Every one who in a measure understands the teachings of Christian Science and is able to put them into practice, is deeply grateful. He can look back, possibly over many years, to the time when he was ignorant of the truth which divine Science reveals; and holding in memory his condition of thought at that time, contrast it with his present state of spiritual enlightenment. And what a contrast! It is as darkness to light. Even at the very beginning of his study, did not a great joy come to him? It seemed as if he had passed into a new life. It felt as if the old, harsh, material world, with its burdens of sorrow and suffering and care, were passing quickly away, and in its place there was as rapidly appearing the kingdom of heaven; and with the coming he was experiencing healing, healing of body and mind. The coming into Christian Science has been a truly wonderful experience for many. Should we be surprised that joy remains with them, and that their gratitude continues to well forth as from a perennial spring?

Many, very many, have had the experience just recited. But many also have found—indeed the majority have found—that after the first more or less prolonged period of exultation, there has followed a time of adjustment. Hardly anything can surpass the joy of knowing that the healing Christ, Truth, is as available now as it was in the far-off days when the Master demonstrated it. To be healed, perhaps of a so-called incurable disease, by the understanding of the Christ, to be relieved, perhaps of the crushing incubus of some sinful belief which had been gnawing at the vitals of one's happiness, through the understanding and application of spiritual law,—these indeed are unparalleled experiences; but they are almost invariably succeeded by a period of adjustment. The healing of some specific disease or sin by no means indicates that the individual has worked out his entire salvation. That can only be said when the last material belief shall have been destroyed, when one knows the entirely spiritual nature of man and has demonstrated the fact.

To human sense it seems that a considerable way has to be traversed from the point where one first begins to apprehend the truth of being and the final ascension over all material belief. And it is during the transition period that devotion is most necessary. Every working Christian Scientist is living in that period now; and well he knows it. Mrs. Eddy defines the substance of devotion splendidly on page 241 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" when she says, "The substance of all devotion is the reflection and demonstration of divine Love, healing sickness and destroying sin." Day after day the Christian Scientist's work is defined to him. It is to keep ever before his thought the truth about the divine Principle, Love, and to demonstrate its power in healing himself and his fellow-men. This is a great task, an heroic duty. No sincere Christian Scientist underrates it. The words of Christ Jesus, our Way-shower, to the woman of Samaria stand out ever before him: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

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Our Church Edifices
March 29, 1924

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