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Reading Science and Health

“Read this book from beginning to end. Study it, ponder it.”

- Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 559:20–21

Many of us have never read the textbook cover-to-cover.  Perhaps we start reading it without stopping to research the meaning of words or the source of quotations. Perhaps we’ve only read the citations from our weekly Bible Lesson, and so we’ve never noticed how the different chapters flow into each other, concluding with our forever revelation.


The following document contains my study notes from reading Science and Health and sharing these inspirations with our Book Club. These notes are not meant to replace your own study of the textbook since its words speak to each of us individually. You’ll notice that I have the fewest annotations in the first chapters of Science and Health, but as I continued along, my reading slowed. I was researching and pondering more. The quantity and quality of the notes thus reflect an increasing spiritual curiosity. As with all inspirational literature, our thoughts should be constantly evolving as we read. 


One of my best tools for studying Science and Health has been penciling in my annotations in a spiral-bound blue study edition available from the Reading Room. I am always adding notes to it, and thus I will always be adding notes to this document. It remains very much a work-in-progress.

I also found it helpful to summarize each chapter and how it leads into the next chapter. Here is a sample of the beginning chapters.

I would like to especially thank Amber Ellwood who has steadily inspired us to search the scriptures for God’s synonyms. Her name appears in parentheses next to the many questions she helped us answer.


Our Book Club has been blessed with three special individuals while we were working on this project — Mary, Ron, and Kim. Although they have gone on, we remain comforted by their faith in “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” - Hebrews 11:1

“This World is not Conclusion.

 A Species stands beyond,

Invisible, as Music,

But positive, as Sound” - Emily Dickinson

The chapter titles with notes that are currently online are listed below. You can click on the chapter link, and it should bring you to those notes. Right now, the only notes online are from the first chapters, but more will be added to keep up with the students reading Science and Health in a year.

Questions asked the group are in blue. Historical and literary references are in brown. Quotations from Science and Health are abbreviated SH. Publications of the Christian Science Publishing Society are abbreviated CSPS.


The links to the Christian Science Journal and Sentinel articles only work if you have a subscription to these periodicals. If you would like a copy of a specific article, please send an email to  —- Colleen Moore



1. Prayer

2. Atonement and Eucharist

3. Marriage

4. Christian Science versus Spiritualism


Chapter 1 - "Prayer"


Since this is the first chapter, what qualities do we need on our spiritual journey through the textbook? How do we approach the Truth?


We divided into groups, with each group listing the mental qualities necessary for prayer. Groups were only responsible for listing the mental qualities found in four pages each (including the marginal headings), and the result was that everyone had long lists. Here is our compilation:

Pages 1 - 5:2

Desire (SH 1:11, 2:5, 28); Longing to be better and holier (4:18)

Right motives (SH 2 marginal)

Humility - humble fervent petitions (SH 2:12)

Reflection - longing to express divine qualities (patience, tender, and true) through absolute consecration (SH 3:12)

Spiritual mathematics (SH 3 marginal heading); avail ourselves of God’s rule

Gratitude (SH 3:22) / Action (SH 3:26) / Growth in grace (SH 4:4)

Patience, meekness, love, good deeds (SH 4:3)

Keep the commandments of our Master and follow his example (SH 4:5); obedience

Habitual struggle to be always good (SH 4:12); striving to assimilate more of the divine character (SH 4:21) / Devotion (marginal heading) / Watchfulness

Self-forgetfulness, purity, affection

Pages 5:3 - 9:4

Sorrow for wrong-doing / Sincerity / Reformation

No expectation of a material reward

Patience / Honesty

Examine ourselves; self-awareness

Pages 9:5 - 13:4

Fervent habitual desire to know and do the will of God (SH 11:29-30)

Unselfishness (SH 9:12) / Self-immolation (SH 11:24-25)

