Did Mary Baker Eddy write it? “A Treatment for Every Day”
[Updated October 6, 2020]
Claims are frequently made that a widely circulated article titled “A Treatment for Every Day” was written by Mary Baker Eddy and published in The Christian Science Journal. This piece is in fact a conflation of several items written by different authors, not all of whom are identifiable. We don’t know who compiled this piece.
Here we have divided the article into sections (some excerpted) and noted the possible origin for each.
Every time you declare that you are perfect in God, there goes through the body a health-giving power. When you realize this truth of truths, that you are now, not will be, perfect in God, without a single doubt, wonderful things will come to pass.
This appears to have been taken from a short article titled “The Way to Begin in Christian Science,” which The Christian Science Publishing Society printed in a series of tracts (leaflets), distributed in English, German, and Norwegian. The author may be Lucretia Jane (Williams) Nusbaum (1837–1900), an active member of the Sacramento, California, branch Church of Christ, Scientist, in the late 1880s and early 1890s.1
God is the only life. Spirit is the only substance. Love is the only cause. Harmony is the only law. Now is the only time.
These sentences appear to be based on remarks made in an address on Christian Science given by Theodore F. Seward, at an Episcopal Church meeting in 1900. Seward corresponded quite a bit with Eddy and may have been interested in mental healing, but we have no evidence that he was a Christian Scientist. He was a well-known musician and founder of the Brotherhood of Christian Unity, an organization devoted to bringing religious denominations together. So in this case, he was likely speaking based on his interest in church unity.2
There is no evil condition nor thought that can argue, suggest, nor make any law to dominate me, control me, crush me, bring evil to pass upon me, or shut out of my consciousness any good.
This section has occasionally circulated separately, under the title “God’s Spiritual Household.” Again, Eddy did not write it, and we do not know who did.
Beloved Father-Mother God, give us wisdom to meet problems that come up to be met today. Give me understanding to deny error. Give me grace to remain silent when it is not necessary to speak. Oh Love, take me in. Give me one mind, one consciousness and enable me to love my neighbor as myself. When I cease to judge, criticize or condemn I begin to progress.
A small portion of this section may be by Eddy. In 1898 Alfred Baker wrote to thank her for sending him a prayer that included the phrase “Love just take me in.”3 The following year, Anna White Baker, his wife, wrote a letter to a friend, in which she quoted from a prayer that Eddy had once sent to him: “Oh Love, just take me in, Oh Love, give me one Mind, no other consciousness, and make me love my neighbor as myself.”4
When others hate, despise, ignore, Help me, dear God to love them more.
We have no evidence that Eddy wrote this, and we do not know the author.
- L.J.N., “The Way to Begin in Christian Science,” The Christian Science Journal, September 1889, https://journal.christianscience.com/shared/view/kxlrejhj78?s=t
- “Christian Science at an Episcopal Congress,” Christian Science Sentinel, 22 November 1900, http://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/k2eviu8bga?s=t
- Alfred Baker to Mary Baker Eddy, 1 January 1898, IC242a.39.003.
- Anna B. White Baker to Mary Kimball Morgan, 31 October 1899, V03415.