The Pathway of Roses/The Vision of the Soul
THE VISION OF THE SOUL
Faith is the "gates ajar" to the Holy City, to the world celestial, to the many mansions, to the spiritual realms, to the beautiful life, to the inexhaustible source of all that is good. Faith is the path that leads to the soul's inheritance of all that the heart has prayed for, and to follow this path is to have faith in faith.
Thousands have undertaken to live by faith, but not having sufficient faith in faith have too soon adopted a different course. In the beginning of the spiritual life it is so easy to forget the vision of the soul, so easy to follow the dictates of the senses when this vision has seemingly faded away. And the cause is we have not sufficient faith in faith.
When we begin to live by faith we must have sufficient faith to go on and on, no matter how many obstacles or failures we may meet at first. Temptations are numerous and the soul that has resolved to employ spiritual methods in all things must be able to deal with the tempter as Jesus did. But this is not impossible, because the mind that is in Christ Jesus, the same mind is in you.
The greatest obstacle is the intended kindness of friends. They have our welfare at heart, and wish to do everything they can to promote that welfare; but they almost invariably employ the ways of the world; they do not know that faith is always sufficient. Here is a place where much strength is required. Here is the real parting of the ways, and the problem is, will you listen to those who love you with the love that knows not the way, or will you depend upon faith alone? Will you accept the kindness of the world or the unbounded love and the limitless power of the Infinite? Whoever loves brother or sister more than me is not worthy of me. Also, if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off. It is better to lose everything that is near and dear than to lose faith, but so long as we continue in faith, giving faith the first thought, and having abundant faith in faith, we shall not lose anything that we love.
The "right hand" is the sum-total of all those things in the world, that we feel we cannot get along without. They seem indispensable, and their loss seems irreparable; but they are insignificant compared with faith. We must be ready to dispense with them all if necessary to the realization of perfect faith, and we must depend absolutely upon faith regardless of the wishes of our dearest friends. But when we are ready to sacrifice everything that faith may have its way, we shall find that no sacrifice will be required of us.
When Abraham became absolutely willing to even sacrifice his own son in order to obey the spirit, he learned it was not required of him. And it is always thus; when we are willing to lose everything that spirit may reign, we find that we lose nothing, but gain much.
When we have faith in faith we find that faith can do anything; and we find that faith in the life, the power and the guidance of the spirit will take us safely through anything. If we are in trouble, faith will open the way out; if we have lost our friends, faith will give us more and better friends; if we have lost all of our possessions, faith will give us greater riches than we ever had before.
We have been told that the story of Job is an allegory; but even so, it illustrates what can be done, and what is being done in varying degrees in the lives of thousands where faith in faith is abundant and strong. He who has the faith that Job had will regain all he has lost and in addition, will receive much more. This is the law of faith and we can all prove the law by simply having faith in faith.
When we are in darkness and sin, faith will lead us into the full light; when we are in bondage to sickness and pain, faith will heal us and give us complete emancipation; and when we are in poverty or want, faith will lead us into the land of plenty.
The old thought has informed us that he who would live by faith must expect to live in poverty; many have believed this and have therefore been compelled to let go of almost everything of value and worth in the world. What we believe must come, will come. As your faith is, so shall it be unto you. If it is your faith that you must live in poverty in order to live by faith, in poverty you must live.
But it is the Father's will and desire to give us the riches of the kingdom; and to have faith is to live in harmony with Infinite will; therefore, when we begin to live by faith we shall leave the life of poverty and enter the world of abundance.
To live in poverty is not a mark of spirituality. If you are poor something is wrong either with you or with the society in which you live. But faith can take you out of that wrong and cause all things to become right. Faith can give you the best of everything that the whole of life can produce. Believe this and so it will be.
