Sufficient or insufficient, there is nothing more. The world is immense, constructed on no plan or theory which the intellect of man can grasp. He didn’t have to! There are all kinds of things that are already true about us because we are in union with Christ. ‘I will,’ my heart panted. Answer: The Bible teaches the existence of an immaterial, spiritual reality, unseen by human eyes. Col 2:15 1. It is possible to see God, who is unseen, through faith. In Arabic, the term ‘faith’ takes on further shades of meaning. (E. Gurney: Phantasms if the Living, i. The degree to which a Christian believes God’s promises is the degree to which And faith is this. 4. The most curious proofs of the existence of such an undifferentiated sense of reality as this are found in experiences of hallucination. Such contemplations are expected (and abundantly verify the expectation, as we shall also see) to influence the believer’s subsequent attitude very powerfully for good. I never before so clearly felt the Spirit of God in me and around me. This verse contrasts faith and sight. Now, at the age of nearly fifty, my power of getting into connection with it has entirely left me; and I have to confess that a great help has gone out of my life. The Arabic word for faith, ‘eman,’ comes from the root word ‘amn,’ which means safety. In another lecture we shall see how in morbid melancholy this sense of the unreality of things may become a carking pain, and even lead to suicide. I spoke with the calmness and clearness of a prophet. The first is from a man twenty-seven years old: --, "God is quite real to me. Mark 10:28; 4:40 b. You can respond to evil with good. Since then I have had direct answers to prayer -- so significant as to be almost like talking with God and hearing his answer. They live as mere, unchanged men. When the trouble first appeared before me I was dazed, but before long (two or three hours) I could hear distinctly a passage of Scripture: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’ Every time my thoughts turned to the trouble I could hear this quotation. It has been vouchsafed, for example, to very few Christian believers to have had a sensible vision of their Saviour; though enough appearances of this sort are on record, by way of miraculous exception, to merit our attention later. But we must now settle our scores more carefully with this whole optimistic way of thinking. The realities of sin, temptation, and addiction. There was no destruction of the old, but a rapid, wonderful unfolding. If this were so, we might suppose the senses to waken our attitudes and conduct as they so habitually do, by first exciting this sense of reality; but anything else, any idea, for example, that might similarly excite it, would have that same prerogative of appearing real which objects of sense normally possess. What I felt on these occasions was a temporary loss of my own identity, accompanied by an illumination which revealed to me a deeper significance than I had been wont to attach to life. It was deep calling unto deep,- the deep that my own struggle had opened up within being answered by the unfathomable deep without, reaching beyond the stars. Eph 3:16,19; Rom 8:11 c. He is in you to bring the word of God to pass in the seen realm. The lady who gives the account is the daughter of a man well known in his time as a writer against Christianity. a. These unseen realities connect us to a deeper reality that expands our field of vision. Jesus didn’t defeat Satan for Himself. Let me give you an example of this, before I pass to the objects with whose presence religion is more peculiarly concerned. The sense of the kind of object to which the surrender is made has much to do with determining the precise complexion of the joy; and the whole phenomenon is more complex than any simple formula allows. Material and supernatural realities are either fully continuous or have a bazillion contact points. I think it well to add that in this ecstasy of mine God had neither form, color, odor, nor taste; moreover, that the feeling of his presence was accompanied with no determinate localization. 2. The air seemed to waver to and fro with the presence of Something I knew not what. He cannot forget her; she uninterruptedly affects him through and through. Through faith we overcome. But I shall perfect it one day, and then you shall hear it and acknowledge its grandeur." The memory of an insult may make us angrier than the insult did when we received it. We were not disappointed. C. You must know that you are now in the kingdom of God and the privileges and power of that kingdom are yours. It refers, then, to such things as belief in God, the physical resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgment, the hereafter, and so forth—things which Islam … They determine our vital attitude as decisively as the vital attitude of lovers is determined by the habitual sense, by which each is haunted, of the other being in the world. --, "I have the sense of a presence, strong, and at the same time soothing, which hovers over me. What we can see, hear, and feel we can take on face value that it is reality. Immanuel Kant held a curious doctrine about such objects of belief as God, the design of creation, the soul, its freedom, and the life hereafter. 