"Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it?" Apparently this came as a new and impractical interpretation of law to Angelo, the deputy, in Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure." Yet centuries before the play was written Christ Jesus taught and demonstrated the divine law of Love, the rule of universal harmony, based on the Science of being—perfect God and perfect man. And for about three hundred years after Christ Jesus left the earth, his faithful followers had carried on his work throughout Asia, in Rome, and in other cities and countries. He judged not according to the testimony of the physical senses, nor according to the false concept of justice, that "whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed;" but he reformed the sinner, healed the sick, and raised the dead in obedience to God's law.
Understanding that God is good, as the Scripture declares, and that man, created in His image and likeness, is exempt from all evil, Christ Jesus, the greatest expounder and demonstrator of divine law the world has ever known, was not deceived by the false claim of an evil mind in matter, the seeming opposite of the one infinite Mind, or God. Knowing that the real man is as perfect and blameless as his creator, the Master reformed the sinner, healed the sick, and raised the dead. Thus he overthrew the belief that matter is substance and has power within itself to do good or to do evil, to sin, to be sick, or to die. Throughout the Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation, evil, the supposed opposite of good, or God, is called accuser, alias serpent, Satan, dragon, devil, murderer, a lie, and the father of lies, "which deceiveth the whole world." But the dragon and his angels "prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven." The accuser never existed in the realm of reality.
Jesus' method of destroying the false belief in evil was both scientific and practical. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (pp. 476, 477), describing the method Jesus employed, Mary Baker Eddy writes: "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy."
An interesting and enlightening case in point is recorded in the eighth chapter of John's Gospel. A woman, brought before Jesus for judgment, was accused by her adversaries of having committed an offense for which, according to the Mosaic law, she should be stoned. While reflecting on the case, Jesus leaned forward and "wrote on the ground." When he was pressed by the accusers for a verdict he lifted himself up and said, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her," and again he leaned forward and wrote on the ground. When he finally saw no one but the woman standing before him, "he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."
In this case it seems apparent that Jesus condemned neither the woman, the actor of the fault, nor her accusers, who, as the record implies, were also guilty of wrongdoing. On the contrary, it is evident that through his spiritual understanding and realization of the presence and power of God, good, and of man in His image and likeness, the lie or false belief was self-seen and destroyed, and the false accusation of material sense disappeared, leaving the woman alone in the presence of Jesus. And we may assume that she was freed from bondage to error's claim.
Christian Science casts out of human consciousness the false belief in a mind apart from and opposed to the divine Mind, or God, whose law heals and restores mankind to health and holiness, and proves that in reality there is present no evil person to accuse, to be condemned or punished. In the textbook Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 468), "All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all." Defining the mission of Christ Jesus, John writes, "God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." Christ Jesus uttered no word of accusation, recrimination, or condemnation against the woman brought before him for judgment. He knew that to accept the testimony of the senses would be equivalent to denying the omnipresence of God, the divine Mind, whom he worshiped and taught his followers to know as everpresent Truth, Life, and Love. No one can hold evil in his consciousness, or behold it as real in another, and himself be wholly good. Paul says, in his epistle to the Romans, "Wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself."
A Christian Scientist does not condone evil, whether manifested as sin, disease, or death, but condemns and casts out of his own consciousness the false belief in evil and its delusions, on the basis of its nothingness and the allness of God, good. In "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 249) Mrs. Eddy writes: "You may condemn evil in the abstract without harming any one or your own moral sense, but condemn persons seldom, if ever. Improve every opportunity to correct sin through your own perfectness. When error strives to be heard above Truth, let the 'still small voice' produce God's phenomena. Meet dispassionately the raging element of individual hate and counteract its most gigantic falsities."