In this introduction to my third book, I should like to say that in the extracts in this, and my two previous books, I have endeavoured, in each case, to shorten a large book down to a size where all the essential, relevant and interesting parts can be readily, and easily, obtained by the casual reader.

Inevitably, in such a drastic thinning out, some valuable and important points may have been lost; but I hope – and earnestly believe – that I have included enough information for the reader to be fully aware of all the vital and fundamental issues involved in each book.


On 20th September 1980, heard Sir Alister Hardy speak on science and spirituality at the Jerusalem Chamber, Westminster Abbey

Extracts from “THE BIOLOGY OF GOD” by Professor Sir Alister Hardy, F.R.S.   (Fellow of the Royal Society)

In evolution, death is as ‘vital’ as birth.  Without it and the consequent continual replacement by new variations in the populations for selection to act upon, there could be no progressive change.  It might be said perhaps that senility ending in death is itself an adaptation for evolutionary progress.

….In the field of consciousness, as we experience it, lie all our feelings of purpose, love, joy, sorrow, the sense of the sacred, the sense of right and wrong, appreciation of beauty, indeed all the things that really matter in life.

….The sense of the sacred, the feeling of being in contact with some power other than the self, are unlikely in themselves to be products of the explicit system, although only that system can give a verbal expression of them.  They are more likely to be part of a tacit, inarticulate, extra-sensory knowledge of a part of the universe to which consciousness belongs: a mystery certainly, but no more so than is the link which undoubtedly exists between consciousness itself and the biological system.

…. Could it not be that there is in man’s experience a deeply felt contact with a power which we feels to be sacred and from which he is able to draw strength and encouragement in his actions, and further that his culture could not in fact have been achieved without its having some reality?

…. It is the common experience of man that we can draw on a power that makes for, and in its most typical form wills righteousness, the sole condition being that a certain fear, a certain shyness and humility, accompany the effort so to do.  That such a universal belief exists amongst all mankind, and that it is no less universally helpful in the highest degree, is the abiding impression left on my mind by the study of religion in its historical-scientific aspect.

.... The believer who has communicated with his god, is not merely a man who see new truths of which the unbeliever is ignorant; he is a man who is stronger.  He feels within him more force, either to endure the trials of existence, or to conquer them.  It is as though he were raised above the miseries of the world.   Because he is raised above his condition as a mere man; he believes that he is saved from evil, under whatever form he may conceive this evil.  The first article in every creed is the belief in salvation by faith.

…. I remember the ways of life of many unknown and humble people whom I have met and respected.  It seems to me that these people have done, effectively and consistently, many things which all ordinary sources of evidence seems to set outside the range of unassisted humanity.  When they say “it is God working through me”, I cannot see that I have either the right or the knowledge to reject their testimony.

….In religion, there is some factor in human life that appears to have a profound effect, something which, if many responds to it, provides him with a power over his difficulties that he might not otherwise have and gives him a feeling of confidence and courage in the face of adversity.

….Were one asked to characterize the life of religion in the broadest and most general terms possible, one might say that it consists of the belief that there is an unseen order, and that our supreme good lies in harmoniously adjusting ourselves thereto.

…. Do these forces which play so vital a part in man’s religious life belong only to his subconscious mind or do they indicate some extra-sensory contact with some power beyond the self?  God is the natural appellation/name, for us Christians at least, for the supreme reality, so I will call this higher part of the universe by the name of God.

…. All religious testimony, so far as I can interpret its meaning, converges towards a single point, namely this.  There is that in the world, call lit what you will, which responds to the confidence of those who trust it, declaring itself, to them, as a fellow-worker in the pursuit of the eternal values, meeting their loyalty to it with reciprocal loyalty to them, and coming in at critical moments when the need of its sympathy is greatest; the conclusion being, that whenever there is a soul in darkness, obstruction or misery, there also is a power which can help, deliver, illuminate and gladden that soul.  This is the helper of men, sharing their business as creators of value, nearest by hand when the worst has to be encountered: the companion of the brave, the upholder of the loyal, the friend of the lover, the healer of the broken, the joy of the victorious – the God who is spirit, the God who is love.

("We are creators of value.")

…. God will be with you in the reeling aeroplane or the dark ice-cave; God will be your courage.  Though you suffer or are killed, it is not an end.  He will be with you as you face death; he will die with you as he has died already countless myriads of brave deaths.  He will come so close to you that at the last you will not know whether it is you or he who dies, and the present death will be swallowed up in his victory.

…. Experiences of God by various people.

(The underlined parts are reminders to me of how I felt during the years that I was leader of the Methodist Church Sunday School at Loughton).  (Note how almost every one of these experiences include a feeling of being in tune with the whole universe, and not just the world itself).

“I was suddenly seized with an extraordinary sense of great joy and exaltation as though a marvellous beam of spiritual power had shot through me linking me in rapture with the world, the universe and all beings around me.”

“It seemed to me that, in some way, I was extending into my surroundings and was becoming one with them.  At the same time, I felt a sense of lightness, exhilaration and power, as if I was beginning to understand the true meaning of the whole universe.”

It is a moment when one realizes one’s place in the universe, the deep and loving power which holds one, a complete absence of fear and worry, and a great sense of joy, nothing on earth can compare with this feeling.”

I can only describe it as being like the feeling you get when listening to marvellous music – only more so and embracing all creation.”

“May I add that since this belief grew in me, I feel as if I had grown, as if my mind had stretched to take in the vast universe and be part of it”.

Sometimes his joy and peace just flood over me.  Sometimes his power fills me so I feel able to do almost anything.”

“It seemed too me that, in some way, I was extending into my surroundings and was becoming one with them.  At the same time I felt a sense of lightness, exhilaration and power, as if I was beginning to understand the true meaning of the whole universe”.

How individuals are affected by a feeling of contact with a transcendental power appearing to be outside the self.

“The experience of being filled with the spirit is different for each person, but in all cases something happens to make you know it … I now find I am enabled to help those who are sick in body, mind and spirit because I know the power of God working through me and my only desire is to be that sort of channel”.

“For some time now I have experienced myself in contact with what I may call some ‘power’ or guidance outside my ordinary day-to-day life …  By concentrated, voiceless prayer and, in a way, relaxation, I may feel my whole spirit filled with this power, and my whole being recharged.  When this happens, then I know that anxiety, troubles and so forth will be solved; and indeed they are.”

“To learn this silent prayer is not easy at first, but even if nothing seems to happen, I found it was having a very definite effect on me… I became conscious of being led or guide or even pushed against my will into courses of action I should never have thought of undertaking before.”

“It was then I became aware of a new element in my relationship to God.  I was conscious of a certain intimacy in my approaches to him, that my prayers were now coming from a new depth … which made it no longer an exercise of faith to pray to him but a certainty that I was speaking to a personal God with whom I had such close personal relationship that I could now be dogmatic about it.”

“I have always felt myself sustained in my darkest hours by a loving and understanding power … that abiding presence of a father and a friend has, thank God, become an increasing reality to me as the years have passed by, but it necessitates an effort at continual loyalty, such as any friendship demands.”  

Further to “The experiences of God’s closeness by various people”,  I would say to the reader of these pages – This is “IT”! 

When one’s becomes acutely aware of the presence of God; nothing else matters.

Everything is secondary to this glorious exhilaration, this feeling of being able to do anything.  This positive knowledge that God is real, and near at hand.  This comprehension that the whole of creation is inherent in oneself, and that one will be part of the limitless universe forever; and that nothing can alter this.

I can say that during the period when I was leader of the Methodist Church Sunday School at Loughton, I had this exceptional and momentous feeling at first hand, so I know only too well what it is like.

Since this time I have not, unfortunately, kept so near to God; and, consequently, the feeling of closeness to him as to a large extent – though not completely – left me, I regret this a great deal; perhaps, one day in the not too distant future, I shall again take up the creator’s work, and be re-united with him.

This closeness to the basic ingredients of the universe and its maker, is such a wonderful experience that I can but say how very grateful I am that I was selected to receive it for a whole.  My folly is that I failed to retain it.

30th May 1982

But Ah, this faithless heart of Mine!

        The way I know; I know my guide:

Forgive me, O my friend divine,

        That I so often turn aside.


                                                          Alfred Henry Vine, 1845-1917

Another person in touch with the Universe

Matthew Manning (Healer)

In India , he went high in the Himalayan mountains to see the dawn break over the heights.

He says that at that moment, he became one with the universe; totally detached from his physical self, and aware of a ‘presence’.

“I can’t describe it any other way”, he said.  “It told me to follow my own instinct about what was right, and not be influenced by others, and it indicated that my future role was as a healer.”

He asserts that to heal yourself, or prevent illness, three aims are required.

1.     A desire to be healthy.

2.     A belief that you can be healthy.

3.     An expectancy of good health.

He adds that it is best to be energetic, active, and full of well being.

We must learn to relax mentally; and to control stress. 

The answer to our problems is inside our innermost minds, and that is where we should look.

A Prayer based on the saying of Jesus (“Seek and you will find”)    

“If you exist, help me to find you, and by finding you to feel your presence, and show me how to do your will”.

God is  not to be thought of as “an old gentlemen up there or out there”, but rather as a power which appears to be transcendental, and outside the conscious self, though it many also appear to be in part within us.  But this power can be approached as if it were a person, and enables the individual to have more courage to overcome obstacles and to achieve the seemingly possible.  This is undoubtedly the greatest part of the response; but what of the solutions to particular individual problems; do they came in the same way?  The answers do not usually come at once, and the solution that eventually comes may be one that is very different from the one that might have been expected, but nevertheless it is seen to be right.  Solutions may also come in “intelligent dreaming”, where a person may see in a dream the solution to a problem which has been occupying his mind for some time.  Our subconscious mind goes on working during sleep and perhaps the answers to our own prayers may come from this source.  It may well be that the various separate solutions to our individual problems are always within us if only we could reach them, and that the act of prayer brings them to the surface, through the uplifting power which activates the subconscious solution, providing mechanism in a  way that would not otherwise be possible.  In a similar way it may be the same power which assists in the healing of a sick person.  In its essence the gospel is a call to make the experiment of trusting the heart of things, in the sure and certain faith that you will not be deserted, forsaken nor betrayed, and that your ultimate interests are perfectly secure in the hands of the great companion.

In this way, we are making contact with what we call the divine which is in part within ourselves, in our subconscious, but in part beyond ourselves.


A Meditation on the Lords Prayer

Our Father which art in heaven – a personal approach enabling one to have the emotional sense of devotion that is a necessary part of the process to set up a relationship beyond the conscious self.

Hallowed be thy name – having reached the state of feeling that you are now in the divine presence, ask to receive help and guidance in trying to bring about, in however a humble way, a better state of the world.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done – think in what ways one might be something to this end, even in quite small ways.  Improvements in the world are brought about through the actions of men and women, and not be miraculous divine interventions in the course of nature; yet again and again those who have altered the world for the better have declared that they have felt that they have received help form beyond themselves.  God works wonders in the world – but his hands are the hands of men.

Ask if one is doing one’s best to keep oneself in good health to play one’s part in the world, that, for example, one is not abusing one’s body by taking more than one’s proper share of our daily bread; then one may here think of that other saying, ‘man does not live by bread alone’, and ask to receive more of the divine spirit into our lives that we may better do the will of God.  W e must open ourselves to the spirit.  Ask that we may realize our faults and how best to mend them, and how we may forgive them that trespass against us.  Ask that we may recognise, with thought, what are the real temptations and evils that are making our lives less worthy than they could be.  If all this is done with real feeling, with devotion, I fully believe that those who do it will come to feel a new power in themselves; they will feel in touch with a power and a glory beyond themselves which can make the world a different pace – a new kingdom.

When I pray coincidences happen; when I don’t they don’t.


                                                                   Archbishop William Temple


 “It ranks with love as man’s greatest source of joy.  And it ranks with death as his greatest source of anxiety”.

                                      Harvard Professor, Kenneth Galbraith

At Even, ere the sun was set,

The sick, O lord, around thee lays

O in what divers pains they met!

O with what Joy they went away!


Once more ‘tis eventide, and we,

Oppressed with various ills, draw near;

What if thy form we cannot see?

We know and feel that thou art here.


O Saviour Christ, our woes dispel;

For some are sick, and some are sad.

And some have never loved thee well,

And some have lost the love they had.


And some have found the world is vain,

Yet from the world they break not free;

And some have friends who give them pain

Yet have not sought a friend in thee.


And all, O Lord, crave perfect rest,

And to be wholly free from sins;

And they who fain would serve thee best

Are conscious must of wrong within.


O Saviour Christ, thou too art man;

Thou hast been troubled, tempted, tried;

Thy kind but searching glance can scan

The very wounds that shame would hide.


Thy touch has still its ancient powers;

No word from thee can fruitless fall;

Hear in this solemn evening hour,

And in they mercy heal us all.


                                                                    Henry Twells, 1823-1900

Saviour, again to thy name we raise

With one accord our parting hymn of praise;

We stand to bless thee ere our worship cease,

Then, lowly kneeling, wait they word of peace.


Grant us thy peace upon our homeward way;

With thee began, with thee small end the way;

Guard thou the lips from sin, the hearts from shame,

That in this house have called upon thy name.


Grant us thy peace, Lord through the coming night,

Turn thou for us its darkness into light;

From harm and danger keep thy children free,

For dark and light are both alike to thee.


Grant us thy peace throughout our earthly life,

Our balm in sorrow, and our stay in strife;

Then, when thy voice shall bid our conflict cease,

Call us, O Lord, to thin eternal peace.


                                                          John Ellerton, 1826-93

In his unbounded love, God became what we are, that he might make us what he is.

                                                          Saint Irenaeus (died 202)

Looking upward every day,

Sunshine on our faces;

Pressing onward every day

Toward the heavenly places.


Growing every day in awe,

For thy name is holy;

Learning every day to love

With a love more lowly.


Walking every day more close

To our elder brother;

Growing every day more true

Unto one another.


Every day more gratefully

Kindnesses receiving,

Every day more readily

Injuries forgiving.


Lord, so pray we every day,

Hear us in they pity,

That we enter in at last,

To the Holy City .


                                                                    Mary Butler, 1841-1916


 Isaiah Capther 9 (part Only)

 A child is born to us!

A son is given to us!

And he will be our ruler.

He will be called, “Wonderful Counsellor”,

“Mighty God,” “Eternal Father”,

“Prince of Peace”.

Basing his power on right and justice,

From now until the end of time

The only reason for being on earth is to work at becoming.


 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.


                                                                    From Handel’s Messiah

He that voluntarily continues in ignorance, is guilty of all the crimes which ignorance produces.  

                                                          Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1984)

Christianity is an exciting journey towards beckoning love, for the whole of struggling mankind is moving slowly, so slowly, towards eternal love.

Only the silent hear.     – Kennedy Walker

 For all the saints who from their labours rest

Who thee by faith before the world confessed,

Thy name, O Jesu, be our every blest

Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might,

Thou, Lord, their captain in the well fought fight,

Thou in the darkness drear their one true light.

O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,

Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,

And win, with them, the Victor’s crown of gold!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!

We feebly struggle; they in glory shine,

Yet all are one in thee, for all are thine,

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long

Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,

And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong,

The golden evening brightens in the west;

Soon, soon to faithful warriors cometh rest;

Sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.

But Lo! There breaks a yet more glorious day;

The saints triumphant rise in bright array;

The king of glory passes on his way.

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,

Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,

Singing to Father, son and Holy Ghost: Alleluia!

                                                          William Walsham How, 1823-97

An extract from an article in the Guardian Newspaper about that newspaper, written by Brian Walden (Labour M.P.)

 “What we love best irritates us most, because we seek from it a perfection beyond mortal attainment”.

God will do everything you cannot do in order that you may live; he will do nothing that you can do in order that you may grow.

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,

Forgive our foolish ways;

Reclothe us in our rightful mind;

In purer lives thy service find,

In deeper reverence, praise.


In simple trust like theirs who heard,

Beside the Syrian sea,

The gracious calling of the Lord,

Let us, like them, without a word

Rise up and follow thee.


O Sabbath rest by Galilee !

O calm of hills above,

Where Jesus knelt to share with thee

The silence of eternity,

Interpreted by Love!


With that deep hush subduing all

Our words and works that drawn

The tender whisper of thy call,

As noiseless let thy blessing fall

As fell thy manna down.


Drop thy still dews of quietness,

Till all our strivings cease;

Take from our souls the strain and stress,

And let our ordered lives confess

The beauty of thy peace.


Breathe through the heats of our desire

Thy coolness and thy balm;

Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;

Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,

O still small of calm!

                                                          John Greenleaf Whittier, 1807-92

Some of the sayings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) (Christian and Scientist)

 Spiritual energy, far from coming to a halt or sinning back, is active in mankind, and is continuing to evolve and to progress towards its full realization.

 Man has created to know God, to serve and love him, and so to attain eternal life.

 We are experiencing a passionate re-birth into the universe; but we can see more clearly than did our ancestors, and our devotion to the universe is a devotion to a conquest to be won, and a prize to be held, and this will be our salvation.

 The nature of the sense of man is such that it brings men closer together, and inspires them, in the expectation of a future; in the certainty, that is to say, that something is becoming a reality whose existence  is not strictly demonstrable, but is nevertheless accepted with even more assurance than demonstration and touch could afford.  The sense of man is a faith.

 The work now in progress in the universe, they mysterious, final issue in which we are collaborating, is that ‘greater unit’ which must take precedence, if success is to be ours.  The sense of man is a summons to renunciation.

 “I have much more to tell you”, Jesus told his companions around the table during his last supper talk with them, “but you cannot bear to hear it now.  When he the spirit of truth is come, he will reveal all.”

All – more and more.  Always something more.

No matter how late the hour, no matter how desperate the moment, we cannot despair; the joy and the riches he has promised us stretch like a shining road into the future!

                                                          Catherine Marshall,

                                                          Boynton Beach , Florida

                                                          March 4, 1974

Paul Tillich (Eminent theologian and Christian Socialist)

 There are two different and separate worlds’ one higher, supernatural, spiritual, and divine; and the other lower, natural, physical, earthly, and human.

 There are three distinct types of fear in man.

1.     The fear of death (destiny)

   2.     The fear of damnation (guilt)

   3.     Emptiness (meaninglessness)

 Religion within the limits of reasonableness is a mutilated religion.

 In faith man is seized hold of by the deepest meaning of reality.

 Faith is a ‘central act’, which takes hold of the whole of man, not merely his head, but also his heart, not merely the conscious levels of his being, but also the unconscious levels.

 Every function of the human mind without exception and every sphere of life possesses a hidden religious dimension.

 Religion, like god, can be forgotten, neglected, denied.  But it is always effective, giving inexhaustible depth to life, and inexhaustible meaning to every cultural creation.  Religion lasts as soon as man lasts.  It cannot disappear in human history, because history without religion is not human history.

 Religion is the substance of culture, culture is the expression of religion.  When religion is separated from culture, it becomes ‘primitive’.

 If we could see the holy in every reality, we should be in the Kingdom of God .

 The proof that we do not yet live in the Kingdom of God is the fact that religion still exists as a separate sphere with in the world.

Genius, that power which dazzles mortal eyes, is oft but perseverance in disguise.

                                                                   Henry Austin (about 1613)

Jubilee songs of praise – sung on Sunday 5 June 1977, in honour of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee

 Sung at the Queen’s Coronation

 All people that on earth do swell,

Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice;

Him serve with mirth, his praise forth tell

Come ye before him and rejoice.


The Lord, ye know, is God indeed;

Without our aid he did us make;

We are his folk, he doth us fee;

And for his sheep he doth us take.


O enter then his gates with praise;

Approach with joy his courts into;

Praise, laud and bless his name always,

For it is seemly so to do.


For why? The Lord our God is good;

His mercy is for ever sure;

His truth at all times firmly stood,

And shall from age to age endure.

                                                          William Kethe, d. 1593 (?)

 Sung at Princess Anne’s Wedding

 God be in my head,

And in my understanding;

 God be in mine eyes,

And in my looking;

God be in my mouth,

And in my speaking;

 God be in my heart,

And in my thinking;

 God be at mine end,

And at my departing.


                                                                 From a sarum primer, 1558

Sung at Princess Anne’s Wedding

 Glorious things of thee are spoken,

Zion , City of our God;

He, whose word cannot be broken,

Formed thee for his own abode.

On the rock of ages founded,

What can shake thy sure repose?

With salvation’s walls surrounded,

Thou may’st smile at all thy foes.


See, the streams of living waters,

Stringing from eternal love,

Well supply thy sons and daughters,

And all fear of want remove;

Who can faint, while such a river

Ever flows their thirst to assume?

Grace which, like the Lord, the Giver,

Never fails from age to age.


Saviour, if of Zion ’s city

I, through grace, a member am,

Let the world deride or pity,

I will glory in thy name;

Fading is the wordling’s pleasure,

All his boasted pomp and show;

Solid joys and lasting treasure

None but Zions’ children know.

                                                          John Newton, 1725-1807

Sung at the Queen’s Wedding

 The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want;

He makes me down to lie

In pastures greens; he leadth me

The quiet waters by.


My soul he doth restore again,

And me to walk doth make

Within the paths of righteousness,

E’en for his own name’s sake.


Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,

Yet will I fear no ill;

For thou art with me, and thy rod

And staff me comfort still.


My table thou hast furnished

In presence of my  foes;

My head thou dost with oil anoint

And my cup overflows.


Goodness and mercy all my life

Shall surely follow me,

And in God’s house for evermore

My dwelling place shall be.

                             William Whittingham, 1524-79;

                             Francis Rous, 1579-1659;

                             Revised by Westminster Assembly Divines, 1650

Sung at the Queen’s Wedding


Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven

To his feet thy tribute bring;

Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,

Who like thee his praise should sing?

Praise him! Praise him!
Praise the everlasting King.


Praise him for his grace and favour

To our fathers in distress;

Praise him, still the same for ever,

Slow to chide and swift to bless.

