SANCTUARY

If men always maintained a sanctuary of the spirit in the inner life, it would not be necessary to seek “the silence” self-consciously. It is inner silence as a habit that is desirable.

The ideal is to penetrate beyond mere self-consciousness to the holy of holies, to uplift the soul in worship, breathe a silent prayer to the Father.

It is a law of the spiritual life that renewed consecration is the beginning of all fresh activity; and the silent communion at its best is consecration. … (it) is a glad moment of recreation on the part of the man who worships God “in spirit and in truth.” It is a rediscovery of the primal sources of the spiritual life on the part of those who no longer find values in external symbols. It is the natural act of the self-reliant soul, an expression of the freedom of true individuality; and hence valuable as a means to an end.

It is a revelation to many people who have sought to enter fully into the present to discover how largely their consciousness is ordinarily concerned with distant things. The attention is constantly turned here and there by thoughts that disturb one’s repose. The past is regarded with regret, the future with fear and suspicion. … The thought occurs that perhaps one ought to be elsewhere, instead of taking time for a quiet meditation.

Consequently, if you really wish to profit by a half-hour’s meditation make up your mind to put aside everything else. If duties occur to mind, decide when you will attend to them, and immediately dismiss them. When the past comes up laden with regret, leave it to bury its own dead. Tell the future that you will attend to it when it arrives. If part of your consciousness is flying north, part south and the rest up and down, call it in from all directions, as if you were drawing in an arm, gathering your forces unto yourself. … When the mind flies off again, bring it back. Yield yourself to the moment in full enjoyment. Disconnect from the rushing currents of modern thought … Do not simply banish all thoughts from your mind,, but whatever you think let your thoughts radiate, as it were, from the eternal present. Remember that you are a soul dwelling in eternity. Live in the thought of eternity for a while, and let the world of time rage on.

– Horatio W. Dresser, The Power of Silence, 1905.


Jesus said to him,
I AM the Way
and the Truth
and the Life

John 14:6a

Posted in Affirmation, Freedom, Guidance, Inner Life, Listening, Mind, Rest, Silence, Thought

MOTHERS DAY, 2019

Proverbs 31:10-31
The Bible in Modern English; Section the Fourth
Translated by Ferrar Fenton
Fourth Edition, 1906

The Good Wife

(Translator’s Note – Every couplet of the following exquisitely beautiful poem begins in the original with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet: the first with A [alef], the next with B [bet], and so forward to Th [tav] the final one. I am not able to reproduce this, but in all other respects my translation is word for word and line for line, as in the whole of Solomon’s writings, so as to preserve his literary form. – Ferrar Fenton)

Who ever finds a clever wife,
Her worth is more than pearls.
Her husband’s heart can trust on her,
And he wants no supply.
She gives him comfort in his grief,
While she remains alive.
She works up the wool and the flax,
And spins them with her own hands.
She, like the merchants with their ships,
Will bring home food from far.
Will rise at dawn to fix housework,
And give food to her girls.
She will survey and purchase a field;
Her profits plant the farm.
She girds her loins up with strength,
Invigorates her arms.
She tastes her trading brings her good,
So lights her lamp at night.
Her hands are to the shuttle stretched,
The spindle she can drive.
Her hands give out gifts to the poor,
Her fingers help their needs.
Her family fears not the snow;–
Her household double clothed.
She makes herself rugs for her beds;
Her robes are purple lawn [ fine linen or cotton ] ;
Her husband’s honoured in the Gates,
Sits down amongst the peers.
She makes and sells fine satin cloth,
And girdles to the trade.
In strength and honour she is clothed,
And at the future smiles.
Her mouth with wisdom is unclosed,
Kind law controls her tongue.
Her household’s conduct she controls,
And eats not idle bread.
Her children rise and call her blessed,
Her husband gives her praise;–
“Many wives have acted well,
But you surpass the whole.”

Conclusion
A form deceives, and beauty fades;–
A wife who fears the Lord is grand;
Give her the product of her hands;
Praise her works in the Gates.


When Jesus went into Peter’s house,
He saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever.
He touched her hand and the fever left her;
and she got up and served Him.

