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

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Picture Number 4

Thus Christ, eternal and divine,
To celebrate
As Truth demands, this living Vine
Ye demonstrate.

For heaven's CHRISTUS, earthly Eves,
By Adam bid,
Make merriment on Christmas eves,
O'er babe and crib.

Scriptural basis:
The tabret, and pipe and wine, are in their feasts:
but they regard not the work of the Lord,
neither consider the operation of His hands. - Isaiah

Man that is born of a woman
is of few days, and full of trouble. - Job

Since you, dear reader, are Mind, Spirit, Soul in other words, since you are Principle you are destined to express only Life, Truth and Love. Each individual has both the masculine and feminine qualities. Every picture of Christ and Christmas shows this.

This fourth picture, "Christmas Eve" with its crowded, artificial setting and frenetic festivity, presents a marked contrast to the next, the fifth picture, "Christmas Morn," where two angels as one divine being float in serene rapture over a quiet landscape at sunrise.

While picture five presents the dawning Truth, this fourth picture depicts the mortal seeming the illusion, or what hypnotism suggests is real. It shows the errors Mrs. Eddy came to free us from. Note the aged, the infants, the cripples, the invalid in a wheel chair. Note the artificial light; the focus on getting, rather than giving.

The birth of the Christ in our consciousness does not take place as "earthly Eves by Adam bid make merriment on Christmas Eve o'er babe and crib." Even in the midst of their celebration, the revelers find, "Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble." "The tabret and pipe and wine are in their feasts..." and yet each one longs for the glorious annunciation the invitation of the Christian Science hymn, "O rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing....For lo the days are hast'ning on...[when] the whole world [will] send back the song which now the angels sing."


The first Scriptural "basis" of this portion of the poem describes the formal commemoration of Jesus' birth without spiritual quickening. In this picture the tree is lopped off at the top and so points to nothing, neither is there the symbolic star in the tree top, to signify a higher conception than the emotional pleasure of those present suggests. Above all, there is no light of star, typing a spiritual source of life, shining from without. Those participating in this commemoration with the exception of the woman in the wheel chair [which could represent Mrs. Eddy at the time when her students turned against her] and the man in the extreme left, with his back turned on the festivities fail to see "the operation of His, God's, hands." They fail to see the spiritual idea behind the symbols of "the work of the Lord." They fail to see the Christ as the "living Vine," which must be lived rather than commemorated.

Dead rites, offered in place of this "living Vine," have shut out (invalidated) the Christ as the Spirit of Womanhood, and rejected the form of true manhood, "typed" by the woman in an invalid's chair and by the man standing behind the tree. This "typical" woman and man are clothed in the black "sackcloth" of duality and rejection, as prophesied of the "two witnesses" in Revelation 11:3.

Mrs. Eddy defines these "two witness" as "Christ Jesus and Christian Science" (My. 347:1) The Christ in its first and second appearing. The Christ's first appearing witnesses to the manhood of God. The Christ's "second appearing" "the spiritual advent of the advancing idea of God, as in Christian Science"(Ret. 70:20) witnesses to the womanhood of God.

The witness of manhood, to human sense, is that of self-denial, cross-bearing, persecution "for righteousness' sake," suffering, and crucifixion, epitomized in Jesus' mission. It's method was declared by Jesus as "Get thee behind me, Satan" (Matt. 16:23). The witness of womanhood is of the forever allness of good and the perfection of man. Its method is that of facing and redeeming all human problems by spiritually discerning their underlying realities. It declares of even humanhood, "The more I understand true humanhood, the more I see it to be sinless, as ignorant of sin as is the perfect Maker" (Un. 49:8).

The invalid woman in this picture is not only detached from her surroundings, but from her manhood as well.

This picture corresponds to the second edition of Science and Health, [just as picture three corresponded to the first edition.]

In the first edition of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy had revealed the manhood of her own consciousness as separated from her womanhood. In this fourth picture she seeks to recover her initial vision of Womanhood in order to preserve her distinctive mission, which static Christianity, her students' lack of understanding, unwittingly seeks to slay.

