Only One Christ

by MJSmith

Reply to a Comment

            I recently (March 2016) received a comment about Mary Baker Eddy being called Christ. The writer quoted from page 75 of Pulpit and Press, “But to think or speak of me in any manner as a Christ, is sacrilegious. Such a statement would not only be false, but the absolute antipode of Christian Science, and would savor more of heathenism than of my doctrines.” To present my reply I will first quote pages 74 and 75 of P&P (without any quote marks from me) and then comment on it. First off, let me explain that Mary Baker Eddy was speaking to the mortal minded world in the article so she had to hide her place in Bible prophecy.

NYHerald

            Concord, N. H., February 4, 1895. — The article published in the Herald on February 29, regarding a statement made by Mrs. Laura Lathrop, pastor of the Christian Science congregation that meets every Sunday in Hodgson Hall, New York, was shown to Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy, the Christian Science “Discoverer,” to-day.
            Mrs. Eddy preferred to prepare a written answer to the interrogatory, which she did in this letter, addressed to the editor of the Herald:

            “A despatch is given me, calling for an interview to answer for myself, ‘Am I the second Christ?’
            “Even the question shocks me. What I am is for God to declare in His infinite mercy. As it is, I claim nothing more than what I am, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, and the blessing it has been to mankind which eternity enfolds.
            “I think Mrs. Lathrop was not understood. If she said aught with intention to be thus understood, it is not what I have taught her, and not at all as I have heard her talk.
            “My books and teachings maintain but one conclusion and statement of the Christ and the deification of mortals.
            “Christ is individual, and one with God, in the sense of divine Love and its compound divine ideal.
            “There was, is, and never can be but one God, one Christ, one Jesus of Nazareth. Whoever in any age expresses most of the spirit of Truth and Love, the Principle of God’s idea, has most of the spirit of Christ, of that Mind which was in Christ Jesus.
            “If Christian Scientists find in my writings, teachings, and example a greater degree of this spirit than in others, they can justly declare it. But to think or speak of me in any manner as a Christ, is sacrilegious. Such a statement would not only be false, but the absolute antipode of Christian Science, and would savor more of heathenism than of my doctrines.

                                                                        “Mary Baker Eddy”

            Was Mary Baker Eddy telling us that she was not the second coming of Christ? No, but she did say she was not “the second Christ” because there is only one Christ. Yet there is a second coming of Christ because Jesus said there would be and Jesus spoke of the second coming of Christ! So what is the second coming of Christ? Is the second coming of Christ actually Christian Science (the Comforter)? Yes. Yet, Mary Baker Eddy tells us that she is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science (the Comforter) – hence, she is the Discoverer and Founder of the second coming of Christ. With this in mind let us look at the second Tenet for The First Church of Christ, Scientist.

            “We acknowledge and adore one supreme and infinite God. We acknowledge His Son, one Christ; the Holy Ghost or divine Comforter; and man in God’s image and likeness.” (Church Manual, p. 15)

            So Christian Scientists acknowledge God’s Son, one Christ. Notice Mary Baker Eddy did not mention Jesus’ name here, although most Christians would assume that this one Christ is Jesus (the first coming of Christ). Then she goes on to mention “the Holy Ghost or divine Comforter” and what is this divine Comforter? I have already established that this one divine Comforter is Christian Science that was discovered and founded with the second coming of Christ. Finally she speaks of the third advent of Christ, “…and man in God’s image and likeness.” This is the man mentioned in the Sixth Day of Truth (in Genesis 1).
            In the third paragraph she simply states that she thinks Mrs. Lathrop was not understood. Mrs. Lathrop, who may or may not have been speaking the spiritual Truth about Mary Baker Eddy’s identity “was not understood.” Now, I do not know what Laura Lathrop said, so I cannot really comment upon it. It is possible that she may have made her statements about Mary Baker Eddy sound as if Mary Baker Eddy’s physical persona was a Christ, or even another Christ, or a second Christ. Still, I have no way of knowing what the student said.
            Mary Baker Eddy makes it clear in the fourth paragraph that deification of mortals is not correct. I do not, nor have I ever deified Mary Baker Eddy’s mortal persona, nor have I ever claimed that her mortal persona was Christ’s second coming. I do not claim that Jesus’ mortal persona was Christ’s first coming. But I do understand the human and divine coincidence. And in order for mankind, with the five physical senses, to be able to experience any coming of Christ it has to be made manifest as a mortal body.
            How does Mary Baker Eddy define Christ in her “Glossary”?

