Democratic Church Government

In Section 10 of Article XXIII of the Manual of The Mother Church, Mrs. Eddy has laid down a fundamental law which is very important. It declares that "in Christian Science each branch church shall be distinctly democratic in its government;" and while each one must interpret this for himself, the meaning of this word "democratic" is so vital as to merit our careful consideration. It is sometimes used in a broadly metaphysical sense; more often it is used to express political prejudice, and in this latter sense it is shorn of much of its higher significance. The democracy of Spirit, as Mrs. Eddy teaches, means the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man,—a universal spiritual idea which can be demonstrated in practical good for all individuals and governments. Whittier had in mind this purely religious idea of democracy when he wrote:—

The generous feeling pure and warm
Which owns the right of all divine;
The pitying heart, the helping arm,
The prompt self-sacrifice, are thine.

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Gentleness versus Violence
February 27, 1915

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