Sermons of Charles Fillmore
This lesson from Charles Fillmore was featured on Bob Brach's Unity Classic Radio broadcast on March 3, 2015. Bob writes, "This is an interesting talk in which it is one of the few that I have read where Mr. Fillmore speaks out against the ills of the day. This is a Depression era talk and he takes those to task who were "stock market gambling". Enjoy."
The solo to which you have just listened is in perfect harmony with our lesson this morning, the experiences of the early missionaries. These early missionaries were inspired "by a something higher, deeper, and broader than mere human ambition. There was an inspiration from, a source that they undoubtedly didn't fully understand. It was the Holy Spirit, or that great Instructor which came from the Lord for information and inspiration and help in their need.
Jesus Christ, the Great Teacher, told us that He would send this Holy Spirit as His representative, and that it would lead His followers into all "truth" and bear witness of Him. Here is a great metaphysical truth that can be understood only as it is applied by the individual, by the missionary.
"And these signs shall follow them that believe,"
and the signs were given as the evidence of one who had received the a quickening of that Spirit: that is. was a follower of Jesus Christ. And we are told, "And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that followed."
"These signs shall follow all then that believe." (Mark 10:17)
These early disciples were not educated men. I think that Paul and doubtless Luke were the only two that had any learning, had been educated in the schools of that day. Nearly all the others were ignorant men, and yet what marvelous work they did! They laid the foundation for Christianity. They lived up to the signs closer for the first three hundred, years than the other followers of Jesus Christ have lived up to in, say, sixteen hundred years. Why is this? Why haven't we lived up to these signs? Why aren't we demonstrating, as Paul and Barnabas did the healing of the sick? We evidently have not co-operated with the Holy-Spirit Truth. We have not gone to these original sources for our truth. We have studied too much of the law, and not enough of that quickening Spirit that comes within.
The healing of this impotent man who had never walked was part of the restoration of the whole human family. You will remember that John and Peter did almost identically the same kind of work in Jerusalem at the Beautiful Gate. A man who was impotent in his feet was told by Peter to stand up on his feet and walk, and he did. He came running and jumping. Almost the same thing was accomplished by Barnabas and Paul; and I would say that that so-called miracle has occurred again and again in the missionary work of those who had sufficient faith, and who could excite that faith in the patient.
Now, Paul, we are told, looked upon this man, and he saw that he had the faith. He saw that he had faith. How did he know that be had that faith? He could have known only through the higher intelligence in man, and that is the Holy Spirit. He had faith in the Holy Spirit, and seeing that Holy Spirit everywhere, in everything that one does, gives us a superior insight into the minds of others. That is not clairvoyance, but it is clear seeing. It is the insight of the seer, he see through an invisible light: that is, a light that is not visible to the ordinary mind; this light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness comprehends it not." (Cf. John 1:5) But, through centering your attention, or your faith, upon the inspiration and the light of the Spirit, you tune in, as we would say in radio terms, to this everywhere present light, and you know, you discern, you become a seer. That is what these early disciples were: they were seers. They saw,and could read,the minds of those with whom they came in contact.
There is a law, and we should be studying these superlaws, having more faith in the spiritual law, and not so much in the material environment. That is where the followers of Jesus Christ have gone astray: they have given so much attention to outer things that they have dissociated their minds from these inner things. Everything comes from within, and although we, like Paul and Barnabas, may be in a land where the spirit of materialism and emotionalism prevail, yet the Spirit of the Lord has an outlet there. The name of this Greek and Roman country was "Wolfland," meaning the animal nature in man. The Spirit of the Lord has to quicken the whole man, not only the intellect man but the animal man; and these going forth of these missionaries is, in a measure, the illustration in the outer life of what takes place in the inner man when we are quickened of the Spirit. We find that we have missionary work to do in ourselves. The whole man has to be redeemed, and in this redemptive process we quicken and lift up and restore the impotent, the inactive man in ourselves.
The reason that we are not more brilliant, that we do not have better understanding, is that our faculties are dormant; gone into an impotent I-can't and I-don't-know state of mind. But, there is a higher principle coming into expression in those who have faith, who believe, and that faith in that surer-principle, that Supermind, quickens the whole man; and even the animal -- the wolf in you -- begins to express. But don't let it express as a wolf. That is the great trouble with the world today: the wolf has been turned loose among the lambs, and he is devouring that innocence and that sweetness and that purity in every one of us.
