There are probably few scenes recorded in the Bible...

The Christian Science Monitor

There are probably few scenes recorded in the Bible more dramatic in character and of greater metaphysical significance than Paul's recital of his conversion to Christianity, as he stood before the angry Jewish mob from whose violence he was delivered through his appeal to the Roman centurion. To him he explained that he was a Roman citizen and was free born. The fact that Paul was a free born Roman at once impressed the Roman soldier with the justice of Paul's appeal. But the teachings of Christianity to which Saul of Tarsus had been most remarkably converted, after his long record of relentless and merciless persecution of the Christians, soon revealed to him the fact that the freedom which comes from mere accident of birth means indeed little in itself. This circumstance was but a small part of his true heritage of freedom.

The teachings of Christ Jesus had already shown the great apostle to the Gentiles, as they are teaching us to-day through Christian Science, that we must recognize our freedom of birth in a far larger way, that is to say, in the spiritual or only true sense. Mankind is and always has been born into a thousand different forms of servitude. Fortunately, however, Mary Baker Eddy's revelation, reestablishing primitive Christianity in this age, not only awakens us to a realization of these manifold phases of bondage or limitation, but gives us a sweet and certain promise that we shall be born again, "born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." We unhesitatingly declare that we are born free, yet on every side do we find, through the penetrating light that Christian Science casts on the problems of life, that we have heretofore been held in the most abject bondage, fastened upon us from the day of our birth, through ignorance of the truth concerning creation. Not through the operation of God's law, but only through humanity's willingness to accept as law these false beliefs of inheritance, environment, disposition, and the like, are these shackles placed upon us. But as we reject them in the manner Mrs. Eddy has taught, we are freed from them forever. Then and then only shall we commence to apprehend the full significance of Paul's statement that he was free born.

Therefore, only in the degree that we insist that we are born free and know the reason why, being sons of God, divine Principle, one Father having created us all, shall we find ourselves free from the contentions of the human or mortal mind, which have claimed possession of us. And through recognizing further that man is coexistent and coeternal with God, the only creator, we are forced to the irresistible conclusion that man, the spiritual idea of the divine Mind, can never experience material birth, a material sense of life, nor pass through the portals of death. It is this emancipation to which Mrs. Eddy refers in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," on page 227: "Slavery is not the legitimate state of man. God made man free. Paul said, 'I was free born.' All men should be free." And on page 225, "Legally to abolish unpaid servitude in the United States was hard; but the abolition of mental slavery is a more difficult task."

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