September 19, 2021
From the Christian Science Quarterly, September 22, 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: MATTER


Golden Text: Psalms 146:3. Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

Responsive Reading: — I Samuel 8:4-7, 10, 11, 14, 18, 19, 20, 22.
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.
7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
10 And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.
11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.
19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
22 And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king.

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 2:8, 19, 20 (to ;)
And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field;

(2) Rev 13:1-4, 6
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.


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


(1) 282:23
There is no inherent power in matter; for all that is material is a material, human, mortal thought, always governing itself erroneously.

(2) 177:15
In the Scriptural allegory of the material creation, Adam or error, which represents the erroneous theory of life and intelligence in matter, had the naming of all that was material. These names indicated matter's properties, qualities, and forms. But a lie, the opposite of Truth, cannot name the qualities and effects of what is termed matter, and create the so-called laws of the flesh, nor can a lie hold the preponderance of power in any direction against God, Spirit and Truth.

(3) 186:28-12
Mortal mind is ignorant of self, or it could never be self-deceived. If mortal mind knew how to be better, it would be better. Since it must believe in something besides itself, it enthrones matter as deity. The human mind has been an idolater from the beginning, having other gods and believing in more than the one Mind. As mortals do not comprehend even mortal existence, how ignorant must they be of the all-knowing Mind and of His creations. Here you may see how so-called material sense creates its own forms of thought, gives them material names, and then worships and fears them. With pagan blindness, it attributes to some material god or medicine an ability beyond itself. The beliefs of the human mind rob and enslave it, and then impute this result to another illusive personification, named Satan.

(4) 567:18-23
That false claim — that ancient belief, that old serpent whose name is devil (evil), claiming that there is intelligence in matter either to benefit or to injure men — is pure delusion, the red dragon; and it is cast out by Christ, Truth, the spiritual idea, and so proved to be powerless.

Section Two


(3) Deut 13:1-4
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

(4) Rev 16:12-15
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.


(5) 177:10

Matter, or body, is but a false concept of mortal mind. This so-called mind builds its own superstructure, of which the material body is the grosser portion; but from first to last, the body is a sensuous, human concept.

(6) 403:16-20
Mortal mind is constantly producing on mortal body the results of false opinions; and it will continue to do so, until mortal error is deprived of its imaginary powers by Truth, which sweeps away the gossamer web of mortal illusion.

(7) 189:18-4
The human mortal mind, by an inevitable perversion, makes all things start from the lowest instead of from the highest mortal thought. The reverse is the case with all the formations of the immortal divine Mind. They proceed from the divine source; and so, in tracing them, we constantly ascend in infinite being. From mortal mind comes the reproduction of the species, — first the belief of inanimate, and then of animate matter. According to mortal thought, the development of embryonic mortal mind commences in the lower, basal portion of the brain, and goes on in an ascending scale by evolution, keeping always in the direct line of matter, for matter is the subjective condition of mortal mind. Next we have the formation of so-called embryonic mortal mind, afterwards mortal men or mortals, — all this while matter is a belief, ignorant of itself, ignorant of what it is supposed to produce.

(8) 552:22
From a material source flows no remedy for sorrow, sin, and death, for the redeeming power, from the ills they occasion, is not in egg nor in dust. The blending tints of leaf and flower show the order of matter to be the order of mortal mind. The intermixture of different species, urged to its utmost limits, results in a return to the original species. Thus it is learned that matter is a manifestation of mortal mind, and that matter always surrenders its claims when the perfect and eternal Mind is understood.

Section Three


(5) Rom 7:5, 11, 14, 18, 21-25 (to 1st .)
For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.


(9) 294:9-14
The belief that matter thinks, sees, or feels is not more real than the belief that matter enjoys and suffers. This mortal belief, misnamed man, is error, saying: "Matter has intelligence and sensation. Nerves feel. Brain thinks and sins. The stomach can make a man cross. Injury can cripple and matter can kill man."

(10) 187:13, 24-32
The valves of the heart, opening and closing for the passage of the blood, obey the mandate of mortal mind as directly as does the hand, admittedly moved by the will. Anatomy allows the mental cause of the latter action, but not of the former. The human mind tries to classify action as voluntary and involuntary, and suffers from the attempt. If you take away this erring mind, the mortal material body loses all appearance of life or action, and this so-called mind then calls itself dead; but the human mind still holds in belief a body, through which it acts and which appears to the human mind to live, — a body like the one it had before death.

