THE SOWER, THE SEED,
THE SOIL

BY

WILLIAM W. WALTER

PUBLISHED AND FOR SALE
BY

WILLIAM W. WALTER

25 North Spencer Street,
AUKOEA, ILLINOIS.

Father, I don’t know that I ever enjoyed myself as I have the last few days,
and my wife and children say the same.”

“It makes my heart glad to hear you say this, Florien. Mother and I have often
wondered whether you had not entirely forgotten the home of your boyhood, for you
never seemed inclined to pay us a visit. Do you realize that it is more than eight
years since you have been here!”

” ‘My old home.’ How sweet those words sound, and what a flood of thought
surges through my mind from the pleasant past! No, father, it was not forget-
fulness that kept me from paying you a visit, but it seemed that I just could not get
my affairs in shape to leave them, until recently.”

The second speaker was a tall, stately man of perhaps sixty years, but so well
preserved that those who did not know his age would not guess Michael Regnets to
be a day over fifty. The younger man, named Florien, thirty-eight years of age,
was the eldest son of Michael Regnets. Eight years previous to the opening of this
story he had gone to the far west to seek his fortune, taking his wife and three chil-
dren, two boys and a girl, aged seven, five and two, respectively, with him. The older
gentleman looked at the speaker, and a faint smile hovered upon his lips, as he
answered :

“Son, you stated that exactly right.’ ‘

The son looked up with a surprised look
and said:

“I don’t understand. What was it that I said exactly right?”

“You said: ‘But it seemed that I just could not get my affairs in shape to leave
them,* and I wished to call your attention to the fact that it was only in the seem-
ing.”

“But, father, it is the truth.”

“So it seems to you ; but, in fact and in truth, it is not correct. You allowed your
business to dominate you, when in reality no business has dominion. God gave man
dominion, and what God gave he never takes back; hence man has dominion now,
and, according to Scripture, ‘over all the earth, ‘ his business included.”

After a moment’s surprised silence, Florien said:

“Well, well, that is surely a new way to look at things. I suppose this view
has something to do with the new religion that you have occasionally written me
about.”

“Yes. And after seven years of careful thought I find this new religion, as you are
pleased to call it, absolutely correct, and in full accord with the teachings of Jesus of
Nazareth.”

” Father, after receiving your first letter on this subject I followed your advice and
looked into this matter a little, but I did not find anything that vitally interested
me.”

” What did you find!”

“Oh, I found that they had a church in our city with a hundred or more members,
and that there was a lady in town who posed as a healer, but there seemed to be
nothing extraordinary happening — I mean, no raising of the dead or instantaneous
cures of cripples, as is related in the Scriptures. I even asked our family physician
about it, and he said it was all nonsense. ‘ ‘

A hearty laugh followed these words of the younger man, who, looking at his father
with surprise, said. “Why, father, what are you laughing at?”

“At what you expected to see, and also that you were innocent enough to ask advice from one who would know next to nothing of the new-old healing power of Truth, and probably wished that he had heard even less about it.”

“Oh, I also talked with a man who had had treatment and was not healed. He told
me in confidence that he himself thought it was all a fraud and he would never have
consented to take the treatment only that his wife almost insisted that he try it. He
said that he was not benefited and knew of others that had not been benefited, and
therefore he and I concluded that if it did not heal all cases there was not much to it.

“Indeed! Let me ask, do the medical doctors heal all cases?

“Why, no, of course not.”

“Then, by the same kind of reasoning, there can not be much to drug healing,
either.”

“I hadn’t thought of that, but I see that you are right. No one thinks that the
doctors will cure all cases. But to claim a certain method to be the method of the Christ
is to infer that we may expect the uniform good results that followed the efforts of
Jesus.’ ‘

“And the same results would follow in every case, were it not for the fact that, as
yet, the practitioners are all disciples, students, and not masters, of the Christ-
method, none having arrived at the same depth of understanding of Life, God, that
Jesus had; but they are on the way and already rejoice in some understanding and
are able to do many things that in times past were thought impossible, many so-
called incurable cases having been healed through the efforts of these students of
the Master’s method.

“Still, I do not see why there should be any failures.”

