Thursday, November 5, 2009

So who were Graham and Cutter?

I have this really great book called "Mrs. Eddy Mentioned Them". Every once in a while a name comes up in Science and Health and it is a good idea to research why she felt she use them as a reference. In the Thanksgiving Bible Lesson there is such a reference in the second section which is all about food and diet.

Mrs. Eddy writes; "Did Jesus understand the economy of man less than Graham and Cutter?" So who was Graham? Sylvester Graham worked as a farm hand and a clerk and taught school. He studied at Amherst for the ministry and was connected with the Pennsylvania Temperence Society and lectured on temperance. In time, he gave his whole attention to lecturing and included diet among his topics. Emerson dubbed him the 'poet of bran bread and pumpkins'. Graham introduced Graham bread, made of unsifted wheat flour, into general use. Today we all eat Graham crackers (most commonly with Hershey bars and marshmellows). But in their early days they were considered a health food.

Dr. Ephriam Cutter began his practice of medicine in Massachusetts. He took both his B.A. and M.A. degrees at Yale but went to Harvard for his medical training. Oliver Wendall Holmes was one of his teachers. He was enthusiastic about his profession and through many articles published in medical magazines he exerted a wide influence. His inventive mind enabled him to suggest improvements for the microscope. His writings on the bearing of food upon health were widely read in Mrs. Eddy's day.

All of this medical opinion is countered with Jesus' approach to 'take no thought for what you eat or drink'. My favorite thought about this comes from page 388 in the textbook where Mrs. Eddy says "If mortals think food disturbs the harmonious functions of mind and body, either the food or this thought must be dispensed with, for the penalty is coupled with the belief." Brilliant. I would hope anyone concerned about dieting or weight issues would take this wisdom to heart and study Christian Science. It is time for us to demonstrate our dominion, our God-given dominion, over food. That is not saying we need to stop eating or enjoying food, it just means that we need to see clearly that we can not be penalized by food. We control our bodies, not the other way around.

I love this section of the lesson and look forward to more indepth study of the remaining two sections the rest of this week.


Charlene Miller said...

Candace, Thank you for this research! As I was delving into the Thanksgiving Lesson, I wondered about Graham and Cutter and you helped me understand that they were the fad diet equivalents of Mrs. Eddy's day. Move over, Pritikin and South Beach!
Charlene Miller, Tallahassee, FL

Patti Paul said...

Thank you so much for your info as to who Graham and cutter are. I have wondered for a long gime! Good insights on your site.