            “Christ. The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error.” (S&H 583:10)

            Notice that Mary Baker Eddy does not mention the name Jesus in this definition anywhere. Why not? It is because the Christ is not a person like Jesus or Mary but is the divine manifestation of God. One definition of the word manifest is, “readily perceived by the senses and esp. by the sight” another is “easily understood or recognized by the mind.” Manifestation means: “the act, process, or an instance of manifesting…something that manifests…one of the forms in which an individual is manifest…materialization”.[1] So, the Christ was materialized as Jesus. If the Christ can be materialized as Jesus then why cannot the Christ be materialized as Mary Baker Eddy, or you or me? This does not mean that the material you or the material me is the Christ, but we must be able to commune with the Christ Mind.
            Before continuing on with this Christ definition I want to take a look at the sixth Tenet.

            “And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.” (Church Manual, p. 16)

            So, was that Mind (divine Mind, the Mind that is God) which was in Christ Jesus’ consciousness for him only? No, we are to watch and pray to reflect divine Mind just as Jesus did, just as Mary Baker Eddy did. We are to work at being Christ Minded!
            To continue with the definition, this Christ nature constantly comes to the flesh (matter). For what purpose does it come to the flesh? It comes in order to “destroy incarnate error.” Did not Mary Baker Eddy, via Christian Science, destroy incarnate error? Yes, she did.
            The article’s fifth paragraph reads: “Christ is individual [not separated from its divine being; again she does not mention the name Jesus here], and one with God, in the sense of divine Love [God] and its compound [whole] divine ideal [Christ].” Christian Scientists must ask what is the compound nature of the Christ, or God’s divine ideal? Is it not man as both masculine and feminine, man as the image and likeness of Father-Mother God who reflects Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, and Love? Is it not a fact that the compound nature of the Christ must have its masculine representative and its feminine representative? Are they not the two candlesticks and the two witnesses spoken of in the Bible?
            The sixth paragraph speaks the Truth. There is only one God, one Christ, and one Jesus of Nazareth. But Mary Baker Eddy did not phrase it as, “there was only one Christ Jesus of Nazareth.” The honest Christian Scientist must ask, “Why?” Mary Baker Eddy did not teach that Jesus Christ, the man, was God (like many Christian religions do). She goes on to say, “Whoever [this means herself or you or me] in any age [any of the seven days in Genesis 1-2:3] expresses [manifests] most of the spirit of Truth and Love, the Principle of God’s idea, has most of the spirit of Christ, of that Mind which was in Christ Jesus [that we are to watch and pray for].”
            One definition (from Webster’s…) for express is, “a messenger sent on a special errand…a dispatch [a speedy, official message] conveyed by a special messenger.” Are not angels God’s messengers? Was not Mary Baker Eddy the angel messenger who gave to us the first gift mentioned in Revelation’s third Vision’s Interlude, the little book open – Science and Health Key to the Scriptures?
            In the sixth paragraph she does not deny that there is more than one Christ messenger! She declares “Whoever in any age”. Were not the prophets in the Old Testament such Christ messengers? And they came before Jesus. She hints in her final paragraph that she may be found as one of these “whoever” messengers “in any age” when she says, “If” and I stress the word IF “Christian Scientists find in my writings, teachings, and example of greater degree [the Third Degree] of this spirit than in others, they can justly declare it.” Is she not saying then, that it is okay for someone, like myself, to declare the Truth about whom she is if I find it in her writings, teachings, and her example (which I do). Now, she says, “But to think or speak of me in any manner as a Christ, is sacrilegious.” Notice, she says, “as a Christ” she does not say, “as the Christ.” What is the difference? To write “a Christ” or “another Christ” or “a second Christ” is to say that there is more than one Christ when there is not more than one Christ. There is only one Christ, yet this Christ is the “compound divine ideal.” Such a statement, to say that there is more than one Christ, is false and the absolute antipode of Christian Science, and does savor more of heathenism than of Mary Baker Eddy’s doctrines. But to say that there is more than one coming of Christ is allowed, in that the Christ comes and goes (comes from the Father-Mother God and returns to the Father-Mother God), comes and goes, comes and goes. To be honest, the Christ is ever present, just as God is ever present, but our finite senses try to make us believe that God and the Christ are absent from our lives and we must struggle to be one with God and His-Her ideal. For a Christian Scientist to make the statement that Mary Baker Eddy is the second coming of Christ because they have faith in the statement is not Science. They must understand why and how Mary Baker Eddy is the second coming of Christ. To accept the statement just because they have been told that it is a fact is also wrong. The Christian Scientist must spiritually understand why it is a fact and just not assume the statement to be correct, even if it is correct. Just because I tell you these things does not mean that you should take my word for it. Find the Truth out for yourself, think for yourself.
            What does Mary Baker Eddy tell us about Christ Jesus in the Textbook (the little book open)? “Jesus’ spiritual origin and his demonstration of divine Principle richly endowed him and entitled him to sonship in Science. He was the son of a virgin. The term Christ Jesus, or Jesus the Christ (to give the full and proper translation of the Greek), may be rendered ‘Jesus the anointed,’ Jesus the God-crowned or the divinely royal man, as it is said of him in the first chapter of Hebrews: —