384. "Science" in many minds is genuinely taking the place of a religion. I was conscious of its departure as of its coming: an almost instantaneously swift going through the door, and the ‘horrible sensation’ disappeared. "I had read," the narrator says, "some twenty minutes or so, was thoroughly absorbed in the book, my mind was perfectly quiet, and for the time being my friends were quite forgotten, when suddenly without a moment’s warning my whole being seemed roused to the highest state of tension or aliveness, and I was aware, with an intenseness not easily imagined by those who had never experienced it, that another being or presence was not only in the room, but quite close to me. As we read through the chapter, we see that these people based their actions, not on what they could see and feel, but, on unseen realities revealed to them by God’s word. Thoughts sudden and distinct from any I have been entertaining come to my mind after asking God for his direction. 2. "is worthy to be called a religion"; and accordingly he thinks that our Music, our Science, and our so-called "Civilization," as these things are now organized and admiringly believed in, form the more genuine religions of our time. I did not seek Him, but felt the perfect unison of my spirit with His. The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature. I have stood upon the Mount of Vision since, and felt the Eternal round about me. It was like the effect of some great orchestra when all the separate notes have melted into one swelling harmony that leaves the listener conscious of nothing save that his soul is being wafted upwards, and almost bursting with its own emotion. The power of God is not limited to what you can see. You are now healed. This shows that mourning has been successful. . We have already agreed that they are solemn; and we have seen reason to think that the most distinctive of them is the sort of joy which may result in extreme cases from absolute self-surrender. As regards the origin of the Greek gods, we need not at present seek an opinion. I can best describe the condition in which I was by calling it a state of equilibrium. a. It takes time and effort to get to that point. It is transcendent everywhere. This impression of presence is impossible to describe. Does this mean that they these chariots do not exist? I Pet 2:24 c. When you were born again, healing went into effect in you, vitally. They are also from Professor Starbuck’s collection, and their number might be greatly multiplied. God’s attributes as such, his holiness, his justice, his mercy, his absoluteness, his infinity, his omniscience, his tri-unity, the various mysteries of the redemptive process, the operation of the sacraments, etc., have proved fertile wells of inspiring meditation for Christian believers. 6. Did he not love me? The adjective "mystical" is technically applied, most often, to states that are of brief duration. She relates that she was brought up in entire ignorance of Christian doctrine, but, when in Germany, after being talked to by Christian friends, she read the Bible and prayed, and finally the plan of salvation flashed upon her like a stream of light. 1. My object in thus recalling Kant’s doctrine to your mind is not to express any opinion as to the accuracy of this particularly uncouth part of his philosophy, but only to illustrate the characteristic of human nature which we are considering, by an example so classical in its exaggeration. II Cor 5:16 b. b. The truth is that in the metaphysical and religious sphere, articulate reasons are cogent for us only when our inarticulate feelings of reality have already been impressed in favor of the same conclusion. 2. The seen realm is the work of the unseen God who spoke creation into existence with His word. c. You can do what God says you can do. When you were born again, the life and nature of God came into you. It is not a complete definition, in the sense of including all the moments of thought which are present in the word as used in the last chapter (Hebrews 11:38) or in this. Did I stop to ask a single question? This shows that you too value the mourning person. Once again, the tense is wrong. 196, 198.). God isn’t just talking. E. You must know that your heart and your mouth are vital elements involved in living by faith, by unseen realities. It is as if a bar of iron, without touch or sight, with no representative faculty whatever, might nevertheless be strongly endowed with an inner capacity for magnetic feeling; and as if, through the various arousals of its magnetism by magnets coming and going in its neighborhood, it might be consciously determined to different attitudes and tendencies. . You must speak of unseen realities in present tense terms because the unseen realm is present tense (now). "In Job," says that coldly truthful writer, the author of Mark Rutherford, "God reminds us that man is not the measure of his creation. Flexion and contraction are not wholly checked. . The reality of the unseen world of Nature is, in fact, an axiom on which science proceeds to its investigations and conclusions. These “unseen things” that sustain us through hardship have a life that is bigger and more permanent than our immediate circumstances. Stated in the completest possible terms, a man’s religion involves both moods of contraction and moods of expansion of his being. . I have not yet studied it enough. It seems to have been an abstract conception rather, with the feelings of reality and spatial outwardness directly attached to it -- in other words, a fully objectified and exteriorized idea. c. All of your help, provision, and power in this life comes from that unseen realm. Demons are most likely fallen angels who rebelled against … That he is mine and I am his never leaves me, it is an abiding joy. The whole universe of concrete objects, as we know them, swims, not only for such a transcendentalist writer, but for all of us, in a wider and higher universe of abstract ideas, that lend it its significance. Nevertheless, if we look on man’s whole mental life as it exists, on the life of men that lies in them apart from their learning and science, and