Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Heaven A Locality

       I am at a loss to understand why there should be difficulty in receiving the idea of heaven a locality - a fact of materiality, within the domain of physics, equally positive with the existence of Jupiter or Saturn, Venus or Uranus. The telescope, it is most true, has given wondrous revelations of the magnitude and the magnificence of God's glorious universe; but even that has not been able to reveal the secrets of the milky way, nor to calculate the distances of the nearest of the fixed stars, as the astronomer will tell you. But when we come to think, as is most probably true in fact, that with all the wonders thus laid open to our view - and they are most stupendous - we stand as yet but within the vestibule of God's great temple. Like Newton, we saunter along picking up here and there a pebble from the shore, the great ocean of truth meanwhile lying all unexplored beyond us. I doubt not that, could we but see them, as in prophetic vision, we should behold myriads upon myriads of shining orbs peopling the infinitudes of space, and of which the most accurate of all the sciences has not conceived the most remote idea. Inasmuch, then, as we as yet know nothing in comparison of what yet remains to be revealed to the eye of science, how dare we presume to say that the idea of heaven as a locality is a Utopian figment of the imagination - a mere poetic creation? We have picked up a sand or two from the beach, and say these are all there is of them! We have become slightly acquainted with the wonders of this, our own solar universe, and from that premise attempt the impossible feat of proving a negative, predicating the non-existence of any other!
       Most assuredly, since God has found place for the worlds we do see, He is of might sufficient to the finding of room in the vast depths of space for the heaven or heavens which at present we do not see? Rev. W. H. Cooper, D. D.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Fragrant Buds...

       There is an old Indian legend that a poor man threw a bud of charity into Buddha's bowl and it blossomed into a thousand flowers. So we throw the bud of Christian truth into isolated and scattered communities, into the far-off lands, and lo, it bursts forth into a thousand fragrant blossoms and bears fruit in every activity of human life. -- J. A. Huntley.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

O Word of God Incarnate

O Word of God Incarnate
by William How

O Word of God incarnate,
O Wisdom from on high,
O Truth unchanged, unchanging,
O Light of our dark sky!
We praise Thee for the radiance
That from the hallowed page,
A lamp to guide our footsteps,
Shines on from age to age.

The church from her dear Master
Received the gift divine,
And still that light she lifteth
O'er all the earth to shine.
It is the golden casket
Where gems of truth are stored;
It is the heaven-drawn picture
Of Christ the living Word.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Utilizing Seed

       "There isn't one man in ten thousand who has the remotest idea of the vast number of uses to which the once despised cottonseed is now being put," said Captain B. J. Holmes, of New Orleans.
       "From the clean seed are obtained linters and meats and hulls, the hulls making the best and most fattening feed for cattle that has yet been found. From the linters are gathered material for mattresses, felt wads, papers, rope, and a grade of underwear, and likewise cellulose, out of which gun-cotton is made. The meats furnish oil and meal, the oil after refining being now in almost universal use in the kitchens of this and other countries. Before refinement to the edible stage, the oil is known under many names, such as salad-oil, stearine, winter-oil and white-oil, oleomargarine being the product of stearine. The white-oil is the chief ingredient in compound lards. The original oil, also known as soap stock, has fatty acids used in the manufacture of soaps, roofing- tar, paints and glycerine, and from this comes the explosive nitroglycerine. I might also add that the meal, aside from its use as cattle provender, is transformed into bread, cake, crackers and even candy. Last of all come the doctors, who are saying that this wonderful seed is a boon to the sick, since from its oils an emulsion is prepared that has been known to be of value in tuberculosis and other ailments."  Baltimore American.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Earthen Vessel

The Earthen Vessel

The Master stood in His garden
Among the lilies fair,
Which His own right hand had planted
And trained with tenderest care.

He looked at their snowy blossoms.
And marked with observant eye
That His flowers were sadly drooping.
For their leaves were parched and dry.

"My lilies need to be watered,"
The heavenly Master said.
"Wherein shall I draw it for them.
And raise each drooping head?"

Close to His feet on the pathway.
Empty and frail and small.
An earthen vessel was lying.
Which seemed of no use at all.

But the Master saw and raised it
From the dust in which it lay,
And smiled as He gently whispered,
"This shall do my work to-day.

"It is but an earthen vessel.
But it lay so close to Me.
It is small, but it is empty.
Which is all it needs to be."

So to the fountain He took it.
And filled it to the brim.
How glad was the earthen vessel
To be of some use to Him!"

He poured forth the living water
Over the lilies fair,
Until the vessel was empty.
And again He filled it there.

He watered the drooping lilies
Until they revived again.
And the Master saw with pleasure
That His labor had not been vain.

His own hand had drawn the water
That refreshed the thirsty flowers,
But He used the earthen vessel
To carry the living showers.

And to itself it whispered
As He laid it aside once more,
"Still will I lie in His pathway
Just where I did before.

"Close would I keep to the Master,
Empty would I remain,
And perhaps some day He may use me
To water His flowers again."

Earth Cry

      M. Guyau, in his "Sketch of Morality," relates a dream that he had. He felt himself soaring in heaven, far above the earth, and heard a weary sound ascending as of torrents amid mountain silence and solitude. He could distinguish human voices - sobs mingled with thanksgiving, and groans interrupted by benedictions; all melting into one heartrending symphony. The sky seemed darkened. To one with him he asked, "Do you hear that?" The angel answered, "These are the prayers of men,  ascending from the earth to God." Beginning to cry like a child, the dreamer exclaimed, "What tears I should shed were I that God!" Guyau adds: "I loosened the hand of the angel, and let myself fall down again to the earth, thinking there remained in me too much humanity to make it possible for me to live in heaven." 

