Chapter 2 – The Second Coming

Chapter II
THE SECOND COMING
W. John Murray
The Realm of Reality
Divine Science Publishing Assoc.
New York, 1922.

“He came unto His own and His own received Him not.”
–St.John 1:11

[21] When Jesus said to his disciples: “It is expedient for you that I go away,” he set forth one of the soul’s greatest necessities. When he promised: “If I go away, I will come to you again,” he voiced that which has puzzled the human mind from that day to this. The second coming has been a hope, an expectation with many, a delusion to a great many more, and, to some, a foolish impossibility.

In 1849 Dr.Chalmers, one of the most noted divines of the Anglican Church, gave it as his opinion, based upon mathematical observation of spiritual truth in the Bible, that in the year 1865, or thereabouts, Jesus would again manifest himself to the earth in person. So careful had Dr.Chalmers been in spiritual investigations and observations, as well as mathematical calculations, that when Jesus did not appear in person in the year 1865, 1866 or 1867, he became discouraged and said on his deathbed that it was one of the [22] greatest disappointments of his life, because everything in the Holy Scriptures pointed to the second advent at that time.

Others prophesied the same thing, and it is very remarkable that these prophecies were made concerning the years about the time that Dr.Chalmers predicted the second coming. The second appearance of Jesus of Nazareth did not materialize, so those who have devoutly hoped for it and fervently prayed for it, from time to time, have become discouraged until, today, the second coming is rather scoffed at by some. Strange to say, there are still others who believe profoundly in its possibility.

Is it not rather astonishing that two thousand years of Christianity, two thousand years of Christian living, have not served to disabuse the human mind of the possibility of the second advent of the Master? Is it not equally astonishing that four thousand years of Judaism have not yet eradicated from the Jewish mind the belief in the first coming of the Messiah? Does not the devout Jew look with just as confident expectation to the first advent of the Messiah as does the devout Christian of the old school to the second advent of Jesus?

What strange hope is this that all of the incrustations of centuries of materiality have not been able to crush successfully? What strange expectation is it, that four thousand years of Judaism and two thousand years of Christianity have not sufficed to kill in the human breast? Is [23] it possible that we have not understood what Jesus meant when he said he would come again? Is it possible that our eyes are holden, that we cannot see? Some one has said that the expectation of a second appearing of Jesus is like looking out upon the horizon by means of a telescope for something which is as near to us as our hands and feet.

These are rather mystical utterances, to be sure, and it is only as we study them and dissect and analyze the words of Jesus himself concerning the second appearing that we begin to catch even a faint glimpse of what he meant. It was expedient for his immediate disciples that he go away, because if he had not gone away he could not have sent the Holy Comforter to them. Personality, ever true to self between human consciousness and its comprehension of Divine Principle, is that opaque bar which ever stands between the soul and its reception of the unadulterated, impersonal truth. It has always been expedient for all men, in all times and all places, that personality disappear in order that principle become the order of the day and the foundation of demonstrable sciences.

It would be deplorable if personality went away without leaving a fitting substitute for itself. It is a sad thing when a teacher leaves a school in which the pupils have loved her. It would be infinitely sadder if, during the time of her office, she had not done her duty. What is the duty, after all, of a personal teacher? Is it not to inculcate [24] living, vitalizing principles? If a teacher is teaching children mathematics, what is she doing–solving their mathematical problems for them? Occasionally; but only by way of example. The time must come when each child must work out his own mathematical salvation, and hence she is a great teacher who impresses the living principles of mathematics upon the plastic mind, so that whether she goes or stays, it is able to work out its own salvation mathematically.

Is not the impressed principle of mathematics a very fair substitute for the personal teacher of mathematics? Is it not better and more efficacious in the economy of the child’s understanding than the personal teacher could ever be? Is it not expedient for them that she do go away occasionally from the classroom and leave them to their own work?

