THE PHYSICAL MANIFESTATIONS AND PHILOSOPHY OF CHRIST

It was no part of my original intention in writing this book to enter
upon the discussion of theological questions, or to speculate upon the
possible condition of the soul after the death of the body. Nor shall
I, to any great extent, enter upon that prolific field of discussion
at this time. Nevertheless, I cannot refrain from presenting a few
thoughts which have forced themselves upon me concerning the relation
which the hypothesis under consideration bears to the history and
doctrines of the man Jesus Christ. In doing so I hope to offend no
man’s theology, and to avoid the accusation of seeking to “open the
secret of spiritual life in the criminal court of empirical philosophy.”

It has often been said that the laws which enable man to perceive
spiritual truths, or to apprehend the relation which his spiritual
nature bears to the Christ, cannot be formulated by any known methods
of finite reasoning, that spiritual truth must be approached from the
spiritual side, and that it must be perceived by the eye of faith.
Nevertheless, there are many who have never been able to attain that
faith in the spiritual nature of Christ, for the reason that they
persist in approaching him by and through the finite processes of
reasoning. Their conceptions of him come through the history of his
physical life, and their doubts arise through their unbelief in the
verity of the history of his physical manifestations. The history of
critical warfare upon Christianity will bear out the statement that
this is, and has ever been, the great stumbling-block. The assaults of
scepticism have always been upon the man Christ; and, being unable to
reconcile the accounts of his physical history and manifestations with
the laws of nature, as understood by his critics, sceptics have ignored
the spiritual side of his character, and ended in total unbelief in his
divine attributes.

If, therefore, the discoveries of modern science can be made to
throw any light upon the history of the man Jesus; if they confirm
all that has been said of the physical phenomena which characterized
his career,–the first great obstacle which stands in the way of the
acceptance of the essential spiritual doctrines which he promulgated
will be removed.

If, in addition to that, it can be shown that the discoveries of modern
science not only confirm the story of his physical manifestations,
but demonstrate the essential truth of the central idea which he
promulgated concerning man’s immortality, show the philosophy of
his mission on earth, and prove that he was, and is, as a matter of
scientific truth, the Saviour of the souls of men, there will be little
left upon which scepticism can hang a reasonable doubt.

I undertake to say that modern science can do all this, and more.

It has often been said that the New Testament bears internal evidence
of its own truth. This is true. But it is not true in the sense in
which it has been stated. It has been said that such evidence consists
in the alleged fact that at the time when Christ lived, there was no
one else capable of formulating the code of ethics and morals which he
promulgated. That this is not true is evidenced by the writings of many
who preceded him. The golden rule itself, which may be said to embody
the noblest conception which has been given to mankind of man’s duty
to his fellow-man, is found in the writings of Confucius. The code of
ethics found in the writings of the ancient Greek philosophers will
compare favorably with anything found in the New Testament. It is not
in this, therefore, that the internal evidence of the truth of the New
Testament is to be found.

But I undertake to say that in view of the state of scientific
knowledge which existed at the time when Christ appeared on earth, it
was absolutely impossible that a fictitious character could have been
created, embodying the salient features of the physical history and
character of Christ, by any one of his day and generation. The writers
of the New Testament must have had an original from which to write
the history, draw the character, and state the attributes of Christ.
This is especially true of his physical history and manifestations;
for no one but he was at that time capable of doing his work or of
formulating with scientific accuracy the secret and source of his
power. Nor was any one of his day capable of conceiving the ideas
which he promulgated concerning his spiritual mission on earth, or of
stating, as he did, the exact conditions upon which mankind must depend
for salvation and immortality. He did not formulate the scientific
principles which underlie his doctrines, for the world was not ready to
receive, nor capable of appreciating, them; he only stated the facts.
It has been left for the discoveries of modern science to demonstrate
the scientific accuracy of his statements. That he understood the
principles which underlie his doctrines and constitute the secret of
his power, goes without saying; but his biographers did not understand
them, or, if they did, they were as reticent as he was. Nor is it
important to know whether they were or were not in possession of that
knowledge. The point is, that they could not have created the character
without the original to draw from, and, _a fortiori_, they could not
have formulated the doctrines which, after the lapse of nineteen
hundred years, prove to be scientifically correct. But it is said that
they were inspired. Leaving out of consideration the theological idea
of inspiration, it is certain that they were inspired in the highest
and best sense of the word. They were inspired by the authoritative
declarations of the Master,–by his statement of the great principles
of his philosophy; by the words of him “who spake as never man
spake,”–words of which he made the declaration, that, “though heaven
and earth shall pass away, my words shall not pass away.” With this
view of the source of the inspiration of the writers of the New
Testament, the internal evidence of the essential truth of the history
of Jesus Christ is demonstrative.

If Jesus had formulated the scientific principles which pertain to
his doctrines and his works, and had taught them to his disciples,
there would have been no internal evidence whatever of the truth of
his history, or that he ever existed. The reason is obvious. If his
biographers had been in possession of that knowledge, no matter from
what source they obtained it, it would have been possible for them to
create a fictitious character possessing all the powers and attributes
of Christ. A few years ago it would have been impossible for the most
lively imagination to picture two men, standing a thousand miles apart,
transmitting oral messages to each other over a wire stretched between
them. If, however, a statement had been made by any one that he had
seen the feat performed, the existence of the telephone to-day would be
demonstrative evidence of the truth of his statement, however sceptical
his own generation might have been. In other words, the discoveries of
modern science would have developed the fact that he spoke the truth.
If it were known that the man who made the statement knew absolutely
nothing of the science of electricity, the internal evidence of its
truth would be all the stronger; for a man well versed in the science
of electricity might be supposed to be capable of imagining the
possibility of such an invention, and stating its existence as a fact.
But a man ignorant of electrical laws could by no possibility conceive
the idea of the telephone; he must be presented with the concrete fact
in order to be able to state it intelligently.

It was so with the biographers of Jesus. They knew nothing of the
scientific principles involved in the performance of his wonderful
works. They knew only the facts, and they recorded them. He gave to
his apostles just enough information to enable them to continue his
work. He stated the conditions of success, and promised the world
that whosoever complied with those conditions should be able to do
even greater works than he had done. He formulated the doctrine
of immortality, and stated the conditions of its attainment. His
biographers have recorded his words, but not his reasons, for he
gave none. If, therefore, science demonstrates that the powers that
he possessed are possible, that the conditions of their exercise
are precisely what he declared them to be, and that they cannot be
exercised without a strict compliance with those conditions, the
internal evidence for the truth of his history is overwhelming.
Modified by the nature of the subject, and of the proofs required, the
same may be said of his spiritual doctrines.

