FOUR KINDS OF SENTENCES (Concept of Four – Part 2)


This blog topic may seem new, even original, although it has existed in the pages of Science and Health (SH) since its final publication in 1910. That there are four levels of sentences is revelatory and most important for the serious student of Christian Science (CS) to understand. Being able to identify the levels is an innovative, metaphysical, Spiritual Concepts Approach (SCA) tool that can be used by any sincere student. Knowing the KJV and SH in particular are written on different levels of thought will make reading and understanding our Pastor and the Bible Lesson (BL) clearer and, therefore, easier to demonstrate and will be able to explain them more accurately. Often these levels occur in one long sentence in SH.

This can be compared to music in which there are key changes, sharps and flats and natural notes to navigate as the harmony flows upward and downward. A skilled musician will recognize these changes and replicate the notes harmoniously, whereas an untrained student, ignorant of the laws of music, will produce many sour notes.

Woven into the text of SH are changes in the levels of thought, from relative to the metaphysical, spiritual to the absolute. These are for the purpose of addressing the different readers: the novice; the beginning student; the real sincere student; and the skeptic of CS, or one who is anti-CS. When these levels are pointed out and explained, the spiritual message is easier to understand and demonstrate. But without an explanation, the reader, especially one new to Science, may find it difficult to follow what he is reading and might resort to guesswork, which never works. For success in applying CS, one must be 100% accurate. So this knowledge and understanding regarding the kinds of sentences, which vary according to the meaning, becomes essential.

Although this blog is featuring SH, these variations of thought levels are just as evident in the KJV Bible citations as well. Examples from the Bible will be included at the end of each category. This is further evidence that both books have important similarities and are meant to go together. It has already been shown in previous blogs that the spiritual number concepts are present in both books.



To know there are varying levels of thought in the text of both SH and the KJV Bible is especially important for SS teachers to grasp in order to teach and explain CS clearly to their students, who in turn, will be able to read and understand both books with ease. Those who become familiar with the thought and language of these books from an early age through their education in SS, will grow to love the message of both and won’t need to rely on other Bible translations whose language is far afield from that of SH. In addition, their confidence in Science will quickly be evident and grow.

Mrs. Eddy included more than 700 KJV citations in SH. She didn’t have a high regard for most other Bible translations. SS Teachers, and young adults graduating from our SS, should have a strong facility in reading and understanding the original English of both SH and KJV.



Beginning with the highest, there are four kinds of sentences throughout SH:

1.  Absolute

2.  Spiritual

3.  Metaphysical

4.  Relative

Within each level are found words to indicate the thought Mrs. Eddy is addressing and which act as guideposts to the reader.



One very clear proof of the existence of these four levels of sentences, and four levels of thought, is the following explanation of terms:

The terms 1 Divine Science, 2 Spiritual Science, 3 Christ Science or Christian Science, or 4 Science alone, she employs interchangeably, according to the requirements of the context. These synonymous terms stand for everything relating to God, the infinite, supreme, eternal Mind. It may be said, however, that the term Christian Science relates especially to Science as applied to humanity. (SH 127:9-16)   

(The SCA definition of CS is God’s Laws applied to man – God’s laws of Life Truth and Love, or LTLv.) (SH 107:1)

The four synonymous terms for Christian Science are numbered, starting with the highest, and underlined.

1.  Divine Science is on the absolute level. The indicator is the word divine.

2.  Spiritual Science is on the spiritual level. The indicator is the word spiritual.

3.  Christ Science/Christian Science are on the metaphysical level.

4.  Science is on the relative level.

(Science alone can refer to the many academic science disciplines throughout S&H: Agriculture, Astronomy, Chemistry, Geology, Logic, Mathematics, Metallurgy, Music, Optics, Physics, and many more.)

The fact that Mrs. Eddy “employs (these terms) interchangeably, according to the requirements of the context” is an undeniable proof of different levels of meaning.

A second SH citation to illustrate the existence of four levels was discovered by the Compiler of the SCA when he read:

The way through which immortality and life are learned is not ecclesiastical but Christian, not human but divine, not physical but metaphysical, not material but scientifically spiritual(SH 98:31-2)

With so many descriptive words here, eight in all, how is one to unscramble them? The SCA makes it easy! Let’s find the pattern. There are two patterns: not appears four times as does but.

