Note: Cross the bridge to understanding by getting to know Mary Baker Eddy, discoverer and founder of Christian Science.
Mary Baker Eddy’s singular book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures has changed individual lives for more than a century. This remarkable woman, 1821 to 1910, the youngest of six children from a farm in Bow, New Hampshire, wrote the book in 1875, and is the founder of Christian Science.
Mrs. Eddy’s personal search and discovery of how she was healed when she fell on a patch of ice in February 1866 impelled her to write Science and Health. When the accident occurred she was carried to a nearby home in Lynn, Massachusetts and was put to bed in critical condition. She called for her Bible, opened it at Jesus’ healing of a paralyzed man in Matthew 9, then rose, dressed, and went downstairs restored to health. After that experience she spent the next three years searching the Scriptures, and she discovered divine laws of God to be the reason for her healing.
Her love for humanity prompted her to write Science and Health to share her discovery. In 1879 she founded the Church of Christ, Scientist “To organize a church designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing. “ In 1908 she founded the international newspaper The Christian Science Monitor. Its object is “to injure no man but to bless all mankind.”
The fact that this scientific method of healing was discovered and spoken about in public by a woman shows the courage Mrs. Eddy possessed. In the 19th century women did not have the right to vote, were not supposed to draw attention to themselves let along speak in public, and were relegated to keeping their place in the home.
Mrs. Eddy not only experienced her own healing but she also healed others through prayer. One of many healings documented in Mary Baker Eddy Christian Healer, is of George Norton, about seven years old, who went with his mother to the beach for a day’s outing. George had been born with club- feet, a deformity where both of his feet turned backwards, and he had never walked. He had been carried on a pillow since birth. That day at the beach his mother laid him on a pillow on the sand while she left to hitch the horse and get water. ”On her return shortly the child had disappeared and the mother searched bewilderedly about, only to find him down by the water and walking with a woman holding his hands, which she released a moment later and George stood alone. Later he took a few steps and from that time was able to walk.” This biography and others can be found in the Mary Baker Eddy Library.
Nineteenth century misconceptions about Mrs. Eddy and Christian Science continue into the 21st century. They include that Christian Scientists are Scientologists, faith healers, cultists, and are not allowed to go to doctors – all untrue. While the church does not mandate the individual’s health care and one may seek the medical care if they choose, Christian Scientists have a proven record of effective health care through prayer for themselves and their children. Many of these healings are documented in the monthly magazine The Christian Science Journal since 1883 and the weekly magazine The Christian Science Sentinel since 1898 established by Mrs. Eddy.