Prophecies of Science and Health in the Scriptures

From the November 1890 issue of the Christian Science Journal by

“And I encamped, O babbler, against thee;
And I laid siege against thee — a camp,
And I raised up against thee bulwarks,
And thou hast been low.
From the earth thou speakest,
And from the dust thou makest thy saying low,
And thy voice hath been heard from the earth,
As one having a familiar spirit,
And from the dust thy saying whispered.”

The prophet Isaiah herein pictures mortal, sensual thought in culmination of belief. It is the present moment, and is described more fully in Revelations, and also in the chapter “The Apocalypse” of Science and Health, as “when nearing its doom the evil power becomes the great red Dragon, swollen with sin, hoary, ripe for destruction.” It swells with pride over triumphs of supposed intelligence, developments of “sciences” of matter, and inventions that make its own essence — electricity — more admirable and real to itself, and seem to bring it nearer to the perfection of Spirit. It is ignorant that its glories are reflections of vain imaginings; it is blind, and cannot see that Spirit has “encamped against” it, and encompassed it about; that its boastings are vain babblings. But to spiritual vision, the louder its seeming triumph the lower it is brought, the more it speaks “from the earth,” the nearer is its doom. Its intelligence is a familiar spirit (witchcraft of belief), and the seeming voice of triumph “a whispering” from the ground.

The prophet speaks at first as though all took place in the past tense; then he speaks in the present, then returns to the past. And yet he refers to events in consciousness that are only now coming to pass, and closes with, “thy saying whispered,” — the whole that he recounts seemed, it was, it is not, it never was.

“Tarry and wonder, look ye, yea, look,
Be drunk and not with wine,
Stagger and not with strong drink,
For poured out on you hath Jehovah a spirit of deep sleep.”

Mortal thought, drunken with the action of its own beliefs — animal magnetism — staggers in its swelling pride; to its own sense its tread is firm; it knows not that all of itself is troubled dream of “deep sleep” of sense.

“And He closeth your eyes — the prophets,
And your heads — the seers — He covered,
And the vision of the whole is to you,
As words of the sealed book,
That they give unto one knowing books,
Saying, ‘Read this, we pray thee,’
And he hath said ‘I am not able, for it is sealed;’
And the book is given to him who hath not known books,
Saying, ‘Read this, we pray thee,’
And he hath said ‘I have not known books.'”

“Prophet” means “expounder” of Good, and “seer” is one who sees Truth or reality of being,; the words mean all those to whom mortal thought looks as interpreters of God. God is all; hence the “vision of the whole” is sight or understanding of His allness. The “book ” referred to here and elsewhere, as will be seen, is Science and Health. The announcements of Science and Health and its Messenger, in the Sacred Writings are as distinct as those of Jesus the Christ. To expounders of the Bible buried in beliefs of reality of matter and evil, this vision is a “sealed book.” How many of these expounders are now answering to the message, of Truth, “I am not able, for it is sealed.” To the learned in their own conceit, to the wise after “this world,” it will always be a sealed book. The thoughts of mortal sense that to itself seem ignorant, answer, “I am not learned” because mortal belief says that through its own pretended wisdom is the way to understanding of Spirit. In the unlearned mortal thought the greatest hindrance to Truth, is the reverence with which it regards human learning, and belief in its own brutishness into which it is educated by the personalities that represent to it Theology, Law, and Medicine, — the conception of the triune God, personalized.

“And the Lord saith:
Because drawn near hath this people, with its mouth,
And with its lips they have honored Me,
And its heart it hath put far off from me,
And their fear of Me is —
A precept of men is taught!”

Mortal thought to its own sense draws near to God in creeds, sermons, prayers, and hymns — “with its mouth.” With its mouth it ascribes to God all-presence, all-knowledge, and all-power, but its real worship is of the things of sense to which it has sold itself. It honors Him as all, “with its lips,” smacking them with pleasure, the while, over remembrance of the flavors of sacrifices to idols. It talks of nothingness and unreality of this world — which it follows and worships, with the whole heart and mind, as reality — in sermon and prayer, but its heart, its affections are far from Him. Its fear of Him is not the hating of evil, but “a precept of men,” “taught;” that is Good, Principle, is not realized presence and power, but, as the marginal reading in the Revision has it still more forcibly, “a commandment of men which hath been learned by rote.” The graphic force of expression of the original Hebrew — is to be noted, in — “And their fear of Me is” — nothing, it is said in effect — and instead of “fear of Me,” “a precept of men is taught.” The formal Christianity of to-day, all religions that do not demonstrate Principle as all, are summed up in these words as nothings.

“Therefore, lo, I am adding to do wonderfully with this people,

A wonder and a marvel,
And perished hath the wisdom of its wise ones,
And the understanding of its intelligent ones hideth itself;
Woe to those going deep from Jehovah to hide counsel,
And whose works have been in darkness.
And they say, ‘Who is seeing us,
And who is knowing us?’
Your perversion! as clay is the potter esteemed?
That the work saith of its maker,
‘He hath not made me?’
And the framed thing said of its framer,
“He did not understand?”

