One frequently hears the remark: "I am very grateful indeed for what Christian Science has done for me, but I am afraid I shall never have the courage to stand up and give a testimony." And just so long as we encourage the mental laziness which allows this fear to be our master, just so long we shall remain slaves to that fear. As St. Paul says: "To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey."

In withholding our testimonies we are hindering our progress in many ways. We are ungrateful, and must class ourselves with the lepers who went their way and did not return to give thanks to God. We are disobedient, for if we profess to be Christian Scientists, the least we can do is to obey our Leader's wishes, and we know that the Wednesday evening meetings were instituted by her that we might publicly tell of the blessings which Christian Science has brought to us, and thus help and encourage the stranger and the beginner. So long as we allow fear to hold us in bondage, our love is not perfect. St. John says: "Perfect love casteth out fear:...he that feareth is not made perfect in love." However great this fear seems to be, it can be overcome, and perhaps the writer's experience in this matter may be a little help and encouragement to others.

Before I heard of Christian Science I was intensely nervous, so much so that it amounted to a disease. When I had been reading Science and Health for a few weeks, I awoke to the fact that numerous complaints from which I had been suffering nearly all my life had entirely disappeared, and that from being practically an invalid I was perfectly well and strong. A little while after this, at one of the Wednesday meetings, the thought came to me that I ought to give a testimony. I was immediately filled with such an abject sense of terror (there is no other word to express it) at the thought of speaking in public, that I felt I would rather give up Christian Science altogether than go through such an ordeal, as it seemed to me impossible to attend the services regularly, and get all the good I was receiving from them, and yet not obey our Leader's wishes and speak. Though I felt my duty very keenly, I tried in every possible way to shirk it, making all sorts of excuses to myself; in fact, I was willing to do anything but the one thing required of me.

May 13, 1911

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