Despite Mrs. Eddy's denunciation of church in the first edition of Science and Health, she had heard the cry of her followers, "Nay; but a king [a church] shall reign over us" (I Sam. 12:12). Hearing their need, in 1876 Mrs. Eddy and six of her students formed the Christian Scientist Association (later called the Massachusetts Metaphysical College Association) upon which to base a church, and in 1879, with twenty-six of her students, she formed, in Lynn, Massachusetts, the first (sustained) organization of the Christian Science Church "to commemorate the word and works of Jesus, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing" (Manual p.17).

Mrs. Eddy was forced to found the first organization of church upon the Christian outer commemoration of "the word and works" of Jesus in his first coming, because her student's lives were not yet attuned to his "second in Christian Science," which demanded an inner consciousness of Truth. But because it was founded on this outer commemoration, the more Mrs. Eddy, in her preaching and teaching, poured into it the treasures of Truth and Love of Jesus' "second appearing," the darker the "church" grew, and the more its actions reflected only commemoration rather than demonstration of the "living Vine," or "Christ-idea."

This fourth picture makes "Christ" the subject of its first corresponding verse, and makes "mortal thought" the subject of its second verse, thus showing the conflict between Mrs. Eddy's thought and that of the first organization of the Boston church, established and founded on Jesus. The confusion on the face of the woman in the wheel chair, and her detachment from the festivities, illustrate this conflict between the "Christ" in the first verse of the poem accompanying this picture, and the commemoration of the birth of Jesus in the second verse.

During the writing of the second edition the male element tried to wrest Science and Health from Mrs. Eddy, and take credit for it. Here, in this picture and the events it references, we see the conflict of personalities. Man and woman, in reality, are one; each has ALL the divine qualities. Therefore they cannot remain two without forever warring.

At this period the struggle between Mrs. Eddy and the men in her cause was so great as to seemingly almost wreck the Movement. One student stole the entire proceeds from the first edition of Science and Health, leaving Mrs. Eddy no funds to release her new revision of Science and Health, then at the press. Another plagiarized over thirty pages of Science and Health, forcing a lawsuit to establish Mrs. Eddy's copyright. Another man, also her student, brought a lawsuit against her for all his personal services in the interest of the Movement.

Another man started a conspiracy involving men students, which resulted in the arrest of Mrs. Eddy's husband, Dr. Eddy, who was accused of murdering a student, while the man who was the alleged victim was in hiding to insure the success of the conspiracy.

As men in the movement were trying to take credit for what Mrs. Eddy had discovered, a Christian Science Journal article, entitled "Our Place," thought to be by Mrs. Eddy, provided a thoughtful response:

I believe that God has given to every one a place, and in this harmonious creation there is no void, nothing left out, nothing lacking, some may as well try to breathe without air, or think without mind, as to think we can rotate out of the divine order of being, or take any place other than our own. Others may try to usurp us; they may try to be like us; they may move earth, and apparently heaven, to gain our position; but when God has placed us there, we are there, and naught can move us out of this, our rightful inheritance.

If this were understood, many warfares would cease: envy and jealousy be exchanged for the peaceful gleams of joy and gratitude; and, mingling with the light of love, would bring man new health and happiness, yea, Life immortal.

We never see the stars vieing [sic] for each other's places, nor the sun and moon at variance; nor have we seen a Paul take a Peter's place, or John the place of our Master, or vice versa. Each fills its own, her own, his own place, whether they have knowledge of it or not; and I, for one, would be content in the sweet consciousness that I have a place with Thee, eternal Love; and however grand or great, humble or small, I am of Thy creation; therefore thine. Pioneer

(Based on S&H vii:22 [which reads: "Future ages must declare what the pioneer has accomplished."] I would say that "Pioneer" is the pen name in this case for Mary Baker Eddy Schult).

Mrs. Eddy had found that when she revealed the manhood of her own consciousness in the first edition of Science and Health, thereby dividing her manhood from her womanhood, she had not succeeded in placing her own manhood in control over "church" consciousness. Instead she unwittingly had allowed the imperfect manhood of her "church's" consciousness to take over, a consciousness which had no vision of womanhood, other than as under the mastery of man.

