SOME THOUGHTS CONCERNING TESTIMONIES

Some expressions are used by students of Christian Science with which they have become so generally familiar that they are perhaps apt to make undue use of them,—undue to the stranger, because being in a "new tongue" they convey too little, and undue to the student, because they suggest far too much without really elucidating enough. Amongst such expressions there are few one hears more frequently than, to take a single example, "I realized the truth," and I should fancy there are few more obscure to the uninitiated, while even to the student its use, if unexemplified, casts little light of a helpful nature.

For instance, it is common at testimony meetings and elsewhere to hear a carefully detailed account of some discord, at times even with the date and hour laboriously chronicled, and then, in order to explain the why and wherefore of its entire annulment through Christian Science treatment, the speaker briefly sums it up with, "I realized the truth, and the trouble was gone." Personally I am inclined to think that if we give any statement of discord, we should with at least equal faithfulness try to explain the mental journey from the material belief which enslaved to the spiritual understanding which led to freedom. If one thinks of it, the child struggling with a difficult sum would derive little if any real help from merely being told the correct answer; clearly the best and only real assistance would be given by showing how the answer was found. It is of course understood that we are to avoid all formulas, and that we are not to undertake to give the detail of Christian Science treatment, but we should be able to give a brief and intelligent statement of that progress of thought from darkness to light which was attended by release from pain or other limitation. We should be able to give in modest terms the reason for the hope within us which has brought us freedom and health.

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THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE READING ROOM
September 7, 1907
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