Saul of Tarsus was a firm believer in the Jewish faith, and therefore in the law as taught by Moses. He was bitterly opposed to Jesus and his teaching, yet he found eventually that Jesus' teaching was identical with the spiritual utterances of Moses and the prophets, and that the Sermon on the Mount was but a clearer presentation of the ten commandments. Read through continuously in the light of Christian Science, the commandments and beatitudes are the story of humanity coming into man's divine heritage.

While on his way to Damascus to do away with the followers of Jesus, Saul was perchance turning over in his thought the snatches of this new teaching which he had been able to gather, and was pondering upon them. Suddenly he seems to have reached the point where he realized that even though he had studied the Jewish law from his youth up, yet he was "poor" spiritually, and, regardless of the fact that he was in command of a body of soldiers and carried papers from the high priest, that the object of his journey was not really to wipe out the Christian faith, but to learn more of it. With this understanding there must have come a peace and happiness which carried him at once into harmony, and he was indeed "blessed." He doubtless saw that the Christ-teaching was not intended to destroy the law, but to help men to have "no other gods before me"—the one true God. So clearly did Saul see this that he began at once to aid instead of trying to hinder this cause. Our Leader tells us (Science and Health, p. 326) that "in humility he took the new name of Paul."

Paul's life at this point shows that he at once experienced repentance; and as he mourned he began to discard all evil,—to cast out all idolatrous thoughts of material knowledge, position, money, body, or human inheritance of any nature, and no longer to bow down to them or serve them. He saw what his heritage really was,—that it consisted of all godlike qualities, and that he inherited only from God. As God is jealous (vigilant in guarding His own ideas), so God's child inherits this vigilance of thought and is able to keep God's law. Meekness took the place of arrogance in Paul's thought, and this humble, teachable attitude of mind strove not to give out false teaching about God; did not pray for what it did not desire; did not antagonize the prayers of others; did not declare that God was the creator of evil. Not taking God's name in vain, Paul was ready to "inherit the earth."

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Overcoming a Bad Habit
November 11, 1916

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