Gospel of the Holy Twelve
TO THE READER
THE all-pitying love of our Saviour embraces not only embraces mankind, but also the "lower" creatures of God, sharers with us of the one breath of life, and with us on the one road of ascent to that which is higher. Never has the Providence with which the All-Merciful watches over the animals "unendowed with reason," as well as over "reason-endowed" man, been more impressively brought home to us than in the saying of Iesus : '"Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God ? "
How were it possible to think otherwise, than that the Saviour "would have had pity and compassion on the creatures who must bear their pain in silence. Would it not seem to us like a blasphemy if we were to hear it said that Jesus or Mary would have beheld, without pity or succour the illtreatment of helpless animals? Nay, certainly, when our Saviour brought redemption to a world sunk in selfishness, hard-heartedness and misery, and proclaimed the Gospel of an all-embracing love, there was, surely, a share in this redemption for all suffering creatures, since when man opened his heart to this Divine Love, there was no room left for pitiless hardness towards the other creatures of God, who have, like man, been called into life with the capacity of enjoyment and of suffering. They bear the marks of the Redeemer, who practises this all-pitying love. And how little it is that the minimum of Christian compassion for helpless creatures demands of us! Only to inflict on them no torture, and to help them when in trouble, or appeal to us for succour, and when, of necessity, we take their life, to let it be a speedy death with the least pain; a gentle sleep. But, alas! how little are we penetrated with these divine lessons of mercy and compassion. How many grievous tortures are inflicted on helpless creatures under the pretence of science, or to gratify an unnatural appetite, or cruel lusts, or the promptings of vanity.
As an aid to a higher Christianity these fragments of a fuller Gospel are now presented, giving us the Feminine tenderness as the Masculine strength of the Perfect Christ.
The greater and more important portion of these reminiscences have formed the groundwork and basis of various teachings issued by the Order of At-one-ment since 1881, when it was incepted, and are now for the first time given in their entirety, throwing additional light on the real doctrine of Iesus, or elucidating of the contents of the canonical Gospels as commonly received, retaining the translation of the A.V. wherever possible, or sufficiently clear. It will be for the Church of the Future when revising the, entire Scriptures to give it its primary place, the original and complete "Gospel of the Holy Christ," using the others for a confirmation from four other witnesses that every word may be established to them who are not in a condition to receive the goodness, purity and truth of the former.
Like all other inspired writings (but not necessarily infallible in every word) these writings from within the Veil must be taken on their own internal evidence of a Higher Teaching. For inspiration of the Spirit no more necessarily implies infallibility than the divine breath of life inbreathed by man, necessarily implies freedom from all accidents, diseases or miseries incidental to mortal life.
It is a faithless and perverse generation, as of old, that seeks for signs, and to them saith the Spirit, 'there shall no sign be given," for were the very writers of this Gospel raised from the dead, and were they to testify to their authorship, they would not believe, unbelieving critics would still ask for a sign, and the more they were given the more they would ask in the hardness of their hearts. The sign is The Truth-the pure in heart they shall see it.