March 19, 2017
From the Christian Science Quarterly, March 24, 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: MATTER


Golden Text: Psalms 30:9. Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?

Responsive Reading: — Luke 5:12, 13, 18-26.
12 And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
13 And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.
18 And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him.
19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.
20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?
22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?
23 Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?
24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
25 And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.
26 And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to-day.

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) Gen 1:31
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

(2) Gen 2:6, 7
But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

(3) Job 34:1, 12, 14, 15
Furthermore Elihu answered and said, Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment. If he set his heart upon man if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.

(4) Rom 8:5, 8, 13
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 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.


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


(1) 216:18
The great mistake of mortals is to suppose that man, God's image and likeness, is both matter and Spirit, both good and evil.

(2) 521:12, 23-17
The harmony and immortality of man are intact. We should look away from the opposite supposition that man is created materially, and turn our gaze to the spiritual record of creation, to that which should be engraved on the understanding and heart "with the point of a diamond" and the pen of an angel. The Science and truth of the divine creation have been presented in the verses already considered, and now the opposite error, a material view of creation, is to be set forth. The second chapter of Genesis contains a statement of this material view of God and the universe, a statement which is the exact opposite of scientific truth as before recorded. The history of error or matter, if veritable, would set aside the omnipotence of Spirit; but it is the false history in contradistinction to the true. The Science of the first record proves the falsity of the second. If one is true, the other is false, for they are antagonistic. The first record assigns all might and government to God, and endows man out of God's perfection and power. The second record chronicles man as mutable and mortal, — as having broken away from Deity and as revolving in an orbit of his own. Existence, separate from divinity, Science explains as impossible. This second record unmistakably gives the history of error in its externalized forms, called life and intelligence in matter. It records pantheism, opposed to the supremacy of divine Spirit; but this state of things is declared to be temporary and this man to be mortal, — dust returning to dust.

(3) 523:7
The creations of matter arise from a mist or false claim, or from mystification, and not from the firmament, or understanding, which God erects between the true and false. In error everything comes from beneath, not from above. All is material myth, instead of the reflection of Spirit.

Section Two


(5) Gen 2:16, 17
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

(6) Gen 3:4, 6, 14, 17, 19
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

(7) Gal 6:7, 8
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.


(4) 269:3-5
From first to last the supposed coexistence of Mind and matter and the mingling of good and evil have resulted from the philosophy of the serpent.

(5) 524:17-4
With a single command, Mind had made man, both male and female. How then could a material organization become the basis of man? How could the non-intelligent become the medium of Mind, and error be the enunciator of Truth? Matter is not the reflection of Spirit, yet God is reflected in all His creation. Is this addition to His creation real or unreal? Is it the truth, or is it a lie concerning man and God? It must be a lie, for God presently curses the ground. Could Spirit evolve its opposite, matter, and give matter ability to sin and suffer? Is Spirit, God, injected into dust, and eventually ejected at the demand of matter? Does Spirit enter dust, and lose therein the divine nature and omnipotence? Does Mind, God, enter matter to become there a mortal sinner, animated by the breath of God? In this narrative, the validity of matter is opposed, not the validity of Spirit or Spirit's creations.

(6) 531:21
Who dares to say either that God is in matter or that matter exists without God? Has man sought out other creative inventions, and so changed the method of his Maker?

Section Three


(8) Nah 3:18, 19
Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them. There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?

(9) Hab 2:13, 19, 20
Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.


(7) 215:8
Mortals are unacquainted with the reality of existence, because matter and mortality do not reflect the facts of Spirit.

(8) 265:5-15
Mortals must gravitate Godward, their affections and aims grow spiritual, — they must near the broader interpretations of being, and gain some proper sense of the infinite, — in order that sin and mortality may be put off. This scientific sense of being, forsaking matter for Spirit, by no means suggests man's absorption into Deity and the loss of his identity, but confers upon man enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace.

(9) 262:24-32
Starting from a higher standpoint, one rises spontaneously, even as light emits light without effort; for "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." The foundation of mortal discord is a false sense of man's origin. To begin rightly is to end rightly. Every concept which seems to begin with the brain begins falsely. Divine Mind is the only cause or Principle of existence. Cause does not exist in matter, in mortal mind, or in physical forms.

