Henry Harrison Brown.

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Books by Henry Harrison Brown.

SUGGESTION, 60pp., paper, 25c.

pp., paper, 25c.

paper, 25c.

OPULENCE, 24 pp., paper, lOc.

These are four epoch-making books. They have
received highest commendation from the greatest
thinkers of today, and from the many who have
already bought and studied them. They are thought
stimulators and point the way to health, happiness
and success.

NEW THOUGHT PRIMER, 60 pp., paper 25c.
Others in Preparation.

NOW, A Journal of Affirmation; the Latest Ev-
olution of the New Thought. $1.00 a year.

Lessons which should be studied in every
home, viz: Suggestion, 25 Lessons; Art of
Living,25 Lessons; Psychometry,12 Lessons

"NOW" FOLK, Publishers,
1437 Market Street, SAN FRANCISCO, CAL.


Origin, History and Principles of the Movement*

A Lesson in


Author of "How to Control Fate through Suggestion," "Not
Hypnotism but Suggestion," "Man's Greatest Discovery,"
"Dollars Want Me," etc., and Editor of NOW.

Always the inaudible, invisible Thought,
Artificer and subject, lord and slave. Tennyson.

These are thoughts of all men in all ages and all lands

they are not original with me;

If they are not yours as much as mine, they are nothing.

Walt Whitman.

The philosophy of six thousand years has not searched
the chambers and magazines of the Soul. In its experi-
ments, there has always remained in the last analysis a
residuum it could not reveal.


Price, 25 Cents.




L. N. FOWLER & Co.,
7, Imperial Arcade, Ludgate Circus, E. C.




I purpose but an outline of the origin, deyel-
nient, principles and purpose of the wide-
spread and ever widening movement compre-
hended under the term, "New Thought." The
term has no definite meaning. It covers a
movement at present heterogeneous and em-
bracing many minor fields. Its limits cannot
be mapped. Each person is to draw his own
lines. In this Primer, I have intended to make
the definition as broad as justice and the
Principle of Evolution would let me. I have
tried to be as impartial as truth, and to look
upon every side of the question only as a re-
porter. The charge of partiality may be
brought in my attention to my own position,
but here I feef I have the right to be personal
and positive.

TRUTH alone is our aim. I have consecrated
myself to Truth and my life is now in her ser-
vice. I can afford to be true only to her, and
in love, just to my fellows. The reader will
find in this that which will help him to an un-
derstanding of this mighty movement and
will also find hints that will direct his future

Truth is so lovely that the Truth-seeker
soon becomes the Truth-lover. I am glad of
the privilege of lifting for a moment her veil,
knowing that all who see will follow her.
In Love and Truth,

Truly your friend,



To the
Memory and Omnipresence


All who, by thought, word, or deed, have

contributed to the present

freedom of Sow/.

Origin, History and Principles of
New Thought


Under the law of Heredity science traces evo-
lution from parent to child and thus finds
tendencies, faculties and conditions, that
appear in parent, are transmitted to off-
spring. There is no human condition that is
not the child of a preceding one. Variations
occur and under the Law of Variation, Nature
unfolds. This law of evolution, of continuity,
of method, and purpose is a constant one.
Ideas also have their heredity. All move-
ments in human thought obey these laws of
Heredity and Variation. I purpose to trace
in outline the Heredity of the New Thought
movement. I will give information sufficient
to enable the curious reader to easily fill in
additional details. Desiring to deal justly
with each form of the movement, I will cor-
rect any reported injustice in subsequent edi-


Human progress is the gradual unfoldment
of that which is eternally in man. Life in
man is germinal ; time is the unfolder. Each
condition is but a slight change upon some
earlier one. Effects are the result of some
cause which is but the effect of some anterior
cause, which is also the effect of a still more
remote cause, so that when one seeks a be-
ginning of any movement he is compelled to


answer: "The beginning is in Ultimate
Cause." Therefore to trace the beginnings of
New Thought we should have to trace
the beginnings of history. From earliest his-
toric periods we can trace many of the ideas
of this movement. Thought is a wave
that flows like those of the ocean from
shore to shore. Every age and people is
a manifestation of this movement. A
wave once started in ocean never stops till it
reaches the limit of the ocean, so a thought
once started will never stop, for there is no
limit to the medium in which it is a wave.
That medium is variously called: Energy,
Spirit, Soul, God. Truth is one with Ulti-
mate Cause. Truth is ever unfolding. Well
says Lowell :

