BIBLE LESSON XXX
Isaiah 55:1
TRUE IDEAL OF GOD

 

by Emma Curtis Hopkins

 

“Ho, everyone that thirsteth,” writes Isaiah. He knows enough of mind to know how it hungers and thirsts all the time for sustaining ideas.

And if he knows anything he knows that an idea which will refresh and satisfy one mind will just be brackish drink and husks for another. So when he is speaking of those waters that will quench the thirst of everybody, old and young, rich and poor alike, he must mean a different kind of waters from the ideas then being taught among men even in the schools of the prophets of Israel.

Moses had been taught years and years before Isaiah that man himself is the “I AM THAT I AM.” David had taught the God-nature of humanity. I said ye are gods.” It has been running in the minds of many that as with the forward the Lord had shown Himself forward, and with the merciful had shown mercy; that there was therefore no God at all except as we should imagine one, and therefore that there is no God.

It had been strongly intimated as practical doctrine what Isaiah had written in his Chapter that “We are all nothing and our works are nothing.” Therefore there is nothing at all. Again, many had practiced cold, hunger, nakedness, self-tortures, hoping to find the nature of things that they might satisfy their thirst for knowledge of what is the true way to be masters of human destiny and not slaves to it.

None of these ways of believing or performing had quenched the thirst or satisfied the hunger of anybody. Isaiah believed there was a way to get our thirst quenched, however, just as Abraham and Moses and the Egyptians and Brahmins had been believing for thousands of years. Some called this strange and unceasing hunger the call of the Wick of life for oil. What the oil was that would keep the life-wick burning they could not really settle, but they finally concluded that it was the call of the mind for truth. S0 they practiced telling that all is God and there is no God. They practiced telling that we are all and We are nothing. They practiced telling of the interior spirits that keep record of our actions and motives as long as we live, one keeping record of the good motives and actions and the other of the not good actions and motives.

Still the hunger and the thirst kept on, and have kept on ever since.

A prophet used to be one who kept his mind on things not perceptible to the senses; and he every now and then uttered absolute truth along some line without at all realizing what he was saying. Then he Wrought some miracle by what he said. Trying again to work the miracle by using the same Words he would find that they would not work and then he gave up the effort to do his Work by those Words.

If you should go into a room, as Edward Irving did Where a boy was supposed to be dying, and should cause him to spring to life again by saying, “My boy, God loves you,” you might be chagrined to find that the next case would not pay the slightest attention to your words.

It ought to be of great importance to you what cured the boy in the first case, and then, of course, you would readily know Why the next one did not respond. You would not have to find out by study why the second did not recover, but you would turn your attention to why and how the first one responded. Here Isaiah utters a profounder truth than has been written down, “Expede Herculem.” That is, if you see a foot of Hercules how can you help judging of his Whole stature?

Here when Isaiah tells us that he can have no hunger and thirst of mind satisfied at this wonderful spring “without money and Without price,” he means first that we need not slay lambs and young bullocks hoping to get any satisfaction from a propitiated God of supply. He means also that there are no works we can do that will earn us favor with the first cause of good bounty. He means that there are no thanksgivings we can offer, no praises that we may utter, no faith we can give the Source of every blessing hoping to buy satisfaction thereby.

If one thing won’t buy us any favor with Goodness, nothing will.

Isaiah rose on the wings of a mighty truth here and spoke of the Divine supply as now at hand, not to be cajoled or bought off or propitiated by anything we can do.

What a lovely Being this is whom Isaiah brings near! He already is able and ready to provide us with all things without our praising Him, hoping by praise to cajole Him. He gives us bountifully of what will feed and delight us without our begging, hoping by such gyrations of mind to please and flatter Him into rewarding us. He does not demand of us the exercise of a great faith in Him before His goodness will vouchsafe any manifestation of itself.

No, the true God is your highest ideal of supreme goodness. Spread out boldly with your words what you think the best kind of a God would do and there you have what is true of God.

