Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Mystic Immanence
 - The Indwelling Spirit
Author: Wilberforce, Basil
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Mystic Immanence
 - The Indwelling Spirit" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



                           *MYSTIC IMMANENCE*

                         THE INDWELLING SPIRIT


                BY THE VENERABLE BASIL WILBERFORCE, D.D.



                         LONDON : ELLIOT STOCK
                        7, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.
                                  1914



                   *WORKS BY ARCHDEACON WILBERFORCE*


SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS, 3s. net.

STEPS IN SPIRITUAL GROWTH. 3s. net.

THE SECRET OF THE QUIET MIND. 3s. net.

THE POWER THAT WORKETH IN US. With Portrait of the Author. 3s. net.

POWER WITH GOD. 3s. net.

THE HOPE THAT IS IN ME. 5s.

SERMONS PREACHED IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY. First Series. 5s.

SERMONS PREACHED IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY. Second Series. 5s.

SANCTIFICATION BY THE TRUTH. 5s.

NEW (?) THEOLOGY. THOUGHTS ON THE UNIVERSALITY AND CONTINUITY OF THE
DOCTRINE OF THE IMMANENCE OF GOD. 5s.

THERE IS NO DEATH, 1s. 6d. net; bound in White Parchment, 2s. 6d. net.

MYSTIC IMMANENCE. THE INDWELLING SPIRIT, 1s. 6d. net; bound in White
Parchment, 2s. 6d. net.

THE HOPE OF GLORY, 1s. net.

LIGHT ON THE PROBLEMS OP LIFE. 2s. net.

THE AWAKENING, 1s. net.

                 ELLIOT STOCK, 7, PATERNOSTER Row, E.C.



                         _All rights reserved_



                               *FOREWORD*



        [Transcriber’s Note: Foreword missing from source book]



                               *CONTENTS*

FOREWORD (missing from source book)
INFINITE IMMANENT MIND
SPIRIT, SOUL, BODY
"OUT OF THE EVERYWHERE INTO HERE"
LAST WORDS



                           *MYSTIC IMMANENCE*



                        *Infinite Immanent Mind*


"Whose is this image and superscription?"—ST. MATT. xxii. 20.


The question, "Whose is this image and superscription?" is suggestive,
first, of the deeper meaning of a harvest festival, and that is the
recognition in public worship that the material universe is the visible
thought of God. What is the principle by which everything came into
being?  Physical science has now reduced all material things to a
primary ether, universally distributed, whose innumerable particles are
in absolute equilibrium.[#]  The initial movement, then, which began to
concentrate material substances out of the ether could not have
originated with the particles themselves, and we are logically compelled
to acknowledge the presence of a Creative Intelligence exercising
volition.  That Creative Intelligence exercising volition, that Parent
Mind, has impressed His image and superscription upon all that is—upon
the life and beauty of the animal world, upon the marvels of the
vegetable world, the prolific fruits of the earth, the gorgeous flowers
with which church and altar are decorated to-day.  Whose is their image
and superscription?  Whom do they manifest?  Whence come their life and
their beauty?  To understand the deeper meaning of a church decorated
with fruits and flowers we must have risen to some conception of the
Invisible Intelligence that is realizing itself in concrete phenomena.
Everything in the physical world is what it is by reason of a
spirit-organism or mind-form which relates it to the Universal Mind, and
the Universal Mind is that Divine activity which St. John calls the
Word, the Logos, the Originator in creative activity.  "Through every
grass-blade," says Carlyle, "the glory of the present God still beams."
It does, and therefore a harvest festival suggests, not only the obvious
duty of profound thanksgiving to a bounteous Father—that goes without
saying—but also a reverent mental recognition of the intense nearness of
God, that "Earth’s crammed with Heaven and every common bush afire with
God."


[#] _Cf._ Troward’s Edinburgh Lectures.


So the first thought of to-day is that the world is ruled by Mind and
not by Matter, that "there is a soul in all things, and that soul is
God," that in the true philosophy of Creation every atom, every germ,
has within it a principle, a life, a purpose, a degree of consciousness
appropriate to its position in the scheme of things.  That
consciousness, that mind, differs in magnitude in its different
manifestations; higher in the insect than in the vegetable, higher in
the animal than in the insect, and occasionally there is evidenced in
the animal a shrewdness which implies observation and close reasoning.
For example, recently I was at Christchurch, in Hampshire, and was
conducted by Mr. Hart over his unique museum of birds, representing the
life-work of an expert and enthusiast.  He told me many most interesting
things, and amongst them the following:

It is well known that the cuckoo makes no nest of its own, but places
its eggs in the nest of one of the smaller birds.  Now, in order to
deceive the bird amongst whose eggs the cuckoo intends to place its own
egg, the cuckoo causes the egg it is about to lay to assume the colour
and markings of the eggs of the small bird who is to be the
foster-mother.  Mr. Hart showed me over forty cuckoos’ eggs, each one
coloured to imitate the natural egg of the bird whose nest the cuckoo
had commandeered.  This had been done with extraordinary accuracy, from
the bright blue of the hedge-sparrow’s egg to the dull olive of the
nightingale’s egg, and even the peculiar markings, like notes of music,
of the yellow-hammer’s egg, had been imitated.

Consider the extraordinary mental power implied.  The cuckoo has first
to decide which nest she will lay under contribution.  She has then to
study the colouring of the eggs in that nest; then, with some amazing
exercise of the creative power of thought, she has to cause her unlaid
egg to assume that colour.  She then lays it on the ground, and,
carrying it in her beak, carefully places it amongst the eggs of the
little foster-mother.  What an intense, ever-present reality is the
Infinite Mind! What a glorious thought it is that the Eternal Purpose is
everywhere!  When the heart grows faint and the hands weary, how
sustaining it is to know that there is no chance, no mere
machinery—everywhere purpose, intelligence, evolution, love!

Now, obviously the operation of the Originating Mind in all that is
differs in quality of self-realization in proportion to the receptive
capacity of the matter in which it is immanent. It is not sufficient for
us intellectually to affirm the immanence of God in a blade of grass,
but it is for us to carry the thought higher, and not to rest until we
have realized that Divine immanence is in a far more intense degree in
ourselves.  Man is the crown of Creation, and when our Lord took that
coin in His hand and asked the question, "Whose is this image and
superscription?"  He was stimulating thinkers to consider man’s unique
place in the cosmic order, and man’s true relation to the Universal
Originating Spirit; and when a man has really found that, he is well on
his way to the region of understanding and realization.

These Pharisees were no obscurantists.  Some of them were Essenes, some
Therapeuts, some Mystics; and when the Lord asked "Whose is this image?"
their minds would automatically have reverted to the profound
declaration of human origins in the Book of Genesis: "So God created man
in His own image, in the image of God created He him."  They would have
realized that the question was a suggestion for a thought-excursion.  It
was. It was a hint at the transcendent truth of the elemental
inseverability of God and man.  It was an appeal to a Divine fact in
man; it was a reiteration of His dogma, "The kingdom of Heaven is within
you"; it was a reaffirmation of the truth that nothing can ever really
change the central current of man’s purpose, and regenerate man’s
nature, but the clear recognition of his dignity, his responsibility,
his potentiality, as a vehicle for the manifestation of God.  If they
had brought to Jesus some utterly degraded specimen of the human race,
as they brought Him that silver didrachma, and asked Him the question,
"’Whose is the image and superscription’ on this man?" (and they
virtually did this when they brought Him the woman taken in adultery)
there could have been but one reply—"In the image of God created He
him"; and that which God has once impressed with His image, though that
image may be defaced and overlaid, is His for ever, and the impress can
never be obliterated.

You remember Tennyson’s words:

    "For good ye are and bad, and like to coins,
    Some true, some light, but every one of you
    Stamped with the image of the King."

"Stamped with the image of the King."  The thought touches human life at
many points, theological, personal, practical.  The theological lesson
from the human coin stamped with the Divine image is one of the utmost
importance as a stimulus to spiritual growth. It is the transcendent
twin-truth of the Eternal humanity in God, and the Eternal Divinity in
man; that inasmuch as all that is must have pre-existed, as a first
principle, in the mind of the Infinite Originator, and as the highest of
all that is, so far as we at present know, is man, the archetypal
original of man must be in the hidden nature of the Infinite Mind; and
therefore man, however buried and stifled for educative purposes in the
corruptible body, is in his inmost ego indestructible, and inseverably
linked to the Father of Spirits.  God needs man as a vehicle for
Self-Manifestation. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the
firmament sheweth His handiwork"; but only man—mental, moral, volitional
man—can declare the nature of God and manifest the qualities of God.  As
God’s power is revealed in the wheeling planet, God’s nature is revealed
in the thinking man.  Man is therefore the special sphere of the
self-manifestation of the Originating Mind.  We humans are personal
spirits who have proceeded from God into matter, and "the image and
superscription" of the Creative Sovereign Power, whence we came, remains
for ever indelibly impressed upon our inmost _ego_, and must work in us,
and will work in us, until at last it unites our conscious mind fully
with God. Inasmuch as humanity is the chosen vehicle of the
self-expression of the moral qualities of the Originating Spirit,
humanity will, through much initial imperfection and through many
changes, evolve upwards and onwards, until at last it shall be complete
in Him, and the preordained purpose of the Originating Spirit be
completely fulfilled.  He who believes this must be, theologically, a
universalist.

