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

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Picture Number 11

No blight, no broken wing, no moan,
Truth's fane can dim;
Eternal swells Christ's music-tone,
In heaven's hymn.

Scriptural basis:
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me
shall never die. - Christ Jesus


This eleventh picture, which at first view seems so mystical, when analytically examined is seen to identify every footstep of Church in both its ascending and descending phases. "The Way" in this picture presents both the ascension and descension, [both the climb upward from earth to heaven, from cross to crown, and the pouring forth of Life, Truth and Love in the message of the descending dove and in the all-embracing radiance of the broad beam of light.]

The Scriptural basis promises, "And whosoever liveth and believeth in me [the spiritual idea (S&H 115:17)] shall never die." This promise of life takes one beyond Mrs. Eddy's definition of "Church" as the "structure of Truth and Love" (S&H 583:12) into the universe of Life. It shows that our life must become divine, and thus one with Truth and Love.

Church as the "structure of Truth and Love" disciplines [and uplifts] the natural life that is one's own seemingly inherent consciousness until that life becomes divine and thus one with Truth and Love in the heavenly trinity of forces. Thence this trinity of Life, Truth, and Love descends to earth as the City foursquare (Revelation 21st chapter; S&H 575) with "omni-action" as its fourth side, before expanding through the footstep of "no temple [no material body] therein" (Revelation 21:22; S&H 576) to the unwalled "city of our God (Revelation 22nd chapter; S&H 577) which "has no boundary nor limit."

This "city of our God" is generic spiritual "Idea," boundless, infinite and undying, and it contains the "tree of Life" as "eternal reality or being" (S&H 538:13). This is our consciousness when we will have embraced the heavenly forces of Life, Truth and Love. In both the first and second editions of Science and Health we read Mrs. Eddy's prophecy: "At present we know not what we are, but certainly we shall be Love, Life, and Truth, when we understand them."

This eleventh picture types the "city of our God" (S&H 577), which is reached through the step of "no temple therein," [just as the multiplication table has no physical structure, no material body]. This is the final step demanded after the City foursquare had been descendingly identified in the Word of Science and Health. Thus this picture embraces all the previous elements in Christ and Christmas.

Inasmuch as Mrs. Eddy says that each picture in Christ and Christmas presents both "the type and shadow of Truth's appearing" (Mis. 33:9), each and every symbol in this picture, from cross to crown, including its central emblem, (the garlanded cross combining the qualities of both cross and crown), is but the "shadow" of this picture as compared to the broad beam of light embracing each and all.

The crown in this eleventh picture represents the highest point of scientific Christianity as Truth. The broad beam of light impersonally types heaven. It represents all the elements of the heavenly trinity of Life, Truth, and Love in one, or Womanhood [meaning Science].

The deeply rutted mass on the left-hand side of the picture suggests a dragon's body [alias ecclesiastical despotism]. Its water ruts draining off to the stagnant pool on the right-hand side characterize it as the drag-on of age-old Theology. These elements, together with a serpent's upraised garlanded head, were very plain in the picture as Mrs. Eddy left it. In clearer pictures, the serpent is obvious, its upraised garlanded head facing the bare, dark cross in the foreground.

Mrs. Eddy called The Mother Church "the cross." It is typed in this eleventh picture by the large bleak cross in the foreground. In 1908 Mrs. Eddy detached the branch churches from The Mother Church with the statement, "The branch churches continue their communion seasons, but there shall be no more communion season in The Mother Church that has blossomed into spiritual beauty, communion universal and divine" (My. 141:26).

In the earliest version of this illustration there was only one cross, a large garlanded cross standing in the foreground where the bleak cross now stands. When Mrs. Eddy added the second uplifted cross in the middle of the picture she transferred the flowers and birds to it, leaving the foreground cross bare. At the same time she garlanded the head of the serpent facing the bare cross, a warning that if the work of The Mother Church as "the cross" should be repeated, it would share the fate of all static Christianity.

