Students of Christian Science are often asked to explain its teachings as found in the Bible and Science and Health, or to give a reason for the apparent failure of some one to demonstrate these teachings, a task which calls for great patience as well as a clear understanding of the subject involved. It should not be forgotten that on the part of the questioner there are often deep-seated prejudices and solidified beliefs which practically amount to convictions, and yet the spirit of inquiry points to a channel by which the truth may enter the human consciousness with its healing and inspiring influence. The inquiry may be crudely shaped, it may even be offensive to the Christian Scientist, but the fact remains that an opportunity is offered to tell what Truth can do,—in brief, to be an ambassador for Christ, and we may be sure that if we do our part God will not fail to do His, nor can the word He gives ever return void, it must accomplish that whereto divine Love sends it.

It sometimes happens that the student forgets what the office of ambassador stands for, and so he may express some shallow personal opinion charged with petulance or impatience, when the command is to honor God,—"not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words." The wise man says, "A word spoken in due season, how good is it!" And again, "Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." Sometimes a rebuke to error may be greatly needed, but it is well to be sure that we are speaking "in due season," when the one addressed is ready to be benefited, not merely hurt by sharp words. Paul exhorted the Colossians to pray that God would open "a door of utterance;" then he commends wisdom toward "them that are without," and adds, "Let your speech be alway with grace, ... that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." Our revered Leader counsels charity, and the privilege of maintaining silence "whenever it can substitute censure" (No and Yes, p. 8). The instructions to her followers, given at the beginning of the chapter "Christian Science Practice," should often be pondered by the workers in our ranks. Here she urges upon them the deepest Christian courtesy and tender human sympathy. She says, "The poor suffering heart needs its rightful nutriment, such as peace, patience in tribulation, and a priceless sense of the dear Father's loving-kindness" (Science and Health, p. 365).

We should never forget the command given through Isaiah, "Comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem,"—even to those who have not yet emerged from "mortal belief and knowledge obtained from the five corporeal senses" (Science and Health, p. 589), but who may be hungering for the truth of being. This should recall the Master's instructions to Peter at that wonderful morning meal after his resurrection. Peter was somewhat given to rebuking people, he had even presumed to do this to Jesus on one occasion, sincere and loyal though he was; but now he was told to feed both sheep and lambs, not drive them or rebuke them, but just feed them, and this as the best proof he could give of his love for the Master, who did not hesitate to say, "Love one another, as I have loved you." Doubtless the apostle thought upon that morning meal when he wrote in his first epistle, "Feed the flock of God which is among you, ... not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." Mrs. Eddy says, "No reproof is so potent as the silent lesson of a good example" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 126), and we should be very sparing of any other, especially in our efforts to answer the questions which may be asked by weary wanderers in the desert who have begun to seek the way home. Perhaps, after many days, our reward for the right answer will come in the benediction, "I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink,"— yes, gave the cup of cold water to "one of the least of these" and gained thereby a welcome into the heavenly kingdom.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

June 8, 1912

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.