“There are several things that make seeming failure possible. I will read you
something from the Bible. The sixth chapter of Mark states : ‘And he went out from
thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples followed him. And when
the Sabbath day was come he began to teach them in the synagogue: and many
hearing him were astonished, saying, from whence hath this man these sayings? and
what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are
wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of
James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And
they were offended at him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without hon-
our, but in his own country, and among his own Join, and in his own house. And he
could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk and
healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief”

Laying the Bible down, Mr. Eegnets looked at his son and said:

” Haven ‘t we an exact parallel in human kind today of the condition mentioned by-
Mark ; the same unbelief in the power and might of God, the same unbelief in those
who are courageous enough to stand for the omnipotence of God, the same distrust
of those who teach something newer and better? I think you will agree with me
that we have these same conditions to contend with and the wonder is, not that some
are not healed, but rather that so many thousands have been healed under these
unfavorable conditions. And these cures speak volumes in support of the honesty,
selflessness, charity, purity and persistent effort to do good to their fellow men on the
part of those who have enlisted in the practice of Christian healing as taught and
demonstrated by Mrs. Eddy, the earnest disciple of the Christ.”

“Yes, I agree that the world is full of skepticism and skeptics. Doubt and distrust of one another is a characteristic of nearly all business men and women, but how you can consistently connect this distrust of one’s neighbor or his motives with the failure to heal is more than I can under stand’

“I will try to make it plain to you. God is Truth, is He not?”
” Yes, so I was taught, and still believe.” “In Christian Science we are taught that
God, or Truth is the healer. The Truth cure is the only real cure or healing, mak-
ing whole. In a booklet entitled ‘ Christian Healing, ‘ page 13, Mrs. Eddy writes :
‘What are the foundations of metaphysical healing? Mind, divine science, the
truth of being that casts out error and thus heals the sick.’ According to this state-
ment, it is the truth of being, the truth of or about life, the truth or reality of exist
ence, apprehended, comprehended, understood, that frees the individual mind from
it’s error, from its previous misconceptions or erroneous beliefs, and this heals them.
How reasonable it all is when once understood, for all disease is of mental origin.
It must be, for matter has no power to think, consequently it could make no condi-
tions whatever. Therefore, we must look to the human consciousness, or mortal
mind, for the error that is producing the bodily condition which we have named sick-
ness.”

“Father, I have grasped a little of what you have said, but I do not see how an
error in my thought could possibly be responsible for an illness in my body.”

“The mind of the individual is outside of the body, for the body is merely the
embodiment or visible manifestation of the mind, and always corresponds thereto in
feeling, action and the like. The body is much like an echo. You shout, and the
echo comes back. You think, ‘I feel sick/ Back from the body comes the echo, ‘I feel
sick/ Then you think that the sickness originated in the body, being ignorant of
the fact that the sick condition is merely the echo of the sick thought that you al-
lowed yourself to think and express. You next view the sickness as a real condition,
and forthwith send out a constant mental shout, ‘I am sick,’ and thus the echo is
prolonged, or continued indefinitely. The human mind seems ignorant of the fact
that each seed (thought) shall bear fruit (effect) after its kind, the erring, discord-
ant thought bearing dis-ease and the true thought bearing health and harmony.’ ‘

“Can what you have just said be true?”
“Yes, it is fact and can be so demonstrated by each individual through a careful study of the Science of Life, Christian Science, and then putting into daily practice the right method of thought, as taught in Christian Science, thinking only health, happiness, peace, love and good will toward others at all times.”

“What a revelation, if it be true! I do not wish you to think that I doubt your
word, father, but the thought is so new and contrary to my previous ideas that I can
scarcely give credence to what yon have said.”

“I could hardly expect you to accept all this at once. In fact, I should prefer that
you try out in your own experience what I have said, and let the results of this bet-
ter way of life be judged by the greater blessings and happiness that will follow
its practice.”

“I shall certainly make the attempt to keep illness and trouble out of my thought
in the future, for surely no good can come from such thoughts, even if they do not
bring sickness and trouble.”

“You will find it to be as I have said, but you must remember that five minutes
of right thought and five hours of wrong thought will not keep you well. It is the
habitual good thought that keeps us continually well. As Mrs. Eddy states, good
must predominate in the thought ; and this is surely just. Health must predominate
in our thoughts if we wish health to predominate in our lives.”

“I shall surely put it to the test. Please tell me more, father, as I am thoroughly
interested/ ‘

There is so much to tell that I hardly know where to begin.’ ‘

“Perhaps you can enlighten me as to why it is that, if this healing is accomplished by God or through His gracious means, all cases are not instantly healed,
for it seems to me that if it is God that does the healing it must be accomplished
on the instant, as He is all-powerful and nothing can stay His power.’ ‘

“You still have the common human view of God in mind or you would not ask this
question. You will please remember that I said, and you admitted, that God is
Truth, and it is Truth that heals.’ ‘

“Yes, I admit that God is Truth, but if Truth is all-powerful, why does it not heal
instantly?”