God sends his teachers unto every age,
To every clime, and every race of men,
With revelations fitted to their growth
And shape of mind, nor gives the realm of Truth
Unto the selfish rule of one sole race.
Individual perceptions and expressions differ
and often some old thought, which is the
common possession of the race, is given forth
by some earnest soul as a supposed new reve-
lation. The student of comparative religions,
finds that all these varying systems are
based upon the same conceptions. Max
Muller tells us that three ideas form the foun-
dations of all religions, viz: 1st Sense of
some over-ruling Power; 2d His demands
on us, out of which grow systems of worship;
3d The recognition of human duties, out of
-which grow regulations of the conduct of
man to man. Jesus announced the same in
his condensation of Hebrew Law and Proph-
ets: 1st Love the Lord, thy God. 2d With
all thy soul, heart and mind. 3d And love


thy neighbor as thyself.

No matter what the religion or philosophical
belief, it is based upon these. From the coiir
ception of primitive man to the present time,
there has been but an evolution ol human
thought concerning the Power that is.
New Thought is but a later conception of
this One Power. It is an evolution of that
conception into a conscious reality. Soul
Culture has made this primitive thought of
Power an actuality in daily life by methods
of spiritual unfoldment.


The nations of antiquity, as evidenced by
their relics, and notablj- by their clay tablets,
held many of our present conceptions. Have
not these conceptions come down to us with
the life they transmitted ? The Hindoo Scrip-
tures contain many conceptions of God, Man
and Duty that are familiar to us. Did they
not come down to us with the stock of Ary-
an words ?

From Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testa-
ment we have derived much of present con-
ceptions of Truth. Why have all these con-
ceptions survived ? By reason of Nature's
law: The Survival of the Fittest. That
which nearest expresses absolute Truth, that
-which most completely satisfies the Soul, is
not allowed to pass into oblivion. "Old
ideas revised and improved, "could be written
above every theologic, scientific, economic,
social and artistic creed and above every in-
vention. " Improvements," we call them.
They are only enlarged conceptions of the
truth that our fathers held. Truth is
one. The most any age or race can do is to


develop somewhat some phase of Truth by
making some distinctive change in the
method of expression. Through this Unity of
Truth and Unity of Unfoldment, we are con-
nected with all the past and with all man-
kind. It is thus that the thinker in every age
becomes one of the " choir invisible."


Present civilization has been most effected by
Greek Ideas as they came to us through
the New Testament. It is to Paul that we
are indebted for this. He was steeped in the
Logos Philosophy of the Greek which he
Hebraized, and through the impetus of the
early church they have been sent down to us.
Jesus marks one of the great eras of unfold-
ment in the conception of Omnipotence. He
placed the emphasis upon Fatherhood and
that Fatherhood made Deity, Human. The
Love Principle had been but dimly perceived
before him. He said " Our Father. 7 ' Prior to
this it had been " Heaven-Father." Max
Muller tells us that "Heaven-Father" is
the term for Omnipotence in every religion.
"Heaven-Father" embodies conceptions of
Power and Creation; "Our Father," those
of Love and Providence.

Jesus also developed the idea of duty into
that of brotherhood, and this lifted the wor-
ship of Omnipotence from mere external cere-
mony and manifestations of fear to worship
through Love. He applied the Love principle
also to human conduct in the "New Com-
mandment" "That ye love one another."
Thus may Jesus rightly be termed the founder
of New Thought, as it appears during nineteen
centuries of human evolution.



During the Middle Ages many thinkers arose
whose teachings gave birth to what is known
as " mysticism," systems that have much in
common with the idea of Omnipresence,
and the conception of Realization as
held by New Thought teachers. Mysticism is
a recognition of unity between the Soul and
its Divine origin. It is the practical side of
the saying of Jesus: "My father and I are
one." This phase of thought came into exist-
ence at the close of the third century. It de-
veloped later into the form one may find in
Thomas a' Kempis and Madame Guyon. It
is a condition of most ardent piety, and so
warm was it at times that Jesus and the
church were thought of as one thinks of wife
or mistress.


