The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is sometimes called the faith hall of fame because it lists numerous OT saints commended by God for their faith. The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature. 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. Yet strangely enough they have a definite meaning for our practice. It often happens that an hallucination is imperfectly developed: the person affected will feel a "presence" in the room, definitely localized, facing in one particular way, real in the most emphatic sense of the word, often coming suddenly, and as suddenly gone; and yet neither seen, heard, touched, nor cognized in any of the usual "sensible" ways. a. This shows that you too value the mourning person. A research conducted by SATHI says that it is a misconception that children living on platforms are abandoned or are wrecked from homes. Indeed, I felt myself to be, if possible, the less real of the two. I John 3:2 b. . To live by faith means to live your life based on unseen realities … 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. (I borrow it, with Professor Flournoy’s permission, from his rich collection of psychological documents. He is in you to unveil to you the realities of Jesus and His work on the Cross — show you unseen things. 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. Scripture speaks about heaven, hell, angels and … It never occurred to me to ask whether I was good enough, or to hesitate over my unfitness, or to find out what I thought of his church, or... to wait until I should be satisfied. 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. They live as mere, unchanged men. But I shall perfect it one day, and then you shall hear it and acknowledge its grandeur." 244, Maria Hare to Lucy H. "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. You can do what God says you can do. The whole room seemed to me full of God. I owe it to Starbuck’s collection. Col 1:12 a. One cannot forget the loss but comes to terms with reality. 1. In reality, most of the children are those that flee from their homes without a thought and cannot retract their actions, either because they have no money or are too frightened to go back. Sufficient or insufficient, there is nothing more. 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. What ever is in that life is in you now. (E. Gurney: Phantasms if the Living, i. You must begin to talk and act like what you are. But we must now settle our scores more carefully with this whole optimistic way of thinking. The unseen armies of God provide hope. It is in this that I find my justification for saying that I have enjoyed communication with God. You already defeated Satan through your Substitute, Jesus, and therefore you are (now, present tense) a victor. It was rather as if my personality had been transformed by the presence of a spiritual spirit. It is not only the Ideas of pure Reason, as Kant styled them, that have this power of making us vitally feel presences that we are impotent articulately to describe. Our conceptions always require a sense-content to work with, and as the words "soul," "God," "immortality," cover no distinctive sense-content whatever, it follows that theoretically speaking they are words devoid of any significance. I remember many occasions on which at night in bed, I would be unable to get to sleep on account of worry. Our faith that these unintelligible objects actually exist proves thus to be a full equivalent in praktischer Hinsicht, as Kant calls it, or from the point of view of our action, for a knowledge of what they might be, in case we were permitted positively to conceive them. Danger still hovers in the air about it. c. Now, we must speak out unseen realities. Okay, here’s one: fix your eyes on this; here it is – every day, every hour you are either inching yourself closer to becoming like Jesus, or you are becoming less like Jesus. Everything we know is ‘what’ it is by sharing in the nature of one of these abstractions. The unreasoned and immediate assurance is the deep thing in us, the reasoned argument is but a surface exhibition. This verse contrasts faith and sight. The perfect stillness of the night was thrilled by a more solemn silence. The something seemed close to me, and intensely more real than any ordinary perception. 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. ‘Come unto me,’ called my Father. Not at all. Eph 1:3–You now have access to, are hooked up with, are a possessor of all the resources of the unseen kingdom. Of the more habitual and so to speak chronic sense of God’s presence the following sample from Professor Starbuck’s manuscript collection may serve to give an idea. "My highest faith in God and truest idea of him were then born in me. . ), Professor Flournoy of Geneva gives me the following testimony of a friend of his, a lady, who has the gift of automatic or involuntary writing: --, "Whenever I practice automatic writing, what makes me feel that it is not due to a subconscious self is the feeling I always have of a foreign presence, external to my body. I’ve both seen in myself and observed in others: 1. To be in agreement with God, we must speak of them in present tense terms. The Unseen University (UU) is a school of wizardry in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series of fantasy novels. The feeling had something of the quality of a very large tearing vital pain spreading chiefly over the chest, but within the organism -- and yet the feeling was not pain so much as abhorrence. That life is your position — a holy, righteous son. We were not disappointed. Everything else might be a dream, but not that.". 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. Not vague either, not like the emotional effect of some poem, or scene, or blossom, of music, but the sure knowledge of the close presence of a sort of mighty person, and after it went, the memory persisted as the one perception of reality. I spoke of the convincingness of these feelings of reality, and I must dwell a moment longer on that point. b. On passing through all the stages of grief, it seems that time has passed like a river under the bridge. 