“Bemember the scriptural statement, that Jesus did not many mighty works in
his native town, because of their unbelief. And here is another statement from Mrs.
Eddy which is similar. i Although Truth is all-powerful, yet you need the ear of
your auditor/ Now to explain: Jesus spoke truth (the truth of being) to
his hearers, perhaps mentally, perhaps audibly, but they did not believe (accept)
his statements as truth, hence remained in their former thought and its consequent
ills. To further illustrate: If I tell you truth and you do not accept it as truth, you
are in no wise changed or affected by what I say, and therefore you are in the same
mental mood as before I spoke, and so it was with those that Jesus tried to help
in his own town. They thought of him as simply a carpenter and gave no credence
to what he said ; hence they were not benefited (healed), because of their unbelief.”

“Then, according to what you have said, it is only possible for those who believe to
be healed.”

“It has not been found impossible to heal those who do not at first believe ; in many
cases there is much unbelief in the beginning, but many unbelievers are also open
to reason, and as these feel the benefit of truth, their unbelief changes more or less
to faith and then the healing is fully consummated/ ‘

“Do you wish me to understand that a patient must or ought to believe that the
practitioner can heal him?”

“Decidedly not. The practitioner as a person has no power to heal. I wish you
to understand that the patient ought to believe that God can heal him, or at least
believe, if only in a degree, that he can be healed or benefited through mental
treatment. We must not lose sight of the fact that disease is of mental origin, a state
of self-deception or self -mesmerism, and if the one who is self -deceived insists on hugging his deception to him in the very face of Truth, then such an one is in reality a
rejector of God, Truth, and surely we could hardly expect God in His divine justice to force such an one to accept Him.”

“Father, this is more than I can grasp at present; you have given me food for
much thought. But let me ask, do Christian Scientists ever fail to heal them-
selves !”

“Yes, occasionally. You will remember that all are students as yet, and not mas-
ters of this science as Jesus was. Again, many know much of Truth in a cursory
way but have not proven for themselves the absoluteness of Truth. Still others
know Truth quite thoroughly, but when attempting to heal themselves do not actually believe the truth that they say and think. Hence these are in a state
of unbelief regarding Truth and do not receive the healing they crave i because of
their unbelief. ‘ This happens most frequently when the student is under the
immediate stress of pain or when the erroneous physical condition is so much
in evidence that it takes more actual understanding of the truth of being than
the student possesses to overcome the erring sense, and to recognize harmony
and Truth as the only reality of being. Do you understand what I have said?”

“I hardly know, but it seems to me that you wish me to understand that it is the
recognition of the truth about our life or existence that will help us overcome errors
regarding life, and in this way we are benefited by Truth/ ‘

“Yes; humanity has in general taken an erroneous view regarding Life and
being, and this erring view is the cause of all this seeming pain and trouble, and
therefore when we become conscious of the actual truth regarding God and man
we are freed from our former erring views and their sharp consequences, named sickness, sin, trouble, poverty and the like. You will remember that Jesus said, ‘Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”

“Is it possible that Jesus ‘ words pertain to that which you have just told me?”

1 i What else could he have meant ? Truth is mental, and truth only can free us from
error, for error is also mental. Knowing the law of mind, that each seed (thought)
bears fruit (effect) after its kind, Jesus saw the terrible bodily effects wrought by
wrong thought, or error in consciousness, and knowing further that all action must
proceed from the mind, as the body has none of its own, he changed the bodily
effects by casting out the erring thought from the consciousness of those who applied to him for help. This was done, not through a supernatural power, but in a divinely natural way, simply by presenting to the consciousness that was in error the actual truth. This freed the consciousness from its own self-deceptions and the body, being thereafter governed by the truth in consciousness, manifested this truth as harmony or health, the natural or real condition of life. Jesus knew that it was a law of consciousness that, if it was in error regarding anything, it would be freed, or could free itself, only by becoming aware of the truth ; so he said, i Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free/ ”

“Father, that all looks more reasonable to me now, but what is the truth that we
should know and which will set us free?”

“It is the truth of being, the truth of life itself, the actual truth about our
existence; not a knowing of what we call physical cause and effect, but rather a
knowing of mental cause and effect.

“But where can I learn this truth of being !”

“The Bible teaches it. Jesus and his disciples, through symbol, metaphor and parable, taught it. Mrs. Eddy, in her book, ‘ Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures,’ through comment, explanation, translation and interpretation, teaches it, and lastly, through her individual exemplification and demonstration, she pointed out, to all who care to follow, the way to overcome all our present difficulties, and ultimately to attain union with that perfect, divine Mind which was in Christ Jesus, and gave him dominion over even the last enemy, which the Scriptures declare to be death.”

