Miscellaneous Writings (1883-1896) by Mary Baker Eddy
Books by Mary Baker Eddy

page 190


   The true consciousness is the true health.  One says,
"I find relief from pain in unconscious sleep."  I say,
You mistake; through unconsciousness one no more
gains freedom from pain than immunity from evil.  When
unconscious of a mistake, one thinks he is not mistaken;
but this false consciousness does not change the fact, or

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its results; suffering and mistakes recur until one is awake
to their cause and character.  To know the what, when,
and how of error, destroys error.  The error that is seen
aright as error, has received its death-blow; but never
until then.
   Let us look through the lens of Christian Science,
not of "self," at the following mistake, which demands
our present attention.  I have no time for detailed report
of this matter, but simply answer the following question
sent to me; glad, indeed, that this query has finally come
with the courage of conviction to the minds of many
   "Is it right to copy your works and read them for our
public services?"
   The good which the material senses see not is the only
absolute good; the evil which these senses see not is the
only absolute evil.
   If I enter Mr. Smith's store and take from it his garments
that are on sale, array myself in them, and put
myself and them on exhibition, can I make this right
by saying, These garments are Mr. Smith's; he manufactured
them and owns them, but you must pay me,
not him, for this exhibit?
   The spectators may ask, Did he give you permission
to do this, did he sell them or loan them to you?  No.
Then have you asked yourself this question on the subject,
namely, What right have I to do this?  True, it
saves your purchasing these garments, and gives to the
public new patterns which are useful to them; but does
this silence your conscience? or, because you have confessed
that they are the property of a noted firm, and
you wished to handle them, does it justify you in appropriating

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them, and so avoiding the cost of hiring or
   Copying my published works verbatim, compiling them
in connection with the Scriptures, taking this copy into
the pulpit, announcing the author's name, then reading
it publicly as your own compilation, is - what?
   We answer, It is a mistake; in common parlance, it
is an ignorant wrong.
   If you should print and publish your copy of my works,
you would be liable to arrest for infringement of copyright,
which the law defines and punishes as theft.  Reading
in the pulpit from copies of my publications gives
you the clergyman's salary and spares you the printer's
bill, but does it spare you our Master's condemnation?
You literally publish my works through the pulpit, instead
of the press, and thus evade the law, but not the gospel.
When I consent to this act, you will then be justified
in it.
   Your manuscript copy is liable, in some way, to be
printed as your original writings, thus incurring the penalty
of the law, and increasing the record of theft in the
United States Circuit Court.
   To The Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, which I
had organized and of which I had for many years been
pastor, I gave permission to cite, in the Christian Science
Quarterly, from my work Science and Health, passages
giving the spiritual meaning of Bible texts; but this was
a special privilege, and the author's gift.
   Christian Science demonstrates that the patient who

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