What is the remedy? that it shall be educated. This was the beginning of a great education for this crude animal populace. The people of this country had come out of their ignorant and violent states of consciousness, and good had resulted. These people were very much like our early ancestors, the Britons. We are told that Winfrid (?), about twelve hundred years ago, was shipwrecked off the north coast of England, and there he found a people who were savage, who lived like pirates; and all the people that were wrecked on their coast, they took possession of them and made slaves of the sailors. This man fought them off, but afterwards he went back as a missionary of Christianity, and he taught those Britons civilisation, and they developed the English people of today; that is, with an admixture of Saxons and Slavs etc. Really, the root stock of the English people, of whom we are an offshoot, was this savage race. And these Gentiles that Paul and Barnabas talked to were the foundation, you might say the very tree, from which sprang the culture of Athens and Rome.
We have within us this, we call it the curse of the animal nature, but it is good, essentially good. It needs education. And what is the highest education that we can give it? the education of the Spirit. We must know that there is a spiritual principle at the head of every man, and that by appealing to that spiritual principle we shall be lifted, up, be raised up, in all parts of our consciousness. This man of impotence, this man of seeming inability, has within him the capacity to break out and be made whole and active; and that is the first great step in the true Christ ministry: to look within himself and see if there ore abilities that he could express more fully. And seeing them -- and you will see them by this discerning power of the mind if you speak the word. Sometimes it is a loud word, a forcible word, sometimes it is merely a thought. But you realize these inner, spiritual forces, and they come forth in a surprising way.
Now, this is the only missionary. This is the missionary work of every one of us, and yet we yet lost, as a Christian people, in the thought that our mission should be to teach religion to other people in other lands. "Charity begins at home," and even in our outer affairs we doubtless need the missionary money and the missionary effort that we send abroad, we need these more at home than those people do in other lands. Some of the great missionaries like Stanley Jones in India, have found that the Hindus have a religion that, in its real, spiritual essence, is equal to the Christian religion. And he has written books to prove that we, in many respects, are behind in our understanding of these fundamental truths of the Spirit. Then, shouldn't we begin at home?
We have, right today in this land, a period of what is called "depression," and the people everywhere are asking for a solution of this. What caused, it? There is a cause right here, and we, as a Christian people, should be alert in the solution of this problem. What is the fundamental cause? We have innumerable remedies, but then are only piecemeal, the are temporary. They are like the moratorium that has been worked up in Europe, extending the day of settlement for a year. But at the end of that year what is to happen? The same old conditions prevail, the same old obligations are piling up. What shall we do about it? The Christian ministers, with the high financiers, have rather settled back and said, "Oh, well, it will work itself out." But there is a great unrest in the land, and it is our Christian ministry for anything that we can offer.
We have, in our understanding of the Truth and the realization of the Spirit, a great inward joy and a consciousness of Holy Spirit, just as these early disciples did. They had been stoned and expelled from Antioch and other cities, and yet although Paul was supposed to be dead, they stood around him and, through the power of the Spirit, he was raised and they went back to those cities, and they were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit. Here we have the real Christian awakening, but it must be put into action as I say. We need to go forth with more of the Spirit of helpfulness, with a remedy for every situation.
Now, I believe that Jesus Christ taught a doctrine that will solve every problem of the human family, and I think that this nation is right up against the need of that solution; and we often wonder if it would not be more profitable for the Christian Church if a larger proportion of time, money, and human lives were given over to needed reforms at home, instead of in foreign lands.(Matt. 7:4,5) Jesus taught,
"How wilt thou say to thy brother. Let me cast out the mote out of thine eye; and lo, the beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
We have conditions here in America, financial conditions, that need adjustment. There is an unequal distribution of wealth. And what has broupht this about? I should say that an unwise use of our money, in America, it is criminal to run a gambling den or a lottery, and we react with horror when we read of a suicide at Monte Carlo. Yet the stock gambling in this country has caused more suicides, broken up more homes, ruined more lives and in every way brought more misery upon our people than all the gambling hells of the whole world, and in this country stock gambling is considered a legitimate part of our financial activity. Even bishops of the Christian Church have been charged with gambling: that is, stock gambling.
Although the whole world knows that the stock gambler's frenzy for illegitimate gains precipitated the panic, from which this great nation has been suffering for two years, no direct charge has been brought against them by our lawmakers. Neither has there been any noticeable out-cry by the Christian clergy, yet here is an opportunity for missionaries right at home. Great sums of money are being raised by the churches to carry the Gospel to foreign lands, while here at home is an unspeakable evil; an evil so hydra-headed that it may well be called "a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns." (Rev. 12:3) Here is gambling on a scale so grand, that it is wrecking our nation. The nations of Europe are wrecked by war; America is being wrecked by gamblers, who are using the people's money, wheat, corn, cotton, in fact every product of the soil, mine, and factory as gamblers' chips.
