About two years ago we moved into a new neighborhood, and looking out of the window one morning we noticed several fruit trees, all of which appeared to be thriving but one, and that one seemed to be entirely dead. A few days later we observed that the rest of the trees began to grow green and to blossom, but this particular one still seemed lifeless. Our curiosity soon died out, however, and we forgot the trees; but the next time I noticed this tree it had begun to leaf out, and in a short time was not only much more beautiful than any other tree in the yard, but later it yielded more fruit than any two. I learned a lesson from these trees; namely, not to keep watching daily for growth, but to leave the unfoldment to God, who surely will care for them and bring forth their fruit in due season. If we are but patient, growth will certainly follow.

Another object-lesson was gathered from the effort of three men to break a large rock which they wanted to use. First one man and then the other would strike it with all his strength, but the stone still seemed to remain the same, until all of a sudden it broke in two, and the men fitted it into its right place. This brought to my thought the workings of Christian Science. A patient goes to a practitioner to be healed, and the practitioner begins the treatment and works up to his highest understanding. The sufferer, however, becomes impatient and discouraged, and goes to another practitioner, and so on, until the condition is met and the patient healed. As a matter of fact, the work was going on as soon as the patient asked for help, and when he honestly worked with the practitioner the purifying process began to do its work in his thought. We all need the lesson of patience to do our work each day, knowing that the Principle of the healing work is perfect, and that the results of obedience to Principle must be perfect; but we must first begin to break the hard stones of selfishness, self-pity, malice, jealousy, irritability, pride, etc., for these are the stones that must be crushed before we can be healed.

Mrs. Eddy says that "self-love is more opaque than a solid body. In patient obedience to a patient God, let us labor to dissolve with the universal solvent of Love the adamant of error,—self-will, self-justification, and self-love,—which wars against spirituality and is the law of sin and death" (Science and Health, p. 242). The Scripture tells us that no temptation has taken us but what is common to man, so our tribulations are way-marks to a higher understanding of God's Word. In Paul's epistle to the Romans we are told in several chapters how to gain patience, and we have reason to be grateful to our Leader, Mrs. Eddy, for showing us how to reach the mental condition in which we can hope and patiently wait for results. In "Pulpit and Press" she tells us that "the enemy we confront would overthrow this sublime fortress," the consciousness of God's allness, and asks how we can "defend our heritage" (p. 2); but in our text-book she has made the truth so plain that a child may understand it, and begin to make the demonstration of patience. Surely such a work can never fail. Its full fruitage may not be seen in a day, but we should leave it alone, like the tree, and God will give the harvest. I thank God each day for even the little I know of this truth, and I realize that if I am only patient, I shall gain more each day, for we learn in Christian Science that progress is inseparable from the law of God.

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August 26, 1911

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