It is no small matter to claim one's own. The beginner in Christian Science has begun to do so, but he has to learn through "precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little." He needs frequent reminders in order to "lay hold on eternal life," for the constant tendency of human nature is to claim anything but that which is spiritual, pure, and perfect. Although he has been told what man's birthright is, he is too prone to forget about it. And what happens when he thus forgets? It is then that he lays claim to a multitude of things which are no part of man's inheritance as a child of God, and after hours of careless thought he wonders why he progresses so slowly,—why he does not understand Christian Science; why he is not healed. After many admissions on the wrong side and only one or two on the right, he wonders why the way seems striat and narrow.

Even the more advanced student may occasionally be caught napping. To claim that which is really ours, is a metaphysical problem. A knowledge of physics, of materia medica, of hygiene, a knowledge of matter and its assumed laws, can render us no aid in solving it. It must be approached from a different standpoint, one which the so-called physical senses cannot grasp nor disprove. Thousands of sincere Christians have tried to believe that they are in reality God's children, without understanding the unreal nature of the mortal or "old man." They have been taught to believe the Bible, and in their ignorance of the truth they have read the account of spiritual creation in the first chapter of Genesis, and the material record of the Adam-dream in the second chapter, and have tried to imagine that these two contradictory accounts were intended to blend. Because they have tried to make them do so, man's true birthright was lost sight of, and mind and matter, good and evil, seemed to commingle. Disease took the place of health, and a thousand and one other human beliefs were substituted for spiritual truth. The divine command to reflect divine power. to establish the divine idea in individual consciousness, was misinterpreted, and matter was endowed in belief with intelligence and power to create. All the pain, sorrow, disease, and death in the world have followed in the wake of this unfortunate belief.

In due course of time, when humanity was ready to receive it, Christ Jesus came to awaken human thought from the deep sleep that had overtaken Adam and his progeny, into the understanding of God's perfect spiritual creation. All are familiar with the world's reception of his spiritual teaching. He taught men to claim their own, to put off the old man and to put on the new, to reckon man as spiritual and not material, and so long as they held to this perfect spiritual model in daily thinking and living, the sick were healed, the lepers were cleansed, and even the dead were raised to life. Unfortunately human thought gradually drifted away from the perfection of God and man, and religious teachers began to feed their flocks upon infirm thoughts, and the long night of materialism was the result.

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October 24, 1908

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