Bible Lesson LXXII
Acts 13:44-52
Acts 14:1-7
Sure Recipe For Old Age


by Emma Curtis Hopkins


There is in the spiritual pharmacopoeia a sure recipe for old age. You will remember that Thoreau speaks of the young man as a demigod, because his thoughts are only half in sympathy with the earth; the other half is still clinging to the glory that he had with the Father before the world was. It is by letting go his hold on the expectation that Divinity will prevail and the hosts of God will miraculously interpose in his behalf that he gets way-wised to earth and uses the world’s methods with greater or lesser success. Then, instead of stepping from the prime of manhood into the glorious beauty and power ordained for him from the foundations of being, he gets watery eyeballs, brittling limbs, and grisly cuticle. This is called old age. But no man would ever have stepped from the aspirations of youth with its way-winning beauty into the estate of old age if he had chosen at the flood-tide of opportunity to let go the world’s ideas rather than to let go expecting the Spirit of Glory to do all things.

The little child’s thoughts do always behold the face of pure goodness. Youth and early manhood have not yielded quite their ears and eyes to the voices and sights telling things of evil. And if only the things of Spirit should ever be told them there would never be any sign of decrepitude, and mortality’s mold creeping over them. Who told the child that danger lurked in his pathway? Did you? Was not the Spirit within him strong with the safety of the Spirit without him, stronger than all the dangers you could imagine, till he listened to you and let go his own inheritance of safety eternal?

Is it not Satan tempting the innocent over again every time we prognosticate hurt? Would it not be more like taking a draught from the walls of the Spirit of youth for us to see as the child sees, speak as he speaks, expect as he expects, than to be his so-called wise guardians, careful instructors, grave fore-warners of evil?

To the church, this mighty doctrine of eternal youth was entrusted. She has struck the rim of her own old age by describing the pitfalls that lie in the pathway of youth, and the mold of the lack of honest confidence in her goodness has begun to wizen her pulpits. So to the Gentiles, those who could not believe that if God is good and occupies all space and all place He could call a Son to die, or a world into hardship, is now given the doctrine of Jesus, that whoever tells Truth does not fail or die — he becomes transfigured in the sight of the nations. At the floodtide of his letting go of the religions that urge him to beware of evil, he finds himself absolved from the world, free as the Elohim on the joyous streets of the city of God.

Transfiguration is the birthright of man. “Where I am there ye may be also.” He who rejects everything except the real meanings of the teachings of Jesus ascends into His glory. “Understanding is a wellspring of Life.” As the body thrives in appearance by assimilating right food, so the mind quickens and gleams by eating of the doctrine as Jesus did truly give it to man. Every time the mind understands a principle of good, it increases in stature.

If you see that it is perfectly safe to tell children their nature is God, and their pathway is absolute safety, that seeing is a new quickening of your mind. If you do not see it your mind must have some other idea ministered unto it. If you see that it is as if you had loaded yourself with barrels of stones to have listened to ideas of defeat, disaster, or injustice, as part of the intention of God for your life to meet — when that was never the plan of the Divine Goodness with you — you will breathe freely and rise with new buoyancy upon agreement with Truth.

In this thirteenth chapter of Acts, from the forty-fourth verse, we see the process of perfect doctrine as it has risen for the religions of the world to accept. They turn from its light, but the so-called irreligious, or Gentiles, receive it gladly. This lesson is an object lesson. We are the people meant. If we have understanding that all is mind, not materiality, nor persons, we will see that the light that shines now among us is the speech of un-resisted Truth. Whoever lets Truth be expressed in un-resisted freedom through him rises as on wings out of the reach of his daily encounters with the world. There is nothing he fears. Sickness drops off. Misfortune glides out of his reach. Fears that his children or good name will fail do not come nigh him. As he thus gets freer and freer he is not aware of himself as a “demigod”, but God.

The glory of the church of the Jews was that by the preaching of the Presence of God, that Presence came visibly into their midst. The receptivity of the Gentiles was the spread of the manifest God. As it is written, “Light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of my people Israel.”

So it is today. It is the glory of the church that she has preached the goodness of God and the second coming of His Presence, till now the idea of His goodness permits no mixture of accusation against Him as laying schemes in our pathway to test our quality, nor slaying a son to evidence His loving kindness; till now we understand the second coming to be the un-resisted proclamation of the absolute Good.

The power of the Holy Ghost is on them and in them that let it be known that the life-inspiring Spirit is now moving in un-threatened splendor from mind to mind over the earth.

The healing Spirit is running with unassailable purity from life to life the round planet over.

The strengthening Spirit goes forth with irresistible vigor from heart to heart.

The sustaining and supporting Spirit blows aside the mantle of poverty and despair, and those with their hands on the products of nature cannot hold even a loaf from a child, so overpowering is the breath of the Name of Him who stands now in the earth.

The defending Spirit tenderly smoothes out the pathway of man so that today there can be no ill come nigh the dwelling of him who knows that he was never meant to believe the teachings of a God who needed propitiating. He whose face is set to the doctrine now come, sees that every hurt, every accident, every disaster, has come from the doctrine of propitiation for sins. Whoever lets fall that idea is free to walk boldly through these days which have come as the fruition of that age-old idea of a Creator who needed to be bought off from His anger. Strikes, and embezzlements, and hospitals full of groaning — all stand forth as the fruitage of holding the youth of the world to such teachings concerning the dealings of the God of Heaven with man, as drag them in mind to think that a friend instead of the Divinity woos in their bosoms. So the weary old age of the earth now lies down defeated. “The earth waxes old as a garment.”

But the mind that is God is set free to think through all who do not play the part of the Jews in this lesson. They shine and glow and invigorate with a life not of the earth. A new mind rises — a new mind sends over the world thoughts that take them that think into the mountains of safety. The speaking forth of the Mind of God is the trumpet that sounds in these days as Paul and Barnabas sounded in their day. At the sound of the word of Truth, a whole disease melts away into the mists of nowhere. At the sound of a spoken word the diseased earth shall melt with fervent heat and the skies roll away like a scroll. They are all, as they stand out, formulated of the teachings given to the children concerning the Maker of heaven and earth.

The recording Spirit is given un-resisted freedom to write on the stones and in the sands that that which is true must reign now from henceforth; not what is false.

The joyous Spirit sings of what has already come to pass — now that the doctrine of Jesus is preached.

The skill-inspiring Spirit is not hindered as it touches the fingers of youth with eternal genius of an order needing no schools, or ships, or apprenticeship, to teach how to handle the white Substance that waits in the airs for the fingers that are moved by the Mind of God to make those new clothes and new houses to live in, foretold by the prophets for this age to fulfill. The judgment and beauty of Truth are set free. There is none to resist the beauty of judgment and the judgment of beauty, which is Jesus Christ, named in the mind.

The love-inspiring Spirit is moving with un-resisted freedom, declaring that to them that see her lifting the veil of the false thought of ages there is now liberty and delight, with no bondage to hurt or fear.

Here it tells how the multitude of the city was divided, part holding with the Jews and part holding with the Apostles. Now, they who still hold to the doctrine of worthiness, shedding of blood for sins, the cross, the necessity for evil, may turn over into the worldly signals of senility, while they who hear the Spiritual winds sifting through the noisy sounds of materiality may go from city to city preaching the immortal beauty that wakes to never glory in him who keeps hold of his birthright.

November 27, 1892


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