IMPOSITION AND DEMONSTRATION.
Phenomena not understood belong to the things that are, but which we venture not to explain, not having gained their origin and specific character from science. That which is real is not characterized by 'ism or belief; and the understanding grasping a subject is satisfied to name it only as it names itself. Phenomena based on science produce good results only, and never the opposite; this rule is invariable, and should measure every calculation. Whatever can work discord, accomplish a sinister purpose, or harm our neighbor, is not science or the phenomenon of Truth, but the manifestation of some belief and error. What are termed spiritual manifestations, as progress compels the change, will be found not mediumship, but openly defined, and when confined within the limits of harmony and it be found impossible to do evil by means of them, it will be time to consider them demonstrations of science, but not until then. These manifestations at present are the result of tricks or belief, proceeding from the so-called mind of man, and not the mind of God, from the mind of body and not the mind of Soul, from person and not Principle, from belief and not understanding; yea, from matter and not Spirit.
Mind is divided into idea and belief; idea is based on and represents Principle; belief has no foundation in science, and is illusion. What we term the mind of man is belief, forming the visionary basis of matter, therefore matter embraces not the reality of man. Belief is not a manifestation of Intelligence, but of non-intelligence. To distinguish between the mind of Soul and the so-called mind of body, we must remember one is idea, and the other belief, alias the counterfeit and claimant of mind, even as error claims Truth. Mind is immortal, but belief is mortal, it being the so-called mind of mortal body, whereas the mind of immortal Soul is idea, even science revealing Truth. Mediumship overlooks the impossibility for a sensual mind to become Spirit, or to possess a spiritual body after what we term death, while science reveals this more inconsistent than for stygian darkness to emit a sun-beam. When we are Spirit we shall have gained the high import of this Scripture, “I and the Father are one,” and shall find, too, this oneness occasions no loss of identity, but that “I” signifies Spirit and not matter, Principle and not person, Soul and not body, even the Intelligence represented by all ideas, symbolizing harmony from the blade of grass to a star. The question at present is, whether this “I” is Principle or person, Soul or body, yea, God or man? Principle is Soul, Intelligence, the “I am,” but where do we place the “I”; is it Spirit in matter, Soul in body, Life in the flower, or the outside Intelligence and Life, that form these; is it man or the Soul of man, outside of matter? The science of being reveals God not in matter, therefore this “I” not body, nor in body, but Soul outside of matter, the infinite, and not finite, yea, Spirit and not person, and through this reckoning, man gains eternal identity.
A suffering, sinning, and dying condition such as must ever remain while the belief of Soul in body and Intelligence in man or matter remains, cannot be preferable to the sinless joy and perfect harmony that a recognition of Life, as Spirit, possessing all beauty and good, without a single demand pleasure, or pain of body confers; why so many called “spiritualists” are very gross materialists is because they make personality Spirit and the only conscious existence, and rejecting a personal God, make a God of persons, which is equally fatal to the science of being; persons called “spirits,” instead of Principle that is Spirit and Truth, are their trust, while a belief in “spirits” belongs to the darker ages, and is demonology. There is but one Spirit, viz., God, Truth; in other words, Wisdom, Life, and Love; and nothing is real but what is good or the idea of goodness; evil has neither identity nor individuality, having no Principle.
Charles Sumner was a great man, because of hisunswerving adherence to right; he had, more than others, the true idea, and less than others, the beliefs of man. His professions were few, his acts colossal, his might was mind; not person but Principle, not man but God.
Science never caused a retrograde step in being, or a return to positions outgrown, or that Truth has destroyed. To admit the so-called dead and living commune together, is to decide the unfitness of both for their separate positions, and that a mistake occurs when a man dies to sense or lives to Soul. Any supposed midway between Life outside of matter, or in it, is a myth. We should either see the so-called dead, materially, or they should be advanced beyond our sight. Conservatism never was right, absolute Truth is all that is right, and absolute error is easier made right than a half-way position. Mediumship assigns to their dead a condition worse than blighted buds or mortal mildew, even a poor purgatory where one's chances for something narrow into nothing, or they must return to the old stand-points of matter.
“He is not dead but sleepeth.” Jesus knew Lazarus was in the dream of a midway condition when Truth wakened him; if we could do this, we might claim his spirituality. Until the imaginary connection between the so-called dead, named “spirits,” and those supposed to be living in matter is destroyed, mortal man is not dead, only changed, for the immortal is not gained, and belief can gather itself on the wrong side of the question, and continue the old conclusion of Life in matter; this, however, is far from the science of being. When Life is really gained outside of matter, it is understood, in which case the belief that Life was ever in the body is gone and cannot be resurrected; our friends thus advanced are Spirit, that never rose from dust and can no more return to, or commune with matter than a blossom can return to its bud.
The period required for the dream of Life in matter embracing pleasures and pains of personal sense to vanish, “no man knoweth, not the son but the Father.” It will be of longer or shorter duration according to the period of error, before the reality of being is understood and eternal Life won. What advantage then would it be to us, or the departed, to prolong this state, by prolonging the belief of Life in matter.
There is not as much evidence of intercommunion between the so-called dead and living, as the sick have of their positions relative to disease, which science decides an error, for it denies all identity or reality to discord. The entire phenomena of mediumship are deceptions or delusions; what is capable of error is not science, but destitute of Principle. When the so-called medium understands even in part the science of being, his belief of mediumship is gone, and the result is, he no longer produces the manifestations said to originate with departed “spirits,” but which are really contingent on the beliefs of the living, instead of the dead.
The phenomena of science based on a demonstrable Principle, are explainable, but personal interpreters may create an 'ism in which phenomena are not understood, and subject to gross misjudgings. Thus error is engrafted into their net-work, and error is not linked to Truth, hence the gulf impassable that separates the so-called Life in matter, from Life not subject to death, and the mischance and mischief that characterize the so-called spirit-returns; the natural result of the attempt to unite such opposites as Spirit and matter is discord; as soon might fire and frost mingle, for in either case one would destroy the other. That matter communes with Spirit, or that Spirit communes by means of electricity or personality with Spirit or matter, is impossible, and would destroy the order and harmony of progress. If communion is possible between the so-called dead and living, the departed go backward in the scale of being, even as the oak holding on to its primitive acorn, or the so-called medium advances to Life independent of matter, like an acorn, becoming instantaneously an oak. Again, if the medium is on communicable terms with Life, Spirit, independent of matter, there can be no appearance of Life in the body, no action, animal or organic, and to restore this former condition of so-called Life, would be as impossible as to restore an acorn absorbed into a germ risen above soil, and seed. The seed that has propagated is gone, a new germination having taken place, and until the belief of Life in matter is destroyed, the real Life that is Spirit, is not won; no correspondence or communion exists between these two opposites.
There is but one possible moment when the so-called dead and living commune; the moment called death when the link between them is clasped. In this vestibule more awake to the welcome of those gone before, than to present pains of personal sense; the departing sometimes breathe aloud their vision, naming the face that smiles upon them, and the hand beckoning them; even as a man standing at the falls of Niagara with eyes only for that wonder, whispers aloud his rapture, forgetful of other scenes. The recognition of spiritual Life and all Life is Spirit comes not at once; even beyond the grave existence is but a belief of personal sense until the science of being is reached, for error brings its own outer darkness and self-destruction, both now and then.
There is but one spiritual communication, and this proceeds from Soul; personal sense takes no cognizance of it; what are termed "spirits,” are mere personalities. A shock would not be felt, or sensation held for a moment in the body, if in reality we communed with Intelligence, Spirit, outside of matter. The only living Principle of man speaks through immortal sense, and if mortal sense was touched by this Principle, it would present no appearance of Life, possess no sensation, and the immortal would appear in its stead, and the spiritual take the place of the material; even as light destroys darkness and in its place all is light. Soul is the only truthful communicator with man. Mortal belief and immortal Truth, like tares and wheat, grow side by side until the harvest, but to divide instead of unite these, is the design of Wisdom that separates the wheat, and gathers it away from the tares.
That all things are possible to Truth, is a scientific position; and that all error is possible to belief, is equally apparent. Secretiveness, jugglery, credulity, superstition and belief, are the foundations of what is termed mediumship. But the so-called mediums have a strong hold on the sympathies of those who mourn the loss of friends; in the sorrows of bereavement, when thought like a fermenting fluid is ready for a chemical change, they turn the gushing emotions into the belief they are not separated, and this consolation comes to the mourner like heaven's benediction, gaining a strong foothold in the minds of millions. Hence the hold mediumship has on community, a belief coming at the hour of individual acceptance, clad with the drapery of heaven, a mystery and marvel, its phenomena not understood, what needeth it more, as the foundation of a new 'ism? Perfection is not expressed through imperfection, therefore Spirit cannot pass through matter; there are no temporary sieves, even, that strain Truth through error.
Matter controlled by Soul, God, is harmonious, and governed by a demonstrable Principle; but when one belief controls another and this is mediumship every possible imitation of the real is made by the unreal. The possible to Soul is the impossible to body, so also the impossible to science is the possible to belief. The ideas of God never amalgamate, but retain their distinct identities and are controlled only by the Principle that evoked them. The mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms have their distinct identities, wherein one creates not or controls the other, all are created and controlled by God. Admitting Life and intelligence in matter, admits mediumship, making man create and control man; beast, bird, and plant create and control each other. But this reverses the order of creation, introducing confusion and discord.
Darkness and light, infancy and manhood, sickness, health, etc., are distinct beliefs that cannot blend. To suppose infancy is uttering the idea of manhood, or thinking its thoughts, would be rejected by reason and revelation; and vice versa, that darkness represents light, and sickness health, or that we are residing in Europe when we are on the opposite hemisphere, is simply absurd! Logic would not attempt to bridge over these distinct conditions, and they are not more markedly distinct than the so-called dead and living, that you think to unite again on planes so different! the one called substance, and the other shadow, matter and Spirit communing together; one would inevitably blot out the other. That Spirit and matter amalgamate is the error progress and science will destroy.
Mediumship pre-supposes one man is Spirit, and controls another man that is matter, while both remain the same opposites; that bodies which return to dust or new bodies called “spirits” are experiencing the old sensations, and desires material, and mesmerizing earthly mortals; that shadow is tangible to touch, and imparts electricity, etc. Every one of these conclusions are ridiculous; God is not named in them all, and for the best of reasons, viz., that matter is supposed to take care of itself, and mesmerism, and person take the place of idea and Principle, or man and God. Who that has witnessed mesmerism would say it was science, the Truth of being, or that this was electricity? God controls man, and is the only Intelligence, attraction, or Spirit. Any other control, attraction or Spirit supposed to be exercised over man is a belief and error that ought to be known by its fruits. The caterpillar, transformed into an insect of beauty, is no longer a worm; and to push the conclusion that a butterfly returns again to affinitize with, or to control the worm, is to take mesmerism to befool reason! Change controlled by Principle is science, but some belief may hide its science; progress is the evermore of Wisdom, but nothing save science reveals progress.
Whatsoever utters falsehood is error, therefore, the impossibility for mediumship to be science, and governed by Truth. Our only resignation to a new 'ism or some new disease, is the hope that another stir made in the waters of belief will help to show their muddy foundation.
The electric telegraph is a symbol of mind speaking to mind, that in progress of time will not require wires, for Spirit destroys matter, electricity, etc.; but spiritualism would preserve these to destroy harmony. Truth pervades all space, needing no material method of transmitting its messages; we only know it blesses man, but “cannot tell whence it cometh”; the sick are healed by it, the sorrowing comforted, and the sinner reformed; these are the manifestations of Soul, not sense, of science, and not mesmerism. Soul sends no despatches on matter; but to-day the electric wire carries to Europe a submarine whisper foreshadowing the science that is to come; little by little the action of thought is losing its matter element, becoming spiritualized, expanding outside of fetters, and science is pushing onward the centuries. The operations of Intelligence teach us God made man upright, but belief has sought out many inventions; Life, Truth, and Love act through no erring medium.
Immortal man communes not with the mortal, and cannot be made manifest through matter; these are distinct and opposite conditions; one is the idea of God, of Spirit outside of matter, and the other a belief of “spirits” and substance in matter; before we commune with Spirit that is immortal, the belief of death must be destroyed. What would be said of an English scholar unacquainted with the classics, before he had entered this department of learning, to claim he understood Greek? You would say he was either an imposter or laboring under some hallucination. What then of believing we are wearing out Life and hastening towards death, communing with immortality! If indeed this communication was possible between the mortal and immortal, the media would never die, or pass the change called death. And if the departed communicate still with mortality, then are they sinning, suffering, and dying still, in which case, wherefore look to them for proofs of immortality and accept them as oracles? Communications gathered from ignorance are pernicious in their tendencies; mediums describe disease, its symptoms, locality, fatality, etc., who know nothing about it, warn people of death, and frighten them into it! This obnoxious practice makes sickness. The case has been proved that a man died from the belief he was being bled to death, showing the cause of his death purely mental; hence the danger of ignorant charlatans dealing with disease. What science finds requisite to destroy in order to heal the sick, mediumship strengthens and perpetuates.
Jesus cast out “spirits,” error did his work, confessed the oneness of God, Spirit, and never described disease, but healed it. If the sick are made more comfortable through some error of process they are ten-fold more the victims of disease in the end. The mysticism of mediumship gives force to its words of doom, enabling it to do more harm than drugs, for the sick are more frightened by what a medium pronounces fatal, than when an M. D. so decides; and this fear is the mental condition that develops disease. Science would have to go over the whole ground and uproot every seed of their sowing to destroy disease. The evidence of belief is all the medium has to rely on, while science repudiates belief with the evidence of understanding, and demands the Principle of being to bring out the harmony of Life.
