MATTER

September 18, 2016

 

Golden Text

Zech 2:13

Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.

 

 

Responsive Reading

Is 40:3-5 Prepare, 6 All, 8,10,12,13,18,19,25; 44:6 I am

Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

 

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

 

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

 

All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:

 

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

 

Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

 

Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

 

Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his Counsellor hath taught him?

 

To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?

 

The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.

 

To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.

 

I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

 

 

Section I

( 1) Ex 23:1 (to :), 7 (to ;)

Thou shalt not raise a false report:

 

Keep thee far from a false matter;

 

( 2) Is 44:9 (to 1st ;), 18 (to :)

They that make a graven image are all of them vanity;

 

They have not known nor understood:

 

( 3) Is 42:8

I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

 

( 4) Is 41:11 (to :), 15,16

Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded:

 

Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the Lord, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.

 

( 5) I Cor 2:12

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

 

 

( 1) 335:7-8 (to 2nd .)

XVIII. Spirit, God, has created all in and of Himself. Spirit never created matter.

 

( 2) 173:11-14

What is termed matter manifests nothing but a material mentality. Neither the substance nor the manifestation of Spirit is obtainable through matter. Spirit is positive. Matter is Spirit's contrary, the absence of Spirit.

 

( 3) 335:8 There

There is nothing in Spirit out of which matter could be made, for, as the Bible declares, without the Logos, the Aeon or Word of God, "was not anything made that was made." Spirit is the only substance, the invisible and indivisible infinite God. Things spiritual and eternal are substantial. Things material and temporal are insubstantial.

 

( 4) 468:9-10 There

There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter.

 

( 5) 301:17-20

As God is substance and man is the divine image and likeness, man should wish for, and in reality has, only the substance of good, the substance of Spirit, not matter.

 

 

Section II

( 6) I Cor 2:9 as, 10 (to :)

as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:

 

( 7) Dan 6:1,2 (to :), 3 this, 4,6,7,9,11,13,15 Know, 16,19,20 (to :), 21,22 (to ;), 25,26,28

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first:

 

this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.

 

Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellers, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.

 

Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.

 

Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.

 

Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.

 

Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed. Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

 

Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel:

 

Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me;

 

Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.

 

So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

 

 

( 6) 531:26-27

Is Life sustained by matter or by Spirit?

 

( 7) 469:1-5 (to 1st .)

Life is neither in nor of matter. What is termed matter is unknown to Spirit, which includes in itself all substance and is Life eternal. Matter is a human concept. Life is divine Mind. Life is not limited.

 

( 8) 349:31

In Christian Science, substance is understood to be Spirit, while the opponents of Christian Science believe substance to be matter. They think of matter as something and almost the only thing, and of the things which pertain to Spirit as next to nothing, or as very far removed from daily experience. Christian Science takes exactly the opposite view.

 

( 9) 427:9

The belief that existence is contingent on matter must be met and mastered by Science, before Life can be understood and harmony obtained.

 

(10) 514:26-28

Understanding the control which Love held over all, Daniel felt safe in the lions' den, and Paul proved the viper to be harmless.

 

(11) 426:23-28, 29-31

The relinquishment of all faith in death and also of the fear of its sting would raise the standard of health and morals far beyond its present elevation, and would enable us to hold the banner of Christianity aloft with unflinching faith in God, in Life eternal.

 

Man is immortal, and the body cannot die, because matter has no life to surrender.

 

(12) 317:16-20

The individuality of man is no less tangible because it is spiritual and because his life is not at the mercy of matter. The understanding of his spiritual individuality makes man more real, more formidable in truth, and enables him to conquer sin, disease, and death.

 

 

Section III

( 8) Jer 8:15,22

We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble!

 

Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?

 

( 9) II King20:1 (to ;), 2-5 (to 2nd :)

In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order;

 

Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying, I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee:

 

(10) Ps 103:2,3

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

 

(11) James 5:16 The

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

 

 

(13) 495:1-2

God will heal the sick through man, whenever man is governed by God.