“Admitting that all that you say is true, how is a busy man like myself to find the
necessary time to acquire this truth of being? I have a large business, a wife and
several children to look after.”

Mr. Eegnets looked at his son and smiled as he said, “Humanity has not changed
much after all, for here is my son offering the same excuses for not coming to the
marriage feast, that Jesus, two thousand years ago, mentioned as favorite excuses. ‘ ‘
“I do not catch your meaning, father/ ‘ “I will make it plain. You will remember that Jesus, to illustrate his teaching, often used parables, and upon one occasion he wished to illustrate how men never seem to have the time to acquaint themselves with God, and that even those who claimed to be of the true fold (the children of Israel) were also too worldly- minded to think much of Spirit. So the Master likened the at-one-ment with God
to a marriage feast, and represented the master of the feast as telling his servants
to go to all the friends and brethren, the children of Israel, and bid them come ; but
all sent excuses. One had a farm that needed attention, while others had some
other material affairs that they could not leave. The master of the feast then turned
away from the friends (children of Israel) and commanded his servants to go out into

the highways and byways and invite the strangers, and still others were compelled
to attend. It is the aching and troubled heart that soonest turns to God. Thus
we see today, not the adherents of old theology, the professed friends of Christ,
as attendants at the marriage feast, the true at-one-ment with God, but instead we
see at the feast those from the highways and byways. Some came willingly, while
others were compelled to come, some because of sickness, some because of poverty,
some because of conscience, for many could not reconcile the outgrown theological
teachings of the churches with their reason. Truly the new guests, the strangers, have
come from the highways and byways. From every nation, tribe, creed, position and con-
dition they have come and are still coming to the marriage feast, to the truth of
being as taught and exemplified by the Christian Science church and the Christian
Science teachings/

“I surely believe that you have interpreted that parable correctly, and if you
have, it is scriptural evidence that the truth would be likely to be rejected by the pro-
fessed Christian and established church

“Yes; so I see it. There is a little more to this parable which I wish to call your
attention to.”

“Very well, father, I am all attention.”

1 i The parable of the wedding appears in Luke and Matthew. Luke speaks of a
great supper, while Matthew speaks of a wedding dinner. No doubt it is one and
the same parable retold by two different persons, and that which I wish to call your
attention to is recorded in verses eleven and twelve of the twenty-second chapter
of Matthew: ‘And when the king came in to see the guests, he saiv a man which had
not on a wedding garment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how earnest thou in
hither not having on a wedding garment? And he was speechless. This wedding garment is the actual knowing of truth, instead of merely believing in God, the
parable indicating that even were it possible to get to eternal harmony through
the belief route, the position could not be maintained, for the lack of understanding
would at once be apparent at the first attempt of the individual to work out one of
life’s greater problems. The parable indicates that the individual would, under the
circumstances, be bound hand and foot by human beliefs so that he could not see the
truth, and that these very beliefs would cast him into outer darkness, ignorance of
truth, and there would be wailing and gnashing of teeth. There would be inestimable sorrow, in the knowing that he must again start at the foot of the ladder
and climb up through actual understanding instead of belief.”

“I am astonished at what you say. It will be necessary for all to turn about and start again before they can reach the kingdom of heaven if what you say is true.”

“In the gospel of St. John, Jesus is represented as saying: ‘Verily, verily, I say
unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God/ To be
born is, as it were, to become conscious, and at present, when mortals are born, they
imbibe the idea that matter is real, and so take on a false sense of all things, and
Jesus was showing with his words about being ‘born again,’ that there would need
to come a second birth, a birth into the true consciousness, before W£ can become
aware of Truth; for, in the words of Jesus, ‘that which is born of the flesh is
flesh ; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. ‘ To me this means that what-
ever is conceived in or of error is error, while all that is conceived of Truth is true
or real. Am I tiring you, Florien!”

“No, indeed. I don’t believe I was ever so interested in anything in my life, as

I have been in your interpretations of these parables. I wish you would explain some
more of them.”

“I am heartily glad that you are interested, as I have hoped that I could present
Christian Science to you in such a reasonable manner that you would see enough
in it so that when you go back home you will continue its study. Truly, son, I have
never in my whole life found any study half so interesting and so wonderfully
helpful. Eeally, it solves all my questions relative to the present life and also to that
which has been termed the hereafter.”

1 ‘ Father, I had no idea that you were so vitally engrossed as that, and knowing that
you have always looked upon the practical side of life as the only side worth while,
I am becoming convinced that you have found something of practical and everyday value in Christian Science.”

