There is always some man or some woman near us, who is capable of thinking about us in exactly the right way to bring us our healing. The right idea to hold of healing, is not only concerning bodily cure, misfortune, or inefficiency. The healing principle is every moment operating through some special man or woman near us, but whose motive and character we are probably misunderstanding. That one, by our having a right feeling toward him or her, is our mascot. But we must first get the right attitude toward that person. If you would learn who it is, that can put you in line with your prosperity, put yourself through a process of mental statements called denials. They will act as purifying waters to wash the dust off your understanding of what is your wisest course to pursue. They will clear your vision to see whose powers are efficient to work a blessed demonstration for you. They will make you perceptive and docile to welcome your fulfillment. It does not make any difference whether you are a newsboy or a college president, you cannot truly get at that blessing that is nearest your heart till you have taken in the proper attitude of mind. You may get around every other circumstance of your lot easily, but you cannot approach the particular blessing, till you have gone through the gate of the denials of Science. Then, further than this, some of you must practice on the denials, till your mind is as meek and humble as the mind of the man who had lain thirty-eight years at the edge of the pool of Bethesda.
The Bethesda pool was typical of the cleansing waters of meekness. The angel who troubled the waters was the symbol of the perfect Word. Many people use the perfect words of denial for a long time before they get meek and listening enough to hear the voice of Jesus Christ in the right man to cure them. Only the humblest and poorest and lowliest one among them all near the pool knew that the One who was called a malefactor, a glutton, a Sabbath–breaker, was the living power of healing in their very midst.
There were many Jews nearby, but they were positive, opinionated, churchmen. When they looked upon Jesus Christ they were looking into the placid clearness of His pure mind, so like the clear waters of Bethesda, and they could not see His mind at all. They just saw themselves reflected in Him, as you would not see the water if you looked into a clear lake, but only see your own image. So they condemned Him at once, though He was not condemning them at all. His clear innocent mind acted exactly like conscience to them. He assured them that He was not accusing them, but that made no difference, they kept seeing themselves in the placid waters of His mental presence, and scolded themselves hard, thinking all the time it was Jesus, the malefactor, they were accusing.
They had the very One in their midst who could have cured them of their longing for help. If they had not put their own notions forward, but had stopped and listened to His loving doctrine, lo, their bruised hearts would have been lifted up.
In metaphysics we find that Jesus Christ is always speaking through someone for our special help, but we also are putting our notions of things forward and do not get the messages. There are certain denials, which will take down the rocks and fences from before our mental understanding, and show us our helper, whom God in love hath already furnished, who now talks with us every day, who maybe is the one whom we dislike and ostracize.
Denials are found in the second lesson of Spiritual Science. They have a beautiful effect upon the mind to make it listening, obedient, and easily cured.
The Christians of the world are all waiting and wondering why the strife, and poverty, and sorrow of mankind, are not cured by their preaching and praying and printing. These things are their own images thrown forward into the clear placid purity of the Omnipresent Mind, whose name is Jesus Christ. They cannot be cured except by ceasing to project their ideas. If the Christians find it a great task to stop projecting such ideas into this Mind in our midst, let them learn the seven denials of Science. If they do not know what these denials are, let them get some metaphysical teacher to teach them. Certainly, they cannot see Jesus Christ until they have used them. That is, they cannot find their demonstration of the world in peace and happy prosperity, till they have used them.
Jesus Christ is not already here in this earth in the sight of any, except the exceedingly meek. Such have nothing left to be cured of. They are satisfied. They have received in understanding and without controversy all the lessons of the Scriptures.
There are eleven points to be remembered in the review lesson of today. The first you will find in Acts 1 (Lesson 51). It shows how Luke treated the whole world by writing down all that he knew of the acts of people under direct spiritual illumination. He calls to that region of mind in all mankind, called “Theophilus.” He does not recognize our unbelief or our opposition nature; he is like a practitioner of mental therapeutics who keeps telling the sickest looking man or woman silently that they are perfectly whole. He writes his treatments, Luke does. Some people nowadays write to their patients and read their written treatments over and over. Sometimes they sing the treatments which they have written –they do not send their written words by mail to their patients, but sing and sing them all by themselves at home hundreds of miles from their patients. Many a doctor of medicine has learned this little secret of metaphysical practice and sends through the mental stratum, which leads to the heart of his patient a healing message.