Matthew 8:14-15
Amplified Bible
Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation

Posted in Comfort, Giving, Guidance, Healing, Jesus, Kindness, Life, Trust, Vocation, Wisdom, Work

ETERNAL SPRINGS

We have seen life gathered up into one central grand meaning–that meaning is Christ. We feel that He represents Life and only as lesser life gets into contact with Him does it live. We offer Him to the inwardly disrupted as the One who can put them together and can keep them together. For it is no temporary Pollyanna healing which He offers–He offers what men need so desperately, namely, forgiveness, reconciliation, assurance–assurance that at the heart of things is a Heart, that God loves and cares and His love will not let us go. Moreover, He offers no spiritual coddling as the remedy, for He offers the Kingdom of God as the strenuous Cause for which a man may live, and if necessary, die.
The man now feels he is no longer orphaned, alone, estranged, he is related to Life and that Life is warm and tender and personal. When Jesus was hanging on His cross He did not say to John, “Now, please look after My mother.” He did not lay on him a duty. Rather He established a relationship: “Son, behold thy mother;” and as soon as John saw and felt that relationship the duty flowed from it naturally. If he was a son, then, of course, he would take care of his mother.

That incident lets us see the method of Jesus. He does not lay on us a set of rules and duties, rather He establishes a relationship–a relationship with God. He says to us, “Son, behold thy Father,”–He reveals God to us as a Father and man to himself as a son; and when once we grasp that central fact, then everything else flows from it, flows from it like a fountain from a hillside fed by eternal springs. Life now has infinite meanings, infinite goals, and infinite resources. And deepest of all, life has now an infinite fellowship, infinite and yet very personal, for it is all very personal in Christ.

He offers Himself as the object of our love because He first loved us and gave Himself for us. It is all very, very real.

 – E Stanley Jones, Is the Kingdom of God Realism, 1940


Jesus:
I came that they may have life,
and have it abundantly.
John 10:10b

God:
I will not leave you
nor ever forsake you.
Hebrews 13:5

Posted in Atonement, Christ, Forgiveness, God, Healing, Hope, Jesus, Life, Reality, Trust

EASTER

Eternity is not too vast for a soul to grow in, if the soul wills to grow.

“If a man die, shall he live again?” Our heart as well as our head seeks an answer. Knowing that such a hope is reasonable is not enough; we wish to feel that it is true. Here again God meets us, not only with an outward promise, or through the voices of nature, but with an inward conviction born of acquaintance with himself. We hear the answer when we first find him, but it grows as we learn to know him better. This is the apostle’s assurance: “I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” “Learn of me,” said the Master, “and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Yes, in this experience we even cease questioning. We know him and we trust. On his love we rest. Why should we reckon with the grave? Our Father this side shall be our Father beyond. We are trusting him here; we can trust him there.

– Rufus Jones, The World Within, 1921


 Jesus said to her,
“I am the resurrection and the life.
The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;
and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”

John 11:25-26.

Posted in Death, Eternity, Heaven, Jesus, Reality, Trust

NEW BIRTH

To become actively responsive to the divine life, we must be strong in our hope, firm in faith, that we may be helped into a spiritual state, in which we are habitually in the affirmative.

It is the affirmative attitude which quickens us to gain spiritual wisdom. By wisdom in contrast with mere knowledge, we mean truth that has borne the test, knowledge we have dared to live by. It comes forth from our lips with the power of life behind it.

To cry out in our uncertainty, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief,” is to change from weakness to strength.

We often look with a feeling akin to envy on people who are cultivating their powers with no thought for the time being save for self-expression. … No energy is lost in self-disparagement. There is no effort to be self-sacrificing. There is expression, life, energy.

The newer theology expects everything of man (mankind), just because it is positive. We now see clearly that only so far as we come out of the strongholds of our self-righteousness and really live by the faith we profess, do we make any true headway. For no one died to save us from making this effort. There is no salvation through death alone. It is not a question of the sufferings upon the cross, or even of the resurrection; but of what followed through the triumphant life of the living Lord, whose second coming is through the inner Word. The union of the divine with the human was positive. It was a dynamic, life-giving unity. It meant a new centre of action in the spiritual life of the (human) race.

So, too, the new birth is a positive event in the life of the soul. It begins in all seriousness when we come out into the clear light of day, out of hypocrisy, and every device through which we pretend to be what we are not. Through the new birth, man is made constant. The will and the understanding are brought into efficient unity. Love comes to its own as the greatest power. To love in fullness or consistency means to set ourselves in motion to achieve what we love, namely, to attain truth, to work for it; to serve our fellow men, to show by our conduct that we really love the Lord. In short, the new birth comes, not to destroy, but to fulfill; and to fulfill is to attain the affirmative.

