May 12, 2019
From the Christian Science Quarterly, May 9, 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: ADAM AND FALLEN MAN


Golden Text: Proverbs 13:6. Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.

Responsive Reading: — Job 28:1, 12, 22, 23, 28; 31:2, 4, 33-35, 37-40.
1 Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it.
12 But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?
22 Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.
23 God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.
28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
2 For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high?
4 Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?
33 If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:
34 Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door?
35 Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book.
37 I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.
38 If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain;
39 If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life:
40 Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.

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 2:7, 8, 16-18, 23
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. And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 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. And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

(2) Gen 3:6, 8, 17, 19, 23
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 they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. 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. Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.


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


(1) 338:12-31 The
The word Adam is from the Hebrew adamah, signifying the red color of the ground, dust, nothingness. Divide the name Adam into two syllables, and it reads, a dam, or obstruction. This suggests the thought of something fluid, of mortal mind in solution. It further suggests the thought of that "darkness . . . upon the face of the deep," when matter or dust was deemed the agent of Deity in creating man, — when matter, as that which is accursed, stood opposed to Spirit. Here a dam is not a mere play upon words; it stands for obstruction, error, even the supposed separation of man from God, and the obstacle which the serpent, sin, would impose between man and his creator. The dissection and definition of words, aside from their metaphysical derivation, is not scientific. Jehovah declared the ground was accursed; and from this ground, or matter, sprang Adam, notwithstanding God had blessed the earth "for man's sake." From this it follows that Adam was not the ideal man for whom the earth was blessed.

(2) 544:28-31
Material, erroneous belief reverses understanding and truth. It declares mind to be in and of matter, so-called mortal life to be Life, infinity to enter man's nostrils so that matter becomes spiritual.

(3) 545:7-17, 27
The condemnation of mortals to till the ground means this, — that mortals should so improve material belief by thought tending spiritually upward as to destroy materiality. Man, created by God, was given dominion over the whole earth. The notion of a material universe is utterly opposed to the theory of man as evolved from Mind. Such fundamental errors send falsity into all human doctrines and conclusions, and do not accord infinity to Deity. Error tills the whole ground in this material theory, which is entirely a false view, destructive to existence and happiness. Truth has but one reply to all error, — to sin, sickness, and death: "Dust [nothingness] thou art, and unto dust [nothingness] shalt thou return."

Section Two


(3) Gen 2:21, 22
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

(4) Gen 3:20
And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

(5) John 3:6
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

(6) I Cor 15:46
Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.


(4) 585:23

E
VE. A beginning; mortality; that which does not last forever; a finite belief concerning life, substance, and intelligence in matter; error; the belief that the human race originated materially instead of spiritually, — that man started first from dust, second from a rib, and third from an egg.

(5) 553:19-20
Eve was formed from Adam's rib, not from a foetal ovum.

(6) 528:9-18, 31-4
Genesis ii. 21, 22. And the Lord God [Jehovah, Yawah] caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God [Jehovah] had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man.

Here falsity, error, credits Truth, God, with inducing a sleep or hypnotic state in Adam in order to perform a surgical operation on him and thereby create woman. Later in human history, when the forbidden fruit was bringing forth fruit of its own kind, there came a suggestion of change in the modus operandi, — that man should be born of woman, not woman again taken from man.

(7) 529:6
Another change will come as to the nature and origin of man, and this revelation will destroy the dream of existence, reinstate reality, usher in Science and the glorious fact of creation, that both man and woman proceed from God and are His eternal children, belonging to no lesser parent.

Section Three


(7) Gen 3:1-5, 9-15
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I 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 I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.


(8) 594:1 (only), 8
S
ERPENT (ophis, in Greek; nacash, in Hebrew). The first audible claim that God was not omnipotent and that there was another power, named evil, which was as real and eternal as God, good.

(9) 92:11
In old Scriptural pictures we see a serpent coiled around the tree of knowledge and speaking to Adam and Eve. This represents the serpent in the act of commending to our first parents the knowledge of good and evil, a knowledge gained from matter, or evil, instead of from Spirit. The portrayal is still graphically accurate, for the common conception of mortal man — a burlesque of God's man — is an outgrowth of human knowledge or sensuality, a mere offshoot of material sense.