Why haven’t you got the gifts of the true God?

Why, we always have the gifts of that God we have described. The gifts of the true God are here. We may have them without money and without price. When you have described the untrue God you must get untrue conditions. The true God folds us around with exactly the life we like. When poverty strikes you it is not what the true God sent, but only what your former description of God has brought around you. Therefore you ought to say, “My God never sends poverty or trouble to anyone; my God supplies all my needs.” This last affirmation was one that David used.

But there is a higher ideal of God than one who supplies needs. The higher ideal is of One who never lets anybody or anything need anything. There is even a higher ideal of God than of One who never lets anybody or anything need anything. The higher ideal is of One who never permitted anybody or anything to ever imagine a need.

Yet there is a still higher ideal of God than even that; it is of One who shows us all without our paying any price of praising Him or trusting Him that we are here and now safe at home in our Father’s and Mother’s house with the fair hills of Paradise in full sight.

Our highest ideal of God is of supreme, generous, universal, bounty, goodness, love, bliss.

Is this, then the highest? Yes. How have we found out that it is by the description of the true God that we see the true God? By reading the lessons in Isaiah. But what illuminated our minds to see these underlying lessons? Holding the name Jesus Christ.

What is it to hold this name in our heart? Simply to speak it silently with the mind. But is not that ridiculous gymnastics? No. By knowing the nature of mind we see how much more potent with power over our life experiences some words are than others, and it is proven as an actual result that holding this name steadily illuminates the mind to know new statements of truth and to increase in strength and power and judgment. The Name means demonstration in daily life of the power and presence of the true God.

Holding the name teaches you that you need not say that you yield to the will of an imaginary God who is said to be capable of sending pain and affliction and poverty into your lot or into anybody’s lot. Holding the Name causes you to see that in truth it is just as much idolatry to lay down your praises upon the altar, or your thanks, or your Will, or anything, expecting to earn any favors by such offsprings, as it is to offer young lambs or doves.

You are one with the true God by describing Him, and praise and thanks and will and faith are then natural expressions of your delight. Here Isaiah tells how surely all the Words that go forth out of his mouth shall prosper in the thing whereunto they are sent. But he has shown already that the thoughts we have been holding have been lower ideals than we need to have held and prosperity is the thing which we please to see prospered will only be manifest by our stating high ideals.

As to the demonstration of God with us we need only to say to the unhappy Woman, “My God does not allow you to be unhappy. My God makes you supremely glad with the bounty of His goodness.” We need not watch her to see if her state of mind changes. We may chase ourselves up closer than that and say,” My God does not expect me to watch to see if He is Good.” According to this lesson of Isaiah we have not given our God credit for common honor.

“As the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” S0 we will describe a Good Being without human foibles or characteristics.

All these lessons carefully noted will discover to you what is called in this chapter “fatness.” That is, some one of them has healing instruction for your mind which will take you right out of the place which you do not like and set you down into the place which you do like. It is intended for you that you should be doing what pleases you every minute. There is not a single tramp on the streets who has not the same ideal of God that you have if you push him step by step to tell it. Expressing it would please him.

There is not a convict or pampered prince but what has the same ideal you have. He who has covered up his ideal with many imaginations is acting basely to show how he has covered his ideal of God. But it is all there. Let him express it and be satisfied with bliss.

The same is true of everything. There is a region of the mind that knows all things. All language is understood by you already.

Lift off the rubbish and let the spring of your knowledge burst forth. Get in league with your own nature: “Thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field.”

So here the lesson teaches that by a certain procedure every mind that is thirsting and hungering for wine and meat that will satisfy can find the spring of enchanting liquids and delightful viands somewhere in his own nature, in his own mind.

This procedure has been hinted at and touched upon in its various steps by every religion and by every age, but all the steps have not been given till now.

And there is so much rubbish of false notions covering the beautiful message that is meant for us alone that we have to refuse everything we have ever been taught and begin over again like little children to think What is true.