 

(14) 229:23

If God causes man to be sick, sickness must be good, and its opposite, health, must be evil, for all that He makes is good and will stand forever. If the transgression of God's law produces sickness, it is right to be sick; and we cannot if we would, and should not if we could, annul the decrees of wisdom. It is the transgression of a belief of mortal mind, not of a law of matter nor of divine Mind, which causes the belief of sickness. The remedy is Truth, not matter, the truth that disease is unreal.

 

(15) 210:25-30

What is termed matter, being unintelligent, cannot say, "I suffer, I die, I am sick, or I am well." It is the so-called mortal mind which voices this and appears to itself to make good its claim. To mortal sense, sin and suffering are real, but immortal sense includes no evil nor pestilence.

 

(16) 368:27-31

Admit the existence of matter, and you admit that mortality (and therefore disease) has a foundation in fact. Deny the existence of matter, and you can destroy the belief in material conditions.

 

(17) 396:30

It breaks the dream of disease to understand that sickness is formed by the human mind, not by matter nor by the divine Mind.

 

(18) 417:10-18

Maintain the facts of Christian Science, that Spirit is God, and therefore cannot be sick; that what is termed matter cannot be sick; that all causation is Mind, acting through spiritual law. Then hold your ground with the unshaken understanding of Truth and Love, and you will win. When you silence the witness against your plea, you destroy the evidence, for the disease disappears.

 

 

Section IV

(12) Is 1:19

If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

 

(13) Is 5:20

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

 

(14) Ps 143:9 (to :), 10

Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies:

 

Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

 

(15) Mark 1:14 Jesus, 15 (to :)

Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand:

 

(16) Matt 13:24-30

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

 

 

(19) 535:1

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.

 

(20) 595:5

TARES. Mortality; error; sin; sickness; disease; death.

 

(21) 72:13-23, 32-1

Mortal belief (the material sense of life) and immortal Truth (the spiritual sense) are the tares and the wheat, which are not united by progress, but separated.

Perfection is not expressed through imperfection. Spirit is not made manifest through matter, the antipode of Spirit. Error is not a convenient sieve through which truth can be strained.

God, good, being ever present, it follows in divine logic that evil, the suppositional opposite of good, is never present.

 

As readily can you mingle fire and frost as Spirit and matter.

 

(22) 2-7:16=23

What are the motives for prayer? Do we pray to make ourselves better or to benefit those who hear us, to enlighten the infinite or to be heard of men? Are we benefited by praying? Yes, the desire which goes forth hungering after righteousness is blessed of our Father, and it does not return unto us void.

God is not moved by the breath of praise to do more than He has already done, nor can the infinite do less than bestow all good, since He is unchanging wisdom and Love. We can do more for ourselves by humble fervent petitions, but the All-loving does not grant them simply on the ground of lip-service, for He already knows all.

Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it. Goodness attains the demonstration of Truth. A request that God will save us is not all that is required. The mere habit of pleading with the divine Mind, as one pleads with a human being, perpetuates the belief in God as humanly circumscribed, an error which impedes spiritual growth.

God is Love. Can we ask Him to be more? God is intelligence. Can we inform the infinite Mind of anything He does not already comprehend? Do we expect to change perfection? Shall we plead for more at the open fount, which is pouring forth more than we accept? The unspoken desire does bring us nearer the source of all existence and blessedness.

Asking God to be God is a vain repetition. God is "the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever;" and He who is immutably right will do right without being reminded of His province. The wisdom of man is not sufficient to warrant him in advising God.

Who would stand before a blackboard, and pray the principle of mathematics to solve the problem? The rule is already established, and it is our task to work out the solution. Shall we ask the divine Principle of all goodness to do His own work? His work is done, and we have only to avail ourselves of God's rule in order to receive His blessing, which enables us to work out our own salvation.

