Pulpit and Press, by Mary Baker Eddy
Books by Mary Baker Eddy

page 402

for enticing a separate congregation rather than offering
their strength to unite with churches already established -
I was told he replied that the Christian Science Church did
not recruit itself from other churches, but from the grave-yards!
The church numbers now four thousand members;
but this estimate, as I understand, is not limited to the
Boston adherents, but includes those all over the country.
The ceremonial of uniting is to sign a brief "confession of
faith," written by Mrs. Eddy, and to unite in communion,
which is not celebrated by outward symbols of bread and
wine, but by uniting in silent prayer.
   The "confession of faith" includes the declaration that
the Scriptures are the guide to eternal Life; that there is a
Supreme Being, and His Son, and the Holy Ghost, and
that man is made in His image.  It affirms the atonement;
it recognizes Jesus as the teacher and guide to salvation;
the forgiveness of sin by God, and affirms the power of
Truth over error, and the need of living faith at the
moment to realize the possibilities of the divine Life.
The entire membership of Christian Scientists throughout
the world now exceeds two hundred thousand people.  The
church in Boston was organized by Mrs. Eddy, and the
first meeting held on April 12, 1879.  It opened with
twenty-six members, and within fifteen years it has grown
to its present impressive proportions, and has now its own
magnificent church building, costing over two hundred
thousand dollars, and entirely paid for when its consecration

PUL 31

service on January 6 shall be celebrated.  This is
certainly a very remarkable retrospect.
   Rev. Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of this denomination
and Discoverer of Christian Science, as they term her
work in affirming the present application of the principles
asserted by Jesus, is a most interesting personality.  At
the risk of colloquialism, I am tempted to "begin at the
beginning" of my own knowledge of Mrs. Eddy, and take,
as the point of departure, my first meeting with her and
the subsequent development of some degree of familiarity
with the work of her life which that meeting inaugurated
for me.

Mrs. Eddy

   It was during some year in the early '80's that I became
aware - from that close contact with public feeling resulting
from editorial work in daily journalism - that the
Boston atmosphere was largely thrilled and pervaded by a
new and increasing interest in the dominance of mind over
matter, and that the central figure in all this agitation was
Mrs. Eddy.  To a note which I wrote her, begging the
favor of an interview for press use, she most kindly replied,
naming an evening on which she would receive me.  At
the hour named I rang the bell at a spacious house on
Columbus Avenue, and I was hardly more than seated before
Mrs. Eddy entered the room.  She impressed me as
singularly graceful and winning in bearing and manner,
and with great claim to personal beauty.  Her figure was
tall, slender, and as flexible in movement as that of a Delsarte

PUL 32

disciple; her face, framed in dark hair and lighted
by luminous blue eyes, had the transparency and rose-flush
of tint so often seen in New England, and she was magnetic,
earnest, impassioned.  No photographs can do the least
justice to Mrs. Eddy, as her beautiful complexion and
changeful expression cannot thus be reproduced.  At once
one would perceive that she had the temperament to dominate,
to lead, to control, not by any crude self-assertion, but
a spiritual animus.  Of course such a personality, with the
wonderful tumult in the air that her large and enthusiastic
following excited, fascinated the imagination.  What had

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