Manly Qualities

A Sunday school teacher was called upon to teach a class of boys of almost high school age who were just beginning to attend the Christian Science Sunday school. During the early part of the week preceding her first lesson, she felt doubt as to her ability to control this class, but after prayerful work on the question she awakened to the realization that it would be impossible for her to control any one, since God governs; that God had much good for those boys, and that a mist in her own thought or in that of another could not come between the class and this good. On Saturday she stopped to exchange greetings with a friend who was also a Sunday school teacher, and who repeated a helpful thought which was expressed at a teachers' meeting she had attended, namely, that a boy is an undeveloped man and has all the manly qualities, which simply need to be unfolded in the right way; his character as a man depends alone upon the qualities manifested. The few moments of conversation furnished the inspiration needed, and the teacher realized that the words spoken were as a message from divine Love.

As the class was faced the following morning, the doubts returned, and the result was nudging, pinching, and inattention; but a prayer silently breathed to the source of harmony brought to remembrance the conversation of the day before. The teacher felt that the precept had been given, and that it was a privilege to put it into practice. The boys were asked to look up the first commandment in the Bible, and the definition of God on page 587 of Science and Health; then the class talked of what God is and of what man is. Order was at once restored, and many manly qualities were called forth by the definition of God as here presented.

After three lessons on this commandment the development seemed remarkable to the teacher. That she might ascertain how much the pupils were grasping and retaining, they were asked to bring to Sunday school an outline containing their impression, first, of God; second, of man as God's image; and third, of manly qualities derived from the infinite Mind. Some of the thoughts expressed were as follows: God is Principle, and man must be the idea of Principle. One manly quality derived from this was given as system or order. In like manner, man was seen to be an idea of Mind, and a manly quality reflected from Mind is thoughtfulness or wisdom. God being Spirit, man must express spirituality, purity; because God is Life, man lives, and a true reflection of Him is found in health; God being Truth, man must be truthful, therefore he reflects honesty and sincerity; since God is Love and man loving, he is kindly, or as the Bible expresses it, has loving-kindness. God being substance, man is substantial and manifests strength; God being intelligence, man must be intelligent, and a manly quality was seen to be alertness.

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"Not conformed to this world"
April 17, 1915

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