100 years on: shining some light onto the real Mary Baker Eddy in the Church Times

Next in our “100 years on, and still going strong” series – following our 100 reflections appreciation of the life and ideas of Mary Baker Eddy 100 years after her passing - is a present day response to a 100 year old item in the quality Anglican newspaper the Church Times.

And, no, we are not just really slow at getting our act together…! ;)

In their regular “100 Years Ago” section, the present Church Times republished a piece that first appeared immediately following the passing of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

Mary Baker Eddy once wrote “It was an inherent characteristic of my nature, a kind of birthmark, to love the Church; and the Church once loved me. Then why not remain friends, or at least agree to disagree, in love, — part fair foes.”  That gracious invitation to reciprocate love was not the course of action chosen by much of the clergy of her time, as the Church Times piece evidenced and so in 2010, as in 1910, a response was necessary.

We are grateful to the Church Times for publishing our letter sent in by the Assistant District Manager.

    Mary Baker Eddy’s memory still cherished

Sir, I read the recent reprint of the 1910 Church Times article on the “Death of Mary Baker Eddy” (100 Years Ago, 10 December 2010) with great interest. The late 19th and early 20th centuries witnessed great strides for people thinking outside the box. This often attracted derision from many quarters, but to others it was a time of endless possibilities.

Through her careful study of the Bible, Mary Baker Eddy provided a spiritual perspective to life, which is relevant today just as much as it was in Jesus’s time. She overcame prejudice (women in her day were seldom heard in the public arena and were unable to vote), and she prayed her way through many hard experiences. Yet she dedicated her life to proving that there was a scientific, or systematic, principle to Christian healing based upon the consistently dependable and knowable love of God, that this principle of healing was used by Jesus and his disciples, and that it is still available today.

She also went on to set up a publishing society, which is still flourishing. The Christian Science Monitor, which is held in high regard as an ethical and professional source of world news, has more readers today than at any time in its history.

In the 21st century, as when Mary Baker Eddy was accomplishing all that she did, despite the kind of opposition exemplified in your 1910 article, Christian Scientists such as I are individuals who think for themselves. I have regularly experienced physical healings, and have found that a clear understanding of the nature of God can bring to light solutions to financial, relationship,and work issues. And yet, like other Christians, I feel that the highest calling of Christianity is to bring humanity salvation from sin.

CLARE HARWOOD

Assistant District Manager for the UK and the Republic of Ireland, Christian Science Committees on Publication

This book includes Mary Baker Eddy's 1902 Message to The Mother Church

The words of Mary Baker Eddy quoted above – from her “Message To The First Church Of Christ, Scientist Or The Mother Church – Boston, June 15, 1902″ (page 2) – continue, “I never left the Church, either in heart or in doctrine; I but began where the Church left off. When the churches and I round the gospel of grace, in the circle of love, we shall meet again, never to part.”

Today, as 100 years ago, we can all cherish the prospect of that inevitable, eventual, “[meeting] again, never to part.”
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Categories: Christianity, Mary Baker Eddy, Media Responsibility, Women's spiritual leadership

Author:Tony Lobl

I write on spirituality and health for a diversity of online media outlets, from my perspective as a Christian Science practitioner. I have been published by the Independent, the Washington Post, the Guardian, E-Hospice, MindBodyGreen and The Christian Science Monitor and I post regularly on the Huffington Post UK and BuzzFeed. In addition to writing and broadcast appearances I enjoy engaging with journalists, academics, health professionals and government officials about the possibilities for improving health outcomes through a greater emphasis on spirituality in healthcare and social care. I've also greatly valued the many opportunities I have had to travel globally for my church and to meet people around the world. My wife Jenny and I spent 10 years in Boston, USA, before returning to London in 2002, to take on a role as the media and legislative liaison for Christian Science in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. I studied at the University of Surrey earning a BSc Hons Degree in Modern Mathematics before the impact of spirituality on health caught my attention and re-shaped my career.

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2 Comments on “100 years on: shining some light onto the real Mary Baker Eddy in the Church Times”

  1. Amanda Peters
    January 10, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    Is it possible to read the original Church Times article?

    Thanks for the great blog.

    Amanda

  2. January 10, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    Thanks for asking Amanda, unfortunately – or, perhaps, fortunately, given the mostly misleading nature of its content! – it was only visible on the web on the week of its publication. To access it you would have to subscribe to the Church Times online. We have a copy in the London Office, but the copyright license doesn’t allow us to circulate it digitally.

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