Love for one another / Kindness (SH 9:11) / Consistency

Surrender of material sensation, affection, worship

Repentance / Loathing vice; morality

Holiness above all else / Faith through enlightened understanding

Willingness to overcome the world and follow Jesus’ example

Controlled by Spirit / Desire to do right (SH 9:32)

Forgiveness (SH 11:3) / Patience (SH 10:3)

Impartial and universal (SH 13:2) / Blessing them that curse us (SH 9:12-13)

A cross to be taken up (SH9:15) / Hope and faith (SH 9:16)

Surrender of all merely material sensation, affection, and worship (SH 9:19-21)

Soul is master (SH 9:23)

Material sense and human will have no place (SH 9:24)

Desire to walk and will walk in the light (SH 10:1-2)

Seeking and striving (SH 10:14)

Restitution (SH 11:9-10) / Correction of sins or mistakes (SH 11:13-14)

Desire for holiness (SH 11:22) / Humble prayers (SH 12:13)

Enlightened understanding (SH 12:24)

Pages 13:5 - 16:23 

1. Silent prayer is a sincere way to pray where public prayer tends to convey more materialistic ways and are vain repetitions.

2. God sees our prayers in secret and works with the sincere to grant their need.  

3. Needs are given and wants are ignored.

4. Must cherish the desire honestly and silently and humbly.

5. We cannot pray to a human form but must pray to the spiritual being or Divine Love.

6. The world of error is ignorant of the world of Truth. 

7. We cannot serve two masters.

8. To be present with the Lord is to be obedience to the law of God.

9. To be absolutely governed by divine Love – by Spirit, not by matter. 

10. Be conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual.

11. Life divine reveals spiritual understanding and consciousness.

12. The closet is the sanctuary of Spirit which shuts out sinful sense. 

13. God knows all things and rewards motives not speech.

14. Quiet the material senses when we pray.


16. Self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection are constant prayers. 

17. Practice not profession, understanding not belief, gain the ear 

18. Trustworthiness is the foundation of enlightened faith.

19. A great sacrifice of material things must precede this advance spiritual understanding. 

20. Christian Science teaches us that “the evil one” is but another name for the first lie or all liars.

Then we went over the same pages in the “Prayer” chapter of Science and Health and listed what would stop prayer from being effective. What would impede our prayer?

Pages 1 - 5:2

Mere habit of pleading with the divine Mind, as one pleads with a human being (SH 2:18; SH 3:20)

Wrong motives (opposite marginal heading) / Vain repetition (SH 2:31)

Verbal expression, speech (SH 3:25-26) / Ingratitude

Insincerity, hypocrisy (SH 3:28-29) / Ingratitude (SH 4:1)

Outward worship (SH 4:9) / Whatever materializes worship (SH 4:32)


Pages 5:3 - 9:4

Confessional / Temptation / Ingratitude

Deny Christ / Verbal, wordy prayers / Self-justification

Pages 9:5 - 13:4

Ask amiss (SH 10 marginal heading) / Unwillingness to take up the cross

No restitution for sinning / Selfishness (SH 9:7)

Unwillingness to follow Jesus’ example (SH 9:30)

Vain repetitions (SH 10:9) / Perfunctory prayers (SH 10 marginal heading)

Misapprehension of the source and means of all goodness and blessedness (SH 10:23-25) / Broken law (SH 11:10)

A blind faith in God (SH 12:7-8) and blind belief (SH 12:11)

Prayer to a corporeal God (SH 12:16)

Pages 13:5 - 16:23

1. Public prayer often goes beyond our convictions, beyond the honest standpoint of fervent desire. 

2. Our prayers can be “vain repetitions” if we are not sincere.

3. Overloading our real wishes with a torrent of words.

4. Praying as a corporal person.

5. Profession instead of practice, belief instead of understanding.

“Don’t just deny it” by Deborah Huebsch, from the January 6, 2020 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

How does the "Prayer" chapter connect to the next chapter, “Atonement and Eucharist”? 

