Concerning the Lectures

The lectures were instituted for the purpose of making known to the public the truth regarding Christian Science; and as legitimate Christian Science is identified and known by the name of its Discoverer, by whom its laws have been formulated in the text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the facts concerning Mrs. Eddy's life and work constitute an important part of the truth which all men would be the happier for knowing. A lecture is not an entertainment, but rather a part of church work,—one of the means whereby, as in service and testimony meetings, the members of a church can do good to their neighbors. To help them it is necessary to interest them. To win them to happier views of life it is important that they should know what these views are. For their own sakes it is well that they be freed from pain-bringing misconceptions regarding Christian Science. The work of the lecturer, then, is to remove prejudices, displace misinformation, and establish fact; and so to interest the members of a community in the movement that they may become partakers of its benefits. This interest is expressed at the lecture by attention, afterwards by increased attendance of strangers at the services of the local church, where they find love and healing, and are blessed therby. But the watchword of a branch church is not "advantage," but "opportunity." The lecture is not planned for gain, but for the good it will do. When a patient comes for help the healer finds opportunity for blessing a life with knowledge of the true God; and a lecture is the opportunity for changing lives in the community by the message of a healing Christianity. The Board of Lectureship, then, was instituted to promote good-will and good understanding among men through the united efforts of a local church and a public speaker. The lecturer presents such items of truth as may be given in an hour; the church not only provides a welcome to the public for the occasion, but continues its welcome by holding regular services, where, on sunday, the Principle and rules of Christian Science re presented, and on Wednesday evening the practical resuits in healing are publicly related. The service to mankind accomplished by the lectures is so important that a by-law in the Manual requires the churches not to neglect their part in it. Under the heading "Annual Lectures," this direction is given;

"The Mother Church and the branch churches shall call on the Board of Lectureship annually for one or more lectures." There are many churches which have from the first made full use of their privileges in this respect, and while it was not done to gain advantage or to enlarge membership, the result has been the increase which God gives, coming in such manifestations as fair dealing from the press, kindliness from the community at large, opportunity for healing, and following that, of course, accession of adherents and members. Wherever a church fails to be interested in this public work there must be some misconception or else personal view. The expense involved is usually met spontaneously where members are interested, and as an item coming once twice in the days of a year should be accounted no burden.

The Lectures
December 5, 1903

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