Praise him! Praise him!

Glorious in his faithfulness.


Father-like he tends and spares us;

Well our feeble frame he knows;

In his hands he gently bears us,

Rescues us from all our foes.

Praise him! Praise him!

Widely as his mercy flows.


Angels in the height adore him;

Ye behold him face to face;

Sun and moon, bow down before him

Dwellers all in time and space.

Praise him! Praise him!
Praise with us the God of grace.

                                                          Henry Francis Lyte 1793-1847

And the world will be better for this, that one man with unbeatable courage strove to 
reach the unreachable stars.

The following was written by Sister Claudia, who was born on May 31st 1935 at Wurrtemberg, Germany, and who died in great pain from a blood disease when only 35 years old


“Jesus your life was an offering

O Lord, let my life be one too

Living and dying that others

Might see in me only you.”

“What grace it is to taste a little misery that I may come closer to him.”

 “Glory comes out of deep suffering”.

 She was in complete peace in the face of death.  She was radiant with divine joy.


 Without end or limit, without bounds.  Either greater or smaller than any quantity that can be assigned.  Eternal.  Immeasurable.  Interminable.  Unbounded.

 None of the above can be imagined because everything we know of has limits.

 If space is infinite, does it not follow that life could be eternal?

 The greatest or smallest things are based on what we can observe.  It is possible that what we can observe, even at distances of millions of light years, is but a speck in the ocean of infinite space.  It is also possible that there are objects so small that we shall never be able to see them, no matter how powerful our microscopes.

 In comparison with the wonders of our environment we are but clumsy and awkward seekers, with no conception of what lies beyond our understanding.

To claim and accept normal religious experience is an act of humility rather than of pride, for it is an admission that our frailty needs it.

 Extracts from Man (divine or social) by Dr Arthur Guirdham (Consultant in psychiatry)

There is no convincing evidence that the impulse to submission which is the basis of religious experience has its origin in our so called instinctive equipment.  This is not to say that certain of the instincts are not activated or controlled in the process of religious experience.  I am merely asserting that in this process, the manipulation of the instincts is a secondary and not a primary mechanism.

Two main forces govern our lives, the cosmic urge with which we are born, which came to us from our lives inside our mother; and from the first months or years after our birth; and the herd personality impulse which is a contrary force or complex of forces which enables us to take the path of separate existence and embark on the formation of personality.

 The cosmic urge and the herd personality impulse are more basic and primitive than the instincts.  The instincts are useful concepts enabling us to understand the mechanisms or behaviour.  They are not the essential primary motives for conduct.  They are manifested later in life than infancy and early childhood.  Their function is to canalise and contain forces more primitive than themselves.

The individual is endowed with a death-wish (the cosmic urge) and a form of life-wish (the herd personality impulse).

 It should be understood that in our first beginnings we have only the death-wish because in the first moments and even days of extra-uterine existence the death-wish and the desire to return to the mother’s womb must be paramount.  The death-wish impels the individual to slip back into the universal consciousness.  The life-wish is concerned with the impulse to apartness and the formation of our separate egocentric (self-important)  personalities.  It is only a life-wish as far as the life of the egocentric personality is concerned.  It has no function in freeing the real self which is beyond space and time.

From what has been said already it will be obvious that the cosmic urge is much more our original endowment than the herd personality urge.  In the early stages of existence it is the strongest force we possess.  It cannot be called an innate (inborn) endowment because it is integral with life itself and is not built into the fabric of personality.  It is obvious that the herd-personality urge is a very secondary consideration.  It is only developed much later.  In the first years of existence, the cosmic urge is paramount.  With the development of personality its power is gradually diminished.  With our increasing self centredness (egocentricity), the manifestations of the cosmic urge become less noticeable and it atrophies (wastes away) within us from neglect and disuse.  As the herd-personality increases at the expense of the cosmic urge we become less submissive and more aggressive.  We live more on the plane of violence.  With the diminution in force of the cosmic urge we become less perceptive of the intrinsic (inherent) magical nature of even small things around us and more concerned with the falsity of big ideas.  We become more concerned with ourselves as grasping and competitive entities.  We develop a sense of apartness and pass out of the childhood state in which we are dimly aware of ourselves a part of a whole.  The you which is not you is what remains within us of the cosmic urge.  It is responsible for our moments of serenity in adult life and for what impulses to enlightenment we may retain or develop.  It is what leads us back, from our acquired apartness, to a sense of ourselves as not self-limited but as being part of a whole which transcends time and space.  It is what, if it remains active in us after childhood or is reactivated at a later date, will confer on us again the capacity to merge, through art, love and religious experience, with that from which we came and to which we may return.  Essentially, it confers on us the capacity to merge with the universal and to return to our original oneness and is thus the basis of religious experience.

Note how the underlined parts of this page agree with the feelings of people who have found God (see page three).  In both cases a feeling of being in touch with the cosmos is apparent.  This seems to confirm that we do have our substance both here and in space (of heaven).  And that we are eternally part of the universe; and, therefore, part spiritual and part material.  Our spiritual side an be developed by strenuous and continual efforts on our part; an a willingness to submit to it.  God is waiting to greet us in his universe; and we can find him in this life as a preparation for the future spiritual existence elsewhere.


The cosmic urge is integral with the possession of life itself.  It is with us when we come into this world.  It is often stifled long before we go out of it.  We come then to this seeming paradox that the death-wish is given us with the gift of life, and the life-wish, that is the desire for the continuation and fruition of our own personality, is a guarantee of the death of the spirit.  We should remember always that what seem to be contradictory tow-way conceptions are at the basis of all religious experience.  He that loseth his life shall save it and he that saveth his life shall lose it.  This is the kind of illogical and unreasonable truth of experience which provides a constantly repeated theme in all the great religions of the world.

The cosmic urge with which we begin our life and which is inextricably woven in its substance is the raw material for the life of the spirit.  There is a spiritual basis in life itself.  The very fact of life is sacred.  But the physical fact of the birth of the infant is accompanied on its part by a yearning to return, by a dying to itself which is strongest at the time when the life within it is at the freshness of its first morning.  So the phenomenon of physical birth carries with it the potentialities for spiritual rebirth because the infant at this time is strong in its death-wish of cosmic urge.  It is this force which later in adult life instigated the change of mind and heart which leads to self-annihilation and enlightenment.

Christ advises us that unless we become as little children we shall not enter the kingdom.  I suggest that Christ meant that until we abandon our pride of personality and attain once more the receptive state of childhood we cannot achieve enlightenment.  The cosmic urge is an all-pervading and compelling force in the first months and years of our lives.  It retains its full latent potential throughout our lives but the degree to which this potential is expressed depends on ourselves and our circumstances.

The cosmic urge arises from within and is yet concerned with the annihilation of ourselves as a unit.  The impulse to personality is imposed from without and has as its aim the construction of intimate, personal, and what in our state of illusion we consider to be indestructible selves.

The cosmic urge is something we have and which we retain through our lives although its activities may be suppressed.  On the other hand, personality is something we acquire, its acquisition involves the operation of many complex psychological mechanisms.  In particular, the capacity for idea formation is intimately related to the development of the personality and is also lone of the chief methods by which the herd system is enabled to mould and dominate the separate personalities of its members.

The cosmic urge is exhibited in relation to God or the absolute.  When this oneness is broken the feeling of apartness which ensures initiates the herd-personality urge which co-operates in its development with the herd impulse.

Divine Perception

When the mystic receives those intimations of immortality which are one and the same time momentary and timeless, he is employing a rare form of perception given only to a tiny minority and attained by a few others after years of labour.  Later, on a higher plane, the perceptual process is able to dispense not only with thought as an aid to higher experience, but even with thought as a vehicle for the expression of its finds.  The mystic who feels his realised self as never before and, at the same time, its liquefaction (melting) in the ocean of the absolute, is still expressing himself in one of the last refinements of thought.  At a later stage, in the state of bliss, there are no such formulations expressible in words, in thought , or in any known manner of communication.  The state which ensures is in fact inexpressible.  The ultimate reality is essentially indefinable.  In the end perception itself, as an instrument of individual being, ceases to be and is merged in the cosmic consciousness.  The perceptual process is the main mechanism by which the cosmic urge manifests itself within us.  It enables us to feel reality and so, if we choose, to return to it.  The perceptive faculty is something we share with all that exists.  It is both part of us and part of what is universal.  Through perception we appreciate the essential reality of the objects about us.  In perceiving their reality we appreciate  the nature of all reality.

No person can be said to be secure in his religion unless he has found it in perfect freedom.  Religion is not a matter of intellectual belief but of inward conviction.  Such an individual conviction can only be developed by the individual in his own way, by his own methods and in his own time.  Such a conviction comes to the whole man as a truth of experience.  The young child has no such conviction.  He does not need it because he is living wholly his religious experience.  He lives it to such a degree that he does not have to think it.  His oneness with his mother, his sense of the unique nature of simple objects abut him, the purity of his perceptions and the degree to which, for him, the subject-object relationship is obliterated, are all essential features of the religious life.  The child, in fact, is living the equivalent of the last stages of sainthood.  In this latter connection, the individual’s religious convictions are no longer present as such, they have been replaced by a selfless ness so merged with the absolute that anything so positive as a conviction exists no longer.  The last stages of sainthood correspond to the first beginnings of childhood.  The wheel has come full circle.  Here again we feel the truth of that most significant of all Christ’s statements, “unless ye become as little children”.

The teaching of Christ is essentially concerned with truth as established by experience.  It is, in fact, eminently practical.  It invites us to experiment with ourselves by the practice of certain recommendations  If we do so we will be able to verify their effects by observation of ourselves.  When confronted with the very young, it is better to live religion than to teach it.  The function of the family is not to inculcate in its individual members any system of idea, religious or otherwise, or to maintain any religious or secular tradition.  It greatest role is simply, by love, to maintain the atmosphere of oneness and to permit its children to express their religious and secular aspirations in perfect freedom.  However varied these aspirations, if the children have maintained their connection with the absolute they will all be directed to a single goal.  In the rearing of children there can be no substitute for the love which, working from within, knows no laws but its own impulsion, and produces goodness  not by rule of conduct precept but by maintaining within the while what it was always possessed.  It is only when scholarship is approached from love of it and for its own sake that we can drive the fullest benefit from it.  It is only when we do a thing for the sake of the thing rather than for our own sake that we will do it to the best of our ability.

The Psychology of Cure

When a man discovers from a neurosis he recovers as a whole.  Recovery implies that he learns to accept life as it is, and not how he wishes it to be.  He learns to tolerate his own foibles and littleness.  He learns to become a more dispassionate spectator of his own thoughts and actions and to submit to the requirements of his destiny.  Until he recaptures this religious attitude towards life, even though he himself may not recognise that such an attitude is religious, the neurotic is never on firm ground.  Until the individual has made the total act of submission he cannot consider himself to have escaped from the shackles of neurosis.  It is easier to conceive of cure in neurosis as a process in the course of which one great force replaces another.  This force is the cosmic urge.  Its impact is on the personality as  whole.  It deals with all the instincts and sentiments of which we are composed, not one by one, which is impossible, because they are so intimately entangled with each other, but by its effect on the personality as a whole. The cosmic urge is essentially not an attractive force.  It achieves its effects when the personality is prepared to withdraw.

 The Psychology of Conversion

This can be much more rapid than the cure of neurosis.  In some cases conversion is initiated in a moment of divination.  This cosmic urge, like a flash of lightning, illuminates a fissure in the personality.  The sudden effects of total enlightenment and of the laying down of the burden of self can only be explained by the sudden surrender of the personality as a whole.  Some of the effects of conversion resemble the signs experienced by people coming from an anaesthetic.  In sinking into or coming round from an anaesthetic the patient is entering or leaving the little death of his whole personality.  His personality is temporarily put to sleep and when he comes to himself the awareness of cosmic existence is still persisting within him.  The same mechanism operates in the process of conversion, which involves in the moments of its inception, a death of the ego as a whole and not a piecemeal disruption of its component parts.


In what I have written I have nor approached human psychology from the standpoint of any particular religion.  What I have aimed to demonstrate is that our ordinary human psychology includes an immense potential capacity for religious experience.  I have shown that life itself is innately spiritual and that the cosmic urge, which predominates in our earliest childhood, is a religious force.  The you which is not you, which is what remains to us in adult life after the decline of the cosmic urge, retains at least the potential capacity for spiritual development.  Most important of all, I have demonstrated that throughout life there are at our disposal psychological mechanisms which enable us to attain to higher planes of being.  Man’s capacity to achieve these higher states has been known from time immemorial.  What I have done is to define, in terms of human psychology, the processes available to us for our spiritual development.  This book contains the raw material for a specific approach to religious experience.

Everyman is different, unique; and therein lies his greatness.  Differences in education should depend upon differences in ability, and not upon wealth and other irrelevant factors.  It is the duty of society to allow every man to develop in proportion to his gifts, that is, to fulfil God’s individual plan for him.  By the same token, the gifts of the father to his children become the responsibility of these children.  They must make those gifts bear fruit. This is an absolute condition, and we shall all have to render an account of the use we have made of them.  Thus, we are working in accordance with God’s plan, and fulfilling his essential wish for the total development of every man and woman.

Some thoughts from myself

Never be ordinary.  Show that you value all things, and love God’s world above everything.  Show that, whatever the circumstances, life can still be a thing of beauty (providing that that beauty is rigourously sought after).  Show kindness and understanding to all people at all times.  Never let a friendship develop into something less beautiful and fresh than when it started.

The importance of reading books about religion

We are too often ignorant about Christian doctrine, Christian history, the relation of Christianity to other world faiths, how Christianity fits into a comprehensive view of life and the universe.

By reading e shall exercise our intelligence and stir up our imagination.  This enrichment of our mind and hence of our imagination is a very important preliminary to prayer.  In general what we have read will have been for the most part forgotten; but all the experiences, impressions and ides which have impinged upon us are now stored somewhere within our unconscious mind.  Ideas impinge upon us as w read and we then apparently forget them, of most of them.  But we don’t therefore lose them.  They remain with us, thus helping to make us what we are, and it is by means of what we are that God works within us. The time will come when our accumulated store of memory will be used and God’s presence within us will play upon it and contribute mightily to the warmth and reality of our prayers.  We have to trust God and use our reserves of memory as and when he sees fit, for it is his business to know when the time is ripe.  He may keep us waiting for quite a long time.  Our part of the business is to see that the cellar of our mind and memory are kept reasonably well stocked.  That is all we can do.  But it is both essential and enough.

Extracted from the book “Becoming what I am” by H.A. Williams (Dean and Author)

(I, personally, find this to be very true).

Extracts from “Meet Christ and Live!” by Michel Quoist, Priest, and pastor le Havre ; and author

(1½ million copies of his books sold in English)

 The object of this book is to:

Lead a few Christians to Jesus

Help them to recognise Jesus

Inspire them to encounter him and join him in his work of saving men and mankind.

 The main who lives by faith – that is, the man who is united to Jesus – has the oft of seeing the eternal dimension in everyday affairs.

 With God, there is no such thing as a single, solitary man.  There are only individuals in various relationships with other individuals.

 Students are privileged beings and as such they have responsibilities to society to prepare themselves conscientiously to take their proper places as workers, and also in the social and political arenas.

 God involves us in his work.  With him we must complete the creation of the universe by our work.  If we acted alone, the work, no doubt, would be more perfect – but man would be less great, it is God and man, together, who are building the kingdom.

Christians must not be those who ‘have’ and who ‘take care of’ the have-nots.  We must be men who come as equals, to share what we have.  We must not be men who are always needed, but men who sometimes need others.

Into the hands of mankind God has placed a marvellous gift, the Universe.  Man, since his hands are still clumsy, has not yet been able to find all of God’s gifts.  But he grows with each passing day; and, each,  day, he discovers new gifts, learns to use them, to master them and to transform them.  The greatest insult we can offer to God is to use what he gives us to perpetrate injustice (to monopolises God’s gift, without regard for our brothers), or to engage in wars rather than use the powers we have been given for peaceful purposes.

Conversion is a free act.  It is free on the part of God, who invites; and fee on the part of man, who accepts.

 All human work is a participation in the great Christian mystery of the creation.  Together, each of us in our place, we are completing the universe.  All human work is a service rendered by men to other men.

 Too often, people think of God as

A common name which has become part of everyday language;

A vague ‘being’ who is supposed to have magical powers;

An idea which can be demonstrated in order to comfort the minds of men.

But this is not the God of the Christians.

Too often, and for the many people, the ‘act of faith’ is summed up in this manner: there is something greater than us, something inapproachable because it is so distant, unknowable because it is mysterious; something which we must contend with and endure; something whose good will we must cultivate.

This is in no way the faith of Christians.

 Too often men speak of ‘being religious; or of ‘having religion’.  They refer to a complex

Of badly assimilated religious information,

Of badly observed moral laws,

Of rituals, often idolatrous in themselves, performed distractedly.

 This is by no means the religion of Christians.

 The God of the Christians is

A person, a person who is called Jesus Christ

A person who, historically, once lived among men.

 The God of Christians is not ‘something’ greater than us, but someone among us.

 Jesus, then, is God come among us, made visible to us.  He is God, hitherto inaccessible and unknown, becoming man and joining hands with men, greeting men, speaking to men, loving men, dying for men.  ‘No one has ever seen God; it is only the son, who is nearest o the father’s heart, who has made him known’.  (John 1:18)

‘The word was made flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory’ (John 1:14)

 God became man for the whole of mankind, and therefore for me.  He came to see me, to speak to me, to become my friend, to save me.  I am personally involved with him.

 Christians, believe in Jesus Christ, trust in him, live with him and in him within his church, and work for the kingdom of his father.

 The greatness of the Christian’s God is not that he is all-powerful, but that he is all-loving.  There is someone among you whom you do now know, he is called Love.

 To love means to forget oneself entirely for the sake of another.  It means to give oneself totally and freely in order to enrich another and to become on with him.  Man can fulfil himself only in giving himself and in loving through individual and collective relationships.

 The rhythm of nature, man’s deepest aspirations, the universal straining of mankind towards the spirit – all this constitutes a forward process, an effort to rise above oneself in order to attain fulfillment beyond the dimension of time.

 At the purely human level, men do not die; they live in others – in their children and grand children.  They live in all those to whom they gave themselves; that is, in all those whom they loved.  And they live also, until the end of time, in their actions and in the consequences of their actions.

 Note this

Every man is an appeal to the dimension of infinity.  He must therefore be either an absurdity, an incomprehensible monster, the incredible result of blind change – either that or there must be an answer to the question which he embodies.  Why would man have infinite faculties – reason, consciousness, imagination – if he were not destined to live at the level of infinity?  I cannot believe that the incredible evolution of man and the universe, which goes back to the beginning of time and continues today, is all in vain.

 A man’s life and his development, and the life and development of mankind itself can have only one meaning and one direction: God and Love.  When man and mankind are deprived of God and Love, they become frustrated and directionless.  When the evolution of mankind loses its centre, man is condemned to chaos and despair.

 By perpetually increasing our material goods and making them an end in themselves, we make it more and more difficult for ourselves to discover and to follow God and Love.  This is what Jesus meant when he told us that it is very hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  The true God remains present to all men, but we become less and less capable of seeing him.  It is up to us to meet him, to love him, to struggle at his side in order to free mankind.  It is up to us to make his presence known.  More than ever before, men today have need of a saviour.  Without knowing it, they are crying out to him.  As Christians, we know that this saviour is our friend, that we are his brothers and that God, his father, is our father.  If we live as sons and brothers, then men will recognise the saviour in us.

 Man is a member of an enormous group: mankind.  He is a cell in an immense body; the universe.  He is the son of a father unique to his many children: God.

 In order to be able to live, a man has need of all his physical, emotional and spiritual faculties.  But if his sexual or emotional faculties are not integrated into his personality, then these links are broken, and a man is unbalanced because he is complete.  He is unable to live fully.

 Man is made to live in society.  He cannot truly grow and live except in relationship to other men.  Alone, he must remain underdeveloped and incomplete.  In order for him to reach his full growth, he must enter into communication with all men.  And, if these links with other men are broken, man is cut off, isolated.

 The universe is an extension of man’s body.  Man, in order to live, has need of the earth, the air, the sun – the entire universe.  He is necessarily linked to these things.  If the links are broken, man is isolated.

 Man does not spring from nothingness.  He is the fruit of the father’s eternal love.  He is a son of the divine household.  If he does not recognise his father, his brother Jesus Christ, and his brothers in Jesus Christ; if he is not freely bound to them and does not live the divine life which is his right as a son, he remains seriously incomplete.  In such as case, the bonds have been cut – and the cutting of these bonds is a sin.

 This unity of man within himself, of men among themselves, of men and the universe and of all mankind and the whole universe with the father in Christ, constitutes the infinite plan of God which is intended to join together all things forever, in the unity of trinity.

 Whenever man struggles at one level of another, to join together these bonds in love (that is, in freedom, justice and respect for individual and collective values; for we re taking about a special kind of unity), he is acting in accordance with God’s wish.  As a Christian, he must be committed along with Jesus, who is himself committed to the unity of the world at every level.

 In this sense, man’s ties to the universe are one aspect, but a necessary aspect, of his inner equilibrium and of the world’s progress towards unity.  It is this aspect with which we are specially concerned.  For, in many cases, these ties have been loosened, or broken; and, as always happens, disorder has followed the break and it is destroyed the world.

 From the beginning, the universe was given to man as a mean of nourishment and growth.  It is man’s duty to dominate the universe, develop it and place it at the service of himself and of all men.

 Shall we one day dominate the universe?

 Perhaps in the millions of years still to come for mankind we shall find our way into the galaxies, and inhabit the many worlds which must exist round other suns.  It is an awesome thought, but certainly not an impossible feat.  Indeed, we have already made a start with our landing on the moon.  If we can get this far there is nothing to stop us going deeper and deeper into the cosmos, using our landings on one planet as a jumping off point to another, and ad infinitum.

