Miscellaneous Writings (1883-1896) by Mary Baker Eddy
Books by Mary Baker Eddy

"CHRIST AND CHRISTMAS"
page 240


"CHRIST AND CHRISTMAS"



An Illustrated Poem

   This poem and its illustrations are as hopelessly original
as is "Science and Health with Key to the

MISC 372


Scriptures."  When the latter was first issued, critics declared
that it was incorrect, contradictory, unscientific, unchristian;
but those human opinions had not one feather's
weight in the scales of God.  The fact remains, that
the textbook of Christian Science is transforming the
universe.
   "Christ and Christmas" voices Christian Science
through song and object-lesson.  In two weeks from the
date of its publication in December, 1893, letters extolling
it were pouring in from artists and poets.  A mother
wrote, "Looking at the pictures in your wonderful book
has healed my child."
   Knowing that this book would produce a stir, I sought
the judgment of sound critics familiar with the works
of masters in France and Italy.  From them came such
replies as the following: "The illustrations of your poem
are truly a work of art, and the artist seems quite familiar
with delineations from the old masters."  I am delighted
to find "Christ and Christmas" in accord with the
ancient and most distinguished artists.
   The Christian Science Journal gives no uncertain declaration
concerning the spirit and mission of "Christ and
Christmas."
   I aimed to reproduce, with reverent touch, the modest
glory of divine Science.  Not by aid of foreign device
or environment could I copy art, - never having seen
the painter's masterpieces; but the art of Christian
Science, with true hue and character of the living God,
is akin to its Science: and Science and Health gives
scopes and shades to the shadows of divinity, thus imparting
to humanity the true sense of meekness and
might.

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   One incident serves to illustrate the simple nature of
art.
   I insisted upon placing the serpent behind the woman
in the picture "Seeking and Finding."  My artist at the
easel objected, as he often did, to my sense of Soul's
expression through the brush; but, as usual, he finally
yielded.  A few days afterward, the following from Rotherham's
translation of the New Testament was handed
to me, - I had never before seen it: "And the serpent
cast out of his mouth, behind the woman, water as a
river, that he might cause her to be river-borne."  Neither
material finesse, standpoint, nor perspective guides the
infinite Mind and spiritual vision that should, does, guide
His children.
   One great master clearly delineates Christ's appearing
in the flesh, and his healing power, as clad not in
soft raiment or gorgeous apparel; and when forced out
of its proper channel, as living feebly, in kings' courts.
This master's thought presents a sketch of Christianity's
state, in the early part of the Christian era, as
homelessness in a wilderness.  But in due time Christianity
entered into synagogues, and, as St. Mark
writes, it has rich possession here, with houses and
lands.  In Genesis we read that God gave man dominion
over all things; and this assurance is followed
by Jesus' declaration, "All power is given unto me
in heaven and in earth," and by his promise that the
Christlike shall finally sit down at the right hand of the
Father.
   Christian Science is more than a prophet or a
prophecy: it presents not words alone, but works, - the daily
demonstration of Truth and Love.  Its healing and saving

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power was so great a proof of Immanuel and the

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