["The Christian Science Publishing Society has republished the article, 'Evil is not Power,' in the form of a leaflet for free distribution. It is requested that a wide circulation of this reprint be made, and all those who will distribute the leaflets may obtain them in quantities at the local Reading Rooms."
– The Christian Science Sentinel, Dec. 7, 1907]
"EVIL IS NOT POWER"*
*Science and Health, p. 192
A Reprint from Christian Science Sentinel
An article in the October Arena has unwittingly exploited the supposed power of evil, so-called, and has conceded to this self-asserted and self-asserting phenomenon of mortal mind a place in human experience which it could not occupy without dethroning God, good, and robbing Him of His place as the one supreme infinite Mind who governs and guides the universe according to His will and pleasure, which will and pleasure must of necessity be in accord with His own divine nature.
The belief of power in evil is a belief in the power to harm yourself and to harm others, to lie, to steal, to murder, to break all the commandments of God. That this belief should prevail is possible only because the truth of being is not dearly understood. That it is a mistaken belief is easily seen from its own contradictory character. Jesus said, "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit;" and if we start with the admitted fact that God is omnipotent, that He is infinite good, we can never admit that there is a power opposed to Him and to His nature. That evil is real or has power is an unthinkable proposition unless we absolutely deny the infinitude of God, good. No form of evil can do the work of Truth, or have power or entity; evil can do nothing but destroy itself. If evil with its train of sin, sickness, and death could have power, God, good would be dethroned — would not be omnipotent. Such a proposition must be rejected by every Christian, by every monotheist. Evil is no more real, because it seems to be real, than a wicked or a painful dream in sleep is real.
But the individual who attempts mentally or physically to produce the belief of sin, disease, or death, is guilty of the attempt to commit a murder, and Mrs. Eddy says scientifically and prophetically that at no distant day the mental assassin will be punished legally as certainly as the man or woman who sends a bullet into a man's heart. To-day even the mental assassin is punished morally, for no one can desire to commit murder without incurring the penalty named in the Scripture, "Ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him;" in other words, that the criminal can experience no harmony unless he repents and reforms. In Divine Science Life is God, and God is infinite, all; but to the personal senses the belief of death is as real as the fact of life, hence the belief that says, "I can kill a man mentally and not suffer for it," may be father to the thought of committing the crime of trying to kill a man, since as a man "thinketh in his heart, so is he."
Christian Science combats the false belief of power in evil, and frees mankind from the effects of this delusion. Its leading postulates are that God is the only power, that evil is not power. The perverted beliefs which find their foundation in the supposed reality of matter and godlessness do disappear when the truth of being is understood. Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, page 186, "Evil is a negation, because it is the absence of truth. It is nothing, because it is the absence of something. It is unreal, because it presupposes the absence of the omnipotent and omnipresent God. Mortals must learn that neither power nor reality belongs to evil;" and again on page 183, "To suppose that God constitutes laws of inharmony is a mistake; discords have no support from nature or divine law, however much is said to the contrary. . . . Truth casts out all evils and materialistic methods with the actual spiritual law, — the law which gives sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, voice to the dumb, feet to the lame. If Christian Science dishonors human belief, it honors spiritual understanding; and the one Mind (God, good) only is entitled to honor."
The only possible source of evil is the belief that evil is real and has power. This belief is being rapidly dispelled by Christian Science, and mankind is awakening to the universal dominion of good, the birthright of the sons and daughters of God. Jesus said, "None is good, save one, that is, God."
[This article first appeared in the Christian Science periodicals as an editorial by editor Archibald McLellan. From the internal evidence, the publishing history appears to be as follows: The editorial was first published in the Christian Science Sentinel, dated Nov. 2, 1907; then in The Christian Science Journal for November 1907; and then again in the Christian Science Sentinel on Nov. 9, 1907. "A Correction" was published in the Nov. 16, 1907, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel. Finally the Dec. 7, 1907, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel, as quoted above, announced its publication as a leaflet. With every republication, including the final version as given in the leaflet, the wording of the text was changed; none was actually a true reprint of any other. Sometimes new material was added. For example, the second sentence in the third paragraph in the text above ("To-day even the mental assassin …") is found only in the leaflet and not in any of the versions published in the periodicals.
[According to Stephen Gottschalk (Rolling Away the Stone: Mary Baker Eddy's Challenge to Materialism, p. 36), the editorial was written at the request of Mary Baker Eddy, who was "heavily" involved in its editing, so much so that in the end the text "was in substance her own".]
[The original leaflet has been scanned and is available for download: "EVIL IS NOT POWER".]