The Divine Being must be reflected by man, else man is not the image and likeness of the patient, tender, and true, the One "altogether lovely;" but to understand God is the work of eternity, and demands absolute consecration of thought, energy, and desire.

How empty are our conceptions of Deity! We admit theoretically that God is good, omnipotent, omnipresent, infinite, and then we try to give information to this infinite Mind. We plead for unmerited pardon and for a liberal outpouring of benefactions. Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more. Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech.

If we are ungrateful for Life, Truth, and Love, and yet return thanks to God for all blessings, we are insincere and incur the sharp censure our Master pronounces on hypocrites. In such a case, the only acceptable prayer is to put the finger on the lips and remember our blessings. While the heart is far from divine Truth and Love, we cannot conceal the ingratitude of barren lives.

What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds. To keep the commandments of our Master and follow his example, is our proper debt to him and the only worthy evidence of our gratitude for all that he has done. Outward worship is not of itself sufficient to express loyal and heartfelt gratitude, since he has said: "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

The habitual struggle to be always good is unceasing prayer. Its motives are made manifest in the blessings they bring, blessings which, even if not acknowledged in audible words, attest our worthiness to be partakers of Love.

Simply asking that we may love God will never make us love Him; but the longing to be better and holier, expressed in daily watchfulness and in striving to assimilate more of the divine character, will mould and fashion us anew, until we awake in His likeness. We reach the Science of Christianity through demonstration of the divine nature; but in this wicked world goodness will "be evil spoken of," and patience must bring experience.

Audible prayer can never do the works of spiritual understanding, which regenerates; but silent prayer, watchfulness, and devout obedience enable us to follow Jesus' example. Long prayers, superstition, and creeds clip the strong pinions of love, and clothe religion in human forms. Whatever materializes worship hinders man's spiritual growth and keeps him from demonstrating his power over error.

Sorrow for wrong-doing is but one step towards reform and the very easiest step. The next and great step required by wisdom is the test of our sincerity, namely, reformation. To this end we are placed under the stress of circumstances. Temptation bids us repeat the offence, and woe comes in return for what is done. So it will ever be, till we learn that there is no discount in the law of justice and that we must pay "the uttermost farthing." The measure ye mete "shall be measured to you again," and it will be full "and running over."

Saints and sinners get their full award, but not always in this world. The followers of Christ drank his cup. Ingratitude and persecution filled it to the brim; but God pours the riches of His love into the understanding and affections, giving us strength according to our day. Sinners flourish "like a green bay tree;" but, looking farther, the Psalmist could see their end, the destruction of sin through suffering.

Prayer is not to be used as a confessional to cancel sin. Such an error would impede true religion. Sin is forgiven only as it is destroyed by Christ, Truth and Life. If prayer nourishes the belief that sin is cancelled, and that man is made better merely by praying, prayer is an evil. He grows worse who continues in sin because he fancies himself forgiven.

An apostle says that the Son of God [Christ] came to "destroy the works of the devil." We should follow our divine Exemplar, and seek the destruction of all evil works, error and disease included. We cannot escape the penalty due for sin. The Scriptures say, that if we deny Christ, "he also will deny us."

Divine Love corrects and governs man. Men may pardon, but this divine Principle alone reforms the sinner. God is not separate from the wisdom He bestows. The talents He gives we must improve. Calling on Him to forgive our work badly done or left undone, implies the vain supposition that we have nothing to do but to ask pardon, and that afterwards we shall be free to repeat the offence.

To cause suffering as the result of sin, is the means of destroying sin. Every supposed pleasure in sin will furnish more than its equivalent of pain, until belief in material life and sin is destroyed. To reach heaven, the harmony of being, we must understand the divine Principle of being.

"God is Love." More than this we cannot ask, higher we cannot look, farther we cannot go. To suppose that God forgives or punishes sin according as His mercy is sought or unsought, is to misunderstand Love and to make prayer the safety-valve for wrong-doing.

