The Numeration-Table of Christian Science


” . . . you have begun at the numeration-table of Christian Science . . . ” (SH 2).

Numeration is the art of reading numbers when expressed by figures. Schoolchildren must attain a degree of numerational literacy so that in seeing a number like 333, it is not a mystery to them, and they don’t have to plod along naming this number in stepwise fashion, adding 3 in the units column = 3, plus 3 in the tens column = 30, plus 3 in the hundreds column = 300, which makes three hundred thirty-three; instead, identifying such numbers correctly should eventually become automatic.

Knowing the numeration-table is also knowing the difference between small numbers and large numbers; so, spiritually speaking, “the numeration-table of Christian Science” is a value system, expressly showing forth what values are big and significant what are small and insignificant. For example, it is a small thing in the sight of God to do great things without acknowledging God fully, but it is a great thing in the sight of God to do even the smallest thing while acknowledging God fully. In fact, great things are nothing, of zero value, when accomplished without acknowledging God fully, but small things are great, of infinite value, when accomplished while acknowledging God fully. Every moment in time that is spent in serving things other than God and neighbor is a moment of perishable value, utterly: gone and lost forever. Every moment in time that is spent in serving God and neighbor is a moment of imperishable value: translated out of time to live on and on, for all eternity.

The things upon which Mrs. Eddy places the highest moral and metaphysical value – the very things upon which all of Christian Science itself is founded – are the Ten Commandments (especially, above all, the first of the ten), the First Great Commandment (including the second which is like unto it), and the Sermon on the Mount: values immeasurable indeed, infinite in length, breadth, depth, height, and any thought asserting itself in any attempt whatsoever to devalue them, decrease the scale of their dimensions morally or metaphysically, is an “an atom of dust thrown into the face of spiritual immensity . . .” (SH 263). It is absurd even to imagine doing so, like trying to overthrow the Principle of mathematics itself: trying, by force of will, to squeeze a number that belongs to the trillions column of the numeration-table into the units column, or into a decimal place!

Thus, may God help me always to have pure motives, high intentions, that I may discern rightly and assess correctly the value of anything that calls out to me at any moment of my day so that I may reject the temporal, the self-serving, the mortal, the evil, and hold fast to that which is the eternal, the self-forgetting, the immortal, and the good. Amen.

Print this page

Share via email