High Mysticism by Emma Curtis Hopkins
Chapter 5 — Works
When the Greek and Roman peasantry cried aloud to invisible Mercury, “Grant us magistral to poverty!” they received magistral to poverty. Their confidence was effectual. Confidence, or faith in anything, makes it work according to the confidence. “Faith in a dead sardine’s head’s healing power would make it heal,” declared the ancient Japanese.
Higher up in the scale of authorities there was Carlyle insisting that “conviction is not properly speaking conviction till it develops into action.” Then there was Paul the Christian convert finding that “faith without works is dead”; by which he meant that unless some kind of work takes place we haven’t believed anything.
Our globe has been called Number Five, the planet of works, since everybody and everything must accomplish something or be nobody and nothing: Sun, Vulcan, Mercury, Venus, Earth. Each to his feat, or opus, till some crowning bloom in earth’s garden of man cries, “It is finished!”
Earth, as Number Five, must perform The Great Achievement. The most wonderful achievements of mankind have been brought to pass by confidence in some wonder-working Unseen Power. Moses and Aaron had a five-pointed star at the end of their mystic wand which they swung high into some unseen perfect land. And when the workings of that land touched this earth they were called miracles: “And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven . . . and fire ran along upon the ground . . . and hail smote every herb of the field . . . only in the land of Goshen where the Children of Israel were, was there no hail . . . and Moses spread abroad his hands unto the Lord and the thunders and hail ceased” — even over all great Pharaoh’s land.
All work is redemption. It redeems a place or a people or a situation from one status into another status. And redemption is historically associated with Number Five: With five loaves did Jesus redeem five thousand people from hunger. With five measures of parched corn was Nabal redeemed from death. With five measures of parched corn was Abigail redeemed from commmonplaceness to queenship. With five encounters with the terrible Archelaus did Heracles redeem the whole land from misery. With five sling stones did David redeem all Israel from Goliath the terrible. With five men did Joshua give his people rest from their enemies on the side of Jordan toward the sunrise. With five wounds did Jesus redeem common mankind from ignorance of His Sonship to Royalty Triumphant.
“If a man steal one ox, let him give five oxen for the one ox,” and he shall be redeemed from the stigma of thief. He shall be restored to his former estate. He shall be reinstated. It shall be as if he had never stolen.
The sardonyx stone, which was the fifth stone of character building according to John the Revelator, was worn by the ambassador of the King. To him was given power to redeem such as were appointed to destruction. We read that Joseph wore the sardonyx stone as Vicegerent for Pharaoh king of Egypt; that Haman wore the sardonyx stone as representative plenipotentiary for Ahasuerus king of Persia; that Philip wore the sardonyx stone as ambassador for Antiochus king of Syria, and that each of these had power to redeem such as were appointed to destruction.
It has even been traditioned that Jesus wore the sardonyx stone as Ambassador Plenipotentiary for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but there is no written history for this tradition as there is history for the lesser vicegerents of lesser kingdoms than the whole earth.
“Five truth mumblings are self active.” Five eternal words were traditioned as written on the shining garment of Jesus the Glorified.
If we please to look up all that has been written about the mystery of Five we shall see how worthy is Number Five to be called The Works Lesson. It answers the Hindu discovery that the best doctrine is that which removes pleasure and grief from the mind; showing that doctrine is self active. So the Fifth, Works, must be a working doctrine, acting on the mind, which affects the body; which body is the working field of mind. Vision affects the mind. Mind is the working field of the vision, as body is the working field of mind.
Notice Hegel finding that “we always look toward an object before thinking it.” Mind glorifies or cramps the body according as the visional sense runs high or low. Nine hundred ninety-nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine diseases and pains were declared by the Parsees as having been formulated by low visioning acting on mind to afflict its body.
The best ambassador for any king would be he who should best understand his king’s mind and best carry out his king’s hidden wishes. There is One King of Kings and Lord of Lords, whose whole purpose toward His kingdom has ever been peace, health, wisdom, majesty even to the greatness and wisdom of His Own Self: “Look unto Me.” “I extend peace like a river.” “I am the Lord that healeth thee.” “I will instruct thee and teach thee.” These are the words of the High Redeemer inhabiting Eternity, whose way upon the earth is the saving health of the nations. The Ambassador Plenipotentiary for this High Redeemer said that the same fountain sendeth not forth both bitter and sweet. So when we have pain or poverty or sickness or misfortune of any kind we must have been looking away from the High Redeemer, who hath counselled, “Seek ye Me and ye shall live.”
Let us not be deceived by the poetic eloquence of any great poet or theologian who tells us that the King of Kings suffers or is grieved. For if He suffers or is grieved He must shed suffering and grief around Him, even as we when suffering and grieved shed suffering and grief in all directions. Those who speak of the King of Kings are not ambassadors understanding the Great King’s mind when they report that He is angry with the wicked every day, or that anything grieves or dismays Him. They are ambassadors for their own kind of king, and their own kind of king works his own way with them.
