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Poignant lesson: "Work out your own salvation with fear & trembling"

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Announcements Forums Probation After Death – April 23rd, 2017 Poignant lesson: "Work out your own salvation with fear & trembling"

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    A cautionary tale from 1907: one of the most comprehensive explanations of “the cup of sorrowful effort” and “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” that I have ever read!

    “UNDER God, I Owe All I Have and Am to the Teachings of Christian Science”

    From the September 1907 Christian Science Journal, by William Lloyd

    UNDER God, I owe all I have and am to the teachings of Christian Science, — my present life, since November, 1900; my spiritual understanding, my earthly possessions, my home, and family circle, — and it is due Mrs. Eddy that I make this declaration in the most public way possible. I will now endeavor to prove this declaration as briefly as I can, while expressing in some degree what the effort to follow our Leader’s teachings has signified to me.

    In 1887, in Denver, Colorado, my sisters, my wife, and self accepted Christian Science as the truth. We had to do this because of what seemed the miraculous healing of a sister. From the first, the teaching of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” was so clear and logical that I had to accept it. I did so, however, only in a sort of intellectual way. My home was so happy: I enjoyed my books, my cigar, my Sunday outings so much, that I was not willing to take the time to study. The home demonstrations were left to my wife. I knew and did not. Our Master said, “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.”

    In 1900, trusting in my own strength and intelligence, I turned our savings of fifteen years into cash and removed my family to a Gulf State, where we were even cut off from telegraphic communication. Within nine weeks, a dearly loved sister, after a few days’ sickness, passed on. As quickly as I could make arrangements, I put my family on the train — my wife having also sickened. After two days’ traveling in a Pullman drawing-room car, she left me, at night, in serene confidence, her head on my shoulder, on her lips: “God is Life.” At midnight I was put off the train with the body, my children going on with a sister. Of the twelve hours in St. Joseph I will only say that I thought I knew the orthodox hell, — the fire, the thirst, the weariness, and grief. Next day I reached Denver, where a sister’s home was opened to me, and I lapsed into unconsciousness. A Christian Science practitioner was hurriedly sent for, and through her understanding of God’s law and the mission of Christ Jesus as revealed to and through Mrs. Eddy, I was snatched from the grave. I therefore feel that I owe my life since November, 1900, to Mrs. Eddy.

    Thus, at forty-one, I found myself recovering from a severe illness, without home, without position, nearly at the end of the money left after investing part in distant real estate, and seemingly handicapped with five children from four to thirteen years old. I then turned to Mrs. Eddy’s teachings with all my heart; first, I admit, because it seemed the only chance I had of meeting my wife again, but very soon for the truth’s sake. With the clear understanding I had already, I saw and acknowledged the justice of God’s law. Our Leader says, “The Passover, spiritually discerned, is a wonderful passage over a tear-filled sea of repentance — which of all human experience is the most divine; and after this Passover cometh victory, faith, and good works” (Message of 1900, p. 23).

    I was alone in a strange city, in a boarding-house, with nothing but the entrance on a most difficult position; yet I knew that the fault was all my own, — that my Father-Mother God had not taken anything from me, — that it was now my time to drink “the cup of sorrowful effort” (Science and Health, p. 26). Knowing this, each morning and night I endeavored to realize this truth (when to sense I had nothing); that as God’s child I had all things necessary to our well-being, specifically including security of position, children, home, etc. In other words, I prayed as Jesus taught when he said, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” I never had so clear a business perception, and a sense of security was gained.

    After three months’ separation, my children were with me, and within twelve months my employer told me to go and buy a house, “For,” he said, “you have served me as no other man ever has.” I therefore owe to Mrs. Eddy a harmonious, peaceful home; but above and beyond that, I am indebted to her for that peace that passeth understanding; i.e., the understanding of those who have not yet experienced it.

    I cannot ask for space to tell of the struggles and the victories since — I only know that it is a perpetual warfare, and that when in darkness and doubt, if we cling close to the one God, — the one power and presence, — we come out of the darkness and doubt with the assurance that we have advanced a step. Nor can I ask space for the healing realized in the last twenty years. In my own home, of my own knowledge, we have had proof upon proof of Truth’s healing power, and none of my children, now past eleven to nineteen, know the taste of medicine.

    I have written the above as an act of justice to Mrs. Eddy. May I add, as one who has come out “of great tribulation,” a word of help to others — very humbly, and only because of a desire to help. I did not know then, but I can see now that the essentials which worked my deliverance were:

    First, an understanding of God’s law as set forth by Christ Jesus; this understanding being gained by the study of Science and Health in connection with the Bible.

    Second, I asked nothing for my own sake — my sole desire was that the children should not suffer for my mistake.

    Third, I freely acknowledged God’s justice and that I alone was to blame; nothing keeps one longer in bondage than casting around for some one on whom to lay the blame for the consequences of one’s own mistakes or sins.

    Fourth, the surrender of faith in my human sense of intelligence, coupled with a cessation of planning for the future, — being content to do to-day’s work the best I knew how.

    Fifth, honest, hard work, strict attention to my own business, looking for and expecting no other reward than that which God, good, should send me, He being the literal owner of the universe.

    These, coupled, controlled, and directed by the clear understanding of how to pray to God, brought me out of darkness into light and set my feet upon a rock; for I know my future is safe, whatever position I may occupy, so long as I continue to follow in the way so clearly pointed out by our Leader, Mrs. Eddy. The Bible says, “The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.”

    In conclusion, it is quite impossible to express my gratitude towards Mrs. Eddy. This I know, that if she had kept silence, she would not have been persecuted; but I should have died, and my children would have been homeless — who knows how treated — during the last seven years. Words are impotent! I stand and call her “blessed” and humbly thank God I have lived in the age of this revelation of Truth. To my loving Father I say, “I know that thou canst do every thing…. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.”


    Thank you for sharing this–and how wonderful of the author to have testified so that we may read it today.


    I was alone in a strange city, in a boarding-house, with nothing but the entrance on a most difficult position; yet I knew that the fault was all my own, — that my Father-Mother God had not taken anything from me, — that it was now my time to drink “the cup of sorrowful effort” (Science and Health, p. 26).

    Thanks for this article,it will be good for one of our periodicals. The fault is always ours! This honest admittance that it is my thinking and view of existence that needed changing was not clear and was very difficult at times. But understanding through Christian Science, that we live what we hold in our consciousness has helped me work more effectively. Only I can change my thinking with God’s help; that is why the admonition says:Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

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Love is the liberator.