"Confess your sins"

FROM the earliest times the confession of sin has been taught as a religious duty, and in the Mosaic teaching restitution, sometimes fourfold, was insisted upon. Varied opinions have been entertained as to the best way of confessing sin, but some of these, unfortunately, have not emphasized the necessity of forsaking the sin which is acknowledged, to say nothing of making restitution for the wrong done to others. In Christian Science a quickening of the moral sense usually accompanies the healing, and some are troubled in relation to their immediate duty concerning past or present wrong-doing. The question is sometimes asked, "To whom should sin be confessed?" To this it may be answered that the first step is undoubtedly the unreserving admission to one's self, in the light of Truth, that every wrong thought, word, and deed is sin, and that all sin must be abandoned. The tendency of mortal mind is to excuse, and even to justify wrong,—a condition which renders clear views of Truth impossible. To declare God's allness, and to deny that sin is real or that it has power over us, is a long step toward the realization of harmony, and prepares us to take the next; viz., the giving up of the "treasures of wickedness," which, the wise man said, "profit nothing." Simply to confess a sin to a fellow-mortal may not do much for one's real progress, even though the motive which prompts the confession be sincere; the important thing is the forsaking of the sin, and the readiness to take each step demanded by divine Love.

The following case shows how divine wisdom leads those who seek the aid of Truth away from the devious paths of sin and its effects. Some years ago, a patient, whose healing was slow, confessed to the practitioner the forging of a will, by which means a large sum of money had been secured, and it was supposed that this confession was all that justice required. After receiving further help, a willingness• was expressed to "donate" to the rightful owners the money wrongfully obtained, but without admitting the forgery to them. This willingness to give up the money was a further step in the right direction, and prepared the way for the final one; namely, a frank acknowledgment of the wrong, and restitution so far as this was possible. An obedience like this has the assurance of divine mercy, and the protection of the divine law of justice which is ever a defence, never a menace to the just.

Sincere sorrow for sin will give clearness of vision and bring a rich harvest of spiritual joy. It also brings health and happiness, and is far different from the "sorrow of the world" which, according to St. Paul, "worketh death." Of the former it may be said, in the words of the poet,—

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Watching vs. Watching Out*
September 16, 1905

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