It is well worth while to ask ourselves occasionally whether our understanding of divine law is broadening and deepening, whether we are applying it more widely to the varying problems of human experience and thus realizing more fully its protecting power. The Decalogue contains a statement of law which underlies all human codes that aim to establish righteousness among men, and for this reason the pupils in the Christian Science Sunday schools are encouraged and required to study it diligently. It is surely clear that the pupils and teachers alike should have with each passing year a more comprehensive grasp of the meaning and possible application of the Ten Commandments, for the Spirit which "giveth life" provides for unceasing growth.

This thought was recently taken up in studying the fourth commandment. It was readily seen and admitted that a great change had come over popular thought in respect to the observance of the Sabbath. No longer do professed Christians in general observe the day with the puritanical strictness which characterized many of the religionists of an earlier time, and which appears to be demanded by the letter of the commandment. It is true that we cannot go back to that which has been outgrown,—the man cannot become a child in a literal sense,—but we should see to it that our vaunted breadth really means growth in that which makes for true progress. Does the Sabbath, as we observe it, bring to us real rest, the calm mental atmosphere which evokes inspiration and prepares us for many days of strong purposeful activity? No one can deny that the intent of the Sabbath is the exaltation of the spiritual over the material, and as the other days are so largely devoted to material pursuits which bring weariness and ofttimes disappointment, there is the greater need of turning the gaze in another direction,—from sense to Soul.

It is true that the needs and experiences of one person cannot be made a criterion for another, but we all need to get closer to God, and this we can best do by understanding Him better. There is nothing wrong in seeking to go "through nature up to nature's God," unless we loiter on our way and never get beyond materiality. The one who does this robs himself and is apt to mislead others by the plausible argument that he is at least looking in the right direction. In most Christian experience the Bible is closely associated with the Sabbath, and this is surely fitting, since the one shows the reason for the other. Mrs. Eddy says, "Good health and more spiritual religion form the common want, and this want has worked out a moral result: namely, that mortal mind is calling for what immortal Mind alone can supply" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 365). On page 364 we read: "The Bible is the learned man's masterpiece, the ignorant man's dictionary, the wise man's directory."

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November 25, 1911

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