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Things Unseen and Eternal

Things Unseen and Eternal

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
The Rev. James Drummond, M.A., LittD.

'*We look not at the things which are seen, but at
the things which are not seen; for the things which
are seen are temporal; but the things which are not
seen are eternal," — 2 Cor. 4 : 18.
The Rev. James Drummond, M.A., LittD.

'*We look not at the things which are seen, but at
the things which are not seen; for the things which
are seen are temporal; but the things which are not
seen are eternal," — 2 Cor. 4 : 18.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 19, 2013
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09/19/2013

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THIGS USEE AD ETERALThe Rev. James Drummond, M.A., LittD.'*We look not at the things which are seen, but atthe things which are not seen; for the things whichare seen are temporal; but the things which are notseen are eternal," — 2 Cor. 4 : 18.THOSE who, like Paul, consecrate theirlives, or any considerable portion of their lives, to the spiritual service of mankind, can sustain their strength only bythe revelations of faith. If you can convincethem that what they see with the bodily eyesexhausts the universe, and thus blot out theirideal vision, they will, as prudent men, turnfrom the pursuit of dreams, and try to makethe best of the hard realities of life. Theirafflictions will no longer appear to them lightand momentary while measured against thevast sweep of eternity and the gravitationof the soul toward that central glory whichonly the eye of the soul can see, but will nowpress upon them with a dead weight, and seemto block up the whole of the discoverable fu-ture. jEt will be better for them to sink back into the world's beaten ways, and, making thebest of its transient ci>mforts, fret themselvesno more about such fantoms as justice, holi-ness, truth, and beauty. But happily formankind, there are always some in whom the125MODER SERMOS
 
vision is too clear for skepticism, and theattraction of the soul to the ideal and divineis too strong to be resisted. To them it isthe so-called hard realities that are unreal,except so far as they catch a reflected realityfrom that which is above them and unseen.The light that glitters with swift and change-ful dance upon the wave is but a reflectionfrom the stedf ast sun ; and so the events thatmove before our eyes, and make up the flit-ting experiences of liie, are tokens of some-thing permanent behind, and whenever weplace our trust in them they break at ourfeet and warn us that that which abidesmust be sought elsewhere.Prom the different modes of contemplatingthe universe suggested by these remarks, twodistinct types of character arise, which wemay call the worldly and the spiritual. Inmost of us, indeed, these two are mingled to-gether, and neither epithet might seem ap-plicable to our case ; but sometimes one orother becomes so predominant as to obscurethe pretensions of its rival, and exhibit itsown nature without disguise; and in all, Ipresume, there is a prevailing tendency inone direction, and we are either becomingmore attached to the world of sense, and al-lowing it a less disputed control over ourthoughts and purposes, or we are slowlybreaking its fetters, and committing ourselveswith less reserve to the leading of things126DRUMMOD
 
which eye has not seen nor ear heard. Inthe former case there is a gradual hardeningand debasing of the character. All the con-ventional requirements of society may receivetheir due recognition as a necessary part of this plan of life; but there is less and lessresponse to whatever appeals to the highersentiments, there is a growing disinclinationto sacrifice ease and comfort to the demandsof duty and benevolence, regard for the sup-posed opinion of the world supersedes thesecret voice of conscience, and, if the beingof God is not theoretically denied, He is, atall events, little more than the spectral rem-nant of an inherited creed. In the lattercase, this process is reversed, and the char-acter ascends toward a nobler simplicity, andsevere yet sweet purity and faithfulness.Every legitimate claim of society is franklyacknowledged, and yet he who worships inthe sanctuary of duty calmly puts aside boththe threats and the applause of men. His lifeis shaped by ideal ends, and he measures thethings of earth by ideal standards. As tothe eye of science this huge globe dwindlesinto a tiny atom swimming in the measurelessocean of space, so to the eye of faith thislife, so long and brilliant in the youthfulfancy, so big with trouble and disappointmentin the mature experience, condenses into amoment in the solemn eternity, and all itsgrand projects are tested by their relations127

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