A Practical Lesson

It was in the early days of my Christian Science experience that I gave my first offering towards the building of the then new Mother Church. I was not a Christian Scientist, indeed I was, like many others, at first opposed to it, but was beginning to see that God would not bless the prayers of Christian Scientists with such wonderful answers were they as deep in error as I suspected them to be. When attending their services it seemed no more than right to make some return, as I had received more or less help from them. Once I gave at a special collection for The Mother Church; not very much, for money was scarce and it was somewhat of a sacrifice to give at all, but I have many times since regretted that my offering was not larger, just as some may yet regret that they have not given more towards the Building Fund of the new Extension. I did not then realize its importance, however, or know how dear it would become to me. The understanding of its deep significance and the blessings that follow the gifts of love had not yet appealed to me.

Soon after my first offering there came up the question: Shall we start a building fund for a Christian Science church in this place? Then followed the usual discussion, and among other things it was said that times were hard, that we did not want to make any mistake in this matter, and would it not be better to wait until all could give. I had a feeling that there was no time like the present, and said if it was thought best to start the subscription I would give one hundred dollars, provided that I be allowed to pay it whenever I could. It is needless to say that we raised quite a large sum, even the children who were present entering into the spirit of the matter, one little miss pledging five dollars. I was not sure, however, that I had been wise. I thought of my last subscription, for small as it was I had to pay it in two payments. I said, "If the Lord does not help me out of this it will be a good long while before I do such a foolish thing again." I was helped, for before a week had passed I was not only enabled to pay my subscription among the first but had more than enough to pay off several hundred dollars of debts that had troubled me for a considerable time. Afterwards I found to my surprise that this problem of supply had in some way been solved, for I no longer had the habit of getting into debt and not being able to see my way out of it. Some may say all this might have happened anyway, which may be true, yet I am confident that no one who has had answers to his prayers would say so. Be this as it may, good has followed me ever since that time. As I grew into an understanding of Truth, I have had answers to prayer that filled me with awe. Once I would have asked myself. Are not these miracles? Christian Scientists know from experience that prosperity and all the blessings that accompany good health are the smallest part of Christian Science.

Before closing I wish to express my gratitude to that wonderful woman, Mrs. Eddy. What inexhaustible revelations she has given us. They seem to me as if written for my especial needs. Through her teachings, and also through her life, I have been enabled to an extent to understand the spiritual or perfect man. If by God's help and her example I can attain the heights she has reached, no words of mine can express my gratitude.

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Retaining or Remitting
July 21, 1906

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