IT was in 1902 that I first heard of Christian Science. I was then in great trouble in every way, but felt a dogged determination not to acknowledge myself beaten. I was miserably ill. I had had rheumatic fever four times, when the doctors said that it had left me with heart disease. They advised me never to go out alone, as the end might come at any moment, and told me not to exert myself in any way.
I thought this all over and considered my circumstances. I had only a very small income, hence to follow the doctor's advice was quite out of the question. I argued it out somewhat in this way: God is Love, yet He has given me weakness and constant ill health from my earliest recollection. Why must I always be ill? God has power to do as He wills with me, so there is nothing for it but to submit and try to say, "Thy will be done." I wanted to keep my faith in the Bible, and the statement there was perfectly clear,—"God is love;" but why should love be hidden from me? I could see no love in all my sufferings. Looking back over my life from childhood, I could see nothing but hopes disappointed. What appeared to be the greatest joys of life, when just within my grasp were dashed to the ground, until I was so sick, mentally as well as physically, that I concluded death would be preferable; but I had a frantic fear of the grave, hence in my bitterness I thought that even the comfort some people find in looking forward to death was denied me.
It was at this time that Christian Science came to me. A friend lent me a copy of Science and Health, and the first lesson I learned from it was that "perfect love casteth out fear." In continuing its study I realized that divine Love does not send or even permit sickness or suffering. Since sin brings its own suffering, all inharmony is healed by the destruction of sin. Gradually old things are passing away and all things are becoming new. Formerly, if work had to be done, I thought it was my duty to do it, however bad the result might be; now, work is a pleasure, because I know that Love supplies all strength to do whatever it is my duty to do, for it is in Him "we live, and move, and have our being." Omnipotent Love surrounds us, and in this thought I can do all that it is right and necessary to do.