No Evil Power
Irving C. Tomlinson, M.A.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE brings incalculable blessings to mankind in its teaching that God is the only power. Joined to this truth is the correlative fact that there is no such thing as an evil power, and that any belief in one is wholly without support. We gain a fuller appreciation of Mrs. Eddy's teaching as to the nothingness of evil by remembering that in this respect it contradicts the beliefs of many philosophers, poets, theologians, and metaphysicians who have preceded her. Nearly every philosopher of the past has recognized evil as a power and made it a part of his philosophy. In Emerson we find a glowing exception, for he writes, "Omit the negative proposition and chant only the beauty of the good." Many of the poets have given the same reality to evil that they have to good, and not a few of the so-called masterpieces of the ages revolve around the excesses attending the acceptance of evil as a power. This is true of the works of Homer, Dante, and preeminently so of Milton's "Paradise Lost" and "Paradise Regained."
Even more disastrous to the welfare of the race than doctrinal discussions as to the finite capacity of God in the so-called presence of evil, has been the actual application of this false teaching in theology and medicine. The purpose of theology has always been to better mankind, but prior to Mrs. Eddy's perception that Mind alone is power, because God is Mind, it has undertaken reformatory work while holding to the reality of evil and limiting the might of Mind. In all the scholastic teaching as to Satan, everlasting punishment, and the fall of man, evil is recognized as a power; yet in Psalms we read, "The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil;" "There shall no evil befall thee." St. Paul earnestly besought his followers to "be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Materia medica, giving very little thought to Spirit as power, and very much consideration to the dominating influence of sin and sickness, has taught men to rely upon matter as a healing agent.
In taking its stand for the all-power of God, Christian Science is in strict accord with the spiritual teaching of Scripture, for we read in Romans: "There is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." In the forty-fourth verse of the eighth chapter of St. John's gospel, Jesus described the so-called evil power as "a liar" in which "there is no truth;" that is, a fabrication. Science and Health unfolds this truth of the omnipotence of God in such an orderly, masterful way that there is no occasion whatsoever for any careful student to give credence to the existence of an evil power. It shows, too, that the antidote for evil thoughts is good thoughts; and for doubts, certainties. On page 327 we read, "Evil has in reality neither place nor power in the human or the divine economy."
This teaching that evil is without power is illustrated in the science of mathematics. There is no such thing as an evil mathematical power. All that we can call mathematical power is resident in mathematical law, and in this fact lies the ability of the mathematician to demonstrate his problem. If he imagined that there was some power to hinder him in his demonstration, he would be thwarted at every step. So also is the Science of being, or the Science of Christ. All spiritual might is included therein, and outside of this Science there is no such thing as power, since it embraces the teaching that God is infinite, the All-in-all, the one power. By applying this basic law we prove Scripture to be absolutely true when it declares: "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
From this metaphysical view of the all-power of good we may step with confidence to its practical employment in our every-day affairs. Because God, Spirit, is the only power, there can be no intelligence in matter, no efficacy in a drug to effect healing. Spirit is the one and only power and divine Mind the only physician. Do not heavy hearts indicate that we are giving power to evil? that sonship with God is but vaguely realized? If His will (the power of good) is really being done in us, could we know anything but peace and joy? Because God is all power and ever present, evil is no power and is never present. There is only so much power in evil as we give to it or believe it to have. Mrs. Eddy made this plain when she said in a letter to a friend: "Did you but know the sublimity of your hope; the infinite capacity of your being; the grandeur of your outlook, you would let error kill itself. Error comes to you for life, and you give it all the life it has."
Of course the time is past when the true Christian Scientist will fear or give any power whatsoever to that false belief called animal magnetism. In reality it has no more power in the presence of Truth than darkness has in the presence of light. Truth, Love, eternal good, constitute the only power, and so-called animal magnetism, their counterfeit, cannot in any way affect the wide-awake Christian Scientist. When one instructed in Christian Science fears or believes in any other might than good, he is governed by superstition, and not Truth. He has failed to practise what he preaches as to God's omnipotence, he has not laid hold of the supreme revelation as to the allness of good which was given us by Christ Jesus and which is so emphasized in Christian Science. Surely the call to him, as to all, is expressed by the prophet: "Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city." The teaching of Christian Science as to the allness of God is grandly expressed in one of our hymns, which has Luther's stirring tune, "Ein' Feste Burg." Hear its clarion note:
All power is given unto our Lord,
On Him we place reliance;
With Truth from out His sacred Word
We bid our foes defiance.
With Him we shall prevail,
Whatever may assail;
He is our shield and tower,
Almighty is His power;
His kingdom is forever.
[Published in The Christian Science Journal, August, 1912.]