At one time a medium informed us we were ill, said our brain was overtasked, and we must have rest. To this we filed a vigorous objection, contending for the rights of Intelligence, that mind controlled body and brain, and the views she insisted on were the ones to be rid of, in order to be well. Whereupon she stopped the conversation, exclaiming, “Dr. Rush is present, and says you must use valganism;” (meaning undoubtedly galvanism,) “and rest or be sick.” But even this pretended oracular warning failed to convince us, and the consequence was we went on in a good state of health; having strong doubts that fifty years of post-mortem experience had so demoralized the orthography of that learned man, or perpetuated his old beliefs of matter. Thousands of our church members who are rational on other topics, are sustaining and believing just this mummery, while yet they send forth the cry against science as dangerous to Christianity.
In the summer of 1869, it was stated in the Banner of Light, published in Boston, that the late Theodore Parker said, through a medium, “there never was and there never would be, an immortal spirit”! At the same time this paper was repeating weekly that spirit communications were our only proofs of immortality! While we entertain no doubt of the humanitarianism of many spiritualists, we have strong proofs of the incorrect views of spiritualism. A man's assertion that he is immortal, is no more proof of this than we would gain of an opposite condition, were he to say, “I am mortal”; Theodore Parker was beyond such vague hypothesis. Life, Love, and Truth are immortal, and only when these are realized will Life be understood. Truth is eternal Life, and science the only medium of Truth, or Life, hence the saying of Christ, “I am the Way, the Truth, and Life, and no man cometh unto the Father” (the Principle of being) “but through Me.”
Though the grass seemeth to wither, and the flower to fade, they reappear; erase the figures that express numbers; shut out the tones of music; give to the worm the body called man, the Principle of these survives despite the so-called laws of matter, and holds its ideas immortal. If the inharmony of belief hides the harmony of Truth, it cannot destroy this Principle, for it is God, supreme over all; “who doeth according to His own will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his hand or say unto Him, what doest thou.”
Matter cannot reply to Spirit, but have you ever ruminated on this heaven and earth expressly declared to be inhabited by man, controlled alone by supreme Wisdom? Did you understand there is no other world, you would be reaching sooner that which is real of Life, where substance is Soul and not matter, and realizing it thus all would be harmonious and eternal. It should never be said, nothing but God; for all that is real comes with God, the substance, Life, and Intelligence of all. Principle and its idea are God and man, co-existent and eternal; there is no substance-matter. The imaginary line called the equator, is not substance, the earth's action and position are sustained alone by Intelligence, that launched the earth into orbit and said to the proud wave, “here shalt thou be staid,” that holds the “winds in its fist,” “numbers the hairs of the head,” and furnishes sublime proof of the control Spirit holds over matter. Even the simple planchette is made to testify to mind's power over matter, and no longer a mystery and marvel.
The point to be determined is, shall we allow science to explain all action and phenomena, or leave these to speculative belief; to admit one's self Soul instead of body, sets us free to master the infinite idea; it shuts the door on death, and opens it wide on immortality. The belief that God has a separate being leads to multitudinous errors, in which phenomena are ascribed to supernatural and personal causes. Man is the phenomenon of Soul, of Intelligence and not matter, and created by God and not man.
Divest belief of substance in matter, and the movements and transitions possible to mind would be found just as possible to the body; and then would Spirit identify being without the loss of body, that we suppose must occur before this science of being is acknowledged. The final understanding that we are Spirit must come, and we might as well improve our time in solving the so-called mysteries of to-day on this Principle. At present we know not what we are, but hereafter we shall be found Love, Life, and Truth, because we understand them. Do you say the time has not yet come, in which to recognize Soul the only substance, and gain our entire control over the universe and man? Then we refer you to Jesus, who demonstrated this over eighteen centuries ago, and said, “The works I do, ye shall do,” and “Behold the time cometh and now is, when they who worship the Father shall worship Him in Spirit and in Truth”; but this method of understanding God and doing good was not electricity, materia medica, mesmerism, or mediumship.
Matter is neither Intelligence, nor a creator; the tree is not the author of itself; sound is not the originator of music, or man the father of man. If seed produces wheat, the latter flour, and one animal another animal, etc., who made Intelligence, and how were the loaves and fishes multiplied without meal or monad? Miracles are impossible; they are phenomena not understood, but which their Principle explains, and we should reach this explanation and understand it as did our Master, who demonstrated it controlling man and matter. The decaying flower, withering grass, blighted bud, gnarled oak, or ferocious beast, together with all discords including sick, sinning and mortal man, were not created by supreme Wisdom; these are the falsities of matter, things of sense instead of Soul, the changing images of mortal mind, not in reality substance, or Life, but only a belief of these. The mind of Soul embraces immortal ideas only, but the so-called mind of body illusion, and not the Truth of being. Personal sense declares matter substance, but what is this sense but a belief of Life and Intelligence in matter.
Eloquence is inspiration, not contingent on erudition, but a scientific phenomenon, showing that all things are possible to Intelligence; sometimes it is supposed to arise from knowledge obtained from books, and again from mediumship. When eloquence proceeds from the belief a departed “spirit” is speaking, and can say what the so-called medium is incapable of uttering, or even knowing alone, the fetters of mind are unclasped, and forgetting her ignorance, by believing others are speaking for her, she becomes eloquent beyond her usual self, and because she thinks some individual, and not the one Spirit, is helping her. Now destroy this belief of aid, and the eloquence disappears, and the old limits personal sense assigns are resumed, and she says I am incapable of “words that glow,” being uneducated, proving the fact, “as a man thinketh, so is he.” Believing she cannot be eloquent without book-learning, her body responds to this thought, and the tongue grows mute that before was eloquent, loosened on the scientific basis that mind is not confined to the development of educational processes, but possesses primarily all beauty and poetry, together with the power to express them; harmony is caught and not understood by the medium; caught through a belief, and dependent on it; but Soul gives utterance to itself when sense is silent, hence the improvement; she was always capable of this, and a “spirit,” or person, had nothing to do with it.
The beliefs of personal sense, of Soul in body, etc., limit mind; Soul sets man free, which explains the phenomena of impromptu poets and uneducated orators; witnessing this in moments falsely called mediumship, 't is construed supernaturally, which circumscribes the phenomenon by an 'ism. Matter is moved because of mind, through the volition of belief, or the understanding; all harmonious phenomena are produced by the latter, and the inharmonious by the former. Science removes phenomena from mysticism into the hands of interpretation; in which it is no greater mystery that mind moves a table without a hand than that it primarily moves the hand, and secondarily the table, in obedience to the belief that the only method of doing this is by seizing hold of it with the hand. Mind causes all action in the case, through a belief that “spirits” did it, or that electricity caused it, or the more common belief of voluntary muscular power; in other words, matter moving matter. Likenesses of individuals, landscape views, fac-similes of penmanship, certain forms of expression that belonged to the departed, and even sentences of their saying, may be taken as directly from minds as from objects cognizant to personal sense; mind sees what mind embraces, the same as personal sense feels what personal sense touches. Nor is it necessary that the mind embracing the picture, or paragraph, be individually present with the clairvoyant. Any mental link touching mind, though bodies are leagues apart, is sufficient to reproduce these to the clairvoyant; if the individuals have passed away, their aroma of thought is left, which is mentally scented and described. Mind has senses sharper than the body; this we know from experience, yet we never believed ourself a medium, and always openly avowed this.
Matter is moved solely by mind in accordance with science or belief. But mediumship removes phenomena from rationalism into mysticism, and gives Intelligence to matter, instead of mind. Pictures are formed mentally before the artist gives them to canvas; thus clairvoyants perceiving pictures of thought can copy or reproduce them, even though lost to the recognition of the mind whence they are taken. The strong impressions friendship, or any intense feeling leaves on mind is ineffacable, except to personal sense, hence another mind can perceive and reproduce the emotion. Clairvoyance is mind-reading alone, whereas science in contradistinction to clairvoyance reveals Truth through the understanding, by which we gain the Principle and explanation of phenomena; these are distinctly opposite stand-points whence to obtain information; and the right interpretation of cause and effect, belongs alone to science. Clairvoyance reaches only the fancied realities of mortal mind, whereas science admits none of these things, but reveals Truth, outside of mortality and error. We can do good to our neighbor through the science of being, but through it we cannot do evil also. Clairvoyance can do evil, accuse wrongfully, and explain unscientifically. If we act from the stand-point of spiritual sense we are right, but if from personal sense, we do evil continually. The sensuous may be clairvoyant, but cannot be scientific, and the scientific cannot be sensual. Foretelling events is to discern them spiritually outside of personal sense, which is prophecy, and accords with the ancient worthies; or through a belief which is clairvoyance, or mind-reading.
If advanced in the science of being sufficiently to blend with the Truth of being, we are seers and prophets involuntarily, not because we are controlled by “spirits,” persons, but by Spirit, which is purity, righteousness, and omnipotence. To know the past, present and future, is the office of Intelligence, yea, it is ever-present Truth; and to understand we are not pent up within the boundaries of personal sense, confined to the ear, and eye, for sound and sight, or to muscles, bones, etc., for locomotion, is science, whereby we discern somewhat of being that is real. “Though we take the wings of morning and flee to the uttermost parts of the earth, behold Thou art there.” Soul is ever present, embracing its likeness, man, and supporting the idea of Truth to carry out proofs of omnipotence. The science of being enables us to read mind, foretell events that concern the universal good, to trace records of Soul, and receive inspirations from God; but not from idle curiosity, or to work evil, or dip into the experiences of the dead, or connect erring and mortal belief with Principle and its phenomena.
In science, we read mind from the stand-point of Soul, and with all the accuracy of the astronomer calculating the path of the planets. This mind-reading is distinguishable from clairvoyance, in that it is the understanding of being back of personal sense, and possessed by individuals highly spiritual. Its intuitions are from Soul, revealing what disturbs the harmony of man, and what promotes it, and enabling us to heal the sick. We can never learn Christ, as the Principle of healing, except we are able to read mind after this manner, and discern the error we would destroy. The Samaritan woman said, “He told me all things that ever I did, is not this the Christ?” Again, as he journeyed with his students, understanding their thoughts, he rebuked them, etc.
Through this spiritual sense Jesus healed the sick; and events of great moment concerning the Christian era and the history of the world were foretold by the glorious old prophets, through spiritual vision. Our Master referred to a lack of spiritual discernment in this direction, when he said, “Ye hypocrites that can discern the face of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of these times”; in other words, whose personal sense was acute, but whose spiritual sense was wanting; he knew it was a wicked and adulterous generation, who seeking material signs, lost the prerogatives of Soul; his cut at the materialism of the age was pungent, but requisite, and he never spared hypocrisy the sternest condemnation. Again, he said to this class of believers, “Ye do the things ye ought not to do, and leave undone those ye should have done.” The great Teacher of Christian science knew a good tree sendeth not forth evil fruit; that Soul emits only unerring Truth, while that which proceedeth from personal sense is error; also, that Truth and error cannot mingle; they are the tares and wheat side by side that never blend, but await the harvest, when belief shall yield to understanding, and error be self-destroyed.
At present Truth is trampled upon, while error holds the reins, with virtue at a discount! “Well done, good and faithful villain,” is the merit mark for to-day, and youth seems eager for the prize. Such surprising aristocracy of evil is owing to the gilded falsehood of individual character, those whited sepulchres that hold the dead carcasses of conscience; students of the Science of Life are responsible above all others if false to the teachings of conscience and reason. Said the wicked king, “I hate him because he prophesieth evil continually of me.” Reformists are mostly traduced by the class that feel them most: let the good tell the Truth and live it, and the evil publish a lie and live it, and the former will be doubted and the latter believed, until the world advances nearer to what is Truth, when their relative positions will be seen and appreciated.
Those who understand the science of being, bear testimony to Truth, insomuch as they must understand what is indispensable to gain it. Never refute calumny except for Truth's sake; leaving the future years to expose the slanderer and liar, and reward those who wait on God; fear not the individual falsehood, and promulgate Truth sufficiently to gain some balance for the world. Earth holds not a majority of righteous men, and in proportion as we rise in the scale of being, do we learn this, but because evil boasts of greater numbers, this hath no advantage for the sinner. To-day sin offers a premium; let down the bars of morality, and you are society's favorite; put them up higher than society can leap, and you bring opprobrium on the bartender.
Woman especially should hold the standard that rebukes vice, and saith virtue, join us, and though we battle beneath stripes, we will fall in our armor, or lay it down on the field of victory. To ask in prosperity, “am I right?” is wiser than to ask this in adversity. One in a million does this, but can we lessen the number against that one?
Right advances slowly and with bleeding footsteps, but Truth can afford to wait, for “the eternal years of God are hers.”
