Scientific interpretation of the Scriptures
properly starts with the beginning of the Old Testament, chiefly because the
spiritual import of the Word, in its earliest articulations, often seems so
smothered by the immediate context as to require explication; whereas the New
Testament narratives are clearer and come nearer the heart. Jesus illumines
them, showing the poverty of mortal existence, but richly recompensing human
want and woe with spiritual gain. The incarnation of Truth, that amplification
of wonder and glory which angels could only whisper and which God illustrated
by light and harmony, is consonant with ever-present Love. So-called mystery
and miracle, which subserve the end of natural good, are explained by that
Love for whose rest the weary ones sigh when needing something more native to
their immortal cravings than the history of perpetual evil.
A second necessity for beginning with Genesis
is that the living and real prelude of the older Scriptures is so brief that
it would almost seem, from the preponderance of unreality in the entire
narrative, as if reality did not predominate over unreality, the light over
the dark, the straight line of Spirit over the mortal deviations and inverted
images of the creator and His creation.
of being 502
Spiritually followed, the book of Genesis is
the history of the untrue image of God, named a sinful mortal. This deflection
of being, rightly viewed, serves to suggest the proper reflection of God and
the spiritual actuality of man, as given in the first chapter of Genesis. Even
thus the crude forms of human thought take on higher symbols and
significations, when scientifically Christian views of the universe appear,
illuminating time with the glory of eternity.
In the following exegesis, each text is
followed by its spiritual interpretation according to the teachings of
and identities 502
i. 1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
The infinite has no beginning. This word beginning
is employed to signify the only,
- that is, the eternal verity and unity of God and man, including the
universe. The creative Principle-Life, Truth, and Love-is God. The universe
reflects God. There is but one creator and one creation. This creation
consists of the unfolding of spiritual ideas and their identities, which are
embraced in the infinite Mind and forever reflected. These ideas range from
the infinitesimal to infinity, and the highest ideas are the sons and
daughters of God.
i. 2. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face
of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
The divine Principle and idea constitute
spiritual harmony, - heaven and eternity. In the universe of Truth, matter is
unknown. No supposition of error enters there. Divine Science, the Word of
God, saith to the darkness upon the face of error, "God is
All-in-all," and the light of ever-present Love illumines the universe.
Hence the eternal wonder, - that infinite space is peopled with God's ideas,
reflecting Him in countless spiritual forms.
idea faultless 503
i. 3. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Immortal and divine Mind presents the idea of
God: first, in light; second,
in reflection; third,
in spiritual and immortal forms of beauty and goodness. But this Mind creates
no element nor symbol of discord and decay. God creates neither erring
thought, mortal life, mutable truth, nor variable love.
i. 4. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from
God, Spirit, dwelling in infinite light and
harmony from which emanates the true idea, is never reflected by aught but the
preceding the sun 504
i. 5. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the
evening and the morning were the first day.
All questions as to the divine creation being
both spiritual and material are answered in this passage, for though solar
beams are not yet included in the record of creation, still there is light.
This light is not from the sun nor from volcanic flames, but it is the
revelation of Truth and of spiritual ideas. This also shows that there is no
place where God's light is not seen, since Truth, Life, and Love fill
immensity and are ever-present. Was not this a revelation instead of a
and mornings 504
The successive appearing of God's ideas is
represented as taking place on so many evenings
and mornings, - words
which indicate, in the absence of solar time, spiritually clearer views of
Him, views which are not implied by material darkness and dawn. Here we have
the explanation of another passage of Scripture, that "one day is with
the Lord as a thousand years." The rays of infinite Truth, when gathered
into the focus of ideas, bring light instantaneously, whereas a thousand years
of human doctrines, hypotheses, and vague conjectures emit no such effulgence.
^versus^ darkness 504
Did infinite Mind create matter, and call it light?
Spirit is light, and the contradiction of Spirit is matter, darkness, and
darkness obscures light. Material sense is nothing but a supposition of the
absence of Spirit. No solar rays nor planetary revolutions form the day of
Spirit. Immortal Mind makes its own record, but mortal mind, sleep, dreams,
sin, disease, and death have no record in the first chapter of Genesis.
i. 6. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and
let it divide the waters from the waters.
Spiritual understanding, by which human
conception, material sense, is separated from Truth, is the firmament. The
divine Mind, not matter, creates all identities, and they are forms of Mind,
the ideas of Spirit apparent only as Mind, never as mindless matter nor the
so-called material senses.
i. 7. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the
firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
Spirit imparts the understanding which uplifts
consciousness and leads into all truth. The Psalmist saith: "The Lord on
high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of
the sea." Spiritual sense is the discernment of spiritual good.
Understanding is the line of demarcation between the real and unreal.
Spiritual understanding unfolds Mind, - Life, Truth, and Love, - and
demonstrates the divine sense, giving the spiritual proof of the universe in
This understanding is not intellectual, is not
the result of scholarly attainments; it is the reality of all things brought
to light. God's ideas reflect the immortal, unerring, and infinite. The
mortal, erring, and finite are human beliefs, which apportion to themselves a
task impossible for them, that of distinguishing between the false and the
true. Objects utterly unlike the original do not reflect that original.
Therefore matter, not being the reflection of Spirit, has no real entity.
Understanding is a quality of God, a quality which separates Christian Science
from supposition and makes Truth final.
i. 8. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning
were the second day.
Through divine Science, Spirit, God, unites
understanding to eternal harmony. The calm and exalted thought or spiritual
apprehension is at peace. Thus the dawn of ideas goes on, forming each
successive stage of progress.
of thoughts 506
i. 9. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto
one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
Spirit, God, gathers unformed thoughts into
their proper channels, and unfolds these thoughts, even as He opens the petals
of a holy purpose in order that the purpose may appear.
names and blesses 506
i. 10. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the
waters called He Seas: and God saw that it was good.
Here the human concept and divine idea seem
confused by the translator, but they are not so in the scientifically
Christian meaning of the text. Upon Adam devolved the pleasurable task of
finding names for all material things, but Adam has not yet appeared in the
narrative. In metaphor, the dry land
illustrates the absolute formations instituted by Mind, while water
symbolizes the elements of Mind. Spirit duly feeds and clothes every object,
as it appears in the line of spiritual creation, thus tenderly expressing the
fatherhood and motherhood of God. Spirit names and blesses all. Without
natures particularly defined, objects and subjects would be obscure, and
creation would be full of nameless offspring, - wanderers from the parent
Mind, strangers in a tangled wilderness.
i. 11. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed,
and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself,
upon the earth: and it was so.
The universe of Spirit reflects the creative
power of the divine Principle, or Life, which reproduces the multitudinous
forms of Mind and governs the multiplication of the compound idea man. The
tree and herb do not yield fruit because of any propagating power of their
own, but because they reflect the Mind which includes all. A material world
implies a mortal mind and man a creator. The scientific divine creation
declares immortal Mind and the universe created by God.
Infinite Mind creates and governs all, from the
mental molecule to infinity. This divine Principle of all expresses Science
and art throughout His creation, and the immortality of man and the universe.
Creation is ever appearing, and must ever continue to appear from the nature
of its inexhaustible source. Mortal sense inverts this appearing and calls
ideas material. Thus misinterpreted, the divine idea seems to fall to the
level of a human or material belief, called mortal man. But the seed is in
itself, only as the divine Mind is All and reproduces all - as Mind is the
multiplier, and Mind's infinite idea, man and the universe, is the product.
The only intelligence or substance of a thought, a seed, or a flower is God,
the creator of it. Mind is the Soul of all. Mind is Life, Truth, and Love
which governs all.
pure thought 508
i. 12. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his
kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind:
and God saw that it was good.
