Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

redeemed from the tyranny of self-love to the eternal freedom of Love.

“Love is the root of creation; God's essence; world's without number “Lie in His Bosom like children; He made them for this purpose only. “Only to love and to be loved again, He breathed forth His Spirit “Into the slumbering dust, and upright standing, it laid its “Hand on its Heart, and felt it warm with a flame out of Heaven.

“Quench, O quench not that flame! It is the breath of your being. “Love is life, but hatred is death. Not father, nor mother “Loved you as God has loved you; for 'twas that you may be happy “Gave He His only Son. When He bowed His Head in the Death-hour “Solemnized Love its triumph ; the sacrifice then was completed.

“Lo! then was rent on a sudden the vail of the Temple, dividing “Earth and Heaven apart, and the dead from their sepulchres rising “Whispered with pallid lips and low in the ears of each other “Th’answer, but dreamed of before, to Creation's Enigma,

Atonement! “Depths of Love are Atonement's depths, for Love is Atonement."

AIDS TO THOUGHT.

a

WHERE could the worst qualities be so safely as in company with the best? What, and whereunto, would nature's worst qualities work, if they were not committed to the care and guardianship of the best? Be not surprised therefore to find in David a far worse, as well as a far better man than Saul. What would Saul not do, had he David's worst qualities, without David's best, to restrain and chastise them? But in David, the worst make the best carry themselves very humbly; and in the end, the former fall a sacrifice to the latter, and henceforth become their meek instruments.

By nature children of wrath.Nature is the mother of mothers. Her versatility is endless, her offspring are like her, "of every kind,” and her works as well as her progeny are most contradictory and confounding.

F

a

Every now and then, awfully wild forces break forth from her, and following close upon these, the gentlest and loveliest operations. Here, mile after mile, we find Rocks, not stratified and regular, but lying all loose and in horrible disorder,—witnesses of terrible convulsions, which must have shaken the very globe to its centre. But instantly she is busy at work to clothe her desolations with a garment of beauty. There, blooms a beautiful flower, one would think it must be as innocent to the taste as it is pleasant to the eye; but no, the essence of

; that lovely form is a virulent poison. Take it into your system and it rapidly accomplishes the stages of its progress, from alarm to agony, and from convulsive agonies to the extinction of life. In another place you will see strange, fascinating nature displaying her delicate, green, mossy carpet, very tempting to walk upon ; but if you do walk there, she will swallow you up in her morass. In another latitude, you will find a delightful climate, rich verdure, delicious fruits; but deadly serpents, loathsome vermin, horrible scorpions are there also. Nature knows nothing about an unmixed good. Not only her trees, but her works and her creatures are all “good and evil.”

We are nature's children. Nature has brought us forth. Nature keeps us alive. But after treating

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

us to a few more bright summers she will grind us all to dust again. Are we better than mothernature? By no means. We are nature:-children of the common mother.

By nature children of wrath." This motto would be very popular, if we might alter one word, and read : “By nature children of God." There are many who will read it so; and will not believe that nature is a wrathful mother, bringing forth children full of wrath. But facts are facts; and when facts and Scripture agree, we have a very strong case. "All our days are passed away in Thy wrath." Nature offers no escape to her children. There is no escape in nature. The Cross of Jesus crowns this testimony.

The Gospel declares, therefore, that we are shut up to the faith of Christ.Faith in nature is like the poor bird's faith in the snake, which, with his eyes, fascinates her, until she drops into his mouth. If we open our hearts to the regenerating power of our Risen Lord, the wrath of nature will become subject to His Loving Dominion; and in the end we shall be both stronger and lovelier for having been “children of wrath.”

The natural man is enmity against God, in much the same way that fish are enmity against a life in the atmosphere. It is not, in the first place, of man's will and purpose to be enmity against God, but first of all, of his nature. Man by nature is not in, but out of, the Kingdom of Heaven. The will and purpose therefore of his nature are in antipathy to the Kingdom of Heaven. Nothing short of the new birth of his spirit, can change his natural antipathy into sympathy.

With peculiar appropriateness, Christ calls His ministers, "fishers of men.” For men can only become the children of God by being translated out of their element, into His; namely, “out of (their) darkness, into His marvellous light.

Now it belongs as much to the art and power of the Holy Spirit to draw man out of his natural element, as it pertains to man's art and power to draw fish out of their natural element. St. Paul therefore speaks of the exceeding greatness of the Divine Power to us-ward who believe.

If then, when we were dead to God, through the enmity of our nature, He drew us to Himself, how much more, being drawn to Himself, will He help us to become dead unto our former selves; and being dead to our former selves, will He not straightway glorify us in Himself? Having glorified the

« PoprzedniaDalej »