We have investigated the phenomenon called mediumship both to convince ourself of its nature and cause, and to be able to explain it; and have succeeded in the first instance, but may have failed in the second. It is more frequently in company with those who believe in mediumship that mediums narrate something of the departed, describe them personally, etc., showing it to be the effect of mind on this plane acting on theirs. Again, all the information imparted comes from the minds of the living instead of the dead. That some one knew the individual deceased is evident, and it is not more difficult to read mind far away than near. We think of an absent individual as easily as one present; hence the equal ease to discern the absent mind that we visit mentally. The demand to talk of the dead proceeds from the mind of the living, who, believing in this process or yearning for this communion mentally call for it, and this reaches the mind touched to response, and brings on the mood called mediumship. All theories and manifestations growing out of belief are error: and the important era for this age is the awakening or resurrection of understanding through which the unreal yields to the real, and 'isms are given up; the corruptible yields to the incorruptible, and the belief of Life in matter or Soul in sense gives place to the understanding of Life, that Wisdom, Love, and Truth, in which there is no conscious matter.
It follows not that in sleep we communicate with the dreamer at our side, because of his proximity, or that we both are dreamers wandering through the mazes of thought. If Life has become real to the departed, they cannot return to the unreal; or if they are at our side, and Life goes on to them the same as before, we are not in their conscious existence, nor they in ours, hence, we are debarred intercommunion; our dreams being distinct they cannot blend, though we are side by side. If those we call departed have gained a better understanding of Life than ours, they have advanced beyond us; in which case, we would not if we could draw them back to our ignorance in order to meet us, and we could not if we would; neither can we advance to their plane of understanding except through their footsteps, and these have not yet been taken. If one man dreams he is crossing the Atlantic, and another the Andes, they are not in communion, though they are side by side, and dreamers both. This therefore represents the so-called dead and living who are on earthly planes of error, and have not become Spirit, but cannot communicate, because their beliefs of death have separated them. Again, supposing one man is dreaming and another awake, conscious of his friend's illusion, they certainly do not meet mentally and mingle; even thus the dead and living are parted, either through a belief that they died, or the understanding of Life outside of matter. Memory may repeat the alphabet, and mind here hold the history of the dead, but if we can read, we never in reality go back to the alphabet, or find pleasure in it; thus the advanced mind cannot return to matter.
Soul's vision is independent of optics; but the belief that sight depends on the eye, and thought must have sound to reach our apprehension, shuts out the understanding of mind, and reverses the order of science. Destroy the belief that we owe to organization, our hearing, seeing, feeling, etc., and we hear without an auditory nerve or typanum, and see without optics. We shall all ere long prove this, and that spiritual senses are true, and the personal, false. An organ is but the symbol of sight, hearing, etc., the expression only of these; and to hold it thus, would be to retain our faculties by right of Soul's ownership and government; and to hear, see, etc., with mind instead of matter; which is the only scientific statement of sense and the Principle of immortal man. The real relation between Soul and body reveals the latter without sensation or Intelligence, and the idea of Soul; to understand this opens to view the capabilities of being, untrammeled by personal sense, explains the so-called miracles, and brings out the infinite possibilities of Soul, controlling matter, discerning mind, and restoring man's inalienable birth-right of dominion. Silence the belief we are in the body, and we discern the past and future as readily as the events of to-day; but this is the science of Life, and not mediumship. The order and naturalness of phenomena that we deem a mystery and marvel, are perceived when we remember mind controls mind, and that matter is only another name for mind; a table or piano is moved by mind instead of muscle, and we should prove our power in this and other directions if we admitted it, but not admitting it, we virtually have it not, like the horse feebly submitting to the rein, unconscious of his power; phenomena that proceed from belief lose their power when we lose the belief that occasioned them; matter is manifest mind.
Misinterpretation hinders the harmony of phenomenon, and leaves it to ignorance and abuse. Clairvoyance foresees the future and repeats the past that is daguerreotyped on mortal mind only, and based on no Principle or Truth; it is mortal opinions unworthy obtaining. A past event is memory, a faculty of mind, and a future one is perception, another mental faculty; all events are mind before matter. Mediumship is a belief of individualized “spirits,” also that they do much for you, the result of which is you are capable of doing less for yourself. Why some event, conversation, or even simple circumstance is more readily traced by the clairvoyant than others, is owing to the fact the mental emotions they produced were more vivid, therefore they are more distinctly defined in mind. When told by a clairvoyant something you have long since forgotten, 'tis useless to say they never read it in my mind because I recollected it not. It is by no means necessary the memory of those present retains what the clairvoyant sees. Beliefs, and images of thought are not limited to space or personal sense, that grosser strata of mortal mind. The clairvoyant sees not by means of solar rays, or an object striking the retina; and our proof that mortal mind is the element of all sublunary things is, that they exist to this mind the same as to personal sense. The reader must make due distinction between mediumship and the individual; there are undoubtedly noble purposes in the hearts of noble women and men who believe themselves mediums.
The science of Life, gained by slow and solemn foot-steps, at the expense of all 'isms and 'ologies, will unite being into one silken chord of good-will to man; and there is but one right way under the sun, even the pathway of holiness. We should not hang on the skirts of others, but in our own identity possess some merit of our own not borrowed from others; and is there any so blind as not to admit individual faults? But mediumship well-nigh disavows all individual responsibility, and literally lays the charge of all good or evil on the shoulders of the dead. While we cherish all charity for our fellow-beings, we have none for a belief that inevitably shuts the door on reason and revelation, and robes the mind in darkness akin to barbarism. But for the misinterpretation of mental phenomena, through a belief of mediumship, the signs of science would have been discerned ere this, in the phenomena of to-day, and what is ascribed to personal agencies, have rested on the basis of Principle. Phenomena not understood had better be let alone, until the explanation is given that deprives humbug and avarice of advantage, and contributes to the general welfare. Principle demands to be understood; but phenomena not based on Principle, you can explain falsely, insomuch as they are creations of sense instead of Soul.
When sensation proceeds from Soul instead of body, the impressions are lucid and pure, and the intuitions correct and harmonious. But when mortal mind, or belief produces them, discord, disease, sin and death are the result. Mesmerism is error that leaves man at the mercy of matter, will, caprice, and mortal mind; God, Spirit, never mesmerized man or matter. The simplest object in the hand of a mesmerized subject may shock him with a belief of danger; a napkin becomes to him a serpent that stings him; and this is the sensation that is belief. Place in his hand a cold apple; create the belief it is hot, and it produces at once the sensation of pain, the same as fire; destroy this belief of a burn, and the pain disappears. Is not this proof that pain is a belief? Again, whatever object the mesmerizer presents mentally to his subject, he sees; do not these facts prove the so-called senses of the body, mind, instead of organs and nerves? But mesmerism should be put under bonds not to do evil; at any estimate it is a shameful waste of reason and honesty. That pain and pleasure are produced by belief, in the absence of all conditions to occasion them, is another proof that sensation is mind and not matter. To admit mind sees, hears, feels, etc., without the agency of matter, is a step toward science.
In genuine clairvoyance there is no sensation in the body during its continuance. But to see in belief is not to see in reality; the basis of the science of being repudiates mesmerism, producing precisely opposite results; it destroys belief, and insists on understanding. Personal opinions or belief cannot be dismissed too soon. To admit that error requires a certain period in which to prepare us for the higher school of immortality, is a grave mistake; there is no necessity “to do evil that good might come”; science begins right, in order to end right, and it cannot begin right too soon. Reasoning from false premises never presented correct conclusions. God never made evil; error produces error, and belief disappears when Truth is understood, even as a cloud passes from before the sun. Science contradicts mortal sense, and reveals in its stead the immortal understanding that gives harmony to man. Wisdom is not gained of knowledge that brought sin and death into the world; neither is it found in pulp, or the brains of man; this so-called mind is but a belief that matter embraces mind.
Magnetism is without a scientific basis; it is one belief or error controlling another one. That Spirit mesmerizes, or vitalizes matter, giving it Life and Intelligence, is the fundamental error of mortal man. Spirit cannot impart Intelligence to non-intelligence, it has no electricity, etc.; emanations of materiality are electricity, and mesmerism is an unmitigated humbug. The immortal basis of man is not matter, electricity, brains, bones, etc., but Spirit that hath understanding; not sense but Soul; and phenomena that proceed from this fundamental Principle of being, are real and harmonious. A desire to do right may mistake the method of doing it, for belief is changing and unreal; intention may be right, but if the Principle of phenomena is misconstrued and assigned to a person, electricity, etc., its foundation is a belief only, in which case science is not discerned, and phenomena left to misinterpretation and discord. It is not very uncommon to find one's self mistaken in belief. The miser thinks himself rich, but the fact remains he is poor; one individual thinks money makes a man, another, that man is more than money; still another believes man controls man in partnership with God, but these are grave errors; the M. D. thinks his method right, being learned in the school of Hippocrates; but Truth reveals knowledge the cause, instead of the cure of disease, and that there is but one physician that destroys sickness, and never loses a case if the patient observes directions, and yet this doctor is unpopular at present. Would you learn His name? it is the Science of being.
Our false reasoning does all the harm that can be done; it admits power in matter, and divides Wisdom between matter and God, giving them both separate Intelligence and distinct action and power, when there is in reality but one mind, there being but one God; man is not a separate Wisdom or Intelligence. God embraces all Intelligence, and enters not into partnership with man or matter, for this would involve the whole firm in disgrace, and imply at times that Truth is beaten by error. The reign of man is not the kingdom of heaven, or reign of harmony; for the government of God requires loyalty to Soul, and not sense; but man-made views endorse loyalty to sense, and a traitor to Soul; in fine, they have “other gods before Me.”
Civilization is not without its idolatry; a drug is its Dagon, Principle is prayed to, not worked for, and matter controls mortal man; all inharmonies come from this source. Nerves, brain, lungs, heart, liver, etc., master man; tea, coffee, tobacco, liquor, etc., are idols to which he bows down. There is no other volition, action, or government, but God, and yet the dream of Life in matter denies this, and gives all to personal sense, which would make evil stronger than good. The belief that matter is a power holding the reins of government over man, predominates, and the result is, broken bones, paralyzed limbs, softened brains, disease and death. The Master healed the sick on the opposite basis of man, and controlled matter to issues worthy Intelligence; primitive Christianity heard the utterances of Wisdom, and cast out “spirits.”
The Rochester rappings inaugurated a mockery destructive to order and good morals. Physical signs that manifest the infinite Wisdom contradict not Truth; manifestations of personal sense in time or eternity are the results of error. Healing the sick is not the entire demonstration of the science of being, but it embraces a better understanding of God, of Soul governing sense than materia medica, or mesmerism. Healing the sick in science, is Truth casting out error; yea, it is taking God the Principle of man to govern the body; but healing the sick with mediumship, mesmerism, drugs, etc., is the greater error overcoming the lesser, and holding forbidden ground stronger because of this. Is it well to expect from drugs a blessing that Wisdom has not? is not God sufficient for the wants of man?
Mystery is the offspring of ignorance, and oppression grows out of governments not understood. Let us choose to-day whom we will serve, and abide the decision; frankly naming our master whether it be God or matter. No sequel is left to disease destroyed by Truth, never a consumption in consequence of measles; for this would take the demonstration out of the hands of Wisdom and give the balance of power to disease. I am, is the Intelligence that touches the chords of man to every harmonious issue, but the dream that Life and Intelligence are in matter would make this "I” both matter, and Spirit; a thing impossible.
Healing the sick through Intelligence is science in obedience to Wisdom, that gave man dominion over serpents, deadly drugs, etc., and is the natural and normal control that Soul holds over sense. One of the greatest absurdities of human reasoning, is to admit person, or matter, better doctors than the Principle of man and the universe, learned of science. Would we not blush to say, man is a better musician than the Principle of music? Physiology, hygiene, or materia medica has no claims in common with Intelligence, the Principle of being; and mediumship, galvanism, mesmerism, etc., are the right hands of humbug. The remark was once made in our hearing, “My guardian spirit is nearer to me than God.” This was undoubtedly true, understanding literally nothing of the science of being, personality was more to him than Principle; and any change of belief would erect a new standard of conscience.
The theory called spiritualism objects to a personal God, but no 'ism so directly depends on personality. The individual exceptions to this error will reach a higher standard, sooner or later, and leave their material basis, such as electricity, matter conditions, mediumship, dark seances, etc., for the science of Life. The word spiritualism, is comically misapplied when made to designate a sect supposed to hold commerce with “spirits,” not Spirit, but personality, in some instances, “sensual and devilish.” The true significance of spiritualism, is a reign of Spirit over matter, of Principle over person, in which Soul, instead of sense governs man. Any error is a belief of matter, and cannot proceed from Spirit, God; when the departed become Spirit, those of earth who believe in substance-matter can no more communicate with them than darkness can enter light, that would destroy it. When you reach communion with Spirit, you will gain the utterances of Truth only.
What is called mediumship tends to destroy all reliance on understanding and science. Admitting intercommunion between evil, here and there, both in time and eternity, we are afloat on the breakers of error, where nothing can stop its flood-tides breaking perpetually on the shores of time.
We learn Truth from divine revelation and our own demonstration; what we cannot understand and demonstrate with scientific certainty and harmony we had better let alone, for it leaves us at the mercy of a belief. The illustration of mediumship is a circle inside of which waits a material body to be mesmerized by a spiritual one, under the table, or perhaps in it, who informs you he rotates eternally back to things of time, and this is progress, through which he becomes Spirit, God (?) while in glorious rapport with matter, sensuality and sin!
