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Excerpt from
Questions and Answers
MARY BAKER EDDY


         "Dear Mrs. Eddy: — In the October Journal I read the following: 'But the real man, who was created in the image of God, does not commit sin.' What then does sin? What commits theft? Or who does murder? For instance, the man is held responsible for the crime; for I went once to a place where a man was said to be 'hanged for murder' — and certainly I saw him, or his effigy, dangling at the end of a rope. This 'man' was held responsible for the 'sin.'"

         What sins?

         According to the Word, man is the image and likeness of God. Does God's essential likeness sin, or dangle at the end of a rope? If not, what does? A culprit, a sinner, — anything but a man! Then, what is a sinner? A mortal; but man is immortal.

         Again: mortals are the embodiments (or bodies, if you please) of error, not of Truth; of sickness, sin, and death. Naming these His embodiment, can neither make them so nor overthrow the logic that man is God's likeness. Mortals seem very material; man in the likeness of Spirit is spiritual. Holding the right idea of man in my mind, I can improve my own, and other people's individuality, health, and morals; whereas, the opposite image of man, a sinner, kept constantly in mind, can no more improve health or morals, than holding in thought the form of a boa-constrictor can aid an artist in painting a landscape.

         Man is seen only in the true likeness of his Maker. Believing a lie veils the truth from our vision; even as in mathematics, in summing up positive and negative quantities, the negative quantity offsets an equal positive quantity, making the aggregate positive, or true quantity, by that much, less available.

 

Excerpt from "Questions and Answers"
Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy, pp. 61-62


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