The Promulgation of Universal Peace
5 August 1912
Talk at Dublin Inn
Dublin, New Hampshire
Notes by Howard MacNutt
The people of Christianity have clung to literal interpretation of
the statement in the Gospel that Christ came from heaven. The
Jews, likewise, at the time of His manifestation held to outward
and visible expectation of the fulfillment of the prophecies. They
said, "The Messiah shall appear from heaven. This man came
from Nazareth; we know his house; we know his parents and
people. It is only hearsay that he descended from heaven; this cannot
The text of the Gospel states that He came from heaven although
physically born of the mother. The meaning is that the divine
reality of Christ was from heaven, but the body was born of Mary.
Therefore, He came according to the prophecies of the Holy Book
and, likewise, according to natural law--His reality from heaven,
His body earthly. As He came before, so must He come this time in
the same way. But some arise with objections, saying, "We must
have literal proof of this through the senses."
The reality of Christ was always in heaven and will always be.
This is the intention of the text of the Gospel. For while Jesus
Christ walked upon the earth, He said, "The Son of Man is in
heaven." Therefore, holding to literal interpretation and visible
fulfillment of the text of the Holy Books is simply imitation of ancestral
forms and beliefs; for when we perceive the reality of
Christ, these texts and statements become clear and perfectly reconcilable
with each other. Unless we perceive reality, we cannot
understand the meanings of the Holy Books, for these meanings
are symbolical and spiritual--such as, for instance, the raising of
Lazarus, which has spiritual interpretation. We must first establish
the fact that the power of God is infinite, unlimited, and that it is
within that power to accomplish anything.
Second, we must understand the interpretation of Christ's
words concerning the dead. A certain disciple came to Christ and
asked permission to go and bury his father. He answered, "Let the
dead bury their dead." Therefore, Christ designated as dead some
who were still living--that is, let the living dead, the spiritually
dead, bury your father. They were dead because they were not believers
in Christ. Although physically alive, they were dead
spiritually. This is the meaning of Christ's words, "That which is
born of flesh is flesh; and that which is born of Spirit is spirit." He
meant that those who were simply born of the human body were
dead spiritually, while those quickened by the breaths of the Holy
Spirit were living and eternally alive. These are the interpretations
of Christ Himself. Reflect upon them, and the meanings of the
Holy Books will become clear as the sun at midday.
The Holy Books have their special terminologies which must be
known and understood. Physicians have their own peculiar terms;
architects, philosophers have their characteristic expressions;
poets have their phrases; and scientists, their nomenclature. In the
scripture we read that Zion is dancing. It is evident that this has
other than literal interpretation. The meaning is that the people of
Zion shall rejoice. The Jews said Christ was not the Messiah but
Antichrist, because one of the signs of the Messiah's coming was
the dancing of Mount Zion, which had not yet come to pass. In
reality, when Christ appeared, not only Mount Zion but all Palestine
danced and rejoiced. Again in scriptures it is said, "The trees
of the field shall clap their hands." This is symbolical. There are
terms and expressions of usage in every language which cannot be
taken literally. For instance, in oriental countries it is customary to
say, "When my friend entered the house, the doors and walls
began to sing and dance." In Persia they say, "Get at the head,"
meaning engage in the matter according to its own terms and usages.
All these have other and inner meanings.
You have asked concerning approval of Christian Science
treatment and healing. Spirit has influence; prayer has spiritual effect.
Therefore, we pray, "O God! Heal this sick one!" Perchance
God will answer. Does it matter who prays? God will answer the
prayer of every servant if that prayer is urgent. His mercy is vast,
illimitable. He answers the prayers of all His servants. He answers
the prayer of this plant. The plant prays potentially, "O God! Send
me rain!" God answers the prayer, and the plant grows. God will
answer anyone. He answers prayers potentially. Before we were
born into this world did we not pray, "O God! Give me a mother;
give me two fountains of bright milk; purify the air for my breathing;
grant me rest and comfort; prepare food for my sustenance
and living"? Did we not pray potentially for these needed
blessings before we were created? When we came into this world,
did we not find our prayers answered? Did we not find mother,
father, food, light, home and every other necessity and blessing,
although we did not actually ask for them? Therefore, it is natural
that God will give to us when we ask Him. His mercy is all-encircling.
But we ask for things which the divine wisdom does not desire
for us, and there is no answer to our prayer. His wisdom does not
sanction what we wish. We pray, "O God! Make me wealthy!" If
this prayer were universally answered, human affairs would be at a
standstill. There would be none left to work in the streets, none to
till the soil, none to build, none to run the trains. Therefore, it is
evident that it would not be well for us if all prayers were answered.
The affairs of the world would be interfered with, energies
crippled and progress hindered. But whatever we ask for which is
in accord with divine wisdom, God will answer. Assuredly!
For instance, a very feeble patient may ask the doctor to give
him food which would be positively dangerous to his life and condition.
He may beg for roast meat. The doctor is kind and wise. He
knows it would be dangerous to his patient so he refuses to allow it.
The doctor is merciful; the patient, ignorant. Through the doctor's
kindness the patient recovers; his life is saved. Yet the patient may
cry out that the doctor is unkind, not good, because he refuses to
answer his pleading.
God is merciful. In His mercy He answers the prayers of all His
servants when according to His supreme wisdom it is necessary.