There is no quest which so holds the interest of all humanity as that which promises to reveal man's immortality, or even continued existence after the change called death. Here it should be remembered that these are not the same, for mere continuity of individual consciousness would not in itself prove the attainment of eternal life. St. Paul says, in his first epistle to Timothy, that God alone "hath immortality;" yet he bids us "lay hold on eternal life." Taken together, these statements clearly imply that only that which expresses the divine nature can be immortal, and that all which does express God must of necessity be immortal.

While we seem to find little that is definite on this subject in the recorded words of Christ Jesus, one cannot help being impressed by the fact that he always took man's immortality for granted. When urged by his critics to explain the continuity of certain human relationships after death, he practically dismissed the subject by saying that to God all live; to Him none are ever dead. It was undoubtedly the Master's certainty as to this vital truth which enabled him to awaken the widow's son, Jairus' daughter, and Lazarus from the dream of death. Those who think most deeply upon this subject are concerned chiefly with the question of identity,—whether we shall know ourselves and those dear to us in what is called the future life. Here it may be asked whether we know either, in any true sense, at the present time. If one's identity means anything, it cannot be that which is affected by the mutations of time and sense. The real man cannot be a lisping child today, a gay youth tomorrow, and anon a sober, severe, and possibly disappointed mortal about to pass from the stage of human experience. No, Christian Science declares that "man was never more nor less than man;" also that "the identity, or idea, of all reality continues forever" (Science and Health, pp. 244, 71).

Mrs. Eddy has really a great deal to say about conscious identity, as we find by a careful study of our text-book, and she is ever urging us to find its spiritual foundation and thus come to understand why man as God's likeness is sure of immortality. That we ever fail to be sure is because we hold our concepts of identity, of individuality, within the narrow bounds of material belief, which is mortal because it fails to lay hold upon Life as God, as Spirit, as Truth and Love. The awful grief expressed by most of those whose dear ones pass from their sight, shows how all mortals are fettered by the belief of life in matter, and how we need to strive more earnestly than we have ever done to gain our spiritual freedom, which includes more than the human heart can conceive, something before which the sufferings of this present time "are not worthy to be compared."

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Kind and True
March 28, 1914

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