
four times, wondering and admiring to see Mrs. Eddy--Mrs. Eddy--Mrs.
Eddy, of all persons--throwing away power!-- making a fair
exchange--doing a fair thing for once more, an almost generous thing!
Then we look it through yet once more unsatisfied, a little
suspicious--and find that it is nothing but a sly, thin make-believe,
and that even the very title of it is a sarcasm and embodies a
"Local Self-Government. The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in
Boston, Massachusetts, shall assume no official control of other
churches of this denomination. It shall be officially controlled by
no other church."
It has a most pious and deceptive give-and-take air of perfect
fairness, unselfishness, magnanimity--almost godliness, indeed. But
it is all art.
In the By-laws, Mrs. Eddy, speaking by the mouth of her other self,
the Mother-Church, proclaims that she will assume no official control
of other churches-branch churches. We examine the other By-laws, and
they answer some important questions for us:
1. What is a branch Church? It is a body of Christian Scientists,
organized in the one and only permissible way--by a member, in good
standing, of the Mother-Church, and who is also a pupil of one of Mrs.
Eddy's accredited students. That is to say, one of her properties.
No other can do it. There are other indispensable requisites; what
2. The new Church cannot enter upon its functions until its
members have individually signed, and pledged allegiance to, a Creed
furnished by Mrs. Eddy.
3. They are obliged to study her books, and order their lives by
them. And they must read no outside religious works.
4. They must sing the hymns and pray the prayers provided by her,
and use no others in the services, except by her permission.
5. They cannot have preachers and pastors. Her law.
6. In their Church they must have two Readers--a man and a woman.
7. They must read the services framed and appointed by her.
8. She--not the branch Church --appoints those Readers.
9. She--not the branch Church--dismisses them and fills the
1O. She can do this without consulting the branch Church, and
11. The branch Church can have a religious lecture from time to
time. By applying to Mrs. Eddy. There is no other way.
12. But the branch Church cannot select the lecturer. Mrs. Eddy
13. The branch Church pays his fee.
14. The harnessing of all Christian Science wedding-teams, members
of the branch Church, must be done by duly authorized and consecrated
Christian Science functionaries. Her factory is the only one that
makes and licenses them.
[15. Nothing is said about christenings. It is inferable from
this that a Christian Science child is born a Christian Scientist and
requires no tinkering.]
[16. Nothing is said about funerals. It is inferable, then, that
a branch Church is privileged to do in that matter as it may choose.]
To sum up. Are any important Church-functions absent from the
list? I cannot call any to mind. Are there any lacking ones whose
exercise could make the branch in any noticeable way independent of
the Mother. Church? --even in any trifling degree? I think of none.
If the named functions were abolished would there still be a Church
left? Would there be even a shadow of a Church left? Would there be
anything at all left? even the bare name?
Manifestly not. There isn't a single vital and essential
Church-function of any kind, that is not named in the list. And over
every one of them the Mother-Church has permanent and unchallengeable
control, upon every one of them Mrs. Eddy has set her irremovable
grip. She holds, in perpetuity, autocratic and indisputable
sovereignty and control over every branch Church in the earth; and yet
says, in that sugary, naive, angel-beguiling way of hers, that the
"shall assume no official control of other churches of this
Whereas in truth the unmeddled-with liberties of a branch Christian
Science Church are but very, very few in number, and are these:
1. It can appoint its own furnace-stoker, winters. 2. It can
appoint its own fan-distributors, summers. 3. It can, in accordance
with its own choice in the matter, burn, bury, or preserve members who
are pretending to be dead--whereas there is no such thing as death.
4. It can take up a collection.
The branch Churches have no important liberties, none that give
them an important voice in their own affairs. Those are all locked
up, and Mrs. Eddy has the key. "Local Self-Government " is a large
name and sounds well; but the branch Churches have no more of it than
have the privates in the King of Dahomey's army.
Mrs. Eddy, with an envious and admiring eye upon the solitary and
rivalless and world-shadowing majesty of St. Peter's, reveals in her
By- laws her purpose to set the Mother-Church apart by itself in a
stately seclusion and make it duplicate that lone sublimity under the
Western sky. The By-law headed "Mother-Church Unique "says--
"In its relation to other Christian Science churches, the
Mother-Church stands alone.
"It occupies a position that no other Church can fill.
"Then for a branch Church to assume such position would be
disastrous to Christian Science,
Therefore no branch Church is allowed to have branches. There
shall be no Christian Science St. Peter's in the earth but just one
--the Mother- Church in Boston.
"NO FIRST MEMBERS"
But for the thoughtful By-law thus entitled, every Science branch
in the earth would imitate the Mother-Church and set up an
aristocracy. Every little group of ground-floor Smiths and Furgusons
and Shadwells and Simpsons that organized a branch would assume that
great title, of "First Members," along with its vast privileges of
"discussing" the weather and casting blank ballots, and soon there
would be such a locust-plague of them burdening the globe that the
title would lose its value and have to be abolished.
But where business and glory are concerned, Mrs. Eddy thinks of
everything, and so she did not fail to take care of her Aborigines,
her stately and exclusive One Hundred, her college of functionless
cardinals, her Sanhedrin of Privileged Talkers (Limited). After
taking away all the liberties of the branch Churches, and in the same
breath disclaiming all official control over their affairs, she smites
them on the mouth with this--the very mouth that was watering for
those nobby ground-floor honors--
"No First Members. Branch Churches shall not organize with First
Members, that special method of organization being adapted to the
Mother- Church alone."
And so, first members being prohibited, we pierce through the cloud
of Mrs. Eddy's English and perceive that they must then necessarily
organize with Subsequent Members. There is no other way. It will
occur to them by-and-by to found an aristocracy of Early Subsequent
Members. There is no By-law against it.
I uncover to that imperial word. And to the mind, too, that
conceived the idea of seizing and monopolizing it as a title. I
believe it is Mrs. Eddy's dazzlingest invention. For show, and style,
and grandeur, and thunder and lightning and fireworks it outclasses
all the previous inventions of man, and raises the limit on the Pope.
He can never put his avid hand on that word of words--it is
pre-empted. And copyrighted, of course. It lifts the Mother-Church
away up in the sky, and fellowships it with the rare and select and
exclusive little company of the THE's of deathless glory--persons and
things whereof history and the ages could furnish only single
examples, not two: the Saviour, the Virgin, the Milky Way, the Bible,
the Earth, the Equator, the Devil, the Missing Link --and now The
First Church, Scientist. And by clamor of edict and By-law Mrs. Eddy
gives personal notice to all branch Scientist Churches on this planet
to leave that THE alone.
She has demonstrated over it and made it sacred to the
"The article 'The' must not be used before the titles of branch
"Nor written on applications for membership in naming such
Those are the terms. There can and will be a million First
Churches of Christ, Scientist, scattered over the world, in a million
towns and villages and hamlets and cities, and each may call itself
(suppressing the article), "First Church of Christ. Scientist"--it is
permissible, and no harm; but there is only one The Church of Christ,
Scientist, and there will never be another. And whether that great
word fall in the middle of a sentence or at the beginning of it, it
must always have its capital T.
I do not suppose that a juvenile passion for fussy little worldly
shows and vanities can furnish a match to this, anywhere in the
history of the nursery. Mrs. Eddy does seem to be a shade fonder of
little special distinctions and pomps than is usual with human beings.
She instituted that immodest "The" with her own hand; she did not
wait for somebody else to think of it.
A LIFE-TERM MONOPOLY
There is but one human Pastor in the whole Christian Science world;
she reserves that exalted place to herself.
A PERPETUAL ONE
There is but one other object in the whole Christian Science world
honored with that title and holding that office: it is her book, the
Annex --permanent Pastor of The First Church, and of all branch
With her own hand she draughted the By-laws which make her the only
really absolute sovereign that lives to-day in Christendom.
She does not allow any objectionable pictures to be exhibited in
the room where her book is sold, nor any indulgence in idle gossip
there; and from the general look of that By-law I judge that a
lightsome and improper person can be as uncomfortable in that place as
he could be in heaven.
THE SANCTUM SANCTORUM AND SACRED CHAIR
In a room in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, there is a
museum of objects which have attained to holiness through contact with
Mrs. Eddy-- among them an electrically lighted oil-picture of a chair
which she used to sit in-- and disciples from all about the world go
softly in there, in restricted groups, under proper guard, and
reverently gaze upon those relics. It is worship. Mrs. Eddy could
stop it if she was not fond of it, for her sovereignty over that
temple is supreme.
The fitting-up of that place as a shrine is not an accident, nor a
casual, unweighed idea; it is imitated from age--old religious custom.
In Treves the pilgrim reverently gazes upon the Seamless Robe, and
humbly worships; and does the same in that other continental church
where they keep a duplicate; and does likewise in the Church of the
Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem, where memorials of the Crucifixion are
preserved; and now, by good fortune we have our Holy Chair and things,
and a market for our adorations nearer home.
But is there not a detail that is new, fresh, original? Yes,
whatever old thing Mrs. Eddy touches gets something new by the
contact-- something not thought of before by any one --something
original, all her own, and copyrightable. The new feature is self
worship--exhibited in permitting this shrine to be installed during
her lifetime, and winking her sacred eye at it.
A prominent Christian Scientist has assured me that the Scientists
do not worship Mrs. Eddy, and I think it likely that there may be five
or six of the cult in the world who do not worship her, but she
herself is certainly not of that company. Any healthy-minded person
who will examine Mrs. Eddy's little Autobiography and the Manual of
By-laws written by her will be convinced that she worships herself;
and that she brings to this service a fervor of devotion surpassing
even that which she formerly laid at the feet of the Dollar, and
equalling any which rises to the Throne of Grace from any quarter.
I think this is as good a place as any to salve a hurt which I was
the means of inflicting upon a Christian Scientist lately. The first
third of this book was written in 1899 in Vienna. Until last summer I
had supposed that that third had been printed in a book which I
published about a year later--a hap which had not happened. I then
sent the chapters composing it to the North American Review, but
failed. in one instance, to date them. And so, In an undated chapter
I said a lady told me "last night" so and so. There was nothing to
indicate to the reader that that "last night" was several years old,
therefore the phrase seemed to refer to a night of very recent date.
What the lady had told me was, that in a part of the Mother-Church in
Boston she had seen Scientists worshipping a portrait of Mrs. Eddy
before which a light was kept constantly burning.
A Scientist came to me and wished me to retract that "untruth." He
said there was no such portrait, and that if I wanted to be sure of it
I could go to Boston and see for myself. I explained that my "last
night" meant a good while ago; that I did not doubt his assertion that
there was no such portrait there now, but that I should continue to
believe it had been there at the time of the lady's visit until she
should retract her statement herself. I was at no time vouching for
the truth of the remark, nevertheless I considered it worth par.
And yet I am sorry the lady told me, since a wound which brings me
no happiness has resulted. I am most willing to apply such salve as I
can. The best way to set the matter right and make everything pleasant
and agreeable all around will be to print in this place a description
of the shrine as it appeared to a recent visitor, Mr. Frederick W.
Peabody, of Boston. I will copy his newspaper account, and the
reader will see that Mrs. Eddy's portrait is not there now:
"We lately stood on the threshold of the Holy of Holies of the
Mother- Church, and with a crowd of worshippers patiently waited for
admittance to the hallowed precincts of the 'Mother's Room.' Over the
doorway was a sign informing us that but four persons at a time would
be admitted; that they would be permitted to remain but five minutes
only, and would please retire from the 'Mother's Room' at the ringing
of the bell. Entering with three of the faithful, we looked with
profane eyes upon the consecrated furnishings. A show-woman in
attendance monotonously announced the character of the different
appointments. Set in a recess of the wall and illumined with electric
light was an oil-painting the show-woman seriously declared to be a
lifelike and realistic picture of the Chair in which the Mother sat
when she composed her 'inspired' work. It was a picture of an
old-fashioned? country, hair cloth rocking-chair, and an exceedingly
commonplace-looking table with a pile of manuscript, an ink-bottle,
and pen conspicuously upon it. On the floor were sheets of
manuscript. 'The mantel-piece is of pure onyx,' continued the show-
woman, 'and the beehive upon the window-sill is made from one solid
block of onyx; the rug is made of a hundred breasts of eider-down
ducks, and the toilet-room you see in the corner is of the latest
design, with gold- plated drain-pipes; the painted windows are from
the Mother's poem, "Christ and Christmas," and that case contains
complete copies of all the Mother's books.' The chairs upon which the
sacred person of the Mother had reposed were protected from
sacrilegious touch by a broad band of satin ribbon. My companions
expressed their admiration in subdued and reverent tones, and at the
tinkling of the bell we reverently tiptoed out of the room to admit
another delegation of the patient waiters at the door."
