Christian Science Testimony

         Although I am not a member of any Christian Science church, my heart is overflowing with thankfulness for what Christian Science has done for me, and so I offer my testimony with the expectation that it will be a help to some brother wandering in the wilderness. I was raised in New York City by a mother who was a strict orthodox Jewess, and who spared no expense in the education of her children, thereby giving me a thorough knowledge of Hebrew, which enabled me to read it fluently, although not comprehending the meaning of all I read. My mother passed on at Christmas, 1893, when I was about twelve years of age.

         I took to the use of liquor and tobacco, sometimes indulging to such extremes that a doctor would be called to attend me, and were I to go into the details of my sufferings and those brought to my beloved ones, the loss of their affection for me, as well as my experiences in search of relief, it would require many pages. I, however, solemnly state that Christian Science not only saved me from an untimely grave, but helped me when all about me was gloom and a sentence of five years' imprisonment stared me in the face. On Thanksgiving eve, 1909, here in California, while under the influence of liquor, in which condition I almost always was, when I had the money, I resisted arrest. The charges against me were of a very serious nature, and I was advised to send for my relatives; consequently my brother came from New York City, and I was given into his charge. The night of my release I drank a whole pint of whisky.

         On Sunday, Dec. 26, 1909, a Christian Scientist who roomed where we did asked us to attend services. I remembered Christmas, 1893, had a vision of some of my experiences since, and with the desire to say a prayer on the anniversary of my mother's death, as is customary with all in the Jewish religion, I consented to go. Although I had never been in any other house of worship than a synagogue, I felt perfectly at ease during the readings. I told my friend that I had never derived such benefit from a service as I had from that one, and I was invited to attend the Wednesday evening meeting. There I heard a testimony of one being cured of the desire for liquor, and on the way home I told this friend of my trouble. A practitioner was recommended, and when I visited her she asked, "What can I do for you?" Not how much money can you give to be cured of your affliction, as I had heretofore been asked when giving my last dollar to try some new cure.

         I related my story, and treatment was begun. I sat there, trembling nervously, thinking of my downhill life, of the future staring at me, and of my vain struggle for years to get rid of these desires that were dragging me down. Here I was, with the faintest ray of hope, as a last resort and perhaps too late, trying another new remedy! But I suddenly became quiet, and the nervousness disappeared. It surprised me so much that I was about to speak of it to the practitioner, when she closed her eyes; so I closed mine and asked our Father to hear this lady's prayer for me. I slept peacefully that night, and next day I told my friend that there must be something marvelous in Christian Science. I went to the Reading Room, where I saw a Bible picture with Hebrew letters on it. Reading the Hebrew, I was surprised to find the commandments as they had been taught me. I then read the Lesson-Sermon. With occasional visits to the practitioner and the reading of the literature, I found myself improving rapidly in every way. I obtained a position which I held a year, the longest I had ever held a place. I was released from my troubles entirely, cured of my appetites, upon which every other remedy had failed to have any effect; and what seemed most remarkable to me, this was accomplished without any discussion about or even mention of the liquor and tobacco habits by the practitioner.

         There were many who tried to turn me away from Christian Science, to whom I would say: "You are misinformed; you do not know the fundamental teachings of Christian Science. Investigate, and you will know as I do its healing influence. Thus far my knowledge of Christian Science teaches to do only good, to do right toward all and wrong to none. It also teaches that man is the image and likeness of his Maker, and must of necessity be as perfect as his Maker." So I pushed on out of darkness, not listening to those who would condemn Christian Science. I received the reward, and am happy to share it with as many as I can find to accept it, and am ready to go out of my way to bring this truth to a fallen brother or sister.

         Truth, not human willpower, came to me as an angel of mercy, and gently but absolutely destroyed for me all desire for intoxicants. It healed me and restored me to manhood. On page 40 of "No and Yes" by Mrs. Eddy, we read: "It is Truth and Love that cast out fear and heal the sick, and mankind are better because of this. If a change in the religious views of the patient comes with the change to health, our Father has done this; for the human mind and body are made better only by divine influence." In conclusion: When my father knows that his boy does not use liquor or tobacco, he will join me in the praises of that gentle woman, the Discoverer of Christian Science, the truth that makes free. I close this with a prayer to "our Father which art in heaven."


Charles Schabsa Berger
Los Angeles, California


"Testimonies from the Field"
The Christian Science Journal, March, 1913

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