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MAN AND IMMORTALITY

From the April 1918 issue of The Christian Science Journal


A Cynic once said that a man is immortal until death; whereas popular religion declares that his immortality begins then. Certainly no one can be called immortal so long as he lives in the constant expectation of death, even if he believes that he may take up the broken threads of his existence beyond the grave. Most people, however, are heavily burdened by the seeming uncertainty of it all, yet the "immortal hope" refuses to be silenced and bids us lift up eyes of faith to the heights whence cometh our aid. Now uncertainty vanishes as Truth is understood in Christian Science, but the certitude which takes its place does not rest upon material foundations. It reveals God as Mind, Spirit, Life, also as the source of spiritual law, which it holds to be the only law, and this agrees with Paul's declaration, "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."

The real history of the race is the record of its progress toward the realization of spiritual ideals, all of which lay hold upon immortality. On page 200 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy says, "The law of Sinai lifted thought into the song of David." Then she adds, "Moses advanced a nation to the worship of God in Spirit instead of matter, and illustrated the grand human capacities of being bestowed by immortal Mind." Thus we have the promise of immortality linked to the law of Sinai; and this recalls Jesus' answer to the lawyer who asked him what he should do to inherit eternal life. The Master referred him to the Mosaic law, and the man's response showed that he was not ignorant of its deeper meaning, for he summarized its demands as love to God and our neighbor. Jesus' comment was, "Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live."

Here thought reverts instinctively to Moses, who taught his people as they were slowly emerging from Egyptian idolatry and sensualism, as much of the truth of being as they were ready to grasp. In the one hundred and third psalm we read that God "made known his ways unto Moses,"—the way that leads to life, not death, the way of health, holiness, and happiness. In Deuteronomy we read of Moses parting from his people after he had led them through the wilderness, and we are told that while he could see the land of promise from Mount Nebo he was not permitted to go there with them. His biographer tells us that Moses died on that lonely mountain, yet it is added that although he was one hundred and twenty years of age his vigor and his vision were unabated. How strange it is to read that God buried him, when we remember Jesus' words, "He is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him." Moses assuredly could not have lost his sense of life in drawing nearer to God who is Life, nor can anyone to-day.