The Christian Science
“Again, without a correct sense of its highest visible idea, we can never
understand the divine Principle.” — Mary Baker Eddy
(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.560)
Volume 16, Number 1 March 2008
Christian Science Endtime Center P. O. Box 27539, Denver, CO 80227
is Drawing to a Close.”
— Mary Baker Eddy
No and Yes, p. 45
Mrs. Eddy explains why this is to occur in her article, “The Second Advent,” written in the 1890s but never published in her lifetime. It deals with the first and second appearing of Christ plus a third appearing which is very important to us today as “material history is drawing to a close.”
“The last appearing of Truth will be a wholly spiritual idea of God and of man, without the fetters of the flesh, or corporeality. This infinite idea of infinity will be, is, as eternal as its divine Principle. The daystar of this appearing is the light of Christian Science — the Science which rends the veil of the flesh from top to bottom. The light of this revelation leaves nothing that is material; neither darkness, doubt, disease, nor death. The material corporeality disappears; and individual spirituality, perfect and eternal, appears — never to disappear.”
— Mary Baker Eddy
Miscellaneous Writings, p. 165
The following pages contain a review of Mrs. Eddy’s teaching on the Christ, the article, “The Second Advent,” and the editor’s commentary
excerpted from The Christian Science Standard
Stanley C. Larkin, Editor (1989 - 2001)
The Bible and Mrs. Eddy have various terms for Christ, such as Messiah, who was thought to be a mighty warrior leader to deliver the children of Israel from bondage to their captors. Other terms include Model, Son, Saviour, mediator, “the spiritual idea,” the “divine ideal,” “the link in being’s chain,” the “character of God,” intercessor, etc.
Christian Scientists generally accept the position that Christian Science is the second coming of Christ.
In her first day’s lesson, Mrs. Eddy told her November 1888 Primary class in the Massachusetts Metaphysical College: “Sight is both subjective and objective. The subjective sight determines the objective sight. If the subjective sight could be material, the objective [sight] would be material, but the subjective sight of Mind, God, is forever spiritual — hence the objective must be spiritual. Whatever you see in others is simply the objective state of your own subjective thought.”
Subjective means “the mind’s thoughts or knowledge of itself.” Objective means the expression.
Mrs. Eddy defines “Christ” as “the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error.”
Another student in the same November 1888 class quotes Mrs. Eddy: “God knows Himself — which is to know all, because He is All-in-all. God is individual, and individuality is the opposite of, and is separate from personality. Personal sense makes man less than individual, robs him of individuality by giving him personality and personal sense.
“Subjective sight determines the objective sight. If the subjective sight could be material the objective sight would be material. The subjective sight of Mind is forever spiritual; hence the objective sight must be spiritual. Whatever we see in others is simply the objective state of our own mind. (Whatever we see objectively is simply the subjective state of our own belief of consciousness.)
Divine Mind is all-knowing. It knows its glorious self. Since it is All-in-all, to know itself is to know all.
In the first chapter of Genesis the first word of God is: “Let there be light [intelligence].” That light was the intelligence which is subjective in the Mind which is God. The divine Mind can only see that which is subjective in its consciousness.
Mrs. Eddy writes: “Immortal and divine Mind presents the idea of God [Christ]: first, in light; second, in reflection; third, in spiritual and immortal forms of beauty and goodness.” (S&H 503:20-22)
In 1907 Mrs. Eddy changed the third Question and Answer in the chapter “Recapitulation” (p. 465:17) from its former wording: “Question. — Is there more than one God or Principle? Answer. — There is not. Principle is divine, one Life, one Truth, one Love; . . .” to its present wording: “There is not. Principle and its idea [Christ] is one, and this one is God, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Being, and His reflection is [generic] man and the universe.”
Every idea has two states, — a subjective and an objective state. Christ, God’s idea, is God’s subjective thought of Himself. Mrs. Eddy tells us that Mind is that “which outlines but is not outlined.” (S&H 591:20)
The spiritual, real universe comes into view — into focus — in our consciousness as we gain Christ subjectively in our mind.
The whole, infinite universe of God is complete in its glory, and is forever unfolding according to divine law.
According to Genesis, first chapter, God made two great lights — the greater light to rule the day, the lesser light to rule the night. The six days of creation in Genesis come into focus through the process of light and shade. The evening of the first day becomes the morning of the first day which in turn becomes the evening, or “shade,” of the second day, etc. (See Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31) Spiritual “forms of beauty and goodness” are unfolded out of the vast universe.
