William Charles Comstock.

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By the Authors of

"Thought for Help," "Will Higher of God,"

and "Man's Life of Purpose"




Pastor First Congregational Church, Chicago



Copyright, 1916, by William C. Comstock

All Rights Reserved «SraRY ^




The Gobham Press, Boston, U. S. A.

Made in the United States of America



The Writer's Preface vii

Foreword xv

Dr. Coulter's Preface xxv

I. Man, the Life Free 3

II. Life Personal 31

III. Max, Worker On Earth for Life Im-

mortal 43

IV. Work that Helps Life 55

V. Will for Life Worthy 67

VI. Man Wills for Wider Life When He

Wills His Life Worthy .... 89

VII. Free Will Used Well Helps Life . . 97

VIII. Purpose of Life in Man 105

IX. Will Free Wins for Life Freedom . . 117

X. Will of Life Man Has 123

XL Worth of Life in Man 129

XII. Will Free Fulfills God's Purpose . . 1-13

XIII. Will Higher Rules Life While It Is . 163

XIV. Will Higher Wills ; Life Made Free

Fulfills His Purpose 169

XV. Final Word 195


IN the four volumes which it has been my
privilege to transcribe at the dictation of in-
telligences who are in the wider life beyond
earth is contained a word intended to be help-
ful to men's thinking. It is the wider life's inter-
pretation of the man's life in its relation to the
Life who is Infinite, of the man's work on earth in
its relation to the whole work of the self of man,
and of the man's free will and purpose in their
relation to the Omnipotent Will and Purpose of
man's Maker. It is the interpretation of personal
selves who were men, who have finished the experi-
ence of man's life, and have achieved, through that
experience, the personal worthiness which makes
personal life ready for its emancipation from earth.
It is the interpretation of those who remember the
man's life, who remember what helped and what
harmed the personal self in the man's life, who
know what men should be and do to win the life of

It is the interpretation of those who were deep
thinkers while they were men, who carried to the
wider life minds disciplined by much thought, who

viii Tlie Writer's Preface ■

are no longer limited as men are to one little world,
who, in the life of broadened horizon and broadened
powers, comprehend as truth that which men may-
only conjecture. It is the interpretation of those
who have not only lived the broadest man's life, but
are now living the wider life which comes to per-
sonal self after earth life is finished forever. It
is the testimony of those who assert unequivocally
that they have told truth. It is the concurrent tes-
timony of several witnesses, each of whom asserts,
in his own way and in his own words, the truths
which they all know. It is given to men that
it may be a help to wise thinking and wise living.
And he who reads seeking wisdom for his own
problem of daily living and daily thinking will find
it an unfailing aid.

It would help a man to have faith in God, the
Creator, confirmed. It is by this word from life
beyond earth confirmed. It would help him to have
faith in Christ, the Son of God, confirmed. It is
by this word confirmed. It would help him to
have faith that God purposes for all that He made
now and forever. That faith is by this word
taught. It would aid him to have faith in the
heljifulness of worship, and thanks, and honest
prayer confirmed. It is by this word confirmed.

It would help him to believe in the dignity and
worth of his personal self; to believe that Omnip-

The Writer's Preface ix

otent God considers Ins life of self worthy His
teaching; and to believe that he, the man, is able,
by his own wise use of his own powers, and of his
own free choice, to fulfill the purpose for his life
while it is on earth of Omnipotent God. That very
belief the word intends to put into men's minds
and hearts.

It would help him to find a meaning in his
daily work that makes it far more than the mere
drudgery of life on earth. That meaning he will
find in this word. It would help him to believe
that every hour of his work well done brings nearer,
and every hour of his work ill done postpones, his
higher life of personal self. It would help him
to believe that his man's powers, his mind, his will,
his purpose, his memory, those powers which he
uses in his work, are the powers which his immortal
life will forever use; that as he uses them his im-
mortal life is using them; and that by his wise use
of those powers his life can be made ready for
wider thought and work in freedom from the little-
ness and the limitations of earth. It would help
him to believe that when he wins firm will and pur-
pose, firm for his work whatever it may be, and
firm to keep his personal life worthy, his immortal
self has won firm will and purpose, and in the life
beyond earth will hold them firm forever. These
very truths this word teaches that men may be-

X The Writer's Preface

lieve and use as helps in daily life.

