Glimpses into the First Lessons

It is scarcely possible for us to enter into the spirit of the beatitudes until we have pondered somewhat the experiences which preceded the giving forth of the Sermon on the Mount. We read that immediately following Jesus' baptism by John came the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and the next step was his departure into the wilderness, where he not only realized spiritually "the great facts of existence" (Science and Health, p. 597), but proved them in his forty days' vigil. From it he went out to do the work which included the healing of "all manner of sickness and all manner of disease," and which led up to his triumph over death and the grave.

We read that after this he went with his disciples "up into a mountain," where he delivered his deathless discourse. Students of Christian Science all know that its opening sentences, called the beatitudes, are included in the "first lessons" provided by Mrs. Eddy's direction for the pupils in all Christian Science Sunday schools throughout the world, and teachers and pupils will gain much in training the vital relation between these rare sayings and the ten commandments, to which they are linked in the "first lessons." In the study of these, it is not so much analysis that is needed, as the practical instruction which shows the pupil how to apply his understanding of both in working out his own life-problem. It is easy to show him that the Decalogue is an indispensable provision for human need, that it is the demand of divine justice stated in the terms best adapted to the comprehension of mortals. It is not, however, so easy to explain the more advanced teaching of the beatitudes, which is addressed to the thought that is awakening to spiritual things and looking away from the material.

Intelligent Activity
July 18, 1914

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