An intelligent, observant business man, and his equally intelligent and discerning wife, who knew practically nothing of Christian Science, visited one of our Wednesday evening meetings for the first time. The wife was in need of physical help which she could not get from medical practitioners. It had been suggested to her, and to her husband, that she could get relief through Christian Science. They went to the meeting for the purpose of learning something about it, but came away disappointed and took no further interest in the subject. It so happened that on that evening the testimonies ran mostly on the advantages resulting in business from the application of Christian Science, and from the visitors' point of view this seemed a very sordid and mercenary use to make of religion, hence their disappointment. Let it be understood that Christian Scientists look at this subject quite differently ; nevertheless, the view taken by another intelligent and conscientious listener, not a Christian Scientist, may lead us to a more careful and Scientific consideration of the basis of our claim that the business man does find Christian Science a great benefit in his business, and at the same time teach us additional wisdom in the giving of testimonials of this kind, which are liable to be thus misconstrued.

To many, if not most people of the day, success in business results mainly from opportunity and ability to secure an advantage over the party with whom the business man is dealing, or over a competitor. From this standpoint the use of a religion, or any power it may give, to bring about greater success in business, would be to misuse and degrade the religion and subject the party guilty of the offense to the just charge of hypocrisy, meanness, and dishonesty. A profession of religion that could by any possibility be degraded to any such base purposes, would be entitled to no respect whatever ; indeed the religionist, or pretended religionist, who parades his religion in his business and assumes the "holier than thou" atitude therein, is always subject to criticism and suspicion. But let us see if any such construction can justly be placed upon the uses made by Christian Scientists in the furtherance of their worldly interests and the successful conduct of their business affairs, or their attitude towards others in their business relations.

January 26, 1907

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