Giving Testimony

WHEN disciples of John came to Jesus with the inquiry, "Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another," his answer was, "Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them." The writer has often thought that there may be a comparison drawn between Jesus, answer and our present Wednesday evening meetings. To the world's questions: "What is your religion? What will it accomplish which our churches do not?" we find at each meeting satisfying answers and ample reason for believing that the promises of Jesus are being fulfilled anew. Christian Scientists do not rejoice as did the pharisee that they are not as other men nor as the seventy who returned to Jesus rejoicing that devils were subject unto them, but they are grateful, and a continuous song of gratitude is singing itself in their hearts that they have always been written. What wonder, then, that they lovingly bear witness to the Christ and that the Christian Science churches are full at the Wednesday evening meetings.

Giving testimony seemed such a formidable undertaking to the writer and after each attempt she was inclined to selfcondemnation because of errors in English, which rose up so vividly to rob her of the spiritual joy which was rightfully hers. Then these words of Mrs. Eddy, on page 505 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" came to her: "This understanding is not intellectual, is not the result of scholarly attainments; it is the reality of all things brought to light." These lines form our textbook brought the realization that each testimony given is an effort to bring the reality, the truth about God to help the hungering one to exchange his mistaken sense of God for the knowledge of Him, who is all good, the preserver of man.

The way in which the speaker expresses his gratitude, giving precedence to the spiritual awakening, is probably new to the guest at the Wednesday evening meeting. At a meeting not long ago the testimonies were on many different phases of Christian Science healing, but in each one the speaker expressed the desire to be all honest, pure, and loving, proving to the visitor that successful business, good health, and living. We must remember that with our testimonies we share the responsibility of bringing out the helpfulness and availability of Christian Science in our meetings. The faithful Reader has performed his part by the study and preparation of his lesson. With care he selects his references and seeks in the hymnal those hymns which most nearly express the thought the lesson carries. We of the congregation expect to come prepared to do our part. Mrs. Eddy realized this and instituted the silent prayer for the purpose of protecting our services. She writes in the Manual (Art.VIII,Sect.5), "The prayers in Christian Science churches shall be offered for the congregation collectively and exclusively." The sincere man's at-one -ment with Him will do much to loosen the bands of selfconsciousness and timidity and increase the spontaneity and joy of giving testimony. The spirit of rejoicing which is included in each testimony will give visitor an impulse to acquaint himself with our literature, to investigate this new-old religion which is redeeming so many thousands from misery, sufering, despair, and death and bringing them into newness of life, freedom, happiness, and success in honest endeavors.

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Count Your Blessings
August 14, 1920

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