"Twelve gates"

In Revelation we read, "That great city, the holy Jerusalem, . . . had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel." This passage brought comfort to a student of Christian Science during a struggle to free herself from solicitude for a child she loved. Need I be troubled, she thought, if I see anyone turn away from the divine message that is leading us in Christian Science? Are there not twelve gates leading into "the holy city"? Can anyone be excluded from the infinitude of Love?

In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 267), "By reversal, errors serve as waymarks to the one Mind." Since divine Principle is All, there is no experience that may not lead to the aspect of Truth necessary to some individual point of view, and each must be free in his own way to seek harmony. She realized anew the wide diversity of human viewpoints and human needs, and knew that divine Love cares for all. She saw that in the widely differing characters of his disciples Jesus perceived in varying measure the pure identity that is enthroned in heavenly dominion, spiritual discernment, "judging the twelve tribes of Israel." How distinctly individual is the approach of each one of us to the kingdom of heaven!

The student greatly loved Jesus' parable of the prodigal son, both as a parable and as a human story. She had always rejoiced in the welcome that met the wanderer even before he reached home. But now she considered for the first time the greatness of the love that did not try to keep the son from the lessons he needs must learn in his own way. Understanding the ever-presence of God, good, such a father must have known that from the moment the boy started on his journey he was really on his way home—on his way to discover the futility of trying to live without obedience and love. To the son, this discovery was the gate that led to the realization of heaven at hand.

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God's Unchanging Law
October 19, 1935

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