[Editorial in The Christian Science Monitor]

The Memorial to Mrs. Eddy

A Famous writer, speaking of a famous Fleming, made use of an expression which has become almost a proverb in the English language. It was of Philip van Artevelde, the merchant prince of Ghent, that Sir Henry Taylor wrote, "The world knows nothing of its greatest men." For many years the world knew nothing of Mrs. Eddy, for other years it knew practically nothing of her that was true. Only little by little has her real worth and the incalculable significance of her work begun to be appreciated. As the world goes, this is not strange. The workers for the welfare of humanity are hardly known to the public in comparison with its conquerors and statesmen. Some day the "village Hampdens" and the "mute inglorious Miltons" will take their place with the Alexanders and the Richelieus in the world's esteem, but that day is not yet. After all, Hampden in his own time was a plain English squire, and Milton an obscure Latin secretary who wrote a book, which after-centuries have prized as the greatest poem in the English language, but which sold for five pounds in his own time. The great example of all examples, however, is the Founder of the Christian religion. One of the greatest living masters in literature has given expression to this in an almost faultless way. He has described a Roman patrician who had visited Pilate in Jerusalem, meeting the procurator of Judæa years later, borne in a litter by his slaves up a Roman hillside. The two men stop to talk over the old days in Jerusalem. They talk of Pilate's troubles, and of other insignificant matters. As they are parting, the guest suddenly asks what became of Jesus of Nazareth. The procurator pauses, passing his hand over his forehead, and replies, after a moment's puzzled hesitation, "Jesus of Nazareth? I do not recall the man."

No human being ever understood the mission of Jesus of Nazareth more clearly than Mrs. Eddy. She saw the child in the Nazareth carpenter's house growing up to be the man who was to speak to the fishermen of Galilee and the shepherds of Judæa in the words of a rapidly vanishing language. The philosophers of Greece and Rome were pacing their groveclad gardens, accompanied by disciples eager to take down their words in the great classical languages of the day, in fear lest a syllable should perish. The disciples of Jesus were a tax gatherer and a handful of fishermen, men incapable of playing the part which Plato played to Socrates and Lucian or Celsus to Epictetus. His academia was a Syrian hillside, his rostrum the bow of a fishing-boat, yet, as Mrs. Eddy has said in a wonderful passage on page 163 of "Miscellaneous Writings," "his words were articulated in the language of a declining race, and committed to the providence of God. In no one thing seemed he less human and more divine than in his unfaltering faith in the immortality of truth. Referring to this, he said, 'Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away!' "

It was because Mrs. Eddy knew, and knew why, truth could not be destroyed, that she gained the courage for the work of reviving in the nineteenth century the teaching preached in Palestine at the beginning of the Christian era, and carried by that handful of fishermen and their friends throughout the civilized world of their day. It was because Mrs. Eddy realized what the beloved disciple meant by absolute truth, because she had learned what Peter meant by a scientific knowledge of God, that she was able to make practical, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, something not merely of the preaching, but of the practice, which had filled Judæa and Attica with wonder, when Peter came to Joppa, and Paul was preaching on Mars Hill. Mrs. Eddy had seen that because truth is truth, it is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. She had realized that the demand of the Founder of Christianity had been not only for words but for deeds, not merely for precept but for practice. In such circumstances she understood that a return to primitive healing entailed not only the preaching but the practice of Paul and Peter. She realized that that preaching would be with Paul's power when it was with works following, and that that healing was only regarded as miraculous because men had ceased to understand the power of a scientific understanding of Truth.

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Study of Christian Science
July 10, 1915

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