Why Study the Manual?

THE following account illustrates the fact that the desire to be obedient to one of the by-laws contained in the Manual of The Mother Church proved the truth of these words of our Master: "According to your faith be it unto you." The present-day value and applicability of that truth is thus restated by Mrs. Eddy: "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings" (Science and Health, Pref., p. vii). The by-law referred to is one of the group under Article VIII, entitled "Guidance of Members," and Section 14 reads: "It shall be the privilege and duty of every member, who can afford it, to subscribe for the periodicals which are the organs of this Church."

At the close of last year a student of Christian Science was pondering the meaning of this by-law. She was not a subscriber to the periodicals, because she felt that she belonged to that group of truth-seekers who cannot afford to subscribe for them, and who sometimes read them in the Christian Science reading-rooms and occasionally, but very rarely, purchase them. In pondering over the meaning of this by-law she finally came to the conclusion that it was inconsistent for any student of Christian Science to believe that one cannot afford a good thing which is essentially helpful in the process of one's spiritual growth. She also perceived that this might be made an opportunity to prove her faith by her works. There was the by-law, and she desired to obey it, but was it possible to do so when she did not have the money needed for the subscriptions?

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"Our only preachers"
November 25, 1916
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