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 Adapted from Watches Prayers and Arguments

& Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps

by Gilbert C. Carpenter

In the home of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, those whom she called mental workers were instructed to sit quietly in their rooms and watch and pray, usually for an hour at a time. These periods she called watches, after the Master's query, "Could ye not watch with me one hour?"

Students came to her home (Pleasant View) to serve, but in the process received the highest, most practical training there could be. One of their sacred responsibilities was to do watches. Mrs. Eddy indicated that the success of her church and mission was largely dependent on such work. "This Cause must be carried by silent argument, just the same as you carry it physically. This is the great duty for Christians that they must do, or be accountable to God for leaving it undone."

Gilbert Carpenter states Pleasant View "was the only spot on earth in which every activity was used to restore spiritual thinking. A student who failed to do his tasks from the standpoint of spiritual thinking, therefore, deserved a rebuke and received it. The ultimate of the entire teaching of Christian Science is to restore to man his consciousness of divine Mind as his only Mind. Whatever was done in Mrs. Eddy's home, apart from the divine Mind, was a wasted opportunity, a sin of omission, that God rebuked through her. The same proposition holds true in the home of every Christian Scientist who desires and seeks to pattern his home after hers."

Although Pleasant View was destroyed, it can be thought of as a state of consciousness - where one strives to use every activity of daily life to establish the divine Mind as his only Mind. As such, eventually every student of Christian Science must go to this Pleasant View as part of his endeavor to find Truth.

Mrs. Eddy was helping the students in her home to attain a state of consciousness where God is recognized as supreme by giving them watches to work with. We can make our own homes a Pleasant View, and these watches will help us in this direction when we use them eagerly every day. Isn’t it exciting to know that we may learn the same lessons and receive the same blessings – if we are faithful.

 

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To master a language, you must first learn to read it; then you learn to talk it; and lastly you will learn to think it.

We first learn to read Science and Health, our text book, with the eyes of belief, then with eyes of understanding; then we are ready to begin to demonstrate it and explain it to others.  But Mrs. Eddy has given to us Watches, which you will find this book, to teach us to think Christian Science continuously.  This thinking is doubly important. It is not only the way of salvation, because substituting the belief in mortal mind for God's Mind is salvation, but the Watches include also a vast benefit to the race, and the solution to the world's problems, including healing the sick.  But for us it means attaining permanent right thinking, instead of occasional right thinking, as important to the working Christian Scientist, as piano practice is to the student, determined to become a pianist.  It is also like a child learning to cook.  Although the main object is to learn to cook, yet the family and friends are nourished and enjoy the food the child prepares.  

Use these Watches as Mrs. Eddy instructs, and you will in a measure reap the reward that many received in Mrs. Eddy's home.  She usually asked an incoming student:  "How much of Christian Science do you know?"  They soon learned the answer, which was: "Only what I can demonstrate."

"Never off guard, always ready to demonstrate" should be the desire of every Christian Scientist; and these Watches will enable you to do just this.