It is that earth-cry that brings God down to help the needy.

Growth In Darkness

      There is a darkness which helps and sweetens. Disappointments, difficulties, discouragements, and all things dark, come to us apparently to depress us, but these are part of the experience which helps us. Black charcoal will keep water sweet. Bulbs must be buried in the darkness if they are to grow. In the winter a florist endeavored with success to grow some bulbs without placing them in the ground. He gathered some small stones and put them into basins, placing the bulbs on the top of the stones. Then he poured in sufficient water to touch the bulbs, and to conserve the sweetness of the water he introduced little pieces of charcoal among the stones. He then placed the basin in a dark cupboard and kept them there for ten weeks, and when he took them out the green leaves of the bulbs were showing. (Text.)

Thursday, April 26, 2018


What unto me is Nature after all?
I pass her by and softly go my way.
She is the remnant of my little day
Upon this beautiful revolving ball.

I am the real being. At my beck.
The seeming actual pays its vassalage;
I am the reader and the world the page;
I fling a halter round old matter's neck.

Glad to be taught of things outside, yet I
Find me indifferent to their transient
A life's to-day is an eternity
Seems not to please my spirit overmuch. 

I may not fathom now the end or what
The sweat and blood and tragedy may
But I can fight the fight and falter not.
Above the clouds the hilltops are serene.

So if I stay here years or slip away
While yet the early dawn is dim and dark,
It matters not. I am that living spark
That ever glows 'tho planets have their day

Mystery No Bar To Belief

      Toads are said to have been found in rocks. Such cases are rare, but it would be as unreasonable to doubt them as to believe in some of the miraculous explanations that have been made of the matter. The phenomenon is marvelous, it is true, but it is supported by evidence that we are not able to contest; and skepticism, which is incompatible with science, will have to disappear if rigorous observation shall confirm it. The toad was observed, in one case, in the stone itself, and before recovering from its long lethargy, it had not made any motion. One of these toads was presented to an academy, with the stone which had served it as a coffin or habitation, and it was ascertained that the cavity seemed to correspond exactly with the dimensions and form of the animal. It is remarkable that these toad-stones are very hard and not at all porous, and show no signs of fissure. The mind, completely baffled in the presence of the fact, is equally embarrassed to explain how the toad could live in its singular prison, and how it be- came shut up there. M. Charles Richet had occasion to study this question some months ago, and came to the conclusion that the fact was real, observing that even if, in the actual condition of science, certain phenomena were still inexplicable, we were not warranted in denying their existence, for new discoveries might at any time furnish an explanation of them.  Popular Science Monthly

Truth, sometimes, is stranger than fiction.

Negative and Positive Culture

The lesson of the following poem, by T. Berry Smith, is that if we cultivate the good diligently the evil will thereby be weeded out:

Negative and Positive Culture
Two fields lay side by side. Only a hedge
Which ran athwart the plain dissevered them.
In one my title lay, and he who owned
The other was my brother. Each alike
Had generous part of one ancestral lot.
And each alike due diligence displayed
On that he called his own. At early spring
Each with a shining share upturned the soil
And gave it to the sun, the wind, the shower.
Thenceforth we rested not. Busily we
And wiped our briny brows 'neath burning
Biding the time of one far-off event.

At summer's end we each one came at last
To find our recompense. Each had his own,
The end for which he'd toiled. Through all
those days
My only thought had been no weeds should
But he had plowed 'mid rows of waving corn
And in so doing killed the cumbering weeds
That grew between. And now at summer's
Behold ! my field was verdureless and bare.
While his was clad in vestiture of gold.
How vain my toil ! His recompense how
Who reaped so much, yet plowed no more
than I!

Nutriment Of The Soul

       Last summer I went to an agricultural college. I had been under the delusion that black clods turned to strawberries, and that red clay ripened apples and wheat shocks. One day the professor handed me a large microscope to study two blades of corn, growing in a little pot of earth. Now there  was something lacking in the soil. The little stock was yellow, sickly, and come to the moment of death. It throbbed a little, but the pulse beat low. What was the matter? All it needed was nitrogen. Nitrogen? Why there were billions of tons of nitrogen in the air, forty miles thick. When a man has  pneumonia he dies, not because there are not billions of tons of oxygen above him, but because he can not absorb the oxygen. The soil could not help the dying corn plant. The rain could not help it - poor little plant that pants and pants, because it can not get that invisible nourishment in nitrogen. So we took a little liquor that held a few nodules from a nitrogenous alfalfa root, and poured it about the dying blade of corn. In a single hour the pulse began to beat true and firm; another morning came and the sickly yellow had changed to green. In a week the corn was growing like a weed. Out in the field were two acres of corn, sown broadcast. One acre was in the starved soil and yielded nine hundred pounds of fodder; the other acre yielded over ten thousand pounds, through that rich invisible food.  Not otherwise is it with the soul. N. D. Hillis.

Obedience And Greatness

       The moon calls to the Atlantic and the mighty seas lift themselves in great tidal waves as they follow their mistress round the globe. It calls with equal insistence to the wayside pool and this passing reminder of yesterday's shower yields not an inch. The dust speck dances in the sunlight impudently or ignorantly defiant of the law which holds the earth with a grip of steel as it goes bounding along through a wilderness of stars held steady by the same hand. Be it big enough and noble enough, it knows how to obey.  John H. Willey