When (Jesus) finished the Sermon on the Mount, which has been looked on as the very essence of idealism, what was the impression He left upon His hearers? That of an impossible idealist announcing an impossible program? Hardly.

He did not use such words as “I hope so,” “I think so,” “perhaps,” “it may be,” but such words as “Verily, verily [in truth], I say unto you.” … He was declaring what is, and bade men to relate themselves to that reality. … He did not say, “Blessed will be the poor in spirit,” but “Blessed are”–He was announcing facts operative here and now.

The Sermon on the Mount breathes the air of realism in every line. In cutting the root of murder at the place of anger; the root of adultery at the place of looking; the root of false swearing by abolishing all swearing; the root of wars and clashes by forbidding all revenge and all hating of enemies; the root of all unrealism and play-acting in giving of alms, praying and fasting; the root of Mammon [greed, the promise of wealth] by repudiating its sway; by getting rid of anxiety about tomorrow and living for today; by ceasing to have critical attitudes toward others and judging them; by the application of the Golden Rule to human conduct; by insisting or the entering into life through discipline–entering a narrow gate; by emphasizing that good fruit can only be had from good trees; by summing up the whole thing in His insistence that the man who acts on His way will be a man whose house is on rock and will thus be able to stand up against life when floods and storms do their worst–in all these things there is stark realism. He lays it all down with an air of finality: take it or leave it, but this is the way to live.

And yet it was free from dogmatism and fanaticism. There was an air of quiet certainty that did not need to rave or pile adjective on adjective to enforce dubious statements: He seldom used adjectives–He stripped language of all verbiage and reduced it to fact. The language and the fact are so intertwined that they seem like the words and music of a song.

But that reality, He insisted, should be tested both in Himself and in them (his listeners and followers) by a simple realistic test: “By their fruits ye shall know them”–the outcome is the criterion. You cannot tell what life is except through its manifestations. Through the centuries no better test has been discovered.

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

Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes

And seeing the multitudes, (Jesus) went up into a mountain:
and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

Blessed are the poor in spirit:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn:
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek:
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful:
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart:
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers:
for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you,
and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad:
for great is your reward in heaven:
for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Matthew 5:1-12

Posted in Comfort, Heaven, Honesty, Inner Life, Joy, Life, Mercy, Peace, Power, Reality, Receiving, Vision


We learn to give forth love in learning to forgive our enemies. Then we learn to give a forgiving and healing love to all who cross our paths and need our love. Finally love flows through us spontaneously and naturally to both man and beast–and completing the circuit, flows back to us again from God.

As we practice the work of forgiveness we discover more and more that forgiveness and healing are one. We find indeed that all forms of prayer fuse into a high consciousness of God. Thus the break in the pipe line that connects us with God who is Love is mended, and the Water of Life fills us to the brim and overflows into our homes and workshops and churches.

This inrush of God’s Holy Spirit heals us–naturally. But it does far more than that. Indeed, as we pursue the spiritual life we lose sight of physical benefits in our increasing vision of God Himself. We find after a while that we desire God more for His own sake than for ours.

And in the end we offer up ourselves, both flesh and spirit, to God for His purpose: the bringing in of the Kingdom of God on Earth.

 – Agnes Sanford, The Healing Light, 1947

… in my flesh shall I see God.
Job 19: 26b

Posted in Forgiveness, Giving, God, Healing, Spirit, Vision


Religion is not a business by and for itself, which a man may practice apart from his other occupations, perhaps on certain fixed days and hours; but it is the inmost spirit, that penetrates, inspires, and pervades all our Thought and Action… That the Divine Life and Energy actually lives in us, is inseparable from Religion… But this does not depend upon the sphere in which we act…
Nothing more is essential than that we should recognise and love our vocation as the Will of God with us and in us.

(The true religious man) conceives of his World as Action, which, because it is his World, he alone creates, in which alone he can live, and find enjoyment of himself…

He wills it, because it is the Will of God in him, and his own peculiar portion in Being. And so does his Life flow onwards, simple and pure, knowing, willing, and desiring nothing else than this,–never wandering from this centre, neither moved nor troubled by aught external to itself.

Such is his Life.

 – Excerpts, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, The Way Towards the Blessed Life
Translated from German to English by William Smith, 1849.

He who examines into a perfect law
–that of Liberty and steadfastness–
becomes not a forgetful listener,
but an active worker;
he will be happy through his own activity.

James 1:25

Translation by Ferrar Fenton
The New Testament in Modern English, 1906.

Posted in Faith, Freedom, Giving, Inner Life, Receiving, Truth, Vocation, Work


We should think of God, not only as Principle, forever pushing forward into expression; but as Infinite Person.

