"Experiences, testimonies, and remarks"

Mrs. Eddy expressed wonderful care for the Wednesday evening meetings when she prescribed their order of service in the Church Manual (p. 122). Here she has presented the perfect plan for their conduct; and all Christian Scientists should rejoice that such simple, definite rules have been given for the protection and advancement of these meetings. As in all that Mrs. Eddy did in establishing the movement of Christian Science, every necessary point has been covered, and nothing unnecessary included. Under God's direct guidance she has thus prepared that which has already brought forth rich fruitage, and will continue to result in blessing for the whole world.

While the members of all Christian Science churches and societies are deeply interested in this entire order of service, and while each one has his own responsibility in bringing to these meetings a loving, reverent interest, as well as a willingness to participate in every portion of them, there is, perhaps, no part which concerns each member more deeply than that which is presented when the Reader—in accordance with the order given in the Manual—announces, "This meeting is now open for experiences, testimonies, and remarks on Christian Science." This provides a very bulwark of protection for the meetings, since herein God has provided the law for every member of His church. "Experiences, testimonies, and remarks on Christian Science"! These alone may be considered during the time allotted to them. None may wander outside of them; none may be kept from expressing themselves in conformity with them. Here is liberty, but no room for license.

Some may ask: Who is to set the bounds? Who is to determine just what is liberty and what is license? Every Christian Scientist knows that in this as in all else divine Mind is alone able to accomplish perfectly. The great demand, therefore, must be upon each member that he permit no doubt or fear to rest in his consciousness that anything less than divine Mind can control or express itself during these meetings. This, of course, needs with each one "the preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue" which are "from the Lord." Should it seem at any time that something other than the truth has been voiced, to the Reader is given the temporary authority to silence or correct. The part of the other members present is simply to rebuke their own sense of error, knowing the powerlessness of evil to interfere with the promulgation and advancement of the gospel of good—and then set a seal upon the lips! Too often there comes the temptation to "talk over" the error, and thus allow it, apparently, to continue in consciousness when, instead, it should always be relegated to complete oblivion.

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Among the Churches
May 12, 1923

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