The dragon (old theology) of outgrown form would triumph over its spirit, as prophesied by Jesus from the thirteenth to the nineteenth chapter of Revelation, which Mrs. Eddy says, "depict the fatal effects of trying to meet error with error" (S&H 568:8).

The dragon is alternately called "serpent" and "dragon" in both the Bible and Science and Health. (Rev. 12:9, 15, 16; S&H 364:31-2, 567:18-21). [Mrs. Eddy knew that Revelation's chapters 13 to 20 prophesying the "beast," (the "serpent,") and the "dragon," would be fulfilled. "Scripture cannot be broken," as Christ Jesus said.

Mrs. Eddy could not explain this in her time. It was too early. But we are now going through that time that prophecy of Jesus to St. John.

Why are we going through that time?

Because Mrs. Eddy's Manual estoppels have not been obeyed, the "rod" of Revelation has been broken.. This is why, in this eleventh picture, we see the "garlanded serpent," facing the big, bare, dark cross in the foreground of this picture.]

It is interesting to note that this garlanding of the serpent's head facing the denuded cross bears an ominous likeness to the prophesied victory of the dragon in the thirteenth chapter of Revelation. In Jesus' prophecy to St. John, the dragon's (serpent's) ten horns were crowned with victorious accomplishment.

In the twelfth chapter of Revelation the dragon (old theology) persecuted the woman that brought forth the "man child." It stood before her in the claim of "church" consciousness which had dragged-on its old theological beliefs. This necessitated the "warfare in Science" (S&H 568:6; Rev. 12).

Mrs. Eddy stated, "the ten horns of the dragon typify the belief that matter has power of its own, and that by means of an evil mind [typed by its crowned heads] in matter the Ten Commandments can be broken" (S&H 563:11). It will be remembered that in the Biblical description of the dragon in the twelfth chapter of Revelation, only its seven heads were crowned. Thus only the seven of its ten horns which corresponded to those heads could claim triumph. The dragon's remaining three horns type the success of Womanhood as the trinity of Life, Truth, and Love in defeating the claimed power of the dragon.

That Mrs. Eddy's individual or subjective work was with the serpent's head only, or claimed intelligence, is seen in the prophesy that the woman would "bruise [only] the head" of the serpent" (S&H 534:29 Gen. 3:15).

The sonship of Mother is typed in the center of this picture by the uplifted cross which is garlanded with the heavenly flowers of divine purpose, floral apostles of Deity ["Deity" meaning "the kingdom of God within your consciousness, your own real Mind]. Thus The Mother Church "blossomed into spiritual beauty, communion universal and divine." This eleventh picture shows our journey from cross to crown.

Mrs. Eddy called the Extension "the crown" (of finished Motherhood.) The Extension, symbolizing the extension of Mrs. Eddy's teaching into all the world, to all mankind, is typed at the topmost point of this last picture by a human coronet. Although Mrs. Eddy, the Founder of Christian Science, was not in attendance [at the dedication of the extension], she sent greetings in which she declared that the "crowning ultimate" of the church "rises to a mental monument, a superstructure high above the work of men's hands, even the outcome of their hearts, giving to the material a spiritual significance--the speed, beauty, and achievements of goodness" (My. 94:24). The extension's true meaning is that Mrs. Eddy's teaching rises to a mental monument. She emphasized this understanding clearly by not attending any dedicatory service, and never once setting foot in the Extension.

The Light in this eleventh picture types "the gentle beam of living Love." Boundless and limitless it pours down from heaven, its broadest beam being at the point of its earth contact. The descending white bird a dove, typing heavenly inspiration might be defined as the impersonal sense of the Woman in the tenth picture bearing her Message of Love. Mrs. Eddy defines "dove" as "a symbol of divine Science" (S&H 584:26), and the descending City foursquare as "the light and glory of divine Science" (S&H 575:7-10).

The Message of the white dove started from heaven in 1902, in the 226th edition, as the Twentieth-Century progressive Revision of Science and Health, spreading the generic ray of Light. It gradually encompassed the labored footsteps of past ascending Christianity to the point where in 1909 Mrs. Eddy said, "The truth of being is perennial, and error is unreal and obsolete" (S&H 265:20), and "Christian Science teaches only that which is spiritual and divine, and not human" (S&H 99:14).

