One of the many wonderful revelations to the student in Christian Science is the unfolding of the numerous parallels to our past and present experiences with which the Scriptures abound. We are all familiar to a degree with that marvelous parable of the prodigal, found in the 15th chapter of Luke's Gospel, and have drawn the parallel between his wandering in the far country and our own fruitless groping in the pathless wilderness of materiality; between his piteous degradation and hunger, not to be appeased by the husks, and our own insatiable longing for an unknown something, so elusive and so distant that unutterable desire gave way to uttered despair; between the returning memory of his sonship, so exquisitely expressed in the simple statement, "he came to himself," and our own ofttimes troubled and prolonged awakening to a recognition of the same enlightening and uplifting truth; between his active resolve and our own to arise and go to the Father.

We note with awe that even as with the prodigal, while yet a great way off divine Love reached us, and our faltering steps have since been taken beneath the banner of His sheltering love, and the everlasting arms have upheld us through all our upward stumbling toward our Father's house. There is a parallel, too, between the prodigal's broken, unfinished confession of unworthiness and our own—in neither case acceptable to our Father, because showing a false concept of man's relationship to Him, and giving place speedily, in His infinite love, to the threefold symbol of sonship,—the royal robe of righteousness' taking the place of the suppliant's rags, the ring of dominion superseding the chains of slavery, the shoes of "the preparation of the gospel of peace" marking the final transformation from the troubled wanderer to the resident prince, conscious of the loving favor of his kingly Father; and in unspeakable gratitude we begin to realize that our long period of famine in the far country has dissipated nothing of man's royal heritage, but that innumerable blessings await us in our Father's house, where we may indeed "eat, and be merry." For we, too, have added somewhat to that wondrous "joy in the presence of the angels," for we, too, were dead, and are alive again; we, too, were lost, and are found!

Grateful indeed may we be if our experience does not at some point and in some degree parallel that of the elder son in the same matchless parable, who, noting the effect which succeeded the return of his prodigal brother, but in ignorance of its cause, "called one of the servants,"—took the testimony of an inferior, instead of seeking his father for the desired knowledge,—and by this one false step descended to anger, to sullen disregard of his father's entreaty that he should participate in the rejoicing, to a refusal to recognize his brother's right to share in their father's love, to expressions of envy, self-righteousness, reproach of his father, and harsh condemnation of his brother,—thus drawing upon himself a merited rebuke in the gentle reminder that nothing, even to the continual presence of the father, had ever been withheld from him, and a dignified explanation for the manifest joy and thanksgiving in which it was his privilege to share.

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September 5, 1908

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