BIBLE LESSON XXXI
Jeremiah 1:6
HEAVEN AROUND US

 

by Emma Curtis Hopkins

 

This lesson is from Jeremiah, Chapter 31. It explains the life of man under law and the life of man under grace. “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” When we come to appreciate the difference between what are our experiences while subject to the law of matter and its mind, and our experiences while under the gospel of Spirit we see the Work which Jesus Christ wrought. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law.”

This lesson explains two other points, namely, what it means to acknowledge God in all our ways, and what it means to “look unto Me and be ye saved all the ends of the earth.”

When shrinking, timid, young Jeremiah hears the truth of God he feels that he cannot preach it, so he says, “I am only a child.” Then the God rises within him and sternly commands, “say not thou I am a child; see, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms.” This command to Jeremiah is commanded to all who have heard that their substance is God, their life is God, and their intelligence is God. It completely takes away from us the pleasing delusion, “I am only a child who is lying on the bosom of Infinite love,” and puts it in its place, “I am infinite self-responsibility.”

The command to look unto God in all words and ways is the same as “Stand thou upright on thy feet,” and understand the atonement! Or that thou and God are one and inseparable spirit. For we understand distinctly that only spirit can look at spirit and thus as we are of the same substance God is, we are looking at our own substance when we realize salvation. It is another way of putting the doctrine that to know ourselves is the highest knowledge.

Jesus Christ found men under both the physical and metaphysical law. That is, He found them looking at matter as reigning over them, and also at carnal mind as reigning over them. He ignored both the physical and metaphysical bondage of mankind, and showed them free grace. That nobody has ever accepted the freedom He offered, so they also are free as He was, does not make His less.

He found them believing that they must Wait for summer and winter, seedtime and harvest, grinding and baking, for their bread. He showed them that this was not necessary, and increased five loaves without any material procedure into quite enough to feed 5,000 men, besides Women and children. “I have meat to eat that ye know not We do not need to spawn and hook fish, He explained, and He ignored physical law and multiplied fish with the bread.

He showed that no man with cataracts on his eyes need go into a dark room and lie waiting, after a skillful operation by some sharp instrument in the hands of a surgeon, in order to see clearly. A word is quite sufficient. “I came to bring recovery of sight to the blind” by the gospel.

He ignored grape culture, and yet produced reviving wines. “Buy wine, without money and without price,” by turning water into wine at your Word was His instruction. He spoke to the gold in the fish, and it precipitated at once. He proved that it is not by might or power of horseman or steel that one is best defended from earthly foes, by causing the officers and soldiers to fall backward and upon their faces at sight of Him.

There is something surpassing all things in one who holds true ideas. The name of Jesus Christ when held hard in mind will quicken all our powers — quicken our signs of greatness. At the information of the seventh angel in Revelation, that the kingdoms of the world were to become the kingdoms of Christ, the four and twenty elders fell down on their faces. These four and twenty elders represent the statements of the law under which mankind has had its neck — the twelve laws of matter and the twelve laws of mind. You will find these laws as related to human experience, put together in what are called the twelve lessons on Christian science.*

But while they are very good to announce God with, they are finally to fall down on their faces and yield the point that free grace is divinely more tender than salvation earned by obedience to law. The seventh angel is the seventh definite teaching concerning God. The seventh angel is now sounding. There is no uncertain sound in this last doctrine of God. You will find a perfect description of this hour and the way this teaching of the truth that God is all and there is none else, in Chapter 11 of Revelation, commencing at verse 15.

There you will see that heaven is all around us. We are the temple of God. We open our mind to speak truth no matter what seems opposed to us, and we find that on our heart is written the covenant with God whereby we are to never hear of, or know trouble any more forever, and that all the miserable people on the earth are really waiting for the truth concerning God to be told them.

This truth is written within them, but what is called religious teachings have hidden their heaven and their covenant with God.

Robinson Crusoe felt that he must teach Friday about God and the devil so as to be doing his Christian duty by that child of nature. Friday understood readily about God, but why the good God who was so strong didn’t “kill the debble” was a mystery that confused him. This convinced Crusoe that a supernatural and revealed religion was absolutely necessary to salvation.

The supernatural and revealed religion that tells of the Supreme Good as authorizing or permitting evil is that which closes the temple of mind. Now the seventh angel sounds and we hear that that was not and never will be true. Jesus Christ annulled the metaphysical laws as utterly as the physical. The metaphysical law is that “He that leadeth into captivity shall be led captive, and he that killeth with the sword shall be killed by the sword.” “This was the patience and the faith of the saints.” But there is to be no sword — no vengeance; mankind are all to be told the truth. “The truth shall make them free.”

Under the law of metaphysics, “for the lightest word thou shalt give account.” Under this law the physical body registers all the mistakes of the mind in disease, sickness, poverty, pain. But with the knowledge of Christ or Truth we are set free from the results of words and thoughts. To accept the freedom of Christ is to accept immunity from the law of cause and effect.

All the lessons in law fall on their faces with gratitude that the highest truth has taken to itself its great power and will now reign. This law of cause and effect has for its teaching many strong clauses which have made people almost afraid to think and to speak. Under this law to say to a child, “Poor little thing,” is to cause it to grow up poor in purse, poor in flesh, and timid and shrinking. Under this law if one gets a counterfeit dollar into his possession by mistake he knows he must have sometime let somebody pay him a few cents too much change and did not rectify it. The few cents have come back with interest — out of hand. Under this law every blind person we meet is the outpicturing of some refusal on our part to see the justice done ourselves or somebody else. Under this law we have Karma, that is, repeated returns of the consequences of our deeds and thoughts.

