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

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Showing Mrs. Eddy as she worked one hour every night treating the world. (HMW's insight)

Picture Number 8

The Way, the Truth, the Life His word
Are here, and now
Christ's silent healing, heaven heard,
Crowns the pale brow.

Scriptural basis:
Heal the sick. - Christ Jesus


The eighth picture presents The Mother Church whose mission was "healing and saving the world from sin and death; thus to reflect in some degree the Church Universal and Triumphant," (Manual p. 19). The woman at the bedside is humanly typing "Science" as the "crowning ultimate" of The Mother Church, which Mary Baker Eddy was.The man asleep on the huge bed, which has neither complete headboard nor footboard, represents the world "asleep in the cradle of infancy, dreaming away the hours" (S&H 95:28).

The woman in this eighth picture, typing the work of The Mother Church, responds to Mrs. Eddy's admonition given February 1896, "The hour has struck for Christian Scientists to do their own work" (Mis. 317:5). Thus, the woman, in spiritual realization of Science and Health's contents, has closed even Science and Health. The reward of her work is described as, "Christ's silent healing, heaven heard, crowns the pale brow"causing error, material sense, to fade out.

World healing is of necessity self-healing; this is the focal point here. Mrs. Eddy says, "sin is to be Christianly and scientifically reduced to its native nothingness" (S&H 572:4). Sin must be scientifically healed as the work of The [spiritual] Mother Church, whose foundational commission is "healing and saving the world from sin and death" (Manual, 19:4-5). [Remember, Mary Baker Eddy was the Mother Church.]

This picture is titled "TREATING THE SICK;" its Scriptural basis is Christ Jesus' command, "Heal the sick." All the pictures in Christ and Christmas are progressive. Thus the healing shown in this picture is a step beyond the healing shown in picture six.

In the sixth picture, entitled, "Christian Science Healing," the healing work was done "Christianly," in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, (Christ and Christmas Glossary, p. 55).

In this eighth picture, "Treating the sick," the work is done "scientifically," through Christ only. "Christ's silent healing, heaven heard, crowns the pale brow" [that is, it causes error to disappear--to fade out.]

Treating the sick thus, scientifically, transposes sickness to treating sin, and is a much more difficult process than healing the sick because it must be done through the Christ within oneself; while the healing through Jesus Christ of Nazareth is outer healing, or healing in the name of another, as in picture six.

Treating the sick scientifically means "physician, heal thyself." When a patient calls with some error to be healed, the practitioner becomes the patient and heals himself of that error, just as a mathematician would "heal" 2x2=5 when he sees it. The practitioner could not heal a single case in Christian Science if he thought the error was something outside his own thinking, since he "is alone with his own being and with the reality of things" ('01 p. 20:8).

This eighth picture shows us that there is a higher process of healing than being forced by another's consciousness to self-see one's own errors. We need not be dependent on the other's consciousness for the final release from suffering that such self-knowledge as self-judgment brings. The human mind must be brought into coincidence with the divine. [This is the work of "the star of Boston."]

This higher healing is through Science, typed by the woman in this eighth picture. She uncovers her own manhood deficiencies (as typed by her manhood on the bed) and through the wrestling of spiritual strength, casts these deficiencies out of her own consciousness of heaven as harmony harmony between her own human life and its ideals.

"The Way, the Truth, the Life--His word--are here, and now, Christ's silent healing, heaven heard, crowns the pale brow," the poem tells us.

"The pale brow," meaning the FADING OUT OF MATERIAL SENSE, is the character of this whole picture. It represents the human consciousness yielding to its last step, out of individual healing, in order to heal humanity on its ENDLESS UNIVERSAL BED. A condition of human belief is represented here, and spiritual understanding is healing the desert of earthly joy.

The man has an intellectual face, the face of "the intellectual wrestler," wrestling with travailing human womanhood. "Intelligence" represents the second step in "ideal man" (S&H 517:9), but it must yield, as in this picture it is yielding, to reach the third step, or Truth.

The purity of thought of both the man and the woman is indicated by the whiteness of the bed covers and the woman's dress. The endless bed represents the world-wide bed. The man represents the world-wide patient. The Woman is the Mother Church [which was Mary Baker Eddy] and which Mrs. Eddy charged to heal "sin and death."

Picture seven showed the Bible closed in the light of Science and Health. Here Science and Health is closed by the woman. In the consciousness of the spiritual vision the written word yields to the spiritual consciousness of it.

