"If thine eye be single"

As recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus once said, "The light of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." Some modern translations substitute the word "sound" (as contrasted with "diseased") for the word "single," but this does not necessarily change the purport of the illustration used by the Master, evidently for the purpose of emphasizing the need for spiritual perception.

It is sometimes difficult to arrive at the exact meaning of certain words and phrases used in the Bible, partly because of the variety of translations, but, in the light of Christian Science, it is easily seen that to gain the true spiritual import of Biblical passages is the thing of greatest importance. In that light one may be justified in assuming that, broadly speaking, Jesus may have meant, in the passage above quoted, If you have spiritual discernment, your entire consciousness will be illumined by divine intelligence.

Obviously, there is but one spiritual discernment, and it is equally plain that spiritual discernment, or perception, and understanding, are essentially the same. In this connection, it is interesting to note that Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, on page 586 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," defines "eyes" as, "Spiritual discernment,—not material but mental;" and on page 585, she defines "ears," as follows: "Not organs of the so-called corporeal senses, but spiritual understanding." Thus it will be seen that sight and hearing, metaphysically interpreted, are both equivalent to perception, discernment, understanding, and are therefore, in the last analysis, essentially the same. This is exactly in accord with the declaration of Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthians, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

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January 24, 1942

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