The significance of the familiar adage, "Knowledge is power," can hardly be overestimated. Its correctness is readily seen in the realm of physics, but the absolute necessity of knowledge on every plane of existence is coming to be universally admitted. While it is true that false knowledge is worse than useless, a mentality without some kind of knowledge would be unthinkable. Orderly mental activity not only makes all work easier, but it brings better results therefrom. It is simply astonishing to see how much more work and how much better work can be done by the trained thinker than by the untrained, other things being equal. This shows that greater harmony must prevail where right mental activity exists. More than half of the discords in the world spring from the belief that work is so hard, when right knowledge would make it easy, to say nothing of the gain in refinement and courtesy which distinguish the scholar and thinker from the one who lacks education.

We occasionally hear it said that Christian Scientists do not place any value upon learning, that they discourage the acquisition of knowledge, but this is a mistake which should not be allowed to mislead any, either within or without our ranks. Our Leader has always encouraged the right cultivation of the mental faculties,—all that tends to give a true education,—and none know better than does she that this cannot be gained without persistent effort. The mental alertness and activity which are needed in the moral and spiritual realm are no less needed in the intellectual. The Christian Scientist knows better than to believe that he can gain all needed knowledge by some occult process, for nowhere in any of Mrs. Eddy's writings is any warrant found for such an opinion. Christian Science diverges widely from all forms of superstition, and ever points to law and order, including scientific method.

It is incontrovertible that those who seek "first" the divine Mind,—the source of all intelligence,—make greater progress than they had deemed possible before knowing the truth, and this because of the expansion of their faculties through the understanding of the limitless possibilities of man as a spiritual being. The one who fails to appreciate this fact and to avail himself of it, misrepresents the teaching of Christian Science and needlessly hinders his own progress. The right cultivation of the mental faculties is quite different from mere "book-ishness" and should never be mistaken for it. The student of Christian Science does not desire to carry burdens of useless knowledge, but he should never let indolence prevent him from acquiring all that he may of that which tends to broaden his thought and benefit himself or others.

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February 15, 1908

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