It has been my desire for a long time to express my deep...

It has been my desire for a long time to express my deep gratitude for my early experiences in Christian Science, to which I was brought through a remarkable circumstance. For some years I had thought of myself as an agnostic, having no use whatever for religion. One morning in 1899, I read a notice in the daily paper containing the words "Christian Science." The word "Christian" associated with "Science" instantly aroused in me a sense of bitter resentment. I began to strive mentally to separate the two words from each other, for to me science was demonstrable and practical, while Christianity seemed useless. The more I tried to separate them, the more firmly united they became, until finally I thought, You have investigated many religions; why not investigate Christian Science? I decided to do so. Immediately a sense of peace came over me, and when I proposed to my partner, who was also an agnostic, that we find a Christian Science church, he courteously consented. His willingness relieved me, for we had usually attended church services only to criticize.

We could find no one to direct us to a Science church, but we boarded a streetcar. Finally we alighted from the car, with a feeling of disappointment on my part on account of our lack of success, and a dread of the return of the mental struggle. To our surprise, the whole carload got off. Impressed by the fine, intelligent appearance of the people, too unusual a type, we thought, for churchgoers, we were curious to learn where they were going. The vanguard of the crowd was already entering a building opposite the car stop. The gentleman at the door replied to our question as to what was going on, "It is a Christian Science service." I could not believe him, for I had expected to find a wholly different type of people. We allowed ourselves to be shown seats, although entirely at sea as to the real nature of the gathering. The mental atmosphere of the place was the most inspiring I had ever felt, full of peace and quietness. The fact that one of the Readers was a woman appealed to my sense of fairness. The solo was Mrs. Eddy's hymn commencing "Shepherd, show me how to go" (Poems, p. 14), and it appealed to me in a way I have never forgotten. I realized that I was healed, in that service, of all my former religious prejudice and hate. Longing to have some of the reading matter, I went the next day to a secondhand bookstore, where I had frequently bought agnostic literature, and purchased a rather worn copy of Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy. I started reading with avidity, for I realized that it set forth the truth about Truth and the truth about error. My discovery that the author was a woman shocked me greatly, but my sense of fairness overcame the agelong prejudice against a woman's being the author of a work on the subject of religion. My gratitude for possessing such a book, and appreciation of what I had already read, were inexpressible, and led me to say to myself, If my worst enemy had written this book I could take him by the hand and say to him, "You have written the truth, and I thank you."

During the next two years I experienced the healing of smoking, social drinking, and of other worldly habits.

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The Love of God
June 8, 1935

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