Christian Science teaches that in order to comprehend God aright, and to understand our divine sonship, our eternal unity with God, thought must be freed from false trusts and the erroneous conclusions resulting therefrom. One of the most subtle of these malconclusions is the belief of a material past, the belief that we have been mortal, and have had in the past material experiences which were realities. While this error remains undestroyed or unrebuked in our thought, it binds us with mental shackles to the conclusion that we have a debt to pay for past offenses, physical or moral; thus we labor under the blighting influence of fear and self-condemnation,—the procuring causes of sickness and death.

A number of years ago, a Christian Science practitioner had as a patient a civil war veteran, who was suffering from a wound received in the war. The case not yielding to treatment, Mrs. Eddy was asked what she thought the error could be that prevented the healing; she replied in effect, that the practitioner as well as the patient believed there had once been a war, and regarded it as a link in the man's history. How many of us have freed our thought entirely from the belief that error, evil, has had a history? We are told that Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, and in order to demonstrate the truth for ourselves and others, it is absolutely necessary that thought be relieved from this incubus, this belief in a material past, for so long as it remains we are yielding assent to error's claim that we possess a life separate from God.

If Life is God, as the Bible and Christian Science teaches, then belief in existence apart from God is an illusion, is not real and never has been real; it is the Adam-dream to be overcome, proved unreal, in the way that Jesus showed us, and this can never be done surely, so long as we admit its reality, either past or present. The belief in material conception, birth, growth, maturity, never was in Mind, never was man or man's belief; it is and always has been nothing but a self-constituted falsity, as Jesus defined it when he said: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." Our Leader says: "Because man is the reflection of his Maker, he is not subject to birth, growth, maturity, decay. These mortal dreams are of human origin, not divine" (Science and Health, p. 305).

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May 10, 1913

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