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

page 320


   As the pioneer of Christian Science I stood alone in
this conflict, endeavoring to smite error with the
falchion of Truth.  The rare bequests of Christian Science
are costly, and they have won fields of battle from which
the dainty borrower would have fled.  Ceaseless toil, self-renunciation,
and love, have cleared its pathway.
   The motive of my earliest labors has never changed.
It was to relieve the sufferings of humanity by a sanitary
system that should include all moral and religious reform.
   It is often asked why Christian Science was revealed to
me as one intelligence, analyzing, uncovering, and annihilating
the false testimony of the physical senses.  Why was
this conviction necessary to the right apprehension of the
invincible and infinite energies of Truth and Love, as contrasted
with the foibles and fables of finite mind and material
   The answer is plain.  St. Paul declared that the law
was the schoolmaster, to bring him to Christ.  Even so
was I led into the mazes of divine metaphysics through
the gospel of suffering, the providence of God, and the
cross of Christ.  No one else can drain the cup which I
have drunk to the dregs as the Discoverer and teacher of
Christian Science; neither can its inspiration be gained
without tasting this cup.

RET 31

   The loss of material objects of affection sunders the
dominant ties of earth and points to heaven.  Nothing
can compete with Christian Science, and its demonstration,
in showing this solemn certainty in growing freedom
and vindicating "the ways of God" to man.  The absolute
proof and self-evident propositions of Truth are immeasurably
paramount to rubric and dogma in proving
the Christ.
   From my very childhood I was impelled, by a hunger
and thirst after divine things, - a desire for something
higher and better than matter, and apart from it, - to
seek diligently for the knowledge of God as the one great
and ever-present relief from human woe.  The first spontaneous
motion of Truth and Love, acting through Christian
Science on my roused consciousness, banished at once
and forever the fundamental error of faith in things material;
for this trust is the unseen sin, the unknown foe, -
the heart's untamed desire which breaketh the divine
commandments.  As says St. James: "Whosoever shall keep
the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty
of all."
   Into mortal mind's material obliquity I gazed, and stood
abashed.  Blanched was the cheek of pride.  My heart
bent low before the omnipotence of Spirit, and a tint of
humility, soft as the heart of a moonbeam, mantled the
earth.  Bethlehem and Bethany, Gethsemane and Calvary,
spoke to my chastened sense as by the tearful lips of a
babe.  Frozen fountains were unsealed.  Erudite systems
of philosophy and religion melted, for Love unveiled the
healing promise and potency of a present spiritual afflatus.

RET 32

It was the gospel of healing, on its divinely appointed
human mission, bearing on its white wings, to my apprehension,
"the beauty of holiness," - even the possibilities
of spiritual insight, knowledge, and being.
   Early had I learned that whatever is loved materially,
as mere corporeal personality, is eventually lost.  "For
whosoever will save his life shall lose it," saith the Master.
Exultant hope, if tinged with earthliness, is crushed as the
   What is termed mortal and material existence is graphically
defined by Calderon, the famous Spanish poet, who

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