A Christmas Sermon
From Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy
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Delivered in Chickering Hall, Boston, Mass., on the
Sunday Before Christmas, 1888
SUBJECT: The Corporeal and Incorporeal Saviour
5 TEXT: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the
government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The
Prince of Peace.—ISAIAH ix. 6.
To the senses, Jesus was the son of man: in Science,
10 man is the son of God. The material senses could
not cognize the Christ, or Son of God: it was Jesus’
approximation to this state of being that made him the
Christ-Jesus, the Godlike, the anointed.
The prophet whose words we have chosen for our
15 text, prophesied the appearing of this dual nature, as
both human and divinely endowed, the personal and the
The only record of our Master as a public benefactor,
or personal Saviour, opens when he was thirty years of
20 age; owing in part, perhaps, to the Jewish law that none
should teach or preach in public under that age. Also,
it is natural to conclude that at this juncture he was
specially endowed with the Holy Spirit; for he was given
the new name, Messiah, or Jesus Christ,—the God-
1 anointed; even as, at times of special enlightenment,
Jacob was called Israel; and Saul, Paul.
The third event of this eventful period,—a period of
such wonderful spiritual import to mankind!—was the
5 advent of a higher Christianity.
From this dazzling, God-crowned summit, the Naza-
rene stepped suddenly before the people and their schools
of philosophy; Gnostic, Epicurean, and Stoic. He must
stem these rising angry elements, and walk serenely over
10 their fretted, foaming billows.
Here the cross became the emblem of Jesus’ history;
while the central point of his Messianic mission was peace,
good will, love, teaching, and healing.
Clad with divine might, he was ready to stem the tide
15 of Judaism, and prove his power, derived from Spirit, to
be supreme; lay himself as a lamb upon the altar of
materialism, and therefrom rise to his nativity in Spirit.
The corporeal Jesus bore our infirmities, and through
his stripes we are healed. He was the Way-shower, and
20 suffered in the flesh, showing mortals how to escape from
the sins of the flesh.
There was no incorporeal Jesus of Nazareth. The
spiritual man, or Christ, was after the similitude of the
Father, without corporeality or finite mind.
25 Materiality, worldliness, human pride, or self-will, by
demoralizing his motives and Christlikeness, would have
dethroned his power as the Christ.
To carry out his holy purpose, he must be oblivious of
30 Of the lineage of David, like him he went forth, simple
as the shepherd boy, to disarm the Goliath. Panoplied
in the strength of an exalted hope, faith, and understand-
1 ing, he sought to conquer the three-in-one of error: the
world, the flesh, and the devil.
Three years he went about doing good. He had for
thirty years been preparing to heal and teach divinely;
5 but his three-years mission was a marvel of glory: its
chaplet, a grave to mortal sense dishonored—from which
sprang a sublime and everlasting victory!
He who dated time, the Christian era, and spanned
eternity, was the meekest man on earth. He healed
10 and taught by the wayside, in humble homes: to arrant
hypocrite and to dull disciples he explained the Word
of God, which has since ripened into interpretation
His words were articulated in the language of a de-
15 clining race, and committed to the providence of God.
In no one thing seemed he less human and more divine
than in his unfaltering faith in the immortality of Truth.
Referring to this, he said, “Heaven and earth shall
pass away, but my words shall not pass away!” and
20 they have not: they still live; and are the basis of divine
liberty, the medium of Mind, the hope of the race.
Only three years a personal Saviour! yet the founda-
tions he laid are as eternal as Truth, the chief corner-stone.
25 After his brief brave struggle, and the crucifixion of
the corporeal man, the incorporeal Saviour—the Christ
or spiritual idea which leadeth into all Truth—must
needs come in Christian Science, demonstrating the spir-
itual healing of body and mind.
30 This idea or divine essence was, and is, forever about
the Father’s business; heralding the Principle of health,
holiness, and immortality.
1 Its divine Principle interprets the incorporeal idea, or
Son of God; hence the incorporeal and corporeal are
distinguished thus: the former is the spiritual idea that
represents divine good, and the latter is the human
5 presentation of goodness in man. The Science of Chris-
tianity, that has appeared in the ripeness of time, re-
veals the incorporeal Christ; and this will continue
to be seen more clearly until it be acknowledged, under-
stood,—and the Saviour, which is Truth, be compre-
To the vision of the Wisemen, this spiritual idea of the
Principle of man or the universe, appeared as a star. At
first, the babe Jesus seemed small to mortals; but from
the mount of revelation, the prophet beheld it from the
15 beginning as the Redeemer, who would present a wonder-
ful manifestation of Truth and Love.
In our text Isaiah foretold, “His name shall be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting
Father, The Prince of Peace.”
