LOVE YOUR ENEMIES
reinstate His orders, more assured to press on safely.
The best lesson of their lives is gained by crossing
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
their strength made perfect in weakness, and their fear
This destruction is a moral chemicalization, wherein
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
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),
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
wake from his delusion to suffer for his evil intent; to
find that, though thwarted, its punishment is tenfold.
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
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
assisting them pecuniarily, and did not cease teaching
the wayward ones at close of the class term, but
followed them with precept upon precept; that if my
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.
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
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
occurs. To mete out human justice to those who persecute
and despitefully use one, is not leaving all retribution
to God and returning blessing for cursing. If special
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
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
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 knowingly
harm you." Because I thus feel, I say to others:
Hate no one; for hatred is a plague-spot that spreads
its virus and kills at last. If indulged, it masters us;
brings suffering upon suffering to its possessor, throughout
time and beyond the grave. If you have been badly
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;
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.
Every man and woman should be to-day a law to himself,
herself, - a law of loyalty to Jesus' Sermon on the
Mount. The means for sinning unseen and unpunished
have so increased that, unless one be watchful and steadfast
in Love, one's temptations to sin are increased a
hundredfold. Mortal mind at this period mutely works