Bible Study from September 28th, 2019
Felt Ye the Power of the Word?
This week’s Lesson Sermon Subject: Reality
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Bible Study Questions and Readings
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God,” the Principle of all being: hence it was not a person, to be understood, or that healed the sick, neither mediumship, mesmerism, nor drugs, but the Principle, that is, Life and Truth.”
From First Edition Science and Health
(1875), by Mary Baker Eddy, page 4:28-11
Topic: The Word of God
Moderator: Mike from NY
Bible Readings: John 1:1-5; Genesis 1:1-5
- What is “the Word”?
- How does/doesn’t John 1:1-5 relate to Genesis 1:1-5?
- Do “life”, “light”, “Spirit”, and “Word” all mean the same or different things?
Notes from the Discussion
Now, mark this: by this shall you know whether you are a child of God, or not; by the respect that you have to your Father’s Word. If you have small respect for that Word, the evidences of a bastard are upon you.
— Charles Spurgeon
It is a book of laws to show the right and wrong.
It is a book of wisdom that condemns all folly.
It is a book of Truth that condemns all error.
It is a book of Life that shows the way from everlasting death.
It will puzzle the most skillful Anatomist and critic.
It exposes the subtle sophist, and drives divines mad.
It is the best covenant that was ever agreed to, the best deed that was ever sealed.
It is a complete code of laws, a perfect body of divinity an unequalled narrative.
Author — God
— The above words were found in one of Mrs. Eddy’s Bibles, penned by her on note paper. Author Unkown.
The devil himself cannot invent a temptation which is not met in these pages; (Bible) and all the devils in hell together, if they were to hold parliament, and to call in the aid of all bad men, could not invent a device which is not met by this matchless library of truth.
— Charles Spurgeon
On one occasion Mrs. Eddy called me into her room and I found her considering a change in the title of her book, “Science and Health.” Instead of having it “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she proposed making it read, “Science and Health, Key to the Scriptures.”
She asked me what I thought of the idea, and if I understood the import of it. I told her that I did indeed, and that I thought it would be a splendid change as it would at once convey to people the thought that her whole book was the “key” which unlocked the Scriptures, and not chapters 15, 16, and 17, as would appear from the inscription “Key to the Scriptures” found on page 499 of her book as it stood at that time.
Mrs. Eddy was quite pleased with the idea and spoke favorably of it. She talked it over with her publisher and explained that she would like to make this change in the title of her book, provided it did not conflict in any way with her copyrights.
Mr. Stewart, her publisher at that time, made inquiry from Mrs. Eddy’s Boston lawyers, and the word came back that they would not advise her to do this as it might materially affect the copyrights of her book.
Thus our Leader abandoned one of the inspired thoughts that came to her and which would have enlarged considerably the thought of all Christian Scientists regarding her book, “Science and Health.” I shall always look on the whole book as “Key to the Scriptures,” as I am sure she desired that Christian Scientists should do.
— from Memiours of Adam Dickey by Adam Dickey (1930), Chapter 4
In 1876, he (Asa Eddy) visited its Discoverer, Mary Baker Glover, who healed him of a serious illness. After studying with her, he began the practice of metaphysical healing, and was the first to announce himself publicly as a “Christian Scientist,” placing a sign outside his office in Lynn, MA.
His 1876 buisness card read:
Dr. A. G. Eddy
No Medicine, Mediumship, or Mesmerism
— Display at Longyear Museum
When Mary Beecher Longyear moved to Brookline, she asked Mrs. Eddy to recommend a student to whom she might turn in time of need. Our Leader declined to do so, telling her to select one who knew Christian Science history. The deduction is that a knowledge of how error attacked Mrs. Eddy and the Cause down through the years, would give a worker an advantage in handling error for another, beyond what an understanding of Science gained through a mere study of the textbook would give. He would learn the more subtle modes of error’s activities, and be aware of its claims, as it had been apparently successful for a time dogging Mrs. Eddy’s footsteps, until she was able to see its nothingness.
— from Precepts 4 by Gilbert Carpenter, page 124
The plainest reason why the Son of God is called the Word, seems to be, that as our words explain our minds to others, so was the Son of God sent in order to reveal his Father’s mind to the world. What the evangelist says of Christ proves that he is God. He asserts, His existence in the beginning; His coexistence with the Father. The Word was with God. All things were made by him, and not as an instrument. Without him was not any thing made that was made, from the highest angel to the meanest worm. This shows how well qualified he was for the work of our redemption and salvation. The light of reason, as well as the life of sense, is derived from him, and depends upon him. This eternal Word, this true Light shines, but the darkness comprehends it not. Let us pray without ceasing, that our eyes may be opened to behold this Light, that we may walk in it; and thus be made wise unto salvation, by faith in Jesus Christ.
