IN the early stages of his experience in Christian Science one is likely to think that when he has sufficiently grown in grace, purged his own consciousness of very evident errors, that his life will be one long uninterrupted harmony. Friends and neighbors, tradesmen and traveling crowds will all fall into line, and through him demonstrate the universal brotherhood of men. From such a view-point there is a later discrepancy which is often bitter, and one has patiently to readjust his approach to what we call the wear and tear of daily life.

In the confusion of this state of mind, an article purporting to point out how the unlovable could become lovable and the insufferable sufferable, was hungrily read by one of the "weary wanderers, athirst in the desert," of whom Mrs. Eddy writes (Science and Health, p. 570); but to that consciousness it failed to make its point, and the unlovable and the insufferable remained. To begin with, he found, after leaving the heights and descending with surprising swiftness into the valley, that the purging of his own consciousness was not the work of a moment, and he decided that if the redemption or even amelioration of his surroundings was only to be gained through his own spotlessness, it would be some time before his affairs would be adjusted. Mrs. Eddy says, "The new birth is not the work of a moment. It begins with moments, and goes on with years" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 15). In his disheartened mood these words were more bitter than encouraging.

But Truth is its own leaven. Through the persistent study of the Bible and Science and Health, coupled with a growing conviction that there must be some definite base upon which life could be harmoniously lived, the demonstration of this point was made, and after growingly frequent days of uninterrupted peace came the realization that he could say with deep sincerity that the unlovable and the unendurable had lost much of their power to invade his life. Yet, looking about, he still found the falling away of some friends, the irritability of others, the dishonesty of business associates, and the selfishness and discourtesy of the world at large, and realized that his demonstration had not been based on the destruction of these things, which he had at first attempted, but rather on the destruction of his own response to them.

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September 16, 1911

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