Prayer supplies us with the right mental attitude to be prepared for the sacrifices of atonement.

[Back to Table of Contents]


Chapter 2 - "Atonement and Eucharist"

Atonement is unity and oneness.

Eucharist is Greek for giving thanks. It is Thanksgiving, gratitude, joy, our constant grateful communion with God’s qualities.


In other words, oneness (Atonement) and gratitude (Eucharist) are connected. If you are not feeling oneness, then you are probably not feeling gratitude.

Think about Mrs. Eddy's use of the connector "and."  We demonstrate Atonement AND Eucharist, the cross AND the crown, science AND health.


"Crowning the Cross," by Margaret Morrison, from the January 1950 issue of The Christian Science Journal


What are some keys to this chapter? (Thank you Amber!)

"Atonement is the exemplification of man's unity with God, whereby man reflects divine Truth, Life, and Love." (SH 18:1–3)


"Are all who eat bread and drink wine in memory of Jesus willing truly to drink his cup, take his cross, and leave all for the Christ-principle?" (SH 33:31–2)

Why don't Christian Scientists have a physical Eucharist?

SH 25:3-21 - Following Jesus' life is more important than the symbol.


As you are reading, can you find some sentences with the trinity synonyms (Life, Truth, and Love)? (Thank you Amber!) 

You can pencil in the synonyms in your study Science and Health. Here are some examples we found:

"Yet he swerved not, well knowing that to obey the divine order and trust God, saves retracing and traversing anew the path from sin to holiness." (SH 20:20)

Swerving not = Life / Knowing = Truth / Saving from retracing = Love


"Jesus taught the way of Life by demonstration, that we may understand how this divine Principle heals the sick, casts out error, and triumphs over death." (SH 25:13–16)

How this divine Principle heals the sick = Love

Casts out error = Truth / Triumphs over death = Life


"His mission was to reveal the Science of celestial being, to prove what God is and what He does for man." (SH 26:16)

Reveal the Science of celestial being = Life

Prove what God is = Truth / What He does for man = Love


"The illumination of Mary's spiritual sense put to silence material law and its order of generation, and brought forth her child by the revelation of Truth, demonstrating God as the Father of men." (SH 29:20–24)

Putting to silence material law and its order of generation = Life

Revelation of Truth = Truth / Demonstrating God = Love

"Obeying his precious precepts, — following his demonstration so far as we apprehend it, — we drink of his cup, partake of his bread, are baptized with his purity; and at last we shall rest, sit down with him, in a full understanding of the divine Principle which triumphs over death." (SH 31:17–22)

We drink of his cup = Love / Partake of his bread = Truth

Baptized with his purity = Love / And at last we shall rest = Principle 

"There is a tradition that Publius Lentulus wrote to the authorities at Rome: “The disciples of Jesus believe him the Son of God.” (SH 29:12–14)

According to Wikipedia, the Letter to Lentulus does not appear until the 15th century, and it is now assumed to be a forgery. Eddy herself called it a "tradition" (which has unverifiable history), and she did not quote Jesus' physical characteristics for which this letter is known.

"MBE Mentioned Publius Lentulus" by James Spencer, a podcast from December 1, 2012


The first use of the word “idea” appears in SH 29:30.


“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” (SH 37:5–6)

This quote does not have an attribution, but it is suspected to be from the Second century Church Father Tertullian. According to Wikipedia, he lived from 155-240? AD in Carthage in the Roman province of  Africa. He is most famous for being the “father of Latin Christianity,” and he was the first writer in Latin known to use the term trinity.

What is the difference between the terms absolute and relative? (Thank you Amber!)

absolute = Man is the Son of God.

relative = We have to claim we are the Son of God. 

"Absolute and Relative," by Ralph E. Wagers from the April 1964 issue of The Christian Science Journal

"The Saviour's Message: Absolute and Relative," by Helen Wood Bauman from the October 1967 issue of The Christian Science Journal

"Jesus was the offspring of Mary's self-conscious communion with God." (SH 29:32–1)

Mary’s self-conscious communion is absolute awareness.