His practical wisdom is nowhere shown more conspicuously than in his
reticence. He had two very important reasons for withholding a full
disclosure of the underlying principles of his philosophy, or of the
laws which pertain to his physical manifestations. The first was that
the world was not ready to receive the whole truth. This was said to
his disciples during his last interview with them previous to his
crucifixion. “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot
bear them now.” He had given to his followers all that it was expedient
to give in that age. He had told them the conditions of salvation.
He had taught them how to heal the sick. He had taught them how to
employ their powers in doing good, both physically and spiritually. But
he knew that the same power which he taught them how to use for the
physical benefit of mankind might also, in the hands of wicked men, be
employed for doing evil. He knew that the condition of its exercise for
evil purposes was a full knowledge of the laws which pertain to it.
He knew that in the hands of the majority of the men of his day and
generation it was a dangerous power,–too dangerous to be intrusted to
the world in its then stage of public and private virtue, morality,
religion, and enlightenment.

There was an exoteric doctrine which he promulgated to the world, and
an esoteric doctrine which he deemed it inexpedient to divulge before
the world was prepared to receive it. His whole career illustrates this
important fact.

His habit of speaking to the multitude in parables, together with
his reasons for so doing, constitutes the strongest evidence of his
determination to conceal his esoteric doctrines from the common people.

“And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto
them in parables?

“He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to
know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not
given….

“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see
not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand….

“For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of
hearing, and their eyes they have closed….

“All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and
without a parable spake he not unto them:

“That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet,
saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which
have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.”[39]

These passages make it as clear as words can formulate a proposition
that he deemed it inexpedient to divulge to the people anything more
than they could understand and assimilate. His estimate of men and his
knowledge of their needs were perfect; and he gave to each class with
whom he had to deal, just what was necessary to enable it to perform
the work assigned to it. He taught the multitude the principles of
morality and justice among men, and pointed the way to eternal life;
but he did not teach them how to heal the sick. He taught his chosen
ones the true method of healing the sick, and divulged the exact
conditions of its exercise; but he did not teach them the scientific
principles upon which his system of healing was founded. They were no
more capable of understanding those principles than were the multitude
capable of acquiring the power to heal the sick. He gave to each
according to his needs; and, true to his spiritual mission, Christ
enjoined upon all men the necessity of first seeking the kingdom of
heaven, when all other needful things would be added unto them. It
was not necessary for his disciples to know the esoteric science of
healing, in order to enable them to heal the sick, any more than it is
for us to-day. We may know how little the knowledge of true scientific
principles involved in the exercise of that power has to do with
success in healing, when we observe the diversity of views entertained
on the subject by the successful healers of modern times. Christ gave
to the world all the knowledge necessary for the successful exercise of
that power in the one word _faith_. He was the first who taught that
lesson to mankind; and it holds as good to-day as it did when he first
proclaimed it to the multitude upon the banks of the Jordan.

The second reason for withholding a statement of the scientific
principles involved in his manifestations of power and his spiritual
philosophy was that he foresaw the time approaching when the world
would reason it out for itself; and that when that time came, mankind
would be prepared to receive it. He foresaw that in the progress of
civilization and enlightenment the time would surely come when the
world would not be content to rest its belief upon the doctrine of
any one, whatever his claims to inspiration or authority. In other
words, he foresaw the present age of materialism, and its tendency
towards scepticism regarding everything which cannot be scientifically
demonstrated by the inductive processes of reasoning. He knew that when
that epoch should have arrived in the history of man’s intellectual
development, the truth of his doctrines would be all the more forcibly
impressed upon mankind if they could be proved by the inexorable rules
of logic. Besides, science and inductive reasoning would have been
lost upon the people with whom he had to deal. That he fully realized
this is shown by his implied rebuke to the nobleman of Capernaum,
when he exclaimed, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not
believe.” To have attempted to reason with them would have been like
“casting pearls before swine.” He appealed to them by the only logic
they could understand. He offered to them the only evidence they could
appreciate,–the evidence of their senses.

That Christ foresaw the time when the world would be in possession of
indubitable evidence of the truth concerning him, but that he knew
that the time had not yet come, is clearly shown by his remarks to his
disciples in his memorable interview with them just previous to his
crucifixion:

“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them
now.”[40]

This refers to the then existing conditions. He had given them all
the proofs that they were capable of appreciating of the truth of his
doctrines. In the next sentence he refers to the time to come, when
still more evidence would be given to the world.

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you
into all truth.”[41]

This clearly refers to the time, which was yet to come, when mankind
should seek the truth and demand to know it. The “Spirit of truth” is
a personification of that spirit in man which seeks to learn the truth
for its own sake, by the only process known to this world,–inductive
reasoning. That day has come. The Spirit of truth is abroad throughout
all the civilized world, and it demands reasons for the faith that is
in the Christian Church.

Again Christ said:–

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the
Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father,
he shall testify of me:

“And ye shall also bear witness, because ye have been with me from
the beginning.”[42]

The first verse above quoted has the same meaning as this last
quotation. The second refers to the events of his life of which they
were witnesses. He foresaw that the record of those events would be
read by future generations, and compared with later experiments. He
had left the power to heal as a heritage to all who should come after
him, possessing the requisite faith; and he knew that the testimony
of his disciples concerning the works that he had performed would be
compared with later exhibitions of the same power. He foresaw that the
“Spirit of truth” would eventually discover the laws pertaining to
his doctrines and his works, and that a comparison of the testimony
of his followers with the discoveries of science would demonstrate
to the world the essential truth of his history and of his spiritual
philosophy.

I shall now briefly point out a few of the more salient features of the
history of Jesus which bear upon the subject under consideration, and
shall undertake to show, first, how the discoveries of modern science
confirm the accounts of his physical manifestations; and secondly, how
they confirm the essential features of his spiritual philosophy.

The prominent feature of his physical manifestations consisted in
healing the sick; and in the discussion of the first division of the
subject I shall confine myself to the consideration of that part of his
career.

The first proposition bearing upon the subject is, that Jesus Christ
was the first who correctly formulated the exact conditions necessary
and indispensable to the exercise of the power to heal the sick by
psychic methods.

The second proposition is, that the conditions which he declared to be
necessary to enable him to exercise that power are the same conditions
which are indispensable to-day.

These propositions will be considered together.

