BIBLE LESSON XVI
John 15:1
VINES AND BRANCHES

 

by Emma Curtis Hopkins

 

It is the nature of vines to put forth branches. It is the nature of mind to put forth thoughts. Every thought of the mind bears fruit after its kind. The mind of Jesus Christ thought only pure thoughts, so all His Works were perfect. Every thought the mind thinks personifies in some circumstance, or thing, or human being before our eyes. No two people see the circumstance, or object, or person exactly the same. Each mind sees its own belief about the matter. When we all believe the truth we shall all see everything exactly as it is. John, James, Matthew, Philip, Peter, etc., all stood for true ideas in the mind of Jesus.

John represented His tenderness. James personified His strong word that He so often spoke to others. Matthew stood for His benevolent thought; he never failed to speak when a case could be best reached by being benevolent toward it instead of strong, or tender, or argumentative. “Find out men’s wants and will and meet them there.”

Philip was His swift Word. Some of our thoughts go instantaneously where We are thinking. See how quickly Philip ran towards the eunuch in the chariot of the Queen of Ethiopia and converted him in no time. Peter stood for the idea that people want substantial help like bread and meat and health and shelter, rather than promises of comfort in a future paradise. All these ideas are good ones and Jesus Christ said that was because His mind was so true. “I am the true vine.” “My Father is the husbandman.” My good judgment keeps me from thinking anything but truth. Husbandman always means good judgment. There is only one side of the question when good judgment handles your vine (that is, your mind and its thoughts).

There is no power given to evil at all. All thoughts of feebleness or weakness or inefficiency are lopped off and burned up. You have nothing to do with them. Did you ever have a good, kind feeling towards anybody, and when you saw them sick or crying you pitifully wished you could do something for them, but felt powerless to do what they needed? If you had understood this lesson well you would not have felt powerless, you would have known that your kindly feeling towards them contained within itself the ability to draw from the very forces of the universe all the help they needed to them.

That kindly feeling put into a definite Word whether silent or audible should be pruned of the useless twig of helpless feeling. Euripides said, “One right thought is Worth a hundred right hands.” So it is. The thought that backs the action is What wins.

Abraham Lincoln spent a Whole night putting forth his loving kindness of heart over the universe to bring help to what he considered a righteous cause. And the principle of loving kindness in the universe stirred as waters stir when we throw a stone into them, and the loving kindness in every heart was stirred, aware or unaware of what moved it to respond, “we’re coming!”

The captain of the Monitor hastened, he knew not why, the unpromising boat stirred as though it were alive, and the crews fired the airs to victory. He would not take no for an answer. He would not receive any other action from the universe but loving kindness. Loving kindness in the heart put forth into the airs of loving kindness will Wake the echoes again and again till everything that can help your neighbor comes hurrying to help him. There is plenty to help him with. Get it. You get it if your refuse to feel helpless. Does not the vine that is pruned draw rich sustenance? Mind is all. It will turn the hands and train the voice and trim the actions to success. A man on a desert island cast away with the rest of the crew of a ship took the thought, “Living Water,” into his mind instead of describing how thirsty he was. It was very hot and they were dying of thirst, but while the rest were putting the forces of their minds into describing their thirst, their heat, their misery, he put the whole force of his mind into the Words, “Living Water, Living Water!”

These words caused his hands to seize a spade or shovel, and these words caused him to begin to dig, while his companions’ words caused them to lie down in despair on the hot sand.

They derided him, but he did not notice. The words of his mind mastered everything so did theirs. But you see his words were very different from theirs, even under the same circumstances. “By thy words thou art justified.” Michelangelo never noticed how rough or how hard the marble was — he Was thinking of the image. This man struck the Living Water and it was so deep that they had to help him out or he would have been drowned they said.

You must trust the loving kindness of your heart. Can you not say, “Loving Kindness, in you is sufficient help!”

You do not remember you have no money, no influence, that people have thought you too sympathetic; all you think of is the omnipotence of loving kindness. This is a possible state of mind. When a child or companion seems to get into Wrong ways Why do you droop and cry when you know that there really is a little struggling hope in your heart that he will do better some time?

That very hope is the salvation of the loved one. Refuse every thought but your hope. Let all the force of your mind rally to trust your hope. Hope, even so little a streak of it, is better than ten thousand men at work to help you. Hope is the best beloved messenger of God. She was never yet killed. Men and women have shut down on her, tried to smother her, hid her deep in their bosoms, but, immortal defender that she is, she was never quenched yet.

