THE KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES

To one accustomed to regard religious questions according to the ordinary canons of theological interprettion, a work barring the title "Key to the Scriptures" might suggest a treatise or commentary on the literal meaning of the Bible texts. It is in quite a different sense, however, that the phrase is applied to the Christian Science text-book. The attempts of theologians and ecclesiastics to fathom the Scriptural writings from a materialistic or semimaterialistic standpoint have resulted in a babel of conflicting interpretations. In addition to the standard orthodox commentaries, various attempts have been made to give a symbolical or figurative meaning to these writings. But, however cogently these doctrinal expositions may have appealed to the intellect, they have failed to confer the ability to do the works that Christ Jesus declared were necessary to attest the student's understanding of his teaching—works that were freely performed during the earlier centuries of the Christian era wherever this gospel was preached. Clearly the original exponents of Christianity were actuated by a sense of the presence and power of divine Mind which succeeding generations failed to realize.

Scattered through the Scripture records are accounts of experiences incomprehensible to material consciousness—experiences which to the unillumined sense of mortals appear subversive of law. These narratives may be treated either as myths, exaggerated accounts of occurrences that are susceptible of explanation on material grounds, or descriptions of experiences which represented the outcome of the natural and normal operation of spiritual law, the modes through which divine Mind is made known to human consciousness. While men may profess to believe in the authenticity of the Scripture narratives, the assurance that the "mighty works" credited to the early Christians were genuine occurrences, and not myths or misrepresentations of fact, can be gained only through kindred experience. If these works followed naturally from a superior understanding of divine law on the part of the earlier exponents of Christianity, then a like understanding today ought to bear fruit and will bear fruit in similar results.

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THE CHURCH
September 4, 1909
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