October 22, 2017
From the Christian Science Quarterly, October 27, 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: Ephesians 4:13. 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.

Responsive Reading: — Ephesians 2:1-10.
1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

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) Luke 7:1-3, 10-15
Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick. And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.


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


(1) 290:3-10
If the Principle, rule, and demonstration of man's being are not in the least understood before what is termed death overtakes mortals, they will rise no higher spiritually in the scale of existence on account of that single experience, but will remain as material as before the transition, still seeking happiness through a material, instead of through a spiritual sense of life, and from selfish and inferior motives. 

(2) 427:13-2
Death is but another phase of the dream that existence can be material. Nothing can interfere with the harmony of being nor end the existence of man in Science. Man is the same after as before a bone is broken or the body guillotined. If man is never to overcome death, why do the Scriptures say, "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death"? The tenor of the Word shows that we shall obtain the victory over death in proportion as we overcome sin. The great difficulty lies in ignorance of what God is. God, Life, Truth, and Love make man undying. Immortal Mind, governing all, must be acknowledged as supreme in the physical realm, so-called, as well as in the spiritual. Called to the bed of death, what material remedy has man when all such remedies have failed? Spirit is his last resort, but it should have been his first and only resort. The dream of death must be mastered by Mind here or hereafter. Thought will waken from its own material declaration, "I am dead," to catch this trumpet-word of Truth, "There is no death, no inaction, diseased action, overaction, nor reaction."

(3) 584:15
Any material evidence of death is false, for it contradicts the spiritual facts of being.

Section Two


(2) Ezek 18:26-28, 30-32
When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

(3) Rom 7:24, 25
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. 

(4) Rom 8:6
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.


(4) 253:15-21
Knowing the falsity of so-called material sense, you can assert your prerogative to overcome the belief in sin, disease, or death. If you believe in and practise wrong knowingly, you can at once change your course and do right. Matter can make no opposition to right endeavors against sin or sickness, for matter is inert, mindless.

(5) 233:8
In the midst of imperfection, perfection is seen and acknowledged only by degrees. The ages must slowly work up to perfection. How long it must be before we arrive at the demonstration of scientific being, no man knoweth, — not even "the Son but the Father;" but the false claim of error continues its delusions until the goal of goodness is assiduously earned and won.

(6) 231:16, 30
God is not the author of mortal discords. Therefore we accept the conclusion that discords have only a fabulous existence, are mortal beliefs which divine Truth and Love destroy. Man, governed by his Maker, having no other Mind, — planted on the Evangelist's statement that "all things were made by Him [the Word of God]; and without Him was not anything made that was made," — can triumph over sin, sickness, and death.

Section Three


(5) Dan 12:1, 3, 10
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

(6) I Thess 5:1, 2, 6-11
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.


(7) 76:22-18
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. The recognition of Spirit and of infinity comes not suddenly here or hereafter. The pious Polycarp said: "I cannot turn at once from good to evil." Neither do other mortals accomplish the change from error to truth at a single bound. 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.

(8) 90:24-30
The admission to one's self that man is God's own likeness sets man free to master the infinite idea. This conviction shuts the door on death, and opens it wide towards immortality. The understanding and recognition of Spirit must finally come, and we may as well improve our time in solving the mysteries of being through an apprehension of divine Principle.

Section Four


(7) John 13:36
Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. 

(8) John 14:2, 3, 19
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

(9) I Thess 4:13-16
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:


(9) 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. 

(10) 291:5-18
We know that all will be changed "in the twinkling of an eye," when the last trump shall sound; but this last call of wisdom cannot come till mortals have already yielded to each lesser call in the growth of Christian character. Mortals need not fancy that belief in the experience of death will awaken them to glorified being. 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.

(11) 46:20-26
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.

Section Five


(10) II Cor 6:1-8
We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. ) Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 

(11) II Cor 4:17, 18
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.


(12) 39:18
"Now," cried the apostle, "is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation," — meaning, not that now men must prepare for a future-world salvation, or safety, but that now is the time in which to experience that salvation in spirit and in life. Now is the time for so-called material pains and material pleasures to pass away, for both are unreal, because impossible in Science. To break this earthly spell, mortals must get the true idea and divine Principle of all that really exists and governs the universe harmoniously. This thought is apprehended slowly, and the interval before its attainment is attended with doubts and defeats as well as triumphs. 

(13) 253:32-8
The divine demand, "Be ye therefore perfect," is scientific, and the human footsteps leading to perfection are indispensable. Individuals are consistent who, watching and praying, can "run, and not be weary; . . . walk, and not faint," who gain good rapidly and hold their position, or attain slowly and yield not to discouragement. God requires perfection, but not until the battle between Spirit and flesh is fought and the victory won. 

(14) 254:16
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. 

(15) 486:9-10
Earth's preparatory school must be improved to the utmost.

Section Six


(12) Eph 1:3, 4, 17-21
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: That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:


(16) 67:25
The lack of spiritual power in the limited demonstration of popular Christianity does not put to silence the labor of centuries. Spiritual, not corporeal, consciousness is needed. Man delivered from sin, disease, and death presents the true likeness or spiritual ideal.

(17) 76:6
When being is understood, Life will be recognized as neither material nor finite, but as infinite, — as God, universal good; and the belief that life, or mind, was ever in a finite form, or good in evil, will be destroyed. Then it will be understood that Spirit never entered matter and was therefore never raised from matter. When advanced to spiritual being and the understanding of God, man can no longer commune with matter; neither can he return to it, any more than a tree can return to its seed. Neither will man seem to be corporeal, but he will be an individual consciousness, characterized by the divine Spirit as idea, not matter. 

(18) 531:10
The human mind will sometime rise above all material and physical sense, exchanging it for spiritual perception, and exchanging human concepts for the divine consciousness. Then man will recognize his God-given dominion and being.