The People’s Idea of God began as a sermon preached by Eddy at the Hawthorne Rooms in Boston. In November 1879, the Church of Christ (Scientist) began to hold regular church services there on Sunday afternoons, and Eddy preached at most services. A weekly notice in The Boston Evening Transcript states that the March 14, 1880, sermon was titled “The People’s God & Its Effect on Health and Morals.” Several years later, in June 1883, a “Sermon” entitled “THE PEOPLE’S GOD. Its Effect on Health and Christianity” was published in the second issue of The Christian Science Journal (June 2, 1883).1 The nearly identical title suggests a link between this and the 1880 sermon. Although no text of Eddy’s original 1880 sermon exists, the 1883 publication is virtually identical with The People’s Idea of God as it appears today. By September 1883 “The People’s God” was offered for sale in pamphlet form. The present title first appeared in the second edition (April 1886).
- M. B. G. Eddy, “The People’s God,” Journal of Christian Science, June 2, 1883, http://journal.christianscience.com/shared/view/2336ycz69sc?s=t.