This section is from the book "Faith - Healing. Christian Science And Kindred Phenomena", by James Monroe Buckley. Also available from Amazon: Faith-Healing, Christian Science and Kindred Phenomena.
THIRTY years ago the phrases Christian Science and Mind Cure, in the sense now attached to them, were unknown; to-day in the press, in conversation, in literature, and especially in discussions relating to health and disease, and to the more occult phenomena of human nature, they frequently occur. To many they have no definite meaning, and long conversations are carried on concerning them in which the most diverse views are maintained, ending in confusion and contradiction, because those who converse have not a uniform conception of the signification of the terms. Some declare Christian Science and Mind Cure to be the same; others stoutly deny this, and seek to establish a radical distinction. Some represent Christian Science as a great advance upon ordinary Christianity; others denounce it as but refined Pantheism; while many more brand both Christian Science and Mind Cure as delusion, a reaction from the uncompromising materialism of the age.
Mrs. Marv Baker Glover Eddv, President of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, claims to have been the first to use the phrase "Christian Science".
It was in Massachusetts, in tho year 1806, that I discovered the Science of Metaphysical Healing, which I afterwards named Christian Science. Tho discovery came to pass in this way.
During twenty years prior to my discovery I had been trying to trace all physical effects to a mental cause; and in January of 1S66 I gained the scientific certainty that all causation was Mind, and every effect a mental phenomenon.
Mrs. Eddy further states that about the year 18G2 her health was failing rapidly, and she "employed a distinguished mesmerist, Mr. P. P. Quimby — a sensible, elderly gentleman, with some advanced views about healing. . . . There were no Metaphysical Healers then. The Science of Mental Healing had not been discovered".
Whether or not Mrs. Eddy is indebted for her ideas to Mr. Quimby has since been the subject of heated discussion ; for the short time which has elapsed since the "discovery "has been long enough for the development of several rival schools, which have engendered toward one another as much intensity of feeling as the odium thcologicum and odium medicum combined. Speaking of her rivals, Mrs. Eddy modestly observes: " Some silly publications, whose only correct or salient points are borrowed, without credit, from ' Science and Health,' would set the world right on Metaphysical Healing, like children thrumming a piano and pretending to teach music or criticise Mozart".
The history of the discovery is of sufficient importance to be given. " The cowardly claim that I am not the originator of my own writings, but that one P. P. Quimby is, has been legally met and punished. . . . Mr. Quimby died in 1865, and my first knowledge of Christian Science, or Metaphysical Healing, was gained in 1866. . . . When he doctored me I was ignorant of the nature of mesmerism, but subsequent knowledge has convinced me that he practiced it." Mrs. Eddy says that after having been for many years a sufferer from chronic diseases, she met with an accident which produced, according to physicians, a fatal injury. They gave her up to die, and declared that she would not live till noon. She replied that she woidd be well at that time. Her pastor called after service and found her busy about the house. One of her assistants says that "while she knew that she was healed by the direct and gracious exercise of the divine power, she was indisposed to make an old-time miracle of it".
After three years' meditation she concluded that her recovery was in accordance with general spiritual laws, capable of being known and clearly stated. She then began to teach and write; though prior to the expiration of the three years, namely, in 1SG7, she taught a purely metaphysical system of healing to, as she says, "the very first student who was ever so instructed since the days of the Apostles and the primitive Church." Her essays were circulated among her students privately. In 1870 she copyrighted her first pamphlet, but did not publish it till six years afterward.
In 1876 she organized the Christian Scientist Association, and in 1879, at a meeting of that association, she organized a Church, "a Mind Healing Church, without creeds, called the Church of Christ." To the pastorate of this she accepted a call, and was ordained in Boston, 1881. The college flourishes, the church has an assistant pastor, and Mrs. Eddy receives so much patronage as a teacher as to compel the publication of the following:
The authoress takes no patients, anil has no time for medical consultation.
Practitioners, who of course arc not obliged to waste much time upon such sordid things as anatomy, physiology, or materia medica, are prepared with unusual rapidity. The primary class in Christian Science Mind Healing includes twelve lessons. In the first week six of these are given. The term continues only about three weeks, and the charge for tuition is $300. The normal class requires six lectures. Graduates from the primary class are advised to practise at least one year before entering this class, and for these six lectures they must pay $200. There is also a class of Metaphysical Obstetrics which requires only six lectures, for which $100 must be paid. In addition to these there is a class in Theology, including six lectures on the Scriptures, for which $200 must be paid. The largest discount to an indigent student is $100 on the first course. Husbands and wives, if they enter together the primary class, may pay $300; but, entering at different times, must pay the regular price, and must do that for all other courses, payment being made strictly in advance. It is obvious therefore, that the benefits of the Mind Cure cannot be applied to commercial transactions; and that 800 material dollars, exclusive of board, are required to master the Science of Metaphysical Healing,—unless one were to say that national bank notes are merely material symbols of an immaterial and impalpable essence.
Considering the short time that has elapsed since the " discovery," the number of practitioners, as advertised in one of their magazines, is very large. Sixty-six are women, and twenty-nine men; and all but five of the men appear to be associated with their wives in the practice of the profession. There are also Christian Science institutes and colleges advertised : two in New York, four in Chicago, one in Milwaukee, one in Brooklyn, and one in Colorado. The other institutions do not charge so large a sum as Mrs. Eddy. Some of them agree to give sufficient instruction for $25 to justify the would-be practitioner in beginning. Others communicate all they know, with the privilege of meeting for conversation once a month for a year, on payment of $100. They give diplomas, valued according to the standing of the respective schools. Impostors have arisen, so that Mrs. Eddy has notified the public that all persons claiming to have been her pupils, who cannot show diplomas legally certifying to that effect, are preferring false claims.