The Mysticism of the Middle Ages developed
in Germany into a philosophy which changed
at that time the current of thought, and
moulde-l the opinions of the present. One
who desires to become familiar with these
authors are recommended to read Kant,
Hegle, Shelling, Fichte, Schopenhauer,
and especially Goethe and the poet
Schiller. In these can be found many of the
ideas of New Thought teachers.


But in the English philosopher Berkeley do
we find the greatest resemblance. Christian
Science in an imperfect reflection of the Ideal-
ism of Berkeley. Berkeley, Locke, Descartes,
Spinosa and Liebnitz revived the Idealism of
Plato. Zeno, before Plato, fundamentally


taught the same. Idealism holds that Ideas
are All. The external universe exists only as
it is reflected in the mind. Matter is part of
that which is not the Ego. According to
Fichte this non-Ego is but a creation, or an
idea of the mind of the Ego. Hegle finds the
only reality in the relation that exists be-
tween the Ego and the non-Ego. The specu-
lative truth that lies underneath this philoso-
phy is realized Truth in New Thought. What
they intellectual^ perceived is now a constant
reality in the lives of thousands.
All interested in tracing Idealism farther can
find in any encyclopedia enough to make
clear our indebtedness to these philosophers.
Rev. F. W. Evans, in his w^orks upon Mental
Science, shows, by his quotations, how great
was his indebtedness to them, and I here
most gladly acknowledge my own philo-
sophic debt to this most lucid, strong, and
able of our New Thought teachers.

I will trace only the last century history of
Thought evolution. I have briefly shown
how that century was the culmination of all
the thought of the past. This new century
is the child of the old. New Thought
came legitimately from the loins of the
Thought with which the nineteenth century
and the new nation opened. The new Amer-
ican nation was to a great extent the child of
French liberalism. Liberal ideas at the be-
ginning of the Nineteenth Century were per-
meating every channel of the national life.
The national birth but twenty-four years
previous had stimulated thought in all direc-
tions. In politics, religion, and social life,


there was a decided American atmosphere.
The discontent with the old had culminated
in Thomas Paine's "Age of Reason," a most
thought provoking and stimulating book.
All who are today emancipated from the
rigid theology of that period owe a great
debt to him. Political liberty, won in the
eighteenth century, opened the way for the in-
tellectual liberty which the nineteenth cen-
tury won. Now comes the last, and the per-
fect liberty knocking at the door of the 20th
century. This liberty is Spiritual Liberty, a
liberty that belongs to each, as a child of the
universe, as a son of the one power; or as
John has it, "The liberty of the sons of God."
It is for this liberty that New Thought stands.


Out of the awakened conscience and intellect-
ual perceptions of Truth that were prevalent
at the beginning of the nineteenth century
came later the abolition of physical slavery,
and with it the emancipation of the masses
from the stern and unyielding theology which
our fathers left us. Whenever the prophet is
needed he comes. He has come. He has had
many names. Only a few of these names can
I mention. To give them all would be to
trace the mental unfold ment and progress of
the century. I can only follow our special
thought. The history of a nation is the his-
tory of its few thinkers.


William Ellery Channing gave in Baltimore
in 1818 his great address, which later caused
a split in the Calvinistic churches, dividing
them into the Unitarian and Trinitarian.


This movement lifted the theologic thought
from that of Justice, which Calvinism em-
phasized, to that of Love, which Channing
emphasizes. "God is Love," -was his shibo-
leth. It made as great a change in the pop-
ular thought as that which the affirmation,
"All is good," makes today.


Quakerism had been an important factor
during the 18th century and did noble work
in preparing the colonies for their liberty. In
the 19th century Elias Hicks came, and with
his new vision helped on emancipation, and

fave opportunity lor still other visions that
ave culminated in the present awakening.


