If all men and women attained this state,
this world would automatically become Paradise.
In this true abundant life ,
living and feeling
and altering their characteristics
to surpass anything that can be imagined
by the uninitiated , sleeping mind.
To convey some idea of this condition of consciousness
Now though , would seem to be impossible,
still there are some types of persons
to whom a little something of the larger life
of the awakened soul
might be conveyed before they themselves experience it.
The lovers of nature, of music, of the beautiful and romantic, and of poetry:
in the highest moments reached by such they are aware of an indefinable Something—
an expansion, a going out towards, a longing—yearning,
subtly composed of both joy and pain,
which goes beyond the earth,
beyond the music,
beyond the poetry,
beyond the beautiful into a Nameless Destination.
At these moments they live with the soul .
The commencement of spirit−life.
When the Nameless Destination has become to the soul
that which It really is
and He sends His responses to her,
then the soul knows the fullness of spiritual life
as far as we may know it in the flesh.
But she can neither know the Nameless Destination as God
nor receive His responses
till the heart and the mind have come to repentance of their ways
and have been changed at least in part.
Without this mode of living no one can be said to live in a full or whole manner,
because nothing is whole which does not include the consciousness of God,
and this consciousness in a lively and acute degree.
One of our great difficulties is that when, as the merely half−repentant creature,
we turn to God and, beginning to ask favours of Him,
we get no response, then all our warm feelings and longings towards Him fall back,
we go into a state either of profound unbelief (which is further separation) or into total apathy.
Apathy is a most deadly thing. The more God’s love is received by us
the more His love keeps us from it.
All the circumstances of life will be used to this end.
We may lose our nearest and dearest.
If it is material prosperity that causes a too complete content to live without Him,
then some or all of that prosperity will be removed.
In whatever spot we are most tender—there He will touch us.
“Oh, if it had been anyone else or anything less that we had lost,
then it would not have been so hard to bear,” we say.
Exactly. For nothing less would have been of any use,
and alas! even this may be of no use, for Christ is ever willing and trying to save us,
and we will not be saved.
If we do not get out of this apathy, we shall miss the whole reason of our life here.
By these living thrusts
He brings us to our knees, humbled, humiliated, anguished, in order that,
having awakened and purified us,
He may lift us into His Divine consolations.
We cannot in one step mount up out of our faithless indifferent wrongful condition
into the glories of the knowledge of God.
First we must learn to know Jesus, intimately, devotedly.
Then Jesus the Christ:
then the Father.
Finally God the Holy Trinity
Once found and known by us, HE becomes our All,
and by some unspeakable condescension He becomes to us all things in all ways.
The soul is filled with romantic and divine love,
and instantly God is her Holy Lover:
When sad, weary, or afraid, immediately she turns to Him …
He comforts and mothers her: she is filled with adoring filial love,
and at once He is her Father.
Oh, the wonders of the fullness of the finding and knowing of God!
Let the man who would know happiness here
study the works of God,
and not think he will gain virtue by putting everything that he sees to one side or another,
saying it is not real or it is not good.
It is allvery real of its own kind, and good also if he learns how to use it, and very marvellous.
Let him study how things are made …
God’s things, not trivial man made things—
let him observe how all are made with equal care,
the humblest and the proudest, “the tiny violet perfect as the oak.”
Let him learn the manner of the ways of light and the colours of all that he sees,
and then stop to consider how, having made all these marvels,
God then fashioned his own delicate eyes that he might see and know and enjoy them all.
To consider all these things, and accepting them from God with love,
makes the heart and the mind and the soul dance and sing together …
not with noise but like sunshine upon water.
What is Nature but the demonstration in visible objects of an invisible Will?
This Will we need to trace to its Source;
having done this, we are able to praise and bless God
for every single thing of beauty He has fashioned here:
and this praising and blessing of God becomes nothing less than a continual ecstasy
for both soul and creature, and, indeed, because of this
and by means of this burning appreciation of God’s works,
both soul and creature find their sweetest consolations as they wait to be taken to a holier world.
When they both bless God with the fire of their love for every tender thing that He has made,
then their days become to them one long delight.
This blessing of God and His works is not just a blessing with lips, but feels this way.
The words being said by the heart, a burning spark of enthusiasm is immediately kindled there,
which spark sets light to a spark in the soul;
and this invisible fire joining another Invisible Fire,
instantly in immense exaltation we enter the joys of God.
