SAID a minister, a doctor of philosophy, recently: "All power is of God, and available alike to evil intent and good intent. Gravity and giant powder subserve the purposes of benevolence or malevolence with equal promptness and efficiency. The power is wholly divine; the responsibility for its use wholly human!" When reminded that while in this view the sinner may be justly indicted for formulating the plan of his ill deed, God, infinite Love, must be regarded as the effective agent in its accomplishment, and hence accessory to the crime, he replied, "There is one God, hence but one source of power. Men are free; they can draw upon it at their will, and they are therefore held for the results!"

There is no escape from the blight of this theological contention, with which some of us have been familiar from our youth and which is still being maintained, unless we make the discrimination, insisted upon in the teaching of Christian Science, between the power of Truth, of God, and the seeming power of error, materiality and its laws. Christ Jesus declared that "all the power of the enemy," the source and support of every human ill, is to be overcome by the word of God; and if these asserted powers of evil are to be regarded as "of God," then thought is precipitated into a bog of contradiction where one may flounder indefinitely,—he has entered the domain of mental despair. The turmoil of mortal experience would thus be transferred to the kingdom of God, it would become that "war in heaven" which Milton has so graphically pictured, and one must give up all hope that the doors of the temple of Janus can ever be closed, in time or eternity.

Such is the extremity to which logic lashes all those who fail to separate the real from the unreal, the law of Truth from the seeming law of false belief. Acceptance of the teaching that evil is permitted to enforce its behests by the use of divine power compels the conclusion that God is responsible, in part at least, for evil; and this begets for every aspiring man that struggle between spiritual instinct and the dictum of material sense which gives such dramatic interest to the book of Job. It authorizes a rephrasing of Luke's story about the long-suffering woman who was healed by the Master so that it shall read: Ought not this woman whom Satan hath bound by the power which my Father hath given him; be loosed from her bondage?

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December 14, 1912

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