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THE SILENT HOUR



THE ^^
SILENT HOUR



BY

CHARLOTTE BURD



^



NEW YORK

BARSE & HOPKINS
PUBLISHERS



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Copyright, 1S17,

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PREFACE

For the contents of this book I acknowledge
my indebtedness to Floyd B. Wilson's "From
Silence to Reahzation," which teaches the prac-
tical use of the silent hour; also to Christian D.
Larson's "The Great Within," for information
regarding the working of the subconscious mind.

^' Also, as stated in the body of the book, I am in-
debted to B. O. Flower for practical instances of
healing by spiritual means.

^ Otherwise, this book is itself an illustration of
the efficacy of "the Silent Hour," as taught within
its covers. It is an instance of what a faithful,
persevering practice of the silent hour will do in a
literary way.

The writer of this book is not a Christian
Scientist but by choice a member of a regular ortho-
dox church and a lover of the church. So if any-
thing in this book wounds any one, it will be sin-
cerely regretted.



CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I The New Age 9

II The Sacredness of Individuality , ... 33

III The Conscious Mind and the Subconscious

Mind 50

IV The Kingdom of God 77

V The Silent Hour 95

VI Faith 115

VII Other Demands of the Silent Hour . . .133

VIII Abounding Health 151

IX The Conquest of Prosperity 177

X Enduement of Power 210

XI Tests of the Silent Hour 230

XII The Church and the New Age 263



THE SILENT HOUR



THE NEAV AGE

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet
appear what we shall be : but we know that, when he shall ap-
pear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." —
I John Hi, 2.

FOR some time before the birth of Jesus, the
Christ, the atmosphere of the Hebrew world
palpitated with the whispered intimations of com-
ing momentous change. The Hebrew people stood
on the tiptoe of expectation. The Messiah was
about to come and set up his visible kingdom of
God among the children of men. With this king-
dom was to come vast social, political, but especially
rehgious change. The nation was to be freed from
foreign domination and life was to be blessed spirit-
ually.

By prophecy the Jews had long foreseen this
time. Now the intimation of the race conscious-
ness whispered that the time of fulfillment was ripe.

9



THE SILENT HOUR

A new religious dispensation was to be ushered in
and the time was at hand. Old Simeon could die
content, because his eyes had been blessed by the
sight of the Lord's anointed.

In a similar manner the present world lives in a
time eloquent with signs and intimations from the
race consciousness. The first evidences of any ap-
proaching great change are sporadic; by different
people at widely separated points the same train of
new thought is manifested. For a generation the
sages and poets have been preparing their songs of
welcome to the new coming of the Divine Spirit
and the coming is to be right here, everywhere, in
the midst of the twentieth century life.

Hope is in the air. The religious teachers of
various schools are heralding an imminent great
spiritual awakening; some go far enough to declare
a new religious dispensation. Here and there, in
ever increasing numbers, have risen those whose
lives appear to be intensely illuminated by an ener-
gizing consciousness of God and the universe, who
have seemed almost to penetrate the veil between
the seen and the unseen worlds. For some time the
earth atmosj^here has seemed aquiver with some-
thing which only the most sensitive spiritually have
been able to grasp. And yet not even to these has
any telegraph been able to report definitely.

10



THE NEW AGE

This feeling of something significant soon to take
place in the spiritual life here has now become gen-
eral. Everybody, everywhere, religious and non-
religious, now feels that the world is on the verge of
change momentous to the race destiny. A current
of strong human emotion and deep thought is
sweeping mankind from the old moorings and
everywhere the question goes up. Are all these
shifting for the world's betterment? This is the
hope of the vast optimistic majority. Yet there
are the timid few who, looking back to Old Testa-
ment prophecy and comparing that with the awful
European war, anticipate the end of all things
mundane.

