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The Building of the Spirit.

The Building of the Spirit.

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Published by glennpease
REV. H. S. HOLLAND, M.A.


" The Lord sitteth above the water-flood : and the Lord remaineth
a King for ever." Ps. xxix. 10.
REV. H. S. HOLLAND, M.A.


" The Lord sitteth above the water-flood : and the Lord remaineth
a King for ever." Ps. xxix. 10.

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Published by: glennpease on May 25, 2013
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THE BUILDIG OF THE SPIRIT.REV. H. S. HOLLAD, M.A." The Lord sitteth above the water-flood : and the Lord remainetha King for ever." Ps. xxix. 10.As we watch in spring-time the returning swallows,and delight at the ever-new wonder of their flight,flashing, darting, wheeling, skimming along thestartled waters, which they seem to laugh at asthey touch and fan ; or, again, when we are shownthe delicate and airy bone-work by which all thismiracle of motion is made possible which of usremembers all the toil, and pain, and pressure whichlie around and behind that exquisite mechanism,that rapid ease ? Who can guess what rough warfare, what haunting fears, have gone to the perfecting of that fairy fabric ; what fierce foes it has usedthat victorious flight to escape ; what arduous effortafter food is still at work preserving its swiftsymmetry ?THE BUILDIG OF THE SPIRIT. l6/It is the same (as we now know) with all thisbright and beautiful nature on which we feastour eyes as the sweet summer slowly steals overfield and wood. We are watching a late result, of which the long history is hidden. The very beautyscreens the secret from us. But as we push ourway behind that screen, as we spell out its innerstory, we learn what strange and troubled forces,what stormy scenes, have all gone to the makingof that earth which now, in its completed triumph,smiles up at us, as a face at ease that is glad tofeel itself alive and very fair.Or we look out from some bridge over Londonat some hour" When the city doth like a garment wearThe beauty of the morning."
 
There it is, still as a dream, glorious as a vision, sosecure, so steady, so quiet, at such peace" The river glideth at its own sweet will ;Dear God, the very houses are asleep,And all this mighty heart is lying still."Yes ; there is embodied a victory, there is enshrined1 68 THE BUILDIG OF THE SPIRIT.and sealed a hope, a glory. " Towers, domes,pinnacles," all speak of a wonder that has comeabout the wonder of human intercourse, humanco-operation, human sympathy, by which new possibilities have opened, new hopes dawned, newsplendours been achieved, far beyond the limitswithin which man first found his narrow lot castwhen he wandered hither and thither, loose, savage,suspicious, and alone. There it lies, under oureyes. So far the riddle has been read, the visionhas come true. Each tower, each spire, is a recordand a pledge of a stage won, of a gain stored andsecured.But ah, at what a cost of blood and pain doesthat wide city sleep and dream in the clearmorning air ! What ages of suffering have passedin tumult and tempest before men could win theirway up, out of distrust and alarm, into the confidence and peace of which these towers are thevisible evidence ! What noise and heat ; what feverand fret ; what anxieties, and perils, and wars ;what dismal failures, and lapses, and stumblings,THE BUILDIG OF THE SPIRIT. 169and falls ; what painful recoveries ; what bitterexperiences ; what miserable castigations ; whatwearisome delays ; what stress and strain ; whattyrannies, what crimes, what anarchies, have all
 
gone to the shaping of this social order, which nowassumes the comfortable air of a natural law, whichno sane man can ever question or discuss ! Allthis is thrown out of sight as we gaze, just as thequiet and untroubled face of a flower makes usforget the fears that beset its sowing amid thedisgraces of winter skies.And we who believe in Christ to-day are indanger of a like forgetfulness. We hold, forinstance, in our hands the three great CatholicCreeds, the wonderful work of that Spirit Whofell upon the Church at Pentecost. To those of uswho have been allowed to know their significanceand their power, how strong and fair they seem,how steady their outlines, how unfailing their peace !We feed on their secure phrases, on their pregnantthoughts. Our hearts tingle to their mighty music,to their measured roll. With what freedom can1 70 THE BUILDIG OF THE SPIRIT.we surrender ourselves to the onward movement of their high chanting : " I believe in Jesus Christ, theonly-begotten Son of God, Begotten of His Fatherbefore all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, VeryGod of Very God, Begotten, not made, Being of one substance with the Father ; By Whom allthings were made. . . . And I believe in the HolyGhost, the Lord and Giver of life, Who proceedethfrom the Father and the Son, Who with theFather and the Son together is worshipped andglorified, Who spake by the Prophets/' Thereis security ; there is vigour ; there is assurance ;there is clear insight ; there is the power of theWord, the infallibility of the Holy Spirit. Socalm, so steady ; such peace, such majesty. Faraway, it seems, from all the dust of quarrel, fromall the turmoil of dispute, from all the agony of indecision ; far above the fretting and the fever.We are lifted into some great height of vantage ;we, too, see with clear eyes ; we, too, wear, like agarment, " the beauty of the morning."Yet, how was that peace won ? What lies behind

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