Chapter 1 – Introductory – Love Your Enemies | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent

Chapter 1 – Introductory – Love Your Enemies

From Miscellaneous Writings by

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9     Who is thine enemy that thou shouldst love him? Is

         it a creature or a thing outside thine own creation?

         Can you see an enemy, except you first formulate this

12    enemy and then look upon the object of your own con-

         ception? What is it that harms you? Can height, or

         depth, or any other creature separate you from the

15    Love that is omnipresent good, — that blesses infinitely

         one and all?

         Simply count your enemy to be that which defiles,

18    defaces, and dethrones the Christ-image that you should

         reflect. Whatever purifies, sanctifies, and consecrates

         human life, is not an enemy, however much we suffer in

21    the process. Shakespeare writes: “Sweet are the uses

         of adversity.” Jesus said: “Blessed are ye, when men

         shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all

24    manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake; . . .

         for so persecuted they the prophets which were before


27    The Hebrew law with its “Thou shalt not,” its de-

         mand and sentence, can only be fulfilled through the

         gospel’s benediction. Then, “Blessed are ye,” inso-

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1     much as the consciousness of good, grace, and peace,

         comes through affliction rightly understood, as sanctified

3     by the purification it brings to the flesh, — to pride, self-

         ignorance, self-will, self-love, self-justification. Sweet,

         indeed, are these uses of His rod! Well is it that the

6     Shepherd of Israel passes all His flock under His rod

         into His fold; thereby numbering them, and giving them

         refuge at last from the elements of earth.

9     “Love thine enemies” is identical with “Thou hast

         no enemies.” Wherein is this conclusion relative to

         those who have hated thee without a cause? Simply, in

12    that those unfortunate individuals are virtually thy best

         friends. Primarily and ultimately, they are doing thee

         good far beyond the present sense which thou canst enter-

15    tain of good.

         Whom we call friends seem to sweeten life’s cup and

         to fill it with the nectar of the gods. We lift this cup

18    to our lips; but it slips from our grasp, to fall in frag-

         ments before our eyes. Perchance, having tasted its

         tempting wine, we become intoxicated; become lethar-

21    gic, dreamy objects of self-satisfaction; else, the con-

         tents of this cup of selfish human enjoyment having lost

         its flavor, we voluntarily set it aside as tasteless and

24    unworthy of human aims.

         And wherefore our failure longer to relish this fleet-

         ing sense, with its delicious forms of friendship,

27    wherewith mortals become educated to gratification in

         personal pleasure and trained in treacherous peace?

         Because it is the great and only danger in the path

30    that winds upward. A false sense of what consti-

         tutes happiness is more disastrous to human progress

         than all that an enemy or enmity can obtrude upon

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1     the mind or engraft upon its purposes and achievements

         wherewith to obstruct life’s joys and enhance its sor-

3     rows.

         We have no enemies. Whatever envy, hatred, revenge

         — the most remorseless motives that govern mortal mind

6     — whatever these try to do, shall “work together for good

         to them that love God.”


9     Because He has called His own, armed them, equipped

         them, and furnished them defenses impregnable. Their

         God will not let them be lost; and if they fall they shall

12    rise again, stronger than before the stumble. The good

         cannot lose their God, their help in times of trouble.

         If they mistake the divine command, they will recover

15    it, countermand their order, retrace their steps, and

         reinstate His orders, more assured to press on safely.

         The best lesson of their lives is gained by crossing

18    swords with temptation, with fear and the besetments

         of evil; insomuch as they thereby have tried their

         strength and proven it; insomuch as they have found

21    their strength made perfect in weakness, and their fear

         is self-immolated.

         This destruction is a moral chemicalization, wherein

24    old things pass away and all things become new. The

         worldly or material tendencies of human affections and

         pursuits are thus annihilated; and this is the advent of

27    spiritualization. Heaven comes down to earth, and

         mortals learn at last the lesson, “I have no enemies.”