What are some of the visible signs? one may ask.
A few years ago our pioneer forefathers lived
peacefully in their log houses. They had no stoves
but cooked their food and warmed themselves by
the primitive fireplace. During the long winter
evenings they worked by the pale illumination of
homemade dip candles or vessels of lard in which
floated a burning cotton wick. On short trips they
walked or jolted in heavy wagons. Long jour-
neys they made on horseback or in the lumbering
stage. It often took weeks for a letter to travel
a hundred miles. It was not till 1807 that Fulton
invented the first steamship and not till 1819 that

11



THE SILENT HOUR

the first steamship crossed the ocean. The first
railway train was operated in 1830, considerably
less than one hundred years ago. Yet the people
went their ways in serenity and thanked God for
their blessings.

It was not in America alone that life was primi-
tive. In Europe it was not a great deal better.
It is only in comparatively late times that the
streets of elegant Paris even have been paved, that
a French king was killed by his horse taking fright
at a pig, running free on the streets of the capital,
and throwing him. So lately as Queen Anne's
time England's country roads in the rainy season
were practically impassable. To save even the
royal carriage from sticking in the mud "highways"
had to be built. The driving of four horses to a
carriage was thus not entirely a matter of state.

Present day street illumination is still quite new,
heating plants and sewerage systems entirely so.
Elevators, electric lights, moving pictures are new
everywhere. The voyager on a floating ocean
palace can hardly realize that the steamship is but
a little more than a hundred years old. And the
vast commercial activity, as now carried on, is a
very new appearance indeed.

If George Washington could return to earth
life, how would he be impressed by a journey on a

12



THE NEW AGE

modern Pullman train, or by the graphophone, or
by our electric lights ? To General Grant the auto-
mobile and wireless telegraphy would be equally
astonishing. And yet it was only the other day
that he died.

What would either of these have thought, had he
read a certain newspaper report, issued early in
the European war? This read, Paris heard by
wireless that a fleet of German airships was ap-
proaching from the east. But a fleet of French
flying machines rose in the air, went to meet the
Germans and drove them off. Would he not have
thought that, instead of sober fact, he was reading
the work of some brilliant romancer in his most
imaginative vein?

The end of the inventions for man's comfort and
uplift, one feels, is not yet in sight. By thinking
people it is anticipated that the present twentieth
century will as much exceed the last, as the nine-
teenth has exceeded any other period known in
history. Is it unthinkable that with time all smoke
may be dissipated, all dust laid, even weather
conditions controlled, that men may learn to com-
municate with each other at any distance with no
instrument whatever, that they may even come to
transport their bodies from place to place without
the aid of the ponderous machinery now necessary?

13



THE SILENT HOUR

Concerning such speculations one cannot even
guess.

The improvements of the age have not confined
themselves to the merely practical. With the
growth of higher qualities the race has attained a
conscious need for beauty and its ethical value in
the whole environment, art in dress and in the home
surroundings. Municipal law no longer permits
an owner to maintain on his premises any condition
which in any way tends to make the neighborhood
less desirable for residence. Pretty homes are com-
ing more and more within the reach of all. Among
the well to do one hears of garden clubs and the
growth of landscape gardening. With the love of
flowers and of artistic gardening will go sanitary
environment and house decorations which will re-
sult in a harmonious unity.

Apparently, the world is under the domination of
the practical, the material success which can flaunt
itself before the world and blatantly shout out its
triumphs to the admiring crowd. Books are full
of practical schemes for the working out of life;
magazines and newspapers treat the same subjects.
The practical vein has wound itself into even the
stories and some of the verse. The times seem to
pay almost too much attention to the practical, be-

14



THE NEW AGE

cause it seems to stand in the way of the beautiful
and the spiritual.

Yet, here and there, a surmise manifests itself
that, after all, the practical is not the real goal,
that hfe has higher needs than meat and drink,
house and clothing. The practical may be only a
station on the way to perfect development, a neces-
sary preparatory element in the growth to finer
conceptions of life.

Modern inventions and other improvements in
living conditions are the outgrowth of an enlarged
and more vigorous intellectual life and of a wider
diffusion of knowledge. In the nineteenth century
man learned more and vastly more than the race
had ever known before. Knowledge leads ulti-
mately to moral and spiritual uplift. Through the
finer power unfolded by the creative energy of
modem inventions, man is better fitted for the ac-
complishment of a nobler spiritual task, such as
faces him in the new age. And in preparing for
the new age the forces of an enlarged and wide-
spread knowledge and of spiritual uplift are both
at work. Those countries which have had the most
enlightened religious ideas, have also had the most
comforts in their ordinary home life. By a per-
fectly natural process these comforts are the logical

15



THE SILENT HOUR

expression of the more enlightened rehgions and of
the consequent higher spiritual life.

