The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy/Chapter 10

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Whatever disagreement Mrs. Glover had with individual students, their number constantly increased, and for every deserter there were several new adherents. Her following grew not only in numbers but in zeal; her influence over her students and their veneration of her were subjects of comment and astonishment in Lynn. Of some of them it could be truly said that they lived only for and through Mrs. Glover. They continued to attend in some manner to their old occupations, but they became like strangers to their own families, and their personalities seemed to have undergone an eclipse. Like their teacher, they could talk of only one thing and had but one vital interest. One disciple let two of his three children die under metaphysical treatment without a murmur. Another married the woman whom Mrs. Glover designated. Two students furnished the money to bring out her first book, though Mrs. Glover at that time owned the house in which she lived, and her classes were fairly remunerative.

The closer students, who constituted Mrs. Glover's cabinet and bodyguard, executed her commissions, transacted her business, and were always at her call. To-day some of these who have long been accounted as enemies by Mrs. Eddy, and whom she has anathematised in print and discredited on the witness-stand, still declare that what they got from her was beyond equivalent in gold or silver. They speak of a certain spiritual or emotional exaltation which she was able to impart in her classroom; a feeling so strong that it was like the birth of a new understanding and seemed to open to them a new heaven and a new earth. Some of Mrs. Glover's students experienced this in a very slight degree, and some not at all, but such as were imaginative and emotional, and especially those who had something of the mystic in their natures, came out of her class room to find that for them the world had changed. They lived by a new set of values; the colour seemed to fade out of the physical world about them; men and women became shadow-like, and their own humanity grew pale. The reality of pain and pleasure, sin and grief, love and death, once denied, the only positive thing in their lives was their belief—and that was almost wholly negation. One of the students who was closest to Mrs. Glover at that time says that to him the world outside her little circle seemed like a madhouse, where each inmate was given over to his delusion of love or gain or ambition, and the problem which confronted him was how to awaken them from the absurdity of their pursuits. It is but fair to say that occasionally a student was more of a royalist than the king, and that Mrs. Glover herself had a very sound sense of material values and often reminded an extravagant follower to render unto Cæsar what was his due.

Among the enthusiasts of Mrs. Glover's following was Daniel Harrison Spofford, who became a very successful practitioner of mental healing, and at one time had offices in Boston, Haverhill, and Newburyport, dividing his time among the three places. Spofford was one of the most interesting of Mrs. Glover's students and an important factor in the early development of Christian Science.[1] He was born at Temple, N. H., and when he was a boy of ten came to eastern Massachusetts with his brother and widowed mother. He was put out to work for farmers about the country, and, although he was a frail boy, he did a man's work. He was working as a watchmaker's apprentice when, in his twentieth year, he entered the army. He enlisted in '61 and served in the Army of the Potomac, in Hooker's brigade, until he was mustered out in '64, taking part in some twenty engagements, among them Gettysburg and the second battle of Bull Run. On his return from the army he went to work in a shoe factory in Lynn. He first met Mrs. Glover in 1871, when she was with Richard Kennedy, and he had access, through another student, to the manuscripts from which she taught. During the next three years, which he spent in the South and West, he carried these manuscripts with him and studied them. He was thoughtful and reflective by nature, and even when he was a chore boy on the farm he read the Bible diligently and went about his work in the barn and in the field, pondering deeply upon the paradoxes of the old theology. He had worked out a kind of transcendentalism of his own, and he found something in the Quimby manuscripts which satisfied a need of his nature. When he came back to Lynn, in the spring of 1875, he began to experiment among his friends in the healing power of this system, and made several cures which were much talked about. Mrs. Glover soon heard of this and sent Spofford a letter, in which she said: "Mr. Spofford I tender you a cordial invitation to join my next class and receive my instruction in healing the sick without medicine, without money and without price."

Spofford, who was then about thirty-three years of age, accordingly entered Mrs. Glover's class in April, 1875, and in a few weeks her teaching had become to him the most important thing in the world. Mr. Spofford still says that no price could be put upon what Mrs. Glover gave her students, and that the mere manuscripts which he had formerly studied were, compared to her expounding of them, as the printed page of a musical score compared to its interpretation by a master. His teacher recognised in him a mind singularly adapted to her subject, and a nature sincere and free from self-seeking. She turned many of her students over to him for instruction in Scriptural interpretation, addressed him as "Harry," and showed her appreciation of his loyalty by presenting to him, in a silver case, the gold pen with which Science and Health was written.

