Death is mentioned in the Scriptures as an "enemy," and...

New England Magazine

Death is mentioned in the Scriptures as an "enemy," and the "last" to be overcome. An enemy does not mean necessarily a person or thing, but whatever militates against or is opposed to life. The Scripture teaches that "in him [God] we live, and move, and have our being." The life of man is thus identified with the being of God, and is therefore an eternal fact. Death is not a fact which is interchangeable with life; it is but the outcome of a false sense of life, and can do no more than dispute the fact of God-given and God-sustained life.

Death tends to obscure the truth of being, and seems to have been so apprehended by Solomon when he counseled. "Seek not death in the error of your life." There can never be error in divine Life and its manifestations, since God is forever true; hence death can be no more than a false belief which has nothing to do with ever-present life. The great Teacher of Christianity said of the damsel, "She is not dead, but sleepeth." This denial of death may be taken as equivalent to the statement that there is no death, and the Master's added words, "but sleepeth," point to the fact of his realization that she could be awakened by the power of God, the apprehension of the truth of being: and the process by which this was to be effected is clearly set forth in his declaration, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

In Science and Health, the text-book of Christian Science (p. 584), we find the following definition of death: "That which frets itself free from one belief only to be fettered by another, until every belief of life where Life is not yields to eternal Life." Death is the result of a false sense of existence, the climax of materiality wherein a mortal concept of life reaches the point of seeming self-destruction, and this may be repeated until a full consciousness of the unending spiritual life is attained. It is not a divine appointment, but an enemy which must eventually "be no more," although centuries may pass meanwhile. Successive generations will improve in thought, until the false material sense of life which ultimates in what is called death, gives place to the recognition and manifestation of Life divine. Since death is the result of a false sense of life, it follows that its disappearance will be brought about by increasing one's understanding of real Life, which is God; and the fact is emphasized by our Saviour's words, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." Permanency of being is to be established by a true knowledge of God who is Life, and a consequent knowledge of His "express image" as distinctive from mere opinion or false belief about cause and effect.

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