The way through which immortality and life are learned is not ecclesiastical but Christian, not human but divine, not physical but metaphysical, not material but scientifically spiritual. (SH 98:31-2)

The four NOT words are ecclesiastical, human, physical, material. These are NOT the way to immortality and life because they are on the lowest level, the mortal and material, which we call relative.

The four BUT words are Christian, divine, metaphysical, spiritual. One can see that these are on four different and distinct levels. To coincide with the first example of the four levels above, we will number them from the top down:

1.  divine (ABSOLUTE)

2.  spiritual (SPIRITUAL)

3.  metaphysical (METAPHYSICAL)

4.  Christian (RELATIVE)



One who has been following this blog will be familiar with this term. It was introduced in the Concept of One – Part One.  The absolute refers to a statement that is about God or pertains to God only, with no mention of man or any other thing related to the human or material.

” Spirit is positive.” (173:13 (only)

When discussing the absolute sentence, the same rule applies, that there is no mention of man. The reason for this is explained by Mrs. Eddy when she writes:

The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind, — that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle. (SH 275:6-9)

One experienced with CS metaphysical prayer knows this statement is true, that one starts with God and fills thought with nothing else. The absolute is where we go in prayer for healing. So it is important that we know what it is and which citations are in the absolute so they can be beneficially applied! Looking again at the sentence above, it is in the absolute.

The sentence is about God only. There is also the word divine twice. Divine in a  citation is a second indicator that a sentence is considered absolute. Divine is the highest elevated thought.

“Spirit is the only substance and consciousness recognized by divine Science.” (SH 278:4-5) A (absolute)

This is another absolute statement. It is about God only. And the word divine is included. When one sees this sentence in SH or the Bible Lesson (BL), one would write an “A” at the end of the sentence to indicate it is absolute. This helps one keep track of the various kinds of sentences in SH and our BL.

The identification points of an absolute citation are:

  • The citation is about God only.
  • The word divine might be included, but not always.
  • There is no mention of man; man is spiritual, never absolute, never a divinity, never divine, but only reflects the divine nature. (SH 475:11-13; 250:12-13; 336:28-30)

More examples of absolute citations from SH: 6:5–6; 13:2-3; 88:10-11 Ideas; 89: 19-20; 298:2-3; 311:4–6 (to 1st .); 331:16; 481:3-4.

From the KJV: Gen 1:31; Deut. 32:4; Ps. 105:31; Isa. 45:5 (to :); Jer. 32:17; I John 1:5 God; I John 4:8 (for); Rev. 19:6 Alleluia.



Just below the absolute is the spiritual type of sentence. Specific ways it can be identified:

  • The word spiritual sometimes appears in it.
  • It has a universal theme, and might include a form of the word universe.
  • It’s tone is one of informing, educating, presenting a spiritual fact.
  • When man appears in a spiritual sentence, it is mostly as spiritual idea man.
  • It contains specific reference to God, science, or one or more synonyms for God.
  • It may mention elements and references of mortals, materiality, and the human.

Belief is changeable, but spiritual understanding is changeless. S (Spiritual) (SH 96:23-24)

The obvious clue is the word spiritual.  Spiritual sentences are marked with S at the end.

Please pay attention to the tone in the next example. The sentence is informative, presenting a fact about the new tongue in the book of Mark (Mk. 16:17).

God’s essential language is spoken of in the last chapter of Mark’s Gospel as the new tongue, the spiritual meaning of which is attained through “signs following. S (SH 117:10-13)

Another clue is illustrated in the next citation which has an obvious universal theme.

When the Science of being is universally understood, every man will be his own physician, and Truth will be the universal panacea. S (SH 144:27)

Often in a spiritual citation, the word spiritual cannot be found. In that case, the intention behind the statement itself will guide one’s identification of the type. Is it educating the reader of a fact? Is it imparting information? With practice, one will become quite adept at identifying a spiritual sentence.

The final example in this section has none of the obvious spiritual and universal word clues, but the theme is about spiritual man, reflection. In addition, the manner of the sentence is one of stating a fact, with a more matter-of-fact feel.

“Man is, and forever has been, God’s reflection.” S (SH 471:17-18)

Several references from SH on the spiritual level: 89:18–19; 171:12; 331:13 only; 481:2–3; 505:16–17; 506:11-12; 516:19.

From the KJV: Job 32:8; Ps. 18:30; Ps. 77:14; Ps. 119:137; Matt. 9:35; Matt. 16:16; John 1:17; II Cor. 3:17 where.




