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"WHICH OF YOU CONVINCETH ME OF SIN?"

From the August 1935 issue of The Christian Science Journal


In the eighth chapter of John's Gospel is recorded one of many incidents illustrative of Jesus' faithful witnessing to the truth about man. There it is related that the scribes and Pharisees brought to him a woman taken in adultery. He did not join them in condemnation of the woman, nor did he condone or excuse her guilt and plead with them for leniency toward her. Not only did his clear vision of the real man as sinless and pure cause the sin to be self-seen and self-destroyed in the thought of the erstwhile sinner, but his challenge to her accusers, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her," exposed their sin of self-righteousness and hypocrisy. When all had been "convicted by their own conscience" and had left the woman alone with Jesus, his true forgiveness and healing compassion found utterance in the words, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."

Following this incident is given in the same chapter a sermon by the Master which is of great value because in it is clearly set forth the impersonal nature of both good and evil. Here it will be observed that Jesus claimed no personal credit for his good works, but pointed to the fact that they were the natural result of his oneness with and obedience to the Father. Similarly, he attributed all phases of sin, including the evident self-righteousness and arrogance of the Pharisees, to the fictitious opposite of his Father—in other words, the devil. Then, in answer to their stubborn resistance to Truth, he said simply, "Which of you convinceth me of sin?" They seemed very persistent in personifying willful blindness to the truth he came to teach and practice, but Jesus remained undisturbed, seeing clearly that they were but the temporary tool of the devil—evil—which he knew to be without real being, in view of the omnipresence of his Father, divine Love.

"Which of you convinceth me of sin?" Over and over came these arresting words to the thought of a Christian Science practitioner at a time when many problems of sin and discord were being presented for correction and healing. When personal sense testimony claimed to be persistent, terrifying, or shocking, there also came those rousing words of our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 563): "But why should we stand aghast at nothingness?" and (p. 368), "The greatest wrong is but a supposititious opposite of the highest right." The words "nothingness" and "supposititious" were seen so accurately to define the lying evidence presented as persons and problems that thought was uplifted and clarified, encouraged and strengthened. Beholding and faithfully holding to the real man as he eternally is in God's sight—upright, sinless, whole, spiritually happy and free—the worker saw these arguments of error disappear from the thought and experience of those who had been mesmerized by them.

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