September 17, 2017
From the Christian Science Quarterly, September 22, 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: Proverbs 29:18. Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Responsive Reading: — Deuteronomy 8:11-17, 19.
11 Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:
12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;
13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;
14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
17 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.
19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.

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) Eccl 1:1, 8
The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

(2) Isa 29:11
And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:

(3) Mic 3:5-8
Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him. Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God. But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.

(4) I John 2:15-17
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.


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


(1) 591:8
M
ATTER. Mythology; mortality; another name for mortal mind; illusion; intelligence, substance, and life in non-intelligence and mortality; life resulting in death, and death in life; sensation in the sensationless; mind originating in matter; the opposite of Truth; the opposite of Spirit; the opposite of God; that of which immortal Mind takes no cognizance; that which mortal mind sees, feels, hears, tastes, and smells only in belief.

(2) 372:3-6, 22
What you call matter was originally error in solution, elementary mortal mind, — likened by Milton to "chaos and old night." Matter is not self-sustaining. Its false supports fail one after another. Matter succeeds for a period only by falsely parading in the vestments of law.

(3) 215:8
Mortals are unacquainted with the reality of existence, because matter and mortality do not reflect the facts of Spirit.

(4) 173:11-14
What is termed matter manifests nothing but a material mentality. Neither the substance nor the manifestation of Spirit is obtainable through matter. Spirit is positive. Matter is Spirit's contrary, the absence of Spirit.

(5) 223:7-9
Matter does not express Spirit. God is infinite omnipresent Spirit. If Spirit is all and is everywhere, what and where is matter?

Section Two


(5) Eccl 1:12, 16-18
I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

(6) Eccl 12:12
And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

(7) I Cor 13:1, 2, 8
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.


(6) 590:4
K
NOWLEDGE. Evidence obtained from the five corporeal senses; mortality; beliefs and opinions; human theories, doctrines, hypotheses; that which is not divine and is the origin of sin, sickness, and death; the opposite of spiritual Truth and understanding.

(7) 581:19
The higher false knowledge builds on the basis of evidence obtained from the five corporeal senses, the more confusion ensues, and the more certain is the downfall of its structure.

(8) 197:5-15
A minutely described disease costs many a man his earthly days of comfort. What a price for human knowledge! But the price does not exceed the original cost. God said of the tree of knowledge, which bears the fruit of sin, disease, and death, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." The less that is said of physical structure and laws, and the more that is thought and said about moral and spiritual law, the higher will be the standard of living and the farther mortals will be removed from imbecility or disease.

(9) 165:1-11
Physiology is one of the apples from "the tree of knowledge." Evil declared that eating this fruit would open man's eyes and make him as a god. Instead of so doing, it closed the eyes of mortals to man's God-given dominion over the earth. To measure intellectual capacity by the size of the brain and strength by the exercise of muscle, is to subjugate intelligence, to make mind mortal, and to place this so-called mind at the mercy of material organization and non-intelligent matter.

Section Three


(8) Prov 25:4, 5
Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.

(9) Jer 15:19 (to 2nd :)
Therefore thus saith the Lord, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth:

(10) Isa 34:4
And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

(11) Isa 24:4, 5
The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.

(12) Heb 8:10
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:


(10) 124:32
The elements and functions of the physical body and of the physical world will change as mortal mind changes its beliefs. What is now considered the best condition for organic and functional health in the human body may no longer be found indispensable to health. Moral conditions will be found always harmonious and health-giving. Neither organic inaction nor overaction is beyond God's control; and man will be found normal and natural to changed mortal thought, and therefore more harmonious in his manifestations than he was in the prior states which human belief created and sanctioned.

(11) 125:21-7
The seasons will come and go with changes of time and tide, cold and heat, latitude and longitude. The agriculturist will find that these changes cannot affect his crops. "As a vesture shalt Thou change them and they shall be changed." The mariner will have dominion over the atmosphere and the great deep, over the fish of the sea and the fowls of the air. The astronomer will no longer look up to the stars, — he will look out from them upon the universe; and the florist will find his flower before its seed. Thus matter will finally be proved nothing more than a mortal belief, wholly inadequate to affect a man through its supposed organic action or supposed existence. Error will be no longer used in stating truth. The problem of nothingness, or "dust to dust," will be solved, and mortal mind will be without form and void, for mortality will cease when man beholds himself God's reflection, even as man sees his reflection in a glass.

Section Four


(13) Acts 20:7, 9, 10, 12
And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.