God determines the gender of His own ideas.
Gender is mental, not material. The seed within itself is the pure thought
emanating from divine Mind. The feminine gender is not yet expressed in the
text. Gender means
simply kind or sort,
and does not necessarily refer either to masculinity or femininity. The word
is not confined to sexuality, and grammars always recognize a neuter gender,
neither male nor female. The Mind or intelligence of production names the
female gender last in the ascending order of creation. The intelligent
individual idea, be it male or female, rising from the lesser to the greater,
unfolds the infinitude of Love.
to the light 508
i. 13. And the evening and the morning were the third day.
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. Our Master reappeared to his
students, - to their apprehension he rose from the grave, - on the third day
of his ascending thought, and so presented to them the certain sense of
of thought 509
i. 14. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to
divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and
for days, and years.
Spirit creates no other than heavenly or
celestial bodies, but the stellar universe is no more celestial than our
earth. This text gives the idea of the rarefaction of thought as it ascends
higher. God forms and peoples the universe. The light of spiritual
understanding gives gleams of the infinite only, even as nebulae indicate the
immensity of space.
nature appearing 509
So-called mineral, vegetable, and animal
substances are no more contingent now on time or material structure than they
were when "the morning stars sang together." Mind made the
"plant of the field before it was in the earth." The periods of
spiritual ascension are the days and seasons of Mind's creation, in which
beauty, sublimity, purity, and holiness - yea, the divine nature - appear in
man and the universe never to disappear.
ideas apprehended 509
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
i. 15. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven, to give
light upon the earth: and it was so.
Truth and Love enlighten the understanding, in
whose "light shall we see light;" and this illumination is reflected
spiritually by all who walk in the light and turn away from a false material
a failure 510
i. 16. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and
the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also.
The sun is a metaphorical representation of
Soul outside the body, giving existence and intelligence to the universe. Love
alone can impart the limitless idea of infinite Mind. Geology has never
explained the earth's formations; it cannot explain them. There is no
Scriptural allusion to solar light until time has been already divided into
evening and morning; and the allusion to fluids (Genesis i. 2) indicates a
supposed formation of matter by the resolving of fluids into solids, analogous
to the suppositional resolving of thoughts into material things.
Light is a symbol of Mind, of Life, Truth, and
Love, and not a vitalizing property of matter. Science reveals only one Mind,
and this one shining by its own light and governing the universe, including
man, in perfect harmony. This Mind forms ideas, its own images, subdivides and
radiates their borrowed light, intelligence, and so explains the Scripture
phrase, "whose seed is in itself." Thus God's ideas "multiply
and replenish the earth." The divine Mind supports the sublimity,
magnitude, and infinitude of spiritual creation.
i. 17, 18. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon
the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the
light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
In divine Science, which is the seal of Deity
and has the impress of heaven, God is revealed as infinite light. In the
eternal Mind, no night is there.
i. 19. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
The changing glow and full effulgence of God's
infinite ideas, images, mark the periods of progress.
i. 20. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature
that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of
To mortal mind, the universe is liquid, solid,
and aeriform. Spiritually interpreted, rocks and mountains stand for solid and
grand ideas. Animals and mortals metaphorically present the gradation of
mortal thought, rising in the scale of intelligence, taking form in masculine,
feminine, or neuter gender. The fowls, which fly above the earth in the open
firmament of heaven, correspond to aspirations soaring beyond and above
corporeality to the understanding of the incorporeal and divine Principle,
i. 21. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth,
which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged
fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Spirit is symbolized by strength, presence, and
power, and also by holy thoughts, winged with Love. These angels of His
presence, which have the holiest charge, abound in the spiritual atmosphere of
Mind, and consequently reproduce their own characteristics. Their individual
forms we know not, but we do know that their natures are allied to God's
nature; and spiritual blessings, thus typified, are the externalized, yet
subjective, states of faith and spiritual understanding.
i. 22. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the
waters in the seas; and let fowl multiply in the earth.
Spirit blesses the multiplication of its own
pure and perfect ideas. From the infinite elements of the one Mind emanate all
form, color, quality, and quantity, and these are mental, both primarily and
secondarily. Their spiritual nature is discerned only through the spiritual
senses. Mortal mind inverts the true likeness, and confers animal names and
natures upon its own misconceptions. Ignorant of the origin and operations of
mortal mind, - that is, ignorant of itself, - this so-called mind puts forth
its own qualities, and claims God as their author; albeit God is ignorant of
the existence of both this mortal mentality, so-called, and its claim, for the
claim usurps the deific prerogatives and is an attempted infringement on
i. 23. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
Advancing spiritual steps in the teeming
universe of Mind lead on to spiritual spheres and exalted beings. To material
sense, this divine universe is dim and distant, gray in the sombre hues of
twilight; but anon the veil is lifted, and the scene shifts into light. In the
record, time is not yet measured by solar revolutions, and the motions and
reflections of deific power cannot be apprehended until divine Science becomes
of thoughts 513
i. 24. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his
kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and
it was so.
Spirit diversifies, classifies, and
individualizes all thoughts, which are as eternal as the Mind conceiving them;
but the intelligence, existence, and continuity of all individuality remain in
God, who is the divinely creative Principle thereof.
thoughts are spiritual realities 513
i. 25. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after
their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and
God saw that it was good.
God creates all forms of reality. His thoughts
are spiritual realities. So-called mortal mind-being nonexistent and
consequently not within the range of immortal existence - could not by
simulating deific power invert the divine creation, and afterwards recreate
persons or things upon its own plane, since nothing exists beyond the range of
all-inclusive infinity, in which and of which God is the sole creator. Mind,
joyous in strength, dwells in the realm of Mind. Mind's infinite ideas run and
disport themselves. In humility they climb the heights of holiness.
of thought 514
Moral courage is "the lion of the tribe of
Juda," the king of the mental realm. Free and fearless it roams in the
forest. Undisturbed it lies in the open field, or rests in "green
pastures, . . . beside the still waters." In the figurative transmission
from the divine thought to the human, diligence, promptness, and perseverance
are likened to "the cattle upon a thousand hills." They carry the
baggage of stern resolve, and keep pace with highest purpose. Tenderness
accompanies all the might imparted by Spirit. The individuality created by God
is not carnivorous, as witness the millennial estate pictured by Isaiah:-
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
And the calf and the young lion, and the
And a little child shall lead them.
Understanding the control which Love held over
all, Daniel felt safe in the lions' den, and Paul proved the viper to be
harmless. All of God's creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are
harmless, useful, indestructible. A realization of this grand verity was a
source of strength to the ancient worthies. It supports Christian healing, and
enables its possessor to emulate the example of Jesus. "And God saw that
it was good."
serpent harmless 515
Patience is symbolized by the tireless worm,
creeping over lofty summits, persevering in its intent. The serpent of God's
creating is neither subtle nor poisonous, but is a wise idea, charming in its
adroitness, for Love's ideas are subject to the Mind which forms them, - the
power which changeth the serpent into a staff.
i. 26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let
them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and
over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that
creepeth upon the earth.
The eternal Elohim includes the forever
universe. The name Elohim is in the plural, but this plurality of Spirit does
not imply more than one God, nor does it imply three persons in one. It
relates to the oneness, the tri-unity of Life, Truth, and Love. "Let them
have dominion." Man is the family name for all ideas, - the sons and
daughters of God. All that God imparts moves in accord with Him, reflecting
goodness and power.
