At the Breakfast Table

Amsterdam (N. Y.)Recorder

When coffee had been poured the landlady said, "I would like to know what you folks think of Christian Science. I have been looking over some statistics of this comparatively new religion and am surprised to see how many large and flourishing churches it has, not only in this country but other countries as well. Any attempts to suppress the order or to suppress that feature of it which leads to the healing of the sick seem only to have had the effect to multiply converts."

"So far as I am concerned," said the lawyer, "I am hardly well enough informed to express an opinion. Some years ago my attention was called to Christian Science by the large number of men and women of prominence who were joining it; but after a brief examination I found it so opposed to my way of thinking that I stopped short and haven't given it any attention since. Christian Science is a spiritual thing, and I am such a rank materialist that we have nothing in common. God, they say, is Spirit and pervades all space; and having sprung from Him, we also are spiritual beings. The aim of Christian Science, therefore, is to restore lost spirituality, and, to the degree that it does this, we get rid of our ailments and the body itself wanes in importance and reality."

"Christian Science," said the doctor, "is both a religion and a method of healing. As either one I am interested in it, and have for it only words of praise. As a religion it seeks to rid its followers of sin in every form. Its endeavor is to purify, elevate, ennoble, refine, and spiritualize, and it considers itself successful in proportion as it is able to do this. As it progresses in a community, its work is good, better, best, and as a method of cure I think well of it. The cures it has wrought are many and marvelous. Indeed the majority of its members are persons who have been healed of their diseases or who have been so benefited in their general health that they have been only too glad to join the order and do what they can to help it along." Now, I presume, you want my testimony," said the school teacher. "Last summer I spent two weeks of my vacation in New York. One Sunday I went to an orthodox church in Brooklyn, and on another to a Christian Science church in the vicinity of 42d Street. The orthodox church was full, though not so full but that there was an occasional empty seat. The Christian Science church was more than full, there being two lines of seats in each of the outside aisles and some occupied standing-room around the doors. In contrasting the two churches, what impressed me very forcibly was the difference in the looks of the two congregations. At the orthodox church there was the regular Sunday-go-to-meeting look, with a bit of the demure in it and more or less of the perfunctory. At the Christian Science church there was on every face a look of animation and of good cheer. It was as though something had just happened to the advantage of every member of the congregation, and they were all not only in a complaisant frame of mind but elated and happy. It was a gladsome look, such as you might expect to see on a festal occasion instead of at an ordinary midsummer meeting. And when the offering was taken up, they gave as though they were getting value received for their money, the baskets being piled with bills, with only silver enough among them to keep the bills from falling out."—Amsterdam (N. Y.)Recorder

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