Bible Lesson LXX
Acts 13:1-13
The Ministry of the Holy Mother


by Emma Curtis Hopkins


The people have always used two ways of bringing to pass life, health, strength, support, and defense. Either by material performances or by spiritual exercises great miracles and mighty improvements have resulted, or failed to result. When life was to be saved in great multitudes, soldiers with sabers and guns have slain other multitudes to save it. If starvation stared a city in the face its strong men tore down and pillaged other cities to get bread for that city, or cultivated patiently the seeds and soils to bring enough to the families. This is materiality and its processes, sometimes peaceful, sometimes violent.

By spiritual of metaphysical processes the same results have been reached without any such exertions of muscles or patient delving as the material or physical ways demanded. Instances by the million are reported through the ages, of how, by a metaphysical operation called prayer, miraculous things have been brought to pass. Elisha, a gentle prophet of Israel, a thousand years before Christ, came to the rescue of a besieged city, and by praying caused a great abundance of provisions to be suddenly spread before the host of starving people. The king with his strong and willing army had utterly failed to bring the needed assistance.

Elisha could do great things and small things by the exercise of a metaphysical process called prayer. Nothing was too small and insignificant for him to pay loving and majestic attention to, and nothing was too great for the mighty sweep of his spiritually enlightened faculties. He was very like the Supreme Spirit, whose cooperation his prayers invoked, in the respectful tenderness with which he touched the tiny wants of little homes and the immense wants of kings and kingdoms.

The Supreme Spirit lights the flaming points of distant Arcturus with glory and reddens the wings of the insect under the grasses. The great God delights to wheel in heavenly splendor the sunlit worlds of Canis Major at the foot of Orion, and to move in speechless happiness the microscopic infusona swimming in speed around each other in the tumbler on your table. So Elisha raised up with tender kindness the Shunammitish baby, and drew the ax head from the bottom of the Jordan for the simple-hearted laborers, exactly as readily as he opened the dropping globules of ether to disclose the heavenly hosts that loved him.

After Elisha, Hezekiah, a king in whom the knowledge of the ways of that metaphysical presence men have called God was quickened, lifted up his voice, and spoke words whose import unlocked the gates of assistance where no material or physical power was available, and swept the fields of a host determined against him. Not a sign of harm was visible when the spiritual exercise of Hezekiah had wrought its mission.

“The king is not saved by the multitude of an host, neither the strong man by his valor,” according to the spiritual doctrine of processes for demonstrating life, health, strength, support, and defense. No gathering multitudes, no mechanics of civilization or barbarism, can match the sweep of a prayer which has let loose the floodgates of energy stored in the circumambient ethers around the heads of nations.

The company of Scotch Covenanters, whose enemies chased close, stopped at the sound of the voice of prayer of Saunders. “Spread the cloak over us puir things,” rose his childlike petition, and the messengers of mercy dropped their soft robes down close, till with a fog of hiding the pitiful band were covered and the discomfited enemy turned back defeated. They called it a fog, but it was the hem of the mantel of a protection, whose white kindness touches the pillow where your head rests, ready any moment to be stronger than sorrow, more terrible than an army with banners, if you will but touch its sweet chords with the words of your heart. Nothing material can reach it, nothing unjust, or angry can stir it, though it is as willing as the mother who bent over your cradle, and as capable as your highest hopes could ask.

Choose people, resting, walking, studying, or competing, whether it is better worth while to become at one with the Spirit brooding ever over and near and through all the earth — or to go on in the ways of the flesh — whose competitions and strivings wear the heart sore, and strike the hopes back, till the skin is withered and the eyes have lost their light.

Ever and anon the lovers of the spiritual ways have spoken, but the noise of the world has been too great for the sound of their teachings to touch that inner ear which must respond before the mind is willing to cease using the hands and brain of physical existence to bring to pass its assistance, its life, health, strength, support, and defense. The noise of the world has even drowned to their own ears the sound of the teachings of those who have struggled to free themselves from the harrowing ways of materiality that they might be united with the peaceful successes of Spirit.

