Science and Health
with Key to The Scriptures
by Mary Baker Eddy
Chapter VI - Science, Theology, Medicine


Philological inadequacy
the one great obstacle to the reception of that spiritual-
ity, through which the understanding of Mind-science
comes, is the inadequacy of material terms for
metaphysical statements, and the consequent
difficulty of so expressing metaphysical ideas as to make
them comprehensible to any reader, who has not person-
ally demonstrated Christian Science as brought forth in
my discovery. Job says: "The ear trieth words, as the
mouth tasteth meat." The great difficulty is to give the
right impression, when translating material terms back
into the original spiritual tongue.
Divine synonyms
GOD: Divine Principle, Life, Truth, Love,
Soul, Spirit, Mind.
Divine image
MAN: God's spiritual idea, individual, per-
fect, eternal.
Divine reflection
IDEA: An image in Mind; the immediate
object of understanding. – Webster.
First Degree: Depravity.
PHYSICAL. Evil beliefs, passions and appetites, fear,
depraved will, self-justification, pride, envy, de-
ceit, hatred, revenge, sin, sickness, disease,
Second Degree: Evil beliefs disappearing.
Transitional qualities
MORAL. Humanity, honesty, affection, com-
passion, hope, faith, meekness, temperance.
Third Degree: Understanding.
SPIRITUAL. Wisdom, purity, spiritual understanding,
spiritual power, love, health, holiness.
Spiritual universe
In the third degree mortal mind disappears, and man as
God's image appears. Science so reverses the evidence
before the corporeal human senses, as to make
this Scriptural testimony true in our hearts,
"The last shall be first, and the first last," so that God
and His idea may be to us what divinity really is and
must of necessity be, – all-inclusive.
Aim of Science
A correct view of Christian Science and of its adapta-
tion to healing includes vastly more than is at first seen.
Works on metaphysics leave the grand point
untouched. They never crown the power of
Mind as the Messiah, nor do they carry the day against
physical enemies, – even to the extinction of all belief in
matter, evil, disease, and death, – nor insist upon the fact
that God is all, therefore that matter is nothing beyond an
image in mortal mind.
Divine personality
Christian Science strongly emphasizes the thought that
God is not corporeal, but incorporeal, – that is,
bodiless. Mortals are corporeal, but God is
As the words person and personal are commonly and
ignorantly employed, they often lead, when applied to
Deity, to confused and erroneous conceptions of divinity
and its distinction from humanity. If the term personality,
as applied to God, means infinite personality, then God is
infinite Person, – in the sense of infinite personality, but
not in the lower sense. An infinite Mind in a finite form
is an absolute impossibility.
The term individuality is also open to objections, be-
cause an individual may be one of a series, one of many,
as an individual man, an individual horse; whereas God
is One, – not one of a series, but one alone and without
an equal.
Spiritual language
God is Spirit; therefore the language of Spirit must
be, and is, spiritual. Christian Science attaches no physi-
cal nature and significance to the Supreme
Being or His manifestation; mortals alone do
this. God's essential language is spoken of in the last
chapter of Mark's Gospel as the new tongue, the spir-
itual meaning of which is attained through "signs
The miracles of Jesus
Ear hath not heard, nor hath lip spoken, the pure lan-
guage of Spirit. Our Master taught spirituality by simili-
tudes and parables. As a divine student he
unfolded God to man, illustrating and demon-
strating Life and Truth in himself and by his power over
the sick and sinning. Human theories are inadequate to
interpret the divine Principle involved in the miracles
(marvels) wrought by Jesus and especially in his mighty,
crowning, unparalleled, and triumphant exit from the
Opacity of the senses
Evidence drawn from the five physical senses relates
solely to human reason; and because of opaci-
ty to the true light, human reason dimly re-
flects and feebly transmits Jesus' works and words. Truth
is a revelation.
