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The Southern Church is strongest in North Carolina and Virginia. It has five annual conferences, with 143 organizations, 135 church edifices, valued at $138,000 and 13,004 communicants. The average seating capacity of the edifices is 341, and the average value $1022. Eight halls, with a seating capacity of 750, are occupied.
The two bodies have a total of 1424 organizations, 1098 church edifices, with a seating capacity of 347,697 and a value of $1,775,202, and 103,722 communicants.
Both are represented in only two States, viz., North Carolina and Virginia.
THE CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY ASSOCIATION.
This association represents, in Christian work in Kentucky, a number of churches, without name, without creed, and without any ecclesiastical system. Each church is entirely independent. The churches claim to be unsectarian. The first was organized in Berea by Mr. John G. Fee. The doctrines preached are those common to evangelical Christianity. Immersion is held to be the proper form of baptism, but is not insisted upon. One hall, with a seating capacity of 100, is occupied.
THE CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS.
CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS are those who believe that all ills of body and all evils of whatever nature are subject to the healing power of mind or spirit.
Mrs. Mary Baker G. Eddy, of Boston, Mass., claims to have discovered in 1866 and introduced in 1867 the “first purely metaphysical system of healing since the apostolic days.” She began in that year to impart information as to the principles of the system. Out of this beginning was developed the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, which was chartered in 1881. Mrs. Eddy, with six of her students, constituted the first Christian Scientist association in 1876. Three years later a Christian Scientist Church was organized in Boston with 26 members. Mrs. Eddy was called to be its pastor the same year, and accepted the position. In 1881 she was ordained. Other churches and associations sprang up in different parts of the country, and in 1886 a National Christian Scientist Association was formed, the first meeting being held in New York City. There are regular churches, with pastors, in thirty-three States, and Sunday services are held in numerous places where churches have not been organized. There are also thirty or more Christian Science dispensaries. The organ of the denomination, The Christian Science Journal (monthly), publishes many columns of cards of practitioners of the science of mind healing.
The principles of Christian Science have been set forth authoritatively by Mrs. Eddy. According to her statements, all consciousness is mind, and mind is God. There is but one mind, and that is the divine mind. This is infinite good, which supplies all mind by reflection instead of subdivision. God is reflected, not divided. Soul is spirit, and spirit is God. There is but one soul, and that is God. The flesh is evil, not the soul. Soul is “substance in truth”; matter is “substance in error.' Soul, spirit, or mind is not evil, nor is it mortal. Life is eternal. It implies God. Whatever errs is mortal, and is a departure from God. Evil is simply the absence of good. . Evil is unreal; good only is real. The divine mind is one and indivisible, and therefore never out of harmony. Man is immortal, being coeternal with God. The divine power is able to bring all into harmony with itself. Hence Christian Science says to all manner of disease: “Know that God is all-power and all-presence, and there is nothing beside him, and the sick are healed.” “ Sickness is a belief, a latent fear, made manifest in the body in different forms of fear or disease. This fear is formed unconsciously in the silent thought.” It is to be dissipated by actual consciousness of the “truth of science” that man's harmony is no more to be invaded than the rhythm of the universe. Suffering exists only in the “mortal mind”; “matter has no sensation, and cannot suffer." If
rule out every sense of disease and suffering from mortal mind, it cannot be found in the body.” All drugs are to be avoided. The only means of cure proposed by Christian Science is spiritual. Sin, like sickness and death, is unreal. In order to cure it the sinner's belief in its reality must be overthrown.
The denomination has only 7 church edifices. Meetings are held in 213 halls, which have a seating capacity of 19,690.
SUMMARY BY STATES.
814 147 75
3 15 33
134 640 424
60 499 125 264 374 650 54
75 564 16 62 155 75 33
3 II2 100 40 90 474