He is wise indeed who knows not only what to say, but when to speak, and when to keep silent though opportunity would seem to call for speech. This is especially true of Christian Scientists, hence they need this discerning wisdom, lest the unguarded tongue betray the kindlier purpose of the heart. One may be able to talk fluently and even brilliantly of the teaching of Christian Science, and be strictly correct in the letter, yet be far afield as to its proper and timely presentation. It is not what we say nor what we believe, but what we do, that determines how much we know of Christian Science; therefore to keep more in mind the measure of our own attainment in the line of its demonstration, would largely lessen the danger of saying the wrong thing, or of saying the right thing at the wrong time. One's speech is more apt to be impressive for its quietness and modesty than for its profusion of fervid words and unproved statements. Effusiveness is not always earnestness, nor does knowledge always go hand in hand with zeal; indeed, the deeper one goes into the practical study of Christian Science the less prone he is to voice indiscriminately his impressions or to intrude his beliefs upon others.

A noted evangelist, who has frequently spoken against Christian Science in his services, recently confessed to the writer that his prejudice was largely due to the extravagant statements he had heard from Christian Scientists themselves. These Scientists were doubtless influenced by the best intentions, and were honestly desirous of presenting their views in the best possible light, but by overimpulsive tactics and an injudicious choice of words they had produced an antagonistic impression that has taken years to modify. We should know that we cannot bring in the kingdom of heaven "by violence," neither can we storm the citadel of another's belief through the ardor of our own contrary convictions. Efforts which are prompted by intemperate zeal, and which lack consideration for our hearer's standpoint, are more apt to repel than to attract those whom we wish to interest.

November 28, 1908

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