“That is the beauty of this grand teaching. One doesn’t have to wait until some time in the mystical future for his reward, but it shows us how and why we can get
the good we earn at once, here and now. You will remember that Jesus said the
harvest is now, and what other word is more descriptive of reward than the word
1 harvest/ for the harvest is surely the husbandman’s reward.”

“How clear you make all these Bible statements, and how well they all harmonize with common sense when rightly understood! Tell me, father, can you also give me light on the parable of the sower?
It seems that this parable would be in line with what you said about the harvest.”

“The parable of the sower has no especial connection with Jesus’ statement about
the harvest time, other than to emphasize the fact that there is a time to sow as well
as a time to reap, and if the time to harvest is now, it must also be true that the time
to sow is now.”

“Yes, I seem to see that this must be true. Will you please tell me of the
parable of the sower?”

“I shall be pleased to do so. This is one of the parables that Jesus himself
interpreted to the disciples when alone with them, and has been the basis of
innumerable sermons. I myself have heard many sermons preached from this parable,
and it would seem that those who had preached a sermon from it must have
understood it, but it is easily apparent to the Christian Scientist that such was not
the case. An account of this parable is found in Matthew, Mark and Luke, and
they vary but little in their versions of it, there being just an occasional word that is
different. I shall read the parable as found in Mark, fourth chapter, because of
a few of the words that he uses in speaking of the interpretation. ‘And he taught
them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: and it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the wayside and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it hath not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
And some fell among thorns and the thorns grew up, and choked it and it yielded no
fruit. And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and
increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred/ ”

Mr. Eegnets stopped reading and, glancing at his son, said :

“That is the parable of the sower. It is further stated in this same chapter that
when Jesus and his disciples were alone they asked him the meaning of the parable.
Here is his answer. ‘Know ye not this parable*? and how then will ye know all
parables?’ In these few words of the Master is a world of meaning. To me it seems
as though he had said something equivalent to the following : I am surprised to
note that you do not understand this parable, because it is based upon the prin-
ciple of healing and saving which I have all along been teaching you, and if you
cannot understand the basis of healing when it is clearly shown, how can you
expect to understand the parables which I shall tell you later, in which the basis is
more obscure? In fact, in this parable I have shown you the exact workings of God
in healing and saving; nevertheless I will interpret the parable so that it may be
clear to your thought.

” ‘The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the wayside, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and have no root in themselves and so endure but for a time: afterward when affliction or persecution ariseth
for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are
sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceit-
fulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it
becomes unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as
hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty
and some an hundred.’ ”

Mr. Eegnets placed the Bible on the table, but before he could speak, Florien
said: “What a beautiful parable that is, and how clear the interpretation ‘

“Do you fully understand the interpretation?

“Yes, father, it is very plain; besides, I have heard our minister expound it several times.’ ‘

“Then if you understand, why did you ask me to interpret it ! ”

“Why, father, I thought you did interpret it. The remarks you made before you
read the interpretation from the Bible made it all clear.”

“My remarks perhaps made it clear that Jesus was surprised, or that he made it
appear that he was surprised, to note that his disciples did not understand the parable, and further that no doubt Jesus wished to impress their thought with the necessity of understanding this parable because it was of a basic nature.”

“Yes, I see that plainly, and then you read the interpretation, and having heard
our minister explain it, I am sure that I fully understand.”

Florien, if you understand that parable in its fullness, you then know the exact
method in which God heals the sick and the sinner. You could then also heal the
sick, in the same way that the disciples healed. You would also have very little
trouble in interpreting any of the other parables, and you would also be able to
teach others the Christian Science method of healing, for all this wisdom is shown
through this parable. Do you think you can do these things with the understand-
ing that you have?”

“Why, father, certainly not; you surely are not in earnest when you say that a
right understanding of this parable would make me capable of all these things.”

“If your minister could understandingly expound this parable, he would understand how Truth heals and saves, and if he knew what the sower ought to know he would not only know how Truth, God, heals but he would also himself know how to heal through the Christ method.”

Florien was silent for a moment and placed his hand to his forehead as though confused or in deep thought. Then looking squarely at his father he said:

“You have gone beyond my comprehension, or at least I do not understand your words. I cannot see how an understanding of this parable would enable me to heal the sick.”

“This parable tells exactly what takes place when a Christian Science treatment
is given; in fact, it tells just how Truth heals and under what conditions.”

“If this be true then I must admit that I do not yet understand this parable, as I
have no inkling of how God heals. Can you explain so that I can understand?”

