Return to Home page of MBESIAbout The Mary Baker Eddy Science InstituteRead Mary Baker Eddy's Books Online!Read Christian Science Books Online!Read Christian Science Books Online!Browse the Books In Print Section of our siteRead Christian Science Articles onlineEl Instituto de Ciencia Mary Baker Eddy

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

Click here to download to your computer or print


Picture Number 3

What the Beloved knew and taught
Science repeats,
Through understanding clearly sought,
With fierce heart beats;

Scriptural basis:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God
and His righteousness.and all these things
shall be added unto you. - Christ Jesus


The first picture in Christ and Christmas covered Mrs. Eddy's spiritual experience previous to her discovery of Christian Science. The second picture and this third picture cover Mrs. Eddy's nine years of teaching and practice before she established a church.The poem at the juncture of pictures two and three culminates in the statement, "What the Beloved [Jesus] knew and taught, Science repeats." (This statement animated the first edition of Science and Health, in which Mrs. Eddy denounced church on the basis of Jesus' example. Despite this, her students disobediently started a church which lasted a year, ending in rebellion.)

Jesus is never mentioned again in the poem, except once negatively, the Christ taking the place of Jesus from the third picture to the end of the poem. The Christ is Woman, whereas the "Christ-idea" in the verse of the poem corresponding to the second picture refers to Christianity (S&H 577:15-17). Hence Christ and Christmas was accepted by Mrs. Eddy as outlining her own mission (Christian Science Journal, January 1894) as distinguished from that of Jesus, or Christianity.

The Scriptural basis given by Mrs. Eddy for this third picture and the corresponding stanza of the poem, demands the seeking of "the kingdom of God, and his righteousness." This text shows the great distance between the third picture as the Christianity, or manhood, of Science, that presents God's kingdom as a heavenly goal "without" oneself, and the inner consciousness of Science, wherein "Love...seeketh not her own" (S&H 538:1). Love has no need to seek "her own," for she has it as an indissoluble manifestation of which she can never be deprived. "Divine Love [your own right Mind "the kingdom of God within you"] cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object" (S&H 304:10). As Mrs. Eddy's last addition to her spiritual interpretation of the Lord's prayer declares, "Thy kingdom is come; thou art ever present [to us on earth]."

Jesus said, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head" (Matt. 8:20). This is the inevitable result of laying one's treasures in heaven as Jesus did and advised others to do. This Christian attitude of mind is illustrated in this third picture by the bare surroundings, by the black garments of the woman, by the serpent (old theology) which hisses behind her, by the clock of time indicating "mortal measurements" (S&H 595:17), and by the candlelight signifying that it is night.

No one can doubt that this third picture is intended to represent Mrs. Eddy writing the first edition of Science and Health in her attic skylight room at Lynn, Massachusetts. Mrs. Eddy says that she was but a scribe when writing this edition: "I should blush to write of Science and Health with key to the Scriptures as I have, were it of human origin, and were I, apart from God ["the kingdom of God within" me, as my own real Mind], its author. But...I was only a scribe echoing the harmonies of heaven in divine metaphysics" (My. 115:4).

The poverty of Mrs. Eddy's surroundings, as shown in this picture, proves that "echoing...harmonies of heaven in divine metaphysics" is devastating to earth consciousness. "Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven" (S&H 254:31). The higher divine metaphysics lifts thought above earthly manifestation, the more of a desert becomes its earthly surroundings. Then "...the material transformed with the ideal, disappears, and man is clothed and fed spiritually" (S&H 442:22).

"Intelligence" (metaphysics) is the indispensable step leading from earth to heaven, an inescapable phase of Christian Science through which consciousness must pass.

Mrs. Eddy says in connection with her writing of Science and Health, "I could not write these notes after sunset. All thought in the line of Scriptural interpretation would leave me until the rising of the sun. Then the influx of divine interpretation would pour in upon my spiritual sense" (My. 114:18).

The woman in this third picture is not writing in the light of day but is thinking in the candlelight of reason ("divine metaphysics"). This dual position taking no thought for her revelation [which pours in] after "the rising of the sun," but reasoning in the candlelight of night is the struggle between womanhood and the manhood qualities in her consciousness, which resulted in "understanding, dearly sought, with fierce heart beats..."

