Last winter the writer experienced the pleasure of seeing people skating on river and lake, and the evident joy and exhilaration of the skater proved so fascinating that it ended in the purchase of a pair of skates. The initial results were fairly satisfactory, but there was lacking that naturalness and ease conspicuous in more experienced skaters, so a kind-hearted stranger pointed out the way to overcome the difficulty, showing how ease and confidence might soon be acquired. The experience has not been forgotten, and has been recalled frequently when beginners in Christian Science have indicated that they did not realize the satisfaction they hoped for in the study of the Lesson-Sermon. After a little explanation as to how the writer studies it, or sometimes by going through a section with them, they have gone on their way rejoicing, the Lessons seeming to have a new interest for them.

It would be well if beginners knew the great gain in understanding which follows the thoughtful and systematic study of the Lesson-Sermons. It is helpful, when taking up this study, to pause for a few moments to recall the fact that the subjects have been chosen by our Leader and given to us that we may thereby gain a knowledge of the truth of being; that these subjects cover a wide area of religious thought and not one can be omitted, and that each one is of great value in helping us to gain an understanding of all the others. Take, for example, the subject "Atonement;" instead of asking oneself, What is my personal sense of it? one should rather ask, What does this subject mean to the world today? What is the effect of popular belief, as tending to a scientific knowledge of it? What is the metaphysical and scientific truth of atonement as it was exemplified by Christ Jesus? what the signification of its power and influence as taught in Christian Science? Then, when these questions have been mentally answered, and we remove from our thought preconceived opinions, traditional teaching, theological dogmas, we can in humility and with a loving joy draw near and take of the spiritual fruit which is there in abundance for each student.

If there is one thing for which students of Christian Science are grateful, it is for having been shown how to gain an understanding of the metaphysical truths or spiritual meaning of the Scriptures. It is of course very helpful to have a dictionary at hand, in order to get, not merely the commonly accepted meaning of a word, but its exact meaning. It is essential also to learn the metaphysical sifnification of words, as, for instance, the word "rock," which is described as a formation unlike sand or gravel, neither of which has adhesive or cohesive qualities. Thus, when we read, "The Lord is my rock," it at once suggests the immovableness of Principle. Then there are peoples and places,—such as the Canaanites, the Philistines, the Ammonites, Moabites, and so on; Canaan, Egypt, Sodom, Jerusalem, etc., all standing for conditions of thought, as we discover in studying the definitions found in the Glossary of Science and Health. Moses, for instance, is a mental type of morality, the enunciator of the moral law. Joshua and Abraham are types of fidelity and faithfulness. As we read of the latter we forget the man and see only the fidelity and faithfulness which is willing to sacrifice any personal issue, but never to waver or flinch before the most supreme ordeal. Science and Health says (p. 269), "Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul."

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April 1, 1911

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