"In deaths oft"

St. Paul's statement of various experiences through which he passed, as found in the eleventh chapter of II Corinthians, includes these startling words: "In deaths oft." Now it is commonly believed that we can only die once, yet Paul seems to challenge such a belief; and as his words deal with vital truth, it is surely worth while to seek their meaning. The ordinary reasoner would probably say that Paul meant he had ofttimes been in perilous situations where death was imminent, but it is very evident that his words have a deeper meaning than this supposition would convey. He tells of "weariness and painfulness," of vigils, of "hunger and thirst," of "cold and nakedness;" nor is this all, for he tells of shipwreck, imprisonment, of "stripes above measure." But this heroic recital of things endured for Truth's sake, is given because the apostle evidently desired others to know what were the experiences in which he gloried.

From the view-point of Christian Science, man as God's idea, His reflection, never dies; and very few thinkers would venture to dispute this statement, although few if any outside of Christian Science would say it in this way. They would be more likely to say that an intangible something called the soul lived on when the body died. Mortals, however, do not claim to know much about this immortal essence, or substance, and defer their acquaintance with it as long as possible, though all the time aware that sooner or later they must face either spiritual existence or extinction. The great mistake is in supposing that spiritual things are unsubstantial, when only Spirit and things spiritual are substantial, indestructible, and they alone represent life without beginning or ending. On page 491 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy says, "It is only by acknowledging the supremacy of Spirit, which annuls the claims of matter, that mortals can lay off mortality and find the indissoluble spiritual link which establishes man forever in the divine likeness, inseparable from his creator."

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"The Lord is my rock"
May 8, 1915
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