The spiritual sense of the Scriptures is seen only as the standpoint of self, time, and space is quitted, and the Now and all, of Life as Principle is realized. Also, in the literal translation from the original tongue, it is found that acknowledgment of the existence of evil, even as seeming, is avoided as carefully in the Bible as in Science and Health. It has been observed that Isaiah speaks of events, in the senses, far off in the future, as taking place in infinite Now and, at the same time, as past, in the evident sense that they will never have been. So, here, the phrase “I am adding,” refers to events that are passing in our present time; but to Principle already, when Isaiah spoke, the “wisdom of its wise ones hath perished” because it never exists; then the prophet returns to the present tense, and affirms in that, again, its non-existence — “the understanding of its intelligent ones hideth itself,” — i. e., cannot be found, for it is not. The learning of mortal mind “goes deep from Jehovah, to hide counsel,” and all its works are in “darkness” of mortal sense. “Darkness,” in the Scriptures has no other meaning. Nor does “light” ever signify anything but Principle. Every thought of the false sense voices, “Who is seeing, who is knowing us? “

“Your perversion!” exclaims the prophet; to pervert is to turn in an opposite sense. Material sense is perversion of spiritual: the true sense of Life as God, and God as all, is perverted to sense of life as personal. It thus vainly esteems the Potter as clay, and dreams of fashioning Him, and does fashion Him, to its sense, after its own imaginations, or false suppositions. It exalts itself and says, “He hath not made me” “for I am ” in belief of self-life and intelligence; it looks around on its own mis-creations of supposition, which it charges God with having made, and then complacently remarks that it “could improve on His work!”

“And heard in that day have the deaf the words of
a book,
And out of thick darkness, and out of darkness,
The eyes of the blind do see,
And the humble have added joy in Jehovah,
And the poor among men
In the Holy One of Israel rejoice,
For ceased hath the terrible one,
And consumed hath been the scorner,
And cut off have been all watching for iniquity,
Causing men to sin in word,
And for a reprover in the gate lay a snare,
And turn aside into emptiness the righteous.”

In this “day” — “irradiance of Life” 1   — the deaf and the blind in mortal sense, hear and see the vision of “the whole” in the bookScience and Health — that is “sealed” to the mortal thought, puffed up with its own self-sufficiency. The humble thought, the thought that acknowledges Principle, has from this book “added joy in Jehovah”; and the meek among men rejoice in the Christ idea, — Principle, Spirit, all, and man spiritual and His manifestation, — the Holy One. To this thought “the terrible one ” “man that is of the earth” disappears; the thought that denied Principle and exalted itself “hath been consumed,” or “hath ceased,” i. e. again, it never was. How graphically is the Scientific meaning conveyed in “ceased hath the terrible one!” And man is made “to sin in word” by thoughts “watching for iniquity.” The word translated “iniquity,” signifies in Hebrew “emptiness,” “in word” points to the senses; the whole phrase means that man is made to sin in appearance of sense through acknowledgment of other power than God, — the biblical meaning of “emptiness.” This thought of emptiness is seen by the prophet at “the gate,” — the entrance of the habitation in thought, where it is always on watch — laying “a snare” for the reprover — the thought of the highest sense of Good realized, that reproves that of emptiness, — so that seeming of sinful sense, emptiness of self, may seem reality, and righteous idea be turned aside or perverted into nothingness of the false sense.

“And I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, arrayed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire; and he had in his hand”

a little book open !

“And the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard it again speaking with me, and saying, Go take the book which is open in the hand of the angel that standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, saying unto him, — that he should give me the little book. And he saith unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but in thy mouth it shall be sweet as honey. And I took the little book, out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it my belly was made bitter.” 2

To Isaiah, triumph of the Christ-idea is present in vision, but realization of Principle as all is a “sealed book.” It waits the manifestation in universal human consciousness, as material, of its Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. In the advent of Jesus the Christ and his demonstration of Life, the adversary was “paralyzed,” and “cast forth outside.” As type of humanity, not as individual-personal, he passed on, into perfect consciousness of Principle. Thus “gift of Holy Spirit ” — realization of Principle — was gained to humanity. Through another strong angel (Messenger) — realization of Principle — Science and Health is given. The “vision of the whole” is no longer “a sealed book”; the little book is open.

When eaten, it is “sweet in the mouth.” Open “vision of the whole” brings relief from fears and pains, the mental horizon is enlarged and brightened. Beliefs of theology, medicine and other superstitions of mortal mind “cease,” and the sense of Life as God is sweet in the mouth. Progression finally uncovers “action of mortal mind from the basis of sensuous belief in matter” 3 — animal magnetism — as the enemy that must be “met and mastered.” 4  Now, at last all the names and forms under which the issue has been evaded — the “scorner” and those “watching for iniquity” that have “turned aside into emptiness the righteous” — are to be “consumed” and “cut off.” Beliefs of the false sense, vain knowledge of the world have filled the belly, as Job says, “with the east wind.” The stirring up and replacing of these by consciousness of Principle-all, make bitter the belly. But when the Word of God, “more cutting than any two-edged knife, and penetrating as far as a dividing asunder of soul and spirit” (material and spiritual sense) shall have done its work, “Rivers out of his belly shall flow, of living water.” Covers and defences of personality must be thrown down and destroyed. Then it is seen that it is not as personalities that salvation from animal magnetism is being worked out — that there is no “I” to be saved. In the “open book,” good and evil have become impersonal. In consciousness of Principle as all, belief of personality ceases, and humanity is “in a large place.” In the open book Jesus’ promise is realized: “Where I withdraw thou canst not follow with me now; but thou shalt follow later.”

Is. xxix. 3, 4, 9-16, 18-21. Young’s literal translation is that from which the passages from Isaiah are taken. Those from Revelation are taken from the Revision.

1 Science and Health, p. 531.

2 Revelation, x. 1, 2, 8-10.

3 Science and Health, p. 42.

4 Science and Health, p. 520.

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