Paschal Lessons

As the seasons come and go, we have many reminders that their deepest lessons lift thought out of materiality and bid us lay hold upon things spiritual and eternal. The Easter season has its roots deep in the national existence of the Hebrew people, to whose religious literature we owe so much. In Science and Health (p. 559) we read that the bitter herbs eaten at the Paschal meal by the Israelites symbolized their experiences in seeking their freedom, and "prefigured this perilous passage out of bondage into the El Dorado of faith and hope." This reminds us of their marvelous deliverance from the most terrible bondage, when the faith of their ancestor Abraham sprang up anew in the consciousness of Moses, who led them to freedom. It is scarcely possible to overestimate the greatness of his achievements, for Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 200), "Moses advanced a nation to the worship of God in Spirit instead of matter, and illustrated the grand human capacities of being bestowed by immortal Mind." He it was who, after his communion with God in the desert, inspired his people to seek their freedom in reliance upon divine aid, and it is little wonder that after long centuries the passover is still commemorated by the Jews and by others of related faiths.

Christian Scientists gladly acknowledge their debt to all who have helped to open up the way from sense to Soul, and with deepest reverence trace the footsteps of those who have won spiritual victories and recorded their struggles and triumphs for the guidance of others who should come after them. As we read the story of that first passover, mere credulity must give place to faith in man's divinely bestowed possibilities when acting under spiritual law. In Exodus we read of the flight of the people on foot, six hundred thousand men, besides children, also their flocks and herds. We are told of the pursuit by Pharaoh and his army, his "six hundred chosen chariots," with "captains over every one of them." Need we wonder that when the people looked back toward their pursuers, they cried out that it would have been better for them to have perished in Egypt than to have sought freedom at such risk. But Moses trusted Truth, and he bade them have no fear; and as no one ever trusts God in vain, their deliverance came, so that they could sing with joy, "Who is like unto thee, O Lord, ... glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?"

As the years rolled on, it would seem that each passover must have meant more and more to the people, that their grasp upon freedom would have grown more vital because it was becoming more spiritual. But such was not the case, save for the faithful few in all the centuries who toiled to keep the light of Truth burning. When Christ Jesus came he offered real freedom to all mankind, but his own people rejected it, declaring they were not in bondage, though a foreign despot ruled over them, and, worst of all, sin, disease, and death held them in hopeless subjection. Great as was the deliverance at the passage of the Red sea, it meant vastly less to the race than did the healing work of the Master, which, as understood in Christian Science, brings to each one healed a sense of man's priceless birthright of health, holiness, happiness,—in a word, real freedom!

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Among the Churches
April 17, 1915

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