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and I have to do. It is the manifestation of the Christ through person. Every incident recorded of him, you and I will prove true. Ours, also, is the descent of the spirit as we come up out of the baptismal waters of understanding. Understanding, that in what we are, as the invention of the one inventor, we are divine as well as human, and the greater must and will rule the lesser. Then we also are “led
of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” Though we are bewildered by the discrepancies between the human and the divine, though we are tempted by the sense which belongs to the human consciousness only, to deny the divine perception of principle, understanding that it is unchanging, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever, enables us to resist and master all temptation, and sends us forth to prove our divine nature through its mastery of the human and destruction of the sins of the human.
Doing this work, casting out the devils of error, healing all manner of disease consequent upon ignorance and error, mental, moral, and physical, raising those dead to what living really is from that death to that life through our word and work, we come, at last, to the same Gethsemane, to the same Calvary.
That last and final battle in which the human consciousness gives up its struggle for supremacy and acknowledges the divine as the all and only, must be fought by us; and so are we, too, prepared for this last stage in that crucifixion which has been going on from the beginning of personfrom Adam-and made ready for the final ascension of the human into the divine.
Like Jesus, our own human nature must be offered up as a sacrifice to our divine nature. If we, too, be so lifted up, we shall draw all men with us. As limited human sense is crossed by unlimited and far-reaching divine sense, all mankind shall be lifted up by that same cross into the everlasting light of spiritual consciousness.
Like Jesus, we, too, must some time say, “I have finished
the work thou hast given me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, which I had with thee before the world was." Not till we grow into the consciousness of what we really are, as opposed to what we seem to be, and manifest the higher as well as the lesser nature of generic man through person, can we take our leave of human personality, having done with it, and know only the divine personality which is the potentiality existing from before the world, or before the means by which it is made manifest.
The Bible is a text-book of this science of being. Its statements are according to mathematical principles. Its Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division can be seen and followed when we learn to search the Scriptures instead of read them. Creator and creation comprise the all, the whole. What the whole is, what the parts, and what their relation to each other and to it, is what this book teaches.
In conclusion, I would say that the proof of the truth of this statement as to the true nature of the Bible can be gained; and this claim is made from the basis of proven knowledge. Denial of its truth, from the basis of scholastic theology, proves nothing.
Because yours is an open platform devoted to the free expression of honest thought, this statement is made possible here to-day. I only ask those to whom it appears improbable and, perhaps, even nonsensical, to remember what history has ever proven—what experience in the thirty-nine years of these meetings has already proven, that “the nonsense of to-day is the sense of the future.”
At the close of MRS. GESTEFELD's address the subjects of the morning were open for discussion.
JOHN JACKSON, after saying a few words about Mr. Stebbins's book, "Upward Steps of Seventy Years," said he loved the truth and had some knowledge of science, but he had too little sense to understand what MRS. GESTEFELD had said, and thought it was perfect nonsense.
J. Williams THORNE said: Pope's inscription on the temple of Isis, "I am, I always was, I always will be, my veil cannot be lifted,” suits my ideas of this matter.
There are some things which the human intellect cannot grasp or know. So far as the immortality of the soul is concerned, there is not a hint of it in the Bible. In developing the body you develop a certain kind of soul or mind. Some people lose their minds. If the mind is immortal, it cannot be lost. Where is it then? If it were immortal, it would certainly have some recollection of the time when it was stunned or partially drowned. We have no dead matter. There is always a spirit in everything. There was a time when the world knew very little, but it gradually grew and will continue to grow. There is power in everything, even the smallest particle of dust. Theo. Parker said that God as pictured in the Bible is an ugly Devil. The Bible should be looked upon as other books are viewed. The Bible was written long ago. Truth is progressive. The truth of to-dayo will not be the truth of the future.
So let us do the best we can to improve the world. I believe in the divinity of everything, and think we should worship the beautiful and good wherever they are found.
Miss GERTRUDE MAGILL said: I have been much interested in this study of Christian science. The most valuable thing in it to me is the love of truth. While there is much of interest in this science, I think there is much that leads away from natural religion, from the simple ways of life. The poets have had a good insight into this matter. The writers of the Scriptures were poets. Many men have found more real truth in their wives' faces than in the Scriptures. I have been taught to kill out the natural man, but this I do not now think to be right. I think we should train the physical as well as the spiritual, and this will bring out the whole nature harmoniously regulated.
H. B. BLACKWELL said: I am not a student of metaphysics, but when Mr. Jackson referred to Mrs. GESTEFELD's speech
as nonsense, I was reminded of what Theo. Parker once told me. He said that I had no right to criticise a book which I did not understand. I think the speech of Mrs. GESTEFELD was a wonderfully clear piece of reasoning.
The discussion was continued in a very earnest and interesting manner by Mrs. Hooker, Mrs. GESTEFELD, and others.
The session closed, as usual, with singing.
SEVENTH DAY.- Afternoon Session.
The meeting opened at two o'clock with singing by the audience, led by the SWAYNE FAMILY.
HENRY S. Kent was appointed on the Memorial Committee, to fill the vacancy caused by the expiration of the term of F. M. PENNOCK.
HENRY S. KENT made an appeal for funds in behalf of the Business Committee, and the Chair appointed SARAH CHAMBERS, RYLAND Phillips, and Sallie MARSHALL a committee to take up a collection.
The following testimonies were then read:
BY GILES B. STEBBINS.
We would, as ever, make the discovery of truth and its practical application to daily life our sacred and religious aim, seeking to know more of The Soul of Things, of the solemn sense of duty, and of the infinite relations and immortal life of man; that the best thought, the highest truth, and the deepest convictions on these great questions may be best foundations for character and best helps for wise and loving daily conduct. And we ask all, of whatever opinions, to join us in our efforts in fraternal spirit and with entire freedom of thought and utter
BY HENRY S. KENT.
A government in which the authority resides in the people can only continue so long as a certain measure of intelligence and virtue is maintained collectively in its citizens; and it is the sense of this meeting that the time has fully arrived in which the very existence of a free republic on this continent imperatively demands that the further immigration of certain classes of foreigners shall be prohibited.
The illiterate and vicious, the criminal and pauper, the selfungoverned and ungovernable classes, cannot continue to be absorbed into our national organism without producing conditions that must inevitably lead to decay and death.
BY HENRY B. BLACKWELL.
Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and those who obey laws should have a voice in their enactment. But suffrage implies the exercise of a rational choice in regard to principles, measures, and men. Citizens, either women or men, who from extreme ignorance and illiteracy are incapable of expressing an intelligent opinion on public questions, cannot benefit themselves or others by voting. It is their duty to qualify themselves to vote by learning to read and write. The great and growing evil of illiterate suffrage demands on the part of the State the requirement of an educational qualification coupled with the supply of facilities for gratuitous instruction.
The testimony on Religion was adopted, and the other two laid temporarily on the table.