It would help him to believe that, though his
life is narrow and cramped and hedged in now, and
may be so through all this lifetime on earth, he can
choose to learn, in his cramped and hedged-in life,
firm purpose that works well and keeps life worthy,
and thus learn that which wins freedom from earth.
This word teaches that the free life finds firm pur-
pose when it chooses, and that firm purpose for
both work and worthy life does win the wider life
of self. And it does not teach that a man need be
among the great on earth to win for his life free-
dom from earth. .

It would help a man to believe that he is an im-
mortal life of personal self, that he, the life of
self, will surely have a broader personal life beyond
earth, and that the broader life will begin when
this body which is his now dies if he, the man,
chooses well. The lives who have won their free-
dom tell him that he may so believe, and in this
word they give him the thought that will help him
to choose well.

It would help him to believe that, in the end,
there is no conflict between the free will of life
and the purpose of life's INIaker; that no life fails
in the end to overcome weakness and unworthiness ;
that every life will finally be taught wisdom to
choose that which accords with God's purpose.

The Writer's Preface xi

This is the cheerful belief which this word teaches.

And it would help him to believe that the sooner
he, the personal life, learns wisdom, the more lenient
^vill be his teaching; that another life of teaching on
earth will be a penalty, if he, knowing the wise
choice, deliberately chooses unwisely. That warn-
ing this word gives.

It would help him to have an abiding belief that,
in the wider life, no longer limited in vision, in
thought, and in purpose as man is, and with the
w^ide universe instead of this little earth as work-
ing place, his personal life will grow broader and
fuller and wiser to immortality. This is the future
willed bj^ God for the life of man, and that w^ider
life of growth begins when man himself, by his
own will and purpose, has won for his life its free-
dom. This is the vital, energizing thought w^hich
this word gives as truth. God's purpose for the
life whom He made personal self is, and must be,
fulfilled by the life's own free w^ill.

These are some of the helpful thoughts which the
man who reads this word seeking aid wdll find.

And, pondering these thoughts and others which
this word suggests, one may find an ideal of the
man's life that is worth trying to realize — a man's
life that is firm in faith in God, in Christ, in the
help of worship and thanks and prayer; firm in
faith in immortality of the personal self; firm in

xii The Writer's Preface

faith in the wisdom and love of God's purpose; a
life thankful that God made man free and teaches
him the value and dignity of personal freedom; a
life which, understanding the meaning of earth-
work and experience, is firm to do the man's part
in the fulfillment of God's purpose that the per-
sonal self win wider life through its own free and
firm use of the means w4iich He places within its

And that this word is in very truth from those
personalities in the other world who have named
themselves to me I believe with a firm faith. That
the word has not come through my own will to
think I know. That it is not wi'itten in words of
my choosing I know. I have schooled myself to be
the attentive scribe, whose duty is to hear and
transcribe the thought given in the very words in
which it is given. The thought is foreign to that
which was my habit of thinking before I took up
this work at Dr. Coulter's suggestion. The
knowledge shown in the word is not knowledge
which I possessed. The way of presenting the
thought is not my way of speaking or writing. I
have chosen neither the thought nor the wording,
and I have not stated as facts the figments of my
own imagination. I have been the scribe, and only
the scribe. I have not sat down to my work as
scribe in a mental haze, or under mental hallucina-

The Writer's Preface xiii

tion, or in hours of mental exaltation, but calmly,
and in every way normally conscious, wishing to
give to the words dictated to my mental hearing
the same dispassionate but close attention that a
good scribe should give to words orally dictated,
and heard through the physical ear.

And that the word thus given will help him who
reads it thoughtfully I believe with as firm a faith.
It has helped me more than I can tell. May God
give it His blessing, that it may live to be a help
for many.

William C. Comstock.

Auditorium Hotel, Chicago,
May, WIG.


