And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob by the name of God Almighty; but by My name Jehovah was I not known to them. — EXODUS.
501Spiritual interpretationScientific 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.
502Spiritual overture 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.
Deflection of being 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.
Ideas and identities 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 crea503tion 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.
Spiritual harmony 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.
Mind’s idea faultless 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.
Light preceding the sun 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 creation?
Evenings and mornings 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.
Spirit versus darkness 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 505form 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.
Spiritual firmament 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.
Understanding imparted 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 Christian Science.
Original reflected 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 506themselves 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.
Exalted thought 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.
Unfolding of thoughts 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.
Spirit names and blesses 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 507appeared 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.
Divine propagation 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.
Ever-appearing creation 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 508to 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.
Mind’s pure thought 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.
Rising to the light The third stage in the order of Christian Science is an important one to the human thought, letting in the light 509of 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 eternal Life.
Rarefaction of thought 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 nebulæ indicate the immensity of space.
Divine nature appearing 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.
Spiritual ideas apprehended 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 510sky; 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 spiritual.
Geology a failure 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.
Spiritual subdivision 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 511man, 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.
Genesis 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.
Soaring aspirations To mortal mind, the universe is liquid, solid, and aëriform. 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 512of heaven, correspond to aspirations soaring beyond and above corporeality to the understanding of the incorporeal and divine Principle, Love.
Genesis 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.
Seraphic symbols 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.
Multiplication of pure ideas 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 ex513istence of both this mortal mentality, so-called, and its claim, for the claim usurps the deific prerogatives and is an attempted infringement on infinity.
Spiritual spheres 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 the interpreter.
Continuity of thoughts 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.
God’s thoughts are spiritual realities God creates all forms of reality. His thoughts are spiritual realities. So-called mortal mind — being non-existent and consequently not within the range of im514mortal 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.
Qualities of thought 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 fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.
Creatures of God useful 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. 515It supports Christian healing, and enables its possessor to emulate the example of Jesus. “And God saw that it was good.”
The serpent harmless 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.
Genesis 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.
Elohistic plurality 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.
Reflected likeness 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 516how 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 everywhere.
Love imparts beauty 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 Father-Mother God.
Ideal man and woman 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 lan517guages 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.
Divine personality 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 reflections.
Genesis 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.
Birthright of man Divine Love blesses its own ideas, and causes them to multiply, — to manifest His power. Man is not made 518to 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 being.
Genesis 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.
Assistance in brotherhood 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.
Perfection of creation 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. 519Nothing 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?
Infinity measureless 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”?
Resting in holy work 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 520highest and sweetest rest, even from a human standpoint, is in holy work.
Love and man coexistent 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.
Genesis 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.
Growth is from Mind 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 521superior to the soil. Knowledge of this lifts man above the sod, above earth and its environments, to conscious spiritual harmony and eternal being.
Spiritual narrative 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 story of error 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 522of Spirit; but it is the false history in contradistinction to the true.
The two records 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 impossible.
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.
Erroneous representation 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.
Hypothetical reversal 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 can523not be so. Yet one might so judge from an unintelligent perusal of the Scriptural account now under comment.
Mist, or false claim 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.
Distinct documents 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.
Jehovah or Elohim 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.
524Gods of the heathen The idolatry which followed this material mythology is seen in the Phœnician 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.
Jehovah a tribal deity 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.
Creation reversed 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 525and 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.
Definitions of man 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: —
No baneful creation 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.
Genesis ii. 9. And out of the ground made the Lord God [Jehovah] to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, 526and good for food; the tree of life also, in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Contradicting first creation 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.
Record of error 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.
Garden of Eden The name Eden, according to Cruden, means pleasure, delight. In this text Eden stands for the mortal, mate527rial 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.
Genesis 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.
No temptation from God 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.
Genesis 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.
Creation’s counterfeit 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 528that 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.
Genesis 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.
Hypnotic surgery 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.
Mental midwifery 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 529fruit 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.
Genesis 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.
Mythical serpent 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.
Error or Adam Adam, the synonym for error, stands for a belief of material mind. He begins his reign over man some530what 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.
