April 23, 2017
From the Christian Science Quarterly, April 28, 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: PROBATION AFTER DEATH


Golden Text: Hosea 13:14. I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death.

Responsive Reading: — Luke 16:19, 20, 22-25, 27-31.
19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

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) Mark 16:9-14
Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

(2) John 21:1, 2, 9, 12-14
After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.


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


(1) 34:29-2
What a contrast between our Lord's last supper and his last spiritual breakfast with his disciples in the bright morning hours at the joyful meeting on the shore of the Galilean Sea! His gloom had passed into glory, and his disciples' grief into repentance, — hearts chastened and pride rebuked.

(2) 35:6-18
Discerning Christ, Truth, anew on the shore of time, they were enabled to rise somewhat from mortal sensuousness, or the burial of mind in matter, into newness of life as Spirit. This spiritual meeting with our Lord in the dawn of a new light is the morning meal which Christian Scientists commemorate. They bow before Christ, Truth, to receive more of his reappearing and silently to commune with the divine Principle, Love. They celebrate their Lord's victory over death, his probation in the flesh after death, its exemplification of human probation, and his spiritual and final ascension above matter, or the flesh, when he rose out of material sight.

(3) 313:23-7
Jesus of Nazareth was the most scientific man that ever trod the globe. He plunged beneath the material surface of things, and found the spiritual cause. To accommodate himself to immature ideas of spiritual power, — for spirituality was possessed only in a limited degree even by his disciples, — Jesus called the body, which by spiritual power he raised from the grave, "flesh and bones." To show that the substance of himself was Spirit and the body no more perfect because of death and no less material until the ascension (his further spiritual exaltation), Jesus waited until the mortal or fleshly sense had relinquished the belief of substance-matter, and spiritual sense had quenched all earthly yearnings. Thus he found the eternal Ego, and proved that he and the Father were inseparable as God and His reflection or spiritual man.

Section Two


(3) Ps 68:20
He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death.

(4) Prov 8:1, 32, 36
Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

(5) Rom 8:13, 19
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

(6) Heb 2:9, 14, 15
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.


(4) 409:28
We cannot spend our days here in ignorance of the Science of Life, and expect to find beyond the grave a reward for this ignorance. Death will not make us harmonious and immortal as a recompense for ignorance. If here we give no heed to Christian Science, which is spiritual and eternal, we shall not be ready for spiritual Life hereafter.

(5) 291:19
"In the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be." So we read in Ecclesiastes. This text has been transformed into the popular proverb, "As the tree falls, so it must lie." As man falleth asleep, so shall he awake. As death findeth mortal man, so shall he be after death, until probation and growth shall effect the needed change. Mind never becomes dust. No resurrection from the grave awaits Mind or Life, for the grave has no power over either.

(6) 42:5
The universal belief in death is of no advantage. It cannot make Life or Truth apparent. Death will be found at length to be a mortal dream, which comes in darkness and disappears with the light.

(7) 44:28-31
His disciples believed Jesus to be dead while he was hidden in the sepulchre, whereas he was alive, demonstrating within the narrow tomb the power of Spirit to overrule mortal, material sense.

(8) 76:22
The sinless joy, — the perfect harmony and immortality of Life, possessing unlimited divine beauty and goodness without a single bodily pleasure or pain, — constitutes the only veritable, indestructible man, whose being is spiritual. This state of existence is scientific and intact, — a perfection discernible only by those who have the final understanding of Christ in divine Science. Death can never hasten this state of existence, for death must be overcome, not submitted to, before immortality appears.

Section Three


(7) Eccl 11:9
Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.

(8) Eccl 12:14
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

(9) Matt 12:18, 20
Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

(10) John 9:39
And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

(11) John 16:7, 8, 11
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.


(9) 291:28-31
No final judgment awaits mortals, for the judgment-day of wisdom comes hourly and continually, even the judgment by which mortal man is divested of all material error.

(10) 189:18
The human mortal mind, by an inevitable perversion, makes all things start from the lowest instead of from the highest mortal thought. The reverse is the case with all the formations of the immortal divine Mind. They proceed from the divine source; and so, in tracing them, we constantly ascend in infinite being.

(11) 430:3-9
Mortal mind must part with error, must put off itself with its deeds, and immortal manhood, the Christ ideal, will appear. Faith should enlarge its borders and strengthen its base by resting upon Spirit instead of matter. When man gives up his belief in death, he will advance more rapidly towards God, Life, and Love.