 And, of course, when the solar system begins to reach the end of its life mankind will by then have reached a greatly advanced stage of technology, and will of necessity have to escape from the dying sun or perish.  This will give an added incentive to everyone to make a supreme effort to find a way to avoid extinction.

 Some men have taken common natural resources and used them for themselves, to the exclusion of other men.  They have exploited these resources and capitalised on them.

 Some men build up great holdings of rich land, while other men have no land on which to grow food.

 Man has not only made selfish use of the earth for the happiness and pleasure of a few; he has also exploited the earth without respecting it.  Today, the earth is diseased.  It has been infected by man.  The water and the air are polluted, the land is exhausted, and our material resources have been plundered.

 It is not a question of “halting progress”, it is not a matter of going backward.  But it is a question of controlling and guiding progress in such a way that it will work for the overall good of man and of all men.  This is God’s law.  To violate that law is a sin.

The universe is “not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”  

                                                JBS Haldane (1892-1964), Scientist


Charlie Chaplin, who died on Christmas Day 1977, aged 88, said this above his wife Oona in his autobiography.  (He was married to her for 34 years, and they had five daughters and three sons).

 “As I live with Oona, the depth and beauty of her character are a continual revelation to me.  Even as she walks ahead of me  … with simple dignity, her dark hair smoothed back, showing a few silver threads, a sudden wave of love admiration comes over me for all that she is and a lump comes into my throat.”

The talent of success is nothing more than being what you an do well; and doing well whatever you do, without a thought of fame.

                                                                    Longfellow (1807-1882)

Jesus, the very thought of thee

With sweetness fills my breast;

But sweeter far thy face to see,

And in they presence rest.

Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,

Nor can the memory find

A sweeter sound than thy blest name,

O Saviour of mankind!


O hope of every contrite heart,

O joy of all the meek,

To those who fall how find thou art!

How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah! This

Nor tongue nor pen can show;

The love of Jesus what it is

None but his loved ones know.


Jesu, our only joy be thou,

As thou our prize wilt be;

Jesu, be thou our glory now,

And through eternity.

                                                          Bernard of Clairvaux, 1091-1153

                                                         Tr. By Edward Caswall, 1814-78

Extracts from “an humbler heaven” by William Rees – Mogg

Editor of “The Times” since 1967

The belief in God is something which grows in the human mind.  It starts as a hope; it is nourished by love; it matures into faith.  St Paul describes the change as from the natural to the spiritual.  The growth of belief influences all parts of the personality.  Faith comes by grace; it is something given, not something earned.

If the evidences of God in the world which have influenced me were to influence a single other person, then I would have done him the greatest possible favour, because I have found these evidences overwhelming convincing in my own life.

No one seriously reading the writings of the great prophets of Judaism and the great rabbis; of Plato and the apostle’s of St Paul and St John and the great saints of the Christian church, can doubt that they are all teaching about the same thing, that they are recounting the same ultimate experience.  They all tell us of a spiritual reality which is perfect, which is loving and which enters men’s hearts.  They all speak of that reality, not as a hypothesis, but as something deeply experienced in their own lives.  Moreover they all convey in their own lives and personalities some further idea of what this reality is, and Jesus does so to a unique degree, so that meditation on Jesus, even apart from Christian belief about the divine nature of Jesus, seems the same thing as meditation on God.

Men of different nations and cultures in different ages, with different theological beliefs, have all given the same report of the existence and nature of God; and those not bad men, but including the most admired, the most trusted, the most serene, the most loved and loving of mankind.

The energy of religion increases because the love of God makes one love man more, and the love of man makes one love God; each brings an increase in the other.

As for myself, however badly and selfishly I lead my life, I can now say that it has become the life of an unquestioning believer.  The love of God is the only thing that matters ultimately in life, that and the love of human beings which flows from it and flows back into it.  That is the reason of life, the end of life, the happiness of life and the duty of life; it is what man is for.  However inadequately any of us may live by that standard, that is the truth, and those who have even intermittent understanding of that truth are fortunate indeed.

The love of God is part of the fabric of our civilization, the most important part, and once it is lost, no civilization of value can survive.  The greater tragedy is that without God man cannot live in peace.  Both his immortal and his mortal life depend upon it.


If religion is false, how did man come to have this hunger for it?  If it is false, how does it come to be strong in its influence on man?  If it is false, how does it come to be so good for man?  The existence of this hunger for God, the strength of this love of God, the benefit to human nature of faith in God cannot be denied without denying the evidence of the whole of human history.

To care nothing for oneself, to care everything for others, to live for an in the presence of God, is the achievement of the last stages of the lives of the greatest saints.

The strongest evidence of the truth of God’s love, of the existence of God, and the existence of his love, is to be found in the working of God’s love that can be seen in the lives of men; of men who show a freedom from the normal selfishness of life and a capacity for love which human nature only shows at its highest.  They all say that they have received the blessing of this freedom as a gift from God, and they make it their most earnest business to try to spread this knowledge of God to their fellow men.  If they are all mistaken and God is a mere fiction, then we have to accept that the greatest and best men the human race has ever produced, the men of love who stand so much higher than the men of power, were all developed by the same reliance on the same mistake.

The atheist has to believe in the existence of a benign/gracious/kindly error; it is apparent that the fruits of religious belief include peace and love and humility, and that these are the highest and most valuable qualities in human nature.  The atheist has to believe that men acquire these virtues, as in religion they undoubtedly do acquire them, by believing in a lie.  The anti-Christian has to take this further. The life and work of Jesus has, at the lowest claim, resulted in religion in one of its most noble forms being spread widely through the world.  Jesus himself, again putting it at the lowest, is a spiritual teacher and leader of the highest genius, and a man filled with the spirit of love.  Yet if we do not accept his claims for himself we are saying that this work is in this case also achieved by a lie.  Jesus himself gave as his test of the truth of religious claims ‘by their fruits shall ye know them’.  Can one believe that two thousand years of sanctity have sprung from a root of falsehood?

The strongest proof of the claims of Jesus seem to be found in the gospels and in the lives of those who have followed his religion; his personality is still the most powerful inducement to religion that there is.  Above all, the sacrifice that Jesus made, which Christians believe was made for us, was made with such love including love for those who persecuted him, that the crucifixion reveals a personality which has inspired all Christians since that time.

If it is a man’s experience that Christianity truly accepted generally tends to make people better than they could otherwise be expected to be, not only in their actions but in their souls, and in the wholeness and health of their personalities, that in itself must be strong evidence that Christ does work in them.  It is what one would expect if Christianity was true, that not only the saints and martyrs, but ordinary people would be better for it, more compassionate, better able to love their fellows, more at peace with themselves, more confident for the future, asking less of the present.  It is what one would expect, and it is so.  People are good, not because they have read the instructions to be good, but because their souls have been penetrated with the goodness of God, because the Holy Spirit is in them, with the love of the Father and the example and redemptive sacrifice of the son.  People do not become good for purely natural reasons, but they become better for supernatural reasons.  They have a relationship with God by which they are changed, and acquire at least some of the supernatural longings which are the normal response to a sense of God’s love.

In this psychology of spiritual development Christ is all important.  He is the example; he is the founder of our religion; he is the presence of God on earth; he is the teacher; he is the redeemer and sacrifice; he is the resurrection, but above all he is the author of the religion which teaches love of God, love of man and disregard of self; a religion which proves to be true to the deepest requirements of human nature, and relieves man of the agonies of his own false ambitions.  Without the mediating figure of Jesus not one in a thousand of those who have through Christianity come to a true understanding of religion would have been able to do so.

It is these gifts which are so great, and so strongly supported by grace, by prayer and by holy communion, which must either come from the truth or prove a lie.  It is natural that Christians should believe that it is the truth which sets us free.  It is also much more reasonable than the supposition that we owe joy and salvation and humility and peace to what could at best be a ridiculous misunderstanding.

… To be fit for heaven we have to learn to love God.  There would be no place in heaven for us if we were not ready for it.  If the soul goes into the next world wilfully and knowingly hating God, then the next world will be a very unhappy place for that soul.  Will such souls repent?  Whether they will or not we do not know.  We do know that God’s love for them is not only equal to his love for the rest of us, but if anything greater, for they are his lost sheep.  God’s mercy is infinite and man can only hold out against God for a limited period, and the possibility of salvation therefore must always be there.

… The essence of the education of a soul is to turn from the selfishness of the natural man, away from the worship of self and the worship of power, toward unselfishness and to the love of others; man has to put off his evolutionary character and ‘put on Christ’, that is a character of self-sacrifice and love for others, which many take only a short period or, more often it is the work of a life time, and results in the soul being taken to the gates of heaven in which man has virtually direct experience of God while still alive; and emerge transformed and made whole.

This relationship with God is also expressed in prayer which should not be for worldly objects but rather for grace, for a better mind, for a remission of sins of a capacity for  love, and to be brought closer to God.  These prayers are always granted in some degree and can change the soul.

The soul is also changed by human relationship.  Everyone who loves us, everyone who is even fond of us, does us good and the more good in proportion to the unselfishness of their love.  Everyone we love, or are even fond of, shapes our souls towards heaven, if our love is a genuine and unselfish reaching out and not merely a reflection of self-love at its most extreme.  The most trifling act of service that we perform out of love for others develops the power to love that is in our souls.  These things are true where there is no religious beliefs; there are good non-religious people and their goodness grows out of their love for others.

The Christian psychology is however alone in being an effective and dynamic psychology, because it brings the love of God to reinforce the love of man.  The core and centre of human unhappiness, of the unhappiness that can last a life time, is self-regard.  No person who truly thinks of others and not of himself remains permanently and wholly unhappy, though he may experience great grief.  Nobody who thinks always of himself can be anything but unhappy, since he must always be disappointed, and resentful of a world which does not concentrate its attention on him.

The Christian psychology, full of grace, developed in prayer, aiming at the love of God and man, is the strongest psychology which can develop the soul towards peace.  It achieves its effect by the grace of God, but also by substituting a truth for an untruth.  The untruth is that self-regard, if only successful, will make a man happy.  That untruth is contradicted by all experience of life-selfish and conceited men are seldom happy, but are notoriously inadequate and sad.  The truth is that unselfishness and love for others give a peace and happiness which only come when they are not sought.  That again is confirmed by all personal experience.  Who are the happiest people, with fewest cares?  They are the least selfish.

Again one may ask, is it likely that the religion which is based on this unexpected truth about human nature is itself an untruth?  Would an untrue religion be likely to come telling us the greatest truth about ourselves?

… The argument of atheism is that God does not exist, the soul does not exist, the spiritual world does not exist, because everything con be explained material and scientific terms, including the nature and existence of man, his mind, and at large the whole universe.

Science has indeed removed the need for some of the spiritual hypotheses that have at time been put forward.  We don not need to introduce God to explain rational thought; the computer shows that; nor to explain the development of man; Darwinism is plainly true in its essentials; nor to explain life; life probably began from the association of inorganic chemicals early in the history of the word.  In short all the theories which give direct spiritual explanations for normal natural events are redundant.

This does not remove the possibility of God; it merely removes the necessity to invoke God in order to explain particular phenomena, also it can be argued that God was the first cause in nature, and science cannot show a first cause.

A materialist science does not answer the most important questions that can be put to it, but it has revolutionized the world in which men live, and modern man can see God as not needed in a world that science has fully explained, and it has explained many of the problems of his own immediate environment, which must impress him.

Religion in the modern world is a matter of relationships, and of quite simple relationships, with God and our neighbours.  Atheism tends to argue that religion is not true, as though it followed from this that atheism were true.  What we have to do is to examine the relative likelihood of the hypotheses, to see which is the more probable.  We cannot merely assume materialism to be true because we find religion difficult to believe.  We can of course reject both and leave ourselves without an explanation.  What is the essential difference between religion and scientific atheism?  Surely it is this.  Religion supposes that the great reality of the world is spiritual, by which is meant that there is an energy and consciousness, present in God but also present in man, which is not open to material observation, and is not limited, by time.  Scientific atheism supposes the opposite, that everything that is real is either capable of material observation, or theoretically capable of material observation and must operate in time.

We have therefore to consider two systems, one says that the real energy of the world, the energy which originally created it, and is alone capable of redeeming it, is a spiritual energy operating outside the limits of time and unobservable.  The other says that the world and universe is all there is or can be, that everything in it is material, capable of observation, and follows the course of time.

Atheist scientism has certain weaknesses, it depends on time.  Once we move from a regular world to a mysterious and timeless world where the most fundament laws of science do not apply i.e. where premonitions, miracles or a single instance of the paranormal occur, these have to be explained away.

Scientific materialism maintains that the real character of the universe is what the most intellectually evolved animal on a middling planet of a minor star is able to perceive, using his power or reason and his five senses, and supported by instruments of observation which by use of reason he has been able to make.  It does not maintain that this is just part of the reality, but that it is either the whole of it, or so unavoidably all that he can appreciate that it is idle to enquire in any other way.  It first reduces man to a purely animal evolutionary character, framed by the automatic operation of general laws, and then ending him with so great a capacity as an observer, that anything he is not capable of observing is excluded from reality.

The human observer is badly placed to understand the universe.  His life is extremely short relative to the events of the universe.  He is not at the centre of the universe, nor is he able to see the whole of it, even with the help of his most powerful instruments.  Nor do his finest instruments enable him to see the way in which its smallest parts operate.

For man to assert that there is no God because he cannot see him is some what like an ant asserting that there is no such being as the head of government because it has no sense data which proves that man’s existence.

Ordinary people now accept the pre-eminence of science, and even if they confirm to religious observance, often have an uneasy and out of date fear that science has disproved religion.  They should put to themselves these propositions. 

1.  Materialist science believes that all things are moved and made of energy, and that this motion of energy is all that is real in the universe.

2.     Idealists religion believes that the physical world is moved by energy, but that there is a spiritual world, on which the physical world depends, which is made and moved by love.

Which, they should ask themselves, corresponds more closely to their own experience?

… Is religion true?  If it does not work in the lives of man it could still be true but could have no meaning.  Nobody need bother about a God who has nothing to say to us, and there would be little difference between belief and non-belief.

If religion works then the evidence of its effect can only be found in human life, are God-loving people different from those who have no care for God?  Are they in some way better?  Does God make a difference?  Is it a difference for the better?

It is obvious that God does make a difference.  The lives of people of strong religious belief are different from the lives f those with none; or, with little belief.  Their aims and their standards are not the same, their attitudes towards themselves and other people are not the same, the two cases are completely different, nor is this a question of genius.  We do not expect to be given religious genius, but we can see that those who have fully turned their spirits towards God are different from us.

Religion simultaneously engages man’s deepest emotions and presents him with his highest good.  Religious emotion has all the power of man’s relationship with what is outside himself and with what is inside as well.  It is his relationship with the cause of the universes and the cause of his own being.  It is the human force to which no other force is equal.

The object of religion, the idea of the godhead is the sum of all ideas; it is the sun in the sky; it is love and sacrifice; it is humility and power; it is the energy of the universe and the peace of a summer evening in England; it is the perfect pattern and fountain of truth; it is the true origin and source of all beauty; it is the star scattered darkness of the sky at night; above all it is love, human, personal, faithful and without limit.  It is the master energy of a human personality, and it can drive good in that personality to its extreme limit.  It is the spirit of God shown for us in the sanctification of the human spirit that shows us what God is, supremely so in Jesus, truly so in all his saints.

We pray sometimes or occasionally, the saints always.  We love God faintly when we remember, the saints wholly and all the time.  We put ourselves first and others or God second.  The saints put themselves last, God first and their neighbour second only to God.  We love the lovable, the saints the unlovable.  We visit the sink, hastily, prisoners if a particular friend falls on hard times.  The saint makes his ordinary life of works of neighbourly love.  In our lives the front door to the soul is ajar and the sunlight of God sometimes lights up the front hall for an hour or two; in the lives and souls of the saints, the whole house is often to the sun, and is bathed in the sunlight of God all the time.

The character of the fully sanctified man, the personality in which love of God and man has become the permanent motive force, is not admired only by Christians or only by religious people.  Such a character is admired by those who have no religion at all, or are opposed to religion.  They may argue that religion does not often produce such sanctification.  Yet they do not deny that such a character, when it does appear, is the highest form in which the human character appears.  It is not only a proof of the truth of religion that belief in God can produce such characters, it is a proof of its power.

With true religion despair is impossible, for the mercy of God is infinite; without true religion despair is inevitable, for life can nothing but a series of pointless vexations terminating in death.  Hope is therefore essential to religion, and despair is inherent to unbelief.

… Let us take, for instance, the attitude towards human suffering.  There is one attitude natural to faith; that of compassion, the attitude of the good Samaritan.  There is another attitude natural to skepticism; that of sentimentality. What is the difference between compassion and sentimentality?  Compassion is concerned with doing good, sentimentality is concerned with feeling good; compassion involves living one’s neighbour as a reflection of the love of God, sentimentality involves loving oneself because there is no God to love; compassion is founded in truth, sentimentality is founded in falsehood, in the pretence that we have feelings we do not in reality experience.

It is usually true that sentimental people are callous.  Sentimentality is an artificial diversion of the instinct of sympathy towards particular and limited objects. Some of the most wicked of the Nazis were very sentimental people, and they lavished this diverted sympathy on plump, pink little Nazi children who had no great need of it, while leaving skinny little Ann Frank children to their fate.

… There is nothing laudable about the sate of man without God.  At best man is relatively intelligent animal on a life-bearing planet of a minor star.  A bleakly mortal individual, of a species doomed to extinction on a planet what will grow cold, belonging to a star that will fail.  If he is good or bad, it is all one.  Neither Stalin nor St Gregory the Great will be remembered when the sun grows cold, in a universe with no reality beyond its physical presence.  For the skeptic only the justification of temporary social use can be found for being ethical rather than destructive.

It is one of the central concepts of Christianity that the first duty of man is to love God, and from that flows his second duty of loving his neighbour.  In the mind and soul of the saint the love of God becomes so complete in its personation that it is reflected in all the actions that the saint may take.  Love God first, and the love of man, difficult as it is, will follow.  Equally the absence of God narrows the regard of the soul; the individual sees only himself as an object of concern.

… If Christianity be not true and materialism be true; if St Paul is wrong and the minute philosophers are right; then we are in the situation that the truth makes men miserable and bad, and falsehood makes them joyful and good.

… The grace of the sense of God’s presence, though it can often be re-captured by meditation, comes and goes.  It is a matter of seeing through a wavering mist, now so thick that one has to take it on trust that there is anything to see at all, now partly blown aside, but never clearing altogether.

… The life of the church is the love of God; it is worship; it is adoration; it is selfless ness; it is repentance; it is love of one’s neighbour; it is communion with God; it is prayer and the fruit of prayer; everything else is subordinate to that, and is valuable as it serves and preserves that, and not valuable if it does not serve or preserve.

… People of this generation can only come to religion by what they know, and by what is good.  They cannot come to it by doctrines they are not ready to understand, or words that have no meaning for the.  Yet the central doctrine of the Christian religion, the doctrine of love, everyone knows and everyone understands.  It is the love of God which is the beginning of the knowledge of God.  If this present period of darkness should come back into the light, it will be the spirit of his love by which it will be brought back, and it is for this that we ought to pray.  It is a spirit accessible to everyone, and everyone is accessible to it.

Everything else in the world, everything else in religion, is secondary to this.  The world can only be saved by the love of God which leads to the love of man;  without that the world has always been doomed, but we have the assurance that the world will never be without it.  That is the assurance of the incarnation of Christ;; it is also the assurance of the religious nature of man.  We know it from Jesus, and we know it by grace.

Besides this all the cares of the world fade away.  If God loves us, and we are even at the beginning of learning to love him, none of the anxieties of this most anxious world can have any hold on us.  Those whom God loves need not fear the future, in wealth or poverty, in health or sickness, in freedom or under oppression, in life or in death, for they have something so important that nothing can stand in importance beside it, and God loves everyone.  It is the flooding out of this sense of the love of God which will save the world.  And it is by expressing little fragments of this love to each other that we can best help the work.

John 19 (26 to 30)

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”  From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.  Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”  A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.  When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “it is finished.”  With that, he bowed his head and gave up his life.

1.     John 4 (7 to 19)

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his only son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love each other, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the father has sent his son to be the saviour of the world.  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the son of God, God lives in him and he in God, and so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love, whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  Love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.  There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to be with punishment.  Them man who fears is not made perfect in love, we love because he first loved us.

This is the summary of the religious experience of the disciple whom Jesus loved.  It is the summary of what Jesus had taught.  The man who understood Jesus more perfectly than anyone else among the disciples.  Christians can live in the light of this doctrine, and are able by this light to understand the whole complex mystery of Christian doctrine.  This is not only the central doctrine of Christianity about Jesus, it is the central doctrine of Jesus, as it remained in the memory and was distilled in the meditation of John, the disciple who unfolded the final phase of the aspect of Christianity which has most value as a cure for our failure.  We all shrink from a Christian approach to the world; for all of us, our imperfect love is not strong enough to cast out fear, particularly the last legitimate fear of the evil that is in ourselves and in others.  Yet is it true that Christian love cannot be overcome; it makes Christianity invincible.  The natural response to the love of God is to love all the things God has made, not instead of God but because of God.

