(PART 1) - The First Church of Christ, Scientist
Books by Mary Baker Eddy

page 579


  Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy,
  Pleasant View, Concord, N. H.

   My Dear Teacher: - Of the many thousands who
attended the dedicatory services at the Christian Science
church last Sunday it is doubtful if there was one so deeply

MY 59

impressed with the grandeur and magnitude of your work
as was the writer, whom you will recall as a member of
your first class in Lynn, Mass., nearly forty years ago.
When you told us that the truth you expounded was
the little leaven that should leaven the whole lump, we
thought this might be true in some far distant day
beyond our mortal vision.  It was above conception
that in less than forty years a new system of faith and
worship, as well as of healing, should number its adherents
by the hundreds of thousands and its tenets be
accepted wholly or in part by nearly every religious and
scientific body in the civilized world.
   Seated in the gallery of that magnificent temple, which
has been reared by you, gazing across that sea of heads,
listening again to your words explaining the Scriptures,
my mind was carried back to that first public meeting in
the little hall on Market Street, Lynn, where you preached
to a handful of people that would scarce fill a couple of
pews in this grand amphitheatre; and as I heard the sonorous
tones of the powerful organ and the mighty chorus of
five thousand voices, I thought of the little melodeon on
which my wife played, and of my own feeble attempts
to lead the singing.
   In years gone by I have been asked, "Did Mrs. Eddy
really write Science and Health?  Some say she did not."
My answer has invariably been, "Send those who say
she did not to me.  I heard her talk it before it was
ever written.  I read it in manuscript before it was ever
printed."  Now my testimony is not needed.  No human
being in this generation has accomplished such a work or
been so thoroughly endorsed or so completely vindicated.
It is marvellous beyond all imagining to one who knew of

MY 60

your early struggles.  I have been solicited by many of
your followers to say something about the early history
of Christian Science.  I have replied that if Mrs. Eddy
thought it wise to instruct them on the subject she would
doubtless do so.
   Possibly you may remember the words of my uncle, the
good old deacon of the First Congregational Church of
Lynn, when told that I had studied with you.  "My boy,
you will be ruined for life; it is the work of the devil."
He only expressed the thought of all the Christian (?)
people at that time.  What a change in the Christian
world!  "The stone which the builders rejected" has
become the corner-stone of this wonderful temple of
"wisdom, Truth, and Love."  (Science and Health, p.
495.)  I have yet the little Bible which you gave me
as a reward for the best paper on the spiritual significance
of the first chapter of Genesis.  It has this
inscription on the fly-leaf in your handwriting, "With
all thy getting get understanding."
                                        Respectfully and faithfully yours,
                                        S. P. Bancroft
  Cambridge, Mass., June 12, 1906

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