Motives and Acts

A Distinguishing feature of Christian Science is the emphasis it places on motives. Religious systems for centuries have labored to direct or restrain the acts of their adherents and others: but the endeavor of materialistic religion to conquer sin by suppressing sinful acts has been as disappointing as the effort of material medicine to rid humanity of disease by treating the physical effects of disease.

Human law says that the act of murder is a crime, and that the physical death of the murderer shall be punished by physical death or imprisonment. Scholastic theology says that the act of murder is a sin, for which a sinning person must answer to a personal deity. Christian Science says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy (p. 104): "Is it not clear that the human mind must move the body to a wicked act? Is not mortal mind the murderer?" The Bible says, "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer." Thus Christian Science and the Bible agree that sin or crime is primarily mental, and that sinful acts are but effects of sin, secondary or resultant phases of sin, just as they agree that sickly action is the result of sickly thinking.

March 4, 1922

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