  Any doctrine which deprives Christian life of joy and hope, let is be condemned.  Any destruction of ordinary pleasures, let it be condemned.  Any doctrine of hatred between people is a lie.  Any doctrine of God’s hatred towards people, or any doctrine that God so hates men as to predestine them to eternal damnation, is an abomination.  Any holy war to destroy other people in their home cannot be the will of a God of love.  In a time of hatred John gives us the Christianity of love; in fear, hope; in distress, joy; and always he gives us Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  From that a Christian can build a Christian understanding of his own.  There is no end to a deeper or to a broader understanding of Christian belief.  Yet now, talking to an agnostic in an agnostic world, I would ask him to go back to the epistle of St John as a way approach to the gospels, and as a summary by his most understanding friend of what Jesus meant.  ‘No man hath seen God at any time.  If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and we in him … God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: that is the truth of the universe; that is the explanation of the mystery of human life; it is the truth of eternity, it is the truth of God; it is the truth of Jesus; it is the truth of John.  To believe in that is what is needed to be a Christian; not to believe in it is to be a lost soul, not lost for ever but lost for now.  To accept that is the beginning of the process of Christianizing one’s soul, and it is to begin to feel the sweetness and the power and above all the truth of the teaching of Jesus himself.

No sight that the human eyes can look upon is more provocative of awe than is the night sky scattered thick with stars. 

                                                          Llewelyn Powys (1884-1939)

For there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.

A Hymn of Great Beauty


My song is love unknown,

My Saviour’s love to me;

Love to the loveless show

That they might lovely be

O who am I

That for my sake

My lord should take

Frail flesh, and die?


He came from his blest throne,

Salvation to bestow;

But men made strange, and none

The longed-for Christ would know,

But O my friend!

My friend indeed

Who at my need

His life did spend.


Sometimes they strew his way,

And his sweet praises sing;

Resounding all the day

Hosannas to their king.

Then: Crucify!

Is all their breath,

And for his death

They thirst and cry.


Why, what hath my lord done?

What makes this rage and spite?

He made the lame to run,

He gave the blind their sight.

Sweet injuries!

Yet they at these

Themselves displease,

And ‘gainst him rise.


They rise and needs will have

My dear lord made away;

A murderer they save;

The Prince of life they slay.

Yet cheerful he

To suffering goes,

That he his foes

From thence might free.


In life, no house, no home

My Lord on earth might have;

In death, no friendly tomb

But what a stranger gave.

What may I say?

Heav’n was his home;

But mine the tomb

Wherein he lay.


Here might I stay and sing,

No story so divine;

Never was love, dear King,

Never was grief like thine.

This is my friend

In whose sweet praise

I all my days

Could gladly spend

                                                          Samuel Grossman 1624-83

Christian Qualities

Compassion – the ability to get into other people’s minds and understand what they feel and what they need, and to share with them both their happiness and their troubles.

Gentleness (or meekness) – not softness or weakness, but possession of inward power (not to dominate or exploit or patronise) but to build up and to bring out the best in other people.

Courage – not absence, but conquest of fear.

Patience – willingness to put up with unpleasant things, if necessary for a long time, and for the sake of others.

Love – (which includes reverence and obedience, warmth and tenderness) – willingness to do what God wishes us to do, and live as he wishes us to live.  Being prepared to devote everything we have and are, at whatever cost, to the cause which bring a Christian involves us at any time; setting ourselves the highest possible standard and aiming at the ideals set forth by Jesus.

Poetry by Allan

To – Chris,

The birds have to sing as

They nest in the trees,

The fish loves the water

In oceans and seas,

The horse loves the meadow

The butterfly the breeze,

The colours of flowers

Are loved by the bees.

But my love for you darling

Exceeds all of these.

 From – Allan

God is love, where God is, love is; and where love is, God is; and the end of all things is to be the victory of love.

Jesus explains his relationship with God the Father

“As my father hath taught me, I speak these things.:

“He that hath sent me is with me: the father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him”.

“Before Abraham was, I am.”

“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep and am known of mine”.

“As the father knoweth me, even so I know the father; and I lay down my life for the sheep”.

“I and my father are one”.

“If I do not the works of my father believe me not.  But If I do though ye believe not me, believe the works that I do; that ye may know and believe, that the father is in me, and I in him.”


Immortal love, for ever full,

For ever flowing free,

Fore ever shared, for ever whole

A never-ebbing sea:


our outward lips confess the name

all other names above;

love only knoweth whence it came,

and comprehendeth love.


We may not climb the heavenly steeps

To bring the Lord Christ down:

In vain we search the lowest deeps,

For him and depths can drown.


In joy of inward peace, or sense

Of sorrow over sin,

He is his own best evidence,

His witness is within.


For warm, sweet, tender, even yet

A present help is he;

And faith has still its olivet,

And love its Galilee .


The healing of his seamless dress

Is by our beds of pain;

We touch him in life’s throng and press,

And we are whole again.


Through him the first fond prayers are said

Our lips of childhood frame;

The last low whispers of our dead

Are burdened with his name.


O Lord and master of us all,

Whate’er our name or sign,

We own thy sway, we hear they call,

We test ourselves by thine.


                                                          John Greenleaf Whittier 1807-92


Marjorie died in St. Margaret’s Hospital on the 23rd of February 1978.  On that day God granted me six hours with her, during which time I was honoured and proud to have been able to comfort her and attend to her wants.  I prayed constantly for her; and, although in some distress at first, she eventually settled down to a calm and peaceful sleep, whether or not she know she was dying I do not know, but I am thankful to say that she appeared to have no fear of this.  She said to me “it will be a little longer before I get out this time”, and “they say I shouldn’t talk, it is bad for me; but I like to talk”.  I am grateful that she knew I was there, and was able to talk to me for awhile.

I never really knew Marjorie, she was a truly wonderful woman; a good mother and a devoted nana.  She had many friends; she loved much and was much loved.  She was brave and forbearing during her long illness; facing with great courage and fortitude the pain and discomfort which were to be with her for so many years.  In spite of all this she was still able to say in her letters to me that God was good to her.

One of the noblest things she did was to attend to the cripples at the Chigwell House residential home .  A task that must have needed total dedication, and also a willingness to do work which, to most people, would have been too distasteful to tackle.  This work, begun in 1966, was a truly great act of mercy.

Marjorie at Chigwell House

I have to say, here and now, that I have grievously wronged her in the past, and I can only ask in humility and remorse that God may find it possible to forgive me.  My only consolation is that she finds real love with Bill.  May she rest in God’s hands, and may his love be hers forever.

She was buried on Friday the third of March in the cemetery of St Mary ’s Church, Chigwell , overlooking Chigwell House, a truly wonderful and fitting place chosen by Allan and Brian.

I am sure that in hospital on the day she died, the greatest comfort given to Marjorie was through a bright and cheerful tea-girl, who spoke such wonderful words of encouragement and consolation to her; and who brought her a drink given through a straw.

It is easy to assume that because a person is dying they no longer need any attention; but this girl’s cheerfulness and the drink she brought were, I am sure, greatly appreciated by Marjorie, and certainly will never be forgotten by me.

I have written to the girl thanking her for the thoughtfulness she showed on that day, and expressing the hope that she would carry on giving this kind of succour and support to many other people in similar distress.

I would meet her leaving the underground train, to take her to Allan’s.  She would be pale and terribly thin; her lips coloured blue.  She would walk towards me with a painful limp, and on her face always that little smile of welcome playing round her mouth; and one would think how wonderfully she faced up to the stresses and strains of her difficult and arduous life.  Without realizing it she showed me how God would have us be when under duress and hardship.  She did not ask for pity, only an understanding of how hard life was for her; and how great was her fight against a crippling and weakening disablement.

On Marjorie’s Tombstone

In loving memory of

Marjorie Elizabeth Gibson


Blessed are the pure in heart.

Some of the labels on the wreaths

Always remembered for your kindness and help you gave us, you will always be remembered by us all.  May your soul rest in peace.  You will always be in our thoughts.  Love: Carole, Tony, Andrew and David.

From friends and neighbours.

In memory of a happy summer day.       From Marie.

In loving memory, from all your friends at Chigwell House.

Always remembered and loved for eternity.  Loving son Brian and Joan.

In loving memory Carole and Paul.

With love, Karen.

Rest peacefully dear sister, from Gladys.

In loving memory of Marjorie – a very sweet person, from Doreen, Rosemary and Paul.

Always be remembered with much love.   From John.

Leslie and May, in loving memory of a loving and thoughtful sister.

To dearest Marjorie, always in our thoughts, Eric, Carlotta and Sally.
And all her ways were ways of pleasantness (Proverbs 3-17)

The sweetest gift we own
Fairer than any other
In grace she stands alone
A great possession mother.

No more pain now mam.
Rest peacefully till we
Meet again,
Love Chris and Allan

In loving memory of my dear friend Marjorie.  Who will be sadly missed.  Pat Highland .

In fondest memory of a dear sister – a cushion to rest your head and sleep.   Irene and Harry.

In loving memory.  To dearest Margaret with happy and loving memories of a very dear friend.   Heartbroken.  Bill

Entered in the West Essex Gazette and Independent, on the third of March 1978

Gibson, Marjorie (Margaret)

Mother of Brian, Allan and Carole, passed away peacefully at St Margaret’s hospital on February 23rd.  Funeral service on Friday March 3rd at St. Mary’s Chigwell .  Much loved and admired for her courage and kindness during a long illness.

There is a land of pure delight,

Where saints immortal reign;

Infinite day excludes the night,

And pleasures banish pain.


There everlasting spring abides,

And never-withering flowers’

Death, like a narrow sea, divides

This heavenly land from ours.

                                                                   Isaac Watts 1674-1748


Marjorie was cured of her arthritis after seeing a faith healer.  God did not let her suffer more than she could bear.  Marjorie turned to God whilst in hospital, taking part in the services held in the ward.  She died in a peaceful sleep; surely God was near to her at that time, and her soul is in his keeping.  

Now the labourer’s task is o’er,

Now the battle-day is past;

Now upon the farther shore

Lands the voyager at last.


Earth to earth, and dust to dust!

Calmly now the words we say;

Left behind, we wait in trust

For the resurrection day.


Father, in thy gracious keeping

Leave we now thy servant sleeping.



                                                                   John Ellerton 1826-93

Complied by me in memory of my wife, Billie

Cause of death: congestive cardiac failure and mitral valve disease.

Extract from “Jesus of Nazareth ”, by Charles Gore – (Bishoprics of Worcester , Birmingham , and Oxford )

Christianity is rooted in the conception of God as the father – as personal.  The personality of God means, not that God is to be conceived of as in the image of man, but that while he necessarily surpasses all that we can conceive – far better image of him can be found in human personality than in merely mechanical force or animal vitality. The best image of him, who is in himself beyond all human definition, is to be found in what we only know as belonging to man – will and purpose and creative energy and reason and love.  Such a God, our father, has willed to create beings like to himself as being endowed with freedom and intelligence, and sooner than extirpate their freedom has tolerated their rebellion and willfulness over long ages, and still tolerates it; but he has also planned to redeem mankind out of its sin and misery; and in this redemptive purpose the central moment is reached in Jesus Christ, in whom the divine power and purpose and love take visible and tangible form in a human character.  If we are to study the Gospel to any profit or with any sympathy our minds must be at least open to some such idea of God.  Then we are not likely to rule out the possibility of the miraculous or extraordinary in the case of Jesus.  We can at least approach the story with an open mind and give reasonable attention to its evidences.  Also the idea of a self-revealing and self-communicating God will be at least accessible to us.

“It is in adversity that the character of our slowly-wrought institutions reveals its latent, invincible strength.”.

                                                                             Winston Churchill

The price of greatness is responsibility”

Winston Churchill 1874-1965

“The world is either a welter of alternate combination and dispersion, or a unity of order and providence.  If the former, why do I care about anything else than how I shall at last become earth?  But on the other alternative I feel reverence, I stand steadfast, I find heart in the power that disposes all”.

                   Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-80B.C.)

A brief outline of the contents of the Bible

1.     The creation of the universe of and man, followed by man’s choice of evil.

2.     God’s choice of Abraham to be the founder of the nation, Israel , through which God would save the world; the early history of that nation until its escape from Egypt .

3.     The wanderings of the new nation, Israel ; its settlement in Canaan and its rise to power.  Then the division of the nation and the consequent disasters.  The attempts of the prophets to recall Israel to its true destiny, and their failure.  The defeat and exile of the two sections of the nations.

4.     God brings back one part of the nation from exile, and establishes a smaller nation than before to be his agent.  Disobedience continues, but a few are faithful, and the hope of God’s full salvation is kept alive.

5.     Jesus comes to preach and establish God’s rule; he is opposed and killed.  He defeats death and evil and sends his apostles to the ends of the earth.  They reach Rome , the centre of the civilised world and the base for all future operations.

6.     The vision of the final battle between good and evil, and of the ultimate victory of God through Jesus Christ.

The more important things are to God, the more likely will he be to take part and guide us; leaving us the freedom of our own choice in the more minor matters.

Because of this we should ask God’s help when serious decisions have to be made, and we should accept without question whatever answers are given to us.


The folly of atheism

Now let us suppose some great professor in atheism to suggest to some of these; that all is a mere dream and imposture; that there is no such excellent being, as they suppose, that created and preserves them; that all about them is dark senseless matter, driven on by the blind impulses of fatality and fortune; that men first sprang up like mushrooms out of the mud and slime of the earth; and that all their thoughts, and the whole of what they call soul, are only various action and repercussion of small particles of matter, kept moving by some mechanism and clock-work which finally ceases and perished by death – if it be true then (as we daily find it is) that they listen with complacency to these horrid suggestions; if this let go their hope of everlasting life with willingness and joy; if they entertain the thoughts of final perdition with exultation and triumph; ought they not to be esteemed most notorious fools, even destitute of commons sense, and abandoned to callousness and numbness of soul?

                                                Richard Bentley.  A sermon (1692)

                                                Master of Trinity College, Cambridge

First World War Officer

And why the strong chance of dying?  Because calvary had repeated itself; after 2000 years to die for others had become again worth while – we shall be killing men tomorrow – yet our hearts are the hearts of romantic boys, dreaming all the while about our girls at home.  I sometimes wonder what God does with those of us who die unsatisfied.  I think he must place us in the arms of the gentlest of his woman angels.  What we crave most of all is rest, and the mercifulness of a woman who cares.

A German student, Eduard Bruhn, mortally wounded on 17th September 1915, in Russia, found the strength to scrawl a last note to his parents: “I am dying on the battlefield badly wounded.  Whether I recover is in God’s hands.  If I die, do not weep.  I am going blissfully home.  A hearty greeting to you all once more.  May God soon send you peace and grant me a blessed home-coming.  Jesus is with me, so it is easy to die.  In heartfelt love  Eduard.”

On 1st July 1916, before going into the Somme Holocaust, 2nd Lieut. John

Engall of the 16 London Regiment wrote to his parents:

I’m writing this letter the day before the most important moment of my life.  I took my communion yesterday with dozens of others who are going over tomorrow; and never have I attended a more impressive service.  I placed my body in God's keeping, and I am going into battle with his name on my lips, full of confidence and trusting implicitly in him.  I have a strong feeling that I shall come through safely; but, nevertheless, should it be God’s holy will to call me away I am quite prepared to go.  I could not pray for a finer death; and you, my dear mother and dad, will know that I died doing my duty to my God, my country and my King.  I ask that you should look upon it as an honour that you have given your son for the sake of King and country.

Lieut. Engall was killed within the next 3 days

O God, to whom the faithful dead

Still live, united to their head,

Their Lord and ours the same;

For all thy saints, to memory dear,

Departed in thy faith and fear,

We bless thy holy name.


By the same grace upheld, may we

So follow those who followed thee,

As with them to partake

The full reward of heavenly bliss:

Merciful Father, grant us this

For our redeemer’s sake.


                                                                   Josiah Conder 1789-1855

O Jesus, I have promised

To Serve thee to the end;

Be thou forever near me,

My master and my friend:

I shall not fear the battle

If thou art by my side,

Nor wander from the pathway

If thou wilt be my guide.


O let me hear thee speaking

In accents clear and still,

Above the storms of passion,

The murmurs of self-will;

O speak to reassure me

To chasten or control

O speak, and make me listen,

Thou guardian of my soul.


O let me feel thee near me;

The world is ever near;

I see the sights that dazzle,

The tempting sounds I hear:

My foes are ever near me,

Around me and within;

But, Jesus; draw thou nearer,

And shield my soul from sin.


O Jesus, thou hast promised,

To all who follow thee,

That where thou art in glory

There shall thy servant be;

And, Jesus, I have promised

To serve thee to the end:

O give me grace to follow,

My master and my friend.

Once again, dear Lord, we pray

For the children far away,

Who have never even heard

Name of Jesus, sweetest word.


Little hands, whose wondrous skill

Thou hast given to do thy will,

Offerings bring, and serve with fear

Gods that cannot see or hear.


Little lips that thou hast made,

‘neath the far-off temples’ shade

give to Gods of wood and stone

praise that should be all thine own .


Teach them, O thou heavenly king,

All their gifts and praise to bring

To thy son, who died to prove

They forgiving, saving love.

                                                          Mary Jane Willcox 1835-1919

“Because I know God I can the more easily recognise my own faults, therefore I would earnestly ask him to help me overcome them.”

This is a basic principle of godliness, indispensable to all who profess the Christian faith.

                                                                             Myself.  31.5.78

Psalm 137 (v.1 to 6)

By the rivers of Babylon we sat down;

There we wept when we remembered Zion.

On the willows near by

We hung up our harps.

Those who captured us told us to sing;

They told us to entertain them:

“Sing us a song about Zion”.


How can we sing a song to the Lord

In a foreign land?

May I never be able to play the harp again

If I forget you, Jerusalem!

May I never be able to sing again

If I do not remember you.

If I do not think of you as my greatest joy!

A lament of Israelites in exile

(A song taken from this Psalm is in the charts at this moment  4.6.78)

The continuance of information to the mind is the purpose of life, and the guarantee of evolution.

“In life always brave, fighting like a lion;

in death like a lamb, tranquil in Zion”.

Now the day is over

Night is drawing nigh,

Shadows of the evening

Steal across the sky.


Now the darkness gathers,

Stars their watches keep,

Birds and beasts and flowers

Soon will be asleep.


Jesus, give the weary

Calm and sweet repose;

With thy tenderest blessing

May their eyelids close.


Grant to little children

Visions bright of thee’s

Guard the sailors tossing

On the angry sea.


Comfort every sufferer

Watching late in pain;

Those who plan some evil

From their sin restrain.


Through the long night-watches

May thine angels spread

Their white wings above me,

Watching round my bed.


When the morning wakens

Then may I arise.

Pure and fresh and sinless

In they holy eyes.


Glory to the father,

Glory to the son,

And to thee, blest spirit,

Whilst all ages run.

                                                Sabine Baring-Gould 1834-1924

Love is stronger than death.

                                                          Richard Wagner (1813-83)

We are ruled by the laws of nature, only the creator of the universe can alter these rules; either by direct power, or through an agent on earth.  Alterations to these rules are called miracles.  These miracles are extremely rare, and occur only for specific reasons, or in certain circumstances.

If a miracle is asked for, the reply by the creator to that request, may come at a totally different time from the request, and in a completely diverse way than had been expected.

A miracle can happen without a request being made and this is always a very special favour granted by the creator; when it is deemed necessary or advisable to overcome man-made occurrences which threaten the stability of the progress of evolutive creation; or, when an individual earns a particular response to a meritorious act; or, when an exceptional effort of thoughtful, prudent, careful and anxious desire to do one’s best without regard to any material or selfish gain, is rewarded out of compassion by a loving God.

In a miracle of healing it would appear that the person being healed should, not only have a complete and absolute faith that the healing will take place, but should also confess their sins, ask for forgiveness of sins; and vow never to sin again.  Also it is of fundamental importance that the healer should possess an overwhelming measure of virtue in order that the build-up of goodness in him can be released and allowed to enter the one who is to be healed.  Because of these vital necessities, it follows that faith healing is (also) very rare.


The economy of the universe is built on love and operates on will. It doesn’t mater what I feel; what I want to experience is what will finally be, that gives hope to anybody, even those experiencing the greatest darkness or despair life can create.  The God of love made the first step to wholeness so totally available to the most broken life – the will to be made whole.


                                      Ruth Carter Stapleton, Evangelist

                                      (sister of American President Jimmy Carter)

A selection of Solomon’s Proverbs (Old Testament) 970 to 931 BC

Wise people walk the road that leads upwards to life, not the road that leads downward to death.

The lord hates evil thoughts, but he is pleased with friendly words.

If you pay attention when you are corrected, you are wise.

Reverence for the Lord is an education in itself.  You must be humble before you can ever receive honours.

Ask the Lord to bless your plans, and you will be successful in carrying them out.

A wise son makes his father proud of him; a foolish one brings his mother grief.

A good man will receive blessing. A wicked man’s words hide a violent nature.

Good people will be remembered as a blessing, but the wicked will son be forgotten.

Hate stirs up trouble, but love overlooks all offences.

It is foolish to enjoy doing wrong.  Intelligent people take pleasure in wisdom.

The hopes of good men lead to joy, but wicked people can look forward to nothing.

Righteous people know the kind thing to say, but the wicked are always saying things that hurt.

People who are proud will soon be disgraced.  It is wise to be modest.

Honesty makes a good man’s life easier, but a wicked man will cause his own downfall.

You can be ruined by the talk of godless people, but the wisdom of the righteous can save you.

It is foolish to speak scornfully of others.  If you are sensible, you will keep quiet.

You do yourself a favour when you are kind.  If you are cruel, you only hurt yourself.

If your goals are good you will be respected, but if you are looking for trouble, that is what you will get.

Righteousness give life, but violence takes it away.

Anyone who loves knowledge wants to be told when he is wrong.  It is stupid to hate being corrected.

A good man takes care of his animals, but wicked men are cruel to theirs.

Your reward depends on what you say and what you do; you will get what you deserve.

Stupid people always think they are right, wise people listen to advice.

A lazy person is as bad as someone who is destructive.

No one is respected unless he is humble; arrogant people are on the way to ruin.

Your will to live can sustain you when you are sick, but if you lose it, your last hope is gone.

The first man to speak in court always seems right until his opponent begins to question him.

You will have to live with the consequences of everything you say.

Enthusiasm without knowledge is not good; impatience will get you into trouble.