Now, then, I hope the wound is healed. I am willing to relinquish
the portrait, and compromise on the Chair. At the same time, if I
were going to worship either, I should not choose the Chair.
As a picturesquely and persistently interesting personage, there is
no mate to Mrs. Eddy, the accepted Equal of the Saviour. But some of
her tastes are so different from His! I find it quite impossible to
imagine Him, in life, standing sponsor for that museum there, and
taking pleasure in its sumptuous shows. I believe He would put that
Chair in the fire, and the bell along with it; and I think He would
make the show-woman go away. I think He would break those electric
bulbs, and the "mantel-piece of pure onyx," and say reproachful things
about the golden drain-pipes of the lavatory, and give the costly rug
of duck-breasts to the poor, and sever the satin ribbon and invite the
weary to rest and ease their aches in the consecrated chairs. What He
would do with the painted windows we can better conjecture when we
come presently to examine their peculiarities.
THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE PASTOR-UNIVERSAL
When Mrs. Eddy turned the pastors out of all the Christian Science
churches and abolished the office for all time as far as human
occupancy is concerned--she appointed the Holy Ghost to fill their
place. If this language be blasphemous, I did not invent the
blasphemy, I am merely stating a fact. I will quote from page 227 of
Science and Health (edition 1899), as a first step towards an
explanation of this startling matter--a passage which sets forth and
classifies the Christian Science Trinity:
"Life, Truth, and Love constitute the triune God, or triply divine
Principle. They represent a trinity in unity, three in one --the same
in essence, though multiform in office: God the Father; Christ the
type of Sonship; Divine Science, or the Holy Comforter. . .
"The Holy Ghost, or Spirit, reveals this triune Principle, and (the
Holy Ghost) is expressed in Divine Science, which is the Comforter,
leading into all Truth, and revealing the divine Principle of the
universe-- universal and perpetual harmony."
I will cite another passage. Speaking of Jesus--
"His students then received the Holy Ghost. By this is meant, that
by all they had witnessed and suffered they were roused to an enlarged
understanding of Divine Science, even to the spiritual interpretation
. . . of His teachings," etc.
Also, page 579, in the chapter called the Glossary:
"HOLY GHOST. Divine Science; the developments of Life, Truth, and
The Holy Ghost reveals the massed spirit of the fused trinity; this
massed spirit is expressed in Divine Science, and is the Comforter;
Divine Science conveys to men the "spiritual interpretation" of the
Saviour's teachings. That seems to be the meaning of the quoted
Divine Science is Christian Science; the book Science and Health is
a "revelation" of the whole spirit of the Trinity, and is therefore
"The Holy Ghost"; it conveys to men the "spiritual interpretation" of
the Bible's teachings. and therefore is "the Comforter."
I do not find this analyzing work easy, I would rather saw wood;
and a person can never tell whether he has added up a Science and
Health sum right or not, anyway, after all his trouble. Neither can
he easily find out whether the texts are still on the market or have
been discarded from the Book; for two hundred and fifty-eight editions
of it have been issued, and no two editions seem to be alike. The
annual changes--in technical terminology; in matter and wording; in
transpositions of chapters and verses; in leaving out old chapters and
verses and putting in new ones--seem to be next to innumerable, and as
there is no index, there is no way to find a thing one wants without
reading the book through. If ever I inspire a Bible-Annex I will not
rush at it in a half-digested, helter-skelter way and have to put in
thirty-eight years trying to get some of it the way I want it, I will
sit down and think it out and know what it is I want to say before I
begin. An inspirer cannot inspire for Mrs. Eddy and keep his
reputation. I have never seen such slipshod work, bar the ten that
interpreted for the home market the "sell all thou hast." I have
quoted one "spiritual" rendering of the Lord's Prayer, I have seen one
other one, and am told there are five more. Yet the inspirer of Mrs.
Eddy the new Infallible casts a complacent critical stone at the other
Infallible for being unable to make up its mind about such things.
Science and Health, edition 1899, page 33:
"The decisions, by vote of Church Councils, as to what should and
should not be considered Holy Writ, the manifest mistakes in the
ancient versions: the thirty thousand different readings in the Old
Testament and the three hundred thousand in the New--these facts show
how a mortal and material sense stole into the divine record,
darkening, to some extent, the inspired pages with its own hue."
To some extent, yes--speaking cautiously. But it is nothing,
really nothing; Mrs. Eddy is only a little way behind, and if her
inspirer lives to get her Annex to suit him that Catholic record will
have to "go 'way back and set down," as the ballad says. Listen to
the boastful song of Mrs. Eddy's organ, the Christian Science Journal
for March, 1902, about that year's revamping and half-soling of
Science and Health, whose official name is the Holy Ghost, the
Comforter, and who is now the Official Pastor and Infallible and
Unerring Guide of every Christian Science church in the two
hemispheres, hear Simple Simon that met the pieman brag of the
"Throughout the entire book the verbal changes are so numerous as
to indicate the vast amount of time and labor Mrs. Eddy has devoted to
this revision. The time and labor thus bestowed is relatively as
great as that of --the committee who revised the Bible.... Thus we
have additional evidence of the herculean efforts our beloved Leader
has made and is constantly making for the promulgation of Truth and
the furtherance of her divinely bestowed mission," etc.
It is a steady job. I could help inspire if desired; I am not
doing much now, and would work for half-price, and should not object
to the country.
PRICE OF THE PASTOR-UNIVERSAL
The price of the Pastor-Universal, Science and Health, called in
Science literature the Comforter--and by that other sacred Name --is
three dollars in cloth, as heretofore, six when it is finely bound,
and shaped to imitate the Testament, and is broken into verses.
Margin of profit above cost of manufacture, from five hundred to
seven hundred per cent., as already noted In the profane
subscription-trade, it costs the publisher heavily to canvass a
three-dollar book; he must pay the general agent sixty per cent.
commission--that is to say, one dollar and eighty- cents. Mrs. Eddy
escapes this blistering tax, because she owns the Christian Science
canvasser, and can compel him to work for nothing. Read the following
command--not request --fulminated by Mrs. Eddy, over her signature, in
the Christian Science Journal for March, 1897, and quoted by Mr.
Peabody in his book. The book referred to is Science and Health:
"It shall be the duty of all Christian Scientists to circulate and
to sell as many of these books as they can."
That is flung at all the elect, everywhere that the sun shines, but
no penalty is shaken over their heads to scare them. The same command
was issued to the members (numbering to-day twenty-five thousand) of
The Mother-Church, also, but with it went a threat, of the infliction,
in case of disobedience, of the most dreaded punishment that has a
place in the Church's list of penalties for transgressions of Mrs.
Eddy's edicts --excommunication:
"If a member of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, shall fail
to obey this injunction, it will render him liable to lose his
membership in this Church. MARY BAKER EDDY."
It is the spirit of the Spanish Inquisition.
None but accepted and well established gods can venture an affront
like that and do it with confidence. But the human race will take
anything from that class. Mrs. Eddy knows the human race; knows it
better than any mere human being has known it in a thousand centuries.
My confidence in her human-beingship is getting shaken, my confidence
in her godship is stiffening.
SEVEN HUNDRED PER CENT.
A Scientist out West has visited a bookseller--with intent to find
fault with me--and has brought away the information that the price at
which Mrs. Eddy sells Science and Health is not an unusually high one
for the size and make of the book. That is true. But in the
book-trade--that profit-devourer unknown to Mrs. Eddy's book--a
three-dollar book that is made for thirty-five or forty cents in large
editions is put at three dollars because the publisher has to pay
author, middleman, and advertising, and if the price were much below
three the profit accruing would not pay him fairly for his time and
labor. At the same time, if he could get ten dollars for the book he
would take it, and his morals would not fall under criticism.
But if he were an inspired person commissioned by the Deity to
receive and print and spread broadcast among sorrowing and suffering
and poor men a precious message of healing and cheer and salvation, he
would have to do as Bible Societies do--sell the book at a pinched
margin above cost to such as could pay, and give it free to all that
couldn't; and his name would be praised. But if he sold it at seven
hundred per cent. profit and put the money in his pocket, his name
would be mocked and derided. Just as Mrs. Eddy's is. And most
justifiably, as it seems to me.
The complete Bible contains one million words. The New Testament
by itself contains two hundred and forty thousand words.
My '84 edition of Science and Health contains one hundred and
twenty thousand words --just half as many as the New Testament.
Science and Health has since been so inflated by later inspirations
that the 1902 edition contains one hundred and eighty thousand
words--not counting the thirty thousand at the back, devoted by Mrs.
Eddy to advertising the book's healing abilities--and the inspiring
continues right along.
If you have a book whose market is so sure and so great that you
can give a printer an everlasting order for thirty or forty or fifty
thousand copies a year he will furnish them at a cheap rate, because
whenever there is a slack time in his press-room and bindery he can
fill the idle intervals on your book and be making something instead
of losing. That is the kind of contract that can be let on Science
and Health every year. I am obliged to doubt that the three-dollar
Science and Health costs Mrs. Eddy above fifteen cents, or that the
six dollar copy costs her above eighty cents. I feel quite sure that
the average profit to her on these books, above cost of manufacture,
is all of seven hundred per cent.
Every proper Christian Scientist has to buy and own (and canvass
for) Science and Health (one hundred and eighty thousand words), and
he must also own a Bible (one million words). He can buy the one for
from three to six dollars, and the other for fifteen cents. Or, if
three dollars is all the money he has, he can get his Bible for
nothing. When the Supreme Being disseminates a saving Message through
uninspired agents--the New Testament, for instance --it can be done
for five cents a copy, but when He sends one containing only
two-thirds as many words through the shop of a Divine Personage, it
costs sixty times as much. I think that in matters of such importance
it is bad economy to employ a wild-cat agency.
Here are some figures which are perfectly authentic, and which seem
to justify my opinion.
"These [Bible] societies, inspired only by a sense of religious
duty, are issuing the Bible at a price so small that they have made it
the cheapest book printed. For example, the American Bible Society
offers an edition of the whole Bible as low as fifteen cents and the
New Testament at five cents, and the British Society at sixpence and
one penny, respectively. These low prices, made possible by their
policy of selling the books at cost or below cost," etc.--New York
Sun, February 25, 1903.
We may now make a final footing-up of Mrs. Eddy, and see what she
is, in the fulness of her powers. She is
The Massachusetts Metaphysical College
Board of Directors;
Board of Education;
Board of Lectureships;
Future Board of Trustees,
Proprietor of the Publishing-House and Periodicals;
Proprietor of the Teachers;
Proprietor of the Lecturers;
Proprietor of the Missionaries;
Proprietor of the Readers;
Dictator of the Services; sole Voice of the Pulpit;
Proprietor of the Sanhedrin;
Sole Proprietor of the Creed. (Copyrighted.);
Indisputable Autocrat of the Branch Churches, with their life and death
in her hands;
Sole Thinker for The First Church (and the others);
Sole and Infallible Expounder of Doctrine, in life and in death;
Sole permissible Discoverer, Denouncer, Judge, and Executioner of
Fifty-handed God of Excommunication--with a thunderbolt in every hand;
Appointer and Installer of the Pastor of all the Churches--the Perpetual
Pastor-Universal, Science and Health, "the Comforter."
There she stands-painted by herself. No witness but herself has
been allowed to testify. She stands there painted by her acts, and
decorated by her words. When she talks, she has only a decorative
value as a witness, either for or against herself, for she deals
mainly in unsupported assertion; and in the rare cases where she puts
forward a verifiable fact she gets out of it a meaning which it
refuses to furnish to anybody else. Also, when she talks, she is
unstable, she wanders, she is incurably inconsistent; what she says
to-day she contradicts tomorrow.
But her acts are consistent. They are always faithful to her, they
never misinterpret her, they are a mirror which always reflects her
exactly, precisely, minutely, unerringly, and always the same, to
date, with only those progressive little natural changes in stature,
dress, complexion, mood, and carriage that mark--exteriorly--the march
of the years and record the accumulations of experience, while
--interiorly--through all this steady drift of evolution the one
essential detail, the commanding detail, the master detail of the
make-up remains as it was in the beginning, suffers no change and can
suffer none; the basis of the character; the temperament, the
disposition, that indestructible iron framework upon which the
character is built, and whose shape it must take, and keep, throughout
life. We call it a person's nature.
The man who is born stingy can be taught to give liberally--with
his hands; but not with his heart. The man born kind and
compassionate can have that disposition crushed down out of sight by
embittering experience; but if it were an organ the post-mortem would
find it still in his corpse. The man born ambitious of power and
glory may live long without finding it out, but when the opportunity
comes he will know, will strike for the largest thing within the limit
of his chances at the time- constable, perhaps--and will be glad and
proud when he gets it, and will write home about it. But he will not
stop with that start; his appetite will come again; and by-and-by
again, and yet again; and when he has climbed to police commissioner
it will at last begin to dawn upon him that what his Napoleon soul
wants and was born for is something away higher up--he does not quite
know what, but Circumstance and Opportunity will indicate the
direction and he will cut a road through and find out.
