E. R.—We have read the pamphlet which you enclosed with your letter. In reply to the latter, let us say that we do not help men by attacking their creeds in order to win them to the perishable idols of our own opinions. The world sadly needs the warmth and light and comfort of unselfish sympathy. In doing your duty, in striving after the best and highest that you know, you are doing all that is necessary. Do not trouble yourself about the many theological beliefs which seem to oppose and deny yours, but rest yourself in the assurance that—whatever may be true or false in the matter of intellectual belief—duty done, sympathy bestowed, and sin conquered are eternally true, are of the essence of Truth, and cannot fail of their meed of blessedness and peace.
R. C.—The 29th verse, 1 Corinthians, 15th Chapter, admits of a score of meanings, mystical, theological, philosophical, and otherwise, none of which, however, would be deemed satisfactory. Probably it has reference to some doctrine which obtained in St. Paul's time, but which is now obsolete. If so, it is a dead verse. "Let the dead bury their dead," and learn how to live for the good of the living.
E. E. K.—The quoter of the Burns' couplet on page 181 of our last issue evidently thought well to render it in English. This method is admissible, and sometimes, as in the present instance, preferable. We thank you for pointing out the inaccurate word "wrote" on page 202. Jesus, of course, did not write.
W.—Your letter is thoughtful and earnest, and it reveals the fact that you are not in such a "chaos" as you describe yourself to be; and if you "have not yet struck the right road," you are certainly very near to it. Your aspirations toward strength and goodness of character are the keynotes of divine harmonies which you will at last realize. They are infallible indications of what you are capable of accomplishing. Cherish them, tend them, cultivate them, and the pure and beautiful flower of Truth will gladden your spiritual eyes at last. That which a man aspires to be he can become. He can rise to the highest height conceivable by him, otherwise his aspirations would but mock and taunt him. Discipline your body with pure acts, your mind with pure thoughts. Continually fix your mind on noble things, not on ignoble, especially when you find yourself tempted. In this way you will every day be approximating more nearly to your ideal. There is no necessity for you to "have to wait until" you have "suffered" for your "past misdeeds" before climbing the spiritual heights. You can, by patiently and obediently passing through such suffering make it subserve the loftiest purpose of your soul.
We consider that the books most suitable for you now are In Tune With the Infinite, Character-Building: Thought Power, and From Poverty to Power, all of which can be obtained of the Savoy Publishing Company. Ponder deeply on what you read, and apply it to your life, otherwise reading will only confuse you. It is by earnest meditation that a man finds the Truth.
You ask, "Is it fair that the sins of the fathers should be visited upon the children to the third and fourth generation?" No, it is not, nor is it true. Ezekiel denies it entirely; see Chapter xviii., and particularly the 2nd, 3rd, 20th, and 21st verses.
R. K.—Have you not read into our journal something that does not appear there? We do not "constantly repudiate dogma and creed," much less "abuse" them. We merely do not teach them. We teach the highest charity, and goodwill.—You, of course, have perfect liberty to reject anything we teach, but if you more deeply investigate the matter in the light of the principle of justice, you will find that the cause of individual environment is in the man, and that the man is not the result of environment. Circumstances can only affect man as the reaction of his own thoughts.
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More Articles by This Author James Allen
James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.