God’s Fatherhood and Motherhood are not for the purpose of sexual generation, but for the purpose of light and shade which brings into view through Christ, the focus of the spiritual “forms of beauty and goodness.” Christ is always at work in man’s subjective thought to unfold harmony in spiritual ideas.
Man sees only what is subjective in his consciousness. As Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21) We live throughout all eternity with Christ as our way-shower. We go “from glory unto glory.” (II Cor. 3:18; Christian Science Hymn 65) If the understanding of the seven synonyms for God is subjective in consciousness, the nature and character of God with all of its glory will be objective in our sight.
God’s word is, “Let there be light.” Let your subjective thought be filled with the knowledge of God, and glorify God in all your ways.
Man is necessarily always with Christ. As Jesus said, “And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matt. 28:20) Eventually all must accept a new meaning of the term Christ. It is not a personal being, but an impersonal all-loving “Model” of God. Christ is an entity within the Godhead.
The Second Advent
MARY BAKER EDDY
1 Noticing the mistakes in the sermons published in the Christian Science Journal on the subject of Jesus and the Christ, I herewith state once again [ca. 1896] and for all time the pith of the meaning in your textbook that has settled this question on its scientific basis.
2 Mary as the mother of Jesus became the first scientific interpreter of the Christ idea, of Mary as the highest interpreter of man and God, of man as woman which represents God’s highest manhood.
3 C. A. L. Totten, U.S.A., in his excellent work The King’s Daughters, writes, “It was the creation of womanhood that completed the equation which even yet we have not fully solved.” His prophecies are grounded in Science. They reiterate the sacred Scriptural records and the logical syllogisms in Science and Health where the demonstration of being starts with the manhood of being and rises to womanhood as the Christ idea and the Revelator’s vision thereof, wherein the Spirit and the bride say, Come.
4 Were Luther, Calvin, Melanchthon, Wesley, and thousands of other eminent personages walking adown the dim vista of nineteen centuries fools? Does not Truth demand both the letter and Spirit of Christian Science whereby to instruct mankind into the demonstrable understanding of the divine Principle and rule of Christ healing.
5 Now, stating Christian Science incorrectly must, does, prevent your demonstrating it. Error, contradicting Truth, is tempting Christian Scientists to form misconceptions of the first, second, and third appearing of Christ and the relatives thereof. I warn you that this evil intent, if carried out, will take away your understanding of Christian Science and check the unfolding of Truth at this period.
“Oh, no,” answers the zealot, “Truth has come to stay.”
I reply, “It never came, ‘twas ever here. But you can thrust it out of your own mind and that of others by misconceiving it and misstating it. Then how can it stay in your consciousness or anybody else’s who does this?”
6 If you lose your correct statement of the Principle and idea of Science, you cannot demonstrate the Principle, and without this demonstration of healing the sick on the Principle you claim to demonstrate, how long would the claim to Christian Science deserve to stay among men? Your textbook vindicates the survival of the fittest, the immortality of Truth and the mortality of error.
7 Did Jesus teach the science of his healing and his students record it so plainly that the wayfaring man could catch the meaning until a woman was chosen by God to discover it and interpret it to mankind?
8 What is the second coming of Christ? It is another era of the world’s awakening, a higher advent in human consciousness of the spiritual idea, the true character of God. This idea of God neither comes nor goes, for it is inseparable from its divine Principle, the ever-present I am. But the human concept of this idea has its periods of light and shade.
9 Christian Scientists are not Second Adventists believing in the finite appearing of finite good. Every loyal Scientist understands that the second coming of Christ is the next higher, hence, more spiritual revelation of God’s character. The Christian era presented the first tangible idea of God’s character by its inspired man, Jesus. The era of Christian Science ushers in through woman the second appearing of His character and this from the necessity of His nature as the Father and Mother of all, the creator, even the complete and ever-present idea of God. Therefore, this era comes not through Jesus but through Mary, the type of womanhood and mother of its first and forever appearing which divine Science alone can give. The third appearing of the spiritual idea of the character of God will present but the disappearing of all else, and establish the supremacy of Spirit which obliterates the human sense of the divine, takes away all sense of matter and reveals the final fact that the idea, Christ, is not a materialized or finite man or woman, but is the infinite concept of infinite Mind.
