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Table of Contents for On the Birth of My Mission   


Chapter 11
Situations in which it is urgent to speak rather than keep silent
For a person who has outgrown any craving for adoration and admiration it is unpleasant to speak of himself, especially when at the same time he is widely considered a principal character, to whom a certain heroic glamour is ascribed. But situations may arise when it would be unkind and contrary to the divine principles to keep silent.
      Such situations, for instance, must have occurred in the case of Christ, for he found occasion to assert himself by saying: "Which of you can convince me of sin?" – "learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart" – "I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live". From these words we must not infer that they are expressive of any form of arrogance or complacency, even as it would be wrong to conclude that their author was revelling in the enjoyment thereof. On the contrary, he was well aware that his utterances to this effect might ultimately result in his crucifixion. But his words were expressive of a truth, a reality, a revelation, a most significant part in the formation of man's destiny of which event he was the first and only one that was fully cognizant, being predestined to be the spokesman for the Holy Spirit; for on him was contingent the redeeming manifestation of this very Spirit in the earthly zone. But as he alone possessed the veritable knowledge of the spiritual manifestation, and it had not at all been the divine purpose to keep this central truth secret, who should be better qualified to act as the intermediary exponent of this to men than Jesus of Nazareth? If he had been so humble and modest as to keep secret the truth so abundantly revealed in and about him, his humility or modesty would have surpassed its bounds and become abnormal, turned into cowardice and mental deficiency – the world redeeming secret would have been buried with him.
      But in this situation, face to face with such a risk, he was bound to speak instead of keeping silent, though by so doing he could not help disclosing himself as the hero he was by giving an account of what to him was essential. But as it was a truth that was to be disclosed, and as he alone had the knowledge of this, he was constrained to make known with what authority and power he had been invested. And so it can only be "a fool", i.e. a person who has no idea whatever of the inherent facts, that will find megalomania, arrogance, or self-glorification in these sayings of Jesus. But inasmuch as there are always plenty of ignorant people, and as he, among the teeming millions of the world, happened to be the only one able to say these words with authority, he would naturally, in the first instance, be misunderstood by the crowd, charged with being out of his mind, and ironically "crowned" as "the King of the Jews", and finally, by the same mob, in their blind fanaticism, be exposed to mutilation and crucifixion.
      But his words turned out to be a halo of light, blazing across the perpetrators of the crime, preparing for them, from primitive barbarity, a luminous path, leading the mentality of vulgar humanity to the heights of humanism. Suppose that he had preferred to keep silent, owing to fear of contempt and mockery on the part of the mob, or to the prevailing tendency to murder and mutilate! The world-saving principle would then have resulted in an irrevocable failure. Whatever opinions people nowadays may entertain about the church and her ministrations, we should, in case of original failure on the part of Jesus, have been without our excellent hospital and ambulance service, extending a helping hand to wounded and suffering humanity amidst the horrors of the battlefield as well as in the otherwise peaceable home; the modern administration of justice, philanthropy, charitable institutions, and all the rest of humane arrangements comprising everything denoted "Christian civilization", the fountainhead of which is traceable to and identical with the message of the Redeemer, his sermon on the mount, his parable of the good Samaritan, etc. Had Jesus kept silent, therefore, a world of dark and dreary barbarism, to a much greater extent than we now encounter, would have predominated throughout, and genuine "Christianity" would nowhere on the face of the earth have left any trace whatever.

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