If you are sensible, you will control your temper, when someone wrongs you, it is a great virtue to ignore it.

If you listen to advice and are willing to learn, one day you will be wise.

Any fool can start arguments; the honourable thing is to stay out of them.

The more easily you get your wealth, the less good it will do you.

The Lord has determined our path; how then can anyone understand the direction his own life is taking?

The Lord gave us mind and conscience; we cannot hide from ourselves.

We admire the strength of youth and respect the grey hair of age.

Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways

You may think that everything you do is right, but remember that the Lord judges your motives.

The wicked are doomed by their own violence; they refuse to do what is right.

When justice is done, good people are happy, but evil people are brought to despair.

If you want to stay out of trouble, be careful what you say.

Show me a conceited person and I will show you someone who is arrogant, proud, and inconsiderate.

Righteous people are sure of themselves; the wicked have to pretend as best they can.

If you have to choose between a good reputation and great wealth, choose a good reputation.

Teach a child how he should live, and he will remember it all his life.

The most stupid fool is better off than someone who thinks he is wise when he is not.

Better to correct someone openly than to let him think you don’t care for him at all.

It is your own face that we see reflected in the water and it is your own self that you see in your heart.

Even if you beat a fool until he’s half dead, you still can’t beat his foolishness out of him.

Anyone who thinks it isn’t wrong to steal from his parents is no better than a common thief.

You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins.  Confess them and give them up; then God will show mercy to you.

A good person knows the rights of the poor, but wicked people cannot understand such things.

Stupid people express their anger openly, but sensible people are patient and hold it back.

A nation without God’s guidance is a nation without order.  Happy is the man who keeps God’s law!

Arrogance will bring your downfall, but if you are humble, you will be respected.

There are people who take cruel advantage of the poor and needy; that is the way they make their living.

Solomon (975-935 B.C.) was king of Israel and Son of David.

Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

                                                          Thomas Moore (1779-1852)

The glory of the spring how sweet,

The new-born life how glad;

What joy the happy earth to greet

In new, bright raiment clad.


Divine renewer, thee I bless;

I greet they going forth:

I love thee in the loveliness

Of thy renewed earth.


But O these wonders of the grace,

These nobler works of thine,

These marvels sweeter far to trace,

These new births more divine!


This new-born glow of faith so strong,

This bloom of love so fair,

This new-born ecstasy of song,

And fragrancy of prayer.


Creator spirit, work in me

These wonders sweet of thine;

Divine renewer, graciously

Renew this heart of mine.

                                                Thomas Hornblower Gill, 1819-1906

In doing what we ought we deserve no praise, because it is our duty. -

                                                St. Augustine (354-430)

The fallen leaves lie undisturbed now,

‘cos your not here.

My life will be forever autumn,

‘cos your not here.

Aunt Ann (Mrs. A.L. Burge)

Died 23rd October 1978

A service was held for her in the chapel at Malton where she used to sing in the choir.

As the coffin was borne into the chapel, the organist played ‘Amazing Grace’.  Then her favourite hymn (in heavenly love abiding) was sung.

In heavenly love abiding

No change my heart shall fear;

And safe is such confiding,

For nothing changes here:

The storm may roar without me,

My heart may low be laid;

But God is round about me,

And can I be dismayed?


Wherever he may guide me,

No want shall turn me back;

My shepherd is beside me,

And nothing can I lack:

His wisdom ever waketh,

His sight is never dim;

He knows they way he taketh,

And I will walk with him.


Green pastures are before me,

Which yet I have not seen;

Bright skies will soon be o’er me,

Where the dark clouds have been;

My hope I cannot measure,

My path to life is free;

My saviour has my treasure,

And he will walk with me.

                                                          Anna Laetitia Waring, 1820-1910

The preacher talked about her Christian life, and the help she had given to others in many ways, which people did not know about.

Ann was cremated at Scarborough; may she find the God of love waiting to greet her in the way she had so earnestly believed in; and may she find a just reward for the many years she gave in the service of her saviour.  

                                       Compiled by her nephew, Willie      29 Oct ‘78

How happy are they

Who the saviour obey,

And have laid up their treasure above,

Tongue cannot express

The sweet comfort and rest

Of a soul in its earliest love.


What comfort was mine,

When the favour divine

I first found in the blood of the lamb;

When my heart it believed,

What a joy it received,

What a heaven in Jesus’s name!


Jesus all the day long

Was my joy and my song;

O that all his salvation may see!

He hath loved me, I cried,

He hath suffered, and died,

To redeem such a frail one as me.


O the rapturous height

Of the holy delight

Which I felt in the life-giving blood!

Of my saviour possessed

I was perfectly blessed

As if filled with fullness of God.

                                                                    Charles Wesley 1707-88

The constituent of the spirit

Never the spirit was born;

The spirit shall cease to be never;

Never was time it was not;

End and beginning are dreams.

Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit for ever;

Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems.  

                                                                             Sir Edwin Arnold

Sent by Doris 1st November 1978

Glad companies of saints possess

This church below, above;

And God’s perpetual calm doth bless

Their paradise of love.


There pure life-giving streams o’erflow

The sowers’ garden-ground;

And faith and hope fair blossoms show

And fruits of love abound.


O king O Christ, this endless grace

To us and all men bring;

To see the beauty of thy face

In Joy, O Christ our king.


And we, shall we be faithless?

Shall hearts fail, heads hang low?

Shall we evade the conflicting! Not so!

In God’s deep counsels some better thing is stored;

We shall maintain unflinching,

One church, one faith, one Lord.


Rejoice, my soul, the debt is paid

For all my sins in Christ were laid,

Estrangement once was all I knew,

But now I have this love so true.

The seven Principles of Spiritualism

1.     The fatherhood of God

2.     The brotherhood of man

3.     The communion of spirits and the ministry of angels.

4.     The continuous existence of the human soul.

5.     Personal responsibility.

6.     Compensation and retribution hereafter for all good and evil deeds done on earth.

7.     Eternal progress open to every human soul.

Extracts from “God’s Magic” (an aspect of spiritualism) by Air Chief Marshall Lord Dowding.  Grand Cross of the Bath.  Grand Cross of the Victorian Order.  Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.  G.O.B., G.C.V.O., C.M.G. who commanded fighter command during the Battle of Britain (1940).  Born 1882. Died 1970.

… Man has passed the lowest point.  And his enlightenment to the things of the spirit has already begun.  Ii am optimist enough to believe that in this new age now beginning the flame of knowledge and understanding will spread very rapidly.  It will be a poor look-out for the world if I am wrong, for mankind has been headed for destruction and has not missed that goal by much; but I don’t think I am wrong.

… It seems to me that if the average human being is to be persuaded to abandon his instinctive reactions to the stimuli of life and to follow the road of consideration for others, which along can lead to escape from the present predicament of humanity.  The question of the details of the future life (so far as they can be known). And the results in the next life of causes initiated here on earth, must be faced and investigated with all diligence and honesty of mind.

Communication with those who have passed the boundary of death, and have actually experienced the conditions of which they speak, is quite obviously a means of information which we shall be very foolish to ignore, provided we can satisfy ourselves that such communication is possible.

… It is important to remember that you have only to be convinced of the truth and accuracy of one case.  To be convinced that true communication with the other side is possible.

… All that I, or anyone else, can fairly claim is that discarnate communication is one of the most valuable and prolific methods by which humanity may attain to some approximation to knowledge of conditions on the other side of physical death, and that those who refuse to avail themselves of the potential source of information are deliberately ignoring something of great importance to themselves.  

… One would think from reading books on spiritualism that, with an honest medium nothing ever went wrong.  This leaves it to be inferred by ignorant people that, if a medium is wrong, he or she is dishonest; this is not at all true, but it is the cause of a very widespread impression among the uninstructed public that fraud is rife.

 … The first and simplest reason why the study of spiritualism is worth while is that you may very possibly be enabled to talk with someone whom you thought you would never see or hear again during the rest of your life.  This is the lodestone which has attracted to spiritualism the majority of its adherents – initially at any rate.  Thousands upon thousands have found comfort therein for their bruised hearts, millions will yet find that comfort.

The corollary of this is that we lose all fear of death so soon as we become convinced of the fact of immediate conscious and active survival.

  The wise man, as I say, will demand to know as much as possible about his future state.  If he believes that he will be snuffed out like a candle, he should believe it because he has carefully examined and deliberately rejected the alternatives and not because it is the most comfortable thing for a selfish materialist to believe.

If and when he accepts the overwhelming evidence that conscious personal existence does continue beyond the grave, he will wish to treat his continuing life as a whole, and modify in thought, word and deed the natural and instinctive expression of his personality so as to accord with a long-term policy, instead of thinking only of the little period which he spends on earth.

… The mere realisation that life and consciousness are continuous on both sides of death is of tremendous importance.

… I am not going to try in this book to give any extensive picture of the soul’s experiences after death.  What is more, I don’t think it matters very much, provided that you will now take it from me that the greatest and most insidious danger to the soul after death is that of stagnation.  Especially if you are a lazy type here on earth who work only because you have to in order to obtain the necessities of life.  After death you don’t suffer from hunger or thirst or exposure.  You don’t have to buy clothes or pay rent and rtes for your house.  You may have earned a good holiday after a long life of labour – well and good.  You will get your holiday, but don’t extend it indefinitely. Go back to school and learn about your new life, and, more important still, look round for a job of work helping someone else.  Opportunities for either of these activities will not be lacking.

So far the reasons I have given you why you should take a practical interest in this subject have been selfish in so far as I have tried to point out to you the comfort you can gain from renewal of contact with those from whom you have been separated by death, and the advantage which can accrue to your true self from a knowledge of the atmosphere into which you are likely to awaken after death.

Now I want to give you some idea of what spiritualism in its highest sense means to me.

Has it ever occurred to you that we can help the dead?  There are plenty of stories throughout the ages of how angels and spirits have helped us, but precious little the other way round.

… In church this morning the congregation said Amen to a prayer by the parson, “For those departed this life in thy faith and fear”.  But what about those people who departed this life indifferent or resistant to God?  Don’t they need our prayers much more than the others?

Remember, you don’t have to go to church to pray.  You don’t even have to go down on your knees.  Prayer is only another word for thought.  Thought, intense and concentrated.  Thought building up a picture in the mind’s eye, as detailed and graphic as may be.  Thought poured out with all the vigour of your mind and will.

If people could only realise the power of thought, the power of thought to do things, to move mountains, how many of the world’s problems would be solved like magic.

Anyhow, that’s one way in which we can help – by sending out strong, helpful, constructive thoughts to those who are experiencing the effects of causes which they set in motion during their lifetimes on earth.  Not only our friends, but our enemies too.  The veil between the worlds is much thinner than most people realise, and much of the post-war trouble now assailing us is due in some degree to the rage and malice of thoughts of hostile souls thrust across the border with hatred in their hearts an a burning desire for revenge.

Think, too, of the millions of poor creatures, the victims of mass slaughter in concentration camps, reduced by their tortures and sufferings almost to the level of animals before attaining to the release of death.  Such as these are bruised and battered in spirit as well as in body and do not recover instantly or without help.

There are those whose duty and whose happiness it is to help these poor souls, but we can make an important contribution to this kind of work on earth or in the unseen regions closest to earth.

People who are in the ‘earthbound’ category or lower are quite insensitive to the high vibrations such as are emitted by the angels and spirits of the higher grades.  The latter need a contribution from us for their work – a contribution of goodwill from our hearts on the low wavelength of earth.

… Another thing about which strong and concentrated thought is desperately needed is the work of the United Nations organisation and other bodies working for the peace of the world.  All such thoughts help and strengthen them, and every defeatist, destructive of cynical thought hurts them and impedes their work.

Perhaps the idea may seem to you quite fantastic that these things should be so, that the influence of discarnate beings should interpenetrate our lives and influence them at every turn, and yet that the curtain between the worlds should be so dense and impermeable to the ordinary man.

… You can go a good deal  by concentrated collective though (alias prayer) without making any personal conscious contact with the other side, without joining any circle, and even without ostensibly leaving your entrenched position in the church or in science or wherever your interest lies.

All below this line is from the spirit world

… evolving life must struggle always; there must be effort for any lasting progress.  Yet man is turning his back on this basic truth – a truth which he will ignore at his peril.

… The scheme of the universe provides that human life must evolve.  The environment of this universe is confined by the fact that life must evolve through effort.  Not a strained, painful effort, but a natural growth brought about by the order of law which says that all effort shall bring greater understanding and greater opportunities.

… No one individual is privileged above another, except by the greater vision that his own efforts have engendered in him.  And that vision brings the responsibility to help others less evolved, not to remove the boulders from the path, but to throw some light so that they may be seen more clearly.  The effort calls forth a ray of divine power, and no one has the right to refuse this ray to another by completing for him the task he should tackle for himself.

Respect for himself, that he will be independent yet gentle of spirit; respect for his fellow creatures, that he will concede to them the rights and privileges he wishes to enjoy himself (and this means to all classes of society respect for the life flowing around him in every form, so that he will hesitate to destroy), that is the keynote for the new age.

To gain this respect what must man do?  Mentally he must be alert – that means learning, learning by books, by listening to others and by experimenting and experiencing for himself.

Spiritually he must be aware – that mans that he must realise and accept the immanence of God in himself and all his fellow creatures.  That he must remember that he is greater than all the temptations which beset him.  That he must be prepared by unremitting effort to enjoy to the full the world God has given to him and which he is making – not God – man is creating the earth conditions.  That he must have dignity and justice for himself and that he may recognise it for others.

These things he can accomplish by meditation and prayer – meditation on the life of one who led the way and prayer which is a living life.

… But the vision can only be realised when each individual accepts his responsibility and works physically, mentally and spiritually with continuous effort and unremitting labour, one to help the other, to treat with courtesy even his enemies, and with respect those with whom he deals.  With all to all in his heart, what man can fail to see and follow the vision of heaven on earth?

… On the long journey of life the soul experiences much that is disappointing and painful.  It is difficult to see through the haze of deceit and horror to the still peace of the divine plan.  Yet it is a truth that behind the maze of suffering and ugliness is the quiet glow of the beauty to be made manifest.  Truth is beautiful – make no mistake about that.  Truth is hidden behind ugliness and malformation.  Truth leads to happiness and to joy that is not understandable until it is experienced.

… Make no mistake – the ways of living for mankind are man’s responsibility.  War is not a necessary part of the discipline, neither is famine nor disease.  These come about because of the abuse by man of the universal laws and because of man’s ignorance of the universal laws.

… There is a further aspect of man besides the physical body.  The body is the temple of the spirit, and as such it is the duty of every man to tend and care for it, to feed and cleanse it, to exercise and rest it, as he would a valuable animal.  But there is a greater need in man than the need of physical comfort and well-being.  The mental capacity of man is expanding and growing, and he seeks ever new fields of exploration and endeavour.

… Man is a three-fold being and must be developed as a trinite unity.

Ignore the body and you have disease and pain.

Ignore the intellect and you have sorrow and blind lusts.

Ignore the spirit and you die.

The laws of the universe are the laws of the spirit.  These laws are known to the spirit incarnate in each individual.  The unfolding of this knowledge is the task of all and, as it unfolds, the laws will operate in harmony; for harmony is the keynote of the universe, and in harmony are beauty and love and joy.  That is the heritage of man – his true birthright - not war and destruction and suffering.  The heritage of man is unity with divine, and divinity permeates all.

… The problem of world chaos is linked very closely with the chaos in the mind of humanity.  Man insists on looking outward for causes instead of looking inward.

… Keep your mind wide open and perform diligently the tasks of every day.  See to it that harmony reigns in your immediate surroundings – teach others to be the same.  Let the gospel of harmony spread, and gradually that peace and felicity of which you dream will become a fact.

… The last enemy – death?  Death is in reality a fiend who bursts the bonds of physical matter and opens the gateway to the great vistas of life.  What makes death, the great friend, appear an enemy to man?  That real last enemy which, subtle and strong, hides in every crevice – fear.  Fear distorts and destroys.  Fear is with man from the beginning, twisting and discolouring, misrepresenting and distorting, until the real is lost in a fog of doubt and bewilderment.  Fear is the destroyer – the greatest enemy.  How is he to be vanquished?  Knowledge is the weapon.  To understand is to cast our fear.  You cannot be afraid of that which you truly understand; for understanding leads to love, and love is the strongest thing in the universe.  Love conquers fear.

To understand the laws of nature brings awe and wonder to man.  When he understands his fellows he has tolerance and sympathy. Knowledge of self brings liberation and love.  To conquer fear, then, man must seek diligently.  He must not only learn of the laws of nature, he must learn to bring how own life into harmony with these laws.  He must learn the laws governing the life of man himself; the various forms the life-energy uses to experience life in the material world.

Man is made of more than physical atoms.  A study of his composition will bring wonders undreamed of to his ken.  A fascinating adventure opens out before him when he embarks on the study of the being who  was created by the creator of all things, in his own image.

Do you think of this creator as a being of flesh and blood only?  Can you circumscribe him thus?  If not, then must you meditate upon his nature, and to understand him you must first understand yourself.

In the world today men are weary, and seek some alleviation from the burden of birth.  The task is easier than they know, the way open and clear before them, yet they hesitate, blind, and doubting, seeing only the distortion of fear.  The remedy for the ills of the world lies with man himself and this truth cannot be spoken too often or too loudly.  When you blame, are you certain there is no blame in yourself? When you condemn are you faultless?  How then must you act?  In your individual and personal relations cultivate understanding and tolerance, search your own heart before you pass judgment.  Here is a very simple and easily understood injunction, familiar to you all, hold it continuously before your eyes that you may not forget it.

Do unto others as ye would be done by.  Clear?  Yes, capable of misrepresentation?  No.  You cannot evade truth, turn and twist as you will.  Truth confronts you still.  Take this injunction and live by it and it will bring to you knowledge from the most high, for in living the law of harmony you will attract that law to yourself.  No longer will you fear death, for you yourself will be alive.

And now, let the love of the most high drench and purify every darkest corner of the earth.  Let the light from the holy of holies shine forth in brilliance.  Let fear stumble and die.  Let hope rise triumphant.  Let hatred fade away in the blinding glory of his everlasting day, and in his keeping may we walk in peace.

End of messages from the spirit world.

… The essential spirit of man is clothed in a number of vestures of which the physical body is only the outermost and last.

…It is in the astral (of after death) sphere then, that the sol finds itself on awakening instantaneously, or after a long or short delay, after physical death; and you may wonder what principle determines the ‘place’ to which the soul gravitates, between the extremes of the brightest paradise of the darkest hell.

The answer, I think, is to be found in the circumstance that the definite scale of wave-lengths of vibrations, that the soul during earth-life has built for itself a definite vibrational wave-length, and that the soul cannot tolerate a surrounding condition of wave-lengths finer or ‘brighter’ than its own.  (I say ‘brighter’ because, to a soul which attempts to wander above its own level, the inhibiting effect is one of dazzling and intolerable brightness.

So it is indeed true that each one of us goes to his own place.  Life in the astral is ultimately devoted to the mastery of the emotional body, or the body of the desires.  In the lower strata of the astral all the physical desires remain without the physical means of gratifying them.  Free will exists there, as here, and the interplay of these uncontrolled and unsatisfied desires constitutes hell.

We haven’t been given nearly as much information about hell as about the other parts of the astral, and it would be a morbid and unhealthy curiosity which sought to probe too deeply into the details of the unhappy state of its inhabitants; but if you will p9icture to yourself a dark and gloomy world where might is right, where men are ruled by fear alone, where anger, hatred, envy, malice and all uncharitableness flourish unchecked, you will readily understand that man’s inhumanity to man is all that is needed (except in the very lowest depths), to mete out the discipline necessary for eventual regeneration.

I want to stress that the most awful part of this experience is the sense of being “forgotten by God”, of being completely and irrevocably at the mercy of cruel or evil men, hopelessly out of touch with any good influence or any hope of rescue.

But this sense, although deliberately imposed for the sake of eventual progress, is quite fallacious.  Every incident and every reaction of every soul is watched and meticulously recorded, so that, when the proper time comes, the rescuing messengers may be sent on their errand of mercy and may bring forth the soul which is ready for the experience into the lesser darkness and eventually into the greater light.

I speak with the humility of ignorance, but I don not think that a high proportion of the human race pass through these depths; only those, I think, who have deliberately and of fixed purpose set up their puny wills in opposition to the source of all power and light.

… One can turn with relief from these levels to the higher strata of the astral.  This is where true progress is made.  Here are the great colleges of science and music and colour.  Here the power of creative thought is harnessed and trained and exercised.

All is bright and smiling and carefree.  Every innocuous desire can be gratified by the exercise of thought alone; and yet this is not true heaven, it is only paradise, there is still something lacking.

That something, for which the soul now begins to yearn, is emancipation from the lower emotions and desires.  The sense of possessiveness ceases to satisfy when anything not actually harmful can be possessed merely by making the necessary effort.

The conditions of existence become too sweet, the soul senses the danger of stagnation, and finally the time comes for the next step – out of the astral sphere altogether into the sphere next above.

This transition is called by my teachers the ‘second death’.  It is not associated with any idea of fear or pain, but is a glad and happy ceremony of graduation, similar to the transition from school to university.  At this stage the astral body is discharged, as was the physical body of physical death.

The soul has now reached the lower heaven, and it proceeds on its path of continuous development, this time to develop and in due course to discard the mental body.

Of course one needn’t wait until the second death to begin the development and discipline of the mental body.  We can and should begin now; and very difficult it is too.  An undisciplined mental body is responsible for all those futile trains of thought into which we allow our uncontrolled minds to wander.

… So it is most important to practice mind-control here and now, and not allow yourself to be dragged hither and yon in the trail of undisciplined imagination.  I think that most of this work will be completed before the second death, and that the subsequent training will be more in the nature of educating and expanding the intuition than in disciplining the lower mind.

