The Authorized Version of the English translation of the...

The Christian Science Monitor

The Authorized Version of the English translation of the Bible, beautiful and wonderful as it is, and in many ways the finest and best translation of any literature extant, yet fails in some instances to convey the deeper inspiration of the Scriptures because of the retention of place-names and symbolical terms, which make such passages more or less meaningless to the ordinary reader. One of these instances occurs in the eighty-fourth psalm, in connection with some exquisite imagery, the purport of which is hidden by the confusion of the translation. "blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God." The Americal Standard Version renders the same passages as follows: "Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the highways to Zion. Passing through the valley of Weeping they make it a place of springs; yea, the early rain covereth it with blessings. They go from strength to strength; every one of them appeareth before God in Zion." It seems almost superfluous to labor the point of the illumination which that translation gives, but taken further with the understanding of Christian Science, it should lift the burden of grief or loss which seems to weigh very heavily to-day.

Zion in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 599) is described, in that part of the definition referring to reality, as "spiritual foundation and superstructure; inspiration; spiritual strength." It must therefore be recognized as wholly a mental state, not a place or locality, and the highways to this state are necessarily stages of spiritual development. The spiritual superstructure of consciousness based on the foundation of Spirit, is a recognition of man's being as entirely apart from any material experience whatever, and therefore as superior to all the "happenings" connected with the flesh, but the psalmist intimates that the highway which must be trodden by the pilgrim before this state is fully attained, passes through the valleys as well as over the mountain tops, and that that traveler only is "blessed" who makes the place of weeping a ceaseless spring of life-giving inspiration, not through enforced submission, but through vigorous overcoming, passing from strength to strength.

Beginning on page 265 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy says: "The pains of sense are salutary, if they wrench away false pleasurable beliefs and transplant the affections from sense to Soul, where the creations of God are good, 'rejoicing the heart.' Such is the sword of Science, with which Truth decapitates error, materiality giving place to man's higher individuality and destiny." There, in those few words, are epitomized all our troubles and sorrows, every one of which arises from the fact that, though we may deceive ourselves into thinking that we have risen above the beliefs of a treasure in matter, these sharp experiences may prove to us that we are still clutching it, still hoping for good in matter, safety in matter. What is the inevitable result? When our feet enter the valley of weeping, instead of being able to find the wellspring of the water of Life, we rush about, vainly crying, "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him." Yet did not Jesus say that whosoever would save his life (in matter) should lose it, and whosoever would lose his life (in matter) for his sake, should find it? The word translated life in that passage really means the animal sense of life, and therefore implies that those who struggle to preserve that animal sense are bound to fail, while those who are willing to part with that animal sense for the sake of the true idea of life, shall find Life in all its manifestations.

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