Books by Mary Baker Eddy

page 812


ew York Herald, May 1, 1901]

   Christian Science has been so much to the fore of late
that unusual public interest centres in the personality
of Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of the cult.
The granting of interviews is not usual, hence it was
a special favor that Mrs. Eddy received the Herald
   It had been raining all day and was damp without, so
the change from the misty air outside to the pleasant

MY 342

warmth within the ample, richly furnished house was
agreeable.  Seated in the large parlor, I became aware
of a white-haired lady slowly descending the stairs.
She entered with a gracious smile, walking uprightly and
with light step, and after a kindly greeting took a seat
on a sofa.  It was Mrs. Eddy.  There was no mistaking
that.  Older in years, white-haired and frailer,
but Mrs. Eddy herself.  The likeness to the portraits
of twenty years ago, so often seen in reproductions, was
unmistakable.  There is no mistaking certain lines that
depend upon the osseous structure; there is no mistaking
the eyes - those eyes the shade of which is so hard to
catch, whether blue-gray or grayish brown, and which
are always bright.  And when I say frail, let it not be
understood that I mean weak, for weak she was not.
When we were snugly seated in the other and smaller
parlor across the hall, which serves as a library, Mrs.
Eddy sat back to be questioned.
   "The continuity of The Church of Christ, Scientist,"
she said, in her clear voice, "is assured.  It is growing
wonderfully.  It will embrace all the churches, one by
one, because in it alone is the simplicity of the oneness
of God; the oneness of Christ and the perfecting of man
stated scientifically."
   "How will it be governed after all now concerned in
its government shall have passed on?"
   "It will evolve scientifically.  Its essence is evangelical.
Its government will develop as it progresses."
   "Will there be a hierarchy, or will it be directed by a
single earthly ruler?"
   "In time its present rules of service and present rulership
will advance nearer perfection."

MY 343

   It was plain that the answers to questions would be
in Mrs. Eddy's own spirit.  She has a rapt way of talking,
looking large-eyed into space, and works around a
question in her own way, reaching an answer often
unexpectedly after a prolonged exordium.  She explained:
"No present change is contemplated in the rulership.
You would ask, perhaps, whether my successor will be a
woman or a man.  I can answer that.  It will be a man."
   "Can you name the man?"
   "I cannot answer that now."
   Here, then, was the definite statement that Mrs. Eddy's
immediate successor would, like herself, be the ruler.

Not a Pope or a Christ

   "I have been called a pope, but surely I have sought
no such distinction.  I have simply taught as I learned
while healing the sick.  It was in 1866 that the light of
the Science came first to me.  In 1875 I wrote my book.
It brought down a shower of abuse upon my head, but
it won converts from the first.  I followed it up, teaching
and organizing, and trust in me grew.  I was the mother,
but of course the term pope is used figuratively.
   "A position of authority," she went on, "became
necessary.  Rules were necessary, and I made a code of
by-laws, but each one was the fruit of experience and the
result of prayer.  Entrusting their enforcement to others,

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