Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Heaven, A Place Prepared by Christ

      There is order in God's universe. There are first and second and third; there are cause and effect. There was a reason why the Messiah appeared not immediately after sin appeared, but 4,000 years later; and there is a reason why his second coming is delayed. There is no delay like man's delay - from weakness. The necessary preparations are going on for the glorious consummation. Christ's work has not ceased. His glory is his grace, and he guides all things in his providence for the full development of that grace. We know nothing of the detailed character of the work he is performing in heaven. We only know he is preparing a place for his own, that he is in the presence of God for us, and that he ever lives to make intercession for us. Something has to be done in the other world before we can go there. We cannot imagine how or in what respect the place is prepared, because we can have no conception of the contents of the other world. All we can know is, that preparation is being made, and that Christ is making it.
       We are accustomed to say that space and time are conditions only of our finite and composite natures. Whether this be so or not no man can tell. It is a transcendentalism that it is folly to talk about Time and sense are absolute necessities to our thinking. Every conception of our minds is formed on these as a foundation, and we can have no idea of God himself except as in time and space. Hence we must, whether we will or no, take the word "place" in our text literally. Even if it be not literally a place, we must think of it as a place, for we cannot think of it in any other way. Nor did Christ say, simply, "I go to prepare for you."
       What a place that must be which Christ prepares ! It must be a place where every purified desire of the heart shall have perpetual satisfaction. The inner soul longs for happiness; it is only the outward and changeable sense that would dictate its form. That it is a pure and holy place and that it has Christ in it, is enough. We know the delicious contents of the vessel, if we do not know the shape and color of the vessel.
        What a comfort and joy the thought, that Christ is preparing our place. God's consolations are not like men's mere soothers of a troubled mind, but seeds of positive and independent joy. God's grace comes with a set-off that belittles the earthly care and sorrow. If a soldier in the ranks is wounded, it is one thing to apply soothing cataplasms to stay the pain; but it is a grander thing and a better thing for his general to come to him and bestow upon him the title rank, and insignia of a high officer. "To depart" is "to be with Christ;" this is the "far better" of the apostle. - by Rev. Howard Crosby, D. D.
"I Wonder As I Wander" la harpe de melodie

Thursday, June 7, 2018

O Thou Eternal One!

O Thou Eternal One!
by Derzhavin

O Thou eternal One! whose presence bright
All space doth occupy, all motion guide;
Unchanged through time's all devastating flight!
Thou only God - there is no God beside!
Being above all beings! Mighty One,
Whom none can comprehend and none explore;
Who fill'st existence with Thyself alone,
Embracing all, supporting, ruling o'er;
Being whom we call God, and know no more!

Thou from primeval nothingness didst call
First chaos, then existence; Lord, on Thee
Eternity hath its foundation; all
Sprung forth from Thee, - of light, joy, harmony,
Sole origin, - all life, all beauty Thine;
Thy word created all, and doth create;
Thy splendor fills all space with rays divine;
Thou art and wert and shalt be! Glorious! Great!
Light-giving, life-sustaining Potentate!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Influence of Darkness

       The nature of most birds seems so full of vitality and gladness that the nocturnal habits of certain species make a more melancholy impression than is their due. The nightingale's song is essentially strong and spirited; but the bird has acquired a lasting reputation for dolorousness, partly owing to the influence of darkness and solitude on the mind of the midnight listener, but largely because of its apparent preference for night over day. Half the impression of melancholy vanishes from the nightingale's nocturnal song, once the hearer has learned to recognize the same music in the confusing midday chorus. The owl's reputation, which is sinister rather than merely mournful, is equally little deserved. We do not set down the jackdaw as a maleficent fowl for haunting church-yards and ruins, or the jay for its harshness of voice; but both these qualities have been enough to excite an historic prejudice against owls. Yet, if once the associations of old superstitions are dispelled, owls are recognized as among the most companionable of birds, and their cries in the winter nights as some of the most heartening sounds in nature.  London Times

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Attraction of The East

Attraction of The East
by Felicia Hemans

What secret current of man's nature turns
Unto the golden East with ceaseless flow?
Still, where the sunbeam at its fountain burns,
The pilgrim spirit would adore and glow;
Rapt in high thoughts, though weary, faint and slow,
Still doth the traveler through the desert's wind,
Led by those old Chaldean stars, which know
Where passed the shepherd fathers of mankind.
Is it some quenchless instinct, which from far
Still points to where our alienated home
Lay in bright peace? O thou true eastern star,
Savior! atoning Lord! where'er we roam,
Draw still our hearts to thee; else, else how vain
Their hope, the fair lost birthright to regain.

