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Destiny is determined, for nations and for individuals, by factors and forces that are really fundamental--such as men’s attitude toward one another. Ideals and motives are more potent than events in shaping History. What people think about the abiding concerns of life means more than any contemporary agitation or upheaval.

A few centuries ago it was thought that we must choose between the Bible and Galilco. Fifty years ago it was thought that we must choose between the Bible and Darwin, but as Dean W. R. Inge, of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, says: “Every educated man knows that the main facts of organic evolution are firmly established, and that they are quite different from the legends borrowed by the ancient Hebrews from the Babylonians. We are not required to do violence to our reason by rejecting the assured results of modern research. Traditional Christianity must be simplified and spiritualized. It is at present encumbered by bad science and caricatured by bad economics and the more convinced we are of this, the less disposed we shall be to stake the existence of our faith on superstitions which are the religion of the irreligious and the science of the unscientific.

Modern discontent and unsatisfactory conditions are the symptoms of a deep-seated and destructive disease. Remedies applied to these symptoms in the form of legislation and suppression, may relieve the symptoms, but they do not cure the disease which will manifest in other and worse symptoms. Patches applied to an old decaying and obsolete garment in no way improve the garment. Constructive measures must be applied to the foundations of our civilization and that is our thought.

A Philosophy of life having as its basis blind optimism, a religion that won’t work seven days a week, or a proposition that isn’t practical appeals to the intelligent not at all. It is results that we want and to all such the acid test is: Will it work?

The apparent impossibilities are the very things that help us to realize the possible. We must go over the unbeaten trail of thought, cross the desert of ignorance, wade through the “Swamp of Superstition” and scale the mountains of rites and ceremonies if we ever expect to come into the “promised land of revelation.” Intelligence rules! Thought intelligently directed is a creative force which automatically causes its object to manifest on a material plane. Let him that hath an ear to hear, hear!

One of the characteristic signs of a general awakening is the optimism shining through the midst of doubt and unrest. This optimism is taking the form of illumination, and as the illumination becomes general, fear, anger, doubt, selfishness and greed pass away. We are anticipating a more general realization of the Truth which is to make men free. That there may be one man or one woman who shall first realize this Truth in the new era is barely possible, but the preponderance of evidence is for a more general awakening to the light of illumination.

Everything which we hold in our consciousness for any length of time becomes impressed upon our subconsciousness and so becomes a pattern which the creative energy will wave into our life and environment. This is the secret of the power of prayer.

The operation of this law has been known to a few in all ages, but nothing was more improbable than the unauthorized revelation of this information by any student of the great esoteric schools of philosophy. This was true because those in authority were afraid than an unprepared public mind might not be ready to make the proper use of the extraordinary power which the application of these principles disclosed.

We know that the universe is governed by law; that for every effect there must be a cause, and that the same cause, under the same conditions, will invariably produce the same effect. Consequently, if prayer has ever been answered, it will always be answered, if the proper conditions are complied with. This must necessarily be true; otherwise the universe would be a chaos instead of a cosmos. The answer to prayer is therefore subject to law, and this law is definite, exact and scientific, just as are the laws governing gravitation and electricity. An understanding oft his law takes the foundation of Christianity out of the realm of superstition and credulity and places it upon the firm rock of scientific understanding.

The Creative Principle of the Universe makes no exception, nor does it act through caprice or from anger, jealousy or wrath; neither can it be cajoled, flattered or moved by sympathy or petition; but when we understand our unity with this Universal Principle, we shall appear to be favored because we shall have found the source of wisdom and power.

It must be conceded by every thinking person that the answer to prayer furnishes the evidence of an all pervasive, omnipotent intelligence which is imminent in all things and all person. We have heretofore personalized this every present intelligence and called it God, but the idea of personality has become associated with form and form is a product of matter. The ever-present intelligence or mind must be the Creator of all form, the director of all energy, the source of all wisdom.

In order to secure the best thought of the world on the value of prayer, “The Walker Trust,” recently offered a prize of $100.00 for the best essay on “Prayer.” The meaning, the reality and the power of prayer, its place and value to the individual, to the church and the state, in the every day affairs of life, in the healing of disease, in times of distress and national danger, and in relation to national ideals and to world progress.”

In response to the invitation 1667 essays were received, they came from every quarter of the globe, they were written in nineteen different languages, the prize of $100.00 was awarded to the Rev. Samuel McComb, D.D., of Baltimore, Md. A comparative study of these essays is published by the MacMillan Company of New York. In giving his impressions Mr. David Russell of the Walker Trust says: “To practically all the contributors prayer is something real and of inestimable value, but unfortunately there is little information given as to the method by which the law is placed in operation.”

Mr. Russell, himself, agrees that the answer to prayer must be the operation of a Natural Law, he says: “We know, that to make use of a Natural Law, the intelligence must be able to comprehend its conditions and to direct or control its sequences. Can we doubt that to an intelligence great enough to encompass the spirit, there would be revealed a realm of spiritual law.” It seems that we are rapidly coming into an understanding of this law and understanding is control.

