Published in 1916 August Unity Magazine
THE gospel of Jesus Christ takes on a new meaning when it is read with eyes open to see how persistently he taught the coming here in the earth of a new kingdom. The burden of his preaching was the necessity of preparation for citizenship. He promised to come again when the time was ripe for the setting up of the kingdom and rule and reign in righteousness. This promise, which should have been the inspiration of the church throughout the centuries, has been lost sight of and in its place has been substituted a false hope of heaven after death. Instead of preparing for his coming and his kingdom, his followers have given themselves up to the affairs of this world and centered their expectations on a salvation, vainly supposed to come by dying.
Now, in the Divine Order, which is everywhere manifest whether it is recognized or not, the fullness of time has been reached for the King's return and the establishment of his kingdom. A "little flock" of watching, consecrated believers are awake and they see the signs of the presence of their Lord. He has been with his people always as he promised, but in these last days there is to be a perfect revelation of his Presence and Power in the glory of his kingdom. This is his "second coming," or appearance, or revelation of himself to the world. The joy of the watching ones is unspeakably great, as they see on every hand the evidences of his presence and feel his life and power within them. They are the wise virgins who not only look for the bridegroom, but have prepared themselves with the oil of life and light by appropriating in prayer and spiritual meditation and communion the Divine Life and Substance, the body and blood of their Lord.
From the study of the work of race redemption as Jesus taught it, regardless of the traditions of men, we must conclude that Christianity means a new governmental and social order based on Love and Justice. We hear much in these days about "spreading the gospel." Gospel means good news, and the good news which we are to spread is the gospel of the kingdom. It is the duty of the Lord's people and their joy to tell that a glorious time of redemption and restoration for all and for the earth itself is at hand.
One evidence of the Presence of the Lord in Kingdom Power is the fact that everywhere men are getting the Kingdom idea. They place their own interpretation upon it according to the degree of their understanding and development, and so we have Socialism and a host of kindred doctrines, showing that men have seen the great light of Universal Brotherhood which the Christ is impressing upon the race and are struggling to express it. But they are trying to do the work themselves, not recognizing the Christ and not understanding that the kingdom is complete and perfect, ready as a bride adorned for the bridegroom, to come down into the race consciousness and establish with it a perfect union, thus bringing in everlasting righteousness. The kingdom is eternal, but its coming into manifestation in the earth, the people and their affairs, is a process that takes place under Law and must be worked out in Divine Order.
Preparation for the kingdom means the opening of the individual consciousness to the influx of Divine Life, Love, Wisdom and Power, and unification of these qualities in mind and body. This produces a transformation and the individual becomes a new creature, no longer seeking the interests of self, but of the race as a whole. The enlargement of his consciousness from personal to universal fits him for citizenship in the kingdom where the universal good is established and selfishness no longer blights.
The coming of the kingdom in individual consciousness makes a change in body also, so that those who go through the redemptive process that follows the descent of the Spirit are made new in body as well as in mind. They have new life and health and vigor and strength. Thus is made a new race of immortal, incorruptible men and women who shall dwell forever in the life and glory of the Lord.
There is a mortal tendency to receive the gospel of the kingdom and try to work it out for personal benefit. Many are the disappointed ones who see the Law of health and supply and who try to use it in carrying on the natural personal life and its affairs. They cry that they are not healed and not prospered, forgetting that Jesus said, "Seek ye first the kingdom." They receive the good news of the kingdom, but not the kingdom. The religion of Jesus Christ is far more than a philosophy of life. It is life itself. It is not a question of bread and butter, of curing or of giving physical comfort of any kind. All this is secondary and follows as a natural result the quickening of mind and heart to that great love in which sight of self is lost. In the Christ awakening God is loved supremely, arid the brotherhood of man is so recognized that there is no longer any thought of personal gain.
"No man liveth unto himself" and no man can live, much less truly and permanently prosper, if he refuses to give himself to the consideration of the welfare of the race as it is to be demonstrated in the kingdom. As well try to bind an artery in a limb, breaking connection with the lifeflow in the body and expect a sound and healthy limb, as to disregard the great truth of race redemption which the kingdom of Christ sets forth. It is possible for one to be spiritually selfish, so absorbed in his own development that he becomes blind to the manifestations of the Spirit in the experiences of the race. Evidences of the Spirit's work are on every hand. Few, as yet, understand that - the great upheaval in the world is the power of the Spirit cleansing and reconstructing preparatory to the new civilization. The nations blame each other for the overthrow of their selfishness. They are struggling and fighting to maintain the old order of things, their traditions, their institutions, their governments, but nothing bom of mortal thought, or built on sands of selfishness can stand in this great day when the kingdom of God is pushing into manifestation as the living seed pushing through the soil to its perfect expression. Jesus planted the seed-Idea of the kingdom in the race thought two thousand years ago and that idea has been growing and spreading, although for long it was apparently hidden and lost in human ignorance. Now is its day and it is filling the earth with its fruit—bitter fruit it seems to those who have not learned to love the peaceable fruits of righteousness.
