The Impermanence of Evil

THE following sentence from a well-known writer, a deeply thinking and widely cultured man, expresses as well as is usually done a comprehension of the change which must follow the understanding and application of the teachings of Christian Science; "To accept the doctrine that moral evil and physical pain and suffering are not realities, would require me not merely to change my opinions, but to recast, so to speak, my character." As to the change of character which must come when the eternal fact of the reality of good displaces in thought the fiction that evil has reality, and therefore eternity, we rejoice in expecting that beautiful change for all mankind. Being transformed by the renewing of the mind, we all shall prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Hitherto mortals have not known enough about the good will of God, and therefore have not been able to overcome evil with good; then, unwilling to acknowledge their failure, they have incorporated into their philosophies and theologies the theory that evil is a reality, and therefore unconquerable. The suffering saint, after trying the potions of many physicians without a cure, has taken pride in thinking that the disease must be specially sent by God, since it is and therefore a reality. If this were correct reasoning we should have to conclude that the infinite intelligence is a reservoir for unconquerable evil and incurable disease

Christian Scientists hold intelligently to the authority of truth revealed in the Scriptures, and so are able to distinguish what is personal and temporary in the record, from what is universal. Those who support verbal inspiration, and claim that every word of the sacred writings is mandatory, are compelled, for example, to claim that the cursing of enemies is legitimate, this being the tenor of some imprecatory psalms. If, however, the thoughts and intents of the heart must be brought before the judgment-seat of Christ, and the mandate of the Christ is, "Bless them that curse you, . . . pray for them which despitefully use you," then it is plain that the un-christianized human sense which makes evil real, and which legitimatizes persecution, cruelty, and slaughter of fellow-men, must disappear before the Christlike understanding which recognizes only good as reality, and by goodness displaces ill-will, by kindness displaces hate, and by love displaces dread and fear.

Substance or Shadow?
April 21, 1906

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.