To understand scientifically the unreality of evil is perhaps the greatest difficulty the beginner has, in the study of Christian Science. The average Christian says he believes in the omnipotence of God, but when the Christian Scientist, building on the premise admitted by the orthodox church, that God is omnipotent, completes the syllogism,—God is omnipotent, God is good; therefore good is omnipotent,—he may find his friend at variance with what he thought he believed of omnipotence; that he is explaining the reality of evil by what he sees around him, the false testimony of the senses.

I have two boys not long started in the study of mathematics, and the first lesson they learned was the difference between the plus and minus signs. In going over this with them I thought what a beautiful example it furnished of the unreality of evil. To the question, "What is the value of the minus sign?" the answer came, "Less than nothing;" but they had to be told that this answer was wrong, because nothing can be less than nothing, for were it possible to conceive of less than nothing, then nothing would at once have some value and become something. However small a decimal figure, it always expresses a part of something; but the figure with the minus sign before it has no reality, it is the supposititious absence of something.

January 20, 1912

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