            “Therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”[2]

            Notice she tells us that Jesus is “God-crowned”. What does Revelation 12 tell us? That there is the woman God-crowned! It is as if she is hinting at the very fact that since there is a man God-crowned that there must be a woman God-crowned as well, that this woman is a divinely royal woman. The paragraph heading for this paragraph is “The one anointed”. She begins the paragraph by saying “Jesus’ spiritual origin”. The Christ is Jesus’ spiritual origin. It is the human (Jesus, “son of a virgin”) and divine (Christ “sonship in Science”) coincidence that is anointed as the man God-crowned. Thus, the Christ is also Mary Baker Eddy’s spiritual origin. It is the human (Mary, “daughter of Zion”) and divine (Christ “daughtership in Science”) coincidence that is anointed as the woman God-crowned. Read Revelation 1:1 and you will see that the visions given to John came first from God, then they were given to Jesus, then to Jesus’ messenger (who was an angel) and finally to John. So God is the one who is telling us (first) that there is the woman God-crowned (she is in Vision IV)!
Father-Mother
            “VIII. Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation. As the apostle expressed it in words which he quoted with approbation from a classic poet: ‘For we are also His offspring.’” (S&H 332:4)
            Since God is both Father and Mother then the Christ must also be manifested as both masculine and feminine.
The Son of God
            “IX. Jesus was born of Mary. Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness. The Christ is incorporeal, spiritual, — yea, the divine image and likeness, dispelling the illusions of the senses; the Way, the Truth, and the Life, healing the sick and casting out evils, destroying sin, disease, and death. As Paul says: ‘There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.’ The corporeal man Jesus was human.” (S&H 332:9)
            She tells us that Christ is the divine image and likeness, does this not sound like the man created in the Sixth Day of Truth in Genesis 1? The man and woman created in God’s image after His likeness? Who is “the man Christ Jesus” Paul spoke of? Is it not the man of the Sixth Day that Christ Jesus manifested during the Fifth Day of Life? Paul did not tell us that the mediator was Jesus Christ, but Christ Jesus. There is a difference. For sure Christ Jesus is this mediator, but in the next paragraph Mary Baker Eddy brings in her God-crowned mission, but this fact is hidden.
Holy Ghost or Comforter
            “Jesus demonstrated Christ; he proved that Christ is the divine idea of God — the Holy Ghost, or Comforter, revealing the divine Principle, Love, and leading into all truth.” (S&H 332:19) I can just as easily say that Mary Baker Eddy demonstrated Christ. It was Jesus (the man) who proved (demonstrated) that Christ (the divine ideal not a mortal man or mortal woman) is the divine idea of God, as well as, the Christ is the Holy Ghost or Comforter (Christian Science), revealing (uncovering) divine Principle, Love, and leading into all truth.
Christ Jesus
            “XI. Jesus was the son of a virgin. He was appointed to speak God’s word and to appear to mortals in such a form of humanity as they could understand as well as perceive.” (S&H 332:23-26) What she means here is that God appointed Christ Jesus and that he had to come in a material body so that humanity could perceive him with their five material senses. She continues: “Mary’s conception of him was spiritual, for only purity could reflect Truth and Love, which were plainly incarnate in the good and pure Christ Jesus. He expressed the highest type of divinity, which a fleshly form could express in that age. Into the real and ideal man the fleshly element cannot enter. Thus it is that Christ illustrates the coincidence, or spiritual agreement, between God and man in His image.
Messiah or Christ
            “XII. The word Christ is not properly a synonym for Jesus, though it is commonly so used. Jesus was a human name, which belonged to him in common with other Hebrew boys and men, for it is identical with the name Joshua, the renowned Hebrew leader. On the other hand, Christ is not a name so much as the divine title of Jesus. Christ expresses God’s spiritual, eternal nature. The name is synonymous with Messiah, and alludes to the spirituality which is taught, illustrated, and demonstrated in the life which Christ Jesus was the embodiment. The proper name of our Master in the Greek was Jesus the Christ, but Christ Jesus better signifies the Godlike.
The divine Principle and idea
            “XIII. The advent of Jesus of Nazareth marked the first century of the Christian era, but the Christ is without beginning of years or end of days. Throughout all generations both before and after the Christian era, the Christ, as the spiritual idea — the reflection of God — has come with some measure of power and grace to all prepared to receive Christ, Truth. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets caught glorious glimpses of the Messiah, or Christ, which baptized these seers in the divine nature, the essence of Love. The divine image, idea, or Christ was, is, and ever will be inseparable from the divine Principle, God. Jesus referred to this unity of his spiritual identity thus: ‘Before Abraham was, I am;’ ‘I and my Father are one;’ ‘My Father is greater than I.’ The one Spirit includes all identities.
Spiritual oneness
            “XIV. By these sayings Jesus meant, not that the human Jesus was or is eternal, but that the divine idea or Christ was and is so and therefore antedated Abraham; not that the corporeal Jesus was one with the Father, but that the spiritual idea, Christ, dwells forever in the bosom of the Father, God, from which it illumines heaven and earth; not that the Father is greater than Spirit, which is God, but greater, infinitely greater, than the fleshly Jesus, whose earthly career was brief.
The Son’s duality
            “XV. The invisible Christ was imperceptible to the so-called personal senses, whereas Jesus appeared as a bodily existence. This dual personality of the unseen and the seen, the spiritual and material, the eternal Christ and the corporeal Jesus manifest in flesh, continued until the Master’s ascension, when the human, material concept, or Jesus, disappeared, while the spiritual self, or Christ, continues to exist in the eternal order of divine Science, taking away the sins of the world, as the Christ has always done, even before the human Jesus was incarnate to mortal eyes.
Eternity of the Christ
            “XVI. This was ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,’ — slain, that is, according to the testimony of the corporeal senses, but undying in the deific Mind. The Revelator represents the Son of man as saying (Revelation i. 17, 18): ‘I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead [not understood]; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, [Science has explained me].’ This is a mystical statement of the eternity of the Christ, and is also a reference to the human sense of Jesus crucified.” (S&H 332:26-334:30; [Mary Baker Eddy’s interpolations.])

