Cain and Abel

THE story of Cain and Abel as recorded in the fourth chapter of Genesis and as interpreted by Mrs. Eddy on pages 538 to 543 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," may be regarded as a key to the enigma of mortal existence throughout all time and is specifically applicable to the problems which come up to-day to be solved in Christian Science. The poet Byron once declared that "a man that hath no virtue in himself, ever envieth virtue in others." This fact is well illustrated by the characters of Cain and Abel, who represent in embryo two antipodal qualities, which by reason of their antagonistic and irreconcilable natures must continue to oppose each other until the former is finally destroyed by the latter.

Briefly speaking, Cain stands for a mental condition in which the Satanic suggestion, "Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil," has been accepted. Hence Cain places himself above the law of God and acknowledges no law but his own will. According to Cruden the name Cain signifies "possession," or one who is "possessed;" in a word, it stands for materialism, including its complete range of social and political evils from absolute autocracy to abject slavery.

Mrs. Eddy concisely describes Cain's mental attitude on page 89 of Science and Health, where she says: "Cain very naturally concluded that if life was in the body, and man gave it, man had the right to take it away. This incident shows that the belief of life in matter was 'a murderer from the beginning.' " Instead of emulating Abel's good example or learning a lesson from his own mistakes, Cain seeks to quiet remorse with the opiate of envy, thereby plunging himself into deeper error. Envy, being a murderous quality, moves Cain to kill Abel, and afterwards when questioned by God, he denies all personal responsibility, saying, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Cain, under whatever alias he has since been known, never seems to realize that he is and always has been the keeper of his own concept of his brother. He is, therefore, quite oblivious of the fact that envy has poisoned his thoughts and reversed his natural feelings of affection.

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December 6, 1919

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