Demonstration is a Privilege
From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Precepts, Vol. 3, by Gilbert Carpenter, pages 242-243 (from the letter dated April 9, 1895)
Mrs. Eddy hoped that the time would come when students would recognize that demonstration is a privilege, and not merely an obligation; that it is a universal benefaction that blesses the giver and receiver alike; that it means the spiritual growth of each member who demonstrates. Before this recognition can come, members must gain a knowledge of how to handle animal magnetism, of how to break through the lethargic temptation that puts thought to sleep in order to keep it from demonstrating, and of how to handle the error that causes one to forget and neglect to do it.
No Christian Scientist can be called such unless he works at it, any more than a policeman is such unless he is dressed in his uniform and guarding the city.
The Master speaks of the wedding garment, which is symbolic of the mental state that indicates man’s unity with God, from which comes the demonstration of power, activity, freedom and understanding. No demonstration can be made until one first establishes his unity with God. A member can be busy mentally, but if it is with the human mind, he is a deterrent to the church and is certainly not a beneficiary of its blessings. The only way for a member to continue to be of value to the organization is to demonstrate from the basis of oneness with God.
Mrs. Eddy gives us a hint that the real Church is in Mind, and so we are beneficiaries only as we demonstrate our unity with that Mind. Should one expect to continue to receive spiritual benefits from the Church when he is thinking erroneously, any more than he would expect to continue to be well under the same circumstances? The remedy in both cases is to correct his thinking.
The difficulty in correcting one’s thinking when it is manifested in some disease, lies in the fact that mortal man is more interested in getting back his human harmony, than he is in correcting his thinking. Changing one’s thinking is a simple thing to do in Christian Science. It becomes difficult only when one is burdened with a desire to get rid of effect more than to correct cause.
When Christian Scientists meet together, they should always wear the robes of demonstration. This will keep divine Mind in the ascendency, rule out the human mind and save the church from falling back into mortal mind ways. The fact must be kept before the membership that the effort to run any meeting wholly from a human standpoint is a retrograde step, whereas as long as demonstration is exalted as the only right way, and healing is provided in its meetings, the church is safe.