From the Papers: A letter from A.C. Coates

August 19, 2019

A letter to Mary Baker Eddy that we published recently is notable for several reasons.

First, it represents the variety of individuals who were corresponding with Eddy as the Christian Science movement gained momentum—in this case a 67-year-old carpenter. It follows a familiar pattern, in which correspondents provided lengthy lists of the ailments they wished to be freed from.

Also, if you click on the “Show Original” button, you’ll see that this was a challenging document for us to transcribe, given its numerous spelling errors.

But perhaps most important, this letter stands out because its author reports that prior to reading Science and Health he’d found the Bible “so contradictory” that he was ready to throw it aside. He also notes in his postscript, “I Was About to Investigate Spiritualism When I Accidentally or Providentially got your Book.”

Click below to access an annotated transcription of this letter (it will open a new tab):

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