Your mirrored reflection is your own image or
likeness. If you lift a weight, your reflection does this also. If you speak,
the lips of this likeness move in accord with yours. Now compare man before
the mirror to his divine Principle, God. Call the mirror divine Science, and
call man the reflection. Then note how true, according to Christian Science,
is the reflection to its original. As the reflection of yourself appears in
the mirror, so you, being spiritual, are the reflection of God. The substance,
Life, intelligence, Truth, and Love, which constitute Deity, are reflected by
His creation; and when we subordinate the false testimony of the corporeal
senses to the facts of Science, we shall see this true likeness and reflection
imparts beauty 516
God fashions all things, after His own
likeness. Life is reflected in existence, Truth in truthfulness, God in
goodness, which impart their own peace and permanence. Love, redolent with
unselfishness, bathes all in beauty and light. The grass beneath our feet
silently exclaims, "The meek shall inherit the earth." The modest
arbutus sends her sweet breath to heaven. The great rock gives shadow and
shelter. The sunlight glints from the church-dome, glances into the
prison-cell, glides into the sick-chamber, brightens the flower, beautifies
the landscape, blesses the earth. Man, made in His likeness, possesses and
reflects God's dominion over all the earth. Man and woman as coexistent and
eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite
man and woman 516
i. 27. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He
him; male and female created He them.
To emphasize this momentous thought, it is
repeated that God made man in His own image, to reflect the divine Spirit. It
follows that man is a
generic term. Masculine, feminine, and neuter genders are human concepts. In
one of the ancient languages the word for man
is used also as the synonym of mind.
This definition has been weakened by anthropomorphism, or a humanization of
Deity. The word anthropomorphic,
in such a phrase as "an anthropomorphic God," is derived from two
Greek words, signifying man
and form, and may be
defined as a mortally mental attempt to reduce Deity to corporeality. The
life-giving quality of Mind is Spirit, not matter. The ideal man corresponds
to creation, to intelligence, and to Truth. The ideal woman corresponds to
Life and to Love. In divine Science, we have not as much authority for
considering God masculine, as we have for considering Him feminine, for Love
imparts the clearest idea of Deity.
The world believes in many persons; but if God
is personal, there is but one person, because there is but one God. His
personality can only be reflected, not transmitted. God has countless ideas,
and they all have one Principle and parentage. The only proper symbol of God
as person is Mind's infinite ideal. What is this ideal? Who shall behold it?
This ideal is God's own image, spiritual and infinite. Even eternity can never
reveal the whole of God, since there is no limit to infinitude or to its
of man 517
i. 28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and
multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the
fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing
that moveth upon the earth.
Divine Love blesses its own ideas, and causes
them to multiply, - to manifest His power. Man is not made to till the soil.
His birthright is dominion, not subjection. He is lord of the belief in earth
and heaven, - himself subordinate alone to his Maker. This is the Science of
i. 29, 30. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed,
which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the
fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast
of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth
upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat:
and it was so.
God gives the lesser idea of Himself for a link
to the greater, and in return, the higher always protects the lower. The rich
in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same
Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother's need and
supplieth it, seeking his own in another's good. Love giveth to the least
spiritual idea might, immortality, and goodness, which shine through all as
the blossom shines through the bud. All the varied expressions of God reflect
health, holiness, immortality - infinite Life, Truth, and Love.
of creation 518
i. 31. And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.
And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
The divine Principle, or Spirit, comprehends
and expresses all, and all must therefore be as perfect as the divine
Principle is perfect. Nothing is new to Spirit. Nothing can be novel to
eternal Mind, the author of all things, who from all eternity knoweth His own
ideas. Deity was satisfied with His work. How could He be otherwise, since the
spiritual creation was the outgrowth, the emanation, of His infinite
self-containment and immortal wisdom?
ii. 1. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Thus the ideas of God in universal being are
complete and forever expressed, for Science reveals infinity and the
fatherhood and motherhood of Love. Human capacity is slow to discern and to
grasp God's creation and the divine power and presence which go with it,
demonstrating its spiritual origin. Mortals can never know the infinite, until
they throw off the old man and reach the spiritual image and likeness. What
can fathom infinity! How shall we declare Him, till, in the language of the
apostle, "we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of
the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the
fulness of Christ"?
in holy work 519
ii. 2. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He
rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.
God rests in action. Imparting has not
impoverished, can never impoverish, the divine Mind. No exhaustion follows the
action of this Mind, according to the apprehension of divine Science. The
highest and sweetest rest, even from a human standpoint, is in holy work.
man coexistent 520
Unfathomable Mind is expressed. The depth,
breadth, height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite Love fill all space.
That is enough! Human language can repeat only an infinitesimal part of what
exists. The absolute ideal, man, is no more seen nor comprehended by mortals,
than is his infinite Principle, Love. Principle and its idea, man, are
coexistent and eternal. The numerals of infinity, called seven
days, can never be reckoned according to the calendar of time.
These days will appear as mortality disappears, and they will reveal eternity,
newness of Life, in which all sense of error forever disappears and thought
accepts the divine infinite calculus.
is from Mind 520
ii. 4, 5. These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they
were created, in the day that the Lord God [Jehovah] made the earth and the
heavens, and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every
herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God [Jehovah] had not caused it
to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
Here is the emphatic declaration that God
creates all through Mind, not through matter, - that the plant grows, not
because of seed or soil, but because growth is the eternal mandate of Mind.
Mortal thought drops into the ground, but the immortal creating thought is
from above, not from beneath. Because Mind makes all, there is nothing left to
be made by a lower power. Spirit acts through the Science of Mind, never
causing man to till the ground, but making him superior to the soil. Knowledge
of this lifts man above the sod, above earth and its environments, to
conscious spiritual harmony and eternal being.
Here the inspired record closes its narrative
of being that is without beginning or end. All that is made is the work of
God, and all is good. We leave this brief, glorious history of spiritual
creation (as stated in the first chapter of Genesis) in the hands of God, not
of man, in the keeping of Spirit, not matter, - joyfully acknowledging now and
forever God's supremacy, omnipotence, and omnipresence.
The harmony and immortality of man are intact.
We should look away from the opposite supposition that man is created
materially, and turn our gaze to the spiritual record of creation, to that
which should be engraved on the understanding and heart "with the point
of a diamond" and the pen of an angel.
The reader will naturally ask if there is
nothing more about creation in the book of Genesis. Indeed there is, but the
continued account is mortal and material.
story of error 521
ii. 6. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of
The Science and truth of the divine creation
have been presented in the verses already considered, and now the opposite
error, a material view of creation, is to be set forth. The second chapter of
Genesis contains a statement of this material view of God and the universe, a
statement which is the exact opposite of scientific truth as before recorded.
The history of error or matter, if veritable, would set aside the omnipotence
of Spirit; but it is the false history in contradistinction to the true.
The Science of the first record proves the
falsity of the second. If one is true, the other is false, for they are
antagonistic. The first record assigns all might and government to God, and
endows man out of God's perfection and power. The second record chronicles man
as mutable and mortal, - as having broken away from Deity and as revolving in
an orbit of his own. Existence, separate from divinity, Science explains as
This second record unmistakably gives the
history of error in its externalized forms, called life and intelligence in
matter. It records pantheism, opposed to the supremacy of divine Spirit; but
this state of things is declared to be temporary and this man to be mortal, -
dust returning to dust.
In this erroneous theory, matter takes the
place of Spirit. Matter is represented as the life-giving principle of the
earth. Spirit is represented as entering matter in order to create man. God's
glowing denunciations of man when not found in His image, the likeness of
Spirit, convince reason and coincide with revelation in declaring this
material creation false.
