When Christ Jesus sent out the twelve disciples whom he had equipped for the work of evangelizing humanity, he bade them "heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils,"—a truly comprehensive program of service. He also bade them carry the peace which Truth bestows into every house they should enter, and he made it clear that where the message of peace was rejected it would not be lost. He said, "Let your peace return to you."

In addition to this, he provided for their protection. One might suppose that on such a mission no harm could even threaten these healers of mankind; but the Master knew better than this, he knew that the kind of healing which he had taught them to do would never bring peace to error, therefore he said, "I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." On another occasion he said, "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs [those outside of the spiritual fold], neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." The relation between these statements is obvious, and they recall the words of our revered Leader, "It is wise to be willing to wait on God, and to be wiser than serpents; ... to square accounts with each passing hour" (Messages to The Mother Church, p. 91). If all Christian Scientists heeded these admonitions, they would be spared many trying and needless experiences.

In the forceful language of Jeremiah we find this solemn warning: "Cursed be the man that trusteth in [mortal] man, and maketh flesh his arm." Did not the Master say that none is good but God? We therefore see the reason why we should go to God first with our joys and our sorrows, that the former may be purified, spiritualized, and the latter healed by Truth and Love. If we hasten to tell even our fellow workers of our blessings and our clearer realization of the truth, we may lose these and may hinder another from seeking the truth direct from its source. If we thrust upon the unprepared thought statements of truth, we are liable to be regarded as boastful, however clear they may be to us, and we need not be surprised if material belief turns upon us and rends us, even as the Master said. It goes without saying that we should be too wise to voice error. If we do this in any way, we may thereby bind heavy and grievous burdens upon others, as did the Pharisees of old. The work of Christ's followers is "to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free."

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August 19, 1911

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