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RUDIMENTAL DIVINE SCIENCE
By MARY BAKER EDDY
Published by The Trustees under the Will of Mary Baker G. Eddy
THIS LITTLE BOOK IS TENDERLY AND RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED TO ALL LOYAL
STUDENTS, WORKING AND WAITING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SCIENCE OF
MARY BAKER EDDY
DEFINITION OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE
PRINCIPLE OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE
PERSONALITY OF GOD
HEALING SICKNESS AND SIN
INDIVIDUALITY OF GOD
MATERIAL AND SPIRITUAL SCIENCE
NON-EXISTENCE OF MATTER
BASIS OF MIND-HEALING
MATERIAL AND SPIRITUAL MAN
DEMONSTRATION IN HEALING
MEANS AND METHODS
ONLY ONE SCHOOL
_How would you define Christian Science?_
As the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the
divine Principle and rule of universal harmony.
_What is the Principle of Christian Science?_
It is God, the Supreme Being, infinite and immortal Mind, the Soul of man
and the universe. It is our Father which is in heaven. It is substance,
Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love,--these are the deific Principle.
_Do you mean by this that God is a person?_
The word _person_ affords a large margin for misapprehension, as well as
definition. In French the equivalent word is _personne_. In Spanish,
Italian, and Latin, it is _persona_. The Latin verb _personare_ is
compounded of the prefix _per_ (through) and _sonare_ (to sound).
In law, Blackstone applies the word _personal_ to _bodily presence_, in
distinction from one's appearance (in court, for example) by deputy or
Other definitions of _person_, as given by Webster, are "a living soul; a
self-conscious being; a moral agent; especially, a living human being,
a corporeal man, woman, or child; an individual of the human race." He
adds, that among Trinitarian Christians the word stands for one of the
three subjects, or agents, constituting the Godhead.
In Christian Science we learn that God is definitely individual, and
not a _person_, as that word is used by the best authorities, if our
lexicographers are right in defining _person_ as especially a finite
_human being_; but God is personal, if by _person_ is meant
We do not conceive rightly of God, if we think of Him as less than
infinite. The human person is finite; and therefore I prefer to retain
the proper sense of Deity by using the phrase _an individual_ God, rather
than _a personal_ God; for there is and can be but one infinite individual
Spirit, whom mortals have named God.
Science defines the individuality of God as supreme good, Life, Truth,
Love. This term enlarges our sense of Deity, takes away the trammels
assigned to God by finite thought, and introduces us to higher definitions.
_Is healing the sick the whole of Science?_
Healing physical sickness is the smallest part of Christian Science. It
is only the bugle-call to thought and action, in the higher range of
infinite goodness. The emphatic purpose of Christian Science is the
healing of sin; and this task, sometimes, may be harder than the cure
of disease; because, while mortals love to sin, they do not love to be
sick. Hence their comparative acquiescence in your endeavors to heal
them of bodily ills, and their obstinate resistance to all efforts to
save them from sin through Christ, spiritual Truth and Love, which redeem
them, and become their Saviour, through the flesh, from the flesh,--the
material world and evil.
This Life, Truth, and Love--this trinity of good--was individualized,
to the perception of mortal sense, in the man Jesus. His history is
emphatic in our hearts, and it lives more because of his spiritual
than his physical healing. His example is, to Christian Scientists,
what the models of the masters in music and painting are to artists.
Genuine Christian Scientists will no more deviate morally from that
divine digest of Science called the Sermon on the Mount, than they will
manipulate invalids, prescribe drugs, or deny God. Jesus' healing was
spiritual in its nature, method, and design. He wrought the cure of
disease through the divine Mind, which gives all true volition, impulse,
and action; and destroys the mental error made manifest physically, and
establishes the opposite manifestation of Truth upon the body in harmony
_By the individuality of God, do you mean that God has a finite form?_
No. I mean the infinite and divine Principle of all being, the
ever-present I AM, filling all space, including in itself all Mind,
the one Father-Mother God. Life, Truth, and Love are this trinity
in unity, and their universe is spiritual, peopled with perfect beings,
harmonious and eternal, of which our material universe and men are the
_Is God the Principle of all science, or only of Divine or
Science is Mind manifested. It is not material; neither is it of
All true Science represents a moral and spiritual force, which holds
the earth in its orbit. This force is Spirit, that can "bind the sweet
influences of the Pleiades," and "loose the bands of Orion."
