On first coming into Christian Science, a difficulty is sometimes felt by persons with much time on their hands as to how to dispose of it. The old pursuits and occupations now fail to please,—society is tedious, bridge and such amusements no longer amuse, the most dearly loved study has lost its zest; health is perhaps restored and duties that were perforce abandoned have been taken up again and are being faithfully performed; but still, with many a man or woman whose days are not occupied with earning a living, there remains much time on hand, and a problem may arise as to how to make the best use of this. The beginner has applied for membership with some church, but has not yet been admitted; no active work in the church is therefore open to him at present, patients do not readily present themselves, even if he felt equal to accepting that work, which very likely he is still hesitating about. He sees other Scientists who are church-members busily employed on committees, Sunday school teaching, secretarial work of all kinds, or the distribution of literature, and he heartily wishes that he also could do something to help; he feels himself useless and inactive where so many seem to have almost more on their hands than they can get through.

The writer has passed through this uncomfortable intermediate stage, and found a solution of its difficult problem, which at one time threatened serious discouragement, in the study of the Bible. Former studies, in which much time had been spent, had become distasteful and impossible; but the Bible, which had been perforce much studied in early youth and completely dropped later on, was still looked upon as a tiresome school lesson book. Slowly, however, it began to dawn on her mind that here was a vast, unknown, unexplored country, full of interesting possibilities; that for many centuries the most scholarly had expended their intellect and energy in writing countless libraries of books on this one theme. The more this idea was pondered over the larger the subject grew, till from having at first appeared inconsiderable it now appeared too large to be attacked with any hope of success. But this feeling soon gave way to a resolution at least to make a beginning. A concordance was soon seen to be necessary, then a dictionary of the Bible was added, and both were found to be the greatest service. With these helps the interest began to deepen, and a little book called, "How we got our Bible," by Paterson Smith, quickened it considerably. To attempt even to indicate what books might be helpful to others would be impossible, but "The Life and Epistles of St. Paul" by Conybeare and Howson and Canon Farrar's "Early Days of Christianity" were of great assistance to the writer.

December 9, 1911

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