In dealing with children and training them to right thinking and doing, no school-teacher begins with the expectation that they will never depart from the path marked out by love and wisdom, or never exhibit traits and tendencies contrary to the law and order which the guide is laboring to instil. These stumblings of the little untried feet are not, however, regarded as really defeating or even seriously retarding the progress toward the goal of knowledge and high character. The teacher expects these, knowing the temptations and inclinations of the human mind, and it is a part of the day's work patiently and lovingly to correct, forgive, and point out anew the better way, not yielding to discouragement even in the hardest cases. This courage is possible because of the adult's faith in the ultimate and inevitable success of the right, and the actual preponderance of good in the child's mentality. Once a teacher has conceded that a child is totally depraved, her helpfulness is at an end, so far as that child is concerned.

There seem to be, even among young children, some whose beginnings have been so unpropitious that they are pronounced mentally defective, inherently incapable of moral development, yet there are found teachers with faith and love so great that they willingly and patiently labor with these "least" of God's little ones, and the result is in proportion to their faith. Christian Scientists who are pledged to the work of bringing in the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, are torch-bearers to this generation, and in a sense each one is a teacher to some one just behind him in the line of light. The first impulse when we perceive the light is to impart it to others, and every one of us has some one or perhaps many who are looking to us for a reflection of "that Light."

At first we have not learned that "Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals" (Science and Health, p. 13), and we seem to have our own chosen disciples and, too often, perhaps we differentiate; but as we rise in understanding and grow toward the stature of Christ, our "little candle" throws its light still farther, and at last the rays reach even those who try to injure us. Thus gradually—always gradually—we approach the point where to us "man means all men" (Science and Health, p. 267). This is progress, and it is in exercising the patient, forbearing charity of the faithful teacher with her charges, the charity that "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things," that we progress toward the kingdom and are able to bring it "on earth."

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August 10, 1912

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