Coincidence of the Letter and the Spirit

Among students of Christian Science, much is said and pondered concerning the coincidence of the letter and the spirit of this Science. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, states in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "The letter of Science plentifully reaches humanity to-day, but its spirit comes only in small degrees." Science and Health, p. 113; Why is this? One basic reason is that reading or listening to the word, however inspiring it may be, requires little regeneration or evangelization on the part of the reader or hearer. The spirit, on the other hand, requires deep study, regeneration, and change of heart. How can this be accomplished?

One can rephrase a statement and cause it to appear loving and helpful, but his heart may not have changed very much, if at all. One may say, "I forgive you," after an affront from another, but the deep-down change of heart that is genuine forgiveness is oftentimes a very different matter. Herein lies the basis of spiritualization of thought. If one truly loves his Father-Mother God and his fellowmen and thinks of himself and all as individual and particular reflections of God, witness of His nature, one is on the road to spiritualization of thought and experience. If when one considers his every expression—even a "Good morning!"—he finds back of the spoken word genuine joy, unselfed goodwill, and love, he is being regenerated.

Our Ever-present Perfection
June 1, 1968

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