This is what the Great Teacher did, the Teacher of teachers, the greatest Teacher the world has ever seen. During his brief stay of three years, leading the disciples, he had been impressing upon their plastic spiritual mentalities the principle of being. He had been unfolding to them, with mathematical precision, the unity of God; the perfectness of man; and the day came when he saw that all he had ever unfolded to them was mere intellectual quotation. They had heard it with the ears; they had taken it in with the intelligence, and it had become a mental subject to them. But it was not a living, working principle. Just so long as he stayed, they went to him with [25] all their difficult problems like children in a school-room.

“Why could not we cast him out?” “Because,” said Jesus in substance: “you are not applying the principle in your own lives. You feel a sense of great confidence that if you fail, I can succeed; and so you sit down comfortably and wait for the desired end. If that desired end be an application to me in the time of your distress, it is good for the patient, but not good for you; the patient is cured, but you are not using your power. So it is expedient that I go away, but I will come to you again.”

And when did he come to them again? After his ascension these disciples, who had had the glorious privilege of sitting at his feet, listening to his enunciation and elucidation of Divine Principle, revealed by their very loneliness, very depression and discouragement and very willingness to go back to their own vocations, that all he had ever told them had been little more than a mere intellectual acquirement. The very disappearance of Jesus filled them with discouragement. The strongest of them all, the most impulsive of them all, said he was going fishing. He was going back to his nets, concluding too hastily that the letter of Jesus’ teaching was, so far as he personally was concerned, undemonstrated.

But when once a man has put his hands upon the plough, even though he is not ploughing deep furrows and planting seeds of truth, he cannot go back comfortably. When once the human [26] mind has become even partly convinced of the reality and genuineness and demonstrability of Divine Science, it would be impossible for that mind to go back, just as it is impossible for a child to forget its numeration tables when it has advanced in mathematical science.

So they, inclined between doubt and hope, fear and discouragement, marveled what was to become of them, finally coming back again to that which they believed intellectually to be the truth, and holding on to it with grim determination, even though they were not able spiritually to demonstrate it. Every human soul will come to that; it is the wilderness in a man’s life. It is the crystalization of development, when a man is neither a worm nor an angel. It is a necessary period of spiritual evolution, a trial of the soul, and when that has served its purpose, men are really ready for the great event, and this great event takes place usually on a pentecostal morning. They had overcome their doubts; they had overcome their fears; they had become re-integrated with a holy desire to be of service, to promulgate the doctrines of Jesus, to go out into the world and obey his commands, reform the sinner and heal the sick. They were all assembled together in one place and, significantly, they were all of one mind.

All Divine Scientists are sure that spirituality is the only Substance; that Good is the only law; that Love is the only force; and so, when they [27] come together in one place, they are all of one mind on these essential, fundamental principles of Being.

On the pentecostal morning these first Divine Scientists were all in one place and of one mind, and, when men are all in one place and of one mind, something is sure to happen; and the thing which happened on the pentecostal morning was the Second Coming. It was not the reappearance of Jesus, as it had been in the upper chamber after his crucifixion. It was a revelation to their own inner souls of the realization, the genuineness, the demonstrability of the science that he had unfolded to them. It was an inner spiritual conviction infinitely more potent than any verbal utterance to which he had given voice. It was God’s way of talking to them in the language of ideas. No oral sound, no visible personality, but the communication of God Himself through the channels of spiritual receptivity.

The second coming has been experienced all through the centuries wherever minds and hearts and souls have been ready to receive it. It is not like a new comet–a something appearing suddenly so that millions and billions of people may see it. It can be perceived only by the awakened spiritual soul.

It is said in the Scriptures concerning the ascension of Jesus: “And a cloud received him out of their sight.” Our text is thus interpreted: “And when ye see these things”–such things as are now transpiring in Europe and America: [28] famines, strikes, agitations, crimes and perplexities–“look up, and lift up your head; for your redemption draweth nigh,” and “the Son of man cometh in a cloud.”

