"In Christian Science churches"

All students of Christian Science who are familiar with the Manual of The Mother Church by Mrs. Eddy have had healing glimpses of the wealth of wisdom and justice which lie enfolded within its rules and By-laws, and which become available for our better use as we progressively demonstrate our highest sense of them. To mention a single instance: this way of wisdom was clearly evidenced regarding the By-law entitled "Prayer in Church" (Art. VIII, Sect. 5), which is very brief and reads as follows: "The prayers in Christian Science churches shall be offered for the congregations collectively and exclusively."

Closer attention and observance had for some time been given this By-law, and a greater appreciation of the priceless privileges which it affords had thus been awakened. This more grateful appreciation of and more whole-hearted obedience to its guidance had brought the assurance that a constant stream of healing was flowing through such a channel to receptive hearts. Then on a certain Sunday morning, during the reading of the Lesson-Sermon in a branch church, the following incident occurred as if to confirm this assurance. A little child who sat near the writer began in a loud whisper to ask for a drink of water. The mother, to whom the request seemed directed, was doubtless doing metaphysical work, as no apparent move was made to supply the need in a physical way, although the little voice rose to a more and more insistent demand. For a moment the writer was startled by the insistence with which this need—real or fancied—was voicing itself. Thought went quickly to the many times, under almost identical conditions, when she had heard this same cry come through childish lips, and immediately the effective way to meet this need came to her as a privilege and duty in the application of the By-law above referred to. A prayer of gratitude went out to the compassionate Father-Mother God for the eternal and abundant supply of living water present to quench the thirst of the congregation, which, like the multitude of five thousand, consisted of men and women and children. Two distinct passages of the Bible came into thought,—Ezekiel 47:1 from the Old Testament, where is given the vision of the holy waters, and John 4:10–15 from the New, where Jesus tells the woman of Samaria of the living water,—and poured out their refreshment so abundantly that a few moments later, when thought again turned to the one from whom the cry of thirst had come, a calm content was there.

As the writer thought over the incident later, it seemed quite possible that even if all members but one were doing their duty by this or any other rule or By-law, in order to bring about the healing effect which a wide-awake congregation of Mrs. Eddy's followers are well able to accomplish, it would be necessary for every thought—that is, member—to be brought into the "obedience of Christ,"—to the grateful performance of the duty specifically involved; and there came a deeper understanding of the spirit of this By-law and the fruit of its obedience.

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Finding God, Good
November 3, 1923

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