This latter part of the second chapter of
Genesis, which portrays Spirit as supposedly cooperating with matter in
constructing the universe, is based on some hypothesis of error, for the
Scripture just preceding declares God's work to be finished. Does Life, Truth,
and Love produce death, error, and hatred? Does the creator condemn His own
creation? Does the unerring Principle of divine law change or repent? It
cannot be so. Yet one might so judge from an unintelligent perusal of the
Scriptural account now under comment.
false claim 523
Because of its false basis, the mist of
obscurity evolved by error deepens the false claim, and finally declares that
God knows error and that error can improve His creation. Although presenting
the exact opposite of Truth, the lie claims to be truth. The creations of
matter arise from a mist or false claim, or from mystification, and not from
the firmament, or understanding, which God erects between the true and false.
In error everything comes from beneath, not from above. All is material myth,
instead of the reflection of Spirit.
It may be worth while here to remark that,
according to the best scholars, there are clear evidences of two distinct
documents in the early part of the book of Genesis. One is called the
Elohistic, because the Supreme Being is therein called Elohim. The other
document is called the Jehovistic, because Deity therein is always called
Jehovah, - or Lord God, as our common version translates it.
Throughout the first chapter of Genesis and in
three verses of the second, - in what we understand to be the spiritually
scientific account of creation, - it is Elohim (God) who creates. From the
fourth verse of chapter two to chapter five, the creator is called Jehovah, or
the Lord. The different accounts become more and more closely intertwined to
the end of chapter twelve, after which the distinction is not definitely
traceable. In the historic parts of the Old Testament, it is usually Jehovah,
peculiarly the divine sovereign of the Hebrew people, who is referred to.
the heathen 524
The idolatry which followed this material
mythology is seen in the Phoenician worship of Baal, in the Moabitish god
Chemosh, in the Moloch of the Amorites, in the Hindoo Vishnu, in the Greek
Aphrodite, and in a thousand other so-called deities.
a tribal deity 524
It was also found among the Israelites, who
constantly went after "strange gods." They called the Supreme Being
by the national name of Jehovah. In that name of Jehovah, the true idea of God
seems almost lost. God becomes "a man of war," a tribal god to be
worshipped, rather than Love, the divine Principle to be lived and loved.
ii. 7. And the Lord God [Jehovah] formed man of the dust of the ground, and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Did the divine and infinite Principle become a
finite deity, that He should now be called Jehovah? With a single command,
Mind had made man, both male and female. How then could a material
organization become the basis of man? How could the non-intelligent become the
medium of Mind, and error be the enunciator of Truth? Matter is not the
reflection of Spirit, yet God is reflected in all His creation. Is this
addition to His creation real or unreal? Is it the truth, or is it a lie
concerning man and God?
It must be a lie, for God presently curses the
ground. Could Spirit evolve its opposite, matter, and give matter ability to
sin and suffer? Is Spirit, God, injected into dust, and eventually ejected at
the demand of matter? Does Spirit enter dust, and lose therein the divine
nature and omnipotence? Does Mind, God, enter matter to become there a mortal
sinner, animated by the breath of God? In this narrative, the validity of
matter is opposed, not the validity of Spirit or Spirit's creations. Man
reflects God; mankind
represents the Adamic race, and is a human, not a divine, creation.
The following are some of the equivalents of
the term man in
different languages. In the Saxon, mankind,
a woman, any one;
in the Welsh, that which rises
up, - the primary sense
being image, form; in
the Hebrew, image, similitude;
in the Icelandic, mind.
The following translation is from the Icelandic:-
And God said, Let us make man after our mind
and our likeness; and God shaped man after His mind; after God's mind shaped
He him; and He shaped them male and female.
In the Gospel of John, it is declared that all
things were made through the Word of God, "and without Him [the logos,
or word] was not
anything made that was made." Everything good or worthy, God made.
Whatever is valueless or baneful, He did not make, - hence its unreality. In
the Science of Genesis we read that He saw everything which He had made,
"and, behold, it was very good." The corporeal senses declare
otherwise; and if we give the same heed to the history of error as to the
records of truth, the Scriptural record of sin and death favors the false
conclusion of the material senses. Sin, sickness, and death must be deemed as
devoid of reality as they are of good, God.
first creation 525
ii. 9. And out of the ground made the Lord God Jehovah] to grow every tree
that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also, in
the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
The previous and more scientific record of
creation declares that God made "every plant of the field before it was
in the earth." This opposite declaration, this statement that life issues
from matter, contradicts the teaching of the first chapter, - namely, that all
Life is God. Belief is less than understanding. Belief involves theories of
material hearing, sight, touch, taste, and smell, termed the five senses. The
appetites and passions, sin, sickness, and death, follow in the train of this
error of a belief in intelligent matter.
of error 526
The first mention of evil is in the legendary
Scriptural text in the second chapter of Genesis. God pronounced good all that
He created, and the Scriptures declare that He created all. The "tree of
life" stands for the idea of Truth, and the sword which guards it is the
type of divine Science. The "tree of knowledge" stands for the
erroneous doctrine that the knowledge of evil is as real, hence as
God-bestowed, as the knowledge of good. Was evil instituted through God, Love?
Did He create this fruit-bearer of sin in contradiction of the first creation?
This second biblical account is a picture of error throughout.
of Eden 526
ii. 15. And the Lord God [Jehovah] took the man, and put him into the garden
of Eden, to dress it and to keep it.
The name Eden, according to Cruden, means pleasure,
delight. In this text
Eden stands for the mortal, material body. God could not put Mind into matter
nor infinite Spirit into finite form to dress it and keep it, - to make it
beautiful or to cause it to live and grow. Man is God's reflection, needing no
cultivation, but ever beautiful and complete.
temptation from God 527
ii. 16, 17. And the Lord God [Jehovah] 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.
Here the metaphor represents God, Love, as
tempting man, but the Apostle James says: "God cannot be tempted with
evil, neither tempteth He any man." It is true that a knowledge of evil
would make man mortal. It is plain also that material perception, gathered
from the corporeal senses, constitutes evil and mortal knowledge. But is it
true that God, good, made "the tree of life" to be the tree of death
to His own creation? Has evil the reality of good? Evil is unreal because it
is a lie, - false in every statement.
ii. 19. And out of the ground the Lord God Jehovah] 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.
Here the lie represents God as repeating
creation, but doing so materially, not spiritually, and asking a prospective
sinner to help Him. Is the Supreme Being retrograding, and is man giving up
his dignity? Was it requisite for the formation of man that dust should become
sentient, when all being is the reflection of the eternal Mind, and the record
declares that God has already created man, both male and female? That Adam
gave the name and nature of animals, is solely mythological and material. It
cannot be true that man was ordered to create man anew in partnership with
God; this supposition was a dream, a myth.
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. This is the first record of
magnetism. Beginning creation with darkness instead of light, - materially
rather than spiritually, - error now simulates the work of Truth, mocking Love
and declaring what great things error has done. Beholding the creations of his
own dream and calling them real and God-given, Adam - alias
error - gives them names. Afterwards he is supposed to become the basis of the
creation of woman and of his own kind, calling them mankind,
- that is, a kind of man.
But according to this narrative, surgery was
first performed mentally and without instruments; and this may be a useful
hint to the medical faculty. 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. It came
about, also, that instruments were needed to assist the birth of mortals. The
first system of suggestive obstetrics has changed. 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.
iii. 1-3. Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which
the Lord God [Jehovah] 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.
Whence comes a talking, lying serpent to tempt
the children of divine Love? The serpent enters into the metaphor only as
evil. We have nothing in the animal kingdom which represents the species
described, - a talking serpent, - and should rejoice that evil, by whatever
figure presented, contradicts itself and has neither origin nor support in
Truth and good. Seeing this, we should have faith to fight all claims of evil,
because we know that they are worthless and unreal.
