To the casual inquirer Christian Scientists must at times seem contradictory in their statements; for instance, when a stranger attends a Wednesday evening service and hears clear and impressive testimonies of healing, and then, perhaps next day, is told by a friend of "so and so" who "tried Christian Science" and it "did not do him a bit of good." He then naturally asks, "Why are some patients quickly healed, and some slowly, or not at all?" To this we might add, "Why do some who are greatly helped and who at first are enthusiastic and voluble, lose interest, neglect to call on a practitioner when need arises, drop their study, relapse, and possibly give up Science?" Each individual case must be considered on its merits, therefore no rule can be made to cover all; but it would be presumptuous to assume that all the responsibility rests with the practitioner, and it may be well to consider for a moment the patient's share in the work.

An explanation, at least in part, of the varying results attending Christian Science practise may be found in the parable of "the sower," and in the declaration of our Lord's inability to do "many mighty works there because of their unbelief," etc. But a yet more profound and pointed explanation is found in the fifth chapter of St. John's gospel, where we are told of our Lord's visit to the pool of the five porches. There Jesus found a "great multitude of impotent folk," and one is tempted to wonder why he did not heal them all. He healed only one. Why did he not heal the rest? He had sufficient understanding to raise the dead, he had love enough to surrender himself to the cross; he therefore lacked neither love nor power. Is it not manifest that even he could give only to those who would take, and that in that "great multitude" he found but one receptive heart?

Every practitioner has known persons who, having spent much time and money under medical care and implicitly obeyed their doctors' instructions, have come then to Christian Science, "to try it." I have known such persons to experience an immediate benefit, then neglect their practitioner's request to study the Bible in connection with its key, Science and Health, and in a short time and after a small expenditure of money and effort, give up treatment, thinking that they had "tried Christian Science."

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July 20, 1912

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