MARY BAKER EDDY has written in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 276), "In Christian Science the midnight hour will always be the bridal hour, until 'no night is there.'" We find a beautiful expression of this truth in the Bible story of Paul and Silas; for not only did the truth free them at the midnight hour, but because of their faithfulness to the Christ-idea, a host of others were also freed from mental chains, including the girl bound by dementia and hypnotism. "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them." We may picture to ourselves these two men, loyal servants of the Most High, amid almost the worst conditions that mortal mind could possibly foist upon them, praying and singing praises at the midnight hour. But what had brought them into the condition of seeming subjection to mortal mind?
Paul and Silas had been followed many days by "a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination . . . which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying," and who cried after them, "These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation." We may easily believe the cry to have been one of derision instigated by her masters; yet withal it was as a cry for freedom for herself. Paul was grieved at the grossness of the error which had for so long held not only the damsel in bondage, but also many who were seeking for the light; and in his tender compassion and through the realization of the all-power of God, he rose to such spiritual heights that this particular form of error, which attempted to harry them, was overcome; and possibly the girl was released to a life of real service.
"And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone," they rose in impetuous fury and hurried Paul and Silas to the rulers, charging them with being teachers of false doctrines, and as stirring up the people. As a result, they were beaten with many stripes and placed in the care of a jailer, who was himself under the heel of fear, and who, to insure their bondage, placed them in the inner prison, where their feet were made fast in the stocks, which necessitated a continuous bodily position practically without change except at the will of the jailer. There, bound about with the evidences of hatred, these two servants of God turned their thought to Him and sang praises.