What Prospers Healing?
by David L. Keyston, from May 1997, originally featured at this link on the Healing Unlimited website.
For years, and especially lately, the statement has been circulated that, “All we need is better healing work,” in order for the Cause of Christian Science to flourish as it did in the early part of this century. Additionally, the sentiment is often expressed that we don’t need others telling us what is wrong about our perception of Mary Baker Eddy. This view is expressed by church members, practitioners, as well as by teachers of Christian Science and church officials. Do we really need to see Mary Baker Eddy in a certain way in relation to her discovery for our Cause to prosper and our healing ministry with it?
Let’s you and I look at what Mary Baker Eddy says about this particular point. (1) It is what she says, and what the Bible and her writings say, that is important, and what we need to obey and to follow.
Our Leader wrote to D.A. Easton:
Unless we have better healers, and more of this work than any other is done, our cause will not stand and having done all stand. Demonstration is the whole of Christian Science, nothing else proves it, nothing else will save it and continue it with us. God has said this — and Christ Jesus has proved it.
Preaching and teaching are of no use without the proof. I find that the teachers and preachers are the poorest practitioners. What Does Mrs. Eddy Say?
On the surface the foregoing quote would tend to corroborate the oft heard statements mentioned above. But this is not representative of what Mrs. Eddy has said on this vital topic concerning the prosperity of the Cause of Christian Science. How Mary Baker Eddy is perceived in relation to her discovery does affect the entire prosperity of Christian Science and the success of our healing work. One must fully understand the context in which Mrs. Eddy makes such statements. She understood the crucial importance of her students seeing her properly in relation to the Bible and her discovery, and how this perception affects the success of healing.
To her trusted student, Judge Septimus J. Hanna (2), Mrs. Eddy wrote:
Keeping the truth of her character before the public will help the students, and do more than all else for the Cause. Christianity in its purity was lost by defaming and killing its defenders. Do not let this period repeat this mistake. The truth in regard to your Leader heals the sick and saves the sinner. The lie has just the opposite effect, and the evil one that leads all evil in this matter knows this more clearly than do the Christian Scientists in general. Divinity Course and General Collectanea, page 109.
On August 26, 1902, she made this timeless statement to Judge Hanna:
Whoever opens most the eyes of the children of men to see aright and to understand aright that IDEA ON EARTH that has best and clearest reflected by word or deed the divine Principle of man and the universe, will accomplish most for himself and mankind in the direction of all that is good and true. (Ibid., page 109-110)
In Mary Baker Eddy’s classes similar statements have been recorded. In Sue Harper Mims recollections, An Intimate Picture of Our Leader’s Final Class, is related a story in which Mrs. Eddy asked Mrs. Mims to provide an explanation of the scriptural passage from Luke, “And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.”
‘The stone,’ I said, ‘was the concentrated human belief that life was limited, and they saw that Life had rolled it away and that man was immortal — that he was never born and never dies.’ I closed by saying, ‘They saw what our beloved mother has through Science and Health enabled us to see. Through the book we have seen all they saw and more, and we owe it all to her, to this beloved one who is God’s messenger today.
When I had given her back the book and gone back to my seat, she said, in effect: ‘You have given a very beautiful exegesis of the text, but I have one objection — I may say I have one fault to find — it was not necessary to mention me.’ (3)
Then I wish you could have seen that class. One arose with wet eyes and said, ‘Mother, how could we forget you?’ Judge Hanna got up, and it was one of the most heart-rending things I ever heard in my life, as he said: ‘Mother, let me tell you this. Sometimes all the machinations of evil that are conceivable to the human mind seem hurled at us, and sometimes for days the world seems black. Every argument that the ingenuity of evil can suggest whispers, trying to hide your mission, and the light returns only when we see you as you are — the revelator of this Truth.’ (4)
Others spoke on the same line. It was the most beautiful thing, and you see that had to be brought out. She had to be acknowledged, and yet while they were speaking you have never seen such humility, such self-effacement, in your life. And then she said, according to my recollection: ‘My dear children, if you had not seen it, I should have had to teach you this. I could not have avoided telling you that when my students become blinded to me as the one through whom Truth has come in this age, they go straight down. (5) I would have had to tell you.’
Spiritual Identity Known to God
Thus it is clear that we are only able to demonstrate what we know. We only know what we have learned from our Leader’s example, the example of her students and from her writings and from the Bible. Mrs. Eddy clearly states that to understand her, the truth of her character, her life, “will do more than all else” to help the Cause. It will do more than all else in facilitating healing. Had her students not seen this truth, she would have had to teach it to them! These are Mrs. Eddy’s words, not mine.
It was natural for these early students to understand her divinely inspired status as the revelator of Truth to this age; it is essential for us today, more than ever, to see and acknowledge this truth, a truth that has been purposely hidden. Now, we must learn this truth again.