         Even in belief you have but one (that, not in reality),

30    and this one enemy is yourself — your erroneous belief

         that you have enemies; that evil is real; that aught but

         good exists in Science. Soon or late, your enemy will

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1     wake from his delusion to suffer for his evil intent; to

         find that, though thwarted, its punishment is tenfold.

3     Love is the fulfilling of the law: it is grace, mercy,

         and justice. I used to think it sufficiently just to abide

         by our State statutes; that if a man should aim a ball at

6     my heart, and I by firing first could kill him and save

         my own life, that this was right. I thought, also, that

         if I taught indigent students gratuitously, afterwards

9     assisting them pecuniarily, and did not cease teach-

         ing the wayward ones at close of the class term, but

         followed them with precept upon precept; that if my

12    instructions had healed them and shown them the sure way

         of salvation, — I had done my whole duty to students.

         Love metes not out human justice, but divine mercy.

15    If one’s life were attacked, and one could save it only

         in accordance with common law, by taking another’s,

         would one sooner give up his own? We must love our

18    enemies in all the manifestations wherein and whereby

         we love our friends; must even try not to expose their

         faults, but to do them good whenever opportunity

21    occurs. To mete out human justice to those who per-

         secute and despitefully use one, is not leaving all retribu-

         tion to God and returning blessing for cursing. If special

24    opportunity for doing good to one’s enemies occur not,

         one can include them in his general effort to benefit the

         race. Because I can do much general good to such as

27    hate me, I do it with earnest, special care—since they

         permit me no other way, though with tears have I striven

         for it. When smitten on one cheek, I have turned the

30    other: I have but two to present.

         I would enjoy taking by the hand all who love me not,

         and saying to them, “I love you, and would not know-

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1     ingly harm you.” Because I thus feel, I say to others:

         Hate no one; for hatred is a plague-spot that spreads

3     its virus and kills at last. If indulged, it masters us;

         brings suffering upon suffering to its possessor, through-

         out time and beyond the grave. If you have been badly

6     wronged, forgive and forget: God will recompense this

         wrong, and punish, more severely than you could, him

         who has striven to injure you. Never return evil for evil;

9     and, above all, do not fancy that you have been wronged

         when you have not been.

         The present is ours; the future, big with events.

12    Every man and woman should be to-day a law to him-

         self, herself, — a law of loyalty to Jesus’ Sermon on the

         Mount. The means for sinning unseen and unpunished

15    have so increased that, unless one be watchful and stead-

         fast in Love, one’s temptations to sin are increased a

         hundredfold. Mortal mind at this period mutely works

18    in the interest of both good and evil in a manner least

         understood; hence the need of watching, and the danger

         of yielding to temptation from causes that at former

21    periods in human history were not existent. The action

         and effects of this so-called human mind in its silent argu-

         ments, are yet to be uncovered and summarily dealt with

24    by divine justice.

         In Christian Science, the law of Love rejoices the heart;

         and Love is Life and Truth. Whatever manifests aught

27    else in its effects upon mankind, demonstrably is not Love.

         We should measure our love for God by our love for man;

         and our sense of Science will be measured by our obedience

30    to God, — fulfilling the law of Love, doing good to all;

         imparting, so far as we reflect them, Truth, Life, and Love

         to all within the radius of our atmosphere of thought.

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1     The only justice of which I feel at present capable,

         is mercy and charity toward every one, — just so far as

3     one and all permit me to exercise these sentiments toward

         them, — taking special care to mind my own business.

         The falsehood, ingratitude, misjudgment, and sharp

6     return of evil for good — yea, the real wrongs (if wrong

         can be real) which I have long endured at the hands of

         others — have most happily wrought out for me the law

9     of loving mine enemies. This law I now urge upon the

         solemn consideration of all Christian Scientists. Jesus

         said, “If ye love them which love you, what thank have

12    ye? for sinners also love those that love them.”

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