Baptism

The beginner in Christian Science often finds himself questioning as to the nature and value of the rites and ceremonies which may have formed part of his religious life before he commenced the study of this Science. Christian Science has given him an insight into the entirely spiritual nature of God and His creation, and shown him so clearly the utterly false nature of so-called material existence that he perceives, perhaps almost immediately, the necessity for readjustment. Indeed, the gaining of the spiritual meaning of those terms which were formerly associated with certain practices, brings about the demand for this readjustment.

Religions in their initial stages have invariably been characterized by outward ceremony and the observance of material rites. The ceremonial law of the Hebrews presents an outstanding example of this. But truer and more spiritual views of God threw ceremony and rite into the background, latterly discarding them altogether. Thus it came about that practically the whole of the ceremonial law of the Hebrews fell into abeyance at the coming of Christ Jesus. The teaching of the Nazarene made religion altogether a thing of Spirit, a question of spiritual understanding, thereby lifting the Christian religion, of which he was the Founder, to a plane immeasurably above any other. And so it continued for several centuries, until materialism again usurped the place of spirituality; then men sank back once more into the outward show of ceremony and material rite instead of continuing steadfast in the path of purely spiritual worship.

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Lecture in The Mother Church
January 10, 1925
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