On Teaching the Commandments and Beatitudes

"The thunder of Sinai and the Sermon on the Mount are pursuing and will overtake the ages, rebuking in their course all error and proclaiming the kingdom of heaven on earth." In this statement of Mary Baker Eddy's found on page 174 of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," is indicated the fundamental nature of the Commandments and Beatitudes, which constitute a large portion of the first lessons of the Sunday School pupils. The basic truths of these lessons underlie all the teachings of Christian Science. Therefore they not only are first lessons, but they also continue to unfold throughout the study of the next lessons. By means of the truths presented in the Commandments and Beatitudes the Christian Scientist demonstrates the grand verities of being as taught in our textbook. Hence these lessons in divine law, when spiritually understood and applied, are perennially interesting and inspiring, constantly furnishing new views of God's infinite goodness and His great love for His creation.

It is customary for Sunday School pupils to learn the Comandments and Beatitudes so that they can repeat them verbatim, and the teacher does well to make sure that the pupils do this. However, too much routine review may cast a shadow of monotony and dullness over these glorious truths which in their endless application to human affairs are resplendent with variety and freshness. To require a child to repeat the letter of these lessons over and over after the passages haven been committed to memory would be much like requiring a boy to ride his bicycle around the block at frequent intervals merely to prove that he had not forgotten the mechanical operation of it. Such procedure might become irksome, but if the bicycle is used to serve the child's purpose, the more he uses it the more he values it.

Testimony of Healing
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer...
February 21, 1948

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