THERE is old saying to the effect that "to err is human, to forgive divine." The human, or erroneous, concept of forgiveness is unlike the Christian, Scientific forgiveness. A dictionary brings out this distinction in the definition of the word "forgive": "To release from punishment or from obligation to make amends; cease to cherish resentment or displeasure toward." The first part of the definition describes the human, erroneous sense of forgiveness, while the second part more nearly indicates the Christian, scientific sense.

Christ Jesus did not release anyone from the necessity of working out his own salvation, nor did he ever ignore the necessary correction of error. But he emphatically did not "cherish resentment or displeasure toward" those who persecuted him. His Christian forgiveness was one of his crowning demonstrations of divine Love.

The study and application of Christian Science enables us to understand the difference between true forgiveness and the erroneous sense of it, and truly to forgive. It is plain that one cannot forgive until he understands what needs to be forgiven. In all the recorded instances of Jesus' forgiving his enemies, we cannot doubt that he discerned the nature of the error to be destroyed, but he did not accept the belief that the error was a condition of real being. Evil is not and never was a God-created condition; therefore it never had real identity, circumstance, or presence. Understanding that God is good, and good is all that really exists, Christ Jesus saw beyond the errors which claimed to be present. Thus the Master's demonstration of forgiveness was due to his absolute freedom from resentment, his pure consciousness of spiritual reality. He reversed the wrongs of mortal mind and knew himself above them.

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Truth God's Remedy
October 15, 1932

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