Adam, the synonym for error, stands for a
belief of material mind. He begins his reign over man somewhat mildly, but he
increases in falsehood and his days become shorter. In this development, the
immortal, spiritual law of Truth is made manifest as forever opposed to
mortal, material sense.
In divine Science, man is sustained by God, the
divine Principle of being. The earth, at God's command, brings forth food for
man's use. Knowing this, Jesus once said, "Take no thought for your life,
what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink,"-presuming not on the
prerogative of his creator, but recognizing God, the Father and Mother of all,
as able to feed and clothe man as He doth the lilies.
iii. 4, 5. 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.
This myth represents error as always asserting
its superiority over truth, giving the lie to divine Science and saying,
through the material senses: "I can open your eyes. I can do what God has
not done for you. Bow down to me and have another god. Only admit that I am
real, that sin and sense are more pleasant to the eyes than spiritual Life,
more to be desired than Truth, and I shall know you, and you will be
mine." Thus Spirit and flesh war.
The history of error is a dream-narrative. The
dream has no reality, no intelligence, no mind; therefore the dreamer and
dream are one, for neither is true nor real. First,
this narrative supposes that something springs from nothing, that matter
precedes mind. Second,
it supposes that mind enters matter, and matter becomes living, substantial,
and intelligent. The order of this allegory - the belief that everything
springs from dust instead of from Deity - has been maintained in all the
subsequent forms of belief. This is the error, - that mortal man starts
materially, that non-intelligence becomes intelligence, that mind and soul are
both right and wrong.
It is well that the upper portions of the brain
represent the higher moral sentiments, as if hope were ever prophesying thus:
The human mind will sometime rise above all material and physical sense,
exchanging it for spiritual perception, and exchanging human concepts for the
divine consciousness. Then man will recognize his God-given dominion and
If, in the beginning, man's body originated in
nonintelligent dust, and mind was afterwards put into body by the creator, why
is not this divine order still maintained by God in perpetuating the species?
Who will say that minerals, vegetables, and animals have a propagating
property of their own? Who dares to say either that God is in matter or that
matter exists without God? Has man sought out other creative inventions, and
so changed the method of his Maker?
Which institutes Life, - matter or Mind? Does
Life begin with Mind or with matter? Is Life sustained by matter or by Spirit?
Certainly not by both, since flesh wars against Spirit and the corporeal
senses can take no cognizance of Spirit. The mythologic theory of material
life at no point resembles the scientifically Christian record of man as
created by Mind in the image and likeness of God and having dominion over all
the earth. Did God at first create one man unaided, - that is, Adam, - but
afterwards require the union of the two sexes in order to create the rest of
the human family? No! God makes and governs all.
All human knowledge and material sense must be
gained from the five corporeal senses. Is this knowledge safe, when eating its
first fruits brought death? "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou
shalt surely die," was the prediction in the story under consideration.
Adam and his progeny were cursed, not blessed; and this indicates that the
divine Spirit, or Father, condemns material man and remands him to dust.
the effect of sin 532
iii. 9, 10. And the Lord God [Jehovah] 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.
Knowledge and pleasure, evolved through
material sense, produced the immediate fruits of fear and shame. Ashamed
before Truth, error shrank abashed from the divine voice calling out to the
corporeal senses. Its summons may be thus paraphrased: "Where art thou,
man? Is Mind in matter? Is Mind capable of error as well as of truth, of evil
as well as of good, when God is All and He is Mind and there is but one God,
hence one Mind?"
comes of error 532
Fear was the first manifestation of the error
of material sense. Thus error began and will end the dream of matter. In the
allegory the body had been naked, and Adam knew it not; but now error demands
that mind shall see and
feel through matter, the five senses. The first impression material man had of
himself was one of nakedness and shame. Had he lost man's rich inheritance and
God's behest, dominion over all the earth? No! This had never been bestowed on
beguiling first lie 533
iii. 11, 12. And He said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten
of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat? And the man
said, The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I
Here there is an attempt to trace all human
errors directly or indirectly to God, or good, as if He were the creator of
evil. 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
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
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. This hereafter enabled woman to be the mother of Jesus and to behold
at the sepulchre the risen Saviour, who was soon to manifest the deathless man
of God's creating. This enabled woman to be first to interpret the Scriptures
in their true sense, which reveals the spiritual origin of man.
and flesh 534
iii. 14, 15. And the Lord God [Jehovah] said unto the serpent, . . . 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.
This prophecy has been fulfilled. The Son of
the Virgin-mother unfolded the remedy for Adam, or error; and the Apostle Paul
explains this warfare between the idea of divine power, which Jesus presented,
and mythological material intelligence called energy
and opposed to Spirit.
Paul says in his epistle to the Romans:
"The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law
of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot
please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the
spirit of God dwell in you."
sin's head 534
There will be greater mental opposition to the
spiritual, scientific meaning of the Scriptures than there has ever been since
the Christian era began. 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. The spiritual idea has given
the understanding a foothold in Christian Science. The seed of Truth and the
seed of error, of belief and of understanding, - yea, the seed of Spirit and
the seed of matter, - are the wheat and tares which time will separate, the
one to be burned, the other to be garnered into heavenly places.
on error 535
iii. 16. Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy
conception: in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be
to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Divine Science deals its chief blow at the
supposed material foundations of life and intelligence. It dooms idolatry. A
belief in other gods, other creators, and other creations must go down before
Christian Science. It unveils the results of sin as shown in sickness and
death. When will man pass through the open gate of Christian Science into the
heaven of Soul, into the heritage of the first born among men? Truth is indeed
earth and no more sea 535
iii. 17-19. 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: thorns also and thistles shall it
bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field: 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.
In the first chapter of Genesis we read:
"And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the
waters called He Seas." In the Apocalypse it is written: "And I saw
a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were
passed away; and there was no more sea." In St. John's vision, heaven and
earth stand for spiritual ideas, and the sea, as a symbol of tempest-tossed
human concepts advancing and receding, is represented as having passed away.
The divine understanding reigns, is all,
and there is no other consciousness.
The way of error is awful to contemplate. The
illusion of sin is without hope or God. If man's spiritual gravitation and
attraction to one Father, in whom we "live, and move, and have our
being," "should be lost, and if man should be governed by
corporeality instead of divine Principle, by body instead of by Soul, man
would be annihilated. 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.
Passions and appetites must end in pain. They
are "of few days, and full of trouble." Their supposed joys are
cheats. Their narrow limits belittle their gratifications, and hedge about
their achievements with thorns.
Mortal mind accepts the erroneous, material
conception of life and joy, but the true idea is gained from the immortal
side. Through toil, struggle, and sorrow, what do mortals attain? They give up
their belief in perishable life and happiness; the mortal and material return
to dust, and the immortal is reached.
and recompense 536
iii. 22-24. And the Lord God [Jehovah] said, Behold, the man is become as one
of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take
also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever; therefore the Lord God
[Jehovah] sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from
whence he was taken. So He drove out the man: and He placed at the east of the
garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep
the way of the tree of life.
A knowledge of evil was never the essence of
divinity or manhood. In the first chapter of Genesis, evil has no local
habitation nor name. Creation is there represented as spiritual, entire, and
good. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Error
excludes itself from harmony. Sin is its own punishment. Truth guards the
gateway to harmony. Error tills its own barren soil and buries itself in the
ground, since ground and dust stand for nothingness.
