A Rule of Conduct

Untold spiritual treasures are found in the Manual of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. In this slender volume Mary Baker Eddy gives her followers a comprehensive body of By-Laws for the government of The Mother Church. The adequacy of the Manual for maintaining the organization in orderly progression for all time has been acknowledged by legal minds, but only Christian Scientists begin to grasp the great riches of spiritual inspiration to be found in its pages.

As persistent effort, determination, and patience must be exercised before material gems are found and their beauty disclosed, so faithfulness, obedience, spiritual discernment, and love prepare the seeking heart to find the priceless gems contained in our By-Laws. For instance, to one student helpful unfoldment has come as she has pondered the meaning of Section 7 of Article XXV of the Manual. It reads: "No objectionable pictures shall be exhibited in the rooms where the Christian Science textbook is published or sold. No idle gossip, no slander, no mischief-making, no evil speaking shall be allowed." The Christian Science textbook thus guarded and honored is "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy's foundational and timeless revelation of the Christ Science.

At first reading, this By-Law seems to concern only those employed at the Christian Science Publishing House in Boston or those serving in Reading Rooms throughout the world. And, indeed, it is of unmeasured importance to them. But if it is a rule of conduct for these individuals, may we not share in the blessing of being obedient to it by seeing that our mental rooms, or individual consciousness, are ready and worthy to receive the truths which are contained in our textbook, and which the Christ is present to reveal? One of the meanings of the verb "publish" is "to put into circulation." Surely it is in consciousness that we strive to keep in circulation the enlivening and leavening ideas of the textbook. And from such activity in consciousness stems the desire to proclaim, make known, reveal, or publish their light to others.

Happiness and Selfishness Never Mix
April 26, 1947

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