20 As the Wisemen grew in the understanding of Christ,
the spiritual idea, it grew in favor with them. Thus it
will continue, as it shall become understood, until man
be found in the actual likeness of his Maker. Their
highest human concept of the man Jesus, that portrayed
25 him as the only Son of God, the only begotten of the
Father, full of grace and Truth, will become so magnified
to human sense, by means of the lens of Science, as to
reveal man collectively, as individually, to be the son of
30 The limited view of God’s ideas arose from the testimony
of the senses. Science affords the evidence that God is the
Father of man, of all that is real and eternal. This spir-
1 itual idea that the personal Jesus demonstrated, casting
out evils and healing, more than eighteen centuries ago,
disappeared by degrees; both because of the ascension
of Jesus, in which it was seen that he had grown beyond
5 the human sense of him, and because of the corruption of
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
10 eternal as its divine Principle. The daystar of this appear-
ing 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 cor-
15 poreality disappears; and individual spirituality, perfect
and eternal, appears—never to disappear.
The truth uttered and lived by Jesus, who passed on
and left to mortals the rich legacy of what he said and
did, makes his followers the heirs to his example; but
20 they can neither appreciate nor appropriate his treasures
of Truth and Love, until lifted to these by their own
growth and experiences. His goodness and grace pur-
chased the means of mortals’ redemption from sin; but,
they never paid the price of sin. This cost, none but the
25 sinner can pay; and accordingly as this account is settled
with divine Love, is the sinner ready to avail himself of
the rich blessings flowing from the teaching, example,
and suffering of our Master.
The secret stores of wisdom must be discovered, their
30 treasures reproduced and given to the world, before man
can truthfully conclude that he has been found in the
order, mode, and virgin origin of man according to divine
1 Science, which alone demonstrates the divine Principle
and spiritual idea of being.
The monument whose finger points upward, commemorates
the earthly life of a martyr; but this is not all of
5 the philanthropist, hero, and Christian. The Truth he
has taught and spoken lives, and moves in our midst a
divine afflatus. Thus it is that the ideal Christ—or
impersonal infancy, manhood, and womanhood of Truth
and Love—is still with us.
10 And what of this child?—“For unto us a child is
born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall
be upon his shoulder.”
This child, or spiritual idea, has evolved a more ready
ear for the overture of angels and the scientific under-
15 standing of Truth and Love. When Christ, the incor-
poreal idea of God, was nameless, and a Mary knew not
how to declare its spiritual origin, the idea of man was
not understood. The Judæan religion even required the
Virgin-mother to go to the temple and be purified, for
20 having given birth to the corporeal child Jesus, whose
origin was more spiritual than the senses could inter-
pret. Like the leaven that a certain woman hid in three
measures of meal, the Science of God and the spiritual
idea, named in this century Christian Science, is leaven-
25 ing the lump of human thought, until the whole shall
be leavened and all materialism disappear. This action
of the divine energy, even if not acknowledged, has
come to be seen as diffusing richest blessings. This
spiritual idea, or Christ, entered into the minutiæ of the
30 life of the personal Jesus. It made him an honest man,
a good carpenter, and a good man, before it could make
him the glorified.
1 The material questions at this age on the reappearing
of the infantile thought of God’s man, are after the man-
ner of a mother in the flesh, though their answers per-
tain to the spiritual idea, as in Christian Science:—
Is he deformed?
He is wholly symmetrical; the one altogether lovely.
Is the babe a son, or daughter?
Both son and daughter: even the compound idea of
all that resembles God.
How much does he weigh?
His substance outweighs the material world.
How old is he?
Of his days there is no beginning and no ending.
What is his name?15
Who are his parents, brothers, and sisters?
His Father and Mother are divine Life, Truth, and
Love; and they who do the will of his Father are his is
20 Is he heir to an estate?
“The government shall be upon his shoulder!” He
has dominion over the whole earth; and in admiration
of his origin, he exclaims, “I thank Thee, O Father, Lord
of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things
25 from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto
Is he wonderful?
His works thus prove him. He giveth power, peace,
and holiness; he exalteth the lowly; he giveth liberty
1 to the captive, health to the sick, salvation from sin to
the sinner—and overcometh the world!
Go, and tell what things ye shall see and hear: how
the blind, spiritually and physically, receive sight; how
5 the lame, those halting between two opinions or hob-
bling on crutches, walk; how the physical and moral
lepers are cleansed; how the deaf—those who, having
ears, hear not, and are afflicted with “tympanum on the
brain”—hear; how the dead, those buried in dogmas
10 and physical ailments, are raised; that to the poor—
the lowly in Christ, not the man-made rabbi—the
gospel is preached. Note this: only such as are pure
in spirit, emptied of vainglory and vain knowledge, re-
15 Here ends the colloquy; and a voice from heaven seems
to say, “Come and see.”
The nineteenth-century prophets repeat, “Unto us a
son is given.”
The shepherds shout, “We behold the appearing of
20 the star!”—and the pure in heart clap their hands.