"The firstlings of his flock"

The interesting story of Cain and Abel, related in the fourth chapter of Genesis, is familiar to students of the Bible. A deep moral may be drawn from the offerings of each to God. We read: "And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. ... And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect."

In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," our inspired Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, has defined "sheep" (p. 594) in part as "innocence; inoffensiveness." Abel's offering, "the firstlings of his flock," was therefore wholly acceptable. But Cain, finding that the Lord "had not respect" for his offering, rose up in jealousy and slew his brother. Cain attempted to worship God from the premise of matter as substance, whereas Abel's offering typified purity and innocence, qualities which reflect Spirit, God, the only true substance.

September 3, 1938

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