A new book from Longyear

December 30, 2010 | 3 comments

Longyear Museum recently published a new book titled,”Paths of pioneer Christian Scientists.” I finished reading it last week, and if you are interested in how the Christian Science movement got started, this is an inspirational text.

The book reviews letters, correspondence and biographical information on four women who were taught by Mary Baker Eddy and made major contributions to the stunning growth and spread of Christian Science in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The healing record of these women is very impressive. In hundreds of cases, healings were instantaneous of some of the worst forms of human suffering, illness and disease.

Emma Thompson, one of the practitioners documented, received patients into her home from early morning until late at night, day after day, the demand was so great for her treatments. She healed thousands and became regionally famous for her work.

The book is filled with nuggets of metaphysical truths that stick to you like gum on your shoe.

One quote from Eddy to Janette Weller that caught my attention was when Eddy wrote to her, “To leave all for Christ, is leaving nothing and finding all” (p. 71). Just super! I could relate. Prospective students of spirituality fear giving up “the important things in life,” to pursue the things of Spirit. It’s such an illusion. There is nothing in matter to give up. It’s all a fraud compared to the gain in Spirit.

Another story that stuck with me was a time when Emma Thompson was under special scrutiny by medical practitioners in Minneapolis. Thompson’s reputation as a healer was of celebrity status. Hundreds were flocking to her home and finding restoration.

One night Thompson was called to the home of a little girl suffering from scarlet fever. The family doctor said the girl was near death and offered no hope of recovery. Thompson arrived at midnight, gave treatment for an hour and left the child sleeping peacefully. The next morning the doctor returned to discover the girl perfectly well eating a hearty breakfast. When he found out a Christian Science practitioner had healed her he grew furious and out of spite nailed a quarantine sign on the front door of their house and said, “I am leaving on a fishing trip and I would like to see Mrs. Thompson get you out of quarantine.”

The child’s father relayed the message to Thompson later that day. She replied, “The same power that healed your child can remove the sign from you house.” That evening, a severe windstorm swept through town and destroyed the sign. No more quarantine (p. 26).

The book is full of fascinating anecdotes, stories and experiences, trials, tribulations and triumphs that serve to encourage the worker today.

If there is one message I picked up while reading the book, it was that victory is assured when a student stays faithful to the teachings.


3 thoughts on “A new book from Longyear”

  1. I read about this book in Longyear’s newsletter and was impressed; now, thanks to your great review, I will definitely buy it when I’m in Chestnut Hill next year (well, next year starts in 6 hours!). I love that “leaving nothing” quote.

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