1. Religion Online is designed to assist teachers, scholars and general “seekers” who are interested in exploring religious issues. It has been debated whether that which follows is a definition of what faith is, or in reality a description of what faith does. There was no destruction of the old, but a rapid, wonderful unfolding. Rom 4:21; Heb 10:23. It were sparrowlike and childish after our deliverance to explode into twittering laughter and caper-cutting, and utterly to forget the imminent hawk on bough. . Consequently, what the writer of Hebrews 11:1 is saying is that faith is the equivalent of the “evident demonstration of realities though not beheld.” The one who has faith is convinced by this evident demonstration, and for this … "The true order of going," he says, in the often quoted passage in his "Banquet," "is to use the beauties of earth as steps along which one mounts upwards for the sake of that other Beauty, going from one to two, and from two to all fair forms, and from fair forms to fair actions, and from fair actions to fair notions, until from fair notions he arrives at the notion of absolute Beauty, and at last knows what the essence of Beauty is." In an earlier book of mine I have cited at full length a curious case of presence felt by a blind man. "God is more real to me than any thought or thing or person. It means invisible, immaterial, spiritual. Yet it may upon occasion do so; and the same correspondent informs me that at more than one other conjuncture he had the sense of presence developed with equal intensity and abruptness, only then it was filled with a quality of joy. Demons are most likely fallen angels who rebelled against … The throb of emotion was so violent that I could barely tell the boys to pass on and not wait for me. D. You must know about the Holy Spirit and how He works. Then, if ever, I believe, I stood face to face with God, and was born anew of his spirit. You must learn to see yourself from that stand point. To live by faith, you must be fully persuaded of these unseen realities and then you must speak them out — even in (especially in) the face of contrary evidence from the seen realm. When Jesus was on earth, He brought unseen power on the scene by speaking. Without it life would be a blank, a desert, a shoreless, trackless waste. He answers me again and again, often in words so clearly spoken that it seems my outer ear must have carried the tone, but generally in strong mental impressions. We shall see later that the absence of definite sensible images is positively insisted on by the mystical authorities in all religions as the sine qua non of a successful orison, or contemplation of the higher divine truths. This shows that mourning has been successful. 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. I never before so clearly felt the Spirit of God in me and around me. How can understanding these realities inform Christ-followers seeking to communicate the good news of Jesus in ways that all can understand and relate to? When the unseen God created the seen, He spoke words. Through the new birth, we become part of the unseen realm. "Quite early in the night I was awakened. You can respond to evil with good. What we can see, hear, and feel we can take on face value that it is reality. The constitutionally sombre and the constitutionally sanguine onlooker are bound to emphasize opposite aspects of what lies before their eyes. We often say — I know the Lord is going to heal me. 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. This absolute determinability of our mind by abstractions is one of the cardinal facts in our human constitution. 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. The first is from a man twenty-seven years old: --, "God is quite real to me. The Bible calls Christians new creatures, more than conquerors who always triumph, people who can do all things, whose needs are met. At bottom the expression most apt to render what I felt is this: God was present, though invisible; he fell under no one of my senses, yet my consciousness perceived him.". We acknowledge what He is doing in us now that we are born again and indwelled by Him. c. Both of these elements are necessary to live by faith — heart persuasion and continual confession. For the moment nothing but an ineffable joy and exaltation remained. Whatever sort of a being God may be, we know to-day that he is nevermore that mere external inventor of "contrivances" intended to make manifest his "glory" in which our great-grandfathers took such satisfaction, though just how we know this we cannot possibly make clear by words either to others or to ourselves. If we turn to the sanguine onlooker, on the other hand, we find that deliverance is felt as incomplete unless the burden be altogether overcome and the danger forgotten. Something over a year ago I was for some weeks in the direst perplexity. I let a few other cases follow at random: --, "God surrounds me like the physical atmosphere. 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. Begin to talk and act like what you are (unseen realities) and sooner or later, you will seen the power of the unseen realm change your soul and body and your experience. This impression of presence is impossible to describe. I Cor 3:3 (Amp) b. (1 Letters of Lowell, i. . If it is some one whom I love, I feel it immediately, before any writing has come. b. . Usually a text of Scripture, unfolding some new view of him and his love for me, and care for my safety. 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. Without changing my position, and looking straight at the fire, I knew somehow that my friend A.H. was standing at my left elbow, but so far behind me as to be hidden by the armchair in which I was leaning back. Through this second experience with the Holy Spirit (baptism, infilling, etc. and hereupon the visual hallucination came. c. However, if you are going to benefit in this life from these things, you must walk by faith, by unseen realities. 3. We naturally gravitate toward what we see and feel, and it takes effort to get beyond that. When Jesus rose from the dead for you as you, He and you were legally freed from every disease, legally healed. 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. c. In other words, we become God inside minded. The impression had been so profound that in climbing slowly the slope I asked myself if it were possible that Moses on Sinai could have had a more intimate communication with God. Such onlookers give us definitions that seem to the sombre minds of whom we have just been speaking to leave out all the solemnity that makes religious peace so different from merely animal joys. These things, he said, are properly not objects of knowledge at all. B. de St. Satisfied! It seems to me to show clearly that the feeling of reality may be something more like a sensation than an intellectual operation properly so-called. "There was not a mere consciousness of something there, but fused in the central happiness of it, a startling awareness of some ineffable good. The ancient saying that the first maker of the Gods was fear receives voluminous corroboration from every age of religious history; but none the less does religious history show the part which joy has evermore tended to play. I defy any of you here fully to account for your persuasion that if a God exist he must be a more cosmic and tragic personage than that Being. "In Job," says that coldly truthful writer, the author of Mark Rutherford, "God reminds us that man is not the measure of his creation. Let me now say a brief word more about the attitudes they characteristically awaken. Mark 10:28; 4:40 b. 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