Mary Baker Eddy (July 16, 1821 ? December 3, 1910) was the founder of Christian Science (1879), a system of religious thought and practice adopted by the Church of Christ, Scientist. She is the author of the movement's textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and founded the Christian Science Publishing Society (1898), which continues to publish a number of periodicals including The Christian Science Monitor (1908). Married three times and widowed twice, once as a young woman and once in her sixties, she took the name Mary Baker Glover from her first marriage. She was also known from her third marriage as Mary Baker Glover Eddy or Mary Baker G. Eddy.
Mary Morse Baker was born in Bow, New Hampshire, the youngest of six children of Abigail and Mark Baker. Although raised a Congregationalist, she came to reject teachings such as predestination and original sin. She suffered chronic illness and developed a strong interest in biblical accounts of early Christian healing. At the age of eight, Mary began to hear voices calling her name; she would go to her mother, only to learn that her mother had not called her. In her autobiography, she relates one of these later experiences: "One day, when my cousin, Mehitable Huntoon, was visiting us, and I sat in a little chair by her side, in the same room with grandmother, the call again came, so loud that Mehitable heard it, though I had ceased to notice it. Greatly surprised, my cousin turned to me and said, 'Your mother is calling you!' Finally, after speaking with her mother, the child Mary responded to the voice with the phrase from Samuel 'Speak, Lord; for Thy servant heareth.' When the call came again I did answer, in the words of Samuel, but never again to the material senses was that mysterious call repeated." According to Yvonne Cache von Fettweis, in her book Christian Healer, "Mary's religious upbringing had taught her that all men are God's servants." In her discovery of Christian Science, Eddy found that healing the sick was an integral part of Christian service. From early childhood, Mary Baker's life included incidents of healing others. Her family would bring sick farm animals to her to heal, for example. Some biographers have suggested Mary was high-strung or emotional; irrespective of such claims, reports from friends in the community where she grew up corroborate reports of her ability to heal at a young age.
Mary frequently expressed confidence in God's love, which placed her at odds with her father's theological outlook, leading to a religious crisis when she was twelve and first eligible to join the Congregational church. Mark Baker held to a hard and bitter doctrine of predestination, believing that a horrible decree of endless punishment awaited sinners on a final judgment day. Amid their clash of views Mary developed a fever, which at last prompted her father, in his love for her, to set aside his stern beliefs. She was healed of the fever after prayer, as she wrote: "My mother, as she bathed my burning temples, bade me lean on God's love, which would give me rest if I went to Him in prayer, as I was wont to do, seeking His guidance. I prayed; and a soft glow of ineffable joy came over me. The fever was gone and I rose and dressed myself in a normal condition of health. Mother saw this and was glad. The physician marveled; and the "horrible decree" of Predestination ? as John Calvin rightly called his own tenet ? forever lost its power over me." Mary did not join the Congregational church until she was 17 at Sanbornton Bridge, New Hampshire (present-day Tilton). While Mary Baker attended the Pembroke Academy, an event occurred, later related by long time Tilton residents. A mentally disturbed man had escaped from the local Concord asylum and, brandishing a club, entered the Pembroke schoolyard terrifying pupils who ran shrieking into the schoolhouse. Peering through the windows, the children watched in horror as Mary approached h
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- publication date: 16/06/2013
- ID: 1230000142642
- book language: en
- publisher: Giuseppe Castrovilli
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