In The Jurisdiction Of God
[The writer has many a time seen that some who would fain help forward the kingdom are beguiled into exaggeration or dishonesty as a means of gaining their ends, "bragging a little," they call it. He himself realises how the purity of the motive strengthens the temptation to this fatal mistake,— this falseness which eventually results in an inability to distinguish celestial truth from earthly lies. Therefore, he writes this fable, and dedicates it to those who abhor subterfuge, and believe in the right of men to know the truth.]
A WOMAN went out to sow the seed of tenderness. In the sand she sowed it, and nothing but disappointment came of it. Therefore, she mixed self-deception and weakness and good intentions with the sand; and there sprang up a crooked tree which was called Expediency, and from it grew gnarled branches of laws.
She said, "This tree is more convenient than the tree of Rectitude; for that will neither bend nor break, nor can one twist it to suit the circumstances."
She said, "The tree of Rectitude can never grow upon earth." She heaped up beautiful white lies about Expediency, and sprinkled it with flattery; and she made a prop for it out of charity. She said, "It is very fair."
But the trunk of it was hollow and the branches rotten; its flowers were Distrust, and its fruit Compromises and Complications.
Yet the Woman ate of the fruit, and gave the flowers to her children. Alas! the flowers were foetid, and the fruit was poisonous.
She said: "I meant well when I sowed it. Surely, it is a goodly tree; yet it brings forth evil fruit!"
. . . . . .
But on the Mountain there was One who sowed the seed of Righteousness, and with great toil planted it among the rocks, and watered it with tears; and that tree grew up and blessed the land.
The Woman looked upon it, and said,
"There are thorns upon it, and its trunk is rough and coarse." But its roots broke the rocks, and still it spread until the whole nation was sheltered under it. And on it grew the beautiful flowers of Justice and the pleasant fruits of Love.
The Woman said, "Where that tree grows is the Kingdom of Heaven, and they who tended it are the children of God. "