"Escape from punishment is not in accordance with God's government, since justice is the handmaid of mercy." (SH 36:7)

The quote about justice serving mercy appears in a 1831 published sermon, "Mercy of the Divine Judgments" by Jeremy Taylor, a cleric of the Church of England:

“[I]t is a certain truth, that the mercy of God is as great an enemy to sin as his justice is; and as God’s justice is made the handmaid of his mercy to cure sin, so it is the servant also and the instrument to avenge our despite and contempt of mercy; and in all the way, where a difference can be, there justice is the less principal.” - The Works of Jeremy Taylor, Volume 2, sermon VI.


What inspiration do you get from comparing these two quotes? 

"For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." (I Cor. 2:2)

"We need “Christ, and him crucified.” We must have trials and self-denials, as well as joys and victories, until all error is destroyed." (SH 39:7)


Look in the text around “Christ and crucified” for some answers. There is a description of Jesus’ sufferings in SH 38:21 (only). Then in the next sentence (SH 38:23-24), there is a description of the eternal Christ. Jesus crucified is the “trials and self-denials,” while Christ’s dominion is the “joys and victories.”


"This thought is apprehended slowly, and the interval before its attainment is attended with doubts and defeats as well as triumphs." (SH 39:27)

Doubts and defeats = suffering and humility of Jesus

Triumphs = Science of Christ

The Hebrew word Shekinah appears one time in Mrs. Eddy’s writings in SH 41:2. According to Wikipedia, Shekinah means “to settle, inhabit, or dwell,” denoting the dwelling or settling of the presence of God. The word does not appear in the Bible, but we know it from rabbinic literature. Shekinah is a feminine word in Hebrew, so it represents the feminine attributes of the presence of God. Wikipedia then lists some examples of the Shekinah, such as manifest in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple in Jerusalem.  

How does the “Atonement and Eucharist” chapter connect with the next chapter on “Marriage”?

When you are united with God (atonement), you are grateful (eucharist) and ready for the Comforter (SH 55:27). We are ready to wed ourselves to a higher manifestation of manhood.

What is the symbol for the Comforter in Revelation?

Rev. 21:9 - After the seven vials of plagues, the lamb's wife (Comforter) is shown. Also, look up Rev. 19:7 and SH 574:16-19.

[Back to Table of Contents]


Chapter 3 - "Marriage"

Can you relate the epigraph at the beginning of the “Marriage” chapter to the theme of this chapter?


An epigraph is a short quotation or saying at the beginning of a book or chapter, intended to suggest its theme. The first quotation in the epigraph from Matthew 19:6 can be related to human marriage whereas the second quotation from Matthew 22:30 relates to spiritual marriage. As we are reading this chapter, our thoughts should be ascending regarding whatever we wed — whether it be a spouse, business partnership, church, city, job, school, or any other material organization we join. To have better human relationships, we should wed ourselves to the spiritual.


“Man should not be required to participate in all the annoyances and cares of domestic economy, nor should woman be expected to understand political economy.” (SH 59:8–11)


Such sentences provide useful examples from the time period when Science and Health was written although these domestic arrangements appear dated today. It was interesting to note that even in the 19th century, Mrs. Eddy was flipping the gender roles she used as examples in her textbook. We discussed what we remembered from her biographies including this description of her husband Gilbert’s contribution to the household labor:


“Of all the Eddy children, Gilbert was especially strong in domestic skills because he was the son who stayed at home to take care of his parents. . . .Living on his own as a bachelor, he continued to do his own housework to keep his expenses down. Between his experience living on the family farm, caring for his parents, and working with textiles, he was known to be as good at cooking, cleaning, and ironing as any woman. Gilbert had no qualms about using these skills during his marriage to help out when needed.” Cindy Peyser Safronoff, Crossing Swords Mary Baker Eddy vs. Victoria Claflin Woodhull and the Battle for the Soul of Marriage, pages 218-219

