Eternal Life

Throughout Jesus' earthly ministry as set forth in the gospels, we find that his chief appeal to those around him was that they should accept eternal life. Before his time the prophets had spoken much of long life as the necessary outcome of right living, and the psalmist had not hesitated to say of the one who dwelt "under the shadow of the Almighty," that he would be forever safe, though a thousand should fall at his side and ten thousand at his right hand; that neither plague nor pestilence should come nigh his dwelling. He also declared that such a one would realize the "long life" that satisfies, as in the case of Moses, who was untouched by the sense of decay even when he had reached one hundred and twenty years. Christ Jesus had, however, a wider view than did Moses from mount Pisgah, when he assured his faithful followers of eternal life. In declaring man's unity with God he said, "No man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand."

We would naturally suppose that those of his own nation and religion would gladly accept the truth of being which the Nazarene Prophet offered them; but such was not the case, for then as now material sense blinded the eyes of the many. This is brought out in the account of Paul's wonderful work at Antioch, when the whole city was stirred, as we read in the thirteenth chapter of Acts. Here we are told that Paul and Barnabas reminded the Jews that the word of God was first spoken to them; then the record goes on, "But seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles." Does not this fittingly describe the mental attitude of mankind at large today? In so far as men love the world and the things of the world, they judge themselves unworthy of eternal life as it is presented in the Bible, and also in Science and Health. They virtually say that it will be time enough to enter upon eternal life after they have died and wakened again, if they ever do. Paul says, "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed." None can deny that this change is greatly needed, and those who have begun really to understand eternal life are the ones who most desire the change from error to truth, from the material to the spiritual, from the mortal to the immortal.

Mrs. Eddy, who wisely points the path for faltering footsteps, says (Science and Health, p. 246), "Except for the error of measuring and limiting all that is good and beautiful, man would enjoy more than threescore years and ten and still maintain his vigor, freshness, and promise." Then she quickly adds: "Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof. Life and goodness are immortal." This explains it all. Divine Life and Love are deathless. No one would think of denying this, but few remember that God's image and likeness, the reflection of Life and Love, is no less so. The trouble is that humanity has too long judged itself unworthy of eternal life as Christ Jesus presented the idea, and has chosen rather a mutilated counterfeit of it, one in which death is given a prominent part. "Man is immortal till death," says the cynic, but the fact is that mortals express their own false concept of existence all the way, even though it may be pleaded that this concept is thrust upon them from birth up. It is well that evil is not immortal. If it were otherwise, there would be no hope for the race.

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January 16, 1915

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