that they inwardly and privately follow, we have to confess that the part of it of which rationalism can give an account is relatively superficial. a. I Thess 5:23. He is in you to bring the life of God in your spirit into your mind and body in fullness. This belief and this adjustment are the religious attitude in the soul. In. The world of spiritual reality is eternal, and will continue to exist long after this physical world, and even this universe, will have van­ished into oblivion. G. Conclusion: We have not said all that there is to say about living by faith, by unseen realities. In him literally I live and move and have my being." The suddenness of her conversion shows well how native the sense of God’s presence must be to certain minds. In all three instances the certainty that there in outward space there stood something was indescribably stronger than the ordinary certainty of companionship when we are in the close presence of ordinary living people. But in addition to these ideas of the more concrete religious objects, religion is full of abstract objects which prove to have an equal power. The epistles list some 130 specific things we have or we are — now, present tense. Then came a set of years when sometimes I found it, and then again I would be wholly unable to make connection with it. As his sense of the real presence of these objects fluctuates, so the believer alternates between warmth and coldness in his faith. Not one. Through faith we please God. We can never look directly at them, for they are bodiless and featureless and footless, but we grasp all other things by their means, and in handling the real world we should be stricken with helplessness in just so far forth as we might lose these mental objects, these adjectives and adverbs and predicates and heads of classification and conception. The realities of the negative impacts of sin on people’s lives and the relationships around them. One may indeed be entirely without them; probably more than one of you here present is without them in any marked degree; but if you do have them, and have them at all strongly, the probability is that you cannot help regarding them as genuine perceptions of truth, as revelations of a kind of reality which no adverse argument, however unanswerable by you in words, can expel from your belief. I talk to him and often get answers. I then sat down on a stone, unable to stand any longer, and my eyes overflowed with tears. The physical reality is evident for all to see—although some doubt the existence of a material universe, too! . The darkness held a presence that was all the more felt because it was not seen. This is the burden of every verse, and is the secret, if there be one, of the poem. She appears the more beautiful, the more afflicted she is." What you see does not take into account the unseen facts of the kingdom to which you now belong. They give its "nature," as we call it, to every special thing. c. Now, we must speak out unseen realities. Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God’s holy people) in the light. He is in you to unveil to you the realities of Jesus and His work on the Cross — show you unseen things. We acknowledge what He has already done in us through the new birth. An intimate friend of mine, one of the keenest intellects I know, has had several experiences of this sort. D. You must know about the Holy Spirit and how He works. A. God is great, we know not his ways. b. Jesus already defeated Satan — once for all — through the Cross. Of course such an experience as this does not connect itself with the religious sphere. a. I remember many occasions on which at night in bed, I would be unable to get to sleep on account of worry. . We cooperate with the Holy Spirit in His work by acknowledging His presence and work. We must go over these truths from God’s word (meditate on them) until the reality of them dawns on us. "On the third night when I retired my mind was absorbed in some lectures which I was preparing, and I was still absorbed in these when I became aware of the actual presence (though not of the coming) of the thing that was there the night before, and of the ‘horrible sensation.’ I then mentally concentrated all my effort to charge this ‘thing,’ if it was evil, to depart, if it was not evil, to tell me who or what it was, and if it could not explain itself, to go, and that I would compel it to go. Although I felt it to be like unto myself, so to speak, or finite, small, and distressful, as it were, I didn’t recognize it as any individual being or person.". v7,8,11,17-19,22-27 5. 91, 122.) But, the question is — what is faith? ‘Love me,’ answered my God. When Jesus triumphed over Satan in His resurrection victory you were with Him. I feel that in writing of it I have overlaid it with words rather than put it clearly to your thought. I felt neither fatigue, hunger, nor thirst, and my state of mind was equally healthy. I used never to fail to find it when I turned to it. I Cor 1:30 2. (I borrow it, with Professor Flournoy’s permission, from his rich collection of psychological documents. Our impulsive belief is here always what sets up the original body of truth, and our articulately verbalized philosophy is but its showy translation into formulas. If it is some one whom I love, I feel it immediately, before any writing has come. I’ve both seen in myself and observed in others: 1. I cannot tell you what this revelation was. a. This absolute determinability of our mind by abstractions is one of the cardinal facts in our human constitution. "God is more real to me than any thought or thing or person. I Tim 1:17; Heb 11:3 b. Your whole subconscious life, your impulses, your faiths, your needs, your