Original date: March 21, 1920
Current date: March 24, 2019
Golden Text: Jeremiah 3:22. Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the Lord our God.
Responsive Reading: — Ezekiel 2:1-6; 3:8, 10, 12.
1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
2 And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.
4 For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God.
5 And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.
6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
8 Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.
10 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears.
12 Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord from his place.
The following Citations comprise our Sermon.
The Holy Bible
King James Version
(1) Jer 22:13-16
Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour’s service without wages, and giveth him not for his work; That saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is cieled with cedar, and painted with vermilion. Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him? He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the Lord.
(2) James 5:1-4
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,
by Mary Baker Eddy
Matter is neither self-existent nor a product of Spirit. An image of mortal thought, reflected on the retina, is all that the eye beholds. Matter cannot see, feel, hear, taste, nor smell. It is not self-cognizant, — cannot feel itself, see itself, nor understand itself.
The sensualist’s affections are as imaginary, whimsical, and unreal as his pleasures. Falsehood, envy, hypocrisy, malice, hate, revenge, and so forth, steal away the treasures of Truth. Stripped of its coverings, what a mocking spectacle is sin!
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. 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.
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.
(3) Jer 23:16, 18, 22-24
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it? But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.
(4) Mark 13:1-5, 31
And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
Matter and Mind are opposites. One is contrary to the other in its very nature and essence; hence both cannot be real. If one is real, the other must be unreal. Only by understanding that there is but one power, — not two powers, matter and Mind, — are scientific and logical conclusions reached.
When we endow matter with vague spiritual power, — that is, when we do so in our theories, for of course we cannot really endow matter with what it does not and cannot possess, — we disown the Almighty, for such theories lead to one of two things. They either presuppose the self-evolution and self-government of matter, or else they assume that matter is the product of Spirit. To seize the first horn of this dilemma and consider matter as a power in and of itself, is to leave the creator out of His own universe; while to grasp the other horn of the dilemma and regard God as the creator of matter, is not only to make Him responsible for all disasters, physical and moral, but to announce Him as their source, thereby making Him guilty of maintaining perpetual misrule in the form and under the name of natural law.
The conventional firm, called matter and mind, God never formed. Science and understanding, governed by the unerring and eternal Mind, destroy the imaginary copartnership, matter and mind, formed only to be destroyed in a manner and at a period as yet unknown. This suppositional partnership is already obsolete, for matter, examined in the light of divine metaphysics, disappears.
(5) Jer 17:13, 14
O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.
(6) Luke 4:33-36, 40, 41
And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.
Matter and its claims of sin, sickness, and death are contrary to God, and cannot emanate from Him.
Failing to recover health through adherence to physiology and hygiene, the despairing invalid often drops them, and in his extremity and only as a last resort, turns to God. The invalid’s faith in the divine Mind is less than in drugs, air, and exercise, or he would have resorted to Mind first. The balance of power is conceded to be with matter by most of the medical systems; but when Mind at last asserts its mastery over sin, disease, and death, then is man found to be harmonious and immortal.
Matter cannot be inflamed. Inflammation is fear, an excited state of mortals which is not normal. Immortal Mind is the only cause; therefore disease is neither a cause nor an effect. Mind in every case is the eternal God, good. Sin, disease, and death have no foundations in Truth. Inflammation as a mortal belief quickens or impedes the action of the system, because thought moves quickly or slowly, leaps or halts when it contemplates unpleasant things, or when the individual looks upon some object which he dreads. Inflammation never appears in a part which mortal thought does not reach. That is why opiates relieve inflammation. They quiet the thought by inducing stupefaction and by resorting to matter instead of to Mind.
(11) 425:15-20 (to 1st .)
Mortal man will be less mortal, when he learns that matter never sustained existence and can never destroy God, who is man’s Life. When this is understood, mankind will be more spiritual and know that there is nothing to consume, since Spirit, God, is All-in-all.
