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Full text of "Sri Sai Baba`S:Charters And Sayings"

342   TALKS ON <t AT THE FEET OF THE MASTER "

saint" If only Christians would read (they never
do) the early Fathers of the Church, they would
arrive at a different theory on this point. You may
remember, as I have already pointed out, that S. Cle-
ment of Alexandria, who was in many ways, perhaps,
the greatest of them, said, u Purity is only a negative
condition and is valuable chiefly as a condition of
insight." The chief use of being pure is that unless you
are you cannot see clearly.  The thing itself is
merely negative, and so the attainment of that
condition of purification was the first stage of
the old Christian development. Now it is not only
the first but the last. The great idea of the Christian
is to produce a saint, a pure, good person. That
was not at all the idea of the early Christian Church.
They realised that you want a great spiritual power,
you want somebody who can do something.  Of
course he must be good ; that is a prerequisite, because
he cannot learn to be useful unless he is first good
himself. But the being good in itself is only a condi-
tion, an abstaining from evil, necessary for your
after-progress.  It is not the end of everything.
When the man had gained that, at any rate, in the
early Christian Church, they considered him fit for
the next stage which was Illumination; and then
came, later on, Sanctification and Perfection. But
first, of course, he must be tt pure ". vThat was noth-
ing to boast of, everybody was supposed to be pure,
they all ought to have reached that stage. And so