No one can reasonably doubt that the purpose of
this allegory - this second account in Genesis - is to depict the falsity of
error and the effects of error. Subsequent Bible revelation is coordinate with
the Science of creation recorded in the first chapter of Genesis. Inspired
writers interpret the Word spiritually, while the ordinary historian
interprets it literally. Literally taken, the text is made to appear
contradictory in some places, and divine Love, which blessed the earth and
gave it to man for a possession, is represented as changeable. The literal
meaning would imply that God withheld from man the opportunity to reform, lest
man should improve it and become better; but this is not the nature of God,
who is Love always, - Love infinitely wise and altogether lovely, who "seeketh
not her own."
Truth should, and does, drive error out of all
selfhood. Truth is a two-edged sword, guarding and guiding. Truth places the
cherub wisdom at the gate of understanding to note the proper guests. Radiant
with mercy and justice, the sword of Truth gleams afar and indicates the
infinite distance between Truth and error, between the material and spiritual,
- the unreal and the real.
The sun, giving light and heat to the earth, is
a figure of divine Life and Love, enlightening and sustaining the universe.
The "tree of life" is significant of eternal reality or being. The
"tree of knowledge" "typifies unreality. The testimony of the
serpent is significant of the illusion of error, of the false claims that
misrepresent God, good. Sin, sickness, and death have no record in the
Elohistic introduction of Genesis, in which God creates the heavens, earth,
and man. Until that which contradicts the truth of being enters into the
arena, evil has no history, and evil is brought into view only as the unreal
in contradistinction to the real and eternal.
iv. 1. And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said,
I have gotten a man from the Lord [Jehovah].
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?
of falsehood 539
The Scriptures declare that God condemned this
lie as to man's origin and character by condemning its symbol, the serpent, to
grovel beneath all the beasts of the field. It is false to say that Truth and
error commingle in creation. In parable and argument, this falsity is exposed
by our Master as self-evidently wrong. Disputing these points with the
Pharisees and arguing for the Science of creation, Jesus said: "Do men
gather grapes of thorns?" Paul asked: "What communion hath light
with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial?"
The divine origin of Jesus gave him more than
human power to expound the facts of creation, and demonstrate the one Mind
which makes and governs man and the universe. The Science of creation, so
conspicuous in the birth of Jesus, inspired his wisest and least-understood
sayings, and was the basis of his marvellous demonstrations. Christ is the
offspring of Spirit, and spiritual existence shows that Spirit creates neither
a wicked nor a mortal man, lapsing into sin, sickness, and death.
In Isaiah we read: "I make peace, and
create evil. I the Lord do all these things;" but the prophet referred to
divine law as stirring up the belief in evil to its utmost, when bringing it
to the surface and reducing it to its common denominator, nothingness. The
muddy river-bed must be stirred in order to purify the stream. In moral
chemicalization, when the symptoms of evil, illusion, are aggravated, we may
think in our ignorance that the Lord hath wrought an evil; but we ought to
know that God's law uncovers so-called sin and its effects, only that Truth
may annihilate all sense of evil and all power to sin.
to Spirit 540
Science renders "unto Caesar the things
which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." It saith to
the human sense of sin, sickness, and death, "God never made you, and you
are a false sense which hath no knowledge of God." The purpose of the
Hebrew allegory, representing error as assuming a divine character, is to
teach mortals never to believe a lie.
and material 540
iv. 3, 4. Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord
[Jehovah]. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of
the fat thereof.
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.
iv. 4, 5. And the Lord [Jehovah] had respect unto Abel, and to his offering:
but unto Cain, and to his offering, He had not respect.
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.
iv. 8. Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
The erroneous belief that life, substance, and
intelligence can be material ruptures the life and brotherhood of man at the
iv. 9. And the Lord [Jehovah] said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And
he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
Here the serpentine lie invents new forms. At
first it usurps divine power. It is supposed to say in the first instance,
"Ye shall be as gods." Now it repudiates even the human duty of man
towards his brother.
brings its curse 541
iv. 10, 11. And He [Jehovah] said, . . . The voice of thy brother's blood
crieth unto Me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth.
The belief of life in matter sins at every
step. It incurs divine displeasure, and it would kill Jesus that it might be
rid of troublesome Truth. 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. Truth causes sin to betray itself, and sets upon error the mark
of the beast. Even the disposition to excuse guilt or to conceal it is
punished. The avoidance of justice and the denial of truth tend to perpetuate
sin, invoke crime, jeopardize self-control, and mock divine mercy.
and remorse 542
iv. 15. And the Lord [Jehovah] said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth
Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord [Jehovah] set a
mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
"They that take the sword shall perish
with the sword." 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. To envy's own hell, justice
consigns the lie which, to advance itself, breaks God's commandments.
of suffering 542
iv. 16. And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord [Jehovah], and dwelt
in the land of Nod.
The sinful misconception of Life as something
less than God, having no truth to support it, falls back upon itself. This
error, after reaching the climax of suffering, yields to Truth and returns to
dust; but it is only mortal man and not the real man, who dies. The image of
Spirit cannot be effaced, since it is the idea of Truth and changes not, but
becomes more beautifully apparent at error's demise.
in dreamland 543
In divine Science, the material man is shut out
from the presence of God. The five corporeal senses cannot take cognizance of
Spirit. They cannot come into His presence, and must dwell in dream-land,
until mortals arrive at the understanding that material life, with all its
sin, sickness, and death, is an illusion, against which divine Science is
engaged in a warfare of extermination. The great verities of existence are
never excluded by falsity.
springs from Mind 543
All error proceeds from the evidence before the
material senses. If man is material and originates in an egg, who shall say
that he is not primarily dust? May not Darwin be right in thinking that
apehood preceded mortal manhood? Minerals and vegetables are found, according
to divine Science, to be the creations of erroneous thought, not of matter.
Did man, whom God created with a word, originate in an egg? When Spirit made
all, did it leave aught for matter to create? Ideas of Truth alone are
reflected in the myriad manifestations of Life, and thus it is seen that man
springs solely from Mind. The belief that matter supports life would make
Life, or God, mortal.
The text, "In the day that the Lord God
[Jehovah God] made the earth and the heavens," introduces the record of a
material creation which followed the spiritual, - a creation so wholly apart
from God's, that Spirit had no participation in it. In God's creation ideas
became productive, obedient to Mind. There was no rain and "not a man to
till the ground." Mind, instead of matter, being the producer, Life was
self-sustained. Birth, decay, and death arise from the material sense of
things, not from the spiritual, for in the latter Life consisteth not of the
things which a man eateth. Matter cannot change the eternal fact that man
exists because God exists. Nothing is new to the infinite Mind.
evil suggestion 544
In Science, Mind neither produces matter nor
does matter produce mind. No mortal mind has the might or right or wisdom to
create or to destroy. All is under the control of the one Mind, even God. The
first statement about evil, - the first suggestion of more than the one Mind,
- is in the fable of the serpent. The facts of creation, as previously
recorded, include nothing of the kind.
The serpent is supposed to say, "Ye shall
be as gods," but these gods must be evolved from materiality and be the
very antipodes of immortal and spiritual being. Man is the likeness of Spirit,
but a material personality is not this likeness. Therefore man, in this
allegory, is neither a lesser god nor the image and likeness of the one God.
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. Error begins with corporeality as the producer instead of
divine Principle, and explains Deity through mortal and finite conceptions.
"Behold, the man is become as one of
us." This could not be the utterance of Truth or Science, for according
to the record, material man was fast degenerating and never had been divinely
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. Outside of Christian Science all is vague and hypothetical, the
opposite of Truth; yet this opposite, in its false view of God and man,
impudently demands a blessing.
