In the fond hope that there may be somewhere a reader...

In the fond hope that there may be somewhere a reader of the Christian Science Sentinel to whom this story of my life—or a part of it at least—may come as a message, as it were, from the realms of infinite Love, I write this. A law which has been handed down to the children of men from time immemorial is to the effect that we all of us are to a very great extent the creatures of environment. Being under that law, buffeted roughly about on life's sea, away from home influences, I grew to manhood a wild, care-free, irresponsible individual, to whom I was my own worst enemy. I had been blessed with one of the sweetest mothers that ever lived, and a father whose whole life has been, for more than thirty-five years, devoted to carrying the gospel of Christ Jesus to men. But the prayers of my parents seemed unavailing. I went on from bad to worse, a slave to liquor. This habit seemed to hold me in its dreadful clutches as mercilessly as a great python holds a fluttering bird it has lured from the branches of a tree in the jungle. I prayed, but the wind seemed to blow my prayers away. I fought this curse with every iota of my human will, but still I remained in this pitiful, loathsome bondage. I had been trained for a career at the bar, but my time spent at another kind of bar took from me the ambition to become what I was told I was capable of becoming. I had been trained for literary work—and this I loved—but liquor seemed to have buried under the ashes of a wild despair all thought of using the talent God had given me.

I was never a drunkard of the gutter; but I was always a drunkard in the sense that an indulgence in liquor seemed utterly to deprive me of the ability to think and act rightly. My conscience became so seared that right seemed wrong and wrong all too frequently seemed right. Mine was a hideously distorted sense of things. Often I have gone to my room up-stairs, locked my door and thrown the key out of the window, to prevent myself from going to a saloon for an indulgence in the vile stuff which had so many years been my curse. I have pledged my word to my ever-faithful and patient wife and to my loving friends that I would never drink again, but these efforts at reform were as unavailing as the barking of the dogs of the Nile to overthrow the pyramids. I would slide down a water-pipe or jump out of the window to get to where I could buy liquor; and I have broken my word to her who has stood so faithfully and lovingly by me through the years, and to the dear friends, within an hour after that word was given.

I was little at home after I was eleven years old. My parents' hearts were all but broken by my wildness and lack of mortal stability. I lived my early years largely in an environment far from conducive to right thinking and right acting, and yet I was never what the world calls a "bad man,"—just a worthless, shiftless, moral nonentity. I was bound hand and foot by liquor. During the most of my life since I was fifteen years old, even while in college, I have made a livelihood as a newspaper and magazine writer; but liquor prevented me from accomplishing the most of which I was capable. At last there came to me the message of Christ's love for man, as demonstrated in Christian Science. It was a long time, however, before I would accept the message. It was a long time before I ceased to feel antagonistic to the teachings of our dear Leader, Mrs. Eddy, who has given to the world such a great spiritual legacy as is the text-book of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." But finally, after one of the most terrible mental chemicalizations I have ever known, the victory was won. Thank God! And my heart was filled with a sweet peace which words of mine are inadequate to describe. Words are such little things!

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Testimony of Healing
I am singing in the words of the psalmist, "Bless the...
August 10, 1912

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