THE PHYSICAL MANIFESTATIONS OF CHRIST. 343
how to heal the sick. He had taught them how to employ their powers in doing good, both physically and spiritually. But he knew that the same power which he taught them how to use for the physical benefit of mankind might also, in the hands of wicked men, be employed for doing evil. He knew that the condition of its exercise for evil purposes was a full knowledge of the laws which pertain to it. He knew that in the hands of the majority of the men of his day and generation it was a dangerous power, too dangerous to be intrusted to the world in its then stage of public and private virtue, morality, religion, and enlightenment.
There was an exoteric doctrine which he promulgated to the world, and an esoteric doctrine which he deemed it inexpedient to divulge before the world was prepared to receive it. His whole career illustrates this important fact.
His habit of speaking to the multitude in parables, together with his reasons for so doing, constitutes the strongest evidence of his determination to conceal his esoteric doctrines from the common people.
"And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables ?
" He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. . . .
"Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. . . .
" For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed. . . .
" All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
" That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world."1
These passages make it as clear as words can formulate a proposition that he deemed it inexpedient to divulge to
l Matthew xiii. io, 11, 13, 15, 34, ^5