I think Mrs. Eddy was born with a far-seeing business-eye, but did
not know it; and with a great organizing and executive talent, and did
not know it; and with a large appetite for power and distinction, and
did not know it. I think the reason that her make did not show up
until middle life was that she had General Grant's luck --Circumstance
and Opportunity did not come her way when she was younger. The
qualities that were born in her had to wait for circumstance and
opportunity--but they were there: they were there to stay, whether
they ever got a chance to fructify or not. If they had come early,
they would have found her ready and competent. And they--not
she--would have determined what they would set her at and what they
would make of her. If they had elected to commission her as
second-assistant cook in a bankrupt boarding-house, I know the rest of
it--I know what would have happened. She would have owned the
boarding-house within six months; she would have had the late
proprietor on salary and humping himself, as the worldly say; she
would have had that boarding-house spewing money like a mint; she
would have worked the servants and the late landlord up to the limit;
she would have squeezed the boarders till they wailed, and by some
mysterious quality born in her she would have kept the affections of
certain of the lot whose love and esteem she valued, and flung the
others down the back area; in two years she would own all the
boarding-houses in the town, in five all the boarding-houses in the
State, in twenty all the hotels in America, in forty all the hotels on
the planet, and would sit at home with her finger on a button and
govern the whole combination as easily as a bench-manager governs a
It would be a grand thing to see, and I feel a kind of
disappointment-- but never mind, a religion is better and larger; and
there is more to it. And I have not been steeping myself in Christian
Science all these weeks without finding out that the one sensible
thing to do with a disappointment is to put it out of your mind and
think of something cheerfuler.
We outsiders cannot conceive of Mrs. Eddy's Christian Science
Religion as being a sudden and miraculous birth, but only as a growth
from a seed planted by circumstances, and developed stage by stage by
command and compulsion of the same force. What the stages were we
cannot know, but are privileged to guess. She may have gotten the
mental-healing idea from Quimby--it had been experimented with for
ages, and was no one's special property. [For the present, for
convenience' sake, let us proceed upon the hypothesis that that was
all she got of him, and that she put up the rest of the assets
herself. This will strain us, but let us try it.] In each and all its
forms and under all its many names, mental healing had had limits,
always, and they were rather narrow ones-- Mrs. Eddy, let us imagine,
removed the fence, abolished the frontiers. Not by expanding
mental-healing, but by absorbing its small bulk into the vaster bulk
of Christian Science--Divine Science, The Holy Ghost, the
Comforter--which was a quite different and sublimer force, and one
which had long lain dormant and unemployed.
The Christian Scientist believes that the Spirit of God (life and
love) pervades the universe like an atmosphere; that whoso will study
Science and Health can get from it the secret of how to inhale that
transforming air; that to breathe it is to be made new; that from the
new man all sorrow, all care, all miseries of the mind vanish away,
for that only peace, contentment and measureless joy can live in that
divine fluid; that it purifies the body from disease, which is a
vicious creation of the gross human mind, and cannot continue to exist
in the presence of the Immortal Mind, the renewing Spirit of God.
The Scientist finds this reasonable, natural, and not harder to
believe than that the disease germ, a creature of darkness, perishes
when exposed to the light of the great sun--a new revelation of
profane science which no one doubts. He reminds us that the actinic
ray, shining upon lupus, cures it--a horrible disease which was
incurable fifteen years ago, and had been incurable for ten million
years before; that this wonder, unbelievable by the physicians at
first, is believed by them now; and so he is tranquilly confident that
the time is coming when the world will be educated up to a point where
it will comprehend and grant that the light of the Spirit of God,
shining unobstructed upon the soul, is an actinic ray which can purge
both mind and body from disease and set them free and make them whole.
It is apparent, then, that in Christian Science it is not one man's
mind acting upon another man's mind that heals; that it is solely the
Spirit of God that heals; that the healer's mind performs no office
but to convey that force to the patient; that it is merely the wire
which carries the electric fluid, so to speak, and delivers the
message. Therefore, if these things be true, mental-healing and
Science-healing are separate and distinct processes, and no kinship
exists between them.
To heal the body of its ills and pains is a mighty benefaction, but
in our day our physicians and surgeons work a thousand
miracles--prodigies which would have ranked as miracles fifty years
ago--and they have so greatly extended their domination over disease
that we feel so well protected that we are able to look with a good
deal of composure and absence of hysterics upon the claims of new
competitors in that field.
But there is a mightier benefaction than the healing of the body,
and that is the healing of the spirit--which is Christian Science's
other claim. So far as I know, so far as I can find out, it makes it
good. Personally I have not known a Scientist who did not seem serene,
contented, unharassed. I have not found an outsider whose observation
of Scientists furnished him a view that differed from my own. Buoyant
spirits, comfort of mind, freedom from care these happinesses we all
have, at intervals; but in the spaces between, dear me, the black
hours! They have put a curse upon the life of every human being I have
ever known, young or old. I concede not a single exception. Unless
it might be those Scientists just referred to. They may have been
playing a part with me; I hope they were not, and I believe they were
Time will test the Science's claim. If time shall make it good; if
time shall prove that the Science can heal the persecuted spirit of
man and banish its troubles and keep it serene and sunny and
content--why, then Mrs. Eddy will have a monument that will reach
above the clouds. For if she did not hit upon that imperial idea and
evolve it and deliver it, its discoverer can never be identified with
certainty, now, I think. It is the giant feature, it is the sun that
rides in the zenith of Christian Science, the auxiliary features are
of minor consequence [Let us still leave the large "if" aside, for the
present, and proceed as if it had no existence.]
It is not supposable that Mrs. Eddy realized, at first, the size of
her plunder. (No, find--that is the word; she did not realize the
size of her find, at first.) It had to grow upon her, by degrees, in
accordance with the inalterable custom of Circumstance, which works by
stages, and by stages only, and never furnishes any mind with all the
materials for a large idea at one time.
In the beginning, Mrs. Eddy was probably interested merely in the
mental- healing detail And perhaps mainly interested in it pecuniary,
for she was poor.
She would succeed in anything she undertook. She would attract
pupils, and her commerce would grow. She would inspire in patient and
pupil confidence in her earnestness, her history is evidence that she
would not fail of that.
There probably came a time, in due course, when her students began
to think there was something deeper in her teachings than they had
been suspecting--a mystery beyond mental-healing, and higher. It is
conceivable that by consequence their manner towards her changed
little by little, and from respectful became reverent. It is
conceivable that this would have an influence upon her; that it would
incline her to wonder if their secret thought--that she was
inspired--might not be a well-grounded guess. It is conceivable that
as time went on the thought in their minds and its reflection in hers
might solidify into conviction.
She would remember, then, that as a child she had been called, more
than once, by a mysterious voice --just as had happened to little
Samuel. (Mentioned in her Autobiography.) She would be impressed by
that ancient reminiscence, now, and it could have a prophetic meaning
It is conceivable that the persuasive influences around her and
within her would give a new and powerful impulse to her
philosophizings, and that from this, in time, would result that great
birth, the healing of body and mind by the inpouring of the Spirit of
God--the central and dominant idea of Christian Science--and that when
this idea came she would not doubt that it was an inspiration direct
[I must rest a little, now. To sit here and painstakingly spin out
a scheme which imagines Mrs. Eddy, of all people, working her mind on
a plane above commercialism; imagines her thinking, philosophizing,
discovering majestic things; and even imagines her dealing in
sincerities--to be frank, I find it a large contract But I have begun
it, and I will go through with it.]
It is evident that she made disciples fast, and that their belief
in her and in the authenticity of her heavenly ambassadorship was not
of the lukewarm and half-way sort, but was profoundly earnest and
sincere. Her book was issued from the press in 1875, it began its
work of convert- making, and within six years she had successfully
launched a new Religion and a new system of healing, and was teaching
them to crowds of eager students in a College of her own, at prices so
extraordinary that we are almost compelled to accept her statement
(no, her guarded intimation) that the rates were arranged on high,
since a mere human being unacquainted with commerce and accustomed to
think in pennies could hardly put up such a hand as that without
From this stage onward--Mrs. Eddy being what she was--the rest of
the development--stages would follow naturally and inevitably.
But if she had been anybody else, there would have been a different
arrangement of them, with different results. Being the extraordinary
person she was, she realized her position and its possibilities;
realized the possibilities, and had the daring to use them for all
they were worth.
We have seen what her methods were after she passed the stage where
her divine ambassadorship was granted its executer in the hearts and
minds of her followers; we have seen how steady and fearless and
calculated and orderly was her march thenceforth from conquest to
conquest; we have seen her strike dead, without hesitancy, any hostile
or questionable force that rose in her path: first, the horde of
pretenders that sprang up and tried to take her Science and its market
away from her--she crushed them, she obliterated them; when her own
National Christian Science Association became great in numbers and
influence, and loosely and dangerously garrulous, and began to expound
the doctrines according to its own uninspired notions, she took up her
sponge without a tremor of fear and wiped that Association out; when
she perceived that the preachers in her pulpits were becoming
afflicted with doctrine-tinkering, she recognized the danger of it,
and did not hesitate nor temporize, but promptly dismissed the whole
of them in a day, and abolished their office permanently; we have seen
that, as fast as her power grew, she was competent to take the measure
of it, and that as fast as its expansion suggested to her gradually
awakening native ambition a higher step she took it; and so, by this
evolutionary process, we have seen the gross money-lust relegated to
second place, and the lust of empire and glory rise above it. A
splendid dream; and by force of the qualities born in her she is
making it come true.
These qualities--and the capacities growing out of them by the
nurturing influences of training, observation, and experience seem to
be clearly indicated by the character of her career and its
achievements. They seem to be:
A clear head for business, and a phenomenally long one; Clear
understanding of business situations; Accuracy in estimating the
opportunities they offer; Intelligence in planning a business move;
Firmness in sticking to it after it has been decided upon;
Extraordinary daring; Indestructible persistency; Devouring
ambition; Limitless selfishness; A knowledge of the weaknesses and
poverties and docilities of human nature and how to turn them to
account which has never been surpassed, if ever equalled;
And--necessarily--the foundation-stone of Mrs. Eddy's character is
a never-wavering confidence in herself.
It is a granite character. And--quite naturally--a measure of the
talc of smallnesses common to human nature is mixed up in it and
distributed through it. When Mrs. Eddy is not dictating servilities
from her throne in the clouds to her official domestics in Boston or
to her far-spread subjects round about the planet, but is down on the
ground, she is kin to us and one of us: sentimental as a girl,
garrulous, ungrammatical, incomprehensible, affected, vain of her
little human ancestry, unstable, inconsistent, unreliable in
statement, and naively and everlastingly self-contradictory-oh,
trivial and common and commonplace as the commonest of us! just a
Napoleon as Madame de Remusat saw him, a brass god with clay legs.
In drawing Mrs. Eddy's portrait it has been my purpose to restrict
myself to materials furnished by herself, and I believe I have done
that. If I have misinterpreted any of her acts, it was not done
It will be noticed that in skeletonizing a list of the qualities
which have carried her to the dizzy summit which she occupies, I have
not mentioned the power which was the commanding force employed in
achieving that lofty flight. It did not belong in that list; it was a
force that was not a detail of her character, but was an outside one.
It was the power which proceeded from her people's recognition of her
as a supernatural personage, conveyer of the Latest Word, and divinely
commissioned to deliver it to the world. The form which such a
recognition takes, consciously or unconsciously, is worship; and
worship does not question nor criticize, it obeys. The object of it
does not need to coddle it, bribe it, beguile it, reason with it,
convince it--it commands it; that is sufficient; the obedience
rendered is not reluctant, but prompt and whole-hearted. Admiration
for a Napoleon, confidence in him, pride in him, affection for him,
can lift him high and carry him far; and these are forms of worship,
and are strong forces, but they are worship of a mere human being,
after all, and are infinitely feeble, as compared with those that are
generated by that other worship, the worship of a divine personage.
Mrs. Eddy has this efficient worship, this massed and centralized
force, this force which is indifferent to opposition, untroubled by
fear, and goes to battle singing, like Cromwell's soldiers; and while
she has it she can command and it will obey, and maintain her on her
throne, and extend her empire.
She will have it until she dies; and then we shall see a curious
and interesting further development of her revolutionary work begin.