John Murray, through his doctrine of Uni-
versal Salvation, started another progressive
movement in the theological field which,
though ol importance, was limited, because
he held to Revelation, and as Dr. Livermore
of Meadville Theological School taught us,
"Murray's was not a change in principle
from Calvinism. Calvin taught that all were
born to be damned, while Murray taught
that all are born to be saved." To an age
that believed in "Eternal Damnation" Mur-
ray was an important reaction, and no
student of the history of New Thought can
afford to omit his life.


In 1838 Emerson gave his address before the
divinity students of Harvard College. That


address marks an era in the intellectual life of
America. It did not seem important then,
but from the vantage ground of today it is
seen as the turning of the wheel that
set the ship of progress on a new tack. Emer-
son was at the center of intellectual culture
of the United States, and there started a
discussion that is responsible, more than any
other factor, for present liberal conditions.
He lifted mankind onto the plane with Jesus
by declaring that which Jesus was, all men
are. This removed the barrier to human
aspiration and opened divine expression as a
possibility for all men. He did in this the
greatest work of any one person in the whole
century. In this declaration he made all sub-
sequent growth possible. For this reason I
attribute to Emerson, more than to any
other source, the credit of the New Thought
movement. Two years before this he had
written " Nature/'" in which the Idealism of
Berkeley, the mysticism of the middle ages,
the obtuse and speculative doctrines of the
ancients, were all winnowed, and the pure
wheat stored for present sowing. From that
time until his death he taught along the lines
be therein laid down. His writings are a
source to -which can be traced all phases
of New Thought. Christian Science is an
exaggerated and contorted exposition of the
clear and pure thought of Emerson. Would
my reader drink at the original fount, I ad-
vise him to read Emerson. It matters little
where he begins ; but if he starts with the
essays upon " Self-Reliance" and "Compen-
sation," and "Over Soul," he will drink so
deeply that all other authors will seem tame
commentaries upon him.



Following Emerson came Theodore Parker,
His contribution was the placing of all phe-
nomena under law. As Emerson humanized
Jesus, Parker rationalized the miracles. He
did for theology what Humboldt did for
Philosophy. Said Humboldt : " The Universe
is governed by Law." Parker forced the
theologians to accept this and placed the so-
called Bible Miracles under Natural Law.
His sermon upon the " Permanent and the
Transient in Christianity" had an effect
second only to Emerson's Divinity School


During the last century-, Science and Philoso-
phy made great strides. The most important
contribution during the first half was the ac-
ceptance of the Law ol the Conservation of
Force. The Law is: All Force (or Energy) is
one; is fixed in quantity, cannot be destroyed;
but it can be, and /s, changed from one mode of
manifestation to anothei . Following this, came
the Principle of Evolution, for which in its
present clear understanding we must thank
Spencer and Darwin, though at about the
same time (1845) Andrew Jackson Davis in-
dependantly gave, in Principle, the same in
"Nature's Divine Revelations," though he
used the term ''Progression." Upon this,
the Principle of Evolution and the Law of
Conservation of Force, rests all future thought
progress. In harmony with these, we are be-
ginning a Science of Man as Mind, and devel-
oping an art of Mental Healing.



There was never a century within the historic
period so prolific in invention as the last.
Each improved tool, each new machine, each
change for the better in ways of living, creates
a new environment, and thus, by Suggestion,
causes new thoughts and thoughts create the
man. The son who uses an improved plow
cannot think the same thoughts nor live the
same life his father did. Inventions and dis-
discoveries created conditions for the present
New Thought.


A great impetus was given to American
thought at the beginning of the latter part of
the last century by the introduction of
German Philosophy. The initiative was
taken by Rev. Frederick W. Hedges, who
introduced Kant and other German Philoso-
phers. Margaret Fuller brought Goethe to
notice of American thinkers, and Emerson
caused Carlyle's "Sartor Resartus" to be re-
published here. Out of the interest these
awakened, arose the "Transcendental Move-
ment" which movement was, in reality, the
birth of the present various movements in the
liberal thought world, and in Transcenden-
talism we may properly locate the birth of
New Thought.


