Students of our Leader's writings, including the Manual of The Mother Church, must have noted that Mrs. Eddy has been most careful to arrange for the preservation of her teachings in their integrity, so that for all time there shall be a standard for Christian Science, and authority for everything printed and issued in the name of this Science. Nevertheless, there is extant among Christian Scientists a practise which is greatly to be deplored and should be vigorously rooted out, namely, the circulation among themselves of copies of what are alleged to be either stenographic reports of talks by teachers to their students, reports of private talks by lecturers, or formulas for treatments, and even extracts from letters which it is claimed were written by Mrs. Eddy herself. Whatever their reputed origin, these "copies" may safely be classed, one and all, as unauthorized and therefore unsafe literature.

In substantiation of what may seem a wholesale denunciation, we might cite the numerous "copies" which from time to time have been sent to this office for verification. In practically every instance they were found to be both faulty and misleading in their attempted elucidation of Christian Science, and the majority abounded in statements which were so palpably formulas for treatment that this alone should have discredited the papers with Christian Scientists, who know that the use of formulas is specifically forbidden in the Manual (see Art. VIII, Sect. 9), and that no loyal Christian Scientist would have made use of such statements either in teaching or in practise. In fact, such of these documents as we had opportunity to submit to their reputed authors, were unqualifiedly repudiated.

That these papers are passed around without inquiry as to whether their alleged authors stand sponsor for what they contain or have in any wise authorized their circulation, is largely due to a belief that they afford a short cut to the demonstrable knowledge of Christian Science which is not to be learned from its text-book, Science and Health. The practise is particularly pernicious when, as frequently happens, these spurious teachings are handed to young Scientists by those who should be, if time were the equivalent of experience, looked upon by these beginners in Science as the wisest of counselors. To offer a seeker after truth, eager to gain an understanding of this new-old teaching, what is literally "a grain of wheat in a bushel of chaff," is like tantalizing a hungry man with the apples of Sodom.

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December 14, 1912

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