Caution in the Truth

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1      PERHAPS no doctrine of Christian Science rouses so
         much natural doubt and questioning as this, that
3      God knows no such thing as sin. Indeed, this may be set
         down as one of the "things hard to be understood," such
         as the apostle Peter declared were taught by his fellow-
6      apostle Paul, "which they that are unlearned and unstable
         wrest . . . unto their own destruction." (2 Peter iii. 16.)
         Let us then reason together on this important subject,
9      whose statement in Christian Science may justly be char-
         acterized as wonderful.

         Does God know or behold sin, sickness, and death?

12    The nature and character of God is so little appre-
         hended and demonstrated by mortals, that I counsel my
         students to defer this infinite inquiry, in their discussions
15    of Christian Science. In fact, they had better leave the
         subject untouched, until they draw nearer to the divine
         character, and are practically able to testify, by their lives,
18    that as they come closer to the true understanding of God
         they lose all sense of error.

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1      The Scriptures declare that God is too pure to behold
         iniquity (Habakkuk i. 13); but they also declare that
3      God pitieth them who fear Him; that there is no place
         where His voice is not heard; that He is "a very present
         help in trouble."

6      The sinner has no refuge from sin, except in God, who
         is his salvation. We must, however, realize God’s pres-
         ence, power, and love, in order to be saved from sin. This
9      realization takes away man’s fondness for sin and his
         pleasure in it; and, lastly, it removes the pain which
         accrues to him from it. Then follows this, as the finale in
12    Science: The sinner loses his sense of sin, and gains a
         higher sense of God, in whom there is no sin.

         The true man, really saved, is ready to testify of God
15    in the infinite penetration of Truth, and can affirm that
         the Mind which is good, or God, has no knowledge of sin.
         In the same manner the sick lose their sense of sickness,
18    and gain that spiritual sense of harmony which contains
         neither discord nor disease.

         According to this same rule, in divine Science, the
21    dying — if they die in the Lord — awake from a sense of
         death to a sense of Life in Christ, with a knowledge of
         Truth and Love beyond what they possessed before; be-
24    cause their lives have grown so far toward the stature of
         manhood in Christ Jesus, that they are ready for a spirit-
         ual transfiguration, through their affections and under-
27    standing.

         Those who reach this transition, called death, without

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1      having rightly improved the lessons of this primary school
         of mortal existence, — and still believe in matter’s reality,
3      pleasure, and pain, — are not ready to understand im-
         mortality. Hence they awake only to another sphere of
         experience, and must pass through another probationary
6      state before it can be truly said of them: "Blessed are the
         dead which die in the Lord."

         They upon whom the second death, of which we read
9      in the Apocalypse (Revelation xx. 6), hath no power, are
         those who have obeyed God’s commands, and have
         washed their robes white through the sufferings of the
12    flesh and the triumphs of Spirit. Thus they have reached
         the goal in divine Science, by knowing Him in whom they
         have believed. This knowledge is not the forbidden fruit
15    of sin, sickness, and death, but it is the fruit which grows
         on the "tree of life." This is the understanding of God,
         whereby man is found in the image and likeness of
18    good, not of evil; of health, not of sickness; of Life, not
         of death.

         God is All-in-all. Hence He is in Himself only, in His
21    own nature and character, and is perfect being, or con-
         sciousness. He is all the Life and Mind there is or can be.
         Within Himself is every embodiment of Life and Mind.
24    If He is All, He can have no consciousness of anything
         unlike Himself; because, if He is omnipresent, there can
         be nothing outside of Himself.

27    Now this self-same God is our helper. He pities us.
         He has mercy upon us, and guides every event of our

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1      careers. He is near to them who adore Him. To under-
         stand Him, without a single taint of our mortal, finite sense
3      of sin, sickness, or death, is to approach Him and become
         like Him.

         Truth is God, and in God’s law. This law declares
6      that Truth is All, and there is no error. This law of Truth
         destroys every phase of error. To gain a temporary con-
         sciousness of God’s law is to feel, in a certain finite human
9      sense, that God comes to us and pities us; but the attain-
         ment of the understanding of His presence, through the
         Science of God, destroys our sense of imperfection, or
12    of His absence, through a diviner sense that God is all
         true consciousness; and this convinces us that, as we
         get still nearer Him, we must forever lose our own con-
15    sciousness of error.

