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Part two

Part one of this article appeared in the April issue of The Christian Science Journal. It explained how the Puritan influence in Mary Baker Eddy's early religious training from her Puritan parents played a prominent role in her thought and life, and how integral it is to the theology of Christian Science. Part two looks at the role her Puritan heritage had in the prominence given to healing the sick in Christian Science.

Mary Baker Eddy's Puritan heritage

From the May 1998 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Mary Baker Eddy grew up in the Congregational church. She writes that it was "where my parents first offered me to Christ in infant baptism."Church History document: L02619, Church History Department of The Mother Church. See also The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 174. She joined the Trinitarian Congregational Church at Sanbornton Bridge (later named Tilton) in New Hampshire in the summer of 1838 when she was a teen, and she remained a member for thirty-seven years.

Congregationalism was one of the most significant denominations to come out of the Puritan experience, especially in terms of United States history. Separatists, or Independents as they were also known, came over on the Mayflower and settled the Plymouth colony, while Puritans, who had hoped to reform the Church of England, settled the Massachusetts Bay colony. The two groups eventually joined together, and out of consolidation was born the Congregational church of New England. The form of worship was unpretentious: hymn singing, readings from the Bible, prayer, and a sermon delivered without ceremony or ritual.

Mrs. Eddy withdrew her membership from the Congregational church just a few months before her textbook on Christian healing, Science and Health, was to be published. A number of years later, in 1884, Mrs. Eddy wrote a minister:

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