Divine Selection Utilized

When the Christian Science movement was inaugurated, one of its avowed purposes, as is well known, was to "reinstate primitive Christianity" (Church Manual, p. 17), with special reference to the restoration of its "lost element of healing." Even a casual perusal of the history of the primitive church indicates the methods of its government, and a more careful scrutiny reveals many details which we may rightfully appropriate to our own use in these more modern days, secure in the conviction that whatever leads to a fuller knowledge of the "good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God," will enable the speedier fulfilment of our revered Leader's vision for our church organization.

A prominent characteristic of the early church was the reference of all its activities to the divine guidance, and no where is this more clearly seen than in the choice of those who were called to service in official capacity. Two such instances may be cited as illustrative of adherence to the divine government,—one the separation of Barnabas and Saul to work for which God had already chosen them, and the other the selection of "seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom," who were to be entrusted with the direct administration of the business affairs of the church. It will be noted that in both cases a special work was prepared to which the chosen were destined,—Barnabas and Saul were sent to preach the word of God, while the seven were to be appointed "over this business,"—and the selection was made with prayer and fasting, in full recognition that the gain of spiritual wisdom was essential to the expression of a safe judgment respecting so important a matter.

In "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 13) Mrs. Eddy writes, "The church of Jerusalem seems to prefigure The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston," quoting as basis for her inference from a book by Benjamin Wills Newton: "The church at Jerusalem, like a sun in the center of its system, had other churches, like so many planets, revolving around it. It was strictly a mother and a ruling church." By reason of the government prescribed for the Christian Science churches, the preceding instances recorded in the book of Acts relate themselves in a peculiar way to the periodic election of our readers and our boards of directors.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

"Forgetting those things which are behind"
December 4, 1915

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.