Systematic Reading

"How can I progress most rapidly in the understanding of Christian Science?" is asked in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 495). The first sentence of the answer is, "Study thoroughly the letter and imbibe the spirit." A Christian Scientist studied the Lesson-Sermon each day as outlined in the Quarterly, and something was read in the periodicals, but there was a thought of limited time when contemplating the writings of Mrs. Eddy other than the textbook. Often there was no Science reading for days except the above-mentioned. It may be helpful to some one to know how this student was able to accomplish much reading where formerly there had been so little done. By making note of the number of all the pages written by Mrs. Eddy, not including the textbook or the Manual of The Mother Church, she found that by reading five pages each day all the writings could be easily read in this year.

The delight at the result and that so much more had been accomplished than had previously been achieved in the line of Christian Science reading, brought to mind what Mrs. Eddy says in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 230): "Success in life depends upon persistent effort, upon the improvement of moments more than upon any other one thing. A great amount of time is consumed in talking nothing, doing nothing, and indecision as to what one should do." Joyful, systematic, persistent reading was begun and time for five pages instead of "doing nothing" was often found. The "improvement of moments" made possible the reading of many pages where in previous times a book was not taken up unless there was an hour or more to be devoted to the subject. There was not a full appreciation of the great good received from the beginning of this systematic reading until in addition thereto the textbook was begun and read in the same way. It was found that an additional five pages in Science and Health was not a task in a day full of duties, and time for this was taken usually at the close of the day just before sleep.

Although the Manual had been read and studied more or less, the importance of closer study of it became clear, and therefore the systematic, consecutive reading of the Manual of The Mother Church was begun. It proved that to be alert, to make progress, to succeed, it was absolutely essential to "study thoroughly the letter and imbibe the spirit." The news in the daily papers is not read so assiduously now, nor is there time or inclination for former miscellaneous reading. This student now appreciates as never before what Mrs. Eddy wrote in Science and Health (p. 457), "Christian Science is not an exception to the general rule, that there is no excellence without labor in a direct line. One cannot scatter his fire, and at the same time hit the mark."

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Behold My Messenger
August 23, 1919

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