Paul defines practical love in the thirteenth chapter of his first epistle to the Corinthians in a masterly way. He regarded his own definitions and was true to them through the many trials out of which he emerged with added patience and character. In his epistle to the Romans he declares that patience works out experience, "and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed." Some translators prefer the word character in lieu of the word experience, and would make the passage read: "Endurance produces character and character produces hope—a hope that never disappoints us, since God's love floods our hearts through the holy Spirit which has been given to us."

Mrs. Eddy valued the results of experience, and in the Journal for August, 1889 (Vol. VII, p. 237), her words are quoted as follows: "Let my students who reach good points in experience, and are able to tell them, write; several of them have proven their ability." Why is it that in writing about Christian Science mere visions and ecstasies, mere verbal skill and dialectics, or vividness of sense impressions which may result in so-called fine writing, are not useful? It would seem as if Mrs. Eddy has stated the reason, when she says in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 293), "Experience weighs in the scales of God the sense and power of Truth against the opposite claims of error."

Experienced workers in the Christian Science movement might ponder the advice in Proverbs, "Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it," in connection with the counsel about writing given by our Leader,—long ago, it is true, but applicable to-day because of its wisdom. Perhaps we are not grateful enough in summing up what we have gained through experience, whereas our happiness should overflow as we rejoice over the stabilizing of character through God's grace and recognize what blessings of insight and peace our demonstration of Christian Science has brought to ourselves and others. Of these things it is legitimate to tell, surely. And why? Because nothing leads others so well as good example. When through the written word one reveals his experiences of divine help, the reader cannot but infer that like blessing is for him, and so he is led to test and prove likewise the beneficence of divine Principle.

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Past and Present
May 3, 1919

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