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

CHAPTER X - Inklings Historic
page 244


CHAPTER X - Inklings Historic




   About the year 1862, while the author of this work
was at Dr. Vail's Hydropathic Institute in New
Hampshire, this occurred:  A patient considered incurable
left that institution, and in a few weeks returned
apparently well, having been healed, as he informed
the patients, by one Mr. P. P. Quimby of Portland,
Maine.
   After much consultation among ourselves, and a struggle
with pride, the author, in company with several other
patients, left the water-cure, en route for the aforesaid
doctor in Portland.  He proved to be a magnetic
practitioner.  His treatment seemed at first to relieve her, but
signally failed in healing her case.
   Having practised homoeopathy, it never occurred to the
author to learn his practice, but she did ask him how
manipulation could benefit the sick.  He answered kindly
and squarely, in substance, "Because it conveys electricity
to them."  That was the sum of what he taught her of
his medical profession.
   The readers of my books cannot fail to see that metaphysical
therapeutics, as in Christian Science, are farther
removed from such thoughts than the nebulous system
is from the earth.

MISC 379


   After treating his patients, Mr. Quimby would retire
to an anteroom and write at his desk.  I had a curiosity
to know if he indited anything pathological relative to
his patients, and asked if I could see his pennings on
my case.  He immediately presented them.  I read the
copy in his presence, and returned it to him.  The composition
was commonplace, mostly descriptive of the general
appearance, height, and complexion of the individual,
and the nature of the case:  it was not at all metaphysical
or scientific; and from his remarks I inferred that
his writings usually ran in the vein of thought presented
by these.  He was neither a scholar nor a metaphysician.
I never heard him say that matter was not as real as Mind,
or that electricity was not as potential or remedial, or
allude to God as the divine Principle of all healing.  He
certainly had advanced views of his own, but they commingled
error with truth, and were not Science.  On
his rare humanity and sympathy one could write a
sonnet.
   I had already experimented in medicine beyond the
basis of materia medica, - up to the highest attenuation
in homoeopathy, thence to a mental standpoint not understood,
and with phenomenally good results;*1 meanwhile,
assiduously pondering the solution of this great
question:  Is it matter, or is it Mind, that heals the
sick?

*1 See Science and Health, p. 47, revised edition of 1890, and
pp. 152, 153 in late editions.

   It was after Mr. Quimby's death that I discovered,
in 1866, the momentous facts relating to Mind and its
superiority over matter, and named my discovery Christian
Science.  Yet, there remained the difficulty of adjusting
in the scale of Science a metaphysical practice,

MISC 380


and settling the question, What shall be the outward
sign of such a practice:  if a divine Principle alone heals,
what is the human modus for demonstrating this, - in
short, how can sinful mortals prove that a divine Principle
heals the sick, as well as governs the universe, time,
space, immortality, man?
   When contemplating the majesty and magnitude of
this query, it looked as if centuries of spiritual growth
were requisite to enable me to elucidate or to demonstrate
what I had discovered:  but an unlooked-for,

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