Section Four


(10) Isa 52:1, 2, 7
Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

(11) Luke 9:1-6
Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.


(10) 417:20
To the Christian Science healer, sickness is a dream from which the patient needs to be awakened. Disease should not appear real to the physician, since it is demonstrable that the way to cure the patient is to make disease unreal to him. To do this, the physician must understand the unreality of disease in Science.

(11) 323:19-24
When the sick or the sinning awake to realize their need of what they have not, they will be receptive of divine Science, which gravitates towards Soul and away from material sense, removes thought from the body, and elevates even mortal mind to the contemplation of something better than disease or sin.

(12) 281:28
Our false views of matter perish as we grasp the facts of Spirit. The old belief must be cast out or the new idea will be spilled, and the inspiration, which is to change our standpoint, will be lost. Now, as of old, Truth casts out evils and heals the sick.

(13) 14:25
Entirely separate from the belief and dream of material living, is the Life divine, revealing spiritual understanding and the consciousness of man's dominion over the whole earth. This understanding casts out error and heals the sick, and with it you can speak "as one having authority."

Section Five


(12) Matt 21:12-14
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.

(13) Mark 13:1, 2
And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

(14) I Tim 3:14, 15
These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.


(14) 28:6-14
The determination to hold Spirit in the grasp of matter is the persecutor of Truth and Love. While respecting all that is good in the Church or out of it, one's consecration to Christ is more on the ground of demonstration than of profession. In conscience, we cannot hold to beliefs outgrown; and by understanding more of the divine Principle of the deathless Christ, we are enabled to heal the sick and to triumph over sin.

(15) 142:7-24
We must seek the undivided garment, the whole Christ, as our first proof of Christianity, for Christ, Truth, alone can furnish us with absolute evidence. If the soft palm, upturned to a lordly salary, and architectural skill, making dome and spire tremulous with beauty, turn the poor and the stranger from the gate, they at the same time shut the door on progress. In vain do the manger and the cross tell their story to pride and fustian. Sensuality palsies the right hand, and causes the left to let go its grasp on the divine. As in Jesus' time, so to-day, tyranny and pride need to be whipped out of the temple, and humility and divine Science to be welcomed in. The strong cords of scientific demonstration, as twisted and wielded by Jesus, are still needed to purge the temples of their vain traffic in worldly worship and to make them meet dwelling-places for the Most High.

(16) 583:14
The Church is that institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick.

Section Six


(15) II Pet 3:9, 10, 13
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. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

(16) Rev 18:1, 2, 21, 23
And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

(17) Rev 21:1, 5, 7
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.


(17) 91:13-21
The destruction of error is by no means the destruction of Truth or Life, but is the acknowledgment of them. Absorbed in material selfhood we discern and reflect but faintly the substance of Life or Mind. The denial of material selfhood aids the discernment of man's spiritual and eternal individuality, and destroys the erroneous knowledge gained from matter or through what are termed the material senses.

(18) 289:25
The spiritual fact and the material belief of things are contradictions; but the spiritual is true, and therefore the material must be untrue. Life is not in matter. Therefore it cannot be said to pass out of matter. Matter and death are mortal illusions. Spirit and all things spiritual are the real and eternal.

(19) 573:3
The Revelator was on our plane of existence, while yet beholding what the eye cannot see, — that which is invisible to the uninspired thought. This testimony of Holy Writ sustains the fact in Science, that the heavens and earth to one human consciousness, that consciousness which God bestows, are spiritual, while to another, the unillumined human mind, the vision is material. This shows unmistakably that what the human mind terms matter and spirit indicates states and stages of consciousness.

(20) 543:8-15
In divine Science, the material man is shut out from the presence of God. The five corporeal senses cannot take cognizance of Spirit. They cannot come into His presence, and must dwell in dreamland, until mortals arrive at the understanding that material life, with all its sin, sickness, and death, is an illusion, against which divine Science is engaged in a warfare of extermination.

(21) 347:26-31
The dream that matter and error are something must yield to reason and revelation. Then mortals will behold the nothingness of sickness and sin, and sin and sickness will disappear from consciousness. The harmonious will appear real, and the inharmonious unreal.