We must handle the aggressive suggestion that wishes to keep her inspired status hidden, and expose it for what it is, hatred of God’s chosen messenger of Truth, alias the red dragon, malicious mesmerism. We must learn to love our Leader more.
It follows that if we do not understand clearly her life and her status in light of Biblical history and prophecy, this misapprehension will do the opposite; it will contribute to a decline in the Cause.
The Cause is the healing work — the healing of the nations — not primarily of physical infirmities, but of sin, what our Leader characterizes as “…the emphatic purpose of Christian Science….”(see Rudimental Divine Science, page 2)
Is not the greatest sin the sin against the Holy Ghost? The Bible says so. Is it not a sin of the greatest magnitude to obscure or darken mankind’s perception of the Comforter, the Holy Ghost? Undoubtedly.
A most illuminating statement made to her student, Edward Ancel Kimball, in 1893, reveals this primary important fact.
For the world to understand me in my true light, and life, would do more for the Cause than aught else could. This I learn from the fact that the enemy tries harder to hide these two things from the world than to win any other points. Also Jesus’ life and character in their first appearing were treated in like manner. And I regret to see that loyal students are not more awake to this great demand in their measures to meet the enemies’ tactics. DCC, page 112
If one hides the truth about Mrs. Eddy’s character, one sins against God’s chosen representative (Mary Baker Eddy) who has brought us the Comforter, the Holy Ghost. Thus, one sins against the Holy Ghost. One sins against God. This is the sin that is never to be forgiven.
Read what the Bible says about this. (Matt. 12:32) It is not a pretty picture. One’s name is taken out of the Book of Life. Expunged. Eradicated. Like it never existed. Why? Because such actions betray a malicious intent, or, equally as damaging, an insensitive, apathetic, selfish or cowardly thought.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Prov. 29:18) Where there is no light (understanding) there can be no record in the Book of Life. Why? Because God is light, and in Him is no darkness. Where there is a purpose to obscure the light, there is a desire of the worst kind to keep all of mankind from seeing the light. The desire of evil, alias the great red dragon, is to pour out a flood after the woman and the remnant of her seed, in its attempt to silence them.
This attempt will fail, but it requires constant vigilance on the part of those acknowledging God’s chosen revelator of Truth to this age. Do you recognize the importance of acknowledging our dear Leader historically and prophetically?
Why is it important to recognize Mary Baker Eddy in relation to her discovery? Is it not because it is essential for students of Christian Science to understand the Biblical authority for Christian Science? Our Leader was clear that personality worship was the farthest thing from, and the greatest impediment to, true spiritual growth and understanding the Scriptures. Yet, she was equally as forthright concerning the necessity of recognizing her divinely ordained status as the revelator of Truth prophesied by Jesus.
It is true that during her time she saw the necessity of keeping this hidden from mortal mind. Her statements on this topic clearly show that the truth of this understanding must be brought to light to the spiritually receptive thought. (For example, see the April 2, 1997 issue of The Christian Science Standard for other statements on this topic)
Will you recognize, accept, promote and defend her divinely ordained authority in the treatment of your patients. Will you handle the carnal mind’s hatred of her, the lie of deification and personality worship? This ruse of animal magnetism has deceived the very elect. Those that would destroy Christian Science know this is the most effective way to stop the healing, decimate our churches and destroy the Cause of Truth. Will you help correct this sacrilege?
To Julia Field-King, Mrs. Eddy remarked on November 26, 1897:
People seem to understand Christian Science in the exact ratio that they know me and vice versa. It sometimes astonishes me to see the invariableness of this rule. (6)
If we do not understand — demonstrate — Christian Science, do we understand her? No. If Christian Scientists are not demonstrating Christian Science as it was demonstrated 80, 50, or even 30 years ago, do we have the proper understanding of her or her writings? We cannot understand one without the other. This becomes obvious to any seeker who is familiar with works available by contemporary authors on Mrs. Eddy from her own church today versus what was known, accepted and promoted in her church by her loyal students at the turn of the century.
The Messenger & The Message
Dedicated faithful students of hers were virtually unanimous in their love and acknowledgment of her as the one through whom the Truth was revealed to mankind in our age.
This recognition of the relationship of the messenger to the message as the authority in the healing work was an integral factor in their success. Why is this so different today? Why are Christian Scientists today so blinded to this necessity? Why has the church done so much to hide these accounts of our Leader that reveal her divine authority in the proper way?
All one has to do is read the testimonies and articles in the Christian Science Journals up to 1910. Did you know that about 1/3 of the testifiers in the chapter “Fruitage” in Science and Health give gratitude to Mrs. Eddy. No doubt our Leader had to be careful to keep such recognition of her “toned down” in the textbook. But today, this gratitude and reverence is sorely lacking in the periodical testimonies. In fact, it represents less than 5% of published testimonies in our periodicals and many of those today, due to editing, are of merely a perfunctory nature.