The President and Board of Directors wil1 succeed her, and the
government will go on without a hitch. The By-laws will bear that
interpretation. All the Mother-Church's vast powers are concentrated
in that Board. Mrs. Eddy's unlimited personal reservations make the
Board's ostensible supremacy, during her life, a sham, and the Board
itself a shadow. But Mrs. Eddy has not made those reservations for
any one but herself--they are distinctly personal, they bear her name,
they are not usable by another individual. When she dies her
reservations die, and the Board's shadow-powers become real powers,
without the change of any important By- law, and the Board sits in her
place as absolute and irresponsible a sovereign as she was.
It consists of but five persons, a much more manageable Cardinalate
than the Roman Pope's. I think it will elect its Pope from its own
body, and that it will fill its own vacancies. An elective Papacy is
a safe and wise system, and a long-liver.
We may take that up now.
It is not a single if, but a several-jointed one; not an oyster,
but a vertebrate.
1. Did Mrs. Eddy borrow from Quimby the Great Idea, or only the
little one, the old-timer, the ordinary mental-healing-healing by
2. If she borrowed the Great Idea, did she carry it away in her
head, or in manuscript?
3. Did she hit upon the Great Idea herself? By the Great Idea I
mean, of course, the conviction that the Force involved was still
existent, and could be applied now just as it was applied by Christ's
Disciples and their converts, and as successfully. 4. Did she
philosophize it, systematize it, and write it down in a book?
5. Was it she, and not another, that built a new Religion upon the
book and organized it?
I think No. 5 can be answered with a Yes, and dismissed from the
controversy. And I think that the Great Idea, great as it was, would
have enjoyed but a brief activity, and would then have gone to sleep
again for some more centuries, but for the perpetuating impulse it got
from that organized and tremendous force.
As for Nos. 1, 2, and 4, the hostiles contend that Mrs. Eddy got
the Great Idea from Quimby and carried it off in manuscript. But
their testimony, while of consequence, lacks the most important
detail; so far as my information goes, the Quimby manuscript has not
been produced. I think we cannot discuss No. 1 and No. 2 profitably.
Let them go.
For me, No. 3 has a mild interest, and No. 4 a violent one.
As regards No. 3, Mrs. Eddy was brought up, from the cradle, an
old- time, boiler-iron, Westminster-Catechism Christian, and knew her
Bible as well as Captain Kydd knew his, "when he sailed, when he
sailed," and perhaps as sympathetically. The Great Idea had struck a
million Bible- readers before her as being possible of resurrection
and application--it must have struck as many as that, and been
cogitated, indolently, doubtingly, then dropped and forgotten--and it
could have struck her, in due course. But how it could interest her,
how it could appeal to her-- with her make this a thing that is
difficult to understand.
For the thing back of it is wholly gracious and beautiful: the
power, through loving mercifulness and compassion, to heal fleshly
ills and pains and grief --all--with a word, with a touch of the hand!
This power was given by the Saviour to the Disciples, and to all the
converted. All--every one. It was exercised for generations
afterwards. Any Christian who was in earnest and not a make-believe,
not a policy-- Christian, not a Christian for revenue only, had that
healing power, and could cure with it any disease or any hurt or
damage possible to human flesh and bone. These things are true, or
they are not. If they were true seventeen and eighteen and nineteen
centuries ago it would be difficult to satisfactorily explain why or
how or by what argument that power should be nonexistent in Christians
To wish to exercise it could occur to Mrs. Eddy--but would it?
Grasping, sordid, penurious, famishing for everything she
sees--money, power, glory-- vain, untruthful, jealous, despotic,
arrogant, insolent, pitiless where thinkers and hypnotists are
concerned, illiterate, shallow, incapable of reasoning outside of
commercial lines, immeasurably selfish--
Of course the Great Idea could strike her, we have to grant that,
but why it should interest her is a question which can easily
overstrain the imagination and bring on nervous prostration, or
something like that, and is better left alone by the judicious, it
seems to me--
Unless we call to our help the alleged other side of Mrs. Eddy's
make and character the side which her multitude of followers see, and
sincerely believe in. Fairness requires that their view be stated
here. It is the opposite of the one which I have drawn from Mrs.
Eddy's history and from her By-laws. To her followers she is this:
Patient, gentle, loving, compassionate, noble hearted, unselfish,
sinless, widely cultured, splendidly equipped mentally, a profound
thinker, an able writer, a divine personage, an inspired messenger
whose acts are dictated from the Throne, and whose every utterance is
the Voice of God.
She has delivered to them a religion which has revolutionized their
lives, banished the glooms that shadowed them, and filled them and
flooded them with sunshine and gladness and peace; a religion which
has no hell; a religion whose heaven is not put off to another time,
with a break and a gulf between, but begins here and now, and melts
into eternity as fancies of the waking day melt into the dreams of
They believe it is a Christianity that is in the New Testament;
that it has always been there, that in the drift of ages it was lost
through disuse and neglect, and that this benefactor has found it and
given it back to men, turning the night of life into day, its terrors
into myths, its lamentations into songs of emancipation and rejoicing.
There we have Mrs. Eddy as her followers see her. She has lifted
them out of grief and care and doubt and fear, and made their lives
beautiful; she found them wandering forlorn in a wintry wilderness,
and has led them to a tropic paradise like that of which the poet
"O, islands there are on the face of the deep
Where the leaves never fade and the skies never weep."
To ask them to examine with a microscope the character of such a
benefactor; to ask them to examine it at all; to ask them to look at a
blemish which another person believes he has found in it--well, in
their place could you do it? Would you do it? Wouldn't you be
ashamed to do it? If a tramp had rescued your child from fire and
death, and saved its mother's heart from breaking, could you see his
rags? Could you smell his breath? Mrs. Eddy has done more than that
for these people.
They are prejudiced witnesses. To the credit of human nature it is
not possible that they should be otherwise. They sincerely believe
that Mrs. Eddy's character is pure and perfect and beautiful, and her
history without stain or blot or blemish. But that does not settle
it. They sincerely believe she did not borrow the Great Idea from
Quimby, but hit upon it herself. It may be so, and it could be so.
Let it go--there is no way to settle it. They believe she carried
away no Quimby manuscripts. Let that go, too--there is no way to
settle it. They believe that she, and not another, built the Religion
upon the book, and organized it. I believe it, too.
Finally, they believe that she philosophized Christian Science,
explained it, systematized it, and wrote it all out with her own hand
in the book Science and Health.
I am not able to believe that. Let us draw the line there. The
known and undisputed products of her pen are a formidable witness
against her. They do seem to me to prove, quite clearly and
conclusively, that writing, upon even simple subjects, is a difficult
labor for her: that she has never been able to write anything above
third-rate English; that she is weak in the matter of grammar; that
she has but a rude and dull sense of the values of words; that she so
lacks in the matter of literary precision that she can seldom put a
thought into words that express it lucidly to the reader and leave no
doubts in his mind as to whether he has rightly understood or not;
that she cannot even draught a Preface that a person can fully
comprehend, nor one which can by any art be translated into a fully
understandable form; that she can seldom inject into a Preface even
single sentences whose meaning is uncompromisingly clear--yet Prefaces
are her specialty, if she has one.
Mrs. Eddy's known and undisputed writings are very limited in bulk;
they exhibit no depth, no analytical quality, no thought above school
composition size, and but juvenile ability in handling thoughts of
even that modest magnitude. She has a fine commercial ability, and
could govern a vast railway system in great style; she could draught a
set of rules that Satan himself would say could not be improved on--
for devilish effectiveness--by his staff; but we know, by our
excursions among the Mother-Church's By-laws, that their English would
discredit the deputy baggage-smasher. I am quite sure that Mrs. Eddy
cannot write well upon any subject, even a commercial one.
In the very first revision of Science and Health (1883), Mrs. Eddy
wrote a Preface which is an unimpeachable witness that the rest of the
book was written by somebody else. I have put it in the Appendix
along with a page or two taken from the body of the book, and will ask
the reader to compare the labored and lumbering and confused gropings
of this Preface with the easy and flowing and direct English of the
other exhibit, and see if he can believe that the one hand and brain
And let him take the Preface apart, sentence by sentence, and
searchingly examine each sentence word by word, and see if he can find
half a dozen sentences whose meanings he is so sure of that he can
rephrase them--in words of his own--and reproduce what he takes to be
those meanings. Money can be lost on this game. I know, for I am the
one that lost it.
Now let the reader turn to the excerpt which I have made from the
chapter on "Prayer" (last year's edition of Science and Health), and
compare that wise and sane and elevated and lucid and compact piece of
work with the aforesaid Preface, and with Mrs. Eddy's poetry
concerning the gymnastic trees, and Minerva's not yet effete sandals,
and the wreaths imported from Erudition's bower for the decoration of
Plymouth Rock, and the Plague-spot and Bacilli, and my other exhibits
(turn back to my Chapters I. and II.) from the Autobiography, and
finally with the late Communication concerning me, and see if he
thinks anybody's affirmation, or anybody's sworn testimony, or any
other testimony of any imaginable kind would ever be likely to
convince him that Mrs. Eddy wrote that chapter on Prayer.
I do not wish to impose my opinion on any one who will not permit
it, but such as it is I offer it here for what it is worth. I cannot
believe, and I do not believe, that Mrs. Eddy originated any of the
thoughts and reasonings out of which the book Science and Health is
constructed; and I cannot believe, and do not believe that she ever
wrote any part of that book.
I think that if anything in the world stands proven, and well and
solidly proven, by unimpeachable testimony--the treacherous testimony
of her own pen in her known and undisputed literary productions--it is
that Mrs. Eddy is not capable of thinking upon high planes, nor of
reasoning clearly nor writing intelligently upon low ones.
Inasmuch as--in my belief--the very first editions of the book
Science and Health were far above the reach of Mrs. Eddy's mental and
literary abilities, I think she has from the very beginning been
claiming as her own another person's book, and wearing as her own
property laurels rightfully belonging to that person-- the real author
of Science and Health. And I think the reason--and the only
reason--that he has not protested is because his work was not exposed
to print until after he was safely dead.
That with an eye to business, and by grace of her business talent,
she has restored to the world neglected and abandoned features of the
Christian religion which her thousands of followers find gracious and
blessed and contenting, I recognize and confess; but I am convinced
that every single detail of the work except just that one--the
delivery of the Product to the world--was conceived and performed by
APPENDIX A. ORIGINAL FIRST PREFACE TO SCIENCE AND HEALTH
There seems a Christian necessity of learning God's power and
purpose to heal both mind and body. This thought grew out of our
early seeking Him in all our ways, and a hopeless as singular
invalidism that drugs increased instead of diminished, and hygiene
benefited only for a season. By degrees we have drifted into more
spiritual latitudes of thought, and experimented as we advanced until
demonstrating fully the power of mind over the body. About the year
1862, having heard of a mesmerist in Portland who was treating the
sick by manipulation, we visited him; he helped us for a time, then we
relapsed somewhat. After his decease, and a severe casualty deemed
fatal by skilful physicians, we discovered that the Principle of all
healing and the law that governs it is God, a divine Principle, and a
spiritual not material law, and regained health.
It was not an individual or mortal mind acting upon another
so-called mind that healed us. It was the glorious truths of
Christian Science that we discovered as we neared that verge of
so-called material life named death; yea, it was the great Shekinah,
the spirit of Life, Truth, and Love illuminating our understanding of
the action and might of Omnipotence! The old gentleman to whom we
have referred had some very advanced views on healing, but he was not
avowedly religious neither scholarly. We interchanged thoughts on the
subject of healing the sick. I restored some patients of his that he
failed to heal, and left in his possession some manuscripts of mine
containing corrections of his desultory pennings, which I am informed
at his decease passed into the hands of a patient of his, now residing
in Scotland. He died in 1865 and left no published works. The only
manuscript that we ever held of his, longer than to correct it, was
one of perhaps a dozen pages, most of which we had composed. He
manipulated the sick; hence his ostensible method of healing was
physical instead of mental.
We helped him in the esteem of the public by our writings, but
never knew of his stating orally or in writing that he treated his
patients mentally; never heard him give any directions to that effect;
and have it from one of his patients, who now asserts that he was the
founder of mental healing, that he never revealed to anyone his
method. We refer to these facts simply to refute the calumnies and
false claims of our enemies, that we are preferring dishonest claims
to the discovery and founding at this period of Metaphysical Healing
or Christian Science.
The Science and laws of a purely mental healing and their method of
application through spiritual power alone, else a mental argument
against disease, are our own discovery at this date. True, the
Principle is divine and eternal, but the application of it to heal the
sick had been lost sight of, and required to be again spiritually
discerned and its science discovered, that man might retain it through
the understanding. Since our discovery in 1866 of the divine science
of Christian Healing, we have labored with tongue and pen to found
this system. In this endeavor every obstacle has been thrown in our
path that the envy and revenge of a few disaffected students could
devise. The superstition and ignorance of even this period have not
failed to contribute their mite towards misjudging us, while its
Christian advancement and scientific research have helped sustain our
Since our first Edition of Science and Health, published in 1875,
two of the aforesaid students have plagiarized and pirated our works.