In contradistinction to the 'ism of Spiritualism, let it be remembered other doctrines name the name of God with reverence; hold the Bible the book of books; teach our infant lips the Lord's prayer; and bid man obey the ten commandments, that are perfect in Wisdom. Its military drills on Sabbath, the aboriginal vernacular of its oracles, its rites and ceremonies that choose darkness rather than light, and above all its loose morals, do not entitle spiritualism to the standing it has gained in society; hence aside from these its worst features, it has a humanitarianism and liberality that should redeem it from under the infatuation of mediumship. Spirit has neither Life, nor Intelligence in matter; and if our departed friends are Spirit, and we believe ourselves in matter, we cannot commune together; or if they are yet in matter-beliefs, we have shut them out of our consciousness by a belief of the change death has wrought, making them no longer tangible to personal sense.
Again, if we would commune through the affections, we must be on the same plane of belief, or understanding with them, to make this possible; and if their body is changed to us (as is manifest by its burial), so are their affections changed; and we cannot commune on former terms of personal sense and sympathy. We are separated mentally according to our own views, and on our own grounds, as effectually as distance here separates our bodies. Mediumship is mind-reading on this plane, and nothing more. Some one here knows all the mediums tell; the imagery with which they clothe expression is but futile conjecture and imagination, else thoughts let loose from the limits of personal sense, and the regret is that in this step they should not understand it.
Mediums describe sickness, sin, and death; and this description is supposed to come from Spirit that is wholly unconscious of matter or error, thus perpetuating the error that needs to be dissected and destroyed. Mediums have a certain circumference, and never go outside of these limits; at the same time protesting mediumship is progress that takes hold of immortality. But the majority of what is termed mediumship, is simply imposition, not even clairvoyance, or mind-reading, but a catch-penny fraud. Until the so-called communications between the dead and living are stopped, sickness, sin, and death will continue; talking error and believing it, make all the reality there is to it. What is termed mediumship rises no higher than personal opinions and mortal views. A ball propelled upward or onward and subject to gravitation, will never pierce immensity. The gravitation earthward must be withdrawn, or the ball stops. So with mind that would leave matter; and would you fetter the unbound with ties of earth to matter conditions? But you cannot if you would; we commune together only as Spirit with Spirit, the immortal with the undying; or matter with matter, the mortal with mortality; and do you hold yourself free from mortal fetters, or your dear departed bound with you? The dream of Life and Intelligence in matter is destroyed when heaven, man's harmony, is reached. The dead to personal sense are alive to Soul, and preserve all the prerogatives of being, but because personal sense buries their bodies it loses sight of this fact, showing virtually we are separated, and they no longer in sympathy with us, for there is no conscious change to themselves; hence we lose sight of each other. We are holding a belief of them as dead, in one sense, and pursuing it, and they the opposite, understanding, and pursuing that, therefore our directions commence from that hour apart, if they commence in science, for ours is error, else we would not bury the body, and the old and familiar faces would not disappear; a new field of action should be taken by the so-called dead, and the old left to us. Any departure from this natural result in progress is but a belief and error.
Some mind here retains the image of the departed, or they have left this image in the atmosphere of mind in general; the words and acts of great men other minds may repeat, at least in part. Belief says the departed produce the phenomenon of Spirit communing with matter, but all there is to mediumship, is belief. To say the dead assert the reality of sickness and death after the falsity of these are proved by those who have learned disease did not kill them, while we say it did, is a very erroneous effort through post-mortem evidence to confirm an error of personal sense, that ought to be fading away to the departed and to us. The science of Soul destroys the dream of Life in matter, consequently of sickness, sin, and death, saying, “let the dead bury their dead,” that is, let the error of personal sense be destroyed and not resurrected through mediumship, and “follow thou Truth,” the Life of man.
Intercommunion between the so-called dead and living is a belief only and not a reality; it is another 'ism that makes war on science and opens wide a Pandora box on mankind. Just as the age is getting ready to emerge from dogmatical error, to have the fountains of thought poisoned and dammed up with such mystery and madness is a miserable catch-penny plot, or an ignorance worthy the dark ages. As mind throws off its cruder beliefs of matter and becomes more spiritualized, phenomena resulting therefrom will become more wonderful, and should be understood on the basis of Soul, throwing off its own idea of Intelligence and Life, and opinions of mountebank and charlatan, that perpetuate sickness and sin, discord and mortality, be held back. But here the advanced thinker must wait before some 'ism, and the vain pause before caste, so the vultures that prey on the hour have it much in their own hands. Supineness and hypocrisy on the one hand and persecution in the other, are porters at the door of error to shut out glimpses of Truth. Although the science of being is greatly in advance of to-day as our iniquities declare, it is demanded even more for this, and he that layeth not down all for Truth, is not worthy of it. Every step of spirituality is linked to Wisdom, but it carries us thither through much tribulation; greater violence will be done Truth as the capacities of mind develop, until mind is better understood, and can be met and restrained with science.
Penal law may restrain the manifestations of error, and punish them, but cannot reach the subtle thought before it is manifested; but the higher law of science destroys the mental error before it results in deeds; thus avoiding the penalty, and affording a remedy for dismay and wickedness between the periods of materiality and spirituality. The contest between error and Truth whereby all 'isms will finally disappear, and the age pass into science, has been going on with pen and tongue for centuries, and yet, sin, sickness and death abound, because science that called the battle has been suffocated with opinions and theories. We boast of material law, but find it fails to save from sickness, sin and death; what we need is spiritual law, the Soul's jurisdiction over sense, more potent than man to work out salvation in obedience to the command, “Work out your own salvation,” for God worketh with you. Mankind have wrought centuries on material platforms; now let us labor on a spiritual one for succeeding generations, and the body will become harmonious and immortal.
Any mode of treating the sick through manipulation, will-power, or mesmerism, is a very poor substitute for science; in the first place it is morally wrong, because it does wrong by inoculating error, and it is better to take the inanimate poison, than the evil of some people's nature. The less limited the power of an evil mind, the more sin it commits; it is the escaped felon that ventures on more daring crimes according to opportunity. Unless the moral growth equals the knowledge you obtain of the powers of mind, to meet and restrain them, confining them to doing good only, this developed power is to be dreaded. Stealing is not worse physically than metaphysically, and you have no more business to control your neighbor's mind except to do him good, than to control his body, or his household; any attempts to do this should be exposed and punished; mind should be protected as well as body, and any interference therewith outside the moral law of science, is a flagrant wrong. The higher law of justice forbids this evil action, and in spiritual science your quickened sense of right makes it impossible. We may know how a felon steals on the sleeper, and for his purse plunges a dagger in his breast, but a common moralist even could not do this. To bring the Truth of being to the consciousness and understanding of the sick, is the science that heals them, and lifts its possessor above such a crime; but to control minds for purposes of avarice or revenge, sinks a practice to the committal of any error. The law of Truth written on the Soul is the governing motive in science, and he who pours into the minds of patients falsehoods for his own sinister purposes, has made a fatal mistake that will be seen in his patients; it will not only hinder their recovery, but render the practitioner unfit to name the name of Christ, and thus make Truth powerless in his hands; all he accomplishes after this, is through mesmerism. Any interference in practice with the mind's free and unbiased action, farther than what relates to disease, and bearing one another's burdens, “and so fulfilling the law of Christ,” is averse to science, and leaves the wrong-doer only the alternative of talking science and practicing mesmerism; if sentence against an evil work be not executed speedily, this sin is not without a witness. The mischievous link between mind and matter, called planchette, uttering its many falsehoods, is a prototype of the poor work some people make of the passage from their old natures up to a better man.
We are accustomed to think seeing without optic is second sight, but this is first sight; even our normal condition of being. He that formed the eye, did He not see? hath not Spirit every faculty of Intelligence? That sight is not in the eye is apparent when the mesmerized subject sees through different portions of the head, leaving this optional with belief. The question is at issue with mankind, whether we begin to demonstrate being in science, or leave it longer in the hands of belief, and at the mercy of theories, to heal the sick with Intelligence, or hold on to lifeless drugs to do the work of Wisdom, and call on departed personalities to direct our lives. What we need is understanding the Spirit that is Truth, and not “spirits,” for there is but one Spirit, even universal Soul, that knoweth all things. Moving matter, mentally seeing, feeling, etc., has its scientific explanation thus; but phenomena not understood are at the mercy of belief, and their true interpretation will not be gained until the belief be destroyed. Again, the understanding of Truth is not gained by what we see, hear, or feel, for a personal sense of things depends on belief alone; therefore the starting-point for the evidence of mediumship is unscientific. If the belief was as positive that we converse with the dead, see, hear, and feel them, as our belief of Life in matter is, they would be as apparent to us, and yet this would not present the Truth of being, a body without sensation. Soul and its manifestations are all that is real; whatsoever can make discord, or utter a lie is proved without Principle, and not the idea of Truth; when the science of our being is gained, tricksters will lose their occupation. In the onward march of Truth, error will bury its dead and never resurrect error; but before this hour, it may take to itself seven beliefs more erroneous than at first, and launch deeper into the dark. This Babel has already begun; mediumship helps becloud the way of Truth; greater discord is inaugurated because of it; a link formed between the error of another plane of existence and this, would be another error for Truth finally to destroy.
We say of matter, it is opaque or luminous, but this should be said of mind that is transparent, its images readily perceived, or that absorbs, and reflects but little. A mind transparent, reflects the thoughts of other minds, and reproduces them, and this is supposed to be the work of the departed. Legerdemain, or slight of hand, has produced more remarkable manifestations than mediumship, and what is done understandingly is better than mysteriously; skill is more rational at this age than superstition. Matter is moved, history repeated, and pictures drawn by mind on this plane; and that which we understand not, we know nothing of; we say matter moves matter here, but that Spirit moves it there; let us have the interpretations of science on these points, and link not error to error throughout time and eternity. Lacking the basis of science, we say, Intelligence is in matter, that mind alone cannot produce phenomena; also, that body is diseased independent of mind; that matter is self-acting, etc.
A circumstance was related to us by an old gentleman, a distinguished mesmerist. He said to a mesmerized subject under control of his will, “You have a burn on your hand,” and he immediately appeared to suffer; the flesh rose up in a blister that was opened and discharged a watery fluid. Then, continued the narrator, I destroyed the belief that he was burned, and the cuticle became smooth and natural as before. We did not witness this test of belief, but having seen the mesmerizer's performances on other occasions, and knowing the man's veracity, and the power of belief, we could not doubt it.
The evidence of one of the personal senses is not more improbable than that of another; mentally to see another's mind is not more impossible than to feel it; then wherefore doubt that we see what mind contains, as well as feel it? We can feel the pain of the sick, and the sorrow that is not ours causes us to weep; the fact is we both see and feel, hear, taste and smell, because of mind and not matter, and from sympathy with mind; all is mind, and matter one of its beliefs. But for the interpretations of ignorance, the basis of all physical manifestations would have been discovered long ago, and given a scientific explanation; thought awake to this subject would have discerned the signs of science in phenomenon, had not a belief, as usual, misinterpreted it.
An absence of eloquence is caused by the belief that schools and colleges possess alone the key to it, or that some especial endowment is wanting; destroy this belief, and you break the shackles of mind that imprison its faculties, and set the captive free to utter the beauties of being. Flowers, birds, waves, mountains and storms are eloquent, and so is man; even the sons of the forest are sometimes orators beyond their learned neighbors, for the reason the nearer we approach our native being, the more we give utterance to Soul; and it is this universal Intelligence outside of language, that supplies all that is sublime, or beautiful in words. It was inquired concerning Jesus, “how this man knew letters, having never learned?” Eloquence is the voice of Soul, the God-utterance untrammelled by books, conventionality, or the fear of man; even the self-accusing reminder he is unlearned, cannot disturb the inspired man. I have seen learned men at the mercy of books, and the unlearned eloquent beyond them; the so-called mediums let go their beliefs by supposing somebody else is talking for them, and thus speak beyond the admitted limits of their own capacities. Soul is infinite in eloquence, as in all else, but sense is finite in this as in all else; the Soul-inspired are not comprehended by the man of sense, and the sense-inspired are mediums deceived in the origin of what they say. The victim of delirium sees objects through the shadowy evidence of delusion, and so does the sleeper, the medium, or clairvoyant, and mortal man. Where neither certainty of phenomena nor evidence of Principle exists there is no real foundation. All theories founded on the belief that Soul is in body, God in man, and Intelligence in matter, therefore, that we must develop from within outwardly, are false, and fatal to science. Wisdom is from without, development is to learn this, to leave the belief of Wisdom within a skull-bone, and take hold of our God-being outside of matter. There is no “inner life;” for Life is God, and God never migrated from man! cause was never in its effect. In common practice we make no attempt to put the greater into the less; and if Soul is superior to body, it is outside of it; and if God is superior to man, he is not in man; and furthermore, man must get out of six feet of Intelligence before he is immortal in Soul. Wisdom cometh from without; Principle is circumference, and idea centre; Soul is Principle, and man the central idea of Soul.
Science reverses the conclusions of personal sense in every instance, and abides by a given statement of man to bring out the harmony and immortality, that theories have failed to do. No condition of matter can change the fact in numbers that four times three is twelve; science should govern thought, and nothing can mar or destroy man controlled by science. Mediumship is without a scientific statement or proof, and claims to gather Wisdom from “spirits,” personalities, outside of matter, while the basis of its evidence is admitted to be matter conditions. The theory called spiritualism admits that God is Principle, but leaves this admission without practical proof. If God is Principle, science alone reveals God; then wherefore ask personalities of another plane to explain Life, Truth and Love? why not strive to reach these beatitudes through science, and hold them your own instead of another's to bestow on you. Person cannot interpret Love, for Love alone explains itself; science reveals and explains Principle, but man cannot explain God; six feet, nor the stature of ancient giants can represent “the fullness of the stature of man in Christ,” in other words, the idea of Truth. Measurement may represent the man of personal sense, but this is not the man of Soul.
