579In Christian Science we learn that the substitution of the spiritual for the material definition of a Scriptural word often elucidates the meaning of the inspired writer. On this account this chapter is added. It contains the metaphysical interpretation of Bible terms, giving their spiritual sense, which is also their original meaning.
ADAM. Error; a falsity; the belief in “original sin,” sickness, and death; evil; the opposite of good, — of God and His creation; a curse; a belief in intelligent matter, 580finiteness, and mortality; “dust to dust;” red sandstone; nothingness; the first god of mythology; not God’s man, who represents the one God and is His own image and likeness; the opposite of Spirit and His creations; that which is not the image and likeness of good, but a material belief, opposed to the one Mind, or Spirit; a so-called finite mind, producing other minds, thus making “gods many and lords many” (I Corinthians viii. 5); a product of nothing as the mimicry of something; an unreality as opposed to the great reality of spiritual existence and creation; a so-called man, whose origin, substance, and mind are found to be the antipode of God, or Spirit; an inverted image of Spirit; the image and likeness of what God has not created, namely, matter, sin, sickness, and death; the opposer of Truth, termed error; Life’s counterfeit, which ultimates in death; the opposite of Love, called hate; the usurper of Spirit’s creation, called self-creative matter; immortality’s opposite, mortality; that of which wisdom saith, “Thou shalt surely die.”
The name Adam represents the false supposition that Life is not eternal, but has beginning and end; that the infinite enters the finite, that intelligence passes into non-intelligence, and that Soul dwells in material sense; that immortal Mind results in matter, and matter in mortal mind; that the one God and creator entered what He created, and then disappeared in the atheism of matter.
ADVERSARY. An adversary is one who opposes, denies, disputes, not one who constructs and sustains reality and Truth. Jesus said of the devil, “He was a murderer from the beginning, . . . he is a liar and the father of it.” 581This view of Satan is confirmed by the name often conferred upon him in Scripture, the “adversary.”
BENJAMIN (Jacob’s son). A physical belief as to life, substance, and mind; human knowledge, or so-called mortal mind, devoted to matter; pride; envy; fame; illusion; a false belief; error masquerading as the possessor of life, strength, animation, and power to act.
Renewal of affections; self-offering; an improved state of mortal mind; the introduction of a more spiritual origin; a gleam of the infinite idea of the infinite Principle; a spiritual type; that which comforts, consoles, and supports.
583 Sensual and mortal beliefs; counterfeits of creation, whose better originals are God’s thoughts, not in embryo, but in maturity; material suppositions of life, substance, and intelligence, opposed to the Science of being.
CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. The representatives of Soul, not corporeal sense; the offspring of Spirit, who, having wrestled with error, sin, and sense, are governed by divine Science; some of the ideas of God beheld as men, casting out error and healing the sick; Christ’s offspring.
The Church is that institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick.
CREATOR. Spirit; Mind; intelligence; the animating divine Principle of all that is real and good; self-existent Life, Truth, and Love; that which is perfect and eternal; the opposite of matter and evil, which have no Principle; God, who made all that was made and could not create an atom or an element the opposite of Himself.
“And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Genesis i. 5.) The objects of time and sense disappear in the illumination of spiritual understanding, and Mind measures time according to the good that is unfolded. This unfolding is God’s day, and “there shall be no night there.”
Matter has no life, hence it has no real existence. Mind is immortal. The flesh, warring against Spirit; that which frets itself free from one belief only to be fettered by another, until every belief of life where Life is not yields to eternal Life. Any material evidence of death is false, for it contradicts the spiritual facts of being.
DEVIL. Evil; a lie; error; neither corporeality nor mind; the opposite of Truth; a belief in sin, sickness, and death; animal magnetism or hypnotism; the lust of the flesh, which saith: “I am life and intelligence in matter. There is more than one mind, for I am mind, — a wicked mind, self-made or created by a tribal god and put into the opposite of mind, termed matter, thence to reproduce a mortal universe, including man, not after the image and likeness of Spirit, but after its own image.”
EUPHRATES (river). Divine Science encompassing the universe and man; the true idea of God; a type of the glory which is to come; metaphysics taking the place of physics; the reign of righteousness. The atmosphere of human belief before it accepts sin, sickness, or death; a state of mortal thought, the only error of which is limitation; finity; the opposite of infinity.
EVE. A beginning; mortality; that which does not last forever; a finite belief concerning life, substance, and intelligence in matter; error; the belief that the human race originated materially instead of spiritually, — that man started first from dust, second from a rib, and third from an egg.
GODS. Mythology; a belief that life, substance, and intelligence are both mental and material; a supposition of sentient physicality; the belief that infinite Mind is in finite forms; the various theories that hold mind to be a material sense, existing in brain, nerve, matter; supposititious minds, or souls, going in and out of matter, erring and mortal; the serpents of error, which say, “Ye shall be as gods.”
588HELL. Mortal belief; error; lust; remorse; hatred; revenge; sin; sickness; death; suffering and self-destruction; self-imposed agony; effects of sin; that which “worketh abomination or maketh a lie.”
There is but one I, or Us, but one divine Principle, or Mind, governing all existence; man and woman unchanged forever in their individual characters, even as numbers which never blend with each other, though they are governed by one Principle. All the objects of God’s creation reflect one Mind, and whatever reflects not this one Mind, is false and erroneous, even the belief that life, substance, and intelligence are both mental and material.
