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BACK TO GOD.

BACK TO GOD.

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Published by glennpease
BY JOSEPH PARKER




But from the beginning of the creation God.— Mark z. 6.
BY JOSEPH PARKER




But from the beginning of the creation God.— Mark z. 6.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 25, 2013
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04/01/2014

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BACK TO GOD.BY JOSEPH PARKER But from the beginning of the creation God.— Mark z. 6.THAT is what we want to get at. We are perplexed,divided, and confused by things intermediate andtransient We have had enough of them. We want toget back to the beginning, back to the divine intent — back behind the beginning, back into the council-chamberof the Eternal The context is graphic and beautiful.The Pharisees came to Jesus and asked him, " Is it law-ful for a man to put away his wife? 11 They temptedthe Teacher ; they were inwardly mocking him, andtly endeavouring to entrap him. " And he answeredsaid unto them. What did Moses command you?"BACK TO GOD. 85You profess to be devoted to the law of Moses, how doesthat law read upon the question which you have put tome ? " And they said, Moses suffered to write a billof divorcement, and to put her away." Jesus answered:So far, so good ; you are scholars of the letter, very poorscholars, or you would have known that " For the hardnessof your heart he wrote you this precept " — something tobe going on with, a piece of paper you can handle anduse under limited circumstances. " But from the begin-ning of the creation God." He did not stop at Mosesor the prophets. This Teacher, as prophesied by Isaiah,drew his breath in the fear of God. He was not thedisciple of any man : he brought messages directly fromthe mind and heart of God. We feel, therefore, that weare in company with the right Teacher now. Mosesaccommodated himself to the hardness of your heart;" but from the beginning of the creation God " made two,man and wife, one : whom, therefore, God hath joinedtogether, let not man put asunder !Thus all the little card-box legislation of all the greatteachers that ever invented new schemes of society — all
 
these inventions, suggestions, legislations — are rolled overby this Man whose breath was drawn in the fear of God,and who spake from the steps of the palace of the Eternal.That is what we want to get at ot what Moses said,not what the Greeks philosophised, not what the Spartansturned into discipline ; all this is more or less dignifiedgossip and conjecture — foolish, or useful for the momentWhat we want to get at is God — what he meant whenhe said, " Let us make." If I could convey this thoughtto you as it is in my own mind, you would be inspiredsouls, you would take a new view of society and all itsarrangements and divers trumperies.86 STUDIES I TEXTS.In the context we are face to face with Moses andChrist Moses, for the hardness of the hearts of thepeople, made a certain temporary arrangement, but it wasaside from the eternal thought ; permissible, but notperpetual So we need minor providences — little bye-laws,small schedules, parliamentary enactments, things to begoing on with — to restrain the wanton and the wilful ;but all these are playthings comparatively. If we couldget back to "the beginning of the creation/' and, likeChrist, draw our breath in the fear of God, legislationitself would be natural breathing, Socialism would bedeepest and truest life : " Behold, I make all things new."It is in the nature of a fallen curiosity and debasedingenuity to be making more wordy laws. Jesus Christbrought laws to a minimum. He said, All that theprophets and the law have been trying to say may besummed up in two words : " Thou shalt love the Lordthy God, and thy neighbour as thyself." Any society thatis rich in schedules and bye-laws and subtle arrangementsand difficult interpretations of the law is in a bad way.This is the condition of society to-day : the lawmakersdivided, the bench cleft in two. We want to hear the sweetwoman-voice of the Man who calls us away from all thesethings into fellowship with God, union with the Spirit,oneness with the eternal right Every bolt on your dooris a witness against society ; every time you turn thekey and lock a drawer, you indict human nature. Societyis organised scepticism.What we want to get at, then, is the divine thought,
 
the divine intention " from the beginning of the creation."From the beginning of the creation what was man'srelation to God ? He was the under-god, theion-god, the visible god, a partaker of the divineBACK TO GOD. 87nature. What is man now according to our Catechism?A fallen and depraved being. True. " But from thebeginning of the creation God" made man in his ownimage and his own likeness. We are not to be stoppedby the law of Moses or by the catechism of theology ; f wemust get back to God's own purpose in setting up man,to whom he could speak, and with whom he could holdcommunion of heart How do you describe man ? Small,few in days, his breath is in his nostrils, there is noneabiding; one dieth in his full strength, another dieth inhis youth and never eateth with pleasure; the earth isa graveyard ; man is a sinner ; man is of small account,he is as a wind that cometh for a little time and thenvanisheth away.Quite right up to a given point ; but remember, * inthe beginning of the creation God " made man in his own.'i«**^vimage and in his own likeness — made man immortal, gavehim what is called an immortal soul ; the soul being thetrue self. We must get back to that divine standard if we would set a right value upon any human creature thathas debased humanity and brought discredit upon the veryearth he treads. At present we are looking into reports,into the reports of royal commissions, forsooth ! intoreports of committees and councils, into examinations andcross-examinations ; and we are basing our judgment of mankind or of society upon such reports. We have hadenough. The reports are perfectly correct; the reportsare useful within given limits ; we cannot conduct societyas it is at present, debased and degraded, without theassistance of such reports ; " but at the beginning of the creation God " made man upright When you hearof man, you ought to hear of uprightness ; but " they havesought out many inventions/' and the proudest of their

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