September 12, 2021
From the Christian Science Quarterly, September 15, 1912


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: SUBSTANCE


Golden Text: II Corinthians 6:4, 10. In all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, . . . As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Responsive Reading: — Proverbs 15:6-9, 16, 17, 19, 27-31, 33.
6 In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.
7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.
16 Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.
7 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
19 The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.
27 He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.
28 The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.
29 The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
30 The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.
31 The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.
33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

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) Isa 42:10, 15, 16
Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools. And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

(2) Isa 44:3, 6, 8
For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

(3) Heb 11:3
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.


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


(1) 330:11-12
God is infinite, the only Life, substance, Spirit, or Soul, the only intelligence of the universe, including man.

(2) 124:25
Spirit is the life, substance, and continuity of all things. We tread on forces. Withdraw them, and creation must collapse. Human knowledge calls them forces of matter; but divine Science declares that they belong wholly to divine Mind, are inherent in this Mind, and so restores them to their rightful home and classification.

(3) 483:13-19
After the author's sacred discovery, she affixed the name "Science" to Christianity, the name "error" to corporeal sense, and the name "substance" to Mind. Science has called the world to battle over this issue and its demonstration, which heals the sick, destroys error, and reveals the universal harmony.

(4) 468:17 Substance
Substance is that which is eternal and incapable of discord and decay. Truth, Life, and Love are substance, as the Scriptures use this word in Hebrews: "The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Spirit, the synonym of Mind, Soul, or God, is the only real substance. The spiritual universe, including individual man, is a compound idea, reflecting the divine substance of Spirit.

Section Two


(4) Job 4:17-19
Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?

(5) Isa 52:1, 2
Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

(6) Luke 10:1, 2, 8-11
After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.


(5) 267:1-5 (to 1st .)

Every object in material thought will be destroyed, but the spiritual idea, whose substance is in Mind, is eternal. The offspring of God start not from matter or ephemeral dust. They are in and of Spirit, divine Mind, and so forever continue.

(6) 286:21-5
God's thoughts are perfect and eternal, are substance and Life. Material and temporal thoughts are human, involving error, and since God, Spirit, is the only cause, they lack a divine cause. The temporal and material are not then creations of Spirit. They are but counterfeits of the spiritual and eternal. Transitory thoughts are the antipodes of everlasting Truth, though (by the supposition of opposite qualities) error must also say, "I am true." But by this saying error, the lie, destroys itself. Sin, sickness, and death are comprised in human material belief, and belong not to the divine Mind. They are without a real origin or existence. They have neither Principle nor permanence, but belong, with all that is material and temporal, to the nothingness of error, which simulates the creations of Truth. All creations of Spirit are eternal; but creations of matter must return to dust.

(7) 287:24
The supposition that life, substance, and intelligence are in matter, or of it, is an error. Matter is neither a thing nor a person, but merely the objective supposition of Spirit's opposite. The five material senses testify to truth and error as united in a mind both good and evil. Their false evidence will finally yield to Truth, — to the recognition of Spirit and of the spiritual creation.

Section Three


(7) Deut 33:1-3, 8, 11 (to 1st :)
And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. And he said, The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them. Yea, he loved the people; all his saints are in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words. And of Levi he said, Let thy Thummim and thy Urim be with thy holy one, whom thou didst prove at Massah, and with whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah; Bless, Lord, his substance, and accept the work of his hands:

(8) I Sam 17:45, 47
Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands.

(9) Isa 43:2
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

(10) Luke 12:32, 33
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.


(8) 301:17
As God is substance and man is the divine image and likeness, man should wish for, and in reality has, only the substance of good, the substance of Spirit, not matter. The belief that man has any other substance, or mind, is not spiritual and breaks the First Commandment, Thou shalt have one God, one Mind. Mortal man seems to himself to be material substance, while man is "image" (idea). Delusion, sin, disease, and death arise from the false testimony of material sense, which, from a supposed standpoint outside the focal distance of infinite Spirit, presents an inverted image of Mind and substance with everything turned upside down.

(9) 311:26
The objects cognized by the physical senses have not the reality of substance. They are only what mortal belief calls them. Matter, sin, and mortality lose all supposed consciousness or claim to life or existence, as mortals lay off a false sense of life, substance, and intelligence. But the spiritual, eternal man is not touched by these phases of mortality.

