"Through the study of the 'little book' they are learning how to be healthful, peaceful, and wise." Sometimes they are cured of their little claims by the professional healer, and sometimes more advanced children say over the formula and cure themselves.

A little Far-Western girl of nine, equipped with an adult vocabulary, states her age and says, "I thought I would write a demonstration to you." She had a claim, derived from getting flung over a pony's head and landed on a rockpile. She saved herself from disaster by remembering to say "God is All" while she was in the air. I couldn't have done it. I shouldn't even have thought of it. I should have been too excited. Nothing but Christian Science could have enabled that child to do that calm and thoughtful and judicious thing in those circumstances. She came down on her head, and by all the rules she should have broken it; but the intervention of the formula prevented that, so the only claim resulting was a blackened eye. Monday morning it was still swollen and shut. At school "it hurt pretty badly--that is, it seemed to." So "I was excused, and went down to the basement and said, 'Now I am depending on mamma instead of God, and I will depend on God instead of mamma.'" No doubt this would have answered; but, to make sure, she added Mrs. Eddy to the team and recited "the Scientific Statement of Being," which is one of the principal incantations, I judge. Then "I felt my eye opening." Why, dear, it would have opened an oyster. I think it is one of the touchingest things in child-history, that pious little rat down cellar pumping away at the Scientific Statement of Being.

There is a page about another good child--little Gordon. Little Gordon "came into the world without the assistance of surgery or anaesthetics." He was a "demonstration." A painless one; therefore, his coming evoked "joy and thankfulness to God and the Discoverer of Christian Science." It is a noticeable feature of this literature--the so frequent linking together of the Two Beings in an equal bond; also of Their Two Bibles. When little Gordon was two years old, "he was playing horse on the bed, where I had left my 'little book.' I noticed him stop in his play, take the book carefully in his little hands, kiss it softly, then look about for the highest place of safety his arms could reach, and put it there." This pious act filled the mother "with such a train of thought as I had never experienced before. I thought of the sweet mother of long ago who kept things in her heart," etc. It is a bold comparison; however, unconscious profanations are about as common in the mouths of the lay member ship of the new Church as are frank and open ones in the mouths of its consecrated chiefs.

Some days later, the family library--Christian-Science books--was lying in a deep-seated window. This was another chance for the holy child to show off. He left his play and went there and pushed all the books to one side, except the Annex "It he took in both hands, slowly raised it to his lips, then removed it carefully, and seated himself in the window." It had seemed to the mother too wonderful to be true, that first time; but now she was convinced that "neither imagination nor accident had anything to do with it." Later, little Gordon let the author of his being see him do it. After that he did it frequently; probably every time anybody was looking. I would rather have that child than a chromo. If this tale has any object, it is to intimate that the inspired book was supernaturally able to convey a sense of its sacred and awful character to this innocent little creature, without the intervention of outside aids. The magazine is not edited with high-priced discretion. The editor has a "claim," and he ought to get it treated.

Among other witnesses there is one who had a "jumping toothache," which several times tempted her to "believe that there was sensation in matter, but each time it was overcome by the power of Truth." She would not allow the dentist to use cocaine, but sat there and let him punch and drill and split and crush the tooth, and tear and slash its ulcerations, and pull out the nerve, and dig out fragments of bone; and she wouldn't once confess that it hurt.

Mark Twain
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book