“Mary Baker Eddy” in My Life and Memories
Clarke, Joseph I.C., My Life and Memories. “Mary Baker Eddy.” New York, Dodd, Mead: 1925, 331-342.
In this autobiography, Joseph Clarke includes a chapter relaying his experience as a journalist for the New York Herald sent in 1901 to interview Mary Baker Eddy. Clarke found Eddy’s answers to his wide range of subjects “continually surprising” (341). Eddy spoke on the nature of Christ and the soul, state laws governing contagious diseases, vaccinations, the necessity of bylaws for church governance, and the embrace of the sciences that “seek the finer essences” (337) versus the “false science–healing by drugs” (336). She also reflected on the future of her church after she is gone: “It will evolve scientifically. Its essence is evangelical. Its government will develop as it progresses” (334). Regarding the nature of church services Eddy observed: “In our services we have some slight forms of ceremonial, but in conformity with the simplicity of our belief, there will be a gradual abandonment of even the present slight forms” (338). Clarke describes in detail Eddy’s appearance of “special brilliance” (333), as well as the wealth of objects in her Pleasant View home – many of them gifted to Eddy by her students.