There follows the personal lesson.  The moral evolution of humanity is
not automatic, it is not generic, it is not impersonal.  It is
individual, in accord with the personal equation of each one.  Though it
is a necessary philosophic truth that our true _ego_, our imperishable
centre, is in the universal, and not in the imprisonment of what we now
call personality, still we shall never lose our individuality, we shall
always know that "I am I and no one else."  "With God," said De
Tocqueville, "each one counts for one," and each one must work out his
own salvation.  You and I will not drift onwards in a vague, impersonal
stream called "the race."  Each one of us is a responsible life-centre
in which God has expressed Himself, and we have to become moral beings,
and a moral being is not machine-made—he must be grown; he is the
product of evolution, and for the purpose of evolution he must emerge
triumphant from resistance, as every flower, every grape, every grain of
corn in this church has emerged triumphant.  In other words, he must be
exposed to what, with our present imperfect knowledge, we call evil.  It
is just here that the analogy of the coin comes in.  Man is a composite
being—he possesses an inferior animal nature, a lower region of
appetite, perception, imagination, and tendency; in other words, to
carry on the analogy used by our Lord, there is a reverse side to every
human coin.  Don’t overpress the analogy, but note that to every current
coin there is a reverse side, and when you are looking at that side you
cannot see the King’s image.  Generally on the reverse side there is
some device representing a myth, or tradition, or national
characteristic.  For example, on the reverse side of this denarius, or
silver didrachma, that they brought to our Lord, was a representation of
Mercury with the Caduceus.  Hold in your hand an English sovereign.
Think of our Lord’s analogy.  Let the mind wander back into the distant
past, and consider the ages during which that sovereign has been in the
making: the precipitation of the chemical constituents of gold in
prehistoric times, when the planet was emerging from the fiery womb that
bore it; the forcing of the metal into the cells of the quartz under the
incalculable pressure of the contracting, cooling world; the ages upon
ages of concealment in the depths of the earth; the discovery of the
metal, and all that was implied; the toil of the miners, the smelting,
the refining, the alloying; and, at last, the stamping with the image
and superscription of the reigning sovereign.  And once stamped in the
Mint it is an essential item in the economy of a great empire.  It is
legal tender—no man may refuse it in payment; at his peril does any man
clip it or take from its weight.  The image and superscription of the
reigning sovereign gives it its dignity, its sphere of usefulness, even
its name.  Now turn it over; you can no longer see the image of the
King.  What is this on the reverse side?  Another device, an heraldic
design, symbolical of the traditions and myths of the nation; a
transition from the real to the illusory, a representation of St. George
fighting the dragon.  "Whose is this image and superscription?"  Whose
handiwork is this? Examine closely the reverse side of a sovereign.
Close to the date you will see some minute capital letters.  They are
the initials of the talented chief engraver to the Mint in the reign of
George III., the designer of both sides of the coin which Ruskin said
was the most beautiful coin in Europe, the English sovereign.  Who is
the engraver who has stamped the reverse of every human coin with the
mythical designs of our human imagination, the pleasing illusions of our
natural self-life, the device of our outer and common humanity, the
conditions of our flesh-and-blood existence?  Do you really believe that
this was done by some powerful enemy of the Most High?  The mythical,
demonized objectification of what we call evil is greatly in the way of
clear thought.  St. Paul is careful to point out, in Romans viii., that
there is only one Originator, and He can never be taken by surprise.
Paul says man was "made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by God."
The same omnipotent hand that stamped the King’s image stamped also the
reverse of the coin.  The device on the reverse side of the human coin
is the device of human heredity, the qualities of temperament, the
race-memories which belong to the region of animal life-power.  We have
had "fathers of our flesh," the Apostle reminds us.  They have
transmitted to us, by human generations, tendencies appertaining to
corporeal life.  There is nothing to deprecate in these tendencies in
themselves; they are all within the majestic lines of nature.
Obviously, if we concentrate all our attention on the reverse side of
the coin, if we persist in imagining that our animal nature is our real
self, we forget that the King’s image is on the other side.  We can only
see one side at a time, and while we gaze at the reverse side, and the
other side is hidden, doubt, depression, pessimism, sense of
separateness from God, are the inevitable result.

What is the moral of the analogy?  It is this: Do not always harp upon
the worst side of yourself.  We are bound to become what we see
ourselves ideally to be.  The higher your ideal of yourself, the more
rapid your spiritual growth; see yourself ideally as Divine, and you
will become it.  Remember, you cannot see both sides of the coin of
yourself at once.  When you are discouraged by the prominence of the
animal nature; when you are prone to give way to appetite or temper, or
despondency, or self-detestation, instantly force yourself to turn over,
as it were, the coin of yourself; "reckon yourself," as Paul says,
"alive to God"; forcibly detach your attention from the reverse side;
think intensely into the other side.  Say, "I am spirit, I am the
Lord’s; His image is stamped on me, His life is in me.  His eternal
purpose is my perfection, my true ego is His Divine Life; I am a
personal spirit, thought-begotten by the Father-Spirit in His own image
and likeness, made subject to the vanity of human birth, that through
the bondage of corruption I may attain to the conscious liberty of the
glory of Sonship.  This body is not I, not the real I."  The thought,
when persisted in, becomes creative; it restores the equilibrium; it
helps the at-one-ment of the two sides of the coin, the human and the
Divine, making, as the Apostle says, "of the twain one new man."

The same rule applies as to our judgments of others.  Remember, we
cannot see both sides of the human coin at once, and therefore our
judgments are literally one-sided.  This they are in both directions.
The people we admire are not deserving of all the worship we give them;
the people we dislike are not as black as we paint them.  Some people
live with only the reverse side visible, but always there is the other
side of the coin.  I have never honestly tried mentally to turn over a
human coin of this description without finding the King’s image often
defaced and covered with accretions, but always there.  If asked of the
most degraded, "Whose is this image?" I should not hesitate in my reply:
"The qualities, potentialities, of Spirit are here though hidden."  The
conclusion is, Never despair of anyone, and never despise thy brother
man; always believe the best of other people; be sure that the name of
the Eternal Father is impressed on their true _ego_.  That Divine name
is ineradicable.  In the end it will save the worst, though, it may be,
"yet so as by fire."

The practical lesson scarcely needs enforcement.  "Whose is this image
and superscription?" asks the Head of humanity of the human items that
make up the race.  A recognition of the fact that the real _ego_ in
every man is Divine would be the golden key which would unlock the most
puzzling of the social problems of the age.  The prominent evils which
degrade humanity would pass away before it, and in private life love
would reign instead of harsh criticism.  If the answer were clearly and
intelligently given to the question, "Whose is this image and
superscription?" and it were recognized that humanity is God-souled, and
that the Originating Spirit is the self-evolving image in all, it would
not only mitigate our personal judgments of others, but it would break
down the prejudices which now divide us.  The regenerating transforming
mission of love would knit souls together, there would be no "Eastern
question," for, in God, there are no Greeks, Turks, Bulgarians,
Russians, Austrians, there are only men.

The universality of the Divine impress, the certainty that every
individual life-centre is a manifestation of God, should convince us
that "one is our Father and all we are brethren."  To know that humanity
is God’s child, though it has a side weighted with crime, brutality, and
degradation, should stimulate us, first, always to see the best side in
people we dislike, and, secondly, to associate ourselves with all
ameliorating work for humanity in a vast Empire city like London. The
human coins are sometimes for a while lost, and it is our duty to find
them.  Our Lord once drew a vivid picture of a search for a lost coin.
He implied that it was the Church’s fault (for the woman in that parable
is the Church) that the coin was lost.  He suggested that we should
light a candle and stir up the dust from the unswept floor of our
distorted social conditions, and actively, eagerly search for His
God-stamped human coins till we found them.  To keep others and to make
others happy is the road to personal happiness, that is implied in the
conclusion of that allegory of the lost coin.  The successful searcher
is represented as calling upon friends and neighbours to rejoice with
her, for she has found the coin which was lost.  To manifest love and
help to make others happy is the highest credential for the future life
beyond, for "Heaven is not Heaven to one alone.  Save thou one soul, and
thou mayest save thine own."



                         *Spirit, Soul, Body.*


"A man’s heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his
steps."—PROV. xvi. 9.


