“The Lord shall open unto thee His good treasure." —Deut 28:12
In the Scriptures we ﬁnd all that we need to make us “wise unto salvation,” and I use that word, not in the narrow sense of being saved from a bell hereafter, or saved to a heaven of bliss, but I use it in the greater, broader, and more divine way,—the salvation of the whole being, body, Soul, and Spirit,—the Divine Christ-life in very man. And not for at future state either, but for here and now. For, I again repeat, the Blessed One always spoke of this life, and the needs of this life, and the Divine Supply for every necessity and desire of the human heart to make this life beautiful and blessed.
I will take my stand on experience. Unless I have, in my own life and experience proved these things to be true I can neither write nor speak on them with authority, and in you they will be as a tale that is told, or as a dream when one awaketh. So please make a note of those two things:—1st, The Divine Revelation given to us in the Holy Scriptures; 2nd, Experience as the actual proof of the Truth set forth in this book.
We read many times in the Bible that all that happened in the history of the ancient world, especially to the people of God, happened not for their sakes alone, but for us also, and a history of these things was “written for our learning.” Just to quote a few of these sentences:—
“For whatsoever things were written aforetimes were written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope."
“Now it was not written for his sake alone, but for us also."
“Now, all these things happened unto them for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition."
I will leave my readers to ﬁnd out others if they wish to do so, but enough has been quoted to show that we should always read the Scriptures, not only as history, which they assuredly are, but also as a direct message to us, and seek to ﬁnd out what bearing the Word has upon our life and experience. The Holy Scriptures have three distinct meanings for those who have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand. There is the actual historical record; the symbolical meaning; and the spiritual message, and while the majority accept the ﬁrst, a few only sense the second, and comparatively very few ever seek to understand the third, “for this kind goeth not forth but by prayer and fasting.” To read the Holy Scriptures as history, or literature simply and solely, is to read them like one reads any other story book. Interesting? Where can you ﬁnd another book so enthralling—so fascinating? Do you want poetry? Can you ﬁnd any poetry to equal in depth of sublimity, richness of expression, fullness of inspiration and perfection of beauty, the poetry of the Bible? Have you read, over and over again, until you can recite them from memory, the Psalms of David, and the poems of the Book of Isaiah? Can any of our great poets,—(and they are great) can any of them thrill your soul like such poems as that beginning:—
“He, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." Or,
“Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem."
“The burden of Dumah, he calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? The Watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night! If ye will enquire, enquire ye; return! Come!"
If you want literature such as the world has never found elsewhere, read the books of Moses. If you want to read Laws upon which the whole civilized world has built its rule of order, established by authority; laws upon which every country has built up a code for the control of its inhabitants—read the Law of Moses. And so on, one could continue pointing out the wonder of those writings that are so neglected, even by those who are supposed to know them best. But to read the Bible as history only, or as poetry only, or as literature only, or only as the greatest code of laws the world has ever known, is to read the letter of the Scriptures. One must read with the understanding, and search as one reads, knowing that every story holds a clue for us, and that by ﬁnding the clue, and then seeking with all our hearts to understand it, and so, from the clue, go on to the ﬁnding of the Hidden Treasures—this is to read the Bible aright.
So, as I take you with me through my searching for the clue that at last brought me to the place where I found the Treasure, please ﬁnd it tor yourselves by searching the Scriptures for the clue you, individually stand in need of, for our needs differ, and the clue that I need may not be me clue that you need.
The title of this chapter is, The Clue to the Secret of Health, but I can well imagine that scores may read it who do not need to search for any such clue. There are hundreds of perfectly healthy people in the world, people who never seem to feel a physical discomfort, and for them, at present, the search will seem quite a waste of time. Yet to be fore-warned is to be fore-armed, and if the mind be well stored with such clues as I am pointing: out to you, both from the revealed Word, and also from experience by putting the Word to the test, then you too will have a sound rock upon which to build against the storms that may one day beat upon your House of Health, and so you will be able to stand ﬁrm against disease, when the day of adversity comes. For, be it observed, it is not always the invalid that succumbs to the "ﬂu" when the epidemic is supposed to be rushing through the land, overseas and continents, but the strong and physically robust become victims as well as the "delicate" and "invalid."