10 Now, are you disappointed and declare, “She hath taken away my Lord and I know not where she hath laid him”? I have not taken away the real but the false conception of the individual God, the individual man, and the personality and merits of Jesus, but I have endeavored to dematerialize and unlimit your human dream of the divine, your material sense of the spiritual, your finite views of the infinite, and to give you a scientific concept of Jesus and his mission, of the nature of Christ, of the mission of Mary as the mother of Jesus, the scientific interpreter of true manhood, womanhood and the character of God.
11 Jesus’ work on earth is done, for he as an individual finished his glorious earthly career and sat down at the right hand of the Father — left earth for heaven — in other words, he entered into the infinite sense of Life and its manifestation, never more to be manifest as flesh. This was the consummation of his earth mission and it needs no reappearing or repetition to crown its glory.
12 All this is not the material Jesus, nor Mary, nor Martha, but the spiritual idea dwelling forever in the bosom of the Father-Mother God, because this idea is the link in being’s chain which unites indissolubly the Father and son, man and God. The on-rushing centuries are declaring this idea higher and higher in the scale of being and will ere long yield to the sense of its ascendant glory.
[End of Article by Mrs. Eddy]
* * * * * * * * * *
Commentary on Mrs. Eddy’s “Second Advent” Article
by the Standard’s Editor
MRS. EDDY CORRECTS SECOND ADVENT MISCONCEPTIONS
“FOR ALL TIME”
Most Christian Scientists believe the coming of Mrs. Eddy and her discovery of Christian Science to be the second advent of Christ. There are, however, a number of misconceptions among students of Christian Science regarding the second coming because mankind in general was not ready in her day to comprehend it. The following quote, August 1890, documents this point:
MR. EDITOR: — The late articles referring to me in July issue of the Journal, contain presentiments that I object to having uttered or written now in regard to myself. God alone appoints the befitting path and place for each of His children; and mankind should wait on Him, and let the ages declare judgment. It is my impression that at least a half century will pass away before man is permitted to render his public verdict on some of the momentous questions that are now agitating the world.
Mary B. G. Eddy
Although Mrs. Eddy saw the need of correcting thought in this regard, this article, “The Second Advent,” was never published during her lifetime — not until after the above referred to fifty-year waiting period was over. In 1961 this article appeared in a book titled Essays on Christian Science Ascribed to Mary Baker Eddy, Providence, 1961. The compiler, Gilbert C. Carpenter, Jr., whose father had been a member of Mrs. Eddy’s household, writes in the introduction: “The article ‘The Second Advent’ was copied directly from a reproduction of the original manuscript in Mrs. Eddy’s handwriting.”
MARY AS THE HIGHEST SCIENTIFIC INTERPRETER
OF GOD AND MAN
A KEY TO UNDERSTANDING
A key to understanding the first and second advents in the context of this article is the statement in Science and Health: “The Lamb’s wife [i.e., Christ at the second advent, represented by Mrs. Eddy] presents the unity of male and female as no longer two wedded individuals, but as two individual natures in one; and this compounded spiritual individuality reflects God as Father-Mother, not as a corporeal being. In this divinely united spiritual consciousness, there is no impediment to eternal bliss, — to the perfectibility of God’s creation.” (S&H 577:4, emphasis added)
This key statement is made clearer in the preceding words in the same paragraph: “The term Lord, as used in our version of the Old Testament, is often synonymous with Jehovah, and expresses the Jewish concept, not yet elevated to deific apprehension through spiritual transfiguration. Yet the word gradually approaches a higher meaning. This human sense of Deity yields to the divine sense, even as the material sense of personality yields to the incorporeal sense of God and man as the infinite Principle and infinite idea, — as one Father with His universal family, held in the gospel of Love.” (S&H 576:26-4, emphasis added)
THE MEANING OF TERMS CHANGE AT DIFFERENT ERAS
Just as the term Lord originally signified Jehovah, “the Jewish concept, not yet elevated to deific apprehension through spiritual transfiguration,” so is it today with the term Christ. It “gradually approaches a higher meaning.”
Judge Septimus J. Hanna, CSD, wrote: “Mrs. Eddy once told me if she could take up teaching another class, she would teach ‘The Theology of Jesus,’ and it would seem so far in advance that it would appear an entirely different teaching. She said she had intended to teach a Theological class, but other things had kept her occupied, and the main reason was her students were not ready for it.”
