Our Lectures

"Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house." These words from the Sermon on the Mount seem to offer some helpful reflections on the subjects of the lecture work in Christian Science. It should not be forgotten that Mrs. Eddy herself was the first lecturer on Christian Science, years before she arranged for the Board of Lectureship. On page 304 of Miscellany she says: "I have lectured in large and crowded halls in New York City, Chicago, Boston, Portland, and at Waterville College, and have been invited to lecture in London, England, and Edinburgh, Scotland." The object of a Christian Science lecture, whenever or wherever it is given, may be compated to the lighting of a candle. In either case the purpose is twofold: first, the dispelling of darkness (that which fosters false and confused notions); second, the bringing of light (that which reveals the true facts). The resulting sense of illumination must necessarily prove a blessing to "all that are in the house"—in other words, to those who are in readiness to receive it.

There are two main points for consideration in this helpful parallel; namely, the composition of the candle, and what is to be done with it when lighted. The main constituents of a candle are the wax and the wick. If either one of these is missing, there can be no flame. Comparing a Christian Science lecture to a lighted candle, we find that here also two essential elements are present: first, the lecturer and his work; second, the work of the members of the church or society which gives the lecture. The former may be likened to the wick, which to some extent determines the shape and size of the flame; and the latter to the wax, which largely determines its quality and brilliance. According to this illustration, so long as the wick remains a reliable factor, there is always rooms for improvement in the quality of the flame, if constant attention is given to the quality of the wax which feeds it.

Of course an illustration of this kind must not be pressed too hard, but it may be useful if it keeps us from losing sight, in the lecture work, of the proper relation which the various contributing factors bear to one another. For instance, it is quite generally though that it is the lecturer who gives the lecture. So, in one sense, he does; but it would be more correct to say that he delivers it. The real giver of the lecture is the church or society which calls the lecturer, engages the hall, issues the invitations, and makes all necessary arrangements. This is a free gift on the part of the church or society to its neighbors and to the community at large, and therefore the preparatory work of each individual member of that church has its contributing value, as wax to the candle, and is a factor by which the success of the lecture will be largely determined.

Silence and Harmony
July 27, 1918

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