— from Commentary on John 1:1-5 by Mathew Henry
Saw ye my Saviour? Heard ye the glad sound?
Felt ye the power of the Word?
Twas the Truth that made us free,
And was found by you and me
In the life and the love of our Lord.
— Hymn 298 from the Christian Science Hymnal The words were written by Mary Baker Eddy
The magnitude of Jesus’ work, his material disappearance before their eyes and his reappearance, all enabled the disciples to understand what Jesus had said. Heretofore they had only believed; now they understood. The advent of this understanding is what is meant by the descent of the Holy Ghost, — that influx of divine Science which so illuminated the Pentecostal Day and is now repeating its ancient history.
— from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, page 43
Questions and Answers
Will the Bible, if read and practised, heal as effectually as your book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”?
The exact degree of comparison between the effects produced by reading the above-named books can only be determined by personal proof. Rightly to read and to practise the Scriptures, their spiritual sense must be discerned, understood, and demonstrated. God being Spirit, His language and meaning are wholly spiritual. Uninspired knowledge of the translations of the Scriptures has imparted little power to practise the Word. Hence the revelation, discovery, and presentation of Christian Science — the Christ Science, or “new tongue” of which St. Mark prophesied — became requisite in the divine order. On the swift pinions of spiritual thought man rises above the letter, law, or morale of the inspired Word to the spirit of Truth, whereby the Science is reached that demonstrates God. When the Bible is thus read and practised, there is no possibility of misinterpretation. God is understandable, knowable, and applicable to every human need. In this is the proof that Christian Science is Science, for it demonstrates Life, not death; health, not disease; Truth, not error; Love, not hate. The Science of the Scriptures coexists with God; and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” relegates Christianity to its primitive proof, wherein reason, revelation, the divine Principle, rules, and practice of Christianity acquaint the student with God. In the ratio that Christian Science is studied and understood, mankind will, as aforetime, imbibe the spirit and prove the practicality, validity, and redemptive power of Christianity by healing all manner of disease, by overcoming sin and death.
— from Miscellany by Mary Baker Eddy, 238
The Christian Scientists’ Pastor
True, I have made the Bible, and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” the pastor for all the churches of the Christian Science denomination, but that does not make it impossible for this pastor of ours to preach! To my sense the Sermon on the Mount, read each Sunday without comment and obeyed throughout the week, would be enough for Christian practice. The Word of God is a powerful preacher, and it is not too spiritual to be practical, nor too transcendental to be heard and understood. Whosoever saith there is no sermon without personal preaching, forgets what Christian Scientists do not, namely, that God is a Person, and that he should be willing to hear a sermon from his personal God!
— from Message For 1901 by Mary Baker Eddy, page 11
Those, who are willing to leave their nets or to cast them on the right side for Truth, have the opportunity now, as aforetime, to learn and to practise Christian healing. The Scriptures contain it. The spiritual import of the Word imparts this power. But, as Paul says, “How shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent?” If sent, how shall they preach, convert, and heal multitudes, except the people hear?
— from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, page 271
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.
— from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, page 525
XVIII. Spirit, God, has created all in and of Himself. Spirit never created matter. There is nothing in Spirit out of which matter could be made, for, as the Bible declares, without the Logos, the Ӕon or Word of God, “was not anything made that was made.” Spirit is the only substance, the invisible and indivisible infinite God. Things spiritual and eternal are substantial. Things material and temporal are insubstantial.
— from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, page 335
Genesis 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.
— from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, page 502
Our God is Love, unchanging Love,
And can we ask for more?
Our prayer for Love’s increase is vain;
’Twas infinite before.
Ask not the Lord with breath of praise
For more than we accept;
The open fount is free to all, God’s promises are kept.
— Hymn 269 from the Christian Science Hymnal
Genesis 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.
— from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, page 503
Oh, that you and I might get into the very heart of the Word of God, and get that Word into ourselves! As I have seen the silkworm eat it into the leaf, and consume it, so ought we to do with the Word of the Lord; Not crawl over its surface, but eat right into it till we have taken it into our inmost parts. It is idle merely to let the eye glance over the word . . . but it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your very style is fashioned upon Scripture models, and, what is better still, your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord.
I would quote John Bunyan as an instance of what I mean. Read anything of his, and you will see that it is almost like reading the Bible itself. He had studied our Authorized Version . . . till his whole being was saturated with Scripture; and, though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim’s Progress — that sweetest of all prose poems, — without continually making us feel and say, “Why, the man is a living Bible!” Prick him anywhere; and you will find that his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him.
— C. H. Spurgeon: Autobiography, vol. 3