The Christian Science Bible Lessons

THE Bible is replete with forecasts of blessings promised to them who seek God and obey Him. Jeremiah declared God's promise to those who should turn to Him penitently to be, "And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." In establishing the various activities which constitute the Christian Science movement, Mrs. Eddy was divinely guided, and the steps taken by her in obedience and sweet humility invariably followed spiritual unfoldment. Accordingly, when, in 1895, she ordained the Bible and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" to be the pastor of the Christian Science churches, the necessity arose, in order to feed the hungry with true knowledge and spiritual understanding, of preparing sermons or Bible Lessons, as they are called, from these books. The Bible Lessons which had appeared before 1895 in the Christian Science Quarterly were for use in the Sunday school exclusively. With the personal pastor and his sermons superseded, regular Lessons were prepared for all Christian Science churches by competent persons thoroughly familiar with the Bible and the Christian Science textbook.

For these Lessons, Mrs. Eddy afterward chose twenty-six topics,—which adequately cover the whole subject of Christian Science,—making two complete cycles during the year. As these subjects stand permanently, it follows that the successive treatment of each is always a fresh unfoldment of Truth. Since Truth has an infinite variety of phases, there are almost innumerable ways in which each subject may be presented; and while, in part, passages from the Bible and the textbook may be repeated, they would, because of different application, carry a new meaning. Neither the Golden Text nor the Responsive Reading however, is repeated oftener than at intervals of three years.

The Golden Text and the Responsive Reading may be regarded as approaches to the Lesson itself, each unfolding in some degree the subject. The various sections develop the plan, each presenting a definite phase of the topic; and the Golden Text, Responsive Reading, and the six sections comprise in a symmetrical whole the development of the particular phase of the subject which constitutes the Lesson. The Lesson has no "key-word," nor is each section of it necessarily related either to one of the Beatitudes or to the Golden Rule. No more is there a formula in accordance with which the subject is unfolded; but in the first reference from Science and Health in each section the endeavor is to indicate the central thought of that section. Each Lesson presents in a clear and logical arrangement the development of a definite phase of its subject; and its deeper spiritual meanings will be revealed through the illumination cast upon it by consecrated study.

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February 17, 1923

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