In the issues of E. J. A., almost exclusively ours, were thirteen
paragraphs, without credit, taken verbatim from our books.
Not one of our printed works was ever copied or abstracted from the
published or from the unpublished writings of anyone. Throughout our
publications of Metaphysical Healing or Christian Science, when
writing or dictating them, we have given ourselves to contemplation
wholly apart from the observation of the material senses: to look upon
a copy would have distracted our thoughts from the subject before us.
We were seldom able to copy our own compositions, and have employed
an amanuensis for the last six years. Every work that we have had
published has been extemporaneously written; and out of fifty lectures
and sermons that we have delivered the last year, forty-four have been
extemporaneous. We have distributed many of our unpublished
manuscripts; loaned to one of our youngest students, R. K c . . .
. . y, between three and four hundred pages, of which we were sole
author--giving him liberty to copy but not to publish them.
Leaning on the sustaining Infinite with loving trust, the trials of
to- day grow brief, and to-morrow is big with blessings.
The wakeful shepherd, tending his flocks, beholds from the
mountain's top the first faint morning beam ere cometh the risen day.
So from Soul's loftier summits shines the pale star to
prophet-shepherd, and it traverses night, over to where the young
child lies, in cradled obscurity, that shall waken a world. Over the
night of error dawn the morning beams and guiding star of Truth, and
"the wise men" are led by it to Science, which repeats the eternal
harmony that it reproduced, in proof of immortality. The time for
thinkers has come; and the time for revolutions, ecclesiastical and
civil, must come. Truth, independent of doctrines or time-honored
systems, stands at the threshold of history. Contentment with the
past, or the cold conventionality of custom, may no longer shut the
door on science; though empires fall, "He whose right it is shall
reign." Ignorance of God should no longer be the stepping-stone to
faith; understanding Him, "whom to know aright is Life eternal," is
the only guaranty of obedience.
This volume may not open a new thought, and make it at once
familiar. It has the sturdy task of a pioneer, to hack away at the
tall oaks and cut the rough granite, leaving future ages to declare
what it has done. We made our first discovery of the adaptation of
metaphysics to the treatment of disease in the winter of 1866; since
then we have tested the Principle on ourselves and others, and never
found it to fail to prove the statements herein made of it. We must
learn the science of Life, to reach the perfection of man. To
understand God as the Principle of all being, and to live in
accordance with this Principle, is the Science of Life. But to
reproduce this harmony of being, the error of personal sense must
yield to science, even as the science of music corrects tones caught
from the ear, and gives the sweet concord of sound. There are many
theories of physic and theology, and many calls in each of their
directions for the right way; but we propose to settle the question of
"What is Truth?" on the ground of proof, and let that method of
healing the sick and establishing Christianity be adopted that is
found to give the most health and to make the best Christians; science
will then have a fair field, in which case we are assured of its
triumph over all opinions and beliefs. Sickness and sin have ever had
their doctors; but the question is, Have they become less because of
them? The longevity of our antediluvians would say, No! and the
criminal records of today utter their voices little in favor of such a
conclusion. Not that we would deny to Caesar the things that are his,
but that we ask for the things that belong to Truth; and safely
affirm, from the demonstrations we have been able to make, that the
science of man understood would have eradicated sin, sickness, and
death, in a less period than six thousand years. We find great
difficulties in starting this work right. Some shockingly false
claims are already made to a metaphysical practice; mesmerism, its
very antipodes, is one of them. Hitherto we have never, in a single
instance of our discovery, found the slightest resemblance between
mesmerism and metaphysics. No especial idiosyncrasy is requisite to
acquire a knowledge of metaphysical healing; spiritual sense is more
important to its discernment than the intellect; and those who would
learn this science without a high moral standard of thought and
action, will fail to understand it until they go up higher. Owing to
our explanations constantly vibrating between the same points, an
irksome repetition of words must occur; also the use of capital
letters, genders, and technicalities peculiar to the science. Variety
of language, or beauty of diction, must give place to close analysis
and unembellished thought. "Hoping all things, enduring all things,"
to do good to our enemies, to bless them that curse us, and to bear to
the sorrowing and the sick consolation and healing, we commit these
pages to posterity.
MARY BAKER G. EDDY.
The Gospel narratives bear brief testimony even to the life of our
great Master. His spiritual noumenon and phenomenon, silenced
portraiture. Writers, less wise than the Apostles, essayed in the
Apocryphal New Testament, a legendary and traditional history of the
early life of Jesus. But Saint Paul summarized the character of Jesus
as the model of Christianity, in these words: "Consider Him who
endured such contradictions of sinners against Himself. Who for the
joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame,
and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
It may be that the mortal life battle still wages, and must
continue till its involved errors are vanquished by victory-bringing
Science; but this triumph will come! God is over all. He alone is
our origin, aim, and Being. The real man is not of the dust, nor is
he ever created through the flesh; for his father and mother are the
one Spirit, and his brethren are all the children of one parent, the
Any kind of literary composition was excessively difficult for Mrs.
Eddy. She found it grinding hard work to dig out anything to say. She
realized, at the above stage in her life, that with all her trouble
she had not been able to scratch together even material enough for a
child's Autobiography, and also that what she had secured was in the
main not valuable, not important, considering the age and the fame of
the person she was writing about; and so it occurred to her to
attempt, in that paragraph, to excuse the meagreness and poor quality
of the feast she was spreading, by letting on that she could do ever
so much better if she wanted to, but was under constraint of Divine
etiquette. To feed with more than a few indifferent crumbs a plebeian
appetite for personal details about Personages in her class was not
the correct thing, and she blandly points out that there is Precedent
for this reserve. When Mrs. Eddy tries to be artful --in literature
--it is generally after the manner of the ostrich; and with the
ostrich's luck. Please try to find the connection between the two
The following is the spiritual signification of the Lord's Prayer:
Principle, eternal and harmonious,
Nameless and adorable Intelligence,
Thou art ever present and supreme.
And when this supremacy of Spirit shall appear, the dream of matter will
Give us the understanding of Truth and Love.
And loving we shall learn God, and Truth will destroy all error.
And lead us unto the Life that is Soul, and deliver us from the errors of
sense, sin, sickness, and death,
For God is Life, Truth, and Love for ever.
--Science and Health, edition of 1881.
It seems to me that this one is distinctly superior to the one that
was inspired for last year's edition. It is strange, but to my mind
plain, that inspiring is an art which does not improve with
"For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this
mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall
not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he
saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire when ye pray,
believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask
Him." --CHRIST JESUS.
The prayer that reclaims the sinner and heals the sick, is an
absolute faith that all things are possible to God--a spiritual
understanding of Him--an unselfed love. Regardless of what another
may say or think on this subject, I speak from experience. This
prayer, combined with self- sacrifice and toil, is the means whereby
God has enabled me to do what I have done for the religion and health
Thoughts unspoken are not unknown to the divine Mind. Desire is
prayer; and no less can occur from trusting God with our desires, that
they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in audible word,
and in deeds.
What are the motives for prayer? Do we pray to make ourselves
better, or to benefit those that hear us; to enlighten the Infinite,
or to be heard of men? Are we benefited by praying? Yes, the desire
which goes forth hungering after righteousness is blessed of our
Father, and it does not return unto us void.
God is not moved by the breath of praise to do more than He has
already done; nor can the Infinite do less than bestow all good, since
He is unchanging Wisdom and Love. We can do more for ourselves by
humble fervent petitions; but the All-loving does not grant them
simply on the ground of lip-service, for He already knows all.
Prayer cannot change the Science of Being, but it does bring us
into harmony with it. Goodness reaches the demonstration of Truth. A
request that another may work for us never does our work. The habit
of pleading with the divine Mind, as one pleads with a human being,
perpetuates the belief in God as humanly circumscribed--an error which
impedes spiritual growth.
God is Love. Can we ask Him to be more? God is Intelligence. Can
we inform the infinite Mind, or tell Him anything He does not already
comprehend? Do we hope to change perfection? Shall we plead for more
at the open fount, which always pours forth more than we receive? The
unspoken prayer does bring us nearer the Source of all existence and
Asking God to be God is a "vain repetition." God is "the same
yesterday, and to-day, and forever"; and He who is immutably right
will do right, without being reminded of His province. The wisdom of
man is not sufficient to warrant him in advising God.
Who would stand before a blackboard, and pray the principle of
mathematics to work out the problem? The rule is already established,
and it is our task to work out the solution. Shall we ask the divine
Principle of all goodness to do His own work? His work is done; and
we have only to avail ourselves of God's rule, in order to receive the
The divine Being must be reflected by man--else man is not the
image and likeness of the patient, tender, and true, the one
"altogether lovely"; but to understand God is the work of eternity,
and demands absolute concentration of thought and energy.
How empty are our conceptions of Deity! We admit theoretically
that God is good, omnipotent, omnipresent, infinite, and then we try
to give information to this infinite Mind; and plead for unmerited
pardon, and a liberal outpouring of benefactions. Are we really
grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves
of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.
Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks Action
expresses more gratitude than speech.
If we are ungrateful for Life, Truth, and Love, and yet return
thanks to God for all blessings, we are insincere; and incur the sharp
censure our Master pronounces on hypocrites. In such a case the only
acceptable prayer is to put the finger on the lips and remember our
blessings. While the heart is far from divine Truth and Love, we
cannot conceal the ingratitude of barren lives, for God knoweth all
What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in
grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds. To keep
the commandments of our Master and follow his example, is our proper
debt to Him, and the only worthy evidence of our gratitude for all He
has done. Outward worship is not of itself sufficient to express loyal
and heartfelt gratitude, since He has said: "If ye love Me, keep My
The habitual struggle to be always good, is unceasing prayer. Its
motives are made manifest in the blessings they bring --which, if not
acknowledged in audible words, attest our worthiness to be made
partakers of Love.
Simply asking that we may love God will never make us love Him; but
the longing to be better and holier--expressed in daily watchfulness,
and in striving to assimilate more of the divine character--this will
mould and fashion us anew, until we awake in His likeness. We reach
the Science of Christianity through demonstration of the divine
nature; but in this wicked world goodness will "be evil spoken of,"
and patience must work experience.
Audible prayer can never do the works of spiritual understanding,
which regenerates; but silent prayer, watchfulness, and devout
obedience, enable us to follow Jesus' example. Long prayers,
ecclesiasticism, and creeds, have clipped the divine pinions of Love,
and clad religion in human robes. They materialize worship, hinder
the Spirit, and keep man from demonstrating his power over error.
Sorrow for wrong-doing is but one step towards reform, and the very
easiest step. The next and great step required by Wisdom is the test
of our sincerity--namely, reformation. To this end we are placed
under the stress of circumstances. Temptation bids us repeat the
offence, and woe comes in return for what is done. So it will ever
be, till we learn that there is no discount in the law of justice, and
that we must pay "the uttermost farthing." The measure ye mete "shall
be measured to you again," and it will be full "and running over."
Saints and sinners get their full award, but not always in this
world. The followers of Christ drank His cup. Ingratitude and
persecution filled it to the brim; but God pours the riches of His
love into the understanding and affections, giving us strength
according to our day. Sinners flourish "like a green bay-tree"; but,
looking farther, the Psalmist could see their end--namely, the
destruction of sin through suffering.
Prayer is sometimes used, as a confessional to cancel sin. This
error impedes true religion. Sin is forgiven, only as it is destroyed
by Christ-Truth and Life If prayer nourishes the belief that sin is
cancelled, and that man is made better by merely praying, it is an
evil. He grows worse who continues in sin because he thinks himself
An apostle says that the Son of God (Christ) came to "destroy the
works of the devil." We should follow our divine Exemplar, and seek
the destruction of all evil works, error and disease included. We
cannot escape the penalty due for sin. The Scriptures say, that if we
deny Christ, "He also will deny us."
The divine Love corrects and governs man. Men may pardon, but this
divine Principle alone reforms the sinner. God is not separate from
the wisdom He bestows. The talents He gives we must improve. Calling
on Him to forgive our work, badly done or left undone, implies the
vain supposition that we have nothing to do but to ask pardon, and
that afterwards we shall be free to repeat the offence.
To cause suffering, as the result of sin, is the means of
destroying sin. Every supposed pleasure in sin will furnish more than
its equivalent of pain, until belief in material life and sin is
destroyed. To reach heaven, the harmony of Being, we must understand
the divine Principle of Being.
"God is Love." More than this we cannot ask; higher we cannot
look; farther we cannot go. To suppose that God forgives or punishes
sin, according as His mercy is sought or unsought, is to misunderstand
Love and make prayer the safety-valve for wrong-doing.