Ages ago the Zoroastrian prophets taught a lesson of how to live by the Spirit out of the reach of the fret and turmoil of matter. Taking the wings of the words of faith, we rise into the airs out of the reach of pain, away from the lashings of fate, free from disappointments of trying to win our way in a world gathered to defeat our every purpose, they said. But a sound of the world’s beliefs rose high on their bewildered ears, and they stopped to parley about what evil things the Spirit saw in different kinds of foods and the marriage of castes. So they drew the gates against the Spirit with bars as strong against its beautiful ministry as if they had been stone walls clinched with steel bolts. For the Spirit is only wooed by praises. She only moves down on the hosts embattled against us when we unlock the filmy gates between us by the keys the truth in our hearts tells. The Spirit cannot look upon evil. She sees none in her life. She touches none in her pathway. When talk of evil begins, when scolding or descriptions of troubles or wickedness begin, a gateway is closed against the glory-shod feet of the Holy Mother of mercy and love.

The Brahmins spoke of her white robes of healing and she let them fall over the bruised spots of their lives ages and ages ago. Then they refused that those born in lowliness, and those born as women, should feel the touch of her seamless robe of healing, and closed the invisible gates against her streaming balsams of cure for all evils. For God the maker of worlds, God the Father, is careful of God the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Mother, that she shall go down only where the gates of hiding are opened by Truth. Praise without blame, kind words without tincture of censure, the Holy Motherhood of God may slip down through, and with the soft fingers of divine tenderness smooth the brow of anguish or give the help that is needed.

The ministry of God is the Spirit of God, the Mother. The Mother is fair, and kind and untouched by the name of sin, sickness, or death. He who would live must open the gates for the Mother of Life by thoughts that eschew death. So Paul closed the gates against the Mother Spirit, the Bride of God the Father, and down fell the sight of poor Elymas (Acts 13:8-12). Tender words, gentle words of healing life, balming, forgiving words, would have opened the gates for the Bride to walk through, that the perfume of her holiness might have seized the heart of Elymas to speak forth in raptures of the power of the Spirit of God as greater than all the acts of his legerdemain. He might have seen how sweetly mysterious, how strongly miraculous God as a Spirit can be, ministering unto the sons and daughters who constitute the sonship of God in their divine nature. But Paul caught a sight of the blackness of sorcery and called Elymas such names, as the ears of the Mother are never permitted to hear. The protecting Father hath a law that the mother ministry of the Spirit shall never pass through the walls where hard words are spoken.

Make smooth the grasses,
Cover the pathway with leaves,
My bride’s feet are sandalled for peace.

The early Church forgot this law of God the Father concerning the ministry of God, the Spirit Mother, and closed against her mercies, her kindness, again and again, till the healing of her seamless dress touching the bedsides of pain and disease was by and by lost sight of, and miracles have been so few that men have even doubted if the Spirit ever wrought any.

There have been twelve messages, which the metaphysicians of the ages have given, which have had the opening of the closed gates in their strength and wisdom. The Spirit has stepped forth through them. John the Revelator called them foundation stones to the beautiful temple. He called them gates of pearl. Paul had been right in saying that we are the gates of God. He had spoken some of the messages with the unlocking skill in their meanings. The Spirit of God has always stepped into sight with miracles of healing, and uplifting, and comforting wherever they have been spoken. All the world which has had freedom from speaking the words the Healing Mother must not hear has agreed in the messages or statements which make straight and smooth her pathway over the needs of mankind. We now call them the twelve lessons of Divine Science. The early wise men called them the twelve genii of power — the twelve labors of strength — the twelve energies of being. Here at the center we dwell. There at the gates dwelleth She. It is ours to open the gates. It is Hers to enter in through the gates. “Go through — go through all the gates to make way for the people,” cried the prophet. Letting Paul’s closing down of the Spirit aside, seeing the opening of the gates of the loving deputy’s mind, we will mention the true ways of Jesus. We will touch the hinges of pearl that from this moment we may not hide the ministry of the Motherhood of God.