These clouds are not black spots in the atmosphere; they are the various phases of mental opaqueness–spiritual density–not outside of us, but in us. It is a cloud in us which makes it difficult for us to perceive the presence of Christ, and so it is not without great and deep spiritual significance that “A cloud received him out of their sight” and “he cometh again in a cloud.” What does it mean? Christ has never been absent; it simply means that we have indeed been looking out upon the great and distant horizon with a telescope in order to locate and discover that which is within us. The greatest error of the human mind is a tendency to look out from itself for something that can be found only within itself.

“When shall the Kingdom of Heaven come?” asked the Pharisees. They were looking for a second coming, and Jesus said: “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you. You shall not say of it, Lo here or Lo there; it cometh not with observation.” It does not appear to the physical eye; it appears to the awakened spiritual senses of man.

What are the signs of the times? Were ever the prophetic utterances of Jesus more significant of any time than they are of the present day? Was ever the world at large in such a state of distress and agitation: nation against nation, [29] brother against brother, father against child? One could easily become discouraged if one could not see the end thereof. One could easily feel that it is indeed the fulfillment of the prophesy, and the second coming of Christ is nothing more than this: the end of the world.

That is another thing which men have prophesied but which has not yet come to pass, because the prophecy has been so variously and almost universally misunderstood. The end of the world has appealed to us as the rolling-up as of a scroll of this physical earth and the disappearance thereof in a mist. I do not think that Jesus was speaking in this sense at all. If one looks up the word world in the Greek lexicons he finds that it means age. Jesus was not speaking of the world quite so much from a physical point of view as he was of the age of materiality–the age of sensuality. And when he was prophesying the end of this age through the second coming of Christ; through the revelation to human consciousness of the fact that Spirit is the only Substance and that matter is an ephemeral presentation–a phenomenal result of irregular and unscientific thinking–he was prophesying the disappearance of materiality–of human consciousness; not the rolling-up of the physical earth and the disappearance thereof, but the destruction in the human mind of everything that is unlike God and, through this destruction in the human mind, the revelation of the New Kingdom–the New Heaven and the New Earth. We have [30] looked for the destruction of this; we have expected some great cataclysm of nature to wipe it out of existence and leave us like specks in a world of etheric space.

What hides the New Heaven and the New Earth from us today? The old idea of Heaven and the old idea of earth form the curtain which now hides from our spiritual vision the presence of the Kingdom of God and the presence of the earth of God’s creation, in which there is nothing poisonous, nor impure, nor imperfect.

The second coming of Christ is the spiritual means and methods by which this curtain of materiality is rolled up and discloses to our present view the Kingdom of God which has always existed and will ever continue; which exists now in all its beauty, harmony, continuity and power.

It is not coming to us from afar off. That is why Jesus said: “The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation.” You shall not see it like a floating speck in the atmosphere, coming from afar off. You shall see it when the curtain of materiality is rolled up in your soul; and there you will see, with illumined vision in the presence of God, the reality of Christ, the perfectness of man made in the image of God, and the spiritual universe that is unsusceptible to discord and decay.

Whatever is clouded is in us. The sooner we admit it, the sooner we realize where the cloud is, and the sooner we seek enlightenment in order that it may be dissipated, the better for us. The [31] world has never been nearer to heaven than it is today; it is suffering its way into the Kingdom of God. It is not a difficult matter for a physician who detects the incipient phases of disease to prognosticate the situation and state of its development and to prophesy the hour of its crisis. He can tell you to watch the seventh, or twelfth, day, as the case may be. Once he determines the nature of the malady he can do that with all mathematical exactitude. He is prophesying a thing that has not come to pass, but it will come to pass, from his point of view. The patient’s case must reach a crisis.

