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.
So out of His fullness we were all supplied, with gift heaped upon gift.
The New Testament in Modern English, Fourth Edition, 1906
Translated by Ferrar Fenton