Eddy. There is no other way.

12. But the branch Church cannot select the lecturer. Mrs. Eddy does it.

13. The branch Church pays his fee.

14. The harnessing of all Christian Science wedding-teams, members of the branch Church, must be done by duly authorized and consecrated Christian Science functionaries. Her factory is the only one that makes and licenses them.

[15. Nothing is said about christenings. It is inferable from this that a Christian Science child is born a Christian Scientist and requires no tinkering.]

[16. Nothing is said about funerals. It is inferable, then, that a branch Church is privileged to do in that matter as it may choose.]

To sum up. Are any important Church-functions absent from the list? I cannot call any to mind. Are there any lacking ones whose exercise could make the branch in any noticeable way independent of the Mother. Church? --even in any trifling degree? I think of none. If the named functions were abolished would there still be a Church left? Would there be even a shadow of a Church left? Would there be anything at all left? even the bare name?

Manifestly not. There isn't a single vital and essential Church-function of any kind, that is not named in the list. And over every one of them the Mother-Church has permanent and unchallengeable control, upon every one of them Mrs. Eddy has set her irremovable grip. She holds, in perpetuity, autocratic and indisputable sovereignty and control over every branch Church in the earth; and yet says, in that sugary, naive, angel-beguiling way of hers, that the Mother-Church:

"shall assume no official control of other churches of this denomination."

Whereas in truth the unmeddled-with liberties of a branch Christian Science Church are but very, very few in number, and are these:

1. It can appoint its own furnace-stoker, winters. 2. It can appoint its own fan-distributors, summers. 3. It can, in accordance with its own choice in the matter, burn, bury, or preserve members who are pretending to be dead--whereas there is no such thing as death. 4. It can take up a collection.

The branch Churches have no important liberties, none that give them an important voice in their own affairs. Those are all locked up, and Mrs. Eddy has the key. "Local Self-Government" is a large name and sounds well; but the branch Churches have no more of it than have the privates in the King of Dahomey's army.


Mrs. Eddy, with an envious and admiring eye upon the solitary and rivalless and world-shadowing majesty of St. Peter's, reveals in her By- laws her purpose to set the Mother-Church apart by itself in a stately seclusion and make it duplicate that lone sublimity under the Western sky. The By-law headed "Mother-Church Unique "says--

"In its relation to other Christian Science churches, the Mother-Church stands alone.

"It occupies a position that no other Church can fill.

"Then for a branch Church to assume such position would be disastrous to Christian Science,


Therefore no branch Church is allowed to have branches. There shall be no Christian Science St. Peter's in the earth but just one--the Mother- Church in Boston.


But for the thoughtful By-law thus entitled, every Science branch in the earth would imitate the Mother-Church and set up an aristocracy. Every little group of ground-floor Smiths and Furgusons and Shadwells and Simpsons that organized a branch would assume that great title, of "First Members," along with its vast privileges of "discussing" the weather and casting blank ballots, and soon there would be such a locust-plague of them burdening the globe that the title would lose its value and have to be abolished.

But where business and glory are concerned, Mrs. Eddy thinks of everything, and so she did not fail to take care of her Aborigines, her stately and exclusive One Hundred, her college of functionless cardinals, her Sanhedrin of Privileged Talkers (Limited).

Mark Twain
Classic Literature Library

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