If a physician can prognosticate or prophesy by means of his detection of incipient disease in human consciousness the hour or the day at which this disease must reach its crisis, is it not possible by just a little stretch of the imagination to conceive the possibility of Jesus–the Greatest Physician of all physicians–feeling the pulse and taking the temperature of the world’s body and prophesying with mathematical exactness the very things we have read in the text? It requires only a little more knowledge of spiritual anatomy. It requires only a little more understanding of the psychology of the human soul.

The Great Physician prophesied the very thing that is taking place today. The world faces its crisis. Its fever of sensuality and depravity has reached its height. Sometimes patients die when they arrive at this stage, but the Great Physician [32] says: “No, the patient will not die. The world will live. It will live by the grace of God when the hour comes;” the very hour which is upon us. We can lift up our heads; the redemption of the world is nearer than we think, for the war drove men into the solitary seclusions of week-end retreats, forced to their knees women who have not prayed in years, and distilled in the hearts of children a new veneration for God.

It has not happened without purpose. Everywhere you find men turning, in most cases to their old religions, in many to the new. For what? Rest, peace and comfort. When a thing has grown so horrifying that it becomes nauseating and disgusting, men naturally turn from it, and to whom shall they turn? We have cried for centuries: “My Lord delayeth his coming.” A man whose vision is clear sees in the cloud the Son of man; sees already at the door, through the mist of all this carnality and depravity, the manifestation of the Holy Spirit; invisible to most, dimly visible to some, but clearly discernible to others.

“Behold, I stand at the door (of human consciousness) and knock.” Divine Science is clamoring for admission and receptive hearts are taking it in. It is true, as true as God is true.

And now let us come to the prophecy of 1865 and see if Dr.Chalmers was so grievously mistaken. I think the only mistake the dear man made was in believing that the second coming would be personal. In 1865 human thought had [33] reached the place where it was ready for a new revelation of God, and whether it came through P.P.Quimby, or Mary Baker Eddy, or Warren F. Evans; or whether it was floated in on the waves of Emerson’s philosophy, it matters not. The thing arrived in 1865. That was the year in which this new thought of God and man and the universe was born.

Dr.Chalmers was incorrect only in one thing: not his mathematical calculations, not his spiritual observations and expectations, but his material expectation. He looked for spiritual truth to manifest itself in a material way, and it cannot do so. Jesus had done all that he could. He appealed to the sense of man–aroused men to the recognition of an indwelling power in themselves. He had accomplished his purpose.

The Physician had done his best, and now it remained for that which said: “I will come again.” It came again and has been coming again; it came again in our great country with a force that is overwhelming, and what did it meet? Opposition. Was it not scoffed at, ridiculed, sneered at, dragged through the courts? Has it not had to fight for its very breath, and yet has it not succeeded?

That which was born in the cradle in America has grown up and matured in England. The thing is born again and the forces of hell and earth can never stifle it. It is here to stay. It is the second coming; it is the revelation of God to [34] human consciousness, the mathematical presentation of Truth. It is that by which the individual–when he understands it–may solve all the problems of his life.

I believe that prophecy can be so mathematically correct that you can determine the day and the hour of the crisis, just as a physician can foretell the crisis in a fever case. It is a hopeful thing. Let us not despair because of the terrible thing portending; let us rather repeat the encouraging words, the admonition of Jesus: “When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads;–for your redemption draweth nigh”–your salvation is nearer than you think.

Already the fields are white for the harvest. You who are studying this new-old demonstrability of Truth, have in you that which is sacred, that which is sweet, that which is powerful. Hide it not under a bushel; use it not merely to personal purpose: the world has need of it. Circulate your literature, talk whenever you have an opportunity. Be not ashamed; there will come a pentecostal morning when you will tell the Truth to the world. Some may scoff and some may say that you are intoxicated; but if you are it is with the Spirit of God, inflamed with the Master’s compassion for a suffering world.

You mission is a marvelous one. The second coming is taking place every day you study, every day you search the Scriptures, every day you enter into the silence and realize your unity with God.

Chapter 3

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