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UNITY OF GOOD
MARY BAKER EDDY
First digital edition 2017 by Maria Ruggieri
Caution in the Truth - Does God know or behold sin, sickness, and death?
Seedtime and Harvest - Is anything real of which the physical senses are cognizant?
The Deep Things of God
Ways Higher than Our Ways
There is no Matter - Sight TouchTasteForce
Is There no Death?
Personal StatementsCredo - Do you believe in God? - Do you believe in man? - Do you believe in matter? - What say you of woman? - What say you of evil?
Suffering from Others’ Thoughts
The Saviour’s Mission
Caution in the Truth - Does God know or behold sin, sickness, and death?
Perhaps no doctrine of Christian Science rouses so much natural doubt and questioning as this, that 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-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, whose statement in Christian Science may justly be characterized as wonderful.
Does God know or behold sin, sickness, and death?
The nature and character of God is so little apprehended and demonstrated by mortals, that I counsel my students to defer this infinite inquiry, in their discussions 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, that as they come closer to the true understanding of God they lose all sense of error.
The Scriptures declare that God is too pure to behold iniquity (Habakkuk I. 13); but they also declare that 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.”
The sinner has no refuge from sin, except in God, who is his salvation. We must, however, realize God’s presence, power, and love, in order to be saved from sin. This 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 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 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 loses their sense of sickness, and gain that spiritual sense of harmony which contains neither discord nor disease.
According to this same rule, in divine Science, the 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; because their lives have grown so far toward the stature of manhood in Christ Jesus, that they are ready for a spiritual transfiguration, through their affections and understanding.
Those who reach this transition, called death, without having rightly improved the lessons of this primary school of mortal existence, and still believe in matter’s reality, pleasure, and pain, are not ready to understand immortality. Hence, they awake only to another sphere of experience, and must pass through another probationary 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 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 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 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 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 own nature and character, and is perfect being, or consciousness. He is all the Life and Mind there is or can be. Within Himself is every embodiment of Life and Mind.
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.
Now this self-same God is our helper. He pities us. He has mercy upon us, and guides every event of our careers. He is near to them who adore Him. To understand Him, without a single taint of our mortal, finite sense of sin, sickness, or death, is to approach Him and become like Him.
Truth is God, and in God’s law. This law declares that Truth is All, and there is no error. This law of Truth destroys every phase of error. To gain a temporary consciousness of God’s law is to feel, in a certain finite human sense, that God comes to us and pities us; but the attainment of the understanding of His presence, through the Science of God, destroys our sense of imperfection, or 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 consciousness of error.
But how could we lose all consciousness of error, if God be conscious of it? God has not forbidden man to know 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 acquaintance with evil. Why? Because evil is no part of the divine knowledge.
John’s Gospel declares (XVII. 3) that “life eternal” consists in the knowledge of the only true God, and of Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. Surely from such an understanding of Science, such knowing, the vision of sin is wholly excluded.
Nevertheless, at the present crude hour, no wise men or women will rudely or prematurely agitate a theme involving the All of infinity.
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 divine. This meekness will increase their apprehension of God, because their mental struggles and pride of opinion will proportionately diminish.
Everyone should be encouraged not to accept any personal opinion on so great a matter, but to seek the divine Science of this question of Truth by following upward individual 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 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 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 to all men.” Let no enmity, no untempered controversy, spring up between Christian Science students and Christians who wholly or partially differ from them as to the 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 the supernal guidance.
“These are but parts of Thy ways,” says Job; and the whole is greater than its parts. Our present understanding is but “the seed within itself,” for it is divine Science, “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, 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 everlasting foundations.