Flesh and Spirit

There are a good many people who contend that they fail to find in the Bible any authority for Mrs. Eddy's teaching respecting matter, namely, that it does not express God's creation but is antithetical to it, hence is unreal. To this it may be answered that while the subject is not presented in Scripture under the term matter, the word "flesh," as it appears both in the Old and New Testaments, stands for the same thing. Thus we read in the fortieth chapter of Isaiah, "All flesh is grass . . . The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it." Then the prophet repeats: "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever." The perishable nature of materiality is here contrasted with the permanency of spiritual being.

In the beginning of the fourth gospel, and elsewhere in the Bible, it is declared that creation sprang from the word of God and expressed the divine nature; while it is also declared that lust and hate, sin, disease, and death, originate in matter, or what Paul names "the mind of the flesh" (Rev. Ver.). Paul is very emphatic about this when he says, "I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing;" and equally so in affirming that those who are in the flesh "cannot please God." This would be a hopeless prospect indeed if the flesh, or matter, were real and ordained of God to be man's abiding-place, even for a time. Paul does not, however, leave us in any doubt as to this question, for he at once adds, "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." This is surely a close parallel with Mrs. Eddy's statement, "Man is not material; he is spiritual" (Science and Health, p. 468).

Things that Remain
March 14, 1914

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