Message for 1901, by Mary Baker Eddy
Books by Mary Baker Eddy

page 505


   Incorporeal evil embodies itself in the so-called corporeal,
and thus is manifest in the flesh.  Evil is neither
quality nor quantity:  it is not intelligence, a person or a

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principle, a man or a woman, a place or a thing, and God
never made it.  The outcome of evil, called sin, is another
nonentity that belittles itself until it annihilates its own
embodiment:  this is the only annihilation.  The visible
sin should be invisible:  it ought not to be seen, felt, or
acted:  and because it ought not, we must know it is not,
and that sin is a lie from the beginning, - an illusion,
nothing, and only an assumption that nothing is something.
It is not well to maintain the position that sin is sin and
can take possession of us and destroy us, but well that we
take possession of sin with such a sense of its nullity as
destroys it.  Sin can have neither entity, verity, nor power
thus regarded, and we verify Jesus' words, that evil, alias
devil, sin, is a lie - therefore is nothing and the father of
nothingness.  Christian Science lays the axe at the root of
sin, and destroys it on the very basis of nothingness.  When
man makes something of sin it is either because he fears it
or loves it.  Now, destroy the conception of sin as something,
a reality, and you destroy the fear and the love of
it; and sin disappears.  A man's fear, unconquered, conquers
him, in whatever direction.
   In Christian Science it is plain that God removes the
punishment for sin only as the sin is removed - never
punishes it only as it is destroyed, and never afterwards;
hence the hope of universal salvation.  It is a sense of sin,
and not a sinful soul, that is lost.  Soul is immortal, but
sin is mortal.  To lose the sense of sin we must first detect
the claim of sin; hold it invalid, give it the lie, and then
we get the victory, sin disappears, and its unreality is
proven.  So long as we indulge the presence or believe in

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the power of sin, it sticks to us and has power over us.
Again:  To assume there is no reality in sin, and yet commit
sin, is sin itself, that clings fast to iniquity.  The
Publican's wail won his humble desire, while the Pharisee's
self-righteousness crucified Jesus.
   Do Christian Scientists believe that evil exists?  We
answer, Yes and No!  Yes, inasmuch as we do know
that evil, as a false claim, false entity, and utter falsity,
does exist in thought; and No, as something that enjoys,
suffers, or is real.  Our only departure from ecclesiasticism
on this subject is, that our faith takes hold of the
fact that evil cannot be made so real as to frighten us
and so master us, or to make us love it and so hinder our
way to holiness.  We regard evil as a lie, an illusion,
therefore as unreal as a mirage that misleads the traveller
on his way home.
   It is self-evident that error is not Truth; then it follows
that it is untrue; and if untrue, unreal; and if unreal, to
conceive of error as either right or real is sin in itself.  To
be delivered from believing in what is unreal, from fearing
it, following it, or loving it, one must watch and pray
that he enter not into temptation - even as one guards
his door against the approach of thieves.  Wrong is
thought before it is acted; you must control it in the first
instance, or it will control you in the second.  To overcome
all wrong, it must become unreal to us:  and it is
good to know that wrong has no divine authority; therefore

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