Bible Lesson LX
Acts 8:5-25
Word Spoken By The Mind


by Emma Curtis Hopkins


Words, which the mind speaks intensely, may go through the air straight to some human being and “lasso” him to bring forth whatever they command. This is thought transference. It is all in the realm of the human or mortal, even if the mind at the end of the line is stirred so healthfully that its body is healed of neuralgia or heart disease.

Then again words spoken intensely by the mind may go up into the skies, and break open like clouds and rain down their results in ways unexpected. This is answering of prayers. It is more satisfactory by far than the practice of what is called “treatment” of a mind on the plane of thought transference.

Sometimes a man can “talk another man into giving” a large donation to a church or school. He might “think him into doing” the same thing. Some people can talk an invalid into health. Some people can think him into health. Either of these ways is “treating” by thought transference.

Some people throw up their words into the mental airs by a course of reasoning, in which they tell what they would like to have done. They speak so earnestly and hotly that the words go into the right stratum of feeling and drop down on exactly the right heads to carry out the plans proposed. This is answering prayers. Abraham Lincoln practiced this way. His words went high up and touched the right upper mental stratum to break open and drop down on the head of the captain of the “Monitor”.

This seems a very cool explanation of the science of praying. It is the true explanation, however. The principle of it is exactly as demonstrable as the principle governing any other mechanical operation. All principle is God. We have to understand how words work with as accurate certainty as we would have to understand how a cook-stove works — or to “hit or miss” works.

It has always been the custom of those who brought forth the answers to their prayers by excited throwing of their words up into the airs (to that mental stratum called their God), to speak very scornfully of those who “lassoed” people into doing what they wanted them to do by thinking directly at them. To think straight at a Vanderbilt or a Mackey to endow a new college has not ever been regarded as so honorable a use of words as to openly talk him into so doing. And of all ways to make words work, none is in such favor as tossing them high up in an ecstatic frame of mind against another state of Mind called God. For a high up state of Mind is intelligence. Pure intelligence chooses, according to judgment, just the right one to help us when we need help.

To keep your mind always throwing beautiful words into the heavens is to be in a constant state of prayer. Your works will be exactly like what you are describing. If you speak the words “pure intelligence,” they will fall down as a new perception of some principle upon some head, perhaps away off in Australia. The new perception may come to yourself later on. Every new perception of any principle makes some kind of new demonstration. If you suddenly catch sight of the principle which governs praying, why, even before you use words for the purpose of bringing something to pass, that perception has wrought a miracle somewhere.

This perception of a principle is God. The God within you touches the God without you. The veil or “middle wall of partition,” which is ignorance, is suddenly parted. The instant you thrill with pleasure because you see what is true, you have wrought some kind of miracle somewhere. If you are clear enough in understanding of the law and gospel of mind to make your words do exactly what you wish, and for whomsoever your heart shall choose, you are Peter and John of this eighth chapter of Acts. If you are able to convince people that this is a demonstrable principle, and by keeping your mind sending up ecstatic words, can have them constantly dropping healing potencies on yourself, you are Philip at Samaria.

The power of Philip is the working efficiency of prayer. His arrows of thought go straight up and come straight down on himself. No prayer is lost. Ministers are often blamed for not curing the sick and working instantaneous reformation of character, when it is only because their ideas do not go straight up to fall straight down with power of the healing and reforming sort on their own selves. Paracelsus would not undertake to cure clergymen, because he was indignant against them for not curing themselves by their own prayers. As well might we be indignant against Philip, who could cure the sick and cast out devils by his prayers, but could not thrill his hearers with the hot perception of Truth, which Peter and John could do so beautifully.

And way down in the scale of methods for accomplishments, was Simon, who “treated” people mentally, till he lassoed them to his will. His idea of what was good was Peter’s idea of what was evil. So Peter’s idea of what was good was the scholar’s idea of what was evil. Peter scolded Simon for not throwing his words and will straight up just as he did. And the Sanhedrin scolded Peter for not talking to people about material things in the usual fashion; also, for not using material methods of healing just as they did.

Samaria is an important figure of speech in explaining mental processes. It means, “watch-post.” It means, “turning-point.” It marks the beginning of another era. If you have been sending high and unmixed truth into the heavens without getting any special returns upon your own mind, there will suddenly come a time when your power of healing will break forth. Other powers will come besides the mere power of healing physical bodies. Some of your arrows of Truth will have hit the mark and opened a channel directly over your own head. The rest of them have gone aslant and brought their help to others.

After this baptism of power, your mind feels differently altogether from what it did before, and your face is entirely different to look upon. There is a certainty about it, a look of confidence.

If you have had this healing power for some time without the evidence of the Holy Ghost, and have felt that you would like the quickening glory of one whose mind and body are on fire all the time from an incessant descent of radiance from above, you will certainly come to some wonderful day when so many of your words have penetrated the heavens straight over your head, that you are on fire enough to kindle a new quickening of earnestness in others.

