The Tenth Commandment

Students of the Christian Science text-book find many proofs that Science and Health is indeed a "Key to the Scriptures." Take as an example the commandment "Thou shalt not covet." From the ordinary point of view no good reason appears why mere wishing—at worst seemingly but an idle waste of time and thought—should be classified as one of the cardinal offenses, such as idolatry, murder, theft, adultery, perjury, and the like. Makers of human systems of law, who have readily appropriated most of the other Thou-shalt-nots of the Decalogue, have discerned no reason for setting up covetousness as a crime. Scholastic theology generally ignores it.

To the Christian Scientist, however, the tenth commandment instead of being a "dead letter" is full of vital meaning. "I wish for" is seen to be the equivalent of "I have not," which is but another way of saying "God does not provide for my need," or in a degree that "God is not." Covetous wishing involves, therefore, an attitude of thought which is in effect an affirmation of lack, a denial of the all-presence and providence of God, good; hence virtually it is a form of sin. The covetous thinker is contributing to instead of reducing the sum total of mistaken human belief in the actuality of a defective creation, an incompetent creator.

The invalid whose only conscious mental activity with regard to his case is a wish to be well, but whose trust is in mindless matter to effect the healing, is violating the tenth commandment. The impoverished one whose desire for happiness is measurable only in terms of money, is violating the tenth commandment. The would-be exponent of Christian Science who seeks to "perform the sudden cures of which it is capable," while disregardful that "this can be done only by taking up the cross and following Christ in the daily life" (Science and Health, p. 179), is likewise violating the tenth commandment.

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Divine Mind Constructive
July 21, 1917

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