"Neither do I condemn thee"

[Original article in French]

THUS spoke Jesus to the adulterous woman: "Neither do I condemn thee." Understanding that this verdict did not come from the whim of a human ruler, condemning or pardoning as he liked, one is interested to seek for its justification. One should ask himself how Jesus, who "was . . . without sin," could act as he did when confronted with sin. Was it because of sympathy with error, or tolerance towards it? The standard of Christianity would not be very high if it authorized such a procedure. It certainly would not be the way to take away the sins of the world, which is Christianity's highest goal.

Jesus united the holy demand for divine perfection with the word of forgiveness. From what height fell this word? To what tribunal had Jesus turned in order to give this sentence of acquittal?

Mrs. Eddy, whose writings shed light on all the acts of Jesus, answers the above questions (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 367): "Because Truth is infinite, error should be known as nothing." These two irreconcilable opposites, "infinite" and "nothing," are the key to the problem. Jesus did not forgive by sympathizing with nothingness. His thought reached out to God, to infinite omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience. He could not accept the illogical compromise of two antagonistic powers, one of which was infinite; since there was in reality no sinful person, because God is the only and unlimited "I AM," comprising all, including all, perfection was the only reality. Had he accepted the belief in a sinful man, Jesus himself would have been unfaithful to Truth, adulterating its standard, just as the scribes and Pharisees were doing. With the purpose of "tempting him, that they might have to accuse him," they brought the woman taken in adultery to Jesus, who issued this just challenge: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." Jesus always judged from the standpoint of reality, and from this standpoint he freed mankind from the illusion of both sin and sickness. This judgement was pronounced according to divine law. Mrs. Eddy writes (No and Yes, p. 30): "God's law is in three words, 'I am All;' and this perfect law is ever present to rebuke any claim of another law." And she writes further: "It is Truth's knowledge of its own infinitude which forbids the genuine existence of even a claim to error."

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October 1, 1932

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