In May, a month after he entered her class, Mr. Spofford opened an office in Lynn and put out his sign, "Dr. Spofford, Scientific Physician." His success was as rapid as Richard Kennedy's had been, although it would be difficult to find two men more unlike than these, who were perhaps the most intelligent and able of all Mrs. Glover's practising students. Kennedy was cheerful, impulsive, practical, and blessed with a warm enjoyment of the world as it is. He made a host of friends, whom he managed to see very often, and always found a thousand agreeable duties which he discharged punctiliously. Spofford was an idealist, somewhat tinged with the gentle melancholy of the dreamer—a type with which the literature of New England has made us all familiar. His frame was delicate, his hands and features finely cut, and his eyes were intense and very blue in colour. His voice was low, and his manner gentle and somewhat aloof.

Foremost in loyalty among Mrs. Glover's women students was Mrs. Miranda Rice, who remained in constant attendance upon her, acting as mediator between her and recalcitrant students, and attending her in those violent seizures of hysteria which continued to torture her. Mrs. Rice says that during these attacks the poor woman would often lie unconscious for hours together; at other times she would seem almost insane, would denounce all her friends, declare that they were all persecuting and wronging her, and that she would run away, never to come back.

In spite of the hardships of her service, Mrs. Rice remained Mrs. Glover's friend for about twelve years—Mrs. Glover rarely kept her friends so long. Mrs. Rice always felt under obligation to her teacher, for she had paid no tuition when she entered her class, and one of Mrs. Glover's most noted demonstrations—for years recounted in succeeding editions of Science and Health—occurred when she attended Mrs. Rice in childbed. Mrs. Rice still affirms that the birth was absolutely painless.

George W. Barry, a student who avowed that Mrs. Glover had cured him of consumption, was long active in her service and he always addressed her as "Mother." Once when Bronson Alcott, that undiscouraged patron of metaphysical cults, went to Lynn upon an invitation from Mrs. Glover and addressed her class, he turned to Barry and, struck by his youthful appearance, asked, "How old are you, young man?" Barry replied, "I am five years old, sir," explaining that it was five years ago that he first began to study under Mrs. Glover. Two years after he had thus defined existence, Barry sued Mrs. Glover, then Mrs. Eddy, for money due him for services to her extending over a period of five years; some of the instances set forth in his bill of particulars give an interesting glimpse of life at Number 8 Broad Street. Among the services rendered, as stated in this bill, was: "Copying the manuscript of the book entitled Science and Health, and aiding in arrangement of capital letters and some of the grammatical constructions." (The Referee in the case found that Barry had copied out in long hand twenty-five hundred pages, and allowed him more than the usual copyist rate, "on account of the difficulty which a portion of the pages presented to the copyist by reason of erasures and interlineations.") Other services mentioned in Barry's bill were: "Copying manuscript for classes and helping to arrange the construction of some of the sentences"; "copying Mrs. Glover's replies to W. W. Wright's newspaper articles"; "searching for a publisher"; "moving her goods from the tenement on South Common Street, Lynn, i.e., disposing of some at the auction room, storing others in my uncle's barn, and storing trunks and goods at my father's house, clearing up rooms, paying rent for the same"; "attending to her financial business, i.e., withdrawing monies from Boston savings banks, going to Boston to get United States coupon bonds, taking in my care two mortgages," etc.

Further services mentioned in Barry's bill were: "Aiding in buying and caring for the place at Number 8 Broad Street; aiding in selection of carpets and furniture, helping to move, putting down carpets, etc., and working in the garden." In his bill of expenditures he said that he had paid out money on Mrs. Glover's account for rent, car-fare, postage, stationery, printing, express charges, and boots. In her reply Mrs. Glover stated that she had repaid him for all these expenditures, and that the boots were a present from the plaintiff. On the witness-stand she further stated that she taught him "how to make an interrogation point and what capitals to attach to the names of the Deity." She affirmed that she had cured him of disease. "I gave him mind as one would treat a patient with material medicine," she told the judge. Mrs. Glover later reproachfully published some verses which she said Barry wrote her before his defection:

