TREADING ON SERPENTS

The serpentine form is the Scriptural symbol of evil, a symbol which runs through the Bible from the first whisper of error in the third chapter of Genesis to the final destruction of the dragon in Revelation. In the chapter of Genesis mentioned, Eve is pictured as succumbing to the serpent's suggestion that she eat the forbidden fruit of knowledge of good and evil. Later it is Eve who begins the redemptive measures by which the mortal sense of life is destroyed: she admits her fault when questioned by Truth. She says (Gen. 3:13), "The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat." Mary Baker Eddy says of Eve, in explanation of this passage, in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 533), "She has already learned that corporeal sense is the serpent."

The state of human consciousness which Eve portrays at this point in the allegory is the willingness to admit that the corporeal sense of life is the only devil and that this false sense, which seems to be one's own, is to be repudiated. Christian Science exposes evil's lurking, beguiling ways. It takes error out of hiding and proves that corporeal sense is no part of man, God's likeness. It explains that when one is dealing with any semblance of evil—whether his body, his environment, his relationships are affected—one is dealing basically with corporeal sense, the false consciousness in which all evil inheres. Each one of us needs to be purified of that iniquitous imposition.

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Church Dedications
October 29, 1955
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