Overcoming Personal Sense

When Jacob wrestled throughout the night at the place called Peniel, his struggle was not with a person, but with personal sense. He had much to overcome in his own thinking that was unlike God, but as the day of greater spiritual enlightenment broke he was transformed. Up to that time he had been known only as Jacob, but in that hour of his triumph over evil his name, as well as his nature, was changed. The angelic message or spiritual intuition, speaking to him as though it had been a person, said, "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed."

Writing of this Biblical narrative, so well known to readers of the Old Testament, Mary Baker Eddy says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 308), "Jacob was alone, wrestling with error,—struggling with a mortal sense of life, substance, and intelligence as existent in matter with its false pleasures and pains,—when an angel, a message from Truth and Love, appeared to him and smote the sinew, or strength, of his error, till he saw its unreality; and Truth, being thereby understood, gave him spiritual strength in this Peniel of divine Science."

April 13, 1940

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