Mrs. Eddy realized that she must share her discovery with others, and sought a "letter" medium of conveying it to them. Both the woman's daytime revelation and her nighttime quest are wholly objective and, therefore, "without" herself; for Mrs. Eddy says of her daytime experience, "...the influx of divine interpretation would pour in upon [rather than pour out from] my spiritual sense as gloriously as the sunlight on the material senses." And in her nighttime quest she seeks reason from the Bible, typing manhood, as a foundation for her inspirational daytime illumination typing Womanhood.

Mrs. Eddy's "seeking" was to the end of "finding" a way to present her revelation to others. And this involved an analysis beyond her own need. Her daylight revelation corresponded to the "irradiance of Life" in her own consciousness; and her nighttime quest was her endeavor to adapt her daytime revelation for presentation to the beclouded consciousness of her own followers in their limited conception of scientific Christianity.

Manhood & Womanhood Qualities

While the symbol of woman represents a higher idea than the symbol of man, the distinction between manhood and womanhood, as used in this book pertains only to qualities which are accessible to each and both, rather than to sex, which separates man and woman, contrary to Mrs. Eddy's statement that the "union of the masculine and feminine qualities constitute completeness [in one consciousness]" (S&H 57:4). Many men express more balanced feminine qualities than some women and vice versa.

The woman in this picture wears the dark shadow-clothes of human reason. (Everyone who touches the Bible is clothed in black.) Here Mrs. Eddy reasons as the man-angel consciousness light in front, problem behind (533:27; 534:5-7). The Bible was direct revelation to Mrs. Eddy, and it had to be wedded to the reason of the Western mentality. Reason and the Bible must be wed, and they are wed through the direct revelation Mrs. Eddy received from divine Mind.

The serpent [old theology] coiled behind the woman's chair recalls the dragon of Revelation. Mrs. Eddy defines serpent as "corporeal sense" (S&H 533:31). She justifies placing the serpent behind the woman in this picture (despite the objections of her artist) by quoting a portion of Revelation from Rotherham's translation, "'And the serpent [old theology] cast out of his mouth behind the woman, water as a river, that he might cause her to be river-borne'" (Mis. 373:9).

The warfare for the demonstrable purification of the human sense of man after he had been theoretically declared to be pure and holy was the inevitable conflict pictured in Revelation. [Mrs. Eddy's interpretation of the Lord's Prayer states, "Thy kingdom is come. Thou art ever present."]

"The twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse typifies the divine method of warfare in Science" (S&H 568:5). This warfare was occasioned by the fact that the wilderness-woman must needs prepare the soil of human consciousness for the reception of the divine revelation of the God-crowned Woman as against the resistance of Old Theology, for it was thus prophesied; hence the "fierce heart-beats." The water which the serpent, the dragon, old theology, cast out of his mouth behind the woman in Revelation's twelfth chapter, was his always-taunting demand for more and more purification, [whereas Science and Truth reveals man's present perfection].

The woman handles the serpent by seeing the divine origin of man. Mrs. Eddy's womanhood says, "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). Man's past is written in God.

The time on the clock behind the woman, five minutes past midnight, indicates the passing of the material conception of the twelve tribes as matter Ezekiel's valley of the shadow of death, "dry bones." In this picture Mrs. Eddy revives the dry, dead bones into active, living ideas, while corporeal sense (the serpent) hisses behind her.


What the First witness, Christ Jesus, knew and taught, the Second witness repeats through "dearly sought" understanding. She sought God's kingdom first and His righteousness, and all was added unto her. At this point in her life she had given up everything for God.

The meaning of this picture is not hidden. The woman with the leaven that had been hidden from the foundation of the world, is now revealed.

This picture reveals her as the Revelator of Truth to this age.

We come now to the next event in her life that has meaning to Christian Scientists, namely: "For three years after my discovery, I sought the solution of this problem of Mind-healing, searched the Scriptures and read little else, kept aloof from society, and devoted time and energies to discovering a positive rule" (S&H 109:11-15). She is seeking and finding. The Bible is an open Book to the Second witness.