Jesus uncovered and rebuked sin before He cast it out. Of a sick
woman He said that Satan had bound her; and to Peter He said, "Thou
art an offense unto me." He came teaching and showing men how to
destroy sin, sickness, and death. He said of the fruitless tree, "It
is hewn down."
It is believed by many that a certain magistrate, who lived in the
time of Jesus, left this record: "His rebuke is fearful." The strong
language of our Master confirms this description.
The only civil sentence which He had for error was, "Get thee
behind Me, Satan." Still stronger evidence that Jesus' reproof was
pointed and pungent is in His own words--showing the necessity for
such forcible utterance, when He cast out devils and healed the sick
and sinful. The relinquishment of error deprives material sense of
its false claims.
Audible prayer is impressive; it gives momentary solemnity and
elevation to thought; but does it produce any lasting benefit?
Looking deeply into these things, we find that "a zeal . . . not
according to knowledge," gives occasion for reaction unfavorable to
spiritual growth, sober resolve, and wholesome perception of God's
requirements. The motives for verbal prayer may embrace too much love
of applause to induce or encourage Christian sentiment.
Physical sensation, not Soul, produces material ecstasy, and
emotions. If spiritual sense always guided men at such times, there
would grow out of those ecstatic moments a higher experience and a
better life, with more devout self-abnegation, and purity. A
self-satisfied ventilation of fervent sentiments never makes a
Christian. God is not influenced by man. The "divine ear" is not an
auditoria! nerve. It is the all- hearing and all-knowing Mind, to
whom each want of man is always known, and by whom it will be
The danger from audible prayer is, that it may lead us into
temptation. By it we may become involuntary hypocrites, uttering
desires which are not real, and consoling ourselves in the midst of
sin, with the recollection that we have prayed over it --or mean to
ask forgiveness at some later day. Hypocrisy is fatal to religion.
A wordy prayer may afford a quiet sense of self-justification,
though it makes the sinner a hypocrite. We never need despair of an
honest heart, but there is little hope for those who only come
spasmodically face to face with their wickedness, and then seek to
hide it. Their prayers are indexes which do not correspond with their
character. They hold secret fellowship with sin; and such externals
are spoken of by Jesus as "like unto whited sepulchres . . . full
of all uncleanness."
If a man, though apparently fervent and prayerful, is impure, and
therefore insincere, what must be the comment upon him? If he had
reached the loftiness of his prayer, there would be no occasion for
such comment. If we feel the aspiration, humility, gratitude, and
love which our words express--this God accepts; and it is wise not to
try to deceive our. selves or others, for "there is nothing covered
that shall not be revealed." Professions and audible prayers are like
charity in one respect --they "cover a multitude of sins." Praying
for humility, with whatever fervency of expression, does not always
mean a desire for it. If we turn away from the poor, we are not ready
to receive the reward of Him who blesses the poor. We confess to
having a very wicked heart, and ask that it may be laid bare before
us; but do we not already know more of this heart than we are willing
to have our neighbor see?
We ought to examine ourselves, and learn what is the affection and
purpose of the heart; for this alone can show us what we honestly are.
If a friend informs us of a fault, do we listen to the rebuke
patiently, and credit what is said? Do we not rather give thanks that
we are "not as other men?" During many years the author has been most
grateful for merited rebuke. The sting lies in unmerited censure--in
the falsehood which does no one any good.
The test of all prayer lies in the answer to these questions: Do we
love our neighbor better because of this asking? Do we pursue the old
selfishness, satisfied with having prayed for something better, though
we give no evidence of the sincerity of our requests by living
consistently with our prayer? If selfishness has given place to
kindness, we shall regard our neighbor unselfishly, and bless them
that curse us; but we shall never meet this great duty by simply
asking that it may be done. There is a cross to be taken up, before we
can enjoy the fruition of our hope and faith.
Dost thou "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all
thy soul, and with all thy mind?" This command includes much--even the
surrender of all merely material sensation, affection, and worship.
This is the E1 Dorado of Christianity. It involves the Science of
Life, and recognizes only the divine control of Spirit, wherein Soul
is our master, and material sense and human will have no place.
Are you willing to leave all for Christ, for Truth, and so be
counted among sinners? No! Do you really desire to attain this
point? No! Then why make long prayers about it, and ask to be
Christians, since you care not to tread in the footsteps of our dear
Master? If unwilling to follow His example, wherefore pray with the
lips that you may be partakers of His nature? Consistent prayer is
the desire to do right. Prayer means that we desire to, and will, walk
in the light so far as we receive it, even though with bleeding
footsteps, and waiting patiently on the Lord, will leave our real
desires to be rewarded by Him.
The world must grow to the spiritual understanding of prayer. If
good enough to profit by Jesus' cup of earthly sorrows, God will
sustain us under these sorrows. Until we are thus divinely qualified,
and willing to drink His cup, millions of vain repetitions will never
pour into prayer the unction of Spirit, in demonstration of power, and
"with signs following." Christian Science reveals a necessity for
overcoming the world, the flesh and evil, and thus destroying all
Seeking is not sufficient. It is striving which enables us to
enter. Spiritual attainments open the door to a higher understanding
of the divine Life.
One of the forms of worship in Thibet is to carry a praying-machine
through the streets, and stop at the doors to earn a penny by grinding
out a prayer; whereas civilization pays for clerical prayers, in lofty
edifices. Is the difference very great, after all?
Experience teaches us that we do not always receive the blessings
we ask for in prayer.
There is some misapprehension of the source and means of all
goodness and blessedness, or we should certainly receive what we ask
for. The Scriptures say: "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask
amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." What we desire and
ask for it is not always best for us to receive. In this case
infinite Love will not grant the request. Do you ask Wisdom to be
merciful and not punish sin? Then "ye ask amiss." Without
punishment, sin would multiply. Jesus' prayer, "forgive us our
debts," specified also the terms of forgiveness. When forgiving the
adulterous woman He said, "Go, and sin no more."
A magistrate sometimes remits the penalty, but this may be no moral
benefit to the criminal; and at best, it only saves him from one form
of punishment. The moral law, which has the right to acquit or
condemn, always demands restitution, before mortals can "go up
higher." Broken law brings penalty, in order to compel this progress.
Mere legal pardon (and there is no other, for divine Principle
never pardons our sins or mistakes till they are corrected) leaves the
offender free to repeat the offense; if, indeed, he has not already
suffered sufficiently from vice to make him turn from it with
loathing. Truth bestows no pardon upon error, but wipes it out in the
most effectual manner. Jesus suffered for our sins, not to annul the
divine sentence against an individual's sin, but to show that sin must
bring inevitable suffering.
Petitions only bring to mortals the results of their own faith. We
know that a desire for holiness is requisite in order to gain it; but
if we desire holiness above all else, we shall sacrifice everything
for it. We must be willing to do this, that we may walk securely in
the only practical road to holiness. Prayer alone cannot change the
unalterable Truth, or give us an understanding of it; but prayer
coupled with a fervent habitual desire to know and do the will of God
will bring us into all Truth. Such a desire has little need of
audible expression. It is best expressed in thought and life.
Reverend Heber Newton on Christian Science:
To begin, then, at the beginning, Christian Science accepts the
work of healing sickness as an integral part of the discipleship of
Jesus Christ. In Christ it finds, what the Church has always
recognized, theoretically, though it has practically ignored the
fact--the Great Physician. That Christ healed the sick, we none of us
question. It stands plainly upon the record. This ministry of
healing was too large a part of His work to be left out from any
picture of that life. Such service was not an incident of His
career--it was an essential element of that career. It was an
integral factor in His mission. The Evangelists leave us no
possibility of confusion on this point. Co-equal with his work of
instruction and inspiration was His work of healing.
The records make it equally clear that the Master laid His charge
upon His disciples to do as He had done. "When He had called unto Him
His twelve disciples, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast
them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of
disease." In sending them forth, "He commanded them, saying, . . .
As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the
sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons."
That the twelve disciples undertook to do the Master's work of
healing, and that they, in their measure, succeeded, seems beyond
question. They found in themselves the same power that the Master
found in Himself, and they used it as He had used His power. The
record of The Acts of the Apostles, if at all trustworthy history,
shows that they, too, healed the sick.
Beyond the circle of the original twelve, it is equally clear that
the early disciples believed themselves charged with the same mission,
and that they sought to fulfil it. The records of the early Church
make it indisputable that powers of healing were recognized as among
the gifts of the Spirit. St. Paul's letters render it certain that
these gifts were not a privilege of the original twelve, merely, but
that they were the heritage into which all the disciples entered.
Beyond the era of the primitive Church, through several
generations, the early Christians felt themselves called to the same
ministry of healing, and enabled with the same secret of power.
Through wellnigh three centuries, the gifts of healing appear to have
been, more or less, recognized and exercised in the Church. Through
those generations, however, there was a gradual disuse of this power,
following upon a failing recognition of its possession. That which
was originally the rule became the exception. By degrees, the sense
of authority and power to heal passed out from the consciousness of
the Church. It ceased to be a sign of the indwelling Spirit. For
fifteen centuries, the recognition of this authority and power has
been altogether exceptional. Here and there, through the history of
these centuries, there have been those who have entered into this
belief of their own privilege and duty, and have used the gift which
they recognized. The Church has never been left without a line of
witnesses to this aspect of the discipleship of Christ. But she has
come to accept it as the normal order of things that what was once the
rule in the Christian Church should be now only the exception.
Orthodoxy has framed a theory of the words of Jesus to account for
this strange departure of His Church from them. It teaches us to
believe that His example was not meant to be followed, in this
respect, by all His disciples. The power of healing which was in Him
was a purely exceptional power. It was used as an evidence of His
divine mission. It was a miraculous gift. The gift of working
miracles was not bestowed upon His Church at large. His original
disciples, the twelve apostles, received this gift, as a necessity of
the critical epoch of Christianity --the founding of the Church.
Traces of the power lingered on, in weakening activity, until they
gradually ceased, and the normal condition of the Church was entered
upon, in which miracles are no longer possible.
We accept this, unconsciously, as the true state of things in
Christianity. But it is a conception which will not bear a moment's
examination. There is not the slightest suggestion upon record that
Christ set any limit to this charge which He gave His disciples. On
the contrary, there are not lacking hints that He looked for the
possession and exercise of this power wherever His spirit breathed in
Even if the concluding paragraph of St. Mark's Gospel were a later
appendix, it may none the less have been a faithful echo of words of
the Master, as it certainly is a trustworthy record of the belief of
the early Christians as to the thought of Jesus concerning His
followers. In that interesting passage, Jesus, after His death,
appeared to the eleven, and formally commissioned them, again, to take
up His work in the world; bidding them, "Go ye into all the world and
preach the gospel to every creature." "And these signs," He tells
them, "shall follow them that believe"--not the apostles only, but
"them that believe," without limit of time; "in My name they shall
cast out devils . . . they shall lay hands on the sick and they
shall recover." The concluding discourse to the disciples, recorded
in the Gospel according to St. John, affirms the same expectation on
the part of Jesus; emphasizing it in His solemn way: "Verily, verily,
I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he
do also; and greater works than these shall he do."
Few will deny that an intelligence apart from man formed and
governs the spiritual universe and man; and this intelligence is the
eternal Mind, and neither matter nor man created this intelligence and
divine Principle; nor can this Principle produce aught unlike itself.
All that we term sin, sickness, and death is comprised in the belief
of matter. The realm of the real is spiritual; the opposite of Spirit
is matter; and the opposite of the real is unreal or material. Matter
is an error of statement, for there is no matter. This error of
premises leads to error of conclusion in every statement of matter as
a basis. Nothing we can say or believe regarding matter is true,
except that matter is unreal, simply a belief that has its beginning
The conservative firm called matter and mind God never formed. The
unerring and eternal Mind destroys this imaginary copartnership,
formed only to be dissolved in a manner and at a period unknown. This
copartnership is obsolete. Placed under the microscope of metaphysics
matter disappears. Only by understanding there are not two, matter
and mind, is a logical and correct conclusion obtained by either one.
Science gathers not grapes of thorns or figs of thistles.
Intelligence never produced non-intelligence, such as matter: the
immortal never produced mortality, good never resulted in evil. The
science of Mind shows conclusively that matter is a myth. Metaphysics
are above physics, and drag not matter, or what is termed that, into
one of its premises or conclusions. Metaphysics resolves things into
thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul.
These ideas are perfectly tangible and real to consciousness, and
they have this advantage --they are eternal. Mind and its thoughts
comprise the whole of God, the universe, and of man. Reason and
revelation coincide with this statement, and support its proof every
hour, for nothing is harmonious or eternal that is not spiritual: the
realization of this will bring out objects from a higher source of
thought; hence more beautiful and immortal.
