The interpretation of material terms to serve a spiritual rendering is the first step for the would-be Scientist, since Christian Science in common with physical sciences has its own nomenclature which must be understood. To proceed without this understanding to the point of demonstration, is like attempting to square the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle without knowing what the angle or the hypotenuse is. The understanding of spiritual terms or truths is not attained as so-called human knowledge is attained; it is the result of that new birth Jesus commended to Nicodemus. As Mrs. Eddy says, "The spiritual sense of truth must be gained before Truth can be understood" (Science and Health, p. 272).

No one term in Christian Science may be said to be more important than another, but certain terms seem more difficult of apprehension, and in the experience of many, "substance" seems to be one of them. To the average mentality, substance stands for that which is tangible and ponderous, that which may be grasped, felt, and weighed. To leave this material or matter base for a mental base is likely to trip one. We do not understand the substance of mental phenomena, do not see that the human mind misinterprets God's spiritual thought, while objectifying its own, seemingly, in a false concept of substance; that is, in a physical or material universe.

In Science and Health (p. 301) Mrs. Eddy writes: "Few persons comprehend what Christian Science means by the word reflection. To himself, mortal and material man seems to be substance, but his sense of substance involves error and therefore is material, temporal. On the other hand, the immortal, spiritual man is really substantial, and reflects the eternal substance, or Spirit. ... This reflection seems to mortal sense transcendental, because the spiritual man's substantiality transcends mortal vision." In answer to the question, "What is substance?" she says, "Substance is that which is eternal and incapable of discord and decay. Truth, Life, and Love are substance." "God's thoughts ... are substance" (pp. 468, 286).

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July 19, 1913

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