Leaven and its Perversion

In order to illustrate heavenly truth, Jesus used analogies easily understood by simple people and home dwellers. He spoke of the rapid growth of the kingdom, for instance, as being like leaven penetrating the several measures of meal. Every housekeeper knows of the action of yeast in raising bread so that it becomes aerated, therefore palatable. The yeast plant develops by gemmation, or rapid–fire budding. Members of this plant family are also used for destructive fermentation of food products, which perverts their nature so that from what was saccharine comes what is alcoholic. Although the drunkard drinks bread, as one might say, he has hunger, poverty, degradation, stupidity, bravado, disease, and woe because of the perversion; instead of the quiet strength and courage and gratitude he might have. Brewers value the top yeast, which froths on the surface actively, and this gives good illustration of the violent multiplication of fear thoughts once they begin their gemmation from the original cell, that is, speaking exactly, the original lie or primary reversal of the truth.

Suppose that a fire fighting organization had not for some time had the eclat of fire fighting, and some extremist should actually start a fire so that the glory of the organization might show itself. Then if, as the battle between water and fire went on, it seemed for a time that the fire was winning, surely in that anxious hour there would come a determination on the part of the extremist never again to start a fire. It is interesting to note that one city refrained from interfering with church services during a recent epidemic, and that its medical men did not try to spread fear or panic. Once before some of them had in that city exploited to the full what it was thought might be a contagious disease, though they were not actually sure. At any rate, the obedient newspapers propagated the mental contagion of fear to such an extent that panic prevailed, and the medical teachers had to modify earlier statements, and finally to take their stand on the right side, the side of courage and trust in good. It was noteworthy, then, that while in other cities fear was encouraged to run riot in the minds of citizens, in this great city life was permitted to take almost its normal course.

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Editorial
Christian Churches
July 26, 1919
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