A profound philosophy underlies that inspired maxim.  Man is a threefold
being, composed of spirit, soul, and body, and this proverb indicates
the true relation which should exist between these three functioning
centres in each individual man.  Soul is the region of the intellect,
where a man does his conscious thinking.  Soul "deviseth man’s way" and
plans details.  Spirit, the innermost being, the immortal _ego_,
Infinite Mind differentiated into an individual life-centre, when not
grieved, controls soul, and of this control soul is sometimes conscious,
but more often not conscious.  Body, the external part of man’s being,
the association of organs whereby the spirit comes into contact with the
physical universe, ought to obey soul, controlled by spirit, and then
all is well.  That is the ideal relation between the three functioning
centres in individual man.  Spirit is the seat of our God-consciousness.
Soul is the seat of our self-consciousness.  Body is the seat of our
sense-consciousness.  In the spirit God dwells; in the soul self dwells;
in the body sense dwells.  The at-one-ment is the realized equipoise of
these functioning factors in the complex mechanism of the individual
man.  The body, with its senses, subject to the soul with its conscious
mind.  The soul, with its conscious mind, subject to the spirit which is
Divine.  And when a man knows this inter-relation, and gives spirit the
pre-eminence, he does not sin.  Disharmony, or, as we call it, sin, when
it is mental, is the assertion of self, seeking its life and its
happiness through human intelligence only.  Sin, when it is bodily, is
the assertion of animal appetite, seeking its life and its happiness
through the senses only.  Harmony lies in the soul-self, of which the
conscious mind is the functioning power, seeking its life and its
happiness in obedience to spirit, thinking itself into conscious oneness
with spirit, the inmost shrine of our complex nature.  Then, as Soul
will be no longer functioning from the plane of material conditions,
Body obeys Soul, and thus, though a man’s conscious mind "deviseth his
way," Spirit "directeth his steps."

There is a restful universalism in this analysis, because spirit is the
true man.  Spirit is "the kingdom of heaven within."  Spirit is "the
Father within you."  The one ever-lasting impossibility to man is to
sever himself from immanent spirit.  A man’s soul may have so wrongly
"devised his way" as to be derelict; the nightmare of life may have been
so heavy that a man has not recognized that the keys of the Kingdom of
Heaven within him are committed to him.  He may not yet have awakened to
the truth that God’s intensity dwells within him; he may even plunge
into animalism; he may pass out of this life still in his dream, but,
though he knows it not, whatever his mind may devise, the Lord, Immanent
Spirit, will still "direct his steps" to the ultimate issue.  Into
whatever educative school a human being may pass.  Spirit goes with him.
"If I go down into Hades, Thou art there; if I take the wings of the
morning and fly to the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall Thy
right hand lead me."  And where Spirit is, there is Love—tireless,
patient, remedial, effective, and "at last, far off, at last," every
wandering derelict human being will "arise and go to its Father."  I
know that you cannot make another person see what you see yourself, but
I long to encourage all to believe it, to test it, to live it, to
proclaim it.  Some think I err by ceaselessly reiterating the same
truth.  I cannot help it; it is the ideal I am striving to attain
myself.  I must give it to others.  As Whittier said:

    "If there be some weaker one,
    Give me strength to help him on.
    If a blinder soul there be,
    Let me guide him nearer Thee."


I desire to encourage all to aim at conscious identification with
Spirit, and to bear witness by the peace it brings into their lives.

    "That to believe these things are so,
    This firm faith never to forego,
    Despite of all which seems at strife
    With blessing, all with curses rife,
    That this is blessing, this is life."


The Collect, Epistle, and Gospel for the eighth Sunday after Trinity
help the attainment of this mental attitude.  The Epistle touches upon a
question of importance to those who are learning the glorious truth of
the Immanence of God.  Do not let concentration upon your oneness with
Infinite Spirit Immanent hinder your consciousness of Infinite Spirit
Transcendent—that is, external to you.  The Lord Jesus, knowing that the
human mind can only cognize in terms of human experience, gave us the
name "Father" to help us mentally to personify Infinite Spirit
Transcendent—that is, external to us.  The Lord Jesus was intensely
conscious of the Immanence of God, He called it "the Father in Him," but
He also prayed definitely to the Father outside Him. St. Paul suggests
that when we pray to undifferentiated Spirit, who is God outside us, we
should use the familar [Transcriber’s note: familiar?] affectionate
title "Abba."  The Lord Jesus is only recorded to have used this title
once, at the moment of His deepest agony, and it is in suffering,
physical or mental, that you most want it. It is a declaration of your
estimate of God, and therefore important, because the ability of Divine
Love to help and soothe you is conditioned by your appreciation of Him
and your mental attitude of receptivity towards Himself.  So in those
times of deepest darkness, when He seems most absent, it is well to
address Him by the tenderest name, and say, Abba, Father.  "Abba,
Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me."

Let us consider the Collect.  How it redeems our Liturgy from its leaven
of Augustinianism! How it silences the obscurantists who accuse
believers in universal restitution of going beyond the Church’s
teaching!  Is this collect an authoritative formula of the Church, or is
it not?  "O God, whose never-failing Providence ordereth all things both
in Heaven and on earth."  In other words, a man’s conscious mind may
wrongly "devise his way," but "the Lord will direct his steps."
Saturate your mind with that thought.  Speak to the universal Spirit
outside you and individualize Him.  Say, "Abba, Father, whose
never-failing providence ordereth all things both in Heaven and on
earth, though my heart may be ’devising my way’ wrongly and tortuously,
I know Thou wilt ’direct my steps’ into Thy purpose."  In that attitude
of mind you know that God will be in whatever happens to you. This gives
you a great freedom in worshipping Infinite Spirit.  You feel yourself
emancipated from all traditional conceptions, and you feel in yourself
the aspiration of Faber when he wrote:

    "Oh, for freedom, for freedom in worshipping God,
    For the mountain-top feeling of generous souls,
    For the health, for the air, of the hearts deep and broad,
    Where grace, not in rills, but in cataracts rolls!"


It is well to face the principle underlying these words of the collect:
Abba, Father, "ordereth all things both in Heaven and on earth."  Then,
as His will is man’s sanctification, the logical conclusion is an
absolute ultimate universalism.

The absurdity of the paradox that man by wrongly "devising his way" can
ultimately defeat the predestined purpose of Infinite Originating Mind
is self-evident.  Sophocles and Plato taught that omnipotent purpose
governed the apparently accidental phenomena of life, and the writer of
the book of Proverbs says plainly: "A man’s heart may devise his way,"
but "the Lord will direct his steps."  That is the inspired statement of
the problem. Milton thought the problem insoluble, and describes the
fallen angels exercising their minds on "fixed fate, free will,
fore-knowledge absolute," and being "in wandering mazes lost," I really
think it only needs common sense.  Infinite Mind expresses Himself in
individual human life-centres that He may realize His own qualities and
have millions of separate entities to love and, after education, to love
Him.  Is it conceivable that He would so overdo His creative work as to
produce beings with a superior will to Himself capable of resisting Him
through the endless ages, and putting His purpose to complete confusion?
Is it not obvious that He would only give them enough will to train
them? The will of man, such as it is, has its clearly-defined sphere.
It is with his will he "deviseth his way," and that "devising his way"
is the test of his life; but he can no more escape the ultimate purpose
of Abba, Father, than a material substance on this planet can escape the
law of gravitation.  Obviously we have volition, we have the power to
"devise our way."  This must be so for two reasons. First, Originating
Spirit desires to realize His highest qualities in man.  Therefore, man
must have liberty to withhold his co-operation or he would be only an
automaton.  Mechanical moral qualities would not be moral any more than
your watch is moral.  To receive and to distribute the nature of the
Divine mind, not mechanism, but mental acquiescence is necessary.  "The
heavens declare the glory of God," but they do it mechanically, not
morally.  The solar system is a perfect work of mechanical creation, but
the planet cannot leave its appointed orbit.  Man can.  If man obeyed
God, only as a planet revolves in its orbit, he would "declare the glory
of God," but he would not be a man; that is, he would not be a mental
centre in which the Originating Mind could realize Itself.  Then, again,
without being free to disobey, we could never become moral beings.  The
antagonistic pressure of non-moral inclinations challenges our highest
self, and as we make, within our limited sphere, correct choice between
alternatives presented, we are built up Godward or the reverse.  But
inasmuch as Infinite Spirit and His vehicles are elementally
inseverable, and "Abba, Father, ordereth all things," though wrong
choice, and the selection of lower standards, will occasion pain and
unrest, and delay the evolution of the Eternal purpose, and grieve the
Spirit within us.  Creative Spirit is Omnipotent, to defeat Him is
impossible.  He will ultimately, in ways of His own, "direct man’s
steps" without turning him into an automaton.  When once you perceive
that man in his inmost nature is the product of the Divine Mind, imaging
forth an image of Itself, you are certain that no negation can finally
frustrate the evolution of the Divine principle which is the inmost
centre in us all. It must ultimately blend with the ocean of uncreated
life whence it came, and whither from all Eternity it is predestined to
return, for Infinite Mind has declared of His human children, "Ye shall
be perfect."  Of course, we must ourselves "open out the way."  In that
obligation lies the function of our Will and our responsibility for
using the Keys of our own Kingdom of Heaven within.