(10) 349:31
In Christian Science, substance is understood to be Spirit, while the opponents of Christian Science believe substance to be matter. They think of matter as something and almost the only thing, and of the things which pertain to Spirit as next to nothing, or as very far removed from daily experience. Christian Science takes exactly the opposite view.

(11) 310:6
Thought will finally be understood and seen in all form, substance, and color, but without material accompaniments. The potter is not in the clay; else the clay would have power over the potter. God is His own infinite Mind, and expresses all.

Section Four


(11) Prov 16:8, 16

Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right. How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

(12) Isa 61:10, 11
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

(13) I Tim 6:17
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

(14) II Tim 4:7, 8
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.


(12) 241:19
The substance of all devotion is the reflection and demonstration of divine Love, healing sickness and destroying sin. Our Master said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

(13) 242:21
The vesture of Life is Truth. According to the Bible, the facts of being are commonly misconstrued, for it is written: "They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots." The divine Science of man is woven into one web of consistency without seam or rent. Mere speculation or superstition appropriates no part of the divine vesture, while inspiration restores every part of the Christly garment of righteousness.

(14) 248:12-32
The sculptor turns from the marble to his model in order to perfect his conception. We are all sculptors, working at various forms, moulding and chiseling thought. What is the model before mortal mind? Is it imperfection, joy, sorrow, sin, suffering? Have you accepted the mortal model? Are you reproducing it? Then you are haunted in your work by vicious sculptors and hideous forms. Do you not hear from all mankind of the imperfect model? The world is holding it before your gaze continually. The result is that you are liable to follow those lower patterns, limit your life-work, and adopt into your experience the angular outline and deformity of matter models. To remedy this, we must first turn our gaze in the right direction, and then walk that way. We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives. Let unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love — the kingdom of heaven — reign within us, and sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear.

Section Five


(15) Mark 16:9-11
Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.

(16) John 20:19, 24-29
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.


(15) 313:23-5
Jesus of Nazareth was the most scientific man that ever trod the globe. He plunged beneath the material surface of things, and found the spiritual cause. To accommodate himself to immature ideas of spiritual power, — for spirituality was possessed only in a limited degree even by his disciples, — Jesus called the body, which by spiritual power he raised from the grave, "flesh and bones." To show that the substance of himself was Spirit and the body no more perfect because of death and no less material until the ascension (his further spiritual exaltation), Jesus waited until the mortal or fleshly sense had relinquished the belief of substance-matter, and spiritual sense had quenched all earthly yearnings.

(16) 314:12-2
When Jesus spoke of reproducing his body, — knowing, as he did, that Mind was the builder, — and said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up," they thought that he meant their material temple instead of his body. To such materialists, the real man seemed a spectre, unseen and unfamiliar, and the body, which they laid in a sepulchre, seemed to be substance. This materialism lost sight of the true Jesus; but the faithful Mary saw him, and he presented to her, more than ever before, the true idea of Life and substance. Because of mortals' material and sinful belief, the spiritual Jesus was imperceptible to them. The higher his demonstration of divine Science carried the problem of being, and the more distinctly he uttered the demands of its divine Principle, Truth and Love, the more odious he became to sinners and to those who, depending on doctrines and material laws to save them from sin and sickness, were submissive to death as being in supposed accord with the inevitable law of life. Jesus proved them wrong by his resurrection, and said: "Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die."

Section Six


(17) Isa 12:2, 3, 6
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

(18) Heb 10:32, 34, 35
But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.


(17) 92:32
Do you say the time has not yet come in which to recognize Soul as substantial and able to control the body? Remember Jesus, who nearly nineteen centuries ago demonstrated the power of Spirit and said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also," and who also said, "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth." "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation," said Paul.

(18) 252:7-17, 24-26, 31-8
When false human beliefs learn even a little of their own falsity, they begin to disappear. A knowledge of error and of its operations must precede that understanding of Truth which destroys error, until the entire mortal, material error finally disappears, and the eternal verity, man created by and of Spirit, is understood and recognized as the true likeness of his Maker. 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: The world is my kingdom. I am enthroned in the gorgeousness of matter. Spirit, bearing opposite testimony, saith: I am Spirit. Man, whose senses are spiritual, is my likeness. He reflects the infinite understanding, for I am Infinity. The beauty of holiness, the perfection of being, imperishable glory, — all are Mine, for I am God. I give immortality to man, for I am Truth. I include and impart all bliss, for I am Love. I give life, without beginning and without end, for I am Life. I am supreme and give all, for I am Mind. I am the substance of all, because I
AM THAT I AM.