It is very interesting and sometimes helpful to retrace words to their origin, for often those which are much used have a deeper significance than that which appears on the surface, a meaning which has been lost, weakened, or perverted in the course of time. According to some lexicographers the word "sin" is derived from an old Gothic word which came to mean "refusal, negation," and it is interesting to note that Mrs. Eddy's statements in Science and Health coincide with this old signification of the word "sin": "Evil," she says, "is a negation, because it is the absence of truth" (p. 186).

Evil and sin are one and the same, and through the understanding of this true concept sin loses its asserted power and authority. It is seen to be neither an act, a quality, nor the nature of man. It is nothing but a negation of Truth, which is annihilated by knowing the truth. This knowing or realization takes away all fear of sin and its results, disease and death; but at the same time it increases the responsibility of the individual, for to him who knows that sin is a negation of God, good, the one Truth that exists, the committal of sin becomes inexcusable. It would also be wrong not to oppose this negation of Truth constantly with the affirmation of Truth, until there is nothing left to deny. To heed this simple but radical remedy is to be saved from sin, for the truth of being is alone able to give health, happiness, and bliss. There can be no excuse for him who would cling to that which does not belong to him as the reflection of God, and which is therefore not his true nature; for by sinning and thereby denying Truth, he would separate himself from God, from Life and Love. Then he would indeed heap up "wrath against the day of wrath," because he "would make that real which is unreal" (Science and Health, p. 339), and affirm that which is a negation.

The Bible says, "I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee." So all evil will vanish like a cloud, as the nothingness of sin is recognized, and the radiance of Truth will illumine everything with its eternal light. If we turn away from darkness, from the negation, and turn to the light, the promise will be fulfilled: "I have redeemed thee."

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

August 24, 1912

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.