[What were some of these progressive revisions?] In 1902 Mrs. Eddy added the last bracketed interpolation in the statement: "'I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead [not understood]; and, behold, I am alive for evermore [Science has explained me]'" (S&H 334:25). This was evidence of Mary Baker Eddy's completion of the mission of Jesus as "the masculine representative of the spiritual idea."

Thereupon began the mission of Womanhood, typing "the spiritual idea of God's motherhood" (S&H 562:6), of which idea Mary Baker Eddy was the revelator to human consciousness. The ascended Jesus had prophesied to St. John merely its symbol as a "woman clothed in light, a bride coming down from heaven" (S&H 561:11), just as the prophets had prophesied the form of Jesus' mission, while he revealed its spiritual idea. Like Jesus, Mary Baker Eddy will "remain unto the end" of Womanhood's completed mission in the Bride (Word) as the boundless "city [consciousness] of our God."

Other significant revisions were made in the second of the editions of Science and Health issued in 1907. One change was the substitution of "Thy kingdom is come" in place of "Thy kingdom is within us" in the Lord's Prayer. This change declared that Mrs. Eddy had completed the last step of Jesus' prophesied Church and that the time had come for the fulfillment of Mrs. Eddy's prophetic statement made at the laying of the corner stone of the second Concord Branch, " points to the new birth, heaven here, the struggle over" (My. 158:12).

A most interesting and vital change in this second edition of 1907 was made in Mrs. Eddy's interpretation of "And I saw no temple therein." Since this sentence was first added in 1891, in the fiftieth edition, "Love" had been capitalized. Now Mrs. Eddy changed the statement to read, "There was no temple, that is, no material structure in which to worship God, for He must be worshipped in spirit and in love" (S&H 576:12). This change had been pre-typed by the humanizing of Life, Truth, and Love in 1904 in the mottoes of the second Concord Branch. The statement, "He must be worshipped in spirit and in love," embracingly forges beyond Jesus' statement, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). Thus "love" dissipates the boundary and limits of "truth" as considered separately from "love."

Also, in 1907 "Principle and its idea is [not, 'are'] one" was added to Science and Health on page 465, line 17, suggesting that the time had come for the realization of primitive oneness, which knows no separation between the male and female elements. It was time to go beyond a sense of Church as the marriage of the Bride and the Lamb in heaven, or "Love wedded to its own spiritual idea" wedding implying twoness to the composite Bride as the Word that was "in the beginning...with God, and...was God [your true Mind, "the kingdom of God within," or as your consciousness]" (John 1:1). Therefore there is no need of ascension or descension.

"Divine Science rolls back the clouds of error with the light of Truth, and lifts the curtain on man as never born and never dying but as coexistent with his creator [his creator is your own real divine Mind, "the kingdom of God within your consciousness"] (S&H 557:18). This eleventh picture "points to the new birth, heaven here, the struggle over" (My. 158:12).

"In Science individual good derived from God, the infinite All-in-all, may flow from the departed to mortals; but evil is neither communicable nor scientific" (S&H 72:23-26). Thus it is seen that, even humanly speaking, "God requireth that which is past" to sustain the unified manifestation of man in the present, in order that "the divine idea [which] seems to fall to the level of a human or material belief" (S&H 507:31), may be realized to be the expression of the "man, not of the earth earthly but coexistent with God" (S&H 68:32). This fact is fully seen only in proportion as "human generation ceases," for Mrs. Eddy has told us that "proportionately as human generation ceases, the unbroken links of eternal, harmonious being will be spiritually discerned."

Mary Baker Eddy's mission cannot be defeated. Mrs. Eddy has assured us, "If you or I should appear to die, we should not be dead" (S&H 164:17).

