My Childhood’s Church Home
From Message to the Mother Church, June 1901By Mary Baker Eddy, page 31
Among the list of blessings infinite I count these dear: Devout orthodox parents; my early culture in the Congregational Church; the daily Bible reading and family prayer; my cradle hymn and the Lord’s Prayer, repeated at night; my early association with distinguished Christian clergymen, who held fast to whatever is good, used faithfully God’s Word, and yielded up graciously what He took away. It was my fair fortune to be often taught by some grand old divines, among whom were the Rev.Abraham Burnham of Pembroke, N. H., Rev. Nathaniel Bouton, D. D., of Concord, N. H., Congregationalists; Rev. Mr. Boswell, of Bow, N. H., Baptist; Rev. Enoch Corser, and Rev. Corban Curtice, Congregationalists; and Father Hinds, Methodist Elder. I became early a child of the Church, an eager lover and student of vital Christianity. Why I loved Christians of the old sort was I could not help loving them. Full of charity and good works, busy about their Master’s business, they had no time or desire to defame their fellow-men. God seemed to shield the whole world in their hearts, and they were willing to renounce all for Him. When infidels assailed them, however, the courage of their convictions was seen. They were heroes in the strife; they armed quickly, aimed deadly, and spared no denunciation. Their convictions were honest, and they lived them; and the sermons their lives preached caused me to love their doctrines. The lives of those old-fashioned leaders of religion explain in a few words a good man. They fill the ecclesiastic measure, that to love God and keep His commandments is the whole duty of man. Such churchmen and the Bible, especially the First Commandment of the Decalogue, and Ninety-first Psalm, the Sermon on the Mount, and St. John’s Revelation, educated my thought many years, yea, all the way up to its preparation for and reception of the Science of Christianity. I believe, if those venerable Christians were here to-day, their sanctified souls would take in the spirit and understanding of Christian Science through the flood-gates of Love; with them Love was the governing impulse of every action; their piety was the all-important consideration of their being, the original beauty of holiness that to-day seems to be fading so sensibly from our sight.