But because of our flesh we cannot stay but only enter and come back.
We are made to love and adore God, but the mode of entry into this
is not by beseeching God to come down and love us,
but by constant endeavor to enter up into His estate,
to offer Him love:
this enthusiasm for God brings about a mysterious accomplishment of all needs, desires, joys.
We are made to love and adore God, and because of this without Him
we are an Emptiness, a Great Want.
Such is the lovely and perfect reciprocity of love that as this Great Want
we are the pleasure and the joy of the All−Giving God.
And He is the All−Giving that He may rejoice and fill our extremity of Want.
So we are each to each that which each most desires.
This is Divine Love.
Let us not imagine that by making very much of earthly loves
we shall by those obtain the heavenly:
on the contrary, love of creatures, a
nd too much turning to and thinking of and depending upon creatures,
is a sure manner of hindering us till we have learned to unite with Divine Love.
This love for creatures is often for the heart and soul what syrup is to the wings of a fly!
Do not be content with creatures, but seek beyond the earthly for the heavenly.
This is not to say that we are not to love our fellow−creatures,
attend to them,
wait upon them,
bear with them,
and work for them;
but whilst doing all these we are not to make them the object of our life:
we are not to think that by merely running about amongst creatures
frenzied with plans for their social improvement and comfort
the nearer we are necessarily getting to God, or even truly pleasing Him.
All these multiplicities of frenzied interests are best centred upon
the finding and knowing and loving of Jesus Christ within our own hearts.
When this finding, knowing, loving and believing into Christ Jesus has been accomplished,
then we shall have accomplished the only work God asks us to accomplish,
and all other works will automatically, peacefully, and smoothly
come to their proper fruition in us through Him.
Neither imagine we shall do this finding of Jesus in, or because of, another person.
We shall not find Him in another person or anywhere till we have first found Him in ourselves:
and this by inward pondering, this delicate tender thinkings, our loving comparisons,
sweet enthusiasms, and persistent endeavors to imitate His gentle ways and manners
as being some proof of our desire to love and find Him.
The need which is the most pressing of all our needs is to find that Light
which will light us when we have to go out from the light of this world
into the solitudes of that which we often so lightly and confidently speak of as “the other world.”
Without Christ we go with a fearful loneliness:
with Christ we walk the rainbow paths of Paradise.
Having tasted the blissful wonders of God,
nothing less than God Himself can satisfy, comfort, or fill either the soul, heart, or mind;
and yet we are still in a too small and imperfect condition
to endure the power and strength of God’s bliss for more than brief spells,
so that after coming to these high things …
our portion here is to learn to be a useful willing servant,
carrying with as cheerful a face as we are able
the burden of life in the flesh , and endure this waiting to be with Christ , free of the flesh.
What is the multiplied bliss of God?
They are contact with an immeasurable Passion,
they are our passion meeting the Fountain of all Passions:
and God is communicated to us by a magnetism
which in its higher degrees becomes luminous and unbearable.
Drawing us closer and closer to Him …
Are these divine joys and comforts of God
directed towards us because we are more loved by God,
because our salvation is more sure than that of those who are without these comforts?
It is because we obey a particular and subtle law of giving to God,
and do not (as is more natural to us)
content ourselves with merely believing, expecting, and hoping to receive from God.
Let us begin to pray more frequently than we now do:
“My Lord, increase my faith,
increase my love,
and increase my understanding of how to use this faith
and this love when they have been begotten in me.”
On every side we hear complaints against the Church.
It is suggested that we are falling away from God because of some lack in the Church.
But this fault of the Church
is exactly the same fault which is to be found in the members of the congregation which compose it—
a tepid love for a dimly known Lord.
When every member of the congregation in his own heart worships the beloved Christ,
then the Church will be found to have gained that which is now lacking,
and which we attribute to some leadership failure and not our own also.
The Church ceremonials is hard to speak of,
for the lover of God can have no eyes for them:
but worship is all in the heart
but that set rules, regulations, and ceremonials in prayers and worship
are most right and proper for the creature publicly worshipping its Creator.
That the assembling together in church is the outward and visible acknowledgment
of the creature’s worship of God
and also a looking for the fulfilling of the promise
“where two or three are gathered together in My name.”
The redeemed child worships very passionately with all its little heart and mind
and all its tiny strength, learning in its own self the words of David:
“I was glad when they said unto me, We will go into the house of the Lord.”
