Death and burial of Elizabeth. Matheno's lessons. The ministry of death. The mission of John. Institution of the rite of baptism. Matheno takes John to Egypt, and places him in the temple at Sakara, where he remains eighteen years.

WHEN John was twelve years old his mother died, and neighbours laid her body in a tomb among her kindred in the Hebron burying ground, and near to Zacharias' tomb.

2 And John was deeply grieved; he wept. Matheno said, It is not well to weep because of death.

3 Death is no enemy of man; it is a friend who, when the work of life is done, just cuts the cord that binds the human boat to earth, that it may sail on smoother seas.

4 No language can describe a mother's worth, and yours was tried and true. But she was not called hence until her tasks were done.

5 The calls of death are always for the best, for we are solving problems there as well as here; and one is sure to find himself where he can solve his problems best.

6 It is but selfishness that makes one wish to call again to earth departed souls.

7 Then let your mother rest in peace. Just let her noble life be strength and inspiration unto you.

8 A crisis in your life has come, and you must have a clear conception of the work that you are called to do.

9 The sages of the ages call you harbinger. The prophets look to you and say, He is Elijah come again.

10 Your mission here is that of harbinger; for you will go before Messiah's face to pave his way, and make the people ready to receive their king.

11 This readiness is purity of heart; none but the purity in heart can recognise the king.

12 To teach men to be pure in heart, you must yourself be pure in heart, and word, and deed.

13 In infancy the vow for you was made and you became a Nazarite. The razor shall not touch your face nor head, and you shall taste not wine nor fiery drinks.

14 Men need a pattern for their lives; they love to follow, not to lead.

15 The man who stands upon the corners of the paths and points the way, but does not go, is just a pointer; and a block of wood can do the same.

16 The teacher treads the way; on every span of ground he leaves his footprints clearly cut, which all can see and be assured that he, their master went that way.

17 Men comprehend the inner life by what they see and do. They come to God through ceremonies and forms.

18 And so when you would make men know that sins are washed away by purity in life, a rite symbolic may be introduced.

19 In water wash the bodies of the people who would turn away from sin and strive for purity in life.

20 This rite of cleansing is a preparation rite and they who thus are cleansed comprise the Church of Purity.

21 And you shall say, You men of Israel, hear; Reform and wash; become the sons of purity, and you shall be forgiven.

22 This rite of cleansing and this church are but symbolic of the cleansing of the soul by purity in life, and of the kingdom of the soul, which does not come from outward show, but is the church within.

23 Now, you may never point the way and tell the multitudes to do what you have never done; but you must go before and show the way.

24 You are to teach that men must wash; so you must lead the way, your body must be washed, symbolic of the cleansing of the soul.

25 John said, Why need I wait? May I not go at once and wash?

26 Matheno said, 'Tis well, and then they went down to the Jordan ford, and east fo Jericho, just where the hosts of Israel crossed when first they entered Canaan, they tarried for a time.

27 Matheno taught the harbinger, and he explained to him the inner meaning of the cleansing rite and how to wash himself and how to wash the multitude.

28 And in the river Jordan John was washed; then they returned unto the wilderness.

29 Now in Engedi's hills Matheno's work was done and he and John went down to Egypt. They rested not until they reached the temple of Sakara in the valley of the Nile.

30 For many years Matheno was a master in this temple of the Brotherhood, and when he told about the life of John and of his mission to the sons of men, the hierophant with joy received the harbinger and he was called the Brother Nazarite.

31 For eighteen years John lived and wrought within these temple gates; and here he conquered self, became a master mind and learned the duties of the harbinger.

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