Each religion has some gem of truth in its bosom. So we must not hold any accusation against any religion. Each man and each woman is sent forth with some divine motive, and so we cannot accuse them of anything because that shows at once that we are not thinking of the divine motive of their being but are only thinking upon the nonsense that shadows them.

It is ceasing from accusation that is lifting off rubbish.

Swing to the right and the left,
Gates of sorrow and pain,
Let the glory of truth and her peace
Over earth’s children reign.

The highest wisdom of Greece was expressed in the words, “Know thyself.” In the oldest religious philosophy of the World, viz., the Vedanta, the highest instruction is, “Know thyself.” That which you are already within your own self is that which is your own delight. That which you are already Within your own self is the divine purpose which sent you forth. If you will chase that purpose up face to face with itself you will have uncovered the true God. Suppose you find that you are working today for money? For what purpose do you want money? For easier, more pleasant living. But why do you want easier, more pleasant living? S0 as to be free from pain of any kind to the body. But why do you want to be free from pain of body? Because I do not like it. But Why do you not like it? Because it is not my nature to like it.

There you are, face to face with your nature which you find is opposed to pain. With what does your nature feel like and dislike? With the mind. There you are, face to face with your own mind, which is exactly like everybody e1se’s mind in the universe. It is the universal mind. And the universal mind is omnipresent mind opposed to pain. Thus God is not the giver of pain, but the opposer of pain.

“As I live, saith the Lord, I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace and not of evil.” “Why have ye made the heart of the righteous sad whom I have not made sad? saith the Lord.” Therefore all imaginations of pain of any kind as sent by God or pleasing to God are pure nonsense. They are accusations against God and not truth of God.

John, the Revelator, saw the time when the red dragon or the accuser should be destroyed by the testimony of the saints. Just testimony of your own mind at its starting point is sufficient to put you to drinking this wonderful water.

It seems there is no slaying, no ending of that opposition to pain within your mind and all mind. It is God himself.

There have been quite a number of miracles wrought for the planet by some strong minds knowing the truth. One miracle has been that those who believe in the pain of the world as permitted to exist by some mysterious inefficiency of Jehovah have felt the stir of their own opposition to pain, and have actually gone to work to shut up some hard actions that have brought pain. They have waged war on some places where pain was made.

Those who did not believe that pain of any kind is forced upon us by the true God were the instigators of the actions against pain by those who believe that the true God originated pain.

They are very young in their instigations against the accusers of God — or very young in their convictions that God is opposed to pain, but the growth of their strength is marvelous, and the places where pain is going on are soon to feel the same revulsions against what is not originated by the true God as the best of thinkers.

For mind is one and he who thinks truth stirs all minds to think truth. “Think truly, and thy thoughts will the world’s famine feed.” “Ho, everyone that thirsteth.” “Buy satisfying powers without price.” “My thoughts are higher than your thoughts,” and “my word shall prosper in that which I please;’ therefore “seek ye the Lord While He is near,” for the words of God are the joy of every heart.

The most cogent instruction conveyed esoterically here in this 55th chapter of Isaiah is that the nature of every mind is opposed to evil of any kind. That the expression of this nature is feeding and watering to the mind. That there is nothing this nature, common to all minds alike, does not know. That what is called genius along any line is simply the uncovering of some one word against limitation. That genius along every line is the birthright of every creature. That genius along every line may be demonstrated by describing the true God. That holding the name Jesus Christ teaches new powers, new faculties, true Ways of uncovering the brilliant possibilities of each mind by a short, easy method.

“My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” That knowing all this sets those who still believe God is in league With evil by permitting it, to squirming and struggling to stop it; for if they believe in it they must Work in it. “Let the dead bury the dead.” That it is better to know the true God and not have to fight than to imagine one and fight like heroes.

The South Winds are quick witted,
The schools are sad and slow,
The masters quite omitted
The love we care to know.

The end of all that the senses cognize is at hand. “Arise, let us go hence.”

February 7th, 1892

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