The fact of spiritualization produces results in striking contrast
to the farce of materialization: the one produces the results of
chastity and purity, the other the downward tendencies and earthward
gravitation of sensualism and impurity.
The exalting and healing effects of metaphysics show their
fountain. Nothing in pathology has exceeded the application of
metaphysics. Through mind alone we have prevented disease and
preserved health. In cases of chronic and acute diseases, in their
severest forms, we have changed the secretions, renewed structure, and
restored health; have elongated shortened limbs, relaxed rigid
muscles, made cicatrized joints supple; restored carious bones to
healthy conditions, renewed that which is termed the lost substance of
the lungs; and restored healthy organizations where disease was
organic instead of functional.
MRS. EDDY IN ERROR
I feel almost sure that Mrs. Eddy's inspiration--works are getting
out of repair. I think so because they made some errors in a
statement which she uttered through the press on the 17th of January.
Not large ones, perhaps, still it is a friend's duty to straighten
such things out and get them right when he can. Therefore I will put
my other duties aside for a moment and undertake this helpful service.
She said as follows:
"In view of the circulation of certain criticisms from the pen of
Mark Twain, I submit the following statement:
"It is a fact, well understood, that I begged the students who
first gave me the endearing appellative 'mother' not to name me thus.
But, without my consent, that word spread like wildfire. I still
must think the name is not applicable to me. I stand in relation to
this century as a Christian discoverer, founder, and leader. I regard
self-deification as blasphemous; I may be more loved, but I am less
lauded, pampered, provided for, and cheered than others before me--and
wherefore? Because Christian Science is not yet popular, and I refuse
"My visit to the Mother-Church after it was built and dedicated
pleased me, and the situation was satisfactory. The dear members
wanted to greet me with escort and the ringing of bells, but I
declined, and went alone in my carriage to the church, entered it, and
knelt in thanks upon the steps of its altar. There the foresplendor
of the beginnings of truth fell mysteriously upon my spirit. I
believe in one Christ, teach one Christ, know of but one Christ. I
believe in but one incarnation, one Mother Mary, and know I am not
that one, and never claimed to be. It suffices me to learn the
Science of the Scriptures relative to this subject.
"Christian Scientists have no quarrel with Protestants, Catholics,
or any other sect. They need to be understood as following the divine
Principle God, Love and not imagined to be unscientific worshippers of
a human being.
"In the aforesaid article, of which I have seen only extracts, Mark
Twain's wit was not wasted In certain directions. Christian Science
eschews divine rights in human beings. If the individual governed
human consciousness, my statement of Christian Science would be
disproved, but to understand the spiritual idea is essential to
demonstrate Science and its pure monotheism--one God, one Christ, no
idolatry, no human propaganda. Jesus taught and proved that what
feeds a few feeds all. His life-work subordinated the material to the
spiritual, and He left this legacy of truth to mankind. His
metaphysics is not the sport of philosophy, religion, or Science;
rather it is the pith and finale of them all.
"I have not the inspiration or aspiration to be a first or second
Virgin- Mother--her duplicate, antecedent, or subsequent. What I am
remains to be proved by the good I do. We need much humility, wisdom,
and love to perform the functions of foreshadowing and foretasting
heaven within us. This glory is molten in the furnace of affliction."
She still thinks the name of Our Mother not applicable to her; and
she is also able to remember that it distressed her when it was
conferred upon her, and that she begged to have it suppressed. Her
memory is at fault here. If she will take her By-laws, and refer to
Section 1 of Article XXII., written with her own hand--she will find
that she has reserved that title to herself, and is so pleased with
it, and so--may we say jealous?--about it, that she threatens with
excommunication any sister Scientist who shall call herself by it.
This is that Section 1:
"The Title of Mother. In the year 1895 loyal Christian Scientists
had given to the author of their text-book, the Founder of Christian
Science, the individual, endearing term of Mother. Therefore, if a
student of Christian Science shall apply this title, either to herself
or to others, except as the term for kinship according to the flesh,
it shall be regarded by the Church as an indication of disrespect for
their Pastor Emeritus, and unfitness to be a member of the
Mrs. Eddy is herself the Mother-Church--its powers and authorities
are in her possession solely --and she can abolish that title whenever
it may please her to do so. She has only to command her people,
wherever they may be in the earth, to use it no more, and it will
never be uttered again. She is aware of this.
It may be that she "refuses adulation" when she is not awake, but
when she is awake she encourages it and propagates it in that museum
called "Our Mother's Room," in her Church in Boston. She could
abolish that institution with a word, if she wanted to. She is aware
of that. I will say a further word about the museum presently.
Further down the column, her memory is unfaithful again:
"I believe in . . . but one Mother Mary, and know I am not that
one, and never claimed to be."
At a session of the National Christian Science Association, held in
the city of New York on the 27th of May, 1890, the secretary was
"instructed to send to our Mother greetings and words of affection
from her assembled children."
Her telegraphic response was read to the Association at next day's
"All hail! He hath filled the hungry with good things and the sick
hath He not sent empty away.--MOTHER MARY."
Which Mother Mary is this one? Are there two? If so, she is both
of them; for, when she signed this telegram in this satisfied and
unprotesting way, the Mother-title which she was going to so
strenuously object to, and put from her with humility, and seize with
both hands, and reserve as her sole property, and protect her monopoly
of it with a stern By-law, while recognizing with diffidence that it
was "not applicable" to her (then and to-day)--that Mother--title was
not yet born, and would not be offered to her until five years later.
The date of the above "Mother Mary" is 1890; the "individual,
endearing title of Mother" was given her "in 1895"--according to her
own testimony. See her By-law quoted above.
In his opening Address to that Convention of 1890, the President
recognized this Mary--our Mary-and abolished all previous ones. He
"There is but one Moses, one Jesus; and there is but one Mary."
The confusions being now dispersed, we have this clarified result:
Were had been a Moses at one time, and only one; there had been a
Jesus at one time, and only one; there is a Mary and "only one." She
is not a Has Been, she is an Is--the "Author of Science and Health;
and we cannot ignore her."
1. In 1890, there was but one Mother Mary. The President said so.
2. Mrs. Eddy was that one. She said so, in signing the telegram. 3.
Mrs. Eddy was not that one for she says so, in her Associated Press
utterance of January 17th. 4. And has "never claimed to be "that
one--unless the signature to the telegram is a claim.
Thus it stands proven and established that she is that Mary and
isn't, and thought she was and knows she wasn't. That much is clear.
She is also "The Mother," by the election of 1895, and did not want
the title, and thinks it is not applicable to her, end will
excommunicate any one that tries to take it away from her. So that is
I think that the only really troublesome confusion connected with
these particular matters has arisen from the name Mary. Much
vexation, much misunderstanding, could have been avoided if Mrs. Eddy
had used some of her other names in place of that one. "Mother Mary"
was certain to stir up discussion. It would have been much better if
she had signed the telegram "Mother Baker"; then there would have been
no Biblical competition, and, of course, that is a thing to avoid.
But it is not too late, yet.
I wish to break in here with a parenthesis, and then take up this
examination of Mrs. Eddy's Claim of January 17th again.
The history of her "Mother Mary" telegram--as told to me by one who
ought to be a very good authority--is curious and interesting. The
telegram ostensibly quotes verse 53 from the "Magnificat," but really
makes some pretty formidable changes in it. This is St. Luke's
"He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath
sent empty away."
This is "Mother Mary's" telegraphed version:
"He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the sick hath He
not sent empty away."
To judge by the Official Report, the bursting of this bombshell in
that massed convention of trained Christians created no astonishment,
since it caused no remark, and the business of the convention went
tranquilly on, thereafter, as if nothing had happened.
Did those people detect those changes? We cannot know. I think
they must have noticed them, the wording of St. Luke's verse being as
familiar to all Christians as is the wording of the Beatitudes; and I
think that the reason the new version provoked no surprise and no
comment was, that the assemblage took it for a "Key"--a spiritualized
explanation of verse 53, newly sent down from heaven through Mrs.
Eddy. For all Scientists study their Bibles diligently, and they know
their Magnificat. I believe that their confidence in the authenticity
of Mrs. Eddy's inspirations is so limitless and so firmly established
that no change, however violent, which she might make in a Bible text
could disturb their composure or provoke from them a protest.
Her improved rendition of verse 53 went into the convention's
report and appeared in a New York paper the next day. The (at that
time) Scientist whom I mentioned a minute ago, and who had not been
present at the convention, saw it and marvelled; marvelled and was
indignant--indignant with the printer or the telegrapher, for making
so careless and so dreadful an error. And greatly distressed, too;
for, of course, the newspaper people would fall foul of it, and be
sarcastic, and make fun of it. and have a blithe time over it, and be
properly thankful for the chance. It shows how innocent he was; it
shows that he did not know the limitations of newspaper men in the
matter of Biblical knowledge. The new verse 53 raised no insurrection
in the press; in fact, it was not even remarked upon; I could have
told him the boys would not know there was anything the matter with
it. I have been a newspaper man myself, and in those days I had my
limitations like the others.
The Scientist hastened to Concord and told Mrs. Eddy what a
disastrous mistake had been made, but he found to his bewilderment
that she was tranquil about it, and was not proposing to correct it.
He was not able to get her to promise to make a correction. He asked
her secretary if he had heard aright when the telegram was dictated to
him; the secretary said he had, and took the filed copy of it and
verified its authenticity by comparing it with the stenographic notes.
Mrs. Eddy did make the correction, two months later, in her
official organ. It attracted no attention among the Scientists; and,
naturally, none elsewhere, for that periodical's circulation was
practically confined to disciples of the cult.
That is the tale as it was told to me by an ex-Scientist. Verse
53-- renovated and spiritualized--had a narrow escape from a
tremendous celebrity. The newspaper men would have made it as famous
as the assassination of Caesar, but for their limitations.
To return to the Claim. I find myself greatly embarrassed by Mrs.
Eddy's remark: "I regard self-deification as blasphemous." If she is
right about that, I have written a half-ream of manuscript this past
week which I must not print, either in the book which I am writing, or
elsewhere: for it goes into that very matter with extensive
elaboration, citing, in detail, words and acts of Mrs. Eddy's which
seem to me to prove that she is a faithful and untiring worshipper of
herself, and has carried self- deification to a length which has not
been before ventured in ages. If ever. There is not room enough in
this chapter for that Survey, but I can epitomize a portion of it
With her own untaught and untrained mind, and without outside help,
she has erected upon a firm and lasting foundation the most minutely
perfect, and wonderful, and smoothly and exactly working, and best
safe-guarded system of government that has yet been devised in the
world, as I believe, and as I am sure I could prove if I had room for
my documentary evidences here.
It is a despotism (on this democratic soil); a sovereignty more
absolute than the Roman Papacy, more absolute than the Russian
Czarship; it has not a single power, not a shred of authority,
legislative or executive, which is not lodged solely in the sovereign;
all its dreams, its functions, its energies, have a single object, a
single reason for existing, and only the one--to build to the sky the
glory of the sovereign, and keep it bright to the end of time.
Mrs. Eddy is the sovereign; she devised that great place for
herself, she occupies that throne.
In 1895, she wrote a little primer, a little body of autocratic
laws, called the Manual of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and
put those laws in force, in permanence. Her government is all there;
all in that deceptively innocent-looking little book, that cunning
little devilish book, that slumbering little brown volcano, with hell
in its bowels. In that book she has planned out her system, and
classified and defined its purposes and powers.
MAIN PARTS OF THE MACHINE
A Supreme Church. At Boston. Branch Churches. All over the world
One Pastor for the whole of them: to wit, her book, Science and
Health. Term of the book's office--forever.
In every C.S. pulpit, two "Readers," a man and a woman. No
talkers, no preachers, in any Church-readers only. Readers of the
Bible and her books--no others. No commentators allowed to write or
A Church Service. She has framed it--for all the C.S. Churches--
selected its readings, its prayers, and the hymns to be used, and has
appointed the order of procedure. No changes permitted.
A Creed. She wrote it. All C.S. Churches must subscribe to it.
No other permitted.
A Treasury. At Boston. She carries the key.
A C.S. Book--Publishing House. For books approved by her. No
Journals and Magazines. These are organs of hers, and are
controlled by her.
A College. For teaching C.S.
DISTRIBUTION OF THE MACHINE'S POWERS AND DIGNITIES
Supreme Church. Pastor Emeritus--Mrs. Eddy. Board of Directors.
Board of Education. Board of Finance. College Faculty. Various
Committees. Treasurer. Clerk. First Members (of the Supreme Church).
Members of the Supreme Church.
It looks fair, it looks real, but it is all a fiction.
