The human soul

Originally published in the May 1, 1890 issue of the Christian Science Series (Vol. 2, No. 1)

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which able to destroy both soul and body in hell. — Matt. x. 28.

False premises in matters connected with the Science of being are not easily shown to be false. It is in the discord, the absurdity, or the contradiction of the conclusions drawn from them, that the error is made to appear. The great Teacher of men rarely assailed the fundamental errors of the religious world. He was content to show men that their practical maxims and their conduct were not in accord with their beliefs. The Greek conception of the dual nature of man had come into the thought of the Jewish teachers during the seventy years of the nation's captivity. It had so leavened their modes of reasoning and reflection as almost to revolutionize their theology. We may fairly say that had it not been for the introduction of the metaphysical idea of the human soul, caught from the prevalent Greek philosophy, the Jew would have been content with his temple worship and sacrifices, and would never have felt the need of the synagogue or the expositions of the doctors and the rabbins. To have denied the existence of the human soul in the days of Jesus, would have been to have made with his hearers, an issue in which there could have been nothing but an affirmation on the one side and a denial on the other. Neither position would admit of proof. It is just as possible to-day to conceive of the personal man as a unit of being, or to regard him as a dual entity made up of an immaterial soul united to a material body. In Christian Science both are conceptions of a false mind. Neither is the truth; but it is not possible to overthrow either by simple denial.

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