The condition which he declared to be essential, not only in the
patient, but in the healer, is embraced in the one word _faith_. That
word, more than any other, expresses the whole law of human felicity
and power in this world, and of salvation in the world to come. It is
that attribute of mind which elevates man above the level of the brute,
and gives him dominion over all the physical world. It is the essential
element of success in every field of human endeavor. It constitutes the
power of the human soul. When Jesus of Nazareth proclaimed its potency
from the hill-tops of Palestine he gave to mankind the key to health
and to heaven, and earned the title of Saviour of the World.

It would seem to be a work of supererogation to cite particular
passages of the Scriptures or to employ argument to prove the
correctness of the proposition that Jesus considered faith in the
patient a necessary condition of his recovery. The proposition is
plainly true, and it has been so understood by all intelligent readers
of the New Testament until very recent times. There are those,
however, who now seem to fear that Jesus will be robbed of his glory,
and reduced to the common level of mankind, if it is shown that the
conditions necessary to the success of the mental healer of to-day
are the same as they were nineteen hundred years ago. In other words,
they endeavor to show that Jesus did not operate in harmony with the
laws which he proclaimed, but independently and in defiance of the
very principles of nature which it was his mission to illustrate and
expound. He did not pretend to establish any new law of nature, but
to teach mankind that which had been in existence from the beginning,
to illustrate it in his life, and to sanction it by his death. He did
not teach his disciples the principles and laws involved in healing the
sick, and at the same time violate himself. He taught them his methods
of healing, and sent them into the world to imitate his example. When
they failed, as they occasionally did fail, he reproved them for
neglecting his teachings, and upbraided them for their want of faith.
When the lunatic was brought to him, and he was told that his disciples
had failed to cast out the devil which afflicted the patient, Jesus
exclaimed: “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be
with you? how long shall I suffer you?” After he had cast out the
devil, the disciples asked him why they could not cast him out.

“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I
say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall
say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall
remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”[43]

His expression concerning their power to remove mountains doubtless had
reference to the fact that ponderable bodies can be moved by subjective
power, under proper conditions, as has been frequently demonstrated in
later times.

Many passages might be quoted illustrating the proposition that faith
was a necessary condition in the minds of the apostolic healers; but it
is believed that no one will gainsay the proposition. It may be said,
however, that Jesus did not require faith in himself to enable him to
heal the sick,–that he healed independently of that law. The obvious
answer is that he had that knowledge of his power which transcended
faith: or rather, that he had the faith which came from knowledge of
that power. In the sense that faith ceases where knowledge begins,
he may be said not to have had faith. His disciples arrived at that
point after an experimental demonstration of their power; and so may
we all do likewise. As I have shown in a former chapter, subjective
faith may be acquired in direct contradiction to objective faith
or belief; but after an experimental demonstration of the power of
subjective faith, objective belief no longer sets up an auto-suggestion
against it. It then becomes knowledge, and in that sense it ceases
to be faith. Nevertheless, in the sense in which it is said that the
healer must have faith to enable him to heal the sick, he has faith. In
that sense it cannot be disputed that Jesus had faith in his power to
heal the sick. It is thought, therefore, that enough has been said to
demonstrate the proposition that faith was a requisite element in the
healers of Jesus’ time. Certainly no one will dispute the proposition
that it is necessary in the psychic healers of to-day. We may consider,
therefore, that two points in our argument are established,–namely
(1), that the conditions requisite in psychic healers of this day are
identical with those required in apostolic times; and (2) that Jesus
was the first to proclaim the principle and to exemplify it in his
works. The difference is not in principle, but in degree of power.

It is said, however, that Jesus did not require faith in those whom he
healed. The first answer to this proposition is that there is nothing
in his recorded words to warrant the statement. He never professed to
be able to heal independently of that condition. On the contrary, all
his expressions on that subject lead to the inevitable conclusion that
faith was a necessary condition of the patient’s mind to enable him to
effect a cure. It may be true that in some cases he said nothing about
it; but this is only negative evidence, and of the weakest kind, in
view of what he _did_ say on the numerous occasions when circumstances
required an utterance on the subject.

A striking instance of healing, and a fair example of his utterances on
this subject, is recorded in Matthew ix. 28, 29, 30:–

“And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him:
and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this?
They said unto him, Yea, Lord.

“Then he touched their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it
unto you.

“And their eyes were opened.”

Jesus was not in the habit of uttering idle words, or words without
significance. In all history there is not an example recorded of a man
whose reticence was so marked. Every word he uttered conveyed some
important lesson to humanity. It does not seem probable that he would
question those poor blind men regarding their faith in his power,
unless their faith was an important factor in the case.

The case of the ten lepers of Samaria and Galilee has been cited as
an instance of his healing in the absence of faith on the part of the
patients:–

“And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men
that were lepers, which stood afar off:

“And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have
mercy on us.

“And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto
the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were
cleansed.

“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and
with a loud voice glorified God,

“And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he
was a Samaritan.

“And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where
are the nine?

“There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this
stranger.

“And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee
whole.”[44]

It has been said that this passage shows that nine out of the ten were
healed without the exercise of faith on their part, because he said to
but one of them, “Thy faith hath made thee whole.” The obvious answer
to this is that he had no opportunity to say it to the rest. There was
but one of the ten who exhibited sufficient gratitude to return and
give thanks for what had been done for him. That the rest were healed
in the same way is obvious. That they all had faith in his power is
evidenced by the fact that they cried to him from afar off, “Jesus,
Master, have mercy on us.” I submit that that is not the language of
doubt.

Again, it has been said that in the cases where he raised from the dead
there could have been no faith on the part of the dead. This is by all
odds the strongest case that could be cited in support of the theory
that faith was not required. But the objection instantly vanishes when
we remember that it is the faith of the subjective mind, or the soul,
that is required; and that the belief of the objective mind has only
a limited control, governed by circumstances.[45] When Jesus raised a
person from the dead, the conditions were, in one sense of the word,
the best possible to enable him to obtain complete mastery of the soul
of the deceased by the power of suggestion. The objective senses were
in complete abeyance, the body was dead; consequently, there was no
objective auto-suggestion of doubt possible. The soul, in obedience to
the universal law, was amenable to control by the mysterious power of
suggestion. Jesus, possessing more subjective power than any one who
has ever lived, commanded the soul of the deceased to return to its
earthly tenement. He may not have employed objective language when he
issued his command, but his soul, in perfect telepathic communion with
that of the deceased, and dominating it as only he could dominate the
souls of men, issued his mental mandate to the departing soul to return
to the body and resume its functions. That command it must obey, and
it did obey. There was no law of nature violated or transcended. On
the contrary, the whole transaction was in perfect obedience to the
laws of nature. He understood the law perfectly, as no one before him
understood it; and in the plenitude of his power he applied it where
the greatest good could be accomplished.

