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

GROWTH OF A FAITH
page 421


GROWTH OF A FAITH



   Attention is directed to the progress which has been
made by what is called Christian Science by the dedication
at Boston of "The First Church of Christ, Scientist."
It is a most beautiful structure of gray granite, and its
builders call it their "prayer in stone," which suggests
to recollection the story of the cathedral of Amiens, whose
architectural construction and arrangement of statuary
and paintings made it to be called the Bible of that city.
The Frankish church was reared upon the spot where, in
pagan times, one bitter winter day, a Roman soldier parted
his mantle with his sword and gave half of the garment to
a naked beggar; and so was memorialized in art and
stone what was called the divine spirit of giving, whose unbelieving
exemplar afterward became a saint.  The Boston
church similarly expresses the faith of those who believe

PUL 66


in what they term the divine art of healing, which, to their
minds, exists as much to-day as it did when Christ healed
the sick.
   The first church organization of this faith was founded
fifteen years ago with a membership of only twenty-six,
and since then the number of believers has grown with
remarkable rapidity, until now there are societies in every
part of the country.  This growth, it is said, proceeds
more from the graveyards than from conversions from
other churches, for most of those who embrace the faith
claim to have been rescued from death miraculously under
the injunction to "heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise
the dead, cast out demons."  They hold with strict fidelity
to what they conceive to be the literal teachings of the
Bible as expressed in its poetical and highly figurative
language.
   Altogether the belief and service are well suited to
satisfy a taste for the mystical which, along many lines, has
shown an uncommon development in this country during
the last decade, and which is largely Oriental in its choice.
Such a rapid departure from long respected views as is
marked by the dedication of this church, and others of
kindred meaning, may reasonably excite wonder as to
how radical is to be this encroachment upon prevailing
faiths, and whether some of the pre-Christian ideas of
the Asiatics are eventually to supplant those in company
with which our civilization has developed.



PUL 67



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