An Aspect of Evil

In the account of the overcoming of Goliath by David, found in the first book of Samuel, there is given a clear statement of fact respecting evil which is frequently overlooked; viz., that its claimed existence is only a mortal self-assertion.

Mortals are so blinded by the educated belief in the real existence of evil, so impressed that evil is just as true, just as real, just as powerful, — if indeed, not more true, more real, powerful than good, — that it is often very difficult for them to be made to see that evil has no place in the divine economy, and that therefore evil has no place as entity in individual experience, but operates only through the acceptance of its self-asserted claim to power.

In the story of Goliath we are told that the Philistines and the Israelites were facing each other in battle array, and that every day Goliath of Gath came out from the Camp of the Philistines and in a loud voice defied the army of Israel. He is described as of enormous proportions, clad in brass, with a mighty spear, sword. and shield, Every day he thus advanced. and boastingly asserted his greatness and his strength in a way that greatly frightened the Israelites. For forty days this was repeated, while the Israelites became each day more alarmed, and cowered before his threats; and judging from his own standpoint, that of physical prowess, the Israelites were justified in fearing him. During all this time, however, Goliath did nothing, gave no proof whatever of his strength, but simply made his haughty and self-assertive boasts.

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A Lesson in a Stone
April 7, 1906

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