Notice that high potentate who spoke of Jesus Christ as a fable. Bespeaking no balm of Gilead in this “Fable,” the potentate was afflicted with an incurable malady; his fortune melted; friends failed him; his great ambitions faded on all sides. For there are some wounds on life’s pathway that only the Real Christ Jesus can heal.
Hear the Erythrean Sibyl prophesying of the Real Jesus Christ seven hundred years before He appeared: “All who style Him King shall be happy in His Kingdom.” Read the words of Zoroaster of Persia eighteen hundred years before the coming of the Anointed of the Heavenly King: “A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and a star shall appear at midday to signalize the occurence. When you behold the star, follow it whithersoever it leads you. Adore the mysterious Child, offering Him gifts with profound humility. He is indeed the Almighty Word. He is indeed your Lord and everlasting King.”
There is a science that runs like a river of light above all the sciences. It never changes its assurances. It tells of the Working Efficiency of One Lord Supreme and of how the language runs that describes the Working Efficiency.
It is the Mystical Science. According to its practice we never say we fight for the Lord Supreme, but “The Lord shall fight for us and we shall hold our peace.” We never say we trust a friend, but -All my trust on Thee is stayed.”
For, “Put not your trust in princes,” is the language of the Lord Supreme; “I will contend with him that contendeth with thee”; “No man shall set on thee to hurt thee.” “Fear not, I will help thee.” “Look unto Me.”
Mystical Science starts the New Language promised sometime to break forth from the lips of mankind: “I will turn to the people a pure language.” “They shall speak with new tongues.”
Whatever language mankind starts with shows that visional sense has preceded speech.
Man can throw his vision out toward damage for some neighbor and silently mentioning the damage in definite terms he will find it formulated in the experience of that neighbor. But “Add to your strength, knowledge,” said Peter. Is it not written that the man who imagined the damage of his neighbor, fell and injured the very limb he had imagined himself using with neighbor-damaging violence? David found out this law: “How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? Ye shall be slain all of you; as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.”
See how we need high watch with its high language!
People must learn the law of lifting up the face to the Lord Supreme who worketh noble conditions of life into view.
How shall we make it plain that power and vigor and plenty hail from above, with no need to maltreat or suborn our neighbor?
Things and people are often troublesome. Mystical Science teaches us to let them alone as if they did not exist, and look up to the Vast Vast Countenance for one second of time; maybe two seconds; to have nothing to do with them; to cut the threads of attention toward them. The Vast Vast Countenance saith, “I will set them in order before thine eyes,” “I restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten.” Have not locusts always been symbolic of domestic tormentings? Restorations hail from above. Expect greatly from above, and greatly shall restorations multiply. “Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
So is Self-recognition awakened. So is new mind built. So is hidden ability set astir. So ariseth the new race of which Jesus was the forerunner. No man has ever stood so boldly forth for. the Redemption of the God Self of man from the clutches of the mortality self as that young man of despised old Nazareth nineteen hundred years ago! No lover of his brother man so willing to die that He might show man his own God transcendence has ever appeared on this earth! He knew the ancient doctrine preached in many ways that man was the offspring of Satan with only one God glow in his being, and that the angels dwelling in glorious Paradise had asked each other who was willing to leave his heavenly home to redeem the God of man from the Satan of man and daringly declare to man, “For this cause came I forth into the world.” Why should not now the angels,
Sing oftentime the story
On heights of untold glory
Of the greatest one among them,
Christ Jesus and His love.
This Study is self-active in its treatment power. Do not try to delve into it; make the acknowledgments and let it have its Apostolic way with you.
It was practicing inborn authority over the Universal Servitor, when the wonderful Jesus cried, “Glorify thou me!” And when on the cross He acknowledged, “How thou hast glorified me,” He was seeing the obedience of the obedient God to His orders. His eye overlooked future ages, when He should stand to mankind as the embodiment of divine insistence — His Name above principalities and powers, and above every name that could be named.
Abraham was practicing inborn authority over the Invisible Servitor, when he said, “I lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth. — Whereby shall I know that I inherit the land?” And he was experiencing the obedience of God when a deep sleep fell upon him, and he saw himself famed for spiritual and material riches throughout all succeeding generations.
David was practicing innate authority over the Universal Obedience, when he said, “Be thou my strong rock! Deliver me speedily!” And when David’s little band of warriors had swelled into “a great host, like the host of God,” and he had been three times crowned king, he was in the thick of God’s obedience.
Gideon was practicing the same inborn authority, when he spoke to the Universal Servitor, “Show me a sign that thou talkest with me.” And when fires rose up out of a rock, and the Midianites and Amalekites and all the children of the East fell down at the sight of Gideon, then the Great Servant was obeying Gideon’s bold prayer of lordship.
