“And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.” Gen.i.3.
By the manifestation of the Divine Truth is the human mind illumined.
“And David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they passed over Jordan; by the morning light there lacked not one of them that was not gone over Jordan. “ 2 Sam. xvii. 22.
Quite frequently in the regenerating life the lines of demarcation between that which is natural and that which is spiritual are blurred and obscure. It seems to be almost impossible to distinguish that which belongs “on this side of Jordan and on that.” But once the distinction is made and the right and nature of the internal man asserted and all his truths gathered to his side, there is no more doubt. All of David’s men are passed over Jordan — all that belongs to the inner life has entered into the inner mind, and the “morning light “ shows the completed work.
”And there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days ; they saw not one another, neither rose any one from his place for three days : but all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings. “Exodus X. 22, 23.
When the natural life is compared with the spiritual life it is as darkness is to light. For in all natural thought there is no real recognition of the truth, no real elevation of the mind ; but to the spiritual sight all things are clear.
“Lord, lift up the light of Thy countenance (face) upon us. “Psalm iv. 6.
Uplift our minds by the understanding of more interior truths.
“He shall go to the generation of his fathers ; they shall never see light.” Psalm xlix. 19.
Inheritance stands related to man’s spirit as a nurse, from whom he is presently to be weaned. Whatever there may have been inherited that has been true or has made for truth cannot be really true until man has himself lived it and made it his own. For experience is after all and after all the only teacher of truth.
Thou coverest Thyself with light as with a garment, Thou stretches out the heavens as a curtain.”Psalm clv. 2.
[The latter clause may be rendered as that which vibrates].
The Divine Life is clothed upon with Truth ; and quivers into the inmost soul of man, to touch, to vivify, to quicken, to uplift.
“Thy Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light unto my path. “Psalm cxix. 105.
By the Divine Truth does the natural mind receive instruction, and the environmental conditions of man are made clear and intelligible.
“Yea, the darkness darkeneth not to Thee; but the night shineth as the day : as is the darkness so is light. “Psalm cxxxix, 12.
It may be said that the Divine stands related to all things in two ways — the one the positive, the other the negative; A moment’s thought will demonstrate this. It must be evident that the Lord becomes conscious of good in a human soul in quite a different way from His consciousness of evil in that soul. The good He can, as it were, breathe and live; the evil He can note only by the negative — by His inability to live and breathe that part of man’s life tainted with evil. It may be imagined, in a lame way, like the measuring of a man’s foot by the actual or positive touch of his foot and by the negative inspection of an impression of his foot upon the sea shore, or in sand or clay. In the one sense, then, the Divine is conscious of what man knows of the truth by the presence of that truth, and conscious of what man does not know — not by the presence of ignorance, but by the absence of the corresponding truth. In this sense all such statements as these are to be, and can be, understood.
“And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame ; and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day.” Isaiah x. 17.
Man’s entrance into the spiritual world is marked by many steps in new directions. What was spiritual truth to him while on earth now becomes natural good, and what was spiritual good now becomes spiritual truth; and those parts of his character which cling to him, like dust to a garment’s hem, will consume away, and be as valueless and harmless dross.
“He will bring me forth to the light.” Micah vii. 9.
How many struggling aspirations and yearnings all unfulfilled and unsatisfied mark life in the shadow of the valley; and how clearly will they stand revealed in the light when He shall have taken away the clay and let the spirit go forth into the freedom of its own verity and of His Truth!
”And it shall be in that day there shall be no light: cold and frost : and there shall be one day known unto Jehovah : neither day nor night ; and at eventide shall there be light.” Zechariah xiv. 6. 7.
The snows of age and the hoar-frost of the harvest time, of the evening of life, settles quietly down upon the bodily senses and the bodily energies. The light of nature and of the things that were at one time of interest in nature fades away. The evening comes, the eventide of life. Then cease the changing lights and shadows of the outer life, the senses close into the darkling quiet of slumber, but the soul awakes to light, to the light of the sevenfold sun.
