“Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear”
Walter B. Adams
The Spirit of The New Thought
Edited by Horatio W. Dresser
[Mr. Adams was formerly an active member of the Metaphysical Club. This essay is from The Journal of Practical Metaphysics, May, 1897.]
These words must mean something. But do they have any significance of real value to you and me? If so, wherein do we give evidence of it? Do we not find fear the dominating sense of humanity? Do we find it modified appreciably as a rule among conventionally religious people? “Religion is the life of God in the soul of man,” says Lyman Abbott. God and Perfect Love are one. The use of religion is to promote happiness; not alone nor especially in a future life, but now. Indeed religion is necessary to real happiness. How much real happiness is possible to one whose life is dominated by a sense of fear? You must have observed that general conversation is largely an expression of fear concerning all things.
The present moment would usually yield contentment enough if it were not wrecked by the fear of the next and successive moments.
“Some of your hurts you have cured,
And the sharpest you still have survived;
But what torments of grief you endured
From evils which never arrived.”
How much Perfect Love does a man have whose mentality is saturated with fear?
Here is a man nearing the close of an active life. He has been devoutly religious in all external observances. For years he has conducted a Bible class for young men, and has been foremost in church work. He has been rigidly orthodox in his views. He has been abundantly successful in business and has shared his income most generously with the less fortunate. What bearing has his religious life had upon his happiness? Observe him. He wears habitually a look of depression and melancholy. Upon inquiry we learn that he suffers from the “disease of apprehensiveness.” Among other things the fear of death haunts him, and altogether he has no peace.
But he is to find happiness in the next life because of his faithfulness to his religious belief in this! Is there any sense in this explanation?Decidedly not. There is something radically wrong in the conception and practice of his religion. After a life-long religious experience he seems to have nothing helpful to give out except his money. The beauty or utility of religious truth is usually not half told. Its relations to man’s moral needs, esthetically considered, and to his happiness in a future existence are well emphasized, but what about the practical value of religious truth to every soul for health, happiness and prosperity now?
Experience teaches that many people who profess to believe in spiritual realities act in daily life as if the material existence was the only one.
A ruling consciousness of Divine Life in man is absolutely essential to his wholeness. He cannot ignore this law of bis nature without sooner or later giving evidence of it.
Religion misses its mark if it does not produce in man some sense of at-one-ment with the Divine Life or Perfect Love. Is living in a constant state of fear and great anxiety concerning all things consistent with the possession of an appreciable measure of Perfect Love? Belief about Perfect Love will not cast out fear; one must live under its spell. “Perfect love casteth out fear” is an ideal statement, and as we absorb it into our thoughts and attempt to make it the rule of life we may grow into some realization of its beauty and freedom. Perfect love and perfect trust are synonymous. Our energies must be directed toward the upbuilding of the inner-man. The abiding well-fare of the outer-man is dependent upon it.
Every chronic sufferer must realize that fear plays an important part in his undesirable condition. In numberless cases the relief from the tension of fear would undoubtedly mark the beginning of convalescence. Many people through the pernicious habit of fearing almost everything which experience brings, trivial or grave, are thoughtlessly preparing for themselves a dis-ease of some sort of more or less intensity. People discriminate carefully concerning nourishment for the body, but seem perfectly indifferent about the quality of their mental food. If Perfect Love will cast out fear every one needs it. Fear makes one nerveless. Faith is its antidote. The mass of people apparently do little or no real vital thinking. They drift along very near the surface. If we would manifest the divine attributes — love, power, courage — we must think on these things. The germ of Perfect Love is resident in every soul, and to grow into realization of it one must exercise the spiritual faculties. Love is a great power. Direct its rays toward all people with whom you come in contact — in the household, in society, in business — and you will find its reflex action of the first magnitude. See the good in every one. Emphasize it.
The more we become conscious of the Divine Love in us the more we shall manifest courage and poise and real happiness. Fill the mind with high ideals and a thousand fears die for want of attention.
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The Spirit of The New Thought
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