MARY BAKER EDDY
she originated? I mentally questioned this modern St.
Catherine, who was dominating her followers like any abbess
of old. She told me the story of her life, so far as outward
events may translate those inner experiences which
alone are significant.
Mary Baker was the daughter of Mark and Abigail
(Ambrose) Baker, and was born in Concord, N. H., somewhere
in the early decade of 1820-'30. At the time I met
her she must have been some sixty years of age, yet she had
the coloring and the elastic bearing of a woman of thirty,
and this, she told me, was due to the principles of Christian
Science. On her father's side Mrs. Eddy came from
Scotch and English ancestry, and Hannah More was a
relative of her grandmother. Deacon Ambrose, her maternal
grandfather, was known as a "godly man," and her
mother was a religious enthusiast, a saintly and consecrated
character. One of her brothers, Albert Baker, graduated
at Dartmouth and achieved eminence as a lawyer.
Mrs. Eddy as a Child
As a child Mary Baker saw visions and dreamed dreams.
When eight years of age she began, like Jeanne d'Arc, to
hear "voices," and for a year she heard her name called
distinctly, and would often run to her mother questioning
if she were wanted. One night the mother related to her
the story of Samuel, and bade her, if she heard the voice
again to reply as he did: "Speak, Lord, for Thy servant
heareth." The call came, but the little maid was afraid
and did not reply. This caused her tears of remorse and
she prayed for forgiveness, and promised to reply if the call
came again. It came, and she answered as her mother had
bidden her, and after that it ceased.
These experiences, of which Catholic biographies are
full, and which history not infrequently emphasizes, certainly
offer food for meditation. Theodore Parker related
that when he was a lad, at work in a field one day on his
father's farm at Lexington, an old man with a snowy beard
suddenly appeared at his side, and walked with him as he
worked, giving him high counsel and serious thought. All
inquiry in the neighborhood as to whence the stranger
came or whither he went was fruitless; no one else had
seen him, and Mr. Parker always believed, so a friend has
told me, that his visitor was a spiritual form from another
world. It is certainly true that many and many persons,
whose life has been destined to more than ordinary achievement,
have had experiences of voices or visions in their
At an early age Miss Baker was married to Colonel
Glover, of Charleston, S. C., who lived only a year. She
returned to her father's home - in 1844 - and from that
time until 1866 no special record is to be made.
In 1866, while living in Lynn, Mass., Mrs. Eddy
met with a severe accident, and her case was pronounced
hopeless by the physicians. There came a
Sunday morning when her pastor came to bid her goodby
before proceeding to his morning service, as there was
no probability that she would be alive at its close. During
this time she suddenly became aware of a divine illumination
and ministration. She requested those with her to
withdraw, and reluctantly they did so, believing her delirious.
Soon, to their bewilderment and fright, she walked
into the adjoining room, "and they thought I had died,
and that it was my apparition," she said.
The Principle of Divine Healing
From that hour dated her conviction of the Principle of
divine healing, and that it is as true to-day as it was in the
days when Jesus of Nazareth walked the earth. "I felt