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    A magistrate sometimes remits the penalty, but this 6may be no moral benefit to the criminal, and at best, it Remission of penaltyonly saves the criminal from one form of punishment. The moral law, which has the 9right to acquit or condemn, always demands restitution before mortals can “go up higher.” Broken law brings penalty in order to compel this progress.

12    Mere legal pardon (and there is no other, for divine Principle never pardons our sins or mistakes till they Truth annihilates errorare corrected) leaves the offender free to re15peat the offence, if indeed, he has not already suffered sufficiently from vice to make him turn from it with loathing. Truth bestows no pardon upon error, but 18wipes it out in the most effectual manner. Jesus suffered for our sins, not to annul the divine sentence for an individual’s sin, but because sin brings inevitable suffering.

21    Petitions bring to mortals only the results of mortals’ own faith. We know that a desire for holiness is Desire for holinessrequisite in order to gain holiness; but if we 24desire holiness above all else, we shall sacrifice everything for it. We must be willing to do this, that we may walk securely in the only practical road 27to holiness. Prayer cannot change the unalterable Truth, nor can prayer alone give us an understanding of Truth; but prayer, coupled with a fervent habitual 30desire to know and do the will of God, will bring us into all Truth. Such a desire has little need of audible expression. It is best expressed in thought and in life.

12:1    “The prayer of faith shall save the sick,” says the Scripture. What is this healing prayer? A mere re3Prayer for the sickquest that God will heal the sick has no power to gain more of the divine presence than is always at hand. The beneficial effect of 6such prayer for the sick is on the human mind, making it act more powerfully on the body through a blind faith in God. This, however, is one belief casting out 9another, — a belief in the unknown casting out a belief in sickness. It is neither Science nor Truth which acts through blind belief, nor is it the human under12standing of the divine healing Principle as manifested in Jesus, whose humble prayers were deep and conscientious protests of Truth, — of man’s likeness to 15God and of man’s unity with Truth and Love.

    Prayer to a corporeal God affects the sick like a drug, which has no efficacy of its own but borrows its 18power from human faith and belief. The drug does nothing, because it has no intelligence. It is a mortal belief, not divine Principle or Love, which causes a 21drug to be apparently either poisonous or sanative.

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