|Subject: 02 THE TEXTBOOK OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE |
|THE TEXTBOOK OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE |
FIRST EDITION PUBLISHED
The first edition of SCIENCE AND HEALTH was published in 1875. Various books on mental healing have since been issued, most of them incorrect in theory and filled with plagiarisms from SCIENCE AND HEALTH. They regard the human mind as a healing agent, whereas this mind is not a factor in the Principle of Christian Science. A few books, however, which are based on this book, are useful.
The author has not compromised conscience to suit the general drift of thought, but has bluntly and honestly given the text of Truth.
She closed her College, October 29, 1889, in the height of its prosperity with a deep-lying conviction that the next two years of her life should be given to the preparation of the revision of SCIENCE AND HEALTH, which was published in 1891.
Until June 10, 1907, she had never read this book throughout consecutively in order to elucidate her idealism.
I have revised SCIENCE AND HEALTH only to give a clearer and fuller expression of its original meaning. Spiritual ideas unfold as we advance. A human perception of divine Science, however limited, must be correct in order to be Science and subject to demonstration. A germ of infinite Truth, though least in the kingdom of heaven, is the higher hope on earth, but it will be rejected and reviled until God prepares the soil for the seed. That which when sown bears immortal fruit, enriches mankind only when it is understood,--hence the many readings given the Scriptures, and the requisite revisions of SCIENCE AND HEALTH WITH KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES.
SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION OF TEXTBOOK
No human pen nor tongue taught me the Science contained in this book, SCIENCE AND HEALTH; and neither tongue nor pen can overthrow it. This book may be distorted by shallow criticism or by careless or malicious students, and its ideas may be temporarily abused and misrepresented; but the Science and truth therein will forever remain to be discerned and demonstrated.
THREE REASONS WHY A STUDENT REQUIRES THE TEXTBOOK
A Christian Scientist requires my work SCIENCE AND HEALTH for his textbook, and so do all his students and patients. Why? ^First^: Because it is the voice of Truth to this age, and contains the full statement of Christian Science, or the Science of healing through Mind. ^Second^: Because it was the first book known, containing a thorough statement of Christian Science. Hence it gave the first rules for demonstrating this Science, and registered the revealed Truth uncontaminated by human hypotheses. Other works, which have borrowed from this book without giving it credit, have adulterated the Science. ^Third^: Because this book has done more for teacher and student, for healer and patient, than has been accomplished by other books.
SCIENCE AND HEALTH: A COMPLETE TEXTBOOK
"Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" is a complete textbook of Christian Science; and its metaphysical method of healing is as lucid in presentation as can be possible, under the necessity to express the metaphysical in physical terms. There is absolutely no additional secret outside of its teachings, or that gives one the power to heal; but it is essential that the student gain the spiritual understanding of the contents of this book, in order to heal.
Science and Health is the textbook of Christian Science. Whosoever learns the letter of this book, must also gain its spiritual significance, in order to demonstrate Christian Science.
THE TEXTBOOK IN THE CLASSROOM
Mis 91:21-24 np
^Should not the teacher of Christian Science have our^ ^textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,"^ ^in his schoolroom and teach from it?^
I never dreamed, until informed thereof, that a loyal student did not take his textbook with him into the classroom, ask questions from it, answer them according to it, and, as occasion required, read from the book as authority for what he taught. I supposed that students had followed my example, and that of other teachers, sufficiently to do this, and also to require their pupils to study the lessons before recitations.
To omit these important points is anomalous, considering the necessity for understanding Science, and the present liability of deviating from Christian Science. Centuries will intervene before the statement of the inexhaustible topics of that book become sufficiently understood to be absolutely demonstrated. The teacher of Christian Science needs continually to study this textbook. His work is to replenish thought, and to spiritualize human life, from this open fount of Truth and Love.
He who sees most clearly and enlightens other minds most readily, keeps his own lamp trimmed and burning. He will take the textbook of Christian Science into his class, repeat the questions in the chapter on Recapitulation, and his students will answer them from the same source. Throughout his entire explanations, the teacher should strictly adhere to the questions and answers contained in that chapter of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." It is important to point out the lesson to the class, and to require the students thoroughly to study it before the recitations; for this spiritualizes their thoughts. When closing his class, the teacher should require each member to own a copy of the above-named book and to continue the study of this textbook.
THE TEXTBOOK WITH THE BIBLE: OUR PASTOR
My students need to search the Scriptures and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," to understand the personal Jesus' labor in the flesh for their salvation: they need to do this even to understand my works, their motives, aims, and tendency.
Students who strictly adhere to the right, and make the Bible and Science and Health a study, are in no danger of mistaking their way.
Humbly, and, as I believe, divinely directed, I hereby ordain the Bible, and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," to be hereafter the only pastor of The Church of Christ, Scientist, throughout our land and in other lands.
Your dual and impersonal pastor, the Bible, and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," is with you; and the Life these give, the Truth they illustrate, the Love they demonstrate, is the great Shepherd that feedeth my flock, and leadeth them "beside the still waters."
In 1895 I ordained that the Bible, and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the Christian Science textbook, be the pastor, on this planet, of all the churches of the Christian Science denomination. This ordinance took effect the same year, and met with the universal approval and support of Christian Scientists. Whenever and wherever a church of Christian Science is established, its pastor is the Bible and my book.
I have ordained the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," as pastor of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston,--so long as this church is satisfied with this pastor. This is my first ordination. "They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shalt make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures."
Ordination. SECTION 1. I, Mary Baker Eddy, ordain the BIBLE, and SCIENCE AND HEALTH WITH KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES, Pastor over The Mother Church,--The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass.,--and they will continue to preach for this Church and the world.