Trust your hope. Never mind who tells you the particulars of downfall or disaster — trust your hope. It is a branch from the deathless soul that dwells in you as the true vine or true creation of God.

“I trust Thee, Hope!” Run all your energy into your confidence in your hope to lead you to success. “But it would have to be a miracle,” you say, “to bring this state of affairs out to my satisfaction, for the situation is irretrievable, according to human judgment.”

Who cares anything for human judgment? It is God’s judgment that tells a Michelangelo there is a goddess, or a David, or an angel in the rough marble, and tells a man on the island that there is Living Water Where none was ever found before! There is not time or energy to be spent in crying. Lean hard to the Winds of your hope. Your highest aspiration is that which you are intended to fulfill, and if you have heretofore let any environments or circumstances sap your confidence in your aspirations, it is time you pruned your ideas.

Here Jesus Christ assures them that let His Words abide in them, they may ask what they will and it will be done. The student of astronomy would know more about the stars after an hour of trust in his hope to know, than after years of patient investigation of the heavens. Once an astronomer searching the skies in vain and figuring in vain, told one who knew nothing about stars his dilemma. The other was a firm truster in the law that “the Spirit will teach you all things.” He responded quickly, an answer which the astronomer proved to be accurate.

Miracles are your birthright. That is what your hope tells you and your hope is correct.

You shall see every man, Woman and child saved if your goodness of heart will receive all your living forces. Here is a book Written by a man who scans material stars and reckons on the letter of prophecy, and he says that we are on the verge of destruction as an unbelieving race. We live in the last week of history. The “Holy Spirit grieved beyond all endurance” is about the leave us to face incarnate evil.

Now What does the husbandman of your mind — its good judgment, say of a Holy Spirit that gives up the fight so easily as that, when the prize to be won is the redemption of a race whose only crime is that they have listened to a teaching just like his, viz, that they must smother hope?

No. The sorrowful planet shall sing for joy and “the gates of hell shall not prevail against” the Truth. The worst of mankind is as entitled to the best of the universe as the best of us, for the worst of them have not refused to trust their hope (the one branch that puts forth from the soul again and again, even to the last breath of consciousness) any more than the best of us. “Herein is my Father glorified that ye bear much fruit.” Not any little scrimpling achievements, but the safety of a globe is your mission. Did you ever trust a friend that what he told you of truth was true?
Listen. What hope tells you of truth is true. Trust her and you trust God. For she is the truth of God. Faith in her will quicken and quicken faith till the universe only shall be large enough to contain your faith.

Do you look longingly for mankind to be just — for goodness to prevail? That longing is the stir of the goodness in your heart. Trust that stir. She is hope unfurling her White wings. Assure her that you trust her. I trust thee, Hope! Come, goodness, come! “The nations shall learn war no more.” “The wicked cease.” Hope has been rewarded with all she ever asked of mankind, namely confidence in her. Over there in the business mart whither your trembling footsteps go tomorrow, fearing there may be disaster Waiting, stirs one little hope that a miracle may be wrought to save you? Tell that little hope you love it. Tell it you trust it. It speaks to the Principle of Bounty — God omnipotent, omniscient!” Hope has been more faithful to God than any messenger to man. Give her your trust, and she will Work any miracle you ask. “Ye shall ask what you will.” “Have hope towards God.”

“It shall be done unto you.”
Bright drink the angels
From her glory,
Though none have scanned
Her glorious way!
Bright speak the words of
Her living story,
And over our star
Dawns her endless day!

“Henceforth I call you not servants but friends . . . for all things that I have heard from the Father I have told you.” Now Jesus Christ is in them when they know all the words that He knows and they speak all that He speaks and they trust their words as He trusts.

The Comforter is that power that comes into your consciousness with the name Jesus Christ. That name is the saving Truth. You had better speak it until the same mind fills and thrills you that thrilled the only One who ever demonstrated supreme mastery over all kinds of claims of evil. “In My Name the devils tremble. In my Name the power of the Holy Spirit reigns triumphant. In My Name immortal life. In My Name goodness. I am the true vine. The way I begin to reign in you is when you trust your highest aspirations, your only hope, and prune boldly the tremblings of apprehension, of short — sightedness of prophecies of evil. Nothing shall prevail against Me,” says Jesus Christ, in man the hope of glory.

November 1st, 1891

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