In our social, political, and commercial life a new
consciousness of God is ushering in a silent revolu-
tion of the Golden Rule. Some years ago the
awakened religious consciousness entered the po-
litical world. Government investigations set in
along all hues affecting human welfare. They
busied themselves with public and private sanita-
tion, factory conditions, the tyrannous privileges
of corporations and numberless other considera-
tions.

Political parties developed conscience or became
warily prudent. They ceased to adhere strictly to
party lines but rather to weigh the personal worthi-
ness of candidates for the confidence of the people.
Platforms were devised and supported for what
they promised to do for human life. The voter
insisted more and more on doing his own inde-
pendent reading and thinking and for the political
boss conditions became even more impossible. So
pronounced has this manifestation remained that
political leaders who are not honest, fish for favor
with an almost Sunday school quality of zeal.
This is a prophecy; in the fullness of time politics
will be surely renovated.

Quickened by the revelations of the courts and

16



THE NEW AGE

the frank expression of public opinion, the great
capitalists, not already so, have become conscien-
tious. Money-getters have been transformed into
money-givers to such an extent that the benefac-
tions for a single year have amounted to $310,000,-
000. The millionaires find their chief satisfaction
in distributing their private wealth for the public
good. Some of the rich, at least, are actually in-
sisting on equal opportunities for all and are like-
wise demanding the abolition of dependence and
poverty. Employment bureaus are founded on a
large scale so that none may be without work. All
are coming to agree that the poor need justice
and not charity. And these benefactors, let it be
noted, are not all church people.

Other signs of a new spirit are not lacking. For
the first time in history, all the races of the earth
have become more or less intimately acquainted with
each other and are developing a sense of sympa-
thetic cosmopolitan brotherhood.

In February, 1915, a remarkable meeting took
place in the great assembly hall of the University
of Michigan. Here about five thousand people
met sympathetically to worship with the Jewish
students of the university. The congregation in-
cluded Protestants of every cast in the town,
Roman Catholics, Greek Catholics, Buddhists and

17



THE SILENT HOUR

others. These came to the meeting not through
idle curiosity but simply to worship together in a
union service. This was the first time in history
that this has ever taken place. Today men are
seeking, not the little God of their own church,
but the Universal Father who loves all. The
gathering throngs of those who know God truly,
will include many nations.

The world war, which is now raging in Europe,
is also a new factor making for the consummation
of racial unity. It summons men to find a new
bond of agreement broad and deep enough to en-
sure sacrifice and loving service to the race.

Have the railwaj'', the telegraph, first by wire
and then without, the telephone, the automobile, the
flying machine, the stupendous feats of engineering,
and countless other inventions no meaning for life
beyond making it physically more livable? These
victories over material prefigure a spiritual victory,
whose signs are already attracting attention.
These great improvements have not been created
merely like a child's block house to be ruthlessly
swept out of existence. A develoj^ment capable of
such creation, is not going to be destroyed. God is
not so wasteful of his precious substance. Espe-
cially, in the swift race of the last century, the earth
has been preparing for something. And this

18



THE NEW AGE

something is destined to justify all the pains and
aches of its evolution.

Man has discovered that the earth may be made
into a very desirable abiding place and that to be
tolerably happy he need be in no hurry for death
and Heaven. Even to the poor and sick and heart-
broken religion is coming to have an abiding
ameliorating worth so that its very setting forth in
its newer meaning has filled the world with op-
timism and intolerance for whatever depresses the
mind and life. Like a summer breeze through a
corn field its glad murmur sweeps over the world
from end to end. This energy of gladness will
never spend itself except in the accomplished fact
of the race's uplift.
' What is the new age to accomplish? When one
surveys such a world as this, does it appear that
Christianity, as given to the world by Jesus, has
come anywhere near filling its natural, ultimate
mission? Does it come up to the standard of
Jesus' vision concerning its future?

