Men usually admire qualities in others which contrast with their own. In illustration of this rule we may admire the courtesy and restraint with which many voice their dissent from those who hold that Christian Science has succeeded where its philosophical predecessors, from Zeno down, have failed, and that the "ancient antinomies" are actually solved or dissolved. When the writer was in this attitude toward the postulates and deductions of Christian Science, he stayed there with little visible change for long years, and it seemed quite impossible for him to exclude acidity and ridicule from his remarks on the subject. To a person in this condition of thought it is often very difficult to convey any adequate or satisfying concept of the teaching of Christian Science. Did one ever see or try to see the really beautiful woman-profile in the full moon? Once discerned, it is a marvel to the percipient that all observers do not instantly recognize it as the most salient object in the lunar picture; yet the writer has known one to spend most of an evening describing and locating it to a lady who seemed very desirous to see it, and who endeavored to follow his every direction, but who at the end of the lesson regretfully declared that, to her vision, there was no sign of a definite outline in the lights and shadows of the unclouded disc.

The only point of this digression is the illustration of the fact that perception cannot be forced. To one the recognition of this revolutionary truth of Christian Science comes suddenly, to another very gradually, to others not at all, on this plane of consciousness; but, whether soon or late, it has to be "spiritually discerned" if discerned at all. Therefore any requirement that Christian Science shall recognize "the data of experience" (by which people mean, presumably, the impressions of our apparent commerce with an environment in which we appear to be immersed and which is characterized by suffering, pleasure, strife, beauty, squalor, fear, accident, lack, sin, decay, and death) faces the inquirer directly away from Science and effectually prevents his approximating its standpoint. Before any data can be safely laid down as a foundation for a structure of reasoning, their validity must be fully established, and by evidence other than that of the material senses, which constantly betray their own fallibility.

If we want to use the "data of experience" as a basis for inductive reasoning, we must first satisfy ourselves of their genuineness by deductive reasoning. Have we, now, any immovable hook on which to hang our deductive chain? Yes, surely; one, and but one, viz., God. The great majority of intelligent people are in agreement upon the statement that God is Spirit, Mind, Life, Truth, Love, eternal, infinite, omnipotent good, the only cause and creator. If that is so, it furnishes all a common and sufficient premise (and some of us have to go back to it for a fresh start a dozen times a day); and they have only to make sure that each successive deduction therefrom is correctly drawn, to be able to go as far as they like, without fear of finding some grisly giant of an antinomy disputing their path.

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December 5, 1908

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