If there is any place under heaven where the teaching of Jesus is needed to save its people from a gambler's grave, it is right here in America, we have laws that make it a crime to combine to regulate the price of the people's commodities, yet the gamblers in Wall Street combine continually in their "bull" and "bear" bets, and thereby manipulate the price of our standard products.
If the Christian ministers of this country want to help save America, let them combine against this great stock-gambling dragon. I am convinced that if every church member in this country would each day for one year offer a prayer for deliverance from this Red Dragon of Wall Street, that deliverance would come. Just how this would be accomplished, it is not for us to be concerned about. It might be so marvelous as to be counted miraculous. God often does His work in mysterious ways.
This country really needs the prayers of all Christians, in fact all our people should be looking for help from a higher than human source. We ask for the inflow, or intervention, of the Holy Spirit. Our lawmakers and financiers have thrown up their hands. They tell us that they have no remedy except the gradual resumption of business. But the unrest of the unemployed is growing. The times are out of joint. The lucky gamblers are sitting tight with their gains, and in their fancied security are waiting for the wreck to be cleared away, while they sit idly by. They point to diagrams showing the financial fluctuations of the past, and tell us that this will be like the others; that things will, in due time, pick up and prosperity again appear.
But is "the famine and the feast" a necessary rule of finances? Certainly not. A proper production and distribution of the fruit of the people's industry would give a bountiful sufficiency to every child of earth. There need be no lack anywhere. But instead of the earth's products being piled up in mountains of plenty in spots, with great valleys and deserts in other places, an even distribution of her bountiful products must be accomplished, and harmony and equality in this distribution established.
This possibility has not been clearly discerned by many persons in the past, but now it is seen as a necessity to the perpetuation of our civilization, and thousands stand ready to demand that it be done.
It is dangerous for our masters of industry and finances to wait for a resumption of prosperity. Unless the people pray and the financiers work, a revolution will be upon us, in which force will take the place of peace.
The early Christians began their brotherhood by having all things in common, as explained in the Book of Acts. Thus we see that the community spirit is part of Christianity. Jesus taught that service, that is giving, as the real source of getting. (Matt. 6).
It is quite evident that the idea, so prevalent among men, that getting will bring happiness has been exploded. Jesus said, "Beware the deceitfulness of riches." The great deception of the world today is that getting riches will result in more contentment, peace, end happiness. This is a great delusion. Everywhere our people are contending over possessions. They may be good. They may, like the rich young man commended by Jesus, have kept all the commandments, but their great possessions keep them out of heaven, harmony. We find that riches do not bring this harmony, this heaven that we are looking for.
The followers of Jesus, the true believers, must follow the early beginners. They must reverse their ideas about the necessity of piling up money, and that men would lose their ambition if the money-making incentive were removed. The real motive should be giving.
You will find this in the 4th chapter of Acts.
The Jesus Christ civilization is upon us, in which giving, and not getting, will be the ambition of every man, and it is now ready to be set up in the earth. A certain financier was asked not very long ago -- he was a very prominent one -- "What is the greatest evil in the commercial world?" He promptly replied, "The love of money." He echoed Paul. Jesus Christ was right when he said, "Beware the deceptions of riches."
Now, the fact is that we have several matters to consider in this matter of money, not only the gamblers of Wall Street, but the gamblers out of Wall Street. This town and every town all over this country is filled with people who are seeking to get some thing for nothing. They are going to get rich without working for it. We must all get that out of our heads; it cannot be done. We must give value received, he must do away with interest, we must get beck to the original principle of the early Hebrews, in which interest was usury. You can figure today the power of interest to produce to the point where everything will be swallowed up.
I remember reading once, years ago, that old Colonel Vanderbilt said to his son Billy — William K. Vanderbilt — "Billy, get your six per cent, and you will have everything in the end. That is true. We have made our money work for us, and that has made us impotent, like this man who had never walked. He never had exerted his own ability, his own power.
We have cone to a place where we find that we have these latent abilities, this power within us, and they must be exercised. We must express ourselves, but it must be done under the divine law: and I think that all the people who are really in spiritual understanding see the necessity of missionary work here at home. Let us broadcast this word, that God is in the world today through His Holy Spirit; that He is revealing to us the true law. Let us be brave enough and courageous enough to proclaim this mighty truth in the name end through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
UNITY SCHOOL OF CHRISTIANITY