Testimonies appearing in our periodicals prior to 1910 indicate well over 50% (For instance, in 1911 it was over 67%) of the testifiers give loving, heartfelt gratitude to her and see her as she is, often referring to her as our “Mother-in-Israel” or the “Woman in the Wilderness,” both biblically prominent prophetic references. Why do you suppose this is? What did they know then that we do not today? Mrs. Eddy even employed these terms in communications with various students, in referring to herself. She knew what they meant; she knew it was a lesson to her students that they had to learn, but lessons nonetheless she could not make widely public in her time.
Mary Baker Eddy has stated it quite simply. If we understand her properly, our Cause will advance, and healing with it. If not, it won’t, and we will be the ones responsible for keeping this precious truth from mankind. What truth? The truth of her character. Why the truth of her character? Isn’t it enough that we give the Truth, Science and Health, to mankind? That is not what our Leader says. She has said understanding the truth of her character is requisite for the healing that will advance the Cause, in fact, will do “more than all else for the Cause.”
She has clearly shown us that simply healing is not the answer. How can one improve upon the healing ministry of Christian Science unless the demons of apathy and defamation of our beloved Leader’s character, the one who brought us this truth, are handled and exterminated? We can’t.
To simply say we need more healing is a half-way correct statement. Many of the most inspired accounts concerning our Leader have been kept from the field by Mary Baker Eddy’s own church, while other subtle, but dangerous, misrepresentations are promoted as “official” church views. There is still time to repent and correct this error, to annul this effort of animal magnetism.
Will our church be known as fulfilling the prophecy regarding ecclesiastical Babylon — the avenue through which the greatest resistance to the healing truth has come to mankind in this age? The book of Daniel and Revelation speaks of this “spiritual wickedness in high places” in this “end time.” It gives one pause to consider what the comment will be upon Christian Scientists should they not correct this imposition upon their Leader.
“Mrs. Eddy gave her revelation to the world in her authorized writings. Then in her life she gave her own practice or demonstration of [this revelation from God]. Her life is linked with her revelation in that the latter can never be understood in its fullness without a study and understanding of the former.” (500 Watching Pointsfor Advancing Students of Christian Science , Gilbert C. Carpenter, Jr., CSB, 1942, page 218.)
Once Mrs. Eddy wrote to a student:
I thank God for your faith in Him and your true sense of me. Why? Because in over one quarter of a century I have never in one single instance seen these fail to carry a student safely on in growth and prosperity. But in every single instance the loss of those mental conditions has wrecked the student. Once I was young (and now am young) but I have never seen the righteous forsaken — those who are right, misled.” (ibid.)
What Mr. Carpenter writes here merely pens the mirror image of what our Leader has already told us in previously quoted passages. We must understand her life and character in their true appearing and spiritual significance to mankind in order to perceive and demonstrate fully her divine revelation from God — which is the promised “Comforter” — revealed in our textbook, Science and Health.
The Woman & The Dragon
Mrs. Eddy foresaw the resistance her own church would employ in obscuring her teachings and who she is — her spiritual identity known to God and to the faithful remnant.
In an article penned in her own handwriting, found in her scrapbook, Mary Baker Eddy unfolded a chilling prophecy of the future as regards her church, in an article entitled:
Catholicism — Protestantism — Christian Science
The first holds barbarous pictures of cruelty in mind, and carries out its ideal. Instead of liberality and universality, it is absolute despotism. It would cause Jesus Christ to abdicate for the Pope, and his reverence to have full power to sin ad libitum, and teach others to do so.
Protestantism is susceptible of breaking each of the Ten Commandments, and teaching others so to do; and then by appeal to the Catholics’ deposed sovereign to obtain pardon, and be welcomed into heaven through the religious law of chancery. Insolvent, unable to be a good man himself, he expects God to justify him, because God is good and pays the debts of sin, so that the sinner can pass on without punishment.
Christian Science is susceptible of being made the repository for all the sins of the other two religions in marked face and form, whereby the most aggravated and exaggerated and liberated powers of evil have full sway.
Each religion defined by what the words include is right; but fatally wrong and wronged in its interpretation by the world, the flesh and the devil — the three-in-one of error, opposed to the trinity of Life, Truth and Love.
The woman has cast into these three measures of iniquity, the leaven that is fermenting them. Therefore, they, inherent in mortal mind, take vengeance on their destroyer. Alas for the masquerade of their friendship, of their gratitude, of their honesty, of their virtue, and especially of their humanity towards this woman. Does one human heart love her? No! It is all a farce. The carnal mind hates her, and deserts her, lies about her, steals from her, mocks her, betrays her, nails her to the cross and spits on her, saying ‘Come down from the cross. Then parts her seamless robe that has not one ridge of the three religions as interpreted by this trio of error — and casts lots for it. Rending it into rags it picks up the shorn glory and decks itself therewith in harlequin jacket. Not one of these three religions misused — is the Rock on which Christ, Truth, builds the church against which the gates of hell cannot prevail. And the last one is named the final one; therefore, it holds the most relentless war against the woman.