(7) Ps 80:1, 3
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth. Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
(8) Ezek 11:14-20
Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the Lord: unto us is this land given in possession. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
Our false views of matter perish as we grasp the facts of Spirit. The old belief must be cast out or the new idea will be spilled, and the inspiration, which is to change our standpoint, will be lost.
Emerge gently from matter into Spirit. Think not to thwart the spiritual ultimate of all things, but come naturally into Spirit through better health and morals and as the result of spiritual growth. Not death, but the understanding of Life, makes man immortal. The belief that life can be in matter or soul in body, and that man springs from dust or from an egg, is the result of the mortal error which Christ, or Truth, destroys by fulfilling the spiritual law of being, in which man is perfect, even as the “Father which is in heaven is perfect.” If thought yields its dominion to other powers, it cannot outline on the body its own beautiful images, but it effaces them and delineates foreign agents, called disease and sin.
The sculptor turns from the marble to his model in order to perfect his conception. We are all sculptors, working at various forms, moulding and chiseling thought. What is the model before mortal mind? Is it imperfection, joy, sorrow, sin, suffering? Have you accepted the mortal model? Are you reproducing it? Then you are haunted in your work by vicious sculptors and hideous forms. Do you not hear from all mankind of the imperfect model? The world is holding it before your gaze continually. The result is that you are liable to follow those lower patterns, limit your life-work, and adopt into your experience the angular outline and deformity of matter models. To remedy this, we must first turn our gaze in the right direction, and then walk that way. We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives.
(9) Jer 24:4-7
Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.
(10) Acts 9:26-31
And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus. Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
Christianity causes men to turn naturally from matter to Spirit, as the flower turns from darkness to light. Man then appropriates those things which “eye hath not seen nor ear heard.” Paul and John had a clear apprehension that, as mortal man achieves no worldly honors except by sacrifice, so he must gain heavenly riches by forsaking all worldliness. Then he will have nothing in common with the worldling’s affections, motives, and aims.
Saul of Tarsus beheld the way — the Christ, or Truth — only when his uncertain sense of right yielded to a spiritual sense, which is always right. Then the man was changed. Thought assumed a nobler outlook, and his life became more spiritual. He learned the wrong that he had done in persecuting Christians, whose religion he had not understood, and in humility he took the new name of Paul. He beheld for the first time the true idea of Love, and learned a lesson in divine Science.
Mortals must gravitate Godward, their affections and aims grow spiritual, — they must near the broader interpretations of being, and gain some proper sense of the infinite, — in order that sin and mortality may be put off. This scientific sense of being, forsaking matter for Spirit, by no means suggests man’s absorption into Deity and the loss of his identity, but confers upon man enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace.
(11) Isa 50:4, 7, 10
The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
(12) Rev 12:1, 2, 5, 9, 10
And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
(18) 561:8-21, 32-3
The Revelator beheld the spiritual idea from the mount of vision. Purity was the symbol of Life and Love. The Revelator saw also the spiritual ideal as a woman clothed in light, a bride coming down from heaven, wedded to the Lamb of Love. To John, “the bride” and “the Lamb” represented the correlation of divine Principle and spiritual idea, God and His Christ, bringing harmony to earth. John saw the human and divine coincidence, shown in the man Jesus, as divinity embracing humanity in Life and its demonstration, — reducing to human perception and understanding the Life which is God. In divine revelation, material and corporeal selfhood disappear, and the spiritual idea is understood. John the Baptist prophesied the coming of the immaculate Jesus, and John saw in those days the spiritual idea as the Messiah, who would baptize with the Holy Ghost, — divine Science.
The spiritual idea is crowned with twelve stars. The twelve tribes of Israel with all mortals, — separated by belief from man’s divine origin and the true idea, — will through much tribulation yield to the activities of the divine Principle of man in the harmony of Science. These are the stars in the crown of rejoicing. They are the lamps in the spiritual heavens of the age, which show the workings of the spiritual idea by healing the sick and the sinning, and by manifesting the light which shines “unto the perfect day” as the night of materialism wanes.
Under the supremacy of Spirit, it will be seen and acknowledged that matter must disappear.