"The test of our sincerity"

Christian Science is for every one. The sick, the sorrowing, the distressed, all may come to it; and as they understand and put into practice its teachings regarding the infinite love and goodness of God, they are healed. The sinner, too, may come to Christian Science; and he also will find the way of salvation there, being cleansed and regenerated. In her writings Mrs. Eddy has much to say about sin and how to get rid of it, but perhaps no words of hers in this regard surpass in pithiness and helpfulness those to be found on page 5 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." She writes: "Sorrow for wrong-doing is but one step towards reform and the very easiest step. The next and great step required by wisdom is the test of our sincerity,—namely, reformation. To this end we are placed under the stress of circumstances."

Sorrow for sin, then, is a very necessary step toward reform; but, as our Leader says, it is "the very easiest step." It does not go nearly far enough, however, and it must be followed by reformation. Moreover, this step—reformation—is "the test of our sincerity." He indeed is a hardened sinner who has not "qualms of conscience" after his misdeeds; but of what value are these regrets if they be not followed by repentance and reformation, by the turning away from evil thinking and evil doing into the paths of righteousness? To sorrow for sin and then to sin again is to fail to progress in the spiritual life.

On page 15 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes: "The Master's injunction is, that we pray in secret and let our lives attest our sincerity"—a deeply impressive injunction. Suppose the case of a sinner who is sorry for wrongdoing and desires to be free from sin. He turns to Christian Science for help, and these words of Mrs. Eddy in the first chapter in Science and Health—that on Prayer—meet his eye. He must "pray in secret," he is told. And he goes on in his study to find out how to pray in secret. If he is earnest, honest, and humble, it will not be long until he learns that in itself his silent desire for good is prayer; and soon he will understand, also, that the realization of the truths of being, which Christian Science unfolds to him, likewise constitutes prayer. Thus equipped he can "pray in secret;" and as surely as he does so scientifically, he will be rewarded openly—that is, his regenerated life will attest his sincerity.

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Among the Churches
March 20, 1926

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