The importance of the intuition is constantly impressed on us.  As I understand it, it consists of a sort of coupling up of the mind to the universal intelligence, so that we may reach the shores of knowledge which lie deeply hidden in the subconsciousness of every human being, so that true inspiration may be always available at need, so that we may no longer have to depend on the restricted operation of the lower mind.

There have been men, and there are now men living on earth who can attain to this coupling-up process during their physical lives and can tap the source of true inspiration.  Of such are the great prophets of the past and the great tough generally unknown seers of the present day.

Perhaps you are not interested in these speculations, or have no leisure or opportunity to study.  If so it doesn’t very much matter.  The task which I have et myself in this little book is to try to draw you past the first stepping stone of spiritualism – the proof of survival and the possibility of communication – past this on an intelligent speculation into the conditions of life after death, and an acceptance of the idea that the true self is something very much greater than the personality which the self builds up for a single lifetime.

If you can accept this idea, then you will be ready to consider at least the advisability of leading a life, on earth and in the after stages, which shall be to the benefit of that true self and not of the transient personality.

You will also be open to consider the idea that eternity is here and now, that life is continuous in and through all spheres, and that what you do in this world is important because you are actually creating the conditions in which you will pass the first stages of your continuing life after death.

… I believe that much that as and is taught under the name of the ‘ancient wisdom’ is true, has been true since ages before the birth of Jesus, and will be true for untold ages to come.  But with this ancient wisdom must be blended the message of the Christ, as given by those who have been overshadowed by his spirit, and in its completest form, through our beloved master Jesus – the message of self-sacrifice and love.

That is one thing.  And the other think I should like you to do is to look on spiritualism not merely as something from which its devotees can obtain gratifications by the witnessing of signs and wonders, and the assuagement of their grief through contacts with those whom they love, but as a means of making personal contribution to the needs of humanity on both sides of the grave, working with those unseen ones with whom

Our lives are intertwined.  And you will take part in this work, though you may never go to a spiritualist service nor attend a séance, you can do it by the power of thought.  You can send out strong constructive thoughts of unity and brotherhood to all noble causes and important meeting; and you are never likely to know in this world how much you have helped!

“Let us rest in God”

What we are is God’s gift to us.  What we become is our gift to God.

The Tomb of the unknown warrior

(in Westminster Abbey)

Top of the Tomb (near entrance)

“Greater love hath no man than this in Christ shall all be made alive.  Unknown and yet well know.  Dying and behold we live.  The Lord knoweth that are sin.”

Beneath this stone rests the body of a British warrior unknown by name or rank brought form France to lie among the most illustrious of the land, and buried here on Armistice Day 11 Nov 1920 in the presence of his majesty King George V, his ministers of State, the chiefs of his forces and a vast concourse of the nation.  Thus are commemorated the many multitudes who during the great war of 1914-1918 gave the most that man can give life itself.  For God, For King and country, for loved ones, home, and empire, for the sacred cause of justice and the freedom of the world.  They buried him among the kings because he had done good toward God, and toward his house.

A hymn to our God

O God, how wonderful thy ways,

How great thy power through all our days,

O, mighty redeemer, how vast the place,

From where thou sendest us the grace.


O mighty God the joy you impart,

To those who follow you in heart.

Help us to walk forever by your side,

And in your heaven let us there abide.


We live but for awhile in this world’s ways,

Then in paradise for the rest of days,

The loveliness of this other unseen life,

Be ours, only after worldly toil and strife.


When we ponder on the joys that are ours,

In music, art, and friends and flowers,

We know for certain that at the end

Thou wilt truly be our constant friend.

Note: a tune suitable for this hymn is the one used for Hymn No.386 in the Methodist Hymn Book (O thou who camest from above) by Charles Wesley.

                                                                   By myself  4 Nov ‘78

Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed.                  

                                                                             St Paul

“May you always be aware that life is eternal, love is immortal and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing but the limit of our sight”.

                                                                             Bishop Brent

Make haste to be kind, for we are not promised tomorrow.

Our God


Is not


Does not


















































































































Our God is:- unfettered by academic or theological concern for dogma or doctrine.  He is slow to chide, and swift to bless.  He is always with us.  He is neither morose nor harshly critical, but reaches out to us with tender compassion, loving concern, and gentle persuasion.


The entries on this page are my own conclusions, drawn from the life of Jesus Christ as shown to us in the New Testament.

18 Dec 1978                                               























Day by day three things I pray,

To see thee more clearly,

Love thee more dearly

Follow thee more nearly

Day by day.

Everything unnatural is imperfect.


                                                                   Napoleon 1769-1821

In a letter to Jesus, Pope John Paul (who died after only 33 days in office) , said “ you have all the air – and this is my impression – of worrying more about the suffering sin causes to sinners than the offence it causes to God”.

(A very human observation)

Dr Martin Luther King

I have a dream!  That all men are created equal.

I have a dream!  Where men will not be judged by their colour of skin, but by the definition of character.

Refers to W.S. Gilbert

His woe was folly, and his weapon wit.


Jesus , these eyes have never seen

That radiant form of thine

The veil of sense hangs dark between

Thy blessed face and mine.



I see thee not, I hear thee not,

Yet are thou off with m;

And earth hath ne’er so dear a spot,

As where I meet with thee.



Yet, though I have not seen, and still

Must rest in faith alone;

I love thee, dearest Lord, and will,

Unseen but not unknown.



When death these mortal eyes shall seal,

And still this throbbing heart,

The rending  veil shall thee reveal

All glorious as thou art.

Ray Palmer 1808-87

Mr. Roy Jenkins, President of the E.E.C. has enshrined a parchment scroll in the foundations of the European School at Culham near Oxford.  It spelt out the philosophy of Britain’s first Common Market School.

“Educated side by side, introduced from infancy by divisive prejudices, acquainted with all that is great and good in the different cultures, it will be borne in upon them as they mature that they belong together.”

In the school are British, Irish, French, German, Danish, Italian and Dutch children.

The children are educated for European affairs.

The aim is to give the facts about the world without national prejudice.  They will all be fluent in two or three languages.

The school will eventually have about 700 children, and they are prepared for an international exam that will give them access to any university in Common Market countries.

Comment: - if this is an augury for the future, then we can look forward to real progress being made in international relations; with a positive hope of peace and happiness for the future of mankind.

Illumination dissolves all material ties and binds men together with the golden chains of spiritual understanding; it acknowledges only the leadership of the Christ; it has no ritual or rule but the divine, impersonal universal love, no other worship than the inner flame that is ever lit at the shrine of spirit.  This union is the free state of spiritual brotherhood.  The only restraint is the discipline of soul; therefore, we know liberty without license; we are a united universe without physical limits, a divine service to God without ceremony or creed.  The illumined walk without fear – by grace.

                                                          From the book – The Infinite Way

                                                          By Joel. S. Goldsmith

The light of the world

“Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice and open the door I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with me”.

Sent by Doris 22 Nov 78

Christ, ere he left us here below,

A sweet memorial did bestow;

Drink of the cup and eat the bread,

Lest you forget my death, he said.

Help me to live so close to thee,

That those who know me best can see,

I live as godly as I pray,

And Christ is real from day to day.


Your week’s not complete till you make it your goal,

To honour the Lord’s day and nourish your soul,

The help that you need for the tasks that you face

Will come as you worship and raw on God’s grace.

O blessed book, God’s living book,

Lord, through its pages help me look,

May I behold from day to day,

New light to guide me in the way.

“Enter the sanctuary; close the door of the five physical senses; and listen to me.  Seek me, the infinite divine being, and I will make you  “fishers of men”.  No person can do it but I will; that I that is the I of your inner being.  I will show you the way; I will go before you; I will prepare mansions for you.  I will never leave you or forsake you”.

                                                          (Becoming instruments of Grace)

                                                          by Joel S Goldsmith

On Sunday evening 14 January 1979 a very beautiful film in the “Everyman” series was shown on television, based on the lovely hymn “Abide with me”


Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;

The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide!

When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,

Help of the helpless, O abide with me.


Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;

Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;

Change and decay in all around I see:

O thou who changest not, abide with me!


I need thy presence every passing hour;

What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?

Who like thyself my guide and stay can be?

Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.


I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless;

Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;

Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?

I triumph still, if thou abide with me.


Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;

Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies;

Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee:

In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

                                                          Henry Francis Lyte, 1793-1847

“Thou canst not stir a flower without troubling of a star”.

                                                          Francis Thompson.  Poet

(Another way of saying that each one of us is part of everyone and everything in the universe.)

Extracts from “Living between two worlds” by Joel S. Goldsmith

(A Christian scientist)

Many more civilizations may pass from sight before the truth that every mystic has revealed is discovered and demonstrated, which is that man has inherent within himself the capacity to surrender such protective measures as self-preservation, and to open the door within his consciousness and receive the spirit of God.

… The master acknowledged that there are two men: the man of earth – the creature, the mortal – and the divine presence within individual consciousness which, when recognised and released, changes man from the man of earth to the son of God.  He revealed that it is necessary for man to be ordained and lifted up by the spirit.  External forms of worship do not contribute to a person’s spiritual life unless accompanied by an inner spirit or grace.  It is the experience of the presence itself that is necessary for spiritual progress.  While we cannot see, hear, taste, touch, or smell the spirit of God, we can experience it by opening the inner door.

… Meditation is the key that opens the door.  A door leading to deeper realms of our self.  We open the door within our consciousness so that there may be released from within us the invisible, the spirit of God in man.  Once we have reached or touched the inner kingdom, we are no longer living unto ourselves, but we are participating more actively in the affairs of the world, and in those things that make for a happier and more peaceful way of life.  The kingdom of God does not deal with something separate and apart from living, but concerns itself with our daily life.

… God, standing at the door of our consciousness brings us peace.  An inner peace which comes and re-forms our outer life.  It changes our relationships with others.  It changes our nature.  All things will be added unto us.  The emphasis is not on trying to be more loving, more just, or more gracious.  Our entire attention should be centered on admitting the spirit and then we shall become instruments for its grace and glory.  We will bear witness not to our own goodness or our own benevolences: we will bear witness to God’s grace functioning in us.

… There is a spirit in man.  This spirit ordains, heals, resurrects, lifts up, and illumines, but it must be experienced.  The way is through practising the presence of God and through meditation.  Practising the presence brings about an inner quiet and stillness.  It brings the day nearer when the experience comes, and we understand what the master meant when he said, “the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me.”

… Consciousness can be opened in two ways.  One, very rare, and experienced by only a few persons in the history of the world, is when God opens the door of our consciousness without any help from us.  The other is where the door is opened through meditation, communion, and through an inner ability to dwell with the spirit.  There is an experience that takes place within that testifies to the fact that we are one with the father and all that the father has is ours.

… When, in our meditation, we have opened the door of consciousness and have felt the presence enter, we can then be sure that God is present.

… Spiritual healing takes place only when the spirit of God bears witness within the consciousness of whoever may be praying.  Prayer or treatment separate and apart from the experience of the presence of God does not heal.  On the other hand, the experience of the presence of God very often makes prayer or treatment unnecessary.  Practitioners are taught to have no reliance whatsoever on prayer or treatment unless they feel that the spirit of God is bearing witness with them and they receive an inner release.  There must be an inner assurance that God is on the scene.  Otherwise, the prayer or the treatment is of no avail.  The actual experience of the presence must be felt within us.  When it is, the miracle takes place in the outer realm.

… When we enter meditation and close our eyes to “this world”, let us remember that we are now in the corridor, or at least we are behind the door that opens to infinity.  Through our consciousness, we have access to the infinity of God.  All this is within us.  Let us enter into meditation and go to the spirit for the purpose of enlightenment, with a complete freedom from concepts, and then receive the truth that in the presence of God there is fulfillment and freedom, freedom from any sense of limitation.

… Access to the cosmic universal mind of man is a wondrous thing in one sense, but frightening in another, because whether or not these great discoveries are ultimately used for the welfare of mankind depends on the moral nature of man.  And the moral nature of man with a few exceptions here and there ha never been above that of self-interest, self-preservation, or self-profit.

… Life has not become easier for people.  For some of them it has become more comfortable physically, but the burdens many persons carry in the mind are greater, and they come largely from fear of the very discoveries that should have set them free.

… Today we have access to the mind; we have access to the laws that govern nature.  The next step we must take is to gain access to the world of morals.

… Until we become aware of the fact that there is a transcendental power and a way of introducing it into our consciousness, we cannot live by it and we cannot teach it to others.  Most people on earth have not even reached the stage of real conviction that there is God.  They might say that they believe in God, but have not an absolute conviction that he exists.

… If I cannot in a tiny measure demonstrate the presence and power of God in my individual experience, I cannot share the experience with you because I have nothing to share; I am barren.  That is why, when you really experience God, you do not have to advertise or proselyte: you merely have to be, and you will soon discover that those who are seeking that level of life will find you.

… The seeking of the Holy Spirit must be real.  It must not be for some personal motive or purpose; it must be for the experience of the grace of God.  Then when we open our consciousness to receive that grace, we make ourselves receptive to it, and somewhere in the world there is a spiritualized consciousness to impart it to us.  When we are ready to be made spiritually whole, the teacher will appear.

… The whole secret of life is in outpouring.  When a person has been touched by the spirit, we do not have to each or even tell him this.  A teacher cannot teach anyone to be moral.  His business is to impart the spirit and let it do the purifying.  Final freedom will not come until the spiritual influence has entered the consciousness of man so that he will not only be empowered with spiritual grace to do good, but will at the same time lose the capacity to think evil, much less do it.  Our goal is that the material state of consciousness “die” and that the spiritual state of consciousness be born.  If we can succeed with that, all the rest will be added.

… If we go to God wanting health, wealth, or something else, we are going to god as a beggar, and we are unwittingly accusing him of withholding.  The gifts of God are not material.  There is no way for a human being to know the nature of God’s gifts because the only way a human being has of knowing is to look around and judge by what others have, and that is not the nature of the kingdom of God.  It helps us to know that God is spirit because that frees us from all attempts to draw forth anything of a material nature from God.  God is spirit and we have to rest on that.  Whatever God’s grace is, whatever God’s gift is, it must be spiritual.  It appears to us in some material form, because we still have material concepts of the spiritual kingdom, but it is never material.

There is a spirit in man.  This spiritual influence is a dormant influence that must be awakened, and despite all the help we may receive, the major responsibility rests with us to bring ourselves to the point of conviction that we wish to be made spiritually whole, that we wish to live our life by the grace of God and not by personal sense.

… Rather than looking at the possessions of others and desiring them, we should be living in the awareness that through our consciousness we have access to infinity.  This infinity will pour into our consciousness spiritually, take form in our mind mentally, and then appear externally in what is called material form.  A human being is living in a purely material sense of the world, but he is not living in a material world because there is no such thing.  All that exists is spirit and spirit’s creation, about which the human race entertains a materialistic concept.

Having been fed by the word of God, I now go about whatever human tasks are given me to do today, not being concerned with what I may do next year but rather following out all instructions given me today.

… Even though the spirit of the Lord God is upon you, and you are ordained and are showing forth his grace in one way or another, it is never static.  There are always progressive and advancing stages.  Just as you outgrew your infant body, your body of youth, and your body of maturity, so eventually you will outgrow the entire human form, have no need for it, and then go on into the higher forms of life, where you operate behind the scenes.  It is not necessarily years that determine the spiritual nature of life.  Jesus was probably only thirty-three years of age when he made the transition, and most of his disciples did not reach any great age.  So years cannot be the determining factor in how spiritual a person is.  The determining factor is how rapidly he develops, how rapidly he matures spiritually, so that he can be done with the particular phase of experience and go on to whatever must be beyond.  The truth is that you do not die, you are merely resurrected out of the tomb of mind and body and ascend into the realm of soul-living and God-living, consciousness –living.  By the act of dying, you do not become any better than you are now, or any worse.  You remain the state of consciousness that you are now.  You would not have risen higher in consciousness or gone lower, except that those we are quite far along on the spiritual path would be advanced even further by the act of passing.  Those who have attained a measure of their masterhood here, go immediately into what is their original or native fourth-dimensional consciousness.  No one could make contact with those on that spiritual level unless he himself had attained some measure of that level.  Then he would be in contact with that consciousness.

… As the experience of the truth is multiplied, gradually a whole new people will be brought forth on the face of the earth, a people no longer under the law, but under grace.  Then it will be revealed that man is on earth that God may be glorified.

… No one can find anything that he does not bring.  If he is to find love, he must bring love.  If he is to find friendship, he must bring friendship.  If he is to find honesty, he must bring honesty.  These qualities are not to be found in any place, whatever qualities there are, they are to be found in consciousness – your consciousness and mine.

… Each one of us embodies infinity in his consciousness.  There is only one universal mind of man, you and I can pick up anything that is in that universal mind and be influenced by it without knowing it.

Anything that has the law of infinity behind it cannot be destroyed.  We cannot alter or destroy truth no matter what kind of mental manipulation we engage in, and so, in proportion as we consciously nullify the effects of the universal sensual mind, we make ourselves subject to infinity to the divine consciousness.  Then we are the antenna, the outlet and the inlet, for good.  As long as we are abiding in the truth that that which is not of God is not power and that we ourselves are one with the infinite, we lift ourselves above the hypnotism of the senses.  Sometime or other we must recognize that there is this something within us, something not only greater than our human limitations, but something great enough to lift us out of and above them.  Then we must rely on it, learn to listen to it, learn to give it room in our consciousness to operate and to function.  We must hold fast to the truth that there is something operating in our consciousness to bring us to our destiny, whatever that may be.  An infinite intelligence could not have created this marvellous universe without having created us for some purpose greater than the fish, or the cattle, or the crops.  We are given dominion over all of these, and therefore, there must be locked up in us a destiny.  The creative intelligence must have ordained us for some specific purpose of its own.  We thought we were the man of earth, somehow separate and apart from God, somehow lost and not knowing how to get back.  But now we know our oneness with the father and that we have merely lost our way because we have forgotten our identity.  We have not consciously known who we are, what we are, and even where we are.  So we go about our business, always recognizing that in addition to our own efforts, there is this presence working in us, with us, and through us: God in the midst of us.

… Meditation opens consciousness and prepares the way to receive truth in consciousness.  The truth is that there is but one spiritual universe, the kingdom of God , which is the same on earth as it is in heaven.  As human beings, however, we cannot behold heaven on earth until we have developed our spiritual faculties.  The person who has risen to the place of dwelling in the higher consciousness is living in an entirely different world.  There the weapons that are formed against him cannot prosper, and the evils that float around in the air cannot come nigh his dwelling place.  As we outgrow a material sense of life and thing in terms of God, we can stop taking anxious thought, turn our attention to whatever work has to be done today and see all material things in their order of priority.

… This world is a mental world.  The body cannot be sick without our accepting sickness in the mind.  The body itself certainly cannot sin; it cannot of itself steal or defraud.  In fact, we cannot carry out anything physically without first accepting it in the mind.  The world of mind is the material sense of world.  Then there is the divine consciousness, which is revealed by that mind that was in Christ Jesus.  The attainment of that divine consciousness is our goal, and once we have access to it we are experiencing less of the effects of the universal mind of man and more of the mind of God.  The ultimate in attainment is when we achieve full conscious union with the divine consciousness. What we see, her, taste, touch or smell represents the material and limited sense of things.  What we  discern inwardly will always be closer to the truth.  Spiritual perception enables us to open consciousness to see with God’s wisdom.  The ability to move from the world of material sense into the world of spiritual discernment is proportionate to our ability to close our eyes to the appearance and wait for that inner intuition, the voice of God, to reveal to us the truth of what we are beholding.  Then the spiritual truth behind the appearance will be made evident to us.

  We are constantly living between two worlds; the world of appearances and the world of spiritual recognition and awareness.  By dedication and devotion, more and more of spiritual grace and more and more of the spiritual blessing will descend upon us and wholly envelop us.

… Freedom’s most vital meaning must be the freedom to think, to seek, to question, and to discover that which is beyond the horizon of accepted knowledge until we arrive at the goal we are seeking, a goal which is life harmonious, life abundant, lift eternal.  It should be the goal of every individual who has been turned by the grace of God to the spiritual path, therefore, to seek and to search until he arrives.  Freedom from the bondage of mortal man comes when we realize our true spiritual identity.

… Consciousness is the creative source, and only when we understand the meaning of consciousness do we have the entire meaning of life.

  The highest form of consciousness is spirit. To understand consciousness will enable us to understand the nature of omnipresence, because it is consciousness that is omnipresence, and it is omnipresence that formed the universe, and this omnipresence must be a divine and infinite intelligence.  There must be an intelligence that formed the human body, a creative power, actively operating with the precision of an inexorable plan.

… You are going to discover as everyone has, that there are some painful steps before you reach the promised land.  The way to the crown is the cross, and there is no avoiding it.

… Regardless of our present state of sin, disease, poverty, or enslavement, we have access to infinity through our own consciousness because the transcendental is present with us, and the realization of this truth must immediately begin to set us free.  No truth that is revealed within us is ever for ourselves.  It is always that God’s grace may flow through us to those who may be led to us for light.  Whenever a truth is revealed within us, we immediately open our consciousness and take in the world, and realize that this is the universal truth about all mankind, about the universe; the past universe, the present universe, and the universe still to come.

… At the back of every individual who has ever received a spiritual truth, an idea for an invention, or some kind of creative music or art, there is one infinite consciousness which is its source.  When a person taps that, he can tap all the wisdom proceeding from the one source.  The consciousness of individual man is infinite, and to bring forth infinity, all he need do is to turn within.

… Ask for nothing, seek nothing; abide within yourself in an expectancy of God’s grace, God’s love, peace, abundance, and companionship.  Never pray to God for anything except that his spirit be upon you – not that God do something for you, but that you awaken to his presence.  All that the father has is awaiting your awakening, your acceptance, your realization.