The mission of Christ and Christmas is to lift Christianity into Science. Woman [the Christ], alone, revealed the Principle [Love] by which evil could be ruled out of man's consciousness as unreal. "God never said that man would become better by learning to distinguish evil from good, but the contrary, that by this knowledge, by man's first disobedience, came 'death into the world, and all our woe'" (Un. 14:27).

Ultimately Mrs. Eddy, like Jesus, was forced to ascend above earth (manhood) in order to escape the "ecclesiastical despotism" which had crucified Jesus. She heard a voice from heaven saying, "Come up hither" (Rev. 11:12), and the "two witnesses," the manhood and womanhood of her own consciousness, ascended together (as presented by the two angelic figures in the fifth picture) to the consciousness of "the temple of God [which] was open in heaven" (Rev. 11:19) as presented in the sixth picture.


The cornerstone of the original Mother Church was laid in the evening and Mrs. Eddy tells us that this original edifice is the "cross." The extension had its corner stone laid in the morning and is a symbol of the crown. [It signifies the extension of Mary Baker Eddy's teaching into all the world, and its acceptance by all mankind.] Before the original edifice could be built in December of 1894, the followers of Mary Baker Eddy had to overcome their limited understanding of her as just another mortal.

The false concept they carried of Mrs. Eddy gave her the cross to bear. The building of the original Mother Church was an overcoming, in part, of the students' misunderstanding of their Leader. Only when Mrs. Eddy was recognized as having an equal mission with Christ Jesus, did the building work go forward, and this recognition came when Christ and Christmas was published.

This fourth picture is the false picture of Mrs. Eddy the one the world holds of her, and accordingly, there is no light, but darkness.

"Christmas Eve" would stop the correct understanding about the Revelator, and attempt to reverse the Revelator's mission by an improper recognition.

[But the work went forward. The church was dedicated. The following refers to the laying of the cornerstone of the original Mother Church:]

So with one hand upon the stone, our heads uncovered, and faces toward the western sky, where the clouds of the weary day were disappearing, we stood in silent communion with God. (May 21, 1894).

The sun which had been behind the clouds for three days, burst forth in brightness just at this moment and shone upon the corner stone.

Ira O. Knapp


The first portion of the above poem of Mrs. Eddy's, demands that you demonstrate the Christ, Truth. This is the true celebration and birth of the Christ idea. Heaven's Christ-celebration is obscured and counterfeited by mortal man bidding mortal women to make merry on Christmas eves over mortal babies and the belief of procreation. This is the complete reversal of the true Christ-idea. This error is corrected in the picture "Christmas Morn," and is healed in the picture "Christian Science Healing."

Music and drink are in their ceremonies, but they regard not the Christ, nor consider the operation of God's being. As a result, they have a false concept of creation, and mortal man has his days full of trouble.

We are told in Genesis that the evening and the morning were the first day. Here we have the same order, "Christmas Eve" and then "Christmas Morn." "Christmas Eve" shows what needs to be uncovered and handled, namely: all the beliefs of the carnal mind stemming from sexuality. The remedy for Eve's submissiveness to evil comes through the Woman prophesied, Mary Baker Eddy. In this picture we can clearly see what Mrs. Eddy had to meet from false manhood, the Adam thought, manipulating the false concept of womanhood, Eve. It continually confronted her, and would have stopped her work if it could.

"ADAM. Error; a falsity; the belief in 'original sin,' sickness, and death; evil; the opposite of good--of God and His creation;... a material belief, opposed to the one Mind, or Spirit; a so-called finite mind, producing other minds, thus making 'gods many and lords many' (I Corinthians viii:5)... the usurper of Spirit's creation, called self-creative matter" (S&H 579).

"EVE. A beginning; mortality; that which does not last forever; a finite belief concerning life, substance, and intelligence in matter; error; the belief that the human race originated materially instead of spiritually, that man started first from dust, second from a rib, and third from an egg" (ibid. 585).

"CHILDREN.... Sensual and mortal beliefs; counterfeits of creation, whose better originals are God's thoughts, not in embryo, but in maturity; material suppositions of life, substance, and intelligence, opposed to the Science of being" (ibid. 583).