An example of what Mary Baker Eddy warned us of in the above would be the videotape produced by the church on her life. This video is a travesty, filled with images of death and the most subtle and subliminal aspersions on our Leader’s pure character, humanizing her life and accomplishments, much as has been done in the church’s widely promoted three-volume biography. The only saving grace is that this video is no longer promoted in the Reading Rooms. (For an exposé of this film, please see the article, An Analysis of the Film: Mary Baker Eddy: A Heart in Protest published by TGF.
To offer another subtly derogatory video, as in The Soul of a Woman recently promoted in the Twentieth Century Biographers Series, is nearly as bad. One wonders when this attack on Mrs. Eddy will cease.
For an example of a well done video effort, don’t fail to see the production by Longyear Museum titled, Mary Baker Eddy: The Concord Years.
Intellectuality vs. Spirituality
Mary Baker Eddy had much to contend with in her day with “Intellectuality,” what we call Intellectualism today. Joseph Mann, a treasured student of our Leader’s, has preserved the essence of some of these instructive trials, that even today obscure in greatest measure a proper understanding of “the woman” and retard the healing progress of our Cause. “Plausible Intellectualists” was the term employed by Joseph Mann in describing those opposers of Mrs. Eddy’s day that through their own human concept (intelligence in matter) resisted the true spiritual sense of Mary Baker Eddy, the right sense that is so necessary to seeing her as God sees her. This spiritual sense based in gratitude and reverence for her is essential for success of healing and growth in our church.
Do not believe what I say regarding this. Find out for yourself. Study what Mary Baker Eddy has said and written. Read what her early loyal students — some of the finest healers — knew and said about her in the periodicals and in their correspondence. It is all there for those with “eyes to see.”
In his Reminiscences of Mary Baker Eddy, Mr. Mann, relates, “I saw in the beginning how foolish and futile it was to tell Mrs. Eddy something plausible…. My heart could only be honest around her.” Mr. Mann speaks from his experience as a student of Mary Baker Eddy. In regard to the “factionists” of his day, he spoke of their “…conceit of intellectuality which they believed superior to Mrs. Eddy’s spirituality.” (Reminiscences of Mary Baker Eddy, Joseph G. Mann, page 70)
Have you ever seen this reminiscence by Joseph Mann? Or his 1923 Class Instruction? Why not? Why does the field not have access to these invaluable records concerning our Leader? Why have these insightful items been kept from the field? Remember, our Leader’s warning, “the enemy tries harder to hide [Mrs. Eddy’s true light and life] from the world than to win any other points.” Memoirs and reminiscences of John Salchow, Henrietta Chanfrau, Joseph Mann, just to name a few, have been kept from the field. The only way one can see this information is to physically travel to Boston, request permission to read the particular item from the Archives, and even then, one may not be able to view it, or, if they can, they cannot take notes. Why hide these accounts containing wonderful lessons of such spiritual import?
Yet, our church is perfectly willing to promote in as wide a manner as possible humanistic interpretations by those who never knew our Leader, and who certainly have no demonstrated understanding of Christian Science on a par with those who worked in our Leader’s vineyard. Why? What purpose does this serve, except to obscure further Mrs. Eddy’s “true light and life.”
Anyone can clearly see the quotes from Joseph Mann are a direct indictment of our church’s lack of alertness in permitting intellectuality to be promoted as “officially authorized” literature. This embracing of intellectual scholasticism at the expense of a proper spiritual assessment of our Leader has constituted the church’s “official” position regarding Mary Baker Eddy.
These are reasons why the church has not, and will not allow some of these accounts to see the light of day. What other records of early faithful students remain to be discovered that will disprove the fallacy of past policies in regards to properly portraying Mrs. Eddy to the field and the public at large? God only knows.
Even the six points contained in the pamphlet, “Mrs. Eddy’s Place,” have been refuted by the church in articles printed in the Christian Science Sentinel and the Christian Science Journal during the last 25 years. What is contained in this pamphlet (re-published by Aequus Institute and now only available only from independent sources outside the church, including Healing Unlimited), is Mrs. Eddy’s view of herself in regard to the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. If you would like a copy please let us know; we will send one to you free of charge.
