After hours of random search through the Bible and Science and Health in quest of surcease from perturbed thought, the writer came across this terse sentence from our text-book: "We are not Christian Scientists until we leave all for Christ" (p. 192). The words stood out from the surrounding text as if in bold relief—a challenge that would not down; so striking in finality, so intense in meaning, so startling to the sense of self-satisfaction into which he had unconsciously fallen, that with open book before him he sat in mute introspection, stunned, yet without resentment. The quest for surcease ended at that point, and took another course impelled by a different motive.

"Have I been truly and am I now indeed a Christian Scientist?" he asked himself. The question was direct; evasion was impossible. The search now was for the depth of honesty with which to answer the question. In sounding for that depth what a multitude of unsuspected imps obstructed the way—hell seemed to be turned loose. Yet he did not fear, nor was his amazement at his sinister discoveries accompanied by anguish or chagrin. The scores of little things—each a deceit and deceiver in one—intruding themselves into his consciousness, gaped and grinned in mockery of his claims to ardent rectitude. Finally, with stalking approach, appeared the fiend of self-complacent belief that his concept of Christian Science was the really right one, and that although others might be blessed with "an understanding," "a clear thought," and the like, yet hitherto his understanding had met his own full approval and was unquestioned. He had considered it so profound, too! What wretched impudence! What ignorance!

For a moment he felt the sting of self-condemnation, but this was changed instantly by the thought of gratitude to God for His long-suffering, His infinite goodness. With the feeling of gratitude grew a peaceful fortitude to excavate farther into the depths. He marveled at the ease with which he seemed enabled to put the demons down—to see their baseless claims of authority vanish one by one. This was his first appreciated proof of God-given dominion over evil—the divinely-derived ability to overcome error and destroy it with Truth apprehended. It then occurred to him to ask if his past attitude of smug complacency had not led him to hardness of heart, to an unconscious or unadmitted intolerance of others; and he was forced to admit that it had.

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

July 27, 1912

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.