The Wednesday Evening Meeting

One of the purposes of the Wednesday evening meeting is to give those who do not understand Christian Science, opportunity to learn what it has done and is doing for mankind in the way of healing the sick and reforming the sinful. It should therefore be our constant effort to speak in terms which will be perfectly intelligible to these people. Unusual and indefinite words and phrases should be avoided, since otherwise the uninitiated will be left in doubt as to just what we mean, and hence will be left in a state of mental confusion or uncertainty.

It is apparent further, that the public does not care about the minor details, — the small talk indulged in by this one and that one in regard to a case, or what the patient said or thought, or did not say or think, — they would have us state briefly, plainly, and forcefully what the trouble was to which Christian Science was applied, and give the results. To undertake to teach Christian Science in the Wednesday evening meetings, or to explain why and how it heals, is usually to get into deep waters.

Long testimonies are usually a great trial. There are about forty minutes each Wednesday evening devoted to the testimonies, and in large gatherings there should be at least ten to fifteen testimonies given. This would give each three to four minutes, and ordinarily that is all the time one is likely to use with profit to his hearers. Three minutes would, perhaps, be a good limit. Ten demonstrations told in one evening by ten persons will prove much more effective and convincing than ten equally good demonstrations told by one person. As a rule one good demonstration well told is sufficient to make our point, and this accomplished, it is always well to stop. After that anything we may add tends to weaken rather than strengthen the impression. To illustrate. Some time ago I had occasion to nail up a board that had become loose. It was a rather slender, narrow board, but it was in a place where it had to stand considerable strain. I drove two nails and thought I had it reasonably secure, but in order to make assurance doubly sure I decided to put in another one between the two. In driving this the board split, so that I distinctly weakened its hold. Then I thought I ought to drive two more nails, one on each side of the split, to repair this damage. Each of these had to be driven so close to the two originals that they also caused splits. The result was that whereas I had a reasonably safe structure with two nails, with five it tumbled down like a card house, and besides this the board was spoiled for further usefulness.

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An Offering
March 10, 1906

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