Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy

edited by Rolf A. F. Witzsche for the Science basement
of a literary art project exploring the wide landscape of love

 The Religion of Love
Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy


It all began in the early 1800s. At this time the American republic had been fully established as a bastion of political economic freedom from empire and as a light in the world. In this ear of freedom the age of science and the discovery of universal principles was dawning. 

Religion, however, had remained untouched, rigid, and immovable. In this environment, Mary Baker, a farmer's daughter became a rebel against what she regarded as cruel and inhuman in doctrines. She rebelled against their rigidity, especially the old belief that disease was God-sent. 

Being of ill health in later years as a young woman she explored the various dimensions of medicine as means to aid her, but found them all wanting. She found more hope in the pages of the Bible as she searched for the principles of health and healing. This development of more than two decades culminated in a momentous healing of her of an injury that was deemed to be fatal. The healing came instantly, reminiscent of the 'miracles' wrought by Christ Jesus and the early Christians, a capability that had become lost. Her personal healing proved to her that those principles were still valid, although their science needed to be rediscovered and be established again.

The work of discovery became the work of decades. It included the work of healing others, lecturing in public halls, even formal teaching. 

After the first nine years of this work the first issue of her textbook on the new science was ready for publication. But this was only another beginning. The work of clarifying its statements continued for another 34 years, resulting in over 300 editions. It was a pioneering effort and a labor of love. 

I believe the combination is best illustrated in a small incidence that occurred when she and another person were out purchasing some chairs. The store clerk had asked what kind she liked. She replied, "any kind that we can sit on." She was scolded afterwards by the person who had come with her, for her lack of attention. - "Didn't you see that the man wore a bandage over one of his eyes?" she replied. "How could I think of chairs when the man is suffering?" We are told that the man had been healed during the moments of their visit.

History tells us that her work was not done for fame or money, to the contrary. The churches rejected and despised her, the medical profession slandered her, and the cost of renting halls for lecturing and the cost of publishing her book ate up all of her income for many years. Eventually those who were healed responded and the movement grew and become prosperous in the flow of its own generosity. 

As this religion of love and healing began to take off, its first church was organized and built in Boston, but soon the edifice became too small. It was voted in 1902 that a new edifice be constructed that would seat 4-5000 people, which was completed and paid for in 1906 and dedicated in June of this year. An estimated 40,000 people came to the dedication service for the extension edifice. The service had to be repeated many times throughout the day. 

In every single one of these many services one person was notably absent, which was Mary Baker Eddy herself. She merely sent a message to be read. Her message put into perspective all that she had accomplished and its future dimension for the advancement of mankind.

In her message she called the extension edifice a "magnificent temple" and went on from there to talk about an "excelsior extension," saying, "Its crowning ultimate rises to a mental monument, a superstructure high above the work of men's hands, even the outcome of their hearts, giving to the material a spiritual significance -- the speed, beauty, and achievements of goodness."

She added in closing, evidently referring to the "excelsior extension", saying, "Methinks this 'church' is the one edifice on earth which most prefigures self-abnegation, hope, faith; love catching a glimpse of glory." (Miscellany: 6)

We are told by historians that she never set foot into the extension edifice that she called a temple for any official function therein. Perhaps the purpose might have been to put a strong focus on that which is greater, which she had set up, but which none of the thousands who had come to the dedication ceremony had even recognized to exist, which would not be recognized for another three-quarters of a century, something that is so big that even her textbook is but a part of it.

She hinted at its existence. She also outlined it in many different ways. But she didn't turn it into a doctrine. Doctrines are made by men. A religion of love cannot be built on doctrines. A doctrine assumes that God and mankind are infinitely separated so that a doctrine is needed to tell mankind what God is. Mary Baker Eddy must have realized that the original Christianity did not reflect this assumed vertical hierarchy, but reflected a lateral reality in which God and humanity are one in being. On this kind original Christian platform she outlined a structure of science that would open the door to the continuous scientific development of mankind and its self-discovery in its forever unity with God.

In the last pages of the last chapter of her textbook (The Apocalypse) she focuses on the conclusion of John's vision of a New World, a world past the end of the assumed power of evil. John the Revelator had seen a city foursquare descending from heaven. Mary Baker Eddy described this city in her textbook in terms of four cardinal points, and four gates, and four directional orientations. A scientific structure of this nature contains 16 elements (4x4=16). It took decades to discover that every major work that she had created, including her textbook itself, has been made up of 16 elements or multiples thereof. (See references below)

The largest of these associated structure is the Glossary which she added to her textbook, which contains 144 definitions, providing nine of them for each of the 16 elements, some in the form of dual definitions of which 5 distinct types can be recognized that uniquely shape this vast dimension. The dimension of 144 also matches the "measure" we find given in John's metaphor for the city foursquare.  (See defences at the end of the chapter: Glossary

The only thing that Mary Baker Eddy didn't provide was even a hint of how it must all be seen and be put together. That would have opened the door to dogma which severs the link between God, man, and the principle of the universe. The dogma would break the threads of love that bind us on a lateral platform to one-another and to the vast dimension of our being. 