Authority with the Universal Servant is roused in us, as in Gideon, to accomplishing vigor, by repeating the prayer of our inborn lordship, with firmness and sternness. (See Fourth Study.)
Authority with the universally present Divine Servant discloses authority with the particularly present divine Self, or Spirit of God vivifying each frame. “He that ruleth his own spirit is better than he that taketh a city,” wrote Solomon the discoverer of spiritual activities. This individually present Godship is that Self which obeyed Kossuth, when he addressed his own body, seeing it as charged with an intelligent entity, saying to it whenever it fell into weakness, “Rise up strong and active; be competent to do all my work this day; throw aside pain!” It was the God charging every molecule and atom of him with competent obedience that slowly stirred from its quiescence into energetic activity, intelligently obeying his orders, making him strong and healthy for the day.
“The self of the man who is self subdued is as the Supreme Self, or God,” wrote the Theophoroi of old. The Eternal Immanence is in the present tense exactly as in the past, and the still intelligence that waits at every infinitesimal pore of our human frame, today, as yesterday, leaps into action if we command with firmness and sweet sternness. So now let us according to orders, “Upraise the self by the Self; for Self is the friend of self.”
Every night of the life, before the eyes close in slumber, the immanent Godship swelling the self with possibilities, should be commanded what work we choose ourself to accomplish, and what type of character we choose to exhibit. “Awake up, my glory!” commanded David, and his glory awoke. “Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, 0 Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, 0 captive daughter of Zion!” shouted Isaiah to himself. And Isaiah transcended all the prophets that have ever lived on the earth; he was loosed from all dependence on the instructions of mankind.
The Self of ourself has a voice. Its answer is, “I can all that and more,” to every command we give it. Why should we fall asleep regretting the day or dreading the morrow, when we have an eternally abiding Self, quiescent, still, instinct with executiveness, waiting our firm insistence on Its action in our behalf?
Apollonius realized that he must be up and about the business of managing his own Godness, and he commanded the vitality of his own mind to remember all things, and the vigor of his own heart to beat with steady hardihood. And his mind did remember all things, even its relation to Universal Spirit that raises the dead; and his heart beat so in rhythm with the universal possibilities of himself that he was able to be in two places at once, whenever it was necessary.
“The upright shall have dominion,” chanted the Hebrew choirs under the leadership of David.
“Praise is comely for the upright,” sang the same Hebrew choirs; for the “I,” the Soul-Self, the God-Self is one with praise as with command, ready to demonstrate all excellence for which It is praised, as all accomplishings to which It is commanded. The voice of inspiration teaches us to praise Soul, the upright Self charging ourself like a Shekinah pillar of fire by night, and a straight cloud of glory by day.
Let us not speak dispraisefully of our “I,” our secret free Spirit, saying, “I am sick,” or, “I am discouraged,” or “I am inconsequent” — for this is speaking out of key with high truth. “I was free born,” said Paul, speaking in key with truth. So were we all free born, upheld by Free Spirit forever. By recognizing this we bring It to the front.
Lysias said, “With a great sum obtained i this freedom.” He had had to struggle to appreciate his free born “I.” Paul saw that no strenuousness is called for; that truth is mighty in itself, and whoever fights for high truth has forgotten its almightiness. Lysias represents those of us struggling to sense our freedom. Paul represents those of us sensing our free estate by simple recognition of our free Divinity.
“Lo, my sheaf . . . stood upright,” praised Joseph, visioning ahead when the Jews of all ages should owe their daily bread to his fidelity to praise of his own Self, maintaining his own vision of himself, even while in prison, as one instinct with majesty and virile with omnipotence. He had once had his ordinary senses entranced as in a dream, while his sense of Godness rose like an incense, and, remembering this, he told his fellow prisoners the import of their dreams, while yet his own dream was unfulfilled. He knew that truth is truth whether we are as yet embodiments of it or not.
Poets by setting their words and thoughts into tune with the soundless whispers of their own laws of Soul life, have often struck the chords of Self praise like wonderful antiphons: “Thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amid the war of elements,
The wreck of matter and the crush of worlds.”
“Wingless upon your pinions forth I fly,
My words begin to breathe upon your breath:
Shorten half way my road to heaven from earth.”
“It were a vain endeavor, though I should gaze forever
At that green light that lingers in the west;
I may not hope from outward forms to win
The passion and the life whose fountains are within.”