As Browning expresses it so grandly in "Paracelsus":

    "There is an inmost centre in us all,
    Where truth abides in fulness; and around,
    Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in.
      ... TO KNOW
    Rather consists in opening out a way
    Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,
    Than in effecting entry for a light
    Supposed to be without."


Those who use the Keys of their Kingdom of Heaven know, and "open out
the way."  And for those who don’t know, though they blunder terribly
and suffer in the blundering, the Immanent Spirit "directs their steps."
Do you say this implies fatalism, submission to impersonal destiny
destructive of independence and self-reliance?  The Gospel negatives the
suggestion, and demonstrates that this "ordering all things" is not the
despotic overrule of an irresistible law, but the immanent influence of
an omnipotent Providence ceaselessly suggesting to the Soul of man.  The
Lord Jesus said: "I can do nothing of Myself, the Father in Me doeth the
works."  Was that fatalism?  No, the Lord Jesus was consciously working
out the thoughts, the ideas of the Immanent Spirit, and the Epistle
says; "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the
children of God; and if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and
joint-heirs with Christ."  "Joint-heirs with Christ," that is, that the
same spirit that was in perfection in the Christ is germinally in us,
and though we may not yet be conscious of it, we are co-partners in the
same splendid inheritance. Again, the prevalence of evil is to some a
stumbling-block.  They say God is all, and all is God, and God is Love,
resistless, resourceful, perfect.  He "ordereth all things both in
Heaven and on earth," why, then, this discord between the heart that
"deviseth the way" and the Lord who "directeth the steps"? why all this
misunderstanding?  Have we not learnt the answer?  It is an interesting
study in human psychology to note how thoughtful men will stumble over
the answer.  I am always repeating the axiom: Even God cannot make
anything except by means of the process through which it becomes what it
is.  He is making moral beings.  He can only make moral beings by means
of the process through which a moral being becomes what he is, and that
is, by having the opportunity of being non-moral.  Therefore Infinite
Spirit, who can never make a mistake, is responsible for the conditions
under which what we call evil becomes possible, because by those
conditions alone can men become moral beings, and these conditions
underlie the three functioning centres in the complex mechanism of human
beings.

That is the inner meaning of that metaphor about gathering grapes from
thorns and figs from thistles in the Gospel.  The thorn and the thistle,
the grape and the fig, do not signify separate types of men.  If so, the
force of the metaphor would fail, and Necessitarian Calvinism would be
established.

The thorn and the thistle are obeying God’s own law of heredity and
affinity by producing only thorns and thistles; they would violate the
law of their being if they produced grapes and figs.  It is an allegory
of our separate selves, of that complex nature which differentiates us
from the immanence of God as subconscious mind in the vegetable and the
animal. Each man is the soil in which the "soul-man" and the "body-man"
produce thorn and thistle, and the "spirit-man" produces grape and fig.
The opposing functioning centres in the same individual strive for the
mastery, and from this very striving emerges the perfected life of the
Child of God, and that is where the possibility of what we call evil
comes in.  Our own limited minds teach us that God’s thought-forms,
imaged forth from the womb of Infinite Mind, could never attain
Self-consciousness unless associated with matter in some definite form.
That association with matter involved body with its "thorn and thistle"
tendencies, which tendencies are the training-ground of the individual,
and this training will be complete when the "spirit-man," through the
"soul-man," controls the "body-man," and he can say with Paul: "I keep
under my body and bring it into subjection."

As vehicles of spirit we have the capacity of living by a definite
effort and purpose the higher life, the fruit-bearing life, and, as we
live it, we weaken and starve the thorn-bearing life.  "We are debtors,"
says the Apostle, we, who have received the Keys of our own Kingdom of
Heaven within—"we are debtors not to live after the flesh."

No one needs the pulpit to tell them what is the life "not after the
flesh."  Every purposeful encouragement of the Divine nature within,
every clinging to principle in time of temptation, every masterful
conquest over bodily desires by forcing the mind away from sense
impressions into recollection of the Divinity within, every quenching of
anger by a kind and gentle word, ministers to the fruit-bearing life and
withers the thorn.

In one word, the higher life is the continuous conscious blending of the
human mind with the Infinite Mind.  Remember conscious mind is part of
the "soul-man," and our ability to gain dominion over the physical body
develops as we use our will to blend our thought-power with the Infinite
Mind, for the "spirit-man" influences the "body-man," through the
channel of the "soul-man," which is the seat of mind.

Begin it by suffering the indwelling Spirit to realize itself as love.

The Master taught us that to manifest love is to live not as an isolated
unit but in terms of the larger life of humanity.  When He was asked,
"What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He replied with the parable
of the Good Samaritan.  Manifest love to theological and political
opponents, and unlovable people generally, and the thorn and thistle
within you will have a poor chance of life.

When you express love you are functioning from Spirit.  Then "soul-man"
and "body-man" must obey.  "Soul-man" must help for will is part of
"soul-man."  Watch yourself.  Keep the tongue from evil and the lips
that they speak no guile.  Never allow yourself to repeat that which
will prejudice your hearer against another.  Don’t repeat a scandal. It
causes an evil thought-atmosphere to prevail; it thwarts the God within;
it grieves the Spirit more fatally than breaches of the moral law.

This, then, is the message of to-day.  Use your will to keep your mental
faculties in conscious realization of your true relation to Infinite
Mind, as one of His vehicles, and you will not grieve the Spirit.  Know
that God is the Spirit within you, and never forget that He is also
Abba, Father, outside you.  Abba, Father, longs for us far more than we
long for Him.  Around us always are the everlasting arms.  He knows our
imperfections and weaknesses of character far better than we know those
of our own children, and our Lord said: "If ye then, being evil, know
how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your
Heavenly Father give good gifts to them that ask Him?"



                  *"Out of the Everywhere into Here."*


"Of His own will He brought us forth by the Word, wherefore receive with
meekness the inborn Word."—ST. JAMES i. 18, 21 (R.V.).


Though I have repeatedly spoken on the words of the Epistle for the
fourth Sunday after Easter, I simply cannot pass them by now.  They
illuminate conspicuously the thesis that we were "thought-forms" in the
womb of Infinite Mind before we were "body-forms" in this terrestrial
school, and they affirm the closeness of our intimacy with Infinite Mind
and the obviousness of our life’s duty.  Grant the axiom that the power
of Infinite Mind to realize in us, and express through us, and
externalize love in the circumstances of our life, is strictly
conditioned by our appreciation of what Infinite Mind is in Itself, then
the more familiar, the more reverently tender, our estimate of
Originating Spirit, the more will It be able to manifest in our lives.

St. James in the words I have quoted has suggested to us a conception of
Infinite Creative Mind so exalted, so metaphysical, and yet so personal,
that, if by spiritual consciousness we can grasp it, we possess the
highest possible estimate of the All-Conscious Life-Principle whence we
came.  St. James says: "He brought us forth with the Word," "He willed
us forth from Himself by the Logos."  In the Greek there is, of course,
no personal pronoun, and, indeed, it is a paradox to put the masculine
personal pronoun before this Greek word, _apekúêsen_, a word used, and
only used, for the birth of a child from its mother; it has no other
meaning.  Imagine the motherly tenderness of this metaphor. Can it be
used by accident?  Does it not suggest the words: "Can a woman forget
her sucking child that she should not have compassion upon the son of
her womb?"  Can Infinite Mind forget the individual life-centre which
has come forth from its creative thought-womb?  You say this is emotion,
this is sentiment.  Quite so; that is exactly what is needed; our
relations to Originating Mind are too formal, too cold, too perfunctory,
too theological.

The Mother-Soul, _apekúêsen_, "brought us forth," "bore us," body-formed
us, that by separation we might come to know our Parentage as we could
never have known it if we had remained in the womb of Creative Mind,
just as between human child and mother there can be no conscious
cognizing intercourse till they are separated.

I pray that I may realize how profoundly this inspired metaphor of St.
James reaches into the deep things of God.  It proves that the
irrevocability of Divine Immanence in man is not the product of human
speculation, but an authoritative revelation.  As the child in the womb
receives the nature of the mother, and is born into the world bearing
that nature, part of the mother, a repetition of the mother, so have we
come into this world with a Divine nature within us, which is our real
self, our eternal humanity.  It is true for us, when it is not yet true
to us, that we are the offspring of the Infinite Parent-Spirit by a
process more intimate than anything implied by the word "creation."