Leaven of Truth
Jesus bade his disciples beware of the leaven of the
Pharisees and of the Sadducees, which he de-
fined as human doctrines. His parable of the
"leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures
of meal, till the whole was leavened," impels the infer-
ence that the spiritual leaven signifies the Science of Christ
and its spiritual interpretation, – an inference far above
the merely ecclesiastical and formal applications of the
Did not this parable point a moral with a prophecy,
foretelling the second appearing in the flesh of the
Christ, Truth, hidden in sacred secrecy from the visi-
ble world?
Ages pass, but this leaven of Truth is ever at work. It
must destroy the entire mass of error, and so be eternally
glorified in man's spiritual freedom.
The divine and human contrasted
In their spiritual significance, Science, Theology, and
Medicine are means of divine thought, which include spirit-
ual laws emanating from the invisible and in-
finite power and grace. The parable may
import that these spiritual laws, perverted by
a perverse material sense of law, are metaphysically pre-
sented as three measures of meal, – that is, three modes
of mortal thought. In all mortal forms of thought, dust
is dignified as the natural status of men and things, and
modes of material motion are honored with the name of
laws. This continues until the leaven of Spirit changes
the whole of mortal thought, as yeast changes the chemical
properties of meal.
Certain contradictions
The definitions of material law, as given by natural
science, represent a kingdom necessarily divided against
itself, because these definitions portray law as
physical, not spiritual. Therefore they con-
tradict the divine decrees and violate the law of Love, in
which nature and God are one and the natural order of
heaven comes down to earth.
Unescapable dilemma
When we endow matter with vague spiritual power,
that is, when we do so in our theories, for of course we
cannot really endow matter with what it does
not and cannot possess, – we disown the Al-
mighty, for such theories lead to one of two things. They
either presuppose the self-evolution and self-government
of matter, or else they assume that matter is the product
of Spirit. To seize the first horn of this dilemma and con-
sider matter as a power in and of itself, is to leave the cre-
ator out of His own universe; while to grasp the other
horn of the dilemma and regard God as the creator of
matter, is not only to make Him responsible for all disas-
ters, physical and moral, but to announce Him as their
source, thereby making Him guilty of maintaining perpet-
ual misrule in the form and under the name of natural
God and nature
In one sense God is identical with nature, but this na-
ture is spiritual and is not expressed in matter. The law‑
giver, whose lightning palsies or prostrates in
death the child at prayer, is not the divine ideal
of omnipresent Love. God is natural good, and is repre-
sented only by the idea of goodness; while evil should be
regarded as unnatural, because it is opposed to the nature
of Spirit, God.
The sun and Soul
In viewing the sunrise, one finds that it contradicts
the evidence before the senses to believe that the earth
is in motion and the sun at rest. As astron-
omy reverses the human perception of the
movement of the solar system, so Christian Science re-
verses the seeming relation of Soul and body and makes
body tributary to Mind. Thus it is with man, who
is but the humble servant of the restful Mind, though it
seems otherwise to finite sense. But we shall never under-
stand this while we admit that soul is in body or mind in
matter, and that man is included in non-intelligence.
Soul, or Spirit, is God, unchangeable and eternal; and
man coexists with and reflects Soul, God, for man is God's
Reversal of testimony
Science reverses the false testimony of the physical
senses, and by this reversal mortals arrive at the funda-
mental facts of being. Then the question in-
evitably arises: Is a man sick if the material
senses indicate that he is in good health? No! for matter
can make no conditions for man. And is he well if the
senses say he is sick? Yes, he is well in Science in which
health is normal and disease is abnormal.
Health and the senses
Health is not a condition of matter, but of Mind; nor
can the material senses bear reliable testimony on the sub-
ject of health. The Science of Mind-healing
shows it to be impossible for aught but Mind
to testify truly or to exhibit the real status of man. There-
fore the divine Principle of Science, reversing the testi-
mony of the physical senses, reveals man as harmoniously
existent in Truth, which is the only basis of health; and
thus Science denies all disease, heals the sick, overthrows
false evidence, and refutes materialistic logic.
