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

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Picture Number two

In tender mercy, Spirit sped
A loyal ray
To rouse the living, wake the dead,
And point the Way

The Christ-idea, God anoints
Of Truth and Life;
The Way in Science He appoints,
That stills all strife.

Scriptural basis:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and
now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of
God: and they that hear shall live. - Christ Jesus

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light;
they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death,
upon them hath the light shined. - Isaiah

"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light." They have seen that love for one another is the great need. We must waken out of the Adam dream, and see that our true and real Mind is Love is "the kingdom of God within" us as our divine consciousness that sees only "the omnipresence of present perfection."

The artist, James Gilman, speaking of what he had gained from his association with Mrs. Eddy, which was infinitely above anything money could buy, said, "Mrs. Eddy reflects the Love and Truth of Perfect Goodness in such a way that it becomes plain that Love and Goodness and Goodness and Love is the only thing worth living for. The sense of it gives us freedom from all lesser interests, and makes us know it is completely within the reach of each of us when we are ready with self-surrender for its sake. 'The way in the flesh is the suffering that leads out of the flesh'" (Recollections of Mary Baker Eddy, James Gilman, and Un. p.11).

"To really understand all that is in Christ and Christmas we must have on the wedding garment," (Judge Hanna told a student). Those that spontaneously and unconsciously reveal that they love the spiritual realization of divine Love and Truth more than they love anything else, I judge to be the ones Mary Baker Eddy credits with having on the wedding garment. There is one great encouragement; "wedding garments" are not beyond the reach of any who earnestly desire them and live for their possession.

The women in this picture have on the "wedding garment." In this second picture we see that woman is the first to understand and to welcome the Science of being. ["Woman" means man or woman who is putting on the Christ selfhood.] The mortal in the background with his hand uplifted in protest stands for mortals' antagonism to the "Christ healing" revealed through Mary Baker Eddy. He stands for old theology. His hand upraised in protest shows his cards; protesting full force against what Mary Baker Eddy was to bring as the "Comforter," revealed in the Second Coming of the Christ. But Mary Baker Eddy's great revelation shines on as "O'er the grim night of chaos shone One lone brave star." Note that there is no dark robe on "woman." Mary Baker Eddy's great revelation is teaching us all what Jesus demonstrated.


The Scriptural basis given in the "Glossary" of Christ and Christmas, for the two stanzas of the poem corresponding to this second picture are:

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead ['those buried in dogmas' (Mis. 168:9)] shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." Christ Jesus.

"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death ['individuals buried above-ground in material sense' (My. 110:4)] upon them hath the light shined." Isaiah.

Note that in the bracketed interpolations, Mrs. Eddy's interpretations of "death" have been used. It will be seen that Mrs. Eddy makes "death" and "burial" the same thing. Thus "death" is burial (submergence) in dogma (static Christianity). In other words, one is dead when buried in dogma. Mrs. Eddy's fuller texts read as follows: " the dead, those buried in dogmas...are raised" (Mis. 169:9, 10); and "Divine metaphysics is not to be scoffed is the divine nature of God, [your true identity as Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love] which belongs not to a dispensation now ended, but is ever present...raising the dead resurrecting individuals buried above-ground in material sense" (My. 109:23-24).

These interpretations of "death" are particularly applicable to the second picture, in which theological dogma, typed by the man in dark clothing standing behind Jesus, has cast its shadow of "death" upon the girl in the coffin in its endeavor to submerge or bury the consciousness of dawning Womanhood [Christhood].

Mrs. Eddy, up to her last revision of Science and Health in 1910, chose a New Testament Scriptural "basis" for this picture: "The people which sat in darkness saw a great light; and to them that sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up." [In 1910 she replaced it with the Old Testament verse used now.]

Doubtless Mrs. Eddy felt that those Christians who had "sat down on the right hand of God" with Jesus were too much "asleep" in Jesus to hear the voice of his "second appearing," which awakens woman to her mission, as typed by the girl in the coffin. Therefore, she made this change in wording, from "sat " as used in the New Testament verse, to "walked" as used in the original text of this verse in the Old Testament. The former, "sat," is a passive state of mind, the latter, "walked," is an actively progressive state of mind. Only those who are walking in darkness feel its limitation, and struggle for the advancing light of life. Thus they alone can rise to the call of the "second appearing."