Even the little "Pastor Emeritus" is a fiction. Instead of being
merely an honorary and ornamental official, Mrs. Eddy is the only
official in the entire body that has the slightest power. In her
Manual, she has provided a prodigality of ways and forms whereby she
can rid herself of any functionary in the government whenever she
wants to. The officials are all shadows, save herself; she is the
only reality. She allows no one to hold office more than a year-- no
one gets a chance to become over-popular or over-useful, and
dangerous. "Excommunication" is the favorite penalty-it is threatened
at every turn. It is evidently the pet dread and terror of the
The member who thinks, without getting his thought from Mrs. Eddy
before uttering it, is banished permanently. One or two kinds of
sinners can plead their way back into the fold, but this one, never.
To think--in the Supreme Church--is the New Unpardonable Sin.
To nearly every severe and fierce rule, Mrs. Eddy adds this rivet:
"This By-law shall not be changed without the consent of the Pastor
Mrs. Eddy is the entire Supreme Church, in her own person, in the
matter of powers and authorities.
Although she has provided so many ways of getting rid of
unsatisfactory members and officials, she was still afraid she might
have left a life- preserver lying around somewhere, therefore she
devised a rule to cover that defect. By applying it, she can
excommunicate (and this is perpetual again) every functionary
connected with the Supreme Church, and every one of the twenty-five
thousand members of that Church, at an hour's notice--and do it all by
herself without anybody's help.
By authority of this astonishing By-law, she has only to say a
person connected with that Church is secretly practicing hypnotism or
mesmerism; whereupon, immediate excommunication, without a hearing, is
his portion! She does not have to order a trial and produce
evidence--her accusation is all that is necessary.
Where is the Pope? and where the Czar? As the ballad says:
"Ask of the winds that far away
With fragments strewed the sea!"
The Branch Church's pulpit is occupied by two "Readers." Without
them the Branch Church is as dead as if its throat had been cut. To
have control, then, of the Readers, is to have control of the Branch
Churches. Mrs. Eddy has that control--a control wholly without limit,
a control shared with no one.
1. No Reader can be appointed to any Church in the Christian
Science world without her express approval.
2. She can summarily expel from his or her place any Reader, at
home or abroad, by a mere letter of dismissal, over her signature, and
without furnishing any reason for it, to either the congregation or
Thus she has as absolute control over all Branch Churches as she
has over the Supreme Church. This power exceeds the Pope's.
In simple truth, she is the only absolute sovereign in all
Christendom. The authority of the other sovereigns has limits, hers
has none, none whatever. And her yoke does not fret, does not offend.
Many of the subjects of the other monarchs feel their yoke, and are
restive under it; their loyalty is insincere. It is not so with this
one's human property; their loyalty is genuine, earnest, sincere,
enthusiastic. The sentiment which they feel for her is one which goes
out in sheer perfection to no other occupant of a throne; for it is
love, pure from doubt, envy, exaction, fault-seeking, a love whose sun
has no spot--that form of love, strong, great, uplifting, limitless,
whose vast proportions are compassable by no word but one, the
prodigious word, Worship. And it is not as a human being that her
subjects worship her, but as a supernatural one, a divine one, one who
has comradeship with God, and speaks by His voice.
Mrs. Eddy has herself created all these personal grandeurs and
autocracies--with others which I have not (in this article) mentioned.
They place her upon an Alpine solitude and supremacy of power and
spectacular show not hitherto attained by any other self-seeking
enslaver disguised in the Christian name, and they persuade me that,
although she may regard "self-deification as blasphemous," she is as
fond of it as I am of pie.
She knows about "Our Mother's Room" in the Supreme Church in
Boston-- above referred to--for she has been in it. In a recently
published North American Review article, I quoted a lady as saying
Mrs. Eddy's portrait could be seen there in a shrine, lit by
always-burning lights, and that C.S. disciples came and worshiped it.
That remark hurt the feelings of more than one Scientist. They said
it was not true, and asked me to correct it. I comply with pleasure.
Whether the portrait was there four years ago or not, it is not there
now, for I have inquired. The only object in the shrine now, and lit
by electrics--and worshiped--is an oil- portrait of the horse-hair
chair Mrs. Eddy used to sit in when she was writing Science and
Health! It seems to me that adulation has struck bottom, here.
Mrs. Eddy knows about that. She has been there, she has seen it,
she has seen the worshippers. She could abolish that sarcasm with a
word. She withholds the word. Once more I seem to recognize in her
exactly the same appetite for self-deification that I have for pie.
We seem to be curiously alike; for the love of self-deification is
really only the spiritual form of the material appetite for pie, and
nothing could be more strikingly Christian-Scientifically
I note this phrase:
"Christian Science eschews divine rights in human beings."
"Rights" is vague; I do not know what it means there. Mrs. Eddy is
not well acquainted with the English language, and she is seldom able
to say in it what she is trying to say. She has no ear for the exact
word, and does not often get it. "Rights." Does it mean "honors?"
"Eschews." This is another umbrella where there should be a torch;
it does not illumine the sentence, it only deepens the shadows. Does
she mean "denies?" "refuses?" "forbids?" or something in that line?
Does she mean:
"Christian Science denies divine honors to human beings?" Or:
"Christian Science refuses to recognize divine attributes in human
"Christian Science forbids the worship of human beings?"
The bulk of the succeeding sentence is to me a tunnel, but, when I
emerge at this end of it, I seem to come into daylight. Then I seem
to understand both sentences--with this result:
"Christian Science recognizes but one God, forbids the worship of
human beings, and refuses to recognize the possession of divine
attributes by any member of the race."
I am subject to correction, but I think that that is about what
Mrs. Eddy was intending to convey. Has her English--which is always
difficult to me--beguiled me into misunderstanding the following
remark, which she makes (calling herself "we," after an old regal
fashion of hers) in her preface to her Miscellaneous Writings?
"While we entertain decided views as to the best method for
elevating the race physically, morally, and spiritually, and shall
express these views as duty demands, we shall claim no especial gift
from our divine organ, no supernatural power."
Was she meaning to say:
"Although I am of divine origin and gifted with supernatural power,
I shall not draw upon these resources in determining the best method
of elevating the race?"
If she had left out the word "our," she might then seem to say:
"I claim no especial or unusual degree of divine origin--"
Which is awkward--most awkward; for one either has a divine origin
or hasn't; shares in it, degrees of it, are surely impossible. The
idea of crossed breeds in cattle is a thing we can entertain, for we
are used to it, and it is possible; but the idea of a divine mongrel
Well, then, what does she mean? I am sure I do not know, for
certain. It is the word "our" that makes all the trouble. With the
"our" in, she is plainly saying "my divine origin." The word "from"
seems to be intended to mean "on account of." It has to mean that or
nothing, if "our" is allowed to stay. The clause then says:
"I shall claim no especial gift on account of my divine origin."
And I think that the full sentence was intended to mean what I have
"Although I am of divine origin, and gifted with supernatural
power, I shall not draw upon these resources in determining the best
method of elevating the race."
When Mrs. Eddy copyrighted that Preface seven years ago, she had
long been used to regarding herself as a divine personage. I quote
from Mr. F. W. Peabody's book:
"In the Christian Science Journal for April, 1889, when it was her
property, and published by her, it was claimed for her, and with her
sanction, that she was equal with Jesus, and elaborate effort was made
to establish the claim."
"Mrs. Eddy has distinctly authorized the claim in her behalf, that
she herself was the chosen successor to and equal of Jesus."
The following remark in that April number, quoted by Mr. Peabody,
indicates that her claim had been previously made, and had excited
"horror" among some "good people":
"Now, a word about the horror many good people have of our making
the Author of Science and Health 'equal with Jesus.'"
Surely, if it had excited horror in Mrs. Eddy also, she would have
published a disclaimer. She owned the paper; she could say what she
pleased in its columns. Instead of rebuking her editor, she lets him
rebuke those "good people" for objecting to the claim.
These things seem to throw light upon those words, "our [my] divine
It may be that "Christian Science eschews divine rights in human
beings," and forbids worship of any but "one God, one Christ"; but, if
that is the case, it looks as if Mrs. Eddy is a very unsound Christian
Scientist, and needs disciplining. I believe she has a serious
malady--"self- deification"; and that it will be well to have one of
the experts demonstrate over it.
Meantime, let her go on living--for my sake. Closely examined,
painstakingly studied, she is easily the most interesting person on
the planet, and, in several ways, as easily the most extraordinary
woman that was ever born upon it.
P.S.--Since I wrote the foregoing, Mr. McCrackan's article appeared
(in the March number of the North American Review). Before his
article appeared--that is to say, during December, January, and
February--I had written a new book, a character-portrait of Mrs. Eddy,
drawn from her own acts and words, and it was then--together with the
three brief articles previously published in the North American
Review--ready to be delivered to the printer for issue in book form.
In that book, by accident and good luck, I have answered the
objections made by Mr. McCrackan to my views, and therefore do not
need to add an answer here. Also, in it I have corrected certain
misstatements of mine which he has noticed, and several others which
he has not referred to. There are one or two important matters of
opinion upon which he and I are not in disagreement; but there are
others upon which we must continue to disagree, I suppose; indeed, I
know we must; for instance, he believes Mrs. Eddy wrote Science and
Health, whereas I am quite sure I can convince a person unhampered by
predilections that she did not.
As concerns one considerable matter I hope to convert him. He
believes Mrs. Eddy's word; in his article he cites her as a witness,
and takes her testimony at par; but if he will make an excursion
through my book when it comes out, and will dispassionately examine
her testimonies as there accumulated, I think he will in candor
concede that she is by a large percentage the most erratic and
contradictory and untrustworthy witness that has occupied the stand
since the days of the lamented Ananias.
Broadly speaking, the hostiles reject and repudiate all the
pretensions of Christian Science Christianity. They affirm that it
has added nothing new to Christianity; that it can do nothing that
Christianity could not do and was not doing before Christian Science
In that case is there no field for the new Christianity, no
opportunity for usefulness, precious usefulness, great and
distinguished usefulness? I think there is. I am far from being
confident that it can fill it, but I will indicate that unoccupied
field--without charge--and if it can conquer it, it will deserve the
praise and gratitude of the Christian world, and will get it, I am
The present Christianity makes an excellent private Christian, but
its endeavors to make an excellent public one go for nothing,
This is an honest nation--in private life. The American Christian
is a straight and clean and honest man, and in his private commerce
with his fellows can be trusted to stand faithfully by the principles
of honor and honesty imposed upon him by his religion. But the moment
he comes forward to exercise a public trust he can be confidently
counted upon to betray that trust in nine cases out of ten, if "party
loyalty" shall require it.
If there are two tickets in the field in his city, one composed of
honest men and the other of notorious blatherskites and criminals, he
will not hesitate to lay his private Christian honor aside and vote
for the blatherskites if his "party honor" shall exact it. His
Christianity is of no use to him and has no influence upon him when he
is acting in a public capacity. He has sound and sturdy private
morals, but he has no public ones. In the last great municipal
election in New York, almost a complete one-half of the votes
representing 3,500,000 Christians were cast for a ticket that had
hardly a man on it whose earned and proper place was outside of a
jail. But that vote was present at church next Sunday the same as
ever, and as unconscious of its perfidy as if nothing had happened.
Our Congresses consist of Christians. In their private life they
are true to every obligation of honor; yet in every session they
violate them all, and do it without shame; because honor to party is
above honor to themselves. It is an accepted law of public life that
in it a man may soil his honor in the interest of party expediency
--must do it when party expediency requires it. In private life those
men would bitterly resent--and justly--any insinuation that it would
not be safe to leave unwatched money within their reach; yet you could
not wound their feelings by reminding them that every time they vote
ten dollars to the pension appropriation nine of it is stolen money
and they the marauders. They have filched the money to take care of
the party; they believe it was right to do it; they do not see how
their private honor is affected; therefore their consciences are clear
and at rest. By vote they do wrongful things every day, in the party
interest, which they could not be persuaded to do in private life. In
the interest of party expediency they give solemn pledges, they make
solemn compacts; in the interest of party expediency they repudiate
them without a blush. They would not dream of committing these
strange crimes in private life.
Now then, can Christian Science introduce the Congressional Blush?
There are Christian Private Morals, but there are no Christian Public
Morals, at the polls, or in Congress or anywhere else --except here
and there and scattered around like lost comets in the solar system.
Can Christian Science persuade the nation and Congress to throw away
their public morals and use none but their private ones henceforth in
all their activities, both public and private?
I do not think so; but no matter about me: there is the field--a
grand one, a splendid one, a sublime one, and absolutely unoccupied.
Has Christian Science confidence enough in itself to undertake to
enter in and try to possess it?
Make the effort, Christian Science; it is a most noble cause, and
it might succeed. It could succeed. Then we should have a new
literature, with romances entitled, How To Be an Honest Congressman
Though a Christian; How To Be a Creditable Citizen Though a Christian.