"Moulding and chiseling thought"

On page 248 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy likens students of Christian Science to sculptors, "moulding and chiseling thought;" and it is a simile that is probably as exact as any material comparison can be in its delineation of the true way to progress in the study of Christian Science. Rightly considered, what appears to be a daily learning more of God and His creation is really the taking away of some misconception about them both; and, naturally, as a misconception of the truth is removed, the truth itself becomes more apparent.

The sculptor, with his model before him, commences on the block of stone or marble—not at all like his model—and comparatively quickly "roughs it" into something like the shape he desires; that is, he removes the more obvious unlikeness to his model, and appears to the uninitiated observer to have done much more toward the completion of his work than he will do in the next few weeks. Later on, when it becomes more and more a question of the application of greater skill and more thorough and painstaking workmanship, he would appear to be making practically little, if any, progress. He made great progress at the beginning, because at that stage of his work that which had to be done to the shapeless mass of material was more easily accomplished. Each week showed an equally necessary, and not really slower, although more careful, process to be gone through, until the point was reached where the delicate removal of the last thin layer of material was accomplished. This left exposed, in stone, the form of his model. The perfection of his likeness depended on the trueness of the artist's concept of his model, coupled with patient and faithful application of his knowledge.

We, "moulding and chiseling thought," with the perfect man as our model, are sometimes discouraged by the suggestion that we are by no means progressing so rapidly as we did at first; when, really, it is cause for rejoicing that we have already "roughed out" and knocked away the baser and more apparent wrong beliefs and misconceptions of God's creation. Each day makes its own effort toward the removing of all mortal mind beliefs; each day's work is necessarily less rough, because the genuine effort that has once been made in Christian Science never has to be made again. In other words, each day's work leaves fewer erroneous beliefs to be removed, and brings us that much nearer to the perfect concept of the real man.

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"A time to break down"
April 29, 1922

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