Luke is not entirely given over to curing human bodies. He is taking the whole world and speaking to it as though it were one man, for other purposes than bodily healing. The whole world has a cord in its bosom, which is the love of God. Luke harps on this cord. When it is wakened in you, you will be bodily cured, mentally comforted, and spiritually alive. Luke is a wonderful physician. He finds that the spiritual nature quickened has power to set all visible nature, all society, all government, all educational and laboring interests to rights. Hufeland, a Prussian physician, found that he himself could quicken this nature in certain ones among his patients and cure them.
Luke takes the whole world and calls us “Theophilus.” He strikes and strikes on that cord common to all men till he feels it become the dominant tone in us all even to the cure of poverty, ignorance, sordidness, and quarreling.
Truly, the sum and substance of his treatment is the sixth message to the world, which the orderly metaphysician speaks. To the whole world the orderly thinker says, entirely ignoring in his mind all appearances to the contrary, “You are the perfect creation of the living God spiritual, harmonious, free, flawless. From every direction everywhere come the words of Truth making you to know that you are wise, glad, and at peace. Your Life is God. Your Substance is God. Your Intelligence is God. You are now the living manifestation of Jesus Christ.” While you are being told of how crime, and suicide and poverty are increasing, keep this Luke song singing within your silent mind. It will make you a Spiritual physician like Luke.
The second point was that all the power the Christian church has demonstrated so far, is by reason of its actual mention of the Name of Jesus Christ, for the doctrine He preached, has slipped away from the fingers of the religion of today. It is the mixed-clay-and-iron age of ignoring the actual doctrine taught by Jesus. We cannot revive it except by the continual repetition of the two words Jesus Christ. The power of the Holy Ghost is to burst over and through the life of him who continually speaks that Name while speaking the orderly arrangement of the doctrine He taught. There is no power of the Holy Ghost in the science out of Christ any more than there is in the church which still believes that God sends afflictions, keeps us in hades, tells men to earn their wages of each other, and makes one of us to be abler or wiser or richer than our neighbors.
The third point was the explanation that the perfect doctrine is brought out by dropping our belief in evil first and our belief in virtue second. Our virtues stand as much in our own light as our vices. For instance, we think it is wrong to steal. We believe that we could not steal because it would be so wicked, even if we were in great need. This seems to us very honorable. It is nothing of the kind — it is pure nonsense. There truly is no such thing as stealing. God is all. Can God steal from God? This knowledge is the dropping of our will against our neighbors. We feel really benefitted, when they take our goods away. We say the goods have gone into the fingers of God.
We do not notice if people take away our reputation: we say God is using our name in love and wisdom. We take the mental attitude that all mankind holds all things in common. We hold this idea so steadfastly that soon we begin to even up in our possessions with our neighbors. They become very generous with us and we are very generous with them. We see that brotherhood and sharing all things in common are sure to stand out in easy fulfillment when a few minds drop their ideas of their own virtues. If we believe in virtue we are sure to believe in vice, so we drop that miserable amoeba from our minds, for there is no telling which way it will swing its tough little body, whether to thinking our neighbors are better than we are or we are better than our neighbors.
The lesson on Acts 3 (Lesson 54) conveyed this idea, namely, that we make gods of our beliefs. We must not think our belief is good, no matter what we believe, for then that belief will deal with us. Peter and John stood in mind for a moment above believing that the lame man was either lame or not lame. They were in the meaning of the Name Jesus Christ. There is a super-intelligence, which the mind opens to in high doctrine. This lights the face with strength of Spirit. Whoever catches sight of the face just at the moment is healed. The lame man caught strength in the faces of Peter and John. Strength being what he needed, he was healed.
The Name Jesus Christ often gives moments of a keen intelligence, which very soon demonstrates in the affairs around us. This is the kind of knowing which is the true power. We neither believe nor disbelieve–we know. Nothing deals with us in these moments — we are! It is for the people who believe in something external to themselves that the law of belief operates. Then it is for people who believe in their beliefs that the law is still operating. Jesus Christ believed nothing — He knew. His knowing was Himself.
