[Written Especially for Young People]

Young people sometimes ask themselves this question: Why spend years in high school and college learning that which, in the light of Christian Science, is false and valueless? It is indeed true that human knowledge, based solely upon material sense observations, apart from the genuine realities which are spiritually discerned, is intrinsically worthless when considered from the standpoint of absolute divine Science. Christ Jesus said to the learned of his day, "O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" and Paul, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

Yet Jesus was thoroughly versed in "the law and the prophets" (the subject matter of the academics of his day), and frequently confounded his critics with accurate quotations from those sources. And Mrs. Eddy says on page 195 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," under the marginal heading "Useful knowledge": "Academics of the right sort are requisite. Observation, invention, study, and original thought are expansive and should promote the growth of mortal mind out of itself, out of all that is mortal."

Now it is evident that whatever use Jesus made of human knowledge he made subject to his consistent purpose of promoting "the growth of mortal mind out of itself." He knew that to improve human thinking, and so heal and bless, he must meet the thought of humanity, not soar above it. Hence he did not count it unscientific to make free use of his profound knowledge of human nature and needs whenever he felt that an illustration drawn from everyday experience would help to break mortal illusions. All will agree that the parables of the Master, sympathetically human in subject, yet richly, deeply spiritual in meaning, are powerful to "promote the growth of mortal mind out of itself." It is quite right for us to equip ourselves with a good set of the tools of human knowledge, and to learn well how to use them. This using will always be endued with divine power if it is subordinated to our highest understanding of Christian Science, and if our motive is love and our aim to bless.

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August 17, 1935

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