Metaphysical statements are wonderful tools for giving treatments, for oneself or others.  So it is highly useful to be able to identify them in SH.

Sentences and citations are considered metaphysical when:

  • They instruct, command, recommend.
  • They include a specific imperative that one must perform (or another word).
  • They include a rule.
  • They indicate a clear and definite application, or action to take.
  • They might include the word must, let.
  • The word scientific might be included. Human man in these citations moves and changes as he is spiritualized.
  • They urge man to go higher spiritually and depend on being
  • They can be used as a treatment. (Examples follow.)

Let us disrobe error.” M (Metaphysical) (SH 201:14 Let (only, to 2nd .)

The word let is a hint here because it indicates action is to be taken. Let is an imperative used to express intention and instruction.

(You) Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts. (SH 261:1)

There is an implied “you” at the beginning of most metaphysical instructing citations.

Turned into a treatment, it becomes:

I can hold thought steadfastly, constantly, to qualities of Life (activity, endurance, movement), Love (selflessness, kindness, harmony) and Truth (honesty, purity, strength). I am grateful to continuously dwell on them in thought and know they will be active in my experience as long as I do.


To be immortal, we must forsake the mortal sense of things, turn from the lie of false belief to Truth, and gather the facts of being from the divine Mind. (SH 370:2-5)

Must is another word that provides a clue that a citation is metaphysical. There are hundreds of citations with must in Science and Health, many of them declaring an instruction, a command, or a rule in Science. These are metaphysical.

This is how it can be used as a treatment:

(For me) to be immortal, I must and shall forsake the mortal sense of things. I will be alert to turn away from any lie of false belief to Truth, and so will gather the facts of being from the divine Mind.


The chapter “Christian Science Practice” is chock full of metaphysical sentences.

(You) Be firm in your understanding that the divine Mind governs, and that in Science man reflects God’s government. M (SH 393:16-18)

Often at the beginning of a sentence is a clear command. “Be firm” is one of those indicators, being very direct, implying that one has to do this. One can reword it as, “You be firm.”

Reworded as a treatment:

I know and understand without a doubt that the divine Mind governs me and all, and that I reflect His government, guidance, protection, and care.


“Mentally contradict every complaint from the body, and rise to the true consciousness of Life as Love, — as all that is pure, and bearing the fruits of Spirit.” (SH 391:29-32)


I will gratefully and vehemently contradict every supposed complaint from the body with facts of Truth. Lifting thought to Life and Love, I will fill my consciousness with health, purity, peace, harmony, wholeness, and holiness, the fruits of Spirit.

Or more simply put:

I mentally contradict every complaint from the body, and so rise to the true consciousness of Life as Love, — as all that is pure, and bearing the fruits of Spirit.


“Declare that you are not hurt and understand the reason why, and you will find the ensuing good effects to be in exact proportion to your disbelief in physics, and your fidelity to divine metaphysics, confidence in God as All, which the Scriptures declare Him to be.” (SH 397:17-22 Declare)

A more advanced treatment:

(When a so-called accident seems happens), I will immediately declare and understand that I am not hurt because I can dwell on never falling away from God’s ever-present law of perfection, harmony and love which is my defense and protection. I am a spiritual idea governed and maintained by Principle’s divine metaphysics, not physics. I have complete confidence in Spirit, Good: Omnipotence, Omnipresence, Omniscience, Omni-action.

This treatment made simple:

(When a so-called accident seems happens, declare),” I am not hurt and I understand the reason why and I will find the ensuing good effects to be in exact proportion or dwelling to my disbelief in physics, and my fidelity to divine metaphysics, confident in God as All, which the Scriptures declare him to be.”


 “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (I Thess 5:16-18)

My Bible-based treatment:  

I will rejoice, pray, and give gratitude constantly. Because this is God’s will for me, then this is my daily, hourly, minute-by-minute desire to fulfill.


Examples of metaphysical citations from SH are: 183:23-24; 233:1–2;

239:5-7; 239:16-18; 412:23–31; 428:19; 571:16–18.

From the KJV: Ps. 108:3, 4, 13 (to :); Prov. 3:5, 6; Isaiah 55:7; Luke 8:46; I John 4:7; I John 4:11.



Now we arrive at the lowest level, where mortal mind and human sense reside. These sentences are about the false sense of life and man as material, matter, and mortal.