The value of Prayer depends upon the law of spiritual activity. Spirit is the Creative Principle of the Universe and is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent. Thinking is a spiritual activity, and consists of the reaction of the Individual against the Universal Mind. “I think, therefore I am,” when “I cease to think, I cease to exist.” Thinking is the only activity which spirit possesses. Spirit is creative, thinking therefore is a creative process, but as the larger part of our thinking processes are subjective rather than objective, most of our creative work is carried on the subjectively. But because this work is spiritual work it is none the less real, we know that all the great eternal forces of Nature are invisible rather than visible, spiritual rather than material, subjective rather than objective.

But exactly because thinking is a creative process, most of us are creating destructive conditions, we are thinking death rather than life, we are thinking lack rather than abundance, we are thinking disease rather than health, we are thinking inharmony rather than harmony, and our experiences and the experiences of our loved ones eventually reflect the attitude of Mind which we habitually entertain, for be it known that if we can pray for those we love, we can also injure them by entertaining and harboring destructive thoughts concerning them. We are free moral agents and may freely choose what we think, but the result of our thought is governed by an immutable law; this is the modern scientific phraseology for the Scriptural statement: “Be not deceived for God is not mocked, whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Prayer is thought in the form of a petition, and an affirmation is a statement of Truth, and when reinforced by Faith, another powerful form of thought, they become invincible, because “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” this substance is spiritual substance which contains within itself the Creator and the Created, the germ, the Elohim, that which enters in, goes forth and becomes one with its object.

But prayers and affirmations are not the only forms of creative thought. The architect when he plans to erect a wonderful new building, seeks the quiet of his studio, calls on his imagination for new or novel features embodying additional comforts or utilities and is seldom disappointed in the results.

The engineer who designs to span a chasm or river, visualizes the entire structure before making any attempt to embody it in form, this visualization is the mental image which precedes and predetermines the character of the structure which will eventually take form in the objective world.

The chemist seeks the quiet of his laboratory and then becomes receptive to the ideas from which the world will eventually profit by some new comfort or luxury.

The financier retires to his office or counting room and concentrates on some problem in organization or finance and soon the world learns of another co-ordination of industry requiring millions of additional capital.

Imagination, Visualization, Concentration are all spiritual faculties, and are all creative, because spirit is the one Creative Principle of the Universe, and he who has found the secret of the creative power of thought has found the secret of the ages. The law stated in scientific terms is, that thought will correlate with its object, but unfortunately the large majority are allowing their thoughts to dwell upon lack, limitation, poverty and every other form of destructive thought,. As this law is no respecter of persons their things become objectified in their environment.

Finally, there is love, which is also a form of thought. Love is nothing material and yet no one will deny that it is something very real. St. John tells us that “God is Love;” again he says: “Now are we all sons of God?” which means that Love is the Creative Principle of the Universe and St. Paul tells us “In Him we live and move and have our being.”

Love is a product of the emotions, the emotions are governed by the Solar Plexus and the sympathetic nervous system. It is therefore a subconscious activity and is entirely under the control of the involuntary system of nerves. For this reason it is frequently actuated by motives which are neither dictated by reason or intellect. Every political demagogue and religious revivalist takes advantage of this principle, they know that if they can arouse the emotions, the result is assured, so that the demagogue always appeals to the passions and prejudices of his audience never to the reason. The revivalist always appeals to the emotions through the love nature and never to the intellect, they both known that when the emotions are aroused intellect and reason are stilled.

Here we find the same result obtained through opposite polarities, one appealing to hatred, revenge, class prejudices and jealousy; the other appealing to love, service, hope and joy, but the principle is the same. One attracts, the other repels; one is constructive, the other destructive; one is positive, the other negative; the same power is being placed in operation in the same way, but for different purposes. Love and hatred are simply the opposite polarities of the same force, just as Electricity or any other force may be used for destructive purposes just as readily as it may be used for constructive purposes.

Some will say that if God is Spirit and is Omnipotent and Omnipresent, how can He be responsible for destructive conditions; He cannot bring about disaster, want, disease and death. Certainly not, but we can bring these things upon ourselves by a non-compliance with the spiritual laws. If we do not know that thought is creative, we may entertain thoughts of inharmony, lack and disease, which will eventually result in the condition of which these thoughts are the seed forms, but by an understanding of the law we can reverse the process and thereby bring about a different result.

Good and evil are thereby seen to be but relative terms indicating the result of our thoughts and actions. If we entertain constructive thoughts only, the result will benefit ourselves or others, this benefit we call good, if on the other hand we entertain destructive thought, this will result in inharmony for ourselves and others, this inharmony we call evil, but the power is the same in either event. There is but one source of power and we can use the power for good or for evil, just as we can make use of electricity for light, heat or power by an understanding of the laws governing electricity, but if we are careless or ignorant of the laws governing electricity, the result may be disastrous. The power is not good in one case and evil in the other; the good or evil depend upon our understanding of the law.

Many will ask, “how does this thought agree with the scripture?” Many millions of Bibles are sold annually, and every discovery in chemistry, science or philosophy must be in agreement with the vital Truth of religious thought.