THIS book on "IMan, the Life Free"
makes a threefold appeal to the critical
student of the mysteries of religion and
psj^chology. First, it is arresting by virtue
of the dignity and seriousness of its subject matter.
Its master theme is "the free life" — the life that
emancipates itself, by the earnest effort of the
spirit, from the limitations of this mundane sphere.
It is the faith of the writer of this volume that man
has to work out his salvation, if not "with fear and
trembling," at least by the persistent pressure of
his will toward the things that are of eternal worth
and beauty.

One of the notable teachings of this book is that
redemption lies in the synthesis of the will of man
and the will of the Eternal. And, indeed, I know
of no better solution of the enigma of a human free-
dom that must be wrought out within the auto-
cratic operation of the sovereign will of God than
is to be found in this volume. Its theology is
Pauline. Its philosophy enthrones the sovereignty
of God with the reverence that we find in the
teachings of Augustine and Calvin. It magnifies

xvi Foreword

the divine will and assigns to it an absolute regency
ovxr the affairs of time and of humanity; and yet
it conserves, with a loving solicitude, the freedom
of the individual to expedite or to retard the great
matter of his personal salvation.

It is remarkable how meagre the literature is
that pertains to the will in its bearing upon man's
career, and in its relationship to the accomplish-
ment of his destiny. There has been much writ-
ten, in every school of theology, with the purpose
of harmonizing, in a metaphysical synthesis, the
divine and human wills; but ovu' literature is sur-
prisingly barren in treatises that emphasize the
dynamic power of the will and how vital the will
is, not only to the realization of our talents, but
to the felicity of life. Apart from the series of
volumes for which this author is indirectly respon-
sible, I know of only two treatises that sufficiently
accent the will as an ethical force — "The Victory
of the Will," by Victor Charbonnel, and "The Will
to Believe," by William James. It is a singular
omission, for surely if anything distinguishes man
as man it is the power and the faculty of the will. In
the sphere of the intelligence, man differs from the
lower organisms only in the matter of the degree
and the extent of the operation of his psychic ener-
gies. The dog reasons, as man reasons. The dog
is endowed with memory, as man is endowed with

Foreword xvii

memory. The dog is actuated by the mstinct of
futurity, as man is actuated by the instinct of fu-
turity. In the sphere of the emotions, man is one
in kind with the world beneath hiin, and differs
from the lowly creatures that surround him only
in the quality and the compass of his passions and
affections. The fidelity of a friend to a friend in
the human world does not surpass the fidelity of
the dog to its master. The lioness defends her
whelps with a passion of affection and an audacity
of courage that equal the highest fealty of the hu-
man mother to her progeny.

The thing that distinguishes man is the will.
It is the will that makes or mars him. It is the
will tha,t crowns or discrowns him. It is in and
through the will that he has his apotheosis or his
dethronement. However rigidly logical the dem-
onstrations of the school of moral fatalists may be ;
however we may be inclined, from the point of
view of pure intellect, to assent to its metaphysical
conclusions, as a matter of practical living, we are
all believers in the freedom of the human will. The
position of every thoughtful man is the position
taken by the great Dr. Johnson, who said, in sub-
stance, "I may not be able to refute the arguments
of the necessarian philosophy — the philosophy of a
predestined conduct determined by a predestined
character — but when all is said, I know that I am

xviii Foreword

free." This seems to me to be at once the doctrine
of experience and the doctrine of common sense.
The will is the great motive power of hmiian life.
It lies at the base of all intellectual culture. We
do not find knowledge thrust upon us. We have
to appropriate it. We have to select our environ-
ment and also be critical of our intellectual nourish-
ment, if we are to attain those qualities of thought,
instinct and taste, the synmietry, the proportion
and the charm that we associate with the accom-
plishment of intellectual culture. Culture is will
operating in the sphere of light.