There is no material science, if by that term you mean material
intelligence. God is infinite Mind, hence there is no other Mind.
Good is Mind, but evil is not Mind. Good is not in evil, but in
God only. Spirit is not in matter, but in Spirit only. Law is not
in matter, but in Mind only.
_Is there no matter?_
All is Mind. According to the Scriptures and Christian Science, all is
God, and there is naught beside Him. "God is Spirit;" and we can only
learn and love Him through His spirit, which brings out the fruits of
Spirit and extinguishes forever the works of darkness by His marvellous
The five material senses testify to the existence of matter. The
spiritual senses afford no such evidence, but deny the testimony of
the material senses. Which testimony is correct? The Bible says:
"Let God be true, and every man a liar." If, as the Scriptures imply,
God is All-in-all, then all must be Mind, since God is Mind. Therefore
in divine Science there is no material mortal man, for man is spiritual
and eternal, he being made in the image of Spirit, or God.
There is no material sense. Matter is inert, inanimate, and
sensationless,--considered apart from Mind. Lives there a man who
has ever found Soul in the body or in matter, who has ever seen
spiritual substance with the eye, who has found sight in matter,
hearing in the material ear, or intelligence in non-intelligence?
If there is any such thing as matter, it must be either mind which
is called matter, or matter without Mind.
Matter without Mind is a moral impossibility. Mind in matter is pantheism.
Soul is the only real consciousness which cognizes being. The body does
not see, hear, smell, or taste. Human belief says that it does; but destroy
this belief of seeing with the eye, and we could not see materially; and
so it is with each of the physical senses.
Accepting the verdict of these material senses, we should believe man
and the universe to be the football of chance and sinking into oblivion.
Destroy the five senses as organized matter, and you must either become
non-existent, or exist in Mind only; and this latter conclusion is the
simple solution of the problem of being, and leads to the equal inference
that there is no matter.
_The sweet sounds and glories of earth and sky, assuming manifold forms
and colors,--are they not tangible and material?_
As Mind they are real, but not as matter. All beauty and goodness are
in and of Mind, emanating from God; but when we change the nature of
beauty and goodness from Mind to matter, the beauty is marred, through
a false conception, and, to the material senses, evil takes the place
Has not the truth in Christian Science met a response from Prof.
S.P. Langley, the young American astronomer? He says that "color
is in _us_," not "in the rose;" and he adds that this is not "any
metaphysical subtlety," but a fact "almost universally accepted,
within the _last few years_, by physicists."
_Is not the basis of Mind-healing a destruction of the evidence of the
material senses, and restoration of the true evidence of spiritual sense?_
It is, so far as you perceive and understand this predicate and postulate
of Mind-healing; but the Science of Mind-healing is best understood in
practical demonstration. The proof of what you apprehend, in the simplest
definite and absolute form of healing, can alone answer this question of
how much you understand of Christian Science Mind-healing. Not that all
healing is Science, by any means; but that the simplest case, healed in
Science, is as demonstrably scientific, in a small degree, as the most
difficult case so treated.
The infinite and subtler conceptions and consistencies of Christian Science
are set forth in my work Science and Health.
_Is man material or spiritual?_
In Science, man is the manifest reflection of God, perfect and immortal
Mind. He is the likeness of God; and His likeness would be lost if inverted
According to the evidence of the so-called physical senses, man is
material, fallen, sick, depraved, mortal. Science and spiritual sense
contradict this, and they afford the only true evidence of the being
of God and man, the material evidence being wholly false.