In the sixth picture, the man in the bed is quickened; in the seventh picture, the man in the chair is passive, letting go of a material sense; in this eighth picture, the man lying down in bed YIELDS wholly.

He is universal man yielding to the ministrations of woman as symbol, and acknowledging that divine Womanhood is man's whole need.

Picture six shows woman lifting up man by the spoken word; picture seven shows woman lifting up man by the written word; picture eight shows woman lifting up man by the silent word realized, "heaven heard." This is not mortal woman, but the silent Christ-realization, in which both man and woman in symbol, "pale" or fade out before the real idea. "Man's reason is at rest in God's wisdom" (Mis. 362:5). Here, the prince of this world is judged. Human wisdom and judgment yield to the silent word, and mortal man, with his struggles in human judgment, passes to its native nothingness.


This ends the material from Alice Orgain regarding picture eight. I realize that there are honest differences of opinion about the different possible interpretations of this picture. I have included what I feel honors Mary Baker Eddy, and what I thought Mrs. Eddy wanted to bring out in this picture.

Mrs. Eddy told the artist, Gilman, in a letter, April 30, 1897, "Do you know what you have done for yourself, for mankind, for our Cause? No, you do not perhaps, but I will tell you. You have illustrated and interpreted my life on the plate (the sixth plate--Christian Science Healing) you sent me" (Recollections of Mary Baker Eddy, James F. Gilman, p. 91). Inasmuch as Mary Baker Eddy has told us that Christ and Christmas is the story of her life, and since it reveals "the God-anointed mission of our Leader," in picture as well as poem, I believe it is necessary to figuratively identify Mrs. Eddy in every picture.

Even in the dismal fourth picture Mrs. Eddy is represented, there typed by the woman who sits in a wheel chair, because the men in the movement at that time had all but crippled her great Christ-movement. How much more would we expect to find her represented in this eighth picture, which illustrates the stanza: "Christ's silent healing, heaven heard, crowns the pale brow."

Mrs. Eddy suffered the agony of the cross to bring us this ineffable, glorious Truth. When the world of sense felt the destruction she was bringing to error--tearing away the foundations of its beliefs, its idols, its illusions,she was accused of heresy, and anathematized by pulpit, press, and the medical fraternity of her day. Yet to this world of savage resistance, of hatred and cursing, she unfailingly returned love and blessing.

Mary Baker Eddy, God's angel visitor, was sent by infinite Love to break earth's deep sleep and hypnotic dream, to awaken man from his non-stop Adam-nightmare of materiality. It will take centuries for us to fully understand the marvel of her life, of her holy history--to realize who, in the last century and the first decade of this, it was that walked among us.

In Mis. 33:8 Mrs. Eddy states, "[The pictures] refer not to personality but present the type and shadow of Truth's appearing in the womanhood as well as in the manhood of God...."

Here, in picture eight, we see Mrs. Eddy's subjective consciousness, at this point typed by her work for the entire world to see its Christ-hood.

This eighth picture shows Mary Baker Eddy, who brought the Second Coming of the Christ, as the "Comforter." She sits here as the "Comforter" Jesus prophesied and promised, who came into the world to destroy the works of hypnotism-to destroy the illusion that makes us think we are mortals.

Why could she do this?

She could do it because, as the poem says, "The Way, the Truth, the Life--His word--Are here and now..." The woman in this picture knows that all good is omnipresent. It is HERE and NOW.

What does she say "crowns the pale brow," causing false belief to fade out, leaving nothing present but Love and Love's idea? It is her "treating the sick," "HEAVEN HEARD," in this picture.

What aspect of Mrs. Eddy's life does this picture portray?

It was Mrs. Eddy's custom to take time (one hour) each evening, to sit alone and treat the world--of which this eighth picture, "Treating the sick," is type and shadow.

Clara Shannon and others in Mrs. Eddy's household left record that when Mrs. Eddy returned to their presence after this work for the world, such a love and spirituality flowed out from Mrs. Eddy, that they could scarcely bear it; it brought them to tears. Elizabeth Earl Jones recounts:

One of the Christian Science helpers in our beloved Leader's home told something of how Mrs. Eddy worked for the world [as she is doing here in picture eight]. Every evening from 8:00 to 9:00, Mrs. Eddy withdrew to work for the world. This member of her household told that when the hour was up, and she rejoined her household, she was so loving, so tender, so Christ-like, that it almost made one's heart hurt. It touched the tenderest fibers of one's heart. (Reminiscences of Elizabeth Earl Jones as quoted from The Healer: The Healing Work of Mary Baker Eddy, p.xiii).

