Mary Baker Eddy directed her secretary Irving Tomlinson to work with local jails and prisons in New Hampshire, but he was by no means the only Christian Scientist to do so. Letters poured in from all over the country informing Eddy of the healing work being done in reform institutions. Often, when she received a report on prison work in the field, she passed it along to Tomlinson, to be read during Wednesday evening meetings at the local Christian Science church in Concord, New Hampshire, and then published in the Christian Science periodicals.
The April 19, 1900 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel featured an editorial summing up recent prison work. “From many parts of the Field we hear of a good work being done in the jails and penitentiaries. . . . Therein we have read of natures transformed by the light of divine Love which has penetrated the thick walls of the prison, and shed its regenerating rays into the darkness of the prison cells.
“Men and women who, according to the world’s estimate, are criminals, and who, indeed, were self-condemned as such, have been suddenly awakened to the fact that in the reality of their being they are not abandoned and hopeless children of Satan, but children of God, whom they found to be a loving Father, rather than a Monarch, whom they must approach with fear and distrust . . . .”