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covenant or agreement with the sense or the spiritual part of ourselves, as we please, and the results will be according to our loyalty. If it is with the Spiritual, then David, the Holy One of Israel, becomes leader and commander of our thoughts or “people.”
In order to keep our covenant we must agree with the Spiritual in both thought and act. Some have proclaimed that it is only necessary to think right, that the acts will then take care of themselves. Theoretically, this is true, but it does not always work out in righteousness because the " wicked" does not “forsake his way.” We must see that we return unto the Lord in both thought and act, then we will find abundant pardon for all our sins.
We change our human, illogical thoughts to the thoughts of the Spiritual, which are elevated above temporal conditions.
For example, when our thoughts are centered on the material, we cannot conceive of unlimited space. We think there must be sides to the universe somewhere. physical science teaches that matter is merely modes of motion in an omnipresent energy that has none of the limitations of matter. Here the higher thought impinges upon the deep thinker and he perceives the truth about visibility.
When we realize the absence of space in the Spiritual, and the freedom with which thought works there, we know that every word we send forth for good accomplishes that which we put into it. A splendid treatment for power is the repetition of Isaiah's affirmation, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it.”
Be not diverted from your duty by any idle reflection the world may make upon you.-EPICTETUS.
Lesson 5. July 30. MANASSEH'S SIN AND REPENTANCE.-II. Chron. 33:1-13.
Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reiga; and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, after the abominations of the heathen, whom Jehovah cast out' before the children of Israel.
3. For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; and he reared up altars for the baalim, and made Asheroth, and worshipped all the hosts of heaven, and served them.
4. And he built altars in the house of Jehovah, whereof Jehovah said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever.
5. And he built altars for all the hosts of heaven in the two courts of the house of Jehovah.
6. He also made his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: and he practised augury, and used enchantments, and practised sorcery, and dealt with them that had familiar spirits, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of Jehovah, to provoke him to anger.
7. And he set the graven image of the idol, which he had made, in the house of God, of which God said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel will I put my name for ever:
8. Neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from off the land which I have appointed for your fathers; if only they will observe to do all that I have commanded them, even all the law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses.
9. And Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, so that they did evil more than did the nations, whom Jehovah destroyed before the children of Israel.
And Jehovah spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they gave no heed.
11. Wherefore Jehovah brought upon them the captains of the hosts of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh in chains, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.
And when he was in distress, he besought Jehovah his God, humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers.
13. And he prayed unto him; and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusaiem into his kingdom. Then Mansseh knew that Jehovah he was God.
GOLDEN Text-Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. — Prov. 14:34.
The meaning of Manasseh is, “making to forget.” Metaphysically, we should designate it as “denial.” Ephraim (double fruitfulness) and Manasseh (making to forget) were brothers, the sons of Joseph. We find that they answer to the Will and the Understanding, or the “ Yes" and the “No" attitudes of mind in their active relation to the body. Thus, when we take the affirmative and positive, without seeking to know the relation of things, we are
Ephrahim, the Will. When we relax into the realm of related conditions, and lose ourselves in observing the phenomenal, we are Manasseh, the Understanding. The well-balanced man establishes both of these states of mind in equilibrium, and is poised between affirmation and denial, which is reflected into body as positive and negative.
A too active Will causes one to become tense and brittle, while a too active Understanding expands and opens us to the multitudinous thought emanations of the whole race. But affirming and denying, with spiritual ideals constantly before us, gradually raises the whole man on a spiral of ascending mind-force until he attains the Christ consciousness, and is free from all thoughts of duality.
The twelve years of age of Manasseh, when he began to reign, means that the negative mentality had involved all the faculties. Hence all the thoughts were “evil in the sight of the Lord.” One of the evidences of a truly spiritual mind is the ability to master and overcome conditions.
Evil means a falling short, or failure, in this respect.
Baalim and Asheroth represent Nature in its various sensuous aspects. "All the hosts of heaven" is the sun, moon and stars and the twelve signs of the zodiac. When we fall into the evils of Manasseh we think the planets and stars rule over us, and that it is necessary to pay them a certain degree of homage, or worship, because of their influence. Some people in this day have great faith in their “ ruling planets," and think they are bound to certain traits of character because they were born when those sidereal bodies were in the ascendency. This is “forgetfulness" of the God-power within us, and brings us into condemnation.
The Manasseh mentality usually goes from one step of Baalim worship to another until it exhausts them all. Luck, chance, the changeable laws of animal life, enchantments, sorcery, familiar spirits and wizards, are some of the avenues through which the Manasseh mind attempts to regulate its life. Astrology, palmistry, the guidance of spirits, mesmerism, hypnotism, are some of the many modern forms of " denial" of God. Indulged in for a time they lead the negative mentality into deeper and deeper bondage until the transgressed law reacts upon the transgressor, and he is put “in chains" and o bound with fetters” and “ carried to Babylon," or utter confusion. The escape is through prayer to God, and the return to His “city of peace" within the soul, Jerusalem.
Lesson 6. August 6.
i. Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem.
And he did that which was right in the eyes of Jehovah, and walked in the ways of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand nor to the left.
3. For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the Asherim, and the graven images, and the molten images. 4.
And they brake down the altars of the Baalim in his presence; and the sun-images, that were on high above them, he hewed down; and the Asherim, and the graven images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them.
5. And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and purged Judah and Jerusalem.
6. And so did he in the cities of Manesseh and Ephraim and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, in their ruins round about.
7. And he brake down the altars, and beat the Asherim and the graven images into powder, and he hewed down all the sunimages throughout all the land of Israel, and returned to Jerusalem.
8. Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of Jehovah his God.
9. And they came to Hilkiah the high priest, and delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites, the keepers of the threshold, had gathered of the hand of Manesseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin, and of the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
And they delivered it into the hand of the workmen that had the oversight of the house of Jehovah; and the workmen that wrought in the house of Jehovah gave it to amend and repair the house;
Even the carpenters and to the builders gave they it, to buy hewn stone, and timber for couplings, and to make beams for the house which the kings of Judah had destroyed,
Aud the men did the work faithfully: and the overseers of them were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to set it forward: and other of the Levites, all that were skilful with instruments of music.
13. Also they were over the bearers of burdens, and set forward all that did the work in every manner of service: and of the Levites there were scribes, and officers, and porters.
GOLDEN TEXT-Remember also thy Creator in the days of thy youth.— Eccl. 12:1.
We are told that Josiah " walked in the ways of David his father," but history says his father was Amon, hence we perceive that the “father” here referred to is the spiritual parent, whom David represents all through the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus was the Son of David, that is, his root-source was spiritual, and through acknowledgment of that source he came into the powers of the God-Man.
So Josiah, meaning “Jehovah supports,” is that in man that connects itself with the Spirit, and tries to carry out or substitute Being for seeming. To do this we should begin early, and go right forward, turning neither to the right hand nor the left. This unwavering loyalty to Truth is necessary to success. Vacillation excites distrust both in ourselves, our God, and our friends. A good affirmation for the vacillating mind is, “ Though he slay me, yet will i trust him."
The purging of Judah and Jerusalem is systematic denial of errors of mind, and wrong practices, that have become habits in both the objective and subjective parts of consciousness. “ Asherim” or “ Groves" were the symbols of the Phænician Venus, the goddess of love, and were usually of a sensual character. Metaphysically, the "molten images" and the “graven images" mean those productions of the imagination which are first in a free, then in a formed state of consciousness. The lascivious imagination is the “molten” state, the second step of which is the “graven image,” or physical sensation. These are both to be purged ind denied in mind and body. We thus dissolve or