The Science of Christ textbook – How Science and Health got it’s name

What is in a name – sometimes nothing, sometimes everything.  ‘Science and Health’ – seems pretty straight forward. It always made sense to me, the science of staying healthy!  Real health, abundant health and happiness. But it is more than just the science of staying healthy – It provides the key to the scriptures from a metaphysical spiritual standpoint. It  is Science and it is Health, based on the scriptures, based on the Bible, based on God, who is only good.

Health isn’t just about healing body ailments – health covers all well-being from  physical, emotionally and mental standpoints and not just for the individual alone but even social well-being.  Healing however is the evidence from a material perspective. The demonstration of the Truth that Christ taught and that what he taught is the Truth. An evidenced based Christ! Now I like that and expect nothing less.

More recently, the contents, layout and design gained my interest and helped me to appreciate the name of the textbook better. Sometimes in the past I have wondered why MBE didn’t call it the ‘Science of Christ’ or ‘Understanding the Bible’ or something like that.  Science and Health – It really doesn’t sound very religious.  It is only the ‘with key to the scriptures’ in the title that lets you know it is based on teaching you how to understanding the spiritual interpretation of the Bible. This book not only states the absolute Truth Jesus taught, the science of being in Christ but it sheds light and explains how to get there – it is a book of how to heal oneself and others through Christ. A great book if you are serious about understanding the bible. When I turn off the television, mortal sense – this little book brings Christ right into my living room – into my being.

Regardless where we are at in understanding heaven on earth, this book takes us on a spiritual journey to find the Science of Christ and as such to find God. It is this journey that for me makes this textbook rich in fulfilling my spiritual awakening. It is this book that has taken me back to search the scriptures and to find that once I was blind now I see.

When I found out how Mary Baker Eddy decided on its name, I know it was God inspired.  I’ve had experiences when I’ve woken in the night with the answer to my prayers or in the morning and I just know.  I remember being in a day dream in a geography class and the teacher asked a question, then named me – to answer the question.  I had no idea what the question was and he knew it but out of my mouth came the perfect answer. The Christ was with me that day, that moment – it certainly wasn’t me as a mortal being all knowing! It was God’s child expressing God’s all knowing qualities.  I got an ‘A’ in geography that year. It’s a wonderful feeling of knowing that God is communicating with me regardless of if I am to mortal sense asleep or awake. When we get that divine inspiration and identify it as such we have to obey it, it is as simple as that. We know it is the Truth. It has taken me a long time to recognise and listen to Truth but when I do my days flow smoother, are more harmonious. It is always good to sleep with a pen and notepad close at hand.

Mary Baker Eddy explained it this way: ‘I waited weeks to decide on a title for Science and Health.  God gave me its name in the night-time.  I rose and put it on paper.   I was indeed in a desert. Those to whom I whispered the name I had given my book, laughed at me and said it was not suitable. Even before my literary friends had advised me not to write such a book and my students had said no-one would understand it.’ Mary Baker Eddy

Mary Baker Eddy in Feb 1872 put a notice in the paper: ‘To the public I am preparing a work on moral and physical science that I shall submit to the public as soon as its completed.  This work is laborious and I have not much opportunity to write, hence the delay to publishing.  Firstly I withhold my manuscripts from all eyes but my students because they are mere outlines of my subject that require me to fill up with explanation. And secondly because I think the massive minds are not yet ready prepared to digest this subject.’

I also like that the science of health,  holiness and harmony starts with understanding what moral and physical science is and what it is not.  It has taken me a long time to appreciate the breath of discernment. More importantly to truly capture a glimpse of the kingdom of God on earth and to understand the all-ness of God and the unreality of the opposite.

In 1875 in the first preface of Science and Health she writes ‘The time for thinkers has come, and the time for revolutions, ecclesiastic and social must come. We made our first discovery that Science mentally applied would heal the sick in 1864 and since then have tested it on ourselves and hundreds of others and never found it fail to prove the statement herein made in it.’ Mary Baker Eddy

I find this interesting.

The time for thinkers has come! The time for revolutions must come… The time for ecclesiastic must come… The time for social must come…

In August 1907 Mary Baker Eddy said when representing herself at a public forum: ‘I know that my mission is for all the earth, not alone for my dear devoted followers in Christian Science… All my work, all my efforts, all my prayers and tares are for humanity and the spread of peace and love among mankind.’

I like this thought – that Christ and the availability to understand the underlying precepts, the Science he taught can be applied and practiced by anyone seeking the Truth of God. That Mary Bakers Eddy mission wasn’t just a life work for her followers but for all humanity, for all mankind – explaining the meaning of life and  our collective co-existence through cooperative and interdependent relationships with God, through Christ. Loving the Lord our God with all our hearts, mind and understanding and loving our brother as ourselves truly is the spiritual awakening. No wonder she was told to title her book – Science and Health

In the textbook page 444 she writes ‘”Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.” Immortal, or God’s children in divine Science, are one harmonious family’.

Anyway reading the contents I started considering her textbook as 3 books in one.  First – Science and Health, Second – Key to the Scriptures and Third – Fruitage – the evidence of the Science. Interesting, for me anyway.  To turn the key you need not just the key – the word but you need to be able to turn it – the Christ – without Christ you cannot enter in. You need to understand the science of Christ, how Jesus healed, the precepts he taught – the first book gives us a platform to do this. The second book explains the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last – Genesis and The Apocalypse. And of course you have to understand to some extent Truth, even a whisper of Christ,  to appreciate the demonstrations of Truth, Christ in the third book and go and do likewise in so much as you understand.


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