Any conclusion pro or con, deduced from supposed sen-
sation in matter or from matter's supposed consciousness
of health or disease, instead of reversing the testimony of
the physical senses, confirms that testimony as legitimate
and so leads to disease.
Historic illustrations
When Columbus gave freer breath to the
globe, ignorance and superstition chained the
limbs of the brave old navigator, and disgrace and star-
vation stared him in the face; but sterner still would have
been his fate, if his discovery had undermined the favor-
ite inclinations of a sensuous philosophy.
Copernicus mapped out the stellar system, and before
he spake, astrography was chaotic, and the heavenly fields
were incorrectly explored.
Perennial beauty
The Chaldean Wisemen read in the stars the fate of
empires and the fortunes of men. Though no higher
revelation than the horoscope was to them dis-
played upon the empyrean, earth and heaven
were bright, and bird and blossom were glad in God's
perennial and happy sunshine, golden with Truth. So
we have goodness and beauty to gladden the heart; but
man, left to the hypotheses of material sense unexplained
by Science, is as the wandering comet or the desolate
star – "a weary searcher for a viewless home."
Astronomic unfoldings
The earth's diurnal rotation is invisible to the physical
eye, and the sun seems to move from east to west, instead
of the earth from west to east. Until rebuked
by clearer views of the everlasting facts, this
false testimony of the eye deluded the judgment and in-
duced false conclusions. Science shows appearances often
to be erroneous, and corrects these errors by the simple
rule that the greater controls the lesser. The sun is the
central stillness, so far as our solar system is concerned,
and the earth revolves about the sun once a year, besides
turning daily on its own axis.
As thus indicated, astronomical order imitates the
action of divine Principle; and the universe, the reflec-
tion of God, is thus brought nearer the spiritual fact, and
is allied to divine Science as displayed in the everlasting
government of the universe.
Opposing testimony
The evidence of the physical senses often reverses the
real Science of being, and so creates a reign of discord, –
assigning seeming power to sin, sickness, and
death; but the great facts of Life, rightly un-
derstood, defeat this triad of errors, contradict their false
witnesses, and reveal the kingdom of heaven, – the actual
reign of harmony on earth. The material senses' re-
versal of the Science of Soul was practically exposed nine-
teen hundred years ago by the demonstrations of Jesus;
yet these so-called senses still make mortal mind tributary
to mortal body, and ordain certain sections of matter, such
as brain and nerves, as the seats of pain and pleasure,
from which matter reports to this so-called mind its status
of happiness or misery.
Testimony of the senses
The optical focus is another proof of the illusion of
material sense. On the eye's retina, sky and tree-tops
apparently join hands, clouds and ocean meet
and mingle. The barometer, – that little
prophet of storm and sunshine, denying the testimony of
the senses, – points to fair weather in the midst of murky
clouds and drenching rain. Experience is full of instances
of similar illusions, which every thinker can recall for
Spiritual sense of life
To material sense, the severance of the jugular vein
takes away life; but to spiritual sense and
in Science, Life goes on unchanged and
being is eternal. Temporal life is a false sense of
Ptolemaic and psychical error
Our theories make the same mistake regarding Soul
and body that Ptolemy made regarding the solar system.
They insist that soul is in body and mind therefore tribu-
tary to matter. Astronomical science has destroyed the
false theory as to the relations of the celestial bodies, and
Christian Science will surely destroy the greater error as
to our terrestrial bodies. The true idea and
Principle of man will then appear. The Ptole-
maic blunder could not affect the harmony of
being as does the error relating to soul and body, which
reverses the order of Science and assigns to matter the
power and prerogative of Spirit, so that man becomes
the most absolutely weak and inharmonious creature in
the universe.
Seeming and being
The verity of Mind shows conclusively how it is that
matter seems to be, but is not. Divine Science,
rising above physical theories, excludes matter,
resolves things into thoughts, and replaces the objects of
material sense with spiritual ideas.
