SUSTAINED IN PEACE AND SAFETY FOREVER
By Ralph Waldo Trine
At what now have we arrived, and what has been the process? From our own reason and insight, independently of all outside authority, we have found the great truth that a living insight into the fact of the essential unity of the human life with the Divine Life is the profoundest knowledge that man can attain to. This as a mere intellectual perception, however, as a mere dead theory, amounts to but little, if indeed to anything at all, so far as bearing fruit in everyday life is concerned. It is the vital, living realisation of this great transcendent truth in the life of each one that makes it a mighty moving and moulding force in their life.
Then we have also found that this same great Truth was the great central fact of both the life and the teachings of one who comes as authority to practically all the world, the Christ Jesus. That this was the one great Truth in which He continually lived, that it was the secret of His unusual insight and power, and that it was also the great Truth that He came to bring to the world, He distinctly tells us. That it was not only what He proclaimed He came to teach, but also what He distinctly taught, we have likewise found.
We have found also that the ripest life thought of the philosopher Fichte—he whose spiritual vision was so fully unfolded as to enable him to give to the world such a remarkable blending of the intellectual and the spiritual in his philosophy—was almost if not identically the same in reference to this great Truth, as was also his thought in regard to the life and the power as well as the mission of Jesus. And when I see day after day the wonderful results that follow in the lives of those who have entered into this living realisation, then I know that Jesus knew whereof He spoke when He gave the injunction, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” Moreover I do not believe, but I know, that whoever through this realisation thus finds the kingdom of' God will find His words—that all else will follow—literally and absolutely as well its necessarily true.All will follow in a perfectly natural and normal manner, in full accordance with natural spiritual law.
He who goes thus directly to the mountain top will find all things spread out before him in the valley below. He who thus becomes centred in the Infinite will find that to the same centre whence his inner life issues, all things pertaining to his outer material life will in turn be drawn.
The beauty of holiness is one with the beauty of wholeness. To know but the One Life is to live in the fact and the beauty of wholeness; and where wholeness is, there no lack of anything will be found. Also, if what we ordinarily term our Christian churches, and if the preachers who stand in their pulpits would fully and universally give themselves to the real message that Jesus gave to the world, then we would find that “the common people” would go to and would hear them gladly; there would then be no hard pressing social situation to face, for the people would then have a living knowledge of the one great Truth through which all other things would come.
This great transcendent Truth, however, that was the very essence of the life and the teachings of Jesus, has been even in our churches as good as rooted out and lost. And shall we conclude that because it is practically lost, the greater part of the time and attention of the preacher in the large majority of them is given to the empty, barren, inconsequential themes it is given to? Or is it because so much time and attention is given to the latter that there is no time left for the former? However this may be, it certainly is true that to a greater or less extent today we find identically the same conditions that Jesus found, and that He continually tried so hard to do away with. “Full well,” said He, “ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.”
Many a student comes from our theological schools so steeped in theological speculations and in denominational dogmas that he hasn't the slightest conception of what the real mission of Jesus was. What wonder, then, that the church to which he goes soon becomes a dead shell from which the life has gone, into which those in love with life will no longer enter, a church whose chief concern very soon is, how to raise the minister's salary? But once let these minor and inconsequential, not to say at times petty, foolish, and absurd, things be dropped, and let all time and attention be given to the great central Truth that Jesus brought to he world, and we shall find that during the next one hundred years, or maybe during the next fifty years, what will then be real Christianity will make more progress than what is now termed Christianity has made during all the nineteen hundred years it has been in the world.
The fact that during all these hundreds of years it has not accomplished more than it has is quite good evidence that something essential is lacking in it. The real soul-cry even of all Christendom today is the same as the injunction given by the native ministers of Japan to a noted representative of the Christian religion as he was leaving there not long ago: “Send us no more doctrines: we are tired of them. Send us Christ.” And the only way that Christ can be sent is by sending the great central Truth that He brought to the world, a truth so world-wide, so universal, that, so far even as the so-called various great religions are concerned, in regard to it there can be no differences, for from its very nature it is at the very foundation, indeed, the very life essence, of them all.
