Items of Interest

Below is an authentic statement from the historical files of The Mother Church. It is quoted because of its pertinency in respect to the numerous copies of notes and excerpts, purporting to represent Mrs. Eddy's personal teachings and instruction, that are having more or less circulation. Rarely a week passes when one or more inquiries about such copies do not reach The Christian Science Board of Directors, and the Directors are glad to answer as to the authenticity or lack of it in these documents.

Let us see what was recorded years ago by a student in one of Mrs. Eddy's classes:

As she began to speak, many of the students opened notebooks, and began to write. Instantly and peremptorily she said, "Put up your notebooks." I had written but one sentence and no other was ever added. There were others who refused to consider the command as final and, almost at once, covertly began again to make notes. With eagle eyes she detected the overt act, and again, repeated the words, "Put up your notebooks." All complied, some willingly and some with silent but resentful protest; then she resumed her teaching. A little later, one student began again surreptitiously to make notations. Stopping her discourse, Mrs. Eddy for the third time repeated the words emphatically and clearly and never again was there an effort on the part of any to write down a thought or word that came from this great Teacher. She, at no time, made any explanation of this arbitrary requirement, but all my days I have blessed her for this ruling, because it compelled us to let the form go so that limited finite statements of Truth might not circumscribe the pinions of her thought. Her impartations transcended the medium of words. Words served only to convey her revelations. She gave both the letter and the spirit, but she took away the letter, lest any should substitute it for the wine of the Spirit. (Mary Baker Eddy: A Life Size Portrait, by Lyman P. Powell, page 155.) Thrice did Mrs. Eddy forbid the taking of notes in this class. The student who heard and afterward recorded the occurrence has never ceased to be grateful for the requirement that prevented her from taking fragmentary words, and left all her effort free to absorb the inspiration of the instruction.

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December 28, 1935

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