To defend our Cause

It was the Fourth of July, 1886, and Mary Baker Eddy rose to speak extemporaneously to the Sunday congregation at Chickering Hall in Boston. In the United States, this holiday traditionally celebrates the 1776 signing of “The Declaration of Independence” by the 13 states then comprising our country, and the first speaker at Chickering Hall, Rev. W. I. Gill, had just given a sermon along these lines. Yet as Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, took the stage, she catapulted the discussion far above nationalism and celebration to one with universal implications.

Mrs. Eddy began by praising the American settlers who built their society on ideals of religious freedom. But she then shifted her remarks from “then” to “now”—from the distant past to the immediate demands facing the young Christian Science movement. “Are we duly aware of our own great opportunities and responsibilities?” she asked. Then she followed with a call to arms for Christian Scientists everywhere to rise to the defense of their Cause. “Never was there a more solemn and imperious call than God makes to us all, right here, for fervent devotion and absolute consecration to the greatest and holiest of all causes,” she said. “The powers of evil are leagued together in secret conspiracy against the Lord and against His Christ, as expressed and operative in Christian Science” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, pp. 176–177).

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