CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AND THE BIBLE

Christian Science changes one's views on many topics, and in no respect, do we find a greater change than in our attitude toward the Bible. When we know even a little of Christian Science we find that it has given us not only a key to the Scriptures in Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy, but that the key has turned in the lock and the Bible is at last an open book. Technically I was familiar with the Bible long before I knew of Christian Science. Among my earliest memories are are the hot summer afternoons when we listened breathlessly to the stories of our favorite Bible heroes. The reader's voice would droop and almost die away as drowsiness crept over her, but with childish eagerness we would demand the climax of Joseph, or Micah, or Daniel, or Paul. One never outgrows the influence of such early teachings; we grew up thoroughly grounded in the narratives of both the Old and New Testaments. Later, in an orthodox Sunday School, I learned many chapters by heart ; and still later, as a teacher, I studied diligently the history, from Abraham, through the patriarchs, the warriors, the judges and kings, to the lives of Christ Jesus and the apostles.

As literature, therefore the Bible was very familiar and much beloved. I was thrilled by the poetry of the Psalms and the books of the prophets; I was interested in Paul's reasoning; I had a vague comfort from some of the promises; I was touched by the life of Jesus of Nazareth into higher moral endeavor; but the deep spiritual meaning was hidden under its very familiarity, and the great truths scarcely seemed true. When I read, for instance, "For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened," I supposed it must mean something,—as it was in the Bible,—but it meant little to me. I had seemingly asked and sought and knocked—and received very little. The parable of the pearl of great price raised only doubt in my mind. Perhaps some people felt as strongly as that about their religion, but I knew in my innermost heart that other things seemed more attractive. The 40th chapter of Isaiah moved me more than any other poetry I read, but to me it was only poetry. Finally, the kingdom of heaven, which we are told to seek "first," did not seem a wholly interesting kingdom. It would satisfy very good people, doubtless, and perhaps in some far-off eternity it might satisfy me, but in the mean time there were a good many empty spots.

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