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LOVE AND THE SUNDAY SCHOOL

From the January 1915 issue of The Christian Science Journal


In the chapter entitled Glossary, in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy has defined "church" in both its spiritual signification and its outward expression, but the Sunday school is not directly referred to in Science and Health, nor is it mentioned in the Bible. Jesus established what we call the church, and might be considered as having anticipated the need of the Sunday school in his command, "Suffer little children to come unto me," obedience to which command is very wisely provided for in the instructions regarding the Sunday school in the Manual of The Mother Church.

What, then, is the Sunday school? Apart from its outward manifestation as an integral part of the church body, how may it be considered from the spiritual standpoint, and what is its relationship to "the structure of Truth and Love" (Science and Health, p. 583). The essential characteristic of a school is teaching, and the primary function of teaching is guidance. The ordinary school should lead the scholar to discover the truths of language, geography, history, or mathematics. The Sunday school affords the opportunity to lead the pupil to an understanding of the truth of being. Thus, on page 454 of Science and Health we read: "Love for God and man is the true incentive in both healing and teaching. Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way." The Sunday school may be considered as one channel through which the inspiration, the designation, and the leading of divine Love are expressed. It therefore rests with us to make this thought helpful in our work for or in the Sunday school.

Inspiration is the immediate unfoldment of an idea which meets a sudden need. To answer satisfactorily the varied questions of the child, often requires inspiration of which divine Love is the infinite and ever-present source. If the teacher is looking to his own training or experience for inspiration, he may be disappointed; but in divine Love he will find that inspiration which, as Christ Jesus said, will lead "into all truth," and the realization of this fact will operate to annul the belief of lack of capacity, will take away the discouragement which comes from apparent inability to handle every emergency, and destroy the fear which arises from self-consciousness and inexperience.

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