Renunciation and Realization

IN numerous religions, ancient and modern, the doctrine of personal renunciation has a conspicuous place. Obeying their sense of religious duty, or their sense of religious fear, multitudes have renounced what they had held close in their affections, hoping thereby to gain heaven or to better their consciences and conduct, and avoid divine punishment. Of these, some have given away their worldly goods, in whole or in part, some have retired into solitary places apart from the activities of every-day life, some have worn hair-shirts and tortured their bodies with whips and otherwise, and even maimed themselves, while others have renounced their scepters as kingly rulers, etc. Many have thus succeeded no doubt in appeasing in part their own outraged consciences. It is probable that they have thus made themselves better persons than otherwise they might have been, but to suppose that they thus canceled any sins they had committed, must be a mistake. Regret for wrong actions and thoughts must always be good for us, but much more than this is needed.

On page 339 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy declares that "the destruction of sin is the divine method of pardon;" and in many places in her writings she shows why this is true. She says also, "Sorrow is salutary" (p. 66), and quotes the lines of Shakespeare:—

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October 11, 1913

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