O, mother mine, God grant I ne'er forget,
Whatever be my grief or what my joy,
The unmeasured, unextinguishable debt
I owe to thee, but find my sweet employ
Ever through thy remaining days to be
To thee as faithful as thou wast to me.[2]

Surrounded as she was by these admiring students, who hung upon her words and looked to her for the ultimate wisdom, Mrs. Glover gradually became less acutely conscious of Quimby's relation to the healing system she taught. She herself was being magnified and exalted daily by her loyal disciples, in whose extravagant devotion she saw repeated the attitude of many of Quimby's patients—herself among them—to their healer. Instead of pointing always backward and reiterating, "I learned this from Dr. Quimby," etc., she began to acquiesce in the belief of her students, who regarded her as the source of what she taught. Her infatuated students, indeed, desired to see no further than their teacher, and doubtless would not have looked beyond her had she pointed. Consequently she said less and less about Quimby as time went on, and by 1875, when her first book, Science and Health, was issued, she had crowded him altogether out of his "science."[3]

In the history of the Quimby manuscript, from which she taught during the five years, 1870-1875, one can trace the steps by which Mrs. Glover, starting as the humble and grateful patient of Quimby, arrived at the position of rival, and pretender to his place. We have seen that while she was in Stoughton, Mrs. Glover wrote a preface, signed "Mary M. Glover," to her copy of Quimby's manuscript, "Questions and Answers," and that she made slight changes in, and additions to, the text. In examining the copies of this manuscript which were given out to her students in Lynn, 1870-1872, we find that this signed preface has been incorporated in the text, so that the manuscript reads like the composition of one person, and that instead of being issued with a title-page, reading "Extracts from P. P. Quimby's Writings," as was the Stoughton manuscript, the copies given out in Lynn were unsigned. This manuscript Mrs. Glover called "The Science of Man, or the Principle which Controls Matter." In 1870 she took out a copyright upon a book entitled: The Science of Man by which the Sick are Healed Embracing Questions and Answers in Moral Science Arranged for the Learner by Mrs. Mary Baker Glover. This seems to have been only a precautionary measure, however, as she took no steps to publish the pamphlet until 1876. When it appeared, it contained allusions to events which happened after 1872, and it must have been largely rewritten after the date of the copyright.

In Stoughton "The Science of Man" was the only manuscript from which Mrs. Glover taught. By the time she arrived in Lynn, however, she had worked out another treatise, which she sometimes entitled "Scientific Treatise on Mortality, As Taught by Mrs. M. B. Glover," and sometimes gave no title at all. Mr. Horatio Dresser and Mr. George A. Quimby, the two persons best acquainted with Phineas P. Quimby's writings, say that this second manuscript is only partially his, and seems to be made up of extracts from his writings, woven together and interspersed with much that must have been Mrs. Glover's own. In her early teaching in Lynn she gave out this new manuscript, first requiring her pupils to learn it by heart, and following it up with "The Science of Man," which still formed the basis of her lectures. She occasionally reinforced her instruction by giving to a promising pupil still a third manuscript, also a combination of Quimby and herself, which she called "Soul's Inquiries of Man." At first, however, Mrs. Glover gave Quimby credit for the authorship of the three manuscripts, even for the two which seem to have been partly her own composition.

The next important change in her manuscript occurred in the spring of 1872, when Richard Kennedy left her. Mrs. Glover was then without a practising student—a serious disadvantage to her—and she was so angered that she conceived for Kennedy a violent hatred, from which, without the slightest provocation on his part, she suffered intensely for many years, and from which it may be justly said she still suffers. Kennedy simply changed his office, refused to discuss Mrs. Glover at all, and went on practising. His success so annoyed Mrs. Glover that she wished to repudiate him and his methods, and to do this it was necessary to repudiate what she herself had taught him. She therefore announced that she had discovered that the method of treatment which she had taught Kennedy (i.e., wetting and rubbing the patient's head) was harmful and pernicious. Mr. Wright's articles in the Lynn Transcript had apparently suggested mesmerism to her, and she now declared that Kennedy was a mesmerist and his treatment mesmerism.[4] In the first edition of Science and Health, page 193, she says:

Sooner suffer a doctor infected with smallpox to be about you than come under the treatment of one that manipulates his patients' heads, and is a traitor to science.

