April 16, 2017
From the Christian Science Quarterly, April 21, 1918


Originally published in the early years of the Christian Science movement, these lessons are comprised of citations from the Bible (King James Version) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.


EXPLANATORY NOTE:


Friends: The Bible and the Christian Science textbook are our only preachers. We shall now read Scriptural texts, and their correlative passages from our denominational textbook; these comprise our sermon.

The canonical writings, together with the word of our textbook, corroborating and explaining the Bible texts in their spiritual import and application to all ages, past, present, and future, constitute a sermon undivorced from truth, uncontaminated and unfettered by human hypotheses, and divinely authorized.

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Subject: DOCTRINE OF ATONEMENT


Golden Text: John 17:11. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

Responsive Reading: — John 10:1-4, 7-10, 14-16.
1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

The following Citations comprise our Sermon.

Section One     Section Two     Section Three     Section Four     Section Five     Section Six

Study Guide

This lesson was prepared by early students of Christian Science to reinforce the class teaching given by Mary Baker Eddy in the Massachusetts Metaphysical College in the 1880s and 1890s. Consistent with the outline used in her teaching, the six sections of the early lessons usually followed a general outline:

Section One: The relation of the subject to God. Section Two: The relation of the subject to man or Christ Jesus. Section Three: The presentation of Christian Science through a relative law, as related to the subject. Section Four: The application of the relative law presented in section three. Section Five: The demonstration of the relative law from section three. Section Six: The triumph or victory of the relative law, leaving the student in the kingdom of God. For more information, visit our Bible Lessons information page.

Section One


The Holy Bible
King James Version



(1) John 10:24, 25, 30
Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. I and my Father are one.

(2) John 14:8-11
Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

(3) Eph 1:3, 4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:


Science and Health
with Key to the Scriptures
by Mary Baker Eddy


(1) 18:1-3
Atonement is the exemplification of man's unity with God, whereby man reflects divine Truth, Life, and Love.

(2) 502:22-29
Genesis i. 1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

The infinite has no beginning. This word beginning is employed to signify the only, — that is, the eternal verity and unity of God and man, including the universe. The creative Principle — Life, Truth, and Love — is God. The universe reflects God. There is but one creator and one creation.

(3) 333:26-9
The divine image, idea, or Christ was, is, and ever will be inseparable from the divine Principle, God. Jesus referred to this unity of his spiritual identity thus: "Before Abraham was, I am;" "I and my Father are one;" "My Father is greater than I." The one Spirit includes all identities. By these sayings Jesus meant, not that the human Jesus was or is eternal, but that the divine idea or Christ was and is so and therefore antedated Abraham; not that the corporeal Jesus was one with the Father, but that the spiritual idea, Christ, dwells forever in the bosom of the Father, God, from which it illumines heaven and earth; not that the Father is greater than Spirit, which is God, but greater, infinitely greater, than the fleshly Jesus, whose earthly career was brief.

(4) 361:16
As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being. The Scripture reads: "For in Him we live, and move, and have our being."

Section Two


(4) Rom 5:1, 2, 10, 11
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

(5) Eph 2:4-6
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:


(5) 18:3
Jesus of Nazareth taught and demonstrated man's oneness with the Father, and for this we owe him endless homage. His mission was both individual and collective. He did life's work aright not only in justice to himself, but in mercy to mortals, — to show them how to do theirs, but not to do it for them nor to relieve them of a single responsibility. Jesus acted boldly, against the accredited evidence of the senses, against Pharisaical creeds and practices, and he refuted all opponents with his healing power.

(6) 497:13 We
We acknowledge Jesus' atonement as the evidence of divine, efficacious Love, unfolding man's unity with God through Christ Jesus the Way-shower; and we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ, through Truth, Life, and Love as demonstrated by the Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming sin and death.

(7) 269:5
Jesus' demonstrations sift the chaff from the wheat, and unfold the unity and the reality of good, the unreality, the nothingness, of evil.

(8) 45:16
Glory be to God, and peace to the struggling hearts! Christ hath rolled away the stone from the door of human hope and faith, and through the revelation and demonstration of life in God, hath elevated them to possible at-one-ment with the spiritual idea of man and his divine Principle, Love.

Section Three


(6) Eph 2:13-16
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

(7) II Cor 5:16-20
Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.


(9) 18:13
The atonement of Christ reconciles man to God, not God to man; for the divine Principle of Christ is God, and how can God propitiate Himself? Christ is Truth, which reaches no higher than itself. The fountain can rise no higher than its source. Christ, Truth, could conciliate no nature above his own, derived from the eternal Love. It was therefore Christ's purpose to reconcile man to God, not God to man. Love and Truth are not at war with God's image and likeness. Man cannot exceed divine Love, and so atone for himself. Even Christ cannot reconcile Truth to error, for Truth and error are irreconcilable. Jesus aided in reconciling man to God by giving man a truer sense of Love, the divine Principle of Jesus' teachings, and this truer sense of Love redeems man from the law of matter, sin, and death by the law of Spirit, — the law of divine Love.