(11) 243:16 The head
The head, heart, lungs, and limbs do not inform us that they are dizzy, diseased, consumptive, or lame. If this information is conveyed, mortal mind conveys it. Neither immortal and unerring Mind nor matter, the inanimate substratum of mortal mind, can carry on such telegraphy; for God is "of purer eyes than to behold evil," and matter has neither intelligence nor sensation.

(12) 550:15-20
Error of thought is reflected in error of action. The continual contemplation of existence as material and corporeal — as beginning and ending, and with birth, decay, and dissolution as its component stages — hides the true and spiritual Life, and causes our standard to trail in the dust.

Section Four


(6) I Kings 8:22, 23, 27

And Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven: And he said, Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart: But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

(7) Isa 24:1, 3, 19, 20, 23
Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.


(13) 279:9, 22-26
Matter is neither created by Mind nor for the manifestation and support of Mind. Every system of human philosophy, doctrine, and medicine is more or less infected with the pantheistic belief that there is mind in matter; but this belief contradicts alike revelation and right reasoning.

(14) 319:13-17
Throughout the infinite cycles of eternal existence, Spirit and matter neither concur in man nor in the universe. The varied doctrines and theories which presuppose life and intelligence to exist in matter are so many ancient and modern mythologies.

(15) 283:8-20
Matter and its effects — sin, sickness, and death — are states of mortal mind which act, react, and then come to a stop. They are not facts of Mind. They are not ideas, but illusions. Principle is absolute. It admits of no error, but rests upon understanding. But what say prevalent theories? They insist that Life, or God, is one and the same with material life so-called. They speak of both Truth and error as mind, and of good and evil as spirit. They claim that to be life which is but the objective state of material sense, — such as the structural life of the tree and of material man, — and deem this the manifestation of the one Life, God.

(16) 280:1-6
In the infinitude of Mind, matter must be unknown. Symbols and elements of discord and decay are not products of the infinite, perfect, and eternal All. From Love and from the light and harmony which are the abode of Spirit, only reflections of good can come.

(17) 508:28-4
The third stage in the order of Christian Science is an important one to the human thought, letting in the light of spiritual understanding. This period corresponds to the resurrection, when Spirit is discerned to be the Life of all, and the deathless Life, or Mind, dependent upon no material organization.

Section Five


(8) Luke 13:24-30
Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

(9) Matt 7:21
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.


(18) 296:14-16
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.

(19) 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.

(20) 347:26-29
The dream that matter and error are something must yield to reason and revelation. Then mortals will behold the nothingness of sickness and sin, and sin and sickness will disappear from consciousness.

(21) 264:21
Matter disappears under the microscope of Spirit. Sin is unsustained by Truth, and sickness and death were overcome by Jesus, who proved them to be forms of error. Spiritual living and blessedness are the only evidences, by which we can recognize true existence and feel the unspeakable peace which comes from an all-absorbing spiritual love.

(22) 281:28-30
Our false views of matter perish as we grasp the facts of Spirit.

Section Six


(10) Isa 14:3-5, 12
And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

(11) Isa 29:18-20
And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:

(12) Rev 12:9-11
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.


(23) 178:22
In proportion to our understanding of Christian Science, we are freed from the belief of heredity, of mind in matter or animal magnetism; and we disarm sin of its imaginary power in proportion to our spiritual understanding of the status of immortal being.

(24) 209:16-30
The compounded minerals or aggregated substances composing the earth, the relations which constituent masses hold to each other, the magnitudes, distances, and revolutions of the celestial bodies, are of no real importance, when we remember that they all must give place to the spiritual fact by the translation of man and the universe back into Spirit. In proportion as this is done, man and the universe will be found harmonious and eternal. Material substances or mundane formations, astronomical calculations, and all the paraphernalia of speculative theories, based on the hypothesis of material law or life and intelligence resident in matter, will ultimately vanish, swallowed up in the infinite calculus of Spirit.

(25) 96:4-5
Love will finally mark the hour of harmony, and spiritualization will follow, for Love is Spirit.