That is, for Church membership. But its work is cut out for it beforehand, by Art. IX.:
"Every recommendation for membership In the Church 'shall be countersigned by a loyal student of Mrs. Eddy's, by a Director of this Church, or by a First Member.'"
All these three classes of beings are the personal property of Mrs. Eddy. She has absolute control of the elections.
Also it must "transact any Church business that may properly come before it."
"Properly" is a thoughtful word. No important business can come before it. The By laws have attended to that. No important business goes before any one for the final word except Mrs. Eddy. She has looked to that.
The Sanhedrin "votes on" candidates for admission to its own body. But is its vote worth any more than mine would be? No, it isn't. Sec. 4, of Art. V.--Election of First Members--makes this quite plain:
"Before being elected, the candidates for First Members shall be approved by the Pastor Emeritus over her own signature."
Thus the Sanhedrin is the personal property of Mrs. Eddy. She owns it. It has no functions, no authority, no real existence. It is another Board of Shadows. Mrs. Eddy is the Sanhedrin herself.
But it is time to foot up again and "see where we are at." Thus far, Mrs. Eddy is
The Massachusetts Metaphysical College; Pastor Emeritus, President; Board of Directors; Treasurer; Clerk; Future Board of Trustees; Proprietor of the Priesthood: Dictator of the Services; Proprietor of the Sanhedrin. She has come far, and is still on her way.
In this Article there is another exhibition of a couple of the large features of Mrs. Eddy's remarkable make-up: her business-talent and her knowledge of human nature.
She does not beseech and implore people to join her Church. She knows the human race better than that. She gravely goes through the motions of reluctantly granting admission to the applicant as a favor to him. The idea is worth untold shekels. She does not stand at the gate of the fold with welcoming arms spread, and receive the lost sheep with glad emotion and set up the fatted calf and invite the neighbor and have a time. No, she looks upon him coldly, she snubs him, she says:
"Who are you? Who is your sponsor? Who asked you to come here? Go away, and don't come again until you are invited."
It is calculated to strikingly impress a person accustomed to Moody and Sankey and Sam Jones revivals; accustomed to brain-turning appeals to the unknown and unendorsed sinner to come forward and enter into the joy, etc.--"just as he is"; accustomed to seeing him do it; accustomed to seeing him pass up the aisle through sobbing seas of welcome, and love, and congratulation, and arrive at the mourner's bench and be received like a long-lost government bond.
No, there is nothing of that kind in Mrs. Eddy's system. She knows that if you wish to confer upon a human being something which he is not sure he wants, the best way is to make it apparently difficult for him to get it--then he is no son of Adam if that apple does not assume an interest in his eyes which it lacked before. In time this interest can grow into desire. Mrs. Eddy knows that when you cannot get a man to try--free of cost--a new and effective remedy for a disease he is afflicted with, you can generally sell it to him if you will put a price upon it which he cannot afford. When, in the beginning, she taught Christian Science gratis (for good reasons), pupils were few and reluctant, and required persuasion; it was when she raised the limit to three hundred dollars for a dollar's worth that she could not find standing room for the invasion of pupils that followed.
With fine astuteness she goes through the motions of making it difficult to get membership in her Church. There is a twofold value in this system: it gives membership a high value in the eyes of the applicant; and at the same time the requirements exacted enable Mrs. Eddy to keep him out if she has doubts about his value to her.