Bible Lesson XLII
Psalm 51:1-13
External or Mystic


by Emma Curtis Hopkins


The fifty-first psalm is both external and mystic. We will heed its mystic sense. In Science we learn that to study the external is to be baffled at every turn, — to finally end by the well-known saying of the physicists: “The most that we know is that we know nothing.” We are always like what we are studying. The conclusions of the materialists are right. He has been studying nothing when he has been studying matter, and so he must know nothing. In Science we learn that to study the mystic or spiritual sense of all things is to glow and brighten with substantial understanding. For the mystic or spiritual is the real. To study the real is to show forth reality. This fifty-first psalm is called the prayer of the penitent. It is David’s misery because he has so speedily found out that he had believed falsely when he believed that adultery and murder would satisfy his heart.

All penitence has been discovered to be simply the howlings of those who are disappointed because mistakes have not made them happy. Some harden their hearts in anger. Some feel penitent.

Penitence is a quicker road back to a chance to begin over again than hard-heartedness. But everyone goes back to his chance to begin over again somehow. There are none lost. They may sleep profoundly in hard-heartedness, and so be longer going back in mind to their first estate than the penitent, but they will wake up somewhere, somehow, sometime.

“Blot out my transgressions,” cries David. This means make them nothing. “Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned.” As one cannot sin against Omnipotence, this was the noblest self-treatment David could have spoken. Omnipotence is the only power. There is, therefore, no power in sin. Omnipotence is the only Being. There is, therefore, no being to sin against the only Being. There is, therefore, no place, or space, or where, that sin could be committed.
Does this seem to be true reasoning when we look out upon the phenomenal world? O, no! It is pronounced in the highest sense ridiculous. Why, then, do we reason along lines that bring down so much derision and contempt? Because they are the lines that bring freedom from what seems to be sin. Because they are the lines that bring freedom from sickness and misfortune. The moment one declares that his sin or his crime is against Omnipresence and Omnipotence only, he feels inwardly that it is blotted out from that moment. He is touching heart to heart with Spirit. He pays no attention to material men and women. He is a mystic and is happy. The first taste of the bliss of the mystic makes a difference in the actions of the individual. If you get this taste by clear, careful reasonings, you will be able to explain the way and others may reason exactly as you do and taste the bliss and change their actions. If you stumble upon the taste, you may not be so good at explaining the process by which you were made so happy.

Take these cases to illustrate. They explain the real meaning of the text, “Cast all your care on God.” One woman was left a widow with a family of little children. She sat down with her babies around her and said positively that God must provide for her and her children. She held firmly on to this position in mind and though her neighbors called her shiftless, she would not yield this point. They pointed out women who had opened boarding houses and shops. She held her ground. They told her that “God helps them that help themselves.” All to no avail. She could not explain that she was taking literally the deepest meaning of the words of Jesus Christ, “Cast all your care on God.”

She took the word “all” to mean all. And it turned out wonderfully. From the most unexpected quarters, beautiful gifts and bountiful provisions came to her. The neighbors said it was lucky that so shiftless a woman was so lucky in having presents, which she had not earned. According to the Science of Jesus Christ, she had earned them in the only way that is legitimate. It is not scientific to order your life by the proverb, “God helps them that help themselves.” It is not true. It is absolutely true that God helps them that let Him do everything. There was a beautiful church lately built by men who believe that “God helps them that help themselves.” Every man who contracted to do any part of the building lost money, from the digging in the earth to the tipping of the spire. It was a wrong principle of action, you see. It was not easy for the woman to explain her feeling of “rest in the Lord to bring it to pass.” It is easy for those who study the second series of lessons in Spiritual Science to see and to put into practice, that God is the only provider, the only caretaker, the only worker.

David was mourning about his having thought he should be happy if he committed two crimes. By mourning over them and talking to God about them, he suddenly struck the treatment that will unburden anyone of the greatest sort or kind of mental weight. He looked right straight to God. He laid it all upon God. He in that moment felt how utterly nowhere is sin, suffering, death, because God is all.

“Is there any besides me?” saith the Lord “Do not r fill heaven and earth?” The millions of unemployed laborers are here today the visible result of the religious teaching that the Lord helps those who help themselves. The planet is convulsing with the conflicts of labor and capital because of that proverb. Their ancestors worked like galley slaves, and from their tired energies put forth these offspring. Our rich men work like galley slaves, and from their harassed forces put forth their, incompetent offspring who will be the unemployed grumblers of the next generation. This is the process of generation according to the flesh. David says it is the being “shapen in iniquity.” Jesus Christ put his finger back to the error in the mind which says that because we came forth from the flesh we are full of trouble, therefore we must earn our bread by the sweat of our brow, and he said, “Call no man upon earth your father for one is your Father, even God.” Then He erased the idea of laboring for your living with the words, “Labor not for the meat that perisheth.”

