April 21, 2019
From the Christian Science Quarterly, April 18, 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.

Help support this free service:
Make a donation

 

Subject: DOCTRINE OF ATONEMENT


Golden Text: Matthew 5:8. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Responsive Reading: — John 15:1-10.
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

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) Rom 11:1-5, 26, 27
I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

(2) Eph 2:13, 14, 19, 22
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; Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.


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


(1) 18:1-11 np
Atonement is the exemplification of man's unity with God, whereby man reflects divine Truth, Life, and Love. 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. 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.

(2) 23:7 The
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 Two


(3) Col 2:6, 7, 16, 17, 20-23
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.


(3) 20:6

To the ritualistic priest and hypocritical Pharisee Jesus said, "The publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you." Jesus' history made a new calendar, which we call the Christian era; but he established no ritualistic worship. He knew that men can be baptized, partake of the Eucharist, support the clergy, observe the Sabbath, make long prayers, and yet be sensual and sinful.

(4) 28:9-11
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.

(5) 471:23 The
The author subscribed to an orthodox creed in early youth, and tried to adhere to it until she caught the first gleam of that which interprets God as above mortal sense. This view rebuked human beliefs, and gave the spiritual import, expressed through Science, of all that proceeds from the divine Mind. Since then her highest creed has been divine Science, which, reduced to human apprehension, she has named Christian Science. This Science teaches man that God is the only Life, and that this Life is Truth and Love; that God is to be understood, adored, and demonstrated; that divine Truth casts out suppositional error and heals the sick.

(6) 234:1-8
Spiritual draughts heal, while material lotions interfere with truth, even as ritualism and creed hamper spirituality. If we trust matter, we distrust Spirit. Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love — be it song, sermon, or Science — blesses the human family with crumbs of comfort from Christ's table, feeding the hungry and giving living waters to the thirsty.

Section Three


(4) II Pet 1:1, 4-8
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(5) I Pet 2:15, 21
For so is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:


(7) 115:19-20, 25-5
S
CIENTIFIC TRANSLATION OF MORTAL MIND

First Degree: Depravity.

Second Degree: Evil beliefs disappearing.

MORAL. Humanity, honesty, affection, compassion , hope, faith, meekness, temperance.

Third Degree: Understanding.

SPIRITUAL. Wisdom, purity, spiritual understanding, spiritual power, love, health, holiness.

In the third degree mortal mind disappears, and man as God's image appears.

(8) 213:11
Every step towards goodness is a departure from materiality, and is a tendency towards God, Spirit. Material theories partially paralyze this attraction towards infinite and eternal good by an opposite attraction towards the finite, temporary, and discordant.

(9) 296:14, 28
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. Mortal belief must lose all satisfaction in error and sin in order to part with them. An improved belief is one step out of error, and aids in taking the next step and in understanding the situation in Christian Science.

(10) 5:3-6
Sorrow for wrong-doing is but one step towards reform and the very easiest step. The next and great step required by wisdom is the test of our sincerity, — namely, reformation.

(11) 26:1
While we adore Jesus, and the heart overflows with gratitude for what he did for mortals, — treading alone his loving pathway up to the throne of glory, in speechless agony exploring the way for us, — yet Jesus spares us not one individual experience, if we follow his commands faithfully; and all have the cup of sorrowful effort to drink in proportion to their demonstration of his love, till all are redeemed through divine Love.

Section Four


(6) Ex 32:1, 7, 30-33

And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the Lord; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin. And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

(7) Isa 59:1, 2
Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

(8) Isa 1:23-25, 27
Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies: And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.


(12) 189:13
The sins of others should not make good men suffer.

(13) 435:23
If mortals sin, our Supreme Judge in equity decides what penalty is due for the sin, and Mortal Man can suffer only for his sin. For naught else can he be punished, according to the law of Spirit, God.

(14) 10:31-18
Do you ask wisdom to be merciful and not to punish sin? Then "ye ask amiss." Without punishment, sin would multiply. Jesus' prayer, "Forgive us our debts," specified also the terms of forgiveness. When forgiving the adulterous woman he said, "Go, and sin no more." A magistrate sometimes remits the penalty, but this may be no moral benefit to the criminal, and at best, it only saves the criminal from one form of punishment. The moral law, which has the right to acquit or condemn, always demands restitution before mortals can "go up higher." Broken law brings penalty in order to compel this progress. Mere legal pardon (and there is no other, for divine Principle never pardons our sins or mistakes till they are corrected) leaves the offender free to repeat the offence, if indeed, he has not already suffered sufficiently from vice to make him turn from it with loathing. Truth bestows no pardon upon error, but wipes it out in the most effectual manner.

(15) 346:6-15
It is sometimes said that Christian Science teaches the nothingness of sin, sickness, and death, and then teaches how this nothingness is to be saved and healed. The nothingness of nothing is plain; but we need to understand that error is nothing, and that its nothingness is not saved, but must be demonstrated in order to prove the somethingness — yea, the allness — of Truth. It is self-evident that we are harmonious only as we cease to manifest evil or the belief that we suffer from the sins of others.

Section Five


(9) Matt 8:5-10, 13
And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.


(16) 41:14-32
The proofs of Truth, Life, and Love, which Jesus gave by casting out error and healing the sick, completed his earthly mission; but in the Christian Church this demonstration of healing was early lost, about three centuries after the crucifixion. No ancient school of philosophy, materia medica, or scholastic theology ever taught or demonstrated the divine healing of absolute Science. Jesus foresaw the reception Christian Science would have before it was understood, but this foreknowledge hindered him not. He fulfilled his God-mission, and then sat down at the right hand of the Father. Persecuted from city to city, his apostles still went about doing good deeds, for which they were maligned and stoned. The truth taught by Jesus, the elders scoffed at. Why? Because it demanded more than they were willing to practise. It was enough for them to believe in a national Deity; but that belief, from their time to ours, has never made a disciple who could cast out evils and heal the sick.

(17) 37:27-9
Hear these imperative commands: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect!" "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature!" "Heal the sick!" Why has this Christian demand so little inspiration to stir mankind to Christian effort? Because men are assured that this command was intended only for a particular period and for a select number of followers. This teaching is even more pernicious than the old doctrine of foreordination, — the election of a few to be saved, while the rest are damned; and so it will be considered, when the lethargy of mortals, produced by man-made doctrines, is broken by the demands of divine Science.

Section Six


(10) John 10:22-25, 30
And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. 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.

(11) John 17:1, 6, 11, 20-22
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:


(18) 315:3-20
That saying of our Master, "I and my Father are one," separated him from the scholastic theology of the rabbis. His better understanding of God was a rebuke to them. He knew of but one Mind and laid no claim to any other. He knew that the Ego was Mind instead of body and that matter, sin, and evil were not Mind; and his understanding of this divine Science brought upon him the anathemas of the age. The opposite and false views of the people hid from their sense Christ's sonship with God. They could not discern his spiritual existence. Their carnal minds were at enmity with it. Their thoughts were filled with mortal error, instead of with God's spiritual idea as presented by Christ Jesus. The likeness of God we lose sight of through sin, which beclouds the spiritual sense of Truth; and we realize this likeness only when we subdue sin and prove man's heritage, the liberty of the sons of God.

(19) 70:7-9
Man is never God, but spiritual man, made in God's likeness, reflects God. In this scientific reflection the Ego and the Father are inseparable.

(20) 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.