Blog May, 2023. Historical Sketches by Clifford P. Smith
Bless Editor Julie for the book she chose for May.
I had been wanting to find a record of a healing by Mrs. Eddy of a lunatic who had escaped from an asylum. Brian Talcott in his A spiritual response to mental illness ( Christian Science Sentinel audio 20/10/19) mentioned it, but he didn't give the part I was seeking.
This chap thought Mrs. Eddy had anointed him was the point I was after. The event is described on pages 81 and 82 of Historical Sketches. She healed the man and touched his head as if in benediction. He asked what she was doing and she said she was anointing his head with oil. (Alluding to the 23rd Psalm). He visited Mrs. Eddy years later and told her he had never been insane after she anointed him as if with oil.
I was also seeking a record of the person Mrs. Eddy healed of deafness and dumbness. I seemed to think that he had written a book. His name was Hanover P. Smith. I remembered the Smith part and wondered if the writer of Historical Sketches (Clifford P. Smith) was the same chap. I believe I had always assumed it was, without checking. Anyway, the healing is mentioned in the book – page 83.
So, I had it in mind that Hanover Smith wrote a book. Historical Sketches must have been my source because it tells me that indeed he did write a book, Writings and Genius of the Founder of Christian Science; privately published but advertised in the Christian Science periodicals. (see Index and page 201.)
Mr. Smith has given me an enlarged idea of the effects of the seven year old child Mary Baker saying she was going to write a book. It seems that this was much more than a childish fancy.
She was inspired with this idea and it was very real to her as a message direct from God. Smith seems to be saying that her brother Albert’s academic coaching of her was done with this goal in mind. He says, “...she confided this intention to her brother, Albert, who promised to help her become a writer.” He tutored her in the subjects he was studying. He was a capable writer and fluent speaker. Smith says that in her later years, “...she counted her early intention to write a book as aone among a few of the most determinative facts of her entire history.” (Notes from pages 102, 103))
On page 71 we read of the healing of a little boy who had been at the point of death from brain fever. The part I recall is that the little chap resisted the truth being known for him, saying, “I is tick, I is tick.” Mrs. Eddy said, “You are not sick, and you are a good boy.” And it was so.
I was reminded of this when I visited my sister-in-law in hospital. The medical verdict was not good. I was a new student of Christian Science, but I endeavoured to know some truths about the claim. The look she gave me seemed to echo the little boy’s, “I is tick.” She passed on shortly after.
Some of Mrs. Eddy’s students asked her how she had healed a man whose “arms were so stiff and his legs so contracted that he was strapped to crutches.” She replied, “When I looked on that man, my heart gushed with unspeakable pity and prayer.” (p. 96) Pity? Yes, followed by prayer, or probably including prayer.
I found a part-definition of Christian Science on page 111: “...Christian Science, as its name indicates, is the Christian religion interpreted in an original manner and applied in a scientific way to the overcoming of evil with good throughout the range of human thought.”
Post a Comment