THE CHURCH AND THE INDIVIDUAL

The earnest truth-seeker who approaches Christian Science with open mind, and who has perhaps been healed thereby, looks at times for what he does not find and finds what he is not seeking. In the ethics of Christian Science he sees perfection, and he looks for perfection in its adherents. In his ardent thought he invests the Scientists with robes that should show the radiance of sunlight, and is dismayed sometimes to find them stained with clay and dingy with dust. He may thus be tempted to confound Christian Science with the Christian Scientist, and to condemn the latter because he is not the complete embodiment of the former.

Particularly is the zealous beginner disquieted when he finds an absence of ideal unity and love among Christian Scientists; when he hears complaint of lack from one who freely speaks of the unlimited bounty of Truth, available for all. The steadfastness of his faith may be seriously tested if he finds the church of his adoption, as he may have already found its individual members, a long way removed, in its demonstrations, from the ideal presented in its manual of government. But in due time he awakens to the fact that it is not merely truth professed, but truth practised which makes a Christian Scientist worthy of the name. Then, if he is wise and true as well as zealous, he finds in each shortcoming on the part of others, a spur to better work on his own part. As he learns that the place of conquest over every error is right in his own consciousness, he becomes less concerned about the faults of others and more about his own.

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