STAR OF BETHLEHEM
Picture Number 1
Fast circling on, from zone to
Bright, blest, afar,
O'er the grim night of chaos shone
lone, brave star.
I am the root
and offspring of David,
and the bright and morning star. - Christ
The lines of the poem for the first picture says:
"Fast circling on, from zone to zone, Bright, blest, afar, O'er the grim night
of chaos shone One lone, brave star."
The Scriptural basis for this first picture, as shown
in Glossary, is: "I am [both] the root and offspring of David,
and the bright and morning star." This statement encompasses not only the first
picture, but the full gamut of all the succeeding pictures, inasmuch as it is
the last promise in the Bible and embraces both the genesis and apocalypse of
being as "root" and "offspring." [As root, the kingdom of God is within
you. And offspring is this kingdom's our Mind's image or idea.]
In view of the all-embracing range of the Scriptural
basis of this first picture, the full signification of the title of the book,
Christ and Christmas, should be readily seen in this first picture as
the re-dedicating of Christmas, typing Jesus' first appearing, to
the "Christ" of Jesus' "Second appearing." Thus the "Star of
Bethlehem," the title of this first picture, as indicating the birthplace of
the personal Jesus in his first appearing to the human
consciousness, must be rededicated to the "star of
Boston," indicating the birth place of the
impersonal Jesus in his "second appearing" as Truth. And Mary
Baker Eddy herself dedicates the "star of Bethlehem" to "the star of Boston",
saying: "The star of Bethlehem is the star of Boston...that
looketh down on the long night of human beliefs, to pierce the darkness and
melt into dawn" (Mis. 320:23).
The head of the woman in the upper right-hand corner
of this first picture is prayerfully bowed over a dark mass that might be
identified with "the long night of human beliefs" upon which Mrs. Eddy in her
article "Christmas" represents "the star of Bethlehem," as "the star of
Boston," to be shining. The ascending cloud outline of "the Holy Family" (of
Joseph, Mary, and the babe Jesus) is placed directly under the star.
Mrs. Eddy's mission under the light of "the star of
Boston" was her re-discernment of the same "infant idea" of the Christ which
Mary brought forth through her "self conscious communion with God" (S&H
29:32). Mrs. Eddy in Science presents "The Holy Family" in quality "as
Life, represented by the Father; as Truth, represented by the Son; as Love,
represented by the Mother" (S&H 569:1). This enables each individual to
impersonally and progressively incorporate "The Holy Family" in quality as
Life, Truth, and Love into his own consciousness. "At present we know not what
we are, but certainly we shall be Love, Life, and Truth, when we understand
them" (2nd ed. S&H p. 19. Also in first edition.).
In this picture "The Holy Family" as an ascending idea
turns its back on the human consciousness, in line with Christianity's "Get
thee behind me, Satan." The cloud- formed head of the woman, in the right side
of the picture, typifying Science, prayerfully faces its problem--the
more subtle forms of the human consciousness such as "lust and hypocrisy"until
it overcomes their resistance. This illustrates the difference between
Christianity (which rose above error), typed by Jesus in his first coming, and
Science (which demands the facing and scientific overcoming of error by each
individual consciousness), typed by Jesus' second coming, under the light of
the "star of Boston."
"Dedication" means "de, down, + dico,
declare," a call from above to a mission, or purpose, larger than one's
consciousness can comprehend, but which one inspirationally accepts. The first
step in ascending Church is dedication to Love's plan.
The initial step of dedication could be generalized in
this first picture as being the first illumination of the heavenly light of
Christian Science to which one inspirationally dedicates himself.
However, Christ and Christmas must first specifically identify
this dedicatory call as the unfolding Word in Mrs. Eddy's consciousness,
for Christ and Christmas "must be a new revelation of the God-anointed
mission of our Leader" (January 1894 C. S. Journal, p. 467).
Thus this picture identifies the dedicatory
call to the mission of the revelation of Womanhood through Mrs. Eddy's
consciousness. In Retrospection and Introspection, on pages eight and
nine, Mrs. Eddy records the divine call to dedicate herself to the fulfillment
of her great mission. As a little child at the age of eight she heard
repeatedly over a period of time a voice calling three successive times,
"Mary," "Mary," "Mary." She records the confusion and distress it brought into
her life until her mother (after the call to her was heard by another little
child her cousin) interpreted it to her as a call similar to that which came to
little Samuel and suggested she answer in the words of Samuel. The call came,
and after replying, "Speak, Lord; for Thy servant heareth" (I Sam. 3:9), her
child-consciousness never heard the call again, for she had accepted in her
life the dedication it demanded of her.
Hence this first picture presents a panoramic preview
of the fullness of the revelation and founding of Christian Science that Mrs.
Eddy as a little child had inspirationally accepted, and which held her
unsparingly to the fulfillment of each "jot" and "tittle" of the Law "till
all...[was] fulfilled" (Matt. 5:18). The vast ultimate of Mrs. Eddy's
dedication of herself in this picture is typed by the woman's bowed head,
crowned with the head of man, the latter symbolizing the ultimate lifting up of
manhood by womanhood from Christianity to Science.
It would appear that we could not understand these
pictures in Christ and Christmas because no key has been given that is,
none that is generally known. This is not entirely true. Judge Hanna was
present [probably more than once] when Mrs. Eddy gave instructions to Mr.
Gilman the artist; and Judge Hanna wrote down and preserved for us what she
said. James Gilman also wrote in his diary about his experience [working] with
Mrs. Eddy while...he illustrated [Christ and Christmas]. The real key,
however, to any figure in Christ and Christmas is Mrs. Eddy's
other writings. She explains the symbols used in Christ and Christmas
throughout her writings. We must seek them out.
The first Biblical quote in Christ and
Christmas is a statement of the Master's stating that he is the
bright and morning star. The last quote in Christ and Christmas also
deals with this same morning star.
The selection of this Biblical verse (above) with Mrs.
Eddy's poetry gives us a clear indication of this picture's meaning. It is a
picture of "one lone, brave star." So, the next [assumption might be] that this
"lone, brave star" is Christ Jesus; but this is not the case. This picture,
like the Master's parables, relates to the human and divine coincidence. It
represents the light of the Christ, the absolute, divine [Science] appearing;
but it also has direct reference to the relative or human experience [of both
Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy].
The picture is titled: "Star of Bethlehem." In its
first appearing this star, this Christ, was definitely represented in human
experience as the Master, Christ Jesus.
Mrs. Eddy has hidden the import of this picture; it is
a veiled message. She tells us in Miscellaneous Writings: "The star of
Bethlehem is the star of Boston" (p. 320:23). The world was not ready at the
turn of the previous century to have this picture entitled: "The star of
Boston." That would have led to controversy and speculation. But, we can
understand it to be so now in the light of a fuller understanding of Mrs.
Eddy's place in Bible prophecy. The star is Mary Baker Eddy in its relative,
human appearing the transparency through which the divine, absolute Christ,
Truth, appears to this age. This picture represents the dual appearing of the
Woman, as generic man and as Mary Baker Eddy. Thus the two phases of the woman
in the Apocalypse are represented in this picture, but both as one star, "the
star of Boston."
Throughout Mrs. Eddy's life, the phrase, "Lone as a
solitary star," appealed to her as an apt description of her fate. It first
appeared in the early poems to Colonel Glover, and did not make its exit until
forty-six years later in a letter to her son, the second George Glover. In a
letter to George Glover in April of 1898, she says, after pointing out that her
life was "as pure as that of angels," that she was "alone in the world, more
alone than a solitary star." One definition of the word star is:
"A person of brilliant qualities standing preeminently among his
The very important margin note in Science and Health,
p. 511:12 reads, "Darkness scattered." The darkness is indeed being
scattered in this first picture of Christ and Christmas. Mrs. Eddy says,
"At the present time this Bethlehem star looks down upon the long night of
materialism, material religion, material medicine, a material world; and it
shines as of yore, though it 'shineth in darkness; and the darkness
comprehended it not.' But the day will dawn and the daystar will appear,
lighting the gloom, guiding the steps of progress from molecule and mortals
outward and upward in the scale of being" (Miscellany 110). This is not
"the pale star" that shone to the "prophet shepherds;" this is the "guiding
star of being" (S&H vii) [the Second Coming of the
Christ, the Comforter, prophesied and promised by Jesus.]
In Miscellaneous Writings, Mrs. Eddy says, "The
nineteenth century prophets repeat, 'Unto us a son is given.' The shepherds
shout, 'We behold the appearing of the star!' and the pure in heart clap their
hands" (p. 168).
The first degree is black; mortal, depravity. This
depravity, represented by the myriad physical evil beliefs in this picture, is
pierced by the light of Truth, represented in this picture by the second
appearing of Truth as Mary Baker Eddy. This light of Truth, through
her, appears to destroy the physical and all that physical beliefs
bring. "The mortal mind through which Truth appears most vividly is that one
which has lost much materiality much error in order to become a better
transparency for Truth. Then, like a cloud melting into thin vapor, it no
longer hides the sun" (S&H 295). Notice the clouds of sense breaking up in
this picture, darkness being scattered, "melting into thin vapor" from the
light of Truth. "So Christian Science can be seen only as the clouds of
corporeal sense roll away" (S&H 548:10).