Mediumship communes with person instead of Principle, the only Intelligence, Life and Love; and accepts a personal version of Principle, praying God to be God, as if Love was idle, and omnipotence uninformed. To call on light for light, is absurd. “Let there be light,” is the will of Wisdom; and this full effulgence has nothing to do with mortal stint, but shines for all. Universal Love bestows all good without respect to persons; and man receives, or rejects it; but a prayer or tear changes not divine economy, or eternal order. Sin shuts out light and blessings, and is the author of all tears and prayers. Wisdom helps those only who help themselves, and cannot bless evil; it destroys sin only as man gives up sin, acting in this direction only as we act. We have seen patients who could not be healed through science, until they gave up the belief of mediumship, and controlled their own bodies; for man is not governed in science except by his own Spirit.
Harmonious man is governed by the Principle of being; the inharmonious by a belief of personality; therefore, the folly to desire personal control that leads into all error; there is no Truth except Principle, the one God, and thou shouldst “have no other.”
We learn in science that God and His idea are all that is immortal; but mediumship would establish the immortality of error. Science reveals progression only, but mediumship retrogression. Should a pupil continue in the primary school, when fitted for a higher school? If the departed are unfit for the advanced understanding of Life through which they take a spiritual place in the scale of being beyond us, why impose their ignorance on us as oracular; and think mediumship privileged to be a strainer for error. That the so-called dead return to torment us, or to comfort us, or to seek aid from us, is but a belief and error. When wandering in Australia, are you seeking comfort, or giving support to another, dwelling in the snow-caverns of the Esquimaux? Two different dreams, or different awakenings, separate consciousness. What is named mediumship is a phenomenon of belief, without reality, or science; and we ought to know the consequences of launching into new and stronger fellowship with error, when we are already in it up to our necks.
In an age of sin and sensuality hastening to greater development of power, 't is fearful to consider the influence of belief without more honesty and understanding to steer clear of the fearful shoals on this dangerous and unexplored coast. The peril of Salem witchcraft even is not past, until that error be met by the understanding and destroyed; not the gallows, but explanation, destroys error. Science must be allowed to explain this phenomenon of belief, in contradistinction to that of Truth and Intelligence controlling man. An evil and artful mind is all the satan there is; and this is the fallen angel, or abused capacity; such a mind learning its control over other minds, will take the reins into its teeth, and Truth alone must take them out and guide it; as of old this mind works its spell in some manner on all it would harm, because the barriers against evil influences from such a source are not understood by the world in general, and the door is not readily closed against them. To this end metaphysics are important; study mind more and matter less, for we must find refuge in Soul, to escape the error of the latter days; and mediumship and mesmerism more than all else contribute to a terrible future development of discord. We should strongly insist on the majesty of Truth, and its control over error; and begin to-day denying right or reality to aught but God, and the true idea; saying, “depart from me all ye that work iniquity;” and thus break up the reign of error, and let the world of harmony and Truth re-appear. If spirit-returns were possible, they would grow beautifully less at every advanced stage of existence; for the departed would pass away from our ignorance, and we away from the belief of mediumship, until the beliefs of matter were gone, and we united through science; and the will of God “done on earth as it is done in heaven.”
The mind of Soul has no fellowship, or communion, with the so-called mind of the body; the changing, sinful and erring thought is not immortal Spirit; matter and brains are not mind, notwithstanding opinions and beliefs to the contrary! But we welcome the increase of knowledge even though it never has borne the fruits of harmony and immortality, and never will approach the demonstration that Jesus gave, because knowledge must have its day, and we want that day over. The so-called mind of body, is belief and error, but the mind of Soul is understanding, even the science of being. Paul learned that to be present with Truth, we must be absent to the body; but Cain concluded very naturally if man gave life he had the right to take it away, and attempted to kill his brother, showing this belief of Life in matter, or man, was error from the beginning. We name a mistaken thought, mind, while it is error only, without intelligence, but imitating it; without Principle, but claiming to be Truth. Mistakes are impossible to understanding, and understanding is all the mind there is; ignorance and evil, are not Intelligence. Soul is the only Intelligence, and a creator not at the mercy of its creation; we see, hear, feel, etc., not because of eyes or ears, these faculties are symbols or expressions of understanding, which is the mind of Soul; the mind of body loses them if an organ be destroyed; but they cannot perish, or be marred in Spirit. The senses of Soul are not matter, but Spirit, that apprehend and reflect Intelligence, and Life; hence, their immortality. Inspiration is the utterance of Soul, giving forth its own idea, or spiritual sense. It is safe to trust this communication; but it would no longer be so if matter, or personal sense interpreted it. The garment in which belief, error, hides itself is, that Soul is in matter, holiness in unholiness, and literally God in man.
Midnight foretells the dawn; and beholding a solitary star the wise men of old were led by spiritual vision to foretell the hour of Truth. But what shepherd-sage to-day, seeing the light is allowed to explain the darkness. The world is asleep! lulled by stupefying beliefs; in the cradle of infancy dreaming away the hours under its spell. Entering upon an unknown eternity, personal sense will be found as an outlaw escaping to a foreign land, where he is doomed to an unlooked-for death. The footsteps of belief have not advanced man a single league toward immortality; and the unwillingness to learn man and God of science, holds Christendom in chains. So much hypocrisy swells the catalogue of society, the honesty that demands demonstration is not desired, and incurs the enmity of mankind. Science never plays the hypocrite. To claim you understand a problem of Euclid, and fail to demonstrate it, would exhibit folly or dishonesty; but to solve the simple problem according to its rule proves you perceive the Principle. Science is the rule of harmonious and immortal man; Jesus the example, and Christ the Principle. This rule of man is embraced in Life, Love and Truth; and the spiritual sense of the Scripture reveals the science of being.
The prophets did anciently what the worshippers of Baal failed to do, yet in some instances, artifice and the faith of belief feigned the work of Wisdom. Necromancy and legerdemain are the inventions of man that originate in brains, or the so-called mind of matter, while science is the mind of God; one proceeds from Soul and the other from sense. The beliefs of man manifest error only; but this is sometimes called a phenomenon of Truth, that proceeds from “spirits”; the phenomena of Principle are outside of matter, and not in the least dependent on person. Mesmerism and mediumship are dependent wholly on belief or the so-called person of man. Mind evolves images of thought, and these are the apparitions seen by the so-called medium; it is not more mysterious, only because it is less common, for us to see, than to feel a thought. To feel the grief of another's mind is not unusual, but we think, to see the mind's images of departed friends, is to see them in reality; here are two equal senses, seeing and feeling, that we separate in power. There are those that feel another's pain as quickly as their own; the sick may not have touched them, or spoken on the subject, and yet they feel their pains and can tell their locality, and this because of sympathy the same as yawning is produced. Seeing belongs no less to personal sense, or belief, than feeling; then why more difficult to see a thought than to feel it? Education alone determines the difference, and in reality it is not more marvellous. Haunted houses, unusual noises, voices, apparitions, dark-seances, etc., are tricks produced by tricksters; else they are images and sounds evolved by mind on this plane. The mind of Soul embraces all that is real and immortal, and the so-called mind of body which we name the mind of man, embraces all that is unreal and mortal.
Truth proceeds from Spirit; error from the material body. The mind of Soul, Spirit, is science giving only the idea of Truth; but the so-called mind of body, or man, is belief giving false appearances. Because there is no mind of man, that is, no material mind, thoughts said to emanate from body or brain are delusions. How may we determine the ideas of Truth from belief? By learning their origin; thoughts from the Soul are ideas, and from the brain beliefs; the former proceed from spiritual sense, are not substance, and are harmonious; the latter are the product of personal sense, and are supposed substance at one time, and spirit at another, and are inharmonious; the former are understanding, the latter, beliefs begotten of error. To love our neighbor as ourself is an idea from Soul, yea, from Wisdom, Love and Truth; and this idea personal sense cannot see, feel, or understand, but the spiritual sense can; “the carnal mind cannot discern spiritual things.”
Matter is but a grosser strata of mortal mind, wherein one belief introduces and destroys another in Darwinian process. As before stated, Spirit is Intelligence, whereas the basis of matter is belief; the former is science, the latter mesmerism. The body that is mortal is an individualized belief that germinates, grows and decays, “dust unto dust,” and mortal man is just this belief; even a phenomenon of mesmerism, an error construing man matter. Excite the organ of veneration or the religious tone of this belief, and it manifests the most profound adoration; but change the action to an opposite development, and it blasphemes. Mesmerism is a belief, constituting mortal mind, error is all there is to it, which is the very antipode of science, the immortal mind. The former is hallucination, the latter reality; one a wholesale mistake, the other the Truth of being. Mesmerism assures the sick they are recovering, when there is no evidence or basis for this conclusion, turns belief whithersoever it wills, and is the blind leading the blind. Nothing can be more antagonistic to science; it hides the Truth that man is the image and likeness of God, and as such cannot be sick, sinning, or dying, and claims that mortal mind and substance-matter constitute man, thus admitting through personal sense what Soul denies in science. Mesmerism is a direct appeal to personal sense, proceeds from it, and derives its only prestige from belief; it is predicated on the supposition that Life is in matter, and a nervo-vital fluid at that; whereas science reveals man's Life, God, and therefore dwelling not in matter. Mesmerism is error and belief in conflict; but science masters error and belief with the understanding of Truth, and reveals man immortal, sinless and undying. Mesmerism is one error at war with another, “a kingdom divided against itself that cannot stand;” but science is harmonious and eternal. Mesmerism is personal sense giving the lie to its own statements, denying the pains but admitting the pleasures of sense; whereas science denies all sensation to matter, and holds the reins in the hands of Spirit. The gulf fixed between science and mesmerism is impassible. Vitalized matter is a grave mistake. Electricity is the last boundary between personal sense and Soul, and although it stands at the threshold of Spirit it cannot enter into it, but the nearer matter approaches mind the more potent it becomes, to produce supposed good or evil; the lightning is fierce, and the electric telegram swift. The more ethereal matter becomes according to accepted theories, the more powerful it is; e. g., the homœopathic drugs, steam, and electricity, until possessing less and less materiality, it passes into essence, and is admitted mortal mind; not Intelligence, but belief, not Truth, but error. But the nearer belief approaches Truth without passing the boundary, where it is no longer belief, but understanding, the more plausible and dangerous is the error. Mesmerism attracts man to matter, science attracts to Principle, therefore to Spirit, or God. The more material man is, the more mesmerism he possesses; but the more spiritual, the less mesmerism and the more science, and the higher his demonstration of Truth. In reality brains and matter are one; but we call them mind and matter; but if the brain be the organ of mind, and to destroy this organ, destroys mortal mind, how can you distinguish between them? What we call mind and matter-man is mind only, but this mortal mind grows finer towards the core, and we name its exterior matter, and the interior mind, in contradistinction to the Truth of being that reveals all Intelligence outside of matter.
The generic name of matter is mind; its different species are the beliefs that say Intelligence, Life, sensation, Substance, good and evil are matter, and the body called man; also, that Spirit and matter commingle, and form mortal man, on the foundation of sickness, sin, and death; this theory is not the Truth of being, but its opposite, viz., error. Life is not organization, and Intelligence takes no cognizance of matter, these are God, Spirit, and to Spirit there is only Principle and idea. The so-called man of matter together with every material belief of a material world, must puss away before sorrow, sickness, sin, and death can disappear. The millennial glory cometh only as science reveals Intelligence and Life outside of matter. Alas! that man should take a material sword to slay error when the two-edged sword of Truth destroys it so much more effectually.
The history of the Chinese Empire derives its antiquity and renown from the truer idea the Buddhist entertains of God, contrasted with the tyranny, intolerance and bloodshed based on the belief that Truth, Life, and Love are in matter, and the great Jehovah formed after error's pattern of mortal man, or intelligent matter. To suppose matter and Spirit mingle, is the error that hides science on which to base our conclusions of God and man, of Soul and body, and our proof of immortality. At one time, we define law, Intelligence, and again, matter, over which Intelligence holds no control, as in sickness, sin, and death. The law of Spirit is the only law, and this is Truth, destroying the so-called laws of nature, and its idea is walking the wave, destroying error, healing the sick, and raising the dead. This is Soul triumphing over personal sense, putting to flight belief, walking over sin and matter conditions.
Jesus taught and proved this Truth the prerogative of Spirit, and left his example for us, saying, “The works that I do ye shall do.” Paul was not one of his disciples, or cotemporaries, and yet he tested these teachings, and demonstrated their Principle. To conclude man and the universe are governed in general by material law, but occasionally that Spirit walks over this law, and holds the control in its own hands, is to divide the capacity of Omnipotence and Wisdom with matter, and to give the latter the more general claim. These are the false conclusions of belief; understanding rebels at such folly, mortal belief produces and governs all that sins, suffers and dies. There is but one law and but one law-giver, the former is science, the latter God, Soul, the only Life, substance, and Intelligence of man and the universe; and not in the least dependent on matter conditions, or acting by reason of them, but destroying them all. This Truth knocks at the door of history; it is for us to say whether we will open and receive it.
