During years of travel and investigation of various ethical movements at home and abroad, I attended many services designed to afford opportunities for the public worship of God or to proclaim the nature and rationale of various organizations aiming at the betterment of human existence, and the atmosphere of the assemblages usually made the distinguishing impression. Meetings which were characterized by relatively satisfactory degrees of harmony left a mental impression which endured and gave impulse to further inquiry,—intellectual manna gathered from human premises in a wilderness of ignorance, doubt, and flickering hope. But circumstances and constant seeking indicated a deep necessity for something adequate to meet the needs of a sense of cause and effect which suffered and chastised every pleasurable indulgence. Twenty-five years of alternating hope and smothered despair, impelling a continual search for health and harmony, had not brought permanent or even temporary relief. Neither the religious services attended nor the literature perused had appealed enduringly to reason or submitted encouraging evidences of substantial character. Hills and valleys were explored, seas traversed; Syria was visited because of the remedial promises of its Pharpar and Abana; oriental dreams and legendary lore were lightly invoked with no results but latter states worse than the first. Materia medica could only predict a hopeless ultimate, and as not one ray of cheer came from the material side, the wellsprings of consolation indeed seemed barren of refreshing waters. Salvation, even from fleshly ills, was an intangible dream of uncertain futurity.

In the midst of the apogee of these dreamland experiences came a loving message of possible healing in Christian Science, through a dear friend and neighbor, but not until four years later was the first step taken, of inquiry into the nature of this message. This step was my attendance at the Sunday morning service of The Mother Church in Boston. No words of tongue or pen can fittingly describe the penetrating sweetness of that service, and its refreshing influence upon a greatly impoverished thought. The service was incomparably soothing, dignified, and beautiful, leaving an enduring impression of harmony which had never been experienced before. Upon the arching wall of the auditorium appeared the acceptable message accentuated in these latter days as the most profound fact ever revealed to human-kind,—"God is Love." This declaration of the divine character settled into my consciousness, because the eye had not only seen the golden letters, but at the close of the service heart and mind had experienced the truth of the words through the affirmations of some of those present who rejoiced in a sure understanding of their import. The reflection of this universal truth penetrated a mental armament riveted and bound with fear, self-will, pride, and ambition, and the slumbering selfhood was awakened to drink in the genuine gladness which characterized the mental atmosphere of that service of good-will and peace. I had often heard God described as loving, but had never before been touched with a gladdened sense of the substance faintly symbolized by the word Love. No glory of golden sunrise or silver-tinted sunset on land or sea; no irradiance of arching rainbow; no royal hue of October's golden and scarlet vesture; no pomp of ecclesiastical assemblage or jubilee of music can compare with the memory of that dawn of Truth's eternal day,—the first gleam of Love's sunlight thus revealed to a spiritual vision all but obscured by heavy slumber.

March 23, 1907

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