My Religion

When I talk to the sick, I talk my theory; when I talk to the well, I talk about it. It is so with my religion. I have no religion independent of my acts. When I am religious, I talk it and put it into practice. When I am not putting my religion into practice for the benefit of the sick and those whom I can help, then if I talk I am talking about it. Here is a distinction that may at first seem curious to some, but if you will look at it rightly, you will see that there is more in it than you would at first suppose. One of Christ's followers made a remark like this in regard to the same distinction, only he called their talk or belief, faith, which is religion put in practice. He said, Show me your religion or faith independent of works, and I will show you my religion or faith by my works. There is no such thing as goodness of itself.

January 1860