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

page 340


   Sin existed as a false claim before the human concept
of sin was formed; hence one's concept of error is
not the whole of error.  The human thought does not
constitute sin, but vice versa, sin constitutes the human or
physical concept.
   Sin is both concrete and abstract.  Sin was, and is, the
lying supposition that life, substance, and intelligence are
both material and spiritual, and yet are separate from
God.  The first iniquitous manifestation of sin was a
finity.  The finite was self-arrayed against the infinite,
the mortal against immortality, and a sinner was the
antipode of God.
   Silencing self, alias rising above corporeal personality,
is what reforms the sinner and destroys sin.  In the ratio
that the testimony of material personal sense ceases, sin
diminishes, until the false claim called sin is finally lost
for lack of witness.
   The sinner created neither himself nor sin, but sin
created the sinner; that is, error made its man mortal,
and this mortal was the image and likeness of evil, not of
good.  Therefore the lie was, and is, collective as well as
individual.  It was in no way contingent on Adam's
thought, but supposititiously self-created.  In the words
of our Master, it, the "devil" (alias evil), "was a liar, and
the father of it."

RET 68

   This mortal material concept was never a creator, although
as a serpent it claimed to originate in the name of
"the Lord," or good, - original evil; second, in the name
of human concept, it claimed to beget the offspring of evil,
alias an evil offspring.  However, the human concept
never was, neither indeed can be, the father of man.
Even the spiritual idea, or ideal man, is not a parent,
though he reflects the infinity of good.  The great difference
between these opposites is, that the human material
concept is unreal, and the divine concept or idea is spiritually
real.  One is false, while the other is true.  One is
temporal, but the other is eternal.
   Our Master instructed his students to "call no man
your father upon the earth:  for one is your Father, which
is in heaven."  (Matt. xxiii. 9.)
   Science and Health, the textbook of Christian Science,
treats of the human concept, and the transference of
thought, as follows: -

   "How can matter originate or transmit mind?  We
answer that it cannot.  Darkness and doubt encompass
thought, so long as it bases creation on materiality"
(p. 551).
   "In reality there is no mortal mind, and consequently
no transference of mortal thought and will-power.  Life
and being are of God.  In Christian Science, man can do
no harm, for scientific thoughts are true thoughts, passing
from God to man" (pp. 103, 104).
   "Man is the offspring of Spirit.  The beautiful, good,
and pure constitute his ancestry.  His origin is not, like

RET 69

that of mortals, in brute instinct, nor does he pass through
material conditions prior to reaching intelligence.  Spirit
is his primitive and ultimate source of being; God is his
Father, and Life is the law of his being" (p. 63).
   "The parent of all human discord was the Adam-dream,
the deep sleep, in which originated the delusion
that life and intelligence proceeded from and passed into
matter.  This pantheistic error, or so-called serpent, insists
still upon the opposite of Truth, saying, 'Ye shall be

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