Bible Lesson XXXIX
Psalm 2:1-12
The Power of Faith


by Emma Curtis Hopkins


Before noticing today’s lesson, make the connection in this course which last Sunday’s text suggests. That can be summed up in the four propositions distinctly announced by the Second Psalm explained esoterically.

They are these:

1. I stand by the Omnipotent Truth that God is the Life of Omnipresence and as God is Life without any death there is therefore no death at all to Substance or Strength.

To believe in death is to be what this psalmist denominated a “heathen imagining vain things.” By this statement, we come into clear knowledge of what the eastern sages meant by saying thousands of years ago that:

“He who thinks that he can slay a life,
Or he who thinks life can be slain,
These both do err;
For life is God, and God cannot be slain.”

We understand that it is as great an evidence of heathenism or ignorance to strike down one’s neighbor with intent to slay as to preach that it is wicked to kill, or vice versa. For there is only one life in the universe. It fills the universe full. There is no place to take life from and none to take it to — save itself.

The out-showing of belief in death is the raging of anger, man against his brother man, supposing that his brother has gotten something away from him; or against fate, thinking “imagining” we have been defrauded of something. We are here shown that “according to thy faith be it unto thee,” is wholly in reference to human experiences. Faith is here shown to be that persistent way of thinking which is peculiar to every man, woman, child as distinct from his neighbor. It is what we think within our hearts independent of our speech and independent of our true Spirit, which determines our destiny.

For illustration, take Napoleon Bonaparte; he was always calculating what he should do in case he were defeated. This was his persistent thought. He was not born for defeat. There is a spring of the conquering Spirit buoyantly rising within the bosom of every child. It was so buoyantly near the surface in the little Napoleon, that at six years of age, he would fearlessly fight with boys twice his age and always whip them, because he had not then begun to calculate what he should do in case of being himself whipped.

He who knows the laws of the esoteric as related to the exoteric, will easily trace the teaching that “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he,” is written on the scroll of Napoleon’s destiny. By and by that subtle river encroached upon the firm intent of his victorious mind, and though his voice was as rallying and his limbs as agile and energetic as ever, the time for the fruitage of his secret thoughts had come, and nothing could stay the signal and irredeemable defeat of Waterloo.

“What we are by thought was wrought and built.” The belief that “man is born to die,” will show forth in death. But death will not be true because we believe in death by any manner of means. Would it make any difference to the fact of there being a principle of righteousness if you should say that you did not believe in righteousness? It would change your conduct and darken your hopes, but that right is right would go right on regardless of your nonsense. So Life Omnipresent goes on forever filling all the spaces of Omnipresence with the living God though all the kings and preachers of the world proclaim how real death is.

In standing to pass along this first spiritual teaching of this psalm, rejoice in the discovery that it has an exoteric or practical effect to speak this great truth forth as a conviction of mind. Those who speak it as real conviction act as if they had been pushed into the current of living, instead of struggling across it. Life flows visibly through them. Their blood bounds as if some obstruction had been suddenly removed. Their ears quicken and the hearing they bad supposed was dead they find to be as alive as in the days of boyhood before the mind had calculated about death.

Many a supposed dead faculty is waiting for the honest conviction of the mind, that this is true, viz. that all death is an imagination; all old age is the winding up of much believing in the reality of corpses, and all paralyzed or stopped faculties are the hints of truth that the persistent imaginations of mind are marshalling their forces. Imaginations show forth to all those who believe them. Sometimes those who are called Spiritual Scientists are scolded and abused for having death near them, which they do not seem to be able to stop. Do you suppose Napoleon’s sudden declaration, “I do not now believe in defeat,” would have worked with sudden success against the marshalled armies of his years of mental calculation of defeats? No. Only the fires of the faith of God Himself work with instantaneous demonstration.

If you should look straight past all exteriors into the persistent expectations of death, and calculations about death which those young faithists (called Spiritual Scientists) have, you would see their callused minds striving to believe in life, but solidly determined upon death since their childhood.

It is for the fire of God-faith, the cold mind yearns. God does not believe in death. So Jesus said, “Have the faith of God.” Paul said, “By faith the dead are raised.” He means that faith, which is the way the mind persists in thinking, will make life visible where it has been hidden by “heathen imaginations.”

2. The second proposition here made, as you will see by reading the first twelve verses of the Psalm, is: “God is the health of the universe. As God is the Omnipresence, that which is not God is the nowhere present. As disease, imperfection, sickness are not God, they are nowhere present.”

This reminds us of Plato’s saying, that when we “discover the one in the many, we have penetrated to the secret of existence.” This proposition is universal. As the mind throws its free reasoning afar towards the horizons of the infinite seas, it feels the splendor of this truth that in Omnipresent Holiness, there is no imperfection, and if the mind is honest and docile, it will know that as we live in God, breathe in God, and move in God, so for us also there is no sickness or disease, or imperfect substance.

