In the parable of the talents the story is told of the man "who called his servants, and delivered unto them his goods," giving "to one five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability." The servants to whom he entrusted the five talents and the two talents, invested them wisely and were able to render to their master upon his return double increase, and received his commendation accordingly. It is related, however, that he who received but one talent—who manifested a limited sense—"went and digged in the earth and hid his lord's money,"—then sought to justify himself with this explanation: "Lord, I knew thee, that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou has not sown and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine."

The "hard man" is ever the tenant of the consciousness whose motive-springs are limitation and fear, and is the creature of its own imaginings, for the very reason that such a mentality is without power or capacity of its own, until released and transformed by the activity of Truth, to escape sufficiently from itself to comprehend the man of God's creating, or to pattern a concept at variance with these perverted tendencies which claim dominion over it. In the article "Love your Enemies," Mrs. Eddy asks, "Can you see an enemy, except you first formulate this enemy and then look upon the object of your own conception?" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 8). And it may be further asked: Where does the "hard man" dwell save in his self-made locality? It is to be noted in the parable that the two fellow-servants, working from a different viewpoint, received from the same master recognition and reward instead of the condemnation and punishment which fell to the lot of the "unprofitable servant." Paul admonishes: "To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey."

December 4, 1909

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