Message for 1901, by Mary Baker Eddy
Books by Mary Baker Eddy

MY CHILDHOOD'S CHURCH HOME
page 516


MY CHILDHOOD'S CHURCH HOME



   Among the list of blessings infinite I count these dear:
Devout orthodox parents; my early culture in the Congregational
Church; the daily Bible reading and family
prayer; my cradle hymn and the Lord's Prayer, repeated
at night; my early association with distinguished Christian
clergymen, who held fast to whatever is good, used
faithfully God's Word, and yielded up graciously what
He took away.  It was my fair fortune to be often taught
by some grand old divines, among whom were the Rev.

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Abraham Burnham of Pembroke, N. H., Rev. Nathaniel
Bouton, D. D., of Concord, N. H., Congregationalists;
Rev. Mr. Boswell, of Bow, N. H., Baptist; Rev. Enoch
Corser, and Rev. Corban Curtice, Congregationalists; and
Father Hinds, Methodist Elder.  I became early a child
of the Church, an eager lover and student of vital
Christianity. Why I loved Christians of the old sort was I
could not help loving them.  Full of charity and good
works, busy about their Master's business, they had no
time or desire to defame their fellow-men.  God seemed
to shield the whole world in their hearts, and they were
willing to renounce all for Him.  When infidels assailed
them, however, the courage of their convictions was seen.
They were heroes in the strife; they armed quickly, aimed
deadly, and spared no denunciation.  Their convictions
were honest, and they lived them; and the sermons their
lives preached caused me to love their doctrines.
   The lives of those old-fashioned leaders of religion explain
in a few words a good man.  They fill the ecclesiastic
measure, that to love God and keep His commandments
is the whole duty of man.  Such churchmen and
the Bible, especially the First Commandment of the Decalogue,
and Ninety-first Psalm, the Sermon on the Mount,
and St. John's Revelation, educated my thought many
years, yea, all the way up to its preparation for and reception
of the Science of Christianity.  I believe, if those
venerable Christians were here to-day, their sanctified
souls would take in the spirit and understanding of Christian
Science through the flood-gates of Love; with them
Love was the governing impulse of every action; their

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piety was the all-important consideration of their being,
the original beauty of holiness that to-day seems to be
fading so sensibly from our sight.
   To plant for eternity, the "accuser" or "calumniator"
must not be admitted to the vineyard of our Lord, and
the hand of love must sow the seed.  Carlyle writes:
"Quackery and dupery do abound in religion; above all,
in the more advanced decaying stages of religion, they
have fearfully abounded; but quackery was never the
originating influence in such things; it was not the health
and life of religion, but their disease, the sure precursor
that they were about to die."
   Christian Scientists first and last ask not to be judged
on a doctrinal platform, a creed, or a diploma for scientific
guessing.  But they do ask to be allowed the rights of conscience
and the protection of the constitutional laws of
their land; they ask to be known by their works, to be
judged (if at all) by their works.  We admit that they do
not kill people with poisonous drugs, with the lance, or
with liquor, in order to heal them.  Is it for not killing
them thus, or is it for healing them through the might and
majesty of divine power after the manner taught by Jesus,
and which he enjoined his students to teach and practise,
that they are maligned?  The richest and most positive
proof that a religion in this century is just what it was in

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 (c) Copyright 1998 - Rolf Witzsche
Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, Canada