Metaphysical meaning of Cornelius (mbd)
Cornelius, côr-ne'-ll-us (Lat.)--as a horn; horn-bearing; horny; unyielding.
A centurion who lived in CÆsarea (Acts 10:1-48); he was a devout man, and was told in a vision by an angel to send for Peter to come and instruct him in the way of Truth more perfectly. Peter was shown by his dream or vision that he was to go to Cornelius even though the man was a Gentile, for God had cleansed him and he was therefore no more common or unclean. (The Jews thought all Gentiles vile, and unfit for God's kingdom.)
Meta. According to Bible history Cornelius was the first Gentile to accept Christianity through the ministry of the apostles; he was a man of high rank and authority. There are two phases to the significance that he has in individual consciousness; they are suggested in the following explanations:
First, the spiritual aspirant is constantly finding that phases of his living must be corrected--shifted from a material to a spiritual basis. Such a need of change is represented in Acts 10:3048 by Cornelius, centurion, commanderCOS 157of one hundred soldiers. Cornelius represents pride of rank (horn-bearing) or power of position; also a naturally hard, unyielding nature (as a horn, unyielding).
The material man may attach great importance to his rank in life, as he compares it with the rank of those about him. He may also feel that his power depends upon the position that he occupies. You will remember that this very point came up with the disciples, when they were discussing who should be greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus clearly showed them that service, rather than position or material power, was the thing to be desired.
The pride of rank and of position is not confined to outer things and people. We find the autocratic tendency cropping out in the manner in which we deal with ourselves, belittling some phases of our being and tyrannically dominating others. The Christ way is that of redemption and fulfillment; it is to serve the conditions of mind and body, as well as those of the outer life, with that great corrective ideal that lovingly wins all things into the righteousness of divine order. Power exerted to produce slavish obedience never brings the greatest return. The power of love brings rich results because it elicits loving and wholehearted response.
When Cornelius faced this matter in himself he began to fast and pray. Fasting in this instance refers to the giving up of the ideas and practices that have fed the ideas of personal advancement, and prayer is the communion with Spirit that improves the soul quality. These spiritual exercises naturally increase faith, which is pictured as Cornelius's sending for Peter. This work of Spirit in the personal ego portrays clearly the universality of divine principles, and faith proclaims, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons." Following this great step in spiritual progress comes the instruction in the Christ principles that finally results in an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the whole man into spiritual consciousness.
Second, Cornelius, the first known Gentile convert to the Jesus Christ method of redemption, represents that in consciousness which, no longer bound by outer show and formality, truly searches after God. Cornelius typifies that in us which communes with the Father (he was a devout man) and feeds the soul with divine light and love in order to live the spiritual life and to make practical in all ways the understanding of Truth thus gained.
The man who comes and stands before Cornelius is an angel of the Lord, or that high spiritual perceptive faculty within the soul which ever dwells in the presence of the Father; its mission is to bring us messages direct from God, when we have opened our mind to Spirit sufficiently to receive.
In this instance the message reveals to Cornelius (or that in us which is seeking a higher spiritual basis) how to open the way for the light of spiritual faith, here typified by his sending for "Simon, who is surnamed Peter." The unyielding attitude of mind is good when it is set upon the attainment of spiritual understanding and practice.