Retrospection and Introspection, by Mary Baker Eddy
Books by Mary Baker Eddy

VOICES NOT OUR OWN
page 307


VOICES NOT OUR OWN



   Many peculiar circumstances and events connected
with my childhood throng the chambers of memory.
For some twelve months, when I was about eight years
old, I repeatedly heard a voice, calling me distinctly by
name, three times, in an ascending scale.  I thought this
was my mother's voice, and sometimes went to her, beseeching
her to tell me what she wanted.  Her answer was
always, "Nothing, child!  What do you mean?"  Then
I would say, "Mother, who did call me?  I heard somebody
call Mary, three times!"  This continued until I
grew discouraged, and my mother was perplexed and
anxious.
   One day, when my cousin, Mehitable Huntoon, was
visiting us, and I sat in a little chair by her side, in the
same room with grandmother, - the call again came, so
loud that Mehitable heard it, though I had ceased to
notice it.  Greatly surprised, my cousin turned to me and
said, "Your mother is calling you!" but I answered not,
till again the same call was thrice repeated.  Mehitable
then said sharply, "Why don't you go? your mother is
calling you!"  I then left the room, went to my mother,
and once more asked her if she had summoned me?  She
answered as always before.  Then I earnestly declared
my cousin had heard the voice, and said that mother

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wanted me.  Accordingly she returned with me to grandmother's
room, and led my cousin into an adjoining
apartment.  The door was ajar, and I listened with bated
breath.  Mother told Mehitable all about this mysterious
voice, and asked if she really did hear Mary's name pronounced
in audible tones.  My cousin answered quickly,
and emphasized her affirmation.
   That night, before going to rest, my mother read to me
the Scriptural narrative of little Samuel, and bade me,
when the voice called again, to reply as he did, "Speak,
Lord; for Thy servant heareth."  The voice came; but
I was afraid, and did not answer.  Afterward I wept, and
prayed that God would forgive me, resolving to do, next
time, as my mother had bidden me.  When the call came
again I did answer, in the words of Samuel, but never
again to the material senses was that mysterious call
repeated.


       Is it not much that I may worship Him,
         With naught my spirit's breathings to control,
       And feel His presence in the vast and dim
         And whispering woods, where dying thunders roll
       From the far cataracts?  Shall I not rejoice
       That I have learned at last to know His voice
         From man's? - I will rejoice!  My soaring soul
       Now hath redeemed her birthright of the day,
       And won, through clouds, to Him, her own unfettered way!
                                                   - Mrs. Hemans


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