April 14, 2019
From the Christian Science Quarterly, April 11, 1920


Originally published in the early years of the Christian Science movement, these lessons are composed 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: ARE SIN, DISEASE, AND DEATH REAL?


Golden Text: Revelation 21:4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Responsive Reading: — I Peter 4:1-8.
1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

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 2:8, 9
And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

(2) Ezek 31:3-5, 8, 10, 11
Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs. The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field. Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth. The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height; I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness.

(3) Ps 37:35, 36
I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.


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


(1) 526:29-1
The name Eden, according to Cruden, means pleasure, delight. In this text Eden stands for the mortal, material body.

(2) 538:13-15, 17
The "tree of life" is significant of eternal reality or being. The "tree of knowledge" typifies unreality. Sin, sickness, and death have no record in the Elohistic introduction of Genesis, in which God creates the heavens, earth, and man. Until that which contradicts the truth of being enters into the arena, evil has no history, and evil is brought into view only as the unreal in contradistinction to the real and eternal.

(3) 276:17-28
If God is admitted to be the only Mind and Life, there ceases to be any opportunity for sin and death. When we learn in Science how to be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect, thought is turned into new and healthy channels, — towards the contemplation of things immortal and away from materiality to the Principle of the universe, including harmonious man. Material beliefs and spiritual understanding never mingle. The latter destroys the former. Discord is the nothingness named error. Harmony is the somethingness named Truth.

(4) 277:2
To all that is unlike unerring and eternal Mind, this Mind saith, "Thou shalt surely die;" and elsewhere the Scripture says that dust returns to dust. The non-intelligent relapses into its own unreality. Matter never produces mind. The immortal never produces the mortal. Good cannot result in evil. As God Himself is good and is Spirit, goodness and spirituality must be immortal. Their opposites, evil and matter, are mortal error, and error has no creator. If goodness and spirituality are real, evil and materiality are unreal and cannot be the outcome of an infinite God, good.

Section Two


(4) I Cor 15:34
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

(5) Heb 3:12, 13
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To-day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

(6) Heb 8:10-12
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.


(5) 354:26

Sin should become unreal to every one. It is in itself inconsistent, a divided kingdom. Its supposed realism has no divine authority, and I rejoice in the apprehension of this grand verity.

(6) 356:17-6
There is neither a present nor an eternal copartnership between error and Truth, between flesh and Spirit. God is as incapable of producing sin, sickness, and death as He is of experiencing these errors. How then is it possible for Him to create man subject to this triad of errors, — man who is made in the divine likeness? Does God create a material man out of Himself, Spirit? Does evil proceed from good? Does divine Love commit a fraud on humanity by making man inclined to sin, and then punishing him for it? Would any one call it wise and good to create the primitive, and then punish its derivative? Does subsequent follow its antecedent? It does. Was there original self-creative sin? Then there must have been more than one creator, more than one God. In common justice, we must admit that God will not punish man for doing what He created man capable of doing, and knew from the outset that man would do. God is "of purer eyes than to behold evil." We sustain Truth, not by accepting, but by rejecting a lie.

Section Three


(7) Matt 12:22-29
Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.


(7) 168:24
I have discerned disease in the human mind, and recognized the patient's fear of it, months before the so-called disease made its appearance in the body. Disease being a belief, a latent illusion of mortal mind, the sensation would not appear if the error of belief was met and destroyed by truth.

(8) 374:17
Ignorance of the cause or approach of disease is no argument against the mental origin of disease. You confess to ignorance of the future and incapacity to preserve your own existence, and this belief helps rather than hinders disease. Such a state of mind induces sickness. It is like walking in darkness on the edge of a precipice. You cannot forget the belief of danger, and your steps are less firm because of your fear, and ignorance of mental cause and effect.

(9) 399:23-8
Scientifically speaking, there is no mortal mind out of which to make material beliefs, springing from illusion. This misnamed mind is not an entity. It is only a false sense of matter, since matter is not sensible. The one Mind, God, contains no mortal opinions. All that is real is included in this immortal Mind. Our Master asked: "How can one enter into a strong man's house and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man?" In other words: How can I heal the body, without beginning with so-called mortal mind, which directly controls the body? When disease is once destroyed in this so-called mind, the fear of disease is gone, and therefore the disease is thoroughly cured. Mortal mind is "the strong man," which must be held in subjection before its influence upon health and morals can be removed. This error conquered, we can despoil "the strong man" of his goods, — namely, of sin and disease.

