The world received with more than ordinary interest...

St. Joseph (Mo.) Gazette

The world received with more than ordinary interest the announcement that Mrs. Mary Baker G. Eddy, Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, intended to devote a million dollars to founding an institution for the relief of the poor. Now that her plans have been made public a still greater interest is being shown. The impression seemed to prevail that she intended to erect a large institution somewhere in which the poor would be cared for. Not so. The Fund, which will be given in its entirety by Mrs. Eddy, will be used in caring for indigents while they are engaged in the study of Christian Science. They must furnish certificates of their good character and of their desire to learn the Science which Mrs. Eddy and her followers say was taught by Jesus. When they finish their course they will be given diplomas the same as others who have taken the course from trained teachers of Christian Science.

Indigency is a condition which can be overcome the same as disease, according to the teachings of Christian Science. If this is true, the Fund which is to be set aside for caring for these indigents who want to learn the fundamentals of Christian Science, could not be devoted to a higher purpose. If it will teach the poor how overcome conditions which keep them ground down in poverty it will accomplish much. Through their knowledge they will be able to become independent and need no longer seek the charity of others. This alone will be a great advancement. The system would ultimately result in the eradication of poverty in its worst forms, if the interest in the movement could be sustained. It would mean a great uplift for humanity, for poverty is one of the heaviest burdens under which the world struggles. It is the cause of greater misery than probably any other one thing.

But few Christian Scientists can be found who are indigents. The Church is composed of persons able to take care of themselves and of the needs of the Church as well. Throughout the country beautiful edifices are being erected by the Christian Scientists. It is a rule that these buildings must be paid for before they are dedicated. This shows that the money is forthcoming; but little outside help is asked. The Scientists seem to have no difficulty in maintaining their churches. In St. Joseph, First Church has a magnificent building which cost more than one hundred thousand dollars, and most of the money was raised through the efforts of the members, though there are probably few who would be accounted wealthy in this world's goods. At the mid-week meetings of the Church one often hears statements of overcoming financial troubles with the application of the teaching of the Church in the case. If it can be demonstrated that poverty can be overcome through Christian Science, then the gift of Mrs. Eddy will no doubt prove a most valuable one.

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February 22, 1908

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