“A mother's affection cannot be weaned from her child, because the mother-love includes purity and constancy, both of which are immortal.” (SH 60:8–10)

“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.” (Isa. 49:15)


“Can a mother forget her suckling child?” - Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave, Written by Himself

According to Wikipedia, the Bibb autobiography (self-published in 1849) was one of the best known slave narratives of the antebellum years. Bibb escaped slavery and briefly lived in Boston before migrating to Canada due to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. It is interesting to consider the abolitionist literature of Mrs. Eddy’s times and how the anguish of separating enslaved families would have infused Science and Health. (The textbook was first published in 1875, a few years after the Civil War.)

“We must not attribute more and more intelligence to matter, but less and less, if we would be wise and healthy.” (SH 62:20–22)

We are going from humanhood to a higher sense of manhood. This ascending thought to a more spiritual view blesses the human institutions we touch. 

“Sweet are the uses of adversity; Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.” (SH 66:3)

This quotation is from “As You Like It,” by William Shakespeare. Love forces us to accept man’s unity with God and not a false sense of unity.

Did you find some sentences in this chapter which remind you of this synonym trinity: Life, Truth, and Love?

“Spiritually to understand that there is but one creator, God, unfolds all creation, confirms the Scriptures, brings the sweet assurance of no parting, no pain, and of man deathless and perfect and eternal.” (SH 69:13)

Unfolds creation = Life / Confirms the Scriptures = Truth / Sweet assurance of no parting, no pain = Love

The last quote in the "Marriage" chapter is from the epigraph at the beginning of the chapter. Why did Mrs. Eddy repeat this quotation?

“Jesus' concessions (in certain cases) to material methods were for the advancement of spiritual good.” (SH 56:4)

A material and human sense of unity and relationships yield to a spiritual sense.

How does the “Marriage” chapter progress to the next chapter on spiritualism?

In the last paragraph of the marriage chapter, the child (us) asks whether Spirit creates materially or if all is Spirit. This question is answered in the next chapter, which addresses dualism — divine Mind versus mortal mind. 

“The wedding” by Doris Lubin, from the March 21, 1988 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel:

I do.

I'm willing

To be wedded

To my perfect selfhood.

Divorced from dualism's subtle sway,

Through with fruitless wanderings,

I do—as of this day—

Take for my very life

The spiritual perfection

That has ever been mine

As God's own dear reflection.

If marriage is a symbol in the Bible, then you can only wed your original selfhood in Genesis 1. You can only be wedded to your Genesis 1 identity. Don’t lose your first love. Don’t have more than One Love. The onliness of God is not seen through the adulterous mist of Genesis 2. Dualism would be adultery because you are being wedded to more than one nature. 

[Back to Table of Contents]


Chapter 4 - Christian Science versus Spiritualism

“Imposition and Demonstration” was the chapter titled used in the first edition of Science and Health because of the impositions of mortal mind. This chapter became “Christian Science and Spiritualism” in the 50th edition in 1891. It became “Christian Science versus Spiritualism” in 1910. This information is from Milestones in the Major Editions of Science and Health from The Mary Baker Eddy Library.

“The fourth chapter, “Christian Science versus Spiritualism,” explores the crucial distinction between the spiritual values of Christianity and psychic phenomena as represented by the irruption of spirits in the mid-nineteenth century—when she herself had briefly essayed to “try the spirits whether they are of God”—and by the various occult and paranormal developments with which Christian Science has been confounded ever since.” Robert Peel, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Authority, CSPS, page 189

How do we “try the spirits”? (I John 4:7)

1. Believe Jesus Christ came in the flesh (I John 4:2, 3)

2. Love one another. (I John 4:7)

Trying to weigh what is right and wrong about all the different aspects of spiritualism is like trying to figure out what is right by looking at counterfeit money. The “I John test” is our real test. 


