Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 17.djvu/216

This page needs to be proofread.


OHBISTIAK 200 CHBtSTtAK

confines himself chiefly to mental reconstruction 1866 (after Quimby s death) in later editions. This

and to the prevention of inflammation. Christian "discovery" in 1866 she laid to a wonderful recovery

Science is always the most skillful surgeon, but from the effects of an injuiy caused by an accident, '

surgery is the branch of its healing which will be "an injury neither medicine nor surgery could reach,

the last acknowledged." Carrying its principles to which was the falling apple that led me to the

their lo|pcal conclusion Christian Science conducts discovery how to be well msrself and how to make

no charitable or philanthropic work, and naturally others so I could only assure him [the

maintains no hospitals. Uowever, the Mother physician] that the Divine Spirit had wrought a Church founded, in 1919, for the benefit of its miracle which later I found to be in perfect scien-

members, "The Christian Science Benevolent Asso- tific record with divine law" (that is, natural and

ciation." not really miraculous). Doctor Cushing, who at-

HiSTOBY. — Mary A. Morse Baker, who was to tended her for this injury, in an affidavit made in become the foimder of Christian Science, was bom 1907, absolutely denied that there took place any in Bow, New Hampshire, 16 July, 1821, of Con- wonderful or immediate cure at this time. From p-egational parents who were of a humble station 1864 to 1870, while busy teaching Quimbsr's m fife. Of a peculiar "mystical" temperament, the Science," Mrs. Eddy (Patterson) was also preparing voung girl imagined at the age of eight that she her manuscript for which she tried to find a pub- heard "voices" calling her, an experience which she lisher in 1870. In 1875 the first edition of "Science later compared to the call of Samuel. Subject to and Health" appeared, meeting with a very poor hysterical and even cataleptic attacks, and of a reception on the part of the public. Nevertheless, quarrelsome and petulant nature, it was said of through her students which she had gathered around her by her father, "If Mary Magdalene had seven her, she farmed the smouldering embers of the devils, our Mary has ten." She received a very movement and succeeded in issuing a second edi> meager common school education, re^ar attend- tion in 1877; and thereafter edition followed edition ance often being prohibited by her sickness. She in quick succession, so that to-day nearly five hun- joined the Congregational (Trinitarian) Church at dred have been issued, the number of the edition the age of seventeen (Mrs. Eddy herself claims at no longer being indicated, the only identification the age of twelve), though denying the doctrine of now being the year of publication. In 1884 the Calvinistic predestination. In 1843 she married "Key to the Scriptures" was added. George Wasnington' Glover, by whom she had one Although apparently not intending at first to son (bom after his father's death). This son she foimd a church, Mrs. Eddy gathered about her, in sent awav when he was four years of age, not 1875, eight students under the title of "Christian td meet him again for thirty years. In 1853 she Scientists," and in 1876 these formed the "Christian married Daniel Patterson, became separated from Scientists' Association." Trouble was brewing, how- him in 1866, and divorced him in 1873. In 1877 ever, and having previously "excommunicated" she married Asa G. Eddy, who died in 1882 of Richard Keimedy. one of her younger students heart disease, but according to Mrs. Eddy of who had helped ner financially, she also ejected "arsenic" or "mesmeric poison mentally adminis- Daniel Spofford, whom she brought to trial at tered." In the meanwhile, before her last mar- Salem (fitting place!) on the charge of witchcraft riage, her life for many years had beenr one of in 1878. Acquitted, he in turn accused Mr. and poverty, sickness, and trouble. Friends and rela- Mrs. Eddy and one of her sti^dents of conspiracy tions with whom she sought refuge were repeatedly to murder him (Spofford), but the case was noUe forced to send her away because of the discord prossed, Mr. Eddy paying the costs. In 1879 Mrs. and trouble which she caused in their families. Eddy founded, under a state charter, her first BO that in the course of a few years she had had church organization, "The Church of Christ, Scien- nine dwelling places, being chaived at the last tist," in Boston, with 26 charter members. Mrs. place with attempting to set the house on fire. Eddy became "pastor" in 1881, built the original

The age and the locality in which Mrs. Eddy "Mother Church in Boston in 1894-^, and in 1906 passed her yoimg womanhood were characterized the "Annex" with a seating capacity of 5000 was by a religious unrest which gave rise to many cults, dedicated in the presence of 40,000 (so it is claimed) New England Transcendentalism, the Shakers, Christian Scientists. The "Mother Church" and various seers and healers who gathered about them- "Annex" are said to represent an investment of selves communities of followers, Joseph Smith and about $2,000,000. In 1895 when the Bible and his product Mormonism, Mesmerism, the spirit "Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures" rappmgs of the Fox sisters — ^these are a few were "ordained" as the pastor of the church, Mrs. examples of the riot of individualism in religion, Eddy became Pastor Emeritus, which position she all of which could hardly have passed unnoticed by held until her death, 3 December, 1910. one of Mrs. Eddy's temperament and character. Previous to her death dissension had been ram- situated as she was in the very midst of the excite- pant in the church, owing to Mrs. Eddy's efforts ment which they occasioned. In 1862 Mrs. Eddy to retain in her own hands supreme control not (Mrs. Patterson) applied for treatment for her ills only of the Mother Church, but also of all the to Dr. P. P. Quimby, who at one time had been a branches. Since her death there has been almost follower of Charles Poyen, a French Mesmerist, continuous contention among the various authori- but who had at this time adopted a "mental treat- ties in control; the Board of Directors and the ment" of healing, discarding all medicines, and Board of Trustees of the Publication Society, declaring "Truth" to be the healer. Declaring her- Since 1919, particularly, lawsuits have been re- self cured after three weeks' treatment, she began sorted to and the entire organization may be said to study Quimby's methods and ideas, and from to be in a precarious condition in regard to the 1864 to 1870 she taught the "Quimby science of question as to where the authority in the church healing" from a manuscript said to have been really rests.

written by him, although later she absolutely denied Statistics. — ^Because of the vast number of edi- that her "science" was in any way derived from tions which "Science and Health" has reached, or dependent on that of Quimby's. She herself because of the, at times, widespread interest, dis- places the "discovery" of her "science" in 1864 in cussion, and controversy due to the very peculiar the first edition of "Science and Health," and in doctrines of Christian Science, and because of the