Mrs. Eddy calls the process presented in this eleventh picture "The Way" not her way, your way, or anyone else's way, but "The Way" in which everyone must walk. In fact this picture portrays the progressive "states and stages" of consciousness which Mrs. Eddy in "The Apocalypse" presents as the way by which the human mind becomes so illumined as to see heaven and earth one.

The first "state and stage" is that of subjective consciousness, "the atmosphere of the human mind, when cleansed of self and permeated with divine Love" (My.265:24-28). An example of this state, which Mrs. Eddy calls "a present possibility" (S&H 574:2), is "the spiritual sense" of St. John, "the subjective state by which he could see the new heaven and new earth, which involve the spiritual idea and consciousness of reality" (S&H 573:19-23). This was the state of consciousness in which Mrs. Eddy revealed, "Man is as perfect now, and henceforth, and forever, as when the stars first sang together, and creation joined in the grand chorus of harmonious being" (Mis. 188:3), [just as 2X2=4 will be forever perfect].

The second stage involves "journeying 'uphill all the way'" (S&H 574:4) with "vials of wrath and consolation." The ascent of human aspirations is clothed in the "sackcloth" of the cross, as typed by the black birds in this eleventh picture, until it rests at last upon the garlanded cross awaiting heavenly "consolation," heaven's Message of Peace from the white dove. "Think of this, dear reader, for it will lift the sackcloth from your eyes and you will behold the soft-winged dove descending upon you" (S&H 574:25).

The third "state and stage" is the City foursquare, typed in this picture by the descending beam of light, for Mrs. Eddy says, "This sacred city [spiritual consciousness]...that lieth foursquare [the last four-walled step of symbolic church] and cometh 'down from God, out of heaven,' represents the light and glory of divine Science" (S&H 575:7).

The fourth "stage" dissipates the walls of the City foursquare so that the boundless "city [consciousness] of our God" can be attained. "There was no temple, that is, no material structure in which to worship God, for He must be worshipped in spirit and in love," which encompasses but goes beyond "truth." "The shrine celestial," wherein is no symbolism, or walled idea, is typed by the expanding Light which progresses beyond "Truth's fane" where the black birds sing on the garlanded cross, the last step in Church.

In the fifth "stage" the Bride [Word] is declared to be a "spiritual, holy habitation [which] has no boundary or limit" (S&H 577:12). The Light of this habitation as Bride [Word] is Love; thus the broad beam of Light in this eleventh picture embraces all of the ascending footsteps, even the crown, which types Truth at the highest point of human ascension. This is the beam of love Mrs. Eddy speaks of in her poem "Christmas Morn," "Thou gentle beam of living Love" (Poems p. 29).

Thus this eleventh picture takes the final step of illimitable "Idea" wherein " see the whole universe included in one infinite Mind and reflected in the intelligent compound idea, image or likeness, called [generic] man [the Christ], showing forth the infinite divine Principle, Love, called God..." (My. 269). As Mrs. Eddy quotes from Pope's "Essay on Man," "All are but parts of one stupendous whole, whose body nature is, and God [infinite good, your true Mind that is your true identity] the soul."


When Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science are seen inseparable, then we understand the true meaning of the "Star of Bethlehem." The order of Christ and Christmas couples the first picture "The Star of Bethlehem" with the eleventh picture "The Way." When we understand that she has revealed Science, destroyed malicious animal magnetism [hypnotic suggestion, illusion, error], uncovered two-faced ecclesiastical despotism, and revealed to the world the true understanding of the Virgin Mary and Christ Jesus, we are ready to understand and realize the Way in our own experience.

No destruction, lack of motivation, or lamentation can obscure the vision of God's [infinite good's] Church, the structure of Truth and Love. God [infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth and Love] and His idea is growing in concord the unity of the Christ. Whosoever liveth (proves) and believeth (understands) the Christ idea, and acknowledges and understands the two witnesses, the Fatherhood and Motherhood of God's appearing, shall never die, but have infinite progression. This picture shows us the Way.

