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From the April 1889 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Jesus set pearls of wisdom in parables; drawing from prevailing customs and beliefs the material for wonderfully picturesque illustrations of truth. As the abacus is placed in childish hands, that the first ideas of mathematics may be gained, Jesus placed before the infant (spiritual) understanding of his time the abacus of spiritual things, the parables, that through them some idea of absolute Science might be gained.