The seven-pointed star represents the seven synonyms
for God, given to us by Mary Baker Eddy through her man-child named Christian
Science, and this again identifies the star more closely with her.
The large black cloud on the left, Judge Hanna tells
us, is the dragon. The dragon is the type of error associated with the latter
days; and as Jesus was not in the latter days, this picture depicts the life of
Mary Baker Eddy. Jesus said the "Comforter" would lead into all truth. In other
words, the "Comforter" will reveal the method of destroying the dragon that
blocks the light of divine Science from the view of mankind.
"RED DRAGON: Error; fear; inflammation; sensuality;
subtlety; animal magnetism; envy; revenge" (S&H 593).
"The great red dragon symbolizes a lie, the belief
that substance, life, and intelligence can be material. This dragon stands for
the sum total of human error. . . This malicious animal instinct of which the
dragon is the type, incites mortals to kill morally and physically even their
fellow-mortals, and worse still, to charge the innocent with the crime. This
last infirmity of sin will sink its perpetrator into a night without a star"
The seven points, seven synonyms, dismember the
organization of the dragon. The two large clouds on the right, we are told,
represent...two-faced... ecclesiastical despotism... Here once again this
picture identifies the Second Advent, the life and light of Mary Baker Eddy,
uncovering the two-faced nature of [ecclesiasticism]. [In S&H
and Prose Works Mrs. Eddy has 32 references showing the necessity of uncovering
error. She says he who sees evil and does not uncover it, will be punished.]
Speaking of this [dragon] in Science and Health she writes, "The
serpentine form stands for subtlety [theological beliefs], winding its way
amidst all evil, but doing this in the name of good. Its sting is spoken of by
Paul, when he refers to 'spiritual wickedness in high places."' (S&H
Just beneath the star and a bit to the left is the
Virgin Mary and the babe Jesus in her arms. They are facing the light of
Christian Science; and this divine Science, revealed through the woman, is in
turn revealing them [revealing the virgin Mary and the babe] in their proper
light. Only Christian Science has explained the virgin birth, the purity of the
Virgin Mary, and the words and work of the Master. The small shadow above the
Virgin Mary's head is Joseph. These figures again point out that this [picture
number 1] is indeed the Second Advent, and not the First, for Mrs. Eddy clearly
shows through Science and Health the mission of the Virgin Mary, Jesus
and Joseph. She alone has revealed them in their right place in prophecy and
their niche in history. Mary Baker Eddy says, "No person can take the
individual place of the Virgin Mary. No person can compass or fulfill the
individual mission of Jesus of Nazareth. No person can take the place of the
author of Science and Health, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity. The
second appearing of Jesus is, unquestionably, the spiritual
advent of the advancing idea of God, as in Christian Science"
(Retrospection and Introspection, p. 70). This picture represents
the light of divine Science appearing through the "one lone, brave star,"
bringing the Christ to earth, and breaking up material beliefs and piercing
spiritual wickedness in high places. "There is neither growth, maturity, nor
decay in Soul [true identity]. These changes are the mutations of material
sense, the varying clouds of mortal belief, which hide the truth of being"
Only through an understanding of Mary Baker Eddy's
life and light, can we understand the Christianity that Jesus taught. Primitive
Christianity had its "pale star" which has now, through a long night, become
full-orbed as the daystar of divine Science. Mrs. Eddy makes this clear when
she says, "So shone the pale star to the prophet-shepherds; yet it traversed
the night, and came where, in cradled obscurity, lay the Bethlehem babe, the
human herald of Christ, Truth, who would make plain to benighted understanding
the way of salvation through Christ Jesus, till across a night of error should
dawn the morning beams and shine the guiding star of being" (S&H vii). [The
"guiding star of being" is Christian Science.]
This light of divine Science that has come through the
woman, fast circles the five zones of earth (mortality), represented by the
twelve tribes of Israel with all mortals, running the spectrum of thought from
Dan to Joseph. The movement is fast, it is bright, it blesses afar, and its
influence is piercing and thorough. "Behold, I come quickly..."
"While Christian Science, engaging the attention of
philosopher and sage, is circling the globe, only the earnest, honest
investigator sees through the mist of mortal strife this daystar, and whither
it guides"(Message for 1902, 1:20).
Because the serpent [old theology] has been
dismembered by the Second Advent, the two-faced nature of [ecclesiasticism] is
uncovered. Malicious animal magnetism and [ecclesiasticism] have been in league
to block the light from piercing the gloom, but to no avail. "Let us watch,
work, and pray that . . . this light be not hid, but radiate and glow into
noontide glory" (S&H 367:21).