Does the epigraph suggest some topics covered in this chapter, such as spiritualism and its opposite eternal Life?


According to Wikipedia: “Spiritualism is a metaphysical belief that the world is made up of at least two fundamental substances, matter and spirit. This very broad metaphysical distinction is further developed into many and various forms by the inclusion of details about what spiritual entities exist such as a soul, the afterlife, spirits of the dead, deities and mediums; as well as details about the nature of the relationship between spirit and matter. . . .Spiritualism is the belief that spirits are able to communicate with the living by agency of a medium.”


The following story from one of the reminiscences helps in understanding the difference between material spiritualists and pure spirituality, between mortal mind-reading and divine Mind-reading. Two spiritualists visited Mrs. Eddy and correctly described a memory she had of singing hymns with her mother in a sick woman’s house. Then Mrs. Eddy thought of someone who was the exact opposite in appearance from her mother and asked the spiritualists to describe her mother. They described the lady of whom Mrs. Eddy was thinking. 


“Now,” said Mrs. Eddy, “I have proved that it is not spiritual; it is simply mind-reading. For my mother whom you were describing, you were only describing my mental picture of someone I know who is tall, with dark hair and eyes. Now I will describe to you my mother: she was short and stout; she had golden hair and beautiful blue eyes; and she was a blonde.” - We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Volume II, CSPS, page 186

“When the Science of Mind is understood, spiritualism will be found mainly erroneous, having no scientific basis nor origin, no proof nor power outside of human testimony.” (SH 71:21–24)

We questioned Mrs. Eddy’s use of the word “mainly” (instead of “always erroneous”) and found an answer by reading further in the chapter:

“Those individuals, who adopt theosophy, spiritualism, or hypnotism, may possess natures above some others who eschew their false beliefs. Therefore my contest is not with the individual, but with the false system.” (SH 99:18–21)


Spiritualism is also dualism, the belief that matter and Spirit mingle and cooperate. Dualism is the belief that there are two kinds of reality: material (physical) and immaterial (spiritual).

“As light dispels darkness, which is never anything but the supposed absence of light, so the light of infinite Mind dispels any sense of dualism, or supposed existence apart from Spirit. Therefore one must realize that in Science he is now in a position through the pure monotheism of Christian Science to abandon the obstructing error that he or anyone else has ever been anything but a divine idea. There is no dualism in Science, but only the allness of infinite Mind, including its infinite idea.”  - From “No Dualism in Science” by Robert Stanley Ross from the November 1955 issue of The Christian Science Journal

“Every day is a mystery.” (SH 70:1–2)

“Science dispels mystery and explains extraordinary phenomena; but Science never removes phenomena from the domain of reason into the realm of mysticism.” (SH 80:15)


Dualism is the mystery which Science solves. How do we stay in the realm of Science, the one Spirit? We dwell in one Mind whereas spiritualism dwells in beliefs of many minds. The term “mortal mind” appears 21 times in “Christian Science versus Spiritualism.” In contrast, in “Atonement and Eucharist,” Mrs. Eddy uses “mortal mind” only twice when she wrote about Jesus being seen by mortal man (SH 30:11; 50:27).


If eternal Life is one, then there is no dualism because of death. There is no “before death” and no “after death.” Reading this sentence about the constancy of “individual good” was very comforting in handling the belief of grief:

“In Science, individual good derived from God, the infinite All-in-all, may flow from the departed to mortals; but evil is neither communicable nor scientific.” (SH 72:23–26)

Mary Baker Eddy mentions Polycarp and quotes some of his final words — “Let them come, I cannot turn at once from good to evil” — three times in her published writings (SH 77:1-2, Miscellaneous Writings 354:7-10, The People’s Idea of God 13:16-20). According to Wikipedia, Polycarp was believed to be a disciple of the Apostle John. He lived in Smyrna, one of the seven cities listed by John in the Book of Revelation. Polycarp was burned at the stake and then stabbed when the fire failed to consume his body. Polycarp was unafraid of the “second death” because he understood our eternal Life given by Jesus.