What a glorious confidence ought to be inspired by this assurance!  How
it ought to alter our outlook upon life!  The nature and perfections of
God, as Omnipotent Love and Wisdom, are germinally within us, and are
gradually advancing mankind, by an agency ultimately irresistible, to a
more and ever more perfect condition.  Based on this proposition of St.
James, final restitution stands upon an impregnable foundation; the
terrifying problem of evil, while it remains as an urgent motive for
action, loses its power to perplex.  As an Infinite Motherliness is the
sole producing agent of all that is, and as all that is must have been
in the thought-womb of Infinite Motherliness before coming into
existence, the whole mystery of the dark side of life must be within the
purpose of the eternal order, and there can be no independent rival to
the Author of the Universe.  Again, this amazing revelation of the
Creative Motherliness should help us in realizing the oneness of
humanity.  It should stimulate us to generous strivings for better
social conditions and more brotherly relations between man and man.  It
ought to make impossible the international jealousies which provoke
taunts and defiances between European nations which ultimately issue in
the misery and wickedness of war.  Above all, it should impress upon us
the dignity, the priceless dignity, of every individual human life, as
drawn directly from the Originating Spirit.

I desire to apply this thought.  I will take myself.  I ask, "What am
I?"  Now, don’t imagine that you honour God by calling yourself a poor
worm and a miserable sinner, whatever you may justly feel; it is gravely
discourteous to the Supreme Source of your being.  Say: "I am a human
life, a personal spirit, body-formed into terrestrial birth.  I
recognize that I have a double consciousness, that two distinct planes
of thought and initiative compose my life: the one is the natural or the
animal man, the product of evolution through the operation of the Cosmic
Mind; the other is the spiritual man, the essential inner nature,
equipped with all the potentialities and the qualities of the Infinite
Creative Mother-Soul.  In the recognition of this duality lies the
wisdom of life; in the reconciliation of these two planes of
consciousness lies the battle of life; and in the supremacy of the
higher plane of consciousness lies the victory of life.  I recognize my
limitations, and I regretfully acknowledge my many defeats."

Upon what does victory depend?  It depends upon our use of our
will-power in constraining our mental faculty to rise above the mere
sense-impressions of our lower consciousness, and intensify upon the
eternal fact of our oneness with the Infinite Life from which we have
come forth as a child comes from its mother’s womb.  St. James puts it
perfectly clearly.  He does not perplex us with theological casuistry or
schemes of salvation; he just bids us use our Divine heredity. He says
Infinite Mind has given birth to you by the Logos, the Word.  Creative
Motherliness has "brought you forth (_apekúêsen_) by the Logos,"
wherefore "receive with meekness the ’Logos Emphutos,’ the ’inborn
Word,’ ’the hereditary Divine nature,’ which is able to save your
souls."  "With meekness"—that is, with receptivity.  Mentally practise
Divine self-realization, become conscious that the Logos, which is the
mystic Christ, the image and nature of the Mother-God, is within you,
"inborn."  Be receptive to its promptings, acknowledge it, recognize it,
realize it, appeal to it; put away purposely what St. James calls "all
superfluity of naughtiness"—an expression which each must interpret for
himself. Strengthen it by inhibiting wrong thoughts, by secret communion
with it, and it will rapidly evolve, and as it grows it will externalize
in the conditions of your life, it will become more and more a power in
the affairs of your daily duty, it will build up your character, it will
bring you into right relations with your fellow-men, and make you kind
to others.  As it awakens the nature of the Infinite Mother-Soul within
you it will teach you what is God’s ideal of humanity—namely, that God’s
true son is not one perfect man, though one perfect Man alone realized
the ideal, but the whole multitudinous race of men, of which race God is
the Father, the Mother, the Soul, the Glory, and the Eternity.

Now, how do I know this?  How can I be certain of this?  How do I know
that the "Logos Emphutos," the inherited nature from the prolific
Mother-Spirit, is within me and "able to save my soul"?  I might have
arrived at the knowledge by induction, as did Charles Kingsley when he
said that logic required him to believe that there must have been, or
will be, an Incarnation.  I arrive at it by Revelation; the central
figure of the Christian Revelation proves to me incontestably the fact.

This "Logos Emphutos," this inborn Word, this hereditary witness of the
close and tender relationship between ourselves and Creative
Motherliness, this "urge" of the Creative Mother-Soul, is a universal
principle.  It is not easy to define it; but what existence is to being,
what the spoken word is to thought, what the lightning-flash is to
electricity, that the Logos is to the Creative Mother-Soul—its
expression, its activity, its self-utterance.  The Logos is the quality
of Originating Mind that forms, upholds, sustains all that is.  "Without
the Logos was not anything made that was made"; "in the Logos all things
consist."  "By the Logos," says St. Paul, "the heavens were made."  The
Logos is the one life in all, the cosmic mind in all—in the mineral, the
crystal, the lower order of animal life, and above all, in its highest
function, it is the dominating power in the soul of man, and in the
angels and archangels of the higher spheres of light and life.

It has always been so.  The early Aryans, 1700 B.C., knew it; but
generations of wrong thinking have darkened human minds to their Divine
origin as possessors of the "Logos Emphutos."  Infinite Mind, therefore,
"in the fulness of time," specialized the "Logos Emphutos," for purposes
of recognition and observation, in one perfect life-centre.  We call
this "The" Incarnation, as if the Lord Jesus alone were the Incarnate
Son.  If so, He would profit us little.  He could in no sense be our
model and our brother. Incarnation is a universal Principle, of which
universal Principle the Lord Jesus is the specialization in absolute
perfection.  "The Logos," says St. John, "was made flesh and dwelt among
us, and we beheld His glory full of grace and truth."  That is, the
universal principle of the Divinity of humanity, as the outbirth of the
Mother God, was manifested in Jesus of Nazareth in such full-orbed
completeness that the qualities and perfections of the Parent God were
displayed in Him, and the full result upon human character of this
Divine Immanence, the realization of which had before been vague and
without outline, was shown forth in Him, that men might know what power
was in them, and what the indwelling Spirit of God was making of them.
This embodiment of the Logos, called Jesus, did not stay long in the
limitations of the flesh, but long enough to manifest the splendid
Divine potentiality of a man in whom the Logos rules.  The human beings
that He came to illuminate killed His body.  Plato long ago prophesied
that if a perfect man appeared the world would crucify Him, and Plato
was right.  And the Gospel records His farewell.  He says: "It is
expedient for you that I go away."

Now, before we consider what He meant by that saying, just brush the
dust off this foundation-stone—the dust of accumulated dogmatic
limitations, and theological "schemes of salvation," and all the rest.
The Christian revelation is a complete and intelligible philosophy, and
it secures your position.  Infinite Mind, brooding Creative
Motherliness, has expressed itself by materializing its thoughts in the
phenomena of the universe, and body-forming its highest thought in human
beings. That man is the highest expression and self-realization of the
Creative Mother-mind, is the guarantee that man’s consciousness mirrors
the infinite Mother-mind as the dewdrops mirror the sun.  It follows
that if there were an absolutely perfect human being, that human being
would be so God-inhabited that he would be able to say, "I and Infinite
Mind are one; he that hath seen Me hath seen Infinite Mind."  Now Jesus
is this perfect human being.  The Divine ideal was specialized,
completely expressed, in His individual personality.  The Divinity of
Jesus means that He was the full embodiment of the qualities and
principles of the Creative Motherliness, the Infinite Spirit. So in
Jesus, God is no longer a vague abstraction, because I can interpret the
Universal Mind through the specialization in Jesus:

      "Space and time, O Lord, that show Thee
        Oft in power, veiling good,
      Are too vast for us to know Thee
      As our trembling spirits would;
    But in Jesus, yes, in Jesus, Father, Thou art understood."

But more; in Jesus I can also understand myself.  Infinite Mind sent
Jesus to be a complete full-orbed specimen of what I am potentially
myself.  The principles that He embodied, the "Logos Emphutos" that
became flesh in Him, are not peculiar to Him, but universal, so that we
can claim identity with Him.  St. John says: "As He is, so are we in
this world"; St. Paul says: "The Christ"—that is, the "Logos
Emphutos"—"is in you the hope of glory"; and He Himself said: "I am in
the Father, and ye in Me, and I in you."

That is why He said: "It is expedient for you that I go away."  He came
to teach that the "inborn Word" is universal; it is the Mother-God
repeating Itself in all Souls; and if this truth were to be realized and
appreciated, it was expedient that the visible Personality in which it
was specialized should be removed, in order that men might mentally
universalize the manifestation, and learn that this spirit of Sonship,
this Divine nature, this distribution of the Creative Being, belongs to
all men, as the hope of their existence, the ideal of their life, the
leaven of their humanity, the assurance of their perfection.