The case of Jairus’ daughter is a perfect illustration of the fact
that he perfectly understood the mental conditions necessary to enable
him to raise her from the dead. Jairus, one of the rulers of the
synagogue, besought Jesus to come to his house and heal his daughter,
who was lying at the point of death. Jesus readily complied with the
request; but before they arrived, word was sent to Jairus that the
damsel was dead:–

“While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s
house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou
the Master any further?

“As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the
ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.

“And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and
John the brother of James.

“And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and
seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.

“And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado,
and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.

“And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out,
he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that
were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.

“And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, _Talitha
cumi_; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.

“And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of
the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great
astonishment.

“And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and
commanded that something should be given her to eat.”[46]

There are several points embraced in the above which are deserving of
serious consideration.

The first is that Christ perfectly understood the importance of
securing for his patient a favorable mental environment. To that end
he endeavored to quiet the fears of the father, and to impress upon
him the necessity of holding his mind in the attitude of faith and
confidence. The father was necessarily in telepathic rapport with the
daughter, and it was important that he should not impress his doubts
and fears upon her departing soul. The injunction was, therefore, laid
upon him, “Be not afraid, only believe.”

He also understood the value of a positive mental force surrounding
the deceased, which would be in perfect harmony with his own force and
purpose. To that end, he selected three of the most powerful of his
followers, Peter, James, and John, to be present in the chamber of
death, and he suffered no one else to follow him. He kept the multitude
of unbelievers as far away as possible. When he came to the house and
saw the tumult, and heard the weeping and wailing of the friends and
relatives of the deceased, he not only put them all out of the room,
but sought to quiet their fears by the only way possible, which was by
assuring them that “the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.” These words
possess a double meaning, a double purpose; and some have supposed that
they implied that the damsel was only in a cataleptic trance. It is
probable, however, that they were uttered in the sense that the soul
never dies. It will be remembered that he used the same expression in
regard to Lazarus, but afterwards explained his meaning by declaring
that Lazarus was really dead in the common acceptation of the term.
His object in using that expression was twofold. First, he desired to
quiet the fears and stop the lamentations of the friends and relatives,
for the obvious reason that their hopeless wailing must operate as a
strong adverse suggestion to the soul of the patient. The only way that
could be accomplished was by an assurance that the damsel was not dead.
Secondly, he knew the potency of such a suggestion upon the patient
herself. It was the master-stroke on his part, first, to quiet the
fears of the relatives, and secondly, to fill the departing soul with
the subjective faith necessary to enable him successfully to command it
to return to the body. That this was his object in uttering those words
there can be no reasonable doubt; more especially as it is precisely
what an intelligent mental healer who thoroughly understands the law of
suggestion would do to-day, in the light of recent rediscoveries in the
science which Jesus taught.

Here, then, are seven separate and distinct acts which he performed,
all tending in the one direction:–

1. He inspired the father with faith, because he was in telepathic
rapport with his daughter.

2. He prohibited the multitude of unbelievers from approaching the
house, knowing the adverse influence of an atmosphere of incredulity
and doubt.

3. He took three of his most powerful apostles with him, for the
purpose of surrounding the patient with an atmosphere of faith and
courage.

4. He excluded the weeping friends and relatives from the sick room,
for the same reason that he prevented the multitude from following him.

5. He assured them that the damsel was not dead, for the purpose of
inspiring them with faith and hope in her recovery, and thus adding
another favorable element to the mental environment.

6. By the same words of assurance that the damsel was not dead
he conveyed to her subjective mind the most powerful suggestion
possible,–indeed, the only suggestion applicable to the exigencies of
the case.

7. Having thus secured the best possible conditions, he took the damsel
by the hand, and, by an energetic command, restored her to life.

The sceptic will doubtless interpose the objection that the damsel
could not have been dead, but that it was merely a case of suspended
animation. To this the reply is, first, that it is claimed by
the Eastern adepts that as long as the vital organs of the body
are perfect, it is always possible to compel the soul to return
to its habitation. It is certain that there are many apparently
well-authenticated instances of the performance of the feat even in
the Western hemisphere. The second and most pertinent reply is that
the evidential value of the case is just as great, supposing it to
have been a case of suspended animation. The point is that Jesus could
not have taken the course he did if he had not been in full possession
of the knowledge of the laws pertaining to mental therapeutics. This
one case is demonstrative, first, that he perfectly understood the
laws of telepathy; and secondly, that he fully understood the law
of suggestion. Indeed, Jesus was the first discoverer of that law,
for the word _faith_ is an epitome of the whole law of suggestion.
In short, the internal evidence of the exact truth of this narrative
is demonstrative, in view of what is now known of the laws of mental
healing. For, in his day, no one but he knew enough about those laws
to enable him to carry out the minute details of the process; and, _a
fortiori_, no one could have written the narrative in the absence of an
exemplar.




There are two other points embraced in the last paragraph of the
narrative which must not be overlooked.

“And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and
commanded that something should be given her to eat.”

The injunction of secrecy contained in the first part of the paragraph
was often laid upon those whom he healed. “See thou tell no man” was
an injunction which was often repeated by him in the course of his
career as a healer of the sick, and it still further illustrates his
wonderful knowledge of the science of mental therapeutics. The reason
for so charging his beneficiaries has only recently been discovered.
It is this: When a person is suddenly healed by mental processes, it
becomes a matter of the first importance that he should not talk on
the subject in public, or to persons who are sceptical. The reason is
that sceptical persons are apt to dispute the facts or to ridicule
the idea of healing by such processes. They often say to a patient:
“You have been cured by exciting your imagination, and the disease
will return as soon as the excitement is over.” This constitutes a
suggestion which must act unfavorably, and it often causes the patient
to look for the predicted return of the disease. His fears are aroused
by imperceptible degrees; and if the suggestion is persisted in, the
fears will eventually be realized. A person must needs be well grounded
in the faith, and well versed in the science, to resist the insidious
influence of an unfavorable suggestion constantly reiterated by his
sceptical friends. It is, therefore, of the highest importance that the
injunction of Christ should be observed. That he did not utter those
words idly, and without a full knowledge of the principles involved,
cannot be doubted.

“And he commanded that something should be given her to eat.” These
words show merely that he did not despise the ordinary means of
imparting vigor to the wasted frame. As we have remarked in a former
chapter, he did not hesitate to employ material remedies in connection
with, and auxiliary to, his occult power. The mental healers of to-day
would do well to profit by the example of the Master, especially when
their patients are new to the faith, or, from any cause, refractory.