(14) Acts 28:8, 9
And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed:


(12) 120:15-29
Health is not a condition of matter, but of Mind; nor can the material senses bear reliable testimony on the subject of health. The Science of Mind-healing shows it to be impossible for aught but Mind to testify truly or to exhibit the real status of man. Therefore the divine Principle of Science, reversing the testimony of the physical senses, reveals man as harmoniously existent in Truth, which is the only basis of health; and thus Science denies all disease, heals the sick, overthrows false evidence, and refutes materialistic logic. Any conclusion pro or con, deduced from supposed sensation in matter or from matter's supposed consciousness of health or disease, instead of reversing the testimony of the physical senses, confirms that testimony as legitimate and so leads to disease.

(13) 175:4-6, 16-23
When there are fewer prescriptions, and less thought is given to sanitary subjects, there will be better constitutions and less disease. If a random thought, calling itself dyspepsia, had tried to tyrannize over our forefathers, it would have been routed by their independence and industry. Then people had less time for selfishness, coddling, and sickly after-dinner talk. The exact amount of food the stomach could digest was not discussed according to Cutter nor referred to sanitary laws.

(14) 222:29-31
In seeking a cure for dyspepsia consult matter not at all, and eat what is set before you, "asking no question for conscience sake."

(15) 229:28
It is the transgression of a belief of mortal mind, not of a law of matter nor of divine Mind, which causes the belief of sickness. The remedy is Truth, not matter, — the truth that disease is unreal.

Section Five


(15) Ex 20:1-5 (to :)
And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:

(16) Rev 3:14-16, 18, 21
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 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. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.


(16) 167:11-12, 26-8
We cannot serve two masters nor perceive divine Science with the material senses. The scientific government of the body must be attained through the divine Mind. It is impossible to gain control over the body in any other way. On this fundamental point, timid conservatism is absolutely inadmissible. Only through radical reliance on Truth can scientific healing power be realized. Substituting good words for a good life, fair seeming for straightforward character, is a poor shift for the weak and worldly, who think the standard of Christian Science too high for them. If the scales are evenly adjusted, the removal of a single weight from either scale gives preponderance to the opposite. Whatever influence you cast on the side of matter, you take away from Mind, which would otherwise outweigh all else.

(17) 155:21-25
The human mind acts more powerfully to offset the discords of matter and the ills of flesh, in proportion as it puts less weight into the material or fleshly scale and more weight into the spiritual scale.

(18) 274:23
Divine Science is absolute, and permits no half-way position in learning its Principle and rule — establishing it by demonstration. The conventional firm, called matter and mind, God never formed. Science and understanding, governed by the unerring and eternal Mind, destroy the imaginary copartnership, matter and mind, formed only to be destroyed in a manner and at a period as yet unknown. This suppositional partnership is already obsolete, for matter, examined in the light of divine metaphysics, disappears.

(19) 192:4-6
We are Christian Scientists, only as we quit our reliance upon that which is false and grasp the true. We are not Christian Scientists until we leave all for Christ.

Section Six


(17) Prov 6:4, 5, 10, 11
Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

(18) Ezek 12:21-23
And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, what is that proverb that ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth? Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord God; I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision.

(19) Rom 13:12
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

(20) I Thess 5:5, 8
Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 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.


(20) 188:11
Mortal existence is a dream of pain and pleasure in matter, a dream of sin, sickness, and death; and it is like the dream we have in sleep, in which every one recognizes his condition to be wholly a state of mind. In both the waking and the sleeping dream, the dreamer thinks that his body is material and the suffering is in that body.

(21) 95:28-32
Lulled by stupefying illusions, the world is asleep in the cradle of infancy, dreaming away the hours. Material sense does not unfold the facts of existence; but spiritual sense lifts human consciousness into eternal Truth.

(22) 491:11-23
Matter cannot connect mortals with the true origin and facts of being, in which all must end. It is only by acknowledging the supremacy of Spirit, which annuls the claims of matter, that mortals can lay off mortality and find the indissoluble spiritual link which establishes man forever in the divine likeness, inseparable from his creator. The belief that matter and mind are one, — that matter is awake at one time and asleep at another, sometimes presenting no appearance of mind, — this belief culminates in another belief, that man dies. Science reveals material man as never the real being. The dream or belief goes on, whether our eyes are closed or open.

(23) 250:22
Now I ask, Is there any more reality in the waking dream of mortal existence than in the sleeping dream? There cannot be, since whatever appears to be a mortal man is a mortal dream. Take away the mortal mind, and matter has no more sense as a man than it has as a tree. But the spiritual, real man is immortal.

(24) 14:25-28
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.