No Change. It is forbidden to change the Creed. That is important, at any rate.
I can understand why Mrs. Eddy copyrighted the early editions and revisions of Science and Health, and why she had a mania for copyrighting every scrap of every sort that came from her pen in those jejune days when to be in print probably seemed a wonderful distinction to her in her provincial obscurity, but why she should continue this delirium in these days of her godship and her far-spread fame, I cannot explain to myself. And particularly as regards Science and Health. She knows, now, that that Annex is going to live for many centuries; and so, what good is a fleeting forty-two-year copyright going to do it?
Now a perpetual copyright would be quite another matter. I would like to give her a hint. Let her strike for a perpetual copyright on that book. There is precedent for it. There is one book in the world which bears the charmed life of perpetual copyright (a fact not known to twenty people in the world). By a hardy perversion of privilege on the part of the lawmaking power the Bible has perpetual copyright in Great Britain. There is no justification for it in fairness, and no explanation of it except that the Church is strong enough there to have its way, right or wrong. The recent Revised Version enjoys perpetual copyright, too--a stronger precedent, even, than the other one.
Now, then, what is the Annex but a Revised Version itself? Which of course it is--Lord's Prayer and all. With that pair of formidable British precedents to proceed upon, what Congress of ours--
But how short-sighted I am. Mrs. Eddy has thought of it long ago. She thinks of everything. She knows she has only to keep her copyright of 1902 alive through its first stage of twenty-eight years, and perpetuity is assured. A Christian Science Congress will reign in the Capitol then. She probably attaches small value to the first edition (1875). Although it was a Revelation from on high, it was slim, lank, incomplete, padded with bales of refuse rags, and puffs from lassoed celebrities to fill it out, an uncreditable book, a book easily sparable, a book not to be mentioned in the same year with the sleek, fat, concise, compact, compressed, and competent Annex of to-day, in its dainty flexible covers, gilt--edges, rounded corners, twin screw, spiral twist, compensation balance, Testament-counterfeit, and all that; a book just born to curl up on the hymn-book-shelf in church and look just too sweet and holy for anything. Yes, I see now what she was copyrighting that child for.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION
It is true in matters of business Mrs. Eddy thinks of everything. She thought of an organ, to disseminate the Truth as it was in Mrs. Eddy. Straightway she started one--the Christian Science Journal.
It is true--in matters of business Mrs. Eddy thinks of everything. As soon as she had got the Christian Science Journal sufficiently in debt to make its presence on the premises disagreeable to her, it occurred to her to make somebody a present of it. Which she did, along with its debts. It was in the summer of 1889. The victim selected was her Church-- called, in those days, The National Christian Scientist Association.
She delivered this sorrow to those lambs as a "gift" in consideration of their "loyalty to our great cause."
Also--still thinking of everything--she told them to retain Mr. Bailey in the editorship and make Mr. Nixon publisher. We do not know what it was she had against those men; neither do we know whether she scored on Bailey or not, we only know that God protected Nixon, and for that I am sincerely glad, although I do not know Nixon and have never even seen him.
Nixon took the Journal and the rest of the Publishing Society's liabilities, and demonstrated over them during three years, then brought in his report:
"On assuming my duties as publisher, there was not a dollar in the treasury; but on the contrary the Society owed unpaid printing and paper bills to the amount of several hundred dollars, not to mention a contingent liability of many more hundreds"--represented by advance-- subscriptions paid for the Journal and the "Series," the which goods Mrs. Eddy had not delivered.