According to early metaphysics it was considered unpardonable ignorance not to be able to quickly detect the errors that had caused the troubles suffered by people. But “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law.” “Let no fruit grow on thee,” He said to the most vigorous and flourishing signs of the powers of evil. For you must bear in mind that He was giving a lesson in the annulling power of the gospel when He blasted the vigorous fig tree.

“Thy sins be forgiven thee” — this is the gospel. It is possible for us all to say and have the words come true, I refuse the consequences of my past words and thoughts. I do not live under the law but under the gospel. I am free from the law.

Under the gospel there is no heredity of body or mind. Under grace there is no deception or consequences of deception. Under grace there is no discord. Under grace there is no foolishness or ignorance or consequences of foolishness or ignorance. Under grace there is no death, there is illumination. One can keep under the law as long as he pleases, and one can accept grace when one pleases.

There is a mystery or secret about Jesus Christ and free grace which cannot be communicated. It will come by speaking the name Jesus Christ. Nobody can tell the way he feels when he sees himself no longer under the law but under grace. He can only say that the name is the “name overall victorious.”

The atonement here taught by this chapter where God and His people are One is sometimes expressed by “seeing God.” We must know that We are exactly What we see. To see is to understand. To understand God is to be God. This is Written in the heart.

“Look unto Me” is a command that has almost escaped the notice of mankind when studying Scriptures. There is a mystery about looking steadily at anything that has escaped the mention of philosophers.

The Germans of ancient times used to heal by looking straight at their patients and saying, “God looks you quite away.” They thus really looked straight past the appearance to the reality or spiritual man and caused it to stand forth as health. It was their own spirit looking at the spirit of the other and the twain being one, that which was nothing fell away. Great healing was wrought this way.

It has been found out that by looking at some one proposition of any language anybody can catch the clew to the language and without study know it by the instruction of spirit. Heaven is around us. There is only heaven around us. To look steadily at anything around is really to be looking into heaven. Keep on looking until it is plain.

A young man was told that certain envelopes in a circle of sealed envelopes contained money. There was no clew to those with money enclosed and those without money. But he found out every one that contained money by looking at them a long time, till those containing what he Wished for seemed to have a mark on them and be the only envelopes there at all. See what small issues confirm great ones.

All that you can ask is lying near you. “Look and see.” There is a substance within us akin to every other substance. There is a divining rod or touchstone Within us to draw all that we can think of .

The Chinese have a habit of placing a shining stone on a high stand in the middle of the room and sitting down in a circle and gazing steadfastly up at the stone, expecting it to hand them down blessings. They who look steadily enough always get their blessings.

There is a cathedral in the East where there hangs in a darkened room a picture of the Virgin Mary. The sunlight strikes across her face, and all the lame, palsied, and deaf go there and gaze steadfastly up into her face. There have been thousands healed by thus looking at the picture till the symbol quite faded and the healing spirit smiled answers.

All obstacles may be looked away from the spirit of success. All obstacles may be looked away from the bounty of God. It is the Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are one. This Witness of spirit with spirit is atonement — one mens or one mind.

The highest good you heart can conceive is the good that lies Waiting to bless you. It is going to be utterly impossible for combinations of men or single men to keep the success and the substance of other men from them as it is impossible to keep God from God, with the catching sight of truth.

Drop your supernatural and revealed religion, so-called, and open your mind to describe what you think is bliss. Look all the obstacles away from your idea of bliss.

That which is written within you is truth; that which you have been told is false. The kingdom of heaven is at hand, not trouble and despair and misery; these are the fruits of revealed or supposed religion. Look past them as you would look past a mask hiding the beautiful face of your child. You can make the sun look pale and murky at noonday with a piece of smoked glass. Take away the glass and there is the sunshine. Take away your former religion, which had so much about death and sorrow and sin, and see what is true.

See! Look! Thou and God are one and inseparable. This is truth. No other truth will Work miracles. If you know all about the stars and their orbits, can bind the Pleiades and loose the bonds of Orion, it is not worth while unless your heart has opened and recognized truth.

Read over this 31st chapter of Jeremiah and see how all the ordinances of the earth are made naught by the gospel of grace. Read over the last verses of Chapter 11, Revelations, and see how these times confirm the prophecies. Realize what is now being taught and see if you are among the voices of opposition, the thunders and lightnings of holding on to the old ways of thinking, or among the bold and redeemed and fearless under grace.

Remember that what is true of principle is true of practice. Practice and principle are one. If you cannot prove that God is your provider, your defense, your health, your inspiration, what comfort can you be getting out of your religion?

These things are not waiting for proof till after death. They are now. Look! Look around you. Look steadily. The kingdom of heaven folds you round. There is no law under which you need keep your neck. You are free under grace. “I will forgive thine iniquity and remember thine sin no more.” “I will watch over them to build and to plant.” “Look unto Me!” “I am nigh thee.”
All things are passing —
God never changeth.

I fill those objects near thee. I fill those circumstances near thee. Look steadfastly. I will reveal myself to the steadfast seeker. “I in thee and thou in Me.” “Is there any beside Me? Nay, I know not any.”

“Say not thou, ‘I am a child’ — see! I set thee this day over the nations and over the kingdoms.” Take thine inheritance. The law is under thy feet. “Old things are forgotten.” “All things are made new.”

*The term “Christian Science" as used in these lessons stands for the scientific teaching of Jesus Christ as understood by Emma Curtis Hopkins — Ed. Note.

February 14th, 1892

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