Taken as a whole, the narrative of the raising of Jairus’ daughter from
the dead conveys the best lesson in mental therapeutics which has ever
been given to mankind. No mental healer of this day, even though he may
be thoroughly versed in all the discoveries of modern science relating
to mental therapeutics, could make it more complete.

Again I repeat that no man who lived in the days of Christ could have
written that narrative except under the inspiration of literal truth.
The scientific knowledge necessary for the production of a fictitious
narrative corresponding to that did not exist in the minds of men
previous to this, the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Up to
this time the knowledge of the scientific principles involved was
confined to one man,–Christ Jesus.

It is noteworthy, in this connection, that Jesus was in the habit of
healing by what is known at this day as “absent treatment;” that is,
healing when at a distance from the patient, and without his knowledge.
The healing of the nobleman’s son at Capernaum is a striking example
of this. The nobleman met Jesus at Cana, and besought him to heal his
son, who was at the point of death. Without going near the patient,
Christ said to the nobleman: “Go thy way; thy son liveth.” It was
afterwards ascertained that at the same hour the fever left the young
man, and he recovered. The principles involved in absent treatment
have been fully explained in another chapter, and will not be repeated
here; I may remark, however, that the most perfect faith that can
be obtained for therapeutic purposes is that which arises from a
telepathic suggestion to the subjective mind of the patient, when he is
objectively ignorant of the fact that anything is being done for him.
It is evident that Jesus fully understood this law, as he did all the
laws of mental therapeutics. The patient in this case was objectively
ignorant of the effort made to heal him; he was, therefore, objectively
passive, and no adverse auto-suggestion was possible. The father also
was full of faith, or he would not have entreated Jesus in such earnest
and pathetic terms to save his son. The conditions were therefore as
perfect as possible for successful absent treatment.

The healing of the centurion’s servant was a parallel case. It was on
this occasion that Jesus declared, “I have not found so great faith,
no, not in Israel.”

It is needless to multiply instances to illustrate the fact that
Jesus healed by the same law which prevails at this day,–the law of
faith. It seems like arguing a self-evident proposition to show that
he required that condition on the part of the patient to enable him to
heal the sick or to do any mighty work. He never pretended to be able
to dispense with that condition, or to be superior to the law which
he proclaimed to the world. When he said anything about it he always
gave the patients to understand that it was through faith that they
were made whole. The New Testament is full of such expressions as: “Thy
faith hath made thee whole;” “According to your faith be it unto you;”
“If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth;”
“Said I not unto thee that if thou wouldst believe, thou shouldst see
the glory of God?” These were neither idle nor untruthful expressions.

On the other hand, it was said of him that at his own home he failed to
do many mighty works, “because of their unbelief.” The condition was
absent there, because the people had known him from boyhood, and could
not believe that the “carpenter’s son” could do any mighty works.
Besides, as Jesus himself remarked, “a prophet is not without honor
save in his own country.”

Faith was the essential prerequisite to the exercise of all the
power that he possessed, and it was the condition precedent to its
inheritance by those who were to come after him.

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall
they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

“They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing,
it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they
shall recover.”[47]

Again,–

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works
that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he
do; because I go unto my Father.”[48]

Christ transmitted his power as a sacred heritage to all mankind.
He had taught his followers, by precept and example, the conditions
necessary to its exercise. Those conditions were expressed in the one
word, _faith_. He never intimated to them that he healed by any other
method than that which he transmitted to them. His example would have
been lost to mankind if it were not illustrative of his precepts. It
would be valueless to the world if it did not illustrate the principles
of the science which he taught. To seek to cast a shade of doubt upon
the verity of his teachings, to intimate a want of harmony between his
practice and his precepts, is to attempt to rob him of the glory and
honor due to one who was able to divine the fundamental laws of our
being, nineteen hundred years before his teachings could be verified
by the inductive process of science, and to destroy the force of the
strongest internal evidence of the truth of sacred history.

In proceeding to make a more direct application of our hypothesis to
the doctrines of Jesus, it will be necessary first to consider the
meaning of the word _faith_ as it was employed by him, and as it must
be understood in its application to all psychic phenomena.

In the common acceptation of the term, faith is “belief; the assent
of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting
solely and implicitly on his authority and veracity; reliance on
testimony.”[49] “The faith of the gospel is that emotion of the mind
which is called ‘trust,’ or ‘confidence,’ exercised towards the moral
character of God, and particularly of the Saviour.”[50]

It is obvious that neither of these definitions properly characterizes
that emotion of the mind, called _faith_, which is the necessary
prerequisite condition of the mind of a person to enable him to confer
or to receive the benefits of psychic power.

It has been shown in a former chapter that the faith necessary to
enable a person to be healed by mental processes is subjective faith;
that is, the faith of the subjective mind, or soul. It has been shown
that this faith may be entertained by the subjective mind in positive
opposition to the faith, or belief, of the objective mind,–that it
may be forced, upon the subjective mind in defiance of objective
reason or the evidence of the objective senses. It is not deemed
necessary, therefore, to enter at this time into a full discussion of
this branch of the subject, and the reader is referred to the chapters
on psycho-therapeutics. In this view of the question it is obvious
that the definition of the word _faith_ must be revised if we would
understand it as Christ understood it, and make it conform to the facts
demonstrated by modern science. In other words, we must define that
particular kind of faith which pertains to the development and exercise
of psychic power,–that faith of which Christ was the first to proclaim
the necessity and define the attributes.

Faith, therefore, in the sense in which Jesus employed it, may be
defined as the assent of the soul, or subjective mind, to the truth of
what is declared to be true.

In other words, faith is that emotion of the human soul which consists
in the unhesitating acceptance and belief in the absolute verity of a
suggestion.

As has been frequently stated before, the belief of the subjective
mind in the verity of a suggestion made to it is the essential and
never-failing law of its being. If the suggestion made to it is not
counteracted by an auto-suggestion proceeding from the objective mind
of the individual, it will always be unhesitatingly accepted. If it is
controverted by auto-suggestion, the strongest suggestion must prevail.
This law is universal. It frequently happens that a therapeutic
suggestion is counteracted by auto-suggestion. The latter may arise
from intense prejudice, or from natural scepticism regarding phenomena
not understood. It is, however, comparatively easy to overcome an
auto-suggestion, in the treatment of disease, for the patient is
generally anxious to be cured, and is willing to assume a passive state
of mind; and this is generally all that is necessary. Moreover, the
subjective mind, ever on the alert for any means of preserving the
life or health of the individual, will readily accept a therapeutic
suggestion if there is no active counter auto-suggestion. If the healer
understands the law of auto-suggestion, and advises his patient that he
can overcome the effect of objective unbelief by a simple assertion of
belief, salutary results all the more readily follow.

