Watching in Mrs. Eddy’s Home
by Gilbert C. Carpenter
The morning Watch Hour was from nine to ten, when each student returned to his or her room to do the mental work to destroy fear, and to recognize the presence and power of God as supreme in the home, as well as in the whole universe. This work did not vary from day to day, except where special instruction was needed and given to us. These watching instructions were written out either by Mrs. Eddy, or by Mr. Frye under her supervision, and were passed around to us. One of these papers that is representative of her specific instruction, as to what line of thought to take up, reads as follows: “There is but one Mind, God, good. Evil is not mind, it has no power. We can help ourselves, and help others, we do. We are not self-mesmerized. God, good, alone controls us. We feel no mind but His. There is no other mind to feel. God gives all the thoughts we have, governs all we do and say and think.”
There was another general Watch Hour from three to four, and the last was from eight to nine. Everyone, including our Leader, joined in these periods of watching. In addition to these, each student had an individual Watch Hour. For instance, every night I worked mentally from eleven to midnight.
At eight, Mrs. Eddy always went out on the porch and sat in the swing until nine, which was the last general Watch Hour for the day. I always felt that it was during this hour that she worked for the world, and encompassed all humanity with her love, for when she came in to retire, she often called me to her side to say good-night, and the love that she radiated was almost more than I could stand, it affected me to such a degree.
This general program for each day never varied, and there was nothing to indicate that a day was Sunday or a week day. This does not mean that when there was a special need, the whole machinery of the home was not interrupted. There were times when the whole household worked mentally for hours at a time. Sometimes it would be all night long. I can recall a time when I did not remove my clothes for seventy-two hours.