But the soul cannot worship in set words,
neither can she have need or use for the ceremonials invented by and for the creature,
but worships God in another manner altogether, as she is taught by the Holy Spirit,
and in the greatness of her worship mounts to God, and closes with God.
For holy love cannot long be divided.
Often the Lord will visit causing the soul and the mind and the
heart to cry out:
“But of what use to me is this meat and drink which is before me?
I have no need of it,
I can do nothing other than sip of the holy beauty of my Lord.”
And immediately we are so pressed the earthly cup must be set down,
and in very great ecstasy we sup in spirit with the Lord.
The unnameable Elixir of God is the Wine, and Love is the Bread.
When holy love grows great in us
we wonder that we ever thought that human love was love at all,
for no matter how great it may once have seemed it now seems so small
it is no greater than the humming of a bee around a flower in summer time.
But holy love—who can begin to describe it? It rides upon great wings,
it burns like a devouring fire, it makes nothing of Space
and comes before Him like the lightnings,
saying, “Here am I,”
and, gathering all things, all loves into itself, pours them out at the feet of God.
By the mere following of rituals, doctrines, dogmas, ceremonies,
we are in great danger of the mind of the Pharisee with his reliance as means of salvation
upon the washing of hands and cups,
and except we exceed this righteousness we do not enter the Kingdom.
Or the mind of the lawyer, which type of mind seeks
obstinately, forcefully, to mold the secrets of the soul’s communion with God
and fix them upon cold documents where they quickly cease to have life.
Above the fretful and contentious human reason
is the intelligence of the soul, and this soul has in itself a higher part f
or we become acutely aware that part of it with which we come in contact with God,
with which we respond to God,
receive His manifestations,
and are laid bare to His blisses.
Separated from worldly things by an impalpable veil,
it rests above all such things in serene calm,
and strangest of all, has no comprehension whatever of sin:
when we enter this part of the soul and live with it …
sin and evil become not only non−existent but unthinkable, unimaginable:
we are totally removed from any such order of existence.
It communicates its knowledge to the lower part of the soul,
the soul to the Reason,
the Reason to the rest of the creature.
We say we are fearfully and wonderfully made,
and in saying this we think of the body,
but far more wonderful is the making of the spiritual of us.
O man, climb out of the gross materialism of thy fleshly self,
for thou canst do it!
As out of the heavy earth come the delicate flowers of spring,
so out of the heavy body, because of that divine which is within it,
come the marvelous flowers of the soul.
To think that we can come to God and know Him
by means of our intelligence or reason
is as unwise as to suppose we can eat our dinner with our feet;
it is as necessary to use our teeth to eat our food
as it is to use our heart to find God,
and it is nothing but the natural vanity of the human mind which blinds us to this fact.
The human reason is too small to stand the greatness of God,
and could it ever reach to Him would be withered in the awfulness of His magnetic light.
Even the soul in her contacts with God whilst still in the flesh is of necessity totally blind,
and yet, blind as she is, is pierced by this terrible intensity of light and energy.
How then shall the reason stand naked before God without madness or frenzy?
To reason out upon paper where God is, why He is, what He is,
and how precisely He is to be discovered, will take us no further up into the mysteries
of the actual knowing of the wonders of His love than the ink and paper we employ might do.
To know this love in our own heart is the necessity,
for the soul and the heart live hand in hand as it were and together can find and know God.
God once found by the heart,
then we can dwell upon Him with our reason,
and feed our reason with the knowledge we have acquired of Him through the heart and soul.
The Holy Ghost aids us in this deep search, quickens us, gives us impulses.
At first in our natural state we are able only in a very dim way to perceive these impulses,
but we can become so sensitive to God that He pierces us, brings us to the ground with a breath,
and we bend and yield before His lightest wish as a reed bends and quivers to the wind.
When the heart and soul are greatly set upon God and we have become true lovers of God,
there comes a danger of falling into so deep a longing for God
that the health both of the mind and of the body is weakened by it.
We should aim at cheerful and willing waiting: anything else is a falling short;
if we look deeper into it, we shall see that pining , tastes strongly of unwillingness and discontent
there is something of the spirit of the pining servant who designs to give notice of leaving.
The lover of God is the most blessed of all creatures
and should show himself serenely glad, waiting with patience,
knowing as he does from his own experiences
that who has God for a Lover has no need of any other.