The translators of this record of scientific
creation entertained a false sense of being. They believed in the existence of
matter, its propagation and power. From that standpoint of error, they could
not apprehend the nature and operation of Spirit. Hence the seeming
contradiction in that Scripture, which is so glorious in its spiritual
signification. Truth has but one reply to all error, - to sin, sickness, and
death: "Dust [nothingness] thou art, and unto dust [nothingness] shalt
"As in Adam [error] all die, even so in
Christ [Truth] shall all be made alive." The mortality of man is a myth,
for man is immortal. The false belief that spirit is now submerged in matter,
at some future time to be emancipated from it, - this belief alone is mortal.
Spirit, God, never germinates, but is "the same yesterday, and to-day,
and forever." If Mind, God, creates error, that error must exist in the
divine Mind, and this assumption of error would dethrone the perfection of
from a material basis 546
Is Christian Science contradictory? Is the
divine Principle of creation misstated? Has God no Science to declare Mind,
while matter is governed by unerring intelligence? "There went up a mist
from the earth." This represents error as starting from an idea of good
on a material basis. It supposes God and man to be manifested only through the
corporeal senses, although the material senses can take no cognizance of
Spirit or the spiritual idea.
Genesis and the Apocalypse seem more obscure
than other portions of the Scripture, because they cannot possibly be
interpreted from a material standpoint. To the author, they are transparent,
for they contain the deep divinity of the Bible.
of spiritual facts 546
Christian Science is dawning upon a material
age. The great spiritual facts of being, like rays of light, shine in the
darkness, though the darkness, comprehending them not, may deny their reality.
The proof that the system stated in this book is Christianly scientific
resides in the good this system accomplishes, for it cures on a divine
demonstrable Principle which all may understand.
given in healing 546
If mathematics should present a thousand
different examples of one rule, the proving of one example would authenticate
all the others. A simple statement of Christian Science, if demonstrated by
healing, contains the proof of all here said of Christian Science. If one of
the statements in this book is true, every one must be true, for not one
departs from the stated system and rule. You can prove for yourself, dear
reader, the Science of healing, and so ascertain if the author has given you
the correct interpretation of Scripture.
The late Louis Agassiz, by his microscopic
examination of a vulture's ovum, strengthens the thinker's conclusions as to
the scientific theory of creation. Agassiz was able to see in the egg the
earth's atmosphere, the gathering clouds, the moon and stars, while the
germinating speck of so-called embryonic life seemed a small sun. In its
history of mortality, Darwin's theory of evolution from a material basis is
more consistent than most theories. Briefly, this is Darwin's theory, - that
Mind produces its opposite, matter, and endues matter with power to recreate
the universe, including man. Material evolution implies that the great First
Cause must become material, and afterwards must either return to Mind or go
down into dust and nothingness.
theory of the universe 547
The Scriptures are very sacred. Our aim must be
to have them understood spiritually, for only by this understanding can truth
be gained. The true theory of the universe, including man, is not in material
history but in spiritual development. Inspired thought relinquishes a
material, sensual, and mortal theory of the universe, and adopts the spiritual
It is this spiritual perception of Scripture,
which lifts humanity out of disease and death and inspires faith. "The
Spirit and the bride say, Come! . . . and whosoever will, let him take the
water of life freely." Christian Science separates error from truth, and
breathes through the sacred pages the spiritual sense of life, substance, and
intelligence. In this Science, we discover man in the image and likeness of
God. We see that man has never lost his spiritual estate and his eternal
clouds dissolving 548
How little light or heat reach our earth when
clouds cover the sun's face! So Christian Science can be seen only as the
clouds of corporeal sense roll away. Earth has little light or joy for mortals
before Life is spiritually learned. Every agony of mortal error helps error to
destroy error, and so aids the apprehension of immortal Truth. This is the new
birth going on hourly, by which men may entertain angels, the true ideas of
God, the spiritual sense of being.
of a naturalist 548
Speaking of the origin of mortals, a famous
naturalist says: "It is very possible that many general statements now
current, about birth and generation, will be changed with the progress of
information." Had the naturalist, through his tireless researches, gained
the diviner side in Christian Science, - so far apart from his material sense
of animal growth and organization, - he would have blessed the human race more
of reproduction 548
Natural history is richly endowed by the labors
and genius of great men. Modern discoveries have brought to light important
facts in regard to so-called embryonic life. Agassiz declares ("Methods
of Study in Natural History," page 275): "Certain animals, besides
the ordinary process of generation, also increase their numbers naturally and
constantly by self-division." " This discovery is corroborative of
the Science of Mind, for this discovery shows that the multiplication of
certain animals takes place apart from sexual conditions. The supposition that
life germinates in eggs and must decay after it has grown to maturity, if not
before, is shown by divine metaphysics to be a mistake, - a blunder which will
finally give place to higher theories and demonstrations.
three processes 549
Creatures of lower forms of organism are
supposed to have, as classes, three different methods of reproduction and to
multiply their species sometimes through eggs, sometimes through buds, and
sometimes through self-division. According to recent lore, successive
generations do not begin with the birth
of new individuals, or personalities, but with the formation of the nucleus,
or egg, from which one or more individualities subsequently emerge; and we
must therefore look upon the simple ovum as the germ, the starting-point, of
the most complicated corporeal structures, including those which we call
human. Here these material researches culminate in such vague hypotheses as
must necessarily attend false systems, which rely upon physics and are devoid
to material law 549
In one instance a celebrated naturalist,
Agassiz, discovers the pathway leading to divine Science, and beards the lion
of materialism in its den. At that point, however, even this great observer
mistakes nature, forsakes Spirit as the divine origin of creative Truth, and
allows matter and material law to usurp the prerogatives of omnipotence. He
absolutely drops from his summit, coming down to a belief in the material
origin of man, for he virtually affirms that the germ of humanity is in a
circumscribed and nonintelligent egg.
If this be so, whence cometh Life, or Mind, to
the human race? Matter surely does not possess Mind. God is the Life, or
intelligence, which forms and preserves the individuality and identity of
animals as well as of men. God cannot become finite, and be limited within
material bounds. Spirit cannot become matter, nor can Spirit be developed
through its opposite. Of what avail is it to investigate what is miscalled
material life, which ends, even as it begins, in nameless nothingness? The
true sense of being and its eternal perfection should appear now, even as it
of existence 550
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. If Life has any starting-point whatsoever, then the
great I AM is a myth. If Life is God, as the Scriptures imply, then Life is
not embryonic, it is infinite. An egg is an impossible enclosure for Deity.
Embryology supplies no instance of one species
producing its opposite. A serpent never begets a bird, nor does a lion bring
forth a lamb. Amalgamation is deemed monstrous and is seldom fruitful, but it
is not so hideous and absurd as the supposition that Spirit - the pure and
holy, the immutable and immortal - can originate the impure and mortal and
dwell in it. As Christian Science repudiates self-evident impossibilities, the
material senses must father these absurdities, for both the material senses
and their reports are unnatural, impossible, and unreal.
Either Mind produces, or it is produced. If
Mind is first, it cannot produce its opposite in quality and quantity, called
matter. If matter is first, it cannot produce Mind. Like produces like. In
natural history, the bird is not the product of a beast. In spiritual history,
matter is not the progenitor of Mind.
ascent of species 551
One distinguished naturalist argues that
mortals spring from eggs and in races. Mr. Darwin admits this, but he adds
that mankind has ascended through all the lower grades of existence. Evolution
describes the gradations of human belief, but it does not acknowledge the
method of divine Mind, nor see that material methods are impossible in divine
Science and that all Science is of God, not of man.
