The earliest record of misunderstandings which we have is that found in Genesis, where we read that the people were building a tower, intended to reach heaven, and that the Lord came from the sky to see what they were doing and said, "Let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." It is needless to say that the concept of deity here presented is very different from that held in Christian Science, where we are told that God, divine Love, "changeth not and causeth no evil, disease, nor death" (Science and Health, p. 140). Mrs. Eddy also says (p. 537) that the merely literal sense of the Bible "would imply that God withheld from man the opportunity to reform, lest man should improve it and become better: but this is not the nature of God, who is Love always." It is therefore mortal man's belief about God which is given in the story of the tower of Babel, a belief that God would harm instead of help men, and a misunderstanding of God which must be healed, for if we fail to understand God, we are sure to misunderstand our fellow men, and thus be hindered in our efforts to reach heaven, the harmony of being.

It is safe to say that all the misunderstandings of the ages have arisen from a false concept of God and man, but if we know God aright, we shall never take the false for true, nor the true for false. Here we are reminded that the Bible says, "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm." This passage in the light of Christian Science means that we must turn from personality to Principle at each step of the way, for if we fail to do this we are certain to have misunderstandings and wonder why we are so afflicted. Our brethern, until they emerge wholly from the bewildering bondage of mortal belief, are often mistaken, even where their intentions are good; hence the warning against trust in mortal man.

Even among the immediate followers of Christ Jesus we read of differences of opinion. In the epistle to the Galatians Paul criticizes Peter very severely, charging him with insincerity. He says, "I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed." That this misunderstanding was healed is very evident from Peter's noble defense of Paul's teaching. In his second epistle Peter speaks of this great and fearless worker as "our beloved brother Paul," and refers touchingly to "the wisdom given unto him." It may be that Peter's own stumbling on a crucial occasion made him very charitable in his judgment of another, moreover he could not have forgotten the heart-searching words of the Master at that wonderful morning meal. When Peter would fain have meddled with John's problem, their teacher said to him, "What is that to thee? follow thou me."

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January 6, 1912

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