Again Judge Hanna wrote: “Final teaching in Christian Science will be as different from prevailing teaching as Christian Science teaching now is different from old theology.”
“THE MOTHER OF JESUS”
TAKES ON A HIGHER MEANING
Another term that “gradually approaches a higher meaning” is the term “the mother of Jesus” which is used several times in the article. It is first used here in the second paragraph; then in paragraph 9 we read: “The era of Christian Science ushers in through woman the second appearing of His [God’s] character [i.e., in Christ] and this from the necessity of His nature as the Father and Mother of all, the creator, even the complete and ever-present idea of God. Therefore, this era comes not through Jesus but through Mary [i.e., Mary Baker Eddy], the type of womanhood and mother of its first and forever appearing which divine Science alone can give.” Jesus is not displaced or replaced by the second appearing as a woman.
Again, in paragraph 10, she makes this reference: “. . . I have endeavored . . . to give you a scientific concept of Jesus and his mission, of the nature of Christ, of the mission of Mary as the mother of Jesus, the scientific interpreter of true manhood, womanhood and the character of God.”
Who is this mother of Jesus of which Mrs. Eddy tells us she is the type, and the “first scientific interpreter of the Christ idea”?
THE EQUATION TO BE SOLVED
Charles Totten, a military Science professor at Yale University, was also an authority on chronologic prophecy. He wrote a series of books in the 1890s on this subject. Although never a Christian Scientist, in one book, The King’s Daughters, 1891, he stated that the second coming of Christ would be a woman, and that she was at that time present on earth.
He writes: “It was the creation of Womanhood that completed the equation, which even yet we have not fully solved.”
Mrs. Eddy became acquainted with the writings of Totten in 1895, and in her article she states, “His prophecies are grounded in Science.” The specific prophecies she refers to here are those between pages 251 and 257 in The King’s Daughters. His prophecies parallel Mrs. Eddy’s statement in Science and Health, p. 577:4.
Unquestionably, in Mrs. Eddy’s day general thought could not accept or comprehend so detailed an explanation, for Totten writes:
If thou hast ears to hear, learn wisdom, and with thine eyes thou shalt indeed behold this great sight in thy turn; but if this parable is foolishness to thee, beware lest thou concern thyself to say so.
It is a small thing to misunderstand, nor art thou necessarily to blame for not comprehending. They only that are truly His perceive His voice.
Be discreet therefore whether thou hast understanding or not, and, if thou hast not Light, perchance it shall be accounted unto thee for wisdom that when it passed before thee, and thou didst not comprehend it, yet thou didst wisely hold thy peace!
What may have been difficult to comprehend in the 1890s should be more readily comprehended today.
This subject of Totten’s prophecies referred to by Mrs. Eddy is discussed in detail in previous issues of The Christian Science Standard. These issues are available from the Christian Science Endtime Center.
Judge Hanna quotes ten pages from Totten’s prophecies in his Reminiscences of Mary Baker Eddy, never circulated during his lifetime. In one of his editorials he wrote:
A second-coming is as clearly prophesied as was the first coming. The Old Testament writers foretold it, Jesus plainly prophesied it, and the apostles re-iterated these prophecies. The only question among believers in the Bible has been as to the time and manner of the coming. In respect to this there has been, and yet is, much disputation, speculation, and controversy. A personal coming is generally believed in, and the only personality that will at present meet the general expectancy of Christendom is the identical personality of Jesus as he appeared nineteen hundred years ago.
Only, as yet, a comparatively small part of mankind are ready to accept the larger coming comprehended in a re-establishment of the religious regime which Jesus inaugurated. This small part of mankind are satisfied that the second-coming has commenced and is now manifesting itself in the works which Jesus taught should be the evidence of the fact that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. While this coming is, in a sense, general, presaging a universal Kingdom, it is, in another sense, individual. There can be no general or universal Kingdom that does not include, first and foremost, the individual. As units make millions and trillions, so individuals make an aggregate. Individuality, therefore, leads to universality. Individuality, in its best sense, includes personality. Not the false personality of mortal sense, but the true personality, which, in its individuality, reflects the Divine character. From this point of view Christian Scientists believe in a personal second-coming.