Jesus said of personal evil, that "the truth abode not in him," because
there is no material sense. Matter, as matter, has neither sensation nor
personal intelligence. As a pretension to be Mind, matter is a lie, and
"the father of lies;" Mind is not in matter, and Spirit cannot originate
its opposite, named matter.
According to divine Science, Spirit no more changes its species, by
evolving matter from Spirit, than natural science, so-called, or material
laws, bring about alteration of species by transforming minerals into
vegetables or plants into animals,--thus confusing and confounding the
three great kingdoms. No rock brings forth an apple; no pine-tree produces
a mammal or provides breast-milk for babes.
To sense, the lion of to-day is the lion of six thousand years ago; but
in Science, Spirit sends forth its own harmless likeness.
_How should I undertake to demonstrate Christian Science in healing
As I have given you only an epitome of the Principle, so I can give you
here nothing but an outline of the practice. Be honest, be true to thyself,
and true to others; then it follows thou wilt be strong in God, the eternal
good. Heal through Truth and Love; there is no other healer.
In all moral revolutions, from a lower to a higher condition of thought
and action, Truth is in the minority and error has the majority. It is
not otherwise in the field of Mind-healing. The man who calls himself a
Christian Scientist, yet is false to God and man, is also uttering
falsehood about good. This falsity shuts against him the Truth and the
Principle of Science, but opens a way whereby, through will-power, sense
may say the unchristian practitioner can heal; but Science shows that he
makes morally worse the invalid whom he is supposed to cure.
By this I mean that mortal mind should not be falsely impregnated. If by
such lower means the health is seemingly restored, the restoration is not
lasting, and the patient is liable to a relapse,--"The last state of that
man is worse than the first."
The teacher of Mind-healing who is not a Christian, in the highest sense,
is constantly sowing the seeds of discord and disease. Even the truth he
speaks is more or less blended with error; and this error will spring
up in the mind of his pupil. The pupil's imperfect knowledge will lead
to weakness in practice, and he will be a poor practitioner, if not a
The basis of malpractice is in erring human will, and this will is an
outcome of what I call _mortal mind_,--a false and temporal sense
of Truth, Life, and Love. To heal, in Christian Science, is to base your
practice on immortal Mind, the divine Principle of man's being; and this
requires a preparation of the heart and an answer of the lips from the
The Science of healing is the Truth of healing. If one is untruthful, his
mental state weighs against his healing power; and similar effects come
from pride, envy, lust, and all fleshly vices.
The spiritual power of a scientific, right thought, without a direct
effort, an audible or even a mental argument, has oftentimes healed
The thoughts of the practitioner should be imbued with a clear conviction
of the omnipotence and omnipresence of God; that He is All, and that there
can be none beside Him; that God is good, and the producer only of good;
and hence, that whatever militates against health, harmony, or holiness,
is an unjust usurper of the throne of the controller of all mankind. Note
this, that if you have power in error, you forfeit the power that Truth
bestows, and its salutary influence on yourself and others.
You must feel and know that God alone governs man; that His government
is harmonious; that He is too pure to behold iniquity, and divides His
power with nothing evil or material; that material laws are only human
beliefs, which govern mortals wrongfully. These beliefs arise from the
subjective states of thought, producing the beliefs of a mortal material
universe,--so-called, and of material disease and mortality. Mortal ills
are but errors of thought,--diseases of mortal mind, and not of matter;
for matter cannot feel, see, or report pain or disease.
Disease is a thing of thought manifested on the body; and fear is the
procurator of the thought which causes sickness and suffering. Remove
this fear by the true sense that God is Love,--and that Love punishes
nothing but sin,--and the patient can then look up to the loving God,
and know that He afflicteth not willingly the children of men, who are
punished because of disobedience to His spiritual law. His law of Truth,
when obeyed, removes every erroneous physical and mental state. The belief
that matter can master Mind, and make you ill, is an error which Truth
You must learn to acknowledge God in all His ways. It is only a lack of
understanding of the allness of God, which leads you to believe in the
existence of matter, or that matter can frame its own conditions, contrary
to the law of Spirit.
