It is a truism that those who are not willing to be taught of God must learn their lessons in the school of trying experience, and that these include the great majority of mankind there will be none to question. As our Leader has said, "Either here or hereafter, suffering or Science must destroy all illusions regarding life and mind, and regenerate material sense and self" (Science and Health, p. 296). There is no other alternative, no other way by which men may climb up; hence one cannot think of a sadder or more pitiful situation than that of the many who know not Science, and who have been taught to think of afflictive experiences in a way that robs them of all educational value.

When Isaiah cried, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil," he certainly emphasized the importance of a scientific classification of things,—their recognition with respect to what they are, and what they are not. Thus and thus alone are we able to maintain an ideal thought of God, and find in the experience of trial and sorrow a buttressing of truth, an increment of gain which for awakened thought is specific proof that all things do work together for good. With right views of good and of evil we can realize profit from experiences which otherwise yield only confusion and despair.

Human conditions still present the possibility of saddening experiences, of disappointment and grief, separation and sorrow, and if thought is not uplifted so that we may lay hold upon the things that abide, if we have no higher, more comforting sense than did the Preacher when, after having compassed the whole round of human life, having measured the heights of its joy and the depths of its woe, he declared, "Vanity of vanities; all is vanity," then indeed our lot is to be commiserated. Our need of a firm hold upon the truths of being is imperative. Truth alone can make free, and if what we have been taught respecting God and His manifestation fails to bring strength of heart and steadiness of faith in the day of trial, the purposes of the gospel have certainly not been fulfilled in us. The significance of earth's tragedies to sensitive souls who know not Christian Science is made apparent all too frequently. Again and again have even earnest Christian people seemed to pass into a desert land, where there are no water-springs, and for the reason that they have been led to think of God, infinite Life, as having to do with death. Thus believing, they can but be torn and troubled with the conflict between their sense of the injustice and wrong of things and their intuitive conviction of the rightful sovereignty of good. In their confusion and their tears they can but wonder what it all means, and in the morning and the evening they reecho Job's cry, "Oh that I knew where I might find him!"

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February 1, 1908

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