September 20, 2020
From the Christian Science Quarterly, September 18, 1921


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: MATTER


Golden Text: Job 31:24, 28. If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.

Responsive Reading: — Proverbs 8:5, 10-16, 19, 32.
5 O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
15 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.
32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

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) Esth 1:1, 3-5, 7
Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:) In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him: When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days. And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace; And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king.

(2) Prov 23:1, 3, 5
When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

(3) 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. 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) 277:29
Nothing we can say or believe regarding matter is immortal, for matter is temporal and is therefore a mortal phenomenon, a human concept, sometimes beautiful, always erroneous.

(2) 263:32-8
The fading forms of matter, the mortal body and material earth, are the fleeting concepts of the human mind. They have their day before the permanent facts and their perfection in Spirit appear. The crude creations of mortal thought must finally give place to the glorious forms which we sometimes behold in the camera of divine Mind, when the mental picture is spiritual and eternal. Mortals must look beyond fading, finite forms, if they would gain the true sense of things.

(3) 68:2
At present mortals progress slowly for fear of being thought ridiculous. They are slaves to fashion, pride, and sense. Sometime we shall learn how Spirit, the great architect, has created men and women in Science. We ought to weary of the fleeting and false and to cherish nothing which hinders our highest selfhood.

(4) 509:29
Knowing the Science of creation, in which all is Mind and its ideas, Jesus rebuked the material thought of his fellow-countrymen: "Ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" How much more should we seek to apprehend the spiritual ideas of God, than to dwell on the objects of sense! To discern the rhythm of Spirit and to be holy, thought must be purely spiritual.

(5) 21:9-12
If the disciple is advancing spiritually, he is striving to enter in. He constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit.

Section Two


(4) Esth 2:5, 7, 17
Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter. And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.

(5) Esth 3:1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 11
After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence. And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath. And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them. If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries. And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.


(6) 252:15-26

The false evidence of material sense contrasts strikingly with the testimony of Spirit. Material sense lifts its voice with the arrogance of reality and says: I am wholly dishonest, and no man knoweth it. I can cheat, lie, commit adultery, rob, murder, and I elude detection by smooth-tongued villainy. Animal in propensity, deceitful in sentiment, fraudulent in purpose, I mean to make my short span of life one gala day. What a nice thing is sin! How sin succeeds, where the good purpose waits! The world is my kingdom. I am enthroned in the gorgeousness of matter.

(7) 205:28
Selfishness tips the beam of human existence towards the side of error, not towards Truth. Denial of the oneness of Mind throws our weight into the scale, not of Spirit, God, good, but of matter.

(8) 405:1-17, 26-29
The basic error is mortal mind. Hatred inflames the brutal propensities. The indulgence of evil motives and aims makes any man, who is above the lowest type of manhood, a hopeless sufferer. Christian Science commands man to master the propensities, — to hold hatred in abeyance with kindness, to conquer lust with chastity, revenge with charity, and to overcome deceit with honesty. Choke these errors in their early stages, if you would not cherish an army of conspirators against health, happiness, and success. They will deliver you to the judge, the arbiter of truth against error. The judge will deliver you to justice, and the sentence of the moral law will be executed upon mortal mind and body. Both will be manacled until the last farthing is paid, — until you have balanced your account with God. If sin is not regretted and is not lessening, then it is hastening on to physical and moral doom. You are conquered by the moral penalties you incur and the ills they bring.

(9) 407:24
Let the perfect model be present in your thoughts instead of its demoralized opposite. This spiritualization of thought lets in the light, and brings the divine Mind, Life not death, into your consciousness.

Section Three


(6) Esth 4:1, 5, 7, 9-11, 16
When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry; Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was. And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them. And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai. Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai; All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

(7) Esth 5:2-4, 9-12
And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre. Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom. And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him. Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai. Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife. And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king. Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to-morrow am I invited unto her also with the king.


(10) 319:5-7
To calculate one's life-prospects from a material basis, would infringe upon spiritual law and misguide human hope.

(11) 239:5-22, 29
Take away wealth, fame, and social organizations, which weigh not one jot in the balance of God, and we get clearer views of Principle. Break up cliques, level wealth with honesty, let worth be judged according to wisdom, and we get better views of humanity. The wicked man is not the ruler of his upright neighbor. Let it be understood that success in error is defeat in Truth. The watchword of Christian Science is Scriptural: "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts." To ascertain our progress, we must learn where our affections are placed and whom we acknowledge and obey as God. If divine Love is becoming nearer, dearer, and more real to us, matter is then submitting to Spirit. The objects we pursue and the spirit we manifest reveal our standpoint, and show what we are winning. The perfect Mind sends forth perfection, for God is Mind. Imperfect mortal mind sends forth its own resemblances, of which the wise man said, "All is vanity."

