The Scriptures in Christian Science (Continued.)

Originally published in the January 15, 1891 issue of the Christian Science Series (Vol. 2, No. 18)

Perhaps one of the least understood of Jesus’ teachings, is that “hard saying” emphasized by “Verily, verily,” that occurs in John vi. 53: “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” Spiritual interpretation alone can discover any meaning in it. Flesh signifies substance, and blood symbolizes life. In verse fifty-four note the expression “my flesh”; signifying to partake of the substance that I do; drink of the life I am filled with. “I have meat to eat that ye know not of,” (John iv. 32) that is: Spirit, Life, Love, Truth,—the substance that carnal man cannot perceive. And to show unmistakably that he did not mean the flesh which is seen, he added: “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing.”John vi. 63. Jesus took very little care to make things plain to mortal sense, for he knew it could not understand the spiritual. “Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil;”John viii. 43, 44. —this to those who professed to believe. Who will say the words are less true to-day? In verse forty-seven he continues: “He that is of God heareth God’s words.”

Some have claimed that had Jesus but designated the one true creed, it would have saved a world of strife and suffering. Did he not so designate? It is simply: “Follow me”—Spirit; but, who is willing to obey? Following Jesus costs all that mortal sense holds dear, certainly; but when the pure joy of Spirit and the abiding peace of Love are once tasted, olden joys are discovered to be simply, nothing! The half cannot be told; experience, alone, can establish what words utterly fail to express. Peter says, “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”Acts. iv. 12. True Christian Science looks to Jesus Christ, and to none other name; even the Christ, Truth, which Jesus taught. “I speak not of myself; but of the Father” (Spirit) “that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”John v. 19, 30; vii. 16; viii. 28; xiv. 10. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh, yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.”2 Cor. v. 16. Many taught in Christian Science have, like the Corinthians, erred—and received the rebuke.

The command to “wash one another’s feet,” (John xiii. 14) or to destroy an offending eye or hand, (Matt. v. 29, 30) is just as imperative as that instituting the ceremony of the Eucharist; to “love your enemies,” as that regarding the rite of baptism. “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (Jas. ii. 10.) “Ye do err, not knowing” (understanding) “the scriptures, nor the power of God.” (Matt. xxii. 29.) Spiritually interpreted, the expression “feet” means understanding; “eye,” discernment; hand, power; bread, life or sustenance; wine, inspiration. Again: to “heap coals of fire” upon the head of an enemy, is but to shower with infinite love—a baptism of fire, that proves a veritable hell to evil thought; the “torture” of necessity continuing until the “enemy” (the sense of evil) is destroyed by consciousness of just so much of spiritual man. Glorious thought! Hellfire is God’s love utterly consuming everything unlike the only I am . “Our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. xii. 29.) The only heaven or hell of which mortals can be conscious, is simply a condition of mind which, in either case, sooner or later, becomes manifest on the body; rendering harmonious or discordant accordingly. “Carnal pleasure,” “physical pain,” each finally ends in what is termed death; this death generally being regarded as a friend through whose intervention suffering is to cease,—a most pernicious doctrinal error! “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (I Cor. xv. 26.) All enemies are to be overcome—not yielded to—by Life, Truth and Love.  The life of mortals is not the body, surely; but the mind that controls that body. “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of a man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” (I Cor. ii. 2.) Here we have added testimony that the fleshly mind of man is not the Spirit or Mind of God. These distinctions are of utmost importance to us in gaining spiritual understanding. In Romans viii. 6, Paul clearly defines death. He says, “to be carnally minded” (conscious of flesh) “is death; but to be spiritually minded” (conscious of Spirit) “is life, and peace.” Positively, then, to be mindful of the things of this life is,—not will lead to,—but is now, death.

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