The muscles of the body can be trained to be so strong that they can beat down giants in pugilistic encounters. Thoughts of the mind can be trained to be so strong they can strike down opposing ideas on invisible mind fields, and paralyze the judgments of the brain so that judges and juries speak nothing, or, speaking, speak only nonsense. Muscles highly trained have won out against natural muscles, and thoughts highly practiced have wrought mental havoc. What shall we, who wish to be free and not to engage in warfare, do, when our peace and safety are menaced by foes of such giant physical and mental stature? We will seek unto God, the High Presence in the universe not affected by thoughts: we will seek unto Him present at our own headquarters, Whose years alter not, Who saith,
“These all shall perish but I, Soul, Self, shall endure.”
“Seek ye Me, and ye shall live.”
“No weapon formed against thee shall prosper.”
It shall not profit a man to gain the whole world by the prowess of his arm or the might of his thought. It shall only profit him to know his own Soul, uncontaminated offspring of Eternal Majesty, whose triumphs are already complete, ready to manifest.
Highest God and inmost God is One God.
Let mind no longer claim creative powers or accomplishing energies. The true work is already complete in Spirit, the Self that we praise. “I am all that and more,” answers Soul, our own “I,” to our highest descriptions. “I can all that and more,” It answers to our highest mandates.
Soul hath a strength of empire and an influential glory which it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive:
A strength of empire fix’t,
Conterminate with God.”
Our own Soul, our own free Spirit forever says, in bold faith, “I am Truth, I am God — Omnipresence, Omnipotence, Omniscience.” The outer appearance, the cocoon, the hard chrysalis, vibrates when the words of Immortal Soul are spoken silently or audibly, as the chandelier hums when its key note is struck, or as the brim of a bell resounds when its hidden tongue hits it.
Paganini said he could shake any building by maintaining the note that caused it to vibrate. By speaking the truth of and to our own Soul, or Self, we strike the true key tone to the body of flesh and its mind and emotions. We can speak in silent language or audible words the truths of the transcendental Self that cause health, happiness, and helpfulness to radiate; and this speech wakes the Soul type of man to walk on earth.
A great modern philosopher says, “The Spirit is ever rising up in wrath against the forces that would brutalize it; the Soul is ever striving for independence of matter.” But the truth of Soul is, that It ever dwells in calm majesty, striving against nothing. The heathen philosopher spoke more wisely: “Nothing can injure the immortal principle of the soul.”
“Truly my soul waiteth upon God,” sang David to a noble tune on a stringed instrument — “Truly my soul waiteth on God.” And the angry javelin of the angry Saul could not reach him, for he had keyed himself to uninjurable Immortal Soul, by voicing Its invigorating truth.
It is not what happens to us that makes us healthy, happy, radiantly helpful; it is what we harmonize with, and we harmonize with what we describe. The winds of misfortune and pain hit every one sooner or later; but they do not touch our Self. “Truly my soul waiteth upon God,” we sing. “My soul doth magnify the Lord,” we chant. We set ourself to the heavenly Soul key by praising our innate Lordship, our eternal identification with Divinity:
“‘Tis the set of the soul
That decides the goal,
And not the storms of life.”
The Hopi Indian praises the great power that shines behind the sun. The Parsee praises the great power whose shining creates the sun. We praise the great free Spirit that stands back of our mind, which mind was once to us the sun of our life. We praise the free Spirit that knows beyond the mind, which is saying ever, “I am God — I am Truth — I am Light” — and so we touch the law of the five. For when the fifth angel sounds, the sun and air are darkened to the vision of John the Revelator. He means, that by recognizing our divine, “I,” our mind ceases to be our supreme guide, and the sensations are forgotten.
There is a consciousness of cold, there is a consciousness of heat, there is a consciousness of stinging, and of falling or rising; so there is a consciousness of God. It is consciousness as in a trance; and John calls this the darkening of the sun and the air; for John is always speaking in figures.
He who has the consciousness of God knows beyond his mind, and wakes a new kind of body, in tune with the Infinite Immortal, the Lord Supreme. Nicholas of Basle once had this consciousness transcending his mind suddenly spring forth through all his being, and he found himself for a moment one with the Origin of knowing; and he said strange things beyond his previous concepts.
Praise and command of the divine Self of ourself always wakes the consciousness of our own superiority to environing disadvantages and ignorances. “Know Thyself” was written over the Delphic Temple. It is only the divine Self, Soul, free Spirit that is worth knowing, worth praising, worth commanding. Fight as though thou wert the fighter, but know that it is the free Spirit of thee that moves on the opposing phalanxes that try to make life difficult — and the free Spirit masters them though the mind and the flesh quake. Jacob trembled all night by the Jabbok brook, and his mind was afraid, but the Angel of God’s presence, with whom he had identified himself, fought his battle for him. “I have seen God face to face,” he said, “and my life is preserved.” “The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads.”
In the Fourth Study we are taught to practice the prayer of our lordship. John the Revelator calls this the smoke of the incense arising from the pit of our own infinite possibilities, for the Highest and the Inmost are one in infinitude. “And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.” And One came like a star from the skies, showing to all mankind their own infinite possibilities, through recognizing the identity of the Soul of each man with the majesty of Almighty God. The infinite possibilities of Soul, our God Self, are spoken of in the Apocalypse as “the bottomless pit.”
