The student approaches the subject of Christian Science somewhat differently from other things that may engage his attention. In acquiring a knowledge of mathematics, music, or any other branch of science, he is seldom hampered by prejudices or antagonistic opinions concerning what he may be taught; while towards Christian Science he stands, as a rule, in the more difficult position of having already, in a manner, been taught regarding the truths it elucidates, and of having formed a concept of God, of His creation and laws, in accord with this education. In entering upon the study or the investigation of Christian Science, it is but natural that he attempts to follow the line of his former beliefs, until he finds that the new and the old will not assimilate, and that this "new wine" threatens to break the "old bottles" into which he fain would pour it. It is at this point that he sometimes begins to question the conclusions of Christian Science, and to demand of its adherents the how and the why of those spiritual truths which relate to God's infinitude, and which cannot be explained or understood from any material standpoint.

The failure to adjust the statements of Science and Health, the Christian Science text-book, to human material hypotheses, or to harmonize them with the opinions of men, should not repulse or disappoint the seeker after Truth, since it should be evident to him that deductions from spiritual premises cannot be made to agree with material observations. The failure of past teachings, although adhered to for many years, to give him a demonstrable knowledge of God, should forestall discouragement if he may not at once grasp the full meaning of Christian Science. Scientific truths must be understood through demonstration. and cannot possibly be reasoned into one's comprehension by any intellectual method. One of the wisest sayings of our Master was that we must become as little children to enter into the kingdom of God; that is, to enter into the knowledge and utilization of the eternal fact of Divine sovereignty; and Christian Science does not point to any broader or easier way.

It is always easier to ask a question than to understand the answer. It requires no knowledge of Christian Science to propound questions relating to its teachings, but to correctly apprehend what may be given in reply, the questioner's thought needs to be loosed somewhat from its material moorings. He must be prepared to accept logical conclusions from the premises which he admits, no matter how far it may take him from the traditions he has religiously cherished. An unthinking contentment with past beliefs, beliefs that have brought no freedom to mankind, marks the dogmatic inquisitor, whose ears are closed to understand whereof he asks; from such as these the wise disciple will gently refrain until divine Love shall open the way. To those awaking to the inadequacy of material systems to meet human need, who are turning unsatisfied from the dead letter of creeds and doctrines, as not fulfilling the purpose of Christianity,—to such the Christian Scientist will lovingly minister of all that he hath; but be he ever so earnest, let not the beginner be dismayed if he does not readily understand all that he seeks to know. The upward ascents are reached only by climbing, and we must rise through spiritual growth to discern the things of Spirit.

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November 24, 1906

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