David and the Angel

The Christian Work and Evangelist

An old truth in a new dress is sure to attract more than ordinary attention. One of the central truths in the popular mind about Christian Science is not a new truth. It is as old as religion. But hundreds and thousands in New England to-day are standing up for it, and proclaiming it to the world with all the enthusiasm of a new revelation. A new church has just been dedicated in New Hampshire. It is all of stone, costly, beautiful; with its large seating capacity, its massive pillars, and high vaulted roof, it is more like a miniature cathedral than an ordinary parish church. Its founder is for the most part its bountiful giver; a notable woman, the apostle of Christian Science.

Now what is one of the central truths that Christian Science stands for in the popular mind? Is it not that in all the diseases and ills that flesh is heir to, there is a higher power to help besides the surgeon's knife and the medicine bottle? Is it not that if any son of man finds himself in a maze, a winding path of perplexity out of which there seems no exit, an unseen presence, in answer to his prayer, may put a string in his hand, and, if he follow that mysterious leading, he will get out into the open? Is it not that when night comes down, the night of any kind of trouble, and broods over a man's soul, the stars come out to the eye of faith, the stars of hope? Does Christian Science teach that, when a man's hour is darkest, and a man's fortunes are lowest, a supernatural, benevolent presence, visible to the eye of faith, invisible to the eye of sense, encamps round about him? There David, a good Old Testament Christian Scientist. This truth I say is not new. It is as old as religion, and David was one of the first preachers.

I have a picture of that Old Testament Christian Scientist in my study. It is the form and features of a young man, cut, in the finest Carrara marble, by a great sculptor. The youth is handsome, lithe, athletic. Who in all Old Testament history better played the man than David? What hunter ever met the lion and the bear with greater courage? What soldier ever hid among the rocks, when pursued by his enemies, with greater security? But the secret of his security was not his sword. The secret of his ability to sing in the midst of perils was his trust in the great invisible, benevolent present, which he called the angel of the Lord.

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January 21, 1905

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