Solomon says: "the path of the just is as a shining light, shining more and more unto the perfect day,"—The paths of life are varied and of diversified values. Each presents more or less of attractions for the wayfarer, according as he is predisposed. He may venture upon untried and unknown paths, but his experiences thereon determine his advance or retreat, so ultimately he chooses that path which leads to the fulfillment of his desires and to perfect satisfaction of his mind and heart. The path of the just must necessarily be without deviation, no matter how alluring and inviting the winding way may seem as it turns away into flowing brightness. A very definite result can only be obtained by directness of purpose, neither turning to the right or left, but going on straight ahead and refusing to be side-tracked. This path of the just can only be traversed by those who are just to themselves, and who render to all others that which is due to them. The integrity of the just man is shown in the measure of kindly justice that he metes out equally to friend and foe, for the quality of the just man is shown and proved by the unselfish service he renders to his fellow men whenever opportunity offers. The just man, like the master he follows, pours out his showers of blessings upon the just and unjust alike, and this is exactly the point the world cannot see or understand, but it usually results in winning the unjust from his unprofitable ways. The path of the just is made bright by the light of the great love he bears for all mankind and for every living creature. This love grows brighter and brighter and more and more radiant, until the path is illumined to its very end, the "Perfect Day" is the white light of Truth which holds within itself all the brilliancy of the perfect spectrum of a perfect life, and this light of a perfect love, includes all men within its encircling rays, and vivifies them with its own purity. In this white light there is a steadiness and constancy for its light is always shining. There is no variableness, neither shadow of turning in him in whom this white light of the spirit is shining with its continually increasing brightness, for this "Divine Self" is constantly unfolding within the soul and such a one cannot stand still in his progress along the path.
The glory of the Lord is shining more brightly day by day in the heart, and through the life of the just man, until he shines in his day of perfection in heaven, the home of the just made perfect. Let us meditate each day on these Truths!—"Arise shine for thy light has come and the glory of Jehovah is risen upon thee."
"The white light of Truth reveals the true and lovable self in everyone."
"The just man shows consideration for all and has intolerance for none."
"The just are those who pursue the shining path of life, and arrive at the perfect day of awakening in His likeness."
Tests in the Path
The path of life is marked by various experiences in which personality and spirituality seem to be in never ending conflict. Paul says; "The flesh warreth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh," and his experience is the same as all mankind. The soul is indeed a battleground and the valiant qualities of the mind are brought out to conquer and "to go over the top" of endeavor for personal dominion, to capture the trenches of pernicious habits, and redeeming the desolation of "No man's land" restore to the soul its freed and complete peace through the victory over self, the selfish self—but this victory is not easily gained. Sometimes there is triumph and sometimes there is failure, but always there is sure progress made through the lessons learned in either case. The persevering one makes every test a stepping stone to the next higher degree in his spiritual unfoldment. The personal self would make laws for the conduct of man in his outer life of contact with the world, but the spiritual or real self seeks to make known to man that which he should "be" rather than that which he should "do."—Every step is tested by the way, and man is tried every day in every plane of consciousness, and so every day brings new problems to solve, and he often falls short of his goal.—Paul again tells us! "Though I fall lam not utterly cast down, but forgetting the things that are behind I press forward," so we see it is this persistent refusal to be cast down or depressed or disheartened that makes the rebound stronger and the staying qualities of the soul more firmly established—Life holds many tests, often painful, for each growing soul, but strong tests are needed to make each one stronger and more positive, so if severe tests come to you, you may count yourself worthy as being made ready for the greater and larger path. Thank God for these overcoming tests in your pathway—they bring out the grit that is it you and build character.—Even in the family ties and in friendship there are many tests given because these ties often keep us in bondage and there are valuable lessons to be learned in these relations and we should be thankful for such tests. Thus we learn that there are two paths open before us in the way of life; the way of the sense-man and the way of the spiritual man, and we must consider most carefully both of these ways so that we may discern the true relation which each bears to the other, and make a just and right decision as to the control and direction of both—The greatest victory being over self, it follows that there must come a conversion to the "Principle" in which there is no variableness nor shadow of turning. The gentle yet strong spiritual self is returned to its place of dominion, where all that pertains to man’s progress in the "Way, the Truth, and the Life," is active in its own particular place; and a peace of mind is established, that the world cannot take away, from the lessons learned by the individual through his various tests. In meditation we must centre our attention on our true self, and all powers are then brought under its control and direction. We will then find that dependence upon the "One Power" is wisdom; for all else fails. When we trust the Indwelling Spirit to guide us through these tests, then we gain the victory.