And on page 371:

There is but one possible way of doing wrong with a mental method of healing, and this is mesmerism, whereby the minds of the sick may be controlled with error instead of Truth. . . . For years we had tested the benefits of Truth on the body, and knew no opposite chance for doing evil through a mental method of healing until we saw it traduced by an erring student, and made the medium of error. Introducing falsehoods into the minds of the patients prevented their recovery, and the sins of the doctor was visited on the patients, many of whom died because of this. . . .

Soon after her break with Kennedy she had all her students strike out from their manuscript, "Scientific Treatise on Mortality," the passages regarding the manipulation of the patient's head. These passages are within parentheses in the following:

That is, do not be discouraged but hold calmly and persistently on to science that tells you you are right and they are in error, (and wetting your hand in water, rise and rub their head, this rubbing has no virtue only as we believe and others believe we get nearer to them by contact, and now you would rub out a belief and this belief is located in the brain, therefore as an M.D. lays a poultice where the pain is, so you lay your hands where the belief is to rub it forever out) do not address your thoughts for a moment to their body as you mentally argue down their beliefs (and rub their heads) but take yourself, the Soul, to destroy the error of life, sensation and substance in matter to your own belief, as much as in you lies, etc.

"Manipulation," as she called it, became a thing of horror to Mrs. Glover; it was the taint which distinguished the false science from the true. Now, manipulation had been Quimby's method of treating his patients, and as Mrs. Glover was a person of singularly literal mind, breaking away from that method gave her a sense not only of independence but of conquest. She considered that she had improved upon the original Quimby method and left it behind her. She still taught her students to put their fingers upon the patient's head, but the rubbing and the bowl of water were now symbols of the dark abuses of "mental malpractice." Having abjured them, Mrs. Glover felt that this Science was hers as it had never been before. She felt that she had now a system which was practically her own, and told Dr. Spofford she considered that Quimby had been a detriment to her growth in Science. The more one studies the illogical and literal quality of Mrs. Glover's mind as evinced in her life and writings, the better one understands how she could readily persuade herself that this was true.

The progress of this assimilation is easily followed:

First—The writing of a signed preface to and the amending of the original Quimby manuscript.

Second—The incorporating of this preface in the text.

Third—The composition of a second manuscript, partly her own, from which she was able to teach successfully.

Fourth—The discontinuation of "manipulation" in treatment.

Fifth—The belief, fostered by her students, that her interpretation of the Quimby manuscript was far beyond the manuscript itself in scope and understanding.

Sixth—The writing of the book, Science and Health, begun in the later '60's and finished in 1875, in which Mrs. Glover undoubtedly added much extraneous matter to Quimbyism, and developed self-confidence by presenting ideas of her own.

Although the Christian Science Church was not chartered until 1879, the first attempt at an organisation was made in 1875. Her students desired Mrs. Glover to conduct services of public worship in Lynn, and to this end formed an association, electing officers, and calling themselves the "Christian Scientists." In a memorandum book, kept by Daniel H. Spofford in the spring of that year, appears the following entry:

May 26—At a meeting of students, 8 Broad street, there was a committee of three appointed, consisting of Dorcas B. Rawson, George W. Barry and D. H. Spofford, to ascertain what a suitable hall could be rented for, and the amount which could be raised weekly toward sustaining Mrs. Glover as teacher and instructor for one year. Committee to report night of June 1.

This committee entered heartily into its labours and drew up the following pledge, which was signed by eight students:

Whereas, in times not long past, the Science of Healing new to the age, and far in advance of all other modes was introduced into the city of Lynn by its discoverer, a certain lady, Mary Baker Glover,

And, whereas, many friends spread the good tidings throughout the place, and bore aloft the standard of life and truth which had declared freedom to many manacled with the bonds of disease or error,

And, whereas, by the wilful and wicked disobedience of an individual,[5] who has no name in Love Wisdom or Truth, the light was obscured by clouds of misinterpretation and mists of mystery, so that God's work was hidden from the world and derided in the streets,

