One of the many words upon which Christian Science sheds a new and fuller light is the word "innocence." A definition of this word given in Webster's dictionary is, "State or quality of being innocent; ... freedom from guilt." "Harmlessness" is given as a synonym. The Christian Scientist realizes that in order to become innocent, to be free from that which is harmful or injurious, and therefore to be harmless, he must recognize the unreal nature of evil and cease to practice it. No one who regards evil as real, and attaches it either to himself or to others, can be harmless; for to the extent that evil is to him a reality, he is not free from that which is harmful or injurious.

One factor at least in the working out of Daniel's problem when he was cast into the den of lions, was the fact that innocency was found in him; so that he could therefore say to King Darius, "And also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt." There is indeed no greater safeguard than the ability to recognize, under all conditions and circumstances, that because God made all that was made and pronounced it "very good," evil was never created, and therefore does not in reality exist. A realization of the omnipotence and omnipresence of God, good, and of man as the beloved son of the Father, instantly brings the sustaining and protecting law of God into operation on our behalf. And what more could we ask or desire?

Innocence is not to be confounded with ignorance. An individual may never have come into contact with certain phases of so-called evil, may not even know that such claim to exist, but if he believes in the reality of evil in any way and attaches it in his own thought to his fellow-man, he is by no means innocent or harmless. Indeed, he is himself largely at the mercy of this false mesmeric belief; for, just to the extent that we make a reality of evil are we placing ourselves in its seeming power. In this connection it is well to realize that the moment we attach evil to our brother—the moment we impute to him evil motives and aims and inclinations—that moment we have provided evil with the only thing which can ever give it any seeming power, namely, the prop of personality. On page 71 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy writes: "Evil has no reality. It is neither person, place, nor thing, but is simply a belief, an illusion of material sense." Could any other words, in one brief sentence, so completely dispose of evil by showing it to be the false claim that it is? As long, then, as evil is seen to be impersonal, it can have no sting, so far as we are concerned. But we need to be fully awake to the fact that the apparent effort of the false carnal mind is to induce Christian Scientists to make a reality of evil by personalizing it, and thus perpetuating it.

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May 12, 1928

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