He did not really leave us.  He said that if He did not go the Comforter
could not come. He is the Comforter.  He identified Himself completely
with the coming of the Holy Ghost; He speaks of Pentecost as His second
coming; He says, "I will not leave you comfortless," "I will come unto
you"; and St. Paul, in 2 Cor. iii. 17, in emphatic terms, declares, "Now
the Lord"—meaning the Lord Jesus Christ—"is that Spirit."

Our Lord also said, "When He is come He will convict the world of sin."
Do you know something of this?  He meant that when Divine Sonship, the
inborn Word that was specialized in Him, begins to stir in a man, to
make itself felt, there is a new principle in him which cannot tolerate
the lower nature, but torments it.  Until the "Logos Emphutos" is
awakened there is no real consciousness of sin.  Philo taught that where
the Logos had not stirred in a man there was no moral responsibility;
but "when He has come," when something has taught you that you came out
from the Mother-Soul, that you are an expression of God, how you hate
yourself for past sin; and if from deeply ingrained habit you are
sometimes now selfish, irritable, unkind, impure, the punishment comes
quickly in the painful sense of disturbed harmony, and you are miserable
till restored.  This is "the Spirit of Jesus," "the Christ in you," the
"Logos Emphutos," call it the Holy Ghost if you like, convicting you of
sin.

One final thought.  This very intimate relationship to the Mother-Soul
unfolds the limitless capacities of our being.  All the power of the
Kingdom of Heaven is at our disposal if we will mentally claim it.
Remember, the moral issues of life are mental.  It is a fundamental law
of conscious life that by metaphysical telepathy we can have immediate
communion with Infinite Life.  Our minds can focus the Divine Presence,
and we may speak to the world’s Creator as intimately as a child would
prattle to its mother.  Then consider what ought our moral life to be?
Not obedience to a conventional category of social maxims, but an
expression of the Infinite Mind, and our daily prayer should be, "May my
conscious mind perceive that Thy life, Thy thoughts, Thy spirit are
within me, and that Thou art seeking to realize Thyself and manifest Thy
love through me."

Again, inasmuch as the whole must include its parts, and as we can
mentally attract the attention of the whole, we can most assuredly
attract the attention of any beloved individual personality in the
spirit world by wireless thoughtography; not drawing them down into
these denser elements that they have left, but lifting our spirit-self
into the ethereal element where they abide, for when we are realizing
God we are summoning them.  That is a communion that breaks down the
barrier between two worlds, and enables us to say, "With angels and
archangels, and with all the company of Heaven, we laud and magnify Thy
glorious name; evermore praising Thee, and saying, Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God Almighty, Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory; glory be to
Thee, O Lord most High."



                             *Last Words.*


"We live, if ye stand fast in the Lord."—1 THESS. iii. 8.


The last Sunday of a year suggests a moral balancing of accounts.  I
will not burden you with retrospect; what is the good? Nor will I waste
your time with anticipations—always a futile speculation.  The only
thing that matters is the present.  How do we stand—now, to-day?  That
is important both to pupil and to pupil-teacher.  There is something
intensely pathetic, something that arouses an echo in my own heart, in
the way Paul interweaves the "we" and the "ye" in that sentence.  This
great prototype, "We live if ye stand fast," of all subsequent
ministrants to souls recognizes the close interdependence of spiritual
welfare between himself and those he had been commissioned to teach. The
truth of human solidarity, and the responsibility of each soul to
minister to its neighbour, reaches its climax in such a relationship as
that existing between Paul and the Church in Thessalonica.  He had
laboured to kindle the dormant capacities of their souls, while training
his own.  His life had not been easy.  Festus said he was mad.  The
magistrates at Philippi scourged and imprisoned him.  Demas forsook him,
and his colleague Peter withstood him. Moreover, he had constant
weakness of health, his thorn in the flesh tormented him, but the one
only thing he cared for was that souls awakened under his ministry
should not fall back.  He speaks as if his very life hung upon their
continued perseverance in the truth he had taught.  "We live," he
says—"we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord."  It is as if he had said,
"Ye are the very travail of my soul; life will not be worth living to
me; it will be darkened by shadow, if ye, the souls whom I have
influenced, fall away when I am no longer with you."  More than that he
felt that he would be measured by the result of his work.  I imagine
that all ministers must feel the same, and, without presumption, may in
the same way suggest to their people, as one additional motive for
striving for the grace of perseverance, the motive of contributing to
the life-joy of the human instrument through whom they have gained some
light.  The thought obtrudes itself aggressively at one of these
way-marks, these sign-posts in the passage of time, which remind one of
the uncertainty as to the continuance of existing conditions. Not that
"uncertainty" matters in the least. I dislike the word "uncertainty";
the one certainty is that all is well, as God is All and God is Love;
when you know that, you don’t talk about "uncertainty":

    "All unknown the future lies—Let it rest.
    God who veils it from our eyes—Knows best.
    Ask not what shall be to-morrow—Be content,
    Take the cup of joy or sorrow—God has sent."


Of course, every pupil-teacher in God’s school knows that he,
personally, is nothing—nothing but a voice crying in the Wilderness.
Nevertheless, he has one desire in the fulfilment of which his happiness
here, and perhaps in the other dimension, is closely concerned; it is
that his fellow-pupils should "stand fast in the Lord."  "In the Lord,"
mark you—"in the Lord."  Not in fidelity to some ethical standard—not in
the shibboleths of some acceptable so-called school of thought, not in
the excluding externalisms of some particular denomination—those are all
incidents which have their place—but "in the Lord."  To define
exhaustively the meaning of "in the Lord" would be to recapitulate the
whole curriculum; but to be "in the Lord" is a spiritual acquisition
attained by systematic thinking into God, and "standing fast in the
Lord" is using the will to compel the conscious mind to hold the thought
till it becomes a normal attitude.  To be "in the Lord" is to have
discovered your true relation as an individual to the Infinite
Originating Spirit.  It is to have recognized that God is known only by
the mind, and that mental force is "that you have the likest God within
your soul"; and with the aid of that mental force to have thought
yourself out of objective Deism into the truth of the universally
diffused Creative Mind, Immanent, Transcendent, and Paternal.  It is to
have realized what Wordsworth calls the Sense Sublime of—

    "Something far more deeply interfused,
    A Motion and a Spirit that impels
    All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
    And rolls through all things."

This "sense sublime," which is spiritual consciousness, is a sense
which, once awakened, Materialism can never stamp out, though it is very
possible to be unfaithful to it.  It is a thrilling consciousness of
penetrating Divine Mind everywhere.  This "sense sublime" is an
hereditary instinct in our nature which makes "feeling after God"
automatic.  This "sense sublime," added to the natural demand for a
conception of God under some conditions of personality, has been the
foundation of all religions.  It was the foundation of the higher Deism
of the Jewish theology, which possessed beautiful characteristics in
spite of its anthropomorphism.  Isaiah was full of the "sense sublime,"
and he bids us create "thought-forms" and think of Infinite Spirit as
men would think of their mothers—"As one whom his mother comforteth, so
will I comfort you."  "Use your imagination," he would say, "to conceive
that the tenderness of a mother feebly represents the watchful love, the
protecting care, of Jehovah towards the human race; for a human mother
may forget her child, ’Yet will I not forget thee,’ saith the Lord."

Beautiful and consoling as is Isaiah’s conception of God as Universal
Mother, it is still Deistic, it still leaves the Infinite Intelligence
as a Person, which He is not.  It does not answer the philosophic
problem of how mentally to specialize the Infinite Mind while at the
same time preserving mentally the conception of its universality.  The
Gospel of the "Word made Flesh," the revelation of the Incarnation,
solves that problem.

In the Christian revelation the words "Absolute," "Infinite Mind," and
the rest, are relieved of impersonality and vagueness.  We see that
earth’s teeming millions are not created, designed, or fashioned, or
even generated in the physical sense.  They are to God what words are to
thoughts—expressions, utterances of the Infinite Mind of God.  Each
human being is an individual vehicle or life-centre in which the
Infinite Mind expresses, manifests itself.  Each human life is the
reproduction in an individuality of qualities which the Infinite
Creative Mind perceives within itself and desires to realize.  Now, if
the sum-total of these universally diffused qualities of the Infinite
Mind could be specialized in one absolutely perfect individual
life-centre, we should be able to recognize the personalness of the
Infinite Mind and estimate the qualities and principles of the
Originating Spirit.  And in Jesus we have this unique specimen, this
concentration in one individual life-centre, and we know what God is
because in Jesus dwelt "all the fulness of the God-head bodily."  More
than this.  The Universal, specialized in Jesus, enables us to
understand how God is immanent in us; for the Lord Jesus declared that
our relationship to the Infinite Mind was essentially and potentially of
the same nature as His, that we too have "the Father in us."  He
emphatically declares: "I go to My Father and to your Father."  Thus is
Jesus the Mediator, or Uniting Medium, between God and man.  Thus does
"God in Christ reconcile the world to Himself," for in the perfectly
God-inhabited man is revealed the transcendent truth that God and man,
in inherent eternal unity, are one. When we think into this
self-revelation of God in Jesus Christ, when we recognize what it
implies—namely, that the personality of Infinite Spirit is manifested in
the objective Christ, and that the mystic Christ is in all, and that
every human being is a potential Jesus—we have realized what it is to be
"in the Lord."  If only we could stand fast in this truth!  If we
restless, capricious human beings could but exercise our wills, our
power of self-compulsion, in holding our conscious minds fast to this
thought, it would reconstitute the whole of our character and being,
because it would readjust our mental relations with the material
environment and sense-impressions in which we live.

