Many at times have been burdened with a remembrance of wrongdoing and with a belief that some past mistake has made forgiveness difficult or even impossible. Perhaps also there has been a lurking fear that the attainment of forgiveness for one's self requires some form of supplication not clearly understood, and, further, that pardon may depend on varying responsiveness on the part of the pardoning power. To those laboring under this sense of uncertainty, Christian Science comes with the thoroughly satisfying explanation that forgiveness for sin is not attained by asking that the rules of right conduct be waived for that particular time and individual, and that it does not depend upon the caprice of a mutable judge. Christian Science elucidates the fact that spiritual law operates unvaryingly and dependably even as do mathematical rules, and that in its application to human affairs this law destroys error in human thought even as mathematical rules, when properly applied, correct erroneous computations.

The primary requisite for forgiveness is indicated on pages 5 and 6 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," where Mrs. Eddy states: "Sin is forgiven only as it is destroyed by Christ,—Truth and Life;" and, "Calling on Him to forgive our work badly done or left undone, implies the vain supposition that we have nothing to do but to ask pardon, and that afterwards we shall be free to repeat the offence." Thus reformation, following regret for wrongdoing, is shown to be the first requirement for forgiveness; and thus also is the ability to win forgiveness placed directly with the individual himself. Without reformation nothing has occurred to warrant forgiveness. Christian Science replaces the false concept of God as a mutable Father with the understanding of divine Principle and a basic standard of law to which one must conform to earn forgiveness. The first step toward winning one's pardon lies in turning away from false standards to the straight and narrow way of spiritual understanding and right doing.

The knowledge of one supreme, loving creator, who is "of purer eyes than to behold evil," bases the fact that a sinning mortal cannot be known by Him, and therefore cannot be a reality in His universe. Our Leader writes (Science and Health, p. 530), "The history of error is a dream-narrative." Therefore the entire belief of sin or inharmony is found to be merely a phase of a material dream which claims to have in it a mortal man knowing and capable of doing both good and evil. The awakening from this dream occurs in the degree that the individual recognizes the nothingness of sinful thoughts and acts, forsakes them, and turns whole-heartedly to the standard of spiritual perfection. Then forgiveness is assured, because in the replacement of mortal material thinking with spiritual understanding the awakening from the dream of error occurs. Once awake and regenerated, no added penalty or indelible stain attaches to the erstwhile offender because of past wrongdoing. Since the carnal mind was not made by God, it is not known by Him. Sinful beliefs, being dream-experiences of the carnal mind, never had a place in God's universe. In the same way, one may be said to have seen and repented of wrong thinking with respect to illness; and in such a case, even though the belief of illness may have seemed severe or of long standing, there is no additional debt to pay.

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The Right Side
November 11, 1933

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