On the Expression of Gratitude

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Full comprehension of the spiritual truth revealed by Jesus and restored by Mrs. Eddy is impossible in a church member unless gratitude is expressed. Inspired by gratitude, many earnest and loving Christian Scientists live beautiful lives in their homes, in their church, and before the world. But are their lives complete until the hour comes when they realize that a duty exists to stand up occasionally and testify at a Wednesday evening meeting? I the position an ideally exalted one—that of the church member who never testifies? The broadness of God's mercy includes all. The inspiration of Christian Science is based upon Love, reflected in love for God and love for our fellow-men; and it is our duty, as church members, to express the loyalty and devotion of our service to God, to our church, to our beloved Leader, Mrs. Eddy, and to mankind by telling what Christian Science has done for us.

What can the Truth-seeker think who, knowing only that we are members of the church, sees us remain silent in our seats month after month, perhaps year after year? These seekers for the truth are not looking for the polished speaker and scholarly phrases, but they are looking for some simple message which will appeal helpfully to their thought. The hesitating manner and the almost inaudible words of some one who may testify for the first time carry a significance and often a helpful message to the hearer, as do also the earnest and thoughtful messages given by the older members. On page 241 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy says, "The error of the ages is preaching without practice." How can a Christian Scientist practice what he preaches unless he testifies once in a while? What is it that renders us motionless when we are longing to rise? May it not be self-consciousness? Almost the first thing we learn in Christian Science is the knowledge of what constitutes the real self. We learn that God, Spirit, created man in His image, and that the real man therefore, our own true self, cannot be conscious of fear.

On page 89 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy says: "If one believes that he cannot be an orator without study or a superinduced condition, the body responds to this belief, and the tongue grows mute which before was eloquent. Mind is not necessarily dependent upon educational processes. It possesses of itself all beauty and poetry, and the power of expressing them. Spirit, God, is heard when the senses are silent. We are all capable of more than we do. The influence or action of Soul confers a freedom, which explains the phenomena of improvisation and the fervor of untutored lips."

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November 4, 1922

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