“I can explain and will do my very best to make it all plain, but it is left for you to
do the understanding, as this is the work of each individual. There are several
statements of Jesus that point this out — for instance, Mark 4:9, ‘And he said unto
them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 9 — in other words, He that hath understanding, let him apply this understanding to what I have said. In Matthew 13:12
is a statement that is in accord with the above. It is/For whosoever hath, to him
shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from
him shall be taken away even that he hath.’ ”

“Father, I have read that last statement many times, and to tell the truth about it,
I do not like it, for it does not seem reasonable that God would deal so unjustly
as to give more to those who already have plenty and take away the little that the
poor have.”

Mr. Regnets could not entirely hide the smile that arose to his lips as he said:

“In times past, when I was poor in this world’s goods, I confess that I also thought
there must be something wrong with that statement, as I could not reconcile such a
method with the thought of a just God.”

“But you have now got so you can see the justice of taking from the poor the
little that thev mav have?”

* k No. Neither did Jesus so teach, though the statement holds true to a certain extent in human experience with regard to material possessions; but it is not God’s law that makes it so. It is simply the way of the world, contrary to the way of God, However, Jesus was not speaking of worldly goods at all, as the context shows ; he was speaking relative to the understanding. He who hath understanding will naturally get more, and he
who hath no understanding has none to lose. Jesus did not say that the little
understanding that he hath shall be taken away. The statement is, ‘from him shall
be taken away that he hath/ In other words, the individual who has some understanding of Truth, God, will gain more, while the man who has no understanding of God, has yet an erroneous belief about God, and this is ‘even that he hath/ and this erroneous belief shall be taken away, because, sooner or later, all will acquire an understanding of God. The Scripture says: ‘God will have all men to be saved and to come into a knowledge of the truth.’ ”

“How blind I have been, and how reasonable it all is when we hear the true
explanation ! said Florien.

1 • Yes ; I have said the same many times in the last few years, as understanding
came to me. I shall now give you my best thought relative to the parable of the
sower. Jesus said, ‘A sower went forth to sow. ‘ Let us examine these words and see
who and what is meant by a sower. In the literal sense we should say that a sower
is one who sows seed or grain. In the application he would be one who sows thought, and if the thought is spoken, the sower sows the words he speaks. The speaker would be the sower, and his words would be the seed, and those who hear the words would be the soil. We often hear it said that a certain speaker sowed the seed of discord in the hearts of his hearers. But the sower that Jesus had in mind when he related his parable was one who was sowing good seed, meaning thereby not merely a good man, according to the human
concept, but one who understood the truth of being. Such a man was Jesus, and the
seed he was sowing was the true word, the scientific truth about Life, God, Being;
and it was this truth of being which he had in mind when he said, ‘Ye shall know the
truth and the truth shall make you free.’ That is, ye shall sometime know the actual
truth about being, and consequently you will cease believing that to be true about
life which has no part in it, and will find yourselves free from the baneful results of
your erring thought.”

“The sower, then, that Jesus speaks of in this parable was a sower of good seed,
and good seed consists of true thoughts and words, based upon an actual under-
standing of God and His law, and not of the personal thought or word of those who
merely believe in God and His law. A believer may be entirely wrong, but an
understander is one who actually knows, and the thought and word that come from
such an one must be good seed, right thought or right words.’ ‘

“The varying kinds of ground upon which this good seed falls consist of the
varying states of thought or consciousness of the hearers/ ‘

” ‘Some fell by the wayside.’ Jesus’ explanation is, ‘When any one heareth the
word and under standeth it not. This seed is seemingly lost. ‘ Then cometh the wicked
one (general and individual false belief) and catcheth away that which was sown
in his heart.’ The former erroneous view is held in consciousness as the truth,
regardless of what has been heard, and soon the true idea is forgotten.”

And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they
have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness.’ A stony ground is a
ground in which there is not much earth or substance, symbolizing no depth of
thought or understanding. Such people are not absolute unbelievers, like those ‘by
the wayside/ but are believers without understanding, those who rely on blind
faith, and through faith take for granted that which they have heard to be truth.
Their change from belief in falsehood to a belief in truth is rewarded by a bettered
condition or ‘ gladness.’ ‘And have no root in themselves.’ They have no conception of truth, no understanding, but have merely changed their form of belief. ‘And so endure for a time.’ These believers will side with truth as long as all goes well with them. ‘Afterwards when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. ‘ But when things go contrary to what they have expected or believed, not knowing the truth of being, they renounce their better belief and are again in their former erroneous thought. ”

