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

AN ALLEGORY
page 212


AN ALLEGORY



   Picture to yourself "a city set upon a hill," a
celestial city above all clouds, in serene azure and
unfathomable glory:  having no temple therein, for God is
the temple thereof; nor need of the sun, neither of the
moon, for God doth lighten it.  Then from this sacred
summit behold a Stranger wending his way downward,
to where a few laborers in a valley at the foot of the mountain
are working and watching for his coming.
   The descent and ascent are beset with peril, privation,
temptation, toil, suffering.  Venomous serpents hide
among the rocks, beasts of prey prowl in the path, wolves
in sheep's clothing are ready to devour; but the Stranger
meets and masters their secret and open attacks with
serene confidence.
   The Stranger eventually stands in the valley at the
foot of the mountain.  He saith unto the patient toilers
therein: "What do ye here?  Would ye ascend the mountain,
- climbing its rough cliffs, hushing the hissing
serpents, taming the beasts of prey, - and bathe in its
streams, rest in its cool grottos, and drink from its living
fountains?  The way winds and widens in the valley;
up the hill it is straight and narrow, and few there be that
find it."

MISC 324


   His converse with the watchers and workers in the
valley closes, and he makes his way into the streets of a
city made with hands.
   Pausing at the threshold of a palatial dwelling, he
knocks and waits.  The door is shut.  He hears the
sounds of festivity and mirth; youth, manhood, and age
gayly tread the gorgeously tapestried parlors, dancing-halls,
and banquet-rooms.  But a little while, and the
music is dull, the wine is unsipped, the footfalls abate,
the laughter ceases.  Then from the window of this dwelling
a face looks out, anxiously surveying him who waiteth
at the door.
   Within this mortal mansion are adulterers, fornicators,
idolaters; drunkenness, witchcraft, variance, envy, emulation,
hatred, wrath, murder.  Appetites and passions
have so dimmed their sight that he alone who looks from
that dwelling, through the clearer pane of his own heart
tired of sin, can see the Stranger.
   Startled beyond measure at beholding him, this mortal
inmate withdraws; but growing more and more troubled,
he seeks to leave the odious company and the cruel walls,
and to find the Stranger.  Stealing cautiously away from
his comrades, he departs; then turns back, - he is afraid
to go on and to meet the Stranger.  So he returns to the
house, only to find the lights all wasted and the music
fled.  Finding no happiness within, he rushes again
into the lonely streets, seeking peace but finding none.
Naked, hungry, athirst, this time he struggles on, and
at length reaches the pleasant path of the valley at the
foot of the mountain, whence he may hopefully look for
the reappearance of the Stranger, and receive his heavenly
guidance.

MISC 325


   The Stranger enters a massive carved stone mansion,
and saith unto the dwellers therein, "Blessed are the
poor in spirit:  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  But
they understand not his saying.
   These are believers of different sects, and of no sect;
some, so-called Christian Scientists in sheep's clothing;
and all "drunken without wine."  They have small conceptions
of spiritual riches, few cravings for the immortal,
but are puffed up with the applause of the world:  they
have plenty of pelf, and fear not to fall upon the Stranger,
seize his pearls, throw them away, and afterwards try to

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 (c) Copyright 1998 - Rolf Witzsche
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