“And they went both of them together. ” Genesis xxii. 6.
In all really perfect actions of life the celestial and spiritual, the emotional and intellectual side of man’s life coincide and act as one.
“And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God.” Exodus xix. 17.
By a correspondence of function on the part of the spiritual mind of man and of the natural mind, man’s spirit comes into a state of order (“camp”) and by virtue of the state of order the faculties (“people “) of the mind are made to come in contact with the Divine Truth (“God”).
“After that He appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked and went into the country.”Mark xvi. 12.
They who seek the truth in the sepulchre of tradition find it in one form; they who seek it upon the mountain tops where faith sits in silent contemplation of love, in another form, a transfigured form ; while they who are in the active walks of life see Him in yet another form ; for the God of daily life differs from the God of meditative piety as the house all built differs from the plan of the builder — not at all, yet altogether.
”And they returned from searching the land after forty days” Numb. iii. 25.
The investigation of some new spiritual truth always involves some manner of temptation.
“And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.” Luke ii. 3.
In fact, all the impressions a man receives are modified and determined by his own nature. A gloomy man lives in a gloomy world, no matter how bright the sunshine around him ; a genial man lives in a pleasant world, even though the sky be overcast and the storm sing a dirge in the forest. But sterner yet is the law in the future life, that “every one must go to his own city to be taxed.” As has been man’s estimate of God, so will the Lord appear to him in the days that are to be. If he has trained his feet to walk toward a God of love, a loving God will come to meet him ; but if he has taught his eyes to look beyond the cloud for an angry God, what is to prevent a God of wrath from breaking forth upon him ? Thus beyond (God pity us ! nay, thank God !) every one goes into his own city to be taxed.
”And as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished he departed to his own house.'” I.uke i. 23.
When the uses for which man lives in the world of matter are accomplished —-when his spirit has gained strength to walk alone, without the scaffolding of the body — when he has learned to spell the strange word M-A-N, and has faintly seen the possibility of spelling that other deeper, mystic word, G-O-D ; then he goes home — home to the character which he has built for himself, or rather, which the Lord has built for him and in him, sometimes with man’s help, sometimes without it.
“And in the evening He cometh with the twelve. ” Mark xiv. 17.
To some men the Lord comes through the storms and trials of life, walking upon the waters ; to some He comes when they are in the temple selling and buying and doing what they ought not ; to some He comes when their heart is dead within them, and He raises their love or their intelligence from the dead, as He raised the daughter of Jairus and the youth of Nain from the dead ; but gentlest and kindest of all His comings is that when with all His wonderful Divine Truths He enters softly into the mind when it is in a state of doubt. Out of the dull gray light of evening there glows into the consciousness of man the Jesus-face, like a revelation of love and life.
“And He sent him away into his house saying, Neither go into the town nor tell it to any one in the town:” Mark viii. 26.
When the Lord has opened man’s understanding so that he sees things in their true light, He desires him to live along the lines of his own true character (“house”). He warns man not to return to the false ideas (“town”) which he has hitherto entertained, nor to the self that dwells in such ideas.
”And the dove came in to him in the evening.” Genesis viii. 11.
Man returns to the state of primitive innocence as life wanes toward the evening of death.
“They departed into their own country by another way:” Mathew ii. 12.
Man proposes, God disposes. Man thinks that he will reach his own “home” beyond in the way he has planned, but the Divine Providence often leads him home by another way.
“For some of them have come from afar. ” Mark viii. 3.
Not every soul finds the short and direct way to the consciousness of that better self which we have learned to call the Lord. Some come from very far, and the Compassionate leads them gently, kindly, patiently, over many weary miles of spirit-travel.
”He that Cometh after me is preferred before me.” John i. 15.
Although the literal sense comes to man first yet it is the internal sense which is of most vital import.
“Then the devil leaveth Him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.” Matthew iv. 11.
Whenever after a struggle an evil has been displaced the opposite good immediately fills the place vacated, for spirit abhors a vacuum.
” Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him He gave command to depart unto the other side.” Matthew vii. 18.
When man has learned and understood many things the Lord wants him to “cross over” to the will, and apply them to life.
“Go thy way and show thyself to the priest.” Matthew viii. 4.
Trace everything in life back to its origin in the Divine Good.
”Let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein to take anything out of his house.”Mark xiii. 15.
Let him who has obtained an exalted view of things and enlarged his horizon not go downward again to the narrowness of the past and the littlenesses of a lower conception.
“And he arose and followed Him. ” Matthew ix. 9.
When the mind is elevated into a higher state it follows the Master.
”Let him that is in the field not turn back again to take up his garment.” Mark xiii. 16.
Let him who has attained a large and catholic idea of the church not turn back for the thought-garmenture of his childhood days. It is unwise for a grown man to attempt to dress in pinafores and live on the food of babes.
“And he went to a high place.” Numb, xxiii. 3.
The mind is lifted into a higher plane of thought and life, or rather, man becomes conscious of life on a higher plane.
” Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile go with him two.” Matthew v. 41.
Try to understand the position your neighbor occupies. Go as far as he goes, and farther.
Author: A. Roeder (1900)