The term CHRISTIAN SCIENCE was introduced by
the author to designate the scientific system of divine
The revelation consists of two parts:
1. The discovery of this divine Science of Mind‑
healing, through a spiritual sense of the Scriptures and
through the teachings of the Comforter, as promised by
the Master.
2. The proof, by present demonstration, that the so‑
called miracles of Jesus did not specially belong to a
dispensation now ended, but that they illustrated an
ever-operative divine Principle. The operation of this
Principle indicates the eternality of the scientific order
and continuity of being.
Scientific basis
Christian Science differs from material sci-
ence, but not on that account is it less scien-
tific. On the contrary, Christian Science is pre-emi-
nently scientific, being based on Truth, the Principle of
all science.
Physical science a blind belief
Physical science (so-called) is human knowledge, – a
law of mortal mind, a blind belief, a Samson shorn of his
strength. When this human belief lacks organ-
izations to support it, its foundations are gone.
Having neither moral might, spiritual basis,
nor holy Principle of its own, this belief mistakes effect
for cause and seeks to find life and intelligence in matter,
thus limiting Life and holding fast to discord and death.
In a word, human belief is a blind conclusion from material
reasoning. This is a mortal, finite sense of things, which
immortal Spirit silences forever.
Right interpretation
The universe, like man, is to be interpreted by Science
from its divine Principle, God, and then it can be under-
stood; but when explained on the basis of
physical sense and represented as subject to
growth, maturity, and decay, the universe, like man, is,
and must continue to be, an enigma.
All force mental
Adhesion, cohesion, and attraction are properties of
Mind. They belong to divine Principle, and support
the equipoise of that thought-force, which
launched the earth in its orbit and said to the
proud wave, "Thus far and no farther."
Spirit is the life, substance, and continuity of all
things. We tread on forces. Withdraw them, and
creation must collapse. Human knowledge calls them
forces of matter; but divine Science declares that they
belong wholly to divine Mind, are inherent in this
Mind, and so restores them to their rightful home and
Corporeal changes
The elements and functions of the physical body and
of the physical world will change as mortal mind changes
its beliefs. What is now considered the best condition
for organic and functional health in the human
body may no longer be found indispensable
to health. Moral conditions will be found always har-
monious and health-giving. Neither organic inaction
nor overaction is beyond God's control; and man will
be found normal and natural to changed mortal thought,
and therefore more harmonious in his manifestations than
he was in the prior states which human belief created and
As human thought changes from one stage to an-
other of conscious pain and painlessness, sorrow and
joy, – from fear to hope and from faith to understand-
ing, – the visible manifestation will at last be man gov-
erned by Soul, not by material sense. Reflecting God's
government, man is self-governed. When subordinate
to the divine Spirit, man cannot be controlled by sin or
death, thus proving our material theories about laws of
health to be valueless.
The time and tide
The seasons will come and go with changes of time and
tide, cold and heat, latitude and longitude. The agri-
culturist will find that these changes cannot
affect his crops. "As a vesture shalt Thou
change them and they shall be changed." The mariner
will have dominion over the atmosphere and the great
deep, over the fish of the sea and the fowls of the air.
The astronomer will no longer look up to the stars, –
he will look out from them upon the universe; and the
florist will find his flower before its seed.
Mortal nothingness
Thus matter will finally be proved nothing more
than a mortal belief, wholly inadequate to affect a man
through its supposed organic action or supposed exist-
ence. Error will be no longer used in stating truth. The
problem of nothingness, or "dust to dust," will
be solved, and mortal mind will be without
form and void, for mortality will cease when man beholds
himself God's reflection, even as man sees his reflection
in a glass.