            In Science and Health, page 473:4, Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Christ the ideal Truth
            “The Science of Mind disposes of all evil. Truth, God, is not the father of error. Sin, sickness, and death are to be classified as effects of error. Christ came to destroy the belief of sin. The God-principle is omnipresent and omnipotent. God is everywhere, and nothing apart from Him is present or has power. Christ is the ideal Truth, that comes to heal sickness and sin through Christian Science, and attributes all power to God. Jesus is the name of the man who, more than all other men, has presented Christ, the true idea of God, healing the sick and the sinning and destroying the power of death. Jesus is the human man, and Christ is the divine idea; hence the duality of Jesus the Christ.”
            Let me rewrite part of this quote another way: “Christ is the ideal Truth, that comes as the second advent to heal sickness and sin through Christian Science, and attributes all power to God. Mary Baker Eddy is the name of the woman who, more than all other men since Jesus, has presented the Christ, the true idea of God, healing the sick and the sinning and destroying the power of death. Mary Baker Eddy is the human woman, and Christ is the divine idea, hence the duality of Mary the Christ.”
            If Jesus Christ is the Lamb spoken of in Revelation then who is the Lamb’s wife? Would she not be the woman God-crowned?

            “Bride. Purity and innocence, conceiving man in the idea of God; a sense of Soul, which has spiritual bliss and enjoys but cannot suffer.

            “Bridegroom. Corporeality and physical sense put out of sight and hearing; annihilation. Submergence in Spirit; immortality brought to light.” (S&H 582:14-20)

            “Lamb of God. The spiritual idea of Love; self-immolation; innocence and purity; sacrifice.” (S&H 590:9)
Divine sense of Deity

            “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 [of LOVE], even as the material sense of personality yields to the incorporeal sense of God, and man as the infinite Principle [God] and infinite idea [man], — as one Father with His universal family, held in the gospel of Love. The Lamb’s wife presents the unity of male and female as no longer two wedded individuals [Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy], but as two individual natures in one [Christ]; 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 576:26-577:13; [My interpolations.])
            “‘Science and Health makes it plain to all Christian Scientists that the manhood and womanhood of God have already been revealed in a degree [the Second Degree] through Christ Jesus and Christian Science [Mary Baker Eddy], His two witnesses. What remains to lead on the centuries and reveal my [Christ] successor, is man in the image and likeness of the Father-Mother God, man the generic term for mankind.’” (Miscellany, p. 346:29-347:5; [My interpolations.] )
            Does not Mary Baker Eddy’s illustrated poem Christ and Christmas illustrate these two paragraphs with the ninth illustration CHRISTIAN UNITY?

Christian Unity

Christian Unity

[1] All definitions are from Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary.

[2] S&H

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