Sunday, December 31st, 2023 Roundtable

“All Men Should Be Free” — Mary Baker Eddy


This week’s Lesson Sermon Subject: Christian Science

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Morning Prayers

May the divine light of Christian Science that lighteth every enlightened thought illumine your faith and understanding, exclude all darkness or doubt, and signal the perfect path wherein to walk, the perfect Principle whereby to demonstrate the perfect man and the perfect law of God. In the words of St. Paul: “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned;” and St. John says: “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” May the grace and love of God be and abide with you all.

— from Miscellany, by Mary Baker Eddy, page 197

Discussion points

375 — WATCH that you keep the goal of Science in mind. Mrs. Eddy said, “When you are a good healer, you are all you can be. Do you understand that?” She said this party to antidote the ambition of students who want to become lecturers, teachers, and high officials, under the impression that such positions indicate the greatest growth in spirituality and usefulness.

A good healer is one who has gained the ability to demonstrate so successfully, that through his work the mesmerism that holds mortals melts away, and they find themselves the image and likeness of God, which they have been all the time in reality. What higher goal could Mrs. Eddy set before her followers? This is the goal God expects us all to attain.

— from 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter


GOLDEN TEXT: John 8 : 32

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”


“Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.” Our God-given birthright is liberty! Toward it, mankind and all things tend. Go where we will, and into whatsoever house we enter,—that of the tiniest plant or insect, or of man,—and we see written upon the face of all, in language full and clear, this one injunction, Be free!

… we may not strive to make ourselves free, but to know ourselves free. We need not strive to make ourselves better, but to know ourselves better,—not to make ourselves perfect, but to know ourselves perfect. We can not “add one cubit to our stature,” or make “one hair white or black.”

To know ourselves perfect, we must perfectly know ourselves; and to arrive at this, we must know perfectly our true origin. We can not of ourselves create anything, except (it may be) error, mortality, which cannot favor us, but must be against us,—because having no foundation in the Truth, for there is no Truth in it. This must fall, and reveal its nothingness, causing us to look away from ourselves to the true Source of all. The one creative Principle is Spirit, Mind,—the embodiment of all good.

We are out on a boundless ocean. Infinity is the sea, Eternity is the haven, Life is the voyage, Principle is the ship, Spirit the sail, Truth the compass; and with the gentle breath of Love wafting our vessel onward, and Wisdom at the helm, we may not swerve to the right hand nor to the left, but press steadily forward in the way of Truth’s appointing, knowing, even though it be at the fourth watch of the night, that we shall hear His voice saying to us: “It is I, be not afraid.” The waves will be stilled, the adverse winds be calmed, and immediately we shall be in port.

Representing, as we do, Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence, let us not be content with gathering up the dew upon the grass,—so inconstant and impure, at best; but let us rather dig down to the clear running water, and drink deeper draughts of the celestial fount, that “shall be in us a well of water, springing up unto everlasting Life.”

—”Infinite Traits In True Manhood’ (excerpt) from Christian Science Journal, October 1887 by F. J. Fluno


The moment we comprehend that the Science of divine Mind is of God, we have started on our journey. We are already in “the land of Christian Science,” as Mrs. Eddy discovered it and through our textbook made it beautifully approachable. There are mountains to be climbed; but even there we are led in the paths of righteousness. There are valleys of humility to be traversed; but there we have the green pastures of Truth in which to lie down, and the still waters of Love by which to rest. With each obstacle overcome, the nearer comes the promised day when “every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.”

At present, with the accumulation of centuries of materiality in our way, our progress may seem hindered, and sometimes great effort is needed to clear even a narrow space through which to see the light. But each day, each hour, sees the lessening of the obstacles and the swelling of the host of happy dwellers in the fair land of Christian Science. All around us are God’s children, ready to help and enlighten us. God’s voice is ever with us, counseling, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” Every move we make, every act we perform, may be God-governed if we but heed His voice. As Mrs. Eddy says in beautiful phraseology (Science and Health, p. 323): “Through the wholesome chastisements of Love, we are helped onward in the march towards righteousness, peace, and purity, which are the landmarks of Science. Beholding the infinite tasks of truth, we pause,— wait on God. Then we push onward, until boundless thought walks enraptured, and conception unconfined is winged to reach the divine glory.”