When things seem dark, and all that is near and dear seems to be slipping away from you, do not complain or weep. Have faith. Depend upon faith. Have faith in faith. Know that faith will change the course of events; turn darkness into light; turn hatred into love; turn chaos into order and harmony; and cause the best of all things to flow into your life in greater abundance than ever before. Faith can do anything. Have faith in faith and to you shall come the riches and blessings of the beautiful life.
The tendency of man is to turn to old methods when faith seems to fail; but why does faith ever fail? The reason is we have not sufficient faith in faith. When we have perfect faith in faith, it can never fail us. The power within faith is limitless, and it is our privilege to call into action as much of this power as we may need or desire.
We are called upon every day to decide upon something of importance; but how is this decision to be made? Are we to follow fear or faith? Fear declares that everything may go wrong; this is always the language of fear; but faith declares that everything will go right; and this is always the language of faith. Fear does not know; faith does know. Follow the verdict of fear and everything will go wrong, because the path of fear leads into wrong. But follow the superior insight of faith and everything will go right. The path of faith is the ever-ascending path to the greatest good that real life can give; therefore, no one can follow faith without finding the richer, the larger, the truer and the better.
Fear always expects the worst, because it can see only darkness; faith positively assures us of the best, because it can clearly see the light; and in the light the best is always found. But whether we decide to follow fear and live in darkness, or decide to follow faith and live in the light, will depend entirely upon how much faith we have in faith.
Millions are living lives that are not satisfactory; they long for a change, but they are in such complete bondage to fear that they are always afraid to even hope for something better. There is a power, however, that can break the bonds, and that power is faith. Are you living in Egypt? Are you in bondage to the king of evil, oppression and misery? Faith can lead you out. Depend upon faith, and begin this moment to follow wherever faith may go. Is there a Red Sea of mental materiality between yourself and the promised land of peace, happiness and plenty? Take the rod of faith in your hand and stretch it out over the sea; the waters will instantly divide, and you may walk safely to the other side. Faith can do anything. Have faith in faith.
There is not a single person in the world to-day that cannot enter the promised land, and do so now. Anyone may find peace, health, happiness, freedom, and the very best that life can give. These things are for you in your present state of existence. It is the will of God that life should be sweet to every soul; do not believe that you must suffer. There is freedom for you this very moment; there is a beautiful life that you may enter at once, and faith is the open door.
Have faith, and the veil of mystery is no more; you may see what has been hidden, and enter the secret chambers of life. Have faith, and the clouds of darkness will completely disappear; you will behold the light of the eternal sun, and the radiance of its glory will fill and illumine your entire sphere of existence. Have faith, and the barriers of limitations will fall to rise no more; and the invincible powers of the spirit will surge through and through your entire being, proclaiming in language divine, "Nothing shall be impossible unto thee, for I am thy strength and thy life forever."
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen; and the reason is that faith lives in the light. Faith knows that we may receive anything we ever hoped for, because faith discerns that power that makes all things possible. Faith is in the light, and therefore sees what has not been seen; it does not simply believe that the unseen is real, but proves the reality of everything by going out into the boundlessness of everything.
Faith is never sad, because it lives in the joy everlasting. Faith never grieves, because it knows that nothing is lost. Faith knows that what shall be united will be united; what shall be found will be found; and what belongs to us cannot long be kept away from us. Faith also knows that whatever we may need or desire now, exists for us now; and it is our privilege to enter through the door of faith and receive our own. The great secret is faith. Faith can do anything. Have faith in faith.
The soul never acts alone; whenever the soul acts, God acts also, in the same place, at the same time, and for the same purpose. Whenever the soul undertakes anything, there is immediate and direct assistance from the Supreme. Therefore, the soul can never fail; nor can any personal undertaking fail that is prompted, directed and inspired by the soul. My Father worketh and I work; and I am the soul. So long as I know and feel that I am the soul, the soul will act in all my work, and where the soul acts there God will act also, because the two are One. What the soul begins, God will finish; what the soul aspires to be, God will cause it to be.