"MBE Mentioned Polycarp," podcast by Maryl Walters, January 1, 2013

While we were reading this chapter, we received the news that a Christian Scientist, Elisabeth Salm, had been murdered while serving at her post in Canada as a Reading Room Librarian. Her Celebration of Life Service was streamed and watched by many of us. During the eulogy, her husband, Lyle Young, made a comparison to Joseph’s coat of many colors with its bloody evidence.  The father, Jacob, thought his son had died because he had seen the evidence. Jacob didn’t see him again for years, but Joseph had gone on serving the Lord all that time. (Genesis 37:32-35) 

Life —Never Interrupted” by Elizabeth Salm from the September 2007 issue of The Christian Science Journal

“The period required for this dream of material life, embracing its so-called pleasures and pains, to vanish from consciousness, “knoweth no man . . . neither the Son, but the Father.” This period will be of longer or shorter duration according to the tenacity of error.” (SH 77:1–2, 13–18)

These pages inspired us to discuss Near Death Experiences (NDE) and movies such as Groundhog Day where our mission is repeated until it is perfected.

Many of us had read NDE books, and so we appreciated these articles in our magazines:


“Dr. Eben Alexander says it’s time for brain science to graduate from kindergarten” by Ingrid Peschke from the February 2014 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Death did not end my life” by Howard Johnson from the July 2, 2001 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Theodore Parker is mentioned twice by Mrs. Eddy in her published writings. (SH 80:6-8; Pulpit and Press 33:16-20). He was a dynamic Unitarian minister and abolitionist and one of the most liberal thinkers of his time. 


“He taught an infinitely perfect God, the eternal Mother, and immortal life. His words, "With the consciousness of immortality, with a certain knowledge of the infinite perfection of God, the perfect Cause, the perfect Providence, I can do all things," would seem to nullify the claim that after passing on he sent a communication that "there never was, and there never will be, an immortal spirit.” - “Mrs. Eddy Mentioned Them, Theodore Parker, 1810-1860” from the January 22, 1955 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

The quote about “immortal spirit” also appears in the first edition of Science and Health, page 75, where it is referenced from the “Banner of Light,” a spiritualist newspaper. Today we best remember Theodore Parker by this famous quotation used by Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.

"MBE Mentioned Theodore Parker," podcast by Dr. Amy B. Voorhees, September 1, 2013

MBE Mentioned Chaucer, Homer, Virgil” podcast by Dr. Heidi Snow, October 1, 2012 (SH 82:5)

MBE Mentioned Alfred Lord Tennyson,” podcast by Dr. Peter Martin, July 1, 2014 (SH 88:1-3)

A key paragraph in “Christian Science versus Spiritualism” is SH 88:9 distinguishing between ideas from Mind and illusions from mortal mind. Whatever is built from illusions is wrong. “We have the mind of Christ.” (I Cor. 2:16)


“The admission to one's self that man is God's own likeness sets man free to master the infinite idea.” (SH 90:24–25)

Man in "God’s own likeness” is described in Genesis 1, while we can substitute our name or humanity for the second man “free to master the infinite idea.” Eventually we can forsake this dualism in thought of two types of man for “a new heaven and a new earth” in the next paragraph. SH 91:1 connects with SH 536:1. There is no more sea, no more dualism, no more believing in the erroneous postulates listed in SH 91:22-8. Can you compare these five false postulates with the five positive postulates in SH 288:20-26 which are a way of conquering the five senses?

“Divine logic and revelation coincide.” (SH 93:10 only)

The value of both Western reasoning and African intuition are explained in the following article which also addresses many other topics from the “Spiritualism” chapter:

Soul-Thinking: a Conversation with Kiatezua Lubanzadio Luyaluka” by Jeffrey Hinder from the January 2006 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Superstition is defined by Webster in the 1828 online dictionary as “exactness in religious opinions or practice; extreme and unnecessary scruples in the observance of religious rites not commanded….”