… God does not move away from you in your sins or in your lack, but the acknowledgement of God within you will eliminate the sins because where the consciousness of God is, lack cannot exist.  Acknowledge the presence of God in your soul, in your mind, in your body, and in your work.  Always acknowledge God as the source.  Whatever goodness, benevolence, or virtue is evident in your life; whatever intelligence or capacity for spiritual thought, it is the grace of God expressing itself through you.  Identify all good as of God; nothing is outside of the possible as long as you are not claiming any qualities, virtues or qualities as your own, but are acknowledging that you are the instrument through which the grace of God is acting, wherever you go, carry the peace of God with you.

… This is God’s world.  All who dwell herein are God’s people, joint-heirs of God, fellow-saints, sharing with each other God’s grace; which governs, maintains, and sustains all who are in his household.

The Allied Forces strike the decisive blow for the liberation of the victims of Nazi aggression

On D-day, 6 June 1944, the invasion armada, consisting of 5000 ships and landing craft of all descriptions, protected by 900 warships, left Britain for the shores of Normandy .  The plan was to land 150,000 men and 1,500 tanks in the first 48 hours.  It was calculated that once ashore the Allies would need to bring in 12,000 tons of stores and 2,500 vehicles every day.

Because a large port would be needed to handle this enormous amount of traffic – and it would take too long to capture one – the idea was evolved of taking their ports with them.  These consisted of monstrous breakwaters and floating quays which had to be towed across the channel.  In the event they took two Mulberries (1 American and 1 British) each making a port about the size of Dover .  In the course of the life of the British Mulberry Harbour 2,500,000 men (I was one of these); 500,000 vehicles and 4,000,000 tons of supplies were landed through it.   In order to ensure that sufficient petrol was available for the armies to fight their way into Europe , a pipe line under the ocean (P.L.U.T.O.) was used.

The information given above give some indication of the irresistible material strength at the disposal of the Allied Supreme Commander, General Eisenhower.

“I had wanted proof of God, something for my eyes or ears or hands.  He wanted me to believe without it.  Faith was what he required of me.  And he never rested till I found it”.

If he revealed himself to us, none of us would require faith.  None of us would want to toil.  There would be no point in struggling to keep alive if we were so easily assured that eternal life in paradise is waiting on the far side of this life.  No, it is a far better test of our devotion if he remains mystical and obscure; just beyond the range of our senses.

                                                                             Jim Bishop

Variation is the raw material of evolution.

Each one thinks his lot the worst; but he is mistaken.  If he thought himself the worst of the lot he might be right.

                                                C.H. Spurgeon

(1834-1892)                       English Baptist who

Preached at the vast Metropolitan

Tabernacle, London , from 1861

(burnt down 1898)

Dwell in Christ, be that man who has his being in Christ, living by Grace, walk this earth for one purpose only, to show forth God’s glory.

                                                                   Joel S. Goldsmith

What interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world.

                                                                   Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Awarded Nobel Prize for his work in Quantum theory.

Either Jesus Christ was God, or he was not a good man.

“Though earth and man were gone,

and sins and universe ceased to be,

and thou were left alone,

every existence would exist in thee”.                                             

          Emily Bronte

Not that creation was in time, but that it involved time.  Time and creation are correlative.

                                                                   St. Augustine

There is also to be found in man an irresistible curiosity which demands and explanation of the world in which he finds himself.  This urge to make the world intelligible takes him into the realm of science, where the unknown is the constant challenge.  Science is a creative process always in the making, since the scientist’s conjectures are constantly being submitted to severe critical tests.

From Alexander of Aphrodisias (A.D.200)

“Everything that happens is followed by something else, which is necessarily linked to it as to its cause, and is preceded by something to which it is linked as its cause.  For nothing in the world exists or happens without a cause, since there is nothing in it which is detached and separated from the whole sum of preceding events.  For if any uncaused movement were introduced, the world would be pulled asunder and dissevered, and would no longer remain for ever one, ruled according to a single order and arrangement.”

Comment – this would appear to rule out all miracles.

Selections from the Wonderful Magic, Beauty and Inspiration of St. John’s Gospel

(Chosen from four modern translations of the Bible prologue)

In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the Word was God.  The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to mankind.  A light that darkness could not overpower.  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  And his own people did not accept him.  But to all who did accept him he gave power to become children of God.  The word became flesh and, full of grace and truth, lived among u. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only son.  Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  No one has ever seen God.  The only son, who is the same as God, and is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

The conversation with Nicodemus (A Pharisee)

Nicodemus said to Jesus:- “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who comes from God; for no one could perform the signs that you do unless God were with him”.

Jesus answered: - “I tell you truly, unless a man is born from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God ”.

Nicodemus said: - “How can a grown man be born again?”

Jesus replied: - “I tell you solemnly, unless a man is born of the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God .  Do not be surprised when I say: you must be born over again.  If you do not believe me when I speak about things in this world, how are you going to believe me when I speak to you about heavenly thing?  The son of man must be lifted up so that everyone who has faith may possess eternal life.  For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him may not be lost but may have everlasting life.  For God sent his son into the world, not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.  No one who believes in him will be condemned.  Though the light has come into the world, men have shown they prefer darkness, because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the slight, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed; but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God”.

The saviour of the world revealed to the Samaritan woman

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”  The woman replied, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan, how can you ask me for a drink?”  (Jews, in fact, do not associate with Samaritans).  Jesus replied: “If you only know what God is offering and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have been the one to ask, and he would have given you living water.”  She answered, “How could you get this living water?”  Jesus answered, “Whoever drinks this water will get thirsty again; but anyone who drinks the water that I shall give will never be thirsty again: the water that I shall give will turn into a spring inside him, welling up to eternal life.” “Sir”, said the woman “give me some of that water, so that I may never get thirsty”.  Jesus said: “Believe me, a time is coming, indeed it is already here, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth: that is the kind of worshipper the Father seeks.  God is spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth”.  The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming; and when he comes he will tell us everything.” “I who am speaking to you,” said Jesus “I am He”.

The Jews were intent on killing Jesus because he spoke of God as his own Father, and in this way made himself God’s equal.  To this accusation Jesus replied:-

“I tell you truly, the son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees the father doing: and whatever the father does, the son does too.  For the father lives the son and shows him everything he does himself, and he will show him even greater things than these, works that will astonish you.  The father judges no one; he has entrusted all judgement to the son, so that all may honour the son, as they honour the father.  Whoever refuses honour to the son refuses honour to the father who sent him.  For the father, who is the source of life has made the son the source of life.  I can do nothing on my own authority: I judge only as God tells me, so my judgement is right for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.  The works my father has given me to carry out, testify that the father has sent me, and the father who sent me bears witness to me himself.  You have never heard his voice nor seen his form; nor does his word dwell in you, because you do not believe in the one he has sent.  You study the scriptures, believing that in him you have eternal life; these scriptures testify about me, yet you are not willing to come to me in order to have life.  I have come in the name of my father, but you do not accept me.  How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from God?”  Then they said to him, “What must we do to do the work of God?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one whom he has sent, I tell you the truth, it is my father who gives you the true bread from heaven; for the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.  I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never be hungry and he who believes in me will never thirst.  Whoever comes to me I shall not turn away, for I have come from heaven, not to do my will, but to do the will of the one who sent me.  It is my father’s will that everyone who believes in the son shall have eternal life.  No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the father who sent me.  Everyone who listens to the father and learns from him comes to me.  I am the bread of life, the bread that comes from heaven so that a man may eat it and not die.  The words I have spoken to you bring God’s life-giving spirit.

At the feast of tabernacles Jesus taught in the temple.  The Jews were astonished, and said, “How did he learn these things? He has not been taught.”  Jesus answered them: - “My teaching is not my own, it comes from him who sent me.  If a man choose to do God’s will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or whether I speak on my own authority.  He who speaks on his own does so to gain honour for himself, but he who works for the honour of the one who sent him is a man of truth.  Do you really know me and know where I am from?  I have not come of myself.  He who sent me is true.  You do not know him, but I know him because I have come from him.  I shall remain with you for only a short time now; then I shall go back to the one who sent me.  You will look for me but you will not find me: where I am you cannot come.  I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.  It is true that I am testifying on my own behalf, but my testimony is still valid, because I know where I came from, and where I am going, but you do not know.  You know neither me nor my father.  You are of this world; I am not of this world.  He who has sent me is with me, and has not left me to myself.  If you do what I teach, you will really be my disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.  Everyone who sins is a slave to sin.  If the son sets you free, you will be really free.  If God were your father, you would love me, for God is the source of my being, and from him I come.  I have not come of my own accord; he sent me.  Why do you not understand my language?  Because I speak the truth you do not believe me.  Can one of you convict me of sin?  He who has God for his father listens to the words of God; if you refuse to listen, it is because you are not God’s children.  I honour my father, but you dishonour me.  I am not seeking glory for myself, there is one who seeks it and is the judge of it.  In very truth I tell you whoever keeps my word will never die.  As long as the day lasts I must carry out the work of the one who sent me.  As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world.  It is for judgement that I have come into this world, so that those without sight may see.”

The Good Shepherd

“In truth I tell you, the man who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but gets in some other way is a thief and a robber.  The man who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock; the gate keeper admits him, and the sheep hear his voice; he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought them all out he goes ahead and the sheep follow, because they know his voice.  They will not follow a stranger but run away from him, because they do not recognise the voice of strangers.”

Jesus told the Pharisees this parable but they did not understand what he meant by it, so Jesus spoke again:-

“I tell you most solemnly, I am the gate of the sheepfold, all others who came before me were thieves and robbers and the sheep took no notice of them.  I am the door; anyone who enters the fold through me shall be saved and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy.

I have come that men may have life in all its fullness.  I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.  I know my own and my own know me; just as the father knows me I know the father – and he loves me because I lay down my life for my sheep.  I have other sheep that are not of this flock whom I must bring in; and they too will listen to me voice; there will be one flock and one shepherd.  I lay my life down of the my own accord; I have authority to lay it down, and authority to receive it back again; and this is the command I have received from my father.”

These words caused disagreement among the Jews.  Many said “He is possessed; why listen to him?”  Others said, “These are not the words of a man possessed by an evil spirit; could an evil spirit open the eyes of the blind?”

The Jews gathered round him and said, “How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense?  If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”  Jesus replied:-

“I have told you, but you do not believe.  The works I do in my father’s name are my witness; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my flock.  My own sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.  They shall never perish and no one will ever steal them from my care.  My father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one can steal from my father.  My father and I are one.”

The Jews threatened to stone him because he claimed to be God, Jesus answered,

“Why do you charge me with blasphemy because I, consecrated and sent into the world by my father, said, “I am God’s son”.  If I am not doing my father’s work, there is no need to believe me; but if I am doing it, then even if you refuse to believe in me, at least believe in the work I do; then you will know for sure that the father is in me, and I am in the father.”

They wanted to seize him then; but he eluded them.

Before raising Lazarus, Jesus said:-

“I am the resurrection and the life.  If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live.  And whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”


“Father, I thank you for hearing my prayer.  I know that you always hear me, but I speak for the sake of all these who stand round me, that they may be believe that you sent me”.

The last Passover

Jesus speaks to the people at the festival in Jerusalem

“Now the hour has come for the son of man to be glorified.  If a man serves me, he must follow me; so that wherever I am, my servant will be there too.  If anyone serves me, my father will honour him.  Now my heart is troubled.  What shall I say; Father, save me from this hour? No, it was for this very reason that I came to this hour.  Father, glorify your name!”

“Now is the time for this world to be judged, now the Prince of this world is to be overthrown.  But when I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all men to myself.”

“The light will be with you only a little longer now.  So walk while you have the light, so that darkness may not overtake you; he who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.  Put our trust in the light while you still have it, so that you may become people of light.”

Though many Jews and leading men, who had been present when he gave so many signs, believed in him; they did not publicly claim to do so on account of the Pharisees, and for fear of being expelled from the synagogue: for they valued their reputation with men before the honour that comes from God.  Jesus declared publicly:-

“Whoever believes in me believes also in the one who sent me, and, seeing me, sees the one who sent me.  I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who has faith should remain in darkness.  If anyone hears my words and does not obey them, it is not I who shall condemn him; since I have come not to condemn the world but to save it.  He who rejects me and refuses my words has his judge already; the words that I have spoken will condemn him on the last day.  For what I have spoken does not come from myself; but was commanded by the father who sent me, and I know that his commands bring eternal life.  So whatever I say is what the father has told me to say.”

The Farewell Discourses at the Last Supper

“Now has the son of man been glorified.  Now God’s glory is revealed through him.  My children, I shall not be with you much longer.  You will look for me and, where I am going you cannot come.  And now I give you a new commandment: love one another; just as I have loved you, you also must love one another.  By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples.”

Simon Peter said: “Lord, where are you gong?”

Jesus replied: “Where I am going you cannot follow me now; you will follow me later.”

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God,  trust also in me.  There are many rooms in my father’s house; if there were not, I should have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  So that where I am you may be too.”

Thomas said: “Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus replied: “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one can come to the father except by me.  If you really knew me, you would know my father too.  From this moment you do know him, and have seen him.”

Philip said: “Lord, let us see the father and then we shall be satisfied.”

Jesus answered: “Have I been with you all this time Philip, and you still do not know me?”

“To have seen me is to have seen the father.  Do you not believe that I am in the father, and the father is in me?  The words I say to you are not just my own, rather it is the father, living in me, who is doing his work.  You must believe me when I say that I am in the father and the father is in me; believe it because of the things I do if for no other reason.  I tell you truly whoever has faith in me will perform the same works as I do myself; yes, he will do even greater things still, because I am going to the father.  Indeed anything you ask in my name I will do, so that the father may be gloried in the son.  If you ask for anything in my name, I will do it.  If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  I shall ask the father, and he will give you another helper to be with you forever, and he is the spirit who reveals the truth about God.  The world cannot receive him, because the world neither sees nor knows him; but you know him, because he dwells with you and remains with you. Anybody who receives my commandments and keeps them – he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my father; and I shall love him and show myself to him.”

Judas – not Iscariot: “Anyone ho loves me will heed what I teach; and then my father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our home with him.  I have said these things while still with you, but the counsellor the Holy Spirit, whom the father will send in my name, will teach you everything an remind you of all I have said to you.  Peace I leave to you, it is my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you.  Do not be worried or upset, and do not be afraid.  You heard me say: I am going away, if you loved me you would be glad that I am going to the father, for he is greater than I.  I have told you now beforehand so that when it happens you may have faith.  The world must be brought to know that I have the father, and that I am doing exactly what he commands.  I am the true vine, and my father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in me that bears no fruit he cuts away, and every fruiting branch he prunes to make it bear even more.  You are already clean, because of the words I have spoken to you.  Remain united in me, as I will remain united in you.  As a branch cannot bear fruit by itself, but must remain part of the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain united with me.  I am the vine, you are the branches.  Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not swell in me is thrown away like a branch that has withered: these branches are collected and burnt.  If you dwell in me and my words remain in you, you may ask what you will and it shall be given you.  This is my father’s glory that you may bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.  As the father has loved me, so I have loved you.  Now remain in my love.  If you obey my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have heeded my father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have spoken thus to you so that my joy may be in you, and your joy complete.  This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you.  A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command you.  I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my father.  You did not choose me, no, I chose you; to go and to bear much fruit, - fruit that endures, so that the father will give you anything you ask him in my name.  If the world hates you, remember that it hated me before you.  If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own; as it is you do not belong to the world, because I chose you from the world, that is why the world hates you.  As they persecuted me they will persecute you too; they will follow your teaching as little as they have followed mine.  It will be on my account that they will treat you thus, because they do not know the one who sent me.  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.  Anyone who hates me hates my father also”.

“When the spirit comes, whom I shall send to you from the father – the spirit of truth that goes out from the father; he will speak about me.  And you too will be my witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.  Now I am going to the one who sent me.  You are sad at heart because I have told you this.  Still, I tell you the truth; it is for your own good that I am leaving you because, unless I go, the helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.  And when he comes, he will show the world how wrong it was about sin and righteousness and judgment.  I still have much more to say to you, but the burden would be too great for you now.  But when the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you to the complete truth about God; since he will not be speaking on his own authority, but will tell only what he has learnt: and he will tell you of the things to come.

Then some of his disciples said to one another: “What does he mean, in a short time you will no longer see me, and then a short time later you will see me again”, and, “I am going to the father?”

Jesus knew that they wanted to question him, so he said: “ You  are asking one another what I meant by saying: in a short time you will no longer see me, and then a short time later you will see me again.  I tell you most solemnly, you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy.  You are sad now, but I shall see you again and your hearts will be full of joy, and that joy no one can take away from you.  When that day comes, you will not ask me any questions.  I tell you the truth, anything you ask for from the father in my name he will grant.  Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.  Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be complete.  I have been speaking figuratively, the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in this way; but tell you about the father in plain words.  The father himself loves you for loving me and believing that I came from God.  I came from the father and entered the world, and now I leave the world to go to the father.”

His disciples said: “Now are speaking plainly, and we now believe that you came from God”.

Jesus answered them: “Do you believe at last? Listen, the time will come when you will be scattered, each going his own way.  I have told you all this so that in me you may find peace.  In the world you will have trouble, but be brave: I have overcome the world.”

Jesus prays to his father, for himself and for his disciples:  After saying this Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said: “Father the hour has come: glorify your son, so that you son may glorify you.  for you gave him authority over all mankind so that he might give eternal life to all those you have entrusted to him.  And this is eternal life: to know you.  The only true God, and knowing Jesus Christ whom you have sent.  I have glorified you on earth and finished the work that you gave me to do.  I have made your name known to the men you took from the world to give me.  They were yours and you gave them to me, and they have obeyed your word. Now at last they know that all you have given me comes indeed from you; for I have taught them all that I learned from you, and they have obeyed your word.  Now they know with certainty that I came indeed from you; for I have given them the teaching you gave to me, and they have truly accepted this.  I pray for them because they belong to you: all I have is yours, and through them has thy glory shone.  Keep those you have given me true to your name, so that they may be one like we are one.  While I was with them, I kept those you had given me true to your name.  I have watched over them and not one is lost.  But now I am coming to you; but while I am still in the world I speak these words, so that they may have my joy within them in full measure.  Protect them from the evil one.  Consecrate them in the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world,  I have sent them, and for their sake I sanctify myself so that they may be sanctified by the truth.  I pray, not for these alone, but for those also who through their message will believe in me, may they all be one.  I have given them the glory you gave to me that they may be brought to complete unity.  With me in them and you in me, may they be so completely one that the world will realized that it was you who sent me, and that I have loved them as much as you loved me.  Father, I want these who are your gift to me to be with me where I am, so that they may always see the glory you have given me, because you loved me before the creation of the world.  Righteous father although the world does not know you, I know you and these men know that you have sent me.  I have made you known to them and will continue to do so, so that the love you have for me may be theirs, and that I may be in them”.

Note this reply

Jesus replies to Pilate: “So you are a king then?” said Pilate: “King is your word”, answered Jesus.  “My task is to bear witness to the truth; for this I was born, and all whoa re on the side of truth listen to my voice”.

Jesus appears to the disciples after his resurrection: He came and stood among them and said: “Peace be with you.” “As the father sent me, so am I sending you.” “Receive the Holy Spirit! For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven.”

In reply to the doubts of Thomas: Jesus said: “You have found faith because you have seen me.  Happy are those who have not seen me, and yet believe”.

Jesus appeared to the disciples once again and said to Simon Peter: “Simon, do you love me more than all else?”  He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you”.  Jesus said to him, “Then feed my lambs”.  A second time he asked, “Simon, do you love me?”  He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you”.  Jesus said to him. “Then look after my sheep.”  Then he said to him a third time, “Simon, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that he asked him a third time.  “Lord”, he said “You know everything; you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep”.

The transformation of the Disciples of Jesus

I would advise anyone to ask himself whether it does not require the actual fact of the resurrection and what followed to account for the change in the disciples in the gospels and the Acts which is lifelike and unmistakable.  A hesitating, vacillating company who deserted their master in the hour of his seeming failure and death are, after a brief interval, transformed into a radiant confident band who can face the world with unflinching courage.  The change is accounted for by certain facts – the fact of the resurrection and his mission of the Spirit.

I cannot believe that the conception of Christ as the best, or one of the best, and most inspired of men, who left to men the heritage of the grandest teaching about the fatherhood of God, and the possibilities of humanity, and the purest example of love and sacrifice should after his death be deified only I the imagination of his disciples.  And, I cannot square the record of Jesus, as it stands in the Gospels, presenting such incontestable evidence of reality, or the record of the impression which he mad on his disciples, with any merely humanitarian estimate of him.

                                                                             Charles Gore D.D.

                                                                             (Doctor of Divinity)

I think it is important to note that “original sin” is a fault or defect or disorder in our inherited nature.  One man’s nature is more disordered to start with than another’s.  And the fault or defect can be diminished by self-restraint or deepened by indulgence.  This defect of nature in itself is an appeal to the divine compassion to redeem us, not an occasion of his wrath against the individual personally.

                                                                             Charles Gore

God’s will suggests something more than mere regularity.  It suggests some authority behind the regularity.

From a novice after spending a year alone in the desert.

We absolutely owe it to our Lord never to be afraid of anything.

The greatest hazard of the desert – is the possibility of meeting God.

See thou a man diligent in all the things.  He shall stand before kings.

The great vision of Isaiah, the Prophet (Chapter two)

In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be set over all other mountains, lifted high above the hills.  All the nations shall come streaming to it, and their peoples will say, “come, let us climb up on to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the god of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways, and we may walk in his paths.”  For the Lord’s teaching comes from Jerusalem ; from Zion he speaks to his people.  He will be judge between nations, and shall reprove many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into ploughs, and their spears into pruning-knives.  Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor ever again be trained for war.  O people of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.

A little healthy fear of authority is not a bad thing.  Provided it is linked with justice and fair dealing.  Perhaps the best example is the disciplined behaviour of our splendid armed forces.

