Retrospection and Introspection, by Mary Baker Eddy
Books by Mary Baker Eddy

SIN, SINNER, AND ECCLESIASTICISM
page 338


SIN, SINNER, AND ECCLESIASTICISM



   Why do Christian Scientists say God and His idea
are the only realities, and then insist on the need
of healing sickness and sin?  Because Christian Science
heals sin as it heals sickness, by establishing the recognition
that God is All, and there is none beside Him, - that
all is good, and there is in reality no evil, neither sickness
nor sin.  We attack the sinner's belief in the pleasure of
sin, alias the reality of sin, which makes him a sinner, in
order to destroy this belief and save him from sin; and
we attack the belief of the sick in the reality of sickness,
in order to heal them.  When we deny the authority of
sin, we begin to sap it; for this denunciation must precede
its destruction.
   God is good, hence goodness is something, for it represents
God, the Life of man.  Its opposite, nothing,
named evil, is nothing but a conspiracy against man's
Life and goodness.  Do you not feel bound to expose this
conspiracy, and so to save man from it?  Whosoever
covers iniquity becomes accessory to it.  Sin, as a claim,
is more dangerous than sickness, more subtle, more difficult
to heal.
   St. Augustine once said, "The devil is but the ape of
God."  Sin is worse than sickness; but recollect that it
encourages sin to say, "There is no sin," and leave the
subject there.

RET 64


   Sin ultimates in sinner, and in this sense they are one.
You cannot separate sin from the sinner, nor the sinner
from his sin.  The sin is the sinner, and vice versa, for
such is the unity of evil; and together both sinner and sin
will be destroyed by the supremacy of good.  This, however,
does not annihilate man, for to efface sin, alias the
sinner, brings to light, makes apparent, the real man,
even God's "image and likeness."  Need it be said that
any opposite theory is heterodox to divine Science, which
teaches that good is equally one and all, even as the opposite
claim of evil is one.
   In Christian Science the fact is made obvious that the
sinner and the sin are alike simply nothingness; and this
view is supported by the Scripture, where the Psalmist
saith: "He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they
shall never see light.  Man that is in honor, and understandeth
not, is like the beasts that perish."  God's ways
and works and thoughts have never changed, either in
Principle or practice.
   Since there is in belief an illusion termed sin, which
must be met and mastered, we classify sin, sickness, and
death as illusions.  They are supposititious claims of
error; and error being a false claim, they are no claims
at all.  It is scientific to abide in conscious harmony, in
health-giving, deathless Truth and Love.  To do this,
mortals must first open their eyes to all the illusive forms,
methods, and subtlety of error, in order that the illusion,
error, may be destroyed; if this is not done, mortals will
become the victims of error.
   If evangelical churches refuse fellowship with the

RET 65


Church of Christ, Scientist, or with Christian Science,
they must rest their opinions of Truth and Love on
the evidences of the physical senses, rather than on
the teaching and practice of Jesus, or the works of the
Spirit.
   Ritualism and dogma lead to self-righteousness and
bigotry, which freeze out the spiritual element.  Pharisaism
killeth; Spirit giveth Life.  The odors of persecution,

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 (c) Copyright 1998 - Rolf Witzsche
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