The "impersonal pastor"

In 1895 when Mrs. Eddy ordained the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," to be pastor for all Christian Science churches, I well remember the remarks of a dear friend, who was then only slightly interested in Christian Science, that if the personal sermon should be done away with, it would be only a question of time before the denomination itself would disappear. In "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 383) Mrs. Eddy says: "In 1896 it goes without saying, preeminent over ignorance or envy, that Christian Science is founded by its discoverer, and built upon the rock of Christ. ... Erect and eternal, it will go on with the ages, go down the dim posterns of time unharmed, and on every battle-field rise higher in the estimation of thinkers and in the hearts of Christians."

Those of us who have followed the Christian Science movement have seen this prophetic utterance fulfilled, and our hearts have gone out in gratitude for the impersonal pastor. Our Leader established two forms of service for this movement, the Sunday service, at which the "Word" is read, and the Wednesday evening testimony or experience meeting, at which the fruits of the "Word" are given as proof of the practical nature of its teachings. The Sunday service is virtually prepared for the church, while the Wednesday evening meeting for the giving of testimonies depends upon the demonstration of the Christian Scientists, both as individuals and as a church; hence the great need of metaphysical activity in order to give to one's self and to the world the proof of the availability of divine Principle, God, as divine Love, in healing sickness and destroying sin.

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