God has ever manifested himself, in large measure, through persons or individuals. Through the Biblical writers, and through Moses, Elijah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and many others, he manifested himself in a sense above and beyond that of the average of their contemporaries or the generality of those who preceded them. In Christ Jesus he manifested himself in the largest sense of all and in ways apart from all. Yet, as we have said, notwithstanding the wonderful and striking character of such manifestations, the material perception of that age and generation could not accept them as of God. The “remnant” only could see and accept. It has been so in a relative sense ever since. . . .
In the declaration in Genesis that God created man in His own image, male and female, we recognize the divine Fatherhood and Motherhood. That Fatherhood and Motherhood must logically express itself in the male and female. Otherwise there were no true, full “image and likeness.” That would not be a complete second-coming which did not express the “fulness of the Godhead bodily.” In other words, there must be a personalized or individualized expression of the male and female of God’s creation before there is a full revelation of God to mankind.
By common belief of all Christians, Christ Jesus represented the spiritual type or male-hood of God. Is it not reasonable to assume that a full or completed revelation includes God’s spiritual type of female-hood? If God is male only, it seems that he would embrace within himself but a half of Being or Individuality; and it would be impossible to reconcile such a conception with his own declaration in Genesis that out of his self-hood he created “male and female.”
Christian Scientists believe in a full Godhead; and thus believing they believe also in a full manifestation of that Godhead to humanity. To their understanding the Woman of the Apocalypse stands in type for the spiritual idea of God’s creation spoken of in Genesis. They see in spiritual vision or perception the “spiritual ideal as a woman clothed in [reflecting] light, a bride coming down from Heaven, wedded to the Lamb of Love,” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.) The Apocalypse is indeed a “revelation” to their thought, and in it they see a “new heaven and a new earth,” even as the “new tongue” referred to in the gospel.
Note: This editorial was personally read and approved by Mrs. Eddy in 1898 (cf. Hanna, Reminiscences of Mary Baker Eddy).
He saw this woman as fulfilling in the latter days this prophecy of Jeremiah (31:22): “. . . the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man [that is, Christ Jesus].” Paraphrasing Jeremiah, Totten writes:
Behold there is a new thing under the sun. For a Woman hath compassed a Man!
But consider now that of old it was the Man, Adam, that originally Compassed a Woman, — for was not Eve drawn from his side?
And what if God reverse the process! — shall anything be too hard for Jehovah? Surely if instead of taking a Woman-child from a man, He shall elect to draw a Man-child from a Woman he is able, and if so be he shall already have fulfilled that which he hath purposed from of old, — for the last shall be first although the first shall still be last! — be not presumptuous with thy judgment until he taketh thee into his counsel!
In compassing Jesus, the woman reverses the material dream of Eve being drawn from Adam and populating the world. By this reverse process of a woman compassing man, it must necessarily result in depopulating the world and thus causing the “drawing to a close” of “material history,” and the disappearance of all else but the real man and the paradise of God.
In the latter days at the time of the second advent a woman shall compass a man, and Mary, as a type of the mother of Jesus, will appear.
When will “the equation” be solved? When human thought reaches the level of God’s highest manhood.
Mrs. Eddy carried Totten’s prophecy beyond the point of Eve’s separation from Adam; she sees the disappearance of everything material that came into appearance as a result of the separation. The end of the world as it appears in the Adam dream is reversed, and we find ourselves having always lived in spiritual spheres.
The Protestant reformers of the 16th and 17th centuries, “Luther, Calvin, Melanchthon, Wesley and thousands of others” over the centuries, expressed in growing measure the letter and Spirit of the Christ teaching. Truth demands “both the letter and Spirit of Christian Science whereby to instruct mankind into the demonstrable understanding of the divine Principle and rule of Christ healing.”
The zealot described here is the type who believes Christ, Truth, to be personal, — that is, to be a person who comes and goes in the first appearing, but that now it has come to stay [as a Science]. In other words, the zealot believes that Christ, Truth, has personal characteristics, and therefore he misstates the Science of Christ. Mrs. Eddy makes it clear in this article that instead of personal characteristics, the Christ represents the true character of God.
We cannot demonstrate Christian Science if we state it incorrectly. This includes our conception or misconception of the first, second, and third appearing of Christ, including the “relatives thereof.” (Note: The word “relative” as used here is in contrast to the use of “the absolute.”) Thus, the relative of the first appearing would be the personal Jesus. The relative of the second appearing would be the personal Mrs. Eddy.
