All over Christendom, when people use the expression which is the subject of this lesson, they mean to have us know that a principle supposed to have been dropped out of favor long ago is now come to the front as a power.
The idea which the dominant church supposed had been slain with Galileo is now risen smiling and calm as the orbit itself: “Christ is risen.”
Did you reject is as absurdity when you first heard it spoken that visible material objects have, indeed, no reality as matter, but that as spirit is omnipresent their only substance is spirit, and therefore there is no matter? But now you begin to understand it, do you not? This is Christ risen again in you, the hope of glory. Your hope begins to be quickened, does it not? You have an indefinable expectation of something good coming to you from seeing the point, do you not? This expectation will not fail you. Truth never fails to bring something good to the one who recognizes her. Christ is Truth. Did you feel exceeding indignation when the metaphysicians not only insisted upon the unreality of matter, but also declared that all evil performances are only a delusion of the mind?
If you put the idea away and refused positively to entertain it, or consider it at all, then you rolled the stone of unbelief against the place where you hid the idea in your mind.
But the mind is very mysteriously retentive where a truth is concerned. Some day you will find that that idea is as clear as crystal to you. It rises smiling and loving and living as ever. There is not a truth you have ever heard spoken but What it is now milling within you and preparing to appear to you again. This is the nature of Truth. Then there are more intense statements of Truth than that evil is a delusion and matter is non est.
Mary Magdalene represents one who has cast out the seven false ideas of the human mind, and taken the seven right ones to replace them. You remember she had seven devils cast out by Jesus Christ. As Jesus Christ was strictly scientific in His mode of dealing with people, you can see He must have given her the seven noble affirmations of Truth to satisfy her mind With. Naaman washed seven items in Jordan to typify the seven cleansing words of mental law. The man mentioned by Jesus put out the seven devils or spirits or errors from his house or mind and neglected to receive the seven good words that belonged to him. It is to be expected that you will have put out these seven notions, viz., that there is any evil mixed with the omnipresent good in this universe where we dwell, and second that there is any matter or material thing in this universe.
You have learned that, strictly speaking, there is no absence of life, spirit, or intelligence. That there is nothing to hate, and that there is no reality in sin, sickness or death. You have also declared that there is no burden on your spirit or in your life, and have gladly put out of your mind the foolish idea that anything or anybody could get away from you anything that belongs to you. At first, very likely, these denials of what seems were rather hard for you to make, because all your past teachings and experiences belied them. But it is not at all a question of what We have been taught to believe, but a question of What is true.
Some people have been taught that they must live and think in a certain way or after they are dead they will be changed into bats and owls; but even if they believe it profoundly it will not be true. There are certain ways of believing which will make you nobly intelligent, perfectly healthy, and always successful. You are entirely dependent upon how much Truth you believe. The more Truth you believe the more successful you are. Failure along any line is sure evidence that you believe something that is not true very determinedly. If you have been failing in your undertakings you had better say very positively within yourself, “I hold no prejudice against anybody or anything in all the world.” Such a message sent out of your mind will be sure to put the notion out of your mind which keeps you unsuccessful.
Only Truth is successful. If you answer me back that some liars are quite prosperous, I will point you to some great truth they do believe profoundly. Successful people generally laugh at certain notions you are hugging. All notions are prejudices against somebody or something.
All the regular denials of science have intenser exclamations of themselves. It was when Mary Magdalene had had the first statements of science, and had begun to speak them with deeper realization of them, that she is chronicled to have been found at the empty tomb, and to have spoken face to face with Jesus Christ.
For even the highest scientists there are still greater illuminations. Even the seven denials of science have harder statements of themselves. These harder statements operate with the advanced metaphysicians exactly the same as the first ones operate with those people who have believed in evil as a reality, in matter as having laws, and in sickness, misfortune and death as necessary adjuncts to existence.
The more metaphysical science you are acquainted with the more mastery you have over human conditions. Simple acquaintance therewith, however, is not high safety. Loving fellowship with them is the safety I am speaking of.
Often the highly scientific rnetaphysicians withdraw in horror from their colleagues when those colleagues make the denials of science over again according to their deeper meanings.
