Parish Papers eBook

Norman Macleod
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 319 pages of information about Parish Papers.

There are many dear saints of God who have little sympathy with those who associate happiness with the pursuit or possession of intellectual truth.  These persons, perhaps, have had themselves such weak intellectual capacities, as made the acquisition of knowledge impossible for them beyond its simplest elements; or their minds have been stunted in early years from want of education; or in the providence of God they have been made “hewers of wood and drawers of water,” rather than intellectual princes among the people.  Yet let none of us who are so ignorant, and who as yet think and speak like children, be discouraged by a conscious sense of our weak intellectual grasp and scanty information; but rather rejoice with Christ in the dispensation by which God reveals Himself not to talent but to goodness; not to the giant intellect but to the babe-like spirit:  “I thank thee, O Father, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes!”

God has, nevertheless, made the acquisition of truth by the intellect a source of supreme delight.  You well know how every field in nature has been searched, and every quarter of the globe ransacked, and many days and nights of patient intellectual toil consumed by men who have endured incredible labour, supported by no other motive than their love of knowledge.  The immediate joy which is experienced by a great discoverer when a new fact or truth flashes on his mind is to others almost inconceivable.  We read that when Newton, after years of difficulty, was just about to step on the summit of that mountain from which he knew he was to hear such intellectual music as never before had sounded in the mind of man, and to catch a glimpse of the hitherto unseen glory of that new ocean of truth which he alone had reached,—­for

  “He was the first that ever burst
    Into that silent sea!”—­

his joy was so great that he was overcome by his emotions, and wept!  This passion of acquiring knowledge is not the least remarkable fact recorded of Solomon.  We are told that “he spake of trees, and of beasts, and of creeping things.”  He himself says of God, “He hath made things beautiful in time:  also He hath put it into man’s heart to survey the world, and to find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”  “When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth:  (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:) then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun; because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea, though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.”  There was in all this no doubt “vanity and vexation of spirit,” for the attempt was vain to find satisfaction for the soul in the knowledge of things themselves apart from the knowledge of a personal God, or in any truth rather

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Parish Papers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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