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A contemporary expression of New Thought in England is the dynamic World Healing Crusade, founded by Brother Mandus in 1953, with headquaters in Blackpool, England.
Brother Mandus was uninterested in the formation of a specific group which might carry on in the fashion of New Thought centers, but rather, he says "the whole of our enterprise is dedicated to helping other churches, whether New Thought or orthodox, to lift their vision and express their love and faith, and to inspire people to come with these spiritual qualities into the church of their choice." Thus, although "completely at one with the general New Thought vision and concept," he regarded his crusade as wholly interdenominational, but "based entirely on the full expression of positive Christianity." He thought of the World Healing Crusade as providing something like a bridgehead between New Thought and the orthodox churches. He felt personally that the "real possibility for New Thought lies in introducing the principles in a form which can be adopted and accepted by the whole spiritual community."
Brother Mandus was born in an English seaport - Hartlepool in 1907, son of a water clerk for a ship's chandler. An average mischievous youngster in school, he and a companion, in celebration of Guy Fawkes Day and the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament, had made gunpowder with chemicals bought with their pooled resources, constructed bombs of ink bottles filled with the powder, and nearly succeeded in blowing up the house and neighborhood. Naturally they received a sound thrashing. As an aftermath of this experience, he says, standing one day before a mirror in a gilt frame, somehow he knew that "there was only eternal life and endless security." He says he felt so strongly that he would live forever that he took a nail and scratched on the bottom of the frame, "I will live forever."
His parents belonged to the established Church of England, and he was baptized and confirmed in that church. At nineteen years of age he went to South America, where he spent seven years. Returning to England at twenty-six, he visited a friend who had undergone a remarkable change since they had last met, and they talked of things spiritual until the small hours of the night, when, he says, he was filled with a Power from beyond himself and knew he had to respond to it. He had not up to that time even owned a Bible. He got one next morning and opened it first to John 15, "I am the true vine." As he read , he says, "these words burned in my mind like fire . . . it was as though the Voice of Christ was speaking to me." He knew then "that the words were truth and that here was a way of life with infinite possibilities."
World War II came and went. Meanwhile he had been introduced by a friend to the most important practice he had ever known, how to meditate in the Silence. And in this practice he spent many hours. People came to share their troubles with him and he was able to help them. He decided to close his present business, which had suffered severe financial reversals, and begin a full-time healing ministry. He writes, "I was a man on a mission and the happiest man in the world." Within a few weeks he had set up a Sancuary, two modest rooms, one for an altar and one for an office in which to carry on his work. His first patient was a woman of some sixty years of age , suffering with arthritis in the legs and badly crippled. She was completely healed, he reports, apparently instantly, after prayer - a wonderous sign to him. He knew, he says, that "this Love-Power of Christ is the same today as it ever was" and "in this one act of answered prayer was potentially the complete solution to every problem on earth, from personal disease and disaster right through to warfare."
Others came and were healed instantly; some yielded only slowly to cure; and some received no physical healing, but were "lifted up in courage, faith and love." Daily he discovered the "external evidence of divine guidance, healing, supply and steady progression." At first he only prayed with people who came for help. Then people began writing for healing intercession, and so the ministry was extended until before long hundreds of letters were received daily from all over the world, and Brother Mandus reports that many were healed and blessed in this way. It soon became evident, he writes, that the Power of the Written Word in letters formulated in prayer is effective without limits of time and space.
A little later he felt that he should take his gospel out into the world. He had had no training in public speaking, but when invited to address a company of people he did so without notes, and as he began speaking all nervousness disappeared and he was given words to say. He eventually spoke to crowded halls and churches all over the world, and always, he relates, the words are given to him as he speaks.
One night it came to him that he should publish a free monthly magazine devoted to the principles he was teaching through the Sanctuary and through correspondence. He had no money for such an enterprise, but by the time the printer's bill was presented, provision for its payment had been made, and before very long some quarter of a million copies of the Crusader were going out quarterly free of charge to those who asked for them - a million a year. And there was always money to pay the printing and postage bills.
As the first Sanctuary became unavailable, another and larger was offered, and when this was outgrown the present Sanctuary and World Healing Crusade headquarters were acquired. Here a dedicated staff carries on the work that Brother Mandus started. In an article in the Crusader (November, 1959) under the title "Pray Without Ceasing," some idea is given of how Brother Mandus' work at the Sanctuary at headquarters is carried on. Letters from all over the world are received daily and placed on the altar, "and the needs of every one are given to the Father for divine adjustment." Every letter is answered with loving help and encouragement "and with the teaching of spiritual principles which naturally helps us all to keep in communion with God and with each other." In addition, says the article, the staff members use a scientific principle only now beginning to be understood and practiced. They have proved that the Love-faith-prayer consciousness when released into the written or spoken word, even in a tape recording or over the radio, releases the same power to those who are receptive to it.
In their worldwide work with tape recordings of healing prayer and spiritual teaching they have discovered that they can convey the same "prayer Consciousness to those who listen to them, perhaps ten thousand miles away and months or years later." This is true because "the only reality is Divine Mind, God, and whatever is released in communion with the Lord must be forever real."
The principles and ideas that Brother Mandus taught and practiced were much influenced by the English New Thought leader, Henry Thomas Hamblin, of whom he writes in the Crusader (May, 1960) "He has been a beloved spiritual father to me. Our fellowship in spirit and his constant example of the Christ way of life forever inspired me to go steadfastly on the course into which the Lord was directing me." Also he speaks appreciatively of various contemporary New Thought leaders for whom he has great respect and for whom he had frequently lectured.
His ideas and language are clearly those of New Thought although he was sometimes more orthodox in his terminology than most New Thought leaders. Here is an example of his basic philosophy given in the Crusader (October, 1960) which seems to be precisely what Thomas Troward taught:
"The one most important realization of all is that there is One Mind of God, and that the human mind conscious and subjective, is the gift of Divine Mind for use in a personal way. In truth the individual mind is like a wave on the surface of the ocean, one of millions of similar waves. Each wave is an individual in itself, but one with every other wave in the deeps of the ocean. The water of the wave is the water of the ocean.
"The creative power of mind in man is the same as the creative power of God. He projects universes in Divine imagining; we project our limited creativeness in the tiny self and our civilization, but we use the same power."
Perhaps the main difference between Brother Mandus' viewpoint and that of the New Thought movement in general is that he succeeded in clothing essentially New Thought ideas with an emotional warmth often lacking in the more specifically intellectual formulation so frequently found in New Thought speaking and writing. The All, the Omnipresent, the Perfect Law, Mind, Consciousness, is also the loving Father, manifesting His Perfect Love on a personal level which is, if not easily understood or explained, at least more attractive to the average person whose concern is not a nicely logical system of thought, but the satisfaction of some deeply felt personal need. His ability to express the essential New Thought ideas in terms familiar to the orthodox believer made him welcome in the pulpits of many orthodox churches therefore.
The following may be read online:
The Christ Within by Brother Mandus
The Divine Word
Click Here for some other literature that can be read online
Click Here for a list of available books by Brother Mandus
Click Here for a list of available booklets by Brother Mandus
Click Here to visit the World Healing Crusade Home Page
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