"Endless life"

In the epistle to the Hebrews we read of the law of inheritance which prevailed in the Levitical priesthood, by which men "gave attendance at the altar" and participated in all the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish religion. In the seventh chapter we however read of one who was not of the tribe of Levi and whose priesthood was perpetual, one who was wholly above the earthward tendencies of human parentage, who was "made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life." The whole of this remarkable epistle is vibrant with this tone which links itself so readily with the teachings and demonstrations of Christ Jesus. While many of the critics have questioned the authorship of this epistle, it has been generally agreed among Christian thinkers that it gives such evidence of true inspiration as to make it a question of slight importance whether it was written by Paul or by Apollos, or whether they labored together to give this message of eternal life to the human race. To the Christian Scientist its supreme value lies in its teaching that it is not God, but the devil, who is responsible for death, and that the mission of Christ was and is to "destroy him that had the power of death, ... and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."

It seems strange indeed that the insistent demand of Christ Jesus, that his followers should claim the eternal life which was the central theme of all his teaching, should have come to be forgotten, so far as practical results were concerned. With the lapse of the centuries, eternal life came to mean unending existence after death had been experienced, and this belief was made for the many to include unending evil as well as good. The Master, however, plainly taught that to know God meant life eternal, while St. John, who has given us more of Jesus' declarations on this subject than any of the other apostles, tells us that "no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." This would be explained in Christian Science by the fact that God, good, alone "hath immortality," as Paul tells us, that evil is self-destructive, as may be readily seen, and that he who lives the truth taught by Christ Jesus will not only have life "more abundantly," but, more than this, "he shall never see death."

At the time Jesus made this statement, he also announced the life which has neither beginning nor end when he said, "Before Abraham was, I am." It is not to be supposed that any professed Christian would question these words as relating to Christ Jesus, but few would admit that they must represent man as God's likeness whenever and wherever the divine nature is expressed by man as it was by Christ Jesus, that glorious type of divine sonship and of true humanity. Mrs. Eddy, who did not shrink from accepting all the teachings of the Master, takes up this profound subject of eternal life when she says (Science and Health, p. 429), "If man did not exist before the material organization began, he could not exist after the body is disintegrated. If we live after death and are immortal, we must have lived before birth." She then asks, "Do you believe this?" and goes on, "No! Do you understand it? No! This is why you doubt the statement and do not demonstrate the facts it involves;" in other words, we forget what eternal life means, when we should remember it every moment.

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"Lift up thine eyes"
February 14, 1914

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