Naturalists ask: "What can there be, of a
material nature, transmitted through these bodies called eggs, - themselves
composed of the simplest material elements, - by which all peculiarities of
ancestry, belonging to either sex, are brought down from generation to
generation?" The question of the naturalist amounts to this: How can
matter originate or transmit mind? We answer that it cannot. Darkness and
doubt encompass thought, so long as it bases creation on materiality. From a
material standpoint, "Canst thou by searching find out God?" All
must be Mind, or else all must be matter. Neither can produce the other. Mind
is immortal; but error declares that the material seed must decay in order to
propagate its species, and the resulting germ is doomed to the same routine.
not in matter 551
The ancient and hypothetical question, Which is
first, the egg or the bird? is answered, if the egg produces the parent. But
we cannot stop here. Another question follows: Who or what produces the parent
of the egg? That the earth was hatched from the "egg of night" was
once an accepted theory. Heathen philosophy, modern geology, and all other
material hypotheses deal with causation as contingent on matter and as
necessarily apparent to the corporeal senses, even where the proof requisite
to sustain this assumption is undiscovered. Mortal theories make friends of
sin, sickness, and death; whereas the spiritual scientific facts of existence
include no member of this dolorous and fatal triad.
of mortals 552
Human experience in mortal life, which starts
from an egg, corresponds with that of Job, when he says, "Man that is
born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble." Mortals must emerge
from this notion of material life as all-in-all. They must peck open their
shells with Christian Science, and look outward and upward. But thought,
loosened from a material basis but not yet instructed by Science, may become
wild with freedom and so be self-contradictory.
of species 552
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
basis than embryology 552
Naturalists describe the origin of mortal and
material existence in the various forms of embryology, and accompany their
descriptions with important observations, which should awaken thought to a
higher and purer contemplation of man's origin. This clearer consciousness
must precede an understanding of the harmony of being. Mortal thought must
obtain a better basis, get nearer the truth of being, or health will never be
universal, and harmony will never become the standard of man.
One of our ablest naturalists has said:
"We have no right to assume that individuals have grown or been formed
under circumstances which made material conditions essential to their
maintenance and reproduction, or important to their origin and first
introduction." Why, then, is the naturalist's basis so materialistic, and
why are his deductions generally material?
nativity in thought 553
Adam was created before Eve. In this instance,
it is seen that the maternal egg never brought forth Adam. Eve was formed from
Adam's rib, not from a foetal ovum. Whatever theory may be adopted by general
mortal thought to account for human origin, that theory is sure to become the
signal for the appearance of its method in finite forms and operations. If
consentaneous human belief agrees upon an ovum as the point of emergence for
the human race, this potent belief will immediately supersede the more ancient
superstition about the creation from dust or from the rib of our primeval
You may say that mortals are formed before they
think or know aught of their origin, and you may also ask how belief can
affect a result which precedes the development of that belief. It can only be
replied, that Christian Science reveals what "eye hath not seen," -
even the cause of all that exists, - for the universe, inclusive of man, is as
eternal as God, who is its divine immortal Principle. There is no such thing
as mortality, nor are there properly any mortal beings, because being is
immortal, like Deity, - or, rather, being and Deity are inseparable.
conscious development 554
Error is always error. It is no
thing. Any statement of life, following from a misconception
of life, is erroneous, because it is destitute of any knowledge of the
so-called selfhood of life, destitute of any knowledge of its origin or
existence. The mortal is unconscious of his foetal and infantile existence;
but as he grows up into another false claim, that of self-conscious matter, he
learns to say, "I am somebody; but who made me?" Error replies,
"God made you." The first effort of error has been and is to impute
to God the creation of whatever is sinful and mortal; but infinite Mind sets
at naught such a mistaken belief.
of error 554
Jesus defined this opposite of God and His
creation better than we can, when he said, "He is a liar, and the father
of it." Jesus also said, "Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of
you is a devil?" This he said of Judas, one of Adam's race. Jesus never
intimated that God made a devil, but he did say, "Ye are of your father,
the devil." All these sayings were to show that mind in matter is the
author of itself, and is simply a falsity and illusion.
of animals 554
It is the general belief that the lower animals
are less sickly than those possessing higher organizations, especially those
of the human form. This would indicate that there is less disease in
proportion as the force of mortal mind is less pungent or sensitive, and that
health attends the absence of mortal mind. A fair conclusion from this might
be, that it is the human belief, and not the divine arbitrament, which brings
the physical organism under the yoke of disease.
the sign of error 555
An inquirer once said to the discoverer of
Christian Science: "I like your explanations of truth, but I do not
comprehend what you say about error." This is the nature of error. The
mark of ignorance is on its forehead, for it neither understands nor can be
understood. Error would have itself received as mind, as if it were as real
and God-created as truth; but Christian Science attributes to error neither
entity nor power, because error is neither mind nor the outcome of Mind.
origin of divinity 555
Searching for the origin of man, who is the
reflection of God, is like inquiring into the origin of God, the self-existent
and eternal. Only impotent error would seek to unite Spirit with matter, good
with evil, immortality with mortality, and call this sham unity man,
as if man were the offspring of both Mind and matter, of both Deity and
humanity. Creation rests on a spiritual basis. We lose our standard of
perfection and set aside the proper conception of Deity, when we admit that
the perfect is the author of aught that can become imperfect, that God bestows
the power to sin, or that Truth confers the ability to err. Our great example,
Jesus, could restore the individualized manifestation of existence, which
seemed to vanish in death. Knowing that God was the Life of man, Jesus was
able to present himself unchanged after the crucifixion. Truth fosters the
idea of Truth, and not the belief in illusion or error. That which is real, is
sustained by Spirit.
Vertebrata, articulata, mollusca, and radiata
are mortal and material concepts classified, and are supposed to possess life
and mind. These false beliefs will disappear, when the radiation of Spirit
destroys forever all belief in intelligent matter. Then will the new heaven
and new earth appear, for the former things will have passed away.
Christian's privilege 556
Mortal belief infolds the conditions of sin.
Mortal belief dies to live again in renewed forms, only to go out at last
forever; for life everlasting is not to be gained by dying. Christian Science
may absorb the attention of sage and philosopher, but the Christian alone can
fathom it. It is made known most fully to him who understands best the divine
Life. Did the origin and the enlightenment of the race come from the deep
sleep which fell upon Adam? Sleep is darkness, but God's creative mandate was,
"Let there be light." In sleep, cause and effect are mere illusions.
They seem to be something, but are not. Oblivion and dreams, not realities,
come with sleep. Even so goes on the Adam-belief, of which mortal and material
life is the dream.
^versus^ physiology 556
Ontology receives less attention than
physiology. Why? Because mortal mind must waken to spiritual life before it
cares to solve the problem of being, hence the author's experience; but when
that awakening comes, existence will be on a new standpoint.
It is related that a father plunged his infant
babe, only a few hours old, into the water for several minutes, and repeated
this operation daily, until the child could remain under water twenty minutes,
moving and playing without harm, like a fish. Parents should remember this,
and learn how to develop their children properly on dry land.
curse removed 557
Mind controls the birth-throes in the lower
realms of nature, where parturition is without suffering. Vegetables,
minerals, and many animals suffer no pain in multiplying; but human
propagation has its suffering because it is a false belief. Christian Science
reveals harmony as proportionately increasing as the line of creation rises
towards spiritual man, - towards enlarged understanding and intelligence; but
in the line of the corporeal senses, the less a mortal knows of sin, disease,
and mortality, the better for him, - the less pain and sorrow are his. When
the mist of mortal mind evaporates, the curse will be removed which says to
woman, "In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children." Divine Science
rolls back the clouds of error with the light of Truth, and lifts the curtain
on man as never born and as never dying, but as coexistent with his creator.
Popular theology takes up the history of man as
if he began materially right, but immediately fell into mental sin; whereas
revealed religion proclaims the Science of Mind and its formations as being in
accordance with the first chapter of the Old Testament, when God, Mind, spake
and it was done.