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Lesson 7. August 12.
And he said, A certain man had two sons:
And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of thy substance that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country; and there he wasted his substance with riotous living.
14. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want.
15. And he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17. But when he came to himself he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish here with hunger!
18. I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have signed against heaven, and in thy sight:
19. I am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
And he arose, and came to his father. But while he was yet afar off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him,
21. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight: I am no more worthy to be called thy son.
But the father said to his servants, Bring forth quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat, and make merry:
24. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
Golden Text — Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith Jehovah of hosts.- Mal. 3:7.
vf The "two sons" are the two departments of the soul or consciousness. The son who stays at home is the religious and moral nature, and the son who goes into the far country, the appetites and passions. Going into a “far country” is separating the consciousness from its
parent source. department of man's nature is exercised without thought of its relation to Divine Mind, there is a certain separation in consciousness. Independent 'mental habits are formed and a realm of thought and action set up that 'has no consciousness of the source of its existence.
To avoid this we arę enjoined to "Do all things to the glory of God."
Any function of the organism used without uniting it in thought with Divine Mind eventually fails. It does not make any difference who you are, if you are exercising any of the sensations of the flesh without first dedicating them to God, and mentally asking the Divine Presence in what you are doing, you will end up in the Land of Famine.
Hence we should ask and affirm the presence of Divine Mind when we eat our food and when we eliminate it. There should be no distinction or separation in the character of the function. In Being one is as important as the other, and the Great River of Life must flow into all. The various forms of prolapsus of womb, bladder and rectum are mute evidences of the lack of the One Sustaining Life. These may seem homely truths, but they are vitally important to the health and well being of the human family.
A child in a certain community is noted for her beauty and harmony of character, and her mother told a friend that she and her husband made her begetting a subject of earnest prayer and submission to God. This is a practical demonstration of the return of the Prodigal to the Father's house. Every father and mother must so hallow their acts in order to fulfill the Divine Law. The offspring thus brought forth will not be born of the “ will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
The light of truth is being turned on in this Great Day of the Lord in finance, government and food manufacture, yet men are seeking to hide the “ riotous living” of this Prodigal son under the veil of secrecy. The time is at hand when this veil will be lifted. All the dark places of the land are to be opened up, and the expositions of iniquity in higb places will be appalling, but the error must be shown in order to have it corrected. The purification of the moral atmosphere will make easier the descent of the sunlight of Truth into the minds of those who are seeking righteous ways,
The bounty of the Divine Mind will be poured out upon depleted men and women everywhere if they will in consciousness comply with the law of return to the Father's house. The first step is repentance and confession - not to man, nor under theological forms, but to God direct. Say to the Divine Presence, “ Father, I have sinned against heaven and in Thy sight." Though you may seem "afar off," the Father will see you and have compassion and kiss you and receive you into His presence.
The rejoicing and the feast, the ring and the best robe, symbolize your various possessions of soul and body under the law of conscious unity with God.
Lesson 8. August 19. THE JUDGE, THE PHARISEE AND THE PUBLICAN.
- Luke 18:1-14.
And he spake a parable unto them to the end that they ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Saying. There was in a city a judge, who feared not God, and regarded not man: 3.
And there was a widow in that city; and she came oft unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4.
And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5.
Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest she wear me out by her continual coming.
6. And the Lord said, Hear what the unrighteous judge saith. 7.
And shall not God avenge his elect, who cry to him day and night, and yet he is longsuffering over them?
8. I will say unto you, that he will avenge them speedily. Howbeit when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
9. And he spake also this parable unto certain who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and set all others at naught:
Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus within himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I get. 13 But the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me a sinner.
14: I say unto you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled; but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
GOLDEN TEXT- God, be merciful to me a sinner. - Luke 18:13
Undoubtedly the one thing that stands prominent in the teaching of Jesus Christ is the necessity of prayer. He prayed, or in some such manner invoked the presence of God, on the slightest pretext. He prayed over situations that most men would deal with without the intervention of God. The skeptic often asks why, if he was verily God incarnate, did he so often appeal to an apparently higher one. To answer this intelligently and truly one must understand the constitution of man.
There are always two men in each individual. The man without is the picture which the man within paints with his mind. That mind is the open door to the unliminated Principle of Being. When Jesus prayed he was setting into action these various departments of his individuality in order to bring about certain results. Within he was God-identity; without he was human personality.
The various mental attitudes included in the word prayer are not comprehended by those unfamiliar with the spiritual constitution of man. When the trained metaphysician speaks of his demonstrations through prayer he does not explain all the movements of his spirit and mind, because the outer consciousness has not the capacity to receive it.
When we read of Jesus spending whole nights in prayer, the first thought is that he was asking and begging God for something. But we find prayer to be many-sided. It is not only asking but receiving also. . Pray believing that ye have received and ye shall receive. Prayer is also invocatlon and affirmation. Meditation, concentration, denials and affirmations, in the silence, are forms of what is loosely termed “prayer."
Thus Jesus was demonstrating throughout the night over the error thoughts of mind. He was lifting the mortal mentality up to the plane of Spirit through some prayerful thought. The Son of man must be lifted up, and there is no way to do this except through prayer.
One who practices exercise of thought-power discovers that there is a steady growth with proper
The powers of the mind are developed in manner similiar to the strengthening of the muscles of the body. Persisent affirmation of a certain demand in the silence concentrates the mental energies and beats down all barriers.
Jesus illustrates this power of affirmative prayer or repeated silent demands for justice, as a widow, or one bereft of worldly protection and power. Under her persistence even the ungodly judge succumbs. The unceasing prayer of faith is commanded in the Scriptures. in various places. See I. Thes. 5:17; Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18.
If a man's prayers are based upon the thought of his own righteousness and the sinfulness of others, he will not fulfill the law of true prayer. Selfrighteousness is an exclusive thought and closes the door to that great Father-love that we all want. We are not to justify ourselves in the sight of God, but let the Spirit of Justice and Righteousness do its perfect work through us.
DEFINITIONS AND CENTRES.
Closing Lesson, June 29th, 1906, Unity Course, Kansas City, Mo., Unity Building, 913-915 Tracy Avenue. Being: A Spiritual Trinity existing under three
heads: God, Christ, Man; or, Mind, Idea,
Manifestation. God: Divine Mind, Spirit, Being. Man: Idea, or Son of Divine Mind, Christ. Son of Man: Personality, Soul. Wisdom - Love is God. Ideal Perfection is Lord
God or Christ. Manifestation is Adam or
Humanity. Being is epitomized in man. Man is Spirit, Soul, Body. Spirit is Superconscious Mind. Soul is Conscious (Intellect) and Subconscious Mind. Body is Soul in Shape and Form; the Temple of God and Man.