Separation of Truth and Error
From the July 1889 issue of The Christian Science Journal by Editor
The most insidious form of evil — the highest attenuation of error concocted by mortal mind to oppose Christian Science, is that one taught in Chicago and recently illustrated in New York. The teaching and the scandal are related as cause and effect. It is not with personalities we have to do, but with error.
The formula of this error is, “God is all; God is good; there is no evil.” So far this is Science. Science adds to this abstract formula, “There is no evil — i. e., evil has no Principle or permanence—but we are in the sense of evil; this sense is a false sense, is error, and our problem is how to work out of the error.” Science says we work out of it by uncovering it—the error must be seen before it can be cast out. Science recognizes the warfare that the apostles speak of, the enmity between the flesh and Spirit. It declares, “The way is strait and narrow that leads to the understanding that God is Life. It is a warfare with the flesh, whereby we must conquer sin, sickness, and death, now or hereafter, but certainly before we can reach the goal of Spirit, or Life, as God.” — Science and Health.
But error takes up the scientific formula at the point — “there is no evil” — and says, “Therefore there is no evil for you to get out of; all you have to do is to deny its existence.” Error does not want to be uncovered, that is what it fears, what it wants is to be denied in this way; for to stop at denial is to confound Truth with error. Science says, “Cast out error;” error says, “Do not see me.” Science says, destroy: error says, deny. Science destroys the sense of sin; error teaches man “to sin without a sense of sin.”
The next inevitable step in error is — “If there be no evil I can commit no sin.” This devil’s logic first breaks down the eternal wall of separation between Truth and error, and then—to human sense—spans the impassible gulf that separates Good and evil. This conclusion of error once reached, the moral anchorage is lost, and the bark drifts helpless amid the surging waves. Whether it will finally be swallowed up by “free love” or other forms of gross sensualism, or by pantheism, theosophy,—the higher attenuations of error—is a matter of individual predilection, the play of forces of mortal mind that none can calculate.
The subtle poison of this error is working far and wide. Its emissaries have been active. Many have partaken of it; many who are sincere and honest in purpose, good and lovable — by human standards — in thought and life.
Sin’s necessity is “to destroy itself, and so yield to the government of God, wherein is no power to sin.” “To destroy sin is Love’s method of pardon.” What a lesson in Love, and in Love’s methods is the incident that suggests these lines. It is the higher human consciousness of Science that brought on this consummation of error, this rushing to its own destruction. “Be still, and know that I am God,” is its word to us. This error clung to us, and we knew not how to free ourselves from the standing reproach to Christian Science carried in the untruthful assumption of its name. But as we honored God, as we saw Science Divine, He worked for us, and the destruction through the methods of Love is more complete than any that human means could have devised. But this miserable affair is only an incident. The error bears in its womb uncounted scandals and falls; this incident has simply uncovered the error. It is now so plain that he that runs may read. It is our work to dig up and destroy every root of it. The separation between Truth and error must be complete.
A duty rests on every student. It is to correct two errors of the press. The first relates to a personality. The personality prominent in the history has never been connected with nor recognized by any Christian Scientist or Christian Scientist Association. It has to the contrary been repeatedly denounced to the public through the channels and persons authorized to speak for Christian Science, as unworthy to use the name of Science.
The second point that should be brought out in the press is the true teaching of Christian Science as to “free love.” In the chapter on Marriage these words are found. “The last infirmity of evil, that would fasten on mankind a new burden of guilt, is named Free Love; but the very boldness of depravity exposes its deformity.” In that chapter and in the article “Conjugal Rights” are the authoritative teachings of Christian Science on the institution of marriage. No argument is so forcible as these terse periods. Every student living in a place where a daily or weekly paper has published the statements, mixing Christian Science with the conjugal insanities that have manifested themselves in the rush of the swine for the sea, should meet such statements with a few lines of Truth, better than columns of argument.