Now therefore, we, students and advocates of this moral science called the Science of Life, . . . have arranged with the said Mary Baker Glover, to preach to us or direct our meetings on the Sabbath of each week, and hereby covenant with one another, and by these presents do publish and proclaim, that we have agreed and do each and all agree to pay weekly, for one year, beginning with the sixth day of June, A.D., 1875, to a treasurer chosen by at least seven students the amount set opposite our names, provided nevertheless the moneys paid by us shall be expended for no other purpose or purposes than the maintenance of said Mary Baker Glover as teacher or instructor, than the renting of a suitable hall and other necessary incidental expenses, and our signatures shall be a full and sufficient guarantee of our faithful performance of this contract.

Mr. Spofford's memorandum book continues the story of this association:

June 1—On receiving the report of the committee it was decided to rent Templars' Hall, Market street, and the first regular meeting to be June 6. Also a business meeting appointed June 8.

June 6—There were probably sixty in attendance at the meeting this evening.

June 8—At the meeting this evening, George H. Allen was chosen president, George W. Barry, secretary, and Daniel H. Spofford, treasurer, the society to be known as the “Christian Scientists.”[6]

For five successive Sundays Mrs. Glover discoursed to her pupils in the Templars' Hall, receiving five dollars for each address. The remaining five dollars of the amount subscribed went toward paying incidental expenses. After the first two meetings a number of Spiritualists were attracted to the services. In the discussions following Mrs. Glover's talks they asked questions which annoyed her, and she finally refused to continue her lectures and abolished public services.

Toward the end of the same year the book, Science and Health, made its first appearance in print.[7] Mrs. Glover was Convinced that it was through this volume that she was to make her way, and that the most important task before her was to advertise it and push its sale. She accordingly entrusted this work to her leading practitioner and chief adviser, Daniel Spofford, persuading him to hand over his thriving practice to one of her new students, Asa Gilbert Eddy.

Mrs. Glover first met Mr. Eddy through Mr. Spofford, to whom Eddy had come as a patient. Although destined to become the husband of Mrs. Glover and his name to be indissolubly associated with Christian Science and made famous throughout two continents, this new student was personally unpretentious and had no suspicion of his future greatness. He was of humble origin, coming from the village of South Londonderry in the Green Mountains, where his father, Asa Eddy, was, according to his neighbours and friends, a hard-working, plodding farmer. His mother, Betsey Smith Eddy, was a more original character, and the children inherited many of her peculiarities. Farm life was not congenial to Mrs. Eddy or her children. Their tastes and inclinations were not for the established and the orderly, and they consequently had little or nothing to do with the routine work of either farm or house.

Mrs. Eddy was not a very marked example of New England housewifely thrift, and she was pretty generally criticised for her "slack" housekeeping and her inattention to her children. The children, indeed, grew up as they would, satisfying their hunger from the "mush-pot" in which they boiled the cornmeal porridge which formed their main diet, and regulating their habits and conduct, each to suit himself. They met with no interference from their mother, who was much away from home. Every morning after the children had been sent over to the district school, which was only a few steps from the house, it was Mrs. Eddy's invariable custom to hitch up her horse and set forth on a trip through the country or to the neighbouring towns. This drive usually lasted all day, and it was the one thing that was performed with promptness and regularity in the Eddy ménage. To protect herself from rough weather on her expeditions, Mrs. Eddy devised an ingenious costume. From the front of her large poke bonnet she hung a shawl, in which was inserted a 9 x 10 pane of window glass, so placed that when she donned the costume the glass was opposite her face. This handy contrivance kept out the wind or rain or snow, without obscuring her vision; and thus equipped, Mrs. Eddy daily defied the vagaries of Vermont weather. The children of the village called her "the woman with the looking-glass."

Neighbourly comment and rebuke were lost on mother and children alike. They themselves enjoyed the unhampered life they led. It was only those who had a sense of order and regularity who suffered from the Eddy method, and they were all outside the Eddy family, unless indeed, it were Asa Eddy, the father, who may sometimes have grown tired of returning from his day's work in the fields to a deserted house, to make a fire and prepare his own food.