The Glossary structure all by itself is so large that as many combinations are possible within it as there are grains of sand stretched across all the seashores of the world. The mathematical calculation of the possibilities yields a decimal number that is 250 digits long. That's an infinite number for all practical considerations, meaning that the development of the underlying science alone must be the determinant in working with her outlined structure. With that she is opening the door to limitless development and processes of discovery.

Mary Baker Eddy's textbook on Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, is presented on this site, because any exploration of the invisible shapes that shape un in the landscape of love would be woefully incomplete without it. The book needs to be added as a historic corner stone in mankind's continuous development of a religion of love, which may some day become a universal religion, having many more dimensions but no doctrine unfolding along its path. This is the path that is open towards a civilization that might become recognized in due course as the 'Church Universal and Triumphant' and mankind finding itself being the 'temple' thereof. 

At the present stage mankind is still far distant from the realization of a religion of love. The present society appears to be more determined than ever to prove to itself that it can exist without love, even while the universe wouldn't exist without love. As a result of this delusion evermore deepening shadows are now descending upon society which have put into question its very survival. Today's religion is empire; inhumanity; hate; poverty; violence; murder; war; terror; theft; vice; lies; and the glorification of stolen property, deemed wealth. The outcome is a terminal world, a collapsing world. Even the scientific processes of Christian Science healing is collapsing. The great temple of Christian Science stands largely empty today, while Mary Baker Eddy's "excelsior extension" remains still unacknowledged a century after her time and is deemed to not even exist, which is designed to become the scientific foundation for a universal religion of love without a doctrine.

 Nevertheless the dawning of the Principle of Universal Love is inevitable in some form, in which mankind discovers that it cannot exist without love, just as the universe itself would not exist without its harmonizing principles, intelligently arranged in a 'Spirit of Love.' In this inevitable, dawning light the Religion of Universal Love in whatever form it might unfold will find its real beginning. And that is a movement that no one can forever hold back. Just as war is never inevitable, because it can be avoided, so that only peace is inevitable which simply happens when the fires of war become exhausted; so is a love-less world never inevitable, even the kind we have today, because it too can be avoided, while the love illumined world, the world of the Religion of Love cannot be held back. Its realization is inevitable, for its principle is 'divine' and is as basic as the foundation of the universe itself.

Mary Baker Eddy has put it this way. "Whoever opens the way in Christian Science is a pilgrim and stranger, marking out the path for generations yet unborn.  The thunder of Sinai and the Sermon on the Mount are pursuing and will overtake the ages, rebuking in their course all error and proclaiming the kingdom of heaven on earth. Truth is revealed. It needs only to be practised. - The evidence of divine Mind's healing power and absolute control is to me as certain as the evidence of my own existence." (MBE in S&H - Pysiology: 174, 177)


Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

President of Massachusetts Metaphysical College and 
Pastor Emeritus of The First Church of Christ, Scientist Boston, Massachusetts.


Chapter 1: Prayer
Chapter 2: Atonement and Eucharist
Chapter 3: Marriage
Chapter 4: Christian Science versus Spiritualism
Chapter 5: Animal Magnetism Unmasked
Chapter 6: Science, Theology, Medicine
Chapter 7: Physiology
Chapter 8: Footsteps of Truth
Chapter 9: Creation
Chapter 10: Science of Being

The Platform of Christian Science

Chapter 11: Some Objections Answered
Chapter 12: Christian Science Practice 
Chapter 13: Teaching Christian Science
Chapter 14: Recapitulation

Key to the Scriptures

      These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it. - Revelation

Chapter 15: Genesis
Chapter 16: The Apocalypse



*The book was first published in 1875, with over 300 editions printed until 1910 -
 This presentation reflects the 1910 edition.

The complete text of the book is available online for free at: 

It is also available in printed form at.

Editor's note:

The links below lead to introductory pages of Mary Baker Eddy's outlined pedagogical structure based on the Biblical city foursquare. The textbook chapters presented here have been prefixed with the sequentially applicable elements of three associated structures. The first two are a the illustrative painting and associated verse of Mary Baker Eddy poem, Christ and Christmas. The third is the sequentially applicable stanza of the Lord's Prayer interspersed with Mary Baker Eddy's spiritual sense of it, provided at the end of Chapter 1: Prayer The chapter number throughout the presentation is prefixed with an identifier which indicates which column and at which level the respective textbook chapter is associated with (4 indicates the 4th position, top to bottom). In most chapters the subheadings are followed with the original page number that can be used as a notation for restarting when the reading has been interrupted. Each chapter is presented complete on a single page to enable easier downloading. The entire text of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is in the public domain. The copyright notation on the pages apply only to the licensed elements used in the page design.


Rudimental aspects of the pedagogical structure

Overview - The City Foursquare:

The textbook group

Applied to daily Bible Lessons

      Ye shall know the truth,
      and the truth shall make you free.

      -John viii. 32

      There is nothing either good or bad,
      but thinking makes it so.


      Oh! Thou hast heard my prayer;
      And I am blest!
      This is Thy high behest: -
      Thou here, and everywhere.

      -Mary Baker G. Eddy



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