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Unreasonable Unbelief

Unreasonable Unbelief

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY MERTON STACHER RICE
BY MERTON STACHER RICE

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 09, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/09/2013

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UREASOABLE UBELIEFBY MERTO STACHER RICEThe record of men whose too-small lives maketragedy of misunderstanding when they stand inthe way of God's goings. "If Thou be the Sonof God come down from the cross." As to whatit may mean in the eternal councils of humanwelfare for you to remain on that cross and diethere we are little concerned as we speak thus,for we talk as only in the light of what we cansee from where we stand. We are little con-cerned seeing you dying there other than the factthat divinity is challenged now, and we are readyfor a demonstration. We hold the right to deter-mine how divinity should act on an occasionabout which we know nothing.How sadly God has forever been misunder-stood by men, and how utterly wrong have beenthe ideas multitudes have had as to how Godshould act. We have made bold to declare whatwas the reasonable thing in divine conduct. Wewould not hesitate even to write out a schedulefor heaven. Here come some little unbelievingmen, and wagging their proud heads in the con-fidence of the qualification of their unbelief, daremake proposals of change, in the most sacred andtragic scene that was ever set on this earth. "If Thou be the Son of God !" Man nowhere else, inall his oft-blundering story, looks to me so pre-sumptuous, as when he arises here, when allheaven is bending above the world's supremecrisis, and when God Himself has come up to theUREASOABLE UBELIEF 27extreme price that human sin had forced^ andraising his hand for attention^ dares to suggest achange in the scene. There have always beenmen who have thought they could arrange somereasonable route for God, with reasonable to be
 
defined in their own terms. As for myself Ihave always carefully endeavored to bring myfaith up to situations like this of our text andsay, when "God moves in some mysterious wayhis wonders to perform,'^ I will not criticize, forreally I never did expect God to be confined tothe narrow horizoned way that from my low-standing place I was able to declare reasonable.Who ever made my little judgment the clearing-house of God's conduct? I know very little of how to go myself. I constantly am confoundedat the difficulties of my own life. I am botheredmuch when asked for advice in the conduct of situations of human relationships about me. Ido not therefore feel qualified to go plunginginto divine crises with a point of order againstthe proceedings. I may be able to draw com-paratively safe courses on which to sail my lit-tle ships about our little lakes, and across ourheaving seas. I may be able to hurl my littletrains across plains and through hard-heartedmountains for a short season. I may sink a shaftand bring out sparkling treasures from my vaultsof nature. With such things I am w^ont to plumea proud confidence that tempts me to forget that28 DUST AXD DESTIYI have only a temporaiy hold on all I prize. Someunexpected day something startles me. I look upto discover as with a new vision what a littleworld this is Avhere I walk and work and wearyand die. The breath of eternity blows into myface. Suns and stars in confounding numbersall spread across spaces I cannot even think across^ seem now to lie in the palm of Him wecall God, and I am standing here so inexpres-sibly small as to find easy room on a sand graincalled earth. Think you when I am thus stand-ing in my true perspective that I would dare raisemy little hand and protest or dictate in any senseas to the ways of God? And if I was such a foolas to even dare suggest my plans, do you think I would likewise be so much more a fool as tobelieve that my suggestion would draw a crisis
 
of judgment in divine conduct?I read a poem once that caught my soul inmeaning. Who wrote it or where I read it, Icannot say, and I have watched for it for years.It was a description of a great cathedral. Thewonderful high-hung dome; the long rows of receding arches ; the massive columns that rearedthemselves like pillars to hold up heaven. Allthe combined splendors of a perfectly worked-out plan which had been brought to its comple-tion by painstaking laborers for years and yearsslaving at the task, conspired together to throwa spell of wonder over the observer. He heardUREASOABLE UBELIEF 29a rattling noise, and looking down the great aislesaw coming a little curly-headed boy pulling alittle iron horse and wagon. So fascinated washe that he was backing his way along, gazing inconcentrated interest on his toy, and the littleiron-horse rattled across the marble pavement, hiscomplete delight. What avail the greatest domeever hung mid-sky by an architect, he never evenlooked into it. What avail the finest arch anymason ever laid up, he never knew it was there.What avail the greatest pillar that ever struck its granite shoulder under a load, he never caredhow high it stood. What a picture all that of thelarger fact when the cathedral has become auniverse and the boy has become a man. Therehe goes pulling the tiny things of his own mak-ing, utterly unconscious that above him andabout him is the cathedral of God's plan. Look up, man! Look up, woman! You are lost onyour avenues. You are thinking in terms of yourfactory. You are measuring life at your forge.You are counting value in gold and bonds. Youcannot spell God out that way.That is the setting of our text with infinitetragedy added. Unbelief has made bold to wadethrough the sorrows of God's suffering, andflinging itself into the most sacred moment that

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