When I first began the study of Christian Science, the...

When I first began the study of Christian Science, the thing that I emphatically resented was its way of classing sin and disease as concomitant evils. Some of my most cherished friends were struggling bravely on under burdens of seemingly hopeless disease, and the thought of the remotest connection between this suffering and any sin, in lives of such self-sacrifice as theirs, was a thing intolerable to me; but I soon found that the Principle of Christian Science is divine Love, of whose infinite tenderness and wisdom I had hitherto held not the slightest conception. Like an eager child, I drank in as much of this truth as I could assimilate, and worked confidently for the solution of this and other puzzling problems. It was not long before my own experience cleared away any doubts on this subject, for Christian Science reveals to us as sin many things that we prefer to call by more agreeable names. All my life I have been intensely affectionate. I loved my friends with an ardor that amounted to pain. Moreover, I was extremely sensitive, and so longed to be loved by others as I loved them, that I was filled with an insatiable hunger which I brought weary nights and leaden days. Only by experience can any one know the utter loneliness of it all. I tried to exert will-power and pride and to crush out the longing, but I only succeeded in covering it so that few of my friends suspected it. I tried in despair to withhold some of the apparently superfluous affection, but that was beyond me; so I came to look upon this "sensitiveness" as an affliction, a cross that I must bear as these others were bearing their crosses of pain and sorrow, and I prayed that I might learn to bear it as bravely. How I pitied myself! I am ashamed of it now. Of course I was miserable physically, for this mental unrest made me an easy prey to physical discord. I suffered almost constant pain, and often fainted in utter exhaustion.

When the light of Christian Science was turned upon this "affliction," it for what it was. I saw that this was just an inoffensive name for self-love, self-pity, self-justification, and the whole category of beliefs which constitute self. I saw that it was not a misfortune to be borne, but a sin to be banished. Having gained from the study of Science and Health a clearer concept of divine Love, and having learned by the example and the precepts of our dear Leader that the only love worthy of the name is the reflection of divine Love, I set to work. It was not a sudden victory. I had to turn the sword of Truth repeatedly against the "creeping things" seeking entrance "at the door of thought" (Science and Health, p. 392). and it was very humiliating to find "self" so persistent an enemy; but the overcoming of this one sin has done much to make me whole, for to be whole as God's child one must reflect Life in divine energy, Truth in freedom from bondage, and Love as Jesus lived it. The elimination of this element of selfishness and bondage has made it possible to grow toward the living of universal love, without losing anything desirable in the old thought of love. This awakening has brought me such happiness and contentment that the old days of heavy-heartedness seem like a dreadful dream, as indeed they were. Christian Science has healed me of almost constant pain and weariness, and of chronic and so-called incurable disease. My gratitude for this alone cannot be told in words. Only by my life can I hope to express my gratitude for the joy and freedom and added usefulness that have come to me through this spiritual healing. The better understanding of divine Love has made me capable of more sincere gratitude to God; and my comparatively feebly efforts at reflecting divine Love bring to me a growing realization of what it means to be a true Christian Scientist, and fill me with reverent love for Mrs. Eddy, whose life of unfaltering courage and charity gives daily proof that she must indeed dwell in "the secret place of the most High." —Renette K. Butler, Peoria, Ill.

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Testimony of Healing
About six years ago, when in despair over my physical...
February 22, 1908

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