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.

Multitudes of "children of a larger growth" have lapsed from early faithfulness to later apathy because of the seeming contradictoriness and impracticability of religious teachings. Many have been puzzled by simple things hidden behind thick veils of mortal technicality. These have failed to get the right answer to their problems because of the baffling opposition of creed, dogma, and ritualism. When once they have experienced in Christian Science how effectively the understanding of divine Principle, of Truth and Love, may be applied to their problems, and how certainly they may depend upon God's law for obtaining the right answer, they joyfully strive to reach the goal of dominion over all things. Then, when they have recovered their grasp on the "plus" of infinite Mind and learned to reject the "minus" of matter, their progress is seen by all men.

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November 11, 1916

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