Corner-Stone Laid at Los Angeles.
Wednesday, May 22, witnessed the laying of the cornerstone of the new temple of worship of First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Los Angeles. Work on the building was begun in February, but owing to the non-arrival of the corner-stone, its laying was unavoidably postponed many weeks. So that when the Science friends from the sister church in this city and from the surrounding cities and towns, assembled with the members of this church to witness the laying, they beheld a structure already walled and domed, rapidly progressing toward completion. The church is modeled after the Corinthian Greek order, and already expert opinion has passed the judgment that its architecture is perfect.
The brief exercises took place at high noon, under one of those clear, cloudless skies so common in beautiful Southern California. John P. Filbert, C.S.D., First Reader, conducted the exercises, assisted by Mrs. Lizzie Filbert, C.S.B., Second Reader. The stone was a block of white Vermont marble, inscribed on the front with the words. "Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone," and on the side with the date, "1901."
The programme was as follows:—
1. Reading 91st Psalm.
2. Hymn: "Saw ye my Saviour?" by Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy.
3. Silent prayer, followed by the Lord's Prayer and its spiritual interpretation.
4. Address by First Reader.
5. Reading of Scriptural references, and correlative passages from "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker G. Eddy, and from "Miscellaneous Writings" by the same author.
6. Laying of corner-stone.
7. Scientific Statement of Being in unison.
Mr. Filbert's address was as follows:—
Fellow-citizens, Friends, Christian Scientists:—In behalf of First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Los Angeles, we bid you a cordial welcome on this long hoped and prayed for, memorable occasion, the laying of this cornerstone, the first of this denomination in this city, prophetic, however, of many more to follow. How has God smiled upon your efforts! And to-day your hearts are made glad in reward of the faithful sacrifices you are making for God. They are known and are blessed by His right hand of righteousness. This temple begun, will be finished. Its walls stand figuratively for the salvation of mankind, its gates for the praise of God.
A word in favor of architectural harmony will not be amiss and I hope not out of place. Every stone and piece of timber fitting exactly; arches, spans, and pillars, from basement to dome, speak louder than words, of architectural skill, beauty, and symmetry, representing figuratively the Church Triumphant over sin, sickness, and death. The true significance of Church is given us in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker G. Eddy.
The accomplishment of this object, the building of this church, is made possible by the great First Cause, the divine Principle, which we denominate as God. Jesus says: "I can of mine own self do nothing." Christian Scientists, loyal to the Divine energy, guided by unerring Principle, we shall triumph over the false evidences of physical sense.
We are not unmindful of the fact that we are indebted to our beloved Leader, Mary Baker G. Eddy, who has taught us how to overcome error and demonstrate the Truth in all the affairs of life.
Would to God that all men had eyes to see, and ears to hear the overture of the angels of God, who are rejoicing with us that the stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner.
The Work in San Francisco, Cal.
The pioneer worker possibly feels a deeper gratitude and a keener sense of rejoicing over the events which mark the progress of our much-loved cause than the younger disciples who have not experienced the trials and difficulties attending the earlier days.
We are glad to acknowledge our share in the general rapid growth of the present time.
The purchase of a building lot (corner Sacramento and Scott Streets) in our best residence district at a cost of nineteen thousand dollars is an important step forward in our local work, and opens the way for higher demonstration. The building of our church we feel is not far distant.
The substantial foundation upon which the visible church is built is already manifest, that is, the works. Goodly numbers bear witness at our Wednesday evening meetings to the practical results attained through the power of Truth as taught in Christian Science.
The attendance at our services is between three and four hundred, and as I look upon this earnest congregation I realize how beautifully God has prospered His work here, in spite of the long years since it was first begun, for the workers were few and the obstacles many.
The few who were gathered together and held meetings that year made possible the organization of a church in July, 1889. Regular services were held for two years, when it seemed wise to discontinue the organization, though meetings were held informally until our present church was formed in October, 1895.
The work has gone steadily forward since then. We have had lectures for the public by Mr. Kimball, Dr. Fluno, Judge Ewing, and Dr. Sulcer. These lectures were listened to by fine audiences and have done much toward awakening a greater interest in the subject. The last lecture was most fruitful in results.
The attitude of the press, as well as the general thought, has grown more kindly and just during the past year. Prejudice is yielding to enlightenment, and all barriers to the progress of our cause are gradually being removed.
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