Salome's lessons. Prayer. Elihu's concluding lessons. Sums up the three years' course of study. The pupils return to their homes.
NOW, when the morning sun arose the masters and their pupils all were in the sacred grove.
2 Salome was the first to speak; she said, Behold the sun! It manifests the power of God who speaks to us through sun and moon and stars;
3 Through mountain, hill and vale; through flower, and plant and tree.
4 God sings for us through bird, and harpsichord, and human voice; he speaks to us through wind and rain and thunder roll; why should we not bow down and worship at his feet?
5 God speaks to hearts apart; and hearts apart must speak to him; and this is prayer.
6 It is not prayer to shout at God, to stand, or sit, or kneel and tell him all about the sins of men.
7 It is not prayer to tell the Holy One how great he is, how good he is, how strong and how compassionate.
8 God is not man to be bought up by praise of man.
9 Prayer is the ardent wish that every way of life be light; that every act be crowned with good; that every living thing be prospered by our ministry.
10 A noble deed, a helpful word is prayer; a fervent, an effectual prayer.
11 The fount of prayer is in the heart; by thought, not words, the heart is carried up to God, where it is blest, Then let us pray.
12 They prayed, but not a word was said; but in that holy Silence every heart was blest.
13 And then Elihu spoke. He said to Mary and Elizabeth, Our words are said; you need not tarry longer here; the call has come; the way is clear, you may return unto your native land.
14 A mighty work is given you to do; you shall direct the minds that will direct the world.
15 Your sons are set apart to lead men up to righteous thoughts, and words, and deeds;
16 To make men know the sinfulness of sin; to lead them from the adoration of the lower self, and all illusive things, and make them conscious of the self that lives with Christ in God.
17 In preparation for their work your sons must walk in many thorny paths.
18 Fierce trials and temptations they will meet, like other men; their loads will not be light, and they will weary be, and faint.
19 And they will know the pangs of hunger and of thirst; and without cause they will be mocked, imprisoned, scourged.
20 To many countries they will go, and at the feet of many masters they will sit, for they must learn like other men.
21 But we have said enough. The blessings of the Three and of the Seven, who stand before the throne, will surely rest upon you evermore.
22 Thus closed the lessons of Elihu and Salome. Three years they taught their pupils in the sacred grove, and if their lessons all were written in a book, lo, it would be a mighty book; of what they said we have the sum.
23 Now, Mary, Joseph and Elizabeth with Jesus and his harbinger, set forth upon their homeward way. They went not by Jerusalem, for Archelaus reigned.
24 They journeyed by the Bitter Sea, and when they reached Engedi hills they rested in the home of Joshua, a near of kin; and here Elizabeth and John abode.
25 But Joseph, Mary and their son went by the Jordan way, and after certain days they reached their home in Nazareth.