(10) 148:17
Anatomy and theology reject the divine Principle which produces harmonious man, and deal — the one wholly, the other primarily — with matter, calling that man which is not the counterpart, but the counterfeit, of God's man. Then theology tries to explain how to make this man a Christian, — how from this basis of division and discord to produce the concord and unity of Spirit and His likeness.

(11) 149:29-31
We need to understand the affirmations of divine Science, dismiss superstition, and demonstrate truth according to Christ.

(12) 23:4
The atonement requires constant self-immolation on the sinner's part. That God's wrath should be vented upon His beloved Son, is divinely unnatural. Such a theory is man-made. The atonement is a hard problem in theology, but its scientific explanation is, that suffering is an error of sinful sense which Truth destroys, and that eventually both sin and suffering will fall at the feet of everlasting Love.

Section Four


(8) Matt 3:1, 2
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

(9) Luke 3:10-14
And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

(10) Eph 4:1-3
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.


(13) 202:3
The scientific unity which exists between God and man must be wrought out in life-practice, and God's will must be universally done.

(14) 19:17
Every pang of repentance and suffering, every effort for reform, every good thought and deed, will help us to understand Jesus' atonement for sin and aid its efficacy; but if the sinner continues to pray and repent, sin and be sorry, he has little part in the atonement, — in the at-one-ment with God, — for he lacks the practical repentance, which reforms the heart and enables man to do the will of wisdom. Those who cannot demonstrate, at least in part, the divine Principle of the teachings and practice of our Master have no part in God. If living in disobedience to Him, we ought to feel no security, although God is good.

(15) 571:15-19
At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good. Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil. Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.

(16) 21:1-14
If Truth is overcoming error in your daily walk and conversation, you can finally say, "I have fought a good fight . . . I have kept the faith," because you are a better man. This is having our part in the at-one-ment with Truth and Love. Christians do not continue to labor and pray, expecting because of another's goodness, suffering, and triumph, that they shall reach his harmony and reward. If the disciple is advancing spiritually, he is striving to enter in. He constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit. If honest, he will be in earnest from the start, and gain a little each day in the right direction, till at last he finishes his course with joy.

Section Five


(11) Titus 2:11, 12
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

(12) Titus 3:5, 6
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

(13) Eph 5:1, 2, 14
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.


(17) 24:11, 32
He to whom "the arm of the Lord" is revealed will believe our report, and rise into newness of life with regeneration. This is having part in the atonement; this is the understanding, in which Jesus suffered and triumphed. The time is not distant when the ordinary theological views of atonement will undergo a great change, — a change as radical as that which has come over popular opinions in regard to predestination and future punishment. After the resurrection, even the unbelieving Thomas was forced to acknowledge how complete was the great proof of Truth and Love.

(18) 296:6-16
Either here or hereafter, suffering or Science must destroy all illusions regarding life and mind, and regenerate material sense and self. The old man with his deeds must be put off. Nothing sensual or sinful is immortal. The death of a false material sense and of sin, not the death of organic matter, is what reveals man and Life, harmonious, real, and eternal. The so-called pleasures and pains of matter perish, and they must go out under the blaze of Truth, spiritual sense, and the actuality of being.

(19) 241:27-5
The baptism of Spirit, washing the body of all the impurities of flesh, signifies that the pure in heart see God and are approaching spiritual Life and its demonstration. It is "easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle," than for sinful beliefs to enter the kingdom of heaven, eternal harmony. Through repentance, spiritual baptism, and regeneration, mortals put off their material beliefs and false individuality. It is only a question of time when "they shall all know Me [God], from the least of them unto the greatest."

Section Six


(14) Isa 2:2-4
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

(15) I John 4:20, 21
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

(16) Eph 6:10, 18, 23
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


(20) 467:9-13
It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established.

(21) 469:30-5
With one Father, even God, the whole family of man would be brethren; and with one Mind and that God, or good, the brotherhood of man would consist of Love and Truth, and have unity of Principle and spiritual power which constitute divine Science.

(22) 518:15-19
The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother's need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another's good.

(23) 276:4
When the divine precepts are understood, they unfold the foundation of fellowship, in which one mind is not at war with another, but all have one Spirit, God, one intelligent source, in accordance with the Scriptural command: "Let this Mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Man and his Maker are correlated in divine Science, and real consciousness is cognizant only of the things of God.