Mrs. Eddy feelingly concludes her eloquent dedicatory message to First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Atlanta, Ga., with these inspired and inspiring words: "Mortality's thick gloom is pierced—the stone is rolled away—and death hath lost its sting, and the grave its victory. Immortal courage fills the human breast, and lights the living way of Life" (Christian Science Journal, May, 1899). This striking paragraph on "the living way of Life," which to many has given wings to hope and faith, was vividly recalled, while studying recently the beautiful portrayal, by an eminent English painter, of Christ restoring to life the only son of the widow of Nain, as recorded in the seventh chapter of Luke.

The artist has caught the dramatic scene at the moment when Jesus, after tenderly saying to the sorrowing mother, "Weep not," touches the bier and gives the command, "Young man, I say unto thee, Arise." Then, in obedience to his words, "he that was dead sat up, and began to speak." The painting impresses one that Nain, which is the Hebrew term for beauty, well deserves its name. In the background is the little town, nestling on the slope of the hill misnamed "Little Hermon," six miles distant from Nazareth. In the foreground is seen the funeral cortege, which has passed through the city's great arched gateway of stone, and is journeying to the habitation of the dead. There is good reason why the artist has flooded his painting with an oriental sunshine which bathes the scene with golden light, for he is presenting not a picture of death, but of life. Through the presence and the power of the Christ the onetime avenue of death has been transformed into "the living way of Life."

The portrayal of this historic incident is in perfect keeping with the times and with the scientific understanding of spiritual truth, as revealed in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy. The work of art is illuminated when we remember that at such an hour it was the custom for the afflicted family to send for two or more neddabelts, or public wailing women, each of whom brought a tambourine, and while beating it exclaimed, "Alas for him!" One writer tells us that "even the poorest would feel it a disgrace did they not provide at least two hired mourners and two time-players to lead the procession." The painter presents only one person on his canvas who is untouched by Christ's wondrous restoration of the dead to life. The foremost of the two hired mourners is so occupied with her paid wailings that she is dead to the miracle which has given back to the widowed mother her only son. This sense-enthralled neddabeh, with her back to the Christ, has her face set toward the tomb, while the road she travels is still the highway of death. The joyous mother, the restored son, the happy friends, have their proof that the onetime way of death is now to them the way of Life.

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July 23, 1910

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