The cry, "Peace, peace," is abroad when there is no peace and no possibility of peace until the Christ kingdom is acknowledged as the one and only Power. Reformers are busy offering this solution and that. Every imaginable political and social scheme is put forward as a remedy for humanity's pain and travail, but they are of no avail. The race must travail until the new civilization is born, and they are physicians of no value who try to delay or prevent the birth. A large class of reformers feel it a duty to call the race back into bondage, but the shackles of self-interest have been broken and men and women are aroused to a new sense of freedom which they do not yet understand but feel they have a right to express. The selfishness of home and family and country has had its day and can no longer bind people to false standards of duty, and hinder their coming into universal love and relationships.
While some are trying to force the race back into its bondage, others have really discerned that a new day of freedom has come and they are trying to help the best they can; but in time they will have to admit that all their intellectual efforts have fallen short and they too will be ready to accept the kingdom as the Lord's way of salvation.
It is ideas that move the world. Jesus did not try to perpetuate his words by any of the means which the intellect might suggest as advisable. He sowed the seed-Idea and trusted the Divine Order of the Universal Mind for the fruitage. Sincere lovers of their fellow-men need to realize this and busy themselves in sowing broadcast the truth of the kingdom rather than to limit and burden themselves with cumbersome material methods of popular "charitable" work. The world does not need charity; it needs love and justice—first of all, a mighty faith in Divine Love and Justice. Such a faith will give the mind of man power to lay hold of and bring these eternal verities into expression, not only in individual lives but in the race. It is the vital touch of God's Spirit in the souls and bodies of men, making an entirely new race of people, that gives the religion of Jesus Christ its distinctive character. Jesus showed that we must learn to live from within in obedience to the law of Being as naturally as the lily lives and grows in its law. So in this great day of reckoning and restitution the race is being stripped of all its conventional and artificial modes of living and is being brought face to face with certain fundamental facts of existence which it no longer dares to ignore. The countries of the Old Word have experienced this in great sorrow. This land still has opportunity in its prosperity to turn to the Lord in a new life of consecration and growth in Spirit, but it is not heeding the call away from materiality to Truth. Mortal thought is the same wherever found; it will not give up its self-sufficiency until brought to judgment by the Spirit.
Again and again the message of the kingdom needs to be told, line upon line, here a little and there a little, until the light shines in all the dark places of the earth with its life and cheer. So many persons are finding that they cannot make their lives fit into the old way. Nothing seems to go right and they get discouraged trying to make harmony. When they awake to the fact that the reason of their failure is the passing away of the old order and set about trying to conform to the new order, they will find joy in seeing how wonderfully all things will harmonize. Success will attend just in accord with the degree of faith and understanding which is brought to bear. The mere fact of recognizing the new goes a long way in loosening the bondage of the old.
An effect of a living faith in the coming of the Christ kingdom is a spirit of consecration, and consecration is one of the essentials of spiritual growth. When the kingdom is believed in as a reality, mind and heart become unified in an earnest desire to know more about it and to make the necessary preparation for its coming. The temporary things that belong to the age that is passing are seen as vanities—shadows. They have in them no life and substance, and it is folly and madness to pursue them when the realities of Spirit are ever present, waiting to be known and used.
Consecration is not a giving up of time and thought to a personal God; it is the divine and holy devotion to the One in whom we live, move and have our being; it is such a recognition of the allness of God and of man's relation to him that every faculty gladly responds to the Joy of his Presence and the quickening of his life and intelligence and love and strength and power; it is glad readiness to do his will and fulfill the law of Being; it is recognition of the relation existing between man and man, and man and the universe, and a loving and hearty compliance with the law and order of these relations; it is seeing God always, everywhere and rejoicing in his all-sustaining and all-providing love.
The spirit of consecration is the same in every heart, but the steps taken in working out of the entanglements of materiality into the Christ kingdom differ as individuals differ. Each must fulfill his consecration in his own way. It is a matter between him and his Lord.
Overcomers are striving and struggling to get away from self. The easier way is to keep the mind fixed on God, on the wonders of Being as expressed in the Father and in the Son, our spiritual consciousness, and on the marvels of the universe. In this way the soul is lifted out of the narrowness of self-interest and takes its place in the Divine Order of Being. The universe should not be studied as external; its place is in the One Mind and only in that mind can the relation of God, man and the universe be understood. Jesus Christ came to restore man to this understanding and to bring that understanding so completely into expression that a redeemed people and a redeemed earth should be made manifest to the glory of the Lord and the joy of his people forever.