(10) 533:12-2
The allegory shows that the snake-talker utters the first voluble lie, which beguiles the woman and demoralizes the man. Adam, alias mortal error, charges God and woman with his own dereliction, saying, "The woman, whom Thou gavest me, is responsible." According to this belief, the rib taken from Adam's side has grown into an evil mind, named woman, who aids man to make sinners more rapidly than he can alone. Is this an help meet for man? Materiality, so obnoxious to God, is already found in the rapid deterioration of the bone and flesh which came from Adam to form Eve. The belief in material life and intelligence is growing worse at every step, but error has its suppositional day and multiplies until the end thereof. Truth, cross-questioning man as to his knowledge of error, finds woman the first to confess her fault. She says, "The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat;" as much as to say in meek penitence, "Neither man nor God shall father my fault." She has already learned that corporeal sense is the serpent. Hence she is first to abandon the belief in the material origin of man and to discern spiritual creation.

(11) 534:26-30
The serpent, material sense, will bite the heel of the woman, — will struggle to destroy the spiritual idea of Love; and the woman, this idea, will bruise the head of lust.

Section Four


(8) Gen 4:1-6, 8-10, 12-16

And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.


(12) 538:26-15
This account is given, not of immortal man, but of mortal man, and of sin which is temporal. As both mortal man and sin have a beginning, they must consequently have an end, while the sinless, real man is eternal. Eve's declaration, "I have gotten a man from the Lord," supposes God to be the author of sin and sin's progeny. This false sense of existence is fratricidal. In the words of Jesus, it (evil, devil) is "a murderer from the beginning." Error begins by reckoning life as separate from Spirit, thus sapping the foundations of immortality, as if life and immortality were something which matter can both give and take away. What can be the standard of good, of Spirit, of Life, or of Truth, if they produce their opposites, such as evil, matter, error, and death? God could never impart an element of evil, and man possesses nothing which he has not derived from God. How then has man a basis for wrong-doing? Whence does he obtain the propensity or power to do evil? Has Spirit resigned to matter the government of the universe?

(13) 89:27
Cain very naturally concluded that if life was in the body, and man gave it, man had the right to take it away. This incident shows that the belief of life in matter was "a murderer from the beginning."

(14) 542:3-8, 19-24
Material beliefs would slay the spiritual idea whenever and wherever it appears. Though error hides behind a lie and excuses guilt, error cannot forever be concealed. Truth, through her eternal laws, unveils error. Let Truth uncover and destroy error in God's own way, and let human justice pattern the divine. Sin will receive its full penalty, both for what it is and for what it does. Justice marks the sinner, and teaches mortals not to remove the waymarks of God.

(15) 543:8-9
In divine Science, the material man is shut out from the presence of God.

Section Five


(9) Heb 11:4
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

(10) I John 3:10-12, 15, 18
In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.


(16) 579:8
A
BEL. Watchfulness; self-offering; surrendering to the creator the early fruits of experience.

(17) 540:28
Cain is the type of mortal and material man, conceived in sin and "shapen in iniquity;" he is not the type of Truth and Love. Material in origin and sense, he brings a material offering to God. Abel takes his offering from the firstlings of the flock. A lamb is a more animate form of existence, and more nearly resembles a mind-offering than does Cain's fruit. Jealous of his brother's gift, Cain seeks Abel's life, instead of making his own gift a higher tribute to the Most High.

(18) 541:9
Had God more respect for the homage bestowed through a gentle animal than for the worship expressed by Cain's fruit? No; but the lamb was a more spiritual type of even the human concept of Love than the herbs of the ground could be.

(19) 13:2
Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters."

(20) 15:28-30
Practice not profession, understanding not belief, gain the ear and right hand of omnipotence and they assuredly call down infinite blessings.

Section Six


(11) Job 5:19
He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.

(12) Ps 18:6, 16, 20-24
In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me. I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.


(21) 181:21-25, 29-31
If you are too material to love the Science of Mind and are satisfied with good words instead of effects, if you adhere to error and are afraid to trust Truth, the question then recurs, "Adam, where art thou?" "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." If you have more faith in drugs than in Truth, this faith will incline you to the side of matter and error.

(22) 182:15
The hypotheses of mortals are antagonistic to Science and cannot mix with it. This is clear to those who heal the sick on the basis of Science.

(23) 171:4
Through discernment of the spiritual opposite of materiality, even the way through Christ, Truth, man will reopen with the key of divine Science the gates of Paradise which human beliefs have closed, and will find himself unfallen, upright, pure, and free, not needing to consult almanacs for the probabilities either of his life or of the weather, not needing to study brainology to learn how much of a man he is.

(24) 476:4, 28-5
In divine Science, God and the real man are inseparable as divine Principle and idea. When speaking of God's children, not the children of men, Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you;" that is, Truth and Love reign in the real man, showing that man in God's image is unfallen and eternal. Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy.