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Star of Boston: The Life of Mary Baker Eddy by Helen M. Wright

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Picture Number 1

Fast circling on, from zone to zone,
Bright, blest, afar,
O'er the grim night of chaos shone
One lone, brave star.

Scriptural basis:
I am the root and offspring of David,
and the bright and morning star. - Christ Jesus


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 fellows."

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" (S&H 563:8).

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 563:27)

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" (S&H 310:31).

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..." (Revelation).

"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 shines forth.

"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, " is cast out by Christ, Truth, the spiritual idea, and so proved to be powerless."

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" (Mis. 320).

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 mind.

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 511:11).


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 church.


Star of Boston book sections

Introduction | Part 1a | Part 1b | Part 2 | Part 3

Christ & Christmas Pictures

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Summary | Conclusion



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