A lack of originality
All Science is divine. Human thought never pro-
jected the least portion of true being. Human belief
has sought and interpreted in its own way
the echo of Spirit, and so seems to have
reversed it and repeated it materially; but the human
mind never produced a real tone nor sent forth a positive
Antagonistic questions
The point at issue between Christian Science on the
one hand and popular theology on the other is this: Shall
Science explain cause and effect as being
both natural and spiritual? Or shall all that
is beyond the cognizance of the material senses be called
supernatural, and be left to the mercy of speculative
Biblical basis
I have set forth Christian Science and its application
to the treatment of disease just as I have discovered them.
I have demonstrated through Mind the effects
of Truth on the health, longevity, and morals
of men; and I have found nothing in ancient or in modern
systems on which to found my own, except the teachings
and demonstrations of our great Master and the lives of
prophets and apostles. The Bible has been my only au-
thority. I have had no other guide in "the straight and
narrow way" of Truth.
Science and Christianity
If Christendom resists the author's application of the
word Science to Christianity, or questions her use of the
word Science, she will not therefore lose faith in Chris-
tianity, nor will Christianity lose its hold upon
her. If God, the All-in-all, be the creator of
the spiritual universe, including man, then everything
entitled to a classification as truth, or Science, must be
comprised in a knowledge or understanding of God, for
there can be nothing beyond illimitable divinity.
Scientific terms
The terms Divine Science, Spiritual Science, Christ
Science or Christian Science, or Science alone, she em-
ploys interchangeably, according to the re-
quirements of the context. These synony-
mous terms stand for everything relating to God, the in-
finite, supreme, eternal Mind. It may be said, however,
that the term Christian Science relates especially to
Science as applied to humanity. Christian Science re-
veals God, not as the author of sin, sickness, and death,
but as divine Principle, Supreme Being, Mind, exempt
from all evil. It teaches that matter is the falsity, not
the fact, of existence; that nerves, brain, stomach, lungs,
and so forth, have – as matter – no intelligence, life, nor
No physical science
There is no physical science, inasmuch as all truth
proceeds from the divine Mind. Therefore truth is not
human, and is not a law of matter, for matter
is not a lawgiver. Science is an emanation of
divine Mind, and is alone able to interpret God aright.
It has a spiritual, and not a material origin. It is a divine
utterance, – the Comforter which leadeth into all truth.
Christian Science eschews what is called natural science,
in so far as this is built on the false hypotheses that matter
is its own lawgiver, that law is founded on material con-
ditions, and that these are final and overrule the might of
divine Mind. Good is natural and primitive. It is not
miraculous to itself.
Practical Science
The term Science, properly understood, refers only to
the laws of God and to His government of the universe,
inclusive of man. From this it follows that
business men and cultured scholars have found
that Christian Science enhances their endurance and
mental powers, enlarges their perception of character,
gives them acuteness and comprehensiveness and an
ability to exceed their ordinary capacity. The human
mind, imbued with this spiritual understanding, becomes
more elastic, is capable of greater endurance, escapes
somewhat from itself, and requires less repose. A knowl-
edge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities
and possibilities of man. It extends the atmosphere of
thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher
realms. It raises the thinker into his native air of insight
and perspicacity.
An odor becomes beneficent and agreeable only in pro-
portion to its escape into the surrounding atmosphere.
So it is with our knowledge of Truth. If one would
not quarrel with his fellow-man for waking him from
a cataleptic nightmare, he should not resist Truth, which
banishes – yea, forever destroys with the higher testi-
mony of Spirit – the so-called evidence of matter.
Mathematics and scientific logic
Science relates to Mind, not matter. It rests on fixed
Principle and not upon the judgment of false sensation.
The addition of two sums in mathematics must
always bring the same result. So is it with
logic. If both the major and the minor propo-
sitions of a syllogism are correct, the conclusion, if properly
drawn, cannot be false. So in Christian Science there
are no discords nor contradictions, because its logic is as
harmonious as the reasoning of an accurately stated syl-
logism or of a properly computed sum in arithmetic.
Truth is ever truthful, and can tolerate no error in
premise or conclusion.