Therefore no matter how strong and "ﬁt" you may feel just now, do not say, "I do not need any clues to health, let the weak and sickly read this chapter!" Read it, study the clues, and learn how to remain strong and healthy, because you know that it is the Law of Life concerning you.
I write as one who for many years, in youth and early womanhood, suffered from ill health; one who was delicate and ailing, and always given to understand, by my teachers, that it was the heritage of the children of men, and that I was just one of those of whom it could truthfully be said, "An inheritor of all the ills the ﬂesh is heir to." And tor a time I believed it. I really did believe that it was quite natural to be ill, and quite in the order of things that one should be delicate and an invalid. Indeed, it was part of my religion to be resigned to this condition of things! It was a sure sign of God's special favor! Oh, what terrible teaching I have listened to, and when I look back and remember it, the wonder to me that we are not all a race of invalids! I have heard it said that it was a sure sign of God's especial Love when we suffered, and that to be in pain was to have His special care and attention! No wonder so many people (and I have known many personally) never strove to regain health and strength, but just gloried in their sickness and invalidism, believing that it was because they were specially chosen of God for His favor! They were told so. No blame can be attached to them; and I do not say that the teachers of such doctrines were to be actually blamed either, for had not their fathers believed it before them, and were they not carrying on faithfully the traditions of the elders? But this is what I cannot understand, how would they read their Bible, and still go on teaching such a mall, one-sided, and partial gospel? One has to come to the conclusion that they did not ﬁnd the clues. Perhaps many of them did not stand in such need of them that they were aroused to question, to seek, and to knock, that happily they might ﬁnd the way of escape from all those ills. Maybe,—(and I have come across this also) they thought it "wicked to question," and a sign of a very degenerate heart to wish for anything but suffering (they called it "cross-bearing" I remember!) in life! How all these things used to puzzle me! How I brooded over them in silence and alone, fearing to question lest I be told it was wicked to do so! I wonder if there are any today who are passing through a like wilderness. If there are, and they should happen to read these words, oh, how my heart goes out to them in deepest sympathy, and how I long to help them!
The following true story contains a very important clue. One evening after a teacher of Truth had been speaking to a big gathering, a woman came to him asking how she could get rid of her rheumatism. Looking at her steadily for a moment he said, “Madam, forgive your sister.” “Never,” she replied. “Then I think that you must stick to your rheumatism,” he said. The woman went away offended. Like one of old she thought the prophet would bid her do some great thing! If he had told her of certain costly drugs, she might have been very pleased, and would go at once to purchase them. Had he told her to do some very laborious exercises, or given her a very rigid system of diet, she would have listened with the deepest attention, and probably have obeyed him in every particular. But to forgive her sister I How ridiculous! How stupid! What could her attitude of mind towards her sister have to do with her rheumatism? Beside, her cause was just, her sister had erred. No, she would not forgive her! Can you not imagine how she would fume and vow she would never go to hear that speaker again? But—she did some thinking. She could not help herself. The clue had taken hold upon her. Finally she found out that the rheumatism had begun to trouble her soon after she had driven her sister from her doors in bitter resentment. There was no getting away from that. So she forgave her sister and sent for her to come home, and from that day her rheumatism gradually disappeared. The next time she went to hear that speaker she was a well and happy woman. A similar case came under my own observation some few years ago. I was speaking to a big gathering of women on the effect of anger upon the health, the features, and the mind, and I told them that story about the woman with the rheumatism. I noticed a lady in the hall in very deep mourning, and while I was speaking she was silently weeping very bitterly, allowing the big tears to roll down her face and drop upon her clasped hands, lest she should be observed. A few weeks after she called upon the Secretary of the Guild and asked her to write to me and tell me that that day when she came to hear me speak she was suffering from a certain disease pronounced incurable, but up to that moment she had never suspected the cause of her trouble, nor had she noticed that, until she had had a deadly quarrel with a near relative, she had been a strong and healthy woman. While l was speaking she saw it all clearly. She went home from the meeting and wrote to her relative, forgiving absolutely all that she had allowed to separate them, and asking forgiveness for all bitterness and revenge. Immediately the disease began to show signs or healing.