It alters the whole outlook on life to know you personally are an idea
in the mind of God, and that you have the power within you to identify
yourself with God’s purpose.  Your entire theology is expanded; for to
begin to know God as He is in Himself is to become a convinced
Universalist and a denier of the essentiality of evil, though you hate
evil as you never hated it before.  So to be "in the Lord" is not to be
staggered by the existence of evil.  The imperfection that seems to mar
the perfection of the economy of the world is recognized as a necessary
condition for the production of the highest good, one of its objects
being to make you hate it.  The proposition which I constantly reiterate
is clear, logical, conclusive.  God is All, All is God; God is the only
_ousia_ (substance) in the universe.  This negation of good which we
hate, this contrast, either is or is not part of universal order.  If it
is part of universal order, then, in spite of all seeming paradox, it is
of the "all things that work together for good."  If it is not part of
His universal order, then the philosophy of Infinity is shattered, and
we are confronted with another creative originator in the universe, in
everlasting antagonism to the good God—a paralyzing Dualism, which is
only another name for Atheism.  God is All, God is Love, God is
Omnipotent, and God is Immanent. Therefore it is certain that a hidden
purpose of benevolence and love, incomparably higher than would be
accomplished by the abolition of what we call evil, must have actuated
the Infinite Mind when He "thought-created" phenomena.  Clearly it is an
impossibility, even to Omnipotence, to make moral beings, in whom He
could realize His highest quality of love, without giving them a measure
of volition, which volition had to pass the test of the complex
education and temptations of earth-life, with all that it entails; and
His purpose is so high and glorious that its ultimate consummation will
justify and vindicate all the apparently inexplicable means He adopts in
bringing it about.

Once more—though I fear I cause that string to vibrate too often, but
out of the heart the mouth speaketh—to "stand fast in the Lord" is to be
unspeakably uplifted and supported when crushed under the sorrow of
bereavement.  "Standing fast in the Lord"—you know that every separate
individual human being is a product of the Divine Mind, imaging forth an
image of Itself on the plane of the material.  Consequently, each
Individual and the Originating Spirit are essentially inseverable.
Therefore human souls strongly linked by love are inseverable, and,
though visibly separated, are merged in one another, and spirit with
spirit does meet.  "The Communion of Saints" is to you who are "standing
in the Lord" not a theological dogma, but a fact of being.  You do not
believe, you know, that the casting off of the body, the passing out of
sight of the temporary corporeal enslavement, causes no separation
between you and those who are living now in a world of duller life,
where the limitations of the physical do not exist.  We may be
unconscious of the intensity and reality of this communion, because our
spiritual self, our real man, is still in the educative isolation of the
flesh; but the beloved departed know that the only real home of the
spirit is the Universal, and that there is no limitation of time or
space where they are, and that as thought-transference on the physical
plane is acknowledged as a scientific fact, nothing can hinder the
transmission of mind-impulse on the spiritual plane, especially when we
remember that there is a force greater, according to St. Paul, than
Faith, and greater than Hope, and that is Love.  If Faith can penetrate
into the spirit-world, cannot Love?  God is Love, and "Love never
faileth."

If you are "standing fast in the Lord" the vibration of your love
penetrates into God’s hidden world.  The method is the mental process of
thinking yourself into conscious realization of the Presence of
Universal Spirit, and then, with that thought sustained, thinking
strongly of the loved one you want in the spirit world.  They catch the
impulse of your telepathic, God-inspired, love-thought, and respond to
your spirit, and sometimes you will be definitely conscious of the
response through the percipient mind.  Another test of standing fast in
the Lord is the increase of your usefulness in the world.  The service
for others, of one who is standing fast in the Lord, will manifest
itself mainly in three spheres: the sphere of action, of example, of
intercession.  First you will have a new enthusiasm and desire to work
in the sphere of definite remedial activity on this temporal, this
material plane.  You know that there is nothing but God, therefore you
recognize that the material plane is one of God’s spheres of love and
sacrifice.  Being "in the Lord" does not imply a life of indolent
contemplation.  It implies "coming to the help of the Lord against the
mighty," like that consecrated sister of humanity, Sister Dora.  You
remember, I have often repeated it, how, after a laborious day in her
hospital, her rest was constantly broken by the sound of the bell placed
at the head of her bed to be rung whenever any sufferer wanted her, and
on that bell was engraved the motto, "The Master is come and calleth for
thee."  I often try to remind myself of that.  As every member of the
race is God-inhabited, every claim made upon us—though of course we must
consider each claim with due discretion—is the Master’s voice saying,
"Remember, I in them, and thou in Me, that they may be perfect in us."

Then, again, standing fast in the Lord gives you a new power of
expressing, manifesting, the Immanent God by your life, your example.
The highest duty in life is manifesting God. You will find that the
words in my prayer, "May my highest aim this day be to manifest God and
to make others happy," become your normal attitude.  It will be as
natural to you now to give a gentle answer to a deliberate provocation
as formerly it was natural to give an irritable reply.  You will take
your own line on principles of moral rectitude, heedless of the strife
of tongues, but with perfect respect for the expressed opinions of
others who wholly differ from you.  Then it is hardly necessary to point
out that "Standing fast in the Lord" is to be a power in intercession.
God has taught us that there is no sphere in which the soul, that really
recognizes its relation to Infinite Spirit, can more effectually help
and bless others.  I cannot define these "thoughtographs" of mental
causation on the spiritual plane, but it is impossible to measure the
cumulative force of united intercession.

Intercession does not mean that you have importuned an objective
Omnipotent Being to do a kindness to one of His subjects, though in
human language we seem thus to express it.  It is, that having found
your true relation as an individual to the Universal Originating Spirit,
and your sympathy and pity being drawn to some case of need, you
specialize, by the power of your thought, the All-surrounding Infinite
Love, and focus it, direct it, to the particular case of need, and
Infinite Love thinks, wills, and expresses Himself through you.  When
Paul said, "Brethren, pray for us," he knew that loving, sympathizing,
healing thoughts, projected like wireless-telegraphy vibrations from
united God-inhabited hearts, were the life of God in man reaching forth
to quicken, stimulate, and support a brother man. I have been upheld in
physical and mental weakness by a stream of kindly sympathy, radiating
Divine creative energy.  I once before expressed my gratitude in the
words of an American divine:

    "Beneath the shelter which your prayers have reared,
      Quiet and blest,
    The storm which struck me down no longer feared,
      Secure I rest."


That is what this wireless spiritual telegraphy does—it frees the mind
from fear.  To free the mind from fear is to strike at the root of many
a physical and mental trouble.

I have been withheld recently from taking an active part in this Divine
work, but I have a sheaf of letters of thanksgiving.  I give extracts
from two:

You prayed for a young girl who was about to face an examination for a
post and who was tormented with nervous headache. The letter says: "It
was a positive miracle; there was not a headache after that night, and
the examination was passed most successfully."

Again, you prayed two Sundays in succession for a youth in the North of
England. The letter says: "He was dying; the doctors had given him up,
and he himself had no thought of recovery.  He is well and a new man;
people are expressing the greatest astonishment, declaring that no one
understands it.  They do not know the explanation."  These cases are not
that an Objective external God did something kind because we asked Him,
but that the Immanent Universal Mind used our sympathy, and our yearning
to help, in bringing about that which He also desired, but for the
fulfilment of which He needed the focussed love and desire of the
individual life-centres in which He is Immanent.  That is one way of
"coming to the help of the Lord against the Mighty."

Now these recapitulations imperfectly express my meaning when I ask you
to "Stand fast in the Lord."  The end of a year is a time when a
register of results is justifiable, and an occasion for a fresh start is
recognized. I ask you to make a resolution that you will be spiritually
self-supporting, and independent of external aid, and that, whether the
pupil-teacher to whom you have become accustomed is in the flesh or out
of it, you will "Stand fast in the Lord," for his sake as well as your
own.  "We live, if ye stand fast."  It is so, it must be so, for the
test of a teacher is the perseverance of the taught.  To fall away from
a great principle because the temporary enunciator of that principle is
removed, is to condemn that enunciator as a failure, and perhaps to send
him to his account without his golden sheaves.

