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In the next passage Jesus clearlv explains the meaning of divine forgiveness. He says that we should forgive until seventy times seven. This is but another way of saying that forgiveness is eternal and ever available. What a load is dropped from the shoulders of personal responsibility when we realize that the Eternal Mind holds naught against anyone.
But to those who feel this is unfair it will be a hard saying. "What!" says one, "are not my virtues to be rewarded above those who have none?" 0, foolish one and blind, what do you know about virtue? Has your life always been beyond reproach? Have you never fallen short of the divine calling? Who are you to point the finger of scorn at your brother? The man who feels self-righteousness rise from his petty virtues lives a life of self-delusion.
Know this. Virtue does not know that it is virtuous and could it know it, it would immediately become vicious. Virtue is sweet, like the morning dew, soft as the evening star, and brilliant as the noonday sun. Could the dew tell why it is sweet, the star say why its light is soft, or the sun say why it shines?
When we learn to put away our petty virtues with OUR petty vices then shall we see clearly, not what either virtue or vice is, but what Truth is.
The mind which condemns, understands not the truth of being, and the heart which would shut the door of its bosom to the one who is mistaken, strangles its own life, closing its eyes to a greater vision. The biggest life is the one which includes the most.
Not that we foster vice or place a premium upon wrong doing, but that we understand the frailties of human nature and learn to overlook much. To him who loves much, much is forgiven.
But Jesus said,
Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me;
for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
And he said unto him,
Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God:
But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
~MATTHEW -- Nineteen.
"There is none good but one, that is, God:"
This reminds us of the teaching of Moses that "God is One." We are to realize that goodness shines through all people and all things and that it is always the goodness of God.
The moment we feel any goodness or life apart from the One, that moment we isolate ourselves and soon become exhausted. God is the natural Goodness running through all alike, and we are to see this God in all if we are to see aright. We are powerful, good and complete
only as we are unified with Reality which is God, the Father of all. . .
* * *
Jesus answered and said unto them,
Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree,
But also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
~MATTHEW -- Twenty-one.
Links to Additional Media for The Bible in the Light of Religious Science by Ernest Holmes such as audio and ebooks are located at the bottom of this web page.