“He that hath cars to hear, let him hear."
Here is a clue: “I said, Lord be merciful unto me, heal my soul, for I have sinned." Psalm 41:4.
Here is another: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another that ye may be healed." James 5:16.
And yet another: “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise is health.” Proverbs 12:18.
And surely we have another clue in the story of the healing of the man by the Pool of Bethesda: “Behold thou art made whole, SIN NO MORE, lest a worse thing come upon thee.”
Methinks if my readers are as much in earnest to gain health as I was those many years ago, they will have found sufficient clues in all I have so far written to set them seeking the wonderful Hidden Treasures of Health!
It is often very difﬁcult to ﬁnd the Cause of an effect. We trace back over events, feelings, tempers, happenings of all kinds, and how we allowed them to react upon us, and no matter how we may search, and search, we cannot ﬁnd the Cause of some painful effect. And because of this many are very angry when they are told the truth about life, for they are more comfortable when they can persuade themselves that they are suffering through others, or under some special providence, and as some like to think, that they are specially honored by thus being made to suffer. Ah, the human mind is very subtle and very deep, and he who would know himself must search long and earnestly. To deny the truth of what I am telling you will not help you—you know that—so why not examine it dispassionately, and search your heart and mind?
Let me try to help you with one more illustration. I have a very dear old friend. I met her many years ago. I thought her very beautiful then, but today, with all those added years she is more wonderfully beautiful still, both in face and presence, and she draws the hearts of all to her. She has such charm; such outward, quiet manifestations of a great inward peace and satisfaction, will though many would call her poor, she is amazingly rich, and never wants for anything. Joys and satisfactions are always coming to her in some unthought of, and unexpected way. She has afforded me many a clue to life’s hidden treasures without suspecting that she was doing so. Now, please read the following very carefully. I was talking to her a short time ago, and she was rejoicing over some friend being happy; some great joy that had come into the life of a friend of her own. Then I said to myself,—She is always rejoicing over someone being happy, always full of joy when some great treasure is round by another, even though it has never come to herself. Here was a clue! I followed it up on a number of times when in her company, and found it correct, and by that clue I discovered the cause of all her quiet peace, and many satisfactions.
Believe me it is a wonderful beautiﬁer, to rejoice in the happiness and good fortune of others; to be glad when others are crowned with blessings. Dear reader, have you found this clue? If you have, hold on to it with all your might. It is one of the most valuable you can ﬁnd, and use.
People are prone to overlook the effect of little complainings, little bitternesses, little envyings, little sharp speeches, upon their health. Believe me those little, so- called, things do much to spoil life, and injure the health of the body. Here is a very valuable clue: Whatever we harbor in the mind; in whatever ruts our thoughts run habitually,—all will react upon the health of the body. My friend’s delight in all the joys that came to others,—often joys that she had missed,—reacted upon her body making it beautiful and sweet to look upon, and made her one that it was good to be with. So, conversely, unkindness, retaliation, envy, criticism, selﬁshness, hate, are all terrible causes, producing cancers, consumptions, weakness of mind and body, and illnesses of all kinds. In circumstances and environment they work out as lack and limitation, often as poverty, uncongenial surroundings, and a cramped and unlovely life.
“Beloved. I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul (mind) prospereth." —3 John 1:2