When Naomi recognized Ruth as her leader and guide, and the light of her life, she was recognizing Spirit, and forgetting her unhappy mind and emotions. “Entreat me not to leave thee,” said Ruth “nor from following after thee, for where thou goest I will go.” And Naomi, by her acceptance of Ruth became forebear of Christ the Saviour. So our Soul, our Ruth, is ever saying to us, “Where thou goest, I will go,” through the ages — always waiting in quiescence, in shining esse, for acknowledgment by praise and command.
“You cannot praise Me so highly that I am not more than you praise, you cannot command Me so greatly that I cannot work by you still more greatly,” ever whispers our secret Self.
The young Jesus stood up in old Nazareth and spoke of the everlasting Son of God, the Immortal Youth, the Unconquerable Divinity of man, and the Nazarenes tried to throw Him off a precipice, to destroy Him and His words. They refused to recognize their own divinity, their self renewing fountain of immortality. So old Naomi, accepting what Nazareth rejected, was prophecy that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head — or, that the vision of woman toward the ever fresh fountain of divinity should save the world from the hard rulership of mind and matter.
“When the mind no longer conceives itself to be the knower, recognizing that Free Spirit is the knower and the doer, then is man’s liberation from the laws of mind and matter,” intoned an illuminated Hindu sage.
It was by the recognition of His own Infinite Divinity, His own Godness, that Jesus of Nazareth discovered His ability to perform the greatest work ever accomplished upon this earth, and made Himself the Bloom in the Garden of Man of all efforts to accomplish great helpfulness by divine at-one-ment. He saw Himself as the fulfillment of the prophecies of the ages, that one should come who should be greater than death and pain and grief and all the hatred of all the human race. He saw himself so identified in the flesh with flawless, unhurtable Substance, that He could take to Himself all the pains and discords of the human race, and yet be not slain, and yet be nothing less than Divinity. He saw that whoever should in future ages acknowledge His accomplishment, should be set free from his own pains and discords, and should sense that Jesus of Nazareth, charged with His own divinity, was the Saviour of the world from disease and death, misfortune and decay, even here and now upon this earth, in the sight of all mankind. “Who gave himself for us,” said Paul, “that he might deliver us from this present evil world.”
“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” wrote Isaiah, visioning ahead when the Saviour of the world, as the arm of the Lord revealed, should not be acknowledged as having destroyed death by taking into His own body the sum total of death, and not acknowledged as having destroyed disease and pain by having taken into His Divinity- charged body the sum total of disease and pain, that all mankind might go free by the acknowledgment. Yet, “Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows — ” that we might go free from grief and sorrow. “He was wounded for our transgression, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
When Jesus came, the Bloom in the Garden of Man, of all the divine doctrines of earth, and charged Himself to the complete with the Divine Presence in the universe, He fulfilled the prophecy of the Jews that one should come who should be so at one with Absolute God that He could be slain and yet not dead, and diseased and yet immaculate, who should chemicalize out of existence, and thus make nothing, all the maladies of earth. The condition of other men being consciously and visibly saved by this exercise of His divinity should forever be, the acknowledgment of this accomplishment, “He that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”
“When thou shalt make his soul the offering for sin . . . the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”
What is the pleasure of the Lord?
“It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
As we each of us have a work which is supremely ours and no other can accomplish this opus, or God-ordained work, save our own self, so Jesus of Nazareth had His work, and His work was the redemption of mankind from sin, sickness and death, by the withdrawal into Himself, by virtue of His supernal Godness, all the sin, sickness and death of the universe, leaving the universe entirely without sin, sickness and death, thus making us to walk through a redeemed world.
This was His chosen work; and as it would be only fair for mankind to acknowledge the fact, if we had composed the greatest piece of music, or had built the most splendid temple, or discovered a wonderful law of mathematics, so it is only fair to Him, Jesus of Nazareth, charged to the supreme with Christ power, to acknowledge the completeness and splendor of His finished chosen work.
The inspired Scriptures are explicit on the subject of His successfully accomplishing in the large, what Elisha and Elijah accomplished in the small, in the way of taking death into Himself, that He might deliver them who through the expectation of death were all their lifetime subject to its bondage, destroying him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil, the lie from the beginning, abolishing death once for all. “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works — who bath abolished death.”
Gautama Buddha offered to bear the sins and the consequences thereof, which the Kali Yuga, or age of spiritual blindness was bearing, but he could not accomplish it, because he had not sufficiently identified himself with Divinity Supreme.
Elijah took the death of the Zarephath woman’s child into himself, and because he was so alive, so virile with spiritual fire, he chemicalized death into non-existence for the child.