We are beginning to realize, also, how greatly
the beatitude of life, its felicity and its fruitfulness
in the matter of pleasant and agreeable experiences,
is dependent upon our habitual volition. The joy
of life is not, as we have been prone to think, a
temperamental quality. It is a moral achievement
that has its origin in a moral virtue. We create
happiness by the magical efficacy of the will in-
telligently applied to the problem of life, as the
sun creates beauty in the flower through the appli-
cation of its marvelous chemistry to air, moisture
and soil. The kingdom of heaven is within us, and
its inmost habitation is the faculty of the will.

And the greatest of all of our attainments, the
clear and certain vision of the spiritual verities, lies
at the command of our will. We think of the

Foreword xix

mystical consciousness as an endowment, a gift,
as having its roots in ancestral tendencies, and its
inspirations in the special environment with which
it may be surrounded — and, no doubt, tempera-
ment, education and circumstances have their part
to play in the spiritual as in the intellectual life —
but as intellectual culture has its foundation chiefly
in the will, so has the spiritual or mystical con-
sciousness also its foundation chiefly in the will.
The great Master of Israel tells us that the will is
the source of spiritual vision. "If ye do His"
(God's) "will, ye shall know the doctrine." Will
is the way of holiness. Will is the key that un-
locks the door that opens into "the house of many
mansions." "Whosoever will, let him come and
drink of the water of life freely." The cardinal
theme of this volume is the glorification of the hu-
man will and the power that inheres in it, through
systematic and steady application, to achieve "the
freed life" — the life whose element is an ethereal
world in which vision is more immediately in con-
tact with truth and the spirit more perfectly en
rapport with the will of the Eternal than it is upon
this earth plane.

The will lies at the root of all material prosperity,
all culture, all accomplishment, all art, all civiliza-
tion, all spiritual vision, and the highest of all
achievements — the beauty of holiness. And to this

XX Foreword

volume belongs the distinction of recognizing the
divine value, the eternal and infinite importance of
the highest of all human faculties — the will.

There is yet a further virtue that stands out in
the teaching of this unusual book. It affirms a
universal salvation. There are no hopeless fail-
ures in the divine process of discipline, in the divine
education of humanity. Man may limp on his way
to the City of God; his progress may be slow and
involve many rebellions with sequential chastise-
ments, but he is ultimately bound to reach his des-
tination. There are no irreclaimables in all the vast
host of humankind. Everj?^ child of God is sal-
vable, and every prodigal — however far he may
have wandered, however tardy his return — comes
home at last. The w^ay is more arduous for some
than for others, but all reach the goal. When the
day is done, "the whole pile will be complete." It is
a noble gospel — a gospel that the Church much
needs to lay to heart ; a gospel which, when taught
with a firm faith and a high courage by the Church,
will do much toward restoring Christianity to its
rightful place in the thought and reverence of

The second reason why this volume is of unusual
interest is because of its appeal to those who are
interested in the problems of psychology. The
writer tells us that he is merely an amanuensis.

Forexoord xxi

The style of the book is not his style. The phi-
losophy of the book is not his philosophy. The
structure and the order of it lie quite beyond the
deliberate and purposive action of his mind. He is
the echo of a voice. The word, articulate and audi-
ble to the inner ear, comes to him and he writes it,
consciously, though in implicit obedience to a power
not his own, and to an intelligence that he believes
to be higher than himself.

The frivolous world, or the world that interprets
everything in the terms of matter, and that con-
fines its faith to what it tastes and sees and feels
and hears with the physical senses, flouts all sug-
gestion of the intervention of higher intelligences.
Spiritism is laughed at and scorned as an aberra-
tion of the mind of those addicted to it. Yet the
great masters of the world of thought have be-
lieved in the intervention of the higher intelli-
gences in the affairs of time. The Old and the
New Testaments are saturated with psychical phe-
nomena — the apparitions and voices of angelic mes-
sengers and guardian angels. St. Paul believed
in the actuality of these spirit messengers and me-
diators — so did St. John, and so did Jesus of Naza-
reth. The history of the Christian church is rich
with the stories of the visions and the voices of its
canonized saints. It is not difficult for one who
has an acute spiritual consciousness to believe in

xxii Foreword

the intercalation of the two worlds — the worlds
visible and invisible. They belong to each other,
as the earth and the sky belong to each other. And
to my mind, faith in immortality and faith in spirit
intervention rise or fall together. If man be im-
mortal, if his spirit survive the shock of death, it
is entirely logical that his spirit should seek to
come in touch with those with whom its interests,
its loves, its devotions have been bound up on this
earth plane. The logic of immortality is clairaudi-
ence, clairvoyance, inspirational writing and the
intervention, for great ethical and spiritual pur-
poses, of the angelic hosts in the affairs of time
and in the crucial hours of the historic and indi-
vidual life of mankind.