If one condones and embraces such error of belief concerning our Leader, what is to be the comment upon them? If one knows error must be uncovered in order to be destroyed, why keep it hidden? “Cowardice is selfishness.” (Miscellaneous Writings page 211:21)
Lest any in our church today disparage Joseph Mann’s character, spiritual clarity or fidelity to the Cause, we have our Leader’s own words concerning this loyal student. “Real wisdom that God gives us is an original flow.” Mrs. Eddy said of Joseph Mann, “I never read an article from a student more original.” (Referring to “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need,” in the Christian Science Journal, April, 1903, page 18-20)
Of course many today remember her comments to him when attending her class. Perhaps one of the most remarkable healings in the annals of Christian Science healing work was recorded in Joseph Mann’s recovery from an accidental but seemingly fatal gunshot wound to the heart. It was apparent that Mr. Mann experienced what many would today term a “near-death experience.” Mrs. Eddy saw that because of his deep experience that he was nearer her in the “resurrection thought” than any other student. Of his experience she remarked, “You have had a wonderful experience; you were thrown violently out of the body. Go not back into the house.” (page 55, Reminiscences of Mary Baker Eddy, op. cit.)
The Harm of Intellectualism
Does the availability, promotion and sale of works intellectually humanizing Mrs. Eddy’s life in every aspect serve to present a true appraisal of our divinely inspired Leader’s life, mission and character? Absolutely not. How do you think this affects healing, knowing now what your Leader has said about it? Yet, the intellectuals think of themselves as without peer in the realm of scholastic authority pertaining to Mrs. Eddy’s life. How little do the intellectuals and our church officials realize that what is requisite is humility, gratitude and love based in spiritual sense, not material knowledge. To appreciate, translate and relate, in even the smallest detail, the significance of her grand character and career properly must be done from the inspired standpoint of love, gratitude, meekness and a deep willingness to humbly obey God’s messenger.
Gilbert Carpenter had this precious sense of his Leader. It enabled him to preserve the most remarkable insights into Mrs. Eddy’s unparalleled mission to mankind. Yet, the church has made every effort to hide his work along these lines, under the pretense that his works are of a personally interpretive nature. Interestingly enough, the Carpenter’s have preserved more than any other single entity, wonderful, verbatim accounts of early workers. These accounts shed marvelous light on the spiritual substance of our Leader’s earthly career in the establishment of the Cause of Christian Science.
Even Gilbert Carpenter’s own insights into Mrs. Eddy’s actions, are communicated from a standpoint of love, obedience to her writings, and with a clarity of metaphysical insight that is unparalleled, when compared to the writings of our church’s contemporary biographical authors.
What purpose is served, other than to diminish the spiritual understanding of our Leader’s life and mission, when such contemporary humanizing biographies are still available and promoted from within our church. It is perfectly understandable that the secular arena might very well produce such works, but there is a higher standard expected, a spiritual standard, that devolves upon our church in producing any publication concerning Mary Baker Eddy. To continue these improper portrayals of our Leader’s life, actions, character and mission, at the expense of maintaining the spiritual standard, amounts to no less than historical revisionism — hypnotic suggestion — rehearsing error often enough to get all to believe it. A lie told often enough is believed to be truth, especially when apathy or ignorance reigns.
Mrs. Eddy was known to say, and emphatically I might add, “My history is a holy one!” This was in response to the lies printed by the “yellow” journalists of her time. Yet, she is not here to defend herself today in the same manner.
“The greatest danger in the Field of Christian Science today is…the world’s ignorance of the difference between intellectuality and spirituality. The plausibility of intellectuality vies with the Principle of spirituality, and the ignorant and uninstructed are attracted by the intellectuality as it appeals more to them, because spirituality is less presumptuous…. Intellectuality counterfeits intelligence, as mortal mind counterfeits divine Mind.” (Excerpt from Joseph G. Mann 1923 Class Instruction.)
Would we glean anything of spiritual significance from a work that recited every human aspect of our Master’s life — that he was a carpenter for instance, or that represented him as getting “emotional” and whipping these poor folks out of the temple? Of course not. Yet, that is often how Mrs. Eddy is portrayed in the three volume biography widely promoted for over 25 years by the church. Many of her early students saw the importance of recognizing the spiritual significance of her life, mission and character. However, many of those individuals have been unceremoniously disparaged in the church’s primary biography. The treatment by our church of Gilbert Carpenter is a good example of this unrelenting practice.
This incorrect appraisal of our Leader, embraced and promoted by teachers to their pupils and practitioners to their patients, has contributed to the great diminishment of the healing ministry of Christian Science. It forsakes the true spiritual representation of our Leader’s life and character at the expense of providing a recitation of material historical facts, from the standpoint of material sense and intellectualism, not inspired thought.
The spiritual record and authority should never be subservient to humanistic interpretation or intellectual scholasticism — a mere recording of mortal material history. Of this view our Leader has written, “It is well to know, dear reader, that our material, mortal history is but the record of dreams, not of man’s real existence, and the dream has no place in the Science of being” (Retrospection and Introspection, page 21:13-15).