The Way of the cross, the cross our Master so lovingly bore, ever leads upward towards the crown of rejoicing. You will notice the cross and the crown need to be understood in our human experience. The cross represents the working out of error, all of the errors we bear, until dissolved through an understanding of the crown. The cross is the overcoming of the false concepts of false manhood, [old theology beliefs] and it reaches forth for the crown of true womanhood--the womanhood that includes manhood--generic man.

The first cross is dark black; it is the mortal, the first degree; but Love's light still shines there to show the Way. Notice that the Way is wider at the bottom than at the point of the light. The Way always grows narrower as we reach forward for heaven, the crown of righteousness. It is an upward ascending path. The light of Truth must shine upon mortal mind, in its dense darkness, before it can see out of its maelstrom of misery. The woman has brought the light to the first degree.

In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy says, "The floral apostles are hieroglyphs of Deity." (p. 240) Flowers then are symbols of Deity. The second cross is garlanded with morning glories. Mrs. Eddy says, "I love the symbol of the morning glory with its bright promise of the coming of the light" (Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy, p. 157). This second cross is the second degree, the human experience. It is lifted aloft on its way with an adherence to the Ten Commandments which stifle and suffocate the claims of animal magnetism [illusion, hypnotic suggestion, error].

The crown represents the third degree, spiritual understanding. Speaking to Mr. Gilman, the artist of Christ and Christmas, about this particular picture, Mrs. Eddy said, "Now I suggest this picture for you to draw that possesses my thought of 'The Way.'. . . Make the crown still fainter in form but distinct. Put the top of it in line with the top of the plate, thus giving the thought that all matter disappears with the crown or crowned thought."

There is no short cut to heaven. There is only the straight and narrow way; the shortest distance between two points is a straight path. The sufferings of sense with its materia medica are depicted on the left of the path. The pleasures of sense, that would take us away from the straight and narrow way, are depicted to the right of the picture.

Notice that the birds form a progression of one, two, three and four flying. The highest bird coming down from the crown, from the third degree, is a dove with an olive branch in its mouth. Mrs. Eddy tells us that the dove is "A symbol of divine Science; purity and peace; hope and faith" (S&H 584).

When Noah sent the doves out into the world, you will remember, there were three of them. The first had to return to the ark for protection; this was symbolic and prophetic of the First Advent going forth into gross materiality, of how Christianity was subverted by the intent of ecclesiastical despotism. The second time the dove was sent out, it returned with an olive branch in its mouth. This is symbolic and prophetic of the Second Advent, Mary Baker Eddy, coming to tired humanity. So the dove in this picture is symbolic of the Second Advent as it has an olive branch in its mouth. The third time the dove went out, it did not return, and is a prophecy of that time when the spiritual appearing of the Christ is universal and generic, and there is nothing from which it needs to be protected, hence it does not return to the ark.

This white-winged dove with the olive branch is the Second Advent, Mary Baker Eddy, bringing the understanding of the Christ from the crown, the third degree, into the second degree, proving the "human and divine coincidence." Mary Baker Eddy is the swift-winged messenger that brought us this precious Science. Notice that some thoughts, birds, are reaching out for the understanding of divine Science. Others are content to wait and watch, others still see its coming, but don't really care.

In Matthew, we read these words of Jesus, "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it; but the sign of the prophet Jonas." (Matt. 16:4) The word Jonas means dove, and this is the only sign to be given the sign of divine Science.

Mrs. Eddy tells us, "The loss of earthly hopes and pleasures brightens the ascending path of many a heart. The pains of sense quickly inform us that the pleasures of sense are mortal and that joy is spiritual" (S&H 265:26). To the right of the cross, the pleasures of sense would attempt to take us from the upward ascending path and away from the path that would make us outstanding followers of our Leader. The pleasures of sense would keep you away from the recognition of the swift-winged messenger. If you keep your eye, your perception, upon your Leader's place, you will not get off the Way. The pains of sense that try to make us leave the message of divine Science and seek material remedies, cannot have power in your experience if you do not turn from your Leader. It is a straight and narrow path, and the suppositional serpent [old theology] has many ways to take us from the one Way.

