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

page 341

as gods;' that is, I will make error as real and eternal as
Truth. . . .  'I will put spirit into what I call matter, and
matter shall seem to have life as much as God, Spirit,
who is the only Life.'  This error has proved itself to be
error.  Its life is found to be not Life, but only a transient,
false sense of an existence which ends in death" (pp. 306,
   "When will the error of believing that there is life in
matter, and that sin, sickness, and death are creations of
God, be unmasked?  When will it be understood that
matter has no intelligence, life, nor sensation, and that
the opposite belief is the prolific source of all suffering?
God created all through Mind, and made all perfect and
eternal.  Where then is the necessity for recreation or
procreation?" (p. 205).
   "Above error's awful din, blackness, and chaos, the
voice of Truth still calls: 'Adam, where art thou?  Consciousness,
where art thou?  Art thou dwelling in the belief
that mind is in matter, and that evil is mind, or art
thou in the living faith that there is and can be but one
God, and keeping His commandment?'" (pp. 307, 308).

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   "Mortal mind inverts the true likeness, and confers
animal names and natures upon its own misconceptions.
Ignorant of the origin and operations of mortal mind, -
that is, ignorant of itself, - this so-called mind puts forth
its own qualities, and claims God as their author; . . .
usurps the deific prerogatives and is an attempted infringement
on infinity" (pp. 512, 513).

   We do not question the authenticity of the Scriptural
narrative of the Virgin-mother and Bethlehem babe, and
the Messianic mission of Christ Jesus; but in our time
no Christian Scientist will give chimerical wings to his
imagination, or advance speculative theories as to the
recurrence of such events.
   No person can take the individual place of the Virgin
Mary.  No person can compass or fulfil the individual
mission of Jesus of Nazareth.  No person can take the
place of the author of Science and Health, the Discoverer
and Founder of Christian Science.  Each individual must
fill his own niche in time and eternity.
   The second appearing of Jesus is, unquestionably, the
spiritual advent of the advancing idea of God, as in Christian
   And the scientific ultimate of this God-idea must be,
will be, forever individual, incorporeal, and infinite, even
the reflection, "image and likeness," of the infinite God.
   The right teacher of Christian Science lives the truth he
teaches.  Preeminent among men, he virtually stands at
the head of all sanitary, civil, moral, and religious reform.
Such a post of duty, unpierced by vanity, exalts a mortal

RET 71

beyond human praise, or monuments which weigh dust,
and humbles him with the tax it raises on calamity to open
the gates of heaven.  It is not the forager on others' wisdom
that God thus crowns, but he who is obedient to the
divine command, "Render to Caesar the things that are
Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
   Great temptations beset an ignorant or an unprincipled
mind-practice in opposition to the straight and narrow
path of Christian Science.  Promiscuous mental treatment,
without the consent or knowledge of the individual
treated, is an error of much magnitude.  People unaware
of the indications of mental treatment, know not what is
affecting them, and thus may be robbed of their individual
rights, - freedom of choice and self-government.  Who is
willing to be subjected to such an influence?  Ask the unbridled
mind-manipulator if he would consent to this; and

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