Church Maintenance

A man who had not attended church for years began in the summer of 1913 to attend regularly a branch Church of Christ, Scientist. Soon after he began to attend the Christian Science church he realized that he was being healed in some substantial degree through his regular attendance upon the services. Up to that time he had given no thought whatever to the subject of church maintenance, but had been in the habit of putting a small coin in the collection plate at each Sunday service. It had seemed to him that he could not afford to give even that little, and this mite he gave only from a sense of duty. His business had appeared to be dwindling for some years, he was overwhelmed with debts, and his receipts were precarious and small; how could he, he asked himself, give more than a mite?

One day, however, he became conscious that he had not been thinking rightly upon this subject. If he expected to gain the full benefit of Christian Science he saw that he must be sincere in his desire, and that sincerity implied honesty. The question arose instantly, Is it honest to seek and accept the blessings and benefits of the church services and then fail or neglect to make adequate return? This question demanded a sincere, truthful answer. In seeking for such answer the thought came to him that inasmuch as he had received healing from the church services, he should make his contributions toward church maintenance with that consideration in mind. Should he not be willing to pay for his healing? Accepting this thought as a guide, he resolved to make his weekly contributions with reference to it as a standard. Resolutely he brushed aside the clamorous suggestions that he could not afford to make such a contribution, that he could never keep up such a rate. The insidious counterfeit of good next argued that he would thereby to a degree be robbing his creditors. This was in August, 1913. Since that time, five full years, not only has he been enabled to keep up his contributions, but he has increased his original rate threefold, while not neglecting any other proper claim, all his debts being soon paid. Surely his five years' experience has proved abundantly the truth so beautifully declared in the hymn (Hymnal, p. 89):—

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"The warfare with one's self"
February 8, 1919
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