Words that identify a sentence as relative are:

  • Error
  • Human
  • Physical
  • Material
  • Matter
  • Mortal or mortals
  • Mortal man, a false concept of man, does not desire to progress or change. This false sense, this Adam dream, does not touch the real man. (SH 282:28-3)

Mortal existence is an enigma.” R (Relative) (SH 70:1 Mortal (only))

What can be more relative than this? Place a blue (or other color) R after the sentence to indicate it has been identified.

“Their opposites, evil and matter, are mortal error, and error has no creator.” R (SH 277:9-10)

Matter never produces mind.” R (SH 277:5-6)

“The moral law, which has the right to acquit or condemn, always demands restitution before mortals can “go up higher.” R (SH 11:8-10)

Now that these relative statements have been identified, what do we do with them? Pay attention to the error that has been exposed, and then dismiss it as unreal, therefore untrue. Why? “Matter is an error of statement.” R (277:26-27)

“Science reverses the false testimony of the physical senses, and by this reversal mortals arrive at the fundamental facts of being. (SH 120:7-9)

Applying this rule of reversal or inversion, one turns the untrue into the true. (SH 113:26; 282:31-1)

“Mortal existence is an enigma” becomes Life is reality, or Life is Truth.

 Several more examples of relative statements from SH are: 90:14; 92:29; 183:24; 250:6–7; 278:12-14; 285:16-17; 304:18-19; 335:14; 476:1 only; 476:6 only.

From the KJV: II Kings 18:13; Mark 2:15; Luke 2:33; Luke 15:13-16, John 6:16–19; Acts 14:19.



Agassiz, the celebrated naturalist and author, has wisely said: “Every great scientific truth goes through three stages. First, people say it conflicts with the Bible. Next, they say it has been discovered before. Lastly, they say they have always believed it.” (SH 104:8)

By now the readers realize there are definitely four types of sentences in SH: Absolute, Spiritual, Metaphysical, Relative. Each one has its own identification tags or words.

The absolute is the infinite realm of the Allness of God. The absolute holds thought with Principle, Love, where healing takes place.

“For God is infinite, all-power, all Life, Truth, Love, over all, and All.” (SH 17:14)

The spiritual is where one finds the highest concept of man as spiritual idea. It is informative in nature, and guides us to think, speak, and act in the spiritual as Jesus did. (Matt. 4:23; 9:34)

“There is but one spiritual existence, — the Life of which corporeal sense can take no cognizance.” (SH 72:1-2)

The metaphysical statement is used in treatment. It is an instructional springboard to lift thought to the spiritual and absolute.

“Rise in the conscious strength of the spirit of Truth to overthrow the plea of mortal mind, alias matter, arrayed against the supremacy of Spirit.” (SH 390:32-2)

The relative is on the mortal, material level and needs to be questioned, then either reversed and replaced by the spiritual, or tossed out.

“Material sense lifts its voice with the arrogance of reality and says:I am wholly dishonest, and no man knoweth it.” (252:16-18)

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HOMEWORK for practice: Please identify the following sentences from SH. Send your answers to .

1. God is All-in-all. (SH 113:16 God (only))

2. Matter neither sees, hears, nor feels. (SH 467:28 (only, to 2nd .))

3. When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. (SH 495:14-15)

4. The miracle of grace is no miracle to Love. (SH 494:15 The (only))

5. Whatever is material is mortal. (SH 477:9 Whatever (only))

6. Life and being are of God. (SH 103:31-32)

7. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. (SH 495:15-16)

8. God will heal the sick through man, whenever man is governed by God. (SH 495:1-2)

9. The supposititious parent of evil is a lie. (SH 480:24-25 The)

10. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious — as Life eternally is — can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not. (SH 495:16-20)

11. For God is infinite, all-power, all Life, Truth, Love, over all, and All. (SH 17:14-15)

12. The spiritual man’s consciousness and individuality are reflections of God. (SH 336:14-15)



  1. A
    1. R 
      1. M
        1. S
          1. R
            1. A
              1. M
                1. S
                  1. R
                    1. M
                      1. A
                        1. S


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I am a Christian Science practitioner and a student of the Spiritual Concepts Approach (SCA), an online study course of the Christian Science Bible Lesson that I found on Currently I am the facilitator of the SCA online discussion group. The SCA presents a unique and accurate way of opening up the Bible Lesson so that the spiritual sense of a story, passage, word or symbol is revealed. My desire is to share some of my inspirations and insights with the readers of this blog.