 – Horatio Dresser, Spiritual Health and Healing, 1922


The real Light was that which enlightens every man coming into the world.
John 1:9

So out of His fullness we were all supplied, with gift heaped upon gift.
John 1:16

(both quotations:)
The New Testament in Modern English,
Fourth Edition, 1906
Translated by Ferrar Fenton

Posted in Affirmation, Atonement, Freedom, Growth, Reality, Wisdom

PRICELESS POSSESSION

There are many believers in the inward light as the direct witness of the Spirit, the true reason for worship. Every earnest Christian has some experience of inward piety akin to divine love. We all believe that “the pure in heart” shall see God. But there is a further step … This step is into knowledge of the Inward Presence as power. It shows one how to enter into quickening Life through vivid realization of the love and the wisdom that are ours. It shows the way to a dynamic experience passing beyond mere meditation or worship.

… our inner world is a meeting-point between the spirit and a higher activity which can be utilized when there is need.

The priceless possession is intimacy of relation through spiritual experience in which the Inward Presence becomes an immediate source of guidance and power.

It becomes possible when we take seriously the idea that man is spirit and is recipient of Life ready to make him in fulness a child of God in image and likeness.

This inward quest might lead to self-centeredness if it were not for the experienced contrast between the inner mind and the outer. To enter more deeply into one’s mere self is not to find the inner mind at all. The priceless possession is awareness of the Inward Presence by being in the sanctuary of the Spirit where a higher light is shining. The kingdom is “at hand,” it is “within,” it comes “without observation,” bearing its own evidences, summoning man to seek it first and last. The particular self making the quest is secondary. The essential is the great gift made to the self seeking the Presence in all sincerity and devotion.

There is only friendliness and peace, with a Life ever present that is working for health and freedom. Even the world seems to have faded for the moment. To have the world given back is to have it bestowed as God’s world.

 – Horatio W. Dresser, Ph.D.
excerpts from Spiritual Health and Healing, 1922


…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking,
but righteousness
and peace
and joy
in the Holy Spirit.

Romans 14:17
The Bible, New King James Version

Posted in God, Heaven, Inner Life, Light, Listening, Peace, Power, Receiving, Spirit

GOD’S TRUTH

“God’s truth” is not a final attainment, but an ever-increasing illumination; it is the secret inward reality; the cause, the meaning, the relation of everything; it is that spiritual realization of conscious life in God towards which the human soul ever evolves throughout eternity.

God’s truth … is a gradual unfolding of the soul’s hidden capacities, accompanied by new and ever enlarging conceptions of the Infinite Originator, with an ever-increasing sense of rest and security in the Soul of the Universe.

(Jesus) emphatically avoided limiting to His single Personality the immanent divine nature which was so conspicuously, so perfectly manifested in Himself. He claimed it for humanity as a whole. He made it clear that He was humanity at its climax, and He taught that what He was all men could be, and were ultimately predestined to be, for that His nature, His spirit, the divine sonship so transcendantly uniquely embodied in Him, was potential and dormant in every man, and that, when awakened, yielded to, co-operated with, it would energise within all … the ideal humanity in each one, until each in his turn attained unto the “measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” This I understand to be … the truth that Jesus is the manifestor of the humanity in God and the divinity in man.

(That truth) is yours in trust for others. … The sanctification of others by your truth is effected by being rather than doing. …Every member of the (human) race who quietly lives the higher life, though he does not possess much, and cannot do much, by just being pure in his life, sweet in his temper, devout in his spirit, self-controlled in his actions, frequent in prayer, slow to anger and of great kindness, contributes to create that atmosphere of godliness which re-animates, uplifts, inspires the human race. It is God’s eternal counsel that the mass of moral evil in the world shall be transformed by the secret, silent, almost unobserved power of good.

Be good and you will do good.
Live the truth and you will sanctify by the truth.

 – Basil Wilberforce, D.D.
Archdeacon of Westminster; Chaplain to the House of Commons
from “God’s Truth,” Preface to
Sanctification by the Truth: Sermons Preached for the Most Part in Westminster Abbey, 1906.


Lead me in thy truth, and teach me:
for thou art the God of my salvation;
on thee do I wait all the day.

Psalm 25:5


Pray without ceasing.

I Thessalonians 5:17

Posted in Atonement, Eternity, Giving, Growth, Jesus, Perfection, Prayer, Silence, Truth