Irving C. Tomlinson
, who worked closely with Eddy for a number of years, later recalled that "Christian Science activities in the prisons greatly interested Mrs. Eddy….
interest in prison work never flagged."2 Indeed, she
was familiar with prison work from early childhood.
In 1900 Eddy strongly encouraged Irving Tomlinson
to visit the jails around Concord and was very keen to hear his
reports from it.
Tomlinson writes in his reminiscence: "One of her early talks with the writer after his arrival in Concord concerned the unfortunates in the county jails and state prison.
earnest request, the writer visited Sheriff Edgerly of the County and made the proposition to hold on each Sunday at two o'clock in the afternoon in the Merrimac County jail a Christian Science service for the prisoners.
The Sheriff welcomed the plan .…"7 Eddy's response to the plan was enthusiastic: "I am glad you have begun the C.S. Mission with faith that you can open the prisondoors and set free the captive.
God will bless you in this way of His
Services were held from 1900 to 1906; Tomlinson also served as a practitioner, praying for the inmates when they requested spiritual help during the week.
As a result of his
work, many of the prisoners had healings and sent their thanks and testimonies to Eddy, who sent them on to be published in the Christian Science periodicals.
recalled how in March 1907 a newly released prisoner came to Tomlinson
and asked to purchase a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
offered to give him one, but the man declined, saying that he
had saved money while in prison so that he
could pay for a copy.
reported that he
never committed another crime.
relayed the incident to Eddy, she
was deeply moved.9
To learn more about Irving Tomlinson's
experiences in the Concord jails, read his
reminiscences in the Research Room of The Mary Baker Eddy Library.
1 Irving C. Tomlinson
, Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy, Amplified Edition (Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society
, 1994), 243.
The chair was given to her
sometime between 1900 and 1907.
7 Mary Baker Eddy to Irving C. Tomlinson, 12 May 1900, L03728.
Irving C. Tomlinson