Did you ever notice how careful the noblest and tenderest husbands are that their beautiful wives shall hear nothing hard or pain-giving. They are the living symbols of the carefulness of God the Father that the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, shall not be found where censure, criticism, scolding, maligning, or crying, are going on. The filmy walls between her merciful ears and our harshness are as thick as the stones of the ancient prison walls so far as her hearing is concerned. Yet she is near, close, ready, all-powerful, all-capable, empowered with the signet ring of God, the Omnipotent Father, to hear all our prayers. Open the gateway to her ministry of a new life by telling what her blessed ears may hear about life. So she will stream into your soul with a new life-quickening, and forth from your soul will go to the dying a stream of that ministry called raising the dead, which Jesus, whose ever-present Mother she was, brought to pass so often.

We may let her in by telling things to her about health, which the Protecting Father would willingly let her listening ears hear. Do you know the second message of Science concerning health? It is the only one by which she may enter into your soul and by which she may go forth where your heart chooses to heal and cure the hurts of the world.

There is a third message. It is about strength. If you are ready to speak as the Father permits the spiritual strength to hear, she will revive your energies, and up will spring the strength of those for whom you would have strength transform out of weakness.

The fourth message is what she is ready to do about supporting you without your struggling against any odds. The Spirit would have you as satisfied as she is with home, bread, and wine, and milk and honey. But she may only hear the fourth message of Science concerning support. You may rest back of the gateway of plenty, till you give her the open sesame the Father will let her come in by.

She will shelter you and the world if you will let her in by the fifth message of Science. She may go before like a wing of defense where the danger is lurking, and no ill shall befall where you speak the safe words for her to hear concerning defense.

The sixth message will give you the character presence which high thoughts on majestic themes can give. She will show you how to think so as to be the Sardius stone, shining as one whose soul converses with the immortals.

The seventh message she has consecrated to the spoken word. She will speak with a voice, and speak through your voice, so that the ears of the people will sharpen and their hearts shall leap at your words. The sound of your voice may be full of healing, full of uplifting. She will touch your pen with the fire of inspiration if you are bold enough to tell her those words about writing things of great purport which the Father gives her permission to hear. She will touch your throat with songs of the cherubim and seraphin, chanting great symphonies around the seas at the foot of the mountains of Paradise, if you tell her what God is giving her ears to hear, about the voice that enchants with melodies that cause the hills to drop down their odors of healing and apples of bliss.

She can make your fingers supple and skillful if you know the words about skill, when she, bending low by your pillow, may hear. She can make you so beautiful that the beggars will forget to be hungry. Her smile may light on your face with its own love-lit glory, if you know the eleventh message the great God calls the opening of the gateway to the sight of her face.

She will teach you how to love so that all hate shall be melted where you speak and where your face is seen. The genius for loving so that anger is smiled into peace, the genius for loving so that sorrow shall rest into gladness, she can enter into your soul with that love and pass over the world with it. You must make her hear by the twelfth message of Science, which is the only one the great love of God permits to hear.

She was bending close over Paul, but he would not open the door by the key, which his heart held in a secret recess. If he had given the Holy Mother the twelfth message of Science, Elymas would not have been struck blind. No, he would have loved Paul with the love of a brother, and gone with him over the cities where he knew their secrets, showing him all things in patience and sweetness. The Scriptures are given for warnings. This lesson is a warning. Do not think the mother tenderness of the Omnipotent God as spirit of miracle working ever hurts. It is when words are spoken which her ears are protected from hearing that blindness and pain and disappointment fall to the lot of the world. God is good. The Spirit is love. The miracles of Spirit are for joyous fulfillment of hopes. Whisper the words to the ears of the Mother. Let down the bars between her ever-presence and thee. She will enter in and go forth clad with the miracles of Jesus.

Let him that heareth come! Let him that is athirst come! None is so lowly, none is so wicked, but she will bend and hear, if he will not use the words the Father never permits her to hear. She is wooed by praises; she hears great praises of God the Father. She loves the descriptions of His majesty, His mercy, His watch-care, His omnipotent love. Do you know the words the Father openeth the ears of the Spirit to hear?

November 13, 1892


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