"Mrs. Eddy has distinctly authorized the claim in her behalf that she herself was the chosen successor to and equal of Jesus."
In her Miscellaneous Writings (using her once favorite "We" for "I") she says that "While we entertain decided views . . . and shall express them as duty demands, we shall claim no especial gift from our divine origin," etc.
Our divine origin. It suggests Equal again. It is inferable, then, that in the near by-and-by the new Church will officially rank the Holy Family in the following order:
1. Jesus of Nazareth.--1. Our Mother. 2. The Virgin Mary.
I am not playing with Christian Science and its founder, I am examining them; and I am doing it because of the interest I feel in the inquiry. My results may seem inadequate to the reader, but they have for me clarified a muddle and brought a sort of order out of a chaos, and so I value them.
My readings of Mrs. Eddy's uninspired miscellaneous literary efforts have convinced me of several things:
1. That she did not write Science and Health. 2. That the Deity did (or did not) write it. 3. That She thinks She wrote it. 4. That She believes She wrote it under the Deity's inspiration. 5. That She believes She is a Member of the Holy Family. 6. That She believes She is the equal of the Head of it.
Finally, I think She is now entitled to the capital S--on her own evidence.
Thus far we have a part of Mrs. Eddy's portrait. Not made of fictions, surmises, reports, rumors, innuendoes, dropped by her enemies; no, she has furnished all of the materials herself, and laid them on the canvas, under my general superintendence and direction. As far as she has gone with it, it is the presentation of a complacent, commonplace, illiterate New England woman who "forgot everything she knew" when she discovered her discovery, then wrote a Bible in good English under the inspiration of God, and climbed up it to the supremest summit of earthly grandeur attainable by man--where she sits serene to-day, beloved and worshiped by a multitude of human beings of as good average intelligence as is possessed by those that march under the banner of any competing cult. This is not intended to flatter the competing cults, it is merely a statement of cold fact.
That a commonplace person should go climbing aloft and become a god or a half-god or a quarter-god and be worshiped by men and women of average intelligence, is nothing. It has happened a million times, it will happen a hundred million more. It has been millions of years since the first of these supernaturals appeared, and by the time the last one in that inconceivably remote future shall have performed his solemn little high-jinks on the stage and closed the business, there will be enough of them accumulated in the museum on the Other Side to start a heaven of their own-and jam it.
Each in his turn those little supernaturals of our by-gone ages and aeons joined the monster procession of his predecessors and marched horizonward, disappeared, and was forgotten. They changed nothing, they built nothing, they left nothing behind them to remember them by, nothing to hold their disciples together, nothing to solidify their work and enable it to defy the assaults of time and the weather. They passed, and left a vacancy. They made one fatal mistake; they all made it, each in his turn: they failed to organize their forces, they failed to centralize their strength, they failed to provide a fresh Bible and a sure and perpetual cash income for business, and often they failed to provide a new and accepted Divine Personage to worship.
Mrs. Eddy is not of that small fry. The materials that go to the making of the rest of her portrait will prove it. She will furnish them herself:
She published her book. She copyrighted it. She copyrights everything. If she should say, "Good-morning; how do you do?" she would copyright it; for she is a careful person, and knows the value of small things.
She began to teach her Science, she began to heal, she began to gather converts to her new religion--fervent, sincere, devoted, grateful people. A year or two later she organized her first Christian Science "Association," with six of her disciples on the roster.