Materia medica, hygiene, physiology, creeds and ritualism will lose their power for good or evil, when man loses his belief in them, and makes Life its own proof of harmony and God. That which is right is immortal, and the opposite of right is mortal. When Truth lays its hand on error to wipe it out, all will be growing immortal; but before the final doom of error there will be interruptions in what we call the order of nature, and earth will become dreary and desolate. Not that summer and winter, seed-time and harvest shall utterly cease, before the final spiritualization of all things, but that their order will be interrupted, owing to the change in belief.
The next step in progress is to learn how mind controls matter, and how to destroy error. The science of being emancipates man from belief, giving him understanding, through which his harmony and immortality are obtained. There is neither mortal mind, nor substance-matter; mind is the emanation and atmosphere of Principle, and not person; it proceeds from God, and not man, from Spirit, and not matter, from Soul, and not sense; therefore mind is not in mortality, and man has not a separate mind from Deity, for that would make other Intelligences, and there would be more than one God. When Truth is admitted, and thinking brains and intelligent bodies are found a myth, then will the harmony and immortality of man and the universe appear. When we learn matter has neither Intelligence, substance, nor Life; and neither suffers nor enjoys; disease will be found a belief only, and healed by destroying this belief, and giving man the understanding of himself. Personal sense contradicts the science of being, and so do dreams contradict the daily experiences of sense; personal sense and science are opposites, that dispute each other. In dreams you fly, or meet a far-off friend, and hold your body with your mind, carrying it through the air, or over the ocean, and this dream of sleep is nearer man's being in science, than the waking dream of Life in matter; because personal sense governs it less.
The era of science comes in on this statement and its proof; viz., that all is mind, and there is no matter. Sickness, sin, and death are creations of mortal mind, that Life, and Truth destroy. Order and beauty emanate from the mind of Soul, that is immortal; and the scientific statement that all is mind, will gain its first proofs in healing the sick on this Principle. A single demonstration of this is important evidence.
A lady having an internal tumor, and greatly fearing a surgical operation, called on us. We conducted her case according to the science here stated, never touched her person, or used a drug, or an instrument; and the tumor was wholly removed within one or two days. We refer to this case to prove the Principle. We have stated all is mind, but the distinction between what we call substance and essence, is made by naming one matter, and the other mind.
Christ understanding that Soul and body are Intelligence and its idea, destroyed the belief that matter is something to be feared, and that sickness and death are superior to harmony and Life. His kingdom was not of this world, he understood himself, Soul, and not body, therefore he triumphed over the flesh, over sin and death. He came to teach and fulfill this Truth, that established the kingdom of heaven, or reign of harmony on earth. The demonstration he made of this Principle and Truth of being, is the strongest proof that God is the only Intelligence that produces a perfect man, and is the Life that is without death, and holiness without sin. Only the science of being reveals the possibility of meeting the command, “Be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven,” (the Principle of man) “is perfect.” Let us then yield the belief that man is a separate Intelligence from God, and reach his unerring Principle of being, and be governed by Life and Love, outside of matter.
As music is harmonious controlled by its Principle, so man governed by his Principle of being, by Soul and not sense, is harmonious, sinless and immortal. The error of belief regarding Soul and body, and God and man, introduces discord into the demonstration of man, even the sickness, sin and death of which we complain. The idea of Life is obtained only from its perfect Principle, and gained through science in which man is sinless and immortal.
Sickness, sin and death belong not more naturally to immortal man than to God, to body than to Soul, for it is morally impossible that these should adhere to either, and what gave Jesus authority over sickness, sin and death was the understanding of his scientific being. He stood boldly up in the face of all accredited evidences of personal sense, Pharisaical creeds, etc., and refuted them all with his healing. We never read of his saying a creed or a prayer makes a Christian, or searching into disease, to learn of discord, if it was acute or chronic, recommending laws of health, giving drugs, etc., or even asking the will of God regarding man's Life, for this he already understood. He reckoned sickness, sin and death, “liars from the beginning,” and destroyed them with the truth of being that was self-evident to him and his only physician. He kept the commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me,” and we must do likewise and adopt this Truth of being before we obtain its harmony or immortality.
While Jesus rendered to Cæsar the things that were Cæsar's, he also rendered to God the things that were His, viz., Truth, Life and Love, and we, too, should acknowledge these God, and sufficient to destroy every discord of man. Jesus paid no homage to diplomas, to forms of church worship, or the theories of man, but acted and spake as he was moved by Spirit, the Principle of being. To the believing Rabbi and Pharisee he said, “Even the publicans and harlots go into the kingdom of heaven before you,” not that he scoffed at Christianity, but he knew there is neither Spirit, Life, nor Truth in mere forms of religion, and that a man can be baptized, partake of the sacrament, support the clergy, observe the Sabbath day, and make long prayers while yet a sensualist and hypocrite. Forms of personal worship may not be voluntarily wrong, but involuntarily so, inasmuch as they hinder the Spirit. To be a hypocrite in the science of Christianity is morally impossible, for here Christianity is based on demonstration, or proof, and yet many will come falsely in its name as predicted. When God is understood, man will need nothing besides God to make him healthy and harmonious. Jesus established his church on this very understanding, and taught his followers it cast out error and healed the sick. Instead of believing Christ a person, he said, Christ is “Truth and Life,” and “I and the Father are one,” thus claiming no separate Intelligence, action or Life from God, and despite the persecution and cross this earned from a Pharisee, he wrought out on its Principle harmonious being.
The question was then as now, at issue with mankind, how did Jesus, through Christ, his God-being, heal the sick? Jesus answered this question in the explanation that the world rejects, when he appealed to his students, thinking they would better understand him; and asked “whom do men say that I am?” referring to the “I,” that healed and cast out error, and they replied, “Some say Elias, others Jeremias,” etc.; but these men were dead, therefore, their answer implied that some thought Jesus a medium controlled by the so-called “spirits” of the departed. We cannot doubt the belief of mediumship prevailed to some extent at that time, for Herod had before given the same definitions of Christ's healing; saying, “John the Baptist has come back, and therefore mighty works show forth themselves in him.” That this wicked king and debauched husband should gain no higher interpretation of the science of being and the great work our Master did, was not surprising; a sinner could not be supposed to comprehend this science if the disciples understood it not fully. They comprehended his spiritual explanations better than did others, but the connection they had with man's physical harmony or their application to heal the sick, they did not yet fully understand, so their Master patiently persisted in teaching and demonstrating to them that the Truth of being healed the sick, cast out error, and raised the dead. This science of Life was not comprehended by his students, until his final demonstration, when their great teacher stood before them the victor, not only over sickness and sin, but over death.
In secret yearnings to be better understood, the Master turned in confidence to Peter, saying, “But whom say ye that I am?” This inquiry meant simply, who or what is it that casts out error and heals the sick? And because he turned from the other disciples' answer and put anew the question to Peter, it plainly indicated he disapproved the belief he was a medium as he had before signified, saying, “I and the Father are one.” Peter's reply so unlike the others admitting He was “Christ,” Truth, that healed the sick and cast out error, called forth the answer, “Our Father in heaven,” that is, the Principle of man “hath shown thee this,” in the science of being, and also that Jesus is the “Son of God,” the offspring of Soul and not sense. On this Principle and with this Truth he wrought all his so-called miracles. It was not man, or medicine that healed the sick, but God; not matter that controlled man, but Spirit that controlled matter. This, his interpretation of God and man was the rock or foundation on which Jesus built his church, that is, established his demonstration of Truth, God, against which the gates of error could not prevail, but there was neither a creed nor rite named in it, and mediumship plainly denied.
To be Christ-like is to triumph over sickness, sin and death, to open the prison doors to the captive; that is, to break the fetters of personal sense, and give to being full scope and recompense. This is the ultimate of the command to love our neighbor as ourself, and an idea from Soul, yea, from Wisdom, Love and Truth; but this idea personal sense cannot see, feel, or understand, whereas spiritual sense can; “the carnal mind cannot discern spiritual things.” This idea is vague to personal sense, but to spiritual sense it is harmony. To favor his faults, conciliates the man of error; but it prolongs discord; belief produces all the errors of personal sense, and Soul condemns them. Those hated by personal sense are loved of Soul, and for the very things sense hates them.
The foundation error that makes a mortal man is, that personal sense is Truth; the next that it is pleasure; the third that it is pain; but from this point dates its destruction; hence the so-called pain of personal sense is comparatively encouraging, it being productive of less sin than its pleasure; but personal sense suffers only from imaginary self-hood; its pleasures and pains are all unreal. The belief that matter has Life and substance is the error that produces all suffering, sin and death; the chemical action of Truth on this error will destroy it. Truth gives the idea of Spirit-substance, and destroys all supposed matter-substance, while error gives the belief of matter-substance, and hides the idea of Spirit-substance.
Immortal man is an idea of Spirit-substance, Life and Intelligence; but the mortal is a belief that Intelligence, Life and substance are in matter. The idea of substance guided by understanding, becomes the infinite idea, even as the Soul of immortal man is the infinite Principle. Mortal man is a belief of Intelligence, substance and Life in the body, therefore of a limited Infinite!
To let oneself out of this nutshell, we must understand the scientific relationship between God and man, or Principle and its idea; but before this is really understood, the interval will be filled with approaches to it through belief; and this will be attended with doubt, discord and sin.
The material world, at a future date, will become a spectacle of disorder and dismay on one hand, and of science on the other. There will be convulsions of mind and consequently of matter, spasms of error, earthquakes, famine and pestilence. Sickness will become more acute, and death more sudden: but to those who understand this hour, as explained in the science of being, length of days will increase, and harmony and immortality be near, even at the door. Knowledge will then diminish and lose estimate in the sight of man; and Spirit instead of matter be made the basis of generation. At this period phenomena will be spiritually discerned, but there will be strong conflicting opinions and results. Those understanding Life scientifically will hold in check those, letting go of old opinions, who would hang an M. D., a mesmerist, or a medium, — thus curbing the violence of old beliefs exercising retributive vengeance. The truly scientific will be a law to themselves of Love, Wisdom and Truth, and “do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely.” Sin will make deadly thrusts at the science of Life, as penal code goes out to give place to higher law. But those controlled by Soul will spare the rod contrary to the religious persecutions of past history, and save the erring from the gallows and gibbet. The martyrs will be the adherents to science, in the coming centuries, and to-day their fate is foreshadowed. In coming years the person or mind that hates his neighbor, will have no need to traverse his fields, to destroy his flocks and herds, and spoil his vines; or to enter his house to demoralize his household; for the evil mind will do this through mesmerism; and not in propria personæ be seen committing the deed. Unless this terrible hour be met and restrained by Science, mesmerism, that scourge of man, will leave nothing sacred when mind begins to act under direction of conscious power. Sensuous man makes war to the death on his enemies; but the spiritual pours blessings on them unseen and unacknowledged; like the chamomile, that crushed, yields the sweetest odor, spiritual minds emit an atmosphere of Truth that blesses their enemies and destroys error while it is persecuting them; but stir the evil sensual mind, and worse than the deadly Upas are the plagues it emits. Those who gain the essential points of the science of Life will suffer from the sensual world more than even the primitive prophets and disciples did; but the science of being supports its followers amid shoals and quicksands.
Spirituality is the only Christianity; and its basis is, “to be absent from the body and present with the Lord;” sensuality is personality ever present with the body. We have already sufficient professions of goodness without the Spirit: too many religions and not enough Christianity is the genius of the age. Man knows already too well how “to make long prayers, to be heard for his much speaking,” and to enlarge the pharisaical borders, to steal in private and give in public, but this is political, not Christian economy. What we want is, “Christ and Him crucified,” in other words, Truth and the cross-bearing that attends it, to make mankind better.
Because a man has uttered the law and ten commandments to fashionable audiences some quarter of a century, it does not follow that he can demonstrate the Christianity of the prophets, and of Jesus who cast out error and healed the sick. Sometimes people resort to a cup of tea or coffee to help them preach, as if matter was superior to Truth in this direction. Is the Truth we utter matter, or God? and if the latter, “giving does not impoverish nor withholding enrich;” have we less of the Spirit that is God for having given utterance to it, and is matter or Spirit our strength? Because a man has obtained a high social and public position, are we to conclude he must be a good man? The soft palm upturned to a lordly salary, and architectural power — making dome and spire tremulous with beauty, that turns the poor and stranger from the gate, shuts the door on Christianity. It is a skeleton of religion that requires a doctor of physic to save the body and a doctor of divinity to save what? immortal Soul that is already saved. This is not having “Christ in you the hope of glory,” nor does it cast out devils and heal the sick; the manger and cross tell in vain their story to pride and prejudice. Taking wealth, popularity and sensuality by the right hand, takes God by the left, and palsies that hand, making moral lepers instead of Christians. Hear our Master's words on this subject, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Ministers should make the pulpit the rostrum of Truth, whipping creeds and pride out of their synagogues to let in humility and the science of God, using those strong arguments, cords, that Jesus twisted together to scourge out of synagogues the money changers and make them temples of Truth. The prophet of to-day beholds in the spiritual horizon the bow of promise; the demonstration of Christianity that our Master gave, is again required, and no other “sign shall be given you.” Christianity brings with it a phenomenon that will be misinterpreted by the material age in which it appears, because it is the phenomenon of Soul, and not matter, that personal sense cannot comprehend, but when spiritually discerned will be found to destroy sickness, sin and death. Creeds, doctrines and beliefs do not express it, much less can they demonstrate it; we must understand God to demonstrate Truth. Jesus of Nazareth, the fittest teacher of mankind, possessed this understanding; but the scorning Rabbi, the rival Pharisee, Gethsemane and the cross were ready to devour him.
