Now, as the prodigal returned to the Father’s house, so can we. At any moment of our experience, it makes no difference whether we’re nine or ninety, we can begin the return to the Father’s house, first of all by relinquishing the belief that we of our own selves have anything, can do anything, or be anything. And, substituting for that the understanding that all that the Father hath is mine, and I’m an instrument through which it pours for the one purpose of glorifying God. Not glorifying you and me. I can say this to you, that if we live to be a hundred and fifty and look like fifty, and have our full faculties and the possession of our wits and intelligence, and strength and health, it will be no credit to you or to me. It will be God glorifying Itself by means of you and me. Just as God glorifies Itself through the sun, the moon , the stars. “The heavens declare the glory of God. The Earth showeth forth His handiwork.” And so we don’t give credit to the stars for being beautiful, or to the sun for being bright and warm, or for the moon to be giving light. We don’t give credit to the ocean for housing all those fish, and pearls, and substances that to this minute have not yet been revealed. If we’re to give glory, we’re to give glory to God, that it has expressed Itself in such manner. And so with us. Whatever we show forth in the way of spiritual harmony, let us take no credit for it, but realize that through us God is showing forth His handiwork. God is glorifying Itself as our form, as our wisdom, our grace and so forth, and so on.
Now, in speaking last night of the sermon on the mount, and I repeat this for you tonight so that you will have it clearly in mind. The sermon on the mount presents two ways of life. The way which “ye have heard it said from old.” And then the way “I say unto you.” There are the two ways of life. “Ye have heard it said from old, that if someone does wrong to you, you do wrong to them. Ye have heard it said of old, that you must love your friends and your relatives, but you can hate your enemies. You have heard that it hath been said of old, that you must pray for your friends and your allies. But I say, you must pray for your enemies. You must forgive seventy times seven. You must forgive.” And so you have two ways of life. And the one way is the way of the scribes and the pharisees, which is their righteousness. And you will check — You will find, that is the way of all humans in all religious teachings on Earth today, except the definite mystical religions, which rarely reach human consciousness except among those who follow the mystical way of life.
Now, the “I say unto you”; that is the mystical way of life, in which you are not the actor, the doer, the be-er; in which there is a transcendental presence and power which the Master called “the Father within”. Now, as you study the four gospels, and please remember to make that a part of your study this week, and I don’t mean a casual reading of it, I mean a very very serious reading and re-reading of it; as you read the four gospels, please note in how many ways the Master referred to “the Father within me that doeth the works”. And, Paul later; “I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.” Or; “I live, yet not I. Christ liveth in me.” And so, you’ll see that this second form of life, which was supposed to be lived by the disciples and those whom the Master taught; “I say unto you”, is a life in which you can, oh we might use the term “stand still, and let the salvation of the Lord be made manifest through you.” “The battle is not yours, but God’s.” “Stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord.” So you must remember, that the Master’s teaching is not one of weakness. It is not one of letting the world do anything it wants to you, and you just take all the smacking that it wants to do to you. No, no, no. It is in which you “resist not evil,” in the realization that the Father within you is taking care of your interests. In which you realize, that this Christ which strengtheneth me; this Christ through which I can do all things; this Christ, this presence within; this transcendental presence, is right there to see that no one does it to me more than seventy times seven. That’s the maximum I’m allowed. (*Laughter.*) After that, He comes in. Usually before that. At least, that is the worst that can happen to us.
Now at first, to us remember, at this level of life, it does seem just what our church friends would tell us, that this way of life is an impractical one. It does seem so. It just does seem as if you weren’t awake and protecting yourself every minute, that something very drastic would be happening to you. But now, that is based on a premise that has wrecked the entire world, and one which we are here to learn to overcome. First, by knowing what the truth is. This whole idea, that you must protect yourself, or that you must battle or struggle mentally or physically, or through prayer, is all based on an erroneous premise, namely that there are two powers in this world, the power of good and the power of evil. Of course, if you were to look out with your eyes, what you see, what you hear, that’s all true. There are two powers. But remember, that’s what got us into the trouble, was judging by appearances. And right from the start, the Master said; “Judge not after appearances; judge righteous judgement.” And if you will judge righteous judgement, by means of bearing witness not with what you see or hear, but by what spiritually unfolds from within, you will find a great miracle. There are not two powers. There is only one. There is only one power. And that isn’t a power in the sense that it’s doing something to something. That is only a power in the sense of its creative and maintaining sense.
Let me illustrate that. There must surely be something or other that created the law of like begetting like. That is; if you plant seeds of roses, you’ll get roses; chrysanthemums, you’ll get chrysanthemums; pineapple, you’ll get pineapple; peaches, you’ll get peaches. Nobody can violate that law. And, as a matter of fact, it has been proved by grafting how very very exact that law is; that if you plant two things in the one, you’ll get a combination of the two. In other words, it is an absolute, absolute law, that like begets like.
Now then, you know as well as I do that something must have brought that into existence. Just as you know, that something brought petroleum into the earth, and diamonds, and gold, and silver, and jade, crystal. Just as you know, that something other than a salt-seller put the salt in the ocean. Just as you know, that fish are in the sea, and birds in the air. Just so, do you know that something did it; call it “God,” call it “the supreme intelligence of the universe,” call it a principle of nature, call it mathematics. The name you give to it is of no importance. What is important, is that you know it wasn’t anybody named Jones, Brown, or Smith. You know definitely that there is a spirit that has given to this world its fish and minerals and all else that’s in the sea, and its birds in the air, and its crops in the ground, and its trees, its hills, valleys, suns, moons, and stars. You know that. And that, we will call for the moment, a creative principle. That which produced it. And now, since those things have been going on and repeating themselves for as many thousand years as we have any recorded history, we can also call it a maintaining and sustaining principle.
Now, do you follow that? You have something or other which creates. And whatever it is that creates, it maintains and sustains. And so far, there has never been a power to refute or destroy any of that creative or maintaining or sustaining principle. Everything that you can think of in the way of a spiritual quality, is as it was in the beginning. Everything. The sun, moon, and stars, have been going on in their courses from the beginning. The tides have been rolling in and out. The law of like begetting like has been going on. Two times two have always been four, never more, never less. Any way in which you can possibly direct your thought, into anything that isn’t man made, you will see for yourself very quickly that it is permanent.
Now, once you see that, you will come to the agreement within yourself, not so much by reasoning, but because a power higher than a reasoning power will reveal to you that you’re seeing truth. That actually, you’re seeing God in action as a creative, maintaining, and sustaining principle, and that there never has been, and can not be, a power to refute, to overcome, to destroy, not in all these ages, any part of God’s creation. So that you come really, to the word “God”, or universal mind, or creative principle. You come to see it as a creative, maintaining, and sustaining principle. And there, you begin to abide. And no longer do you reach out to God.