"UNCONTAMINATED AND UNFETTERED"

There are doubtless many of our readers who will recall that previous to 1895 the services in Christian Science churches included sermons composed and preached by the pastors of these churches. The new-old teaching was making its way even against great odds, but the splendid organization which was destined to do such great work for humanity was then being evolved under the guidance of Mrs. Eddy, and her innate keenness of judgement soon detected the parts of the structure which should be effectively strengthened. Loyal and devoted as were these shepherds of the various flocks, it was quite natural in those early days that the sermons should consist very largely of the personal views and opinions of the respective preachers, and that these views and opinions should sometimes differ widely. As this tended to bring confusion of thought to the seekers for Truth, there could but be rejoicing, when in 1895 Mrs. Eddy announced through the Journal that she had ordained "the Bible, and 'Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,' to be hereafter the only pastor of The Church of Christ, Scientist, throughout our land, and in other lands" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 313), for the resultant uniformity of service was most welcome.

It was about the same time, too, that Mrs. Eddy caused to be adopted a by-law which specified the qualifications and duties of the readers who henceforth were to conduct the services. In this by-law (Church Manual, Article III, Sect. 6) it is stated, among other regulations, that the readers "shall make no remarks explanatory of the Lesson-Sermon at any time," thus clearly indicating that personal opinion is to be kept out of the services. It is easily seen that without these safeguards it would be impossible to speak of the sermon as "uncontaminated and unfettered by human hypotheses," as is set forth in the "explanatory note" which is read at each Sunday service.

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Editorial
AWAKENING
March 30, 1912
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