It would be a divine treatment of yourself if you would stop this moment and take Jesus Christ at His Word by proclaiming mentally, “I never came forth from the flesh of the material world. I came forth from God. God is my Father and my Mother. I do not have to be anxious or careful about my living. God is my provider. I do not have to labor. God works for me. I do not believe in anyone’s laboring for the meat that perisheth. I believe that God will clothe and feed all the world without their struggling any more than the lily struggles. From this moment I believe that God does all and everything. Amen.”  You must take all the texts of Scripture and push them to their extremest meanings. No matter how many fences have been put up by theology, so called, be bold and reckless in taking inspirations of Spirit to be practically true.

David speaks of being restored unto the joy of salvation after he has mourned at his mother’s having been a material woman. By a sudden gleam he found that he had been a child of God from the first. It is easy to erase the idea of material parents and wake up in “God our home.”

We erase ideas from our minds by words. “Let us take with us words and go unto our God.” It is a bath in the waters of Paradise to wash our old ideas of these Scriptures out of mind and take the texts just as they mean.

This planet has been called by poets and geniuses, “The sorrowful star.” It has also been called the planet of doubt. It was found to be the only star whose inhabitants doubted the goodness of God. It is certainly a globe where it is written plainly that it is what we believe in our hearts that we show out in our lives.

We believe in heredity in the flesh and we show out that belief in inherited foolishness and inherited disease. We take Jesus Christ at His word and deny heredity in flesh and proclaim our heredity from God. As soon as the new idea gets any hold on our faith, we show healthy bodies and wise minds. There was an African king who believed that poisons were good to eat. He got to eating poisons all the time and flourished on them. Those who came near him did not believe that poisons were good to eat, so when he embraced them much, they died. His faith was death to his neighbors because it was not based in the principle that God is the life of the plants and the life of the world. He just believed in poisons as good for himself.

There is a man who has thought about force so much that he believes in force more than anyone in this country. This confidence in force makes him able to set immense masses of machinery into action. Another believes so intently in curing drunkards that he cures them at once. Both these men have limited the range of their ministry, though they do wonders as far as they go with their faith. You must have the faith of God, every one of you. You must eat Omnipotence. You will never be satisfied with anything less than Omnipotence. It will not take away from your neighbor’s Omnipotence if you have eaten Omnipotence, any more than it could take away from your teacher’s knowledge of Euclid if you should know as much as he does.

You must have all the riches of God, every one of you. Nothing will satisfy you short of all there is in creation. It will not take away from your neighbor’s riches if you have all the riches there are in creation any more than it would take away from your neighbor’s health for you to be healthy.

This is the “glory you had with the Father before the world was.” David puts it here in the word “restore.” Such a faith as this emanating from you will heal and uplift and feed the world. To believe any less than this is to show out less than perfect healing power, perfect helping energy, perfect judgment.

It is believing less than we have a right to believe, that makes us a sorrowful star and a doubter of the goodness and impartiality of God. “Uphold me with a free spirit,” sings David. Last week the lesson was that men are anarchists because they are the product of the idea that we must pledge ourselves to give something to the Almighty if He will answer our prayers. We found the interior meaning to be that no one should ever pledge himself to do anything or to give anything or owe anything to God Almighty, but should agree with Him to do everything Himself, and give everything Himself for nothing, just as it is written, “He giveth to all men liberally,” and never scolds nor complains nor lays it up against anyone if she or he has not done penance nor given alms. This week the idea that reigns is the free Spirit. We see that there is no limit to our possession and powers, every one of us, without interfering at all with our neighbor’s possessions and powers. We find that it sets all minds free from the idea of earning bread by the sweat of the brow.

We find that the belief in earning wages of our fellow men is the curse, or the serpent upon whose head the woman shall set her heel in the last days of the material earth.

The Science of God is the woman. The belief in earning our living by the favor of our neighbors is the serpent of belief in some of our neighbors being wiser or richer or stronger than we.

Upon this idea that has wound its smothering coils around the earth the Science sets its heel of denial. No! There is no respect of persons with God. Each one owns all of God, and none can take from his neighbor’s all. Each one knows all of God, and none shall be able to teach his neighbor, “Lo, here is God, or lo, there,” for all proclaim they know Him, from the least unto the greatest. None shall earn his rights from his neighbor, but each shall receive without labor the gift of God. “Labor not for the meat that perisheth.” God shall uphold us with His free Spirit forever. “We trust in God.” Such a doctrine as this held in the mind will fruit practically in new avenues of subsistence being opened up to those who by long belief in superiority and inferiority and earning from neighbors, are now our restless unemployed and our angry employed. There are metaphysical powers, quickening now within them as the Science of God wings her omnipotent way from God around them to God within them.

The stirs and throes that the planet feels are the working of the words of the free Spirit of the Science of God proclaimed from the earnest hearts of the fearless and true as they sit in the silence helping on the salvation from doubt and discouragement and inequalities that have no right in this Kingdom now coming into our sight.

May 1st, 1892


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