Note: Specific study material about Christ is found in the “Platform” in Science and Health, pages 330 to 340; in the chapter, “The Apocalypse,” ibid., pages 558 to 578; and in Mrs. Eddy’s illustrated poem, Christ and Christmas. Special attention should be given to the lines on page 577:4 in Science and Health, where the Bride, the Lamb’s wife, embodies the two-in-one Christ (not woman taken from man).
In the first edition of Christ and Christmas published in 1893, the last illustration is that of Christ Jesus ascending from a New England landscape. Early in 1894 she discontinued publication after the sale of the second edition. In 1897 Mrs. Eddy resumed publication with the last illustration changed. The body disappeared leaving only the character of Christ as seen through the cross. (See the illustrations on the insert in this Standard.)
You must not only have a correct statement of the Principle in order to demonstrate this Science, but also a correct statement of the Christ idea of this Principle. Remember, Jesus said, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do. . . .” (John 14:13) We must understand Christ, and know his name, in order to demonstrate the divine Principle in healing.
Jesus showed his followers how to resume their individual spiritual being by escaping from their material bodies. But the era in which Jesus appeared, the first coming of Christ, because of the level and density of materiality, could not comprehend “the science of his healing.” That had to await a further awakening. God chose a particular Woman to come to the flesh to bring to humanity a higher teaching of the Christ Science than could be comprehended by Jesus’ followers. Jesus’ students healed by faith; the Woman would teach her students to heal by Science.
PERIODS OF LIGHT AND SHADE
“. . . the second coming of Christ . . . is another era of the world’s awakening, a higher advent in human consciousness of the spiritual idea [Christ], the true character of God. This idea of God neither comes nor goes, for it is inseparable from its divine Principle, the ever-present I am. But the human concept of this idea has its periods of light and shade.”
The materialized human consciousness mistakenly sees these two advents as the appearing of finite person. The Bride must be viewed as the Lamb’s wife under the new concept — the two-in-one conception explained — as a result of spiritual growth. We have to eliminate a personal sense of Christ and a personal sense of Love and Life. Christ is the character of God, and we are now entering “another era of the world’s awakening” and “a higher advent in human consciousness of this spiritual idea.”
THE THIRD APPEARING OF CHRIST:
THE DEMATERIALIZATION OF THE PERCEPTION OF CHRIST
“TAKES AWAY ALL SENSE OF MATTER”
Each appearing brings a more spiritual era
and the lessening of matter
9a “Christian Scientists are not Second Adventists believing in the finite appearing of finite [material] good. Every loyal Scientist understands that the second coming of Christ is the next higher, hence, more spiritual revelation of God’s character.”
If we believe that a material person is Christ, then we believe that Christ comes and goes. What is taking place is that the world is awakening by a process of “light and shade.” That is, the world awakens to a higher level of the Christ idea (God’s character) by successive eras. But Christ is ever-present in his fulness.
THE ERA OF JESUS WAS MORE MATERIALLY MINDED
THAN THE ERA OF MRS. EDDY
9b “The Christian era presented the first tangible [to the human senses] idea of God’s character by its inspired man, Jesus.”
9c “The era of Christian Science ushers in through woman the second appearing of His [God’s] character and this from the necessity of His nature as the Father and Mother of all, the creator, even the complete and ever-present idea of God. Therefore, this era comes not through Jesus but through Mary, the type of womanhood and mother of its first and forever appearing which divine Science alone can give.”
Christ is the ever-present spiritual idea of the Son of God. A son requires a Father and Mother. Spiritually considered father and mother represent, not sex or gender, but a movement from lesser to greater. As Mrs. Eddy writes: “Was not this a revelation instead of a creation?” (S&H 504:14-15) The world must awaken to this concept of Christ.
When Jesus came, that was the earliest time that the Christ could be manifested in the flesh; and with that recognition there was also an early glimpse of Motherhood. Paul said, Jerusalem is “the mother of us all” (Gal. 4:26) and John saw in revelation the Woman God-crowned (Rev. 12:1). These revelations appeared at the point when the world had awakened sufficiently to accept them. Jesus was the representative in the flesh of God’s Fatherhood, and with his coming came a glimpse of the Motherhood of God.