Elisha took the death of the Shunamite child into himself, and because he was so strong and alive with the Spirit of God, he chemicalized the death of the child into non-existence.
It is a well-known law in some countries that certain people by putting themselves into certain attitudes of mind and sensation, which we would call the consciousness of God, can withdraw sickness and pain and disease and deformity and death into themselves, leaving the sufferer free from his sufferings. Manes, of the Manichean sect of Christians thus took the sufferings of a great many people into himself, leaving them free from suffering.
Catherine of Siena withdrew many diseases and other forms of affliction from unhappy victims, into her own self, and by virtue of her spirituality made them nothing for them, and for herself also.
John Joseph of Cocenza, a small city southeast of Naples, received into his own body the two terrible ulcers with which the Archbishop Michael was afflicted, and made them nothing by the chemical action of his awakened spiritual Substance.
This vicarious suffering is often taken in our own day, by sensitive and spiritually illuminated men and women, who are not awake enough to chemicalize the condition into nothingness, and so every neighbor wonders why spiritually sensitive and divinely illuminated people are so often afflicted in mysterious ways.
It is only Jesus of Nazareth in the history of man, who has understood how to consciously withdraw the wretchedness of the people into Himself, and make wretchedness nothing both for them and for Himself. He did it by the consciousness of His own God Substance, His own majestic, untarnishable Soul. And Isaiah the prophet, gave the assurance that all should go free from their own sorrows and sicknesses, who should acknowledge that Jesus of Nazareth, by the Soul, or the Christ splendor shining through Him, had borne their griefs and carried their sorrows, taken their infirmities and borne their sicknesses.
Mistakes of mind and action may be conscious or unconscious on the part of mankind. When mistakes are unconscious people may never trace the mechanical consequences of their mistakes in the misfortunes of daily life. The mother compels the child to study his lessons, not knowing that his eyes or brain may be weak, and in after years, when he is insane or blind, she is totally unconscious that she had once pressed his brain or eyes beyond their bearing point. The father compels his child to eat food repugnant to it, not sensing that his offspring naturally divines its proper pabulum, and when later the child has scrofula or consumption, the father feels that it is a great affliction, but surmises not at all his own guiltiness.
“Art thou come hither to destroy my son, and call my sin to remembrance?” asked the weeping Zarephath woman, for she belonged to a people and an age of the world which believed that it is someone’s mistake of mind or action, exhibited in result, when sickness or death or deformity or misfortune attacks anybody.
Keshub thunder Sen of the Brahma Samaj of India, told in England, that the mothers of India try to direct the sicknesses of their children into their own bodies, by gashing and striking themselves, feeling that they are strong enough to bear the consequences of their own mistakes, which the Hebrews would call sins, quite certain that by this vicarious suffering the children are set free from pains and sickness.
It is a law which has slipped the attention of the scientific men of our age, with the exception, perhaps, of a very few. Charcot of Paris discovered in the hospitals, while practicing healing by suggestion, that the malady of one person set free by his hypnotic will was found lodged in the next ward in some other patient, or even in the body of some person mentioned by his liberated patient.
Sometimes mental practitioners of today wake up in the morning with the pain of the person they have so faithfully treated, silently, with the noble affirmation, “You are Free Spirit, uncontaminated by disease or sickness.” If they are spiritually strong and healthy they throw off this vicarious bearing, but if they are not, they may keep this condition for some unpleasant length of time.
A certain New England healer of this sensitive type did not like to shake hands with sick people, because she caught their diseases, though they went free, and she was not aware of being spiritually strong enough to dispose of the condition she was thus vicariously bearing, and not acquainted enough with the offer of the Great Vicarious to acknowledge, “Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses,” and so pass it along to its annulment.
This is where the offer of Jesus the Christ — the vicarious bearer of all the sufferings and all the unwitting causes of sufferings, for all the world — the destroyer of karmic death and disease, should be acknowledged, which acknowledgment is the same as passing on all distress to the Healing Fountain: “Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses” — and “redeemed us from the curse of the law.”
There is no describing what world-wide liberation from suffering might be manifested, by making “His Soul an offering for sin” and its consequences, since the sacred promise remains on eternal pages, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.”
Peter and Paul among the early Apostles of the Christian doctrine were the most definite and distinct in proclamations concerning the mysterious mission of the Lord Jesus of Nazareth.
To the Galatians Paul wrote, “God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.” “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.”
And to the Corinthians he wrote, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.”
And to Titus he wrote, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity.”
In calling the attention of the Hebrew Christians to the majesty of the fulfillment of the law in the history of the Redeemer, he said, “We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?”
He further explained to the courageous Christian preacher to the Cretans — who were the famous liars of Homer’s time and of Paul’s time — that Jesus had given Himself for us all that He might redeem us from all iniquity.
