The Great Gulf

WHEN viewed in the light which Christian Science throws on the Scriptures, our Master's parable of the rich man and Lazarus, related in Luke's Gospel, is a valuable help to the pilgrim steadfastly pursuing his way from sense to Soul. Jesus had been vigorously declaring the impossibility of serving God and mammon, and to illustrate his point he seized on a quite common occurrence in the daily life about him. In these days the gates of the rich men, especially in towns and cities of the East, were thronged with beggars, sick people, and dogs. Jesus doubtless wished to impress on his hearers the lesson of lost opportunity, and the impassable gulf between the flesh and Spirit.

The rich man is presented as a type of the mammon worshiper, given over entirely to the mesmeric belief that the physical senses confer satisfaction and pleasure, and should be indulged to the uttermost. Lazarus stands as a type of "the poor in the meek, humble, patient. In due course, so runs the parable, Lazarus passes on to fuller realization of the promise "for their's is the kingdom of heaven." The materialist dies as he has lived, and passes on to the flaming torment of his own desires, which still pursue him. Does not the parable imply that the individual consciousness becomes transformed only as one learns to set his "affection on things above" and to learn that God is All?

In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 171) Mrs. Eddy writes, "No more sympathy exists between the flesh and Spirit than between Belial and Christ," and this metaphysical fact is strongly emphasized in this vivid narrative. As Jesus said, between the two "there is a great gulf fixed."

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September 11, 1937

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