August 12, 2018
From the Christian Science Quarterly, August 10, 1919


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: SPIRIT


Golden Text: II Corinthians 3:17. The Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Responsive Reading: — Galatians 6:1-10.
1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9 And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

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) John 4:24
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

(2) Gen 41:15, 16, 37, 38
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it. And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace. And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?


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


(1) 344:32-3
In the Bible the word Spirit is so commonly applied to Deity, that Spirit and God are often regarded as synonymous terms; and it is thus they are uniformly used and understood in Christian Science.

(2) 334:31 Spirit
Spirit being God, there is but one Spirit, for there can be but one infinite and therefore one God. There are neither spirits many nor gods many. There is no evil in Spirit, because God is Spirit. The theory, that Spirit is distinct from matter but must pass through it, or into it, to be individualized, would reduce God to dependency on matter, and establish a basis for pantheism.

(3) 467:17-21
Science reveals Spirit, Soul, as not in the body, and God as not in man but as reflected by man. The greater cannot be in the lesser. The belief that the greater can be in the lesser is an error that works ill.

(4) 93:21-30
The belief that Spirit is finite as well as infinite has darkened all history. In Christian Science, Spirit, as a proper noun, is the name of the Supreme Being. It means quantity and quality, and applies exclusively to God. The modifying derivatives of the word spirit refer only to quality, not to God. Man is spiritual. He is not God, Spirit. If man were Spirit, then men would be spirits, gods. Finite spirit would be mortal, and this is the error embodied in the belief that the infinite can be contained in the finite.

Section Two


(3) I John 4:1-6
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.


(5) 466:7-13 (to 1st .), 19-26
Question. — What are spirits and souls?
Answer. — To human belief, they are personalities constituted of mind and matter, life and death, truth and error, good and evil; but these contrasting pairs of terms represent contraries, as Christian Science reveals, which neither dwell together nor assimilate. The term souls or spirits is as improper as the term gods. Soul or Spirit signifies Deity and nothing else. There is no finite soul nor spirit. Soul or Spirit means only one Mind, and cannot be rendered in the plural. Heathen mythology and Jewish theology have perpetuated the fallacy that intelligence, soul, and life can be in matter; and idolatry and ritualism are the outcome of all man-made beliefs.

(6) 352:5
Our Master declared that his material body was not spirit, evidently considering it a mortal and material belief of flesh and bones, whereas the Jews took a diametrically opposite view. To Jesus, not materiality, but spirituality, was the reality of man's existence, while to the rabbis the spiritual was the intangible and uncertain, if not the unreal.

(7) 171:17-24
Mistaking his origin and nature, man believes himself to be combined matter and Spirit. He believes that Spirit is sifted through matter, carried on a nerve, exposed to ejection by the operation of matter. The intellectual, the moral, the spiritual, — yea, the image of infinite Mind, — subject to non-intelligence! No more sympathy exists between the flesh and Spirit than between Belial and Christ.

Section Three


(4) I Sam 28:3, 4, 6-8, 11, 13-16
Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land. And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa. And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor. And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee. Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself. And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do. Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?

(5) Isa 8:19
And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?


(8) 73:3-14
Spiritualism calls one person, living in this world, material, but another, who has died to-day a sinner and supposedly will return to earth to-morrow, it terms a spirit. The fact is that neither the one nor the other is infinite Spirit, for Spirit is God, and man is His likeness. The belief that one man, as spirit, can control another man, as matter, upsets both the individuality and the Science of man, for man is image. God controls man, and God is the only Spirit. Any other control or attraction of so-called spirit is a mortal belief, which ought to be known by its fruit, — the repetition of evil.

(9) 86:13
Mortals evolve images of thought. These may appear to the ignorant to be apparitions; but they are mysterious only because it is unusual to see thoughts, though we can always feel their influence. Haunted houses, ghostly voices, unusual noises, and apparitions brought out in dark seances either involve feats by tricksters, or they are images and sounds evolved involuntarily by mortal mind. Seeing is no less a quality of physical sense than feeling. Then why is it more difficult to see a thought than to feel one? Education alone determines the difference. In reality there is none.

(10) 81:31-4
That somebody, somewhere, must have known the deceased person, supposed to be the communicator, is evident, and it is as easy to read distant thoughts as near. We think of an absent friend as easily as we do of one present. It is no more difficult to read the absent mind than it is to read the present.