The dragon is lust and hypocrisy, and represents the
twofold resistance accepted and expressed through mortal mind to the two phased
mission of the woman in the Apocalypse (generic man) and Mary Baker Eddy (the
absolute and the relative). The main exponent of this dragon thought is
[ecclesiasticism], which strives to separate Mary Baker Eddy from her
revelation. [Mrs. Eddy said old theology was her worst enemy.]
The understanding of Mary Baker Eddy's life and light
breaks up the dragon thought. This [first] picture indicates this is
accomplished when she is recognized as the star of Boston, the second witness,
as distinguished from the star of Bethlehem, the first witness, Christ Jesus.
If her place is not recognized, the dragon remains active [because there
is nothing to resist it]. Two-faced malicious animal magnetism
[ecclesiasticism], is uncovered and destroyed when the light of her place
"In the Apocalypse, when nearing its doom, this evil
increases and becomes the great red dragon, swollen with sin, inflamed with war
against spirituality and ripe for destruction. It is full of lust and hate,
loathing the brightness of divine glory" (S&H 565:1). As she says, "...it
is cast out by Christ, Truth, the spiritual idea, and so proved to be
Jesus, Mary and Joseph are seen correctly in the light
of Truth because of Mary Baker Eddy and the light she gives to the Bible.
Remember, without her [without Mrs. Eddy's holy mission and explanation] none
of the above is possible, and the Bible remains a closed Book.
This Christ-light, brought by Mary Baker Eddy, enables
us to fully express the "transitional qualities" of the "second degree." It
enables us to destroy the "first degree" named mortality and depravity. It
demands that we accept our divine nature as given in the "third degree." The
closer we approach the star, the understanding of the inseparability of Mary
Baker Eddy and Christian Science, the more we see what she has done for us, the
more we enter into the light, the more we find the clouds of sense broken up
and dissolved. She reveals the way from chaos to spiritual understanding.
The picture is rectangular denoting that there is a
lot of the human to be worked out. It is her place that must be seen and
appreciated before the human can be worked out.
Malicious animal magnetism accomplishes its work in
the black thought of mortality, the first degree. Its power lessens as we get
into the light and recognize the second witness. Unless this is done the
world will again slip into the dark ages, and Christian Science will be lost
for another two thousand years.
"This polar star, fixed in the heavens of divine
Science, shall be the sign of his appearing who 'healeth all our diseases'; it
hath traversed [the] night, wading through darkness and gloom, on to glory. It
doth meet the antagonism of error; addressing to dull ears and undisciplined
beliefs words of Truth and Life.
"The star of Bethlehem is the star of Boston, high in
the zenith of Truth's domain, that looketh down on the long night of human
beliefs, to pierce the darkness and melt into dawn.
"The star of Bethlehem is the light of all ages; is
the light of Love, today christening religion undefiled, divine Science; giving
to it a new name, and the white stone in token of purity and permanence"
In Revelation, we read, "He that hath an ear, let him
hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I
give to eat of the hidden manna, [the leaven hidden from the foundation of the
world] and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written,
which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it" (Rev. 2:17). Thus Christian
Science will be understood as inseparable from our precious Leader, Mary Baker
Eddy, and this recognition shall destroy the domain and dominion of mortal
In Science and Health, she says, "In divine
Science, which is the seal of Deity and has the impress of heaven, God is
revealed as infinite light. In the eternal Mind, no night is there" (S&H
In the study of this first illustration, Mrs. Eddy's
words shine forth: "The star of Bethlehem is the light of all ages; is the
light of Love,...divine Science" (Mis. 320:27). Here we see that the
only light and all the light, is from the star.
Without this star of Bethlehem without the revelation
of Mary Baker Eddy there is nothing but chaos; nothing but darkness without one
ray of light. All spiritual understanding, all true healing of sickness and
sin, all true consciousness, all Science of being, is found in the light of the
star of Bethlehem.
Our Leader also says: "The star of Bethlehem is the
star of Boston" (Mis. 320:23). Why Boston? [Boston is a symbol for Mary
Baker Eddy's teaching, the "Comforter" promised and prophesied by Jesus,the
Second Coming of the Christ. "The star of Boston looks down on the long night
of human beliefs to pierce the darkness and melt into dawn" Mis. 320].
Because Boston is headquarters for Christian Science: is the home of the
spiritual Mother Church and of The Christian Science Publishing Society. From
this shines forth the light that is meant to heal the world. To all those
reflecting the light [gaining spiritual understanding] comes the promise of
Christ Jesus: "He that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him
will I give power over the nations [over all mortal mind thinking]: and I will
give him the morning star" (Rev. 2:25-28).
The outreach committee has
enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any
Star of Boston book sections
Introduction | Part 1a |
Part 1b | Part 2 |
Christ & Christmas
2 | 3 |
4 | 5 |
6 | 7 |
8 | 9 |
10 | 11