A remarkable instance illustrating this principle occurred in the
history of Jesus. It was in the case of the man who brought his son
to be healed, who was afflicted with a “dumb spirit.” He had gone to
Jesus’ disciples, who failed to effect a cure. In despair, he appealed
to the Master, saying:–

“If thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.

“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are
possible to him that believeth.

“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with
tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”[51]

Whereupon Jesus rebuked the foul spirit and commanded it to come out of
the boy, “and enter no more into him.” And the boy was instantly healed.

Now, the whole circumstances surrounding this case were calculated
to render the father sceptical concerning the power of Jesus to heal
his son. He had gone to the disciples, and they had failed. When he
appealed to Jesus he said: “If thou canst do any thing, have compassion
on us, and help us.” This expression plainly implied a doubt. After
Jesus had explained that belief was a necessary condition of success,
the father cried out: “Lord, I believe; help _thou_ mine unbelief.”
This expression plainly indicated a want of objective faith. But he
spoke the words, “I believe,” and then intimated to Jesus that his
real belief depended upon him. He uttered the words “I believe” in
pursuance of an earnest desire to comply with the conditions imposed,
and that was sufficient. These words constituted an auto-suggestion
from his objective mind to his subjective mind; and Jesus was satisfied
with that compliance with his demand for faith, and he instantly healed
the sufferer. He knew the law, and was fully aware that any lingering
objective doubt remaining in the father’s objective mind could not
prevail against the “spoken word” of faith.

This case is also illustrative of the principle discussed in the
previous chapter; namely, the desirability of having a favorable mental
environment, especially in cases where the objective mind of the
patient could not be appealed to. The boy was in a state of complete
objective insensibility. The father was the only one present who was
in telepathic rapport with him. Hence the importance of impressing
the father’s subjective mind with faith, to the end that his mental
condition might be impressed upon the subjective mind of the son, and
by that means exert a favorable influence upon the latter by telepathic
suggestion. In this case the father’s spoken word of belief was a more
potent suggestion than his objective doubts, and the son’s subjective
mind, ever alert, seized upon the suggestion; and Jesus, by means of a
suggestion uttered in a solemn tone of supreme authority, healed him
instantly.

I do not mean to say that Jesus could not heal in such cases where the
mental environment was unfavorable; but the fact that he took infinite
pains, wherever practicable, to secure the best conditions, shows that
he understood the law and worked within its limitations.

Certain it is that he never performed any of his wonderful works
outside the laws which he proclaimed, nor did he ever intimate that
he could do so. It is true that his biographers did not always relate
the details of the transactions recorded; but it must be remembered
that they wrote at a later day, and may not have been in possession
of all the details. It is, however, a marvellous fact, and one which
constitutes indubitable evidence of the truth of his history, that
in no instance do they relate a single act performed or word spoken
by him, relating to the healing of the sick, that does not reveal
his perfect knowledge of and compliance with the laws which pertain
to mental therapeutics as they are revealed in modern times through
experiment and the processes of inductive reasoning.

There is but one legitimate conclusion, and that is that the
discoveries of modern science demonstrate the essential truth of the
history of the physical manifestations of Jesus.

The next question is, How did it happen that Jesus came into possession
of the knowledge of the true science of mental therapeutics, when no
one else in all the world at that time knew its rudiments? It may
be true, and doubtless it is true, that there were mental healers
before his time, who, by various methods, performed wonderful works in
psycho-therapeutics. But it must be conceded that he was the first who
evinced a true knowledge of the underlying principles of the science.
He it was who first divined the very essence of that science, and
proclaimed it to the world in the one word _faith_. That word embraced
all that it was necessary for the world to know at that time. Faith,
and the means of acquiring it, is the substance of all that he taught
to his disciples concerning the means of healing the sick; and it was
all that was necessary to enable them to imitate his example and to
transmit the power to those who should come after them. To use his own
language, it was all that they could bear. It was the exoteric science
of mental healing. The esoteric doctrine he reserved for the time
when mankind, inspired by the “Spirit of truth,” which he promised,
should be able to discover it for themselves. His was the “dispensation
of faith.” The “dispensation of knowledge” was yet to come. That he
was in possession of the knowledge of the underlying principles of
the whole science of mental healing is all but self-evident. No man
without that knowledge could have done what he did to secure the most
favorable conditions for the exercise of his power. It required a full
comprehension of the law of suggestion, a thorough knowledge of the
law of telepathy, a complete realization of the dual nature of the
mind of man, and the power of the soul over the functions of the body,
to enable him to take the seven steps preparatory to the raising of
Jairus’ daughter from the dead. If he had failed in that attempt, his
preparatory steps to that end would nevertheless have demonstrated his
knowledge of the laws which pertain to healing by psychic power.

The theologian will find a ready-made answer to the question, How did
Jesus come into possession of knowledge which it has taken nineteen
hundred years of scientific research to verify? His answer will be:
“By direct inspiration from God; by virtue of his being the Son of
God,–one with the Father.” I shall not attempt to gainsay this
proposition, but shall endeavor to show that it is true in the highest
and best sense of the expression. In doing so I shall not discuss the
question of his miraculous birth; I leave that to the theologian. I
desire simply to show that, whatever may have been the conditions of
his birth, he took upon himself the nature and attributes of humanity,
and subjected himself to its physical conditions and limitations. In
other words, his wondrous works were performed within the domain of
the same natural laws which limit the powers of all mankind. He was a
man, and merely a man, in his physical life and manifestations, and
differed from other men only in the degree of his faculties and in the
possession of the intuitive power of perception of the laws of the soul
in its relations to the physical world and to God.

I have shown that Jesus did not find it necessary to go outside the
pale of natural law for the power to perform his mighty works, that he
not only operated within the domain of natural law, but even avowed and
proclaimed the fact to the world. It remains for me to show that his
knowledge of those laws was obtained through the operation of natural
law, and without the necessity of our invoking the aid of miraculous
power.

It will be remembered that in a former chapter of this book it was
shown that the subjective mind, or soul, of man possesses the inherent
power to _perceive_, under certain exceptional conditions not clearly
defined, those operations of nature which are governed by fixed laws.
It was by means of this power of instantaneous perception of the laws
of numbers that Zerah Colburn, before his objective education was
sufficient to enable him to understand the power of the nine digits,
was enabled instantly to state the cube root of any number that was
given him. He could never give any explanation of the means by which
the result was accomplished. It was beyond his own objective powers of
comprehension. He simply perceived the truth.

