Retrospection and Introspection, by Mary Baker Eddy
Books by Mary Baker Eddy
This venerable grandmother had thirteen children,
the youngest of whom was my father, Mark Baker,
who inherited the homestead, and with his brother, James
Baker, he inherited my grandfather's farm of about five
hundred acres, lying in the adjoining towns of Concord
and Bow, in the State of New Hampshire.
One hundred acres of the old farm are still cultivated
and owned by Uncle James Baker's grandson, brother of
the Hon. Henry Moore Baker of Washington, D. C.
The farm-house, situated on the summit of a hill, commanded
a broad picturesque view of the Merrimac River
and the undulating lands of three townships. But change
has been busy. Where once stretched broad fields of
bending grain waving gracefully in the sunlight, and
orchards of apples, peaches, pears, and cherries shone
richly in the mellow hues of autumn, - now the lone nightbird
cries, the crow caws cautiously, and wandering winds
sigh low requiems through dark pine groves. Where
green pastures bright with berries, singing brooklets,
beautiful wild flowers, and flecked with large flocks and
herds, covered areas of rich acres, - now the scrub-oak,
poplar, and fern flourish.
The wife of Mark Baker was Abigail Barnard Ambrose,
daughter of Deacon Nathaniel Ambrose of Pembroke, a
small town situated near Concord, just across the bridge,
on the left bank of the Merrimac River.
Grandfather Ambrose was a very religious man, and
gave the money for erecting the first Congregational
Church in Pembroke.
In the Baker homestead at Bow I was born, the youngest
of my parents' six children and the object of their
During my childhood my parents removed to Tilton,
eighteen miles from Concord, and there the family remained
until the names of both father and mother were
inscribed on the stone memorials in the Park Cemetery
of that beautiful village.
My father possessed a strong intellect and an iron will.
Of my mother I cannot speak as I would, for memory
recalls qualities to which the pen can never do justice.
The following is a brief extract from the eulogy of the Rev.
Richard S. Rust, D.D., who for many years had resided
in Tilton and knew my sainted mother in all the
walks of life.
"The character of Mrs. Abigail Ambrose Baker was distinguished
for numerous excellences. She possessed a strong
intellect, a sympathizing heart, and a placid spirit. Her
presence, like the gentle dew and cheerful light, was felt by
all around her. She gave an elevated character to the tone of
conversation in the circles in which she moved, and directed
attention to themes at once pleasing and profitable.
"As a mother, she was untiring in her efforts to secure the
happiness of her family. She ever entertained a lively sense
of the parental obligation, especially in regard to the education
of her children. The oft-repeated impressions of that
sainted spirit, on the hearts of those especially entrusted to her
watch-care, can never be effaced, and can hardly fail to induce
them to follow her to the brighter world. Her life was a
living illustration of Christian faith."
My childhood's home I remember as one with the open
hand. The needy were ever welcome, and to the clergy
were accorded special household privileges.
Among the treasured reminiscences of my much respected
parents, brothers, and sisters, is the memory of
my second brother, Albert Baker, who was, next to my
(c) Copyright 1998 -
Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, Canada