And so it is true in this sense that there is essentially but one religion, the religion of the living God. For to live in the conscious realisation of the fact that God lives in us, is indeed the life of our life, and that in ourselves we have no independent life, and hence no power, is the one great fact of all true religion, even as it is the one great fact of human life. Religion, therefore; at its purest, and life at its truest, are essentially and necessarily one and the same.
It is only through this living realisation of the essential unity of our life with the Father's life that true blessedness, and even true peace and happiness, can be found. The sooner, then, that we come into it, and thus live the life of the spirit, the better, for neither will they come nor can they be found in any other way. There is, moreover, no time either in this form of life, or in any other form, that we can any more readily come into it, and thereby into all that follows, than we can at this very moment. And when this fountain of Divine Life is once fully opened within us, it can never again be dried up, and we can rest assured that it will at all times uphold us in peace and bear us on in safety. And however strange or unaccountable at times occurrences may appear, we can rest in a triumphant security, knowing that only good can come, for in God's life there is only good, and in God's life we are now living, and there we shall live forever.
There is a simple method which will aid us greatly in coming into the realisation we have been considering, So simple is it that thousands and indeed millions have passed it by, looking, as is so generally our custom, for agencies of at least apparently greater power; we so frequently and so universally forget that the greatest things in life are the most simple. The method is this: wherever you are, whatever doing, walking along the street or through the fields, at work of any kind, falling off to or awaking from sleep, setting about any undertaking, in doubt as to what course to pursue at any particular time, in brief, whatever it may be, carry with you this thought: It is the Father that worketh in me, my Father works and I work. This is the thought so continually used by Jesus, who came into probably the fullest realisation of the oneness of His life with the God-life that anyone who has lived in the world thus far has come into, and it is given because it is so simple.
From it each can make his own formula. Jesus' term was “the Father.” Many will likewise find themselves naturally using the same term and will find it becoming very precious to them. Others will find themselves using other terms for the same conception and thought: It is the Father that worketh in me, my Father works and I work. In other words, It is the Spirit of Infinite Life and Power that is back of all, working in and through all, the life and animating power of all,—God,—that worketh in me, and I do as I am directed and empowered by It. In this way we open ourselves, and become consciously awake to the Infinite Life and Power that is ever waiting and ready to direct and work in our lives, if we will merely put ourselves into the attitude whereby It can work in them. In this way we open ourselves so that It can speak and manifest to and through us. This It is ever ready to do if we will but make for It the right conditions.
By carrying with us this thought, by holding ourselves in this attitude of mind consciously for awhile, by repeating it even in so many words now and then at first, we will find it in time becoming our habitual thought, and will find ourselves living in it without the conscious effort that we have to make at first, and we will in time find ourselves almost unconsciously living in it continually. Thus God as a living presence, as a guiding, animating power, becomes an actuality in our lives.
The conscious presence of God in our lives, which is the essence, indeed the sum and substance of all religion, then becomes a reality, and all wisdom and all power will be given us as we are able to appropriate and use them wisely; if for merely selfish, personal ends, they will be withheld; if for the greatest aid and service for the world, we will find them continually increasing. With this higher realisation comes more and more the simple, child-like spirit. With Jesus we realise—Of myself I can do nothing, it is the Father within me that doeth His work. In ourselves we are and can do nothing; in God we can do all things.
We never can be in the condition—in God—until through this higher realisation God becomes a conscious, living reality in our lives. Faithfulness to this simple method will bring about a complete change in great numbers of lives. Each one for themselves can test its efficacy in a very short time. It is the highway upon which many will enter that will by easy stages take them into the realisation of the highest life that can be attained to. To set one's face in the right direction, and then simply to travel on, will in time bring one into the realisation of the highest life that can be even conceived of—it is the secret of all attainment.
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