Mrs. Eddy said: "I saw the love of God encircling the universe and man, filling all space, and this divine love so permeated my consciousness that I loved with Christ-like compassion everything I saw. This realization of divine Love called into expression 'the beauty of holiness, the perfection of being,' which healed and regenerated all who turned to me for help" (DCC p. 224).

The following may be typical of what came to Mrs. Eddy after her hour of "treating the sick" world as shown in this picture:

...last night she has come to revelations that had exceeded anything she had had before, in which she saw plainly that all things were put under her feet and the love of God was so manifest, it exceeded anything she could describe. "All things were dissolved in it; all sense of evil, all antagonism; nothing was left but the sea of God's immeasurable Love." (Recollections of Mary Baker Eddy, James F. Gilman) [This is what this picture shows.]


We are told by Mr. Carpenter and by Alice Orgain that all the pictures in Christ & Christmas are progressive. Picture number eight shows Science and Health closed. The written word has yielded to the spiritual consciousness of it, so the book can be closed, just as when we know the multiplication table, we can close the arithmetic book.

Mary Baker Eddy had seen that there is but one "I," the divine Principle, God, and that "I" is the "I" that "I am." This "I" that is God is the "I" of everyone. We see a holiness in this eighth picture, as Mrs. Eddy "ponders in thought her infinite, harmonious, Christ-expressing selfhood." She is realizing "Life in and of Spirit, and that this Life is the sole reality of existence." She has seen that since God is All, there isn't God and man; there is only God (infinite good) expressing Itself as man, (but not as a mortal).

Surely this eighth picture, with its whiteness, shows Mrs. Eddy in her nightly treating of the world.

This picture, with its whiteness [third degree], its looms of Love, shows Mrs. Eddy in sacred communion with her true Mind, treating the world. The light hues are significant, for remember the Joseph E. Johnson notes tell us "the pictures are the object of the references on pages 115-116 of Science and Health: black in each picture is first degree: depravity, (lines 21-24). Grey, in the pictures, is second degree: Evil beliefs disappearing (lines 26-27). White is third degree, namely, understanding (p.116:1)."

Remember also, Christ and Christmas reveals the woman's progressive mission. Mrs. Eddy told Judge Hanna and Edward Kimball, "The truth in regard to your Leader heals the sick and saves the sinner."

This eighth picture leads to the ninth. In this eighth picture we might see the cross and the crown. The cross represents the working out of all error (all the errors we bear) until they are dissolved through an understanding of the crown of true womanhood, the womanhood that includes manhood.

Why is everything so white in this eighth picture?

Because white denotes "understanding," The woman in this picture has brought the light to shine on error (the first degree) and uncovered it. The "crown" represents the third degree, spiritual understanding, and that is why her work for the world is "HEAVEN HEARD" and makes material sense, alias "the pale brow," fade out, as the poem says.

"Treating the sick" demands the ascending "footsteps of Truth" in one's own consciousness, in an intelligent introspective process. This picture tells us: "Physician heal thyself"; there is no escape from a reckoning with oneself through intelligent self-judgment and self-wrestling in order to overcome the "the adversary" within. In the February Journal, 1886, Mrs. Eddy said, "The hour has struck for Christian Scientists to do their own work..." (Mis. 317:5), which again means, "Physician heal thyself," when working for a patient. This means the practitioner is the patient who must heal himself of the belief that there can be error, when "all is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation" (S&H 468). Here Mrs. Eddy has cast out of her thought all error. Here her divine Mind is the star.

Here we see Mary Baker Eddy as she each night retired for an hour to spiritually work for the world. Her "Christ's silent healing," as she treated the world, was "heaven heard." Her treatment "crowns the pale brow," meaning it causes the fading out of material sense, and leaves nothing present but Love and Love's idea.

Mrs. Eddy's great love for all mankind, and her persistent work of seeing that our real and true divine being, here and now, is God is Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, and Love is the character of this picture. The whiteness of this eighth picture shows the fading out of material sense; it is the human consciousness yielding to its last step out of a mortal sense of things.

