The study and practice of Christian Science unfolds to its students the reality of good and goodness and the consequent unreality of evil and its phenomena; that is to say, as the true sense of good increases, the belief in evil becomes more and more anomalous, unlawful, baseless, unreal. Somewhere along this way a certain question is apt to arise and for a time perplex the student. Its common form is, How did evil originate? It may be asked more at length in this form: Since the universe, including man, is created or caused by one Principle, which is absolute infinite good, how do you account for the occurrence of effects which are inconsistent with this cause or Principle?

Closely examined, these questions imply the existence and action of an evil principle, and they are therefore nothing more or less than a manner of asserting the ancient doctrine of dualism; namely, that the universe is under the dominion of two opposing principles. Hence these questions should be dealt with, not by attempting to answer them in accordance with their implication, but by standing for the one creator and one creation as did Jesus when he was similarly tempted. (See Matthew iv, 8-10.) In other words, such questions should be answered (or abolished) with the scientific realization that as divine Principle is the only cause or creator, evil is unreal.

It is quite true that Christian Science thus denies the testimony of the personal senses; but even human knowledge, as it approaches actual knowledge, is constantly doing this. Modern physical science, for example, resolves the densest matter into ethereal conceptions which are wholly impalpable to the five senses. When Christian Science resolves sin, disease, and death into illusion, humanity should not object, but rejoice. On page 9 of her published sermon, "Christian Healing," Mrs. Eddy says, "Life in matter is a dream: sin, sickness, and death are this dream." Awakening from a bad dream, we do not inquire its origin; we recognize it as illusion. Neither do we ask, How did darkness originate; for we understand that darkness is not an entity. It is equally unprofitable to ask, How did evil originate; our need is to throw off the dream.

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March 9, 1912

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