Did Mary Baker Eddy write it? “Inasmuch as I am God’s child…”

We are often asked about a document that starts with, or contains, the words “inasmuch as I am God’s child spiritual and not material, I must be perfect….” Although Mary Baker Eddy did not write these words, they have been misattributed to her for over a century.

According to a December 1899 issue of Unity magazine, a variation of the statement first appeared in a leaflet produced by Rev. Joseph Adams,1 a Wesleyan evangelist who settled in Oakland, California. He had converted to Christian Science in 1886 and studied with Eddy in the Massachusetts Metaphysical College. She tried him out as a potential pastor for the Church of Christ (Scientist), but he proved unsatisfactory. Over time Adams distanced himself from her teachings.

In 1907 Alfred Farlow, Manager of the Committee on Publication for the church, sent one of Eddy’s secretaries a two-paragraph version of “Inasmuch as I am God’s child….” He wrote: “The enclosed statement is being passed around over the country as coming from our Leader…. If it is not Mrs. Eddy’s statement, I should like to be able to say as much and stop its circulation.”2 Eddy replied: “The above statement is not mine by writing or teaching. Stop its circulation. The enemy of Christian Science or a self deceived student must have compiled it.”3

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  1. ”Brother Joseph Adams…,” Unity, December 1899, 281.
  2. Farlow to Irving C. Tomlinson, 17 October 1907, IC006fP2.06.030.
  3. Eddy to Farlow, October 1907, L01690.