About eleven years ago a new order was introduced in the Christian Science Church, namely, the substitution of the now well-known Lesson-Sermons for sermons prepared and delivered by preachers. There were at that time a relatively small number of organized churches and societies of our denomination, and the rapid growth and development along this line since the introduction of the Lesson-Sermons have proved their value in the education of religious thought in Christian Science. It is safe to say that never before has the Bible been studied by the laity as it has been studied in connection with these Lessons, and its teachings have been applied by many of these students to all the varied problems of their lives. In most cases they have first experienced the power of the truth in the healing of bodily ailments, then in the transformation of their dispositions and the unfolding of man's God-bestowed faculties and capabilities.

From the time of one's awakening to the truth of Christian Science there is more or less of an effort to apply the truth perceived to the experience of each hour, and he who is wise always begins the day with the study of the Lesson-Sermon. At this "morning meal" (Science and Health, p. 35), he partakes of the "hidden manna," the spiritual sense of the Scriptures, which indeed "giveth life unto the world," and those who do this work faithfully find that their needs have been anticipated and met in a wonderful way. Under divine guidance, as we reverently believe, the Scriptures are diligently searched by the compilers of these Lessons, and the great questions of God, man, and the universe, spiritually and scientifically explained from the Bible and Science and Health. In the study of these Sermons it is well to remember our Leader's words, "The hour has struck when proof and demonstration, instead of opinion and dogma, are summoned to the support of Christianity, 'making wise the simple'" (Science and Health, p. 342).

All who attend our services are familiar with the words read at every service, immediately before the Lesson-Sermon, to the effect that these Sermons are "uncontaminated and unfettered by human hypotheses" (See "Explanatory note," Christian Science Quarterly). In the Manual of The Mother Church we are told that the Readers in our churches "shall make no remarks explanatory of the Lesson-Sermon at any time" (Art. IV., Section 6). It is understood that each listener is to be left free to grasp all the truth which he is prepared to receive, by the light of reason and revelation. Mrs. Eddy says, "In Christian Science mere opinion is valueless" (Science and Health, p. 341. It would be considered irreverent and presumptuous for the Readers to express their opinions as to the possible meaning of the Lesson-Sermons, and such being the case others should hesitate about doing so at any time, lest they, perchance, deflect the beginner's thought from the true direction. In this, as in many other respects, we can safely trust God to be His own interpreter, especially in view of the fact that so much harm has been done to mankind by mere human opinions.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

June 29, 1907

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.