"Formulas Forbidden"

When Jesus warned his disciples against the use of vain repetitions, he placed a danger signal for every Christian along the path heavenward. He even said, "Use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do," showing clearly that only those who are unacquainted with God would be likely to be betrayed into such an erroneous method. In spite of this forceful language of Jesus, many a Christian has often found himself repeating words in a more or less perfunctory manner when thinking of things spiritual.

The Christian Scientist knows that "vain repetitions" and formulas are similar in character, and he recognizes that it is quite as necessary to avoid the one as the other. Every earnest student of Christian Science is aware that in the Church Manual (p. 43) Mrs. Eddy has placed a By-Law entitled, "Formulas Forbidden." There she says positively, "No member shall use written formulas, nor permit his patients or pupils to use them, as auxiliaries to teaching Christian Science or for healing the sick."

When students of Christian Science enter upon its practice they do not always readily see that nothing can be accomplished except through clear spiritual thinking on the part of each individual. So-called mortal mind with its tendencies towards inertia or inaction is always searching for an easy way to do its work, and imagines that it would even prefer to have all its thinking done for it. It therefore often seeks for formulated methods whereby it may reel off certain stereotyped statements, imagining that thereby it can gain right results.

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

July 7, 1928

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.