A strange sight, indeed, to me—one of the workaday...

Los Angeles (Cal.) Examiner

A strange sight, indeed, to me—one of the workaday people who have come to regard life as a more or less painful staving off of a great last sleep—are these testimonial meetings of Christian Scientists, held every Wednesday evening in Simpson's Auditorium. I have gone there when the stars illumined a quiet sky. I have gone there when the rain came down in sheets. I have gone there when the huge edifice was so cold I shivered in my furs. I have gone, also, when I nearly fainted from the excess of summer heat, when grand opera, with all its enticements, was here, when Olga Nethersole—that very magnet of luring power—was offering her counter-attractions at the Mason Theater. And never have I seen an abatement in the steady pilgrimage to that strange shrine.

Fifteen hundred is the seating capacity of Simpson's Auditorium, I am told. Well, if you want to get a seat there on Wednesday night you must go early. Rather remarkable record for a prayer meeting, is it not? And this without the usual features of music and eloquence. As early as seven o'clock they begin to come. And certainly they are an aggregation of people worthy of notice—well dressed for the most part and bearing signs of culture and refinement. At first I wondered if its class of adherents made Christian Science the rather fine things it seems to be, or if Christian Science has been instrumental in making its devotees the undeniably first-water people so many of them certainly are.

At any rate some of the faces I have watched smilingly emerge from the outer darkness into the lighted hall are as fine as any I have seen anywhere. Self-mastery seems to be the rubric in the histories written on their countenances. For them, at least, the sphinx that has stood propounding its riddle in the parching heat of the desert sun since the world began, is fully answered. These, however, are the thirty-third degree Christian Scientists, so to speak. Many of them are practitioners, if not professionally, then among their own friends and family. Behind these come from all the walks of life a great many sufferers, seeking aid that human effort cannot afford them. On these faces, too, glimmers a new hope; in how many instances a last hope! It is not merely for alleviation of the aches of the body that people are embracing Christian Science, but as well from heart wounds received in a losing battle with life. They come with tragedies written on their brows to hear the soothing words of the New England woman, that life has no tragedies. Some that come have death staring out of their hollow cheeks and sunken eyes. Some have deformities with which they came into the world and with which they have always expected to go out of it. Some are the vanquished in a struggle against poverty or for success. All these have turned impatiently from a preaching that defers hope until the portals of death are passed, and cry, "Now! Give us a religion of Now!" Christian Science might easily be termed a religion of "Now."

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