At first glance one might think this second picture shows the raising of Jairus' daughter by Jesus, but Jairus' daughter died while Jesus was on the way to heal her; and therefore she could not yet have been placed in a coffin. Furthermore there were no coffins in Jairus' time, and the girl is in modern attire, as is her mother. Also Jesus was alone with Jairus' daughter when he raised her from the dead, having put her mother and father and his disciples out of the room the Bible stating, "And he put them all out, and took her by the hand and called, saying, Maid, arise." (Luke 8:54)

We must regard the literal raising of Jairus' daughter at the age of twelve as a prototype of the more figurative experience in Mrs. Eddy's life at the same age, when she rose above creeds and dogmas at the time of joining the Congregational Church, recorded by Mrs. Eddy as follows:

"At the age of twelve I was admitted to the Congregational (Trinitarian) Church....Before this step was taken, the doctrine of unconditional election, or predestination, greatly troubled me....So perturbed was I by the thoughts aroused by this erroneous doctrine, that the family doctor was summoned, and pronounced me stricken with fever. My father's relentless theology emphasized belief in a final judgment-day, in the danger of endless punishment, and in a Jehovah merciless towards unbelievers; and of these things he now spoke, hoping to win me from dreaded heresy. My mother, as she bathed my burning temples, bade me lean on God's love. [Doing so, Mary was comforted and healed.]

[When questioned by the pastor]...I stoutly maintained that I was willing to trust God and take my chance of spiritual safety with my brothers and sisters not one of whom had then made any profession of religion even if my creedal doubts left me outside the doors [of church]....To the astonishment of many, the good clergyman's heart also melted, and he received me into their communion, and my protest along with me" (Ret. pp. 13-15).

The raising of Mrs. Eddy by "the Christ-idea" from among those "buried in dogmas" was of larger portent than the mere bursting of the creedal bonds of one church. It was rather a bursting of the bonds of Christianity itself. "Christianity reveals God as an ever-present Truth and Love...raising the dead; a divine good that gives life to the religion buried in materiality, that resurrects men from a material sense of Truth and Love, to their spiritual understanding and demonstration" (Historical Sketch of Metaphysical Healing p. 13).

All elements involved in Mary Baker's first healing (as just presented from Retrospection and Introspection) were present in her second "Christ Healing" [after her fall on the ice in Lynn, on February 4, 1866] for in her second experience her old theological pastor "came to bid her good-bye before proceeding to his morning service, as there was no probability that she would be alive at its close" (Pul. 34:8-10), thus casting the dark mantle of old theological dogma over the healing "Christ-idea" in her own consciousness. Immediately after her pastor left, she was forced to request the retirement, from her bed chamber, of the little group awaiting her "death" an exact repetition of Jesus' necessity in raising Jairus' daughter to "put them all out" of the room before he could effect his "Christ-Healing" purpose. Mrs. Eddy [first as the child Mary Baker and then as the invalid Mrs. Patterson] was forced to triumphantly rise above old theological dogma in both instances.

This second picture represents Science rising above Old Theology. Mrs. Eddy's healing at age twelve is the basic or foundational one portrayed her second healing being its spiritual superstructure.

The consecration of Mrs. Eddy's life in deep devotion to the Principle of these two "Christ Healings" is her second identification in this picture, consecration being the next footstep beyond dedication.

Jesus as "the Christ-idea" in the consciousness of woman raises up woman to fulfill Life's anointing and Truth's appointing in Christian Science. The "loyal ray" that "Spirit rouse the living, wake the dead" in her own consciousness was Mrs. Eddy's anointing. Her first healing forced her to humanly embrace the divine life of Jesus in his first appearing before she could rise through the purity of her own human life in her second healing to the divine appointing of Truth in Jesus' "second appearing" "without sin"[humanity] "unto salvation" [as a redemptive idea] (Heb. 9:28).


The Christ-idea is motivated by Spirit alone. The healing work rouses the living, wakes the dead, and points the right Way. Heeding the words of the Master, we live and cannot die. God [our own true Mind "the kingdom of God within you"] anoints the Christ-idea that is understood because it is His [your own real Mind's] own. Through this understanding, we have Science that stills all strife. Mankind sees the great light of Truth because Mary Baker Eddy overcame its sting, and gave us this precious Science. The Way is now pointed out.

The prophecy in Genesis 3:15 explains why the "strife" has been stilled. Mrs. Eddy says of this prophecy, "The serpent [old theology], material sense, will bite the heal of the woman, will struggle to destroy the spiritual idea of Love; and woman, this idea, will bruise the head of lust. The spiritual idea has given the understanding a foothold in Christian Science" (S&H 534:26).

The serpent, malicious animal magnetism, attempted once again to make woman fall and be destroyed. But, the serpent destroyed itself in this instance, for the fall in Lynn, Massachusetts, signaled the destruction of all error, and this too through the woman. Prophecy was being fulfilled.

This second picture illustrates the period in Mrs. Eddy's life when she fell in Lynn, Massachusetts. Once we understand correctly the position and place of the "Star of Boston," we are ready to understand what happened in the "Bethlehem of Massachusetts." Naturally the picture following the star would relate to her healing in 1866. Her babe [the "Comforter"the Second Coming of the Christ] was conceived at the moment of this healing, and her work for humanity began. She says, "St. Paul writes: 'For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.' This knowledge came to me in an hour of great need; and I give it to you as deathbed testimony to the daystar that dawned on the night of material sense" (Miscellaneous Writings 24:2).

