With clarity and precision Paul etched upon human thought the true idea of sacrifice when he wrote (Rom. 12:1), "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." With equal distinctness he delineated the mental process of this great act of worship: "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

Christian Science explains true sacrifice as the joyous transformation of thought from material belief to spiritual understanding. It proves that flesh with its fragility and ills is not man, but an illusion which fades before the revelation of man in God's likeness, spiritual and perfect. Thus true sacrifice is seen as a mental offering, as the giving up of the belief in a personal, material self through the understanding of God, Spirit, and His perfect, spiritual son. This sacrifice involves the destruction of false mental qualities which characterize mortal man, qualities of fear, lust, hate, and apathy. It demands the demonstration of God-derived elements of real manhood, such as love, purity, and spiritual understanding.

In the allegory of Cain and Abel we find the first Scriptural reference to religious worship, and here we discover the type of sacrificial offering which alone is acceptable to Deity. This allegory points to two types of worship: the ceremonial, or ritualistic, and the revelatory, or prophetical, which abandons the mortal sense of existence in demonstration of Christ, God's sinless, immortal ideal.

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September 3, 1949

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