Miscellaneous Writings (1883-1896) by Mary Baker Eddy
Books by Mary Baker Eddy

page 59

stage of human consciousness, repentance.  The first
state, namely, the knowledge of one's self, the proper
knowledge of evil and its subtle workings wherein evil
seems as real as good, is indispensable; since that which
is truly conceived of, we can handle; but the misconception
of what we need to know of evil, - or the conception
of it at all as something real, - costs much.  Sin
needs only to be known for what it is not; then we are
its master, not servant.  Remember, and act on, Jesus'
definition of sin as a lie.  This cognomen makes it less
dangerous; for most of us would not be seen believing
in, or adhering to, that which we know to be untrue.
What would be thought of a Christian Scientist who believed
in the use of drugs, while declaring that they have
no intrinsic quality and that there is no matter?  What
should be thought of an individual believing in that

MISC 109

which is untrue, and at the same time declaring the unity
of Truth, and its allness?  Beware of those who misrepresent
facts; or tacitly assent where they should dissent;
or who take me as authority for what I disapprove,
or mayhap never have thought of, and try to reverse, invert,
or controvert, Truth; for this is a sure pretext of
moral defilement.
   Examine yourselves, and see what, and how much, sin
claims of you; and how much of this claim you admit
as valid, or comply with.  The knowledge of evil that
brings on repentance is the most hopeful stage of mortal
mentality.  Even a mild mistake must be seen as a mistake,
in order to be corrected; how much more, then,
should one's sins be seen and repented of, before they
can be reduced to their native nothingness!
   Ignorance is only blest by reason of its nothingness;
for seeing the need of somethingness in its stead, blesses
mortals.  Ignorance was the first condition of sin in the
allegory of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.  Their
mental state is not desirable, neither is a knowledge of
sin and its consequences, repentance, per se; but, admitting
the existence of both, mortals must hasten through
the second to the third stage, - the knowledge of good;
for without this the valuable sequence of knowledge
would be lacking, - even the power to escape from the
false claims of sin.  To understand good, one must discern
the nothingness of evil, and consecrate one's life anew.
   Beloved brethren, Christ, Truth, saith unto you, "Be
not afraid!" - fear not sin, lest thereby it master you;
but only fear to sin.  Watch and pray for self-knowledge;
since then, and thus, cometh repentance, - and your
superiority to a delusion is won.

MISC 110

   Repentance is better than sacrifice.  The costly balm
of Araby, poured on our Master's feet, had not the value
of a single tear.
   Beloved children, the world has need of you, - and
more as children than as men and women:  it needs your
innocence, unselfishness, faithful affection, uncontaminated
lives.  You need also to watch, and pray that you
preserve these virtues unstained, and lose them not through
contact with the world.  What grander ambition is there
than to maintain in yourselves what Jesus loved, and to
know that your example, more than words, makes morals
for mankind!

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