KNOWLEDGE. Evidence obtained from the five corporeal senses; mortality; beliefs and opinions; human theories, doctrines, hypotheses; that which is not divine and is the origin of sin, sickness, and death; the opposite of spiritual Truth and understanding.
LORD. In the Hebrew, this term is sometimes employed as a title, which has the inferior sense of master, or ruler. In the Greek, the word kurios almost always has this lower sense, unless specially coupled with the name God. Its higher signification is Supreme Ruler.
This double term is not used in the first chapter of Genesis, the record of spiritual creation. It is introduced in the second and following chapters, when the spiritual sense of God and of infinity is disappearing from the recorder’s thought, — when the true scientific statements of the Scriptures become clouded through a 591physical sense of God as finite and corporeal. From this follow idolatry and mythology, — belief in many gods, or material intelligences, as the opposite of the one Spirit, or intelligence, named Elohim, or God.
MATTER. Mythology; mortality; another name for mortal mind; illusion; intelligence, substance, and life in non-intelligence and mortality; life resulting in death, and death in life; sensation in the sensationless; mind originating in matter; the opposite of Truth; the opposite of Spirit; the opposite of God; that of which immortal Mind takes no cognizance; that which mortal mind sees, feels, hears, tastes, and smells only in belief.
MIND. The only I, or Us; the only Spirit, Soul, divine Principle, substance, Life, Truth, Love; the one God; not that which is in man, but the divine Principle, or God, of whom man is the full and perfect expression; Deity, which outlines but is not outlined.
MORTAL MIND. Nothing claiming to be something, for Mind is immortal; mythology; error creating other errors; a suppositional material sense, alias the belief 592that sensation is in matter, which is sensationless; a belief that life, substance, and intelligence are in and of matter; the opposite of Spirit, and therefore the opposite of God, or good; the belief that life has a beginning and therefore an end; the belief that man is the offspring of mortals; the belief that there can be more than one creator; idolatry; the subjective states of error; material senses; that which neither exists in Science nor can be recognized by the spiritual sense; sin; sickness; death.
MOSES. A corporeal mortal; moral courage; a type of moral law and the demonstration thereof; the proof that, without the gospel, — the union of justice and affection, — there is something spiritually lacking, since justice demands penalties under the law.
594SERPENT (ophis, in Greek; nacash, in Hebrew). Subtlety; a lie; the opposite of Truth, named error; the first statement of mythology and idolatry; the belief in more than one God; animal magnetism; the first lie of limitation; finity; the first claim that there is an opposite of Spirit, or good, termed matter, or evil; the first delusion that error exists as fact; the first claim that sin, sickness, and death are the realities of life. The first audible claim that God was not omnipotent and that there was another power, named evil, which was as real and eternal as God, good.
TIME. Mortal measurements; limits, in which are summed up all human acts, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, knowledge; matter; error; that which begins before, and continues after, what is termed death, until the mortal disappears and spiritual perfection appears.
The rabbins believed that the stones in the breast-plate of the high-priest had supernatural illumination, but Christian Science reveals Spirit, not matter, as the illuminator of all. The illuminations of Science give us a sense of the nothingness of error, and they show the spiritual inspiration of Love and Truth to be the only fit preparation for admission to the presence and power of the Most High.
Though the way is dark in mortal sense, divine Life and Love illumine it, destroy the unrest of mortal thought, the fear of death, and the supposed reality of error. Christian Science, contradicting sense, maketh the valley to bud and blossom as the rose.
The Judaic religion consisted mostly of rites and ceremonies. The motives and affections of a man were of little value, if only he appeared unto men to fast. The great Nazarene, as meek as he was mighty, rebuked the hypocrisy, which offered long petitions for blessings upon material methods, but cloaked the crime, latent in thought, which was ready to spring into action and crucify God’s anointed. The martyrdom of Jesus was the culminating sin of Pharisaism. It rent the veil of the temple. It revealed the false foundations and superstructures of superficial religion, tore from bigotry and superstition their coverings, and opened the sepulchre with divine Science, — immortality and Love.
598 The Greek word for wind (pneuma) is used also for spirit, as in the passage in John’s Gospel, the third chapter, where we read: “The wind [pneuma] bloweth where it listeth. . . . So is every one that is born of the Spirit [pneuma].” Here the original word is the same in both cases, yet it has received different translations, as in other passages in this same chapter and elsewhere in the New Testament. This shows how our Master had constantly to employ words of material significance in order to unfold spiritual thoughts. In the record of Jesus’ supposed death, we read: “He bowed his head, and gave up the ghost;” but this word ghost is pneuma. It might be translated wind or air, and the phrase is equivalent to our common statement, “He breathed his last.” What Jesus gave up was indeed air, an etherealized form of matter, for never did he give up Spirit, or Soul.
One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual understanding of Life and Love, is a foretaste of eternity. This exalted view, obtained and retained when the Science of being is understood, would bridge over with life discerned spiritually the interval of death, and man would be in the full consciousness of his immortality and eternal harmony, where sin, sickness, and death are unknown. Time is a mortal thought, the divisor of which 599is the solar year. Eternity is God’s measurement of Soul-filled years.