"The true understanding of Christian Science Mind - healing never originated in pride, rivalry, or the deification of self.  The Discoverer of this Science could tell you of timidity, of self-distrust, of friendlessness, toil, agonies, and victories, under which she needed miraculous vision to sustain her, when taking the first footsteps in this Science.

"The ways of Christianity have not changed.  Meekness, selflessness, and love are the paths of His testimony and the footsteps of His flock."
- Rudimental Divine Science, 17:8-17
Mary Baker Eddy

Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910) was born in New England of staunchly religious parents, the youngest of six children.  From an early age she showed remarkable spiritual promise, but was also frail and often unable to attend school.  Her brother Albert, a graduate of Dartmouth and a young man of great promise, became her tutor. She was a voracious reader and Bible scholar. 

The early losses of this beloved older brother, of her mother, of her first husband, and then the arranged departure to the West of the foster family caring for her only child, plunged her into darkness and invalidism.  Her second husband was imprisoned during the Civil War and, once released, left her for another man’s wife.  It was during the time of his imprisonment that she sought help from a mesmeric “healer” named Phineas Quimby.  She improved dramatically under his treatment, but relapsed after his death.  It was then that she suffered what was deemed a fatal fall in the winter of l866.  Turning to her Bible, she was restored and glimpsed what she later called her discovery:  “Life in and of Spirit (God), this Life being the sole reality of existence.” (Miscellaneous Writings, 24:17-18)

During the ensuing nine years, she labored to put into words the full extent of what that discovery meant, and then tested it through healing others.  She also began to teach a method of spiritual treatment to a few select students.  Finally, in l875, the first edition of Science and Health was published.  A few years later, with the support of one of her students who became her third husband, she moved to Boston and began preaching and teaching on a much wider scale, founding a church, editing a monthly publication, and establishing the Massachusetts Metaphysical College.  Toward the end of that decade, she visited Chicago and received a tumultuous response.  Feeling an imperative need to revise the textbook, she dissolved the organizational structure and established a home in Concord, New Hampshire.

 


After publication of the Landmark or 50th edition of the textbook, other writings flowed, and the church was re-structured by means of a Manual of By-laws, which still remain in effect.

Today, with many women entering the public ministry, it is difficult to comprehend the struggles and difficulties Mrs. Eddy encountered and surmounted.  Much of the opposition was both vicious and anti-feminist.  She was scorned, mocked, and betrayed.  Yet, the Cause of spiritual healing prospered.  Now, despite the aggressive attempt to establish government funding of medical treatment, over 50% of Americans have turned to alternative methods of care, including prayer.  The health-giving effect of moral and spiritual commitments is undeniable.  At the time of her passing, Mrs. Eddy was one of our nation’s most admired women.

Cross and Crown