A. Edmonds, Frodsham, Ches.

(a letter published in “Weekend”)

The King of love my shepherd is,

Whose goodness faileth never;

I nothing lack if I m his

And he is mine for ever.


Where streams of living water flow

My ransomed soul he leadeth,

And where the verdant pastures grow

With food celestial feedeth.


Perverse and foolish oft I strayed;

But yet in love he sought me,

And on his shoulder gently laid,

And home rejoicing brought me.


In death’s dark vale I fear no ill

With thee, dear Lord, beside me;

The God and staff my comfort still,

They cross before to guide me.


Thou spread’st a table in my sight;

Thy unction grace bestoweth;

And O what transport of delight

From thy pure chalice floweth.


And so through all the length of days

Thy goodness faileth never;

Good shepherd, may I sing thy praise

Within thy house for ever!  

                                                          Henry Williams Baker, 1821-77

On Ivy’s tea-cloth

Bless this Home

We pray thee, Lord this home to bless,

With every joy and happiness:

Within it’s walls may thy peace dwell

And every member love thee well:

Give them, Lord, the grace to share

Their blessings and thy loving care:

When dark days come, as come they may,

We pray thy love will light the way.

Our tragedy is, not that we suffer, but that we waste suffering.

                                                Quoted on TV by Mary Craig (writer)

                                                (mother of a brain damaged boy

It is no secret what God can do,

What he’s done for others he’ll do for you,

With heart wide open he’ll pardon you

It is no secret what God can do.


The chimes of time ring out the news

Another day is through,

Someone slipped and fell, was that someone you?

You may have longed for added strength,

Courage to renew,

Do not be disheartened for I have news for you.


It is no secret what God can do,

What he’s done for others he’ll do for you.

With heart wide open he’ll pardon you.

It is no secret what God can do.

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,

The emblem of suffering and shame;

And I love that old cross where the dearest and best

For a world of lost sinner was slain.


In the old rugged cross stained with blood so divine

A wondrous beauty I see,

For ‘twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died

To pardon and sanctify me.


So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross

Till my trophies at last I lay down,

I will cling to the old rugged cross

And exchange it someday for a crown.

Service to other people is the rent we pay for our room on earth.

                                                                             Robert Kennedy

Beautiful isle of somewhere

Somewhere the sun is shining,

Somewhere the songbirds dwell,

Hushed by a sad refining,

God lives and all is well.

Somewhere, somewhere, beautiful isle of somewhere,

Land of the true where we live anew,

Beautiful isle of somewhere.

Somewhere the load is lifted,

Close by an open gate,

Somewhere the clouds are rifted,

Somewhere the angels wait.

Somewhere, somewhere, beautiful isle of somewhere,

Land of the true where we live anew,

Beautiful isle of somewhere.

Great is the trueth, and prevaileth:  after the trueth is once founded, who forever seeketh further, he seeketh not for the trueth, but for a lie.

                                                On an ancient lectern, formerly belonging to

                                                The Church of St Crux .  Seen by me in

                                                All Saints, pavement, High Ousegate,

                                                York , on 31 May 1979

Jesu, what didst thou find in me,

That thou hast dealt so lovingly?

How great the joy that thou hast brought,

So far exceeding hope or thought!


Beloved let us love:

For only thus

Shall we behold that God

Who loveth us.

Much industry and little conscience make a man rich.

                                                          W.G. Benham 1859-1944

When a child is born

A ray of hope flickers in the sky,

A tiny star lights up way up high,

All across the land dawns a brand new morn,

This comes to pass when a child is born.


A silent wish sails the seven seas,

The winds of change whisper in the trees,

And the walls of doubt crumble tossed and torn,

This comes to pass when a child is born.


A rosy dawn settles all around,

You get the feel your on solid ground,

For a spell or two no one seems forlorn,

This comes to pass when a child is born.


Its all a dream an illusion now,

It must come true sometime, soon, somehow,

All across the land dawns a brand new morn,

This comes to pass when a child is born.

Jesus, high in glory,

Lend a listening ear;

When we bow before thee,

Children’s praises hear.


Though thou art so holy,

Heaven’s almighty king,

Thou wilt stoop to listen

When they praise we sing.


We are little children,

Weak and apt to stray;

Saviour, guide and keep us

In the heavenly way.


Save us, Lord, from sinning;

Watch us day by day;

Help us now to love thee;

Take our sins away.


Then, when thou shalt call us

To our heavenly home,

We will gladly answer:

Saviour, Lord, we come!

                                                          Harriet Burn McKeever 1807-86

Doris                                                                     Died 25th May 1979

What can I say about my sister Doris?  Only what is of good report; only praise for her Christian qualities.  How she loved her Yorkshire environment!  Her love of the moors was always evident.  She cycled many many miles through the lovely Yorkshire countryside; and covered the whole county in coach tours.  It must have been her love of nature that brought her so close to God; for she was indeed close to him – she was certain that her Jesus was always with her, guiding, helping, coaxing, uplifting, comforting.  Her God was as real to her as anyone she knew on earth.  Now she is with him in paradise; of that there can be no doubt.

During her last three years she bore a painful illness with great fortitude and wonderful composure; continually striving to live out here life to the full normality that she knew God would want from her.

As her brother I am greatly upset at her passing; but I am also glad that she is now at peace with her saviour, whom she loved so dearly and fervently.

May she rest in God’s hands for eternity.

                                                                             From Willie

Doris was cremated at York on 30 May

The following are selected parts of the burial service conducted by Canon Cant of York Minster (Doris had been attending services at York Minster for many years, and recently made a gift of £100 towards the cost of its renovation).

Lord, what is my hope: truly my hope is even in thee. 

O spare me a little, that I may recover my strength: before I go hence, and be no more seen.

Almighty God, with whom do live the spirits of them that depart hence in the Lord, and with whom the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, are in joy and felicity.

O merciful God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the resurrection and the life: we beseech thee to raise this our sister from death unto everlasting life, that she may rest in him, and receive that blessing, which thy well-beloved son shall then pronounce to all that love and fear fee, saying, come, ye blessed children of my father receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world.

O father of all, we pray to thee for those whom we love, but see no longer.  Grant them thy peace; let light perpetual shine upon them; and in they loving wisdom and almighty power work in them the good purpose of thy perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God, father of all mercies and giver of all comfort; deal graciously, we pray thee, with those who mourn, that casting every care on thee, they may know the consolation of thy love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O heavenly Father, who in thy son Jesus Christ, hast given us a true faith, and a sure hope: help us, we pray thee, to live as those who believe and trust in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection to life everlasting, and strengthen this faith and hope in us all the days of our life: through the love of thy son, Jesus Christ our saviour.  Amen.

The 23rd Psalm was spoken.

Part of the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians Chapter 15 was read out.

For those we love within the veil,

Who once were comrades of our way,

We thank thee, Lord; for they have won

To cloudless day.


And life for them is life indeed,

The splendid goal of earth’s strait face;

And where no shadows intervene

They see thy face.


Free from the fret of mortal years,

And knowing now they perfect will,

With quickened sense and heightened joy

They serve thee still.


O fuller, sweeter is that life,

And larger, ampler is the air:

Eye cannot see nor heart conceive

The glory there:


Nor know to what high purpose thou

Dost yet employ their ripened powers,

Nor how at thy behest they touch

This life of ours.

                                                William Charter Piggott 1972-1943

Now if Christ raised from the dead is what has been preached, how can some of you be saying that there is no resurrection of the dead?  If there is no resurrection of the dead, Christ himself cannot have been raised, and if Christ has not be raised then our preaching is useless and your believing it is useless; indeed, we are shown up as witnesses who have committed perjury before God, because we swore in evidence before God that we had raise Christ to life.  For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised.  And what is more serious, all who have died in Christ have perished.  If our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are the most unfortunate of all people.  But Christ has in fact been raised from the dead.  The resurrection of the dead has come through one man; so all men will be brought to life in Christ.

                                                1. Corinthians Chap 15 Verses 12 to 28

Sad to relate, Doris, after many years of pain, which never left her day or night, drowned herself in the River Ouse at York .

The source of the pain appeared to have been unknown, either to her own doctor or the consultant at the hospital she attended.

Even after extensive tests, no disease was found, and it was eventually thought that the pain may have been due to a failure of the central nervous system, resulting in the body failing to work properly.

Because there appeared to be no way of easing her pain, Doris could not foresee any future happiness, enjoyment or contentment in her life. Consequently she considered it pointless for her to carry on any longer.

Although Doris was certainly not afraid of dying, she was disturbed that, if she took her own life, she would not be resurrected to God.  One can only hope that this is not the case, and that here future in God’s Kingdom is assured.

Certainly, it is unthinkable that a person so devoted to Christ on this earth, should not be welcomed by a loving and concerned heavenly father.  My own view is that she can now see the face of God, is able to serve him with joy; and find a fuller and sweeter life in the cloudless days beyond the veil.

The hymn entered here was specially chosen by me, because it outlines, very beautifully, what Doris must have dearly wanted for herself in the life after death she so earnestly believed would be hers.

Breathe on me, breath of God;

Fill me with life anew;

That I may live what thou dost love,

And do what thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, breath of God;

Until my heart is pure,

Until with thee I will one will,

To do and to endure.

Breathe on me, breath of God,

Till I am wholly thine,

Until this earthly part of me

Glows with thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, breath of God;

So shall I never die;

But live with thee the perfect life

Of thine eternity.  

                                                                   Edwin Hatch, 1835-89

Just as I am, thine own to be,

Friend of the young, who lovest me,

To consecrate myself to thee,

O Jesus Christ, I come.


In the glad morning of my day,

My life to give, my vows to pay,

With no reserve and no delay,

With all my heart I come.


I would live forever in the light,

I would work ever for the right,

I would serve thee with all my might,

Therefore to thee I come.


Just as I am, young, strong and free

To be the best that I can be

For truth and righteousness, and thee

Lord of my life, I come.  

                                                          Marianne Farningham 1834-1909

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine:

O what a foretaste of glory divine!

Heir of salvation, purchase of God;

Born of his spirit, washed in his blood.


This is my song, this is my song,

Praising my saviour all the day long.


Perfect submission, perfect delight,

Visions of rapture burst on my sight;

Angels descending, bring from above

Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.


Perfect submission, all is at rest,

I in my saviour am happy and blest;

Watching and waiting, looking above,

Filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

                                                Frances Jane Van Alstyne 1820-1915

Saviour, while my heart is tender,

I would yield that heart to thee,

All my powers to thee surrender,

Thine, and only thine, to be.


Take me now, Lord Jesus, take me;

Let my youthful heart be thine;

The devoted servant make me;

Fill my soul with love divine.


Send me, Lord where thou wilt send me,

Only do thou guide my way;

May thy grace through life attend me,

Gladly then shall I obey.


Le me do thy will or bear it;

I would know no will but thine:

Shouldst thou take my life or spare it,

I that life to the resign.


Thine I am, O Lord, for ever,

To thy service set apart;

Suffer me to leave thee never;

Seal thine image on my heart.

                                                                             John Burton 1803-77

How blest is life if lived for thee,

My loving saviour and my Lord:

No pleasures that the world can give

Such perfect gladness can afford.


To know I am thy ransomed child,

Bought by thine own most precious blood,

And from thy loving hand to take

With grateful heart each gift of good.


All day to walk beneath thy smile;

Watching thine eye to guide me still,

To rest at night beneath thy care,

Guarded by thee from every ill. 


To feel that though I journey on

By stony paths and rugged ways,

Thy blessed feet have gone before,

And strength is given for weary days.


Such love shall ever make me glad,

Strong in thy strength to work or rest,

Until I see thee face to face,

And in thy light am fully blest.

                             Anonymous, Prust’s Supplementary Hymn Book 1869

The Lord’s Supper

Bread of the world, in mercy broken;

Wine of the soul, in mercy shed;

By whom the words of life were spoken,

And in whose death our sins are dead:

Look on the heart by sorrow broken,

Look on the tears by sinner shed,

And be thy feast to us the token

That by thy grace our souls are fed.

                                                Reginald Heber, 1788-1826

The Christian

A Christian who does not fail in some way each day is not truly facing the realities of his commitment.  His failings lead to renewed effort; but perfection is an unachievable quest.

Christianity truly lived is a determined and sustained attempt to do all that one possibly can to attain the high standard set by Christ.

The only real consolation a follower of Christ has, is that a God of understanding will perhaps forgive him his many shortcomings.  But, so far as he continues to reach out to the divine goodness with the earnest desire always to do his best, whatever the circumstances; he can at least feel he has gone some way towards obtaining mitigation, and the alleviation of his many weaknesses.

I write these words in humble recognition of my own unworthiness and inadequacy, in the face of an exacting and concerned heavenly father.

                                                                             16 September 1979

That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.

Spoken by Flight Commander Neil Armstrong, when he set foot on the moon on Sunday July 20, 1969.

Extracted from “The Resurrection of Christ” (as history and experience)

By Professor S.H. Hooke, M.A., D.D.

Before any gospels came into existence, about AD50, a Jew, Paul of Tarsus founded a Christian community in Corinth , having handed on a tradition which he stated in the words “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, he was buried, and was raised from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures”.

Faith is an act of personal commitment in response to something that is accepted as an act of power on the part of God.  In such a commitment we pass from “death into life; we enter into a new world, created, as the world in which we live was created, by the act of God.

We may say that the resurrection of Jesus is a transaction which took place between the father and the son, unlimited by time, incapable of being witnessed by any human witness, and therefore incapable of historical verification.  It is permissible to use similar language about the incarnation of the word.  There we see a divine transaction taking place between the father and the son: the father sending the son, and the son coming down to do the father’s will, as we read in John 6:38, “I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me”.  The new creation begun at the incarnation, was consummated in the resurrection.  In rising by his own and the father’s act, resurrection has become personal and eternally present, the resurrection and the life, whose word is henceforth, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age”.

Examining our own position – whatever it may be – from the Christian point of view, we must come to the conclusion … that, quite apart from own personal interest, we hold our accomplishments in trust from God to offer them in his service, and that service on earth is, as Christ taught us so thoroughly, to bring happiness and well-being to our fellowmen.

Sir Stafford Cripps (1889-1952)

Barrister, Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government of Post-war Britain .  (Austere but successful)                                      

Henry Drummond speaks of special people who are living amongst us; but whom we all too rarely meet.

“There are some men and women in whose company we are always at our best.  While with them we cannot think mean thoughts, or speak ungenerous words.  Their mere presence is elevation, purification, sanctity.  We find a music in our souls that was never there before… here talking our language, walking our streets, working side by side, are sanctifiers of souls; here breathing through common clay, is heaven”.

My grace is all you need; power comes to its full strength in weakness.  

                                                                   2. Cor. 12 (9)

The Creator of the Universe declares himself to his people

At a point I the history of Israel a small group of Jews faced their own people and the gentile world with their startling claim that the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the God who, they maintained, had been active throughout their long history, had revealed himself in the person of a man of their own race, a Jew who was known as the son of a carpenter, and who bore the common name of Joshua, or in its Greek Form, Jesus.  They declared that this man, after living obscurely for thirty years in a village of Galilee , had gone out among his people announcing that he had been sent by God as the final fulfilment of the promises made to the fathers through the prophets.  They asserted that his teaching of the nature and desires of God had an authority strangely different from that of their rabbis, and that it was supported by acts of healing and other portents which attracted the attention of a large following.  But the climax of their announcement was that this man, after a brief period of activity, was arrested by the Jerusalem authorities, charged with blasphemy, handed over by them to the Roman Governor as a seditious person, was crucified as a common criminal; after three days, he rose from the dead, appeared to a number of his followers, convinced them of his identity, and commissioned them to tell the world that he was the son of God, appointed by God to be the saviour and judge of the world.

As the result of these events a community came into existence which preserved the tradition of what Jesus had said, done and suffered.  In the course of the next fifty years or so, a body of literature was produced by this community, the object of which was not only to record what had happened, but to interpret its significance.

The event which the various writers mainly sought to interpret was the death and resurrection of Jesus, and it could be said that the whole basis of Christianity is founded on this most unexpected and unforeseen occurrence.

As I have travelled about this country the story is almost always the same, “If only we had devoted men and women as Christian leaders”.  The real lack is the lack of love.  Not enough people have realized the love of god and his tremendous purpose; not enough have so experienced his love that they are prepared to love other people at considerable personal cost.

J.B. Phillips (Translation of the New Testament into modern English)

In an article in the Daily Mirror on 14 May ’86 about the disgraceful and non-caring attitude of the Tory party towards the seriously ill in our hospitals, the following words were quoted by a consultant and an eminent physician.

“Saving lives costs money, but saving money costs lives” and

“We are in the business of saving lives, not money”.

Can the Conservative Party not see that their spending cuts are killing people?

To seek help from a friend or physician may be more effective if used in conjunction with prayer.

More comments from Dick Sheppard, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-fields

I want to reform the church radically.  I believe that a fresh edition of Christianity, with the teaching of the sermon on the mount as its creed is years overdue.  I suppose I ought to be interested in turning men into keen church people, but I’m not.  I am only interested in trying to make men think with Jesus Christ in their horizon, and the, provided they are living decently, I will gladly accept their own vision of religion, not for myself, but as the right version for them.  The average man is ready for a surprising amount of Christianity if only its leaders would show him the vital heart of the gospel.  The clergy must come right down from their pedestals of aloofness and archaic reflections and meet men and women where they actually are, so that they may hear in their own tongue the wonderful works of God.  I resent with all my soul the fact that the orthodox have so complicated the perfectly straightforward teaching of Christ that common people neither hear him gladly nor with understanding.  I believe that the Christian church is the best thing left in this chaotic world, and if its members would come to vigorous life, they could rescue their world, and themselves, from its bondage of sin and impotence.  I am compelled, with the greatest reluctance, to believe that the churches have corporately so misunderstood the message of their founder, and so mishandled and mislaid his values, that what survives and does duty nowadays, through the churches, as Christianity, is a caricature of what Christ intended.  An immense revolution is inevitable if the common people are again to hear Christ gladly.  Men today are not looking for a religious system, and yet the would of the world, consciously or unconsciously, is crying for Christ, and I feel that western civilisation will go up in the smoke of another world war long before Christianity, moving at its present pace, takes possession.  I want almost anything rather than an unchallenged continuation of these smothered institutional versions of the fire which Jesus Christ came to cast upon the earth.  The vast majority of peoples’ ideas about the church are, to say the least, confused.

The tragic vision of human existence if there is no hope of anything beyond the physical universe.  Bertrand Russell (A humanist) writes:-

That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling can preserve an individual life beyond the grave: that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins – all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.  Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.

(This was written in 1918, but in 1962 he wrote in a letter: “My outlook on the cosmos, and on human life is substantially unchanged”.

In this extract from one of his books, J.B. Phillips holds out the hope for a spiritually created universe, with the possibility of an all powerful hidden god controlling everything, and guiding his creation towards a definite ending; an ending which at this stage of development is completely beyond our comprehension.

It often seems to me when listening to the talk of clever people that they are in effect saying, “unless I understand, unless I am let into all the secrets of the creator I shall refuse to believe in him at all”.  I am sure that such an attitude, even if it be unconscious, creates a strong barrier between man and his understanding of his true position.

Anyone with the most elementary knowledge of physics knows that there are sounds which are too high in pitch for us to hear, and forms of light which are quite invisible to the human eye … yet for some curious reason we find it very difficult to believe that there may be sense higher than our sense, reason above our reason, and a total purpose quite beyond our understanding.  It seems to me perfectly possible that there may be supra-human wisdom, and we might well assume an attitude of wholesome humility when we reflect upon our relative insignificance.  Can we accept the suggestion that there are facts, even “scientific” facts, which we can never know because we are incapable of understanding them?  Can we not be persuaded to believe that specks of consciousness on this little planet cannot, in all reasonableness, be thought of as accurate critics of the total purpose behind all creation?

Dick Sheppard

I am certain of nothing.  I cannot say such a terrific dogma a “Jesus was God himself”.  I don’t dis-believe it.  I don’t deny it; but frankly it is enough for me to try and follow, and then see what happens.  I’d rather base my whole life on a mistake than give up Christ.

I believe in man-sinful, struggling, failing, faltering man; but inherently potentially noble – little lower than the angels, and made in the likeness of God.  Of course his failures are many, but to Christ he is infinitely precious, and there is always a place reserved for him not very far removed from the right hand of God.

Co-incidence or spiritual intervention?

The day after Ivy had had friends to tea she held Marjorie’s teapot (which I had kept after her death) and said, “your wife would be glad that I have used her tea-pot”.  (It is only used on these special occasions).  Shortly after this incident Ivy started humming and singing a hymn tune, and this went on at intervals for a couple of days (she couldn’t get it out of her mind).  Suddenly I realized that this was the tune of a hymn, a verse of which I had sent to Marjorie to comfort her in her pain.  It is hymn No.448 in the Methodist Hymn Book, and the verse is:

O Joy that seekest me through pain,

I cannot close my heart to thee;

I trace the rainbow through the rain

And feel the promise is not vain

That morn shall tearless be.

Was there a spiritual connection between Ivy and Marjorie at this time?  It would certainly appear so.  The possibilities of this happening by pure chance are almost limitless.

In support of what I have said above, I should like to point out that I made a note in my hymn book at the time that I sent this verse to Marjorie.  This can be seen in the hymn book.


To the reader of my books I ask, “Have you found our God yet”?  I have given you all shades of opinion; I have given you the best and finest of God’s people, reaching out to him in search of the divine goodness of the universe.  I have not kept to any particular religion, but only to man’s search for his creator.  The creator who requests us to seek, ask and knock and we shall be rewarded.  I have endeavoured to do these three things; and I sincerely hope that the reward is to be found in these pages; and that the individual seekers will find their way to God.

If, in my efforts, I have brought only one person face to face with the universal authority, I shall be satisfied that my efforts will not have been in vain: for, to bring a person to an understanding of his place in God’s plan, is the greatest one can achieve in this present life.

W.W. Gibson