The Splendour of God, by Eric Hammond, , at sacred-texts.com
The Guidance of God is that which will always guide people in the right way.
All human beings are earthly; their hearts are connected with this world. Day and night their thoughts and occupations are earthly; all belong to this world. They think about the honours of this world, or about the riches and wealth of this world, or of name and fame in this world. Their days and nights pass in this way.
The Guidance of God makes it evident and plain, when the Way of the Kingdom, the Divine Path, is opened; that this is the road of the Kingdom.
It is not sufficient only to distinguish the Way of the Kingdom—only to discover the Heavenly Way—you must travel upon it until the end is reached. For example;—that a man discovers the way to America is not sufficient. He must travel in it, that he may reach that country; otherwise, if he remain for years discovering more about the way, and does not travel by it, he will never arrive.
It is not sufficient for a child to know where the school is; he must study in it, that he may gain knowledge. Faith is not merely to know which is the school, and to recognise the teacher; but one must acquire knowledge in this school. If one does not gain knowledge, it is useless to know of the school.
This is what Christ said: "Ye shall know the tree by its fruits."
If you see one who is truthful, who really believes and is just, who is attracted to the kingdom, and whose will is annihilated in the Way of God; then you will know that he is a tree of the Kingdom, if he shows forth all these qualities.
If you see one whose heart is attached to this world, and in whom there is no truthfulness or detachment, or turning to God; one who is not occupied in praising and speaking of God, or in attraction to the Love of God—then you will know that he is a tree of darkness.
True belief is not only to acknowledge the Oneness of God. By belief we mean that the reality of a man will be characterised by Divine characteristics. If his reality is dark, he will become enlightened. If he is heedless he will become conscious; if he is sleeping, he will be awakened; if he is earthly, he will become heavenly; if he is Satanic, he will become Divine. This is the meaning of true belief.
Therefore, I say that man must travel in the
[paragraph continues] Way of God. Day and night he must endeavour to become better; his belief must increase and become firmer; his good qualities and his turning to God must be greater; the fire of his love must flame more brightly. Then, day by day, he will make progress.
For to stop advancing is the means of going back. The bird when he flies soars ever higher and higher. All the time he endeavours to mount higher, for as soon as he stops flying he will come down.
Every day in the morning when arising, you should compare to-day with yesterday, and see in what condition you are. If you see your belief is stronger, and your heart more occupied with God, and your love increased, and your freedom from the world greater; then thank God, and ask for the increase of these qualities. You must pray and repent for all that you have done which is wrong; and you must implore and ask for help and assistance, that you may be better than yesterday; so that you may continue to make progress.
Do not let the desires of the self find a place within you; for it is certain that even when you reach the highest state of spirituality, one worldly desire can cause your downfall.
The spirit is like a bird; when it flies in the air it is always mounting; but the self is like the hunter, who is thinking how to catch the
bird. You will see that by one arrow, one shot, it will be brought low.
This arrow is the connection with this world; the occupations of this world; the desires of this world; the honours of this world.
In many ways the hunter will stop the spirit from ascending. That is why you must ask and implore and entreat, "O God! protect me from myself`!"