From Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert Carpenter
Divinity Course the Highest Instruction
Mrs. Eddy agreed to teach the Divinity Course to students who came to live with her, if they would remain long enough. I have often pondered this offer, which she incorporated into the Manual, because it is my firm conviction that she never taught this Course to anyone. Then, if she did not, how can one reconcile this with the fact that she made such a promise?
My answer to this question is, that divinity must be taught by divinity, in accordance with John 6:45, “And they shall be all taught of God.” How then, could Mrs. Eddy teach the Divinity Course? Only as she could unfold to the student the process of clearing the connection with God, over which this divine instruction flows. The teacher leads his student to the spiritual fount, from which he gains his draughts of inspiration, in order that the student may drink for himself.
Mrs. Eddy made it plain that the Divinity Course is the highest course of instruction in Christian Science; therefore, it must be taught of God. Hence, Mrs. Eddy was correct in promising the students that if they stayed with her long enough, they would be taught the Divinity Course, since Mrs. Eddy would instruct them how to go to God. The Divinity Course is the teaching from divine wisdom direct to the individual student. So Mrs. Eddy really promised the students, that she would give them that higher instruction that would enable them to enter into that oneness with God, the Holiest of Holies, where the divine revelations of Christian Science would come to the individual students from the same infinite source, from which Mrs. Eddy gained them.
Hence, if one criticised Mrs. Eddy for deception, because she promised to teach the Divinity Course to those who would remain with her long enough, in order to persuade some to stay who otherwise might not do so, and then did not teach this Course, even to Calvin Frye, her faithful secretary, the answer would be that this highest course is self-taught, or rather, God-taught. Hence, Mrs. Eddy could not have taught it, had she desired to. Through precept and practice, our Leader taught every member of her household the great lesson, that he or she might turn to the great Teacher, God, and be taught of Him. If any student failed to take advantage of this teaching of how to go to the divine source for this Divinity Course, then, and only then, would Mrs. Eddy’s agreement seem to be unfulfilled, yet the fault lay not with her, but with the student.
Those students who have correctly analyzed and assimilated her teachings, endeavoring to put them into practice, have discovered, through the higher inspiration and wisdom that have flowed to them from God, and through the greater spiritual light that is thrown on the Bible as a consequence, that this spiritual influx constitutes the Divinity Course. Thus, it is a course taught through inspiration. Hence, when any student who lived with Mrs. Eddy, begins to gain this inspiration directly from God, he then knows that he is receiving the Divinity Course which Mrs. Eddy promised.
Any worker in Mrs. Eddy’s home, who prayerfully and watchfully observed and understood her higher teachings, was thereby prepared for entrance into the Mind of God, the Holiest of Holies. In this manner, she might promise this Course; but, whether the student received it, depended on his taking advantage of what she so freely offered.
There are notes extant, purported to have been given by Mrs. Eddy to her students on the Divinity Course. Yet, no matter how long students remained with her, none ever received the degree of this Course. We must conclude, therefore, that the determination to understand these statements of our Leader would constitute the development of spiritual sense, which is the true preparation for this God-taught Course. The student is taught the Divinity Course, in proportion as the things of God flow into his consciousness. No individual, no matter how spiritually endowed, can impart this Course to another, since it is a spiritually-received Course.
Jesus as the Christ said, “Lo, I am with you alway.” So the Christ is still the Teacher, and the receiving of His teaching is through inspiration. Can the spiritually eager student in any age be deprived of any spiritual good, as he progresses heavenward?