How May I Know?

HOW may I know that I have forgiven my enemy? This was a question which, presenting itself to the thought of the writer, required of him that it be satisfied with a practical answer. The problem of forgiving is one of vital import in the field of metaphysical healing, and was particularly emphasized in the practice and teachings of Christ Jesus. After teaching them what Mrs. Eddy calls, in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 16), "that prayer which covers all human needs,"—the Lord's Prayer,—our Master said to his disciples, "If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

The great Teacher was not dealing in human platitudes when he taught his disciples divinely scientific truth. He worked for their spiritual enlightenment, instructing them in the rules that governed the practice of all that he taught and demonstrated. The rule of forgiveness which he urged upon them was the key to his own success. Through its operation in his understanding he healed the sick, cast out evils, and raised the dead.

When Peter, the impulsive disciple, drew his sword against of servant of the high priest and wounded him, Jesus corrected Peter. purpose towards knew that the soldier was there with hostile purpose towards himself, our Master, rebuking his disciple, lifted his hand to the wounded man and healed him. By every human standard by which mortals judge each other, Jesus would have been justified in regarding as his enemy the one who joined himself to the mob which clamored for his destruction. Also, by every accepted estimate of the so-called human mind, Peter was above reproach in the thing which he did in his Master's defense. The natural impulse of human nature is to praise such an act as Peter's, endowing the actor with a reputation for courage and for personal loyalty. In disregard of these human considerations, all of which would have pleaded for Peter, our Master rebuked his disciple, and healed the one who had come to take him prisoner. Some good-natured impulse may find expression in a personal sense of forgiveness, keeping itself and the mental atmosphere in which it lives free from the pangs of mortal resentment and hate; but no personal sense of forgiveness is equal to the understanding which restored to physical wholeness the servant of the high priest, when he felt the touch of the Master's thought on that eventful night in the garden.

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Working Together
July 14, 1923

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