Some months ago, when I did not know from personal experience that Christian Science is demonstrable, the title of this article would have brought forth a cynical smile. If one had even hinted the possibility of repentance (grief, as I knew it to be) being accepted by any sane person as a joy, I should have met it with a shrug. Today I not only know this seeming contradiction to be an absolute truth, but I actually understand why it cannot be otherwise. The change which an individual consciousness has to undergo ere it willingly accepts repentance as a "fruit of the Spirit," has been experienced by every true Christian Scientist. Most Christians experience joy on conversion; but joy in repentance is an entirely different thing. In my former thought repentance meant a period of grief, the performance of some imposed penance, and often my grief was followed by a fit of melancholy, this being succeeded by a brief period of ecstatic happiness, which in turn, as I sinned again, gave way once more to grief.

Long before Christian Science had been brought to my attention I had reached the conclusion that the human mind is a subtle and peculiar piece of mechanism, and all the more dangerous because of its alleged reality. Often, at revival meetings, I have listened to the testimonies of converts, but while feeling that they were honest in their profession of a complete change of life, I was myself never brought to repentance, nor even to a desire to embrace religion, though I was always willing, and in fact anxious, to procure some means of overcoming sin and sickness.

December 11, 1909

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