[Third in a series of three articles]

Because Christian Science seems a radical departure from conventional theology, it is sometimes criticized by those who do not understand it. Perhaps no one wrote more harshly against Mary Baker Eddy than Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens). Yet he could also say to his biographer, Albert Bigelow Paine: "Christian Science is humanity's boon. ... She [Mrs. Eddy] is the benefactor of the age." Quoted in Robert Peel, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Authority (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1977), p. 205;

The governing authority of the Church founded by Mrs. Eddy is not a person or hierarchy but her book Manual of The Mother Church. It establishes The Christian Science Board of Directors for The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. But authority remains with the Manual, which constitutes church organization and operation. The Manual states, "Each Church of Christ, Scientist, shall have its own form of government." Man., Art. XXIII, Sect. 1; Also, "In Christian Science each branch church shall be distinctly democratic in its government, and no individual, and no other church shall interfere with its affairs." ibid., Art. XXIII, Sect. 10;

In a Church of Christ, Scientist, there is no ordained minister. Instead, two lay Readers, often a man and a woman, present a weekly Lesson-Sermon from the Christian Science Quarterly. One reads from the Bible (King James Version), and the other reads passages from Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy that illumine the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures. These two books are the pastor. Christian Scientists use them, and Mrs. Eddy's other writings, as their only textbooks for learning Christian Science.

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For a special pupil
April 17, 1978

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