It was reiterating the insistence of Jesus Himself that the “Son of man came to give his life a ransom for many,” when Paul wrote so boldly of Him “who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world,” “Who though he was rich, yet for (our) sakes he became poor, that (we) through his poverty might be rich.”
Paul does not try to argue us into the acceptance of the principles of vicarious suffering, and the liberation from suffering, accomplished by acknowledging who bath suffered vicariously, for Paul was a Jew of the strictest sect of the Pharisees, and it was to him the natural religion that one should be made sufferer for the transgressions of many.
David had slain the seven sons of Saul to stop the three years of famine in all Palestine, and no Jew of Paul’s time doubted that the cessation of the famine in Palestine in David’s time was accomplished by the vicarious suffering of the seven sons of Saul; and Paul had been brought up on the belief that the transgressions of many might, even as a religious sacrament, be solemnly passed on to some innocent animal in the wilderness.
He understood Jeremiah’s lamentation that great and small in his time were dying in the land, because of the sins of their parents, their prophets and their priests; and Paul understood also the unbelief of the scientific Greeks, and the hesitation of the Jews in accepting the vicarious accomplishment of the Universal Redeemer, because he knew that although it is a strict law of possibility, it is a subtle proceeding, and only the mystically visioned can truly see it in the world-wide as the old Jews had seen it in the national.
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness,” he wrote to the Corinthians, “but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
When we are told, every one of us, to make acknowledgment of our works before the Heavenly Father, it is a severe test of our knowledge of Scriptural information, for there we are told that no man has ever accomplished any work purely by the recognition of his own divinity, except Jesus of Nazareth, who hath “put all things under him . . . . to redeem us from the curse of the law… being the first fruits of them that slept, . . . abolishing death.”
Peter’s words are vivid and emphatic like Paul’s: “Who his own self bare our sins, in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness, by whose stripes we are healed,” for “Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh,” and “once suffered for sins, that he might bring us to God.”
We are all posited on this planet for the one purpose of accomplishing some great opus, or work of a unique and inimitable sort, by the recognition of our own divinity, our own free bold spirit, offspring of Almighty Jehovah, and we have the example among the multitudinous sons of men, of One who was the first fruits of them that slept in non-recognition of their own divine equipment.
“For now is Christ risen from the dead,” “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one.”
There is no respect of persons with God, and though Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the first to accomplish the superhuman, by the recognition of His own superhuman equipment, there is no reason why each one of us should not rise up and accomplish the super-mission which we came here to accomplish for the glory of our Father Eternal.
This is the great planet of achievement. Every individual upon it naturally seeks to accomplish some beautiful and praise-worthy deed. If we name the sun as the first globe of our constellation, we are the fifth of the round balls of our enfolding skies, and may easily be called the planet of works, achievements, accomplishings, labors: Sun, Vulcan, Mercury, Venus, Earth.
But although we are the planet of bestirrings, we must remember and acknowledge that only One of us has really accomplished His native deed of unspeakable splendor by full recognition of His own unspeakable, splendid Divinity. Tallier the mystic was persecuted by the Beghards and Beguines, and grand convent ladies, for telling them that the only work they could acceptably present before the Majesty on high was the Finished Work of the Lord Jesus.
The early Christians associated Number Five with the vicarious sufferings and death of the first human being among us to recognize Himself as God:
“Come tell me truly, to what truth
Should number five be guide?
The wounds of Christ in hands and feet,
And in His bleeding side.”
When David, who had read in Leviticus 20, that five should slay Goliath, he chose him five small stones, for he was about to accomplish the liberation of his people, a tremendous deed, by the recognition that his divine Self was coming up against an hundredfold powerful foe: “Thou comest unto me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield, but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts.”
Only David’s secret Self, or heavenly intelligence, knew the name of the Lord of hosts, but by recognizing that somewhat about himself was Sonship to Jehovah, he took his symbolic five stones of victorious accomplishment, and undid the heavy burdens, and let the oppressed go free. Had David not acknowledged the victory already inherent in the unspoken Name of the Lord of hosts, Goliath, the embodiment of bondage would not have been abolished.
There is a divine executiveness accompanying all high acknowledgments, as Paul also understood, when writing to the magic loving Ephesians: “God . . . the Father . . . may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, in the knowledge of him.”
As it has taken the light of some splendid stars thousands of years to reach our earth, so it has taken the best part of two thousand years for mankind to recognize the far reaching glory of the undertaking of the Divinity- charged Jesus of Nazareth. It takes the upward fling of all man’s cognizance of the law of vicarious suffering, to make him at this late day give honor to whom honor is due, and proclaim to the High and Lofty One inhabiting Eternity — “Christ Jesus as Emmanuel, or God with us, has borne my mistaken actions and their consequences once, for me, that I might be unloaded of my life blunders and be free to accomplish my own great task.