(12) 290:16-27
If the change called death destroyed the belief in sin, sickness, and death, happiness would be won at the moment of dissolution, and be forever permanent; but this is not so. Perfection is gained only by perfection. They who are unrighteous shall be unrighteous still, until in divine Science Christ, Truth, removes all ignorance and sin. The sin and error which possess us at the instant of death do not cease at that moment, but endure until the death of these errors. To be wholly spiritual, man must be sinless, and he becomes thus only when he reaches perfection.

(13) 390:32
Rise in the conscious strength of the spirit of Truth to overthrow the plea of mortal mind, alias matter, arrayed against the supremacy of Spirit. Blot out the images of mortal thought and its beliefs in sickness and sin. Then, when thou art delivered to the judgment of Truth, Christ, the judge will say, "Thou art whole!"

Section Four


(12) Deut 8:1, 2
All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers. And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

(13) Rev 3:17-19
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

(14) II Pet 3:8, 9
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.


(14) 36:4-6
Divine Science reveals the necessity of sufficient suffering, either before or after death, to quench the love of sin.

(15) 77:5-18
Existence continues to be a belief of corporeal sense until the Science of being is reached. Error brings its own self-destruction both here and hereafter, for mortal mind creates its own physical conditions. Death will occur on the next plane of existence as on this, until the spiritual understanding of Life is reached. Then, and not until then, will it be demonstrated that "the second death hath no power." The period required for this dream of material life, embracing its so-called pleasures and pains, to vanish from consciousness, "knoweth no man . . . neither the Son, but the Father." This period will be of longer or shorter duration according to the tenacity of error.

(16) 426:9-16
The struggle for Truth makes one strong instead of weak, resting instead of wearying one. If the belief in death were obliterated, and the understanding obtained that there is no death, this would be a "tree of life," known by its fruits. Man should renew his energies and endeavors, and see the folly of hypocrisy, while also learning the necessity of working out his own salvation.

(17) 407:17
Let the slave of wrong desire learn the lessons of Christian Science, and he will get the better of that desire, and ascend a degree in the scale of health, happiness, and existence.

Section Five


(15) Ps 85:7-9
Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation. I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.

(16) Ps 119:155
Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.

(17) Isa 52:10
The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

(18) I Pet 1:13
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

(19) Rom 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.


(18) 291:12
Universal salvation rests on progression and probation, and is unattainable without them. Heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind in which all the manifestations of Mind are harmonious and immortal, because sin is not there and man is found having no righteousness of his own, but in possession of "the mind of the Lord," as the Scripture says.

(19) 254:16-32
During the sensual ages, absolute Christian Science may not be achieved prior to the change called death, for we have not the power to demonstrate what we do not understand. But the human self must be evangelized. This task God demands us to accept lovingly to-day, and to abandon so fast as practical the material, and to work out the spiritual which determines the outward and actual. If you venture upon the quiet surface of error and are in sympathy with error, what is there to disturb the waters? What is there to strip off error's disguise? If you launch your bark upon the ever-agitated but healthful waters of truth, you will encounter storms. Your good will be evil spoken of. This is the cross. Take it up and bear it, for through it you win and wear the crown. Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God.

(20) 91:1
The Revelator tells us of "a new heaven and a new earth." Have you ever pictured this heaven and earth, inhabited by beings under the control of supreme wisdom?

Section Six


(20) Prov 30:4
Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?

(21) Eph 4:7-13
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. ) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:


(21) 46:20
Jesus' unchanged physical condition after what seemed to be death was followed by his exaltation above all material conditions; and this exaltation explained his ascension, and revealed unmistakably a probationary and progressive state beyond the grave. Jesus was "the way;" that is, he marked the way for all men. In his final demonstration, called the ascension, which closed the earthly record of Jesus, he rose above the physical knowledge of his disciples, and the material senses saw him no more.

(22) 34:18
Through all the disciples experienced, they became more spiritual and understood better what the Master had taught. His resurrection was also their resurrection. It helped them to raise themselves and others from spiritual dulness and blind belief in God into the perception of infinite possibilities. They needed this quickening, for soon their dear Master would rise again in the spiritual realm of reality, and ascend far above their apprehension. As the reward for his faithfulness, he would disappear to material sense in that change which has since been called the ascension.

(23) 509:24
The periods of spiritual ascension are the days and seasons of Mind's creation, in which beauty, sublimity, purity, and holiness — yea, the divine nature — appear in man and the universe never to disappear.