A study of the fourth commandment shows the necessity for something more than a literal interpretation of the Decalogue. If we seek no deeper meaning, the fourth commandment is merely a law to be observed every seventh day, instead of what every Christian Scientist knows it to be, the word of Truth that directs each step of the way out of the house of bondage into the promised land.

The difference between the literal and the spiritual interpretation of this commandment hinges upon the distinction between a material and a scientific sense of time. Mrs. Eddy tells us that "Mind measures time according to the good that is unfolded. This unfolding is God's day" (Science and Health, p. 584). In the light of this spiritual interpretation, we see that each brighter realization of Truth is the dawning of a new day in our consciousness, a clearer demonstration of the Sabbath day, God's perfect day. This divine state of consciousness has been freely given by God, but it is our place to "keep it holy," with unselfishness consecrating it to divine Mind, with unceasing watchfulness keeping it clear from worldly aims and the false testimony of the physical senses. When we realize that God's commands not only can be obeyed, but that they cannot be disobeyed, by God's child, the power of this commandment reveals the falsity of every sense of discord, sin, or sickness that would seek to desecrate this holy place, the spiritual idea that God has blessed and hallowed.

If we but let it, the inspiration of this commandment becomes a guardian angel of the time set aside for Christian Science study and work. The material day may be full of duties and plans that try to intrude, trifles distracting and people annoying, but Christian Science study brings us into God's day, wherein "thou shalt not do any work" and all the surrounding conditions shall be in harmony with the truth that is being unfolded. "Shall," according to Webster, "indicates a duty or necessity whose obligation is derived from the person speaking," and in this case, since the speaker is the infinite, omnipotent God, from whom comes the necessity of man's obeying, that obedience must be absolute and inevitable. Realizing this brings a certain sense of His power with us and His peace round about us. This angel will protect us from incidental disturbances, and bear us up lest we dash our feet against the stones of impatience and irritation when interruptions seem necessary.

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May 6, 1911

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