I close this brief foreword with a testimony in
regard to the writer of this book, who has been
a dear friend of mine for many years. I have
known him with great intimacy and affection
through those j^ears, and I have known him to
honor him with the lengthening of the days and
the enlargement of the contact of my spirit with
his spirit. He is a man of marked sagacity, most
successful in the business to which he has devoted
his talents; of rarely noble and beautiful ideals of
life and conduct — a man of the highest and the fin-
est integrity. I would accept his word in every situ-
ation as a word of perfect and entire truth. And

Foreword xxiii

when he tells me that the message of this book has
come to him from celestial intelligences with whom
he is in touch and communion — that the words of
this book are their words ; that the thoughts of this
book are their thoughts ; that the philosophy of this
book is their philosophy; that the morality of this
book is their morality — I believe him with the same
absoluteness of faith that I give to him when he
speaks to me of the simplest affairs of life within
the compass of my own experience and under-

Joseph Anthony Milburn.


WE who wish by our thought to help
men know that the word we have told
is truth. We tell of man, the life,
who fulfills by his free will the pur-
pose of God, his Maker. The life of man wills of
free will both on earth and forever. Man who wills
of free will then, wins the worth which God pur-
poses for life on earth. Will Higher, life's Maker,
wills how life become worthy wider life. Man
who wills of free will is life who fulfills God's pur-
pose, but life who fulfills God's purpose wills for
worth of free will. Will free, then, man's willed
power, fulfills the purpose of man's Maker, God.
Will for life worthy He who makes life free pur-
poses that life find while it wills as man. Then
that will man, the life, finally finds. When that
worth which God purposes for life on earth is by
free will won He translates life to higher life. Will
free God wills to man, for he makes man personal
life. When the personal worth which God wills
that life find as man is by man's free will won,
God translates life to wider personal life. That
wider life wills of free will its worth. God pur-

xxvi Dr. Coulter's Preface

poses for life that wills of free will forever worth
finally for His presence. The worth which man
wills wins for life its first wider life. The will
which man uses, life's free will, wins for life that
worth which fits it finally for its Maker's presence.
Wlien life has won first wider life it finds, by the
free will which was made firm by man, the wider
and wider worth purposed by God when He made
life personal self. Will free wins life's first worth,
will free wins life's worth forever. When life free
of will wins worth that fits it for God's presence
will free has won the worth which God purposed
from the willing of all. Will free, life's power,
makes life worthy forever.

Man who wills to-day, think well. This life
wills firmly. Will firm that life wins as man that
life holds firm forever. Think, O man, think well.




Dr. Coulter.

WE, the lives who won wider life
through wise use of free will and
purpose, would help men to under-
standing of the life which they live.
Man is the life personal who wins this wider life.
His free will he uses while life wills on earth. He
wills for that life wider which God purposes for
personal self. When he wishes his will makes life
personal worthy the wider life, then, for he wills the
worth of life while it is man. His firm free will he
uses when he wishes for worth; his wise free will
wins for personal life the worth for wider life ; man
who wills of free will fulfills by that free will God's

Will Higher made man life. His purpose man,
the life made, fulfills. His purpose that which is
the universe made by Him fulfills. Man wills by
will given by Him. That which He purposes the
life given will free by Him fulfills. How then has
life free will? Life is willed by its Maker to will
as He wills using free will its own. Then free will,


4 Man, The Life Free

though free, fulfills finally the purpose of Him who
gives it. Free will, which man uses as he wishes,
wins the worth which Higher Will purposes for life
of man. When man by free will wins worth, he thus

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