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But we need
"THE generations of the earth," to say nothing of "the generations of the heavens," are too vast a field to be scanned by the creature. not wholly turn away from what we cannot comprehend. For then we must needs turn away from every thing. There is one satisfaction: the soul is a deeper, greater thing, than language. The writer never expresses his whole soul in his words; neither are the reader's thoughts necessarily limited to the sense of what he reads. Language fulfils a purpose beyond itself. The writer may have no conception of the thoughts which his words will awaken in certain readers. The use of words to the soul is as the use of light to the eye. Light in the eye becomes much more than light. It becomes vision. What the eye sees, depends not on the light alone, but on the powers, and whereabouts, of the eye. The best eye, in a confined situation, sees little; an inferior eye, out in the open plain, sees more, on the top of a commanding hill, much
more. But one eye that looks upward, sees a great deal more than all the eyes in the world, that look downward.
So with words: what they are to you, depends upon what you are to them. What are the powers of your soul? How far are these powers quickened? Is your soul in captivity? or, is it brought out into a large place? Are you in the plain? or, are you going up the hill? above all, are you looking upward, or downward? is the spirit of your life natural, or supernatural? Words may be used in a sublime sense, but they will not convey a sublime sense to ignoble souls. Words may be used spiritually, but they will be understood carnally, by a carnal mind. Before your Pentecost, you can only bring a dull soul to Divine words, and your dull soul, earth-born and earthbound, will find them to be dull words. After your Pentecost, the same words will be spirit and life to you. A word, a hint, a half hint, will open more to one soul, than a half century's instruction to another.
I.—Generation in nature, is a universal effect, from a universal, latent energy. Vegetable seeds and roots are prolific: fish, birds, and creeping things are prolific. All things bring forth
their own kind from an energy operating in them towards this end. The generative powers at work throughout creation, must have a Fontal Source. Where,-what,-is the Spring-Head of this all-pervading energy? The effort towards reproduction is not only present throughout the material universe, but clearly also throughout the spiritual. Who can doubt that Heaven striveth to bring forth an image of itself in the earth? Who can look upon the marvellous effects of spring-time, as the generations of the sun by the earth? and not rather as witnesses of the coming forth of a universal energy from Heaven, namely, from the spirit and power of God in Heaven? by which He brings forth, under the crude elements of nature, the best and loveliest representation possible, of that higher world of life and beauty. If the subjectmatter were of a more heavenly sort, the manifestations would be more heavenly. But crude as the earthly material is, see the hedges and woods bud and leaf,-see the fruit trees blossom,-hear the song-birds giving utterance to their new life and delight, let the genial spirit of the atmosphere embrace and inspire you, and say, whether Heaven is not in the effort to bring itself forth in a physical form? 'Canst thou restrain the sweet influences of Pleiades?" Is there not present
throughout all elements, all fields and woods, plants and creatures, a loving and love-generating sea of life? Is it not as though all the virtues of Heaven said, 'Come, let us embody ourselves in the earth: let us rejoice together before the eyes of the children of men, that they also may rejoice with us?' When in the hour of inspiration the divine poet speaks of the hills rejoicing on every side, of the valleys shouting and singing, of the gladness of the field, and all that is therein, of the rejoicing of all the trees of the wood before the Lord, we may be quite sure that His words have a sincere, as well as a beautiful sense.
II. These powers and pleasures of Heaven come as soon as they can come : that is, as soon as the sun and the earth, by their mutual relation, present the necessary conditions. And as soon as we come out of our wintry state of alienation from God, into direct relationship with Him, through His Son, does not Heaven generate its own holy thoughts and feelings in us? are not its purity and peace, its love and joy, brought forth in our hearts? Earthly fire ascends; but the Love, which is the fire of God and of Heaven, descends. It is the delight of Heaven to come down into the elements, into the earth, into bird and fish, beast and creeping thing:
how much more into human souls! "Heaven is all Love." And Love is neither impatient nor doubtful. It will prevail at last. As the virgin brought forth the Son of God, so, from long, long travailing mother-earth, will Heaven bring itself forth some day. And the lovely child shall eclipse the mother. For earth shall be hidden in the bosom of Heaven, as now Heaven is, in the earth. The whole creation, visible and invisible, is laboring to bring forth something beyond, something nobler than itself. Whence is this universal spirit of generation ?"Our Father, Which art in Heaven," is the only answer. From Him all paternity derives its power. Mineral, vegetable, and animal, each after its kind, and man and angel, after their kind, are energized with His energy. If the universe were not in Him, as well as of Him, it would be without effect, or progeny. For if it were cut off from the Eternal Generator, its generative power would at once cease. Secondary causes, divided from their Initial Cause, would be no longer causes. O, all ye Heavens and ye earths and elements, apart from the First Power, "ye can do nothing." God is "all and in all," in His own Creation. So is He likewise the Prototype of its great generative law. What is the Eternal Generation of God's Only Son, but the Oneness from eternity of Cause