One of the most persistent characteristics of the human...

The Christian Science Monitor

One of the most persistent characteristics of the human mind, and one that it clings to with great affection, is the tendency to dwell upon whatever it believes to be of evil portent. At the same time, modern civilization, with its multitudinous superstitions about the operations of an evil power, and proud of its own superiority, has really hardly risen above the level of the "dark ages."

This being the case, it is not to be wondered at that the fatal doctrine of an heredity of evil has taken such hold upon human thought, backed up as it is by its confidence in the existence of medical and physical law. It is quite usual to hear of some unfortunate individual being condemned by general opinion to an inheritance of sin and disease because his father and his grandfather were said to have been so before him, and so nothing else can be expected. In such a case there does not seem to be much attempt, even on the part of people of religious convictions, to lift thought to the contemplation of a God who could free mankind from such an inheritance of evil. On the contrary, one is referred to the twentieth chapter of Exodus as an indisputable proof that God visits the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation, but the qualifying clause "of them that hate me" is generally, left out, while the promise which immediately follows, that God would show "mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments," is apparently considered to have no relation to the subject at all.

February 16, 1918
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