"Ready to distribute"

When Christ Jesus commanded his apostles to "go ... into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature," he set a task to which all earnest Christians must in some degree address themselves: for true discipleship with the Nazarene connotes obedience to his commands, in both their spirit and their letter; and without the former the latter is of no avail. This admonition translated into terms of present-day conditions, however, might well be understood to include the employment of modern methods of disseminating knowledge, unknown to the early Christians. For example, the gospel tidings may be carried through the medium of that "silent witness," the printed page, no less successfully, perhaps, than by the spoken word. Moreover, that a personal messenger "to every creature"—that is, to all mankind—would be quite impracticable of demonstration, is too obvious to need comment; that the printed word is both practicable and efficacious is equally apparent.

The children of Israel, even in their most sacred communications, both written and spoken, employed language expressed in an imagery derived from the daily experiences of a pastoral people. The planting, tending, and harvesting of the crops, the husbandry of cattle and sheep, were the prolific sources from which emanated the beautiful and inspiring figures which adorn the sacred pages of Scripture. To these faithful tillers of the soil the parables of the sower, of the vineyard, of the tares and the wheat, contained no unfamiliar metaphor. To them it was inevitable that the seed of Truth implanted in the soil of right desire, tended and nurtured in love, should bring forth an abundant harvest. Likewise, Mary Baker Eddy, in conveying her revelation to a waiting world, made good use of these familiar figures; and now "the fruit of the Spirit," the parent vine and its branches, "the full corn in the ear," find fitting place in the songs of rejoicing sung by Truth's happy harvesters. On page xi of the Preface to "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy states, "When God called the author to proclaim His Gospel to this age, there came also the charge to plant and water His vineyard." The care of the vineyard, so wisely and successfully planted by our revered Leader, now devolves upon those willing toilers who, having partaken of the fruits of her labors, rejoice in the opportunity to share the blessings which invariably reward the faithful husbandmen of Love's vineyard. The sowing of good seed, true ideas, upon the waiting soil,—thought prepared to receive it,—the tending of the plants, the joy at the unfoldment of bud and blossom, the ripening of the fruits, each after its own kind, constitute an example of divine Mind's operation and care which brings to both him who tends and him who shares a deep sense of grateful thanksgiving. And the ripened grain again scattered abroad in turn finds other receptive states of thought, takes root, and repeats the never ending process of unfoldment, with its fruitage of love, humility, obedience, purity, and spiritual living.

Paul urged upon his disciple Timothy the necessity of instructing his hearers to refrain from reliance upon the world's riches and instead to turn to the living God, that they might be "rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate," and thus "lay hold on eternal life." The importance which the Apostle to the Gentiles attached to the mental quality of willingness to share these blessings from above, contains an important lesson. May not this wise admonition be representative of the situation confronting Christian Scientists to-day regarding passing on to others Christ's blessed messages, which bring healing and peace to the sinful, sick, and weary? Gratitude for priceless blessings incident upon an understanding of the Christ, Truth, combined with earnest desire to promote the growth of mankind toward the stature of true manhood, may well find expression in joyfully conceived and carefully prepared articles for the Christian Science periodicals. These choice fruits of the Spirit, received lovingly and gratefully, and arranged in accordance with the highest conception of their fitness and harmony by those stewards chosen for the task, find place in The Christian Science Journal, the Christian Science Sentinel, and the Heralds, devised and established by our Leader as channels for the dissemination of the truth that regenerates and makes free. With their display of Spirit's choicest fruits, they may go to the uttermost parts of the globe, even to the confines of civilization, "where the trails run out in sand drifts;" in short, wherever mortal man has made his restless way.

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"Avoid voicing error"
March 11, 1922

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