As the boys grew older they were very ingenious about the house. They learned to wash and iron their own clothes as well as to make them, and while none of them would work on the farm with their father they all knew how to run the loom, which their mother kept in the kitchen, and upon which she sometimes wove. They took naturally to the trades, and when they started out for themselves one chose that of a carpenter, another became a cobbler, a third a stone-cutter, a fourth a clock-maker, and Asa Gilbert, the future husband of the founder of the Christian Science Church, was a weaver. As a boy Gilbert had been much with his mother, often accompanying her on her drives and winding the "quills" for her loom on the rare occasions when she felt like spinning or weaving. At school, where he was nicknamed "Githy,"[8] he was backward in everything except penmanship, in which he excelled and in which he took great satisfaction. He had considerable personal pride of a kind which showed itself in his odd choice of clothes, his mincing gait, and the elaborate arrangement of his hair, which he trained to curl under in a roll at the back and combed up into a high "roach" in front. Like his brothers he was fond of hunting and spent much of his time shooting at birds or at a target. Sometimes he hired out to a farmer, but only for a few days or weeks at a time, for he had no taste for farming.

The family had no church connections or religious

Asa Gilbert Eddy (2).jpg


Mrs. Eddy's third husband. He died in 1882

When Gilbert left home, about 1860, he went to Springfield, Vt., to run a "spinning jack" in a woollen mill, and later when the woollen mill burned, he found employment in a baby-carriage factory in the same village. Altogether he was in Springfield until late in the 'sixties, and after spending some time again in Londonderry, he drifted to East Boston and became agent for a sewing machine. In spite of the shiftlessness of his bringing up, Gilbert developed a strain of thrift and economy. While in Springfield he had worked regularly and hoarded his savings. He lived by himself in meagre quarters and did his own housework, including his washing, and he made his own trousers. His sister-in-law, Mrs. Washington Eddy of New Haven, Conn., says, that when he visited his brother, he always helped her with the housework, especially with the ironing. She says that "he could do up a shirt as well as any woman." By means of his good management Gilbert was able to purchase from his parents the deed of their farm, which at his own death went by will to his wife, Mary Baker G. Eddy, who sold it for $1,500 to Stephen Houghton, a neighbour of the Eddys in Londonderry.

It was while Gilbert was acting as sewing machine agent in East Boston that he heard of Daniel H. Spofford as a healer and went to him as a patient. Spofford talked with him about the method he practised and when Eddy became interested, Spofford advised him to study the system and become a practitioner himself. Eddy eagerly accepted the advice and Spofford introduced him to Mrs. Glover, who at once enrolled him as a member of her next class.

People who knew Eddy well in Lynn describe him as a quiet, dull little man, docile and yielding up to a certain point, but capable of a dogged sort of obstinacy. He was short of stature, slow in his movements, and always taciturn. When he first came to Lynn people remarked upon his old-fashioned dress and singular manner of wearing his hair. He usually wore a knitted Cardigan jacket and a long surtout gathered very full at the waist and a light cinnamon in colour.

From their first acquaintance he and his teacher manifested a cordial regard for each other. He alone of all her students was permitted to call her by her first name, Mary, and she addressed him as Gilbert, often speaking of him to other pupils, and extolling his willingness and obedience. After Mr. Spofford's patients had been transferred to Eddy, some of Mrs. Glover's students began to feel that her interest in the new practitioner was out of all proportion to his usefulness in the Science. Mrs. Glover became aware of this jealousy and was greatly distressed by it. She felt that her students were leaning on her too heavily, and that by demanding her attention and even by thinking about her so constantly, they drained her powers and unfitted her for her work. She spoke much in these days of a temperamental quality which compelled her to take on the ills and perplexities of her friends and to suffer from them as if they were her own. She continually besought her students not to "call upon her" in thought when they were sick or in trouble. For some months before her marriage to Gilbert Eddy she seems to have felt completely at the mercy of her students' minds, and that she must find some way to put a barrier between their thoughts and her own. An almost incoherent letter, written to Daniel Spofford two days before her marriage, indicates great mental distress, and she evidently felt that her favouritism toward Eddy had been the subject of criticism.