Again, Mr. Mann shares with us, “Accepting the revealed without understanding only strengthens human belief to the developing of will power.” “They [the ‘innovators’ or intellectuals] accept the revealed letter of Christian Science and drag it around the earth to suit their convenience….You cannot substitute intellectuality for spirituality and expect to demonstrate Christian Science.” Joseph Mann also spoke of “…students who went above Mrs. Eddy on intellectual wings…” and “…left her to suffer under it.”
As Mrs. Eddy was fond of quoting Shakespeare, there is a parallel lesson to be learned from the Bard’s play, Measure for Measure (See the second act, second half of scene IV, where the antagonist, Angelo (a pious deputy) discourses with Isabella (sister of Claudio).
Many who have read “You will have to learn to love me more,” by this author know the dangers of intellectualism and how it retards spiritual growth. (This 112 page paperback is available from Healing Unlimited.)
Christian Science is not a cult. However, if one rejects the divine authority for it’s healing work by rejecting a proper acknowledgment of the one who brought that divine revelation, will it be known throughout history as a cult? To refuse to acknowledge Jesus’ divine foreordination would preclude us from having the practical example that demonstrated the divine law in daily life. Jesus showed us who and what we are, just as our precious Leader has done through her life and writings. But Jesus did not labor forty years in revealing to mankind the Allness of God and the nothingness of evil. As our Leader has said, “Never again will a mortal drink my cup.”
Mary Baker Eddy did not have the benefit of a virgin birth, yet she accomplished the “greater works” that our Master prophesied. Think about that! Do you realize the import of this? There are over 300 accounts of her healing work documented, and that was all without benefit of access to the church archives! (7) Just imagine how many more inspiring accounts of our Leader’s divinely ordained history remain to be revealed when those precious stories see the light of day.
Mortal Mind — Always a Liar
Mary Baker Eddy recognized mortal mind’s nature as wholly hypnotic, deceptive mesmerism. She recognized that what we perceive as matter through the physical senses actually points to the real, the present divinely spiritual fact; it is mortal mind which presents the counterfeit. She knew, as we must know, that we are not poor suffering, mesmerized mortals that some day will become more spiritual and then see ourselves as God sees us. She knew, as we must, that we are perfect, divine, complete expressions of Spirit, Mind, now, lacking nothing. We exist now from the standpoint of present perfection, with our individuality intact.
Our Leader’s clear vision that man is wholly spiritual was the theme of her life-work. Even today there are those that argue that statements she made in her earlier editions of Science and Health, most notably her first edition, are at odds with, even contradictory to, statements made in her last edition. Recently, the ludicrous statement has been made that our Leader’s first edition — the “precious volume” — is “incorrect literature”! This graphically illustrates mortal mind’s ignorance of Truth.
Such views from the standpoint of material sense would make the lie appear to be truth. But the alert Christian Scientist sees from the pinnacle of inspiration and spiritual sense, the standpoint of present perfection, and seemingly disparate statements are reconciled. Truth is always Truth.
Oft times Mrs. Eddy would make relative statements to students that met the present human need. At other times, when she perceived that the student’s thought contained the fertile soil necessary for the absolute statement of Truth, she ventured to lift the student up higher in their demonstration. Sometimes this effort was rewarded with their higher demonstration in the line of light. At other times, the student was unable to perceive what our Leader was trying to share with them, and the lesson was lost. A most significant example is related in the following episode concerning Adam Dickey while he worked in our beloved Leader’s home at “Pleasant View.”
“One day Mrs. Eddy touched Adam Dickey’s hand with her finger and asked him, ‘What is this?’ He replied, ‘Matter’. She said, ‘It is not; it is Spirit.’ Then another time she looked at him and said, ‘You are Spirit’. And he said, ‘No, Mother, I am spiritual’. She said in a very emphatic way, ‘You are Spirit’. And he said, ‘Mother, I do not see that.’ She said, ‘You are Spirit’, the third time, but he said he could not see it. When he was going to his room he met Laura Sargent and he told her of the conversation with Mrs. Eddy and she said, ‘Oh, Mr. Dickey, why did you say that! Mother was trying to give you her highest teaching.'” (op. cit., DCC, page 252-3)
Our Leader Was Always Imparting Lessons
Certainly our Leader was no pantheist. She did not mean that matter is Spirit. But she was diligently trying to impress upon Mr. Dickey’s spiritual sense the present fact of his existence — that right there where matter seemed to be, Spirit was and is. She was trying to impart to Mr. Dickey that what material sense perceives as matter is in truth spiritual — Spirit — and points to the real. The physical senses only communicate the counterfeit testimony of mortal mind, which is a liar from the beginning. Laura Sargent understood this clearly in her comment to Adam. Today, many intellectuals in and out of our church refute Laura Sargent’s understanding and our Leader’s own higher teaching in this line of light, while persecuting those who do. Yet, to understand this crucial point will do much to facilitate quick, effective healing work.