The enormous bed represents the world's false beliefs that have chained man to a matter body that has sin, sickness, and death in its wake. Mrs. Eddy in this picture, by seeing "the omnipresence of present perfection," is healing and delivering humanity from its seemingly endless universal bed. From the fact that Edward Kimball estimated that by 1906 two million cases had been healed in Christian Science, we learn her divine knowing was "crowned."

Why were the millions healed? Because of Mary Baker Eddy's work, and her teaching others how to heal.

As Alice Orgain has explained, the sequence of pictures leading up to this one, "Treating the sick," shows why: in picture six the man in bed was quickened. In picture seven, the man in the chair was passive, letting go of a material sense of things. In this eighth picture, the man lying down in bed YIELDS wholly to the ministrations of woman as symbol, acknowledging that divine womanhood Life and Love is man's whole need.

Here the material sense of things has faded out.

Why has it faded out? Because Jesus' prophecy of the "Comforter" is being fulfilled. Mary Baker Eddy has brought the Second Coming of the Christ.

A new era is dawning in human history.


Because Mrs. Eddy has told us the truth about ourselves. In her first edition of Science and Health "the precious volume," she openly laid out for us the same truth she taught those who early came for instruction: "You, my students, are God." (See the author's other books on Mary Baker Eddy's first edition of Science and Health.)

Gilbert C. Carpenter tells us of the following quote from our Leader, "The reason church Scientists don't make their demonstration is because they believe they are man rather than God [when "man" is only reflection]." Mrs. Eddy later had to hide this great spiritual truth because the people, at the time this first edition was published, were not ready for the exalted truth it contained, and she saw it was "casting pearls before swine." But the one hundred and twenty-five years since then have taught mankind much, and we can today openly bring forth the glorious truth that was revealed to Mrs. Eddy about our here and now divinity, which she, here in picture eight, is knowing divinely.


Let us take a look at what God, the Mind of man, revealed to Mary Baker Eddy, and which she published in 1875 in that landmark first edition of Science and Health. For the spiritually-minded, reading the divine revelation in the first edition it is hard to fight back the tears of gratitude for all Mary Baker Eddy did to show us our present "here and now" divinity"our present ownership of all good" (My. 356:1).

The following citations from the first edition tell us what we divinely are HERE AND NOW as "Christ's silent healing [is] heaven heard, [and] crowns the pale brow," that is, causes a material sense of things to fade out.

On page 11 of the first edition Mrs. Eddy tells us that "...all is mind, and mind produces mind only...." [In the first edition Mrs. Eddy did not capitalize Mind, as she later did in order to distinguish it from mortal mind.]

Page 14 tells us, "We are Spirit, Soul, and not body, and all is good that is Spirit...." [Mrs. Eddy characterized Spirit as reality, good, the only, understanding. She characterized Soul as changeless divine identity, Ego.]

Page 39 states, "Jesus regarded himself Principle instead of person: hear his words: 'I am the way, the Truth, and Life.'" And, " know we are Soul and not body is starting right." We must heed this starting point!

Page 46:7, "But how are we to escape from flesh, or mortality, except through the change called death? [Answer:] By understanding we never were flesh, that we are Spirit [God, reality, understanding] and not matter." What resplendent teaching!

Page 38:5, " gain this understanding of Soul, the Principle that gave man dominion over the earth, 'tis necessary to understand one's self Spirit, and not matter." Yes.

This is where the study comes in. Mrs. Eddy has many references to "learn" and "learning" in the textbook.

Page 54:11, "To be the recipient of Truth, we must begin to recognize ourself Soul."

Page 59:24, "We must recognize ourself Soul." As we meditate and reflect on the spiritual, we begin to "recognize ourself Soul," a synonym for God.

Page 76:15, "To admit oneself Soul, instead of body [meaning to recognize our true divine identity], sets us free to master the infinite idea."

Page 65:15, "We are Spirit."

Page 77:13, "The final understanding that we are Spirit must come." Note: "must." What a bright and lofty promise this is!

Page 77:15, "At present we know not what we are, but hereafter we shall be found Love, Life, and Truth, because we understand them." This statement is also in the second edition of S&H. Could we ask for more? Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane comes to mind, "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory I had with thee before the world was [before this dream of life in matter overtook me]."

Page 116:7, "Man has not a separate mind from Deity" meaning from your real, true Mind, the kingdom of God within your consciousness. This is why we can master any subject because everything about that subject is already within our own Mind, our consciousness. All of math, all of music and of every other subject is already within us. A book can tell us nothing unless we have a deep desire to learn; then it can lead us step by step.