This will give you a new look in the face and still another kind of confidence in the principle you are advocating.

This Samaria sign–post of prayers just answered, takes place whether we are thinking of Jesus Christ as a Son of God nailed on a tree and calling upon us to believe in His divinity, or as a living demonstration of the One Principle at the root of all actions, from the logical sequence of mathematical propositions to the kindling power of right words. There is just as much fire of the Holy Ghost called into demonstrations at a gathering of metaphysicians as at a Methodist camp meeting. And the staying glory of their baptism is as dependent upon their constancy in prayer as is the Methodists’.

Peter had the Holy Ghost baptism even to a great shower thereof. It was his privilege to have it so that he could keep himself alive to this very day in our sight. But he was much occupied with denunciation of other people, and also he spent a great deal of time, along with other professed Christians, boasting how much shame and disgrace and misery he had had to suffer for Christ’s sake and the Gospel’s. You can see if right words are sure to bring gladness, health, life, new power, and real safety, such talk was more an evidence of not having a right state of mind, than a virtue to boast of.

This power of the Holy Ghost cannot, as Peter indignantly informed Simon, be bought with money. Each one must put up his own words, and each one must perceive the principle for himself. Sometimes a sharp way of speaking will suddenly crack the crust of a man’s old ideas of things, and he will not be satisfied to work along the old ways. Peter practiced cracking the crusts of old ways by sharp words. Sometimes Jesus rebuked severely. He did it wisely, as a sculptor would skillfully strike off a piece of marble to make an open brow on the statue’s face.

We are sculptors of our own character. We are the architects of our own powers. Bayard Taylor wrote at twenty-three, “I will become the sculptor of my own mind’s statue. We sculpture out nobility of character by never answering when we are accused. We preserve the original whiteness of our character by never accusing. We glorify our character by saying often, “Thou Holy Presence! I am folded around with Thy glory.” The instant any one of these powers is felt by us as now working, we have marked a new light on our face. We have touched our Samaria.

You perceive that Samaria for Philip as one thing; for Simon another; for the converts another; for Peter and John another. Each one marked his life with the ideas he had been holding. Some had held their ideas for only a few days; some had theirs for three years; some had been thinking for years along their lines and suddenly snapped away from them to begin a new train.

Along the line of Jesus Christ there is sure to be given a power to heal the sick, cast out devils, raise the dead. Along the line of Jesus Christ there is sure to come the Holy Ghost baptism. He understood every one of the ways of working used by the people of His time. He so filled Himself with Holy Fire that if He touched common clay it passed the healing fire through itself and cured blindness.

This healing fire is an actual burning which seizes even our bodies after we have been dealing with Jesus Christ doctrine of the law of mind and the gospel of Spirit for a sufficient length of time. You will remember that Jesus spoke of kindling a fire. The ancient mystics speak often of a flaming fire, which burns within us without consuming us, but which burns away all the dross of folly and ignorance of mind and the impurities of our flesh at the same moment.

Many people are now feeling this flame within different parts of their bodies. It is the same burning which they felt within their hearts on the way to Emmaus, after talking with the Risen Christ. It is often set into flame by repeating the Name Jesus Christ for days and nights at a time without stopping to think what the Name means. It is often set to burning, by thinking over the majestic lessons of Spiritual Science. It is the descent of flames, which some word of a divine meaning can bring down for us when we send it up.

It is the kind of fire, which is to burn the world when the day of Samaria touches it. That day will spring forth when a teaching utterly devoid of remembrance of our former ways of thinking is continually put up from our hearts into the heavens. Its words of ecstatic praise will penetrate the heavens of pure love to drop down new feelings into far away people. “Then all the proud, yea, and they that do wickedly, shall be burned.” (I Samuel 12:25)

All the people are to be burned alive with this enchanting Fire of the Holy Ghost, which is now already burning the pride and unkindness out of many, and flaming through their lungs and hearts to burn away the dross. Lungs stand for wisdom. So when the mystic fires are felt in that region of the body, we know that some old nonsensical ideas are being consumed. The heart stands for love. So when the marvelous fire which His doctrine kindles is felt in the heart, we may know that some old prejudices are burning away. If those who have felt the fire of the Holy Ghost of their own thoughts in different parts of their bodies will consider that all the errors which that part hints at are being burned away, they will understand how the whole world is to be burned. The fires of Jesus Christ in Truth are now kindled. If you have been long speaking up into the bosom of the free Spirit your beautiful praises of God, your radiance is nearer and nearer its enchanting descent.

The world will love these fires. We hasten to bathe in them. They are the peace fires of the new heart the Jesus Christ doctrine is kindling today. Its power to heal and quicken will not slip away from the new church.

September 4, 1892


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