Section Four


(8) Isa 1:5, 16-18

Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

(9) John 5:2, 3, 5-9, 14
Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.


(10) 461:26
To prove scientifically the error or unreality of sin, you must first see the claim of sin, and then destroy it. Whereas, to prove scientifically the error or unreality of disease, you must mentally unsee the disease; then you will not feel it, and it is destroyed.

(11) 400:9-6
Mortals obtain the harmony of health, only as they forsake discord, acknowledge the supremacy of divine Mind, and abandon their material beliefs. Eradicate the image of disease from the perturbed thought before it has taken tangible shape in conscious thought, alias the body, and you prevent the development of disease. This task becomes easy, if you understand that every disease is an error, and has no character nor type, except what mortal mind assigns to it. By lifting thought above error, or disease, and contending persistently for truth, you destroy error. When we remove disease by addressing the disturbed mind, giving no heed to the body, we prove that thought alone creates the suffering. Mortal mind rules all that is mortal. We see in the body the images of this mind, even as in optics we see painted on the retina the image which becomes visible to the senses. The action of so-called mortal mind must be destroyed by the divine Mind to bring out the harmony of being. Without divine control there is discord, manifest as sin, sickness, and death. The Scriptures plainly declare the baneful influence of sinful thought on the body. Even our Master felt this. It is recorded that in certain localities he did not many mighty works "because of their unbelief" in Truth. Any human error is its own enemy, and works against itself; it does nothing in the right direction and much in the wrong. If so-called mind is cherishing evil passions and malicious purposes, it is not a healer, but it engenders disease and death.

Section Five


(10) Ezek 3:16-21
And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

(11) I John 5:16, 17
If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.


(12) 426:28-29
Sin brought death, and death will disappear with the disappearance of sin.

(13) 427:17
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.

(14) 373:14-21
The fear of disease and the love of sin are the sources of man's enslavement. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," but the Scriptures also declare, through the exalted thought of John, that "perfect Love casteth out fear." The fear occasioned by ignorance can be cured; but to remove the effects of fear produced by sin, you must rise above both fear and sin.

(15) 369:30-31
No man is physically healed in wilful error or by it, any more than he is morally saved in or by sin.

(16) 570:30-14
Many are willing to open the eyes of the people to the power of good resident in divine Mind, but they are not so willing to point out the evil in human thought, and expose evil's hidden mental ways of accomplishing iniquity. Why this backwardness, since exposure is necessary to ensure the avoidance of the evil? Because people like you better when you tell them their virtues than when you tell them their vices. It requires the spirit of our blessed Master to tell a man his faults, and so risk human displeasure for the sake of doing right and benefiting our race. Who is telling mankind of the foe in ambush? Is the informer one who sees the foe? If so, listen and be wise. Escape from evil, and designate those as unfaithful stewards who have seen the danger and yet have given no warning.

Section Six


(12) I Cor 15:20-22, 30, 31, 53, 54
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.


(17) 339:2-3, 17, 28-32
Divine Life destroys death, Truth destroys error, and Love destroys hate. Only those, who repent of sin and forsake the unreal, can fully understand the unreality of evil. To get rid of sin through Science, is to divest sin of any supposed mind or reality, and never to admit that sin can have intelligence or power, pain or pleasure. You conquer error by denying its verity.

(18) 428:8
To divest thought of false trusts and material evidences in order that the spiritual facts of being may appear, — this is the great attainment by means of which we shall sweep away the false and give place to the true. Thus we may establish in truth the temple, or body, "whose builder and maker is God."

(19) 429:31
Jesus said (John viii. 51), "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death." That statement is not confined to spiritual life, but includes all the phenomena of existence. Jesus demonstrated this, healing the dying and raising the dead. 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. Belief in sickness and death, as certainly as belief in sin, tends to shut out the true sense of Life and health. When will mankind wake to this great fact in Science?