They cry as Mary: “They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him.” If they stand by, however, they will see the truth come face to face with a newer glory. It is not a good plan to run away and cut yourself off from your colleagues simply because they have spoken high science, just as it is not good for you to refuse the simple statements of science and roll a stone of unbelief against the door of the place in your mind where the statements are lying.
There is a noble principle involved in standing by and seeing the angels who have power to roll away unbelief. Angels are perfect thoughts — pure thoughts. They are the head and foot, the alpha and omega, of good. Your mind had better take them now in one Name, spoken while the joy of truth is not in you.
The joy of truth in you is when you realize that it was the true words you spoke that brought you this noble prosperity, and can see how exactly it will be so with you always. The angels are the words themselves, spoken faithfully because you have nowhere and nothing else to turn to but what you can say.
It is a pretty lonely time, seemingly, when you have nobody and nothing to turn to but your own prayers. But if you keep on speaking your faithful words you will find how they will turn you right around face to face with answered prayer.
Just one word is praying — or rather it is two words in one. This is the Name. Speak it. Jesus Christ. The words are alive. They will turn you into the right place, into the very arms of help.
A woman had been speaking this Name with all her might because so many things had happened which had desolated her mind and heart and life. Suddenly she stopped. Every one of the events changed in her judgment and before the day was out they had actually turned around so that they were better than she had even imagined.
Her home was saved. Her child was spared. Her undertaking was successful beyond description. Tolstoi says that it was actually taught by Jesus of Nazareth that in this life we shall have an hundred fold more prosperity than the world’s people if we hold to Jesus Christ, but he mournfully looks at the poverty-stricken, feeble Christians and asks, “Do we?” If all those who have been prejudiced against prosperity, feeling it to be a snare of the devil, will turn right straight to What Jesus Christ taught, they will begin to make the denials of science and the affirmations of science, and instead of feeling their helplessness and inferiority and ignorance they will realize that their natural right is the dominion over the world, the flesh and the devil, which Jesus Christ had. To be owner of great possessions, to be wise in disposing of them; to be strong and buoyantly glad every minute, with the rich ability to teach all the rest of the world how to be so too, is the right of the Christian.
But if he be prejudiced against these things or prejudices his own fortune against them by trying to persuade people to love poverty and hug disease, he will never demonstrate his birthright. When you have once been brought to see how nobly rich the King’s ministry is in reality you will hear your own name spoken. Ah! The name that is in your forehead, which is your keynote.
That name of yours is always with you. It is your secret recognition of the presence and office of Jesus Christ. You know Jesus Christ in your own way. You are not expected to know how Jesus Christ Works with your neighbor to make him successful but you may know just exactly how Jesus Christ works with you to make you a transcendent delight.
When Jesus Christ said to Mary here, “Touch Me not,” He meant to teach us that even when we are most rejoiced with what we have received we have not even then known the height and the depth, the length and the breadth of the riches of Jesus Christ.
We must keep on naming the Name. We must not stop naming the Name to watch phenomena of any kind.
To watch any phenomena as it looks to be is touching Jesus with human notions. Keep on naming the Name even if again for a season you do not see any sign of Jesus Christ in your lot but have only the memory of answered prayers.
Tell over what prayers you have had answered. Tell over and over What great things you have had done for you. Jesus Christ is coming to abide with those who understand. The coming of Jesus Christ simply means understanding Truth. The abiding of Jesus Christ simply means the constant understanding of Truth.
Constant understanding of Truth has compelled those new statements of the metaphysics of life which are now demonstrating the freedom from all experience of pain, sickness, misfortune of those who make them. Suddenly the mind is illuminated to realize that there never was any such God as even the churches have described when most eloquently picturing Him forth. Suddenly it has been found that Jesus Christ is no such character as they tell us and had no such mission as they explain. Suddenly the whole fact looms up that mistaken teachings concerning God and Jesus Christ have built our prisons, waged our wars, pitted labor and capital against each other and given one home luxuries while the other starved.
Suddenly it is clear that the ministers in their pulpits, the moralists on their platforms, the Tolstois in their books, must stop their teachings and ask Jesus Christ what is true, regardless of what they have been taught was true, for Jesus Christ preached as life, health, strength, support defense, just as the Name means, is risen never to go down behind the stone of unbelief in the hearts of those who have cried “Rabboni!”
December 13th, 1891