“To Students” is a message to Christian Scientists,1 and was written following several events that had taken place in early October 1893. The piece was first published in the November 1893 issue of The Christian Science Journal.2 There are slight changes between what appeared in the Journal and the version published in Miscellaneous Writings in 1897.
The first paragraph asks students to send in contributions to the Journal. Reading the correspondence between Judge Septimus J. Hanna, the Editor of the Journal, and Eddy, by the fall of 1893 Hanna was deeply concerned about a downturn in the number of submissions to the Journal, and asked Eddy for help. It was, perhaps, a way of requesting her to write more articles. But she wisely saw there was a need to rouse Christian Scientists to contribute more to the periodicals.
In the second paragraph, the “adjourned meeting” was the meeting of the National Christian Scientist Association (NCSA), held on September 20, 1893, in conjunction with the World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago. The NCSA was founded in the 1880s as a national organization of Christian Scientists. Until 1892 the Boston church did not generally accept members outside the local area, hence the purpose for the organization. With The Mother Church in place by 1893, the NCSA served no purpose, and the 1893 meeting was its last.
The reference to “one student’s opinions or modus operandi” probably refers to the format of the NCSA meeting in 1893. It mainly consisted of the reading of eleven papers on various aspects of Christian Science.3
The mention of obedience in the final sentence may refer to a problem she was contending with at this time. Hanna’s address to the World’s Parliament, which was a compilation of excerpts from Eddy’s published writings, had been submitted by him to the newspapers expressly against her orders, and the speech was printed as Hanna’s work. For more on Hanna and the World’s Parliament of Religions, see Robert Peel’s Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Authority, 47-59.
- Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896 (Boston: The First Church of Christ, Scientist, 1896), 156.
- Mary B. G. Eddy, “Notice,” The Christian Science Journal, November 1893, http://journal.christianscience.com/shared/view/37k3a1hf3g?s=t.
- “General Programme” in “Christian Science at the World’s Religious Congress,” The Christian Science Journal, November 1893, http://journal.christianscience.com/shared/view/283zwvenxo?s=t.