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Mary Baker Eddy
by [?]

She hired big, safe people and paid them a big wage. She gave her coachman fifty dollars a week, and her cook in proportion, and thus secured people who gave her peace. She went to bed with the birds and awoke with the dawn. At seven o’clock she was at her desk, dictating answers to the very few letters her secretary deemed it advisable she should see. She had breakfast at nine o’clock–ate anything she liked, taking her time and fletcherizing. After breakfast she worked upon her manuscripts until it was time for the daily ride.

At four o’clock she dined–two meals a day being the rule. If, however, she cared to dissipate a little and eat three meals a day, she was not afraid to do so.

She knew her horses and cows and sheep by name, and gave requests as to their care, holding that the laws of mind obtain as to dumb animals the same as man. Dogs she did not care for, and if she ever had an aversion it would have been cats. Her servants she called “My helpers.” Christian Scientists very naturally believe in the equality of the sexes. When girl babies are born to them they bless God, just the same as when boy babies are born. In truth they bless God for everything, for to them all is beautiful and all is good. Paid preachers they do not have; they do not believe in priests or certain men who are nearer to God than others. All have access to Eternal Truth, and thus is the ecclesiastic excluded. To eliminate the theological middleman is well, and as for the Church itself, surely Mrs. Eddy eliminated it also; for she never entered a church, or at least not more than once a year, and then it was only in deference to the architect. A Church! Is it necessary? For herself Mrs. Eddy said, No.

But as for others, she said, Yes, a church is good for those who need it. Mrs. Eddy was the most successful author in the world, or, indeed, that the world has ever seen. No other writer ever made so much money as she, none is more devoutly read.

Shakespeare, with his fortune of a quarter of a million dollars, fades into comparative failure; and Arthur Brisbane, with his salary of seventy-five thousand a year, is an office-boy compared with this regal woman, who gave fifty thousand dollars a year for good roads.

* * * * *

The valuable truths and distinguishing features of Christian Science are not to be found in Mrs. Eddy’s books, but in Mrs. Eddy’s life. She was a much bigger woman than she was a writer. Emerson says that every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man. Every great business enterprise has a soul–one man’s spirit animates, pervades and tints the whole. You can go into any hotel or store, and behold! the nature or character of the owner or manager is everywhere proclaimed.

You do not have to see the man, and the bigger the institution the less need is there for the man to show himself. His work proclaims him, just as a farmer’s livestock all moo, whinny and squeal his virtues–or lack of them. As a boy of ten I learned to know all of our neighbors by their horses. The horses of a drunkard, blanketless, hungry, shivering, outside of the village tavern, do they not proclaim the poor, despised owner within?

You can walk through the passenger-coaches of a train made up at a terminal and read the character unmistakably of the general passenger-agent. The soul of John Wesley ran through Methodism and made it what it was. The Lutheranism of Luther yet lives; Calvinism the same; and the soul of John Knox still goes marching on, carrying the Presbyterian banner.