Simplicity of Speech

In a brief article a modern writer, endeavoring to impress upon inexperienced writers the value of simplicity, describes his visit to a silversmith in search of a soup ladle. His purse being scanty, it was necessary to choose with careful discrimination. Many ladles of most ornate design were placed before him, but none appealed till at last the silversmith brought forth one utterly unadorned, plain and heavy, but to the eyes of the would-be purchaser most beautiful. Satisfied, he drew out his purse to buy it, only to find to his surprise that it doubled in cost all the gaudy ones which had gone before. Expressing his disappointment, he inquired the reason for the difference. In answer the sympathetic dealer explained that the ornamental ware often concealed flaws, or that mistakes in carving were covered by the rich embellishments, but in the plain ware any defect must of necessity be apparent. Therefore, with the latter, there was less chance for falsities; and the public valued its perfection accordingly.

A rather inexperienced Christian Scientist was commenting one day upon the beauty of a testimony given during a Wednesday evening meeting. With sparkling eyes she dwelt upon the perfect language in which the experience was couched, the controlled composure of the speaker, the charm of the musical voice, till at last the plaint broke forth, "Oh, if I could speak like that, every Wednesday evening would see me upon my feet!" An older Scientist, who had been listening with interest, finally said gently, "But what was the demonstration?" For a moment the other stared at her, then said hesitatingly, "Why—why I do not believe I remember what it was."

The wonderful influence of simplicity was brought home to the writer once in a small Christian Science church in the Orient. A member of the congregation, a groping beginner, found herself confronted one day by the sudden necessity of helping a beloved little child in the household. It was her first real opportunity; she rose to it nobly, and the baby was healed. So wonderful as to be almost unbelievable did the demonstration seem to her that gratitude and awe carried her to the heights; and in this condition of thought she exclaimed to the First Reader, "Oh, if only I had words to tell it!" "Tell it," counseled the wise Reader, "just as you have told it to me. If you forget yourself, you will give us a blessing." Still filled with the marvel of it all, at the next meeting this woman rose to her feet, and told of the demonstration just as she had recounted it to the Reader. Her language was simple to plainness, no oratorical gems obscured its sincerity; and so uplifted was her thought, so sure was she that her Father had done the healing, that the very presence of God was felt by that congregation, and the meeting was lifted to a spiritual height unusual and inspiring.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Physical Sense Testimony False
May 3, 1924

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.