    "Ah, who shall then the Master meet
    And bring but withered leaves?
    Ah, who shall at the Saviour’s feet,
    Before the awful judgment seat,
    Lay down for golden sheaves
    Nothing but leaves, nothing but leaves?"


In the words of Shakespeare I say, "Hereafter in a better world than
this I shall desire more love and knowledge of you"; meanwhile remember,
"The Kingdom of Heaven is within you," all the power you can possibly
need is at your disposal, you need no helper to give it you, it is yours
now.

    "O be strong, then, and brave, pure, patient, and true;
    The work that is yours let no other hand do.
    For the strength for all need is faithfully given
    From the fountain within you—the Kingdom of Heaven."



                  Printed for Elliot Stock, Publisher,
                   7, Paternoster Row, London, E.C.,
                  by Billing and Sons, Ltd., Guildford



           *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *



                  *By THE VEN. ARCHDEACON WILBERFORCE*


*STEPS IN SPIRITUAL GROWTH*

Steps in Spiritual Growth—The Apple of God’s Eye—The Seed is the
Logos—God Sleeps in the Stone—The Armour of God—Christ in you, the Hope
of Glory—The Water and the Blood—Praise—Noli me Tangere—Things of Good
Report—The Master-Truth of Christianity—The Wedding Garment—The Moral
Sense, and the Religious Instinct.


*POWER WITH GOD*

A Suggested Morning Prayer—Power with God—The Father’s Demand—Judgment
by the Christ Within—The Word made Flesh—The Armour of Light in the
Strife of Tongues—The Meaning of a Coronation—Manifesting God—The Holy
Spirit—The Holy Trinity—Cosmic Consciousness—Festival of St. Luke: The
Layman’s Saints’ Day—Abba Father—Affirmations.


*SERMONS PREACHED IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY.  First Series.*

Three Inspired Propositions—God’s Riddle—Does God Suffer?—The Father is
greater than All—The Holy Trinity—The Holy Spirit—The Unpardonable
Sin—Septuagesima—Back to Origins—Quinquagesima—The Impulse Behind
Origins—Resurrection—Ascension—Paradise—Hades—The Communion of
Saints—Propitiation—Diversity and Toleration—Unbinding the Word—No
Wastefulness with God.


*THE HOPE THAT IS IN ME.*

God the Healer—For Ever with the Lord—Reincarnation—A New Year’s
Motto—Epiphany—Social Evolution—Heavenly Citizenship—Mental Limitation
of God—Cure for Mental Limitation—The Open Cancer of England’s Life—The
Amethyst—Mental Concentration—Thinking into God—Welcome to the German
Pastors in Westminster Abbey at Ascensiontide—Creation, and the Book of
Genesis—Life in Him—Glorify God in your Body—Theosophy—Counsels to
Cadets—God’s Bairns.


*THE SECRET OF THE QUIET MIND*

Advent—"Mysteries": A Christmas Thought—Church Parade—Dives or Lazarus,
Which?—Individual Responsibility for Corporate Wrong Doing—"If Thou
Hadst Known"—Animal Sunday—The Secret of the Quiet Mind—The Power of a
Symbol—Mercy—What is Christianity?


*THE POWER THAT WORKETH IN US*

First Principles—Repentance—Repentance from Dead Works—Faith Towards
God—The Laying-on of Hands—From what Centre do we Think?—The Blessed
Sacrament—The Unjust Steward—The Earthquake in Sicily—A Suggestion for
Lent—The Leverage Power in Man—The Departure of Loved Ones.


*SANCTIFICATION BY THE TRUTH*

God’s Truth—Limiting the Holy One-The Awakening—Motherhood in God—The
Origin of Man—Wheat and Tares—Ought the Clergy to Criticise the
Bible?—The Obligation of the Sabbath—Nelson and Trafalgar—The Bishop of
London’s Fund—Joint Heirs with
Christ—Virtue—Knowledge—Self-Control—Patience—Godliness—Brotherly
Kindness—Our Father, which art in Heaven—Hallowed be Thy Name—Thy
Kingdom Come—Thy Will be Done—Give us this Day our Daily Bread—Forgive
us our Trespasses—Lead us not into Temptation—Thine is the Kingdom.


*NEW (?) THEOLOGY*

New (?) Theology—Soul-Hunger—The Pre-Natal Promise—Where to Find the
Lord—The Storm—Praying for the Departed—The Doctrine of the Holy
Unity—Hades—Truth—Shallowness—Assurance—Demonology—Our Mother in
Heaven—The Visible Church—The Limits of Forgiveness—St. Simon and St.
Jude—The Atonement—Auto-Suggestion—O.H.M.S.—Phariseeism—Advent:
S.P.G.—Advent: Incarnation—Advent: The Bible—Advent: The Woman Clothed
with the Sun.



                              COMMENDED BY
                   DR. WALPOLE, BISHOP OF EDINBURGH.

"All who have at any time been laid aside by sickness will have felt the
need of just such a book as this which Mr. Trevelyan has compiled.
Trouble brings us face to face with realities, and it is then that we
need strong, hopeful words that will shew us how we ought to meet it.
These will be found in the admirable selections that are bound up under
the attractive title Apples of Gold."—GEORGE BISHOP OF EDINBURGH

A book of the greatest possible help—and will give more strengthening
thought than many such manuals are apt to give

                            *Apples of Gold*

A COMMONPLACE BOOK of selected Readings, intended to suggest thoughts,
lay foundations, and build up character.

                   COMPILED AND ARRANGED BY THE REV.
                         W. B. TREVELYAN, M.A.
                         WARDEN OF LIDDON HOUSE

216 pages.  Handsome Cloth Binding.  2s. 6d. net.

Presentation Editions, printed on thin paper.  Limp Leather, full gilt
back, gilt top, silk register.  4s. 6d. net.  Calf or Turkey Morocco,
red under gilt edges, gilt roll, silk register, boxed. 7s. 6d. net.



                    *Library of Historic Theology.*

                 EDITED BY THE REV. WM. C. PIERCY, M.A.

      _Each Volume, Demy 8vo., Cloth, Red Burnished Top, 5s. net._


                 _The following Volumes are now ready:_

THE PRESENT RELATIONS OF SCIENCE AND RELIGION.
       By the REV. PROFESSOR T. G. BONNEY, D.Sc.

ARCHEOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.
       By PROFESSOR EDOUARD NAVILLE, D.C.L., LL.D.

MYSTICISM IN CHRISTIANITY.
       By the REV. W. K. FLEMING, M.A., B.D.

THE RULE OF LIFE AND LOVE.
       By the REV. R. L. OTTLEY, D.D.

THE RULE OF FAITH AND HOPE.
       By the REV. R. L. OTTLEY, D.D.

MARRIAGE IN CHURCH AND STATE.
       By the REV. T. A. LACEY, M.A.

CHRISTIANITY AND OTHER FAITHS.
       By the REV. W. ST. CLAIR TISDALL, D.D.

THE BUILDING UP OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.
       By the REV. CANON R. B. GIRDLESTONE, M.A.

THE CHURCHES IN BRITAIN.  Vol. I. and II.
       By the REV. ALFRED PLUMMER, D.D.

CHARACTER AND RELIGION.
       By the REV. THE HON. EDWARD LYTTELTON, M.A.

THE CREEDS: Their History, Nature and Use.
       By the REV. HAROLD SMITH, M.A.

MISSIONARY METHODS, ST. PAUL’S OR OURS?
       By the REV. ROLAND ALLEN, M.A.

THE CHRISTOLOGY OF ST. PAUL (Hulsean Prize Essay).
       By the REV. S. NOWELL ROSTRON, M.A.

RELIGION IN AN AGE OF DOUBT.
       By the REV. CHARLES J. SHEBBEARE, M.A.


      Further important announcements wilt be made in due course;
         full particulars may from obtained from the Publisher.



           *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *



                          *THE PURPLE SERIES*

                   Books of Devotion and Meditation.

                        Cloth, 1s. 6d. net each.


PRAYER AND COMMUNION. By the Right Rev. the BISHOP OF EDINBURGH. Also
bound in White Parchment, 2s. 6d. net.

THERE IS NO DEATH.  By the Ven. BASIL WILBERFORCE, D.D. Also bound in
White Parchment, 2s. 6d. net.

MYSTIC IMMANENCE. By the Ven. BASIL WILBERFORCE, D.D. Also bound in
White Parchment, 2s. 6d. net.

THEM WHICH SLEEP IN JESUS. By the Rev. G. T. SHETTLE, L.A.

CEDAR AND PALM. By the Rev. W. EWING, M.A.

THE PROBLEMS AND PRACTICE OF PRAYER. By the Rev. S. C. LOWRY, M.A.

THE WAITING-PLACE OF SOULS. By the Rev. C. E. WESTON, M.A.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Mystic Immanence
 - The Indwelling Spirit" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home