Asking and Questioning

On pages 323 and 324 of our textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," speaking of the voice of Truth, Mrs. Eddy writes: "We are either turning away from this utterance, or we are listening to it and going up higher. Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear,—this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony." To those inquirers into Christian Science whose questions are captious and argumentative, rather than calculated to aid progress, this tender counsel, if listened to in a spirit of humility, is very beneficial.

Suppose one were journeying through an unknown country to a place of which he had heard such favorable report that he wished to make it his home. He would be compelled to ask information regarding his way, equipment, supplies, and so on, of those who already knew these necessary details; and he would have to learn something of the language spoken there. Suppose he resented the sound of this language, and instead of listening and learning, he scolded at those who were trying to help him, interrupting their well-intentioned answers by insisting: "You are not telling me what I want to know. You are uttering a succession of meaningless words which irritate and annoy me. My questions are being evaded." How much progress would he make? Would it not be better for him to listen carefully, applying the little he had thus far learned of the new tongue and of the manners and customs of this country, to help him to a right interpretation of what was being said? Would not humility and patience be far better qualities in his service than arrogance, haste, and criticism?

The error of statement once so prevalent, that Christian Scientists have a Bible of their own, which differs from the common version, or that they consider the textbook of Christian Science as of first importance and the Bible as secondary, has been quite generally dispelled. The first of the tenets of Christian Science, found on page 497 of Science and Health, reads, "As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life." There is also sometimes a feeling of resentment because the title of our textbook includes the words, "Key to the Scriptures." "If the Bible is your 'sufficient guide,' why then does it not suffice?" some inquire. "Why this presumptuous title of 'Key'?" The use of guideboards, finger posts, and other signs for the traveler's aid is universal; yet, if one could not read these directions aright they would avail him little. Many had misread the inspired pages of the Bible and had wandered for long years in a heartbreaking wilderness, without hope or God. That the Christian Science textbook includes a "Key" is proved by the practical understanding of the Scriptures which its constant study imparts. With this faithful interpreter of the new tongue in which our guidebook, the Bible, is written, we may safely undertake the journey from sense to Soul, and find ourselves surely directed from mazy bypaths to that great highway described by Isaiah as "The way of holiness." "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."

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November 11, 1922

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