"Now, Dr. Spofford," she writes, "won't you exercise reason and let me live or will you kill me? Your mind is just what has brought on my relapse and I shall never recover if you do not govern yourself and TURN YOUR THOUGHTS wholly away from me. Do for God's sake and the work I have before me let me get out of this suffering I never was worse than last night and you say you wish to do me good and I do not doubt it. Then won't you quit thinking of me. I shall write no more to a male student and never more trust one to live with. It is a hidden foe that is at work read Science and Health page 193, 1st paragraph.

"No STUDENT nor mortal has tried to have you leave me that I know of. Dr. Eddy has tried to have you stay you are in a mistake, it is God and not man that has separated us and for the reason I begin to learn. Do not think of returning to me again I shall never again trust a man They know not what manner of temptations assail God produces the separation and I submit to it so must you. There is no cloud between us but the way you set me up for a Dagon is wrong and now I implore you to return forever from this error of personality and go alone to God as I have taught you.

"It is mesmerism that I feel and is killing me it is mortal mind that only can make me suffer. Now stop thinking of me or you will cut me off soon from the face of the earth."

Gilbert Eddy called on his teacher that same evening, and must have reassured the distracted woman as to the trustworthiness of his sex, for on the next day he was the proud bearer to Spofford of the following note, even the date line of which breathes peace:

Sabbath Eve, Dec. 31, '76. 

Dear Student:

For reasons best known to myself I have changed my views in respect to marrying and ask you to hand this note to the Unitarian clergyman and please wait for his answer.

Your teacher,

M. B. G. 

Hand or deliver the reply to Dr. Eddy.

When Mr. Spofford read the note he remarked:

"You've been very quiet about all this, Gilbert."

"Indeed, Dr. Spofford," protested the happy groom, "I didn't know a thing about it myself until last night."

He then produced the marriage license from his pocket, and Mr. Spofford noticed that the ages of both the bride and groom were put down as forty years. Knowing that Mrs. Glover was in her fifty-sixth year, he remarked upon the inaccuracy, but Mr. Eddy explained that the statement of age was a mere formality and that a few years more or less was of no consequence.

On New Year's Day, 1877, the Rev. Samuel B. Stewart performed the marriage ceremony at Mrs. Glover's home on Broad Street. The wedding was unattended by festivities, but several weeks later Mrs. Eddy's friends and students assembled one evening to offer the usual bridal gifts and congratulations. An interesting picture of this friendly gathering is found in an account published in the Lynn Recorder, February 10, 1877.


Mr. Editor—A very pleasant occasion of congratulations and bridal gifts passed off at the residence of the bride and bridegroom, Dr. and Mrs. Eddy, at No. 8 Broad St., on the evening of the 31st ult. The arrival of a large number of unexpected guests at length brought about the discovery that it was a sort of semi-surprise party, and thus it proved, and a very agreeable surprise at that. It afterwards appeared that the visitors had silently assembled in the lower parlour, and laden the table with bridal gifts, when the door was suddenly thrown open and some of the family invited in to find the room well packed with friendly faces; all of which was the quiet work of that mistress of all good management, Mrs. Bixby. One of the most elaborate gifts in silver was a cake basket. A bouquet of crystallised geranium leaves of rare varieties encased in glass was charming, but the presents were too fine to permit a selection. Mr. S. P. Bancroft gave the opening address—a very kind and graceful speech, which was replied to by Mrs. Glover-Eddy with evident satisfaction, when alluding to the unbroken friendship for their teacher, the fidelity to Truth and the noble purposes cherished by a number of her students and the amount of good compared with others of which they were capable. The happy evening was closed with reading the Bible, remarks on the Scriptures, etc. Wedding cake and lemonade were served, and those from out of town took the cars for home.


  1. Mr. Spofford now lives opposite the old Whittier homestead, on the road between Haverhill and Amesbury.
  2. Science and Health (1881), Vol. II., p. 15.
  3. There is only a casual mention of Quimby in the first edition of Science and Health.
  4. The story of the beginning and growth of Mrs. Eddy's belief in mesmerism is told in full in Chapter XII.
  5. Presumably Richard Kennedy.
  6. This, so far as can be learned, was the first time that Mrs. Glover's students were called “Christian Scientists.”
  7. A detailed account of the publication of this important book is given in the next chapter.
  8. This nickname was won because Gilbert had a lisp and could not pronounce the words, "geese eggs."