There is something in the human mind that desires to think of God or Spirit as Person. Anything which has been in the human mind since time began–anything we are unable to erase from the human mind as a deep urge–arises out of Reality.

In each one of us, to each one of us, through each one of us, something is personalized … Spiritual evolution should make the Infinite not more distant; but more intimate.

 – Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind, 1938

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life,
to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness]
of the Lord
and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.

Psalm 27:4

Amplified Bible
Classic Edition
Copyright 1954, The Lockman Foundation

Posted in Asking, God, Inner Life, Life, Mind, Prayer, Reality, Spirit


God’s light shines both within us and without us, and by learning to receive Him within we begin to perceive Him without.

This being so, let us gladly seek Him without as well as within. As we fill our beings morning after morning with His light, let us also fill our days with His over-ruling guidance and help and protection. Let us give thanks that His power is working not only in us but also in the world outside of us. Let us bless the day through which we are about to walk and lift it up into the light of His love. Let us invoke His blessing on everything that we intend to do during the coming day … And if we do not know what we should do that day let us offer it to Him, asking Him to use it according to His will. Sometimes He has His own plan for the day, and for that reason we have been unable to make one.

On days that we have given Him we must be particularly quick to hear and heed His voice, lest we miss the very opportunities that He is sending us. For the Holy Spirit that spake through the prophets speaks both through us and to us today, in the kindliest possible manner, and we need only still ourselves to feel His presence.

We are continually amazed and delighted that God will talk to us, that He loves us, that the guiding Intelligence of the Universe really cares for our small concerns. His lavishness overwhelms us and His humility humbles us. For as nothing is too great for Him, so nothing is too small.

In all these tiny ways I find that a meditation which began for the purpose of healing has become really a prayer for at-one-ment with God, or harmony. By daring to try God and see whether His promises are true, I have regained a measure of that instinctive faith of the very young or the very simple.

 – excerpts, Agnes Sanford,
The Healing Light: The Art and Method of Spiritual Healing, 1947.

By Periods GOD created that which produced the Solar Systems;
then that which produced the Earth.
But the Earth was unorganised and empty;
and darkness covered its convulsed surface;
while the breath of GOD rocked the surface of its waters.
GOD then said, “Let there be light;”
and light came.
And GOD gazed upon that beautiful light…

Genesis 1:1-4a
“translated direct from the Hebrew by Ferrar Fenton,” 1903
(complete edition of Fenton’s translation of the Bible)

Posted in Atonement, Creation, Faith, God, Guidance, Healing, Inner Life, Light, Listening, Prayer, Receiving, Silence


They live by the Spirit who know that Spirit as it is personally perceived, as it illumines each soul. The Father has a special message for each which he will declare to those who listen in peace, in love and humility.

It is (in the inner life) that the Spirit is found, there that one finds rest and food for the soul–in the kingdom of silence, the home of peace, of hope, and freedom; the starting-point in all that is noblest in humanity, the dominion of the Christ ideal.

The power of those lives which are inspired by the Spirit consists more in their attitude as centres of well-poised spiritual power than in their thought. … It is when the peace and love of God have entered the life, become the motive factors of one’s very existence, that they touch other lives, quickening and inspiring them, even though no word be spoken.

 – Horatio W. Dresser, Living by the Spirit, 1903.

If we live in the Spirit,
let us also walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 5:25
King James Bible

Posted in Christ, Freedom, God, Growth, Guidance, Hope, Inner Life, Life, Love, Peace, Receiving, Silence, Spirit


The almost startling fact of the essential oneness of the human with the Divine, was the realisation and the teaching of Jesus. That the Divine works in and through the human in the degree that we are able in our own lives to realise it as the Source of our strength, and the Essence of our lives, and to give allegiance and therefore potency to no other power–such is the revelation and the message that distinguishes him as a teacher above all others.

A sense of dependence upon the Divine guidance and power gives that appropriate humility which is always combined in those of real wisdom and power. It is a part of their life; it is indeed a part of their power.

In all his thought and in all his acts Jesus gave allegiance and acknowledgment to this guidance and power–Of myself I can do nothing [John 5:30a]; it is the Father that worketh in me. [from John 14:10] “Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.” [Luke 18:19; Mark 10:18] “Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in Heaven.” [Matthew 23:9]

To know God whom the Christ revealed, and to know him in the manner as by him revealed, is to become happy and strong in the conscious actualising of the Divine leadings and forces and powers that are potential within us, but that the Christ revealed and explicitly enjoined upon us to realise and use.

 – Ralph Waldo Trine, In the Hollow of His Hand, 1919

Don’t you believe that I am in the Father,
and that the Father is in me?
The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority.
Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

John 14:10
The Bible, New International Version

Posted in Affirmation, Christ, Faith, Freedom, Guidance, Jesus, Listening, Peace, Receiving