Spiritual Lessons

ONE pities the canary confined within the narrow limits of his gilded cage,—and yet, who is more restricted or imprisoned than mortal man, still in bondage to the five physical senses, still seeking happiness in worldly interests, still fearing an unknown evil power?

After experiencing through the study of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" a wonderful spiritual healing which resulted in mental as well as physical freedom, the writer was eager that her pet canary might also enjoy a larger sense of liberty. For five years they had been daily, yes, hourly companions; he in his gilded cage and she in her imprisoned sense of a sick body. Suffering from serious internal troubles which gradually caused physical inactivity and then the disuse of her eyes, the writer became a helpless and hopeless invalid. No wonder a great bond of sympathy grew up between her and the bird. Now that freedom, health, and harmony had come into her own life, she eagerly opened the cage door for her beautiful pet so that he, too, might taste the joys of freedom.

His first attempts to be free were so full of fear that the writer soon learned to remain very quiet, mentally declaring the truth that "perfect love casteth out fear." Gradually he became graceful in flying, and each day would venture a little closer to the writer. There were many lessons in patience and self-control for her to learn in order to prove to the bird that she was always trustworthy. Then the writer realized that all of God's ideas are free and ready to unfold to man when thought is purfied of self and shows a fitness, a trustworthiness, for their reception. As she gradually learned to still self-will, the bird gained in confidence, until one happy day he flew upon her shoulder, took a seed from her lips, then perched upon her head and sang a sweet song of gratitude. Here was an opportunity to overcome self-gratification. Goethe well says, "Not doing what one likes to do, but liking what one has to do, makes life blessed." And how can man ever grow into the complete self-sacrifice necessary to obey the command, "Follow thou me," unless he begins to learn self-restraint and self-control in the small daily experience.

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November 8, 1919

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