It was this power that enabled Blind Tom to perceive the laws of the
harmony of sounds. He was without objective education, and devoid of
the capacity to acquire one; but from the moment when he discovered an
old piano in an unused room of his master’s mansion, he was able to
improvise beautiful melodies, and to reproduce with remarkable accuracy
a piece of music after once hearing it played.

This is a power which transcends reason, and is independent of
induction. Instances of its development might be multiplied
indefinitely, but it is not necessary in this connection to enlarge
upon a fact which will receive the instant assent of the intelligent
reader when his attention is called to it. In this objective existence
of ours, trammelled as is the human soul by its fleshly tabernacle, it
is comparatively rare that conditions are favorable to the development
of the phenomena. But enough is known to warrant the conclusion that
when the soul is released from its objective environment it will be
enabled to perceive all the laws of its being, to “see God as he is,”
by the perception of the laws which he has instituted. It is the
knowledge of this power which demonstrates our true relationship to
God, which confers the warranty of our right to the title of “sons
of God,” and confirms our inheritance of our rightful share of his
attributes and powers,–our heirship of God, our joint heirship with
Jesus Christ.

It was this power of perception of truth without the necessity of
resorting to the slow and laborious processes of induction that enabled
Christ to divine the whole law of mental therapeutics. Science, after
nineteen hundred years of induction, has demonstrated the fact that
he perceived the whole law and applied it with scientific accuracy.
The most marvellous part of it all is that the account of it has been
preserved and transmitted with such fidelity of scientific detail.

Leaving out of consideration the question of the alleged miraculous
conception and birth of Christ, it is certain that he was exceptionally
endowed, morally, physically, and mentally. No man ever before
possessed the subjective power that he did. And yet, unlike most of
those of modern times who are exceptionally endowed with that power,
his objective faculties and his subjective powers seem to have been
harmoniously balanced and developed. This is shown by his perfect
moral character and attributes. It is demonstrated by the fact that
his subjective mind was always under the perfect control of his
reason. In these respects he presents a most striking contrast to the
great majority of persons, especially of the present day, who are in
possession of great subjective powers. Not clearly understanding the
relationship between their objective and subjective faculties, they
allow the latter to usurp control. They realize the wonderful powers
and attributes of the human soul, but they fail to understand its
equally wonderful, but necessary, limitations. They realize that the
soul is “God in us,” and naturally conclude that it is endowed with all
god-like attributes. They fail to realize that while it is imprisoned
in the body, it must be limited and controlled by its objective
environment. They cannot understand that the soul, as long as it is
amenable to control by the power of suggestion, must necessarily be
limited in its powers of reasoning. Most important of all, they fail to
understand that the soul is the seat of all human passion and emotion;
that, uncontrolled by objective reason, it runs riot at the bidding of
every immoral suggestion; that his objective powers of reason were
given to man to enable him to train the soul for eternity,–to work out
his own salvation.

The whole life of Christ is an illustration of the fact that he knew
the law, and, knowing it, employed his subjective powers in their
legitimate domain, and never suffered himself to be tempted to allow
them to usurp the throne of reason.

The account of his temptations in the wilderness is a striking
illustration of this fact, and it teaches a lesson to humanity of
the utmost practical importance. Like all the recorded events of his
life, it is intended to illustrate a great principle. It is not a
mere literal history of an episode in his career, in which a personal
devil figured at a disadvantage. To suppose that he could be tempted
by such a devil as has been pictured by some, would be to degrade him
below the level of common humanity. But to interpret the story as a
symbolical vision appearing to Christ after his forty days’ fast in the
wilderness, is to find in it one of the most important lessons ever
conveyed to humanity.

He was just entering upon his ministry. He had shut himself out from
the world for forty days, preparatory to entering upon his work. He
employed his time in silent contemplation and earnest prayer for
strength and power and Divine guidance. He fasted all this time, as a
physical preparation necessary to the attainment of the full powers of
the soul. At the end of that time, conscious of the full possession of
subjective power such as no man ever before attained, contemplating
the career upon which he was about to enter, realizing all its
possibilities for good and all its opportunities for the attainment of
personal power and aggrandizement, the temptation came. His subjective
mind was the tempter. Reasoning deductively from the consciousness of
transcendent power, and selfishly, in obedience to the laws of its
being, it pictured to the imagination of Jesus all the possibilities
in store for him if he chose to exercise his power for selfish ends.
The first temptation appealed to his sense of personal necessity. He
was poor. “He had not where to lay his head” at night. He was dependent
upon the bounty of his friends for his daily food. In the pursuit of
his mission he had the prospect before him of being often thrown among
strangers hostile to his faith; and his immediate necessities, after
his forty days’ fast, gave intensity to the temptation and suggested
its concrete form. It came in the words: “If thou be the Son of God,
command that these stones be made bread.” Jesus understood the vision,
not only as pertaining to his present necessities, but, in its broader
sense, as a temptation to the exercise of his power for selfish
personal ends, for the promotion of his individual ease and comfort.

It was then that his objective power of reason asserted itself, and he
refused to allow his subjective mind to usurp control. He knew that
his mission on earth could not be promoted by the employment of his
subjective powers for the purpose of ministering to his own selfish
wants. Therefore he spurned a temptation which, if yielded to, would
weaken the altruistic sentiment which was regnant in him.

His next temptation followed the first in deductive logical sequence.
It came in the form of a symbolical vision, in which he saw himself
placed upon a pinnacle of the temple, and a voice said: “If thou be
the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give
his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear
thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” This
suggestion was a sequence to the other, for it was as much as to say:
“If you wish to heal the sick, exhibit your power in public, where all
men can see and know that you have the power to preserve your own life.
Then will you receive the plaudits of the multitude, and their faith in
you will be made strong.”

His answer to this, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God,” conveys,
in one brief sentence, a valuable and important lesson pertaining to
the exercise of subjective power,–a lesson the importance of which,
in its application to the science of mental therapeutics, cannot be
overestimated. In its general sense it means that subjective power
should never be exercised for purposes of mere display. The tempter
appealed to his love of approbation, his pride of power, his desire
for the plaudits of the multitude, tempered by the insidious suggestion
that, by the public exhibition of his power, he could all the more
readily secure the confidence of the people and promote the object of
his mission. He had refused to exercise his power for the purpose of
securing his own ease and comfort, for the reason that his mission,
in part, was to relieve the sufferings of others; and now he was
tempted to promote that object by a public display in the presence
of an admiring multitude. There was nothing morally wrong in either
suggestion. It is not wrong, _per se_, to produce bread, or to take
measures to secure our own comfort. Nor is it wrong, in itself, to give
a public exhibition for a good purpose; but from the standpoint from
which he viewed it, both were wrong in principle and practice. The
first would interfere with, and endanger the success of, his mission;
the second would be trifling with the gift of God. It would be a wanton
exercise of a power which is given, not for idle display, but for the
promotion of the highest good of mankind, when exercised within its
legitimate sphere.

