…religion springs from within.
The inner apprehension is the reality; the forms of service and thought in which the experience is expressed are the evidences that the reality has indeed been found. There is an inmost centre where dwells this reality, a well of water springing up into everlasting life. This is the true source of wisdom, love, and power. He whom the Father has touched finds himself in that centre, and knows by the fruits of life that it is the real heart.
To live from the centre consistently, hence to be religious through and through, is to be aware of a guidance emerging from the sacred recesses and reaching into the whole of life.
Thus to emphasise the inward light is not to minimise the special times and seasons which men have set apart for prayer, responsive service, and objective worship; or to ignore the creeds and institutions in which the religious life has been expressed. All these have their place. Yet there comes a time when the prayer that never ceases takes the place of occasional efforts, the silent prayer being expressive of the soul’s attitude in acknowledgment of the divine presence. There comes a time when work and worship are identical and constant. That is to say, life becomes centred once for all in the sources of all wisdom and power, no longer fluctuates between inner and outer. There may still be reasons for withdrawing from the multitude, not because the soul has lost hold of the sources, but that one may be newly strengthened to meet a severer test of faith. Thus to know, to live from and return to the centre is to have religion in the profoundest sense.
To realise the presence of God in the modern sense is to start with God as the centre, reality, life; and to find oneself all anew as grounded in His being, thinking only because of Him, living only through His life, loving because He loves.
We have a work to do in the world. Hence we need a method of development. Thus our definition of religion implies various interpretations of the divine nature, the human self, regeneration, meditation, service, and other aspects of the spiritual life.
What we become aware of is the life we are prompted to follow as our own…
– excerpts, Horatio W. Dresser,“The Nature of Religion,”
The Religion of the Spirit in Modern Life, 1914.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her,
“Will you give me a drink?”
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,
but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.
Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water
welling up to eternal life.”
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
John, chapter 4,
verses 7, 13-14, 23-24