“Between Christian Science and all forms of superstition a great gulf is fixed, as impassable as that between Dives and Lazarus.” (SH 83:22–25)

The “great gulf” separating Christian Science from spiritualism appears in the Church Manual under “Discipline” article VIII “Guidance of Members”:


“When it is necessary to show the great gulf between Christian Science and theosophy, hypnotism, or spiritualism, do it, but without hard words. The wise man saith, “A soft answer turneth away wrath.” However despitefully used and misrepresented by the churches or the press, in return employ no violent invective, and do good unto your enemies when the opportunity occurs. A departure from this rule disqualifies a member for office in the Church or on the Board of Lectureship, and renders this member liable to discipline and, possibly, dismissal from The Mother Church.” (Mary Baker Eddy, Church Manual page 41:5)

The great gulf” by Helen Wood Bauman from the March 6, 1965 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

What Bible stories did Mrs. Eddy use in this chapter to illustrate dualism?

1. Adam and Eve - SH 92:11 (Gen. 2 - 3)

2. Dives and Lazaurs - SH 83:22-25 (Luke 16:19-31)

3. Tares and Wheat - SH 72:13-16 (Matthew 13:24-30)

4. Lazarus - SH 75:12-5 (John 11)

5. Cain - SH 89:27 (Genesis 4:8)

6. Loaves and fishes - SH 89:31 (John 21:9)

7. Revelation’s new heaven and new earth - SH 91:1 (Revelation 21:1)

8. Ten lepers - SH 94:20 (Luke 17:11-19)

"How were the loaves and fishes multiplied on the shores of Galilee, — and that, too, without meal or monad from which loaf or fish could come?" (SH 90:2)

Does this sentence refer to feeding the multitude or feeding the disciples during the morning meal (John 21:9)? Martha Bogue, who attended Mrs. Eddy’s primary class in 1888 and her Normal Class in 1889, recalls in her reminiscences these words of Mrs. Eddy:  “The highest demonstration of Jesus was the morning meal.  The disciples had gone back to their nets.  In their evening meal, they had said good-bye to him, but they had not realized it was not the supper that brought the Pentecost – it was the breakfast.  They had toiled all night with the old nets and the leaky boat. “He had told them they should be fishers of men and they had gone back to the sea for food and even then did matter, mortal mind, mock them.  When they heard [him] speak, “Children, have ye any meat?” and then when they came to the shore they found the meal prepared, fish and bread and coals.  Before he had increased the loaves and fishes; now he had created, revealed them, produced them through Mind, and now he had demonstrated to them that all was Mind and there was no matter.”


How does this chapter progress to the next chapter “Animal Magnetism Unmasked”? What is the opposite of the “calm, strong currents of true spirituality”? (SH 99:23)

An opposite would be the agitated “animal magnetic fluid” which opens the next chapter. (SH 100:20)

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AM Unmask

Chapter 5 - “Animal Magnetism Unmasked”


Why this epigram?

Christ “comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error,” but it must be unmasked first. (SH 583:10)

Do you look at the marginal headings to clarify the meanings of paragraphs?

For example, on page 103, there is the marginal heading “The genus of error” which correlates with this sentence:

“As named in Christian Science, animal magnetism or hypnotism is the specific term for error, or mortal mind.” (SH 103:18–19)

According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, the specific name is “appended to the name of the genus, constitutes the distinctive name of the species; but it was originally applied by Linnaeus to the essential character of the species, or the essential difference.” Linnaeus was a Swedish botanist who formalized naming organisms. (For example, “homo” is the generic name for the genus and “sapiens” is the specific name for the species.) Thus, the marginal heading provides the clue that animal magnetism or hypnotism is the essence, the identifying characteristic, of error or mortal mind.

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