The next lesson is about two characteristics we each of us have. One is the John – the other is the Peter quality. If we have the John characteristic in error, we shall think that the doctrine of silence means that we are to keep silent as to our principles, our doctrine. This is John of the Sanhedrin. If we have the John quality in Truth, we shall know that the teaching of silence is meant for our not retorting when we are misused. We are to bide the time of pure Spirit. We must speak from the Absolute standpoint always.
The Peter characteristic, held in error, gives us a continual self-deprecatory feeling. We think it good for ourselves to mouse and prowl around into our faults and call ourselves bad names. It is often a great comfort to do so, but it is not scientific. The Peter characteristic in Truth gives us forgetfulness of our faults and sudden gleams of the underlying intelligence of our own mind at the exact point where all the momentum of our actions and words starts. We are impetuous, but spiritually powerful.
The next point is, that whatever we know to be right we must speak out boldly. We must not be afraid of making enemies, we must not mind going into Coventry for awhile when we know what we are doing is right. There is a force and a defense in pure right, which is better than an army with banners. It is perfectly true that describing a murder to a public audience will cause the most innocent audience to make every man, woman or child they meet who has the least leaning toward crime to go straight and do exactly what the lecturer has imbedded into the minds of his hearers. It is according to mental law that Stead’s pictures of London’s rich men’s wickedness left such vivid impressions on his readers’ minds, that they sent many a man to practicing the same crimes. It is the sure action of mentality that the eloquent descriptions of drunken homes have pushed the plastic wills of the masses to hurry and carry out more pictures like them. The Sanhedrin forbade the Apostles to preach that things and events yield to a Name held in mind. But the Name held in mind, together with the sayings of the Man who demonstrated what the Name means, will do more to drop the mantle of pain and trouble off the planet than any other process. His sayings form a demonstrable Science. His Name makes us the living demonstrations. It is a mystery how just speaking the Name over and over works us up and over — but it does.
The lesson on Acts 5: 1-11 (Lesson 57) showed how it is best for us to stop sometimes and not seem to be running in the lists with other people of the world to see who will win. We must not compete with anyone or anything. We must just do our simple duties of each day, expecting no rewards, fearing no failures. We have no world of temptations to overcome. We are expected to be brave. Nothing is expected of us. We may absolve ourselves from all responsibility of our past words and actions by saying, “The words that I spoke in the past, it was not I that spoke them, but the wise God speaking through me.” We may rest free today by saying, “The words that I speak this day, it is not I that speak them, but the wise God speaking through me.” We may go fearlessly toward our future by saying, “The thoughts and words of my future, it is not I that speak and think them, but the wise God speaking and thinking through me.”
The next lesson shows that it would keep the world forever on the rock of cleansing and purifying itself by sufferings to believe that God sends afflictions to purify us with. He once made us perfect and was pleased with us. We have never fallen from that estate. We have only one nature with any reality whatsoever in it — that is our perfect Spirit fresh from the creator’s heart. Job was perfectly right. “Thou knowest that I am not wicked... Thy hands fashioned me.” (Job 10: 7-8)
The next point was that our perfect thoughts often speed away off to some heart, which catches their import more perfectly than we ourselves caught it. Paul got Stephen’s treatment and had a more perfect idea of Jesus Christ’s Presence and office than Stephen himself had. Every new set or Spiritual Scientists stands out a vast improvement on the old ones who are still hunting out heresies in their neighbors. The young ones have gotten a whiff of the notion “I am holier than thou.” (Isaiah 65-5) They are so beautiful and strong, and shine so with the super-intelligence of their understanding, that:
“We feel the airs blow o’er us,
And the glory shine before us,
Of what mankind shall be,
All pure and kind and free.”
The next lesson tells that when you step into a higher mental sphere it is as though you had “died” to your friends who do not step along with you. They will torment themselves by scolding your ways, but you can do only one thing, and that is, FORWARD!
The last of our lesson is that the Philip quality of your mind, held in error is the idea that Christian submission means submission to grief, or poverty, or misfortunes. The Philip quality in Truth is the rejection of these and meekest yielding to Spirit. All three things are nothing. Spirit is all. We often speak sentences of nothingness of misfortune and trial, and of the presence of peace and delight, which go and stand in the chariots of learning and work new understandings in faraway minds. All is Mind and there is no opposition to Truth.
September 18, 1892