Page 117:14, "Jesus understood himself Soul," a synonym for God. Soul means changeless divine identity, spiritual understanding.

Page 137:20, "He who was God..." Jesus knew that he and "the Father," his own right Mind, the kingdom of God within his consciousness, were one and the self-same.

Page 155:32, "That we are Spirit, and Spirit is God, is undeniably true." Let's think about this divine truth about ourself.

Page 153:4, "If you possess Love, Wisdom, or Truth, you have Life,...and you ought to prove this fact by demonstration." We are all destined to prove this as we grow in understanding. Note that in the early editions Mrs. Eddy capitalized Wisdom and Intelligence, which she later de-capitalized.

Page 155:13, "Because Jesus understood God...he arrived at the conclusion that he was Spirit and not matter." We must do the same and we shall.

Page 155:25 states, "When we possess a true sense of our oneness with God, and learn we are Spirit [a synonym for God] alone...we shall prove our God-being....That we are Spirit, and Spirit is God is undeniably true." And Mrs. Eddy tells us, absolutely, on page 156:20, "We shall prove that we are Spirit." Spirit is a synonym for God, that is characterized as reality, the only substance, good, understanding, etc.

Page 223:15, "When realizing Life as it is, namely, Soul, not sense, or the personal man, we shall expand into Truth and self-completeness that embrace all things, and need communion with nothing more than itself, to find them all." What more radiant and exalted status could we ask for than this heavenly, this celestial promise that we have it all within--we have here and now "self-completeness that embraces all things, and need communion with nothing more than itself, to find them all"! This surely is the "kingdom of God within" our consciousness. And note again in the next reference how we will find ourself "more blessed, as Principle than person, as God than as man, as Soul than sense":

Page 227, "The evidence of personal sense, or Life in matter, is utterly reversed in science, wherein we learn there is neither a personal God nor a personal man. ...This is not losing man nor robbing God, but finding yourself more blessed, as Principle than person, as God than man, as Soul than sense, and yourself and neighbor one." Note: You are destined to find yourself the Principle that is Love.

Page 225, "Joint heirs with God are the partakers of an inheritance where there is no division of estate; we are Spirit, but knowing this not, we go on to vainly suppose ourself body, not Soul." "That man epitomizes the universe, and is the body of God, is apparent to me not only from the logic of Truth, but in the phenomenon, that is sometimes before my spiritual senses...." Mrs. Eddy, like Jesus, must have seen and felt wonderful truths as she understood "I am Intelligence, and not matter, and that Intelligence is God...." This is true of you, dear reader. The Comforter is teaching us this.

Page 285:18, "God is not a separate Wisdom from the Wisdom we possess"...."We find no diminution of happiness in learning we are Spirit and not matter, Soul and not body; but a vast increase of all that elevates, purifies, and blesses man." What a great revelation this is!

Page 274:4, "Knowing that we are Soul [again, a synonym for God] destroys all sickness, sin, and death."

Page 275, "We cannot reach the Principle, be the Principle unless it is understood." This is why St. Paul urges: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth [God]." Mrs. Eddy has over 100 references to "learn" and "learning."

Page 294:19, To know we are Soul [God] is starting right. But, "if we are sensibly with the body we are not Soul, Life, Love, and Truth, and therefore not in the harmony of being [true changeless divine identity]..." Our real Ego is Life, Love, and Truth. This is the great spiritual fact we must learn.

Page 435:11, "Only as we understand the Principle of being are we Spirit.... We are never Spirit until we are God....

We become Spirit only as we reach being in God." This is being taught us by Mary Baker Eddy in the Second Coming of the Christ, as she fulfilled Jesus' promise and prophecy to bring the "Comforter."

Page 435, "...we cannot step at once from death to Life, or from matter to Spirit. Only as we understand the Principle of being, and reach perfection, are we Spirit, and eternal." Therefore we must study. Jesus said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33).

Page 305:25, "Jesus held all that he was, God." He was our example, and we will all, through the spiritual education brought to us by the "Comforter," the Second Coming of the Christ, in the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, arrive at the understanding of our true, "divine Christ-expressing selfhood."

We already are the true Self, God (infinite good) that we seek. If we get our true identity straight, as Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love, all else will come.

 The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth Into Joy."


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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