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

THE PRECIOUS VOLUME
page 324


THE PRECIOUS VOLUME



   The first edition of my most important work, Science
and Health, containing the complete statement of
Christian Science, - the term employed by me to express
the divine, or spiritual, Science of Mind-healing, was published
in 1875.
   When it was first printed, the critics took pleasure in
saying, "This book is indeed wholly original, but it will
never be read."
   The first edition numbered one thousand copies.  In
September, 1891, it had reached sixty-two editions.
   Those who formerly sneered at it, as foolish and eccentric,
now declare Bishop Berkeley, David Hume, Ralph
Waldo Emerson, or certain German philosophers, to have
been the originators of the Science of Mind-healing as
therein stated.
   Even the Scriptures gave no direct interpretation of the
scientific basis for demonstrating the spiritual Principle
of healing, until our heavenly Father saw fit, through the
Key to the Scriptures, in Science and Health, to unlock
this "mystery of godliness."
   My reluctance to give the public, in my first edition of
Science and Health, the chapter on Animal Magnetism,
and the divine purpose that this should be done, may
have an interest for the reader, and will be seen in the following

RET 38


circumstances.  I had finished that edition as far
as that chapter, when the printer informed me that he
could not go on with my work.  I had already paid
him seven hundred dollars, and yet he stopped my work.
All efforts to persuade him to finish my book were in
vain.
   After months had passed, I yielded to a constant conviction
that I must insert in my last chapter a partial
history of what I had already observed of mental
malpractice.  Accordingly, I set to work, contrary to my inclination,
to fulfil this painful task, and finished my copy
for the book.  As it afterwards appeared, although I had
not thought of such a result, my printer resumed his work
at the same time, finished printing the copy he had on
hand, and then started for Lynn to see me.  The afternoon
that he left Boston for Lynn, I started for Boston
with my finished copy.  We met at the Eastern depot in
Lynn, and were both surprised, - I to learn that he had
printed all the copy on hand, and had come to tell me he
wanted more, - he to find me en route for Boston, to give
him the closing chapter of my first edition of Science and
Health.  Not a word had passed between us, audibly or
mentally, while this went on.  I had grown disgusted
with my printer, and become silent.  He had come to
a standstill through motives and circumstances unknown
to me.
   Science and Health is the textbook of Christian Science.
Whosoever learns the letter of this book, must also gain
its spiritual significance, in order to demonstrate Christian
Science.

RET 39


   When the demand for this book increased, and people
were healed simply by reading it, the copyright was
infringed.  I entered a suit at law, and my copyright was
protected.


RET 40


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