Over eighteen centuries ago the mere religionist was willing to hail Christ, Truth, with pomp and sceptre, but it came not thus, and though the modern scourge is a scoff, instead of the lash, the doors of some churches are quite as effectually closed against Christ to-day as then. Truth bids man watch, but is there guard or control held over personal sense by mere religionists? The Christianity of Jesus was the science of being; it destroyed sickness, sin, and death, denied personal sense, bore the cross, and reached the right hand of God, even the perfect Principle of man. Our Master, meekly, and yet as a victor bore the mockery of his self-conscious God-being. “He maketh himself as God,” was the foundation of all accusations against him; and the indignities he met, his followers must now meet, until this Truth is understood. He overcame the world, temptations and sins, proving their nothingness. He wrought through the science of being, the example of salvation from sin, sickness, and death, and established the proof that he was Christ, and that Christ is God, the Soul and Life of man.
Every good word and work of our Master evoked but denial, ingratitude, and persecution, from sensualism and malice. Of the ten lepers he healed, but one returned to give God thanks, that is, to acknowledge the Principle that healed him, therefore, but one interpreted his healing aright; and yet he wrought on for his enemies. He felt their sicknesses, but more he felt their sins. Despised and rejected of men, yet returning blessing for cursing, his spirituality must destroy their materiality, and through his stripes must they be healed; because error had felt the blow Truth gave it, the scourge and cross awaited Jesus. The man of sorrows was not in danger from salaries or popularity; deserving the homage of a world, and sharing pre-eminently the approval of Soul, brief was his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and followed by the desertion of all save a few mourners at the cross. This is what it means to be spiritual in an age of materiality. The impossibility for worldly favor to attend Christianity is seen in its great moral distance from it. When personal sense approves, Soul condemns, and where man praises, God receives no thanks. One of the evidences of materialism and error is when the belief of Life in matter is full of worldly prosperity.
History informs us that Jesus, feeling the gross materialism that surrounded him, at times experienced a momentary weakness, and turning, asked “Who hath touched me?” The more material, thought this inquiry was occasioned by contact with his body, but he knew it was mind in the multitude that called on him for aid to destroy its beliefs, and make it more spiritual, even as himself. His quick apprehension of this arose from his spirituality, and their misconception, from their materiality; not that he deserved less the advantages of adroitness, because of his goodness; but possessing the insight and honor that cometh from Soul, only, he had less personal sense; these two come from opposite directions, and the treasures of our Master were laid up in Spirit, not matter. Christianity turns from sense to Soul, as naturally as the flower turns from darkness to light; those things eye hath not seen, or ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive, belong to it.
Paul and the loving John had a very clear sense of the science of being; they knew a man achieves not worldly honors except he labors for them, and lays a sacrifice upon the altar of mammon, by giving his affections to the world. And they also knew to make this offering to wealth or fame, was not to leave all for Christ, Truth, that comes from the opposite direction, and from opposite means and aims; also, that a man walks in the direction he is looking; and that, “where his treasure is there is his heart also.” If our hopes are spiritual, we are not looking, or yearning for the material, but will wear the “image and likeness of God,” at any worldly cost; in reality we are coming out from the world of sense, and being separated from it. The favor of sectarianism, the homage of wealth, and smiles of ambition flee before Christianity; but Wisdom crowns its brow.
If my friends are going to Europe, and I am making my way to California, we are no longer journeying together; but have separate time-boards to consult, and different routes to pursue; in fine, our paths have parted, and we have no interests in common, to help each other on in opposite directions; but if they will pursue my course, I will give them my railroad guide, and interest myself to make their passage pleasant; or if I will take theirs, they will help me on, and our companionship will continue. Thus the scientist must choose his course, and be honest, acting consistent with that choice; his route lies not with the world of sense, and if he gravitates thitherward, he is like a man who travels one day east and another west, but thinking the passage west a more fashionable route, the company more alluring and its pleasures more enticing, changes tactics and journies six days westerly, and the seventh day toward the east, vehemently protesting he is traveling in one direction only. You would say of that man he is untrue and cannot be trusted; and don't let him cajole you into the belief he is really going east because he produces from his pocket a ticket earned by some toil-worn pilgrim, who had explored the way, and from whom he begged it, and with this passport means to make his passage. Unless a man advances spiritually, he is not scientific; and if he is scientific he must start honestly, and journey some every day; and however long he is in reaching the desired goal, if his honesty be preserved, he will finish his course. Many starting with the letter of science, will omit the Spirit, and make shipwreck of their course. We must not only seek, but strive, or we cannot enter the narrow path of science; for broad is the opposite one of sense that leadeth to destruction, and many go in thereat.
Jesus experienced few of the so-called pleasures of personal sense; perhaps he knew its pains, for “he bore our infirmities that through his stripes we might be healed;” Truth in contact with error produced chemicalization. Hence our Master's sufferings came through contact with sinners; but Christ the Soul of man never suffered. Jesus mapped out the path of the science of being, and through poverty of sense was enriched by Soul; but to those buried in the belief of Life in matter, and insisting that we see alone with eyes, and hear with ears, and feel through nerves, he said, “Having eyes ye see not, and ears ye hear not, that ye might understand and be converted and I might heal you.” Their belief of personal sense shut out the communications of Soul; hence the saying, “Ye cannot serve two masters.” Jesus adhered to one only, was guided by spiritual sense; therefore the sensualism of the age separated from him, and hated him. His affections were pure; theirs carnal; his senses were Truth; theirs but error, therefore Love with him was spiritual science; with them it was material sense; their imperfection and impurity felt his perfection and purity an ever-present rebuke; hence the world's hatred of the just and more spiritual Jesus; and the prophets' foresight of the reception it would give him. The people knew not how to interpret their uncomfortableness arising from his presence with them; and the chemical changes he instituted in their being. When those opposites met, had they understood the meaning of the stir it produced, they would, like Peter, have wept at the warning, and begun a warfare with personal sense that opposed Truth. They in their ignorance of the science of Life, never regarded the fact that the good are hated only by the evil, while the former suffer for the latter in life-long sacrifice. He bore their sins in his own person; that is, he felt the suffering their error brought, and through this consciousness destroyed error. Had the Master utterly conquered the belief of Life in matter, he would not have felt their infirmities; he had not yet risen to this his final demonstration, or had he partaken equally of their sensuous being, he would not have so suffered from them, nor they from him. By overcoming his own temptations he had measurably conquered for them, even while they knew it not; he demonstrated purity and Truth, and their power to heal the sick, and assured others they might give his demonstration, but for their disbelief in its science. Though they saw not his righteousness, they must all gain the harmony of being from the Truth he taught, and plant their demonstration on the foundations he laid, on what he had experienced for them, and poured liberally into their ears. This was the cup drank by the pioneer of the science of Life, by him who came with those higher proofs and practices of Truth and Love unperceived by the age in which they appeared; they neither understood him, nor his works, and would not accept his explanation who did understand them.
Anomalous though it seems, I have no doubt that Jesus was shunned, and deemed a bad man at the period of his public labors, by all, save the few unpretentious ones whose Christianity enabled them to understand him. This was the cup drank to the dregs, by our Master; he also spake of those who followed him, drinking this very cup; which must indeed be the case if they are in advance of the public sentiment. Referring to himself as doing nothing beyond the ability of others to do, he said, “The works I do, ye shall do, and greater.” Before this he had established the platform that “a tree is known by its fruits,” indicating, if they healed the sick on the Principle that he healed, they must be Christians. Though it is in vain we stretch our weary wings to the full realization of that saying to-day, yet in centuries to come I look for its fulfillment. Whosoever shall triumph over personal sense, and lay down his earthly all on the altar of the science of being, will drink his cup, and be able to give the demonstration of healing the sick, casting out error, raising the dead, and triumphing over the grave, that our blessed Master gave for our example. But earth hath no recompense for such a life; personal sense can neither give nor receive this reward; the understanding of God is its only recompense that lifts being above mortal discord and gives it immortal harmony.
A person may reward unjustly, but Principle cannot. That we receive all deserved punishment on earth, is quite as false as that all our rewards are mundane; and who that toils and sacrifices unceasingly bearing the cross only to see their existence mocked, will say this is sufficient from the hand of Love? Or again, that those have suffered all they have to experience, who still gloating in sensuality and hypocrisy, or murder and rapine, succeeding in all villainies up to the time they pass suddenly from sight in this loathsomeness, are pardoned, and pushed straight into glory? Their punishment here was certainly insufficient to reform them, which is the design of Wisdom, and the good man's heaven would be to them a hell. How can they find bliss in purity and Truth, to whom these are the very opposites of themselves. There is nothing in mercy or Love, that can pardon the necessity in science for sinners to suffer after death. To destroy the penalty due to sin, would be for Truth to pardon error; in which case, the sinner is no wiser for what he has experienced; for if he escapes the punishment he deserves, it is not according to God's government, in which justice is the handmaid of mercy. For sin to produce suffering is the only way to destroy it to him who believes in the pleasures of sin. When man admits there is no pleasure in sin, he has begun to save himself.
Contemplating history from every moral data, down to the present, we learn the faith in Christ, Truth, that caused our martyrs to be burned, and the rights of man to be christened on a gallows, repeats itself in the just suffering for the unjust; then how has God pardoned sin? We all suffer because of sin, and must until science destroys sin and its sufferings. Did the martyrdom of John Brown make one of the crimes of Jefferson Davis less, or less deserving its reward? What awaits the God-inspired martyr is the crown of thorns here, and the victor's palm hereafter; but what awaits the pampered hypocrite, is the laurel here, and the thorns there.
The demonstration Jesus gave of God, did for the world more than a problem wrought and explained in mathematics does for the learner; it taught the human race how to demonstrate aright the Principle, that is God; and if this demonstration had been understood, man would have reached the example of Jesus, and solved his being harmoniously ere this. The martyr-spirit is the stepping-stone from the human to the divine; martyrs are the luminaries of Soul that go down to personal sense, like the sun to appear again in the amplitude of their being, when sensuality shall give place to spirituality, and the leaders' stand-point is reached. Truth is self-conscious right that brings its own reward, but not amid the smoke of battle is it seen, or appreciated.
The personal belief of God that holds Spirit person instead of Principle, making Soul intelligent matter, and possessing all the tyranny and passion a belief of Life in matter manifests, was the very error that crucified Jesus; and that to-day is shutting out the reign of harmony. Jesus knew there was but one God, hence that man's Intelligence was God, and not man; Principle, and not person; therefore, said he, “I and the Father are one;” and because of this scientific statement, and the demonstration it brought with it, the rulers cried out, “Crucify him, he maketh himself as God” “and what further witness need we against him.” To-day this very statement is met with the same opposition from sensualism it ever was, and why? Because it cuts off right hands, and plucks out eyes by denying personal sense; and lays the axe at the root of the tree, cutting off the medium of all sin. God is perfect; and if there be no other Intelligence, we can have no imperfection; the only way to destroy error is to divest it of supposed Intelligence, by which it can give pain or pleasure. Now to admit there is a separate Intelligence from good, called evil, is the error that admits two powers, namely, God, and devil, simultaneous, but gives superiority and all worldly success to the latter; this error is waning somewhat, and to-day his Satanic majesty is not deemed so much a distinct individual as a universal power. The next step in progress is to learn there is no devil; that error and sin have no Intelligence; the Scriptures deny aught but God, and his creation; and assert there “was nothing made without Him,” while “out of the mouth of the most high proceedeth not good and evil;” in other words, that God never made a demon, for a pure fountain sends not forth corrupt streams, and nothing but God is self-existent; Jesus stripped all disguise from this error, had he only been understood; he explained it impossible to have another Intelligence than God, or for Him to create evil, and demonstrated this by healing the sick, and casting out devils, showing that God destroyed satan instead of making it; in other words, that Truth destroys error by proving its nothingness. The personal belief that man is a separate mind from God, and that this mind comprehends, feels, and exists, an entity within the cranium, and sins, and suffers, ad libitum, is the only personal devil there is, and the one we should begin to cast out.
This error is not the result of brains, but is a belief that brains are Intelligence; in other words, that God is in matter: it is not the result of Intelligence in matter, but a belief that matter is intelligent; not the product of man's mind, but a belief there is mind in man, and this belief is delusion, and delusion, error. Do you ask who or what is it that believes? Insomuch as you admit God is not the author of error, and that “all things, were made by him and without him nothing was made,” we answer no one believes: it is only that error is a belief, and a belief is error. The prerogative of Soul is understanding, but personal sense has no claims whatever to this. We need not cite anatomy, physiology, materia medica, etc., that place Intelligence in personal man, but will cover the ground with the Scripture metaphor that named belief the “tree of knowledge,” whence sprang sickness, sin and death. A belief is not Intelligence, nor its result, neither God, nor the result of this Principle; it is not Soul, nor its manifestation. What then is it? The opposite of Soul, called brains, and personal sense. Error is the opposite of Intelligence and imitates it only by falsehood, calling Principle, person, God, man; thus pre-supposing man intelligent matter. Is it an error to believe Truth? It is impossible to do this; all we receive of Truth comes through the understanding. The so-called mind of man can be deranged or destroyed by a blow on the cranium; but Intelligence, that governs man and the universe, is not lost. Intelligence is Life, Love and Truth, and by no means personal sense, sin, sickness and death. The mind of Intelligence understands and never believes, and the body of Intelligence is spiritual not material; idea, and not substance; yea, it is the reflex shadow of Soul, even man that is “the image and likeness of God;” what besides this we name man, is but a belief and error, dust to dust. Hereby we learn a lie is all the satan there is, and marking its footsteps we gain this proof, all the discords of earth proceed from false conceptions of God and man; besides, falsehood preys on harmony in society, and hides individual character. Truth is generally unperceived, because a lie is a more natural conclusion for the wicked. Expose sin, and it turns the lie on you; a sinner for the time prospers in secret wrong-doing until the final hour that “whatsoever is hidden shall be revealed.” We must tell the Truth concerning sin and sinners, because of the moral necessity not to cover iniquity; they will deny what we say, of course, but at the same time it produces the desired effect, and we receive our reward, for it introduces new light and makes sinners afraid to repeat the offence when they are found out. The higher you rise in the scale of Truth, the more intense and multiplied are the lies concerning you; the louder God speaks, the higher the devil lifts its voice to be heard above Him; the more Truth you bring, the more error is stirred by it, until the final conquest on the side of right.
