Christian Science Collections: Meeting the need of the hour

In 1894, Mary Baker Eddy wrote to her student Edward Kimball informing him that she intended to publish a synopsis of his lectures, which had appeared in a recent Journal, as a pamphlet. “It meets the need of the hour,” she stated simply (L07450, Eddy to Kimball, July 1, 1894, © The Mary Baker Eddy Collection). Prior to that, Mrs. Eddy had used pamphlets to publish her own writings, beginning with her sermon, “Christian Healing,” in 1880. In the Publishing Society’s 1898 Deed of Trust, she gave the Trustees specific direction on the publishing of “pamphlets, tracts, and other literature ... to promote the best interests of the Cause.” 

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Pamphlets and tracts (small leaflets generally intended for free distribution) most often began as pieces in The Christian Science Journal. An early article tells us that they were intended “to put within reach of all, brief statements of points, topics of Science” in a form that could be widely and easily circulated—ideas that would meet the human need of the hour (Journal, March 1889). 

Collections and pamphlets continue to meet those needs today and are within easy reach of all on JSH-Online. Each week, the homepage features a different pamphlet to explore, and you can access the complete collection containing the hundreds of pamphlets, anthologies, and special issues published from the 1880s to today. No matter the year, the spiritual ideas in these collections are timeless and are continually sought out for their usefulness. They’re also perfect for sharing with others—“little messengers ... welcome to all in whose hands they may be placed,” as the Journal noted in 1889.

Now, you can participate in this publishing activity started by Mrs. Eddy in 1894. Do you have an idea for an uplifting new collection on a topic that meets the need of the hour? We’d love to hear your ideas—collection topic, title, articles, and testimonies. You’re invited to submit your ideas online or visit our FAQ page for more information.

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