(11) 83:29-32
Mortal mind-reading and immortal Mind-reading are distinctly opposite standpoints, from which cause and effect are interpreted. The act of reading mortal mind investigates and touches only human beliefs.

(12) 71:21
When the Science of Mind is understood, spiritualism will be found mainly erroneous, having no scientific basis nor origin, no proof nor power outside of human testimony. It is the offspring of the physical senses. There is no sensuality in Spirit. I never could believe in spiritualism.

Section Four


(6) I Cor 12:1, 3, 4, 6-9, 11
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.


(13) 19:29
Jesus urged the commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," which may be rendered: Thou shalt have no belief of Life as mortal; thou shalt not know evil, for there is one Life, — even God, good. He rendered "unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." He at last paid no homage to forms of doctrine or to theories of man, but acted and spake as he was moved, not by spirits but by Spirit.

(14) 207:27-29
The spiritual reality is the scientific fact in all things. The spiritual fact, repeated in the action of man and the whole universe, is harmonious and is the ideal of Truth.

(15) 67:25-8
The lack of spiritual power in the limited demonstration of popular Christianity does not put to silence the labor of centuries. Spiritual, not corporeal, consciousness is needed. Man delivered from sin, disease, and death presents the true likeness or spiritual ideal. Systems of religion and medicine treat of physical pains and pleasures, but Jesus rebuked the suffering from any such cause or effect. The epoch approaches when the understanding of the truth of being will be the basis of true religion. 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.

Section Five


(7) Matt 12:14-18, 22, 24, 25, 28
Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; And charged them that they should not make him known: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.


(16) 182:32-4
The law of Christ, or Truth, makes all things possible to Spirit; but the so-called laws of matter would render Spirit of no avail, and demand obedience to materialistic codes, thus departing from the basis of one God, one lawmaker.

(17) 351:2, 16
When we lose faith in God's power to heal, we distrust the divine Principle which demonstrates Christian Science, and then we cannot heal the sick. Neither can we heal through the help of Spirit, if we plant ourselves on a material basis. We cannot bring out the practical proof of Christianity, which Jesus required, while error seems as potent and real to us as Truth, and while we make a personal devil and an anthropomorphic God our starting-points, — especially if we consider Satan as a being coequal in power with Deity, if not superior to Him. Because such starting-points are neither spiritual nor scientific, they cannot work out the Spirit-rule of Christian healing, which proves the nothingness of error, discord, by demonstrating the all-inclusiveness of harmonious Truth.

(18) 354:1
Are the protests of Christian Science against the notion that there can be material life, substance, or mind "utter falsities and absurdities," as some aver? Why then do Christians try to obey the Scriptures and war against "the world, the flesh, and the devil"? Why do they invoke the divine aid to enable them to leave all for Christ, Truth? Why do they use this phraseology, and yet deny Christian Science, when it teaches precisely this thought? The words of divine Science find their immortality in deeds, for their Principle heals the sick and spiritualizes humanity.

(19) 249:6-10
Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine "powers that be." Such is the true Science of being.

Section Six


(8) Rev 16:1
And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

(9) Rev 18:1-3, 21
And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

(10) Rev 19:1, 7-9
And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

(11) Rev 21:2, 9
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.


(20) 574:10-6
This ministry of Truth, this message from divine Love, carried John away in spirit. It exalted him till he became conscious of the spiritual facts of being and the "New Jerusalem, coming down from God, out of heaven," — the spiritual outpouring of bliss and glory, which he describes as the city which "lieth foursquare." The beauty of this text is, that the sum total of human misery, represented by the seven angelic vials full of seven plagues, has full compensation in the law of Love. Note this, — that the very message, or swift-winged thought, which poured forth hatred and torment, brought also the experience which at last lifted the seer to behold the great city, the four equal sides of which were heaven-bestowed and heaven-bestowing. Think of this, dear reader, for it will lift the sackcloth from your eyes, and you will behold the soft-winged dove descending upon you. The very circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares. Then thought gently whispers: "Come hither! Arise from your false consciousness into the true sense of Love, and behold the Lamb's wife, — Love wedded to its own spiritual idea." Then cometh the marriage feast, for this revelation will destroy forever the physical plagues imposed by material sense.