(12) 451:2
Christian Scientists must live under the constant pressure of the apostolic command to come out from the material world and be separate. They must renounce aggression, oppression and the pride of power. Christianity, with the crown of Love upon her brow, must be their queen of life.

Section Four


(8) Esth 6:1-4, 6-8, 10

On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king. And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus. And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him. And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king's house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him. So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself? And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour, Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head: Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.


(13) 536:16
Created by flesh instead of by Spirit, starting from matter instead of from God, mortal man would be governed by himself. The blind leading the blind, both would fall.

(14) 537:13-15
"Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Error excludes itself from harmony. Sin is its own punishment.

(15) 449:7-11
The wrong done another reacts most heavily against one's self. Right adjusts the balance sooner or later. Think it "easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle," than for you to benefit yourself by injuring others.

(16) 5:11, 18
The measure ye mete "shall be measured to you again," and it will be full "and running over." Sinners flourish "like a green bay tree;" but, looking farther, the Psalmist could see their end, — the destruction of sin through suffering.

(17) 253:9-21, 25
I hope, dear reader, I am leading you into the understanding of your divine rights, your heaven-bestowed harmony, — that, as you read, you see there is no cause (outside of erring, mortal, material sense which is not power) able to make you sick or sinful; and I hope that you are conquering this false sense. 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. Do not believe in any supposed necessity for sin, disease, or death, knowing (as you ought to know) that God never requires obedience to a so-called material law, for no such law exists. The belief in sin and death is destroyed by the law of God, which is the law of Life instead of death, of harmony instead of discord, of Spirit instead of the flesh.

Section Five


(9) Esth 7:1-6, 9
So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen. And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom. Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request: For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage. Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so? And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen. And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon.

(10) Esth 8:1, 2, 15
On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews' enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her. And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman. And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.


(18) 454:9
Human hate has no legitimate mandate and no kingdom. Love is enthroned. That evil or matter has neither intelligence nor power, is the doctrine of absolute Christian Science, and this is the great truth which strips all disguise from error.

(19) 455:8-10
You must utilize the moral might of Mind in order to walk over the waves of error and support your claims by demonstration.

(20) 569:6-11
The Scripture, "Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many," is literally fulfilled, when we are conscious of the supremacy of Truth, by which the nothingness of error is seen; and we know that the nothingness of error is in proportion to its wickedness.

(21) 28:32-10
There is too much animal courage in society and not sufficient moral courage. Christians must take up arms against error at home and abroad. They must grapple with sin in themselves and in others, and continue this warfare until they have finished their course. If they keep the faith, they will have the crown of rejoicing. Christian experience teaches faith in the right and disbelief in the wrong. It bids us work the more earnestly in times of persecution, because then our labor is more needed.

(22) 22:13-20 Wait
Wait for your reward, and "be not weary in well doing." If your endeavors are beset by fearful odds, and you receive no present reward, go not back to error, nor become a sluggard in the race. When the smoke of battle clears away, you will discern the good you have done, and receive according to your deserving.

Section Six


(11) Gal 4:21-23, 29, 30
Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

(12) John 6:63
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.


(23) 234:3, 9-12, 17
If we trust matter, we distrust Spirit. We should become more familiar with good than with evil, and guard against false beliefs as watchfully as we bar our doors against the approach of thieves and murderers. If mortals would keep proper ward over mortal mind, the brood of evils which infest it would be cleared out. We must begin with this so-called mind and empty it of sin and sickness, or sin and sickness will never cease. The present codes of human systems disappoint the weary searcher after a divine theology, adequate to the right education of human thought.

(24) 43:27
The divine must overcome the human at every point. The Science Jesus taught and lived must triumph over all material beliefs about life, substance, and intelligence, and the multitudinous errors growing from such beliefs.

(25) 171:4, 31
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. The fundamental error lies in the supposition that man is a material outgrowth and that the cognizance of good or evil, which he has through the bodily senses, constitutes his happiness or misery.

(26) 495:20
Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being, and this understanding will supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony.