Principle versus Personal Attachment

That a grave error was to be guarded against by Christian Scientists in their churches, must have been seen by their Leader, when through the Manual of The Mother Church Mrs. Eddy wisely gave its members "A Rule for Motives and Acts" (Art. VIII, Sect. 1). The first sentence of this reads, "Neither animosity nor mere personal attachment should impel the motives or acts of the members of The Mother Church." So important did this by-law seem to be in the thought of its author, that she deemed it worthy of being publicly read, in its entirety, at every Christian Science Sunday service throughout the world, upon the first Sunday of each month.

One of the many teachings of Christian Science emphasizes, in even an added sense, how important it is that students should carefully watch and examine their own motives, especially in relation to church affairs. In this endeavor, one who strives to be ever awake, and to resist the temptation of being impelled in his actions toward others through feelings of animosity, may be entirely oblivious to the fact, when so doing, that he is being impelled by a sense of mere personal attachment. The proper discernment of this error in the premise, would save much subsequent labor, and both preserve and promote the unity and harmony of churches, as well as individuals. As it is more especially for the harmonious government of Christian Science churches that this by-law has been formulated, its members will readily recall that the solution of their church problems, and all other problems, is and should be through adherence to the guidance of divine Principle, since the more spiritual definition of church has been unfolded in Christian Science as "the structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle" (Science and Health, p. 583).

We here find an intimation of how fearlessly and lovingly we should consider each step, when called upon as members to endeavor to bring into experience whatever of divine Principle is for the progress of the church, and to do this impartially, in a manner much the same as the conscientious juror sifts the evidence and examines the law in order to arrive at a just verdict. In the solution of the problem before the church-member, the spiritual law to be adhered to is comprised in only that which rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle; and because of its impersonal source, it will therefore be safe, from the very start, to exclude all that does not proceed from this source.

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Statutes and Songs
October 10, 1914

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