Truth by inversion
If you wish to know the spiritual fact, you can dis-
cover it by reversing the material fable, be the
fable pro or con, – be it in accord with your
preconceptions or utterly contrary to them.
Antagonistic theories
Pantheism may be defined as a belief in the intelli-
gence of matter, – a belief which Science overthrows.
In those days there will be "great tribulation
such as was not since the beginning of the
world;" and earth will echo the cry, "Art thou [Truth]
come hither to torment us before the time?" Animal
magnetism, hypnotism, spiritualism, theosophy, agnos-
ticism, pantheism, and infidelity are antagonistic to true
being and fatal to its demonstration; and so are some
other systems.
Ontology needed
We must abandon pharmaceutics, and take up ontol-
ogy, – "the science of real being." We must look deep
into realism instead of accepting only the out-
ward sense of things. Can we gather peaches
from a pine-tree, or learn from discord the concord of
being? Yet quite as rational are some of the leading
illusions along the path which Science must tread in its
reformatory mission among mortals. The very name,
illusion, points to nothingness.
Reluctant guests
The generous liver may object to the author's small
estimate of the pleasures of the table. The sinner sees,
in the system taught in this book, that the demands of
God must be met. The petty intellect is alarmed by con-
stant appeals to Mind. The licentious disposition is dis-
couraged over its slight spiritual prospects.
When all men are bidden to the feast, the ex-
cuses come. One has a farm, another has merchandise,
and therefore they cannot accept.
Excuses for ignorance
It is vain to speak dishonestly of divine Science, which
destroys all discord, when you can demonstrate
the actuality of Science. It is unwise to doubt
if reality is in perfect harmony with God, divine Principle,
– if Science, when understood and demonstrated, will
destroy all discord, – since you admit that God is om-
nipotent; for from this premise it follows that good and
its sweet concords have all-power.
Children and adults
Christian Science, properly understood, would dis-
abuse the human mind of material beliefs which war
against spiritual facts; and these material
beliefs must be denied and cast out to make
place for truth. You cannot add to the contents of a
vessel already full. Laboring long to shake the adult's
faith in matter and to inculcate a grain of faith in God, –
an inkling of the ability of Spirit to make the body har-
monious, – the author has often remembered our Master's
love for little children, and understood how truly such as
they belong to the heavenly kingdom.
All evil unnatural
If thought is startled at the strong claim of Science
for the supremacy of God, or Truth, and doubts the su-
premacy of good, ought we not, contrari-
wise, to be astounded at the vigorous claims
of evil and doubt them, and no longer think it natural to
love sin and unnatural to forsake it, – no longer imagine
evil to be ever-present and good absent? Truth should
not seem so surprising and unnatural as error, and error
should not seem so real as truth. Sickness should not seem
so real as health. There is no error in Science, and our
lives must be governed by reality in order to be in har-
mony with God, the divine Principle of all being.
The error of carnality
When once destroyed by divine Science, the false evi-
dence before the corporeal senses disappears. Hence the
opposition of sensuous man to the Science of
Soul and the significance of the Scripture, "The
carnal mind is enmity against God." The central fact of
the Bible is the superiority of spiritual over physical power.
Churchly neglect
Must Christian Science come through the Christian
churches as some persons insist? This Science has come
already, after the manner of God's appoint-
ing, but the churches seem not ready to re-
ceive it, according to the Scriptural saying, "He came
unto his own, and his own received him not." Jesus once
said: "I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and
earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise
and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even
so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight." As afore-
time, the spirit of the Christ, which taketh away the cere-
monies and doctrines of men, is not accepted until the
hearts of men are made ready for it.
John the Baptist, and the Messiah
The mission of Jesus confirmed prophecy, and ex-
plained the so-called miracles of olden time as natural
demonstrations of the divine power, demonstra-
tions which were not understood. Jesus' works
established his claim to the Messiahship. In
reply to John's inquiry, "Art thou he that should come,"
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