Mrs. Eddy tells us that Abraham, Isaac, Moses, and the prophets caught glorious glimpses of the Christ but they were not the Christ. In Moses’ day they knew that Christ was to come. But it could only come when thought could awaken to its earliest level of true Motherhood. And even then it had to come through a man. It was not until two thousand years later that the world did awaken to the level where it could see God as Mother. The dematerialization that is now in progress could not appear until the world had arrived at this level.
9d “The third appearing of the spiritual idea of the character of God will present but the disappearing of all else, and establish the supremacy of Spirit which obliterates the human sense of the divine, takes away all sense of matter and reveals the final fact that the idea, Christ, is not a materialized or finite man or woman, but is the infinite concept of infinite Mind.”
The first appearing of Christ revealed the Fatherhood of God. The second appearing revealed the Motherhood of God in two-in-one dual nature. The third appearing is the dual Christ with no material or personal sense of sex or gender, but Christ as the character of God.
In John’s gospel he relates the first appearing of Christ in the advent of Jesus. In his book of Revelation he foretells the second advent of Christ in the coming of a woman (Mrs. Eddy). Near the close of his Revelation he sees this Bride of Christ as the Holy City, but with no temple — body — therein. Sex or gender is not part of the Christ.
CHRIST JESUS AND MARY
In explaining Christ as dual, as two-in-one, expressing God’s manhood and womanhood, represented by Jesus and Mrs. Eddy, we have Christ appearing as Christ Jesus and Mary — a personal sense.
The human sense tends to cling to the manhood of God and Christ, and so to this sense it seems that Mrs. Eddy has taken away our Lord and we know not where she has laid him. (See John 20:13)
The first person to see Jesus after his resurrection was Mary Magdalene. She was looking for a bodily, personal Jesus. He was standing there when she spoke to the angel, but she did not recognize him. To her level of thinking, her Lord was a finite person. To Jesus, Christ was the spiritual idea of God’s character, which he was expressing at that time. He said to her, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (John 20:17) It is significant that he was first seen by a woman. And because of his elevated thinking, he was avoiding personal sense and she could not touch him. He could not ascend to his Father as a finite, fleshly form; he would ascend to his Father in his impersonal nature.
The human mind tends to think of Christ as the finite person of Jesus, and the Christian Scientist often thinks of Mrs. Eddy, the revelator of Truth to this age, as a finite being.
Mrs. Eddy tells us here that she is not taking away the real, but that she must take away “the false conception of the individual God, the individual man, and the personality and merits of Jesus,” but she has “endeavored to dematerialize and unlimit [our] human dream of the divine, [our] material sense of the spiritual, [our] finite views of the infinite, and to give [us] a scientific concept of Jesus and his mission, of the nature of Christ, of the mission of Mary as the mother of Jesus, the scientific interpreter of true manhood, womanhood and the character of God.”
“Jesus’ work on earth is done, for he as an individual [not as a bodily person] finished his glorious earthly career and sat down at the right hand of the Father — left earth for heaven — in other words, he entered into the infinite sense of Life and its manifestation, never more to be manifest as flesh. This was the consummation of his earth mission and it [the identical Jesus] needs no reappearing or repetition to crown its glory.”
Mrs. Eddy writes: “His physical sufferings, which came from the testimony of the senses, were over when he resumed his individual spiritual being, after showing us the way to escape from the material body.” (Mis. p. 105:8)
“All this is not the material Jesus, nor Mary, nor Martha, but the spiritual idea dwelling forever in the bosom of the Father-Mother God, because this idea is the link in being’s chain which unites indissolubly the Father and son [Christ], man [reflection] and God. The on-rushing centuries are declaring this idea higher and higher in the scale of being and will ere long yield to the sense of its ascendant glory.”