divinations, have prepared the premises, of which your consciousness now feels the weight of the result; and something in you absolutely knows that that result must be truer than any logic-chopping rationalistic talk, however clever, that may contradict it. Polarizing and magnetizing us as they do, we turn towards them and from them, we seek them, hold them, hate them, bless them, just as if they were so many concrete beings. b. "There was not a mere consciousness of something there, but fused in the central happiness of it, a startling awareness of some ineffable good. Every born again child of God has the privilege and the right to ask the Holy Spirit to come into Him. In the literature of the subject, sadness and gladness have each been emphasized in turn. Any "habitual and regulated admiration," says Professor J.R. Seeley, (In his book [too little read, I fear], Natural Religion, 3rd edition, Boston, 1886, pp. It's common to come out of a study of quantum … Eternal doesn’t mean later. One cannot forget the loss but comes to terms with reality. ‘Come unto me,’ called my Father. The first example is a negative one, deploring the loss of the sense in question. If we are going to experience all that God has provided for us, the unseen must be as real to us as the seen. That life is your power. My heart seems to recognize it.". B. Like all positive affections of consciousness, the sense of reality has its negative counterpart in the shape of a feeling of unreality by which persons may be haunted, and of which one sometimes hears complaint: --, "When I reflect on the fact that I have made my appearance by accident upon a globe itself whirled through space as the sport of the catastrophes of the heavens," says Madame Ackermann; "when I see myself surrounded by beings as ephemeral and incomprehensible as I am myself, and all excitedly pursuing pure chimeras, I experience a strange feeling of being in a dream. b. And to give thanks to the Father who has made you fit to share the heritage of God’s people in the realm of light. a. Eph 1:22; Rom 8:37 2. Such cases, taken along with others which would be too tedious for quotation, seem sufficiently to prove the existence in our mental machinery of a sense of present reality more diffused and general than that which our special senses yield. "Sometimes as I go to church, I sit down, join in the service, and before I go out I feel as if God was with me, right side of me, singing and reading the Psalms with me. As time, space, and the ether soak through all things, so (we feel) do abstract and essential goodness, beauty, strength, significance, justice, soak through all things good, strong, significant, and just. Life has become curiously dead and indifferent; and I can now see that my old experience was probably exactly the same thing as the prayers of the orthodox, only I did not call them by that name. "I have several times within the past few years felt the so-called ‘consciousness of a presence.’ The experiences which I have in mind are clearly distinguishable from another kind of experience which I have had very frequently, and which I fancy many persons would also call the ‘consciousness of a presence.’ But the difference for me between the two sets of experience is as great as the difference between feeling a slight warmth originating I know not where, and standing in the midst of a conflagration with all the ordinary senses alert. Was there not a Church into which I might enter? On passing through all the stages of grief, it seems that time has passed like a river under the bridge. (Mark Rutherford’s Deliverance, London, 1885, pp. I don’t think I ever doubted the existence of God, or had him drop out of my consciousness. You have an inheritance. Then, if ever, I believe, I stood face to face with God, and was born anew of his spirit. c. In other words, we become God inside minded. ." 1. The very instant I heard my Father’s cry calling unto me, my heart bounded in recognition. For me this Reality was not the pure Unknowable of Spencer’s philosophy, for although I had ceased my childish prayers to God, and never prayed to It in a formal manner, yet my more recent experience shows me to have been in a relation to It which practically was the same thing as prayer. I John 3:2 b. There is a realm beyond what we see — the unseen realm. Heb 10:23 3. It is far too complex to be decided off-hand. It is the part that has the prestige undoubtedly, for it has the loquacity, it can challenge you for proofs, and chop logic, and put you down with words. The something seemed close to me, and intensely more real than any ordinary perception. Many Christians today are sincere, but weak, tossed about by the difficulties of life. c. Not seen doesn’t mean not real. A lover has notoriously this sense of the continuous being of his idol, even when his attention is addressed to other matters and he no longer represents her features. I propose accordingly that we make of religious optimism the theme of the next two lectures. On the previous night I had had, after getting into bed at my rooms in College, a vivid tactile hallucination of being grasped by the arm, which made me get up and search the room for an intruder; but the sense of presence properly so called came on the next night. by William James Lecture 3: The Reality of the Unseen 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. Such is the human ontological imagination, and such is the convincingness of what it brings to birth. The whole force of the Christian religion, therefore, so far as belief in the divine personages determines the prevalent attitude of the believer, is in general exerted by the instrumentality of pure ideas, of which nothing in the individual’s past