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hath made man's mouth? Is it not I, the Lord? Now, therefore, go, and I will be with thy mouth and teach thee what thou shalt speak.'
Then if we still hesitate, if we leave an Aaron to speak our word for us, can we complain if we do not ourselves enter in the promised land, but only see it from afar? Can we complain if the Egyptians do not hearken and believe, if we ourselves are so distrustful of the power of Truth to teach and sustain us? Let us be bold with the boldness of the Spirit, which is the Wisdom and the Power now speaking and now working to show forth in us and through us the unity of good.
When Moses doubted his being able to convince the Egyptians that God's children are free, it plainly showed that he himself needed another lesson in reality, which was given him. " What is that in thine hand?” And he answered, “A rod.” Now we know that the hand always signifies the powerful word, or conscious thought. We also know that rod, ray, real, thing and thought are all derived from the same root, and therefore are essentially the same.
So here we see that Moses, by the power of conscious thinking, had grasped the rod, or perceived the spiritual reality of things. He was made to acknowledge this, and thus was enabled to prove this ray of Divine truth to be indeed a rod of power, however to the contrary might for a time be the earthly seeming. For when Moses cast the rod upon the ground, that is, saw the Truth from a material standpoint, its appearance was altogether changed, and it took the form of a serpent. So real did this perversion of the rod seem to Moses that he was afraid, and ran from it. But suddenly he stopped. His consciousness of omnipresent gocd did not admit of any evil or harmful thing. And he took the serpent by the tail and again he saw it as a rod. He had simply lowered his thought to the material sense of things and saw it distorted and perverted in its character, but realizing the truth,
it showed forth what it really was all the time.
My friend, what is that in thine hand? Are you grasping a rod, a reality? Have you laid hold upon eternal Truth, or are you vainly clutching at phantoms? You have been given a rod of wondrous power, the word of Divine Science. If you hold fast to this, and use it unhesitatingly, undoubtingly for the liberation of your fellow man from his sense of bondage, you will enter with him into understanding. But if you doubt the Power that will enable you to do all that Divine Love requires of you, you will have to see your beautiful rod writhing in the dust. That is the only way you can see it, looking through fear and the beliefs of evil. It is the law, the “ Lord said,” that you should see manifest according to your belief.
The nature of the rod has not changed, for Truth is changeless, but you are looking at it from a false standpoint. Your sense of materiality pictures it altogether different from what it really is. Do you know that all the hideous visions of crime and sin, of suffering and sorrow, of disaster and death, are the rod cast down into the mire of mortal imaginings? Put forth your hand and grasp it in your consciousness, that all is good, and you shall see its true quality.
Do you see a vision of a man reeling and staggering toward his miserable house, besotted, degraded, from the haunts of vice? This is an outpicturing of the world's belief in evil. Grasp it firmly in your hand. This is the rod cast to earth. But by your word of Truth shall the man appear upright and strong in his integrity, seeking no longer to find satisfaction from the wines and ways of earth, but satisfied in the knowledge of his oneness with God, the Omnipresent Good, in which his hunger is fed, his thirst is quenched forevermore.
Do you see that picture of a man with upraised hand, in which gleams the murderous steel, ready to strike his helpless victim? Well, that is the rod
cast upon the ground. Raise it up, this appearance is but a phantom of the carnal dream.
"He who thinks to slay a life,
Speak strongly the word of Truth, the word of Love, and the upraised hand shall be lowered to clasp in loving brotherhood the hand of him it sought to destroy.
Do you see a picture of want, and squalor aud starvation? Put forth your hand and raise it up, and once more shall you behold your strong staff, the bounty of Infinite Love, the abundance which is poured from the treasury of heaven. “Behold, I have set before you an open door which no man can close.” What infinite possibilities are here revealed, what realms of realization are open for you to explore! The limitless supply can never be cut off, the golden gates can never be shut. Know this, o friend; hold fast this word of Truth.
But here is another scene. Pale, emaciated, worn with disease, racked with pain, a woman lies before you. It is the rod cast down to earth. Put forth your hand, your strong and powerful word, that God is the health of His people, changeless, unfailing, that the child of God can reflect nothing that is not contained in its source, and therefore it must show forth the Divine wholeness, it must manifest perfect, painless, permanent Being. Hold with unwavering grasp this mighty rod, and you shall see the pale cheek Aush with health, the dim eye brighten, the worn frame rise in strength and vigor, and instead of the moans of pain you shall hear the joyous laughter and the songs of praise. This is your sight of the rod - the reality.
But will you see the last perversion of the Real? Will you look for a moment at the last state of human error? It is written that “sin when it is
finished bringeth forth death." Error in its climax destroys itself. Material visions must pass away, the false conception of man must come to an end. But the legitimate way for this is not by the way of the tomb. No, the legitimate way is the one Paul speaks of — the instantaneous transformation of the corruptible into the incorruptible. Death and the grave are the rod upon the earth.
Do you see that sweet child lying cold and still beneath the touch of the phantom, death? The little restless feet are quiet now, the tiny, clinging hands are folded peacefully above the untroubled breast, the music of its laugh is hushed, the sweet chatter of its prattling tongue is still. " How is the strong staff broken, and the beautiful rod!" Do you remember when the child of the Shunamite mother lay dead in an upper room, and she hastened to Elisha to beg that he would bring back to life her little son, he sent his rod, or staff, to be laid upon the face of the child? But he was not restored. And then Elisha came and stretched himself upon the little form, eye to eye, lip to lip, hand to hand, and the flesh of the child waxed warm, and he arose alive and well.
Do you know what meaning this bears for you? If your rod, your true word, does not bring forth at once the manifest Good, then you are to speak it over and over until you are one with it, until you give yourself with your word, until your life, your love, your soul laps over and enfolds and mingles with its kindred soul; and you are in such consciousness of oneness with the Divine Ever-presence that your eyes see life where life appears not, your lips speak words of life into lips that are mute, your hand clasps in living embrace that hand that lies so still. And the life which you feel throbbing there in the deathly stillness, waiting the touch of recognition, shall waken and quicken and thrill responsive to your understanding of life as omnipresent, and the divine ray shine forth — the rod appear strong and beautiful
and unbroken- the real be manifest where the hideous unreal seemed to be.
Preach the gospel, heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead. " The works that I do shall ye do also.” Fear not evil and resist not evil. It is but the false appearance of rodal in materiality, the good as seen in the not-good. The appearance is false and powerless. Flee not from it. Stand firm to your statements of Truth, and “judge not according to appearance.” Do not misunderstand me here. Do not think for a moment that I would call the practice of evil good. No! these the false workings of mortal thought. They do not belong to man any more than the writhings of the serpent belonged to the rod. Understanding this you take no note of wrong doing save as the vision of a dream which will be done away with when the wrong doer shall awaken to the Truth. You are to love the sinner, knowing not the sin.
You will be like the loving saint of old, who, when confronted with a vision of Satan said, “Satan, thee, too, I love." And as with him the evil picture shall fade away, and an angel of light your beautiful ideal shall stand forth in the symmetry of the God likeness.
I have not spoken of myseff, but the Father which sent me, He gave me a commandment what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is eternal life. Whatsoever I speak, therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak “ Moses' Rod."
Happiness, goodness, confidence and courage are as contageous as disease. One good-hearted vital man, full of faith, will glorify a whole commuunity. After all, it is the sunshine that rnles the world. "Be of good cheer," is the message of the Master.- Universalist.