CHRIST THE LINK
“‘The Word was made flesh.’ Divine Truth must be known by its effects on the body as well as on the mind, before the Science of being can be demonstrated. Hence its embodiment in the incarnate Jesus, — that life-link forming the connection through which the real reaches the unreal, Soul rebukes sense, and Truth destroys error.” (S&H 350:24)
“Principle and its idea [Christ] is one, and this one is God, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Being, and His reflection is man and the universe.” (S&H 465:17-1)
“If you fail to succeed in any case, it is because you have not demonstrated the life of Christ, Truth, more in your own life, — because you have not obeyed the rule and proved the Principle of divine Science.” (S&H 149:12)
What is the “link in being’s chain which unites indissolubly the Father and son, man and God”? Christ is the link that is dwelling forever in the bosom of the Father-Mother. It is not the material Jesus or the material Mary or the material Martha (looking for good in matter), but the spiritual idea that is the indissoluble link of man and God. As Jesus said: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:13, 14)
Principle and its idea, Christ, is one; and Christ is our life-link. The Son, Christ, unites man with God. This Father-Mother God does not produce offspring with an assemblage of organs, but ideas which rise higher and higher in “ascendent glory” by means of the succession of light and shade through the life-link, Christ.
Father-Mother are terms which take on new meaning in different eras. In our present definition of Father-Mother, it is that which appears to produce an infant with an assemblage of organs wrapped in flesh or skin. You cannot use Father-Mother from the human sense without meaning precisely that. But at the endtime, as “material history is drawing to a close,” that use of Father-Mother disappears and all that can be produced in subjective thought is light (or intelligence) in motion or in action, for there is no matter.
This intelligence or life moves or is in motion as it reveals what is already created in divine Mind, — as it were — a pulsating from greater light to lesser light, so that the greater light of the future is brighter than the greater light of the present. And in the unfolding light, the next future greater light causes our present greater light to seem to be lesser than the future greater light.
This is the “ascendent glory” or rising “higher and higher.” Ascendant means “moving upward.” “Dwelling forever in the bosom of the Father-Mother [lesser light to greater light / ‘light and shade’] God,” the life-link (Christ) drives this “light and shade” process of the two great lights individually, for each one, and we constantly move upward in glory, because as John says in Revelation, “And I saw no temple [body] therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” (Rev. 21:22)
[End of Commentary on “The Second Advent” article]
What is life in heaven like? It is “ascendent glory,” as Mrs. Eddy tells us in her article, “The Second Advent.” It is a condition of rising higher and higher, from glory unto glory. The real life is a life of glory. The Bible speaks of passing “from glory to glory” (II Cor. 3:18), as does Hymn 65 in the Christian Science Hymnal.
Webster’s Dictionary defines “glory” in part as “worshipful praise and thanksgiving; something that secures praise or renown; brilliant career; great beauty and splendor; magnificence; grandeur; exaltation.”
In her article Mrs. Eddy speaks of Jesus’ “glorious earthy career.” He gave us more than 30 parables describing the kingdom of heaven. His whole life was an expression of heaven and ascendent glory.
What is transpiring in the ascendent glory? Intelligent consciousness is in a perpetual state of exploration (of discovery). Divine Mind is knowing itself through the seven synonyms in Science and Health, and revealing itself to us through Christ. This is why the first question in “Recapitulation” in Science and Health is “What is God?” because to know God is all there is to know.
Heaven is a spiritual state of “Love’s divine adventure to be All-in-all,” as Mrs. Eddy states in Miscellany, p.158. It is in motion and it is occupied by spiritual beings endowed with perpetual strength, vigor, and the spirit of divine adventure. What could be a more glorious adventure than to discover the grand and glorious ideas which comprise infinite and eternal Mind!
The first appearing of Christ revealed the Fatherhood of God. The second appearing revealed the Motherhood of God in two-in-one dual nature. The third appearing is the dual Christ with no material or personal sense of sex or gender, but Christ as the character of God.
In her article “The Second Advent,” Mrs. Eddy states: “The third appearing of the spiritual idea of the character of God will present but the disappearing of all else, and establish the supremacy of Spirit which obliterates the human sense of the divine, takes away all sense of matter and reveals the final fact that the idea, Christ, is not a materialized or finite man or woman, but is the infinite concept of infinite Mind.”
The above explanation of the third appearing, parallels Mrs. Eddy’s words in Miscellaneous Writings: “The last appearing of Truth will be a wholly spiritual idea of God and of man, without the fetters of the flesh, or corporeality. This infinite idea of infinity will be, is, as eternal as its divine Principle. The daystar of this appearing is the light of Christian Science — the Science which rends the veil of the flesh from top to bottom. The light of this revelation leaves nothing that is material; neither darkness, doubt, disease, nor death. The material corporeality disappears; and individual spirituality, perfect and eternal, appears — never to disappear.” (Mis. p.165, emphasis added)