On March 27, 1907, Mrs. Eddy stated: "The disciples followed Jesus up to a certain point, and then deserted him, and darkness followed. Follow the wayshower and you will follow the divine idea; turn away from the wayshower and you turn away from the divine idea, which is like turning away from the windowpane, you turn away from the light. It is not my personality you are following, or that you love. You are being turned from the person to the idea. When this is accomplished, then you will be free in health to go and do for the world" (DCC, p. 26)

Gilman records, "The New York critics had written that one objection to the Ascension picture (The Way) was that the scene was located in Concord, New Hampshire (doubtless owing to the New Hampshire appearance of the trees). I acknowledged to her that I myself had recently thought of that, having had more time to consider it. 'But,' I said after a while, 'I do not know as we need to go back to Jesus' day in Palestine to represent this thought.' To this she quickly agreed and having been called to lunch some minutes before, she arose and saying to me, 'Lunch is ready,' she extended her hand and took mine and led me like a child into the dining room to the table. 'There is too much looking backward two thousand years. They will find,' she said, 'that there is a Way here in Concord as well as in Palestine.'"

The following is recorded in the handwriting of Laura Sargent. "In order to love God, we must honor and love the Way. How can we love God unless we love His idea which shows us the Way and which is the Way; and in order to honor and love the Way, we must have a true sense of the individual through whom the Way has been manifested to us, else we are not keeping the law to love our neighbor as ourself, or doing by our neighbor as we would be done by. . . Our whole salvation rests upon the manner in which we treat her, since the Way comes to us through her, and God [infinite good] demands that we love our neighbor by having the spiritual sense of our neighbor, and the spiritual sense of our Teacher and Mother as God's idea that we must love and honor."

The clouds are brighter towards the center and darker on the sides. The Christ light illumines every object. The Son of man is again coming in the clouds with great glory. You will notice that there is neither sun nor moon in this picture or in any picture in Christ and Christmas because the Sun and Moon, the greater and lesser light, are clearly revealed by His two witnesses.

You must not sit idly by as if you were a perfect human. Six birds are doing just that as they are sitting on the cross. You must fly out to reach the white winged dove descending from the crown of glory with her message of Science. Try out your mental wings; they might be stronger than you think.

In The Christian Science Journal, September 1886 (p. 133), we read, "He alone ascends the hill of Christian Science who follows Christ, the spiritual idea who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Whatever obstructs this Way, causing mortals to stumble, fall or faint, Divine Love will remove, and uplift the fallen and strengthen the weak, if only they will forsake their earth weights, and 'leave behind those things that are behind, and reach forward to those that are before.' Then, loving God [Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love] supremely, and their neighbor as themselves, they will safely bear the cross up the hill of Science."

Mrs. Eddy wrote in 1907, "What is the wayshower? There is a human and a divine meaning. A wayshower is that which shows the Way; it must be some thing or some one. Jesus was the Wayshower, the Christ with him, and if he had not been, where would we be? He showed the way as the masculine idea of Principle, then woman took it up at that point the ascending thought in the scale and is showing the Way, thus representing the male and female Principle (the male and female of God's creating)."

From "Prevention and Cure of Divorce" (My. 269)

This time-world flutters in my thought as an unreal shadow, and I can only solace the sore ills of mankind by a lively battle with 'the world, the flesh and the devil,' in which Love is the liberator and gives man the victory over himself.

Truth, canonized by life and love, lays the axe at the root of evil, lifts the curtain on the Science of being, the Science of wedlock, of living and of loving, and harmoniously ascends the scale of life. Look high enough, and you see the heart of humanity warming and winning. Look long enough, and you see male and female one sex or gender eliminated [only the Adam-dream said man was separate from woman--that manhood is separate from his womanhood--that there were two instead of one]; you see the designation man meaning woman as well, and you see the whole universe included in one infinite Mind and reflected in the intelligent compound idea, image or likeness, called man, showing forth the infinite divine Principle, Love, called God, man wedded to the Lamb, [to all of infinite good] pledged to innocence, purity, perfection. Then shall humanity have learned that "they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God" (Luke 20:35.36).

 8 new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.


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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