Persuasion has often carried so much of self-will with it,—has often been so impregnated with the belief of personal desire and personal power,—that even its gentle use has sometimes been avoided when there is nothing which would have served a better purpose. When there has been a desire to coerce personally, and men have attempted to convince their neighbors, willy-nilly, through presenting all sorts of arguments in the attempt to persuade to their way of thinking, mistaken influence has seemed to prevail.

Persuasion is, however, quite another matter when regarded from the standpoint of Christian Science. When it is based on the truth, and the truth itself is allowed to do the persuading, then earthly elements are eliminated from its use and it becomes a part of God's own tender method for drawing to Himself all those who need to be convinced of the desirability of good and the undesirability of evil.

Mrs. Eddy must have been viewing persuasion from this divine standpoint when she wrote to a First Reader (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 247): "God has called you to be a fisher of men. It is not a stern but a loving look which brings forth mankind to receive your bestowal,—not so much eloquence as tender persuasion that takes away their fear, for it is Love alone that feeds them." Herein she differentiates most plainly between the personal, selfish purpose of attempting to push people into the kingdom of heaven, and that which she calls the "tender persuasion," which is the very influence of divine Love itself.

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November 6, 1926

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