It would be impossible within a limited space to do more...
It would be impossible within a limited space to do more than enumerate the profound changes of thought which Christian Science has wrought in me during the seven years I have known of it. When I first saw the text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy, I was numbered among that negative class of people called agnostics, a name which I suppose all its advocates recognize as eminently unsatisfactory and indicative of a waiting frame of mind, a waiting for more definite knowledge than the creeds and dogmas of centuries are able to supply. I had studied natural science for many years, having graduated from Cambridge University in the departments of chemistry, physics, and the biological sciences, and had subsequently engaged in research work there, publishing the results of that work. During the time between leaving Cambridge and my first introduction to Christian Science, I had taught and lectured on natural science in one of England's largest schools, where the principal part of my work consisted in laying the foundation of a future medical career for the boys who attended my classes.
When Christian Science was first presented to me, it was essentially a new theory, which required the proof of application and derived result before it could be accepted as true, just as any other theory required to be tested. During these seven years it has been shown day by day, in thousands of instances, to be not a mere theory, but a statement of definite, unchangeable law, which is susceptible of proof at any time and in any place, and which in its application has been attended by entirely satisfactory and successful results in the exact proportion to my faithfulness in obeying the law.
Among the many proofs of the law of demand and supply which Christian Science offers, from the point of view that it will supply what is needed, I wish to return my deepest gratitude for one which came to me. I was a passenger on the steamship Titanic which collided with an iceberg and sank in mid-ocean on April 14, 1912, and I am convinced that if it had not been for the knowledge of Christian Science, and the application of such knowledge to overcome conditions of fear and danger, my name would now be on the list of the missing. We know, as Christian Scientists, that we are learning day by day to rely on God absolutely for our help in every condition of human life, and are content to accept the innumerable blessings which come to us as a result of such reliance, without seeking or wishing to know the intermediate steps that come between our faith and its results. But, in this case the way in which a small knowledge of Christian Science protected me, and led me out of danger, is so unmistakable that it may be helpful to relate it.
At the first sign of danger, after the collision occurred, I went to my cabin and read the ninety-first psalm through carefully three times. I had just turned from this study to the interpretation of the twenty-third psalm as given in Science and Health (p. 578), beginning, "[Divine Love] is my shepherd," when the final call on deck was made. I put the Bible and Science and Health in my pockets and responded to the call, armed with the knowledge which Christian Science reads into the ninety-first psalm, known as it is to every Christian Scientist as a refuge in time of danger. In this mental condition I was able to remain quietly in the position where I first placed myself, on the starboard side, and watch the boats, which had been lowered to the deck below, fill with the women and children collected there, descend to the sea, and row away into the darkness. While doing so, a rumor went around among the men on the top deck that they would be taken off on the port side, and although subsequent events proved it had no official origin, this report seemed at the time to be authentic, and was accordingly acted upon by nearly every one. But it seemed more in harmony with the spiritual sense of the ninety-first psalm, more in tune with the teaching of Christian Science, to "be still, and know that I am God," to avoid the crowd and remain quietly on the starboard side until some opportunity of escape presented itself.
Some little time later there were repeated calls for women on the deck below, where the boats were being filled, and looking over the edge of the top deck I saw a life-boat almost full. No more women were to be found, and one of the crew, seeing me looking over, first inquired if any women were to be found on the top deck, and on my replying that they had all been sent down half an hour before, he told me to jump in. I did so, and the boat was presently lowered to the sea. After some hours of wandering about in the darkness we reached the Carpathia safely, where all the passengers landed in perfect health and without any untoward incident.
From the moment of being picked up from the life-boat I was free from any sense of strain or shock, and during the four days on the Carpathia I found the knowledge of Christian Science sufficient to meet every condition that presented itself. When finally landed on the dock at New York, there was an insistent sense of loss, since all my baggage, clothing, and money had gone down with the ship. But here again the knowledge that Christian Science gives was able to destroy this thought and prove that every human need is supplied by reliance on God as the source of all supply. I had insured my baggage, a few minutes before embarking at Southampton, for a sum that covered the whole cost of new trunks and clothing. My money, which had been entrusted to the purser of the Titanic and locked up in his safe, was in the form of a letter of credit and bank-notes. The amount of the former was easily made good to me, and the numbers of the latter had been noted by my bankers, so that the value of these notes was returned to me by the Bank of England in due course.
There can be no reasonable doubt that Christian Science was the means by which I escaped from the wreck of the Titanic, and it is equally certain that any knowledge which I had of the material laws of natural science was useless on such an occasion. It would never have occurred to me to turn to the latter for help in such conditions of danger, but it was quite a natural and almost unconscious act to resort at once to the Bible and the interpretation which Christian Science gives. Equally natural was it to bring away from the wreck the Bible and the Christian Science text-book as the most important things with which to face the embarkation in boats and the drifting about on the sea. Something of the true value of Christian Science was revealed to me that night, and the way its students come to appreciate their reliance upon it.
The debt which we as Christian Scientists owe to our Leader, Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, is brought home to one by an experience of this kind. I have realized more than ever before that such results are attributable directly to her purity of insight, her unconquerable determination to learn the exact truth about God in the face of every obstacle, and the spiritual nature which enabled her to place on record the availability of divine laws for humanity in every conceivable circumstance.
Lawrence Beesley, London, England.