In the parable of the rich man and the beggar Lazarus, found in the sixteenth chapter of Luke's Gospel, it is related that the beggar was carried after death "into Abraham's bosom"; while Dives, as the rich man is sometimes styled, who had been "clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day," found himself in a state of torment. "And in hell he lift up his eyes, ... and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." When Dives appealed to Abraham to send Lazarus to help and comfort him, Abraham pointed out that Lazarus had had poverty to contend with all his life, while Dives had indulged in sensuous ease. Now the former was comforted, while the latter was tormented. "And beside all this," spoke Abraham in the parable, "between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you can not; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence."

Is it true that there is "a great gulf" separating mortals from regeneration, satisfaction, and healing? The word mortal is from the Latin mors, meaning death. The point emphasized by this parable, and reiterated many times in her writings by our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, is that there is no point of contact between immortality and mortality, between good and evil, Spirit and matter. Mrs. Eddy writes in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 74), "There is no bridge across the gulf which divides two such opposite conditions as the spiritual, or incorporeal, and the physical, or corporeal."

Dives as a mortal could not cross the gulf that separated him from heavenly harmony. He must be willing to part with mortality, to leave all for Christ, and to awaken spiritually. He was evidently as materially-minded after as before the transition called death. Lazarus, on the other hand, had evidently awakened out of suffering sense to some degree of spiritual consciousness. The story does not imply that he had attained riches or selfish indulgence, but rather a state of comfort and peace.

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September 6, 1947

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