The proud Brahmin student from India comes to
our universities. He sees our wide open saloons
under the very shadow of the universities beckoning
alluringly and successfully to the student popula-
tion, as well as to every other class. He sees also
the house of ill-fame nearby. He studies our in-

19



THE SILENT HOUR

dustrial conditions with the slum population con-
nected with so many of our great factories. In
the papers he reads of frauds perpetrated by those
in power. And thoughtfully he weighs the situa-
tion.

To the missionary zealot he replies pertinently,
"What has Christianity to offer me, which I have
not already?"

This may not be the Christian point of view.
Yet, after he has lived for some time in free, beau-
tiful America, it is quite naturally his view. Now,
as long as these things are so, something needs
badly to be rectified and the rectification due is not
wholly on the side of the self-satisfied Brahmin.
Christianity has something to offer him which he
has not, but it must make him also see it.

Notwithstanding the great and numerous inven-
tions, the corresponding uplift in physical life, the
wide diffusion of knowledge, the ever-increasing
consciousness of God, so that here and there, singly
or in organizations, choice spirits are demonstrating
God's power, in one province life here on earth has
stood almost still. Life, as known here on earth,
has always been full of physical, mental, and spirit-
ual unrest. Each one is conscious of some lack in
his life, a need, a deep hunger for something, per-
haps, he cannot define. Yet he feels it as his right

20



THE NEW AGE

to possess it. No difference how fortunate his
outer circumstances may appear, practically no-
body in this life fits perfectly in the niche to which
destiny has assigned him. There is restraint here,
chafing there. The more he has, the more he wants.
Even in his happiest moments in his cup of joy is
the bitter tang of pain and sorrow.

For nineteen centuries Christianity has been in
the world. There remain as many sick and selfish
and heartbroken and poverty stricken people as
ever. The insane asjdums are full, the peniten-
tiaries running over, while the city slums are dens
of the blackest vice.

Considering the innate vitality of Christianity to
remove these ills from life, this is a serious arraign-
ment. Yet the blame does not rest on Christianity
but on those who have merely not yet grown up to
their trust. Sometimes it seems as if moral and
spiritual unfoldment is almost dishearteningly slow.

Some years ago man's inventive genius discov-
ered and perfected vast and complicated machinery.
This fact has changed the whole aspect of the in-
dustrial world. One machine can now do the work
of many men and vastly increase the money output
of the factory. Machinery should have freed hu-
manity to a far finer life with fewer hours of toil.

Yet, what does one find? The power has been

21



THE SILENT HOUR

monopolised by a privileged few and the mass of
humanity clanks the chains of a more destructive
slavery to machinery than history knows to have
been exercised by the most tyrannical master.
This but proves that man had not yet grown in
morality to the point where he would use machinery
for the good of all. JNIachinery can be forced into
its true subordinate place and signs indicate that
this is eventually to be done.

Doctors have striven nobly to stamp out diseases
and other diseases are on the wane. Yet new dis-
eases spring into existence so that, in spite of all
that is spent on its cure, sickness appears never
really to decrease. Government regulations and
benevolent societies are doing all they know how to
improve the conditions of the poor and unfortunate.
As far as they go, these efforts are all good. But
they do not go far enough. They are only pallia-
tive, not proplndactic.

Jesus himself did not escape the pains of the
flesh ; the pain of the cross was real and profound.
This was because of the human imperfection of
those in his world. So long as we live in a world
where any one suffers pain, whatever our spiritual
attainment, to a greater or less degree so long must
we remain liable to it. So bound up is each of us
with every other individual of the race that, so long

22



THE NEW AGE

as one suffers, so long must the whole mass suffer.
In M. Fouiller's "La Science Sociale Contem-
poraine" he mentions the fact that in some highly
organized machines, used in the manufacture of
cotton or woolen stuffs, when a single thread breaks,
the loom stops of its own motion as if the machine
were notified of the accident to one of its parts and
must have the injury repaired. He uses this as an
illustration of the solidarity which should and must
come to hold sway over human society. In the web
of social interests, wherein the destiny of each indi-
vidual of the race is interwoven, not a thread, not
an individual, should be injured without the gen-
eral mechanism being warned of the accident and
obliged to repair the harm done. So universally
all through the ages has the race felt the weight of
pain and lack, that these facts have come to be ac-
cepted as inevitable, unescapable. Yet these are
not inevitable, unescapable. And after they have
been overcome, life will present other imperfections
higher up in the scale so that the moral and spiritual
struggle will go on.

