"As a hen gathereth her chickens"

There is no student of Christian Science who does not frequently ponder the assuring promises of the ninety-first psalm, one of these being, "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." This conveys many lessons, and reminds us that in venturing but a short distance beyond the hearing of a mother hen's beckoning call, the brood may encounter snares and pitfalls. Above, a keen-eyed hawk may circle; in easy proximity a wily cat may crouch; while the pranks of the mischievous house-dog are not unknown to tiny chicks. The brood, or a part of it, may thus become a ready prey, while the anxious mother is vainly recalling her helpless band from unseen perils.

It would not be difficult just here to picture the shelter which the little ones find beneath the instinctively outspread wings; or to sense the comfort and content environing these tender mites when snuggling securely within the feathered castle of a mother's care, or to detect withal the hen's genuine satisfaction, and her steadfast vigilance, as with the nestlings thus trustfully reposing she exercises a self-elected sovereignty akin to that of the proud monarch who wields a jeweled scepter of empire.

The above simple portrayal is aptly imaged by the "calm trust" of the Christian mentioned in Science and Health (p. 495). Mortal mind's behests would fain lure us on, even to the encompassing of a scope just outside the borders of discretion; on into the "snare of the fowler," the "noisome pestilence," the far country where only swine's husks abound. Be this as it may, there is no escaping the fact that the shadowed confines of Truth's ever expanding, ever protecting wings are at all times available. The gentle, pleading cadences of the "still small voice" are borne in upon the hearing ear, as its ringing notes are wafted from yonder Jerusalem even to the sensual Jerusalem of today's mortal consciousness: "How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"

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