The Morning Star
From the Christian Science Journal, January 1918 by Clara s. Streeter
From those primeval dawns of which it is written, “The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy,” to that “Lord’s day” on the isle of Patmos when St. John was bidden to say to the angel of the church in Thyatira, respecting the one that overcometh, “I will give him the morning star,” this distinguished herald of approaching day has ever symbolized some new revelation of Truth to a waking world. Those who have proclaimed it and reflected its glory, have for that reason been variously designated as sages, prophets, magi, wisemen. So far above the comprehension of the masses was the status of these seers of old, that it may be said of them that they gave character to the times in which they lived.
Such a one was Enoch, of whom it is written that for over three hundred years he “walked with God” upon the earth, and “was not; for God took him.” On page 214 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy says of him, “If Enoch’s perception had been confined to the evidence before his material senses, he could never have ‘walked with God,’ nor been guided into the demonstration of life eternal.” We know not what was Enoch’s particular mission, but he will ever be to the world a shining example of man’s great spiritual possibilities.
In a grossly idolatrous age Melchizedec, king of the sacred city of Salem,—typifying peace and righteousness,—appeared as a star of the first magnitude. He became the forerunner of a high order of priesthood, to which are ordained only those who have so liberated themselves from the fetters of human pedigree that they are able to demonstrate their likeness to the Son of God, of whom we read in Hebrews, that he was “made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.” The “morning star” of faith in God was Abraham, numbering his seed as the stars in the heavens, and perceiving through faith, when he was about to sacrifice his son Isaac, that life is spiritual and eternal.
Out of Egypt rose the day-star of that code of moral and civil law which, was to be the arbiter of justice in every land of progress; and it ascended until its glory encompassed Mt. Sinai, where Moses talked with God. Very lovingly does our Leader veil the light of this perfect law of God, that we, like the children of Israel, may approach near enough to see how it may be humanly applied. On page 200 of Science and Health she says: “The law of Sinai lifted thought into the song of David. Moses advanced a nation to the worship of God in Spirit instead of matter, and illustrated the grand human capacities of being bestowed by immortal Mind.”
Sacred alike to the Turk and the Russian of to-day, the “Cave of Elijah” is guarded from the machine guns of modern warfare. It is believed that there the prophet Elijah, thirty centuries ago, heard the “still small voice” of God and was not afraid, because man’s true identity was revealed to him. This gave him power to speak with authority to the errors of his day, and to rise above all the limitations of material sense, insomuch that, he was borne upward in a chariot of fire. His mantle fell upon Elisha, the only one of the sons of the prophets spiritual enough to follow him in his ascending pathway to the realization of man’s immortality.
In the spiritual universe, however, there is but one “morning star,” the reflection of the Christ-idea, and the glory of this star, with all other bright and shining ones, is radiated out into the immensity of God’s creation, unfolding Life and Love to the waking thought. It is this of which it is written: “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” It rested over Bethlehem. John, referring to it again in the chapter just mentioned, calls it the “Word,” and says: “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
When the light of Christ, Truth, shone upon the pathway of Saul of Tarsus, it was so glorious that for a time it took from him the sense of physical sight and the desire for food. His whole nature, as well as his name, was changed, and Paul became the “chosen vessel” to carry the gospel to the Gentiles and to preach before kings and philosophers. Thus did the western world begin to see the glory of the “morning star.” The revelator saw its light shining through all the cycles measured off in time and space, till heaven and earth had passed away. His messages to the seven churches typified the ascendancy of this light of Truth even in pagan thought, as well as its growth in the individual consciousness, and showed also the gifts of God that follow the overcoming of error.
The church of Thyatira, to which was promised the “morning star,” was the fourth of these seven churches in line of progress. It marked a spiritual as well as a cosmological dividing line, and represented that terrific struggle in human consciousness which comes after the light of Truth has laid bare the utter falsity of material sense and all its phantoms of night and darkness. John in his vision saw that at this period in world development the day of grace and the time for repentance would merge into a mighty purification and separation, ushered in by the reappearance of the “morning star,” the Christ-idea, sent to prepare the world for that promised day when the Sun of righteousness would “arise with healing in his wings.” It was to be the grand testing time of the entire human race, the moral battle ground of all the ages. It is our world of to-day.
Already the “morning star” has appeared above the rugged horizon of our time, and our earth is entering upon a new era of light and progress. To quote Browning, “The day’s at the morn,”—the morn of a tempestuous but wonderful day. We who in some measure have discerned the spiritual import of the coming of Christ, Truth, to this age, may like the church in Thyatira take heed to the voice of the Son of God, “who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass.” Then may we hear: “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith … Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants.”
Now Jezebel was a prophetess of Baal, the great male divinity of the ancient idolatrous nations round Palestine. Ahab, king of Israel, married her, and through her subtle influence over him Israel again fell into idolatry. Elijah, the prophet of Jehovah, denounced her and foretold her own and Ahab’s self-destruction. John saw in her the personification of wickedness at its climactic period,— the consummation of every evil device, combining idolatry, hypnotism, sensuality, dishonesty, greed, mental and physical assassination, blasphemy. There was not one atrocious claim of error which did not find a place in the maelstrom of moral degeneracy that this wife of Ahab, king of Israel, represented.
This complex manifestation of idolatry and wickedness not only propagated itself in Israel in the time of Elijah, but thought to destroy the Christ-idea, the light of the world, by putting to death Jesus of Nazareth, who reflected that light in all its purity. It sought to pervert the teachings of the apostles. It caused the early church in the third century of our era to ally itself with the belief of worldly place and power, and with cunning sophistry has ever since mesmerized it into believing that evil is as real and as powerful as God, good; that matter and Spirit commingle; that death opens the door to eternal life.
These and other falsities were uncovered when the “morning star” began to rise upon our world of to-day. Its bright light at once disturbed the equilibrium of mortal mind, and set Jezebel’s kingdom on fire with resentment, hatred, malice, war, pestilence, bringing about the time of great tribulation of which it is written in Revelation: “And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.”
As the morning star in the heavens seems to divide night from day, so the light of Christian Science, the truth of being, as discovered by Mary Baker Eddy, is clarifying individual consciousness as well as world politics. As in Ahab’s time Elijah called all the people together unto Mt. Carmel and said unto them: “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him,” so to-day Truth is calling to the people of all the world assembled at this testing time, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.”
The Spirit further says to this church in Thyatira, “He that over-cometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” This is to be not a man-made power, nor a treaty-made power; rather is it to be a power made, “not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.” To him is also given the “morning star,” the power to manifest the Christ-idea, to walk with and talk to God; to speak with authority to every form of error. Its name in our age is Christian Science, defined by its Discoverer, Mrs. Eddy, on page 1 of “Rudimental Divine Science,” as “the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony.” It shines for all who will lift up their eyes and walk in its light. It brings the day when all shall know the truth. In the dawn of the twentieth century the “sons of God” are again shouting for joy, because human consciousness discerns a new heaven and a new earth, “wherein dwelleth righteousness.”