Message for 1900, by Mary Baker Eddy
bursting paraphrases projected from divinity upon humanity,
the spiritual import whereof "holdeth the seven stars
in His right hand and walketh in the midst of the seven
golden candlesticks" - the radiance of glorified Being.
In Revelation, second chapter, his messages to the
churches commence with the church of Ephesus. History
records Ephesus as an illustrious city, the capital of Asia
Minor. It especially flourished as an emporium in the
time of the Roman Emperor Augustus. St. Paul's life
furnished items concerning this city. Corresponding to
its roads, its gates, whence the Ephesian elders travelled to
meet St. Paul, led northward and southward. At the head
of the harbor was the temple of Diana, the tutelary divinity
of Ephesus. The earlier temple was burned on the night
that Alexander the Great was born. Magical arts prevailed
at Ephesus; hence the Revelator's saying: "I
have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy
first love . . . and will remove thy candlestick out of his
place, except thou repent." This prophecy has been
fulfilled. Under the influence of St. Paul's preaching the
magical books in that city were publicly burned. It were
well if we had a St. Paul to purge our cities of charlatanism.
During St. Paul's stay in that city - over two years - he
labored in the synagogue, in the school of Tyrannus, and
also in private houses. The entire city is now in ruins.
The Revelation of St. John in the apostolic age is symbolic,
rather than personal or historical. It refers to the
Hebrew Balaam as the devourer of the people. Nicolaitan
church presents the phase of a great controversy, ready to
destroy the unity and the purity of the church. It is said
"a controversy was inevitable when the Gentiles entered
the church of Christ" in that city. The Revelator commends
the church at Ephesus by saying: "Thou hatest
the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate." It is
written of this church that their words were brave and their
deeds evil. The orgies of their idolatrous feasts and their
impurities were part of a system supported by their doctrine
and their so-called prophetic illumination. Their
distinctive feature the apostle justly regards as heathen,
and so he denounces the Nicolaitan church.
Alexander the Great founded the city of Smyrna, and
after a series of wars it was taken and sacked. The Revelator
writes of this church of Smyrna: "Be thou faithful
unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." A glad
promise to such as wait and weep.
The city of Pergamos was devoted to a sensual worship.
There Aesculapius, the god of medicine, acquired fame;
and a serpent was the emblem of Aesculapius. Its medical
practice included charms and incantations. The Revelator
refers to the church in this city as dwelling "where
Satan's seat is." The Pergamene church consisted of the
school of Balaam and Aesculapius, idolatry and medicine.
The principal deity in the city of Thyatira was Apollo.
Smith writes: "In this city the amalgamation of different
pagan religions seems not to have been wholly discountenanced
by the authorities of the Judaeo-Christian
The Revelator speaks of the angel of the church in
Philadelphia as being bidden to write the approval of this
church by our Master - he saith: "Thou hast a little
strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my
name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of
Satan . . . to know that I have loved thee. . . . Hold
that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."