"Be thou an example"

MORE than twenty years ago a certain man was healed in Christian Science. He had been bound by dissolute habits, and through the liberating power of Truth was brought forth "out of the house of bondage." Almost in an instant the unclean spirits were cast out and the man was transformed. The Scripture was virtually repeated which relates, "Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind." Among those who thus came and found him, was one who had been his boon companion for years. He stood amazed at this miracle of transformation. It did not seem possible. In his cynical language, "It was too good to be true." With him doubt came hand in hand with amazement, followed by sneering incredulity. "It is incredible," "It cannot be genuine," "It cannot last very long," were the uncharitable comments of him who had eyes but saw not, and ears but could not hear. And thus it came to pass that this descendant of Mr. Worldly Wiseman watched the modern pilgrim's progress from day to day only because of the confident expectation that he would see him falter, fall, and then turn back once more to the fleshpots of Egypt, or at least turn aside and flounder hopelessly in the Slough of Despond. Day after day unfolded its good, however, and there was "no night there." There was no fall, no failure, no turning aside, no relapse; there was only—thanks be to God—what Mrs. Eddy speaks of in Science and Health (p. 584) as "the irradiance of Life."

For fifteen long and weary years the cynical one sat "in the seat of the scornful"—paying without avoidance or escape the full rental of this sitting, to "the uttermost farthing." Let us pause here and ponder this picture, those of us who may be tempted to give ear to the lying suggestion that we are paying too much for our place in the counsel of the godly; aye, let us pause, and compare the small and painless price we pay with the exorbitant, even ruinous price of the sittings among the scornful; then we shall give grateful praise to our loving Father-Mother God, who forgives all our iniquities and heals all our diseases, and we shall never grumble, criticize, nor complain again.

For fifteen fruitful and joyous years the student of Christian Science, unconscious of the critical watcher, patiently continued to "run, and not be weary," and to "walk, and not faint." Then a strange thing—or was it indeed a strange thing?—came to pass: through the silent but irresistible force of his friend's example, and apparently against his will, the cynical one was led to seek the healing ministrations of Christian Science and to turn his face and his footsteps toward the eternal light of Life, Truth, and Love. Afterwards he came to know, through the aid of an article in one of the invaluable periodicals founded by Mrs. Eddy and published by The Christian Science Publishing Society, the true meaning of the Scripture, "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." Assuredly, so he learned, he himself had been one of those who are compelled to come in, the only compulsion, however, being the loving but unfailing force of right example, the example of one striving meekly but steadfastly to obey the Master's command: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

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Individual Salvation
November 1, 1919

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