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Mark Twain > Christian Science > Appendix A

Christian Science

Appendix A


ORIGINAL FIRST PREFACE TO SCIENCE AND HEALTH

There seems a Christian necessity of learning God's power and purpose to
heal both mind and body. This thought grew out of our early seeking Him
in all our ways, and a hopeless as singular invalidism that drugs
increased instead of diminished, and hygiene benefited only for a season.
By degrees we have drifted into more spiritual latitudes of thought, and
experimented as we advanced until demonstrating fully the power of mind
over the body. About the year 1862, having heard of a mesmerist in
Portland who was treating the sick by manipulation, we visited him; he
helped us for a time, then we relapsed somewhat. After his decease, and
a severe casualty deemed fatal by skilful physicians, we discovered that
the Principle of all healing and the law that governs it is God, a divine
Principle, and a spiritual not material law, and regained health.

It was not an individual or mortal mind acting upon another so-called
mind that healed us. It was the glorious truths of Christian Science
that we discovered as we neared that verge of so-called material life
named death; yea, it was the great Shekinah, the spirit of Life, Truth,
and Love illuminating our understanding of the action and might of
Omnipotence! The old gentleman to whom we have referred had some very
advanced views on healing, but he was not avowedly religious neither
scholarly. We interchanged thoughts on the subject of healing the sick.
I restored some patients of his that he failed to heal, and left in his
possession some manuscripts of mine containing corrections of his
desultory pennings, which I am informed at his decease passed into the
hands of a patient of his, now residing in Scotland. He died in 1865 and
left no published works. The only manuscript that we ever held of his,
longer than to correct it, was one of perhaps a dozen pages, most of
which we had composed. He manipulated the sick; hence his ostensible
method of healing was physical instead of mental.

We helped him in the esteem of the public by our writings, but never knew
of his stating orally or in writing that he treated his patients
mentally; never heard him give any directions to that effect; and have it
from one of his patients, who now asserts that he was the founder of
mental healing, that he never revealed to anyone his method. We refer to
these facts simply to refute the calumnies and false claims of our
enemies, that we are preferring dishonest claims to the discovery and
founding at this period of Metaphysical Healing or Christian Science.

The Science and laws of a purely mental healing and their method of
application through spiritual power alone, else a mental argument against
disease, are our own discovery at this date. True, the Principle is
divine and eternal, but the application of it to heal the sick had been
lost sight of, and required to be again spiritually discerned and its
science discovered, that man might retain it through the understanding.
Since our discovery in 1866 of the divine science of Christian Healing,
we have labored with tongue and pen to found this system. In this
endeavor every obstacle has been thrown in our path that the envy and
revenge of a few disaffected students could devise. The superstition and
ignorance of even this period have not failed to contribute their mite
towards misjudging us, while its Christian advancement and scientific
research have helped sustain our feeble efforts.

Since our first Edition of Science and Health, published in 1875, two of
the aforesaid students have plagiarized and pirated our works. In the
issues of E. J. A., almost exclusively ours, were thirteen paragraphs,
without credit, taken verbatim from our books.

Not one of our printed works was ever copied or abstracted from the
published or from the unpublished writings of anyone. Throughout our
publications of Metaphysical Healing or Christian Science, when writing
or dictating them, we have given ourselves to contemplation wholly apart
from the observation of the material senses: to look upon a copy would
have distracted our thoughts from the subject before us. We were seldom
able to copy our own compositions, and have employed an amanuensis for
the last six years. Every work that we have had published has been
extemporaneously written; and out of fifty lectures and sermons that we
have delivered the last year, forty-four have been extemporaneous. We
have distributed many of our unpublished manuscripts; loaned to one of
our youngest students, R. K--------y, between three and four hundred pages,
of which we were sole author--giving him liberty to copy but not to
publish them.

Leaning on the sustaining Infinite with loving trust, the trials of to-
day grow brief, and to-morrow is big with blessings.

The wakeful shepherd, tending his flocks, beholds from the mountain's top
the first faint morning beam ere cometh the risen day. So from Soul's
loftier summits shines the pale star to prophet-shepherd, and it
traverses night, over to where the young child lies, in cradled
obscurity, that shall waken a world. Over the night of error dawn the
morning beams and guiding star of Truth, and "the wise men" are led by it
to Science, which repeats the eternal harmony that it reproduced, in
proof of immortality. The time for thinkers has come; and the time for
revolutions, ecclesiastical and civil, must come. Truth, independent of
doctrines or time-honored systems, stands at the threshold of history.
Contentment with the past, or the cold conventionality of custom, may no
longer shut the door on science; though empires fall, "He whose right it
is shall reign." Ignorance of God should no longer be the stepping-stone
to faith; understanding Him, "whom to know aright is Life eternal," is
the only guaranty of obedience.

This volume may not open a new thought, and make it at once familiar. It
has the sturdy task of a pioneer, to hack away at the tall oaks and cut
the rough granite, leaving future ages to declare what it has done. We
made our first discovery of the adaptation of metaphysics to the
treatment of disease in the winter of 1866; since then we have tested the
Principle on ourselves and others, and never found it to fail to prove
the statements herein made of it. We must learn the science of Life, to
reach the perfection of man. To understand God as the Principle of all
being, and to live in accordance with this Principle, is the Science of
Life. But to reproduce this harmony of being, the error of personal
sense must yield to science, even as the science of music corrects tones
caught from the ear, and gives the sweet concord of sound. There are
many theories of physic and theology, and many calls in each of their
directions for the right way; but we propose to settle the question of
"What is Truth?" on the ground of proof, and let that method of healing
the sick and establishing Christianity be adopted that is found to give
the most health and to make the best Christians; science will then have a
fair field, in which case we are assured of its triumph over all opinions
and beliefs. Sickness and sin have ever had their doctors; but the
question is, Have they become less because of them? The longevity of our
antediluvians would say, No! and the criminal records of today utter
their voices little in favor of such a conclusion. Not that we would
deny to Caesar the things that are his, but that we ask for the things
that belong to Truth; and safely affirm, from the demonstrations we have
been able to make, that the science of man understood would have
eradicated sin, sickness, and death, in a less period than six thousand
years. We find great difficulties in starting this work right. Some
shockingly false claims are already made to a metaphysical practice;
mesmerism, its very antipodes, is one of them. Hitherto we have never,
in a single instance of our discovery, found the slightest resemblance
between mesmerism and metaphysics. No especial idiosyncrasy is requisite
to acquire a knowledge of metaphysical healing; spiritual sense is more
important to its discernment than the intellect; and those who would
learn this science without a high moral standard of thought and action,
will fail to understand it until they go up higher. Owing to our
explanations constantly vibrating between the same points, an irksome
repetition of words must occur; also the use of capital letters, genders,
and technicalities peculiar to the science. Variety of language, or
beauty of diction, must give place to close analysis and unembellished
thought. "Hoping all things, enduring all things," to do good to our
enemies, to bless them that curse us, and to bear to the sorrowing and
the sick consolation and healing, we commit these pages to posterity.

MARY BAKER G. EDDY.

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