Her right hand is under the table and is a symbol of unused power the power to be revealed in Science and Health. Her quill is partly light and partly shadow showing that the Truth has not yet been completely revealed. Mrs. Eddy's life was half spent when her healing came in 1866. The candle is half spent in this picture, she is past the center of her life. The clock therefore is at 12:05 which is also equivalent to Revelation twelve, verse five: "And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God [infinite ever-present good], and to his throne." This prophecy is being fulfilled in this picture. Mrs. Eddy says, "This immaculate idea, represented first by man and, according to the Revelator, last by woman, will baptize with fire; and the fiery baptism will burn up the chaff of error with the fervent heat of Truth and Love, melting and purifying even the gold of human character. After the stars sang together and all was primeval harmony, the material lie made war upon the spiritual idea; but this only impelled the idea to rise to the zenith of demonstration, destroying sin, sickness, and death, and to be caught up unto God, to be found in its divine Principle" (S&H 565:18).

"TIME: Mortal measurements; limits, in which are summed up all human acts, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, knowledge; matter; error; that which begins before and continues after, what is termed death, until the mortal disappears and spiritual perfection appears" (S&H 595:17).

In Science and Health we read, "You are bringing out your own ideal. This ideal is either temporal or eternal. Either Spirit or matter is your model. If you try to have two models, then you practically have none. Like a pendulum in a clock, you will be thrown back and forth, striking the ribs of matter and swinging between the real and unreal" (p. 360:15).

As we read in the book of Revelation, "There shall be time no longer." The woman has revealed this as absolute Truth. [There is no time to 2x2=4; it is omnipresent. So is the truth about your true being.]

We are told by Mrs. Eddy that she could write only by day. Day is symbolic of the woman. Night is the time of false manhood.

Mrs. Eddy consented to model for this picture. The artist sketched the main lines of her face and figure with the hand resting against the head.

Mrs. Eddy is sitting on a chair that is quite dark, as is her clothing. This darkness must be overcome by her, before mankind can see its way through this same type of darkness. There are only two of the three rails showing on the back of the chair; the mortal and human degrees have been experienced, the divine understanding of the third degree is yet to come. She alone had been prepared by the grace of God to reveal this divine understanding of the third degree to tired humanity. She is the transparency through which it comes.

This third picture shows the attic room where the star of the Christ idea shone so brightly in 1875. The serpent [old theology] is malicious animal magnetism seeking to devour the child [the great revelation in Science and Health] before it is born. Notice that she is still unaware of evil's claims at this time. But she is seeking that uncovering. The serpent is behind her waiting to strike and poison. But the talking, lying serpent is now being uncovered by her. Notice the forked tongue [of the serpent], again symbolizing the two-faced nature of ecclesiasticism. You will remember that Mrs. Eddy could not finish Science and Health until the chapter on "Animal Magnetism" had been included. It was this chapter that uncovered the nature of the serpent, [alternately named the "dragon." Mrs. Eddy has many references in her writings saying that evil is unreal].

Clearly identifying herself with the Woman in the Apocalypse, chapter twelve, Mrs. Eddy says, "I insisted upon placing the serpent behind the woman in the picture 'Seeking and Finding.' My artist at the easel objected, as he often did, to my sense of Soul's expression through the brush; but, as usual, he finally yielded. A few days afterward, the following from Rotherham's translation of the New Testament was handed to me, I had never before seen it: And the serpent cast out of his mouth, behind the woman, water as a river, that he might cause her to be riverborne'" (Mis. 373:3). When she is understood as the woman of prophecy, the serpent [old theology] is destroyed, broken up and dissolved. It has no power when she is seen correctly. Malicious animal magnetism cannot combat a searching thought that is finding its proof.