‘And these are they which are sown among thorns, such as hear the word, and the cares of the world (the general work and pleasure of human life) and the deceitfulness of riches (the erring view that we must be rich in material things before we can have happiness) and the lusts of other things (the absorbing desire to gain that which we have not merited, unrighteous desire to have that which another possesses) entering in choke the word/ We become so absorbed in striving to outdo our fellowmen that we forget to act up to our highest concept of right, — in other words, we strangle the good we know that
we ought to do, and so the word ‘ becomes unfruitful.’ Not putting into actual practice the truth we know, the ^word can bear no fruit

” ‘And these are theys which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word (such as are ready to let reason and understanding be their guide) and receive it and take truth as they find it, without caviling at its demands), and bring forth fruit/ Meeting these demands with a fervent desire to conform to them in thought, word and deed, many through practical application of truth bring to fruition that which they have heard and understood of the science of being. ‘Some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred/ Some will be able to multiply, in their own lives and among men, the good which they have
received thirtyfold, and some sixtyfold, and some will make their lives so fruitful
that the harvest will be, in appearance, a hundred times as great as the seed.”

Mr. Regnets now looked at his son, expecting him to speak, but as he did not

he said: “Have I not made it plain, Florien?”

“Yes, father, I think you have given me a deeper insight into the truth of the parable of the sower, but I fail to connect anything you have said with healing the sick.”

“Oh, that is the stumbling block, is it? Well, I will try to show you the connection.
In Science and Health, page 31, line 24, Mrs. Eddy writes, ‘ Jesus of Nazareth was
the most scientific man that ever trod the globe. He plunged beneath the material
surface of things, and found the spiritual cause.’ Through this method Jesus knew
that men are not corporeal beings with brains that formulate thought, but, on the
contrary, that men are mentalities, and that human consciousness governs the
body, and that all diseases are of mental origin instead of bodily origin, and that
physical troubles are merely the result of the wrong thoughts or beliefs in human
consciousness. As I said before, Jesus knew this to be the case, and thus he was
able, through this deeper insight into the actual cause of sickness and trouble, to
heal and also teach others the way to heal. Knowing that the belief of sin or sickness
in consciousness would be manifested in the body as sickness so long as it remained
and no longer, because the body expresses what the consciousness believes, just as a
mirror reflects a likeness of the object held before it, he knew that to change the belief in consciousness is to change the condition shown forth in the body.”

1 ‘He also knew that to make the consciousness every whit whole, so that it will
never again fall under the bondage of any sickness, it must become aware of the truth
of being; that is, it must rise from ignorance or mere belief to a position of actual
understanding: for those who have the understanding regarding anything whatsoever cannot again be deceived into believing in that which is contrary to their understanding. Jesus also knew that a belief in truth is better than a belief in error, and so for immediate relief he counseled those who could not understand to at least have faith in truth, knowing that if they did so it would be only a matter of time when their faith would be changed to actual understanding/ ‘

“Having seen that disease is the false product of an erring consciousness, we can
now see more clearly what connection the parable of the sower has with healing the
sick. The Christian Science practitioner of today, who is striving to follow the teach-
ings of the Master, is the sower, sowing the word, the truth. In any given case the
consciousness of the sick person is the soil, and this soil has been found by practi-
tioners to be just as Jesus describes it in this parable. Many of the sick are like
those by the wayside. When they are told of truth, their own personal beliefs are so thoroughly fixed that they give no place in consciousness to the consideration of
truth, but jump to the conclusion that what they do not believe or know cannot be true,
and so the words of truth spoken to them are snatched away, forgotten. This kind
of consciousness, not allowing truth a hearing, must of necessity wait until the
very suffering that its own beliefs produce compels it to come as a last resort with
open mind to the truth. ”

“Others that come to Christian Science practitioners are like the stony ground.
They come to truth with some degree of belief in truth, and for physical healing
only. They are made glad by having their present ills healed or relieved, but having
no real desire to understand the truth, they soon again are thinking and believing con-
trary to truth, and when this erring manner of thinking again brings forth its fruit,
the same or another disease, they are i offended/ and will for a time go back to material methods; but, sooner or later, through the very suffering that their wrong thoughts have produced, they will again be compelled to come to truth to set them free.”

” There are still others who come to the practitioners for healing, who are likened
by the Master to the thorny ground in which the seed was sown. The thorns are
allowed to choke the good seed which the practitioner is sowing in their consciousness. These thorns are in some cases sharp, angry thoughts and words. Some people come to truth to be healed with a lie on their lips, even in some cases denying the benefit they have received, hoping in this way to urge the practitioner to greater effort in their behalf. They forget that God, Truth, is not mocked, and that even if they should be successful in
deceiving the practitioner, they cannot change the immutable law of right, and they will receive only that which is right.

