The Word Illumined

A very significant feature of the testimonies given by Christian Scientists in our periodicals and in our experience meetings is the frequent reference to the illumination of the Scriptures which always attends the study of our text-book.

Some years ago a prominent clergyman who warning his hearers against Christian Science, said that one of its great dangers lay in the success which it had in interesting people in the study of the Bible. Another clergyman once attended an experience meeting for the purpose, as he frankly admitted, of finding in the service something that would justify him in his condemnation of this religion. He was deeply impressed by the silent prayer, as well as by the fervent manner in which all joined in the Lord's Prayer, but most of all by the reading of the Bible, and the references made to it by those who testified of their healing, and of the wonderful light thrown upon the Scriptures through the study of Science and Health. The selection read was from 2 Kings, 4, the story of the raising of the Shunammite woman's child. The Reader was not aware of the clergyman's presence, but read some very forceful passages from the text-book, one of which was this, "He [Jesus] restored Lazarus by the understanding that he had never died, not by an admission that his body had died, and then lived again" (Science and Health, p. 75).

It seems that the visitor had been especially antagonized by the fact that Christian Scientists are taught to deny the testimony of material sense, but he saw, what he had never seen before, that they have Scriptural authority for so doing. This Shunammite mother, who never admitted for a moment that her son was dead, who told no one, not even her husband, of the beloved and only child lying cold and still in that upper room, who went to the prophet, and in answer to his question said it was "well" with her child,—this woman was consistent in holding to the allness of God, and not once did she admit the reality of material sense testimony, even in her prayer for help. Surely none would deny that this is the faith, or understanding which "removes mountains" and "raises the dead" and it is not surprising that the minister said at the close, he was going home to read his Bible as he had never read it before, and that in future he should "Judge not," lest in so doing he might give a stone where bread was needed,—the bread of Life which was undoubtedly feeding those whose testimonies he had heard.

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Ideals and their Attainment
February 6, 1904

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