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"I will repay"
Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." These words have been misunderstood and twisted, by the human mind's false views of Deity, into a meaning entirely unlike that given to them by the teaching of Christ Jesus, as interpreted by Christian Science. As commonly used, the words conjure up a mental picture of a remorseless, avenging God, and so far from helping any one to forgive an enemy in a truly effective way they serve, when so understood, as an excuse for self-righteousness in the one wronged, while at the same time leaving the wrath an apparently legitimate foothold in the reflection that God will punish the offender more severely than the human being can do. Mrs. Eddy says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 22), "Wrath which is only appeased is not destroyed, but partially indulged." Certainly the assertion that God will bring suffering upon one's enemy is not more conducive to a true sense of forgiveness than the desire to bring suffering upon the enemy one's self. Many a one has doubtless indulged a seemingly righteous wrath which is willing to stand on one side and watch from a safe distance, so to speak, and without personal responsibility, the punishment of the offender.
The Old Testament view of God, the tribal Jehovah, with human limitations and passions, prevents a clear understanding of the text, whereas when a right view of God as incorporeal Love, Truth, and Life is attained, the meaning becomes clear. "God is love," the apostle John tells us, and Love does not send suffering to its idea. "Love and Truth are not at war with God's image and likeness," Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health (p. 19). God's vengeance, therefore, cannot imply suffering as a necessary component, and if suffering is inflicted we may be sure that it is not God who has caused it but the human mind's resistance to the demands of Love. God's vengeance is the forgiveness which consists of the destruction of sin, and the destruction of sin by the substitution of the healing consciousness of Love does not bring suffering but joy. The belief in sin is punished by its own nature, its unlikeness to good, and brings discord simply because it is not in accord with harmony. God, divine Love, takes no conscious vengeance on evil, since there is in reality no evil, but by His presence He obliterates the belief in evil in the human consciousness.
An Association of Nations
HENRY C. N. ELLIS
EDMUND R. CUMMINS
"I will repay"
NINA SEYMOUR KEAY
AUGUSTA C. TAYLOR
HAZEL L. ZIMMERMAN
The World and Truth
"The winter of our discontent"
Gustavus S. Paine
On page 150 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,"...
Ella K. Riggles with contributions from Lewis Riggles
For many years Christian Science has been my daily...
Marion Osgood Skeele
A number of years ago, while I was still a schoolgirl in...
M. Lydia Butzberger
I am thankful to God for the many blessings that come...
Augusta H. Woltus
Signs of the Times
with contributions from Willard L. Sperry, Averill (Episcopalian)