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The Night-lodging and the Day-dawn.

The Night-lodging and the Day-dawn.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Mar 02, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE NIGHT-LODGING AND THE DAY-DAWN.BY THEODORE L. CUYLERWHEN travelling in Palestine lastyear we occasionally came upon awayside khan. Before one of those rudeinns the traveller halts at the sunset, feedshis beasts, stretches himself on the floor,and in the cool dawn of the next morningsaddles his horse or mule and pushes onhis journey. This familiar custom was inthe Psalmist's mind when he wrote, " Weep-ing may endure for a night, but joy comethin the morning." This verse, literally trans-lated, would read, " In the evening sorrowlodgeth, and at the day-dawn cometh shout-ing." Sorrow is represented as only alodger for a night, to be succeeded by joyat the sunrising.148 THE NIGHT-LODGINGThis is a truthful picture of most frequentexperiences ; it is full of comfort to God'speople, and it points on to the gloriousdawn of heaven's eternal day, when thenight-watch of Hfe is over. Sorrow is oftenthe precursor of joy; sometimes it is soneedful, that unless we endure the one wecannot have the other. Some of us haveknown what it is to have severe sicknesslodge in our bodily tent, when every nervebecame a tormentor and every muscle ahighway for pain to course over. We layon our beds conquered and helpless. Butthe longest night has its dawn. At lengthreturning health began to steal in upon us,like the earliest gleams of morning lightthrough the window shutters. Never didfood taste so delicious as the first meal of which we partook at our own table. Neverdid the sunbeams fall so sweet and goldenas on that first Sabbath when we venturedout to church ; and no discourse ever tastedso like heavenly manna as the one our pas-AND THE DAY-DAWN. 1 49tor poured into our hungry ears that day.We sang the thirtieth psalm with melodyin the heart, and no verse more gratefully
than this one, " Sorrow may endure for anight, but joy cometh in the morning."Many a night of hard toil has been fol-lowed by the longed-for dawn of success.When we were weary with the rowing theblessed Master came to us on the wavesand cried out, "Be of good cheer; it is I."As soon as He entered the boat the skieslighted up, and presently the boat was inthe harbor. The history of every discov-ery, of every enterprise of benevolence,of every Christian reform, is the history of toil and watching through long discourage-ments. I love to read the narrative of Pal-issy the potter, of his painful struggles withadversity, of his gropings after the scien-tific truth he was seeking, and of his finalvictory. Sorrow and poverty and toillodged with that brave spirit for many aweary month, but at length came singing150 THE NIGHT-LODGINGand shouting. All Galileos and Keplersand Newtons have had this experience.All the Luthers and Wesleys who havepioneered great reformations, and all themissionaries of Christ who have ever in-vaded the darkness of paganism, have had"to endure night-work and watching beforethe hand of God opened to them the gates of the *' dayspring from on high." This is thelesson to be learned by us pastors, by theteachers in mission-schools, by colporteurs,and by every toiler for Christ and souls.*'We have toiled all night, and caughtnothing," exclaimed the tired and hungrydisciples. Then in the early gray of t'hedaybreak they espied their Master on thebeach ; the net is cast on the right side of the ship, and it swarms with fish enoughto break its meshes. Nearly every revivalseason I have ever passed through in mychurch has been on this same fashion.Difficulties and discouragements have sentus to our knees, and then we have beenAND THE DAY-DAWN, 151surprised by the advent of the Master ingreat power and blessing. God tests Hispeople before He blesses them. The nightis mother of the day; trust through the
dark brings triumph in the dawn.Precisely similar are the deepest andrichest experiences of many a regeneratedsoul. The sorrows of penitence were theprecursors of the joys of pardon. I haveknown a convicted sinner to endure thepangs of contrition when no small tempestlay upon him and no sun or stars appeared ;his soul was in the horror of a great dark-ness. To such distressed hearts God oftensends a flood of relief and joy as suddenas the light that poured on Saul of Tarsus.To others conversion has been a slower,gentler process. Like the gradual com-ing of the dawn, ù as we have witnessed itfrom a railway car or from a mountainsummit, ù darkness has slowly given placeto steel-gray, and the steel-gray to silver,the silver has reddened into ruddy gold, and152 THE NIGHT-LODGINGall has developed so quietly and steadilythat we could not fix the precise birth-moment of the day. Thousands of trueChristians cannot fix the precise date of their conversion. But the dawn of hopeand new life really begins when the mercyof Jesus Christ is rightly apprehended, andthe soul begins to see and to follow Him." 'T is midnight with my soul till He,Bright Morning Star, bids darkness flee."Those who suffer the sharpest sorrowfor their own sinfulness and guilt, and arebrought into the deepest self-loathing, arecommonly those who are the most thor-oughly converted. The height of their joy is proportioned to the depth of theirdistress. Christ is all the more preciousto them for having painfully felt the needof Him. The dawn of their new hopehas been unmistakably from heaven, andtheir after pathway has shone brighter andbrighter to the perfect day.AND THE DAY-DAWN. 1 53One other truth ù the most ineffably glo-rious of all ù is illustrated by this simile of the night-lodging in the khan. The earth-ly life of God's children is only a mere

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