The Mission of the Christian Science Reading Rooms

Like every activity in the movement, the mission of the Christian Science reading rooms should be scientifically understood if that mission is to be fruitfully fulfilled. The Christian Science reading room, as understood by the writer, was instituted by Mrs. Eddy and forms part of the activities of the Christian Science movement, and, like every branch of the work in our beloved cause, is an inspiration. Metaphysically the idea of God, the emanation of divine Mind, is the true Christian Science reading room, and no more consists of a material structure of brick or stone than does Church, which Mrs. Eddy defines on page 583 of Science and Health thus: "The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle. The Church is that institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick." The most that can be said for the brick and mortar phase of a reading room is that, like a church edifice, it represents a token of the members' gratitude for benefits derived from Christian Science.

Primarily, the rooms afford an opportunity for the public to acquaint themselves with Christian Science. They do not labor for profit as the world labors. Their profit is not in sterling or dollars. When the half year or the year ends, and there is an accounting of the stock and the receipts and expenditure, the significance of the figures is lost sight of if they only mean so much money received or expended. If a church's gift is limited in any way, it is only because of a limited view or understanding of Mind as the source of infinite good. Therefore, the profit of a Christian Science reading room is not reckoned in dollars or pounds or francs or roubles, but in the healing which is brought to mankind; for its supreme mission is to heal.

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