When the Bible is read in the light of Christian Science, one marvels at the clarity of vision with which Mary Baker Eddy was able to discern the spiritual qualities typified by the historic characters of the Old Testament. After she discovered the divine Science of the Scriptures, she saw, for example, how the human nature of Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, was transformed on the eve of his meeting with his brother Esau. Having repented of his duplicity and desiring to receive God's blessing, as indicated by his reply to the angel (Gen. 32:26), "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me," he was now able to say, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." After this uplifting experience Jacob became a new man and his name was changed to Israel. According to Smith's Bible Dictionary the meaning of this new name, Israel, is "soldier of God."

Commenting upon this episode, Mrs. Eddy writes in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 309), "He was to become the father of those, who through earnest striving followed his demonstration of the power of Spirit over the material senses; and the children of earth who followed his example were to be called the children of Israel, until the Messiah should rename them." From this spiritual definition we see that the children of Israel are not exclusively members of a certain race, but are actually all those who have, at least in some measure, overcome their earthly or carnal natures through spiritual regeneration. When, for example, John the Baptist was preparing the way for the redemptive mission of the greatest of all Israelites, Christ Jesus, he said to certain of the Jewish rulers who came to him for baptism (Matt. 3:8,9), "Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham."

July 12, 1947

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