experience directly serves as a model. It was rather as if my personality had been transformed by the presence of a spiritual spirit. ", Here is another document, even more definite in character, which, the writer being a Swiss, I translate from the French original. Through this second experience with the Holy Spirit (baptism, infilling, etc. The throb of emotion was so violent that I could barely tell the boys to pass on and not wait for me. I am not enough acquainted with philosophy to defend it from that or any other charge. The realities of the benefits of virtue. Other examples will bring this home to one better than abstract description, so I proceed immediately to cite some. You must know that you are a spirit who lives in a body and possesses a soul (mind and emotions). (NEB) b. But, those statements are incorrect. The unreasoned and immediate assurance is the deep thing in us, the reasoned argument is but a surface exhibition. Al-Ghaib is an Arabic expression used to convey that something is concealed ("unseen") in some way. So, don’t miss that today. There is an astringent relish about the truth of this conviction which some men can feel, and which for them is as near an approach as can be made to the feeling of religious joy. We often say things like this — I know the Lord is going to give me victory in this situation. Thus, many commentators hold that “belief in the unseen” presumes belief in the spiritual dimension of reality and means in these opening verses of the second sura belief in the fundamental articles of faith regarding the unseen as set forth in Islamic belief. It was on my side, or I was on Its side, however you please to term it, in the particular trouble, and it always strengthened me and seemed to give me endless vitality to feel its underlying and supporting presence. Col 1:13; Luke 17:20,21 a. II Cor 5:6–If you could step out of your body right now, you would see that realm and your connection to it. Through the new birth, you receive the life of God which makes you righteous, holy, and blameless — a fitting temple for God the Holy Ghost to indwell. "On two other occasions in my life I have had precisely the same ‘horrible sensation.’ Once it lasted a full quarter of an hour. c. Not seen doesn’t mean not real. Lie low, rather, lie low; for you are in the hands of a living God. The unseen armies of God provide hope. That life is your position — a holy, righteous son. Eph 1:3; Matt 6:33 8. Usually a text of Scripture, unfolding some new view of him and his love for me, and care for my safety. 2. What you see is temporary and subject to change. 244, Maria Hare to Lucy H. I am aware that it may justly be called mystical. Meanwhile here is the abridged record of another mystical or semi-mystical experience, in a mind evidently framed by nature for ardent piety. To live by faith means to live your life based on unseen realities which have been revealed to us in the Bible. I know I’ll defeat Satan in this situation. Pierre.). (Example: "I have had much comfort lately in meditating on the passages which show the personality of the Holy Ghost, and his distinctness from the Father and the Son. This means we can speak of the gospel with power. What ever is in that life is in you now. What more have we to say now than God said from the whirlwind over two thousand five hundred years ago?" 1. Whenever I had any trouble, especially when I had conflict with other people, either domestically or in the way of business, or when I was depressed in spirits or anxious about affairs, I now recognize that I used to fall back for support upon this curious relation I felt myself to be in to this fundamental cosmical It. B. de St. Then, indeed, our intuitions and our reason work together, and great world-ruling systems, like that of the Buddhist or of the Catholic philosophy, may grow up. Before we entered the unseen world, we paid money—good money—trusting there was something worth discovering. 1. 3. The concept of the invisible spiritual realm is something which is difficult for us to grasp. Learn more. I did not recognize it by any ordinary sense, and yet there was a horribly unpleasant ‘sensation’ connected with it. That is because faith and sight are opposites. You need to learn to look to and depend on this unseen kingdom for your help and provision rather than on the kingdom which you see. Whatsoever thus innervated our activity, or "made our flesh creep" -- our senses are what do so oftenest -- might then appear real and present, even though it were but an abstract idea. I wish during this hour to call your attention to some of the psychological peculiarities of such an attitude as this, of belief in an object which we cannot see. Its aim is to develop an extensive library of resources, representing many different points of view, but all written from the perspective of sound scholarship. 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Life based on unseen realities which have been revealed to us in the hands a... Last lecture of things that give unseen realities meaning to the doing of his.! The `` Laws of nature '' as objective facts to unseen realities meaning decided off-hand we to say about by... And more permanent than our immediate circumstances more examples from writers of different ages and sexes Holy evil—the... Argues for religion as when it argues against it God in me and around me tell the to. Applied, most often, to every special thing we see — the unseen realm is the work of convincingness... Care for my safety describe my sensations than by simply stating that I have extracted it from that realm... Religious issues over a year ago I was more solemn silence real of the,.

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