I am subject to correction, but I think that that is about what Mrs.
Eddy was intending to convey. Has her English--which is always difficult to me--beguiled me into misunderstanding the following remark, which she makes (calling herself "we," after an old regal fas.h.i.+on of hers) in her preface to her Miscellaneous Writings?
"While we entertain decided views as to the best method for elevating the race physically, morally, and spiritually, and shall express these views as duty demands, we shall claim no especial gift from our divine organ, no supernatural power."
Was she meaning to say:
"Although I am of divine origin and gifted with supernatural power, I shall not draw upon these resources in determining the best method of elevating the race?"
If she had left out the word "our," she might then seem to say:
"I claim no especial or unusual degree of divine origin--"
Which is awkward--most awkward; for one either has a divine origin or hasn't; shares in it, degrees of it, are surely impossible. The idea of crossed breeds in cattle is a thing we can entertain, for we are used to it, and it is possible; but the idea of a divine mongrel is unthinkable.
Well, then, what does she mean? I am sure I do not know, for certain. It is the word "our" that makes all the trouble. With the "our" in, she is plainly saying "my divine origin." The word "from" seems to be intended to mean "on account of." It has to mean that or nothing, if "our" is allowed to stay. The clause then says:
"I shall claim no especial gift on account of my divine origin."
And I think that the full sentence was intended to mean what I have already suggested:
"Although I am of divine origin, and gifted with supernatural power, I shall not draw upon these resources in determining the best method of elevating the race."
When Mrs. Eddy copyrighted that Preface seven years ago, she had long been used to regarding herself as a divine personage. I quote from Mr.
F. W. Peabody's book:
"In the Christian Science Journal for April, 1889, when it was her property, and published by her, it was claimed for her, and with her sanction, that she was equal with Jesus, and elaborate effort was made to establish the claim."
"Mrs. Eddy has distinctly authorized the claim in her behalf, that she herself was the chosen successor to and equal of Jesus."
The following remark in that April number, quoted by Mr. Peabody, indicates that her claim had been previously made, and had excited "horror" among some "good people":
"Now, a word about the horror many good people have of our making the Author of Science and Health 'equal with Jesus.'"
Surely, if it had excited horror in Mrs. Eddy also, she would have published a disclaimer. She owned the paper; she could
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