Divine providence 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.
Genesis 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.
Error’s assumption 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.
Scriptural allegory 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, 531and 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.
Higher hope 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 being.
Biological inventions If, in the beginning, man’s body originated in non-intelligent 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 532God 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.
Progeny cursed 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.
Genesis 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.
Shame the effect of sin 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?”
Fear comes of error 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 533himself 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 Adam.
Genesis 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 did eat.
The beguiling first lie 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 man?
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 thereof.
False womanhood 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 534she 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.
Genesis 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.
Spirit and flesh 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.”
Bruising sin’s head 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 535a 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.
Genesis 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.
Judgment on error 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 “the way.”
Genesis 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.
New earth and no more sea In the first chapter of Genesis we read: “And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together 536of 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 fall of error 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.
True attainment 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.
Genesis iii. 22–24. And the Lord God [Jehovah] said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good 537and 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.
Justice and recompense 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.
Inspired interpretation 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, — 538Love infinitely wise and altogether lovely, who “seeketh not her own.”
Spiritual gateway 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.
Contrasted testimony 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.
Erroneous conception 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 539of 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.
Only one standard 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?
A type of falsehood 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?”
Scientific offspring 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 540marvellous 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.
Cleansing upheaval 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.
Allegiance to Spirit Science renders “unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar’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.
Spiritual and material 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 541takes 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.
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.
Brotherhood repudiated 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.
542Murder brings its curse 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.
Genesis 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.
Retribution and remorse “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.
Climax of suffering The sinful misconception of Life as something less 543than 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.
Dwelling in dreamland 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 dreamland, 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.
Man springs from Mind 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.
Material inception The text, “In the day that the Lord God [Jehovah God] made the earth and the heavens,” introduces the 544record 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.
First evil suggestion 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.
Material personality 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 Prin545ciple, and explains Deity through mortal and finite conceptions.
Mental tillage 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.
Erroneous standpoint 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 thou return.”
Mortality mythical “As in Adam [error] all die, even so in Christ [Truth] shall all be made alive.” The mortality of man is a 546myth, 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 Deity.
No truth from a material basis 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.
Dawning of spiritual facts 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.
Proof given in healing If mathematics should present a thousand different examples of one rule, the proving of one example would 547authenticate 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.
Embryonic evolution 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.
True theory of the universe 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 and immortal.
Scriptural perception It is this spiritual perception of Scripture, which lifts humanity out of disease and death and inspires faith. 548“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 harmony.
The clouds dissolving 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.
Prediction of a naturalist 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 abundantly.
Methods of reproduction 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-549division.” 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.
The three processes 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 of metaphysics.
Deference to material law 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 550the germ of humanity is in a circumscribed and non-intelligent egg.
Deep-reaching interrogations 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 will hereafter.
Stages of existence 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 551must father these absurdities, for both the material senses and their reports are unnatural, impossible, and unreal.
The real producer 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.
The ascent of species 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.
Transmitted peculiarities 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.
Causation not in matter The ancient and hypothetical question, Which is first, 552the 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.
Emergence of mortals 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.
Persistence of species From a material source flows no remedy for sorrow, sin, and death, for the redeeming power, from the ills they occasion, is not in egg nor in dust. The blending tints of leaf and flower show the order of matter to be the order of mortal mind. The intermixture of different species, urged to its utmost limits, results in a return to the original species. Thus it is learned that matter is a manifestation of mortal mind, and that matter always surrenders its claims when the perfect and eternal Mind is understood.
Better basis than embryology Naturalists describe the origin of mortal and material 553existence 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?
All nativity in thought 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 fœtal 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 father.
Being is immortal 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 554only 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.
Our conscious development 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 fœtal 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.
Mendacity of error 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.
Ailments of animals 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 propor555tion 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.
Ignorance the sign of error 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.
The origin of divinity 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 be556lief in illusion or error. That which is real, is sustained by Spirit.
Genera classified 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.
The Christian’s privilege 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.
Ontology versus physiology 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 557repeated 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.
The curse removed 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.