These three definitions certainly blot out the Christ-idea of Christian Science healing. It will be of interest to realize that this picture represents all that must be handled before "Christmas Morn" can shine forth. Mrs. Eddy handled all of the errors in this picture. So must we, if we would be good Christian Scientists and good healers. This picture could be said to represent the first half of Mrs. Eddy's life, because that was the time in which she had to overcome the belief of procreation in her own experience. It was this belief that blocked Science from view.

Later, prior to the building of the original Mother Church, the followers of Mary Baker Eddy had to also overcome this false estimate of her.

The artist did not want to paint this picture because the big tree is grotesque. Notice it is not even finished; it is not complete. The origin of a Christmas tree is based in paganism, and has nothing to do with the Christ-idea. This picture celebrates the birth of the human Jesus. This belief of birth, Adam, Eve, and children, is responsible for human birth, manhood, womanhood, the belief of separation, old age, invalidism, distress, and death. There is no star of the Christ in this picture. There is only an artificial light electricity. The Christ light of healing cannot find entrance into gross materiality and sensualism. Mrs. Eddy encountered and overcame these evils in her experience, and so must we. The rectangular shape of the picture again shows that much has to be worked out, "even the gold of human character."

Explaining this tree and the tree of knowledge of good and evil in Genesis 2:9, Mrs. Eddy says, "This opposite declaration, this statement that life issues from matter, contradicts the teaching of the first chapter, namely, that all life is God. Belief is less than understanding. Belief involves theories of material hearing, sight, touch, taste, and smell, termed the five senses. The appetites and passions, sin, sickness, and death, follow in the train of this error of a belief in intelligent matter" (S&H 526:5).

She says this about Christmas, in Miscellany (p. 122:18), "Are we still searching diligently to find where the young child lies, and are we satisfied to know that our sense of Truth is not demoralized, finalized, cribbed or cradled, but has risen to grasp the spiritual idea unenvironed by materiality?"

Mrs. Eddy overcame the belief of a human mother's goodness, self-satisfaction, and a father's stern and pompous nature, self-righteousness. The children in this fourth picture are in varying degrees of spirituality as the colors of black and white indicate. Notice that the smaller children are in white, and as the children get older (in material sense) their garments become darker. Many children symbolize the false mortal mind creation. You will notice, too, that the children are not given the Christ-idea, but tokens of the parent's material form of love.

Speaking again of the train in Miscellany we read, "Ignorance of self is the most stubborn belief to overcome, for apathy, dishonesty, sin, follow in its train" (p. 233). The dolls represent a small impersonation of the false concept. Speaking of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy says, "It is the dear children's toy and strong tower" (Miscellaneous Writings 252).

Each of us must overcome these same errors if we would be good Christian Science practitioners; we must understand it is always a case of "physician, heal thyself," then the patient is also healed. [Error comes to the practitioner for life, and the practitioner gives it all the life it has.] Each of us must overcome the claim of animal magnetism that would keep humanity thinking of our Leader as basically a false type of man, rather than the type fulfilling Bible prophecy.

The true tree is for the healing of the nations, and not to be decorated with materialism. If we adorn this tree with materiality, false concepts of the Christ-idea, we lose the healing Christ.

The Book in the little boy's hand is closed. It was handed to him by the old man (Old Theology). The Bible is a closed Book to Old Theology, and Old Theology is a part of this material form of creation. It cannot heal because it is based upon procreation and original sin instigated by a suppressed free will. Old Theology tries to extend its influence to coming generations and to darken its understanding with a closed Bible. This Old Theology in Christmas Eve is being healed in the Picture No. 7 where the little girl is reading from Science and Health.

[A further interpretation could be:]

The old lady in the chair in the middle of the picture is mesmerized by the beliefs of old age. Mrs. Eddy overcame all these errors in order to direct the Church of Christ, Scientist. She destroyed the works of animal magnetism in order that "Christmas Morn" might come. A recognition [and understanding] of the woman God-crowned destroys all forms of evil.

Notice that without a window in the room there is no way for the light of Christian Science healing to enter. Mrs. Eddy is the transparency, the window through which the healing comes to humanity. Recognize this, and you will progress as a Christian Scientist.

When our Leader is improperly viewed we cannot perceive her revelation, and we do not heal the sick in Christian Science.

 For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.


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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