Retrospection and Introspection

Retrospection and Introspection

Sin, Sinner, and Ecclesiasticism

63Why do Christian Scientists say God and His idea are the only realities, and then insist on the need of healing sickness and sin? Because Christian Science heals sin as it heals sickness, by establishing the recognition that God is All, and there is none beside Him, — that all is good, and there is in reality no evil, neither sickness nor sin. We attack the sinner’s belief in the pleasure of sin, alias the reality of sin, which makes him a sinner, in order to destroy this belief and save him from sin; and we attack the belief of the sick in the reality of sickness, in order to heal them. When we deny the authority of sin, we begin to sap it; for this denunciation must precede its destruction.

    God is good, hence goodness is something, for it represents God, the Life of man. Its opposite, nothing, named evil, is nothing but a conspiracy against man’s Life and goodness. Do you not feel bound to expose this conspiracy, and so to save man from it? Whosoever covers iniquity becomes accessory to it. Sin, as a claim, is more dangerous than sickness, more subtle, more difficult to heal.

    St. Augustine once said, “The devil is but the ape of God.” Sin is worse than sickness; but recollect that it encourages sin to say, “There is no sin,” and leave the subject there.

64    Sin ultimates in sinner, and in this sense they are one. You cannot separate sin from the sinner, nor the sinner from his sin. The sin is the sinner, and vice versa, for such is the unity of evil; and together both sinner and sin will be destroyed by the supremacy of good. This, however, does not annihilate man, for to efface sin, alias the sinner, brings to light, makes apparent, the real man, even God’s “image and likeness.” Need it be said that any opposite theory is heterodox to divine Science, which teaches that good is equally one and all, even as the opposite claim of evil is one.

    In Christian Science the fact is made obvious that the sinner and the sin are alike simply nothingness; and this view is supported by the Scripture, where the Psalmist saith: “He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light. Man that is in honor, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.” God’s ways and works and thoughts have never changed, either in Principle or practice.

    Since there is in belief an illusion termed sin, which must be met and mastered, we classify sin, sickness, and death as illusions. They are supposititious claims of error; and error being a false claim, they are no claims at all. It is scientific to abide in conscious harmony, in health-giving, deathless Truth and Love. To do this, mortals must first open their eyes to all the illusive forms, methods, and subtlety of error, in order that the illusion, error, may be destroyed; if this is not done, mortals will become the victims of error.

    If evangelical churches refuse fellowship with the 65Church of Christ, Scientist, or with Christian Science, they must rest their opinions of Truth and Love on the evidences of the physical senses, rather than on the teaching and practice of Jesus, or the works of the Spirit.

    Ritualism and dogma lead to self-righteousness and bigotry, which freeze out the spiritual element. Pharisaism killeth; Spirit giveth Life. The odors of persecution, tobacco, and alcohol are not the sweet-smelling savor of Truth and Love. Feasting the senses, gratification of appetite and passion, have no warrant in the gospel or the Decalogue. Mortals must take up the cross if they would follow Christ, and worship the Father “in spirit and in truth.”

    The Jewish religion was not spiritual; hence Jesus denounced it. If the religion of to-day is constituted of such elements as of old ruled Christ out of the synagogues, it will continue to avoid whatever follows the example of our Lord and prefers Christ to creed. Christian Science is the pure evangelic truth. It accords with the trend and tenor of Christ’s teaching and example, while it demonstrates the power of Christ as taught in the four Gospels. Truth, casting out evils and healing the sick; Love, fulfilling the law and keeping man unspotted from the world, — these practical manifestations of Christianity constitute the only evangelism, and they need no creed.

    As well expect to determine, without a telescope, the magnitude and distance of the stars, as to expect to obtain health, harmony, and holiness through an unspiritual and unhealing religion. Christianity reveals God as ever-66present Truth and Love, to be utilized in healing the sick, in casting out error, in raising the dead.

    Christian Science gives vitality to religion, which is no longer buried in materiality. It raises men from a material sense into the spiritual understanding and scientific demonstration of God.