Happy and grateful we are for the enlightened understanding of certain words and phrases which comes to us through our study of Christian Science. The word "atonement" is defined in a modern dictionary (Macmillan's) as "satisfaction; amends; reparation; redeeming work of Christ accomplished by his obedience, passion and death." It may be noted that the second part of the definition gives a more spiritual interpretation than the first part. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p.18), "Atonement is the exemplification of man's unity with God, whereby man reflects divine Truth, Life, and Love." In this statement our beloved Leader lifts thought from the human to the divine, to at-one-ment with God who is Life, Truth, Love.

This understanding of "atonement" is very different from that which prevailed in Old Testament times. Then, the sacrifices made for expiation of sin or for the appeasement of the Supreme Being by the Jewish people involved no change of heart and had of themselves no redemptive value. Through the study of the teachings and works of Christ Jesus and of Christian Science, we obtain a very different understanding of atonement, or "at-one-ment," as Mrs. Eddy calls it. The exemplification of mankind's unity with God, while demanding the sacrifice of material sense, is the greatest blessing humanity can know.

God's Man
July 10, 1943

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