Our Leader often made a distinction in her metaphysical statements to students, as has been brought out before, sometimes utilizing absolute statements of Truth made from the standpoint of divine Science. At other times she saw that the Christianly Scientific statement, relative to the human need, met the circumstance in a much more practical manner, and reached the thought of the patient or student. However, Mrs. Eddy never acknowledged the lie of material sense as having one iota of credibility. We must do the same. We must see ourselves as Spirit, as having that same Mind that is Mind, the same Mind that Christ Jesus had. There is Only One “I”
Mary Baker Eddy demonstrated the understanding of “I” better than anyone since Christ Jesus and in a way which human thought could grasp. A precious example of this is contained in an account concerning her student Judge Ewing, who, at the time was a Christian Science lecturer.
Judge Ewing was sent by Mrs. Eddy on a lecture tour that took him around the world giving his lecture, Christian Science: The Religion of Jesus Christ. On his return he found himself called on to give a lecture in Lynn, Mass. It was a stormy night and when he got on the platform he immediately felt he was up against an antagonistic audience doubtless composed of the then very large, active body of Spiritualistic sympathizers in that town who were strongly opposed to Christian Science. It seemed useless for him to try to give his regular lecture to such an audience; so in his usual friendly way of taking an audience into his confidence, Judge Ewing decided the only way was to get nearer to them. He got down from the platform and stood right in front of the audience. He began to talk to them about Lynn, assuring them from his own travel experiences that their town was well known all over the world for its wonderful footwear that for years had been sent out everywhere. After enlarging on this for a while, he gave them the real reason why Lynn would live forever in the hearts and minds of men — it was the place in which Science and Health was written by Mrs. Eddy. Then, allowing Spirit to speak through him, he told in beautiful, sympathetic language of some of Mrs. Eddy’s struggles, privations and difficulties in bringing forth her book, and emphasized that it was her deep love for mankind that enabled her to stand and overcome all that she had to meet. By the time he was through talking about Mrs. Eddy there was hardly a dry eye in the place; and so he knew that the opposition was broken and he could deliver his regular lecture on Christian Science. He got back on to the platform and did so.
The following morning he took the first train for Concord, N.H., where he had an appointment with Mrs. Eddy. Immediately Mrs. Eddy began to thank him for all the things he had said about her the night before and assured him how true they were. She quoted whole statements he had made and the Judge began to puzzle how she could have gotten hold of them, because he himself had come in on the train that brought the newspapers; so she could not have read the reports yet (and the phone was not available then). How was she able to repeat his own statements in his own words? Finally he burst out with, “How do you know what I said?” And Mrs. Eddy replied, “Suppose I told you that I heard you?” (op. cit., DCC, page 253-4.)
Regarding this account Richard Oakes shares with us in his book, Mary Baker Eddy’s Six Days of Revelation, (page 526): “When he asked how she knew what he had said, she replied…’Suppose I told you that I heard you’ — that is, suppose I remind you that “I” is there, and everywhere.” To see who and what our Leader is we must study her textbook and the Bible carefully. What is this “I” she speaks of? Her chapter “Glossary” in Science and Health reveals much of the answer when we explore in depth her definitions of “I,” “Mind,” “Kingdom of Heaven,” “Man” and “I Am,” to name a few.
Our dear Leader saw so clearly that “I” am (is) Mind, that she could no more be separate from Mind than the ray of light could ever be separate from the Sun. In this way she was, and is, Mind. In this way, she, and we, individually, express and fulfill her statement in Science and Health page 101:31, “God is individual Mind.” Yet, that does not mean in any way that God is in man, nor, as the limited personal sense testimony would argue, does this result in an anthropomorphic God, or man a pantheist. Nor does it mean that man is absorbed into a vast cosmos of “divinity.” This false belief is perpetuated through ignorance, intellectualism — material mindedness — often in the guise of some “ism,” such as is evidenced in the various strains of oriental mysticism, Buddhism, theosophy, New Age spiritualism, etc.
Spiritual sense alone unfolds to the receptive thought this truth about ourselves as revealed through our Leader’s life and writings. Laura Sargent saw it, yet Adam Dickey did not. Martha Wilcox, Henrietta Chanfrau, Ira Knapp, Adelaide Still as well as many other early students, recognized this important fact of our present divinity as revealed and taught by our Leader. More recently Helen Wright has revealed very clearly the profound impact of this sublime truth upon our progress in healing and growth Spiritward.
Friends, this proper assessment and appreciation of our beloved Leader has nothing to do with deification or personality worship. That lie is simply another ruse (and an old refrain at that), of animal magnetism to stifle growth and healing in our church, and to hide Mary Baker Eddy’s divinely ordained and established place.
