Silence

Many striking passages in the Bible and in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy show that there is a time to speak and a time to be silent; there is the silence of Jesus and there is the silence of Judas, the silence of spiritual perception and authority which knows the nothingness and powerlessness of sin, and the silence of fear, hypocrisy, and dishonesty which would cover sin for the sake of a convenient peace. In those contrasts, the qualities of divine Mind—love, joy, peace, harmony, calmness—must dominate and destroy the qualities of the counterfeit carnal mind—indecision, doubt, hate, impetuosity, the self-assertion of human will. As Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health (p. 48): "Judas had the world's weapons. Jesus had not one of them, and chose not the world's means of defence. 'He opened not his mouth.' The great demonstrator of Truth and Love was silent before envy and hate. Peter would have smitten the enemies of his Master, but Jesus forbade him, thus rebuking resentment or animal courage. He said: "Put up thy sword.'" Just before this he had asked, "Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?"

It would have seemed incredible that a student of Jesus whom he had taught and loved could have betrayed him into the hands of evil, though outwardly professing admiration and friendship for him, but it was Jesus' detection and rejection of personal homage, the most subtle foe to be unmasked, that prepared him for the next step of overcoming the more visible manifestations of enraged personality. Had he made evil real by yielding to disappointment or resentment he could not have healed the high priest's servant instantaneously. Was it not the same crowd who shouted "Hosanna" on his entry into Jerusalem who later clamored "Crucify him, crucify him"? That crowd had lent itself to the mental apathy and inertia that allows malicious innuendoes to pass unchallenged, that was asleep to the intolerance and prejudice that permitted no honest investigation or attempt to understand what Jesus taught and lived, and therefore unconsciously played into the hands of rabbinical error, which ever seeks to destroy what opposes its false system and conventional standard. "And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him." Jesus' silence was not the silence of inertia, but the silence of demonstration. He knew that the oratory of personal magnetism and hypnotic influence were worthless counterfeits of divine power, and yet he prophetically said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away." Why? Because they were based on Principle, on the truth of being.

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December 3, 1921
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