Mrs. Eddy's great love for the Master opened her consciousness to this healing. She saw clearly that, following his commands faithfully, we live and cannot die. It was the childlike purity of her consciousness that enabled her to witness this "Christ Healing." The healing Christ was understood sufficiently to heal her, but as yet the Science of this healing had not been revealed, thus the picture is titled "Christ Healing." You will notice in a later picture the title "Christian Science Healing."

The woman that is standing represents the expression of womanhood; that was Mrs. Eddy's own sense of womanhood at the time of her healing. The same can be said for the man [Jesus]. He represents the manhood of her own thinking at that time. The great love for Jesus that Mrs. Eddy entertained, is indicated by the personal touch. Notice his hand touching hers as she is lifting herself up through enlarged understanding.

The poem attached to this picture amply describes Mrs. Eddy's healing and its results. The first four lines speak of a "loyal ray." Who is the "loyal ray"? The second four lines speak of divine Science, or Christian Science. This healing experience brought forth the "loyal ray" the Christ-idea or Christian Science. Again we have the coincidence of the human and divine, the relative and the absolute.

The star as a symbol is needed, though the light of Truth, the Christ, is seen and felt. Mrs. Eddy says, "It is most fitting that Christian Scientists memorize the nativity of Jesus. To him who brought a great light to all ages, and named his burdens light, homage is indeed due, but is bankrupt. I never looked on my ideal of the face of the Nazarene Prophet; but the one illustrating my poem approximates it" (Mis. 374).

The picture is oblong because there is much human to be worked out as in the previous picture. Forty-five years of hard work lay ahead. Mrs. Eddy, in retrospect, realized this about that moment of healing in her experience.

Animal magnetism attempted to make the fall fatal, but notice the inside of the coffin is white the third degree. It was seen by Mrs. Eddy that death is an illusion, a sham, and that she was always in the arms of her precious Father-Mother [ that she always had the kingdom of God within her consciousness as her very own Mind].

The name plate [on top of the coffin] signifies that material belief names all things and this leads to death. The woman standing in this picture describes the unfoldment of Mrs. Eddy's human consciousness at that time. Her own sense of womanhood stood in awe and rapture at what was taking place; it is a face of anticipation. Ecclesiasticism, aggressive mental suggestion, working through her own sense of manhood, argues, "Who do you think you are? This cannot be so!" However, womanhood lifted up that doubting manhood. You will notice that womanhood is nearer the light of divine Science than manhood. Notice that the robe the Master wears is the same robe of false manhood. False manhood named Pharisaical beliefs, old theology, ecclesiastical despotism, materia medica, caused the crucifixion of the Master, and will attempt to destroy the Christ-idea in any age. This black robe that the Master wore, represents the cross, the cross of false manhood that he bore and we all must bear. Notice it is off his shoulders in the picture "Christian Unity" [picture nine], because the sense of false manhood has been dissolved, and true manhood has been lifted up by womanhood through Mary Baker Eddy.

Mrs. Eddy is being lifted out of the sense of death through a greater awareness and understanding of the Master's work. Remember, the first thing that she saw was that she could not die. The eyes of the woman in the coffin are opening, showing spiritual discernment beginning to open up. From that moment of healing, her spiritual discernment could not be darkened.

The Master is looking away from the body. He is the center of the picture; he is the center of her life work. She never forgot Jesus; we must not forget her. His robe is seamless and white just like the inside of the coffin and womanhood's dress. The black represents the Master's cross, false manhood, the first degree; in it all is the belief of death, the Adam dream. He, the ideal man, overcame the claims of false manhood; and she, the ideal woman, revealed true womanhood, generic man [the Christ, as your real being.]

As no figure touches the ground, or matter, this shows these figures represent types of thought rather than persons. This picture is the subjective experience of Mary Baker Eddy at the time of her healing in 1866. You will also notice that the coffin, death, has no foundation, it is but a false belief.

Jesus' left hand, held up, is a sign of authority, the theology of Jesus, overcoming the arguments of the serpent, named Old Theology, materia medica and false science. The hand of false manhood is false authority, or Old Theology, trying to halt the advancing idea of what it can comprehend little or nothing. Jesus' hand is over his head into the realm of revelation, Spirit; false manhood's hand is below the seat of reason, the head, into the reaction of mortal mind opinion. Mrs. Eddy's right hand [in the casket] is inactive, signifying unused power; her left is active and reaching. Jesus' ear is covered signifying that the Christ-idea hears no false claims. He is not looking at, nor listening to, the claims of evil, but is handling them with the consciousness of the Christ.

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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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