An Incident

A good many years ago, when the writer was superintendent of the Botanical and Forestry Department in Hongkong, China, a small tree in the Botanic Gardens was blown down by a typhoon. As it was the only known specimen of one of the most beautiful flowering trees, it was carefully placed upright and propped, in the hope of saving it; but on the following day the typhoon blew the tree down again in the opposite direction, severing its remaining roots. There seemed nothing left to do, but to throw it away. In this extremity the aid of a Christian Science practitioner was sought, and the tree at her direction was again fixed upright with props; but its beautiful leaves fell, one by one, and nothing apparently remained but a dry, leafless trunk. Christian Science treatment, however, was steadfastly continued; and, after many weeks, tiny green buds appeared, and before the autumn was over flowers and foliage grew again as usual.

This, however, was not the end of the blessings given to the world by the saving of the tree. The department had always been very anxious to propagate and share with other Botanic Gardens their celebrated tree (Bauhinia Blakeana), but they had never been able to do so, as no seeds were produced, nor could cuttings be struck. Shortly after the incident related, the gardeners succeeded for the first time in obtaining branch-layers, and a new nursery was stocked with a large number of saplings. A year later, without knowing of the nursery, the Hongkong Christian Science community purchased the next plot of ground and built their church upon it. And as if to add its silent offering of gratitude to the thanksgiving uttered at the Wednesday evening testimony meetings, the trees, now fully grown, lift their lovely flowers and leaves around the church.

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