Clear Vision in the Path
From the view point of the narrow limited vision of life, the soul cannot perceive the true values, and its outlook is dimmed by the contending elements of self and the senses!
The tangle and discordant expression in life of mixed and conflicting interests require the conscious "Presence of Spirit" that each one may unfold heavenward and become aware of the "Kingdom of God" which is within, and where perplexities do not abide. So in stepping out from this narrowed vision of life we begin the ascent which leads to an understanding knowledge of that "One Source" of all that is. Then our sense of kinship with the Creator deepens and we leave behind us the chaos and troubles, from which we have travelled, and ahead in the dawn of this new life, we know ourselves anew, and have a new and entirely different comprehension of life and claim sonship with the Father. Having recovered confidence and trust in the divine leading, putting aside all the worry over things we do not seem able to comprehend today, we learn little by little to live each moment in the light of Infinite Wisdom, which reveals each step as we are called to take it. So we learn to be quiet and strong and to do our bit each day in the world’s work, living steadfastly in the Truth, like those who look for the coming of that larger life which is now on the way within each one. The hunger and aspiration for that which will satisfy the soul is the "Divine urge" which impels the search for Truth and which leads to its own fulfillment within the heart. In the broader vision and clearer perception of the awakened soul we see that God is indeed no respecter of persons but that Divine bounty and beauty is for all alike. He who disobeys, and he who obeys the will of God receives the reward accordingly of the blessings of life and power to Be, but only he who obeys the Spirit receives the reward of a strong character, sweet and good. The action of the Spirit clears the soul sight, and the path is made plain which leads to peace. Then we realize more fully our sonship with the Father, and claim our inheritance of understanding and of power to accomplish. So in quietness and confidence we find strength to meet the occasions which test the soul, and come out on top stronger and wiser. The gentleness of the strong soul is impregnable, and great power lies in this gentleness so that peace and calmness are established in all that pertains to him, for gentleness is an outward expression of an inward virtue. When one acquires a degree of self control, the mind becomes gentle. And it expresses that gentleness in all its activities. A gentle child calls out the love and respect of all who meet it, and a gentle woman commands at once the esteem of all who come in contact with her. She is a lady wherever she goes and under all circumstance. Her very presence harmonizes her environment and calms those around her. Also we find a gentle man is a centre of a very reverential respect in whatever station his social or business life is cast. We see men instinctively pronounce him a gentleman and give him due deference, and altho’ this gentleness comes from within, it is a virtue we can all acquire with comparative ease. It may seem that many children come to life with this virtue fully developed, but the majority are sadly wanting in it, and very early find themselves impatient and restless, nervous and fretful. Parents may do all they can to correct this tendency but most of us come to mature years with dispositions anything but gentle. We are in character our own natural tendencies plus our acquired dispositions, and we can decrease or augment these natural tendencies.
In short it is entirely within the rights of our domain to strengthen our weak points and to check our overmastering tendencies. Our stars may describe us but they do not circumscribe us and so it is clearly seen we can by cultivation acquire any desired virtue. To cultivate an even natural gait in walking goes far towards producing gentleness in the whole manner and this being augmented by a calm facial expression becomes magical in its effect upon others. Persistent cultivation will make any quality a second nature to you. The eye is truly the window of the soul, but the windows may be so cleared and studied as to reveal the beautiful soul inside, and so it is with the other avenues of the senses. Our ears can be trained to receive all sounds both "inner" and "outer" in such a normal way as not to be distracted by anything, and our tastes also may be trained so as to manifest no abnormal flourishes. We can all make ourselves over in a new way if we have the desire and will to do so. If you wish to acquire a gentle disposition begin by thinking of gentleness, then as a step forward think gentleness and soon all of your thoughts will express gentleness, and when you consciously think in gentleness, it expresses itself through all your physical activities, but more than that, it goes out in a fine vibration from you and awakens and calls out the same qualities in others and in those with whom you work. Gentleness not only calls out this quality in boys and girls and men and women around you but it also awakens a responsive chord in the lower animals—Stray dogs and cats will follow the gentle, loving soul, and even fierce and wild animals become docile under the influence of the gentle person, so truly gentleness has great power, and a wonderful influence in life—we find also most great institutions are organized by some gentle soul, and around one great loving heart; and those homes of the stray souls of earth, that are of real value to mankind may always be traced to the efforts of gentleness.