“Christ Jesus as Emmanuel, or God with us has once taken to Himself the mistaken thoughts of my mind and their consequences that I might be unveiled of my mind, and free with my bold Soul, my uncovered free Spirit, to speak new words of victorious truth.
“Christ Jesus as Emmanuel, or God with us, has once borne for me the burden of my human lot, that I might be unburdened free Spirit forever.”
“He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” “That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled . . . Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses, — … hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows — ” that we might not bear them.
All the learnedness of the world cannot compass the wonder of the mind of Christ, who knew all things and needed not that any man should teach Him. And the acme of His wisdom was His understanding of how to be God, glowing and transfiguring through the flesh, even to the annulment of all its moral liability; and how to transfigure the mind with new light, so that no more errors could darken it; and how to be so mighty with Omnipotence that all who should recognize Him should share His mightiness. Whoever confesseth that Christ hath thus actually once come through the flesh, partakes of the coming, and is himself sent as a worker of new work, and a speaker of new words.
Who is ready, by acknowledgment, to wash sometimes in this pool of Siloam, or complete negation of himself, in heavenly abandon to the great Scripturally proclaimed Neutral to the sin of the world, living, like Paul, only as “Christ (that) liveth in me?”
This is becoming dead with Christ that we may live with Him. “For if we be dead with Christ, we shall also live with him.”
It makes a great difference to us what doctrine we mine out of the Scriptures, and the Apostolic Christians surely minded there from the doctrine that Jesus blotted out the handwriting of ordinances against us, taking it out of the way, nailing it to His cross.
Abraham was the pivotal man of sustained faith in individual good due from the Universal Absolute.
Antisthenes was the pivotal man of cynicism, the doctrine of the absolute responsibility of the individual as a moral unit. Zeno was the pivotal man of stoicism, the practice of stern personal virtue as followed by Aurelius and Epictetus. Jesus was the pivotal man of achievement of the humanly impossible by the identification of Himself with the divinely possible.
The Chaldeans had prophesied of Him as the Lofty One to arrive among men. The Egyptians had foreseen Him as the Lord of the whole world to come among us. The Chinese had waited for Him as the Saving One to be born and die for the race. The Hebrews had expected Him as darkness expects light. The Sibyls had foretold that as a Saviour of man from his ungodliness should a free denizen of heaven come to earth to teach mankind of their own God Nature, and so redeem it from its hiding place in earthliness. “But,” wrote the Erythrean Sibyl seven hundred and fifty years B. C., “hostile man shall spit upon Him; on His sacred back they shall strike; gall and vinegar shall they give Him to drink; on a tree they shall hang Him; a darkness of three hours from midday shall cover the earth. But on the third day He shall rise in joyful light, and all who acknowledge Him king shall be happy in His kingdom.”
It is ours to let ourselves go bathe in the Siloam waters of yielding, under Scriptural orders, as meekly as the blind man bathed in Siloam of old, declaring the Scriptural doctrine of Christ Jesus as the first Divinity-awakened laborer in the vineyard, redeeming the world from sin, sickness, and death, that we might perceive with open eyes that we are walking through a finished kingdom, the arm of the Lord revealed. This is fasting from our sense of obligation to heal the sick, cast out demonic tempers, and raise the dead, since in Christ Jesus these works are finished, awaiting only acknowledgment to be plainly visible.
“Is not this the fast that I have chosen,” saith the Lord, “to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, that ye break every yoke?”
Let us go daringly free into Scriptural declarations, as this is pure Scriptural doctrine of vicarious bearing, mentioned distinctly to an age lost to all belief in the truth of the cross, though “all the light of sacred story gathers round its head sublime.”
Great signs shall follow them that believe in the Redemptive labor of the Divinity-awakened Lord of Galilee. They shall disclose the heavenly health of the redeemed world their opened eyes descry — the world free from sin, sickness, death, misfortune, mourning. “For there is a kingdom on this earth, though not of it,” said Balthazar, “that is a fact, as our hearts are facts, and we journey through this kingdom from birth to death without seeing it; nor shall any man see it till he first knoweth his own Soul.”
Speaketh Isaiah of his own Divinity-charged soul, or of some other man’s? asked the eunuch of Philip. Then preached Philip unto him, Jesus of Nazareth, the Deific Man of the first undoing of the shadowy mechanicals of human association, leading on the generations into new gerenda, or new works to shine forth with, through sighting with mystically opened eyes the Kingdom of Love and Life immortal and uncontaminate that lies all about us.
“When thou shalt make his Soul an offering . . . the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper.” . . . “For it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
This Sixth Study is a lesson in invocation. It is well to know what we are invoking. Whatsover we desire we are invoking it, and sooner or later it arrives upon us. Let a man draw himself to himself, and leaving all else choose what he will, and so it shall be unto him.
E. C. H.