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

page 343


   The various forms of book-borrowing without credit
spring from this ill-concealed question in mortal
mind, Who shall be greatest?  This error violates the
law given by Moses, it tramples upon Jesus' Sermon
on the Mount, it does violence to the ethics of Christian
   Why withhold my name, while appropriating my language
and ideas, but give credit when citing from the works
of other authors?
   Life and its ideals are inseparable, and one's writings
on ethics, and demonstration of Truth, are not, cannot be,
understood or taught by those who persistently misunderstand
or misrepresent the author.  Jesus said, "For there
is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can
lightly speak evil of me."
   If one's spiritual ideal is comprehended and loved, the
borrower from it is embraced in the author's own mental
mood, and is therefore honest.  The Science of Mind excludes
opposites, and rests on unity.
   It is proverbial that dishonesty retards spiritual growth
and strikes at the heart of Truth.  If a student at Harvard
College has studied a textbook written by his teacher, is
he entitled, when he leaves the University, to write out as
his own the substance of this textbook?  There is no warrant
in common law and no permission in the gospel

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for plagiarizing an author's ideas and their words.
Christian Science is not copyrighted; nor would protection
by copyright be requisite, if mortals obeyed
God's law of manright.  A student can write voluminous
works on Science without trespassing, if he writes
honestly, and he cannot dishonestly compose Christian
Science.  The Bible is not stolen, though it is cited,
and quoted deferentially.
   Thoughts touched with the Spirit and Word of Christian
Science gravitate naturally toward Truth.  Therefore the
mind to which this Science was revealed must have risen
to the altitude which perceived a light beyond what others
   The spiritually minded meet on the stairs which lead up
to spiritual love.  This affection, so far from being personal
worship, fulfils the law of Love which Paul enjoined
upon the Galatians.  This is the Mind "which was also
in Christ Jesus," and knows no material limitations.  It is
the unity of good and bond of perfectness.  This just affection
serves to constitute the Mind-healer a wonder-worker,
- as of old, on the Pentecost Day, when the disciples were
of one accord.
   He who gains the God-crowned summit of Christian
Science never abuses the corporeal personality, but uplifts
it.  He thinks of every one in his real quality, and
sees each mortal in an impersonal depict.
   I have long remained silent on a growing evil in plagiarism;
but if I do not insist upon the strictest observance
of moral law and order in Christian Scientists, I become

RET 77

responsible, as a teacher, for laxity in discipline and
lawlessness in literature.  Pope was right in saying, "An
honest man's the noblest work of God;" and Ingersoll's
repartee has its moral: "An honest God's the noblest
work of man."

RET 78

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