(PART II) - MISCELLANY
Books by Mary Baker Eddy
MRS. EDDY'S STATEMENT
MRS. EDDY'S STATEMENT
It is a great mistake to say that I employed the Rev.
James Henry Wiggin to correct my diction. It was for
no such purpose. I engaged Mr. Wiggin so as to avail
myself of his criticisms of my statement of Christian
Science, which criticisms would enable me to explain
more clearly the points that might seem ambiguous to
Mr. Calvin A. Frye copied my writings, and he will tell
you that Mr. Wiggin left my diction quite out of the
question, sometimes saying, "I wouldn't express it that
way." He often dissented from what I had written,
but I quieted him by quoting corroborative texts of
My diction, as used in explaining Christian Science, has
been called original. The liberty that I have taken with
capitalization, in order to express the "new tongue," has
well-nigh constituted a new style of language. In almost
every case where Mr. Wiggin added words, I have erased
them in my revisions.
Mr. Wiggin was not my proofreader for my book
"Miscellaneous Writings," and for only two of my books.
I especially employed him on "Science and Health with
Key to the Scriptures," because at that date some critics
declared that my book was as ungrammatical as it was
misleading. I availed myself of the name of the former
proofreader for the University Press, Cambridge, to
defend my grammatical construction, and confidently
awaited the years to declare the moral and spiritual
effect upon the age of "Science and Health with Key
to the Scriptures."
I invited Mr. Wiggin to visit one of my classes in the
Massachusetts Metaphysical College, and he consented
on condition that I should not ask him any questions.
I agreed not to question him just so long as he refrained
from questioning me. He held himself well in check
until I began my attack on agnosticism. As I proceeded,
Mr. Wiggin manifested more and more agitation,
until he could control himself no longer and,
addressing me, burst out with:
"How do you know that there ever was such a man as
He would have continued with a long argument,
framed from his ample fund of historical knowledge,
but I stopped him.
"Now, Mr. Wiggin," I said, "you have broken our
agreement. I do not find my authority for Christian
Science in history, but in revelation. If there had never
existed such a person as the Galilean Prophet, it would
make no difference to me. I should still know that
God's spiritual ideal is the only real man in His image
My saying touched him, and I heard nothing further
from him in the class, though afterwards he wrote a
kind little pamphlet, signed "Phare Pleigh."
I hold the late Mr. Wiggin in loving, grateful memory
for his high-principled character and well-equipped
(c) Copyright 1998 -
Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, Canada