That was a happy expression which Mrs. Eddy used when she spoke of the weekly testimony meeting as a "banquet of Christian Science" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 149), for here indeed are dispensed to needy mortals precious fragments of the "bread of life," and the fruits of that tree whose leaves are for "the healing of the nations." Throughout the field, now of world-wide extent, multitudes of weary wayfarers, hopeless of heart and famished of spirit, are attracted thither, seeking comfort and spiritual refreshment, and it should be the care of Christian Scientists, to whom this task of love has been committed, that none of these go away unsatisfied. It is their privilege as well as their duty to bring to this feast, in the words of our Leader, "what they possess of love and light," and to distribute "what God has given [them] of experience, hope, faith, and understanding" (Ibid.); or, as Malachi expressed it, to bring their "tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house."

The primary purpose of the Wednesday evening meeting is evidently not so much to strengthen and cheer Christian Scientists themselves—although this blessing naturally attends one's unselfish ministrations—as it is to awaken mankind to a knowledge of the redemption from sin and disease which is provided in Christian Science. Christian Scientists are daily proving in numberless ways what the true idea of God, as omnipresent good, can do for them in times of need. Again and again they have seen demonstrated God's power to "furnish a table in the wilderness" when human material belief saw only dearth and desolation; and these experiences, when made known, inspire with new hope and courage those who wander in from the "highways and hedges." Their realization of God's goodness and protection may well be likened to the "candle" in the Master's illustration, which Christian Scientists are expected to keep in their candlesticks, to give light when needed, but not to hide under the "bushel" of diffidence or timidity. We may indeed bask in another's light, but that light cannot take the place nor do the work of one's own. This work is individual, and one should not rely upon another to do his part therein, any more than he should ask to be given a blessing for which he has not prepared himself.

An indispensable feature of successful banquets is that the fare be carefully selected and prepared, so as to prove most acceptable to one's guests. To do this, the palate of the guests, more than one's own, must be considered. Christian Scientists likewise owe it to those invited to the Wednesday evening meetings, that they not only give the best they have, but present it clearly and intelligibly,—not in an "unknown tongue," but in language readily apprehended. The effect of many good testimonies is frequently lost through the use of obscure terms. Disease, sin, and evil habits are not regarded by the average person as "claims" or "beliefs," but as actual experiences; and their need is not to have these conditions renamed, nor described in unusual phrases, but to know that Christian Science heals them. This fact, that Christian Science removes the ills and the errors of mankind, and makes human thought more loving, unselfish, and pure, should be the key-note of every utterance and the burden of every testimony.

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May 14, 1910

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