Jesus taught his students the science he understood, but they never reached his demonstration, and rose toward it only as they followed implicitly his directions. It is of little importance whether self-abnegation and faithfulness are rewarded in the present or future; their recompense is sure. There must be a going out of personal sense, and coming in of the spiritual, to understand the science of being, and to give a higher sense of Omnipotence whereby to control man and matter. Jesus taught and practiced the science of being, tested the reception it would meet before it was understood, and notwithstanding the malice that error aimed at Truth, fulfilled his Soul-mission, triumphed over sense, and sat down at the right hand of the Father, having solved being on its Principle, which is Truth, Life and Love. He who was God, and not in man, was “no respecter of persons;” therefore, claimed no personal worship. Persecuted from city to city, he went about doing good, for which he was maligned and stoned. Jesus taught us Principle is God, and God is Love, but Pharisee and Priest affirmed God is person that can love and hate. Truth that is felt is hated by the sinner; for it cuts off right hands, plucks out the eyes, and calls on him to become wise. The belief of God in matter, or a personal Deity, never yet made a Christian, and will go down in a moral chemical that has already begun and will continue until God is admitted Soul outside of sense, and the only Intelligence.
The basis of all health, sinlessness and immortality is the one great Truth, that God is the only Intelligence, and for this Truth, the great Teacher of the science of Life was martyred. The reward of our Master was not on earth, and not in matter, but Spirit, while all his sufferings came from the materiality of the age, and were not because of his own sins, but the sins of others. Then was it just for him to suffer? No, but it was inevitable in this wicked world where the good suffer because of the evil, even as the evil derive blessings from the good. Jesus taught us, that the way of Truth is the way of salvation, which is spiritual; material religion consists of rites, ceremonies, a personal God, etc., but this is not Christianity. Seventy students Jesus sent forth whom he had faithfully taught; but of twelve only have we any especial record, and one of those had a devil. His final crucifixion drew near, the hour of triumph over personal sense, and all the pangs this world could occasion — the hour that gave the highest proof of the science of being, proof so important to mankind. Judas thought to take advantage of the world's ingratitude to his teacher, and betray him into the hands of his enemies for thirty pieces and the smile of a Pharisee. Well did the pitiful traitor know his time, for the world was then in mystery concerning him and his teachings. Perhaps Judas feared the period approached that should reveal the great goodness which enabled his Master to demonstrate above him, and to rebuke the sinner as none other could; the moral distance between himself and his teacher had already created his enmity, wherein greed for gold held empire over gratitude. He also knew the sensuous world loved a Judas better than it did a Jesus, and this was another point through which to victimize his Teacher, and raise himself with the people. Judas had all the world's weapons, Jesus none of them; therefore he chose not to defend himself before those who understood not that defence, so “he opened not his mouth.” The great exponent of Truth and Love silent before error and hate! They to whom he had given the highest proofs of the science of being, misinterpreted them, and said deridingly, “He maketh himself as God.” Those “who turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most high,” esteemed him “stricken and smitten of God,” he was “brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep dumb before her shearers,” and “who should declare his generation,” who in future should say whence cometh Truth, and answer the question, what is Truth?
The Rabbis could not decide this momentous inquiry: they must wait on the centuries; but the women at the cross dared say he was right who had inspired their devotions, winged their faith with understanding, healed the sick, cast out error, and caused those he sent forth to say, “Even devils are subject to us through thy name.” But where were the seventy whom he had taught, were all conspirators, save eleven; had they forgotten his weary years of explanations and patient waiting, all his labors of Love as day by day he taught them the science of Life, and spake to them the Truth of man; could they not give him even a cup of cold water in its name, and satisfy for a moment his yearning for one proof of their fidelity to what he had taught? From early boyhood, he had been about his master's business; and they about theirs; but their masters were unlike; one was Spirit, and the other matter; one God, the other man; one was Soul, the other personal sense. He had suffered and experienced for them, to give liberally his dear-bought bounty unto their famine; but what was his reward? Forsaken of all save a loving few, who knelt in woe at the scene of his crucifixion. Peter would have smitten the enemies of his master, but he bade him put up the sword, and take not the world's weapons to defend Truth. Jesus disdaining artifice or brute courage, when Truth could not protect him from the false accusation, was able to submit to a felon's death. His mission was to vindicate a Principle, and not a person, while their highest ambition was the applause of man.
Jesus could no doubt have withdrawn from his enemies, but he permitted them the opportunity to destroy his body mortal, that he might furnish the proof of his immortal body in corroboration of what he had taught, that the Life of man was God, and that body and Soul are inseparable. The opposite belief was the error he came to destroy. Neither spear nor cross could harm him; let them think to kill the body, and after this, he would convince those he had taught this science, he was not dead, and possessed the same body as before. Why his disciples saw him after the burial, when others saw him not, was because they understood better his explanations of this phenomenon; he had given them the Principle of it, in healing the sick; hence the unsatisfied malignity of his foes, that he was not dead, but furnished a higher demonstration than ever of the Principle he taught, and for which they had hoped to kill him. Another important feature was, that he sought not the protection of law from their unjust wrath, but chose in every instance to demonstrate the higher law that governed being, that cast out error, healed the sick, and was about to prove its triumph over death, over the beliefs of personal sense and Life and substance in matter. Jesus knew the body is but a reflex shadow of immortal Soul, also that it is impossible to lose this, for, as the Scripture saith, it is the image of God.
Alone, the meek demonstrator of God and fittest teacher of man, met his fate; no eye to pity, no arm to save; he who had saved others, a solemn, faithful sentinel at the threshold of the great Truth he would establish, unprotected by man, was ready to be transformed by its renewing. He had taught what he was about to prove, that Life was God, and superior to all conditions of matter, above the wrath of man, and able to triumph over the cross and grave. In the garden night-walk, that hour of gloom and glory, the utter error of supposed Life in matter, its pain, ignorance, superstition, malice and hate, reached him in their fullest sense. His students slept. “Can you not watch with me one hour?” was the supplication of their great spiritual Teacher, but receiving no response to this last human yearning, he turned forever away from earth to heaven, from sense to Soul, and from man to God. The triumph of Soul over sense demanded by the great Principle of being must be proved, and Jesus availed himself of Life and glory outside of matter, in this supreme hour, and final demonstration of the science of being; and yet viewing its utter magnitude, and feeling the lack of all human sympathy, he momently exclaimed, “Hast thou forsaken me?” Had this appeal been made to a person, we might have doubted the justice or affection of that father, who for an instant could withhold the clear recognition of his presence to sustain and bless so faithful a son. But it was not made to a person, it was made to Truth, Life and Love, the Principle he was to prove: and the momentary fear was, that his understanding of these was not sufficient to meet that hour of the world's hate. Jesus knew God is Love, that He, not man, was Love, insomuch as Love is Soul, and not personal sense; but suppose this recognition should falter under stress of circumstances, what would his accusers say? Even what they did, that Truth should be confounded, and there should be no re-appearing of Jesus. The weight of mind bearing on him at that hour from the throng of disbelievers in the great Principle for which he was crucified, weighed heavily; not the spear, nor the cross, but the ingratitude of the world drew forth the half suppressed “ali sabacthani” that unpinioned for a moment the wings of faith. The world's hatred of Truth caused that moment of agony, harder to bear than the cross, up the hill of grief. A Life that was Love, all the good he did, rewarded with a cup of gall! Behold the sweat of blood falling in holy benediction on the grass of Gethsemane, and say, was Christianity then the privileged of earth, and can the followers to-day of that Truth so persecuted then, expect the world's approval? Principle bestows few palms until we reach through demonstration, its fullness. Love must triumph over hate, and Truth and Life over error and death, before the thorns are laid off for the crown of glory, and “well done good and faithful,” bestows immortal honors. Our Master had realized and demonstrated the science of Life when he was found talking with his disciples after the burial; and whom the Rabbis had hoped to bury in a sepulchre, to-day is acknowledged God! and this God, and this Truth that Jesus taught and proved over eighteen centuries ago, in days to come will be understood.
Soul triumphed over personal sense, and said to death, where is thy sting, and where thy victory, grave? But many who saw this phenomenon misconstrued it; his disciples even, called him a “spirit,” but his reply was, “Spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have;” Jesus demonstrated man's unchanged condition after what we call death, also that Spirit is not person or man; and to convince Thomas of this, he caused him to examine the prints of the nails and spear; he proved for time and eternity that death is but a belief of personal sense, because Life is Spirit, alias God, and God the immortality and Soul of man; but those consenting to the martyrdom of a righteous man were only willing out of their wicked work to make a doctrinal platform for saving souls? His students, not sufficiently advanced to understand the lesson of that hour, performed not their wonderful healing until their Master reappeared, and talked with them of its science, and at length rose out of their sight, that is, his third demonstration was so beyond their understanding, we have no farther record of him to explain. Then received they the holy ghost, in other words, the fuller interpretation that science gives of God, and wrought after the example of their Teacher, when they had no longer a person, but a Principle to lean upon.
In the crucifixion of our Master, human error and divine Truth met, and Truth conquered through “the man of sorrows,” who best understands the nothingness of Life in matter, and the substance of Life, Truth and Love. Because Jesus was the fuller manifestation of Spirit, therefore, the higher representative of God among men; the world of sense hated him. Fully comprehending this, he said to his disciples, “You hath it loved, but me hath it hated;” proving that mortal man is not allied to Life, Truth, or Love, that personal sense is the very opposite of Soul, in its attractions, joys and sorrows. Herod and Pilate could lay aside old feuds, to unite in putting to derision and death the best man on earth; they could take up common cause against the exponent of Truth, because they both secretly hated it, and were united in their malice against him that upheld it. To get rid of Jesus and his accusing Wisdom, was the design of them both. Said the Rabbi, and Pharisee, “He stirreth up seditions,” “he maketh himself as God,” “he is a glutton, and a wine-bibber,” “he casteth out devils through Beelzebub,” “and is the friend of sinners." The last was the only correct view taken of him. Because his life was nearer Truth, he was more belied than all other men; and because he was the friend of sinners, he failed not to rebuke them pointedly and unflinchingly; hence they regarded him their strongest enemy; and so he was, the strongest foe to error, but the friend of man. Through demonstration Jesus established the foundations of the science of Life, controlled matter, and proved Intelligence, neither matter, nor man, but the Principle of man, able to hold and govern the body, and to destroy sin, sickness, and death.
People's opinions of Jesus were the very opposite of the man, and mark you wisely what will be said to-day of the science he taught and its followers, and see if there be no resemblance between the reception it received in the past, and that accorded it at present. We have few demonstrators to-day in part even, of the great Truth taught by Jesus; but we hesitate not to say it is the privilege and possibility of all Christians to follow his example, and what they claim to do, but they must keep his first command, “to heal the sick,” as proof they understand this example, and the Principle that healed. We see some amelioration of the stake and gibbet in this age, but the vengeance with which doctrines and beliefs pursue Truth, has not ceased in this century.
When the science of being's purity, confronts the impurity of sense, and humanitarianism lifts a voice above sectarianism, blows will fall liberally on science, its true followers will be traduced and persecuted, and imposition and malice will smite their destroyer. Doctors in general will trample on it, insomuch as it heals the sick without drugs, and must ultimately destroy sickness, when their “occupation will be gone.” But shall we serve the old masters because Truth has enemies, and disturbs the tranquillity of error? Wisdom has given us more foresight than this; to the advanced thinkers perceiving the scope and tendency of Truth we may look for support; while others will say to the science of being, as did one of old, to please the Rabbis, “Go thy way for this time.”
The highest stand-point of being, is its science, but opinions, doctrines and beliefs afford no demonstrable Principle to reach it, and enable man to work out his own salvation; 't is Truth, the Principle of man that does this. But is there not a smoother and broader path to harmony or heaven; and cannot Christianity be coupled with worldly peace and prosperity? The very nature of it is peace and blessedness, but its joys and triumphs are not earthly, they are passing away from matter to Spirit. By this we do not mean death, nor a sudden ecstasy; but the gradual fading out of material things, of earthly desires, possessions and pleasures, and the coming in of purity, Truth and immortality. The demands of personal sense will grow less, the appetite become simple, pride, malice and all sin yield to meekness, mercy and Love, until finally the belief of Life in matter yields to the consciousness that Life is Spirit, and Spirit, God. All good thoughts and deeds are science that proceeds not from a doctrinal basis, but is soul subduing sin, personal belief, personal pleasure, or pain; and revealing all harmony, righteousness and blessedness in our God-being.