B. S.—You ask, "What is meant by the 'New Thought'...Are they old thoughts clothed in new language and presented in a different manner? Please say of what the 'New Thought' consists."
Answer—By the term "New Thought" is meant that cloud of new ethical ideas which burst upon the world about two decades ago, chiefly on the American Continent, and which have now crystallized into various religious and ethical schools under the terms "Christian Science," "Mental Science," "Divine Science," "Psycho-Therapeutics," "Mental Healing," etc. There is nothing essentially "new" in the "New Thought"; it is only new to this age. It consists of old philosophical ideas and methods of personal salvation restored and re-adopted. Its most important and universal feature is that it deals with man's well-being here and now, instead of relegating it to the hereafter.
W.—You can rise above your present woeful condition, but you will never do it by mere wishing, nor by bemoaning your weakness. You can only do it by effort, and the effort must be of the right kind. You ask us to pray for you, but how should this avail, seeing that your own prayers, wrung out of anguish and agony of soul, have so utterly failed? There is hope for you, nay, more, there is certainty of complete conquest over your sin, but there is hope and certainty only in resolution and effort. You do not know this simple truth, and have therefore remained enslaved. You say you "know" that you "have power to do right"; but your whole letter shows that this is just the thing you do not know. You are laboring under the delusion that purity of heart can be obtained in some unaccountable way without working for it. And now let your wasted prayers teach you. Rise up, once for all, and be a man. Transform yourself. The way of Truth is very simple; it is this—you cannot have purity of heart whilst you continue to cling to and commit your sin; purity of heart will be yours when you cease to cling to and commit your sin. If you so earnestly aspire to purity of heart, you will be prepared to discipline yourself to the uttermost, for you cannot have purity if you are not willing to learn how to govern and give up your impurity; and this is our advice to you—resolve that you will rise at five o'clock every morning for not less than one month in order to meditate on your condition, and on the way of purity of heart and life. Resolve this and do it, and let us know the result.
S. C. C.—Your questions are as follows:—"When you say so often 'God is within each one,' do you mean that it is permissible to pray to that indwelling God? Is there anyone anywhere to whom we may pray?"
Answer—It is not only "permissible," it is necessary that man should aspire to, and learn to practice all that is good and pure and wise; and as goodness, purity, and wisdom are acquired and manifested, the Holy Spirit within is known. Eyes that love to gaze on evil, impurity, and folly cannot see the Highest. Petitionary prayer (the asking for unearned and unmerited favors) ceases when it is realized that the law of cause and effect is absolute, and that all receive the exact results of their own thoughts and deeds. Then the soul aspires to the knowledge and acquisition of all that is beautiful, holy, and true.
More from 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.