Matheno's lessons. The doctrine of universal law. The power of man to choose and to attain. The benefits of antagonisms. Ancient sacred books. The place of John and Jesus in the world's history.

MATHENO and his pupil, John, were talking of the sacred books of olden times, and of the golden precepts they contained, and John exclaimed,

2 These golden precepts are sublime; what need have we of other sacred books?

3 Matheno said, The Spirit of the Holy One cause(s) every thing to come and go in (its) proper time.

4 The sun has his own time to set, the moon to rise, to wax and wane, the stars to come and go, the rain to fall, the winds to blow;

5 The seed times and the harvest times to come; man to be born and man to die.

6 These mighty Spirits cause the nations to be born; they rock them in their cradles, nurture them to greatest power, and when their tasks are done they wrap them in their winding sheets and lay them in their tombs.

7 Events are many in a nation's life, and in the life of man, that are not pleasant for the time; but in the end the truth appears: whatever comes is for the best.

8 Man was created for a noble part; but he could not be made a free man filled with wisdom, truth and might.

9 If he were hedged about, confined in straits from which he could not pass, then he would be a toy, a mere machine.

10 Creative spirits gave to man a will; and so he has the power to choose.

11 He may attain the greatest heights, or sink to deepest depths; for what he wills to gain he has the power to gain.

12 If he desires strength he has the power to gain that strength; but he must overcome resistances to reach the goal; no strength is ever gained in idleness.

13 So, in the whirl of many-sided conflicts man is placed where he must strive to extricate himself.

14 In every conflict man gains strength; with every conquest he attains to greater heights. With every day he finds new duties and new cares.

15 Man is not carried over dangerous pits, nor helped to overcome his foes. He is himself his army, and his sword and shield; and he is captain of his hosts.

16 The Holy Ones just light his way. Man never has been left without a beacon light to guide.

17 And he has ever had a lighted lamp in hand that he may see the dangerous rocks, the turbid streams amd treacherous pits.

18 And so the Holy Ones have judged; when men have needed added light a master soul has come to earth to give the light.

19 Before the Vedic days the world had many sacred books to light the way; and when man needed greater light the Vedas, the Avesta and the books of Tao (the) Great appeared to show the way to greater heights.

20 And in the proper place the Hebrew Bible, with its Law, its Prophets and its Psalms, appeared for man's enlightenment.

21 But years have passed and men have need of greater light.

22 And now the Day Star from on high begins to shine; and Jesus is the flesh-made messenger to show that light to men.

23 And you, my pupil, you have been ordained to harbinger the coming day.

24 But you must keep that purity of heart you now possess; and you must light your lamp directly from the coals that burn upon the altar of the Holy Ones.

25 And then your lamp will be transmuted to a boundless flame, and you will be a living torch whose light will shine wherever man abides.

26 But in the ages yet to come, man will attain to greater heights, and lights still more intense will come.

27 And then, at last, a mighty master soul will come to earth to light the way up to the throne of perfect man.

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