That which is true of the large is true of the small. That which is true of the all is true of the one. All and each may say truly, “What God is, that I am.” Just as soon as this wholesome doctrine gets the consent of the secret heart, the cheeks redden, the flesh glows, the breath deepens. “I am well.”

Here we are brought to face the question of where God is, and we must bring Science, revelation, and practical experience to confirm one another.

It is according to the Science of Christ that for the lightest word we give a demonstration. The text is, “For the lightest word thou shalt give account.” The Science teaches that the words of Truth are “Life to them that find them and death to all their flesh.” Revelation came to the spiritual hearts of the Brahmins ages ago, that “It is by the divine word that the sick are surely healed.” Whoever speaks Truth with his secret heart in league with it, is healed. Let experience teach you. The experience of thousands upon thousands testifies that Truth is a healing principle. The cheery refreshment of eternal Truth comes sifting its perfumes of youth and vigor through the tangled threads of our substance, and the promise is fulfilled. “Thy light shall break forth as the morning, and thy health shall spring forth speedily.”

Is the substance of God here? Yea, God is here. Is the substance of God there? Yea, God is there.

Early in the study of the Science of God the students said, “We must look for God without us. We must think of Spirit as exterior, there, beyond; never within us.” The practical effect of that divorcing of the without from the within in the thoughts of the heart, was that while as a ministry they performed much healing of their neighbors, and made bold to dictate to the universe its mission as the substance of God, they were remarkably unable to cure themselves of their ailments. Palsy, blindness, lameness, pain kept their relentless hold upon them. Then there arose a message among them that, as their own substance was Spirit or God, they must look within for God, never without. They practiced according to the injunction over the Delphic temple — ”Know thyself.”

The practical results of this insistence upon the God within and not without was to make their eyes keen of sight, their bodies sound and wholesome; but they had not so much effect upon their neighbors’ bodily health or physical faculties, and they were always finding their experiences with men and things and affairs disastrous.

They divorced the God substance within from the God substance without. Looking back over the history of mystic or religious teachings we see that all divorce of every sort and kind sprang forth from the one-sided message, “God is within me, not without me,” or “God is without me, not within me.” All wars are the belief in divorce externalizing, the belief of life apart from Life. There was an ancient sage who made the beautiful announcement, “There is no apartness.” They who do not believe in apartness will never have their homes broken by death or divorce or infidelity. They will never fear accidents or hurts or calamities. They will see their safety in the depths of the sea as in their mother’s home. “Is He not yonder in the uttermost sea? The sea is His, He made it.”

3. They will easily receive the third proposition of this psalm, which interpreted, is, “God is the defense, the protection, the surety of the universe, and as in God there is no danger, so in the universe where God abides, there is no danger forevermore.”

This is a Truth. Do you know what Truth has power to do when it is spoken? It can still the tempest, stop the earthquake, intercept the lightning, ward off accidents. Truth is Omnipotence.

“On Truth the worlds were founded. By Truth the worlds were made. Truth is Lord over all and there is nothing higher than it.”

If you dare to turn your mind’s eye over the accidents and calamities of the ages, you are what this psalmist holds in derision as not having yet learned that imaginations of evil bring experiences of evil. How can evil be in the substance of God? Maimonides said, “When thy senses affirm what thy reason rejects, deny the testimony of the senses and listen to reason.” Truth is reason. “God is our omnipresent defense forever.” To say this will prove it. “There shall no ill come nigh thy dwelling.”

4. The fourth proposition that can be demonstrated as Truth is here brought out as, “God is the support, the provider of the universe and all things in it. As God is the substance of all things and God is self-providing, nothing can want or lack or famish in all creation.” So many, who imagine lack, want, indebtedness, poverty, should speak this truth. They must learn it by rote and have it for the secret run of their hearts till they forget that they ever imagined such idle tales as the failure of their substance.

Where it says here that we must “Kiss the Son lest He be angry,” it means that we must greet all creation as good to us. There is nothing to hurt us, or rob us or defile us. Greet all things as God — as the Son, or message of God to us that even the stones tell us where there is gold with which to buy bread. The beasts call the direction from whence our success comes quickest. This moment the winds whisper the secret of our prosperity. Everything tells of universal bounty for each creature.

Love them. Condemn them not. It is as our mind secretly thinks that our world returns its dealings to us. But though we create our experiences by our mind’s subtle thoughts, we do not create Truth.

Forever these propositions which this psalm repeats woo us to speak them till God in His love is visible, not hidden. God is Truth. Truth is God.

April 10, 1892


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