But there was another and a more potent reason still for his refusal to
exercise his power for purposes of display. It is a reason which the
world is just beginning to appreciate. It is a reason which finds its
justification in the fundamental principles pertaining to the exercise
of psychic power. As in all the words and deeds of Christ, there was
a scientific principle underlying the sententious expression employed
in his rejection of the second temptation. This principle applies with
special force to the employment of psychic power to the healing of the
sick.

It has been shown in a former chapter that the normal functions of the
subjective entity consist in the performance of those acts which tend
to the preservation and perpetuation of the human race. It has also
been shown that all exercise of subjective power outside that domain
is abnormal, and, consequently, injurious. As this subject has been
sufficiently enlarged upon elsewhere, it need only be mentioned here.
It was this principle which Christ desired to illustrate and enforce,
and he never neglected an opportunity to do so by precept or example.
As before remarked, it applies with special force to the exercise of
that power for the purpose of healing, and it teaches a most important
and salutary lesson both to healer and patient. It is this: that no one
should ever presume to violate the laws of health for the mere purpose
of showing to himself or to others that he has the psychic power to
heal himself. A necessary or an unavoidable act may be performed which
is ordinarily injurious to health, or even dangerous to life, and
psychic power may be invoked to avert the natural consequences; but
when one wantonly violates the laws of health for the mere purposes of
display, he is apt to find that the power to avert the consequences has
deserted him. He has violated the commandment uttered by the Saviour on
that occasion: “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” He has violated
a law of nature, a law of psycho-therapeutics, which Christ thus
sententiously formulated for the guidance of all who should come after
him. Like all the other laws which he revealed to mankind, it applies
with equal force now as it did when he first promulgated it nineteen
hundred years ago; and it may safely be said that there is no one act
of his life that more clearly discloses his perfect knowledge of the
laws which pertain to the normal exercise of subjective power than his
rejection of the three temptations.

His next temptation came in the form of a symbolical vision, in which
he saw himself, figuratively, upon the top of “an exceeding high
mountain,” from which he could view “the kingdoms of the world, and the
glory of them.”

The other temptations attacked his usefulness as a man. The third
was directed against his spiritual mission also. It came in a more
insidious form than either the first or second, for its promises
included both. It was equivalent to saying: “You see the wide world
before you, with all its comforts, its honors and glory, its wealth and
splendor and power. All these can you acquire by the exercise of that
potent force with which you have been invested.”

“Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is
written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt
thou serve.”

Again had reason triumphed over the natural, instinctive suggestions of
his human nature. Again had he refused to employ the power with which
he had been invested, outside the limits of its legitimate domain.
Again had he taught a lesson to humanity by illustrating the normal
relations between the objective and subjective faculties,–between
reason and instinct. In his rejection of the last temptation he did
more,–he exhibited his entire devotion to the objects of his spiritual
mission. He had come into the world, taking upon himself the yoke and
burden of common humanity. He was circumscribed by the limitations of
its laws, municipal, ecclesiastical, and natural. He willingly obeyed
them all. His lot was cast among a poor and humble people. He must
mingle familiarly with them if he would impress them with the grand and
awful simplicity of his philosophy. If he placed himself above the laws
of the land, he would be proscribed. If he transcended or violated the
laws of nature, his example would be lost to common humanity. If he
sought the worldly wealth and secular power which was within his grasp,
he would be feared, but not loved, by the people whose destiny it was
to be the first recipients of his teachings, the beneficiaries of his
power, the witnesses of his example, the recorders of his testament.

This digression from the main point of our present argument seemed
necessary in order to show how perfectly the subjective mind of Jesus
was under the control of his objective reason. Besides, there is no
one act of his life that more clearly discloses his perfect knowledge
of the laws which pertain to the normal exercise of subjective power,
and his firm determination never to exercise that power outside of its
legitimate domain, or for purposes of private advantage or emolument,
than his rejection of the three temptations. That these principles
actuated him is shown by his every act and word. That he taught them
in their purity to his apostles is shown in the indignant reply of
Peter to Simon the sorcerer, who offered a money consideration to
Peter to purchase the secret of his power. Knowing that Simon was a
professional magician, and suspecting that he desired only to add to
his _répertoire_ of stock exhibitions of occult powers, the apostle
rebuked him in these memorable words:–

“Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the
gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part
nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of
God.”[52]

I now recur to the main question under discussion: How did Jesus
obtain the scientifically accurate and exclusive knowledge of the laws
pertaining to the exercise of subjective power, of which every act and
word of his demonstrates his possession?

The ready and easy answer of unreasoning faith is, “Miracle.” But is
it necessary in this case to invoke the aid of such an explanation?
Clearly not. Without entering upon the discussion of the vexed question
of the possible existence of the power to work a miracle, it must be
held as a self-evident proposition that we should never convert an
event into a miracle when there is a satisfactory explanation within
the known laws of nature.

In this case the necessity does not exist to presuppose a miraculous
intervention of Divine power, since God has given to every human
soul the inherent power, under certain conditions, to _perceive_ and
comprehend the fixed laws of nature. What those conditions are, we may
never know. That they exist, the events within common knowledge amply
demonstrate. That they are exceptional, goes without saying. No one
man has ever been able to perceive all the laws during his objective
existence. One perceives the law of numbers, another that of the
harmony of sounds, another that of the harmony of colors, and so on.

Jesus Christ perceived spiritual law.

That his intuitions were scientifically exact, so far as they pertained
to the subject of his physical manifestations in healing the sick,
is amply demonstrated by comparison of what he did and said with the
discoveries of modern science within this, the last quarter of the
nineteenth century.

I have purposely refrained from commenting on the accounts of his
physical manifestations other than those of healing the sick, for the
reason that science in the Western world as yet furnishes little or
no data for comparison. I cannot refrain, however, from calling the
attention of the reader to the fact that a few years ago sceptics were
just as incredulous regarding the biblical accounts of Christ’s healing
the sick as they still are regarding his feeding of the multitude
on the five loaves and the two fishes. It must be remembered that
experimental knowledge of the occult sciences is still in its infancy
in the Western world, and that what is regarded as a miracle to-day may
be known to be a scientific fact to-morrow. In the mean time enough is
known to the scientific world to-day to demonstrate the essential truth
of the physical history of Jesus of Nazareth. It remains to show what
light the scientific discoveries of the nineteenth century shed upon
his spiritual philosophy.