A Safe Guide

While the Church Manual had always interested a certain student of Christian Science, she candidly did not see why its study was so often counseled. With the exception of four or five sections which appeared of practical, daily use for the individual, she argued that she could not see how any general study of the rules could be useful, especially when so much other Christian Science literature was available. Of course, it was admitted, it was well for one as a church member to know in a general way the rules governing the organization. Notwithstanding these arguments the student was in some measure obedient.

During this time several Christian Science lectures were given at more or less distant points in the large city in which the student lived. Some friends lovingly invited three or four others to go with them in their automobile, and the student above referred to was included in the number. After the lectures the party fell into the habit of visiting a popular chocolate shop, and on one occasion instead of returning to the car this student found herself following her friends into a motion picture theater in the neighborhood. She rebelled inwardly, much preferring quiet in which to ponder the healing truth which the lecturer had so graphically elucidated; but common courtesy seemed to require that a guest acquiesce in such a matter. Besides, was she not trying to be more unselfish, making her religion real and less dogmatic, ready to yield patiently to those not quite so far along the road? Should she not "go in and out, and find pasture"? Might this not be an attempt to shut out the little of the lighter, care-free, even luxurious side of life which came to her, if the companionship and interests of these friends were denied? Would she not appear less pedantic, less distant, by cultivating this harmless good-fellowship? Yet making a Christian Science lecture evening the nucleus for such things did not seem in accord with this student's highest sense of good.

While the matter still remained unsettled in her mind, the student turned from a current Sentinel to follow out a line of study which it suggested in the Manual. Turning the pages she found herself reading as if for the first time Section 4 of Article XXXI, entitled "Receptions," where these words are found: "As a rule there should be no receptions nor festivities after a lecture on Christian Science, but there may occur exceptions. If there be an individual who goes to hear and deride truth, he should go away contemplating truth; and he who goes to seek truth should have the opportunity to depart in quiet thought on that subject."

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

Seeking for Work
May 17, 1919

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.