1. I would suggest to fellow Christian Scientists that We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Vol. II, Expanded Edition, allows you to get to know our Leader, her consistency in living Christian Science and her constant mission to further the Cause of Christian Science. The various authors paint a picture of Mrs. Eddy that is extremely helpful to observe. Before I read this book, I was apprehensive from some of the comments I had heard in the past about Mrs. Eddy (worried that I would not be able to understand nor relate to Mrs. Eddy and her approach to life), but the many descriptions throughout the book fill one with a profound admiration and respect for the Discoverer of the Christ Science.
One becomes aware that Mrs. Eddy was clearly a transparency for Love from the many descriptions throughout the book, of her thoughtfulness and generosity, but also aware that her most loving gift was the one she gave to the world: Christian Science! The book sheds light on some of Mrs. Eddy’s ways, such as her habit of taking daily carriage rides. It explains the purpose of these excursions, was not to create occasions of entertainment or recreation, but rather to combat mortal mind’s constant speculation about her health and well-being. Readers can gather from the book that Mrs. Eddy wasn’t concerned how her actions appeared to others; different passages show Mrs. Eddy’s determination to listen to God’s word alone, despite the human voices that surrounded her. This constant communion with God allowed her to be the perfect instrument for carrying out God’s revelation of the Science of Christianity.
Finally, a bonus for Christian Science readers, centers around a list of golden nuggets Mrs. Eddy bestowed upon those with whom she lived; these are helpful suggestions to modern Scientists as well. A couple spring to mind. “You cannot make sour sweet, except you put in enough sweet” (p. 548), and “We should forget failures and disappointments. We experience a recurrence of evils and suffering because we do not forget them.” (p. 546) Throughout the various accounts of the different writers were many valuable tips and words of wisdom for living life as a Christian Scientist, as given by our Leader. These are some of the many utterances, which prevent this book from being a “quick read.”
2. Mr. Rathvon’s description of Mrs. Eddy, “…she was as far above any of us as the stars above the earth,” (p. 587) is the way I would have to describe most, if not all the “workers” included in this book. These people were the practitioners, teachers, and lecturers of their time; they were the “stars” in the early world of Christian Science.
Their willingness to leave their homes, churches, and families in order to answer the call and become Mrs. Eddy’s immediate support workers was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Furthermore, their sole desire to be of assistance in whatever ways they could, to make things easier for Mrs. Eddy, showed both devotion to and love for the woman they called Mother and the advancement of Christian Science. Their unquestioning willingness to follow Mrs. Eddy’s bidding expressed their faith in her clear communion with God and their ability to rid themselves of a sense of self. I found this lack of concern for their own personal paths very inspiring and a bit of an eye-opener for those times when one feels “put-upon” at the thought of carrying out yet another term as Head Usher at the branch church.
As for following our Leader, a couple of things struck me. I noticed that Mr. Rathvon mentioned that near the end of Mrs. Eddy’s human experience, she delegated more of the matters of business and operation to those trusted individuals who surrounded her, “but never delegated to others the regulation of its (her Church’s) policies. What should or should not be done, she determined.” (p. 584) This seems to me clear direction when the suggestion arises that times have changed and there needs to be a reworking of some of Mrs. Eddy’s policies. She was “on it” always and her unfailing trust of Divine Mind’s direction is that which we can trust for all time!