What then was the thought of the Master concerning the Creator? It will be remembered that the question was put to him by a lawyer: “Master what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Did He evade the question? Did He quote some ancient authority? Did He recommend some creed or theological dogma? He did not. His answer was direct and to the point: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, will all thy soul, with all thy mind and with all thy strength, and they neighbor as thyself.”

Where is this God which the lawyer is told to love? Jesus refers to Him as the Father and when asked concerning Him says: “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father,” again “The Father and I are one,” again, “It is not I that doeth the work, but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the work,” again He taught His disciples to pray: “Our Father who are in Heaven,” and when asked concerning the location of Heaven, He said: “Men shall not say Lo her or Lo there, for behold the Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” Here then is authority as to the immanence of the Creator, the Father from the Master Physician himself. Thus, we find that Science and Religion are not in conflict and that within the Church and without there is a setting aside of traditional creeds and a return to the things which the Great Teacher taught and the things for which He stood.

The Old Testament has much to say concerning the God of Jacob and of Moses, but this conception of an Anthropomorphic God is principally interesting as indicating the thought of a people who believed that the world was flat, that the sun moved, when science was but magic and religion the dogma of the scholastics.

This was the result of the deductive method of reasoning which originated with certain statements of fact which were universal and absolute, and which were incapable of verification, all other facts must be arrived at by a process of deduction from these original axioms. If facts were observed which seemed to contradict the deductions from which these original axioms were formulated, so much the worse for the facts, they could not be facts. Facts are nothing compared with “statements of Truth” as given by the scholastics. If there were those who persisted in seeing these unwelcome facts, there was the hemlock, or the stake or the cross.

But in the New Testament all of this is reversed, the doctrine of the immanence of God is taught, an objective God is converted into a subjective God, we are told that, “In Him we live and move and have our Being,” we are told that “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you,” and we are led to infer that God is always in the “Kingdom.”

In this connection it is interesting to note that the miscellaneous collection of manuscripts which have finally been put together and called the Bible were written by many different men, of many different locations, and at widely different times. At first these manuscripts were circulated separately, later they were collected into a single volume and for a long time there were serious disputes among the ancient Jews and the early Church Ecclesiastics as to what manuscripts should have a place in the sacred book. In fact until quite recently there were many of these manuscripts included which are not now to be found in the Bible as recognized by the Protestant Church of today.

The manuscripts comprising the old testament were written originally in Hebrew, those of the new testament in Greek, and not a single original manuscript of any book either of the old or the new testament is in existence today, nor have they been in existence for hundreds of years. We have then only copies of copies of copies many times removed from the original.

When we remember that those who undertook to translate these manuscripts into the English language for the purpose of giving them to the people met with violent opposition, frequently being driven from the country and excommunicated from the church, we see that there was little uniformity in the various translations of these manuscripts which are now called the Bible or the “Word of God.”

The King James edition which finally became popular with the people was the work of fifty-four churchmen who agreed with each other that all differences of opinion should be settled at special meetings to be held from time to time and that all marginal notes concerning the Greek or Hebrew text should be eliminated. The fact that this edition had the sanction of the King was probably the determining factor in favor of its general adoption, but aside from this the work came to be held in high esteem by the scholastics because of the smoothness and beauty of the diction, the churchmen who had the revision in charge evidently sacrificing accuracy for euphony and rhetoric.

And now we have a strictly “American” Bible, the word of the American Revision Committee in which the famous definition of Faith by St. Paul, “Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” is changing to “Now Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen,” from which it would appear that Paul did not begin to have the insight, the vision, the intuition with which he has been credited, the latter translation completely nullifying and destroying what has heretofore been the most wonderful definition of faith ever given to the world.

It will readily be seen that the Nazarene completely reversed the process of thought in vogue at that time, instead of using the deductive method of thinking he used the inductive. He accepted no authority, no dogma, no creed, instead of reasoning from the seen to the unseen, the visible to the invisible, from things temporal to things eternal, He reversed this process completely and as the idea of this immanent God took hold of man, as they began to understand that, “Closer is he than breathing, nearer than hands or feet,” then gradually came an awakening, which marks the birth of a splendor such as had never before been known.

If the inductive method of reasoning obtained in religion, we should find all religions co-operating for the purpose of bringing about “Peace on Earth and good will toward men.” We should find every school of theology co-operating with every other school for the purpose of spreading the “glad tidings of great joy,” telling of a Redeemer who has come “That we might have life and have it more abundantly,” and that this abundant life may be had by looking within instead of without.

That objective peace is the result of subjective peace, that harmony without is the natural consequence which follows harmony within, that “men do not gather figs from thistles, or grapes from thorns,” and that a man’s character is the evidence of the value of his religion: “For by their fruits shall they be known,” such a religion satisfies the brain as well as the heart, religion is to love justice, to long for the right, to love mercy, to forget wrongs and remember benefits, to love the truth, to be sincere, to love liberty, to cultivate the mind, to be familiar with the mighty thoughts that genius has expressed, the noble deeds of all the world, to cultivate courage and cheerfulness. To make others happy, to receive new truths with gladness, to cultivate hope, to see the calm beyond the storm, the dawn beyond the night. This is the religion of reason, the creed of science.

“For we know in part and we prophecy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”


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