The Fourth Period of Christian Science
|The completion and dedication of the Extension Edifice
was the result of 15 years of church-building, in the Third period of the
development of Christian Science. A tremendous achievement culminated the
church-building period that
started when the spiritual foundation had been established in 1891 for the
church-building process to begin, based on a deed of trust instead of a
'corporation.' 30,000 people had come to Boston for the dedication
celebration of the great Extension edifice in 1906 at the end of this
period. In the light of what had been accomplished, an obvious
question emerged, where do we go from here? With this, the fourth
development period of Christian Science began.
It appears that Mary Baker Eddy had the answer already worked out. The next expression of the expanding spiritual idea of Church would have to unfold in the form of a newspaper designed to heal and uplift the world. With the generous support of the field, the task of launching the newspaper was completed in slightly over two years, though it nearly failed.
Next Friends Suit
The attack was orchestrated on a wide front. As a part of the attack a legal suit was filed in March 1907, the historically famous "Next Friends Suit." It was officially launched as an attempt to seize Mary Baker Eddy's property, by declaring her incompetent to manage her affairs, and in the background to destroy her scientific leadership and authority in the church. Unofficially the frontal assault was carried out through the press where truth can be swept aside. It was coordinated with the suit.
In order to give historians a sense of the force of the
attack and its purpose, she included a note into the preface of her textbook
thereafter, that she had never read her textbook throughout consecutively in
order to "elucidate her idealism", until June 10, 1907. The date is
significant as it is the anniversary day of the dedication of the Extension,
within the context of the frontal attack on her and the church.
It appears that before the physical work could begin, an advanced spiritual foundation needed to be laid. This was done in the form of uplifting the recognized image of God to a still higher level. She did this by modifying her definition for God in the chapter, Recapitulation. It is reported that Mary Baker Eddy removed the term "incorporeal Being" from the list of synonyms for God, and replaced it with "infinite Mind" The capitalized "Being" had appeared in Recapitulation for a long time, almost from the beginning. It appears that the change from "incorporeal Being" to "infinite Mind" in 1907, set the stage for the newspaper to be launched. It appears that the Christian Science Monitor was founded on the spiritual foundation of infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love.
With the spiritual basis for the newspaper established,
Mary Baker Eddy's call
for building an appropriate publishing house was issued the very next month.
It should be noted that the concept of God as "Being" was not entirely removed in 1907. The term appears in the modern edition. two paragraphs later in a slightly different context.
I speculate that the term "Being" relating to God with moved into the context shown below, in 1907. I only know for certain that it doesn't appear in the context show above, in the 214th Edition published in 1901 that I have a copy of.
The fourth development period of Christian Science, spanning slightly over 4 years, ended with Mary Baker Eddy's passing in 1910.