         But how could we lose all consciousness of error, if God
         be conscious of it? God has not forbidden man to know
18    Him; on the contrary, the Father bids man have the
         same Mind "which was also in Christ Jesus," — which
         was certainly the divine Mind; but God does forbid man’s
21    acquaintance with evil. Why? Because evil is no part
         of the divine knowledge.

         John’s Gospel declares (xvii. 3) that "life eternal" con-
24    sists in the knowledge of the only true God, and of Jesus
         Christ, whom He has sent. Surely from such an under-
         standing of Science, such knowing, the vision of sin is
27    wholly excluded.

         Nevertheless, at the present crude hour, no wise men or

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1      women will rudely or prematurely agitate a theme involv-
         ing the All of infinity.

3      Rather will they rejoice in the small understanding
         they have already gained of the wholeness of Deity, and
         work gradually and gently up toward the perfect thought
6      divine. This meekness will increase their apprehension
         of God, because their mental struggles and pride of opin-
         ion will proportionately diminish.

9      Every one should be encouraged not to accept any per-
         sonal opinion on so great a matter, but to seek the divine
         Science of this question of Truth by following upward indi-
12    vidual convictions, undisturbed by the frightened sense of
         any need of attempting to solve every Life-problem in a day.
         "Great is the mystery of godliness," says Paul; and
15    mystery involves the unknown. No stubborn purpose to
         force conclusions on this subject will unfold in us a higher
         sense of Deity; neither will it promote the Cause of Truth
18    or enlighten the individual thought.

         Let us respect the rights of conscience and the liberty
         of the sons of God, so letting our "moderation be known
21    to all men." Let no enmity, no untempered controversy,
         spring up between Christian Science students and Chris-
         tians who wholly or partially differ from them as to the
24    nature of sin and the marvellous unity of man with God
         shadowed forth in scientific thought. Rather let the
         stately goings of this wonderful part of Truth be left to
27    the supernal guidance.

         "These are but parts of Thy ways," says Job; and the

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1      whole is greater than its parts. Our present understanding
         is but "the seed within itself," for it is divine Science,
3      "bearing fruit after its kind."

         Sooner or later the whole human race will learn that, in
         proportion as the spotless selfhood of God is understood,
6      human nature will be renovated, and man will receive a
         higher selfhood, derived from God, and the redemption
         of mortals from sin, sickness, and death be established on
9      everlasting foundations.

         The Science of physical harmony, as now presented to
         the people in divine light, is radical enough to promote
12    as forcible collisions of thought as the age has strength
         to bear. Until the heavenly law of health, according to
         Christian Science, is firmly grounded, even the thinkers
15    are not prepared to answer intelligently leading questions
         about God and sin, and the world is far from ready to
         assimilate such a grand and all-absorbing verity concern-
18    ing the divine nature and character as is embraced in the
         theory of God’s blindness to error and ignorance of sin.
         No wise mother, though a graduate of Wellesley College,
21    will talk to her babe about the problems of Euclid.

         Not much more than a half-century ago the assertion
         of universal salvation provoked discussion and horror,
24    similar to what our declarations about sin and Deity must
         arouse, if hastily pushed to the front while the platoons of
         Christian Science are not yet thoroughly drilled in the
27    plainer manual of their spiritual armament. "Wait
         patiently on the Lord;" and in less than another fifty

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1      years His name will be magnified in the apprehension of
         this new subject, as already He is glorified in the wide
3      extension of belief in the impartial grace of God, —
         shown by the changes at Andover Seminary and in multi-
         tudes of other religious folds.

6      Nevertheless, though I thus speak, and from my heart
         of hearts, it is due both to Christian Science and myself
         to make also the following statement: When I have most
9      clearly seen and most sensibly felt that the infinite recog-
         nizes no disease, this has not separated me from God, but
         has so bound me to Him as to enable me instantaneously to
12    heal a cancer which had eaten its way to the jugular vein.

         In the same spiritual condition I have been able to re-
         place dislocated joints and raise the dying to instantaneous
15    health. People are now living who can bear witness to
         these cures. Herein is my evidence, from on high, that
         the views here promulgated on this subject are correct.

18    Certain self-proved propositions pour into my waiting
         thought in connection with these experiences; and here is
         one such conviction: that an acknowledgment of the per-
21    fection of the infinite Unseen confers a power nothing else
         can. An incontestable point in divine Science is, that
         because God is All, a realization of this fact dispels even
23    the sense or consciousness of sin, and brings us nearer to
         God, bringing out the highest phenomena of the All-

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Love is the liberator.