To those leaning on the sustaining infinite,
to-day is big with blessings. The wakeful shepherd beholds the first faint
morning beams, ere cometh the full radiance of a risen day. So shone the pale
star to the prophet-shepherds; yet it traversed the night, and came where, in
cradled obscurity, lay the Bethlehem babe, the human herald of Christ, Truth,
who would make plain to benighted understanding the way of salvation through
Christ Jesus, till across a night of error should dawn the morning beams and
shine the guiding star of being. The Wisemen were led to behold and to follow
this daystar of divine Science, lighting the way to eternal harmony.
The time for thinkers has come. Truth,
independent of doctrines and time-honored systems, knocks at the portal of
humanity. Contentment with the past and the cold conventionality of materialism
are crumbling away. Ignorance of God is no longer the stepping-stone to faith.
The only guarantee of obedience is a right apprehension of Him whom to know
aright is Life eternal. Though empires fall, "the Lord shall reign
A book introduces new thoughts, but it cannot
make them speedily understood. It is the task of the sturdy pioneer to hew the
tall oak and to cut the rough granite. Future ages must declare what the pioneer
Since the author's discovery of the might of
Truth in the treatment of disease as well as of sin, her system has been fully
tested and has not been found wanting; but to reach the heights of Christian
Science, man must live in obedience to its divine Principle. To develop the full
might of this Science, the discords of corporeal sense must yield to the harmony
of spiritual sense, even as the science of music corrects false tones and gives
sweet concord to sound.
Theology and physics teach that both Spirit and
matter are real and good, whereas the fact is that Spirit is good and real, and
matter is Spirit's
opposite. The question, What is Truth, is answered by demonstration, - by
healing both disease and sin; and this demonstration shows that Christian
healing confers the most health and makes the best men. On this basis Christian
Science will have a fair fight. Sickness has been combated for centuries by
doctors using material remedies; but the question arises, Is there less sickness
because of these practitioners? A vigorous "No" is the response
deducible from two connate facts, - the reputed longevity of the Antediluvians,
and the rapid multiplication and increased violence of diseases since the flood.
In the author's work, RETROSPECTION AND
INTROSPECTION, may be found a biographical sketch, narrating experiences which
led her, in the year 1866, to the discovery of the system that she denominated
Christian Science. As early as 1862 she began to write down and give to friends
the results of her Scriptural study, for the Bible was her sole teacher; but
these compositions were crude, - the first steps of a child in the newly
discovered world of Spirit.
She also began to jot down her thoughts on the
main subject, but these jottings were only infantile lispings of Truth. A child
drinks in the outward world through the eyes and rejoices in the draught. He is
as sure of the world's existence as he is of his own; yet he cannot describe the
world. He finds a few words, and with these he stammeringly attempts to convey
his feeling. Later, the tongue voices the more definite thought, though still
So was it with the author. As a certain poet says
of himself, she "lisped in numbers, for the numbers came." Certain
essays written at that early date are still in circulation among her first
pupils; but they are feeble attempts to state the Principle and practice of
Christian healing, and are not complete nor satisfactory expositions of Truth.
To-day, though rejoicing in some progress, she still finds herself a willing
disciple at the heavenly gate, waiting for the Mind of Christ.
Her first pamphlet on Christian Science was
copyrighted in 1870; but it did not appear in print until 1876, as she had
learned that this Science must be demonstrated by healing, before a work on the
subject could be profitably studied. From 1867 until 1875, copies were, however,
in friendly circulation.
Before writing this work, SCIENCE AND HEALTH, she
made copious notes of Scriptural exposition, which have never been published.
This was during the years 1867 and 1868. These efforts show her comparative
ignorance of the stupendous Life-problem up to that time, and the degrees by
which she came at length to its solution; but she values them as a parent may
treasure the memorials of a child's growth, and she would not have them changed.
The first edition of SCIENCE AND HEALTH was
published in 1875. Various books on mental healing have since been issued, most
of them incorrect in theory and filled with plagiarisms from SCIENCE AND HEALTH.
They regard the human mind as a healing agent, whereas this mind is not a factor
in the Principle of Christian Science. A few books, however, which are based on
this book, are useful.
The author has not compromised conscience to suit
the general drift of thought, but has bluntly and honestly given the text of
Truth. She has made no effort to embellish, elaborate, or treat in full detail
so infinite a theme. By thousands of well-authenticated cases of healing, she
and her students have proved the worth of her teachings. These cases for the
most part have been abandoned as hopeless by regular medical attendants. Few
invalids will turn to God till all physical supports have failed, because there
is so little faith in His disposition and power to heal disease.
The divine Principle of healing is proved in the
personal experience of any sincere seeker of Truth. Its purpose is good, and its
practice is safer and more potent than that of any other sanitary method. The
unbiased Christian thought is soonest touched by Truth, and convinced of it.
Only those quarrel with her method who do not understand her meaning, or
discerning the truth, come not to the light lest their works be reproved. No
intellectual proficiency is requisite in the learner, but sound morals are most
Many imagine that the phenomena of physical
healing in Christian Science present only a phase of the action of the human
mind, which action in some unexplained way results in the cure of disease. On
the contrary, Christian Science rationally explains that all other pathological
methods are the fruits of human faith in matter, - faith in the workings, not of
Spirit, but of the fleshly mind which must yield to Science.
The physical healing of Christian Science results
now, as in Jesus' time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin
and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally
and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation. Now,
as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural. They
are the sign of Immanuel, or "God with us," - a divine influence ever
present in human consciousness and repeating itself, coming now as was promised
To preach deliverance to the captives [of sense],
And recovering of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty them that are bruised.
When God called the author to proclaim His Gospel
to this age, there came also the charge to plant and water His vineyard.
The first school of Christian Science
Mind-healing was started by the author with only one student in Lynn,
Massachusetts, about the year 1867. In 1881, she opened the Massachusetts
Metaphysical College in Boston, under the seal of the Commonwealth, a law
relative to colleges having been passed, which enabled her to get this
institution chartered for medical purposes. No charters were granted to
Christian Scientists for such institutions after 1883, and up to that date, hers
was the only College of this character which had been established in the United
States, where Christian Science was first introduced.
During seven years over four thousand students
were taught by the author in this College. Meanwhile she was pastor of the first
established Church of Christ, Scientist; President of the first Christian
Scientist Association, convening monthly; publisher of her own works; and (for a
portion of this time) sole editor and publisher of the Christian Science
Journal, the first periodical issued by Christian Scientists. She closed her
College, October 29, 1889, in the height of its prosperity with a deep-lying
conviction that the next two years of her life should be given to the
preparation of the revision of SCIENCE AND HEALTH, which was published in 1891.
She retained her charter, and as its President, reopened the College in 1899 as
auxiliary to her church. Until June 10, 1907, she had never read this book
throughout consecutively in order to elucidate her idealism.
In the spirit of Christ's charity, - as one who
"hopeth all things, endureth all things," and is joyful to bear
consolation to the sorrowing and healing to the sick, - she commits these pages
to honest seekers for Truth.
Mary Baker Eddy
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