THE PHYSICAL MANIFESTATIONS OF CHRIST. 353
He also understood the value of a positive mental force surrounding the deceased, which would be in perfect harmony with his own force and purpose. To that end, he selected three of the most powerful of his followers, Peter, James, and John, to be present in the chamber of .death, and he suffered no one else to follow him. He kept the multitude of unbelievers as far away as possible. When he came to the house and saw the tumult, and heard the weeping and wailing of the friends and relatives of the deceased, he not only put them all out of the room, but sought to quiet their fears by the only way possible, which was by assuring them that " the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth." These words possess a double meaning, a double purpose ; and some have supposed that they implied that the damsel was only in a cataleptic trance. It is probable, however, that they were uttered in the sense that the soul never dies. It will be remembered that he used the same expression in regard to Lazarus, but afterwards explained his meaning by declaring that Lazarus was really dead in the common acceptation of the term. His object in using that expression was twofold. First, he desired to quiet the fears and stop the lamentations of the friends and relatives, for the obvious reason that their hopeless wailing must operate as a strong adverse suggestion to the soul of the patient. The only way that could be accomplished was by an assurance that the damsel was not dead. Secondly, he knew the potency of such a suggestion upon the patient herself. It was the master-stroke on his part, first, to quiet the fears of the relatives, and secondly, to fill the departing soul with the subjective faith necessary to enable him successfully to command it to return to the body. That this was his object in uttering those words there can be no reasonable doubt; more especially as it is precisely what an intelligent mental healer who thoroughly understands the law of suggestion would do to-day, in the light of recent rediscoveries in the science which Jesus taught.
Here, then, are seven separate and distinct acts which he performed, all tending in the one direction :