Both Letter and Spirit

In every department of education there are two parts—theory and practice. One cannot write successfully for publication until one has to some extent mastered the technique of writing; neither can one draw or paint the best pictures without first practicing the technique followed by the masters. There are textbooks and illustrations to be studied before one can use pen or brush, if one would succeed in his undertaking. In the study of mathematics there are rules to be learned which must be applied practically in order to solve even the simplest problem: the slightest deviation from the rules leads away from the correct solution of the problem. In this case one must go back to the beginning, study the rules more carefully, and proceed to follow the correct method as stated in the textbook. The student can prove that his understanding of what he has learned is correct, only by demonstrating the correctness of it in actual practice. The right answer proves his application of the rule or rules to be correct.

In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, on page 495 the question is asked, "How can I progress most rapidly in the understanding of Christian Science?" And the answer is, in part: "Study thoroughly the letter and imbibe the spirit. Adhere to the divine Principle of Christian Science and follow the behests of God, abiding steadfastly in wisdom, Truth, and Love." In another place (ibid., p. 113) Mrs. Eddy says that without Love "the letter is but the dead body of Science,—pulseless, cold, inanimate."

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Lord, I Approach Thee
September 15, 1928
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