Parish Papers eBook

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

And thus does our joy depend on our fellowship with God in character.  Other things may be, this must be, if we are to be happy.  Other things are required to give our joy fulness; this is essential to give it existence.  For the body may be deprived of all pleasurable sensation, and the intellect unable to grapple with the simplest problem, “in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and those that look out at the windows are darkened, and the daughters of music are brought low,”—­yet the light of joy may still shine in the soul, so long as the mind can discern that “God is,” and the heart feel that “God is love.”  Not, therefore, in the gratification of his sentient tastes; nor in the certainties of pure intellect; nor in science, which “can put forth its hand and feel from star to star;” nor even in the exercise of that genius—­so like His own creative power!—­whose contrivances change the aspect of the world, and whose glorious flights can speed to airy regions “which no fowl knoweth nor the vulture’s eye hath seen:”  not in those outer courts of God’s great temple has the Father willed that His immortal children shall find their true life, but in the holy of holies only of His own immediate presence, and in the possession of the spirit of life and of love which is in His first-born Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  And this was the glory and joy which Jesus himself manifested on earth, when “He had no place to lay his head;” and was “despised and rejected of men;” and His “countenance was marred like no man’s;” when He carried His cross; and revealed to us that true life which He died to obtain, and rose from the dead to impart to us by His Spirit.  He did not come to teach us to become artists, orators, or men of mere intellectual cultivation, capable of creating a hero-worship.  The race who built Nineveh and Thebes, or produced the artists, orators, poets, historians, or the world—­conquerors of Greece and Rome, needed no such teaching as this.  But He came to reveal to men—­who, whatever else they knew, did not know their Maker, but “changed the truth of God into a lie”—­that eternal life of love which was with the Father, so that in its possession they might have fellowship with the Father, with the Son, and with one another, and in this way only have His own joy fulfilled in themselves.  He taught us to follow Him, “with all lowliness and meekness,” and thus “to walk worthy of God who hath called us to His kingdom and glory!”

I have dwelt, perhaps, at unnecessary length upon this part of my subject, yet I am anxious to quicken in you the conviction of what you cannot doubt, that our moral nature can be satisfied only with God’s likeness.  So is it now; so will it be for ever.  The sweet peace which the believer enjoys in God here; the elevating delight he experiences from contemplating His character, and saying, “My Father, let Thy name be hallowed! let Thy kingdom come! let Thy will be done!”—­his joy in the possession

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Parish Papers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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