THE PHYSICAL MANIFESTA TIONS OF CHRIST. 369
power, his desire for the plaudits of the multitude, tempered by the insidious suggestion that, by the public exhibition of his power, he could all the more readily secure the confidence of the people and promote the object of his mission. He had refused to exercise his power for the purpose of securing his own ease and comfort, for the reason that his mission, in part, was to relieve the sufferings of others; and now he was tempted to promote that object by a public display in the presence of an admiring multitude. There was nothing morally wrong in either suggestion. It is not wrong, per se, to produce bread, or to take measures to secure our own comfort. Nor is it wrong, in itself, to give a public exhibition for a good purpose; but from the standpoint from which he viewed it, both were wrong in principle and practice. The first would interfere with, and endanger the success of, his mission; the second would be trifling with the gift of God. It would be a wanton exercise of a power which is given, not for idle display, but for the promotion of the highest good of mankind, when exercised within its legitimate sphere.
But there was another and a more potent reason still for his refusal to exercise his power for purposes of display. It is a reason which the world is just beginning to appreciate. It is a reason which finds its justification in the fundamental principles pertaining to the exercise of psychic power. As in all the words and deeds of Christ, there was a scientific principle underlying the sententious expression employed in his rejection of the second temptation. This principle applies with special force to the employment of psychic power to the healing of the sick.
It has been shown in a former chapter that the normal functions of the subjective entity consist in the performance of those acts which tend to the preservation and perpetuation of the human race. It has also been shown that all exercise of subjective power outside that domain is abnormal, and, consequently, injurious. As this subject has been sufficiently enlarged upon elsewhere, it need only be mentioned here. It was this principle which Christ desired to illustrate and enforce, and he never neglected an oppor-