To gain a sort of happiness and appease his sense
of need, man seeks lands, palaces, fame, the good
things of the successful material life. Yet, in
time, the business man finds that business has mas-
tered him; the scientist that certain finer capacities

23



THE SILENT HOUR

in his being have become atrophied by his unending
devotion to material aims. When the materiahst
has piled up riches or gained eminence among his
fellows, the old hunger is found to be as unappeased
as ever. He has not supplied his hunger with the
right food. Perhaps he does not in the very least
realize it, yet that for which each yearns, is God, an
intimate friendship with God. Possessed of spirit-
uality, each becomes energised and uplifted; his
soul finds ample room in which to grow.

Yet man is not universally attracted to the God
about which he has been taught, the man-made God
who is capable of anger and revenge. But all men
are hungry for the loving, helping, sympathetic
Father in Heaven. Somehow, somewhere, some-
when, all men are destined to know and love that
God who can and will satisfy the deepest longing
which humanity can possibly feel.

Now hai)piness is a perfectly normal desire of the
human heart and its right pursuit is not frivolous
but entirely legitimate. That the desire for happi-
ness is emplanted in every human heart, is the sur-
est indication that its satisfaction is an essential
part of the race inheritance. Only, true happiness
can never be found in the possession of things.
Happiness is a state of being. And this state of
being each must discover and develop for himself.

24,



THE NEW AGE

We are entirely justified in being discontented
with such an imperfect world as this in which we
find ourselves. No pain, no uneasiness is inescap-
able. God has never sent ill in any form to hu-
manity. In His sight they are as offensive as that
evil which we designate as sin. All human limita-
tions are but the outward manifestations of the
human imperfection still clinging to us in our prog-
ress toward the divine standard. It is through the
teachings of Jesus that life must be broadened,
that an escape from the daily grind must be found.

For nineteen centuries man has been studying
the character of Jesus, the Christ. But before his
character and work could be grasped, the world had
to achieve its present degree of scientific knowledge,
out of which modern psychology has grown. Be-
fore man could comprehend what Jesus knew by
intuition, what he was taught directly from God,
he had to learn the power and character of the sub-
conscious mind, when properly directed by the
thinking mind.

An ignorant and credulous age could easily
imagine the child Jesus moulding clay pigeons,
breathing into them the breath of life and then
allowing them to fly away. It could picture him
raising a little companion to life who in play had
been struck dead. Yet by no reach of the imagina-

25



THE SILENT HOUR

tion could it have grasped why he enjoined deep
secrecy on those whom he had healed or why he
could not perform his so-called miracles equally well
in all environments.

To the uninstructed the last two facts must re-
main meaningless. Yet to the understanding ones
as finger posts they point to a conclusion so signifi-
cant as to constitute absolute proof that Jesus
actually did live and did the work recorded of him
in the New Testament. At the time in which he
lived there was not a living being on earth by whom
he could have been imagined, as shown by these
facts.

The people of his time and up to the present cen-
tury had had no experience by which they could
account for the mai'velous qualities disclosed by his
life and teachings. Since they could not under-
stand Jesus' works, they called them miracles.
During the succeeding centuries the world kept its
eyes turned upward in contemplation of Jesus' di-
vine character and thus forgot to ask themselves
what meaning his humanity might have for hmuan
life as lived here, day by day, on earth.

But today we know that each wonder which Jesus
worked, he performed strictly in accordance with a
special law. JNIoreover, tliis law man has now come


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Online LibraryCharlotte BurdThe silent hour .. → online text (page 1 of 15)