From childhood, there was nothing I desired or loved...

From childhood, there was nothing I desired or loved more than honesty, and this desire followed me through a long struggle with poverty. The test of my desire for honesty came. A nice country home and seemingly all we possessed was swept away through the destruction of crops, hog cholera, bail money, and the dishonesty of a fellow-man. This loss was nothing compared to the debts that were added to the burden. I was charged with dishonesty by the creditors, who would come to my home and declare I had money hid when I had none.

Science and Health was then handed to me. I was a church member, and my sense of honesty to my fellow-man caused me to carry Science literature to the pastor of said church. For two years I did so, hoping to have him either acknowledge the good or else condemn the evil in it. He did neither, but instead denounced it from the pulpit. This so wounded me that I could no longer attend church. Ambitious as my husband was, every undertaking was a defeat. My great aim was to give my children as good an education as our city afforded. In order to accomplish this, I kept boarders, sewed, and did any kind of work I could, but one thing followed another, until we were reduced to extreme poverty.

For a year we managed to pay the rent, but we only had two sacks of flour and a few potatoes besides corn meal for food. One evening, when there was nothing in the house for fuel or food, we all went to bed very much discouraged. There was a little son of five years, who stilled the tempest by singing, "Shepherd, show me how to go" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 397). I was not even aware that he knew it. Defeats and triumphs had followed one another until the crisis came. Breakfast was prepared of corn-meal as usual, but all refused to eat. Dinner and supper were prepared with the same result. Human energy and strength had failed. I asked all to go to bed and leave me alone with God. I worked until ten o'clock, when these words of truth came to me: "To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise." I saw that poverty was putting my sense of life, substance, and intelligence into matter, and from this time forth we were never in want. I learned that in the measure that our sense of life, substance, and intelligence is lifted out of matter into Mind is progress manifested in every direction.

January 14, 1905

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