Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 14, 1963

Mary Baker Eddy: Preaching Without Practice

Jerry C. Ray

In a squib from the Irving News Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science religion, is reported to have said, "The error of the ages is preaching without practice." And if there was ever one qualified to make this statement, it was Mrs. Eddy.

Mrs. Eddy taught others that sickness and pain are unreal. She taught her followers to abstain from all medicines and drugs. Yet she herself used morphine regularly for most of her adult life, and especially during the 1870's! (Martin & Klann, The Christian Science Myth, pp. 19-20; Edwin Franden Dakin, Mrs. Eddy, pp. 19, 149, 513-514).

Mrs. Eddy made a fortune and died a millionaire many times over by selling to others the "knowledge" to heal any and all sicknesses, but she herself has not one single bonafide cure to her credit.

Mrs. Eddy wrote in the New York Sun, Dec. 19, 1898:

"I challenge the world to disprove what I hereby declare. After my discovery of Christian Science I healed consumption in the last stages that the M.D.'s by verdict of a stethoscope and the schools declared incurable, the lungs being mostly consumed. I healed malignant tubercular diphtheria and carious bones that could be dented by fingers, saving them when the surgeon's instruments were lying on the table ready for their amputation. I have healed at one visit a cancer that had so eaten the flesh of the neck as to expose the jugular vein so that it stood out like a cord." (Martin & Klann, The Christian Science Myth, p. 33).

Mrs. Eddy was never modest in her claims. In the above quotation she gave no particulars — no names, dates, addresses. It is assertion without a shred of proof.

Mrs. Eddy had several golden opportunities to prove her curative powers, but she refused them all. When pressed to perform cures identical to the ones claimed, particularly by a prominent Cincinnati physican, she refused. During her lifetime she allowed her own granddaughter, her beloved brother Samuel's wife, her close friend, Joseph Armstrong, and her own husband, Asa Eddy, to die without working cures upon them. (Ibid., 34)

Furthermore, Mr. Alfred Farlow, then Chairman of the Publications Committee of the Christian Science Church and President of the Mother Church in Boston "clearly stated that he did not know of any healing ever having been made by Mrs. Eddy of any organic disease in her entire life but that of stiff leg — hardly a major illness by any reasonable diagnosis." (Ibid., 35)

Mrs. Eddy condemned marriage as carnal, yet she was married three times! In an address to the Mother Church, Boston, June, 1906, she stigmatized marriage as "synonymous with legalized lust." (The Preceptor, article by Winford Claiborne, April 1955, p. 427). She merely tolerated marriage as a necessary evil until Christian Science was full grown: "Until it is learned that generation rests on no sexual basis, let marriage continue" (Science & Health, 274); "To abolish marriage at this period and maintain morality and generation would put ingenuity to ludicrous shifts; yet this is possible in Science, although it is today problematic" (Misc. Writings, p. 386)

Incidentally, when Mrs. Mary Ann Morse Baker Glover Patterson Eddy was married the last time, to Asa Eddy, she was 56, but on the marriage license her age was given as 40.

Mrs. Eddy was certainly qualified to speak on preaching without practice.

1605 W. Highway 356, Irving, Texas