Jesus uncovered and rebuked sin before he cast it out. Of a sick woman he said that Satan had bound her, and to Peter he said, "Thou art an offence unto me." He came teaching and showing men how to destroy sin, sickness, and death. He said of the fruitless tree, "[It] is hewn down."

It is believed by many that a certain magistrate, who lived in the time of Jesus, left this record: "His rebuke is fearful." The strong language of our Master confirms this description.

The only civil sentence which he had for error was, "Get thee behind me, Satan." Still stronger evidence that Jesus' reproof was pointed and pungent is found in his own words, showing the necessity for such forcible utterance, when he cast out devils and healed the sick and sinning. The relinquishment of error deprives material sense of its false claims.

Audible prayer is impressive; it gives momentary solemnity and elevation to thought. But does it produce any lasting benefit? Looking deeply into these things, we find that "a zeal . . . not according to knowledge" gives occasion for reaction unfavorable to spiritual growth, sober resolve, and wholesome perception of God's requirements. The motives for verbal prayer may embrace too much love of applause to induce or encourage Christian sentiment.

 

(23) 269:3

From first to last the supposed coexistence of Mind and matter and the mingling of good and evil have resulted from the philosophy of the serpent. Jesus' demonstrations sift the chaff from the wheat, and unfold the unity and the reality of good, the unreality, the nothingness, of evil.

 

 

Section V

(17) Ps 54:4 God (to :)

God is mine helper:

 

(18) Ps 139:7,9,10

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

 

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

 

(19) Ps 119:165 (to :)

Great peace have they which love thy law:

 

(20) Luke 4:14 (to :)

And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee:

 

(21) John 6:16-21

And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

 

 

(24) 273:24

Jesus walked on the waves, fed the multitude, healed the sick, and raised the dead in direct opposition to material laws. His acts were the demonstration of Science, overcoming the false claims of material sense or law.

 

(25) 182:19-22, 32-4

Obedience to material law prevents full obedience to spiritual law, the law which overcomes material conditions and puts matter under the feet of Mind.

 

The law of Christ, or Truth, makes all things possible to Spirit; but the so-called laws of matter would render Spirit of no avail, and demand obedience to materialistic codes, thus departing from the basis of one God, one lawmaker.

 

(26) 380:31-2

against Himself, against Life, health, harmony.

Every law of matter or the body, supposed to govern man, is rendered null and void by the law of Life, God. Ignorant of our God-given rights, we submit to unjust

 

(27) 124:20-21, 26

Adhesion, cohesion, and attraction are properties of Mind.

 

We tread on forces. Withdraw them, and creation must collapse. Human knowledge calls them forces of matter; but divine Science declares that they belong wholly to divine Mind, are inherent in this Mind, and so restores them to their rightful home and classification.

 

(28) 135:6-8

The miracle introduces no disorder, but unfolds the primal order, establishing the Science of God's unchangeable law.

 

 

Section VI

(22) Eph 4:23 be

be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

 

(23) I Cor 2:11

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

 

(24) I Pet 1:24 The grass, 25 (to 1st .)

The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.

 

(25) Rev 11:15 The kingdom

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

 

 

(29) 84:28-30

All we correctly know of Spirit comes from God, divine Principle, and is learned through Christ and Christian Science.

 

(30) 274:23-26, 30

Divine Science is absolute, and permits no half-way position in learning its Principle and rule establishing it by demonstration. The conventional firm, called matter and mind, God never formed.

 

This suppositional partnership is already obsolete, for matter, examined in the light of divine metaphysics, disappears.

 

(31) 264:13-15, 20 (only), 28

As mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible.

 

Spirit and its formations are the only realities of being.

 

When we learn the way in Christian Science and recognize man's spiritual being, we shall behold and understand God's creation, all the glories of earth and heaven and man.