Monday, December 11, 2017

An Age of Wonders

       We live in an age of wonders. Great discoveries and startling events crowd upon us so fast that we have scarcely recovered from the bewildering effects of one before another comes, and we are thus kept in a constant whirl of excitement. The heavens are full of shooting stars, and while watching one we are distracted by another. So frequent is this experience that our nerves almost refuse to respond to the shock of a new sensation. We are no longer surprised at surprises. The marvelous has become the commonplace, and the unexpected is what we now expect.
       Yet we are not to suppose that our age is the only one that has had its wonders. Other times had theirs also, only these old-time wonders have become familiar to us and ceased to be wonderful; but in their day they were marvelous, and some of them equaled if they did not surpass any wonders we have witnessed. The Great War was the most cataclysmic eruption that has ever convulsed the world, but it was not more revolutionary and sensational in the twentieth century than the French Revolution was in the eighteenth and the Reformation was in the sixteenth century. The discovery of America in the fifteenth century created immense excitement and was relatively a more colossal and startling occurrence than anything that has happened since.
       The telescope and the Copernican theory- were as great achievements in their day as the spectroscope and the nebular hypothesis are in 1919. The most useful inventions and the most marvelous products of the human brain are not the railway and telegraph after all. The art of printing, which infinitely multiplies thought and sows it in the very air and every morning photographs the world anew, is a more useful invention and in its day was a great wonder. Still farther back, hidden in the mists of antiquity, lies the invention of the alphabet that is even more useful and marvelous. It is when we get back to the oldest tools, the hammer and plogh and loom, that we come to inventions of the greatest fundamental utility, and we could better afford to give up all our modern magic machines than to part with these.
       The oldest literature is ever the ripest, richest and best, and Homer and Shakespeare over,top all our modern writers as the Alps overshadow the hills lying around their feet. What modern preacher can compare in eloquence and power with Paul and Isaiah? Nature is ever full of new wonders, and yet the grass was as green and the mountains as grand and the golden nets and silver fringes of the clouds were as resplendent in the days of Abraham as they are to-day. We are the heirs of the ages, but wonder and wisdom were not born with us, and with us they will not die.
       Where must we go to find the greatest wonder? Not to the scientist's discoveries and the inventor's cunning devices: the greatest marvel is not material but spiritual; and to find it we must not look into the present or future, but go back to the first Christmas morning. On that morning the Judean shepherds had a story to tell which all they that heard it wondered at and which is still the wonder and song of the world. The birth of Jesus is absolutely the greatest event of all time. Whatever view is taken of him he has become the Master of the world. Christ has created Christendom, silently lifting its moral level as mountains are heaved up against the sky from beneath. The coming of such a unique and powerful personality into the world is an infinitely greater wonder than the discovery of a new continent or the blazing out of a new star in the sky. Snowden.

Coming

Coming
by M. J. Savage

When disease and want and sorrow
Are beneath thy gladsome feet,
When are broken all earth's shackles,
When as one all nations meet,

When the wide earth is a garden,
When love driveth out all hate,
When earth's once terrific forces
Like trained servants on thee wait,-

Then the God who through the ages
Did thy toilsome progress lead,
He who was and is and shall be,
Will have come in very deed!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Longing For Home

Longing For Home

Come away! come away! you can hear them
calling, calling,
Calling us to come to them, and roam no
more,
Over there beyond the ridges and the land
that lies between us,
There's an old song calling us to come!

Come away! come away! for the scenes we
leave behind us
Are barren for the lights of home and a
flame that's young forever;
And the lonely trees around us creak the
warning of the night-wind,
That love and all the dreams of love are
away beyond the mountains,
The songs that call for us to-night, the have
called for men before us,
And the winds that blow the message, they
have blown ten thousand years;
But this will end our wander-time, for we
know the joy that waits us
In the strangeness of home-coming, and a
faithful woman's eyes.
Come away! come away; there is nothing
now to cheer us--
Nothing now to comfort us, but love's road
home:
Over there beyond the darkness there's a
window gleams to greet us,
And a warm hearth waits for us within.

by Edward Arlington Robinson, "The Wilderness."