Many persons shrink from a close or a frequent examination of themselves because of an instinctive reluctance to look upon their hidden mental deformities and moral inconsistencies, but the necessity of knowing what is enfolded in our sense of personality makes this an important factor in the working out of our salvation. We all need to "learn what we honestly are" (Science and Health, p.8) in order to bring about what we should be. Keeping evil in the dark does not relieve us of its consequences. It is not necessary to reveal or describe our secret errors to others, but we do ourselves need to be aware of their asserted presence in order to neutralize their influence and expel them from our consciousness. To deceive ourselves into thinking that evil is not present because not aggressively evident, is to give it the larger opportunity to work unsuspected and unperceived.

The Scripture, "Be sure your sin will find you out," is especially illustrated in Christian Science practice, in which is exemplified the intimate relation of human mind and body, of sinful, erroneous thought and physical suffering. Any wrong thought cherished, instead of rejected, eventually makes its disturbing presence felt, although the sufferer may not trace the course between the erroneous cause and effect. When it becomes better understood that the mortal body can be improved only through improved states of thought, our systems of hygiene will be spiritual rather than material, and will consider moral rather than physical conditions.

It is well under every circumstance to deny disease, and to resist every temptation of physical suffering, because these conditions are not of God and therefore are not true; but the next and better step is to turn the searchlight of truth into the secret recesses of one's consciousness, to see if there is "any wicked way" in us. The mere passive denial of sin is not sufficient of itself, and may leave us in unconscious danger of becoming its victims; while to come face to face with our errors should result in their dismissal, if we are honest. Sin will become unreal to us only as we work out its nothingness through self-knowledge, repentance, and reformation, as our Leader has pointed out.

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June 1, 1907

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