"In the second quarter of the Nineteenth Cen-
tury, there was a very general feeling ot un-
rest in religious circles. This was particularly
observable in the Eastern States. Groups of
individuals here and there broke away from
former beliefs and associations, in the confi-


dence and purpose of a living faith that rested
on a better foundation. It seems hardly pos-
sible for the American mind to hold mere
opinions without carrying them into practice
with all sincerity. These uprisings often took
place around the places of learning, but often -
er at places remote from centers and amoner
the unlettered, who knew only the Bible and
the avocation which they followed." This
gave rise to many peculiar religious sects. The
only one of which now active is that of the
Second Advents. "It was among the cultured
men and women, many of whom had been ed-
ucated at Harvard, that a movement began
which represented this unrest and gave it
somewhat of form and consistency. Unitar-
ianism had opened the avenues for freedom of
thought, and now naturally arose the Trans-
cendentalists with an ideal philosophy which
they were to promote as the inspiration
and prevailing principle of every day life.
Bright stars were those in the intellectual sky
who started the movement. They lighted the
way to profounder thought, more conscienti-
ous activity, and more general usefulness. The
names oi Emerson, Alcott, The Channings,
Ripley, Margaret Fuller, Frothingham, Tho-
reau, and their associates, gave to the Ameri-
can public a higher conception of life, its na-
ture and aims. They placed a leaven therein
that was destined to continue its work till it
transformed the whole mass of American So-
ciety. Before this Transcendental movement,
America had no literature that was more
than local and a copy of foreign models. From
this, America derived a literature that w r as a
new creation, indiginous to our soil." Here
are some names rightly credited to that move-


ment, as their thought is the transcendental
thought: Lowell, Alcott, Thoreau, Marga-
ret Fuller, C. P. Cranch, William Henry Chan-
ning, Charles A.Dana, George William Curtis,
Theodore Parker, David A. Wasson, John
Weiss, T. W. Higginson, Julia Ward Howe,
Jones Very, Edna D. Cheney, Frank B. San-
born, and Horace Greeley. The Transcendental
period was the formative period in American
thought-life. To it we may trace New Thought.


Out of Transcendentalism arose the attempt
at community life, known as Brook Farm.
Here met great thinkers, and what if the ex-
periment failed for want of financial support?
It was, in its scattering, a ripened boll. Its
harvest of success has come in the lives of
those who today have found in another man-
ner an application of the Truth they held.
The reader is referred to the "History of the
Brook Farm," by John Thomas Codman,and
to C. B. Frothingham's "History of Trans-
cendentalism," for further particulars upon
one of the most interesting attempts to actu-
alize the Principal of Brotherhood.


Whoever would understand thoroughly the
sources of present thought, and would trace
the evolution of ideas, needs to become more
or less familiar with community life in the
United States. It is without the province of
this essay to detail that history. It covers
the Shakers and the Oneida Communists, two
of the successful. Many others started and
many, judged by the world's business stand-
ards, were successful; and all are steps toward


more perfect realization of the Principle of
Brotherhood. This Principle is now finding
expression in Trades Unions, Co-operative
Associations, Colonies, Profit Sharing, Fra-
ternal Societies, and Fraternal Insurance
Companies. Perceptions of this Principle is
also stirring the world tinder the many phases-
of New Thought.


Unitarianism, because of its organization, its
persistence, its great men, its liberality, and its
truth, is the great intellectual fountain from
whence has flowed into every day life the lat-
est thought along all lines of investigation.
It is the cultured source that has kept sweet
and clean the progress of theological thought.
Despite its too coldly intellectual attitude, it
has held the religious life of the people poised
and harmonious, and kept the church in touch
with science and philosophy. It has been the
balance wheel in the mental workshop, con-
serving all that was good and true in all
movements, and protecting the national life
in the excitement of fads and speculations
which arise on the one hand and the advance
of skepticism and materialism that threatens
on the other.

In Unitarianism, we find the nearest approach
on the intellectual side to the present New
Thought. The fundamental principle of Uni-
tarianism is the right of private judgment. It

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Online LibraryHenry Harrison BrownNew thought primer, origin, history and principles of the movement; a lesson in soul culture.. → online text (page 1 of 4)