— “The Promised Land Of Christian Science” (excerpt) from Christian Science Journal, February 1927 by Priscilla W. Okie


…the prophet Isaiah discerned the metaphysical meaning of the well of pure water, and this understanding enabled him to give humanity a mighty uplift by pointing out that God is our salvation; he could say, “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”

… centuries rolled on, till the dawn of that wonderful day when Jesus sat in the shade of the trees by the side of Jacob’s well. On this historic occasion there took place that remarkable conversation with the woman of Samaria in which the great Teacher showed the utter unreality of the so-called evidence of the five corporeal senses and gently told all who have ears to hear the reality of the kingdom of Spirit, God. From this interview there rang down the ages that Christly promise, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” For three busy, memorable years Jesus instructed his followers how to use this water of Life so as to refresh themselves and then help to work the works of God by giving this same water to their brother man.

Yet again the centuries rolled on. The Master’s teaching and healing had been well-nigh lost. The wells had become choked with a gross materiality; their very presence had been hidden from human view in dense tangles of weedy growth; humanity lagged weary and thirsty in a wilderness of fear and turmoil, till the day dawned when a woman pure in motive and desire, faithful to the call of Truth, discovered the living water of Christian Science and used it to such good purpose that she could offer it to every reverent and receptive student. At the present day every one possessing a like motive can use the Christly method of scientific demonstration in clearing away tangled growths, cleaning out the wells of human consciousness, and each in the measure of his purification becoming a well of water “springing up into everlasting life.”

— “Wells Of Water”(excerpt) from Christian Science Journal, October 1916 by Albert M. Le Messurier


Thoughts shared on the Lesson from readers:

Galatians 5:13 “ For, brethren, you have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Benson Commentary

Galatians 5:13 Ye have been called — By the gospel; into liberty — From the bondage of the Mosaic ceremonies, as well as of sin and misery: only use not liberty for an occasion of the flesh — So as to nourish or gratify any corrupt principle in yourselves or others. But by love serve one another — Use your liberty as may best manifest your love to your neighbour, seeking his edification, or at least doing nothing contrary thereto,…And hereby show that Christ has made you free indeed. For all the law — With which we believers in Christ have any concern; is fulfilled in one word — Or precept; even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself — Inasmuch as none can do this without loving God, (1 John 4:12,) and the love of God and man includes all perfection.

The Liberty of Love From Bible Hub:
I. THE NATURE OF THIS LIBERTY.
1. This liberty is freedom from the burden of a religion of ordinances.
2. It is liberty from the moral law as the awakener of sin, and from the fear of its punishment, which is death.

II. TO KEEP THIS LIBERTY PURE, WE SHOULD KNOW ITS DANGERS, AND AVOID THEM.

1. It may be so used as, to allow the lower nature to rule — as "an occasion to the flesh."(1) We are freed from ceremonies, but we cannot live without some forms. Spiritual life, left to silence, unsymbolized, unused, fades away.

2. Our liberty from coercive law is produced in us by a love which obeys the law. If we do not love to obey, we are not in Christian liberty at all. St. Paul calls such despisers of law the servants of sin.

3. The use of freedom must be in subordination to love. It is the habit of many to placard their freedom; to violate the scruples of others. What sort of Christianity is that which uses the freedom of Christ to do violence to the love of Christ? The rule is — Use your liberty, not for your own gratification, but for the good of others. Liberty is not a principle of action; it is a mode of action. Love is its principle, and love is the test which tells whether we are free or enslaved. (S. A. Brooke, M.A.)


Final Readings




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