Sickness is the schoolmaster, leading you to Christ; first to faith
in Christ; next to belief in God as omnipotent; and finally to the
_understanding_ of God and man in Christian Science, whereby you
learn that God is good, and in Science man is His likeness, the forever
reflection of goodness. Therefore good is one and All.
This brings forward the next proposition in Christian Science,--namely,
that there are no sickness, sin, and death in the divine Mind. What
seem to be disease, vice, and mortality are illusions of the physical
senses. These illusions are not real, but unreal. Health is the
consciousness of the unreality of pain and disease; or, rather,
the absolute consciousness of harmony and of nothing else. In a moment
you may awake from a night-dream; just so you can awake from the dream
of sickness; but the demonstration of the Science of Mind-healing by
no means rests on the strength of human belief. This demonstration is
based on a true understanding of God and divine Science, which takes
away every human belief, and, through the illumination of spiritual
understanding, reveals the all-power and ever-presence of good, whence
emanate health, harmony, and Life eternal.
The lecturer, teacher, or healer who is indeed a Christian Scientist,
never introduces the subject of human anatomy; never depicts the muscular,
vascular, or nervous operations of the human frame. He never talks about
the structure of the material body. He never lays his hands on the patient,
nor manipulates the parts of the body supposed to be ailing. Above all, he
keeps unbroken the Ten Commandments, and practises Christ's Sermon on the
Wrong thoughts and methods strengthen the sense of disease, instead of
cure it; or else quiet the fear of the sick on false grounds, encouraging
them in the belief of error until they hold stronger than before the belief
that they are first made sick by matter, and then restored through its
agency. This fosters infidelity, and is mental quackery, that denies the
Principle of Mind-healing. If the sick are aided in this mistaken fashion,
their ailments will return, and be more stubborn because the relief is
unchristian and unscientific.
Christian Science erases from the minds of invalids their mistaken belief
that they live in or because of matter, or that a so-called material
organism controls the health or existence of mankind, and induces rest
in God, divine Love, as caring for all the conditions requisite for the
well-being of man. As power divine is the healer, why should mortals
concern themselves with the chemistry of food? Jesus said: "Take no
thought what ye shall eat."
The practitioner should also endeavor to free the minds of the healthy
from any sense of subordination to their bodies, and teach them that the
divine Mind, not material law, maintains human health and life.
A Christian Scientist knows that, in Science, disease is unreal; that
Mind is not in matter; that Life is God, good; hence Life is not
functional, and is neither matter nor mortal mind; knows that pantheism
and theosophy are not Science. Whatever saps, with human belief, this
basis of Christian Science, renders it impossible to demonstrate the
Principle of this Science, even in the smallest degree.
A mortal and material body is not the actual individuality of man made
in the divine and spiritual image of God. The material body is not the
likeness of Spirit; hence it is not the truth of being, but the likeness
of error--the human belief which saith there is more than one God,--there
is more than one Life and one Mind.
In Deuteronomy (iv. 35) we read: "The Lord, He is God; there is none
else beside Him." In John (iv. 24) we may read: "God is Spirit." These
propositions, understood in their Science, elucidate my meaning.
When treating a patient, it is not Science to treat every organ in the
body. To aver that harmony is the real and discord is the unreal, and
then give special attention to what according to their own belief is
diseased, is scientific; and if the _healer realizes_ the truth, it
will free his patient.
_What are the means and methods of trustworthy Christian Scientists?_
These people should not be expected, more than others, to give all their
time to Christian Science work, receiving no wages in return, but left to
be fed, clothed, and sheltered by charity. Neither can they serve two
masters, giving only a portion of their time to God, and still be Christian
Scientists. They must give Him all their services, and "owe no man." To do
this, they must at present ask a suitable price for their services, and
then _conscientiously earn their wages_, strictly practising Divine
Science, and healing the sick.
