Plus and Minus

An incident which recently came to the writer's attention recalls Mrs. Eddy's statement that "spiritual teaching must always be by symbols" (Science and Health, p. 575). A small boy, after entering one of the lower school grades, came home one day bringing his report card, all his marks being good except in arithmetic. For some time afterward he continued to grade low in this study, and neither the teacher nor his mother had been able to find the reason.

The mother was at first concerned about this difficulty, but having learned the blessedness of turning to God in Christian Science, and seeking in all things divine guidance, she knew it was right that her son should master the useful science of numbers; so she once more questioned him, taking up some of the problems which he had failed to solve. On asking him, "How much is four plus two?" she was surprised at his reply, "I don't know, mama." "Why, don't you remember how much four and two make?" she then questioned, and he quickly answered, "They make six, of course." The error was uncovered. He had forgotten the meaning of the symbols "plus" and "minus." Since his return to school with these simple things once more at command, his progress has been steady and natural.

November 11, 1916
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