Again many are so self-centered that they consider nobody and nothing, either right
or wrong, except their own welfare. This selfishness also chokes the good seed. Yet
others are so absorbed in material pleasures and pursuits that they blandly tell you
that they have no time to seek truth; yet they expect the very thing they have turned
their back upon, and have no time for, to heal them, and when it is not accomplished
in the time that they themselves have sot, they are prone to blame the practitioner,
or the truth of being, or the Infinite allpower, — in fact, everything but themselves,
— and in this way choke the good seed.”

“Now we come to those who are ‘good ground. They are sincere from the beginning. They do not bemoan their hard fate, nor do they cavil at the demands of truth, but when shown the light by the practitioner, they at once bend every energy and thought to conform to the Principle of being. They care not primarily how fast or how slow the progress may be.
They know that God is infinitely just and that they will surely get according to their
deserving. They see the hoped for goal ahead and do not spend half their time counting their bleeding footsteps, but rejoice in a little progress each day. To such as these the promise of surcease from pain and trouble is sure to be fulfilled. If the healing is accomplished at once, they are thankful, but they do not because of their liberation from evil cease seeking for their God, but show by watchfulness and kind deeds the thankfulness they feel. If •the healing is slow, there is no word of complaint, but a redoubling of the effort to do only that which is right and just; and ofttimes we hear it said by such as these, ‘I am thankful that my healing was slow, as it made me search the harder for
the Truth, and I am now so much the better for it.’ When the truth is orally spoken
to such as these, or when it is whispered in infinite consciousness through silent
thought, it is thankfully received; it is cherished and guarded, and watered, and
soon it takes root, and its fruition in that human consciousness consists of infinite
blessings in the way of health, happiness, prosperity, peace and good will to all. Such
as these are soon at work in the Master’s vineyard, producing good fruits similar to
those they have received, some thirtyfold, some sixty and some an hundred.’ ‘

While all are not so placed that they can give their time largely to the healing
of the sick, yet they are not idle, but as opportunity offers, they are found preaching the gospel (‘good-spel’) to their neighbors, and doing what they can to show the way to the Father. I know that this is true, as I am speaking from my own experience.”

Florien looked up at his father with amazement and said: “Father, do you wish me to understand that you are a Christian Science practitioner ‘

“Yes, Florien, I have been a practitioner for several years, and your mother has had class instruction and has done some remarkable healing, but has not devoted all her time to this healing, as I am doing.’ ‘

“What of the many friends in the old church?

“Some were sick and have been healed through your mother’s efforts or mine,
and are now Christian Scientists, and a few have come to Science through what
they saw done. Many are still with the old church, but the best of feeling prevails
with all.”

Florien smiled as he said : “I will wager that I can name one who is with the old
church I”

“Who?”

“Deacon Johnson.’ ‘

“I thought you would name him, but you are mistaken. Mr. Johnson has been our First Reader for the past two years.”

“I have nothing more to say. That is the last straw, and I am done.”

A quiet laugh followed this statement of Florien’s, and both gentlemen turned to
see who was laughing, and saw in the doorway leading to the living room Florien’s
mother and by her side his wife, who said : “I heard your remarks about Deacon John-
son, and I could not restrain my laughter ; for it is not five minutes since mother told
me all about their being Christian Scientists, and also about Deacon Johnson.”

”Did mother tell you that father is a practitioner?”

“Yes, and so much more that I am more than half convinced that they have something that we need; in fact, mother and I have done nothing the entire evening but talk of this Science.”

“Well, that is just what father and I have done ever since dinner, and I must
say I am strongly impressed with what I have heard. In fact I am so interested
that I wish you would come in, and I will ask father to interpret some more of the
parables in the Bible. It is wonderfully interesting’

“Florien,” said his mother, “do you realize that it is half past twelve!”

“Is it possible? Why I have been so interested that I never noticed the flight of
time. I had no idea that it was so late.”

“I think we have talked enough for this time, Florien. You will have plenty to
think about until tomorrow night, and then, if you wish, I will talk more to you on this
subject,” said the father.

“Just the words that mother said to me a few minutes ago, and I think she is
right,” said the wife.

“Yes, perhaps so, but I wish it were only eight instead of twelve.”

“I am inclined to judge by your sincerity that my seed has been sown in good
soil,” said Mr. Regnets.

“I know it has, and so has mine,” said Florien’s mother.

“Then truly I am doubly thankful, and what may not the harvest be?”

THE END.