When I was younger (humanly) I used to avoid the trial in Science and Health (P. 430 ff.). Like Joe Friday on the old "Dragnet" I just wanted the facts, if I wanted anything, truths laid out like a string of bread crumbs which I could at least make a pretense of following. The trial required thought, and why didn't Mrs. Eddy just tell me in plain English what she wanted me to know? It is obvious now that she treated the subject in the way which would best educate the reader if he was of a mind to be educated and had the humility and patience to ponder the proceedings.
The trial takes up over 12 pages of S&H [the italics button is not working again], and it is certain Mrs. Eddy didn't spend even one sentence on something superfluous. No one will regret exchanging his low-cut shoes or sneakers for some serious high-top boots and wading into the trial, the further the better. In the previous entry I wondered about ruminating after feeling ill, but of course the moment we feel ill is the moment we can choose one of two courses. We can as, Mrs Eddy says, promptly and persistently oppose the suggestion of illness with Christian Science or we can ruminate and let the trial begin. Mortal Man may be the defendant, but the allegory quickly goes from "a man" to "the patient" to "the prisoner", which is his designation until the final page. Mrs. Eddy may have used Mortal Man as the title of the defendant in order to emphasize the need to depersonalize the claims of Personal Sense.
It is also a point of note that the prisoner became ill in the act of doing good. This seems to resonate with the test of all prayer in S&H (13: 5-16) and that equally compelling statement in Miscellaneous Writings (342: 5-9). Viewed in the light of these passages the trial adumbrates a sobering obligation for all Christian Scientists, but one which should be joyfully undertaken.
If we are sincere Christian Scientists, the Court of Spirit may be in session frequently, perhaps daily and hourly if we are confronting faithfully and courageously the legions of errors that beset all mortals. It is imperative that Christian Science be our counsel in these trials. If so, we can confidently expect a verdict of "not guilty". "So we beat on, boats against the current. . . ." (The Great Gatsby) The trial in S&H has much to offer and unfolds endlessly to our attempts to embrace it, even if it seems initially as unembraceable as, well, say "Fatty" Arbuckle's no doubt ample equator.
Perhaps the reason at least one reader didn't get the Zorro title is that it's dopey. Well meant, but dopey. A good candidate for the cash for clunkers program, along with some others, if that offer hadn't expired. However, I hope I am not alone in remembering this early tv program. Part of the introduction was Zorro's rapier swish, swish, swishing the three strokes of the letter Z. In the far more clean and morally unambiguous days of early television it and other similar programs nearly always presented a weekly catharsis of good over evil and right over wrong. I was hearkening back clumsily to that in the Zorro title, but this apologia doesn't make it any, ahem, zippier, I know. Ad astra per aspera.