Parish Papers eBook

Norman Macleod
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 319 pages of information about Parish Papers.
their intellectual powers; let them no more be “plagued with religion;” let no Saviour ever intrude His claims upon them, no Holy Spirit disturb them, no God reveal Himself supernaturally to them; let no Sabbath ever dawn upon them, no saint ever live among them, no prayer ever be heard within their borders; but let human beings exist there for ever, smitten only by the leprosy of hatred to God, and with utter selfishness as its all-prevailing and eternal purpose; then, as sure as the law of righteousness exists, on which rests the throne of God and the government of the universe, a society so constituted must work out for itself a hell of solitary and bitter suffering, to which no limit can be assigned except the capacity of a finite nature.  Alas! the spirit that is without love to its God or to its neighbour is already possessed by a power which must at last create for its own self-torment a worm, that will never die, and a flame that can never more be quenched!

* * * * *

And yet, when forced to come to this conclusion, especially after reading the Scriptures, which in our judgment but confirm it, and give it the sanction of Divine authority, who can, even then, with his human heart silence a “timid voice which asks in whispers” many questions suggestive of what would appear to be the brighter hope?  “Who can limit” (in some such form might those questionings be put) “the resources of God’s infinite love and wisdom?  May there not be found means, though yet to us unknown, and as yet unrevealed, by which the good shall ultimately triumph over the evil,—­when every being whom God has originally made capable of love and joy will at last fulfil His glorious purpose,—­when every sheep lost to the Shepherd will be found, and brought with rejoicing back to the fold,—­when every lost piece of money with the King’s image, defaced, yet not destroyed, will be recovered from the dust and restored to the King’s treasury,—­and when every prodigal, weary of his wanderings, convinced at last, through self-inflicted misery, of his folly, and remembering a Father, will return to that bosom which never can reject a child seeking there his rest and refuge,—­until, finally, there shall not be throughout creation even one sinner, but a mighty family of immortal beings, who, after their terrible experience of the reign of self, shall freely and joyfully accept of the reign of the blessed and loving God?  If it is possible, must it not be so?  May we not, in our darkness and difficulty, rely upon One who, knowing man’s fallen condition, yet said, Increase, and multiply, and replenish the earth? upon One who declared it to be a legitimate source of joy to every mother that a child was born to the world? upon One whose love to all whom He has made is to our love as the light of the mighty sun to a fire-fly’s spark wandering in darkness?”

  “Oh, yet we trust that somehow good
    Will be the final goal of ill,
    To pangs of nature, sins of will,
  Defects of doubt, and taints of blood

Project Gutenberg
Parish Papers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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