The author never sought charitable support, but gave fully seven-eighths
of her time without remuneration, except the bliss of doing good. The only
pay taken for her labors was from classes, and often those were put off
for months, in order to do gratuitous work. She has never taught a Primary
class without several, and sometimes seventeen, free students in it; and
has endeavored to take the full price of tuition only from those who were
able to pay. The student who pays must of necessity do better than he
who does not pay, and yet will expect and require others to pay him. No
discount on tuition was made on higher classes, because their first classes
furnished students with the means of paying for their tuition in the higher
instruction, and of doing charity work besides. If the Primary students
are still impecunious, it is their own fault, and this ill-success of
itself leaves them unprepared to enter higher classes.
People are being healed by means of my instructions, both in and out
of class. Many students, who have passed through a regular course of
instruction from me, have been invalids and were healed in the class;
but experience has shown that this defrauds the scholar, though it heals
It is seldom that a student, if healed in a class, has left it
understanding sufficiently the Science of healing to immediately
enter upon its practice. Why? Because the glad surprise of suddenly
regained health is a shock to the mind; and this holds and satisfies
the thought with exuberant joy.
This renders the mind less inquisitive, plastic, and tractable; and deep
systematic thinking is impracticable until this impulse subsides.
This was the principal reason for advising diseased people not to enter
a class. Few were taken besides invalids for students, until there were
enough practitioners to fill in the best possible manner the department
of healing. Teaching and healing should have separate departments, and
these should be fortified on all sides with suitable and thorough
guardianship and grace.
Only a very limited number of students can advantageously enter a class,
grapple with this subject, and well assimilate what has been taught them.
It is impossible to teach thorough Christian Science to promiscuous and
large assemblies, or to persons who cannot be addressed individually, so
that the mind of the pupil may be dissected more critically than the body
of a subject laid bare for anatomical examination. Public lectures cannot
be such lessons in Christian Science as are required to empty and to fill
anew the individual mind.
If publicity and material control are the motives for teaching, then
public lectures can take the place of private lessons; but the former
can never give a thorough knowledge of Christian Science, and a Christian
Scientist will never undertake to fit students for practice by such means.
Lectures in public are needed, but they must be subordinate to thorough
class instruction in any branch of education.
None with an imperfect sense of the spiritual signification of the Bible,
and its scientific relation to Mind-healing, should attempt overmuch in
their translation of the Scriptures into the "new tongue;" but I see that
some novices, in the truth of Science, and some impostors are committing
_Is there more than one school of scientific healing?_
In reality there is, and can be, but one school of the Science of
Mind-healing. Any departure from Science is an irreparable loss
of Science. Whatever is said and written correctly on this Science
originates from the Principle and practice laid down in Science and
Health, a work which I published in 1875. This was the first book,
recorded in history, which elucidates a pathological Science purely
Minor shades of difference in Mind-healing have originated with certain
opposing factions, springing up among unchristian students, who, fusing
with a class of aspirants which snatch at whatever is progressive, call
it their first-fruits, or else _post mortem_ evidence.
A slight divergence is fatal in Science. Like certain Jews whom St. Paul
had hoped to convert from mere motives of self-aggrandizement to the love
of Christ, these so-called schools are clogging the wheels of progress by
blinding the people to the true character of Christian Science,--its moral
power, and its divine efficacy to heal.
The true understanding of Christian Science Mind-healing never originated
in pride, rivalry, or the deification of self. The Discoverer of this
Science could tell you of timidity, of self-distrust, of friendlessness,
toil, agonies, and victories under which she needed miraculous vision to
sustain her, when taking the first footsteps in this Science.
The ways of Christianity have not changed. Meekness, selflessness, and
love are the paths of His testimony and the footsteps of His flock.
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