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Christian Science Testimony
THROUGH CLOUDS TO SUNSHINE


         For some time past I have had a desire to add my testimonial to the many others appearing in the Journal, of the manner in which the blessed Truth of Christian Science came into my life. Looking back on the past, I cannot remember a time when I did not desire above all else, power to consecrate myself to God. From a child I was impressed with the thought of my total depravity. I grew up under a continual dread of condemnation. I used to retire by myself and read over and over again "Pike's Early Piety," and other books, urging young people to give their hearts to God. When I was about twelve years old I attended a watch-night service in a Methodist chapel in London, England. The service was very solemn; the text taken from Proverbs: "When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it." I remained on my knees in an agony of spirit, praying that God would let me die rather than commit another sin against him. The remembrance of the vows taken then has continued with me through life. I continued for years sinning and repenting until I came to Toronto to reside. I was then led at once to listen to the preaching and teaching of the "Plymouth Brethren." A present salvation was offered to believers through Christ's finished work; also the settled assurance and comforting truth that once a child, always a child of God. Light broke into my soul. I identified myself with them and remained with them over sixteen years, until they were torn apart by divisions and factions. I then began to see that it was possible to be an ardent student of God's Word, well acquainted with its prophetic teachings, and yet exhibit much of the works of the flesh, and very little of the fruits of the Spirit. About this time we, — myself and husband, — began to doubt the Orthodox teachings of eternal torment. I studied the Bible in order to satisfy myself as to its teachings on that subject, using the various helps to investigation. I found, to my intense satisfaction, that such teaching was not there. When we expressed an opinion on the subject, we were denounced as heretical, and considered outside the pale of the church. We then went with a few Christians who were in accord with us, led by Rev. Mr. Brookman, formerly for twenty-five years a clergyman of the Church of England; but doctrines did not satisfy me. The constant desire for more light, for something higher, never left me. I can now venture to say with the Psalmist: "He satisfieth the longing heart, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness."

         About four years ago, my second daughter was healed of chronic headaches through Christian Science. She went through a class taught by Mrs. C. of Flint, Michigan; and has been demonstrating Truth ever since. She wrote me glowing accounts of the new-found happiness and joy, but I was afraid of it. I thought I was too well versed in the Bible to accept it at once. Did not the apostles warn the early Church of the perilous times coming in the latter days, when if possible, the very elect would be deceived and led astray? After I began investigating Christian Science I went through much mental anxiety, seeing what then seemed to me to be much that was contrary to the direct statements of the letter of the Scripture. However, about one year and a half ago, I went through a course of study with Mrs. H. of Chicago. For the first month or two, all was bright and clear; but afterwards seasons of darkness came over me. When I went home to Toronto, I joined the devoted little band of loyal Scientists. I have received much help from the meetings, especially the students' meetings.

         My experience, I presume, is much like that of many other dear students. I have struggled through many dark places; but have been cheered by many flashes of Light; glimpses of the spiritual reality. I feel that my footing is at last firm and secure, and I often think of a friend (Scientist) who when asked by her pastor, "Have you found God in your new religion," answered, "Why it is all God." Previous to coming into Christian Science I had much trouble from sickness, such as bronchitis, rheumatism etc., but have never had to go back to material remedies. When these claims have presented themselves I have applied the Scientific statement of Being, and with that mighty manna I have been able to drive back the enemy, both for myself and for others.

 

"Through Clouds to Sunshine" by Mrs. James Swift
The Christian Science Journal, June, 1893
 

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