Mrs. Eddy knew that [ecclesiasticism] claims that the farther away in time we are separated from her, the more it could submerge her in the past until finally she would be vaguely referred to, or entirely forgotten. That is why the serpent and time are behind her. The serpent utilizes time to accomplish its evil purposes. Once she was forgotten, we would use her precious books, bask in the privileges of the Cause, and say we are Christian Scientists with never a thought of her. We would give testimonies on Wednesday evening without a mention of her. We would write for the periodicals never mentioning her or giving gratitude for her. [This happens far too frequently. This is what Isaiah's "small and feeble" remnant are working day and night to remedy.] A right apprehension and acknowledgment of her will maintain our Cause and further the interests of the one divinity. In Miscellaneous Writings, we read "Christian Science is my only ideal, and the individual and his ideal can never be severed. If either is misunderstood or maligned, it eclipses the other with the shadow cast by this error" (p 105:21).

"SERPENT (ophis, in Greek; nacash, in Hebrew). Subtlety; a lie; the opposite of Truth, named error; the first statement of mythology and idolatry; the belief in more than one God; animal magnetism; the first lie of limitation; finity; the first claim that there is an opposite of Spirit, or good, termed matter, or evil; the first delusion that error exists as fact; the first claim that sin, sickness, and death are the realities of life. The first audible claim that God was not omnipotent and that there was another power, named evil, which was as real and eternal as God, good" (S&H 594).

Revelation xii: 4. "And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born."

"The serpentine form stands for subtlety, 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.' It is the animal instinct in mortals, which would impel them to devour each other and cast out devils through Beelzebub" (S&H 563).

"The serpent [old theology] is perpetually close upon the heel of harmony" (ibid. 564). Why is the serpent close upon the heel of harmony? Because it is seeking to bite the heel of the woman. She, however, bruises its head destroys it.

The loose leaves to the left of the Bible are Science and Health yet to be, as yet incomplete. Notice the candle and candlestick. In Mark, chapter 4, we read, "And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? And not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad." Indeed, that which was "secret" from the foundation of the world was to be revealed. The snuffer near the candlestick's glimmer of light is ready to snuff out human opinion (the second degree): human goodness, and human wisdom. She is reaching for the divine light. Notice the light emanating from her head; it is the inner Christ light beginning to shine forth, showing that she is indeed getting divine inspiration as opposed to human wisdom.

The ear is uncovered, and she is deep in thought listening for her Father-Mother's heavenly voice. To "uncover the ear" is to whisper or tell a secret to one. (See I Samuel 9:15.) Again this is the secret hidden from the foundation of the world. The white frills at the collar of the throat and sleeves show purity of action, and denote clarity of thinking. She tells us that the Bible was her textbook, and that is shown in this picture; it is illuminated by the Christ. Malicious animal magnetism [hypnotic suggestion] has difficulty in poisoning this type of clear thinking and acting. Her hand is in the inner Christ glow, symbolizing reason reaching out to inspiration. She says, "...I won my way to absolute conclusions through divine revelation, reason, and demonstration" (S&H 109).


The symbols before us are a woman seated at a table, with open Bible; the star of Bethlehem shining through the skylight, falling full upon the woman and the open Bible on the table; a clock at the midnight hour; a candle almost burned out; and behind the woman a serpent.

The revelation of the Bible is plain to the woman through the light of Truth. The window pane is less opaque, showing that light comes through a receptive thought. The candle stands for old theology flickering out. The Bible is in the full light of Science. The serpent, animal magnetism (S&H 594:4), is in the dark. In the light, there is no serpent. When one abides in the light of Truth he is never harmed by animal magnetism. In the light of the woman's revelation the serpent is harmless. The clock points to Revelation 12:5: the "man child," Christian Science breaks the belief of time. Time is behind the woman. [In Science, there is no time factor; 2X2=4 is always, everywhere.] Time, "mortal measurements" (S&H 595:17), is put behind the seeker of the light of being.

As with the woman, so with us, Truth must be sought earnestly and persistently. " ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6.33).

The clock signifies midnight labors; the pen and ink equal the written word. The candle equals human doctrines.

 Ushers will eat latecomers.


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



©2012 The Mary Baker Eddy Science Institute – All rights reserved.
The Mary Baker Eddy Science Institute is a 50l(C)(3) non-profit tax-exempt organization.