At one point in the early years in the Chicago area, healing work suddenly came to a halt. This was most unusual as previously Chicago had been perhaps the finest field for healing in the country. The best healers, including those having studied with Mrs. Eddy, could not heal. The situation became so alarming that a group was delegated to see Mrs. Eddy about their difficulties in healing. She patiently listened to their problem and when their tale of woe was told she said, “You will have to learn to love me more.” No more was said and she left the room. They went back to Chicago and told the Christian Scientists Mrs. Eddy’s message. They took the message to heart and the healing work was successful once again. (Loving our Leader, Paul R. Smillie)
What Will Be Done? & Who Will Do It?
What is it then that will enable us to heal more certainly and more quickly and allow our church to prosper and grow? Mary Baker Eddy has given us the answer. Will we listen? Or will we continue using this precious Science to build up our storehouses of pleasure in matter? Do we care how our Leader is treated by her own church? Are we willing to be alert and stand against the efforts of malice to deprive our Leader of her proper place in relation to her church? We must consider the consequences if we do not actively support her inspired status and mission. We are in the “…time of the end…,” prophetically speaking. There is precious little time to remedy the wrongs of decades, but it only takes a few to stand, and “having done all,” to stand. Apathy regarding this issue concerning our beloved Cause is cowardice. Ignorance can be remedied. Apathy must be suffered out of.
To know the truth concerning this most important point and to do nothing is the “spiritual wickedness in high places,” spoken of in scripture. How can one, having had the blessed benefit of this incredible healing truth, not be filled to overflowing with gratitude for that beloved one that made it all possible? It is beyond comprehension.
There is no gray area.
One either actively supports the right concept of her and courageously takes a stand against the attacks perpetrated upon her, or they by default, become the apathetic agents of the mesmerism that refuses to stand for their Leader, the one that labored for more than forty years or more to give us this precious Truth. The success of our Cause and our healing work depends upon how we each answer this question. What will you do?
If we bring these tithes of gratitude, obedience, meekness, reverence and love into our storehouse — our consciousness and our church — see if it will not pour out a blessing that will overflow the prosperity of our Cause and our healing work.
1 Quotations are from Divinity Course and General Collectanea by Richard Oakes, pages 107-112, unless otherwise noted.
2 Judge Hanna occupied more positions of trust in the Christian Science church than any other student. Mrs. Eddy relied on his spiritual poise and sound reasoning ability to perform many of the most difficult tasks. It is interesting that Judge Hanna was the one who wrote Isaiah’s Vision, the inspired account of Mrs. Eddy’s fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy of the Second Coming of Christ in the 54th chapter. Mrs. Eddy praised this article and wished to have it as a lead article in the Christian Science Journal. This was not to be however, since its publication would have coincided with the advent of the Woodbury lawsuit, which as we all know, centered on this issue of our Leader’s fulfillment of Bible prophecy as the Woman God crowned in Revelation 12. (See “You must learn to love me more.” by David Keyston, pages 49-58 for a reprint of this article.) In this case her wisdom, prevailed: “The right thing done at the wrong time ceases to be the right thing.”
3 It was “…not necessary to mention [her],” because her students had a natural love and reverence for her. Most today need to learn this essential gratitude, the need of the present hour. For decades misinformation and disinformation has served to alienate Mrs. Eddy’s followers from her, through humanizing liturgies and public attacks that are not addressed properly by her church officials.
4 Imagine for a moment the heart-felt gratitude, reverence and love that this stalwart worker had for his Leader — this precious one who toiled for over forty years to bring us this incredible gift from God that dispels all the mists of materiality — that he called her “Mother.” Have you ever thought of your Leader in this way? If not, why not? Friends, this has not one thing to do with deification, otherwise Mrs. Eddy would have rebuked Judge Hanna and the others. To the contrary she confirms their spiritually adept, inspired comments appreciating her. Today we are told this is personality worship.
5 In the We Knew Mary Baker Eddy Series, Volume 2, page 54, this last sentence is rendered, “…they miss the path,” but in the original it is as it appears above, they go “straight down.”
6 These quotes were preserved by Gilbert C. Carpenter, CSB, a secretary of Mrs. Eddy’s. At the end of his tenure with her at Pleasant View, Mrs. Eddy said to Mr. Carpenter, “Gilbert, it is like taking my heart out to let you go. During the year you have been here you have not committed a single moral offense.” Our Leader knew the moral qualifications of this faithful worker. However, Mrs. Eddy’s past church officials have heaped indignities and cast aspersions upon his sterling character. They have lied about him, and, even in an effort to bury all that he and his son preserved about their Leader and the early workers, promised to publish the information received by the church once it was transferred to them at the dissolution of the Carpenter Foundation. Of course no Christian Scientist has seen any of this information as promised by the church. Fortunately, the Carpenters (Sr. and Jr.) wisely provided Richard Oakes with a copy of all this marvelous information so that ecclesiastical despotism would not bury it in the Archives where it would never be seen. Praise God for their prescience!
7 See the book, The Healer, The Healing Work of Mary Baker Eddy, by David L. Keyston, 279 pages at Healing Unlimited