The BIBLE, together with SCIENCE AND HEALTH and other works by Mrs. Eddy, shall be his only textbooks for self-instruction in Christian Science, and for teaching and practising metaphysical healing.
THE PRECIOUS VOLUME: SOME HISTORY
The Precious Volume
The first edition of my most important work, Science and Health, containing the complete statement of Christian Science,--the term employed by me to express the divine, or spiritual, Science of Mind-healing, was published in 1875.
When it was first printed, the critics took pleasure in saying, "This book is indeed wholly original, but it will never be read."
The first edition numbered one thousand copies. In September, 1891, it had reached sixty-two editions.
Those who formerly sneered at it, as foolish and eccentric, now declare Bishop Berkeley, David Hume, Ralph Waldo Emerson, or certain German philosophers, to have been the originators of the Science of Mind-healing as therein stated.
Even the Scriptures gave no direct interpretation of the scientific basis for demonstrating the spiritual Principle of healing, until our heavenly Father saw fit, through the Key to the Scriptures, in Science and Health, to unlock this "mystery of godliness."
My reluctance to give the public, in my first edition of Science and Health, the chapter on Animal Magnetism, and the divine purpose that this should be done, may have an interest for the reader, and will be seen in the following circumstances. I had finished that edition as far as that chapter, when the printer informed me that he could not go on with my work. I had already paid him seven hundred dollars, and yet he stopped my work. All efforts to persuade him to finish my book were in vain.
After months had passed, I yielded to a constant conviction that I must insert in my last chapter a partial history of what I had already observed of mental malpractice. Accordingly, I set to work, contrary to my inclination, to fulfil this painful task, and finished my copy for the book. As it afterwards appeared, although I had not thought of such a result, my printer resumed his work at the same time, finished printing the copy he had on hand, and then started for Lynn to see me. The afternoon that he left Boston for Lynn, I started for Boston with my finished copy. We met at the Eastern depot in Lynn, and were both surprised,--I to learn that he had printed all the copy on hand, and had come to tell me he wanted more,--he to find me ^en route^ for Boston, to give him the closing chapter of my first edition of Science and Health. Not a word had passed between us, audibly or mentally, while this went on. I had grown disgusted with my printer, and become silent. He had come to a standstill through motives and circumstances unknown to me.
Science and Health is the textbook of Christian Science. Whosoever learns the letter of this book, must also gain its spiritual significance, in order to demonstrate Christian Science. When the demand for this book increased, and people were healed simply by reading it, the copyright was infringed. I entered a suit at law, and my copyright was protected.
WHICH REVISION THE BEST
It is often asked which revision of Science and Health is the best. The arrangement of my last revision, in 1890, makes the subject-matter clearer than any previous edition, and it is therefore better adapted to spiritualize thought and elucidate scientific healing and teaching. It has already been proven that this volume is accomplishing the divine purpose to a remarkable degree.
IN THE ORDER OF SERVICES
Pul 28:15-20 (to ;)
The order of service in the Christian Science Church does not differ widely from that of any other sect, save that its service includes the use of Mrs. Eddy's book, entitled "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," in perhaps equal measure to its use of the Bible. The reading is from the two alternately;
THE ORIGIN OF THE TITLE
Six weeks I waited on God to suggest a name for the book I had been writing. Its title, Science and Health, came to me in the silence of night, when the steadfast stars watched over the world,--when slumber had fled,--and I rose and recorded the hallowed suggestion. The following day I showed it to my literary friends, who advised me to drop both the book and the title. To this, however, I gave no heed, feeling sure that God had led me to write that book, and had whispered that name to my waiting hope and prayer. It was to me the "still, small voice" that came to Elijah after the earthquake and the fire. Six months thereafter Miss Dorcas Rawson of Lynn brought to me Wyclif's translation of the New Testament, and pointed out that identical phrase, "Science and Health," which is rendered in the Authorized Version "knowledge of salvation." This was my first inkling of Wyclif's use of that combination of words, or of their rendering. To-day I am the happy possessor of a copy of Wyclif, the invaluable gift of two Christian Scientists,--Mr. W. Nicholas Miller, K.C., and Mrs. F. L. Miller, of London, England.
NO INTERPRETATION NEEDED
My v:19 in
in 1875, after nine years of arduous preliminary labor, she wrote and published the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures;" that over four hundred thousand copies of this book have been sold--an unparalleled record for a work of this description; that it has healed multitudes of disease and has revealed God to well-nigh countless numbers--facts which prove, (1) that Science and Health does not need to be interpreted to those who are earnestly seeking Truth; (2) that it is not possible to state truth absolutely in a simpler or more pleasing form.
"Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" is not inconsistent in a single instance with its logical premise and conclusion, and ninety-nine out of every hundred of its readers--honest, intelligent, and scholarly--will tell you this. The earnest student of this book, understanding it, demonstrates in some degree the truth of its statements, and knows that it contains a Science which is demonstrable when understood, and which is fully understood when demonstrated. That Christian Scientists, because of their uniformly pure morals and noble lives, are better representatives of Christian Science than the textbook itself, is not in accordance with the Scriptures. The tree is known by its fruit. The student of this book will tell you that his higher life is the result of his conscientious study of Science and Health in connection with the Bible.
It was not myself, but the divine power of Truth and Love, infinitely above me, which dictated "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." I have been learning the higher meaning of this book since writing it.
I should blush to write of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" as I have, were it of human origin, and were I, apart from God, its author. But, as I was only a scribe echoing the harmonies of heaven in divine metaphysics, I cannot be super-modest in my estimate of the Christian Science textbook.