“I beheld the earth, and lo, it was without form and void ; and the heavens, and there was no light. I beheld the mountains, and lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens had fled.” Jeremiah iv. 23-25.
Dreary and helpless is the life that lacks a true spiritual foundation. In natural things such a life is purposeless and devoid of concentration ; in spiritual things it is ignorant and confused ; its highest ambitions and loves are fitful and uncertain; its lesser loves and the sense of duty and obligation shifting and unreliable ; it lacks true humanity, and interior thought is altogether absent from it.
“Take heed, therefore, that the light that is in thee be not darkness.” Luke xi. 35.
Ultimately it is the form of spiritual truth that prevails in the formation of human character, and not the form of natural truth. Only what man has gained on the human side of himself has he really gained; what he has gained on the animal side of himself, that must be counted loss.
”Whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the liqht ; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the house tops.”Luke xii. 3.
We speak much of the conscious and subconscious now-a-days, but what we mean is in reality the old, old story of the internal and the external man; and that again is the old, old story told in the days of the Christ in the words here given, that when we pass through the gateway of death the external is laid aside and the internal is laid bare, and what men have thought of true things in their deepest mentalities becomes a surface fact; and what men have thought of good things in the inmost recesses of the heart will become palpable deeds. The sentence can be applied to the false and the evil also — but why? why persistently dwell upon the distorted and unpleasant side of man’s nature, when God is constantly trying to do things beautiful and good, beginning at the kindling of a star and ending in the creation of a babe?
”And as soon as ye be up early in the morning, and have light, depart.” 1 Sam. xxix. 10.
How many grievous errors could men avoid, if, at the beginning of some new morning, some new life-condition, they would not move until there is light ! A problem and its solution should never be hurried. Things done on the spur of the moment may be excellent things sometimes. but those times are far between. Before thou speakest, know ; before thou art called upon to act, think. When there is light depart; when there is none stand still ! Do not turn back; stand still !
”And the life was the light of men.” John 1. 4.
What is of the Divine Love in the Lord is changed into Truth as it enters into man’s consciousness.
“That was the true Light, which lights every man coming into the world. “ John 1. 9.
Every character created into the sum total of humanity is fashioned along the lines of the Divine Truth.
“He [the Light] was in the world and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.” John i. 10.
Both nature and spirit are built upon the lines of Divine Truth, but always unconsciously.
“For with Thee is the fountain of life ; in Thy light we see light. “Psalm xxxvi. 9.
All natural life is from the Divine Love and Life, and all natural truth is from the Divine Truth and Wisdom. For without Divine Truth to guide him through revelation man would labor in vain in trying to understand the laws of nature and of nature’s life, as they weave and move about him.
” He was not the Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.” John i. 8.
It is in some instances extremely difficult to cause the mind to relinquish its hold upon certain verbal statements as being the truth, and to revert to the condition stated in the sentence as being the truth. Thus there is a certain distance invariably maintained between earth and sun. The sentence I have thus written about that distance is not the truth, but the distance itself and its invariability are the truth. We say that distance is ninety-five million miles. We may at some future time and by reason of some future development of science have reason to change that conception materially ; we may find it necessary to increase it to two hundred million, or to reduce it to fifty million. We have not altered the distance, have we? We have changed our minds and not the truth. Hence John is not the light, but simply bears witness of that light. The same is true of any literal statement of a spiritual truth.
”John came as a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.” John i.7.
The literal sense of the Word stands related to its spiritual sense in the same way as the body stands related to the soul. And as the actions of the body testify to the presence of a soul that acts in and through the body, so the peculiarities of action (miracle, chronological errata, apparent contradiction, historical sequence, etc.,) of the literal sense presuppose the presence of an internal sense, by virtue of which only the letter can become a basis of belief.
”All the earth shall be filled with the glory of Jehovah.” Numb. xiv. 21 .
Even the natural mind can grasp the outlines of spiritual truth.
Author: A. Roeder (1900)