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Mary Baker Eddy—Discoverer and Revelator

From the September 2011 issue of The Christian Science Journal

What would you call someone who travels in expedition gear to a remote part of our planet? Or someone who conducts a research project with as yet unknown results? And who brings news back about the findings? Maybe an explorer, or a discoverer. Lewis and Clark exploring the American West are rightfully called discoverers.

Mary Baker Eddy would also qualify as a discoverer through her many years of diligent efforts to find spiritual means to cure sickness. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures she explains her findings in the beginning of the chapter “Science, Theology, Medicine”: “In the year 1866, I discovered the Christ Science or divine laws of Life, Truth, and Love, and named my discovery Christian Science” (p. 107).

She also used the terms reveal or revelation nine times on the first four pages of that chapter. By contrast, the term revelators doesn’t quite fit to describe Lewis and Clark. Why not? What’s the difference between a “discoverer” and a “revelator”? For one thing, a discoverer might usually be described as acting through his or her own impulse and effort to gather observations. On the other hand, a revelator has insights disclosed through a force beyond human effort. The element of inspiration is a crucial ingredient in a revelation.

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