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From the August 1887 issue of The Christian Science Journal

There was a large, intelligent, and attentive audience at the Communion service, June 19, which was conducted by our Pastor, Rev. M. B. G. Eddy, nearly every seat in the hall being occupied.

Her text was selected from John xxi. 5: "Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No." She briefly commented on the incident connected with the text. Notwithstanding the privileges the disciples had enjoyed with their Master, who had qualified them to be fishers of men, they, who had been called from their nets, as soon as they had lost sight of him, relapsed, turned back to their nets, and were ensnared in them again. "They toiled all night and caught nothing." It is always darkest before dawn. The night was far spent. They had sailed forward and backward over the dark waters, vainly searching for gain,— reminding us of Job's experience, where he says: "I go forward, but He is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive Him." As they drew nigh to the shore, they heard the loving voice of their Master, saying: "Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No." Then he directed them to cast their net on the right side of the ship.

This, said the preacher, is the important thing to understand, Which is the right side? Is it the material or the spiritual side of life and its pursuits?

They found—after they had learned by bitter experience their mistake, and yielded obedience to Christ's command—that success followed; for now, heeding his direction, they cast their net on the other side, and gathered an abundance of fish.

One who loved his Teacher was the first to recognize the stranger on the shore; and he told Peter, who immediately gathered his fisher's coat about him. Peter did not attempt to walk over the wave, as once he did, when Jesus was nearer to him, but was willing to beat against the wave; so, plunging into the water, he swam for the shore.

Upon their arrival, they found that Jesus had provided for their wants, for "they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread;" and Jesus supped with them. Whence came this supply of food, which he had prepared for them? Was it not a spiritual feast, even the "bread that cometh down from Heaven? "After they had partaken of this—the last supper, the perpetual passover, but not a material supper—we find the disciples so enlightened and strengthened in Spirit that they never returned to their old pursuits, but were steadfast in following his teachings, proclaiming the "glad tidings of salvation."

After the sermon there was a service of admission of new members to the Church, twenty-eight being received, including those who were received by letter. The charge given to them was very impressive. They were reminded that it is a solemn thing to offer our vows unto the Most High, and were enjoined to see to it that their lives attest the sincerity of their motives, in becoming members of this Church of Christ.

After singing a hymn, there followed the impressive Silent Communion season, in which all were invited to participate, undisturbed by the material symbols of bread and wine. These are always blessed moments, as all who are Christians, and participate in this service, can testify.

More in this issue / August 1887


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