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The Way of Salvation

The God of grace and mercy gives to each that which he craves for. If we think that all is well with us, He will leave us to try whether all is well. If we find that there is something that is not well, something that must be set right in us, He will set it right.
—F. D. Maurice
You have not lost what God has only hidden. You lose nothing in struggle, in trial, in bitter distress. If called to shed thy joys as trees shed their leaves: if the affections be driven back into the heart, as the life of flowers to their roots, yet be patient. Thou shalt lift up thy leaf-covered boughs again. Thou shalt shoot forth from thy roots new flowers. Be patient! Wait!
—Henry Ward Beecher
Obey God. His laws to the snow-flake are designed to make it beautiful and useful. So are His laws to you. He tells the flake to put on such a form and go to such a place, and it goes without murmuring or reluctance. Obey God, and you will put on the beauty of holiness and bless the world.

There are a few points that I want to emphasize strongly, because many people study into the New Thought for weeks and months without making any progress, just on account of failing to grasp vividly certain basic truths.

Let us remember then that in order to fully realize heaven here and now, it is essential that we throw ourselves entirely and unreservedly into the endeavor to attain a perfect balance between the inner and outer man, keeping in mind the fact that the external is but the symbol of the internal, that as we maintain harmony within and hold ourselves—our external selves—responsive to this inner harmony we will express perfect health in body and mind.

We must not forget that in so far as we wish for our own good, and disregard that of others, we really take away from the benefits coming to us, for humanity is so related that that which brings benefit to one and deprivation to another is not real benefit at all. We should desire only that which will bring good to those about us if we wish to have the full benefit of the good ourselves. It is a false concept of life that considers only self, and one that will certainly reflect inharmony upon the body.

We must not dissipate our forces by frequently changing our object of attainment; but we must decide exactly what we want, and then earnestly set about getting it, feeling confident that we will possess it in time. Only in this way will we realize our desires.

We express disease or health according to the nature of our thoughts—according to how we direct and control our thoughts through the exercise of our God-given will-power. And there are different degrees of power. The more light that is shed upon our understanding, the more are we responsible for the use we make of life. Then, too, we must not only grasp the New Thought intellectually, but we must feel it in our inmost being, and live it. Those of us, who have much light and yet are too lazy or indifferent to live up to our light, will be far worse off than those who, knowing but little, yet live up to what they do know with sincere endeavor and earnestness. Therefore, let us put our entire energy into the practical application in our daily lives of what stands to us for truth. Nor are we to concern ourselves as to whether we are manifesting power so long as we know we have it. For power within is bound to leave its impress, in time, externally, in renewed bodily vigor and mental growth.

Above all things let us remember that we do nothing of ourselves; that it is God working through us, using us as an instrument for the manifestation of His power. Thus must we give the glory to God.

As we are freed from dependence on things outside ourselves and look within for that light which is the essence of God Himself, so will we cease to lament for that which seems hopeless, knowing that if we conform to the law of God we may transform all evil into good.

We must at last come to see that no matter how evil a thing may seem to be it is only evil in that it is a partial expression of truth, and that "when that which is perfect is come then that which is in part shall be done away."

It makes no difference how repulsive or discouraging a man's exterior may be, there resides within a potential god; and we may hate discord, disease, sin—they are all one—with a deadly hatred, and yet love the real man who is dwelling in darkness. Indeed, if we love the lovely, and long for its full revelation in every human being, we will not acquiesce tamely in present conditions, but will give ourselves, heart and soul, to the attainment of health in ourselves and in others.

Now just here we need to remember that while we ought to be passionately in earnest we must also be patient; we must not lose courage even if we cannot always see results so soon as we would like.

In the first place, let us reinforce ourselves with the thought that in God's great universe there is no such thing as failure. "Love never fails." If we do, then it is because we have not been loving enough. Yet, even so, the failure is only apparent, for there is in reality a steady progress toward the goal of life in its fullness. We must turn to Nature if we would realize this clearly, for there we see so plainly the element of periodicity. Winter succeeds summer; but it is not stagnation, death, or failure; it is merely the period in which strength is being accumulated for a new output. And so it is with man. He grows visibly only in periods, and then there follows a time when he is gathering force for the next plane of activity. Even those who seem most hopelessly sunk in gross sin are in reality nearing the time when husk-feeding shall be found unsatisfying. Remember, we do not all arrive at the consciousness of the self in the same way, but, somehow, each is coming to himself.

So, then, we might better give up trying to find persons in whom we can trust, for the personal element is always changing, and throw ourselves unreservedly on God who dwelleth in all men. Let us seek to become one with the Spirit; for then and only then can we become united with our brothers in a wholesome way. It is so natural to pick and choose our companions, to turn from the degraded and sinful and associate only with the good and true; yet that is not Love's way, for it is the lost ones whom Love lives to save.

But right here we must be on our guard against forcing the truth (in words) on anyone. It has been well said that " God screens us evermore from premature ideas," and until a man has grown ready for truth he cannot receive it—that is, in the form of the spoken word, for always love incarnate is timely. One must hunger before he can be fed; and it is in this sense that Christ warned us against casting our pearls before swine. In every case there must be the demand before there can be the supply. "Give to him that asketh"; and even God does not force Himself on us, but awaits our free approach. Always the initiative must come from within.

The trouble with this whole weak, sickly body of humanity is that we do not will to be well. We make no demand; we are lazy and indifferent. Truly, God is more willing to give us good gifts than we are to ask Him.

There is nothing selfish in desiring to be well and strong, but quite the reverse—that is, if we desire health because we love wholeness. Our selfishness generally shows itself in the other way—we will not exert ourselves to be well. It costs too much. In this matter of healing there must be no slothfulness, nor must there be a haste that indicates lack of faith. Patience, perseverance, and peacefulness must all play their part.

Do you not see that this whole matter of life is most simple, yet most heroic? When we once see the bond that unites us all to each other and to the Father—that bond of love which will yet harmonize all activities—we will abandon forever our false hope of being saved by an exterior force and will set about in earnest to the great work of self-unfolding.

Society awaits the racial attainment of true individuality, and this can be achieved only through our knowing and revealing in thought, word, and deed the God within. Then let us strive, each day of our lives, to become more simple-minded and more true. Let us pour out freely all that there is of us and trust the Father to guide us every moment in the paths of peace. So shall all the sons of God come, in time, into the unity of the faith, into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, and the kingdom of heaven be realized on earth.

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Charles Brodie Patterson

  • Canadian New Thought author
  • Born in Nova Scotia in 1854 and died on June, 22nd 1917

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