dead," most concerns mankind. It implies such an elevation
of the understanding as will enable thought to apprehend
the living beauty of Love, its practicality, its divine
energies, its health-giving and life-bestowing qualities, -
yea, its power to demonstrate immortality. This end Jesus
achieved, both by example and precept.
Third: This leads inevitably to a consideration of another
part of Christian Science work, - a part which concerns
us intimately, - preaching the gospel.
This evangelistic duty should not be so warped as to
signify that we must or may go, uninvited, to work in other
vineyards than our own. One would, or should, blush to
enter unasked another's pulpit, and preach without the
consent of the stated occupant of that pulpit. The Lord's
command means this, that we should adopt the spirit of
the Saviour's ministry, and abide in such a spiritual attitude
as will draw men unto us. Itinerancy should not be
allowed to clip the wings of divine Science. Mind demonstrates
omnipresence and omnipotence, but Mind revolves
on a spiritual axis, and its power is displayed and its presence
felt in eternal stillness and immovable Love. The
divine potency of this spiritual mode of Mind, and the hindrance
opposed to it by material motion, is proven beyond
a doubt in the practice of Mind-healing.
In those days preaching and teaching were substantially
one. There was no church preaching, in the modern sense
of the term. Men assembled in the one temple (at Jerusalem)
for sacrificial ceremonies, not for sermons. Into
the synagogues, scattered about in cities and villages, they
went for liturgical worship, and instruction in the Mosaic
law. If one worshipper preached to the others, he did so
informally, and because he was bidden to this privileged
duty at that particular moment. It was the custom to pay
this hortatory compliment to a stranger, or to a member
who had been away from the neighborhood; as Jesus was
once asked to exhort, when he had been some time absent
from Nazareth but once again entered the synagogue which
he had frequented in childhood.
Jesus' method was to instruct his own students; and he
watched and guarded them unto the end, even according
to his promise, "Lo, I am with you alway!" Nowhere in
the four Gospels will Christian Scientists find any precedent
for employing another student to take charge of
their students, or for neglecting their own students, in
order to enlarge their sphere of action.
Above all, trespass not intentionally upon other people's
thoughts, by endeavoring to influence other minds to any
action not first made known to them or sought by them.
Corporeal and selfish influence is human, fallible, and temporary;
but incorporeal impulsion is divine, infallible, and
eternal. The student should be most careful not to thrust
aside Science, and shade God's window which lets in light,
or seek to stand in God's stead.
Does the faithful shepherd forsake the lambs, - retaining
his salary for tending the home flock while he is serving
another fold? There is no evidence to show that Jesus
ever entered the towns whither he sent his disciples; no
evidence that he there taught a few hungry ones, and then
left them to starve or to stray. To these selected ones (like
"the elect lady" to whom St. John addressed one of his
epistles) he gave personal instruction, and gave in plain
words, until they were able to fulfil his behest and depart
on their united pilgrimages. This he did, even though
one of the twelve whom he kept near himself betrayed
him, and others forsook him.